Topic: Family

Family centric items – trips, things for families to do

So, Let’s consider: 15 Days in the UK this Summer 0

So, Let’s consider: 15 Days in the UK this Summer

Some thoughts about vacationing in the UK.

My kid is now 11 going on 21, so I figure she’s old enough to not only appreciate traveling abroad but she’ll remember most of her trip(s), the sites, people, and the exposure and appreciation for life in other cultures and parts of the world. We’ve traveled a lot domestically here in the US for most of her life, and continue to do so, but other than a couple days in Canada this was her first real trip abroad. In this trip we learned a lot of what the UK had to offer and we learned a few things about traveling as a tourist. Here’s what happened:

Day 1.

We took an overnighter from Atlanta to Heathrow and arrived at noon in London. I think Delta must have found a sale on buckets at Home Depot and put the smallest ones on this plane for us to sit in! These uncomfortable form compressing containers didn’t lend much to sleep or anything else for just over 8 hours.

But, alas, we checked into the Millennium & Copthorne by the Chelsea football stadium, unloaded the suitcases and flagged a cabbie for some afternoon exploration.

First on the list was the Sherlock Holmes “museum” over on Baker Street. This is a rather quaint hole in the wall tourist trap that has all the memorabilia about Holmes and Watson that you would ever want to by. There’s almost as much floor space allocated to shop as there is to the upstairs “museum”. The museum is a cluster of rooms with period items that Holmes would have used. Also lots of pictures, violins, pipes, and other forensic paraphernalia that Holmes would have used in his work. The museum part is really setup to represent the flat that Holmes shared with Watson and is an interesting look at things from that time period.

From there, it was off to the British Museum for the rest of the afternoon. If you’ve not been here, make sure this is a high priority item on your trip to London. The displays of things like the Rosetta stone, mummies, statues and artifacts from time periods going back to pre-Babylon and ancient Egypt were just incredibly fascinating! Most tours don’t include this museum on their schedule but find some time to go through it.

Day 2: London.

We had booked our tour through AAA with Trafalgar Tours. When I was looking over the itinerary, I noticed that they only offered a 3 hour tour of London. Yeah, it kinda sounds like a quip from Gilligan’s Island. In looking at their itinerary, I realized there was no way they were going to be able to cover London in 3 hours. Attempts to contact Trafalgar prior to leaving the US weren’t very successful so we opted for using another tour group for our tour of London. Later we would find out that there was an “optional” tour we could have PAID EXTRA for that would have included all that the first tour didn’t and should have. We would also later find that Trafalgar has a nasty habit of wanting to tack on extra items, for a fee of course, that frankly should be part of the base tour. This practice of theirs was one of the few things about the whole trip that was most annoying. But life get’s better.

We had a great day hitting most of the sites and things to do and see in London. It a packed 9 hours of walking, riding, boating and listening. The tour guide was excellent. Evidently, England has a certification that tour guides must go through before walking crowds through the streets. Our guide was really good. And the day excellent. I would have liked a 2nd day just to go back and spend more time walking through London in areas we didn’t have as much time to spend at. Also, catching an evening play would have been nice. Next time I’ll plan ahead on that.

I was a bit surprised that they had removed the rather large exhibit on torture and implements of midlevel torture from the Bloody Tower. It used to house a very nice exhibit of these ghoulish tools and practices, and finding anyone that would even talk about the old exhibit wasn’t the easiest thing to do. Off the record, I did find some old Beefeaters that admitted that the older exhibits had been removed to make the place more “politically correct”. So, when you go to the Tower of London, expect the politically correct version – also there’s a lot fewer crown jewels than I recall being there on my last trip as well. Guess they’ve had to pay for some of the queen’s bills or not make things look as gaudy.

Day 3: Paris

You can get a one day really crammed in tour of Paris while you’re in London. You’re up before the roosters, catch the train through the Chunnel and in a couple hours you’re in Paris. We did this. The ride is really nice. First class coach isn’t that much more and the ride is worth it. The French countryside zips by in a lovely patchwork of little farms, villages and towns until you get to Paris.

Keep in mind, you’re not going to do Paris in a day. This was just an overview visit hitting the highlights. And it was really well done. We contracted with Grayline Tours before leaving the US for this as Trafalgar had inexplicably canceled theirs. The tour wound its way through Paris on the top of an open top bus. Thank God it wasn’t raining that morning! We pass through and around most of the major sites and venues of Paris ending up at the Eiffel Tower. This place is incredible. The view from the second level is incredible. There’s a little snack shop there that you can grab a coke and munchie as well. Do be careful of the plethora of vendors that inundate that area under the tower. I was especially annoyed by one of the vendors at the “official” sales booths under the tower. The total of my sale came to about 11.50 euros. She told me she had no change and wasn’t going to be giving me the 50 cents portion of my change. I told her then to move the sale back to 11 euros or I’d walk. She still said no change, so I started to walk…SUDDENLY, her cash drawer opened with plenty of change to be found and life continued normally. I’m told life in Paris hasn’t changed in a long time. SO, if you’re confronted with thieves like this, just walk away from the deal. And make sure you keep your hand on your wallet.

