Monday, October 19, 2015

Moab Mountain Biking 2015

A group of buddies and I took a Mountain Biking trip to Moab, Utah the week of October 4th. We covered a lot of trails and had a good time checking out Utah. Thanks to my lovely wife for letting me go and for being a single parent for a week!

Here are the albums of each day:


As we were eating tonight we were talking about the future of our TV from the bedroom after we get a new one for the living room. Josie was almost in tears when we said, "No Josie, you can't have a TV in your room. I didn't have one in my room until I was out of high school," I said. Her response, "Yeah, but that was like in the olden days."

Saturday, January 31, 2015

In Remembrance of William “Roger” Minnis

April 2, 1925 - December 10th, 2014

Roger MinnisGrandpa Roger, or his CB name of “The Blacksmith”, could make anything out of metal. For example, bale racks for carrying eight round bales at a time or hay rake dollies that could connect multiple rakes together. Normally, we could hook three together but when dry times prevailed we even connected four. Another special piece of equipment he created was what he called the “hootenanny”. It was a cantankerous electric machine that had two transmissions hooked together. The driving end was connected to a v-belt pulley powered by an electric motor. It had two shifters and PTO shaft coming out of the other end that would connect to the crank on a silo-unloader. Looking back it really wasn't very safe at all, but did accomplish quickly raising the unloader prior to filling the silo. You could always rely on Grandpa having a sharp knife. He had sharpening stones in his chopper tractor so while waiting for an empty wagon to arrive while chopping corn or hay he'd be busy sharpening one of his many pocket knives.

Grandpa always had a helping hand. I can remember him bringing his loader tractor or snow blower out to clear the roads for the bus or the times he helped the REC get to broken power lines after storms. A few times we'd even have to make an emergency call to Grandpa for him to bring up his gun to take care of a coon in the willow tree near our house or coons in the old stone school house across the road. He was also involved with the Riceville Cemetery and helped put up the 100s of flags for Memorial Day. He loved his David Church family and the thing I remember most is him helping hand out the brown paper bags of goodies and peanuts that He and Grandma put together for Christmas Eve services.

He not only helped out us humans, but his beloved polled Herford cattle with the late nights or early mornings calving with the first year heifers. He loved his horses and telling stories about them from what we call the “good old days”. One story I can remember was about working the field across from the house and a team of horses getting stuck in the natural spring. He had a riding horse, Trigger, that he would take out to the yard on the west side of the house every morning and bring him back down to the barn at nights. A couple times he’d hoist me up and let me ride down to the barn while he led.

One day my Father, Leland, and Grandpa attempted to get our pony, Trigger, hooked up to a two wheeled cart. Trigger was supposed to be broke so no big deal right? Well, the horse took off running across the road with my Dad in tow, holding on for dear life. They circled around with my Dad standing and pulling on the reigns as best he could trying to slow Trigger down. Fortunately, Trigger ended up going between two round hay bales and no one was hurt.

With him loving his dogs, there was one dog in particular that was easy to know how something is so unusual that you would never forget. Well, Sport was that kind of dog. He had blue eyes, mostly gray fur with splotches of brown and black. He was a cross between an Australian blue healer and something from another world. Many times he was too good of a guard dog and prevented us visiting Grandma. That alone wouldn't make it memorable, but the fact that when Grandma would create her recipe of food for it, Sport would go through quite the act. Grandpa along with all the rest of us loved watching Sport as he would start out looking at the food for a while, start circling around it, finally growling at it like the food was going to fight back; fangs and all! Many of his past dogs were trained so well that when cattle feeding time came, Grandpa would whistle and the dog would jump up and run down to the cattle yard to herd the cattle away from the bunker so Grandpa could feed them.

We had a few picnics growing up and some entailed a bonfire made up of old trees and scrap wood. One fire was so big we had to stand back about 15 feet just to roast our hot dogs. Even with a “safe” distance from the fire my cousin, Rick, had the bottom of his shoes melt from the heat. We had trips out on the loader bucket to the North end of the farm to have picnics on top of the big rock. We even got my mother on top in spite of her fear of heights.

