For the Record…

… I’m not evil — no matter what some people who don’t know me, or haven’t even MET me think…

I’m just a normal chick — I have good days and bad days.  I laugh, cry and sometimes snort just like everyone else.

I do have a Ph.D. in Philosophy, and I have a job as a philosopher… it pays the bills, it’s fun and I like it — it keeps me thinking.  It gives me time to do other things and it lets me make a difference in the world of some hardworking students every semester.

I worked dammed hard to finish my dissertation — and I’m proud to be a Ph.d. — if you can’t handle that, I’m sorry for you.  I don’t think it makes me any better or worse of a person, just that I’ve made different educational / career choices than other folks.  I completely respect folks who have done trade school, 4 year schools or the school of hard knocks — however you got to be where you are is good for me.

I have faults and flaws like anybody else, but compared to some folks, I’m pretty nifty.  I have bad habits — I sometimes jump to conclusions, I leave my shoes in the middle of the hall and I don’t always load the dishwasher right away.  I’m not into drugs, guns, gamboling or video games or country music — so I don’t think my flaws are fatal.

I will say that I’m better than some folks in one regard — I don’t make judgements, decisions or conclusions about people I don’t know.  I also try not to spread my negative judgments, decisions or conclusions about people around — if I have a problem with someone I either try to sort it out or I simply pretend they don’t exist and ignore them.  I also try not to make life uncomfortable for the people who love the people I don’t like… but, then again, that’s just me.

I also think that if you need to hate on someone you don’t know in order to improve your own life, then — use me as a target — I’m a mature person who can handle it… and if it works for you, then fine… I really don’t care.


RBO… how to know you’ve had fun in the woods..

We really wanted to see a Sasquach… of course, if we did — we’d be so freaked out that we’d be unable to get a photograph…

Instead — I can tell just by sitting at my desk that I’ve had fun in the woods with Andy and Max…

  • I’m tired — we tend not to sleep a lot when we’re having fun.  Double that if we don’t plan to take star photos and the danged stars come out anyway  :).
  • I have a funky tan — mostly arms and face… my legs are still white.
  • My feet are dirty..
  • I have great body in my hair — due to bug spray… the north woods styling tool of choice this weekend.
  • I have more than 5 mosquito bites on each limb.
  • I have memories of fun by the lake, bonfires and lying on my back looking for shooting stars while the camera takes photos…

Yep — a great weekend… we’ll do it agin soon, I hope.


15 trips… and counting…

As you must know by now, Andy and I are amazing travel companions….I think it’s pretty amazing that we’re able to travel so well together.  We don’t get cranky with one another — we tend to like to eat the same food, drink the same beverages etc… so we can share well.  We even have small rituals about where our drinks go in the cup holders of my Toyota… (driver’s drink in front, Duhhhh!).  Many of our travel tales will never be told here, but at least I can tell you where we went…
August 2010:  2, Isabella
September 2010:  1 Isabella
October 2010:  3 Isabella, Madison WI, Duluth
December 2010:  1 Duluth
January 2011:  1 Isabella
February 2011:  none — huge shock..
March 2011: 1, Colorado
April 2011: 2, Isabella
May 2011:  2, Isabella
June 2011 2, Isabella, Madison
Our summer vacation plans have yet to be finalized — so we’ll see what the summer holds!


The photos that got away






(space left intentionally blank for the photos that got away).

The Leftyconcarne crew is in Isabella on a spur of the moment trip…  Only SuperMom would welcome us at 4:00 AM — with only a few hours notice of our barging in and taking over her place… just one of the many reasons SuperMom is the best!!

Anyway, the purpose of the trip — like many other trips — is to take photos.

On the way up, it was too cloudy for star photos.

Yesterday, about 11 AM we headed for a local state park that was supposed to have a water fall, which we never found.  The light itself was too harsh for good photos — so we got the fixings for dinner and headed for home…

…. when we saw a beautiful young deer standing up to his chest in the ditch grass.  Andy whips a U and just as he got close enough to photograph the beautiful thing it bounded off into the woods.

So, we went home, made dinnner, had naps and hung with SuperMom until it was time for our evening’s activities — a fire and star photos.

As we arrived at Flathorn lake, a couple barreled up behind us in a truck — and then we noticed a HUGE and slow moving turtle.

