June 2015


So today the Supreme Court of the United States announced their decision in regards to Same Sex Marriage. The 14th amendment of the constitution guarantees the right to marriage to ALL Americans and from this moment forward, Same Sex Marriage is legal in all 50 states of the United States.

Earl and I have been legally married since October 2011, shortly after Same Sex Marriage was legal in New York State. The legality of our marriage has weighed heavily on life decisions: where will we move, where will I work, etc. This is no longer a factor, we can live in any state in the union and be legally married.

What an incredible feeling.

I was on a conference call at work when the decision came down. I had to make sure the phone was muted as I cried tears of happiness. I didn’t expect to be emotional about the decision but I was. It was like a weight was lifted, even though we’ve had it pretty good here in Upstate New York.

We are married all of the USA now. Our friends in other states can now get married.

And it is an incredible feeling.

Type Here.


So today at work I blazed through an entire workday of writing code and doing magical things with databases. I’m writing a web application that is going to greatly enhance the work lives of the members of our team; at least, that is my goal and why I’m getting paid the big bucks. I found that I have a certain style when designing an application and luckily that style seems to be user friendly. I have yet to receive any serious complaints about the applications I design

My new company provided me with a 27-inch Apple Thunderbolt display to pair up with the provided 13-inch MacBook Pro Retina (something I negotiated when accepting the position). I didn’t think that the 27-inch display would make that much of a difference when compared to the 24-inch display I had from my old company, but I was wrong. Though my workflow is similar to my previous job, I feel like I have a whole lot more room in those extra three diagonal inches in the monitor.

As I was headed back to work after lunch I noticed in that in the corner of our “tool room” was a cheap Logitech keyboard that used to be attached to one of the Linux servers in our basement, because after all, every home needs a basement with multiple Linux servers. I remembered typing on that keyboard and enjoying the experience, so I decided to hook it up to my work Mac setup and give it a whirl for coding this afternoon.

It enhanced my typing experience.

Now, I type on a computer keyboard for a living. I type on computer keyboards for fun. While I love my Macs, I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of the keyboards they build into their MacBooks and the external keyboards they provide. Truth be told, my favorite keyboard is the old IBM Model M. Apple is all about making everything as thin as possible, and the key travel has been shrinking over the years. The last time I was in an Apple store I tried out the newest design of keyboards built into the new MacBooks and I have to say I wasn’t impressed. It may be because I grew up on computers built in the 1980s, but I want a keyboard that’s going to click and clack and I want the keys to travel down to a stop with a satisfying thunk. I want to feel my letters as they appear on the screen.

I’m rather heavy handed with my typing.

When I type in front of someone for the first time, there’s a chance that I’ll receive a comment about how fast I type. I’ve tested as high as 115-120 words per minute, though I don’t think I type that fast anymore, because after all, I’m not as young and spry as I used to be. I have my mother to thank for my typing speed; when I was eight or so years old I was goofing around with her old Royal manual typewriter and she told me that if I was going to play around with a typewriter, I was going to use the correct fingers so she taught me how to type while I was still in elementary school. By fifth or sixth grade I could type faster than the secretary in the principal’s office (when armed with an electric typewriter). By all accounts I should have probably become a professional secretary of the male persuasion, but I don’t think I would have enjoyed bouncing on the boss’ knee.

I think I’ve gone off on a tangent.

Back to keyboards in today’s world. I’m not a fan of what the tech companies are offering as standard equipment today. The cheap Logitech keyboard I started using today gives a pleasant but not excellent experience. I like the travel of the keys, there is some satisfaction in the clunk and I confirmed with one of the online typing tests that I can type faster on that than I can on a standard issue Mac keyboard, but I’m still feeling a little restless about the whole keyboard experience.

I think I’m going to purchase one of these: the Das Keyboard 4 Professional for Mac. I’ve read some positive reviews from some keyboard snobs such as myself and I feel encouraged, but for that kind of cash I think I need to do a little more research.

If any of my gentle readers have used such a beast as the Das Keyboard for Mac, or have another keyboard they would recommend based on my blathering above, I would love to hear from you in the comments.

In the meanwhile, type on, fellow typists and remember to bounce gently on the knee.


