Monday, July 31, 2017

Exam Answers

Many - many years ago, I took a college class on public relations.  The professor was an adjunct, a former head of public relations for Coke-Cola, who worked in media relations at Disney.  He had a list of five basic principles, he kept saying if you don't remember anything else 25 years from now I want you to be remember these five principles, so the exam was simple, list the principles.
  1: Always tell the truth. 
  2: If you won't know the answer, say you don't know the answer
  3: When you mess up, admit it and take responsibility 
  4: Never piss off people who buy ink by the barrel 
  5: If you say you are going to follow up, do so

I am amazed at the people here in DC, who don't remember these five simple exam answers.  

What did you learn that has stuck with you? 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sunday Five - Horses

Five simple questions to help us share a little bit about ourselves.

1: Have you ever ridden a horse?
2: Have you ever owned a horse?
3: Have you ever been to a horse race?
4: Have you ever won money betting on a horse?
5: Have you ever eaten in a restaurant that had horse on the menu, and I don't mean pictured on the cover?

My Answers:
1: Have you ever ridden a horse?  Once when I was about 12, scared the crap out of me and the horse.
2: Have you ever owned a horse? No
3: Have you ever been to a horse race? Many times - I lived in Kentucky for 13 years
4: Have you ever won money betting on a horse? Yes, I do believe I have
5: Have you ever eaten in a restaurant that had horse on the menu, and I don't mean pictured on the cover?  Yes, in France, and Iceland, and I have been in specialty shops in Italy that sell only horse meat.
6: Bonus question for those who answered yes to #5, did you try it?  Yes

Saturday, July 29, 2017

A Farewell to George

This entry is not as well prepared, as I was not as well prepared for my father's death as I might have been.  He had been steadily declining all week.  I flew down on Thursday.  My sister checked on him about 6:30 Friday morning and he was still breathing, I checked on him a little after 7:00 and he was gone.  There is an odd quiet to the house, unlike anything since they moved in here 41 years ago.  

My father, George Godfrey, was born in the near in suburbs of Detroit in November of 1927.  A first child, born just 15 months into my Grandparent's marriage.  He was raised in the near in northern burbs of Detroit.  During World War II, he quit school to go to work, and was drafted in the Army near the end of the war.  After basic training in Louisiana, he was sent to defend New Jersey from the Nazis, he joked or decades that he did a good job the German army never established a foot hold in New York or New Jersey while he was there.  He was discharged after about 18 months and sent home to Detroit.  He worked in machine shops, with my grandfather on market gardening and keeping bees.  

My father was a very bright man, he was an skilled machinist, and a beekeeper, he built and operated a large honey-bee farm, selling it in 1982 and retiring to Florida.  My parents bought a home in Titusville Florida in 1976, the year before I finished High School, he lived in that home until his last day - I need to clean it out and sell it. 

He loved to fly and earned commercial and instrument flight ratings, he only flew for the love of flying - never for money.  He was a Mason.  He finished high school, after retiring.  

He and my mother met when her date's car broke down and he gave her a ride home, they were married for  67 years.  

He was a skilled investor, who took a modest about of money, and generated a comfortable retirement income and grew the nest egg. I learned a little from him on that, I wish I had learned more.   

After decades of used cars, he bought his first new Buick in 1977, the year I finished high school. He owned a string of them after that, and enjoyed everyone of them.  He drove into his 89th year. 

I picked up my love of adventure and travel from him.  He flew because he loved it, he loved the adventure and the romance of it.  He was the driving force behind my family traveling.  By the time I was 6 we had been to Florida, and Arizona - twice.  When I was in middle school we started spending winters in Florida. Learning how to seek the adventure in new places. 

After retiring my parents went back north for summers for about 30 years.  They went to Hawaii twice, and Europe once.  They drove from coast to coast several times.  

My father had one sister, who died before the age of 60 back 1996.  He is survived by four adult children, including his youngest, yours truly.  He will truly be missed.   

Friday, July 28, 2017

Is It Funny?

I enjoy funny T-shirts, and on occasion I buy them and wear them.  One of my favorites this year, is an image of Obama and the phrase "Miss Me Yet?"  When I wear it I draw and interesting mixed response, and yes I do miss him.  I bought J a Trophy Husband T-shirt.  A decade ago I bought T-shirts for all of my siblings for Christmas one year that read "Mom Likes Me Best" - it is a reference to a Smothers Brothers routine.  I have a picture of all four of us wearing them, with mom and dad.  

I found this one recently, and thought it was funny.  

Is it funny? 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Weekday Routine

Urban Bees in Cleveland, three blocks from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 
My typical week day, that would be 90% of them, I wake up around 6:00 AM.  After a stop in the bathroom, I click on my desktop computer, grab a Coke Zero and something simple to eat - like a slice of bread with cheese spread on it (I make my own cheese spreads.)  I log on to the computer, open Chrome and click on my email, Facebook and my blog.  I review them in that order, hoping that my blog posting of the day posted as expected.  Then I run through my short list of favorite blogs, check the Washington Post and Lexington Herald Leader.  I then revisit the bathroom, take a shower, dress and head for the door.  I am usually on the shuttle to the subway station by 8:15.  I read on the trains, arriving at the office around 9:00 AM.  

