Sunday, July 15

In trouble

I complained to the trivia guy and got my butt in a bit of trouble. I took down the questions to make peace. His job isn't easy and I of all people should realize that.

This morning I biked out to the road before the big bridge. It was foggy. I had to take my glasses off because they steamed up and I couldn't see. I did see this car on the trail. But missed seeing this glass right in front of the car and rode right through it.

This glass was right in front of the car. I took the pictures when I came back and walked my bike around the glass. Several people saw me taking pictures. I came home and called the police. I was much more concerned about the glass than the car. I was tempted to pick up the glass and place it right behind his tire but I did not succumb to temptation.

These two pictures were taken where I turned around.

Saturday, July 14

Medical procedures plus this and that

Butch and I are getting tired of medical procedures. Butch had his second one on the left side of his face yesterday. If Dr. Poag didn't get it all this time it will mean a trip to the hospital so lets all hope for a positive outcome. We will be finding out next Wednesday.
We want to still get in a trip on the Mississippi River but with all these interruptions it is hard to get it scheduled.

My trivia experience was a good one last Wednesday. We still have only two teams however those two teams change a bit each week and they tell me they are having a good time. 
For a little background, Butch and I are on Team McDugan on Thursday nights at HyVee. The name of the team is "McDugan" because Dick (Dugan) McQuillen and his wife Sharon first formed the team and chose that name because Dick was christened with the name Dugan by one of his classmates in high school and it stuck. 
Dugan is VERY good at trivia and we all gladly let him take the lead, Sometimes we argue with him and sometimes we check his answer before he turns it in so nothing wonky happens because it did once but for the most part we look to Dugan for the answers. So on Wednesday nights at the Elks, the trivia night that I put together, everyone wants to be on Dugan's team. At the Elks Club his team is known as A-Team so the other team chose B-Team for their name. A-team was doing very well in the first half and I was feeling sorry for the B-Team. It looked like they were going to be a complete bust. Those of you who play know that the Double Down 4th round can change everything and it certainly did. B-Team won!! I hope this win generates some more people coming next week.

I was asked to remove the questions from the blog by the owner of the questions so I have done so.

Thursday, July 12

Odd Happenings

Yesterday on the bike trail as Virginia and I were walking we found a 3/4 full DeepWoods Off can that had obviously fallen off a bike. It was missing the little spray nozzle but thought maybe I could find a substitute so brought it home. Later in the day, Butch went golfing and as he pulled out of the driveway at the course he spotted a Bug Soother laying alongside the road. It had fallen off a golf cart most likely. They cost in the range of $7 for the 8 oz bottle. The Missouri kids loaded up on this stuff when they were here. It is an Iowa product. Safe for kids and it works. Pleasant to use.
Image result for bug soother reviews
Bug Soother: The All Natural Bug Repellent. A great way to repel those nasty bugs year round. A blend of vanilla and fresh lemony scents that smells great, but bugs hate. DEET Free, safe for children and pets, Bug Soother is a safe all-natural product that qualifies as an EPA exempted product.

So we have restocked at no cost.

It has been a hot one! 73 degrees at 6:00 am this morning. A few minutes ago I had some squirrel photo ops.
 And this is what the one up top was looking at. I think they decided it was too hot for race and chase.

Tuesday, July 10

Busy life!

Missouri kids went home on Sunday. On Monday we had scheduled a trip to Atlantic so we took off bright and early headed south. Bright and early for Butch is 9:00AM in case you wondered. I had purchased a Nuwave induction plate from a Facebook sale site and it was in Audubon so we went by way of Audubon to finalize the purchase. It really was not out of our way more than a couple of miles. Then we met up with the Gunderson's, enjoyed lunch with them at the new location of the Downtown Cafe in the old hotel. Great food. Back to Bill and Bev's to get in a few hands of Bridge. Bill and I didn't get even one chance of beating them.
We then went to Sherri and Randy's so the guys could get some golf played. Sherri has a very busy daycare and in addition, her grandkids were visiting from Chicago. Fortunately one of her former "kids', now a senior in high school was there to help.

Miss Ella age 4

And Lucas age 10
We met up with the guys after golf and enjoyed supper at the Aztec, a new Mexican restaurant in Atlantic. It was new to us anyway. I understand it has been there for 3 years.
We returned home at about 9:00 pm and hit the bed not long after. Busy day but a fun-filled one.

Kay can can...

