Monday, October 23, 2017

Yet another gripe

As you may or may not already know, I often use this space to post pet peeves or general gripes.  Not much good ever comes from it but for some reason it makes me feel a little better.  I imagine it's probably something like going to therapist.  It always helps to vent.

Anyway, the issue today is "Made in China".  Recently I started using a number of science kits that I had bought some time ago for my grand children.  I recently had occasion to open a couple of them to use with my grand son.  I  was very disappointed to find items assembled incorrectly or just plain missing.  The general quality of the kits was dreadful. 

As I often do in situations like this, I sent a message to the company who made the kits.  I was surprised to receive a reply from the individual whose name is on the kits.  She said she stands by the quality of them and that I may have received a refurbished kit.  They weren't. They were brand new. 

These particular science kits are just a few of the many items I've purchased over the years that have the Made in China label that come up short.  It reminds me of the days when Made in Japan had a similar reputation. 

So what can be done?  Not much, unfortunately. It's impossible to find items like this-especially toys-that aren't made in China.  All one can do is exercise due diligence.  Look at what you're buying and if it's junk, simply don't buy it.

I would gladly pay a little more for quality.  I have to believe there are many others who feel the same way.  One can only hope new sources pop up. We'll see.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


We just took a walk around the neighborhood.  It has been 6 weeks since Irma made her presence known and there is still a great deal to do.  There is extensive roof and soffit damage on many of the buildings including,  and unbeknownst to me,  ours.  Our unit in particular has escaped damage but other parts have not.  I'm going around to take pictures and document what's being done-or not. It's going to take a while to return to normal.

The situation in Florida

Well, here we are at our condo in FL.  Our primary purpose for being here at this less than ideal time is to arrange for a home watch person and to assess the extent of the damage from hurricane Irma.

We're still working on the home watch situation but the damage here is fortunately minimal.  A couple of window screens and our back lanai ceiling fan were destroyed but thankfully no water damage.

Others did not fair as well.  There are buildings around us that have extensive areas missing roof tiles.  Also our upstairs neighbors received a lot of water damage but it didn't affect us.

All in all we dodged a bullet. Until next time!

Monday, October 9, 2017

How many 'ologists' have you been to?

Everyone knows that as you get older there's a good chance you're going to become much more knowledgeable about the medical community.  For example besides my primary care doc, I have had for one reason or another been to a rather impressive list of 'ologists' and a few who aren't ologists.

I see two besides my primary care doc on a regular basis (besides my dentist and eye doctor): my nephrologist and urologist.

Here are some more I've seen for various reasons or concerns:
And an orthopedist

Most of these are routine like eye exams, colonoscopy, endoscopy, etc.  Some are more than routine to the extent they involved surgery. 

At any rate it's my hope I don't get to meet anymore.

Here's hoping your list isn't as long.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


Some questions regarding the tragedy in Las Vegas:
1. How did he get his hands on an automatic weapon? Who sold it to him?
2. Who knew he had so many firearms in his house?
3. Why did he do it? Were there any signs of mental instability?
4. Are the "thoughts and prayers" from politicians enough or have they become a sick joke?
5. What is it going to take?

Now some statistics:
There are roughly 330 million people in the U.S.
There is estimated to be over 270 million firearms of one kind or another in circulation in the U.S.
It's estimated that 40% of the people in the U.S. own some kind of firearm.  It's probably a little higher.

The top three reasons stated for owning a firearm are as follows:
17%=shooting sports (target, trap, skeet, etc)
The other 3%? Collectors, just because they can and lunatics-not necessarily in that order and some people may cover all three categories.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Happy October

Happy October, one of the nicest months of the year. To read more about October, click here

Thursday, September 28, 2017

On Stacking Fire Wood

 I read an article the other day in the newly released 2018 Farmer's Almanac about building free-standing stone walls.  The guy listed a lot of dos and don'ts that would ensure they last a long time.  As anyone who has ever taken a stroll through the woods, stone walls can appear just about anywhere-mainly because believe it or not at one time there were much fewer wooded areas than there are today so farmers got stones out of there pastures or gardens by building walls.

I was reminded of this article while stacking recently split firewood.  It seemed to me that many of the rules applying to building a solid stone wall applied to stacking wood.

