Sunday, July 31, 2016

Five Questions About Your Crappy Week

So it was been a long - somewhat rough week, at times I felt like I was been spinning my wheels and running into roadblocks.  A fellow blogger, might describe it as a shit storm of a week. In the end, I got a lot done, faked being nice to an _sshole, and moved on. It is time to pause and reflect on the week, and on what I might do next week, to clean up the mess and move forward.

  1. What is the worst thing that happened this week in your life?  Go ahead - it can be good to talk about it - get it out - verbalize it.  
  2. A year from now will you still be bothered by the worst thing that happened last week? 
  3. What was the last thing you laughed about? 
  4. Which felt better laughing or being pissed of?  
  5. What will you do next week to laugh more and fuss less? 

My Answers: 

  1. I finished a significant project that I had been working on for a month, only to be told, we don't want or need it.  
  2. Will I be bothered, I might not even remember it.  Actually I will change a procedure so this never happens again - for if it does I might not be able to control my anger.  
  3. On my morning commute I was reading a travel essay book, I love them. The author was traveling from California to France with two Pug dogs in carry on bags. While clearing security at the airport in San Francisco a security agent grabbed the bags with the dogs and started to walk away, when asked where he was going with the dogs, he responded, "to the X-ray machine, these dogs look strange, they could be packed with explosives or something."  To which the owner responded, "They are Pugs, they always look like that."  I laughed so hard I cried.  
  4. Laughing always feels better, anger, frustration, depression are such a waste of energy.  
  5. I can control what I read and what I watch.  I will find humor in the absurdities of daily life. If I find humor in the shape of the dark cloud, the rain will wash away my fussiness.   

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Secret Squirrels

Spies, spin doctors, and intentional misinformation experts, the longer I live and work in DC, the more I realize how many of these there are.  Secret Squirrels are common in this and most other world capitals, but they are also out there in every city, and even in the middle no where.  If they are good, really good, you never know who they are and what they do.

I have met a handful of retired secret squirrels.  Some, though not all, after they have left the office for good, will tell you who they once worked for, a few can even talk in general details about what they did.  The first, John, had worked Presidential security from JFK, to Jimmy Carter. He had started as an air-corp officer in Germany at the end of World War II, he was fluent in German, and was recruited by intelligence to trade in the black-market in post war Germany. It helped to know what was being bought and sold and what the prices were.  His talent was noticed and a career was built.  He didn't tell his wife what he did, until after he retired.  There are a few strange places here in the DC area.  For many year's the Russians owned an apartment building on a hill overlooking the Pentagon for embassy staff to live in.  Yea, the Pentagon didn't really like that.  About the time I moved here it was converted to condos and sold.  I looked at it (great location.)  In the garage there was a stack of safes, I asked and the salesmen said, "when we renovate the apartments, we find a hidden safe in almost every unit."  Yep, it was just Russian embassy staff that lived there.

A few years ago it was revealed that secret squires were reading the email and listening to the cell phone calls of European leaders.  Great indignation was expressed around the world.  Here in town people snickered and said behind their hands "if we hadn't done that, we wouldn't have been doing our jobs, if they aren't trying to read our email, they are not doing their job." And now Rump has encouraged the Russians to spy on US Government Officials and leak the findings, WHAT AN IDIOT, and people think he should be President - - - Maybe it is time to emigrate. It is one thing for secret squirrels to hear and read, and quite another to release stolen messages to the press and public.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Elegant Flowing Lines

Wow!  It looks like it is going 100 miles per hour standing still, and she looks even better floating down the highway.  The long elegant lines, the artistic use of color to emphasize the shape and flow of the body lines.  A wonderful example of timeless and enduring beauty with long elegant flowing lines.

I've seen it twice. 
To answer the question about the first picture, It is French, I think it is a Delahaye, here is the dealer tag on it.

Thursday, July 28, 2016


If you live your life to make others happy, they may be the only one who is happy.

