Raised in rural east-central Illinois, I appreciate nature and the environment. I'm a father, grandfather, professional engineer, leader, researcher, coach, scouts leader, stoic, minimalist, costumer, historian, traveler, and writer.
By the Campfire
The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window. The robbers approached cautiously. It had been a long march through the woods after they escaped with the money. No movement. No sound except water dripping from the eaves and the leaves of nearby trees. They checked the windows before they crept closer to the door. Bill opened the door slowly and peered in. Seeing nothing, he moved back slowly then pushed the door open quickly. Stillness. Nothing moved. There were no tracks in the soft ground near any of the windows or the door from whoever had lit the candle. Another storm approached. Lightning flashed. Thunder boomed. The rain would erase their tracks, so whoever followed them would lose their trail soon. The cabin was empty. Whoever lit the candle was nowhere to be seen. They decided to take shelter in the cabin for the night.
Chapter 1 There weren't always dragons in the Valley. Enchantress Selene had inhabited the realm known as Valley long before the arrival of dragons. Her invitation to enter Valley had been accepted by the elder dragons, Mysteris and Cymru, on behalf of their thunder.
Route 66 still has Kicks!
Featured in the John Steinbeck classic "The Grapes of Wrath", the Dust Bowl era was a time of major migration to the west. Steinbeck dubbed Route 66 "The Mother Road" and the nickname stuck. It is a wonderful escape that takes the traveler to many times and places. For automobile buffs and history buffs, Route 66 is a must-travel, bucket list item. I bought the shirt pictured below during one of my relaxing drives across the country. The section of Route 66 between Kingman and Oatman, Arizona, known as the Arizona Sidewinder is exhilarating. Before I get farther ahead of myself along the route here, I'll backtrack to the beginning in my home state of Illinois.
Sustainability, completeness of concepts, and Glasgow
Sustainability. CO2 emissions reduction and CO2 removal are of utmost importance and absolutely necessary. However, as professionals, we must be truthful with society and acknowledge that battery EV, solar, and wind alternatives involve Extraction and end-of-life Landfill and Storage of materials, which is not sustainable.
The faded green rowboat slowly glided across the still water of Pirate Bird lake during a misty early morning fog. Ripples slowly danced across the water's surface in a triangular formation and disappeared into the darkness. The silence was only broken by the muted clunks of wet wooden oars moving in oarlock sockets wrapped in linen and the soft sound of paddle ends skillfully dipped into the water in steady repetition.
Sounds for Samhain
It's the greatest time of year again! Autumn, the season that brings us Samhain, later dubbed Hallowe'en and Halloween. The Celtic origins of Halloween are not often studied or discussed by the masses, but it is important and interesting history. Delving into the topic and celebrating the part of my ancestry traced back to the Irish and Celts, I decided to share some fun things including favorite witches and vampires and items of information that will, hopefully, encourage and inspire readers to study Celtic and Irish history as well as the history of ancient peoples who lived in western Europe and originated traditions people take for granted and only recognize as commercialized party days today.
You will never guess how I spent spring break of my senior year in college. What's your best guess? Partying in Cancun? South Padre Island? Miami Beach? A volunteer project? Squeezing in a special-instruction course? Hanging out and relaxing back home? Hiking in the mountains? Graduation party planning?