Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Routine Things In Life

The routine things in life, need not be boring.  Shoes, socks, underwear, why shouldn't they be colorful, interesting, fun, even exciting.  All to often the routine things in life are seen as basics, simple, plain, boring.  Shoes in black or brown, why not red, blue, yellow and orange.  Now I will never wear the heels above, But, I do tend to wear bright colorful shoes.  I have been referred to in the office as the man who wears the blue shoes (or orange, or red, or well you get the idea.) . 

Have fun today, add a little color and style! 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Start the Adventure Young

If you ask me to describe my blog, I tend to use the word travel.  Nearly every posting has an image, most of the images are pictures I have taken while traveling.  I started traveling when I was young.  I was about three the first time my family did a major road trip.  When I was 5 and 6 we did two long-long distance car trips (Michigan to Arizona.) I was 18 when I did my first airline flight, and I didn't start flying a lot until my early 30's. But the love of the adventure of travel has it's roots in those early trips.  I don't know how my parents did it, four kids under the age of 10 in a standard four door car, but we did it and decades later I reap benefits of loving travel, not being afraid to leave home.  

Babies on planes, most of the time, they fuss a little, but usually not that much.  Once in a while a baby has a really bad trip, I always have ear plugs in my bag for those moments.  (When I was in Orlando last month the smoke alarm in my hotel room started chirping in the middle of the night, that annoying chirp smoke detectors make when the back-up battery is running low.  It was about 1:00 AM, I really needed a decent nights sleep.  I put ear plugs in, rolled over and went back to sleep - I never leave home without them.) 

Children should travel, when I child annoys me when traveling, I try to think of how the child is learning about the adventure of life. 

When did you start traveling?  

Monday, February 26, 2018

Hang On Spring is Coming

  There have been markets on court house square in Alexandria, Virginia since colonial times.  At this time of the year, I remind myself, that just a few more weeks, and the first of the local spring produce will start to appear, and I will return to my Saturday morning market routine.  

Do you visit a local farmers market? 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Saturday, February 24, 2018


From time to Mistress Maddie posts about the houseboys, usually young, fit, cute, sexy.  I don't know if they are any good at housework, but looking at them, who would care?  

I don't have a houseboy. Housekeeping is not my favorite thing.  Scars of childhood and not really caring leave me less then enthusiastic about house work.  A little help around the house would be nice, but somehow I think my houseboys would look more like those on the top, that the one on the bottom (he is a professional.)   

What would your houseboy look like? 

Friday, February 23, 2018


Says a lot, tells me nothing.  Hmm, what else is like that? 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Joys of Getting Lost

This picture was taken someplace in Normandy, I am not sure where, I was lost.  I take Ms. Garmin with me when I am traveling and renting a car. And I go pretty much wherever the she tells me to go (listening to the little voices.)  Once in a while, she gets lost, tries to direct me down a closed road, or road that is not really a road.  This was one of those times.  I turned and kept going, figuring I'd find something worth seeing.  I have seen some spectacular things when I was lost, had some fun drives.  Then there was the goat path in the German Alps, I don't think J has forgiven Ms. G. for that trip - it was a fun, but scary drive.  The worst was the driver coming in the other direction at what felt like 100 miles per hour. 

Do you ever get lost? 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Food Entertainment

I was watching Worst Cooks in America, for those who have avoided this bit of torture, it is a reality television game show that starts with selecting the least talented and most neurotic home cooks, and tries to teach them how to cook.  The results of teaching people how to cook are somewhat remarkable, you can teach old dogs new skills.  The starting point for people who can't cook astounds me at how little they know and how afraid they are of the kitchen.  

My grandmother (who was not a great cook) instilled in me the importance of understanding ingredients and basic technique.  I took it from there, learning how to handle a knife, I can mince, dice, chop, slice, julienne and chiffonde.  I know the difference between braising, broiling, frying, roasting and baking.  I have a basic understanding of a wide array of ingredients, I am willing to experiment with new foods, new preparations.  I view recipes as a starting point, not a chemistry formula.  I won't say I am a great cook, but I am not the worst. 

What Worst Cooks leaves out of the show is the basic cooking boot camp that they work through.  They don't show the instruction in the basics, that so many people really need. I miss Cooking with Julia and The French Chief.  

Do you like to cook?     

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

One Year

One year ago tonight, my mother's grand adventure came to an end.  I have learned a lot about myself in the past year, my strengths and my weaknesses.  I have learned that no two people experience loss in the same way.  The importance of taking time and taking care of yourself.  

Get out and enjoy the adventure of your life, it will come to an end someday.  

