Day 123

A cottage in the country

It is not really a cottage. It probably belongs to a well to do farmer, or someone well to do who owns farm land. The house sets well back from the road. I zoomed in as far as I could without losing a lot of detail.

***

We have some very good friends. Diana & Steve Bush came over today to open our pool. I haven’t been able to do it because of my foot problems, and they volunteered to do it out of the goodness of their hearts. Of course they chose the coldest day in the past month or so to work on it.

***

Cindy’s gift to me for our anniversary is a digital video camera. The instructions that came with it were on a sheet smaller than a standard 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper. I went online this morning and printed off a seventy-four page manual so I could figure out how to use this new toy. Maybe I can spend sometime this evening trying to set it up. One thing I do know is that I’ll be buying an SD card with larger memory than the card that came with the recorder. I did the same when I bought my Nikon digital camera, because they never supply a card that is large enough.

Based on what I’ve read in the manual so far, this new video camera is going to take me a while to master…if I ever do master it. I never was able to get the hang of the video camera Lee and Michelle gave us. Part of the trouble with that camera was that I would only get it out every 6 months or so. When I did try to use it I had forgotten everything that I had learned before. I was only able to get one reasonably good video with that camera. I tried using it again at Niagara Falls, and it turned out to be a disaster. I have higher hopes for this new video camera. I plan on using it on a regular basis so that I don’t forget how to use it.

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Day 122

Most of the Doc Watson music in my collection

Doc Watson died yesterday. That news in the entertainment field was overshadowed by Bob Dylan receiving the Medal of Freedom at the White House from President Obama. I understand that, because Bob Dylan is so well-known, but I’m not sure that the Dylan story was more important. I am a Dylan fan, but I own more music by Doc Watson because over the years I found that he was uniformly good, while there were quite a few albums by Dylan upon which I could take a pass. I suppose it is a point of view thing.

I’m nt sure which Doc Watson album in my collection was the first that I bought. I know I had heard about him long before I listened to him. I suppose I thought he was just a hillbilly country and western singer, and I used to be too much of a snob to listen to C&W. Then I listened to Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, Hank Williams, and Patsy Cline. I decided to try other artists as well and picked up a Doc Watson album that I found on sale. That first album was enough to make me a fan. I have always loved to hear good guitar playing and both Doc and his son Merle were outstanding guitar players. The fact that Doc could also sing was a bonus.  He not only performed country songs, but also folk music, show tunes and pop songs. He recorded with Chet Atkins, David Holt, and David Grisman. I’ll be listening to Doc Watson’s music for as long as I can.

Lest you think I was giving Bob Dylan short shrift, I am a fan of his as well. I especially like his first seven or eight albums. I started listening to Dylan when I was a senior in high school. I had heard Peter, Paul & Mary and The Chad Mitchell Trio among others perform his songs, but I didn’t hear his voice until Like A Rolling Stone hit the radio. It became my theme song for my freshman year in college. That song seemed to say so much to me. I quickly bought that album, Highway 61 Revisited, and his earlier releases because I liked the songs so much. Dylan wasn’t consistently good by my standards, but he deserved the recognition he received yesterday.

Day 121

Heavy equipment in the field

I don’t know why this equipment is being used unless it is to put in some sort of drainage system. I might be able to figure it out if I ever see them using the equipment. I’ve driven past this site a few times in the past week, and have never seen anyone working. Still, the earth looks freshly worked. Perhaps they work in th afternoon and evening, while I do morning drives.

One good thing comes with being my age; in just over three months I’ll be eligible for Medicare. That’s good, but on the other hand, it makes me feel a bit older…which I am. It’s funny, but when I was in my teens and early twenties I never thought about being as old as I am now. It just wasn’t something on my radar. As I grew older it was more like, “Well, maybe someday I’ll reach that age, but it is nothing to think about now.” Someday is here. I didn’t totally ignore the fact that I would be older; I made sure I had a retirement plan, and that I saved as much as I could to help us through older age. I have an insurance policy that is large enough to purchase an urn for my ashes. (Cindy, I expect you to take that urn and display it whenever you move…take it on vacations as well.)

Getting back to Medicare, I am being inundated with mail from insurance companies trying to sell me extended Medicare coverage. I will look into a Medigap plan, but my head hurts just thinking about it. All of these companies want to send someone to talk to me. I don’t want that! I just want documents that I cn compare and make an informed decision. I don’t want to base my coverage on which agent smiles the most. I am insurance agent adverse. Though I did have an agent, now retired I believe, who handled my life insurance coverage. He came to see me exactly once each year, driving from Elkhart to wherever I lived in Indiana, and he never pressured me to up my coverage. He also sent me a birthday card and Christmas card that he signed personally. I liked Ken. I hope he is doing well.

Day 120

What’s missing in this picture?

It is a quiet, peaceful Monday (Memorial Day celebrated) morning and something seems to be missing in this graveyard. Either there are no veterans buried here, or American flags are not used to decorate veteran graves. I thought it was odd. When I was young, the kids who went to the Methodist church, and those who attended the Christian church joined together on Memorial Day Sunday and walked to the Rolling Prairie graveyard and decorated the veteran’s graves with American flags. I don’t know if the kids still do that in Rolling Prairie, but if they don’t I’m sure the local VFW post sees to it. What is going on, or not going on, in this graveyard I went past this morning? I may visit some more graveyards in the next few days to see if the veteran’s graves have been decorated.

