Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Reading List 2018 the first 7-months

Library of Congress
  It has been an unusually busy year so far, my goal was a book a week for the year, I have finished 52 in seven months.  I won't keep up this pace, I have a couple of longer works that I am just starting on.  
  1. Stuffocation: Why We've Had Enough Stuff . . . James Wallman 
  2. What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear, Danielle Ofri 
  3. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, Michael Wolf 
  4. The Art of Fully Living: 1 Man. 10 Years., Tai Gur 
  5. Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 hardest Things I'm Learning to Say, Kelly Corrigan 
  6. A Loving Approach to Dementia Care, Laura Wayman  
  7. Living in Italy: The Real Deal - Hilarious Expat Adventures by Stef Smulders 
  8. Adventures in The Old Folks Home, by Carol Netzer 
  9. I am Keats: Escape Your Mind and Free Your Self, by Tom Asacker 
  10. Treating People Well by Lea Berman and Jeremy Barnard 
  11.  No Apparent Distress: A Doctor's Comming-of-Age on the Front Lines of American Medicine, Rachel Pearson
  12. Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds: Living the Dream in Rural Ireland, Nick Albert
  13. Too Young to Retire, Marika and Howard Stone 
  14. Italian Life Rues, Ann Reavis 
  15. A Homemade Life, Mollu Wizenberg 
  16. Playing House in Provence, Mary Lou Weisman
  17. An Italian Journey, James Ernest Shaw 
  18. The Long Haul, Finn Murphy
  19. Trot On, Tattie Limejuice
  20. Strengths Based Leadership, Tom Rath
  21. Attending: Medicine, Mindfulness and Humanity, Ronald Epstein 
  22. Does it Fart? Nick Caruso and Dani Rabaiatti 
  23. The Reluctant Farmer of Whimsey Hill, Bradford Smith, et al 
  24. The Dyslexic Advantage, Brock Eide et al 
  25. Not in a Tuscan Villa, John and Nancy Petrilia 
  26. A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership, James Comey
  27. Slovakia - Culture Smart, Bendon Edwards
  28. People of the ER, Phillip Allen Green
  29. Cute Poodles, Sweet Old Ladies, and Hugs, PJ Miller
  30. The Red Caddy:Into the Unknown with Edward Abbey, Charles Bowden
  31. It's a Strangle Place, England, Jack Strange
  32. Alton Brown: Every Day Cook, Alton Brown
  33. Not Quite, Mastering the Art of French Living, Mark Greenside
  34. What Would a Muslim Say, Ahmed Rashed. 
  35. Lost at Thaxton, Michael E. Jones
  36. Calypso, David Sedaris 
  37. In the Land of Cocktails, Ti Adelaide Martin, and Lally Brennan
  38. Forever Nomad, Tynan
  39. Miss Ella of Commander's Palace, Ella Brennan
  40. The Viking's Guide to Pillaging the Real World, Charles Roos
  41. Relentless Focus 27 Small Tweaks, Patrick King 
  42. What Would It Take, Michaela Light
  43. 32 Yolks: From my Mother's Table to Working the Line, Eric Ripert
  44. A Kilo of String, Rob Johnson 
  45. Typhoid Mary: An Urban Historical,  Anthony Bourdain
  46. On Living, Kerry Egan
  47. My Twenty-Five Years in Provence, Peter Mayle 
  48. Strange Tales of Scotland, Jack Strange
  49. The Cottage Kitchen, Marte Marie Forsberg
  50. How to Think Like an Anthropologist, Matthew Engelke
  51. Feast: True Love in and Out of the Kitchen, Hannah Howard  
  52.  Pig in Provence: Good Food and Simple Pleasures, Georgeanne Brennan. 

   So, what have you been reading? 

Monday, July 30, 2018


All things in moderation.  Eat what you enjoy, on their death bed no one says, I wish I had indulged in more kale.  My thoughts when I saw this, was what a work of art.  Nice pastry, velvety lemon filling the perfect top.  So good, my only regret, I didn't have one.  

