“Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world, you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you.” — Anthony Bourdain
I have always loved to roam. Might be in my genes, as I had a grandmother who, in her 60s, took it upon herself to roam the world on her own.
The last “Loop Around America” I did was 15 years ago. Then, I could on the spur of the moment, decide that I wanted to see New Orleans post-Katrina and drive 800 miles from Oak Ridge, TN. I covered 7,500 miles in 14 days, and that included stopping in MN to see my niece get married, and visiting my cousin in Virginia.
As thousands watched in horror, a World War II-era fighter plane competing in a Nevada event described as a car race in the sky suddenly pitched upward, rolled and did a nose-dive toward the crowded grandstand.
The plane, flown by a 74-year-old veteran Hollywood stunt pilot, then slammed into the tarmac in front of VIP box seats and blew to pieces in front the pilot’s family and a tight-knit group of friends who attend the annual event in Reno.
“It absolutely disintegrated,” said Tim O’Brien of Grass Valley, Calif., who attends the races every year. “I’ve never seen anything like that before.”
The pilot and two spectators were killed and more than 50 were injured amid a horrific scene strewn with smoking debris
Part of me hopes that I’m able to fly warbirds at Reno when I’m 74.
SecState Hillary Clinton has gone on the record to state that, despite being a tyrannical state sponsor of terrorism whose government is ruthlessly gunning down unarmed protesters in the street, Bashar al Asad’s Syria will be free from the kind of coalition attacks that have marked our foreign policy in Libya:
“No,” Clinton said when asked on the CBS program “Face the Nation” if the U.S. would intervene in Syria’s unrest. Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s security forces clashed with protesters in several cities over the weekend after his promises of freedoms and pay increases failed to prevent dissent from spreading across the country.
Clinton said the elements that led to intervention in Libya — international condemnation, an Arab League call for action, a United Nations Security Council resolution — are “not going to happen” with Syria, in part because members of the U.S. Congress from both parties say they believe Assad is “a reformer.”
Nine days after the TLAMS started flying in the Med, our president will address a puzzled nation about means and ends in Libya. Writing in the New York Times, Ross Douthat says that it could be an interesting conversation:
Printers in this city near the Afghan border say they have produced thousands of fake voter registration cards at the request of Afghan lawmakers for use in that country’s parliamentary elections on Saturday.
The cards, some shown to the Associated Press, add to evidence that fraud could undermine the elections and further destabilize the Western-backed government of President Hamid Karzai.
A fraud-marred presidential election last year threatened the credibility of the Afghan administration at home and with the Western nations waging war on the country’s resurgent Taliban.
Voting regulation has been improved, but an influx of fake cards raises the possibility of a person with multiple cards voting many times and could still cause problems in an insecure country where monitoring of polling stations will probably be spotty.
I’ve never been to Algeria, but I have been to GTMO.
Lovely weather, three hots and a cot, no one is trying to cut your head off:
The Obama administration would quickly send home six Algerians held at the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but for one problem: The men don’t want to go. Given the choice between repatriation and incarceration, the men choose Gitmo, according to their lawyers…
A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned Kessler late Thursday, granting the government’s emergency appeal. Much of the litigation remains under seal, but the government argues that legal precedent makes clear the executive branch’s prerogative to decide where to transfer a detainee.
Mohammed’s attorneys declined to comment. Human rights activists said they would appeal, possibly to the Supreme Court.
The irony here is almost too rich for words: Human rights activists who have been up in arms about the GTMO gulag for the better part of a decade are effectively agitating to prevent detainees from being released.
Security in Baghdad has improved to the point where Iraqi policemen can go back to shooting stray dogs:
Teams of veterinarians and police shooters have killed some 58,000 stray dogs in and around the Iraqi capital over the past three months as part of a campaign to curb an increasing number of strays blamed for attacks on residents…
The surge in strays — estimated by provincial officials to number around 1.25 million — is ironically linked to what officials say is an improvement in some elements of daily life in Baghdad, a city that for seven years has been struggling to return to normalcy after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein.
Officials with the provincial veterinary directorate said that with open-air markets and bustling city life returning, the dogs are able to find more food and are having bigger litters…
Under Saddam Hussein’s regime, stray dogs were routinely shot. But their numbers grew steadily following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion when a host of more serious security issues sidelined efforts to deal with the dogs.
None of the affected dogs could be reached for comment.
I’ve been to a few automotive museums – one, in Danville, is probably world renowned. They have for example one of the 6 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadsters. They have a limousine – very rare – made in the People’s Republic of China used only for high dignitaries like Mao. As far as I know, it is the only one of the handful made that the Chinese let out of the country.
I have tried to get to the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles. Every time I have been through there it has either been closed as normal or closed for remodeling.
If I find myself in Stuttgart (BTW did you know this town is named from older German meaning “Stud Farm? – hence the Porsche logo) – but if there, and I don’t spend a few days to see the Mercedes-Benz and Porsche Museums, take away my gearhead card.
I don’t deserve it.
But I have never been to a museum in which every single automotive exhibit – every one – is a car I would lust to have!
That would be the Cobra Experience in Martinez, CA. And it is in an unlikely place – in the back of an industrial park on the 2nd floor.
Premium gas is back below $3.00 per gallon in San Diego, and I filled the tank up on the GS for $12 and a bit. That’ll last me through the next work week.
There’s change you can believe in.
So, yah, I’m back to commuting via moto, these days. Perforce, actually. On account of the fender benders and such. Not me, mind, but my sainted wife.
It was a mutual back-up scenario in one of those parking lots so common here in Southern California: Painted as though the whole world drove Mini Coopers, when in fact – as everyone knows perfectly well – they all drive SUVs and steroidal minivans, and that. The great, rough beasts. Whilst talking on their cell phones, and gesticulating with their mitts. The horror.