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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Back to School

It hardly seems possible, but yet it is -- time for the youngsters to be back to school. When we were in  elementary (grade) school, it never started 'til after Labor Day. Things change. I feel sorry for the poor little guys -- not.

Boy do I remember those desks. They would accumulate so much debris from a variety of sources and once in a while we actually cleaned them. I remember the little round holes in the bottom of the drawer that I guess was used in case liquids spilled.

I only rode a bus to school for one year (8th Grade) and that was fun because I got to be a "monitor" and I rode up front in the first seat right by the step-down door.

Somewhere along the line when our kids were little we purchased desks like the above for them to use and play with -- they came from one of the local schools around where we lived at the time.

Schools have changed their appearances from when I went. And that is a good thing, but the old look still brings back a lot of the memories of so many years. I would imagine that experiencing the aroma associated with those schools would evoke a lot of memories as well.

For me, it all started at "7th Ave School" in La Grange, Illinois (top left)  and wound up at CSULA in Los Angeles, California. A substantial % of time was spent in the above educational locations.

I was reminded just this week how we love to connect to some of the old schools -- mostly high school when I received an email from a "60 year" reunion committee seeking to locate my sister who graduated from the same Hinsdale High School that I did (I was four years later though).

I still have a lot of memories of some of the students that I went to school with AND of some of my favorite teachers including Mrs Ide, my 3rd grade teacher at Cossitt Elementary in La Grange, Il.

So much for back-to-school, but it does evoke the nostalgia gene. I wandered all around the web and eventually wound up looking at old newspaper headlines like the one below.

It happens to be dated 23 September 1942 and it is from a Rockford, Illinois paper. We lived not too far from Rockford and it was the only paper I could find with that date near to where we lived.

The news at that time was not unlike the news and the headlines that we may see today -- war and crime type events.

In the coming months I hope to locate other dated headlines that relate to events from our tree as well.

We feel that we can relate to the "Herman" comic
depicted to the right.

We take a variety of "prescription" meds and the kinds and dosages change often.

And we do have a similar appearing doctor . . .

It used to be that every once in a while I would take an aspirin or some such pill as needed. Now, it is getting almost to the point of having to program our smart watches to alert us to the next needed medication.

Thank goodness for health insurance, even though that
can be a very complicated interaction as well.

Gail and I celebrated our 24th last week (though Gail swears that it feels longer . . .)

I think we split a can of Campbell's for our dinner -- just kidding -- we actually enjoyed "Royal China" entrees (for more than one night) and loved every bit of it.

So, as we start our 25th year together we though it would be nice to start a family to maybe downsize our automobile inventory.

We have two cars and really only need one anymore, so we have options. We could get rid of one and keep the other OR get rid of both and get a new one . . .

We're going to the dealer for service next week and just may wander the showroom to help us decide.

And if you are like us and missed the National TP day -- there probably is still time to act.

I had no idea the significance of August 26, but I do now.

Thank goodness for Costco, Amazon Prime and lately Google Express.

They'll make sure that our needs are met.

That is a bit of our week, see you "all in a few"!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Mil Gracias Rio !

And we mean it! The games of the 31st Olympiad have meant a lot to us. One thing it has meant is that we have something to watch instead of the status of the political campaigning. Just kidding, but not entirely.

When we started watching we were wondering how the games would proceed given the numerous negative reports -- but except for the one incident (our own doing) the games have been fun to watch.

From the Opening Ceremony up to the Closing Ceremonies (in a few hours) all has gone well. And from the medal count shown above especially for the USA.

We watched so many of the events that it will be fun to see some of the participants in the closing. We really enjoyed a variety of sports especially the volleyball, swimming, some of the biking, running and other track & field events and some of the other water events.

We will have to wait four years to see the summer games again, in Tokyo. Many of the current players have to decide whether to devote another four years of training to compete then, we'll see who that is then.

But as you can see in the above graph, we only have to wait two years for the next Olympics, the Winter Games held in South Korea in 2018 -- those are always fun too.

And then four years after those winter games will be the Winter Games in China in 2022.

And besides the Olympics what took up a lot of my time this week -- organizing and filing my digital files . . .

Those of you who know me, know how much I insist  on a neat and tidy desk -- not. Well the same is true for the thousands, maybe more than that of digital files that find themselves parked somewhere in my digital filing cabinet.

The above two programs I have had installed for some time, but have not really used them to their potential -- until recently after reading a book on Evernote (by Kerry Scott) and listening to a podcast by Drew Smith and to articles in Dick Eastman's blog (EOGN).

I finally took up the challenge and am using those two programs to organize genealogical files as well as my personal files too. It is addictive. Thank you to the above mentioned folks for helping me to begin.

Besides the above activities we are starting another new book.

It must be the spirit of the Presidential election or something but we are listening to "Killing Reagan" by Bill O'Reilly and now starting to read "Five Presidents" by Clint Hill.

The "Five Presidents" is by Clint Hill who was one of the secret service agents who worked for all five presidents in the seventeen years of his service.

So far very fascinating and coupled with the account of the secret service agent who protected Reagan, most illuminating.

So political related books (we are also reading and watching "Legends & Lies, the Patriots")  and the actual current campaign gives us truly an abundance to ponder.

And lastly, in this abbreviated post, I got to thinking
that I do spend a lot of time working on searching the family tree.

And I do spend "some money" on the search as well.

Then I saw the quote by Twain and got to thinking, maybe it would be a good idea to  . . . NO WAY.

Politics is not for me -- I'll be an observer and a voter but not a person who throws their "hat into the ring".

