Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Roadtrip Day 266

Roadtrip Day 266

3/30 Wednesday

Freedom! Replica of the one on top of the dome.
Yeah, boy-eee. Today we have a guided tour of the Capitol building from the offices of our very own Senator Patty Murray. Got up early and got the Metro into town. Walked to the Murry Building where her office is and had time to find the café before going to the office to start our tour. A small group of us were led by one of her staffers to the underground shuttle and we rode to the start of our tour. Cool!

Ronnie and the radical socialist Helen Keller.
Very crowded and even *we* had to wait for processing of our special badges. Eventually, we were adequately badged and led through the maze by our friendly and informative guide. Fabulous architecture and art and an almost-oppressive miasma of history. I especially enjoyed the original chambers of SCOTUS.

Thoroughly fascinating morning. Next week we return to Senator Murray’s office for a morning coffee with her. Looking forward to that.

Roadtrip Day 265

Roadtrip Day 265

3/29 Tuesday
Great Falls Natl Park on the Potomac. Today we decided to visit this spot. Not too far and we could take Rupert, aka Ruprecht, with us. Made a sack lunch and grabbed some liquids and drove to the park. As usual, I got to use my old-man pass to get in for free. Hooray! Glad it wasn't high water time.

Cool but pleasant day, although the wind occasionally whipped down the river channel with a sharp edge. We walked to the various overlooks and enjoyed the lovely views. Rupert enjoyed all the new smells and opportunities to mark territory.

A nice morning’s outing for all three of us.

Roadtrip Day 264

Roadtrip Day 264

3/28 Monday

Getting ready for bed here but Chloe, who is 3 hours earlier, wanted to chat about what it was like living in New Orleans, going to an elit[e/ist] prep school, did girls have a similar experience, what about different neighborhoods, etc. A delightful long chat, except I was kinda sleepy. Eventually we wound down and I got to bed. Hot Ovaltine and a jelly donut to start the day today. Yum!

Sunny today.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Roadtrip Day 263

Roadtrip Day 263

3/27 Sunday

Easter Sunday! Grey and cool this morning. The homeowners graciously provided us with tickets to the Easter service at the National cathedral. We were really tempted; but we were both pjysically and emotionally tired from our recent “efficient” travels and our busy day walking among the cherry blossoms, so we skipped it.

Watched “The Visitors” the original French version of “Just Visiting”. Interesting. 

Ronnie's new friend on the Metro:

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Roadtrip Day 262

Roadtrip Day 262

3/26 Saturday

Got up early and grabbed the Metro to town, the Smithsonian exit.
Walked around the whole area under perfect cherry blossoms. Sakura! Like Katsumoto says in “The Last Samurai” – They are all perfect.

All the monuments were emotionally moving. Ronnie and I both especially like the FDR one. I love Eleanor. Abe was pretty cool, too.

Returned after lunch to drive the homeowners to the airport. Returned to being our alone time in the house with dog Rupert.

Tired. We walked a lot!


Roadtrip Day 261

Roadtrip Day 261

3/25 Friday

Great night’s sleep and up casually to cruise to Falls Church and our housesitting gig there.

Got to Falls Church. Met the homeowners and dog Rupert. Venison sausage for dinner with a red wine from one of the vineyards we visited last time we were in Sonoma. Nice people.

Slept in the guestroom and prepared to get up early to hit the cherry blossoms in D.C.

Roadtrip Day 260

Roadtrip Day 260

3/24 Thursday

Got moving early so we could stop for breakfast Johnson City TN (just like in the song) with Ren, Keith, and La. Delicious “hillbilly” crepe and hot chocolate for me. Then back on the road through lovely scenery to see the Traaseths in Charlottesville, Virginia. Had a swell homemade dinner and lovely evening chatting with everybody except Tim.

Roadtrip Day 259

Roadtrip Day 259

3/23 Wednesday

Drove from Athens to Asheville to meet up with Kelly Lovejoy and Gail Higgins et al. Met Kelly at half-finished “Far-flung Farm”. It’s gonna look nice. Did a walking tour of Asheville alone then met Kelly, Gail, and several others for BBQ. Lovely time. Spent the night at Kelly’s rental place while the farm is being built.

Roadtrip Day 258

Roadtrip Day 258

3/22 Tuesday

Ah, good sleep but woke sore and tired as usual after a night of kendo. Lovely breakfast of chocolate croissant and tea served by Steph. Now, Ronnie and Steph are out gallivanting while I read a recommended novel and watch some tv. Perfect kendo tiredness recuperation. (grin)

Swell evening of soup, sandwich and salad.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Roadtrip Day 257

Roadtrip Day 257

3/21 Monday

Woke lazily after a comfy night’s sleep to have tea and cinnamon rolls with Ronnie and Steph. Rick had long since gone off to work. Casually got rolling to find the location of the kendo dojo and then cruised around the city, campus, and finally stopped for lunch downtown. Ahhh! Wandered back to the house. Ronnie and Steph and Bijou the cat wandered down to their river while I’m updating this.

