Sunday, August 31, 2008

Work Party!

Wow - I had all these big ideas about posting my crazy finds each day here at Dad's house. Apparently that didn't really go as planned so I guess I'd better do some catching up!

So, here's what I did on Thursday:

Yep - that's me, kneepads and all, putting down adhesive so we could lay new carpet in the spare room. Definitely didn't learn those "life skills" at Willamette...

Here's Thursday's random find:
That's a quart-size bag of ash from Mt. St. Helens' 1980 eruption. The ash blew all the way over to Western Montana was about an inch deep around my parent's house. Dad went outside the day after the eruption and gathered up ash in Seal-a-Meal bags and sent it to members of the family around the country. This is his last bag. I put it on Ebay to see what would happen, and there are actually people bidding on it! I didn't even know what category you'd list it in so I picked "unusual." I can't wait to try to ship this - who knows what the USPS will think when I'm sending a bag of nondescript powder through the mail! Oh brother.

Here's what I did on Friday:
That's Dad's front porch. The yard is littered with the boxes and newspaper that his Whiskey Bottle collection had been packed in. I knew I needed to put it all on ebay so I had to unpack it all, and spread it out on the porch so I could figure out what I was working with. This will give you some idea:
See ALL those bottles? You can't even see them all in that picture! I didn't count (after the matchbooks I just couldn't bring myself to do any more tallying than necessary). My guess is that there are 100-125 bottles there. They all had to be sorted out by maker, and whether they were part of a series or collection, etc. Then I snapped pictures of everything, made an inventory sheet, looked them all up in the handy-dandy "Kovels' Bottles Price List 12th Edition" (God Bless you, Kovell. You saved my hide!), posted them on ebay, and boxed them up for shipping. Here's the finished stack:

We spent Saturday having a garage sale with some family friends and unloading a fair amount of furniture and miscellaneous household items. Hooray!

Saturday evening we had a visitor in the front yard:Dad lives on 5 acres near a river so there are all sorts of deer and pheasants wandering through all the time. He has several fruit trees in the front yard and the deer have developed quite a taste for his apples. There are usually 5-7 deer out there on any given evening! I think I've made them mad, though. Since I've been working in the front yard for the last few evenings they haven't been brave enough to sneak past me for apples. A couple of the does just stand and the fence and huff at me until I throw apples over to them. Good grief - the deer are training me to fetch! Anyway, when I finally cleared out my project Saturday night, this little guy crept in for a snack.

And, finally, a scenery shot to end my post. This is the view of the Sawtooth mountains from Dad's place.
Do you feel caught up? All sorts of excitement around here...carpet adhesive, 28-year-old ash, and people waiting on the deer hand and foot. Today's project will be getting all the china, stemware, and cut glass on ebay. I sure I hope I don't get the shakes!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Becoming a Minnesotin

Yes, my little car has Minnesota Plates now and I am 4 weeks away from receiving my Minnesota Drivers License. It's official folks, I am on my way to becoming a Minnesotin. I think that's how you would spell it. Correct me if I am wrong.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Got a Light?

This week finds me having made a pilgrimage to the homeland - Montana's Bitterroot Valley to be exact.  My dad has decided to downsize and put his house on the market.  Not a bad idea at all, until you consider just exactly what we're downsizing from.  This man has A LOT of stuff.  A LOT.  A house-full, two-car garage shop (cars don't get parked there because it's full of tools), and three sheds all brimming with "treasure."  A LOT of stuff!  But who better to tackle this organizational olympics than a slightly OCD color-coding, alphabetizing, purge-loving ChoirPres?  Probably that team of people from HGTV, but I don't expect to see them on the front porch anytime soon.  