No two people see the world from the same perspective, I can't see the world through the eyes of another. That does not mean I can't understand, but I can't stand in the shoes of another.

There is no reason to live in, or relive, a past that you have moved beyond.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Random Family Photo

This was taken almost 10 years ago. I bought to shirts for my siblings as a joke, a couple of them got the joke.  Oh how much change has occurred in the past 10 years.  How simple it all looks on the surface and how complicated it is.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Our Friends the Cows on Warm Summer Afternoons

I have never tipped a cow.  Amazing since I grew up in an area where cows outnumbered people, heck the farm across the street had more pigs than there were people living in the township.  I always had too much respect for our friends the cows to disturb their bucolic slumber by giving them a solid nudge on the hip and watching them roll over onto their backs.  Yes, I have heard how it is done, but no I never did it.  You see cows frequently sleep standing up, kind of like most office workers looking like they are seriously contemplating the acme merger at their desks, when in reality they are off in dreamland imagining life with the billion dollars they could plunder from the company if only someone would place them in charge.  I missed the class in law school on how to sleep with your eyes open, but I did make it to the one on how to look like you are the office working, when you are really out rolling down grassy slopes on warm summer afternoons.

Where does your mind wander to on warm summer afternoons?  What is your favorite way to sneak away from work, while appearing to be working? (Mine is working lunches, long two hour lunches.)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Let your Freak Flag Fly

I am a little weird.  I know it, a few others know it.  At times I rather enjoy it.  Most of the time we put on a public face of being "normal," of fitting in, of being one of the many, but we really are all a "one of a kind!"

I work in an office that is officially "business casual" and I stretch that as far as I can.  I dress comfortably, on the verge of sloppy.  On the surface I am business like, but what do I wear underneath it all? My socks are often patterned and bright colored.  My underwear you ask?  It has become needlessly boring, black boxer-briefs - mostly Under Armor.  I really should mix that up a little, I use to wear a wider and much more interesting array of underwear.  There is no reason for the routine things in life to be boring.  A Mahala said the other day, let your freak flag fly.

Yes, I did take the picture above, no I have never dressed like that, I certainly have never worn a fishnet bodysuit - fishnet is so uncomfortable.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A letter to my 24 year old self

Fellow blogger John Gray posted the other day a list of 10 things he would like to say to his 24 year old self.  This inspired this Sunday five questions, if you could go back and offer advice to yourself when you were 24 years old, what would be your advice on the following 5 issues.  Oh, if I had known then what I know now.

1: What advice would you offer about work and jobs?
2: What advice would you offer about love and relationships?
3: What advice would you offer about travel?
4: What advice would you offer about education?
5: What advice would you offer about money?

My answers:
1: What advice would you offer about work and jobs?
Don't be afraid of seizing opportunities when you have the chance,  find work that makes you eager to get out of bed each day, work that inspires you.  Don't mistake job stability for job security.

2: What advice would you offer about love and relationships?
The only person who has to love your love, is you.  Don't let what others might think, get in the way of relationships that make you happy.  We all deserve happiness, if you are not making one another happy, move on sooner - rather than later.

3: What advice would you offer about travel?
Don't wait until you can afford it, seize every opportunity to travel. If you make travel a priority in your life, you will find a way.  Don't let worries or insecurities keep you from exploring the great adventure of travel.

4: What advice would you offer about education?
You are never done learning.  There is no expiration date on being a student, so learn what you want to do.  Education opens doors.  Follow your passion.

5: What advice would you offer about money?
Avoiding debt, and paying off what you borrow as fast as possible will serve you well in the long run.  Learn to live within your means, don't confuse wants with needs.  Minimize the number of expensive hobbies.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Images from the past

My photography went entirely digital 12 years ago.  I have thousands and thousands of images stored on my computer.  An archive of my adventures, a record of my life. The image above is a fresco in Rome painted about 1,600 years ago.  It is an archive of the time, a record of the lives of the people that lived then.  It is also very easy to see.  I wonder of 1,600 years ago, anyone will be able to view my images from the past.

