Posted:     Dec 20, 2017

Well, this is a bit peculiar – the classic “opening the mailbag” skit.  As you know I don’t have a conventional social media “open discussion” focus. I write stuff down, people read it,  and if anyone wants to get in touch with me they send me an email at

I respond to every email and quite frankly there is not a flood of them. The ones that fall into groups, however (everyone asking the same question or making the same comment) I think deserve a response so here goes. In each case, I have summarized or restated the question or concern and then my response follows.

  1. Django, love the site but you need to get a bit of an intro to how this came together.

Well, your right of course. So you can now see a section called ABOUT where I spend a bit of time explaining the whole thing and the home page directs people to read that before moving on.

  1. Measurements – why so many variations?

That’s an easy one. You may be sitting in Kalamazoo, Michigan where you use inches, miles per hour and drink beer by the gallon, but you might also be in Gstaad Switzerland, measuring your cheese in grams, measuring your speed in kilometers per hour, etc. So I am just trying to please everyone. When I was a kid in Canada we used imperial but then Canada changed to metric, and because I have spent so much of my time traveling around you kind of get used to just converting a lot. But the reality is that virtually the entire world is Metric. The only three exceptions are Burma, Liberia and the United States. So everything appears in metric first and with the conversion for the American readers in brackets. By the way – I would love to hear from a reader or two in Burma or Liberia!

  1. You have traveled a lot – where do you see as “home”?

Ah, a tough one. As I spent my growing up years in Canada that will always be part of my identity and I think I self identify as Canadian most of the time. But increasingly I see myself in the more generic European category, which I realize makes most people from a country in the EU cringe. A Frenchman is no more European than a German is. Most people from a European country really see that as a bit of a watered-down term and a diminishment of their own identity but for me, I certainly feel “at home” in most countries in Europe.

As I get older I am also thinking of it more broadly in terms of what surrounds me. If I am with friends in a nice place doing something I enjoy – I am home.

  1. Djangos kitchen rules – where did that come from?

I am not a kid and have spent a lot of my life cooking stuff. Not as a master chef, and much of it has been functional cooking, not artistic cooking, and some of it in private kitchens and some of it in cruise ships “food factories”. You cant kick around food as long as I have without some universal truths or axioms showing up. My kitchen rules are just those things that for people who have spent a lot of time in the kitchen just say – “dah – that’s self-evident” but for readers who are younger or older ones who just haven’t spent a lot of time cooking, I think the rules are a useful tool.

  1. I have come to like your quirky website but man you don’t update it much!

Yes, you are absolutely right. When Jim got me onto this idea of the website I was pretty skeptical but have come to like doing it. It also came about at the same time I was in a bad state of mind, the boat was in a bad state of disrepair and I was just starting to experience the joy of my neurological problems. So we (Jim) scrambled to get the site going, and I worked on some content but Jim had me pretty aggressively moving from the boat being my home and liability to my job and an asset. From that first meeting to today everything has turned around for me but it has been a lot of work to get the boat in reasonable shape, and then to make repairs, and improvements while taking guests. So I am not offering this as an excuse but more as an explanation. In the next year (2018) I will be back to at least four entries a year but hope to do more and by 2019 I hope to be up to about an entry every six weeks. Stay tuned!

  1. Lots of writing – not a lot of pictures – we need to see what you are talking about!

Yes, I am guilty of that one too. In trying to get this website going I have been pretty focused on “putting it down” and not on fleshing it out with images. That is in part because some of the older stuff I don’t have a lot of great images but for the semi-recent past and current times, yes, in today’s world it is inexcusable to not have more images.

So over the next year, I am going to track some images down and put them into some of the older posts and as I do new posts make sure there are images in. There will be some that I will have to crop extensively or otherwise modify as the identity of Walter, Sven, Alison, Justin I really cant display. En Plein Air is also a bit problematic to show the whole boat as we still function largely below the radar, but I can certainly show some images that don’t capture her in her entirety. I have shown one image of her that is a bit doctored up (changed a few little elements) in the post En Plein Air: Life with Amy and Justin.


So what’s in store for next year? I don’t really have a good fix on it, but I have been learning to set some goals and work toward the future I want.  Most of my life as just sort of evolved and I am getting better at taking control of it, and I think Jim is learning to let go of it.  Stay tuned…. and see you on the other side.


Using The Past To Manage The Future