It’s not secret that I am fascinated by “connected clocks”, or clocks that are synchronized by some method, whether it’s wired, wireless or smoke signals. I have a collection of old slave clocks wired throughout the house. They were all made by The Standard Electric Time Company and were commonly found in schools, factories and other industrial buildings. The clocks in the house advance once a minute with an audible click-click. They are controlled by an old computer in the basement running Linux and a program I wrote years ago in BASIC. My collection of clocks span manufactured years of 1920 to 1955. I’ve been fascinated by connected clocks since my first day of kindergarten in Mrs. Mosher’s room, Room 5 at Lura Sharp Elementary School.

A lot of airports have connected clocks of some sort. I’m typing this blog entry at DTW, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. The terminals here at DTW are quite nice and modern. There are clocks everywhere. I don’t know this for certain, but I believe the two terminal buildings were built at different times. Someone obviously made the effort to try to make the airport experience cohesive, the building housing the B and C gates is smaller but similar in design to the building housing the A gates. Remarkably (at least to me), the clocks in what feels like the newer building have the same design as the original, however, they’re not made by the same company.

Terminal A building.

Terminal B building.

Ordinary people would take a passing glance and might notice that the clocks are the same throughout the airport. On closer inspection, one can tell that Terminal A’s clocks are made by Simplex but Terminal B’s clocks are not marked with the name of the manufacturer. I suspect that the latter was made by American Time and Signal, a small company in Dassel, Minn., but I can’t be certain with asking someone.

And I might just do that.

My OCD tendencies demand that clocks all read the same time. As a child I couldn’t stand it if the VCR was a minute off from my alarm clock or something of that nature. Luckily, today’s connected world lends itself to clocks more likely reading the same time.

And even though it’s been over 40 years since I sat in Room 5 in Kindergarten, I find all of these connected clocks to still be quite fascinating.


Every time I see the photos of the nine people murdered in South Carolina I feel a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. When I saw the expressionless face of the young man who fired the shots, I get angry. My naive mind can not comprehend the thought processes involved in making the willful decisions to commit such a heinous act. I just can’t understand it.

When I first heard the voices of family members of the victims telling the accused that they forgive him, I cried, right there in front of the television set.

None of this makes sense to me. The fact that there are Confederate flags flying over government buildings in South Carolina pisses me off. I’d like to think that there will be change in our country, but my gut tells me there won’t be. 

It’s time for change. We need to be a citizenry of good people. We need to be good to one another. I know that I will be more vocal if people make insensitive remarks or jokes based on the differences in another. It’s a small thing, but maybe a million small things can help a big thing.

Rest in peace, innocent people. 


Delta 2274. 

So I’m a flight from Raleigh-Durham to Detroit. After a three hour layover in Detroit I will be headed home. Flight plans for the coming week all involve me as pilot; no commercial flights in the next few weeks.

This is my eleventh commercial flight in the past ten days, and I’m kind of happy about that because with today’s flight I become a Delta Silver Medallion customer for 2016. It’s a little thing but it makes me feel good. I’ve been quite happy with Delta Airlines, save for that incident when we went to Vancouver and the flight attendant was hurt after not putting her seat belt on for takeoff.

I’m finally catching my breath after a whirlwind of travel and adjusting to the new job. This coming week will be the third week of the new job but my first week of working from home, which is now my official office. The team I belong to is based in Greenville, S.C. but my employee profile pegs me as an employee of Central New York. This is quite comforting to me.

The new job is going splendidly. Last week I was part of a meeting for the management team of the group and it was during that meeting that I felt like I had made the absolute right decision for my career to move to this new opportunity.

The only drawback thus far is being away from Earl and Jamie as much as I have been over the past two weeks. This weekend I visited our friends Jeff and Mark in the Raleigh-Durham area; this trip was planned prior to the new gig. It was a great weekend.

I’m looking forward to the upcoming layover in Detroit. I’ll enjoy a little dinner, do some people watching and live the life of a jet setter. Earl and I just made flight plans for the holidays in December because we wanted to get a really good rate.

So much life to look forward to.


Elevator Logic.


