Animal Crackers

Animal Crackers

Friday, December 31, 2010

Progress on computers II

I have found a work around to get my linux laptop to burn audio cds. It is an ugly kluge job but it works. A big part of the problem is that the cd burner I am using gets too warm and it was doing that when it was still being used under windows. When you use roadkill computer parts and stuff that is ancient in computer years, you do what you can. You might be asking me why is it worth it to me when getting a new computer would make things easier. The answer is a combination of things: part of it is doing things on the cheap, part of it is the satisfaction of working on a home rolled computer and part of it is that things like burning cds is not a high use thing and as long as I can burn cds, then that is good enough. This is also an experiment in what I can personally do with computers. I am expecting to be able to do better and better ways of doing things as I get experience.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Progress on computers

I am still using and playing with ubuntu. I am really enjoying rehabilitating old computers and making them work. The only problem is that they are old computers and old computer parts that do not always as they should. There is a good reason why some of the computers I got were cast offs. It is a learning curve about what will and will not work. I can listen to audio cds and watch some dvds but I can't copy audio cds not because the software does not work but because of the old parts I am using. Or at least that is what I suspect. Linux has its sort falls like any other OS.

Until I get things perfect, I can count getting to learn, getting cheap computers with more and more capabilities and maybe helping others out who need cheap computers when i get a few extra around the house.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Susuto.com

I recently got myself some new penny whistles. I got them from susato.com and was happy with the whole process. their website is HERE.

Christmas Video

Just an awesome Christmas video,

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Budget Chef

This budget is both funny and makes a good point.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Change

I guess there is always change. The month just flipped over to December and the weather feels more like winter than the mild, mild fall we have had around my parts. Thanksgiving has come and gone and between the change in the calender and the weather change I have just been thinking about change a lot lately. The finances around home ain't worth calling home about but it does feel better than a year ago. I just hope the horses butts in Washington hear this and think I am a sucker to try to get more money from. The economy has hit me enough thank you. One good thing is that has come from the down economy is that I have taken a really hard look at how we spend and how we can get more from the resources we have. Our truck broke down and instead of just throwing money at it, we took a look at how much we really needed it and sold it off and are paying less in insurance now. It will be inconvenient at times to be down to one car but the money brought in by selling it and the less insurance will help with other things.

I am changing the way I am looking at my hobbies and the getting and having of stuff. i have really changed the way I look at debt and I am really, really looking forward to getting out of debt. The bankers are looking more and more like incompetent boobs and I do not want to support them any further than i have to. I think that a lot of what is happening with the mortgage crisis is absolutely criminal. To make it worse, these criminals are getting bailed out instead of jail time.

I really think that what it takes to get things better is to take power from big government and big business and have the people free to do their business. I think government is a necessary evil and I fully want businesses to thrive. It is when they abuse the people they are suppose to serve that I get cranked. The government is being paid by the people's taxes and therefore our employees. If business wants my money, then give me a product worth the money they want me to spend. Simply, Right?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Corunna Fire Department

A part of rural, small town life is the local volunteer fire department. A part of that is fund raisers. As someone who tends to be very libertarian and wants the smallest possible government, this makes me very happy. These first responders and their families sacrifice a lot to make this happen. For their service and dedication, I heartily say thanks. This weeks weekly webness is for the Corunna Fire Department who both serves this area when the need arises and also has a great fish fry as a fund raiser. Their website is HERE.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pickin' Up Speed

I was at the bluegrass festival in Kendalville back in September and saw the group Pickin' Up Speed. They have a website HERE. I rather licked them and finally got around to putting their website here.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Things are getting better , right?

Today I went to the hospital to have some lab work done. It it was the first time they have asked me for the copay upfront for lab work. I understand they want to be paid. They did the service and deserve to be paid. The hospital changing their policy adn wanting the copay if possible is what got me. I understand credit and cash flow really suck and people who are unable to pay are going up. In my mind at least, it is Mr Obama'a failure both with health care and the economy. I am not seeing any change for the better and hope has left town without leaving a forwarding address. Even with the results of the last election, I am not holding out for much hope.

I really hope the horse's asses in Washington finally get their act together and start dealing with things or at least get the hell out of the way of the American people so they can fix this mess.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Smith Field Airport


This week's webness is for a local airport called Smith Field. Their website is HERE. I found out their website while I was doing a WAYMARK about it. I also found a wikipedia article about it. It is HERE. It was neat finding out more about somehere i go past on a regular basis and did not know all that much about.

Friday, November 5, 2010

online Frugalness

In an attempt to live on less, I have know for a while that if you have patience, you can get some good deals on ebay. I am starting to see that freecycle (WEBSITE
HERE)
and Craig's List (HERE) can be a good source of things on the cheap. There is a caveat however. You must be patient and you must be willing to cut through the static and noise to get to want you want.

I just wish there is a way to get across to Washington. As long as they spend like mad, do everything they can to tax business and the average Joe to death, and generally get in the way of people doing their business, we will be doing anything to make our budget's stretch. (and hopefully in ways that can not tax in anyway).

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Turn of the Century

























































I was out shopping when I finally stopped to look closer and waymark this statue in Auburn, Indiana. It is called A Turn of the Century and is based on a painting by Renoir. Who knew? I sure did not until I stopped and looked. One of the two waymarks I did on it is HERE.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

To The Winners

Dear Politician Who won (or will win) their electoral race today,

Congratulations on winning the position of horse's posterior in my book. It is now your job to convince me otherwise. I really do not trust anyone who runs for office on any level and the higher up you go, the more I distrust you. Do yourself and the people you serve a favor. Prove me wrong without any doubt. When seeking office, Mr. Obama talked about change and hope. All I have seen of his term is that the only thing that has changed is that there is less hope.

I am not asking for a hand out or a bail out. All I want is a chance to make life better for me, mine and those around me and the government to get the hell out of the way. I want to pursuit happiness with out the shackles of taxes getting in the way. i know a lot of peole who are struggling to get their financial houses in order. It is far past time that the government do the same. We can not afford business as usual.

