Monday, October 30, 2017

Hallow's Eve

Among other casualties of the extremely dry summer were the pumpkins this year. Back when I raised pumpkins for a living, the last year I raised them was also a drought year and coincidentally, the only year I lost money in all the years that I raised them. Unlike back then, there are more varieties that are more drought resistant than others and so my parents planted some of those along with the regular ones. Of all the pumpkins they planted, we had exactly four that were salvageable and all four were of a super big squash variety. The two we didn't carve were about 100 pounds bigger than these too. These were the runts of the litter and the one on the right was too malformed to even stand up on end.

This year, my youngest really got into the jack o'lantern making experience and besides pulling out all the guts of the pumpkin (the first time for that) she came up with her own design. Hers is the one on the right and she was quite pleased with how "scary" it looks.

My oldest, spent a half hour drawing various designs all over her pumpkin trying to achieve scary but in the end, thinks her pumpkin look only cute. I enjoyed watching them work and I did my part by cutting out the various parts to the best of my ability. One advantage to working off a variety of squash, the skin was quite soft compared to the standard pumpkin flesh which made carving a bit easier.

Tomorrow is trick or treat and both girls are excited to go out and get candy. The youngest is dressed up as Princess Lea and is super cute. She has already gained much attention with her costume including prominently displayed in our local newspaper after winning a costume contest. The other one is dressed as Rey from the latest Star Wars episode and whom I think we will find out this Christmas is the daughter of Luke Skywalker. My wife and I attended a costume party earlier and I went as Willy Wonka (the Wilder one and not the Depp one which I didn't even know existed until mentioned to me) and my wife went as one of my Oompa Loompas.

Happy Halloween to everyone!

Friday, October 27, 2017

A Day of Celebration

The day before I went down to the farm to help with soybean harvest, my mom finished taking her last pill of a year long chemotherapy treatment. Other than occasional MRI checkups now and then, we hope that her experience with brain cancer is over with. We celebrated with some hugs.

My mom has always been an active and healthy individual. She has taken care of herself all these years. So it was kind of a kick in the pants to have to swallow poisonous pills because that option is better than the other option which was basically death. Those pills were taken for five days straight with 28 days off in-between the next round, continuously for a year. The start of every five days of swallowing poison would be uneventful but by the end of the five days, my mom would be reduced to sleeping all day on the living room couch, something very hard for me to witness. However, two days after she finished that round, she would be back up again and another day or two later would be "normal" again until the next round began.

I don't know what her future will be. I try to remain balanced with what science says and what my hopes and prayers want. Science says that there is still another three and three quarter years left of life on average (and by average in the cancer industry, they mean that 50% of the people are still alive). The majority of experiences seem to say that once it comes back the second time, days are numbered. Only a rare few are able to beat it back a second time. Yet I read about numerous other cases where other people are still alive and kicking 15 years after their initial diagnosis.

So I try to focus on the positives and pray that my mom is one of those that gets 15 years or even better, dies of old age naturally. I watched a movie the other night called "A Monster Calls" about a young boy dealing with his mother dying from cancer. Although I am four decades older, I still can feel a lot of what he is going through and it rubbed my emotions raw many times.

I savor our time together.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Harvest Time

This year I haven't been able to help my parents bring in the crops as often as I would like. Most of that is because I am not needed compared to last year where my mom was finishing up radiation at this time. I also have a preschool child that needs a ride to and from preschool every weekday. But I finally made it out one sunny and very windy Saturday to help with soybean harvest already in progress.

This year was a weird one. Not only was it deathly dry all summer long, but now that the weather is back to normal patterns, the soybeans still have green stems and lots of leaves while the beans themselves are dry. They are also very short due to the drought. All this combines into making them hard to harvest. Fortunately, my parents farm is a tier of counties south of where I live so they got a few more rains (still considered to be in a moderate drought versus the extreme drought classification where I live) than us so their soybeans are better than those near me. The yield is about half of what it was last year which was a bumper crop. I would classify this just bordering the poor range for yield.

Last year I ran the catch wagon so that the combine never has to stop which makes harvest a bit faster. However that requires a bit of a learning curve every year and since I wasn't working everyday, I let the hired hand who had been running it continue to do so while I hauled the soybeans to the farm and augered them into a grain bin. The tractor in this picture was the one I completely rewired to a 12V system last fall/winter and blogged about quite a bit. We call it Ol' Dave after the person who owned it before us. (That person died in a tragic accident and his young daughters sold it to us along with part of his farm.)

