Honor

In 1988 I was young. In 1988 I was still very influenced by my upbringing. In 1988 I was  financially successful. In 1988 I was selfish. In 1988 I voted with my wallet, I remember making that decision on purpose …to vote for a conservative financial policy, that at that time I believed benefitted me, over social policy. In 1988 I voted for George H.W. Bush for president.

My politics changed during the George H.W. Bush presidency. I matured. I moved away from my conservative roots. I realized that I resonated with liberal social policy and with liberal financial policy over those policies of the conservatives. In 1992 I voted for Bill Clinton.

Looking back, I disagreed with much of the politics of George H.W. Bush. I lived through the AIDS crisis and lost more friends and lovers than I wish to count. I hated his war. I grew to completely disagree with trickle down economics, tax cuts and reductions in societal safety nets.

In fact I came to resent the politics of the entire Bush family.

Yesterday I flew through Houston on my way home to San Diego from Ft. Lauderdale. I had a tight connection and had to practically run to make it to my next gate. As I made my way as fast as I could my stride was stopped in its tracks as I passed this at the George H.W. Bush International Airport:

George H.W. Bush Statue

I’ve passed that statue many times. I’ve even stopped to read the honorarium in times past when I needed to pass some time at this airport. The wall is filled with the history and the achievements of service that he gave to his country. From his service in World War II through his service after his presidency. George H.W. Bush was devoted to his country and to democracy.

Yesterday in my rush I not only stopped in my tracks, I paused. I paused to respect a man for his service. I paused to respect a man for his honor. I paused to realize that he valued political discorse. I paused to acknowledge that although we differed, he also believed in human rights, freedom, immigration, respect, service, compromise, representation and his country. I paused to respect that he valued a greater good for community, he valued society and he valued the world.

We had differences, but we had commonality. I began to cry.

I got to my next flight as Fearsome absorbed my silent tears. I wept for my country. I wept in hope that the future of our politics will one day soon again allow discussion, understanding, compromise, progress, respect and honor.

Godspeed.

A farewell and a new friend

This morning on our way to Philly we had a stopover and as we landed at San Fransisco International SFO we had the honor of seeing United’s last 747 on the tarmac before it’s final farewell flight today from San Fransisco to Hawaii.

I love 747s and thankfully have flown several of them over the years. Godspeed my friend.

Then after arriving in Philly we, Fearsome & meself, had the greater honor of re-uniting with an old friend and meeting a new one face to face for the first time. It’s been a wonderful day.

Blogger buddies

Travel day!

Today we fly to Philly to stop on our way to join Mom, Brother, sister-in-law, a niece, her husband, their two kids and a nephew for a train trip into the Big Apple. Mom has always dreamed of seeing The Rockettes, so we are all taking her to Radio City Music Hall for The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular!

Fearsome & I are headed out a day early so we can have dinner with Todd , Anne Marie and Mistress Maddie!

WooHoo! We is gonna have a blast!

The Iconic Boeing 747

First released in 1968, Boeing’s 747 was, and still is, an engineering marvel.

United is retiring their 747 fleet for more fuel efficient 777 & 787 aircraft and fuel efficiency is a definately valid reason. Other airlines will continue to fly them so the iconic look will still be seen in larger international ports. However their numbers may continue to dwindle as technology changes.

I’ve only flown the 747 six times in all of my travels on these routes:  Miami to Aruba, San Diego to London, Los Angeles to Sydney. Thus far it is my favorite airliner. The adjectives roomy and majestic come to mind. I even know the layout well enough that I have a favorite seat. I’ll miss this mighty bird for she gave me many wonderful memories.

Capital Treasures 3

After our time at the Hirshhorn we crossed The Mall to check out have some lunch over at The National Gallery of Art. After sharing a wonderful lunch in the Garden Cafe we discovered their current exhibit Frederic Bazille and the Birth of Impressionism. 

Fabulous!

A Pierre-Auguste Renoir on the left of Federic Bazzile painting his Still Life with Heron on right.

Federic Brazil was an early impressionist who came of age with Renoir, Monet, Manet, Cezzane and likes. They were a close group and there are many paintings where they painted the same subjects and each other.

Fearsome stands amount the Beards of the great impressionists.

This last painting above is a Bazille that includes many of his impressionist friends in his studio, Bazille is the tallest standing beside the easel. Bazille’s parents always kept him in a studio in Paris and his young impressionist friends, including Renoir & Monet, often stayed and even lived with him in his various Paris studios. Note the painting on the upper left above the man on the stairs as it is the painting of the male nude featured above.

