Charest Family on the Web Posts

A Bride To Spring and New Life
A Bridge To New Life

Spring has sprung, and with it comes new life. Mother nature is dressing trees with new greens while early season flowers bloom. Birds are returning to their summer habitats, being nominally welcomed by their year-round feathered residents.

Here inside the on-going pandemic lifestyle, there are signs life is also returning after a year-long winter of frozen plans and lives put on hold. The spring weather seems to be building a bridge from the pandemic to post-pandemic life. People are slowly springing back to life.

Family Stories

Winnie Taking A Nap In Our Sea Eagle 370
One Use for A Sea Eagle 370 Inflatable kayak

Winnie bought me a kayak as a birthday gift in July 2010. From my first paddle outing I was completely hooked on the relaxing sport of kayaking. Of course, one can never have just one kayak, just as one can never get by with one pair of shoes.

In the years since my first kayak, which I still have, Winnie and I have added two inflatable kayaks to our fleet. The first is a Sea Eagle 370, a 12-1/2 foot tandem kayak. The second is a Sea Eagle 330 ten-foot kayak. With use, I’ve come up with some minor modifications and useful accessories. So in this post I’m going to describe my favorite mods, conveniently known as “hacks,” along with useful accessories.

On The Water

Movie Poster of “Crimson Tide”

In my quest to provide insightful answers to pressing issues asked by alert Quora readers; a while back I wrote a movie review. Not just any movie review, this one was on a topic near and dear to me – submarine movies.

I watch a lot of movies. A lot of what I watch is science fiction (or at least what passes for science fiction in the minds of Hollywood movie producers. Don’t get me started. And who in the hell came up with the stupid “SyFy” moniker?). Beyond science fiction, I also enjoy submarine movies, fiction or otherwise. Given that I have a bit of background with submarines, I have a certain level of expectations with submarine movies. For a fictional movie I don’t expect complete accuracy on submarine operations. But I have limits.

Quora Re-Posts

A Pandemic Mona Lisa after a year of staying safer at home
Mona Lisa One Year After The Pandemic

As of March 13, I’ve been staying safer-at-home for one year of hiding out from the Coronavirus. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been trying to put my feelings into words, and put those words on paper (pixels). But I’m still having difficulties. I think part of my problem is that nothing has happened while simultaneously so much has happened.

I know this is a massive contradiction. Please bear with me as I do some stream of consciousness writing about the year of pandemic we’ve all just experienced.

Coronavirus Diaries

College Diploma
Receiving a Diploma

As the old saying goes; “No job is complete until the paperwork is finished.” Well, for my senior citizen college adventure, the job is finished. A few days ago I received my graduate diploma via snail mail. It was a very nice feeling indeed.

Family Stories

Newspaper Delivery Boy Memorial
Newspaper Delivery Boy Memorial

As regular as clockwork, we’re once again fighting over the minimum wage. For those lucky people living without benefit of TV news; the minimum wage references the minimum amount of money our government forces employers to pay their employees. Depending upon which side of the fence you’re on, this is either a basic governmental role of providing for the common good. Or, it’s a serious overreach of government leading down that slippery slope towards communism socialism tyranny a 1000 year reign of terror.

The minimum wage issue does not impact me personally. But, I remember my very first job, and I know many people currently working at minimum wage (or less). I see this as an issue of fairness

Family Stories

Research Submersible Alvin
Research Submersible Alvin. Woods Hole Institute

A Quora member posted another interesting question on submarines. The question was “Can you winch a submarine up from the bottom of the ocean, say 8000 feet?” This question gave me the opportunity to write about two famous submarine incidents. One of these involved one of my favorite submersibles ever, the DSV-2 Alvin.

Family Stories Quora Re-Posts

Republicans in Flames
Republicans in Flames

From the pages of current news comes several examples of Republicans going up (down) in flames. I keep thinking this is like watching a movie of disaster in slow motion while cute puppy dogs run around yipping at everything and providing comic relief. It’s funny in the sense that the typical Republican official has become so wacked out they don’t even realize how crazy they sound to normal people.

Also too; how mean-spirited, cruel, and just completely out-of-touch with the norms of civilized society these folks seem. So, I feel no remorse in laughing at their self-inflicted immolation.

Opinions & Commentary

Chinese New Year Ox
The Year of the Ox

Yesterday was China’s annual Lunar New Year celebration. In the Chinese calendar, New Year is the biggest celebration of the year typically celebrated by a mass temporary migration of humanity headed back home for the holiday. Although this year’s celebration is a bit muted due to Coronavirus-related travel restrictions, New Year is still a very big Chinese holiday.

Family Stories

Illustration of the Coronavirus Created by the CDC

Today is pandemic day three hundred twenty-five, 325 days of staying safer at home. These past 325 days seem almost like a dream – so much has happened and so much else hasn’t. These days and months seem like a slow-motion disaster in progress with no end in sight.

Life goes on as it always does, but this life seems almost as if it’s been lifted from some fantasy novel and made real.

Coronavirus Diaries