Tuesday, March 29, 2022

New Motorcycle

I bought a new motorcycle! 

It's being hand-built right now and will be ready in a few weeks. The bike is made by Janus Motorcycles, a small American company in Indiana. I chose their newest model, the Halcyon 450. It's very light (360 lbs.) and offers nimble handing. The bike is designed for relaxed cruising, not fast racing.

Obviously the biggest appeal of the motorcycle is its retro-style. While most retro bikes today resemble 1960s motorcycles, Janus goes further back in time for inspiration -- to the 1930s. The Halcyon model recalls the famous Brough Superior SS100 which, in its heyday, was dubbed the "Rolls-Royce of motorcycles." The Halcyon comes with a name-plate on the front fender that can be customized; mine will be RH-104 which are my initials and the number of the house where I grew up.

The bike is olive green with gold pinstripes. Seat and matching saddlebags are made by nearby Amish craftsmen in natural brown leather.

The names? Janus was the ancient Roman god of time. Halcyon refers to the past when things were idyllic. Those words resonate with me now: I'm beginning a new phase of life and fondly remembering old times.

See ya on the road!

Monday, March 21, 2022

Personal Libraries

Have you ever wanted a library with ladders? (Note the plural.)
I never thought of it but, looking at houses in my favorite neighborhood (Lloyd Harbor), I ran across one. Now I can't not want one of these.

Friday, March 18, 2022


Has anyone ever told you that you resemble a well-known person/celebrity? If so, how'd you feel about the comparison?

It's happened to me twice; the second time today. I shuddered deeply both times. Because of that reaction I don't tell others about their resemblance to a celebrity even when it seems strong. I don't want them feeling bad like I did.

The first time was thirty years ago. I was helping my girlfriend move to Baltimore and a young Black teenager was assisting us. (We hired him through his church.) He said, "You look exactly like that white guy. You know, that white guy in the Eddie Murphy movie." He was referring to Dan Aykroyd and "Trading Places."  **shudder**

The second time was this morning. A bank teller said, "You must get this all the time. You look exactly like Bill Clinton."   **AARRGGHH**

How 'bout you?

Thursday, March 17, 2022


I popped into NYC Tuesday to visit MOMA and saw some paintings. Today I went to the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook and saw more art. Here are my favorites.

Lydia Field Emmet, "Portrait of Cynthia Pratt" (1919)

Lee Krasner, Untitled (1963)

Elaine de Kooning, "Standing Bison, Cave #2" (1986)

Pat Ralph, "Heading West" (1998)

Grace Hartigan, "Cleopatra" (2004)

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

The Tragedy of War

War causes tragedy. We should never forget that.

Recently I walked through "Pinelawn," a U.S. National Cemetery near me. I saw the grave of a young man who was killed in Vietnam fifty years ago (shown below). 

Sadly, he died on the day before his 21st birthday. War robbed him of an entire adult life.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Library or Museum?

I stopped in the City yesterday on my way to a hockey game. I heard the New York Public Library has a museum-like exhibition of historical documents and I wanted to see it in person.

Wow! Imagine being personally close to treasures from antiquity to modern times. Like 5,000 year old cuneiforms, Beethoven's draft of a symphony, Thomas Jefferson's handwritten Declaration of Independence, Karl Marx's handwritten "Das Kapital" and Bob Dylan's song lyrics. The collection is startling in its breadth. Honestly I didn't know the Public Library possessed such artifacts. The exhibition is free to see.

P.S., The Devils won in a shoot-out (2-1)!

P.P.S., Mourning the loss of Mamouns from Long Island, I stopped in at a NYC location to enjoy their incomparable falafel sandwich. New York has great stuff if you know where to look. :)

Beethoven's Music

Cuneiforms from Mesopotamia

Illustration from "The Wizard of Oz"

Thomas Jefferson's handwritten Declaration of Independence

Umbrella owned by the author of "Mary Poppins"

Bob Dylan's song lyrics

Photograph by Diane Arbus

Charles Dickens' writing desk, chair & lamp

Oscar Wilde's handwritten book-draft

James Baldwin's open letter to Angela Davis

Tom Wolfe's "Bonfire of the Vanities"

Friday, March 11, 2022


Do you want to add flavor to buttered toast? Try what I do most mornings -- sprinkle toast with Berbere. 

Berbere is a mix of tasty spices used in Ethiopian cuisine. It's delicious and colorful. Berbere contains garlic, ginger, besobela seeds, korarima, rue, ajwain, nigella, chili peppers, coriander, and fenugreek. It combines a number of flavors I could never create on my own.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Old Magic

My 70-year old film camera still has some magic left in her...

Sunday, March 6, 2022


Thanks to my good friend Emily (a former-blogger) the NJ Devils won today. They beat a top-notch team, the St. Louis Blues.

The score was tied 2-2. Before over-time started, Emily went down to the locker room, suited up and hit the ice. She scored the winning goal with a fiery backhand and the crowd went crazy!  :-)