Monday, February 29, 2016

Breathing Test at SMHC

No, this isn't a picture of me in the booth getting a "breathing" test but is exactly what I went through over at the Seward Hospital Specialty Clinic this afternoon. I met last week with Dr. Rudersdorf who comes out from  Bryan in Lincoln, who had reviewed the CT scan of my chest that was done in December, and ordered this test. It was an interesting process and done on the 2nd floor on the new addition to the hospital. I visited with my brother Don last night and he had been through such a test some time ago and wasn't anxious about ever having another one. He had me "conditioned" to expect it to be much more difficult than what it was. The most difficult part was not breathing in after taking a deep breath, exhaling and continue to exhale or not breath for 10 seconds. This was repeated several times. (Note the clip on the patient's nose) It reminded me of the pressure felt when needing to go to the bathroom and having to wait. I was able to complete the test without embarrassing myself or the technician.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

These were Busy Time

This was taken of Elaine and I back in the '70's when we lived in Arlington, VA on Ridge Road.  She was working with the Forest Service and I was with the Soil Conservation Service with our offices in the same wing of the USDA South building. We drove our VW Beetle to work and parked in a lot a block or so from our offices. We were both advancing in our positions and the kids were doing well in school. I am doing some writing on "My Career in the Soil Conservation Service" and realize how much traveling I did in those days. As Director of Personnel for the Agency with some 14,500 employees at some 3,300 locations throughout the country, we were deeply involved with minority employment. We worked closely with the 1890 Land Grant Colleges in recruitment as well as other institutions. Our Student Trainee program was very successful in providing summer employment of students with an opportunity for full-time employment upon graduation. As I now am going back and writing about those days, I wonder how we were able to do everything that we did. They were probably some of the most productive years of our lives. Though as we got older, experience and knowledge were able to help compensate for the loss of energy. (The picture above the fireplace now hangs above our couch and Great-Grandson Jack like to point at various parts of it.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Another Seward Auction

I went to another Schweitzer Auction down at Harvest Hall this morning for the Lois Dargelogh and Gerald Rathje Estates and others. Needless to say, there was a lot of "stuff". I got there a few minutes after they started selling and spent about an hour looking at that which was available. I also enjoyed visiting with friends including Steve, a son of the Rathje's, who I worked with during the '80's at the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission. He is still working there though it is now combined into the Department of Natural Resources. There were actually very few things there that I would have been interested in buying but think of it like going to a museum. There was an ERTL 1940 John Deere combine that would have been an addition to my toy tractor collection. After lunch, Elaine and I went back down but it was sold.
I hadn't realized they would be selling from 2 rings and didn't think they would get through things as soon as they did. Elaine and I did enjoy this old Maytag washing machine like the one our Mothers had while we were growing up. When we moved from Seward to the old Vrana farm north of Garland in 1932, Mother had to replace the electric motor on her washing machine with a little Maytag engine. It was just another one of the many adjustments that had to be made. However, the decision to make the move was one of the best the folks ever made. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Down on the Farm Politics

This "yellowed" newspaper clipping tells of an event Elaine and I hosted at our farm back in 1982 for Nebraska Governor Charles Thone in his re-election campaign. I was working at the NE Natural Resources Commission at the time and had a close working relationship with the Governor's Office. We had an excellent local committee involved in the event. Dorothea Bek was County Chair of the Republican party, "Pete" Peterson was retired from a State position and a personal friend of the Governor; Bill Hartman was also close to the Governor as were the Kirklands. I had also gotten involved in partisan politics following my Civil Service Career. Our acquaintance with the Thone's went back to Washington, D.C. where we were with USDA and Governor Thone was a Nebraska Congressman. The event at our farm was great. We had a large crowd of people who really got to know the Governor and his wife Ruthie. We had food, speakers and entertainment, which all seemed to enjoy. However, our efforts were unsuccessful in the Governor's bid for re-election. He lost to a young war hero named Bob Kerrey who went on to represent Nebraska in the Senate after one term as Governor. Recently,  the Lincoln Journal Star carried a story written by Ruthie who had just returned to their Legacy home following hospitalization. She mentioned that she and Charles were "house" people these days.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

