As you know, Rich and Sascha have been working on some tricks. They repretory is small yet. Using chunks of cheese, hot dogs, jerky, and other goodies, Rich has been working on getting her trained. Or is it Sascha who is training Rich to give her treats?
For this trick, Sascha is supposed to go up on her hind legs and turn around in a circle. She is kind of consistent. I did have Rick shoot a video of this trick and I made a blue tutu for Sascha to wear during the filming. She was happy with the costume, but the cheese made up for it.
Rich researched the best way to teach this trick. It didn’t take long for Sascha to figure out what she needed to do. When Rich sits down and has treats in his hand, she is more than willing to perform. Sometimes a little overly excited to do so. She sometimes gets started before Rich is even ready for her.
Once again, my videotogopher captured some of the training. Sascha did very well in the video.
Things are finally getting somewhat completed in the new garage. The guys have been working on some finishing touches. There is still work to be done, but it won’t prevent Sally from moving in.
Rich put in filler so that the cracks in the concrete are filled. This means that dropped bolts, screws, and other bits won’t find there way in and be next to impossible to remove. Strong magnets don’t always do the trick. This way, you don’t have to deal with the problem.
Rich decided on the shelving system that he wanted. He put up the shelves to provide storage for parts and car related items. Right now, they are scattered between the workshop and the regular garage. This will allow him to consolidate the mess into one place and keep tabs on what he has. Now he just needs to get the remainder of the stuff from the South Haven house.
Oh yeah, that should clear up some room for us to rearrange things in the attached garage. Of course, I can’t collect more stuff. But now, I might be able to better organize what I have so I can get to things and maybe see what I have.
Rick painted the man door. I was trying to get a color to match the green of the light that hangs over that door. It started that dark, but I don’t think it ended up that way. It is a nice green though. Now I have to get Rick to paint the other entry doors on the house that color. I’m hoping it adds some splash to the house with all the tan.
Rich took Rose on a tour of the garage while she was in. She said it looked a lot bigger in person than it did in the pictures. It might be easier to tell size once Sally rolls in over there and makes that her final home. It’ll just be nice not to have the smell and smoke in the house. Of course, I may never see Rich again once he starts working over there.
I had wanted to buy Rich a nice rolling toolbox for that garage. Man, are they expensive! I explained what I wanted. He said he was good with a used one. He had some specifics in mind for a toolbox. We started looking and came on one in a Craigslist ad. It was just over in Crystal Lake, which is down the road. The price wasn’t too bad. Rich met up with the guy and decided it fit his need in the garage. He and Rick brought it back with them. It has way more drawers than the models I could afford. It had some issues on its condition, but not too bad. Rich put in and fixed them right away. I think he is anxious to start building his tool set for out there. Now, he can take the toolbox to the car and put things back as he works with them.
I discovered that I’m not able to move my landscaping tools over there. Rich says the lawn mowers aren’t kept clean enough. Clean? What’s that? I guess I’m stuck with them over in the other garage. Sure was looking forward to a little bit room over there. Maybe as winter storage.
Sascha has stopped thinking of it as her doghouse. I think that’s because the doors are closed now. She can’t just walk in and out as she pleases. That and the echo bothers her. Once it starts filling up, I’m sure the echo will start to die down. Sounds cool when you are out there hooting and hollering though.
Rich finally has a garage that’s all his and Sally has a home.
Monday morning was our driving day again. We had to reverse the trip from Blue Springs, MO to Holiday Hills IL. This was 8 hours and 10 minutes of driving time. Then you have to factor in stops for breaks and breakfast as well as lunch, maybe dinner. It would be 9 to 10 hours total.
We got up rather early for being out the night before. We packed up and headed out to breakfast. Rich had decided on the Bob Evans down the road. It would be on the way out of town as well. We got seated and ordered our breakfasts. I love being close to the south. You can get grits anytime you want them. Our waitress just had to ask about Rich’s Mojoworkin t-shirt. He explained the Muddy Waters song to her. He also had to explain why we were in town.
We finished up and headed out. The road was surprisingly clear of trucks and a lot of track. I was sure it would be crowded. We got up to the Iowa state in pretty good time. Once over the line, we decided to go back on a lesser road and not the main highway. This was Hwy 34.
It was a beautiful drive with little or no traffic. We were making good time. As if I had planned it, we went through Ottumwa. If you are a M*A*S*H fan, you know this is the home of Walter “Radar” O’Reilly. It’s a good sized town, but still farm oriented. We stopped for a break and gas here. I just had to be funny and post on my Facebook account, “Wonder if Radar is home?” A couple of people got it.
We continued on to Mount Pleasant, once the home of a subscriber plant back in the heyday of Motorola. This way led us up to Muscatine. Rich checked the restaurant listings and found the Mississippi Brewing Company in downtown Muscatine. Why not?
