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Publish Date: 11/25/2014 10:00 AM

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*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of the Shareasale affiliate program and an affiliate of adidas. I may be paid a small amount for this article but all comments are mine and there was no obligation to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely of my own and may not necessarily agree with those of adidas. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

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Technological Advances into Space

Publish Date: 11/12/2014 6:00 PM

A Trip to a Comet and A Hearing Aid that brings back Hearing

Milk and Soda pop can kill you or so the experts say.

I am afraid that my days are numbered. I've read articles recently that state that drinking 1 can of pop a day is similar to smoking a pack of cigarettes. And then the recent study that found people that drink 3 glasses of milk a day will die younger than people that drink no milk. Well, today I had a can of Pepsi and also more than 3 glasses of milk. I hope I live till bed time. /sarc off

I was thrilled to hear two technological stories today that I feel are amazing. The first is the accomplishment of ESA or the European Space Agency. Today they landed a craft on a comet. They had to travel 4 billion miles over 10 years to reach a point where they could orbit the comet. Then they had to launch a smaller vehicle toward the surface of the comet. Now, remember for the last 10 years this smaller craft has just been riding along on a larger parent spacecraft. Nobody has done any maintenance on it. The spacecraft didn't go into the shop for testing. They didn't practice deploying the landing craft. For ten years none of that occurred. Then all of a sudden after receiving a message from earth, the landing craft deployed and headed toward the comet surface.

Think of all the things that could go wrong with an attempted comet landing. Maybe the solar cells wouldn't respond properly and the spacecraft wouldn't get the power it needs. Or maybe the radio transmitter fails and it couldn't communicate with earth. The connections holding the landing craft to the parent spaceship might have failed and the landing craft could have been lost forever. Or probably what was going through the minds of all the scientists and engineers that worked on the project their biggest concern probably was would all the connections let go so the landing craft could descend to the comet.

Read More Now ... Technological Advances into Space

Tags: Blogging

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Visiting My South Carolina Relatives

Publish Date: 11/8/2014 6:00 PM

Fun Times in South Carolina

Eating lunch with the cousins at a Meat and Three Restaurant

Here is a snapshot of some of the cousins and their children.

Yesterday, I told you about the drive on a recent trip to South Carolina to visit relatives. Well, Mary, Carol Ann, Betty and I had a great time. We saw just about everybody. All the cousins made an effort to get together with us. The best part, I had opportunities for one on one time with many.

You know how you go to a family get together and there are so many people that you get to talking with one person you hadn't seen in a long time and it seems like the party is over. You've only chatted with one person and you were hoping to spend time with the uncle in failing health and the Aunt who recently was in the hospital and all the cousins you grew up with. Well this trip was perfect. I had the opportunity to see and talk to everybody.

Read More Now ... Visiting My South Carolina Relatives

Tags: Blogging

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Driving to South Carolina

Publish Date: 11/8/2014 5:00 PM

A Seventeen Hour Road Trip to South Carolina

My Cousin and her Granddaughter. Aren't they cute?

A Cute Photo of my Cousin and her granddaughter.

Mary and I recently had the opportunity to go to South Carolina to visit relatives. It was a wonderful trip for me as I was "going home" as the saying goes. I grew up in South Carolina before my father found a job in Aurora, Illinois working for Caterpillar. Mary and I had been talking about going back to the Piedmont Region for a couple of years. The death of my brother, Brian, was the spur that made the decision for us. My Uncles and Aunts aren't getting any younger (neither am I), but I was worried I might not see them ever again.

Once we made the decision to go, we calculated the best way to get there concerning time and money. Flying is faster but expensive. Driving takes a long time. We finally decided driving was the way to go. Then I was telling my sister about our decision and she asked, "you are telling me this because you are going to ask me to go with you?" And the truth was, yes, I was going to ask her. I expected her to say no, but was surprised when she immediately said, "yes" and almost immediately got approval to take off from work.

Read More Now ... Driving to South Carolina

Tags: Blogging

Categories: Blogging


Sweet Gift Making Inspiration from Paul Lowe

Publish Date: 10/31/2014 6:00 PM

An Article About Paul Lowe of Sweet Paul Magazine

Sweet Gift Making Inspiration From Paul Lowe

This fall, Blurb is highlighting makers all over the world. One of those people is Paul Lowe, creator of Sweet Paul magazine.

