Monthly Archives: July 2019

Only in the Bay Area?

I just took an Uber ride to downtown and as with most of their drivers they are a good conversationalists.

My driver had moved from the Bay Area about a year and a half ago.

I said “I don’t see how you guys can afford to live there”.

He said that he couldn’t. He was making $130,000 a year and eligible for food stamps and section 8 housing.

I guess Manhattan is similar.

Other cities?

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Filed under Humor, Politics and Culture

Trade and China

When we stopped treating mainland China like a pariah that should be isolated, and trade opened up, we had high hopes.

It was thought that with trade opening up for China would come a liberalization for the government.

China was admitted to the WTO in 2001 following lengthy negotiations, amid widespread expectations that membership in the world body would ease its transition from a state-run to a market-oriented economy.

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The Not So Great Escape?

Over the years, I have enjoyed the BBCs History Magazine not only for the breadth of history they cover – from the middle ages to a few years ago, but frequently the different light its writers can shed on things we have just considered as “fact”.

And writer Guy Walters suggests that the escape on the night of March 24th from Stalag Luft III, made popular in the 1963 movie starring Steve McQueen and an all-star cast, was in reality a foolish action that accomplished nothing.

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The Best Travelers

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

Mark Twain, “Mark Twain: The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It”

 

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

St. Augustine of Hippo

 

“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.”

James A. Michener

 

Despite my posting my travel pictures here over the years, let me state that I am not the consummate traveler.

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Crater Lake

Crater Lake

I recently discovered that, despite now being into late middle age, I am still capable of rash quick decisions.

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A Ringside Seat

A Ringside Seat

Growing up, I had several memorable summer jobs.

From the time I was 12, I used to go back to my aunt and uncle’s farm in Huntington West Virginia most summers. My uncle was a contractor who built sewer and water plants, and he liked to say to those who asked what he did, “It may be !@#$ to some, but to me it’s my bread and butter“.

At one time he was the largest contractor in West Virginia, with jobs from Indiana to Camp Lejeune, NC.

I think my uncle was a character, and he seemed to work at it to keep that title.

That farm for a 12 year old boy was a magical place, with a jeep to drive, horses to ride, and .22 rifles to shoot. It was in the family for 200 years in what was the western part of Virginia and the house, modernized in the late 30s, was originally 2 adjacent two-story cabins. Some of the Wilsons from Lancaster County along the Rappahannock River decided go west and settle there. 

When I later went to school in Virginia, I thought nothing of driving the 700 miles round trip on US Rt 60 over the Shenandoahs just to share a weekend with my aunt and uncle.

They were that special to me.

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Filed under History

On this Date and Time 50 Years Ago…

On this Date and Time 50 Years Ago071619

Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins left the earth for the long voyage to the moon. I can still remember the world-wide anticipation that built for months to this moment. From the moment they left, their progress was on all the news programs.

In my mind anyway, it started 12 years earlier when the Soviets launched Sputnik. With that launch, the implication of ICBMs hitting us was clear. The nation was in an absolute panic. If you were in elementary school, you would regularly perform the “duck and cover” drill, going under your desk. Even at a relatively young age, I thought that was silly. But I remember growing up in Los Angeles hearing the Civil Defense sirens with practice runs.

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Filed under History