Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Way We Were Wednesday - Halloween Edition

At first glance it is a corn field.  Look more carefully, and you see at least three people.  One is my Great-Great-Grandmother on my mother's father's side, her name was Isolina.  She is holding a baby - might be my great grandfather, and there is another person to the right of that.  Or is it just the corn.  A very ghostly image taken in the very early 1900's or very late 1800's.  

Did you notice the people at first glance? 

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Showing Off The Big One

I was over at National Harbor, across the Potomac River from home.  There were two guys fishing in a small boat, I had the 70-300mm lens on.  They landed a bass, held it up and I snapped a picture, and then he said would you like to see my big one?  Maybe I should take up fishing? 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Well That Worked - Again

I generally don't talk about my work on the blog. 

One of several projects I am responsible for is producing the National Aging and Law Conference.  2018 was my fifth year.  As you can see, the conference was last week.  It is a great relief to have the conference finished for this year.  It was a success! 

In moving the conference planning folders to my travel computer last week, I realized that I had created 661 files for the conference.  Now that is only about a-third of the files, it does not include registration, continuing education accreditation, or conference materials.  The book produced for the conference is 1801 pages this year.  We had 4 plenary sessions, and 33 workshops in 6 time slots, over 80 speakers, over 2 1/2 days.  Attendance was about 230 people. Off slightly from the year before, but still respectable.  

I can look at things and find the 5 or 6 details that were missed, but if no one else noticed, it really does not matter.  The hotel staff and AV staff did a great job. I was worried about the hotel, but at the last minute the key person became organized, and if she missed something she was responsive to fixing it.  The food was good, the bartender generous with the pour. The speakers were well prepared. There was a buzz in the rooms, it was a success. 

Every year, at some point, I say "I am never doing this again!"  I made it past that melt down, now it is "I am only doing this one more time!" 

Planning for 2019 started in May.  Next year, the opening reception is on Halloween. Should I go as the Devil or Grim Reaper?  

Has the world gone nuts, or is it me

This is not in real time, the events described happened a couple of weeks go, time protects the innocent and allows the guilty to hide or cover up. 

We had an offer on the other house. First a verbal offer, then in writing, with errors.  It took a day to sort out the details and we basically agreed with a couple of technical corrections.  The buyer took a day to respond and said no.  Walked away.  Two days later we get a verbal offer for $3,000 less than her first offer, we declined. The next day we get another written offer from the same buyer, for $5,000 more than what we had agreed to two days earlier and she had turned us down ($7,000 more than her verbal offer of the day before.) We are under contract. 

Is this nuts, or is it me? 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Sunday Five: What Makes You?

Someone remarked, "oh that always makes me smile." The inspiration for this weeks Sunday five. 

1: What always makes you smile? 
2: What always makes you happy?
3: What always makes you laugh?
4: What always makes you angry?
5: What always freightens you? 

My answers:
1: What always makes you smile?  Seeing the sunrise over the Potomac River 
2: What always makes you happy? Being respected for a job well done.
3: What always makes you laugh? The absurd. 
4: What always makes you angry? Cruelty 
5: What always freightens you? Ringing phones 

Your answers in the comments, 

Saturday, October 27, 2018


I was out at Mt Vernon recently, walking through the gardens listening to people.  I surprised at people's inability to identify the food that was growing in front of them.  It is late season, so the obvious things like tomatoes and peppers are pretty much gone.  Squash, okra, beets, carrots, and herbs rosemary and thyme are still plentiful.  I was surprised that these were so exotic on the land, that people didn't recognize them unless they were in plastic bags in the market.  I am glad a grew up on a farm, glad I have grown gardens.  If I won Mega Millions, I think I would buy a farm and hire a few gardners (it is pretty, but so much work!) 

Should schools teach gardening?  

Friday, October 26, 2018

Pretty Birds

Do you ever dream that you can fly like a bird, flitting from tree to tree? If you could fly where would you go, what would you see, whose statue would you pause to rest on?  

