Friday, August 23, 2013

Too Soon

   Recently I have noticed that  the maples have begun to show color on some of the leaves.   Also we have a front yard red maple that has lost leaves.  Both are early harbingers of the onset of Autumn.   Another sign of the impending fall season is the height of  the corn and its color in the fields that I pass on my way to Cornell.   Where did this summer go?   Too quickly the seasons change.  Or at least it seems that is true.
   As a participant in the Information Outposts for the arrival of Cornell Freshmen in late August I am further reminded that almost too soon another academic year has started.   It was my pleasure today (Friday of August 23, 2013)  to welcome students and their families to the campus.   Our outposts provide both information and  friendly advice and support to new members of the Cornell community.   I enjoy working with Emeritus Faculty and retired staff who man these venues.   Never too soon to lend a helping hand.
   The seasons roll by and sometimes the changes come too soon, but it is good to be actively involved.   Of course as an avid skier I know that post Autumn the ski slopes will be open.
Ann Gives Them The Word

A Tinge of Autumn Color

The Information Crew - John, Ann and Gene

Monday, August 19, 2013

Missed Opportunity

   I just finished watching American Pickers on the History Channel where Danielle was featured appealing to the city council of Le Claire, Iowa to approve expansion of their  Antique Archeology store.  To my dismay I realized Nancy and I  missed visiting their store when we stayed in Le Claire on our grand journey across the U.S and back.   Our Holiday Inn Express was just down the road from their store and it would have been an interesting site to visit.   In addition we missed the nearbyWild Bill Cody museum.  
  There are a remarkable number of places to visit everywhere you go and stay.   One has to accept that you can only see a small sampling of the attractions available.  Although we missed an Antique Archeology store visit, we had a wonderful stay in our room in Le Claire with a splendid view of the Mississippi River and a superb dinner at the Bier Stube  restaurant nearby.
  Antique Archeology has a store in Nashville, Tennessee so who knows we may be in Nashville some day and get to visit them there.   (Nancy will probably be a reluctant companion if we do visit but she will get to pick one of her favorite places in Nashville as compensation).    
The Mississippi at Le Claire, Iowa

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Old and The New

    This week on Tuesday I made my annual trek to the New York State Empire Farm Days near Seneca Falls to see the latest in farm machinery and agricultural technology.   Today I spent a few hours at the display of vintage Brockway Trucks on Main Street of Cortland.
   It is amazing how much technology has advanced both in farm machinery and trucks over a century of time.   At the Farm Days there were tractors that had cockpits with enough controls and readouts to match a modern jet plane.   GPS controlled driving and equipment monitors significantly enhance the productivity of the farm operator.   Not only has sophistication of the machines increased, but also the size of equipment, and tractors has enormously increased.   See the contrast between a 1931 John Dear tractor and a 2013 model.  
   At the Brockway display one could see a similar contrast in truck technology but only over about 70 years since Brockway built their last truck in 1977.   From what I can casually see of over the road trucks they also seem to have increased in size, power and sophistication.
   The antique technology was remarkably durable for its time.  However, probably there was a much higher level of maintenance required.   Geezers of my generation commonly were able to do that maintenance.   Although today's technology is unusually reliable, it is impossible for the home mechanic to repair the sophisticated computer controlled devices of modern diesel and gasoline engines.  Let alone the hybrids!
   I have grown to appreciate the old and celebrate the new.   I would mark that as being content with change while honoring the past.   Maybe that is the best way we can behave in geezerhood.
2013 - 9460 Model - 460 horsepower.

1931 John Deere

Brockway Truck Lineup

1927 Brockway - Columbia Fall, Montan Owner