Charest Family on the Web Posts

A pair of chickens - hen and rooster
Another Fine Feathered Mess!

We’ve been doing small scale suburban gardening ever since we settled here in Northern Virginia. Winnie is a terrific gardener, and has been gradually building more expansive vegetable gardens each year. But this hasn’t qualified us to call ourselves “suburban homesteaders.”

Saturday, that changed when we expanded our suburban gardening into backyard chickens.

Family Stories

Intro

Sea Dragon At Anchor
Our Bayliner 175 “Sea Dragon” at Anchor

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

I think most small power boat operators operate in similar patterns; run the boat out on the water for a bit, then anchor out in a quiet place for fishing or picnicking with family and guests. Safe anchoring isn’t hard, but if done incorrectly can cause problems.

Over the years of owning small power boats (18 foot runabouts), I’ve come up with a few hacks for making anchoring easy and safe. I feel these hacks apply to all recreational power boats at least under 21 feet length.

On The Water

We are drowning in emails
Drowning in Emails!

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

I’ve pretty much lived on the Internet for the past 20 years. As one measure of my life online; I maintain four email accounts that I check daily. I have several more email accounts that I don’t much bother with beyond a weekly check. These are in addition to my iPhone text messages and business Skype messages I deal with, daily. Believe it or not, I sometimes even receive non-spam phone calls.

Last week, I decided I needed to clean up my primary email inbox. I came to this decision when I saw I had over 99,000 unread emails and was using 98 percent of my allotted account space. Cleaning up my inbox became another adventure in online living.

Family Stories

Dual Exercise Bike Elliptical Trainer
Dual Exercise Bike Elliptical Trainer

Seven years ago, Winnie and I invested wisely in an indoor exercise machine. By then we had lived in this semi-Northern climate, with four distinct seasons, long enough to learn we did very little physical activity during winter months. So, we thought that having an exercise machine would give us the option to stay physically fit.

Over the years since, our machine has been helpfully parked in our basement den, readily available whenever either of us get the urge to use it. However, a couple of weeks ago our exercise machine suddenly stopped working, and getting it repaired has been a different kind of exercise.

Family Stories

Multiple Train Wrecks - Comfortably Numb
Multiple Train Wrecks

My tastes in music come in waves. I’ll get hooked on one artist, or even one album, for several weeks and replay it constantly. Then, suddenly, my mood changes and I’m hooked on something else

Hello? Over the past few weeks I’ve been hooked on Pink Floyd music. For you young folks out there, this band’s most famous album was “Dark Side of The Moon” one of the best-selling albums of all time. But it’s a song from another album that has been rattling around in my head these past weeks.

Opinions & Commentary

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

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