Monday, March 31, 2008

March Is Going Out Like A Lion

On Saturday I rode my motorcycle and prepared the camper for the season and now we are in a heavy snow warning with nine inches expected.
Schools closed early as did many businesses.
I always say " I will take whatever Mother Nature throws our way through March...but come April, the weather had better straighten out".
So Mother Nature....are you listening?
Go ahead and let it snow. We have the fireplace roaring and plenty of provisions to get us through just about anything.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Wow....That was fast! As some of you know, We decided to sell our motorcycles. I posted the intentions on the fabulous web forum I belong to and it wasn't but a day and a guy (Gary) from near Rochester, MN said he would like to look at the bike. We set up an appointment for yesterday. Gary and his wife Pat are really good people. She rides a Goldwing trike and is really into the bike scene.
Anyway, I did a complete background check and talked with their neighbors. All the reports came back good. I also get to visit the bike every other holiday and weekend. I will miss her.
Gary and Pat will pick up the bike when the weather warms up a bit. I am really glad it is going to a good home.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Fine Taste Of Wine

OK....I confess. I am the proud holder of a wine course certificate issued to me more than 35 years ago. In high school I worked at a very high end restaurant and bar complex. Part of our training involved enrolling in a wine course so we could help our customers select the proper wine. Well, I passed the course somehow and did not learn a thing.
Our son Ben is a wine expert. He talks about his wine experimenting occasionally in his blog that is linked to your right.
I can remember a few years ago when Sue and I, my folks and Ben and Anna went to the Morgan Creek Vineyard and Winery. It was a great time!
We sat down and listened to the experts talk about the types of wines as we tasted them. I can still hear Ben and the winery people..." Oh yes, this has a slight nutty taste and if you purse your lips and inhale, you can detect a slight hint of maple bark."
Now what the hell is that all about? I could taste none of that all. The only thing I could add to the tasting session was " Um..this is good" or " Man this is REALLY good".
By this time the others were detecting the slight hints of turkey feathers in their wine. My favorite was....mmmmmm I detect a slight hint of banana peel and leather.
That was enough for me. By that time I was half sloshed on the samples and was in the process of purchasing a case of wine so I could practice the finer points of wine consumption.
So, how am I dong on that training? MMMM, this wine is really good!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Weekend Plans

It is Friday and the end of the workweek as long as nothing bad happens. Tomorrow is the 10th anniversary of the St. Peter tornado. What a mess....the tornadoes, all 14 of them, skipped along a path of 70 miles damaging or destroying hundreds of homes. St. Peter and Comfrey look great with all new infrastructures. Hats off to those who helped.
We are still working on the back entry from the garage into the house. We will work on that tomorrow and get my motorcycle cleaned up. Someone is coming out to look at it. It is for sale. It will be a great bike for someone. Sue's bike will be up for sale soon also as it is time to move on and let someone else enjoy them,

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I Am Worried

The headline seems to say it all! As you can see by the pictures, scientists have now documented with pictures, an alarming array of genetic mutations among our furry friends. With the discovery of these horribly altered creatures you can rest assured that WE are next!
For the love of God....what can we do to stop this genetic slide?
I don't have the answers. I just and pray that someone does before it is too late!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Hike In The Woods

Today we experienced temperatures in the low 40's. Tomorrow, five to seven inches of snow is possible. With that in mind, we thought it prudent to take the girls out for a walk in the woods. It was awesome. We don't know who had a better or the dogs.

One thing for sure is that they needed baths after getting in all that springtime mud. Sue said they just stood in the shower groovin.

It was a busy day at work today. I gave driving tests to four volunteers from two other Red Cross chapters. They are now qualified to drive our ERV's...emergency response vehicles. When a disaster hits anywhere in the lower 48 these things get rolling to the scene. These great volunteers will be among those tasked with getting the rigs there quickly.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Pigging Out

Greetings and sorry for the lack of a post yesterday. I needed the time for my food to settle after a wonderful Easter feast this past Sunday.

What a grand time we had. The Easter event was well attended by of course Sue's parents Molly and Harv. It was at their home so it was a good idea that they were there. Also in attendance...Sue and I with Ben and his bride Anna. Sue's brother Mark and his wife Janet and one of their three kids. Also taking part in the festivities, Sue's youngest brother Chris his wife Joyce and their two children.

It is traditional that we all consumed enough food to feed a medium sized army. You would have thought that we had enough to eat when out comes the carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and ice cream. Oh my!

My parents in Des Moines went out to supper at Adventure Land in Altoona, Iowa with my brother Paul and his wife Margaret and their daughter and her husband and their daughter. Also attending...Paul and Margaret's son and his girlfriend. From all accounts, a good time was had by all.

