Saturday, March 29, 2008

ESL Park District Meeting

This is our FAA 391 Action Research seminar class meeting with Irma Golliday the ESL Park District Director. Students were discussing their two projects, adopting IL Ave. Playground and securing donations for fitness equipment.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

First Video: IL Ave Playground

Well this video is of IL Ave Playground in East St. Louis where our class will be working this weekend. We expect a lot of work and action to take place then so look for more excitement in the next video.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sign Painting

Ashley from our Action Research Seminar helping out with some detailed sign repainting.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Transformative Technology

In my estimation this is an example of transformative technology. It is a flip video camcorder that is not much bigger than some cell phones, has three function buttons and takes very good quality images. Easy video for the masses and people like me who can't deal with a zillion features that boggle the mind. Watch for video uploads to this blog.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Got the Worm

I keep focusing on the advent of a real spring but the arrival of the robins is a sure sign of good things to come. My "got a worm" image is not perfect but I will continue to try and get the perfect shot.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Maple Trees Show Signs of Spring

The native silver maples are always the first trees to bloom and show signs that spring in on the way. These pictures show the buds opening and then in full flower.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

New East St. Louis Proejct

The East St. Louis Park District has a greenhouse they want to get back in operation so they can grow flowers for spring planting in 2009. We will be looking for some grant funds to try and help the project along.

The Price of Gas!!

Guess this picture is no surprise. Gas and deisel sticker shock.

Emporium Closing

The Homer Emporium has been sold and will close very soon. Sad to see it go as this store was the major attraction in town. They stocked over 200 different kinds of bottled soda and a variety of other things.

Public Art on Campus?

I couldn't help but chuckle when I saw this example of student art outside the Art and Design building on campus. Guess whoever did it liked beer that came in green bottles.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Hardy's Reindeer Ranch

Julie Hardy explaining to Hania and Byeong Cheol about their agritourism business and reindeer.

Why admit it?

I'm not sure this is what I would want to advertise to the world about myself.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


I am forever doing battle with the squirrels. I love feeding the birds but not paying to fatten up these varmints! I may have a Ph.D. but those little #@*!?#!+s beat me every time. And to add further humiliation Kathy finds it very amusing and has named the little monsters.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Duct tape car repair

It never fails to surprise me how people will try to repair thing with duct tape. Of particular humor is car patch jobs. Here's one I saw but my plan is to look for more.

Trouble with your TV?

My Noble Hall office is between a number of dorms and I couldn't help but be impressed by some students who must have been experiencing problems with their TV. In a moment of frustration it was tossed out of a 4th story window to the sidewalk below.

Student memory of a friend?

I have no idea what this really represents but I saw a group of 5-6 female students in a circle looking toward the ground and in what appeared to be a deep conversation. Later after they departed I checked out what they had left behind and although it is not apparent in this image it says something like "We mis you and wish you were here Maria" None of my business but it sure raises some issues in my mind.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Shouldn't Eat It

I'm not supposed to eat bacon but occasionally do. This is from our local Homer butcher who cures the bacon for a week and then cuts it off a slab as you order it. The curing for processed meat in the grocery store takes a day at best and is not from locally raised pork. Obviously this bacon is very different and much better than that from the grocery store, but I'm still not supposed to indulge.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Prairie farmland in the winter

I can't wait for these farm fields to be green again.

East St. Louis Park Sign

Here I am with Mrs. Drake who is the energy behind the Illinois Avenue Playground project first done by U of I students in 1993. Joining us is Irma Golliday the Director of the ESL Park District. Mrs. Drake is very passionate about this little park and the sign that represents it. We are trying to repaint and fix up the sign for her. In addition the FAA 391 class is working on a project to establish an adopt-a-park program for local residents to help beautify and maintain the park.


This cheap part that should cost a few bucks actually is a $52 item from General Electric. Due to a manufacturer's defect the cold water dispenser in our refrigerator freezes up and this is a heater (!) to keep it flowing. Yes, a heater in a refrigerator. To add insult to injury as my Grandmother would have said, the bill for labor cost has yet to arrive. Think twice about purchasing GE appliances.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Russia Meeting

I met at IL State Univ in Bloomington with Ron Pope to discuss our summer trip to Vladimir Russia. His leadership at American Home in Vladimir is a huge asset in our tourism development efforts there.

Interesting Car

Someone in my little town is the proud owner of a Smart Car. First one I've come across. I'm all in favor of small economical vehicles but this one is too tiny for me.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Document from 1700

A friend from East St. Louis, Riley Owens, asked me to see what I could find out about a velum document he had that was dated 1700. This is Alvan Bregman the Rare Book Librarian at the U of I looking it over. He was actually able to read the Old English. Bottom line is it's not valuable but an interesting old legal document.

Road kill

In rural central Illinois we often hear coyotes howling but they are quite elusive and rarely seen. This poor guy got stuck on the RT49 bridge and hit.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Recharging Batteries

We had a pleasant surprise in the temperature today, it got up to the upper-sixties. I couldn't resist to recharge myself and the Harley's batteries with a good hard ride out in the country.

Action Reserch: Il Avenue Playground

One of the projects taken on by our Action Research class is to form an adopt-a-park neighborhood group for the Illinois Ave. Playground in East St. Louis. Here is a local youth lending a hand, Janni and some of our students cleaning up the park.

ESLARP Dunham Project

One of our ongoing ESLARP Outreach Weekend projects is to help preserve materials from the Dunham estate in the two old homes that were used for storage. What you see here are items taken from an unopened large crate that had been sent from Africa some years ago. The chair appears to be intricately inlayed with ivory, the sculpture/table(?) is very unusual and the masks are always interesting. All these items were moved to the museum for safe keeping.