Thursday, May 31, 2018


A lot of supercars are trailer queens, pampered, taken from place to place in protective trailers, driven carefully to preserve a perfect appearance, and some are not.  You can tell the ones that are driven, they are less than perfect.  The car above was parked at the carwash the other morning.  It is driven, the headlight covers are a little yellowed, and there is a small crack on the nose, you can see it right there.  The crack continues on the piece in front of the headlight.  At the cost of Ford GT parts, that is probably a $10,000 crack.  It is also a sign, that this one has been enjoyed.  

In life I have a few blemishes, a few cracks, a few signs of having been driven hard.  I like it that way.  I am not perfect, wouldn't want to be at this point in life.  

Are you driven or a trailer queen? 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


Cheese is one of my favorite foods, I have tried 100's of cheese, liked most of them, loved many, once was enough for others.  There is a special smell in a place like this, Eataly in Chicago, a funk that only happens when the magic of cheese is really happening.  No pasteurized processed cheese food here, no Velveta. This is the result of magic and enzymes, and patience.  

Almost 20 years ago I co-worker had an adorable baby daughter.  Her first complete sentence was "More cheese please!"  

What is you favorite cheese? 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

That Didn't Go As Planned

I have seldom if ever watched Saturday Night Live, it was on late, and I have never been a night owl (well only for a short time, then I met my Sweetie Bear (SB) and settled down to a life of bliss and sleep.) The first time we were in Chicago, said SB, saw the signs for the Billy Goat Tavern, tried to describe the joke about the service.  I am always up for an adventure, so off we went.  

The first thing you have to know that in part of downtown Chicago the street level, is 25 feet above ground level.  The streets were elevated to allow the train tracks to run under the city.  There is a complex web of streets, and yes even train tracks that run under a chunk of downtown Chicago.  To get to the Bill Goat, you go down to ground level, a place where the sun don't shine, hasn't shined in 150 years.  It was a whole in the wall workingman's bar, for the train workers, and deliver workers who moved freight under the streets.  The location is a bit creepy to the uninitiated. Then there is the service - or lack thereof.  It is kind of a blur, we were still trying to figure out the menu and the service chaos, when the staff started shouting at us.  That brought on SBs panic attack, then I made the mistake of asking for a beer at the wrong counter, precipitating me to be screamed at, bringing on a rare panic attack.  Maybe this was too much adventure, or maybe it was just simply rude.  It didn't go as planned.  I won't try that again.  

What is your response to rude service?   

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day 2018

The American Military Cemetery in Normandy. 
A visit should be compulsory for every elected official and military leader. 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Capturing the perfect Pizza - the Sunday Five

I have had Pizza in Pisa, a slice in New York, a Chicago style deep dish (a dozen times, Lou Malnati's is the best in my humble opinion.) I went to what was jokingly called the Poppa Johns School of Law - the owner of that pizza chain built the University a new football stadium while I was there.  I make a decent pizza at home (dough from scratch,  easy on the tomato sauce, good cheese, sausage, pepperoni, and a very-very hot oven.)   Five questions?

1: Anchovies? Yes or No
2: Better reheated or cold?
3: Pineapple? Yes or No
4: Have you ever had pizza with an egg on it? 
5: Who makes the worst Pizza? 

My Answers: 
1: Anchovies? Yes I can take them or leave them, if they are done right you can't find them to pick them off. 
2: Better reheated or cold?  Cold, I hate fast food places that reheat cold Pizza, and they never give an option of cold. 
3: Pineapple? Only under special circumstances
4: Have you ever had pizza with an egg on it? Yes, 
5: Who makes the worst Pizza? Pizza Hut - despite the name - not the best. 

Your answers in the comments! 

Saturday, May 26, 2018

New Orleans Originals

I first went to New Orleans in 1984, to visit the World's Fair.  I was living in Florida, driving a Renault LeCar (it had a canvass sunroof and the coldest air conditioning on earth.) I drove to NOLA, spent a couple of nights in a Holiday Inn in the French Quarter, visited the exhibition.  In two days, I really hadn't had any really good food - in a city famous for great food.  I took a horse drawn carriage tour, and the driver pointed out all of the best places to eat, including Cafe-Du-Monde in the French Market and Brennan's. He said Brennan's had the best breakfast in town.  The next morning I had the best breakfast in the world, at Brennans.  The secret to good food in New Orleans, is skip the chains, and go with the locals.  

