Wander project pool to Bay…

One of the things that I know makes me ponder is the pool. When the twins and my daughter were little, they spent a lot of time in the pool. As in, we would have to drag them out of the pool. Now, none of them go near the pool. Now in part, it is because then, we had a pool in the backyard. Now the pool is a neighborhood pool. That is a difference, but they, the kids are also a lot older. Plus it is a ½ mile to get to the pool now, where it used to e 20 feet. Over time things change, and our adjustment to that is always interesting. We don’t swim in the Chesapeake Bay. We don’t often wander to the neighborhood pool. But we drive and walk by the pool all the time.

We don’t swim in the Bay because well according to my co-captain it is “dirty.” I know there are things in the Bay water, we had to replace two propellers on the boat this winter after last year. Last year there was so much rain north of us, that the dams were opened to relieve pressure on the dam itself. Dams are designed to hold a certain amount of water back, It isn’t, by the way just water with a flood control dam. It is also the debris the river carries tot eh human-made a lake. That includes trees, branches and other floating debris (read trash). The logs, slowly sitting in the water become waterlogged. As the sluice gates of the dam are opened, the return to floating down the river.

The logs that start their journey floating on the surface of creeks that are flooded, and flooded rivers, sit in the human-made flood control lake and slowly sink. Some sink to the bottom, decaying and become the muck on the bottom of the lake (or the bay). Some are submerged just below the surface of the water. We saw the mass of lumber on our sonar several times, 2-4 feet below the boat. Had it been 5-10 feet below the boat we wouldn’t have had an issue. We hit something underwater (submerged log) that took out two propellers. The joy of debris in the water. Not as bad as the island of plastic in the Pacific ocean. Honestly only not as bad because it is wood that will eventually decay.

Either way, we don’t swim in the Bay.


Wander project Dad’s pictures!

I am only doing dad’s pictures on the weekends for a while. There are so many pictures and so many places both mom and dad went that I will probably never get to the end of his pictures. Many of those pictures were taken and never shared. Some, I suspect he showed to my mother. Some of the older slides he showed all of us, we would do Sunday evening slide shows or sometimes during dinner parties dad would break out his Kodak projector and show images against the wall. We didn’t have a screen for a long time. Just shared the image on the wall of our living room in Sherwood Oaks. Or on the wall of the sunken living room in Sycamore Knolls. It was always in the living room that I remember!

These pictures are from South America. You can tell from the Llama or Alpaca in the last pictures. Dad was fascinated by the animal. He took several pictures as the Alpaca danced around.  It’s funny; my parents loved to travel. I remember in the late 1960s when we got a rolling camper. Sometimes called a pop top camper. You would park the camera, and then take the top off. The top had a flexible structure that allowed it to support the weight of the waterproof sides. We drop in the old Mercury Station wagon with that camper in tow, all the way through Indiana and thru Michigan to Lake Michigan on a camping trip. I remember the trip well.

The camper had two sides, basically two double beds. In the middle were a camp stove and a small refrigerator. Paradise Michigan was the destination. We spent a lot of time in Michigan. Mom and dad were there for a couple of years in East Lansing. My mother’s family a moved west from an area just south of Detroit Michigan. I just remember swimming and running around the sandy beach. The water was cold, but back then cold water didn’t bother me.  Sleeping in the cool night air of Michigan was nice as well. Northern Michigan was in the summer months just like Indiana, but 10, 12 degrees cooler. That meant by 9 pm the air was cooler and you could easily sleep!


Wander project what dad saw…

I suspect if you had asked my father what changed his life the most, I would say for the wild country boy and struggled his first time in college the next two big things that happened for him were the life changers. Dad entered the US Army during the Korean Conflict. He was a cook, in Kansas and because of bad eyes, he was never sent to Korea. That event was the second, but the first that took. My father had met my mother before going off to the service for two years. Then after he returned he and mom got married. If dad didn’t feel that way, I suspect my mother did. I know because she has told my wonderful wife how much she has improved me. Many, many times, apparently like my father there was lots of time investment in making me better.

