Saturday, November 30, 2013

Smithsonian Magazine

I don't know if we have ever received a magazine that included as many interesting items as this Smithsonian for November. It has articles about 101 Objects that made America. Smithsonian Staff sorted through millions of artifacts scatted though out many museums to compile the list in addition to "nominations" from many well know people. Martha Stewart for instance, suggested the Singer Sewing Machine. Items included range from Louis Armstrong's Trumpet to The Pill to the Star Spangled Banner that inspired the song. The Spirit of St. Louis is also included. It tells the story of Charles Lindbergh, his flight  and the plane. I'm not aware of where the plane is on display currently but during our years in Washington, it was hanging in Smithsonian's old Castle Building on the Mall. It was a short walk from my office in the South Agriculture Building. On several occasions I took visitors over to see the plane. As you walked under it,  a small copper tube could be seen coming down from the cockpit. As you backed away and looked closely, a small funnel was visible at the front of the pilot seat. After all, it was a long trip. You can visit Smithsonian at and make your own list of Objects That Made America. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Picnic along the Potomac

I started to write about the Nebraska's loss to Iowa, 38-17 this afternoon but as I got started it was difficult to say anything good about it. Coach Pelini's best job security is his contract which would cost 7.6 million dollars to buy out. So I gave up on writing about that. I looked forward to seeing the Garth Brooks Special from Los Vegas expecting to hear some of his old Country Music. Instead he seems to be imitating "Larry the Cable Guy" and is making "fun" of some good old County songs. Finally, I turned back the pages of time to when we lived in Arlington, VA, the Kids were all home and we would have a picnic down along the Potomac River below Alexandria. Little David, the neighbor boy, often went along with us. Carolyn would stand on her head to entertain him as she baby sat. We played "pepper ball" and Jon must have been in the "outfield". Those were good days.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

After a big Turkey Dinner at John & Julie's, we had pumpkin pie a bit later. Sadie has always been a good eater but this was my first opportunity to give her bites of pie. She really enjoyed the pumpkin, almost as much as I enjoyed feeding her. She amuses and amazes us every time we are with her. Sadie has very sensitive hearing. I opened my phone while she was busy with someone else but it made just enough of a beep that got her attention. When I conceded to her having it, she pushed enough buttons that Tim got a call from area 402. He suspected it was us so he called back and we had a good visit.
We have had a big day including the exchange of Greetings with several people. Just "processing" the Lincoln and Omaha papers took some time to sort out all the advertisements. We felt sorry for the carriers having to deliver all the weight. We did "Home Delivered Meals" and did a little extra visiting along the way; then out to Owens' for a big noon meal and later dessert. We got home for our afternoon naps and an opportunity to do a few "chores" before going up to Hughes' for another big meal. Ben has a real "knack" for fixing Turkey Legs and he even sent one home with us for tomorrow. We are now back home with the thermostat turned up and enjoying seeing Seward's Sam Koch punt the ball for the Baltimore Ravens.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgivings Over the Years

Some of my earliest memories of Thanksgiving are of going to Grandpa Walker’s farm 4 ½ miles south of Garland for a big family dinner. In the late ‘30’s we went over to Bill Thompson’s which was the first time I had even eaten Turkey. Some years ago I compiled a listing of how we spent Thanksgivings from the time I started keeping a Diary in 1940. (I missed the years of ’45, ’46 &’47 when I didn’t have a Diary and in 1966 when my College studies took priority over writing every day.) Tomorrow will be my 69th recorded Thanksgiving. My (Our) activities have varied considerably over the years from the standard of going to Grandparents' houses. They include such things as: husking corn, hunting, sawing wood, putting pictures in albums, greasing the Whirlwind Terracer, seeing movies, putting on storm windows, watching football on TV, watching slides, singing, playing Ping-Pong, playing cards, sightseeing in Washington, D.C., going to Church, raking leaves, visiting Jon’s in western North Carolina in the Motor Home. And, we (I) flew to Hawaii, sang “Star of the East” with Vivian and Don, danced the “Flying Dutchman” to Dad’s accordion playing, Tim’s visited us in Ankeny, IA, looked at used vehicles on Rolfsmeier lot, Ben roasted the Turkeys, sent and received computer cards and messages, played with Jack (dog), played golf with Charlie, listed things on e-Bay, did Home Delivered Meals and watched part of Macy’s Christmas Parade. One of our most special Thanksgivings was in 1979 back in Virginia. My folks and Elaine’s Mother flew back to visit, and our boys and spouses were all home. ( Carolyn was due to deliver Julie in about 6 weeks so didn't get home) It was a beautiful warm day, and we had dinner out on the Deck. Dad enjoyed splitting wood, we tossed a football around, played horseshoes and had a great time. While our activities, location, family , etc. changed over the years, the one constant was Thanking God for our Many Blessings.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ridge Road in South Arlington, VA

