The Land of Steady Habits

As I wait out the COVUD-19 virus I gave thought to the many names that the State of Connecticut is known by. Among others the state is known as “The Constitution State”, “The Nutmeg State” and “The Land of Steady Habits”. These thoughts saved me from titling this blog something as insipid as “The Corona Chronicle”. My favorite is “The Nutmeg State”. Nutmegs are tropical and I know of no cultivation of them in the state. The origin comes from Connecticut traders in colonial times who became famous for carving wooden nutmegs and selling them as the real thing. Nutmeg was rare and pricey at the time. “The Constitution State” (as on our license plates) comes from the original charter of the State of Connecticut which was the first constitution in the British colonies.

Steady Habits, however, describes me during the long sequester. I am usually very schedule driven. With the gym closed, shops closed, friends sequestered and car projects limited, I have become a clockwork. I would describe my day but, anyone reading it would likely rather jump from the roof rather that finish the blog. I cannot describe future trips that have been planned. They have been canceled. I cannot attach interesting photos. It is always the same scene out my window. So I will expound on the virtues of Steady Habits.

Actually I am inspired by something Kelly Ripa wrote about things that are OK to do. Among other OK things to do, she mentioned that it is OK to serve the same meal to your family repeatedly and then serve them the leftovers. I cannot imagine the response in this family (I would be the absolute worst) but it is interesting to contemplate. Even dog Sheba doesn’t tolerate the same meal in this household.

Arise from bed, walk dog, make coffee, take a cup to Tina, make breakfast, check crap I listed on eBay, etc. etc. ad nauseam. But, this too shall pass. The virus will abate, people will go back to work, the gym will open. In all of this we will, I believe, have learned a lesson. Steady habits are a good thing. They bring order to life, they get you through the day. You know what you are going to do when you get out of bed. That thought in itself gets me out of bed.

Well, one photo is OK.

Greetings to all

I am going to do some maintenance on this site in the next few weeks. I plan to to delete some of the old stuff and freshen up the site a bit. I am using the excuse convenient excuse of COVID-19 to stay close to home and get caught up with some stuff.

I want to acknowledge to everyone that I am truly humbled by the number of people who follow this from all over the world, thank you.

“The best layed schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley”

I feel a closeness to Robert Burns, something I find hard to explain. I feel drawn to the unsophisticated wisdom and the beauty of the Scottish dialect. I find few that share this kinship outside of a few native Scotts.

These lines from “To a Mouse” could refer to all members of the Krueger clan this week.

Jim was all set to go to Vietnam as part of a Penn State journalism project. Trip was planned, tickets and visas arranged, project researched. He had arranged to meet Emma in Hi Chi Minh City during the visit. Emma’s travel was arranged and purchased. Then Coronavirus happened. Trip was cancelled two days before travel. I can understand Penn State but the cancellation is disappointing to all.

But things work out. Jim changed his plans and is visiting his friend, Will, who is going to Puget Sound University in Washington State. They plan to go to some of our old haunts in Skagit valley and visit other friends there.

Vietnam is pretty much on lockdown. Schools have been cancelled and are likely to stay closed through March. Emma is stuck with little to do and little cash flow. Plans are in limbo: will schools extend the year into summer or employ some other scheme?

Emma is traveling around Vietnam experiencing more of the country.

Tina and I are in Greenville, SC. We were in Greenville last year and thought it would be a great place to spend some time. The weather has been lousy, the Airbnb is not as expected (small, and a funky kitchen). Feeling a bit trapped in the Airbnb.

But today is beautiful, we have reservations to tour the BMW Factory in Spartanburg and we will be looking at some properties with the great agent we found here, Zane.

At the end of the Burns poem he laments that, being human, he is aware of the past and is aware of his inability to see the future. The mouse he feels is fortunate to live only in the present.

I believe somewhat different. The Krueger’s may have been thrown some curve balls but we are making the best of the situation. We are all counting our blessings.

Well, the cloud lingers – just heard that your realtor, Zane, has the flu. Probably not Coronavirus.

No free samples

Hiked the Swamp Rabbit Trail with friends who had moved to the area.

Kim and Tina

Bluffton SC

After Penn State Tina and I traveled to the small town of Bluffton, SC. Tina had heard about Bluffton while on our trip to Texas.

