Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fishing at Silverbell

We went fishing at the Aaron Lodge #49 Masonic Family Picnic that was held at Christopher Columbus Park. A fine time was had by all and there was a nice turnout. Don't laugh at my little fish as I believe that it was the only one of the day!
There may a trend developing here in that I must take a picture of every teeny fish I catch when going out. I am sure that I will do the same if anything notable (in a larger sense) is caught.
I am having fun with the teeny fish pictures.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Back to Chicago - Part II

Once again I found myself outside the windy city in the hamlet known as Kingery on the 15th to visit with daughter #1 (D#1) and fiance (F). The F and I went to Bass Pro on Friday to talk to the guys in the fishing department about where to go and to buy 3 rods/reels along with the appropriate tackle box and terminal tackle. Yes, there were a few lures thrown in there along with a book on fishing in Illinois. F spent the usual amount of time, for a first time visitor, admiring the myriad of mounts and displays. I remember the first time I went into a Cabelas/Bass Pro and how impressive it is. We had lunch at the Islamorada Fish Company and headed back to the homestead to prepare for Saturday.

Saturday found F and me at Heinecke Lake for our first stop. This is a man-made elevated lake that serves as cooling water for a power plant. There is a lot of rip-rap posing as a shoreline. The guys there were mainly fishing for catfish although there are bass, sunfish, and some walleye. We were a bit late in the day for Walleye fishing but did not care as this was an exploratory trip. We wet a line and proceeded to hook up on the rocks with a few hooks being lost. A few nibbles were encountered without any serious strikes.

After Heinecke, we went to check out Whalen Lake which is closer to the homestead. This is pleasant little lake in one of the many preserve areas of Illinois. Again we wet a line and proceeded to start playing with bluegills. I had a great time roaming around with F.

Sunday was a stand-down day. We got a paper in the AM, ate breakfast, looked at the paper and then returned to Bass Pro to get D#1 a fishing license. We picked up a few things that I thought would be handy for the next day fishing. Later, we went for a walk to the little waterfall in Waterfall Glen Preserve. No, it not named that because of the waterfall. It is actually named after Seymour Waterfall who was an early president of the Districts Board of Commissioners. The waterfall is man made. Zoey, the guard dog, went with us to keep us safe. She was hilarious as when D#1 was going to set her down in the water, the feet were going like she was swimming before touching the water.

We were off to Whalen Lake on Monday morning for all of us to play around. No one caught any large fish but due to my extreme expertise  and endless patience, I was able to catch the smallest bluegill and this very small gobie pictured below.
There really is a fish in this picture! Note the amazement on D#1's face that I was able to accomplish this almost impossible task. I am proud to have my picture taken with this elusive hermit of the lake.

The 18th was D#1's birthday and the 20th was mine. We split the date difference and went to Cooper's Hawk that evening. Cooper's is a winery and restaurant. It was excellent. Good wine, food and company. There is not much more for one to ask for!

On Tuesday D#1 and I returned to Whalen to play around with some more fish. My last day there went too quickly as always.

I was off to the airport Wednesday morning to wait out a thunderstorm to catch my flight. I thank D#1 and F for the hospitality and putting up with the "old man". I believe that I will switch modes and start fishing for the largest fish on the next trip!

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Diet of Hope VII

It has been almost 2 years! This program was started 9/24/2014. I have been on maintenance for about six months. Maintenance means that you basically stay on the diet with a slight increase of the regular diet food. You may also break the diet once or twice a week. So you can have anything you want for dinner on this break but you are not to skip any of your regular meals coming up to that dinner. I say once or twice a week as you will need to see what works for you in keeping the weight you want. For me it is once a week I can have a dinner of my choice. The diet has become second nature so I am quite comfortable with it.

My Sunday morning walks have continued along with my PT exercises and other work outs.
The walk keeps getting longer and have grown into a 10k event. I have gone further but there is not much need for that. It is my time for the 10k that I am working on to decrease. Best time so far is 1 hr 50 min. No running is to be done by me due to the lack of cartilage in the knees and the lower back damage.

I had lost 135 pounds on the diet but I am now 130 pounds down as I am intentionally building back up some selected muscle groups. I am a little heavier than my lowest weight but actually look trimmer due to exercise. I started at 372 pounds and weighed 239 this morning. The weight floats around the 240 mark. I feel good and have plenty of energy.

I cannot say enough good things about the Diet of Hope and the people who work there. I do not go to the office anymore and have not for some time as there is no medical necessity. I am going to visit just to say hi. Thank you Diet of Hope!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Working on the Bronco

A couple of weeks ago I went out to start up the Bronco as it had not been run in a few weeks. I got in, stepped on the brakes and the pedal went almost to the floor. Holy crap Batman, I thought , the brakes were fine the last time. The brakes kind of worked if you stood on them. Guess that I will just idle in place for a while.

I called around and found a reman for the booster and master cylinder and picked them up. After changing these out, I called upon my better half to check if the brake lights were functioning correctly. They were not working at all. I could depress the switch and get them to work so the circuit was fine. Play around and try it again but no change was effected. My sweetie told me that the right rear fixture looked askew. One of the mounting studs had broken off. Oh well, we just figured that could wait as I did not have brake lights yet. A new switch was picked up and it worked exactly the same in that it did not work. The clevis or connection from the booster to the pedal was just a slightly different shape. A 0.016" brass shim folded around the switch contact surface and all was well for both the new and old switch. Now to the light fixture.