Sweet Paul magazine features spectacular food photography, scrumptious recipes, and inspired crafts. In Blurb's interview with Paul, he discusses his childhood in Norway and provides a delicious recipe. You'll love Paul's stories of gnomes, trees (and tree-related disasters), food, family, and memories. At the end of the interview, Blurb features great gift books reminiscent of Sweet Paul. Read the interview here.

If you have never used Blurb before, let me tell you it is easy. Mary and I created a Blurb book from our last vacation to the Seattle area. We took some great photos at Mt Rainier, Seattle and the Olympia National Park Area. Then we chose some of our favorites and created a coffee table book to show our relatives and friends. Everybody wants to pick up a picture book, but no one wants to slough through 600 photos on the computer.

Read More Now ... Sweet Gift Making Inspiration from Paul Lowe

Tags: Blogging,   Photo Books

Categories: Blogging


PumpkinFest 2014

Publish Date: 10/29/2014 3:05 AM

The Family Enjoys the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival

Browns and Family Waiting for the Parade to Begin

Every year in October, Mary and I and many members of our family get together and go to the Sycamore, Illinois Pumpkin Festival. We go for two reasons. One to see my step mom and her family, which we don't see very often since my father died. Two to see the Pumpkin Festival Parade.

The Parade is fantastic. We have been going to the parade for over 25 years. It normally runs two hours with some of the greatest floats, bands and oddities you ever want to see. Sycamore is way west of Chicago and can be considered in the heart of farm country.

What can you see at the parade? Lots of people. I think the town doubles in size on parade day. Some of the people are wearing costumes, like my pregnant niece with the baby's arms extending from her belly like the movie Alien.

Read More Now ... PumpkinFest 2014

Tags: Blogging,   Parades

Categories: Parades


Celebrating Ninety Years of Life with Margaret

Publish Date: 10/21/2014 9:00 PM

My Mother in Law turns 90

A Theme of Roses

A couple of weekends ago, we had the pleasure of celebrating the wonderful life of my mother in law as she reached another milestone birthday, 90 years old. The six siblings all got together to plan a dinner party for the celebration in Batavia, Illinois.

We only invited close relatives to keep the number reasonable. The banquet hall did a great job with the food serving chicken and steak. The food was perfect. It was an opportunity for us all to see family members we hadn't seen in years. We spent time with everyone for two days since many siblings and their families live in the south, east or the west, mountain region.

The only thing to make the party better would have been better weather. It was cold and blowing and I think I saw snowflakes. This family gatherings are special because everyone gets along and we truly enjoy each other's company. One of the highlights of the weekend was attending pass with Mom on Sunday morning.

Read More Now ... Celebrating Ninety Years of Life with Margaret

Tags: Blogging

Categories: Blogging


The Changing Library

Publish Date: 10/7/2014 4:00 PM

Nobody is Reading Books at the Library

I went into the local community Library on Sunday. My wife and I were looking for some audio CDs, "books on Tape." We found some we liked. But, as I was wandering around the library I noticed something interesting. I didn't see anyone reading any hard bound, paper filled, books.

There were a lot of people on the community computers. Some were searching for information. Some people were playing games on the computers. I saw individuals at the tables using personal computers. Maybe they were typing up a research paper or just using the library as an opportunity to get out of a noisy house. But, nobody was reading books. Today's world is a world of communication. And all of the communication is electronic.

I read a couple of actual hard copy books. I have many books on writing that I digest at leisure. And I have a book about the saints that I read each day as part of my spiritual consumption. Everything else is on my beloved Kindle. I do read books on the Kindle.

Today, I am in the process of reading a Janet Evanovich fiction, Stephanie Plum novel. As part of my book collection within the Kindle are all the books in the Robert Jordan, The Wheel of Time series, about Rand Al'Thor and The Dragon Reborn. I have a copy of the Bible that I read from each morning. You can also find in my book collection, "The Imitation of Christ", a couple of books by St Thomas Aquinas, a whole collection of spiritual readings that I can choose from each day. A range of mystery and science fiction from established authors and new or budding authors. You can find business books and one computer book.

