You can call me Terrence…

How can it possibly be almost six years since I was here? Where did 2016, 2017, 2018 and their ilk go? Are Rich and Nance even still alive? Well, the good news is yes, we are both doing fine and living in snowy Austin, TX. I normally write sunny because, well, Austin is most certainly a sunny place 99.9% of the time. However, this is the .1%. As you can see from my deer friend, it’s cold.

Terrence the deer
Meet Terrence. Terrence Stamp, of course, because Whitetails get very “stampy” when disturbed. He’s my new snow pal…

I’ll write more about pandemic hell some other time, but today I just wanted to share this lovely fellow with you. He’s wondering why there’s white stuff all over the ground, and that picture was taken from my couch (!) using my phone, so he’s right up against the house.

Nancy and I have been stuck at home now for a year. I saw this pandemic coming in January 2020, and we got ourselves ready (nothing crazy, just common sense stuff) and so we’ve been mostly home since. We’ve taken it seriously, and so for now 365 days it’s been just the two of us.

In that time, we’ve gotten to know our deer friends (our house is graced with several different sets of deer who blow through, ranging from Blossom and her young ones to Fake Blossom 🙂 and her two offspring… after a year of sitting at the window I can tell them all apart). I never realized how much wildlife there is here. We know all the birds that visit our bird feeder (my gift to Nance last year – best present ever), and we’ve watched the fawns grow from wobbly newborns to prancy teens, who bounce around the yard showing off.

I know this has been a terrible 12 months for many, many people. We’re luckier than so many. My job allows me to work from home, and I’m stuck here with my best friend. We’ve even made some new friends in the yard. I’m confident better years are coming and we’ll have our own version of the roaring 20’s. It may be cold outside, but the kiss of summer is on its way.


Smiling little guy

It’s a bit embarrassing to have to admit that it’s been so long since I posted anything, but this little guy made me smile – Nance seems to be fascinated with him. It’s not my picture it’s from National Geographic who I credit here. But every time she sees him, there’s that beautiful smile, so I figured I’d capture him here. Main thing to remember: the world is infinitely more beautiful than we think. Embrace it!


The view from the OXO Tower
The view from the OXO Tower

Some things you have to see yourself to believe. On a splurgy night in London, we got this view from the 8th Floor balcony of the OXO tower. Priceless!

(And no, any would-be robber who might be reading this, I am not in London anymore).

Let Them Eat Cake

Frosting and cake at Oleander Bakery in Cocoa
Frosting and cake at Oleander Bakery in Cocoa

Wedding planning is a lot of work, it turns out, but can also be a lot of fun. Last week Nance and I visited Oleander Bakery in Cocoa and… TASTED CAKES. Yes, life doesn’t get any better than that. We sat down with little pots of frosting and slices cakes and went “nom, nom, nom”. Aah, heaven.

Who knew wedding planning could be so much fun?

On that note, everything still seems to be on track for the Big Day. We have our wedding rings already in our possession, we now have a cake ordered (thank you Oleander!), and a band booked. Yes indeed, now the only thing I have to make sure is that I don’t drive Nance crazy before the day. That may be the hardest part!

Apple, did you REALLY do that?

It’s been a frustrating week. Nance’s phone switch to Android looked like it had failed because she stopped receiving texts from other networks. We figured that it was either a bug in her phone or a bad port of the number. And then we discovered that in fact, it wasn’t ANY other-network phone that she was dropping texts from, it was ONLY iPhones. Huh.

Turns out Apple did something unbelievably evil. When you have an iPhone, your phone will now use iMessage instead of a real SMS to talk to other people if it thinks it can, even if you enter a number. The problem is when you get rid of your iPhone, you don’t *necessarily* get rid of the link from your phone number to iMessage. Net result: everyone who has an iPhone thinks they are texting you, but in fact the messages silently fail.

Once we figured this out, we called support; yes, they said, they could delete the number. 2 hours. No worries. Nope, 2 hours later, it was still broken. Called again. Did we say 2 hours, we meant 24. Nope. 36 hours later, the answer was give it more time.