We had several afternoon options to choose from. We chose the palace at Versailles. I had seriously considered going to the Louvre, and if there is a next time probably will. The palace was packed but it was incredible. Clearly a major work of architecture and artistry. Make sure you allocate a full half day for this place if you’re going to do it right. We had just over 2 hours. When you go here, a couple things to keep in mind. Rest rooms are plentiful to be found. As you enter the palace grounds, you’ll see a rather long line of people queuing up for the rest room. This line will be long. There are better alternatives that your guide probably won’t tell you about. If you go in through the exit to the bookstore area, take a left toward the café and there’s plenty of rest room space there. Also, once inside, there’s plenty of rest rooms. Don’t waste your time outside. Unless you have a specific tour guide for the palace, you’ll be taking the self guided audio tour. It’s really good but the line to get your player can be long. Get your player first then go on your wanderings.

We ended up back in Paris around 5:30. Our connection to the train wasn’t due until around 7. So we were stuck for about 2 hours in a centre of stores to shop our hearts out. Now, frankly, if I’m coming all the way from the US to see Paris, one of the last things I want to do is go shopping. Now you see why I wish I’d’ve spent that time at the Louvre.

The train trip back to London went very smooth, dinner was good and we arrived back tired after a full day in Paris.

Fortunately, the laundry was ready and we packed for leaving in the morning.

This brings up two MAJOR items of annoyance with Trafalgar Tours. It would seem that they have an incredibly annoying knack of planting their clients in hotels that totally lack laundry facilities. This is a huge demerit for them as far as I’m concerned. When one travels, they need to wash cloths and after a full day of traveling and walking, the last thing I wanted to do was wash my socks in the sink and hope they dried before morning. Frankly, very little dried on this tour before morning. There was, of course, the valet service that each hotel gleefully informed us was available. Frankly, it was substantially cheaper to have bought each and every item new, thrown them away and bought new to replace them than to use the valet laundry service. The service was a blatant rip off to a captive audience and not appreciated.

Secondly, Trafalgar only allows one suitcase per person. Now, keep in mind, you’re taking a 14 day tour, all your logistical items and you’re going to be picking up stuff at all those tourist traps you’re stopping at along the way and Trafalgar things you should be able to stuff all that crap into one small suitcase. Horseshit! Our travel agent told us 2 bags per person. When we got there and loaded the bus, Trafalgar and I had a little “come to Jesus” meeting over their policy and what we were told and what was reasonable. Common ground was found and life continued. But just be aware you’re supposed to be stuck with one suitcase…and I’d recommend you find a BIG one!

Day 4: The tour begins.

This was really the first day for us with the group. We had contracted for the 15 day “Best of Britain” tour and today life starts for real. What’s interesting is that these tour companies include your travel to and from your home country’s as days of the tour, so in effect, the tour is really more like 13 days, even though it’s marketed as 15.

In the morning we met our coach master, Kirsty Lydon, and our tour guide, Stephen Tormey. Now, before I continue, let me say this: without exception, I’d take another tour with this pair without question. Steve was an incredible tour guide, statesman and guardian of his trusts. Kirsty did a fine job with the coach (generally referred to as a bus by the rest of the world).

We loaded up and traveled through the Salisbury plane to Stonehenge. I’d never been there and frankly it was smaller than I expected, but none the less, very impressive. Come to find out, the Druids made many of these kinds of edifices around the UK. We wandered through the cathedral in Salisbury and ended the day in Plymouth. That night we were at the Jurys Inn Hotel which was conveniently next to an Office Depot store that I made use of in the morning. A nice centrally located hotel, but without laundry facilities.

Another thing you’ll discover while in the UK. They’re concept of high speed internet makes dialup look blazing fast. And it can be incredibly expensive!

Day 5: Plymouth and beyond.

After breakfast we drove down to the wharf where the Pilgrims set sail from. Plymouth is a quiet, quaint and interesting town. The old harbor, fort and Mountbatten’s place across the harbor are still standing.

We took an optional tour (the rest went shopping as I recall) of the harbor and through the naval yard (which is being moved to another facility). It was interesting. Hot coffee felt good! Then down the Cornish coast to St. Ives, which is a nice little village and nook. Then off to Penzance and St.Michael’s Mount for lunch. The landscape is incredibly beautiful. And the roads, very narrow in places. On the way back to Plymouth, we stopped at a nice little pub for tea. Interesting place with an eating room encased in glass that looked more of a greenhouse or conservatory than eating room.

In the evening, we wondered around downtown for dinner. Found a nice place on the wharf. I realized I wasn’t going to be losing any weight on this trip!

Day 6: Glastonbury, Wells, Bath and Cardiff

The abbey in Glastonbury is an interesting place to visit. It’s the place where legend has it that Kind Arthur and his second wife, Guinevere, were buried. The grounds are interesting to walk around but make sure you catch the presentation in the old bakery. It’s worth waiting for.

