Creating a WordPress.com account without creating a new blog

Some of you have noticed the Like button that now appears beneath all my blog posts. It’s the result of an integration with WordPress.com that I installed and configured on AF7KQ last week. If you click on the Like button and your browser is not already signed into WordPress.com, you’ll see a pop-up Log in … Continue reading Creating a WordPress.com account without creating a new blog

Immaculate Conception, Newburyport

In the past twelve months, I’ve posted photos of two churches where Kathryn and I were called to be godparents to newborns. However, just this past Easter, we visited Immaculate Conception in Newburyport, Massachusetts, where I was baptized as a newborn, approximately a thousand years ago. One of Kathryn’s aunts was able to join us … Continue reading Immaculate Conception, Newburyport

Some thoughts about spending money while traveling abroad

Two weeks ago, while getting to know our fellow Mexico City pilgrims, the topic of how to deal with spending money came up. This is a topic where it seems everyone has his own unique set of opinions based on his own unique set of experiences. I didn’t share all my thoughts with the group, … Continue reading Some thoughts about spending money while traveling abroad

The main altar of La Madeleine, Paris, just before a weekday Mass

Kathryn took this photo of the main altar of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, La Madeleine, located in the heart of Paris, over five years ago, in January 2013. It was one of those right-place-right-time situations we like to take advantage of. We happened to be walking by the church just a few minutes … Continue reading The main altar of La Madeleine, Paris, just before a weekday Mass

Mexico City pilgrimage planning, getting to know our fellow pilgrims

Last week, I mentioned Kathryn and I are still planning to travel for a week later this month. The trip is a pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City and to some other holy sites in the area. Having a religious motivation to our travels is not an entirely new … Continue reading Mexico City pilgrimage planning, getting to know our fellow pilgrims

Three weeks ago, everything went sideways

Three weeks ago, on Tuesday around 10 am, my mobile phone rang. It was Kathryn. She was crying. She could barely talk. Kathryn had been suffering with lower back pain for some time. Recently, the usual quick fixes — chiropractics, steroid injections, etc. — weren’t bringing her much relief. She’d already been out of work … Continue reading Three weeks ago, everything went sideways

Blessed to be called as godparents for another baptism

Two weekends ago, Kathryn and I were called to be godparents once again, this time for the baptism of a seven-week-old son of friends who live in Oro Valley, a town about ten miles north of Tucson. Kathryn is already godmother to the newly baptized’s older brother. Being called to godparenthood — my auto-correct seems … Continue reading Blessed to be called as godparents for another baptism

Surprisingly, a sunrise hike in Phoenix never gets old for me

It’s getting to be about that time of year again, where every weekend hike in Phoenix could be my last before October. On those hot Phoenix summer weekend mornings where the outside temperature is 90 degrees before I’ve finished brewing my coffee, I don’t hike. I either go to the gym or, more often, stay … Continue reading Surprisingly, a sunrise hike in Phoenix never gets old for me

Trump Derangement Syndrome is real and undeniable

Earlier this morning, a friend sent me a link to an article that’s simultaneously the funniest, dumbest, and most thought-provoking thing I’ve read this week. Then again, it’s only Wednesday. Apparently, a Finnish group called Melting Ice is trying to raise money for Project Trumpmore, which would “prove” — their word, not mine — the … Continue reading Trump Derangement Syndrome is real and undeniable

WordPress migration to Amazon EC2 complete

During the day Saturday, I spent a few more hours off-and-on continuing the migration of this self-hosted WordPress blog to Amazon EC2. By dinner time, I was able to throw the switch, so to speak, reassociating the af7kq.com domain name with its new name servers. Because of the way name servers cache lookups, it would … Continue reading WordPress migration to Amazon EC2 complete

Having another look at the Salisbury Beach boardwalk

Before heading back to Boston yesterday, we decided to take one last walk at Salisbury Beach. In particular, we hadn’t taken a good look at the boardwalk, a curiosity for me since it didn’t exist when I was a kid growing up in Salisbury. It’s hard to imagine if you look at it now, but … Continue reading Having another look at the Salisbury Beach boardwalk

Flight delay at Boston Logan

We’re still waiting at Boston Logan for our flight back to Phoenix. Our flight has been delayed twice, giving us a chance to get to know the bartender at the Legal Sea Foods next to our departure gate. Perhaps the third time is the charm, although I see no evidence the incoming flight has even … Continue reading Flight delay at Boston Logan

Eating our way through a busy first day in New England

Considering the only real sleep we got Friday night was on the flight from Phoenix to Boston, we stayed quite busy yesterday. After waiting what seemed like forever for our checked bags, we took the airport shuttle bus to the rental car center, which didn’t exist last time I rented a car at Boston Logan. … Continue reading Eating our way through a busy first day in New England

At Sky Harbor, waiting for our flight to Boston

It’s a relatively quiet Friday evening at Sky Harbor, so our check-in and transit through the security checkpoint were a breeze, leaving us ample time for a bite to eat before we board. We had an appropriate Good Friday meal of pancakes at Matt’s Big Breakfast, which happens to be on the same concourse as … Continue reading At Sky Harbor, waiting for our flight to Boston

Heading back east for a last-minute visit over Easter weekend

Kathryn and I will be traveling to New England this weekend to attend a memorial service for a loved one who recently passed away. If everything goes according to plan, we’ll arrive in Boston early Saturday morning on a red-eye from Phoenix, stay three nights at a hotel in Amesbury, Massachusetts, and depart on the … Continue reading Heading back east for a last-minute visit over Easter weekend

A long, beautiful weekend at Cholla Campground by Roosevelt Lake

Last weekend, Kathryn and I enjoyed a long, beautiful weekend at Cholla Campground, situated on the shore of Roosevelt Lake in the Tonto National Forest of Arizona. We hadn’t been there in over three years, and we couldn’t help but spend much of the weekend wondering why. Little has changed since our last stay at … Continue reading A long, beautiful weekend at Cholla Campground by Roosevelt Lake

Enjoying a quiet weekend of camping at Roosevelt Lake

Kathryn and I left this morning for a four-day weekend of camping at Roosevelt Lake, about a two-hour drive from Phoenix. After getting a relatively late start — 8:45 am being relatively late for us — and then making a stop for a second breakfast in a small town about ten miles from the lake, … Continue reading Enjoying a quiet weekend of camping at Roosevelt Lake

Last photos of the border wall at Calexico near Gran Plaza Outlets

During last month’s aborted trip to Mexicali for Chinese food, Kathryn, Dan, and I made a stop at the Gran Plaza Outlets in Calexico, California, for a bathroom break and, for Kathryn, a quick, successful bit of shopping. While we were there, we also took a number of photographs of the nearby border wall between … Continue reading Last photos of the border wall at Calexico near Gran Plaza Outlets

Taking a break for Café Bustelo at Gila Blend inside a casino

The play on words on this Café Bustelo sign — assuming it was intentional — might not be so obvious if you haven’t spent much time in Arizona. Gila Bend is a small town in Maricopa County, located near a bend in the Gila River, about an hour’s drive from Phoenix. However, it wasn’t the … Continue reading Taking a break for Café Bustelo at Gila Blend inside a casino

Camping with a fake but pretty propane fireplace

Before our last camping trip, Kathryn got on the interwebs and found us a nice, portable propane fireplace. We had looked into this idea before, but most of the fireplaces we found in the past would have taken up half the trunk. This one was a bit pricey, but it’s smaller than our cooler. Since … Continue reading Camping with a fake but pretty propane fireplace