Monday, February 19, 2018

Presidents Day

Happy Presidents Day!  Love some of them, not like some of them, 45 men (yes all men up to this point) have held the office of President, chief executive officer of the executive branch of the US government, commander in chief.  

There have been a few remarkable leaders, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, Rosevelt, and a few embarrassments.  

I live just a few miles north of George Washington's Mt Vernon estate, on top of a hill top that George surveyed.  

Who will be our next great leader? 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sunday Picky Eaters

This one is easy, I will and have eaten about everything, my score is a 0, yours?

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Winter or Summer?

I was born in the cold, cold north, but came of age in the warm, warm south.  While the first snow fall has a magic about it, the novelty wears off in a hurry and I yearn for the warm and easy days of summer.  I am a summer person.  Winter brings opportunities for indoor sports, for long slow cooked dishes (soups, stews, roasts.) But I do look forward to the sun.  

Are you a winter or a summer person? 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year!  Welcome to the year of the dog.  My law student (LLM student at Georgetown) asked for the day off.  Of course I said yes.  

Why don't we have flexible holidays to recognize that we don't all celebrate or observe the same holidays?  

Thursday, February 15, 2018

40- Years Of Magic

An impromptu and added post.  Today marks my middle brother's 40th anniversary of working at Walt Disney World in Florida.  It seems like only yesterday that he started there, excited at the adventure of working in the "happiest place on earth."  Disney has been good to him.  His working there has given me access to behind the scenes parts of Disney, Private Parties in the Magic Kingdom, Construction Tours of EPCOT and being invited to a pre-opening opening of EPCOT.  Lots of adventures.  He says he is going to work until he is 70, a few years left to go. 

Five Great Work Trips

I am about to start another busy year of work trips.  Many of them are work, just work, and not always to places I really wanted to go, but I go with the flow and look for the adventure.  But once in a while, I get to go someplace fantastic.  Hence my top five work trips. 

1: Hawaii.  The schedule was grueling, five 12+ hour days in a row, in paradise.  
2: Mt. Washington, New Hampshire.  It helps that it was in October and the mountains were spectacular.  The program was short, the audience unconvinced, the venue was grand, but my reservation was lost and I ended up in an okay place across the street.  
3: Browning, Montana.  We stayed in East Glacier, literally across the street from the east entrance to Glacier National Park.  I had a free day to explore the Park, it was in mid-May before things really opened up and before the tourists arrived (the high mountain road through the park was still not open for the summer.) The work was on the Blackfoot reservation and the hosts were wonderful.  
4: Anchorage, Alaska.  I went in a day early and went "Flightseeing" to Mt. McKinley, I had a reindeer dog downtown for lunch. It was a fantastic work trip.  
5: San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The program was at a great hotel on the water, in the nicest part of town, the hosts were wonderful, very welcoming and accommodating.  My only experience working with live translators.  

Tell us about your favorite work trip? 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentines Day

Live, Love and Laugh with all your heart.  When you find that special someone, nothing else matters.  

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Super Bowl

I built a house one time (I have about 500 stories that start with that phrase) for a young woman.  When she came in to sign the contract her father came along.  I am not sure what he was there for, she was a bright and careful person who knew what she was doing, but fathers can be protective.  I commented about a very large gold and diamond ring he was wearing.  He slipped it off, and handed it to me, and told me to slip it on, then take a careful look.  I did, and as I read it, I realized it was a Super Bowl ring.  He was a retired professional football player, turned building supply dealer.  He said, you will be able to say, you once wore a Super Bowl ring, few people can say that. 

If I were a big football fan, I'd get more mileage out of that story. 

Should men wear big gold and diamond rings?

Monday, February 12, 2018

Happy Monday

Is success being happy with what we have, striving for something else?  Now I understand Maslow and the necessity of basic needs being met, but once we move beyond safe, secure, and connected, happiness is really more about being happy with who we are and what we have, than it is about what want.  He who dies with the most toys does not necessarily win.  The endless pursuit of more, bigger, better, newer, is simply put Bull, it is not the road to happiness.  The road to happiness is deciding to be happy.  Bloom where you are planted.

Where do you find happiness? 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Stop to Think

At times I need to stop and think.  How did we get here?  How can we stay safe?  Do we make other's feel safe or threatened?  Do we respect others?  How much pain and loss, is worth it for the average person?  What is it that all humans really want and need?  

Places like Arlington National Cemetery are not always easy to visit, but I think it is important that we pause and think about what these places mean about our place in the world.  

Friday, February 09, 2018

Crowded With Muggles

Word is out on how to find your way into Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida, and the place is packed with muggles, shopping, eating and waiting for the dragon on top of Gringots to blow it's top.  It was quite neat.  

Are you muggle born? 

