Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Another wild day on the markets.

The failure of the congress to pass the economic bail out bill for the failed financial institutions, signaled all the investors to head for the exits. Dow down 770 points. Are all the cold feet folks gone now? Like last week, the cooler heads will again take advantage of the overdone pullback and run things up in the days following the madness.

The dems are blaming the Republicans for the whole thing, and the facts don't match what anyone is saying. If you look at the votes cast today, there were a large number of Nay's from the dems and a good number of Yea's from the Republicans. Does that make the problem partisan?

I wonder if we really do not need to discuss this a bunch further, to see what the right answer is. Looks like folks on both sides do not think we have the answer yet. So without regard to the investors votes with their buy and sell orders, this needs to be argued through, until folks believe in the answer, and then the votes will come from both sides.

This is not supposed to be a political blog, so I will stop right here and take the wait and see attitude. I tend to be conservative in nature, and do not like to make more debt for my grandchildren, but then I sure as heck do not want my savings depleted to nothing either.

Let them argue it out, our system has always worked in the past, and it should again.

Other than the chaos in Washington, I went to the tire shop to have the alignment checked on the Toyota. I had some unusual wear on a back tire, that would mean things were out of alignment somewhere on the car.

I didn't believe that kind of wear could come from the back wheels. So I had the shop check the alignment of all four, believing that the tire was rotated from another wheel on the car. After about 45 minutes, the mechanic came to the waiting room and handed me the keys back.

Seems that all wheels were in total alignment and that no adjustments were necessary. He could not explain the tire wear other than the tires may have come from some other vehicle. So keep on driving and replace the ones that get thin when that happens.

He only charged me 29.95 to check it out which is less than half the cost to re align the entire car. That is an honest mechanic! He could have messed with it for 30 minutes more and charged me for the whole boat.

This tire shop is in the oldest part of Olathe, Ks., and is in a old metal over wood building. It is not the most attractive place in the world, but then why do you need to be attracted to your tire shop? They will have my business, from now on while I live here in Ks.

We had the three year old grand daughter again today, which is the first time we have had her since we came back from Colorado. She is the happiest child, and has a natural curiosity about everything. We played the piano this morning, talking about the keys being represented by letters of the alphabet. She couldn't understand why the G key wasn't followed by H, I, J, but started over again at A. OK, why is that, and how do you explain it to a three year old?

And so went our day here in KC.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Pomona Lake

We got off for the camping trip about 1:30 Friday afternoon. The distance was quite short as we traveled about 40 miles South on I 35. Really it is 6 miles over to I 35 from our house and then 25 or so down to Ottawa. That would be Kansas, not Canada! Ottawa is sort of small, but is a clean little town right on the Interstate.

From there it is 2 lane road 25 miles West to Pomona Lake State Park. The town of Pomona is about 6 miles before you get to the lake, and the park is actually at Vassar, Kansas.

The park is huge and we drove all over the place trying to find Burning Heart campground. It was suggested by our oldest son Chris as the best group of campsites. They had all three hookups. Sewer in a state campground? You bet. Just like the big commercial places, except,,,,this place has huge campsites with about 50 feet in between sites.

This is the view from the swim beach. The lake is a COE lake and has Core campgrounds as well, but they are lucky to have electricity, and water is unheard of. Core parks are usually really nice, but they are quite crowded, and they were this weekend as well.

The state of Kansas has one of those vehicle pass rules, where you have to purchase a annual pass for $25 or pay three dollars a day. No more expensive than that is, it really keeps folks from using the parks. But then Kansas charges tolls on their freeways too.

Our site was the first one from the front road, and we had a huge front yard. It was loaded with the it factor.

There was only one nice shower house for the whole place and the rest of the bathrooms were just water closets. But they were all flush, and not pit toilets. This kind of looks like an administration building, but it is all shower house.

They have a public marina as well.

In the center of the park is a large frisbee golf course. Or disk golf as they preferred to call it. There were camp sites that lined the sides of this open green area. We are just now seeing some turning of leaves, but you can see it is still mostly green here.

We didn't do anything too important, just the big campfire at night, and the picnic every meal bit.

On Saturday, we set up the Direct TV satellite dish and tuned into ESPN for the University of Iowa game under the awning. It started out quite good for Iowa, but in the second half, the team forgot to play. Northwestern, was not to be denied, so we lost. Put a downer on an otherwise happy camping day.

It was about 85 degrees both Saturday and Sunday. Not too hot, and not cold either. It was cool late in the night around the campfire, as the gals were scrambling for sweatshirts. The guys never changed from shorts and T shirts. You know because we are men! LOL.

All four grandkids played and played. They rode their bikes and lived in the playground. At one point, the oldest boy swang so high that he flew off of the swing and did a face plant in the sand. He spent some time crying, while his mom was washing the sand out of his hair and mouth. But he'll live.

This will be the final family camp out for our three families this fall. Maybe we will get in another jaunt, but cool weather will be fast approaching now and summer play will be over.

Its sad in a way to see the end, but then onward to the next season. Halloween, costumes and such. Then turkey day. Well lets not push things too fast.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Getting ready.

Things are quiet here tonight. Worked all day but not sure that I did anything. Where did I start? We had Delaney last night, and she was up really early carrying on in her crib, which awakens me. So I slept off and on while she played.

She was quiet, except when she got to singing. Finally I went in and talked to her. Thats when Loyce came in and took over the caretaker routine.

I had to get rid of the oil, that came from the outboard motor at the lake. We brought it back to KC, and this morning I took it over to Wal Mart to have them take it. And they do take reclaim oil behind the autoservice bays. The guy said I had to go sign the book before I left it. Well I left it anyway, and then went and parked. Went in and here came the mechanic, wanting to make "sure" I signed the oil book.

Not sure what that was all about, but I had to sign with my name address and that I had left two gallons of oil. I had to say that it wasn't contaminated with antifreeze. That was easy, as there isn't any antifreeze in an outboard motor.

From there I went over to the local tire shop, "Tim's Tire" to get an appointment to have an alignment on Monday. The Toyota seems to have a tire that is worn a little funny, and I want to know now if it is out of alignment.

Since I did not drive this car for its 30K miles, I do not know which wheel this tire was worn out on, for sure. Since it is on the back now, it was more than likely on one of the front positions during the funny wear time. This is a lot cheaper than purchasing new tires later. That would be when you indeed know "Ya it is out of alignment, isn't it?"

