Sunday, October 30, 2016

One of Ethan and Cheryl's Secrets To a Successful Marriage!

There are actually many things that form a successful bond in the Human realm,  but this is just one of those that Cheryl and I  talk about but I have yet to share.  So...take it for what it is worth...

A few days ago,  both Cheryl and I commented aloud that we "make up for each other's deficiencies."  Instead of complementing each other,   we fill each others gaps in life.   And thus,  we look like a perfect match!   Peanut butter and jelly! Hot fudge and Ice cream,   Wine and Cheese... But that is not really true.

Actually, we are probably more like two flavors that taste AWFUL on their own.   But together..  they seem to take the edge off.   This may sound allow me to explain.

Cheryl pointed out that she is kind of cold and stand off-ish.   Whereas, I'm like a big, slobbery dog that jumps onto people with muddy paws and buckets of drool!   To people who are afraid of dogs,  I can be a little scary.   But add in a lovely item,  say: a cute little cat or a bow,  and the scary dog seems more lovable.

On the same level,  Cheryl might seem small, helpless and vulnerable while she runs around the park.  But add in a HUGE SLOBBERY DOG next to her... and any  would-be thugs write her off from being a  potential target. See!  We both benefit in our own way!

Now,  you may be thinking that comparing myself to a dog is not very flattering.   However, I have a great affinity for dogs.   Loyal, faithful, protective, affectionate, and loving are all qualities I think of when a dog comes to mind.  At the same time,  thinking of Cheryl as helpless is not really true either.  Cats are usually quite capable at taking care of themselves.

So what is the point of this?  I guess to put down on the record one of the many ways Cheryl and I fit together.   Not that it makes any sense to anyone who reads this.  ( if anyone ever reads this!)  It's more complex than this, thankfully.  The thought that I could be replaced by a large dog is rather unsettling.   Then again,  dogs are not allowed in this apartment.  Even though they may be cleaner than I am at times.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Hidden Gem: More Than I Can Bear.

I have always been a Basia fan. Here is one of those "before they were famous" videos with Basia Trzetrzelewska singing in the background. Listen to her range at 2:49 - 3:12. The song is nice, but her part is what I continue to replay the most. Enjoy!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Water Main Woes in Wellman

First it was the sewer.  Then it was the electricity and internet.   Now it is the Water!  What's left?   The Natural Gas Main?   Seems we will be getting new utilities no matter how you slice...or in this case:  DIG it!  You dig*?

 (*That's '70's lingo for " Do you understand")

So I should explain.   The crew that has been working on our sewer for the last three weeks has done it again!   This time,  while digging the trench for the sewer to our neighbor's house...  they cracked into our water pipe.  Thus we have been without water for the better part of the afternoon.  Luckily,  we don't drink the stuff and our showers can wait for a little while.

The guys noted that the pipes were almost completely filled with "Iron Sediment"  and a new pipeline was long overdue.  When they finally fixed it ( a few moments ago) the water ran this wonderful brown color for several minutes.  Reaffirming  our choice to never drink it!

The poor crew working out there do not strike me as "incompetent".  Actually, they strike me as fairly competent.   Every time they break something...they know just who to call to get it fixed right away!  I guess practice and experience make perfect....even when things go invariably wrong.  Planning to fail seems to trump failing to plan.  Or so every insurance agency would have us believe.

Speaking of screw-ups:   Check out my new embroidery mistake!   I blame my meaty paws with the pushing of the "X" button on the touch screen instead of the "Y". (They are right next to each other on the touch screen, after all.)  It is the first time I have ever done anything like that... even though I have caught myself  with typo's before.  Heck, this blog is a prime example.

Other than those little things,  it has warmed up to a pleasant day outside currently.  So warm, in fact, that the last few remaining butterflies have been stopping in to sample our flowers.   Those Marigolds are wonderful Fall flowers as they seem to continue to bloom despite all of the chilly nights and mornings.  I wonder how late into the Fall they will last.    We shall see.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Friday.   The weekend is right around the corner....good news for those folks with jobs.  Enjoy the next couple Autumn days while you can.  It's the best time of year!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Scary Fall Spiders and Falling Telephone Poles

Monster in the Kitchen!
Cheryl's quick thinking...and snack dish
With the cooler weather, certain outside creatures are looking for a place to hold up and hide out for the winter.   Usually, these are ladybugs and Box-elder beetles.    But last night,  Cheryl noticed something slightly larger in the middle of the kitchen floor....
Look at the size of that quarter!

Cheryl takes it a "safe" distance away.
I'm not sure what kind of spider this was,  but BIG sums it up nicely.  After covering it with a dish...  and doing the "creepy crawly dance" for a few moments,  both of us mustered up the courage to bundle it up and release it outside.   As a rule of thumb, we try to not kill spiders.   Maybe it is that human biologist in me...or the fact that bug guts are disgusting.   Whatever the reason,
Hurray for  plastic protection!
Cheryl and I both headed outside to the removal.   Cheryl selected a "far enough away from the building" location so the spider will "recognize he is not welcome"... and hopefully pester one of the unsuspecting neighbors instead.