Here are a few observations:
1. Began your stack on level ground.  Nothing will bring a stack of firewood down faster than that last piece of wood tipping the balance in gravity's favor.
2.  Rather than have to find a way to support the end of the stack, build a system of crissed-cross logs to create a column.  Make sure it's composed of the right kind of logs, i.e. a good, even flat surface and no movement as you go up.
3. Like building a rock wall where there's a rock for every place in the wall, wood piles are the same. There's a piece of wood in the pile somewhere that will fit perfectly.
4. As you get higher, try to move the stack.  There should be a minimum of movement.
5. When you're finally up to 4 feet which is the optimum height and you're done, cover the top only of the stack-not the sides.  Contrary to popular belief, it's not the sun that seasons wood. It's air flow through the logs. 

Follow these rules and you won't find yourself going in the house, sitting down with a glass of water and hearing a series of thumps on the ground outside.  I know because it's happened to me and in fact everything I've listed was learned the hard way so don't feel bad if you don't succeed the first time.

In my view there are few things more satisfying than gazing upon a nicely constructed stack of fire wood waiting for the first nip of winter.

Good luck.

Monday, September 25, 2017

"The medium is the message"

The medium is the message is a phrase coined by a contemporary philosopher/professor in the 60s.  His name is Marshall McLuhan.  It is in my view one of the great truisms of our time. 

To illustrate what McLuhan meant by it,  let's look at the controversy now raging among pro athletes regarding Trump's recent remarks about kneeling during the national anthem (Isn't there always some sort of controversy? What will it be when this one dies down?).

To paraphrase Trump he said basically every team owner should fire every son of a bitch who does not stand for the national anthem.

I think most people would agree that it is a basic sign of respect for our country and the men and women who are now serving and for those who have in the past.  Who wouldn't agree with that? 
Well, apparently there are in fact some people who don't. What's more it's their right-a right confirmed by the supreme court and a right guaranteed by the Constitution. 

As usual, Trump's method of disagreeing with those people has become the message-not the issue itself. 

The same thing happened regarding the Charlottesville fiasco. The issue there was not really about statues. The issue was the presence of Nazi's, white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan.  In Trump's handling of this, he basically legitimized hate, bigotry, racism and violence.  The statue thing got totally lost in the shuffle.

In other words in both these examples, it was the medium that became the message, not the core issue.

We all know of course that Trump is too stupid to figure this out.  I'm sure he never heard of Marshall McLuhan much less understand his point.  But how about the rest of us.  Well, that's exactly why we see the push-back that we're seeing.  People are trying to get across to Trump that he needs to find better, more effective and respectful ways to make his point.  Think he will?  Me neither!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Happy Autumn

Here are 10 facts you may not have know about Autumn.
Fact #1:  Americans typically refer to this time of year as “fall,” while the British use the word “autumn.” Both terms date back to the 16th century but before that it was called “harvest.
Fact #2:  Fall was called “harvest” because of the “harvest moon” that occurs when the full moon is closest to the autumn equinox. Before man-made lighting, this moonlight was essential to a prosperous harvest.
Fact #3:  Weight gain around this time of year may not only be due to comforting fall foods like pumpkin pie and cider, researchers have found that lack of vitamin D reduces fat breakdown and triggers fat storage.
Fact #4:  According to The Weather Channel, pumpkins are the most craved food during the fall. Although, if you’ve left the house anytime recently, this may not come as a surprise to you.  
Fact #5:  The yellow and orange colors you see actually always exist in leaves but they are overpowered by the abundance of green from chlorophyll. The amount of chlorophyll starts to decrease as the sun weakens and the days grow shorter.
Fact #6:  Red and purple leaves are only that color because of the presence of sugars and sap that are trapped within the leaves. These sugars provide plants with the energy they need to survive.
Fact #7:  Many birds will prepare for their winter migration during the fall. The distance they can travel is impressive; the Arctic Tern travels 11,000 miles each way for it’s annual migration. That’s no small feat.
Fact #8:  Evergreen trees such as pines, cedars, and spruces stay green because their leaves (needles) are covered with thick wax and they contain materials that prevent freezing when it gets cold.
Fact #9:  Men and women experience high levels of testosterone during the fall. This makes sense because more babies are conceived during the fall and winter. The cause is unknown but it could be due to lack of sunlight or even go back to ancient mating rituals.
Fact #10:  We can’t forget Halloween! Halloween takes place in the fall and comes from ancient Celtic tradition. They believed that ghosts roamed on Halloween and people would wear disguises in order to hide from these spirits.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Random items

1.  Jose is proving to be much less troublesome here and in FL than Irma-fortunately.
The situation in FL is getting better.  Power had been restored for some time but waste water disposal is still a problem.  Hopefully, the situation will be much improved by the middle of October.