Then we drove through Wells and on to Bath. The cathedral there is very impressive but more so the Roman bath works that are under it and underground on the grounds. It’s interesting to see how much about plumbing the ancient Romans really knew and these baths are most impressive. Above ground, the city has some nice quaint shops and book stores. And there’s a nice ice cream shop just beside the cathedral.

After dodging raindrops around the cathedral, we reboarded the bus crossed the Severn into Wales and into Cardiff. That night we had a really nice lamb dinner at one of the pubs by the power plant. Had to watch your head going around in the place as the doors were a bit lower but the food and staff were great.

The hotel in Cardiff used was the Copthorne. Frankly, I wouldn’t stay there again. The rooms were a mess, plumbing didn’t work for several of us, there wasn’t any internet in the rooms and the only place you could find internet was in the front lobby at an incredibly high price, slow speed and you were inundated with ads on your browser trying to get anything done. A place to avoid. And, as expected, no laundry facilities. This Copthorne is way away from Cardiff and several of us would have liked to go into Cardiff to explore in the evening. However, it appears that most of Cardiff is closed by 6pm, or so we were told, and it was a fair hike away.

Day 7: From Cardiff to Liverpool

More nice scenery and by now one burned out cathedral looks a lot like the next. Evidently Henry VIII enjoyed burning cathedrals as much as he did lopping the heads off his wives. A pity in both cases. We took the optional “Beetles Tour” that afternoon. It was interesting and informative but not stellar. I can now say I’ve been there, done that. But there’s other places in Wales I’d prefer to be in besides Liverpool.

That night we were at the Jurys Inn on the water front. Nice place, negligible internet availability and no laundry. However, the hotel next to us did have a really nice laundry, so guess who capitalized on that!? Interesting who you run into in the laundry. Had a nice talk with some gals who were in Liverpool for a music festival, all the way from LA.

Day 8: From Liverpool via the lake district to Glasgow

We drove through the Lake District and took a nice optional cruise around England’s largest lake, Windermere. A really nice place to visit. Then a really nice ride around the countryside that inspired Wordsworth. Lunch was in Grasmere and we visited the chapel where he is buried. A really nice creek side village.

Then it was on to Glasgow for dinner and the evening.

Day 9: From Glasgow to Aviemore

Now we’re off and into the Highlands. Past Loch Lomond and some other really nice lakes (uh, er, Lochs!). The Highlands is really an incredibly beautiful part of the world. We wandered into Glencoe and past the 1692 massacre site and had lunch at Fort William. Fort William is a kind of Gatlinburg touristish town with some nice eating places, tourist shops and a great view of the mountains and water.

We stopped at the Ben Nevis distillery for a tour of the facilities. Alex found the “heelin koo’ in the pasture next to the distillery fun to watch. They have got to be the most ugly cows on the earth!

Then off to Aviemore and the Laggan Country Hotel. Now, a word about the Laggan. It’s out in the middle of bloody nowhere. Surrounded by mountains and pastures it’s about as simple and bucolic as it gets. There’s no internet, no laundry and you’re going to love this place. The locks are the old warded type door locks that frankly I’ve not seen used on a hotel in 50 years. It’s clean, the people and food are nice and if you want to get off the grid for a week and get away from everything, this is a place to go.

Day 10: Highlands and Skye

Today we set off in search of the Loch Ness monster…and as you can imagine, didn’t find the little beastie. But we did find some really lovely countryside, a handful of old castles, some of which ya just want to move in and unpack your suitcase at.

A sheep dog training and management demonstration was also to be had that afternoon as an optional event. We went. Learned a few things about sheep dogs and the sheep business. Alex really enjoyed it. Wishes she could have brought home one of the puppies.

Day 11: Balmoral, St. Andrews and Edinburgh

By now, one burned out cathedral’s just as good as the next and you’re beginning to see why Henry VIII may have thought so as well. But, it’s off to the summer home of the queen at Balmoral.

Balmoral is a really nicely laid out castle and estate. The grounds are well cared for and nice to walk around, but don’t think you’re going to be seeing much inside the castle. They basically give you 2 rooms to walk through and no pictures please. The rooms are filled with the queen’s outfits, some pictures and silverware – why anyone would want pictures of these items anyway is a curiosity. There’s the ubiquitous tourist shop and place to snag some lunch, which we did, and it was good.

Then off to the land of the duffers and St. Andrews. Frankly, I don’t like golf but no trip to Scotland is complete without the obligatory trip to St. Andrews where golf all began and where they filmed the beach scenes of Chariots of Fire. OK, now I’ve been there and done that.

Off to Edinburgh. And a really interesting and delicious flame filled evening dinner at a pub just down the street from the grave of Greyfriars Bobby.