Here are two pictures of the same house.  As can be noted by the size of the Spruce tree in the front yard, there was some 40 years between the one on the right and the white house to the left. We lived here on South Arlington Ridge Road during much of the 60's and till '76 when we moved out to Fairfax County. The picture on the left was taken just a few years ago when we were back in the area. It was a very well built house that we bought from the White Sisters who were the daughters of a Minister and his wife that had lived in it since it was built back in the early '30's. The house was just 2-3 miles south of the Pentagon and just a few blocks from an Elementary and Junior Hi School. It was also  very convenient to the Ag Building and George Washington University. It's nice to be able to go back and see significant improvements in a house where you have pleasant memories. In addition to it being a very well built house, the location has had a lot to do with it's improvements and current value. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Set of the Sail

This picture of Elaine and I was taken back in the days when we lived in South Arlington, Virginia and I was the Director of Personnel for the USDA Soil Conservation Service. Our Agency had some 15,000 employees and I was frequently invited to speak at State All Employee Meetings and at the 4  Regional Training Centers. I  was able to tie these speaking engagements to other activities while at a location and took advantage of the opportunity to get acquainted with as many employees as possible. All Employee meetings at the State level were always enjoyable and I would give a "motivational type" message. On several occasions, I concluded the talk by quoting the last two verses of a poem written by Ella Wheeler Wilcox in 1916 and entitled: "'Tis the Set of the Sail".
"One ship sails east, another west by the self same winds that blow. It's the set of the sail and not the gale that determines the way they go. Like the winds of the sea are the waves of time, as we journey along through life, 'Tis the set of the soul, that determines the goal, and not the calm or the strife." 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Family is Important

Coming "home" to Nebraska at Christmas time and if possible, once during the summer, was always very important to us during the years our kids were growing up. This picture helps show why. Our 4 kids are shown along with Brother Don and Gladys' 4 girls and Vivian and Eddy Souceks' boy and girl. The cousins from California and Wisconsin were not here at the time though we often all got together during the summer. You can see the satisfaction in the faces of the Grandparents with these 10 Grandchildren. Verlon, sitting next to Granddad is the oldest and 14 years older than MaryBeth near Grandmother, and 26 years older than Tanya, the youngest of the cousins. All told, there are 17 cousins and Mother probably knew the birth date of each of them. This picture was taken some 45 years ago and some of those pictured are Grandparents in their own right now. I hope this generation of cousins can have someone among them like me and my Vrana cousins have in Pat Grimes that spearheads a quarterly Cousins Letter; it helps keep us up-to-date with each other. We also  have a reunion once a year with as many attending as possible, and we generally have a good turnout. Friends are important but relatives are special.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

St. Paul's UCC Church in Lincoln, NE

The Lincoln Journal Star had a story and pictures this morning on St. Paul's United Church of Christ dissolving their congregation after 140 years. Elaine was raised and confirmed in Friedens UCC here in Seward, had gone to Church Camp at Blair, NE with kids from St. Paul's, and maintained a friendship with several of them. When I joined Elaine's Church at the time we were married, it was agreed that if we moved, we would go to my Methodist Church. After moving to Lincoln on June 14, 1958 we did visit the Methodist Church in Uni-Place a couple times but were so impressed with Rev. Crisp and the people in the Congregation that we joined St. Paul's on March 1, 1959. The Kids were all involved in Sunday School as were Elaine and I in addition to all attending Church. I belonged to a Men's group, Elaine taught 8th grade SS and we were members of the 3-Ring Club. It was quite a distance from our house at 6515 Hartley Street to the Church at 13th and "F" Street, and I noted in my Diary that on at least one occasion, we made 4 trips in one day. The Church was a major part of our lives during the 4 years we lived in Lincoln, though I was taking College Courses and working full-time. We had an opportunity to visit the Church a couple times while back on vacation after we moved to Virginia and even a time or two after returning to Nebraska. The Church that meant so much to us and now closing after next springs Easter Service, reminded me of our Methodist Minister's sermon last Sunday on "What Lasts Forever?".  He went on to tell that God Lives in People, not in Buildings nor Congregations. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

