Posts from 2022

Playing Trails

Julie and I played the newish Trails game, from the same designer as the beautiful Parks.

Thank You Duo

I started using Duolingo in earnest right before the pandemic started.

Combat Commander with John

A wargaming buddy recently moved to Green Valley AZ, into the same community as my uncle John. I swung by this week for a quick game of Combat Commander: Eur...

Kartchner Caverns

We started our 8+ hour of driving per day final stretch from Arizona to Florida this morning, but slipped in a visit to Kartchner Caverns near Tucson.

Farewell Napa

Our time in Napa is coming to a close. With everyone enjoying a vacation day we took a hike up the Oat Hill Mine Trail.

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are enjoying a large but not too large family gathering in Napa.

I’m on Mastodon

I’ve been primarily a read-only user of Twitter for the past few years. With the recent excitement on the bird site, I renewed my exploration of Mastodon.

Meet Toast

Jacob and Kaitlin have a new kitten: Toast.

Golf at Poppy Ridge in Livermore CA

Jacob and I played our new favorite course today, the Rees Jones designed Poppy Ridge Course well inland from the east bay of San Francisco.

Paddling the Napa River

Yesterday Julie, Karen, and I put in at the Cutting Wharf boat launch on the Napa river, just south of town.

Great Basin National Park

About a month ago Julie and I visited Great Basin National Park, a remote park in eastern Nevada that had been on our must-see list for a while.

Pushups and Accountability

I learned last summer while Jacob was visiting that he joined a group iMessage chat for a daily push-up challenge. I horned in and invited myself.

Hunting Pheasant

I went hunting for the first time in my life this morning. Kaitlin’s dad Matt, Jacob, and I went to a local membership club and Matt taught us the ropes.

Warren Miller’s Daymaker

I’m not much of a skier these days, but we enjoyed the community and launch of winter with a viewing of Daymaker. Daymaker screen Seven of us also enjoyed...

17 Mile Drive

Before leaving Pacific Grove, Julie and I did a beach walk then drove most of the 17 Mile Drive through Pebble Beach.

Paddling Morro Bay

We had a magical day on our stand-up paddle-boards (SUPs) yesterday, spending over 2 hours cruising around Morro Bay on a foggy misty morning.

Golf at Morro Bay Golf Course

What a gem of a town and a gem of a course. My partners called it the “poor man’s Pebble Beach.”

Hiking to Fern Lake in Mono County

Before the cold, snow, and high winds set in we trekked up to Fern Lake, a short but strenuous trail on the June Lake Loop. We avoided 2 of the 3 weather con...

Return to Mono Lake

We visited Mono Lake last spring and were anxious to return and see more of the area before winter closes down many of the roads. We hoped for good light and...

Golf at Nakoma Resort

The end of season weather cooperated so we ventured up to Nakoma to play 18 on the final day of the local season.

Hiking Red Rocks with Jacob

Julie and I were recently in Las Vegas for a long weekend for a family wedding. Jacob and I dashed out to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area for a de...

Nevada State Parks Gauntlet

We’ve visited over 15 Nevada state parks this year, part of a passport stamp completionism obsession we’ve had since early spring. We’ve roamed to closed par...

Golf at Wolf Creek, Mesquite NV

Many golfers have Wolf Creek Golf Club on their bucket list, largely due to the presence of the course in many computer golf games. I played it last week as ...

Mesa Verde

We spent two nights and two days hanging out at Mesa Verde National Park this week.

Golfing the South Forty

There’s a self service 9 hole golf course in Cortez CO called The South Forty.

Eugene Fun

A short while ago Greg, Matt, and I took a day trip down to Eugene.

Return to Wild Horse Golf Club

Julie and I returned to the amazing Wild Horse Golf Club in September. It was our first of three golf stops on our long drive out from NY to OR.

Closing Time

We are leaving Keuka Lake NY earlier than usual this year.

Our Melges 15 Sailboat

Meet the newest addition to our family: a Melges 15 racing sailboat to replace our Flying Dutchman.

Cowboy Ribs

I have a new favorite way of cooking ribs.

Wilco in NY

Julie and I went to a Wilco concert!

Keuka Lake 2022

Son Jacob (with Kaitlin’s supervision) edited his drone footage and put together this awesome video showing some of our activities during the week. Captures ...

Family Time in Florida

I drove down to Florida to sell my van! Hanging at Intracoastal Brewing We had a great beach day and are enjoying some beer and (soon) pizza.

Pickled Hot Peppers

I’ve been easy-pickling hot peppers from the garden this summer. Sliced peppers ready to pickle My garden is doing OK: the changes I made for more sun exp...

R.I.P. Jifaroo

Our planned retirement of the vintage 1959 Flying Dutchman sailboat happened sooner than expected.

We Didn’t Finish Kernstown

But it sure was fun. Kernstown map Wargames are an interesting game hobby niche: my guess is that most games never actually play to completion. There’s of...

Gaming Fun in Sunriver Oregon

After a 36 hour travel adventure from New York to Oregon, I’ve arrived in Sunriver OR. Walking along the river in Sunriver I’m hanging out with good frien...


Yesterday I played a brief solo game of Kernstown. Kernstown first scenario under way I’ve been enjoying the Blind Swords System quite a lot this year, pr...

So far I’m impressed. logo My issues with Google go beyond my feelings about the company Alpha; I think the search results have degraded significa...

Full Moon over Keuka

We have a nice view of the moonrise from our bedroom. Moonrise over the lake This is from two nights ago. That full moon can be like a spotlight as it pas...


Been playing some games again, even some that are new-to-me. Playing Scythe with Jim and Logan Scythe is a highly rated game that I had wanted to play for...

We have COVID

Looks like the memorial was a spreader event. Positive COVID tests Julie started coughing on Sunday or so, and Tuesday afternoon I started to crash. Heada...

Celebrating Mom

We gathered in Burlington Iowa yesterday to celebrate my mom, Barbara Lynne Brooks, 1939-2021. It was a crazy busy weekend, by design. We moved from Chicago...

Cubs Win!

Part 1 of our memorial celebration for my mom was a Cubs game with over 40 family members at Wrigley Field. Celebration in the bleachers Given the hot wea...

Jason Isbell and Sheryl Crow

Julie and I went to another concert at CMAC last night. Sheryl Crow The opening act was Waxahatchee, an artist I didn’t know before the show but am excite...


Speaking of Skechers, we’ve been playing some pickleball! Julie practicing pickleball One of the reasons I changed golf clubs this year is so that Julie a...

Double Rainbow

Just a photo to share tonight. Intermittent storms arriving most days, and yesterday we had a big one blow up from the southwest. Rainbow landing on our ra...

Rockers in Skechers

Julie and I attended our first concert of the year at Point of the Bluff, a great venue about a three minute drive up the hill from us. On the stage were Tod...

My Life in Weeks

If you check out the top menu bar, you’ll see that I’ve added a new permanent page: my life in weeks.

Philmont 2012 Trip Summary

Back in 2012 my family had a culminating boy scouts adventure to Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, NM. I compiled a summary for future reference. Philmon...

Operation 36 Phase 1

Julie and I played 9 holes today, maybe the second time she’s played and kept score.


Julie and I traveled up to CMAC Friday night to see Caamp and the Lumineers.

New Camera

I got a new camera, part of my 10 year plan to leave the DSLR world and simplify my photography equipment set.

A Grand Day Out

Kilong and I had a magical day together. Kilong and Chris at Lakeside CC I have more to say about his story but it is late and this photo will have to do....

An Old Friend Visits

Former colleague and good friend Kilong Ung is visiting this weekend. Kilong Ung with Keuka College president Amy Storey Last evening he gave the baccalau...

Argh this Van

Started the day at 5am, driving Julie to the Rochester for a wedding trip back west. Today is our 31st wedding anniversary and we promised to have a nice din...

Keuka Visitors

Matthew and Lauren made their first visit to the lake as “local” residents, making their drive from Jersey City NJ. Matthew and Lauren at the falls In a p...

Table Battles

Played the new-to-me Table Battles from Hollandspiele today with Matthew.

Lake Stuff

We’ve had a glorious week of high 70s / low 80s weather. Inflating Julie’s paddle board Matthew and Lauren inflated our second paddle board and went out f...

Inside Aldi Permalink

The format of Aldi is notably different from most megastores we’re used to seeing in the United States. There’s no music; patrons have to “rent” their car...

Golf is Happening

I convinced Julie to get some golf clubs, so we spent some time today with our local PXG fitter. Julie testing clubs I’m getting some new irons. Testing 7...

Gaming with Neighbors

We’ve had a few home-and-home dinner dates with neighbors and are getting them into some of our social games. Playing The Crew We’ve played The Crew: Miss...

Generator Woes

Our camper van was creeping towards “only one known issue left” back in April when the propane generator stopped working.

Garden Day

Today was garden day: after relocating our two garden beds for more sun exposure, I was ready to plant.

Gears Training

I spent some time up in Erie PA with my golf coach Erik to conduct my first session with Gears. I’ve been working with Erik for about 15 months, almost excl...

Return to My Gaming Collection

One of the many joys of returning to Keuka is being reunited with my gaming collection. There are some games on that shelf that I thought were in storage ...

Keuka Routine

Today was our first full day at our family cottages. It takes work to get them livable (for us, and ultimately for guests), but we’ve learned to pace ourselv...

We are back at Keuka Lake

Drove from outside Cleveland to Keuka Lake today, arriving a day earlier than we did last year.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

On our way from Miamisburg OH to NE OH we stopped for a first ever visit to Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Park visitor center You can’t fairly compare th...

Lincoln State Park, Indiana

We are hanging out with friends in southern Indiana at Lincoln State Park, a surprising gem that none of us have been to (three of us have probably 110 years...

Camping at Bernard Family Farm

Bernard Family Farm sign We stayed at Bernard Family Farm in southern Illinois last night, one of the better Harvest Host locations we’ve been to.

Cahokia Mounds

Learning about Monks Mound I went to college in St. Louis for four years and nearly every week I crossed the river to Cahokia for AFROTC. Still I never man...

Central Missouri

18th hole at Mules We are slow playing our drive east, moving only about 50 miles east of KC today.

Teaching Wingspan

Angry bird player! We are still in KC with family. Taught (and re-taught) Wingspan, using the upgraded bits.

National WWI Museum and Memorial

Tower and sphinx hiding eyes from atrocities In addition to seeing family and friends when I visit Kansas City, I love visiting the WWI museum.

Petroglyphs and Pancakes

Petroglyph panel at La Cieneguilla After overnighting in Holbrook, AZ we headed east in hopes of reaching Tucumcari, NM. A major accident on I-40 near the ...

Page Arizona

Sunset over Lake Powell We are back in Page, just over a year after our last visit.

Red Hills Desert Garden - again

Flowers and cactus at botanical garden We are back in St. George, UT and our first stop to regroup and plan the day was the Red Hills Desert Garden. We fir...

Hunting for Trilobites

Julie playing in the shale Yesterday we roamed back to the south and west to visit the Oak Springs Trilobite Site and hunt for some fossils.

Spring Valley Hiking is Amazing

Our van parked at Ranch campground Yesterday we visited two more Nevada state parks: Spring Valley and Echo Canyon.

Cathedral Gorge - Juniper Draw Trail

Julie hikes into Juniper Draw We took it easy yesterday (at least I did – Julie worked most of the day) and hiked the Juniper Draw trail which meanders nor...

Cathedral Gorge NV - slots and vistas

Cathedral Gorge from vista We drove from Tonapah to the eastern edge of Nevada today to reach Cathedral Gorge state park. So far this is one of the best w...

Nevada has a lot of dirt roads

Dirt road driving to Berlin And not just back roads… state highways! We did some extra driving today to hit two spots that weren’t going to work out for l...

Harvest Host at Lattin Farms

Van at Lattin Farms We departed Napa this morning and made our way to Nevada and cruised along highway 50 for some exploring. We are camped tonight at Lat...

Time for a Toolset Update

My last update on my productivity toolset was over two years ago. I’ve changed things up pretty dramatically since then, with the only stable component being...

Garden Day

Jacob and Kaitlin in the backyard Today was a working day at the new house, getting ready for planting overall landscaping cleanup.

I’m Not Sure What to Say

One of my goals this year is to write more regularly. I understand that more doesn’t mean better but I think the habit is worth instilling. I’m a bit flummo...

Meet Twig

Twig This is Twig, Jacob and Kaitlin’s feline companion.

Jacob Got A New Chair

Jacob getting a consult Jacob and I drove down to Berkeley to buy a Herman Miller chair. We were talked out of it!


Ed cutting up the desk There are many reasons we remain so happy about Jacob’s marriage to Kaitlin. Beyond their love for each other we value the extended ...

Moving Day

Unloading the truck We are in Napa helping Jacob and Kaitlin move into their new home.

Links at Bodega Harbour

View into Bodega Bay from the course Before Julie and I returned from some Sonoma coast exploration, I played 18 at the Links.

Redwoods, Turkeys, and Peanuts

Wild turkeys We’ve been lurking around northern-ish California as we await their arrival from Washington state to move to Napa.

Golf and Tufas

Golf at Bishop CC We wrapped up our visit to Lowell Valley with some golf at Bishop Country Club and a stop at Mono Lake.

Alabama Hills and Manzanar

Alabama Hills We made two stops as we work our way up the east side of the Sierras: Alabama Hills and the Manzanar concentration camp.

Death Valley Craters and Pupfish

Salt Creek boardwalk We just wrapped up our last day in Death Valley. It was time to go – the winds started raging and visibility was plummeting.

Death Valley Lows

Salt polygons at Bad Water Today we ventured into the depths of Death Valley.

Death Valley Highs

Moonrise from Dantes View Our first day in Death Valley was focused primarily on high points: Rainbow Canyon, Zabriskie Point, and Dante’s View.

Golf at Rustic Canyon in Moorpark CA

Looking out at Rustic Canyon I played 18 at Rustic Canyon yesterday, a course recommended by Kyle Howard back in September when we were paired up at Bandon...

Exploring San Diego

Hiking near the wall We pivoted to see some friends in San Diego and had a grand time exploring the area.

Solana Beach CA

Sunset at Solana Beach We hopped over the coast range and are hanging out north of San Diego at Solana Beach. This is one of those nights where we think t...

Golf at PGA West - Dunes

Water hole Played 18 today at the Pete Dye design near ala Quinta. Well worth the expense, which wasn’t even that high. The folks I played with said the M...

Pushawalla Palms Hike

Julie hiking in the wind We did a late afternoon hike near Palm Desert. It was windy! The Pushawalla Palms hike is deceptive. The hills and terrain are mo...

Salton Sea

Salton Sea We are in the Palm Springs area for several days and I convinced Julie to trek down to the Salton Sea for a brief visit today.

Refit in Vegas

Blew a 15a fuse We were in and out of Vegas within about 24 hours.

Farewell Valley of Fire

Julie framed at Valley of Fire We are making dinner in our van right now on the last night of our stay. Three days is more than enough to explore the Valle...

Recent Critters

Greater roadrunner on our dash We are having fun slowly exploring Valley of Fire State Park. I’ll have more to report on the trip tomorrow, but for now I l...

Germany Trip Summary, 2005

Back in 2005 we took our first big trip with the boys, heading to Germany for a mix of tourism and attending the Essen game fair.

Rock Art in Grapevine Canyon

Animal petroglyphs We took a short hike into Grapevine Canyon near Laughlin NV to see some amazing petroglyphs.

Golf at Laughlin Ranch

Green with AZ mountains Played great new-to-me course on the border between NV and AZ today.

Southern Utah 2018

Our Campsite Near Arches Delicate Arch Tower Arch And Marching Men Devil’s Garden At Arches Bonus Find: Dinosaur Tracks! Sunrise At Dead Horse P...

Farewell Sedona

Ussie on the hike On our last full day we played two longer games and did a surprisingly good hike right from the house.

Four Corners Trip Summary, Spring 2019

We had an epic adventure in the spring of 2019, starting in southern Utah and working through the four corners area (southwest CO, northwest NM, and northeas...

More Fun in Sedona

Hiking Bell Rock We are having a grand old time waking around scenic Sedona and playing board games at our house.

Alaska 2019 Trip Summary

Back in June 2019 we took a trip to Alaska to celebrate Matthew’s graduation from West Point. Here’s a summary:

Devil’s Arch Trail in Sedona

Devil’s Bridge We are hanging out in Sedona for a week with friends and family. People are mixing work and fun and we managed to sneak in a hike to Devil’s...

WM Phoenix Open

Arena action Yes, that’s the WM Phoenix Open, not the Waste Management Phoenix Open. I guess they paid some big $ for a rebranding effort!

Backpacking the Superstitions, Day 3

Breakfast at camp Back to the real world. After a windy breakfast we broke camp and finished our baby-rattle shaped trip with a new route back along the Du...

Backpacking the Superstitions, Day 1

View of peaks near our campsite We are in the Tonto wilderness for a while east of Phoenix, returning to an area we enjoyed hiking to get a deeper look whi...

Signal Peak at Kofa NWR

Chollas at sunset Today we trekked about 13 miles and climbed 3000 feet to the top of Signal Peak in the Kofa NWR. It was hard but amazing.

Imperial National Wildlife Refuge

Cholla on desert trail We are working our way north from Yuma, roughly following the Colorado River as we work our way to the Kofa wilderness.

Victoria Mine Trail at Organ Pipe Cactus NM

Shaft at Victoria Mine We started our final day at OPCNM with a fun morning hike to Victoria Mine, getting a surprise look at a certain wall we’ve all hear...

Hiking and Kayaking Around Isla Danzante

An easy final full day on our tour, we did a slow paddle south to the tip of the island. It was almost like snorkeling with such flat water and high visibi...

Magical Day in Honeymoon Beach

We kept our camp in place this morning and after a tasty chilaquiles breakfast we embarked for a northern trek to Honeymoon Beach.

Kayak Trip is Underway

We are on the Sea of Cortez for about five days, touring in kayaks around the local islands. High winds today as we made about a 2+ hour crossing.

Water Fun at Loreto Bay

While three of our group went fishing, three of us loaded up the truck with two kayaks and a paddle board and drove down to Loreto Bay.

Loreto Mexico

We are in Loreto. First time to Baja for either of us. Spending time with our ooold close friend Karen and a tangled network of her friends. Going kayaking...

Exploring Madera Canyon

We took a few hours today with uncle John and aunt Ann today to explore nearby Madera Canyon.

About the Van Work

We’ve had to do service on the van in five cities now. So what’s the deal?

Exploring Tucson

We are nearly done with about four days in Tucson while we get more (!) work done on the van. Not getting a car creates some intentional constraints that k...

Near Beers

Julie and I have garnered a lot of non-alcoholic beer experience over the past 2-3 years.

Hiking Boulder Canyon Trail

Today we enjoyed the short Boulder Canyon Trail, a fairly easy but rewarding hike in the Superstition Wilderness.

Hiking Siphon Draw

Quick post tonight – wanted to share a hike we started but couldn’t quite finish.

Hieroglyphic Trail in Gold Canyon

Julie and got an early start and drove back into the neighborhood of Gold Canyon for the trailhead to the Hieroglyphic Trail. Parking lot was about half fu...

Praying for Dallas

This quick post probably isn’t about what you think it is about. Jacob and I were in Dallas recently and we are both lifelong Cowboy fans (Jacob through in...

Visiting the Meteor Crater

On a whim Julie pulled off I-40 after passing Winslow AZ to visit the Meteor Crater, a privately run National Landmark. She remembered the site being menti...

One Very Large Array

Our route from Bosque to Flagstaff took us along US Route 60. We had started seeing signs for a Very Large Array back on I-25 south of Albuquerque and had...

Cranes at Bosque

Julie and I finally made a winter visit to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge to see the winter homes of a number of water birds, most importantly ...

Storyteller Spotting in Santa Rosa NM

We are cruising west in our “temporary” van home, an Airstream Interstate 19. We have a Storyteller Overland Classic Mode on order but have never seen one ...

Might as well quit Permalink

Now is better than later, and perfect is an illusion. Act as if. Simply begin. Make things better by making better things. You can always improve it la...

Happy New Year!

Here’s great photo of Julie disc golfing with our new friend Willie. Let’s hope for a great 2022.