Sunday, March 31, 2019

Sunday Five - Live On Stage

They say one of the greatest fears is public speaking.  Hence this weeks Sunday Five - Live on Stage:

1: What is the largest live audience you have spoken before?
2: Would you act, even as a background extra in a movie? 
3: Would you sing in public? 
4: If you were going to do a live TV show, what would it be about? 
5: How much money would it take, to get you to do five-minutes of standup-comedy at a comedy club? 

My Answers:
1: What is the largest live audience you have spoken before? about 1,200 at a lawyers convention, 1,800 on a live webinar (does it count, I can't see or hear the audience.) 
2: Would you act, even as a background extra in a movie? Yes 
3: Would you sing in public? No, now readers of this blog may recall plans for a recording at the Ryman as a team building exercise, there was a scheduling conflict and it didn't happen - either that or Hugh paid someone off to cancel it. 
4: If you were going to do a live TV show, what would it be about? I could do an interview show. 
5: How much money would it take, to get you to do five-minutes of standup-comedy at a comedy club? Hmm, $500 for five minutes, $100 a minute should do. 

Your answers in the comments.  

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Backseat Bear

I have had a little stuffed bear in the backseat of my car for years, it was a gift from Jay on our first out of town adventure, nearly 30 years ago.  When I added the second car, I decided it needed a backseat bear, and Mr Panda volunteered.  He fits nicely and seems to enjoy his hair blowing in the wind.  

Do you keep a mascot in your car? 

Friday, March 29, 2019

Near the Top

From the top you can see Orlando to the north, Disney to the south and west.  The wheel is located south of Sand Lake Road, east of I-4, east of International Drive on Universal Boulevard.  When I first moved to Orlando I shared an apartment with my middle brother about 4 miles north and east of here.  The only thing south of Sand Lake Road and east of I-4 was the Martin Marietta engineering and manufacturing facility.  Now a part of Lockheed,  Martin owned thousand of fenced acres.  What they did, was mostly classified military work, flying hardware of mass destruction.  I was shocked by how much of their factory is still there.  The exit off of the expressway is unmarked, security looks effective.   

My how things have changed, and I was surprised at this still being there.  

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Iconic ICON wheel

At 400 feet tall, this is tall on the flat Florida landscape.  I have ridden the London Eye, so why not the Orlando Icon.  

I went mid afternoon on a Friday.  I had a pod all to myself.  The rotation takes about 20 minutes, very relaxing. Being that it is an area I know well, I had fun picking places I knew, and things that have changed.  

Have you ridden on of these? 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Way We Were Wednesday - Cypress Gardens

This was taken in 1972, at Cypress Gardens.  Cypress Gardens was a southern themed attraction, with gardens and a water ski show in Winter Haven, Florida.  Cypress gardens closed in 2009, and was converted into Lego Land opening in 2011. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Mouse Town

A change in latitude, a change in attitude, the next trip after New York, was Florida.  Orlando was home for me from 1980 to 1995.  The area grew a lot while I was there, and had doubled or tripled in size since then.   I have been to Walt Disney World at least 100 times.  The first time was in January of 1972, just a few months after it opened.  Given a choice, I return the Magic Kingdom.  My middle brother has worked for the rat for 41 years, we went to the Magic Kingdom for the day. 

Have you been to a Disney Park? 

Monday, March 25, 2019

Going With The Flow

I have mellowed, since I have lived in the city, gotten a little older, been through a few of life's challenges.  In the past I was pushy in a crowd, worming my way through the throng.  Today I am more likely to slow down, wait for people to move along.  I still have my moments of impatience.  Impatience is such a waste of energy, we will all get to the grave on time, what we do between here and there is all part of the adventure.  

Do slow pedestrians drive you crazy?  

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Sunday Five - Hotel Choices

The first night in New York the hotel was selected by the program organizers, the Hotel Hayden, nice - nicely updated and we were upgraded at no charge to a nice suite.  The second night was my option, I decided I wanted to be in the middle of it all.  Hence a Hilton Garden Inn 1/2 a block off of Times Square. The room was very nice, smaller, with a bit of a view.  Hence this weeks Sunday Five, Hotel Choices.

1: Do you have a favored hotel brand? 
2: Given a choice off off the beaten path or the crossroads of the world, which do you choose? 
3: Have you ever redeemed frequent hotel guest points? 
4: Two queen beds, or one king size bed? 
5: Higher floor, or lower floor? 

My answers: 
1: Do you have a favored hotel brand?  Hilton and their various brands. 
2: Given a choice off off the beaten path or the crossroads of the world, which do you choose? Crossroads, it is fun to be walking distance to the action. 
3: Have you ever redeemed frequent hotel guest points? I have with Hilton and IHG (Holiday Inn.) 
4: Two queen beds, or one king size bed? Either, but often King. 
5: Higher floor, or lower floor? Higher floor. 

