Friday, March 31, 2023

Fabulous Friday: Well Thursday

They Indicted He Who Must Not Be Named!  I can't wait to see the orange jackass in an orange jumpsuit.  I hope they arrest him like they would anyone else, you know kneeling on his neck while he screams "but I was President and everyone loves me!" 
Lock him Up!, Lock him Up! Lock him Up!

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Thursday Ramble: Take a Walk

Okay, I read something that made me want to add to this post.  The idiots in Florida decided to end the special development district that was created in the 1960's allowing Disney to be essentially self governing, they had their own zoning, code enforcement, drainage, police, fire and utilities.  The legislature passed a law, and the little Hitler signed it.  Disney had a few weeks to wrap things up and hand things over to a new board appointed by the governor.  And Disney did, entering into binding agreements that will control almost everything for decades.  

Development rights on one parcel of land, are restricted until 21 years after the death of the youngest heir alive, of King Charles III of England.  That is a life in being at a time certain plus 21 years.  They applied the Rule Against Perpetuities.  Most lawyers haven't  thought about that rule since the bar exam (hoping the question wouldn't come up.) Some bright lawyer with a wicked sense of humor used it.  Bravo!  There are times I love this profession.  I was a property law nerd in law school, I loved this stuff then and I still do. 

Now back to the regularly scheduled programing. 

The weather is changeable at the moment.  Warm and sunny one day, cold and rainy the next.  When I can, I try to get out to take a walk.  I have lots of excuses about work and such, to not walk, but I know I need to walk more, use it or lose it.  

A couple of weeks ago I started getting off the subway when going into the office, a stop before my stop, and walking.  About a mile, a nice urban stroll in the morning rush hour.  One morning last week, the weather was especially pretty, and I went one station past my usual, and walked back.  A couple of blocks out of my way, had me walking on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the President's House. 

The first five years I worked in DC, my office was less than a block away from the White House. The station I exited the subway at, and the exit I took out of that station, were my morning commute for those years.  When I started I signed a release allowing my employer to share my information with White House security, we were close enough that they wanted to know who was working there. As I walked south toward the White House, I could see the window of what had been my office.  My employer sold that building, and we moved a few blocks north and west about 11 years ago.  

It is nice to be able to walk by the White House again.  Four years ago it was turned into a virtual fortress, for a couple of years you couldn't get within a block of it without an invitation and clearing security.  The fence surrounding the grounds is taller than it was before, but you can now walk up and stick you phone or camera through the fence, like you could during the Obama administration.  While I could always hope that more would be done, I feel good about the people who live and work there.  It is both a residence for the President and his immediate family, and a workplace for a lot of people.  

The Eisenhower Executive Office building is a two minute walk away, and is the work place of many senior advisors.  Legend has it, that Eisenhower hated the building, it is very old fashioned, and he had vowed that when he was elected President he would have it replaced with something modern. Others feared the loss of the landmark, so before he took office, it was renamed in his honor, in a successful effort to save it from the wrecking ball.  Politics have always been a strange place. 

North from there, across a couple major streets, around or through a couple of squares and I am at the office.  A nice 15-20 minute walk.  I needed that, I need to do more of that.   

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Wonderful World of Wednesday the W's, end of March edition

What is that image?  Me, in a termal rainbow image, projected on a large screen, holding a camera out to take a self portrait.  Maybe I should have used this for a Sunday five to see what guesses it would draw. 

Where have I been?  The Hirshorn, Freer and Sackler galleries of the Smithsonian.  I nice walk through art. The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, to hear the National Symphony Saturday evening, and Mt Vernon for a long walk in the gardens.  

Who have I seen?  The usual and no one in particular.  On one of my morning walks I talked with one of the chaperones of a high school senior trip visiting Washington DC from Pensacola Florida.  They seemed to be enjoying the city. 

What have I seen? The trees on on the brink of bursting into leaf, a couple of warm sunny days and spring will have sprung. 

What have I been reading?  A book about time, that was terrible, but finished. 

What have I been watching? One day recently Sophie encountered an American college student at St. Andrews and posted about it.  Finnegan has about 40 videos posted, a bright young long distance runner, I have watched all of them 

What blog post made me think this week? Yorkshire Pudding recently posted drone video of the village he grew up in.  That sent me looking, there is not much from where I grew up, but I did find a nice video of where I live, at 1:37 you can see my place.

What have I cooked?  Friday evening I made a wonderful chicken and barley soup. Sunday I did a spinach and bean dish based on something Mitchell had posted, it was so flavorful. 

What am I doing this week?  Attending a Senate hearing on Thursday that I helped find speakers for.  

What left me cringing?  People who say they are collaborating, and keep secrets from one another. Effing waste of my time, if they are only trying to learn what others are doing, and not sharing what they know.   

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Travel Tuesday: Ten Things I Never Leave Home Without

 GQ has a series on YouTube where they interview celebrities and ask them what their 10 essentials are.  I kind of enjoy it, here is my list of ten things I never leave home without.

1: A good camera, I am carrying a Nikon D5500 and an 18-200 mm lens.  

2: My Chromebook, it is lightweight, has a long battery life. If I drop it down a flight of stairs, the world won't come to an end, they are relatively inexpensive. 

3: My bag of chargers, and cables, I keep this packed in my messenger bag. 

4: My Timbuk2 messenger bag.  Expensive and worth every penny.  

5: My Kindle e-reader. 

6: A notebook, current one is red. 

7: Ms. Garmin, if I am renting a car, or driving my car, I take a portable GPS unit with me and go wherever the little voice tells me to go. 

8: Asics Cumulus running shoes.  I think I am the 24th version, they are my daily go to, I have half a dozen pairs of them. 

9: A cheap plastic rain poncho, these are intended for single emergency use, there always one in my messenger bag, they have saved me in a downpour a few times. 

10: An old fashioned mechanical watch.  My current one is a Seiko self wind. It is easy to set, as the time zones change.  The movement is a Japanese copy of a Rolex. If you look around you can find them for less than $100, I have heard that they have stopped making the movement, so grab them while you can.  

Monday, March 27, 2023

Moody Monday: Freedom of Expression

Last Friday, I was on vacation.  I either had to take a day, or lose a day of paid time off, so I put an out of office notice on my office email, and steadfastly refused to work for the day. (If there was an emergency, by colleagues knew how to reach me). If the weather had been nice, I was going to take the subway into town, and go walk around the Tidal Basin, it is cherry blossom season.  But it was 58 degrees and raining on and off.  I thought about laying in bed watching Youtube or blogging all day, but decided what I really needed was a day of diversion.  I took the train into the city and went to three of the Smithsonian art museums.  

Oh my, I needed that.  Art feeds my mind, gets me to thinking, diverts me from the day to day grind.  

The Hirshorn had a show of photographs from China.  Digital photography has empowered creators in China.  Film photography, especially color photography almost always involved someone else processing the film and printing the images. And those someone's are always watching for things that are illegal. With digital the processor is out of the equation, there is still the issue in a place like China, North Korea, or Russia, of getting the image out of the country, without it being traced back to the creator.  Hint, email is easily scanned, postings on the internet are easily traced.  But there are ways, especially from countries that make much of the worlds digital storage media.  China has been known to scan the digital media of foreigners when they leave the country.  The last time I checked, you had to declare all recording devices, cameras, and digital media when you entered the country, and account for it all when you left. Add that to the list of reasons I will probably never visit there.  

Thank to digital, images that tell stories of oppression by the government, or opposition to the government, are being seen by the world. Images that would result in the creator being punished or "re-educated" if government officials could tell for certain who created them. Some day the world will figure out that you can't control what people think, you can control what they see or say, but not their thoughts.     

