Friday, June 30, 2023

Funky Friday - You Have Got to Be Kidding

I did not take this photo, it borrowed on Macys and CK. 

What in the name of repressed victorian hell were the designers at CK thinking of when they came up with this?  It looks neither comfortable, nor sexy.  I just don't get it.  

I don't know if I should laugh, or cry.  I know for sure I am not buying it.  

This on the other hand. 

Thursday, June 29, 2023

The Thursday Ramble: Expand Your Mind

I baffled my elementary school teachers.  I didn't learn to read the way they expected me to. I didn't sound words out, and learn the spell them as I learned to read.  My brain recognized a pattern of letters, attached a meaning to it, even if I couldn't pronounce it.  They were concerned that I was not really reading, because I was not doing it the way everyone was suppose to.  

The first winter we were in Florida, we were on the West Coast in the community of Spring Hill.  There were community amenities, including a small library that offered classes.  One of the classes was "speed reading." My father wanted to take that one, and my middle school class was on double sessions sessions, meaning I was home at Noon, so he took me along for the afternoon class.  The way I read, was the way that speed reading was taught. My father was sure I was skipping or cheating, the instructor said let him go and let's check for comprehension.  I was getting as much meaning out of the text at 40 or 50 pages an hour, as most people were at 10 pages an hour.  

I remember a handful of books in High School that were required reading.  I would finish them in a weekend, and it would take the class a month to catch up.  One stood out, Walden, I have read that one 50 times, and I still have a copy. 

My first real job required 45-50 hours a week in the office, often alone, and often with only 10-15 hours a week of work.  I started reading, a book or two a week. 

My selection of reading materials is strange. Almost exclusively non-fiction. I wish I had started keeping track of what I have read in my 20's, the list would be well over 2,000 books by now. And is growing by 50 or so a year. I just logged by 27th book finished for this year, Kindle says I have downloaded 448 books since I started reading e-books.  

Reading expands my mind.  I have learned so much.  Reading can cost little.  I buy most of what I read, hoping that the authors make a few pennies for each book I read, to encourage them to keep writing.  

What am I going to do in retirement, catch up on my reading. Keep learning, keep expanding my mind. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

World of Wonders, Wednesday Ws June 28 2023

Where have I been?  The office for a rare Thursday meeting, the farmers market, and IKEA for kitchen stuff and fringeless rugs for my bedroom. The rumba keeps getting stuck, or tries to eat the rugs in my bedroom, time to put them in storage and try something new.     

Why the helicopter? My aunt loved to explore - an adventure - and always said she was going to take a helicopter tour - her only ride in a helicopter was from an emergency room to a trauma center. Take the ride while you can enjoy it, she didn't and didn't live to have another chance.  Almost 30 years later, I am reminded of that message every time I see a medical helicopter. 

What have I been listening to? Vocals from the 1970s and 80s. 

What's next?  A four day holiday weekend. 

What's pickling?  Garlic dills, the beets I packed last month should be ready to eat. 

Who have I seen?  The usual, neighbors, co-workers. 

What have I been reading? I finished Thinking 101 okay - but not great.  I am reading Tom Brokaw's new book Never Give Up, it is very good. 

What would I recommend reading?  A friend of ours' has short stories in two anthologies of fiction,  Twelve Hours To Del Mar and Lips on Unfamiliar Skin (both are part of the The Writing Salon anthology series.) The books feature new writers, people who write for passion.  They are available on Amazon (and likely in print in the UK.) 

What have I been writing?  Minutes for our most recent board meeting, consolidated a draft strategic plan, and a fact sheet that was due yesterday, and finished last Friday. I have started a couple of semi-fictional short stories about men in my family.  I need to remember they are fiction and I don't need to worry about getting the facts straight.   

What is happening?  One of my staff is in Spain for three weeks, another one is leaving Friday for 10 days in Italy.  See, I am not the only one who travels.  

What made me smile this week?  One of the compliance people at the office said something brilliant, "the rules were not designed with this business model, and maybe they need to be updated" in the meantime we need to comply.  Great minds think alike. 

