Friday, January 30, 2009

Everyone Loves A Parade.... right?

And so the parade began under the watch of Old Glory. She was hoisted to this lofty position on equipment from a neighboring towns volunteer fire department. It had been years since I had been in the parade and had forgotten how many folks always line the streets of our town to celebrate the Freedoms of America.
We had people walking along and collecting canned goods that the crowd had brought to donate to the local food pantry. As I remember Janell and Ralph and Nora were usually out walking and collecting. I believe these pictures are mostly from the lens of Ralph's camera. That would explain why he isn't in them. If you remember others out walking you can let me know. Oh yeah, I just remembered my grandson Colton walked the entire route throwing out candy.
That's me behind the wheel and my iced tea on the dash. That mug is getting worn out so I probably need to check into a hospital again so I can get another free mug. It takes a great deal of skill to pull a float very slowly so I took on the air responsibility. Mr JD is on the right taking a pic and Desiree is walking on the left of the pic. Just left, around the next corner, is the Morrow clan and guests of Blogstock not riding on the float.
That's Char of Ralph fame with the camera, the little girls in the red polka dots are grandaughters of mine. They belong to son Dan with camera in front and DIL in blue blouse behind the girls. She is incubating Georgia in this pic.
Other son Tom is on right. We can't see his wife here but we can see 'His son, Hudson', who is being held by Marilyn. My mil is standing in white blouse between Dan and Tom. The rest are mostly my brothers and wives.
We all came back to this house (my mil's house) after the parade where we schooled up and went out to the winery. Next will be two or three pics of the winery and surrounding area and then we'll finally go out the farm to finish up. Thanks for sticking with me here.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Here: Courtney (of JD fame) Janell, JD and the Rev, Rachel and Mrs LZ, have just arrived and begun getting to know each other. JD has this meet and greet thing down to a science. She cleverly carries a bag of candy to get people be friends with her. Janell will soon be her next 'friend.' The ploy does work.
Everyone here appears to have a camera and using it for protection. Mr & Mrs LZ (on left) have just arrived and to make sure they don't get too close, everyone held their camera up. The other five in view are Janell, Nora, JD, Rachel and the REV.
The rear view of the float just before we begin the parade. The top poster on left is Rachel's and on the right is LZ Bloggers.
It was the design of Nora to collect food for the local food pantry during the parade. We notified the locals through the paper of our plan. We had street walkers collect the items from folks along the parade route.

Thru the magic of computers, this is Nora with the loot we collected during the parade. I put the groceries in the pic (they were 'cut out' of my van, and placed here, on the float, beside Nora. This is the photo that appeared in the local paper the next week with a nice write up.
It's time to load up and go. Everyone was to find a chair. On Left: Janell, Jerry (who looks like he's getting ready to throw Jim under the trailer and steal his chair, Mrs and then Mr LZ, Jim in red stripes, Rachel and JD's dress. (I'm assuming she was still in it at this point.)

I would like to have included a few parade pics but they'll be next time. I don't trust Blogger. All of this could simply vanish and in a flash be on it's way to internet heaven. So 'Publish Post' is my choice.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Okay, This Is Funny

I've been laughing for the last five minutes. I hope I can explain this.
Last night I got an email from our lobbyist in Washington. Every one who is a supervisor and commissioner in our state would have gotten the same letter. Our lobbyist reports to us from the national association. Keep in mind that just like our Federal government, the National Association is run by the big cities.
The email from National was "An Alert to Action." We were all to contact our representatives in congress and urge them to vote FOR HR 1. (The big bail out bill) It went on to list the menu of brand new give away programs being offered by Obama.
We are going to get money for roads, bridges, health care, abortions, mass transit, modernization of homes, computers for the health care system, modernization of school buildings. I must have died and gone to heaven.
They wanted us tell our congressman to vote YES. YEAH we'll take whats behind all three doors!!
WELL...It seems the Midwest doesn't think the same as the big cities. We were all thinking: Who's paying for this? Will there by any chance be more government oversight? Will there be a doubling or tripling of the number of federal employees? Shouldn't Welfare be getting smaller instead of doubling? Shouldn't we be trying to grow businesses because they are the ones who hire people? Do you seriously believe that even one dollar will make it to middle America? Surely you jest.
I tell you all of this because I just got another email from the lobbyist. He said "most of you have emailed me calling my sanity into question." That's when I started laughing. Of course we did. Self sufficiency is pretty common when you get away from the population centers.
I'll give him credit. He said if it spurred us into action either way, then he had done his job. He did his job indeed. I called.

