Sunday, July 29, 2007


When we got the messages from the people who couldn't come, we were so dejected that we said we might as well just cancel GenFest if Kevin & Amy, the Lichtenbergs, and Peter & Melissa can't come! And no Autumn and Brooke?? What's a Dylan to do?

But we soldiered on and had Genfest anyway - and we're so sorry that they weren't here! We were thrilled that Ruth Anne and Ed came (Uncle Don's offspring), but it really didn't make up for all of those who were missing. Our family group picture was greatly diminished!

The photographers (Jodi&Rick) were just great - the posing, positioning and
picture-taking went off like clockwork.

Everybody co-operated so well that it was all finished by 2:30! It was interesting to watch and to participate in - can't wait to see the results! I hope that everybody is pleased with their pictures.

The company was so enjoyable, the conversation was lively and fun. Seven people went tubing

(Dylan,Jana, Tom, Shelly, Chris, Jackson, and Derek), and there was a canoe
run by Dave, Beth, Lauren and Fay. The yard games were outstanding - especially the washers and the Polish golf. The golf toss thing was so much fun to watch - everybody loved it!

It was very much fun taking people around in the golf car - the kids especially liked it. It was a big boon to me, mobility-wise, and we all enjoyed the grand tour
of the property.

Dinner was delicious - I really enjoyed all of the yummy fruit (especially the strawberries). As a mature adult I'm almost ashamed to admit that I also really loved the hot dog! (blush) Barb and Sharon did all of the post dinner clean up and I am forever grateful. Thank you Barb and Sharon!!

Diet Coke and Mentos turned out to be a great demo/spectator event! The participants were drenched with Diet Coke by the end of it all.

The displays were so much
fun - the Coke bottle/car thing that Chris and Jana collaborated on was
really the overall most enjoyable.

The cousins got around to playing volleyball before the campfire - it was the
hats vs. the no-hats, and they each won a game. Dick started the campfire, and
for us, the evening wound down. We went to bed around 11, but the
campfire group didn't disperse until 3 or 3:30.

It was a wonderful GenFest! I think it may have been my favorite to date. It was mainly because of all the help - Dick, who exerts himself heroically on the lawn, landscaping, planning, and enabling; Laurie and Chip who scrubbed and polished the whole porch and deck area among other things; Barb and Sharon who did the kitchen clean up. Thanks to all of you for a fantastic day!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Mom's Service

Marian Geib Kanitz
September 8, 1908 - February 17, 2007

All of the kids were here for Mom's service today. Kris and Dan were unable to be here, and we were thinking of them.

Rev. Hogue officiated at the graveside. He read the 23rd Psalm, and Ecclesiastes (to every thing there is a season). He also read a favorite passage of Mother's. Rev. Hogue shared his memories of Mom and Dad, and it was a very brief but meaningful service. The music was In the Garden, Fairest Lord Jesus, and O Master Let me Walk with Thee. Adam from Reynolds did a fine job coordinating everything, and I was pleased with the result.

The flowers were beautiful, the little bit of rain was gentle, and the airplane flyovers were courtesy of the Cherry Capital Airport (somebody counted 8 interruptions - we think students were practicing touch and go).

It was sparsely attended, as Mother knew it would be, which is why she didn't want a big memorial service. In attendance were Dick and I, Laurie, Chip & Dylan, Tom, Jana, Jim & Emilie, Rick & Mary, Art & Sue Schubert, and Billie Gardener (who brought a beautiful red rose, and who characterized Mother as a free-thinker, which pleased me no end).

We all had lunch at Minerva's, and then Jim and Emilie came back to the house to pick up some of Mom's and Dad's personal items to keep.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Coin

Worker Bees

Yesterday Laurie and Chip went into caretaker mode and cleaned and polished everything in sight.

We have new river tubes and the older tubes are all washed off and inspected. Chip trimmed the boardwalk edges. He looked like a real pro running that trimmer complete with goggles and ear plugs. Laurie washed the bocci ball set and the playground swings. She watered all of the plants and just generally cleaned up.

Jana and Dylan played in the river, and then swept the entire boardwalk. Dick and Chip loaded up every stray item and went to the dump and then Dick mowed the entire property!

I rode around in my golf car and kept an eye on everything as the official documentarian. I liked my job the best.

Laurie and Chip worked all afternoon and were still looking for things to do.

We celebrated all of the hard work with dinner at Mongolian Barbecue.