Back home, and I washed the truck, then the car. I still have others that need the same job, but I run out of gas really fast with the hose wash process. I loaded the back of the truck with the camping stuff, and headed out to get the camper.

This time I didn't have any surprises when I got to the storage lot. Remember the flat tire when I went over before we left for Colorado? It was after 5 when I got back with the rig.

Washed out the water tank several times by filling it and then letting it drain out the little valve on the bottom. It is very small, and takes more than a half hour to drain thirty plus gallons. I finally filled it with fresh water.

Since we only have 60 miles or so to go to the campground, some nice fresh KC water is quite nice, as compared to the well water available in the state parks. Wouldn't be worth the gas to haul it miles away, but OK for the short trip.

Loyce loaded some of the stuff tonight, and the refrigerator is on so it will be good and cold by tomorrow.

A busy day to get ready to go for just the weekend. You would think we were leaving for weeks on end. LOL

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Grand Daughter here today!

Today we had the youngest grand daughter for the day. She came in the morning and played with grandma and grandpa until noon. I didn't get any of the blogs read that I normally read in the morning. But thats ok as it is mostly blah blah like I generally write here in this blog. LOL

We had lunch and she was off to bed to take here nap. Thats when I escaped to go to the bank and do some errands. Nothing too exciting, but I have been working on a Toyota Corolla that may become mine, rather than selling it. That means I will have to pay the sales tax and get a license. And insurance. Maybe I had better rethink this.

Back at home, I tried to read the missed blogs, and fell asleep in my chair. That is not good. Well maybe it is alright, until I can't sleep tonight. Time will tell.

Then it was time for supper, and we learned that the granddaughter was staying the night. So that gave us more time to play. Finally up to bed, and she was out in an instant. Days at grandma's house can be very taxing!

We are planning to go camping at a local State Park here in Kansas. This is the oldest granddaughter's birthday weekend, and her mommy's birthday as well. We missed the occasion last year as we were in Boston about now. I'll have to look back at the old blog and and see when we were where.

There will be no internet at the state park, and perhaps no cell phone either. My oldest son has a sprint card, so if it works, perhaps I can check in. We will blog tomorrow evening but then we will be gone.

Tomorrow I will go get the trailer and pull it back to the house to load up. I wonder why we unload so much, when we will just put it all back in again!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ordinary Work Day

Up and out the door, by 9:00. Not an ordinary time to start work unless you are retired, and do not really have to go to work.

I did have all kinds of things to get done, like go to the insurance folks here in KC to clear up some questions on the auto policy. And then to go the the bank and all that mundane stuff that takes up all our time.

I ended up at son Chris' auto warehouse. He was out doing all his stuff too, so I had to wait for him, but not too long. I usually have a key, but in a moment of brain dead, I left it at the house.

We did some paper work, and then went to lunch. This is really tough stuff, this work thing. At Mi Pueblito, the local Mexican joint in the old Pizza Hut building, we both ordered Burito Real Carne. This place is the real deal, as everyone there is Mexican. Spanish is spoken by the staff, and the menu is much the same as the Menus we had in South Texas.

The food is quite good. We try not to order so much, as we would both like to not create weight gain from our lunches. So the luncheon plate is the size we stick to. Even then it is more than I should eat. He said as he cleaned every last morsel with his fork.

After some computer time to renew car listings we went to the auction to see this weeks lineup of used stuff. We only found one car that we thought would add to the inventory. Tonight, we have discussed it and think we will pass this week.

A busy day, but I am not sure what was accomplished. Something, surely but then there is no boss evaluating either.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Insurance done and Back to KC

I was up and dressed by 9 AM. Doesn't sound too energetic now does it but that is good for a guy at his vacation home, that is a night owl. Seems like I never get to bed before 12:30 and sometimes 1 AM.

Being up at the stroke of dawn becomes much harder. I jumped in the car and went to the insurance guy's office. He was already on the phone and had more calls holding. His assistant, (his wife) was taking names and numbers. It was Monday morning. Remember he went to Texas on Friday, so everything was backed up.

I used to have days like this too, so I was watching and remembering how it all went for me, but that was over two years ago. I do not miss that part at all.

His wife began to work on a new homeowners policy for us. She cancelled out the old policy, and I had to sign and date the cancellation. Then we filled out the new application and the facts about the home and its contents. And then we had to schedule the dock as a separate covered item. We added weight of snow and ice coverage, which we discovered was not on the old policy. Ooops. I didn't know that. I think they must have omitted that one as I felt we had coverage.

But now the new policy is in effect. We have a replacement cost policy with all the bells and whistles. It costs more, of course. They said they would slip out and take some pictures from the outside when it wasn't Monday, and send us a billing. Done! "Thats all there is to it?" "Ya we have to do it in person so you can sign the application."

I was back home by 11 and we left for KC by 2.

Oh remember the humming birds? We arrived on Friday, and one of them dive bombed me right on the deck. Hey! Our feeder is empty.

So I washed up the feeder, and put some necter in it. The whole ritual of guarding the feeder and chasing birds away, started again just like we had never been gone. I put about a quart of juice in their feeder before we left last time, so it must have lasted for several weeks before it was empty.

It lasted long enough that they are all trained to look and see if we have filled it back up. So today as I was leaving, I filled the feeder to the brim. That little guard bird hovered right next to me as I filled the bottle. Not more than two feet from my head. Kind of spooky really, but it was as though she had to watch to see if I was going to put it back up. They were buzzing all around the thing as we left.

Back in KC we unloaded the car and have had a quiet night unloading suit cases and putting the groceries all away. We actually brought back more items than we took. During the fall, we clean out the freezer and the pantry, so stuff gets used here at KC. Otherwise, the groceries get really old at the lake.

We were all keyed up for the insurance man, but as busy as he was, he would have never made it to our house all day. Good thing I was proactive and went to see him.LOL

Monday, September 22, 2008

Honda Outboard Oil Change

Today was the annual "change the oil in the outboard" day. We only run the boat for about 50 hours a year, but should probably change the oil more often based on the calendar. The oil sets all winter relatively clean, and is then used in three months during the summer. For now though, we only get this job done once a year.