Logging onto my office computer, I look at the internal organization website, office email, personal email.  Replying to office email takes an hour or more.  The rest of my work day is spent responding to email, participating in meetings and conference calls, making progress on one or another of the half a dozen research projects I am usually working on.  Sometime mid-day I run down to the deli on the lower level of the lobby and grab lunch, eating at my desk while continuing to work. When I have run out of steam, usually between 4:00 and 4:30 I restart my office computer and head for the subway.  I get more reading done on the ride home.  

At home I check the mail, check email, Facebook and Blogger, then change and go over the gym in the community center for my 30 minutes of ME time.  After that I cook, enjoy dinner, watch a couple of hours of TV, then go to bed.  

Yea, that is about as exciting as my week gets.  Half a dozen times a year I get to travel for work.  A major change in routine.  Then there are my weekends. 

What is your typical weekday like? 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Where to Next, and When?

The next couple of adventures are booked, Florida the end of August to visit family, and Phoenix and southern California in November, a Spo visit, a board meeting and a conference.  Making good on my commitment to add a couple of personal days onto at least one of my work trips this year.  

What could change it?  My father is not doing well.  He is 89 and has a laundry list of bad health - has had for a while now.  He has also had two really bad falls recently.  He fell and hit his head on his safe, we have joked for years that he would go out of this life clutching the bounty of a life well and carefully lived, he came close to doing just that on that fall.  A couple of days later, he fell and injured his back.  He is on oxygen and well medicated. I am checking in with my sister a couple of times a day, and looking at airline tickets just as often.  His prognosis is simply not good.  He has done it his way, steadfastly staying home, with minimal intervention.  My sister knew he was doing poorly, when he started asking for pain medication.  

Sometime soon I fear I will have an unplanned trip or two to Florida to make.  

The adventure is sometimes planned and fun, and sometimes not. 

Update - I am headed to Florida on Thursday.  

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Le Tour De Cleveland

I have been watching the Tour De France, three weeks of wonderful riders and the amazing landscape of France.  When we were in Cleveland we came across three riders playing in Public Square, all three of them had really great bike handling skills.  I need to ride more. 

Would you trust your buddy to jump you on a bike?   

Monday, July 24, 2017

Omnivores Dilemmas

We had dinner with Ed and Paula in Cleveland at Sokolowski’s University InnOh my, when you have a chance it is worth the adventure for eastern European comfort food.  The restaurant had lamb-chops as a special of the day.  Paula told me I couldn't order lamb - because lambs are so cute. She also said rabbit was prohibited for the same reason (alas rabbit was not on the menu - or I might have.)  

I opted for the stuffed cabbage (good, but not like J's mother use to make.)  This raises the question of a dilemma for an omnivore, should we only eat ugly things?  What is the standard of beauty for things we are considering eating?  I feel like a wimp, in that I generally won't kill it before I eat it (fish are an exception - I have done the deep on fish and shellfish.)  Yet, I will eat anything - at least once.  We all have cultural prejudices when it comes to food, I don't come from a background of religious restrictions on food - that make it easier for me.  

If lamb is off the table, what about mutton?  If rabbit is on the table why not kitty?  In the end I will try just about anything that is culturally appropriate to the place I am in.  

If there anything you would never eat?   

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Five - Cruising

Cruising is a popular way of traveling and adventure and inspiration for this weeks Sunday five 

  1. Have you taken a cruise? 
  2. Would you take a cruise on a ship that didn't have a casino? 
  3. Big ship or small ship?
  4. Would or do you, look forward to "formal night?" 
  5. Balcony or inside cabin? 
My answers: 

  1. Have you taken a cruise?   Twice, back in 2008, the top ship was a cruise to Alaska, the second was a trip to the Bahamas (the third ship is spending the summer cruising the great lakes - looks like fun.) 
  2. Would you take a cruise on a ship that didn't have a casino?  Probably - though I do not want to do a Disney cruise - too many children. 
  3. Big ship or small ship? The bigger the better. 
  4. Would or do you, look forward to "formal night?"  - No, a silly tradition. 
  5. Balcony or inside cabin? Outside with a view - though on the Alaska cruise we had an inside cabin and I slept so well - then there was the matter of the sleeping pills getting mixed up with the anti-inflammatories - that is another story.  

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Random Beauty

I accidentally clicked something in Windows 10, I really don't know what it was, and when my computer goes into screen saver mode, it shows random photos from the over 40,000 digital images on my computer.  It is really very wonderful, reminding me of the great adventures of the past, inspiring me for the adventures of the future.  

What inspires you to travel? 

Friday, July 21, 2017

I Interrupt my regularly Scheduled Fun for a Short Random Rant

So the White House replaced the Communications Director today, Spicer is out, no big surprise he couldn't lie well enough to work in this administration.  I listened to the New Guy's introduction while doing my daily penance on the elliptical machine, I won't bother learning his name - he won't be around that long.  