Andy and Max grabbed cameras and documented the turtle’s trip back to the lake, or so they thought.

Turns out the memory cards for both cameras were still at SuperMom’s.  Ouch, just when I thought there was some wildlife that wasn’t going to run away from Andy, a technical problem…

After a quick trip home to pick up the cards, we tried some star photos… which didn’t turn out.  Sigh…

The whole day reminded me that this photography stuff is half about getting a cool shot and half about going out and enjoying the world… at least we got the second part right yesterday.

Obama on Afghanistan…

Sometimes, just sometimes it’s thrilling to write just war theory…

In my dissertation I make an argument that says that it’s the duty of the “host” nation for a war to take control after the war, or to cede control until things are repaired.

I also noted that it may be the case that troops may need to be pulled out when they are no longer serving the purpose — or are interfering in the development / recovery of the “host” nation.

It seems that is exactly what Obama announced, using my reasoning, about Afghanistan… hmmmm….

For the record, I kinda doubt his advisers have read it — but, if they’d like to — here’s the link to my dissertation — read away…

The Wet Lady…

I should start by saying this is a photo from the interwebs — not our day today…

On the way home from dropping off Terra in her college town, we did the right thing…

As we drove in a hard rain up a steep and curvy hill outside of college town, we saw a woman standing at the side of the road waving her arms.  Andy immediately stopped the car, got turned around (not an easy thing..) and went back to see what she needed.

It turns out her car hydroplaned, ending up down a steep embankment and she needed some help… so we helped her.  She wasn’t hurt and nobody was in the car with her — so there was no need to call SuperMom (the phone a nurse in our family).

We went to the top of the hill, called 911 — and she used our phone to call her husband.  We sat in the car as she stopped shaking and eventually the rain stopped, so we waited outside for the State Patrol and her husband to come take care of things.

It didn’t take us long and we were on our way — happy to help when we could.

One of the virtues, according to W.D. Ross, is “beneficence”  — which is defined as doing good things when you can.  Today, we practiced that virtue.

I do have to wonder what the folks who drove by her waving her hands thought…  maybe they were practicing other virtues, or just too busy to stop and help a woman standing by the side of the road in the pouring rain waving her arms.  I’m glad we weren’t too busy to help her out.

Father’s Day…


My Dad died 29 years ago — so it’s been a long time since I’ve wanted to make a big deal about Father’s day.

As I’ve said many times before, Andy’s a great dad — he’s not one of those Ward Cleaver kinds of dads (i.e. a work-a-holic who would rather go to the office than be with his kids) — rather, he knows that the real way to have a relaitonship with his kids is to spend time with them, doing things they both enjoy.

Andy also told me a while back that he doesn’t make a big deal about Father’s day — For the record, he said the same thing about his birthday and enjoyed the attention he got… so there :).

I decided he needed a good Father’s Day surprise.  I also knew that he missed spending time with his 19 year old daughter Terra, so I figured it would be fun to surprise him.

This morning I got up early — (if you read the last post, you’ll know that we spent the evening on the deck –so it wasn’t easy to get up!) — and I drove down to Terra’s college town to get her.

The original plan was to suggest a casual coffee — and show up with Terra.  I figured this would be a fun and easy way to surprise my BFF… then PLANS got made for a family thing — for 2:00 — no sweat, plenty of time for a round trip to college town and a fun surprise for Andy…

Then the PLANS got moved to noon — which made things a bit tigher… but still possible.

So, I got up — drove down — got her and was on the way up when I got the first text from Andy… something like, “where are you” — I had Terra answer something vague… I was busy speeding back from college town…

Later, I got “is everything ok”? — and then directions to the location of the PLANS… 

Eventually, we arrived — about 30 minutes late — and Andy really was surprised to see her — turns out he had no idea… just as it should be.  We had a good meal, some casual family time with Andyfamily — and then we hit an art fair for a while before we picked up Max.

Our gift to Andy was (of course) a photo album.   Since I can’t afford big glass — what else do you get a photographer but a photo album about half filled up…

I printed some of my favorite photos he’s taken — ones that remind me of good times this year — and plenty of photos of Max and Terra.  Terra added both artistic and older family photos — and we put it all together for him… The nice thing is that there’s plenty of room in the back to add more photos as the years go along…

So — Happy Father’s Day Andy!!!  You deserve every ounce of love and effort we put into your surprises.