History of People in Seward County Nebraska

This 536 page, 8 by 11 inch, hard cover book titled "Seward County Nebraska" was written by the people of Seward County and published in 1982 by the County Historical Society.   Jane Graff served as Book Project Chairman. The Societies Officers and Board of Directors worked for a couple years in getting families to provide the genealogical story of their families' history in coming to Seward County and their lives here. Unfortunately, neither Elaine's nor my family got our "stories" included in the book. However, our names are included as part of the extended family story of one of her Aunt's. It is one of the most frequently consulted reference books in our library. This afternoon a couple from Lancaster County, with  whom we have been friends for many years, came to visit. They were looking for information on some of their family history, and we had told them of the possibility of information in the book being of help to them. We enjoyed their visit and made copies of a couple pages for them with some of their family history. Elaine has also given them information as to where they may be able to get one of the books. The "book" is an example of how a small group of people, took the leadership in producing some 35 years ago, that becomes more valuable as time goes on. We need more of that today

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Significant Chapter

I spent a few hours this afternoon working on Chapter VI of "My Career in the Soil Conservation Service." It covered my 3 years as Assistant Director of the Personnel Division during 1969-72 until I became Director. We were in our Arlington Ridge Road house and the kids were in or approaching college. Elaine was working for the USDA Forest Service and we were driving our VW Beetle to work together. I had just completed my MBA and these were interesting times of protest by Peace, Equal Opportunity, etc. groups.
It was during this period that Bob Short moved the Washington Senators baseball team from D.C. to Arlington Texas, but we saw many games before they left, especially when Mickey Mantle and the Yankees came to town. I traveled quite a bit in my job but in addition, we got out to Nebraska to visit family as often as possible.These were very "trying times" on the national scene but in retrospect, very good years as far as our family and our careers were concerned.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Seward United Methodist Church

The Seward United Methodist Church has recently cleaned out some old files. They had many things on a hallway table with a "Free" sign a week ago when I picked up a Hymnal and Sunday, I found this 20 page, 5 1/4 by 8 1/2 inch "History of The United Methodist Church" pamphlet dated October 1992. The opening paragraph says, "This booklet, a remembrance for our 125th Anniversary, has been prepared by the Committee as your keepsake. The information in it has come from the 1974 booklet, written to store the names, events and and statistics for all generations of the future." It contains a wealth of information that I appreciate receiving. My folks joined the Church soon after their wedding in 1920. Mother was the Sup't. of the Cradle Roll when I was baptized, but we joined a Garland Church when we moved to the farm.
We joined the Church again after moving closer to Seward, however with getting married in Elaine's Church, we agreed to continue membership there but would get back to the Methodist Church eventually. That didn't happen until 1996. This is a picture of my Sunday School class before we moved to the farm. I am the 2nd from the left end on the top row. We have the names of all of these people and have had contact with some fairly recently. We even took Meals to the Teacher some years ago.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Today's Kiwanis Program

Clark Kolterman, Speech Coach at Seward High School brought 3 of his Speech Class students to Kiwanis this noon to have lunch with us and present the program. Clark has been the Speech  Coach here for a number of years in continuation of capable teachers during the over 50 years of the program here in Seward. The SHS class of over 40 students, participates in area tournaments throughout the area.  They have 25-30 students participating weekly in the NSAA weekly speech competitions. There are 9 categories of speeches ranging from ten minute memorized Persuasive speeches to Extemporaneous which are 5 to 7 minute speeches on international topics with only one hour to prepare. 
The 3 students included Alexa who gave a persuasive speech on "The importance of Learning a Foreign Language". I don't think she missed a word during the 10 minutes. The other two were Will who also gave a persuasive speech on "space Flight" and while making reference to the Challenger and Columbia disasters, recognized our many successes.  Ben was the final of the 3 seniors to speak and had a Humorous Prose speech on "Time". While it was humorous, I believe we all learned a bit about the history of our 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, etc. He displayed a digital clock showing the number of seconds since January 1, 1970, which provides a universal point of reference. Great Program.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Land Line Telephone Problem

