Showing posts from 2017

Another bloated, wasteful organization

The AP reports that the World Heath Organization spends $200 million a year on travel, which includes business class air fares and swanky hotel rooms. Talk about waste! And we US taxpayers are a major funder!

Compare WHO to others:

WHO: UN-funded - 7,000 staffers and $200 million in travel
UNICEF: UN funded - 13,000 staff and $140 million
Doctors Without Borders: Not UN funded - 37,000 staffers and $43 million

And WHO is complaining about not having enough money!

Oh come on now!

Camino Planning

All my ducks are pretty well in a row for my Camino Frances this year.
The airfare's bought and paid for, and I have booked my first 5 nights of the trip. After that, I'll just wing it from night to night. 
All I have left are my land routes from Madrid to St. Jean Pied de Port. I'll take a train from Madrid to Pamplona, spend the night, then bus to SJPdP, the start of my journey. When I am about 60 days out, I'll book them.
Packing-wise, I am set. I have a 34 liter back pack which has a wrap-around waist belt designed to support the weight on my hips, rather than my shoulders. It's very comfortable, and the total packed weight will be about 18 lbs. Contents will include a sleeping bag, silk liner. a couple of changes of clothes, Crocs, my travel CPAP and battery, and a few toiletries and Rx's. Minimal!
Still walking 25 miles a week, plus fitness classes and yoga for better strength and flexibility.
I'm really looking forward to the whole experience. People…

Still true today

“If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the
newspaper you are misinformed.”
Mark Twain

What? Our Press is biased?

Harvard isn't exactly a bastion of political conservatism, yet a new reportfrom Harvard's Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy confirms the extreme bias of the mainstream press. That's something many conservatives, and Donald Trump, have known all along.
I don't mind the press going after Trump. That's their job, provided it is researched accurately and honestly. But with so much bias, you can't tell where the real truth lies, and it gets drowned out by all the noise.
Bottom line: if you get your information from the mainstream media, how do you know your opinions are correct?
Here are some interesting graphics, and Fox News does indeed appear to be fair and balanced!


Now that Easter - and Lent - are over, I guess I am free to resume those habits I swore off for Lent.

Alcohol - I have given it up every year for some time now, and it helps me "dry out", although I don't drink a lot. It is, however, harder to abstain than it would seem - there are times I really miss a cold beer, or a glass of red wine, or a double shot of good bourbon (Blanton's, anyone?). I did make a small exception, as my birthday always seems to fall within the Lenten season, I had a couple of beers at my birthday dinner. I can "justify" it, since my birthday was on a Sunday, and Sundays are not considered part of Lent. That was my only "cheat".
Since Blanton's bourbon is a rare find, I tried Wathen's bourbon for a post-Lent treat, and found it a very good replacement.

Facebook - I still haven't returned. Maybe I will just to send any visitors to this blog. After the first week or so, I found I really don't miss it - it's…

Have Researchers Finally Discovered A Fountain Of Youth?

This is exciting news!
An article posted on the Singularity Hub describes promising results on an anti-aging drug.

"When treated with the drug, aged mice regrew their scraggly fur into luscious coats and saw improved liver and kidney functions. They also seemed more energized, opting to spend their time on a running wheel instead of sleeping in a corner. Rather than a synthetic chemical, the drug is a small peptide made up of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Similar peptide drugs are already revolutionizing stroke therapy, and the team plans to begin human safety trials with their anti-aging drug soon." Hurry up on the research! Hurry!

We Need Some Real Facts and Answers

Ah, Susan Rice is back in the news again. When the poo is flying, she seems to pop up.

I agree with Eli Lake that there are two stories here:
- Was Susan Rice justified in unmasking? (She's already admitted to the crime.)
- Did the Russians actually interfere with the election?

I don't believe for minute Susan Rice was justified. As Security Adviser, it was not her job to perform investigations on her own. It smells political, but we need more facts.

Assuming the Russians did indeed perform all sorts of interfering, why would they want Hillary Clinton to lose? She was a known quantity, especially compared to Trump.

And speaking of Hillary - how is it that her basement server was never hacked, but the Russians were able to hack the 2016 election?

And how do we really know it was those evil Russians? WikiLeaks has reported that the CIA can launch cyber attacks and make them look like anybody did it.

And if the Trump administration was in such cahoots with the Russians, don't…

So long, Facebook!

One of the things I gave up for Lent was Facebook.
It had truly become both addicting and annoying. Friends on the Left and the Right (and myself, on occasion) could not resist constantly re-posting articles representing their version of the True World View. I believe there is some truth to both, but has become too much "in your face".
At first, it was hard to resist visiting FB to see what's happening, but as the weeks have gone by, the habit is broken. As I step back and think about FB, I really don't miss it at all.
The only thing I truly miss is what's going on with friends, but perhaps they will join me here from time to time.

A Camino in My Future

My wife and I first watched the movie, The Way, several years ago, and immediately fell in love with the idea of walking across Spain once we were both retired. Life has thrown a few obstacles in the way of timing, but it is going to happen this year. I'm not getting any younger!

As an avid walker, I have wanted to do something challenging walking-wise. An acquaintance of mine walked the Appalachian Trail after he retired and that got me thinking, despite the fact that thinking too much usually leads to headaches. But 2,000 miles seemed a little much, especially combined with camping and back-packing. I'm no outdoors-man! So upon learning of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela and that it was only 500 miles and no camping, I knew that was it! I just needed to have the time to do it. Now that I am retired, I got time! And I LOVE to walk!

I'm pretty well committed now, as I have taken the first real step by snagging an awesome air fare deal. Charlotte to Madrid r/t for $38…

Nine Years!

Looking back, I just noticed I started this blog almost 9 years ago to the day! 9 years and 8 days. Wow!

A lot has happened in that time. I remarried, and retired. I had just started walking and continue to do so today. I love it and it's great exercise! Lost weight, gained it back and have lost it all again, though this time it's staying off. My goal is another 40 pounds by year end, if I can do it without muscle loss.

I Don't Blog Much

...but maybe this is a good time to start back. Again.
We've survived a contentious, bloody presidential election where the winner was marginally better than the loser. But he IS the winner, so let's give him some time to get it together. I said the same thing about Mr. Obama 8 years ago (God Bless Our New President), and I wish the same for Mr. Trump.
I just wish the sore losers would stop their whining and tantrums and hair-pulling. They are being childish and closed-minded. Give Mr. Trump a chance. Try to overlook his obnoxiousness and inane tweets, and take a look at what he actually accomplishes.
And take a few deep breaths please!
He's making some newbie, outsider, non-politician errors, but I believe that, way down inside, his heart is in the right place. He truly wants a better America, and if he can accomplish that, he'll feed his ego and look better too. I don't care about that.
Just give me results.
The next four years will quickly pass...