2. Hurricane Maria, Cat 5, is now in the process of destroying several Caribbean  islands.  With any luck at all it will do as projected-turn Northeast and go out to sea.

3.  Trump is in N.Y. speaking at the U.N.  God help us-and the rest of the world!

4. Sandi got me a new laptop for our 50th anniversary-a MacBook Pro.  Great machine but missing some of the features I use, i.e. USB ports and a DVD.  I borrowed a DVD and bought an adapter for to have USB.  Why does Apple do that?

5. My son-in-law and I recently cut and brought home about two cords of wood from a friend's house.  We've split about half of it.  Already in good shape for next couple of years.  Working on year three.  In spite of global warming we still have winters here in CT.

6. Fall sports have kicked in big time.  Boys=football.  Brooke=soccer. Courtney=cross country. 
We're going to be busy.

Bye for now.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Happy Birthday Courtney

Happy 11th birthday to grand child number 2, Courtney Elizabeth Sullivan.  Here's a picture of her at a recent middle school cross country meet.  To see more pictures of Courtney click here
Go to the photo gallery.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


It has been several days since I posted anything mainly because we've been anxiously following Hurricane Irma. 

As we know, Irma was a Cat 5 hurricane, pretty much the most powerful storm to hit Florida in a very long time.  The entire state was affected but particularly the west coast where our condo is located-  Naples to be exact.

Preliminary reports were that the area was a mess.  Later reports were toned down somewhat.  There were many trees down of course and there probably isn't a carport left standing but other than that there did not appear to be any significant flooding.  According to pictures sent to me, roof tiles were intact and power and water are back on.

All in all, cleanup crews and utility workers have done a fantastic job.

We're headed there Monday to check out our place and arrange for a home watch person.  So all in all it could have been much, much worse. The storm surge we kept hearing about never happened or,  at least if it did,  not nearly as bad as they kept predicting.

So it's on to the next one. Thank God Jose is going out to sea.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Two things

1. Hurricane Irma is posing a serious threat to the region of Florida where our condo is.  We were supposed to go there this week but wisely moved it down the road two weeks.  We don't have a new home watch person yet but we do have a neighbor who is going to move lanai furnishings inside before heading out.  Hoping they'll all be OK.

2. Be sure to check out my web site There is a new slide show link on the photo gallery page of the Corning Glass Museum.  Also, Brooke's page has been up dated.  Lots of new stuff to see.

That's it for now.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Happy September

It's September already. Three weeks until Autumn. To learn more about the month of September, click here

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


The arbor and garden fence are done. Now we can plant more in the spring without worrying about our 'deer' friends.

My website has been updated. Be sure to check it out.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Two Things (No politics. I promise)

1. More acorns than  usual? and earlier?  What does it mean?  I heard on some talk show recently that you're supposed to be able to predict the severity of the coming winter by how soon oaks drop their acorns and the quantity of them as well. Actually, that isn't true. It has more to do with what the weather was-not will be. 

Growth patterns and behaviors of all plant life is highly dependent on the preceding few months.  It has nothing to do with what's down the road.  In fact there's very little about nature that could be a predictor.  For example certain animal activity, the amount of black on woolly bear caterpillars or even the emergence of leaf colors are all due to other factors.  Plants and animals can't sense what kind of winter we're going to have.  Ocean temperatures and air current patterns are far more reliable.

So there you have it. (Still don't believe me,  do you?)

2. I just finished putting together a garden arbor for the flower garden we're currently redesigning.
It will be surrounded by deer fencing, stained 4X4 posts with cedar post caps and the arbor.  Should look pretty good.  When it's done, I'll post pics on my web site. 

In the meantime here are two pictures. One is my driveway with the acorns and the other is the arbor. 

Disclaimer: This is a political post. If you're sick of reading about the current mess we're in, move on. Otherwise, read on.

Donald Trump is a totally disgusting human being and by calling him 'human'  I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.  Does that sound a bit harsh? Perhaps a little over the top? Well, I'm sorry. That's as gentle as I can be.

Consider: Prior to January 20, 2017 the United States had been led for 8 years by a man who, in spite of unbelievable resistance from his opponents, was a man of class, dignity and integrity.  Fast forward to this minute and what we have is a bully, bigot, racist, misogynist and xenophobe.

