Sunday, February 28, 2021

A Spring Day - 2021/02/27 - Peter Ostroushko R.I.P.

Up extra early Saturday for a reason and instead of a hot cup at home, I was anxious to get out to the car and on the road.  This time, a longer, slower dedicated listening trip, the reason explained below.  My brother rode his shiny KLR in for coffee rather than using 4 wheels and on my way outside afterwards, there was another machine in the lot, not sure who rode that one in.

After coffee, a stop at GoMoto to pick up two shiny new Golden Boys mounted on the Himalayan rims.

Possibly, a kind and benevolent owner might sometime soon see his way towards giving the poor thing a bath once those wheels are back on, the valves checked???

There just aren't very many places around home where you can truly find Flat and Level.  Of course we hope that the floors in our buildings acquire and maintain this attribute but while we can find flat in a few locations, perfectly level is another thing entirely.

On a wonderfully Spring-ish end of February day, I found Flat And Level.

There was even a bit of correspondence with one of the neighbors....



 How could I be faulted...with temperatures like this, hard water will soon turn to...well...less hard water.  And Real Feel??  No way was it 52, it Really Felt like 75 degrees to me.... 

After the flat and level, I was out for a loop on roads and in conditions much more typical of my favorite riding area.








That blue Harvestore silo left center in the photo....our uncle's farm, the farm where my brother and I became Boys to Men.

 Then on Sunday morning?


We've lost another one of my favorite musicians this week, Peter Ostroushko.  He was 67, suffered from a stroke a few years ago that halted his performing and this week heart failure stopped his everything.  Like many if not most of Upper Midwesterners, my very first exposure was through the Prairie Home Show on our local (and initially very small) public radio station.  At first, through the radio waves, then numerous live performances at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul.  Later, other live performances after he was no longer involved with PHS, some of them very near our home.  Eventually, his family and ours were attentively patient while we listened to what had to be hundreds of Twinkles in our Minneapolis Suzuki recitals.  I asked Peter once where his very favorite venue was and for all of the many places that he'd performed throughout the world, his answer may have surprised many but it didn't surprise me and once heard, the mention of the place brought a grin to both our faces.

Saturday morning on the way to Diamonds for coffee, I loaded up my best portable sound system, took the long slow road to Nordeast Minneapolis and listened to my favorite of Peter's albums, "Heart of the Heartland".  I was in the coffee shop parking lot early and had to dry my eyes before walking inside.  Peter's smile and music now bringing Heartland Heart to heaven these days, of that I'm sure.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Last Of The House Build Series (1996)

 This is the last of it, at least the last that will be presented.

Someday, this will be our dining room/Wisconsin bluffs view window.  On that summer day, a nice view of our virulent sheep pasture, our neighbor's bison feed wagon just past the line fence.


The summer of '96, soon there will be windows.

A view of the old driveway before it was moved, our 'Tree Field' with very young maples.  Only a couple of years previous, an additional acre of corn.


 More wheelin' on the sub-floor plywood....








Through the summer, progress was being made.  We were close to putting windows in...

Windows in, siding was done, sheetrock getting things closed in.


A lot happened over those months, the furnace was in and making heat.  I had just finished spraying the vaulted ceiling.  Had to remove the specs....they weren't doing much good.



Just before Thanksgiving, we were determined to have our holiday meal in the 'New House'.  While the food had been cooked in the mobile home, we carried the meal across the driveway and ate on and around a huge stack of 1/2' sheetrock stacked up on the upper level.

By Christmas, we were living in an unfinished but livable home.  Rooms weren't done, beds were in rooms not necessarily bedrooms.  There was water, there was heat, we could cook and be clean.  Just like our years in the mobile home, lots of adventure, lots of very good memories.  There ARE a lot more photos somewhere but I'm not going to go look for them....everything from that point on was boring and happened way too slowly.  Lots more rock to hang, taping, endless taping and sanding.  

Slowly everything important was moved over from the trailer house, its role from that point on and still today, one of storage.  I've started cleaning, sorting and done minimal selling but there is a lot more to do.  One more excuse to retire, right??


Friday, February 12, 2021

Busy...Just Stuff

Traveling, working, resting...that fairly describes the last couple of weeks.  It got cold and has stayed cold.  Not that I'm really complaining because as far as I'm concerned, it's been a gentle winter, coming late and treating us gently for the most part.  More snow both north and south of us, our ground surface is white but not by much.

Reading, listening to music, exploring some new coffees, Route planning.....wildly exciting stuff that has kept me on the edge of one of the warm chairs. 

The Himalayan is on the lift getting some timely maintenance taken care of, some new rubber, possibly some new mirrors (haven't made up my mind yet).  Friend Richard bought a brand new '21, one of the very lovely Red/Black ones and ridden it only the few short miles that it took to make it home from GoMoto in Minneapolis.  Though Richard has barely ridden his new bike far enough to get it warmed up, he's been very busy 'enhancing', something he is very adept at.  Last Saturday at coffee in Nordeast Minneapolis (Diamonds) he shared both photos and highlighted descriptions of all the updates.  He's fully geared, I can tell you that.  Mention of his new Doubletake mirrors put them right back on my horizon, a place I'd let them fade from.  As I said above, they're back in view.

Time for a check-up.....

More trips to Iowa a week ago, a quick overnight to Indianapolis for some refresh knowledge at the Factory a couple of days ago, this time I was the Trainee rather than the Trainer.  For most of the coming week, tripping to northern Minnesota when I'll return to my role as Trainer though I continue to learn from and with each and every one of our customers.

A lot of this sort of thing....



Large Red buttons that thankfully see very little use...though they are nice to have within an arm's reach.

These pieces seem to hold my interest more these days....still haven't decided on their final shapes.

Last week Peg asked me to stop for a few things at the grocery and eggs were on the list...darn good thing I got there when I did.  Masked chickens are apparently much less productive.

In the Indy airport while I stopped for a sandwich before my flight, a big electronic sign across the way.  An Indy boy....


I've only read Slaughter House 5 and it was a very long time ago, might have to check some of these out.



And of course....

Isn't she pretty??






It's winter, even in the middle of Indiana and planes needed de-icing.


Once we left the snow, the high clouds and finally the low clouds, I could tell that we'd made Central Wisconsin; I knew right where we were.  It's just like GPS Route Planning in BaseCamp.  Below, Minnesota Vikings' Training facility....been quiet there for a few weeks now.




I flew Delta this week, which was once upon a time good ol' Northwest Airlines.  I don't get asked about this much any more but for old time's sake, one more time...."It wasn't me"