wander project


The first two pictures are of my daughter and our dog Gwen. Throughout her life, Gwen felt she was in charge of our daughter. Our daughter thought she was in charge of Gwen. The argument was hilarious to me. Not as much to my daughter, but well, this is my version of the story anyway. When we lived in Cincinnati, Gwen used to chase our daughter and her friends around the yard, herding them. It was hilarious, and I only watched until the girls complained. Then I went out and brought Gwen into the house. She would sit in the office space and complain about the girls being outside without proper canine supervision. There was a control issue with the swing set.

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Over the years, the relationship evolved. Gwen came to realize that my daughter was good at getting and throwing things. Gwen loved playing a variation of fetch. It was called Fetch and Chase. Gwen would beg to have the (in the picture it is a Kong, the red thing on the pool cover) thrown. She would run to get it, and then she would run away. If I called her, she would eventually slink back with the ball or Kong and let me leverage it out of her mouth. As Fran got more prominent, the game changed. The two of them would collide with each other trying to get to the ball first. Fran always brought the ball back to us. But Gwen would only bring it back to me if I called.

In the pictures, you see the Kong on the pool cover. Gwen is yelling at my daughter about getting her Kong back. I am not sure why Fran wasn’t out. Normally when Gwen yelled at my daughter, Fran would stand by her girl. Perhaps Fran was busy indoors or napping. Dogs like to take several naps (23 one hour naps a day)! Being outdoors back when we lived in Indiana happened a lot more than it does now. Our back yard in Indiana could easily fit two of our houses and yards in Maryland now. We live in the land of smaller lots. The last two pictures are of the twins, and they used the slide as a collision tool many times. I don’t remember the two of them going down that slide correctly or alone, ever!

HubPages

https://hubpages.com/family/Creating-a-family-history-project-in-words-and-pictures

This work is Copyright DocAndersen. Any resemblance to people real or fictional in this piece is accidental (unless explicitly mentioned by name.)

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wander project


We live in a world of plans and expectations. Flip the switch as you enter the room, and you expect light. Or perhaps a fan. Or in my case, you don’t know what you expect because it is dark and you can’t see which of the three switches you hit. It is funny as you get older, your night vision begins to decay. But you know the layout in your head, so you loosely know which switch to hit except for the garbage disposal. For whatever reason, there is a light switch by the garbage disposal switch in our kitchen. I have flicked on the light over the sink so many times it isn’t funny. It isn’t a bright light, so I don’t always notice it, stare at the stuff in the sink.

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It’s not going down, I think, I have to do something. But the reality is it is light. While light is a powerful energy, it doesn’t grind carrot tops, and bean ends. That requires the whirring blades of the garbage disposal. So I stand there looking goofy for a minute, why isn’t the garbage disposal making the animal noise and grinding up the food. The garbage disposal sounds like someone has a badger under the sink. That is usually when I realize that I flicked the light switch again. If someone is in the kitchen, I tell them I meant to turn the light on first. “I like to watch the stuff go down the drain,” but they know and I know that I once again hit the wrong button.

Sometimes memories are switches. You hit the wrong switch, and the memories flow around you. They aren’t the ones you were seeking but they are still memories. I find that as I progress through my father’s pictures that sometimes the light switch isn’t for the image I see. It isn’t for the garbage disposal. It is for something else and that something else is interesting, but not what I was seeking like an ethereal game of fish. You ask for 3s, the person you ask doesn’t have 3s, but you draw a three so you get to ask again in a never-ending cycle of success and failure. Seeking memories but in the end not finding the ones you were looking for, instead of finding something else.

Excuse me, I have to go the garbage disposal isn’t working again.

This work is Copyright DocAndersen. Any resemblance to people real or fictional in this piece is accidental (unless explicitly mentioned by name.)

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wander project


As vacation winds down, I am taking stock. I did manage to get most of the projects I wanted to do, done.  It is and has been a relaxing week. Sometimes you have to take time to relax and enjoy the world around you. Yesterday I talked to several friends that I don’t always get to talk to during the working week. One of my friends is freshly retired and off working on his new business. He is designing and sharing 3d printing files. Most of the data he builds are based on pictures people send him of things they want to be able to print (model boats, small plastic screws, and so on). Although interestingly, he was telling me about the picture of a child and the mother’s desire to print a cookie-cutter of their child.

