Wednesday, January 31, 2018

If I Knew Then, What I Know Now


The events of the past year, and related travels are forever reminding me of times past.  Flashbacks to opportunities that I passed on, things that make me think "if I had known then, what I know now" I would have  . . . what would I have done.  I would have said yes to adventures, taken a couple of jobs, learned to surf, bought a boat,  tried out for head boy?  

What would you have done? 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Alternative to the State of the Union Address - the State of the Blog


Tonight is the annual state of the union address, and many Americans will watch and listen to the President's statement on  how the country to doing.  Many of my readers would sooner listen to 1,000 cats fighting, than listen to Trump.  I probably won't listen, the politics of division are really getting to me,  I don't like the idea that a lie repeated enough times, becomes the alternative truth.  

So I offer an alternative, my state of the blog address. 

My fellow bloggers and readers, it is my pleasure to offer my annual state of the blog address.  Thank you for gathering today, thank you for reading and commenting on a regular basis.  I am in my fourth year of posting daily, having missed just one day in the past three years.  The commitment to creating content, keeps me thinking, looking, considering the world.  2017 presented a lot of personal challenges for me, the blog gave me an outlet to talk, ramble, develop my thinking.  I have tried a second blog and have not followed. (I actually have five blog accounts.) I think from time to time about creating new blogs that would be weekly, maybe talking about food and cooking, or my unique collections.  

Since beginning, The Adventures of Travel Penguin has had over 1,900 postings, and almost 290,000 page views.   A couple of years ago I added "ad sense" to my blog, I just recently passed the $100 mark in ad revenue - the minimum amount for the ads to payout.  There are other blogs that do that per month, or week, or day.  But I didn't start doing this for fame or money.  If I wanted more followers, page views and ad revenue, I would need to create different content, and cross promote my blog.  I seldom mention my blog on other social media.  I would also have to deal with more unpleasant people and trolls.  I am not in this for that - a least not at this time.   

I did turn off anonymous comments this year.  Most of the nasty comments were anonymous, and I guess I am more sensitive than I should be, but it got to me.  I am sorry to anyone who was nice and was caught up in the block.  It is not hard to create an account and identify yourself in comments.  

My plan for the coming year, is to keep up the daily posting. I create postings ahead of time, and schedule them.  My goal is to focus on the positive, to point out the adventure that is life and travel.  

2018 is going to be a busy travel year, I have already been to Florida.  In February I am going to Kentucky, North Carolina and back to Florida. In March I am going to San Francisco. In May I am going to New Orleans. In June I am going to Toronto (possibly by way of Chicago) and back to San Francisco.  In November I am going to Chicago.  I need to go back to Michigan and Florida,  I will likely have fall trip to Kentucky (we want to sell the other house late this year.) That should give me some blog fodder.  And imagine this, I have put off a major trip until spring of 2019.  

I continue to enjoy my daily blog reading.  A handful I regularly comment on, other I read and seldom if ever comment on.  My morning blog routine takes about 30 minutes, 30 minutes of me time.  I will keep that up.  

All in all, the adventure is strong, the adventure continues.  

How is the state of your blog? 


Monday, January 29, 2018

Beyond the Magic Kingdom




There is much more to Central Florida than Micky Mouse theme parks, the real magic of theme park land is how fast tourists can be separated from how much money.  Get away from the converted cow-pastures and drained swamps of World land, and the Florida that was Florida before the rat is still there.  

The Maitland Art Center is a prime example.  It is an art center based in an old artists colony.  There are over a dozen studios in use by various artists, from painters, to sculptors, to jewelers and photographers.  The grounds are relaxing, inspiring even enchanting.  I had not been there is 22 years, and I immediately felt relaxed.  This is my old stomping ground, part of my regular day off routine (I visited about once a month for a decade.) The buildings are art deco, meets Mayan ruin, meets Spanish revival.  The buildings are part of the art of the place.  