I will leave it to others to draw the connection between the fear of censorship and the current political climate in many US States.  Scary stuff that leaves me moody.  


Sunday, March 26, 2023

The Sunday Five: Strange Eats

Living here there are a lot of unusual shopping options, European markets, Asian markets, Latin markets, you name a world cuisine and you can probably find a specialty market here in the region for it.  At the Springfield Town Center (near I-95 and I-495 not the one in the Simpsons) there is a shop that sells Japanese snack foods and candies.  A little expensive, but always fun. 

1: What Flavor is this bag of potato chips (crisps)? 

2: Would you try them? 

3: What is the most fun specialty food market near you? 

4: Have you ever bought an interesting international food and found it to be almost habit forming? 

5: Is there anything you simply won't eat? 

My Answers: 

1: What Flavor is this bag of potato chips (crisps)? (If I answered this we would all know.) 

2: Would you try them? Yes, and I have to say it was like pumpkin spice, there is no pumpkin in it, the flavor is the spice mix used on that item is not the flavor named. 

3: What is the most fun specialty food market near you?  The nice Russian market on the northside of Alexandria, she has wonderful sweets.  

4: Have you ever bought an interesting international food and found it to be almost habit forming?  Caviar, from the Balkan market across from the nearest Metro station. 

5: Is there anything you simply won't eat? There are things I prefer not to eat - like collard greens - but I have.  

Please share your answers in the comments. 


Saturday, March 25, 2023

Saturday Morning Post: Walking Through The Past

Over the years, in little bit and pieces I have figured out a little family history.  The stories passed down through the family were sanitized, and maybe fictionalized. 

My 4th or 5th great grandfather spent time in New Orleans in the early 1800's.  He was a bit of a rogue, and reportedly traded goods, with Jean Lafitte.  Possible contraband, or pirates plunder.  He was active the Navy in the War of 1812 (on the side of the US, he was born in Massachusetts but in part was raised by family in England and Ireland.) 

When I was in New Orleans last month, I went in search of places he likely walked, ate, drank, and did business.  Looking for connection, or roots, or closure, I am not sure what.  

After the war of 1812, he was shipwrecked in Mexico (not his only shipwreck.) Reportedly went back into the "trading business." Claimed to have made a fortune and lost it to bandits when returning to the United States. I had heard that story from family legends, and have always wondered it is true, or a plausible explanation for returning home broke. 

He made his way up the Mississippi River the St Louis area, and reportedly repented. Established a legitimate business dealing in freight on the river.  Paid to build a couple of churches, and established a finishing school for young ladies (he was married twice, had a dozen kids mostly daughters.) 

There are clouds over the story.  The business dealings in the first part of his life are questionable, embarrassing.  He was quoted late in his life as saying, "nothing he could do would make up for the indiscretions of his youth." 

Sometimes understanding, is tied to a place.  Walking those streets, seeking out places he would have been, helped me to piece together understanding.  


Friday, March 24, 2023

Funny Friday: I wonder if

 I wonder if they used the same haircolorist?  

Who wears if better? 

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Thursday Ramble: What does the future hold

Odds are there will be a future.  Statistically at my age, I have about 20 years left to live.  Some people my age life a little longer, some a little less, some won't live to see tomorrow, but there is a 50/50 chance I will live 20 more years.  Being retired could be the longest single job of my life.  My second professional lasted 15 years, 7 employer's. My third profession is projected to last 24 1/2 years, with only two employers.  Fifteen years (by the time I will retire) with the Commission on Law and Aging has in many ways been one of the highlights of my life. 

So what next? 

Travel. There are places I want to go, and adventures that I want to do, that need time and flexibility, and after retirement my time will be mine. 

Being more active as a volunteer.  I have said if I won the lottery there are parts of my job I would do for free.  I love organizing training, producing it, speaking when I can.  Flexibility to do that will bring joy to my life. 