Friday, July 22, 2016

My Father Hated The Way I Grew My Hair as a Teenager

I finished High School 39 years ago, in my high school graduation picture I have nearly shoulder length curly wavy hair, mutton-chop sideburns, and a cheesy mustache.  My father hated it.  He thought it looked silly.  It was very much the style of young men of the time.  His mother, my grandmother told stories on my father.  When he was a teenager she would give him 25-cents and send him off on a Saturday afternoon to get a "proper gentleman's haircut."  He would get a 5-cent buzz cut and use the other 20-cents to see a movie.  She urged me to ignore his complaints and I did.  As I have grown older, the hair styles of young men have varied widely, sometimes looking a bit silly.  I remind myself that my father thought my hair looked silly.  Unique hair styles are part of being young, thinking the styles are silly is part of being old.  I try not to think old.  Express yourself.

Sorry Mitchell, I had this posting scheduled before I saw your posting yesterday.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Open House

I received an email this week announcing the opening of Buckingham Palace for summer tours. The first time I was in London, way back before the internet was invented, all you could get into was a small art and history gallery.  But a few years ago in an effort to raise a little cash for maintenance and renovation and in an effort to improve relations with the peasants public, the decision was made to run a summer Open House.  The last time I was in London, in 2011, I made reservations and away we went.  No photographs are allowed in the palace.  The second picture above is the back yard, as I recall John Gray was there for a garden party with his sister last year.

I enjoyed the tour.  The spaces are grand and historic.  It was well worth the modest admission fee.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Blue Ice

When I think of blue ice in the US, I think of frozen chunks falling off of airliners as they land from a malfunctioning chemical toilet. Hmm, somehow I don't think that is what the owners of this Ice Cream shop in Rome were thinking.  No I didn't sample the goods.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hot Summer Afternoons

I love summer, that does not mean that the summer heat does not necessitate stopping from time to time for a little relaxation and refreshment.  Take a moment, sit in the shade, watch the world go by.

Monday, July 18, 2016

A Few of My Favorite Things - Jewelry Edition

I like jewelry.  I took a silversmithing class in college and really appreciate the work that goes into good jewelry.  I seldom wear it, but I do buy it, sometimes giving it as gifts, sometimes hanging onto it to I can enjoy it.  A few of my favorites.

1: Colored gemstones, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, the deeper the color the better. I know diamonds are a girls best friend, - but I like the rich colors.  I once had the opportunity to buy uncut emerald, in the encasement that it had grown in (an emerald is a crystal.)  It was really neat, the stone was split in half, and when you lifted off the top half, the emerald was sticking out of the bottom half near the middle.  The stone cutter found it so unique they declined to remove it from the encasement and cut the stone.  I should have bought it it was only $250.

2: Nice digital watches.  For 20 years I have mostly worn $50 digital timex Ironman watches.  I own several expensive watches including a Tag Heuer, but for everyday wear I find the digital easier to use.

3: Gold, I actually like yellow gold.  It passes in and out of fashion, I have seldom been a slave to fashion.

4: Bracelets, I much prefer bracelets to necklaces.  I don't know why, but I do.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

I want to stay here - five questions

1: In the morning do you leap out of bed to greet the opportunities of the new day, or would you prefer to pull up the covers and roll over for the day?

2: Do you look forward to leaving home for the adventure of travel, or would you prefer to stay home?

3: Do you rush to be the first person on the plane or train, or board at the last minute?

4: Do you start packing a week before a trip, or leave packing to the last minute?

5: When it is time to return home, do you wish you could stay longer and soak in more, or are you ready to head for home?

