Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Saw Won. As Usual.

Today Kyle had his stitches removed from his run-in with a saw about 10 days ago.  While the encounter did chip a bit of bone, he: 1- still has the finger,  2- missed the major nerves & tendons and 3- let someone else finish the sawing.

After the incident

After the clean-up

After the stitches

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Turkey Fever

Turkey fever.  We've caught it.
Don & I enjoyed our third joint turkey hunt this year.  Our time to hunt in IL was limited with Don
getting out only one day and me enjoying but two days in the field during the 6 day season.  Although we saw several turkeys, opportunity to harvest a tom never presented itself.

Fortunately we had planned a trip to Michigan and those birds up there were much more cooperative.  Don saw numerous birds and by mid-morning he managed to get in position and fill his tag with the good looking turkey shown below.

Future hunter(s)?  Too bad I didn't have a camera ready to record the excitement Hudson & Cadence displayed when they first saw Dad with his turkey. 

Late in the day I had a chance at either of two gobblers of equal size.  This one sported a 9.5 inch beard and weighed in at about 18 lbs.

Cadence checks to see how sharp the 1" + spurs are.

Brenda is quite gracious and allows two mounted turkeys from previous hunts to be displayed in our basement.  But I don't think she wants a third.  How do I know that?  After shooting this tom, I sent a text to Brenda, Kamela, Karmen & Kyle letting them know of my success.  Each of the 3 kids responded with various forms of congratulations.  Such as "Awesome", "Good job Dad", "Terrific". 
Brenda's response?  "Help us all!"  We all got a good laugh out of that. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Cold Hands, Warm Heart?

No, it's actually more like cold back, warm front. 

The winter of 2012 was almost non-existent in Central Illinois.  A handful of days below freezing and a couple relatively insignificant snowfalls that lasted long enough to get a few photos if you all ready had your camera out of the case.  For those of us who enjoy winter, the best we could do was open the refrigerator door for a few extra moments.  But somehow that just isn't the same.

However, there was one weekend that cooperated and like moths drawn to light, the winter camping crew hightailed it into the woods.  Here are a few photos of the annual adventure.

Camaraderie is a major reason these folks grab their -20 sleeping bags, some grub and show up year after year.  Sometime during the fall when those delightful cool, colorful days are upon us, I inevitably hear someone say, "It won't be long now until we can go camping".

The food absolutely is critical.  What tastes good any other occasion seems to have double flavor.
Venison steaks are a staple.  Brats made their debut this year.

Another new dish.  Taco pie.  Don hit a home run with this one!  
(Maybe I should thank Leann?)
 I can't tell for sure what else is cooking here but I do remember some really, really good beans.
Back to back home runs actually.  Good job Doug (Karena).  
The fire is the main comfort of the camp, whether in summer or winter, and is about as ample at one season as at another.  It is as well for cheerfulness as for warmth and dryness.
 ~Henry David Thoreau
 Looks like it might be close to bedtime!

We don't normally sleep in the back of a pickup.  But, since Bruce & Emily had to leave at 5 AM, it seemed a good option.  Did Bruce get the truck warmed up before you exited the bag Emily?

It's a bit late to post these photo perhaps but since I got no photos this year, I had to go begging in order to tell the story.  Thanks for sharing your shots Bruce!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Float! or swim

I would be somewhat surprised if our town of Eureka ever hosted concrete canoe races before last week.  Such an event was certainly new to me.  If you are a civil engineer or know someone who is, you quite likely are up on this.  I've learned that building a concrete canoe and entering competition with them is part of the curriculum for CE's.  Sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers, local competitions lead to national competitions and some university engineering department is awarded the top prize in canoe races featuring 2 man, 2 woman & 4 person co-ed races.  Perhaps there's more, but hey, I'm still learning.

Back to Eureka.  About 17 university engineering departments from the "Great Lakes" conference brought their canoes to Eureka Lake for a day of races.  Some assortment of winners from about 18 regions across the US will advance to the national finals held this year at University of Nevada, Reno.

One of the most interesting aspects of the 84 pages of regulations for designing, building and racing a concrete canoe is that the boat must be buoyant after it is completely filled with water. There is lots more interesting stuff but you'll need to check out the ASCE website if you would like to see it.

Univ of IL  carries their boat to it's "dry-dock" after a race.

Dedicated trailer for the concrete boats.  Serious!!

Northwestern U

In action.  Slalom races perhaps?

I wondered about a concrete boat taped together.  But apparently if you boat doesn't float after being filled with water you get deduction of points then you can modify the boat with ballast.  Or something like that.  Correct me if I'm wrong Andy.

And of course, the BANANA BOAT