What a delightful community. We first visited Palmetto Bluff, a very high end community. Beautiful but it would be like living in a bubble. Movie types like John Travolta have a place here. This is where Justin Bieber was recently married. Not a bit snooty but residents are used to being pampered.

Old town Bluffton is really a delightful community, fun shops and great restaurants. A number of great chefs left the grand Palmetto Bluff to open local places. We met a couple chefs while eating in Bluffton, they had a common story; they wanted to start their own place but didn’t want to leave Bluffton.

We spent a day in Savannah. A lot of history, a very progressive atmosphere, an active young population and fun places and night life. Savannah is 20 minutes from Bluffton.

Today we then went to Hilton Head to try out the beach. Wow, delightful broad and white sand. Sheba had the best time, running and playing with other dogs.

At PSU

Tina and I are on our way to the Carolinas. Our plan is to spend a little time there to determine our appetite for a move to the South.

On the way we spent a couple days with Jim in State College, PA. Early in our relationship with Penn State, I learned that it is a custom to climb Mt Nittany. I have been promoting this excursion to Jim since he matriculated. On Sunday Jim and I and Tina did the trek.

I had set the expectations too high. I was expecting a panoramic view of the campus and the rest of Happy Valley. The experience did not meet the picture in my mind. The trail is well marked but not very well maintained. We were fortunate that it is winter and there are no leaves on the trees. That made it possible to see some of the campus. Quite a few people were also doing the hike. And, lots of dogs. This delighted Sheba, who also joined us. She could snarl at the other dogs and be a complete pest, much to her delight. She had more fun than anyone else.

But, we did complete the hike.

Last Day in AZ

Our time I Arizona is quickly coming to an end.

Tina and I took a yoga class at the Sedona resort before leaving town. We came back to Scottsdale and Tina did some shopping and we had lunch. We have unloaded our rental car and are currently lounging at a nice resort hotel before ubering to our hotel near the airport.

It has been a fun trip from beginning to end.

An observation is that businesses, municipalities and states have found ways to tack on fees and taxes to every transaction with an insatiable lust. Gouging the visitor is OK because you don’t have to answer to a voter. It’s ok but it seems unbecoming.

A Day on Sedona

Hiking is the big thing in Sedona. And, it is a beautiful place to hike. First, we hiked up a short canyon, Fay Canyon.

The scenery and the weather are delightful

We then went to the Chapel of the Holy Cross. After visiting the chapel we hiked the Chapel Trail.

Evidently Sedona is a New Age kind of place. There are a lot of places that sell crystals and give spiritual readings. I heard people talking about a spiritual vortex. Being a committed Calvinist, I believe they may have been experiencing the result of a questionable choice at a Mexican Restaurant.

On Our Own

We started our first day on our own with a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West. It is truly an amazing place. Unfortunately, we had a marginal tour guide. We learned more about her than we did about Wright.

Taliesin is a beautiful place in a beautiful setting.

Taliesin

Unlike Falling Water, you can actually set in the Wright designed chairs. This will likely change soon.

I noticed an Indian basket on a shelf that is identical to one we have from my mother’s collection. We use it as a place to dump mail.

Frank doesn’t dump mail in his

After leaving Scottsdale we spent the evening with my cousin in Buckeye. Seeing Pat was great, I had not seen her in years. We had dinner at one golf club and breakfast at another.

In the morning we traveled to Sedona. First impressions were pretty negative. Anticipating rugged unspoiled beauty, we found ourselves in a typical tourist trap. My tourist trap barometer is fudge shops. It reminded me of going to Lake George, NY in the summer.

After a great lunch at a really nice Mexican Restaurant, a short hike in the foothills and finding our hotel much nicer than anticipated, I am dialing back my negative thoughts.

The landscape is beautiful.

The thing that has amazed me most on our first day in Sedona is the dog menu at the restaurant we went to for dinner, incredible. If I go again I want to order from the doggie menu. However, my shrimp and grits were great.

Is steak tartar for a dog decadent?

I believe my impression of Sedona is changing.

Second Day

This, as well, will be a short post. Completed the second day. Long and intense but, very enlightening as to the fundamental investment process. Greg, our coach, is on his way to Atlanta to meet his family. Tina and I are going to crash. One photo.

Unfortunately this photo does not capture the reproduction of the Bernini David.

This one is in bronze where the original is marble. I was taken by the difference between this and the Michelangelo David. This guy is really mad.