I am an accountant, not a marine mechanic, so please do not feel that this is a tutorial on Honda maintenance. This is just what I do to change my engines oil. Right or wrong. This will be kind of a guy blog, so for the gals in the audience please bear with me.

About 5 years ago I purchased an Oil Boy fluid extractor from West Marine. The tire pump like handle pumps a vacuum in the plastic chamber, the oil is extracted from the engine. The fellow at the store said he liked this one best. If he likes it, so do I. And I do recommend it as well.

The pontoon boat sets on a floating lift, in a floating dock. Opening the drain plug, is not a good option, as you would loose some, if not a lot of oil into the water. This is where the extraction pump is required. I drove the boat around for enough time to bring the oil up to temperature first. This is important, as it causes the oil to be thinner, and it suspends the dirt that has accumulated on the bottom of the crankcase in the oil. Thus when the oil is extracted, more of the nasty stuff comes out as well.

There is not a lot of room in the engine area of the pontoon. The boat dealer used a piece of rope to tie up the lid over the engine, when he changed the oil. I watched carefully and use a rope in the same manner.

The pump is placed on the flat part of the floor in front of the engine. The plastic line then reaches back onto the dip stick hole.

The smaller hose goes down the dipstick hole to the bottom of the crank case. It takes 2 times to extract the 8 quarts of oil that the engine holds. The pump only holds one gallon. So you must empty the pump and do it again. I have an old gas can that I dump the used oil into, which allows me to measure how much oil I extract. I got all eight quarts out.

Now for the nasty part. That little blue filter has to come off. Last year I had an official Honda filter that I had purchased from the dealer. This year I am using a Fram. Honda wouldn't recommend it but then that's life. LOL

I had two different filter wrenches, but the plastic cap type didn't work too well. It was tighter on the Fram filter, but did not want to stay engaged on the blue Honda filter no matter how hard I pressed on it. The three eared compression wrench on the end of the 3/8 ths breaker bar bit right into the tin filter and smashed three flat spots in the canister. It was relatively easy to back it free of the threads then.

I put several layers of paper toweling under the filter to catch the oil, but as soon as it was free of the gasket, I had oil everywhere. I was too busy mopping up oil to take pictures. Some did make it to the lake, but I was using the toweling freely, so I didn't loose much.

I used the plastic cap wrench to seat the new Fram against the gasket. I know you are only supposed to hand tighten these filters, but that assumes you could get your hands in around the filter. The cap wrench works nicely, as it does not crush the canister.

I was ready to pour in the 8 new quarts of oil, and enough to fill the filter beyond. I put in about 1/3 quart extra, and that seemed to check out ok. Starting the engine, revealed no leaks.

I have a green oil pressure light and no red lights. Red lights, would be bad.

I was out putting around the cove, when Loyce yelled that she was ready for me to take her for a boat ride. I slammed on the engine lid and off we went. We were gone for about an hour, you know, checking out the oil change, to make sure it was OK.

She helped carry all the tools and used oil buckets, up the long stair back to the garage, and we went in and had some lunch.

Later in the day we went back to the dock and washed the boat inside and out. Pontoons have a lot of surface area that gets dirty, so this is a really big job. With both of us, it still took about two hours to get things clean. Hurricane Ike went thru East of us last week, and caused a bunch of wind. It blew dirt up under the cover of the boat. I have never seen the seats and drivers console so covered in crusty dust. It was a mess.

Tomorrow we need to call our insurance guy to come over and do his underwriting job for our homeowners policy. He has called us twice to see when he can get into the house to take some pictures. He went to his ranch in Texas for the weekend, but claims he will be back Monday morning. We will know more when we contact him tomorrow.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunny and bright

At the lake it is always sunny and bright! Well most of the time anyway. Today started out overcast and I was afraid it would stay that way all day. But not so, as it burned off about 11 and the rest of the day was perfect.

I started today by working on the jet ski trailer. The tail lights on any boat trailer take a real pounding. Or should I say dipping. You back the trailer into the lake to get the boat and then pull it out again once loaded. The trouble is that this fills the tail lights with water and sand or mud.

The water slowly seeps out, over the next hour or so, but leaves the sand and mud behind. This drys to a film that coats the inside of the light. After a while, the lights do not work anymore. The lenses are so muddy from the back side, that you can't see the bulbs if they are working. So today was the day to fix this.

Our Wal Mart here in Osage Beach, has all these boat products, that most Wal Marts don't have. I had purchases these lights on a previous visit, and had been putting off their installation. Today was the day, and it wasn't all that hard either. Just bolt them in place and I soldered and heat shrinked the connections. Its been a long time since I have seen those tail lights work like that.

But then it was time to take the jet ski out of the lake. Loyce drove the car and trailer over to the public boat launch, and I rode the ski over. We were both in the lake trying to get the ski on the trailer straight, but we finally prevailed. If you back in too far, the ski floats around and doesn't land in the bunks right, and if it isn't in deep enough, the ski is really heavy to get up into the nose lock. Today I wasn't in far enough so we had to restle with the heavy ski to get it on straight.

Once home, we ran the water out of the engine and put stabil in the gas. It is now in the back corner of the garage with the battery charger on the battery. I ran the thing nearly down, trying to get it started. Turned out I didn't have the choke on all the way and it needed to be.

In the afternoon, we went to Wal Mart again to get some oil to change the oil in the pontoon outboard motor. Its a Honda. Takes eight quarts. I remember this from last year, but had forgotten in the interium.

Tomorrow, I will tackle the job of lifting the old oil out of the engine without pulling the drain plug. The pontoon sets out on the water on a floating lift. Pulling the plug would drain the oil into the lake. The oil floats on top of the water and coats everything it comes in contact with. This is particularly nasty, so I do not take this chance.

That is our day here, not too exciting, but then I am at the lake and it is sunny and nice, what else could I want?

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Logistics is the management of the flow of goods, information and other resources. Or so says the Wikipedia. But in our case it is the flow of ourselves to get everything done that was on our list before we could leave town.

I went off on a goose chase to find my lost set of keys that contained the key to the lake house. We have the remote garage door opener, that we push the button on, to open the door. But what if that didn't work? Power out or something. Then what?

This key had to be found. I hadn't seen it since we came back from Colorado. So over to the trailer to see if it was in my foot stool. Most of the junk that ends up on the end table when we park, goes into the foot stool, when we move to the next camp ground.

