ARIZONA TO ALASKA

HALLOWEEN DEATH COUNT

By: joealaska, 4:19 AM GMT on October 29, 2013

Sitting here watching a game in Saint Louis, the Sports Capitol of the USA this weekend. There were some big games over the weekend, college football, whatever. But tonight is BIG. Monday Night Football is on and it is Seattle playing St. Louis. And just a mile away they are playing Game #5 in The World Series. Just down the road. Boston playing and beating St. Louis.
Very unusual. And Trubba. Saint Louis went 0-2 on this night.

Show Me. OK.

I had the national news on today and I saw film of the storm that hit Europe. They showed footage from London of a crane collapse situation. Brussels got hit hard, as well as France.

I was watching a local independent channel, and the weather guy was talking BIG stuff coming through Thursday. Halloween. Big storm forming in the west. Here she comes. He went into a speech saying he saw the predictions based on weather models and did not believe what he saw. 100 mph winds on Halloween. Strongest late afternoon and early evening. Perfect. The other reputable channels are just saying it looks like a line of thunderstorms coming through. Hopefully will have film on YouTube Friday!!

On the same night I am going to see my old friend Steve, buddies since 4th grade. For a few years we had a band and a great time. Nowadays he is playing solo guitar and singing at various venues in Louisville and Southern Indiana. He has a device based off his guitar that creates a second accompanying voice. All electronic. But it sounds good, improving an already good voice.

If needed, I will request Folsom Prison Blues.

Hopefully the plate glass windows will not blow in and shatter during his performance.

The job listings have dropped noticeably in the cold states now that it has turned, well, COLD. The Plain States. Today was very nice here, but it was cold last night. Now it looks like tomorrow will be cloudy but mild. There could be a round of golf with DotMom.

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COLD IN KENTUCKY

By: joealaska, 1:26 PM GMT on October 20, 2013

44 degrees in Louisville. 45 degrees in Dutch. 100,000 cattle dead in South Dakota.

I am not real happy with the sudden cool weather. It is only a matter of time that Louisville will be colder than Dutch, off and on the whole winter. RIGHT NOW I will wager that Louisville has a colder temperature measured than Dutch this winter. The patio door has been set in the “closed” position.

Last night Dutchie went out for the whole night, something she does a bit regularly now. Probably easier on me than when she wakes me up at 4:30 AM for letting her out. It was not raining when I let Dutchie out, but it was when I woke up this morning. I whistled for her and she came out of the wet bushes. She was soaked. Of course she had two dry chairs on my patio she could have used, with a roof over her head. But NooOOO.

She had breakfast and went right back out in it.

Have not golfed since the big golf weekend. Will try this week.

Everyone had big plans for Louisville in football this year. Undefeated! But they were playing a weak schedule, and there would be controversy down the road when they would be ignored in the polls (assuming of course they were still undefeated HA.). Last night was homecoming. It was also the 100th game in Papa Johns Stadium. They were playing on national TV while trying to remain undefeated and remain ranked in the top ten No big deal. The other team, Central Florida, scored a buncha touchdowns in just a few minutes in the 2nd half. They came back from 28-7 halfway through the third quarter. Louisville went down in flames. Oh well. They will learn and move forward.

Had a quick conversation with a recruiter for a company wanting help at Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas. Will probably hear back for a second interview later this week.
Prairie View A&M is always one of those teams that are the LONG shots in college basketball every year.

Some of you may recall when you read my book (www.theroadtodutchharbor.com) that I once applied for a position running crews to clean up train derailments. Well I did that again a couple days ago. Only a couple companies do that. Trying the other one now, based in Nebraska.

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FRENCH LICK WEEKEND

By: joealaska, 2:07 AM GMT on October 15, 2013

The French Lick Weekend of 2013 is in the books.

Looking back, I am surprised at the interesting places our family has gotten together for reunions, anniversaries, and holidays. Sedona, Arizona (Twice). Lake Powell. Las Vegas. Santa Fe, New Mexico. Prospect, KY. Los Angeles. Not really surprised at the places, just that we could actually schedule and pull it off.

NOW French Lick, Indiana. It was a perfect choice. A bit over an hour away via country roads in Indiana. It is an OLD resort town. Mafia stuff. Speak Easy / bootlegging background. Oh yeah, and the PLUTO WATER.

It was the excuse they built the original resort. Then they added golf courses and a (legal) casino. Later they found out the water from the springs, the water that people from FAR away came to soak in, was actually only good as a laxative.