My Answers:
1: I am a leap out of bed person.
2: I love leaving home for an adventure - I have a hard time sleeping the night before
3: I like being the first one on board.
4: I pack the night before, if the trip is less than a week, I don't even think about packing until the night before.
5: As much as I love the adventure of travel, I am always ready to return home.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Old Age in America

I don't write about my work on the blog, but I am going to write about my work. I work on legal issues in aging.  

I have spent a bit of time in the past couple of weeks editing articles written by my summer graduate student interns.  The students come to us with little knowledge of aging issues - making us responsible for most of what they know about the issue.  The thing that struck me from the writing, was what a negative picture we paint of aging.  There is much more to growing older, than disease, abuse, and poverty.  

As a society we fight against illness and view death as failure.  We turn the lives of older adults into a continuous series of medical appointments, tests and treatments fighting valiantly to increase life expectancy.  Sadly I fear we focus on the number of years in a life, and overlook the life in those years.  You can't cure old age and live forever, we can work to help everyone live a comfortable and happy life.  

Predators, usually family members, abuse, neglect and steal from persons who are perceived as being vulnerable, especially if the victim is dependent on the perpetrator. 90% of older adults will never experience abuse.  We paint a picture that every older person is constantly at risk, and this is not true.  Yes, abuse is a scourge, it is a crime, it is a social issue and a family issue - but it is not a part of the daily live of the majority of adults as they age.  The vast majority of us, age, defend ourselves, and live an abuse free life. The way to stop abuse is not by scaring everyone into being afraid of the world.  

The stock brokers set standards for retirement savings that when achieved allow retirees to live in luxury, and make the stock brokers wealthy. The reality is that only about 20% of retirees have that kind of money.  Social Security and retirement accounts replace about 40% of earnings for the average retiree.  Only about 25% of American workers are covered by a traditional pension that provides a guaranteed income for life (down from over 50% 40 years ago when the 401k starting making stock brokers wealthy.)  So the majority of retirees are going to live on a lot less income than they enjoyed when working.  But this does not mean they don't live well.  Most learn to live well, with less income.  They reexamine life's wants and needs.  

Yes there is grinding poverty among some seniors, and the cost of long term nursing home care will bankrupt the average couple in less than two years, but the numbers there are the minority, not the norm.   

We focus so much on the bad things that happen to a minority of older adults, that it becomes easy to overlook the fact that the majority live a good life.  

Friday, July 15, 2016

What can I say today?

I have been riding my bike half the way to and from the office this week, to work around a maintenance closure on the subway line. In the morning I take the bike on the train from my neighborhood station to the airport, ride the bike from there to the office, and do the reverse in the afternoon. It has worked surprisingly well.  I had not ridden to the office for about two years, it is wonderful to be able to do so.  I enjoy the ride.  

Now I have a strange habit when I am riding, I say "Good morning" or "Good afternoon" to strangers as I pass them on the trail, street or sidewalk, I say "have a great day" to random passers by.  I get stared at, undoubtedly some of them are thinking that fat man on the bike is a few bricks short of full stack.  

The DC subway is a silent anti-social place, if you talk to people on the trains you are immediately tagged as being "not from around here" or "dangerously unstable."  I observe the code of social conduct on the trains.  But on the bike, I let loose.   

I do hope I brighten someone's day.  It only takes a simple kind word to do so.  I was riding into the office one morning on the train, I was fussed and upset about something, the train pulled into a station and as he was getting up to exit, the man setting next to me said, "it will all be okay" to me.  And it was, his simple kind word was what I needed at that moment in time to change my day.  

My current route has me passing through the airport terminal with the bike, it is the easiest way to get from the train station to the sidewalk. If you see a guy riding a bike through baggage claim, saying GOOD AFTERNOON to arriving passengers, don't worry, it is only me on my way home.  

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Giant Wieners

One of the joys of the adventure of travel is experiencing the wonderful world of wieners.  Last year in Germany, and this year in Italy I came across a wonderful array of sausages.  When we lived in Kentucky, I use to go to Cincinnati to pick up unusual wieners at the Findlay Market.  There are long ones and short ones, skinny ones and fat ones; whites ones and red ones; some are smoked and some are raw.  I enjoy them all.  