Writing.  Writing takes time, and being free of editorial limits (but hopefully not good sense) will empower me to write on things that I think are important.  There is a publication I sometimes writes for whose audience is people my age and older.  I would love to write travel pieces for them, but they only want substantive content from me, and they publish travel adventure from others.  I am going to change that.  

Time to cook more mindfully. At the end of a 10 hour grind, I just want to fix something edible.  I have fun on the weekend, I want more days to be like the weekend.  

I want to adopt a shop fresh style.  I was raised in the middle of nowhere, and grocery shopping was done once a week, maybe once every other week.  I want shop more often, bringing home less.  (Though you will probably always be able to eat out of my pantry and refrigerator for a week if the weather is nasty and never miss a good meal.) 

I want / need to get back into the gym.  I know I will never be the gym bunny I once was, there a physical limits today that were not a part of my life 30 years ago, but I can do so much more with what I have to work with.  In my driven gym bunny days, I never entirely looked the way I wanted to (though I was kind of hot for a few years) and even then my goal was always to do the best I could with the body I have to work with.  Doing that takes time and commitment.  I will never fit into 30-inch waist jeans again.  

I want to take a few cruises.  I have dreamed of a transatlantic crossing, my grandmother did it four times 110 years ago.  I would like to go to Japan, and loath the thought of 18 hours of flying, there are repositioning cruises from the west coast to Japan, and from Japan to the west coast, I want to do that.  I want to go back to Alaska, there are a couple of unfinished adventures there.  In winter time the Caribbean sounds nice. 

I want to travel cross country.  Maybe take the train, or a long slow drive seeing everything there is to see in between.  

I want to take the slow boats, a YouTuber recently took a ferry from Portsmouth to Bilbao, two nights, nice a slow crossing.  That is hard to do, when I need to squeeze everything into 12 days on the ground. This time next year, (maybe sooner) I won't have that limit to deal with.  Bring on the slow boat.   

I want to spend time in my local library. Their hours and my schedule are not very compatible, closed on Sundays!!!?!!!?. I want to visit my local senior center, maybe volunteer to spark new programs (a photography workshop?) There are some great museums around, and historical sights to see.  From the peak of the hill, through the gap in the trees, you can see the Washington Monument from here, and I haven't been in it in over a decade.  Starting in August, I get half price Metro fares.  

I want to spend more time with a camera in hand, to use some of the amazing lenses I have been able to accumulate.  I set here and wonder why have I not photographed the Washington Monument with my fish-eye lens, I could stand five feet from it and take in the whole thing.  

I want to feel free to stay up late, and sleep late. I want to be able to take a midday nap.  A couple of weeks ago I was on an all day virtual meeting. The organizers needed a long lunch break, 90 minutes, I dozed off for 20 wonderful minutes and awoke to the sound of the meeting being called back to order.  It was so nice. (I was attending from home, and my work space at home is in my bedroom.)    

I plan to get rid of all but a couple of neckties.  I think I have worn one once in the past year - and that was enough.  I have racks full of them.  I need to clean out my closets.    


Wednesday, March 22, 2023

The Wonders of my World: Wednesday W's March 22nd edition

Where have I been? The office, the farmers market, a nearest wetlands park, a walk past the White House.  Close to home.  

What have I seen?  A couple of bald eagles. 

Who have I talked with?  My sister, I called her on her birthday; my middle brother - I finished his tax returns. My boss - a couple of long conversations. 

What have I decided? Firmly, I will retire the end of the calendar year.  

HoW do I feel about that?  Wonderful, and only slightly terrified.  I am already doing research on what I can do next spring when I can get away from for more than 12 days.  

What have I been cooking?  I did a nice beef roast over the weekend, slow cooked to fork tender, roast potatoes and carrots.  I cheap cut of beef, carefully cooked to its glorious best.  

What has brought me joy in the past week? A really nice walk in the swamp. 

What am I reading? A book on time - that is boring and I have decided to abandon unfinished. I have been making comments on books as I add them to the reading list this year.  I am coming to the conclusion that I need to enjoy what I am reading or why bother. 

