Saturday, August 30, 2014

My New Wheels - Yes, It Is a Girl's Bike!

Just got a 7-speed Schwinn 700c (27") to replace my Bike Friday fold-up that had a chain slip problem due to worn-out gears.

Like many an "old dog", I can't swing my foot as high as I used to, so I really appreciate the step-thru feature of a girl's bicycle. (Thanks to my good friend Herb for suggesting that I get a girl's bike.) 

My Schwinn is a lovely powder blue (they were out of the pink ones :^).
The new bike was $150 (plus tax) at Walmart, which is only a bit more than it would have cost to replace the gears and chain on my old bike, and I no longer need the folding feature. I gave my old bike to my good friend Garf whose son is in the bicycle business so he can fix it up for someone who wants a fold-up.

I've been riding a fold-up for decades, including a trip to England as well as several places in the US and Canada. The one I discarded was my third Bike Friday, and I will miss it, but I no longer take my bicycle on trips to distant places, so the folding aspect is not of value to me anymore.

At 75 years old, I still do 30-40 miles a week on the relatively flat streets and recreation paths of The Villages, FL, and hope I can keep it up for a few more years at least.

Ira Glickstein

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Vi and Ira Glickstein were married 50 years ago, in 1964.

The following postings include highlights of our life together and of our 50th anniversary family Baltic cruise.

  1. Wedding and Farm Days 
  2. Passing the Genes and Memes
  3. Computers R Us (Ira and Vi's careers)
  4. Retirement in The Villages, FL
  5. Our 50th Anniversary Baltic Cruise (Air Travel and Shipboard activities)
  6. Our 50th Anniversary Baltic Cruise (Land-Tours)

50th-1 Wedding and Farm Days

50 YEARS OF MARRIAGE - FLAG DAY, JUNE 14th 1964 to 2014

TOP: We were young and foolish when we got married on June 14th 1964. 
BOTTOM: But look at what 50 years together has done! Lower middle photos are distorted using iPad "twisted" camera feature, but that is how we really feel! Ira (and Vi)

Fifty years ago, a few days after our wedding, I rented a Cessna 152 and flew my new wife from Chatham Airport in NJ up to Niagara Falls, NY, stopping in Binghamton, NY for fuel. (Little did we know that less than two years later I would accept a job at IBM Owego, in the Binghamton area, and we would live and work there for nearly 40 years!)

TOP LEFT: Vi and Ira, Co-Pilot and Pilot for life, prepare to depart from Chatham Airport in Morristown, NJ. 

MIDDLE: We stopped in Binghamton, NY to refuel.
TOP RIGHT: Inflight on our  "Honeymoon Special" adventure! 
BOTTOM: We rented a car and spent the night at the aptly named "Honeymoon Motel"on the Canadian side. 

We flew home the following day but the weather got bad so we had to spend the night at a hotel in Binghamton, returning the rented airplane in NJ the following morning.


Early in our marriage, I took a job at IBM Federal Systems, Owego, NY, not far from Binghamton!
We purchased an old farm house with three barns and 88 acres of land in Newark Valley, NY, about 12 miles north of Owego.

TOP LEFT: Vi's parents, Gilbert and Clara Stark, visit our farm where we raised sheep. We had a kerosene heater in the kitchen and propane heaters in two other rooms. Our bedroom lacked any heater at all. I can still imagine what they were thinking "What have you done to our daughter?"
BOTTOM LEFT: Ira's parents, Morris and Ruth Glickstein, visit our farm. With the help of the New York State Agricultural Extension Service, we built a 1/4 acre pond on our land above the house and barns. We sometimes camped there.
RIGHT: Vi and Lisa get close and personal with one of our Angus beef cattle.
Some more views of our "Green Acres" FARM DAYS (1965-1973). 

TOP: In addition to the very old house and barns, the purchase included Trixie, our loyal dog. We built a dirt road up to the pond we put on the land above the house and barns.

BOTTOM LEFT: Me with my Dad Morris on road overlooking house and barns. Dad enclosed the front porch and made major improvements inside the house.