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

This Year's Gucci Slippers

Window shopping - or as the French describe it window-licking, you see some of the wildest things in the windows of designer shops.  In this case this year's Gucci house slippers, with fur trim.  They come in several colors.  I didn't look for the price, if you have to ask, you don't want to know. 
Would you wear them? 
What would your cat or dog make of them? 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Grab the Kiss

Life is short, the older I get the faster the years seem to fly by.  One day, we will all wake up dead. There is no escaping our fate. 

When the moment happens, take it: 
Look at the wonder and awe around you
Travel where the adventure takes you 
Read the blog or book 
People watch
Eat the cake 
Pause for the cold drink (all good things in moderation) 
Buy the shirt
Wear comfy undies (buy the good stuff in your favorite color - the routine things in life should never be boring.) 
Express yourself 
Listen to the music
Feel the warm sun on your skin 
Catch the snowflake on your tongue
Listen to the rain 
Call friends and family - just to say hi, 
Send the meaningless text message - let them know you are thinking of them 
If you are fortunate enough to love and be loved - Grab the kiss 

Monday, July 11, 2016

A Brief Health Update

I had an MRI and 14 month follow up with the neurosurgeon today.   Nothing appears to be growing were it shouldn't be, and my spine and all of the titanium plates, rods and screws are right where he left them 14 months ago. This is all VERY GOOD NEWS, next follow up the end of the year.

Bumping Into Daily Life

As an explorer and adventurer, I travel to see people and places.  Over the years I have grown to prefer real places with real people, sorry but once you have seen the real thing, the "World Showcase at EPCOT," seems quite artificial.  One big difference between the real world and the artificial (fake) world, is the real world is filled with people living routine lives.  I like shopping with the locals and will explore local markets, even if I don't have access to a kitchen.

I also encounter people in major life events.  The picture at the top was taken a few years ago in an abbey in Normandy.  We noticed the flowers, and a small crowd gathering.  As we left the church we noticed the grave diggers preparing in the churchyard, as we were headed back to the car, the hearse arrived.  The picture at the bottom was taken a month ago in Rome, the bride was walking from the Villa Borghese to the Church at the top of the Spanish Steps.  Real people, living real lives.  

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Five Weird Things

Anne Marie suggested the five weirdest things as a theme, let me see what five weird questions I can come up with about weirdness. 

1: What is the strangest thing you have ever seen at a funeral? 
2: What is the oddest way someone you know has ever died? 
3: Describe the strangest person you ever met? 
4: The artist Christo, genius or weirdo? 
5: Have you ever experienced a phenomenon, you simply can't explain - aka - maybe seen a ghost or a UFO?  

1: At the funeral of one of my great-uncles, both of his wives showed up.  He never divorced the first one, she read his obituary in the  paper and showed up.  The two widows spent an hour trading stories about their husband. 
2: One of Jay's great aunts, was run over by a mobile home.  She had bought it as a wedding gift for a grandchild, when it was being delivered it "got away" from the delivery guys and rolled down the hill and over her. 
3: Probably the hoarder with 25 cats, who couldn't understand why the neighbors didn't like her. 
4: Christo is weird. 
5: My last office in Kentucky was creepy late in the day.  

Saturday, July 09, 2016


Just to the right of the wingtip, there are 3 high rise buildings that are kind of shaped like a C.  I own a condo in the top left one, technically building 2, and actually there are four buildings, the structure at the bottom is actually two buildings very close together.  The buildings are set on 35 acres, on a hilltop, from the road out front (US-1) to the top of the hill is about 160 feet of rise.

