Archive for the ‘Monday smiles’ category


July 19, 2021

I am sitting this morning on a balcony at the Aston Kaanapali Shores, looking out over the lush grounds. and the Pacific Ocean.  The day has started rainy and a pale rainbow stretches across the cloudy sky.   We are here with my daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren until Monday,  Mynah birds are squawking and singing in the palm trees and even though there are issues to deal with at home, I am at peace.  The depression I’ve been dealing with lately is taking a vacation.  The Grey Ghost of depression apparently doesn’t leave the mainland.   Though my wife Muri and I have never been bitten by the travel bug, we have been to Maui 7 times.   With friends.  With our kids.  By ourselves for birthdays and for no reason at all.   It is my favorite place on earth.  And I love sharing it with our grandchildren.


We are headed home today.  Well, sort of.   A six hour flight to LA then a brief overnight at the Westin before a two hour flight to Salt Lake City, the home of the longest walk from the American Airlines gate to baggage claim.  The sadness of a vacation coming to a close is offset by the anticipation of picking up my cat, Tyson, at the Petsmart Petshotel.  Having worked at a Petsmart Cat Rescue, I know it is a good place for him.   But since we rescued him from a Petsmart, I worry that he thinks he’s been abandoned again.  It will be good to have him in my lap again.   And next week we have dear friends coming to visit.

Life is good.

Monday (Smiles)

May 4, 2021

Back when I was a regular blogger, posting every day, I had a theme for each day of the week.   I don’t know where I found thee inspiration to post every day back then  … and I certainly don’t have it now.  My theme for Mondays was Monday Smiles, the idea being that starting the week with something to smile about would be good to keep my dark side at bay.  There are almost 300 Monday Smiles posts (here) but I haven’t posted one since 2015.   This Monday did not start with smiles.   I didn’t sleep well and awoke with aches from some gardening I did Sunday.   I was grumpy, a state that seems to be more common first thing in the morning as I traverse my seventies.   As I said in my last post, High Maintenance, it takes considerable effort to be the kind of old soul I hoped I’d be.  When my usual Morning Practice failed to lift my spirits, I suggested to my wife, Muri. that we drive down to the South Jordan River Trail, a lovely little spot that has be come our enclave.  Still, no Monday Smiles. (more…)

Monday Smiles 4/11/2016

April 11, 2016

blue lanternFor quite a few years, I’ve attended a fall and spring retreat with my Thursday Night Men’s Group … and posted about it here on Older Eyes, Bud’s Blog.  This year, for an assortment of reasons that shall remain private, I decided not to go.  I told my wife Muri that we should go away for the weekend and have our own retreat.  A week ago, I was checking for availability at the Blue Lantern Inn in Dana Point and found that their Tower Room was available as a last minute special … half price … for the weekend of the eighth, so I reserved it for Friday and Saturday night.  The Tower Room is on the third floor, overlooking the marina and Dana Point Harbor, one of my favorite coastline views.  Saturday, we had breakfast in or room while we watched a paddle board competition on the beach below.  Our friend Jackie from Solana Beach came by around noon and we spent the afternoon talking in our room, then went to dinner at a local fish house. (more…)

Monday (Musical) Smiles

March 7, 2016

musicalsI grew up listening to Broadway musicals.   It was not entirely my choice, however.  My Mom, who loved music almost as much as I do, loved Broadway shows and her record collection (remember those) included most original cast recordings of her favorites.  My Fair Lady.  South Pacific.  Oklahoma.  I’d say her favorite was The King and I, at least in part because she had a crush on Yul Brynner.   She would play her music during the day until Dad came home from work, then turn it off.  Dad was a fan of quiet.  Me?  Being the lyric-sponge that I am, I still know virtually every word to every song that she played. (more…)

Monday Smiles – 1/25/2016

January 25, 2016

date night tooYears ago, when my wife Muri and I were younger … and friskier … we would periodically take mini-vacations.  We’d find, perhaps, a play on Saturday evening and maybe a concert on Sunday, then stay in a hotel near the venue on Saturday night.  Dinner at one of our favorite restaurants was always part of the agenda.   As we push forward, me into my seventies and Muri not far behind, we still reserve nearly every Saturday for a date but the mini-vacations have been few. (more…)

Monday Smiles – 1/4/2016

January 4, 2016

smilerIt is eleven fifteen in the evening and here I am, trying to post Monday Smiles before the clock strikes twelve.  OK, OK … our clocks are all digital and if they were going to do anything, they’d buzz or chirp or play my favorite song.  My alarm clock will also play an assortment of soothing nature sounds, like surf and crickets.  But really, doesn’t strikes twelve sound better than buzzing twelve or chirping twelve?  Yes, I’m stalling, postponing the moment where I say I don’t feel like smiling on this particular Monday.  Now, let me be very clear … that doesn’t mean I have nothing to smile about.  After all, I’m sitting here in the bedroom of our beautiful house with my wife Muri tucked under the covers a few feet away.   She’s watching the evening new before she turns out the lights … and I have on my Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones with the jazz group Fourplay turned up loud enough that I can’t hear the evening news.  I can’t stand most of the local (so-called) reporters and the inconsequential crap they report on.  Did I tell you my Inner Curmudgeon is out and in good form?   He is.  And he really doesn’t care whether I come up with a smile in the next thirty minutes. (more…)

Monday Smiles – 12/7/2015

December 7, 2015

As I said yesterday in Holiday Spirit, today was the designated day to find mine.  A week long mega-cold I brought home from Thanksgiving in Utah has mostly faded, so I’m sleeping better.  When I had Younger Eyes, I could manage on very little sleep but these days, it’s hard to keep upbeat when I’m not sleeping.   But today I was up early, took care of a little business in my office then headed off to our storage bin to collect our decorations.  And tonight, as I’m writing, the stockings are hung by the (decorated) chimney with care, Muri’s snowmen have made their way to their designated holiday places, and the wreaths are in place outside, quietly saying, It’s the holidays here, too, in the midst of the lighting extravaganzas along our street.  Mom would be pleased.


Tomorrow, the tree will go up and nothing says holidays to me like hanging fifty years of ornaments, each with special memories attached.   So, yeah, it’s Monday.  My Holiday Spirit seems to be back.  I’m smiling.

Monday Smiles – Airborne Edition

November 16, 2015

image I am flyng again.  At the moment, the interactive map on the video screen at my seat tells me I am over Juarez, New Mexico.  I am bound to the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, hoping to catch a tight connection to Huntville AL for a two day business meeting.   It looks like I land in one terminal and depart from another, so I may have some running through the airport to do.  Truth:  at my age, it will be fast walking, especially with my computer bag over my shoulder.   I’m on the aisle in the 13th row, not First Class but not the worst seat on the plane either.  Most of the passengers are reading or playing whatever on their assorted electronic devices, which is good … no loud talkers.   The only annoyance is the very large guy in front of me who keeps shifting  in his seat and pushing against the backrest so hard that he almost spills my Diet Coke.  Me?  I’m writing and listening to my jazz playlist in shuffle mode … Keiko Matsui Walls of Akendora, at the moment.   The Captain just said, We are beginning our descent into Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.  Please return to your seats and be sure your seatbelts are fastened, which means 40 more minutes in the air.   He says there are storms in the area so the descent could be bumpy.

I used to travel once or twice a month and I liked being in touch with my professional community.  I enjoyed working on teams addressing real technical problems and I enjoyed giving presentations on our work. image These days, the work is still interesting but I don’t need to be a shaker and a mover anymore.  It makes my bones rattle and my joints hurt.  But here I am at 34,000 feet, listening to the music I love, posting on my blog.  I’ll text Muri when I land and hook up with my colleagues for the flight to Huntsville.   We’ll finally get to see what our customer thinks of our work.  If I had my druthers, I would be at home.   As my wife Muri and I have grown older, we like to be in shouting distance of each other, not that we do much shouting.  We do occasionally text each other from or respective enclaves, hers the love seat in our bedroom and me in my recliner downstairs.  Yes, I’d rather be doing that.  But for a couple days I can pretend to move and shake like I used to.  I can even smile about it.  It is, after all, Monday.

Smiles, a Day Late

November 10, 2015

presentationI have occasionally told people that if they gave me any topic and two minutes to prepare, I could talk for half an hour on the subject.  That is true partly because I have knowledge of a wide range of topics to draw upon and my years of writing has made me very good at organizing facts.    But my wife, Muri, will tell you that I am also very capable of making things up if I don’t know the facts … and I can be a silver-tongued devil in making you believe what I say.   That’s why I’m good at Balderdash.  Being a writer of fiction and of slightly exaggerated blog post has certainly honed those skills.  I have also been speaking in front of audiences of from 10 to several hundred people for over fifty years, mostly on esoteric technical subjects.  There is no doubt that repeated public speaking has made me able to be more relaxed in front of an audience and able to convert what could be nervousness into excitement. (more…)

Monday Smiles – 11/2/2015

November 2, 2015

A generalist is someone who learns less and less about more and more until he knows absolutely nothing about everything.  A specialist learns less and less about more and more until he knows absolutely everything about nothing – Unknown

ABFI like to think I walk the middle ground between knowing nothing about everything and everything about nothing but in my  vocation, I am definitely a specialist.  Starting out in what was already a specialized field, electrical engineering, almost 20 years of higher education has narrowed my field until it is likely that most people wouldn’t understand my resume.  Adaptive beamforming.  LMS noise cancellation.  Eigenvalue analysis. See?  But almost fifty years experience in those corners of the world make me valuable to others who use such things in their business.   Some years ago, when business with my company was slow, I registered with an expert placement company.  The company maintains a database of resumes across a wide range of fields on line.  Professionals needing the support of specialists they don’t need often enough to employ full time can find the professional support they need by searching the database using online tools.   The work is usually very interesting but it brings a degree of pressure with in that clients expect an expert to provide innovative solutions in a relatively short time.  I’ve supported attorneys in patent cases, evaluated products for potential buyers and applied some of the techniques I’ve learned in military systems to commercial products. (more…)