Archive for the ‘Bric-a-Brac’ Category
I stopped by to visit Iowa’s most famous carrot farmer (among other things). Gary already has the same wind turbine on his farm as we do.
He recently added this solar array to the farm for a more balanced power input.
It’s winter, it’s cold and it’s not fun to get outside the house, unless its to a college basketball game! And we are lucky enough to live close enough to one of the best venues in the country. We have season tickets to the women’s team and they have the third highest attendance in the nation and play pretty good ball.
This game was a win against #14 Oklahoma. The next game was not so good against #1 Baylor, but in a moral victory of sorts, we held them to their lowest point total of the season, and lost by 15.
Today it was the #11 Kansas State men finding out how hard it is to play in Ames with another top 15 team going down.
You never know when the universe will reveal a miracle. Like the image of Jesus in a piece of toast, now Unitarians have their own foodstuff symbol – this image of a chalice made of Lucky Charm marshmallows! (chalice history here)
Since Linda was off at seminary all last week for classes, we had the “opportunity” to bring Lucky Charms into the house. While Lucky Charms are not expressly forbidden in the house, other breakfast options are highly encouraged.
When the chalice appeared in Emma’s cereal bowl, we faced a serious corundum – do we share the miraculous discovery of the chalice with Linda, thus exposing our food choices in her absence, or do we destroy the chalice and not say a word of it? We thought it most honorable to share the miracle with her and now with the world. We interpret finding the chalice as Universal blessing on our occasional consumption of Lucky Charms!
It took 51 years before I enjoyed a rendition of Happy Birthday with accordion accompaniment! Today was it.
We (actually Martin) were invited to an Accordionpallooza of sorts. Ten accordions gathered in one room for instruction by one of Ames’ finest accordionists, and a former fellow grad student at Iowa State (so many years ago). Following is a short 30 second intro to his playing.
He even took apart an accordion to show us the inner workings. These are the bass reed blocks, with the wood sealed with a concoction of beeswax, resins, and oils. The inside of the bellows and more reed blocks are visible in the lower right. I neglected to get photos of the complicated bass mechanics and levers.
Following are some of the photos of the participants, young and old alike…
I know I’m a bit late in this “best of 2012″ but without further ado, here are the most forgettable moments of 2012.
January – Claire went back to school and forgot some items at home. I had to find a box, find some tape, and drive to the Post Office to send them.
February – I shoveled the ice and snow off the sidewalk. Then the wind blew and filled it back up again and I had to do it all over.
March – I wanted to go cut up some branches that fell down over the winter. But I didn’t keep any oil and gas mixture for the chainsaw over the winter. So I had to remember to get some the next time I went to town, but forgot the next three times I went to town for something or another.
April – A story on the news broke that really pissed me off.
May – I was working outside and almost forgot to pick Martin up after school to bring him to piano lessons. I didn’t have time to grab a book, so I just sat and listened to his lessons and pretended to read the magazines scattered about the house that I really wasn’t interested in reading.
June – I was fishing off a dock in Northern Minnesota and a wave temporarily hid my bobber and I couldn’t find it for a split-second and thought I had a bite.
July – After the 4th of July fireworks display we had to sit in the car a long time waiting for all the people to leave.
August – I was working on something with tools and ripped off a small part of the edge of a fingernail. It hurt for a long time and I wondered if it would get infected or not, but a week later it was better.
September – I went down to the basement to retrieve something, but then started straightening up some disheveled items and went back upstairs and realized I forgot to retrieve what I originally went down to get.
October – I went out to prune some blackberries, but then walked by the low-hanging branches of an old Mulberry tree that I didn’t really care much for. Rather than sawing off the branch 10 feet above the ground, I thought it would be easier to just knock it down with the tractor loader. It didn’t really snap off that well and it took much longer than had I just cut it. Then, the blackberry canes took a lot longer to prune than I figured.
November – I spent a lot of time deciding the right building to store and buch of things in and ended up having to clean a space out and never actually moved the items.
December – I was trying to fill out some financial aid forms, tried to log onto a web site, but I forgot my password, so I had to have them resend it. But my mail provider changed smtp mail servers and I couldn’t get any mail, so couldn’t reset the passwords. It was late and had to wait until the next day. Then they spent and hour and a half the next day and could only get incoming mail to work.
