Thursday, January 31, 2013

Our Motor Home

It will be 30 years this summer since we bought our new Lindy Motor Home. It was built on a 350 Chevy chases with a V-8 engine, automatic transmission and averaged between 7.5-8.5mpg.  Julie was 3 years old and Carolyn was just ready to start her Teaching career. The four of us went on an extensive trip for our first "outing". It took us to the Black Hills, Devils Tower, Yellowstone National Park, Gardiner, MT, Rock Springs, WY and home. During that first year we went on several short junkets and back to North Carolina to visit kids. We had the Motor Home for 12 years during which time we drove it some 30,000 miles. In '84 the 4 of us went to visit Tim's in Columbus, IN, on to Franklin, NC to visit Jon's and from there to Oklahoma City for a SCSA meeting. In '85 Julie went along with Elaine and I when we visited Tim's, Verlon in Richmond, VA, down to Jon's in Oxford, NC where we all went to an event at the  H.H.Bennett farm. Jon's went along with us up to D.C. for an SCS 50th Anniversary Banquet. We visited Ralston's in Arlington, VA and on up to Davis's near Harrisburg, PA and on home. We covered much of the same ground in '86 by again taking Julie along and going to an SCSA meeting in Winston Salem, NC. We visited all 3 boys and their families on the trip. In '87 Elaine and I drove the Motor Home along with the VW to the SCSA meeting in Billings, MT. We "camped" on weekends with a group of friends from Seward on numerous occasions  and made many short trips during these years. We made a couple trips with the "rig" up to Wisconsin while working over in Ankeny, IA. In '92 Carolyn and Julie went along with us on a trip to Yellowstone. And, in January of '95 we drove it down to Donna, TX where we spent a month including a tour through the Copper Canyon in Mexico. During the past 2 days, I have blogged about the trips we made with the Kilzer's in '87 & '88. In April, 1995 we decided to pass it on to let others enjoy it as we did for those 12 years. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Motor Home trip to Iowa in '88

Yesterday I wrote about Willard & Audrey going with us to Canada for fishing. This blog is about their accompanying us in our Motor Home in September 1988 to the International Ag Expo and National Plowing Contest that was held near Amana, IA. There was a wide variety of competition and exhibits. Herb Plamback moderated a joint USSR-US event and a parade of tractors and equipment from many countries. We enjoyed seeing the Amish farmers plow with horses and mules as much or more than those with huge tractors. We visited with Wilmer (Vinegar Bend) Mizell, a former St. Louis Cardinal baseball pitcher, whom I had met earlier in his role with USDA. Vice Presidential candidates Lloyd Bentsen and Dan Quayle both spoke. (Their famous debate was about a month later). We visited Middle Amana and saw a Hummel painter from Germany at work. We went on to Homestead and ate at Duke Zuber's family style restaurant. Then we traveled to Boone, IA for the Dick & Sharon Thompson Farm Research Field Day. Their sustainable agriculture objectives were to market all  their products through animals and had developed outstanding systems to do so. I remember of Willard commenting that if he were younger, that is the way he would like to farm. We stopped at the DeSota Bend Wildlife Refuge on our way home. It was a great trip.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fishing at Delaney Lodge in Ontario

Yesterday I wrote about my 80 year relationship with Willard. One of our experiences was a fishing trip to Canada in the fall of 1987. We drove our Motor Home. On our way we stopped near Slayton, MN and visited with people Willard had worked with during wheat harvest the summer after graduating from HS. We saw the Minnesota Twins beat the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 on a  HR in the bottom of the 9th by Tom Brunansky. We drove 451 miles the next day through International Falls and on to Kenora, Ontario. The next morning we were flown in a WW II era plane to Delaney Lodge, about 45 miles NE of Kenora. Our cabins were quite primitive but the fishing was excellent. We had 4 days of fishing with Indian guides in each of our 2 boats. They cleaned the fish and fixed excellent "shore lunches". Elaine was the first one to catch a fish which was a Northern about 2 feet long and the guide tossed it back saying, "Too small".  We fished on the English River which was like a big lake with numerous islands. One day we saw smoke raising from one of the Islands and went over to help put out a fire that had gotten out of control. We drove home on I-29 after driving over to near Winnipeg. It was on the "cut-off" around Winnipeg that Willard was driving, the ladies were in the back part of the Motor Home and I was asleep in the passenger seat. It was during the "sleepy" part of the day and Willard dozed off for a minute; we found ourselves off the side of the road down an incline of about 15 feet. It was Willard's skill in driving that he didn't panic, gained control , took the rig on down the incline and then back up on the highway without any consequence. It was a great trip, and we brought back a big batch of frozen Walleye. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Willard Kilzer--A Long Time Friend

