Friday, August 29, 2014

The Land Down Under, Part 1: Getting there is half the fun.

Travel entry from a while back: August 2009

I was lucky enough to be asked to accompany a group from work to visit Australia to meet with our partners Down Under.  WOW!  What an opportunity.  Of course I HAD to have Dottie join me and we HAD to stay an extra week or so.  So, we booked our flights to Melbourne and made our in country plans, including in-country flights and hotels.

But, wait…not so fast.  I found that, after sharing with my supervisors this plan to spend extra time "in country," it would NOT be that easy.  I heard disturbing rumblings through the grapevine.  And then I got a call from my boss's boss's boss who said that I would NOT be going.  It had to do with "how it looked."  Unfortunately for me/us the head of our agency had some travel scrutinized.  Was the travel really necessary?  Therefore, someone like me, who was ASKED to go because I could bring some pertinent info to share, would be questioned for staying longer than my work required.  Go figure.

I decided, F that, I'm going anyway, on my dollar. 

Luckily for me (again), management relented and decided my going to Australia was NOT a boondoggle.  Woo Hoo.  I saved a few K that way.

Here we go...

Melbourne: flight from hell.  It took forever.  The LA to Aukland, NZ leg was the longest AND we sat next to a woman who coughed the whole way.  That bit us in the ass later.  After that LONG flight we had a 7 hour layover in Aukland because of plane problems.  I had plenty of time to wander the terminal taking snaps of planes and people from all over the WORLD.
Hey.  Who made that MAP?

 Check out the T-Shirt of the guy in the bar (upper Lefthand corner).
So, we finally get to Melbourne… 

...and the first thing they do is throw my wife in jail.

How can I explain this to my U.S. and Australian government coworkers?

Well, I guess they will understand.

More to follow.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Vegan Anniversary ( Carnivores beware )

2 years ago I made a "slight" change to my diet.  After decades of having MEAT at LEAST twice a day I thought I should try a VEGAN diet.  I have great friends that are Vegan.  They choose this lifestyle for ethical reasons.  I chose to try it for health.  I inherited Coronary Artery Disease and have 3 stents.  I thought it would be nice to stop at 3.

I had heard of The China Study and the possibility of reversing the disease (plaque buildup).  2 years ago a friend posted a link on Facebook to a video presentation by Dr. Michael Gregor:  (Thanks a lot Nancy).  Dottie played the video on her iPad while I was working at the computer.  It went on and on about how ingesting animal products affected the human body.  Plaque buildup was one of the effects ( for people with Coronary Artery Disease ).  This video ruined, er, changed my life.  Thanks a lot Nancy.

Since I was struggling with my cholesterol and on the highest dose of Lipitor, I thought it would be a good idea to try the diet. Luckily, I liked to cook and had friends with good cookbooks.  I started the change, eliminating meat, dairy and eggs from my diet.  I found out that you did not need animal products to make your meals taste good.  You could have great tasting food with a Plant Based Diet.  Who knew?

Actually, lots of people knew.  Suffice it to say, I am, and plan to stay 80+% vegan.  Yes, I have my cheats.  They consist mostly of veggie pizza and fish.  I do have meat a few times a year.  These cheats help me stay vegan most of the time.  One thing that puzzles me is that White Castle commercials get to me.  Damn them Sliders!

Anyway, the diet has worked wonders of my health.  I was able to cut my Lipitor dose in half and my most recent stress test results were "normal!"

I'm not trying to preach, just trying to share.  I will add some nice recipes that I tried and links to other blogs if you are interested. 

This blaug will also contain a lot of Music, Travel and Photos.

A Vegan's Nightmare appeared at the grocery checkout right behind me.

Wonderful breakfast burrito available at Target and some Schnucks.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I Don't Need No Doctor

No.  I am not addicted to blauging.  Although, I gotta say there is something about having people pay attention to you.  Of course, more recently people were concerned about my health.  That kinda gave me a captive audience.  Unfortunately it was under tough circumstances.

Now, I will try to branch out: Music, Travel, Food (Vegan), Photography.  Sorry Politics and Religion. I will try to refrain.

I'm paying $10 a year for the Domain Name.  Might as well use it.


Steve Marriott, Humble Pie.  These guys really ROCKED me. 

"I Don't Need No Doctor" exemplified that experience for me.  My High School / College best friend just reminded me of that song.

Thanks, JT. 

I bought their albums "Rockin' the Fillmore" and "Smokin'" that I still need to convert (vinyl to digital).  Great albums.

I found this comment on one of the YouTube pages

3 months ago

It is a crime that Steve Marriott isn't a rock god in America.  He should be mentioned in the same breath as The Beatles, The Stones, Zeppelin, and The Who.  He's the most powerful blues rock vocalist ever !!!!  Look for "I'm Ready Rockin the Filmore" and the vocal intro is insane !!  Very, very few singers could pull off what Steve does at the intro of that song.  Actually, no one could pull it off with as much soul or blues.  No one, not Plant, Mercury... maybe Rodgers could come close; Noddy Holder of Slade could come close, as he has done a similar thing; but no one else.