Labor Day Thanks / You Guys Are Great

Blogs or Posts, D's Writing, Kids, G'Kids. . .

Labor Day weekend is here! Or nearly here. It appears to me that the workers who are building our porch have started early because I don’t hear them outside. And probably there are many others who are making a four day weekend happen. Good for them! And I would like to take time on this bright Friday morning to remember some of the people who do such good work and will, hopefully, have a great holiday!

The first one who comes to mind is my wife, Betsy! I wrote recently that she had a small blemish removed from her chrome dome and I was very worried but, thankfully, the report came back yesterday and guess what! It was a wisdom spot! So I am on the moon with happiness and dancing around with joy. If you get a chance this evening, take your telescope out in the backyard and witness what you already knew! That’s right. I can’t dance!
betsy and marvin
But, nevertheless, it should be entertaining. Next on my list is Robin Easton, publisher of Naked in Eden: My Adventure and Awakening in the Australian Rainforest. Robin has been off the grid for awhile but she recently surfaced and wrote me an email suggesting she is doing well although she is tired from all her activities! Once again, I am jumping with joy and feeling the warm sunshine bathe my bod on the lunar surface! Robin, you inspire me to work hard while celebrating life and growing closer to the earth and your mystical embrace.
Thanks to Robin Easton

And right in the middle of all this is Zachary, my son, who recently was commended for the work he is doing with the US Coast Guard and enjoyed, as a result, the opportunity to sit down for a meal with the Washington Redskins up in DC and perform in a ceremony as well. Nice going, Zach! Zachary is also getting married in September and we look forward to a ceremony of a different kind as he joins the lovely Amanda in wedded bliss. As I look down on the earth I can make out his 6′ 4″ frame shaking with anticipation.
zach and mia2

Jena, my oldest child, is returning to her duties as a special ed teacher this week. She is never far from my thoughts as she does an amazing job with the kiddies at school and her own young ones. So patient and kind she is and still full of laughter and good cheer!

And Jeremy, my son, is also a positive force in the world. He recently started a new job in North Carolina purifying water and he always blows me away with his performance as a husband and father. All my children are babies still in my heart and remind me that it is they who speak.

me and jeremy


There are so many more I remember on this august weekend. My father who always did such a great job at work and home and is still the rock upon which we all stand in this family. My sisters who still love their brother after so many decades of abuse. My father-in-law, Joe Jack, who regales us with entertaining stories and my seriously funny step-daughter, Stephanie, and her family. Kellan!, Steph and Marvin’s son, who is such a joy to have around! My hiking buddies (especially Dewey, a hard working, extremely intelligent prof at VCU who reminds me fairly often, without ever saying it, that I am an idiot, in a way that seems funny, even to me). The construction guys I mentioned earlier who planted a porta john on our front lawn not too long ago and help my understand why Snow White was so happy out in the woods with her little friends. My FB friends who tolerate my daily posting of walk/run times and often give encouraging feedback when I post photos and blog entries. You guys rock!

me and dad
Me and Dad 1952

Well, I could go on all day with Labor Day thanks but I hear the guys outside firing up the circular saw, so apparently they have not the day off as we remember that there are many great workers who do not get paid if they stretch the weekend. As I also remember that there are many great workers who hope and pray they will have some work to do in the days ahead.

As I give thanks for our good fortune, all of us, and pray for good things in the future for all who work, struggle, sweat, swear, shrug off pain, deal with the demands of their bosses, go without sleep, respond to their alarm buzzers at ungrateful hours, make difficult decisions and bring home the bacon. You guys are great.

Family and friends. Workers everywhere. Thank you.


4th Of July Celebration At The Pool / Raise My Soul / Rumi

Blogs or Posts, D's Slide shows, D's Writing, Kids, G'Kids. . ., More Photos, Richmond, Well-known Quotations

I want your sun to reach my raindrops, so your heat can raise my soul upward like a cloud. ~Rumi




We are enduring a pretty brutal heatwave here in the US that is absolutely killing people and creating misery from coast to coast. So we were especially grateful yesterday to be able to enjoy the 4th of July festivities at the pool. There were egg toss, limbo and hula hoop contests for the kids and beer dives for the grownups. The kids also dived for some soft drinks (although lately it has been pointed out that there is alcohol content in some of these!).  It’s all very confusing, especially when the sun is beating down on your chrome domium.


So hopefully things will cool off soon!!

Morning At Virginia Beach / PhotoSunday /

Blogs or Posts, Kids, G'Kids. . ., More Photos, Virginia Beach

The theme this week at is Morning. And I took this photo on an early morning walk last week. I really like the colors and the way the three volleyball nets are nestled one within the other. Early morning light can often be a gift as well.


I was fortunate to see my son, Jeremy, and his lovely wife, Sarah, while down at the beach. Here’s a photo of them that is pretty good actually. It deserves a place somewhere outside the thousand of photos in storage somewhere.