It was disappointing when we arrived to find a normal bar that didn’t brew at all. Apparently, the owner had a sense of humor and decided to get in on the beer rage by naming a couple of restaurants as Brewing Company. We decided to stay and eat anyway. The food was surprisingly good. Kind of reminded me of the bars in my town and the food they served.
We walked down to the Mississippi River to take a look. It was apparent that the water had really been up high here during the flood back in the spring. The entire parking lot had probably been flooded. There was a huge statue of a clammer with huge tongs. Apparently, this was the shell button capital of the world at one time. I had no idea.
So we headed back out on the road. This meant winding our way through little Iowa towns crammed together to find the highway. We finally hit the bridge and crossed over the mighty Mississippi. The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. We did manage to rack up a lot of bug guts on the windshield. I remember going through this part of the trip with little pinging noises and realized that we were hitting maybe 10 to 20 in less than a minute. How strange.
I’m happy to report that most of the farm fields are in good shape. There is lots of green and the plants are getting taller by the day. The farmers appear to be working the fields and we saw several out there personally. You ask how I can report such a finding? I think we saw every farm field between Kansas City and Holiday Hills!
So we arrived home to a very happy Husky and a son who wondered why we returned. Apparently, we just need to pay the bills and give him money for freewill spending and food. Doesn’t he have a job?
So I mentioned in my blog for Sunday that we went to Stroud’s for chicken. We were pleasantly surprised to find it was a nice sit down type of restaurant. While I was talking to the hostess about getting a table, I noticed that they sold t-shirts with their logo on the front and their motto on the back.
The shirt was just too funny not to get one, even if it wasn’t in Rich’s size. Next trip, we need make sure they have one he can wear to express his gratitude for their expert touch with chicken.
It was a slow and rainy Sunday. We got up late and headed out to breakfast. Rich was planning on eating chicken at Stroud’s so breakfast was supposed to be light. We tried to find Daylight Donuts, but apparently they had closed up shop for good. We settled for breakfast sandwiches at Hardee’s.
From there, we headed to downtown Independence to find some of the local museums. This is Harry Truman country and the signs all around town show it. At first, I thought they were Charlie Chaplin. I didn’t know that Harry carried a cane. We decided on the National Trails Museum. All of the major trails leading out west had their beginning points in this area. Where they started depended upon where the riverboats set the travelers off.
I knew the Santa Fe trail started here. I was surprised to find out that all of the other did as well. So in the 1800s and you were traveling west, you got your supplies in the Kansas City area and began your journey. This includes the California trails, Oregon trail, and Mormon trail. Even Lewis and Clark came this way on their way out west to explore.
But first, the museum didn’t open until 12:30. It was 10:45 at the moment. We decided to look up where Stroud’s Restaurant was located. They actually opened at 11:00 for Sunday dinner. Even though we had just had breakfast an hour ago, we decided to go there and see if we could get in and have an early lunch.
We headed out following the directions on the GPS. We arrived at this place that sat on a small side road to the highway. Pretty tight getting in with the truck. People were already standing all over the yard. How good was this place? Rich dropped me off and went to park. I figured I could get our names on the list for a table.
I walked in behind someone with a crowd of 10. I was pretty sure it was going to be a while to get a table. The lady informed me that she just had a table for 2 open up and to let her know when Rich came in. It took him a few minutes, but we were seated right away.
We got seated and drinks were served. We chose our chicken meals from the menu. Now to wait. Steve Stuart at work had told Rich about this place. He said it was not to be missed. The chicken was awesome. Pretty quickly, the chicken came out. Everything is served family style so there were bowls and platters all over the place. Now being the Southern I like to claim, I got chicken livers. Rich went for dark meat chicken. We ate until it came out our ears. Then the waitress brought out the most awesome cinnamon rolls. There were actually like cinnamon cakes rolled in brown sugar. I couldn’t stop.
With dinner over, we wondered the grounds a little bit looking at the gardens, the lake, and some the cute buildings. Now it was really time to get back to our day as tourists.
The National Trails Museum was open. It was small, but contains a lot of information. We watched a video on the trails and their orgins. The first exhibit covered Lewis and Clark in the area. Then it went on to the major trails. There were diary comments, items from each trail, and stories. I learned a few more things I didn’t know. We walked around looking at exhibits, reading diary entries, and just learning more about the push west.
After the museum, we talked about our next move. There was the Harry Truman home and library in town. Rich decided he just wasn’t a Presidential type of guy. I remembered that one of the neighboring towns had a Civil War battlefield. We decided to check this out. So we drove out to Lexington. The town was tiny. I just didn’t see what there was to fight over. But it was the gateway to Kansas City and the way west.
