As we advance in life it becomes more and more difficult, but in fighting the difficulties the inmost strength of the heart is developed. Vincent Van Gogh

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

What would it have been like?


What was 1939 like? Can you imagine what life was like back then? It could not have been all bad since Gone with the Wind and Wizard of Oz came out that year. Here is a photo of the movie theater in Taylorville with two movies from the time on the marquee. (Edited)

Out of Control Field Fire

On Route 29 today between Rochester and Edinburg, almost to the Christian County line, a field fire gets out of control prompting the Rochester Fire District to send out two trucks to put it out. I arrived on the seen after the fire was out but did get to see the fire trucks leave. Here are photos of the aftermath.
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Monday, February 27, 2006

TV shows I remember watching as a kid Part I


I have been thinking about shows that I remember as a kid. I thought I would discuss them and ask if anyone remembers them. On show in particular I remember, although not that well is Man From Atlantis. I faintly remember this show. But I remember liking it when it came out. It must have really stunk up the screen since it only lasted a little while. I would like to get ahold of one of these shows to see if it why I still remember it. It stared Patrick Duffy. Remember him from Dallas? Well anyway, here is a photo from a google search I did. According to http://epguides.com/ManfromAtlantis/ (Text Copyright © 1997-2005, George Fergus. All rights reserved.) this show was on from May 1977 to June 1978.
It was about a man (Patrick Duffy) that had webbed hands and feet and could swim under water. The only show I remember was a brief part where I saw Patrick Duffy come out ot the water near a boat. That is about it. I know it is not much but for some strange reason this has stuck with me all these years. I was between 5 and 6 years old but still remember this show. Weird?

Anyway, if you feel like commenting on this show feel free. I am interested in seeing if anyone else remembers it.

Quaker Randy

If I was a quaker, I wonder if I would look like this.

Mi Pueblito


Mi Pueblito
Restaurante Mexicano
Bar and Grill
1607 W. King St.
Decatur, Il. 62522
Tel. (217) 428-7610
Sunday afternoon we went to one of my wife's favorite Mexican restaurants called Mi Pueblito.
They are one of the most authentic Mexican places that I have been to. Although, I am not sure if I am allowed to judge whether or not a restaurant is authentic. What I do know is that the food is 100 times better than Taco Bell or the other americanized Mexican eateries.
What can you get a Mi Pueblito? For starters they have the usual corn chips and salsa. The salsa is really good, although you may want to start slow because it can be a little spicy. I know my kids wont touch it without screaming HOT! It really isn't that bad, but if you are sensitive you might want to go easy until you make sure it is right for your tastes. Of course if salsa is not your thing, you could order some bean dip, guacamole, or a variety of nacho plates with a choice of beef, beans, chicken, or cheese. I stuck with the salsa and chips but my father-in-law likes to get the bean dip and add the salsa on top of that.
For my meal, since I don't get along with salad or veggies in my meals, I always order Pollo Loco. It runs $7.99. It is a large thin cut chicken breast marinated in the good stuff and grilled. Served with Rice and beans but I get double rice instead of beans. It was very good. My wife always get the Pollo Yucatan. She loves it. It consists of Marinated grilled chicken cooked with mild yellow, red and green bell peppers, onions, green and yellow zucchini, over a bed of rice. It comes with salad, guac, sour cream and some tortillias. Usually with her there is left-overs, not because it was not good but because it is so much food that she can't eat it all. It runs$8.99.
Of course there is all the other Mexican favorites that we never try because we fear change...
For desert, if you save room is sopapillas, fried ice cream or flan.
They offer a full service bar and there are televisions strategically placed in the resteraunt. We went once and football was on. (You can tell we go here a lot, can't you.) They have drink specials everyday, one in particular is on Saturday you can get 32 oz pitchers of Margaritas for $6.99. Sunday, a pitcher of domestic beer is $4.00.
Anyway, service is usually good although this time the wait for service was a bit long. They are always quick to fill your drink.
Ok, so now you are thinking how do I get there.
Here is a map to the place by MapQuest.
It is located at Fairview Plaza, just down the road from Millikin University.
The decor is very interesting with painting painted right on the wall.
I am going to rate this visit a 9.75 out of 10 since service has been better. But you know that sometimes service can be less as long as the food is soooo good.

Something to do in Springfield--Part 1

Many people I talk to from out of town think that there is not much to do in Springfield. So, I have been looking around to see what there is to do. I thought I would do a series on things to do in Springfield. I went to Head West sub shop one day and saw they were giving out Hockey tickets to there customers. I promptly took a few. So when Friday night rolled around I thought, hmm, going to a hockey game, sounds like something to blog about. I took lots of photos of the event. It was Springfield's own Jr. Blues Vs. The Santa Fe Roadrunners. I now have a new appreciation for Hockey. And if you thought that Nascar was cool because of all the cars banging around on the track, you haven't seen hockey. There were hockey sticks hooking and tripping. Men were slamming into each other on the ice. It is amazing the sound that a man makes when he is slammed against the glass of a hockey rink. I admit that it was a little violent, but it beats watching figure skating any day. Now lets consider the photos.