Dream World

Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska should be ashamed. He voted to confirm Timothy Geithner, a tax evader, to run the U.S. Treasury. To believe Geithners story takes a leap of faith. The same kind of leap it would take to believe that a bailout will do anything but complicate the issue. (It's akin to parents who decide they don't have guts to discipline their six year old and instead give him more candy) It takes the same leap that says our U.S. tax dollars should now be providing abortions around the world by executive order.
In all of the incredible confusion and chest beating in New York and Washington D.C. this past two weeks, I thought it very pleasant to read that the only hero I've seen on the National stage in a long while did not want a hero's welcome when he returned to his home town in California. The big welcome for the pilot of the plane that was landed in the Hudson River was tempered by the fact that the pilot took the stage, spoke for 15 seconds and it was over. His words in effect were, "Our entire crew were simply doing what we were trained and paid to do, thanks for coming." He then held up his plaque, waved, and it was over.
Oh that we had men like this in Washington.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

How About You

Last night (saturday) we had about 5 inches of very light fluffy snow. We went to church this morning and to a small group meeting tonight. As we plowed thru the snow on the way home tonight, it was 5 degrees and a bright, snowy evening. A lot of thoughts were running through my mind when the radio station went to an advertisement. The man started with two urgent questions in a big manly voice.
"Men, do you sleep through the night?" He continued, "Do you wake up to urinate?"
I answered aloud, "I've been able to accomplish that so far, and I hope to continue doing so as long as I can."
We'd been on the road about 15 minutes so my answers awoke Marilyn. It did seem rude to say, "never mind it wasn't important." But I said it anyway. It's not easy being me.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Blogstock '08 Re-Visited...again

I had asked my brother to be in charge of insect control for Blogstock. On the morning of July 3rd whilst Ralph and I were fighting with what would turn out to be the float, my brother dropped by and sprayed the perimeter of the event area thereby taking care of the crawling and flitting creatures. I don't recall anyone swatting at a skeeter during the event. When he was finished with a ten acre perimeter, Desiree ran into the shed and excitedly pronounced, "That was absolutely the COOLEST thing I've ever seen." She got over it.
I told you none of this was in order. After we had completed decorating the float, (Decorating a float or a Christmas Tree are very similar, you never know if you're done.)
We proceeded to a local cafe/bar/karaoke joint.
The middle photo is of Jim and Mrs Jim. It looks like water they are drinking. Maybe, maybe not. Terry from the Midwest Producer (editor) and I are talking about the sanity of all of this. Terry and I later got coerced into singing a song. (I'll go to my grave. by the Statler Brothers) I will get even with whom ever did that.

Bottom photo: Rachel on left who is hiding Char, my MIL in red, Nora, Desiree, and Jerry and Marilyn with her back to the camera. If you expand the picture you will see I either caught Jerry in the middle of blinking his eyes, OR it was during that point when he was trying to pick a fight with Jim. Thank heavens it never got past the wrestling around on the floor and kicking and screaming stage.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Better Than I Could Say It.

I have had a lot of points I have wanted to make about President Bush. I won't need to if you've got 2 or 3 minutes to read this well written article from the Wall Street Journal. It is written by one of the most brilliant men to have graced any one's administration. He was, and is coldly analytical. He is able to calmly make his opinion known and more importantly back it up with facts when going head to head with people who are always less informed and certainly unable to match his debate abilities. He doesn't need to look up numbers or facts. They're all in his head. He never gets emotional and writes as though he was playing the part of Sargent Friday. Just the facts ma'am. Now go have a look.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It Was The Day Before...