By the way, while we're on the subject, does anybody else think that Mongolian Barbecue is going downhill? Things seemed a little off - for instance, the salad bar and the food bar both needed replenishing and wiping up - they weren't neatly maintained. The counter where you wait by the grill was sticky and badly needed to be wiped off. There was spilled food on the steps, and spilled beverages on the floor - I was really quite shocked. Plus - when the waitress brought brown rice and I asked for white rice, she indicated that they were out of white rice - what's up with that? Dylan ordered raspberry lemonade, and as it turned out they were out of that too.

But the food was good and everyone enjoyed it, so that's the bottom line. But I still think the manager needs to crack the whip a little bit.

Mom's service is tomorrow morning and the forecast looks like rain. As Dick said, we have lots of umbrellas. The forecast for GenFest looks wonderful.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

NGA + Back at the Ranch

The National Governors' Conference is over, and Dick is home at last! It was a success, and things went relatively smoothly over-all.

Dick's weekend was wild and woolly. He estimates that from Thursday at 9 a.m. through Sunday at 4 p.m. he spent a total of 48 hours at the airport. One night he got home at 1:30 a.m. - hasn't done that for at least a couple of decades. His task was meeting, greeting, and finding lost luggage, which there was plenty of. Somehow he missed Miss America! He stood there and talked to her and didn't know who she was! He thought she was an intern or an aide or something. He met Dick Gephart and the President of the AFL-CIO. The high point for him was meeting Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. He has lots of stories - ask him when you see him.

Meanwhile, back here at the ranch, life went on. We have seen the latest Harry Potter movie (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), The Adventures of Pinocchio at the Old Town Playhouse, and gone to a Beach Bums ballgame which they won, 12-9, we have all had rides in the golf car, Dylan has played extensively in the river, and with three computers on the go upstairs, we have played The Game extensively also! Dylan had made sure that we've all been to the Outlands and we have all of the flight paths. In the river, Dylan liked walking upstream and then jumping into the "most currenty part" and floating back down. On the golf car tour, Dylan's favorite part is the bumps!

The last book in the Harry Potter series was released Friday at midnight. Jana's copy was delivered by UPS Saturday morning at 9 a.m. We picked up Laurie's copy at Border's. Jana finished the book before she went to bed on Saturday, and she's not talking. Laurie is about halfway through it, but she keeps being interrupted by real life!

Harry Potter was a really enjoyable movie - lots of excitement - I most admire the values of friendship and loyalty, and good vs. evil that the Potter movies promote. Dylan's favorite part was "when they were in the room and all the globes were falling". That really was a spectacular scene! My favorite part was Umbridge being dragged off by the centaurs.

Pinocchio was enjoyable - the children did a marvelous job, and it was very entertaining. Dylan's favorite part was the whale. I was impressed with the amount of work that went into the production. I hadn't been to the TC Children's Theater before - the production was really owned by the kids - they designed the scenery, they were the stage hands, etc. It seems to be a truly child centered group.

The Beach Bums game was so much fun! Jim and Barb gave us free tickets - it was Child and Family Services Night - so we all went (except Dick). Jim, Barb, Shelly, Chris, Adam, Melanie & Lydia were all there - it was a mini-GenFest at the ball park!
I enjoyed it so much. Dylan liked all of the fun between the innings, and he learned about stolen bases from Auntie Jana. Dylan's favorite part was the taco race and the ice cream! My favorite part was the home run with two men on which gave them the lead. Yaaay Beach Bums! We all really appreciated the opportunity and the fun and the chance to talk to everyone. Thanks Jim and Barb!

Monday Dick and Chip brought back the boat from the Marina, so it's ready to float whenever we are :) They made trips to Walmart and Meijer to get things for GenFest. Later this week we'll go to GFS to get the goodies. Jana bought a mess of Diet Coke and Mentos!

This morning Dick and I are dropping off the Ford for some brake work, and then it's off to the gym.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Laurie, Chip and Dylan just called from the plane - they are all aboard, and they'll be here at noon!! Dick and I are going to the gym and then taking them out to lunch when they get here.

Jana is coming tomorrow!! She'll be here around 3 p.m. Things are really beginning to stack up. Tom will be here a week from Thursday.

Tom and Peter have dibs on going to the Oregon game with us on Sept. 8. We're going to be living in Ann Arbor for about 8 weeks in September and October because of the heavy U of M schedule and because of not wanting to drive back and forth week after week. We are really looking forward to it.