Dad has quite a few antique and collectable items so we started posting things on Ebay last night.  As I was surveying the scene it occurred to me what an odd assortment of stuff I really will be seeing this week.  So, I think I'll keep you entertained by posting some of the unique (and/or strange...) items we're uncovering.  Speak up if you see something you like ;)

Wednesday's Find:

Matchbooks.  849 of them to be exact.  Of course I counted them - did you not just read the part about slightly OCD?  Besides, we needed an accurate count for the Ebay posting.  Dad started collecting these in the 50's, and spent about 20 years adding to the collection.  The original plan was to lay them all flat and schlack them to the top of a coffee table.  I guess we're in good shape if we decide to give up and burn this place down!

Stay tuned - I'm sure there will be more to come!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

More Thunder

Thunder Storms

In the Willamette Valley (Oregon) a Thunder Storm was a brief and amazing sight to behold. It rarely occurred I assume because the thunderhead itself did not have the time or distance to build. Minnesota however is a different world and this morning I awoke to an amazing experience of sights and sounds that make you feel alive.

First of all the actual lighting covers the sky and blasts into my room. With my body securely in dreamland I believe my dream was about listening to the Thunder. When it came close enough that my closed eyelids noticed the blast of light followed very quickly by the loudest clap of thunder I have ever heard, it brought my right out of my dream.

That's the second part, the rumbled that followed makes those huge sound systems in movie theaters jealous. It continues to rumble by getting lower and lower as the sound shakes buildings and bodies alike. It is a realization of shear power. Over your head must be a turmoil of clouds, rain, wind and lightning. The story that God is Bowling does not explain the sounds you hear in a real Thunder Storm. The patter of the soft raindrops lull you until you are brought back to life by the crashing, rumble, well words can not describe the elongated cacophony of sound that follows.

At least I have found one definitively cool thing that Minnesota has that (western) Oregon does not.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Custom Pwned Image

I just created a custom image for my iPhone I think is pretty cool. Thought I would share.

Clearing SSH Known_Hosts

More for my own memory here is the easy way to clear the SSH hosts. This is very useful for pwned iphone users who have restored their phone more than once. (this is only for mac users)

1. Open Terminal
2. Use "sudo ls" (without the quotes) to see where you are. You want to be in your root user folder (see below).
3. Access the .ssh folder by typing "cd .ssh"
4. Now edit the known_hosts file with pico. "pico known_hosts"
5. Delete the line of the SSH device (or ip address) you are having problems the iphone. If you have only SSHed into the iphone, delete all the IP addresses.
6. Using command X to quit, save the file with the same file name.
7. Exit terminal. Now you should have no problem SSHing or Fuguing the phone.


They wern't kidding

Well Ladies and Gentlemen, I have proof of why we named our blog Hotdish and Hallelujah's.

Yes, the State Fair has Hotdish on a stick! Now, I should have tried this but I instead found myself eating something more traditional yet a little more interesting...
Opps, that's a 4 year old Ox that weights 2500lb. Did you know that an Ox can be cattle of any type that is trained to pull a cart? This was new to me.
Ah, this is just a beautiful BIG horse that I was amazed by.

Yes, that would be a "LONG CORNDOG" and they were not kidding. It turned out to be 3 hotdogs on a very long wooden stick dipped in the batter. Crazy I tell you. That and Wine Icecream, "Big Bacon" and Chocolate Dipped Bacon. The Minnesota State Fair is a sight to be seen with way too many people foating around the Fairgrounds. It is arguably the biggest in the Nation so, make sure you hit it up this week if your near "the cities" or keep it on your plan for 2009.


Monday, August 25, 2008

SoundGuys' New Job

I never thought the day would come when I could announce this. I, as of an hour ago, have my own choir. Yes, that is right, I am the Choir Director at Cross Lutheran Church in Maplewood, MN. I am not sure what my title will be officially yet but my dream of world domination...I mean directing my own choir has come true.

Ok, find point out that I don't have anyone in the choir yet and that it is only a very small church but hey, it's mine and I will get people to sing...oh yes I will. So, if you are in the MN area and want to join a little church choir directed by the next and upcoming greatest world leader...I mean choir director, come on down to Maplewood in September.