We stopped at the Anderson House site first. No much to see. Then we drove up to the top of the hill to the battlefield itself. This is called the Battlefield of the Hemp Bale. The Confederate guard of the town had the task of keeping the Union forces out of Lexington and to keep them from moving further west. Unfortunately, it was a small garrison. They stacked hemp bales at the bottom of the hill overlooking the river. Once they ran out of ammunition, they resorted to setting the hemp bales on fire.
Even this didn’t help them. They ended up surrending to the Union. Five soldiers were buried at the top of the hill. There is a marker there commerorating the event and their loss. We walked around the path that takes you through the field and around the top of the hill. You can still see the outline of the fortications at the top of the hill. The view to the Missouri River is pretty much obscured by trees. At that time, they could see the river from this location.
By this time, it was warm and steamy. The rains as held off and the temperature was getting up into the mid 80s. We headed back into town. As I drove the country road, a police officer fell in behind me from one of the roads. I was nervous, even though I hadn’t done anything to make him think I needed to be pulled over. It’s just that you never drive quite normal on an unfamiliar road.
As I went through a set of curves, we went by a car down in the ditch. The driver’s door was open and the airbags were blown. Yep, I bet someone didn’t make it through that curve last night. The officer stopped to investigate. That left me free to get back to town.
So being in the Kansas City area, Rich just had to try the BBQ. There was a local place just down from the hotel. I had seen pretty good reviews, but Rich saw one bad one. He just wasn’t sure about trying it. It was getting late, so he decided it was the place. We walked in and it smelled wonderful. He ordered pulled pork and a rib sampler. It was good. I like KC BBQ and they did a nice job.
Now it was time to go back and get ready for the evening. We were headed to The Trouser Mouse Bar and Grill for the Trampled Under Foot listening party. Doors opened at 6:00 and the listening was scheduled for 7:00 with the band taking the stage at 8:30. We got their about quarter after 6:00. A few cars were already there. There was a car from Ohio and even another car from Illinois. So we weren’t going to take the prize for furthest drive.
At the door, we gave them Rich’s name and luckily, we were on the list. I told the guy at the door where we had come from. He smiled and said there were people from all over coming in for the party today. It looked like maybe 100 people on the list.
We found a table and ordered up drinks. I saw Nick, Kris and Danielle circulating through the crowd. We had eaten so much over the course of the day, there was no way I had room to eat here. Pretty soon, a guy named Ryan introduced himself, the bar, and started the CD. We all sat and listened. It was very cool to be among the first to hear it. And the music was awesome. Rich felt vindicated. He had written to tell them to put, “It’s a Man’s World” on their next CD and they did. Danielle was in wonderful voice for that track.
After listening to the CD, Trampled Under Foot (TuF to their fans) took the stage. Danielle explained that they would’t be playing from the CD, but wanted to cover other things they had done. They played songs their long-time fans in the area knew. At one point, Danielle came back to the stage with a lighter and announced that it was the owner’s birthday and they even had a cake for her. We sang “Happy Birthday” to Angel.
At the end of the set, the crowd was calling for one last song. And the band came back to do a Led Zeppelin song. TuF started out as a Led Zeppelin cover band as they were getting started on their way to blues. It paid the bills. However, they do such a great job with the covers, I can see why they were so popular.
Then the night was over. We made our way back to the hotel to crash for the night. It was definitely worth the drive to see my favorite blues band in their hometown atmosphere. The venue was small as was the crowd. What a great way to see a great band. Long live TuF. Get out there and buy a CD after July 9. You’ll love it.
Today was our long weekend to Kansas City. We slept in to start. I know, 6:30 isn’t sleeping in, but I went back to bed after pulling Sascha back into the house. She was giving me that middle claw thing, but I wasn’t going to worry about whatever she was barking about. In she came, but she wasn’t going to be happy about it.
I got to sleep in until 8:30 when Rich got up. Oh for just a few more minutes in bed. But no, we needed to get moving so we could get on the road for Kansas City. I hadn’t even packed yet! We got moving. Kissed Rick and Sascha good-bye. She was excited to find out she was going to the kennel or to her crate.
We stopped off for breakfast up in town. I think Sandy and some of the staff were surprised to see us without Rick. Do I really have him with me that often? Yeah, I guess I do. One day, it’ll strictly be Rich and I. That’ll probably come too soon though.
We hit the road finally. We headed out to Iowa. Our first big stop would be in Des Moines at our favorite BBQ place. We found this place a few years ago on our way out west for vacation. Now I look for reasons to be in Des Moines during a meal time. Cactus Bob’s BBQ Corral is a great place. The food is really, really good. I’ve been getting the pork sandwich. Rich has tried several of the meals. We haven’t had a bad thing yet. They have the most awesome pickles. Rich has been trying to recreate them. They are sweet, dilly, and spicy all at the same time. Just the thing to go with BBQ.
