Friday, June 29, 2018

Breaking Away

Our washer broke down right before Memorial Day.  So, I broke down and got on YouTube to see if I could fix it.  After a valiant effort (valiant -- at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it) I couldn't fix it, but I did think I identified two broken parts that it could possibly be.

Broke down and called a friend of mine who owns an appliance repair shop.  Turns out that they broke down not too long ago and stopped repairing GE appliances.   But, he did forward on someone who does.

Broke down and called.  Immediate answer.  Immediate diagnoses of the problem.  "I'll call today so we can get this working."

I waited a week with no reply.  So, I broke down and called.  No answer. Left message.  No reply.  Broke down and left a text.  Received a text:  "Parts are on order."

I waited a week.  No further information.  Called.  Text.  No reply. 
Broke down and messaged.  Broke down and texted.  No reply.
Finally barrage of pleas.  Seems that there was a breakdown in communicateion.  Text reply soemthing like: "Sorry, your job fell through the cracks.  Found out parts are on backorder."

I bet you can see where there is going.  While watching the new TV series Yellowstone, it hit me.  In the second episode, the owner of the largest ranch in the state is trying to break a wild mustang.   He finally gives up doing it himself and literally duct tapes a young troubled kid in his early twenties -- who has barely been on a horse -- to the wild beast and the two of them buck and kick for hours until they are both broken. 

Yes, we were broken.  We came to the realization that the replacement parts were never coming.  And, the laundry mat, though fun at first, was starting to lose its shine. So, we broke down and bought a new one.  Bought it.  Packed it in the back of the truck.  Installed it with "little" complication.  And now it's doing its thing. 

Sometimes, when you don't get a break, you just have to take a break, make a break from your plans,  and break off into a new direction.

Let's hope this one doesn't break anytime soon.  In the meantime, I'll save my quarters.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Have a little laugh in life . . .

Suzanne and I both had the day off yesterday, so we decided to take a road trip and explore Indiana's First City:  Vincennes.  It's just an hour up the road, but it's a place we don't manage to get to very often.  We should.  It's one of the most eclectic little places you'll ever go.

For history lovers, it is Indiana's First City,  Founded in 1732 by French fur traders, notably, Fran├žois-Marie Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes for whom the Fort was named, Vincennes is the oldest continually inhabited European settlement in Indiana and one of the oldest settlements west of the Appalachians.

George Rogers Clark National Historical Park  
Fort Knox II  
Grouseland, President William Henry Harrison Mansion  
Indiana Military Museum
McGrady-Brockman House (Regional History/Genealogical Research Center)  
Old Cathedral (Basilica of St. Francis Xavier)  
Old Cathedral Library & Museum  
Old French House & Indian Museum  
Vincennes State Historic Sites 

And then there is the Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy, which celebrates the life and legacy of one of America's greatest comedians (born in Vincennes in 1913).  Here you'll meet Freddie the Freeloader, Clem Kadiddlehopper, as well of other characters whom he brought to life through his radio and television shows.  Show my parents and grandparents were certainly big fans of.

Here are just a few of Red’s thoughts:

Live by this credo: have a little laugh at life and look around you for happiness instead of sadness. Laughter has always brought me out of unhappy situations.

There are three signs of old age: loss of memory ... I forget the other two.

I personally believe that each of us was put here for a purpose -- to build not to destroy. If I can make people smile, then I have served my purpose for God.

Old age is when broadness of the mind and narrowness of the waist change places.

Any kid will run any errand for you, if you ask at bedtime.
Today's comics use four-letter words as a shortcut to thinking. They're shooting for that big laugh and it becomes a panic thing, using four-letter words to shock people.

I don't need glasses, but I've just reached the age where curiosity is greater than vanity.

No matter what your heartache may be, laughing helps you forget it for a few seconds.

My doctor said I look like a million dollars - green and wrinkled.

Congress: Bingo with billions.

I've put on a lot of weight... I only weighed six and a half pounds when I was born.

Television: The device that brings into your living room characters you would never allow in your living room.

Our principles are the springs of our actions. Our actions, the springs of our happiness or misery. Too much care, therefore, cannot be taken in forming our principles.

God's children and their happiness are my reasons for being.