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Been There, Done That, Worn out the T-Shirt

I was tempted by this one, I tend to bring t-shirts back from my adventures.  Reminders of places I have been, things I have done.  The problem is I don't wear them out.  I have some that are over a decade old, and still serviceable. And for the most part I do play well with others.  

I have reached the point that it I want to bring one in, I have to part with one, and I am loath to part with any.  At one time I had a collection of nearly 100 t-shirts from running events and triathlons.  Gaining a person in weight, meant that most of those went, I think only one remains, the year I did the National Championship Triathlon in Boca Raton.  It does not fit, but it is not going.  

What do you bring home from your travels?  

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Way We Were Wednesday

Just after WWII, my mother's family drove across the United States one winter.  My mother had finished High School, and not left home yet. They saved up gas ration coupons for a year, and pulled a trailer across country that winter and back.  Early "Tin-Can-Tourists." 

When I say she had not left home yet, really she ran away from home. She wanted to go onto school - maybe become a teacher or go to work and her father told her that education was a waste of time and money for a woman, and she should find a nice farm boy and start a family.  She wrote an aunt who lived in Detroit, who said come move in with us.  Her father refused to drive her to the train station, she talked an uncle into driving her to the train.  She worked in a bank, and then in the payroll department at Chrysler.  Leaving work when my oldest brother was born, returning to work when I was about 8 years old.  She was fiercely independent and not afraid to work.  

Hmm, where do I get my independence and stubbornness from? 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

I Never Know What to Say

I never know what to say when others are hurting.  The old standard of "I am so sorry" only really works, if I am the reason that caused the hurt. "Let me know if there is anything I can do" is often hollow for two reasons people don't know what they want or need and even if they ask, can I help? I often say, it will all be okay in the long run, and it generally is, but not always.  I have learned that saying "I know just how you feel" is not true, even if I have been through something similar, my feelings are different than your feelings.  

I often assure the person that they are good, they are loved, that their feelings are okay. I think we all need to be reminded of this regularly. 
When we are hurt we need to take care of ourselves.  Neglecting or being hard on the self when you are hurt, only makes it worse. 
Hurt takes time to heal, how much time I don't know. Seldom does hurt heal overnight (or on two days of bereavement leave.) 
I encourage people to take time and take care of them self, but I doubt that most really know what I really mean by this. 

So I stumble forward, wishing that bad things didn't happen to good people, but knowing that bad things will happen.  Into every life some rain must fall.  I am still trying to remember to go dancing in the rain. 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Political Commentary On Travel

US involvement in first war in Iraq started on a Wednesday night with bombing Baghdad, my second trip to Europe was scheduled for Friday of that week.  KLM cancelled my flight, rebooking me with a connection in Atlanta rather than a direct flight.  I pitched a fit, KLM moved us to business class.  When we got to Atlanta there were about 25 passengers boarding that 747, everyone in coach was moved to business class and they turned off the lights in the back of the plane.  A lot of people told me I was crazy to travel in the middle of a war.  I decided to go.  

The airline suggested being aware of the location of the US embassies, in Amsterdam and Paris the two locations we were to visit - just in case things went off the rails.  I remember walking past the US embassy in Paris, with guards with automatic weapons standing every 25 feet along the sidewalk all around the building.  Knowing, or at least thinking, that if something happened, that place was a place of refuge and safety.  

Then a reporter is murdered in the embassy of his country, in a foreign city.  A place that should have been safe for him.  He might be arrested, but to be murdered is intolerable.  And it took far too long for anyone to admit what happened and to take action - action only happened when denial and cover-up failed.  

The fact that he was a reporter should trouble us all. Demonizing the press you disagree with is a dangerous path. If you disagree with the press, release your side, correct obvious mistakes. But calling it fake news, saying that those that have different views are enemies of the state, leads to murder.  

There are places in the world I won't go, I am not unreasonable, I keep my political views to myself, usually even when I am not traveling.  Anyplace in the world, your countries embassy should be a safe place.  