This evening, we’re at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Edinburgh. Internet support sucked so bad I was on the phone to their support back at Salt Lake City in the US…the chick in SLC kept telling me she was “resetting the controllers” and would call a senior, and presumably more competent, technician who would solve the problem shortly. Two days later we checked out, problem still not resolved, front desk people still clueless. Nice place to stay if you don’t need internet or laundry facilities – but you should expect more from a Holiday Inn.

Day 12: Edinburgh and Rosslyn Chapel

I wish I had another couple days to spend in this city. I really liked not only the city but the people as well. In the morning we started with the usual tour around the city, ending up at the castle. The castle is a huge bastille built on the top of a solid rock. Once inside it you can see why nobody ever got inside the inner portion of it, ever. The design and construction are really interesting for that time period and the views from walking around are just amazing. The food is great, the people really nice and I could really get into this place.

In the afternoon, we took an optional trip down to Rosslyn Chapel. This is the place made famous by The da Vinci Code. Like the book, it’s a nice quaint little chapel that was nice to wander around. Unlike the book, there’s very few, if any, secrets about the place or hidden chambers, etc. Also, no pictures please. They wanted to make sure you bought the CD of pictures I presume.

Day 13: Edinburgh to York

Hadrian’s Wall is a most interesting thing. Like the Great Wall of China, it stretches across part of northern Scotland and acted as a military barrier. I guess they had to give those soldiers something to do with their time as well, so why not have them build things.

Then into York for the evening.

Day 14: York, Sherwood Forest, Stratford, Oxford and finally back in London

We left York this morning and traveled through the country side stopping for a visit at Shakespeare’s birthplace and group pictures in front of Anne Hathaway’s cottage. Shakespeare’s home is a landmark and tourist attraction – again, no pictures please as we want to sell them to you in the gift shop. The town is an interesting wander around and listening to Steve tell some of the history of the place I learned a few things I didn’t know about that era. Frankly, I’ve never been a fan of Shakespeare and I find the current Anne Hathaway a lot more interesting than Shakespeare’s wife. Se la vi.

The ride through the rolling hills down to Oxford was interesting. It’s a nice rural community with narrow roads and farms. We passed Winston Churchill’s estate but didn’t go in. It’s a really nice palatial estate. And, finally we’re in Oxford. We were running a bit short of time but did have a nice tour of the chapel in Oxford and a few minutes to roam about the place. It’s a huge version of what we would call a “college town” and logically so. A little more time there would have been nice also.

Then finally back to the Copthorne in Chelsea in London and the end of the tour.

By the time we unloaded that bus we were tired and ready to catch dinner and lie down for a while. We’d covered a lot of real estate in England, Scotland and Wales. We’d made some new friends and met some really interesting people. We’d seen and done a lot in a few days. It was worth the price and we’d had a great time.

Day 15: Back home

The alarm detonated early, packing was done quickly. We hit breakfast and said good bye again to some of our travel mates for the last two weeks. A quick trip over to the Chelsea football club shop for a couple t-shirts and then off to the airport and a trip across the pond to Atlanta. This time, the seats were much better and the sleeping came a lot easier.

I’m Don Rima and that’s the way it was in the UK this summer, From Where I Stand.

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So, Let’s consider: National Park Passports 0

So, Let’s consider: National Park Passports

Several years ago, the National Park System(NPS) started a really nice hobby item for those that like to travel and visit parks. It’s referred to as the “passport”. (You can find more info at

A set of additional stamps honoring specific parks is issued every year, and every year I order the year’s new passport stamp set for my National Park “passports”. Now before you go getting confused on me, these passports aren’t the kind that are issue by the state department that you need to travel between countries, or to New Jersey. They’re actually more like a scrap book of stamps that are issued for parks in the NPS system. A new stamp set is issued each year. And, yes, some parks have yet to get their stamp, but you can still get the passport “stamped” when you visit them. When you visit a park and their visitor’s center, you can get the “cancelation” stamp for you passport stamp. And if there’s not one yet issued, you can still collect the cancelations. It’s a really nice scrapbook log of your trips and visits. And it makes for a nice consolidation of memories to look back on later.

I started this with my kid back when she was young as a fun side item when our family traveled as a way for her to have a book of memories of our trips. And each year when I order my new set I still get her a copy as well.

I just got my new set of stamps for next year and this morning I updated my passports with them. I’ve been doing this long enough that I’ve had to expand to 2 volumes with several sets of additional inserts.

Our family has changed in recent years, but even still, as I add the new stamps and flip through the pages of trips gone by, the memories come back like the noon day sun.

If you’re looking for a fun memory building hobby for your kid(s) and family, I really recommend that you check out this little known fun part of traveling the national park system. It’s affordable and something that grows as they do.

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.

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So, Let’s consider: You Start Dying Slowly 0

So, Let’s consider: You Start Dying Slowly

You Start Dying Slowly

You start dying slowly
if you do not travel,
if you do not read,
If you do not listen to the sounds of life,
If you do not appreciate yourself.

You start dying slowly
When you kill your self-esteem;
When you do not let others help you.