Two weeks ago we ate with Willard and Audrey Kilzer  at the Seward Senior Center where we also enjoyed accordion music. I sat next to Willard and we talked about a variety of things during the nearly 2 hours we were together. The next day Willard had a stroke and yesterday he died. We all have good friends that come into our lives at critical times, share our burdens and joys, and move on for various reasons. Willard was my very good friend for over 80 years. We went to Oak Grove country school together, the Garland Congregational Church, Garland HS, were in the same Thrashing Run, Shelled corn together, sawed wood, played on the same baseball and basketball teams, danced with and dated some of the same girls, etc. Willard was like a member of our family. He went with us when we both bought Purebred Polled Herfords, to Tarkio, MO where we bought an Oliver 70, he took me up to Mead, NE to a corn husking job, and went along on some Conservation Tours after I started working for SCS. We would see them occasionally during our Washington years. Moving back home we farmed across the fence from each other and I sought his farming advice. He helped with our farm sale and they went with us to a Farm Progress Show in Iowa in our Motor Home. The four of us also went on a fishing trip to Canada in the Motor Home. We were together for several years in the Seward Presbyterian Church and they provided us with sweet corn  from their garden. Last June Willard was honored at the Garland HS alumni reunion as a member of the 75-year class.  We always looked forward to visiting at the Senior Center.  The day this picture was taken two weeks ago,  we talked about the possibility of attending the  Auction of a 160-acre farm out in our old neighborhood. It will be held at 11:00am this coming Saturday, the same hour as Willard's Memorial Service. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Senator Tom Harking and wife Ruth

Iowa Senator Tom Harkin has announced that he doesn't plan to run for reelection in 2014. He spent 10 years in the House of Representatives before going to the Senate 28 years ago. Reading the article in the OWH triggered my memory of an experience  that occurred 36 years ago. I had been promoted into a "super grade" positions a few months earlier and attended a 2-week Bookings Institute session at Williamsburg, VA. I rode down from our home in the Mantua area of Fairfax, Co. VA, with at neighbor, Andy Diedrick who participated in the same session. Andy was with the Federal Highway Commission and alerted me that a young lady, going to the session had asked to ride along with us. It turned out to be Ruth Harkin, the young Congressman's wife. There were nearly 50 of us in the class who were at about the same Federal grade level. President Ford gave his State of the Union Address during the time we were in session which we critiqued. Jimmy Carter's inauguration also occured while we were there so we watched that on TV and discussed his message. We were a pretty bipartisan group as is Bookings Institute. At least at that time, it seemed that it was a "haven" for career politicians whose party was not in office. I did have occasion to testify before Senator Harkin as Chair of the Senate Ag Committee (That included Sen. Bob Kerrey from NE) back in the early 90's when they held a hearing in Iowa while I was with the Soil and Water Conservation Society at Ankeny.  

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Duke beat Maryland 84-64 in Cameron this afternoon.  Nebraska beat Northwestern in Lincoln 64-49 and North Carolina State hosted North Carolina and beat them 91-83    David Thompson was in the audience to cheer on his alma mater. I continue to be amazed at the evolution of the game. Each year it changes. The agility of big men is remarkable. Years ago they played in the post, made hook shots and layups but never dribbled the ball. By the time of David Thompson he was among the first to dribble and jump to nearly the top of the backboard. While it's still a great game requiring strength and skill, it seems that the strength/skill ratio continues to shift toward strength. I watch very few NBA games but there seems to be a "trickle down" effect on style of play to the college and HS levels. I wonder if it hasn't gone about as far as it can go and future changes will be more subtle. Of course, that is what I thought years ago and then the 3-point shot came along. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sadie & Fievel

