wander project launch a rocket!

One of the things that were important to me as a person that I tried to convey to the kids in my various classes was to not care about the “role rules.” Girls should love to play sports as much as boys should love to do arts and crafts. That is running around on a playground or playing baseball is good for every child. One of the things I did for many years taught kids about the wonder of model rockets. The picture today shows that from now more than 30 years ago. Every child in the pictures is now an adult. But back then we were a rocket building, rocket launching crew. We also decorated the rocket with as many different colors as we could. The kids had a blast both making, decorating and launching the rocket!

I have kept in touch with a few of the kids from that first class of mine over the years. I’ve also kept touch with one of my co-teachers. For the most part, thought that time is now gone. I still talk to and see my best friend who was also a teacher there at the school. But not many other people anymore. Time passes, and we forget the places we were. It is part of the evolution of who we are. I was once a school teacher, wound around the ethics of presenting information. One of the things I loved about my wife from the very beginning was that she never believed in talking down to children. Present information to children and if they don’t understand, help them get there.

As a computer person now I advocate STEM (Steam and CSteam) education. A couple of years ago I did some IoT presentations to various schools in Maryland. Not IoT, connection but IoT possible. It was a blast creating the slides and then, the demonstration of what IoT does. The line of kids after my presentation wanting to ask questions was, well past the bell that ended school that day. I ended up having to come back to each school a second time to talk further and answer more questions. Not that I am the greatest speaker, just that the topic was incredibly interesting to kids. The world and the things we see are shaped by how wide we cast our view!

I do not miss the rules applied to teaching. I do miss the kids.


long time education dreamer

Wander project Halloween

Many years ago there was a TV show called Miami Vice. I was a huge Don Johnson fan (still am.) I watched that show and loved it. My best friend and I decided to host a Monroe Slice Halloween party for the kids and parents of our two classes. We were both teachings and had this idea. We decided to do it like the Miami Vice show, but of course, set in Monore County Indiana. We also knew that neither of us was Hollywood star material, so it was as much a parody as anything. The kids had a blast. I had a single room apartment inside an old house in Bloomington Indiana. Kids climbed in and out of the front windows where my apartment was. We had a cooler (with beer and pop) with drinks. The beer was not for the kids.

Our costumes were part of the parody of Miami Vice. I even printed up fake Monore Slice detective badges. We gave fake Subpoenas to everyone as the invite for the party. We had planned for a party that would be 2-3 hours. It ended up going until nearly 1 am. My housemates complained, so we ended up ending the party at 1 am. (fair, that they complained, we were pretty loud). The remainder of the pictures is from an event my class had. One of the kids in my class loved big wheels; she would draw her big wheel almost every day. One day I was reading about the upcoming Little 500 bicycle race. That was featured in the movie “Breaking Away” and has been an Indiana University tradition for more than 50 years now.

I (with the help of some wonderful parents. And no support from the school I was working for) decided to hold a little 500 race for the kids and their big wheels. The overall leader of the school said “great” idea. He wasn’t going to participate but said it was a great idea. The curriculum coordinator for the school said it was a horrible idea and refused to have anything to do with the race. On an actual day the race was to be held, the local paper called and wanted to send a photographer to the school. Suddenly the curriculum coordinator wanted to be involved. Although, the paper didn’t end up talking to her or for that matter including the picture she was in for the article. She wasn’t the nicest person overall. The race was a success. We ended up having it for two more years. Overall one of the coolest things, all from the drawing of a big wheel!


family historian

wander project the sadness that is fake news…

There are three rules I have as a person. The first is to verify the information you share. The second is share information about technology that people don’t know, and third when you find or when I publish information that I later found to be wrong, post a correction. One of the posts I occasionally read posted that the top 5% of Americans pay 95% of the taxes. While that is an interesting number, it is truly wrong. Here is a link to the actual numbers that are much lower. The reality is that high-income Americans pay less than 28% of their income in an effective tax rate. Some countries have effective tax rates far more than 40%. Overall it pays to make 2 million or more per year in the US.

I worry about all the disinformation that floats around now. Scientists from the United Nations, after a five-year study, published the warning to the world two days ago. That warning says that by 2040 the global temperature will have risen by 2-degree Celsius. That is beyond the confines of the Paris Accord, and the scientists projected that the increase in atmospheric temperature would cause some problems. For example, the shore that these pictures are shared from will be as much as two feet higher. That means Marina’s current dock and many thousands of docks along the costs of the world will be underwater. Just replacing and rebuilding the docks around the world will be trillions of dollars (wholly an estimate by me, no facts to back that up).

I worry that the word of mouth just because someone said something Zombies are taking over. Once upon a time, before the internet, there was a reality in the world. We as human beings sought information from sources that were reliable. Now, it is possible to simply declare anything you don’t like Fake News. I truly blame the freedom of information that the internet has started. You see, there are two sides to information creation. The first is the actual information the second is the source of information. Once upon a time, it behooved you to validate your sources before publishing. Now, with the help of the internet, you can publish, and you don’t need sources.

