Winter Morning Music

red and orange solar flare
Photo by Pixabay on

Standing under a heater vent blowing 70-degree air on me, I still get goosebumps listening to Ed Sheeran singing “I See Fire” from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Haunting and stirring at the same time.

Stephen King quits Facebook over concerns of ‘false information’ – CNN

Stephen King has quit Facebook after voicing concerns about false information and privacy.

Source: Stephen King quits Facebook over concerns of ‘false information’ – CNN

Welcome, Stephen, to the ranks of those of us who have liberated ourselves from the 2.3 billion-strong herd of Facebook users. I left a year-and-a-half ago, and I have been happier and more productive for it.

Service Break

Scouts and leaders from Troops 234 and 1234 take a lunch break after serving lunch at the California Veterans Home in Ventura.

Note Aaron not eating. Neither did I. We were tempted, to be sure, but needed to stick with the discipline.

The veterans were fantastic, and it was an honor to be invited back this year to spend the day with these heroes.

May SCRIBEdelivery

What I love about my notebook-fetish subscription box is that each month I get to try out notebooks and writing implements that I would either never find otherwise or would never think to buy. But the biggest advantage is that I have made some really cool discoveries about my writing in the process.

The medium is important.

On Sabbatical Minus 25: Reuters Explains It For Me

Well, they have got nothing on Hadas Streit.The senior vice president at the global public relations firm Allison + Partners recently returned from a one-month paid sabbatical, awarded to staffers after only five years at the company. During that time, she rented a house in Cape Cod for a couple of weeks.Streit, who is based in New York, swears she did not check her work email once.

Source: In a tight labor market, companies bet big on five-year rewards | Reuters

So my colleauge Hadas Streit just finished her sabbatical and was featured in a Reuters article about our program.

Thirty-one days. No Email.

I am so ready. Like Hadas, I think this will be my first real time off in two decades.

Shmancy Town

Working with a view from the 20th floor of the JW Marriott in Beijing. The view is gorgeous, the service is impeccable, the coffee superb. That’s the Huamao Centre in the middle, the Ritz-Carlton to the right, and China Central Place in the middle. It is a lovely area, a living testament to how far China generally and Beijing specifically have come in their evolution, (especially as most of the patrons of all of these places are Chinese now, not foreigners.)

At the same time, I must confess that the area is a bit on the highbrow side for me. One of the great gifts of age has been that I no longer feel the need to excuse my prosaic preference for a lifestyle that is more Nissan than Ferrari, more Kirkland than Armani, more tuna melt than caviar. Blame my parentage: both mom and dad were children of the Depression, mom especially, and among their many lessons to me was the adage that having the means to make choices does not dictate what those choices should be.

So I will head to the airport today with the delightful memories of a nine-day stay in this beautiful hotel, but I’ll be back in the Courtyard on my next trip, and happier for it.