I will be watching and I will be ready to help fire your butt if you remain to be the horse's posterior that I think you are. You have been warned.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Lakeside Park


















While in Kingsville, I noticed this sign for the first time. I do not think it was there the last time I came to the park. I am pretty sure but not absolutely sure I would have noticed it the last time I was in there. I did a couple of other waymarks really really close to there. The only trouble is that I can be Captain Oblivious sometimes. Other times, I have my spidey waymarker senses on and noticing everything. The waymark for this sign is HERE.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chrysler Canada Greenway


One of the neat features in Essex County, Ontario is the Greenway. I have waymarked one of the access points of it HERE. I have walked some of this trail and wish i had more to time to do so on the last walk. It is long enough that I would really like to do a day or two bike tour of it. This particular access point is near the Pelee Island Winery which makes for a nice starting or ending point and there is a benchmark here from the time that this use to be a railroad.

If you want more information about this neat trail, check out the wkipedia article HERE.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Canadian Benchmarks



I went on another trip to Southern Ontario. True to my habits, I had my GPSr and digital camera in tow to do some waymarking. I found two more canadian benchmarks. I understand that benchmarks are not everyone's cup of tea but it always interests me on where they are placed and what is used for benchmarks. One of them was at the Kingsville harbor and the other was along was used to be the Pere Marquette railroad. that railroad has been converted into a trail. I will be talking more about that tomorrow.

The waymarks for these two benchmarks are here:

MO53006

33U2060

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lutheran Military Veteran and Family Ministry

I came across this group online and I think it is important to give it press. There website is HERE.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Is anyone other than me not surprised?

I heard a news story about how there is a backlog of foreclosures and the peak of foreclosures will not happen until sometime next year. Link to story is HERE. I did not see this coming but I am not in the least surprised. The credit crunch was severe and it is rippling out. This reminds me of the ripple effect on farm loans a while back. Just judging by the way the finances around my house has changed, it is going to be ugly for a long time. Not only are we not as willing to spend, we are not willing to borrow more money than we already have and priority one for our money is to dump as much debt as we can. The final effect is we are not going to spend all that much more than we have to. The economy based on that is going to be in the toilet. I got a feeling, my wife and I are not the only ones is this situation.

Attention all the goobers in Washington who call themselves politicians.
Please get your cranial rectal inversion taken care of and start being frugal with the money you are taxing from our pockets and calling it helping the American people. Both sides of the aisle can take their share of the blame and it about time they start using some common sense. Mark Twain was so right about how uncommon it is.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bench on trail 7



















































I went down to Pokagon State Park. I found a bench that had a dedication and a fabulous view. It is waymarked HERE. It was worth the hike just to see the view.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ubuntu Lite

Since my love for working with older computers is really taking off, I putting the website for ubuntu light on here. It is HERE. Hopes it helps you if you are working with older computers.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

IT'S ALIVE!!!!!!

Have you ever had one of those moments from the movie Young Frankenstein that you want to yell, "It's Alive!". I am kinda getting that with the make shift computer lab that is forming at my house. About a half a dozen computers in various states of disrepair and a bunch more computer parts and cords. The computers cords are all jumbled so it reminds me of old b grade horror flicks or someting out out hentai with a whole bunch of tentacles. Maybe I have too much of an imagination. This is not really something new. Ever since I started trying out Ubuntu a year or two ago, I could see the roots of this sprouting. Now, the computer lab has reached critical mass. I think we have 3 working computers, one that may be working but untested for how functional and the latest collection of 3 or 4 that need my attention before I know what state they are in. i am starting to think I need help. I also got some random peripherals that will be interesting to see if I can get them to work with linux. We shall see what comes of this madness.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Noble County Wolfpack

I was listening to 1190 Am out of Kendalville a week or two back and heard about the Noble County Wolfpack football. I did not know there was a semi pro league around here. I might have to check it out. Mainly it is because I am a sports fan and a minor league sports fan. for one, the games are cheaper than the majors leagues. Secondly, there is a rawness to a lot of the games that make them better than the majors. Their website is HERE. Enjoy!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dang ! It is hot!

Usually by the end of September, I am no longer complaining about the heat and the a/c is off for the season. Not this year. It was in the high 80's yesterday and back in the eighties today. One last taste of August. It is suppose to be back to fall tomorrow but we shall see. It seams like the weather is more weird than it is normal. (what ever normal is)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Google Moon

Since I did Google Mars last week, I thought I would do Google Moon this week. (HERE) Maybe with these listings, I might get the telescope or binoculars out or just enjoy some naked eye astronomy. You can sink a lot of money into a telescope (what hobby does not have the potential of being a money pit) but you can get started and go a long way for free or little money. There are plenty of websites on-line that will get you started or help you get the most of your hobby time and resources.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Google Mars

I am probably way behind the curve here but I just found out about Google Mars. (HERE) I love astronomy even though I have been doing little or nothing about it lately. I guess that is the problem of collecting hobbies.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fall

It is September and we are getting into the glorious days of warm days and cool nights. I am not native to Indiana but wonder why Hoosers have the tendency to say they do not want winter as soon as you say you are glad that the fall cool down is here. I understand there is are some people who never get warm except for the hottest time of the year but really. Maybe I just do not understand their point of view. I am looking forward to the fall color change. I am also a bit sad that the pool is getting closed up and I am not looking forward to snow either. I AM however going to enjoy the better sleeping weather and what I consider the best weather of the year. If you do not agree with me, your turn at getting your favorite weather will come again soon enough.

Now if I can only get the pause button to hold the weather at September and October for a while. at least I have the next 2 months of so where I am in glorious splendor of fall.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Musings

The Labor Day weekend is winding down and I am relaxing having dinner and listening to the Calgary/Edmonton football game. I love the INTERNET and being able to hear out of market games. It is only audio but hey, I am getting the game.

