Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wind Farm

I was very surprised and pleased to come across the Mendota Hills Wind Farm today. This was my first time seeing a wind farm up close and personal. This is one of my ideal scenarios; the land under the turbines is still used for crops (producing all sorts of vegetarian delights, I'm sure) while the turbines produce clean energy. The sound of the facility was pretty cool, too. It was a sort of gentle "wooshing" sound. I recorded some video of the turbines in action, but I'll have to upload that later (maybe). We should be doing this everywhere!

Ladysmith Welcomes You!

We arrived in Ladysmith yesterday afternoon. On the way I observed that Wisconsin has both some of the smoothest and roughest roads ever, but at least everything is paved now. It rained the entire drive. Fortunately, the rain broke for a few minutes when we arrived at the cemetery. After paying our respects we drove through Ladysmith so Dad could do some sightseeing. Unfortunately a tornado that came through a few years back destroyed a lot of the old buildings that he could remember, including their old house in town. We then went to visit Aunt Irma at her farm. She seemed to be doing well and is planning to participate in a motorcycle ride in a few days.

The Voss farm is located just down County Road P from the cheese factory where Dad's family lived and worked when he was kid. The gas pump above was the pump they had there. I believe Uncle Fred moved it to his farm sometime after the old cheese factory stopped operating.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Brick Cheese

Brick cheese is one of the only things I miss about living in Chicago. When I was a little kid I didn't really like lunch meat (big surprise), but I loved cheese. In particular I loved this cheese. I saw some in Jewel today and had a Brick and Lorraine Swiss cheese on rye sandwich for lunch. Yum! Shopping in Jewel, by the way, is complete chaos. The aisles are small and there isn't any obvious traffic pattern.

Morning Walk

Dad likes to find stuff on the ground. This morning while he was taking Simon for a walk he found this piece of concrete and a clover patch. The concrete reminded him of Uncle Ralph who invented some form of concrete for use on skyscrapers; I'll need to investigate this further. The clover reminded him of how he picked clover with my brothers and sisters when they were kids. They'd eat the flowers.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Rental Cars

My nephew recently commented that my blog appeared to be dead and wondered if I had any interesting trips planned. I take that as a subtle sign that I've been slacking.

Under my original plan I would right now be driving in a rented minivan to Chicago instead of writing this blog entry. I was late picking up the rental yesterday and learned the hard way that they don't hold the vehicle for longer than an hour after the scheduled pick-up time. Now I know not to be late again.

I searched for comparable vehicles, but there is nothing available until tomorrow morning. Fortunately my travel plans are flexible enough to absorb the delay. On the bright side, I will now be able to attend Bear's Memorial Day party this afternoon.

The plan for the trip is to take Mom and Dad back to Chicago (and Wisconsin if bodies and time permit) to revisit places where they met, grew up, visited as a young couple, etc. and record as much information as possible. I consider it to be a mini-documentary project with the goal of producing a DVD / Blu-ray that I can share with the rest of my family. I'll try to post short entries throughout the week to keep my nephew from getting bored.