The United States used to be a country admired by the world. It was more than an economic power house. It was a sanctuary for the persecuted. A place for anyone who wanted to make of their lives what the chose. 

Today we are a laughing stock.  The world is as disgusted with our leader as most of us. All we can do is hope Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, and the rest of Congress grow a backbone and find cause for impeachment.  Of course then we're left with religious maniac Pence but it's still better.

OK, that's all for today.  No more politics for a while anyway.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Two observations. Same issue

Recent events in Charlottesville, VA have exposed the ugliest side of American culture. Hatred, racism and violence spilled over when a group of white supremacists blew into town to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee.  As we all know by now one thing led to another with a 20-year-old boy from Ohio plowing into a crowd of people killing one.

Where you stand on Robert E. Lee's statue is totally irrelevant.  What is relevant is that a group of ignorant zealots chose that as an issue to further their cause of racism and hatred.

As this was happening the country was looking to its leaders for comfort and guidance. What they got from our glorious leader was a few platitudes and no condemnation whatever of the people who instigated this hate filled act.   But why am I not surprised?  Donald Trump didn't condemn the act because he's one of them. What did you expect when you voted for him? If you doubt this at all go back and listen to the remarks of one of the most well-known racists of modern times-David Duke.

And if you think all this started with Trump,  think again.  President Obama spent 8 long years at odds with a republican congress who vowed to thwart his every move.  Yet look what he accomplished in spite of it.  Economic times are better, aren't they?  Do you seriously think it's because of the current joke currently serving as president?

So here we are. Back to square one.  Right?

Well, I don't think so.  Here's why.  Yesterday my grandson played in a series of preseason football games against teams from Bridgeport, Norwalk and New Britain.  The teams they played against are heavily populated by players of color.  Their families were there as well cheering them on as were the families of the Newtown players.

The coaches reflected the makeup of the teams they coached. They played very tough football but the Newtown boys represented themselves very well and they learned a lot.  So did I.

I saw coaches who helped their counterparts on opposing teams. I saw coaches congratulate or assist injured players from other teams. I saw parents from both sides talking and laughing with each other just enjoying watching their children and grand children playing a sport.  I saw acts of kindness and consideration where ever I looked.  In other words I saw people being normal, good people.  I saw in all of those folks what we should have seen from those pigs in Charlottesville and what we should have heard from our president.

Nationally, it was a bad day for sure.  But locally I saw hope.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Web site update

Check out my web site for updated pictures of grand kids, grand dogs, and many nature and yard shots.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Contacting Customer Support

Have you ever tried contacting customer support for any number of things you do online?  Sometimes it's easy but other times it's very nearly impossible.

I've been a member of Amazon Prime for several months now.  It costs about $10 a month.   Amazon Prime members  get free two day shipping on most items and there's supposed to be free video streaming for most programs. This part of it has turned into a huge disappointment.  In fact it's a complete ripoff.  Every movie worth watching is an extra cost.  On top of that a TV series I used to get through Amazon is now only available through Acorn for another $4.95 a month.  Ridiculous.

So now the customer support part.  I've been trying to find a way to leave feedback similar to this post but they don't make it easy.  Of the hundreds of links on the website, there isn't one single way to leave general feedback.  Hmmm. I wonder if this is intentional.  Duh!

I'll keep trying and report back my findings. In the meantime if there's anyone out there who has the solution to this please message me. Thanks.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Happy birthday

Happy birthday to our son Peter Stockwell. Hope he has a great day.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Out goes the bad. In comes worse?

So Scaramucci is out and Ret. Marine Corps General Kelly is in.  And the parade and madness goes on. How long do you think it will be before Kelly gets fed up with his boss's lunacy and leaves? Let's have a pool. I'll give him about a month.

In the meantime the White House entrance has been remodeled. See below.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Happy August