But right now we're looking forward to seeing all of our kids and family. Dick is looking forward to surviving the Governor's Conference!

Monday, Monday

1. Grocery shopping for Dylan friendly items! (They'll be here tomorrow - yaaay)
2. Merry Maids for obvious reasons!
3. Dick goes to Sam's Club for water, toilet paper, and salt for the water softener
4. Continued organizing in the "activity room"
5. A Little Laundry
6. Naps
7. Play WoW
8. Dinner out at Hofbrau
9. Nickel Creek at Interlochen

Dinner was interesting - we were put in the farthest reaches of Hofbrau - somewhere out near the back of the parking lot (jk). It was very quiet and lonely back there. But we weren't lonely for long - a party of twelve was put at a big table right next to us - I think it was three different families - noisy and fun and distracting! The children spilled at least 3 big glasses of water all over themselves! Bad plan to put the kids at one end of the table and parents at the other. Only one of the Moms seemed at all interested.

We enjoyed the Nickel Creek concert! Shelly and Chris came with their friend Kathy and it was good to see them! It makes it so much more fun when you have people you know to sit with and talk to. I was so glad they all could come. The concert was lively and fun, and Dick and I especially enjoyed singing along to "the little ones chewed on the bones-o" ! I was very entertained - Dick a bit less so - but I think he's pre-occupied with upcoming events.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Arrival Time!

Things are beginning to shape up for our month of summer company! Laurie called today to say that she and Dylan will be arriving Tuesday at noon!!! Are we excited? Could be ;)

They'll be missing the Nickel Creek concert Monday night, but it can't be helped and it's no big deal - in fact Shelly and Chris said they'd like to come, so there ya go.

Dick's working on organizing all of his geocaching stuff downstairs in time for the influx. It's kind of fun to go through everything - he's bagged a lot of treasures for future caches. He's also cleaning his bedroom for the Gillespies - a lot of sorting, straightening and tossing things out around here this weekend!

He has a horrendous schedule coming up at the airport this weekend for the Governor's Conference. His hours will be: Thursday 9 a.m. until ll p.m.; Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and back in from 10 to 11 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and then 5 p.m. until midnight; Sunday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. He has everything well organized, spread-sheeted, data-based, and printed out. He'll be the go-to guy for the 75 volunteers over the weekend. We'll see him sometime on Monday!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Cherry Festival Week Rolls On

Today was rainy and overcast pretty much all day long. People didn't seem to mind that much - there were crowds everywhere. We never left the car today, so we couldn't get good Festival pictures - just the folks on Front Street. Everything was crowded, and cars were parked everywhere.

Hunter Takumi Stadick

Reiko, Bob and Jet have a new baby boy in their family! Hunter was born on July 6.2007 - Mom and baby are doing well. It's very exciting! Now Bill and Jan have SIX GRANDCHILDREN!! Adam and Jake, Ethan and Emily, Jet and Hunter - WOW. They are the luckiest grandparents in the Universe!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Cherry Festival

Yesterday and today we drove around downtown to soak up some Cherry Festival atmosphere. People are swarming along the beaches, and on the streets downtown in amazing numbers. There seem to be three different types of groups - large family groups with folks of all ages together, teenagers or young adult groups (usually all boys or all girls) walking along together, and retired couples walking holding hands. Both yesterday and today most people were shading their eyes to watch the skies because of the Air Show. We didn't see much of it, but we could certainly hear the planes - quieter than the Blue Angels for sure, but still very loud.

Traverse City is doing well. The city looks good, and it's crowded with bustling, happy people. We had a bit of rain this morning, but not enough to ruin anything. By this afternoon everything looks terrific and it's a great day - warm (96F), sunny and breezy.

It's Not About the Numbers



If you're a geocacher, you'll enjoy this. Otherwise.....not so much!

Today Dick found this web site which is loaded with statistics about individual geocachers! I couldn't believe it - they have all of this information about almost everybody!

