Sunday, July 30, 2006

Things I Forgot

Char and I have been on vacation this past week. We went to see the wonderful canyon lands of Utah. Yes, it was hot. One day it was 108 degrees. As we were walking around, I missed my air conditioner. That made me think of other things I forgot to do before we left. Here is a partial list:

* To update my blog so you would know I would be gone all week. Sorry.
* To set the timer for the sprinklers.
* To call my daughter and ask her to turn the sprinklers on.
* To cancel my golf lesson.
* To cancel a meeting I had scheduled.
* To send out an e-mail to our agency telling them I would be gone all week.
* To change my voice message so people would know I was gone all week.

Now, here are some things I remembered to do.

* Take some great pictures along with great notes to share with all my blogger friends.
* Have a great time seeing the sites and being with Char.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be posting pictures of our trips. Over the next few days, I hope to be caught up on your blogs.

Friday, July 21, 2006

All I Wanted Was. . .

. . . another digital camera, the one I had for years was starting to have some problems.

So, I asked that another be order. Within a couple days, it was setting on my desk with a note saying it was a ‘state of the art’ camera. I tried it but quickly discovered two major flaws. First, it had no viewfinder. While it did have a large LCD monitor it was hard to see what you were taking pictures of on a sunny day. Secondly, the majority of the pictures I took came out blurry. No matter what I did, the pictures were blurred.

So, after looking around and I found a few I liked. I asked that the new one be returned and one of these others be ordered. Well, my new camera arrived. It has a viewfinder. And I know it takes pictures that are in focus.

But look at the manuals that came with it! Of course, the first thing you see when you open the box is a slip of paper telling you that to prevent damage to the camera please read ALL the manuals first. Half the manuals are in English. I’m hoping I don’t void the warrant if I don’t read the others. Just the English version ones will take all weekend.

I flipped through one of them they are talking about things like macros, color swapping, postcard data imprints, and DPOF transfer settings. I think I still do better with things like power button, zoom, and focus.

See you Monday; I have some reading to do.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I Just Hate it When. . .

. . . people name things after me. First, it was the soup, now this.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Many farmers in Colorado are going through a tough time this year. This is a cornfield on the eastern plains. Actually, it is in better shape than most. The corn is patchy and ranges in height from four inches to fourteen inches. Not good for the middle of July.

I probably notice this more than a lot people for several reason. One is my friendship with Cliff. Another is Jerry’s blog. Yet another is because of a dream that is now a couple of decades old – I’ll write about that later.

Water is the main reason farmers are facing this situation. It rained on July 4th. That was the first significant rainfall in over six weeks. Another reason is the irrigation water to eight plains counties was cut off. There was a possibility of having a major water shortage in the metropolitan area. People would be driving dirty cars and not having lush, green lawns. Gosh, we can’t let that happen!

A few days ago in the paper, there was an article saying by the year 2010 our state would lose another 2.1 million acres of agricultural land to commercial and residential development. 2010 is only four years away. Seems like many cities and towns are more interested in increasing their tax base than anything else.

What you can’t see in the first picture is Ray. He is standing behind me. He farms this property. I met Ray when I stopped to take the picture of the cornfield and we got talking. Ray readily admits his crop is gone this year. He also said he is being contacted about once a week by a developer wanting to know if he is interested in selling.

I asked him what he was going to do. There was a long pause. Then he gave the most determined and confident answer I have heard in a long, long time. Ray said, “This land is a way of life. It’s not suited for a damn outlet mall.”

That is determination.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Taken Away

“What time will you be home?” These words started a sequence of events. When I told her, she asked if I could make it a little earlier. I replied I could but why. That’s when my wife informed we really hadn’t seen each other for the past few weeks so we were going on a date. Even after all these years and some of the stuff we have been through, she continues to amaze me.

I got home at the appointed hour and promptly asked where we were going. She said it was surprise. Now, you need to understand I don’t handle these types of situations very well. First, I have no idea where we are going. Secondly, I don’t know why we are ‘really’ going. This is not a good combination for old Ralph.