You start dying slowly
If you become a slave of your habits,
Walking everyday on the same paths…
If you do not change your routine,
If you do not wear different colours
Or you do not speak to those you don’t know.

You start dying slowly
If you avoid to feel passion
And their turbulent emotions;
Those which make your eyes glisten
And your heart beat fast.

You start dying slowly
If you do not change your life when you are not satisfied with your job, or with your love,
If you do not risk what is safe for the uncertain,
If you do not go after a dream,
If you do not allow yourself,

At least once in your lifetime,

To run away from sensible advice…
So start living….my dear.

Start living.

–Martha Medeiros (in “A Morte Devagar”)

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.

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So, Let’s consider: We see things differently… 0

So, Let’s consider: We see things differently…

I still love my democrat friends and family but, you see it your way and I’ll see it my way!

You see Trump’s arrogance, I see Trump’s confidence.

You see Trump’s nationalism, I see Trump’s patriotism.

You hear Trump’s unsophisticated words, I hear Trump’s honesty.

You see Trump’s racism, I see Trump’s words being misconstrued and twisted by the biased media daily to fit their narrative.

You see Trump as a Republican, I see Trump as a Patriot.

You see Trump as a dictator, I see Trump as a leader.

You see Trump as an Authoritarian, I see Trump as the only one willing to fight for our freedoms.

You see Trump as childish, I see Trump as a fighter, unwilling to cave in to the lies.

You see Trump as an unpolished politician, I see Trump as a breath of fresh air.

You think Trump hates immigrants, I know Trump is married to an immigrant.

You see Trump putting an end to immigration in America, I see Trump welcoming immigrants to America, BUT LEGALLY.

You see cages at the border, I ses cages Obama built at the border.

You see Trump with a struggling economy, I see Trump with an amazing economy until the Democrats shut it down.

You see the violence in the streets and call it “Trump’s America”, I see the violence in the streets of Democratic run cities who are refusing Trump’s help and call it “Liberal America” or “Progressive America.”

You want someone more Presidential, I’m happy we have someone who finally doesn’t just talk the talk but actually walks the walk.

You and I? We see things very differently… But, that difference is part of the STRENGTH that makes America Great.

Let us try to find strength in our differences and strive to continue to make our constitutional republic the best country on earth.

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.

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So, Let’s consider: Xmas shopping in the land of covid 0

So, Let’s consider: Xmas shopping in the land of covid

Well, it’s the first week of October! You know what that means, right? Yup, it’s time to start shopping for Christmas!

Frankly, I think all these stores bringing out all their xmas trinkets at the end of July is more than a bit overboard, overpowering, over uncalled for and in general over annoying. When I walk into a place like Walmart this morning and see rows and rows stacked full to the top with all kinds of xmas BS, I’m wondering why someone hasn’t done a terrorist act on the place for over merchandising the Winter Solstice. Frankly, it was a serious temptation.

This year brings with it the added concerns of how local, perhaps smaller, businesses are going to survive it to Thanksgiving, let alone the Winter Solstice celebration. And, I find myself asking: “What’s more important, making Jeff Bezos richer by shopping on Amazon or the Walmart family by shopping at Walmart stores…or is it more important to do what I can to help the local businesses through their covid struggles to survive?” I think the answer is simple: The locals win.

So, this year is going to be a bit different. Look to your local businesses for gift certificates. You may even have to ask for them as this may be a new product line that they’ve not thought of before. Look for your local bookstores, eating or drinking establishments, specialty stores, corner grocers, theaters, art stores, hobby and craft stores, even your local mechanic! Hey, everyone’s going to need an oil change SOMETIME next year! Get creative.

If you’re a small merchant, business, eating establishment, or whatever, be thinking about how you can market gift certificates for people to use your establishment creatively and in a means that would make for an acceptable and welcomed gift for them to give to someone else to have.

Now, I’ll also expand this to small business that may not be in your neighborhood. Personally I’ve dealt with a family owned and run bakery in Baltimore for years. Every year I call Maria Voccaro at Voccaro’s bakery for my panetone’s and cookies. They’re a family run group in Baltimore that I’ve dealt with for over 30 years and I’m not going to stop now. I use them as an example but all of us know of a small, local or not so local, that we can send our business to in this time of mutual need. We need our small businesses to survive. Small business is by far the largest portion of employment our country has. And, they need us as much as we need them.

Perhaps with our help this year, they’ll still be around next.

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.

