Good times, not so good times…

We’ve been looking forward to our adventure for a month. A drive through the countryside, to a nice restaurant, then summer stock theatre. A lovely summer evenings entertainment. Well, we’re batting .500 on this one…
We went to Mt. Carroll Il, for dinner. A cute restaurant called Bella’s. The owner/chef has worked in two of our cities tastier restaurants. Then decided open up a place of his own in a cute little town. to We’ve been there a couple times on a Sunday, and had a sandwich, and it was good. However, last nights ‘adventure’ was not quite the same experience…
We had 6pm reservations, but arrived at 5:40. Seated quickly, and had a drink, while perusing the menu. As we narrowed down our choice, we were told that three of the entrees were already unavailable, due to the fact that it was Wednesday evening, and the suppliers did not deliver fresh product until Thursday… Huh? They were out of some food? The menu is printed up weekly, so we have a problem…
Ok, we made our second choice, and the slightly muddled, but somewhat pleasant waitress took our order. Now- I should back up. When I made the reservations, and, when we arrived, I mentioned that we were attending the theatre, so as to inform them of our time constraints. Timberlake is a fairly big summer draw in the area, so they are well aware of patrons schedule for show nights.
So, order in, we chatted & waited for our salads. Got ’em, but in a leisurely fashion. Tick. Tick. Tick. Time rolling on. After 45 minutes, we asked approximately when we would see our food, as we had to leave for the theatre shortly. ” we’ve had a bit of a rush. Everyone arrived at once, so we’re a little behind”. Rush? There were maybe twenty people in the place… Fifteen more minutes. “um, we are running out of time. What’s the word?” ” any minute now. I am sorry”. At 6:50, our food arrived. Oh- it was not Peking duck, or something incredibly complicated. A grilled pork chop with rice, and chicken alfredo with linguini.
By this time, the waitress had pretty much given up hope of making us happy. As the plates hit the table, we were asking for carry out containers, since we didn’t have time to eat, and make it to our seats on time. She was apologetic, and took our name and number. ” The owner will want to make this right”. We’ll see…
We did make it to the theatre on time, but the people who parked next to us were also at Bellas. And, they had the same underwhelming experience. That is not good for the reputation. Maybe it was the ‘perfect storm’ of everything going horribly wrong that night, but, I do not think so…
Suffice it to say, that will not be going back any time soon…

On the bright side, however, Timberlake Playhouse saved the evening, and, was stellar! We saw Guys and Dolls, one of my very favorite plays, and they nailed it! I am not speaking as goofy uncle Tim, who, as the child manages to play three notes in a row, jumps up and applauds wildly. No, these actors were good! We have seen several plays on broadway, and, seriously, this held up to that level… The entire cast was good, but Tim Wessel, who played Nicely Nicely, and Hayley Gribble, who played Miss Adelaide, absafrickinlutely nailed their performances. A 110% well done bit of acting… Speaking in an AARP uncle voice, “these kids are gonna go places”.
If you know me, you know I can be a bit hard to please, but I was amazed by the whole cast, and the passion they put on the stage.
If you like good summerstock theatre, want a fun evening, and, would like to support the future, check ’em out.

That’s the end of my long rant…. Thank you for listening…

To Snip or Not to Snip


We are finally, seriously, thinking of cutting the cord, so to speak, from Dish Network, and our land phone line. We would install a Roku on one tv, and an Apple tv on the other. It would save us $100+ a month. However, our 10+ megabit Uverse Internet has been spastic the last week, and, if you can’t count on the Internet you have, you are toast. The alternative would be to ‘man up’ to Comcast Internet for $60 a month, and wonder about the evening slowdown…
Our Dish Network contract is up in August, so we have a few months to ‘think ‘ about, and do a bit of research. We actually watch only an hour or two of programming a night, so if we made the switch, it wouldn’t really affect our viewing, and, we may actually get to practice our ukuleles and guitars more, along with more reading.
All things to ponder during the next couple months… Have to have SOMETHING to ponder whole enjoying the best three months of the year…

You Work, so you can’t come….

