A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

An adorable chipmunk shot with the wrong lens.

Today was one of the few gloriously perfect days of the year.  I sort of did nothing. But I need to do nothing (except walking and napping) from time to time.

some of the last roses of summer

I still like B/W photography. Just Old School I guess. Or maybe just old! Rarely a day goes by that I don’t wonder: How the hell did I get old? I never planned on being old. I surely did everything possible to avoid living long enough to be old.

Thinking about Carlton. Thinking how glad I am that he didn’t live to see the current state of our country and the world for that matter. Wondering what he would say. You know, he might just say “Don’t worry Mother Earth will survive. Now, the humans, that’s another story.” We, humans, have had a good run, time to turn things over to the cephalopods.

It’s Aloha Wednesday

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Even waiting for the bus was a treat!

There are about 10 glorious perfect days a year in this area. And today might have been one. I just missed the bus home. Not a problem. I was happy to chill at the bus stop. Just watching the cars go by.

And “It’s Aloha Wednesday, no work ’til Monday”. Well, I am hoping to finish up my little project for the Employee Gift Fund this weekend. Next weekend at the latest.

A beetle for sure and most likely a firefly. Olympus 60mm micro  4/3s macro lens.

Speaking of cameras. Got an email from the Olympus repair shop today. They got the Pen F.  So, it should be back soon.

Wow! Just looked at the Carpenter Bee header. Hope no one is scared of bees. Don’t worry. These guys don’t really sting. Well, the males don’t. The females can. But, you have to make them pretty mad.

header carpenter beetle – in case the header is gone click through for a big view.


Coming up on sunset.

Normal day. Work, yoga, little domestic paperwork, little Asylum meeting, dinner with my Asylum sisters and friends, now trying to stay awake for a current affairs lecture.

And a couple of photos from around the Asylum this afternoon.

Yes, dear young friends, this is what an old folks asylum looks like.  
On the other hand, if you end up in our nursing home, they might have a mariachi band. Now that is something to look forward too. Especially if they serve Negra Modelo. 


A darker view of The Asylum

That is a milkweed plant, with large milkweed bugs and a chainlink fence. I rather like it.

Another thing I rather like. My jeweler normally uses a tube of chapstick for scale. But this time a hamster was used.


So, my earring will be about as long as a hamster is wide. What? You don’t have a jeweler on retainer? How very appalling.

For Monday, it was a good day. Actually an excellent day. I got my note from the radiologists to come in for my “annual” mammogram. But my doctor and I agree that I am too old to benefit from the ritual of annual mammograms.  I am sort of in a “don’t go looking for trouble” mode of operation now.

Logged over 15,000 steps today. So, I think I head off to bed.

Busy BusyWork Day

Carpenter Bee moving on. They really don’t look like they should be able to fly.

Today I hunted down all of the 32bit applications on my Mac. The most critical were drivers for my scanner. I couldn’t find a driver for my exact scanner. But, I found a driver for an “almost my scanner”. I hoped it would work and it does. I use my scanner 3 or 4 times a week. And I like my little scanner.  I don’t want to replace it. The scanner dates from 2013.

The most annoying thing is Office. My copy is from 2011 and is not upgradeable to 64 bit. Now, I don’t “need” MS Office anymore. But Excel/123/Visicalc is like a member of the family. I actually use most of the esoteric features in Excel. At the Office. Not at The Asylum. I am going to try to make do with Google Sheets and/or Libre Office for my personal spreadsheets. Which really aren’t that fancy.  No Pivot Tables in my personal life.

If I miss Excel to the point of tears, I will get the Student/Home version for $150. I refuse to spend $7/month to rent Office. I rent Photoshop and Lightroom. But I use that software every day.

So, that is it for my major 32-bit problems. I am not sure about the printer driver. (ca. 2015). And I have of a handful of little niceties that are 32bit without a 64bit version so I just removed them.

Now, I will be pissed if Apple actually releases Catalina with 32 bit support.

And, I got my Pen-F boxed up and ready to go to the shop.

Carpenter Bee


OK, that is better.

OK, that is better. I now have a ticket to go somewhere. Somewhere being Kona. I am always happiest when I have somewhere to go.

But, I think I might be a little traveled-out of a while. I couldn’t get myself interested in any little stopovers on the way to Kona. Maybe I’ll plan a Christmas trip once I get to Kona. Or maybe I’ll just be a homebody for a couple of months.

Up close with a zinnia. (Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm f/4-5.6 II Lens on the OMD EM1 body.)

Speaking of cameras. My Pen F’s EVF is still on the fritz. Guess it needs a trip to the Oly repair shop in NJ. That might be a good project for tomorrow. Get it packed up and on the way.  No reason to have a camera body doing nothing except getting dusty. There is enough stuff in the Old Bat Cave just getting dusty. Especially the Old Bat.