It has been a busy weekend between helping some friends move on Saturday and having friends over for a cook out yesterday. We also took the dog for a hike at Bicentennial Woods twice. He really needs it. My wife and I are still getting use to have a one year old dog around instead of a senior 10 year old dog. I knew this was going to happen but it is still tiring getting use to it. He is a very smart good dog but very energetic. I am going to blame him at least in part for not blogging more.

Anyway, I am tired and happy so this has been a very good holiday weekend. Hiking and cookouts and helping out friends and football. What more could you ask for.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

DeKalb Humane Society


































We recently lost Kai, the husky pictured above and got Jerem the dog pictured on the pillow. We got Jeremy from the deKalb Humane shelter. we waymarked it HERE. I am making it the weekly webness and it is HERE.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dave Ramsey Revisited

Dave Ramsey Financial Peace class back in January and we finished the class in April of this year. The class has helped a lot but as I get more experience with living with the program, I am getting some new perspectives on it. I think the program is great but the more I use it the more I am seeing the challenge of getting it to fit to real life. One struggle I am having is wanting to keep on track with intense debt reduction but seeing a need not only to have the emergency fund but having extra money both on hand and in the bank to help with all the irregularities and emergencies that do come up. The other thing is,a $1000 bucks that Dave Ramsey says to start out with is a good start but if unemployment strikes or something big comes up or several things come up at once, then that grand will be burned up really quick. The other irritation is that there is no such thing as a perfect month and at least my take on course was to have a tight budget that leaves little to deal with the hiccups that come along.
The second thing I have to wonder about is you must go and rice and beans, never go out and not have a life while on the plan. That also goes for no vacations. I have to wonder what happens to all the grandparents and grandchildren who live in other state. Sorry grandpa and grandpa, you do not get to see the kids unless it is on your dime. I being a bit over the top here but I can see some people doing this. I understand that you need to cut the lifestyle back to get your finances on track. Life and being a grown up requires a lot of sacrifice. Sometimes it requires the slowing down of debt reduction to see family. Dave Ramsey talks a lot about sacrifice. Getting your finances on a good footing is an important and good thing but there is also a lot non financial things that are important.
Dave Ramsey's course is really good and it is time for at least the wife and I to use that to do what is best not only money wise but the rest of our lives. the course gives a good framework to start from and give people ways to analyze the choices that face us all. It is not always clear. I am not saying our situation is totally unique but everyone's situation has different variables and it is a struggle sometimes to get a hold of. It is getting better and easier but sometimes it is frustrating when it does not go as well or as fast as you would like.

Life being easy was never promised.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Visit Noble County Website

This is another visiting your own backyard related website. (or at least visit my own backyard) It is for the visitor center of Noble County. Their website is HERE. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sleeping Bear Dunes

One of my favorite place to visit and one place I visited over the summer is sleeping Bear dunes. Theire website is HERE. enjoy the website and igve them a visit sometime.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sechler's Pickles

One of the local businesses I like is Sechlers. their website is HERE. They hold a Pickle fest every year in August. The webpage for that is HERE. Check out the website and the pickles and the fair.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Fort Wayne Fire Fighter Museum

As I was going around and trying to find things to do that are close and cheap to do. I ran across the website HERE. They have some really nice pictures of some old fire engines that make me want to get in their soon.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Science central

One of my favorite local museums is Science Central in Fort Wayne. Their website is HERE and is this weeks webness. It is a kids museum but enyoyable for adults as well. Yeah science!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

visitfortwayne.com

To keep the exploring your own backyard theme or at least mine, I am including the visit Fort Wayne website. It is HERE. I noticed they had a museum passport system like DeKalb County has so it might be a thing to check out to enjoy the local museums at a lower price. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Noble County Fair

In keeping with the spirit of exploring you own back yard and the fact that the Noble county Fair starts this weekend, I a putting their website up as the weekly webness. It is HERE. I did not grow up in Noble County or Indiana but I did grow up in a small town/ rural area and grew up going to the county fairs. I still have not outgrown them. I hope I never do and think I there would be something wrong with that but that is my never to be humble opinion.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Benchmark in the cemetery


































When I was visiting family in Michigan and we were going around to yard sales. We noticed the sign for the benchmark. Not only did we find USGS elevation benchmark but the cemetery had laso put one of their benchmarks right next to it to show the sections of the cemetery. I guess they wanted to get use of the witness sign as well. I do not blame them. Benchmarks are usually pretty easy but if they are in tall grass growth or you are not sure to look, they are hard to find. The waymark for this benchmark is HERE.



Thursday, July 15, 2010

Anchor At Empire, MI










































I got to enjoy Michigan over the July 4th weekend. I got to see this anchor that was sunk off the shore of Empire Micigan and was found while some people were canoeing. There is a waymark category for anchors so I waymarked it HERE.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Finiancial Recovery

I have been hearing for the last couple of days about how the credit crunch has been hurting business and especially small business. I am really now surprised. I can see this from the individual family to the state and federal government. Maybe not the federal since they have no legal limits or restraint or discipline about spending. The states are at least required to have a balanced budget. I do not think easing the credit markets will totally help since easy credit got us into this mess to begin with. The real rub about this is that I do not think the economy is going to get better until we get the debt monkey off our back and really we have dollars that we have not borrowed to spend. Borrowing money will shoot money in for the short term but will have the negative of needing to be paid back. This is aimed at everyone from the individual family to our ever so fiscally responsible federal government. ( I hope you saw the sarcasm).