What did you pass on this week, that you should have enjoyed? 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Funny Farms - Sunday Five

I was raised on a funny farm, we raised bees and produced honey.  I was running errands with my grandmother when she stopped by the local oil and gas delivery service to pay a bill. The clerk shouted into the back room, "I need the bill for that funny farm!" My Grandmother was furious, I doubled over with laughter.  So on a sweet and sticky subject, this week's Sunday Five.

1:  Would you suit up and venture into a bee hive with a beekeeper? 
2:  Would you know a honeybee from a wasp or hornet if one landed on you? 
3:   With a once in a lifetime exception, there is only one queen in a colony of bees.  Are you the queen of your colony? 
4:   Have you ever seen honey being extracted from combs? 
5:   The lighter the honey the milder the flavor, the darker the honey the more intense the flavor.  Do you prefer light or dark? 

My Answers!
1:  1:  Would you suit up and venture into a bee hive with a beekeeper?  - Yes, it is fun to watch up close.  
2:  Would you know a honeybee from a wasp or hornet if one landed on you? Yes, 
3:   With a once in a lifetime exception, there is only one queen in a colony of bees.  Are you the queen of your colony?  Not really, just another drone. 
4:   Have you ever seen honey being extracted from combs? Seen it,  done it, and filed the tax returns for being paid as child farm labor. 
5:   The lighter the honey the milder the flavor, the darker the honey the more intense the flavor.  Do you prefer light or dark? Dark and intense - my father and I differed on this. 

Your answers in the comments. 

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Paris Flashback

I first encountered mobile rotisserie chicken in a street market in Paris at Christmas time about 15 years ago.  The smell is irresistible, I remember buying one - complete with the potatoes roasted in the drippings from the bird and devouring it on the way back to the hotel.  This is food good enough to serve on the finest table, or to bring out the cave man in any of us.  

I read about portable rotisseries in European markets, but I had never seen one in a market in the United States until San Francisco.  This is the Wednesday market at the Civic Center.  The smell would awaken the dead, if this does not revive your appetite, you need a doctor.  The country needs a thousand more of these.  

http://www.roliroti.com/ . 

Have you seen a mobile rotisserie? 

Friday, July 27, 2018

One Year

My father died a year ago this morning.  My sister checked on him about 6:30 that morning, he was sleeping, she nodded off, I checked on him just before 7:00 AM and he was gone.  Peaceful, quiet in his living room, as he wished.  He was sick, he had endured a couple of difficult years with few complaints or demands. 

I miss him, but he knew it was his time to go, and we honored his wishes to go peacefully at home, not fighting for an extra month, or week, or day or hour. I strongly believe that we did the right thing. (One of my brothers is not so sure.)  

Over the past year, I have developed a better understanding of our relationship, it was good.  We respected one another, we wished one another happiness in our own unique way. There are always woulda, coulda, shouldas in life, but overall he was a good father, who treated his kids well.  

Reading other blogs, I know I was lucky. He didn't believe in silver spoons, or giving his kids everything.  He was kind, and gentle; the couple of times he said something negative, stand out, because it only happened a time or two.  I learned from him to look for the adventure in life, to apply myself and do my best.  

I have peace and closure on his passing.   

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Dirty Pictures

There is an old joke about a psychiatrist showing a patient ink blots.  He asked the guy what he saw in the first one and the patient said "tits." Doc showed him the second one and he said, "ass."  Doc showed him the third picture and he said "pussy!"  The doctor became indignant and said "sex, sex, sex, is that all you can think of?  The patient responded, "hey Doc, you are the with all of the dirty pictures!"  

I was not sure what to make of these sculptures, from the back they look vaguely phallic, from the front, much less vague.  

Are they art? 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

WWW - Wild Wild Midwest

This image got me my first post card job. A local farmer in Michigan decided that a campground and golf course were more profitable and less demanding than cows. To learn about golf course building he spent a couple of winters working in the south west and fell in love with reenacting old west gun fights.  The campers enjoyed the shows almost as much as he did.  

All together I did half a dozen post card jobs in a couple of years.  It was fun. It was also stressful, I can find every imperfection in every one.  