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So, Let's consider: America Needs You, Harry Truman… 0

So, Let’s consider: America Needs You, Harry Truman…

So I’m once again reading about a weekend in Chicago and a record number of murders and high crime in that once great city and the old Chicago group song “America Needs You, Harry Truman” just pops into the mind. If you need a refresh, here’s the youtube link (
This may open up a ton of outraged comments by some. Many who will argue how “wrong” this post is. My suggestion, save your time and effort! You’re not changing the reality of what we are living by trying to somehow justify this insanity!
Nevertheless, I couldn’t resist because we are becoming the Twilight Zone, at warp speed and it would appear with all the help of the socialist media.
We have become a nation that has lost its collective mind! And, a lot more!
If a dude pretends to be a woman, you are required to pretend with him.
Somehow it’s un-American for the census to count how many AMERICANS are in America.
Russians influencing our elections are bad, but illegals voting in our elections are good…and the socialists want them now to just mail in their votes!
It was cool for Joe Biden to “blackmail” the President of Ukraine, but it’s an impeachable offense if Donald Trump inquires about it.
If was cool for Obama to spend MILLION$ to interfere with Israel’s elections, but don’t let any Republicans think about it or the socialist press goes nuts.
Twenty is too young to drink a beer, but eighteen is old enough to vote…and some would like to go even younger…probably to swing the liberal minds of kids before they get their first doses of reality and discover that “liberalism” is a fallacy when it comes to reality.
People who have never owned slaves should pay slavery reparations to people who have never been slaves. And totally forget the bigger pictures of slavery…things like the Barbary Slaves (N.Africa raiding S.Europe), Irish slaves, etc….
Men are being allowed to compete in women’s sports, just because of what they think they “identify” as?? Now, just how really fair is that and what happened to the concept of a “level playing field”??? Oh, the liberals and socialists just ignore that…not to mention the idiots in the judicial system.
Inflammatory rhetoric is outrageous, but harassing people in restaurants is virtuous. Provided that it’s liberal speech.
People who have never been to college should pay the debts of college students who took out huge loans for their degrees. And forget about the total stupidity of degree choices of many who chose degrees that have next to no demand in the real world market, then try to blame the government for not being able to find real work… It’s called thinking and planning – but then, that’s a concept that’s being discouraged by current liberal agendas.
Immigrants with tuberculosis, polio and any other infectious disease are welcome, but you’d better be able to prove your dog is vaccinated. And if you come here illegally we’re supposed to pay for all your healthcare, housing, education, food, etc… Really? Ever try doing that in China? Mexico?
Irish doctors and German engineers who want to immigrate must go through a rigorous vetting process, but any illiterate gang-bangers who jump the southern fence are welcome. Not to mention harbored and protected by some mindless “sanctuary city” scheme, while they continue to murder and raise other mayhem…unchecked…
$5 billion for border security is too expensive, but $1.5 trillion for “free” health care is not. Frankly people, if you don’t have secure borders, you don’t have a country! WTFU!
If you cheat to get into college you go to prison, but if you cheat to get into the country you go to college for free. Not to mention all the other goodies you get… And then there’s that BS “catch and release”… Can it get any more stupid than that? Well, they’re trying every day!
People who say there is no such thing as gender are demanding a female President. Frankly, I have no issues with a female president. But please, give us a Maggy Thatcher…and not a drunk Pelosi…
We see other countries going Socialist and collapsing, but it seems like a great plan for us…it just amazes me how people that think they would be our leaders just refuse to learn from the mistakes of other countries! Like many leaders in the past have observed, socialism WILL fail – you eventually run out of
other people’s money to spend!
Some people are held responsible for things that happened before they were born, and other people are not held responsible for what they are doing right now. The concept of taking responsibility or just being held responsible for your actions is not being taught in what’s being pawned off as the current education system. And, if you don’t manage yourself, someone else will.
Criminals are catch-and-released to hurt more people, but stopping them is bad because it’s a violation of THEIR rights. Face it, we’ve long ago become a society where the victim is the one punished. The liberal system won’t let you protect your property, you’re supposed to call the police…who arrive long after the criminal has left and the damage is done…
And pointing out all this hypocrisy somehow makes us “racists”?! And, how many really understand that “racist” started back with Trotsky in the times of the Russian revolution when he didn’t have anything concrete to blame people with? Can’t think of a concrete argument to use against anyone? Hell, call them “racist” and see what happens…
Depending on who’s statistics you want to believe, over 60,000 die every year from the common flu virus, but let a novel one come in and the world goes nuts!
And, people that have been desensitized by watching too move evening TV think that all the world’s problems can be solved in the span of 60 minutes, including 22 minutes of mind numbing ads? Really? Uh, people, when you’re hit with a totally new pathogen/disease, it can take months to years to get it all sorted out…and if you believe story lines with idiots like House solving a major crisis in one show, well, you’re just a special kind of stupid!
I think it was Franklin that once said, “If you would give up freedom for security, you deserve neither freedom nor security…”. Yet, just look what’s happened in the last couple of months! Geezuz! How much have we just given up and how fast for what?
When I look at the mortality rates of millions of people dying every year from disease and abortion and then watch the liberal media go nuts over a virus, I just don’t understand.
And to top it off, it would appear that the lives of good people murdered on an average weekend don’t seem to matter, but let a man with multiple major felony convictions get stoned off his ass, resist arrest and unfortunately die at the hands of arresting officers and the socialist media goes nuts! And he gets a funeral the likes of that for a deity! Just where are our priorities? Why don’t ALL LIVES MATTER? Whatever happened to “We hold these rights to be self evident that….” ????
Our country and it’s would be leaders have lost all civility, values, morals and dignity. Our congressional leadership would as eagerly kowtow to the latest politically correctism as they would drink a glass of scotch. Nobody has any strength of character any more…nor any backbone. Our would be
leaders are to busy fighting the “other party” to deal with the fight FOR AMERICA. This has to stop. I’m seriously concerned that if we were to get invaded as a country that some of the so called “leaders” in congress would help the invaders lead their charge!
I believe it was long ago and respected journalist, Edwin R. Murrow, that once said “News is facts minus opinion”. Given that equation, we’ve not seen any real serious “news” from contemporary news outlets for a very long time. The evening “That’s the way it is…” has been long supplanted with “That’s
the way we want it to be and the way we want you to think…”… And unfortunately too many people are buying that crap. Alas, for many, mainstream news media has well deservedly lost all credibility. It wasn’t that long ago when you heard “good night, Chet…” and you had a fairly decent comfort level that
you had just seen 30 minutes of what was really happening, not what someone was filtering and editing to make you think.
Harry, won’t you please come home?