Bazille joined the Army at 29 years of age and left his young impressionist friends behind to only be tragically killed on his first assignment. He never gained the refinement nor fame that his contemporaries did due to his unfortunate untimely death.

Rumors do swirl around why he left and joined a faction of the army to fight on the front lines. Was he in love with one of his contemporaries that couldn’t be fulfilled? Did he need to get away? Was it almost an act of suicide? Or was he just looking for male companionship in the trenches? Rumors that will never be confirmed.

Homosexuality was quite frowned upon at the time and the place where he and his friends lived and bromanced. His counterparts went on to marry, he ran away. He housed and supported them and maybe it was only friendship. We will never know. We do know that the loss of his life at such a young age deprived the impressionist movement of a budding young talent who had hardly began his journey.

Frederic Bazille

It always happens…

Why it is that every time I have a trip to make I get crazy busy right before it is time to leave?

Is it Murphy’s law?

Since I’m busy getting ready do I attract more busy?

Busy attracts business?

Dont get me wrong, I like busy. Busy brings me income. Busy creates meaning. Busy gives purpose.

I think I’ll decide to sit in my seat 2B to Chicago this morning in gratitude for being busy.

Questionable Beard

So this happened…

I’m passing through TSA, something I do about once a month, and I’m stopped and asked “Sir, is your Beard for religious reasons?” It’s very early in the morning and I am am in a hurry and my focus is getting through to grab a snack in the United Club Lounge prior to lining up at the gate. What the TSA agent said to me in my Known Traveler TSA Pre-Check express line didn’t register at the moment and I quickly blurted out “No, it is not” to which the agent replied “Ok” and let me pass on through.

It wasn’t until much later when I replayed the exchange in my mind that I realized what had actually happened. What if my answer was yes? I mean Fearsome is a rather large fellow. He stands out, really stands out. And so what if Fearsome is a Beard of religious reasons? He is an American citizen and last I checked these United States are a land with freedom of, and from, religion. Was I being profiled for having a Beard and possibly for having a religion? Is it a TSA agent’s business why Fearsome adorns my face or what religion I do, or do not, follow?

Airline Double Feature Picture Show

Quiet Beard Fearsome is of recent. I’ve been busy (no excuse) and haven’t allowed Fearsome any time to think. He’s a bit miffed at me.

Tuesday we flew to the east coast in order to attend one of my Real Estate seminars in Richmond Virginia. Friday we rented a Hyudia Elantra and drove ourselves through blinding rain to the old home stomping grounds of Roanoke.

Aboard the friendly skies of United to Richmond via Newark the handy dandy iPad Pro entertainment system treated us to two notable flicks. The first feature is a classic that I had missed along the way. Pedro Almodovar’s Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown …

What took me so long to see this film? Needless to say Fearsome loved it! I’m going to follow up by purchasing it. Entertaining, campy, hilarious, fast paced, twisted, visually gratifying and memorable are just a few of the adjectives that pop into my head. It is highly recommended by both of us and therefore gets two mustache tips up.

Tip: if renting from iTunes it will default to the dubbed version. The dubbing is terrible. It at least allows one to hear the priceless lines in ones own native English… if English is ones native tongue. After which both of us highly reccomend re-watching with its original Spanish soundtrack which one can choose in the iTunes menu and also choose the subtitles in several convenient languages.  Fabulous! Period.

Feature number two? You ask? A heartwarming documentary by the name of Chicken People.

Quirky, funny, interesting, endearing and enlightening come to mind. The human experience is an facinating adventure. Learning about interests other than my own through such an entertaining film as this little gem is a treasure. I simply adore being eccentric and therefore love other’s eccentricities.

You guessed it right if you predicted another two mustache tips up on this highly reccomended flick.

Mom updates

Mom is doing much better. Big relief. Physical therapy has worked well for her. She is much more herself.

Her birthday party was a success and she absolutely loves her new Apple Watch. She is calling everyone from her wrist. Seriously!

Fearsome Mom

Fearsome Mom

Yes, I made the cake. Kentucky Butter Cake! (You can find the recipe HERE)

After a wonderful time with mom, Fearsome and I boarded our flight to start our journey home. Due to the tumultuous weekend of policy changes by decree we figured we may see a bit of discourse along the way. San Diego International did not disappoint.

