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By: joealaska , 3:22 PM GMT on April 28, 2013

It is a beautiful Sunday morning in Prospect, Kentucky. The trees and plants are all blooming and will be in full color for the Kentucky Derby this coming Saturday.

I got back in town Thursday as planned. My arrival was a bit early, so I drove to a local golf course I last played 25 years ago and got in a quick nine holes. It was fun seeing the old golf course again even though my level of golf skill was pretty weak.

Then I turned in the rental car and SPRING CRUISE 2013 was over.

17 days on the road. 8 golf courses. 10 states. 5400+ miles driven. 1 blizzard.

It was a good trip. Weather was more of a factor than I expected. Colder. There would have been a few more rounds of golf otherwise.

With the Dutch Harbor thing a bit up in the air, I was hesitant to jump in and take a second trip. Much less a train trip. But I will move forward with the second trip now. I will leave shortly after Derby weekend. There will be more Great Plains, more mountains. More golf. It could be the last road trip for a while, and I will take advantage.

Meanwhile it will be a nice Derby Week with family and friends. The big race is Saturday, but there are over a week of activities leading up to that. Fireworks, steamboat races, balloon races, parades, too much to list accurately.

I have not played golf since I came back, but that will change during the upcoming week. There are more courses I have not seen in years that I want to re-visit.

All of my stuff from Dutch will arrive tomorrow.

I heard from GNU and everything is going OK in Dutch.

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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26. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
3:04 AM GMT on May 04, 2013
joealaska has created a new entry.
25. dotmom
1:00 AM GMT on May 04, 2013
Oh my, aren't those the sweetest cats. They look pretty darn regal on their latest perches. Living the life of Riley! This should make Joe happy to see how happy they are. I know he is missing them but he is not saying a lot about that.
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24. DHaupt
12:14 AM GMT on May 04, 2013
We have bank holidays over here too. It's those days when the banks are closed. We once had them on days when people wanted all their money out of their accounts, right now, because the bank was rumored to be going belly-up. Your bank would declare a Bank Holiday; hooray!; padlock the doors tight and all would sneak out through the coal chute and by way of the back alley.

You have to go to places like Greece to enjoy those nowadays. Maybe Scotland in the not too distant future. Here? Who knows?
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23. Dodabear
8:38 PM GMT on May 03, 2013
Ya'll have a holiday for banks??????
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22. insideuk
7:28 PM GMT on May 03, 2013
I see them!


All of Joes photos went walkies for a while today - someone must be bashing tiny buttons with their fists at WU HQ again. They are lovely portraits Dianna, thank you.

For this holiday weekend the British Isles are promised a few days of WARM STUFF (though it was snowing in Scotland two days ago...) - this tv advert just popped up on my screen


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21. dotmom
6:35 PM GMT on May 03, 2013
Osdianna: I can see Rose - but then maybe I am not doing something correctly. I see Rose and then the eagle on the pole and other photos. No Dutchie! She has escaped again!
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20. osdianna
4:58 PM GMT on May 03, 2013
I don't know why the new photos aren't showing up on my blog...they show "approved" and they were there last night...sigh.
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19. osdianna
3:16 AM GMT on May 03, 2013
OK...latest photos of Dutchie and Fluff are now on my WU blog. We have sunshine, so they each have a spot where the sun coming in the windows gives them the morning warm-up.
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18. Arbie
10:25 PM GMT on May 02, 2013
I agree. Dutchie has been there long enough to be pretty grounded as to where home is at.

