Feb 20

Under the Washington Elm

Cambridge, April 27, 1861 – Oliver Wendell Holmes

Eighty years have passed, and more,

Since under the brave old tree

Our fathers gathered in arms, and swore

They would follow the sign their banners bore,

And fight till the land was free.


Half of their work was done,

Half is left to do –

Cambridge and Concord and Lexington!

When the battle is fought and won,

What shall be told of you?


Hark! ’tis the south winds moans –

Who are the martyrs down? –

Ah, the marrow was true in your children’s bones,

That sprinkled with blood the curses stones

Of the murder haunted town!


What if the storm-clouds blow?

What if the green leaves fall?

Better the crashing tempest’s throe

Than the army of worm that gnawed below;

Trample them one and all!


Then, when the battle is won,

And the land from traitors free,

Our children shall tell of the strife begun

When Liberty’s second April sun

Was bright on out brave old tree!

Jan 05

So Cold! Squirrel Frozen to Tree!

This is FREAKING NUTS!!  This Cyclone Bomb is doing crazy things! Check out this video!




Jan 04

Selfie Tip #1 for Social Media

As I peruse social media such at Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. I have notice a troubling trend….many people don’t know the proper way to look at their phone when taking a selfie.  Most people look at themselves in the phone and then when they post the photo it looks like they are looking down at something. The ONLY thing worse that looking at yourself when taking a selfie is keeping your phone in a vertical position when taking a video because you have VERTICAL VIDEO SYNDROME!

When taking a selfie it’s very important to remember to LOOK AT THE CAMERA! If you do this your selfie will look much more natural and will bring out your true beauty!

Look at these examples.

Looking at myself in the phone.


Looking at myself when taking a selfie = unnatural looking down weirdness

Looking at the phone camera.


Looking at the camera selfie. So handsome!

Now that you have learned this please remember to put it to use when you feel the need to take a selfie and post it on Social Media.

Jan 01

Happy New Year and Goodbye to 2017!

2017 was a big year for Sabine and I with some of the biggest changes to our lives ever as we moved from Germany to the Cleveland Ohio area in late January 2017.   Bert started a new job and we bought our first house! We also got out FIFTH grandchild!

Leaving Germany,

Stein family saying goodbye at the Frankfurt Am Main Airport.

After arriving in the USA we spent a few days in Maryland with a some friends and since we had a few days to wait until we could get our truck we took a day trip to Washington D.C. since Sabine had always wanted to see the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington Cemetery.

Sabine at Tomb of the Unknown – Arlington Cemetery – Washington D.C

When we first arrived we stayed at an Air BNB in Cleveland Heights which looked like a beautiful mansion on the outside but was very dirty and not well cared for on the inside.

We started our house search the first day we arrived in Cleveland and by the end of the week we put in a offer on a amazing home in Concord Township in Lake County near the cities of Mentor and Painesville.

It took 45 days to close on the house and due to a misunderstanding on the date we could move in our move in date got pushed to the right for two weeks since the movers didn’t have time on their schedule.

After about two weeks here Sabine had a major bronchitis attack and ended up in the hospital for three days.

Well, in March we finally got into our new home and started getting settled in.  Our kids and grandkids came to visit in April which was very nice and we had enough room for all of them.

We had our first visit from Germany in March by my good friend Andreas Huber who was instructing a class at Wright-Patterson Air Base in Dayton and came up to visit us.  Andreas and I drove to New York state so we could both get our first Geocache find in that state.

In May Christian and Lea came to visit us for three week from Germany.

We met some of our neighbors and all of them seem pretty cool.

In June we adopted a black lab puppy and named him Bosco.  He keeps up very busy!

Bosco – First Day!

In July we travelled to Lafayette Indiana for the birth of our fifth grandchild Kaci Ford.

In November Sabine made an emergency trip to Germany to take care of her father who fell very ill but id doing much better now. Bert drove to his mother’s home in Keokuk to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Bert’s mom came to visit twice.  The first time we took a trip to Niagara Falls which was Bert’s third time there and Sabine’s first.  This was also Sabine’s first time visiting Canada.  And the second time mom came was during the December holidays with her husband Alan.

Since 23 December it has snowed every day and we are quickly getting used to living in the Lake Erie Snow Belt which begins at our house and goes to Buffalo NY!

Other visit we had were from XL Forum friends that I have known for a long time but never met in person. Jeff Weirauch, Judy Weirauch, Josh Jankowiak, Thomas Clark, and John Conley.

We can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store for us! We are planning on buying a used travel trailer and try to take some weekend trips an a long summer trip.

Click on any image to see it larger.