While we remember Grandpa, I also thank my Grandma, Anita, for being his right hand through thick and thin. Her devotion is a testament to true endless love.

In parting, Grandpa always carried his “medicine” around which was either butterscotch hard candy or the Brach’s Milk Maid Royals candy. He also liked his bowl of ice cream and crackers. So, as you get ready for bed tonight, treat yourself with a bowl of ice cream in remembrance of The Blacksmith.

With fond memories,

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

12 Years and 5 Fingers

So, a lot has happened since my last writing. The group I work with at Pioneer was re-orged, I've been through a bunch of tests for health because of stress from work (reorg, job interviews, etc.), diagnosed to have IBS and have since been de-stressing by running. Oh and today is my 12 year anniversary at Pioneer.

Kim got me an early b-day present yesterday which are the Vibram FiveFinger shoes. Today I took my first run in them. It will be interesting to see how my body feels tomorrow. I already feel it in my feet. But, wow! I love the feeling of wearing them. I've found so far that I love walking/running in grass and dirt. It gives a whole new dimension to running. I love "feeling mother nature"; the cool feeling from the dirt over the hard blacktop surface. So, we'll see how it goes, but I do want the FiveFingers to "work".


Till next time, keep'n it real.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sup Y'all

So, yeah, it's only been more than a year since I've last wrote. Time flies and I've been, you know, keeping things going both at home with Kim and the Kids and at work. Jayden's now 6, in Kindergarden, and had to have a couple of his front baby teeth pulled to make room for his more permanent fixtures. Josie is 4 and keeps both Kim and myself on our toes. Last year in preschool she was learning some sign language so Kim got some signing DVDs from the library and Josie's been eating it up. It's fun to see her so excited to learn.

I'm not sure what I'll do with my blog. I feel like trying to include some more software development information if I's something to write about at least and I feel like giving back to the community.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

East Coast Fun

This summer we decided to go to the East Coast to visit my Sister and her family who live in New Hampshire. We weren't sure at first if we wanted to tackle such a feat with Jayden and Josie not being that old, but thought what the heck might as well give it a try. So, on May 24th, 2009 at we set out at 6:00 in the morning. We didn't make it out of Iowa before the kids already started asking if we were there yet. oh dear!

Our first overnight destination was the Maumee Toledo, OH area. Traffic wasn't bad up to this point despite it being Memorial Day weekend. We traveled from Toledo to visit Hershey Chocolate World in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The kids thought it cool and hadn't seen so much chocolate in their life. From there we traveled to Strasburg, Pennsylvania to visit the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum. Jayden and I could have stayed there a lot longer, but we had to continue on to visit the Crayola Factory in Easton, Pennsylvania. We got to see a mini crayola factory and all things color. We also got to play with some boats and cannals. We survived driving through New York City and Connecticut even though "Carmin" (The Garmin GPS) let us down in a few spots...more on her later.  We managed to arrive at my Sister's place on day three.

It rained the first two days we were in New Hampshire so we decided to do a few things that didn't require us to be and visiting a few places. We went to the Cape Neddick Lighthouse on York Beach, Maine, and shopped at some outlet stores in Kittery, Maine. The following day went Boston to visit the New England Aquarium, and Ikea.

Finally, on May 29th we had no rain! We headed to The Flume Gorge and then up to a fogged in Mt. Washington.

We also made extensive use of Steve's Kawasaki Mule (Red Gaiter) and 4 wheeler. We also visited Hampton Beach a couple of different days. Jayden loved the ocean, but Josie hated it. Karrie and Steve also threw a party for us with Steve's family and their friends. It was fun to meet them all and have kids play/make new friends. Steve also hooked up his leaf blower T-ball machine. It was hard to say goodbye as we had such a good time out there.