Times are tough but it is time to suck it up and start paddling our way out of it, There is a light at the end of the tunnel but we need to want to get out of the darn thing. Just one person's never to be humble opinion.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Daytripping.ca

I know I have been focusing on exploring my own back yard but sometimes I like exploring a bit further from home. Thanks to my mom, I came across this paper and website that helps finds those neat places to find but this focuses on southern Ontario. Their website is HERE.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Linux Laptop

Yippee skip!!!! I am making this post from a laptop that we got new to us and made a linux box out of it. The nice thing is that we got it cheap since it was second hand and came with no OS. Ubuntu providing free the free OS saved us some money. We also took a wireless card from one of our dead laptops to get it to have Wifi capabilities. It is not perfectly set up yet. It still needs some programs to be added and some customizations. The big challenge is that it is my wife's computer and I want to play. I just got another second hand computer, a desktop, to use as a linux playground so it is not all bad. i will report in if anything neat comes in.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Grabill, Indiana

Grabill, Indiana is one of the small town in North East, Indiana and has an Amish population. Their website is this week's webness and is HERE. They give a history of the website and it goes liek this:
In the fall of 1900, surveyors came down the Ridge Road (currently St. Rd. 37) to Maysville (Harlan)
doing survey work for the Wabash Railroad. This railroad would run from Fort Wayne, Indiana to
Detroit, Michigan. The railroad would cut across both the David Sauder and Joseph grabill farms from North
to South. A station was built with the name, "West Maysville", and tickets were issued. The people in the
area protested, wanting no part of the older town. The Wabash railroad changed the name because of the
protest. Everyone wondered what the name would be.
One morning, the name "Grabill" appeared on the depot and the matter was settled. On January 1, 1902,
the first steam engine moved through Grabill, not yet a town. By February 1902, Joseph A. Grabill recorded
the original plat of the town, which laid out 23 lots. A post office was established in August of 1902. Joseph
Grabill became the first postmaster and the town was named in his honor.
The 23 lots that comprised the town of Grabill were all sold by the fall of 1902. The first buyers were
John Gerig, Joseph Witmer, Roy Shuler, Alvin Klopfenstein, J.M. Klopfenstein, Menno & Emma Sauder,
Henry B. Houts, Esther & George Waite, and Samuel Egly. These individuals, along with others invested
in a grain mill, a lumberyard, a bank, a department Store, a hardware store, several hotels, a tile mill, a
drugstore, a harness shop, a hatchery, and a print shop. A volunteer fire department was started in
1916. A dentist and doctor's office, a town hall, and a two room school house followed. The telephone
came in 1903 and electricity came in 1915.
In 1912, the town of Grabill was incorporated so that it could have it's own school and voting place.
Joseph Grabill was interested in every phase of Grabill's development. As he platted more additions
to the town, he lined the streets with tree plantings from his own woods. He served on the school board, as
Church trustee for 50 years, on the board of directors of the Grabill Bank, and on the board of directors
for the Grabill Grain Company. He lived to be 93 (1866-1959). To the end, he had real pride and concern for
his community.

SPECIAL THANKS TO KATHRYN MOORE FOR THE INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE.

This information was from this webpages HERE.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fort Wayne children's zoo

One of the local attractions around here is the Fort Wayne Zoo. they have a website HERE. I was also able to waymark it HERE. It is a nice zoo especially when you figure how small a market Fort Wayne. I hope this does not sound like i am knocking Fort Wayne but it is not big market area. That is neither a good thing or a bad thing since they are good and bad things about big and small market areas. I enjoy living in a small town because of safety and friendliness considerations. I do like the bigger city attractions. The Fort Wayne Zoo at least for me is a nice venue. It is cheaply priced at $13 for adults so that is another plus.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Painted Hydrant



















My wife and I waymarked this hydrant under the painted hydrants categories a while ago and I thought I would go back and check on it. I was happily pleased to see it was still painted the same. The waymark for it is HERE.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fort Wayne Highland Games










































I am a bit slow about reporting back. My wife and I went to the Highland Games in Fort Wayne last Saturday and enjoyed ourselves. We had to cross the pedestrian bridge pictured above which was a neat experience. We also go to hear the Mimi burns Band rock out to some Celtic Rock. Great Band adn thier website is HERE. We are looking forward to hearing them again soon near Kendallville. I also got myself an utlikilt from a vendor at the games. Their website is HERE. It did not take me long to realize why they are popular with some. with the warmer weather, they are awfully comfortable. I think we will try to go back next year.



Saturday, June 19, 2010

DeKalb county Visitor's Bureau

Part of my attempts to have fun and do it on the cheap is to make use of the local visitors centers in the local area. One of them is for DeKalb, the county I live in. they have a website HERE. I noticed they have a passport system for the museums to get discounts on the local museums. I think I am going to check that out and use it on the ones I would like to go to anyway. As I do, I am hoping to have more posts to blog about here.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Local Sports and Media

One of the new programs that has to 1440 AM/ 95.5 FM with their extended air time is a sports talk show on Thursday Night from 8-9 PM. My apologies to the host Fred for forgetting his last name. Regardless of my shortfalls in memory, I tried the show out for the first time last night because he was going to interview Bob Chase who does the radio broadcasts for the Komets on WOWO 1190 radio. It should be no surprise why I turned in since I love hockey, the Komets and think Bob Chase does a fabulous job on doing the play by play. I was really pleasantly surprised that not only did I enjoy the topic for the night but enjoyed the show itself and its format. It was very much from a local fan prespective and I found it enjoyable. I enjoy hockey but I am not that much of an overall sports fan but this sports show is going to get a bit more attention from me.
Blake Sebring was also on and he is one of the local Fort Wayne reporters who has done three books on Komet Hockey related topics. I had two of them previous to the show last night and I got to be doubly lucky by them giving away copies of the one book of his I did not have on the Komets and I was lucky enough to win one. Talk about icing on the cake for my first time listening to the show.
Both bob Chase and Blake Sebring gave some really interesting information on the history of the Komets and where they are now.. I am by no means a super uber fan but I like to be informed about it and these two guys are worth the listen. One thing that shocked me but did not surprise me really was that the IHL was looking to do some cooperation with another league. Running a minor league is hard in good times and with the economy being soft it makes the challenges a bit harder. several teams in the IHL were really struggling both on the ice and on the business end and at least two of the teams are gone now. That is a shame since I think the IHL is a good sports product for a good price. It is not like I totally dislike the NHL but I do think they expanded too far and have been priced out of hand of a lot of people.
Enough of the soap box, I will be enjoying the show, the hockey and the new book I got. I am still going to be a fan regardless of the changes coming down the pike.