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Would you want to eat a cookie shaped like you? He corrected me, and it was a cookie-cutter, but she used it to make ornaments shaped like her child, with pictures and creations by the child for the grandparents. The cookie-cutter part was simply the mechanism to form the plaster of Paris. My immediate response was, of course, glad she only has one kid. If she had ten kids, the shipping costs alone would make the cost of the ornaments significant! That got me thinking about kids. In particular, the things you keep from your children. Depending on the child, you keep different things. The same is true for the other people in your life; you keep things that were important to you from them.

That got me thinking of the things I’ve kept. I have several items from my father. I have several things from my grandfather. I have several things that my mother has given me. I have stuff in my office that my wife has given me. Each of the items from the people has meaning to me. Sometimes we keep things that mean something to us, that others look at and say why? I have a London bus that my grandfather bought me when he went to London. It was a running joke between the two of us that he was going to ride around London on the double-decker bus. He said he was not going to ride one. As far as I know, he ended up riding one, but as I said, the gift was part of the joke. I remembered him about that bus many times (You went to London, all I got was a bus).

This work is Copyright DocAndersen. Any resemblance to people real or fictional in this piece is accidental (unless explicitly mentioned by name.)

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wander project


Oh, boy caption Thursday is here.

Feel free to caption the pictures in the comments or, below, one or both of the photos! Today it is a return to Living History pictures. They do two cool projects in schools (in Indiana) well fresh in the sense that it was a lot of fun for the parents. The wander project meant you had to pick a place in Indiana, go to that place and take pictures. Then you presented about that place to your class. The twins choose Vincennes and Corydon, Indiana. My daughter decides Marengo Cave. All three are fun, historical sites. During the Revolutionary War between the US and Britain or the UK, Vincennes was a critical British fort. The fort was taken from the British by George Rogers Clark.

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(related to a later famous American as part of the Lewis and Clark expedition).

For living history, the twins and our daughter had to choose a famous Indiana native. One of the twins want the journalist Ernie Pyle (killed in WWII), and the other chooses Red Skelton. I don’t remember what our daughter did for a famous Hoosier. My wife is the only Hoosier in our family. All three of our kids were born in Ohio, all three in fact, in the city limits of Cincinnati, Ohio!  I know that Red Skelton isn’t a big name now, and honestly, there are a few things and friends he had that make him questionable going forward. But it was interesting to see the pictures again!.

The reality of culture is often essential. What is acceptable in South East Asia, isn’t always in the US, or the UK. What is considered ok in Europe isn’t still acceptable anywhere else. The reality of the modern world, we have to be aware not only of the cultural impact but from the effects of this history. Based on the time Red Skelton was a star (the 1940s and 1950s), things were very different. That doesn’t excuse the behavior of the time, nor is it me condoning what was done; it was different times. The context of history is critical.

As we wind down this caption Thursday, share fun captions!

This work is Copyright DocAndersen. Any resemblance to people real or fictional in this piece is accidental (unless explicitly mentioned by name.)

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wander project


The last picture today is one that makes me giggle. The caption is silly but truly one I enjoy. I realize when the sign has a photo enforced that they take a picture of your car license and send you a bill. But, the funny site would be a police officer hitting cars going over 35 miles per hour with a photo. Sometimes my mind wanders. I will apologize for the more generic pictures in the wander project lately. I am a little concerned with some of the posts on the site, and the fact that more and more social media sites are labeling our site a conspiracy site. I understand the right to publish, and I do genuinely believe in defending people’s rights to share information, but when that information is racist or worse, I don’t support it.

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I have 12 readers that have informed me they will no longer come to Virily because of the offensive posts. That number is going to grow as long as the jobs are there. It makes me sad because that is either a sign of decay or a chance to implement change. Both of those things are, of course, impactful. I know that I can’t do anything at this point, so time to move on! I share a weather video every day on several social media sites. I call it Yesterday’s weather. The video camera I have is mounted on my back deck. It records a day of video and then parses it to about 24 seconds of time-lapse. It doesn’t register at night, so it turns 12 hours of video in 24 seconds of time-lapse.

That is the first picture shared today, from a couple of years ago. The middle picture is of a set of noise-canceling headsets. I know many people don’t talk on the phone or listen to music while away from home as much as I do. But I have to tell you that I have more than 16 years of using noise-canceling headsets; I cannot use the free earbuds that come from the phone. I like to have earphones that cover my ear. There are in the ear and then the wired headsets that come with the phone, and then over the ear. I prefer the sound quality of the over the ear headphones. The headsets in the picture are now the possession of the twins; they use them with their phones when they listen to music!

This work is Copyright DocAndersen. Any resemblance to people real or fictional in this piece is accidental (unless explicitly mentioned by name.)