At the storage lot where the trailer is parked, I rifled thru the whole place. No keys, not even in the footstool. I gave up.

I went to harbor freight to pick up the little 3 gallon pancake air compressor that I had received a rain check for last week. They had it! Yea. And then back home. The air compressor works, and I set up the coiled plastic air line with the couplers and the tire chuck. That was a good success. It is 110 Volt and pumps 100 lbs pressure, but is really small enough to fit in the back of the pickup or in a basement bin. That will go along from now on.

Then it was back inside the house, to dig thru all the things that I unloaded from the trailer. Finally, in a plastic sack that was right in plain sight, the keys!!!!

We finally got ourselves, and the things we needed to come to the lake, in the car and left town by 2:30 in the afternoon. Loyce was off on her own shopping trip in the morning, and didn't arrive back until after 1, so we seemed to get a bad start. We were failing at logistics.

We were down here at the lake by about 6 with only two stops. One to get the tool box from the pickup that was parked at our used car shop, and another for gas. So all things considered, we arrived by supper time, safe and sound.

Setting up camp here is just a matter of putting the groceries away, so we went to the barbecue place again tonight. This seems to be a ritual for our first night at the lake. Bandana's.

I had the combo pork and beef dinner with baked potato and green beans. Man that's good stuff.

So we are all safe and sound here at the lake, and everything is fine with the unattended house, all and all a good day. We have managed our logistics. LOL

Friday, September 19, 2008

Off to the Lake after several weeks away.

We are headed to the Lake as you read this today. We have not been there for five weeks or more. So it is time to see how things have changed there. Good or bad.

We have had some bad things happen over the years, but then sometimes changes have also been for the better as well.

It is not as though there hasn't been anyone at the property, as my son Ben and his family were there over labor day, for that entire weekend. They would have taken care of any problems, had there been any. So we are primarily going to complete some fall maintenance.

The property insurance guy wants to meet us and take some pictures of the inside of the house for loss recovery purposes. We think the insurance company wants to see how you maintain the place. They would not want to pay for damage, that wasn't from something accidental. If you trash the heck out of the place in your normal living pattern, we think they would back away from your insurance rather quickly.

We have to meet with him on Monday as he will be off in Texas this weekend. He is also a fifth wheel RVer, and has a place down there he calls the "Ranch." I do not know how close to the hurricane this ranch is, but as an insurance man lets hope he has good coverages.

Maybe I will learn more in passing conversation. You know, without being too nosy and all.

So we will be missing in action, and will also have only clandestine internet connections, as we rely on some of our neighbors to leave their wifi open, in order for us to post.

I do plan to take my old jetski out of the lake, and put it in the garage for the winter, and also to change the oil in the Honda outboard motor. Yes it is a 4 cycle engine and does have a crankcase with a drain plug.

It uses straight regular gasoline and does not require oil in the gas like the outboards of old. But that means the oil must be drained and replaced along with a new filter, just like a car.

We are out of here in the morning, and I see it is already morning now so I will hang up the laptop and hit the hay for now.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I didn't go to the auction

I was impressed that several of the cars that I looked at yesterday, would be good clean inventory. I knew that prices have taken the lowering that comes every year as the new models arrive.

But somehow, we knew that it isn't a good time to be buying more inventory. So I decided to just watch the sale on the computer at home. You can buy over the computer as well, but it is slower than being there in real life, and you seem to loose out if there is a floor fight, to increase the price.

It has been our experience, that you need to let others get into these bidding wars. So perhaps the inherent latency of the computer is a safeguard to some degree.

With that said, I was miffed when I couldn't get the computer to work at all. They call it simulcasting, and it simply didn't play on any of my computers today.

So we have no new cars to sell, from my preview trip out to the auction yesterday. Oh well, it was good exercise.

Then the stock market began to slide into the depths again this morning. I was impressed with how small we all seem to be when it comes to the overall economy of this giant country.

Even Bill Gates, who we learned this afternoon, is again the worlds richest man, is powerless as the economy and the peoples confidence slide to a panic. But even if we all loose everything, life will go on.

We can not stop living. Folks in Texas have lost everything, but they are still alive. They will recover, and so will we. The people that are in the worst position are the folks that need to liquidate their investments on a daily basis to continue to live.

When you are in the liquidation position, it is necessary to sell almost daily. When prices are down, it is necessary to sell more shares to fund fixed needs. So the share quantity depletes faster than it can be recovered. This is a train that will end against a brick wall. These retired folks have my deepest concern.

For the rest of us, I think the policy of hanging on and not reacting in a panic, will be the safest strategy. When ever I have charged off in a panic with the crowd to some under thought out reaction, I have had my head removed. This will be no different.

We need to get this election behind us. Without regard to who the winner will be, the uncertainty of the unknown future is causing the panic. Everyone is afraid that if the other guy wins, life will come to an end. No it won't.

With our governments system of checks and balances, the wrong guy at the helm will not make much difference. He can't do that much anyway without congress on his side. Just ask Pres Bush. If it gets too lopsided, it seems we always get the other party back in power after the next two year election of congress. Those in power are always blamed for everything that is perceived to be wrong.

So now I probably will not go out and buy a new motor home, or anything like that but, I for one, think I will adopt a wait and see attitude. What about you?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Auction Preview

I went back out to the auction to look at the cars in this weeks line up. You go the day before to have some hands on overview of the cars for sale. Otherwise, you get about five minutes to look over a vehicle and then its time to bid on it.

I don't know about you, but it is hard for me to make a purchase decision in five minutes. Even though the car will not be my personal car, if the car is not acceptable as a driver for me, then why would I expect you to like it?

And then its back to that exercise thing, the Hertz sale, which had more than 250 cars in a group, was in the very back of the property. It is more than a half mile back to this area. The cars are then in a line up that extends about a quarter mile in each direction.

I left the truck at 3 and didn't get back to the truck until 6:30. The only time I wasn't on my feet walking between the cars, was when I was actually sitting or driving one of the vehicles that was for sale. The walk out of the lot was a bunch slower than the walk in.

So tonight it is time to decide if we want one of these units. I think I will sleep on it.

Loyce went shopping while I was out at the auction. She was home before I got back, so I do not know how long she was out.

Tonight has been consumed with phone calls to Chris and a friend in Des Moines. And yes they are both licensed hams. Seems like everyone I know has a ham call. Why is that?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New Picture for the header!