And finally,

If by chance some day you're not feeling well and you should remember some silly thing I've said or done and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as your clown has been fulfilled.
Red Skelto

The Red Skelton Museum certainly does that.  Get out and explore.  If nothing else, just for some laughs.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Just something silly . . .

Wrote a couple of days ago (and in previous posts) about shooting Muzzleloading Rifles. 

Several times a year we participate in Rendezvous which require period dress, primitive camping, etc. Though I participate, one of the things I don't do is wear animal furs (okay, perhaps cow).   It's a persoanl choice:  I don't hunt, therefore I don't wear it. 

Anyway, I saw this cartoon going around the hobby sites and thought I'd pass it along. 

 That's a real "ass hat."  And I love the toe testing the water painting. 

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Mississippi Solo and Imagination

One more sequence from Mississippi Solo by Eddy L. Harris.

As Harris is trying to talk himself into canoeing the length of the Mississippi River from Minnesota to New Orleans, he visits an old friend of his, Robert.

Robert, talking about the naysayers in Eddy's life:  "You see, everybody thinks his way is the right way . . . Everybody thinks he knows what's best so, when a friend comes by with a different way, especially a risky way, you want to save him.  You see?"

What about imagination and vision?

"Without vision and imagination," Robert says softly, "you never look for your own path to glory . . . But it takes vision to see what shoes fit you and what shoes fit the other guy . . .  And the thing to remember is:  don't take it all so seriously.  Failure is horrible, but it's not the worst thing there is."

By the way, where Eddy is now now in the book, he's left St. Louis and is at Lake Itasca -- the birth of the Mississippi, the calm before the rage.

What's your vision and imagination?

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, June 25, 2018

Ready. Aim . . .

Attended our Black Powder Muzzleloading Club's monthly shoot this weekend.   Targets at 25-, 50-, and 100-yards out using 1600's-1800's style muzzleloading rifles.

Towards the end of the second day,  I noticed that I was leading on one of the targets.  Surprising.  I really don't shoot that often and I have not worked at becoming a great shot.  I was refeling in my glory when one of the premier shooters came up with his target.  Adds 'em up.  Beats me by one point.


I was disappointed.  He was humble.  I'm really happy for  Guido (born in Cuba) because he's dedicated to practicing to win. Plus, he's a great friend.  I would have just been happy because I was lucky enough to win.

 Ready.  Aim . . .
Pull the trigger (notice the spark created by the flint hitting the steel frezzen)
 Another winning shot on target!

Better to be lucky than good?  My old friend teaches me every shoot that it's much better to work at being good than to lazily counting on being lucky.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Friday, June 22, 2018


Received an interesting book from my younger daughter.  It was a Father’s Day gift.  Said she saw it and it reminded her of me.

It’s a memoir called Mississippi Solo by Eddy L. Harris.  It is, according to the back cover, a true story of a young black man’s quest: to canoe the length of the Mississippi River from Minnesota to New Orleans.

First, I’m not a black man.  Second, I’d never canoe the Mississippi River.  On the other hand, I do enjoy canoeing and I have had many similar grand and crazy ideas.  My daughter knows this as, growing up, she was subject to many of my let’s get in the car and see where the open road takes us weekend adventures. 

Harris’ story is a classic one.  At age thirty, he took stock of his life and reflected on all the young man's dreams that won’t come true.  No climbs up Everest, no try-outs with his favorite baseball team, no great American novel.  No great risks. 

But, then there was this audacious dream of traveling the length of the Mississippi River in a canoe.  It's the mighty river that he grew up next to in St. Louis.

Harris writes, “I’ve never minded looking stupid and I have no fear of failure.  I decided to canoe down the Mississippi River and to find out what I was made of.”

Gossamer?  Damn, I'm only on page two and I’m reaching for the dictionary.  I know,  I should have studied harder in school instead of dreaming.  

Harris continues, “Once they have reached a certain age, dreamers are no longer held in high esteem.  They are ridiculed instead, called looney and lazy, even by their friends.  Especially by their friends.

“Dreams are delicate and made of gossamer (a fine spider silk or a very light, sheer, gauze-like fabric).  They hang lightly on breezes and suspend as if from nothing.  The slightest wind can tear them apart.”

Eddy L. Harris remained undaunted by his family and friends ridicule.  “But this dream of mine, still suspended on the breeze and delicate as ever, was just as real as those flimsy summer spider webs hanging in the air, and just as clinging.  Once the webs attach themselves to you they are hard to get rid of.  And so it was with my desire to take the river.”