Sometimes, people with education, or degrees, do not have the social skills squirrels were born with. I’m not really sure why having the stamp of approval from a collegiate institution makes one authorized to be too self aware of themselves. “Get a self absorbed person to talk about themselves, and you have something”… If one decides to have ‘an art group’, and, ask someone who has a day job if they can come, don’t be so judgmental, if they have to work… It makes you look small and petty…

I’m sorry, I’m tired, and, do not like seeing good people made to feel small and not as worthy as other people…

Rathbaun Farm


Maggie was going through recipes today and found some recipe cards from the farm we toured last year in Ireland. Rathbaun Farms, over two hundred years old, and still in operation by the family. It’s a tiny farm by our standards, but it was one of the most interesting, authentic sites on our visit.
Rathbaun Farm

We watched a sheep dog ‘rangle’ the sheep. Then, one of them got a shear haircut. After the tour of the farm, we were led into the dining room and served the best brown bread and scones we have ever had. We still think of it often. One of those things you will always remember.Brownbread & scones

Anyway, the 1st anniversary of our trip is coming up and we are thinking back fondly and longingly to Ireland. So, I wanted to share it… Check out the site, Rathbaun farm, cuz there are recipes of the scones, brownbread, Guinness Fruitcake there.
A little piece o’ Ireland…..
See ya…

Survived the surgery


boy, the title makes it sound more serious than it was. The knee surgery went fine. Got the torn stuff outta there, and now it’s time to stretch, heal, and get ready for NYC…

The hospital staff was great. They even pulled an April fools joke on me in prep.  It was my right knee that needed the surgery, but, the woman that came in to prep my leg, i.e. shave and disinfect, pulled out the LEFT knee and started to work on that one. “Um, I’m having work done on my RIGHT knee”, I said. “April fools!”, she said… Ha….

It only took an hour for the surgery, then two hours in recovery, then an hour in the room to get dressed and wheeled down to the car… Home, and then food for the first time in 22 hours. That was nice. Maggie was a great nurse. She made sure that everything went well, for her and me… Thursday, we laid low, resting and recuperating from the adventure. I had this ice thing on my knee for three days. A bladder attached to a cooler filled w/ ice and water, with tubes that connected to the knee bladder, to ice my leg. Works great…

Today, we went on our first adventure out into the world. Starbucks, Target, Kohls, and the nature shop for birdseed. That was enough today for my knee. Home now and rest it for a while, then, who knows…? I may go back to work on Monday, depends on how good I feel, swelling wise… We’ll see.  Have to get out and about….

Thanks for listening and I will update later in the week…

Go figure…


Camp site

Camp site

so, you know that we were @ a folk festival in N. Illinois last weekend with 600 other music lovers/ partyers.  We’re sitting around in the afternoon, practicing & playing. One of the older bluegrass players , a wonderful, 70+ year old extrucker from a small town in Wisconsin says to us: ” say, anyone know anything about this Linux? I am so tired of Windows”.  We all just kinda stopped, and stared.  It was like your favorite grandfather asking you how to hack your iphone or something like that.  


Go figure what will come up in a cow pasture in the summer time….

Not this year…


so, last week, I was doing my dog & pony show, here @ work. A very sincere show, btw, for a tour group of prospective customers.  Later, the sales rep came back, and told me that I was the best salesman that the Co. has.  Whoa, that was unexpected.  Nice.

Today, I was informed that I am not up to snuff enough to receive a raise this year. “If you received one last year, you won’t receive one this year”.  Well, don’t think that didn’t inspire me….  I don’t understand.  I’m here constantly. I really care about the quality of the product, and that the customer receives what he needs & ordered. I work through lunch, and long hours.

Short of offering up my wife for carnal pleasures for management on a weekend retreat, I am not sure what I can do to increase my stature, or pay…

I can’t do better than that


I have been trying to get the time to continue to post about our trip to Ireland. However, life gets in the way constantly. 

