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Monday, April 28, 2008

The Boys are Back

Coming Home

Thirty area National Guard soldiers from here in Sioux City are coming home Wednesday. You can bet we'll be escorting them into town! It should be similar to THIS, only without the bone-numbing cold... I'm taking the day off work Wednesday, polishing my bike, making sure my flag is ready...

Welcome-Homes are MUCH better than funerals!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Be Careful Out There!

Watch out for motorcyclists!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Phew! What a Week


1.) It is NOT a requirement to be a Republican in order to own a flag.

2.) I wish he could have.

3.) We went to the family farm Thursday night. My uncle was back from Africa to visit for a few days (remind me to tell you HIS story sometime -- it's quite something). We talked with my uncle, pinched the cheeks of several small adorable children, and saw this out the back window...

4.) Where's the lapel pin? I even went to his website. Plenty of flags, but no lapel pin. Evidently it's a mortal flaw for Senator Barack Obama to be seen without an American flag lapel pin, but Senator John McCain doesn't need such things...

Isn't it time to start thinking about the ISSUES rather than who wears lapel pins and what someone's minister said?

Truthfully, if you're going to get into that sort of mudslinging, here's a tidbit for you... Senator McCain actively sought the support of Rev. John Hagee, a minister who called the Catholic church a "false cult system" and a "great whore." Senator McCain said Hagee, "supports and stands for what I believe in," and said he was "proud of his spiritual leadership."

Turns out Rev. Hagee also believes he can read God's mind, as in 2006 he said, "I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they are -- were -- recipients of the judgment of God for that." Just a few days ago, McCain said, "I'm glad to have his endorsement."

Digging a little further, it seems that Rev. Hagee was actually defrocked and is not allowed to preach in some churches. He's been in trouble with the IRS for earning millions of dollars per year as a televangelist and not paying taxes, and, like Senator McCain, had a messy divorce. He's consistently made anti-Catholic and anti-Jewish remarks. (He's been criticized by the Christian Research Institute for publishing a book in which he claims that the Christian church should reject the Jewish people as Jesus never claimed to be "the Messiah of the Jews, but only the Savior of the Christian Church.")

Meanwhile, the North Carolina Republican Party has been airing an ad showing Senator Barack Obama's minister saying outrageous things ("not 'God bless America,' no, 'God damn America'"). Senator McCain claims to be a party leader, but he can't seem control his own people enough to get them to stop airing the ad... McCain does repudiate the ad, but is ineffective in stopping it.

Speaking of Senator Obama's minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, here are a few facts for you. Rev. Wright served both in the Marine Corps and the United States Navy, graduated salutatorian from the National Naval Medical Center, treated United States President Lyndon B. Johnson after Johnson had surgery, and received three letters of commendation from the White House. Rev. Wright is not just a minister, but is a professor of divinity and holds a doctorate. The man does seem to have developed some radical views, though, leading Senator Obama to condemn the pastor's remarks and distancing himself from the pastor's views, though Obama does not condemn the man himself.

Anyway, the point of this whole rant is that Senator McCain's campaign should probably quit throwing stones at Senator Obama, as those stones can quickly be turned against them. And, to me, THIS WHOLE THING IS STUPID. I want to know who's going to support our troops by getting them out of Iraq, who's going to go after al-Queada, who's going to get our economy moving again, who's going to make solar and wind power affordable... Those are the things I want to know! In spite of my little rant about ministers and lapel pins, I don't really care about that sort of thing at all... I care about the soldier I helped bury a few weeks ago. I care about the increasing number of homeless people in my neighborhood. I care about the words "food shortage."

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Truly random thoughts on a Saturday...

1. How many times in your life have you heard "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton? How many times have you WANTED to hear "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton? Probably not that many times...

2. I still think Senator Obama is the best of the three (Senators Clinton and the other guy both owe too many people too many favors). People say Obama is "elitist." As Jon Stewart put it on the Daily Show (all quotes paraphrased because my memory sucks and I'm too lazy to look them up), "Okay, pick which one of the millionaire senators is from your social class." Mr. Stewart also had a point a few days ago when he said, "What's wrong with 'elite'? Isn't that a GOOD thing? I really don't want someone like me to be president -- I want the best, the smartest, the elite."