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.

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So, Let's consider: Some thoughts on planning your move…. 0

So, Let’s consider: Some thoughts on planning your move….

I’ve moved more than enough times in my life and I gave up count after the number hit 25. You don’t have to have moved over 25 times to know that any move is a royal pain in the ass. So, here’s a few thoughts that may help make your next (or perhaps current) move a little easier…

Talk with your insurance agent about your move.

I’m putting this at the top of to-do’s intentionally. It’s an item that is very frequently overlooked or just ignored…until something goes wrong and you find out you’re not covered. A quick call to your insurance agent telling them that you’re moving, where from, to, how and a quick review of your move’s plans can save you a lot of potential pain and loss later. Make sure where you’re going is covered properly as well as your goods in transit and any intermediary storage facilities and processes. Caveat: CYA is the order of the day.

Plan, plan and plan some more…

There are times when your moving time window is lengthy and there are times when you gotta move next week. In either case, it’s well worth the time to just sit down with pad and pen and do a little thinking on paper. Write down things like: Where am I going from and to? How do I plan to get from here to there? How much stuff am I taking? Where am I going to put it when I get there? Do I need a hotel, etc., while there and moving in? Do I need any help and if so who and what?

Plan how to handle your stuff.

Walk through your current abode with your pad and pen. Make a notation of what you have and how you think you should pack it. Does something need special packaging, handling or treatment? Is it something that is fragile or valuable to the point you want to move it yourself vs the movers?

Don’t feel you have to BUY boxes.

A little simple planning and a few drives past your local liquor stores when they have their empty boxes outside or just call them and you’ll have more boxes than you’ll need and they’re happy to get rid of them. If you keep the subdividers in them they’ll also work for things like vases, etc., provided you don’t play soccor with the boxes while moving. And, saving a couple weeks newspapers for packing $ave$ on padding expenses as well…
LABEL your boxes as to what’s in them and where they should end up at in the target venue. This will help you, your movers and save you alot of “where the heck is that box with the…” frustrations. I’m not talking detailed inventory, per se. Just grab a black sharpie and make notes on the outside of the box. I would also suggest that if you have boxes of valueables that you NOT write things like “gold bricks” or “firearms” on the outside. Rather use a codeword that works for you: “Wally’s rock collection” or “Special plumbing parts” should work. You’ll know what’s inside and nobody else needs to… And, PLEASE UNLOAD ALL FIREARMS BEFORE YOU PACK THEM.

Access to your stuff during transition and after landing.

There’s going to be stuff that you’re going to need during the move and immediately after the move. Identifying these items should also be part of your pen and pad walk around planning. Label these items clearly during packing and perhaps place them in a special and different area for special handling versus the bigger piles. Also, think about what you will need during the transition: PC, laptop, small table(s), chair(s), cooking items, items/toys for kids, etc…

What’s hanging on your walls…

The old addage of “what goes up, must come down…” applies to anything you’ve put on your walls. Pictures, posters, etc., need to be part of your packing and planning process as they may require special handing and packing.

Change of address notifications.

Frankly this is a very simple but important function of your move. The poney express office has a simple form for you to fill out for their forwarding purposes and you can write a simple “effective today, my new address is: xxxxx” letter to drop off at your bank, put in your credit card payments, etc. Frankly, I prefer getting a post office box as it makes my relocation easier and my mail delivery smoother and more secure. Further, if I take a weekend away, nobody knows it from the pile of junk that is cluttering my mailbox on the street or in the apartment complex.
Finally, good luck with your move. Keep some non-alcoholic drinks handy during the process and be safe.

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.

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So, Let's consider: What makes a Movie or TV Show MUST SEE…and why? 0

So, Let’s consider: What makes a Movie or TV Show MUST SEE…and why?

