Ponderings and Musings


Like everyone, I suppose, I sometimes think what life would be like if we won the lottery. What would we do with all that money? I have visions of buying an airplane so I can fly the family all over the country and easily fly us back east to visit with the relatives, but after the novelty of that wore off, what would I do? I am easily bored. I like tinkering with things and I like being able to get things, but the things I want to get have been obtained through hard work, which helps sidestep the boredom.

At one time in my life I thought I wanted to be rich so we could hobnob with the country club set, have lavish dinners and expensive drinks, and garner the attention of everyone in the dining room when I loudly ordered a $500 bottle of champagne, “make it two”.

The truth of the matter is, I’m content with where we are on the socioeconomic scale, and we are quite fortunate with our position. Too many people don’t have a reliable roof over their head, way too many people are looking for food, and way too many people live paycheck to paycheck. Because of the smarts of my husband we’ve been able to build a good life for ourselves and provide a bit for those we care for.

That’s much more fulfilling than that expensive bottle of champagne.

On the back half of my life I’m still looking to be a better person, but I’m not searching to be a richer person, at least not in an economical way. Deep down I’m still the guy from rural Central New York that grew up in a small town that was on the wrong side of the interstate as far as his classmates were concerned and you know what?

That’s awesome.

I’ve known a few too many “trust fund babies” in my life. While it’s fun to be able to have what you want without doing much to earn it, where’s the value in that? More importantly, where’s the zest of life in that?

I need to stick to the awesome.


As I build up the blog list in the right hand column of this bloggy thing here, I’m noticing that some folks opt to not show their entire post in their RSS feed. Instead, the feed features a first paragraph, or in some cases a sentence or two intended to entice folks to their website for the rest of their writings. These are all perfectly fine approaches, but as I start to rely on RSS more as a way to discover content on the Internet, I sometimes have an unread feed list of 50+ items from the past day. Again, this is all perfectly fine, however, because I have varying degrees of attention span, I may gloss over a really blog feed because something in the tickler prose didn’t grab my attention.

This got me thinking about titles on blog posts. I have used titles on my blog posts for well over two decades. Around 10 or 11 years ago I started using one or two word titles in some sort of edgy (at least in my mind) way, and honestly, I think I got the idea from Jennifer Saunders’ titles used in certain seasons of “Absolutely Fabulous”.

Using one or two word titles has resulted in WordPress incrementing file names on the direct links back to these posts; I wouldn’t be surprised that if I hit publish it’s actually going to show as “titles-3” or something similar in the address bar of your browser when you read it. Nothing wrong with this and in a way it’s kind of nifty to see how many times I’ve used the word “titles” to title a blog entry.

As an aside, in early 2023 my husband and I binged “The Good Wife” from beginning to end, watching one or two episodes every night. It didn’t take me very long to figure out what the writers were doing there with episode titles.

  • Season 1 = one word title
  • Season 2 = two word title
  • Season 3 = three word title
  • Season 4 = four word title
  • Season 5 = three word title
  • Season 6 = two word title
  • Season 7 = one word title

I think it was apparent from the very beginning of “The Good Wife” that they intended either a four or seven season run of the series. We never got into “The Good Fight” to see what they did with the titles there. If we want to see Christine Baranski below one-liners we have “The Gilded Age” where she can do a good Maggie Smith impersonation.

OK, I think I’ve gone off in a distracted direction.

Even though we are 13 days into 2024, I think I’m going to try being a little more verbose in titling my blog entries. Aside from the use of “Caturday”, because there’s really only one way to celebrate Caturday and that’s with a properly titled blog entry and some purr-fect photos highlighting the wonders of the local feline.

I hope my title titillated you enough to get to the bottom of this blog entry. I just had to use the word titillated.

Out Loud.

I think out loud a lot. I often ask “why”. I think it drives my husband crazy at times, but sometimes I need to know the “why” so I can process it and understand it. I’d suck at just being told to do something without knowing the logic behind it. A weakness? I think not.