Dec 31

2017 15 Second Horror Film Challenge

I love good horror stories.  Not the Freddy Kruger type where everyone dies but ones that are dark like Stephen King, Richard Bachman, or Peter Straub.

Here are the winners of the 2017 15 Second Horror Film Challenge.

#1. I didn’t see that coming!

#2. Hmmmm…. I think this one went to far.

#3. OUCH!! I know this feeling.  A couple of times I have woken up before dying.

#4. This is SO gross! Stuff like this gives me nightmares!

#5. Weird……just weird.

Dec 30

Safespace.com – All-In-One Offense Filtration System

Saw this meme today and thought, “Man this is perfect of many people on Facebook, and in the REAL WORLD today”. Seem every day someone is offended by something or someone in a Facebook group. What they don’t seem to realize is that they can block people the don’t like instead of posting that they don’t like it or reporting it to the group Admin.  I did not make this meme so if you made it and can prove you have copyright to it and want it removed just let me know.

The great thing about this product is it works EVERYWHERE!! Not just when you are online but also when you are out in public!

Note….this is not real….no….you can’t order this but you could probably make one if you think you need it. Also there is no such website as safespace.com.

I in NO way condone or support bullying either in person or on the Internet.

All-In-One Offense Filtration System

All-In-One Offense Filtration System

Dec 29

The Life of Opel Paul Linson – Part I

Opel Paul Linson

Opel Paul Linson in 1917

Opel Paul Linson was born on 9 August 1899 in Dale Township, Kay County, Oklahoma. His father was James Luther Linson and mother was Cora Belle Cherryholmes.  He was my grandpa and very special to me.

From what I know he left Oklahoma with his dad and mom before he was ten years old and they settled in the New Mexico Territory.  He married my Grandma Bertha May Ingledue on Christmas day in 1917 in Colfax County New Mexico.

Sometime between 1930 and 1935 he and Bertha moved to Carthage Illinois with their adopted daughter Georgene Maud Linson. The only reason that I know why they would have moved to Illinois is because Bertha’s mother, Maude Shipman had moved to Carthage to marry Mr. Prince Allen Lovell.

Opel and Bertha bought a small house on the edge of town at 213 S. 1st St. and this house is still standing. CLICK HERE to view the home in Google Street View. They lived in this house until about 1980 when their son Richard Earl Linson Sr. moved them to Lafayette Indiana to be closer to him. His address in Lafayette was 1913 Whitcomb Ave.

In December 1975 Opel sat down with a Mr. Hobbs at his church in Carthage Illinois and gave an interview regarding his life.  The following is the transcript of the interview which I have copied word for with original punctuation and grammar.


Opel and Bertha Linson – 70th Wedding Anniversary.

“Cowboy Life In The Territory of New Mexico”

As related in an interview with

Mr. Opel Linson

Carthage Illinois

Mr. Opel Linson, an RSVP volunteer from Carthage, was a cowboy in New Mexico when it was still a territory. In a recent interview with Mr. John Hobbs, RSVP director he recalls what his life was like in those days:

Mr. Hobbs: Mr. Linson, when were you a cowboy? What age were you and what years did it include?

Mr. Linson: I started when I was about 12 – pretty early – but that was the way I was brought up. I’d say that would have been about 1911 or 1912; I don’t remember the exact date. I was a cowboy for about four years.

Mr. Hobbs: Where did you work?

Mr. Linson:  I worked at home for my father. He had cattle out West in Mosquero, New Mexico, and I was the main cowboy.

Mr. Hobbs: What did you call yourself? Did you call yourself a cowboy, and did you wear the Western clothes you see on TV and in the movies today?

Mr. Linson: No, I didn’t call myself a cowboy, but I wore the cowboy clothes – hat, boots, spurs.

Mr. Hobbs: What type of cattle did you work with? What was your typical day like? What kind of food did you have? Did you have the old chuck wagons that we hear so much about?

Mr. Linson: The cattle were the white-faced range type, the Hereford type, and the regular old Western cows that they raised out there. As far as chuck wagons are concerned, we never had any. And as to getting up in the morning to start the day, well, that was when Dad kicked us out of bed and said, “Let’s go!” And when he decided that we had had a day, that was it. The food was just plain old pinto beans and bread, and maybe sometimes we would kill a rabbit or something.

Mr. Hobbs: How long would your day usually last? How many hours of work?

Mr. Linson: It would be from daylight, when you could see to ride, until dark. Quite a day. During the winter we worked out of the ranch house, I guess you would call it; it was a home. In the summer time we slept out; we had a little wagon team, and slept out when it was necessary. However, it wasn’t all the tie that we did that.

