Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Yesterday Pat and I took advantage of the rare beautiful day and took our annual "leaf drive." The leaves were well past their peak, but we always enjoy getting out on the curvy, little-traveled, roads of NE Iowa.

The first observation of note was this lone eagle perched in a tree.

Further on, we saw another in a tree, then two soaring over the Mississippi River at Guttenberg while we were eating lunch. On the way home, there were two in a field, feasting on a dead deer.

Altogether, we saw six eagles in four different locations. A new eagle-spotting record for us!

The brilliant yellows and reds had faded from the leaves but there were many shades of browns. Still, they were pretty to us.

We only saw about three combines in the fields. Harvesting in Iowa is nearly three weeks behind normal, due to wet weather. Even the soybeans are not all harvested yet.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Marvelous Painting

The link below will take you to a web page showing a very interesting painting.

The page includes notes by the artist regarding why certain things are as they are in the painting.

Clearly, the artist is trying to send a political message with this painting. You can ignore that—if you wish. But take a few moments and run the cursor over some of the faces in the painting. What a history lesson!

This would be great to do with your grandkids or neighbor kids! There are lots and lots of lessons to be learned or taught lurking right in this one picture!

Thank You, Allison, for sharing this!

Here's the link:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Computer Talk: Chrome

Last night I read a 30-page description, written in comic book style, of the browser by Google, called Chrome. It sounded as if it had lots to offer, including increased speed, so I thought I'd load it onto my computer and try it.

I like it! You might, also.

The browser is the program on your computer which you use to browse the web. Most use Internet Explorer, because that is what comes on just about every non-Mac computer produced.

Some, including me, use Firefox. For one reason, not using Internet Explorer, a Microsoft product, is one part of my little protest against Microsoft.

I'm not an enemy of Bill Gates, mind you. He has created a company whose success must be admired. And he does great things with his and Warren Buffet's money.

I'm protesting the company's products! They don't work as they should. They break. They need frequent upgrading to get rid of problems. Anyway, enough of that.

Google Chrome is simple in appearance and operation and complex in what it does. One of the neatest things is that there is only one box into which you type whatever it is you're looking for. If you want to search, type it in the box. If you want to go to a website, type it in the same box. Pretty simple. And it works.

And, based on my limited use of it,it does appear to be faster! This was especially noted while loading the weather radar from Intellicast.

Installing it in your computer is easy. You can do it! And if you check the right box while it is being installed, it will import your bookmarks (favorites) from you current browser.

If you try it and have questions, I'll try to answer them at the Computer Help Sessions beginning December 15. Or if you don't want to wait, email me and I'll see what I can do to help remotely.

To get Chrome, go here:

The View

Photo of pretty trees, seen from Keith's window.The picture here is the view I have when I sit at my computer and look out the window.

We always enjoy the beautiful colors of Fall. Usually, we take a "leaf drive" to McGregor in NE Iowa. There are lots of pretty leaves and wide green valleys there to make the drive worthwhile.

We had planned to go this past Tuesday. Unfortunately, the prediction was that it would be raining most of the day. Besides, Sunday I had flown to Dubuque, then West Union, then back to Cedar Rapids and saw few brilliant colors. So we cancelled the trip.

Last Sunday, the leaves here in CR were mostly green, with some turned. But it was not a sea of color.
Yesterday it was a different story! The leaves have mostly turned , with some being brilliant red! What a difference three days made!

But today is hard on leaves. It's rained about an inch and has been very windy. The leaves aren't fairing well, so yesterday might have been the peak day for beautiful leaves, at least here in CR.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

That Was Easy!

When a product or service from a store is unsatisfactory for any reason, the world deserves to know about it so the forces of the free market can go to work to correct the problem, even if it means the demise of a product or a store. (Or even a car manufacturer, but I digress.)

By the same token, everyone also deserves to know about something that works right. I have such an instance to report.

A couple of days ago, I went shopping at our local Staples store. They had some great specials and rebates and I wanted to get my share!

Three different items which I purchased offered rebates, and two of them offered rebates for up to two of the items— rather unusual in itself.

Staples offers the customer the choice of a mail-in rebate or an on-line rebate which requires NOTHING to be mailed. I'm for the on-line version!

The amazing thing about this process is that it does not require one single keystroke which is unnecessary! Amazing!

If Staples can be that user friendly, why can't every merchant?

There, that was easy!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Why haven't there been many recent posts?

I've been occupied, both physically and mentally, for the last month.

One of my only two Williams cousins was critically ill with heart problems in Rochester, MN. We visited him and his wife Sharla on three occasions.

He had surgery on two subsequent days to install auxiliary pumps. From this, he never recovered. After over a month of unconsciousness, it was deemed that he would never recover so nature was allowed to take its course.

His funeral was last week in Brainerd, MN.

The good news is that the sad occasion gave us an opportunity to see his three daughters, their husbands, and their seven children. They live in Georgia, Indiana, and China.

I have a new flight student which keeps me busy on nice days. The goal is for him to get his Private Pilot License before we leave for Rockport 35 RV Park. As a practical matter, that means we should attempt to get it before Thanksgiving.

We have told Allison that we will be at the park December 11. I suspect we might arrive a few days before that. We are allowing a few days to spend with our Workamping friends who are at a Corps of Engineers park just NE of Dallas on the way down.

And a few days ago, I discovered and started to fix a hydraulic leak in the slide mechanism on the trailer. Messy.

I am now feeling the squeeze! The rest of the summer's work to do and only a few weeks to get it done.

Those are a few of the reasons updates have been few and far between recently. Of course another reason is that I've not heard from you so don't have your comments or articles to post.

A Different Keith Williams

To all who were wondering or confused:

The Keith Williams who was wearing a white shirt with the red number 68 on it last night during the Missouri/Nebraska football game was a different Keith Williams.

Now you know.