Monday, November 27, 2017


Slowly but surely, we're restoring our 114-year-old house to its former glory, and beyond.

Maria got a killer deal from on a bunch of oak flooring. We used four boxes of it in our office and office closet and had plenty left over. The next project was the closet in what was the master bedroom and over the weekend we did a second bedroom closet. Both closets got fresh wallpaper and quarter-round trim. (That's the second closet in the photo.)

There is no way we could have done it if we hadn't invested in a miter saw and a pneumatic nail gun. Those are tools I never expected to own, but then I never expected to own two chainsaws and a generator when we moved to Arkansas 10 years ago.

The next project is a linen closet. It already has the original quarter-sawn oak floor, so it just needs wallpaper and fixtures.

A crew is scheduled to come tomorrow to install 27 new windows. In some cases, the original windows have come apart and one of the guest bedroom windows has only the plastic sheeting the tenants put on it.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

20 years gone

My dad, Charles M. Flora, died 20 years ago today. I miss him every day.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Repps come to visit

Longtime friend Joe Repp and his wife Diane stopped by this afternoon. I got up to fetch something and found Dora had stolen my place on the couch.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Miserable weather, going to get worse

It sure didn't feel like 60 degrees a few minutes ago when I was being pelted by wind-driven rain while chasing one of our trash cans down the street.

The forecast is for more rain and steadily falling temperatures and we are resigned to the fact that the cold November rains are upon us.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The TV no one wants

This RCA television has stood at the curb in the first block of North Pearl Street in Thorntown for several weeks.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Winning big and getting bigger

I am astonished at how immature the Democrats and other leftists are in that they have had a whole year to come to grips with the reality of a Trump presidency and they're still throwing tantrums.

I, on the other hand, thank God every day for last election day's miracle.

Apparently, liberals don't care about a booming economy and a low unemployment rate, and the prospect of more economic good news with the passage of tax reform. No, they continue to pretend that Trump is a racist, sexist and any other despicable thing they can think of in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Happy birthday, Sean!

Today is my firstborn son Sean's 50th birthday.

It's hard to believe he's old enough to order from the senior citizen's menu. He'll always be a kid to me.

He makes me proud.

Friday, November 03, 2017


I'm evaluating the new Epson ProSense 57 GPS Running Watch for the Amazon Vine Program, even though, like Calvin Coolidge, I do not choose to run.

I took it for a 1.1-mile walk yesterday, which it mapped on the Epson View smartphone app.

I've reviewed several activity trackers and this is, by far, the most accurate in terms of steps and heart rate. It's also the first GPS unit I've tried and I'm very impressed.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

People with eyes

When I was a young, timid photographer, I spent a lot of time shooting scenics and still lifes and just about anything that didn't involve interacting with people.

There's a young man on Facebook who has shot for at least one newspaper who set himself to the task of posting a new photo every day for a year. He posted number 330 today - a picture of a wall with a bunch of collectible plates hanging on it. An awful lot of his photos have been like that, with a heavy emphasis on weathered barns and crumbling structures.

I think this is very telling. I think it shows that he's insecure and afraid of engaging with possible subjects. And he's probably going to stay stuck in that box until he realizes that people are the most interesting subjects and make the most compelling photographs.

Maria had a young photographer working for her years ago at a small-town daily newspaper who seemed to have an aversion to photographing faces. Most of the people in his photos had their faces turned away from the camera. He was a photojournalism graduate from Ball State University and apparently thought he had learned all he ever needed to know about photojournalism in college. Maria tried to get through to him by requiring that all of his photos had to show the subject's eyes.

"Is this some new thing in photojournalism - this eye thing?" he asked her.

Robert Capa told photographers, "If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough."

I would add to that, "If your photos aren't interesting, maybe you need people in them. People with eyes."

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

We love small town life

I don't recall having a single trick-or-treating kid come to our house in Arkansas in the entire decade we lived there.

Not so, here in Thorntown.

We were visited by scores of polite, well-mannered kids, most of whom were accompanied by their equally polite parents. It was a real pleasure and another reminder of how special life in a small town can be.