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Hogwarts Express Cable Car

I read all of the Harry Potter books, and I have seen all of the movies - at least a couple of times.  I had to see the Harry Potter stuff at Universal Studios.  I like Diagon Alley, I will post a few pictures someday soon.  The train that connects the London scenes to Hogsmead and the Hogwarts castle, is featured above.  The outside of the station is a fraction of the station in London.  Work your way through the theme park crowd control maze and board the "train."  Look closely, the train wheels don't ride on the tracks, the cars are moved by a continuously moving cable - a cable car system.  Like San Francisco, and the shuttle trains in several major US airports (Cincinnati and Atlanta to name two.) Hmm, a magic train, levitated above the rails.  

Have you read the books? 

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Indoor Space

I love the great outdoors, but I also love great indoor spaces.  Spaces that open up and allow the eye to explore.  There are several museums around the world that have this type of glass covered courtyard between parts of the building.  The British Museum in London, The National Portrait Gallery here in DC, and above the Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland of all places. 

Does your town have anything like this? 

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Once in a Lifetime

Everyone once in a while, someone will remark, "that was a once in a lifetime adventure."  I was thinking about that, I have a had a lot of remarkable experiences, many of which I might repeat.  I never plan a trip as a once in a lifetime, I plan it as the first time, and I might always do this again. It takes some of the pressure off.  If it is fun, I am open to doing this again, with this one being the first time.  There are a few things we only do once, being born, death, . . . I can't think of any others.  I have lots of first times in my life, many of them are followed by repeat times.  A few followed by "I hope I never do that again."  

Monday, February 05, 2018

Monday Assignment for the week

When was the last time you climbed a tree?  Gone out on a limb? Stepped outside of your comfort zone?  Been bold? Been silly?  Taken on this great adventure called life.  

My assignment for the week is do something that is outside your comfort zone, and comment about it here, or on your blog and leave us a comment linking to your blog.  

Be bold! 

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Sunday Questions

1. Favorite smell?  Bread baking
2. Last time I cried? Recently
3. Favorite pizza? Supreme 
4. Favorite flower? Rose
5. Favorite animal? Bunny
6. Did you go to college? Forever
7. Untie your shoes when taking them off? Always
8. Roller coaster? Hell No!!
9. Favorite ice cream? Salted Caramel
10. Shorts or jeans? Depends on weather
11. What are you listening to? Silence
12. Favorite tv show? Grand Tour
13. Tattoos? No
14. Hair color? Missing
15. Eye Color? brown
16. Height? 5'10''
17. Favorite food to eat? Cheese
18. Favorite holiday? Thanksgiving
19. Beer or Wine? Wine - red
20. Night owl or morning? Morning person
21. Favorite day of the week? Monday
22. Do you have a nickname? Poopsie - but only one person can call me that
23. Favorite season? Summer
24. Favorite place to get away? France
25. Missing someone? Yes!
26. Dream vacation? Around the world
27. Regrets? Of course...
28. Middle name? Mark
29. Ocean or lake? Ocean
30. Who do you think will do this? All of my fans 

Saturday, February 03, 2018

I am worried about us,

I am worried about us as a nation, I think we are losing our sense of humor.  If laughter is the best medicine, the pharmaceutical companies need to come up with more happy pills. Sarcasm is lost on many people today, as is irony - how ironic. I can guarantee anything even vaguely referencing race, ethnicity, gender or sexuality will be found deeply offensive by someone.  I was taken to task last year when someone remarked that they didn't understand baseball, and I said, "it is kind of like Cricket, but faster."  I was told that this was a deeply racist remark.  And criticizing baseball isn't? 

I fear that we are becoming incapable of laughing at a good or bad joke.  

If we can't laugh at ourselves, what can we laugh at? 

Friday, February 02, 2018

From the Past

Art that endures for eternity.

What are we producing today, that will be bring awe and wonder 2,000 years from now?

Thursday, February 01, 2018


There is a line in a Buffet song, "Yes I am a pirate, 200 years too late!" My sister tells me, there is a privateer, a government sanctioned pirate in my family history. I wonder what treasures he plundered.  The Parthenon marbles,  are in London.  An interesting story of plunder.  As I heard the story of how then ended up in London instead of Athens, Turkey occupied Athens, they have done that from time to time over the past 400 years.  While the Turks were in charge, an Englishman asked if they would mind if he took home a few souvenirs.  The Turks said, help yourself, so he crated up and shipped home some of the most significant art treasures to survive from the ancient world.  When the Greeks were back in charge of Athens, they were a bit miffed, in fact I think they still would like their treasure back.  In the mean time, it is very worth the trip to the British Museum in London to see them.  

What would you plunder if someone said, go ahead and take what you like?