Kendo at 6pm at Athens Memorial Park with Athens Kendo, Nanto Bukan. Gonna be fun.

Phew! Fun night of kendo followed by adult beverages and corned beef and cabbage. Especially nice since we didn’t do it for St. Pat’s Day. Yum!


Monday, March 21, 2016

A Random Day in the Life of Unschoolers

Response to this article  

Day n, month N, yeah 20nn

Ah, what a lovely morning. Woke to the sounds of chirping birds just outside my open French doors to the master suite verandah. Rang for breakfast and stretched languorously a bit to come fully awake, wrapped in my sybaritic 1000TC Egyptian cotton sheets. Soon enough, the kitchen girl arrived with a breakfast tray (antique silver one from the ancestral collection). She propped it over my lap, fluffed my napkin for me, and told me that Ronnie had already breakfasted and was in the Summer garden with the kids. I thanked her and she departed, leaving me to dig into a quotidian offering of crisp bacon, over-medium eggs, and a nice Belgian waffle. A glass of blood orange juice to wake my palate and a cup of hot Ovaltine (a childhood holdover) to wash the food down.

As I broke my fast, I could faintly hear the laughter of Ronnie and the girls underneath the ubiquitous birdsong. Soon enough, I’d satisfied my hunger and called for the girl to retrieve my tray while I showered. A million hot streams from the all-around shower jets massaged my sleepy tissues to full wakefulness and I dried off, fresh and ready for the day. As I exited the shower room, my valet, Jeeves, stood ready with my clothes for the morning. Dressed and ready for the day, I descended the Great Staircase (so named to differentiate it from the Lesser Staircase and the Servants’ Staircase) to exit the manse into the glorious sunshine gracing our lovely grounds.

I hiked over to the Summer garden to join Ronnie and the girls in play.

As midday approached, Godfrey (our butler) led a couple of the kitchen girls out to us to offer a pleasant luncheon. Ronnie objected that the ’95 Chateau Margaux was too much for a mere garden luncheon but I was in the mood and, what-the-heck!, it did a fine job of helping the varietal offerings slide down my willing throat.

Replete, we returned to the manor for some post-prandial activities. The girls got online to do what teens do online, Ronnie and I touched base with them, then she went to do some things she had planned and I sat in the library to read while I waited for my new Bugatti Veyron to arrive. The chauffeur and the mechanic had gone to pick it up and I expected it at any moment.

A throaty VROOOM! coming up the drive told me that my new Bug was here. Ah! I leapt from my stuffed wingback, dropped my book on the antique table, and strolled oh-so casually to the front door. Up the long, curving drive they came. The mechanic in my hotrod, chopped-and-channeled ’48 Mercury leading the way, followed by my new Bug. So excited! I quickly called the local gendarme to clear the roads for me and took my new toy for a spin.

Zoom! She was all I’d hoped for and expected. What a ride! Too soon, it was time to abandon personal frivolity and return to the bosom of my family. I called and thanked the local LEO for his cooperation and left my new baby in the competent hands of my chauffeur and mechanic.

Upstairs for a quick shower to clear off the excitement sweat of my drive and a Jeeves-prepared change of clothes for a nice sit-down dinner with the family. Ah, the feel of a raw silk shirt on clean skin. Jeeves had also chosen one of my favorite jackets, an unstructured offering in sea-foam green linen from my favorite tailor. Suitably attired, I descended to the formal diningroom to meet my girls. We discussed our various afternoons as the staff served up course after course. I delight in a fine meal with my lovely family. Our discourse ranged from the pedestrian to the realms of quantum mechanics as we worked our way toward dessert.

After dinner, an amusing action comedy in the theater, then bedtime for a tired mom and dad. I think the girls stayed up skypeing with friends in other parts of the world.

Goodnight, world. I love our unschooling life.

Roadtrip Day 256

Roadtrip Day 256

3/20 Sunday

Travel day. 9 am start on down the road to Athens. Felt like a long day, mostly because Atlanta sucked donkey ass. Man! That was a bad as Seattle traffic and it was a Sunday afternoon. Eventually however we made it to Athens. Settled in and had a lovely dinner and chat, then bedtime.

Roadtrip Day 255

Roadtrip Day 255

3/19 Saturday

Started the day with an early trip to the local Goodyear tire shop. Brrr! Chilly this AM. The Odyssey was in need of tires so I went in and got four new shoes for our conveyance. Nice. Ride is much improved.

Doing some house cleaning today in preparation for leaving tomorrow.

