Tuesday, July 29, 2008


It's finished.

At least the moving of the worldly goods, that is.

This evening marks a milestone: All of our stuff is officially on the property of our new house. (New, meaning the structure itself is as old as Geoguy.) No more physical relocation. Now, just the arduous task of unpacking and organizing.

And for me, the first time I have truly felt at home since I left Chandler on (I think it was) March 18, 2008. No more temporary quarters, no more renting. Yahoo! (I ain't referring to the search engine, either.)

And Geodad, I tried e-mailing you pictures of the house, but for some reason your address keeps bouncing the e-mails right back.

Anyhow, I thought I would post tonight and at least keep the world abreast of my happenings. Since Geogal and I have been so busy and stressed out with the particulars of closing on the house and then vacating our rental, I haven't had much spare time to breathe, much less post here.

Did I mention the house was old? As in my age? 40 (cough)-something? Quite a change from our 10-year-old dwelling in Chandler. Lately it seems Geogal points out many of the little and medium-sized faults with this house. Sometimes I just want to tell her, "Geogal, you're not in Kansas anymore."

Oops, I think I got that just a little backwards.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Just too friggin' funny

And people wonder why the mainstream print media continue to lose market share.

I have to give Barry Young at KFYI a hat-tip for pointing out this piece on his show this morning.

Man, where do I start?

I listened to KNUV when it was still KMYL, first adult standards (didn't last), then rock oldies (nope), then a mixture of third-rate syndicated talk and local folks (don't tell me you thought that succeeded--otherwise they never would have gone Spanish). Their signal is poor, being on the AM dial is problematic to begin with, and having 45 (count them--45!) reporters means this station was probably bleeding red ink from the start.

But hey, why be the victim of a poor business plan when you can blame Sheriff Joe? And the white people? (How do you blame Arpaio for the failure of the sister station in Denver?)

And don't fall for this nonsense of the migrant worker community losing their "voice." Radio Campesina existed in Phoenix well before KNUV was ever birthed.

Just another example of how newspapers continue to forget their readership both has, and uses, their brains.

And as an aside (how's that for alliteration), who wants to place bets that 1190 goes totally brokered when and if they return to the air?

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Great State Race

We in the Geofamily like to travel.

Together with the traveling, Geogal and I have a friendly competition stretching back several years. "Who has been in more states?"

I'll get to the scorecard in a moment. First, 2008 is shaping up to be a banner year for interstate travel--for all of us.

Since January 1st, yours truly has set foot in Arizona (state of origin for the year), California (courtesy of a quick jaunt across the Colorado River to Blythe), New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska. Those last several were due to the big move from Chandler to northwest Kansas. For Geogal and little Geoana, the total is nearly the same, save for Geogal having traveled to Austin, Texas for a professional event. Since she took little Geoana with her, our child now has the distinction of being the family member in this household of being in the most states this year. She and I went into California back in March, and she was part of the aforementioned Texas trip. Not bad for a seven-year-old.

Add Utah to the state count. We went just through the southeastern corner, a total of less than 100 miles in the Land Of The Mormons, but state lines are state lines.

Since this is late July much of 2008 remains. Methinks I can predict we will total more states before the calendar becomes 2009. Missouri, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Iowa are easily within reach. Who knows what the remainder of the year holds, travel-wise?

OK, totals for the grownups. First, the ones where both of us lay claim: Arizona, New Mexico, California, Texas, Nevada, Oregon, Colorado, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, District of Columbia (yes, I know it's not a state, but this is my blog--get your own, you nerds!), Alaska, and Hawaii.

The lady goes next. Geogal's personal notches include: Illinois, Georgia, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Maine. Total of 20. (Why all the New England states? She had a summer job in New Hampshire one of her college summers.) And no, I wasn't being careless, Geogal just told me she never did make it to Rhode Island.

