Monday, April 22, 2013

Game Changer

We had our house checked to see what it would take to have a solar water heater installed.   Pretty cool stuff and with so many tax credits (about 40%) it would be only about a $5K investment.  

Payoff time would be about 9 years and then basically free hot water for life (we could water our lawn with boiling water if we wanted too and it would cost us almost nothing . . . except for grass seed for the next year).  We would either have a pergola in the backyard or something on the roof which would make more sense.   Have to see if the panels are golf ball resistant.


My partner for golf will be balderdash this year which has me pumped.  We were partners about 10 years ago and learned that we should NEVER bet each other on who will not make it across the water as it seems nether of us would. The lesson learned here is negative thinking rarely works in golf if you want positive results.

League starts in less then two weeks, I'll have to find my golf clubs.

Got the Heinie Bike Ride coming up in two weeks. yea - I'M READY.  I've already logged OVER 5 MILES on my bike this year.  All I have to do is quadruple that.  Seriously though, check out the website and join us.  It's a ride for Pizza!!  We end up at Heine's Famous Pizza in Minnesota Junction. 


Did I hear there will be background checks for pressure cookers?


OH - Rick Steves.  Being obsessed with the guy and and his travel empire AND having a friend contact me from a travel agency and tell me he is very respected in the travel world and trying to not make this an incredibly long sentence I had been surmising on how he got his start, as I had an idea.

We watched a video yesterday and he explained it all and I was right.

He was a hippy dude that just loved to travel Europe in a van. Then when he got back in the States he discovered that no one really had a clue on how best to travel Europe, so he started booking tours in his 9 seat van.  Ini fact he called it across between Woodstock and a slumber party.

Here he is in the 80's

His first years he would travel MOST OF THE TIME with 8 woman.  Guys would never book with him.  It was sort of a touring commune, staying in the cheapest places they could find.  But then it all came into focus.

In fact he had people sign waivers  "I understand that on some nights we may find no accommodations. If we need to sleep in the van, I will do so without complaint."

One night they were in this huge tent with hundreds of other people (in Germany I believe) and a woman was crying.  He ask what was wrong and she said she was not cut out for this.  Well, he said, there was nothing I could really do, all we had in our medical kit was Valium . . . .

And now it was all clear.  We did notice that when Rick was showing us the ins and outs of Amsterdam that if you wanted coffee don't go to a coffee shop.  Coffee shops do not sell coffee and there he was in a "coffee" shop and DJ and I looked at each other and laughed because Mr. Steves had this big shit eating grin on his face.

We have also noticed that he seems to never turn down wine or beer and loves a good party  LOL

I love this guy!   OH - when in Amsterdam do NOT go into establishments with BLACK DOORS!     
But seriously. His tours are so much better then other tours.  Small groups that get you to places no other tour company can get too.  More walking, small local hotels and you can bring only one backpack of everything you will need for 3 weeks.  But when all the thousands of tourists leave a city you are still there in the middle of everything.  When in Venice you stay overnight in the middle of the city, not in the luxury hotels 15 miles away.  You can experience city's at night when 90% of tourists are all gone. 

I have to say something about the Boston Bombing.  First of all I'm so glad they did not make up some silly name for this event. I was just waiting for some marketing group to have some catchy catch phrase.

Second. Monday afternoon, once I heard about the incident, I was really . . .excited?? No that is not the word but I really wanted to see how we would catch the people responsible.  I mean, this was the first time that social media was really in the mix.   I was interested on how our government would deal with this.

WOW - they smacked it out of the park.  GAME CHANGER WORLD!!


I want to find the one component that goes into all outdoor surveillance cameras and buy stock in that company.   Madison has ordered 100 more.  OH - the "right" will have a fit as big brother is watching. (Where are all of those hand wringers now anyway, the ones saying we are taking away their rights. They seem pretty quiet).

OH - ABC news sort of sucked Friday night.  I think they were watching the wrong boat.  Switching back and forth, NBC had the best news coverage.  On CNN Wolf Blitzer is replaying the entire night in real time droning on and on. In fact maybe when people are talking about banning drones they are talking about Wolf Blitzer.


Is anyone as excited about the new show coming on TV (I think CBS)?  UNDER THE DOME.  It's about a small town of 5000 that all of a sudden has a impenetrable dome over it that no one can get in or out of (which, I guess is what impenetrable would mean)!   AWESOME!!

Remember the show Jericho? About a town of 5000 after a nuclear war and everyone knows everyone.  How does that happen?  How does everyone in a town of 5000 know EVERYONE.  Am I missing something?

I'm not going to get into nepotism.  I'm not on City Council so I think I'll just keep my mouth shut. I truly see both sides and I don't know what is right and what is right. Is nepotism a form of cronyism? and is it in direct conflict with the political philosophy of meritocracy (government jobs should be awarded on the basis of merit). But then you need to define "merit".  

As I said - I'm staying out of it and glad I don't have a vote.  There is no right answer. 

NOTE - ACTUALLY - there is a right answer - I found out this morning that the Pool is a family run operation and NOT part of  a governmental body. Which further confuses me, but confusion is actually my comfort zone. 


Rod out



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