End of political commentary. 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Sunday Five: Lets Get Physical

A law professor friend of mine has been writing about including directions about sex in advance directives - in other words if I develop dementia what is it okay for my lover to do?  It is an interesting concept - it also bumps up against the law and when contact without ongoing consent becomes a crime - a felony - just ask Bill Cosby. This is important, because others, family members and care staff in long term care tend to freak out if someone with dementia has physical contact with another person.  And each person's likes and dislikes are different.  This is kind of out there on the cutting edge of law and social policy, maybe a good area to try a Sunday five and see what you all think.

If you are unable to say what you want, would you want:
1: To be kissed?
2: To be hugged?
3: To be held?
4: To have your back rubbed?
5: To have your hand held?

My answers:
1: To be kissed?  By my sweet bear - yes; by others maybe a peck on the cheek, but all to often this leaves a strange smell - especially of the person is wearing makeup, I find the smell irritating.  
2: To be hugged? Yes, I am a hugger. 
3: To be held?  Yes, but not for too long, 4 or 5 minutes and I start to feel confined. 
4: To have your back rubbed?  Yes, oh god yes! 
5: To have your hand held?  Only briefly, I have never been big on handholding - (I could have fun in therapy unpacking the origins of this one.) 

Your answers in the comments?

Saturday, October 20, 2018


I love to cook.  I read cook books as a hobby.  I am not a recipe follower, I look for concepts and techniques.  A description in a cook book is a starting point, not a chemistry formula.  I don’t shop with a shopping list, I shop looking for what is good, what is fresh, what is different. Ingredients inspire me.

Recently I stumbled across Portuguese sausage in my local supermarket.  Hmm, what do I do with that? How about a Portuguese seafood stew? A picked up shrimp, and scallops.
I started a saffron rice, bring two cups of chicken stock to a boil, add salt, butter, saffron and one cup of rice, lower temp to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes. At the same time, I started like most savory dishes do, by chopping a medium onion and 6 or 8 mushrooms.  I sautéed those in olive oil, added 8 oz of sliced sausage, half a dozen shelled shrimp, and half a dozen large scallops (cut in half, they were larger than I expected.) I added one chopped tomato (a small can of crushed tomatoes would have worked, I had late season fresh tomatoes on hand.) I added a little white whine and simmered to reduce the liquids (mushrooms and scallops give off a lot of liquid.) I tasted it, and it was a bit bland, so I added salt and hot sauce - hit it out of the park.  Serve over the rice, oh my it is so good.

What have you stumbled across in the grocery store recently?

Friday, October 19, 2018

My Commute

My first real job was in Orlando, working for a home building company.  I was constantly on the move, we had 5 or 6 projects going on in two counties.  There were several years were I drove 40,000 miles without leaving a three county area. During the 15 years I worked for builders I lived where I wanted to - the job site changed at the whim of management.  Sometimes I was close to home, usually I was 30-60 minutes away.  The first year we lived in Kentucky I worked 2 miles from home, an easy commute, even with poorly designed streets and stupid drivers.  Then I commuted to law school for three years, 82 miles from our garage to the parking garage at school.  After law school I worked 4-5 miles from home, a drive that typically took 30+ minutes due to a poorly designed road system and the above mentioned worst drivers in the eastern half of the USA (even worse than Maryland and that takes some doing.) I grew to hate the commute, I dreamed of living in a place with mass transit, of sitting back and reading and not having traffic and idiots to contend with.  When I was offered the job in Washington DC, I was thrilled, I said yes on the spot.  I rented for a year a block from the Crystal City Metro station, then bought a condo a 10 minute walk from the Huntington Metro station.  On the other end the station is 8 stories below my desk.  

I love my commute.  The subway system has its moments of being dysfunctional.  But at its worst, it still beats fighting traffic and idiot drivers.  

Do you love your commute or hate it? 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

A Hotel Room in a Museum?

My father liked to travel cheap.  We stayed in some funky places over the years.  I was in my teens when my grandfathers died (two months apart.)  The following spring my paternal grandmother and I started traveling together.  She was still spending summers on the farm and winters in Florida (a few years later she stopped going north for the summers.) For three years I drove her back and forth.  On the first trip we stopped at a Holiday Inn, I had never been in one, to fancy for my father.  She picked up a directory and said, "I can't take the money with me, let's enjoy!"  In those days the uniformity of the rooms was amazing.  In later years my father lossend up a little and had a few Hilton nights over the years.  