After getting our fill, we headed back out on the road and took the turn to Kansas City. Wouldn’t you know it? A storm was tracking across Kansas and beginning to cover the entire state of Missouri from Kansas City to St. Louis. We hit some pretty good rain. Luckily, we just coming around the backside of the storm. It wasn’t going to really affect our drive.
We were headed to the eastside of Kansas City, MO to Blue Springs. My favorite blues band, Trampled Under Foot, is holding a release party for their next album. They had worked hard this year to run a Kickstarter program to finance the album themselves and not have to use a label. Rich contributed enough to get an invitation to this little party for me. I’m so excited!
So on Sunday afternoon, we are meeting up at the Trouser Mouse in Blue Springs to listen to the album and watch the band perform live. I believe the party is for the 150 or so people who contributed a minimum amount in the Kickstarter for helping them to the album done.
Kansas City, you ask? Well, this is the band’s hometown. You always go home for the important things. I only found Trampled Under Foot, or the easier name of TUF, back in August when we attended the Cincinnati Blues Fest. They were awesome. They started out as a Led Zeppelin cover band as they were getting blues act in place. They do both so very well. Danielle has an awesome voice. Nick is one hell of a guitar player and widely recognized. Kris plays drums and keeps the whole thing kicking with a great beat.
Tonight, we arrived in town from the 8 hour drive. We went out for beers and food at Clancy’s Pub. It was a nice place with great music playing. We talked and just winding down. Tomorrow, we’ll grab breakfast and see some of the sites. There’s a lot of history in the area and that’s my favorite thing to see.
Then, tomorrow at 6:00 PM, we’ll show up at The Trouser Mouse to see my favorite band. The music will be kickin’ and we should have a great time.
More to come from our activities tomorrow. Good night.
Today, I played hooky from work. Well, kind of. I arranged to quit work a little early so I could go to the racetrack with my friends. It’s been a long and stressful few weeks. Karen, my shadow, had suggested that we schedule a day to go and watch the ponies. We did just that a couple of months ago.
At 2:00, we packed up and left the office. I had to get Rich’s keys to put my computer and stuff into his truck. Then I had to sneak back in to return his keys. All of this, I did without anyone stopping to ask me to do anything or to have a conversation with anyone. That in itself is a miracle.
Kim and Diane were running late. Karen and I found our way into the clubhouse and up to the luxury of an executive box seat. Kim had made the arrangements and purchased the tickets. We just had to show up. The box holds 7 people. We had 5, including Rick when he got off of work. That meant we were sharing the box 2 unknown people. Wonder what they would think of us.
The usher showed us to our box. We had to make our way through a crowd of people standing on the stairs. There was an office party in progress. That’s a nice way to spend an afternoon with your co-workers. There was a couple already seated in our box. Time to meet the betting competition.
Bruce and Michelle were Kiwis on a train tour of the U.S. It’s hard for me to tell an Australian accent from a New Zealand accent. Believe me, there are differences. I warned them that the box would be full of chicks out for an afternoon. I assured Bruce that Rick would be coming out and he wouldn’t have to suffer alone.
Kim and Diane arrived as the first race was getting under way. Karen had made her bet on the way. I was waiting the read the program. We were off to a good start. No one won on the first race. Rick arrived before the next race. We headed up to the window to make our bets. You only had to be 18 to bet. That meant that Rick could spend his own money.
Emilia was our server. We kept her busy with drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. We did appetizers to cover the table and share. Surprisingly, we did very well on drink and food. Kim and Diane decided to have sandwiches, but I wasn’t particularly hungry.
We continue to work our way through the racing program for each race. I won only one race. Kim won a couple. I think Diane and Karen won, but don’t quote me on that. Bruce and Michelle were doing very well. It was fun to make the bets and wonder around admiring the horses in the paddock and on the track.
The names of horses are amazing. We betting some of our choices based on names alone. I wanted to bet on Rosie’s Wild Tale, but it scratched. There was Richielillady, but it scratched also. Rick bet on Stig’s Deputy, but didn’t win. Most of us bet on Virginia’s Joy in one race, but we didn’t win. Now we did bet on Pirate’s Vow, and did win. One out of how many? See a pattern for us. Winning isn’t everything.
We held conversations with Michelle on their trip from LA to Chicago to Niagara Falls to NY to DC to the Big Easy, then Vegas and to LA again. Sounded like fun. They were enjoying themselves with many side trips, like this one to the track. Turns out, they own a horse that does steeple chases. They knew a lot about horses as well.
Finally, it was winding down to the last couple of races. Bruce and Michelle left to catch the train back into the city. I pulled Rick away to take me home. I still needed to pack for my Kansas City trip. Karen followed us out. All in all, it was a pretty good day. I laughed with friends, met new people and watched one of my favorite sports.
Yeah, Rick made the observation that this was our second set of touring Kiwis in a year. We met the Mustang touring Kiwis last year at the Salt Flats. Wow, both encountered involved horses. There must be something to that.