Showing posts from May, 2012

The Price Of Freedom

Memorial Day is always one to make me stop and ponder all the veterans that have willingly served and put their lives on the line for our great country over the past 225+ years. Today we watched the parade honoring them as it marched down Main Street in Waukesha. It was a short, but honoring parade, with the requisite color guards, marching bands and military vehicles. People clapped and waved to those that have earned it. The whole event made me reflect on the role the military has played in my own family. Note that none of them was killed in action, but all enlisted and served. My grandfather Oscar W. Swanson served in WWI in the Army. I'm not sure of how much action he saw, but I think he was largely involved in building air bases as part of it. I should know this, but don't. My father enlisted in the Air Force during WWII. Because of health issues he was honorably discharged early in his duty. It always bothered him that his twin brother was able to serve and he was

For a Limited Time

We're holding a garage sale this weekend. I'm getting rid of several of my man toys from years back. The items include: my homebrewing kit, my stereo (vintage 1980's/1990's), my sports cards, and many of my albums, CD's and cassettes. I am cleaning house, so to speak. I have an attachment to all of this stuff; an unhealthy attachment. It is a link to my past in many respects and I am having a bit of a hard time releasing all of it at once. I don't know why I'm so attached to any of it, just a whole lot of memories. That accompanied by the fact that all of it is either in good shape, or at least still works, make it a little harder to let it go. At the same time, I am surprising myself a little bit with how the voice of reason keeps coming into my head. I know some of it has to do with Rob's passing this past year. His illness showed me the importance of people more than things. As his wife said at one point, their whole life had come down to one

A Monday Redefined

Another Monday goes in the books. Uneventful for the most part. Yoga, breakfast, work, bike ride, dinner, repeat ad infinitum. Lost a couple of 70's icons again over the weekend in Donna Summer and Robin Gibb. These kinds of deaths always affect me more than those of the "old" stars. They were young when I was young. This, unfortunately, puts me in reach of their fate as well. Not that I wasn't always capable of dying an early death, just that seeing entertainers that I associate with my youth croak, just creeps me out a bit. Don't fret my state of mind, I'm fine actually, it's just an observation of what goes through my head - the noise in my head, so to speak. On the upside, I had a terrific weekend with the family. Friday we all watched the beginning of Rocky III, until the power went out randomly. We've been working our way through the Rocky movies, in part because of our visit to Philadelphia in 2008. At that time, we ran the steps to the

Maiden Voyage

Well, I got to try out the new Kayak on Saturday and it did not disappoint. I had a good time on Lower Genesee Lake in Western Waukesha County. I went with a friend and her husband, who had a kayak and a canoe with a 5 HP motor on the back. It was nice having them show me the ropes of my first venture out on to a lake. We got out on the water by 7:20 after a stop for bait at Dicks bait (the old Smiley Barn) in Delafield. I spent the first hour trying to find some decent cover or a place that looked like it held some promise. I ended up in a back bay and hung there for a while. While it looked good, it turned out to be a bust, so I moved on. Finally, desperate for a fish, I hooked up a bobber and a worm and started still fishing around a dock. After  a couple minutes, I started getting some action and boated 3 bluegills within 10 minutes. None of them were big, but it beat catching nothing. Over the rest of the day, I caught a few more bluegills and had a nice strike from a large

Electrical Storm

So, we had our electricians come today and they were tasked with 3 things: 1. Put a new outlet on the porch. 2. Move the cable/router from the sun room to the new office, leaving a circuit in the sun room. 3. Put 2 new outlets in the new office, but run them off the "new" circuit from the back sun room, not the old wiring. The had given us a quote a couple of weeks ago. As it turns out, the guy who I had the very detailed discussion with about wanting the new outlets coming off the new circuit, had truck troubles and couldn't make it. You see where this is going, right? Yes, they hooked up the two new outlets to the "circuit over the bathroom fan," which is running off our old wiring. Donna called them on it and the guy said "well, computers don't really draw that much juice, so you should be fine." Not to be crossed, Donna stood her ground and said "It's the cause of our breakers tripping enough as it is. Fix it right"

A Thousand Miles in 64,800 Seconds

The trip totals are in from our trek to the Northland of NorthCentral Minnesota. We covered 1035 miles in 3 days. A total of 18 hours on the road, and 3 tanks of gas. We took the first 315 mile leg on Friday and stopped in Shoreview for the night. On Saturday we covered another 200+ miles to Lake George, MN, near Bemidji. Then, on Sunday we turned right back around and covered 500+ miles in a 9 hour jaunt back to Waukesha. While it was a bit gruelling at times, my statement from the previous post still stands. We love to travel as a family, and we do it quite well. There were very few complaints from the kids for the whole trip. They don't even argue that much. I think I had to break up a total of one verbal battle. Otherwise, they got along well. Ben slept probably 9 of the 18 hours total, and Sarah about 5. I did probably 80% of the driving and I was fine with that too. When you break up 500 miles over 2 days, that's easy. For the 9 hour stint I needed a spell. The trip