I still use Holiday Inn from time to time, though Hilton and Marriott seem to dominate.  I have already surpassed 45 nights in hotels this year, and the fall is going to be busy.   

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Way We Were Wednesday - Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary, we met back in 1991, moved in together on this date, married on this date in 2015.  This picture was taken in Stuttgart in August of 2015.  We still make one another happy, make one another laugh, are still able to carry on a conversation.  It is hard to imagine life without one another. We are lucky, and we know it.   

May you find love and happiness! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Spo and Someone

I stopped in Phoenix on the way to California.  Adding the weekend in Phoenix added a lot of enjoyment to what would have otherwise been a 5,000+ mile trip for two hours of work. 

I met Dr. Spo and Someone, also known as Michael and David for drinks on Friday evening on their way to the Opera, had brunch with Michael on Sunday, went to the Ballet at this grand old theater downtown Phoenix, then we had drinks and snacks after the show.  They have a hectic life, lots of work, lots of cultural activities.  But they always have a moment for a visit from an out of town flightless waterfowl.  I wish I lived closer, but it is nice to visit when we can.  

While I was in Phoenix, I had breakfast with a lawyer friend.  Her mother has dementia, she just recently moved her mother involuntarily to a structured living environment.  It is not an easy time for her.  The good news is mom, seems to be adjusting, but is still not happy at having been uprooted.  

I also met a third cousin - I didn't know existed until recently. Let me see how are we related, my grandfather on my mother's side, was her grandfather's brother (it was a huge family, over a dozen kids spread over 20+ years.)  Her father died recently just shy of 101st birthday.  We had a long lunch, still missing big parts of who we are from having never met and then went to visit her mother.  We spent an hour digging through a box labeled - old-old-photos.  Pictures of my grandfather's family - identifying my great-great grandmother who I have a couple of photos of.  There is a photo of my grandfather running a dragline for the WPA during the depression years, kept his family from going hungry (for the most part - my mother's early years were difficult.) 

I need to spend more time in Spo-Ville. 

When you are passing that way, you should buy Michael and David dinner, they are great fun.  

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Other House

Want to buy a house?  The other house is up for sale, moving us a step closer to being under the same roof full time. For nearly a decade, we have had two homes in two states, nearly 500 miles apart.  Jay teaches at a University, and needs to be there 30 weeks out of the year.  My job is in Washington DC and I bought a condo in Alexandria, Virginia.  Alexandria is where we want to be.  Jay is teaching his last semester, we negotiated and early retirement buyout with the University.  In the first day on the market we had two showings, one of whom has indicated an interest in making an offer and the other has scheduled a second visit.  We are optimistic.  Some of the furniture is also for sale.  

Details at: 

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Sunday Five - Travel Have You?

A young man sat next to me on a flight from Charlotte to Phoenix a couple of weeks ago.  He described himself as a factory fresh soldier. He was born and raised in Ft Myers Florida, finished high school in June, and Army basic training in September, he is just 18.  This was not his first airline flight, but close.  He had never been across the country, he had never seen mountains or the desert.   Triggering this week's Sunday five, have you? 

1: Have you crossed a continent in a day? 
2: Have you flown over an ocean?
3: Have you seen the sun shining at midnight?
4: Have you been to the desert?
5: Have you climbed a mountain?

My Answers:
1: Yes, I have flown round trip across north America four times in the past 12 months.
2: I have crossed the Atlantic several times 
3: The first time I went to Alaska was near the summer equinox, it is an amazing sight with the sun shining at midnight.  The person who was working that project with me didn't expect it and it really freaked her out.  
4: Yes, the desert is my emotional home. 
5: Yes, in stronger days a couple of smaller ones in appalachia. 

Your answers in the comments: 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Going On

Life isn't always easy, at times we all feel like we want to go out to lunch and just not come back.  But, we don't, we go on.  