We drove over the Cottonwood Pass the day we got this picture. I think it was our most breath taking day. The road West from Buena Vista was a Colorado county road with a big number. When it got to the top of the pass, it turned to gravel.

We wound around the mountain in the dirt and mud for 15 miles when we came to this dammed up reservoir lake. Taylor Lake. The view was beyond our ability to comprehend.

Going to Colorado sure makes for some vivid memories. I sit here tonight looking at the pictures and reliving the experience.

Today was a day of exercise for me. As in lawn mowing exercise. It was quite cool in the early 50's when I went out to partake of this fun. Long pants were a must. But the sun was out and surely it would warm up.

The yard was still soaking wet. "Bummer, I'll have to use the hand mower and walk." It never did warm up much, or dry out either. So I kept on walking behind the mower. I stopped for over a half hour thinking it would dry enough to use the rider, but nooooo!

It took me about two hours with the pause in the middle. But it is all mowed and I'm still, well, a little killed. It bothers the neuropathy so bad, but it is really good for me.

Not much else happened here today, other than watch the stock market tank. This is really bad news for us retired types, as we rely on investments to pay the daily bills.

All of this takes place on the day that income tax deposits are due for the third quarter. Did you mail yours? Uncle needs his money even if the market tanked.

Later in the afternoon, Loyce went out and started edging the sidewalks. By hand. Once I determined what she was up to, I put the power edger attachment on the weed wacker motor and took over for the hand process. She then cleaned up most of the mess.

Enough of this yard work! If it was up to me, I would blacktop the whole thing and paint it green. There would be some kind of maintenance to that too, I'm sure.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lawn Mower clean up.

Today was a lot cooler than it usually is here in Kansas this time of year. It was barely 60 degrees. I started to clean the riding lawn mower as it was covered in cakey grass. My son had mowed the lawn when it was really wet, and the grass balled up and stuck to the mower.

We have a John Deere rider, and it has the mulch attachment. The blades are chopping blades that do not have much pitch, so they do not throw the grass out from under the deck. The chute is blocked off with a plate and the grass is chopped into fine mulch.

On paper that is how it works, but when it is wet, the grass is chopped into a green goo. This adheres to the entire mower. Wheels, deck, and bottom of the tractor were all covered. Dried like concrete.

Today, it was still so wet, from the rain that mowing would have been the same problem all over again. But I did pressure wash the mower and then clean up the green mess in the driveway. Not fun!

Otherwise, I have been studying the D-Star system that Icom radio has for their UHF radios. It seems to be very capable, connecting computers with radios. It also does digital voice thru repeaters that are trunked on the internet.

This means that you convert your voice to digital information in your radio and then send the digital info to the repeater. The repeater is on the internet, and selects a distant repeater thru the internet. The second repeater could be in England or Africa or anywhere. The target repeater then sends the digital voice out over the air to a mobile or hand held there.

We have one of these repeaters here in KC. The radios cost almost 600 bucks, so this is a pricey endeavor. If you want to know more, google Icom D-Star. There are U tube videos that explain much of how this works.

So thats our day here. Maybe it will be nice in the morning, so I can get after that lawn.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Iowa vs Iowa State

I took the camera with me today but never got it out of my pocket. Let's see, yup, its still there.

I was up at the crack of 10 AM. Well maybe 9:30, but I didn't really get up. Today was the big game up in Iowa, and I was to go over to my son's house and watch the game on his big TV.

But I didn't know it started at 11. Like AM? Loyce assured me I needed to become presentable rather quickly. So I threw on a clean shave and shirt.

Once over to the grand kids house, Ben and Danielle live there too, but the grand kids run the place. LOL. It was down to the Man Cave to park in front of the 54 inch HD Sony. Hell life is hard, but someone has to do it.

Iowa State is the land grant College in Ames, Iowa. They specialize in Agriculture, Science, Industry, and anything technical. Oh and they have good liberal arts courses as well. While The University of Iowa, (my alma mater) is in Iowa City, and is a school of Arts and Crafts, and a Medical School. A teaching hospital, and the Law school and so forth. The competition between these two schools is overwhelming.

Obviously, you would pick one or the other, based on your area of study. But to the students, their own school is the best and the other place is the pits. Now comes the annual game of football. This will prove who is the best, once and for all.

They play other sports against each other, but football is the main judgement. Iowa State has won 7 out of the last 10 or something like that. But before that Iowa won 15 in a row. My stats my not be quite right, but you get the flavor of the rivalry.

So this game is like religion. Iowa won 17 to 5. At the end of the game, the University of Iowa players ran over to the Iowa State bench and collected the CY Hawk trophy, forcefully. And for us Hawkeye fans, all is right with the world again. Well, until next year anyway.

So that framed the day here in KC. We were in KC in body, but our minds and our TV window on the world was in Iowa City. I know that a number of you folks that read this blog, are Iowa State fans, and you have my every sympathy, but damn it is about time Iowa began to win again once in a while.

It rained here again all day, like in buckets and pitchforks every once in a while. We were stuck in doors, which gave a lot of time to do this computer thing and watch all the damage in Texas. It seems these storms are coming faster than we can rebuild these places.

Lets hope the death toll will not be as high as the storms in 2005. I just read a fact that I didn't know, Rita was stronger than Katrina in 2005. Rita was the fourth most powerful while Katrina was the sixth most. Katrina did more damage in lives, because it hit New Orleans, with the subsequent flooding. It was also the most costly storm at 81.2 Billion dollars.

I have a bad feeling that Ike will be very costly too.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Friday and a storm!

It was all sort of boring here again today, until about 6 PM. But lets start from the top. It was off to the barber shop this morning, as it had been four weeks or more since I had the last do.

I use the old fashioned red barber pole barber shop. Not the new ladies salon, that cuts men's hair. Or family salon, as they like to bill themselves. Us old guys wouldn't be caught dead in one of those places. LOL. Its a man thing, what can I say?

But from there, I came home for a little while and then it was off to the car dealership. It is more than 45 minutes thru the city streets to get from 135th North to 60th street where the dealer is located.

I decided to wait while they serviced the car. They have complementary computers, at browsing desks, so I read blogs for about two hours, while I waited. Not a total waste of time, as I would have read these anyway. I have been reading the archives of the Rex and Mary blog to learn more about the Laughlin, NV area. They have a series of blogs about the area.