J. F. K. Memorial

The JFK Grave and Eternal Flame is located near the Custis Lee Mansion and directly in line with Memorial Bridge. The Eternal Flame was in place soon after the burial but the area as shown in the picture wasn't completed until some time later. I was taking night classes at George Washington University at the time. Normally I would walk the mile or so from the South Agriculture Building to class after getting off work; eating a sandwich and apple on the way. Elaine would drive down to pick me up after class.
This pattern continued for 2 or 3 years after the Eternal Flame and simple Monument was in place. It is located directly in line with the Memorial Bridge across the Potomac. I don't believe there was a time that we drove across that bridge that we didn't observe the Flame and reflect on President Kennedy. We had many guests and family members visit us during our years in the area, and this was always a stop on our tour of showing them around. The Navy Sea Chanters sang the Navy Hymn as the Kennedy Casket was carried from the Capitol Rotunda.  We sing "Eternal Father Strong to Save" at Kiwanis occasionally and it still brings a lump to my throat.  "How people make us feel about ourselves" is probably the most important factor of friendship. President Kennedy not only made the Country optimistic about the future, but made each of us feel better about ourselves and anxious to "Do What We Could For Our Country". 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Family and Azaleas

Our early years back in the Washington, D.C. area were traumatic and yet we had very enjoyable family time and an opportunity to see many of the sights. This picture was taken in the spring of '63 at the National  Arboretum near College Park, MD. We were fortunate in having a lot of support from the people I was working with but also from 3 other families that moved to the area the same summer. One of these families had lived in Seward and Dave had worked with me some years earlier. He was promoted and transferred  to the National SCS Plant Materials Center in Beltsville, MD. We visited back and forth frequently which gave us an opportunity to become acquainted with their area. We thought it well to see as many sights as we could since we didn't know how long I would be in the SCS Headquarters office. Had we known it would be 18 years, we probably wouldn't have been as aggressive in our sightseeing but it helped our adjustment. We are pleased that our Daughter and her family came back to Nebraska at the same time we did, but two of the boys are still in Virginia and one is in Indiana. Parents never know the total impact of a move that includes children.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

We had been in Washington, D.C. about 17 months when President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed. I noted in my Diary on 11/22/63 that, "First report came at 1:55 and about 2:30 it was confirmed that Pres. Kennedy had been shot and killed in Dallas, Texas. We were dismissed from work at 3:30. Jon was to star in a play at school on his 7th birthday. I had to take a mid-term Statistics exam that evening". It is impossible to describe the change that took place in the mood of the City with the news. Kennedy had brought optimism and excitement about the future,  and now he was gone. Someone said, "We will never be young again" and that is how we felt. There was continuous TV coverage the next day (Saturday) where it was confirmed that Lee Harvey Oswald was the assassin. We went to early Church on Sunday and churches were filled throughout the Country. We saw the live coverage of Jack Ruby shooting Oswald. That evening, President Kennedy "Ly-in -State" at the Capital Rotunda which stayed open all night. At one time the line for viewing the flag-draped casket was 32 blocks long.

Government Offices in D.C. were closed on Monday for the funeral. We went to a Memorial Service at our Church and then went down to the west end of Memorial Bridge where we could see the Funeral Cartage pass by on their way to Arlington Cemetery. It was an awesome sight to see the 6 white horses and the flag draped coffin. It was a solemn audience as shown on the faces of Elaine and the kids (Carolyn was about to sneeze). Jon even put on a white shirt and necktie. While it was a cool day, it was bright and sunny. The next day the weather seemed to change from fall to winter and that is how we felt. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Grocery shopping