So, that’s as far as I’ve gotten into Mississippi Solo.  But it sounds like a wonderful Carpe diem story.  Okay, a peek at Chapter 3:  “A man blessed with a flood of ideas has the luxury to squander them, to sift through his wealth until he finds the right idea for the right occasion . . . When a man has only one great notion, it becomes all the more valuable, a jewel, a prized and noble possession.” 

Thank you LucyAnne for introducing me to Mississippi Solo.  And, Mr. Harris, I’ll see you down the river.  Best wishes.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Happy Summer Solstice

Summer solstice (midsummer) always reminds me of Stonehenge, perhaps the most famous of England's stones, and baseball.  

The Brits do love their Stonehenge and we do love our baseball.  What do the two have in common? 

I have to take you back to my high school baseball catching days when, one day out of the blue,  coach Quentin Merkel stopped infield practice and asked, "Kuhnnie, what's the distance between home plate and second base?" 

"I don't know!"

"You don't know how far you have to throw a ball to second to throw out a base stealer?"

I thought about it for a second (knowing that I’d never some up with the answer), then threw a ball to our second baseman and said something like, "From here to there!"

He just shook his head and kicked the dirt, "Talk to your math teacher tomorrow."

That's when I was introduced to Pythagoras' theorem.

 What does this have to do with Stonehenge?  Seems that the circles were built using Pythagoras’ theorem --  2,000 years BEFORE philosopher's birth.  Many assume that cavemen intelligence built the monumental megalith in Wilshire, but new evidence suggests that brainiacs could have been behind the building of Stonehenge (or their coach sent them to their math teacher). 

So how far is it from home to second?


I wonder if Pythagoras was a catcher on his team?

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Photographs and Memories

My twin brother put me in time machine and sent me back in time.  Destination:  1971.

He was searching for a specific photograph from that era and thought I might have one in the Kuhn archives (a.k.a. boxes and boxes of ancient stuff).  I did not find what he was looking for., however, I did rediscover . . .
  • Money was tight for my parents.  Film and processing cost money.  Unlike today's digital age, there are only a handful of precious shots for each event.
  • Dad had a very creative eye, though rarely choose to exhibit it (see above).
  • Mom was very photogenic. 
  • Not that I'm good looking now, but damn, I was one ugly kid.
  • Dad loved photographs with cannons.  My sister did not.
  • Mom sewed awesome Halloween costumes. 
  • My twin brother and I were forced to dress alike -- a lot!
  • Rarely a photo of Grandpa "Louie" without a pipe in his mouth.
  • Though I remember Grandma "Louie" as having a great sense of humor, she rarely smiled in photographs.
  • We boys loved G.I. Joe.  My sister loved The Beatles. 
  • We thought our cousins were strange; they thought we were even stranger.  Somehow it all worked.  Tons of smiles in those Christmas and Easter photos at Granny Kuhn's. 
  • When you have four children in a shot -- especially vacation shots -- one of the four will look very annoyed (the other three will have smiles like the cat that ate the canary).
And all the above observations are from just one carousel of slides (several dozens to look through -- not to mention thousands of photographs Mom took).

It's true that nobody can give me my childhood back.  But, thanks to Mom and Dad and a few precious sildes and photographs, I can relive the memories whenever I want.   I may not always find what I'm looking for, but I'm always reminded to never lose that childlike wonder.

What are some of your favorite childhood photos?

Carpe diem Life.
David Kuhn

Monday, June 18, 2018


This past weekend, my six-year-old granddaughter and I performed a magic show for family members using some of the magic tricks we bought a couple of weeks ago at a magic shop in Brown County. 

While we did practice, the tricks didn't exactly always go as planned.  In fact, several of the tricks were accidentally revealed during the performance.  We tried to cover them up as quickly as possible, but the illusion was gone.

At one point, my daughter just laughed and said in a hypnotic voice, "Erase your mind.  Erase your mind."  The trick went on and we still got an applause. 

Later, when little Annabeth made another reveal, she took a cue from her Mom and immediately told the audience, "Erase your mind.  Erase your mind."  We all laughed and the magic continued.