Have you been published? 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Makes Me Wonder

A few days ago, I mentioned this alley way in China Town in San Francisco.  Barely wide enough to let the sun in, obviously a pedestrian way, or is it? Take a moment and look at the picture, what looks out of place.  

Go ahead, I will wait. 

Two things, the rolling trash dumpster, and the No Parking sign.  I can't imagine driving a trash truck down this passage, or driving my car in and blocking the entrance to the barbershop next door to the fortune cookie factory, but there it is, a No Parking sign, makes me wonder.

What has made you wonder this week? 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Big things start small

I like BIG things.  The bigger the better - call me a size queen if you want but I'd sooner ride a 777 than a 737 any day.  I miss the days when transcontinental flights were on large double aisle jets, I have experienced a trans-Atlantic trip on 757s.  Not too bad - with an overnight stop in Iceland.  But I really prefer huge planes.  The jet in this picture is a JAL 777.  The engine cowlings are about as big around as a 737 fuselage.  

When I think about it, I am amazed, that something as large and complex as that, began with one first part.  It might be something simple like a screw, or bolt, or rivet. The first sections of metal were cut, finished and assembled into the first subassembly.  From a humble beginning grew this marvel that flies non-stop from Chicago to Tokyo.  

Travel is like that, it all begins with a simple small beginning.  When I was a college student at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida there was a Godiva Chocolate shop in the Park Plaza Hotel on Park Avenue. I went by there one day and there was a 50 pound chocolate bunny in the window.  I stepped in and asked, "how does anyone eat a 50-pound chocolate bunny?"  The clerk had the perfect answer, "one bite at a time my friend, one bite at a time."  

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Public Transit - Sunday Five

I try to use public transit, living in the Washington DC area, with the traffic we have, transit makes my life tolerable.  I think the USA should have more public transit.  Hence the Sunday Five.

1: Given a choice do you take a taxi or a subway train from the airport to the city? 
2: Which is better, a city bus, or a streetcar? 
3: Have you ridden on a cable car? (Several US airports have them.) 
4: Should cities build more expressways or subway lines? 
5: When will you be willing to ride in a self driving car? 

My answers: 
1: Given a choice do you take a taxi or a subway train from the airport to the city?  The train, almost always.
2: Which is better, a city bus, or a streetcar? I like streetcars better than buses 
3: Have you ridden on a cable car? (Several US airports have them.) Yes, several. The thing that sets a cable car apart from a streetcar is the moving cable that propels them.  The Cincinnati and Detroit airports have cable car systems.  
4: Should cities build more expressways or subway lines? Subways! 
5: When will you be willing to ride in a self driving car?  Today! 

Your answers in the comments,

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Multiple Meanings!

Could be a poor choice of sexual partners.  My grandmother once said, "it is not the sleeping with that we are concerned about, it is what happens before or after that can get you in trouble." Could be someone whose dog is needy.  Could be a very cold night.  

Who should you send this hat to? 

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Your Fortune Says - 50-cents please

We went for a wander and a nice lunch in China Town in San Francisco.  We stumbled across the cities oldest fortune cookie factory.  I had seen video of the place in action, if you are a TV celebrity they will let you take a stab at folding fortune cookies,  an exercise in silliness the first few times.  They will custom make cookies with your message.  Everyone gets a free sample, for 50-cents you can take pictures.  

It was in the kind of alley, you might not walk down. You might not feel safe - or comfortable - in reality it was filled with simple delights and warm welcoming people.  I bet at some point someone said, "if I had 50-cents for every picture someone took I could retire someday." 

Have you ever paid to take a picture? 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Way We Were Wednesday

Born Mary Louise Broadhurst in Swansea, Wales, she married George Wood, a tunnel digger in London, and immigrated to the United States.  She died in 1977 at age of 89.  She was my father's, mother's mother, my great grandmother.  I took this picture in about 1975 in the dinning room of the old farmhouse on the farm in Michigan. 

