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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day Improbable Probability!

War of 1812 frigate U.S.S. Constitution at pierside in Charlestown, MA.
Last evening I had a telephone conversation with Merlin Bianco, my motorcyclist friend mentioned several times previously in this blog. Merlin is in New Hampshire tonight, still on the road with Rocio (his self-built teardrop trailer's name). We have been expecting a visit from Merlin early in June, and he had called to confirm that plan.

Merlin told me that he plans to ride over into Maine, go down the coast to Gloucester, Massachusetts, see the U.S.S. Constuition (Old Ironsides) in Boston, and then come back up here in about a week.

I mentioned that The Constitution is not in Boston, but rather in Charlestown, at the old Charlestown Naval Shipyard, where my father served in 1942 as the officer in charge of the radar repair squadron. From there, he was sent to be an instructor at the U. S. Navy's Harvard/MIT Radar School, where he taught at the time I was born at the Chelsea (MA) Naval Hospital in August of 1943.

"Then he probably taught my dad," said Merlin.  "My dad went to the MIT Radar School in the Navy in 1943, then went out to use and teach radar at a naval base in San Francisco, California."
Merlin with Rocio in 2012, at HNH
May God bless the souls of our fathers, two men who served their country in the top-secret, high-tech field of radar during World War II.
Photo taken on Memorial Day, 2015, by Robert S. McDougall

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Breakfast in Orlando with a Team from Oradea

Department of non-coincidences:

We are still at La Quinta Airport West in Ortlando, Florida.

As I edged past the queue in the narrow aisle at the waffle machines to get myself a black coffee, I heard a young man to my left say something in an accent that did not sound Spanish.  (Half the population of Orlando is Hispanic, so I would not have been surprised to hear that accent.)  I asked the lad where he was from.  "We are Europeans," he said.  I replied that that was obvious (from both the accent and their appearance), and asked, "From where in Europe do you come?"

Of course, they were Romanians.  They are a team of five students from Colegiul National Emanuil Gojdu in Oradea. They are here in Orlando for a conference in the field of computer science.

I ended up having breakfast with their teacher, and with a senior student named Andrei.  
I hope that Andrei and the good Professor enjoyed their breakfasts with me as much as I did with them.

I wished them "Noroc!" at the conference, and invited them to visit this blog, and to visit my Facebook page.  Someday, I hope to meet some of them again, be it in Oradea, in Cluj, or in Plymouth (New Hampshire).

Who knows?  One or more of them may one day be doing his MBA at Plymouth State University!

Saturday, May 16, 2015


La Quinta Airpoort West, Orlando

Radiant, as always!

And laid back.

But thoughful!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


The magnolias are in bloom at the front of HNH, and the grass has begun to grow aggressively. This past weekend I cleaned up a few leftover leaves that had wintered beneath the snow, and today I shall give the grass its first mowing of the year.

Shirl and I hope to make a trip to see our grandchildren later this month, in Vermont, and in Florida.  

Then, I hope to attend my 50th Reunion at Amherst College, from which I (sort of) graduated in 1965.

The final big project presently ongoing is to bring two more Romanian visitors to spend July with us! God willing, there will follow stories of our adventures together this coming summer.