Sunday, January 15, 2017

Self-Portrait

I was hiking in the woods today and decided to create a self-portrait...



Saturday, January 14, 2017

Long Beach


My first trip of the year was planned for this weekend but a forecast of snow caused me to postpone the journey; I didn't want to be stranded away from home by icy roads. So I pulled out my map yesterday and searched for a nearby place I've never visited before. I went to Long Beach.

Long Beach is a resort community on the Atlantic Ocean. In addition to a vibrant commercial area, the city has a two-mile wooden boardwalk running along the ocean. The boardwalk is pristine having been recently built; the prior one was totally destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Despite being on the Island, Long Beach is brand new to me which makes exploring it fun. Plus, my favorite new restaurant, The Pig & Queen, is in the neighborhood and I stopped there for BBQ.

What did you do today?







Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Winter Snow

Do you have snow where you live?
By the way, where do you live?!


Friday, January 6, 2017

Button-Down Shirts


Most women know infinitely more about fashion than most men. It's a subject women talk about. Their depth of knowledge impresses me.

But nobody's perfect...

I have seen women frequently make a mistake when talking about an item of menswear (which is sometimes worn by women). In fact, I see women err in talking about this as often as they get it right. I'm referring to the button-down shirt.

Do you know what a button-down shirt is? Do you believe the shirt shown above is one?

It is not. NOT! The buttons that make a shirt "button-down" are NOT the ones running down the front of the shirt.

Here is a real button-down shirt. See if you can spot the difference...



The difference is this shirt has buttons ON THE COLLAR. Shirts with buttons on the collar are properly called "button-down shirts;" shirts without buttons on the collar are not. Here's a close-up...



Button-down collars were introduced by Brooks Brothers in 1896. They are considered a more casual, sporting style. Traditionally dressed men do not wear suits with this style of collar.

Did you know about this? If not, then I'm proud I finally taught you guys something after years of you teaching me about fashion.  :-)

Monday, January 2, 2017

Hiking In The Woods


I mentioned in my penultimate post that I've been hiking a lot -- and plan to do more. It's a great way to get exercise because you're distracted by the beauty of nature. Plus you get to see cool stuff.

On my last hike, I saw a black squirrel. Black! Completely black in the darkest shade. I didn't know squirrels came that way. I wonder if the other squirrels make fun of him, like poor Rudolf.

Up to now, I've hiked in sneakers. I didn't realize how good hiking boots have become in the past 40 years. I got a pair for Christmas and -- wow! They feel like pillows covered with armor. So soft, yet so sturdy. Their design comforts your foot while giving serious traction on the trail. Amazingly they're even lighter than sneakers which lessens fatigue. I'm so glad I dipped my toe (literally) into technology that's evolved miles from my youth.

Do you hike? Have you worn hiking boots?











Saturday, December 31, 2016

Monday, December 26, 2016

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

As the year rolls to an end, let's consider what happened and what we want for next year. Ask yourself two questions. First, what good things occurred to you in 2016? Then, what good things do you want in your life in 2017? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

2016 turned out to be one of the best years of my life. That wasn't expected but occurred as the fruit of conscious choice. For decades, I've worked too hard at my job. Sacrificed too much. A year or so ago, I decided I want more balance in my life. Less work, more fun. Fewer chores, more adventures. So I set out to achieve that. I bought two new motorcycles, made ambitious plans and deliberately shifted attention from my job to the rest of my life.

The results were very pleasing. I took more than a dozen big motorcycle trips and they were all great fun. I made efforts to become closer to my friends by dropping into their towns and spending valuable time with them. I got more exercise, mostly by hiking in the woods and taking pictures. And I cooked more of my meals. Home-cooked food is always tastier, healthier and cheaper than eating out.

The very positive results of this shift make me want to continue the effort. I'm planning multiple motorcycle trips for 2017, hoping to convince my friends to let me visit them, and working on my health. For Christmas, I asked for and got new hiking boots which encourage me to walk more. I got new motorcycle gear for the same reason.

What are you doing? How was your year? What are your plans for 2017?