"Erase your mind."    That's actually magical advice.  Though it's important to learn from our mistakes, it doesn't do any good to be faithful to a mistake.  Our past mistakes are only feedbacks that are there to help us alter our DIRECTION to get you to your destination.

Mistake?  Remember:  The big show of life must go on.  It's magic!


Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Friday, June 15, 2018

From the sublime to the ridiculous

The other day I told you about the rare opportunity to guard some of Rock 'n' Roll's most legendary guitars.  Last night I was brought more down to earth.

 While working the other job, got a report that there was a kitten "stuck" under an ambulance parked on the property.  The woman said that she would take in the tiny creature if we could get it out. 
So . . .
It took some effort as the kitten wasn't really stuck but, frightened, kept heading to higher nooks and crannies of the undercarriage.  My biggest fear was that once I got the kitten out safely,  it would be ME pinned under the ambulance and needing to be extracted.

But, in the end, it all worked out.  Kitten safe in its new owner's arm.  I managed to not get my arm shredded by kitten claws.  And, not without struggle,  I was able to squeeze back out from under the truck.  A few people cheered; most just had a good laugh at my expense.

Life.  Some days you're guarding a fortune, some days you're rescuing kittens.   Either way, enjoy the process and Carpe diem.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

I've got nothing.

Spent a few minutes meditating on something to write this morning.  Pretty much got nothing.

Maybe what Howard Dietz once said about composers can also be said about me: 

"I don't like composers who think.  It gets in the way of their plagiarism."

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

"Phinex" (sic)

Worked a concert last night that re-introduced a story that I had forgotten about.  One that involves one of the rock world's most famous guitars.  A story that, for at least for a brief note in time, I became a part of.

When I was sixteen, I, along with pretty much everyone I knew, purchased the album Frampton Comes Alive by British rocker Peter Frampton.  For months, it never left the turntable.  And you couldn't listen to the radio for more than a couple of songs without hearing one of the multiple songs that made the charts:   "Show Me the Way", "Baby, I Love Your Way", and "Do You Feel Like We Do."

I remember being inspired to find a few of his earlier albums at the local used record store run by a guy named "Fats," but they were all a bit of a let-down from the dynamics of that live album.

On that album cover is Frampton with his favorite guitar, a custom1954 Gibson Les Paul.

Turn the page (or sheet music) 42 years to last night and I'm backstage working the Peter Frampton and Steve Miller Band concert.  Fortunately, I got positioned outside the dressing rooms where I got to at least say a couple passing hellos as they all walked back and forth.

Back to the guitar.  Seems that that very guitar was presumed destroyed in a 1980 cargo plane crash.  Presumed destroyed, that is, until 2012.

It turns out the guitar did not burn up in November 1980 when a cargo plane crashed on takeoff in Caracas, Venezuela, on its way to Panama. Instead, someone plucked it from the burning wreckage, sold it to a local musician, and it had been there all along.

The story of how Frampton originally got the guitar and how he got the "Phoenix rising from the ashes" back is worth the research.

But for now, back to last night.  After Frampton finished and while Steve Miller was playing, I was reassigned by our security team supervisor . . . (I use "security team" and "reassign" here because it sounds much more impressive than "lowly-paid old man wearing an ill-fitting issued polo with "security" heat pressed on it and has hints of rarely being washed -- the shirt, not the old man).   Anyway, I was assigned to the loading dock where I was introduced to the stage manager.   Nice guy.  Told me to watch a crate.  THE crate that contained all of Peter Frampton's electric guitars with him on tour.  Holy shit.  There it was.  The "Phinex" as Frampton has labeled it.

"Don't leave," he said, "I'm going to get the last one."  My eyes never left the crate.

So, here comes the stage manager with the last, a 1960 Les Paul burst.  He starts to put it in the crate and stops, glares at me and says, "One is missing!"  My first thought was, I bet he does this cheesy prank on every stop.  Only, I noticed the concern in his eyes and it was real.  "One. Is. Missing!"    I did everything to assure him that I had not let my eyes off of the guitars.  Still, I started to feel guilty.

Fortunately, after a search, the missing guitar was found in the wrong crate and I was off the hook.

So, now I'm off to learn a little more about one of rock's greatest guitarists with some of the most tragic to "phoenix rising" to tragedy guitar stories in history.  Stories?