The "Girls" came to visit this afternoon to let us see how Sadie can set up by herself. She is shown here with Fievel which has been at our house since Julie was a little girl. The song I associate with Fievel is "Somewhere Out There" and it brings back some great memories. Julie was 9 years old when I took a job over at Ankeny, IA. Elaine and I had a Condo there but came home to Seward nearly every other weekend to spend time with family. Carolyn and Julie were really a part of our immediate family at that time. Julie liked to play with this Fievel doll and sing "Somewhere Out There". The song is from one of the movies about this little mouse that came to America. The words included something like, "Somewhere we'll meet again someday". Our Office at the Soil and Water Conservation Society had background music that wasn't noticeable while you were working, except when the "Somewhere" song was played. It would cause me to stop working, "hear" Julie singing it, have a cup of coffee and be homesick. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Prized Bucket

Sometimes when you go to an Auction, you buy things you don't really need but with the idea that you may need them some day. That was the case with this stainless steel bucket that I bought at my Brother Don and Gladys' auction last September. I have a couple plastic drywall buckets out in the garage and also a bucket similar to this one that has become rusty and has a small hole in the bottom. When I saw this shinny bucket, I knew it would be useful for something someday. Besides, it had belonged to my brother and it was obvious that he had polished it up to sell. After buying it, I took it down to my basement office area where it could be admired. It would not be used for carrying dirt or yard waste like the other buckets. With our New Year's resolve to reduce our "stuff, and several old computer auxiliary speakers  needing to be carried upstairs and to the Et Cetra store, the bucket saved the day. I was able to carry a full load up the stairway and still have a free hand on the railing. Had it not been for the bucket, my hands would have been full of "stuff" and I might have fallen and broke a leg or something. I forgot what I paid for it so, my bucket has already "paid for itself" and I will continue to admire its craftsmanship.  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lunch, Visiting, Shopping in Lincoln

We met Don and Gladys for lunch today at the Chinese Restaurant and Mongolian Grill in Lincoln. We always have a good visit when we get together. Gladys and I each had our list of "agenda" items for which we sought information. Their Great Grandson underwent surgery at the Shriner's Hospital in Minneapolis today which went well. We went our separate ways to do some shopping after our good lunch and visit. We were shopping in the Penney's store and looked up to see them within 6' of us also shopping in the Men's department. After a bit more visiting there we talked about heading for home but decided to stop where Elaine could go to T.J. Max and I to Best Buy. After looking in the electronics department for 15 minutes and then looking for Elaine and not finding her, I saw Don and Gladys going into the T. J. Max store. Elaine was at the check-out counter so we all got back together again. There must have been some supernatural convergence that brought us together those two times without any intentions. We've made arrangements to meet at times over the years and not been that successful. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Presidential Inaugurations

We had the TV tuned to the Inauguration much of the day yesterday. The President's message is always an important indicator of his priorities, but to me, the noon luncheon was most enjoyable. It was really heartening to see the camaraderie between individuals who see political issues with opposite perspective. I also enjoyed the informality shown by the 1st Family in this picture and their activities during the parade. We had the pleasure of viewing several inaugural parades during our years in the D. C. area but they were always over before it got dark. After President Obama's first inauguration, I utilized Wikipedia, my Journals, Diaries and memory to write a 30 page paper on "My Presidents: Their Times, Our Times, Their Election & Their Inauguration." I started the paper by telling of having been born during the Calvin Coolidge administration and my memories of the 1932 election. Dad was a member of the National Guard and the folks talked about the possibility of a national insurrection if Hoover was reelected. Today, I started adding another Chapter to "My Presidents" which will be the 22nd. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Lucky Girl

 Julie and Sadie came to visit this afternoon. She will be 6 months old in another couple weeks and is really growing. She is very alert to everything that goes on around her and has gained strength in her neck, arms and legs. Her legs are so"chubby" that they have deep wrinkles above the knees. We  only got to see Julie a couple times before she was nearly 7 months old, so have really enjoyed Sadie as a baby. The expression on Julie's face shows the joy that she has in caring for Sadie. It is so fortunate that Julie can be a "stay at home Mom". While I know that most Day Care Centers do a good job in caring for youngsters, there is no substitute for "Mother Love and Care". And, a loving Dad & Grandparents add to her blessings.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Stan Musial

