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July 19-22 Forest City, IA to Woodbury MN
On Tuesday at the rally I participated in a presentation on the iPad. One of the features one of the other speakers demonstrated was how you can take dictation on iPad and if you're connected to the Internet the dictation gets translated by Apple into text. It does a pretty good job. I wrote this using the dictation feature. To use this feature you have to go to Settings>General>Keyboard>Dictation. Sorry, it doesn't work on the iPhone
Thursday we took the North Iowa Farm Bus Tour. We saw a brand new hog raising farm with happy 6 week old hogs. The farmer challenged us to find a stressed hog. He was very concerned about the public perception of hog farms that smell and cram in the livestock
Then we went to a wind farm. Each windmill generates up to 1.5 to 2.5 Megawatts. The wind has to exceed 5 mph but the generator loves 20+ mph. The pod behind the blades is the size of a 1 car garage. The tower is 80 meters (262 ft) high and has a ladder inside. Some windmills have a hoist for the technician but being slow they prefer to just climb the ladder.
The 3rd stop was an ethanol plant where we learned how rapidly the technology is changing to make the plants more efficient. Of course they want to see higher mixers of ethanol in gasoline and blame the lower mpg on the gas engines. They are building a plant that will use the currently wasted stocks to make ethanol leaving the cobs for food.
The last stop was a winery.That night another band played Jimmy Buffet music. We left after an hour and joined the many others in our group who had also left and joined their ring of lawn chairs.
Friday we drove 140 miles to Woodbury to visit our grandkids that range from 5 to 16. They have all grown and are providing lots of grandparent bragging rights for their awards in academics, art, sports, and even duck stamp art.
Saturday we fired model rockets in the school yard behind the house. The big event on leaving Graham and Cathy's driveway was to discover a flat rear outside dual tire. The valve stem had a hole. A call to Coach Net produced a truck repair service that had it fixed in under an hour. Tonight we are camped in the Wisconsin Dells area. We expect to arrive in Nashville Tuesday evening.