Archive for June, 2009

Halifax, Nova Scotia — June 29, 2009

June 29, 2009

Monday morning, we woke up approaching Halifax, Nova Scotia.  It was raining and gray.  Our morning adventure was a bus ride to Peggys Cove.  We enjoyed the drive through the countryside.  By the time we got to Peggys Cove, the rain had stopped, but it was still gray.

Peggys Cove is a very small fishing village that has been given special protection status to keep it from being overdeveloped.  We took some photos of the lighthouse and then I went looking for a geocache.  I then met up with Wendy and we walked around the village.

In the afternoon, we took an “hop-on-hop-off” bus tour of downtown Halifax.  It’s a nice looking city.  They have 3 Titanic cemeteries; Halifax was the closest city to the Titanic disaster and many of the bodies were brought back to Halifax.

Later in the afternoon, we walked the boardwalk along the Halifax harbor.  Wendy found a crystal glass shop that has hired many of the workers from the Waterford plant in Ireland.  We got a quick tour of the shop while the workers were grinding the glass.

We did see the sun in Halifax.  It was projected onto the floor of the dock.

We did see the sun in Halifax.  It was projected onto the floor of the port building.

We did see the sun in Halifax. It was projected onto the floor of the port building.


Bar Harbor–June 28, 2009

June 28, 2009

This was our third visit to Bar Harbor, Maine and Acadia National Park.  We had visited the area in 2006 and 2008.  We took a morning tour that included a carriage ride on the crushed granite carriage roads build by John D. Rockefeller Jr. between 1913 and 1940.  For some information on the carriage roads, check out the NPS site here.  The ride took us from Wildwood Stables around Day Mountain.  The weather didn’t cooperate and more than half of the ride was in the rain.  We didn’t let the rain dampen our spirits and had a good time anyway.  After the carriage ride, we visited Jordan Pond, before returning to the town of Bar Harbor.

Wildwood Stables, Acadia National Park

Wildwood Stables, Acadia National Park

Carriage Road

Carriage Road

Along the Road

Along the Road

In the Rain

In the Rain

Some views of the Jordan Pond area.

Our ship had to anchor in the harbor and we used tender boat to ferry from the ship to the town.

Tender Boats

Tender Boats

We enjoyed the quick visit to Bar Harbor.  We watched as the ship pivoted and then slowly left the harbor.

Boston — June 26-27, 2009

June 27, 2009

Vacation started with a flight from LAX to Boston.  We enjoyed Friday night in the Faneuil Hall area.  On Saturday, we visited the Old North Church and walked through the North End neighborhood, through a very nice outdoor market, the Boston Common, and then back to the hotel.  A quick taxi ride took us to our ship, Holland America’s Maasdam.

Old North Church

Old North Church

Old North Church

Old North Church

North End Neighborhood

North End Neighborhood



Old State House

Old State House

Boston Common

Boston Common

An Open Letter to Governor Mark Sanford

June 25, 2009

Dear Governor Sanford

Personal decisions sometimes have very public consequences.  For you, it appears that your very promising political career is over.  As it should be.  We need men and women of integrity in public office.  If you can’t keep promises to your wife, how can the public trust you to keep your promises to them?

I listened to most of your press conference yesterday.  Thank you very much for not including your wife in the press conference like so many of your fellow philanderers do.  You all have embarrassed your wives enough.  No reason to rub their faces in your farces of press conference apologies.

Governor, KISS–Keep it Simple Stupid.  No reason to go on and go with your apology press conference.  Just stand up, tell everyone that you are a cheater and a liar, and,  if you are truly sorry, say so, then shut up and go away.

As far as going away, you might want to consider that when it comes to public office.  You have thrown away the trust of your wife and your family.  The citizens of South Carolina probably don’t trust you anymore either.  Perhaps the honorable thing to do now would to just resign.

