Category Archives: Thoughts, Words & Deeds

Fall and Winter

Shown here are some of the things we have been doing recently. More less in order: Hike to Turkey Point Lighthouse, our day in Annapolis, December in NYC, Ellis Island Hard Hat Tour of hospital wings, Christmas, Shoveling out from the January storm, Basement Remodeling.

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Longwood Gardens at Christmas

Longwood Gardens in Delaware. This is a former DuPont family home. There is a long tradition of gardening in the family, and this fella took it to great extremes. The gardens cover over 1000 acres, and this Conservatory Building is 4 acres under roof. It is a spectacular display.

Audrey as Maid Marian

Audrey has become involved in creating costumes based on movies or television – a hobby called cosplay. This hand made dress is based on Maid Marian from the BBC America television show, Robin Hood.

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Our first trip to New York City

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On our return trip from Newport, RI in August, we got to make a stop in NYC to drop Audrey off at JFK. After rendezvousing with Brandon, we set out to get to know the city a little bit. We traveled by van service and subway into the Dumbo area for this view of the historic Brooklyn Bridge, then under the East River by subway to lower Manhattan. We visited the 9/11 Memorial, which really is a must for anyone traveling to the city. From there we walked to Battery Park at the tip of the island for a view of Governor Island, Liberty Island and Ellis Island. We were near Wall Street, but decided to call it a day. The following day we checked out the Brooklyn Art Museum and Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, both excellent places to visit.

85th Annual Fiddler’s Picnic

fiddlers_picnic_2This past weekend I attended the Fiddler’s Picnic for the first time. The annual event in Pennsylvania is really nice and laid back. Everyone can be a participant at some level, or just sit and watch the bands rotate on the main stage. Hibernia County Park is beautiful, and the event seems well organized (but they could use better signage to find the place). I pulled out my guitar for a couple hours and found I could keep up pretty well. Even learned the intro line to “Friend of A Devil” from another picker. People wander around from one musical circle to the next, joining for any length of time they desire. It is great to go to an event which is not completely commercialized by some corporate sponsorship – unusual in America today. I should have got someone to take my picture, but here is one of a the groups I played with.

Cover Up in Moore, OK ???

Who is hiding the truth about Moore, Oklahoma ?

(or why there is NO coverup in Benghazi, Libya).

The Republican Party is positive there is a huge coverup regarding the terrible events in Benghazi which lead up to the loss of American lives. They point to the descriptions provided by the media in the first hours of the attack which characterize the attack as a protest or rally – not a full fledged terrorist attack. Benghazi is around the world, a smaller town in a practically lawless country, far from the mainstream media. Initial reports were made by embassy staff and military personnel. So did accurate reporting do any better right in our own backyard ?

In Moore, in the middle of the afternoon, news helicopters from Oklahoma City first reported and filmed the storm, and some of the most dramatic photos where taking immediately after the storm by Oklahoma photojournalists. West coast media were on the scene within several hours, and the East coast media were reporting live from Moore by the 11:00 news EST. So why are the basic facts so screwed up? The following facts come from CBS, NBC, CNN and NPR:

Initial report – tornado lasted at least 30 minutes, revised report, 40+minutes.
Initial report – tornado path 11 miles by 2 miles, revised report, 17 miles by up to 1.5 miles. Initial report – 51 dead, with “dozens” of children missing and feared dead in Plaza Tower, revised report, 24 dead including 10 children. Initial report, EF4, revised report EF5. Initial report, 5,000 homes destroyed, revised report 13,000 homes destroyed, and last night’s revision places the lost homes at 1,900.

I believe that these numbers are messed up primarily because the news media are trying to be the first to report SOMETHING, even if it proves to be wrong. There is no coverup in Moore, and none in Libya. Benghazi is a red herring, but still a sad loss of life. And to those who lost property or loved ones in Moore, to borrow a phrase from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “what does it matter” how long the tornado was on the ground – long enough.

If you can, please give cash to the victims of Hurricane Sandy, Moore, and the families in West, TX, who lost 1/4 of the town and 14 people in that terrific blast.

War of 1812, 200th Anniversary

These are photos of reenactment participants at the May 4th celebration. During the War of 1812, the British sent troops to invade Havre de Grace (May 4th, 1813), sack the town, and burn much of it down. This was a fun celebration and helped us get to know Havre de Grace and the area better.

Cherry Blossom Fest, Washington DC

We went for the CBF in DC right on schedule, in fact it was timed perfectly – unfortunately no one told the blossoms, which went into perfect full bloom about 5 days later. We rode the kiosk rental bikes all around the Lincoln Memorial end of the National Mall, and got our first view of the White House from the base of the Washington Monument. In 2012 the Reflecting Pool was completely rebuilt, and it is fantastic. We planned it so we could be around many of the monuments at dusk, which is a beautiful time of day to view them. The new Martin Luther King Memorial is beautiful, and we will have a longer look at it in the future – same can be said for others. We ended our biking with an intense ride down a pitch black trail between Arlington National Cemetery and our hotel – a very exciting mile. Reward: great pizza and wine at Il Radicchio in Rosedale. The next day we went to the Botanical Garden, walked the steps of the Capital Building, and spent some time in the National Art Gallery.

Elfreth’s Alley, Philadelphia, 1736

This is one of the oldest extant blocks of housing still in use in America. Yes, all these homes – tiny as they are – are still inhabited. It is great to get a glimpse of real history still in use. I can imagine perhaps Benjamin Franklin walking through this block on his way to a meeting or supper with friends.