I have an idea for you osdianna. My husband actually thought this one up. He has a a cow bell, and we started ringing it every time we feed her. After awhile she started coming to the bell even when she's outside. Cats really focus on inconsistencies so you have to make sure you feed them at least a few pieces of treat every single time you ring the bell. I'd never tried this with a cat before but it's working very nicely.
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17. dotmom
6:12 PM GMT on May 02, 2013
Dianna: Don't worry. Cats will be cats and if she runs away - not your fault. Please don't worry over it. You are doing such a favor as it is - you are doing yeoman's work. I say thanks a million. She knows the "scent" of your place now and she won't go any place. She is being entertained by all the wildlife. When she gets tired, she'll come home.
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16. osdianna
4:05 PM GMT on May 02, 2013
Snow??!! You have my sympathies, iaotter. We are having a stretch of lovely, sunny weather which they promise will continue into the weekend. It should be pretty crowded out here at the beach.

I hope FranKY takes good care of the cat-scratched hand...nothing to take lightly. Infections are a whole new ballgame now.

As I write this, Dutchie has made her second foray into the wilds of my neighborhood. The birds are out and I think she will be interested in their activities. Another period of worry is about to begin.
Stay tuned....
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15. iaotter
3:52 PM GMT on May 02, 2013
We used to have lots of cats on the farm that lived by their own wits. They got milk and dog food twice a day and mostly stayed around the barns and corn crib. There were always one or two house cats that were allowed to come and go as they pleased. None of them got distemper shots or vet care. Home nursing was the rule with a bit of pig wormer in the milk on regular intervals.
I am more of a dog person, but the farm dogs didn't go to the vet either except for rabies shots. They were expected to stay healthy and outside. My dog now is so spoiled by comparison.
I woke up to snow this morning. About 5 inches of it and it is still coming down, although more slowly now. School was cancelled. It is a very wet heavy snow that is taking down some of the smaller branches on the evergreens and making electric wires sag. Almost impossible to shovel. It would make lovely snowmen. It just doesn't seem like May 2. With any luck it will melt in the next couple of days.
The farmers are antsy to get in the fields, but with the recent rains and now this wet snow it is going to be another week or more before it is dry enough.
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14. dotmom
12:12 PM GMT on May 02, 2013
Cats: Made a quick run to an emergency clinic with FranKY yesterday morning. When Spec (the cat) says - no more brushing - pay attention. Both of the cats that came to live here when Fran moved home are feral/rescue cats. I think it is in their dna to always be on the lookout and defensive - especially this little tortoise. She seldom lets us pet her and love on her. But she can be so entertaining. I try to respect her natural instincts - but sometimes that can be a stretch.

FranKY had to have a tetanus shot and a 5-day supply of antibiotics. Yesterday morning her hand was quite swollen and she had problems moving her fingers. So there are a number of things to be concerned about and the doctor's office was the first stop. She seems to be getting better. Has to keep her hand elevated and "out of use."
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13. osdianna
4:25 PM GMT on May 01, 2013
With my own cats, both of them strays I took in, my attitude is about the same as yours, Dave. I do not trim their nails, so they can climb one of the many trees to escape any danger. They also know all the hidey holes, and one of them can actually make the trek to the relative safety of the roof.
Joe told me if Dutchie gets really obnoxiously vocal about wanting out, let her out. That doesn't make it any easier to sweat through her adventures! I was actually hoping she would be content to stay inside, silly me.

I am probably going to let her come and go as she requests, but I am gone for periods of time during the day...and that makes me more cautious about when she goes out.

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12. osdianna
9:04 AM GMT on May 01, 2013
1:20 am and I am awakened by this pitiful wail outside my open window..."Let me in; don't you know it's 37 degrees out here?" So I leap out of bed and run to the door, fling it open...it scares her off a good 10 ft, then she finally gets within grabbing range and I got her!
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11. DHaupt
7:15 AM GMT on May 01, 2013
osdianna: oh, I know the feeling. I didn't think to ask sooner, but does she have an microchip implant? A transmitting collar would even be better! With our cats, I just try not to worry. I have come to see this behavior as just a signature of their cat-hood.

After our precious Pumpkin got herself eaten by the dumbest, slobberingest, foulest, stinkingest genetic throw-back of a dog, we just tossed in the towel. I sort of thought: "I hope you're proud of yourself to get mangled by the likes of that. Couldn't you at least have found some noble, hoary raccoon or a proud mountain lion? But, the dumbest dog in this end of town! Gimme a break!