I really like condo and in particular high rise condo living.  I am perched on the third floor.  With a little bit of a view.  I have relative privacy.  It is amazingly quiet.  Everything outside my door is taken care of, in fact the outside of my door is taken care of, every couple of years I stay home for the day so the outside of the door can be painted. If I had a housekeeper, or better yet a houseboy, it would be like living in a really nice hotel suite.  We have two pools, a private restaurant, a nice new fitness center, oh, and a private bowling alley - why a bowling alley - only the developer knows and I am sure he is dead by now- I hope he died laughing.

If you take off from Reagan National Airport in DC, going south, about 2 minutes out, just past the George Washington Masonic Memorial and the beltway, we are on top of the hill, on the west side of US-1.  I took this last Sunday morning - outbound for Florida for a few days.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Your Face Will Freeze Like That

We have been off to visit my family, not exactly a vacation, but certainly not work.  Traveling over the 4th of July Holiday weekend, by air exposes us to amateurs, people who seldom if ever fly.  You know the kind, the ones who are surprised that THEY have to clear security at the airport.  Then they get on the plane, with mom-dad, grandma-grandpa, weird Uncle Fritz, and all 5 kids, each dragging the biggest "roll aboard" money can buy and then can't find a place for their bags, then can't find their seats.  On the connection out of Detroit to Orlando, I have never seen so many seat changes, at one point I swear they were playing musical chairs, with the looser having to go sit in the last row- in the seat backing up to the on board toilet.  It is enough to make even the strongest of us go Duhh!, just be careful your face does not freeze like that. 

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Great Pictures - But what a bunch of boring posts

I am very sorry, I fear that I have put a bunch of you to sleep. The pictures are nice, but my text has been dead boring for the most part for the past few months.  I guess it is kind of like my life, not enough sex, booze and rock and roll.  My life lacks scandals, I am not engaging in political rants, I don't write about work (much.)

So what is not so boring.  At the office I try to work in the no-drama zone - though last week I was involved in complex issues of accounting, tax and audit rules. I had issue an edict that we can't do something the easy and logical way, we have to do it in a way that makes the bean-counters happy. I have to be careful to not sound like a dictator in the office, a colleague pointed out one day that I sounded like a dictator without the tater (he was right.)

I need to find more humor in daily life. The last thing I really laughed about was my mother calling the dog by saying, "here kitty-kitty?"  The dog rolled his eyes, and then strolled over for a cuddle.

I submitted a funding request at the office for $1.1 million over the next five years that I am fairly confident will be funded. If only it all went into my pocket.  Assuming it is funded I will have a job for the next five years and that is a good thing.

Senseless acts of hate and terrorism bug the hell out of me. If Congress can't agree that a person on the federal No-Fly list should not be able to buy guns from a licensed firearms dealer - they are not really serious about reducing gun violence in the United States.  Requiring background checks on every transfer, is a much more complex issue and I can understand that bill not passing, but anyone who is to dangerous to fly, should not be able to walk into a gun shop and buy guns - if there are due process issues with the no-fly list, fix those issues.

The all or nothing mindset that keeps common sense gun control legislation from passing in Congress, is the same mindset that extremists use to justify the senseless murder of anyone who they feel is not supporting them, it is the mindset of people who blow themselves up in airports.  Why can't congress see that. Oh, yes we have home grown extremists on both sides.

So, I will try to be more entertaining.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016


I am in Florida for a few days visiting family.  This has been a difficult trip.

My mother was recently in the hospital, and was discharged home with hospice care a week ago.  Her Parkinson's has progressed to the point that she barely moves.  She aspirates when she eats or drinks, her throat no longer works as it should, her bowels are are shutting down. Her heart has lost it's normal rhythm and beats to it's own drummer.  She has late stage dementia and says very little, and what she does say only sometimes makes sense, though she can answer a direct question, she knew who I was, she has consistently said no to a feeding tube. She sleeps 20+ hours per day. She is kind of like the grand old house that has fallen into disrepair, slowly falling apart, the curtains blowing in the breeze through windows missing on the second floor.  Sad, not a pleasant way to go.

