Friday, October 30, 2009

Jan's birthday

A week ago Jan and I made a run to the Hills for her birthday. We left home at 5:50am and arrived in Rapid City before noon after a couple rest stops and a refueling in Chamberlin. I was using the gps for an accurate speed reading and as usual the speedometer was a little optimistic by a couple of miles an hour. It still seems a little amazing to be able to make the run in a little over 6 hours and what is really amazing is the fact that in 1964 I rode with a guy and made it back to the base in about the same amount of time, this is before there were any 4 lane hiways between here and there. I have contemplated trying to contact him to find out how fast we traveled but it must have been up there. I think that he said that he had been stopped for speeding three weeks in a row in Mitchell. Needless to say he was going with a girl from St. James that was a year older than me I think. Anyhow, back to the subject. The weather was clear but cool as we cruised up to Sturgis to visit the BMW dealer and check out their t-shirt collection. I added one to my closet. Then it was over to Nemo and back to downtown Rapid. We hit "Prairie Edge" and some other shops. They have one of the few stores left that serve model and radio control builders among other crafts. I did business with them when I was stationed in Rapid 45 years ago. They have model aircraft, ships, armor, etc., etc., from all over the world. It's fun just to walk around and look at all of the things that are out there. I have thought about a KC-135 to go with the B-52D that I have hanging in our bedroom, but first I would have to finish a B-36 that I started 30 years ago and never finished, plus repair a second B-52D that got broken at about the same time. Oh well another project for the future. The next morning we headed home on hiway 44 out of Rapid down south of the Badlands and then through Wanblee on the Pine Ridge reservation. That was a scenic route with very little traffic this time of year. Once we got back on the interstate at Kadoka I stepped it up a little and though we made a side trip to the mall in Sioux Falls we were home by supper time. We had two cameras along and I got a couple shots around Interior, so I'll put them in. It seems lately that I just don't shoot as many landscape shots as I used to because it never captures what it really looks like. Ansel Adams could get it done but it seems to escape me. Anyhow, last Saturday we, Jan and our Mothers made a return trip to Rochester for Sam's birthday party on the heels of a 4" snow fall over there, more proof of global warming I guess. If you want to flesh out the details and more pictures you can jump over to Gen's blog using one of the buttons on the upper right. We had Theobalds, Kuehls, Thielhorn, Joe's girlfriend Lauren and their new puppy Jack. Sam and Leah spent most of the day palling around and Aaron and Gus being about the same size hung out too. What more can I say, the food, cupcakes and fun was fun. I hate re-using that word usual so much but it was a great party as usual, which is a good thing. To flesh things out some I will put a couple of our pictures in on top, just to show our view. I should mention a project that has been taking up some of my time in the garage this week and that is cleaning and replacing gaskets in the carburetors on our 94 Ducati. Amazingly enough it actually started and ran quite well except it was leaking gas like a sieve. So that meant tearing into it again and adding a couple o-rings and a new shutoff in the fuel line. I'll put in a picture of what she looked like while the work was in progress. Take care stay touch.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fresh pictures of Will

For those readers that are interested in following up on my previous blog, you can link off on the " Minnesota is Heaven" button on the upper right of this blog to see pictures of our newest grand child William Friedrich. A couple are of him when he was quite fresh from storage and the rest will give you an idea of the rest of the DeFor family. Joe and Annie are growing up so fast and her hair isn't curly anymore, although it is still thick and beautiful. We, St.Jan and I, still cannot get over how we ended up with such attractive offspring and grandchildren. Such a mystery, but a good one. I was on a PGR mission yesterday afternoon for a Veterans Tribute in Fairmont. We had a pretty good turnout considering the weather was cold and damp and three other missions in the state for KIA's and Gold Star families. It was one of those weeks again with three KIA missions in northern Minnesota, but I'm thinking that they were well covered by members in that end of the state. In Fairmont we had members from Iowa and South Dakota attending. I also talked to a guy from Wisconsin that was gassing up ( we were at Super America) and he was headed for Custer South Dakota and maybe the west coast. Some guys are a lot tougher than I am, probably a lot younger too. Stay in touch.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

It's William

I am going to put up a short post to inform my readers about a major event in our family. Last night- Tuesday- the phone rang and it was Hans calling from Germany. I and St. Jan knew right away what the call was about, William Friedrich ( I hope that I have the second name correct) had made his entrance. The time was before 10pm in Stuttgart, he weighed 6 pounds and 15 ounces and is 21 inches long. Shouldn't we say tall for that measurement? It sounds like a big fish that you just landed. Will joins big brother Josiah and big sister Annika. It feels a little odd not being able to run and see him. When Joe was born in San Diego we loaded up the pickup and headed west and we were waiting to leave the Minneapolis airport on the way to Japan when we got word that Annika had arrived. That time we actually got to the hospital to see her after a 13 hour flight. I'm thinking that Jan and I will not jump the Atlantic as the DeFor family should be back in the States in a couple of months, if they can just get the orders that they have been waiting for for some time. I will post another blog in the future when we get more information. The weather here has been kind of nasty, cold, rainy and just gloomy. We had a couple more windows replaced today with Anderson replacement windows. They are really good looking and tight, but not cheap, but then what good thing is ever cheap, inexpensive maybe but not cheap. I also started into cleaning the carburators on my 94 Ducati. They are really grungy, primarily from spending too much time sitting in the garage waiting for her turn to go, not easy when there are newer and prettier faces getting all of the attention. I am also trying a twist on remembering which part goes where, I am actually video taping the process. Anyhow, stay tuned when I hear something I'll get it on line. Bye