And me? Since my family lived on the eastern seaboard at one time I can count: Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, and West Virginia. Courtesy of traveling to visit relatives and moving across the country I also set foot in: Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. Those last few I really don't remember (I was little and rather out-of-it). So for me--26.

Throw down! We're not done yet.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Enjoying the quiet hour

In the Geohouse that time is early morning.

I'm the only morning person in this domicile. Geogal and little Geoana would probably sleep until noon if they could. So since it is summer vacation and Geogal no longer works, they enjoy being in the arms of Morpheus pert near every morning since they arrived in Kansas.

My temperment is of the phlegmatic type, which means I cherish peace above nearly all else. Very true. Now if I could just find a way to keep the peace throughout the course of a day.

That's impossible. I know it. But it doesn't mean I can't keep trying to decrease my stress level and reach for a more healthy (mentally and physically) way to live. Now that I think about it, I've already started.

How? I am giving myself something of a media holiday. Definition? Stay away from news. Eschew the political talk shows and blogs for the time being. (And right now makes a fair amount of sense. We are currently in what people in the news biz would call a "slow news cycle." Very common for the summer months.) I could keep up with all current events, read commentary, listen to talk radio, the list goes on.

But why? All of the above only increases my stress level and I am still in the process of learning to decrease my worrying. And isn't it to my benefit to think for myself? To know where my true priorities lie? To engage in recreational reading (i.e. fiction)? To peruse blogs that are similar in in nature to this one?

So for the next several weeks, no news. No newspapers beyond reading our local twice-weekly publication. I'm even eliminating sports talk from my listening habit. As much as I enjoy Sirius Satellite Radio and their NFL channel, I get tired of All-Brett-Favre-All-The-Time.

Will I miss out on certain news items? Yes. Will it have a negative effect on me to not be aware of those things? No.

How about if I just pay attention to my own tasks and keep my own household in order?

What a philosophy! Mind my own business.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Fun times ahead

Fun for me, maybe not for anyone else.

Since I won't get any type of summer vacation this year, my enjoyment has to come from elsewhere.

If you read the profile for yours truly you know that I live in Northwest Kansas. It's a land of nice people, wide open spaces, lots of wind, and wheatfields alternating with cornfields.

And right here is a challenge perfectly suited for a nerd such as me. Although we subscribe to DirecTV and will continue to do so, I want to see which distant terrestrial TV stations I can pull in using a rooftop antenna.

And I want a good antenna, too. Not one of these cheapies that you find at Home Depot or Wal-Mart. Suffice to say I am learning much courtesy of the Internet. Brand names like Terk and Winegard are now part of my vernacular. Choosing between analog and digital rotators is making me salivate. As soon as we formally procure this house we've chosen I'll be taking inventory of the outside, trying to determine which location would be best for antenna placement.

(Who am I kidding? I've already done that and we don't even own the place yet. Don't worry--it's empty and some of the neighbors already know I am the buyer.)

So between getting the equipment and putting it all together I should be in for a fun rest-of-the-summer. I can't wait to see what's out there on the airwaves. And since the analog broadcasts will end come February now is as good a time as ever.

And digital? Before I came out here I bought a small TV with a built-in digital tuner. Wonder if I can pick up the multiplexed signal of the nearby Nebraska Educational TV station? Or how well the VHF (channel 12) digital broadcast from KSNK will look?

Beyond those two stations, it's anyone's guess. And I'm hoping to find out.

That leads into the next question: Why am I doing this now? I've been a homeowner for 12 years. But you have to understand that in Arizona, there's not much challenge in trying to pull in nearby stations. There just aren't a whole lot. Outside of the Phoenix and Tucson markets there exists only a plethora of low-powered translators and a quagmire of equally low-wattage UHF channels that exist only for the purpose of home shopping and selling ringtones.

It's a different game out here. This area is technically in the Wichita market, although the suits in south-central Kansas couldn't care less about what happens out here. We also are on the edge of the Kearney-Grand Island-Hastings market (I made that up as said market does not exist. Ask the FCC, 'cause I sure don't understand their reasoning.) So, there are full-power VHF and a few UHF channels for the taking, and seeing the purple colored region on the coverage map available through TV Fool just makes the challenge even more interesting. And fun for me.

I promise I won't fall off the ladder. Cross my heart.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

General update

Since this blog is largely read by family, I have no qualms about sharing our latest goings-on for this post.

We finally have secured permanent housing. That is no small feat considering both Geogal and I are still acclimating to how business is done in a small town. Even finding a place to rent is challenging, and when you don't know most of the locals you can easily miss out on property opportunities.

Combine that with the fact that there are no real "comps" to be pulled from the various neighborhoods and real estate quickly becomes more of a game of chance than anything else. I know I can't be as anonymous online as I was in Arizona (more on that in a future post), but some folks in these parts want way too much for their properties. And unlike the urban areas, said individuals are willing to wait until someone gives them their asking price.

Having said all that, I actually enjoyed the process somewhat. Over the past few months I've gotten to know people I would not otherwise have met. And the learning that went along with this entire home-buying experience was valuable.

Not to mention the fact that this is the most inexpensive house Geogal and I have ever purchased. Despite the price, we think the house is sound and has great potential. We're happy and our friends are relieved.

The physical moving is still ahead but we'll handle that as it comes. (And after all, it's only a few blocks from where we live now. Plus most of our stuff is still in boxes.)

Now, is it time to make my family and friends insanely jealous? Dare I mention that yesterday morning as I prepared to mow the lawn, it was about 65 degrees with nice cloud cover and a cool breeze? And low humidity? Me likeeeee!

Never mind posting comments here. I can already hear the responses of the Arizona and Texas kinfolk: "Just wait until winter!"

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Traffic jam, small-town style

The grain elevators are busy. So are trucks, railroad cars, and many of the townspeople.

It's harvest. And given the absence of hail for the past few weeks, the takings ought to be good.

But in the meantime the nonstop cadre of farm trucks making their trips to and from the grain elevators makes for some interesting gridlock. Such as the one I witnessed when I made my afternoon constitutional to the grocery store adjacent to the building in which I work.

18-wheelers, made to haul grain, about six or seven deep, waiting their turn at the elevator. The smell of diesel smoke was nearly intoxicating. Regular cars either snaking through or just avoiding the intersection altogether.

Keeps things interesting in this small town.


Life's not all bad. Case in point--the new Thin Mint Blizzard. (Yes, real Thin Mints, courtesy of the Girl Scouts.)

Odds are good that I have one before this coming weekend is over.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Just Toying Around

Yes, I'm re-doing the look of this site. I've been thinking about it for some time, and when I found a widget I wanted to add I realized some redesign was in order.

I will add more of my personal pictures and such as time goes on but at least I have a start.

Did I mention Geogal is planning to start her own blog? I'll let her give you wonderful readers the details.


Today is a heck of a lazy Saturday. Honestly, yesterday was the start of the weekend, what with the Independence Day holiday and all. Speaking of which, we went (along with most of the town) to the fireworks show at the lake. Awesome! A good time was had by all! (Insert additional cliche here.) It's been years since I've seen a really good explosive sky display and I wasn't disappointed by last night's outing.


I feel almost guilty about being lazy today. Yet just a few minutes ago I realized I need this cycle of rest as I do work a full-time job that is demanding in its own way. Add to the work responsibilities the reality of house-hunting and helping Geogal adjust to life in the Sunflower State and no wonder I felt exhausted the last several days.

Don't start the violins playing, though. I do have my recreational interests plus my guilty pleasures. The latter list includes "Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D List," as well as seeing how much trivia I can learn by reading articles on Wikipedia (never mind that a fair amount of them have inaccuracies). These things will at least keep me from getting cabin fever until I have a house of my own to occupy my time.

More on that during the coming week.