One of the things that definitely drives my husband crazy is I’ll process all the “why”s and the outcomes of a discussion out loud when he’s just asking for me to answer a question. For example, he’ll simply ask something like, “do you want to go to DiCastro’s for dinner”? Before I respond I may say something like, “well, I really like the pasta at DiCastro’s and they have a great selection of beer. They’re also really good at Chicken Marsala, but the Trackside has those great bread knots and it’s not too far away. We haven’t seen Lisa in a while”.

“Who is Lisa?”, he asks, with a slight hint of annoyance in his voice.

I look at him in disbelief, “The owner of DiCastro’s, of course”.

You’d think that after almost 28 years he’d be able to keep up with my multi-threaded approach to thinking a problem, but as we get older my multi-threadedness is a bit more scattered and he isn’t the fountain of patience he used to be.

We still make it work.

I try to rail in my ever charging trains of thought but as I get older I simply do not have the bandwidth to keep the herd of cats in my head in the same litter box. I just go with it now, knowing very well that I will come to a sane outcome that probably only I can understand and hope to relay coherently to the rest of the family.

And this is why I’m looking into Focus and Productivity webinar type things on the Internet in this here New Year.

Wish us all luck.


Today in the Sonoran Desert the wind is whipping at 20+ knots with gusts as high as 30 knots. I can hear rain hitting the side of the house with regular reliability and there is a hard freeze warning in effect for tonight and tomorrow night. The National Weather Service is declaring we may hit the record low of 24F.

I guess we needed to get a reminder of a North American winter or something.

I’ve been busying myself in the house with geek projects. I’m playing around with my old ThinkPad T460s, tweaking Pop!_OS on my desktop, and communicating with friends and family via iMessage on my MacBook Air.

Why have one computer when you can swivel between a few of them.

I’m a little short on patience today. I’m finding that as I get older I’m getting a little short of patience on a regular basis. I need to keep that in mind as I work on my personal goals for 2024.

I probably want a nap because of the rain. I think I’ll drink a cup of coffee and go read a book or something.


I didn’t get to see the sunset last night, but the after glow that hung around for a long while was impressive. My iPhone camera didn’t capture the colors the way I wanted it to. It was a good moment.


My love-hate relationship with Meta (the corporation that owns Facebook, Instagram, and others) continues.

As a private pilot without a lot of aviation friends in this part of the world, I like interacting with fellow pilots online. Facebook Groups lends itself to this. Instagram provides a lot of General Aviation content as well. I enjoy these things.

However, Meta has begun pushing Threads, their Twitter clone, in Instagram. Hard. In between photos and videos of folks I follow (and plenty of ads) on Instagram, my feed is now peppered with updates from Threads. I haven’t used Threads in months after giving it a try when it was first announced. I found it confusing and redundant at best.

Usually I would scroll beyond these Threads suggestions without a second thought, but one of the suggestions caught my eye. I’m not going to link to it and I’m not going to quote it because it was just incredibly gross. The link in question had an appreciable amount of anti-trans rhetoric in it. I scrolled down further and the next link had a good amount of anti-gay dialog in it.

I believe Meta’s algorithm was trying really hard to goad me into engagement by enraging me. And that’s why social media platforms based on algorithms controlled by corporations suck. That’s why we are in the societal disarray we are in today. Corporations want money and the way to get that money is to engage users by enraging them.

Now, I can ignore these stupid attempts at grabbing my attention. As a grown man I have the smarts and wherewith-all to just scroll beyond this idiocy. But I fear many do not and they go down the anti-whatever rabbit hole and then get poisoned by the rhetoric. This is how the new Republican party works in general. Outrage, yell, and hook the stupid.

I’ve always believed one should have a permit to get on the Internet and I stick by that.

In the end I can say that I’m not going to use Meta’s products and contribute to their bottom line but in reality I have just completely removed them from my phone and I only access their products on my computer where I have so many ad blockers and content modifiers in place that they need a physical crowbar to feed their stupidity at me. It’s worth the cost.

