And then it snowed…

New Resident Reception – fun with photoshop

This year I might try to refine my skills at photographing old people. Since I are one. And since we have lots of them here at The Asylum.

I was in bed this morning, noticing the sun rise. Wondering what to do today. The sun was coming in my windows. However, Shamu the Phone said – right on the lock screen – that it would snow at 8:30AM. I don’t believe Shamu. I go down for breakfast – it was 8:20 – and then it snowed… 

I enjoyed my breakfast can came upstairs. I did all the paper work for a new passport. Most likely my last passport. I hope I need a new one when I am 84 – but, I am not counting on it. 

While I was at it, I tweaked a misbehaving MacBook for a friend.

The snow stopped so I bussed it to the post office – mailed off the stuff to the tax guy. It was just too cold to bus/walk to the tax office. And mail was cheaper than Uber. Also mailed the passport stuff off. 

Came back home, took some pictures at a little Asylum party for new residents. Had dinner – Petit Filet with Bordelaise Sauce. And, here I am. All ready to cosy down in the Old Bat Cave – which I have to spruce up this weekend for it’s big day on the Open House Tour on Monday. Oh and there is St Paddy’s day – $3 Guinness – tomorrow. And B-Day dinner with the Asylum Sisters on Sunday. (not my B-Day – that was last week)

A couple from the reef…

Lizard Island – Great Barrier Reef

Got the taxes all ready to take to the tax guy. And, I didn’t do my taxes before sending them to the guy. Doing your taxes before you give them to the guy is sort of like cleaning your apartment before the maid comes. And, I do that too.

Great Barrier Reef

The weather on Lizard Island was wrong for snorkeling. But, I did get one OK hour session in on the first afternoon I was there. And, that was a lesson. If you only have 3 days and the weather is less than ideal – do it anyhow – because the weather might be even less ideal later. And, conditions did get worse. But, snorkeling was so great. Even a bad day was fantastic. Heaps of fish, wonderful hard and soft corals, blue starfish, giant clams that you could make close up… And, sharks. Nice little whitetip reef shark creatures. What’s not to love? I would go back in a heartbeat.  

The best of the day…

0727 today

Sunrise this morning was about the high point of the day. (well, until a nice dinner with friends – Arctic char and winter squash).

I organized and tried to do the taxes. My taxes have gotten too complex for turbo tax. This is a totally top 2% problem. I shouldn’t complain. As, I am going to finish organizing the taxes. Admit that I can no longer do my own taxes without devoting 2 weeks to “foreign taxes, OIDs, premiums etc” and just trust “the tax guy”. This is not my stuff but rather Carlton’s stuff that is causing this grief. Well, and the tax code. These issues are all on the income side. So, thank you Carlton. I am enjoying the income. And, I will give a pile of it to “the tax guy” to sort out.  Carlton – you will remember that I ended up in “Hotel Arlington” AKA Virginia Hospital Center for a week about 13 years ago. That was caused by your taxes.

That is what I did today.

It was cold and windy outside. I tried to go for a walk outside. I failed. But, honestly, I didn’t try that hard. 

Been Back Almost One Week…

Just because it looks like spring doesn’t mean it IS spring.

Made it into the office for a couple of hours this morning. Then off to yoga. Bussed back home. Sat around in wonderment at the goings on at The Lodge of the Orange Over Lord until time for dinner. (Swordfish with lobster sauce and sweet potato. And wine.)

A woman at dinner said that she intended to stay alive until The Orange Lord was out of office. We’ll see… Another woman told me about her around the world cruise scheduled for next January. She said I could do it too – when I get “old”. She is 80. 

Will attempt to finish organizing the taxes tomorrow. Then look into the general fitness of my investment portfolio. And consider going back to work next week.  Or not. 


A very taxing day…

We are in a “Snow Hole” today.

Alexa cheerfully reported a rainy-snowy day was on tap. But, instead we go stuck in a “snow hole”. Nevermind, it was still bleak, cold and taxing…

Taxing, because I was doing my taxes. Or rather getting my taxes ready for “my guy” to do. One of the 1099 forms I got said I was dead for half the year. Not sure which half. Not sure it matters. But, I’d rather get it fixed than have my guy who works by the hour get it fixed. I was on hold until Shamu the Phone’s battery died trying to get it fixed. 

Also, I noted a major drop in one of my income categories. Either something is wrong or something else is wrong. Research is required. I suspect it is due to the general decay of Carlton’s fixed income yield structure. And, there isn’t much I can do about that. 

The Old Bat Cave is going to be on the Asylum’s open house tour next Monday. Since we don’t have any vacancies – the only way prospective residents get to see the apartments is to see real apartments lived in by real little old ladies. Which must be pretty hard on our marketing department in these days of carefully staged houses and apartments. 

Lizard Island


Bunny Fails – still turning origami paper in recycling. 

OK… I have been here 5 entire days. Isn’t it time to go somewhere? Woke up in the middle of the night depressed because I was still here. And there was no place to go. No place even scheduled to go to…

The taxes have been started. I don’t actually “DO” my taxes any more. My guy does them. But, being me, I do them before I give them to him to do. I don’t need a tax guy now. But, some day, I will not be able to do the taxes. I want to have someone lined up and ready to step in. And, my guy usually finds a creative deduction or two that basically pays his bill. Will have to rethink all this with the 2018 filing. 

Still tired. 

Farm Market – Melbourne

Veggies for the root cellar.
These winter squash are not so very PC
Great flowers.

