A Best Day Ever, in 43,500 Words

Quick navigational note: This post makes extensive use of “galleries” (groups of pictures). These galleries seem to display differently depending on the viewing device and browser. If you see one large picture, there’s actually a group of pictures with it (a gallery). Midway down the picture look to the left and right for clickable arrowsContinue reading “A Best Day Ever, in 43,500 Words”

Now THAT’s Interesting,
British Isles Part I: Republic of Ireland

Our previous travelogue—Now THAT’s Interesting (mainland Europe edition)—spanned Northern Italy and Paris. Here, we pick up from where that post left off. I stand at a crossroads. Down one path a cacophonous scrum of blogosphere professionals, wrestle for likes, followers, and retweets. Down the other, a slight solitary silhouette is bathed in a heavenly glow.Continue reading “Now THAT’s Interesting,
British Isles Part I: Republic of Ireland”

Now THAT’s Interesting (mainland Europe edition)

So just what can a person learn from sailing across an ocean solo, reuniting with a soulmate, spending a summer cruising the Mediterranean, wintering his boat in Italy, and then traveling across Europe for three months? Surprisingly, quite a lot. Rhett, Sunny and I got back to the US on New Year’s Eve and sinceContinue reading “Now THAT’s Interesting (mainland Europe edition)”

Save the Date

Imagine an elaborate black and white movie transition sequence. From a time before computer enhancement, when high-end special effects were multiple films manually superimposed in a cutting room, ankle-deep with scraps of cellulose film. The Paris scene ends with the couple walking hand in hand out of their favorite little cafe on the Seine, aContinue reading “Save the Date”

Good-Bye, And Keep Cold

When I was a child, my family had a little cottage on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in Western New York—a three-hour drive from our home outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (It’s of course the same lake and cottage that figures so prominently in Heeling is Healing.) A polite person might have called the cottage “rustic.” (ItContinue reading “Good-Bye, And Keep Cold”


In 1698 and while employed by the Medici family in Florence Italy, musical instrument technician and builder Bartolomeo Cristofori created the precursor to today’s piano. What made the instrument revolutionary—compared to the other popular keyboard instruments of the time (the clavichord, harpsichord, and pipe organ)—is that the musician could control the volume of each noteContinue reading “Fortepiano”