Runs Like a . . . Driverless Deer?

I read an interesting statistic lately about driverless vehicles — especially interesting to those of us in mid-America.

Do you know who the biggest producer (by volume) is?

John Deere.

This John Deere combine is used to harvest field corn and soybeans.

It makes sense. John Deere has been working on smart machines and implements since the 1990’s, and they’ve learned a thing or two in the last 20 years.

It appears John Deere learned that in order to create an autonomous vehicle, their machines have to sense everything a human would. Once the vehicle does this, there are complications to the sensors, such as dust and rain.

None of John Deere’s products are completely self-driving yet, but they seem to lead the production so far. Interesting.


Books I’ve Read Lately

Lately, many of the books I’ve read, or attempted to read, have not been recommendable.

I used to be a reader that would always finish the book — no matter what.  But my book club instigated a 50-page rule. If a book doesn’t grab your interest in 50 pages, you can stop reading. Most of the times, I’ll read further than 50 pages, but I will certainly put a book down now. Life is too short and there are too many great books out there to struggle to keep reading a badly written book!

However, I have finished three books I can recommend. They are:

fishBowlfish bowl by Bradley Somer.  I read this because my book club selected it and I really enjoyed it.  I’d describe it as a modern day, “Rear Window.”

Throughout the book, a goldfish is falling from a high-rise balcony. As he falls, he takes the reader on a journey witnessing the residents intertwined lives.  The characters are interesting and fresh.  It’s a quick read for when you don’t want to think too hard but enjoy the human condition.

GrapesOfWrathGrapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. I hadn’t ever read this book and on a recent discount book store run, I picked up a copy for my house.  I enjoyed this book, but skipped over the philosophical chapters. They showed their age.  If you’ve already read this book, hope you can grab another classic book out there that you haven’t been able to read.


CuckoosCallingThe Cuckoos Calling by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling). I had read that this was the weakest of the three books in this crime drama trilogy. It may have been the weakest, but it was a great book. The crime genre is not my favorite but this was a good book. Cormoran Strike is an ex-military, private investigator with a complicated personal life and a fledgling business. If you’ve read it, let me know what you thought of this.

— Namaste


Did you get to witness the eclipse in totality yesterday?

We made viewing boxes but didn’t need them due to the cloud cover.

If not, I assume you all tried to witness your version of the eclipse. My son and I drove what for us should have been two hours away to witness totality. “Should” being the operative word. The drive home that should have taken two hours took five and a half. 30 mph the entire way.  Oh my.  When we were home, I walked directly to the frig for a beer and my son went directly to his room. lol.

Once the memories of that ride go away, we will be left with the greatness of the experience.  Being near all the people experiencing the same event was so fun — my discussion with a woman who drove up from Texas stands out.  We had quite a bit of cloud cover so our pictures are not great, but the experience did not disappoint.

eclipseThe stillness for those two minutes, the birds chirping like early morning, the sunrise to the north.  The drop in temp.

In 2024, I’ll be chasing totality again!

— Namaste