It seemed a little dark in the South West, as I was driving back home, but I didn't give it much thought. I was watching the coverage of hurricane Ike on the TV when Loyce came home and wanted to know if I knew the sirens were blowing all over the South end of KC. Well, frankly, no!

So turning on the local TV channel and the ham radio brought me up to speed fairly quickly. I also watched the National Weather service radar on the laptop, and the storm was about 15 miles West of us. It had a tornado that touched down in the Town of Desoto. This is between here and Lawrence, which is quite close.

The TV has a chopper pilot the flys the chopper around the perimeter of these storms, with a camera mounted under its nose. The video is quite striking, and is live. Tonight, the actual tornado was rain wrapped, meaning you couldn't see the funnel as it touched the ground. The telltale sign, was the flashes of the powerlines as they were torn down and shorted together.

The damage was verified by the ham radio spotters on the ground. I never went to the basement, because we could see where the storm was located thanks to the radar image on the computer. This caused some excitement, none the less.

Tonight was ham radio club night, and I went anyway as the storm was playing out, but our president works for the National Wx Service, and of course he wasn't at the meeting. We only had 12 members but we had a brief meeting, and went to the pizza joint just the same. Some of the members that were participating in the emergency showed up at the restaurant after they stood down from the event.

My heart goes out to my neighbors that have damage to their homes tonight. It could have just as easily been us. This is Kansas, and it is still raining cats and dogs after midnight.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I didn't do it!

At least not today anyway. I was up an out of here by 8 AM this morning, with nothing more than an oil change for the truck on my mind.

The local Valvoline shops give a 10 dollar discount if you come in by 10 in the morning, but the line gets longer as it becomes closer to the 10 hour, so I went earlier.

We drove for 4 thousand miles on the trip to Colorado. it was only 800 or so miles to the town of Buena Vista where we stayed for 10 days, so we must have done 2400 miles of sight seeing. And all of that in three weeks. We were really in the tourist mode.

So the oil is changed. Next it was home to trade the truck for the car and get its flat tire worked on. Yes, I had driven the car to the storage lot to get something out of the trailer before we left, and bingo, the car had a slow leak just like the trailer. The guy running the lot swears that there are no nails in the lot.

By about 11, the tire shop had removed the exact same kind of finishing nail out of the car tire, that was found in the trailer tire out in Colorado. I will stay out of that storage lot from now on with the car.

I also had the ladder in the back of the car to return to Chris at his home. That took about a half hour, as we began to look over the Toyota Corolla we came home with yesterday.

I had to get back home, as I needed to call the Doctor's office and try to get a medication renewed. They want me to come in, but as luck has it the next available appointment was not until October 14th.

So a call to the nurse, and they called in the prescription. Hell I could have pulled off that sham from Colorado. (That's one of the reasons we came back was I was out of pills.)

Next it was call the car dealer and try to get an appointment to get the service done on the car. It came with 4 years of bumper to bumper service including oil changes. And ya they want to put me off for a week too. But I stood my ground and begged.

They relented, and tomorrow at 1 I have that appointment. Why is everything such a hassle? This was making me very tired, so I fell asleep, until the phone rang and it was the Doctor's office assuring me they had called the prescriptions to Wal Mart.

So off to Wal Mart to get the filled prescriptions. And of course the obligatory groceries that always hop into the basket when you go in the door. You can never go into Wal Mart and return with exactly, and only what you went in for.

This is all very boring, I know, which is why I titled it "I didn't do it." Nothing of interest anyway. But then much of life seems to be like this. Lists of things that have to get done. Just to get on with getting on. LOL

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Windows XP

I still use XP as the Microsoft Operation system of choice. Yes my laptop will run Vista, should I choose to buy and load it. I have heard so many horror stories about all the problems, that I have let all of you fine folks trouble shoot it for Bill Gates and company.

We also have three desktops and another laptop, that are mostly too old to run Vista. With that understood, now comes XP service pak 3.

It is murphy's law that the upgrade process will come at the most inopportune time possible. The laptop decided to upgrade itself, while we were in Snowy Peaks camp ground. We were on a 11 mbit wifi, with a zillion other campers during a holiday weekend, but once started, all you can do is hang by it and answer the questions and pray the reboot is successful.

After last nights fiasco with the smoke detector, the last thing that you would think would happen is to be awakened in the middle of the night. Well, at 3:30 this morning, I awoke to a steady clicking of something in Loyce's sewing room across the hall. I sleepily arose and checked it out.

The hard drive in her desktop computer, was click-ata, click-ata, stuck in a round robin circle to nowhere. I fiddled with the mouse and keyboard, and it took off and rebooted on its own. And then that is when the dreaded thing happened, the service pack 3 update. I had no choice but to stay with it answering the questions and seeing it thru to the final reboot. In the middle, the antivirus program decided it was time to start a total scan of the whole machine.

I had a dickens of a time getting that stopped while the update continued. I made it back to bed by about 5.

The alarm went off to go to the auction at 7! Buuuuuuuuuz! Huh!! What the He!!!!!

So I was a little confused as the auctioneer was rattling that chant cadence, and me with that sore sleepless head. I did manage to buy a 2007 Toyota just the same. We got it home and it seems to be a fine car. You always find something you overlooked, but we didn't see anything too earth shattering this afternoon.

When I got back to the house, about 4 this afternoon, I hadn't sat in the recliner for more than 10 minutes before the lights went out. Loyce woke me up when she got home near 6 pm.

Now I am all confused, do I need sleep or am I awake? I still have one desktop and another laptop that need the service pak. I will not boot them in the middle of the night, I promise!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Smoke Detector

Smoke detectors can be a real pain. Bleep!

Our house is now two years old. The smoke detectors have run down their original batteries. Bleep! At least the one in the master bedroom has.

We have a coffin vault ceiling in that room, and the top of the ceiling is about 16 feet above the floor. Right in the middle of the flat part is the detector.

As Loyce was going to bed, she came down and explained that the blasted thing was going Bleep,,,,,,,,,,,,Bleep,,,,,,,,,,,,,Bleep!

My 8 foot ladder was not anywhere near tall enough to get up to it, and turning off the power in the circuit box, in the basement wouldn't silence the thing. Soooo.