Emily has been our favorite checker down at Pac n Save for several years. She had long hair when we first met her and has continued to let it grow. When I asked about taking her picture this afternoon, she said that she had 4 inches cut off recently. She is a good checker and sacker; we have never known her to make a mistake. Grocery shopping in Seward continues to be a social event. Elaine was able to do some "family" visiting with one of the ladies we saw in the produce department. Vikki was next in line as Elaine was paying for our groceries. There is a possibility of snow on Friday and that may have had something to do with our "stocking up" on groceries. I think we could get by for several days if we were snowbound. It  would be interesting to know what the first thing we would need or want but Elaine is pretty ingenious in coming up with substitutes. Our loaf of raisin bread won't last beyond the weekend, but I'm sure she has an alternative in mind if necessary. Plus the fact that it's only 4 blocks to the Save Mart store if necessary. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Elaine and Dale

This picture of Elaine and Dale, each showing a bit of leg, was taken in August 1948. Elaine was "attired" in her Bridesmaid dress for her cousin Lois Brinkmeyer's wedding. Dale has a brace on his leg after the cast was removed following his breaking it in a Farmhouse softball game down at the U. Elaine and I had been "going together" for over a year at the time and this was about the most leg I had seen. I wouldn't say this picture had any great influence on our relationship but it certainly didn't hurt it. From having been involved with raising purebred polled Herford  cattle I had some understanding of genetics and had already decided that she would be a Great Mother after having watched her play softball. I also knew that she was very intelligent after having graduated 4th in her HS graduating class of 73 students. I had  a Civic Service appointment working for the Soil Conservation Service by this time, and she was working at the County Extension Office so we had an opportunity to see each other every day. As the Holiday Season approached, we decided to become engaged. I gave her a diamond ring just before Christmas and we were married the following June. It is said that, "A picture is worth a thousand words" and sometimes it's worth more than that. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Visiting Charley & Dale

This was taken late this summer on one of the few occasions that I played golf with Charley and others this year.  During the previous several years we played nearly every day during the summer and occasionally every month of the year. This afternoon we went down to Bryan East Hospital in Lincoln to visit Charley who is scheduled for open heart surgery on Tuesday morning. He is very optimistic that we may be able to golf again some day and I believe we will. We went on out to Elaine's brother Dale and wife Marleen's who are in the process of moving into the lower level of a new house with Marleen's daughter and her husband in east Lincoln. Dale had some "stuff" that he wanted Elaine to have as they "cleaned out" the house that he has lived in for nearly 50 years. Some of the old newspapers, etc. that we brought home were most interesting, but I don't think there is much demand for old Currier & Ives Calendars. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

On-Line Commerce

No. This is not a partial picture of me but rather an example of about 10 different styles of Men's Khaki pants available at Amazon. I ordered a pair last Tuesday evening after not being very happy with what we found in Lincoln. They came this morning and I am well pleased. This style of marketing is another example of the many changes that are taking place around us.  Often we don't wake up until major changes have already happened. It will be interesting to see what role the U.S. Postal Service may have in  on-line commerce or whether private enterprise will make the deliveries. Our recent eBay activity has made us more sensitive to postal rates. What it cost us to mail items makes us wonder why we get so much "junk mail".  I know that non-profits have special rates but how about all the catalogs that we get this time of year. For that matter, I wonder about magazines such as Time and Sports Illustrated that are delivered every week.  I enjoy both of them but the subscription price doesn't appear to begin to cover the cost of mailing.  Maybe that is why the USPS lost another 5 Billion Dollars last year. (And, Nebraska lost another football game after 5 turnovers)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Benefits of Soil Conservation

This is the scan of a pamphlet that Elaine's brother Dale gave us recently as he sorted old files in preparation for a move. It  brought back memories of my introduction to "Soil Conservation" in the late '40's. I believe it was in the spring of '47 that Dale & Elaine came over one Sunday evening to visit with Vivian and I who were still living at the old farm though the rest of the family had moved on over to the "Mak" farm. Dale had been building terraces for the Soil Conservation District and brought along several pamphlets on the subject of soil conservation. I believe one of them was a copy of the one scanned. Whatever it was that Dale may have told or gave me to read, he made a believer of and we had contour lines laid out. I remember listing corn on the contour in the field northwest of the house the very night that Elaine had a date with a classmate for their Jr-Sr. Banquet. Though we had only been dating for a few months, it bothered me to think she was out with this "other fella". Not only that, it was much more difficult planting corn by following a curved line around the hill. Little did I know at the time that Elaine would become my faithful wife and that I would spend my working career in Soil and Water Conservation activities. We analyze many factors in making some decisions and yet others are made by what "just seems right". Could "Divine Intervention" be involved???