Turns out that he -- along with hundreds of other musicians -- lost a large number of instruments in the 2010 Nashville flood.  That's another tragic story of perhaps the largest loss of historic instruments in one day.  I'll let you research that for yourself.

The lesson of all this?  To paraphrase Peter Frampton, things happen and you just do what you have to do to keep playing.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, June 11, 2018

Our Job Title?

I've been meeting a lot a new people on my newest part-time job.  People from all walks of life.  Introduced to one woman as, "The hardest working person in show business."  Her "show business" is Environmental Services.  That's a fancy name for someone who is always active cleaning and ensuring a safe environment for everyone who comes in the building.

She doesn't say much when I say hello.  Pretty much just keeps working -- but she smiles.

Got me thinking of all the people in my life that I've had the privilege to say hello to.  Without realizing it, we fill important places in each other's lives.  Teacher, bosses, co-workers, customers.  Some good people who fill important roles and do good in our lives. 

Reminds me of an old Sufi story (I suppose all Sufi stories are old?):  A good man was granted one wish by God.  The man said that he would like to go about doing good without knowing about it.  Just do good.  God granted his wish.  And then God decided that it was such a good idea, he would grant that wish to all human beings.  And so it has been to this day.

I guess that means that we all hold the job position of Environmental Services:  Doing good!

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Friday, June 8, 2018

Hope is . . .

It's been hanging around the garage since last November: A snake gourd.

My granddaughter gave it to me when we were picking out our Halloween pumpkins.  At six, she has a wacky sense of humor -- like her Grandpa Kuhn.  For whatever reason, she found the snake gourd to be too funny and knew that I just had to have it instead of a jack-o-lantern.  And so it was.

Of course, I put some cartoon eyes and mouth on it.   He hung out  with the pumpkins and then, not exactly knowing what to do with it, I hung it up in the garage.  Found it the other day.

Shaking it, it rattled with seeds.  That's interesting.  So, I figured that I would cut off the "tail" of this snake and plant a few seeds in the back of the yard just to see what happens.   Not much for eating, but interesting watch grow -- I hope.

Eating and hope.  Reminds me of a Francis Bacon quote: "Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper."

Something to chew on.

Have a great weekend.
Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Thursday, June 7, 2018

I didn't DRIFT

Hung a new fishing rod holder at our cabin yesterday.  Quite proud of myself as I measured, measured again (always "measure twice and cut once"), leveled, hung. Perfect.  Except . . .

I had mounted the brackets based on the length of first fishing rod that I picked up -- unfortunately, the shortest one.  So, when I went to hang the next one -- a longer one -- it was way too long to fit.  And the next one . . .


I now have to small screw holes in the wall to remind me to DRIFT:
Do it right the first time! 

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Some days are magical and some are . . .

"Blue Ice" days.

This headline at a "weird news" website caught my attention:
Liquid Poo Rains On Woman And Son Sitting In Car

According to the article by David Moye, a Canadian woman claims the feces shower, believed to have come from a passing aircraft, has (I'll just say, left a shitty taste in your mouth).

Moye goes on to report that Susan Allan said that she and her adult son were sitting in her car at a stoplight when the feces came pouring in through the sunroof.

“While we were sitting there, our car was inundated with liquid poo falling from the sky,” Allan told “I had it on my face, down my shirt, my entire car, and the vehicle beside us were all covered in it.”

Allan said she and her son, Travis Sweet, watched the excrement fall as a large passenger plane flew overhead.

The actual sensation of crap hitting their skin was something Travis will never forget. First, he said, he felt a cold sensation hit the side of his face and shoulder.

“Then the smell hit my nose,” he said. “I almost vomited instantly. It was terrible.”

Allan contacted Kelowna Airport for answers.

An administrator for Transport Canada told her the government department would investigate the possibility of frozen lavatory waste, called “blue ice,” falling from an aircraft, according to The Globe and Mail newspaper.

A spokesperson for the airport told Fox News that as of Monday, “there is no connection to an aircraft as Transport Canada’s investigation is still ongoing.”

“All we want people to know is that it was quite devastating to be covered in poop, and I hope it never happens to anybody else,” Allan said.

Carpe diem -- even "blue ice" days!

David Kuhn

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Abracadabra Synchronicity

I wrote a little about magic yesterday.  Last night I was watching NBC nightly news and the "good news" story to end the program was on -- drum roll from the magic theater band -- a dentist in New Jersey who performs magic for his young patients.

Dr. Eyal Simchi operates a dental practice in Elmwood, New Jersey. Based on the reviews on the Riverfront Pediatric Dentistry, parents and patients alike love him because of his easy demeanor -- and his magic tricks.

One of those magic tricks, posted on social media last week. has gone viral. The dental office posted the video on Facebook and it's been viewed well over 30 million times.

Now, for a little more synchronicity.  Many magicians use the cabbalistic charm word ABRACADABRA (said to be made up from the initials of the Hebrew for Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).  Get this.  The charm used to be used against such things as toothaches.  The word was written on parchment as shown below and hung from the neck by a linen thread.

Hoping your day is filled with Abracadabra magic!

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, June 4, 2018

Hocus Focus

Every time I visit my grandkids (ages three and six), they want to take me to one of their favorite places.  I always look forward to going to the favorite places in the world of three- and six-year-olds.  After all, I'm still a kid at heart.

This weekend they treated me to Rich Hill's Magic & Fun Emporium in Nashville, Indiana.  Here's the place to get everything from jokes and pranks to clown and juggling supplies to magic equipment and tricks of all kinds -- for magicians of all ages.

I loved watching little Annabeth (six) take part in the show as one of the resident magicians, Thomas Hastings, demonstrated illusions for shoppers.  Magical.

So, on this visit we each bought some tricks to take home and learn.  The plan is to put on a show for the rest of the family the next time we all get together.  I have to admit, that's a lot of pressure learning a few magic tricks in just a couple short weeks.  But, the show will go on!

Magic has a lot of Carpe diem qualities to teach children and adults alike, including: 

Every time a child performs a trick they will feel their confidence grow.

Hocus Focus
Learning a magic trick involves focus on tiny details and the big picture.

Screen-Free Hobby
It's a hobby that is portable and doesn’t rely on an electronic screen.

Acting Skills and Imagination
A magician is an actor playing the part of a magician.

To perform a trick well you have to practice, practice and then practice some more and when you think you have it perfect the practice it again.  Through practice, we learn that with patience and work, tasks that were impossible can be achieved!

By repetition of moves and the performing of scripted magic, we will improve and learn how to learn.

In learning Magic, you will become ever more dexterous and ambidextrous!

Communication Skills
In order to perform a baffling trick you have to have clear communication, this is not just words but body language and clarity of information.

So, you could say that "the trick" to making children (and hopefully, older adults like me) more confident and sociable is to teach them magic.

Now, I'd love to say that I'm off to practice my magic tricks, but I see that the grass really does need cutting; as much as I'd love Harry Blackstone to magically appear and magically cut it with the wave of his wand, I'd better get out there and do it the old-fashioned, mortal way.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Friday, June 1, 2018

Simplicity 202

Yesterday, I wrote that I took my grandchildren fishing over the Memorial Day Weekend.   It reminded me of when my grandpa Louie used to take us fishing at Garvin Park here in Evansville.  We used the tried and true cane pole method.  As I remember, the cane poles were about 26 feet long, so I can't imagine how we used to get them to the lake in his tiny car (of course, I was very young then, so maybe they weren't quite 26 feet long).

One year, around 50 years ago, my father bought my two brothers and I the quintessential kid fishing combo: The Zebco 202 rod and reel.  Millions of young fisherkids started off with this good ol' basic Zebco 202.

When my girls were old enough to take fishing -- whether they had an interest or not -- I bought them their own Zebco 202 combo.

Though I've since graduated to a slightly better quality reel, I've still always kept our 202s.   Now that the grandkids are old enough to take fishing, I decided to locate them and try to bring them back to life.   With only 17 parts, these things are as simple as they get (though, certainly not as simple as a cane pole).   Still, it was a bit of project:  Breakdown, clean, oil, crease, reassemble -- hopefully without any extra parts -- and I was done.
My 202 on the left.  One of my girls' on the right, dated 1986.
It was a good lesson on taking simple and making it better.  Now, if I've done all the steps correctly, they're ready for the next time the grandkids come down to fish.  And, with a little fishing luck, they'll be around for the next generation. 

If not, I'll see if I can find us a few cane poles.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn