Sunday, August 29, 2010

I Feel Like Paul Harvey

Every once and a while I see something repeating or perhaps posting on the blog. My wife Sue sent this to me. It is a VERY cool story her sister Mary emailed to her.
Please make sure you read all the way to the end.


Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago . Capone wasn't famous for anything heroic. He was notorious for enmeshing the windy city in everything from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder.

Capone had a lawyer nicknamed "Easy Eddie." He was Capone's lawyer for a good reason. Eddie was very good! In fact, Eddie's skill at legal maneuvering kept Big Al out of jail for a long time.

To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well. Not only was the money big, but Eddie got special dividends, as well. For instance, he and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day. The estate was so large that it filled an entire Chicago City block.

Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little consideration to the atrocity that went on around him.

Eddie did have one soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly. Eddie saw to it that his young son had clothes, cars, and a good education. Nothing was withheld. Price was no object.

And, despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even tried to teach him right from wrong. Eddie wanted his son to be a better man than he was.

Yet, with all his wealth and influence, there were two things he couldn't give his son; he couldn't pass on a good name or a good example.

One day, Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision. Easy Eddie wanted to rectify wrongs he had done.

He decided he would go to the authorities and tell the truth about Al "Scarface" Capone, clean up his tarnished name, and offer his son some semblance of integrity. To do this, he would have to testify against The Mob, and he knew that the cost would be great. So, he testified.

Within the year, Easy Eddie's life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago Street .. But in his eyes, he had given his son the greatest gift he had to offer, at the greatest price he could ever pay. Police removed from his pockets a rosary, a crucifix, a religious medallion, and a poem clipped from a magazine.

The poem read:

"The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop, at late or early hour. Now is the only time you own. Live, love, toil with a will. Place no faith in time. For the clock may soon be still."


World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander Butch O'Hare.

He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific.

One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank.

He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship.

His flight leader told him to return to the carrier. Reluctantly, he dropped out of formation and headed back to the fleet.

As he was returning to the mother ship, he saw something that turned his blood cold; a squadron of Japanese aircraft was speeding its way toward the American fleet.

The American fighters were gone on a sortie, and the fleet was all but defenseless. He couldn't reach his squadron and bring them back in time to save the fleet. Nor could he warn the fleet of the approaching danger. There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert them from the fleet.

Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes. Wing-mounted 50 caliber's blazed as he charged in, attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another. Butch wove in and out of the now broken formation and fired at as many planes as possible until all his ammunition was finally spent.

Undaunted, he continued the assault. He dove at the planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as many enemy planes as possible, rendering them unfit to fly.

Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction.

Deeply relieved, Butch O'Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the carrier.

Upon arrival, he reported in and related the event surrounding his return. The film from the gun-camera mounted on his plane told the tale. It showed the extent of Butch's daring attempt to protect his fleet. He had, in fact, destroyed five enemy aircraft
This took place on February 20, 1942 , and for that action Butch became the Navy's first Ace of W.W.II, and the first Naval Aviator to win the Medal of Honor.

A year later Butch was killed in aerial combat at the age of 29. His home town would not allow the memory of this WW II hero to fade, and today, O'Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this great man.

So, the next time you find yourself at O'Hare International, give some thought to visiting Butch's memorial displaying his statue and his Medal of Honor. It's located between Terminals 1 and 2.


Butch O'Hare was "Easy Eddie's" son.

Pretty neat huh?

Now you know....The REST of the story. Bob

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Oh Deer and Rumble-Rumble

I changed the batteries in the trail camera last night and checked the digital unit out today to see what I "caught".
Not the best quality photos as the animal was moving while the camera was shooting. are a few shots of a nice doe that was wandering around the back forty at about 7:00 this morning.

Now I had better explain the rumble-rumble headline.
I am organizing a fundraiser for the American Red Cross. This Sunday we will have about 450 motorcyclists participating in a ride across parts of Southeast and South Central Minnesota.
Most of the county Sheriffs in the area ride bikes and they participate by leading the riders from six starting points. The ride ends in Mankato,Minnesota with a nice party and great food. Who could ask for more?
Sheriffs' Posse Ride for the Red Cross
The Sheriffs are a great bunch of guys and are a lot of fun to be around.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Things That Will Make You Smile

Every once and a while I run into something that makes me smile or even laugh out loud.
I ran into this today and just had to share it with you.
Kulula is a low-cost South-African airline that doesn't take itself too seriously.

From the cockpit on KULULA.COM- South Africa 's Budget Airline


Kulula is an Airline with head office situated in Johannesburg . Kulula airline attendants make an effort to make the in-flight "safety lecture" and announcements a bit more entertaining. Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:

On a Kulula flight, (there is no assigned seating, you just sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced, "People, people we're not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!"


On another flight with a very "senior" flight attendant crew, the pilot said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."


On landing, the stewardess said, "Please be sure to take all of your belongings.. If you're going to leave anything, please make sure it's something we'd like to have."


"There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane."


"Thank you for flying Kulula. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business
as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride."


As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Durban Airport , a lone voice came over the loudspeaker: "Whoa, big fella. WHOA!"


