Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Old Queen Street

So is there is a New Queen Street, or was this street named after the old Queen - long may she live. 

My Grandmother was proud to have become an American, and had very little memory of England - but she always had a quiet respect for the British Monarchy. I wonder what she would think of the current state of American Politics - I don't think she would be proud of it.

I am way past due for a visit to London.  It has been 5 or 6 years.  So long in fact that the pound coins that I have will be demonetized this year. London is wonderful and crazy.  It is huge, while being compact, it is diverse, while being British, it is a maze, with an amazing public transit system.  I remember the last visit there, it felt like a second home.  Perhaps I was meant to live on Old Queen Street.  

Where were you meant to live? 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Oh I know just how he feels

Weight, I have been struggling with it since I was a teenager.  It is complicated to need to eat to live, when it is so easy to live to eat.  I have established a new habit, I am doing 30+ minutes on the treadmill or elliptical trainer six days per week.  I have been doing this since mid November.  I have dropped a couple of pounds - though I admit I am not a scale watcher.  The first thing I have noticed is that my fingers are thinner.  Of all the places to lose weight first, it is my fingers. My father always had long bony fingers, I know where I get them from.  They are a proud badge of my heritage. 

There are things I would like to improve about my shape.  I have been prettier in my life.  But more important I want to be able to move freely.  Now think about it, the HUGE seal above, swims and moves about freely, he/she has propelled them self up onto that rock.  You don't have to have a 30 inch waist to move well.  

On this count I am winning.  I can walk for loner periods of time without pain.  I can climb a couple of flights of stairs without being winded.  I still fatigue, by back tells me when I need to take a break and relax.  But I am stronger than I was last year, and last year was better than the year before.  I can recall in the darkest days, telling a doctor that I would be happy to maintain what I had and not lose anymore.  I have gone beyond that I regained a lot.  Little by little, an hour a day, I will continue to gain as long as I can. 

What have your done this week - to gain something that is important to you? 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

36 Odd things about me

Yes, I know it is more than 5 questions, this one came in via Facebook.

36 ODD Things about you! Learn 36 things about your friends, and let them learn 36 things about you! Just copy and change my answers.
1. Do you like Blue cheese dressing? Yes
2. Have you ever smoked cigarettes?Yes
3. Do you own a gun? Several 
4. What flavor Kool-Aid was your favorite? Cherry with extra sugar 
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Yes
6. What do you think of hot dogs? Mystery meat
7. Favorite Christmas movie? Holiday Inn
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Coke Zero
9. Can you do push-ups? Not any longer
10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? Don't wear any
11. Favorite hobbies? blogging,. travel, adventure
12. Do you have A.D.D.?  I have never sit still long enough for anyone to evaluate me
13. Do you wear glasses? Yes
14. Who was your childhood idol? Ansel Adams
15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment. Will he ever be ready; should I start dinner, I am fat
16. Name 2 or 3 drinks you regularly drink? Water, Coke Zero, V-8
17. Current worries? Follow up MRI results
18. Currently hate anyone? Hate is such a strong word
19. Favorite place to be? On an adventure
21. Where would you like to go? London
22. Name three people who will complete this.  Anne Marie, Spo, Anonymous
23. Do you own slippers? No
24. What color shirt are you wearing? gray
25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? No
26. Can you whistle? Yes
27. Where are you now? Bedroom
28. Would you be a pirate? Yes
29. What songs do you sing in the shower?  What ever I feel like
30. Favorite Girl's Name? Emily
31. Favorite boy's name? J
32. What's in your pocket right now? Nothing
33. Last thing that made you laugh? The Grand Tour
34. What vehicle do you drive? 2012 Mazda 3 hatch
35. Worst injury you ever had? sprained both ankles
36. How many TVs do you have in your house? 3

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Steam Train Trivia

On most steam locomotives the pistons moved back and forth horizontally and directly drove the wheels.  On a Shay locomotive the pistons moved vertically and drove a drive shaft that drove the wheels through gears.  The horizontal design was capable of much greater speeds, in excess of 100 miles per hour, had fewer moving parts and was easier to build and maintain.  The Shay design was capable of carrying heavier loads up steeper grades.  In fact most Shay locomotives were used in industrial applications like logging and steel mills.  

The Cass Valley Scenic Railway in West Virginia, is an old logging line.  Cass runs sightseeing trains using steam powered Shay locomotives.  It is a wonderful ride in the woods up the side of a mountain.  

Have you ever seen a Shay locomotive in operation?  
Have you ever ridden a steam train? 

Friday, January 13, 2017


You can barely make out the outline of my building in the fog (center just behind the evergreen.)  The walk from my condo to the nearest subway station crosses a large open park.  Last spring someone paved a new path along the edge of the park, making the walk relatively easy and level.  I am still working on rebuilding my strength and endurance, when I can I walk to the subway (the condo runs a shuttle bus, and I can also drive and park at the station.)  

I love a foggy morning, assuming I don't have to try to drive through it.  It reminds me of early winter mornings in Florida when I was in middle and high school.  School started early, I have vivid memories of riding a bike in the fog up US-1.  

All in all, I like condo living.  I didn't enjoy lawn work or gardening.  I don't have to deal with any exterior maintenance. I walk across the hall and drop trash down the magic cute and it is taken care of from there.  I have access to nice amenities, (I have been using the gym 6 times a week since mid November.)  The compact space is forcing me to think, do I really want or need that in my life, in this space, it is in my life, not out of sight in the other end of the house.  The only thing that would make it better would be more shopping that I could easily walk to.  If only they would build a Whole Foods in the park. A developer that owns property between here and the Metro station has talked to Metro about rebuilding the wobbly parking garage at the station, in exchange for being allowed to build retail space above the garage - in my dreams.  

Tell us about where you live?   

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Tourist Watching Second Edition

Las Vegas, waiting for the Bellagio Fountains 

Grant Park in Chicago 

Titusville, Florida 

Newport Aquarium, Kentucky

People seemed to enjoy my tourist watching photos, so here is another set.  

See anything that looks like fun? 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Pushing Through the Tough Days

Ugg! It was a challenging day.  My collaborators on a couple of major projects are not collaborating.  The office bureaucracy is making it impossible to do anything the easy way.  A coworker who is doing the work of three people, is slamming projects through without thinking about others.  It was cold and humid outside - not my kind of weather.  

I was on the second endless conference calls this afternoon and was mindlessly web surfing while trying to pay attention, and I opened the link for the pictures of the last summer's trip to Italy.  Someplace about Venice, I felt the stress start to melt away.  Ah! How do I push through the tough days, by remembering the adventures that all of this makes possible.  http://picturesoftheadventure.blogspot.com/?view=classic