Was I surprised by the latest Titanic misadventure?  Not really surprised.  That kind of adventure has a lot of risk.  I can understand the desire to go where few people have gone, to do something few people have done.  I have done a few of those, they are calculated risks.  Working at those depths is difficult with the best of hardware, risky even then.  The ocean floor is largely as unexplored as space.  Would I do that one? No. I am fascinated by the Titanic, I have a piece of coal recovered from the debris field of the Titanic. 

When is the next adventure?  August. 

Why are we here? Just because, that answer worked for my mother.  

What have I done this week for me? Back in the gym, on the treadmill 60 minutes a day, almost everyday. 


Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Travel Tuesday: Cleveland Cruise on the Goodtimes III

We were in Cleveland recently and took a sightseeing cruise up the Cuyahoga River. 

Bulk cement carrier, registered in Canada 

The fireboat that put out the River 

I had a chance to play with the fish eye lens


Monday, June 26, 2023

Moody Monday: Milestones in Time

Milestones in time, markers in my life. 

  • After we started spending winters in Florida, when I was in the 8th grade. 
  • Before and after I moved to Florida after finishing school. 
  • First House.
  • Second House. 
  • Finishing at Rollins College.
  • Moving to Kentucky.
  • My year as an hourly employee. 
  • Law school years - and bar exam. - 
    • The commuting year - 
    • The student apartment years. 
  • Legal aid years - consulting for AARP.
  • Moving to DC, starting the job.
  • 2015 - My Medical Adventure - and getting married.
  • BC, Before Covid
  • Becoming Director
  • Post Covid, return to the office, return to in-person conferences
  • Planning for the next chapter. 

I am surprised by how much is calculated as BC, PC. When did something happen.  Jay's bathroom remodel was BC, mine was during lock-down, kitchen PC.  Covid is a bigger time marker for me, than when my parents died (to get the year right I have to go look up the records.)   

All of these are time points that carry special meaning, that bring emotion and mood.  Funny the things that we remember.  I remember what end of what subway platform I was on when I took the phone call with the contract to sell my father's house.  If I am on that platform, trying to figure out where to board the train to be best positioned for changing lines to go home, I remember that phone call, and where I was when the phone rang.  I stepped aside and waited for the next train while I listened to the details of the offer.  

I was thinking of the milestone points in my life, events that stand out in my brain. 

Sunday, June 25, 2023

The Sunday Five: Signs

 1: If there was a warning sign on your bottom, what would it read? 

2: What should the sign outside your front door say? 

3: What notice should be posted on your drinks cabinet? 

4: What warning sign should be posted when you are cooking? 

5: What warning sign should be on the back of your car? 

My Answers: 

1: If there was a warning sign on your bottom, what would it read? - contents under pressure.  

2: What should the sign outside your front door say?  All who are welcoming, are welcome within. 

3: What notice should be posted on your drinks cabinet?  No rubbish allowed herein. 

4: What warning sign should be posted when you are cooking? Oversize. 

5: What warning sign should be on the back of your car? Sudden stops for flocks of sheep. 

Please share your answers in the comments. 

Saturday, June 24, 2023

The Saturday Morning Post: Traffic

The town I grew up 4 miles from is so small it does not have a traffic light. The state put in a four way stop a few years ago, and gave up and took it out as most people stopped and there was no other car within half a mile. North Branch has to hold an event, a parade or football game to have anything that comes close to looking like traffic.  

Now I live in the Washington DC metro area. Traffic is legendary here, at rush hour the average speed on the expressways is about 20 miles per hour.  Recently I had a meeting 17 miles northwest of home.  It can be an easy drive, a mile up US-1, get on I-495 west, take it north around the the beltway, there are super express toll lanes for about 10 miles of it.  The trip home took about 25 minutes.  The trip there in the morning was another story.  Someone stopped and someone didn't, crumple zones on both end of a car worked and the driver walked away, but traffic was backed up for miles, it took me 30 minutes to go 2 miles, I could have walked it that fast. I had the top down, the music turned up, it was a glorious late spring morning. I was very chill. Once I inched past the accident, it was back to 65 miles per hour.  I made it the meeting with time to spare.  

