Another day of snow, cleared about eight inches. February seems to be a month of snow. Had to repair a snow thrower tire yesterday after the last storm, no issue and it held today. It is good to be able to do a bit of everything. I think it is essential. When training a software engineer I always want computer parts laying around, if you cannot name the parts and discuss them you will not be the best engineer. If you are training an engineer have them take apart their computer and put it back together after moving the parts around. Putting something together after give you an appreciation for the thing, like snow throwers. Thought experiments are always a good thing but actually doing something is also good.
The dog paths are done, and the mounds of snow are reaching four feet. It is supposed to stop snowing by two. Well back to Sunday morning stuff.
I think that we form habits pretty fast 3-5 days but some are impossible to stop doing. For me that would be diet soda and or artificial sweetener. It has been well over a week and I have been able to quit both of these. I remember building the habit of using sweet-n-low while in the Persian golf, if I recall properly the ship I was on got a incorrect shipment Which had fake not real sugar. So I for no good reason, except sugar was not available, I stopped using sugar. That was over twenty years ago. Well now that I have stopped artificial sweetener I am. Now going after all sugars except for brown or organic with my espresso. Note: This is not easy! Start reading ingredients! However, it is possible and I hope I can last the week! One good thing came from this change, I am reading what is in products. If you have never done that, do it for a week, it can be freaky… So when you start thinking of that you may want to head to USDA organic.
While it does not feel like it – the hiking season is fast approaching. I have been at it on machines and running trying to build up endurance, etc. In August I head of to Tokyo for MT Fuji to do the summit at sunset hike. Not a very hard Hike/Climb, from what I can tell if you can do Mt Washington (for those of us in NH) then you should be all set. Perhaps the only hook is the oxygen at altitude. Smokers beware.
In March I will head off to two places to hike, Hong Kong and Vietnam. The Temperatures should range 80/90 Degrees F, and I would be happy if it was maybe 10 Degrees hotter. I was going to head to Israel but if you follow the news I had two concerns that led me to change my plans:
- Hiker getting killed and another almost
- The Mid East is on fire and Israel and Jordan may not be the best places to be right now.
On a lighter side, my dollar will go much further in Asia. For a base in ho Chi Min City (Saigon) I will be at a hotel right on the river with a room looking out onto the river, sounds majestic. In Hong Kong I will be staying right by Victoria Harbor… As my first hiking I will be doing one day on and one day off. Make no mistake that these will be easy. When I come back I get to do a fun hike with my brother-in-law who will be doing Fuji with me, note to ken “Mt Washington is relentless” – and is one of Americas 10 most dangerous Hikes. http://www.backpacker.com/october_08_americas_10_most_dangerous_hikes_mt_washington_nh/destinations/12622
This spring break may be my last vacation before a little work/pleasure trip to Madrid in May. So a little tip on saving money on a trip like this. Book your flight to Hong Kong and then use miles for RT Business Class to SGN Vietnam for peanuts (mine 20000 miles and only 53 Dollars). With Oil spiking I think I will book the Tokyo trip right after this trip to lock in my prices.
P.S. Happy Independence Day Lithuania
Am I the only one who has figured out that the whole college system is broke? I remember a conversation I had in Buenos Aires that paying for college is not a bad thing as it showed that you cared about your education. I am amazed; I now think I am wrong about this. Look at it this way, should everyone own a house? If they can afford it sure! Hey people, you can buy a house for 60,000 dollars, you don’t need a 500,000 dollar house. I saw in the airport yesterday that a couple was losing their house, their monthly mortgage was 4900 dollars, now this was a sweet house but let em lose it, 4900 WTF! Why refinance a loan they cannot afford to keep them in a house like this. Let them get a house they can afford! Well I think I understand it, to them it was never their money and now that there was no refi and the party was over they lost. Note they had several parties, several round the world trips, and now that they would have to pay it back – they are on TV, saying the government should bail them out. Well the government does not make money, it taxes.
Let us take Pell grants, in a country that believes in the theory of evolution we are silly enough to say that as a country we should provide everyone equally with money to go to school, loans, grants, you name it. Does anyone reading this believe that all people are equally capable of succeeding in school? I hate anecdotal evidence, but sometimes it gives us a starting point, a place that begs us to ask should there be more research done on some topic. So here is some anecdotal evidence. Once I knew a woman, whose boyfriend was in prison, she had nothing to do so was in school, fully paid by the government, to learn a trade. It was computers. She had gone through the program and was doing a internship. Her boyfriend got out of prison early and she quit and went back to full time drug dealing – more lucrative. Was this money well spent? When considering a student’s qualifications should income be the main consideration. Would a nation be stronger if it paid for (invested in [spent money]) its best and brightest to take any classes that they want, anywhere?
Who benefits from sending unqualified people to degree mills to get degrees versus an education in fields that they cannot compete or work? I think it is time for this country to do testing as part of what educational opportunities it will fund. People should have to work for opportunity not be handed a check with nothing owed for it. If the government pays for you to get a degree in basket weaving and you never work as a basket weaver you should have to pay back the money, with interest. Am I wrong here? Our politicians are more interested in buying votes than fixing things and soon they will bankrupt this republic because they are too afraid to tell the people the truth. One of the truths is that everyone is not given, by anyone, the right to a college degree and if we were, why did we all not go to MIT…
So yesterday I had the privilege of going to see Romeo and Juliet (Gounod) at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. I have to say I have yet to be disappointed by the Opera Company of Philadelphia and this would not be a first, it was the exact opposite, it was another great performance. But I am getting a little ahead of myself.
The day started by boarding a flight at 630 AM to fly to Philadelphia to see the opera. It was an empty flight as you would expect on a Sunday which was perfect for me as I was able to sleep for a bit. When In Phila the Starbucks was a good start followed by double espressos and some other kinds of drinks with who knows what in it at the Ritz. Now the Ritz had an interesting lobby with an Pantheon like interior, a say pantheon like because if you have been to Rome and have seen the Pantheon you would notice the differences, but it was interesting.
Before the matinée performance there was time for a couple beers and a basket of fries. It was not hard to find the place, it was across from the side entrance of the academy and it cannot be missed, look for the sign, “Great food and BAR.” I am not quite sure if it lived up to its name. Well at that point it was time to see the performance was an old story, one that we all know, people die, lovers die, and there are clothes… So if you are in Philadelphia it is a must see and there are 2 nights and one day of shows left, no idea if you can still get tickets, but, you can always try http://www.kimmelcenter.org/events/index.php?org=5 OH, and Yes it was a great time with friends, new friends and Family!
After the opera there was a quick run to the airport and a stop in the club. Sixty minutes was on and I got to watch a Google exec from Egypt say that the best thing Obama could say or do is nothing, Egypt needed no help and he did support their oppressor! Excellent, that is just what I have been saying all along.
The worse and best part of going to Phila is the soft pretzels, after eating six of them I still feel a bit sick, but I love the pretzels.
Local train from airport to center city, Philadelphia. Here to see the opera, Romeo and Juliet with cousin k. Should be fun