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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

April News

These four deer feeding on the stubble of our lawn indicate good news.  It appears that spring is finally here to stay, following a long and snowy winter, during which the plow drifts in our driveway exceeded the height of my car!
 That is the 2005 Hyundai Santa Fe that many of you who have visited our home will recognize, as I have driven it since 2007, before ever venturing to Romania!  But this spring I took the car for some touch-up work on two small rust spots, and my body shop owner, a former near neighbor, said, "Time for a new car!"  He warned me that the rust, though not yet visible, was well-established in the car's body, and would soon show through again.  So, I took the beloved little SUV to Mark at J&M Imports, my trusted mechanic, and asked his opinion.  Mark inspected the car thoroughly, and told me it had a broken front spring, warped brake rotors, a rattling driveshaft, needed four tires, and was overdue for a new timing belt and water pump.  All of these are wear parts, which at 197,800 miles (over 318,000 Km.) had simply worn out.  But, he estimated the cost of complete mechanical repair at about $4000.  Here is the rest of the story:
Free Ad Dept. My Facebook feedback to Cantin Chevrolet in Laconia:
Duncan C. McDougall
I came into Cantin Chevrolet looking for a used white Equinox to replace my beloved, but worn out white 2005 Santa Fe. Thus, I met Jeff Roberts in the Pre-owned Vehicle Dept. He showed me several Equinoxes, but had none in white. Understanding my needs, he remembered that there was a new white 2017 LS model in inventory across the street with the April 16% Off promotional sticker on it. He took me over there, and I made up my mind quickly to spend several thousand more than I came in expecting to spend. And I am delighted that I did so! Jeff then took me through the purchase process quickly, and we had fun doing it, kidding with Cheryl and others in the showroom. I bought my new car because of Jeff! I cannot imagine a more professional sales person! -Duncan C. McDougall, Grille Room Foreman, Plant 2A, Chevrolet-Flint Pressed Metal (1968 model year).

I also posted these words in the comments section of the satisfaction survey that I was sent by the dealership.  When someone treats me well, and shows that he cares, I believe in giving him credit for it!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

A Joy of Being a Teacher!

Mr. Bruce Mogayzel of Florida was our MBA student at Plymouth State College (now P.S.U.) in the class of 1980. It has been close to thirty years since I have seen him.   He helped out at our house, and stayed with us awhile, when we lived in our little chalet off of Bog Road, in Campton, while Shirley was pregnant with our third child, Piper.  Today, completely by surprise, I found this message in my e-mail:

Hi Duncan

For some reason part of your blog appeared in the browser.  I'm glad it did.  It gave me some insight to your activities over the last years. Some good and some not so good. 

Your Fulbright Scholarship and all it brought to you sounds fantastic and something that was well deserved. 

Shirley's and your health issues sound challenging but you seem to be positive and coping.  Your attitude and writings are more spiritual than I remember.  That's a good thing

As I look back over the years meeting you (and Shirley) when I entered graduate school was just what I needed.  I'm not sure how I would have survived that ugly and bumpy period of my life. Thanks for reaching out and being there for me when I needed it.   I enjoyed being a McDougall, I guess part of me will always be a McDougall. 

My life's journey has been like a roller coaster but now there aren't as many spikes and curves and "danger ahead" signs as there used to be.  My MBA opened doors for me and served as my career's foundation.   I now remember my time at PSC fondly. 

I left Disney in 2004 and returned to Boston because of family health issues and was my mother's part-time care giver. When she passed I left my VP position at State Street Bank (SSGA) and headed to a warmer climate.

I'm semi-retired and live a quiet life in Vero Beach FL with my "rescued" Bengal  cat. My health is a challenge at times when my Autoimmune system decides to act up and attacks my internal systems. Sometimes my blood tests indicates that I have Lupus and other times it's barely noticeable. 

My life is more spiritual now and I volunteer for my church, the Florida Cancer Foundation as well as the Riverside Theatre. 

Thanks for being there when I needed you Professor. Wish Shirley well for me.


Sent from my iPhone

(Published with the author's permission.)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Hacked in PayPal? Here's the answer!

My adult daughter's checking account out in Colorado was wiped out last night.  A hacker, working through PayPal, successfully withdrew over $3000.00 from her checking account.