Mr. Hobbs: Was it comfortable out there?

Mr. Linson: Well, if you want to roll a bed out on the ground and that “comfortable,”….well…..

Mr. Hobbs: Was you work dangerous?

Mr. Linson: It could be; not all the time, though. If you were rounding up and cutting out your cattle your horse could tumble and fall with you; or a rattlesnake could crawl in bed with you at night. I don’t know if you would call that dangerous or not, but…….

Mr. Hobbs: Well, I believe we would! What were you paid?

Mr. Linson: I just got my board and clothes, working for Dad.

opel and bertha linson

Last photo of Opel and Bertha Linson

Mr. Hobbs: Did you ever meet any famous people?

Mr. Linson: No, I never met any famous people. Most of them were just old Westerners who grew up in that part of the country.

Mr. Hobbs: Were they pretty rough characters?

Mr. Linson: No. No, they weren’t rough characters. Some were sheep ranchers and some were cattle ranchers. Some man would have a herd of cattle, and the other man would be a sheep man and he would have quite a herd of sheep.

Mr. Hobbs: Was there any bad feelings between these two groups? We have always heard that.

Mr. Linson: No, not at that time; that had died out. There were no bad feelings, that is, not enough like, you know, in the stories you’ve read about when years ago, in the 1800’s, they would kill one another, but they never did that. Of course, the sheep men and the cattle men had a little difference, but not enough to go into anything like that.

Mr. Hobbs: Do you have any unusual stories or funny ones that you can remember?

Mr. Linson: The only thing I remember that was kind of funny was when I bought a horse for a rope horse, and I didn’t know that he hadn’t been ridden. I put the saddle on him, and got on him, and in about three jumps I was on the ground. Someone said, “Why didn’t you hit the saddle horn?” and I said, “I couldn’t find it!”

Mr. Hobbs: Did most of the cowboys at that time wear sidearms, say revolvers, and did you wear one? If so, what kind? And what was it like during the winter months on the range?

Mr. Linson: Most of the cowboys wore sidearms and I wore one, a 45 Colt. It wasn’t for protection against the other guy or anything; it was mostly for wolves, coyotes and there were a few mountain lions around there. That was the purpose of the sidearms. Some of the winters were pretty rough. I remember one winter there after I was married that a big rancher has a bunch of cattle, that came an 18-inch snow and lost 300 head of cattle. That was the first year we were married, in 1918. The winters could be very severe.

Mr. Hobbs: How many worked with you at one time when you were out on the range, and secondly, did you have any particular variety of horse that you would ride?

Mr. Linson: There were just Dad and I, and a fellow I use to ride with, named Emilio Trujillo, a Mexican fellow who knew the country pretty well, so he was always with us. The horses were just the wild range horses that we would pick up out there; those were the only horses we had, and sometimes, you would get a good one and sometimes you’d get a “dud.”

Mr. Hobbs: What type of area was the ranch located in- mountains, desert? And what duties did you have when you were actually riding the herd?

Mr. Linson: When I was out, the duties mostly were rounding up and cutting out the cattle. There would be several groups of us in the herd doing this. In my group there were the three of us, Dad, Emilio and me, and some others would be about the same. We would all round up a bunch of cattle, and then ride in and pick out our brand and cut them out, and then you would go your separate ways. Where we were, it was sort of a mesa, flat farming ground, but when you got out to the edge of it, it was mountains. It was high altitude.

Mr. Hobbs: What was the name of your ranch?

Mr. Linson: No special name. We just has a brand recorded in Clayton, New Mexico, the county seat.

Mr. Hobbs: New Mexico at one time was pretty must a frontier area, even into the 20th Century. What was Christmas like at that point in time, in the early 20th Century, out on the range in New Mexico. Can you tell us about that?

Mr. Linson: Well, a lot of fellows, I think, never knew what Christmas was. When we went out there we never had any Christmas. The cowboys on those bigger ranches, when they would celebrate, would always go to town and have a “wing-ding” – Tom and Jerries and what have you. They did some drinking. That was their celebration, but the people that didn’t do that would maybe go to the neighbors and have dinner with them. As far as the kids were concerned, they didn’t know what a present was.

Mr. Hobbs: It was more religious in nature, then?

Mr. Linson: More so, I’d say.

Mr. Hobbs: Did you follow any Spanish traditions?

Mr. Linson: No. The Spanish people knew what Christmas was, but they never celebrated in the way taht we know today. It wasn’t until the country has been pretty well settled by the Americans that they began to celebrate like today. It was much different back in those days.

Mr. Hobbs: What would a Christmas meal be?

