When Kelsey left for college, she abandoned this cacti. It used to be round, about the size of a golfball. Now, it’s grown to about 3 inches tall. I’m thinking it needs a bigger pot. I’m learning a slightly different kind of macro.

Cacti

Cacti

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I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t trust anything in the news and certainly not any of the polls sponsored by news organizations or even universities, maybe especially universities. IMHO many journalists today have given up the real work of journalism and just gone for sensationalism, what we used to call “Yellow Journalism.”   I don’t think there are many, if any, Woodwards and Bernsteins around…mostly Jerry Springers. And we readers, well, we don’t have much patience and so we want an end to our story in one paragraph. Many of us aren’t really interested in facts, rather we are interested in catch phrases that validate some belief (true or not) that we individually are passionate about. With a great deal of cynicism I read an article in the NY Times about a LOCAL area 23-year-old recent college grad who needed money. He bought a “news” internet domain name, fabricated a story about fake ballot boxes,  found a picture on the internet from England,  posted that picture in his news story claiming it was evidentiary proof from Ohio, and then stepped back hoping the story would go viral. Which it did.  Then companies wanted to advertise on his website, he made big $$, and now wants to be a political consultant. All based on a “news story” that came from—-his mind. And…apparently he’s okay with that. Of course, this story was in a “News”paper and so I am skeptical about its veracity.

We have gotten so used to being “used” that we don’t even seem to really care. Credit card fraud?  Identity theft? Bank hacking? OPM hacking? Fake news? Who cares?

St. Clair County Airport

St. Clair County Airport

Several months ago we were in Alabama and we took a side drive around a lake not too far east of Birmingham. We were on a country road when all of a sudden an airport appeared as we crested a small hill. We weren’t close to the main buildings of the field which turned out to be St. Clair County Airport, and I didn’t see any activity…no planes, no people, no cars.  We were at the NE end of the field where there was a vacant building that looked like it had been a cool restaurant or lounge. Obviously it was aviation based because of the aircraft wing mounted on the front of the building and the aircraft mural at the end of the veranda. I have to admit that it was a surreal scene.

 

 

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I have this quirk, (well, I have more than one quirk, but that’s a much longer post) I really, really like to hand write letters…with a fountain pen. I have this feeling that a little of me and my energy is flowing out of the pen onto the paper and that by some sort of Hogwarts manipulation of real life, the reader senses that connection. Of course that is all BS probably but that’s the way I feel. The really ironic part of this quirk is that my handwriting is awful, even when I try my very best. Over the years I’ve collected half a dozen or so fountain pens…not expensive ones, you know the kind you find in a yard sale or a business year end sale catalogue. They each have a different style nib and so each has its own “writing personality.” Some I really enjoy  writing with and others I really enjoy just seeing them unused. Life is good.

Iridium Fountain Pen

Iridium Fountain Pen

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I’ve heard it said, and in fact have said it myself, that “It’s all about high school.” I guess that because we first drive in high school, we fall in love/lust for the first time in HS, we learn about economics, about well, pretty much everything. Or at least we think we do because I remember knowing everything. Now,  some fifty years after high school, there is a lot more to know. Because…well, lots of stuff has been invented, things have happened, new people, etc., etc., etc., so that’s why I don’t know so much and my kids now know everything. Kirsten is on the edge of falling behind in knowing it all but maybe she can catch up. I know I can’t.

I was home ten years ago for my 40th HS reunion and we went through our old HS building. It was vacant. My class had been the last class to graduate from there…they had been doing other things with the building since I graduated. Now…the building is gone and it’s a parking lot. Probably a good thing…too many ghosts of egos past, tales of derring do, swashbuckling high schoolers from the 60s in the last of the hot rods. All these thoughts of days gone by went through my head in a couple of nano-seconds as I took this shot of one very small corner of the renovation of Kyle’s high school. The building has been slowly decaying for decades and so the renovation is relatively significant. I’m not sure it will be done when Kyle graduates in four years. It’s all about high school. I would NEVER go back.

West Springfield High School Renovation

West Springfield High School Renovation

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During my visit to the Lorton Prison, we came upon an old house and grave yard at the top of “Laurel Hill” that seemed completely disconnected from the rest of the prison. Thanks to a writeup by Amy Clifton entitled “Laurel Hill House” on the Lorton Heritage Society website, I found that the grave’s occupant, William Lindsay was the first non-native owner/occupant of the lands around Lorton during the time of George Washington and George Mason. The modest house (by the standards of other plantations) was where W Lindsay recuperated from his wounds in the Revolutionary War.  The property passed through many families until D.C. took over in 1914 and made the land and house part of the reformatory. A variety of prison officials apparently lived there and some modifications were made to the house. As you can see, it’s currently abandoned and apparently in need of a great deal of restoration. Fairfax County is aware of the historical significance of the house. They will be faced, as is often the case in historical renovations, that if they ever have enough money to to the restoration…to what “age” will they make the house whole again. Lindsay’s wife is also buried in the small site all of which is maintained by the Daughters of the American Revolution. Were there other graveyards? I wonder.

Laurel Hill House at Lorton Prison

Laurel Hill House at Lorton Prison

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William Lindsay Grave at Lorton Prison

William Lindsay Grave at Lorton Prison

 

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