Back in my youth, we had fixed augers which meant one had to pull up to the auger just right and know how to back up wagons with ease. These days my parents have augers with articulating joints that swing out under the wagon which means I just have to get close and rarely have to do any backing. For the most part, it isn't a very hard job but I say that as someone who has been doing it off and on for four decades.

Every once in awhile I make a trip up to the top of the bin to make sure the grain spreader is spreading the grain evenly throughout the bin and to see how full the bin was getting. When I took this picture, this was the last wagon I would be able to fit in this grain bin and all the others for the day were stored in another one. I enjoyed my day and hope to get another couple more in before the end of harvest.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Ignorance Must Be Bliss

While waiting to pick up my mother-in-law from a hair appointment, my youngest and I swung into a nearby ice cream shop for a treat. It is a local institution that has been around since before I was born and thus it doesn't have such modern amenities as a big parking lot. The parking lot has parking perpendicular to the building on one side and about a lane and a half of room on the other half for cars to enter and exit parking spots. On the far side just off the parking lot are a row of tables and benches to enjoy your ice cream before driving home. I tell you this to set up the story I will now relay to you.

A beat-up minivan that has obviously been in several fairly violent collisions, to the point that the rear hatch had a padlock screwed to it to keep it closed and prevent people from stealing the van, pulled into the parking lot and parked about three feet from the row of benches where my daughter and I were consuming our ice cream. I thought the occupants were going to get ice cream and leave right away and thus the reason for their laziness of not walking the extra ten feet had they parked in a parking spot. However, after getting their ice cream they sat in their van and leisurely ate it.

Other cars came and went having to squeeze between their van and the row of parked cars or wait until a car squeezed by so they could squeeze by heading in the other direction. My vehicle was essentially blocked in by this minivan because I didn't think there was enough space to back out and get it turned in any direction without hitting the cars parked on either side of me or the minivan parked about ten feet behind my car. So we waited, and we waited, and we waited.

The occupants of the minivan, a man and woman in their upper 50's rolled down their windows and the man stuck his feet out the passenger side window. They were there for the long haul evidently. My vehicle has a backup camera so I figured that I might just be able to squeeze back and if I jockeyed it back and forth, I might escape. So we got in the vehicle and started slowly backing up.

Now modern backup cameras are quite good and even have several reference lines on them to tell the driver just how close you really are to something. Mine has a red line letting me know when I am within a foot of something though the resolution is good enough I could get within an inch and stop without touching. I was about half way out of my parking space when the lady sitting in the minivan started honking. I was probably at that point five feet away from her bumper. I stopped, raised my hand acknowledging that I knew she was there and proceeded to back up further. She kept on repeatedly honking. I still had a couple more feet to go. I paused and then very slowly kept backing up and then she just laid on her horn in one continuous beep.

At this point I was getting quite hot around the collar as she kept up her honking and everyone else in the parking lot turned around to see what was going on. I got within about six inches of her bumper and pulled forward until I couldn't go any further towards the car parked next to me. I backed up again cranking the wheel and again earned another continuous beep. I pulled forward a second time and still couldn't quite make it out, I backed up for a third continuous beep. Finally I was able to clear the car parked next to me and the minivan blocking the other lane in the parking lot. Since I was now heading the wrong way, I turned around and drove right by the lady in the minivan.

I rolled down my window.

"Ma'am, thanks for your honking but I have a rear-view camera in my car and knew how close I was without your blaring it at me. Perhaps if you had parked in a parking spot like every other person did, this whole thing could have been avoided."

She replied, "Kiss my ass."

It is times like this I wonder what the world is coming too.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Run Forrest Run!

My home county was having their annual fall celebration recently where all the little towns and villages get together and throw a party of sorts. There is some entertainment but mostly it is just a bunch of vendors selling junk and trinkets and places open up that are normally closed. I've been attending this event since its former incarnation thirty plus years ago as a craft festival where people came from far and wide to sell their homemade wares, in my case pumpkins and gourds. This year, we opted to do something a bit different and began our day as a family in the 10k/5k fun walk event. My wife was wanting to attempt running 10k for the first time, my dad wasn't sure he could still run 10k after all these years and my oldest daughter wanted to run her second 5k. I opted for walking on the fun walk since the run was on pavement and I wasn't sure my knees would hold out.

