Of chickens, tractors, and butterflies

August 15, 2018

I was late for my visit with Dad yesterday but once I got there
we laughed almost the entire time. A couple of the highlights
were him explaining that when farmers got their first tractors
they would get to end of the field, yell “whoa” and run into a
creek or the ditch; the other was one time grandpa bought a
truckload of 2-week-old chickens.

According to Dad the farmers were so used to horses they
forgot to stop the tractors and started to panic when the
voice command didn’t stop the tractor.

The farm wasn’t set up for tiny chickens so Grandpa put all
the chicks in a spare bedroom of the farmhouse and told Grandma
not to open the door. Of course she didn’t listen, the chicks
made a break for freedom, and hours were spent rounding them all
up and getting them back in the room.

When I got back home after the visit, butterflies were all over
the neighborhood. Mostly Monarchs yet with a couple of dozen
flying around only one sat long enough to snap decent pictures.
I’m still working of getting pictures of them in flight but
these critters have no flight pattern that I could find.

Today we get rain and we need it. That may sound odd to those
experiencing flooding but it’s the truth. Things have dried out
some here on the east coast of Iowa and the weeds need some
water so they can pester us anew. It’s natures cycle of life.

So Enjoy our Wednesday, AKA the middle of the work week. Now I
need more coffee and a thick bacon sandwich.
Comments are always welcome.


Getting there

August 14, 2018

Between getting some chores done yesterday I glanced up and
noticed the spider who likes to make a web between the phone
lines at a nearby house was at it again. Must be a determined
little bugger.

Later today I will cruise over to Dads for a visit and to
bring him a refill on his store-bought doughnuts. When I called
yesterday he sounded like the phone had wakened him from one of
his naps and hope he remembers I’ll be late today.

We’ll see how things go when we visit but believe he is still
pretty sharp and can trip you up if you’re not careful. At 93
he isn’t feeble and still doesn’t use his cane very often to get

And of course we’re getting ready for the lady who follows me
around vacation time to arrive later this month. We’ll pack too
much into the trunk of the Fusion and see what there is to see
as we head to Oklahoma. I haven’t been there in years but doubt
they moved it.

All this started, as I knew it would, when the wife talked me
into going to Florida 20 years ago on a “family vacation” and I
knew then that it wouldn’t be a one-shot deal. Before then a
vacation was the farthest thing from my mind and still is.

The one difference between the first time and this time is that
I will not be driving under protest as I did then. It ended up
being a decent trip and perhaps this one will too.

Finally, we didn’t get any pictures of the meteor showers as
the smoke from the wildfires out west made things just hazy
enough to blur the shots. We’re told it has enabled some to get
great sunset shots though.

Enjoy our Tuesday as it’s one of those that doesn’t have an “r”
in it. Now I need some coffee and a couple of breakfast burritos.
Comments are always welcome.

Interesting times

August 13, 2018

I have been watching the latest City Council meeting on our
government access channel and realized something in that
there is truth in the old saying that the more things change
the more they remain the same. It was almost like the Circus
has returned to the east coast of Iowa.

A few zoning variances came before the board which brought the
NIMBY (Not in my backyard) crowd to the microphone during the
public comment portion of the meeting. The public spoke while
the City Council listened and then the public listened as a few
members of the Council spoke. The Council voted in favor of
these variances.

Then came the hot button topic of the Civil Rights commission
and all hell broke loose. If I understand things correctly, our
city government wants to change the name to the Civil Rights
Agency and put a few Aldermen to the board. During the public
comment section many got up and spoke eloquently on the subject
while some just ranted or yelled.

Members of different groups including the Civil Rights
Commission, a Latin American group, a Native American, African
Americans, the disabled, the LBGT group, and supporters of civil
rights in general. I was a little surprised to find that some of
these speakers made it clear the white members of the council
had no knowledge of civil rights or need for them.

Then came the time for council response and the public would
interrupt council members trying to voice their side. It got so
crazy the Mayor called for a 10-minute recess. Things went a
little smoother after the break and the council decided to table
the idea for a few sessions. There were not a lot of happy
campers in the public seating as the Mayor stated the proposal
would be voted on at a later date.

Perhaps I’m different, but after watching this twice I felt the
hecklers tarnished the good points some of the speakers had
made with their total lack of restraint. Granted I don’t know
everything the council wants to change in the proposal yet do
know the public disregard for decorum was unwarranted.

