Sunday, September 29, 2019


Cleaning out old closets has re-surfaced many old photos and memories. Here are a few of my favorites.

Ten year old bird feeder in the back yard that has survived quite a few bear knock downs. Black and white photography is one of my favorite types of photography and this photo was some recent practice with camera settings.

A bird on a winter branch during a first of the season snow fall.

Bugs had their way with one of our trees next to the driveway a few years back. 

Wind storm took off the top and I took this photo before taking the tree down and off to the dump

Wild boar photo taken inside Kruger National Park SA in 2007

Logs washed up on the Washington State coast line.

This horse poked his head out of the barn at our bed and breakfast near Cape Town SA, 2007.

Typical confined area landing spot near Eagle, Alaska during a three month flying job for Temsco Helicopters in 1986.

Returning back to base camp in Eagle Alaska. We would often hop down to low level flying along the Yukon River at days end. The geologists we were flying for especially loved this types of flights.

One of my favorite photos taken during our stay in South Africa, 2007.

Wonderful colors of boats docked in the basin in Cape Town, South Africa.


Weather man says to enjoy this weeks weather as colder air is moving in from Canada by next weekend. Maybe these are the last few warm days of 2019 and my wife and I are determined to enjoy being outdoors.
It is said in long term winter weather projections that a lot of acorns on the ground is an indicator of a hard cold and snowy winter to come. If this is the case we are in for a challenging winter. 
It is impossible for us to walk off of the driveway into several of the cleared areas with out walking on a bed of large acorns. 
Thanks for the visit again this week. 


Sunday, September 22, 2019


 Afternoon pics over the hills around Bradford , NH

I had forgotten how difficult it is to fly and photograph when standing in direct sunlight that makes viewing the screen on the tablet impossible. On this day, I blindly shot these 3 pics and quit. Fall colors just starting.



My thoughts parallel those of a recent post from American Digest Blog.  

The Navy has released UFO video and pilot commentary and noted that these should have never been released to the public. I wonder if the Navy thinks we "can't handle the truth." It is not like there have not been sightings, photos and video's for "eons." To think we are alone is a head-in-the-sand thinking, in my opinion. 

So why no good photos with the photographic tools available today? My guess that there are such photos, the best probably from orbiting satellites and the ISS.  I, for one, would so enjoy seeing some of those photos and knowing they are real. Would make for some good conversations over a glass bottle of wine.


As loony as many of these folks are, I can't help but wonder if any of them  know better than not go over the gates into Area 51. My guess is there is a whole new world of crowd dispersal gadgets at Area 51 just waiting for some real world testing.

If ever there was a crowd to stay away from, huh??



In the process of cleaning out the homestead, I am selling most all of my major floor, wood-working/ metal working tools. I am not building or making any more like in my youth. The tools sit and it's best they be in the hands of youngsters who are builders and makers. The nice fellow from Massachusetts who drove up here and purchased the metal lathe asked us if we live here year around. Our driveway is a challenge in the winter and I think he realized that turning off the main road and "s" turning his way up the hill to the house. 

We have learned how to adapt to winter over the past eighteen years. At worst, the winter has challenged us in keeping the snow removed so we can come and go. The only time the winter beats us is with ice. We just stay home instead of using salt to keep the tough spots clear. 

Yep, we live here year around. 
One of my favorite photos from two years ago is looking down from the top of the driveway. My son was coming over to help with some snow removal and was met with birch and popular trees bending the knee from fresh fallen wet snow.



Acorns falling and covering the ground. Most are large and look pristine.

Sadly, there are no squirrels close by bundling these up for winter. The cat has taken on the local chipmunk family and reduced that significantly. 

Last season, as I mentioned before, just the opposite. New Hampshire seemed overrun and over-populated with squirrels. AND there were no acorns to be found last year.

The only critters we have visiting on a regular basis as Fall opens are Doves. 

My wife received the flower arrangement sitting on the picnic table as a gift from a friend.

Whoever put this together knew what he/she was doing and with an artistic touch worthy of note. 