What have a started doing? Sketching, or doodling everyday.  There are weird visual spatial issues in the way my brain is wired, and drawing didn't come naturally to me.  So I never really spent time practicing.  I am going to see if practicing, helps me to develop new skills. Practice without criticism or grading. We can do amazing things if we take the time to learn in the way that works for our brain.  

When will spring be here?  There are subtle signs, fresh green color, the early spring flowers, it will surprise us sometime soon. Oh, and a sure sign of spring, the pastry boy is back at the farmers market on Saturdays, he takes the winter off. 

Who deserves and Atta-boy this week? Trisha on my team, she produces our journal and the latest issue is a work of art.  And Edward (not Ed or Eddy) from Chicago who saved our office LinkedIn account.  

What am I looking forward to?  Mentoring the team, to lead boldly into the future, guided by the past, but not burdened by it. 


Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Travel Tuesday: Pinal Airpark

One of my earliest memories of childhood, was my father and friend recovering the wings of an airplane in our garage, I walked under the wings and got paint in my hair. 

So airplanes have been a part of my life for over 60 years.  
Pinal Airpark is one of the places that planes go to die, an airplane boneyard. 

It is located off the interstate between Phoenix and Tucson.  Given the opportunity, I had to stop.  I was disappointed, at the moment there is no tour, there is no visitors center, or gift shop, not even a shop selling aircraft salvage (I would love to buy an aircraft clock.) 

There was a news report recently of a 747 Business Jet with about 30 hours total flying time being scrapped.  It had been ordered by some middle eastern billionaire, who died before it was ready to use.  It sat in Europe for a decade, was for sale for a long time. No one wanted it, it was built as a private plane and from a regulatory basis could not easily be converted to an airliner or a freighter.  It never had the interior installed. It was offered for sale at one time, for little more than the engines were worth.  It was flown to Pinal a few months ago, and the engines immediately removed and sold in the replacement market.  It will be parted out, and when that is done, recycled into beer cans. There are other boneyards in the desert, I hope to go in pursuit of.  


Monday, March 20, 2023

Moody Monday: Balance and Imbalance

 A few things hit home for me in the past week, involving work. 

There is difference between the expectation of what we should be doing, and our capacity to do things.   I tried to work on this last year, and failed (for a couple of reasons that I won't discuss here.) I need to set down again, and have people list everything they are trying to do, everything they think we should be doing, how long those things take, add up the hours, then decide what we are not going to try to do because there are not 80 work hours per person per week (we have half of the staff we had 12 years ago.)  

Some projects pay more than they take in time, some take more time than they pay.  A reality not understood by the accountants.  In the end we need it to come close to a balance, but it is never going to be perfect.

If I am thinking about this as I am driving to the farmers market on Saturday morning, my work life balance is off.  

I need time to think - to be creative. All work and no time to think, leads to the cycle of doing nothing new.  We need time to think so we can go in search of the new cheese and find our way out of the maze. 

It is easy to think we understand an issue, when we have finished our research.  Then writing about it brings new insight.  Then input from readers, gives new insight.  Research is only half finished when the report is released or published.  Yet the funding usually ends when the report is final.  We need finish up funding for after the project ends.  

Denial is not a river in Egypt.  Staying around to fix things, when you are burned-out, won't fix things.  

Many academic systems offer a sabbatical.  Traditionally half a year or a year off with full pay every seven to ten years. It is time to do whatever the person wants or needs to do to recharge.  Some teach elsewhere, or go deep into research, some go fishing, or walk the dog, or ride a bike across the continent.  More employers need to recognize the value of this kind of a periodic period of refreshment.  The cost is made up for by increased productivity.  I did one self funded sabbatical 30 plus years ago, I took four months off from work and went to University full time for a semester - it gave me time to rethink where I was going with my life, and to end up where I am today.  