All the picture today come from my camera taken by me. All the information in this article is either backed up by published studies or noted as my personal opinion. If you disagree with my opinion, post a link to a peer-reviewed study that says something different and I will retract it!


family historian, founder ilackasourism society

Wander project Annapolis MD…

Wandering to the boat is what we do on Sunday’s (Saturdays or the occasional Holiday Monday). From the end of March to the end of October we are out on the water. We don’t hunker indoors the rest of the year; we just take the boat out of the water during the winter. Boats, in the water, have to be handled differently than boats on land. A boat on land would only be impacted by high wind. If the snow falls on the boat and the ground freezes below the boat, oh well. If you are in the water and the water freezes, you run the risk of cracking the hull of the boat. The other thing that happens is the boat gets power watches. That cleans off everything that grew on the boat over the last two months (since it was last power washed).

The other fun project that happens this time of year is the wood delivery. We have a wonderful woodstove in our house. My dad had one at the farm, and I remember teasing him about that at the time. Now I understand the value of a woodstove! I guess once again dad was right; I just didn’t know it at the time. They deliver a cord of wood to the front of the house (dumping it on the driveway). From there we move it to the back of the house on the patio by the shed. That project involves the wheelbarrow and a little over (according to the Twins) 1,000,000,000,000 trips up and down the side hill of our yard. The cruelty of parents outweighing the value of warmth in the winter. I guess in fairness I didn’t like moving wood when I was younger, either.

It isn’t that the twins don’t see the value, they don’t like moving wood. Once the wood is moved to the patio, the vast majority of the overall moving of wood back into the house is done by twins. The warmth of a fire, offset by carrying wood. Although, I think if their dog (Raven) who loves the fire asked them they might do it for her. Probably not, when I think about it, but one can hope! Raven, Dylan, Serenity, and Tamsyn all have to wrestle my wife for spots close to the fire.  Those are the five fire creatures that live in the house. The dogs love the fire because it warms them after a long cold winter walk. My wife is always cold. When the temperature dips below 70 she is cold.

The season of change and the change of seasons!


family historian

Wander project, pictures of the past!

The family history project began in earnest in August 2014 or four years ago. The four plastic tubs of slides and the box of pictures, later supplemented by a suitcase full of pictures and later the discovery of another plastic tub of pictures in our attic, was the genesis. I am going to share some pictures over the next few weeks that aren’t scanned properly I’ve held off sharing a lot of them, just because many of them have no specific meaning to me, and in part, because they are sideways, angled and of course upside down.

I learned to love pictures from my father. Before that from both my grandfathers. I remember sitting in the family room of my mother’s father’s house, watching movies. My mother makes fun of the movies sometimes that were made then, a black and white film from the 1940’s. Mom, my uncle, my grandmother going in and out of the house. The moving pictures are telling a story. We digitized all those moving pictures with all the other pictures and all the VCR tapes of moments of the past.

Many of the images have wonderful stories that go with them. Collected memory from family moments. In September we had another moment. The wind blowing, the last vestiges of Hurricane Florence dropping rain on my niece’s wedding. Or more correctly if you are a fan of the movies “Father of the Bride” the wadding. We will all remember that day, more for what happened (a new member of our family) than for what fell (lots and lots of rain).

Each memory cataloged and now slowly but surely shared with the universe!


just plain crazy

Wander project images of the past…

Great scanned image of my nephew. Yes, he had anti-gravity powers and used to often play on the ceiling. So the picture isn’t upside down. He was demonstrating his great power. As we go through the pictures, I haven’t shared there are quite a few that were scanned upside down or worse. Based on that I will share them but I am going to make fun of the scanners. They don’t read my blog often so I can get away with it unless my wife tells them!

The images are from my parent’s house in Bloomington, the house we call the Kinser Pike house. Mom and dad lived there for nearly 20 years. Funny how time passes, we were married at mom and dad’s farm (my wife and I). It was the second marriage for both of us, and honestly, both sets of parents were a little nervous. That was, nearly 28 years ago now, so I guess they had nothing to worry about!

We lived in town” when I was in elementary school (My sister and I went to child’s elementary). Then off to Binford middle school and Bloomington High School South. My parents moved out to the farm when I was first out of high school and then left the farm a few years after my wife and I were married there. Kinser pike was the next destination, the north side of Bloomington. The perfect grandparent’s house for a growing young family!


family historian

Wander project pictures (and October is Poetry month)!

A few of my most recent pictures. I switched iPhones this week so the enumeration of pictures started over at 001. Well actually at 0001. Digital cameras embed metadata in the picture that includes how many pictures that camera has taken.  A funny thought when you consider overall. Like the person at an event from days past with a hand clicker. As people entered they clicked the button and it moved the number one higher. We did that when I was teaching school more because we knew we only had 400 or so chairs, important that everyone get a seat!

October is national poetry month.

Beyond the lights

Running, the sweat pouring from

My brow

As I struggle


The sound shattering

The glass around us

And me

And littering the ground it crinkles

As we rush past,



The sweat

Dripping to the ground

And in puddling

Becomes mercury



Uphill to


Running because there is nowhere to go

The light binds us

To what we see.


Poet and dreamer