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Check out this tub/shower in Jerusalem’s 4 star Grand Court hotel.  It only covers half of the opening.  Huh? I found it virtually impossible to avoid a flooded floor after taking a shower.  No matter how hard I tried to … Continue reading

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Elkhorn House

Elkhorn House, 1980

Elkhorn House, 1980

New subdivisions, developed on rich fertile crop land that was once “out in the country”, look like miniature plastic houses placed on a cardboard game board — like our house, custom built on an empty lot three miles south of Elkhorn in 1976.  Even four years later, in this picture, the place looks rather stark.

Today, forty years later, it is still our house.  Our daughter was born here and all three kids grew up here … and left here to start their own families.  All eight grandkids know this place as “Nana’s and Papa’s”.   Soon, it will be a candidate for “This Old House”.

What was once needed living space for an active family of five has now become storage space for five generations of family “heirlooms”.   Talk about memories!

Thought for the Day:  Where we love is home — home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.                                                                                                 Oliver Wendell Holmes


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Millard House

First House

First House

We bought our first house in 1972, just a few months after I returned from Southeast Asia and discharged (honorably) from the U.S. Army.  Looking back, we must have had a lot of faith in the future as my steady job of only two months was in a new division of a relatively small and young manufacturing company … Valmont Industries in Valley, NE.

The house was located in Millard, NE, a town in what is now Southwest Omaha, and we lived right next to the mayor.  The day we closed on the house, Omaha annexed Millard and made it part of Omaha.  The next day, we had a new address.

Except for being 44 years later, the house in the photo looks just like it did when we bought it.  Built in 1938, this two bedroom/one bath ranch was solidly built.  Our second son was born the following May, making this house a family landmark.  Good memories.

Thought for the Day:  Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.                                                                                         Dr. Seuss


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Omaha House

31st and Mason Street

31st and Mason Street

This is a current picture of the house we lived in during 1971.  We were living in St. Louis when I got drafted in late 1970, so we moved back to Omaha to be closer to family.  My wife and 3-month old son lived with her mother for a brief time, then rented the ground floor of this house while I was vacationing in Southeast Asia.  I returned in March of 1972, and lived here only about six weeks until we bought our first house.

The house is in pretty good shape, but the neighborhood is in rapid decline.  The house looks like it has been re-sided, with new windows installed.  The door with the man sitting next to it leads to the upstairs apartment.  Our front door was in the middle of the porch, hidden by the porch pillars.  Our son, Jason, celebrated his first birthday in this house. President Gerald Ford’s birthplace is two blocks south of here.

Hmmm, random thoughts as I stare out the window for long periods of time.

Thought for the Day:  Old age is fifteen years older than I am.                                                                                                                          Oliver Wendell Holmes

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Lipizzaner Stallions

Lipizzaner Stallion

Lipizzaner stables

The famous Lipizzaner white stallions are trained and housed at the Vienna Spanish Riding School.  What?  Yes, the Spanish Riding School is in Vienna, Austria.

The Hapsburg Monarchy imported the horses from Spain over 400 years ago.  Lipizzaner stallions, no mares, are used exclusively at the riding school, which is built on centuries of tradition in classical dressage; i.e. calvary movements of horses and training for the battlefield.

Most Lipizzaners are born dark gray and turn lighter with age, taking 6-10 years to complete the lightening process.  Only the stallions that turn completely white are used for public performances.

Thought for the Day:  You can not lead a battle if you think you look silly on a horse.                                                                                                                                         Napoleon

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Castles in the Sky

Castle in the Sky

Castle in the Sky

The hillsides along the Danube River in the Wachau Valley of Austria are so steep that the only place to build is on top of the mountain.  Most of the castles sit several hundred feet above the river.  Very few of the castles we saw were built as low as the one pictured above. It was so foggy and overcast that many of the castles were in or above the clouds.

Thought for the Day:   Just the two of us, we can make it if we try                                                                                        Just the two of us, building castles in the sky                                                                                    Just the two of us, you and I                                                                                                                                                          lyrics by Bill Withers

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Imperial Wing

Ceiling Fresco, 1739

Ceiling Fresco, 1739

The ceiling fresco above the grand staircase (three stories high) in the Imperial Wing of Gottweig Abbey was completed in 1739 by Austrian artist Paul Troger.

To make this photo, I stitched together six photos as I panned from the staircase’s first flight to the ceiling directly overhead.  The shot looking straight up was the most difficult to hold steady, a tripod would have been a big help.

I left the person on the second flight in the photo to provide some scale to the image.

Thought for the Day:  Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.                                                                                                                                       Leonardo da Vinci

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Lego Museum

Lego Collection

Lego Collection

Without knowing any better, I would guess I was in a Lego museum.  A shelf spanning two walls is covered, literally blanketed, with Lego creations of all shapes and sizes.  You name it and you can you can make it with Legos.

Lego Builder, 4

Lego Builder, 4

Lego Builder, 7

Lego Builder, 7

This is just the “active” collection; i.e. the ones that are currently being played with. Out of the picture are four large heavy-duty boxes filled with neatly packed Lego sets that have been disassembled to be rediscovered at a later date.

Santa’s bag is usually filled with Lego sets for this household, like the “Millenium Falcon” , which has 1,329 pieces.   Mind boggling.

Thought for the Day:  On a scale of 1 to stepping on a Lego, how much pain are you in?



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