November 2021

Time Flies.

Eight years ago today was my first flying lesson. With instructor Chuck in the right seat, we took off from runway 33 at KRME Griffiss International Airport in Rome, New York in a 1966 PA28-140 (or Cherokee 140). The four seat, low wing airplane was my trainer all the way through the following December when I earned my Private Pilot’s Certificate.

My life has never been the same.


Our 2016 Jeep Cherokee has made it to the 100K club. Purchased right after Earl opted for early retirement from his job in 2016, this car has been on many adventures. It’s been registered in three states, been in all four time CONUS time zones, and at some point I should probably count the number of states it has traversed. It helped with the move from Central New York to Chicago, made 1 1/2 trips from Chicago to Tucson, has been to Florida a few times and has been a joy to drive on its entire journey.

Our plan is to keep the Cherokee for as long as financially practical, while we wait for electric vehicles to get a little more affordable. We have both agreed that our next car will be electric; it’s just a matter of finding the right vehicle for our needs. We’ve also been getting in the habit of planning our trips as if we were already driving an electric car, so we can start getting familiar with the concept of charging stations.

Now, I have a reputation as an Apple fanboy (though I do mix Linux in to this mix quite a bit), but I’ve been reading rumors of an Apple car that is completely autonomous with no steering wheel. No idea if these rumors are true but I don’t have any interest in a vehicle of that design. I’m absolutely interested in a much more ecologically friendly vehicle, and I like the idea of autonomous cars, but I still believe engineers are only solving half of the equation in autonomous vehicles. We need to make our highways smarter in conjunction with developing the AI necessary to drive a car. If we keep designing highways without electronic doodads to help send signals to self driving cars, we have a very long road ahead of us.

It Has Begun.

The decorating of the house has begun. My husband loves decorating for the holidays and I spent the day working with him figuring out where to put the festive decorations. Bringing three households of decorations in this house takes some coordinating but we’re off to a great start. Earl will continue while I’m working this week.


Truman keeps an eye on a fly and the football game in the other room on Thanksgiving day.

In Sync.

The 1930s school clock in my office was starting to struggle a little bit. It’s been in many rooms, survived many moves, and has made its way across the country from it’s manufacturing home of Springfield, Mass. The clock was just shy of 100 years old and it is stored safely in a carton in the back of my office closet.

I decided to upgrade to a 2000 vintage digital clock. It’s kept in sync with the wireless controller located elsewhere in the house. We have a couple of clocks on this wireless system and this is the only digital clock. The other clocks are solar powered and analog and they work very well.

It’s weird not hearing the minute-by-minute click-click of the early 20th century school clock, but I can still watch time march by in military precision with the counting of the seconds. It gives my office a high tech vibe, which is probably good for a geek like me.


I enjoyed a nice walk around the neighborhood this morning, exploring some dirt roads in the area. I ended up coming around the back of our property and coming along the horse trail along the bottom of the wash out back. It was a beautiful breath of fresh air.


Chris shared a meme on our family chat that I felt needed a wider audience. In today’s society we are told that appearing young and conforming to an expected body image gives us greater value. We should constantly keep track of calories and counteract any enjoyment we derive from eating with workout, lest that chicken sandwich end up on your hips. Ironically, the constant stress of achieving conformity wears us down just as much as not exercising and/or overeating.

Look, I encourage everyone to be as healthy as they can be. The general food supply for the country is loaded with fillers and sugars and fats and GMOs and all sorts of other crap. We are bigger on average than we were a few decades ago because of changes to the food available at the supermarket in the name of profit. I don’t put all the blame on High Fructose Corn Syrup and it’s brethren, but food has changed, portions have gotten larger, and lifestyles aimed at keeping up with the Joneses and meeting the demands of a capitalistic society have taking their toll on our eating habits.

Enough of the soap box.

Tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the United States. I hope you enjoy the day as safely and as enjoyably as possible. And step aside from the guilt of eating a big meal. You can get back to your diet on Friday. Be aware, don’t be guilty, and most importantly, be yourself.

Storm Chasing.

Photo taken outside of Denver in July 2011.

It’s not the season for storms in the Desert Southwest of the United States. This year’s monsoon was most impressive, even to those that have lived in these parts for decades, and I loved every minute of it. Normally at this time of year we’d start settling down for winter, with lots of cold and snow on the horizon. It’s not like that here in Tucson.

I’ve already mentioned to Earl that I’m very much interested in heading up/over into Texas and other weather rowdy parts next spring. I’ve always loved chasing storms, and when I can’t fly in the weather I want to chase it around and see Mother Nature at her finest. Up close and personal. When the derecho came through Chicago back in 2020 I loved every minute of it, though the destruction was an unfortunate byproduct of my adrenaline rush. It’s scary to think that storms are just going to be getting more violent as climate change continues to march us toward oblivion, but we’re still at the point where I find these storms to be incredibly awesome.

We started watching “Storm Rising” from National Geographic. The show features extreme weather chaser Reed Timmer and crew; the first episode has them chasing tornadoes along around the Texas panhandle. My husband said he liked the plot of “Twister” better since it moved along with better predictability, but I loved the cinematography, the chase, and the science of this documentary series. I’m looking forward to further episodes.

And I’m looking forward to putting the plans together for my spring 2022 storm chasing adventure.


The last gasps of the 20th century were an interesting time. Political turmoil was ramping up, though nothing close to the likes of the idiocy we have today. 9/11 hadn’t happened yet. Television was still in standard definition, if you wanted email you most likely were using a dial-up modem or a very slow data line, our cell phones were analog and not smart. Web 1.0 had done its thing and we were getting ready for Web 2.0, whatever that was going to be. We still had to know things, content on the Internet was a bit more honest, and things weren’t quite as “in your face”. We had hope for the 21st century.

Once in a while I take a listen to this live performance of Joni Mitchell’s “Help Me”, covered by k.d. lang in a slightly slower but more sultry way. The clothes, the vibe, the honesty … all seems to be part of that last gasp of the 20th century. I have always looked forward to the future, but lately I’ve been wondering about the past.