We are stronger than we think, sometimes we need to pause and rest for a moment, but we are all surprised at what we can do, how far we can go.  

We may not care if we win, but no one really likes to lose.  At play, at work, at love, at life, we want to be ahead, to achieve. 

Deep down underneath it, we all want to move forward to our destiny.  What is our destiny?  We don't really know, if we think we do, we are mistaken, the road will twist and turn and take us places we never expected.  But we have an inner urge to move forward, to go on exploring life.  

Be good, have fun, take care of yourself, and go on with the adventure. 

I have no idea where this entry came from.  I am doing well, feeling well, nothing bad has happened.  This is just what flowed when I sat to write, inspired by the photo of the bent lamp sitting in the hallway, pausing for rest before going on.  

Friday, October 12, 2018

Folsom California

I was invited to do a workshop in California.  The invitation was from Sacramento, I had been there once 17 years ago (I flew there on TWA.) When the agenda arrived the actual site was Folsom, yes where the state prison is that Johnny Cash made famous.  With the marvels of google maps I looked over the neighborhood.  I was pleased to find that Folsom is an old gold rush era town, about 25 miles northeast of Sacramento.  One of the places highlighted on the map to eat and drink at was the Fat Rabbit Pub.  The theme is very English Pub, the menu is very California eclectic.  I had a Scotch Egg and California Poutine.   It was early afternoon, I had a diet coke -despite the massive beer selection.  

Very much worth the stop.  
I recall Johnny Cash being asked about doing concerts in prisons.  He was a believer in redemption, second chances and the inherent goodness found in every soul.  In the post Reagan era of punish, punish, punish, we need to remember  that deep inside what every person wants is safety, security, comfort and happiness.  There are a few deeply evil people who hurt others for the joy of it, but most hurt others trying to find safety, security, comfort or happiness.  

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Holly Bat Cave

What must be the new Wayne Manor is under construction just around the bend from this, the garage entrance is a tunnel through the side of the mountain.  If the owners are anywhere near my age, they had to have the same thought I did. 

If you won the lottery, what Television home from your childhood would you build?

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Way We Were Wednesday

The winter of 1965 in Arizona is one of my earliest memories.  We had spent a couple of weeks in Arizona in the winter of 1964.  I have deep memories of the feel, colors and smell of that sweater, it was wool, smell is a strong memory trigger for me.  I love going back to the desert. Happy memories of a charmed time in my childhood. 

This most recent trip was really my first summer time (if late summer) visit to Phoenix.  It was over 100 degrees, it is a dry heat, but still hot.  I can understand how the heat wears, kind of a like a long cold winter - seeking refuge from the weather.  It was kind of nice for a couple of days. 

When we were there in 65, the family would drive out to South Mountain, for the views and the landscape.  I have been back 3 or 4 times as an adult.  It is so fun.  Sorry Dr. Spo, the drive left me 10 minutes late for brunch, mother would be so disappointed in me for being late. 

Have you retraced steps from your childhood?

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

It is your life and death: failing to plan, is planning to fail

John Gray is back working in intensive or critical care nursing, and thinking about the end of life. 

First a background story:
About 20 years ago, I was sent out on my first legal aid housecall to talk with a patient under hospice care about end of life.  He was living at home, his wife answered the door, one of his two adult son's was there.  He was on oxygen, and looked gaunt and frail.  Leaning on a walker (Zimmer) he shuffled over and joined his wife and me at the kitchen table. He had rejected talking about end of life care with the social worker and nurse from hospice, I was an outsider - probably the last resort - in trying to get him to talk.  After a few minutes of small talk about family and how long they had lived in the area, I got down to work.  His initial reaction was to brush me off, so I turned to his wife and asked if she had a "Living Will Directive" the form we used to name a health care surrogate and leave instruction on end of life care.  She didn't and I suggested doing hers' first. I was hoping this would ease the way, break the ice with the husband.  Her wishes were clear and easy, she wanted one of her sons to help with medical decisions if needed and when the time came, she didn't want life support or feeding tubes.  As she put it, she had had a long and happy life and when her time came, she wanted to go without a fuss or struggle for an extra day or hour.  When I finished her paperwork, I turned to her husband and asked, "what do you want?"  His answer was, "I don't need one of those things, I am praying for a miracle to cure this thing that is killing me, and I don't care if they have to poke extra holes to run the tubes in, I am not going a second sooner than I have too."  I think my head spun around three times.  When I came to my senses, I said, "if that is the way you feel, let's put that in writing." And we did, he wanted life prolonging care, CPR, or a feeding tube if it would keep him alive an extra day, while a cure was being developed.  Bottom line, he was discharged from hospice, and agreed to take part in clinical trials at the medical school.  When I asked him about hospice, he said, "I was told hospice was what I should do, you are the first person who asked what I wanted." 