We spent the night trying to sleep with, Bleep!

She was able to nod off and not let it bother her, but I went into the far bedroom and closed all the doors, and could still hear the dumb thing.

Today, I borrowed Chris' articulating 22 foot ladder and slid the thing out to about 15 foot and replaced the battery.

I put in a 10 year Lithium battery made specifically for a smoke detector that is hard to get to. The battery cost 6.99, but I gladly paid that for the peace of mind that I will not spend another night with, Bleep!

While I was at it, I changed the rest of the six detectors batteries, using fresh alkaline cells. I didn't test the other batteries, I just changed them all out at once. Threw them all away, so they wouldn't accidentally be placed back in service.

We are all unloaded and the trailer is washed and parked back in the storage lot. Amazing how quickly it is back to the same old grind.

With that thought, it is back to the car auction in the morning, so I need to hang up this computer and get some shut eye.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Back to KC/Too Cold

We are back in KC this evening. We got up this morning to find it was 45 degrees outside with the wind blowing 20 and gusts to 30 from the North. It wasn't frozen outside, but it sure felt like it.

I hadn't unhitched the truck from the trailer, so getting on the road was fairly easy. We had breakfast and a shower and were on the road by 10. Our site was water and electric, but no sewer, so we had to visit the dump station or we would have been faster yet.

We battled the headwind all day and the gas mileage suffered to the low 8's. This makes for pain at the pump. I did manage to find some E85 at Salina and mixed the fuel purchased so that we had about 25% alcohol. That gave me a great improvement in power as the E85 is over 100 octane rating. We lost a coupla of tenths in mpg, but were able to carry a better speed into the wind.

I never use 100 percent E85, kills the mpg too bad. The Ford is a flex fuel engine, so it will do all right with E85, but after you have octane in the 90's the rest is wasted and the mileage suffers.

Just as I had surmised, we worked like troopers and unloaded the whole rig. We have the basic stuff that remains in the trailer, but clothes, food, dirty laundry, electronic toys, and all the rest got carried inside.

We were here by 5:30 so at least it wasn't in the middle of the night. LOL

Monday, September 8, 2008

Travel Day

We spent Sunday driving out of Colorado. We were up at 7 and hitched up and ready to roll by 8. But then I went over to the shower house to get clean for the trip. Can't be all dirty all day. Nothing like clean clothes and a clean me to make the day seem all better. LOL

So we rolled at 9:30. But we immediately changed out watches to 10:30, since we would end up in the Central time zone. The shock of the change would not seem so severe if I had all day to get used to it.

We left the Fort Collins area and drove South to Denver on I 25 and then took 270 to I 70 Eastbound. I 25 is as rough as a washboard. It shook the trailer and truck so bad that we couldn't even talk to each other.

When we had driven about 255 miles, we were at Goodland, Kansas, and it was 3:45. We had planned to stop there for the night, but it seemed to early to stop. We drove on East for another 110 miles to the WaKeeney KOA where we had stayed on the way out. That made 365 miles for the day.

That's too far for me. I really do not like even 300 miles of trailer pulling at 55-60 mph. You can not average 50 miles an hour so 350 comes out at 7 hours plus stops. We arrived here at 6 PM so thats 7 1/2 hours.

Tonight I have been sitting here vegetating, watching the Sunday night football game and talking to folks on Skype. Not too exciting, but just what I seem to need.

We haven't discussed how far we will go towards Kansas City tomorrow. But we have agreed that we will not go all the way. If we get home late at night, we seem to go ahead and do all the unloading anyway.

So coming in mid afternoon works best. That would be on Tuesday. Perhaps we will stop in the Topeka area tomorrow afternoon. If we have internet, we'll blog from there.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


This blog is for the ham radio folks, and the Short Wave listening devotee's.

National Institute of Standards and Technology Station W W V is located North of Fort Collins, Co.

There is absolutely nothing to denote what the towers out in the field North of the county road are used for. If you do drive in a quarter mile from the asphalt, you come to this locked gate.

Looking over the fence, you see towers with antennas strung between and array's of what seems to be skirts sloping to the ground.

I was snapping pictures hoping the wiring would become more understandable. The building is in a valley over the hill from me.

The oil wells didn't seem to be on the Governments property, and the tank was behind me on private ground.

Another picture off into the distance. The antennas are in three groups stretching away from me.

So drove around the entire four mile square that holds the antenna farm. Couldn't get close. But then on the East side of the property, there is a housing development along the lake. I drove as far back as I could and found a gravel lane. This is the first group of the four tallest towers. They seem to have a rhombic strung around the tops in a loop fashion.

I hoped out of the car and walked the lane. at the end, I found the dreaded double wire fence with the no trespassing signs.

The road here is the same road that went thru the locked gate in the first photo. The buildings are in the group of trees, and have almost white roofs.

This is the second group of four towers, that have the loops between them. My guess was that each side was cut to a different frequency, and the center tower of the dipole had the skirt aray sloping down to the ground.

To the North and most distant was the third set of four towers and then a single fifth. It was too far away to see how the wires were stretched between them.

I have listened for WWV since I was a child. My father and I built a Heathcraft AR3 receiver in the early 1950's and we tuned it up by finding the WWV signal and adjusting the band pointer so the station landed under the correct marking on the dial.

Since then radios have become much more sophisticated, having digital local oscilators, and frequency read outs. But I still check them against WWV, because old habits never die.

I read somewhere that if you understand what WWV is for, you are a real geek. Well I am so classified. Geeky enough to want to go see where it is, and upset that my government will not let me anywhere near the place. But then in these times of terrorist attacks, perhaps it is best that it sets out in the country totally incognito.

We went into town on game day curious what a Colorado State game would entail. It is division 1AA and not near as big a deal as I was used to at the University of Iowa. The stadium is out to the West of town in the foothills of the Mountains. The parking surrounding the place seemed to be unlimited, and had oodles of cars and trucks. By the time we got there, it was second quarter, and everyone was in the game.

We drove right by without any trouble, but had we been earlier, when the oodles of cars were trying to get into the parking lot, it would have been a traffic jam to be sure.

We are going to leave Colorado in the morning. we have seen the things we set out to see, and need to head back to Kansas. We plan to take a slow path while crossing the great plain. If we have internet, I will continue to post.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

We did nothing today.

