Earl, Jamie, and Me on Sunday afternoon.

My husband is celebrating his birthday today. We are keeping it fairly simple with dinner and drinks tonight after work. We had cake and presents last night since Mike is out of town for work the rest of the week.

My husband is one amazing man.

iPad Doom.

I was reading a blog post today from one of the Apple websites I follow. The blog post was a round-up of pundits’ opinions on the state of Apple and its devices in 2023. Predictably, the pundits all gave the iPad lineup a failing score and cautioned that popularity of the platform is plummeting fast.

I guess the pundits have never noticed the point of sale device most likely used at their favorite coffee shop or restaurant, or the number of pilots using iPads as “Electronic Flight Bags”, or the number of students at their favorite haunt plunking away on an iPad of some sort.

I’m finding pundits tedious at best these days.

The iPad lineup was never designed to be a Mac replacement. There are plenty of things one can do with the iPad. Whole suits of popular software (ahem, Microsoft Office, Adobe Products, Final Cut Pro, etc) available for the iPad. Plus, since Apple strives to give you all the tools you need by default (Photos, Notes, Mail, Web Browsing, etc), it is certainly up to the task for the average consumer. Hell, all the tools I use as a cross-platform power user are available on my iPad Pro and today it’s on the rare occasion that I can’t accomplish something using my iPad. It’s a nifty device to bring along when I don’t want to lug a computer around. And if I want to play a game of Solitaire or something? It’s perfect. Plus, it’s the best platform for watching movies on the go, reading a book, and a whole lot of other consumption related activities.

Yes, I’m writing this blog entry on my iPad.

Instead of getting into it with some of the Apple pundits that basically get paid to share their opinion of Apple products and nothing more, I decided it was easier just to delete a few of these folks out of my RSS feeds.

I’m not the Apple fanboy I used to be, but I will not jump on the doom and gloom bandwagon of Apple when 1. they’re one of the richest companies in the history of human kind and 2. their products are ubiquitous in society. Is the iPad perfect? No. But it’s certainly not the garbage dump worthy of a failing grade a bunch of people who get paid to be outrageous make it out to be.

Use the tools that work best for you. End of story.


We are currently at a Starbucks in Phoenix, Arizona. We arrived in Phoenix yesterday to get a head start on Earl’s birthday celebration. We did a little shopping, ate a lot of food, went to a bar (the Gay Rodeo is in town!) and now it’s the next day. I haven’t had a hot shower (the hotel wasn’t big on hot water) but I’m doing well and we just had a nice breakfast at a place called Melrose Kitchen. I’ll be writing a Yelp review on the experience after this blog entry. The Yelp review will be complimentary.

We are going to stop at a local watering hole before heading back to Tucson. The weekend has been a whirlwind of activity but I have found it all enjoyable. Whirlwinds make the weekend go by quickly. It’ll be back to work tomorrow.

I’ve gotten in the habit of putting my sunglasses up over my hat visor as one must have both when living in the desert. Earl tells me I look like a golf dad. I can work with that.


For this week’s Caturday we get two for the price one! The “two” being two photos of Truman, of course. He is the prince that has been doing cute things in my office this past week.


This performance from Celine Dion gives me life. From VH1’s Divas Live in 1998, here’s Celine Dion with “River Deep, Mountain High”.

Culinary Delights.

My husband and I cooked dinner for the family for Valentine’s Day. We used to good china and everything. I picked out the menu and together we made meal that was enjoyed by all. The menu included

  • Filet Mignon – sous-vide and then seared on the grill, with a balsamic glaze
  • Homemade scalloped potatoes
  • Roasted green beans with cheese
  • Roasted miniature tomatoes with seasoning

Chris and Mike made Valentine’s Day cupcakes with a rose flavored frosting.

All was delicious. I didn’t take any photos of the event; I was too busy having fun with my husband and the family with our culinary experience.


This is Stevie. Stevie is a young pilot I follow on YouTube. Her adventures are awesome, she is an amazing pilot, and I find her to be quite the inspiration as an aviator.

In this video she flies her Cessna 140 into Liberal, Kansas, a city I’ve been in a few times while storm chasing. Now I need to fly into their airport!

Move On.

When I was a young man figuring out what I wanted to do with my life, I made the assumption that I would have to leave the small town I grew up in to truly be myself. This was back in the mid 1980s and I knew of a few men I suspected to be gay in the community: one was a florist, one ran a jewelry store. A couple of men bought a ladies dress shop together and there was talk about that. I didn’t want to do any of these things and I certainly didn’t want to be the topic of conversation so I figured I’d move a state or two away and figure things out as a music teacher.

And then I realized I couldn’t be myself and a music teacher in a public school at the same time, so that fell through quickly as well.

I’ve mentioned before that while I’ve always known I was different in many ways, being gay was a definite impediment to being my true self and it was going to present obstacles in the Reagan era United States. After my failed attempt at becoming a music teacher I ended up in Boston, where I discovered a more open gay life. I also discovered the gay community seemed to have certain expectations as to the proper way to be gay, at least in the circles I was embroiled in, and before I knew it was I had a colorful Swatch Watch on my wrist and the latest fashions from Jordan Marsh.

I still always felt like the rural Upstate New York boy in the big city.

Decades later I’ve gotten all that sorted out, I’m comfortable with who I am, I’m comfortable with the way I think, and I’m proud of the country fried side of me.

Since leaving Boston in the early ’90s I’ve lived in small cities, big cities, and now a medium sized city. I still love the small towns, though, and they feel very comfortable when I’m in a small village some place on the Great Plains or the like. I still smile when I think about getting some exercise by walking the streets of Gothenberg, Nebraska a few years ago. Everyone was so friendly as I walked by the shops in their small business district. I think about the woman who couldn’t find a table at the small restaurant in Garden City, Kansas, where I was seated alone, and she asked if she could sit at the other end of the table with me. She did and we had a nice conversation about why I was there (storm chasing), why she was there (she was a native), and I smiled when she said, “I haven’t seen you in these parts before but you seem pretty nice”.

Now that’s a compliment.

Settled well into my mid 50s, I have found a good balance in my life. My husband doesn’t flinch when I blast the Yacht Rock or Country Music stations on road trips. I look for places where the waitress says, “be sure to leave some room for some blueberry pie”. And more importantly, I enjoy exploring the nooks and crannies of small town America. And while I’m exploring, I’m being exactly who I am.

And that’s a great feeling.

The Vast Great Plains.

I recently discovered this documentary, “America: Discovering The Vast Great Plains | TRACKS” on YouTube and thoroughly enjoyed it. It takes place in a few of the places I’ve been during storm chasing season. The photography and videography is stunning. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.