2016 Year in review

2016 has been a year that I've neglected posting a lot.

While I've had no real personal hardships this year,  it's been a bad year due to losing a couple of aunts, one on my Dad's side and one on my Mama's side. Friends and family members have experienced challenges with the recent flood and all the hardships associated with that and the rebuilding.  Not all has been negative; I've met some new friends and renewed some older friendships.

My travels have been mostly in the central part of the US this year and did not even get near California or Hawaii, let alone Alaska or Florida.  I've spent time west of the Mississippi in Texas, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa.  I've also spent quite a bit of time in Tennessee, North Carolina, Ohio, Iowa and Nebraska as well as working in Baton Rouge.

A lot of the time taking pictures of bugs, waterfalls, moons, sunsets and sunrises, all of which border on an obsession.

Here's a few shots.

I saw the beginning of the year in southern Kansas.

 Not looking at my appointment calendar, I don't exactly remember the order where I was located.  The three or four Texas assignments were usually very quick and my bags never really got unpacked.  North Carolina and Tennessee took up nearly half of the year.

While working in Madison, NC, my wife flew up to visit me in lieu of me coming home.  Maybe I should clarify that...she actually stayed with our friend nearby near Sugar Mountain.  There are tons of things to see, hikes to take and scenery you have always dreamed of.

 Although I worked in North Carolina for nearly 3 months, I took a one week motorcycle vacation ride up to Tennessee and North Carolina, with my friend Louis, visiting places like Chattanooga, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Cherokee, Maggie Valley and the Mecca of motorcycling in that area, Deals Gap or the Tail of the Dragon.

You'd think I had enough of that trip but as soon as Louis and I returned, Darlene and I loaded up in the car and took virtually the same trip with a few variations, the biggest part of the time in or around Banner Elk, North Carolina admiring the fall colors and mountain streams.

I also found myself visiting Ohio a couple of times, dodging a few Amish on some side roads and being there for a super moon.

My working year ended with a trip in nearby Nebraska where I imagined a stalker and got into a little bit of snow.

May you each be blessed with a happy and prosperous new year.


Stalker in Omaha

As a traveling sort of guy, I'm always cognizant about possible dangers in the various areas I visit. Danger is not always apparent and can come as a surprise.  I have friends who have had personal effects stolen out of their vehicles while they were fueling up a rental car. 

So, it's just my second nature these days to often drive around an office building or hotel just to see what may be in the dark shadows or even in the daylight.

This morning as I was leaving my hotel, I was headed to my car and looked out to see this guy standing beside a truck next to my own car just staring up at the hotel building. I was a bit hesitant to go near him because he wasn't moving.  He just stood there holding what I thought was a coffee mug.

With him between the truck and my car he was going to have move if I approached near the front of the car. Also, that would make me vulnerable for a robbery or a mugging.   My other option would be to come from the rear where there would be more walking room.

My mind flew through possible situations and how to handle this so in a few moments I decided, "Well, I've got to make the best of it" and walked toward the front which would cause him to either move out of the way or expose his intentions.

As I drew nearer, it was then that I realized it was merely a decal on the side of the truck.

At that time, I realized it was time for an appointment with the ophthalmologist.