Category Archives: Travel

Don’t Wish – Do!

2019 is almost at an end and the next year will come soon enough. Many of us may take the time to reflect on what happened to us, and others we know over the past year. We may also make plans for the new year.

Frequently, we may come up with resolutions. For some odd reason we have picked a date on a calendar to mark a point where we decide to change our life. A sort of a wish list of things we want to change or do over the next year. Quickly, those often get lost in the upcoming days of our lives.

May I make a suggestion? Forget resolutions or big plans, unless you know that this actually works for you. I’ve begun to think about life in ever so brief days. Rather than saying to yourself, I’ll get around to doing that, or seeing that person, place, or experiencing that for the first time. Just think, what would you do if you only had this month, week, or maybe only this day to do whatever you wanted?

How many of us look back over the last year and remember a family member or friend that died? Certainly it’s happened to many. Do you stop and ask yourself, I wish he or she and I had gotten together over this last year? Did you have conversations where you were going to go for a ride or a walk, but never got around to it? Is there someone you wished you had told them you loved them, or you forgive them, asked for their forgiveness, visited them, did something for them, but they’re gone now?

What if today is the last time you get to do something, or see someone? We usually rely on there being a tomorrow, but at some unpredictable point there won’t be another day to do or see what we want. Perhaps our constant resolution should be to stop worrying, stop procrastinating, stop wishing and hoping, and just begin each day with an idea to do what we keep saying we’re going to do, someday. Make that some day, this day.



What Happened to Critical Thinking?

There are words used every day in the political lexicon to hide reality.

Refugee and illegal are two of those words.

Did you know it’s illegal to enter this country, as well as others without a passport? A Visa is required if your stay is longer than 6 months or you want to work in that country. You must check with the country you want to enter to understand and obtain the necessary permits before you enter. Detain and deport are exercised by each country as they desire, not as you wish.
It doesn’t matter the reason, if someone comes into the USA or any country, they need to gain access through immigration.

What we seem to want to do is come up with different exceptions to suit our emotional context.

That’s when a nation of laws becomes a nation of whatever feels good, do it. This was the motto that emerged from the 60’s hippy movement. It’s not a sensible way to live.

I suggest everyone that wants to allow people to enter this country illegally, begin a personal family foster program. Just let them into your home. Why not, they have it much worse than you? While you’re at it take in a homeless person or two.

The critical problems we have get worse because people refuse to act like responsible adults. We want to be considered compassionate, but we forget that sometimes, no, is the correct response.

We don’t know who we let in without proper border screening. They may carry diseases, such as small pox or tuberculosis. In our confusion of emotion over intelligence, we block out any questions of what do we do, how do we properly provide, and what do we do with our homeless and “refugees“? Do we just set up sanctuary cities then sue the federal government for not picking up the tab? I grow weary hearing speeches designed for TV consumers and a short attention span audience.

Build the walls, barriers necessary to block all entry. Screen all those who wish to come in. Fix what’s broke first, before adding to our already overloaded local areas. First consider taking care of our veterans who served, sacrificed, then through the ravages of war, came back home unable to fit back in to a civilian world, and to a people who pretend the government is finding solutions.

There’s no options that have been discussed, other than providing proper border security. I would like our elected officials hold to their oath of office and protect this country from threats foreign and domestic.

Here’s what a person is required to swear in order to gain citizenship in the USA.
The current Oath of Allegiance of the United States is as follows:

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform non-combatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.

According to U.S. regulations, the phrase “so help me God” is optional and that the words ‘on oath’ can be substituted with ‘and solemnly affirm’.

Future Tech – To Be or Not to Be! Which is the answer?

brain waves

Must engage brain!

What future do we imagine? From what sources do we seek our solutions?

Several NASA scientists claimed their source of inspiration came from TV or movies. Most often you hear the respondents believe they felt compelled to get into engineering or scientific vocations because of Star Trek or Star Wars.  Of course sports stars have impressed young people for years to aspire to become professional athletes. The fact is, what we envision for ourselves becomes our compass or guiding star.

When President John F. Kennedy gave a speech on the goal of the United States was to put a man on the moon, we did it. It seemed like a huge step for us at the time. We have new problems that require solutions for a much more terrestrial environment.

The electric car seems like an answer to green house gases or air pollution in large cities, but is it really?

atomic particlePeople often ignore that electrical generation is derived from some type of coal burning, oil or gas burning,  nuclear fission, hydro-dam or to a very small extent, wind and solar. The vast majority of our electrical generation comes from carbon fuel sources. In order to have the capacity for additional electrical charging stations for cars, a rise in green house gases will result from these power plants with our current designed infrastructure.

Beyond that problem is another, the need to dispose of a lot of batteries, which carry high concentrations of toxic materials. Leaching heavy metals into sources of ground water is also a huge problem. The batteries for electric cars still cost a lot of money with total costs higher than $10,000. The life expectancy is anywhere from 4-7 years. Batteries can be recycled but are expensive.

Cars used in colder climate require plenty of energy to heat the interior and defrost the windows. With gasoline or diesel, the combustion process already transfers the waste heat from the engine while with electric cars heating requires extra energy from the electric car’s battery. Typical travel distance before a long recharge is 80 to 100 miles. With a heater or AC requirements, that travel distance (time between charges) is greatly reduced. Heaven help you if you get stuck in rush hour and your batteries are full discharged. You can’t just go get a can of electrons to recharge your batteries.

So overall, are we gaining anything other than limited distance transportation? If we shift the pollutants from one energy source to another, is there a net gain?

Tesla Model S Motor Trends Car of the Year for 2013

Tesla model S front profile

Tesla model S front profile

I have to admire the foresight, creative, risk taking spirit of Elon Musk. He understands the issues, and fully expects to overcome them. The same perseverance and risk he has undertaken with space travel, he’s leading an independent charge in electric vehicles, too.

Today’s Problems with electric vehicles

• Cost too high.
• Range too limited.
• Environmental Impact too small.
• Driving too different.
• Choices too limited.

None of these are obstacles too large for his vision & the company, Tesla. It seems some of his biggest hurdles are from major automotive franchises which have sought to limit the states in which his company may sell vehicles from a local store front. Even that opposition is withering.

Perhaps we will see an abundant conversion from the internal combustion engine to electric or hybrid.

Ten years ago Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning launched what would become Tesla Motors. They soon were joined by Elon Musk, who had a huge payday from selling his share of PayPal to eBay. The goal was to build a production electric sports car similar on the tzero concept developed by AC Propulsion (ACP). ACP was uninterested in the immense effort required to put into production, the wickedly fast and emissions-free roadster, so the trio of tech entrepreneurs took on the challenge.

Early Tesla designs incorporated batteries that could be mass produced from Panasonic. These batteries sometimes have a tendency to overheat and the result could be a very expensive automotive bonfire. They engineered a way to keep the batteries cooler but not before videos went out describing dangers that weren’t accurate.

Examination of the facts demonstrate this fire wasn’t due to batteries, rather because of the damage from road debris.

BMW wants to get into this future automotive tech as well. Ads have gone out to gain ‘cool factor’ among early adopters.