I have been back four times, and I have found incredible food four times.  New Orleans is one of the great food cities in the world.  

On that first trip I bought a print of Antoines Restaurant.  I have tried over the years to get in, but they were always booked.  This tip I made reservations in advance.  I was not disappointed. 
The Wine Cellar at Antoine's. 

What is your favorite food city? 

Friday, May 25, 2018

If this is Friday, how can I be home?

It is a crazy travel cycle, this is the first Friday in May, that I have been home.  I will be on the road two Fridays in June.  Then I am home, well only one trip in July, and one in August.  I have spent a lot of time above the clouds, been in a three of my favorite cities. 

Time at home, between the trips tends to become catch up time, trying to get ready for the next run, trying to keep everything in the office working.  At some point I clicked a box for a higher level of security on my travel computer (a Chrome Book.) It is now fussy about what WiFi network it will connect to, and of course I have no idea how to un-click the box I clicked so long ago.  This results in less work being done while on the road, it is nice to have the excuse of my security settings are incompatible with open WiFi, but still work is delayed.  I need to write a presentation for Toronto, they emailed me a reminder that they would like by today.  

Thursday, May 24, 2018

English - a strange language

For most of us in our personal lives a "High Water Mark"is a peak achievement,  the attainment of one of the grand adventures in life.  For a building, nearly a mile from the Ohio River, the "High Water Mark" if the sign of a tragedy, a massive flood.  Quick research shows the river crested at 85 feet above normal in late January of 1937, the result of 20 inches of rain and ice in the river. 70% of the buildings in Louisville flooded.  In the three years I spent in Louisville in graduate school, I saw the river flood a couple of times, one morning there were cars in a parking lot, on the way home that afternoon the cars were floating downstream, but I never saw anything like 1937. 

So a high water mark can be good, or bad, a strange language.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


I was in Louisville, Kentucky recently to speak at a conference.  It was a quick trip, 26 hours on the ground.  I had a very good breakfast with a professor from the law school.  I got to be a national expert on one of my favorite topics.  All in all a good trip, flashbacks and all. 

On the way down 4th Street to dinner I passed the Palace Theater.  My law school graduation ceremony was at the Palace 19 years ago this month.  I have vague memories of it, vague not for the usual reason of the passage of time, or a hangover, like the one from from my college graduation a few years earlier (Professor Levis ordered a second case of Champagne at the honors reception the evening before, he was a trust fund baby, it was really good Champagne, we couldn't let it go to waste)  I have a vague memory of my law school graduation because I was stressed out to the max.  For the first time, my family and Jay's family were in the same place at the same time.  And I decided that I would be a control freak and do all of the cooking for 20 people for two days.  I was a mess.  One of my classmates asked me if I was stoned - I could barely remember my name.  

There is one memory I want to keep from that day, every class has that student that you all wonder "how did he get in, and how on earth did he pass."  I don't remember his name, and besides we want to protect the guilty party, so we will call him "Patrick."  As "Patrick" stepped forward to receive his diploma, Brad Goheen leaned over and whispered in my ear, "kind of cheapens the whole thing."  I started to convulse with laughter.  On the third or forth try "Patrick" finally passed a bar exam, the last update I saw on him, he was CEO of a drug company in New Jersey - probably making more money than the rest of the class put together.  

Brad, had a near photographic memory and an inoperable brain tumor. A few years after law school he called the police to report a dead body in the middle of an intersection and shot himself in the head - such a terrible loss.  I prefer to remember him making me laugh when I really needed it.  

What place gives you flashbacks? 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Celebrity Chefs 2nd edition

I was looking for an interesting early dinner in downtown Louisville.  I thought about grabbing a taxi out to Masterson's, a local haunt across the University, but settled on walking to 4th Street Live.  The Maker's Mark restaurant is long gone.  Guy's Smokehouse was new.  