We bought this phone 4 years ago as part of a 2-remote, AT&T system. One phone is in the kitchen and the other in the living room; both are plugged into electrical connections. For the past 2-3 days we hear a buzz when we answer and are talking, but soon hear an operator say, "your call did not go through, please hang up and try your call again". We have had several calls with no one there as we answered, only the usual dial tone. We called Windstream (our carrier) yesterday and went through the ritual of describing our problem by pushing buttons without talking to a person. The message yesterday was that it would be taken care of by February 29th. We disconnected these and our other phones today thinking  maybe we could solve the problem but were unable to do so. Another phone call today to a live person resulted in our "work order" being upgraded to "urgent" and a service person is to be here sometime tomorrow. We also have a DSL line connection for our computers and hope it's not our old nine year old PC that could be the problem. Fortunately, we have our cell phone turned on and it is entirely separate from the Windstream system, so we are not without communication. We take so many of these things for granted when they work and feel lost when they don't.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Fish in Bee

Elaine and I had a "spot" of wine out on the deck this evening in 66 degree weather. During our visit we decided to go to Bee for fish. The sun was at the perfect angle for taking a picture of the recently completed addition to the hospital; so after shooting that, we went on out Columbia Avenue and took the "Golf Course Road" to Bee. Our first surprise was seeing the new home construction on North Columbia and Waverly Road. Seward continues to grow. We went past the old Flowerday farm where Elaine was raised and noted the changes that continue to take place. Fish in Bee has become a Friday evening institution. The place was full when we got there and shared a table with a couple from Seward and their 5 year old boy and 3 year old girl. It made for an interesting and enjoyable dinner. They were relatively newcomers to Seward, but we had no problem finding things to visit about. A final pleasure was enjoying the beautiful sunset as we drove back to Seward on the highway.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Record Tying Temperature Day

Elaine and I spent some time outdoors this afternoon. Lincoln TV  reported a high of 70 to tie the record for this date. Ken Siemek said that it hit 70 sometime between 5:30 and 6:00pm today. We took these pictures at 3:30 with the thermometer on our deck showing 72 degrees. It felt good and really had the birds singing. We even saw our Red Bellied Woodpecker again today. Elaine went up to visit her sister Joyce who has been in the Ridgewood care facility here in Seward for several years. She is 96 and appears to get very good care, but her quality of life is certainly questionable. 
I went out with Marv this afternoon taking pictures of new Kiwanis members which we are adding to our Portalbuzz file in the Kiwanis Indianapolis Headquarters computer system. While Elaine was gone with our new car, I started up our old car which hasn't been driven for 2-3 weeks while the weather has been bad. It kicked right off so I might even start using it again tomorrow. Keeping 2 cars is a bit of a luxury we afford ourselves. We justify it for those rare occasions when we do both "need" a car, but my reluctance to part with it, is probably the main reason it is still in our garage. The "logical" thing would be to trade them both in on a new one but when you get to our age, few new things are as "good" as the old one.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Great Grandson vs Politics

Jack spent some time with us again this morning. It seems like he "grows" between visits when we spend time with him once a week. He doesn't open his mouth very much when he smiles but once in a while you see the two bottom teeth and the one on the top. When he is with Elaine and I, he seems to see and hear some things ahead of our noticing them. He spent quite a bit of time looking out the kitchen window at the Red Bellied Woodpecker, Collared Doves, Juncos and other birds on the feeder. We never did get to see a squirrel approach the bird feeder and realize the recently installed "buffer" would keep him from getting to the feeder. The snow cover in the backyard is nearly gone with the 45 degree temperatures we've had lately.
One of the other many things that he enjoys doing when he's at our house, is setting on my lap and taking a picture with the laptop. Once the "button is punched", it counts down 3 seconds before the picture is snapped. So, its always a bit of a guess as to what we might get. We bought a little toy red and white SUV for him when we were in Lincoln yesterday. He liked it at first sight but became a bit impatient when we had to look for a tiny Phillips screwdriver to remove a screw and get it out of the package. Having Jack with us occasionally is a great boast to our morale. We need that to help us cope with what we are hearing and seeing of the Presidential  debates and everything surrounding them..

