FOTOFRIDAY: Remember Global Warming?

Posted on: Friday, September 25th, 2020
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  • So Many Crises, So Little Time

To get to the the point: When we are able to travel again, I suggest you brush off that bucket list, save some jingle, and prioritize trips to your sacred natural spaces. Because they are fading fast.

In my life, snorkeling among the stunning coral, fish, and other critters fills favorite memories. Perfect meditation + exercise. But I can testify that, since I started going to the Virgin Islands in the 80s, the difference is depressingly obvious. Like, at least 75% of the sea treasures are either gone, depleted, or bleached.

Above, these geese are lounging in a city park near where I live. My guess is, not many years ago, that pond wasn’t covered in green scum. Oh sure, we’re all haunted by Covid, elections, violent divisiveness, and such. But when (if?) those issues resolve themselves, I hope the world gets serious about saving, well, the world.

Because many of us still have so much to see, in so little time.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Fall = Best BreakAways  : )

Posted on: Friday, September 11th, 2020
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  • Maybe Next Year : /

Lotsa folks call fall their favorite season. They seem to get excited about cooler temps, changing colors, a forgotten sweatshirt. Me? Some nickname me “The Summer Guy.” So fall means the end of swims, boats, gardens, and easy-breezy outdoor lounging. I won’t even go into the raking labors and that first ice storm.

However, I do believe fall may be the ideal travel season. Heck, if you go somewhere warmer, it’s still summer! And if you head somewhere trendy and touristy, those swarms have usually flown back where they came from.

I found myself in Europe during the fall of 2000, as part of a 4-month RTW trip. Putin was in Paris on this particular Saturday night. So, well, the place was nuts: Security everywhere, parking nowhere, a seat in a restaurant unthinkable. Until 1:30 in the morning, that is, when my friend and I found both parking and dining.

Without question, that sole meuniere was the best I’ve ever had, well worth the wait. And a long evening of driving all around Paris with no worries and ample time? Unforgettable. The sights were glowing. The people-watching fascinating. And the weather? Picture perfect.

Alas, most of us aren’t going far this fall. Still, happy autumn and…keep the faith.

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FOTOFRIDAY: The Frightful Future

Posted on: Friday, August 28th, 2020
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  • Happy Halloween!?!

BreakAways come in all forms. For kids—and for adults who like to don a costume and party—Halloween offers a giddy vakay from Reality for a night that often stretches into all fall.

But a Halloween display in late August? In the produce department of an upscale grocery store? That’s scary. As if we don’t have enough to fear of late.

Halloween will morph in many ways this year. COVID-19 will see to that. But you can count on commercial interests to push candy, costumes, and cavities.

On the upside, most folks will remember to wear a mask.

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FOTOFRIDAY: What’s Going On Here?

Posted on: Friday, August 21st, 2020
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  • Oh, the people you meet when travelling… 

Who is this guy? How did he get in there? Does he ever get out? Who gave him such lovely blue eyes? And, by the way, when did he last see his dentist?

I know. But I’m not telling.

But I will say this: Take a BreakAway from your normal schedule and routine, assuming normalcy returns again one fine day, and you too will meet characters like this. I promise.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Back in the Travel Days…

Posted on: Friday, August 14th, 2020
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Back in the good old says, most people revered travel as an adventure, a gift, a dream. Nowadays, depending on where you live, traveling a few blocks to get a haircut can seem exciting. And risky. 

Speaking of risky, I took some nice shots of Koala Lampur’s exotic, late-night market back in November of 2000. But I preferred most meals in tourist-popular restaurants—since going RTW inspired keeping gastronomic experimentations on the safe side, especially with my 3-year-old son at my side.

Still, whatever this gentleman is cooking looks pretty good right about now. As does wandering around an Asian city that never sleeps. 

