A Mixed Mish-Mash of Miscellanea

You’ve got to hand it to me: Not only is the title of this post an example of reckless redundancy (all mish-mash’s are mix of miscellany) but it’s also an example of awful alliteration.

Anyway, I’m back from my third trip down to Iowa in the last month. My dad seems to have recovered fully from the aches and pains caused by his auto accident, but I’m still going down there to take him to his out-of-town appointments with his eye specialist, his cardiologist, and his oncologist since he’s not allowed to drive outside of his little town.

While in the town of Oelwein, I did a some more bike riding. Nothing was related to the monthly challenge though, except in the most inane way. I’ll start with a few pictures.

Iowa is one of the few states that I know of which still has huge rumble strips across an entire lane of highway to warn of an upcoming STOP sign. Usually there are three sets of those strips. It’s always fun to jar your brains while riding across the first set. By the time you regain your senses, it’s too late to avoid the second set. If you’re lucky enough to avoid the third set, you’ll probably end up in the gravel to the right.

Not too far further, I overcame the rattling in my skull well enough to read this this. Cool. I like how it explained that savannas are a type of prairie.

I backed away from the sign and, yes, I DID get a “feel” for that last .1% of Iowa’s native landscape.

When I got back to Oelwein, I made a point to visit one of the town’s water towers. Actually it was a re-visit. Here is a video of the first visit, which I recorded two weeks ago.

I thought about posting that video last month, but it didn’t relate to the Face Challenge. Today, I came up with an ingenious idea to use it in connection with the Food Challenge. The following video, filmed yesterday, will explain it all.

I’m sorry about the grossness of the Garceaus, but I’m not sorry about my interest in a nice industrial coating project eight years after I retired from that business. It’s pretty cool stuff, and the sandblasting & painting of a water tower (or factory or oil refinery) is not nearly as hazardous to the environment as it was 30 years ago. The Garceaus, however, are just as hazardous as they were back in the day.

Now I’m back in Minnesota, and it’s a good thing too. It seems the Cycle365 Food Challenge hasn’t seen much traffic in the last few days. I’m here to pump you up.

If this picture of The Feeshko’s angel food cake with strawberries and fresh whipped cream doesn’t pique your interest in food, I don’t know what will.

Maybe this picture of turkey vultures scavenging for food will inspire you to scavenge for food photos.

I’ll finish with pictures of the three grocery stores in MY Town. Grocery stores are where most Minnesotans buy their food.

This is my main food source. It has good chicken at a great price. I ride up here almost every day.

This is my secondary store. It has better seafood and nicer looking vegetables than Cub Foods.

When I’m feeling like I want healthy, organic food, I go to this place. They have the best certified free-trade coffee beans in MY Town. They also have great vinaigrettes and imported canned tomatoes.

I forgot about the WalMart grocery store. OOPS!

I only have two more pictures to show. They were some unusual cloud formations.


Also freaky

Hi. My name is Greg and I ride my bike a lot. That is to say, I ride my bike almost every day. I go on long rides and short rides. Sunny rides, cloudy rides, and rainy rides. I like commuting, errand-running, day-tripping, overnighting, and touring on my bike. I ride on city streets, highways, gravel, single track, and snow with equal enthusiasm. Sometimes I ride fast and sometimes I ride slow. I try to keep my feet on the pedals at stop lights and I do not dismount when I hop up on a curb. I have a roadie bike, a mountain bike and a touring bike. I try to accept any challenge a bike ride can throw at me without complaint. But I don't like bugs.

13 response to "A Mixed Mish-Mash of Miscellanea"

  1. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: August 14, 2021

    Interesting videos of the water tower, we sort of experienced similar when we made our regular run to Boswell, Indiana when their tower was being painted.(Boswell IS the hub of the Universe and is so stated on the water tower.)

    I remember the Red Owl food store in Grand Rapids, MN when we used to vacation near Marcell, MN. I see they are still around.

    As to the Garceaus — I have a photo of our waster water treatment plant I will post at some point. And yes that certainly is food related. 🙂

    Good man for looking after your dad!!

    • By: gregblood Posted: August 15, 2021

      I’m a big fan of the Red Owl logo. I still have a hat with that logo on it. Sad to say, there aren’t many Red Owl stores around anymore and I don’t think any of them are company owned. I think the only ones left are local franchises who got special permission to continue using the name.

