Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Power Failure

Here’s a pic of folks in Delhi, India waiting for trains that won’t be coming. A half a billion people are without power in India. That’s five hundred million people! In addition to a lack trains, there is no temperature control and no water. India is extremely hot and these folks are really suffering. A few years ago, when much of the eastern seaboard lost power, I was living in Toledo, which was just on the border of power loss. My apartment was only out for a couple hours, but Butch’s house, just across the Michigan line was out for nearly a day. Metro Detroit, however, was a mess; there was a mass exodus from the city when the automakers shut down and residents left the metro area just looking for working gas pumps. It’s amazing the things we take for granted . . . Someday, I want to spend a week without electricity. I don’t mean living off the grid (although creating my own energy is an exciting thought), but actually using no power. Cooking over fire, heating my bath water, etc. I’d have to be off work, of course, but someday I’m going to try it. Ironically, I’ll probably blog about it after the fact . . .

Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer Music

Toledo has a plethora of open-air concert venues for summer listening and I've been having a great time this season. There are freebie concerts weekly at two different city parks. Here's a shot of a steel drum band in Walbridge Park. Even bigger news locally is that the Glass City's iconic "Music Under the Stars" has returned after a 1-year hiatus. This is the weekly summer offering by the Toledo Symphony, held in the beautiful clamshell amphitheater at the Toledo Zoo with no cover charge. The city is thrilled to have these concerts back. There's nothing like great music with friends and a warm summer breeze.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Recreation Center

This summer, I’ve been hitting the rec center for a ½ mile swim every morning before work. An unexpected pleasure in this is being able to get out of the house within 15 minutes of waking. I literally can put on a bathing suit and yoga pants and head out the door. (And only once did I finish my swim to realize that I didn’t have clothes to wear to work!) I’m really lucky to have at my disposal three recreation centers through my job. I go to the one closest to work. At opening time, only the die-hards are waiting for the door to be unlocked. The pool is all lap lanes; there’s no room for splashing and playing, so you’d better be serious about your swimming to enter. The natatorium is pretty quiet in the morning. The wall that isn’t visible in this picture is floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the center’s lawn, so the morning light streams into the pool area. The swimmers don’t talk to each other in the pool; we’re all swimming constantly. I have made a few friends in the locker room, though. A couple of retired faculty ladies come in every Tuesday and Thursday. Their names are Marie and Ruth and everyone there seems to know them. I recently learned that Marie has blood cancer and is undergoing chemo and occasional transfusions. And she’s 84, although she looks 20 years younger. Despite her age and health challenges, she drives her friend in at the crack of dawn for a swim twice a week . . . I find her so inspiring. And Ruth, her friend? Well, she’s perfectly healthy and very friendly. She doesn’t usually swim as long as Marie does; she’s got to get out to the lobby where her fans are waiting. Everyone loves seeing Ruth, just because she shows up twice a week. Ruth, you see, is 96. Ninety-six years old! I can’t believe how close that is to 100!!

Monday, July 9, 2012


It's been too hot here to do anything but go to the lake and swim or kayak. So, I strapped the 'yak on the car and went north, as all Michiganians do on weekends in the summer. Lake Huron is as beautiful as ever and it was great to be able to toss the kayak into any little lake I found. It finally dropped back down to normal temps yesterday, so I decided to play racquetball. But, I had to hack into the ball container; it seems that it had melted in the car!!