Undoubtedly, you've noticed the new look by now.

We've gone from a month of dry and generally reasonable weather to a week of hot and humid weather with plenty of night time thunderstorms. When it gots hot and humid, I'm not too crazy about going outside and sweating just for the sake of sweating. So, I don't feel too bad about spending a few hours updating my web site's look and associated software. We've gotten so much rain of late that we actually are ahead of our average rainfall schedule for the month of August. Of course, with all that rain, I've had to start mowing the lawn again and the mosquitoes are back.

Sarah and I took in the Wisconsin State Fair two weeks ago. We last attended four or five years ago, so we felt it was time to go again. Besides, Sarah had a flight to catch at the Milwaukee airport, and the State Fair was on the way.

The State Fair is lots of fun if you have an open mind about what constitutes entertainment. If any of the following activities sounds truly dull, you may not find much to like about the State Fair: - Watching a goat milking demonstration. - Walking around the Swine House to find truly massive pigs. - Watching sheep judging when you can't understand a word the judge says because the sound equipment is awful. - Cheering on racing pigs, ducks, goats, and pot bellied pigs.

The State Fair has a good number of things to do, see, and eat. Especially eat. There are 40 or so foods on a stick to try; there are numerous beer tents and music venues. Just about every type of meat grown on a farm in the state is available for purchase and consumption. Even soy sauce gets its day in the sun as much of Kikkoman's soy sauce is produced here in Wisconsin and they setup a booth at the Fair.

We enjoyed ourselves at the Fair, and we even tried some of those foods on a stick. But we don't need to go back for another four or five years.

In other news, the Avalon was rear-ended again a few weeks ago. I took the day off to take in the EAA Airventure air show up in Oshkosh and started driving up there around 09:30. About twenty minutes from home, I was rear ended by a girl driving a 1987 Pontiac Firebird, one of those big muscle cars from the 80's. We were coming up to a stop sign and the truck in front of me slowed suddenly, much faster than I expected, given the conditions. I slowed adequately, but looking in my rear view mirror I could tell that the girl behind me wasn't going to stop in time. I tried to steer the Avalon off to the left and onto the shoulder of the road (it was a divided highway) with the vague hope that I could get out of her way, but she hit my car before I could leave the roadway. I was less than pleased even though my car didn't sustain much obvious damage. Apparently, the front end of her car slid under the tail of the Avalon and my trailer hitch carved up her hood. The only obvious damage to the Avalon is some scratches on the bumper. So, the car is going in to get those scratches out next week. After all, I just got a new bumper put on the car in February after the delivery van rear-ended/side-swiped the car.

Even though the car didn't appear to be obviously damaged, I decided not to take in the Air Show and go home instead. That may have been the right move as there was a crash in the air show that afternoon and a pilot of one of the two planes involved died.

Dalla is sick with a disease that the vet calls "garbage gut." Essentially, she ate something that gave her diarrhea. She woke me up twice last night to go outside even though it was pouring rain. Anytime that she's willing to go outside in the pouring rain, something is wrong. Thankfully, garbage gut is relatively easy to cure (a shot, some special food, and a handful of pills) so she should be back to normal soon.

We have a bumper crop of yellow tomatoes in our scattered gardens. We've been eating tomatoes at nearly every meal and have just barely been able to keep up. I'd really like to get some brandywine tomatoes this year, but even though they are on the vines none of them show any sign of ripening. Some speculate that they need hot weather to ripen. Well, we've had all the hot weather those plants can take short of burning them out, so I don't think a lack of hot weather is the problem. Our hot pepper plants certainly like this weather as they are producing a bountiful crop of peppers. We've eaten a couple of jalapeƱos and a couple of banana-style peppers, but the habaƱeros are still green and unripe.

It looks certain that I'll be going back to the South Pole again this year. I've physically qualified and am on the deployment schedule for a month at the Pole stretching over Christmas and New Years. It's a bummer that I won't be around for the holidays again this year, but you don't get many chances to go to the Pole so you've got to grab the ones you do get.