  2. By: The Navigator Posted: August 14, 2021

    My heart goes out to you as you reach that really tough period of life looking after your dad. I’ve seen a lot of coworkers go through that phase and it seems very difficult. I’m glad you are retired though, as I witnessed how difficult it is to negotiate parental care crises on a lunch break. Glad you can take your bike with you on those trips, though. And oh yes, I do remember those wide rumble strips, but I think I always threaded the needle between the gravel shoulder and the strips.

    The strawberry dessert looks yummy and perfect for summer! You’ve got some good options for shopping, too – I love co-ops for bulk herbs, spices, lentils, etc. It’s funny you mention tinned tomatoes – over here it’s considered un-Australian to buy tinned tomatoes from overseas. The supermarkets all stock them and they tend to be cheaper than the locally produced ones but it’s frowned upon not to support local Aussie produce. (I’ll try to come up with a food post, soon – it is not really my friend at the moment, but I’ll see what I can do).

    • By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: August 15, 2021

      I was listening to ‘conversations’ on Radio National recently and those Italian tomatoes are picked with pretty much slave labour. That’s why they’re so cheap.

      • By: The Navigator Posted: August 15, 2021

        Ha – so no different to our tomatoes then. Fruit picking here is slave labour, too – I know, I’ve done it when I first moved to Oz. Anything piece rate is pure exploitation. When I went to pick blueberries, just to get out of Sydney for January when the place I worked closed down for holidays, I quickly realised you could not make any decent profit. After paying for transport, tent site at caravan park and a teeny bit of food, my profit for the day was about $30. Add in that you’ve got no workers comp if injured and no super payments…. no wonder they rely on foreign workers to exploit. I quickly realised it was much more profitable for me to just eat my way down the row – half in the bucket, half in my mouth – get a bunch of antioxidants for cheap and forget about trying to make any money! (Nectarines and peaches were similarly ridiculous when we lived in Tumut).

        • By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: August 15, 2021

          I picked apples and peaches in December, January after I finished school, hard work in the summer heat. The pay wasn’t too abysmal, 40 years ago. before the backpackers.

      • By: gregblood Posted: August 15, 2021

        Those imported canned tomatoes aren’t cheaper here; they’re more expensive than our national brands. Am I getting ripped off? I don’t think so, because the imported tomatoes taste so much better. In fact, for cooking purposes, those canned tomatoes are actually better than fresh, garden grown tomatoes. I can only assume Hunts and Del Monte employ even cheaper slave labor than the Italian brands.

        • By: The Navigator Posted: August 15, 2021

          Chef G is on to something. I saw an interview with one of the celebrity chefs over here once. They were talking about what he always kept in his pantry at home. He did say Italian tinned tomatoes of one particular brand as being the best. I don’t cook too much hot food here but do find that the crushed tomatoes have better flavour in a dish than the diced ones (if buying the Aussie brands). I do buy Italian passata to make lasagna for Nigel – it’s actually very hard to find an Aussie version.

    • By: gregblood Posted: August 15, 2021

      Right you are, The Feeshko is a collector (I call it “hoarder”) and the only way she MIGHT agree to living the van life is if the van was a full-sized Mayflower Moving Van.

      I am lucky to be retired so I can help my dad, but in another way, retirement is working against me. I have two brothers who could be helping too, but both of them still work. Since I’m the guy who “has nothing else to do” I’m the one who is taking him to his appointments. I’m not complaining though, we’ve had some good bonding time over the last month and a half. In the 20 years prior to the accident I only went down there three or four times a year. And the good news is that so far he’s generally pretty self-sufficient. All I’m needed for is the driving duties.

  3. By: NancyG Posted: August 15, 2021

    A new one for me — rumble strips across an entire lane. I have never seen that before. I have also never seen a water tower enclosed for painting. Learned a lot here. I have often wondered, and you most likely have the answer, why some towns have water towers and so many do not.

    Good son to help his dad. ;’-)

    • By: gregblood Posted: August 15, 2021

      Those wide rumble strips are kind of irritating, just as much so when driving as when cycling. I get the reason for them though. You can be driving along and get hypnotized by some of those dead-straight, unchanging county roads, then, suddenly a stop sign appears and there is no time to stop.

      I thought ALL towns had water towers. Maybe towns out your way just draw water directly from the Puget Sound?

  4. By: Suzanne Posted: August 17, 2021

    Love those cloud pictures! How long a drive is it to your Dad’s? But I guess you are used to everything being so far apart.

    • By: gregblood Posted: August 17, 2021

      It’s a three-and-a-half hour drive to my dad’s house when I go five to ten m.p.h. over the speed limit. (Four day bike ride.) When I get there, I get to drive his car to the appointments.

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