The news stories on Stan Musial's death today brought back memories of following his career. Brother Don, Ed Pollak and I drove to Chicago in the fall of 1948 and saw the Yankees play the White Sox and the next day watched the Cardinals beat the Cubs in Wrigley Field. Harry "The Cat" Brecheen was the winning pitcher.  I remember Musial's "corkscrew" stance at the plate and his hitting line drives over the 2nd baseman. Other Cardinals in the lineup were Enos Slaughter, Joe Medwick, Red Schoendiest, Marty Marion and Joe Garagiola. I was in St. Louis for a Civic Service Training session  in the spring of 1962 when the Cardinals came home from spring training. There was a "Welcome Home" event at an auditorium which I attended as well as going out to old Sportsman Park and seeing them beat the New York Mets. It was the 2nd game that the Mets played during that 1st year of their existence. According to my diary, Musial got 3 hits in that 11-6 victory. Musial retired in 1963 and I recall having eaten at his Restaurant on more than one occasion. We saw several games at the old Busch Stadium during its existence and in late May 2006, Elaine and I drove down and saw the Cardinals beat the Astros. The Statue of "Stan the Man" stands just outside the New Busch Stadium. He was a real "Credit" to the game of Baseball. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Time Marches On

This is a 4" pile of my old college Math papers that are "sacked up" and ready to go to the Recycle Center next week. They include some Advanced Algebra, Trig., and Calculus papers  and represent some 20 or so hours of College Credit. Looking at them now, I wonder how I ever got through it. I've gone through some of my other papers and put them back on the shelf for another day. They are all much more interesting than the math. I'm sending Jon my 1969 Final Exam on "Management Information Systems-Their Development and Application."; Along with  President Lyndon B. Johnson's June 28, 1966 memorandum to Heads of Departments and Agencies, on the "Use and Management of Computer Technology".  I also did more sorting this afternoon of Board minutes and have another large sack ready to be shredded. My interest in getting things "cleared out" may be prompted by hearing of Willard's stroke (the old friend I wrote about a few days ago), seeing another old friend today with a leg amputated, and going to Harry Hoffman's 90th birthday party tonight at the VFW club. On top of that, I hear from Jon that Earl Weaver died recently, and Tim tells me that Stan (The Man) Musial died today at age 92. Time Marches On. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Seward HS Girls Basketball'

Here were the "Old Guys" at the Seward HS Girls basketball game last night. It was a good game with Seward beating Central Catholic of Kearney. They are a Class C-1 team with a 15-0 record coming in to Class B Seward. They are a good team with a lot of athletic height. Several of us were back tonight to see Seward Girls beat Aurora convincingly. The game wasn't nearly as competitive as last night. It did give the Coach an opportunity to use some new plays and defensive systems. We have relied heavily on 3-point shots which several of our Girls are very good at and tonight we got some layups and more rebounds. We are going to need a lot of layups as well as 3s to beat Beatrice this year.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Abraham Lincoln

"Lincoln is a 2012 American historical drama film directed and produced by Steven Spielberg, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as United States President Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln."
We went to the Movie at the Rivoli Theater here in Seward and were somewhat disappointed. Not because of the acting or the story but by the perception it provides  viewers of President Abraham Lincoln. After further thought, it made us wonder about our own  perception of him. Mine was developed back in District 13 Country school where his large framed picture hung on the wall along with George Washington's. Our teachers read stories about his learning to read and write by candle light and his walking miles to return a book he had borrowed. As we got older, we learned how he became a lawyer by "reading the law"; his debates with Douglas, and how he "saved the nation" with his Civil War leadership. One cannot help but have this image strengthened by visiting his boyhood home in Kentucky, his museum in Springfield, IL, the Ford Theater in D.C. and the house across the street where he died. We have visited all of these including the Lincoln Memorial many times and have marveled at the perfection of his Gettysburg Address. For as long as I can remember, he has always been a "hero". The movie didn't change my impression of him but what bothers me is how shallow a viewer's perception would be without more knowledge. What's even more disturbing is that maybe mine is far "overblown" and the movie's portrayal is more realistic with Doris Kerns Goodwin having helped write the script. He's still one of my heroes. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Eating Well Today

After a potato, gravy, green bean and meatloaf lunch, we went down to Pac n Sav to get our weekly supply of groceries on Senior Citizen Discount  Day. Anticipating that I would be late for supper following a  Board meeting, we picked up a frozen pizza. Elaine had taken it out of the oven just before I got home about 6:30. The house smelled good and I was ready to eat. It was one of the first and best pizza's we've had for some time. We cleaned up the whole 12" pizza and had a small dish of Kemp's Rabbit Track Ice Cream for dessert. It too was good with chocolate syrup interlaced in the Vanilla ice cream. I don't know why it was named as it is. I expected it to include little chocolate pellets. Oh!, I almost forgot, before I went to the meeting, Elaine served freshly baked apple pie. I might have gained a pound today. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Seward Senior Center

Here was Willard, Audrey and I, down at the Seward Senior Center today for the noontime luncheon and entertainment by four people playing button accordions and a drummer. Many of the pieces they played were those that Dad played on his accordion. Willard had his 93rd birthday in December and still has excellent recall. They have kept up quite well with the old neighbors out north of Garland as additional generations have come along. I always have questions and Willard has answers to most of them when we get together. Today was most enjoyable because we were together for 2 hours and the Polka music even stimulated memories and additional questions. It was a good day.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Plato's Republic

Elaine has been needing some large Acco fasteners for some of her Genealogy material and not able to find any in Seward. When I noticed a box on the top shelf of our basement storage shelf that read, "Tony's College Papers", I thought, "I'll take the old papers and notes to the recycle center and give Elaine the Acco fasteners". My mistake was looking at the papers. The first one was from a Philosophy course that I took at UN-L in the Spring Semester of 1960. Our Text for the course was "Plato's Republic". Half of the final grade was based on class discussion and the final exam the balance. My 7 page, hand printed, final was on "Education". Needless to say, I sat down and read every word. I related Plato's ideals on education to what I believed was appropriate. I was 34 years old at the time with a wife and 4 children and had some definite ideas. Reading it was most interesting. I related some of it to Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" which is still appropriate. Elaine's Acco fasteners may come out of my many Math folders. Disposing of them will be doable but  it's going to be much more difficult with many of the other old papers and class notes. Incidentally, I got an 8 on the course in a gradings  system of 1-9 with 9 high. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Tenneco, Inc.

Tenneco is a global manufacturing company that produces products as shown in the picture. Our Seward plant is a major segment of their organization. World wide they employ some 24,000 employees with over 800 of them here in the Seward facility. Exhaust systems are produced here for John Deere, Caterpillar, Harley Davidson, etc. Last night at the Chamber of Commerce Extravaganza, I had the pleasure of presenting a plaque to a representative of the local plant. While we recognize their importance in the community for Economic Development, The Award from the First Impression's Committee was for their Dedication to Environmental Stewardship. They not only produce products that help protect the environment but produce them in a very environment friendly manner.  Likewise they are very protective of  employee safety and their welfare. We are fortunate to have them in our community.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Seward HS Girls Basketball

I got up to the HS yesterday evening to see the girls beat Schuyler 74-36 and again mid-afternoon  to see them beat Waverly 50-34. Both games were closer than the score would indicate. Last night 6'2" Kourteney Zadina "couldn't miss" 3- point shots and finished with 28 points. They also had a 6'2' girl who is a very good athlete. I walked out of the gym right behind her after the game to realize just how tall and well proportioned she is. This afternoon Waverly led 11-10 after the first quarter. Fortunately, today Hannah Tvrdy (UN-L recruit) was on target and scored 23 points. Taylor Seaman scored 10 today and one of them was a mid-court 3-pointer at the end of the first half when the buzzer went off while the ball was on its way to the basket. Waverly also has a 6'2' girl that's a Junior with a 6'0" sister who is a Freshman. Seward will really be at a loss next year for height. We do have a 6'0" 9th grader on the JV team who played some last night and a couple others that will be 5'11" Seniors. It is amazing to me how well coordinated these tall girls are and how much athletics has helped their confidence. I remember some 35-40 years ago when some people had a girl go through surgery to curtail her height. I've often wondered how such operations effected people in later life. We have made progress in medicine as well as social justice.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Old Entertainment Center

