Thursday, May 28, 2020


I love it when I run into a random reminder - to be good to myself. 

  • You are good
  • You are capable
  • You are beautiful 
  • You are the best You, You can be
  • You have talents and abilities 
  • You have potential 
  • You have accomplished a lot in your life
  • You can be happy
  • You can live with discomfort 
  • You can change what you can, ignore the rest
  • You have something to contribute 
  • You have a seat at the table, when you find the right table
  • You have many adventures left to experience 
  • You don't have to be a part of others traumas and dramas 
What have I missed? 

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The Way We Were Wednesday - Bumper Crop

Those are 55-gallon enamel lined steel barrels, filled with honey, there is another 100 of them in the closed garage to the right.  Each barrel holds around 650 pounds of honey (honey is heavier than water.) This was the summer of 1966 as I recall. It was the largest honey crop my father and grandfather ever harvested. The packing houses ran out of warehouse space. The following year, we produced about 60 barrels total, a crop failure.  That is farming.  Even funny farming.  

The red 1965 Ford pickup truck in the background, hung around for a while.  When I got my driver's license, my father handed me the keys and a key to the gas pump on the farm.  It was very basic, a bit of a handful on a rough road, but it was freedom to leave the farm.  The spring after my sister left home, my father sold it to a friend, and handed me keys to his Crysler, the Dodge pickup truck with a 440 engine (oh my that was a real screamer) and an older Chevy flatbed that was often around and said, drive whatever is available. I was 19 before I owned my first car.  

Ever seen that much honey in one place? 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Rethinking Commuting

I have not ridden the subway train since March 17th, the only day I have been in the office since the end of February. It is my normal way of commuting to work.  The nearest station is a 10 minute walk from home, my desk is 6 floors directly above a station in the city. If I drove, it would take about the same amount of time, and I would have to deal with major city traffic and pay $15 a day for parking. I like my subway commute.  

I am starting to question if I will ever go back to commuting 5 days a week, 250 days a year. In my work I do research, writing and training.  I have been doing this for 11.5 years.  My commute takes between 45 minutes and 60 minutes each way, say an average of 1.75 hour per day round trip- I have spent something like 5,000 hours commuting since  I moved here. The equivalent of 2.5 years of work. 

I am finding working at home to be just as productive.  The biggest thing that I miss is being able to barge into my bosses office to ask for his wisdom or bounce ideas off of him (most of them bounce.) We are starting to read potential guidelines for returning to the office, and those are stagger telecommutes and in-office schedules so that no more than half of the staff are in on any given day.  That takes the wind out of my sails on the remaining reason for me returning to the office.  The research and writing part of my work I can do more efficiently from home.  The training part is either virtual, that I can do from home, or when travel becomes safe, on the road - days I am not in the office (in good times I travel up to 45 days a year - mostly on training and consulting projects.)

Now I know my work is different.  I don't directly interact with the public or customers.  There is not a physical product that I create or handle (we print some things, but those are done remotely and shipped by someone else.) Many people have to be there in person to be productive, but for those of us that don't need to be there to be productive, why do we spend hundreds of hours a year going back and forth to work.   

Have you rethought commuting this year?  

Monday, May 25, 2020

My Music Monday - Memorial Day in the USA - Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man - BBC Proms 2012

It is Memorial Day in the United States. I was overcome by emotion when I visited the American Military Cemetery in Normandy. I have written about this before.  We need to learn from the past, or we are doomed to repeat the agony of those who have gone before us.  Nationalism, isolationism, and racism are the antipathy of a peaceful and civilized world. 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Sunday Five - Getting into Your Head

  1. The photo above, is it inspiring or freaky? 
  2. The photo above, would you buy one, buy the box, or not touch them with a ten foot pole? 
  3. Are babies cute, or do they all look like little aliens to you? 
  4. Cuter, ceramic baby dolls or cabbage patch kids? 
  5. If a three year old hands you her doll, what do you do? 
My Answers:

  1. The photo above, inspiring or freaky? I find it inspiring. 
  2. The photo above, would you buy one, buy the box, or not touch them with a ten foot pole? I didn't buy one, we were traveling with limited space for fragile items, but I would buy one. 
  3. Are babies cute, or do they all look like little aliens to you? Little aliens. 
  4. Ceramic baby dolls or cabbage patch kids? Ceramic. 
  5. If a three year old hands you her doll, what do you do? Smile hand it back, then go disinfect my hands.  
Please share your answers in the comments. 

Saturday, May 23, 2020

The Perfect Church Window

There is an episode of the Vicar of Dibley about a stained glass window being destroyed by a storm.  There is the expected comedic episode with five different remembrances of what the scene was in the window, an epic fundraiser, and a tragedy someplace in the world.  In the closing scene, the window is revealed in clear glass showing the beautiful English countryside, the Vicar has sent the money that was raised to the disaster relief fund and let the window show the beauty they are surrounded by.  For some reason stumbling across this image taken in the ruins of an English Abbey brought back memories of that episode, and the beauty framed in our windows.  

What beauty is framed in your window today? 

The Vicar of Dibley, Series 1 Episode 4, The Window and the Weather,

Friday, May 22, 2020

Transit Cards

I am a big fan of using local public transit when I travel.  Especially in major cities with congested streets.  The first place I encountered reloadable transit cards was the Oyster Card in London.  I purchased one nearly 20 years ago.  Guess what, it still works.  It had been a dozen years since we had been in London.  The cash we had on hand from 12 years ago was "out of date" "out of circulation."  We were told the pound coins were basically useless, banks and post offices would exchange the banknotes, after confirmation that they were genuine and approval from a supervisor.  Amazingly the value stored on my Oyster Card was still there, the money may come and go, but the transit card lived on.  I have similar cards for three American cities.  A lot of cities place an expiration date on transit cards.  This has to do with accounting rules, they can't count the money on the card as income and spend it, until the value is used for a ride, or until the card expires.  I have several expired cards from Chicago with a few dollars left on them.  Mementoes, souvenirs, of adventures.  

Do you have a transit card for a city you don't live in?