BOTTOM RIGHT: I'm in the middle, shoveling the chicken manure left over from the hens raised for eggs by the previous owners. Steamy and pungent, but great fertilizer!

  1. Wedding and Farm Days 
  2. Passing the Genes and Memes
  3. Computers R Us (Ira and Vi's careers)
  4. Retirement in The Villages, FL
  5. Our 50th Anniversary Baltic Cruise (Air Travel and Shipboard activities)
  6. Our 50th Anniversary Baltic Cruise (Land-Tours)

50th-2 Passing the Genes and Memes

We successfully passed our genes and memes to the third and fourth generations.


TOP LEFT: Ruth and Morris Glickstein, Ira's parents.
MIDDLE: Clara and Gilbert Stark, Vi's parents.
TOP RIGHT: Ira and Vi as children.
BOTTOM RIGHT: At our wedding reception and dinner.
LEFT: Our daughters Lisa, Rena, and Sara as youngsters
MIDDLE: As newlyweds with Jerry, David, and Avi, respectively.
RIGHT: Our grandchildren, Samantha, Michaela, Alexia, ... and Isaac (Emerson not pictured)


LEFT: Ira's Father, Morris, holds his great grandchildren Alexia, Michaela, and Samantha. Ira is Morris's son, and Lisa is the mother of Morris's great-grandchildren.
RIGHT TOP: Vi's grandmother Julia (and her husband, Chaim), with her great-grandchildren, Lisa, Rena, and Sara. Clara is Julia's daughter, Vi's mother, and grandmother of the children. Vi is the mother of Julia's great-grandchildren.
RIGHT BOTTOM: Julia with her great-grandchildren. Man at right is Gilbert, Vi's father.


LEFT: Ira's Bar Mitzvah (1952). Vi & Ira's Jewish wedding (1964)

MIDDLE: Lisa, Rena and Sara's Bat Mitzvahs (1978, 1980, 1982)

RIGHT: Alexia, Michaela, and Samantha's Bat Mitzvahs (2011) 

  1. Wedding and Farm Days 
  2. Passing the Genes and Memes
  3. Computers R Us (Ira and Vi's careers)
  4. Retirement in The Villages, FL
  5. Our 50th Anniversary Baltic Cruise (Air Travel and Shipboard activities)
  6. Our 50th Anniversary Baltic Cruise (Land-Tours)

50th-3 Computers R Us (Ira and Vi's careers)

Both Ira and Vi had great careers involving computers. In 1978, we purchased one of the first 3000 Apple II home computers and introduced our children to it, well before most Americans ever considered the idea of owning a computer.  We also purchased one of the first IBM Personal Computers when they became available in 1981.


Our children's knowledge of computers was big news at the time, and the subject of two stories in the Binghamton newspaper.

LEFT: Lisa demonstrates a computer at her school in Owego, NY.
RIGHT: Rena and Sara demonstrate our Apple II at home.
BOTTOM: Vi, Rena, and Sara were interviewed about our computer.


Ira joined IBM-Owego in 1965. In 1994, IBM Federal Systems Division was sold to Loral, and then, a year later, to Lockheed-Martin. Ira was 55 years old and had 28 years with IBM when our facility was sold, so he took early retirement from IBM keeping his job and seniority at the new company. Seven years later, in 2001, he retired from Lockheed-Martin.

Ira lugged our Apple II into the IBM facility to teach a course on Artificial Intelligence. When IBM came out with the PC-1, Ira was assigned the job of teaching engineers how to use this new tool and was the first person at the facility to have a PC in his office.  We also purchased one of the first IBM PC's for home use.

TOP LEFT: Ira used the PC to develop and demonstrate Advanced Visionics concepts for helicopter pilots.
RIGHT: Ira's innovative use of the IBM PC to develop and demonstrate Multi-Purpose Computer Display concepts, and his role as the Lead Engineer for IBM's HH-60 Technical Proposal, resulted in an IBM Federal Systems Division Golden Circle Award that included a trip for Vi and Ira to Hawaii.
BOTTOM LEFT: In 1984, an issue of the IBM Federal Systems Division "Technical Directions" magazine was devoted to "The Rational Cockpit and Advanced Automation" based partly on Ira's work.