But I still wish Governor Richardson had made it further in the process... Oh well.

C) Sometimes more Brot and less Bier might make the photos turn out a bit better. (Translation -- drinking beer while tweaking photos may lead to colorful discoveries.)

4) Proof that I'm old: I just discovered lolcats a few days ago. Proof that I'm immature: I can't quit looking at them.

V) Tastes may change with age, but I still hate peas.

6) This is funny, and I wish I'd thought of it myself. (I found it HERE.)

7) After all these years, the bass player on Paul Simon's "Graceland" album still amazes me. Next time you hear one of those songs, listen for the bass...

Oh, and Victor Wooten is a god. Proof of that can be seen in the video below. The man does things with a bass guitar that are borderline impossible. I swear he changes the laws of physics to suit his whims...

8) I ran out of ink in my printer today, and that made me feel like a failure. Why do I take those things personally? "Gaaah! If only I'd kept better track of the ink levels I wouldn't have run out! I'm a failure! I suck!"

9) See the video below for some rather inappropriate gambling humor.

X) It's a warm 60+ degree Saturday and I'm stuck doing computer work all day. Sucks. Ah well. Beats being homeless, I guess.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Oldie But Moldie

Olympic Humor, sort of

Ole and Lena went to the Olympics. While they were sitting sitting there on a bench watching the proceedings, soaking up the atmosphere of the track and field competitions, the lady next to them turned to Ole and asked, "Excuse me, are you a pole vaulter?"

Ole turned to the lady and politely replied, "No, I'm Norvegian, und my name ain't Valter."

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Six Word Memoir

Steakbellie tagged me with a challenge. I'm a sucker for these things.

The rules:

1) Write your own six word memoir
2) Post it on your blog; include a visual illustration if you’d like
3) Link to the person that tagged you in your post, and to the original post if possible
4) Tag at least five more blogs with links
5) Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

My Memoirs (I'm gonna cheat and do more than one):

Learned that happiness
is named Dagmar.

Drifted too long.
Late bloomer, hopfully?

Blue dot
in a
red state.

Years pass sweetly,
Future beckons urgently.

Worked too hard
for the man.

Futility futility futility futility futility futility.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Miserable Day

Bah! Gah! Grrr! Hhmph!

My stupid www.radloffs.net website is down, and I can't figure out to whom I owe money to get it to work again. I just paid them a few months ago. I have another dumb old website I need a DNS transfer for, but I can't get it to work. I paid them, but the transfer didn't go through and I can't get anyone to answer their e-mail to tell me what to do.

I just want things to work. I want a day without having to fight every single detail. I'm under the constant feeling that people are quite simply taking my money and abandoning me. It's frustrating! I need a vacation. I'm really a pretty gentle person, but I'm having trouble not hitting people right now.

I have no patience for stupid today.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Way cool!

Runs With Elk

Kids and animals. Somehow Dagmar can make connections with kids and animals.

Yesterday Dagmar was feeling poorly again, but wanted some fresh air. "I have a headache," she said. "I vant some fresh air." So we bundled up in our baggy sweaters and headed down the road to the park where they keep the elk herd.

"I vunder if Mister Elk will remember me," Dagmar pondered as we pulled into the park. "I like it vhen he comes up to the fence and lets me look at him." Generally, the bull elk will spot Dagmar as soon as we get out of the car and will come trotting right up to the fence so they can dance a little. Dagmar will put her head down, and the elk will put his head down. Dagmar will shake her head, and the elk will shake his head... It's a fun game they have. "I hope he remembers me," she said again, peering out the window.

"I hope so," I said. "You two have a funny relationship." I thought for a moment. "Relationships with wild animals are tricky. Someday we're going to come here and Mister Elk will have outgrown his games and might not recognize you. He is a wild animal, you know." Dagmar nodded agreement. "I know."

