The Future Looks Bright

There appears to be a great deal of pessimism in the media. This view is reinforced by the peculiarities of the CORONA 19 epidemic. I do not want to minimize the current situation. People are ill, some are passing, in some places the healthcare industry is being challenged, the economy is sputtering. Everyone is acutely aware of all this. Literally, everyone on earth is aware of the epidemic. The media seems to paint a pretty dark picture of the situation and the prospects for the future. One reason I have been avoiding news broadcasts. Factoid – Bad News Sells. Wednesday, Tina and I participated in a weekly market review that our financial gut, Greg, has been putting on during the sequester. One statistic Greg presented is that neutral news has a neutral response from listeners, positive news a negative response and negative news a positive response. So, to sell ad time make it as negative as possible.

Last evening our son, Jim, had a gathering of his buddies from Suffield Academy. All had gone off to college and most were graduating. They came from all over; Bentley, Penn State, Hartford, Skidmore, and Puget Sound. They cooked and ate, had a bonfire and camped in tents. Yes, they did practice social distancing – well, for the most part. what a remarkable and capable group of men. Would I say that they have it all figured out, no. But these guys will definitely figure it out.

All Those That Serve

I was recently impressed by an article that suggested that individuals that work in grocery stores should be considered “First Responders”. I truly believe that these people who go to work every day stocking shelves, registering our purchases and doing the hundred other things associated with our food chain should be recognized. However, it should not stop there. The postman, the refuse collector, the pharmacist, the pizza maker and all the hundreds of others that are making our existence bearable in these peculiar times.

And, I am in favor of our government going beyond recognition and arranging for financial support of small business. However, I am totally disgusted by the news that large hedge funds are going after the money. Not by the small few individual hedge funds that eke out an existence but the big guys with lots of resources. I am also disheartened by those small “Mom and Pop” outfits that do not have the wherewithal to maneuver the quagmire of government minutia to get access the the resources available.

What called this to mind is a speech made by General George Patton during World War II. Not the sanitized version made by the actor George Scott at the beginning of the movie “Patton” but, the actual one. In it Patton made a point of recognizing the truck drivers who went well beyond the normal call of duty, the telegraph repairman making repairs under fire and others. Having recently read a transcript of the speech, I would not recommend it to those of a sensitive demeanor, Patton could be a bit crass. He once said that if you have something to say, say it loud and dirty, that way it will be remembered. (This manner should not be tried at home)

I should point out why I am drawn to Patton. The superintendent of my High School was General Hobart Gay. General Gay had been an aide to Patton during World War II and was in the staff car when Patton was killed. Gay always carried a riding crop that was given to him by Patton.

So, all of those that have a role to play should be recognized. And, all of us should do our parts.

Not many pictures to add. Just one of two desperados who look like they are on their way to hold up a convenience store.

Forget the cash, hand over the toilet paper!

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.