TOP: Vi & Ira in HH-60 lab at IBM (1986) 
BOTTOM: Pave Low Night Training Mission (1986). Ira, Blake, & Murchie ("IBM" - get it?) used night vision goggles to experience low level flight over Dobbins AFB. The second night we witnessed an in-air refueling from a C-130. IMPRESSIVE!
RIGHT: Five US Patents, issued 2001-2007, with Ira's name on them.

LEFT: Ira's retirement plaque (2001). 
MIDDLE: Suspended in air at SF Science Museum.
RIGHT: Ira's first two jobs were in NJ & CT. Ira designed and hooked this small rug in 1976, based on a US postage stamp issued for the 200th birthday of the USA.


Vi got a job at IBM-Owego in 1984 and retired from Lockheed-Martin in 1999.

TOP LEFT: As a result of our getting an Apple II home computer, Vi earned her Masters Degree in Computer Science from Binghamton University, taught there, and then got a job at IBM Owego. (Keeping up with Vi, Ira earned his Masters Degree in System Science in 1990 and his PhD in System Science from Binghamton University in 1996.)
BOTTOM LEFT: IBM Marketing award.
MIDDLE: Vi was the Lead Software Engineer for the Army Special Operations Project, and received an Appreciation Award.
TOP RIGHT: Ira and Vi on vacation in Tahiti.
BOTTOM RIGHT: Lockheed-Martin Recognition Award.

LEFT; Vi and Ira in the Owego Artificial Intelligence laboratory in 1986.
TOP RIGHT: An issue of IBM FSD's "Technical Directions" included an article by Ira about "AI Aids for the Pilot".
BOTTOM RIGHT: Ira taught a course on "Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Life" at the Brandeis University (Boston) "Summer Odyssey" in 2000 and 2001.
(No Photo) While working and after retirement, we each taught online graduate courses for the University of Maryland University College up until 2013. (Ira in System Engineering and Vi in Software Engineering).
  1. Wedding and Farm Days 
  2. Passing the Genes and Memes
  3. Computers R Us (Ira and Vi's careers)
  4. Retirement in The Villages, FL
  5. Our 50th Anniversary Baltic Cruise (Air Travel and Shipboard activities)
  6. Our 50th Anniversary Baltic Cruise (Land-Tours)

50th-4 Retirement in The Villages, FL

In 2003, after some 38 years in upstate New York, most of it in Apalachin, we moved to The Villages, FL, known as "America's Favorite Retirement Home Town". There must be something in the water or the air, because, like almost all of our neighbors, we can't help saying "It's a beautiful day in The Villages" every chance we get. The photo montage below depicts our active retirement.


RIGHT: We built a house in a wonderful location on a golf course pond. Our view, from the rear of our home, faces the north and the golf cart paths are on the other side of the pond so we get very few golf balls intruding on our property. We installed a hot tub we enjoyed with our grandchildren and other visitors.

TOP LEFT and MIDDLE:  I (Ira) joined the wonderful bicycle club and participated in weekly rides. I also went on two bike/barge trips, the first to the Loire River area of France and the second from Brussels to Bruges in Belgium. About 20 of us lived on a barge for a week. After a night's sleep in a small but comfortable room, we had breakfast on the barge and packed a lunch to take along on a bicycle ride to the next port. A tour guide led us along excellent routes with stops at historic towns and other sights of interest. We usually arrived at the location of the barge by 3 or 4 PM, for sight-seeing there or, in my case, a nice nap before a wonderful dinner, served by the crew. After dinner we would take a walk and socialize with our friends.

TOP: Vi was active in photography, giving talks about the then-new topic of digital photography to the photography and computer clubs. She also joined a knitting group.

BOTTOM LEFT: We were founding members of Temple Shalom, a Reform congregation.

