Wander project Angry Business Travelers!

Over the course of many years, I have spent time in many places. I have lived in Chicago, Greenwood, Bloomington, Cincinnati and Maryland as well as Bangkok. In all those wanders I’ve often found my way to many different and interesting things. Time passes and travel changes. Once I traveled as a child, no real understanding of the destination. Then I traveled as an adult wishing in fact that I wasn’t traveling, that I was home instead.

That is the interesting change, however, in that once I traveled with my parents, they were responsible for everything. Where we were going, hotels and places to live. I just had to carry my bag and not fall far behind. Then there was a time, as a business person that I traveled alone. Do you, when traveling wonder why the business people are frustrated, angry and glaring at everyone? They are traveling alone, light and agile.

When you stand in line with your shoes on, your cell phone in your pocket and your keys as well, going through the metal detection five, six or seven times it drives that business traveler nuts. They were prepared for the security rules, knowing what was going to have to come out of their pockets and bags so that they could pass through security. The frustration was real, over time you began to realize that it didn’t matter. If you started out late, you got there late.


reformed angry business traveler

Wander project IU 2005

My father retired from Indiana University in 2005 (or 2003 per my mother). I suspect given his choice he would have continued teaching. My father loved teaching more than anything other than his family. It is funny looking back now, at what was then. I get my love of Indiana football and basketball from my father. Yes, there are many reasons why I still root for the teams I rooted for as a child. One of them is the memory of listening to games with my father.

I think the one thing I remember most about my father is one year; a previous class was asked “who do you remember most” from your IU academic career. Coach Robert Montgomery Knight and Doc Councilman were the top two names on that list. They impacted thousands of students every year. But in that top five list was a science educator. A person that helped maybe 100 different students that year. Yes, the big names were remembered as they should be. But on that list of remembered professors, teachers, people that impacted students in ways they recalled years later was my father.

(note, my mother remembers the event as occurring in 2003. I truly don’t remember, I just know the folder is labeled 2005).

Sure, my dad and I didn’t always see eye to eye. Early in life, I realized I probably wasn’t going to be an educator. I love the interplay of business and technology. To me, the vast universe of business is more interesting. I am sure that bothered my father, but he never let on. He always supported me. So these pictures today of his retirement party. He went to the university for a couple more years after this party, as a professor emeritus, but eventually he moved his university life to the house he shared with my mother. My father was a grand man!

wander project wandering

A month or so ago I posted pictures of when I traveled more. Today, again, pictures from 2009, the last time I went to Singapore. One of the emails I got from a long time friend, was simply “do you miss traveling.” I miss many of the wonderful people I used to hang out with and do things with. But I do not miss sleeping my way to an airport at 3:30 in the morning to board an airplane bound for anywhere but home.

I kept a packed suitcase in the house for most of the ten years I was on the road. The various chargers, cables, and things I needed away from home. I didn’t need them at home; I had better non-travel versions at home. But on the road they were critical, so they stayed, packed and ready to roll out the front door. Wistfully I might add, leaving my family and heading off into the inky darkness. Coming home late at night, exhausted but having to work the next day regardless.

Traveling takes a toll on you as a person and a parent. It is not something to enter into lightly nor something to leap into blindly. It is something to consider, evaluate and ultimately decide if you can or should as a family. I don’t miss those days of wandering the world. I much prefer to wander the world with my family. There is more to be seen of the world with them. That is the travel I look forward to, and frankly, I am happy to look back on the million-plus miles of business travel and the thousands of hours I donated from my life to a company.


once traveler now homebody

Wander project Indiana

Ah the ocean, salty spray and waves lapping the shore. Oh, oops that isn’t the ocean there in front of the kids. That is Lake Michigan. Nestled at the top of the State of Indiana (and bordered on the other three sides by the state of Michigan and the State of Wisconsin) is Lake Michigan. The pictures are ones I’ve to share before of the wonderful Indiana Dunes State Park. Built right after the great depression, by the Civilian Conversation Corps (CCC). The CCC was a program started by the US government to find gainful employment for people. The Great Depression that began with the stock market fall in 1928 was devastating to the US Economy.