Keep the faith.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Vacations & Odd Ducks

Posted on: Monday, August 3rd, 2020
Posted in: HR FYI, Unplugging, FOTOFRIDAY | Leave a comment

FF is late this week. Because the Crew has been on vacation. Nothing exotic, not long enough, but…away. Most people dream about getting away and things, but the sad fact remains that more than half of US workers’ vakay days go unused. It’s the Odd Duck who actually takes care, takes advantage, and takes off for some frolic and fun.

In this picture, you can see what happens to that Odd Duck. Co-workers attack and ostracize. They splash water on your visions of work/life balance. They quack behind your back and peck at your beak because they are jealous you might find bliss and pissed that your absence may increase their work load.

You, meanwhile, may be a closet territorialist—afraid that ditching the job may result in lost opportunity, a back-breaking backlog, or the realization that you really aren’t essential anyway. Yes, it’s complicated. All the more reason to step away for some fresh perspective. (Just don’t think too much. Watch waves and ducks.)

We’ve been carping about this since at least 2009. And yes, the pandemic complicates time off, as it does everything. But maybe the unprecedented stress and uncertainty of these times makes getting AWAY and UNPLUGGING more important than ever! Because hanging with that white duck and the other curious and revitalizing experiences of this BreakAway did much to calm my turbulent waters. For now, anyhow.

Keep the faith.

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FOTOFRIDAY: I Saw the Comet!

Posted on: Friday, July 24th, 2020
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Yes! I did! In the city, even, where there is (waaaaaay too much) light pollution. I had to kayak out on a lake (not the safest thing to do but, hey) and use binoculars on a clear night. Once spotted, the feeling was magical. Almost emotional, even.

I couldn’t manage a picture, of course. So here, instead, is a tip case from an excellent NOLA street band. The musicians are suffering, along with other performers and service workers. They’re floating in space, rather like the comet. (There.)

So sad. They need us. More important: We need them. Keep the faith.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Seek Silence; Create Beauty

Posted on: Friday, July 17th, 2020
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“The whole world is at sixes and sevens and why the house hasn’t fallen down about our ears long ago is beyond me.” So says the omniscient maid, Sabrina, in the opening scene of Thornton Wilder’s 1942 Pulitzer-winning play, “The Skin of our Teeth.”

The show is about the never-ending vulnerability—and the resolute endurance—of the human race. The play’s three acts take place during an ice age, a great flood, and a horrific war. Were there a fourth act, a pandemic would fit right in.

Of late, lines and scenes from “The Skin of Our Teeth” sometimes echo through my head. (I was in the play as a child.) But such reveries feel like a luxury, because what’s often happening in our heads is the news of violence. Of scary health threats. Of disunity and anger and, above all, unprecedented uncertainty.

My wish for myself, and for all of us, is some silence. Stay informed and make your statements. But then turn off the noise. Seek the stillness—and listen to it. Create something of beauty, however esoteric or secret or temporary. After all, most of us are mostly stuck in place with some extra time on our hands.

Some day in the future, when we have returned to our busy, self-important routines, we may look back longingly at this unscheduled BreakAway.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Exactly How We All Feel

Posted on: Friday, July 3rd, 2020
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Some critter did this, not me. A wren house originally, this abode has over the years been annexed by various life forms—including flying squirrels one scary spring. Those babies make The Wizard of Oz’s monkeys look huggable. I was delighted when they made their BreakAway!

What freak of nature did this? We’ll never know. It happened recently, but the artists in residence have moved on, leaving this semi-permanent splendor of nature. ‘Bout sums up how we all feel of late, don’t you think?

Keep the faith.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Summertime is Lupine Time

Posted on: Friday, June 26th, 2020
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Lupines grow like wild along parts of Minnesota’s “North Shore” that clings to Lake Superior. They fill ditches for miles and miles, as well as the gardens of lucky property owners. I’ve tried a few times to transplant them to the warmer climes of the Twin Cities. But…no way. So I just take pics. This one happened on July 3, 2009.

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