  1. The birthstones for August are the peridot and the sardonyx.
  2. The zodiac signs for August are Leo (July 23 - August 22) and Virgo (August 23 - September 22)
  3. The birth flowers for August are the gladiolus and the poppy.
  4. On August 1, 1876, Colorado, also known as the Centennial State, became the 38th state of the United States.
  5. On August 2, 1909, the Lincoln penny was issued.
  6. On August 3, 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail on his first voyage across the Atlantic.
  7. During the Civil War on August 5, 1864, the Battle of Mobile Bay was won by the Union forces.
  8. August 3, 1973,  Peter James Stockwell was born.
  9. On August 6, 1926, Gertrude Ederle successfully swam the English Channel.
  10. On August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb was used in warfare on Hiroshima, Japan.
  11. On August 7, 1942, the U.S. troops landed on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands during World War II.
  12. On August 9, 1974, Richard M. Nixon resigned from office, making him the first United States president to ever resign from office.
  13. On August 12, 1877, the phonograph was invented by Thomas Edison.
  14. On August 12, 1898, Hawaii was annexed by the United States.
  15. National Family Fun Month
  16. National Peach Month
  17. National Golf Month
  18. National Picnic Month
  19. Romance Awareness Month
  20. Friendship Day - first Sunday of August
  21. August 26 - Women's Equality Day
  22. Holidays Friendship Day Raksha Bandhan Women's Equality Day National Catfish Month Harvest Month National Water Quality Month Peach Month National Immunization Awareness Month Get Ready for Kindergarten Month

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Has your dog trained you?

We don't own a dog anymore but our children's families have dogs and we're often asked to dog sit.  I guess you could say they are our grand dogs so in that sense we kind of do have two dogs.  One is a boxer (Boomer) and the other a yellow lab (Daisy). 

Daisy is our guest this week while her family is on vacation. We tend to treat our grand dogs much like we do our grand children, i.e. we spoil them.

Daisy is one such example. She will probably get more treats this week than in the previous 20. In fact she has me so well trained that I never take her out with a few in my pocket.  They're a great way to keep her in our yard. 

I hope we don't send her home noticeably heavier.  We'll get in trouble!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Happy Moon Day

On this day 49 years ago history was made when the Eagle lunar module from Apollo 11 landed on the moon.  I remember exactly where I was that day. Do you? Do you think we should make more lunar landings?

Friday, July 14, 2017

Bastile Day and World War I

Recently Trump journeyed to France to join in their celebration of Bastile Day-the day French citizens stormed the Bastile thus leading to the French Revolution.

It happens to coincide with the entrance of the U.S. into World War I-supposedly the war to end all wars.

Here are some fast facts about World War I which incidentally introduced a new kind of warfare-poison gas:
Causes of World War I:
The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary by a Serbian national leads to Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia.
Ties and treaties bound countries to assist each other in time of war. When the time came, they started choosing sides. The U.S. declares neutrality until German submarine warfare threatens American commercial shipping.
The Central Powers consisted of Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Germany, and Ottoman Empire (now Turkey).
The Allied Powers consisted of Belgium, France, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia and the United States.
Troop Statistics:
- Total number U.S. troops served
8,528,831 - Total Military Deaths for all countries involved
U.S. Deaths:
Battle: 53,402
Non-battle: 63,114
Total In-Theatre: 116,516
Total U.S. soldiers wounded: 204,002
Other Military Casualties by Country:
Austria-Hungary: 1,200,000 dead; 3,620,000 wounded
Belgium: 13,716 dead; 44,686 wounded
87,500 dead; 152,390 wounded
France: 1,357,800 dead; 4,266,000 wounded
Germany: 1,773,000 dead; 4,216,058 wounded
Great Britain:
908,371 dead; 2,090,212 wounded
5,000 dead; 21,000 wounded
Italy: 650,000 dead; 947,000 wounded
Ottoman Empire (Turkey): 325,000 dead; 400,000 wounded
Portugal: 7,222 dead; 13,800 wounded
Romania: 335,706 dead; 120,000 wounded
Serbia & Montenegro: 48,000 dead; 143,148 wounded
Russia: 1,700,000 dead; 4,950,000 wounded
June 28, 1914
- Gavrilo Princip, who has ties to the Serbian terrorist-type group the Black Hand, assassinates Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary.
July 28, 1914 - Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia.
August 2, 1914 - Ottoman Empire (Turkey) and Germany sign a secret treaty of alliance.
August 4, 1914 - Germany invades Belgium. President Woodrow Wilson declares that the United States is neutral. Britain declares war on Germany.
August 10, 1914 - Austria-Hungary invades Russia, opening the fighting on the Eastern Front.
August 1914 - Battle of Tannenberg, Prussia.
September 12, 1914 - First battle of Aisne, France.
November 3, 1914 - Russia declares war on Ottoman Empire (now Turkey).
November 5, 1914 - Great Britain and France declare war on Ottoman Empire.
May 7, 1915 - A German U-20 submarine sinks the British passenger ship, the Lusitania; 1,198 are killed, including 128 Americans.
April 22, 1915 - Second Battle of Ypres begins, marking the first use of poison gas by Germany.
June 1915-November 1917 - Battles of the Isonzo, Italy.
1915 - Battle of Krithia, Gallipoli peninsula, Ottoman Empire.
February 21-July 1916 - Battle of Verdun, France, the war's longest battle, with almost a million casualties.
May 31-June 1, 1916 - Battle of Jutland, North Sea near Denmark - a sea battle between British and German navies.
July 1, 1916-November 1916 - First Battle of the Somme River, France. The British introduce the tank.
April 6, 1917 - U.S. declares war against Germany after the interception and publication of the Zimmermann Telegram and the sinking of three U.S. merchant ships by German U-boats.
June 26, 1917 - American troops begin landing in France.
November 20, 1917 - Battle of Cambrai, France.
December 3, 1917 - Russia signs an armistice with Germany.
March 3, 1918 - Russia signs the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, ending hostilities with the Central Powers and withdrawing Russia from this war.
March 21-April 5, 1918 - Second Battle of the Somme River.
September 29, 1918 - Bulgaria signs an armistice.
October 30, 1918 - Ottoman Empire (Turkey) signs an armistice.
November 3, 1918 - Austria-Hungary signs an armistice.
November 11, 1918 - Germany accepts the armistice terms demanded by the Allies, ending the war.
June 28, 1919 - The Treaty of Versailles is signed at the Palace of Versailles, France.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