When I went out this morning the sun was shining, it was warm and humid, and there was a slight haze in the air. All of this screamed one thing in my mental ear, “ROAD TRIP!” But that isn’t going to happen. Cindy and I haven’t been on a real road trip vacation in years, and it is unlikely that we will in future years. My version of a road trip vacation means driving on roads that aren’t Interstates, waking up somewhere different every morning, visiting little museums and such as the whim hits us, and not visiting people. Cindy prefers to vacation by flying or driving as fast as possible to one place and then stay there, preferably spending time with friends and relatives when we get to our destination.

We were raised differently and enjoy different modes of travel and types of vacations. She isn’t wrong, but neither am I. She relaxes when surrounded by people she knows, and I relax when I’m not. Still, we have stayed together twenty-two years, so something is obviously right.

Day 119

Memorial Presbyterian Church in Dayton, Indiana

Twenty-two years ago on this date, Cindy and I were married in this church. Like today, that was a race day in Indianapolis. We were surprised at the number of people who came to the wedding rather than go to the race, or listen to it on the radio. It was nice to know we were a priority over “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” This evening we are going to have a quiet dinner at Mountain Jack’s, and then home, where Mason will be waiting for us.

Yesterday I watched The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, starring Paul Newman. It was pretty good. Victoria Principal played the part of Maria Elena. It was one of her first movie roles, and her dewy-eyed starlet look really took me in. She has aged well, but when she was young, wow!

There were some other memorable people in the film. I must admit I didn’t recognize Stacy Keach as Bad Bob until I watched the final credits. I did recognize Tab Hunter, Anthny Zerbe, Roddy McDowell, John Huston, Ava Gardner, Ned Beatty and Anthony Perkins. I knew I had seen the actress playing Rose before, but didn’t know who she was until the credits told me it was Jacqueline Bisset. What a cast! I kept thinking that the movie could have been, should have been, better, but I don’t know how I would make it better. I shouldn’t criticize if I don’t have a better idea.

Of course, while I was watching, the song Lily Langtry by The New Christy Minstrels started going through my head. That song was on their Cowboys And Indians album. That was one of my favorite Christy’s albums. I’ve read quite a bit about the group during the early years, and it seems there was a bit of dissension in the ranks. Luckily they were professionals and hid it well enough to make great music.

Day 118

A beautiful morning in the country

What a beautiful morning. I took a short drive through a bucolic countryside. The fact that I was playing the Jefferson Starship album Spitfire with the windows open may seem incongruous to the surroundings, but it seemed right to me. Spitfire did not get the critical praise that it’s predecessor Red Octopus did, but I like it better. Evidently, that’s just me. With Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, and Marty Balin part of the group, this could easily have been a Jefferson Airplane album. Why did they change the group name?

I am not going to take the time to go back through my posts and see if I’ve put down words about this topic before; I know I’ve thought about it; but I’m a cranky geezer, so I’m allowed. I left the house around 8:30 this morning. It was already a warm, sunny day, and as I drove through the streets of Lafayette, on my way to the countryside, I saw no children playing outside. Where were they? I can’t imagine that as a kid I wouldn’t have been outside at that hour getting sweaty and dirty. How can they be having fun, enjoying childhood, if they are inside watching TV, playing video games, or sleeping? I don’t get it. But, like I said, I’m a cranky geezer. Life may be passing me by, but it looks to me like life is passing the youngsters by. Heck, Mason spent the night here and Cindy finally woke him up around 10:30 this morning. OK, that’s my verbal drubbing of today’s youth, and the parents who don’t shoo the kids out of the house.

A quick update on my former toe, or actually the surrounding remaining flesh, all of the redness is gone! It seems that the healing process is continuing apace. That makes me feel much better!

Day 117

Brown Street Methodist Church

This is one of the first places Cindy and I went to together. I wanted to go (yes me, a church) because Herb Wingard was the minister. Herb was the minister at the Rolling Prairie Methodist Church when I was in junior high school and early high school, and went to church on a regular basis. I had seen his name in the Lafayette newspaper, and wanted to see him. Cindy, being a church goer, said she would go with me. As we were entering the church that morning I saw Herb and told him who I was, and where I knew him from. He looked slightly puzzled, but went with it. During the service he announced that there were visitors there that day, and asked Cindy and me to stand. Cindy was embarrassed because he introduced her as my wife. That came as a shock to her, to me, and to some friends of hers who happened to be in the congregation. Our marriage was a few years off yet. Perhaps he was prescient. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I was really noticing girls then, and there were some cute ones to notice at church. I was too shy to do anything about it, but at least I was close to them.

I just looked at my Facebook profile a little while ago and noticed that of the three television shows I indicated that I liked, two have been cancelled. It looks like I’ll have to update the profile, but I wonder if I pick other shows if I’m giving them the kiss of death? Do I have some strange power, or do I have bad taste in television? I don’t like “reality” TV and most of the comedy/drama I watch is on the cable networks, not the bigger three. There are a couple of exceptions, Grimm being one, but I spend a lot of time on USA, TNT, and BBC America (on demand). I’ve also been drifting back to PBS for Nova and Masterpiece Mystery. Yes, I know that Nova is science, not drama or comedy, but I have been watching it quite often lately.

Well, it’s time to do the customer survey for Staples and try to win the $5,000 Staples gift card. Yeah, like that’s going to happen.