Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Warm February . …. . .. . ..

January and February have both been unseasonably warm. We’ve been in the 60’s!  I’ve never been able to go outside in February in a t-shirt. Heck, my son is in a t-shirt and shorts. ■  Still been doing some research about WordPress and the platform (linux) that it runs best on. I’m planning on not only redoing the Kalo website in WordPress, but also my Pen & Ink drawing website. I’ve been researching hosting companies. I’m currently with GoDaddy and have been for probably 10+ years. No problems with them except in chatting with their sales/tech people I’m being pushed to a more expensive plan. Much more expensive. So, I’m looking around. Haven’t made my final decision, but will on Monday. ■  Still no word from up north. I’m anxious and yet at the same time I know it may never happen. ■ 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Working with WordPress …. . . ..

I agreed to take back the responsibility for the Kalo Foundation website. In doing so, I decided to switch to the WordPress platform. WordPress is widely known and supported and should be a relatively easy process to transfer from me to someone else when that time comes around. ■ I messed with WordPress eons ago to use for blogging, but things have changed since then – in some ways it appears to be much easier, but you do have to learn the basics of how WordPress works. I’m in that process now and it’s been slow, but I’m beginning to understand the platform more and more.  Wish me luck. ■ Our friends Pat and Deb hosted their annual Super Bowl party.  Great fun.  ■  Still no letter, or response to my letter. Patience. ■

Sunday, February 5, 2017

‍Still nothing, ….. but Super Bowl today!

We wait all year for the Bears to play in the Super Bow0200517_002l, but determine early in the season that they’re not going to make it. Bummer, but expected. ■  This afternoon we’ll attend our friend’s annual Super Bowl party.  It’s a nice chance to get to see everyone again. ■ . ‍  Still no response from my letter. She lives in Fargo, but may be in Florida for the winter. Maybe she just hasn’t seen the letter.  I’ll wait at least another week, or two before I follow-up on the letter. ■  Smoking salmon for the party. Started brining it last night and will let it brine for about 20 hours.  ■  Woke up at 3:00 am and the dogs wanted to go out (and eat). I’m awake and writing this post at 4:15 am. I’ve got to get back to bed. ■

Monday, January 30, 2017

No communication yet …. . .


I’m still waiting for some type of response. Thinking about sending a follow-up letter. We’ll see.  ■  Picture of me playing lap steel at open mic in Cary, IL.  I went to visit the store/boss where I used to work and he asked me to join the house band that he uses to back people up at the open mic. I was surprised but very honored to be asked.  Came out of the blue.  Thanks, Buddy. ■  I’ve got an appointment at the post office tomorrow to apply for a passport. My old one expired in 2010.  ■  Time for bed. ‘Night. ■

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Nothing yet. Still waiting…..

No response to my letter.  Might never get a response.  ■  Was asked to join a stage/house band by my old boss.  I said yes – and tonight was the first gig. I’m playing lap steel in this band. ■  Holly and I came home the other day and Fern had somehow gotten a hold of Aaron’s stocking cap and gloves.  She chewed a nice hole in his cap and one glove is missing.  We’ve searched everywhere and can’t find it anywhere.  The mystery of the missing glove.  ■  Started giving myself insulin injections.  Not as hard as I thought it might be.  ■ 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Still no response.

012317_001↓Still no response from the letter I sent. I was hoping to get something late last week, but no go. We continue to wait.  ■  This January is the warmest one I’ve ever lived through.  As you can see from the weather on the left, we’re still going to be warm. Historically the last 2 weeks in January and the 1st week in February are the coldest weeks of the year.  We’re not getting much below freezing.   ■  I’ve been looking at software/platform to redo the website.  I had handled that job since the foundation was formed in 2006. A  couple of years ago I passed the website upkeep back to the foundation. I let them know in December that I’d start doing it again. ■  I see I forgot to publish this last night. The weather in the first row is for Sunday. Hmmm . . . ■

Thursday, January 19, 2017


I’m going back to being the webmaster for the Kalo Foundation. I’ve been away from it for a couple of years. But I have to decide on software to build the system with.  I’ve done some looking over the past couple of days. The simple website builders that a lot of hosting services use are too simple. They’re not made for larger projects and they kind of force you to use their themes so a lot of website look much the same.  That’s not me. I think I’ve narrowed my choices to WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.  All good products – some are easier than others. I need to do a little testing.  ■  Still no response to my letter.  I don’t know if I’ll ever get a response.  ■  Got to get the dogs out one last time and then it’s bedtime for me. ■  ‘night.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Two posts on the same day!

Yes, a 2nd post. ■  I had a request from the senior housing where my mother used to reside outside of Richmond, VA.  They wanted a brandermill woods_scan_small_001pen and ink of their new clubhouse. I asked for pictures, but they emailed me an artist’s rendering of the building as it’s not done.  I had to respectively decline to copy another artist’s work. I imagine it’s part of copyright infringement.  I did do a pencil sketch of it that you can see here.  ■  Tomorrow Holly and I have to apply for passports. Mine has expired and hers is about to.  ■

What a rainy, muddy day in January!