Speaking of money -- we got to wondering how much an Olympic Gold Medal might be worth.

Apparently the Gold Medal, is worth pretty close to $600 currently. It weighs close to a pound and is made up of mostly silver covered in pure gold. But besides monetarily an Olympic Gold Medal is worth SO much more.

That was a bit of our week. See you all "in a few"!

Sunday, August 14, 2016


We have our ways . . . that is, most of the weeks lately have been similar. The weather changes our week some, and other circumstances change our week some, but for the most part we have our routine.

I don't know how we ever squeezed in a "40 hour work week". Our activity plates are full -- maybe not the way that they used to be full, but full none-the-less.

The above represents just some of the highlights of our week. I know that I have forgotten to include a photo of Quiddler -- the game we try to play every afternoon for about an hour. And I forgot to include photos of family tree climbing, but this week with the Olympics has filled our schedule.

And tonight we'll watch preseason football with the Forty-Niners and the Houston Texans as long as we can take preseason . . . but we have the Giants versus the Orioles too and of course, Rio.

Basically the above was our week . . . 'nough said.

It is a beautiful sunny day here and in just a few minutes I'll be putting the a/c on to ward off the afternoon heat increase.

This has been the abbreviated version of the blog -- I am also involved in trying to organize all things digital. It has been easy to find "clouds" and just dump things in and now is the start of fixing that.

Lastly our attempt at humor:

And just so we stay focused, the election is but 85 days away and more importantly Christmas is just 132 days away . . .

Homemade potato salad, fresh veggies and a select protein for dinner.  See you all "in a few"!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

RIO -- Really . . . Golden

Like many other folks we are enjoying the Olympics. We have set the DVR to record most of the four-hour segments that appear on NBC. The opening ceremonies were fun to watch especially seeing the entries from the 200 or so countries. We find it inspiring to see the excitement of the athletes.
We were pleasantly surprised to see that the other alphabet was used to alphabetize the entrants putting the USA up close to the front -- in the "E's" so that we did not have to go all the way to the "U's" to witness  TeamUSA enter the stadium.

Rio de Janeiro looked spectacular, probably like how Pasadena always looks so great on New Year's  every year. We just took in the beauty and enjoyed the moment.

We enjoyed the 6 hour biking event and watched it more towards the finish line with interest. I can not imagine the torture of being on a bike for that long over those types of roads (some cobblestone).
The men race for almost 150 miles -- the women's race is a bit less miles but still grueling.

Of course we are interested in the swimming events and not just Michael Phelps -- one of the others that we are interested in watching is Chase Kalicz. Chase led the prelims on the first day. It is amazing that he is even competing given that he suffered a major attack of Guillain-Barre several years back  (as I did) and he had to learn how to walk again among other things. So we root for him and others from TeamUSA. So many stories of overcoming obstacles.

I did manage to do research, but mostly everyday variety such as adding to families from a variety of branches. I will share a couple more of colorized photos:

This is a favorite look at a "favorite" Uncle, Uncle Stew. This was taken in the front yard of the family home -- one we visited all the time -- in Chicago.

At first glance, I though it was a pony and cart, but the horns give it away, it is a goat. The color adds so much to to the perspective.

The second photo is actually of Stewart's mother, our Grandmother, Mamie, in one of my all time favorites "the Hat" . . . my sister and I are welcoming her to our house in La Grange.

Mamie often visited our home and always brought her "gimme" bag that can be seen resting on the steps. She would take the bus out to visit us which we always looked forward to.

In those days we never thought much about "the hat" as we just accepted that that was what some folks did -- and Mamie did for sure. I can't imagine today seeing someone wear a hat like that, and she wore it at such a rakish way. I can't help smiling when I see it.

On the nightstand . . .

Well, we are just about finished with Drew Barrymore's book and we have been pleasantly surprised at how accomplished she has become. She definitely has not let being a child star ruin her life. She appears to be successful in business and family.

But we multi-task as it pertains to reading:

If we take a nap during the day (frequently) we start the nap by reading "Legends & Lies The Patriots".

It is a history book and who doesn't love history. Well, we do and I think back to high school days and it would have been nice to have this type of history book to learn from.

It is actually a companion book to a TV series of the same name on Fox.

I believe that tonight is the final episode but having the two has been very interesting and I have learned a lot about the early days of our country and those who participated in making it all happen.

And then too, in the early morning I often let my "Audible" app on the iPad read to me.

And right now I am listening to "Killing Reagan" as seen to the left.

I almost was reluctant to get the book due to its title but I heard so many good reports about the book that I actually went ahead and ordered it from Audible and it was sent right to my iPad -- I love it.

I am only on the third chapter but I have learned a ton about Reagan that I had never known before and it is fascinating.

There is a series of "Killing" books and I look forward to listening to them as well.

So, between the Olympics, upcoming pre-season NFL football and current MLB baseball, we hardly can squeeze in any political "stuff" and that is a good thing.

It is sad to see at what a low level our political campaigning has gotten to . . .

Was it this horrible in the time of our grandparents and great grandparents. It may have been but just not so easily tapped into.

Our DVR is filled to capacity now with sporting events and that is a good thing.

Off to the right are some of the first medal winnings in Rio. We look forward to seeing the remaining events that spark our interest.

Lastly, how true it is . . .

To make certain that one is prepared, get busy and locate the perfect "home" yourself and avoid the sentiment expressed above . . .

That is a bit of our week, it is Sunday night and it will be PIZZA -- yeah!  See you all "in a few"!