For most of the last decade of her life she lived with my grandparents, on the farm in Michigan in the summer, and several winters in their second home in Istachatta, Florida (google it.)   

I didn't know she was Welsh, until 1990, when I was planning my first trip to England and my mother gave me a photocopy of her birth certificate. She had always said she was English, if we were taking her to Canada for lunch or tea, she would tell immigration that she was born in Toledo, Ohio - they always believed her.  I have been to Swansea, been to the place that she was born.  I remember her once, on a dare from my grandmother, speaking Welsh. It would have been nice to know more about her history. 

Spending time with her in my teens shaped who I am today.  Hearing her story of immigration, good times and challenges.  

She was the only one of my great grandparents that I have memories of. Her husband died the year I was born. My paternal great-grandparents died within a couple of years of my birth.  My mother's grandmother died of tuberculosis when my grandmother was an infant.  The other three great grandparents on my mother's side were gone before I was born. 

Did you know any of your great-grandparents? 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Seen Recently on Metro

I have had three experiences recently in the heart of the Washington DC subway system, the Metro, that have caused me to pause and go, Huh? 

First was a nice young man carrying a large trophy.  The trophy was at least two feet tall, with blue columns with an icon on of achievement at the top.  Now it is rare to see someone carrying a trophy, any trophy on the subway in the middle of a major city, but the thing that stopped me in my tracks was the icon on the trophy, a Tractor, as in a major piece of farm equipment.  At least 20 miles and a couple of million people from the nearest farm, he was proudly carrying a trophy with a tractor on top. How did that end up there?  

Shortly after that I was on the lower platform at Gallery Place, waiting for my train home.  A Green line train was boarding and I noticed a nice tight pair of skinny jeans boarding.  As I am prone to do, I looked down to see what kind of shoes he was wearing (remember I sold shoes in a department store of 9 months one time, I will never be the same) and I noticed the ankle bracelet.  I am not talking gold, or silver, or diamonds, I am talk home confinement, GPS tracking black box ankle bracelet.  As he walked away the jeans slid half way down his ass and I couldn't help but think, he better get home in time, he is going to be very popular in ways he is unlikely to enjoy if he is late getting home and they lock him up tonight.  

The following day, I was getting off a Red line train at Gallery Place, heading down to the lower platform to catch my Yellow line home.  An enormous person stepped in front of me as I was exiting the train.  I slowed down and let her go.  I didn't have a lot of choice, she was a good 6 inches taller than me and at least a 100 pounds heaver. She was very fast, and no one, I mean no one, stepped in her way or impeded her movement.  I followed along in her wake, sucked along like a race car in the draft.  The easiest time I have had in that station in days.  The next time a see a fast moving fat person, I am giving way and following along for the fast ride. 

What has stopped you in your tracks recently?  

Monday, July 16, 2018

Better to Be Late

My Uncle Dick was a test track driver in the research and development department at Ford.  He spent the last 20 years of his time in the emissions certification lab, but for the first decade he drove thousands of hours, and thousands of test miles for Ford.  They would drive a car 100,000 miles in a couple of months, and take apart every nut and bolt to see how things stood up. When I was a little hamster, he took us on a tour and I vividly remember the car disassembled into thousands of pieces carefully arranged on the floor in a room the size of an airplane hanger. They drove the cars lots of miles, as long as someone didn't crash the car before then.  And that happened.  After one of Dick's "incidents" his colleagues gave him a plaque that read "It Is Better To Be Late To The Golden Gate, Than To Arrive In Hell On Time."  The plaque was on the fireplace mantel in their house on the lake.  It is one of my early memories.  When we studied California geography in the 4th grade, I recited that little rhyme to my teacher, she didn't think it was cute - but it was memorable, here I am 50-odd years later and I still remember it.  I remember making the connection between the rhyme on the plaque in Dick's basement, with the story of the bridge that couldn't be built. 

Do you recall saying anything that shocked your teachers? 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Out of the Closet - Sunday Five

This is on the California Street Cable Car line in San Francisco.  We were walked out, and didn't stop.  But it will inspire the Sunday Five.