And finally, here is a photo of a very suspicious crab. Jeremy and I invaded his space one evening when we went out to view the tall ships anchored in the Chesapeake Bay.

Photo Of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda / Meter Reader / Phasing Out Nuclear Power

East Coast Travels, Kids, G'Kids. . ., More Photos

Betsy and I were up in Washington DC today to see Zachary and watch him take part in a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Prime Minister of Japan, [[wiki:Yoshihiko Noda]], is in town this week. And the Honor Guards will be busy.  Here is some information about the ceremony.

I have lots of photos taken at several locations:

1. Arlington Cemetery
2. The Iwo Jima Memorial
3. The Lincoln Memorial
4. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
6. The Jefferson Memorial

Starting from our hotel we visited all of these locations yesterday and traveled on foot. It was an eight or nine mile trek but the weather was not too warm and we enjoyed it. Betsy did it without complaint because, let’s face it, she’s tough and I did it because I’ve trained by walking almost every day since last August.

I’m working on the photos now. Here’s one of Prime Minister Noda and one of our generals walking up the steps at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I never did locate Zachary because everybody with a shaved head looks the same from a distance.


Prime Minister Noda is an interesting guy. In his first speech as Prime Minister last September he confirmed that Japan will phase out nuclear power by not building any more nuclear power plants or extending the life span of outdated ones. As we all know, nuclear power plants in some parts of Japan did not hold up well following a recent earthquake.

When he was in training to become a leader in Japan he had a part-time job reading electric meters for the residents of his district.   I don’t think our members of Congress have ever read anybody’s meter.

But I may be wrong.  What do you think?

Photo Friday / Portraiture / Permalink Changes For Better Performance

Blogs or Posts, Kids, G'Kids. . ., More Photos

I’ve really done a lot of photo meme posts this past week. They are fairly easy to do. I also found a new theme, Weaver II, which allows someone who doesn’t play with CSS to make many theme adjustments and alterations. You can also give your blog different looks and styles, with predominantly dark colors to white to turquoise with a couple of clicks. The pro version is only 30 dollars and it includes many more options. I’m a happy camper.

I also changed the permalink structure without too much of a problem. WordPress recently added a Postname setting option (dashboard/settings/ permalinks) which makes things a whole lot easier. It automatically does redirects too, so I was able to ditch the dates (day, month, year) in the URL and, hopefully, make older posts more accessible in the search engines. Let’s face it, my posts are timeless! Or, at least, it doesn’t matter much if they are three or four years old. Especially photos like the one posted here for Photo Friday, Portraiture. This is my granddaughter, Joy, who I rarely see, unfortunately.

Here’s an excellent conversation about permalinks for anybody who wants to get down in the weeds. Thanks to WordPress for addressing some of the issues discussed here in their recent updates.

I miss this little girl. We don’t see her or her brother and sister very much. And they grow up so quickly.

Zachary And The Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard / Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier / Jury Duty / The End Of Parenting

Blogs or Posts, D's Writing, Kids, G'Kids. . ., Sports, Television

It’s Monday morning, sports fans and time to move forward!  Embrace the challenges of the coming week!  Did anybody watch the Stanley Cup playoff games this past weekend?  Talk about a rowdy affair!  There were lots of fights.  Lots of closeups of guys with their front teeth missing.  And the crowds were enjoying it. 

But I was not really enjoying it.  It’s amazing to watch these guys skating so fast and playing with the puck at the same time.  But I wish they would do more of that and less of the other stuff.  Because they don’t look very graceful when they fight.   All the magic flies out the window.  Sometimes things actually degenerate into a hair pulling contest.  And who wants to see that?  Maybe if they were female wrestlers it would be alright.  Mud wrestling can be fun to watch.  At least you know, up front, what you are getting into. 

I hate ending sentences with prepositions.  You are not supposed to do it.  I have failed.  Once again. 
But it’s a new week and there’s still time to make something happen.  Tomorrow I have jury duty.  And I can’t decide what to wear.  Probably a sport coat and a tie would be good.  It would show respect for the court.  Someone recently said on television that defendants are dressed by their lawyers in suits that are too big for them.  So they will look a bit less threatening I suppose.  If  I am chosen for a trial I’m ready for that one!  

Zachary paid us a visit this past weekend.  Today he is going to participate in a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  A few weeks ago he was involved in a ceremony where President Obama strolled by (more prepositions durnit!).   He also spent some time training last week in the hangar where Air Force One is located.  So he’s getting around!  And he’s growing up.  I’ve noticed he doesn’t give me a lot of crap when I say something he doesn’t like.  He just keeps on going down the road as they say. 

