Charest Family on the Web Posts

Thundering hooves of disapprobation approaching
Thundering Hooves of Disapprobation

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

As with many people, I’ve been following the January six hearings, and reading the spill of related news. I’m struck by the number of former (Republican) Trump staffers who have voluntarily shown up to testify against Trump. Staffer after staffer have all sat for hours with the committee, revealing grotesque details of his reign of error.

Too many news commentators seem to be claiming that these former staffers are heroes for coming forward now. I don’t see that. I see these former staffers have realized just how deep in the shit they are, and are now running from the thundering hooves of American disapprobation.

Opinions & Commentary

Sea Eagle 370 On A Beach
Sea Eagle 370 on a Beach

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

I tend to enjoy tinkering with things, designing and building small gadgets just for the fun and challenge. With my Sea Eagle 370 inflatable kayak, I’ve slowly been coming up with minor improvements for both paddling, and for storing it between paddles.

The Sea Eagle kayaks include permanently attached skegs which help with tracking, and they are very effective if they are straight down from the bottom of the boat. However, they tend to get folded over while in storage and the “skeg guards” that Sea Eagle provides doesn’t provide much protection. I’ve designed a much improved skeg guard that can be made out of corrugated cardboard in a couple of hours times.

On The Water

Long Island, New York

Estimated reading time: 15 minutes

I grew up in Farmingdale, on Long Island, New York, moving away to the Hudson Valley area of Pine Bush at age 15 way back in 1972. Since then, I’ve made occasional visits to Long Island over the years, but always to visit family still living there. Regrettably, over the years my family ties to Long Island gradually thinned out, and now are non-existent.

However, my heart has always been with Long Island as my childhood home. Over this past Juneteenth weekend, Winnie and I decided to make it a long weekend and pay a visit to Long Island as tourists. It turned out to be a very worthwhile trip.

Family Stories

Music Inside with a YouTube Video
Music Inside

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

The news coming out of Washington these past two weeks has been truly horrifying. We have revelation after revelation from the January 6 committee on how close we came to a successful autocoup. Then we have numerous “legal decisions” handed down by our supreme court taking away our civil liberties and making America a more dangerous place to live.

I cannot be snarky about any of this. But I can be angry. I do believe I’ve found a song that expresses my true feelings.

Opinions & Commentary

baby birds in a nest, calling out to their parents for food
Birds in a Nest – Feed Me!

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

So we’re in a new house, time for new adventures. This latest is having a family of birds build a nest in a potted plant located on our back porch. It was pretty cool watching these birds build their nest, lay eggs, then raise the youngsters.

Alas, it all happened too fast. But it was fun watching them while it lasted.

Family Stories

A Beautiful Mind - Eye with Rainbow
A Beautiful Mind

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

I’ve been struggling for several weeks to write a snarky post on the latest right-wing horror show of attacking schools, teachers, and books. But I can’t. Quite honestly, I cannot find anything snarky or humourous in this latest attack on what should be the foundation of our American culture.

This latest outrage comes upon six continuous years of outrages driven by The Former Guy (TFG). I don’t know if I’ve become worn down by continuous right-wing obscenity, or just numbed. Reading the news about horrific laws being pushed in Republican-controlled state capitols has taken on a surrealistic feeling. And not in a good way.

Opinions & Commentary

a bowl of olives - how did people discover these were edible?
How Did People Discover Olives Were Edible?

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Three of the best years of my life were spent in the Southern Italian city of Naples. I was still in the Navy and was lucky to get a NATO assignment there. During those three years I toured a lot of Italy and Southern Europe, and learned to love Southern Italian culture.

Learning the foods was a huge part of the culture. Among these foods was learning to love olives. I’d never really cared much for olives before moving to Italy. But that changed. I also learned how olives were prepared, a bit of trivia that has stayed with me.

Quora Re-Posts

Anger, Aggression, Inadequacy, Pain
Anger, Aggression, Inadequacy, Pain

Estimated reading time: 17 minutes

As I’m beginning to wind down my career into retirement, I’m forced into reminiscing about career experiences both good and bad. One recurring theme of bad experiences relates to the many times I’ve been set-up for failures. I’ve never been able to understand why anyone would deliberately put effort into making the people around themselves fail.

I’ve experienced too many people in my professional life who seemingly worked extra hard to get me to fail. Most of the time I succeeded despite the best efforts of other people. But, there was one time I didn’t. As I reminisce about my career I keep coming back to the one time when despite my best efforts, I was successfully set-up to fail.

Family Stories

Not The News, Military Edition
Washington, D.C.
April 1, 2022

Navy Spokesperson Captain Crunch Jr. announced today that out-of-the-box thinking has resulted in dramatic cost savings in the Navy’s new budget. “For years, the Navy has struggled to understand why costs kept spiraling up” Crunch said. “It turns out, ships are expensive to fix. There’s so much stuff on them that breaks, and they’re literally sitting in water all the time, just rusting away. So, several years ago we awarded multi-million-dollar consulting contracts to conceptualize ways the Navy could save money moving forward.”

In the Navy Just For Fun

This Old House
Our Second House Restoration Project

In 2008 Winnie and I purchased a second house as investment property. We had settled into our new community of Woodbridge, Virginia, and purchased a home to live in the year prior.

Through a friend, Winnie learned of a house for sale “at a good price.” This turned out to be true. The house, a 1954-vintage masonry-construction house was for sale at an amazingly low price – because it was a total fixer-upper.

So we bought it. This is our old house home improvement story.

Ron Charest