Posts

Please Indulge Me

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I sometimes wonder what my father would have made of our politics today. I'd always assumed he was a conservative but the only evidence I have of that was his subscription to the Wall Street Journal and his career in finance , neither of which is strong evidence. He seemed more of a cynic than anything about all things political. Perhaps he became disillusioned after Nixon resigned in disgrace. I have a lasting memory of him calling me out for having Nixon's memoirs in a collection of books I brought home with me after my enlistment in the navy: "Why do you have that?" he inquired of me. The last year of his life involved being tethered to his supplemental oxygen while resting in his easy chair, intently watching the O.J. Simpson trial for the murder of his ex-wife and her friend.  I'm quite sure he would never have joined Trump's cult of followers. He would have seen his lack of morals and lack of honesty for what they were: a con—the biggest con in our count

30 Years Ago Today, and a Collective Shoulder Shrug

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It was 30 years ago today that I moved into our home. That's a long time and by far the longest I've lived in one place. I was 34 years old and full of ambition—ambition I was going to need. The summer of 1992 would be a very busy summer for me with numerous landscaping projects that I'd drawn up on graph paper and needed to bring to life. I had 10 dumptruck loads of topsoil brought in and spread throughout our lot because of the poor soil condition that existed. The only other labor I paid for was to have a guy trench two main lines for our lawn irrigation system and I hired a bobcat driver to punch 50 pre-marked holes in the ground where shrubs would go. I think that was the best $50 I've ever spent. And no, I can't imagine purchasing a new home today and having to do all of the work I had to do 30 years ago to get our home up to speed. My level of ambition isn't quite what it once was. Our home has been through a number of changes in the past 3 decades with

My Favorite Time of Year, My Former Life, and Busted!

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This is my favorite time of year. I love the freshness of spring as perennials push up from hiding underground and trees begin to leaf out and come to life. Birds chatter like no other time of year as their songs break the morning quiet. I try as best I can to live in this moment and take it all in; savoring it. Tammy's favorite color is the green of budding trees. I look forward to hearing her comment at some point each spring about the beauty of the color.  Tammy and I spent a good part of last weekend shopping for flowers for our gardens and getting them in the ground. It's nice to have the work mostly done because it's a rather big job—my aching muscles and rough raw hands are reminders. We still have some flower pots to fill before we're done—preferably filled with something less tasty than begonias for the many deer that see them as a bowlful of greens to feast on.  Steve and I have been getting out golfing once each week now that the courses are all up and runni

Party Planning and Games People Play!

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I can't recall a month of windier weather than what we've been experiencing in the Midwest. It got old a while ago and most of us are ready for some warmer, less rainy, and less windy days.  I had a longish gravel ride of 74 miles (119 km) planned for Saturday with hopes of getting out early ahead of the stronger winds that were forecast but I was grounded as I waited for some heavy downpours to pass. By the time the rains moved out, the winds had begun to ramp up. I did my best to keep my head down and work my way south into them but there were occasional gusts close to 40 mph (64 kph) that nearly blew me over more than once. I stopped several times to put a foot down and steady myself when they became too much. After 14 miles of white-knuckling my bars, I'd had enough and turned for home. That's what indoor trainers are for! We met Rachel and Drew at Drew's parent's home yesterday to strategize about the wedding celebration they have planned for September. The

Zero Buyer's Remorse Here!

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This week marked 40 years since I took a seat in the auditorium at the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City, OK to begin my career as an air traffic controller with the Federal Aviation Administration. I had no way of knowing then as I sat there with several hundred others what a blessing that opportunity would be for me.  I loved the work  and can't imagine a more fulfilling career. It's sobering how quickly 40 years pass by. There's one remaining stained glass shop in the Twin Cities area after the recent closings of the two main shops that I frequented for my supplies: J Ring Studios and Glass Endeavors. When I first began working with the medium 30 years ago there were close to 15 glass shops in the area. This is not a good trend. The remaining shop, Down Home Stained Glass , is a very small studio with limited hours and limited supplies and not one that I generally use. The next best option is Sleepy Eye Stained Glass , a 3-hour roundtrip drive to the sma

Goodbye, Cotton, and a Follow-Up

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Tammy used to do volunteer work cleaning homes of elderly people who could no longer manage the task themselves. She became very good friends with one of the families she helped; Linda and Bob, and their chihuahua Cotton. Linda and Bob both passed away in 2020 leaving Cotton behind, and sadly, nobody in their extended family wanted Cotton (they were going to euthanize her). Tammy and I had talked about the possibility of this scenario playing out this way in the months before Linda and Bob both passed and we agreed that if nobody wanted Cotton, we would take her in. And so we did.  Cotton was a sweet girl who was most content by Tammy's side. Early on, she would show a playful side. She would wait at the top of the stairs to our upper level and she would happily dance in a playful way as we'd climb the steps toward her. She used to love to walk through the grass in our yard and sniff her way along. It was just a few months ago where she could still climb the steps to our upper

A Concerning Diagnosis

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Due to two separate rib injuries, I've been relegated to indoor riding for the last few months with the exception of one romp along the river trails 7 weeks ago where I suffered my last injury in a fall . I've been able to stay in good riding form from the many hours I've spent on my indoor trainer but it's not the same as being outdoors with the sun on my face. With my ribs feeling as good as they've felt in months, I took to the trails yesterday. For obvious reasons, I rode more cautiously than I normally do. It was nice. (There's an embedded video of my ride below.) I've been wondering why I seem so prone to rib injuries (3 separate incidents in 8 months) so I scheduled a bone density scan for this past week as a way of ruling in or ruling out any bone-related issues. A bone density scan is typically recommended for women at age 65 but it's not something men are normally screened for unless there's a history of fractures. I got my results in an em