I learned from that early experience, that health care and end of life care are very personal decisions.  What is right for you, is what is right for you.

The standard of care, is to do everything medically reasonable to extend your life.  This includes mechanical interventions to replace naturally occurring bodily functions (breathing machines, kidney dialysis,) feeding tubes, the use of medication to treat infections when the person is otherwise terminally ill and death is near. 

If you don't leave directions, the standard of care is what you are likely to receive.  If your wishes are something less than the full court press, you need to make your wishes known.  Even if you want every effort taken to prolong your life, you should still make your wishes known; 20 years of experience has taught me that it is much easier for the family if they know what the person wants. 

In the United States, every state has some form for documenting health care wishes and naming a health care agent.  Check your state department of aging or state attorney general's website for the requirements in your state (the requirements vary from state to state.) Just as important as putting it in writing, it talking about your wishes with your family, close friends and health care providers.  They need to know, they may never find your written advance directives, or may ignore them if they are unsure how you really feel. 

There are some tools to help figure out and document end of life wishes.

  • The Conversation Project 
  • Go Wish
  • The Stanford Letter Project
In addition take time to think about who and what you want around when you are seriously ill.
Document and talk about:
  • Who you want around (provide names and contact information)
  • What things do you want around
  • Do you want to be in bed, in a chair, 
  • What sounds do you want around (if you don't, Fox News or CNN will be the soundtrack of your last days) 
  • What religious practices do you want or not want
  • What textures do you want to feel
  • What smells do you want to be surrounded by.
None of these things will make death easier, but they may make if less stressful.  It is your death, let the world know what you want.  

Monday, October 08, 2018

Wedding Photos

I was one of those teenagers who always seemed to have a camera in his hand.  I bought film in 100 foot rolls and rolled my own.  I had a darkroom and did most of my own lab work.  I was not bad, people assumed I would be good at and want to take pictures at their weddings.  I shot a few weddings, I hated it.  People were super stressed, I have never quite know what to do with people when they are happy, let alone when they are wound up tighter than a 10 day clock.  I admire people who can create great wedding photos, but it was not me.  

Weddings are stressful. Why do we still dress brides as virgin sacrifices?  Why do people invite hundreds of people they barely know and won't have time to say hello to anyway?  Why so formal and unhappy? Marriage should be a celebration of love, living, life and commitment.  

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Sunday Five - Happiness

What makes us happy?  To each their own. 

1: Given a choice between two movies a romantic comedy and a romantic drama(I know chick flicks), which do you watch ? 
2: Given the choice of an evening home alone, or going to dinner with someone whose political views drive you a little nuts, your choice?
3: There are two birds in the picture above, would you sooner hear the life story of the pigeon or the gull? 
4:  Complete this sentence, "Its a sick world, and I am _____."
5:  Who is responsible for your happiness? 

My answers: 
1: Given a choice between two movies a romantic comedy and a romantic drama(I know chick flicks), which do you watch ?  The romantic comedy - there is needless drama in the world. 
2: Given the choice of an evening home alone, or going to dinner with someone whose political views drive you a little nuts, your choice?  Home alone. 
3: There are two birds in the picture above, would you sooner hear the life story of the pigeon or the gull? The pigeon, I think they live more interesting lives. 
4:  Complete this sentence, "Its a sick world, and I am _____." "Out to change that", or should it be "a happy guy"? 
5:  Who is responsible for your happiness?  Happiness is an inside job, it is how I respond to the world, not what the world throws at me.  