So, if you want a much better reading experience of our trip, go to for the best posts.  Maggie has been doing her usual wonderful job of sharing her thoughts, this time on our tour.   Go there for the indepth read of our Ireland adventure.

I’ll try to get caught up, but she really does a better job.



The wearin’ of the green

Boy, where do I begin?

How are you all doing? We are starting to get back in the swing of things here in the midwest. Not really knowing what time it is, or where I am, this is a bit of a challenge.
Oh, if you want the in depth, semi professional blog experience, then you need to go to If you are here for my ramblings, good for you.
I shall try and keep this as brief as I can in my scenic road trip manner.

We flew into Dublin last Wednesday morning, around 9 am, Dublin time. We got on the plane around 7pm cst, Tuesday evening, so, in the magic of time zones, we turned a 7 hour flight into a 14 hour adventure. Be honest, which of you is able to sleep for more than 20 minutes @ a time on a plane? Bouncy, noisy, uncomfortable, one is doing well to sleep @ all. Fortunately, when we arrived @ the hotel, our rooms were ready. We tried valiantly to jump out the taxi door, and go tackle the largest city in Ireland, but, fatigue met us when we got out and slapped us in the face. We went to our room and napped for 4 hours. Collapsed would be more accurate. Getting up after a couple hours, we headed out on to the streets. Ok, the sidewalk. IMG_0828 We both had our maps, so we kinda had an idea where to go. We had set up with our friends that we would be in front of a B&B around 6 dublin time, noon cst, and they would see us on a traffic webcam. We got there in short order, and to my horror, since I have been watching this camera for a month to test it, the camera wasn’t pointing @ the B&B. We hung around for a while, and then figured that nobody was watching or care. Later, we found out that several friends did see us! Way cool. They saw us standing on a street corner in Ireland. Evidently, the camera that was pointed @ us, was not visible, or, a small, unobtrusive camera. Anyway, we were seen in the midwest, while being in Dublin.IMG_0839
After an hour or two, we wandered back to O’shea’s, the B&B for dinner. Ah, our first experience with bad Irish food. A nice interior, that was what one thinks of with an Irish pub. However, dinner was not even mediocre. Oh well.

Thursday, we wandered around town again. We went back to Temple Bar again. It’s an area downtown that is way cool and hip. Old shoppes, tiny streets, cool things. IMG_1945_2
Breakfast was much better than dinner the night before. A neat little restaurant with a hip feel. But not too hip. After breakfast, we headed in the general direction of the Dublin Castle. A building that was started around 900 ad. Whew. We wandered around the outside, but, the tours were booked up for the rest of the day, so, we caught a taxi to the Guinness brewery. Our taxi driver’s name was Patrick O’brien. Seriously. And what a nice man. Pleasant, easy going, and good @ what he did. We had a wonderful 10 minute tour of the area we were in. One of the nicest persons we met in Ireland, or, one of the most outgoing people.
Anyway, one has to go to the Guinness plant, whether or not one drinks it. It’s kind of like going to San Francisco, and not going to Fishermans wharf. The plant isn’t actually a plant, it’s a mini museum of stout. 7 stories tall, with a 360* view of the city. We finished the tour, had our pint, and then back to the hotel. We were about to meet our tour group.
The tour actually started @ 3 pm Dublin time. We came in a day early to start the adjustment to euro time. Some of our tour members were picked up @ the airport, and brought to the hotel to drop off their luggage, pee, and then back on the bus to head out to see the city. Or, actually, nap on the bus. The did not come in a day early to adjust to a time zone 6 zones ahead of some of them.IMG_0878 We went around the city, and, stopped @ Trinity college, to see the book of Kells. It’s a book of the gospels that was one of the few that wasn’t destroyed in the ‘my god is bigger than yours’ wars. It was found in a peat bog, after around 800 years. Way cool. It’s those decorative fancy starts to chapters drawings.
IMG_0830All around the town, and then back to the hotel for drinks and dinner. Met some of our team mates, and then on to bed for the next day. Out to the country.
More later. . .