If you could spend six months as an artist in residence here, what would you work on? 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Reflections


There is just something about still water and reflections, water lilies, and pond fish.  I have touched water lilies, I find them kind of creepy to touch, but they are so pretty.  This was taken in the court yard of the Maitland Art Center, in Maitland Florida.  I was glad to see that the art center is doing well.  As enchanting as ever.  I had not been there since 1995, and I felt instantly at home and at peace.  Maybe you can go home again. 

Where would you like to revisit? 

Friday, January 26, 2018

Hair

1
 2
 3
 4
When I went to Universal Studios, I forgot that I can't stand and walk as long as I once could.  After two or three hours I need to sit and rest for a while and so I did.  I pulled out the 300mm lens and started people watching.  One of the things I noticed was the hair, most peoples hair is nothing to notice, others stand out.  

Who has the best hair, 1, 2, 3, or 4?

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Good News and Deep Thoughts

I work for a national non-profit professional membership organization, I have for over 9 years.  For the past 4 years I have been on the board of a different national non-profit professional membership organization in my field of aging.  Volunteering for the board was not my idea, it was something a couple of mentors urged me to do.  I went along with it because I think I have something to offer, and I am willing to take on projects and do the work. I have been diligent in board and committee work. This year it was become an officer of the board, or rotate off.  I offered my name for consideration.  

Late today I received a call of congratulations, welcoming me as an officer.  If I stay the course, I will be president of the organization in six years.  A real honor, I am delighted.  Selection as an officer is confirmation that others think I have something to offer.  

It will bring a little extra travel, and more serious committee and board work.  I hope I am worthy of the task. 

My Sweet Bear is delighted, if all goes well, he will be first lady in six years.  He has already picked out the tiara. 

There is one other person I would love to call and share the good news with, my father.  But I had his number disconnected after he died last summer.  He would be proud. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Toon Land


I am not a big fantasy or comic person.  References to popular culture are often lost on me.  When I saw Lard Lad, I knew it had to be from the Simpsons, not from having seen it on the show, but from the style.  Universal Orlando has a fun section based on popular cartoons. 

Would you know Duff Beer? 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Warm Nuts


I am reaping the rewards of lots and lots of travel last year.  One of the best perks, is Gold status with my favorite airline.  Status, means earlier boarding, and if I am lucky a seat in first class.  As a late middle age fat man, the two by two seating in first class certainly beats the three by three seating in coach.  I have relatively short legs, so leg room is not the biggest issue for me, but shoulder and butt room is nice.  

In addition, in first class, the flight attendants call you by name.  Bring you a drink before take off, booze is not extra.  It is probably just my imagination, but I think the wine is better in first class, than it is in the back of the bus.  There is food in first class, a few weeks ago I wrote about a hot breakfast. On my most recent ride up front, it was late evening and there was a delightful small plate of olives, pickled-something, prosciutto and salami.  But what really made me go -oh-ahh - was warm nuts.*  I asked for a glass of white wine.  It came in a monogrammed glass - a real glass-glass.  And along with it came a small white porcelain bowl of mixed nuts, warm nuts.  I swooned, I may need to start warming my nuts at home.  

I got warm nuts on the return flight also, I like warm nuts. 

Do you like warm nuts?  

*Yes, Warrior Queen, I was thinking of you when I wrote this, I know what your comment will be! 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Places I Should Go Back To

There are a lot of places I have only been to once, fewer I have been to many times.  Some of the places I have been to once, well once was enough (been there, done that, bought the T-shirt.) Others I should go back to.  I spent a few days in West Hollywood at a conference a few years ago, including a little exploring of LA, I should go back.  Glacier National Park, Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Arizona, New Mexico, Key West, the Bahamas, Italy, France, England, Germany, Greece, all places I should go back to.

Where do you want to go back to?