Your answers in the comments: 

Saturday, October 06, 2018

What do we see

Riding home on the metro recently, reading intently on my Kindle, I lost track of where I was.  I looked up and thought "how can I be there?"  I was looking but not seeing.  I fear that many go through life like that, missing what is right in front of them, looking for what they want, or what might have been, or even worse, focussing on the past.  

Today, stop and look up, take in the wonders around you.  

Sorry about the new post being late today. 

Friday, October 05, 2018

Who comes up with these names?

Schlitterbahn, is a water park.  An interesting name.  It sounds vaguely German, but does not translate to anything in German.  It sounds like something you might do when you see some of the insane waterslides.  

It is an American water park chain, based in Texas.  This one is in Galveston.  

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Someday I will look back on this as the good old days

I returned from California last evening.  My third trip to California this year; fourth in 12 months.  Sacramento and the surroundings this time.  A trip that was mostly work, other than I added a stop in Spo-ville on the way there (more on that is a few days.)  I have had an insane amount of work travel this year.  I usually have 4 or 5 work trips a year, this year it will end up being a dozen or more.  Part of it is my boss deciding that if he does not want to go, he isn't - he has passed several opportunities onto me.  Part of it was a budget irregularity and stupid policy that led to a use or lose it situation.  Next year is shaping up to be a little quieter, but not much.  

It is eye opening to get outside of the Capital Beltway.  There is an election coming up in a month, you would hardly notice here in northern Virginia.  There is only one race that could potentially end in an upset, and no one seems to be fighting very hard on that.  The people who elected the incuband know what she is, that is why they voted for her two years ago.  The political climate in Arizona can best be described as toxic.  Negative is to kind.  It was a little quieter in northern California, but still acrid.  Can we make politics polite and about the real issues again? 

I miss the good old days! 

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

The Way We Were Wednesday - Museum Pieces

My sister gave me one of these one Christmas in the mid 1970s.  It was a computerized game.  The lights flashed in a pattern, the the idea was to remember the pattern and punch it back in. The longer you played, the longer the pattern was.  There were also changeable levels of difficulty.  No digital displays, but an amazing computer game.  This example is in the Henry Ford Museum.  My childhood cutting edge technology in a museum.  

What from your childhood belongs in a museum?  

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Notes From the Road

I am on the road, yet again.  The work part of this was fly to Sacramento on Monday, work on Tuesday and Fly home on Wednesday.  I am loath to spend 12 hours in the air for one days work, so I added a couple of personal days onto the trip and spent the weekend in Phoenix, seeing family and friends and generally enjoying the weather and landscape. I will write more about that after I get back and get pictures off of my camera and phone.

This was taken last Friday, crossing over the Mississippi.  It truly is amazing how the landscape changes as you cross this vast country.  The kid (18 year old) sitting next to me was from Florida, had never seen mountains and was headed out for 4 months of training on an Army base near the Arizona Mexico boarder- eye opening. 

Dr Spo and Someone are doing well, we went to the Ballett Sunday afternoon, lots of cute thing in tights moving gracefully.  I had breakfast with a lawyer friend, and met a second and third cousin I never knew about.  I saw some amazing photos of my mother’s family.  My mother’s maiden name was Harp, we always kind of assumed it was Irish - my grandfather had red hair. The cousins gave me a family history, the name was accidentally changed from Herb, when they moved from Germany. 

It has been a long year of travel, I am kind of tired,  Looking forward to being home, then there is November with 4 trips in it.  On the road again.  

Monday, October 01, 2018


Performing Whales are our idea of an aquarium today, but 100 years ago, much more modest displays filled with the wonders of the deep were state of the art.  The Aquarium at Belle Isle in Detroit has been restored and reopened.  It is really quite amazing.  

The building, with mostly original tile work is a masterpiece.  The displays are nice sized and there are a lot of them.  All of that green tile ceiling, how did they do that?