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Trip to Lincoln

We have fought squirrels all winter as they got to our bird feeder and would empty it in a couple days. While looking around in the basement of the EtCetera store  recently, one of the fellows who works there told of getting this "cone" from Mennard's that keeps them away. We were in Lincoln today and brought one home with us. Mennard's is a big hardware store and after getting directions, was able to get in the area of bird feed, etc. I waited for a clerk to take me directly to them while he finished waiting on another customer. When it was obvious he wasn't going to make a sale to that customer he asked if he could help me. The customer turned around and here it was, Merle Thompson, a first cousin. 
We chatted a bit, and Elaine had already found what we were looking for. We bought a few other things and went on to Elaine's appointment with Dr. Hofker, her Audiologist. As she gains experience with her hearing aids and relates problems to him, he is able to make adjustments, teach her new techniques, and give her confidence that she is making progress in helping her brain adjust to them. We stopped at Super Saver in Fallbrook on our way home and were then able to get our "Squirrel Baffle" installed at home.  All-in-all, it was a good trip and a good day. I would like to see that squirrel encounter the baffle for the first time. I wish we had a "trail-cam" that would catch him in the act but maybe he will still be trying to figure it out as we eat breakfast.

Monday, February 15, 2016


Tanya Winter, coordinator for the Teammates Mentoring program at the Seward Middle and High School, spoke to the Seward Kiwanis Club this noon on the program. The Teammates program was started by Tom and Nancy Osborne back in 1991 when they recognized the advantage of young people spending some time with an caring adult. Mentors meet with Mentees for one hour per week at school facilities. They are always paired in a same sex basis. They currently have 45 "matches" here is Seward with other Mentors in the process of background checks and getting approved.  She told of success stories where students who had a Mentor in HS, saying that it was because of the encouragement of their Mentor that they had gone on  to college as well as having other beneficial effects on their lives. . Many of the students just appreciate having some one  listen to them. The age of Mentors doesn't seem to be a factor in the relationship. She mentioned a Tom Osborne quote to the effect that: "The true measure of character is when you do something for someone who is unable to return the favor."

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Big Birthday Party

Elaine and I had the pleasure of helping celebrate a big birthday of a Garland High School friend this afternoon at the 1st Plymouth Congregational Church in Lincoln. Dolores was a year behind me in HS though there is only about 6 months difference in our ages. She moved with her parents to Lincoln soon after HS  where she married, had a family and a successful career with the State Farm Insurance Co. She has close relatives that we see frequently but have only seen Dolores at occasional HS Alumni reunions. She and I are the only remaining members of our graduating classes. It was interesting to get to meet her family and grandchildren.
We had interesting visits with her grandsons. One of whom went to school with Alex Gordon and is a great baseball fan. He was impressed with my having seen games in all 30 of the current Major League parks. The other is an attorney working in D.C. with whom we were able to relate. I mentioned my old Diary from HS days and how I had noted when Dolores had her 16th birthday. After this many years, it was a real pleasure to help her celebrate this one, and she invited us to come back for her next big one.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Interesting Auction

I attended an Auction this morning that was held in Seward that was conducted by Schweitzer's who did their usual good job. There was an outstanding array of Nebraska athletic collectibles as well as many other memorabilia items. We have talked about how much our Great Grandson would enjoy a Hobby Horse like the one shown, but this was not for him. It was in good shape for its age with a coat of imitation "horse hair". Some of the items appear to have been in an Antique store at one time since this item had a price tag on it for an exceptionally high price. I don't know what it brought.
This elderly gentleman is looking at the "remains" of Harry Husker. It was a papier- mache head that was worn on the shoulders of a member of the cheering squad as a popular mascot back in the 1970's. Harry morphed into "Herbie Husker", who too has been replaced. I didn't stay to see it sold. I was surprised at the price several items that I did see sell such as a quart fruit jar of marbles for $205.; Nazi war metals for over $400.; Red Wing crocks and jug each for over $600. Seward facilities are becoming popular for bringing in collections such as these for auction. I enjoy them.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Old "Dogs" and new Tricks