I do not know any of the flowers, but find this bunch of flowers a most welcome sight outside as we move around doing our seasonal chores. 

Quite often, it is the little things that catch my eye and attention. 


Glorious weather in middle New England and we are in full appreciation.  

Thanks for the visit this week.




Tuesday, September 17, 2019



I remember the early years with my folks of perfectly cooked pork chops smothered with fried onions. This was one of the meals they prepared with seemingly little to no effort and I always enjoyed watching this perfect cooked meal come out of the oven, pork chops resting on a bed of fried onions. 

I have tried many times to achieve fried onions like mom and dad used to make, but never achieved the look and flavor until early this week. I believe it all stems from the cookware and again, it is the seasoned cast-iron skillet. 

The onions took about 12 minutes to turn golden brown. Two onions cut up, salt, pepper and a fair coating of olive oil. All mixed first in a large bowl and then dumped into the skillet. The garlic in the photo above was an after thought and they will be added first next time. My wife loves crispy fried garlic in much of what we cook, especially skillet cooking. She is notorious for scraping the bottom of the frying pan at the end of the meal for crisp chunklets. 

The pork chops were salt and peppered and cooked 12 minutes in the air fryer. A thicker than normal center cut chop this time. We termed this meal a free meal on our low-carb dieting. Next time, 3 large cut up onions will go into the skillet.


This blog is one of my favorite to visit weekly. A young couple with a new baby have been sailing around the world and living on their boat for over 5 years. They blog weekly and new blogs are usually up by late Mondays EST.

They are currently heading up the east coast to Maine, but their posts are several weeks behind their current locations and living. I think easier for them to put up video's. They have been posting from the Bahamas for the past couple months and current postings have them moving north along the islands before the storm. Regardless, a fun young couple living a life and their posts and videos are welcomed in the crazy world and times.



It has been too long since I have charged up the drone and components and gone flying. It takes time to get re-acquainted and comfortable setting the little guy loose and then getting him back safely before low low battery. 
The photo above is middle New Hampshire looking north as fall colors are just starting to set in. Beautiful countryside this time of year.



And rightfully so. I have not been true to every Sunday posting and summer/fall living is uneventful. Biggest events for the past few weeks for us is cleaning out this home from stem to stern and posting shop woodworking tools for sale. The time has come to throw "it" away or put "it" where it belongs. There is so much now that we will never use again and has become work to just keep up. 

I think this time comes in all of our lives. I have been dragging my feet for a few years now, but have finally and comfortably come to terms with all of it. Change is constant and I think change is more difficult the older I get.

"...and don't let the old man in."

I happened on this article and quote from Clint Eastwood. At 74, his take on getting old/older hit home for me. Mr. Eastwood is an actor I have long enjoyed and him being a man's man. I am sure he triggers many a folk this day living life on his terms. But not letting the old man each day he gets up is wizardry in thinking. Proves to me we are never to old to learn and I take to heart his approach to aging. 

And sometime today, my wife will say to me; "...up, up, up." Quit hunching over when I stand up and walk. And I do take just a moment to straighten out (and I still can) and up and walk a little taller. She means well, looks after me and I do appreciate. 


It gnaws at me each week not to include some comment on days events. In the end I tell myself not to for I see no good coming from it. I really do not want to spend any more time in the muck and yuck of the times we live in and I seriously doubt the few of you who still come to visit want that to look forward to weekly when you check in. 
We will quit here this week.
Stay away from crowds and "up, up, up."


Wednesday, September 11, 2019


Remnants of Hurricane Dorian blew through last Friday night. Six hours of welcomed rain. Cool Saturday morning, clearing skies, trees letting go of rain on soaked leafs and mother nature again at her seasonal work. Rusting ferns along the driveway are a reminder that there is still order in the world. Fall colors are on their way. 

I expect the birds to return soon to the feeder. 

Seasonal clean-up and winter preparation with new projects of cleaning and downsizing much of the "stuff" that accumulated over the past 20 years.

Young son has a rule that if he has not touched "it" in the past year, off to the dump it goes. With us, if we have touched it in the past 10 years, off to the dump it goes. Surprisingly, it is not missed and open clean spaces are much appreciated. 



