August 13, 2010

Seeing Iowa

Celebrating the 65th Birthday of my bride, yesterday, August 12. I gave her a “renewed computer.” Her computer was confused; it had Windows XP twice, due to a previous attempt of restoration. Some of the applications were flip-flopping and some could not be reinstalled. With today’s memory hungry programs a 60 GB drive seems small and two full operating systems and some areas of the hard disk unaccessible, we were wasting space . But this computer has excellent speakers and a good screen. What’s even more, she likes it! So, we “killed” the hard-disk and completely overwrote it with 0s. Then we went on to a clean reinstall of only the system and programs she wanted. It moves great again and there is room to spare! We could have upgraded to Win7, with a new machine, but there are many older programs we like that work in XP or earlier only, so we went the restoration way. I like my 18.4 screen and Win7 works OK for me. And, I now also have access to some of the older utilities, on the other computer.

Some of you, who follow us on face-book, know that we went on a four day motorbike trip with our local children, Rick and Monique. We went to North East Iowa, because the roads there are more curvy and it is also more hilly. Even though the skies were threatening rain, we only experienced about 3 minutes of rain during our entire ride. There was some local flooding, but not as much as now.

During the last few days we had state wide torrential rains and many roads are now closed, even a part of the interstate just north of Des Moines. Ames is flooded, many small low-lying areas are dealing with feet of water and some residential areas are flooded.

During our trip we spend our nights in selected Bed and Breakfast locations
and tried to visit some wineries on during each day trip.

This gave us great
goals for each day and we also did some unplanned things. Like eating lunch in a “Schoolhouse Cafe,”on the way to Fredericksburg, where we spend our first night in the Farm House B&B.

The next day we visited the great little town of Spillville, to look at marvelous clocks carved by the Bily brothers and museum items regarding Antonin Dvorak.

We also stopped in Marquette, McGregor and Garnavillo, names which seem out of place in Iowa...

Let’s not forget the motorcycle museum in Anamosa which we visited after spending the night in Maquoketa.

We put over 700 miles on our bikes and saw a lot of the local small towns, the Mississippi river, Pike’s Peak (yes! In Iowa), and lots of corn fields as well.

When we got home late Sunday afternoon, we were all tired and relaxed, reliving this great trip.

Since then we both got a year older - both 65 now! So, after being retired for 10 years, we have now arrived at retirement age. We did ride our bicycles to breakfast in Adel on my birthday and went to Ruby Tuesday for dinner on my lovely wife’s birthday. It has been very hot and wet in the heartland, the wettest year on record. We have a lot of local flooding, but so far our area is dry, no water in the basement at all.