The 18 hours smoked brisket was good, Blue Door Smokehouse in Lexington is better.  The fries were well crisped and nice and salty.  The roasted Brussels Sprouts with bacon and parmesan cheese were good, if a little under cooked.  The drink was called a history lesson, apparently in history they watered the drinks down.  Despite some initial confusion about whose table it was, the service was good.  

No sign of Guy, but that is to be expected.  

When I am back there, should I give the place a second try?  

Monday, May 21, 2018


Home is where the heart is, it is where we go for a pause between adventures.  For me, home is a condo, on the third floor of one of the high-rises sticking out of the trees on top of the hill.  The Condo makes traveling easier, I don't have to concern myself with mowing grass, or shoveling snow.  My mail is in a locked box in the lobby, we have front gate security, and locked outside doors - giving us  perimeter of security. I have close neighbors who look out for one another.   

Where is home for you?  

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Engaging the Senses - Sunday Five

Sight, Sound, Taste, Touch, Smell. 

1: What do you long to travel to see again? 
2: What sound of travel awakens you? 
3: What have you tasted when traveling, that was never the same anyplace else? 
4: What is the most exotic thing you have touched while traveling? 
5: If I travel to your town, what will I smell? 

My answers: 
1: See - Sunrise over the Atlantic on an eastbound airliner. 
2: Sound - the landing gear going down - at that point we are less then 2-minutes from touchdown. 
3: Taste - a glass of Chianti in Florence, it has never tasted the same anyplace else. 
4: Touched - the moon - a moon rock in the Smithsonian 
5: Smell - for DC, I have to say water, the Potomac River winds along the side of the city.  

Your answers in the comments? 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

One of those, and one of those, and one of those

I have done that a few times, filling a box with goodies.  I resisted, being virtuous this time.  

Would you sample the goodies? 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Speaking of Architecture in Chicago

Built to blend in and stand out. 

The new landmark Apple Store in Chicago.  A three story glass cube, with rounded corners, that cascades from Michigan Avenue down to the River.  It fits in, looks like it belongs there, and blows your socks off when you see it.  You can look through it, and miss it or see it.  A wonderful example of how we can still design and build amazing structures in this country.  

Have you seen it? 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Marina Towers

Chicago has a lot of amazing architecture, the Sears tower may be taller, but I have always loved Marina Towers.  So named, because there is a marina under the towers.  Sometimes referred to as the corn cobs, they are extreme 1960's cast concrete masterpieces.  Despite looking indestructible, exposed concrete is relatively high maintenance.  The Towers are currently undergoing major work on the hundreds of cantilevered balconies (the building I live in had that same work done the summer before I moved here.) I had never stood between the two buildings before.  The 10mm, ultra wide angle lens did an amazing job of filling the frame with the towers.  If I ever win the lottery, I'd love to have summer place there with a small boat in the basement.  

Would you live here? 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018


For years I didn't eat breakfast.  It was a bad habit that started as a teenager with nasty allergies that often left me feeling icky in the morning.  And continued into adulthood.  As the decades started to add up, I increasingly need to eat something in the morning, to kick start the metabolism.  The allergies are mostly a thing of the past (to some extent a result of living with year around climate control.) 

Most mornings breakfast is toast at the desk in my bedroom.  When I travel, I love to go out to breakfast.  On the ground floor of The Hotel Chicago is a restaurant named Yolk, specializing in breakfast.  Oh my, how good.  I slipped in the side door from the hotel lobby, bypassing the line at the front door.  I was seated at the bar overlooking the kitchen. A seat at the bar is a fun option when I am traveling alone, frequently there is no wait at the bar, and I get a nice show with my meal.  I had Pot-roast Eggs Benedict.  It was perfect.  And the expediter knows how to wear a pair of jeans.  

Would you let him handle your huevos? 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Spo Spotting

A few weeks ago, Spo (aka Michael) mentioned that he and Someone were going to be in Chicago for a fundraiser for bugs.  I messaged him asking when, as I was going to be in Chicago also.  Surprise for all, we were going to be in town at the same time.  Lured with a promise of a proper pizza (no rubbish) we met for dinner.  I met Doug the resident insect wrangler - par excellence (he takes amazing photographs of things that fly and buzz and sting.)  The four of us had a great evening.  We really need to talk Doug and David - aka Someone into returning to blogging.  

