31 August 2020

The Parking Mysteries of Old Alexandria

The weather has taken a lovely turn here finally, low 80's for a high and much lower humidity.  Yesterday, I drove into Old Town to park and take a walk down King St. and along the river.  Parking... aye, there's the rub.  It was the weekend, so after a decent search I found the free 2 hour spaces were all occupied, so I resolved to spend a couple bucks and park on the Pay & Display streets.  I did, and the nearest ticket machine was 3 blocks away.  Not bad; I was there for a walk anyway.  At the machine I happened to glance at the parking sign on the street and it indicated there was no fee on Sunday.  Drat, I should have looked more closely at the sign where I'd parked--I really didn't look at it beyond noting where the nearest ticket machine was.  So I hauled back to the car, whereupon I discovered that the street I'd parked on was pay after 11:00 am on Sundays.  I was annoyed and decided to park elsewhere, preferably on a street parallel to the one that did not require payment on Sunday.  I found a space, actually better than the previous one, and got out of the car set to go for my walk.  I then noticed that that block too was pay Sundays after 11:00.  So I went to the ticket machine--now only half a block away--put in my credit card only to receive the message "no payment required."  Huh???  The sign said I had to pay, but the payment machine told me I didn't, and indeed couldn't if I tried.  At that point, I left it in the hands of the gods and trotted off.  Happily, there was no ticket on the car when I returned.  My guess is they gave up enforcement on Sundays as some sort of result from the pandemic.  I did email an inquiry to the city today on this.  Meanwhile, I succeeded in brushing off my parallel parking skills, which is always a good thing.

My thanks to AH for suggesting this topic.

28 August 2020

More Flowers

 This week's bouquet offers something of the unusual.  Enjoy!

27 August 2020


Today is My Sweetie's birthday!
 Where would I ever be without him...

26 August 2020

Bob's University

Here, Little Bob is delivering a lecture on "Travel as Essential to the Cultural Development of Today's Cosmopolitan Penguin."  You see that he has invited a guest speaker as well, Connor the little Irish sheep.

You may notice standing in the back Ominous, the scary little blackbird.  He's a grad student at Bob's University of Advanced Penguinity & Comparative Avian Studies, of which Little Bob serves as vice-chancellor and chair of the Dept. of French and Francophone Studies.  Indeed, LB is quite well known in France.  Below is a pic of him being introduced to the press corps at the Elysée Palace (look carefully; he's not very tall you know).

Here is an official portrait of Bob himself in his regalia as Arch-Chancellor and Rector Magnificus of the university.

25 August 2020


I'm an ardent vexillologist (happily you can't get arrested for that in Va)... which simply means I study and collect flags.  I have since high school, loooooooong before Sheldon on "Big Bang Theory."  It's really quite fascinating, and my particular interest is heraldic vexillology, i.e., flags taken from coats of arms, etc.  I recently found a new source for my collection, French but you can get them on Amazon.  You may recall, I do not really have hobbies, I have serial obsessions.  Below are some of my most recent acquisitions.

l to r: Dept. of the Rhone (France), Dept. of the Ardèche (France), Parma-Piacenza (Italy), Brittany (old), Friuli-Venezia Julia (Italy), French naval galley, French royal navy (restoration)

l to r: French royal, flag of Oswain Glyndwr (Welsh), English royal (16th cent.), Napoleonic imperial banner, Austria-Hungary (naval), Holy Roman Emperor   

24 August 2020

It's Monday...

 ... time to start battling those pesky little demons again!

23 August 2020

Alexandria Cemetery

Finally got a round to visiting the old Alexandria cemetery.  Quite interesting, and it was a lovely day for a stroll.  In addition to the city cemetery there is a national cemetery on the premises. Below are various worthy photos, some with commentary.  Enjoy... if that's the right word.


 Few condos in Alexandria can boast such spectacular graveside views.

In Alexandria, everyone knows where the Boddies are buried.

It's not unusual for a town to have a Jewish cemetery and a Catholic cemetery, but Alexandria is even more discriminating when it comes to burial.


 Alexandrians also believe in honoring their physicians.


22 August 2020

As You Like It

 Despite it all, enjoy you're weekend in whatever way you fancy!

20 August 2020

19 August 2020

Uncle Joe


Stalin was kinda cute in his younger days.  I probably would have dated him.
Heaven knows I dated worse...

18 August 2020

Gott Erhalte Unser Kaiser!

 Today is the birthday of His All-Highest and Apostolic Majesty emperor Franz-Joseph.
Celebrate accordingly!



17 August 2020

Travel in the Plague Year

Howdy folk!  We're back from a little socially distant, carefully disinfected sojourn to Lexington and Cleveland.  The occasion was my brothers' birthday: born on August 14th, 5 years apart.  This one was special since my oldest brother turned 80 and the middle brother 75.  (The gentle reader is kindly advised that I am very much younger than my brothers.)  Since we were headed west, AH decided to replenish his supplies of high-end bourbon in KY.  So we stopped there first, which presented the opportunity to have dinner with my lovely and beloved former dept. chair and her equally enchanting husband.  In general, the weather was good and a welcome change from sweltering NoVa.  Upon crossing the state line into KY, I asked David what the temp was. I remarked that I was surprised that it was fairly pleasant, since Hell was freezing over right at that moment.  I was pleased that I experienced no ill symptoms upon my brief return, but 24 hours was plenty long enough.  From there we headed north to my beloved ancestral homeland.  Highlight there, aside from seeing my brothers, was a very pleasant trip to Chagrin Falls, a town next to the one I grew up in.  Happily, the people we saw in WVa and OH were quite conscientious re masks, and we saw more Biden signs than Trump signs.  All in all, it was much more diverting than I was anticipating.  Here's what Chagrin Falls looks like: