Category Archives: Musing


I saw this sign on my way home from the dentist. I find it reassuring that I can get a whole pig from Publix any time of year. Well, actually, I just found the sign odd, never having seen a supermarket with such a sign. Moreover, I wonder who their target demographic is for these whole hogs. I live in what for many decades was (is?) a Florida Cracker county. Now, it’s pretty much an Orlando exurb, or bedroom community. The supermarket in question is smack dab in the middle of one of the highest earned-income demographic areas in Florida (note I didn’t mention unearned income, I think Palm Beach, Boca Raton, and Naples might win in that category). Do the nouveau-riche (well, nouveau-prosperous) buy a lot of whole hogs? Have I missed a trend by not reading “Bon Apetit?”

And, sadly, no, I don’t have anything better to write about at the moment


To My Mother

We stopped in Washington, D.C., on our trip south this year, and stayed at the historic Willard Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue (yup, right close to the White House). Every President since 1850 has stayed in the hotel or attended some function there. We spent the one full day we had tramping around the monuments (until we were exhausted, we ended up taking a cab back to our lodging). The picture above is of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. I had never visited the cemetery before, let alone the Women’s Memorial. This was an emotional day for me, not just because it’s Arlington, and because I’m a veteran, but because my mother served in the Waves in WWII, my father was also in the Navy then, and they met while serving in Norfolk. Mom traveled to Washington/Arlington for the dedication of the Women’s Memorial, and was very moved by it. I still have some of the memorabilia she received then. I might say more about visiting Arlington another day, but today I’m particularly thinking of my mother.

She was a farm girl from Illinois, the oldest of eight children. She actually had to run away from home, and board with a family and look after their kids, just to go to high school. Her father didn’t believe much in education, particularly of women. I remember him as a gruff man. He had served in the Navy in WWI. She was very shy, and had difficulty making friends. I try to picture her in Norfolk, this young woman who was to become the mother of six children (five are surviving), and to be twice a widow. I vaguely recall that someone fixed her up with my father-to-be. I know nothing of their dating and courtship days.

There was a particular picture of my mom I was going to post today, but I couldn’t locate it, but I did get a picture I was unaware of from my brother, showing my parents together as a young couple. Tomorrow would have been my mother’s 90th birthday. I was going to hold this post for then, but I’m thinking about all this now, so here it is.

Hogwarts Express

At the World of Harry Potter exhibit at Universal Orlando.

Universal was not all that crowded the day I shot this, except for the Harry Potter part, where one could barely move. I patiently waited until there were no people in my way for this scene. We (my Honey, and my brother, whose generally used handle is “Poncho”) didn’t ride the virtual ride, it was just too crowded. We did try butter beer, which was a sweetish glop that we had to wait in line for. Glop, yes, but I actually liked it.

Took bro’ to the airport yesterday. He has become such a big part of my life these last years, which is great but I think of the “lost years.” Oh, well, no going back.



The Mall at Millenia, Orlando. iPhone photo.

Doing our patriotic duty. If only we could find something made in America to buy here. We also got haircuts, and had a meal. The server at Cheesecake Factory said they do about $17,000,00 per month in sales.

Earth, Our Only Chance


We’ll never have another planet to live on. Even if I’m wrong, isn’t the safer course to treat Earth as if it’s the only home we’ll ever have?

The Oppressed

I have been trying to figure out what to say about this image. Basically I shouldn’t say anything. Those are nice machine-printed signs they are holding up. I wonder who wrote the text, and printed them up and sent these women out to hold them up. I wonder, without a mean bone in my body at the moment, if these women can even read/are even allowed to learn to read. I wonder, if, at the end of the day, this picture tells us what the “people’s revolution” in Egypt is going to be all about.

Meanwhile, the Mississippi Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans is proposing an auto license tag be made to honor the founder of the KKK. No, I am not making this up.


J.D. Salinger

A Rose for Holden Caulfield and J.D. Salinger.

J. D. Salinger died a year ago (well, a year ago yesterday). I suppose he probably would have liked it better if nobody noticed, but lots of people did, including me. Like many young people, I was smitten with Catcher In The Rye, and it was probably the most influential book I read as a kid (maybe a tie with A Separate Peace by John Knowles). Mr. Salinger became famous, and maybe even rich, after Catcher was published, and the book sells about 250,000 copies a year to this day. He became a recluse (at least as regards the pubic eye) after fame arrived, retreating to his home in New Hampshire. A new biography has been published: J.D. Salinger: A Life by Kenneth Slawenski. I won’t read the biography (for a reason, but I admit I generally don’t read biographies anyway). Mr. Salinger wanted his privacy, and I respect that. Of course I have my own spin on privacy for people who have done something notable or otherwise become famous or notorious (or for the rest of humanity too, I suppose).

My spin? I’m just not interested in famous folk (an author in today’s discussion). I think the work they do should “speak for itself.” I don’t want to know what inspired them, where they went to school, how they decided to pursue their chosen career, etc. I don’t care what they eat, where they live, or what they name their dog.   I have no idea what I’d talk to any “celebrity” about if I chanced to have the opportunity. I don’t want autographs, nor a picture with any of them. I don’t have the faintest idea why anyone would think any differently about it than I do. I don’t fault anyone for feeling differently than me, I just don’t get it. At bottom, I don’t have any interest in the personal lives of anyone who isn’t a part of my life.

So I like to think that Mr. Salinger was motivated, at least in part, by the desire to let his writings stand on their own, and he found that, some folks being what they are, he had to isolate himself to make it so. So as I said above, I’m not going to read Mr. Slawenski’s book, or any other biography of J.D. Salinger, and I hope nobody else does either.