Sunday, April 24, 2011


I did the club ride this Saturday:
From 4-23-2011
rode by my favorite place:
From 4-23-2011
and ran some errands:
From 4-23-2011
and got ready for easter:
From 4-23-2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011


I was think about patience as a virture. I've had this aloe for four years, and it's just now trying to bloom:
From 4-17-2011
The only problem is that's been about three weeks, and it hasn't open the blooms yet:
From 4-17-2011
Like everything, else , patience sometimes pays off

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Give me Cookies or give me... well.. umm... er.....

This is my trip report
I started out bright and early, went by my bank and got some cash, and got my bags checked and my boarding pass. I was going to use my android phone as e-boarding pass, but nooo. The check-in machines spat some paper boarding passes
John Wayne has joint use gates, so there was some other airline parked in Gate 14:
From 2011-04-09
after a bit, my 757 pulled into the Gate:

It was bit delayed, but we all got on the plane. And waited. And waited.
From 2011-04-09
The cause: horrible weather at O'Hare airport in Chicago. They did let us off the plane, and 11:00 we all got back on the plane, taxied out and you guessed it: waited some more.
Finally, 4 hours late we took off (I thought about calling it off, but I couldn't retrieve my checked bag). This was about the time we should have been landing in O'hare.
I heard about how exciting the take-offs were at John Wayne, but I didn't see that much different. Maybe If we hadn't sat for 4 hours:
From 2011-04-09
From 2011-04-09
We got a taste of the weather on the descent, as we were above the clouds when the pilots lowered the landing gear, and about 200 off the ground when we broke out. I got there just as my plane was supposed to be landing in Fort Wayne. Most of the plane was abuzz about what connections they could make. I got off the plane and called AA. I was back on the 11:30 flight with a boarding pass, which meant I had 4 hours to kill at ORD(short for ORDeal?)
So, here's a tour
Mr Abe:

The Children's Museum. I found it ironic that the "plane" is painted in what appears to southwest colors, as they only fly to Midway:

Lt Butch O'Hare's Wildcat:

Finally, at 10:00, we boarded the Embraer 145:

And 30 minutes later I was ready for my cookie! I had my camera out and was ready to expose megapixels. There was only problem: We were the first flight in to Fort Wayne all day (according to the Rental car agent) , so they cookie man went home and I went to the Best Western on an empty stomach.
The Bw was fine (sorry, I forgot to take pics). It had a free breakfast and Mike/ fridge combo, which saved me some money.
My wheels were a 2010 Ford Focus:

which was sort of a deja vu experience, considering I owned a 2003 Focus ("Honey, they cheapened the car")It seem to have the world loudest tires, as I got out to check if they were low or bald a couple of times (no, just loud)
Coming back was better, The weather was perfect:
From 4-12-2011
The cookies:
They are actually baked across from the airport by a company called Ellison Bakery I hunted up and down the aisles at the Scott's next door to the hotel, but to no avail. That morning, the "cookie man" was there (same guy as on the you tube video), and I talked him out of a couple:

This was also my first brush with the "Nude-o-Scopes", as Ft Wayne does not have metal detectors. It did not like my $6 walmart watch.
Overall, Fort Wayne is a very good airport.
It was Originally named Smith field, after Art Smith, The "Bird Boy" of Ft Wayne. This is a replica of his home built plane:
From 2-19-2011
Mr Smith invented Sky writing, and was the first pilot to successfully take off and land at night.
The current airport was built by the Army air corps during World war II and named after Paul Baer, The first American aviator to earn the title of "Ace" during World War I. The airport has a small museum dedicated to there two pioneers:
From 2-19-2011
From 2-19-2011
They also have free wi-fi, No computer? They have computers for loan. They also have a store for Du Brand chocolates and Vera Bradley handbags:

I had bought a new one with my rei divdend, and was think it was too small, so I splurged
N646AE pulling in:

and we left Fort Wayne behind:
From 4-12-2011
going over Midway:
From 4-12-2011
I had about 3 hours, so I go in my exercise by walking over to the united terminal:
From 4-12-2011
We got on the 757 back , and you guess it: delay. The first Class lavatory was leaking "Blue juice". They drained it and made them come back and use the peon's bathrooms.
I was but surprised to see this, after seeing about the run-in that the air france 380 had at JFK
From 4-12-2011
crossing the Mississippi:
From 4-12-2011
The Rockies:
From 4-12-2011
and big bear:
From 4-12-2011
I had meant to get a photo of the John Wayne statue , but forgot about. Perhaps an apt metaphor for travel portion of this trip.
Enough for now, need to unpack and start re-writing

Monday, April 11, 2011

The billboard said it was only 15 minutes away...