Mr. Linson: Well, among the Americans who came out there to take up homesteading, it may have been a turkey, duck, or a chicken, more likely chicken. Sometimes they’d have venison. That’s about all there was to it.

Mr. Hobbs: How about the Mexicans or the Indians – what did they have for a meal? Would they do anything special?

Mr. Linson: No, nothing special.

Mr. Hobbs: Would you have a Christmas tree, and did you decorate it all?

Mr. Linson: No.

Mr. Hobbs: I guess frontier life was just too hard then?

Mr. Linson: Yes, hard, too hard. And a lot of people, some of the settlers that came out, just didn’t have the money to celebrate. Living ten to fifteen miles apart, if you went to see your neighbor you would be gone all day. That is about all there was to their Christmas.

Mr. Hobbs: Thank you, Mr. Linson.

Opel Paul Linson’s Ancestry page.

Aug 28

Quadcopter Training Day Four – JJRC H8C

It has been four days now since I started messing around with quadcopter and I think I am doing very well.  I am no longer crashing into the ground and I am able to control the drone much better.  I am able to fly at high altitudes and even perform 360 degree flips with the special flip button.

Overall I am very pleased with my progress.

My drone is a JJRC H8C and you can get one like it at Amazon.com.


Aug 25

Quadcopter Training Day Two – JJRC H8C

So I have decided to start messing around with Quadcopter drones cause I really enjoy the videos I see others making. It gives me the feeling that I can actually fly!

The wife has seen me eyeing an expensive one at the Ramstein PX and to my surprise she told me to go ahead and get it. Well I didn’t wanna spend $600 on a toy and then freaking crash it and get pissed that I wasted all that money. So I did some research on inexpensive beginner quadcopter drones with video and decided on the JJRC H8C. The JJRC H8C costs about fifty bucks on Andoer JJRC H8C which is a 2.4 GHz Quadcopter with 6-Axis Gyro and High Definition 2MP First Person View Camera. Based on my research, many very good drone pilots mess around with the JJRC H8C cause it is a fun drone to fly around and is pretty good once you mod it out a bit with quick motor connectors, bearing upgrade, weight reduction, and cooling mods.

Clicking on the image to the left will take you to the quadcopter on Amazon.

So I put in my order on Amazon and it soon arrived. I charged up the battery and went outside to give my new toy a try. Powered it on and DAMN!  One of the motors is dead! Dangit!  I was already aware based on the reviews and my research that the motors on this model burn out very easily but I did not expect one to be DOA! The motors cost only about two or three bucks a piece so it is not a big deal to replace them when they go bad. So I ordered another drone and figured I would keep this as a spare.

I also ordered some extra motors and some quick connectors that I will solder on to the drone control board when a motor dies.  I will also keep about 10 clockwise and 10 counter-clockwise motors on hand and solder the quick connectors on them so they are ready to swap out quickly in the field if need be.  Additionally I ordered some better bearings so that the motors don’t have to work as hard and should not burn out as often.

The second drone came in the mail on Monday and I got busy getting it ready to fly. I won’t post my first flight video because the drone spent most of the time on the ground. I flew it around the yards in my neighborhood and by the time the battery died I was feeling pretty good about my basic piloting skills. It takes about 90 minutes to charge the battery so I plugged it in, along with the battery from the broken drone and waited. About 2000 hours I grabbed both batteries and headed out to the fields to see what I could do. I was feeling pretty cocky and the result was that I almost lost the drone! I took it way too high and lost control of it.  I think the wind at the higher altitude caught me off guard.  I was very lucky to have found the drone in one of the wheat fields near my home.

So I went home since the other battery was not charged and figure I would take another crack at in tomorrow. But this time STAY AT HOME and polish up some piloting skills.

So today I got home and gave it another try. This video below is the result. Not bad I guess but I still have to practice much more. Spent less time hitting the ground this time and am getting better at controlling the direction. Many people don’t realize that even though a quad has four propellers, it still has a bow, stern, port, and aft. If you don’t know where the front of it is then there is no way to control it.

During the video I get some good altitude at about the 2:30 mark. At about the 3:30 mark you can see me wearing my black socks and sandals!! At about the 5 minute mark I have a hard time keeping it up as the battery was dying.  What I found out after putting in the new battery is that one of the motors is also already dead. Good thing is that I have the other drone to cannibalize which I will do so this weekend. Just need to buy some flux and solder. Or maybe I will wait until the quick connectors to come in next week.  We will see. Added some music to the video so you don’t have to listen to just the boring and loud motors.


Jul 07

WTF?? – I hope they never breed

How can anyone be so inept?  Simply amazing. I can not believe this  person has a driver’s license.