A few words of advice–given, of course, way too late to be of any help to you.  First, if you are going to be a fool and cheat on your family, don’t do it on Fathers Day weekend.  Your sons will never forget how selfish you really are.  Your marriage might not mean anything to you anymore, but why Fathers Day?   Second, you mentioned in your press conference that this affair was with a good friend that you have had for a long time and things just got carried away.  One of the most useful and important lessons that I learned in graduate school had nothing to do with academics.  It had to do with fidelity.  My professor taught us that the best way to protect again the situation that you are now in is to be overly cautious.  Don’t touch anyone at work other than a friendly handshake.  No hugging.  No touching.  If you keep strict limits, you  probably aren’t going to have an office affair.  If you are married, avoid being alone with women.  You said that this “relationship” started out “innocently.”  Innocent relationships can quickly get very complicated and not so innocent.  Just don’t go there to begin with and avoid the heartbreak.

I wish you the best, Governor.  I hope that you can somehow work things out with your wife and regain her trust.  I hope that you haven’t irreparably damaged your relationship with your sons.

Start telling and living the truth.  Your personal life might then have a change to recover and to heal.

A Few Good Rules

June 22, 2009

I received an e-mail of a list of 45 life lessons.  It said it was written by a 90-year old woman.  That seemed a little strange, so I goggled her name and learned that she is actually 53 years old.  Regina Brett is a columnist for the Plain Dealer in Cleveland, OH.  To read how the Internet can age you by 40 years, check out one of her columns here.

Here are her “life lessons.”  Written, by the way, when she was 45 and then updated when she was 50.

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.

It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here’s an update:

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative – dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

41. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

48. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

To see the original list, click here.

Welcome to Summer

June 20, 2009

As of 10:45 PM PDT, it’s officially Summer.  The Sun reached its northernmost position in the sky and the longest day in the northern hemisphere began.

Enjoy your summer!

Dennis Prager: Happiness is a Moral Obligation

June 19, 2009

Be sure to look at Lincoln at the very end of the video.

What Then?

June 19, 2009

I recently read a book on economics but, unfortunately, don’t remember the book’s title or the author.  He was a refreshingly clear thinker.  The most important point that I took away from the book is the question, “What then?”.

“What then?” is the analysis required to determine the full  impact of the consequences of a decision.  If you do A, what then will happen?  And then what will happen after that, and then after that, and so on.  By completely thinking through an issue, you may discover that the full consequences of an action might have an effect that isn’t wanted.

The nation is on the verge of a complete transformation of our medical care system.  Now is the time to ask “What then?” many, many times.  If these questions are honestly and fully answered, we will understand the devastating consequences of more government involvement in the medical deliver system.  If a “government option” occurs, the only result will be inferior medical care for almost everyone in the country.  The world’s greatest medical system will become like Canada’s or Great Britain’s.  No one from the United States goes to Canada to receive better treatment.  However, Canadians come to the US for care in large numbers.

Hopefully the brakes can be applied to involving the government any more than it already is in our medical system.  If not, the What then’s won’t have very happy answers.

Don’t Call Her Ma’am

June 18, 2009

Senator Barbara Boxer, who is, unfortunately my senator, doesn’t like being called Ma’am.  Please call her “Senator” Boxer.

Brigadier General Michael Walsh of the Army Corps of Engineers was testifying before a Senate committee about the New Orleans levee system.  The general, using perfectly acceptable military protocol of addressing a superior as Ma’am, was told by Senator Boxer to use the title Senator.  Check out the clip above.

Senator Boxer–Chill out and get over it. Leave your ego in the cloak room next time. The general was being polite.  He was being respectful.   Show some class and return that courtesy and respect.  Call the general “General” and allow him to call you “Ma’am.” Hopefully, we in California will soon be able to address you as the  “former Senator Boxer.”

PETA and the President’s Fly (Insect not Zipper)

June 18, 2009

President Obama skillfully kills a fly in the White House during a televised interview and PETA is upset.  Check out this and this.

Just one more example of how an organization that equates the Holocaust  with the barbecuing of 6 million chickens just doesn’t really understand life.

Humans are not just another animal.  Animals and humans don’t have equal rights.

PETA, and those who support it, are fools.