Upon removing the offending fixture, it was discovered that the black plastic backing was all warpy if that is a word. The lens side looks fine.

I was able to get the backup light socket out after clipping a bit of material out around the area that was already split. The running light removal required the use of a hack saw blade to make an opening, expand that opening and remove the socket. Both sockets were undamaged. The left side fixture was not warped. I am thinking that the old exhaust system did not stick out far enough and the plastic was attacked by the fumes since the other side was fine.

I finally have brakes, lights and a fixture that I could change out a bad bulb on the road. Thank heavens I did not lose a light driving and try this on the roadside!

Monday, August 08, 2016

Cthulhu for 2016!

Go visit the Cthulhu for America site.
Fun items to purchase for the upcoming election such as stickers, shirts, mug, etc. With great slogans like the below, how could you go wrong?
The Stars Are Right!
Why Vote for the Lesser Evil?
No Lives Matter!
Heck, put the Great Old One on stage with the other candidates and he might turn out to be the best looking and the most appealing or alluring creature on stage. But don't stare at him too long as insanity follows! If you follow none of this then you have never read any of H.P. Lovecraft's work and I must say to you, "I'm sorry."

Another fun site to visit would be The H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society website. this is the spot I go to get the latest H.P. Lovecraft inspired Christmas Albums. Daughter #1 was home over Christmas. We were having a good laugh as we played Left for Dead and listened to one of these albums. How appropriate.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

I May Have to Quit on the 22s!

I found another inexpensive charmer at the Shrine's gun show. A little Iver Johnson TP22 which is a knock-off of the PPK. This one is yet to be fired. I may have to quit buying the 22 pistols/revolvers as I am gathering a few but there was there one I saw the other day that was pretty interesting......................

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Back to Michigan, Again.

February was a good month and a sad month. Mom-In-Law passed as she had enough of dialysis and quit going. My better half bailed off to MI to see her Mom and during that time period, our first grandbaby was born in Okinawa. Mom then passed leaving another estate to close out. I had closed my parent’s estate in 2011/2012.

I flew to MI on the 16th to meet with my brother-in-law so that we could empty the attic, meet contractors, meet estate sales people, and get with a realtor. Normally this would fall to my wife as it is her mother and estate. To say that she and her brother do not get along would be huge understatement. I ended up playing mediator as he will work with me if remember to be polite and don’t tell him what I really think. I would not care to be here again.

It would normally be closer to fly into Toledo but there was an airshow going on that weekend and decided to fly into Detroit. I hate flying in/out of Detroit as you always have to add time for the “Detroit Factor”. I do not know if the whole darn place is unionized or just slow on purpose. On arrival, I took the shuttle to the Avis Rental. I needed to go to the counter as I had a fistful of corporate free days. There were about 15 people ahead of me and three people manning the counters. Oops, make that two as one just left. It must have been his end of shift. The keys to a vehicle were finally in my hands about 1 ½ hours later. Detroit Factor!  

My in-laws lived in the same place for about 60 years. The attic was impressive in the ingenuity required to load all the historic treasures stored there. I don’t think anything was ever thrown away as it might come in handy later. We took about 5 hours unloading the attic. There was no organizing of anything at this time. It’s hot so just get the stuff down for organizing later.

A few items, that were carefully selected, were tossed out the bedroom window down to the driveway so that they could immediately make their way to trash. I organized a bit later so that I could vacuum up a bit. All those old plastic storage bags disintegrated upon touching them.

Through the week I sorted out what wife and brother-in-law might desire and cleaned up. I met with contractors etc. Finally, it was time to leave. I went to the airport extra early on the 23rd to account for the Detroit Factor. They could not close out the vehicle at the return lane. The note said to go to the counter. So off I go to the counter to see one person working and five people in line ahead of me. Detroit Factor. When I finally get to the counter, they cannot close it out either. A manager will be required who is not present. Detroit Factor. Took a copy of my return receipts and left to go to the airport. I still had adequate time as amazing as that seems.

I got on the plane and was waiting for the barbarian hordes to get settled in. Looking around, I could feel my IQ dropping. Have you ever gotten that feeling that you accidentally got on the short plane reserved for those who recently escaped the institution? Here comes one really, really obese lady down the aisle counting as she looks at the row numbers. You can hear her say, “sixteen, seventeen, and eighteen”, while bouncing her fat ass off of everyone in the aisle seats. She then loudly complains, “Where the hell is row 24?” Yep, I am definitely on the short plane. Thank heaven I was in the exit row and the obese one was not next to me. As I gaze around at my fellow passengers, I realize that this is the homeliest most overweight bunch that I have ever had the misfortune of being near. I was happy to see DFW to shed myself of that particular group. I picked up something to eat and then finally Tucson. Yeah! Home again.

But Detroit Factor! My Avis bill is still not closed out. I contacted our corporate representative and he is still trying to get Detroit to respond. I suggested a Taser to get their attention or at least the one still standing. He has now opened a case number with customer support to try to get Detroit’s attention. I wonder if Avis is headquartered in Detroit!