... and cook and bake and it certainly looks like she is hard at it.
Kay Voss says."I picked a total of 109 pounds ! All the rain helped;  froze many bags and gave away at least half."

20 pints of cherry pie filling

We have finished butchering our chickens....I canned pieces of meat from the backs/ribs.  7 pints of meat for soups and 5 pints of broth for various recipes"

"So yummy!   10 jelly jars of cherry jam"

"Our reds are starting.  The yellows are producing too.  The yellows rarely make it to the house,  they are honey sweet!"

"Today I am taking it easy....this is all I have baked today.   Later I do plan on making chocolate cake, topped with canned cream cheese and canned cherry pie filling on top of that.  Jim is finally starting to feel like eating again, so I am trying to fatten him up a bit.  He is very thin.....what a problem to have!"

Saturday, July 7

Missouri kids

The kids are here, the Missouri kids. Been here since Tuesday. That is one reason why I have not been on here paying attention to business.
This morning I decided I had to get some of the stuff on record before it slips from memory.
Leo, little Leo that would be, says something or does something every day that is astounding. So does his sister, Elise but her feats are more subtle, mature and sophisticated. She is eight. I will get to her in a bit.

Back to Leo. He has a girlfriend. She is his bus buddy when they went to pre-kindergarten. He is five. He tells us his girlfriend is beautiful but crazy. Her name is Hadley. When asked why she is crazy he said she always wants to play Cat or Going to a Party. His mother asked him if Hadley would say he was crazy? He said, "No because I play multiple games." I was there and I heard it and yes, multiple was the word he used.
This morning we had a plan to go to the Belltower. Leo has been wanting to go to the Belltower even before he got here. I asked him why he wanted to go so bad and he said, "Because you can see the whole world from up there!" He was very impressed.
And then we were discussing how much it would cost to go. $3 for adults and kids are free. Leo offered the money he has in his billfold. He still has the money in it I gave him a couple of years ago. He said he had been saving it. I asked what he was saving it for. He said, without missing a beat, "To buy a house in Paris? Remember he is five!!

Elise, age 8 is growing up so very fast. She is a voracious reader. I have known quite a few of those in my life. In fact, my branch of the family is full of them and her Nana Susan is one too. Elise's mother, Amanda is a reading teacher. So the whole bit is deeply embedded in her. She brought 5 books with her and she has read four and working on her fifth. One of those was Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone. I was working on this blog entry and not quite finished when she came up and started reading it over my shoulder. I wasn't sure how I felt about that at first but it was fine. I learned later that she reads at a rate of 192 words a minute. That seems very fast to me. I think her parents are going to have a hard time keeping her in books. Is there a for children? I will check on that. They do!
Her fifth book that she is reading now is "A Wrinkle in Time". Sure hope it is better than the movie.

It has been a busy 5 days! I have taken many pictures in the past 5 days, ridden the trail a couple times, walked a couple of times, been to Spring Lake and snapped photos throughout all of these events.

 Someone was getting their motorcycle license test?

Brother and sister consultation.

Gary walks fully protected from the sun.

Elise walks with Nana Susan

Miss Elise

Spring Lake Park, Greene County Iowa


Leo and Gary
 Leo said he was swimming and that is why the expression on his face looks as it does.

This morning ride on the trail: Elise wanted to ride the trail with us and she did a very good job.

Forgotten on the trail

A Dickcissle

The kids in the tower.

Leo says I can see the restaurant we ate in. It is the A&W.

A train going under the Big Ass Overpass!

Unknown Biker

Talking to Thomas.

Because I can...

Can you tell the real from the fake?