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Decennial Plans


I have a decennial birthday coming up in late summer.  The last time I passed a decennial birthday I was in Chicago speaking at a conference and went out to dinner at a nice french restaurant with a group of professional friends.  For this one I am trying to make plans.  At my age there will only be another 1-3 of these events (I will be very upset if I live to be 100.)  Should I?

  1. Ignore the birthday and hope no one notices? 
  2. Throw a party?
  3. Plan a special trip (there are two states I have not been to)? 
  4. Leave the plans up to my dear Hubby? 
  5. Treat it like any other birthday? 
Your suggestions: 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Fire and Fury

I read Fire and Fury, the book about the first few months of the Trump administration.  It is a virtual user guide to DJT.  Want to know how to influence him, read the book; want to know how to bore him, read the book; want to know how to make him mad - well we all know how to do that we don't need to read the book for that.  It is hard to tell how factually accurate the book is, and many people are pissed off about things  - true or not true- that the book says.  Even ignoring the facts, the book speaks volumes about the personalities, and working styles of those inside.  

Have you read it?   

Friday, January 19, 2018

Rocket Scientist



When I lived in Orlando,  shortly after the dinosaurs disappeared, I ran with the Orlando Front Runners.  A great group.  There were identical twin brothers who ran with the group.  I don't remember what one of them did, but the other one made it easy to remember, his favorite T-shirt read, "As a Matter of Fact I Am a Rocket Scientist."  He was an engineer responsible for the shuttle main engines, the ones shown above.  I wonder what he is doing today?  I wonder if he is still running?  

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Professional Associations

The day I stumbled across the offices of the National Mushroom Association, I knew there was an association in the DC area for everything.  Every special interest organization in the country, that wants to be heard in Congress, has an office in DC.  I work for one of them, I am on the board of another one.  You can't hurl an insult in this town without someone being an expert on the subject.  

How many professional organizations are you a member of? 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Bugs


Bugs, as in insects, but bunny, paid the bills in my family when I was growing up.  My grandfather on my father's side, started working with bees as a child.  He found bees living in a hollow tree, he learned how to move them into a hive, and how to harvest honey without killing the bees.  Later he kept bees in the near in suburbs of Detroit.  My father literally grew up with bees in the back yard.  The farm I grew up on was bought in major part because the city was trying to expel my grandfather's bees.  He bought a farm in the country so he could keep bees in the back yard and no one could stop him.  Sometime in the late 50's, my father and grandfather went full scale, at one point having nearly 2,000 colonies.  My father took this picture sometime in the late 50's early 60's, this is my grandfather working bees barehanded.  The capped section on the frame, is brood, bees in the larval stage. In a couple of weeks those will hatch into worker bees (females - not destined for mating.) Drone, or male larva are larger, queens cells are very elongated.  There is probably a queen on there someplace, there is one in every crowd.  

Have you ever handled live bees? 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Greece


The cradle of democracy, the roots of religions, the home of architecture  art and theater.  Greece has much to offer.  I had real trepidation about traveling to Greece.  I found the language impenetrable. I needn't have worried.  The people were warm and accommodating.  English is a common second language.  Only once did we find ourselves unable to communicate.  I should go back. 

What place gives you second thoughts about traveling to? 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Emotion Connected to Place


We all have places that evoke memories, that evoke emotions.  Thinking about, seeing images of or revisiting places, brings back the emotional state.  It was on the sidewalk in front of the National Archives that I decided my first marriage was over.  Walking past there frequently brings back the anger that I felt that day, the sense that I had wasted nearly a decade of my life with someone who shared so little in values or ambitions.  Port Huron and the Bluewater bridge will be forever in my memory as the place I stayed the weekend we buried my parents.  That is an odd one, there is a little sadness, some rediscovery of family connections, some relief at the end of that journey in life - mixed with the landscape of the Lake Huron lake shore - a very pretty place.  