He said "I am a team player, I have played team sports all of my life, well when I was growing up."  Which is it, all of his life, or when he was growing up?  The press is going to eat this guy alive, his imprecise use the language will get him ripped to shreds.  I would have known 15 minutes into an interview that he was not the right person for the job, at this time, in this administration, with a press core already tasting blood in the water.  

More horse exhaust in the White House.     

West Side Market - Still as Great As Ever

On my short list of things I wanted to do in Cleveland was visit the West Side Market.  We had been there a couple of times a decade or so ago, and I wanted to see how it was doing.  It is doing great.  Since out last visit the market has better parking, just as many vendors and lots of interesting offering.  

The main market hall if permanent vendors, a lot of meat specialty providers, a couple of cheese vendors and several bakeries. There is a very authentic diner in one corner (nice lunch.)  There is an enclosed outer market with primarily fruit and vegetable vendors - more fresh and seasonal stuff. 

Some day, I would like to live near a place like this and shop in it everyday for fresh ingredients.  

Where is your favorite market?  

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Who Will Notice this Posting?

I am kind of hoping that a couple of fellow bloggers will notice this posting.  

First is Spo, aka Michael.  I found a diner named in his honor, undoubtedly featuring favorites from his recently compiled recipe collection.  If you are ever looking for an escape from the desert, this place literally has your name on it.   

The second blogger I was thinking about is Blobby when we rode the Rapid out to Shaker Square, unless I have misread the clues, this is near his gayborhood.  

When J, aka sweetie bear, was growing up his family lived further east in the burbs, a special treat was driving in, parking and taking the Shaker Rapid into downtown.  

Have you visited places that made you think of other bloggers?  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Hilton Cleveland

Opened just a year ago at a cost of $272,000,000 the Hilton Cleveland is spectacular.  It's prime location on Lakeside affords expansive views of Lake Erie.  The hotels 600 rooms are spread of 32 floors, with a spectacular view from the hotel bar on the 32nd floor, complete with an open air deck overlooking the lake.  The hotel adjoins the underground convention center.  It is an easy walk to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the ballpark and the Terminal Tower entertainment area.  

When we returned to our room Sunday night, a Goodyear Airship (actually a Zeppelin owned and operated by Goodyear) was hovering near the hotel.  

The hotel is new, modern, and comfortable.  Definitely worth the stay.  

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

No Mistake By the Lake

I bought a pin that says, "I liked Cleveland, before it was cool" and I did.  J is from that area, we have visited many times.  This trip we stayed downtown, something we had done a couple of times 10-12 years ago.  I like urban centers, and like many Cleveland's had not done well from the 1970's through about 2000. In fact in the 1980's Cleveland was referred to as the mistake by the lake.  

There has been an explosion in redevelopment and new construction, there are many fun restaurants and small shops. There is a nice casino.  We took a boat tour, had lunch in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, wandered around and watched the street life of an alive city.  It was fun.  There will be several more postings, I took a ton of pictures.  

Have you been to Cleveland?  

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Little Simple Magic

This was taken from my terrace, on the 3rd floor, while waiting for the Independence Day Parade to pass by.  
What is it?  How did I do that? 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Somewhat Playing by the Rules - the Sunday Five

Gee, that does not look like a mobility scooter to me.  It looks like someone is playing fast and loose with the rules.  We all do in some way, hence this weeks Sunday five. 

1: Have you ever parked in a no parking zone?
2: Have you ever not put money in the parking meter - risking a ticket? 
3: Have you ever driven the wrong way down a one-way street? 
4: Used someone's handicap parking permit, when that person was not in the car with you? 
5: Have you ever passed a car in a no passing zone?

My answers: 
1: Have you ever parked in a no parking zone? - Nope
2: Have you ever not put money in the parking meter - risking a ticket? - Yes - I have paid a handful of parking tickets over the years. 
3: Have you ever driven the wrong way down a one-way street? - once or twice. 
4: Used someone's handicap parking permit, when that person was not in the car with you? - Yes. 
5: Have you ever passed a car in a no passing zone?  Once a very-very long time ago.  There was someone driving about 10 miles and hour, I pulled over to go around and realized that the motorcycle behind me had flashing blue lights on it - I paid the ticket and I have never done that again.  

Your answers? 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Newport Shore

J directed my onto what is billed as the 10-mile drive, a drive around the waterfront of the island that Newport, Rhode Island is on.  Most of my beach experiences have been on sandy coasts, I am always amazed at rocky coasts.  This is definitely rocky. It was a wonderful relaxing drive.  

Rocky coast or sandy beach for you? 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Marble House - Upstairs Downstairs

Marble House was built as a summer cottage in Newport by one of the Vanderbilts.  At her insistence the budget was unlimited, she spent $11,000,000 in the late 1800's, put the house in her name, and threw her husband out a couple of years later and married her younger lover.  Oh, and the "cottage" was built for the six week summer season, never intended to be lived in year around. 

I am always impressed by the grand houses.  I think of the grand parties and entertaining that could take place.  While the elaborate upstairs are elegant, I am more fascinated by the working parts of the house.  If there is reincarnation, I was the butler in one of these places in a previous life.  

Would you be more comfortable upstairs or downstairs?