When in Chicago, what is a proper pizza? 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Celebrity Chefs

I have a confession, I read cookbooks for fun.  I love to cook, I like to eat, I am adventuresome and with one exception will try nearly any cuisine.  When I travel I like to try something different.  

On a recent trip to Chicago (I am traveling so much this spring that I can't keep track of where I am somedays) I found myself checked into the hotel at 1:00 in the afternoon, with nothing planned until evening, and having not had lunch I grabbed the camera and went out to see what was nearby.  A couple of blocks away I saw the signs for Fronterea - I have read a couple of Rick Bayless's books. He is a scholar of classical and regional Mexican cooking.  I think I have been there before - and I have been to another of his Chicago eateries.  It was time for lunch, so I popped in.  A tip, lunch at a big name restaurant is usually at least 30% less expensive than dinner (sometimes half the price.)  On the way in, I noticed two Mercedes SUVs parked out front and wondered if "the chef" was in. Their name may be on the menu, but they are seldom in the house. 

Shortly after the lamb enchiladas arrived (very good I am glad I took the waiter's advice to go with the lamb instead of my usual chicken) Rick walked by, went behind the service bar and fixed himself what appeared to be an iced-coffee.  I was at least a little giddy, but all of a sudden I become shy.  I have few qualms about speaking to an audience of a 1,000 people,  but something like this and I freeze up and miss the chance for a selfie with a famous chef.  

When you are traveling do you go for a celebrity chef, or reliable national chain for lunch? 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Third Anniversary

It is the third anniversary of the surgery to restore the feeling and muscular control in my legs and feet.  I remember waking up the following day and being able to move my legs, wiggle my toes, and feel my feet.  It was so wonderful. I came so close to never doing that again. My recovery was as good as could be hoped for.  I will never be 100%, but I have so much to be thankful for.  I can take a stroll when I want to, in fact that is what I am going to do today.  

Please join me and get out and move about today.  

Please don't forget, if it does not feel right, see a doctor, don't put it off, I almost waited to long.      

Tell us about your stroll today in the comments. 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Beach Weather?

Coming up in the elevator at home the other day, I smelled the first sun-screen of the year.  The outdoor pool isn't open yet, but one of neighbors had found a warm sunny spot to get a little sun.  We are not big beach people, I enjoy a roll in the surf, or a float in the pool, then I am ready to get back indoors.  Jay prefers the beach on a cool grey day.  

I have few regrets in life, one of them is I should have learned to surf. 

Any regrets?  

Friday, May 11, 2018

Since High School

I started taking pictures young, and got serious in High School.  I was reading something on FB a couple of weeks ago and realized that one of my classmates is living about 90 miles from me.  I sent her a quick message on FB, and she replied with a short update on her life.  She asked if I was still taking pictures, she remembered the work I did in school, and wondered if I had turned pro.  I did work professionally for a few years after school.  I can spot every flaw in every picture.  It drove me crazy that people were paying for my mistakes, and I gave it up.  Photography is a great hobby, I capture thousands of images every year, but I was not cut out to make a living at it.  

When you were in school, what did people think you would do for a living, and did you? 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Past it, or the Best is Yet to Come?

Henry Clay's monument is in the Lexington Cemetery in Lexington, Kentucky.  It is the biggest thing, in a rather old cemetery.  Henry was in Congress around the time of the Civil War, was known as a great orator, and I believe he ran for president.  

There is a quote in my office, Write Something Worth Reading, or Do Something Worth Writing About.  I recently presented a webinar at work.  After it I had an email from a prominent scholar in the field, I have read two of his books, asking if it was okay if he borrowed a few of my power point slides for a presentation he was preparing for.  I was surprised, that I had written something, done something, worth noticing.  I guess I am not past it yet.  

Is your best yet to come? 

