Wander project the last 10 pictures…

The last ten pictures I’ve taken this week mostly focused the spider on the porch. We had a friend once, who had a cute son(both sons they had were cute, but the youngest was cute at the time). The little guy every called JerBear was at his house, there was a spider on the wall, and he pointed to it saying “There’s a spider on the wall (my wife’s name)”  as he points at the spider. I love spiders. They provides so much value to the world. They remove annoying bugs and provide the prettiest webs for us to see. As I mentioned in my photo-challenge post today, they were also a huge part of one of my favorite childhood books, Charlottes web. I loved that book for a long time.

That, remembering Charlotte’s web, got me thinking about the books I loved. There were the books I loved as a child, as a teenager and then as a teacher. There were books I loved as a parent, and perhaps someday will love as a grandparent. The grandparent part is not coming any time soon. My four favorite books as a child were Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little. As a late child, pre-teen, a teenager I moved to Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. The LOTR’s remains one of my favorite books ever. I do however remember that the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was a go-to book for many years for me.

College pushed me off into the world of poetry. I wrote poetry as a teenager and as a young adult, but in college,I began consuming the poetry of others. Langston Hughes, Ezra Pound, and Mya Angelou truly impacted me. I was heavily into science fiction as well. Omni magazine and the work of Ben Bova influenced me. I also loved the works of Asimov, Clarke, and others. That led me back into the science fiction done in the 30’s. As a parent and as an older brother Winnie the Pooh and Paddington Bear were my go-to books to read. My little sister and I used to act out Paddington the Bear books. I used to read the stories to my daughter when she was little.

When you think about it, books, authors, and their creativity impacts us long after we put the book down!


Family Historian

Wander project word of the Day and a Family Gathering…

A link to the Wikipedia article on defamation and Libel. Libel being part of, and defamation being part of the reality that is the legal burden someone has to be willing to take on to truly have Fake News be Fake News. I read an interesting article where the author argued that in fact there was little to no reporting of the economic news in the US. That the growing US economy was ignored. I suspect that person doesn’t often watch the news.

1. All the major news organizations also have a financial reporting channel, CNBC,     MSNBC. CNN Money and of course Bloomberg all reported extensive reports on the growth of the US economy.

2. The scariest thing about the reporting did, is that the ONLY ONE reported the scary reality of the US growth. The gap increased and has increased since the passage of the tax bill in the US     earlier this year.

3. What is the gap? The Gap between the poorest and wealthiest Americans increased and had increased every month since April 2018. Most economists point out that at best that is not a healthy economy. At worst the growth could spur a massive economic pivot (as in the stock market falling).

I would like for a moment to talk about one of the pictures today. It, as you wander, the pictures has my wife, sisters and mother all in a similar outfit. I suspect my mother made them. They are not something I would ever wear, sorry mom.

The thing I miss about Indiana is the ability to head down to Bloomington for family events. IT is a long drive now. Honestly, though, we’ve dispersed as well. Only my nieces, mother and sister/brother in the law remain in Indiana. My other sister and her husband moved to Illinois. My nephew is now in Seattle. It is a dispersed reality now, overall.


Family Historian

Wander project images of Greenwood IN

My word of the day is Libel. If you think someone has publicly misrepresented you, you have recourse. You file a lawsuit and sue them for libel. Here is the thing, you have to go to a court of law and run the risk of perjury. Fake News is so much easier to use you don’t have to prove anything. My friend that posted the original thinking on this (she is a journalist by trade) took her post down late yesterday. She was verbally attacked (names and threats) by some people. I felt really bad for her.

The first picture is one that shares two things. The first is my pool table (it is still in our basement in Maryland, it moved from Indiana to Maryland with us). The reason I bring the pool table up is two-fold. The first part is the brilliance, of my wife. She insisted we get the ping pong and hockey insert for the table. We’ve used that insert as much if not more than the actual pool table. Yes, the felt of the pool table is red. That was also my wife’s idea. The map on the wall was a dry erase board, a map of the world. We, and by we I mean me, used to draw circles around where I was in the world.A more personalized game of where’s dad for the twins at that time.

The rest of the pictures are of snow. It is funny; when we moved to DC, we thought that DC is around the same longitude as Indiana. It is just a little bit south of Indianapolis overall. The air flow, however,is completely different. We are bound to the Atlantic Ocean. The air flow patterns for us can produce a lot of moisture, but they also tend to have warmer air. The funny thing about the ocean is that it rises and drops in temperature. But those temperature changes over time are very slow.

The result of that is in the six years we’ve been in Maryland, we’ve had some snow every year. One storm that was the largest snowstorm I’ve ever personally been a part of (35 inches) but other than that one huge storm, we’ve had less snow in the six years total, than we had in any two while we were in Indiana. Funny, I guess we moved further south than we thought we did!


Family Historian

wander project save the Bay!

I worry about the environment, both from a power perspective and I talk about that often in my technical blog. But also from a sheer, it is such a critical part of the east coast of the US. Oysters, Crabs and other food items come from the Bay. Boaters and shippers use the water of the Bay to enjoy a day or to move goods to the world. (Or from the world to the US) The water was so dirty for so many years that a dolphin sighting was questioned. Now, you can seek dolphins in the Bay. They aren’t easy to find, it is a huge body of water, and dolphins are small, but they are back in the Bay. It has been many years since they were back. We spent a lot of time last summer chasing them, No luck, but we are still trying.

The joy of water!

We used to go down to Lake Lemon when we lived in Indiana. The twins had their first fishing opportunity on Lake Lemon. We used to also pull a tube behind the boat. The fun part of pulling the tube was watching the sheer joy as the kids pelted around the lake on the tube. Bounding on the wake of our boat and other boats the kids had a blast every time we pulled out the tube.