Well we did drive down to Loveland, Co South of Fort Collins. There is a large shopping center on the corner of Hwy 34 and I 25. We spent a couple of hours in the stores and did buy much.

I didn't buy anything, but Loyce had her usual little packages from JoAnn's fabric store. She cannot pass a JoAnn's without going in. I ask her if they are a chain and have the same things in all the stores, but she says that each store is different. With my corporate experience, I wonder how that could be, but one doesn't argue with the boss. LOL

I didn't take a single picture today, but I did spend a bit of time researching where the WWV transmitters are here in Fort Collins. I was not having any luck, until I found a U tube video that someone took outside the gate.

It seems that the US govt has this property as an, off limits, do not trespass, sort of sight. Since they broadcast the time standard for most of the world, I think it would be an asset that needs to be guarded. If I can find it, I will go there and see what, if anything I can see.

It might be like Cheyenne Mountain, where you can't see a thing. But it should be hard to camouflage a 200 ft antenna.

That's about it for today, but maybe tomorrow I'll have more info on the WWV station.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Thompson Canyon/Estes Park

We drove up the Thompson Canyon to Estes Park again today. Let me take you along in pictures.

Why a man made object in the form of a pipe ruins the natural beauty of the canyon right at its entrance is beyond comprehension.

Looking up farther into the canyon.

Water below the little dam.

And it runs out under that pesky pipe again.

The road goes out of sight around many corners. You seem to be in a box canyon around every corner.

It was very bright, and the sun was in the West shining almost into the lens.

I spent as much time out of the car as I did driving. Loyce was sure I was going to walk the entire 22 miles.

The river would undermine the road if were not for these walls.

The water really hustles when the channel becomes narrow.

Another of the dams on the way down. This is not the same one pictured yesterday.

Downstream from the dam.

We are around 7,000 feet now and the rocks give way to ponderosa pines.

The entire river flow rushes thru this small rock opening.

It is quite narrow thru the upper part of the canyon. Thus it is mostly white water.

The trees above the river.

I didn't picture the trees that were stressed with the pine beetle, but some of the upper most part of the canyon has the problem. I hope that the beetles can be stopped here because this is such a beautiful place.

I shot a few pictures in the town of Estes Park. This is not a ski community, but is just as commercial with the tourists as the ski communities are.

Still a rustic community.

I went to the Stanley Hotel to take a picture, but they wouldn't let me in. They wanted a parking fee, just to drive on the property. Perhaps the pickup truck makes us look as though we do not belong. The BMW behind me went right by the gate.

We again went up to the Rocky Mountain National Park. We found out that we should have paid 20 dollars to get in the park yesterday, but they were having a season ending picnic and were not manning the gates during the luncheon. We must have violated the rules by driving right on by the gate when no body was manning it. Should have left the 20 spot under a rock on their desk. LOL

While in Estes Park, Loyce bought a fleece jacket, and I found a new tripod to go under the camera. Now I need to download the panoramic software.

Another great day was capped off when we went to Red Lobster tonight. After spending 10 days in the mountains, we were thirsting for a nicer restaurant, rather than the mom and pop places we encountered in the smaller communities.

Tomorrow we may hang back and investigate the local old downtown here in Fort Collins.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Rocky Mountain National Park

Wasting no time, we headed out to Rocky Mountain National Park. Driving up the Big Thompson River from Loveland, we came across this dam. I can spend a whole blog featuring the Big Thompson and the canyon it runs thru, but we were headed up to the top.

We did stop and walk along this dam and the rushing river for a few minutes to experience its aura. We will spend more time here on another day.

We drove right thru Estes Park and straight up the mountain. We stopped at 11,200 and took these shots. We are above the trees, and you can get the feel of the road that winds up here.

To the North, it seemed as though we were on the top but no we had another 1,000 feet to climb.

I was still stressing over that road on the side of the cliff.

Then we did get to the highest point on the road. There is no pull out at the very top, but just before you get to the very top, there is a place to stop and take in the feel and look of this experience.

It was very cold up there today, about 45 degrees, and the wind was blowing 25 to 30 mph. I spent some time out of the car and went to the restroom, and just stood there at 12,300. The beauty of the place over powers any of the other senses. Withstanding the freezing cold, and altitude light head, it still remains an exemplary experience.

Going down the West side, I found the sign marking the Continental Divide. It is called Milner Pass.

The information board explains the divide.

This little lake doesn't know which way to drain. I think it went down on the East but I wasn't sure.

As we have noted all over the Rockies, the pine beetle is killing all the fur trees. It was especially bad when we got down to about 10,000 feet. The view of the valley below would be drop dead gorgeous, if it weren't for the dead and dying trees.

The beetle boars into the bark of the tree and eats the bark from the inside out and kills the tree. It lays eggs and then next year, the tree is infested with that many more bugs. The winters have been quite mild by Colorado standards for the last few years, and that doesn't kill the beetle eggs. This has not been in the best interest of the trees. The forest is brown, not green. With most of Colorado infected, there is not much that can be done to stop the problem.

We went to the town of Grand Lake. This was a more rustic town, without the ski runs and the big name, like Aspen, or Vail. But it had quite a bit of charm, and we stayed and shopped for over an hour.

They had a town square with the usual public buildings, and the library.

Next we headed off to see Winter Park. We drove by the lakes of Grand, and Grandby. They were pretty, but the brown trees and the overcast, make the lakes seem dark, so I didn't photograph them.

Winter Park seemed to be an also ran ski resort. It is the closest ski village to Denver, and must have millions of visitors, but when you have seen Aspen, Vail, and Copper Mountain, it didn't measure up. I'm sure the skiing is just as fun, and the village is in the mountains at 10 K feet, but it lacked the striking beauty of the others. Again brown trees drag on the experience.

Since we were that far South, on the West side of the mountains, we drove on to I-70 and back into Denver over the same route we took yesterday.

That decision had some unexpected consequences. As we drove by Camping World, Loyce said she really liked the folding bikes, she had seen in Colorado Springs. So one thing led to another, and we are now the proud owner of a 20 inch fold up adult bike. It has a hinge in the middle of the main tube, and the handle bars and the peddals fold up as well.

Once we came home, tonight I assembled the bike and aired the tires. After a quick spin around the campground, I declared it a good purchase.

This was a really big day, so perhaps tomorrow will be a bunch slower. We will have to wait and see.