Tuesday, 24 July 2012
July 23 Deceptive Diesel Pricing in Indiana
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On I-74 in Indiana today I was attracted by a low price of $3.66 per gallon at the Crawfordsville Pilot. I pulled in only to discover at the pumps there was a sign "Auto Diesel $3.96". After filling up I was charged $3.98.  Looking back at the big lighted pricing sign I noted in very small letters "Exempt Trucks". A little farther along I-74 I noted the same kind of pricing and fine print at Love stations. The fine print on some signs says "#2 Diesel". Tax free pricing is common for agricultural and off road vehicles but never for road vehicles. Beware of low prices in Indiana. Is this false advertising? It's not close what you will pay.

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Posted on 07/24/2012 1:14 AM by Bob Duthie
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Monday, 23 July 2012
July 19-22 Forest City, IA to Woodbury MN
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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

Windmill's Garage Size Generator Room 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. 

Ethanol Plant

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. 

Concert Goers HatsThe 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.

Maureen's Award for ArtFriday 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.

Successful Rocket LaunchSaturday 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.

 

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Posted on 07/23/2012 2:44 AM by Bob Duthie
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Thursday, 19 July 2012
July 16-18 Forest City Iowa
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Exploding Corvette  Beach Boy David Marks (right)

Monday was the first day of the Rally. I spent most of my time in seminars learning about the maintenance I should have been doing every year on the fridge and holding tanks. I bought LED replacement lights and now have replaced all but two lights with LEDs. In total we have 21 LEDs.  Monday I explored a used 2009 View like ours that had some good new features but in the end decided against it. Then I found a 2013 model that looks interesting and has all the latest stuff. Mavis was not too keen on switching and I decided that there was no point until 2013 when we hope to go to Utah and maybe Northern California. The entertainment Monday night was a magician. He was wearing a suit and tie and looked pretty miserable.  The best tricks were mind reading. In one he had a lady from the audience pick 16 cards at random. He then guessed everyone correctly and wrote their face values down on a spreadsheet. Each row, column and diagonal added up to 21.  This afternoon there was a car show with 3 Studebakers. The most exciting moment was when a beautiful 1958** Corvette's brand new engine exploded with a bang and a great cloud of white smoke. It seems a frost plug had not been installed correctly and opened up ejecting all the antifreeze. Tonight's entertainment was the Surf City Allstars a group drawn from the Beach Boys. They were very good.

** Corvette experts: please provide correct year if 1958 is wrong.

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Posted on 07/19/2012 1:19 PM by Bob Duthie
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Sunday, 15 July 2012
July 12-15, Forest City Iowa
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We arrived at the Winnebago Grand National Rally, Thursday around 2:30PM. We will be here for 8 days. It's the only time we ever just sit in one spot along with about 1000 other Winnebago motor homes.  We have power so we can run the AC just about full time. Friday was the Lion's Club pork sandwich with corn on the cob dinner  in front of the county courthouse, and Saturday was the great Puckerbrush Days Celebration. It started with a parade of some 80 floats (I use that term loosely) that went on for over an hour. We sat on a residential street beside a couple of locals who knew everybody in the parade including their own son so they were able to tell us who was who. They filled shopping bags with candy and 3M sponges that were tossed by the parade participants.

Rotary Club Chicken BBQ It was classic small town. After the parade the Rotary Club cooked up what must have been 1000 chickens.  For $8.50 you got ½ chicken, beans, bread, cookie, and a water bottle.

It's something our club should think about doing as a fundraiser and community service. That night there were really spectacular fireworks.

Police Assoc. Omelet Cooking  Breakfast Fly-In

Sunday morning the Police Association had a breakfast in a hanger at the airport. About 10 high school/college girls cooked omelets to order.  There was a long line but people got through quickly. Two people at the table I joined flew-in in their own plane.  Another man at the table is the father of the Iowa Governor.  

Our Flagpole on the View

This afternoon I walked over to Heritage Park where there's an enormous collection of steam and internal combustion old tractors. One steam tractor powered an ice cream maker. Naturally I had to try it and it was very good.

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Posted on 07/15/2012 9:43 PM by Bob Duthie
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Thursday, 12 July 2012
July 11, Nevada MO to Wallace State Park, Cameron MO
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The road today led us to Independence MO, the home of President Harry S. Truman and his wife Bess.  We visited his winter home in Florida in February so it was only fitting we visit his summer home in Missouri. Just about every street in the area is either named after him, has a building named after him, or was owned by him.

Truman Visitor Center219 Delaware St. Porch Detail

We started in the visitor center which shows a video with the highlights of his life. You then go 5 blocks west to his home at 219 North Delaware. The home was built in 1879 by Bess' grandfather. The couple married in 1919 and moved into the 8,000 sq ft house with Bess grandmother and mother. The Truman's lived there until Harry died in 1972 and Bess died in 1982 at age 97. The house was donated to the government and contains all the Truman's furnishings, books, china, etc.  The home tour provides a good view of life in the 50's and 60's.