On July 3, we pulled the trailer and it's awkward framework to my mother in-laws home in town. We knew it would not withstand the rigors of 9 miles of country roads after it was decorated. It was getting pretty exciting by this point as we were not sure who might arrive a day early to help decorate. Jim and Mrs Jim arrived and then Jerry with his passenger Nora from Indiana. We had several visitors stop in. One of note was Terry Anderson, my editor for the Midwest Producer Magazine.
Whilst looking at the photos remember, everyone was to bring a poster to apply to the float.
The top photo: Jerry brought the ingredients for his poster and sat down to make it under supervision of Marilyn and her Mom. Her Mom is the original "Maxine."
Middle photo: The lovely Nora waiting for 'inspiration' on what to put on her poster.
Bottom photo: One side of the float with posters attached. More posters were on the other side as well as the back of the float.
Ralph and Char and Rachel and Desiree were working hard also but not pictured.
We left shortly after this for dinner at a local watering hole and karaoke.
Good times.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Who's Who in Blogland

This is the now famous Blogstock '08 float. You know most if not all of these people. I also know the proper way to do this is to provide a link with each person in the photo. Nope, not gonna do it. They're all on my sidebar. l to r: Janell, Cliff, Ralph, Desiree, LZ Blogger, Jerry, Rachel, Jamie Dawn, Nora, and Jim.
What better way to get the brain working again on this January 20th, a really dismal winter day, than to take you back to mid morning of July 4th, 2008. The location is my home town here in Nebraska.
All of the people in the picture are bloggers and spent the 4th and 5th in our community.
Janell who is a local, (very nearly) had joined us decorating the float the night before this pic was taken, as well as Jerry and Nora and the Jim's. Jamie Dawn and her family had just arrived at about this moment as well as LZ and his wife. Ralph makes Desiree laugh a lot so that's the reason for her posture. Thinking back, everything makes Desiree laugh.
Ralph's , Desiree, and Rachel had already been here for a couple of delightful days of slave labor putting up hay and picking cherries and erecting the big top tent and mowing lawns and ditches.
Everyone who came was to bring a poster to staple to that ingenious float design. We hired R & C float builders to design and manufacture it. Okay, Ralph and I struggled a lot in my machine shed to come up with this. We liked the final product. We didn't like it while we were building it. Ralph got so grumpy and unreasonable during the assembly of the float that I accused him of changing his political affliation behind my back.
I'm going to continue in this manner, post a picture from Blogstock, and write a little story. It's too much work to try and get everything in order. Working with blogger is like trying to neatly put to magnets together.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

History In The Making

The most important event of the year, or at least of this winter, is about to unfold before our very eyes. I have my HD/DVR set to record it, we'll invite a few close friends to witness it with us, and we'll likely make and consume some great food and beverages at the same time.
An event of this consequence and magnitude comes to us very seldom. Let it burn into your memory so that your children's children may celebrate the anniversary of this historic event. So to all of this I say,
"Go Steelers!"

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Look On The Bright Side

I always feel fortunate to have survived the holidays. Like many of you I come from a long line of good cooks who think it necessary to try and set a new caloric intake consumption record for the family each year at this time. My wife Marilyn and I have learned to stand at the door while the kids walk out headed for home, and dutifully hand out everything we possibly can. They have busy lives and really don’t have the time to cook so they’ll appreciate these brownies and the plate with every conceivable chocolate dipped delight on it. Why with just one bite they can intake enough calories to feed a small village, for a day.
We use a sort of triage system. The highest calories per serving desserts get handed out first. The last will be the left over ham and veggies. Our kids are finally on to us and demand a balanced diet. Candy and ham. Cake and a turkey. Cinnamon rolls and some left over prime rib. Well, you get the idea.
All of this eating during the holidays, recently lead me to a near state of depression. My wife came home and found me sitting on the side of the bed in a tee shirt and my whitey tighties. I’ve never been able to hide my emotions from her. She knows immediately if I’m troubled and this was certainly no exception. She asked what was wrong. I replied “Oh, nothing.” “Come on, spit it out, I can tell when something is eating at you.”
I said, “If you must know I just took a shower and walked in here and stood in front of this full length mirror with no clothes on.” She said “And…?” I said “Well, I got to staring at the mirror and I realized that I’ve fallen apart, I’m really overweight, I can’t seem to grow hair anymore except for my nose and ears.” “I have fungus under my toe nails, I have some kind of growths on my shins and I have varicose veins all over my legs.” “Besides that my ears are red and getting bigger and so is my nose.
Expecting some kind of sympathy or words of encouragement that she is admittedly very good at, I stopped my speaking and waited.
She was walking into the bathroom by now to take her shower. She spoke loudly over her shoulder as she closed the bathroom door. “You’ll need to just look at the bright side” she said, and she closed the door.
Now I had to almost yell to make her hear, “Oh, there’s a bright side is there?” “Yeah” she yelled back, “Your eyesight must still be okay.”
It's true, there is no such thing as 'original thought.'
Some of you may have got a very short form of this in an email.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