Dad is a tiny shadow of himself, he has lost a lot of weight and has little energy.  He has a host of issues, the electrical circuitry in his heart has shorted out, he is 100% dependent on a pacemaker, he has a growth in his lung, the doctors are not sure what it is, but he is so weak there is not much they could do about it if they did, the treatment would kill him, His kidney function is barely sufficient to keep him alive.  His mind is clear, but he has little to say. He is waiting, he knows what is coming.

The house is kind of like death's waiting room. There is no anticipation of the next great adventure - slowly fading away, inch by inch, is not a pretty way to shuffle off this mortal coil.

My Uncle Richard died a few weeks ago.  Richard, had a tremendous sense of humor and could tell a story like few people I have ever known. I missed the memorial service - we were in Italy at the time.  We had lunch with his son the other day.  He was telling us about the memorial service.   The minister, who knew Richard very well, was telling stories and talking about loss.  He said, "with his passing, there will be a huge Dick shaped hole in the hearts of all of us."  Yes, Richard was known as Dick by his close friends and family, and yes the minister said that, and then realized what he had said.  Half the room cried, the other half chuckled, bit their lips and tried not to laugh out loud.  How appropriate, Dick would have found great humor in this, and would have spent years spinning the story for a good laugh.  I'd sooner they laugh when my time comes.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Mt St Michele

Last Saturday morning was the start of the 2016 tour -de-France, three weeks of cycle racing through the wonderful landscape of France.  France has some wonderful cities, I'll never pass an opportunity to visit Paris, but the back roads and villages in Franc are truly amazing.  I love the small towns of stone houses and shops, that real people, really live in.  The people are warm, welcoming and genuine.  The food and drink are - well they are French and the French don't do mediocre or bad food. I could live there.

So how is this connected,  to Mt St Michele, was the starting point for the Tour this year.  The Mt is a stone outcropping, in the midst of a huge tidal plane.  There is a delightful village and a church and monastery at the top of the hill.  When it was built it was protected by high tide, as the outcropping became an island at high tide, and access to the island was either by foot at low tide or by boat at high tide.  Over the past 50 years a causeway has been built providing 24 hour street access to the Mt.  The parking lots along the side of the causeway are still on the tidal flat and flood at high tide.

I have been to Mt St Michele twice.  I love that part of France.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Happy Independance Day

 240 years ago, a group of rebels agreed to declare political independence from my ancestral homeland.  Political and economic issues drove the decision, immigration, taxation, free trade, self governance.  There is a famous quote about needing to rise together, or all hang together - being a thinly veiled reference to being strung up by their necks if the revolution failed.

Would any of us be so bold today?  Would you risk your life for a political or economic issue?  We have a hard enough time getting people to vote on election day.

Sunday, July 03, 2016


It is Five Questions Day,

So what was the last thing to make you go?
1: Duhh?
2: Balistic?
3: Laugh out loud?
4: Cry?
5: All Sleepy?

My answers:
1: A question at the office that I should know the answer to, and didn't have a clue
2: Accounting's silliness about depositing a check at the office
3: My mother calling the dog by saying, "here kitty-kitty!"
4: Talking to my sister on the phone about caring for mom and dad
5: Watching a car auction on television - faster than baseball at putting me to sleep.

Saturday, July 02, 2016


We are all connected, the actions of one, impact all the others.  Like the gears in this Ferrari, if one moves, we all move, when one stops, we all stop, when one moves backwards, we all move backwards.  If we don't move together, something breaks.  

There are times when breaking, is the best option.  But even that impacts everyone else. 

If all move forward, with love, respect and honor, we can all get to spinning to the best of our ability. All that the cosmos can ask.   

Friday, July 01, 2016


The dome at the top, is part of the mosaic ceilings St Marks in Venice.  Taking pictures inside is forbidden, sometimes I just can't stop myself from taking one little picture or two.  Nice domes don't you agree?