There were only about thirty people entered in all the races/walks and everyone took off as one. I opted to really push myself walking and averaged around 13.5 minutes per mile for the two mile fun walk. When I finished, the first of the 3k runners were already back. I chatted with my mom for awhile waiting for my oldest daughter to finish. However, one of the 3k runners that I had actually passed walking finally came walking back and I knew something was wrong. So my mom and I set off down the course looking for her. I got back to the one mile walk turn around which was only a half mile from the 3k turn around and still no sight of my daughter. I suspected that she had missed her turn around and was now running the 10k route and instead of encouragement, she might need a lift, so for the second time, while my mom continued on, I returned back to the start/finish line (having done the 2 mile fun run twice) and got in our car and drove down the route. (We are low key here, the road that the run/walk was on never was shut down to traffic.) I finally found my daughter, with my wife, about a mile from the finish line. My daughter had indeed gotten confused and ended up running to the 10k turnaround and wanted to finish the race. I picked up my mom and we returned to the finish line to inform the judges to what happened and wait for them to arrive. They did a short while later.

Although my daughter was signed up for a 5k, the judges scored her for the 10k and as a result, she won first place in the female under 14 category of which she was the only one entered. Lots of people came up to congratulate her accomplishment and I couldn't help think of the football scene in the movie Forrest Gump. My dad, scored first place in the male 65 and older category of which he was the only one entered. My wife finished her first 10k run and though she didn't get a medal, she finished and that was enough for her. We celebrated by driving on into town for lunch and then some of of walked the trinket stands while others headed for the farm where we all met up later for a visit before calling it a day.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Nuclear Option

After pouring the concrete "ground squirrel barrier" mentioned in my last post, I sat outside waiting for the concrete to dry which I can attest is half as fun as watching its quicker cousin paint dry. With no sign of the squirrel, I went into the garage just a few feet away and did some work. I peeked out an hour later to see the squirrel digging away at my freshly poured concrete. He saw me and dove into the drainpipe and disappeared. I grabbed the nearby garden hose and poured many gallons of water in after him. I smoothed the marks out of the concrete and put a spray nozzle on the hose and sat outside some more waiting for him to come back. He did and I hit him with a stream of accelerated water throwing him backwards several feet before he secured his footing and scampered away. Surely that would keep him away for the rest of the day.

An hour later he was back digging at the concrete which had set enough that he wasn't making progress but just marring the finish. I sprayed at him but didn't score a direct hit this time. I loaded up Amazon on my smart phone and bought a nuke in the form of a pump action pellet handgun. I think the ground squirrel sensed he had crossed the line because the next day, I didn't see any signs of him. The following day, thanks to my Prime account, my pellet gun arrived and still no sign of him. The third day however, was a day that would change both of our lives.

As our oldest got on the bus, I saw fresh digging in front of my concrete plug. He hadn't made any progress forward but the hole was about eight inches deep. I filled in in and got the pellet gun out. I threw a pop can out about 20 feet, took aim and fired. The pop can flipped across the lawn so I figured my aim might be good enough for a ground squirrel about half that size if I took careful aim. I put out a lawn chair about 10 feet from the former hole (the squirrel had been letting me get that close in the past before taking off), sat down and waited... and waited... and waited. The squirrel wasn't anywhere. So I went inside to take care of some desk work and an hour later came back out. The hole had been cleared back out down to a depth of a foot. Flames of hatred shot from my eyes and ears.

Worried that I might not be able to hit something so small and knowing the squirrel was onto me, I made a cardboard box target and loaded a pellet. With careful aim, I hit it about a half inch from the center at 20 feet out. I put the box away and hid behind my car 20 feet away from the hole (I had filled in yet again) and waited... and waited... and waited. Still no squirrel. I got up and walked around the house and then down to the ditch at the bottom of the hill when I finally found him. He was sitting on a large brush pile of all the sticks I pick up out of our lawn. He was up on top where he could no doubt have seen me in my chair and hiding behind my car. I slowly eased up to him but at 20 feet, he started getting nervous so I stopped.

I pulled the pellet gun out of my jacket, took careful aim and squeezed the trigger. The ground squirrel flipped up in the air a bit and then raced into the brush pile. Not sure if I hit him or just scared him and not wanting to leave him wounded, I dug around but never found him. The brush pile is really large so it was kind of like looking for a needle in the haystack anyway. I put the gun back in the garage, set up a mole trap over his former hole just in case and called it a day. I haven't seen him since and it has been over a week now. I hope I missed and he moved on. If not, he will get a cremation here shortly when I burn my pile of sticks.