Total: 1316 finds on 1314 unique caches (List Multiple Finds)

Total days since first find: 1485 - Overall find Rate: 0.89/day, 6.21/week

Total days with a find: 392 (Every 3.8 days or 26.4% of your total days) - Average finds per caching day: 3.36

Best day: 4/08/06 - 26 finds

Most consecutive days with a find: 10 from 3/03/07 to 3/12/07

Longest caching drought: 42 days from 8/10/03 to 9/20/03

Average total cache difficulty: 1.61 - Average total terrain rating: 1.54

Average physical cache difficulty: 1.68 - Average physical terrain rating: 1.61 (Traditional, Multi, Unknown, Project APE, Letterbox)

Approximate cache-to-cache distance: 37578.21 miles (60476.26 kilometres) (Excludes locationless and known traveling caches)

Active Caches: 859 of the caches you've found are still active (65.4%)

Average log size: 79.2 words - Biggest log: 511 words - Shortest log: 0 word - Number of one-word logs: 0
Type Total Unique
Cache In Trash Out Event 2 2
Earthcache 1 1
Event Cache 27 27
Letterbox Hybrid 3 3
Locationless (Reverse) Cache 85 83
Multi-cache 81 81
Traditional Cache 960 960
Unknown Cache 46 46
Virtual Cache 111 111
Container Total
Large 8
Micro 228
Not chosen 63
Other 41
Regular 613
Small 187
Virtual 176

State Total Unique
Arkansas 7 7
California 17 17
District of Columbia 2 2
Florida 23 23
Illinois 2 2
Indiana 1 1
Kentucky 2 2
Maryland 1 1
Michigan 1136 1136
Mississippi 8 8
Missouri 9 9
Ohio 4 4
Pennsylvania 5 5
Tennessee 1 1
Virginia 2 2
Country Total Unique
Canada 5 5
Cayman Islands 1 1
Mexico 1 1
United States 1220 1220

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Power Island and Capitol Steps

The oldest cache placed in Michigan is out on Power Island in West Grand Traverse Bay. At the Winter Social this year we auctioned off 2 trips for 5 to the Island in our pontoon boat. The trips both sold for $80, a nice addition to the MiGO fund-raiser.

Today was the day for CacheToGo (Dick and Donna),

and Swamp4 (Richard, Cynthia, Dawn (age 14) and Charley the dog. We met them at the Bowers Harbor boat launch - we all had lunches packed by the Bad Dog Deli - and we were good to go.

It was the perfect day for it: skies were blue, waters were calm, sun was warm.

It took them about an hour and a half to walk from the dock area, find two caches, and walk back. They kind of got lost and walked around most of the Island to get back to the boat.

Lunch was great. The wind had picked up a little, and I was mildly concerned about the return trip - but everything went smoothly. People did get splashed a bit, but just enough to make it an adventure - not enough to soak anybody. The put in and the take out went great - it was really a marvelous event.

We got back home at 4 p.m., just in time to take a nap and then get dressed to go out to dinner at Rico's and off to see The Capitol Steps at Interlochen.

It was a hilarious show, as usual. I enjoyed the Dick Cheney spoofs the most, although the George W. impersonator was excellent. He did a great deer in the headlights.

Dick loved the TSA sketches - especially about the confiscation of your toothpaste, lotions, Prep H, etc. The funniest was the woman who said she was seated next to the man with the drug resistant TB, and they had taken her bottle of Purell at the gate. It was most enjoyable.

If you have the time, one of the funniest parts was the bit about Paris Hilton (Haris Pilton) Listen to it when you have time. (Visit the bathroom first.) My favorite part of this bit was about poor little baby Shiloh Pitt. (Sure to become a new inside joke!)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Fourth

I heard someone say "may the Fourth be with you!." I thought it was really cute, but my kids went nyuck and hardee har har. My kids are just way too cool :)

We had no special plans for the day - just to take the day off, and to cook Dick's barbecued ribs.

Cousin Rick came out to wait for his kids - they were coming from Brown Bridge Dam to here. We had a nice visit, and of course he had the obligatory golf car ride. The kids arrived (Emily and her friends Kristen and Ankoor) - they had a good float, and of course they rode in the golf car too. You can't escape it! Muhahaha! Emily and her boyfriend Ankoor are both in Med School at MSU. She's in the D.O school and he's in the M.D. school. The story I liked best is that Ankoor (pronounced like "encore") is a twin and he was born second. He claims that that's not why he was named that, but he can't prove it!

We took a Subaru cruise through town - everything is being set up for the Cherry Festival, which starts on Saturday. Tents, fences, stages, venues - roads are blocked, and everything looks very festive. At 1:30 p.m., people have already parked their motor homes along Grandview Parkway for fireworks watching at dusk tonight. The town is very touristy - the streets are jammed with shoppers, gawkers, walkers, and strollers.

The ribs were great. We had a good day - very relaxing. We played a lot of WoW also. Plus I got 2 Pogo badges - poker and word whomp. Nothing but fun.