2008: The Year In Review

My next project for the Year in Review will be Blogstock. My mind doesn't allow me to do this as it should be done. I should be able to make a concise post that includes everything in order. It would include pictures and stories about those pictures. The problem is that I will decide on a picture and that brings so many memories to the top of my scrambled thoughts that it ends up like this. For the following Thought = T
T 1: I need to start with a picture of the Campbells and the Morrow's meeting a few months in advance of Blogstock.
T 2: When was that we met with them and where are the pictures. I'll go to the thousands of pictures on my computer.
T 3: I forgot about the having to put the hay up two days before Blogstock. There's Desiree helping me load big round bales and hauling them for me.
T 4: Rachel was there and helped too. Where is that picture?
T 5: Rachel picked a lot of cherries too.
T 6: Where are the pictures of Rachel Picking Cherries from our tree.
T 7: I shouldn't have capitalized picking and cherries.
T 8: Why won't the i button shut off.
T 9: It's off now and I don't know why. I didn't do it.
T 10: There's a picture of Rachel on horesback. It's a good pic but she's out of focus a bit, but not as bad as the horses head. He must have been shaking his head.
T 11: I'll bet Jamie Dawn would pay me to lose those two pictures.
T 12: Oh yeah, focus, where are the pictures of everyone planning for Blogstock.
T 13: Man I need to visit everyone on my blogroll.
T 14: Wait, I need to write another column for the paper.
T 15: That's a nice picture of Jamie Dawn, the Rev and me. I don't look as under tall in that picture as I do in the others. Those folks were as nice as I expected them to be.
There you have it my friends. If I try to do this correctly, I'll never get to it. I've decided to just post a picture or two and a couple of lines of copy with them. They won't be in order but they might be a bit more frequent. I guarantee only that they will be fond memories from the Morrow's of a gathering of quality people from around the country.
This is a picture of Desiree helping me load large round bales onto a trailer. I found out that she's had a great deal of experience doing almost everything concerning all kinds of equipment. She's a can do kind of gal.
One of my funniest interactions with her was two days before Blogstock we had already figured out that she was a hustler and she can't stand anything out of place. She was in the kitchen cleaning up after a meal with Rachel and I came through the kitchen with a Morrow Kennel cup half full of iced tea. I was going to refill it. Before I could say anything she grabbed it out of my hand, dumped it in the sink and put it in the dishwasher, pushed two buttons and it was being washed before I could ask if anyone had made more tea.
Todays Post:
I couldn't find the one of Desiree and the round bales (I will one day soon)but this one is a better starting point as it pre-dates the round bale harvest. (see what I mean about my mind being on scan)
This is a planning session picture of part of the Blogstock Event Staff in the early part of 2008. Marilyn and I are back row left side. Char and Ralph are back row right side. Desiree and Nate and family are the rest. The problem with this pic is that Desiree is taking the picture.
The next picture is a tampered photo in which I just added Desiree into the original photo.
Our farm is about equi-distant between the Campbells in Colorado and the Campbells in Illinois.
That's a good thing for us.
POSTlude: (get it, post..lude)For a bodyshop, a complete color change on a car is time consuming, meticulous work and much more expensive than most customers would care for. The problem is that the color wraps around every corner so the hood, front clip, windows, window trim, door jam moldings, doors, door trim moldings, bumpers and etc, all need to be removed to do the job right. A customer recently brought a grey or gray Suburban to Morrow Collision Center and the story in pictures can be found on their new blog.
If you can, add them to your regular reading list.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Golden Globes