Monday, October 16, 2017


One of the things I dislike about modern social media is you don't often hear about failures. Everyone writes posts about the things that went right and neglect to post about the ones that were complete failures, like my last attempt to curtail the ground squirrel from digging under my driveway.

Actually in all honesty, he hadn't yet gotten underneath my previous barrier and back underneath my driveway but it was only a matter of time judging by the new pile of gravel thrown out in my yard a few mornings back. Due to the lay of the land, he had discovered that if he came in from the left side of the above picture and squeeze in between the drain pipe and my previous concrete plug, he could bypass my effort to stop him with a little more effort on his part.

I discovered his handiwork on our way to a concert and as I was backing out of the garage, the little devil had the balls to stand up on top of my previous concrete plug and give me the eyeball. I gave him the evil eye right back for a minute until the other occupants in the vehicle urged me to progress towards the concert.

This time around, I dug a foot deeper all around my previous plug and mixed up and poured four bags of concrete versus the single one I poured before. In the process, I noticed a hole next to every single raspberry plant in our bed along that side of the house and by probing with a spade, discovered massive burrows more than 24 inches deep underneath every one. I stirred up the soil with my spade, compressed them with my foot and filled them in. I had wanted to put river rock instead of mulch in those beds back when we created them but gave in to my other half who wanted mulch. Since the raspberry bushes have mostly been destroyed, I'm going to try and bring that issue to a vote again soon in hopes of eliminating this problem once and for all.

I've also been doing some research on a pellet gun if the problem persists.

Friday, October 13, 2017


Although I don't collect antiques per se, I am fascinated by them. The two that have fascinated me the most are antique roll top desks and apothecary chests. The latter fascinates me having all these small drawers at which to tuck thinks into for storage. The former because I just like a desk with everything handy and a top which slides down to provide security and hide everything from view when not in use. I have a set of plans to build a roll top desk someday but I really don't have a place to put one so for now, it rests in a filing cabinet. However, a couple months ago I came upon plans for a small apothecary chest. It wasn't as big as I would have liked but it was a nice tabletop size and it might be good to experiment on a small version before messing up a large version. So about a month ago, I bought the lumber at a local Amish run sawmill and began.

It was my first time to use cherry for a project. I like oak, mahogany, and walnut but just never had the opportunity to use cherry. I also wanted to try a couple different finishing techniques to see if I can improve upon what I consider the weakest part of my woodworking game.  Working with cherry turned out to be easy enough to do and I had no major problems. I did build the drawer bodies out of cheaper poplar wood which I had plenty of problems with using a router. It seemed extremely prone to chip out where ever the router left the piece no matter what I used to prevent it from happening. As a result, I cut about 25% more blanks than I needed and still had to cut some more later and even then ended up using some I wasn't happy with to get enough parts to build the drawers. Fortunately, I was able to put most of the defects facing down or back on the drawers where they aren't really seen.

For finish, I just used boiled linseed oil thinned down with paint thinner and applied with a rag. I absolutely loved that. It was super easy to apply and came out a nice rich color. Always before I have used various stains and varnishes but never seem to get the depth of color I'm looking for. This worked great. Lots of people use spray on shellacs/laquers for the shell coat on wood projects. I don't have a sprayer and have never really thought the rattle-can shellacs aged very nice. The paintable ones work well but I only have the option to buy one gallon at a time. I've used polyurethane in the past but struggle with it. It dries so slow that it sags and runs if you are not careful, dries a lot slower and requires sanding between coats. But when completed, it provides and extremely hard and durable coat which will last forever. So when debating what to use, I found a small can of wipe on polyurethane with much faster dry times.

I really loved using it. It dried quickly, at least when it wasn't humid outside, and since it was in such a thin layer due to application with a rag, it didn't tend to run and sag. Also, because it dried quicker, it didn't get as much dust mites in it which meant it was much easier to sand. I just hand sanded with some 220 grit between coats and after the final coat wet sanded with some 600 grit. I then buffed it with some paste wax I had lying around. I'm very pleased.