In my continuing efforts to get used to my new camera, I took a number of pictures in our basement this pm. I didn't straighten up anything but just shot it as it was. I am going to make some setting changes as a result of my "practice". All of the 20+ pictures confirm Elaine's comments about need to get rid of "stuff". The exercise bike is one thing that might go. It's not that I don't need the exercise but I can hear my left knee click on every revolution. That's enough to discourage serious peddling. We have had the exercise machine for a number of years and it does provide arm exercise as well as the legs and more importantly, the respiratory system. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Lincoln Urology Center

Elaine and I met with Dr. Henslee at the Lincoln Urology Center in Lincoln this morning. We were concerned that my PSA number had gone up at the December test. He has been my specialist for the past 20 years after my prostectomy. He recommended a continuation of "no treatment" at this time which was Good News. We had lunch at Culver's in Lincoln and stopped on the way home to wish Julie a Happy Birthday. Carolyn came soon after we stopped with eclairs so we had a little birthday party. We got a 4-generation picture and Sadie was her usual happy self. Its been a drizzly day here today but fortunately the temperature has been above freezing.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Reader's Digest

Our January Reader's Digest came the other day as it has for the past few months. We have no memory of subscribing to it but maybe it came along with one we did order. The only thing similar to the old Reader's Digest is it's name. I first became acquainted with the Digest  when it was on the magazine rack at Garland HS. Back in those days it contained no advertising. The index of the 30 condensed articles (one for each day of the month) was printed on the front cover. After HS we subscribed to it and I read nearly every article. I herded cows a lot and would read while the cows grazed. We subscribed to it even in our early years of marriage. My reading time was much less as the kids came along so I started saving the issues that I hadn't read. I have a distinct memory of making a decision that we wouldn't move the collection to Lincoln with us. It may have been about that time that we let our subscription lapse. With my working and taking college classes, there was little time for magazine reading, even in a condensed form. It isn't surprising that they had to go to advertising to meet the cost of publication but what makes me wonder is, "How were they able to publish the magazine back in the '40's without the advertising revenue?". 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Concordia Girls Basketball

My friend Ralph picked me up this evening and we saw the Concordia girls beat Hastings 76-57. It was a good game and much closer than the score indicates. The Hastings Broncos led most of the first half with the Concordia Bulldogs getting  a 22-21 lead at half time. The Broncos closed to within 3 points with about 7 minutes to go after the "Dogs" had built a 12 point lead. Kelsey made 7 points within a minute and the Bulldogs pulled away. Concordia is now 16-1 for the season and were ranked #1 in the NAIA standings prior to their one loss in 2 overtimes at Dordt on January 5th. One of the girls on the Seward HS team that graduated last spring with having won 101 consecutive games, is on the CU team. Jenna, #40 in the picture is a 6-2" freshman from Albion, NE and one of the starting 5. Most of the girls are from small Nebraska towns and were "stars" in HS. They have made the transition to the "next level" and certainly demonstrate the ability and dedication to be Champions. We're lucky to have this quality of entertainment available to us in our small town. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Reducing our "Stuff"

This is the year we are going to get rid of some of our "stuff". There is an opportunity to recycle much of the material I accumulated while serving on the Seward City Council. It is not only the Council material but also the Seward Foundation, Library, and Seward Aging Service Boards on which I served as a part of my Council duties. This afternoon, I brought up a full set of construction plans and drawing for the Seward Memorial Library that was built 10 years ago. I don't believe they have been looked at during that time but took up space in my "office". Tomorrow they will go back to the Library and I will find some additional obsolete files. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment which we all need.  

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Lodge Installation

We had the privilege of participating in son-in-law Ben's installation as Master of Lancaster Lodge #54 in Lincoln this afternoon. It was an "open installation" so our whole "Seward family" was able to attend. It was very impressive with all the Lodge Officer's dressed in formal attire. The Installing Master conducted the entire ceremony from memory and the acoustics of the large hall made it possible to hear every work. (Even for Elaine & I). Carolyn baked several cakes which she and Elaine served for lunch. We are all very pleased and proud to see Ben assume the responsibility of this position. And, know he will do justice.  

