Shuttle launch observed from the International Space Station

Posted By on April 21, 2019

Happy Easter He Is Risen. He Is Risen Indeed! The resurrection of Jesus and His “ascension” to heaven is a vision we can only imagine.

When I’m too busy to blog, a beautiful photo from space works well as an Easter post. Here’s a photo from the International Space Station (#ISS) just after a Shuttle launch a few years ago. Impressive! (click for larger)

Archive: Photos from Katelyn, Drew & Annalyn’s trip to Yosemite

Posted By on April 20, 2019


It is great to see our kids squeezing in vacations and enjoying all the natural beauty our country has to offer. This past week, Katelyn, Drew and Annalyn visited “another” US National Park, this time Yosemite National Park in California. It looked like a great time!

Click for a larger map and definitely click for larger photos below

Brenda and I thankfully took similar hiking and beach trips (Taylor and Megan early in April 2019 – although a friends private home in the Bahamas wasn’t an option for us!) when we were younger and have never regretted the occasional inconvenience and monetary trade-off it required. Looking back and realizing that the idiom “time flies” is so true, as well as time does seem to pass quicker with age, makes me appreciate every trip we prioritized; I’m glad my children are doing the same.






The weather is not to my liking, but it is a “Good Friday”

Posted By on April 19, 2019


After a first cutting of the backyard, the flowering phlox and Redbud trees make even a cold and gloomy “Good Friday” worth taking a panorama photo.

But let’s keep our focus on what Jesus did for us and the reason we refer today as “GOOD Friday” – I like what Rev Franklin Graham shared on Twitter(embedded below).


Tech Friday: VirginMobile and iPhone 7-plus microphone issues

Posted By on April 19, 2019

All who have been through computer and cellphone issues know what a headache little glitches can become. For me, ever since having my battery replaced on my iPhone 7-plus back in January,iphonesevenplus the front facing microphone has not worked. After a couple back and forth evening phone calls with Apple Support, we set up an appointment to have the phone looked at in the local Apple Store. I was not overly concerned since I have AppleCare and my phone still functional when using a bluetooth headset … but I definitely wanted to get it fixed (I still love the phone).

So, over lunch this past week one of Apple’s nonconformist gurus from the “genius bar(they all look eccentric to me, IMHO) took a look at it. He powwowed with his fellow geniuses and concluded Apple would just replace my phone with a new iPhone 7-plus. iPhone7plusMicrophoneIssueUnfortunately, 2 hours later and after signing the agreement for the new phone (and watching it update from the cloud over WiFi), I was still sitting there with him struggling to get the VirginMobile SIM to activate on the new phone. Three phone calls to different VirginMobile reps later, he was totally exasperated, as was I (FYI, a good deal was why I switched to VirginMobile). No matter how hard he tried, he could not get my old SIM to work in the new phone OR a new SIM from Apple to activate on the phone either. The customer service mistake was that the AppleStore sent me home without resolving the issue and with my old phone wiped clean; thankfully my phone number was still active on my old phone. Of course I still have the same defective microphone that I came in to resolve 2-1/2 hours previous … and a promise someone from Apple would call me.


Remembering Easter break with a couple #TBT photos from 1997

Posted By on April 18, 2019

It is Thursday before Easter  and besides thinking about a Throwback Thursday post, it is also Maundy Thursday – the day in which Christian’s commemorate the Last Supper. Condo1718in1997_IMG_2673It also reminds me of the times we would get together with our families on or around Easter. Sometimes it was with my parents and other times with Brenda’s parents – a few time at their condo in Florida (1997 #TBT photos).

It is also a reminder that I need to get my project in order since our Canadian renters will be heading home and it will be time for me to head down and clean up. I have been thinking about it and getting my “work-wagon” Honda Odyssey van ready for the trip; I’ve also noticed the pile of stuff Brenda keeps adding to for me to take south. Condo1718SinkFaucet190319I do have the base of the vanities, sinks and faucets ready to go, but still need to coordinate the other items I’m going to need for the master bathroom remodel. I’m half looking forward to it and half feeling overwhelm with things to do at home too – it is spring.

HowardFamTwinsGame190416As for the #TBT tie into this post, I thought of my nephew Justin, wife Keity and growing kids the other night after seeing a photo on Facebook mentioning they were at the Minnesota Twins game and that Madelyn and Evan were on the jumbotron at Target Field. Now that we don’t drive to Wayzata to visit Katelyn, Drew and Annalyn anymore, we don’t see the Howards as often … but still get the occasional text message and phone call from Justin. What a great family.

The Howards – Justin, MomH, Aaron, Jackie and DadH in 1997

How far left will Democrats go as they campaign for president?

Posted By on April 17, 2019


It was a struggle to contain my frustration as I watched Senator Bernie Sanders pitch his version of Democratic Socialism to a “townhall” Q & A hosted by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum of Fox News on Monday night. I “SO” hope that the American people have far more commonsense than to head further down a path that has failed in every country it has ever been tried. On the contrary, for all the challenges we have with our  system that embraces free markets and capitalism, it has demonstrated success in lifting the quality of life for all – it is what attracts millions from ArtLaffereverywhere else to come to America. Let’s not lose that risk-reward motivation and competitive edge.

I keep looking and listening for a simple sound bite that will make sense people from all backgrounds. Below is a paraphrased comment from Art Laffer (of Laffer curve theory) when discussing overly punitive progressive taxes and taxes on wealth. He commented that “the more earnings and wealth government takes from achievers, the more it deters them from working harder and taking risks. The more government provides and gives to workers, the less motivated they are to take risk, achieve and work harder.”

Competitive markets work and capitalism naturally advances a society, where socialism and a heavy reliance on government provided services reduces competition, improvement and innovation … and almost always proves to be the least efficient provider of goods and services. If America’s current system is leaving too many people behind, let’s improve our free-market , incentive based system and not go to a punitive based government controlled system. Competitive markets,  risk – reward and capitalism work … and is the only economic system proven to improve the quality of life for all willing to participate.


Replaced the rear shocks the Honda Odyssey this past weekend

Posted By on April 16, 2019


Besides finishing the painful tax filing this weekend, I replaced the rear shocks in my 2002 Honda Odyssey  “work-wagon” and Florida vehicle. It is still the lowest mile vehicle we have, but unfortunately it is showing its age … especially the rusting under carriage. Still it runs well and is reliable … knock on wood.

I’ve been noticing the chatter when going over bumps lately and a glance at the passenger side rear shock indicated the oil damper had leaked out – the shock no longer returns to position. Below is a quick glance at the bad shock on top and the “still acceptable” but replaced shock on the bottom. The good shock will return after being compressed … the bad one is dead.

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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