1: Have you bought and worn clothing from a "thrift store" or "resale" shop? 
2: What is in your closet that is "fabulous?" 
3: Are there things you should get out of your closet? 
4: Do you wear clothing designed with a different gender in mind? 
5: Who wears it better, Rue Paul or Kim Kardashian? 

My answers:
1: Have you bought and worn clothing from a "thrift store" or "resale" shop? Yes, if only it still fit I found an incredible Austin Reed wool suit - to die for. 
2: What is in your closet that is "fabulous?" I have a couple of great Hawaiian shirts and one great pair of jeans. 
3: Are there things you should get out of your closet?  Clothes my fat ass will only fit into if I am terminally ill. 
4: Do you wear clothing designed with a different gender in mind? No, not really.  
5: Who wears it better, Rue Paul or Kim Kardashian? Kim who? 

Your answers 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Hot Cookie

So what could this be advertising, a house of ill repute? a bar with stylish bartenders? a filly undies store? a bakery? 

A bakery, a tiny little specialty shop that sells cookies.  Fresh hot cookies.  

Wanna sample? 

Friday, July 13, 2018

I Wonder?

This was taken at 3:00 in the afternoon, on a Tuesday, in San Francisco - now it was Castro Street, but I was still surprised.  So I wonder?
1: Who wears it better, this guy or the guy in the subway with his jeans hanging below is his ass and his boxer shorts hanging out? 
2: Does his mother know he dresses like this in public? 
3: What does he list as occupation on his tax return? 

What would you like to ask him? 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

New Flooring

Great progress made

Family History

My great grandfather was a tunnel builder.  His specialty was working in soft or wet ground like under a river or lake bed.  They lived in Chicago for several years, he built a couple of water inlet tunnels under Lake Michigan.  Near the bottom of this image, is one of the inlets for one of the water tunnels he built. Tangible evidence of his life’s work.  I love the work I have done, but 100 years from now no one will fly over and say, David did that.  At times I wonder if I should have become a brick layer or stone mason.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Way We Were Wednesday

Three of my high school teachers have died in the past few years.  When I was in high school, I thought of them as older and so much more mature, the reality is a couple of them were just 4 or 5 five years older than I was.  I was 18 my senior year of high school, a couple of my teachers that year were barely 22. They had finished high school a year younger than I did, went straight through college in 3 or 4 years.  No wonder one of my high school teachers married a student the summer she graduated from high school (it was a scandal in small town America.) 

Looking back at it, most my teachers were just kids.  It was a rural school district, that didn't pay top dollar.  It was a place that new graduates got there first teaching job - after a couple of years most of them found better paying jobs and moved on.  Some of them stayed, they liked living in a rural area, in very small town America.  A few saw teaching in a rural area as a mission, a calling.  I recall one guy who taught for a couple of years.  His family owned an international commercial construction company, he drove a Porsche. He was very idealistic that teaching in a rural area was his lifetime calling.  If not for a fatal fall climbing in the Swiss Alps one summer he would likely have stayed - buoyed by a family trust fund. 

The way we were was young, surrounded by very young teachers.  

What do you remember about your teachers? 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Top Down Weather

Shortly after my father was diagnosed with the second terminal illness, I was talking to him on the phone one afternoon.  I said, "if you ever wanted to buy a convertible, put the top down and cruise around town, now is the time to do it, you can't take it with you, enjoy it while you can."  He never understood the appeal of a convertible, but he got the concept of enjoying life while you can.  

I have rented convertibles three times, they are fun.  If I drove more, I'd buy one. (I have driven my car less than 1,000 miles in 2018.)  At this rate, I have bought my last car - it will outlast me.  

Put the top down on your life. Enjoy the day, have a little fun, eat a little of the good stuff, drink a little of the best, listen to music that makes you smile. 

Monday, July 09, 2018


On the plaza in Toronto, they set up artificial turf one morning and did a Rugby exhibition all day.  I like the game, it moves along at a nice pace, hands and feet are used, it is not unnecessarily brutal, and the uniforms can be interesting.  There is not a lot of Rugby played in DC - though there is a little.  When we were in England one trip, I paused to watch a few minutes of a Cricket match - I don't know as I would ever understand the rule of Cricket - but it was fun to watch.  

