I was idly scrolling through FaceBook the other day when I saw a post with what struck me as an uniquely American brag. A young woman proudly stated that she had just spent about two hours in a Target store brazenly unmasked, and had not been asked to leave. She saw this as some kind of personal victory, and a cry of freedom on the level of Mel Gibson in Braveheart. What a strange time we live in, when showing...

Read more

Strange times we are living in. Many people, being forced to spend more time in their homes, are finding their lives completely disrupted. Some are responding better than others, and many couples are finding out things they may not have necessarily have wanted to know about their relationships. For my wife and I, perhaps the biggest revelation of the past six weeks is how little our lives have changed. Our income sources are unaffected, we can still get out and...

Read more

I don't always title a blog post with a quote from Friedrich Nietzsche, but I make an exception in this case. I want to take a break from the Galápagos Islands series to write about a show that we attended at the Tennessee Theater on Thursday, March 12, 2020. I bring it up for two reasons, so let's start with the first. It was a fantastic show! If you are not familiar with the Tennessee Theater, let me tell you...

Read more

For people around the world, a visit to the Galápagos Islands is a common “bucket list” destination. Unfortunately, visiting this unique but out-of-the-way spot can be a very expensive proposition. For example, a family of four visiting from North America may find that between airfare to Ecuador and then on to the Islands, entry fees, accommodations, tours, meals, etc., that the cost of a Galápagos trip can easily approach or even reach five figures, forcing it to remain a dream...

Read more

I would like to start by thanking all of those readers who responded about my post 'Tis the Season. As you may imagine it was not an easy decision to make public such a personal post on depression. But after hearing from so many people who have similar problems and concerns but have been afraid to talk to anyone about it, I am glad that I posted it. Several of you have emailed or messaged me asking for an update,...

Read more

By any rational criteria, I have a wonderful life. I'm married to a beautiful woman that I've only grown closer to over the last 10+ years. We have been fortunate enough to do a lot of travel and experience some wonderful places. We've hiked the Inca Trail to stand in Machu Picchu, and explored the Galápagos Islands. We have a lovely home in a great location with no mortgage, and we plan to start traveling more soon with the rental...

Read more

For anyone who doubts that the web and social media is full of foreign exploiters, looking to influence the unwary, here is a tale for you - as well as an update for those who subscribe to this blog. I recently noticed a big uptick in the number of people registering on my site. Mostly after I changed the tool that handles new signups. I also noticed in my security reports, a lot of attempted logins to my administrator site....

Read more

I'm no stranger to Death. I have had to deal with the Grim Reaper on all too many occasions. I watched my older brother drink and eat himself to death before the age of 35 when I was in my 20's. I lost my first wife of 25 years to cancer. More recently, Rita lost a brother, my mother passed this last Thanksgiving season, and there have been at least four in-laws and acquaintances who have left this earth in...

Read more

I received a lot of emails after my post on the Queen movie and my reminisces on playing in local bands. Much to my surprise, people wanted more band stories. So here we go, by popular demand, a look back at one of the most dreaded events in any amateur musician's life - that nerve-racking procedure know as the audition. It is a well-known fact that the only thing harder than keeping a band together is putting a band together....

Read more

If you never watched Game of Thrones or read any of the books, that is fine. I really don't understand how many people think that gives them something to brag about, but there does seem to be an American tendency to applaud your own ignorance for some reason. More on that another time. Those of us who have be-spoiled ourselves have mixed feelings about the ending of the series on HBO, to say the least. I know it is popular...

Read more