The agony and anguish in London. I can barely imagine.

Actually, I think I can imagine, and that’s the success of the terrorists. They change our lives…a little bit at a time.  We twist, we turn, we dodge the emotions and reality of physical terrorism. We build walls, we point at people, at countries, at religions, at skin colors…we forget about the deaths of the children, the loss of our innocence, and the moral famine. Because, hate makes it all okay.

Prayers to those in London and other parts of the world that hate has touched. It’s not fair. I don’t know how to change course…

Sunset Blackbird

Sunset Blackbird

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I am drawn to older buildings; I believe I am attracted to the handmade craftsmanship in many of them. I know that the “infrastructure” of plumbing, electrics, asbestos, etc., etc., etc., is not always so good. However, I look for the signs of a craftsman at work…a gargoyle, a statue, dentile molding, a carved bannister, etc. I can almost see the artist working on the raw product and finishing it with pride. Perhaps sometimes the finishing touches are taken for granted and only the “brute force” of the whole building is appreciated. A cake without icing is just…well, not even a proper cake. Anyway…my mind and pen are wandering.

Not too long ago on a day much warmer than today, I was in Chinatown, D.C. This little building stuck out among the high rises around it, an architectural island of Art Deco. The building was only three stories high (four if you count the roof garden) and was tiny compared with most of its neighbors. The front of the building is carved limestone and  was named and labeled, “The Bulletin.” I looked up its pedigree…it was built in 1928 for the United Press Company. If you look closely at the building, you can see four carved bas-relief figures representing the printing industry. An industry that I wanted to be a part of some 50 plus years ago.

Today, it’s been resurrected as “Bar Deco” by Noe Landini of the Old Town Alexandria, VA, Landini Brothers.  According to various restaurant reviews and write-ups, he has thoughtfully brought back the architectural feeling of the building along with good, locally sourced foods. It even has roof seating, presumably for nicer weather than today’s. We will definitely go there to eat someday but most especially to take in the feel of the building itself.

The Bulletin Building. Chinatown, Washington, D.C.

The Bulletin Building. Chinatown, Washington, D.C.

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Today I read a very interesting article from “The Hive” which is an online version of “Vanity Fair.” While the article is entitled “Trump’s Tech Kryptonite,” the issue is much larger than Trump and really got my imagination kick started. The premise of the article is that the age of robots will have a far more dramatic impact than what at first you might imagine. The example they use is self driving cars. According to the article there are more than 30,000 deaths a year from vehicle accidents and over 80% of the accidents are caused by humans. Of course one of the biggest benefits from self driving cars will be a dramatic drop in accidents. Seems like a good idea…drinking and driving. No worries. Work an all nighter and need to get home to catch a nap before your flight out. No worries. Your George Jetson car will do all the work for you. And think of the semi-trucks. No more worrying about logging your driving time because driver’s won’t be necessary. But wait. Fender benders and crashes should go way down so we won’t need collision shops. Not as many insurance adjusters.  And doctors…don’t need so many. Hospitals and ERs. Well, we can devote to senior citizen care.

And robots do a lot in car manufacturing right NOW. But imagine…you could actually “print” a car with a 3D printer. Just add an engine, maybe an electric or cell driven car. The petroleum people could spend their time and resources manufacturing 3D printer material. Which we could use for other things. Like houses, perhaps. Do you suppose we could build a 3D printer/robot big enough to build a house? No house builders. No truck drivers. No….well, lots of us will be idle or perhaps fixing robots.

And like the sign in the article says: “BE NICE TO THE ROBOTS.”

I took this shot a few years ago from Central Park looking northwest.

Central Park, New York City

Central Park, New York City

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Back when I had a job where time was important, I wore a watch. Over the years I collected lots of watches…nothing expensive, just stylish watches that I liked. I could wear a watch that would pretty much match any tie or pair of socks that I had in the closet. I have a “watch chest” that holds my 20 or more watches. All but three of them are electric. One of them was my grandfather Ed Halvorsen’s watch…one that the newspaper gave him when he retired, one of those “gold watches” you hear about. It had his name, the year, etc., engraved on the back. Not an expensive watch, but I like it. My dad also got one when he retired, I have that one, too. I don’t wear watches anymore. I pay attention to life on a slightly different time phase now. Consequently, the batteries are dead in all of the electric watches and I have a hard time coughing up $15 to replace a battery in a gadget I won’t wear. They do remind me of a different me.

Of course at my age, many of us tend to write more about time and I bet that almost all of us notice that time goes by faster than ever. For instance, I’ve lived in this house longer than I’ve lived in any other place but it seems like just yesterday we moved in. But it wasn’t. I watch our kids and probably like every other parent in the world, I suggest they be more patient and enjoy the times they are having now. They don’t, of course. I really think that Trace Adkins’ song, “You’re Going To Miss This” says it all quite well. The song is definitely worth a listen. In fact, the message is a valuable one…even in my advanced chronological condition. Smile.

“You’re gonna miss this
You’re gonna want this back
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast
These Are Some Good Times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re gonna miss this”

Watch Macro

Watch Macro

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I read an interesting post yesterday, the subject was services funded by the government. The poster’s position was that the government should not be helping people, that people should be standing on their own and if, for whatever reason, they can’t or won’t help themselves, then the church should help them. The writer went on to say that he didn’t go to church or give the church money but that he was pretty sure he would attend except that he paid taxes and paying taxes prevented him from going to church or contributing to the church.

Really?

Church. Synagogue. Mosque. Temple. Those are organizations that, among many other things, want to help people lead good lives.  For thousands of years that has been pretty much the case. And, it really didn’t matter whether the attendee paid taxes or didn’t, they would give so that others could live. But the numbers of givers has never equalled the need and/or the “reach” of the givers has never been long enough. Our society, through moral conscience and national caring has taken up the slack as have most other modern countries.

But back to his statement: if he didn’t pay taxes he would go to church. Perhaps if there were a tax cut he would go once a month. And if no one paid taxes, we would all go to church. Roads? Police? Firefighters? etc? All in church. No worries.

Manassas Clock

Manassas Clock

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