Peace on all of you and thank you for letting me share my news!


Sunday, August 24, 2008

All about the iPhone

Dear Readers,

I have been meaning to do this for a while and ChoirPres' post gave me the inspiration. Here it is, my review of the iPhone including Tips and Tricks and what Apps you definitely need.

What I have

We will start out with my iPhone. Currently I have the 16GB iPhone 3G White (that is the second generation iPhone for some of you, 3G is the network it is on). It is currently pwned using the PwnageTool 2.0.2 and the iPhone Firmware 2.0.1 (no I have not updated with the new release yet).

I keep a Contour clear case on it with a screen protector unless I am working out which I have the Belkin Armband for. For charging I purchased a Griffin USB charger for the car since my Alpine CDA-9886 would not charge the new iPhone (more on that later) but it will still run with the Full Link Cable so I can listen to music when I get bored of the old 2G 15GB iPod I still have and use.

I modified the original headphones with JL Audio Marshmellows which sound great and fit much better than the originals.

I also purchased the Griffin car mount that suction cups to the windshield and sits right next to my speedometer giving me GPS navigation ability.

At home I use the old 2G Dock (yes it actually fits quite well) and it even using the direct line output for my studio monitors :)

Setup - I currently have a trial MobileMe account which I think I will cancle very soon but it currently syncs my Address Book with the iMac, Powerbook and iPhone. I use Google for my calendar and mail so the iPhone is setup with an imap account for Gmail and for LutherSem email. The Calendar is using the Exchange server going through to sync the Calendar.

Things I love

Size. Not only is it incredibly small (even with the clear case) is still is completely usable in the fact you can see the screen and type on the keyboard without a lot of hassle. I now carry two phones around and they don't give the "bulge" as some people like to call it in dress pants as badly as some of my old school phones used to.

GPS - For all the complaints about no Turn-by-Turn navigation I love the GPS feature and Maps built-in to the iPhone. I hate being told when to turn and where, I would much rather see the map and follow the line. Being able to find anything near you with a quick search is also extremely useful in a new city or a place you are not familiar with.

Email - Having the easy access to email at all times and being able to access basic attachments is also "Rad" as my girlfriend would say. I find that when I get to my computer, instead of spending a ton of time reading and replying, I usually just clean my inbox up and do something else. Lot less time reading and more on the fly. Seems like I am not responding as much though to emails because I read them and forget to reply but I will figure that out soon enough.

Games - Lets just say during "down times" I love to be able to distract myself and move the time by and if I am not catching up on Google Reader or checking my email I find it fun to have a small collection of games to play with. Read more about those games later.

iPod and Phone built in button - I wondered how I would use the button with both features and I have to say when I am in a situation where it is kosher to have headphones in, I love being able to listen to music and easily take a call in the middle of it. Studying or walking or doing anything that allows for the avoidance of other human interaction becomes an untangled mess compared to what it used to be. Think about it, you have headphones in with the ipod in the bag, the phone vibrates away and you have to find the phone, pull it out, get the earbud out of your ear, answer the phone and hope you can get to the ipod to pause the music so it doesn't blast in your other ear while you talk. Now, music is playing and when someone calls, the music fades away and your ringtone initiates, without stopping what you are doing you just reach up, squeeze the button and now you are talking to someone through the headphones. When they hang up, your music starts again and you keep on doing what you were doing. Amen.

My Review

The overall experience with the iPhone is a 10 out of 10 so don't take any of the negatives below to be a deterrent to understanding how cool this device is.

1. Battery Life. If you think about it, you have a Phone, iPod Touch, GPS device and PDA with a touch screen in your pocket all day long. With the size and the fact that Battery Technology hasn't drastically changed in many many years, the battery life on this device isn't AMAZING. If you just answered a phone call a day and turned everything else off you might get 2 days of battery life. If you are like me and are a power user, using it all day long, you only get about a half day. Between charging it in the "residence hall" room and the Car while using it for GPS I don't have a problem getting through the day but if I am sans charger, I better not be reading emails, playing games or reading the news. The iPod feature does not use as much battery as the other features and I have gotten a full day of listening to music and answering the phone with the battery dying late in the evening. If course I was working outside with it on my arm all day and did not turn the screen on.