Ok, that’s mostly done. About time to head out to Taylor Grocery for catfish dinner.

Yes! Gumbo appetizer – New Orleans quality. Yum! Catfish and fried oysters to share. Good. Warm peach cobbler with ice cream to finish it off. Burp! All for a total of about $40 (plus tip plus donation to the guys playing live music)

Finish packing and cleaning and bedtime to digest.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Roadtrip Day 254

Roadtrip Day 254

3/18 Friday

Ronnie was up early and doing the stuff on the To-do list. She had it all done by the time I got up and we headed up to Memphis with the specific intent of visiting the Japanese Garden there.

As a memorial. Ronnie’s wonderful friend from Microsoft, David, had a memorial service today. Because we couldn’t get to Seattle for that, Ronnie felt that visiting the Japanese Garden would be a nice, personal memorial because David loved Japanese gardens and made specific efforts to visit them.

We had a pleasant drive there and enjoyed strolling the broader Botanical Garden on our way to the specific Japanese Garden. We spent a lovely time there, contemplating life and friendship. Ronnie shed a few tears. Finally, she placed a small rock, as a memorial, in the crevice of a large rock.

David was a wonderful person and a great friend to her and she is melancholy today.

Requiescas in pace, frater.

David's rock is the small white shape inside the crevice of the large black rock.

Roadtrip Day 253

Roadtrip Day 253

3/17 Thursday

Another lovely sunny morning. Ahhhh! Last night was amusing. Memphis kendo was fun after a long drive partly through Memphis rush hour. But the kendo folks were a lovely group and I had a fun evening, hitting people with my wooden sword.

I got home near 11, had a quick shower to get the nasty sweat off, and sat for some liquids and a brief cruise on Facebook. I was interrupted by a call from Chloe around midnight (10 her time). She’s employed by Working America and they were fund-raising. Somebody called the cops on them and a long discussion with 5-0 ensued. Ultimately, the po-po went away cuz they were perfectly legal but she was so entertained and excited to have been “detained for justice” a al the old folk tune, “If you’ve been to jail for justice, then you’re a friend of mine.”

Chloe – my baby action hero of the new age of sociopolitical justice.

Swell visit to Rowan Oak with Lydia Koltai and her gang. Lovely old home and spacious grounds for kids to romp! (grin)

Trash night here tonight. Got it out to the curb. Time for some food and tv/movie(s).

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Roadtrip Day 252

Roadtrip Day 252

3/16 Wednesday

Another lovely day, good sleep, and waiting for the septic tank pump truck. Breakfast and a Facebook loop. Pumper arrived, did his thing, and departed. Lunch now while I look up the directions to the Memphis Kendo Club location from here in (near) Oxford, MS. Looks like about an hour and a half drive.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Roadtrip Day 251

Roadtrip Day 251

3/15 Tuesday

Well. Ronnie heard a noise this am and tracked it to some air-pressure alarm for the septic system. Plumber says it can’t wait for the owners’ return. Owners said “ok.” Plumber will be out later. Stay tuned.

Beautiful sunny warm day. Ahhhhhh! I can wait for the plumber in my shorts.

Phew! Septic tank cleared for duty. I can use the toilet now.

Ha! Bubbling in the yard where they dug. Gotta talk to the tank pump folks tomorrow.

 Here's the house:

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Roadtrip Day 250

Roadtrip Day 250

3/14 Monday

Sunny morning after the T-storms. Nice. Went to the town square in the sunshine! BBQ lunch and I had a root beer float with Abita rootbeer! Yummy. Visited the famous bookstore and walked the square. Left “downtown” and visited Faulkner’s grave. Returned home ready for a nap.

Short and T-shirt weather! The most notable thing about today. Hooray!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Roadtrip Day 249

Roadtrip Day 249

3/13 Sunday

Spring forward. Ack! I’m tired. Pleasant, quiet day until we got the T-storms. Wow! Scared the crap out of the dogs. Eventually we all settled down and we humans went to bed.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Roadtrip Day 248

Roadtrip Day 248

3/12 Saturday

Good night’s sleep. Ahhhh. Haven’t seen the predicted T-storms yet. Ronnie and the dogs are snuggled on the sofa. Breakfast first, then maybe some writing.

Yep. I’ve managed to crank out a couple thousand more words. First time in quite a while I’ve gotten some writing done. That’s a milestone. Quiet day as the rain passed by in waves. No big T-storms however. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Roadtrip Day 247

Roadtrip Day 247

3/11 Friday

Nasty rain to start the day. Of and on all day until we got to Oxford. Met the folks we’re house-sitting for, got some groceries, and settled in with the dogs and cats. Called Chloe and wished her a happy birthday!

