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Monday, May 28, 2012

On Memorial Day, 2012

Old Glory flies today at our home in New Hampshire to honor all who have served in the United States Armed Forces, and to honor the memories of those who gave their lives in that service, fighting to establish and to preserve our freedom. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Alexandra: you are much missed in Plymouth!

This Plymouth State University photo, already captioned as seen here, was sent me by our provost, Dr. Julie Bernier, immediately following the 2012 Commencement Exercises. 

Sadly, I had to reply, "'Fraid so!"

Professor Alexandra Muţiu of Babeş-Bolyai University, you have made a great contribution to our students at Plymouth State University, and to our accounting team at the College of Business Administration.  We at your American home wish you safe travels and much happiness.  Thank you very much for coming to work with us this spring.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Romanians Take Part in Commencement Day at Plymouth State University, 19 May 2012

An American hug of congratulations to respected colleague Dr. Roxana Wright, who once was one of my best-ever students at PSU

(Plymouth State University Photo)
Provost Julie Bernier of Plymouth State University sent me the above photo, taken at the PSU commencement ceremonies yesterday.  Your gray-haired old blogger is seen hugging Professor Dr. Roxana Dima Wright (din Braşov), who had just told me that she and her husband Rob Wright (from the U.K.) had become U.S. citizens the day before.  Roxana was my student a decade ago, and has since earned her Ph.D., become a colleague, and risen to Director of Faculty of the College of Business Administration here at PSU. 

Professor Alexandra Muţiu, Ph.D., and Chuji Yamada, MBA.

And here is Alexandra Muţiu, another Romanian colleague, with newly-minted Plymouth State MBA Chuji Yamada of Osaka, Japan.  Chuji was my student this spring in New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, in which he developed a business plan for an agribusiness company with truly global potential.  With Chuji is our good friend from UBB-Cluj, Prof. Dr. Alexandra Muţiu (din Oradea).  Faithful readers have met Alexandra previously, and know that she has been serving our accounting students this term as a visiting professor.  Today, Shirl and I sadly bid Alexandra "Goodbye," as she has begun her journey home to Cluj-Napoca.

Raluca Tarcea, MBA, working on her studies in the N.H.R.S.H.H. in February, 2011.
Also graduating yesterday, though unable to be present because she is already at home, working in Romania, was Ms. Raluca Tarcea, MBA, (din Cluj).  Best wishes Ralu, in your new career!  We will always have a place for you in our hearts, and in what you once so aptly termed the "New Hampshire Romanian Safe House Hotel."

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My Mother

Carol Brueggeman McDougall, 1914-1968
I am grateful beyond words for this woman's work in raising her four sons in love and honesty, and in blessing us all with her gentle teaching.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Misty Mountains of Transylvania

It was 2008 in the fall.  These pictures were taken by Alexandru Mican and Raluca Teadora (Dora) Faur.  I like them* very much.
*both the pictures, and the people.
Transilvania (Local spelling)
Klaus, Alex, and me, at our vantage point on a hill overlooking the valley.
The Misty Mountains
Photographer Dora
The next day, at Putna Monastery, we first met fresco master Mihai Moroşan

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A3 and Friends in Campton

Alexandra and Shirl
It is springtime in New Hampshire.  Our lives have been blessed this year with the presence of Alexandra Muţiu (whom Shirl has dubbed "A3," to distinguish her from the two "Alexes," McDougall and Mican, already hereabout).   A3 is working as a visiting professor at Plymouth State University, but gracing the Hotel New Hampshire on many evenings for a cup (or three) of herbal tea.

Here are a few snapshots of A3 and her Campton friends.
A3 and Vali on Clatita Night, 6 May 2012!
Valer Olimpiu Şuteu, MBA candidate extraordinaire, flips o clatita in bucateria nostra.
Shirl, Trot and A3 (from left to right)
A3 has become one of Trot's favorite people.
That tree was in full bloom for almost two weeks this year.  (And A3 likes driving my 20 year-old Honda tractor.)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Merlin Makes it to Maine

Yesterday my new friend Merlin Bianco and I rode about 120 miles, over the Kancamagus Highway to Conway, NH, and down US 302 to Raymond, Maine.  
Merlin, Duncan and Dan, with Rocio, Suzi, and Whitehorse Gear in the background.

Before hitting the border, we stopped at Whitehorse Press (and Whitehorse Gear) in Conway, New Hampshire, and had a good talk with owner Dan Kennedy, for whom my son Jesse worked for a year as an editorial assistant, his first job in his professional field of writing and publishing.  Dan and Judy Kennedy hired Jesse from a lifeguard job at Sea World's Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida.  Jesse learned a lot at Whitehorse, and loved the Kennedys.  I was interested in stopping there not only because I like the Kennedys, too, but also because I wanted to look over their choices of high-quality tank bags prior to my June departure for Alaska.
Note that the bikes have crossed the border, completing "48 in 24" for Duke and Merlin!
From Conway we continued east on 302, and soon entered Maine at Fryeburg, where Merlin scored his goal of 48 states in 24 months on his Harley named "Duke," and where I stopped to top up on oil while Merlin charmed the ladies at the Visitor's Center.  Then we headed on toward Sebago Lake for lunch.

As I searched for the first restaurant advertising fresh lobster, I noticed that my oil filler plug was missing, and had an "Aw, shit!" moment.  The Irving station where I bought a quart of 10-40 oil had offered me a paper funnel, which I'd accepted and used.  Hence, I had set the threaded filler plug on the right side cover of the Suzuki's engine, where "I couldn't forget it," in order to hold the funnel with my left hand while pouring with my right.  Then, in removing the funnel and discarding it and the empty oil jar, causing me to walk away from the bike, I did forget it.  My crankcase was open to the air, and a fine mist of oil was coating my right boot.
Two old codgers in Raymond, Maine
As our lobsters boiled, Merlin and I went out to the parking lot, where Merlin opened the plastic spares kit that he carries in the "basement" of Rocio and produced a roll of aluminum duct tape.  He soaked a rag with gasoline and used it to clean the engine case around the oil filler port.  Once applied to a de-greased engine, the adhesive-backed aluminum tape made an excellent field-fix.  After the mandatory, if expensive, celebratory lobster lunch, we bade each other happy travels, and parted.

I rode back to Fryeburg with a wishful eye on the opposite shoulder of the highway, hoping against hope to see a small oil filler-cap.  At the Irving station near the border in Fryeburg, I figured I had my best and last chance to reunite the bike with its missing part.  I parked at the edge of the drive, dismounted, and started toward the convenience store, then saw two women wearing Irving uniforms.  I asked one, "Did anyone turn in an oil plug?"  "No," she said somewhat curiously, leaving me with a faint hope.  "But I found one!"  She retrieved it from a window sill, and accepted a "Thank you!" hug.  "I knew someone would be looking for that," she said, "'cause I'm a biker, myself."

On the way home, I stopped and treated Suzi to a new "Cortech by Tourmaster" tank bag at Whitehorse Gear.
Alaska trip status update: I am presently leaning toward taking my 1983 Suzuki GS1100e on the Alaska trip.  Suzi is an amazingly capable tourer, and a delight to ride in the mountains.  Of course, the new tank bag would also come along if I were to ride my '82 Honda Silver Wing Interstate.