I went through some old pictures on a CD this evening and came across this one. It was labeled, "Teaching an old dog, new tricks". This was taken in June of 2010 and includes Carolyn with her dog, Jack, me and Julie. Many changes have taken place since but I am still learning "new tricks". I an indebted to Carolyn and Julie for having the patience to get me started on our first computer back in the early '90's and have continued to "tutor" me over the years. I started writing my blog the fall this picture was taken and have continued to the present time. This was an interesting day that included a 9:00am 1st Impressions Meeting, Coffee, Fish dinner at the Senior Center, and going to the Seward Crossmakers facility and making a purchase. The Crossmakers have sold over 57,000 of their product during the past few years and continue to expand their volunteer activities. It is a real success story of volunteers as is the Seward Senior Center and the 1st Impressions  Committee. And, the volunteers are rewarded with an active lifestyle, fellowship,  and the satisfaction of doing for others.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Jack's Education

I try to teach Jack something every time we have the opportunity to take care of him. This morning's lesson was on "saving money". While the reason for doing it was a bit beyond his comprehension, the challenge of taking coins from my hand, one at a time, and putting them in the slot of the piggy bank was met. It began to be routine after the first few so to help him learn that saving isn't always that easy, I turned the pig so the slot was off 90 degrees from what he had become familiar. It took a while but he got it figured out by himself. I have no idea as to what such an exercise accomplishes, but my guess is that it caused that little brain to make some connections that had never been made before. 
This may be one of those things that we just "always knew".  Or, maybe the new connections will make other decisions possible. He has always been my "Buddy" but has never demonstrated his affections as strongly as this noon when his mother came to pick him up. He actually fought and cried to stay with me rather that get strapped into his car seat to go home.  While we have 5 grand children and only one of them a boy, who lives in Indiana, this Great Grandson is the first little boy with whom I've been able to have a close personal relationship. I hope this can continue to the point that someday he might tell a Grandchild that he remembers something (anything) that his old Great Grandad taught him.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

1993-An Interesting Year

I slipped a CD with pictures from the early '90's into my laptop and went through some of them while watching the Nebraska basket ball team get beat by Wisconsin this evening. Those were good years when we had retired from daily jobs, were involved with several organizations and did a lot of traveling. Carolyn and Julie contributed considerably to our pleasure and happiness. We had brought the VW new in the fall of '67 and gave it to Jon in the late '70's and brought it back in the early '90's. We had it repainted, the 
engine rebuilt, and pulled it behind our Motor Home. We had some great trips from Yellowstone to North Carolina and some winters in Texas. All 4 of our kids learned to drive the VW and I don't remember if Julie did. My guess is that she drove it quite a bit after student driver training. Elaine got a new hair-do and permanent for her birthday in '93 as she often does. We did many interesting things that year. She and I were invited as guests to participate in a Lincoln Cosmos Club formal dance. Tim and & I went on a baseball trip, Soucek's, Don's and us went to the Czech Republic, and the girls went with us to Mackinaw Island. It was a great year.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Good Day at Our House

I came home from coffee early this morning to spend some time with Great-Grandson Jack. We played with the little flashlight which he knows exactly how to "turn on". Elaine had his "toys" spread out in the living room for him, including the little rocking chair. I continue to be amazed at how well he can throw a small rubber ball that's just a bit smaller than a baseball. He actually does it "overhand" part of the time. After a few trips through the hallway to the kitchen, through the dining room and back to the living room, he was ready to go downstairs. I had to hustle to get ahead of him as we both "backed down" the steps with him doing it on all four. He played with more of the tractors and cars and then listened and danced to the Ernie Kucera Orchestra record.
He wasn't anxious to leave when his Mother came back to pick him up. He had been fed and spent some time with Great Grandma watching the birds at the feeder just outside. She even finished feeding him his lunch while he sat on my lap. In addition to having Jack here for a while we also got to see Sadie and Julie down at Walmart. Elaine got a permanent this afternoon and after picking her up, we went out to get a few things, and the first people we saw in the store were Julie and Sadie. By coincidence, we also walked out together to our cars which were parked in the same area.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Thrivent Program at Kiwanis

