December 31, 2011


One of the things I love about New Orleans is what a study in contrasts it is. From have to have not, or from tourist trap at one point to a genuine historic hole in the wall 10 feet away, or from party in the street to peaceful desolate street one block away. These are some scenes from wandering the quarter on New Years Eve Eve. Happy New Year.

December 30, 2011

mississippi surprise

On the way to New Orleans from Mississippi, my pal Stephen took a detour to show me the Pinecote Pavilion at the Crosby Arboretum in Picayune. Pinecote was designed by E. Fay Jones, an Arkansas modernist architect who was an apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright. His work is said to have a Wrightian feel, and he often used materials that reflected their surroundings. Pinecote, an open air pavilion that he described as an "asymmetrical shed," seems to float on the water while blending harmoniously into the surrounding trees. As the sun moves over the course of the day, so do patterns created by light and shadow interplaying with the elements of the building. It is most impressive when illuminated at night, but unfortunately not open to the public then. Seeing such a brilliant piece of architecture in the middle of Mississippi was a pleasant surprise, but I'm learning its apparently not as rare as you might think.

December 29, 2011

nola daze

I'm in New Orleans now for a few days. Almost immediately I fell into my typical schedule when traveling, especially in Europe. I spent most of the night working, then decided to go out for beers really late (after all, bars don't close here) which of course led to being out until really early, and then sleeping half the day. Its a vicious cycle. But so it goes. And in an effort not to completely break it, but still get a new blog post in, here are just a few basic pics from around where I'm staying in the French Quarter. Time to get out and about before it gets any later...

December 28, 2011


Ironically enough, I'm on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi at the moment, the same place I left off in my last blog posts. I didn't do so well at my last attempt at reviving the blog, so after 5 months of near silence, its time for another try. I'm actually en route to New Orleans for New Years after spending Christmas in Virginia and West Virginia. Many of you are familiar with My Dad's Weimaraners Phantom and Edn. Phantom is 15 1/2 now and still hanging on. The hardest part was leaving her yesterday without breaking down. It's the third time in a year that I've left teary-eyed thinking I probably wouldn't see her again. I think she likes proving me wrong. Dad's annual Christmas greeting from the dogs is also a tradition for those who follow the blog, so below is a link to this year's card as well as a link to earlier blog posts that featured the cards (including a link to all the previous year's versions as well.) This year's card is more of a journal of Phantom's last year. Be warned, its a bit of a tear-jerker.
  • Dad's 2011 Christmas Card from the dogs
  • previous observed post about the cards & index to earlier years cards
  • October 1, 2011


    another settings test. pardon the interruption. move along, nothing to be seen here. keep calm and carry on.

    September 30, 2011


    this is just a test post. Testing the new blogger system with images here to see if they post any differently than in old posts. This will get deleted soon... don't worry, you didn't miss anything.

    September 28, 2011

    stand by

    First off, believe it or not, the blog isn't dead. Its just been on...uh... an unplanned vacation. Yeah, thats it. Secondly, if you're seeing this, my apologies for the appearance. Blogger wiped out the format settings of the blog by changing something in their user interface. It may be a little bit of time before I can spend the time to try to fix the appearance, so in the meantime I figured it prudent to post this. Thanks! Hopefully we'll be back soon. UPDATE: if you're seeing this now, its probably pretty close to what the new design will end up looking like.... stay tuned for more.

    July 27, 2011


    I've been in Mississippi for the last couple days (yes, Mississippi.) I'm here visiting a friend on the southern coast in Ocean Springs, touring some pretty cool architecture (yes, really), and of course eating some good southern food. More details to come, but here's a taste.

    July 24, 2011


    Today was another travel day; back in Baltimore now. I flew into Baltimore this year to ride down with my sister, niece, and nephew instead of renting a car from Norfolk. At one point I before the trip was wondering what I was thinking opting for a 7.5 hour drive after flying across the country, but it turns out my sister take a more rural highway route from Baltimore to the Outer Banks instead of the interstate, so the drive was actually pretty pleasant. The ridiculous heat in Baltimore, on the other hand, not so much.

    July 22, 2011

    island time

    My sisters and the kids and I spent the day on Ocracoke Island today. We took the ferries to the island from Hatteras, a fairly short drive from our homebase for the week in Avon. We met up with my sister Mel's friend, Jane, for a leisurely lunch and then split up, with some of us opting to bike around the island while others went shopping among the stores in the village. We stopped by the Ocracoke Lighthouse, where Mel had been married years ago. When the biking group ducked into a shop, I opted to break away and spent a while just biking among the back roads and neighborhoods of the island by myself. Once I ran out of streets with time still to go (and dripping in sweat from the heat,) I found a bar on the marina docks to cool down with a beer until it was time to meet back up with everyone. Nothing to write home about (though I guess I just did, huh?), but a nice change of pace from our routine days at the beach house.

    July 21, 2011


    Oops, didn't realize I hadn't posted in so long... I'm hanging this week with my family in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I'm here with my sisters and some of their kids, our parents, and their dogs. My parents' dogs Phantom and Edn are here, along with my sister's dog Colby. Colby and Edn are Phantom's sons, and Phantom, who just turned 15, has aged to the point that she doesn't have much use of her hind legs. Its a bit of doggy hospice that's hardest on my Dad, but she seems to enjoy being here I'm glad to get to see her again. I hadn't expected to after my Christmas visit. Otherwise, its a pretty relaxing week. I have some work going on, but not too much. I go to the beach less often than the rest of the crew. We tend to cook seafood from local markets every night and just hang out, which is pretty much perfect.

    July 14, 2011


    Finally catching up to Saturday's Galaxy game and another night with the Angel City Brigade: After the big July 4th game only a few days earlier, the crowd overall was smaller than usual, especially for a Saturday, but it seemed like a much more dedicated crowd nonetheless. Eric, a dedicated ACBer and fan who travels from the UK every year, was there with us, of course hanging with the group at the tailgate before the game. The team played better, with Beckham still showing his value with two of his trademark kicks that turned into goals. I even added three new flags that I was proud to see flying among the group throughout the night. Overall, a pretty good night topped off by a win and the players salute dedicated to the ACB and all the fans; just the way we like it.