Saturday, August 29, 2015

Back to school-for some.....

This is my 11th year  NOT returning to school.  Many recent or near future retirees ask me how could I possibly fill the time.  Believe me, there are many times when I wondered how I ever had time to teach.

I tell people worried about facing long, empty days not to worry about it.  There's plenty to do.   Just take it slow and let things evolve on their own.  Maybe start out with a little traveling or home based projects.  From there one can volunteer or develop hobbies and interests that weren't possible during their working days.  There are those who even work part time at something totally unrelated to what they once did.   On top of all of that if you have young grand children nearby, it gets even more interesting. 

Finally the nice thing about all this is it  doesn't have to be a costly endeavor.  There's plenty to do for little or no money.

Try it.  You'll love it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


I finally broke down and bought a very good camera.  It was under a thousand dollars so it wasn't something professional photographers use but it's good enough to do what ever I want.  I've been spending a lot of time learning about its various features and I've also been taking an online photography course that was purchased for me on my birthday. 

There's far more to photography than I realized-especially when you go beyond the 'auto' modes so it's going to be a slow and steady kind of thing.

In the mean time you'll find the results  of my efforts on the photo gallery page of my web site.  Check it:

Friday, August 21, 2015

Random Thoughts

1. We're at that point in summer time when camps are over but school hasn't started yet.  This means that baby sitting duties pick up a bit.  This is a good thing, since I like spending time with the kids.  My web site shows how we've been spending some of that time.  Check it out:

2. I got an email yesterday notifying me that a message is waiting for me from one of my doctors. I go to three doctors on a regular basis and they all have web sites where you can go to see messages, appointments, lab results, medical profile information, etc.  There's quite a bit of very personal medical information along with medicare account information on these sites.

All this led me to wonder about the security of the sites.  You hear all the time about hackers getting into data bases of hundreds of thousands of people and stealing their information.  I'm not sure what anyone would do with my medical data.  There's no credit card information and I don't take prescription narcotics so it's pretty much useless.  Actually they might have access to my social security number but I'm not sure.  Still, one wonders.....

3. I'm officially sick of the political season, yet it's just started.  I'll be doing a lot of DVRing.....

Saturday, August 15, 2015


When I was in elementary school in the 50s,  every day my friends and I dreamed of that great day when our summer vacations would begin. The bus ride home from school on that last day was marked by singing and streamers out the window.   It was a great day.

So what did we do all summer?  Were there sleepover camps, town run day camps, sports camps, family vacations?  None of that for me.  What my sister and I did was maybe log in some time weeding the garden and then it's on our bicycles and off to somewhere.  Often it was the neighborhood pond where we'd meet up with others and swim or the old pasture down the road where we'd play baseball. 

The old pond is still there but no one has been allowed to use it by the owners for a very long time (law suits and all that) and the fields where we used to play now contain 3 schools. 

So what do kids today do?  Well, all the things I mentioned in the second paragraph.  All sorts of camps-sleep over and day camps.   For example my grand daughters just completed a week at a nature center where they learned a great deal about farm life and animal care.  It looked like a great camp and I wish there had been something like that when I was a kid (as long as it wasn't too far for getting there by bicycle!).

No question about it, summertime opportunities for kids have increased tremendously.  While that's generally a good thing, I still think it's important for kids to have unscheduled periods of time for them to explore and create their own amusements.  Very often more fun and more learning can take place as a result of their own creativity then if scheduled and handed to them.

Just my opinion.

For pictures of my grand daughters on a typical day at nature camp, click here and follow the links to the photo gallery.

Monday, August 10, 2015

When he's right, he's right!

Listen, I don't like Trump anymore than the rest of (most) of you.  He's obnoxious, egotistical, arrogant, a wind bag, mostly wrong, grossly insensitive and offensive in the extreme BUT you've got to admit, the press is out to get him. 

This whole bruhaha about his remarks regarding Fox News Megyn Kelly is ridiculous.  Of course he didn't mean what the press is trying to suggest but instead of focusing on the issues, they-the press-insist on exploiting the situation-for news. 

I'm tired of it and it's just beginning.  It's going to be a long, long haul until elections, folks.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A Word about Birthdays

 Yesterday, Aug. 3rd, was my son's 42nd birthday.  I kind of like birthdays-not mine but those of my family.  I like to see the various members grow and I admire what they've become.  My son is an extraordinary example of this growth. 

Another notable birthday is one taking place today.  It's President Obama's 54th birthday. 

If I were Obama, I'd be looking at my past few years like this:
Second biggest recession in history: over
Gas prices: lowest in years
Deficit: down by two thirds
Bin Laden: dead
Unemployment rate: lowest since GWB
Health care now available for millions more.
And all in spite of the most hateful, obstructive and downright incompetent congress ever!
Nothing short of amazing.