On our return visit we stayed overnight at the Wolbrinks' in Liverpool, New York and then made our way to Niagara Falls, New York. We also missed the Supper Nanny, but saw her car. We arrived back at our place on June 4th after another night's stay in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Here are a few tips for anyone taking long road trips. Get your hands on a GPS. That thing saved us so much and let us find places that we normally wouldn't have gone to. Yeah, I can read a map, but this gave us the flexibility to do something at a whim instead of having to plan out the whole trip. I did have the hotels booked for on the way out before we left, but didn't book them for the way back. Garmin along with the Marriott 800 number got us places to stay on the way back. Another thing that I'm glad we got before we left was the iPass/EZPass for tolls. We only found one state that we had to actually pickup a ticket and pay at the end for tolls. The rest of the states we used the iPass. It was so much easier than having to stop and pay someone. We also packed Josie's little porta-potty thing. That saved us a few times. Her bladder really is as small as she is.

All in all, we had a great time and trip. The kids were great and Kim had lots of activities planned for them to do in the van.  She's so organized. We wouldn't have been able to do it had she not had everything setup the way she did. Now we just have to figure out where we're going next summer!

The complete set of pictures can be seen here.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Getting Caught Up

Okay, so i'm not a steady blogger. I'm not really sure what the reasons are, but some of them are just being busy being a dad, Twitter, and Facebook. It seems that I've done more micro-blogging if you want to call it that using Twitter.

So, what's been going on? Well, we had  a great Christmas and 2009 started out pretty well inspite of The Great Depression II. I'm very fortunate that the Ag industry is holding strong.

Jayden has been learning all the time and is becoming the little man.  He loves to figure out how everything works. He also loves talking your ear off once he gets going. He also knows how to use pause on the DVR. It's sad he won't even know what a VCR was. (Actually, it's a good thing the VCR is dead. :) ) Jayden got to make a pirate box to put his pull-ups into and have the pirates visit with a bunch of treasure. We're so glad that he's doing pretty well in making it through the night without a pull-up. He still wakes up wet occasionally, but he's getting there.

Josie is a daddy's girl. It's not uncommon to hear her tell me, "I need you" and then proceed to try and get you to drop whatever you were doing and pick her up. I don't mind. She's my little Princess, Tinkerbell or Cinderella depending on the day. One day we tried to straighten her hair, but I told Kim that I never wanted it straighted again...unless Josie does it herself when she's a teenager. She did not look like our little Josie at all.

Kim has been feeding her facebook "addication" and has hooked up with quite a few people from her past. It's pretty cool to think we can reconnect with people in such an easy method.

Well, there you have it.  The start to 2009.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Is it Luck?

Wow, time has gone by like you wouldn't believe and with it have quite a few events. We had a garage sale on the 3rd and ended up selling quite a bit of stuff. It's really amazing how much "stuff" everyone has in the U.S. Just look at all the people giving to Good Will on weekends (after garage sales).

Around the same time period, Jayden and Josie got pink-eye and then gave me the pleasure of experiencing it too. Needless to say Josie ended up getting it twice and Jayden three times before it was all said and done.

Kim's Mom had surgery back on the 19th so I watched the kids (I took last week and this next week off from work) while Kim went and waited with the rest of her family. We took the kids to see Grandma Pat that afternoon and then went back again that night to help Kim's Dad get back to our place to stay the night.

Lighting Strike MarkThis memorial weekend was rather interesting to say the least. On Friday Kim came back from shopping with a friend and said that she had some interesting news for me. As soon as she said it was about her Dad, my heart sank as his health has been questionable as of late. The good news is no health problems that he currently has was the issue. The bad news was that he had been struck by lightning while sleeping Friday morning. Dale was sleeping when he felt the lightning bolt start up his feet and continued up through his spine and ending at his head. He especially felt it when it hit his back as he has metal rods in his spine from previous back surgeries. He told Pat that he thought his legs had blown off when it initially happened. It's odd that he even drove himself to breakfast that morning as he was pretty incoherent later that morning. The lightning knocked the picture off the wall and left a mark on the white paint (see larger image from link above).

So we decided we'd head down to Creston on Saturday after attending a couple of graduation parties. It's always an eery feeling going somewhere when you're not sure what to expect. Yesterday Dale feel asleep a lot (he fell asleep with his breakfast in his lap). He also slept through Dinner. Fortunately he was doing a lot better today. He even drove himself to the restaurant for breakfast this morning.

It's amazing that more damage hadn't occurred and I consider it a miracle that Dale even survived. So all in all, quite an eventful month.