Saturday, April 13, 2019

More snow, etc....

This time we happened to be taking Fina to a service project for her National Junior Honor Society. She was helping at a high school's "GameCon." Getting her over there turned out be during the heaviest snow. A few hours later it was practically all gone. Most of the family was laying low as Matt had his wisdom teeth our yesterday. Both baseball games were cancelled today (they won't play below 40 degrees - OK with me).

Rampart High School

Nana and Papa may have stopped at P.F. Chang's for dinner.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Pre-Embargo, Cuban-Tobacco Cigars ?

About a month ago I re-discovered, in my stash of railroad stuff, a souvenir from a November 8, 1953 inspection tour of the Holyoke and Westfield Railroad (Massachusetts). The cigar manufacturer, 7-20-4 Cigars, still exists and has quite a story. They opened in 1874 and closed in 1963 due to the embargo on Cuban tobacco, which they used exclusively. Kurt Kendall revived the name in 2006, which is why their bands now have Kendall on them instead of RG Sullivan’s.

But were they pre-embargo, Cuban-tobacco cigars?

Today, we smoked 'em, after giving them the month to recover in a humidor. The results were... Mixed. The band did have R. G. Sullivan on them, which theoretically was not made again after 1963. While they didn't smell like horse manure pre-lit (a typical nature of Cuban tobacco), they did smell pleasant, maybe a bit earthy. The filling was short-leaf, an inexpensive approach, but still often done with Cuban cigars today. The flavor was mild, but very nice. Again, though, not exactly "Cuban." Overall gut feeling - maybe.

See the To Shiny Rails story.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Political Bug

Jamie ran for Councilmember first in Westwood, Kansas and again in Pismo Beach, CA.  Being on a City Council for ten years cured him of bigger political ambitions. Digging through old boxes, it's amazing what we have in photos!

At our first home on Belinder in Westwood, KS.
That's Trevor. 1980.
This shot was taken for campaign posters and newsletters.

In Robob's 1948 Hudson, Pismo Beach, CA circa 1988.
Another shot for campaigning, not to mention the parade entry.
Tracy went to the ER that morning having run into a cart at Home Depot.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Spring Break at Overdrive Raceway

It was quite busy, as we probably should have guessed being Spring Break. Still, Papa and AJ had a great time at Overdrive Raceway. AJ finished 2nd in his last race, averaging about 30 seconds per lap. To give you an idea, the best adult time in the last week was about 20 seconds per lap and adults can go up to 40mph while kids are limited at 20mph. The track was pretty crowded today in each heat. So much so AJ had time to try a different car...




Wednesday, March 20, 2019

El Mostacho

Meet Pablo. One of the three thugs in Sister Act. Tracy says this is her favorite look so far. First Company Theater, March 22 through April 7, 2019.

Yvette made 35 for us!



The two Jamies.

"Holy rock and rollers!"






"Don't leave me, here in distress!"

"Who squealed?"


"Kill her.."

"Dios mio!"


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Bomb Cyclone

How about an "Albuquerque Low" (a storm which tracks from the southwest). Bomb cyclone sounds worse. Both terms have been used for today's storm. Both terms we've heard for the first time leading up to and during today's blizzard. It's been a long time since Nana and Papa have seen a white out - where it appears you're driving/walking blindly into a wall of whiteness. And they say just five or ten miles to the south of us it's pretty mild. This has been going on since 9am this morning (it's 2pm now). By far the most powerful snow storm we've experienced in Colorado. I've coined the term "snow plaster," where the snow is wind-blown against anything (glass, walls, doors, whatever) and coats the surface. #snowmageddon

Tracy: "Aftermath of the Cyclone Bomb.
Still waiting for tow trucks and plows to remove.
Road closed until further notice.
#pileuponi25 #kidsdidntlistentoweatherman #crashed "


Love how drifts are sculpted.
And this patio is covered.

This patio is covered, too.



See how the snow is encasing the bulbs?!



Nana (and Matt) really want the mail.

Pretty close to white out.


Warmer days at Till (there is hope)

Peter Pan Jr

Fina plays Peter Pan in her Middle School Drama Department's production of Peter Pan Jr. And all despite the "big blizzard of 2019" in Colorado (and other states). Final dress rehearsal was to be tonight, but today was called a snow day before last night's rehearsal was even over. So no final dress, just on to opening night tomorrow! (Jamie's Sister Act rehearsal is in doubt for tonight, too.)

Update: They just announced another snow day for today (Friday the 15th), so opening night is now Saturday, March 16. That'll be closing night, too, if things stay as they are. They lost final dress and the first two shows of the run. We understand the powers that be are trying to do some rescheduling... We'll see.

The latest: Good news about Peter Pan! After having their final dress rehearsal and the first two shows cancelled due to the weather, DCC Middle School Drama has just announced TWO shows Saturday (tomorrow, March 16). 1pm and 7pm. Tickets are $3 for students, $7 for adults, and free for all DCC Staff with ID. They're going to do a quick final dress, an opening show, a closing show, and strike all in one day. I don't think I've ever seen that before...














That green light to the left is Tinkerbell.






Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Poucha Poucha

Poucha, poucha, poucha. That's the sound (sorta) that any kind of pneumatic machine makes when operating. I've had very few exhilarating experiences more memorable than when Trevor's Odyssey of the Mind team (Arroyo Grande High School, California about 1993) turned on their pneumatic car at one of the competitions. Off it went, poucha, poucha, poucha. The spectators erupted! The team had chosen the most difficult approach to solving the car problem, and the darn thing actually worked. They didn't get to World that year as the car did have issues, but they did win an OMER award. (Quite a few years ago, California shifted from Odyssey of the Mind to Destination Imagination. The two are very similar.)

So you'll have to pardon another "post from the archives" as I've been through five more boxes, still not finding what I'm looking for, but oh my goodness, the things I have found. I'm sure they'll dribble out over time.

Charles Lang (teammate, at left on the car) added on FB: Holy cow this is a photo of me back in the early ‘90s on a pneumatic car (actually capable of fully electric or fully pneumatic modes) we built for Odyssey of the Mind competition. We used a cylinder arm attached to a rotating component together with a system of valves, much like a steam engine. Despite months of work, it was only on competition day when we finally got it to function. The innovation was to attach weights to the rotating component, thus allowing for momentum like with a flywheel. We were better than World that thing should have gone straight into the Smithsonian! LOL.

It was a spaghetti of tubes and erector-set-like parts.


The Team



Saturday, March 9, 2019

More from the Archives

Here's some more interesting stuff from the archives. Funny thing is, I can't find what I'm looking for (Skeptic Tank logo, shirt, or anything).

Tracy's Odyssey of the Mind team that went to World Finals.
Yes, that's the Harry Shum of Glee fame, etc.


Nana and Papa's first house on Belinder Avenue in Westwood, KS.
Late 1970s.

Jamie's Mom, Dad, sister Vickie, spouses, and the first 3 cousins.