~a column by Colleen O’Brien
The term news literacy is defined as the ability to use critical thinking to judge the reliability and credibility of information, whether it comes via print, television or the Internet.
How we judge the news affects what we understand about world affairs and ultimately how we vote. If we don’t know how to tell if TV, radio, print, websites and social media are telling the truth or disseminating fake news, propaganda, hoaxes, rumors, satire and advertising, there is a website from the Center for News Literacy that might help (
As well, the online university Coursera adapted into a six-week class the news literacy idea that began at the journalism school of State University of New York at Stony Brook a decade ago. The course concentrates on learning to decipher the distinctions between journalism, opinion journalism, and blowhards, what the meaning of fairness and balance is, and the responsibilities that come with having a recorder/TV/printing press in your pocket (that would be your cell phone).
Coursera classes look like this:
Week 1: The power of information is now in the hands of consumers.
Week 2: What makes journalism different from other types of information?
Week 3: Where can we find trustworthy information?
Week 4: How to tell what’s fair and what’s biased.
Week 5: How to apply news literacy concepts in real life.
Week 6: Meeting the challenges of digital citizenship.
Anyone interested can pay to take a graded course or take the course for free with no grading.
The site was designed to teach students how to deal with decisions they face now and that will increase as they come of age. According to press releases from Stony Brook, the results of the class are good: News Literacy students routinely consume more news from more sources, rate keeping up with the news as important, register to vote in high numbers, and can deconstruct video news stories effectively.
For the past decade the News Literacy course has been added to the curriculum of 50 universities in the U.S. and been taught in Hong Kong, Beijing, Moscow, Tel Aviv, Australia and Poland.
One of the original class instructors, Richard Hornik, veteran journalist from Time, Inc, said, “The ability of the next generation of citizens to judge the reliability and relevance of information will be a leading indicator of the public health of civil societies around the world.”
A paper published by the non-partisan public think tank Brookings Institution encouraged news literacy classes when it wrote that we’re living in a time in which the public perception of the reliability of professionals in media lies between bankers and car salesmen. Because we have trouble knowing if what we’re getting is fact or fiction, everybody in America needs a little help in critical thinking skills to spot the real journalists.
In a democracy, citizens get the government they deserve if they don’t vote from the facts. In this 21st century, we might get the journalism we want – as well as those public servants called politicians that are supposed to run the country for us – if we learn how to tell what is and what is not real news.

Tuesday, July 3

Trip North

We did a day trip up to Northern Iowa. It was a work session with Butch wiring John and Marie Kelley's garage. Thus we will need to make another day trip up just for fun. The trip up and back was pleasant and we would not mind doing it again. For one thing, we missed seeing some folks and so we must do a do-over. We listened to a book so the trip itself went fast.

We went to Marlene and Bernards place and then Butch and Bernard went to Spencer to help John with his garage. Marlene and I visited and then Dwight and Carolyn returned from their trip to see their daughter Anna who has recently moved to Cedar Rapids. It was a fun afternoon visiting with people we have not seen for a long time. Dwight grilled brats for supper and Marlene put her magic touch on some side dishes. It was quite a spread and very tasty.
On the way home, we stopped to see to see my little sis Myrla in Rockwell City. She is the sister who recently broke her arm to the point she needed a cadaver bone to repair it. She named it Dave you might recall. Dave and Myrla are getting along fine but she says it will be another 4 months with her arm in a device.
Myrla's quarter wolf-dog Hewy is not doing well. He is 14 now and has arthritis in his hips and the poor guy was cripping around pretty good. You could tell every step hurt.

We got home about 9:30 and that bed sure felt good.

Sunday, July 1

Waze App

I suspicioned that Jason and Laura might be in the Des Moines area last night during the storm. They often go to Des Moines on Saturdays. So I had a bit of concern when the reports from there were bad. People were getting rescued from their cars. Over 10 inches of rain in Ankeny in a little over an hours time.
And then Jason called this morning and sure enough, they were in Des Moines during the deluge and he said it was bad. However, they use the WAZE APP and it was a good thing they do. He said they were taking an alternate route thinking they would get home quicker when the Waze app gave them a warning of "Hazard ahead"  and sure enough the water was over the road and one car had been swept off the road and into the ditch. Against his mothers better judgment they went through the water and got through it okay. Perhaps they would have been going much faster without the warning and also been swept off. I don't know. He did say they did not go through any more water and stopped at a Casey Store for over an hour till the rain let up a bit. It was late when they got home. They did get home safely and WAZE was a help to them. I also have this app on my phone now. One year going South in these same kinds of conditions it would have been very helpful to know what was ahead of us.
Here is an article about Google Maps and Waze and the comparison of each. Bottom line? They both have their place,

Storm Hunter App

Iowans are familiar with John Mclaughlin. He was our go-to guy for weather for years on Channel 8 KCCI-TV. But then John got sick and had to quit his job and his absence has had a big influence. We have missed him. John was from Glidden Iowa and that is not far from Jefferson but as it happens John and his wife decided to retire to Jefferson so he has become a local. John looks much healthier now so the treatment for his condition must have been very helpful. John is a nationally known meteorologist and really knows his stuff. In his retirement, John has put together a weather app. Our local business, Jefferson Telecom did a feature on him and his app and I was impressed enough to give the app a try. I had previously used The Weather Channel app. John's app is much easier to use. It is a free app and you can check it out on the link below.

Here is the article: