We are cruising in Alaska to celebrate the graduation from college for both of the young men in this photo. This shot was taken by a glacier very close to the Canadian border.

This is a perfect trip for us – late night kayaking, hikes into glaciers, polar plunges. Some great wildlife photography from my long lens that I’ll share soon.

Start of a big week

Julie and I have arrived at our rental home in Garrison, NY to prepare for graduation this weekend for Matthew at West Point. There will be 16 family members in all here to celebrate with us.

It feels like just a year ago that we dropped Matthew off at R day. The first photo above is the day before R day (pre haircut). The second photo is of Matthew marching with his Beast Barracks company at A day. He is in the column closest to camera, just left of center.

Good Travel Food

We’ve almost made it to our destination (Keuka Lake NY) and I thought I’d share some of the tasty food we’ve had along the way. First up was at Chauhan Ale & Masala House in Nashville. Pictured above are their gol guppa shots, a creative and very tasty appetizer. You pour the mint cilantro water into the bowl and eat in one bite. So good. Apparently tequila is also an option.

We also enjoyed some fine dining at Husk in Nashville. I had catfish and some shrimp & grits but Julie was the big winner with her vegan plate. Shitake mushrooms that tasted like bacon.

Not quite fine dining but check out the pancake club sandwich. This is from Mary’s Diner in Geneva OH. Half saved for tomorrow’s breakfast.

I ❤️ Labyrinth

Allen and I both had the same idea coming away from GMT West – seeing Labyrinth played made us both long to get it back on the table. This game opened the door for the COIN series of games, providing a truly asymmetric two player gaming experience focused on the American war on terror beginning 2001. I had played two or three times before (with Jacob and Matthew I think) but never focused enough on the game to 1/ get a solid grasp on rules and 2/ understand even basic strategies for the two sides.

Allen and I played face to face last week, I took Jihadists and he the Americans. I pulled off the win, with both of us learning that an early regime change for the USA can result in a serious quagmire.

Then we each played a solo game, using the enhanced boys that came with the Awakening expansion. Seeing the boys play is a great human training approach, with limitations of course.

We played again face to face the day before I left Oregon, switching sides. I was the benefactor of some good die rolls and an American focus on good relations in the central middle east paid off for the win.