Jul 09

America’s Smartest President

An airplane was about to crash; there were 5 passengers on board, but only 4 parachutes. The first passenger, Holly Madison said, “I have my own reality show and I am the smartest and prettiest woman at Playboy, so American’s don’t want me to die.” She took the first pack and jumped out of the plane.

The second passenger, John McCain, said, “I’m a senator, and a decorated war hero from an elite Navy unit from the United States of America.” So he grabbed the second pack and jumped.
The third passenger, Barack Obama said, “I am the President of the United States and I’m the smartest ever in the history of the country, some even call me the “Anointed One.” So he grabbed the pack next to him and jumped out.

The fourth passenger, Billy Graham, said to the fifth passenger, a 10-year-old schoolgirl, “I have lived a full life and served my God to the best I could. I will sacrifice my life and let you have the last parachute. “The little girl said, “That’s ok, Mr. Graham. There’s a parachute left for you. America’s smartest President took my schoolbag.”

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Jul 07

Whatever You Give a Woman

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Jul 04

American Independence Day 2015

Happy Independence Day 2015. On July 2nd 1776 is when American declared independence from England. It wasn’t until August 2nd, 1776 when all members actually signed the declaration. Either way, this is the only American holiday during the summer and it means many things to many different people. It is a good time to enjoy the summer. It is a good chance to spend time with family. It is a time to show patriotism and honor all of those both past and present who are making so many sacrifices for the good ole United States of America.

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Jun 28

Must Love Seniors

During a visit to my doctor, I asked him, “How do you determine whether or not an older person should be put in an old age home?”

“Well,” he said, “we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the person to empty the bathtub.”

“Oh, I understand,” I said. “A normal person would use the bucket because it is bigger than the spoon or the teacup..”

“No” he said. “A normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a bed near the window?”

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Jun 22

The Cab Ride

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes, I walked to the  door and knocked.
‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it,

like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years.  All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a card board box filled with photos and glassware..

‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’

‘Oh, you’re such a good  boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive through downtown?’

‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly..

‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a  hospice.

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued in a soft voice.

‘The doctor says I don’t have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

What route would you like me to take?’ I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an  elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds

She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired. Let’s go now’.

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home with a driveway that passed under a  portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.
I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

‘How much do I owe you?’ She asked, reaching into her purse.

‘Nothing,’ I said

‘You have to make a living,’ she answered.

‘There are other passengers,’ I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she  said ‘Thank you.’
I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk.  What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What  if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life.  We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve  around great moments.  But great moments often catch us unaware – beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

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Jun 13

How in the World Did You Get There?

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May 28

2015 California Drought

You may have noticed in the news lately where the media has been discussing the California sever drought and water crisis. There are commercials that tell residents of California to conserve water and this affects everybody. I have heard that the majority of water consumption for the state of California is between the state government and commercial business and that only 5% is being consumed by consumers. I don’t know weather that is true or not, however I do know that California is an expensive state to live in. I haven’t been able to put a finger on exactly why it is so expensive. Now I know the answer why. This past weekend I drove up the I-5 to San Francisco and somewhere north of Los Angeles around Bakersfield all the way up to east of San Jose I found a huge issue why the state of California is so darn expensive to live in.

Here are some photos of what I saw along the way:
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As you can see there isn’t a lot growing and it is arid, dry, and desert like.

Before long I started seeing signs along the roadway. Here are some of the signs I’ve seen:

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I couldn’t believe what I saw. I saw signs stating that they need water to grow crops. One sign actually said, “millions paid and no water delivered.” I thought this was just the craziest thing I’ve seen. Why would anybody be trying to grow crops in this desert like area? I thought this would be a must better place to have solar or wind farms. It would be an excellent way to produce large amounts of electricity on land where much isn’t growing…well, I was surprised again. Before long I actually seen that fresh water was being pumped to this part of the state so that crops could grow. Here are the photos of the canal where water was being pumped.

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Sure enough a little further down the road I saw farms that were growing everything from corn, to oranges, lemons, apples, wheat, almonds, and lots of other crops. Here are those photos:
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Would you believe that they were actually raising cattle where the water was being pumped to? Here are those photos:
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The weird thing was that in places where water wasn’t being pumped to, it was clear that things don’t grow there and here are some of those photos:
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Now I don’t know whether it was a crack head, a hippie, or a politician who decided to have taxpayers pay millions and millions of dollars to pump precious California water to a desert area in order to grow crops, but I can assure you that the entire United States of America is not short on growing plenty of crops to feed the entire United States. It is very wasteful to pump water to this area of California in order to try to make things grow. I am actually really curious as to how much water is being lost by evaporation. I would guess that a high percentage of it is, since these water canals aren’t covered and water can freely evaporate. It would make a lot more sense for this area of California to put solar farms to provide energy that can be transmitted to other parts of the United States and have crops shipped to California. The electrical infrastructure is already here where these farms are. If you look in the background of some of the photos you will see power lines. It seems to me that the real water crisis is how the government of California is wasting the water. This is just one more reason why I can’t listen to the state of California’s government telling me to conserve water, while they are being so wasteful. I just can’t take the California drought seriously.

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May 25

Memorial Day 2015

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On this Memorial Day 2015, remembering all who served and paid the ultimate price for the United States.

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May 24

Lombard Street

Today I decided to drive down Lombard street in San Francisco, California. This road is known for being the windiest road. I thought it would be a nice novelty since I’m here in San Francisco anyway. In this first picture, I am sitting in traffic waiting to get to Lombard street and I snapped a picture of Alcatraz island in my rear view mirror.

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I don’t know how much you’ll actually be able to see of the street because I haven’t even driven down it before and the photos will be taken from inside the vehicle, but I will give it my best shot.

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I think the thing that was most surprising about Lombard street was that it was so short. The way they make it sound on t.v. is that it is this big windy street. The street only went 1 city block and it was more of a novelty than anything. Anyway, I can check that off my bucket list.

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May 24

Alcatraz Island San Francisco, California

Since I was in San Francisco today I decided to take some photos from different vantage points of Alcatraz. One perspective was from Pier 39 with a flag flapping in the breeze. Another picture was from Pier 39 again, but over by the boat harbor where the sea lions were resting. The last shot was while I was waiting to go down Lombard street I took a photo of Alcatraz in the rear view mirror. I thought they were interesting perspectives.

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