Roadtrip Day 246

Roadtrip Day 246

3/10 Thursday

Travel day. Packed up and headed down the road. Stopped in Hot Springs to hit the National Park and see some of the bathhouses. Rainy, rainy day. Some low clouds or thick fog at higher elevations. Now we’re stopped for the night in Brinkley, Arkansas. Gonna ease down to Oxford, MS tomorrow.

Roadtrip Day 245

Roadtrip Day 245

3/9 Wednesday

Last night, kendo was lotsa fun. Tired me out! Furukawa sensei gifted me with a tenugui (kendo bandana) of their dojo. Very nice and very much appreciated. And I got on the correct road and made it home efficiently. Today is prep for departure day. Cleanup. Clean out. Pack and hitch up stuff.

Dinner and drinks with our hosts, then some chatting over ice cream. Settling in now for the night.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Roadtrip Day 244

Roadtrip Day 244

3/8 Tuesday

Had some significant rain last night. I kinda enjoyed it.

Kendo night in Tulsa tonight. I plan to not get lost on the way home this time.


Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Roadtrip Day 243

Roadtrip Day 243

3/7 Monday

Not rainy but grey this morning. Indulgent morning, trip to Lowes, stop at the grocery. Best news of the eday was a phone call from my brother who has retired! Hooray for Chuck. He’s worked hard all his life. Put in the effort, put in the time, put it all in. He deserves to kick back now and be nice to himself. Rock on, Chuck!

Mourning the passing of a good friend, someone Ronnie worked with for years. RIP, David.


Monday, March 07, 2016

Roadtrip Day 242

Roadtrip Day 242

3/6 Sunday

Nice walk around the neighborhood this morning, despite the significant wind. Rain predicted but not here yet. Lunch now. Mmmmmm!

 Quiet afternoon and some tv before bed. “Last Holiday” is a charming movie but DAMN! It made me so hungry when I shoulda been thinking sleep.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Roadtrip Day 241

Roadtrip Day 241

3/5 Saturday

We decided to go sightseeing Eureka Springs today. Out the door and down the road.

Charming little town with a big Harley shop and good biker BBQ. From there we visited the Civil War battlefield at Pea Ridge. Fascinating and a well-designed place. We saw some re-enactors. That was charming.

Home for dinner, some tv, reading, and bedtime.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Roadtrip Day 240

Roadtrip Day 240

3/4 Friday

Nice, longish sleep and a lazy wakeup. Sunny today. So nice to be out of the eternal Seattle grey and drizzle. And back together with Ronnie.

We decided against a lot of driving today, partly cuz I was burned out on the car after my lost-in-space episode last night and all the extra time and miles I spent wandering three states to get back “home”. It was cool but sunny so we sat for a while in the yard and read while petting the dogs and cat. It was a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

Went to the local tavern with Charles and Karen for some adult beverages and blues. A delightful time. After that, we needed some ice cream. Deelish. And we had to bring some home with us. Getting to be sack time now.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Roadtrip Day 239

Roadtrip Day 239

3/3 Thursday

Did some sightseeing today. Ronnie and I had a nice time and got delicious icecream in the heart of Walmart World. Had a delicious nap, then drove to Tulsa for kendo there. Lotta fun with new people. My dojo is in a small gym, less than a full basketball court but those guys practice in a racquetball court. Impressive. And LOUD. Wow! Kendo in a regular gym is loud. Kendo in a racquetball court is ear-shattering. It was tremendous fun and I enjoyed them very much.

The poisoned cherry on top of the good day was getting lost on the way home. There’s a turnpike version of the 412 from Tulsa to Siloam Springs so leaving Tulsa I followed the “Turnpike” signs. Unfortunately, it was the Joplin (I think) turnpike of (maybe) I-44. Way into Missouri when I had to pay the toll I realized my mistake. Then, like a lost pilot talking to his appropriate Center, I had Ronnie vector me home from wherever the hell I’d gotten to. Spent an extra hour or more on the road to nowhere.

But I’m home now. Goodnight! I’ll sleep well.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Roadtrip Day 238

Roadtrip Day 238

3/2 Wedneday

Good morning! I slept with my wife for the first time in more than 2 months. Life is good!

Woke, showered, and went cruising the town. Had delicious quiche for lunch in the lovely sunshine and did a little sightseeing.

Dinner with our hosts, then a visit with the Northwest Arkansas atheists.

Now it’s time for bed as I still work on changing my time/lifestyle.

Roadtrip Day 237

Roadtrip Day 237

3/1 Tuesday

Last night I dropped by the iaido dojo to say goodbye as they began the new quarter. It felt good to report in with my new rank of shodan.


Noon flight to Tulsa arriving about 8:00 pm where Ronnie will pick me up to drive us back to Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Restarting our roadtripping adventures.