All our present cats have signed a contract: We promise nutritious food in accordance with the best veternary recommendations; a dry place to sleep including most of the furniture, but not our dinner plates; veternary care beginning at $1500/year diminishing $75/year with a lifetime limit of $10,000; bed check at midnight, stragglers may be let in later strictly at the convenience and whim of the management; breakfast will be served probably before noon, again at the convenience and whim of the management; litter boxes will be cleaned at least every week, again at the.... So go play. There are exceptions made for Dodo because of her blindness and sweet disposition, other flaws are forgiven in her case. So far, no one has left.

Louie and Sniffles are the only ones who often stay out all night, not returning sometimes until late the next afternoon. They like to hang out with their disreputable mates in our neighbor's garage and she locks it around 10PM and who bothers to get worked up about going home especially on hot days when it's really dark and cool in Mary's garage?

I will look into that Odoban. Simple Green has a very similar product that I haven't tried in the SpotBot yet. The SG carpet cleaner has no odor or coloring in it at all. You could safely brush your teeth with it, but I really tastes awful!
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10. osdianna
4:52 AM GMT on May 01, 2013
It is indeed a SpotBot, Dave. When my brother gave it to me it was for his 16 yr old cat, who coughed up furballs...hence her name Furbol...with two dots over the "o", like the Finnish, I believe.

Well, it finally happened; Dutchie escaped the house this evening, about an hour ago and as of 9:44pm she is out there in the dark. I am nervous about this, although I have found most cats return in good time. She has been anxiously looking for this opportunity the past two days, as we have had sunshine and screened windows have been open, allowing her to smell the fresh grass smells of spring.

The weather is going to be beautiful for the rest of the week and into the weekend, so if she does come back in I expect she will be wanting out regularly from now on...sigh.
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9. dix608greys
5:57 PM GMT on April 30, 2013
Funny you should bring up pet stains Dave as I just got off my hands and knees after cleaning spots with a Little Green Machine and OdoBan. Actually I should be the national spokeswomen for OdoBan as we have been using it for many years. It is all natural, non toxic and smalls great. You can use it in carpet cleaning machines or mixed with water to clean floors and bathrooms. It is also a 99.9% disinfectant. Used to be you could only find it at Sam's Club but recently I see Home Depot carries the gallon bottles and most supermarkets have the smaller spray bottle.

Wish I had bought the SpotBot though instead of the Green Machine. My shoulder is screaming after pushing the brush/nozzle over and over again.

Summer (or almost summer) seems to have landed in central FL. The humidity is here and we are looking at daily storms for the next 10 days. 2:00 PM, 90 degrees and 86% humidity.

Like everyone else I am looking forward to Joe's next adventure. He takes us places most of us will never see. Big fun, especially when you're a senior.
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8. DHaupt
7:01 AM GMT on April 30, 2013
osdianna: A blog or two back you mentioned having been given a spot cleaning machine. I'm sure that would be a Bissell SpotBot. I've got two of them. I bought the first one that I ever saw. I pretty much wore it out (so I thought) and bought another. Then I got the original repaired and now have the two. They are a godsend for any pet owner.

I also discovered that all sorts of cleaning agents will work with them. I currently favor Simple Green carpet cleaner which I buy in gallon jugs directly from Simple Green online. I think the usual gang of thieves, Proctor & Gamble, Bissell and Hoover are fighting to keep Simple Green products out of the chain stores so they set up a really efficient online store. Even with the shipping, they are way cheaper than any of the others' products.

We have an especial problem with one little tuxedo cat whom we misnamed Dodo. She is totally blind. Actually, Dodo is pretty smart. She has invented the finest kitty litter machine ever. It is a patch of carpet in a dark hallway. It is always clean and fresh and fluffy with no annoying gritty stuff to stick between her toes. She is a pretty old kitty too, so we aren't going to put up with her special needs for too many years. All the magic of the SpotBot!