President Roosevelt, assuming taking office, started some projects to improve the nation and get people back to work. From that the bathhouse of the Indiana Dunes State Park. Plus some other buildings, trails and other useful infrastructure improvements to our nation. Over the years we lived in Indiana we often went to the park. The sand was clean and the drive not too horrible (it was roughly 3 hours from Greenwood IN).

It is funny, as it has happened now many times, be it lake or ocean the twins always say we are not getting in the water. Some 4, 6 hours later we have to drag them out of the water. They forget how much they love playing in the surf. I guess as anything time takes away some of the happy memories. They do the same thing now when we go to the ocean (we are not getting in the water). Time changes, they get older, but the smiles never fade!


Family Historian

Wander project Maryland…

The other day I shared some pictures of the inside of our first house in Maryland. That house was in the Kentland’s, a planned community in Gaithersburg Maryland. We lived on a road named for the old quarry that was in one corner of the area. The mix of greenways and houses was done in a planned manner. So that people could easily wander back between forest and city. You could walk to the movie theater and dinner, as well as a collection of lakes. Everything planned for people to be able to get away from the bustle of Washington DC.

My daughter and I wandered the park that has the old quarry one day playing with cameras, pictures and just wandering around having fun. We didn’t take the dogs, as there were some deer that lived in the connected greenways. My dog still things deer are dinner, so it is best not to take him when there is a chance of deer. Or squirrels, I do not know what squirrels have done to become the mortal enemy of the laboratory, but they are. Either dog sees a squirrel, and there is an instant reaction, threats, chomping and all the other ways dogs show extreme displeasure with another creature.

I managed to capture quite a few pictures of various things in the park that are good. Not great, but good pictures. I learned many years ago that I don’t take great pictures, and I am happy with the occasional good picture. There are a couple of pictures of the old quarry, that is now a pond and a few of the trees and grounds around the old quarry. The quarry had been abandoned around 100 years before, an interesting historical picture opportunity!


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Wander project Gaithersburg MD…

We lived in a planned community when we first moved to Maryland. My wife read about the planned communities of Maryland (there are many.) Franklyn Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was president when one of the first planned communities was built in Maryland. It was called Greenbelt Maryland. It is famous now, as the home of NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center and the US Census along with several other US Federal Agencies. We lived in a community called The Kentland’s. For the most part, these communities were focused around converting a former farm (or collection of farms) into a self-contained living environment.

The Kentland’s had a theater, shopping, and a huge pool complex. We moved into the complex after arriving in Maryland in August 2011. The pictures today are of the interior of that house. We decided to lease the house in the Kentland’s as we were still trying to sell our home in Indiana. The difference between leasing and owning a house is painful. When you lease, you are beholden to the landlord. I have to say. Honestly, our landlord was the worst. Noah’s Properties of Gaithersburg. When you are told, do not have a repair person come to the house, we send the repair people you have to abide by that. I think it was the second week we were in the house, that the dishwasher broke. In the ensuing 22 months, we were in the house; the dishwasher only worked for 11 of those months. The same was true of the refrigerator and several other appliances.

We loved living in the Kentland’s, walking to dinner on a Friday night, or walking to the movie theater. That part of the experience was wonderful. The reality of a bad leasing company made it impossible for us to stay in that house. That subtle difference is why we decided to buy a house again. We had thought, after owning homes in Indiana and Ohio, that we would never own a home in Maryland. We were wrong. The one good thing for our family that Noah’s gave us was the desire to get our own house again!


Family Historian

Wander project Cabin John Maryland

I wrote about the restored canal near us, the C&O canal (it is less than 4 miles from our house. Well, the closest part of the canal is 4 miles. There are many other restored sections of the canal that are much further away than 4 miles. Another historically significant place near us is also near the C&O canal and is called Cabin John. It is an unincorporated area this means there is no city government. Cabin John is managed by Montgomery County.

The name, Cabin John is a mystery, and there are many theories. I suspect like the many other places around us; it is lost now to time. Unless someone wrote it down, stuck in it a water-protected lockbox and buried it for later generations to discover. That might be a great practical joke to play in the future world. Bury a bunch of boxes with explanations for things that isn’t right. When they are dug up later, it will drive people nuts. Which of these things Is not like the other!