I know many of you have received this in the mail, but here it is for my own “scrapbooking.”
There are new things in this world that have only recently come to my attention. Evidently, the Gishwhes (Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World HAs Ever Seen) is one of them. The website proclaims “ This content is captured as videos or images to memorialize the annual Gishwhes experience. Art pieces range from the touching: “Take a picture of you hugging a war veteran” or “Create a video of you visiting a children’s hospital and giving a puppet show” to the weirdly sublime: “an image of a formal tea party replete with parasols, silverware and a string quartet situated in a junkyard or garbage dump” or “a fully dressed storm trooper cleaning a pool next to a sunbather”.
Exhibit One from this year – make a tea house out of recycled materials and have a tea party under a bridge. Good thing this creek ran dry near our place.
Have a dog take a human for a walk.
Emma making a snow angel on the kitchen floor. Thankfully, I was not aware of this until seeing the pictures later.
Received this “important’ envelope in the mail today.
It’s a good thing the envelope advised me that it was “FOR IMMEDIATE USE ONLY.” Otherwise, I might have put it in the box of mail I’m waiting until I turn 65 to open.
On our way up to Northern MN for the funeral of my step-grandmother who passed away at age 90, blessings on her memory, we ran across this contraption.
At a gas station south of Duluth, saw that Red Green continues to inspire the denizens of Northern Minnesota to think creatively. Attaching a smoker/grill to your pickup truck so you can have your dinner ready when you get to the hunting shack – just brilliant. After all, what could go wrong with flames near the engine compartment of your truck?
This weekend we went over to Morning Sun Farm and had a group soap-making session. All told, we made four batches of soap, so our share was two batches.
This is the real lye and fat soap, with a little goat milk. The soap sets up over night and needs to be cut the next day.
Here’s the view after one block was cut and the other awaits the soap cutter. It needs to sit for about six weeks before use, to make sure the chemical reaction from fat and lye to soap is complete. This is great soap and it’s hard to live without it once you use it.
It’s that time of year when grasshoppers and crickets are out in numbers big to ignore.
Wouldn’t this be good dipped in a little dark chocolate?.
See that flat thin bubble wrapped item on top of the boxes?
It’s a replacement laptop screen. The screen was in the small box below it, which was in turn in the bigger box further below. That’s it. They must not have had any extra refrigerator boxes lying around to put the bigger box in!
Emma was on her way to work on Thursday, when she was proceeding through the first stop light in Marshalltown. An on-coming driver tried to make a left turn in front of her. The airbags deployed and some kind passersby stopped and took care of Emma until the police and EMTs arrived. Emma was checked at the scene, thanked by the paramedics for wearing her seat belt and not in need of hospitalization. She was worried later in the evening when a headache did not go away with medicine, much like her previous concussion symptoms. We took her to urgent care that evening and she checked out fine at that time, now just is dealing with the usual stiffness and soreness.
The other driver was hospitalized and as the policeman said in the newspaper article, the other party was at fault. The picture comes from that article. A quote from the officer at the scene was not very comforting to parents “The fact that they are not dead is an indicator that they weren’t speeding.” I’ve been loving on Emma since the accident, stops at the ice cream store and catching up on movies.
Two days, 46 bands, 3 stages at the intersection of I-80 and I-35 and you have the 80/35 festival. It’s a homegrown festival, virtually totally volunteer run and organized (only two employees). There’s a good mix of bands, both local and national.
Headlining the day was the Avett Brothers.
With a cello, upright bass, banjo, acoustic guitar and more, the band runs on high octane!
Earlier in the day Pieta Brown and Bo Ramsey. Bo is a fixture in the Iowa music scene, as a solo artist, as Greg Brown’s lead guitar player and stints playing with and producing albums by Lucinda Williams. Nobody plays the silence between the notes like Bo – his sparse, mournful style is pretty distinctive. Now he’s playing with Pieta Brown.
Useful Jenkins is a Minnesota based jam bluegrass band based on acoustic guitars and mandolin.
Opening the day was self-described hippie bluegrass band Dumptruck Butterlips from Lawrence KS.