Your answers in the comments, 

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Late Night TV

I miss Johnny Carson, and Jay Leno on late night television.  I am seldom awake at that time of night, but frankly the current late night hosts just don't do it for me.  Like my father, I never warmed Connan, never got the jokes.  Colbert strays into political commentary,  I can get that on CNN (Fox if I want to loose my appetite.)  Carson and Leno were funny without being mean.  The absurdity of life was enough for them to work with.  

Will we ever hear the likes of Johnny again? 

Friday, March 22, 2019

Empire Snow

We were in New York for a couple of days earlier this month.  I was there to take part in a round table on the treatment of LBGT patients in hospice and palliative care.  The evening before the round table, there was a panicked email from the planner.  Snow was predicted, and the venue would not be open the next day.  We were on 28th Street, the next morning there was a dusting of snow and the sidewalks were wet.  The meeting was moved from that neighborhood to 60th Street a couple of blocks west of the south end of Central Park.  I took the subway from wet sidewalks, 32 blocks north, to find 4-5 inches of fresh snow at the new - but open venue.  

What a difference a couple of degrees makes.  

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Macy's New York

For many the Macy's store at Herald Square is where the Thanksgiving Day parade ends, where Santa steps off to begin the season.  The store is grand, the ground floor is a massive collection of designer boutiques.  Each one competing for the attention of shoppers from around the world.  

This one caught my eye,  is it the cape or the hair? (Or maybe both!)  

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The Way We Were Wednesday Florida

When it was built in the 1960's the Vertical Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center was the largest building in the world by volume.  It has a sophisticated climate control system, if it didn't it would cloud up an rain inside.  There are four massive assembly spaces, and an open central core.  Before the Shuttle program, tours were allowed inside the building, I have been there.   I lived across the river from it, went to half of high school across the river from it.  

Have you seen it in person?  

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Tennessee State Capital

I have been in probably 20 state capitals.  Some of them are grand, some not.  Some are very open and welcoming, like Kentucky and Tennessee where you can walk onto the House and Senate floors when the chamber is not in session, others are forbidding, like Florida with bullet proof glass around the Senate gallery, and the legislative floor being off limits to the public.  Tennessee was fun.  It is a bit of a climb, it is on top of a hill, and the access is up a couple of flights of stone steps.  In Kentucky I lobbied a few times, in DC, I can respond to questions and offer expert advice, but I can't ask for action.  

Have you ever "lobbied" the government? 

Monday, March 18, 2019

Happy Birthday Sis

Happy Birthday to my sister Karen.  This picture was taken 59 years ago.  Many more to come. 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

An Absurd Sunday Five

1: What is the most absurd thing in the room you are in? 
2: What food are you a bit weird about? 
3: What is the strangest thing in your pocket, bag, purse, or murse? 
4: What is the oddest thing framed and hanging on the wall in your home? 
5: Given the opportunity, would you serve a term as mayor of the place you live? 

My answers:
1: What is the most absurd thing in the room you are in?  A talking Richard Nixon action figure. 
2: What food are you a bit weird about? Tapioca - it is gross. 
3: What is the strangest thing in your pocket, bag, purse, or murse? Travel Penguin is still in my daily bag. 
4: What is the oddest thing framed and hanging on the wall in your home? A McDonalds placemat, from Amsterdam in 1991. 
5: Given the opportunity, would you serve a term as mayor of the place you live? No, sorry it is a thankless job. 

Your answers in the comments: 

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Big Bears

I am out of touch with popular culture and didn't recognize what the store was about, characters from a video game, or animated show.  But the big bear drew me in, keeps drawing me in.  I have bears in the back seats of both cars.  The little bear in the back of the sensible hatch was a gift from my sweet bear, on our first out of town trip.  In the back of the convertible is a slightly larger than lifesize panda.  I think the convertible is going to be known as the Pandavaggon. 

Does anyone have a back seat big enough for this bear?   

Friday, March 15, 2019

Wood Escalators

I remember these in the J.L.Hudson department store on Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit, in the 1960's.  And elevators with elevator operators. I hadn't seen or heard them in decades.  They make a distinctive sound, have a particular smell.  And there are still a few in operation.  These are in the upper floors of Macy's Herald Square Store in New York city. It was a thrill to find them, to ride them, to hear them and smell them. 

Do you remember these from your childhood? 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Lincoln Convertible

NICE! Very nice.  This is what a luxury car should look like.  Long, roomy, elegant.  Lots of space in the front seat and back seat, enough trunk space to fit my little convertible in the trunk. A luxury car should not look like a sports car, or a truck. The mid-60's slab side, suicide door Lincoln, convertible or sedan, should be the pin up on the wall of every luxury car designer.  Build something inspired by this, and they will come. 

