Topic: Let’s Consider…

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: 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: How really deadly IS this corona virus?? 0

So, Let’s consider: How really deadly IS this corona virus??

It is the strangest and smartest virus I’ve ever heard of.
It’s very dangerous the way it spreads.
It is so mysterious the way it lurks in schools, but then dies at Home Depot and Lowes. It can wreak havoc in churches; praying people are exceptionally vulnerable!
Although it’s Mind-boggling how it vanishes when people stand close together holding signs, destroying businesses, homes, property, monuments, etc.
Yet, standing to watch a marathon or a concert triggers its wrath.
It is sneaky. It can spread when buying clothes at Kohl’s but not at Target.
It is non-alcoholic. It can’t spread when you are buying beer.
It lives for two days on Amazon boxes, you must wait 48 hours to touch them but, it can’t survive on Dunkin Donuts coffee cups, so enjoying a hot cup of joe is safe.
Taco Bell can’t take your money directly from your hand, BUT they can take the same money directly from the cup that you put it in while paying at the drive through. Maybe it’s scared of plastic cups?
It is the most curious thing, how it lives on basketballs, baseball bats and ballet bars, but dies on WWE ropes and Walmart shopping carts.
It is spread by hair stylists, dog groomers, and dentists, but not by bank tellers, cashiers, and fast food workers.
It’s so smart. It won’t bother the first 10 people but it knows when the 11th person shows up so be careful if that’s you.
It even knows what you want vs what you need.
If you want a massage or your nails done it is very actively on the prowl and not even a mask can stop it. But If you need a plumber, it is weak, and a mask will keep it away.
It also seems to be most dangerous after 5:30pm so businesses must start to close before the virus comes out and wreaks havoc upon the populations.
Whoever heard of such a smart sneaky virus?!?

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: Just what are they all talking about??!! 0

So, Let’s consider: Just what are they all talking about??!!

It wasn’t that long ago that we all used to keep a few nickels, dimes or quarters (depending on how old you are) in our car to be able to make calls from a pay phone when we needed to. Those were the days when you could go down the aisles of the grocery without running into or better yet being run INTO by some idiot that was more intent on talking on their phone than dealing with the issues at hand. You could stand in the queue at the poney express office and get through the line quickly as you didn’t have to wait for some asshole that was at the counter and more intent about talking on their damn phone than taking care of business and letting the rest of us behind them take care of business as well.
Then there’s the idiots that are more intent on talking on their cell phones than driving safely! That’s one of my biggest peeves! They’ll pull out in front of you, take their time with driving because the phone call is much more important than anyone else on the road or better yet, more important that traffic safety!
Used to be we’d look at people talking to themselves and realize we’re dealing with someone that’s just not totally mentally with it. I’m reminded about this every time I go to my local Walmart and see all these idiots walking around talking to an ear plug…if indeed they actually have an ear plug on.
I applaud all the municipalities that are creating hands free laws, I just wish they’d enforce them better.
I’m still at a total loss as to just what is so important that people risk not only their own safety but that of many others on the highway. Clearly, in most cases, they’re totally oblivious to their surroundings and totally intent on what’s going on in their ear.
Wise up, people! Hang up the phone AND DRIVE! Hang up the phone and GET YOUR SHOPPING DONE!
I’m waiting for cases of “shopping rage” to start showing up where people get pissed off to the point that they grab the phone from the idiots in front of them in line or at the counter that are more intent on talking than conducting business, and end the conversation or worse yet throw the offending person’s phone on the floor. Frankly, I’d kinda welcome it in a few places.
Folks, I’m not against cell phones or using them. But PLEASE be judicious and considerate of others and your own safety when you do. There are no conversations that are that important.

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

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So, Let's consider: How can you have a safe online shopping experience during the holidays and the rest of the year? 0

So, Let’s consider: How can you have a safe online shopping experience during the holidays and the rest of the year?

So, once again, we find ourselves in the last week or 2 before xmas and it’s time to hit the internet and see what we need to buy. Or, you could be one of the smart ones that is doing their shopping earlier to make sure that things actually arrive when they’re supposed to… Then again, you could be shopping in the middle of April for some items that you need and you want to make sure you’re not going to get snookered (yes it’s a word!) online by some nepharious website, pricing scheme, or some other schemer that isn’t in your best interest.
So, What are a few things we can do to having a fighting chance on the wild world web? Let’s take a look at a few:

Watch out for false advertising.