I suspect at 30 kph it would not be a good idea to pull someone behind our current boat. The wake from the twin engines alone would be a lot more than the old boat put out. Plus I am not sure the mixed water (salt and fresh) is all that fun to end up in. I haven’t seen anywhere near the number of skiers, wakeboarders and the like in the Bay that I remember from Lake Lemon.

A lot more people are fishing on the Bay than Lake Lemon. Boats with 12, 15 or more poles attached to the top of the boat as they rush across the Bay to a new fishing location. I guess lakes, bays, and oceans, as well as rivers, are devoted to the reality of what people want to do.


family historian

Wander project what is “Under” the Bay…

Every single night on the news, and yesterday in my inbox from BoatUS I got a warning. I also got a warning from the great place we bought our boat (Clark’s Landing). All three warnings say two things; the first is there is a problem with debris in the the Chesapeake Bay, the second is to be careful. Timber, wood or logs in the water for a significant period aren’t always on the surface. Over time the saturation of the wood allows the log or branch to sink, Sometimes to the bottom of the river, stream or lake. Sometimes, two or three inches below the surface. When you are in a boat, and running the engine, that impacts your propellers. You can bend your propellers or worse.

Debris is a huge issue in any body of water. In particular, this debris was sent down the river, because of all the rain on the US east coast. Funny how rain in one place makes a problem in another place. Time for a climate-change digs here when weather patterns change year over year that is very normal. When people start talking about 100-year weather events, that also happens, roughly every 100 years. When it happens two years out of three, it is no longer a century weather event. It is a century weather event, in that in the previous 99 years it never happened before. Now flooding in various parts of the US has happened two out of the last four years, at the 100-year level. Scary to think some people don’t believe in climate change.

All that said, this weekend as we wander out in the boat, we are going to wander up the back creek. Our marina is at the mouth of the back creek; we are going to wander back towards Annapolis on the back creek as far as we can. That is about a 2 miles maximum journey. But that is safer than wandering out into the bay and hitting a submerged log!

Safety makes for happy sometimes. But safety always makes for safe

Wander project Greenwood…

Another set of pictures from the backyard of our house in Greenwood Indiana. We lived in a subdivision called Eagle Trace, and on a cul-de-sac called Eagle Valley Court. It was our home for eleven years. My sister had moved to Greenwood before we got married, and left five years after us. They, over the course of that time, owned three different houses in Greenwood. At the time of these pictures they were in their last house, that was literally just down the road (Olive Branch was the same of the road) from us.  It was nice having family that closes, there were a few times that was the only thing that kept sanity around us. I was at the time we were living in Greenwood traveling a lot.

Our house was between the pond (one of four) in our subdivision. We were also next to the railroad tracks that ended our subdivision and started the next subdivision. The railroad track was raised above our house. There was a brook or stream that ran across the track area, under the railroad trestle/ The pictures of the twins climbing to the top of the trestle area. The trestle was probably 24 feet in the air. That, over the years, caused a few issues with kids. They would climb, or walk on the railroad trestle and throw rocks into the pond. That wasn’t the issue; it was the few times that kids threw rocks at our house, that was the issue. We only had a garage window facing the railroad tracks. A rock never broke it, but it got hit a few times.

The trampoline and the pond were a part of the daily lives we had. The pond around this time of the year would smell horrible. The last few pictures are from the pond to the back of the house. Eleven years is the longest to date that we have lived in any place or house. We were in Cincinnati for nine years and have been Maryland for six so far. I suspect we will end up spending more years in Maryland. But at this point, I wonder if we will ever spend more than eleven years in the same house. We may, but at this point, that feels like a long time to me. I am a wanderer!

What is the longest time you’ve spent in a single place? My personal best for living in the same place is Bloomington Indiana. I left there for 25 years with one break (when we lived in Thailand), but we lived in three different houses, and six different apartments in those 25 years.


family historian

Wander Project what’s in your camera?

I thought I would share walk pictures this morning, my wander around the neighborhood. I found the lovely blue flowers (a weed) and of course Queen Anne’s lace (another weed). These sit on the corner right before the Fire Station. As I mentioned in the photo challenge post with a few of these pictures I was half asleep in Frog’s pajama’s (My apologies to Tom Robbins for borrowing his line). On the way back I realized what had happened and took pictures. You can see the tire tracks, skid marks and of course wake of destruction along the path that leads to and after the Firehouse. I suspect there was quite a loud noise when the accident happened. Luckily it is nearly a mile from our house, so we didn’t hear it.

Our neighborhood sits above the valley that Germantown Road runs through. The ridge or valley, former stream bed, whatever caused the hills, has a pretty steep hill that leads into our neighborhood. That means you get to walk down a steep hill to walk up a steep hill again. Then down the steep hill and back up the other side. We have a couple of walking trails that go the other way, one that does the downhill, uphill thing. The other remains flat around the back side of our neighborhood. The twins complain about the hills, so does Raven. Raven prefers to be carried up the hills. Carried by one of her twins. She is, after all, the road presence and her feet shouldn’t touch the ground of a lowly hill.

BY the afternoon (second walk) the signs were all back up except for the street light, and the lane ends merge right sign. Those two signs remained down. The rest of the signs were located in the strip of narrow dirt between the sidewalk and the street. The street lamp is a metal pole, and it was torn apart by the collision (the other street lamp that was hit had the pole bent, but it did not fall during the collision.)  The last sign seems optional to the twins and I. Merge, in that section of road, or for that matter anywhere near the aggressive driving capital of the world (DMV, District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia) merge appears to mean drive more aggressively than the person next to you and then pull over. Not the merge I grew up with. But then I didn’t grow up in the DMV.


family historian