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thank You Dr. K.

Some years ago in a financial situation, a fellow described a situation by saying he was ”optimistic because it's not as bad as I thought it was going to be”. I was rather amused by the comment and wrote down the adage, “If you set your sights low enough, anything will make you happy”. I reflected upon those memories when walking out of the Dentist Office this afternoon. About a month ago a crown came off one of my upper-front teeth. I saw Dr. K. the next day who did some X-rays and identified  decay at the gum line of the old tooth. He put the crown back on and set up an appointment where he thought he may have to destroy the old crown, fill the decaying part of what is left of the old tooth and put on a new crown. We talked about alternatives and today he was able to leave the old crown in place but work through enough of it to fill the cavity. He then repaired the “damage” to the crown and I walked out of their in just a bit over an hour greatly relieved because, “It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be”.   I know that Medical Doctors are said to "practice medicine" but do Dentist "practice denistry"???

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sadie Elizabeth

John, Julie and Sadie came by to visit last evening. Sadie was on the move every minute they were here. She played with Dominoes by picking them out of their case and putting them in a little cardboard box. Then she would dump them out and laugh at the sound they made. We had some old UN-L Cornhusker Yearbooks in the living room that are real heavy. She couldn't pick up the big ones but did manage to pick up the one from 1945 and carry it over to John. She has amazing strength for her size and age. She likes our house since she can run down the hall, through the kitchen, into the dining room and back into the living room to complete the cycle. Her energy reminds us of Tim when he was a “toddler”. He too was always on the go and “buzzed” around to where Grandma Flowerday started calling him “Buzzer”.  We buzzed down to Lincoln today and did some shopping at the J.C.Penny store. We have reached the point of not enjoying a lot of shopping and if we find something that will work, we just buy it and head for home. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Nebraska Women's Basketball

Nebraska Junior, Emily Cady from Seward is pictured leading the Cornhuskers to a 62-48 win over Alabama last night in Lincoln at the new Pinnacle Bank Arena. She was 4 for 7 from the field and 10-10 from the free throw line for a total of 19 points. Freshman Hannah Tvrdy, also from Seward, was in for 18 minutes of the game and contributed 4 points along with several assists from her guard position. There is a large contingent from Seward that has season tickets to see the girls play. All-American Senior Jordan Hooper normally leads the Nebraska scoring, but she had a slow night and Emily picked up the slack. I hope to get down to see the girls play sometime this winter after having hardly ever missing a home game when they were here in HS. Seward won 3 consecutive State Class B Championships during the years they were here,  and at one time had a winning streak of over 100 games. It was a dynasty that comes along only once in a lifetime but we enjoyed it to the fullest. While I don't expect anything comparable from the Nebraska team, they are a force to be reckoned with this year.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day Tributes

The Seward Kiwanis Kitones sang at the Middle School Veterans Day Program this morning. Shown here is the Middle School Mixed Chorus. Principal Kirk Gottschalk gave a good talk and their band also played. There were a number of Veterans present . The musical tribute that the Mixed Chorus provided was outstanding. Several small groups sang short tributes with the entire Chorus joining in on the chorus. While it's very worthy to recognize the Veterans, perhaps even more important is what these young people learn about what the Veterans have done by preparing to present the tribute. 
We also sang at the Kiwanis meeting this noon where Veterans from throughout the County were invited. Jeff Baker the County Vet Service Officer spoke and challenged the group to make every day "Veteran's Day" by thanking them at every opportunity during the year for what they have done for us and the Country. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Peek-a-Boo Sadie

We got out to see Sadie this afternoon and caught this expression as she played peek-a-boo. She is difficult to photograph because of her constant movement. And, because of her interest in playing with my camera. I try to keep it out of her sight but it makes a slight sound when turned on that she hears and recognizes. She insists on playing with it and knows which buttons to push to get pictures. 
 We also took time today to watch the Nebraska girls volleyball team beat Minnesota. The match had some wild swings, but Coach Cook did an excellent job of substituting and coaching to bring about the victory. And, how about that Nebraska football win over Michigan yesterday. That Hail Mary seems to have helped build a much more aggressive attitude. We'll see next week.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Some of Sadie's Ancestors