Window To The Future The government also owns the home across the road where Harry's cousin's lived and he stayed while courting Bess. The front room window looks out at Bess's house and some writer invented that it was the "window to the future".  We had a great lunch at a the Rheinland German restaurant across from the visitor center.  The draft beer was very good and the lox with capers, German bread, and horse radish sauce was excellent

Museum & Library  Oval Office 

Our last stop was the Truman Museum and Library.  There are many exhibits laid out in chronological orders. There is a full scale replica of the oval office with the president's furniture. The large globe was given to Truman by Eisenhower.  

Mavis with the President

Mavis was impressed to find that Truman was not as short a man as other photos had led her to believe.  The room with his statue looks out over a large courtyard surrounded by the library and museum.

   

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Posted on 07/12/2012 1:19 AM by Bob Duthie
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Wednesday, 11 July 2012
July 9-10, Mountain Grove to Branson to Eureka Springs to Nevada, MO
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Miles of Billboards approaching Branson  

The high temperatures only rose to 94° so the weather was much more comfortable. US 60 took us to Springfield, MO and then it was a straight shot south to Branson. The road is lined with mammoth signs advertising the various shows.  We followed all instructions on the GPS and tourist map to go through Branson but never did see a theater. Before we knew it we crossed a river and were past the town. The best photo we got was the Hook & Ladder Pizza Co. It was not really worth a 500 miles trip from Nashville. We were now well into the Ozark Mountains. The area is a summer place with large lakes, mountain views, and lots of tourist attractions.

Skinny Victorian Home  Thorncrown Chapel 

Eureka Springs is well worth a visit.  The town dates back to 1879 and was a place to visit for the healing waters from a number of springs. The old hotels are still there along with lots of shops and interesting Victorian homes.  Today we moved and first stopped at the spectacular Thorncrown Chapel just west of Eureka Springs. It is regarded by the architects association as the fourth most significant building architecturally of the 20th century.  The chapel was built of glass and wood and finished in 1980. E. Fay Jones was the architect.  There are 425 windows and the ceiling is 45 ft high. The wooden beams that form the crown of thorns also serve as flying buttresses in reverse and put inside the chapel. The light fixtures are like something Frank Lloyd Wright would have designed.

Crystal Bridges Museum   Entrance to Crystal Bridges Museum

Then it was on to Bentonville, the home of Walmart and the site of the new Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. This was expected to be the highlight of our trip but was a big disappointment as it is closed on Tuesdays. We did get to walk around the grounds and see the buildings that look like a group of Quonset huts sitting in a pond.  A dead tree made of polished stainless steel greets each visitor.  Then we decided to visit the Walmart Visitor Center. It was not easy to find with few street signs to guide us. It turned out to be right in the center of downtown with no parking anywhere.  That was it for Bentonville and we headed north enroute to Forest City, IA, the home Winnebago.

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Posted on 07/11/2012 1:42 AM by Bob Duthie
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Sunday, 8 July 2012
Day 1, July 8, Kenlake Marina, KY to Mountain Grove, MO
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Kentucky Lake Sunset US 60 Crossing Missouri

We are off again in the View on a 2,000 mile, 17 day  journey to Branson, MO, Eureka Springs, AR, Bentonville, AR, Independence MO, Forest City, IA and Woodbury, MN.

We traveled most of the way on US 60 which is now a 4 lane divided highway almost all the way to Springfield. Two years ago there were many detours when we came across from Joplin to Wappapelo State Park. It is very hot in the 90's and 100's. Right now at 4:30PM the outside temperature in the shade is 98. The inside temperature with the AC running flat out is 85. So much for the weather. Tomorrow we will visit Branson just to take some photos and be able to say we have been there, and then it's on to Eureka Springs to see the old Victorian town and the Thorncrown Chapel. Nashvillian's don't take too kindly to Branson for stealing some of our country music singers 20 years ago.  

Last night we had a bon voyage party on Jennifer and Brandon's boat with 8 in attendance.  Jennifer cooked a fabulous quiche on the boat. Then we played Cranium, a game cleverly designed to make men look stupid and women look good.  Predictably the men lost by a vast margin. During the game we had a call from Tom and Linda who are doing the Great Loop and were spending the night on the Rideau Canal in Ontario. Tom needed some advice. It seems that there are big 200 year anniversary celebrations recognizing how Canada won the war of 1812. American's don't feel quite the same way and are ignoring the celebration since they believe the war ended in a stalemate. So picture Tom & Linda tied up beside a beautiful lock hand built by Irish and French Canadian stone masons and completed in 1832 as way to help defend Canada against the threat of an attack from the US on the St. Lawrence River that would cut off Quebec from most of Ontario. 1000 lives were lost during construction. The other 3 boats at the lock were all Canadian and their crews didn't take too kindly the notion that the war ended in a stalemate. This in spite of the fact that Raydiance was flying both a Canadian flag and an Ontario flag. My advice was to visit Fort Henry and learn more about the conflict.

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Posted on 07/08/2012 11:05 PM by Bob Duthie
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