Does it sound too good of a deal to be true? It just might be. Also be aware of look alike web pages that are designed to look just like the real thing. Watch for subtle differences like name changes or misspellings and always be careful for being redirected to another web page when you think you’re buying from something authentic.
Look over the website carefully.

Only shop on secure websites.

By secure websites, I mean sites that don’t send all your information in the clear for everyone to monitor. A secure site’s url will begin with HTTPS:// ….not just HTTP://…. And, NEVER use your credit card on a site that isn’t using a HTTPS page nor give any of your personal information on a page that’s not HTTPS protected. If you’re not familiar with a site that you want to use, checkout their BBB profile at

Is your antivirus current?

If your antivirus protection isn’t current don’t even think of shopping on the net until it is. By not protecting yourself you leave yourself open to all kinds of problems from non-secured sites and those sites that love to go phishing for your personal information.

What are the return policies?

Frankly, there are those that will buy anything and everything on the net. Frankly, I’m a bit more picky. Especially for clothing, if I can’t see it and feel it and know that it’s going to fit I don’t want to buy it. This is one of the reasons I like JC Penney brick and mortar stores over anyone’s web page. And when I buy cloths or other things over the net, it’s because I know what I’m buying and it’s what I’m looking for.
BUT, not everyone is that hard core when it comes to buying stuff on the net and, face it, there’s going to be times when you either get the wrong stuff, wrong size, wrong colour shades, etc., or you just don’t like the damn thing and want to send it back! Make sure you can and how you can BEFORE you buy. Many major chains with a web presence will let you bring a return into the local store for return or exchange. Frankly, I really like this option. Yet for some others, you’re going to have to call their return center is some 3rd world country to get a return authorization and instructions…and hope you can understand what they’re saying.

Always pay by credit card!

Many issues and problems with returns can be easily dealt with if you paid with a major credit card. If the vendor isn’t responsive to your issues, just call the card company and talk to them about the transaction. It’s amazing how fast a vendor will return your call when they get a complaint from a credit card company, especially when they realize that their transaction is being canceled. Also, a credit card protects you from other fraud potential issues, currency exchange manipulations if what you’re buying is in a different currency than your own, etc. And I said CREDIT CARD….do NOT use a debit card or wire someone funds unless you REALLY know and trust the target. Getting problems fixed with those types of transactions can be a lot harder to do…at least to do to your satisfaction.

What’s the price and are there any special promotions going on?

Everyone’s going to claim they have the best price of the item because they want your sale. Do your own research. That’s what Google’s for! Further, it’s normal and regular for vendors to have seasonal sales, loyalty awards bonuses, etc. Look for them. When they exist, avail yourself of them!

Watch out for phishing scams.

These generally come in the form of unwanted or unsolicited emails sending you to a website that you may have never heard of. Caveat emptor! And, in a big way! Some of these may claim to have something free just for you, or have just what you’re looking for. BE CAREFUL. Search engines and web trafficking monitors can and do keep track of what you’re searching for and buying. This information is available for a price and it can and will be used in marketing schemes against you.
Be careful about unwanted phone calls from high pressure people that have exactly what you’re wanting. Especially if you’ve never heard of them and more so if they’re calling from off shore on a poor quality phone connection. Chances are their name’s NOT Joe and they don’t work for State Farm!

Those emotional appeals for donations.

Well, I’ve covered this before, but, be prepared for all those phone calls and the tonnes of junk mail from every worthy cause that thinks you should be donating to them. Frankly, I have my own list of charities that I support each year and I’m not opposed to adding to them if and when I find something I want to support. And, neither should you. However there’s a few things to be aware of:
Watch out for the hyper emotional appeals. These are intentional and designed to maximize your wallet emptying.
Does the charity disclose how it’s using your donations? If not, then don’t give them anything.
Watch out for charities that may sound like a well known and trusted one, but aren’t. Name similarities abound like apples in the summer, make sure you aren’t getting one with a worm in it. The BBB’s wise giving alliance ( is one of many good places to start looking to verify a group you may not be familiar with.
Fortunately, the world is generally full of good people wanting to do good business and help their fellow man, regardless of the time of the year. Yet following that old Reagan adage of “Trust but verify” is always a good policy to have.