I lived in Orlando from 1980 to 1995, and watched the area grow from a sleepy town with Disney on its southern edge, to a rather busy area.  When I was first there I could drive from the far northwest of the city (Apopka) to the far eastern edge of the city (the University of Central Florida) in 30 minutes at rush hour. By the time I left, that same drive took an hour.  Today it is toll roads and probably takes 90 minutes.  

How do we cope with traffic?  We use the subway system a lot.  We don't drive much.  We drive at off peak times if we can. We know some of the bypasses when thing are backed up.   

Probably the biggest surprise for me, is I have developed patience when traffic is backed up.  Fussing and trying to find the fastest lane, seldom makes a difference.  Ease your way forward, and usually within 15-20 minutes the traffic will clear, and often you can't really tell what caused the backup.  It just happens.  It is a part of life.  It is not the traffic, it is how you react to it.  

Friday, June 23, 2023

Funny Friday: Easy for you to say

How hard can it be, 47,000 children are fluent in the language. I bet even the dog responds to it.  

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Thursday Ramble: Where did it go

I was editing posts on the road, and I lost one.  The one I thought I had scheduled for today.  I have struggled a bit with a post for this day, at least one other one is in draft, I don't like it.  

We just returned from a five day road trip to Cleveland.  It was a good trip.  It is about 7 hours drive each way - in my opinion a full days drive for us.  

We visited with both of J's brothers, and his older brother's wife.  We spend a couple of afternoons with J's oldest brother.  We had a free day, for just the two of us and took a long slow drive along Lake Erie west of Cleveland.  It was good.  It was a nice get away for me.  It is a trip we will likely make a few more times.  

Lots of quality time.  We still make one another laugh, we complete one another's sentences, and still surprise one another.

On Sunday we went to Hale's Farm, south of city it is a history center.  On Tuesday we took a sightseeing boat ride, a nice couple of hours, and soon to be the subject of more posts.  



Wednesday, June 21, 2023

My World of Wonders aka the Wednesday Ws June 21st edition

Where have I been? I walked by my first office in DC and around the corner past the White House on my way to the office one morning. Over the weekend we drove to Cleveland to visit family.  I went into Old Town Alexandria to have my hair cut. 

Who have I seen?  Jay's brothers, the wife of one of the said brothers, Rocco for a haircut, a conference room full of project directors for a meeting with the boss's, boss's, boss.  

What have I done? I voted. A local primary, probably of little importance. I voted because I can, because we all need to. I went out of my way to do so, carving out 45 minutes in a work afternoon, working late, dinner was late, so I could vote. I voted early, as I was going to be out of town on polling day, no questions asked, just show up, present ID and vote. The local elections matter, the radical right started with school boards and local council elections, often running unopposed and unheard, until they started voting against rights, and banning books.  I will let Bob say in the comments what I am thinking.  

What Else?  A slow drive, a boat tour in Cleveland

What have I been reading? I finished "The Life of Charlie" and I am working on Thinking 101.  

What have I been writing?  Funding proposals, and ten tips to avoid guardianship, things that are do soon.  And final edits on a Harvard Medical School publication on Advance Health Care Planning, that I was selected as legal editor for.  Being selected as a legal editor for a Harvard Medical School publication, it is time to retire.  

Who made me smile this week?   Being able to Vote.  

Who deserves a slap this week? I am trying to be nice. 

What continues to keep me busy?  The Comment Spam Filter, I continue to rescue about a comment a day from the Spam folder.  


Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Travel Tuesday : Pike Place Market

Four years ago, funny it seems like longer, we were in Seattle for a few days.  I had a board meeting, we added plenty of time for a nice vacation.  If you like food and drink, a visit to Seattle should include a visit to The Pike Place Market.  It is legendary.  Yes it is a little touristy, but it is also a real thriving market.  Next time I should rent an apartment with a kitchen for few days.