Wednesday, September 28, 2016


I was stopped by a young man earlier today.  He was lost.  He was about 500 yards from the main road out of here and had obviously made a wrong turn and he was panicking.  “My GPS has packed up, and I need to find the road out of here.”
          I quietly put him right as he just needed a couple of turns and he would be fine.  Then I reflected while feeling smug that I didn’t need any GPS and in fact don’t even have it.  He was a “millennial” and had been around this technology for some time.  It was as familiar to him as maps are to me.  How could he be so ignorant and lost when all he needed was a map?
          When I first came out to Los Angeles I inherited a huge wall map of the area on my office wall.  Whenever I had a moment I would study this as I’ve always been obsessed with knowing where I am in the world.
          I soon bought a Thomas’s Guide for the car and was not afraid to use it.  It’s something I’ve always done.
          Going further back I remember the first time I had to drive up to the north of England to take up a new position.  I asked my father the best route – we only had one motorway at the time and that ran out after 90 miles.  He listed all the towns I needed to pass through – some of them even had by-passes.
          If one went further back in time, people would make their way by the use of the sun and the more sophisticated had a compass. Therefore was the lost young man any weaker in his life than me with my maps or those that came before?  

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

End of Blog

After four years and 1500 posts - I rarely missed a day - I've closed the blog.  I have a couple of writing projects that are going to need all my time.  I may take it up again one day, but in the meantime it's a job that's ended.  You can read my weekly columns at this site And if you want to contact me you can at  Thanks.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Right Track - Obamacare Costs

I'm grateful to my friend Bob over in Pennsylvania for this terrific explanation of Obamacare costs.  It's from retiring senator Tom Coburn, himself a doctor.
"Hmmm, Obamacare, that's the program that Obama says we have 8 million new enrollees in…people who would not have not been insured before, right?  8 million less the 25% who have not paid premiums so the insurance is not in force…that’s 6 million less the 5 million who we know for sure had insurance before but were displaced by Obamacare.  So we are down to $1 million people who the government spent $138 Billion, as far as I can obtain the spending facts, to put their plan in place through might I add private insurers. So we spent an average of $138,000 per person to insure them with much smaller care networks, much higher premiums and much higher out of pocket expenses than either Medicaid or other assistance programs.  This debacle is being touted as a success by this administration.  That is why I am leaving Washington."

Friday, May 30, 2014

Weird Portrait

Just over 20 years ago we were in Madrid, Spain.  We took a side trip to Toledo and enjoyed the city very much.  On the way back the tour guide had the bus stop and he filed us all into a darkened room.  Once he had all of us facing the same way he switched on a flood of lights and we saw this life-size portrait.  There were gasps, as it was of a bearded woman nursing a child.  This was painted in 1631 by the painter, Ribera, of Sra. Magdalena Ventura with her husband in the rear.  She bore him three sons before, at the age of 37, she sprouted this full size beard.  I've never forgotten the sight.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Music Track - Mozart

This became very popular in the late 60's when it was used as background to the movie Elvira Madigan.  I never saw the film and having looked at the plot on Wikipedia, I don't think I'll bother - very depressing!  But the music is pretty good; I think you'll agree.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


I'm reading a book at the moment.  Nothing particularly unusual about that as I read a great deal.  But on this occasion, I'm actually reading a book rather than my Kindle.  I've been using a Kindle for about 4 1/2 years and when I first started on it, I found the experience a little strange.  I missed the feel of a book in my hands and the turning of the pages.  Now however as it's been about a year since I reverted to a  book, I'm finding the loss of my Kindle to be equally difficult.  I miss the ease of the device, and the lightness of it.  If I'm outside and the wind blows I don't have to fight the pages.  But the biggest downside of all is the lack of an instant dictionary.  Whereas on the Kindle, if I want to look up a word, it's immediate.  Now I have to go to a dictionary, which means I probably don't!  I'm anxious to get back to a more modern read!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


A few months ago I was fiddling about in the roof of the garage and an item fell down.  It hit the rear fender of the Harley and caused quite a chip in the paint.  I was very annoyed.
As there are about six layers of pain and all of the pearl white had gone, I lived with the annoyance.  Then I saw an advert for Dr. ColorChip, and decided to invest the $40 for their kit, which arrived promptly.

It took me about 20 minutes to do the job and frankly although there is still a slight indentation, the result is great.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Video - Dog's Pray

Many thanks to my friend Paul in England for this great video of four Chinese dogs at the lunch counter.  I wonder if the one nearest the camera is perhaps a Labradoodle or even a strangely clipped Poodle.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday's Column - Hesperia Fishing Lake

Canadian Goose afloat
It's always nice to see all the various ducks and geese at the Hesperia Fishing Lakes.  The day I went there, it was blowing quite a gale, but all the trees and banks sheltered the many people who had come out to enjoy the day.  It's really a true oasis in the high desert.  You can read the entire column at

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Right Track - Sequestration Part II

So the results of the sequestration are finally in.  I thought things had been rather quiet on that front since various members of the left wing had forecast terrible events if we dared to cut any government jobs or programs.  We heard estimates from 1.2 million jobs (Harry Reid) to 170 million (Maxine Waters!)  I don't think we have 170 million actually working here anyway.  Well, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) has just published its report on the number of government positions lost and it managed to find one.  Yes, only one job was lost.  Amazing after all the doom and gloom of total collapse that just one poor fellow in the Dept. of Justice was let go.  Can we ever trust politicians with numbers?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Trevor's Tirade - VA Health Care

Is it me or has everyone gone crazy?  We are in the midst of another "scandal" and this time it's to do with the Veterans Affairs hospitals.  It seems that vets cannot get the healthcare that has been promised to them.  There is talk of secret lists and long long waits.  I saw a Major General (retired) talking about his difficulties.  He had to wait months to be seen by a specialist for his complaint.  He was able to take it to the very top of the Pentagon.  But as he said how many could do that.  No one has complained about the actual medical care once they get through the screen of paperwork and bureaucracy.  Over eleven states are reporting that things are very bad with the VA.  And yet the custodians of our society - the media - have totally failed to suggest that this gross inefficiency is the face of government run health care.  Come on People!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Music Track - Brahms

In the TV detective series Jesse Stone, the hero played by Tom Selick is advised that when things get tough he should listen to Brahms.  Now I took to Brahms quite late in life as I didn't like him early on.  This is one of his Intermezzos, played by Glenn Gould who himself was quite an interesting character.  It's about four minutes; see how you like it!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


It is said that politics and religion are the two conversational topics that should never be discussed.  Well, I've blown the first taboo, but the second has remained quiet.  However this pretty much sums up my beliefs in that area.  Thanks to Paul in England for sending it to me.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


It's that time again.  Always a wonderful moment to head out on the water.  We had the boat tuned up and the boatyard launched it for us.  The lake level is down quite a bit and I don't think the mechanics trusted me with their ramp.  But we headed out the other day for the first run of the season, and here is She Who Must Be Obeyed (SWMBO) enjoying the scene,  It's still a little chilly, but it'll warm up pretty soon.   If you have an interest in how our lake is doing this is the site  You'll see that we're down eight feet from full after our dry season.