"Well, that's not MY experience..."

Recently, I got into quite a heated email discussion with a good acquaintance, a slightly older man I had previously sat on a board with. He had emailed several of us asking us to sign some petition about boycotting the NFL because players were taking a knee. His argument was that it was not a political stance he was taking, that the flag CLEARLY represented all of us ("it's generic"), and that we all had the same rights and responsibilities with regards to it.

I did not spend intellectual time arguing the fact that NFL players standing on the field for the anthem is a relatively recent phenomenon, or any other similar fact-based arguments. His was an emotional statement, and those would not seemed pertinent to him. And really, it does not matter that the conversation about NFL players or cat food.

What I DID argue was that in America, he had every right to his opinion — and also so did I, and our opinions were different. He kept on it for a bit, until I finally said we …

Death and Taxes

It's not even that the tax bill was voted on in the middle of the night, in such a hurry that key provisions were scrawled in the margins, other elements were hidden on one page and contradicted scores of pages later, and that senators had somewhere between 60-180 minutes to try to digest the 497 pages of it. That's just cowardly, and shows that our elected representatives knew full well that they should be ashamed of the bill.

It's that this bill decimates all that Patrick and I have worked for.

Gladhill Rhone LLC is a small, 2-person company. We don't make a lot of money, but I know we do a lot of good. Each year we work with 30-50 small businesses, mainly non-profits, to help them do better at what they do. In terms of the impact that leveraged, it's priceless.

Almost every dollar we make we put directly back into the economy, supporting other small businesses. I am confident that our tiny, two-person company has more of an effect on our community than if you av…

What Happens in Vegas...

I realized on our last day that, though it was in general a good trip, there were several things we should have done differently. Thus, despite the "what happens in Vegas" line, these are things I would have done differently:

1.  Eaten at a buffet first thing, like on Thanksgiving Day (though pizza in the sunshine was nice). We put of off until the last day, and I wish we had not. Luckily the buffet we picked had a bottomless mimosa bar.

2. Explored a wide range of casinos at first. We walked around a lot of mid-range places, putting the over the top exuberance of the Bellagio off until the last night and the sort of dismal sense that is Circus Circus until the last day. I wish I had had a better sense of the range.

3.  Seen the volcano at the Mirage explode.

4.  Had the drink. I spent days looking at people drink frozen daiquiris while walking around before I finally got one. Life was a lot nicer after the daiquiri.

5.  Seen the conservatory at the Bellagio. We saw it on S…

Circus Circus

(and I don't mean the casino of the same name, which was kind of a depressing place to visit though we played a mean game of air hockey there....)

Back in Vegas, we spent the day in various circus endeavors.

First, we went to the Love technical tour (which was actually sitting in seats int he theater and being shown the tech, but with no performers). It was focused on the true technical aspects — sound, lights, video, and mechanics — rather than the actual rigging (though Patrick did learn that they use only 12 riggers, and all from the sides instead of above).

From there, the ultimately cheesy "Fall of Atlantis" at Caesar's Palace, plus I finally got my rum drink to walk around with! (note to self, get that earlier in the trip next time!)

That night, we had TWO Cirque shows .

First was Mystere, a very traditional Cirque show, but with the added bonus of taiko drums. Beatrix especially loved the clowns, and I found the whole thing eminently enjoyable.

Finally, we saw…

Grand Road Trip

When is a day in Vegas not a day in Vegas? When you use Day 2 of your vacation to drive to the Grand Canyon!

We love road trips, so the 4.5/5 hour drive each way did not phase us (and truly, it would have been shorter, but it took us about 45 minutes to get in to the park). But I digress....

Currently, at least, there's an "Every Kid in a Park" program, where every 4th grader can get a national parks pass for a year, allowing their whole family access. So we got up not as early as we should have and headed out.

First up, Lake Mead. We did not stop at the Hoover Dam. I know it was a lost opportunity, but we were running late.

Soon, we crossed the Arizona border, adding another state to Beatrix's roster. The scenery got more and more magnificent.

Stopped for lunch at Seligman, the birthplace of route 66. Delgado's Sno-Top Tacos was closed for the season, so we ate at a horrible place that shall remain nameless.

Slightly eerie pit stop.

Finally, our destination. Lon…

All You Need Is Love!

Vegas Day 1 was Thanksgiving Day. We flew out early (thanks for the airport ride, Jason!), arriving in Vegas at abut 10am. As soon as we drove down the Strip towards our hotel (luckily located a few blocks off the Strip), we realized this was not going to be the kind of Thanksgiving where only a few things were open. In typical Vegas fashion, everything — except the In-and-Out Burger — was open and full of people.

So once we checked in, we walked down to check out the action. Lunch was a very un-Thanskgiving couple of slices of pizza at an outdoor table while people-watching, and then we checked out some shops and the gardens at the Flamingo. Beatrix especially like the bath and body store where all the bath bombs were shaped like cupcakes.

We walked down to the Venetian and got our first sense of how HUGE everything in Vegas is. Outside was this large complex and canals with gondolas, but we were stunned when we walked inside and ALSO saw canals and gondolas, and full streetscapes of…


There are two kinds of things that put me in a  zen-like, contemplative mode that I just love — working on house projects (like painting the dining room woodwork, which I just finished), and craft projects.

Unfortunately, my craft space was an incredible disaster of piled-up mess. I could not find anything, and there was no actual room to create. Think I'm exaggerating? Here's visual proof:

The mess of it has weighed on me more than I can express. There have been a lot of times I wanted to just chuck it all, to decide I didn't need it in my life, I was not good at it, the whole thing was stupid, all because I could not handle the mess. When I DID try to do things, I could not find the right items: the pinking shears, right color thread, etc. I was about this far from giving up.

That's when, a few weeks back, my friend Emily offered to help. Emily is an incredible creative person who I first met when she ran a wonderful pop-up called Highway North for several months (sh…