From 2011-04-11
Today, I had a couple of things on my agenda.
If you've been reading my past posts, You've probably realized that Fort Wayne was a settlement point even in the Native American days. The main reason for this is that this is shortest point between the Great Lakes system and the Mississippi River system (The Second shortest point is also in a Major City: Chicago).
It started out what is know West Swinney Park on the Saint Mary's River(which goes to Maumee and Lake Erie):
, and you follow what is now US 24 , and 7 miles later, you're at the Little River - (which goes to the Wabash, and then the Ohio, and the Mississippi, and then the Gulf Of Mexico.)
From 2011-04-11
The Concrete here is from an old interurban railroad. Actually the portage route hasn't been that well preserved - a lot of folks thinks it went to a tributary that starts behind the General Motors pickup plant.
Speaking of Trucks:
From 2011-04-11
This is the Old International Harvester Plant - they built trucks. I was reminded of my friend's Tom Logsdon's quite about his hometown of Pico Rivera, CA - that was the only town that had a UAW hall without a plant. Well, Fort Wayne still has a UAW hall, primarily because International still has some operations here.
The tourist guide at my hotel said the Auburn Cord Duesenburg Museum in auburn, In was only 15 minutes away.
From 2011-04-11
These were three makes, all of which died off during the Great depression - Duesenburg gave us the expression "It's a Duesy" since it competed in today's Rolls Royce - Bentley price range. Cords were known for their advanced styling and engineering (That's a Front wheel Drive car from 1936).
The Museum is housed in the Company headquarters, and houses several other Indiana based makes:
an IH Prototype:
From 2011-04-11
Studebaker from South Bend:
From 2011-04-11
and Crosely from Richmond:
From 2011-04-11
But back to the Revolution. The Most famous Indian settlement here was called Kekionga. it was run by the Miamis, and was situated where Lakeside Park is today:
From 2011-04-11
George Washington realized the importance of this point , and sent an expedition under Josiah Harmar in 1789 to capture it. it consisted of mostly untrained militia, and they treated it as a rolling party, especially when they found Kekionga abandoned and ripe for the plunder.
Just what Little Turtle and the Miamis had planned on. The Americans dropped their weapons, and didn't start running until they reached the Ohio.
Next up was Governor Arthur Saint Clair in 1791, Little Turtle ambushed him near what is now Fort Recovery, Ohio. This is considered to be the US Military's worst defeat ever, with 94% of the 1,100 Americans becoming casualties.
Washington was mad. He asked for, and got Saint Clair's head on a platter. He then asked his best commander during the Revolution, "Mad" Anthony Wayne, to unretire. Little Turtle learned about how General Wayne got his nickname (from suicidal, but cunning attacks) and decided to sit it out. Wayne insisted having time to properly train his troops, as well as making sure he outnumber his opponent. the Result: the battle of Fallen Timbers near Toledo, and a Fort at the confluence:
From 2011-04-09
This is actually a recreation. I do play upon the American's Militia's unpreparedness as well as Britain's somewhat reluctant backing of their allies (After Fallen Timbers, The Tribes ran to a nearby British fort conveniently located in downtown Toledo. The Commander ordered the doors closed, largely because the fort was in allegedly American territory. General Wayne refused to fire on the Natives, thus earning him their respect.
Now that I bored you to death:
From 2011-04-11
Fort Wayne was the Site of the first ever professional Baseball game between the Fort Wayne Kekiognas and the Cleveland Forest Citys. the current team is called the Tin Caps, after the preferred headgear of Johnny Appleseed, who is buried in fort Wayne:
From 2011-04-11
Hope you enjoyed all this.

Getting it right

Where was I at? Oh yes, Tippecanoe.
Tecumseh and Tenskawata had built a village there. Tecumseh was out to trying to rally the other tribes when general harrison showed up and built a crude fort. He essentially drew a line in the sand and dared Tenskawata to cross it.
My Two cent summary of the battle.
I spent some time at the museum store (of course) where the Ranger tried to get me to buy several books after he learned what I was doing there. I walked out with a book about Tenskawata, The Prophet. It was the first one I had seen, and I wanted to make I had the details about his life right, as he was a character.
Born Laesheioga (Panther with a handsome tail), he soon acquired the name Lalawiethka (Loud Noise, or the baby rattle) as he had reputation as a braggart. he shot himself in the eye with an arrow, and became an alcoholic.
He drank himself into a Coma, and when he woke up, he announced that the Great Spirit had visited him, and told to if he would stop drinking, He and Tecumseh would be be able to drive the White Man away.
There is a state Park called Prophetstown. Ironically, the main attraction is a 1920's Farm house:

I was more interested in the recreation of Tecumseh and Tenskawata's village:

It was very windy, and I could hear the wind groan through the council house (The Prophet smoked the holy tobacco. The Wind spirit and the Wood spirits told him how to get rid of the Big Knife, Harrison)
There was book explaining the building. It had plastic pages, which were wet due to the gaps in the roof. Makes me glad of modern worksmanship.
I walked back on the prairie:

I decided to press on to Fort Ouiateon:

This was probably a mistake, as it took me an hour to get through Lafayette, it would probably had been better to go to Prophet's Rock, where Tenskawata stood during the Battle.
I have my characters walking down the south side of the Wabash, so I need to check out some of the tributaries, as I wanted to make sure I had the size of the river right.
The Mississinewa was about what I had expected:

it also the the Francis Slocum trail, she was a Pennsylvania woman who was adopted by the Miamis (another theme of my work)

my next stop was the Saalmonie. i had them breaking out Canoes here. There was big problem, It was shallow enough to wade across:

I concluded the day by looking at the Wabash in Huntington. I had them wading through some rapids. the only problem was I looked at the rapids, there were none, and the current appeared too strong:

It was a very long, but worth it. finding mistakes, getting inspiration and details are priceless. hopefully, I get this done and published.