Weekend wanderings

July 31, 2015

The weekend is here on the east coast of Iowa, and
probably where you live too. That means it must be
time for some updates, upcoming events, a few
diversions, and more.

We’ll start with a video of a 15 year old girl
playing her guitar. If I started playing now I
could get this good by time I turned 100.

Here in Davenport our mayor has appointed a
committee to look into compensation for said mayor
and our aldermen. This committee is made up of 2
former mayors and 2 former aldermen who are
tasked with making recommendations as to how big a
raise our city leaders will get.

Also in town is the Bix Fest this weekend. Jazz
fans from around the globe journey here just for
the music.

Tonight is the Relevant Life Church Cruise Night
in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. We don’t know if they have
a blessing of the cars or not.

Tomorrow if you feel like getting up early to do a
little cruising, Cars and Coffee will be held at
the Riverside Travel Mart in Riverside, Iowa from
7-10 am.

Also tomorrow is the Parkside Grill & Lounge
Cruise In at 2307 5th Avenue, Moline, Illinois from
9 am to 3 pm. Call 563-370-7472 if you need more

Saturday and Sunday is the 30th Annual Summer
Elkhorn Swap & Car Show at the Walworth County
Fairgrounds in Elkhorn, Wisconsin.

Sunday would be good for a short cruise to the
Princeton Emergency Responders Car Show held in
downtown Princeton, Iowa. For more information call

There’s also a lot going on at Cordova Dragway
this weekend.

This video begins with a short commercial but is
worth sitting through it to see the flames shooting
out of a 1919 Willy’s rat rod.

And if you have never seen a 22,000 pound semi
tractor fly for 166 feet, you will like this video.

Finally a video that has gone viral. If you didn’t
see “Letters to Dad” enjoy it now.

Now we have to get busy. Enjoy your weekend but
remember. The rumor going around that the speed
limit signs posted along the Interstate are only
suggested speeds is still a rumor.
Comments are always welcome.


July 30, 2015

We don’t do many public service announcements as
not many interest us. But after we uncovered a
devious online plot against us tool lovers we have
to spread the word.

I don’t normally visit eBay because online
transactions involving my monies bother me. Yet as
I perused all the shiny tools and was wiping my
drooling mouth, I saw the following.


My heart rate sped up and I was breathing heavy as
I clicked the ‘buy now’ icon. After entering all
the requested information and getting confirmation
I relaxed. When the tools arrived I just had to get
a picture before tearing the plastic to get these
puppies in hand.

It was then I discovered the plot. As of this
minute we do not have a loose screw, untightened
bolt, or hanging thread in our home or garage. I’ve
been busier than a cat covering crap!

The more uses you find the more you look for. We
may even buy some Coke in bottles to use the bottle
openers. This smells of a conspiracy. If they could
bake a pizza I’d have bought another set.

So tread carefully on the information highway when
you visit these sites. I rechecked and did not find
a warning that something like this could happen. Not
even a ‘may cause excessive tinkering’ meme. There
ought to be a law.
Comments are always welcome.

A different approach

July 29, 2015

Some of us go through life treating our bodies
like temples in the hopes of a healthier, longer,
life, Some of us are the ones who are going to
go to the grave sliding, upside down, on fire, and
burnt out, and others are somewhere in between.

Lifting weights is work and for some of us our
doctor has ordered us not to run unless we want
to find a new doctor. There are alternatives and
we’d like to mention one here.

If you have or have had lung problems, have
Parkinson’s or something similar, or are just having
a problem with your balance, then t’ai chi could be
for you.

The beginner series is very easy to do and can
help. It sounds crazy, but you will breath easier,
have great balance, feel better, and be calmer just
by spending 20 minutes every other day doing t’ai chi.
If you can breath, and move, you can do it.

All movements are slow and you learn to regulate
your breathing to the moves. Hawk showed us the way,
it wasn’t hard and we were very happy with the

If you’d like to know more before you try, go to
see what the Mayo Clinic has to say about it.

The Mayo Clinic article will tell you what Tai chi
is, who can do it, and how it will reduce stress.
There are several videos on YouTube some are
feature film length and longer. We picked a shorter
version so you could get an idea of what’s involved.
Comments are always welcome.

What our kids are missing

July 28, 2015


During my visit with Dad this morning we got a big
laugh while talking about Blind Robins. If you are
of a certain age you’re probably smiling now. If
you’ve never heard of Blind Robins we’ll try to
explain the experience.

Blind Robins were a smoked herring product that
came in a plastic sleeve like jerky. The biggest
difference is you had to be careful where you
opened your package of Blind Robins because the
aroma could take chrome off a bumper.