When traveling, have you paused to watch a sport you have never played.  

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Sunday Five - following the rules

I had to be fast to get this shot, someone stepped in front of me to take a picture of her family. 

1: Would you wade in the fountain in the shadow of the no wading sign?

2: Have you ever sneaked a picture in a no-photo zone? 

3: Have you ever walked a dog, in a no-dogs zone?

4: Ever hopped the fare-gate in public transit?

5: Ever sat in other than your assigned seat on a plane or train without asking permission? 

My answers:
1: Would you wade in the fountain in the shadow of the no wading sign?  probably not
2: Have you ever sneaked a picture in a no-photo zone? Yes, a time or two, smart phones make this easier.
3: Have you ever walked a dog, in a no-dogs zone? Nope, I don't keep dogs. 
4: Ever hopped the fare-gate in public transit? What is the statute of limitations in France?  The last time I flew out of Paris, I took the local train to the airport and my ticket wouldn't open the gate to let me out.  The attendant was no place to be found, so over I went. 
5: Ever sat in other than your assigned seat on a plane or train without asking permission? A few times when there were empty rows.  

Your answers in the comments, 

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Night Owls

Sometimes I envy the night owls, those who are going out, as I am going to sleep.  I suppose it is habit, or maybe it is just the way my brain works, but I am not a night person.  My idea of a late night is dinner at 7:00 and being home in bed by 9:00.  

Back in my younger days, I enjoyed going out to the clubs, none of which really had a crowd until late, one of my favorites didn't open the doors until 9:00 PM.  I'd go home from work, take a nap for a couple of hours, then go out to the Firestone for a couple of hours.  Getting home at midnight or after.  Those days were short lived, and never easy for me.  

When I travel west, into earlier time zones, and the dinner reservations are for 7:00 PM Pacific time, my body still thinks it is 10:00 PM, and wonders why I am eating when I should be sleeping.  I do it, because I need to be social, not because I enjoy it.  

One nice thing about Toronto, was being in the same time zone.  Even there, I was invited to dinner at 8:00 PM, on the day I had flown in (getting up at 5:00 AM,) I sent regrets on the dinner invitation, I just don't do well on 18 hour days anymore.  

Are you a night owl? 

Friday, July 06, 2018

Thanks the Memories

A friend posted a picture of a single engine airplane doing an extreme climb on Facebook.  I commented that the real fun was the spin at the top.  

My father was a private pilot, he had commercial and instrument licenses, but he never flew for money, just for the love of flying.  He wanted an instructors certificate, and never finished it.  He came close and made a silly mistake (tuned the communications radio to the wrong frequency) and never left the ground on the exam ride, and gave up.  I wish he had tried again, he really loved flying and he would have shared that love with a new generation of pilots.  

While he was working on the instructors rating, he decided he should brush up on basic acrobatics.  When he learned to fly in the 1950's, the basics were required skills.  He spent an hour with an instructor and then went out for some practice and I went with him.  

We did stalls and spins. As I recall it was a Cessna 172, a comfortable four place single engine (might have been a 150.) To stall the airplane, you get it to a point where it is not producing enough lift to fly.  You do this either by sheer force of will, pulling back into a steep climb until it does not have enough horsepower to continue, or by throttling back and pulling back.  To recover, lower the nose and add power. Stalls are a piece of cake. 

To spin, when the plane stalls, you kick in full rudder in one direction or the other, while holding the plane in the stall (pulling back on the controls), the plane gently rolls over upside down, turns nose down and start to spins downward toward the ground.  The longer it spins, the faster it goes.  Generally you let it go three rotations and then kick in full rudder in the opposite direction of the spin, as it stops spinning add throttle and away you go.  We did this for a couple of hours one gentle sunny January afternoon above central Florida.  Because he was working on an instructors rating, he did the first one, and I did the next 10.  It is surprisingly gentle, in fact my reaction was, "is that all there is to it?"  One of the reason that they teach spins and recovery, is to get you to realize that this is a life threatening condition and if you don't fix it, you will spiral faster and faster until you have an uncontrolled impact with terrain.  In other words crash and burn.  