This is a project I've always wanted to do but don't have any plans for it really. I'm just going to set it on a small buffet sideboard table we have in our living room for now and let time tell me what to use it for. Right now I'm thinking about moving the batteries out of our kitchen junk drawer into it and maybe a few other odds and ends. If I can't find a use for it inside, then I can always move it back out to the garage and store nuts and bolts type stuff in it since I never have enough small containers for those sorts of things.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Fall Colors

I have always loved spring and fall and if you ask me my favorite, I'm sure I always reply according to which one arrives next. Currently my answer to that question is certainly fall. It is a period of beautiful sunny, dry, cool weather between the scorching dryness of summer and the frigid coldness of winter. It is a time of gathering in the crops that we (farmers) have nurtured all year long in hopes of enough to sustain us through next year. (Won't be the case this year which is why we save in times of good.) It is a time of family. All summer long we've been spread out with activities that are winding down and now we are approaching the season where we celebrate togetherness.

In that spirit, we loaded up the bicycles, laced on the tennis shoes and went for a bicycle ride/walk along the levee. My wife and oldest went for a bicycle ride. Since I don't ride so much these days, I don't enjoy the butt soreness that comes from lack of riding and I much prefer to walk, so I went for a brisk walk. My youngest rode her bicycle with training wills along side my mother-in-law who walks along too but at a much much slower pace. Everyone is happy.

The bridge on the right has been over three years in the repairing, for an initial summer long project. Due to high water, it took almost two years to resurface the top before it could finally open to traffic. They still had work to do on the piers below but high water last year prevented any work at all from being done. This year with the low water, they have been working on the piers starting on the side of the river I took this photo from and gradually working back to the other side removing their temporary access road as they go. They are down to their last few piers and then we can view upon the river without construction equipment in view, the first time in over three years.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Battle of Wills (Escalation of War)

No I am not referring to the leaders of North Korea and our Current Occupant. Rather I am referring to the war closer to home, in fact, right next to and underneath my home. It all started this summer when I noticed a few ground squirrels living in the rose garden in the back of our house. Though they were digging holes into the ground underneath them, they weren't hurting them so I adopted a live and let live policy. However during the recent picnic I discovered that one had evidently chewed through a perimeter drain tile that comes through a retaining wall that wings out from the house and was bring lots of clay out and piling on my lawn. My worry is that instead of water draining through the tile, it would now go through the dug holes next to the foundation and cause problems. I set some mole traps near the holes and eventually took care of the problem. Or so I thought.

I filled in those holes all around the rose garden and they haven't been dug out. Instead, another one has taken to digging out underneath where my concrete driveway meets the garage. Now it isn't as critical of an area but again, they were digging out copious amounts of gravel and dirt which leaves the driveway unsupported and eventually can break creating a pothole. I flooded the ground squirrel out with a water hose and filled the hole back in with gravel thinking he would move on. That didn't work. I set the mole traps again. He was smarter and dug around the sides of it. I filled it in and placed concrete bricks on top of the area. He dug under or around those. I did a better job of putting the bricks in and still the guy kept digging around them.

So I escalated the war and spent five bucks for a bag of concrete and after digging a huge hole so that I could shove as much of the gravel back underneath the slab, I plugged the entire area to a depth of a foot with concrete. I'm not sure what will happen next but if I had a smallish version of a nuclear bomb, I might do some test explosions to let him know I'm serious!

P.S. I had secretly hoped I had entombed the ground squirrel underneath my driveway but the next day when I went out to check if my plug of concrete worked, I saw the scene below. He is still around somewhere but as of a week after writing this, he isn't burrowed underneath my driveway and that was my goal.

Friday, October 6, 2017

More Clamps

With the toilet problem hopefully fixed for the time being, I went back to what I would rather be doing. Working on my project in the garage. I got the last of my drawer parts cut to size and all the details put on them and glued them up. I then put the bottom trim piece of the cabinet and clamped it up. See below. When the glue sets, I will have to glue and clamp the top trip piece on, attach the back panel and then sand everything. Once complete I will have to finish the project, attach hardware and it will be done.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Embracing the Throne

During our recent huge rain event, my mother-in-law told me that there was water in the bathroom. Since we had copious amounts of water falling, I took alarm and hustled down there but found not a drop of water. I figured it was some accidentally spilled water from the bathtub or something and promptly forgot about it.

A week later, she complained again that there was a leak somewhere and the rug surrounding the toilet was soaked. This time with a clue, I flushed the commode and instantly saw water pouring out from where it meets the floor. Sigh. I knew I had to spend quality time with my arms wrapped around a toilet and I really don't enjoy that position.