2. Speed. Don't let the commercial's fool you. The time it takes to find your location or search the web for a store or boot up a game is not as fast as they show on TV, of course. Sometimes though it can really lag if you are stuck on Edge Network or in a location that doesn't want to let you find your GPS location. It is much better than my old PII 250 MMX with 128megs of ram in 1995 and Dial-Up but you still find yourself waiting a little longer than you might want. Patience is a virtue... (reminder, I did pwn the phone and I do force it to jump around more than your average user so my experience might be the extreme)

3. Glitches. Maps can have some odd tendencies of finding the wrong location (downtown Lake Oswego, MN) or giving me a repeated map (on 36 between Rooseville and Maplewood MN). It does have the hang problem people have talked about. Sometimes a program will hang for no reason on a rare occasion. Sometimes it won't respond to your touch and when you get impatient it catches up to you and does everything at once. Just restarting the program seems to fix most glitches (see tips below).

Other oddities involve me again pushing things to the limit. If you have a phone call for example and you have the headphones in and pull them out, sometimes you will lose the call. If you are listening to music through a Full Link Cable on an Alpine Deck (and I would assume a dock) and plug the headphones in, you will lose the music and have to reset the cable. Also, I have not been able to answer a call very well if I have the headphone jack connected to a 3rd party stereo and try to talk to the phone and listen through the connected stereo. Have not really tried to hard though...might be the next challenge.

4. Limitations - It would be really nice if you could switch to the landscape view vs portrait view in all programs. It works great in Safari and other programs on the phone. Also, it would be nice if it would do a full 360 with you in all programs so if you pick up the phone the wrong direction it would simply move the screen around. YouTube for example will only allow you to watch a video with the volume buttons down and in Landscape mode. Safari is the only program where you can access the keyboard from the landscape perspective. It gives you more space for the keyboard sideways but also limits what you can see on the screen. If Mail would do the same, you could type a bit easier in my opinion.

Copy/Paste - Everybody talks about it, everybody wants it. It would be really nice Apple!

Camera - The 2 Meg camera is great for a 2 meg camera. Pictures look good (all images are screen shots or pictures from the camera by the way). It would be even nicer if it was a 3 meg camera. I don't really care about the zoom or low light problems, just would like a little cleaner pictures...oh well. I have a camera that I use now...that's a first.

Signal Strength - If you read anything you know that there is a debate going on about the 3G signal strength and the iPhone switching between the faster 3G and Edge network. I have had minimal experience with it but I don't have "More Bars in More Places" in any stretch of the imagination. I do have the advantage of comparing both Verizon and AT&T at the same time though and currently Verizon Coverage is better on average that AT&T.

Battery - I am not sure what is going on but sometimes the iPhone will not charge in rare instances. A reboot of the iphone completely will get it back to normal but it is a very odd situation where you leave it plugged in but for some reason the battery drains even though it says it is charging. Software glitch? I hope...

My Apps and Mod's

Here is a list of installed Apps and programs currently on my iPhone. I will not list the standard applications that come with the phone.

Dobot Todos, Evernote, Pandora, Midomi, Simplify Media, iWant, MySpace, Pageone, Facebook, RC Calendar, Movies, Twiterrific, Remote, Bible, VNC, Google, Banner Free, Moonlight Mahjong Lite, SudokuFree, Tap Tap Revolution, More Cowbell, Labyrinth LE, PhoneSaber, Chopper, Hangman, CannonGame, BubbleWrap, Sol Free, Nearby and Flashlight

Dobot Todos - This is the best To Do list that I found when I first searched for Apps. It allows me to organize my lists into folders, categorize the priority and put dates on things. One downfall is it is only on the iPhone and does not transfer to another program.