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

I Could Sit Here All Month

It had been a long day in San Francisco.  Sightseeing, changing hotels, a nice breakfast - with terrible service in a nearly empty restaurant,  a FANTASTIC lunch in China town.  I just wanted something light and simple.  Off to the 44th floor of the San Francisco Hilton, for a table with a view, smoked salmon mouse in mini ice cream cones (tasty - if a bit fussy) and a decent Manhattan.  Oh and the view, I could sit and watch that view all month.  

The SF skyline is changing, with dramatic new buildings being added.  But the view, the bay, the bridge, the sunsets over the Pacific in the distance are as wonderful as ever. 

Where could you sit all month? 

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Signs, Signs, Everywhere A Sign

And the sign said "Long-haired freaky people need not apply"

So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why
He said "You look like a fine upstanding young man, I think you'll do"
So I took off my hat, I said "Imagine that. Huh! Me workin' for you!"
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?
And the sign said anybody caught trespassin' would be shot on sight

So I jumped on the fence and-a yelled at the house
"Hey! What gives you the right?"
"To put up a fence to keep me out or to keep mother nature in"
"If God was here he'd tell you to your face, man, you're some kinda sinner"
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

Blockin' out

I only have two signs in my collection.  A street sign from Orlando, that I bought from the city beautiful as a keepsake, and a road closed for a road race sign - from back in my running days - I take the 5th on how it came into my possession.  

What is your favorite sign? 

Monday, May 07, 2018

Dedication and Passion

Blue Door Smokehouse is run by people with an unbelievable dedication to very good smoked meats.  The place oozes with their passion and commitment to great food.  If you are in or near Lexington, Kentucky - put this one on your list.  

Where near you should I put on my list if I am in your neighborhood? 

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Life in the Woods

The book that I have read the most times in my life, is Walden, by Henry David Thoreau.  The book was assigned in a high school class, and it touched something deep inside of me. I have owned several copies and read it probably a dozen time.  

While Thoreau went to live in the woods, his theme of the imbalance of work making us unhappy, while we are working to pay for things that we think will make us happy. His choice to live deliberately, fronting the essentials, and taking time to enjoy living life, rings true through the ages.  When he moved from the woods, he ran the family pencil factory.  Hopefully remembering the important message of balance in his life.  

1: What book have you read the most times? 
2: What book are you glad you never had to read a second time?
3: What book have you always wanted to read, and have not? 
4: Have you ever tossed a book in the middle of reading it?
5: Have you left a book behind, hoping that someone else would pick it up and read it? 

My answers:
1: The book I have read the most times is Walden
2: Fifty-Shades of Grey, once was enough 
3: Gone with the Wind, never have gotten to it. 
4: Yes, the first time was a book by Ralph Nader, I met him at a conference and he autographed it.  I don't think I made it through the first chapter before tossing it. 
5:  Yes, a couple of times. Share a good book. 

Your answers in the comments:  

Saturday, May 05, 2018

That would make for a rather expensive Mint Julep

Happy Kentucky Derby Day!  Unusual planning on my part, I will be on a plane when the race runs this year.  

I am not a big spearmint fan, so I am not overly fond of the traditional Derby Day Drink, the mint-julep.  I do like a peppermint julep (bourbon, and peppermint schnapps shaken with ice and strained.) One of the hotels in Louisville is offering a mint julep made with Pappy Van Winkle and other premium ingredients for an amazing price of $15,000.  The 25 year Pappy above, is available for purchase at $24,000 per bottle.  They only need to find a couple of people willing to pay that.  Let me know if you want to buy it, I will hook you up with the source.  

Do you like a mint julep? 

Friday, May 04, 2018

Mt Vernon in Spring

Warm weather, a little sunshine and Mt Vernon was in bloom, and the lambs are growing like weeds.  

What does spring look like around you? 

Thursday, May 03, 2018

I heard the drum beat

I was looking for lunch, when I heard the beat of the drums.  I followed my ears, and found a crowd, so crowded that I could see very little.  Then the firecrackers started.  Lots and lots and lots of very loud firecrackers, so loud that people covered their ears and fled from the street.  Hmm, isn't the idea that the noise will scare away the evil spirits?  What about the people fleeing the noise?  

Would you flee the noise?