Monday, June 14, 2010

It is June

I can tell that it is June. That is when I start waiting for the weather to get dryer so the lawn does not grow as fast. I can not complain too much because I never really got behind on mowing due to the rain this season but today it was getting close. I should have cut it Thursday but wanted to chance it on making it til today today. It is threateneing rain today and the mower (which is getting older) is getting cranky like its owner. Guess I am also going to have to start cutting as early as my neighbours will bear me cutting. I do not like being rude about it but I also like getting it done early so I can beat the heat of the day. Fortunately I have never had a complaint so I guess and hope that means no worries on that front. We have some great neighbors around here and I would like to keep it that way. A little consideration goes a long way in getting along with people.

I think I hear the pool calling my name. I am so glad we HAVE a pool.I do not always enjoy the expense or maintenaince of it but it is sure nice when it is hot and to have people over for BBQ adn pool party.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Fort Wayne Scottish Society

There is a Scottish Society in Fort Wayne and they are having a Highland Games today. As a result, their website (HERE) is this week's webness. I hope to get down and come back with some photos for the blog.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Review of Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University

I would like to start with a disclaimer on this review. My aim at this review is to be as accurate as possible but it will have the flavoring of my impressions. This is neither good nor bad just just admitting that I might not get all things right nor put it right. I do suggest you check this course out to help with your own finances as well as making up your own mind about it. Now, onto the review.
The course itself is a 13 week course (one financial quarter). It is 13 classes on DVD doe by Mr Ramsey with group discussion afterward. You also get a book, a work book, audio cds of the lessons that were on DVD and the envelope system that is taught in the class. All of these parts work together to get the essentials of the course learned. It is well packaged to get the ground covered and get it done well.However there are some drawbacks. It does help and does work but it definitely not a one size fits all and I do not think it would be possible to do that without one on one counselling. The small group discussion does not cover a lot of this but it still a case of fitting the principals that do work fit to your particular situation. The other thing you must keep in mind is that your finances will not be fixed when you get out of the class but the foundation for that will be. I am not saying that to be negative or put the course down but the reality that to get your finances truly better it is going to be slow and take time. Mr Ramsey even states that this is a crock pot solution so if you are going to look for microwave results, forget it.
The one tool that probably has helped the most from the course is the envelope system. It has really helped us get onto a cash only/ on a budget basis. The biggest challenge was weaning off the credit cards to buy things when we wanted to getting things and going out to eat only when we had the cash on hand. At least for us, that took about 2 to 3 months to get onto that system. It was hard as heck just to get 2 twenty dollar bills just to prime us into using the envelopes. With each paycheck, it got easier and easier to put and keep money in it., There was some going forward and giving up on how easy it was bu tin general it became easier and easier. Now it seams like they are having babies all the time and leaving at least something in there. We are not out of the financial woods yet but we are at least on the path.
One big disagreement I have with Mr Ramsey's point of view is on credit cards. He has the point of view where you need to get rid of them all but ATM and debit cards are ok. I am pretty much ok with the spirit of this but not totally. I come from a point of view that all three of these are dangerous tools and I need to be a good craftsman with these and use them wisely. Credit cards should be used sparingly and only if you have the money to transfer to pay it right now. Treat the credit card like a debit card or ATM card and that the money comes out right now and you are on a better footing. All three of these can be abused if you are not tracking your finances. It is better to use cash from your envelopes and only spend the money you set aside in the envelope with that purchase in mind. Find the right tools to manage the money and you have most of your problems taken care of. It is about discipline and having a plan. The tools can only help or hinder as they fit or do not fit into that plan.
There is a lot to this course and I do not think I have enough room for it in one blog post. If I were to sum up the most important things I learned from the course is to have a written plan/ budget, get out of debt, and work and talk to you spouse so you are in agreement on this. One more nice thing about paying cash and using the envelopes is that money fights can be eliminated to a degree by using the envelope to decide on purchases. If one of you wants something, it is not so much up to th espouse to agree (although that still is important) but you look at the envelope with the money for that item and see if there is money for it. If there is not, then you either have to wait to get it until there is or agree to short another category to get it. Instant feeding back and decision making. It takes it out of the realm of personalities and into the realm of can we afford it and how. It has given my wife and I a framework hon how to deal with money better.

In the end, I might not think Mr Ramsey is always right, but the framework and principals he teaches out works. Check the course out. There is far too much I have left out.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Exploring Your Own Backyard.

I have been on the them of exploring your own back yard to one degree or another for a while in this blog. Thanks to cutting back on our budget and wanting to find out more about the area, I will be turning this up a bit both as an activity and a subject on this blog. So be expecting the weekly webness and other posts to be reflecting this. The blog will not be only on this but it will be a goodly portion. It should be interesting. It will have a focus on North East Indiana but it will not be limited to that. I hope you like what I will find.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Freak the Norm Factor