Evernote - This is great on the computer and usefull to access from the iPhone. I have not used enough of it but so far for studying it is instrumental in organizing my notes and tracking them.

Simplify Media - Get it now while it is free. Gives you access to your iTunes library over a network or through the 3G. Doesn't work so well on Edge but I listened to a whole album over 3G while shopping at Target.

iWant - Great for finding listings of everything and reviews to know what its good.

Movies - Superfast at finding your movie theater and giving you the time listings! Even connects you to trailers.

Remote - Wanna control your iTunes from any room in your house...this is a great program! Now that I am in a room I don't use it as much but it was great in a house especially when using the airtunes through Airport Express.

VNC - Wanna jump on the computer to open iTunes or see who IMed you without getting out of bed and going into the other room? Oh ya, VNC is exactly that, VNC for the iphone...Hard to use so far but works for little things like hitting a button or seeing who just IMed.

Pwned Apps - For non geeks, a pwned iPhone is a iPhone that has modified Firmware allowing you to have full access of the device or Jailbroken as people call it. I easily pwned my phone and suggest if you enjoy tinkering and have a modest amount of "hacking" experience you can get your phone modified also as I did without too much concern of bricking it. Be very aware that if you do damage the phone, apple care probably won't help you if they see you pwned the phone.

I currently have NES (yes the good old Nintendo!), Metronome, BossPrefs, Powertool, Terminal, and WinterBoard. I created my own theme with organ pipes and modified some of the icons for a couple of the programs. I also modified the battery when the iPhone is charging and added the AT&T globe icon in place of the signal bars in the top left.
Tips and Tricks

Things I learned along the way that might be useful and something that most should know but you might not.

Double Click Home - If the phone is locked and you double click the home button it should show you the iPod controls. Also if you are listening to music and you double click the home from anywhere it should give you and iPod pop up that allows you to change songs, pause or jump to the iPod directly without going through the home screen. Settings can be changed in Settings/General/Home Button.

Auto-Lock and Passcode - Security wise, I don't want anyone getting their hands on my phone especially since my life is on it. Turn the auto-lock feature to say 5 minutes and set a password to the phone and if someone steals it or if they want to use it and you have not turned it on for 5 minutes, the phone will require a 4 diget code to unlock it again.

Maps Direction Tip - It took me a while to figure out that I could pull recent directions in Maps. First, touch directions. Next Edit. Now clear one of the fields with the x...and click on the Book on the right side. You now have access to Bookmarks, Recents and Contacts to fill in the directions field.

Creating a Home Screen for a Web Link - Pretty simple, in the website you want to link to, click the plus and add to Home Screen. Make sure to drag it where you want by holding down the icon and dragging it across the screen while it wiggles. :)

Resetting an App - This is handy. Got a problem with Maps or another app, just hold the home screen down for a while and the app will shutdown completely. Click on it again on the Home Screen to restart.

FOR PWNED PHONES ONLY - (Mac instructions only)

SSH - I would highly recommend SSHing into your 3G iPhone right away after Pwning it and changing the root and mobile passwords.

1. Open Terminal and SSH into the phone using the following command: ssh
(if you are having troubles, make sure the iphone is accessing your network by opening Mail and letting it check for new mail, this insures it is connected to your network)
2. type in alpine for the password
3. once you are into the phone type passwd
4. enter a new root password twice.
5. logout.
6. Repeat the above procees accept with the following: ssh

NES - Install NES through Cydia. Download Fugu. Download any NES Rom's you want to play. You first should SSH into your iPhone (see above).
1. Open Fugu and connect to your iphone through root.
2. Go to the following folder: var/mobile/Media
3. Create a folder names ROMs
4. Create a folder inside ROMS named: NES
5. In var/mobile/Media/ROMs/NES/ place any of the downloaded roms
6. Play old school Nintendo on your iphone. Check out the settings to use the accelerator as the up down left and right.