Net result: this is Apple’s bad decision. By “breaking” SMS and moving it to their own protocol, the company added a tricky and largely undocumented step in getting moved to a new phone. Talk about lock in. What’s worse, it’s easy to blame the new carrier or phone, when in fact it is working perfectly. Crossing my fingers we’ll actually get this fixed one of these days.

Mood: frustrated.

Good Morning!



There’s an old expression that the best camera is the one you have with you, and honestly, that feels a bit lame. After all, I carry around a slightly battered Nexus 4 most of the time – a phone that has been panned for its lack of a decent camera.

Well. I’m full of it. One sunrise, taken with my cellphone.

Life is all about grabbing moments like this. I sometimes think that our pocket cameras rob us of the moment though. I don’t need to see the sunrise on my little glass screen when I can sit and watch it, almost FEEL the photons whamming in to in real time. I clicked my one shot, and then just absorbed the morning. Aah, morning.

I’ve seen too many sunrises of late. No matter how hard I work, things always seem to be just a tiny bit out of my grasp. More focus is required; I’m working on it!



Nights here in Florida can be absolutely spectacular. Last night, Nance and I decided, after a pretty hectic and stressful day, that sneaking off to the beach and watching the moon rise would be a good way to spend (rather than pass) time, and we were rewarded with this picture. 30′ on f3.5 if I recall, prior to the moon coming up.

Seeing the moon rise is always quite magical. It was late by my clock (I suspect it more likely my clock was wrong 🙂 but you never know), and the sky slowly lit up in the most unbelievable colors. We walked back home happy, cobwebs blown from our minds, and the dust of the day scattered to the winds. Beautiful.

Not Broken…

I thought I had broken my poor little camera, and I was distressed. I even took it to a shop, who told me that this one was trashed and I should get a new one… so I decided to take it apart. I mean, it’s dead, right? So I used to love pulling things apart as a kid, so why not see how it works. I had no intent or even desire to fix it (it’s electronics… when it breaks, you buy a BETTER version!!!), but as I looked about for how you actually dismantle a Nikon, I found a nice article on exactly the problem I was having, and Voila! One repaired camera, fixed with a screwdriver and a little gentle twisting.

Our disposable society has become, to me, a bit frustrating. I like fixing things. I like being able to go hands on and fiddle. Lesson learned, I guess: don’t accept failure quite so easily because if you’re a really careful and good boy, things like this happen:


Now that’s worth it 🙂

Fear of Flying

Papa Victor sitting on the ramp in Vero
Papa Victor sitting on the ramp in Vero

I always smile when I fly. There’s something magical about just cruising along at a couple of thousand feet. Despite the fact that there’s some (limited) danger involved, the feel isdifficult to describe. It’s just peaceful but exhilarating at the same time.

Last night, I finally managed to slip away from work and go fly a plane. It’s a simple thing, really, because I have the best friends in the world, and so there’s always plenty of aircraft and experienced pilots around. The trick is, of course, time. Work is unending, and there’s always more of it to do. At some point, though, you realize this, and you do the best you can, but fit in a few little things for you.

Yesterday’s flight was interesting because Dan wanted me to help him copilot a Cessna 182 that had just had a new autopilot installed. While we worked the systems, I could keep an eye on traffic. So, we flew Victor Mike down to Vero, carried out a careful preflight, and whoosh… back up into the sky. What a girl! We did find a few little problems, but nothing major and so we got into the business of ferrying the aircraft back.

The flight back was delightful. It was near sunset, and the winds were manageable but tricky – 020 12G15. When I was flying a lot, that wouldn’t have bothered me in the slightest, but, after flying the RNAV 09L, I managed to land (horribly), over-controlling, but making a safe touchdown without too much of a thud. The rollout was fine, and I made the first exit from the runway, so I guess it wasn’t that bad.

I think tension is the trick; when I am tense, I over-control, and when you over-control, you definitely get more tense as the plane hopscotches around. Like always, I guess it’s just time, right? Every problem in life seems to come down to simply time; how we spend it, how we waste it, how we pass it. The more I fly, the better I’ll do. I love it. Peeking out the window, I want to go right now.