Thursday, August 21, 2014

Quick Ottumwa Photo Tour

This past Sunday, I took a quick trip down to Ottumwa to visit my parents (down and back the same day). On the way there, I stopped at the cemetery where my Rose-side grandparents are buried, which is west of town (near Munterville). While I've been to O-town several times since high school, I've only entered town from the west maybe once or twice before. So, I decided to grab a camera and snap some pics as I went (don't worry, I did keep one hand on the wheel the whole time, and didn't look thru the viewfinder. It was the point-and-snap-hope-you-aimed-well method of picture taking.)

So, without further ado, here is a very brief photo tour of my route. I thought this may spark some memories for those of you former Ottumwans who haven't been back in years.

You can click on any picture for larger version.

Where "old" highway 34 meets "new" highway 34 (it looks like I was playing chicken with the train, but really it was stopped).

That's the entrance to some new stores -- "new" Wal-Mart on my right, and the building you see is a Kohls. Menards is nearby, too.

Vaughn Motors is now here on Hwy. 34 opposite the mall.

Quincy Place Mall. What used to be Wal-Mart is now M.C. Sports.

We have Arbys!

Looking toward downtown.
Facing NE at the intersection of Hwy. 34 and what used to be Hwy. 63. When the bypass was finished, the "in-town" portion of the N-S highway was re-numbered as the southernmost extension of Hwy. 149, which ends here.

End of the Market St./Church St. exit, facing east. I've always been a fan of the sign with the blinking light that tells you if the other end of the Market St. bridge is blocked by a train. I've never seen one of those in any other town.

The "new" Bridge View Center (former Coliseum). You can see that [unknown to me until after I turned north] the Market St. bridge was blocked off due to construction. So I turned around at the Beach entrance.

"Hey Todd!!!"

I used to work admissions/concessions at The Beach. The yellow slide was added some time after 1997.

This is where Fareway used to be (Peter!), I was told it's now out on Albia Road, near the former Pamida site.

Turning left (north) onto Jefferson St. viaduct.

Tried to get a picture of my little league field -- the "National League." Sorry it's blurry.

Looking east/southeast -- Railroad bridge (now a pedestrian bridge).

"We'll all join in together, to root for OHS!"

Downtown from the bridge.

Looking west down Main St. at "The China Restaurant" (not sure if still called that). I always wondered why they didn't call it "The Chinese Restaurant?" Main is no longer a 1-way street.

"Voc-Tech!" -- The standard "band member" entrance. Note the doors on the far right are a little different. I'm guessing those are no longer unlocked all the time.
J.R. ... Richards???

Facing West on 4th street, at intersection with Jefferson. Catholic church to the right, Methodist to the left.

"Ghetto Gas" / "Sweaty Betty's" -- Looks pretty nice!

Continued up Jefferson to Pennsylvania, then I found out that this gas station, AND this intersection was blocked off due to construction!!! OK, time to find a different way up to Elm St. ...

Chris Ellis's old house.
Decided to head up Jay St. ...

Which is NARROW!

What street am I on? :)

 Heading North on Elm.

 Memorial Park (non-playground part). Looks perfect for leaning up against a tree for senior pictures!

This house is new ... old one was torn down.

Destination reached!

Friday, August 1, 2014

This is Made Out of Wood


The EPICness of the tri-level storage shelf.

OK, well, I need some affirmative action here. I'm not a big time woodworker of anything, so this is kind of like when your kid draws a picture. You're not expecting a Rembrandt or anything -- "it's really good! [for you]"

Debbi and they boys have been in Arizona this week, so this was my chance to use tools and leave hazardous chemicals laying around unattended for long periods of time.

Maybe it doesn't look like much, but it took me about a year and a half to build this. OK, full disclosure, I built about 60% of this 2 winters ago (Dec. 2012-Jan. 2013) when the wife & kids were gone, then it sat in that condition until just now I finished it off.

The longest part is applying a protective finish to each board before assembly (Minwax Polycrylic). So now it's mostly waterproof and should last about forever. This will be helpful if, for example, if you are grilling in the garage and the grill catches on fire and you spray a fire extinguisher into the area. Just if that were to ever be needed.

Apply to side 1, wait 3 hours. Side 2, wait 3 hours. Side 3, wait 3 hours. Side 4, wait 3 hours.

In use.

Move over, Al Borland..