Needless to say, she is actively pursuing recovery of her money.

I have made use of PayPal often.  It has been very useful and convenient for sending money to friends and relatives, as on birthdays and the like.  My PayPal account has long been linked to my checking account, so that money sent would appear on my bank statements, and monies received could easily be deposited.  Today, after reporting my daughter's disaster to my bank's customer service rep, I have cancelled that link between my checking account and PayPal, as well as two credit card links.

My bank's representative has informed me that the safest link is to my debit card. Debit transactions are limited to a total of $1,000.00 per day, she says, and if fraudulent use occurs, the bank can simply cancel the card, issue me a new one, and the leak will be plugged.  Recovery of the stolen amount, she says, usually takes only one day.

This high-tech world we live in has many wonderful aspects, but is not without its risks.  I wish my blog readers secure banking, and freedom from fraud!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Ring's True

Ring's True
Duncan C. McDougall

My wedding ring went on me,
One October day,
And well have I worn it,
At both work and play.

Since Seventy-Three
Which now matches my age,
The ring has been on me,
Through many a page.

I lived here in Campton,
At Beebe River I worked,
When Shirl-Girl said "Yes!"
Knowing happiness lurked,

In these White Mountains,
In a little chalet,
That was to be home to
Four children one day!

Shirl gave me this ring,
"With this ring I thee wed,"
At our wedding in Westborough,
Where she had been bred.

Then I wore it in Pittsburgh,
A coal industry guy,
It came along with me,
As I learned how to fly.

In Tulsa it helped me,
To pass the exam,
To become a licensed pilot,
My lifelong dream.

It came home to Campton,
In Seventy-Six,
Where I started my teaching,
And soon found my niche.

As assistant professor,
At old P. S. C.
My ring felt a sense,
Of good things soon to be.

Jamie was born here,
In Laconia town,
Then Jesse followed,
Not tying us down!

We moved down to Westboruogh,
Where our family grew,
And I wore this fine ring,
Teaching now at B. U.

I went for my doctorate,
At H. B. S.,
Which took me six years,
Productive at best!

Piper and Alex 
Were born in that time,
With Shirl and me bonding,
By ring, and by rhyme.

There's more to this story,
This ring round the world,
To Romania, Panama,
 It sees flags unfurled,

In Italy, Greece, 
Bulgaria, too,
Shirley's companionship,
Always comes through.

Cute, smart, and funny,
Dear Shirley, my wife!
I love you, old ring,
Please see me through life.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Baha'i Queen of Romania

My friend Titiana Șilimon-Morariu sent me this article.  I found it relevant at this point in this blog.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Baha'i Parallel

From: Duncan C McDougall []
Sent: Saturday, March 04, 2017 3:30 PM
To: House of Worship Activities
Subject: My poem perhaps parallels Baha'i thinking?
Dear friends at the Baha'i Temple,
I am a 73 year-old retired professor who grew up in Wilmette. In 2008-09 I had the honor of teaching in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, the historical capital of Transylvania. I have returned for a part of each year thereafter, with the exception of 2016.
While visiting over the Christmas season in 2012, my Muse visited me with the poem at the link below:
A Poem for the Holidays (Link below)
I am in no way an expert in Baha'i teachings, but based upon what my mother taught me as a boy, it occurs to me that my poem's theme may parallel the teachings in your beautiful nine-sided dome.
I would love to hear from you about that, whether you agree or disagree.
Sincerely yours,
Duncan (NT '61)
Messchecking our E-mail and assume that no one else on the staff has responded. I enjoyed reading it and indeed the sentiments expressed the inclusiveness of the Bahá'í Teachings. Your mother indeed taught you well. I think the core Teaching is that Humanity now must recognize that we are citizens of one World as Bahá’u’lláh has said “The Earth is but one country and Mankind its citizens” and he went on to say “Let your vision be world embracing and not concerned with your own selves.”
With very best wishes
Christopher Vodden
Director of the Activities Office
Baha’i House of Worship Welcome Center
100 Linden Ave Wilmette, IL 60091

Thursday, March 2, 2017

So Nice of Her!

A writer seeking solitude in a small town finds himself developing a deep and unlikely bond with his elderly neighbor.

(A special young friend sent this link. I was touched that she would do so.)