Thursday, June 30, 2011


This is not my work.

Because I admire it so - both the sentiment and the graphic design - I am posting it here. I found it via Pinterest on a website called Wild Guess, which I think is part of Tumblr. I believe it was "Wild Guess” who created the poster/print. Liz Feldman is a writer and comedian.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Did you ever tear a photograph of your dream kitchen out of a magazine? A wedding dress? The pink sand beach in Bermuda that you dream of escaping to in the middle of winter? Well, Pinterest is the on-line location where you can gather all the nifty things you come across on the internet. Pinterest is the virtual intersection of a bulletin board, a scrapbook and a notebook. As Wendy says, it’s her “happy place”! Mine too!

One of the cool things about Pinterest is that you don’t just see your own boards; you get inspiration from other people’s boards. When you see something you like right on Pinterest you “re-pin” it. When you see something in your travels around the internet you “pin it” using a little gizmo up on your browser bar. Easy peasy - and definitely worth a look!

Major Step For Little Rhody

Tonight the Rhode Island State Senate passed a Civil Unions Bill. It’s not perfect. It’s not full and equal marriage. But it’s a big step, in the right direction, for the smallest state. Governor Lincoln Chafee will sign it.

Thank you Rhode Island!

Friday, June 24, 2011


Before last month I had never been in the state of North Dakota. When we took “The Empire Builder” there was a scheduled stop in Minot, North Dakota. It was a brilliantly sunny day, with nary a cloud in the sky. We stepped off the train onto the platform to stretch our legs and breathe the fresh spring air. We were in Minot much longer than anticipated because of a problem with one of the cars. We eventually reboarded the train and continued on our way.

Within a few hours the sky grayed; clouds deepened. Somewhere in North Dakota or perhaps over the line into Montana, the landscape changed. The image below is not a photograph of a lake. It is the flat of the northern prairie inundated with water. The wave you see is actually the wake from the train as it moved ever so slowly across the flooded railroad tracks. Once we were safely back on dry track, the train was stopped while the conductor and crew got out to inspect the undercarriage to be sure we had not picked up any debris.

Right now, Minot, North Dakota is experiencing the worst flooding it has known in over 130 years. The Souris River runs through the heart of Minot and is continuing to overtake the city of 40,000. Nearly 10,000 people have been evacuated. The Roosevelt Park Zoo has also been evacuated. The river is already 9 1/2 feet above flood stage. The crest may be reached on Sunday at 15 1/2 feet above flood.

Here’s one way you can help the people of Minot:
American Red Cross, Mid-Dakota Chapter.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It Felt Like A Sunday

Chuck and I met 26 years ago next month. In September we will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. In the intervening years between meeting and marrying we became friends and fell in love. Shortly before we met, Stephen Sondheim wrote the Broadway musical “Sunday In The Park With George”. We were smitten with it. Song after song moved us; touched us in some deep way. The musical was inspired by Georges Seurat’s spectacular painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”. In fact, the painting becomes a scrim in the musical production.

Back in the late 80s, right around the falling in love stage, we began thinking about visiting Seurat’s original painting. We even looked into a weekend plane trip from Massachusetts to Chicago, where the painting resides in a museum. But the cost of such a trip was prohibitive. When we drove across the country from Seattle to the east coast back in 1998, we were pushing to make a deadline. We were very disappointed to find ourselves traveling through Chicago around midnight.

So when the Amtrak adventure began to take shape we realized this might be our best chance. The only potential glitch was the timing. Because the railroad tracks are owned mostly by freight companies, Amtrak passenger trains often have to wait their turn to let long freights have priority. That can mean significant delays. We were lucky. “The Lake Shore Limited” arrived in Chicago on time, leaving us with nearly a four hour layover. We stashed our carry-on luggage in a locker at Union Station and hailed a taxi in the pouring rain.

Next stop: The Art Institute of Chicago.

We stepped out of the warm rain and into the cool serenity of the Art Institute. We paid our admission fee and asked for directions to the painting. In just a few moments we were in the gallery devoted to it and a few of Seurat’s other works. We were overcome. We had dreamed of this moment for almost a quarter century. We sat on a long wooden bench and tried to take it all in. Group after group of elementary school students bustled in with notebooks in one hand, folding stools in the other. They plopped down in front of the enormous image and listened while the docents explained the painting and the magic of pointillism.

