Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Roadtrip Day 285

Roadtrip Day 285

4/18 Monday

Said a sad farewell to Mike and headed for our AirBnB in Jersey City. Once we got close to New York city, traffic was thick. Traffic in Jersey City was miserable. Soooo glad we have a parking space at this place. Maid was still cleaning so we drove around a bit and hit the bank for some spending cash.

Got settled into the place. Very nice. Walked down a coupla blocks for eary dinner. Pulled pork sandwich was good. Took the leftovers home. Had a real PITA time trying to get the tv setup with my Roku but eventually got that done. Ronnie and I watched “The Martian” then called it a night.

Roadtrip Day 284

Roadtrip Day 284

4/17 Sunday

Lazy wakeup and lotsa chatting. Headed to a local Italian deli Mike had found for (almost)muffulettas. With the addition of olive salad from a jar, they were pretty damned good.

Mike’s daughter Emma showed up for some pseudomuff and to hear stories about her dad’s exciting rock ‘n’ roll life in the 60s. A couple of those tales got her good. We played a little more music, again to the point of tired fingers then got set up to watch “Fear the Walking Dead”. Didn’t really float my boat but maybe it’ll improve and maybe I’ll get a chance to watch it.

More snacking and chatting and eventually to bed. Heading to New York tomorrow, hopefully avoiding traffic for the Boston Marathon.

Roadtrip Day 283

Roadtrip Day 283

4/16 Saturday

Short Travel day. Two hours to Boston. Found our way to Mike’s house and started our weekend of catching up. Mike took us to a yummy restaurant which was very crowded – Saturday night and all. Thank goodness he’d made reservations. Got back to the house and got out the guitars and amps for some musical reminiscing. Playing time was constrained by tired fingers!

Shot the shit for a while then crashed. So good to see my old friend.

Roadtrip Day 282

Roadtrip Day 282

4/15 Friday

Last night for dinner we had stuffed baked potatoes from the seafood place down the highway. Stuffed with lots of delicious seafood. They were delightful.

Sunny morning, which is nice. Slow morning catching up on Facebook and downloading some books to my Kindle from the library.

Cooked up the last of the bacon for lunch. Mmmmmmm! The candy of meats. Food of the gods.

Ronnie got the tax stuff all organized and copied and mailed it off. DONE!

Got some crab cakes and stuffed sole for dinner from the seafood market. Sliding into our final night.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Roadtrip Day 281

Roadtrip Day 281

4/14 Thursday

Checked for the nearest spot to get the oil changed in the van. Turned out to be Westerly, R.I. which was an intimidating 5-minute drive from here. Drove over and got some new, all-synthetic for our next few thousand miles.

Ronnie continued to work through the tax forms while I was out and about.

After lunch. I got back to working on my book while she pushed to completion on the tax stuff.

Ronnie got to a stopping point, so we went siteseeing. Drove (back, for me) to Westerly and out to the ocean. Added Rhode Island to the total of *states seen*. Very scenic, if somewhat chilly. Cammie liked walking on the sandy(ish) beach.

Saw lots of obviously expensive homes and the broad Atlantic.

On the way home, we stopped at a little seafood place for a lobster roll to share right then and some seafood stuffed potatoes to heat for dinner. Just might go back there to grab more food items tomorrow.

Snuggling in for the night now.

Roadtrip Day 280

Roadtrip Day 280

4/13 Wednesday

Ok, today’s the day. We headed down the road toward Mystic. Got odd (bad!) directions from Ronnie’s magic phone which got us nowhere so we broke for lunch before doing our own search for the library. Mystic Pizza, of course. You know we hadda do it. Ronnie got a “seafood’ pizza and I got a meatball grinder. This is the old stomping grounds of our sailing friends Behan and Jamie and he says their meatball grinder is tops. It was pretty darned good.

Then we found the actual site of the library. Gorgeous building Loved the architecture, outside and inside. Oh, and we got a bunch of tax forms. Now Ronnie has something to do with all her spare time.

Roadtrip Day 279

Roadtrip Day 279

4/12 Tuesday

We planned to hit the library for tax forms and get on that today but we didn’t. We did see DuBois Beach in Stonington. Walked Cammie in the marsh and got a photo of the fugly house.

DuBois beach area seemed very New Englandish to me, whatever that means.

The nature area with walking paths which constitutes the protected marsh area is very pretty.

The fugly house is NOT pretty. (wink)


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Roadtrip Day 278

Roadtrip Day 278

4/11 Monday

Planned to hit the library today for tax forms and tax prep but it never really panned out. Turned into an extended Sunday. Not a terrible thing.