We are going shopping tonight to return some clothes that we did not care for. We also have to go back to town to drop off a package at UPS. I was there earlier and they were closed. I do hate their hours as they are not necessarily consumer friendly.

It is very windy today and does not feel like it is in the 40's. The good thing about the wind is that it is really drying out the lane and yard.

I had better run. Thanks for stopping in.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Ship Harv Cruised The World On

You have heard that my father in law Frank/Harv/Francis/Sonny/Doc...was a Navy Career man. Well, I found some pictures of the ship I thought you may enjoy.
It was the Destroyer John R. Pierce.

The Pierce played an important role in the Cuban Blockage in 1962. The ship was even featured in the 2001 movies "Thirteen Days". Harv was played by actor John Goodman who did a pretty good job portraying "The Doc".
I don't think many people today know just how close we were to nuclear war over that period in late 1962. We owe a debt of gratitude to Harv and the other brave men of the Pierce who were called into action for our country.

Today we are having Easter Dinner at Sue's folks house. MMMM...lots of good food.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

We Are Going Where?

The date has been set and the destination determined. And now....the envelope please. We are going to Patton, Pennsylvania! Yup, you heard me right Jocko. We are taking off in May for the Eastern United States of America on an old fashioned road trip.

Sue's dad....Francis..aka...Sonny, Frank, Harv, dad, Grandpa, Doc...whatever... wanted to visit his hometown and Sue wanted me to see the area where they used to live.

Now, I have heard stories about this place and I have a few reservations about the trip, or at least the destination. By now I anticipate that most of the town has running water and personal hygiene has improved. I did a Google search and see that they also have several dentists. I am feeling better already

In all seriousness, I am looking forward to the excursion. We are going to take 8-9 days and take our time getting there. We are also planning on taking in Niagara Falls and traveling through parts of Canada.

I did some searching and found a hotel in Patton built in the 1800's. It is at the Miners' Restaurant. It has three rooms and a shared bathroom. This could get real interesting!

Sue's folks are really nice people and fun to be around so we are looking forward to this excellent adventure.

For those of you who don't know, Harv is a retired Navy Chief and has been known to occasionally tell a Navy story or two.

Friday, March 21, 2008

We Had A Great Time!

If you read yesterday's entry you know that we ate supper at our favorite pizza place in the world. Well, it lived up to it's reputation. The pizza was better than perfect and the beer was ice cold.
Ben, Sue and I were dining when Andy called to wish me a happy birthday. That was really nice and made my day. Ben created a birthday card that was VERY funny. I sure enjoyed it and his wonderful company. I did behave as I was the DD for the evening.

We are getting more snow today....5 to 7 inches the weather people say. The nice thing is that it melts fast this time of year.

We are working on our first floor bathroom remodel. I think it is coming along real nice. I really think we will be happy with the results.

Until next time....Thanks for stopping in.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Now Wait Just a minute!

Welcome everyone to the first day of Spring! Isn't it grand? And now today's weather forecast."Snow developing tonight through tomorrow. That has pronpted the National Weather Service to issue a winter storm warning from 7:00 tonight to 7:00 tomorrow night. Expect seven inches of snow with blowing and drifting snow making travel dificult at times".

OK....there is my rant for now anyway.

Tonight we are going to Pagliai's Pizza for beer and the obvious. Thursday nights a pitcher is just 25 cents with the purchase of a pizza. That is always a fun time!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Snow and Slots

Interesting title. Now that I have your attention, please allow me to explain.

I was scheduled to evaluate a disaster exercise at the Lower Sioux Indian Reservation on Tuesday.

After checking the weather forecast Monday all I heard was 3-7 inches of snow Monday night and early Tuesday. So I could make sure I would be at the exercise Tuesday morning I decided to drive over Monday late afternoon. The plan worked, I arrived just as the rain was changing to snow. By Tuesday morning the highways were a MESS.

To kill some time Monday night I visited a slot machine with a ten dollar bill in hand. An hour later I left that machine with my ten dollar bill and an extra $27.50. That is something that doesn't happen all the time.

The disaster exercise went great as they were a very good group of dedicated people.

