Charest Family on the Web Posts

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

Coronavirus As Seen Under An Electron Microscope
Coronavirus As Seen Under An Electron Microscope

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Today marks the second anniversary of the great global shutdown from COVID-19. Two years ago today, businesses and Government organizations across America announced sudden shutdowns of public spaces. Over the next several days effectively all of America and most of the world went into stay-at-home mode.

While everyone’s experience has varied, everyone’s life has changed or been changed. The world seems to be slowly going back to a before-times normal. But things feel different to me. I see the tide receding, revealing the clutter of lives past laid bare for examination.

Opinions & Commentary

So Many Books To Burn. So Little Time!
So Many Books To Burn. So Little Time!

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

I often think that American “progress” in growing a culture of enlightened social values means taking three steps back for every one step forward.

One recent, and growing, trend seems to be the Republicans’ taste for banning books. Yes, the very people decrying “Cancel Culture” have decided they need to Make America Great Again by – canceling people’s ability to read books not approved by people worshipping former Pres*dent trump.

It’s so hard to keep the latest wingnut outrages straight, I thought I’d help by making a list.

Opinions & Commentary

Newspaper Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Back quite a few years ago, when we first moved up to Northern Virginia, I was actively writing Letters to the Editor (LTE) of my local newspaper. Between 2007 to 2008, we still had a local dead tree newspaper, an openly hard-rightwing publication judging by their columnists and general editorial slant.

Regrettably, that all ended when the newspaper collapsed. All we have now are some small online publications, still mostly right-wing oriented. This week I decided it was time to get back into writing LTEs again.

Opinions & Commentary

Grace Slick – 1967

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

I post music clips at random intervals of songs and musicians I particularly enjoy. But to date I’ve been remiss in not posting any music from my all-time favorite singer-songwriter. A musician who has not only created some of the greatest rock music ever, but is otherwise incredibly vibrant. A musician who was ahead of her time in setting standards for “liberated” women.

A singer-songwriter who I also had a teen-aged crush on, and still deeply admire even after all these years.

I’m referring to Grace Slick of Great Society / Jefferson Airplane / Jefferson Starship / Starship.

Just For Fun

A Meat Loaf but not the singer
Not This Meat Loaf

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

So this brave new year of 2022 has barely started, and already too much of the news is bad news. Today’s sad news is about a famed Rock Singer with the unlikely name of “Meat Loaf,” passing at the age of 74.

He was/is one of my favorite “Classical Rock” performers. A trailblazer in his art who built a place among the great musicians of our era.

Just For Fun

Snowpocalypse of 2022 tree covered in heavy snow
Snowpocalypse of 2022

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

This past Monday folks here on the north-eastern seaboard of the United States discovered that it really is winter. The realization came from temperatures changing from 60 degrees on Sunday to 30 degrees on Monday. Accompanied by our first snow of the season, a whopping nine inches in my neighborhood.

Nine inches doesn’t seem like all that much snow, compared to what I’ve experienced even since living here in Northern Virginia. But, perhaps because we’ve had almost no snow for the past couple of winters, people forgot that snow happens. This past Monday, going into Tuesday and Wednesday, the great snowpocalypse of 2022 shut down a major interstate highways and dumped power for thousands of people in my area.

And this is only January. We have lots of time for a Snowpocalypse Part II, and more…

Family Stories

Happy New Year 2022. Photo by Vladislav Murashko from Pexels
Happy New Year 2022

Estimated reading time: 1 minute

Yes, today is the first day of the year 2022 as per the Julian calendar, as devised by non other than Julius Caesar himself. So we managed to survive another year of lockdown due to the seemingly never-ending Zombie Apocalypse, along with all the horrors of the post-trump-presidency error era.

So, for my first post of this brave new year I feel we need a little bit of celebratory music.

Just For Fun

Reaching for Electricity by holding a lit light bulb.
Reaching for Electricity

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Our moving had a number of challenges, but one challenge we didn’t expect was having our electrical service cut off. But we did, at absolutely the wrong time. Not that there’s ever a good time to lose electrical service.

Family Stories