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wander project…


Today two different pictures for Caption Tuesday. We expanded the caption contest from Thursday to Tuesday and Thursday. I thought today I would share a different type of image. The first one is of a boat in the air being cleaned. My initial Caption was looking at the person below and thinking the person is saying, “sir, you can’t boat here.” It seems like what you would mean seeing a boat in the air. Can ships fly, right? I mean, the ship in Peter Pan sailed. So boats can ultimately fly! So can taxis, but that is a different question overall. Well, it is a song by Harry Chapin, but you get the idea. The concept is flying boats and flying cabs. Sometimes the flying cab thing will be more universal, I think.

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The second picture is the movie poster from a movie. I will freely admit that I cried in the film “A Dog’s Purpose.” The film talks about the love of a dog and a boy that is later rekindled with a man and a dog. The dog, living many lives between the two meetings, but the connection was there. It speaks to the universal love of dogs for humans. When you are kind to a dog, the return is so much higher. I know that my dog loves me without thought or rules. That makes me happy in the end. Not that I am loved, many people in my life love me. That I am loved by a dog who thinks I know what I am doing and doesn’t question my goals or ask me to slow down.

A funny story about my dog, he and I used to walk near some woods. The woods were full of deer (they are a government facility, no hunting allowed). A rutting buck came tearing around the corner. Rutting bucks don’t always see straight, and they don’t care who is in their way. So, as we turned the corner, we were in the way. I have heard my dog growl twice since he came to live with us. Once was at me while playing, the other time was when the deer popped up. The deer stooped, looked at my dog bounded off the way he had come.  I guess in the end, that is love carried to the extreme. Willing to do anything to protect the people you love!

This work is Copyright DocAndersen. Any resemblance to people real or fictional in this piece is accidental (unless explicitly mentioned by name.)

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wander project


The first time I traveled out of the US as an adult was a trip to Holland. In all my childhood travels, I had not gone to Holland. So I was excited about my chance.  It was exciting for my first trip overseas. You got to have your passport, and you were out seeing the world, and it was a new place for me. That allure would wear off over the next few years, a lot. You see, the further you are away from home, the more variables you encounter. The more variables mean, the higher the chance that you won’t get home on time. I can tell you what the lounges in many global airports look like. The most extended wait in a room was 16 hours in Hong Kong. Then my flight was canceled.

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I did get to spend a day in Hong Kong, so that was cool.  But the reality of travel when you fly is you are at the whims of the airline. Not that the airline isn’t out to provide excellent customer service they are. I had mentioned before that I was always sad to see people rip into the counter person. They didn’t create the thunderstorm that delayed your flight. They didn’t book your tickets. They were just the airline person at the counter. So, they got yelled at all the time. It made me so sad. When people are just doing their jobs, they should be made to feel wrong about that. It is just their job. They don’t fly the plane. They don’t land the plane; they only stand at the counter.

Why waste your virtual on someone that had nothing to do with your pain. I never understand that. I always felt bad when I walked up when it was my turn. The person is seeing someone coming up, cringing. I would always start with, “well, we are both having bad days, huh?” Those poor people were doing the best that they could do in a tough situation. Why yell at them at that point? Sometimes as is said, we need to stop and smile. That smile is the only one that airline counter person may see that day. Thunderstorms delay flights, but yelling at the counter person doesn’t make the storm stop. Oh well, sometimes people are more interested in being right than in being a good person.

This work is Copyright DocAndersen. Any resemblance to people real or fictional in this piece is accidental (unless explicitly mentioned by name.)

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wander project


It is a music morning for me today. I started off listening to Harry Chapin and now Neil Young. Music has always been a part of the creative process for me. I find that song lines stick in my head often. I remember them as if they are works of poetry or literature. OF course, I do the same with lines from Poems and lines from great works of literature. They, poems have a rhythm that is so similar to music for me.  But inspiration comes from so much more than just the actions of others. Sometimes I see a picture I took, like the four I am sharing today, and the combination of the photographs makes a story in my head, today a wander of a wander wandering the flowers in front of us.

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As we walk each day, hot, cold, raining, snowing, or just hot and humid; we pass by flowers. Sometimes we stop, and for a moment, we marvel. That flower is special or unique. The color so fetching, so eye-catching that I reach for my phone to capture the moment the flower presents. But at other times, we walk by and nod to the flower. Thank you for bringing great sunshine to the world. Thank you for turning a face to the sun. In so doing, you make our day brighter our world smaller. I have no great skill when it comes to growing things. I can take apart a computer and tell you to want wrong, often. I can pull apart a computer application and explain why it is slow.