Roadtrip Day 277

Roadtrip Day 277

4/10 Sunday

R&R Sunday. Lazy, late breakfast. Some reading. Some lunch. Some reading and tv. Some dinner. Some reading and tv. Some sleep.


Roadtrip Day 276

Roadtrip Day 276

4/9 Saturday

Birthday party toady with Jean Elizabeth Glass & Co. in Guilford, just down the road from us. (About an hour away.) Kind of amusing to be in the ass-end of Connecticut and be invited to a nearby birthday. But there are unschoolers everywhere. They’re like weeds.

Met a lot of extended family of their gang plus some fellow West coast teens who were there for the party. It was very nice. Chatted some about Katrina cuz they used to have a bead store in New Orleans until “Big K”. All New Orleans history is divided into pre-K and post-K.

Their home is situated in a lovely place backed up to lotsa protected land – hills, boulders, trees, all very lovely.

We zipped back to the animals and a quiet evening here in Pawcatuck.

Roadtrip Day 275

Roadtrip Day 275

4/8 Friday

Woke to hot Ovaltine and a glazed doughnut. Ahhh! Spent the morning catching up on blog posts for the last several days and getting better acquainted with the four cats and one dog here. Lovely sunshine today and this house has lots of windows, which is nice.

Went to the local post office then took a brief walk with Cammie on the marsh viewing path. Passed a contender for ugliest house ever designed. I’ll get photos later.

Lunch now!

Friday, April 08, 2016

Roadtrip Day 274

Roadtrip Day 274

4/7 Thursday

Awrite. Spent one last night in Falls Church with the returned owners. Thanks for that. Got upp and bought an EZPass since it will help with our trips all around the Northeast. Then we drove.

Rain, stormy rain, blustery winds, and D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, before zeroing in on our destination – Pawcatuck, CT. Stopped for some groceries at the Big Y in Mystic then finally made it to meet the dog and 4 cats here. Phew. Long day. Crashing now.

Roadtrip Day 273

Roadtrip Day 273
4/6 Wednesday
So, Ronnie had scheduled us to have a kaffeklatsch with our Senator (Patty) Murray. However, we thought it was to be at 10 AM and not so big. Reality turned out to be a 9AM meet with attendants required to be in the room (through security) by 8:40 plus it was not as small as we imagined, and apparently mostly just an opportunity for a photo op with the senator and not really a time for discussion. So we bagged it.
Headed into town on the Metro to see the White House first and foremost. Walked around it and through a couple of nearby parks. Chilly but at least it wasn’t raining. Wonderful to see it in person.
Hopped back on the metro to go over to the capitol. Waited in an endless string of lines to eventually go sit in the Senate gallery.
It was amazing and emotional to sit right there where so many significant things have happened. Serendipitously, a senator was reading in the FAA extension bill for 2016. Interesting to me. Especially interesting to hear an offhand comment about deciding not to allow the FAA to be privatized. Well, thank the gods of spacetime for THAT! No photos in there, unfortunately.
And with that, we were tired and out of time to get back to walk Rupert. Down to the Metro and back to falls Church. Rest and recuperation time.

Roadtrip Day 272

Roadtrip Day 272

4/5 Tuesday

Drove to visit Laura Parrish in her lovely pastoral home. Meredith dropped by with Grayson and Alice for part of it. We passed a lovely time and Grayson amused himself mightily with my GoPro.

Laura made a delicious lunch of shrimp and potato soup, the kids made potions, and we all had a swell time. Rupert came along for the ride and enjoyed their large, fenced yard He and the kids took a while to get acquainted but eventually they did.

Thanks so much for hosting us, Laura, and for the genuine Virginia peanuts and the homemade lemon bars! (grin)


Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Roadtrip Day 271

Roadtrip Day 271

4/4 Monday

Grabbed the Metro to go to the National Archives. Lovely day after the COLD of yesterday. About 70 and somewhat sunny. Nice. Bit of a line to get in then another lineup to enter the rotunda which houses the Biggies. History weighs heavily when looking at these founding documents of our nation.

After navel-gazing in the rotunda, we toured many other sites in the building. Some pretty good coverage of suffrage and civil rights, not quite as good (IMO) on Native Americans. A goodly number of military documents. All in all, a moving, emotional, and maybe even motivating visit.

Lunch from a Mexican food-truck on the street outside. Strolling a few blocks back to the Metro, then returning to Falls Church. A few groceries and we’re settled for the sudden rain of the late afternoon.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Roadtrip Day 270

Still daydreaming about the Air and Space Museum
Roadtrip Day 270

4/3 Sunday

Wow! Windy and stormy last night. Apparently our power at least blipped if it didn’t go out for a measurable period. 32 degrees this morning. Brrrrrr!