I checked the flange bolts and one was loose which briefly gave me hope that perhaps it would tighten down and solve that problem but a few wrench turns later I could see that it was pulling up through the plastic flange. Back when I remodeled that bathroom, the plastic flange that the toilet bolts to had been beat up but I had repaired it and the bolts had held when I tightened it. So now I knew I was going to have to pull the toilet at this point and replace/fix the flange again.

I shut the water off and disconnected the supply line only to discover that despite the valve being off, water was still trickling through. Those supply valves are extremely cheap and always do that with time so I wasn't surprised. I would be more surprised if one person made one that would last a lifetime but apparently nobody does that these days judging from the selection at hardware stores. So I quickly reconnected it to the toilet and headed to the hardware store.

I found a flange reinforcement ring made out of metal to fix what I suspected was the problem, got an extra thick wax ring, a new piece of crap supply valve and some concrete screws. Back home I turned off the water main and got the new supply valve in place so I could actually disconnect the supply from the toilet without water going everywhere. I pulled the toilet and saw the problem causing the leak. The flange had failed allowing the toilet to wiggle and over time the wax ring creating the seal had failed. So I drilled and screwed the reinforcement metal flange into the concrete floor, thankfully there was a concrete floor under this one, and soon had the toilet set in place again. However, there was no compressing wax down feeling so I lifted the toilet off again and saw that the extra thick wax ring lacked being thick enough by about a quarter of an inch.

Another trip to the store for a thin wax ring to stack on top and I was back in business. I set the toilet back on, this time feeling the wax compress creating a seal and started tightening the bolts. I have done this probably a dozen times in my life and I've always heard not to over tighten them or you could crack the porcelain. That is why they have plastic washers that cup and distort to give you an idea of when it is tight enough. For the first time, this didn't happen and I heard a loud pop just as I was giving it that last turn and a large chunk of the porcelain broke off. Crap.

Fortunately, the part that the bolt washer attaches to was still attached to the toilet so what broke off was largely cosmetic. I hooked up the supply line, another plastic piece of crap that I had bought earlier to the tank and turned on the water. It started dripping so I kept tightening until the plastic threads stripped and then water dribbled out at a faster clip. Fortunately the cheap supply valve worked when I turned it back off and made the third trip to town for a new supply line from a different store (and of much better quality I pleasantly discovered) and some epoxy to stick the broken piece of flange back together.

Back home, I successfully put the new supply line on and tested things. No leaks! I epoxied the broken piece of porcelain back on poking my finger so there was smears of blood everywhere as I hurried to smooth the epoxy before it dried. Finally I got everything fixed, the bleeding stopped and the blood wiped up.

I'm hoping that this will last for awhile but with the broken piece, I'm not holding my breath. Despite the epoxy, I know that at some point another piece of porcelain around the bolt this time might break off now that it has been compromised and this whole ordeal might repeat. However when that does, I will now have a working supply valve, supply line, reinforced metal flange and know that besides a new toilet I will need an extra thick was ring and a thin one as well. Now I have to go take a long hot shower to make me feel clean again after spending two thirds of a day hugging a toilet.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Fireball Run

It's not everyday you see a Maclaren in the poorest county of the state.

I've heard of the Cannonball Run and have seen the comedy movie of the same name but when I heard Fireball Run is coming to town, I honest didn't have any idea what it was about. As I soon found out, it is a television show by Amazon (didn't know they produced original programming either) filmed in real time and is about a cross country adventure to bring awareness to missing children.

I'm not sure how much of a heads up is given to towns along the way but I only found out through contacts within the city about two weeks before its arrival and saw the first advertisement for it about a week later. There was a push to pick up trash and spiff up the central park location where they were to meet and food trucks were allowed to park along the street to sell food.

Unfortunately for me, I was busy and couldn't make it until the last half hour of the scheduled two hour event so I probably missed some of the cars. I did see a Lamborghini but didn't get a picture because it was mobbed by people looking at it and frankly, I've seen a couple before during my travels. I hadn't seen a Maclaren (above picture) before nor have I seen the time machine from Back to the Future (below). The fellow driving it even had the long white hair of Doc Brown. All the other remaining teams still hanging around (40 teams total I was told) were driving rather ordinary vehicles covered in decals.

It was a nice distraction on my way to return library books for my oldest and to pick up parts for my next project which I was dreading. Next time.