To Kill A Mocking Bird

On this day 57 years ago one of the best known American novels of all time was published-To Kill A Mocking Bird.

Later it was turned into an Academy Award winning movie starring Gregory Peck.

The book was written by Harper Lee. Harper Lee died about a year ago and another novel she had been working on was found and published. It did not achieve the same level of fame as To Kill A Mocking Bird. 

Here are  some interesting facts about that famous book.

$3.95  Price of the book upon its release in 1960. Available on Amazon for $5.89 paperback.

Number of languages into which “Mockingbird” has been translated

40+ million  
Copies of the book that have been sold worldwide

893 weeks  
Time “Mockingbird” has spent on USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books—a list that has only been around since 1993

1961 Year Harper Lee won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

12 years  Duration of the ban placed on “Mockingbird” by the Plaquemines Parish School District’s in Louisiana—it was lifted in October 2013

“To Kill A Mockingbird,” considered one of the best novels of the 20th century, is also one of the most controversial. According to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, the Harper Lee novel is one of the most challenged and banned classical books. Many of these objections come from parents, school administrators or advocacy groups who contend that its racially and sexually-charged themes are inappropriate for young readers.

$1,688,064.68  Amount Lee earned in royalties from sales of “Mockingbird” in the first six months of December 2009 alone.

103  Age of Lee’s sister and former lawyer, Alice, before her death in November 2014

12/25/62  U.S. release date for the film adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird”

6 Number of Academy and Golden Globes awards the film won (three of each)

2 million Size of the publisher’s first printing of “Go Set a Watchman”

20 years  Amount of time after “Mockingbird” ends that “Watchman” takes place, despite the fact that Lee wrote “Watchman” first

1964  The last time Harper Lee gave an interview

0  Amount of publicity the 89-year-old author is expected to do for the new book

Friday, July 7, 2017

Back to reality

Well, we're home from our trip to Cancun.  Sandi and I got sick but still managed to have a good time.  The kids especially enjoyed themselves which is important to us. 

I will soon be posting pictures of various activities on my web site  so be sure to check it out from time to time.

We have only one more trip planned for the summer and that's to take care of some business at our condo.  Then it's home until Thanksgiving.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Simply unacceptable

Ever since inauguration day I have tried diligently to stay above the political fray in spite of ample justification. I regret to say I have lost the battle. I can no longer stay quiet about our disgusting president's recent remarks about TV journalist Mika Brzezinski. Mr. Trump is a bully and a pig. He does not merit scrubbing the rest room in the oval office much less sitting at its desk. How can any decent citizen make excuses for this horrible human being? Speak up. Our elected re

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A week in the sun

It's off to Cancun, my first time there although we've been to many different places in the Caribbean.
This time we're taking the whole family on this trip to celebrate our 50th anniversary and Sandi's 70th birthday.
Both of these events actually occur later in the year-September & October.  Then it's home for a few weeks after which we'll be meeting my long-lost nephew.
More on that later.  In the meantime this is probably my last post for at least a week or 10 days.