Foreign sources, redux

A couple years ago, I wrote a lengthy blog post challenging my family, friends, and followers to seek out reputable foreign news sources in languages other than English. After yesterday’s circus in Washington, I think it’s more important than ever to repeat my challenge, especially since I haven’t seen any English-language coverage of the spectacle … Continue reading Foreign sources, redux

Today I learned the word tempura is not Japanese

Today I learned the word tempura is not of Japanese origin. It turns out it’s a loan word from Latin, and it’s connected to a centuries-old Catholic tradition called Ember Days. This morning, I was up and out of the house early enough to get to Mass before work. I went to the traditionalist Catholic … Continue reading Today I learned the word tempura is not Japanese

Today is the feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe, patron saint of ham radio

I don’t often blatantly repost old blog material. However, last week I had a conversation with some colleagues about my visit to Auschwitz in 2006, and it made me think about the following post I published three years ago today: I’ve been reminded that today, August 14, is the feast day of St. Maximilian Kolbe. … Continue reading Today is the feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe, patron saint of ham radio

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

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

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

Repent! Remember, man, that thou art dust

Valentine’s Day? Arizona Statehood Day? Any other year, that’s how we might refer to February 14. This year, however, February 14 is, first and foremost, Ash Wednesday. I like to get a jump on my Lenten repentance, so I arrived at Mater Misericordiae Mission in Phoenix at 6:05 this morning to get in line for … Continue reading Repent! Remember, man, that thou art dust

Just a random sunrise photo from Shaw Butte in Phoenix

Apropos of nothing, here’s a random photo taken during a sunrise hike at Shaw Butte in Phoenix last year. We’re looking north from near the summit, with the residential communities clustered around Thunderbird Road and Coral Gables Drive appearing closest below. Usually the low brush appears brown and the rocks appear grey, but with the … Continue reading Just a random sunrise photo from Shaw Butte in Phoenix

Hockey and Popeyes, recent news items out of Montpellier

Montpellier, France, is still one of my favorite places in the world, so I try to keep up with the local media there. I thought I’d share a couple recent news items that caught my attention today. First, our second favorite hockey team, the Montpellier Vipers, finished the regular season with an 8-0 home win … Continue reading Hockey and Popeyes, recent news items out of Montpellier

Let’s be honest, buying eyeglasses is a scam

Even though my employer and my wife’s employer both pay for me to have a vision plan, I make only infrequent visits to the optometrist. Because, you know, I’m a guy. About five years ago, shortly after I hit the big Four-O, I had an eye exam just to make sure everything looked okay. The … Continue reading Let’s be honest, buying eyeglasses is a scam

A demanding Labor Day weekend in Ahwatukee

Kathryn and I tend to be somewhat contrarian in our getaway planning. We’re often home when everyone else is away and away when everyone else is home. This Labor Day weekend is no exception. While millions of families have taken to the road to enjoy the last long weekend of summer, Kathryn has a petsitting … Continue reading A demanding Labor Day weekend in Ahwatukee

The peaceful Trump event last night in Phoenix

If you’re watching CNN or one of the other fake news channels this morning and seeing what happened in downtown Phoenix last night, you may be thinking to yourself, at least Curt and Kathryn weren’t crazy enough to be there. Hmm. Actually, we were downtown for about five hours last night if you include all … Continue reading The peaceful Trump event last night in Phoenix

Thirteen relatively short years for me in Arizona

The date most commonly associated with Arizona is February 14, when Arizona became the 48th state in 1912. For me, though, August 3 is Arizona Day. It’s the date when, in 2004, I first arrived in Arizona for what was supposed to be a relatively short stay while I figured out what to do with … Continue reading Thirteen relatively short years for me in Arizona

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

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 they carry 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

Excellent customer service at McDonald’s

This morning I drove Kathryn to work, her car being in the shop today for a minor repair. She typically leaves for work about 90 minutes before I do, so I decided to skip my usual breakfast at home and grab something to eat after dropping her off. I had a hankering for a sausage … Continue reading Excellent customer service at McDonald’s

Smith System driving course: Is it worth your time? Trust me, it is.

If you ever get an opportunity to take a Smith System driving course, take it. When I started my current job almost four years ago, my employer required me to take a full-day Smith System driving class, even though my job seldom sees me more than a few feet from the computer, much less behind … Continue reading Smith System driving course: Is it worth your time? Trust me, it is.

TSA allows passengers through checkpoint without screening

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/tsa-jfk-passengers-bypass-security-checkpoint-article-1.2977418

I couldn’t resist sharing a link to this recent news about my favorite three-letter agency. I’m not sure which troubles me more, that the TSA couldn’t be bothered to perform its most basic function, or that such a large part of the traveling public doesn’t recognize the screening is little more than security theater.