For everyone who actually read any of that, peace be with you and your love for the iPhone and cool technology!


And Another Thing!

In all my fervor to share this week's creations, I left out the best one! When Erin-E-Erin came to visit in the summer of 2007 she brought us cute little scalloped mini-books, complete with their own boxes. Mine has been sitting on my craft table waiting for the perfect use. So, this week, more than a year after receiving the book, I finished it! I decided to fill it with pictures from my fabulous 30th birthday weekend (which took place over five months ago...I'm all about the catch-up these days). So, thanks to Erin for the adorable book, and thanks to my girls for giving me such a special event to document.

Finding The Silver Lining

As the days go by, and I begin to adjust to the fact that Soundguy is not here, and hasn't just run to the grocery store, I'm trying to find the silver lining in this situation. And, in an effort not to sound like a whiny girl who can't get along without some guy, I'm going to post those "silver linings" here as often as I think of them.

So, here is this week's silver lining: I have a LOT of extra time on my hands! My summer schedule is usually lighter anyway, but the departure of my roomie/playmate left me puttering around the house more than usual. This week that extra time and energy was channeled into crafty endeavors. Thought I'd share (sorry, guys, this one's for the chicas! I'm sure Soundguy will post some missive on the inner workings of his iPhone to entertain you sometime soon).

I managed to scrap all of our trip to Washington, D.C. in February.
The highlight of our trip was singing at the National Cathedral. It is a pretty incredible place - impossible to catch on film (or on a 12x12 LO, for that matter...)

These 6x12 LO's aren't really intended to go together...just for the record. The one on the left was right after we'd gone in to see the Hope Diamond (mmm...shiny....). I feel like I need to give an explanation for the bizarre glazed-over expression on my face.
Another performance opportunity was at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Say that three times fast! You have to give the Catholics credit - when they do it, they do it big - even if it's just naming the church.
And, finally, the last crafty project of the week was knitting a "Lil Critter" hat for Georgina's baby shower. I sure hope George isn't reading! I was working on it at Jessie's house and got bored with knitting, so she actually finished the last few rows for me. Gotta give credit where credit is due.

And there you have it: the fruits of this week's labor. Good thing I still have a lot of craft projects in mind. I shudder to think what I'll end up doing if I run out of ways to occupy all this free time. Backgammon, anyone? Birdwatching? Dust off my 5th grade stamp collection? Yikes.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Things I Haven't Said Since 1998...

..."my boyfriend lives in a dorm." Man, I'm regressing like crazy. Next week I'll announce the new fashion trend: Bootcut jeans!

And now for a rant that can only be appreciated by the Student Affairs Professionals in the crowd (yes, all four of you). Somewhere in my graduate school experience someone conditioned me to twitch at the utterance of the word "dorm." In the world of Student Affairs this is a dirty word - not unlike #&! and $%$@ or **!@. (See, Dad, I still don't know ANY bad words. I remain pure as the driven snow). In my world the place where a student lives is a Residence Hall. Now doesn't that feel better? It implies a "living-learning environment" - dare I say a "community of scholars" rather than just some cold, impersonal cinder-block disaster where they corral all the freshmen to keep them from driving the rest of us crazy. By the way, did you know you can't call them "freshmen" either? Now they're "first-year students." I am not even making that up for the sake of comedy - it is the truth. Welcome to my world.

I usually get on board with all this inclusive, intentional, forward-thinking language but the D-word is so dang easy. It's monosyllabic. It rolls right off the tongue. You say it, and regular people know what you're talking about. When I start jabbering on about a Residence Hall people think it's a nice name for the special padded room from which I've just escaped. As Jim has been preparing to start grad school and move into an on-campus living establishment I have been exerting a ridiculous amount of energy trying not to call it a dorm. I even tried to explain this whole dilemma to him so that he would quit calling it a dorm, too. Based on the most frequently used word in his last three posts you can see how far I got with that one. Although he did pat my head and tell me I was cute a few times...