Mitch Klintworth and Patricia Stradley presented the program this noon on the Thrivent Financial organization which they, along with Jim Evert represent in this area. Mitch is a member of our Club and Patty is a member of the Kiwanis Helping Hands Club here in Seward. Thrivent members have been highly involved in Habitat for Humanity for a number of years along other programs  in "Connecting Faith & Finances for Good".  They spoke of "Action Teams" where community service can be carried out and Grants of $250.00 can be obtained with a minimum amount of documentation. There were members of our Club that had already utilized that source of funding for worthwhile projects. 
Marv Taylor and I were involved  in taking pictures of some of our new members to put on the Kiwanis International web site. Marv and I also talked this afternoon about our local Kiwanis Foundation. Our Foundation has been in place for over 10 years, but it still short of reaching its potential. Marv has ideas for helping to move it forward. I participated in Kiwanis Kitones choral group practice this evening so its been a busy Kiwanis day.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Superbowl #50

Halftime is over and while I appreciated it as a spectacular presentation, I wish it could have been more enjoyable. But I  also have a problem understanding some of the commercials. I might be getting old, or something. I'm rooting for Denver because of Peyton Manning and hope they can hang on to win. While I have seen Major League baseball games in all 30 of the Stadiums, I have never seen a professional football game. I did get to see the Washington Redskins play an exhibition game when we lived there.
When it was noted that this was the 50th Superbowl game, I went to my old diary to see what I may have written about it.  I found nothing but several blank pages and realized it was early in the last semester of my BA degree program. I was carrying 18 credit hours and working full time. I was able to take a couple of the courses on "official time" since they closely applied to my job. I don't know how I did it, but did manage to graduate. The extra effort at that stage of my life is what has helped to provide a comfortable retirement today. Incidentally, Elaine, just served a piece of warm apple pie with ice cream which increased the pleasure of the evening considerably. And, Denver leads 24 to 10 with 3:08 to go. "Omaha".

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Thomas Mahlin Auction

I attended the Thomas Mahlin Estate auction conducted by Schweitzers at the Seward Ag Pavilion today. There was a large crowd with many out of town bidders. This 2003, 22' Airstream trailer was the "feature item" but it was supported with one of the largest collections of cameras and photography equipment that I have ever seen at an auction. This is not to say that there wasn't a lot of everything else that shows up on estate auctions only there were several of every items. Schweitzers normally set up chairs and sell from a higher level so people 
can see what is being sold but there was so much "stuff" there wasn't room to set up the normal number of chairs. Plus there were about twice as many bidders as what normally attend. I didn't buy a thing but enjoyed looking at many items. Word in the crowd was that things were selling very well. I did have an opportunity to visit with several people. I enjoyed looking at the photography equipment but couldn't understand why anyone would want to have 3 identical tripods. Sales like this always makes one wonder about their own "stuff" and how best to get rid of it when it is no longer being used or of little value to anyone else. A box of several hundred 35mm slides at this sale really brought to my attention how much things may mean to those involved  but not to anyone else.

Friday, February 5, 2016

"Doc" Byron Winters Written Record

I am reading a 95 page document written by Dr. Byron K. Winter as he completed his 40-year service to the community as a Veterinarian and involved citizen. Doc and his family came to Seward in 1960 as a newly licensed practitioner having received his DVM from Iowa State. He had served during WWII, was called back into active duty for the Korean War, and taught Voc Ag before enrolling in the DVM program. Most of the 95 pages are filled with his 1st person accounts of incidents with customers during his professional career.  The publication is most interesting to me because of having known him for over 50 years and also by knowing a very high percentage of the farmers and others involved in the stories he tells. Doc lived an exampliary life and died this past June at age 8. Here is part of what was included in his "Life Legacy": “Doc” was a vital part of the Seward community his entire professional life. He was an active member of the United Methodist Church, serving in nearly every capacity and leadership position. He was a member of the Seward Area Chamber of Commerce, a City of Seward City Council Member for 12 years, served on the School District of Seward Board of Education for 24 years, was a member of the Memorial Health Care System Board of Directors, a founding member of Seward Kiwanis, longtime member of the Seward Magazine Club, a strong supporter of the Seward County 4-H program and was inducted into the Seward County Hall of Agricultural Achievement." His writing of these personal experiences, as well as his writing of his Korean War duty, provide a perspective that can be gained only "by having been there and done that".

