Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

To the news reporters, this is the beginning of summer. Well we remember in by-gone years when it was all "recreation". But times change and one's perspective changes. Today, I often think of the men and women off in foreign lands carrying the flag of our country. It is a price that many who have gone before have paid and we need to never forget it.

I've recently read two books on WWII, one on the North African campaign and one about moving cross Europe. Those of us that have never seen the bloody fields of battle find it hard to appreciate the pain and suffering so many of our veterans endured. But they did endure and the survivors came home to build a better America.

At our recent class reunion, I had the opportunity to visit for sometime with two AFROTC classmates. (One served in Viet Nam, I served stateside and one was declared 4-F.) During the course of the conversation, the subject of how Lt. William Calley was treated came up. We all agreed that great injustices were done and worst of all, they prosecuted the wrong man.. Lt. Calley was the fall guy for a number of senior leaders. Historically, the winner prosecutes the losers leadership for war crimes. When crimes have been done by the winning forces, the blame is always pushed to the lowest level of leadership, usually the poor grunt in the field!

It has been a delightful week here on the farm. The weather has been warm (Sandy says HOT) and the grass has been growing like a weed. We finally have the lawn trimmed down to where it looks kind of decent. Now to keep it that way.

Yesterday, we decided to get really serious about replacing our Saturn towed car. Serious means that we pulled the tow bar base plate off of it. It is a bummer, a $300 item, with probably zero salvage value. But now they can't deduct on the trade in value since they would remove it. I was reassured that it was a good installation, as the bolts were so tight that I had extreme trouble getting them loose. We are replacing it with a Honda CR-V we think.. One thing is for certain, I've got to get serious now that we've removed the ability to tow the Saturn.

Tomorrow is Memorial Day. Let us not forget it.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Time Marches on

Okay, so we're getting lazy, or just plain neglecting our duties. My apologies.

It has been nearly 2 weeks since the last update and there have been a number of activities happening. For starters, we wrapped up the stuff on the farm and headed to Ames, IA for our 50th University Class reunion. Yep, it was in 1960 when Sandy and I both graduated from Iowa State University and I was looking forward to seeing some familiar faces again.

Reunions are both a joy and a disappointment. It is a joy about seeing long lost fellow students. It is big disappointment to realize that many of those that one remembers didn't come back for what ever reason. As one person said afterwards, one doesn't realize how few people you knew until you return and see all of the rest.

After the reunion, we journeyed south to Winterset, IA where we were hosting an RV Computer Rally for our Escapee's RV club chapter. We decided to avoid the big roads and take the lessor traveled highways from Ames. Our only problem as getting out of Ames onto the highway we wanted. We tried going straight south from Campus, only to have the road turn into a gravel road. So then it was west a mile and the road ended at a Tee road, with the south route being gravel. So it was north, back into west Ames and I think it was old 30 that finally got us out into the country. From then on, clear sailing.

In Winterset, we headed for the fairgrounds, which we knew would be populated with numerous Winnebagos and we weren't disappointed. They were hosting a state club meeting and used much of the grounds. But we slipped into a back corner and relaxed. Yes, we have a Winnebago product and yes, we could have joined their activities, but decided not to.

From Sunday afternoon till Friday morning, it was the Computer Rally. We had 17 rigs, 32 people and lots of questions. It is a real nightmare trying to work with XP, Vista and Windows 7. But Sandy did a pretty good job at it. I think everyone learned something. The Rally is now over and we're hanging around for a couple of days before we head back to the farm, as we have an appointment at the Des Moines Freightliner to have the valve lifters adjusted (factory recommended service.). So back to the farm on Monday afternoon, if the winds are not too bad.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

It has been 10 Days already

Okay, so I'm falling down on the job. First, I'd say that not much has happened. Then I could say that so much has been going on, I don't know where to start.

One of the urgent things to do here was to get some tile breaks fixed. That has been done. Of course, there is always another one which I decided to ignore. During the week, we also went big time and called in the big boys with huge toys to do more tiling. It is nearly impossible to get a tiler to work when you want them, which is after the ground is frost free and before we want to plant. Well, I solved that problem by telling them, "Okay, we'll put the tile in through the planted field. It is not the best idea, but by being flexible, we can get a tiler to do the job.

We've made a couple of trips to Cedar Rapids (and going again tomorrow). The one tomorrow is back to the dentist, a visit we all universally dislike! Sandy also needs some copies made for the computer rally that we're hosting, starting a week from today.

This coming week we head for Ames, Iowa for our 50th anniversary of our university graduation. It ought to be interesting. An AFROTC classmate has sent an email and we look forward to comparing notes when we get there.

At the end of my freshman year, I worked for 2 or 3 days helping returning alumni move into the dorm for the week that they were there for their 50th reunion. It was an eye-opening experience. The reactions of individuals to see someone that they hadn't visited with in over 50 years was very interesting. It did convince me that I wanted to return to my class reunions in the years to come.

We'll leave the rest of the reunion chatter to next week, when it will be after the reunion. I should also mention that the corn is planted here on the farm and the herbicide sprayed., plus we got a nice rain that evening, so the corn should grown. It is time to plant beans, but it looks like the weather is going to slow down that operation a bit.

Tomorrow is off to Cedar Rapids all day. Tuesday we sort, repack and make ready to travel. Wednesday we hit the road for Ames and we'll be boondocking in the stadium parking lot -- thank goodness for solar.

Have a great week.