Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015: One Great Loss and Many Great Victories

I've made it my tradition to reflect on this blog at the end/beginning of each year.  This year stands out as one of the defining years of my life.  A second great loss in a short time blew away my last layers of denial, forcing me to embrace life for what it is: brief and all there is, for mortals as we all are.

My brother Robert died in January.  His death was sudden and unexpected.  He left behind a wife and two children.  My brother and I were never good friends, but we reached a point of truce a few years before his life ended.  Our personalities and dispositions were such that the two of us would never have become good friends, but I loved him as a brother and his loss overwhelmed me.  Seeing him in his coffin, I was overcome with a wave of sadness so great I broke down completely and cried a river.  I did not expect tor react that way.  I planned on being as stoic as I could muster, but failed.  The grief was greater than my will.

A little more than a year before, I lost my father.  Between my father and brother, our cat died as well.  Many friends have passed as well.  The writing is on the wall.  I too could go at any time and what can I say of all of the things I wished to do in this life?  I decided to act.  I drew up a bucket list and off I went.

I have always wanted to stand on the Arctic Ocean, so I flew to Barrow, Alaska and walked onto the Arctic Ocean.  I wore my father's boots.  I knew it was something he too would want to do, so I took his boots with me.

Iceland has long been on my bucket list too, this and combined with the possibility of liberating a friend from a regime in a Middle Eastern country that keeps her from her freedom, I went to Iceland, both to see the country and to help her escape if she was able to meet me there.  She messaged me while I was on the bus from the airport.  It would not be this time.  I cried a little, but knew that I would be able to help her another time.  I went on to enjoy Iceland and my friends there.

My daughter's graduation (another huge accomplishment for a single father) altered my travel plans and I split Iceland into two visits, one in May and one in June.  For the June trip, I ticked off another bucket list item: to visit Greenland.  I flew to Greenland from Iceland.  While in Greenland, I ticked off another bucket list item: to journey by dogsled.  Sure, it was only a 1/2 hour ride on the dogsled, but it was to be my airport shuttle, and I am satisfied with that experience.

Back in Iceland I visited about half of the country, renting a car.  I also stayed at a friend's farm for a few days.

I went to Alaska again.

The next trip was to Rome and Sardinia.  Rome and various Roman ruins were on my bucket list, so I visited them too.  In Sardinia, I visited two groups of friends: one group from Sardinia and another from Catalonia.  While in Sardinia, I went by sea to Corsica and back.

Next I went to Las Vegas.  No, Las Vegas was not on my bucket list, but I went to see a favorite musician perform, Natalia Lafourcade.  While there, I went to the Latin Grammy Awards, seeing many of my other favorite musicians.

I also went to Miami Beach, a place I consider one of my many homes.

Finally, I ended the year off by visiting a friend in Arkansas.

My plans for this new year are just as special, as you will learn in time.

I have plenty of photos to share, but I'm on the road right now.  I will edit this post later.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Miami is as beautiful as ever

I've been visiting Miami for 30 years now.  I still love Miami Beach.  Here are a few pictures I took this weekend.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

I had an idiot boss in Stowe that couldn't understand this

At a previous job I had an idiot boss that could not fathom that some workers cannot stand distractions like loud gum chewing, conversations, dogs making whining sounds, and so on.  I worked in an open office space and he refused to recognize that two of us (one being myself) cannot work with this irritations.  This doesn't surprise me because he was not creative and he was under qualified for his position.  Here is a good article about those of us that cannot function in such an environment.

Science Has Announced That People Who Hate the Sound of Chewing Have a Special Quality 


Just to make it clear, when they drill a hole into the Earth's crust in the Indian Ocean, in an attempt to reach the Earth's mantel, should the result be the birth of a volcano large enough to form an island, I, Stephen DeVoy, hereby claim that island as my own. As best I know, I am the first to make this claim. I shall name it Steveland. It will be all mine. Clear?

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Life is Good

I saw her in concert and then at the Gammy Awards.  :)

She sang this one in the concert, one of my favorites...