Saturday, January 5, 2013

My New Camera

Here is my new Panasonic Lumix FH 25 Camera. I've got it figured out to the point of being able to take pictures and download them to my PC where I can process, store, send, and retrieve them . Earlier I had learned to download pictures from the camera directly to the Mac laptop where I can process them in IPhoto. As often happens with some of us, I made this "camera transition" a lot more difficult than necessary. I related some of my problems to Carolyn this afternoon and she gave me some good advice. She said she just plugs things in and if something doesn't work, reads  the instructions on how to fix it. With this guidance, I removed the system that I downloaded on to the PC yesterday. With the PHOTOfunSTUDIO 6.0 System gone, I was able to download my pictures to the familiar Kodak Easy Share system and proceed with my old familiar system. I took a break and saw the Seward HS boys lose to Elkhorn (The girls won) and when I sat down to it again, the pieces all seemed to fall together. It's going to be a good improvement. And, good for me to accept the challenge of something new and not always be satisfied with that to which I've become accustomed. There are limits however, Elaine doesn't have to worry.  

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Panasonic Camera

I received a Panasonic LUMIX camera for a Christmas present. It is to replace my Kodak that I've used for the past several years. With "end of year" activities I've spent little time getting "acquainted" with it. Today it was on my priority list. I went through the little instruction booklet and was able to take a picture and upload it on my laptop. This one of Elaine and I was taken with the time-delay feature. It has been cropped which diminished the quality. My next step was to download the complete instruction manual to my PC. It consisted of 127 pages and told me much more than I wanted to know.
Then I downloaded the Photofunstudio 6.0 "system" to my  PC. This took a while so I cleaned old magazines off the coffee table while it was in the process. After an hour or so, I was able to hook the camera to the PC with the 3 pictures on the memory card that I had moved over from my Kodak. The 3 pictures did show up on the PC screen but the new system had also "grabbed" all the other old pictures that were in the computer. I went back looking for my newest 3 and couldn't find them. I printed out a few sheets of the instructions and hope to learn more about the system tomorrow. If challenging ones mental capability helps keep it from deteriorating, mine should stay in good shape. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Winter Day Activities

I put on my winter boots this afternoon and knocked down the ice cycles and chunk of ice that had accumulated over the roof gutters. We have a valley in our roof in that area which is a focal point of snow and ice when the sun shines as it did this afternoon. While out in the back yard, I filled the bird feeder with a new mix to hopefully attract different species. Our River Burch had a couple of its multiple trunks bent over by the snow storm. I was able to pull the upper branches out of the snow and they are trying to straighten back up. We also got to the recycle center this evening. It will be a pretty popular place this winter as we clean out a lot of City Council related material that I no longer need. One of the new City Council members who works in the Bank, joined us for coffee there this morning and related some of the discussion that took place last night. While I enjoyed the "give and take" discussions during my tenure, I'm happy to see someone else have the experience. One of the issues that the new Council is facing is the extent of City involvement in the proposed Health Center on the old Middle School site. The Mayor and City Administrator seem to be more interested in its pursuit than the Council.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Picture Collages

For the past several years, I have selected some of my favorite pictures and printed out collages to show our years activities. This is part of the last page of 2012. The arrival of Sadie, our first Great Grandchild, in early August, has led to many "favorite" pictures. Elaine has the task of listing captions on the back  of each collage. It seems that each year, I have more difficulty eliminating the pictures not included. This year about 15% made the cut. That led to 5 pages of collages. Its always interesting to wonder what will happen to pictures eventually. I don't know how long they will retain their color and quality.  When looking  back at past years the pictures stimulate the memory to where one can "relive" enjoyable experiences. The time and expense involved in producing them is justified by the enjoyment I get in the process. After all, isn't that how we justify many of our activities. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Georgia 45-Nebraska 31

It would have been great if Nebraska could have won but they actually played better for 3 quarters than I expected. It was great to see Rex Burkhead play his game. Martinez should be able to set all kinds of records in his senior year. He is an exciting player but still makes some sophomore type mistakes. All-in-all it was a good season and could have been better without some critical injuries. And the game today gives more hope for Next Year. But, Bo & Company have their work cut out for them.