I went out benchmark hunting today. I wound up finding neither of the ones I was looking for. The basic problems were the facts that I had no good place to park and both locations had a freak the norm factor to it. I define the freak the norm factor as any hobby or activity that is both harmless and out of the norm enough and yet public enough to make those unaware of the hobby to get suspicious about what you are doing. Geocaching, benchmark hunting and waymarking can count at this. Whether it is a a person using a gps to find something or the fact that you are finding a hidden container and then replacing it can be unnerving to those who are not familiar. It is sad that this is a part of life. These hobbies are really cool (at least to those involved.) but to those outside, it can also be scary.
It reminds me of an old Twilight Zone episode called "the monsters on Elm Street". (I hope I have the title right.) Some weirdness happens on Elm street and all the tech starts shutting down. The inhabitants get isolated and they start blaming each other for the problems based on each other out of the norm behavior whether they are an insomniac or a ham radio operator. It ends with the street doing a melt down and shows that aliens have set this up to have the inhabitant kill themselves off for the aliens. It is funny how this 40 year old episode is just as timely now as it was then. That is one reason I think the show has had such a large following even now. It poked at ideas that we are still dealing with.
I think it is sad that with this post 9/11 world, we are still having this paranoia. I am not saying that this is unique to here and now since the McCarthy hearings had the same issues with the communists. There are threats in this world but when we start mindlessly demonizing things, then we can get into trouble.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Skip Douglas Tree










































My wife an I had to drop off some books at the Dupont Library in Fort Wayne. Sticking to my habit of taking notice and carrying gps and camera along, i came across this tree. It is a Royal Star magnolia dedicate the memory of Skip Douglas. The waymark for it is HERE. It may not be the biggest or greatest adventure or discovery but it is the stuff I find while living my life.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Stain Glass at the Courthouse




































Thanks to waymarking, I have a tendency of looking around me a lot closer and carrying a gps and a digital camera with me. As i said in a previous post, i needed to go to the Dekalb County courthouse. (Waymark) I did both notice and take pictures and waymark the stain glass in the courthouse. They really do not make stain glass or old buildings like this anymore. Just my nevedr to be humble opinion.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Latitude 47

This week's website is I found out about from waymarking.com. It is the blog for geocaching.com. It is HERE. The waymark is HERE. I have been with caching and waymarking for a while and did not know about it. Once again, I see I still need to learn and never know everything.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Elks





































I have taken to walking around the neighborhood a lot more lately. I do it to get the exercise as well as i enjoy doing it. Every so often, I see something that catches my eye. This monument was one of those things that caught my eye. It also , not surprisingly also became a waymark. (HERE) It is out in front of an old gas station that has been pressed into other use and I can not help to wonder what the story behind this is. Maybe some day I will get the ambition and courage to do some asking around. When I do, I will bring it back here.

DNR Benchmark and Waymark



















I was out doing errands and I needed to go to the DeKalb County Courthouse to file some paperwork. (What is the modern life without paperwork?) I was on my way out of the courthouse while I was looking for the time capsule monument I knew that was there (HERE), I notice a bare spot in the grass. It was not your normal bare spot in the sod but an actual benchmark. Since I had my digital camera and my gps with me, (yes I am a nerd or geek), I was able to get the information necessary for doing the waymark. The waymark is HERE. the things you find when you are out looking for something else.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Garrett, Indiana

I have called a couple of places home but right now, I call Garrett, Indiana home. I have for over 10 years now. It is a sleepy little town and I like it that way. You know it is a quiet place when you can hear them announcing the high school football games from across town. The loudest consistent noise is the railroad. The website for Garrett is HERE.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Fuss over something or nothing

Some people are getting all buggy eyed and pissed off since President Obama in not going to be in Washington for memorial Weekend. I found a good article HERE that point out that President Regan and both of the bushes also missed on the Memorial Day Ceremonies in Washington. I am wondering how many of these people were equal outraged with the other presidents for doing the exact same thing. Do not get me wrong. I am not a fan of the present administration and would have rather seen just about anyone else get in than the current president. My big objection is let us get down to the issues of the nation instead about worrying about ceremonies that more than the current president have missed. HAVING SAID THIS, i THINK MR OBAMA WAS WRONG WITH HIS HEALTH CARE REFORMS. IT IS ABOUT THE JOBS AND ECONOMY STUPID! I also disagree with his use of the stimulus money that only rewarded those who got us into trouble in the first place. (Bush was wrong for starting it) It is time for business not as usual and it becoming about the people instead of Washington taking care of the needs of the nation. Please, for the love of God, will the federal government stay out of my life and pockets and let the people take care of themselves. I am not saying the American People are perfect but they know what is need on the local level far better than some far off politicians.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Summer is coming

Wow! It feels like July already. Normally it is a crap shoot if the pool will be warm enough to use as well if the weather alone is going to cooperate. It has turned HOT, HOT, HOT. I have to admit I am a wuss when it comes to heat but at least the spring this year was glorious. It was mostly dry except for the last little while and pretty mild. Summer is coming on strong now and it is not even close to th solstice yet. I hope this is not a sign of how the summer will go. I do not like the snow and deep freeze of winter but I can at least put more clothes on. In summer, once it gets so hot, I can not take anymore clothes off. (Yes that is a scary thought) The good news is that the pool is ready for the holiday and I am hoping for good times with friends around the grill and pool.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Book marking on waymarking

I think it pretty obvious that I like waymarking and local history. I hae mentioned both enough. I have com across the waymarking category called there is a book about it! The one I have done so far in this category is HERE. I like this category a lot since it deals with books (avid reader here), a waymarker, and these books tend towards local history or at least local flavor.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Auburn War Museum

There is a local history msueum that is really cool. Their website is HERE. Check it out.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Komets WIN!!!!!!