And so, I'm throwing in the towel on this one. But only when I'm not on campus, and not with other Student Affairs types, and not within ear-shot of a respected administrator who will think me a complete heathen for using such vulgar language and will never give me a recommendation so I'll never get another job and I'll have to move into the stinking cinder-block disaster with my boyfriend!

Say it loud and say it proud: My boyfriend lives in a DORM! (Gasp! If you need me I'll be updating my resume).

The Dorm (Updated)

I did it. I have nested...settled in...personalized my space...whatever you may call it. I am here and I am. Here is the update on how my dorm room looks.


Monday, August 18, 2008

The Dorm

Alright everyone, I have reverted to Dorm Life again. Here are the messy pictures of the room after I am in.

It's quite funny because it is almost identical furniture to what Willamette had...I feel like I am 18 again.

Here is a shot looking through the doorway.

And finally the Computer Setup. Of course I had that put together before I touched anything else. What else is a geek like myself to do without a computer?

Now, I should probably put the clothes away...


The Trip (a journey in pictures)

Starting in Corvallis Oregon I traveled 2026 to St. Paul Minnesota with my little car packed to the brim.

Here is my little car. The reason you can't see anything in the back window is because there is so much stuff that I put a piece of black cloth over everything to make it less enticing for a thief.

Here's the side view, note the pink flower on the Thule, box. ChoirPres wanted to leave her mark.

The sunrise from Brain's house in The Dalles. Saturday Morning.

Brain's crazy octagonal house.

My first traffic incident was this poor semi. Not sure what happened but was pretty cool to look at.

Looks almost like something in a movie...

When I made it to Missoula, Nicole's Brother and Sister were there with their Pupper's. The little one is Mylee (no clue how they spell it) and the big one staring intently on her throw ball is Bear.

I took about 4 pictures of bear till I got down and noticed she was waiting for me to figure out she wanted to play. Then the fun began.

The whole time of course this little one was attacking Bear like nobodies business but Bear did a pretty good job of ignoring her or giving her a warning growl when needed.

Ben and Treena on the Roof watching the sunset.

The Sunset I enjoyed with ChoirPres' Family...

There always has to be some challenge on a road trip, right? Well, here I am. In the back of the picture, over the hill is where the Battle of Little Bighorn happened. About 50 miles before this I noticed the Check Engine light. Caused me to wonder what was up. The car had a major overhaul before I left. New Timing Belt, New Water Pump, New Fan Belts, Etc. The one thing I didn't check was my oil. Well, either I burned a bunch on the passes or I was low at the beginning of my trip. Thinking how to get myself out of this predicament I called my Mechanic (ok, best friends Dad who I call my mechanic) and asked him, "Can I make it another 200 miles with low oil?" Now that I think about it, that was a really dumb question. He calmly replied, "I wouldn't if I were you." The problem with just throwing a quart of oil in the old engine? Both quarts that I had were nicely stored in the Spare Compartment. Think about it...ya, that's right. My life is on top of that spare. Yay for me and unloading it. So, as you can see I found a nice spot on the road where I would not be bothered and found the oil, topped it off, and trucked along the long....boring and much of the time rolling hills of US Route 212.

Once safely in Rapid City I slept in the Quality Inn right off I-90. Here is the sunrise from Monday Morning.

There's my little car in the shadows at the bottom.

I had to stop in wall so I headed south to check out the badlands. Here is Roo (yes my car is nicknamed Roo, I will explain in another post someday) with grasslands behind him.

I gotta say, the badlands are really cool. Wish I was smiling in this one.

More Badlands.

And finally I arrive in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Here is the view from the iPhone. Yes, cracked windshield and all. I always have to ride in style don't you know.

This is the front of my new Residence.

This is tonight's Sunset. Thanks for coming along on my journey with me.