We pulled into the parking lot and spotted the herd in their pasture. By the time I had the camera out Dagmar was already at the fence... Mr. Elk was up on the hill, happily munching away at a twig. But by the time I got down to the fence myself, Mr. Elk had trotted over to the fence and was happily sniffing Dagmar's baggy sweater sleeve.

And the dance started.

Dagmar hunched down and waggled her head back and forth. The elk put his head down and swung his antlers back and forth. Dagmar put her head down to the ground; Mister Elk did the same. Dagmar curtsied to the left, so did the elk... Within minutes they were running alongside the fence. They'd run all the way to the end of the fence that way, then they'd turn around and run along the fence this way. They'd do a little dance, then run to the end and back. Mister Elk would wait patiently while Dagmar would catch her breath, then he'd dance a little... When they ran, he kept perfect pace with Dagmar, not going too fast, not too slow.

You can see more photos of Dagmar running with elk by clicking HERE. It was really neat to watch! Dagmar's been feeling ill again, but BOY did this seem to help! I wasn't surprised that she wanted to get outside for a while as that does sometimes help with her headaches, but to see her smiling and running -- that did MY heart good!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Oh! Hi!

Friday, April 11, 2008


I've officially lost it. I just caught myself checking my own blog to see if I've written anything today. (I hadn't.)

Dagmar feels better today! Yay! She's back at work... She said she felt better this morning than she has in weeks -- she still has a lot of pain, but the "ill" feeling is waning, finally. I'm VERY happy!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Things I've Learned...

What I've Learned in the Past Few Days:

1. I now know why there is no such thing as Pork Chop and Pepperoni Pizza. Been there, done that, not gonna do that again.

2. Blog buddy Steakbellie moved up in the rankings -- he's now ranked 18th in the WORLD by the International Federation of Competitive Eating. Hey, if you're gonna do something, might as well be the best at it!

3. Fixing a leaky faucet really CAN take three days.

4. My wife is incredibly strong and resilient.

5. No matter where you are in life, you're in transition.

6. There is a guy in town here who's at least partially Irish, goes by the name of Seamus, and hates Guinness. That just ain't right. But then again, I'm at least partially German and I hate warm potato salad, so I guess I'll forgive him. And I'll drink his Guinness.

7. Not much gets done when you're watching the clock.

8. I'm not saying that I miss playing in a band, but boy do I miss playing in a band.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

A Nice Photo

The Beautiful Dagmar...

Friday, April 04, 2008

Lotsa Stuff

Dagmar Update:

Some people have been asking about Dagmar. Well, she's still ill... She puts on a happy face and goes to work every day, but it's difficult for her, and she's in pain. Without going into too much detail, there are abscesses, cysts, and infections involved, and any future operation is much riskier than normal due to her medical history. She's seen a ton of doctors and specialists, and we're optimistic that someone will find a way to make her feel better soon. So, she's not feeling well, but she's going on with daily life with a smile anyway. She's one of the strongest people I know.

Airplane Ride:

After talking about Dagmar's problems, it feels petty for me to write this next piece, but I'm really excited about it...

I got to go on an airplane! A real, live Air Force airplane!

A leadership class I'm attending got a quick tour of the local Air National Guard unit, which switched from fighters to tankers just a few years ago. By a stroke of luck, they took our class on a refueling run. Here are some photos:

The class heading to the tanker

This is what the inside looks like.
They can haul a considerable amount of cargo,
or about 50 soldiers (if I remember right).

You know how they refuel planes... they drop a big ol' pole (boom) out the back of the tanker and the other airplanes come up from behind... This is the Boom Operator's control panel in the rear of the tanker.

The pilots

They let us go down next to the Boom Operator while the refueling happened. So I'm on my belly next to the Boom Operator whilst he maneuvered the boom. I'm looking through the back window of one plane into the front window of another... At somewhere around 400 miles per hour.

Here's a photo of the refueling boom just popping out of the receptacle.