“If nature can’t, Pluto can.” This may be a paraphrasification. But you get the idea.

So midday Friday we headed northwest on Indiana Rt 150. Pumpkin fields and construction zones. We were in no hurry. We had made reservations for a German dinner / lunch in Paoli on the way. A place called The German Café. Paoli is not that big, and I found the place just by sniffing.

We arrived an hour ahead of our reservation. They adjusted and we all sat down. We were treated to a very nice meal, with everyone happy. Then we were off to West Baden / French Lick. It was a lot bigger than any of us remembered. The FOLKS have come to French Lick various times. Even myself and a friend came up for a golf weekend maybe 30 years ago. It was quaint back then. It is still pretty nice, but EVERYONE agrees. They are ALL here. Many vehicles, small roads.

Saturday we went to an art fair. Then off to the TRAIN RIDE. (Was it obvious the art fair was not a highlight for me?). At the train Depot, CYBERSIS needed assistance to board, as she was with broken hip. It is a manual contraption where she gets on and they crank a crank by hand. Up she goes to being level with the car, and they open the gate and release her to the train. It was actually fun, and the guys on the train were very nice.

We headed south out of town screaming along at 15 mph. Almost immediately we went by the old house where LARRY BIRD grew up. There was a guy on the microphone telling us about the local color. Once we headed into the woods, he did not talk as much.

The train went out about 17 miles, then stopped for a break. When we headed back, it was in REVERSE. To keep it safe and legal, a railroad guy (Scott) sat in the back door. I jumped up to establish position when we started back, but it was apparent this was now THE view. Everyone wanted a movie from the angle of train cow-catcher, and they got it.

We went back to the hotel for a little break, then headed off to dinner. My brother had found a dinner option, a semi-bed and breakfast ranch outside of town. The CRAZYHORSE. We killed a little time at the Resort and sat on the front porch. There was a grand piano playing.

We headed out of town for the 30 minute ride. But a LOT of it was gravel roads with minimal signage. Some of our party was questioning our goal. As I drove I knew it would either be one of the worst dinners we have had, or the best. Just when we all were wondering what the hell we were doing, we saw a ranch. THE ranch.

Once again, we were an hour ahead of our reservations. Does that matter?

But we found a cowboy who fired up the grill. We sat by a fire in the back yard, which was perfect, and waited for dinner. We went inside when it was ready. The place could handle 30 people, at the most. The food came out. I was handed the largest ribeye steak ever. Plus all of the sides. I was unable to finish it. Awesome.

We left in the dark, and it was an adventure leaving. I led the two car parade, but had to yield to the other car with GPS after getting mixed up.

I got about 3.5 hours sleep that night. But we got back safely Sunday mid-day to Louisville.

See you at #80 DOT MOM.

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ENTER CHIPMUNK

By: joealaska, 10:23 PM GMT on October 10, 2013

Saw an interesting position I applied for yesterday. They wanted someone to work operations in a company that specializes in selling food, through their food stores, in island communities. Sounded familiar. I think they want more experience than I have, but I gave it a chance. It sounds interesting as they have locations in The Carribean, Hawaii, GUAM, and even Alaska. Sounds like a lot in Alaska. They used to have a store in Dutch when I first went there, but it closed soon after that.

But, like I said, it is a long shot.

Yesterday I was sitting at the computer with the patio door wide open. Weather is perfect right now.
I looked down just in time to see a chipmunk run in and head for the restroom. The good news for it was that the cats were sleeping in the bedroom. It had a lot of energy and was running back and forth, checking the place out.

First thing I did was verify the status of the cats. Fluff was perked up and walking toward the door. I closed her off by shutting one of the doors into the bedroom. There is a second door into the bathroom, and I went to shut it, too. Too late, chipmunk came running into the bedroom. He ran under the bed., then right back out and back through the bathroom. I shut the second door, leaving Dutchie just waking up on the bed with her eyes bugged out sensing something was going on. Good to keep Dutchie away, Fluff could care less.

Meanwhile the chipmunk was into the kitchen and the farthest point possible, the utility closet, AKA The Cat Box Room. It reached panic mode when I started to try to “help” it back out. It was clear that it was not interested in hanging around anymore. I herded it out the kitchen. From there it spotted daylight and was back out the door.

That was the last I saw it.

Reminded me of The Great Desert Toad Debacle of 2004. Goodyear, Arizona. Toad came in and got stuck in my Lazy Boy.

But I think I told that story.