I can’t grow things regularly. So I guess I am a beauty consumer. I see the works of others, grapes, and trees, tomatoes, and flowers, and I consume. We must always consider what we can and cannot do well. Some rise to the occasion and can be great gardeners. I applaud them. They bring the joy of the flower to us. Yes, there is as well a joy in the consumption. Many gardeners I know wander to the gardens of others, and for a moment, they stop and reflect knowing the work that went into it. I stop and wonder how? They live a block from me; their house has the same soil as mine. They grow beautiful flowers, me not so much. It is not jealously. It is only accepting that I cannot produce flowers. But I can appreciate both the flower and those who can grow them!

This work is Copyright DocAndersen. Any resemblance to people real or fictional in this piece is accidental (unless explicitly mentioned by name.)

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wander project memories of NASA


This part of July always makes me sad. I know that there are many things in the world, many happy things that happen. But the moonwalk is a connection for me. My dad and I spent hours watching the moments. When Neil Armstrong stepped on the surface of the moon, it was around 3 am EDT time, in the summer of 1969. I love my father. He and I were close my entire life. We didn’t always see eye to eye. He struggled to understand me, and I struggled to understand what he was assaying to me. He was a great human being. But NASA, that was our thing. I was so proud when dad told me he was working with NASA as the region’s six coordinators.

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The coordinators worked with schools in their regions to find experiences to go into space. It was a great program, and dad was part of it. I kept all his NASA gear that he collected from that period. But the moonwalk and IU Basketball was what always solved our disagreements. We watched that, and we watched every IU Basketball game. This time of year, I miss dad. I miss the moments now gone. I won’t say to you that I was the perfect son, I was not. I struggled to find my way. For a time, I followed in my father’s footsteps, but my heart was in a different world. I am at heart a technologist and my dad understood that, although not at first. But July 23, that always brings the memory back.

We were huddled in the family room of our house in Sherwood Oaks. The night around us as we sat there. Dad and I, a moment of history that was shared. We often talked as I got older about our impressions of that night. We shared the moments of the disaster that was Apollo 13. We celebrated the last astronaut walking on the moon. We both cherished those moments. I still do. It was the bond that brought us together forever. Like cooking with my mother, a joy, I cannot express in words. NASA was a dad, and I. Cooking was and is mom and I. Funny, my dad cooked, but he and I never really cooked that often. Mom and I used to cook all the time. Those childhood joys are the ones that make me the happiest when remembering mom and dad.

This work is Copyright DocAndersen. Any resemblance to people real or fictional in this piece is accidental (unless explicitly mentioned by name.)

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wander project collections


Some things stick with us that we collect over the years! The last picture in the collection today is of my hat collection. One of the hats is the Disney World hat and has all the park pins (each of the parks has a pin, and then you also have a badge for the Disney Cruise). But the hat of interest in that collection is my leather Indiana Jones hat (a gift). Yes, I wear it on occasion; it is one of my favorite things.  I have a baseball cap collection as well, but those are more walking hats than something I collect and display.  Anyway, I will wander the groups I’ve been doing for the last few years. In part to respond to a post yesterday where using a picture to help you past writer’s block.

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There are three Christmas TV shows from my childhood that I watched every year. That Grinch that Stole Christmas narrated by Boris Karloff is my go-to. But there was also another one. Frosty the Snowman, in particular, I feel in labor with the Bumble. The Bumble was the nickname of the adorable Snowman, a mythical creature that appears in the show. I love the Bumble, and my wife found one when she was shopping one time, and my collection was born. It is a massive part of our relationship to give each other something on the occasion that makes the other go oh, thank you! We also love to give cards and have done that for many years as well.

The last collection is two-part. The first part is Big Mouth Billy Bass, the singing fish. No, not a good singing fish. Plus, he only knows one song (take me to the river). He was a novelty gift several years ago (that and a singing lump of coal). The other is a Grundig shortwave radio. My parents bought me a Shortwave (AM/FM as well) radio before we went to Thailand. I got interested in the reality of radio waves. The Grundig receives virtually every possible radiofrequency. I like searching the dial to see if I can hear the sounds of the universe. My daughter’s godparent gave the nutcracker in that picture to her; I think she keeps it there because of the memories!

This work is Copyright DocAndersen. Any resemblance to people real or fictional in this piece is accidental (unless explicitly mentioned by name.)

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