Tuesday, April 9, 2024



I have mentioned before my long-standing membership in the Dull Men’s Club. Still, I am guessing that some of you might consider my involvement as something frivolous……..NOT AT ALL. Rest assured, we DMC’ers deal with real life on the front lines. Here is a case in point, an article taken from the club’s most recent monthly newsletter..


                                THREAD OF THE WEEK - 

                                DISHWASHER LOADING

This is the second week of our Thread of the Week on our Dull Men’s Club Facebook Group’s page. The first week’s thread dealt with posts about tool sheds.

This week, members and visitors will be posting their thoughts and practices about DISHWASHER LOADING, a topic brimming with social issues, not to mention major inter- spousal differences:

• Should dishes soak in sink before loading?

• Where do they go, upper rack or lower rack?

• Do small plates govin the front, and large plates in the back?

• Cutlery — grouped by knives, forks, spoons? Or helter-skelter?

• Cutlery — which way up……handle or point?

• Which brand of detergent works best?

• Tablets or powder?

• If tablets, with or without power ball?

• Should we use rinse aid or no rinse aid?

• If rinse aid, which brand?

• Dishwasher’s settings?


As you can tell from the above, we Dull Men concentrate on the important stuff. As our household’s designated DISHWASHER LOADER I can certainly attest to that. 

I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on these important matters.

Friday, April 5, 2024



            Chances are today's post will be something different than it was when it first appeared all those years ago. After all, the travels and memories the two of us shared in those days have become the memories I alone remember. And too, the available armchair possibilities have expanded perhaps ten fold since then. Still, the lure of places to see and know remains as strong as ever.


      Hey, you’re in luck. Today’s post may be shorter than usual. That’s because I’ll be leaving the leg work for you to do, if you decide you want to. Hopefully you will enjoy the homework suggestions I offer. With that in mind, let’s see if I can put all this into context.

      I have made the point numerous times over the years……I am a wanderlust junkie, at least I used to be. From the days when I ran away from home at fourteen I have had a thing about seeing the world ……at least the parts that appeal to me.

      In a similar manner I have used these pages to spread what I consider the logic of using the internet to broaden our horizons, especially in our October and November years. As you might have guessed, I am here today to sell (or give away) what I consider a worthy combination of wanderlust and the internet. Turns out the two go together very well. If, however, you are one of those unfortunate souls for whom travel and the possibilities it offers is not appealing, even from the comfort of your armchair……please don’t sign off just yet.

      The internet, of course, offers its information in many forms. As a longtime blogger I appreciate the many ways my blogging peers are able to spread their messages. If you have followed these pages for long you will perhaps recall that I’ve made the case before……there are blogs and bloggers for just about every subject under the sun. And when it comes to travel blogs the bloggers have so many individual ways to tell their story……far more than the normal guidebook litany of sights, hotels, and restaurants.

      Take for instances, travel destinations…….my topic du jour. I’d like to begin with London. Is there anyone out there blogging about London? I’m pretty sure we can find out. Just call up Google, enter “London bloggers,” and there you are. Take your pick from literally hundreds of London blogs.

      Once there I called up a response labeled “Secret London - 75 London Blogger” I spent a few minutes leafing through some of those options, many of which claimed they could show me the London most tourists never see. Midway through that list I settled on one called “Deserter.” which seemed to approach the city from a slightly jaundiced perspective……claiming to be “A compendium of techniques to get more out of doing less.” That sounded like something that might fit me.

       Then, emboldened by my London search I decided to try Paris. Roma and I were there a few times, but I doubt that we did little more than scratch the surface. At a listing titled “I Prefer Paris” several bloggers offered their insights on Paris experiences that you and I would probably never find on our own. One blog, titled ‘Excuses vs Lies,” offered perhaps the most practical Parisian wisdom I have found. “When Paris tries to kick my ass……I drink wine.”

      Moving on, I called up Amsterdam, another of our favorite cities, and again found dozens of bloggers claiming to tell us about the best their city has to offer. It was there I came across “Iwanderandroam.com,” which probably caught my eye because the two of us were serious ‘flea market’ junkies. What that blogger claims is the largest flea market in Europe is located in Amsterdam. It is called “Ij Hallen” and is spread over two huge warehouses. It might take a day or two to see it all, with age-appropriate rest breaks, but I’d love to try.

      I moved on to Galway because it’s my favorite town in Ireland. As it turned out the Galway blogger I was drawn to ‘youririshadventure.com, actually covers the entire country. It was their listing of “The Most Beautiful Towns in Ireland” that immediately reeled me in. If scrolling through that list doesn’t have you itching to get up and go you had better check you pulse.

      There were, of course, hundreds of other travel destinations I could have checked out for blogs and bloggers. It seems that just about any place you can think of is the subject of someone’s blog……offering local information you may not find in travel guides. Did I say “any place”? Perhaps it was time to test that theory.

      Many of us grew up assuming that the most remote place in the world actually had a name. What better way to describe the middle of nowhere than “Timbuktu”? That was about as far as a person could go. Well, guess what? The ‘middle of nowhere’ has its own travel blogger.

      The website, “joaoleitao.com,” is a great site that visits and photographs some of the most remote corners of the world. Its post - “Timbuktu the mysterious, deep in the Malian dessert” - calls the city “the meeting place of all who travel by camel or canoe.” Sounds idyllic, eh? In fact, the story’s many photos depict a stark beauty that most of us can scarcely imagine. It looks like an interesting place to explore.

      I’ll admit I was taken by Timbuktu until I read the blogger’s disclaimer, which I found a bit off-putting. Would this be enough to give you second thoughts? “Since the 2012 Islamic rebel uprisings, kidnappings and foreign abductions have become routine.” About then my thoughts were turning toward more familiar ground.

      In A Year to Remember, the first book Roma and I published together, we told the story of our young family’s home abroad in Winchester, England. By any measure that was a special time……that year spent among special friends in a special place. So, is Winchester home to bloggers? I had a hint to begin with. After all, my beloved Dull Men’s Club blog, “Winchester Bloggers,” is posted from there.

Google’s “Winchester” search produced several more candidates, including a particularly interesting possibility. How about “10 Reasons for a Boudoir Photoshoot”? To be honest I had never considered that. Does that even fit your notion of a travel blog? Truth to tell it had me wondering what was going on in what I remembered as the sedate environs of Winchester?

     Needless to say I soon moved on to other Winchester offerings, the ones dealing with the city’s ancient history, medieval High Street, the Jane Austin Home, and the spectacular cathedral.

      All of which brings me back to an obvious question. Am I returning to London, Paris, Amsterdam, or Galway? Not likely. Is Timbuktu in our future? Probably not. But in the course of my mini-blogfest I had spent several enjoyable hours enjoying sights I will never see and learning about places I will never visit. For a creaky old armchair traveler like me that feels like a win.

      Finally, I must point out that the internet is chock full of bloggers and blogs addressing just about any subject you choose to pursue. I am a travel addict, so those are the ones I selected today. But whatever tweaks your interest……be it a boudoir photoshoot, exotic recipes, or any other topic you can think of……there are bound to be blogs and bloggers following in its wake. Why not choose your own favorite topic and go looking?