High on a Faraway Hill

It was over 40 years ago.  I was working at HCJB installing an FM transmitter on an Andean mountain that overlooks Quito, Ecuador.  A friend capture this image on our lunch break.


I was standing about 6 miles south of the equator.  Yes, that is my insulated winter coat from Michigan.  At 13,000 feet above sea level, the air is chilly even that close to the equator.

On the left side of the picture, you can see the soccer stadium and the boulevard that runs to it.  I was there at a game once with a press pass and a camera.  The professional photographers gave me the stink eye as I watched the game with them from the sidelines.  They did not understand why I stood behind and slightly to the side of the goal.  From their angle they could capture all the action on the field, but that was not my interest.  My assignment was to capture the goalie as he failed.  The Quito team attacked the goal and my shot caught the ball entering the goal, passing just out of the goalie’s diving reach.  Assignment completed!  I returned the camera and film to the publicity department.  They were pleased with the photo and used it in a publication.

On the Track at Michigan

In advance of Sunday’s NASCAR race at Michigan International Speedway, my favorite driver had something to share with the fans.


Brad Keselowski, driver of the no. 2 car for Team Penski, took NBC pit reporter, Kelli Stavast, for a spin in a replica 1901 Ford Sweepstakes.  The two were in period costume.  That must have been quite the experience to zip around the big track at 45 mph.  My good friend and neighbor, Jerry, was at the track I’m looking forward to hearing his report on the Sweepstakes.

It was a Sweepstakes that Henry Ford drove in his first race at a horse track in Grosse Point, Michigan in October 1901.  Ford’s first company failed, but after he won that race investors came on board.

For my part, I prefer my 20-year-old Dodge Intrepid.  Handles better and has improved comfort and safety features.

Learning Never Stops

Some life lessons are best remembered when learned through a trial-and-error process.  That also seems to be the story of my life.

Or as Maxwell Smart said, “Missed it by that much.”  He also said, “Sorry about that, Chief.”


I’ve been blogging for eight and a half years.  During that time, I have discovered that there are four steps to a blog post.

  1. You gather your resources (photos, ideas, etc.) and compose your post.
  2. You proofread your post.
  3. You publish your post.
  4. You discover an error (or errors) in that post.

Has this ever happened to you?  Perhaps I should have stayed in shcool?

Grackle Builds Nest

While Sharkey was visiting us recently, we sent out to inspect flowering plants and trees.  It was also a good excuse to exercise our legs.  As we went past the propane tank, Sylvia lifted the lid and found a nest.


It is well protected under that cover, but if those eggs aren’t hatched by the next delivery, the bird is in trouble.  The propane delivery driver had earlier cleared another nest out of that cozy spot.  I think it will happen again.  Let’s hope that the babies have fledged by that time.

I’ve been watching mama bird come and go.  Her mate is nearby and is frequently having minor spats with a couple of robins.

Maybe next year mama grackle will build her nest in the cedars again.  It’s a much better place.


Do you know Rhoda?

Every time I see this bush, it brings to mind a name for a [fictional?] music group with a female lead singer, Rhoda and the Dendrons.


We’ve had a lot going on here and it has kept me away from this blog.  The vegetable garden is in and looking good.  No pictures yet.  The peonies are in blossom.  The purples were first, followed by the pinks.  Yesterday, the white peonies opened their blossoms.  Japanese iris by the barn are looking good, but you have to walk right up to them to see them.  They are hiding behind day lilies, which have not yet blossomed.

We are sleeping better at night since our new Sleep Number bed arrived last week.  It is a lot nicer than sleeping in my recliner.  What a difference it makes to raise the head (easier to breathe w/o snoring) and feet (Lessens pressure on the lower back).  Our unit even has the built in massage.  Expensive, but well worth it.

Life: Simple or Complex

They used to tell me that life is simple.  Being simple, I believed them.


Then I discovered that life isn’t that simple.  Maybe there are 11 kinds of people, those who understand binary, those who don’t and those who aren’t sure.  Add another category and we can have 100 kinds of people.  Is that really simple?  Seems complex to me.

Yes, life is complex.  It is also in constant motion.


You get started in a career, get married, have children.  Responsibilities not only accumulate, they also multiply.  This phenomenon intensifies with time.


Warning: Don’t stare too long at that graphic.  It can mess with your mind, and will if you let it.

These days it only takes a good night’s sleep to make me happy.  (Okay I choose to be happy regardless of circumstances.)

When I was young, life was easy,
But with age the slope grew greasy,
Now at this age I do not care,
My home’s not here, it’s over there.


Happy Mother’s Day


Who take me from my nice warm cot?
And sit me on the ice-cold pot?
Who made me pee when I could not?
Me Mudder.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms in cyber land.  Especially to the mother of our two sons and the mother of our fabulous granddaughter.  All the best of everything with extra scoops of love on top and underneath.