I have the next review post ready but must mention a few things that have really tickled me as of late.
First of all I channel surfed past the Golden Globe Awards last night and stopped for four our five minutes. It was very entertaining. Never have there been that many well dressed, proud, and totally insignificant people gathered together in one place to pat one another on the back side. They take great pride in enabling the downward spiral of society and are oh so arrogant about it. This while spouting political view points of which they know little. (If they did know anything they wouldn't have said them in the first place.)
I can truthfully say that I saw not one person I could hold up as a good example for any of my Grandchildren.
Just like the music industry they struggle and wonder why just a few make big money and the rest are left sweeping the floor when all they have to do is 'Shut up" and sing or act.
The other funny point I've seen lately is FSN advertising the Superbowl by telling about the upcoming "Brilliant, and Exciting halftime show." (They can't advertise the teams (we don't know who they will be yet) so the halftime show is all they have.? Again, instead of bringing in the two best high school or college marching bands in America to perform and then clear the field for the second half, they will bring in some has-been rocker to perform, with cane in hand, who is again, self centered and of no real significance to this world. They will spend millions on a guy (Bruce somebody) and show, that few will watch, and virtually no one wants to know anything about. All of this to keep a'breast' with shows in the recent past. It's a football game for crying out loud. All of this must be sanctioned by and is the fault of, the National Football League and is such a stupendous waste of money that it seemingly could have been thought up by our next congress and administration. Or to put it another way, this is a 'stimulus package' that even Janet Jackson couldn't have come up with.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Year In Review- Dec 2008

Marilyn and I took the daughters in-law, and their families out to eat at one of Lincoln Nebraska's fine eating establishments. It was for their birthdays. Our camera caught this pic of Grand Daughter Allison. The restaurant's name is Misty's. Her eyes are not. Her dad has warned us not to look directly into her, or her sisters eyes. For good reason. They will get what they want.
Paul put her in his hats blog a while back. Here you can see both eyes instead of just the one in Pauls post. She makes Grandpa laugh inside when she comes to me and begins lecturing me while she waggles her finger in the air. She is often serious with adults because she has a lot of things to clarify. I have to look to her folks for an interpretation. I know she'll grow up wondering what kind of health problem Grandpa Cliff had. He always had just a smile on his face but his stomach and chest were always shaking when I talked to him.

Alli's two sisters were there too. Georgia and Madi. Madi always has a big smile for the camera.
Hudson made the trip to the restaurant too.

Hudson's Dad was a cute little boy with long hair too.
Now for the picture I didn't take. It's burned into my memory forever. It was taken by my mind on the way out of the restaurant. From our table to the front door must have been a good 60 foot, straight walk.
I had little Georgia seated in her carseat and hanging from my right elbow. As we walked slowly toward the door, Georgia's Dad was ahead of me carrying one of her big sisters and holding the hand of the other.
Ahead of him was Tom carrying Hudson. Everyone dressed for the bitter cold weather outside. The three men in the group carrying and tending all of the children. Good memory. The women followed along and chatted.

Friday, January 02, 2009

The Year In Review- December 2008

This first is a request to all of you who have vehicles, and live in a part of the country that has occasional snow and rain and sleet, and must out of necessity park your car outside.
Consider if you would, cleaning the top of your little car off before you start out, just in case there is a layer of snow and ice sitting on top of it. It could, at the most inopportune time break loose from your car, go airborne, and fly into my lane and the right side of my trucks' windshield. Because I may have a $500 deductible on my comprehensive insurance meaning I would have to drive to Morrow Collision center and have it replaced at my cost. I'm just saying.

This one is for Ralph. He thinks he has been picked on by Char because he ran my riding lawnmower here on the farm the week before Blogstock '08 and when he got back home to Colorado she wouldn't let him get one.

Then I bought a 24" walk behind snow blower and that didn't help the situation. So just in case he was going to try and leapfrog me on the blower thing.... I'm ready for the next snow fight. Let me know if you need to borrow it Ralph. That neighbor you don't like could be the recipient of all of your snow on top of his house. Trouble is it will throw rocks even further than it does snow. You might want to check your home owners policy.