This is a 5 generation picture taken of the "Walker Family" line down at the Lincoln Park in 1927. I was 2 years old at the time but sister Vivian posed since she was 18 months older than me. Mother would have been 27, Grandpa Walker 49, Great Grandma Carlson, 69 and Great  Great Grandmother Walker 93. While I have no memory of my Great Great Grandmother, I remember Great Grandma Carlson very well. She was nearly blind and always appreciated me standing close enough that she could touch me. Her funeral was the first one I remember. She married Elmer Carlson after her first husband, Samuel Walker died in 1880.  They went on to have a son of their own who was also named Elmer, my Grandfather's half brother. Samuel was the son of Mathias and Great Great Grandmother.
This 2nd picture of 4 generations is a continuation of the one above with me being the link. This was taken recently of Julie, Carolyn, me and Sadie. This represents 8 generations. According to my arithmetic, Sadie has 128 ancestors at the level of Catherine Black Walker shown in the picture. With my knowing Great Grandmothers and now having a Great Granddaughter, I have had the privilege of knowing 7 generations of people with Walker genes in our family. Some of this information may be of interest to cousins, etc. and if they wish further details, Elaine has done a great job on the family genealogy.

Friday, November 8, 2013

What Happened??

I have been posting a Blog page with Google for approaching 3 years. The World Map, as shown here,  is included every day as feedback for where "hits" are coming from for my "Crow's Nest". As is seen with the intensity of the green color, a high percentage come from the United States. That is what I expected since it is intended to give family and friends some idea of what we are doing. What surprised me early on was the high percentage (dark green coloring) of Russia. This continued until about a month ago and it has been "white" ever since. There are some viewers in China and central Europe but none now in Russia. This map changes daily but this coloration is pretty average. I would certainly be interested in what happened to the Russian audience. I trust that I didn't write anything to offend them but the change did occur about the same time it came out that the U.S. had tapped into some foreign telephone conversations. Who knows what happens when we send messages out into the clouds which are available world wide.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Processing the Fallen Leaves

Elaine and I worked for over 2 hours this afternoon cleaning up the leaves in our front yard. The rain a couple days ago really brought them down. We had enough sunshine to dry them some so I went over the yard with the catcher removed to chop them up. Then went back over to chop them up some more and pick them up in the catcher. We hauled them back to the compost pile with a little moving cart which worked well. We also cleaned them up out of the gutter of our front curb. There was still some water under them so Elaine ranked them out to dry for a while before my "chopping". We were pleased to get it done and realized how timely it was when we saw a little flag in the yard indicating that Merle's Greenhouse had put on the fall treatment of fertilizer and whatever else they apply. The two neighbor ladies also got their lawns cleaned up later this afternoon. The days of enjoying the colorful leaves on the trees were very limited this year with the rain, but they will make good compost and gave us good exercise. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I Don't Know

We got out to see Sadie this afternoon. She continues to learn ways to express herself with a very limited vocabulary. She is shown here "expressing" the message: "I don't know". While I didn't catch it in the picture, she even "hunches" up her shoulders as part of this expression.  She does this when her Mother asked her where some specific toy is located. She likes to play with my camera and doesn't even hesitate to push buttons to have different pictures come up for viewing. She will never remember when she learned to use a computer, smart phone or any of the technology that comes along during her childhood. In going through the Successful Farmer this evening, I read that Smartwatches are the next big thing. There were some 330,000 of them in use in 2012 and by the end of 2014 the number is expected to grow to 5 million. They are predicted to be the most important product category in consumer electronics since the IPod. These are things that we read about in the Buck Rogers Comic Strip when I was a kid. But it's an example of someone having a creative imagination and years later, technology catching up to make it possible. I wonder if someday members of  Congress will be able to work together for the good of the Country and Pigs will be able to Fly. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Colorful Covering of Leaves

