Monday, June 29, 2009

Back to Oberlin

What a flying trip we had over the weekend. Left Thursday evening and back home last night at 11:00.........down to Albuquerque, NM! Delivered the Hobbyline trailer to our new friends, Jill and Dennis. It is such an awesome trailer. I will miss it but look forward to seeing Jill and the trailer with "Sisters On The Fly". I would love to someday go back to Santa Fe. Didn't get to spend alot of time there this trip. There is so much to see and do. Would love to visit more out in the area, the adobes, etc. Another time. What a contrast in homes and the countryside! The houses were all adobe style and color and when you looked off in the hills they just appeared as rocks. Blended right in to the countryside. LaVern is home having fun with solar power. He picked up 3 small solar panels and our cache of golf cart batteries for the farm. I think he is going to focus on the RV now as we will drive it back on the next trip. One of the boys wants to use it to go camping with his family. It has just been sitting here. I am road tired but was great to see that area.

Friday, June 26, 2009


1:00 PM Friday...........we are in Raton, New Mexico!! Beautiful landscape. Trip is going great so far. Anxious to get to Santa Fe and check it out. Sitting at a visitor's center. You have to love this wireless technology!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Black or White Clothing

It's hot out now so I wondered about clothing. What is cooler, black or white clothing? I've always heard that white is but check this out:

An extensive and detailed study (Walsberg, Campbell, & King, 1978. J. Comp. Physiol. 126B: 211-222) examined different colors of bird plumage under different temperature conditions--with the added wrinkles of examining whether the plumage was fluffed or flattened, and varying the wind speed.
Under cold conditions with no wind speed, black, flattened plumage held in heat the best (though barely, compared to fluffed black plumage). Under hot conditions with no wind, white, fluffed plumage let heat escape the best. Both pretty logical findings.
But once the wind picked up, the results changed dramatically. With even a modest wind (anything above 3 m/s, or about 7 m.p.h.) fluffed white plumage exhibit the lowest net heat loss. This explains the large number of arctic animals that are fluffy and white. It's not just camouflage.
At high temperatures, as I say, white is best at not transmitting solar/ambient heat to the skin when windspeed is zero (only barely better when fluffed). However, with an increase in windspeed (again anything above 3 m/s), fluffed black plumage is the best at reducing the amount of heat transmitted to the skin. Flattened black plumage is the worst in terms of heat gain no matter what the windspeed.

What this means is relatively straightforward: black clothing absorbs sunlight and the heat radiating from your body, but if it is loose-fitting, and there is wind, the wind convects the heat away faster than it is absorbed. White clothing reflects sunlight, but also reflects internal heat back towards your body, so the net effect under identical conditions is less cooling than if you wore black. While it's true you don't often find fluffy black animals in deserts, you don't find many white animals, either--typically you find animals that blend into the background. So it appears that if heat gain and camouflage are in conflict, the need to avoid predation outweighs other considerations. On the other hand, desert-dwelling nomadic people such as the Tuaregs wear loose-fitting black clothing, and have been doing so for a very, very long time. If there were an advantage to wearing white clothes, you'd certainly expect they'd have figured that out by now.

I guess the easiest way would be to try it myself. Wear white on a calm day and then on a day with a breeze and then try the black clothing. I do find it interesting. LaVern said his grandfather Burtis always put his thermos of water out in the sun because warm or hot water quenched his thirst more than cold water. But that's a subject for another day. We are off to Albuquerque, New Mexico today. Meeting the buyer of the trailer. She is from California. Will be a quick weekend trip but we are excited as I've never been south of Co. Springs.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Keeping paper in its place

I feel like a blizzard has landed on my work station at home. For two days now I have been searching for a picture of a project that I would like to try. typically I am very organized. Ask LaVern. I have three ring binders set up for everything. But I guess all these recent road trips have put me behind. I have a place for everything but have not kept up with the to-be-filed box. So, the paper has control over me now instead of the other way around. I am going to find that picture and then you can be sure it will be filed in its proper binder!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Buns of Steel

I am thinking that the term "buns of steel" must have originated many, many years ago when the milking stool was first made. How do I know this? After sitting on one for 4 days, hand picking the weeds out of the strawberry bed, I can safely tell you that I do NOT have buns of steel! Ouch! My behind is sore. I believe that a "double wide" milk stool needs to be designed. By this, I mean the top of the stool not the bottom. The positive side to this is that after 4 days I was quite adept at being able to lean forward or backward on that stool and stay seated and NOT fall over. Saved my back and I was close to the strawberries that had to be eaten less the birds get them. When we first arrived all I saw was a field of weeds about knee high. I was amazed at the wonderful plants once I started pulling the weeds. By the end we had 5 long rows of strawberries. Next year the crop should be tremendous as these plants were just put in a year ago. Maybe by next year the buns will be alittle more conditioned also.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Turn off the noise

I have noticed that when I go to someone's house and the TV is on (no one is watching it , of course) that the noise bothers me. Now more than ever people regularly do several activities at on the phone, text messaging, surf the internet....all with the TV or radio in the background. With all those distractions, it is no wonder studies show the attention spans are getting shorter and autism is at a high level. All that noise drowns out contemplation and eliminates the opportunity to sit quietly and reflect. Turn off the noise in your house and listen to the sounds of silence.

Friday, June 12, 2009


I think I have found my next type of horse! They are haflingers. I believe they have only been in the U.S.A. for about 10 years or so but gaining popularity fast. They are not a big horse, most are about 14 hands or so. But are they ever beautiful and versatile. Saw my first ones while back in Iowa, closing on "the farm". An Amish came driving in a pair. So I have been online checking them out! lol People are showing them in dressage, jumping, English pleasure and western. AND............they make great driving horses. While in Iowa, we drove the "back" roads to Mt. Ayr which is about 12 miles away. I wanted to see if I could take gravel roads all the way there (with a buggy, of course). And I will be able to. lol That's the town where I will go for grocery shopping, etc. No date yet. Everyone keeps asking. The door will open when it is suppose to! Ate supper and then breakfast with our Amish family.....tomato gravy for breakfast. It was yummy! More later.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Economic conditions

"Entirely too many people have jobs that are both unsuitable to them and precarious. Trade unions are feeble, or crooked, or both.....Plenty of people are strangled by installment buying. The equipment of the public schools is good, but the old irrelevant curricula endure, the football field seems to be considered generally more important than the library, and there is a multitude of silly 'activities'. People generally seem to be increasingly dependent on pleasures that have to be bought, like cars and movies, and therefore on money and on their employers. The government is expensive and inefficient."

This was taken from RFD by Charles Allen Smart, originally published in 1938. Amazing!! Still worth reading 70 years later and describes somewhat of where we still are today.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Every morning, now at 5:30, I go out for a 4 mile jog. Why? No one penetrates my space, I am free of distractions and I'm free to let my mind wander. Besides, I need the exercise! It usually takes about one mile and then I find my rhythm. I forget about what I'm doing and I can think clearly. Some people think jogging is boring, but it's relaxing to me. It's so peaceful. I generally run on gravel country roads. The paved streets are hard on my joints. I feel connected to nature out there. Once I get my rhythm I can then think about my running. Relaxing the shoulders, lengthing the stride, increasing the pace. What makes you feel refreshed?