JoeKentucky was stationed in Guam during WW2. GUAM!

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HEDGE APPLES FLOATING BY MY PATIO

By: joealaska, 11:11 PM GMT on October 06, 2013

Saturday there were so many different sports on TV it was OK that it was pouring rain outside.

At 7:30 AM it all started with golf and THE PRESIDENTS CUP in Dublin, Ohio. This event happens every other year, during the years The RYDER CUP does NOT happen. The Ryder Cup is The USA vs The UK. The Presidents Cup is The USA vs The World (except the UK). They had heavy rain move through Dublin several times with rain delays. It was already going to be a LONG day with 2 full rounds scheduled for everyone. They played until dark, then had to quit and finish Sunday morning. It is a rare TEAM event in golf, with different formats each day. Saturday had twosomes playing each other. Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar played together and were very good. When they took off their hats to shake opponents hands at the end, I thought of a nickname for them.

Team Forehead.

At noon college football started, with games lasting late into the night. Louisville remains undefeated beating Temple by “only” 30-7. Kentucky kept it surprisingly close with South Carolina. Finally, a couple of baseball playoff games in the evening in case you wanted to watch a little sports TV.

It got very dark around 10 AM, then the rain moved in. Steady and heavy. Occasional thunder. I almost always have the patio door wide open when I am home. Every so often I look outside and see what’s happening. Soon I saw the creek in the trees was rising. Nothing new, it always rises from the TRICKLE it normally is. But this time was special. The creek rose by about three feet. It flowed over its banks and came out of the trees. Dutchie’s trees. Then it was lapping at the bank below my patio. It is a big bank, and it was enough for Saturdays storm. But it was entertaining if nothing else.

Fluff and Dutchie each sat in their own director chair on the patio and watched the rain from 3 feet away.

There was a decent current moving by, and all sorts of stuff floating by. Lotsa foliage and flora. Branches and bushes. And hedge apples by the hundreds. The area is normally a dog walk area for the apartment tenants. God only knows what else was floating by. But after a while it was just a heavy flow of water, everything had been washed away. But the rain stopped. I tracked how the water kept rising, crested, and eventually receded. The creek in the trees was roaring, but the water did go back within its banks. The cats even went out and checked out the saturated ground, walking in super slow motion in the wet high grass. Make a sharp noise at the right moment and they jump straight up 6 feet.

Just before dark I heard thunder in the distance, and now we had lightening. It started raining again, harder than ever. One time I looked out the window and there was no problem. 15 minutes later I checked again and the flood was back. Yeah, it was all pretty dark out there, but it is pretty close to the patio. The intensity was now higher. Before, the water flowed over the banks. Now it was RUSHING out. There was white water where it rushed through the trees and came out into the grass.

I never really felt threatened. It was cool to watch. Not too easy to see late at night, so I went to bed while it was still going on. The rain had slowed down. Dutchie wanted to stay out, so I let her. She had a roof and a chair. See you in the morning.

It rained off and on all night. When I got up it was stopped at the time. Dutchie was waiting on the patio. She was pretty wet and hungry. There was standing water still in the grass, but no flow. All the plants and bushes Dutchie hides in, near the trees, were flattened by the water flow. Then I saw a picnic table where it oughtn’t be. Normally it sits a couple hundred feet to my left. It is a community picnic table, mostly iron. Heavy, and not easily moved by water I would assume. There are only narrow legs, not a lot of surface area for the water to push. Yet the table now sits a hundred feet to my right. Stuffed in a clump of trees. Perhaps only Dutchie knows how it got there.

It has rained off and on all day, even though the weather “experts” say the big stuff is now passed. I heard numbers from 5.91 inches of rain to 7 inches. Today I heard about local flooding in Jeffersontown on the national news. That is just a few miles from here.

Of course, while it is flooding, it is nowhere near what FLOODING has happened elsewhere lately. Colorado, Arkansas and Missouri, and more.

Next weekend all six members of my family, including CYBER-IN-A-WHEELCHAIR, will be celebrating the folks 60th anniversary. Technically it will be a few days early. We are going to go to French Lick, Indiana, a little over an hour northwest of Louisville. Home of Larry Bird, an awesome new golf course, and an old resort built around mineral springs. It is a quaint town and area that has many interesting things to see and do. And take pictures of.

Taking a train trip through the countryside.

Looking forward to it.

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About joealaska

On June 4th I left Kentucky driving my RV known as Leggs. The trip is mostly unplanned, it will be interesting to see where I end up. Let's GO!

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