Sunday, March 19, 2023

The Sunday Five: Would You

 Let's go off into fantasy land for a few minutes and answer few telling questions. 

If you won a Billion Dollars (or Pounds, or Euros) in a lottery would you? 

1: Buy a lamborghini or a Volvo? 

2: A house in the City, or a Farm in the Country?

3: A 35 foot boat, or 135 foot boat? 

4: A Rolex watch, or stop wearing watches? 

5: Shop at Gucci or Levi's? 

My Answers: 

1: Buy a lamborghini or a Volvo?  A Volvo, reliable, comfortable, easier to blend in with the crowd. 

2: A house in the City, or a Farm in the Country? If limited to one, the house in the city.  

3: A 35 foot boat, or 135 foot boat?  The 35 footer, unless I was going to live on it full time. 

4: A Rolex watch, or stop wearing watches? I have worn a watch since I was 8 years old, I feel undressed without it, the stainless steel one with a blue face. 

5: Shop at Gucci or Levis?  Levi's.  I can't understand paying $200 for a t-shirt. 

Please share your answers in the comments. 

Saturday, March 18, 2023

The Saturday Morning Post: Happy Birthday to my Sister

There a few milestones that lead to me remembering my sister's birthday.  The two times my family visited the Grand Canyon when I was a child, were on her birthday.  She is a little older than I am, we have disagreed over it being one year or two years. She is two years older than I am in the few months between her birthday and mine.

Being a few months apart in age, our lives are intertwined.  She was a couple of years ahead of me in school.  She got married the same spring I finished high school.  Then we went a couple of different ways, she stayed in Michigan, and I moved to Florida.  I didn't see much of her for 30 years, then she moved to Florida to care for our parents in the last few years of their lives.  I will be forever grateful for everything she did to empower our parents to live and die in their home, as they wished.   

The last year has been a challenging one for her.  Her husband died from cancer last fall, her beloved wonder dog died a few weeks later, she has moved to be nearer to her kids.  She has settled in, is doing work she enjoys, and is close enough to see her two sons often.  

I wish her a very Happy Birthday, and a peaceful and happy year to come.      

Friday, March 17, 2023

Funny Friday: Inanimate Pets

Bunnies, bears, penguins, sheep, a wombat, a beaver, a platypus, a dodo, dragon (actually two), are just a few of the inanimate pets we have.  All of them have names, most of them have tags with their name.  Some have great backstories,  Bob the penguin is dean of the school of advanced aviation and flight school. Petunia the Wonder Sheep comforted me through a complicated medical journey.  The sheep wait for the spring carpet flowers to bloom.  

It is silly, and fun, and they are rather low maintenance.  Yes we are a little crazy, in a fun sort of way.  

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Well that sets things in motion.

It is budget season at the office, for the fiscal year starting in September.  In my first information upload to my boss I mentioned my hope of retiring.  I have never really made a secret of my plan or intention.  

Two long video calls today. With plans, A, B, C and D (for disaster.) A wonderful heart-to-heart with my sweet bear. And I emailed my boss with a firm date for my intended retirement.  She will get the ball rolling.  (I will reveal the date soon, it is a fair number of months down the road.) 

The plan allows plenty of time for planning, and putting change in place.  As I said in the email, change is never easy, but planned change is easier than sudden change.  

There are days when this job is killing me.  

Scary, to have made the commitment, but it also feels kind of good. 

I am not worried about second thoughts, I have spent months dealing with those.      

Thursday Ramble: What Is Around Home

I live on a hilltop, just south of the city of Alexandria, Virginia.  Alexandria was a port city, just south of Washington DC, that has been a city since before Washington DC was anything.  Washington DC was swamp land that the adjoining states really didn't care about and was carved out to build a new capital City that was not a part of any state.  It was originally 10 miles, by 10 miles, in a square turned on it's side.  As part of a free-state - slave-state compromise the land on the west side of the Potomac River was ceded back to Virginia.  If not for that, I would live just south of the District of Columbia, as in be able to clearly see DC from this hilltop, on a cloudy day. 

