Friday, August 28, 2015

On the Road Again

Heading to North Central Iowa for Operation LZ - Viet Nam veteran welcoming home event in Forest City, IA. Hit some torrential downpour just North of Story City, IA.  Got off the interstate and saw this interesting farm structure. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

House Moving

No, I am not moving, yet.  Yesterday a house came down the road, here.  Word is it was being moved from Council Bluffs to Treynor.  First indication I had was a letter from the power company that our electrical service could be interrupted for a house move.  My power was cut about 10:50 Thursday morning.  Next came the power company trucks dropping the wires.
And the county police started arriving and directing traffic.  L52 (257th St) was blocked south from my house.
The police left sounding sirens - seems there was a traffic accident in the area on US 6,  Traffic was heavy.  Several factors adding to the traffic:  Folks wanting to see the house move, house moving entourage and all their vehicles, and detour around the highway accident.

The Deputy Sheriff told me there is a delay - the "trailer" hauling the house blew a tire.  Grabbed the longest lens for my camera.  From my driveway, I could see the house was almost down to Cottonwood Rd.
Eventually, the house was on the move, again.  These Iowa hills are rough for moving something like a house.  As the house came closer (topping the hill just south of me) I saw a farm tractor pulling the house.  A friend of the tractor owner said the farm tractor was need in addition to the truck to haul the house up the hills.
The caravan moved across the neighbor to the South.  Surprisingly. the raised the house high enough to clear the mailboxes.  The next hurdle was turning the corner in front of my house.
With the slope and turn, the truck did not have the traction to move the house up the hill,  The faarm tractor was again called in for power.
To negotiate the intersection, the crew had to slip the truck sidewise and bring the house forward.
While all of this jockeying around crew discussion was happening, I too the opportunity to look at the dollies under the house.  Guess it the engineer in me!
Each dolly was equipped with a hydraulic mechanism to raise and lower the load.  I notice that not all of the tires were the same size. All same in one dolly, but verified from one dolly to another. 
Next, they used the truck and tractor to bring the house up to the intersection.  It took the power and traction of the truck and tractor to turn the house.  Several times, the crew has to stop and raise/lower the rams on the dollies.  At some time, they had one or two workers under the house steering and leveling the dollies.
It was an event for the community.  Several neighbors stopped by to witness to move.  In the photo are the mailboxes in front of my house.
Eventually, the house and the entourage headed East down Dogwood Rd.  The turn of the house from Northbound 275th to Eastbound Dogwood Rd took over 45 minutes.
Finally, the power company line crew was on the move to restore power.  Ended up I was out of power for about 3 hours.

I have not idea how much it cost to move a house like this one.  I did not think it was anything special.  Doubt I could have justified the cost of the move versus building new.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Car, Bike, Photography

Tuesday, heading out for morning coffee, dash of the car light up with braking/ABS system lights and messages.  It did not seem to be a big problem for driving.  I drove to town for coffee.  On the way home, I stopped by Lyle's where I get my car work done.  Made arrangements for repairs on Wednesday morning.

Loaded the hybrid bike on the rack on the car.  I decided to ride bike and take photos around town while the car was in the shop.  Had then change the oil and filter while in the shop - it was due.

First area of town for photography was the historic 100 block of West Broadway (photo above). This is just a block from the shop where my car was working on.  Photos like this lend themselves to Black & White.  Had my good D-SLR and Point&Shoot cameras with me.All my photos were taken with the Canon 60D.

From there, I rode over to Bayliss Park.  It was a beautiful day for a bike ride and photography.  The fountain was running with a full head of steam.  Lots of kids getting wet playing along the fountain  After taking my photos, it was time for the bike shop to open.  Stopped by the crew at Xtreme Whels Bike & Sport - just a block from Bayliss Park.

I was happy to find that the brake/traction system problem was just a broken wire.  I was back home with car repairs done, new photos, and a visit with the bike shop all before noon.

Monday, July 27, 2015

House Painting


Finally, the weather was conducive to painting.  We had good weather mid July.  Only took the painters a week to wash, scrape, prep, and paint the house.  It was a long time since it was last painted.  Took 2 coats (some spots 3 coats) to cover.  Only did trip accent color on the front of the house.

I like the colors - much brighter.  When I bought the house it was a pail yellow with brown trip.  I like the new cream with dark green trim.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sac & Fox Trail


After the family picnic and reunion, I had the 1 1/2 hour drive to my hotel.  I wanted to check out a bike trail near Cedar Rapids - and needing the photos for my calendar.  From the maps, it looked like the Sac & Fox trail, along the Indian Creek, should be interesting and photogenic.

A great trail.  I would have enjoyed riding longer but the heat, humidity, and mosquitoes turned up quickly. Addition to the crushed limestone bike trail, there is a dirt/tree bark walking trail system in the same area.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Family Picnic


The Winfield Family picnic/reunion was held in Elkader, Iowa on July 4th.  I was on the road before sunrise for the 320 mile drive to the other corner of Iowa.

It was a pretty good attendance, considering the distances the family is not spread.  Photo here is the Winfield siblings and their spouses that were able to attend.  L to R -- Jack and Jean Heick,  Edna & Rich Winfield, Ruth Gillmore, Dorothy Winfield, and Margaret Risi.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Hospital Stay

It will be back-dating these posts.  Just have not felt like writing some in this blog.  But it was time to bring things back to date.

I had a 11 day sting in the hospital in June.  No big problems - a biopsy and colonoscopy, normally outpatient procedures.  But with my mechanical heart valve, it was all the whole Heparin Therapy issue.  Took forever for me Warfarin dosing stabilized.

The biopsy was CT guided needle biopsy to check a mass showing up in my right lung.  Nothing to problem - it was a sack blood.  Still watching it.  A couple polyps found and removed during colonoscopy.

The whole 11 day hospital stay was a pain.  Will not bore you with the details.