I wanted to take a photograph. Chuck found a guard and inquired if non-flash photography was allowed. “Yes”, she replied. I took some photographs. We sat down again; still feeling overwhelmed. The guard looked at us quizzically and we felt compelled to quietly explain how we came to be there. Families walked in and out; individual visitors, many wearing the now common headphones playing the audio tours, stopped, looked and moved on. Most everyone seemed interested. No one seemed quite as taken as we were. But then, very few of them had been looking forward to that moment for such a long time.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I may have been born in the city of Providence, Rhode Island, but I grew up in suburbia. I have lived in a few cities, including Worcester, Massachusetts. Now I make my home in a rural community. So my city forays are for shopping, education, cultural activities, entertainment, sporting events and dining. That’s why this photo opportunity was irresistible to me.

The Amtrak train we were on called “The Empire Builder” (I know. It is so very cool they name their routes!) made a stop in Spokane, Washington. The back half of the train was being separated and would follow a southerly route to Portland, Oregon, while our “consist” would continue along to Seattle, Washington. Spokane was one of the few stops long enough to allow the passengers the chance to get off onto the adjacent platform. When the train glided to a halt, this wonderful old brick building was right outside the window of our sleeping car.

I love photographing the natural world in all its splendor, but now I have a strong urge to look at the city with fresh eyes; a camera in hand.

A Brief Explanation

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich explains the problems with the U.S. economy in less than 2 minutes, 15 seconds — replete with illustrations. Watch and learn...

Many thanks to for this video.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sweet Surprise

It took two weeks and nine modes of transportation to complete our recent trip.

Several months ago we received an Evite from our brother-in-law. He and the kids were planning a surprise 60th birthday party for Chuck’s sister. We couldn’t resist. But we decided to do something different. We decided to travel by train - - - to Seattle, Washington. Yes, four days and three nights on the train vs. five hours by plane. We looked on it as an “adventure”. Well, sometimes we saw it as an adventure; sometimes we saw it as a what-have-we-gotten-ourselves-into?

But at the surprise party, in the moment when Chuck’s sister ran into his arms, we knew it had all been worth it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

He’s Smiling

My Dad loved the Boston Bruins. We lived in Rhode Island when the Bruins hockey games were broadcast over a UHF station out of Boston. We had only one television that could pick up the UHF signal. It was a little black and white TV with the round wire UHF antenna on the back. Dad had to position it “just so” in the northeast corner of a second floor bedroom. Even with his careful and repeated adjustments, he still watched nearly every Bruins game through a field of electronic snow. Truly, I do not know how he ever actually saw the puck. Between the tiny screen and the chronic snow I think he must have intuited the position of the puck as it flew across the ice. It didn’t matter. He loved the game. He loved the Bruins.

So when the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup last night, for the first time in 39 years, I know that Dad was smiling. And I sure hope that they had an enormous, state-of-the-art, HD TV up in heaven so that Dad could watch his team win the best of seven and bring the Cup back to Boston. If there was a cold Heineken on hand, well, so much the better!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

10 = 7

Isabella turned ten months old on Sunday. Having been born prematurely, her adjusted age is seven months. When we visited today her Mom, Carrie, treated us to a very big surprise:

Izzy can sit up all by herself!

Oh, and she is presently quite fascinated by her toes - - - along with everything else in this great big, wonderful world!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Jumping Back In

I’ve been gone so long I hardly know where to begin. We were away for two full weeks and every day deserves its own post! That seems a bit too unwieldy right now so let me start with an easy one:

Congressman Anthony Weiner is a schmuck.

(Yes, all Yiddish puns intended.)

I thought Congressman Weiner was a good politician; a good advocate of the liberal agenda. I honestly thought that while he was bold and brash he worked on the side of the angels. The argument can be made that his private life is just that - private. But his stupid, vain, childish and inappropriate behavior has undermined his efficacy and power in Congress. Thereby effectively vitiating his ability to fully represent his constituents and those of us across the nation who count on his vote.

Now we are learning that Congressman Weiner’s lovely wife Huma Abedin is expecting their first child.

Yup. He is a royal schmuck.