We didn't do loops, the aircraft we were flying were really not built for that.  We didn't fly upside down (for more than a couple of seconds) as the engines didn't have pressurized oil systems and once centrifugal force subsided major engine damage would ensue (we had a friend with a plane that was built to be able to fly inverted (upside down) for as long as the pilot could stand the strain - as I recall he bragged about flying upside down most of the way home to his farm field one afternoon.   

I have very fond memories, of doing things very few people will ever do.  

Thanks for the memories! 

Would you do a spin with a pilot you trusted? 

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Delivered - it was not that complicated

Complicated Times

American politics are a lifetime of bizarreness, making life in DC a bit complicated.  

No one wins a trade war, and someone is proving their stupidity one Tweet at a time. It is not that complicated.   

We are starting work on updating the Condo, and Lowes sent a tractor trailer and a forklift to deliver flooring to my home on the third floor.  The driver called from outside and said, NO WAY.  Now I paid Lowes to send someone to come out a measure, and create a plan for putting in the floors.  It isn't that complicated. 

My department at work is being defunded by our host organization.  We have reserve funds, so we have a couple of years for a transition, but we either need to develop a plan that allows us to exist entirely on outside funding, or we all need to figure figure out what next.  I have three options, find additional outside funding, find another position within the organization (in a different department), or move onto another opportunity.  I had hoped that the work would outlast me, this brings me up a few years short of not needing to rely on this for an income and health insurance.  Change and new opportunities are never easy, but frequently leave us in a better place than staying static. I need to keep reminding myself, it is not that complicated, look at all three options and create the way forward.  

So, sometimes things are complicated. 

Hows things with you? 

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Independence Day - The Way We Were Wednesday

Happy Independence Day - the 4th of July.  This image was captured at a school function in 1975 or 1976 - not all of my high school memories are in black and white, in time they will all fade to grey.  

When I was growing up, summer was prime working season on the farm, from April through late September, we made our living for the year.  It was rare for us to shut down for the day, the exceptions were decoration day, and the 4th of July.  We frequently took the day to visit my Aunt and Uncle (I only had one) on the lake - boat rides and fireworks.  Then it was back to work, pretty much non-stop until the end of September.  

At times I wonder if we apologized for the revolution, if the Queen would take us back. 

Doing anything fun today? 

Tuesday, July 03, 2018


I took this the first day out, with my first digital camera.  To put it bluntly I was blown away by the color and detail.  I had bought a digital camera as a toy, thinking it would be a nice novelty, it was so much more than that.  It quickly became my primary camera, I have owned several since, they keep getting better and better.  My current Nikon SLR is lite weight, easy to use, and has amazing technology.  I take more pictures today than I did before.  

Do you take more pictures today, than you did before digital? 

Monday, July 02, 2018

Well I Never

It takes a bit to get me to say, well I never saw those before, but here we are, green almonds.  I have never seen these before, and I have no idea what you do with them.  Eat them, but how?  Do you shell them, eat them shells and all, raw or cooked?  

What would you do with these? 

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Home Improvements - the Sunday five

We are getting started on a series of home improvements to the Condo, updating it and getting it ready for our old age.  A few questions for this week.

1: Have you ever replaced a kitchen?  
2: Should I replace the tub/shower, or put in a walk in shower only? 
3: Pergo Laminate or ceramic tile for the kitchen floor? 
4: Should I splurge on two ovens? 
5: Do we want to do a drawer for the trash and recycling? 

My Answers:
1: Nope, I have built a couple of houses, but never done a major remodel.
2: I am leaning toward a shower, I NEVER use the tub, can't imaging that I will start doing so at this stage of life. 
3: I am up in the air on this choice. 
4: I want two ovens! 
5: I don't know what to do on this, I like the clean look of the drawers, but I am concerned about odors.  

Your answers in the comments!