Enjoy our Monday as it is the first day of the work week and
I’ll be doing some of that later. Now I need some coffee.
Comments are always welcome.

Winding down the weekend

August 12, 2018

Yesterday the lady who follows me around and myself cruised
about 80 north to a city you can see three states from yet we
didn’t go up the elevator to look. We went shopping for some
needed things for our upcoming trip before having lunch at a
local eatery.

We managed to get what we needed and some things we didn’t and
called the cruise a success. And that got me thinking about
spiders. Not my favorite subject but sometimes it is amazing to
watch them build a web.

I must have spent an hour watching this industrious creature
double the size of her web. So naturally I took some pictures
and decided to share them here. From what little I know about
these creatures I believe they are beneficial when outside and
not much of a bother inside as a rule.

Hard to believe more Horror Films aren’t made with these strange
looking critters. As far as being scary to me, they are not.
I’m not sure how I’d feel about jumping spiders if I was caught
unawares they are in a separate category. As long as they don’t
get as big as brown bears I’ll leave them alone.

The lawn was going to get mowed today until I decide to wait
until tomorrow. Since this web goes from the grass to the bushes
I’ll tell the spider it has another day before moving on as I
don’t feel like mowing around the web.

Enjoy our Sunday as it’s the last one we get this week while
Monday is only a dream away. And now, I need more coffee.
Comments are always welcome.

Sunday snicker

August 11, 2018

A Sunday school teacher was giving her class the assignment for the next week.

“Next Sunday,” she said, “we are going to talk about liars, and in preparation for our lesson I want you all to read the Seventeenth Chapter of Mark.”

The following week, at the beginning of the class meeting, the teacher said, “Now then, all of you who have prepared for the lesson by reading the Seventeenth Chapter of Mark, please step to the front of the room.”

About half the class rose and came forward.

“The rest of you may leave,” said the teacher, “these students are the ones I want to talk to. There is no Seventeenth Chapter in the Book of Mark.”

What would it be like

August 10, 2018

This little critter was out to greet us this morning when we
got back from getting our groceries. One we call mama cat cut
him off at the pass as she must have thought she needed more

Yesterday we spied the butterfly and thought it looked like a
selfie was in order. After resizing the picture I noticed there
was also a fly on a leaf to the left of the butterfly. I don’t
think either will mind being in the same shot.

Little did I know that this picture would keep me up half the
night. You may wonder how a simple picture could cause a
sleepless night and I’ll try to explain.

After getting the pictures on the computer and sizing them to
make uploading faster I noticed how small the fly was next
to the larger butterfly. Almost like going to an air show and
seeing a Douglas Dauntless next to a C-130.

And that got me wondering what would it be like if the fly was
as big as the butterfly and the butterfly was the size of the
fly. Some flies are noisy enough at their current size but I
imagined the buzzing if they were 10 times larger than their
current size.

Of course the colorful butterfly would be harder to photograph
if they were as small as a fly. Which caused me to wonder if the
fly would become more aggressive in a larger body or stay the
same noisy pest as the original size version. About this time a
glance of the clock told me it was 03:30 and we get to the
grocery store at 07:00.

Enjoy our Friday as it means the weekend is here. Now I need
a lot more coffee to stay awake.
Comments are always welcome.

Nothing new

August 9, 2018

We didn’t get a post out yesterday and not for lack of interest
or trying. It was the brain fart that wouldn’t go away. Now
we’ll talk of the meteor showers. Which meteor showers you ask?
The Perseid meteor shower.

We’re told the best days for seeing meteors in August 11th
through the 13th and the best time to watch is midnight until
the early morning hours. Since the moon will be missing on these
days the meteors should be easy to spot.

These meteor showers can last weeks but start gradually and fall
in number as times goes on. The Perseid meteor shower is also
an annual event which some like to watch while others like to
sleep through.

We mentioned that there would be no moon and of course that
isn’t entirely true. The waning crescent moon rises before dawn
and won’t interfere with a meteor watch. If you haven’t done
much star gazing and the like, you should allow your eyes at
least 20 minutes to adjust to the darkness once outside.

So, if you can’t look at critters during the late night you may
as well look to heavens where you just might see meteors racing
across the sky at the rate of 50 to 60 per hour. And if you’re
wondering what the picture of a butterfly at the top of this
post has to do with this post, we’ll explain.

It has absolutely nothing to do with the post we just liked it.
Enjoy our Thursday as it means we’re getting closer to the
weekend. Now for some more coffee.
Comments are always welcome.