Also cameras. My cheap-ass underwater camera died last winter. I was thinking about not replacing it. And then I remembered: The eagle rays last January 1.

Eagle Rays

Maybe I will get yet another underwater camera.

Friday 13

The Stormtrooper is back.

I am so boring these days that have even bored myself.

Is boring a necessary part of being old?

I am not saying that I am bored. But rather that I am boring.

But there are worse things than being boring.  Maybe.

So, what did I do today?

        1. Had breakfast.
        2. Went for a fitness walk.
        3. Attended to my bookkeeping and correspondence.
        4. Took care of my investment portfolios.
        5. Considered how I plan to get to Kona. On my broom?
        6. Read some.
        7. Went to a meeting.
        8. Deleted some 10+-year-old files from my Dropbox account.
        9. Had dinner.


. . .

I’m shopping around for something to do that no one will like.
Jerry Garcia


Gray Hairstreak
Strymon melinus (Hübner, 1818)

Did things a little differently today. And why?

These are the exciting activities at The Asylum today.

And this is the weather. SO, why wouldn’t I go off to a nice air-conditioned office with interesting people and sticky problems to solve?

So what was different? I didn’t go in at O-Dark Hundred hours. In by 10 and out by 3. That was what I did.

But, it is time to get serious about getting a ticket to Kona. Halloween. Or sooner. I hope I can do the minimalist gig for 4 months. I usually end up replicating the Old Bat Cave in Kona.

Had pork bánh mì sandwich with Laotian beer for dinner. On the 90+ degree patio to enhance the southeast Asian ambiance.


So Far, Arlington hasn’t forgotten.Fkags still hung each year over I-66 leading to the Pentagon.

It is sort of starting to feel like any other day in early September.  It shouldn’t. But, then I guess that December 7 seems like any other day between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

But I still remember. Many of us in this area knew someone who died that day. My strongest connect is with David Charlebois who was the Co-Pilot on AA77 that was crashed into the Pentagon. I knew his father from working at the hospital and long long ago from working with DOD. David’s funeral was picketed by Westboro Baptist Church and that was when Arlington County residents started showing up to disrupt those creatures and their distinctly un-church-like activities.


My first wedding day.  long ago and far away.

Busy today. Spent the morning getting my apartment ready for “open house”. Then I spent the afternoon smiling and welcoming people to the Old Bat Cave. (I didn’t call it that.)

Being nice all afternoon was very stressful. Fortunately, the Asylum Sisters had a nice relaxing and slightly snarky dinner in “The Formal Dining Room”.

Back to work tomorrow. Where I will not try to update the production database on the fly.

For now, I think I will kick back and enjoy my nice clean neat tidy little apartment.

(Found a current picture of Chuck and his wife online.

He looks damn happy and I that makes me really happy. She is about 15 years younger than Chuck, which is a good thing since his Dad lived well into his 90s.)

It concerns me that The Orange Lord fired John Bolton – who I always considered to be evil incarnate. Whatever is next?

Not my bestest ever day at the office.

Time to fluff up The Old Bat Cave.

The Old Bat Cave is on the open house tour tomorrow afternoon. It was looking a little subpar this afternoon. Newspapers, origami, notes on pieces of scrap paper, mismatched earrings covered every surface.

Well, I am taking tomorrow off so, fluffing will be tomorrow morning’s project.

This is what The Old Bat Cave looked like Sept 14, 2015 – a couple of weeks before I moved in.

Peeking in the door of the old bat cave today

You can still see where the wall was. So happy that I have one room.

Anyhow today was not my best ever day at work. I messed up a table in the production database. Of course, I maintain that the system messed up the table. But, what exactly was I thinking when I tried to modify the table on the fly anyhow? Took me 4 hours to get it back to “OK”. At least I hope it is “OK”.

I was hoping they would fire me. No such luck. I did hear that our system will be supported for a couple more years – but then we have to move to the “new improved” system. I am now officially closer to 80 than 70. I am so not going to migrate another system.

Sunday? Already?

carpenter bee – male.

Male carpenter bees have what look like yellow buck teeth. Females have completely black faces.

Common Buckeye

(Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm f/4-5.6 II Lens on the OMD EM1 body.)

Spent some of the day working on my project for the Asylum’s Employee Gift Fund. This has to be finished before I leave for Hawai’i. And I spent some time clearing stuff off Forbin (my MacBook Pro). None of my friends seem to be troubled with gigabytes and gigabytes of crap on their computers. They don’t give their computers names either.

Gotta spritz up The Old Bat Cave tomorrow afternoon. I am on the “open house” tour Tuesday afternoon. Sometimes I get very grumpy with this joint. But, I am really glad that I got the move to my “forever home” done when I did. Where would I be without The Asylum? Well, back in Virginia Square. Eating alone. Paying big rental bucks. And wondering what is going to happen IF/WHEN… I still wonder what is going to happen if/when. But it is if/when not IF/WHEN.