All posts for the month July, 2011


Previously I posted about the humorous Police Report clippings that my friend Sarah in Bozeman Montana sends me from time to time.  Here is the latest batch.

I particularly like the one about the “large, four-legged buffalo, brown in color and wearing fur.” 🙂

Last night we were woken by the weather radio at about 3am and continued to get alerts for hours after.  Around 5am the emergency warning sirens went off and Jan and I took to the basement. We had very high winds, some say up to 80 mph.

After the storm had passed our yard looked like a war zone.  We lost at least 12 large pines, some 12″ in diameter and ~40′ tall. They were slapped down like they were balsa wood.  Patio furniture was scattered all over the yard.  The glass topped patio table is a twisted wreck with broken glass scattered around.


Our favorite tree, a maple just off our deck, was broken off 3′ above the ground.

The back yard was nearly as bad with many trees down and debris everywhere.




We are, at the moment, without power and I am running this PC off our generator which also allows us to keep the refrigerator and freezer cold (though we have to alternate power to one or the other.)  The radio says 40,000 people in the area are also without power.

The only damage to our house itself was some aluminum flashing that was torn off and a piece of siding pulled loose.  All my antennas look intact (save one wire antenna hit by a falling tree) and my tower and outbuildings are also fine.

Here is a link to pictures of other area places damaged in this storm.  (Note: I don’t know for how long this link will be valid.)

I’ll update if anything changes.

Or – I Can Row, Canoe?

Back in the ’70s and ’80s we spent a lot of time canoeing on local Iowa rivers.  Nearly every nice weekend between Memorial Day and Labor Day would find us on the water.   Sometimes it was just Jan and I in one canoe, but often it was with a group of from 3 to 20 canoes and up to 50 people in the group.   Often we would camp along the river on sand bars or islands.

For several reasons we have not continued this practice into the ’90s and ’00s.  Just recently my two sons (Steev, Allan and partners) were here for a visit and we decided to get out on the river again.  Here is a picture of the group (minus Jan who took the photo.)  L. to R. Jeannette, Allan, Steev, Greta and me.

We rented canoes at a nearby County park which also provided us with all the needed gear and transported us to the put-in point.  Here is the trailer load of canoes ready to head upstream.

It didn’t take long to get to the put-in and within half and hour we were on the river without incident.  Here is Steev and Greta underway.

And here are Allan and Jeannette.

One of the things that makes canoeing in a group extra fun is being able to barge all the canoes together and just float (with minor steering when needed.)  Jan particularly likes this  because she can just sit in the canoe and, as she puts it, “play hostess-mostess.”  Here she is in action.

Another feature of many of our canoe trips is the lunch stop.  When we had estimated that we had covered half the distance to the takeout, we found a {relatively) dry sand bar and beached our canoes.  Here is our simple setup for our picnic lunch.

After lunch a few of us decided to take a dip in the river.  It’s quite shallow and the bottom here was sandy.

The rest of the trip was pleasant though we had a strong headwind which made paddling a little more difficult but we still completed the trip in about 5 hours.  In another hour we were home again and some of us decided on a little apres-canoe soak in the hot tub.  A great ending for a fun day.