Category: <span>Family Stories</span>

A strand of bamboo
Wild Bamboo

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

Winnie is an excellent gardener. Over the years we’ve lived in Northern Virginia, her annual vegetable gardens have become larger and more ambitious. By “ambitious,” I mean she’s been more adventurous with the variety of vegetables she’s tried growing. Sometimes, her experiments don’t do so well. Most of the time they do. So I have frequent opportunities to learn, and taste, another new veggie.

One vegetable Winnie hasn’t tried growing is bamboo shoots. But, no matter, because she’s learned where she can get bamboo shoots in the wild. So hunting wild bamboo has become another annual adventure in fine dining.

Family Stories

Springtime Snail, Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-black-and-brown-snail-on-green-leaf-209074/
Springtime Moving As Slow As A Snail

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Spring has sprung, and the world is waking up after a long winter’s nap. Leaves are budding on bare tree branches. Brown remnants of last year’s grass is turning green. Bird are happily chirping while temps are climbing back into the no-jackets-needed range.

Meanwhile, I’m here in a doldrum of Springtime lethargy. Seemingly moving with the exuberance of a lowly snail. When the rest of the world is coming alive, why do my feet feel like they’re embedded in concrete-filled buckets?

Family Stories

This and That Mad Hatter Cartoon
This and That News Messenger

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

So here we are in almost mid-March. Trees are showing leaf buds and blooms, flowers are popping out of the ground. Night time temps are still in the mid-thirties, but daytime temps are up in the fifties and sixties. Tonight we change the clocks ahead one hour in anticipation of Spring, which this year is already happening.

I don’t much care for winter cold, but I’m wondering if trees budding in the beginning of March is such a good thing?

Family Stories

Auto mechanic as a business
Auto Mechanics At Work

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

The term “Sticker Shock” typically means the shock at seeing just how much something new, usually an automobile, costs as determined by the price tag or sticker. After my recent experience with an auto dealership service department, I’m now extending the term “Sticker Shock” to auto maintenance. Honestly, with pricing that can only be described as obscene, auto dealers are putting themselves out of business.

Family Stories

Almost finished Kitchen Countertops
Almost Finished Kitchen Countertops

Estimated reading time: 16 minutes

When we moved to our present house, I really expected to not be doing any more home improvement projects. After our pre-move-in and clean-up I thought the house looked pretty good. Then, Winnie built a massive brick and stone patio over the summer. Once again, I thought that would be the extent of home improvement here.

It was not to be. Right after Thanksgiving, Winnie announced she wanted to redo our kitchen countertops. Of course, the project needed to be completed before Christmas, as we had already planned a Christmas dinner with guests.

Family Stories

Don't Take Any Wooden Nickels
Don’t Take Any Wooden Nickels

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

It seems like the Internet scams are coming thick and fast now-a-days. I rarely go more than a couple of days without some asshole trying to scam me. People are continually trying to sell me Medicare plans, performance-enhancing drugs, or buy my house. Self-described hot young women send me their pictures offering to marry me or sell me even more awesome sexy pictures.

But then there’s the really offensive people who out-and-out try to defraud me. Like the latest email from some asshole pulling an online exhortion attempt with an email announcing, “You’ve Been Hacked.”

Family Stories Tech Talk

Person standing at front door. Photo by Kelly: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-home-area-rug-2950003/
When the Boss Appears at the Front Door

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Another Quora question got me reminiscing about my introduction to free enterprise after retiring from Navy life. It was the first, and only time, one of my boss’s appeared at my front door. It was an unexpected visit after I had abruptly resigned for reasons relating to his fraudulent business practices.

Career Management Family Stories Quora Re-Posts

Our Latest Home Improvement Project, a brick patio
Our Latest Home Improvement Project

Estimated reading time: 11 minutes

Just because we’ve moved to a new old house doesn’t mean home improvements stops. Quite the contrary, Given that we’ve already done just about everything inside this house that needs doing, Winnie decided she really needed to tackle the great outdoors.

Given her love for tile and concrete work, her choice was building a patio – driveway and walkway. Mostly using found materials. As always, she did some excellent work.

Family Stories

Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

Winnie and I returned home from our one week’s whirlwind visit to the lovely island of Oahu, Hawaii. It was a wonderful vacation for both of us. So much so that I had to wonder why I waited 27 years to go back.

While our reason for this trip was being part of decommissioning the last ship I served on during my Navy career, it was also our first vacation trip since the zombie apocalypse started in January 2020.

Family Stories In the Navy

Waikiki Beach with Diamond Head
Waikiki Beach with Diamond Head

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

So tomorrow Winnie and I head out for the first real vacation since the start of the Zombie Apocalypse started back in January 2020. We’re breaking our vacation fast by going to one of the places in this world I truly love. We’re heading to the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawaii, for a ten day visit.

Family Stories