This was back in the day when neighborhood bars
had chips, pretzels, pork rinds, salted peanuts,
and beer nuts on display. But they also had jerky,
the Blind Robins, big jars of boiled eggs and
pickled pigs feet and more.

Blind Robins are no longer available in the form
mentioned above as the company that made them,
Bar Food Products, discontinued the handy single
serve sleeves of my youth. You can still find them
in bulk from different sources like this one.

If we wanted candy we could have candy cigarettes,
cow tails, chicken bones, licorice, and more
choices then time at the Five & Dime.

So many things from our past have gone away either
because they are deemed bad for our health, bad for
the environment, or the fact that they offended
somebody else. I don’t go to bars anymore but I
know the old table jukeboxes are gone, the music
has changed, and smoking is banned,

It may be progress, but sometimes it’s nice to
take a little walk down memory lane and have a
laugh at the things we used to do.
Comments are always welcome.

How dumb do they think we are?

July 27, 2015


It can be amusing to watch our lawmakers once they
decide which cause or crisis they are going to go
on a tirade about. The recent shootings have the
lawmakers ready to toughen gun laws for legal, law
abiding owners.

At about the same time as the shootings happened,
5 people were killed in Oklahoma and we heard
nothing from the drive by media nor outrage from
our lawmakers. Why?

Because the two teenagers who slaughtered the rest
of their family stabbed them. No gun, no righteous
indignation. But David Bever who was 44, April
Bever who was also 44, Daniel Bever who was 12,
Christopher Bever who was 7, and Victoria Bever who
was 5 are still dead.

How many times have we heard ‘not one more’? Of
course that only applies if a gun is used. How many
times have we heard ‘black lives matter’? These
people are still dead and the fact that were white,
and stabbed, doesn’t change that fact.

This July in Chicago 274 people have been shot and
45 died as a result. Some of those were black. Don’t
their lives matter? Again, where is the outrage? You
want to see what tougher gun control laws will really
do? Chicago has some of the toughest.

How’s that working out for you? Before our
politicians get on their high horse and spew their
rhetoric about tougher gun laws, perhaps they
should actually research the subject so they at
least sound intelligent when they open their

It is past time to start blaming the criminals and
not their tool of choice. If you are on Facebook
Dads Demand Action for Gun Rights have a page there.
We hope they don’t mind us borrowing their meme.
Comments are always welcome.

Weekend wrap up

July 26, 2015

We had a great weekend and hope you did also. It
wrapped up today at the 11th Street Precinct
Mound dinning room where 4 generations of our
family had a little get together.


The food and service was beyond reproach and we
believe everything went well. We thought that since
we were in a private dinning room the noise level
wouldn’t be bad with Dad’s and my lousy hearing,
but it did get loud at times which lead to some
interesting moments.

It was good to meet Chris and Teresa for the
first time and Todd and Ronnie again along with the
rest of the family.

We met with relatives of the wife at my mother in
law’s place Saturday and had a good time there as
well. The wife received a hand made crucifix that
we both thought was neat and after we got home it
quickly got placed in a prominent spot in our

We did miss the cruise-in Saturday afternoon but
there was a good turnout without us. I heard
somewhere that around 300 cars turned out. It is
always good to hear the cars, and spectators, come
out for a good cause.

And there have been some problems on our end with
WordPress and we hope to have the glitches fixed
and be back on track this coming week. Until then,
enjoy the rest of the weekend.
Comments are always welcome.

Sunday snicker

July 25, 2015


A man once spent days looking for his new hat.
Finally, he decided that he’d go to church on
Sunday and sit at the back. During the service
he would sneak out and grab a hat from the rack
at the front door.

On Sunday, he went to church and sat at the back.
The sermon was about the 10 commandments. He sat
through the whole sermon and instead of sneaking
out he waited until the sermon was over and went to
talk to the minister.

“Father, I came here today to steal a hat to replace the
one I lost. But after hearing your sermon on the 10
Commandments, I changed my mind.”

The minister said, “Bless you my son. Was it when I
started to preach ‘Thou shall not steal,’ that changed
your heart?”

The man responded, “No, it was the one on adultery.
When you started to preach on that, I remembered
where I left my hat.
Comments are always welcome.

Numbers game

July 25, 2015


If one listens to the little men in Washington,
D.C., the media, or the global warming crowd, we
are in the midst of a mpg bliss and the climate loves
it. Cars are getting better and better mileage even
using ethanol.

But do the facts really support the rhetoric? To
those who believe the government would never lie to
us this may come as a shock so we’ll try to
explain. We are going to use Ford as the example
because we have the figures.