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: 'Tis the Season – for Shysters 0

So, Let’s consider: ‘Tis the Season – for Shysters

Well, it’s that time of year again… Somewhere shortly after the last of the fireworks have gone out on the 4th of July and and frequently by July 5th, you’ll start seeing every store from Walmart to your local drug store starting to bring out their xmas schlock and reminding you how few days it is until “Christmas”. And they’ll be pounding that drum until the champagne starts flowing on New Year’s Eve. Forget that there’s 6 months of holidays yet to come and that the historical and Biblical records are overly clear that the overly marketed fat jolly elf of December 25th has nothing to do with the birth of the Christ Child, you’re going to be inundated with all kinds of crap that you just can’t live without buying for “The Season”…history and logic be damned.
Along with these shysters will come a more sinister group of shysters that just as predictably show up every year wanting your money. These are the shysters that have prey on the good hearted people wanting to help others. These are they shysters that tell you how much good your donation to their cause is going to do for the world. How blessed you will be once your fork over your cash to them and their cause celeb or foundation or whatever buzz word will get you to part with your money. And, of course, little to none of your cash will get to where it’s supposed to go.
Now, I’m not stupid enough to not fully understand that there’s an abundance of well meaning and credible organizations of good will towards mankind out there, but there’s just as many organizations that are more interested in their own good will than helping the homeless people down the street.
This season I would encourage you to be generous with your giving, but I would also encourage you to be vigilant with whom you give to. Giving to help others not only shouldn’t be just one day a year, it should also be to those methods and organizations that actually are interested in doing good for their fellow man versus lining their own pockets, and that do so throughout the year as well. Preferably ones with a good existing record of having done so in the past.
Remember, the homeless guy down the street needs as much to eat on September 30 as he does on December 25th.
This year, please be generous, but also, be smart about your giving…and remember that generosity is needed 365 days a year.

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

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So, Let's consider: Why does it take 30 minutes to get your prescription ready? 0

So, Let’s consider: Why does it take 30 minutes to get your prescription ready?

OK, so lucky me picks up the broncho bug du jour this weekend. In between coughing my head off today I wandered into the doc in a box down the street. I figured they’d give me a shot and write me a script for some eye of newt and I’d be on my way. Why they want to give me a shot in my butt for a problem in my head and chest is something I didn’t really understand, but then, I really wasn’t well enough to get into a long debate on the subject.
Alas, they called in one med and gave me a hard copy script for the cough syrup since it contains some good stuff…and off to my local Walmart across the street I go.
Upon presenting my paperwork I’m told it’s going to be 30 minutes before my script is ready. Why it take 30 minutes to count out a few pills and pour up a potion every time I visit there I’ll never really understand. However, putting my MBA to use it’s clear to me that they want to me meander around the store, and hopefully in my sick stupified state I’ll find some other items they have for sale that I just gotta buy. Sorry, you got the wrong guy for this marketing scheme.
I’m a normal guy. I don’t like shopping. I really hate it more when they move stuff in a store in order to encourage me to meander through many additional aisles to not only reorient myself as to where what I want is, but in the hopes I’ll find something I don’t need and buy it. Generally pisses me off more than anything. If it takes me longer to find what I want and hit the cash register line than it does to walk from my truck to the front door, I’m wasting time. And the topic of only one lane open at a Walmart is a topic for another time.
SO, I’m stuck at Walmart for 30 minutes while the chemist counts out the pills…what to do.
Using my calibrated eyeball, I estimated that the inner perimeter of the store is about 1/5th to 1/4th of a mile. So, if I walked 4 or so laps around the inside of the store I’d have walked my daily mile while waiting for my pills and potions. And since we’re talking Walmart, you never know what you’re going to see that’s not on sale…some of which I’m sure you’re going to regret seeing.
So, that’s what I do. When I have a script to pickup, I have my saw bones send the script to Walmart. I could use any of several smaller local chemists, but the inside diameter of their stores isn’t big enough for me to be able to enjoy my walk…and yes, I know I could do additional laps to make up for the length distance…but why? I’d only be seeing the same stuff I don’t want to buy more frequently.
By the way, grab a grocery cart to take with you and throw something in it so you look like an official shopper…and good luck dodging all those huge carts being filled with stuff for other patrons to come in and pickup that are just too damn lazy to do their own shopping…or maybe their lives are just so super packed with incredibly important stuff, like curing the common cold without having to wait 30 minutes for your pills to be counted…

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

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