Once I got done gawking out the Boom Operator's window, I peeked out the side window.

During the landing, they let me sit in the cockpit.
I mean, DUDE! I got to wear the headset and everything.

You can see all three gazillion photos I took HERE.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Dear world...

According to the Weather Channel it's going to be 57 degrees and sunny on Saturday. I'm hereby giving you notice that emergencies and crises will NOT be allowed between the hours of noon and 6 p.m. on this coming Saturday. I have a date with my motorcycle. Anyone who wants is welcome to come along, but there shall be riding, and it will be happening Saturday.

I will gladly work 15 hours on Friday, and I will gladly work Saturday morning. I will be happy to work Saturday night once the sun goes down, and I will work on Sunday as long as it takes. But I will NOT work between noon and 6 on Saturday.

Thank you for your kind attention.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Mark the Date

Thinking and Rethinking...

I've had a little time to think lately. Precious little time, and even less thought, but I might as well share it with ye.

Lately I've come to like vegetables. I don't know when this snuck up on me, but maybe it's part of growing up. I still like me a nice big ol' pork chop with onions and noodles and ketchup, but now I don't mind so much if there's maybe a little corn or peas or something with it. I ate a couple tacos the other day and didn't bother to pick out the tomato. It's odd. A rethink.

If you've followed this blog much, you know I have a weakness for tasty beers. Nothing against Miller Lite (which I also enjoy), but I really kinda like Belgian ales, or a nice Guinness... But I had a nifty glass of wine the other day. It tasted pretty good indeed! I think I found a new passion. So I'm not gonna drink beer any more. I'm going to buy a couple books on wine tasting and get me a coupla bottles of the grape. Beer sucks. Wine rules.

The Prez'dent
I caught a bit of the news last night whilst waiting for Dagmar to get home (she promised to make me some nice sautéed bean sprouts to go along with a new bottle of white I found), and happened to see a bit of President George W. Bush's latest speech. You know, I think I may have misjudged President Bush.

Maybe he's not the mumbling, bumbling oaf he seems -- maybe his brand of genius is simply so far above me that I can't see his grand vision. Maybe the thousands of people who boo'd him as he threw out the first pitch at a baseball game in Washington DC are all wrong too. (Is there any wonder the poor President rarely makes live appearances in front of anyone other than his most loyal supporters? Every time he steps out in public the uneducated masses voice their disapproval. Makes it hard for him to concentrate.)

Maybe allowing the economy to suffer for a while in order to enrich the oilmen of Texas and the Middle East is all part of a grand plan and we just don't see it. The President MUST have a reason why he allows this to happen. Maybe if we simply put our noses to the grindstone and unquestioningly follow along, making financial sacrifices in the name of the Republican plan... Well, maybe things will be okay. Maybe Mr. Bush really does know what he's doing. I know it was a lot for Mr. Bush to ask a generation of young men and women to sacrifice their youth in order to go to Iraq, but I'm sure they (at least those who survived) are happy to give up their veterans' benefits for the betterment of Big Oil and Haliburton. I mean, the President has a plan, after all - I'm convinced of it.

Oh! And I saw in the newspaper that someone was unhappy with Iowa's Fifth District Representative, Mr. Steve King. I've had time to reconsider his positions, too, and I've come to agree with him that people of Hispanic origin really are the same as cattle, and that those pranksters in Abu Ghraib who tortured all them brown Iraqi people really did get the wrong end of the stick. I mean, what's so bad about pouring phosphoric acid on someone? College prank stuff, really. Oh, and what he said about Obama being unfit for presidential consideration because of his middle name -- that really does make sense now that I think of it. I mean, everyone knows that Mr. Obama should have chosen a different name, after all. After further consideration, I feel that Mr. King is the best man to represent Western Iowa in Congress.

Time Warping
I see Google has found a way to retroactively send e-mails. This means that if you forgot to send an e-mail to, say, your boss, you can use g-mail's new feature to send the e-mail back in time six hours. Genius!

Oh -- I Almost Forgot
Today IS April Fool's Day, you know.

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