Monday, March 18, 2013

Speaking of Painting

I received my furlough notice via certified mail last week. I'm happy to do my part! Not really. I have no idea what effect the furloughs will have on air travel in the US but I have a hunch that it won't be good. What people don't understand is that much of the furloughs due to sequestration haven't even happened yet. That's definitely the case for air traffic controllers where our furloughs have been pushed back until April 21st at the earliest. If you're accustomed to getting your news and misinformation through talk-radio it's quite likely that you won't be aware of that.

I expect the majority of air traffic delays will be on the east coast where staffing is most critical, where they're already working a boatload of overtime. Once the furloughs begin the overtime spigot shuts off. That in and of itself will be enough to affect their ability to handle traffic I would think. Compound that with a further reduction in staffing due to furloughs and we'll see the impact of delays out there backup across the country.

Tammy had a watercolor class with Betsi last Monday night at the Lakeville community center, complete with wine. The fruits of her labor in the photo to the left. I've been hoping for the longest time that she would get back into painting again. She took one class in college back in the mid '90s but hasn't made the time to dabble in it anymore since. I've toyed with the idea of getting her an easel and some paints but she has to want to do it. Maybe now is the time. I can picture her set up out in our new porch once it's finished with sunlight streaming in and music filling the space while she loses herself in a painting.

Speaking of painting...a friend from high-school has spent a good part of his adult life traveling the world as a travel painter. I wrote about Gregg a few months back after catching up with him at a mini-reunion. Here's a link to his biography and his blog. The biography does a nice job of explaining his life as a travel painter. It's something that especially fascinates me because I've led a life so opposite from Gregg's. I've always had the security of my government job and all of the trappings of comfort it provides. Gregg operates without a net in a way that most people can't begin to imagine and I admire that a lot, in fact, there's a part of me that is envious of his approach to life. Why can't I be more like Gregg?

I stopped in to see him last Thursday at Valley West mall in Bloomington where he has a gallery of some of his paintings on display. I spent close to two hours taking in his works and chatting with him about life. It was a really nice time. One thing that struck me about his paintings was how they seemed to come into focus at varying distances from them. I went through the gallery observing them from 3-4 feet away but then I noticed that some of them took on a much different feel when seeing them from 10-20 feet away. It was striking in some cases.

We got together with Rachel over the weekend. We drove down Thursday night to bring her back for a spring-break trip she's taking with the University of Minnesota Students Today Leaders Forever group and their Pay it Forward tour. (As I write this she's currently in Lexington, Kentucky bound for Atlanta, Georgia doing volunteer work along the way) She was so busy when we finally picked her up around 8:00pm having been on the go all day. She pulled her laptop out as soon as she got in the car, still in the 'go' mode. She's assumed a regional coordinator role for this trip and that's adding considerably to her workload.

And speaking of roles...I had to laugh at her Facebook update a few days ago...

"Just realized I've been listing my leadership "rolls" on my resume for the last couple years. Nguyener!!!"

That's my daughter!

We enjoyed the drive back. She closed her laptop and the three of us chatted the rest of the way. It was a trip I'd been looking forward to. We ended up at Outback Steakhouse and for the first time, Tammy and I enjoyed dinner and a glass of wine with Rachel. She enjoys Moscato, white wine...a little sweet for my taste. It was a really nice time.

Rachel brought up our plans to try out for the Amazing Race. It's something we've talked about over the years. There's never been a step-father-step-daughter combination in the show's history and we think that may be something that would interest the producers. She intends to take a year off from college after her 4th year while she completes the required hours in the medical field she'll need before she can apply to PA school. She mentioned that it would be a perfect time for her to do the show. would mean bumping up my recently pushed back retirement date but I think we could manage. Plus, if we win the million dollars! Say no more.


Larry said...

Very interesting blog, Kevin! I encourage you to apply for the "Amazing Race"...I think you would do very well!

Kevin said...

Thanks, Larry!

Stay tuned! :-)