I've got it down to a system now. I mark each spot by sprinkling a cheap body powder, like Gold Bond, on the mess to be removed, drop a couple of sheets of Kleenex over it and lift it away with a small clamshell poop scooper. The powder tells me just where to set the SpotBot. Three minutes later all is well.

The system works just as well on fur balls or any other "tummy" problems.

Another 91F day here in Livermore. It is midnight now and still 66F outside.
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7. Arbie
11:45 PM GMT on April 29, 2013
I imagine Joe has gotten a few comments on his mileage. After all how many people show up from out of state and proceed to drive back and forth across the continent several times?

We got about 6 inches of rain in about 3 hours Saturday. It made for interesting driving in Houston with all the street flooding.

Thanks for keeping us informed on the cats, osdianna. I've enjoyed that.

My parents are coming up on their 60th wedding anniversary in August. We're pretty excited.
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6. osdianna
3:40 PM GMT on April 29, 2013
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5. Dodabear
3:40 PM GMT on April 29, 2013
Having Joe show up at your car rental agency is like having Joey Chestnut show up at your Buffet Restaurant.
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4. insideuk
1:54 PM GMT on April 29, 2013
I just don't understand how come you aren't getting blacklisted by car rental firms all across the US. The number of miles you put on those poor cars would devalue the average British car by much more than you are actually paying to rent the thing!

They should have your number blocked on their telephone systems and be hiding under the desks in darkened offices whenever you approach the building. You are bad for business.

And if they read your blog, saw your photos...you'd be WALKING the Great Plains and mountains. Better take a jacket this time – I'm assuming one will arrive from Dutch with the rest of your stuff? Unless all your outerwear was company property and had to be left behind? Maybe when you passed the baton to Gnu Guy he also had the privilege of donning the padded jacket with the big tear in the shoulder.

Maybe he has spent a month darning. Make do and mend Gnu.

This photo raises a question.

Is there some sort of white whiskers competition going on?

And is it a joint competition feature alongside the whitest socks thing you all had going on for years now?

It's a close run thing with the whiskers, hers are long but much less numerous. Fluff wins on the white socks though.

But I suspect that's because you walk around outside in your bare socks and she, sensibly, stays inside in hers.

She has you licked.

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3. DHaupt
6:50 AM GMT on April 29, 2013
Good hearing from you, Joe. I looked up Prospect, KY on Google Maps and could clearly see the golf course where your tribe lives. I really is beautiful country. I was also interested to see that you could sink a ball in the Ohio River with a few really long drives.

Btw, do you or anyone else know if there is an accessible master directory of WU members by their handle? I know that if anyone has had a blog in the past yea many years, there is a list for that. But if they have only commented on a blog or a photo, I can't seem to find them.

Livermore had its first hot day for the year. We hit 91F late this afternoon. Happily, a thin layer of high clouds wafted over that took the edge off the heat. But, here it is, just a few minutes to midnight and it is still 68F outside.

Another trip sounds like fun. Just do it.
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2. lotis2
1:13 AM GMT on April 29, 2013
Son and daughter-in-law live about a block from a golf course. Grandkids would go up and find lost balls, bring them home, clean them up then resell them to the golfers as they came by. Did pretty good at it for kids.

Wish I had a big fancy hat so I could come watch the race in person! On the bucket list!

Hope you have better weather on the next trip! Take a jacket & umbrella just in case. (Oh, and a snow scrapper/brush.)
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1. Ylee
7:48 PM GMT on April 28, 2013
You can keep the zoo that is Derby Week, JoeA, Dotmom, and JoeKy! I'd rather watch from the comfy confines of my couch! For good measure, I'll also skip the International Bar-B-Q Festival . Crowds are not my thing! :' )

I figured GNU could take care of things in Dutch, at least short term.
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