The Komets won the Turner cup for the Third year in a row. Wow!!! It was definitely not because the Flint Generals has given up. they were giving the Komets grief until the end of the last game. The series ended up 4-1 in the Komets favor but the way flint was playing and if some plays went just a tiny bit in the other way, Flint could have just as easy taken it. I will give both teams their due and say it was the best sports I have seen in a while. Amazing that I got in with my wife to see the game for $22 for two tickets plus $4 for parking. A cheap night by my books and it was a hell of a show for twice that. I beleive in paying people their due by I am also cheap as heck and the IHL and the Komets deliver on entertainment. I know that is just one person's opinion but take it as you will. Minor sports has some big advantages over major sports and I am willing to take advantage of that. The only real downside is that I will not have hockey to follow until next fall. (Not like I do not collect other hobbies that suffer fro neglect so I can not complain much) It will be interesting to see what the fall will bring for fort Wayne Hockey. One problem with minor league sports is that the leagues do not have deep pockets and are subject to flux. With the economy being the way it is, it has not helped the situation and the IHL may be in flux again. we shall see what the future brings. Until then, I will enjoy the glow of the win and be ready to cheer for the next season.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Statue of Jack Miner
























Jck Miner was a conservationist who started a bird sanctuary in Kingsville, Ontario. He has a wikipedia article HERE. when i was in Kingsville, i was able to get the information for a waymark. (Here) There are a couple of waymarks relating to him out at the sanctuary itself. Check out the sanctuary waymark (HERE) and then look at closest waymarks to.









Saturday, May 15, 2010

ACD Museum

One of my favorite museums around home is the ACD museum. It is all about old cars and especially Auburns, Cords and Dusenberg. these cars are truly works of art and of a totally different era. Check out their website HERE.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Garrett Museum of Art




























































I did a waymark a while back on the Garrett Museum of Art. (HERE) It is in the original building for the garret State Bank. they have a history fo the bank and the building (HERE). It focuses on local artists and was surprisingly nice for a small town museum. I am glad it is here and putting an old building to good use. The building still has the vault from the days it was a bank. Kinda cool. It is worth the time to go into by you are in the area. You can get in free but they do appreciate donations. One of those places where it makes for a nice time out on the cheap

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Pelee Island Winery




































I Know I have done Pelee Island winery as a weekly webness but I was finally able to do it as a waymark. (HERE) the first time I tried it was raining and the pictures were less than stellar to put it mildly and totally unusable. Fortunately, that has been fixed. they have really yummy and great wines so if you get in the area and like wine, it is a place to stop in at.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bicentennial Woods





















































One place I have been going lately to enjoy myself and get some hiking in is bicentennial woods. There is a waymark for it HERE. It is close to home so it does not take a lot of gas to get there and there is no admission fee so it is a perfect way to go out for a nice without spending a whole lot of dough. sounds like a deal to me. It is also one ofr the nicer places to hike around here and you can get far enough into the woods that you can not see anything civilized other than the path and the noises of civilization are reduced. to get into a total quiet zone is rather hard and near impossible. It is a fabu place to walk and enjoy for a while and the price is more than right.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Allen County Park System

I have said this more than once that I like to go hiking. Another park system in my neck of the woods is the Allen County Park System. They also have a website. It is HERE. Check it out.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Garrett State Bank Building










































One of the categories on waymarking.com is converted bank buildings. There is one of these in Garrett and that is the old Garrett state bank building. I did a waymark for it Here. the Garrett State Bank is still in town and just have moved to a new location. Their website has a history of the bank and the building HERE. The Garrett Museum of Art now occupies the building and their website is HERE. Just a little more flavor of my little corner of the world.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Custer Grain and Google Earth

























I love to waymark. I come across some neat things once in a while. I did a waymark on Custer Grain which is one of the local businesses around her. (LINK) One thing I do when I am submit a waymark is to check Google Earth to make sure I have good coordinates. My GPSr is good but you would not believe how many times I fat finger those numbers and come up entirely wrong in placing the waymark. When I checked it out for Custer Grain, I found out that the satellite photo of the grain elevator was really cool. Check it out HERE. Make sure you zoom in to see it really good.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Acres Land Trust

One of my favorite activities is going hiking in the woods. It was one of the reasons i did my other hobbies of geocaching,waymarking and benchmark hunting. I enjoy getting in the outdoors. Acres is a organization which helps preserve land for natural settings. Although I do not always agree with their policies, I do appreciate theirs parks. Check out their website HERE.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

I usually try to handle one day at a time but every so often several days attac.k me at once. Some of it lately has been Easter even though it is getting pretty far behind me. Some of it is due to the fact we took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University which luckily ends tonight. I learned a lot and it was well worth the time and money but it still took 2 or 3 hours out of my schedule. Part of it is the normal spring cleaning and there is some cleaning around here that was way too far over do. Some of it is just me keeping to what really needs to be done instead of goofing off on something shiny that flutters by. Hopefully, things will be settling down and I can get focused on things and it does not seam so nuts around here.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cthulhu Podcast

I like H.P. Lovecraft and I love podcasts. This week's podcast fills both. It is the Cthulhu podcasts. Enjoyable readings of the bizarre. Check it out HERE.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Garrett Museum of Art

In my wanderings around Garrett, I took an interest in the Old Garrett State Bank building. I thouses the Garrett Museum of Art. I have not had a chance to get into see what is inside yet since it was closed when I went down. Their website is this week's webness. Check it out HERE.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

WAWK

WAWK, one of my favorite radio stations, has picked up a FM station so they can go 24/7. They have been a daytime only AM station as long as I have been here. I am really happy about this since I really love the station. I just hope they keep their local feel but then again for now, I do not think that is a worry.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Anti Monkey Butt Powder

My wife and I were at the hardware store when we came across the product of anti monkey butt powder. It is a funny name for a product and I will never forget it. We picked a bottle of the stuff up and my wife says it works and she is not allergic to it. As a result, I am making it this week's webness. Check it out HERE.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Cheap Astronomy

I think I have said it more than once on this blog that I like astronomy and I like podcasts. It is also probably obvious that I like to do things on the cheap side. this weeks weekly webness combines those. It is the cheap astronomy podcast. It can be found HERE.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

H. P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast

I love HP Lovecraft and I also love listening to podcasts. That makes this week's webness a natural. It is the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast. the link is HERE. ENJOY!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Frugality of Exploring Your Own Backyard


































I have been walking around the neighbourhood a lot more over the last year. For one thing, I need to get up and off my butt to exercise more. Second of all, under the influence of me waymarking, I have been noticing different things around the neighbourhood more. There is a grotto down the street from me that has two trees that are in memory of tow ladies that have passed away. That got my attention and got me curious about who these ladies were and why they got these trees dedicated to them. There is a story to this and I am yet not aware of it.