We left the house and she would only tell me where to turn. As we started up a canyon west of the town, I was getting nervous and grumpier. “Are we going to be out this canyon by dark?” I snapped. She assured me we would.

A few more miles down the road (painful miles for old Ralph – did I happen to mention I had no idea where we were going or why) we were in a mountain community. After a few wrong turns and losing my temper once (yes, it happens) we were at the Black Forest Restaurant. That is where I finally started to relaxed. We dined on some great German rye bread, sauerbraten, potato pancakes with applesauce, and Wiener schnitzel. We finished the meal with the best apple strudel either of us ever had.

So, after my wife took me away, I was taken away by the restaurant, taken away by her thoughtfulness and the efforts she went to in planning such a great evening.

Monday, July 10, 2006

This is Funny

I thought my joke, “With Gas Prices Going Up. . .’ was pretty good. Christa (of Magic and Sensibility fame) has a really funny story called Of Showers and Breakfast. Her and I use to work together and she has a great sense of humor. She laughed at most of my jokes even when she wasn’t getting paid.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

With Gas Prices Going Up. . .

A young Nun who worked for a local home health care agency was out making her rounds when she ran out of gas. As luck would have it, there was a gas station just one block away. She walked to the station to borrow a can with enough gas to start the car and drive to the station for a fill up.

The attendant regretfully told her that the only gas can he had was just loaned out, but if she would care to wait, he was sure it would be back shortly. Since the nun was on her way to see a patient, she decided not to wait and walked back to her car.

After looking through her car for something to carry to the station to fill with gas, she spotted a bedpan she was taking to the patient. Always resourceful, she carried it to the station, filled it with gasoline, and carried it back to her car.

As she was pouring the gas into the tank of her car, two men watched her from across the street. One of them turned to the other and said, "I know that the good Lord turned water into wine, but if that car starts, I'm going to church every Sunday for the rest of my life."

Thursday, July 06, 2006


I suppose golf is like any sport, everybody has a brand of equipment they think is the best. These are cougar golf balls. Right now, they are my golf ball of choice. Mainly, because they are cheap. I can get eighteen for eight dollars.

Tuesday, we were matched up with a guy who has spent a lot of money on equipment. He had the expensive golf clubs, the monogrammed shirt, and the two hundred dollar golf shoes (so he claimed).

At the seventh hole I teed off and then turned to exclaim, “One of these days I am going to learn how to use this club.” The guy we were playing with promptly announced my short shot was due to my golf ball. He gave me one of his and told me to try it. Now, don’t get me wrong he was a nice guy; I also thought he was trying to help me. I hit the ball. It did feel better so I asked him what brand it was and how much they cost. They were Callaway golf balls. Twelve balls for forty dollars!

I walked up to my Cougar only to discover the Callaway ball was just to the left and about eight inches further up the fairway. If I played the entire back nine holes with Callaway’s it might take one stroke off my game.

After nine holes of golf, he beat me by eight strokes. That’s when I decided to stay with my Cougar’s. If I put one of them in the water (which I am known to do) I’m out forty-four cents. I dump one of those Callaway’s in the drink it will cost me $3.33.

But, when I get better I am going to upgrade to Top Flite XL-3000, sixty-one cents a ball.

Monday, July 03, 2006


There is an old saying that is applied to kids a lot – the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. We just experienced it for a few days.

Dan, Julie. Madi, and Allison stopped by to visit for a couple of days. Dan and I played some golf, told some stories, played some golf, ate a good dinner or two, played some golf, sat on the porch, and then to top it off played some golf.

Cliff and I have done pretty much the same thing – minus, the golf. I haven’t visited with Cliff since I took up the game.

I think Char and Julie had a good time as well. It was hard to tell since they were never on the golf course. Madi and Allison were fun to have around and DOR (Daughter of Ralph) even did a little babysitting.

We did learn our house is not as “child proof” as it had been in the past. Having Char’s bear collection moved from room to room was a small price to pay for such a good visit.

I learned a great soup recipe from Julie and discovered a ‘secret’ pizza ingredient.

All in all, it was a great visit.