I went to the Falls Church Farm Market today. Got bread, crab cake, lettuce. Mostly I got outside. Which was nice.

Also cleaned up my 11 sq ft garden box. My prostrate rosemary didn’t seem to make it through the winter. On the other hand, one of the neighboring boxes had a rosemary plant that was huge, happy and blooming. Unfortunately, it’s owner didn’t make it through the winter. Such is life and death in the Asylum.

And, I turned rather a lot of origami paper into recycling. 

Today I was just tired. That is an improvement- other days I have been exhausted. 

Tomorrow, maybe the taxes. Maybe.

Everything in Australia is out to get you dead!

Still here!

Noisy Pitta

This guy was showing off it’s nice blue wings. It is smaller than a robin. Bigger than a sparrow. And, it eats earthworms, snails, small lizards -nice tasty leaf litter stuff. 

Getting slightly adjusted to being back at the asylum. I did finish putting everything away and I opened all the mail. Most of it is piled up on the stove waiting to go to recycling. Notice: Piled up on stove. I don’t plan on cooking any  time soon! 

A new dining venue opened while I was gone. Dining venues are a problem at the Asylum. It is 30 years old. And when it opened it was “OK” to make the residents go through a school cafeteria type line and feed them steam table food. Well, that doesn’t cut it anymore. We want choices and options. Not to mention better food. Management wanted in have a wood burning pizza oven – then they found out how much it would cost to vent. But, the new venue still makes a respectable pizza. 

When I first saw the lady and the cello.

Terrorists hijack a plane chartered by a symphony orchestra. They threaten to to release a cellist every hour until their demands are met. 

Back in The Asylum

Birthday Dinner-Yesterday – With my asylum sisters.

Crappy picture of me. Great picture of my friends. Champagne, cake, cards, friends – what’s not to love?

Got home at about 10AM yesterday. I know it was 10AM – because I was hungry for breakfast as The Asylum stops serving breakfast at 10. Anyhow, I waited until 12, had lunch and the a huge nap, finally Birthday Dinner. 

I was wearing a t-shirt that says something like I am glad to to home where it is  nice and peaceful. 

“Nice and peaceful” – maybe not so much. Lifted from WUSA-9 website.

Investigation underway after bullets strike Va. retirement complex

The Fairfax County Police Department is investigating after apartments in a Virginia retirement community were hit by gunfire on three separate occasions.

The Fairfax County Police Department is investigating after apartments in a Virginia retirement community were hit by gunfire on three separate occasions.

All three incidents took place in the Falls Church area from mid to late February, police said.

Around 10:30 p.m. on February 10, residents in the 3400 block of South Jefferson Street reported hearing gunshots. Police said three units within the apartment complex were hit with bullets.

Another incident occurred around 6:25 p.m. on February 23 when a senior reported hearing gunshots coming from a nearby shopping center. The next day a resident from the Goodwin House in Bailey’s Crossroads reported a bullet hole in his window.

Lastly, on February 27, police said a patrol supervisor heard gunshots coming from the same neighborhood.

Detectives do not believe the residents were specifically targeted, but they are determining whether they’re related.

No injuries have been reported.

Sunset at The Asylum – I look east so sunset isn’t too special out my windows as a rule.


1/3 of the way back…

In the LA airport. 2 hours to kill in the very boring United Terminal. Got coffee. Now I have to find a cosy corner to hang in until 11ish. Then on to Chicago and finally to DCA.


You understand that your cell provider knows EVERYTHING about you. Even when there is no signal, there is still GPS. This is where Google says I was in Feb 2018. Now Google may not always be able to complete a phone call here in Kona, but by golly it knows that I was in the Nullarbor on Feb 12 and spent 90 minutes in Cook, South Australia. Google is my cell service provider.

It must be pretty hard to be less than honest about one’s whereabouts! There was I time when that would have mattered to me. (No Carlton that was before your time.)

Speaking of Carlton – I went to check out his spot in the bay. I would have swam over – but I am enjoying poor health – so, the landside view.

I am more or less all packed up. My luggage is “carryon-sized” but I am too old and feeble to hoist the case into the overhead. I would have to rely on the kindness of 6 strangers to get it up and down. Not a problem with checking it – except the connection in Chicago is 32 minutes. And, the weather in Chicago isn’t going to be stellar.

Being on the plane with a cold and not being able to wrangle my own suitcase might find me seated on the wing.


This street art is sort of how I am feeling today.

Every Australian city that I visited was replete with wall art and/or graffiti. And, I really don’t feel that bad. But, I still have a cold. I went to the drug store and got Sudafed. Figure that will help with congestion and flying. 

Today I went for a little walk, did breakfast with Billy, walked to the drug store, got something for dinner, napped, finished my first and maybe only pass of the Melbourne images while listening to Lord of the Rings, napped, once again had cheese cake and coffee before dinner. 

So, how about some of my favorite Melbourne images? 

Public Art or Graffiti?

Folks wander around the alleys and look at the wall art much like one would go to a gallery.

Checking out the latest works.
Did this artist get mad at his/her Mac?
This sign got my attention.

On Feb 7, one goes to the Parliament Building and watches the sunset.

Good enough place for a romantic photo.
Sunset at Parliament House – you all know that I am partial to B/W
Sunset at Parliament House

Oh, turn around Peg – 

I was about ½ way up the stairs.

And why? You might ask. To see the sun reflect on the trolley tracks. It wasn’t all that great this year. Too many clouds. Clouds happen. But, you get the idea from the color version.

And my favorite Melbourne shot is the one that is the header today. The people lined up waiting for the light to change.