January is supposed to be cold. We’re above freezing, no snow left except the small piles in the shade. It’s raining and everything is turning to mud. It’s a great time to have dogs. ■  Picked up one of the meds that wasn’t covered by insurance last year. At the drug store I usually go to the price was $193 for 30 pills. I used GoodRx and got the meds at Walgreens for $75. Now insurance covers it and it’s $39. Anyone else use GoodRx?  ■  Aaron starts back in school this week. Already had one day off for Martin Luther King Day.  ■  Holly’s cooking up some red beans and rice for dinner.  That always tastes great. ■  Still no response from my letter, although that could take awhile. But I’m anxiously waiting. ■

Friday, January 13, 2017

Letter delivered .. . . . .


The letter was delivered today. Now all I can do is wait…..

Deboning a chicken & genealogy search….

Let’s see --- right now at almost 3:00am I’m updating my Radeon graphics driver. Fun stuff. ■  Tonight I deboned a chicken.  Looked at a couple of youtube videos to see how it was done.  It didn’t look too hard, but that bird and I wrestled  for quite 011317_001_deboning a chickenawhile.  In the end I think the bird won. It was a heck of a match, but I did get all of the bones out. What I had left was basically one large connected piece and several/many smaller pieces that had been hacked off in trying to get as much of the meat as I could.  I then seasoned the remains of the bird with some adobo and black pepper, and I cut up some onions to go on top.  It then went into our handy grill basket, put on the grill and baked/smoked it for probably an hour. It tasted good, but I’ve got some ideas for the next one. ■  I continue the search for my birth mother. The clues lead you all over.  One of the problems that continues to drive one nuts is simply finding dates. A lot of the time the year of birth might not be the same in all of the records you’re looking at.  And trying to find dates for marriages is very difficult. ■  A letter, along with some pictures, has been sent this week. I’m now in a waiting state. ■  And it is time to go back to bed.  ‘Night. ■

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

So, family is getting closer .. . ….

I’ve widened and narrowed the search for my relatives. I have some clues, but can’t exactly figure out where they fit.  I’m missing some branches. It’s a big detective puzzle trying to see how people fit. And I can’t believe that it’s so hard to find marriages. Marriage info would help immensely. ■  Snowed just a tiny bit tonight – about 1/4 inch and Cary’s got their plows out. Someone’s going for overtime.  ■  Saw our old friends Pat and Tim.  Tim was our dentist for years and years, but retired a few years ago.  They intended to retire to Las Vegas as the housing was inexpensive at that time, but went up rapidly just before they were ready to buy. So instead of Las Vegas they moved to a small town south of Guadalajara called San Juan Cosala. Their monthly costs run around $1200 – $1500. That’s food, gas, insurance, housekeeper, lawn care, etc. Sounds very inviting.  We’re planning on taking a trip to see them and check out the area. ■ Well, it’s time for bed. ‘Night!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Early Christmas morning . . . . .


. . . and I’m up. Didn’t sleep much last night. Maybe I’ll try and crawl back in and get a couple of hours. ■ Yes, I crawled back in bed and slept for another hour. ■  Opened gifts early this afternoon. What a difference from when our children were little.  Then they were coming in and waking us up at 4:00 am.  Too early. Everyone received stuff they liked and needed.  ■  Went to the movies later this afternoon and say Rogue One.  We all liked it, but to me it was a very confusing movie at the first. Just my age, I guess. But, we’re back from the movie and I was going to do chicken breasts on the grill, but it’s raining. So, we’ve opted for red beans and rice.  A good choice, I think.  ■  I’ve been relaxing playing Christmas carols on my lap steel.  Very soothing.  ■  I’ve received 2 texts (I thought they were texts) from unknown numbers.  When I went to reply to them they didn’t show up in my texts????  ■   Watched a bit of the KC/Denver game. Played some more dobro, read a bit, did a little more research on the search for my birth mother and her family.  I need some help with this. My old roommate's wife has done research on her family. Just need an experienced pair of eyes looking at this.  ■  Time for bed. …… .. .. . .

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Our 2016 Christmas Card


Abby (black) and Fern (white/tan) sitting in one their favorites places in the house. From their perch on the stairs they can see what’s going on in front of the house. Their vigilance in detecting people walking their dogs, kids getting off of the school bus and who-knows-what-else sets off their round of barking and whining to be let out of the house. The stairs are definitely one  of their favorite places.  ■  I think all of my Christmas shopping is done. I think. I think, therefore I could be wrong. ■  Holly and Aaron are watching replays of the Cubs’ playoff games – just the ones that the Cubs won.  Apparently they’re replaying those over the next few days.  ■  Tomorrow morning I go up the VA medical facility in McHenry to get blood drawn for testing my A1C level. Fasting tonight for that. ■ 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Today I Learned . . . . .

I spend some of my daily pc time on It has thousands of what are termed “subreddits”, which are simply separate parts of reddit that are devoted to one thing, or another.  One of my favorite subreddits is TIL – standing for Today I Learned. It’s just odd stuff that someone learned and they post it in the TIL subreddit.  Very interesting stuff. For instance below is one of the posts:


Try it out:

Reddit is great source for researching things. I mostly use it for technical computer problems. And it’s great for any type of problem.  Don’t know how to clean something? Search Reddit:  “How to clean an oven.” – you don’t have to have the quotes.

I also like their world news. ( you’ll find news articles from around the world. You’d be amazed at how little CNN, or NBC, etc. cover.  It’ll broaden your outlook.