Cabin John is future down the C&O Canal and has restored trails, and in the area, we like to visit, a wonderful dog park. There is a small county park with a rail car and a bunch of fun walking trails. My dog and I are huge fans of any place that has walking trails! Anything along the C&O canal is fine with my dog. There are lots of rabbits, and of course the hated squirrel. Any squirrel, it doesn’t matter if that squirrel has done or said something to my dog, he just hates all squirrels. I sometimes wonder if squirrels are the cats of the tree world? My dog reacts the same for both, less so for rabbits. He still would like to, well invite a rabbit over for dinner, but not as vehemently as he would a cat or a squirrel!


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Wander project spring flowers

I got a comment the other day on one of the sets of snow pictures; I think it was Ellie. The gist of the comment was I am ready for spring. That said, so am I. Based on that I thought I would share a few pictures from the collection of flowers. The tricky part comes when I have to admit, I love taking pictures of flowers but I could not, do not and probably never could properly identify the flowers in the pictures. My father could, just by looking at them identify them. I did not ever gain that skill.

The flowers are from our yard and my parent’s yard in Bloomington IN, and Greenwood IN, They are from roughly 12 years ago. I have taken pictures of flowers all over the world. I love catching bees and other insects in flight in or around flowers. I suspect some of my best pictures of flowers are taken with the better camera, so I can’t share them. Most of the camera’s I have from 8 or so years ago, the images can be shared.

Newer cameras have 20, 24 gig files that are two and three times larger than the overall maximum file size on Virily. I would love to say that you are missing my masterworks, the great pictures I’ve taken, but the reality is other than being a little sharper, the bigger images aren’t a whole lot better. They are just bigger. I don’t take many epic pictures. I do take a few, really good pictures but very few epic.

Anyway today on the first day of spring, flowers!


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Wander project Maryland (and the C&O Canal)

I remember as a child seeing the sites of Europe, the history that was 600, 700 or more years old (and beyond that as well). In Indiana as a child I lived in Bloomington Indiana, we celebrated our 150th anniversary while I was still in 3rd or 4th grade. We then boarded a plane and flew to Bangkok Thailand, that was celebrating more than 2000 years of being a major city. That difference in time is something that always makes me stop and pause.

The engineering marvel shared today is the remainder of the C&O Canal. We have been there many times, at many different locations along the Canal route. Once to be the water highway of the Eastern US, the C&O canal has been restored in many places. The oldest Lock Houses being nearly 250 years old. Makes some of the European Buildings we say two summers ago look a lot older by comparison. Time is the great equalizer in the end.

Both dogs love wandering along the canal. Mostly because they love going for walks. But also because there are a lot of Have, That’s along the trail. Have That, is a phrase one of the twins came up with to describe my dog’s reaction to a Rabbit on one walk. The actual phrase uttered was “I want to have that.” We shortened the sightings of rabbits, geese and most critically the hated Squirrel, to have that’s. Labradors hate squirrels. I didn’t know that before we encountered them on our walk!


Family Historian

Wander project Greenwood IN

All of the pictures today were taken by my wife, and were all film pictures scanned during the family history project (hence two being or facing the wrong direction). This is of our daughters birthday one year in the kitchen of our home in Greenwood IN. There are pictures of me, probably taken 12 – 14 years ago. I didn’t have gray hair in these photos. Makes them hard to look at sometimes, I have lots of gray hair now. (blurry images were sometimes the end result of developed film).

Funny how the things you notice changes over time. I didn’t use to notice my hair. Now I do. The party was one of several of my daughter’s friends. She had different groups of friends over the years, but the ones she made her junior and senior year in high school are still her friends now. Interesting because the guy she dated then wasn’t my favorite then, and now is persona non-grata in our entire family. Funny how things like that work out.

We loved our Indiana house. Like my parents, we moved in and started changing things (although in fairness, we’ve changed our Maryland house more in the past five years than we did our Indiana house in the entire 12 years, other than the one huge project (The backyard pool). It is always funny to me that we find the perfect house, we move in, then we start making it more perfect. If it wasn’t perfect, to begin with, why didn’t we keep looking?


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