Mom and dad were living in Whitewater Wisconsin, a part of the Wisconsin River south of the Dells but rougher water, the area around Whitewater dropping about 100 feet throughout a short time. That makes for the rapids that gave the city its name. The University of Wisconsin had an extension campus in Whitewater. I believe my mother was working in the emergency room as a nurse, and my father worked at night in the Pea factory. There were not many stories shared of that time by my parents. Most of what I know about the early years came to from my Grandfather’s perspective. He and I would spend 5 or more hours working on projects, or golfing or fishing.

Mom and dad talked about those times less often. I do remember around that time dad was a supervisor at the Pea factory. They canned peas and sent them around the country. I do also know that roughly in that period my mother had graduated from the University of Wisconsin as a Registered Nurse and was working in an Emergency Room as a Nurse.  Later when my father got his bachelor’s in Biology, they moved to East Lansing Michigan. Dad pursued a Masters Degree in Biology from the University of Michigan. He took a job, after his master’s degree in Chicago Illinois as a school teacher. I joined the family the year after they moved to Chicago.

I guess today the wander is the actual wandering.


wander project Lake Lemon

Our very first boat was on the Ohio River in Cincinnati Ohio. Being on a major US River was interesting. When we moved back to Indiana, we ended up having a smaller boat, that was designed for lake use. The lake we choose was lake Lemon. We spent a lot of time on the Lake over the years. The pictures today show the Twins were at the Helm of the boat. We always had an adult right there when they drove. Not that they would capsize the boat, but because that is the law. It is important when boating to following the established rules. When people break the rules, bad things happen. For example, many boating tragedies start with someone thinking that 2-3 beers in 20 seconds are a good way to start boating.

It isn’t when it is hot, and you drink alcohol quickly, it moves very quickly into your bloodstream. Add to that the reduced vision because of light on the water. Drinking and boating is a bad idea. But, when the kids were little, we only had water on the boat. It was as much to teach them proper boating but also to help them enjoy the overall experience. We went fishing, sunbathing and lakenics. A lake”nic” is where we pack a picnic and wander out onto the water. We did those often, dropping anchor and enjoying lunch. Lake Lemon was a split lake. By Split, I meant there were three distinct sections of the lake. The first part was the more quiet zone on one side of the lake.

The quiet zone was where you went fishing. It was where you went to have a LakeNIc. It was not where you went to drop a rope and an inner tube into the water. That was done in the middle section of the lake. The last section was around the Riddle Point Park, that was a sandy beach and swimming area. You were not allowed to be near that location at full speed.  There was beyond the park a small island. People were not allowed on the island it was for birds. They had a protected space to nest! Finally, there were three marinas in the lake area. The North Shore marina where we went was mostly powerboats. The Lake Lemon sailing club was for sailboats. Finally, the Riddle Point launching ramp was where the fisherpeople put their boats into the water.


wander project Cincinnati

I started doing classroom presentations of technology when we lived in Cincinnati. These pictures are of my first classroom presentation of Barney. Barney was a connected computer system that allowed for the integration of the computer, the Barney doll, and a child. It is the later technology that was pushed another step forward and released as Jibo before that company went out of business. Barney was the beginning of my techno classroom presentation. The presentation I do now has a lot more flash than the one I did back in the day. But the abilities of the computer I use has also improved significantly allowing me to do a whole lot more!

The rest of the pictures are of Cincinnati and Kings Island. KI was featured in the television show “The Brady Bunch” many years ago. Not, that being in the Brady Bunch made the park, rather than the park was so cool. Also, that at the time the studio that owned the Brady Bunch also owned Kings Island (Paramount). Over the course of the years we were in Cincinnati we went to KI many times. My personal favorite was wrapping up our tiny little newborn baby and going to the Christmas lights festival at the park. I held my daughter on my lap. She was very small, and it was the greatest moment for me. I am proud of the person she has become, but there is a magical connection to the person she was as well.