This hilltop was owned by the Fairfax family, part of an original colonial land grant.  One of the family homes, was were the parking lot in front of my building is.  George Washington had dinner with the family, literally in my front yard, a week before he died. 

Many of the revolutionary founding fathers spent time in Alexandria, in an area we call Old Town Alexandria.  Washington, Jefferson and Franklin would gather at Gatsby's Tavern to talk, eat, and drink.  Washington was a brewer and distiller at Mt Vernon, just 8 miles downriver.  He had a townhouse just down the street from the tavern.  It was a two hour ride by horse to Mt. Vernon.  I did notice that the house was twice as close to the tavern as it was to the church.

Alexandria played a role in the Civil War, being occupied by the Federal Troops, it was home two military hospitals, and one of the first Federal cemeteries.  Ships were built along the waterfront in World War I and World War II,  "Liberty Ships" in WWII.  The art center at the end of King Street, is in a building that housed a torpedo factory.  Ford had an assembly plant on the waterfront (in the early years it was easier to transport parts and assemble cars locally than it was to transport finished cars and Ford had a lot of local assembly plants around the country.) Sadly, there is virtually no freight traffic left this far up the river.

King Street, it really Main Street USA, with shopping, a lot of it local independent shops - most catering to expensive taste, restaurants and bars.  There are some national and world chains, but also a nice balance of small businesses.  I try to do business there as I can. 

Market Square in front of City Hall has been a market site since colonial days.  The market is open year round on Saturday mornings, with free parking in the underground garage under the market on Saturday mornings.  

In theory King Street is walkable from home, but, we are on top of a steep rather tall hill, the climb back up is a challenge, and there is an 8 lane expressway between here and there.  We usually drive.  

If you go out the back gate of the condo, we are a ten minute walk to a subway station.  Our connection to the City, and really to the world, the train stops at the airport on the way into DC.  


Wednesday, March 15, 2023

World of Wonders, My Wednesday W's: March 15 - week 11.

Who have I seen? Just the usual, I need to work on this. 

What have I seen?  Isn't that one sexy looking car?  

What have I been up to? Work, a bit of progress on a couple of projects, a couple of chances to advise people in high places on issues that are important, ghost writing an article, final edits on a book chapter, too much work and not enough play. 

Where have I been? Home, the office, a few local stops, basically staying close to home for a couple of months. Target last weekend for household items and shower gel.   

What have I been cooking? I made a white bean soup on Saturday, onion, celery, mushrooms, leaks, chicken stock, bacon, dried white beans, a few select herbs and spices, simmered all day, stirred in a couple of hands full of spinach about 15 minutes before serving.  Yummy. 

Why am I? I am to be creative, to make a difference in the lives of others, to live a peaceful life. 

When?  The only time is now. The past is past. The future is uncertain.  

What is the quote of the week? "We are here to enrich the lives of others" Martin Scorsese. 

What is the challenge of the week? We had blank note cards printed for my office.  My challenge for the staff was to find someone to send a handwritten note to.  A Thank You, or Congratulations, or simply "Thinking of You." I hope that doing so becomes a habit and surprises people who are not expecting a simple act of kindness, and what can be an impersonal and cold world.  And yes, I lead by example, one last week, one already this week.  

Who deserves a Slap! The comment spammer who hit me twice on Tuesday telling me what a great blog, and would we please read her post on one scam or another.  Five slaps are probably not enough.  

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Travel Tuesday:Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis King of France on Jackson Square, New Orleans, Louisiana

Continuing with lots of photos and few words, today we tour the Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis King of France
on Jackson Square, in New Orleans.  

I had seen this several times from the outside, but had never been inside. My free time in New Orleans was on a Sunday, I had to return after Mass, to see the inside, and of course to light a candle against the darkness of the world.