This was the scene out our front door early this morning. We had over an inch of rain that came down gently and throughout much of the day. It came as snow to most of the western part of the State. We  had a quiet day and just let it rain. My brother Don enjoys commenting on what people do in "The Old Country" when it rains. (They just let it rain). I spent all afternoon in our "Lower Level" working on the computer with financial records, eBay listings, and processing pictures. I even cleaned a few things off my workbench.  It was a good time to continue to play some of the records that I bought at the Saturday Auction. Just listening to Tennessee Ernie Ford, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, and some of the Tchaikovsky Album kept me well entertained with background music. The Glenn Miller record was made from one of his last performances with the orchestra before he lost his life flying over the English Channel in a small  plane on his way to the mainland to book future performances. That was 70 years ago and the music is still very enjoyable.
The weather cleared late this afternoon so tomorrow I expect to chop and pick up the leaves with the lawn mower and add them to the compost pile.
P.S. I just noticed the little red rock in the picture on the edge of the walk on this side of the barberry hedge. We picked it up out in the pasture at our old "Home Place" when Don and Gladys accompanied Elaine and I out there a few years ago. A rock can serve as a "keepsake" just as well as a medallion.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Garage Door Opener Maintenance

We take a lot of things for granted like the garage door openers, but occasionally they fail. I left the car set on the driveway this morning when I came home from coffee since I would be going to Kiwanis at noon. Elaine told me that the Garage door made an unusual noise when I closed it earlier. It was apparent that one of the cables that are fastened to the bottom of the door and is threaded through a couple pulleys attached to a big spring, had broken. We had a replacement available since they came in a package of 2 when we had to replace one a few years ago. With Elaine's help, we were able to get it installed and back in working order before I left for Kiwanis. I also got the clock set in the car so I felt like we had really accomplished something today.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


I captured this yellow Maple leaf off the tree in our front yard this afternoon as we had 56 degree temperature and SE winds with gusts measured up to 48 mph at the Lincoln Airport. It was well that it wasn't blowing like that yesterday or Kellogg would never have been able to throw that 60 yard Hail Mary. 
As a person gets older, change becomes more difficult. I'm still having trouble getting used to my new glasses  and now the change of time has further disrupted our normal routine. We have been going to 10:30 Church which fits well into my regular schedule but last night we decided that with the time change, we could get to Church at 8:30am. Unfortunately, Elaine was up a little after 6:00 and I got up soon after and have been a "Grumpy Old Man" all day. 
We went back  to Church for an All Church Meeting to approve the Budget and Committee structure which followed a Soup Dinner (which we didn't attend). Rev. Lambert gave a "State of the Church" report and announced his desire to have a "Futures Team" study our mission, facility questions, and what the Future holds before we proceed any further with building plans. It sounds like a good idea, and we certainly agree with his assessment of the situation. But change has already taken place that I (we) don't particularly enjoy and can see more coming. It isn't easy getting old and trying to stay relevant. Leaves fall and blow away when they are no longer relevant.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Collard-Dove, etc.

Elaine and I were eating supper and listening (and watching) the Nebraska-Northwestern football game this evening when this Eurasian Collared-Dove was scrounging under our bird feeder. The pair had been in the back yard earlier so I had the camera handy. I took this out the kitchen window when there was just over a minute left to play and didn't think there was much of a chance of pulling it out. Nebraska football fans will be taking about this one for a long time. It was really more than just a game at stake; with 2 losses already in the books, a loss against Northwestern would have raised many leadership questions and Bo's fringe benefits may have been in jeopardy.  Some birds have to  scrounge for their livelihood and others are just lucky. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Historic Hand Fan

We sold an old WWII "Rescue Mirror" on eBay this evening which will make Bryan C. Cherry happy back in Churchville, Maryland. I got it in the bottom of a box at an Auction some years ago and it has hung on the peg board above my bench in our "lower level" work room ever since. It inspired me to list some more items from our inventory of "stuff". When one goes to an Auction like last Saturday, you realize how little much of the stuff sells for. So, we decided that whatever we could get on eBay was probably more than it would bring at an Auction. This fan is one of the items I put on this evening. It can be viewed by going to eBay and searching "Seward, NE". It is an interesting piece of Seward Memorabilia from the Chain and Wood Mortuary. Unfortunately, it was somewhat disfigured by Elaine and some of her HS classmates by autographing it, including the Principal, Mr. Ely Feistner. Others include: "Midge", Jean Dierberger, "Gerke", David Costa, "Walt", Vern, and Jean Fosler. I don't know if we will get the $1.50 minimum bid price but   I get a certain amount of enjoyment in taking the pictures, writing the story and getting it listed. And, hopefully, it may make someone happy by bringing back memories other than having used one like it to help cool themselves at a funeral before Air Conditioning.