In any case, I have been starting to explore nearby places and finding a lot of interesting places that are cheap or free to visit. Whehter it is the grotto with these deicated trees or Lash Park that I spoke of in a previous blog post, There are neat places to go and spend time on the cheap. Some are for the price of walking over for the price of gas for a short drive of a car. (so short I would not even call it a trip) One of the suckiest things of trying to be on a budget is cutting back on doing fun stuff since there is not the budget to do or buy the fun stuff. There are alternatives out there to make your fun time dollars stretch a bit further. This is not someting new thought up by me but something I have been learning to put into practice.


Sometimes it amazes me how it takes hard times to make us all do things we should have been doing all along. I am not saying we can not spend money on fun things, just that we need to look at what we are spending our money on is fun worth the money we are spending. It is all about getting the best bang for our buck because regardless of how well we are doing, our money is finite and we need to put it to good use.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sacred Heart Hospital/Apartments






































I waymarked the Sacred Heart Building a while ago as a dated building. (LINK) The original date stone on the building was for 1902. With the nicer spring weather, I have been walking past this building a bit more often just to get my exercise. I have noticed two more dte stones on this building. One was for when the new addition when in in 1917 and one when the building became the Garrett Community Hospital. I t amazes me that this building has three date stones wehn most buildings do not have any and that it took me this long to notice. Not that I want to start obsessioning about noticing every little detail but I sure does make me want to take better looks at things and notice things more as I go through this life.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Don Lash Park





















































I was out running errands andgps games. I did a cache called run for the gold. (LINK) It was in a really nice park called Don Lash Park. It is named for a local who became an Olympic Medalist. (LINK) I took the time while walking and finding the cache to get a couple of photos for waymarks. (LINK) Between the nice spring day, the nice location and finding out more about some local history, it was a good time.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

UGH!

I have been running a bit busy lately and have not really been blogging like I would like to. Hopefully, I can catch up on waymarking and flip those into some interesting blog posts. Keep tuned dear reader and we shall see.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

myfico.com

With the insanity going on with borrowing money, it is getting important to get educated about money. One area you need to get to know more about is your fico score. You can learn about it at this LINK. Hopefully, I can get out of debt and get financially healthy enough to not have to worry about what my fico score is. Until then, it is a matter of getting educated about money so I can handle it better so life can be sweet.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pathtags

I have been into geocaching for a while. I also have gotten into the geocoins. One side trade-able in the same vein are pathtags. I have not gotten into those as much but they still have some appeal.They are cool but I just have not gotten into them as much as i have the coins. I got into the geocoins first and had to draw the line somewhere. As with any hobby, you can drop a whole lot of money and still not be done with it. They are a neat dimension to the geocaching hobby. Check out their link HERE.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Frugality of Patience

Yup, this is another of my ideas on frugality. No major new ideas here, just things that I have noticed that work. One thing to helps with frugalness around y place is being patient. Patience in the sense of waiting to be able to pay cash for things os I do not get zapped into paying more interest. It is also more than that. It is being patient enough to look for not only better deals but the best deals. It is amazing what you can get off ebay or auctions and at what price if you are willing to wait for your price. I am not good at being patient but it helps when the savings and deals start rolling in. In honor of this concept, I am starting a Consumers Advocating Hugh Savings Fund or CASH fund for short. Yes it is a pain in the butt to have to wait but so is trying to get out of debt or making payments all the time. I want more than that and I am willing to sacrifice today to have more tomorrow and the day after.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Historical markers database

I was looking around th 3ewaymarking.com website and found a website that has a database of historic markers. Since I like that sort of thing, I thought I would put it up as this week's webness. The link is HERE. Maybe I can generate a few waymarks from this.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Geocaching in Space

I have been a cacher for a while now. There is a fairly recent cache that has gotten some attention. It is a cache that has been put on the International Space Station. The link for it is HERE. Kinda cool.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Spring

Getting some weather into the 40s today. Made getting out for a walk a lot nicer. It is nice not needing the extra layers of clothes and gloves just to get out for walk. The days are getting noticeably longer. Not only are the days getting longer but it is getting obvious that it the days are getting longer at a faster rate. Guess that means daylight shifting time can not be too far behind. I grew up with daylight shifting time but I got really use to it when I first moved to Indiana. as much as I like getting more light in the evening, I hate losing it in the morning just as we started to get it back. I also hate getting use to getting up an hour earlier. I hate change.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Jack Miner Sanctuary

I am still mining my visit to Canada in January for Weekly Webnesses. This time it is for Jack Miner Sanctuary. (LINK) I grew up very close to here and this place has always had a soft spot in my heart. Like I am so prone to say, check out their website and check out the place.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Frugality from the closet

One place I have been finding a bunch of frugality is in the closet. This is not rocket science but you still might over look it. I have been finding old books I forgot that I had. I have movies and games that I have not enjoyed in years. Nice If to get some more mileage from things long since paid for and really not costing me money to enjoy again. If I truly do not want it or plan to use it anymore, I can always try to sell at a yard sale. Even if I donate it, I still get it out of the house. Regardless, I get something out of it. Either I get cheap or free entertainment, or some money or a cleaner house. Sounds like a win in all situations. There are other closets in the community you can check for free or cheap stuff. The community has a nice little building they store books and movies and other stuff called a library that will lend you for free if you are in that community. It is not a perfect source for entertainment but cheap and a good one. You can also buy stuff from other people's closets at a thrift store. Not the latest and greatest stuff but some reallly nice stuff if you are willing to look.


So try to look at what you have and see what you can stretch a bit further. I might be wrong but I think we all have some stuff we have been looking over to make these hard times a bit better. It is really easy to over look how blessed we truly are.