I started the new chapter of my career this week. I am in Greenville, S.C. and starting the path of “Senior Consultant” at Windstream Communications. I officially have a Virtual Office; I will be doing most of my work from our home office, but if I had decided to move us to Greenville, I’d be working in my own office (complete with door and windows) in the 23rd storey building shown in my photo. Our team is situated on the fifth floor.

I’ve noticed each morning that there is quite a traffic jam at the bank of elevators. I like to think that I’m pretty adept at the operation of an elevator: press the button in the desired direction of travel, await the arrival of an elevator car, step aside to let passengers out of the elevator and then get in, face front, press the button of your desired floor and try not to pass gas. It’s pretty simple.

These people ALWAYS press the elevator call button in BOTH directions, regardless of where they are going. I don’t know if there is some sort of code that I missed in the orientation manual or if it is some secret incantation that only works in the south, but every person that wants to get on the elevator in the lobby calls the elevator by pressing both the up and down button. Invariably the down bound elevator arrives and people pile in. They head down and then in a few moments the same car load of people arrive and the elevator opens the door in response to the “up” request. Because the car is full of people, I’m not stepping foot in the elevator.

Today I was a rebel and joined a couple of other men in the service elevator, even though the sign said “no passengers”. The metal lined walls had a sleek look to them and I figured the elevator was rated for more weight since it was designed for service purposes. Plus, the service elevator doesn’t have CNN blaring in the car like the five other cars (designed for passenger service) do. I’m not a fan of CNN blaring in the elevator.

It covers the sounds of someone passing gas. Without that, there’s no warning.

DCA National Airport. 

I’m at DCA in Washington, D.C. on my way to Greenville, S.C. for my first day at my new job. This is my first time flying through this airport.  The approach was quite nifty; I’m surprised the FAA allows low approaches that pass so close to government buildings.  The low turn from base to final reminded me of the sight picture when flying the Cherokee. 

I am passing from gate 31 to gate 43. They are nowhere near each other but rather in separate terminals. At every other airport I’ve ever been to, it’s a matter of walking a bit to get to your next gate. I always shun the shuttles because I’m trying to be a healthy American and all that.

At DCA you need to pass through security again to go to another terminal. Because I’m getting more cantankerous in my Middle Age, this irked me a bit. I tolerate the security theatre when getting on a commercial flight, it keeps the sheep feeling safe and employees thousands of people, so it isn’t all bad, but I do not enjoy having to stand in line, disrobe, decloak, show my documents and then get dowsed with radiation again just to pass between gates. 

This whole farce had been around for over a decade; one would think that the TSA would figure out something better for this airport.  Like Kansas City’s security setup farce, this is a fail in my book.


We are home from our Alaskan Cruise as of lunchtime today. It’s been a long while since I’ve gone over 24 hours without sleep, so I’m feeling a little wonky this afternoon. I woke up feeling a little confused. Hopefully everything will reset tomorrow with a good night’s sleep tonight.

I’m going through all of the photos taken during this magnificent journey and this one that Jamie took is one of my favorites.



Now if I could just get all of my photos on my iPad to magically update the Photos.app on my Mac like it’s suppose to do.

Fairmont Hotel.

So Earl, Jamie and I are back on the North American mainland, as we arrived in Vancouver, B.C. this morning. Faced with a 14 hour wait for our flight home, which leaves at 11:00 p.m. this evening, and the fact that we couldn’t even check our bags, pass through security or customs or get to the “good side” of the airport near the gates, I decided to get us a room for day use at the attached Fairmont Hotel.

The money was well spent.

We have been able to nap, relax, surf the Internet and the like in the comfort of this lovely hotel room. We have to be out by 8:00 p.m.; at that time we’ll be able to check in, grab a bite to eat and then relax before boarding the red-eye back home.

The rooms at the Fairmont Hotel are very high-tech in that all of the lights, climate controls, television remote and such are all wired together to this nightstand console.

Naturally this has given me some ideas on how to upgrade our bedroom accoutrement at home. Earl just smiled but I think on the inside he rolled his eyes a little bit.

Our hotel room also affords us a most excellent view. It’s an aviation enthusiast’s paradise.