We both enjoy other activities in The Villages, such as water aerobics and visiting the town centers, dining at restaurants, and going to the movies. 


In 2012, we made the latest major change in our Active Retirement - Our move to Freedom Pointe, an excellent Independent Living facility in The Villages, FL.
LEFT: After years of rural life in New York and a private home in Florida,we've moved to an apartment house, reminiscent of our roots back in Brooklyn, over 70 years ago! We live on the fourth floor, with a view of a major road intersection, a shopping plaza, The Villages Hospital, and the sight and sounds of ambulances, helicopters, and fire engines. Of course, our current digs are a major "mov'in on-up" in lifestyle, see We enjoy monthly parties at Freedom Point, a daily restaurant-style meal, and other amenities.
MIDDLE: We are still in The Villages, thus have access to all amenities, remain close to most of our old friends, be it for dinner or water aerobics. Photo shows Vi on a zip-line in Ketchikan, Alaska, on a cruise we shared with most of our children and grands. Up till 2013, we both taught online grad courses for the University of Maryland (Vi-Software Requirements, Ira-System Engineering). 
RIGHT: I (Ira) remain intellectually and physically active, giving talks at the Philosophy Club, Science-Tech Club, and others. I made a popular YouTube video based on a link a granddaughter sent me, see In preparation for kayaking with my granddaughter and son-in-law during our Baltic cruise, I took a few friends from Freedom Point on an 8-mile kayak paddle on the Rainbow River, near Dunellon, FL. 

  1. Wedding and Farm Days 
  2. Passing the Genes and Memes
  3. Computers R Us (Ira and Vi's careers)
  4. Retirement in The Villages, FL
  5. Our 50th Anniversary Baltic Cruise (Air Travel and Shipboard activities)
  6. Our 50th Anniversary Baltic Cruise (Land-Tours)

50th-5 Our 50th Anniversary Baltic Cruise (Air Travel and Shipboard activities)


We flew Delta "Business Class" overnight from Atlanta to Amsterdam on our way to our 50th anniversary Baltic Cruise. It was a special treat to have a personal entertainment system and a seat that converted to a lay-flat bed. As you can see, Vi, our daughter Rena, and son-in-law David had a complete row to ourselves.

I've flown First Class a few times, and enjoyed the extra legroom, better meal, and free alcoholic drink, but, at least in the olden days when many flights were only 3/4 full, I used to prefer to get three seats in a row so I could lift the seat separators and lay down flat. However, I must admit, this semi-private arrangement is pretty neat.


Vi and Ira Celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary on a Baltic cruise with two of our daughters and sons-in-law and our three 16-year old granddaughters. 

Photo is from first dress-up dinner. 
LEFT to RIGHT: Standing- Vi, Ira (Open your eyes!), Jerry, David, Lisa, Alexia; 
Seated- Samantha, Rena, Michaela.

Photo is from our second dress-up dinner, where our children ordered an anniversary cake.
TOP CENTER: Our grandaughter Michaels reacts.


We visited St. Petersburg, Russia, as the highlight of our 50th anniversary cruise, which also included Helsinki, Finland; Tallinn, Estonia; and Riga, Latvia, starting and ending in Stockholm, Sweden.
LEFT to RIGHT: Ira, Samantha, Alexia,Lisa, Michaela, Vi, Jerry.


We were too busy or it was cool for swimming for most of the Baltic cruise. However, Alexia, Samantha and Ira were able to use the spectacular pool on our day at sea. 

INSETS: After too many museum tours, Ira has "the agony of the feet" (photo by Samantha, based on her idea :^) A nice young man from Mexico caught the three of us simultaneously underwater.

  1. Wedding and Farm Days 
  2. Passing the Genes and Memes
  3. Computers R Us (Ira and Vi's careers)
  4. Retirement in The Villages, FL
  5. Our 50th Anniversary Baltic Cruise (Air Travel and Shipboard activities)
  6. Our 50th Anniversary Baltic Cruise (Land-Tours)