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Nebraska Corn License Plate

Recently (January 29th, 2016) I wrote about a Nebraskan who utilized a map of the State and made an interesting drawing by entering the license plate number in each counties location. The current Nebraska Farmer (February 2016) tells of the debut of a specialty plate featuring Nebraska Corn. It was developed by the Nebraska Corn Growers Association, NeCGA, but you don't have to be a member of the Assoc. to purchase one. Cost for the license plate is $70. which is in addition to the standard fees for licensing one's vehicle in Nebraska. This additional fee is due with the initial application and is subject to annual renewal. It can be used on a wide variety of vehicles and equipment  including passenger vehicles, pickups, trucks, motorcycles, mobile homes, etc. The plates will not carry a county designation and the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles will assign plate numbers as applications are submitted. There must be a minimum of 500 applications with payment before the plates will be manufactured through NeCGA. Forms are now available for ordering. I plan to combine this article with the earlier one for my report at our Magazine Club Meeting this evening.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Snow, Sunshine and Optomism.

I didn't take this picture today but could have taken one almost identical. While I started the snow blower yesterday and cleaned off the south half of the driveway, the City came through during the night and left a big ridge of packed snow at the bottom of the driveway. The wind also blew some snow back over where I had  cleaned earlier. So, this afternoon when the temperature got up to near 30 and the sun was shining brightly, I went out with the old farm aluminum scoop shovel and cleared the City ridge. I used the "pusher" to clean the snow that had blown in. I've decided to leave the north half go till it melts off this weekend.
 I didn't take this picture today either but once in a while it helps old folks morale to see pictures that were taken when they were young. We had our first child, had moved in to our own little house and were in the "prime of our lives". The "helmet" I'm wearing was from the IHC Implement Dealer but I used white paint to cover the emblem and printed "SCS" on it. Elaine was doing part time typing work and we were both picking up jobs in addition to my regular employment. It was during the summer this picture was taken than we dug a trench through the back yard, had a bathroom built on and installed in-door plumbing. We were able to pay for most of it as we went along. Young people started out a lot different in those days than today.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Heavy Snow in Seward Area

This is the way our back yard appears this afternoon out of our kitchen window. The good news is that the Groundhog didn't see his shadow this morning which predicts an early spring. The additional good news is that we had no reason to go anywhere today. I did go out, start up the snow blower and clean off the driveway. It was reported that Seward received 9.5". It was very wet and heavy and until I worked with it, wouldn't have estimated over about 7.5". The birds were very active around the feeder and school will be closed again tomorrow. The I-80 Interstate was closed earlier today from Kearney to Lincoln.
This is the way our deck looked this afternoon. We didn't get our Lincoln or Omaha newspapers nor did we receive any mail. The street past our house has not been cleared but a few vehicles have driven on it. We did receive a York Advantage weekly newspaper that is distributed free of charge. The carrier is certainly to be commended for their effort. We and another couple are scheduled to host a meeting of our Magazine Club on Thursday evening. We had some final planning discussion this afternoon and expect things to be cleared so that it can proceed as scheduled.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Iowa Caucus, Now and '92

The big news tonight is the predicted snowstorm for our area but the political news is the Iowa caucus. This picture was at at Iowa City, the home of the U of Iowa and the big crowd at the top left of the picture is Sanders supporters. The much smaller crowd to the top right are Clinton supporters and the few at the lower right are undecided. O'Malley supporters were only a handfull and out of the picture. The next picture is of a Republican caucus in the DesMoines area where votes are being counted.
We were in Iowa from mid-1989 through 1991 and didn't have a memory of the "run up" for the '92 caucus. A check revealed that George Bush was running unopposed and on the Democratic side, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin received 76% of the caucus votes. Paul Tsongas 4.1, Bill Clinton 2.8%, Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey received only 2.4% and dropped out of the race. Bill Clinton went on to become the party candidate and defeated George Bush and Ross Perot in the General election to become President.