He doesn’t leave.  I don’t mean to imply that he just gets up and marches out the door.  But, in his mind, he doesn’t dwell on my irritating statements.  He has more important things to worry about these days.  Like not screwing up in front of the President and dignitaries from around the world.
Ah, America.  You’ve gotta love it.
And I can worry about, well, my own problems.  After 38 years of being a parent (long before Zach arrived)  it seems like my official parenting duties are over!  “Over”  as in “over the hill” which is another preposition!  Ahhhh!  It’s a good feeling, I have to say.  Now, what color tie should I wear to the courthouse tomorrow?  Something really wild might be good (just to confuse them).   The problem is that I have cleaned up my act so much in the past year I’m not likely to fool them.  I got the Terry Bradshaw haircut.  But that is also the Larry David haircut.   And I often am accused by certain family members of being a Larry David clone which could not make anyone happy.  
Maybe I should wear tennis shoes and be  like Larry!    I’m actually looking forward to participating in the process.  But do they want me?  I hope so!  I have so much to contribute! 
And I’m ready to go! 

Tiger Childish At The Masters / Learning To Master Your Emotions / Winning

Blogs or Posts, D's Writing, Kids, G'Kids. . ., Sports, Television

It’s a really nice day here in Virginia with the temperature in the upper 60’s and lots of sun. I was out walking this morning when Zachary came by and so I cut the walk short after three or so miles. We sat out on the deck for awhile and talked. Zachary is doing his Honor Guard training at the Coast Guard base up in northern Virginia. There’s quite a lot of physical training, weight lifting and discipline involved in doing this. You have to be able to stand absolutely still at attention for two hours or more. The attention to details in your appearance is incredible. And then they have drills where they throw rifles (with bayonets attached!) to each other while their boss is in the middle of the toss. Many have scars from these practices.

I can really see a difference in Zach in the last few months. He seems calmer in a way. And more confident. I was thinking about this while watching Tiger Woods playing in the Masters the last few days. I have always liked Tiger and admired his incredible golfing talents. But he hasn’t played well this week and he’s at plus two today in the last round. Watching him play Friday on was a real treat. Nick Faldo said at one point that Tiger had lost his mind. He hit an errant shot to a par three hole, dropped his club and kicked it a good distance. One report says he may be fined by the PGA for doing this. I wasn’t bothered by his drop shot as much as his several “G.Damn’s” after other bad shots, echoing through the galleries on this Easter weekend, no doubt offending many church goers as well as (we might assume) the Deity Himself.

Tiger could really benefit from learning to control his emotions.   He’s not the same player he was a few years ago. He has had some serious injuries. Life has bitten him in the butt a few times. He can still win from time to time but I don’t really think he has come to terms with the aging process. And he seems to have a problem with greed. He wants things to be the way they were and he should be happy he experienced a level of play almost every golfer in the world will never experience. Once. In a way it’s similar to his desire to have a girl in every city (apparently) and a perfect family at home. That’s way over the top. It’s greedy. It’s childish.

And watching him on the golf course this week was like watching a teenager who shouldn’t be trusted with the keys to the car. Tiger needs to redefine the nature of the competition. It’s not about shooting the lowest score anymore. It’s about deciding who is going to win in the contest between the man and his negative emotions. If Tiger is as competitive as he says he is then I’m surprised he has lost so many times when it comes to dealing with this most basic challenge.

I’ve been watching Rory Mcilroy this week and he hasn’t played particularly well either. He finished up a poor round yesterday and gave his playing partner,Sergio Garcia, a hug because he also had a lackluster round.  There’s a sense of calm about Rory as he makes his way around this venerable golf course. Although he is years younger than Tiger he is, in effect, much, much older. And he’s clearly a winner. The jury is still out regarding Tiger Woods, the child prodigy of golf.

My Lady Of The Vines/ Springtime In Virginia

Blogs or Posts, D's Writing, Kids, G'Kids. . ., More Photos

Spring has definitely arrived here in Virginia this week and I’ve been away from the blogging.  But it’s now time to write and put up some photos since we went to the gardens this afternoon with Kellan.  He enjoys flowers.  He would like to eat some of them.  But we can’t allow him to do this because they are not on his recommended list of foods.  He didn’t protest too much when we took his flowers away from him, however.  He just went on to the next thing.

The orchids were rich with color.  I don’t know when I’ve seen them so profuse with myriad shades of red, white and yellow. But then the grass and the leaves on the trees have burst forth with such force in just a few days as well.  Perhaps the mild winter has something to do with this.  I walked six miles this morning and luxuriated in the sweet smells and mellow sounds of the new season.  There are blossoms everywhere.  And my mind was very calm so I  glided up and down the streets with hardly any effort and no physical discomfort.  This doesn’t happen all that often so it is much appreciated when it does occur.
The first song out of the gate on this walk was from Coldplay and it just opened up those upper chakras to the higher vibes we all hope to enjoy from time to time.  The Lady of the Vines entwined me in strands of light and away we went!  You get the idea.  Walt Whitman I am not and this blog will never be  Leaves of Grass but we try.
I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars. ~Walt Whitman