“The most potent muse of all is our own inner child.” – Stephen Nachmanovitch

Saturday, April 30, 2016

I am “Retired”

I've made the announcement over on Off the Grid, but thought I should record the momentous date on my personal blog, too. Yesterday was my last day at work. I formally retire on 13 May, but have taken two weeks of vacation to stay at home and take care of the final preparations for the move to the cabin in Colorado.

It is a big deal. One's day of "retirement" is up there when it comes to life events. Schedules change, priorities change, attitudes change. As one friend said, "you go from W2 to 1099". Something to think about. 

I'll miss the people at work, the products, and the many, many friends I've made over the years. Thanks to all who have supported and helped me!

Tags:  thoughts
Posted under: Stuff You Gotta Know! • by Rick on 04/30/2016 at 05:48 AM
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Friday, February 19, 2016

Pileated Woodpecker

The other day, Lynne published some photos of a beautiful Pileated Woodpecker that was busy in our back yard. I was envious that I did not see him. But, a couple of days later he showed up again and I got a nice photo and a couple of short videos.

Tags:  photosnatureat-homeother-wildlifevideo
Posted under: Stuff You Gotta Know! • by Rick on 02/19/2016 at 03:04 PM
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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fishing the Beaverkill

Among the top 10 fly fishing sites in the US, a few are in the Northeast and the rest are in Montana. Some will argue there are some in Wyoming (West Yellowstone, for example), but the western sites are all pretty much located "up there". Of those in the Northeast, one of the most famous is the Beaverkill River in the Catskills. And, I've had fishing the Beaverkill on my secondary bucket list.

Rick fishing the Beaverkill

Lynne bought me a wonderful birthday gift this year! She got me a 1/2-day guided wading tour on the Beaverkill. She purchased it through the Beaverkill Angler Catskill Fly Fishing Shop in Roscoe, NY -- the heart of fishing in the Catskills. They put me with a great guide, Oleh Czmola and we spent Saturday late afternoon fishing. I caught a very nice 10" brown trout (returned to the river) and had a few other strikes. Enough to make it a successful trip and make me a happy camper! Thanks to Oleh for his guidance and patience. (I've developed some bad habits with my casting.)

Speaking of a "happy camper", we turned the trip into a wonderful camping weekend by pulling the T@B up on Friday. It was raining a little, but we got a fantastic camping site along Russell Brook and got set up before it rained hard. Saturday and Sunday were beautiful fall days and we enjoyed the weather and the fall colors immensely.

Our camp setup. We parked in one of the tent sites, and it worked fine for our tiny trailer.

We have a new tent that connects to the side of the trailer. We got it up before the rain hit, and so we were able to sit in the tent and watch and listen to the rain while sipping on a glass of wine. The silver storage box on the trailer tongue is also new and provided us some much needed additional storage. Note that we put up a ring of exercise pens for the dogs.

We had campfires on Saturday and Sunday -- even s'mores for dessert!

That is an old water wheel in the background of the above photo. It was used to run a DC generator many, many years ago. 

I'm sure Lynne will post more on her site or on the T@B site.

Tags:  photosnaturetravelactivitiesfishing
Posted under: New JerseyTravel • by Rick on 10/15/2015 at 08:59 AM
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Monday, February 23, 2015

Whatever Happened to RESPECT?

Growing up, I was taught to respect others--even others with viewpoints different from my own.

I was taught to respect elders. Always saying "sir" and "ma'am". "Yes, sir!" "No Ma'am." I was taught to listen to them, respect their experience, open my mind to their insights.

I was taught to respect authority. From police to pastor to president, people in positions of authority were to be looked up to, listened to, even obeyed.

I was taught to respect females. No honking the horn in the driveway to pick up a date. "If you respect her and really like her, you'll go to the door to get her and walk her to the car." And, of course, walk her to the door at the end of a date. I was taught to open car doors for females, although this sign of respect has gone the way of crystal radios. I was taught to respect the word "no".

I was taught to listen respectfully, even to ideas and opinions I disagreed with. To look for the "grain of truth" and seek empathy in order to understand opposing views. Then, when it was my turn, make my argument with equal voice.

I am not sure what has happened. But, I see and hear very little respect for elders, people in authority, women, and those with different viewpoints today. I see online comments that are at minimum disrespectful and often even vulgar.  I think part of the problem is the anonymity of electronic communications. It is pretty easy to rant and rave, call people or groups names, use profanity, and denegrate when doing it with a keyboard to someone you have no physical or emotional connection too. Would people be as disrespectful if they were made to voice their disrespect face-to-face? To someone they've had a chance to get to know, even through a brief personal conversation? 

Respecting a person or group of people does not mean you agree with them. It just means you recognize their right to their position/opinion/idea, and disagree. Respectfully.

Tags:  thoughts
Posted under: Stuff You Gotta Know! • by Rick on 02/23/2015 at 02:03 PM
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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Prepping for a Big One

We are supposed to get between 1 and 2 feet of snow starting tomorrow (Monday) afternoon through Tuesday. So, we (along with a few thousands of other people) are prepping for "the big one".

  • Groceries for a week? Check.
  • Gasoline for the tractor, snow blower and generator? Check.
  • Enough wood chopped and stored in the basement for a week? Check.
  • Wine? Check. (Lots in the cellar.)
  • Whiskey? Damn. No whiskey. Okay, that is on the list for tomorrow.

It will be nice living at the cabin where we don't have to do all this preparation for a snow storm.

Making a lemon tart for dessert for the next few nights. Yum!

Tags:  at-homeweather
Posted under: 55 Ponderosa PlaceFood and Cooking • by Rick on 01/25/2015 at 10:32 AM
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