Alone in a strange place, wondering if I’m crazy

Thursday morning last week, I woke up in a two-star hotel by the side of the highway in the middle of nowhere. The hotel was at least superficially aspiring to a third star, but a fresh carpet, a thin coat of paint, and a waffle iron can only hide so much. Its two-star standing was … Continue reading Alone in a strange place, wondering if I’m crazy

Brief update from wherever I am

As a brief update to my friends and family, so far this undisclosed event I’m attending has exceeded my expectations. I’ve heard from four speakers today who expressed some rather non-conventional ideas, and I’ve learned a ton. Then, by chance, I ended up sharing drinks with two of the speakers and their spouses at a … Continue reading Brief update from wherever I am

Rise and shine, a gorgeous Friday morning

It’s a gorgeous Friday morning where I am. I slept rather well. It’s at least 30 degrees cooler — by the way, that’s degrees Fahrenheit for those of you who aren’t ‘Murican — than when I set up camp yesterday afternoon. Much like Tom Brady’s balls, scientific laws explain why my air mattress felt somewhat … Continue reading Rise and shine, a gorgeous Friday morning

Leaving the comfort zone for a mystery road trip

For the next several days, I’m stepping way, way out of my comfort zone. I’ve left on a solo road trip that I’m being deliberately vague about. Back in January, a frequent commenter on a blog I’ve been reading for over five years suggested a get-together for the community. I’ve seen such suggestions before, but … Continue reading Leaving the comfort zone for a mystery road trip

Follow-up on my REI rant from last week

To follow-up on my rant from last Friday about REI … First, I requested a check for my REI dividend shortly after I published the post. It turns out I could do that online, and the check should be mailed out in about four weeks. Then, on Saturday, Kathryn and I drove to Cabela’s in Glendale and … Continue reading Follow-up on my REI rant from last week

Aigues-Mortes walled city from the ramparts

On a day trip from Montpellier a couple years ago, Kathryn and I spent a winter morning touring the walled city of Aigues-Mortes, France. While the city is a popular stop for tourists, you can tell from the television antennas and satellite dishes in the photo that normal people still live inside these walls, as they have since … Continue reading Aigues-Mortes walled city from the ramparts

REI gun policy: Several tough questions and one easy answer

Yesterday I visited my local REI store for the first time in a long time, at least since 2015. As an REI member, I have a modest dividend credit to use up within the next six months. There’s a small camping stove I’ve had my eye on recently, and I know REI carries it. I was hoping they … Continue reading REI gun policy: Several tough questions and one easy answer

Suggestions for naming Signal groups

For roughly two years, I’ve been using Signal Private Messenger to exchange encrypted text messages with my family and some of my close friends. Earlier this week, my dad got a new phone and, at the same time, a new phone number. Adding his new number into several Signal groups revealed some shortcomings in the arbitrary names of … Continue reading Suggestions for naming Signal groups

An empty pay phone bank at The Venetian, Las Vegas

Over the years, I’ve occasionally taken photos of pay phones that were distinctive in some way or just new to me. Sadly, instead of pay phones, I’m discovering more and more places where a pay phone used to be. Until recently, casinos were places one could consistently find pay phones, but that’s no longer the … Continue reading An empty pay phone bank at The Venetian, Las Vegas

Lazy afternoon by the pool at The Orleans in Las Vegas

One of the reasons we chose The Orleans over Gold Coast last weekend was for a somewhat nicer pool area. In spite of cooler-than-expected temperatures, we spent a lazy Saturday afternoon relaxing in the shade by the pool, sipping cocktails that received quite generous pours from the bartender. We didn’t actually go in the pool, … Continue reading Lazy afternoon by the pool at The Orleans in Las Vegas

Home, sweet home

After talking a break for coffee and a sweet in Wickenburg, we’re home again in Phoenix. Our tea-time stop was someplace new for us, Bedoian’s Bakery & Bistro. It was a great place for a snack, but we didn’t find the 4 pm closing time particularly convenient in light of our 3:40 pm arrival. Fortunately … Continue reading Home, sweet home

Sunday morning in sunny Las Vegas

It’s a sunny Sunday morning in Las Vegas, and we’re showered, dressed, and ready to begin the drive back to Phoenix. First, though, we’re heading to Sunday Mass at St. Bridget, about a fifteen-minute drive from The Orleans and about a mile from Downtown. Last time we were there, the priest overslept and was about … Continue reading Sunday morning in sunny Las Vegas

Yet another weekend road trip to Las Vegas

We’re about to set out on yet another weekend road trip to Las Vegas. This time we’ve booked The Orleans, a sister property of Gold Coast, which is where we stayed last time. The rates for this weekend were about the same at each place. However, The Orleans has a nicer pool area, which starts to … Continue reading Yet another weekend road trip to Las Vegas

Virginia State Capitol

Our recent trip to Richmond wasn’t just about French films. We also spent some time sightseeing and making an additional French connection. Here we’re on the lawn of the Virginia State Capitol, which was a short walk from our hotel. The seat of Virginia’s legislature, the building was designed by Thomas Jefferson, who modeled it … Continue reading Virginia State Capitol