The two deck chairs were two years behind in cleaning seasonal weathering. A few minutes with a power washer and they are like new. A light hand sanding and a good coating of teak oil when they dry will hold them through another year.. 

These chairs are at least 8 years old and I am surprised that the joinery is as tight as when we purchased them. Unusual, but a testament to how teak weathers and how well it adapts to outdoor applications.


I found this article on The Feral Irishman blog this past week and had to laugh as my wife and I have had this (these) conversations a few times over these past crazy years. How did we ever survive growing up?

Adding to this article: hitting a .22 bullet sitting on a small rock to see what would happen. Only did that once. 

BB gun wars where the only rule was not to take head shots. We were smart enough to know some limits. Hiding the BB welts from our parents for a week or two was an art form.

Playing stretch with our pocket knives on the lawn. Never had someone stick a knife in my foot. But there we some good stories told by our peers.

Shooting a bow and arrow straight up over our heads, watching the arrow stop top flight, turn and weather vane back to the ground. The trick was to never lose sight of the arrow.

Building a tree house 60' above our driveway. Played and played and climbed that height to sit, lean on 2 x 4 railings and survey our entire neighborhood. Day after day for several years. Nailing the railings on the inside of the limbs was a construction lesson taught to me by my father. 

Pulling the front seat out of my 56 Chev to have some upholstery work done and drove for a few days back and forth to work sitting on a wooden apple crate. I would rock backwards hitting 2nd and 3rd gear and rock forwards into the steering wheel when I put on the breaks. Surprising what we can learn to do in a short period of time.

There are so many more!



After all these years, it is time to organize all of the documents and photos from my parents. Immigration documents that will be passed down to my son so he knows of the folks from whom he came. Great people, great stories coming to America through the front door, love, marriage, family and a work ethic that my son exhibits to this day. 

The two photos below are of poor quality, but I cannot find any of these that I have saved and more likely lost over time. The top one is the CH-34 I transitioned into upon arrival in Germany in 1968. I flew this machine in and out of Hitler's old quarters in Nuremberg, flew the Czechoslovakian Border, "nap of the earth", several times weekly and once blew a piston right off the bank of cylinders at 2000' and landed in a school yard safely, w/o incident. 

Ironically on that flight, we had picked up a Captain and several other folks to transport. The Captain mentioned to the crew chief how much he hated flying. The sound of that piston blowing off he engine, then the silence of the engine turned off must have scared the hell out of him. Poor fellow was back on the ground just a few minutes after we had taken off. I wonder if he tells a similar story?

The Cobra pic was taken during my second tour of duty in 1969, the Central Highlands of Vietnam,  when I was flight instructing from the front seat helping unit Cobra pilots stay current. Flack vest is hanging off the canopy window. Did dozens of engine off full auto-rations during those training days. The lift stored in the wide blades of that rotor system, let us set the helicopter down oh so softly. Every time. 

And yes, we trained for the situation of engine out emergencies. Although we trained in Cobras empty of munitions, the time I lost an engine in the An Lao Valley, at gross weight with fuel and munitions, went as always trained, just quicker.

Good memories and thanks mom for keeping the photos and notes that I sent home.



Just yesterday we visited a neighbors home for the gifting of ripe tomatoes.

They are leaving on vacation at the time when their garden tomatoes are coming on. The split tomatoes, although rough looking, are dead-on ripe. A little trimming, slicing and a touch of salt and pepper and they become candy for my wife and me.

Twice daily now until they are gone, Caprese salad of sliced tomatoes, garlic salt, olive oil, thick balsamic vinegar, each covered with a slice of Mozzarella cheese, accompany a couple of our daily meals now. Just simply wonderful. 


September 11th, 2019 today. It happened and our country grew close during those times. Never forget.

Heads up, enjoy your week, tell a joke or two, hug a loved one and them them you love them, be kind to others. Thanks for the visit this week.