It’s a hot Ovaltine kind of morning. The sun is nice, at least. Ok, so it’s a writing day. Making some more progress with my legionaries.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Roadtrip Day 269

Roadtrip Day 269

4/2 Saturday

I decided that I’d write a poem for today’s visit.

On Visiting Arlington National Cemetery with Sakura – 2016

Hard whitecaps breaking on the soft, green swells of Mare Tranquillitatis.
Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori. Genuine sentiment or cynicism?
Or both simultaneously? Only Horace can say. I cannot.

The Parthians, famed bowmen they, with future ears heard Patton say,
“Make the other poor bastard die for his land!” and sowed Roman corpses on their sand.
Horace answered not, except to caution against Persian opulence.

The Great Temporal River flows ceaselessly. The stars wheel in their sidereal pace.
Imperial Rome that was, is not, the Parthians have shot their final shot,
And I, today, on aged knees, hobble ‘round this hallowed place.

‘neath the broad, verdant bosom of Gaia, individuals lie unspeaking
But not silent. Their existence and deeds proclaimed in stentorian understatement,
Chiseled on the white bones of Mother Earth, a nation’s treasure, resting.

Submariner, seaman, ground-pounder, leatherneck, engineer, seabee, airman,
Private, sergeant, chief, ensign, lieutenant, captain, general, admiral,
Heroic medal-winner, or humble shit-shoveller, all lie in equal measure.

Our sisters, too, share this shallow sea with their fallen brothers, having given their all,
Equally still and silent beneath the undulations of abundant life, both green and floral.
Grass seeking the sun, leaves and flower petals seeking the earth, endlessly cycling above.

The sakura (cherry blossoms), not as many here as near the Babylonian hurly-burly of the Mall,
Magnolia leaves which smell of my New Orleans, and many others, unknown to my lexicon,
All reminding us of the endless gyre and that life and death are entwined in a perpetual dance.

I, adrift in my thoughts, perambulate on rivers of asphalt, ribboned o’er the green swells,
Pausing here and there to read the bare bones of a life, revealed on those myriad whitecaps,
Small and simple or large and complex in their rigid geometry above the organic, verdant surface.

Omnes, requiescatis in pace.

Roadtrip Day 268

Roadtrip Day 268

4/1 Friday

April Fools’ Day. Watch out.

Breakfast at a cute local ‘50s style diner. Then off to the Air and Space Museum. A significant jones for me. One of many, true, but flying and space travel are deeply ingrained in my core self.

What a wonderful experience. I hafta control myself or this post will become a multithousand-word elegy. This wonderful museum contains the entire history of human flight, from the Montgolfier brothers’ balloons to the latest in space-going craft.

Some particular highlights for me include aircraft *I* admire which may not be the same for you. Go visit. Yours is probably there, too!

The fabulous twin-tail-boom P38.


My favorite warbird from WWII, the exquisite F4U Corsair. Hubba-hubba!


A coupla planes from the greatest aviation designer of the century, Burt Rutan, notably his mold-breaking Vari-EZE and the round-the-world-without-refuelling Voyager. Burt also designed SpaceShipOne (and Two). The Vari-EZE is the white one resting on its nose.

In the category of stop-and-catch-your-breath, the Enola Gay. Ronnie cried. Even I teared up. The weight of history falls like a heavy cloak when you see that nose art.

Similar but different is the emotion upon seeing the Discovery, Queen of LEO (low-earth orbit). Wow!

Melancholy feelings when viewing the SST Concorde. Why haven’t all commercial aircraft gone supersonic, instead of reverting to all-subsonic flight? So beautiful, so elegant.


Seeing a Japanese Okha suicide plane-bomb evoked another strong wave of emotion. A barely-flyable bomb with a human “guidance system.” One-way trip.

I absolutely loved the space section – Mercury and Gemini capsules, Pathfinder and Sojourner, spacesuits and EVA vehicles. Luvs me some space shit.

It was fascinating to look down at their restoration hangar. Saw current work on a WWII bomber named “Flak Bait” which lived up to its name be being the worst-shot-up craft to make it through the war.

I could go back often for a good while before tiring of the offerings there.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Roadtrip Day 267

Roadtrip Day 267

3/31 Thursday

Slept in a bit this morning. Felt good. Lazy morning on a greyish day flowed by lunch. This afternoon, I’m setting up in the large top-floor workroom with a nice view through a 6’ slider of the trees and bushes (and, unfortunately, a slice of the freeway). Gonna crank out some deathless prose on “The Lost Century.” More accurately, some seriously death-filled prose; it’s melee time in the first century BCE in the Hindu Kush. Roma Aeterna!

Got almost 2K words written. Woo-hoo!
Trying out pen names. I might be settled on "Ken Shi".