Can you imagine trying to park this beast?    

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Way We Were Wednesday - Flossy

I took this picture in the 1970's, this was my grandmother's sister Florence or Flossy as she was known. She led an interesting and troubled life.  She had a baby out of wedlock in the 1920's - that was given up for adoption.  She was well traveled, had lived abroad and was a long term alcoholic.  She and her husband drank themselves into early graves.  I have often wondered if the events of her teens, haunted her. It was not really her choice, she was pressured into placing the baby for adoption. The family never talked about the baby, my grandmother told me about it after Floss had died, my grandmother never told my father.  Such things were not talked about in good families.  By not talking, her grief was buried and denied.  

Her husband Dick was an executive with a tire company.  At one point their drinking landed the two of them in the hospital for a couple of weeks.  When they were discharged the doctors recommended a change of scene to his employer (who had covered the cost of drying them out.) The employer agreed that a change might be just the thing to help them stop drinking, so they arranged a two year assignment, in Scotland!  Dick gave up drinking beer, and had a new favorite tipple.  

Kind of a downer post.  Flossy was loved by the family, who never really understood what troubled her, and she never talked about it.  

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Spring Sun

I don't think this picture needs a lot of words.  Gives new meaning to "buns of steel!"  More like Buns of Bronze in the early Spring Sun.  

Monday, March 11, 2019


I remember Rosie the Jetson's robot housekeeper.  She was human like and stereotyped in the feminine homemaker role of the last century.  Rudolph, our housekeeping robot is not at all like that.    

Rudolf arrived at Christmas time, and the app asked us to name him, hence the name. He sends us messages if he is in trouble, or lost, or needs his bin emptied.  He is round, and close the floor.  He runs in what was described as a "drunken sailor" pattern, meaning he meanders around, bumping into things and changing directions in a random pattern.  

Unlike Rosie, he is not at all human.  He is built to do a job, and he does it well.  I was a little hesitant to spend "THAT MUCH MONEY" on a self propelled vacuum cleaner, but he was worth every penny.  The floors have never been cleaner.  We do a little touching up in places he can't get to.  But much less than what we needed to do before and the floors are always cleaner than they were before.  He is cleaning my bedroom floor as I write this.  

Now I need a robot that cleans my bathroom. 

Have you tried robotic with house cleaning?  

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Sunday Five - Random Questions

I am drawing a blank on a theme, so let's try five random questions this week: 

1: What are you listening to right now? 
2: What is to your left as you read this? 
3: What is the next meal for you? 
4: How long since you last traveled out of state or region? 
5: What is the temperature outside (in C or F)? 

My Answers:
1: What are you listening to right now? Amazon streaming music and the Rumba cleaning my bedroom floor.  
2: What is to your left as you read this? Printer. 
3: What is the next meal for you? Lunch
4: How long since you last traveled out of state or region? I returned home on Tuesday from New York city. 
5: What is the temperature outside (in C or F)? 43F

Your answers in the comments. 

Saturday, March 09, 2019

My Kind of Birds

In Herald Square in New York, my kind of birds - flightless. 

Feeding Creativity

I read a little book one time about feeding the creative process for artists.  One of the best suggestions was go out of your way to see new things.  Take a different route to and from familiar places.  Stop in a shop you have never been in before.  Listen to new music (or old music you have never heard before.) Read a book you are not interested in, buy a random magazine (there are a lot fewer options for this than there was 20 years ago.)  

We need to get people to look up from their self contained worlds, people wander around plugged into the soundtrack of their lives - blocking out the sounds around them, staring at the five-inch screen in front of them, not seeing the adventure that surrounds them.  

Have you unplugged, gotten out of your zone and seen something new recently?  

Friday, March 08, 2019


I don't know why, but I like wood boxes.  It started with tiny one's with sliding tops, very popular in the 1980's, and have progressed to larger ones.  Some of them are practical for storage, some are not.  A couple of them have hidden compartments. I have a couple of dozen of them.  

The one above is walnut, dovetailed construction, made in Pennsylvania.  It is handy for storing TV remotes.  

What do you collect?  

Thursday, March 07, 2019

The Ups and Downs

Life has its ups and downs.  Good days and bad days.  Things that go your way, and things that don't.  My brother in law, keeps saying "control is an illusion."  I know for sure there are things beyond my control.  

Some of what I read for work is - well not very cheerful.  I have learned that I need to space out the books on death, with books of life and fun in between them.  I am passionate about improving the choices that people make at the end of life. The issues are not easy to spend time with, but a failure to talk about them results in most people dying in ways that don't reflect their values.    