Ford produced the Model T from 1908 to 1927 with
4 cylinder engines and manual transmissions. When
the first T’s were built they weighed about 1,200
pounds and got between 13-21 mpg running gasoline,
kerosene, and ethanol made of hemp. In 1909 a
Ford touring car sold for $850 or $21,700
in 2015 dollars.

Fast forward to 2015 and the Ford Taurus. This car
has an EcoBoost 4 cylinder engine with a 6 speed
automatic as standard equipment and optional V-6
engines with a 6 speed automatic, and weigh 4,054
pounds. List price starts at $27,055 with an
estimated combined 25 mpg running regular unleaded
gas. So much for great strides in the fuel economy
department over 107 years.

But we have fuel economy standards you may say and
by 2025 all cars and trucks sold will have to
average 54.5 mpg. In reality these vehicles may
see a 35 mpg average. Why you may ask? It is
because of how ‘official’ gas mileage is measured.

The official average mpg isn’t a stop and go
traffic real world test but more like a treadmill.
Add in credits the governments allows the auto
makers and on paper a big SUV can state 31 mpg.
Once you drive it we believe your mileage would
definitely vary.

Granted, huge strides have been made in the
comfort department and cars now have side windows,
automatic transmissions, air conditioning and other
luxuries. We just don’t believe anyone can honestly
say great strides have been made in fuel economy.
Comments are always welcome.

Events, diversions, and news

July 24, 2015

The weekend is here and this one is a little more
hectic than most so we’ll look around and see what
is happening, what will happen, and throw in some
news and diversions at no extra cost.

Here on the east coast of Iowa we have the Bix7
race, the RAGBRAI (bicycle) race, the street fest,
a cruise-in or two, and much more going on. So, in
no particular order here is the low down.

In racing news, for the second time in two years
speed week on the salt flats has been cancelled.
Most of the flats were either wet or wet and muddy.
If things dry out races may be held later.

Doug Nash, drag racing icon and creator of the
Doug Nash 5-speed racing transmission died. He was

There are too many events to list them all but
here are a few that caught our eye.

Today through Sunday is the Mecum Auction in
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania AND, the Goodguys 28th
Wesco Autobody Supply Pacific Northwest Nationals
held at the Washington State Fair Event Center in
Puyallup, Washington.

Saturday, July 25th there will be a Classic Car
Cruise-In at NorthPark Mall in Davenport, Iowa
that starts at 4 pm presented by the Vietnam
Veterans of America Chapter 776. All proceeds from
this show will go to the Veterans.

Also Saturday is the Pecatonica Cars on Main show
held downtown in Pecatonica, Illinois. This event
runs from 9 am to 3 pm.

And Saturday is also the 5th Annual Car X Car Show
at their store at 2720 Devils Glen Road in
Bettendorf, Iowa.

Everything old is new again. Did you know the
first Ford Model T was built to on hemp? This 2
minute video gives the history of of Ford’s hemp
powered car that was also made with hemp.

If you haven’t seen enough lead sleds around the
following is from the KKOA (Kustom Kemps of
America) event in Ohio from 1991.

Like camping? Feel the need for a camper that can
double as a boat? This might be what you need.

I just needed to watch an old Avery steam
tractor in action. I guess you can’t take the
country out of the boy.

Will all the racial discord in our country here is
an oldie from 1972 you may remember.

That concludes this list of diversions, time
wasters, and useless information. Enjoy your
weekend and keep the shiny side up.
Comments are always welcome.

Hearing the organ music

July 23, 2015

Here on the east coast of Iowa we have yet another
drama unfolding. It isn’t to point we’re hearing
circus music, but it’s close.


Residents have been complaining about the state of
our streets for some time now and a while back the
Public Works director said it would cost something
like $700 million to fix them all. Our mayor even
declared a war on potholes. The potholes appear to
be winning.

Now, an out-of-state lawyer for a labor union has
said the city is violating state code because our
city is repairing too many streets. He even said
he’d go public on the issue if it wasn’t stopped
until a meeting with city leaders.

The Iowa code state cities must seek bids for said
repairs if the cost of labor and material exceeds
$72,000. Public Works say they haven’t went over
that threshold because the city doesn’t do things
for profit and thus can do it cheaper.

In our city if you get a building permit and are
doing the work yourself you have to get a permit at
the cost of a contractor doing the work and not
your actual cost. Shouldn’t the city be held to the
same standard.

Just because they can do it cheaper in house does
not necessarily mean the project doesn’t cross the
cost threshold. I don’t see much good coming from
the union making this public. The public wants the
streets fixed!

We don’t know where this is going, but it sure does
make living in this river city interesting. After
all, who has more fun than us river folk. This
isn’t quite up to calliope level but we definitely
hear the organ music.
Comments are always welcome.