What place do you have an emotional reaction to? 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sunday Questions




My Answers:
🀡🏼Marriages....2
πŸ’Proposals....2
🍼Children.....0
🐰Pets right now...0
πŸš‘Surgeries ..... 1
Tattoos .......0
πŸ‘‚piercings.....0
πŸ”«Shot a gun ........yes
Quit a job ......Yes
πŸ“ΊEver been on tv......yes
πŸŒ…Been to an island.....yes
πŸš—What do you drive?.....A Car
Flown on a plane....Yes
πŸš™Hit a deer....No
πŸ˜₯Someone cried over you....Yes
Fallen in love ......yes
πŸ˜ͺWatched someone die...No
πŸš‘Been in an ambulance....yes
🎀Sang karaoke....no
Been ice skating...no
πŸ„Been surfing....no
πŸ›³Been on a Cruise....yes
🚲Been on a motorcycle...yes
🐴Rode a horse..... yes
πŸ₯Stayed in a hospital... yes
🍽Favorite fruit... Raspberries
🌽Favorite vegetable.... Tomatoes (I know they are a fruit)
🍨Favorite dessert.... Chocolate
πŸŒ“Morning or night... morning
🌈Favorite color.... blue
πŸ“žLast Phone conversation...sister
πŸ“±Last text... Spo – the dear 

Your answers: 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

In the Kitchen



Last weekend I made homemade bread and butter.  Simple staples of life, that we have become accustomed to buying ready made.  They are not hard to make with a good stand mixer. I am on my third Kitchen Aid stand mixer (the first one had a gear failure under warranty, the second one lasted about 20 years and developed a crack in the casting, I bought a new one a year ago.)  

Basic White Bread

Measure about 1.25 cups of whole milk
Mix in a heaping tablespoon of sugar
Heat to about 105-110 degrees Fahrenheit (I heat it in the microwave for 45-60 seconds. 
Stir in a heaping tablespoon of rapid-rise yeast (I use Fleishmans, I buy it in one-pound blocks on Amazon, it keeps well tightly covered in the freezer.) 
Let this sit for 5 minutes or so. It will start to bubble showing that the yeast is starting to grow. 

In the mixer bowl, measure about 3-cups of bread flour.  Bread flour has a higher gluten content than all purpose flour and I find works more consistently.  I pay a slight premium and buy King Arthur brand, I find it more reliable than cheaper or store brands.  Add a pinch or two of salt and a couple of table spoons of melted butter.  

Stir in the milk & yeast mixture. 

Put the bowl on the mixer with the dough hook, lock the head down, and knead on the lowest speed for five-minutes.  

As it kneads, if it looks sticky, add a dusting of flour, if it does not form a ball around the dough hook, add a tea-spoon or two of water. The exact amount of flour or water will vary depending on the humidity and the flour.  This is not a chemistry formula - it is more of an art than a science. 

When it is done kneading, remove the dough and lightly oil the bowl, return the dough to the bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and sit in a warm draft free place to rise for one-hour.  I have halogen under cabinet lights in my kitchen, I sit it under one of those and the extra warmth helps the rise.  At the end of the hour, punch down and form into a loaf.  This can be baked in a loaf pan (spray it with no-stick spray) or as a free form loaf on a baking sheet (spray the sheet with a no-stick spray and or sprinkle it with corn meal.) 

Cover and let it rise for 30-45 minutes in a warm draft free place.  Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F. 

Bake for 45 minutes.  Cool on a rack (if you baked it in a loaf pan, turn it out when you remove it from the oven.)  

Butter: 
I had never made butter before.  It is easy, though it takes a little time.  
Pour one pint of heavy cream in the mixer bowl, with the flat paddle beater.  Start on the lowest speed for 10 to 15 minutes until the cream increases in volume, then click up one or two speeds and continue processing.  It will develop into an emulsion, a whipped cream, then beyond. It will start to develop a faint yellow color then the emulsion will "break" separating the solids and liquids.  The solids are butter the liquid is butter-milk.  This happens rather rapidly and you need to turn off the mixer when the butter starts to clump together in large chucks.  Put a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and empty the contents of the mixer bowl into it.  You want to separate the liquids and solids.  I let it sit in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.  I like my butter salted, so I returned the solids to the mixer bowl, put the mixer back on low and added salt to taste.  Salted butter will keep longer than unsalted.  The more thoroughly the liquids are removed from the solids, the longer the butter will keep.  A pint of cream, makes just under half-a-pound of butter.   