I love the stroller picture of one of the twins looking back. There is a later picture that shows the other twin looking the other way, making the same face. They both, identical twins. It made that face. Perhaps we could attribute the face to gas. Or simply not liking being stuck in their stroller. With a single child, it becomes easy to follow an catch them. Twins run in opposite directions, so you have to be fast. Grab the first one, and corral the second one quickly. It was a public learning experience taking the twins out. We got to be a well-oiled machine when it came to traveling, being out in the world and the reality of dealing with twins. It took a year, but we got there!


Wander project Baltimore!

Baltimore Maryland is a vibrant city. It gets a bad rap in the US. But it is the launching point for the career of Edgar Allen Poe. His grave is still in the city. The inner harbor has been renovated over the last few years as well. Baltimore for a long time was an industrial Northern City. Part, although not in, what was once called The Rust Belt. Baltimore is now a huge shipping harbor. But there was a time when it was a huge manufacturing city. As manufacturing evolved, Baltimore transitioned away from the building. For someone trained at a very early age, to stop and read historical markers, Baltimore is a glorious day! There are many places one can stop and see hospital moments of the past — not the grand thousand-year-old buildings of Europe.

But American history from the time of the revolutionary war is all around Baltimore. The pictures today were from the Festival of lights last summer. The sun setting over the Baltimore Harbor was a delight for my wife and I. Watching the pirate ship (it has a water cannon by the way) was also fun. As the Pirate ship entered the inner harbor, they blasted the water cannon. Luckily, not in our direction, we were on top of the harbor cruise boat and had no cover. There are harbors around the world that have evolved. I remember the harbor in Bangkok from when I was younger. Compared, the harbor in Bangkok I saw when I was older visiting my parents. The evolution of the harbor is interesting. First off the emergence of pleasure craft continues to expand.

The other side is the rise of the giant container ships.  They, container ships dominate the modern harbor. They can be quickly offloaded, and placed directly on semi-trucks and trains to be shipped elsewhere. Or they are unpacked an put on smaller trucks for delivery. A world of goods and services that move through the world’s oceans. All of that in the modern harbor. The inner harbor of Baltimore Maryland was built in the days of sailing ships. It is shallower or less “deep” in terms of the channel for personal and pleasure craft that doesn’t matter. But for a container ship weighing thousands of tons, it doesn’t work. Cruise ships also don’t dock in the inner harbor. The harbor cruise ships that we were on are much smaller, only a little larger than most pleasure craft.

Baltimore is growing and becoming a vibrant city again!


wander project Paris…

Ah Paris, the city of lights. I’ve had the pleasure of going to Paris some times. It is not the most friendly city. If you are looking for people that are just nice, as you the city Paris is not that place. There is a certain distance that people in Paris often have. On this particular trip, from which the pictures are from, I remember landing. I landed shortly after the US invaded Iraq. That was not a popular move in France. My cab driver lectured me to the hotel. I understand that France has a historic debt that the US owed once. There would be no USA without France taking the brunt of the English Military during the Revolutionary War We could argue that the Colonies would have eventually won their freedom.

But France made it happen much faster by forcing the English to fight a two-front war. One front with a 4000 mile supply chain made for a faster end to the revolutionary war. I get and understand that debt. I think it is critical to point out; however, that France without US funds would not have recovered from the devastation of WWI. France without direct US invention supporting the Allies, and the Marshall plan after the war, would not have recovered from the deviation that was WWII. If you look economically, there would be few nations in Europe that exist now, without the economic restoration that the Marshall plan provided after WWII.

Based on that the debt is paid. I can honestly say that I once pretended to be from Canada when visiting France. That was the very last time I went o Paris, and in pretending I was Canadian, the cold and distant people were friendly and nice. That bothered me a little, but I do understand the frustration of the cab driver as well that day. I just wish he had asked me if I supported the US position. I didn’t, but he never asked. The reality of the world is there are two sides. My father taught me that. I always try to understand both sides. I suspect had the driver stopped for a moment and talent he time to hear what I was saying, he would have stopped. When you are nasty to someone, they don’t ever forget that!