OK, so I’m sitting in my mechanic’s waiting room and flip open the paper to occupy some time. The first thing that hits me on the entertainment section is some article about how a movie is “Must See”. Really? Who says it’s “must see”? Why? I read the article further and it delved into show’s plotline a bit, and how it was a MUST SEE.
Really? Frankly, it sounded just like the rest of the mindless schlock that Hollywood keeps cranking out in the hopes that I’ll spend my well earned money and time on. And, frankly, other than it was the author’s opinion that I must see this thing, I was really hard pressed to come up with any reasons why it warranted spending any time and money on! Considering that I have to get a second mortgage to go to a movie any more and the cost of popcorn and a coke is close to a house payment I’ve found myself being alot more selective on what I actually go see!
Marketing takes many forms. From would be “critics” that seem to always have a “thumbs up” positive must see/read spin on everything they’re paid to write about, to what can only be called “infomercial” articles in the papers or on the web that we can’t seem to get away from we seem to be more inundated with positive spin on things that someone wants us to spend money on. And, you have to keep in mind that they have to be politically correct and put a positive spin on almost everything…or they’d lose business from advertisers. After all, who’s going to support a newspaper that says their product sucks…even if it is the truth?
Think about it a minute…just when was that last time you read anything that said “this movie sucks! Avoid it!”??? It doesn’t happen and it never will! The presenters in the media depend on advertisement revenue for their profits and imagine how many people wouldn’t be advertising in their product(s) if we were actually told something like “this is a total waste of your time. You’d be better off watching championship sock matching!”???? Stuff that’s really bad just tends to always die a silent death…after being mega-hyped and taking a bundle of your time and money!
Considering that the average one hour TV show is about 38 minutes of show and 22 minutes of really expensive ads, it’s in their best interest to put a positive spin on everything they’re being paid, in one form or another, to present! After all, they want your face in front of that screen to see those ads! And considering how expensive movies are to get into nowadays, they want to put your butts in the seats…regardless of the quality of the movie! Just think, how many people actually depand their money back after sitting through a movie that really sucks? Face it, they’ve got your money and they’re on their way to the bank with it.
So, what to do? For starters, THINK. Is that latest must see about some chick on a cable channel that’s just become an empty nester and now is out to explore her long lost sexuality really the best use of your time? Or is it just more banal over hyped media designed to bring more soft porn to your living room? Is the time you’re spending on must see crap really the best use of your time? Most likely the answer to that is a resounding “HELL NO!”. Is being a couch potato in front of some mindless schlock in the best interest of your life, state of mind, family? I’ve yet to see any “must see” anything that would create a “yes” answer to that question.
Think. You have a life. Control it by the choices you make about what you feed your mind and how you use your time. I always hear “I just don’t have time to do…” from people that spend hours oogling some “must see” crap and sacrifice their time and resources to someone else’s agenda and totally lose control of their own life. It’s your life, take control of it, establish your own priorities and management to YOUR best interest.
If you don’t control your own life’s goals, desires and directions then you sacrifice them to someone else’s control and they may not have your best interests in mind… If someone has to tell you that something is “must see” that you wouldn’t watch on your own, then chances are it’s not a “must” anything, much less something that’s worth your time and money. Think what’s in your best interest first.

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.

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So, Let's consider: Family connections during the holidays. 0

So, Let’s consider: Family connections during the holidays.

Folks, I urge you to view this powerful video. It says more than I ever could about family and the holidays.

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.

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So, Let's Consider: Walmart's latest bout with mental disorders 0

So, Let’s Consider: Walmart’s latest bout with mental disorders

In case you’ve been under a rock today, the great minds of yogurt at Walmart have once again capitulated and kowtowed to the liberal sychophantic and psyhopathic minds of the liberal media and every other political cause by deciding to not sell any firearms ammo any more. According to them, for some deranged reason, they think this will in some way reduce gun violence in America. Let’s take a look at a few things.
In 2018, according to the Gun Violence Archives, 340 deaths were due to mass shooting. Oh, by the way, ALSO during 2018, according to MADD, 10,874 people were killed by drunk drivers.
So, in support of the liberal anti-gun movement, they think that removing all ammo will reduce shooting deaths. I really have to wonder how that’s going to sell in Chicago…
What’s interesting and totally counter to their new corporate policy is that they’re still insisting on selling as much beer and wine as they can in clear SUPPORT of the 10,874 drunk driving deaths. So, just what and where are their real priorities? Reality or kowtowing to political correctness in the media? Is anyone at Walmart REALLY THINKING???
Does anyone at Walmart have a spine?
The next thing I expect them to do is stop selling auto parts to help reduce highway deaths….
Let’s think further: in a drunk driving event: the drunk driver is blamed – NOT THE BEER; in a boating accident the boat captain is blamed – NOT THE BOAT; etc…. The only exception to this is firearms… MAYBE society needs to wake up and put blame where it REALLY belongs…on the heads of the criminals!

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.