What is your latest kitchen adventure? 

Friday, January 12, 2018

Photo Proof


For eons it was debated if in fact all four feet of a horse left the ground at the same time, one side believed that it happened, others argued that it was impossible for a 1,000 pound animal to become airborne. Early photography proved that all four legs leave the ground at the same time.  Today's cameras make it easy to capture. For me that is hard science, not theory, or speculation, but tangible  evidence. We are on the cutting edge of understanding DNA and how the brain works (and fails.)  I wonder how far we are away from understanding, and having proof of the causes of dementia.  I doubt a "cure" will happen in my life time, but then in the mid 1800's no one though they could definitively answer the question about a galloping horse.  

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Looking Forward


Have I mentioned that I don't like cold weather?  

Looking forward, what is on the horizon? 

  • In a couple of weeks, a visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios on Orlando. 
  • I am getting ready to present a national webinar on ethical challenges of supporting individual independence.
  • I am getting ready to do a program on empowering persons with dementia, at a posh resort in Western North Carolina.
  • I am going to go for a visit at the other house. 
  • By the time I am done with all of that, the spring thaw will be here.  
What is on your horizon? 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Converting



I decided it was finally time to convert, my father always thought that sooner or later I would convert to Catholicism, or Judaism.  That is not it, I still avoid organized religion.  A lifelong Windows user, I finally had enough and I am converting to a Mac life.  I have been through about 10 windows machines in the time that Jay has had 4 Macs.  My latest windows machine ate it's operating system after 15 months. Things are a little different in Mac world. 

The super sleek design, means many things that are in your face on windows, are not on this thing.  So I tried asking Siri how to adjust the volume, she replied, "Do you want to increase or decrease the volume" I relied "yes" and she said "I thought so" then she quit talking to me.  Just what I need, a smart ass computer.  

Found it, figuring it out. 

And I imported the nearly 40,000 photo files from my HP back-up drive (what a relief, I would really miss them, and they take like 20 hours to download from cloud storage.) . 

So are you Windows, Mac or something else? 

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Read in 2017



When I finished high school, one of my teachers remarked that I would read much more in adulthood than I had in school.  At the time I thought he was nuts, school was over, reading was a necessary skill, but nothing that I would find much time for.  How wrong I was.  I have an advantage when I comes to reading, I have about 5 hours per week of uninterrupted time on the subway trains coming and going to the office.  That is about 260 hours a year of reading time, in 2017 I spent over 50 hours in the air with American Airlines, and another 7 flights on Delta, for a total of about 60 hours of flying time.  I read a lot when I am flying.  Having this time really helps, and it shows, I finished over 39 books in 2017.  I have several more in progress.  

Here is the list, for more information on any title, search it on Amazon, all of these are available for Kindle.  I likely read a couple of print books that are not available for Kindle, and I know of one e-book that I read (very quickly - it was a technology book that was 4 years old and hence terribly out of date.)  


