Showing posts from July, 2008

And Presto!

I'm back! Drove home today from Baton Rouge - 10 hours and 683 miles! I'm beat! Glad I decided to take tomorrow as a vacation day, too! Shreveport, Houston, south Louisiana - overall, I drove about 2,500 miles, plus kept up with my walking!
This was one of the best vacations I ever had, and it has sped by at an unbelievable pace. I spent some really quality time with many of my relatives and gathered a lot of family history information, from both my mother's and my father's sides of the family. Now to figure out a way to manage all the information, add to it, and make it available to other family members.
This is going to be an early night, however.

I'm Off

this a.m. on my wondrous 2008 vacation. Don't know if I'll be able to post anything while I'm gone, but if I happen to come across a computer, and if I'm so inclined... Well, who knows?
I'm outta here!

And now a word from a Gitmo detainee lawyer

I can find no words to express my reaction.
A lawyer for some detainees at Gitmo decided to drop his drawers at a press conference, trying to make some sort of point.
Check out the pic here!
He could indulge in a little more Tap! Tap! during his bathroom visits.

Ah, vacation, Part II

A thought struck me (I'll wait a minute to let the laughter subside) that perhaps a driving reason for my vacation choice of visiting family members, as opposed to the beach or some such activity, could be the recent deaths of Tim Russert and Tony Snow, only 58 and 53 years, respectively.
I have always admired and respected these two men, Tony Snow especially, and their untimely demises have bothered me. All the cliches have more meaning now - life is too short, live while you can, etc. - and has caused me to reflect more on what is important in life. I find that work does not rank high on that list, except as a matter of necessity, although I do enjoy what I do, whom I work with, and the company I work for (hey, I'm not complaining!). But I have always worked since I was a teen, and sometimes to the exclusion of those other, intangible things in life, one of which is exploring your roots and knowing your family better. (Or is that 2 things?)
Thus I set off to go visit relatives…

A new source of energy?

Or is it 21st century snake oil?
Interesting article from CNN Money about a BlackLight, a NJ company which claims to be able to convert hydrogen from water into energy, with no pollution.
The timing is interesting. At a time when oil prices are the highest in history, desperation can lead us to believe in any alternative that sounds plausible. Still, the company claims to have been able to already secure significant capital financing.
I wish them luck. If the process is valid, the implications are profound. Just sounds too good, though.

Ah, vacation!

Yes, friends, I am about to depart on a road trip and get away for a while. Gas prices? Who cares? Well, sort of.

When it's all said and done, few things are more important than family, and from that truth hath sprung my mission, er, vacation purpose. (I think a vacation should have some sort of, at least minimal, reason to be. It gives you something to anticipate, even if you only plan to do nothing.) And the sole reason for this vacation is to visit family. It started as a desire to visit my younger sister and brother in Shreveport, LA, then it took a life of its own.

My sister Pam recently underwent a second surgery to put a rod in her right leg in place of her femur which was shattered in a wreck on July 4, 2007. (Those things can be a slap in your face and make you think how quickly you can lose a loved one.) The original surgery was performed with the wrong parts, so she had to endure the second one, this time with a much better doctor and without trauma from the wreck. She ha…

This housing/credit mess

... did not just happen out of the blue overnight. A lot of people and institutions share the fault - too easy credit, lax lending practices, borrowers who bit off more than they could chew. That's why there was such a housing boom over the last decade or so, and the part of it that was artificial has now come home to roost. That's why you might look around your own neighborhood and not find any of your neighbors affected (unless they need to sell). That's why the American taxpayer should not have to shoulder the burden of loose credit when 95%+ of us acted responsibly.
CNN Money has an interesting article written by a former subprime lender. One is his main points is that lenders did not even check to see if an applicant could even afford the loan payments!
I hate to see anyone put out of their home, but if all parties had acted responsibly, many of those who are defaulting would not have been in the house in the first place! And now you and me - who still diligently pay ou…

Oil - $66 a Barrel!

...a year ago.

What a difference a year can make!

June Recap

for my on-going weight loss "project":
Lbs. lost so far - 27
Waist size loss - 4"
Miles walked in June - 70
Average length of walk - 5 miles
For various reasons, I only walked 14 days in June. I generally don't walk when I have done other activities such as golf or yardwork, but towards the end of the month, I did walk in addition to those other activities.
I think I've hit a little plateau with the weight loss, so I guess I'll have to increase the number of days I walk in July. My new "minimum" walk is now 5 miles, which takes about an hour and 25 minutes, or approximately a 17-minute mile. It's a comfortable length. My long Sunday walks still max at 8 miles, and those I really start to feel at the 6 mile mark.
Portion control is progressing well. I went to dinner with some of my Corvette friends last Friday, and could only finish half the meal. (I did, however, managed to force down my 1/2 carafe of the house red!) In past times, I would have plowed…