I am currently reading several books on trauma, to develop programing on trauma informed lawyering.  There are lots of triggers of negative feelings, of long repressed experiences dredged up by these books.  I need to space them out, take them a little at a time.  And along the way remind myself, that the past does not control the present, the past can only hurt me, if I let it invade the present.  Putting the demons of the past into words, helps me render them less powerful.  

I manage the ups and downs.  Life can't be a bowl of cherries, unless we spit out the pits.  

Are you spitting out the pits? 

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

The Way We Were Wednesday - Washington Arms Club

The first two years I of high school, my family spent the winter months in a Condominium at the Washington Arms Club in Titusville, Florida. The middle of the building at top center of this photo.  You could see the water, from the living room windows looking down between buildings A & B.  One of those winters the weather remained mild, we swam in the pool until a cold snap in late February.  The High School at about a mile north up US-1.  I rode my bike most days.  There was a small shopping mall between the condo and school, this country boy discovered the joys of "city" life.  I have never looked back.  

The fall of my third year of high school, my parents bought a house about 1.5 miles west of the Condo.  We needed more space.  My parents retired to that house, I sold it 42 years later after their deaths.  

I took this picture, my father was flying the plane.  

Are you a city person or a country person at heart?  

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Photographs and Memories

When my Mac desktop goes into screensaver mode, photos that I took last year, are framed and scroll across the screen.  Each image triggers a memory and flashback.   Where was I? What was I doing? What was I thinking? What was I feeling?  There are a couple of adventures last year, that generate a lot of very positive experiences.  We need lots of those in our lives.  

What is your screensaver? 

Monday, March 04, 2019

Random Thoughts on a Monday

Spring will be here soon, winter comes and late and spring comes early here in the mid-Atlantic region.  Someone posted that daylight savings time arrives soon, I hate changing the clocks.  Mostly because it results in me getting up in the dark, feeling like getting up in the middle of the night.  

Alarm clocks, I have mentioned this before, I seldom set an alarm. The first time I didn't set an alarm was a mistake, and I discovered that I was on time anyway, without being jolted out of my sleep. Try it, you might like it. 

We have a new HR person at the office.  She is efficient and fun.  I was talking with her the other day and I mentioned one of my rules.  I don't sleep in the office and I don't work at home.  Now sometimes I work at home, but I try to work in the office if I can.  I have the best work-life balance of my life.  

Mom has been dead two years.  Seems longer. Time and reflection have made my relationship with her more complex.  Dad has been gone 18 months, I miss him more now than before.  

Taxes, I need to get at it and get our tax returns done.  

There we have it, death and taxes, what more can I talk about on a Monday?    

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Sunday Five - Going Out to Eat

I enjoy cooking, and I don't enjoy eating out alone.  The result was a habit of almost always cooking at home, seldom going out.  With both of us back in the same house, we resolved to go out more often, I said once a month, Jay said once a week.  And we have been.  Hence this weeks Sunday Five, Going out to eat. 

1: When you go out, do you go to the same places or try something new? 
2: Given a choice between a known national chain, and an unknown local place- what do you choose? 
3: When was the last time you went out to eat? 
4: Do you enjoy going out to eat alone? 
5: Are you a big tipper? 

My Answers:
1: When you go out, do you go to the same places or try something new?  We are trying new places, all old favorites were once places you had never been. 
2: Given a choice between a known national chain, and an unknown local place- what do you choose? We are trying unknown local places - so far so fun. 
3: When was the last time you went out to eat? Last night.
4: Do you enjoy going out to eat alone? Not really, and this is a change, when I was in college I really looked forward to going out to dinner before class alone.  
5: Are you a big tipper? Yes, 20% or more.  Servers work hard and have to be nice to the spectrum of nasty human beings.  

Your answers in the comments. 

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Screamed at Again

I had heard about the curved escalators in the Westfield shopping center on Market Street in San Francisco.  Very unique, so I walked over for a look and of course to take a few pictures.  Security screamed at me, that I couldn't take pictures - not the first time I have been screamed at for taking pictures - probably won't be the last.  I just act innocent, put the camera away and say, "oh, I didn't know."  There is no use arguing with Barney Fife that it is a public place and yes I do have a right to take photos.  It is a public place and yes you can take pictures.  If I owned the place I would encourage people to post photos of the unique feature with captions like, you have got to see this the next time you are in town.  

Have you been screamed at for taking pictures?   

Friday, March 01, 2019

Grace Cathedral

Sitting on top of Knob Hill in San Francisco, Grace Cathedral is a massive, classical stone masterpiece.  I had seen it from the outside several times, but I had never been inside until last summer.  It is worth climbing the steps.  A grand gothic style stone structure.  

A classmate of J's retired last fall from a lifetime as a Priest at Grace.  We met up with him last July for a little sightseeing and a nice lunch at the Ferry Building.  He was saying how lucky he has been to find a home, and make a difference in such a wonderful place.  

Do you explore churches when you travel?