  1. The Grand Tour Guide to the World (fun and easy) 
  2. Dear Fatty (Dawn French's bio) 
  3. What Is It All but Luminous: Notes from an Underground Man (Art Garfunkel - very strange) 
  4. Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff 
  5. A Garden In Sarlat: Fulfilling an ambition to run a bed and breakfast in The Dordogne
  6. The Life and Loves of a He Devil: A Memoir 
  7. Before Forever After: When Conversations About Living Meet Questions About Dying (tough book to read) 
  8. Pensioners in Paradis
  9. My Good Life in France: In Pursuit of the Rural Dream
  10. Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life
  11. Progressing Through Grief: Guided Exercises to Understand Your Emotions and Recover from Loss
  12. La Vie En Rose: Notes From Rural France
  13. Al Franken, Giant of the Senate
  14. Finding My Virginity: The New Autobiography (Richard Branson's latest bio.) 
  15. Wait, What?: And Life's Other Essential Questions
  16. Uncorked: My year in Provence studying PΓ©tanque, discovering Chagall, drinking Pastis, and mangling French
  17. The French House
  18. The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country (Really great book - well researched and written) 
  19. L'Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home 
  20. Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) (David Sedaris) 
  21. All Over the Place: Adventures in Travel, True Love, and Petty Theft
  22. Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy (Sheryl Sandburg, good book) 
  23. Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life (Really great book on end of life health care.) 
  24. Blackbirds Baked In A Pie: Memories of Rozinante
  25. Stop Saying You're Fine: The No-BS Guide to Getting What You Want
  26. Authentic Mexican: Regional Cooking from the Heart of Mexico
  27. Hemingway Didn't Say That: The Truth Behind Familiar Quotations
  28. One Sip at a Time: Learning to Live in Provence
  29. How to Say It® to Seniors: Closing the Communication Gap with Our Elders (Everyone who has an older loved one - should read this.) 
  30. Not Tonight, Josephine: A Road Trip Through Small-Town America
  31. Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home (Well written book about recovering an illness and cooking.) 
  32. Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less
  33. Smartcuts: The Breakthrough Power of Lateral Thinking
  34. How to Be an Imperfectionist: The New Way to Self-Acceptance, Fearless Living, and Freedom from Perfectionism
  35. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials)
  36. Get Off Your "But": How to End Self-Sabotage and Stand Up for Yourself
  37. The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today's America (I enjoyed the parts about urban farming in Detroit and other cities.)  
  38. Pancakes in Paris: Living the American Dream in France 
  39. Best Food Writing 2016

Monday, January 08, 2018

Random Thoughts


  • I have no why anyone cares about the Kardashian's are (Robert was one of OJ's lawyers - beyond that I have no clue why anyone cares.) 
  • I don't understand why Star Wars and Star Trek are not part of the same story line.  Until the last couple of years, I thought the two were related. 
  • I find nothing "Real" about the "Real Housewives" of any place TV series. Those people are about as real as Trumps' greatness. 
  • I don't understand tattoos on the face or neck, a little to much for me. 

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Sunday Five - Thanks to Orbitz

No automatic alt text available.

1: I have never left my passport home when I needed it.
2: I have never missed a flight (connections yes, when the airline had problems)
3: Never overslept in a hotel room
4: Never left baggage claim with the wrong bag
5: Never spent too much time at the hotel pool
6: Only once have a not returned a rental car without a full tank of gas.
7:  I am two states short,
8: I have nodded off to sleep and leaned over onto a stranger
9: Yes, hotel rooms all run together after a while
10:  I have not swam in the Pacific - I need to do that someplace warm.

Your answers?

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Cold Out There


A couple of times a winter, for a few days, the mighty Potomac River will glaze over with ice.  It is seldom thick, often as you can see here there are open water patches.  Back in January of 1982 the river had ice on it like this when Air Florida flight 90 crashed on take off from National Airport about 200 yards north west of this bridge.  The plane was overweight from ice build up.  The boss of a neighbor of mine at the time, stopped to watch a basketball game on TV in a bar in the airport, ordered a second beer and missed that flight. It wasn't his night to go.  

Is it cold where you are?

Friday, January 05, 2018

Tell Us About Your First Time?


My first airline flight was in March of 1977, from Detroit to Tampa on Eastern Airlines. It was an evening flight, I had a window seat, I was surprised at how long it took to get there. I was flying to Florida to drive my grandmother to Michigan, my great grandmother had fallen and broken a hip, and the family was concerned about my grandmother making the trip alone. I think it was the only time I flew Eastern airlines.  I was changing planes in Atlanta the night Eastern quit flying, it was chaos, I was flying KLM that night.   

