When the pilot says, “We have to turn back…”

24 Jun

​Yesterday, after we were in the air from Dallas 20 minutes toward Seattle, the pilot announced some indicator of a system failure so we were going back to Dallas and there would be trucks following us after landing. Yeah, 5 fire trucks & untold others. Lynn’s cortisol was raging, the guy next to me said later that me just reading a book was big comfort to him, that was after he axed if this ever happened – I answered yeah, 3-4 times for us. & some woman in first class was hauled out by the paramedics before we could get off. The pilot said on our way out of the plane that the issue turned out OK, that they were just being cautious. But in the air they tell you so little that you fill in the blanks with horror scenarios; dunno if the airlines just don’t think that thru or they don’t care or what. But I’m sure no fan of American Airlines today…



27 May

The closer we get to TBEX, the more we read up on it, follow their links, etc., the more I scratch my head. But this morning it crystallized for me​.

We’re listening to the radio coverage of our local monster race of the year, the Ski to Sea with 500 teams of 8 people each, 7 legs covering the 90 miles from the mountain to the shore, and the announcer for the canoe/mountain bike transition point says, “Here comes the first canoe – just a minute while I take a picture of it so I can tweet it to you…”

We’ve got a photo of Edward R. Murrow, a local boy, on our wall, so you can just imagine our existential troubles with the announcer.

Like our San Francisco friend whose job it was to learn how to use all the new equipment that came into his PBS station and then teach it to the staff – one load became too much and he quit on the spot to make wooden toys in his basement – I’m feeling the need to do something else in my basement office…

He actually repurposed himself in 1969, about the time I was getting started in electronica.

Ski to Sea Race finish line

Finish line

Team #200

Team #200

Ski to Sea team Alpha Dog
Team Alpha Dogs poses for a photo.

Chicago offices

15 Jun

You never what you’re going to get when you reserve a hotel room. Mine in Chicago has no desk so I had to make do with the safe below the window and an upside down waste basket for a chair. I like that the street musician has a corner office for his work. The 3rd shot is my desk at home.








15 Jun


My Chicago office

Wildlife in the City

4 Jun

I carried my running shoes out to the front porch & noticed 2 bunnies chowing down on the dandelion leaves & grass. We stared at each other for some time; then they went back to eating. Overhead, a squawking crow flew by, chased by 2 robins, probably the same ones I saw in the back yard awhile ago. Then a mom & 2 kids walked by on the sidewalk and I tried to point to what I was watching, but at that, the bunnies scampered behind a bush. So I finally sat down on the steps to put on my shoes and chanced to look up again – a bald eagle was floating by about 60 feet above me from the ridge behind the houses across the street.

This is a very good day, I thought to myself. My wife joined me on the walk down through the dog park and by the heron rookery on the left. Have you ever heard baby herons talk’n ’bout it’s time to eat? About a dozen of them that we could see around the leaves.

We didn’t encounter much more wildlife after that – a few more bunnies down by the tracks next to Bellingham Bay, and some seagulls & crows waiting for low tide.

No pictures today, but here are a few of the owls we saw in Bridgeport State Park a few weeks ago:

Horned owl

Mama owl watching over her babies with one eye open.

baby horned owl

This is one of 2 owl babies in the nest at Washington’s Bridgeport State Park

Liftopia Deals for Play Hooky Week Sale

7 Mar
The ski season got off to a slow start and many skiers and riders have not gotten in as many good days as they had hoped. Now that there is ample snow coverage in most parts of the country, Liftopia – the largest online and mobile marketplace for discounted lift tickets and other mountain activities – kicked off a Play Hooky Week sale on Tuesday, Feb. 28, with savings up to 83% for mid-week lift tickets at 111 resorts across the country. The deals are valid from Monday,March 5 to Friday, March 9.
Below are examples of deals available (please note all prices are based on availability and may sell out):
  • Save 49% at Loveland with single day lift tickets starting at $29.99
  • Enjoy Copper Mountain with single day lift tickets starting at $60.99 – a savings of 41%
  • Hit up Snowbasin with single day lift tickets starting at $49.99, a 31% savings
  • Take advantage of the Canyons Lift Ticket Screamin Deal with prices starting at $73.99 – that’s 23% off single day tickets
New England
  • Single day lift tickets at Waterville Valley start at $35 for a savings of 44%
  • Ski or board Okemo for 36% off with single day tickets starting at $49
  • Save 31% at Killington with single day lift tickets starting at $111.99
  • Single day lift tickets at Kirkwood start at $49.99 for a savings of 37%
  • Enjoy Sierra-at-Tahoe with 38% off single day lift tickets, starting at $45.99
  • Save 66% at Michigan’s Crystal Mountain with prices on single day lift tickets starting at $17
Other Regions
  • Enjoy 66% off at Mountain Creek in New Jersey with prices starting at $22 for single day lift tickets
  • Ski or board at Angel Fire Resort in New Mexico with 50% off a two-day pass starting at $63.99
  • Score 46% off single day lift tickets at New York’s Whiteface with prices starting at $42.99
  • Save 41% at Washington’s Mission Ridge with single day lift tickets starting at $29.99
  • Enjoy Pennsylvania’s Camelback with single day lift tickets starting at $33.99, a savings of 31%
  • Hit up Revelstoke in British Columbia for 26% savings on single day lift tickets, starting at $54.89
  • Single day lift tickets at Idaho’s Sun Valley start at $69.99 for a 21% savings

South Lake Tahoe—the skiing’s great!

7 Mar

Well, see, last night I spent quite some time talking with the DJ who had a see-through 42-inch touch-sensitive soundboard to do anything he wanted with the music on the computer. He’d been told we were a grey-haired crowd and to play accordingly. He did. We talked sound & noise in general, the trouble as we age with discriminating conversations. Toward the end he said, Y’know, I really don’t like cell phones much, but there’s this one thing every dj ought to have. He pulled up an app on his phone and it was a decibel meter! He checks his speakers with it just to double check his sense. I was stoked, always having wanted a decibel meter since I’d produced a half-hour show on noise pollution at the station.

The meter is a free app and now I have one. And that gets me to telling you all you care to know about tonight’s dinner: the needle was pinned to the red zone, quite above 100db. The bus with chains on was close to 80, we figure because of the low rumble.

Anyway, I love my new toy and social commentator…It was so nice that a bus was to take one of our cancer survivors back to the hotel right after dinner tonight instead of waiting another hour & the hostess asked if anyone wanted to go with him. Damned near filled the bus…

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