Read More Now ... The Changing Library

Tags: Blogging

Categories: Blogging


Celebrating Ten Years of Blogging

Publish Date: 9/21/2014 9:00 PM

A Blogging Milestone

I was doing some programming on my computer today and I looked at the date of some of my first blog entries on the You Can Learn Series Web Site. I was shocked to realize that I have been blogging on and off for 10 years.

I will be the first to tell you I haven't blogged everyday. I don't even blog the proper "diary log." I have always tried to make it educational. So, over the years I have created different sections within the You Can Learn Series web site / blog.

You will find articles on plants, landscaping, weight lifting, travel and web business practices. Whatever interested me at the moment I would begin to write articles about that subject. Finally, after a number of years I created an actual "blog" section. But, even those articles were more informational or educational instead of an opinion piece or log diary.

If you go back over my history of writing on this blog you will see that there might be a year or two stretch where I didn't add any new articles to the site. It has definitely been a learning experience. I remember when I started it was an attempt to learn about this web programming stuff. I had been programming for a number of years, but I had never done web programming. Let me tell you that was a new animal. Luckily, in the early years the animal was caged, otherwise I would have been bitten.

Read More Now ... Celebrating Ten Years of Blogging

Tags: Blogging

Categories: Blogging



Success is Achieved by doing the fundamentals - Are you happy with the results. Did we get the number of visitors we wished for? Did our visitors click on revenue producing links and ads? Were our page views up for the year or down? Did users visit more than one page? Did they make it to the order form and then abandon or did they continue and purchase our products?

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We Arrive in Santiago de Compestela Spain

We walked for Thirty Three days straight

We have arrived in Santiago. We walked for 33 straight days. Some days were 12 milers and as many as 18 miles or more in one day. We reached our destination. We decided not to rush to reach the city. Mary had accidentally banged her knee on the table at the restaurant the night before and it was a little tender.


Day 31 Palas de Rei to Ribadiso

We have walked 31 days to Santiago de Compostela

Today we started early because we had reserved a room at an albergue and we had to get there by 2pm or we lost the reservation. Mary set a blistering pace in the dark morning mist. Sunrise is at 8 am but this morning we had clouds and fog so it was darker than yesterday. The path through the city was okay but then leaving the city it became more difficult.


Three days of walking left in our Camino

We only have 66 kilometers to Santiago

We have walked for 30 days with only 3 days till we reach our destination of Santiago de Compostela. It has been an amazing journey. We are in the Galicia region of Spain known for the rain it receives. Well we are extremely lucky because the weather has been beautiful for walking. It starts out cool in the high 40s but then warms up to the low to mid 70s. With plenty of sunshine.


We arrived in Sarria

Five walking days to Santiago

Today we started late at 8 am. We were almost the last people out of Triacastela walking the Camino.


Ocebreiro to Triacastela

Only 6 days remaining on the Camino de Santiago

We are sitting in a restaurant in the little village of Triacastela on day 27 having tapas. It was a short 12 miles that were mostly down. Tomorrow we hope to go to Sarria.


Views from Astorga Spain

From Leon to Astorga on the Camino de Santiago

We visited Leon, Spain yesterday and then we walked 35Km today. Leon was wonderful. Today we walked in rain for the first time. We went 35 KM yesterday for no other reason than we could.


Walked 17 Miles Today

Today we walked 17 miles on the Camino

Today we are sitting at the albergue in Terradillos de las Templarios. We are at the halfway point in our journey. We have walked over 250 miles or 400 kilometers. I truly didn't think we would be able to do this. Mary has been a real trouper walking through bad knees and the pain of shin splints.


Finished a Third of our Camino Experience

We have walked a Third of the way to Santiago

Today finds us in Ages, Spain only 14 miles from Burgos. We are quite excited that we have managed this distance. We hoped we could but we had doubts especially those first few days where we hurt so much.


The Path to Najera Spain

Eight Days of Walking

We have been walking for 8 days now. It has been interesting, tiring, painful, fun and a real learning experience.


Walking Through the Pyrenees

Walking Through the Pyrenees

Mary and I started our journey to Santiago Spain. The first day we started in Saint Jean Pied de Port in France. The goal was to arrive in Roncevalle, Spain before nightfall.




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