My father's first airline flight was on American Airlines on August 31, 1946.  He was drafted near the end of World War II and was stationed in New York.  He flew to Detroit on leave.  He talked about going home on leave for the rest of his life.  This "Flight Report" was written as the plane was passing over Cleveland, on the day of the Cleveland Air Races.  There is still a big airshow in Cleveland in late Summer, J and I have been there for it a couple of times.  

Tell us  about your first time? 

Thursday, January 04, 2018

One Eye Open


I was walking down King Street in Old Town Alexandria one day, and spotted this cat, snuggled up in a basket in the window of a shop and grabbed a quick picture.  I notice, that while I was looking at the cat, the cat was in fact looking at me.  Who is watching whom?  


Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Landscapes from the Air


My father was a licensed pilot.  When I was a teenager I developed a passion for photography, went flying with dad, took a few pictures and before I knew it, I was being paid to take pictures of farms, houses, and businesses from the air.  I paid for several thousand dollars in camera equipment in the 1970's doing that.  Things changed, I moved to Florida, moved onto other careers, dad quit flying, and I haven't taken areal photographs for a few decades.  

When I fly I usually take an aisle seat in the middle of coach.  But once in a while I end up with empty seats next to me and I will slide over into the window seat.  That happened this summer, as I was flying in and out of LaGuardia. And I grabbed a few nice shots, Yankee Stadium and the Manhattan skyline.  A little hazy, but not bad.  

Do you usually take a window, aisle, or middle seat? 

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Happiness Is A Inside Job


I did something I have not done in almost 20 years, I took the week between Christmas and New Years off and stayed home.  The norm has been either take the week off and travel, or go into the office in the strange quiet days between the two holidays.  It was nice to take the days off.  I spent the first couple of days of it in bed with a virus, body aches and a quickly emptying digestive system.  Then I settled in and enjoyed the break.  I am still not ready not work full time, but it was nice to have a few lazy days.  

It will be nice to be back to the routine of work.  I like work, I look forward to Mondays and taking on the challenges of the work. Liking work, looking forward to Monday's is a matter of attitude, it is up to me to control, not something I can rely on an outside source or my employer to provide.  

A friend of mine was fired, by text message, between Christmas and New Years.  The text was something along the line of "we have changed the schedule and you are no longer on it."  She was pissed.  It was a crappy way to let someone know you are letting them go, though I don't know as there is a good way to do that.  (I met a guy on an airline flight one time, whose sole job was to fire corporate executives.)  

She would like an answer to why she was no longer on the schedule.  I am going to venture a guess, her attitude about her work.  A couple of times per week she would arrive at work, and immediately post of Facebook how miserable she was being back at work. Maybe she was not feeling well, maybe she was tired, but it was obvious that she would sooner not be there.  Even if her employer didn't read her Facebook postings (and yes employers do read your Facebook postings,)  even if she didn't verbalize at work that she was miserable being there, the attitude shows.  It is no fun working with someone who does not want to be there, someone who is unhappy.  I have worked with people who were brilliant and competent, but miserable, they are no fun to be around, given a choice I would sooner not work with them.  

Find happiness in what you do.  My happiness is not my employers job, happiness comes from inside me.  I am grateful and happy for the job, for the opportunity, for economic security, for the routine, and for the challenges.  A long time ago I was whining about the challenges of my job, "Wild Willy" my boss at the time, looked at me and said, "if it was easy I could hire someone cheap to do it, I hired you because you are capable of fixing it, and I pay you well, be grateful for the challenges."   

Are you looking forward to going back to work this week? 

Monday, January 01, 2018

Happy New Year 2018


Happy New Year! 
May 2018 Bring You and Yours
Happiness
Comfort
Security
Peace 
Strength
Adventures
New Horizons