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Photo: The Blues take the Ice.


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Photo: Practice time.


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Photo: Are the Jr. Blues going to score?


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Photo: Get ready for the Check!


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Photo: This goalie looks ready.


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Photo: So does this one.


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Photo: Not sure why they have referees.


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Photo: Waiting for the Zamboni.


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Photo: Zamboni was used to polish the ice.


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Photo: Smooth as glass


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Photo: 400 Hockey fans can't be wrong!


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Photo: Children were even having fun making one long trumpet.


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Photo: Another photo of the long trumpet. Can it get any longer?


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Photo: The agony of defeat! Jr Blues did not make it tonight. Final--Roadrunners 6, Jr Blues 3.

So Hockey can be fun. So now you know at least one thing fun to do in Springfield.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sunset over the Dam, Lake Decatur, Il


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Lake Decatur, Decatur, IL

Abraham Lincoln vs. Pigs under the courthouse















I don't know if many Lincoln fans know this but Taylorville, Il was the last stop of Abraham Lincoln's circuit as attorney in Central Illinois. He argued many cases in the old Taylorville Court House that is still preserved at the Christian County Historical Museum in Taylorville. The story goes that one day while arguing cases in the old court house, the proceedings were interrupted numerous times by noisy pigs that were resting under the porch of the court house. Showing his wit, he ask the judge to to issue a "writ of quietus" to legally quell the interrupting noises from the pigs. In honor of that story, some folks in Taylorville had a statue created in his honor. Here are some pictures of this statue showing Abe and one of the troublesome pigs.

The unveiling of this statue prompted a nice article in the Chicago Tribune.





























Saturday, February 25, 2006

Grain Bins at Dusk


Edinburg, IL.

Illinois Building

Warmer Weather is coming.


I don't know about you but I am getting weary of the cold weather. I can't wait until it warms up. I was looking through some of my old photos and thought it would be nice to post something other than snow photos. Here is a couple I took of some sunflower fields.

Come on Spring!






Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Kincaid Power Plant

Saturday, I happened to be driving by the power plant near Kincaid, IL.

I got pictures of it.










Kincaid Generation plant, owned and operated by Dominion Resources

Kincaid Generation plant uses subbituminous coal. Here is a photo of some of the coal they use.

Subbituminous Coal--
also called Black Lignite, dark brown to black coal intermediate in rank between lignite and bituminous coal. Subbituminous coals often have a silky lustre and sometimes are macroscopically indistinguishable from the bituminous variety. The fibrous structure characteristic of lignite is absent in subbituminous coals, many of which have evolved alternating dull and bright bands similar to those of bituminous coals. Subbituminous coals are much harder than lignites. Although subbituminous coals have relatively low heat value, their sulfur content is low—often less than 1 percent. For this reason, an increasing number of coal-fueled electric-power plants in the United States have turned from bituminous coals to subbituminous coals and lignites, which also have a low sulfur content. See also bituminous coal; lignite.

"subbituminous coal." Encyclopædia Britannica from Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service. <http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9070091>


This is a photo of part of the conveyor system used to move the coal from the train to the plant.




I did a stint at the Co-Gen plant at ADM in Decatur. One job I had was to repair the cooling screws that cooled the fly ash. At the time they burned old tires along with the coal. When coal is done burning it leaves behind a substance called fly ash. It is a gray powder that is very high alkaline, the exact opposite of acid but can burn you just the same. There was a large hollow "cooling screw" that acted as an auger. It would be constantly filled with water to cool the red-hot fly ash, as it would come out of the boiler. This fly ash would be very abrasive and wear holes in the cooling screw. When this happened, bad things happen. The fly ash has a similar substance that is in concrete. So the water would cause the fly ash to harden like concrete. But remember that the fly ash also has burnt tires in with it. The rubber is gone but the steel that made up the steel belts remains. If you know what rebar does to concrete, you know what the tiny steel slivers did to the hardened fly ash. It would take a few minutes to harden, then the screw would just stop turning. We would have to open up the several bolts on the cover and then use air chisels to bust up the fly ash. Then when we had it all cleaned out, we would find the leak, grind it so it could be welded and then weld the hole shut. By the time we were done we would usually have another one to start. That was hard work, believe me.

The power plant also needs to have a water source to cool everything that needs cooled.
Here is a picture of the hot spring that comes out of the power plant. Notice the steam coming off of the water. The air was very cold when I took these pictures.


Notice how part of the ice has melted due to the heat of the water coming from the plant.



Since this plant burns Subbituminous Coal, experts say it is better for the environment.
If you want to read a new article on Illinois' plan to reduce mercury emissions you can go here. It is very interesting.
I hope you enjoyed my post on the Kincaid Power Plant.

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