After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in the Karoo , a flight attendant on a flight announced, "Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted."


From a Kulula employee: " Welcome aboard Kulula 271 to Port Elizabeth . To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised."


"In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child travelling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are travelling with more than one small child, pick your favourite."


Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Kulula Airlines."


"Your seats cushions can be used for flotation; and in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments."


"As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses.."


And from the pilot during his welcome message: "Kulula Airlines is pleased to announce that we have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!"


Heard on Kulula 255 just after a very hard landing in Cape Town : The flight attendant came on the intercom and said, "That was quite a bump and I know what y'all are thinking. I'm here to tell you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't the flight attendant's fault, it was the asphalt."


Overheard on a Kulula flight into Cape Town , on a particularly windy and bumpy day: During the final approach, the Captain really had to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Mother City. Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what's left of our airplane to the gate!"


Another flight attendant's comment on a less than perfect landing: "We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal."


An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying our airline. He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment.
Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane. She said, "Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?" "Why, no Ma'am," said the pilot. "What is it?" The little old lady said, "Did we land, or were we shot down?"


After a real crusher of a landing in Johannesburg , the attendant came on with, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we will open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal.."


Part of a flight attendant's arrival announcement: "We'd like to thank you folks for flying with us today.. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you'll think of Kulula Airways."


Heard on a Kulula flight. "Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing.. If you can light 'em, you can smoke 'em."


A plane was taking off from Durban Airport . After it reached a comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made an announcement over the intercom, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome to Flight Number 293, non-stop from Durban to Cape Town , The weather ahead is good and, therefore, we should have a smooth and uneventful flight.. Now sit back and relax... OH, MY GOODNESS!" Silence followed, and after a few minutes, the captain came back on the intercom and said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so sorry if I scared you earlier. While I was talking to you, the flight attendant accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants!"

A passenger then yelled, "That's nothing. You should see the back of mine!"

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hummers Everywhere!

This Spring we hung out a few Hummingbird feeders off the back deck and screened porch. Of course, one thing lead to another and we ended up with eight feeders. At times, we have up to 20 hummingbirds fighting over the feeders.
Sue caught a few of these little buggers on film (digital) the other day through the window.
Feel free to click on the pictures for a larger image.

Those little hummers are eating us out of house and home. They go through about 10 cups of feed every day. It is well worth the small expense of two cups of sugar and eight cups of water.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The New Boat and Fishin

In an earlier post I talked about buying an inflatable boat that would be portable enough to toss into the camper or pickup truck so we could investigate some of the waterways while out camping.
The first boat was eight feet long and advertised that it had a payload capacity of 900 pounds or three people.
I inflated the boat and when I saw the size I could not decide to laugh or cry. It was tiny!
So back to the drawing board. I sold the boat and purchased another one...this one was advertised to be 12 feet long with a capacity of 1200 pounds or six people.
I inflated the boat and was pleased! Will it hold six people.....not safely...but it is perfect for two plus all our "stuff".
We took it out fishing last weekend and it worked great. We were loaded and set to do battle. We had four oars, two personal floatation devices, three seat cushions, a 15 pound anchor and rope, two fishing rods, tackle box and a cooler of food and beverages. Lets not forget a small trolling motor and two batteries.

Feel free to click on the pictures for a larger view.
Fishing that day was good. We caught at least three dozen fish...since the majority of them were Bullheads, we released them.

Is Sue happy with the new boat?

A successful voyage indeed!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cooks In The Kitchen

Several weeks ago our youngest son Andy and his Fiance Sarah visited us from their home in Seattle.
I had mentioned in an earlier blog that both sons, Ben and Andy are fantastic young men.....and cooks!
While here Andy made sure we were will fed every morning.

And the finished product....a wonderful Greek breakfast!

Delicious.....Nothing better.
And another note....Happy birthday Andy!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It Has Been A while

Where does the time go? It has been an action packed week around here. In addition to the normal work week, we have been busy with one thing or another.
We hosted a small family reunion at Coyote Ridge for my immediate family last weekend. My parents and my brother's family came up from Iowa to see how the other half live.
The 13 of us had a great time with great conversation, food, beer and games. What a wonderful combination!
After the gang left Sunday morning, we gathered up the boating equipment and hit the lake. I guess I should back up a bit and explain.
A few weeks ago we purchased a nice inflatable boat to take with us camping. We wanted something that folded up and did not take up much space.
We thought we found the perfect boat. The picture had three people in the boat having a grand time fishing.
Well, we got the boat home and inflated it to find that the eight foot boat had a seating area that would accommodate one person and their fishing best.
Well, off shopping we went again. We found the same boat, but this one is 12 feet long with a 1200 pound capacity. That is more like it!
The trolling motor I purchased for the small boat works well on the larger long as you are not in a hurry. It has two reverse speeds and two forward speeds.....slow and slower! For what we need, it works just fine. We won't be pulling any water skiers, but it is just fine for fishing.
The inaugural run went very well and we are very happy with the watercraft.
I will get some pictures when we take it out again this coming weekend.