What isn’t worth the cost is the idiocy of Meta in general. I desperately wish the aviation community would move away from the paid platforms to open source alternatives like Mastodon and PixelFed. Hell, I’d be good with old fashioned GEnie Roundtables or AOL message boards at this point. Plenty of folks are moving away from the corporate social media platforms but not enough folks are following the lead.

Admittedly, I’m not helping the cause by still peaking from my computer. I realize this as I type this blog entry.

Maybe I should put my money where my mouth is and start staying away from those platforms completely.

My aviation presence on Mastodon is on MyTransponder. My general presence on Mastodon is on Hachyderm.

Dance Break.

One of my favorite ABBA songs was never released as a single. They performed it a few times on television back in the day, but this one has always been relegated to album track status.

This particular mix is missing the harmonies on the chorus and honestly I prefer it to the version on their greatest hits albums.

From 1979, here’s “If It Wasn’t For The Nights” by ABBA.


So here it is, the 1st of January. I slept in a bit this morning. I’ve gone for a walk around the neighborhood (which was very quiet) and now I’m thinking about the New Year and what lies ahead.

It took me a little while to get my gears turning this morning. I looked back at yesterday’s blog entry and a couple of my social media posts and I probably wasn’t as optimistic as I really want to be. What the world needs is more optimism. Sometimes it’s hard to find that optimism but I shouldn’t stop trying to find it.

Getting through the holiday season is always an exercise of “getting over the hump” for me. I worry too much on the upslope, I love it when it peaks, and then I’m a little sad when we’re on the downslope and getting ready to idle into the winter months.

We don’t have a lot planned for the New Year’s Day; I may go browse a locally owned used book store. There’s a couple of titles around meteorology and storm chasing that I’ve been looking at online; it’d be great to support the locally owned bookstore by buying a gently copy of the title.

2023: Exit Stage Left.

As 2023 comes to a close, I’m reminded of some of the dialog in this “Maude” episode that aired on December 30, 1974. The retching about 1974 giving way to 1975 starts around the six minute mark. It’s shocking how much hasn’t changed in nearly 50 years.

2023 wasn’t my favorite year. 2023 wasn’t my best year. A lot of good things happened in 2023 but it seems like there’s a bit of a wet blanket over the country. I wish I could say I’m looking forward to 2024 but I feel like it’s going to be a continuation of 2023… more war, idiotic American politics, and that looming presidential election. Oh how am I dreading the presidential election. It’s going to be another exercise in “vote for the least worst candidate”. And freaks are going to be running around with their weird cult behavior, folks are going to be saying asinine things online (I really wish you needed a license to get on the Internet), and people that are rich through idiocy are going to continue their idiocy. I know, I sound like a Debbie Downer on this New Year’s Eve.

I’m hoping 2024 proves me wrong.

I have made a list of personal goals and aspirations for 2024 and I’ve already begun work on them with the Winter Solstice. That’s a bright spot. I’ve also purchased a couple of bottles of decent champagne for tonight’s celebration, so that’s always fun. Living in the Mountain Time Zone, the time zone that America forgot, we get to celebrate New Year’s Eve at 10:00 PM from New York, again at 11:00 PM from New York when the rerun the whole affair for the Central Time Zone, and then we’re left with someone dropping a giant taco on Downtown Tucson at 12:00 midnight Mountain Time. I’m not really jazzed about the New Year’s Eve celebrations on the television anyway. We’ll probably just hang out with family and friends and call it a night. It’s like that one New Year’s Eve when I was kid when my mom and dad went square dancing and we were left with a babysitter named that didn’t move off the couch the entire night and forced us to watch “Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?”

Maybe I should go take a nap so I’m ready for the frivolity.


I found this marketing display on the cash register at Wendy’s to be interesting. If you read the fine print you’ll notice it’s meant for the drive thru.

When I shared this with the family on our private chat, Jamie posted this which made me laugh out loud while I was still waiting in line.