Category Archives: Travel

Banff National Park

Lake Louise

Of all the places I have been over the many years, there’s a lot of images that remain in my mind of beautiful settings.

But I cannot name a place other than Lake Louise that has so much beauty in such a compact area.

The lake is only 2 km long and 1/2 km wide. When the sun is out, the water is turquoise, fed by Victoria Glacier in the back as it grinds rock to a fine powder. .

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The Quest for the Perfect Selfie

The Quest For The Perfect Selfie

Lake Louise in an October Afternoon

A few days ago at Lake Louise, Banff National Park, we rented a canoe to explore the placid (and cold) waters. The mornings would be cold – usually 22 degrees F, and you could see the water starting to crystallize into ice. By afternoon the outside temp was around freezing.

The water is turquoise from the glacier-fed waters – with the pulverized rock – as the glacier slowly made its way to the water.

Having been there over the decades twice – but in the summer – I believe October is the best time to visit.

The summer hordes are gone, the air is crisp, and the hotels start their off season rates. By winter temps can drop to -40F.

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Filed under Books, Outside the Box, Small Stuff, Travel

California’s Problems Part 2



I had a friend with an interesting commute. He worked in San Jose for a now defunct disk drive manufacturer, Maxtor (bought by Seagate I believe). He used to write the system code for the drives.

He lived in Reno, Nevada and every Sunday night would start his long commute to San Jose. I would say that he drove almost 300 miles, down the Sierras, through the Valley, then into the Bay Area. This could be through rain, snow, traffic.

Every Friday evening, he would drive back to Reno. I can only imagine trying to navigate the Bay Area traffic gridlock on the way back to Reno after a week’s work – then, what has become common, Sacramento area gridlock.

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Filed under Politics, San Diego, Small Stuff, SoCal, Travel

Check Engine Light


This condition activated the Check Engine Light while driving down the mountain from Sequoia.

It seems that I have one more thing to milk tell about my recent 3 day trip, and this may help you in the near – or distant – future.

Despite taking obvious preventative measures, when you have a car that is 23 years old….things can happen. That is, unless one is willing to replace every electronic or moving component in the car. Even then, brand new cars have been known to break down on the road. Because while the engineers know what MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) each component may have, there are statistical deviations between the norm.

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A Mini lap of California

A Mini lap of California4

These days, because of family responsibilities, there are limited times I can leave. When I can leave, the best trips are the ones where you don’t initially know your destination.

I used an excuse some years ago of my niece’s wedding in Minnesota to drive 7,492 miles around the country. Other than the wedding, I made up the destinations as I went along.

So this week, I had only 3 days.

What to do?

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Sailing Zatara II

Since I first discovered this on YouTube (thanks to xbradtc who mentioned it), I have watched several episodes every night. If you are interested in the adventures of a Dallas family who decided to buy a 55′ sail boat in Florida and sail around the world with their 4 children, you can go with them vicariously and see the world.

While I am now watching Episode 56, what prompted me to post this is my amazement  at how much influence one can have in the world with a very minimal investment in technology.

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Sailing Zatara

Yesterday in the Lex Facebook group, xbradtc recommended this series on YouTube. A self-made man, who created a successful business decided (with his family’s agreement) to sell their Dallas house and business, and buy a 55′ sailboat in Florida to sail around the world.

Keith (the husband) didn’t propose this with some pie-in-the-sky plan but devotes the early episodes to his methodical approach in learning sailing and re-outfitting the boat.

He’s a commercial pilot, having flown a Beech King Air and Bell Jet Ranger. He is thorough in his approach to starting this new adventure.

I’m already to episode 9 and I am hooked.

Hat’s off to that family for having the adventuresome spirit to cast aside everything for a dream.

Their website is here.

They have 180+ episodes (which go from 5 minutes on up), and the first one is here.

H/T to xbradtc.

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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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Taking an Older Car on a Road Trip – Part 2

Yesterday, I talked a bit about the things that will sideline you on a road trip – and probably ruin the trip. By the time you find a place to look at the car, have it towed, order the part (in all probability), find a motel, you will have spent 2-3 days. Maybe more.

And many times the car will give you warning of an impending failure – sometimes for months. Particularly for a bearing on its way out – coolant pumps, idler pulley bearings, and alternators will (usually) squeak before they fail.

Most of the time.

Anyway, there’s a couple of more things that can fail on the road and leave you stranded. One of them can destroy your engine.

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