The snow? It was all gone by 2:00 Tuesday afternoon. :)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Day at the Theatre With Family

Greetings loyal readers. I have felt so inspired of late from those who read the posts on a daily basis. Thanks for the wonderful comments and support.
OK then, I know you didn't stop in to be thanked up one side and down another so let today's stories begin.
As some of you know, we are remodeling the first floor bathroom. There used to be two ways in and that was uncomfortable so we sheet rocked one of the entrances and one thing led to another and all of a sudden we are re-modeling. Sue wants to use wainscoting for the lower portion of the walls and we were having a heck of a time locating the kind we wanted. After visits today to Menard's and Home Depot we found what we wanted at Lowe's. I will write more about that at a later time after I take some pictures.
Today was our day at the theatre. As I wrote another day, we had the good fortune to be invited to our nieces play...Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory.
We got home from the home improvement stores and ran through the showers and changed clothes. I understand bib overalls are not acceptable theatre attire. I beg to differ, but anyway......
We picked up Molly and Harv then headed North. What a treat it turned out to be. All of Sue's brothers and sister were there with some of their kids. We were even blessed with the company of our nieces son and daughter. You can see their pictures above.
The play was fantastic. It is so nice to see the kids so dedicated to rehearsals and dedicated to producing such a superior show. Our youngest niece is shown above with flowers from her Grandma and Grandpa. She did a wonderful job in one of the lead rolls.
After the production we all went to a great restaurant called Whiskey River for supper. We were seated in an area that overlooks some woods and a large feeding area. It wasn't long before a Tom turkey came waddling out of the woods putting on quite a show for us.
After the great meal we went to Sue's Brother's home. Bob and Molly (and super son John) are really good people and fun to be around. Molly is a sales rep for AFLAC and helped Sue with an insurance claim. If you want service after the sale, call Molly.
Indeed, what a great day. It is now time to kick back and relax before tackling another busy week.
Thanks for stopping in!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Just Like We Knew It Would Happen

We had a wonderful time with all four kids in Minneapolis. Just like we planned, We met Andy and Sarah in Minneapolis during their brief trip to Minneapolis on their way to Wisconsin from Seattle. Having a GPS really helps. We called ahead to Andy and asked him where we should pick them up at. We punched up the location and off we went.
I am getting ahead of myself again. Son Ben and his wife Anna came out to the house so we could leave for Minneapolis as soon as Sue arrived home from work. The timing was pretty good...everyone arrived at about the same time. Before opening her birthday gifts Anna and Ben wanted to fire off a few rounds with my new 9mm pistol. They did well with the little cannon.
Anna loved her gifts and we then took off for the cities as we were all very hungry.
Once we had all six of us on board we went to the Thai restaurant Andy had spoken so kindly of. We ordered appetizers first the our main meal. OH was delicious and there was plenty for leftovers.
So that we could spend some more time together, we found a nice tea house. That was fun and the tea tasted very good.
Andy and Sarah wanted to go to a bar and hear a band that they knew so we dropped them off there and headed back for Mankato.
We arrived home at about 10:30 and weren't ready for bed yet so we watched the movie "The Martian Child" with John Cusak. It was a very good flick.
Lunch is ready so I had better run. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Busy Day and Night Planned

Ben & Anna

It looks like another one of those busy days and nights this day. But....that is good. I have to speak to a group of students this afternoon. Seventh graders on a Friday afternoon....that could get interesting!
Ben and birthday girl Anna will be over shortly after 3:00. We will do a gift presentation (sounds formal) then head for Minneapolis for dinner with Andy and Sarah.
Sue talked to Andy last night as they were just about to board their aircraft in Seattle. She was firming up plans for meeting for dinner tonight in Minneapolis.
We understand that they will be in Minneapolis tonight then off to Wisconsin to visit Sarah's family tomorrow.
We sure are looking forward to getting together with the "kids" today! sure seems like all activities center around food. Think about it. It is always food. Well here is something else. Living in a farm/agricultural area it is a problem sometimes trying to figure out this "dinner" and "supper" thing.
Now I grew up in Iowa...but in town. To us lunch was noonish and dinner was 6:00 ish. Well, in the rural areas lunch is "dinner" and dinner is supper. We just have to fix this problem. I just know that somehow I am going to miss a meal because of mis-communication!
I had better run....Thanks for stopping in.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Back to Writing

I was out of town the past two days on business and not able to keep the journal up. I am back now and hope to get a few words put together in some sort of order for you.
This has been and will be a busy several days. Sue and I were in Des Moines for Dad's 88th birthday. We drove back from the south 250 miles Sunday the drove 250 miles north Monday morning. I had a business meeting at one of my chapters Tuesday night and made it home late that night. It is always nice to come home!
We are excited for this weekend. Son Andy and his special friend Sarah are flying into Minneapolis late Thursday night from Seattle. We are so excited to see them again when we have dinner with them Friday night.
From there they are traveling to Wisconsin to visit her family.
To make it an even more fun weekend....Our daughter-in-law Anna is having a birthday this Friday so she and our oldest son Ben will be joining us for supper in Minneapolis.
Sunday looks like yet another exciting day. Our niece Madeline is in a play...Willy Wonka, and we are going to see the young star perform this Sunday. We will be picking up Sue's parents that day so we can all show our support.
I understand supper is almost ready so I had better hit the post button. Thanks for the visit.