Ponderings and Musings

Champagne Life.

Ever since I was a teenager I’ve had dreams about living a “champagne life”. Flying a private jet to a private island. No worries about finances. Traveling the world. Sipping champagne at a black tie event. Hobnobbing, conversing, and having a good laugh with others enjoying their champagne life.

Of course, this is not who I really am. I have enjoyed some really awesome experiences in my life, and there’s been plenty of bottles of champagne along the way, but when it all comes down to it, I was raised adjacent to my grandparents’ farm in Central New York by a country-raised dad and a city-raised mom, one who leaned on his traditional upbringing and the other who was a bit more liberal in her thinking.

It was kinda like Ward Cleaver married That Girl.

It’s hard work, not a trust fund, that gives me the opportunity to glimpse at “champagne life” once in a while. Last night, the flight attendant offered me a glass of sparkling wine before we left the gate for our flight home. I’m fortunate to be able to sit fairly close to the front of the airplane.

I sipped some of the sparkling wine. I did not complain that it wasn’t actual champagne.

Plan B.

I strive to always have a Plan B. This has been my mantra for many years and while it may seem to some that I’m paranoid, I like to have a plan B. My way of thinking always needs to be formulating resolution. If I have a problem, I need to resolve it immediately.

Just as we were leaving the gate at Syracuse for Denver, I received a text message from United strongly suggesting I consider jumping to another flight by using the convenient United app with free wi-fi access during the four hours I was in the air.

I immediately searched for other flights and found none until morning to Tucson, but there was a flight to Phoenix that would give me a comfortable layover experience.

I’m now sitting at gate B12 waiting for my flight to Phoenix. Earl will be making the drive to Sky Harbor to pick me up and we’ll make the two hour drive home across the desert after I (hopefully) pick up my luggage at KPHX.

There’s no reason to panic when engaging in travel. Just focus on Plan B. Always have an “out”. You’ll be fine.

Headed Home.

I’ve been in Syracuse, New York for a week working with my family on Mom’s care at the hospital. She is more stable than when I arrived Wednesday night, but she still can’t keep food down easily, is quite dehydrated, and has some skewed levels when it comes to blood test results. She was napping when I left the hospital for the airport but she woke up to give me a hug and a kiss and told me how happy she was I made the trip from Tucson.

I’m hoping she’ll continue to improve and build some strength. We are working on an assisted living situation for her when she leaves the hospital. All that goes through my mind is “Shady Pines, Ma”, but we took a tour of the facility and I was comfortable with the services they provide. Plus the facility is centrally located so family will still be able to see her often, she won’t need to change doctors, and she’ll be in a familiar neighborhood. Not everyone has that opportunity in these circumstances.

It’s never easy to make these decisions but sometimes we have to make tough decisions. Her living with my sister is not easy as her house is small, multiple levels, and there’s a lot going on. It’s just not as safe as it could be. Taking her to Tucson is not an option, as Mom wouldn’t know anyone, would have to start from scratch with her medical care, and she said she doesn’t want to live in the desert.

We make hard choices. But we always hope it’s for the best.


I’m staying with my cousin while Mom is in the hospital. We’ve been watching television in the evenings, and apparently in this part of the country these television ads have been running. A lot.

How long before we start hearing that 1970s mod version of “The Lord’s Prayer” on the radio?


I’m in Syracuse. Mom is not doing well and my family felt it might be a good idea if I make the trip to Tucson. Mom has had two trips to the emergency room by ambulance in the past 10 days. Her latest was due to shortness of breath.

Mom has lost 40 pounds since the beginning of November. She can’t keep food down. She is weak. She is having difficulties breathing. The doctors can’t find much wrong with her, though they are looking at spots on her liver. We’ll find out soon what’s going on there, but they don’t seem overly concerned, this is more of “ruling everything out”.

I’m hopeful she’ll pull through this, but we toured an assisted living facility this afternoon. It’s not what I want, but it’s the safest option.


My sister and I went to a my nephew’s hockey game. It turned out to be the last game of the season but at least they made the playoffs.

We haven’t done a selfie in many years.


For the first time since moving to Tucson nearly two years ago, we woke up with a dusting of snow on the ground.

Yesterday a truck with nitric acid tipped over about eight miles away on Interstate 10. A HAZMAT alert went out on the Emergency Alert System. Within a mile radius was shelter-in-place. That was expanded to three miles this morning.

We still stayed inside.


Storms moving through the desert in the first half of February. Because humans are making Mother Nature very angry.

Dear Apple, Part Two.

Dear Apple,

What are you doing with HomeKit? Do you know? Does anyone on your team know? Because Siri doesn’t know. After the latest update (to 16.3?) things will work in the morning but absolutely not in the evening. Or vice versa. Or my HomePods will no longer recognize my voice. Enter password. Enter your password. Enter your password on every HomePod you own. Enter again.

Apple could have knocked it out of the park with HomeKit and the associated HomePod line of hardware. But no, it’s taken a back seat and no one knows why. Promises of things getting better and easier to navigate and more reliable fall by the wayside.

We need more love for HomeKit. Full stop. I want my home automation to live in the better security of iCloud but more importantly I want it to be reliable.

It’s not reliable right now.

Do better.