Monday, September 2, 2019


This C: solid state drive failed over a week ago and the computer has been in ICU since then. It was not an easy fix apparently as new components did not like each other, could not see each other. Not compatible. The folks working on this built the computer and tried their best over the course of the week to keep the repair cost effective while minimizing loss of data and getting the computer back in a timely fashion. Any thing mechanical/electrical can fail and no use to cry over lost ones and zeros. 

My lesson was not to use the desk top as a place to store data or to work from. I should have been using the back up D: drive to work from and to save to as it is designed to store all data in case of system malfunction. The data on the above pictured drive is lost, but I was told to keep it and that in a few years down the road, technology may have advanced to a point where the data is retrievable.  

I have lost some programs and some of 2019's photos, but not the important stuff from years past. I have backed up work but not often enough. It could have been worse.

Time to learn new software and get caught up on a few posts.


Fried chicken strips seasoned with mesquite. The last zucchini on the counter was tested in the same fry. Both turned out excellent and will be repeated. 

The frying pans around the house and at the ranch when I was growing up were all cast iron. I remember the taste of T-bone steaks fried in a cast iron skillet to be the best I have ever eaten. Grilling cannot compare. 

Cast iron pans need to be seasoned and that is much easier that I thought. I set this one inside the grill, turned it on high and closed the lid. The high heat for 10 minutes or so burned off all the crap inside the cooking surface and easily wiped out with a rag. I drizzled a little vegetable cooking oil, wiped it around the inside and repeated another 10 minute of very high heat inside the grill.  The finished cooking surface was again wiped out with a clean rag and set to cool down. A final wipe of cooking oil completed the seasoning process.

I tested the first fry a week ago on two rib eye steaks and there will be no going back to grilling steaks again. The flavor of any meat coming out of this pan is simply exceptional. 

Cleaning is also easier than I expected.  After the pan cools some, I wipe out dregs and left over oil with a paper towel. Then add a couple cups of water and turn the heat on high. A wooden or metal utensil is used to gently scrape the cooking surface as the water comes to a boil. The boiled water and residue is poured out, the cooking surface wiped clean and a light coat of oil added to re-coat the inside of the pan. Like new again.

A major bonus cooking with cast iron pans is the flaking and snuffing of non-stick coatings do not wind up in the foods being cooked and eaten. 

The finished dinner and salad. 

Week-end steak dinners. Rib-eye steak with ends of fat cut off and also fried. Medium high heat, turned every two minutes for 7 minutes results in a perfect medium rare steak. My wife wanted her steak out of the pan at 5 minutes for her idea of a perfect rare steak and it was (for her). A little sea salt to each steak, then patted dry before dropping into the pan.

The flavor of a rib-eye cooked like this is beyond anything that can be achieved off of a grill. Melts in your mouth. The two smaller pieces seen above are fat ends of each steak cut off and fried. And no, we did not eat the whole fried fat pieces. Just a few crispy edge cuts along with a steak chunk or two.  

We buy large,boneless rib-eye roasts several times during the year and usually when on sale. The cost of each steak like these averages $7-$8 each. There is a noticeable savings from the individually wrapped steak from the meat market counter. I have posted our steak cutting, prepping and freezing in previous blogs. 

If you have not treated yourself or your family to steaks prepared like this, give it a try. Medium rare steak would have been between 8-9 minutes cooking.  Letting the steak rest for 5 minutes is a must.


"Devastation, catastrophic, thrashing, slams, extremely dangerous, people are crying, raking the United States, lash, fury, dude - this is a 5, mandatory evacuation and hoping."

Hurricane Dorian is neither Florida's nor the south-eastern state's "first rodeo." I do not make light of any of this. Any hurricane making land fall encompasses all of the adjectives in the above article, but the depth of despair by the weather crowd is in keeping with all of today's hype on the fears of a nation. I think these kinds of weather events cause weather folk to sit at their computers looking for a new adjectives to enhance the depths of concern for a hurricane making land fall. 

Regardless, a few prayers from all of us for those in the path over the next few days. 


McKinney to Mustang Beach in a Cessna 210.


Thanks again for the visit this week. Will try to better bridge the gaps between posts for future weekly up-loads.