Cheryl and Hiro run to safety!
After we released him,  Cheryl fled to a house with Hiro providing security.   Everyone knows cats are good protection from spiders...

Old and rotted,  this pole is history.

I wonder what caused the issue?
The other thing that is notable today was that the Sewer guys knocked down the power/cable line to the apartment this morning.  My suspicion is that the excavator bumped one of the lower lines while digging the trench.  Add in that the pole was ancient and rotted...and you have a recipe for disaster.
Our "New" power pine pole!

With the new pole up.  time to string up the wires..

The power guys were swift and agile.   They got the power back up before 1:00 PM.   Then the Cable guy moved in...

Now to connect to the grid!
And now Mediacom get to it.
This looked like a two man job...  but there was only one guy so it took a little longer.   The good news is that we finally have the Internet up and now have a new pole with new lines.   The bad ( -ish) news is that we were both supposed to score today for ETS....and with our internet... quite literally DOWN down,  we were unable to begin on time and thus..unable to participate today.  I only say this is kind of bad because after three weeks of scoring for Pearson....I was not particularly eager to get back into the fray.

I'm impressed with MediaCom.   They actually came out on the day of the emergency!   Usually there is a five day waiting list for things like this.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Rainy Autumn Day In Wellman, Iowa.

Last night was a wonderful rainy night complete with thunder and lightning... and the pitter patter of raindrops on the window  as we slept.  With the morning, the rain has diminished to a drizzly mist.   The perfect day to sit back and enjoy the fall colors....   Unless they cut down one of the few trees that actually have color in the neighborhood.

That is correct!   The sewer people had to take down one of the most colorful trees in the area down.  It, unfortunately, happens to be right in the path of the projected sewer system and can not be saved.   Ah well,   it is not unusual that Iowans are constantly taking down trees to keep the land nice and flat.  ( I'm kidding)

Other than that,  the cat has been enjoying the outdoors with the introduction to the cooler temps.  He seems to enjoy exploring the earth moving equipment that the sewer people have left on the yard.  Not to mention the exposed earth!

As for Cheryl and myself,   we ran today in the mist ( thankfully, the rain had stopped before we set out on the training run) and Cheryl got her Boston Acceptance note-card in the mail.  Looks like we are going to have to "officially" plan on saving up for the race.

Also,  stockings are beginning to hit a higher gear than the last few weeks.  It's a good thing, because we shall need all the resources we can gather for that Boston Trip.   Hope everyone is having a great day today.  The months of Autumn fly by so quickly....  sometimes it is just nice to take time and enjoy the sensations that are offered.   Thanks for stopping in!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Naperville Half Marathon. Highlights and Video.

 Yet another Race to add to Cheryl's "Wall of Fame."   The entire thing was over so quickly!   Half marathons seem to be far easier to handle than the full Marathon deal.  Not only for me, but also for Cheryl.

We rose up in the early hours of sunlight to arrive at the start line.  We were only about 3 miles from the start, so this allowed us to "sleep in" a bit and not rush for parking.  Oh!  And parking was relatively easy.  Aside from some guy who was low on coffee parking next to us.   But that is another story....  even though "abrasive" may be too kind of a word.  ( Hey!  I had not had any coffee either, but you did not see me being rude to anyone!)

So let's talk about her results.

Official time: 1:41:46
Age group.  8th out of 311
Female.  47th out of 1536
Cheryl at the start
I'm finally able to catch her!
Overall placement:  220th out of 2764 Half Marathon Runners
Average pace:  7:47 minute mile. ( That is pretty good!  I doubt I could run a single mile under 8 minutes now)

Cheryl at Mile 8!
The Full Marathoners also ran the race with the halfers.   So the total number of runners was actually larger.  ( 650 additional runners.  Totaling a little over 3400 runners for the race.....   Not too small.)

Cheryl at Mile 11!
I have to point out that races of this size are much more "Ethan Friendly" than the larger ones.  I was able to catch her at several different points during this race.  AND...I was able to actually FIND her in the cluster of runners.  Too bad the camera is not the best with "instant focus" or rapid snap shots.   I guess the old Nikon ONE camera spoiled me.

Cheryl at the finish!  The bright clothes and thin crowd helped!
Cheryl said the actual race was not as exciting as Chicago....  No surprise there.

Very Pretty area

Calder sculpture?  
  But it was a calming run through residential streets lined with colorful autumn trees. The crowd was not overbearing and the people were nice.  In all,  a short, pleasant run.   What more is there to say about that?
Hosted by SUBARU!

Cheryl helps drive home.
We did not stick around long after Cheryl finished.   Instead, we headed back to the room, showered up, and ate some breakfast.  On the way home, we had to navigate the IKEA load under our elbows and back seat.  Surprisingly, it was not a terrible ordeal, and we still had enough energy to assemble the IKEA furniture and replace the old stuff.
With all that IKEA furniture

 I'm not sure if it was because I had energy or if I simply did not want to sit around the apartment with all those boxes in the living room.
Pushing out from the trunk!

So there it is.  We took the day off from running today and are, instead, finishing up stocking orders and basically relaxing.  Well...  I am, anyway.   Cheryl continues to drudge in the shop trying to handle custom orders and answer questions.


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