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Outside baggage claim thousands of peaceful protestors as far as the eye could see, even on the upper level drop off area. We added our cheers of support as we made our way through the crowd having to walk to the smaller domestic flight only terminal for pick up. It was an uplifting walk after a weekend of disconcerting news.

Yesterday we took another step in our support of compassionate human values. If you are so inclined you can add your support as well simply by clicking HERE.

We are glad to be home safely with our family. We pray for everyone that are separated from families/loved ones and for all those that are displaced from their home/homelands that are simply seeking safe refuge in order to live.

 

Fearsome’s travel updates

We arrived safely in Ft Lauderdale only 20 hours later than the originally scheduled arrival time. Thanks to a helpful club concierge we were rescheduled on the easiest most comfortable route to our final destination. Fearsome has taught me that a smile, patience plus a few kind words go a long way with those who work in customer service. His wisdom worked to our favor.

After waiting out our delay in snowy Washington DC due to the line for de icing we were finally airborne. Shortly into the flight or Captian let us know that due to storms aloft we were re-routing but would make it to Ft. Lauderdale. He warned us if a bumpy flight ahead and that services may be delayed as from time to time the flight attendants would have to sit down and strap themselves in. Yeah! A thrill ride!

Actually the experience aloft turned out to be fairly smooth and the re-route took us out to sea. When landing in Ft Lauderdale on most often arrives over the Everglades but due to storms we descended to our destination via a route over the Bahamas. As the Captian put it we were going to just “slip in between storm fronts” so we could land safely.

Our sneaky route between storms allowed some incredible vistas from my window seat the United Club concierge snagged for me:

One of the Bahamas below.

One of the Bahamas below.

Storms in the distance.

Storms in the distance.

Stunning azul of the shallow Bahamas waters.

Stunning azul of the shallow Bahamas waters.

Storms head over Ft Lauderdale Beach during approach.

Storms head over Ft Lauderdale Beach during approach.

What we found when we got off the flight in Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International was a freakin’ mess. Due to all flights being cancelled the day before and the one whole terminal being closed as it was a crime scene, left our arrival terminal looking like something out of Night of The Living Dead. As we deplaned we entered a terminal packed to the point there wasn’t even a place for people to sit on the floor and the stranded passengers looked at us almost as if they were hungry enough to eat us. They wanted on to our aircraft and NOW!

The there was baggage claim. Oh shit!

Ft Lauderdale/Hollywood International United Baggage Claim 1/7/2017

Ft Lauderdale/Hollywood International United Baggage Claim 1/7/2017

Apparently in the evacuation of the airport during the previous days shootings everyone was told to leave their bags and run. These were just the yet to be claimed bags from arriving passengers. Departing passenger bags were available for claim and re-checking to destinations on one’s newly scheduled flight upstairs. The nightmare the day after a nightmare.

My bag? After a reschedule and a night left outside on the tarmac at Dulles International it arrived! Still frozen, but here with me! Whew.

I made my way to Dollar Rent A Car and was greeted with no line in which to wait but a friendly face who discounted my rental and upgraded me to a full size car “due to the travel interruptions” I had endured. I was off to my hotel and welcomed not only by a familiar and friendly face at the front desk but also by my comfortable and familiar room.

Room 219, Fearsome's favorite room.

Room 219, Fearsome’s favorite room.

 

Travelous interrupterous

So I land in Dulles for a short layover on way to Ft. Lauderdale. When I turn my phone on it explodes with texts asking if I am ok. It seems that this happened…

5 dead and 8 injured at Delta baggage claim in Ft. Lauderdale airport.

5 dead and 8 injured at Delta baggage claim in Ft. Lauderdale airport.

I should have already boarded my plane to fly there. However the plane that I fly there on is sitting on the tarmac there, full of passengers coming here, waiting to take off. The FTL airport is still closed so who knows when it will take off and when I will get to board it to head there.

While I am having the minor inconvenience of travelous interrupertous (my how spell check hates me when I make up my own words) there are families and friends grieving the loss of the five Delta passengers who died at the hands of a crazy man and eight others injured in the hospital. I pray for them. Yes I do pray.

It seems that the gunman had just flown in on a Delta flight, picked up his bag from the luggage carousel, retrieved the gun from his checked bag and opened fire. Seriously. Crazy lives amoung us. Sorry folks but that is horrible. Innocent travelers possibly on their way to a vacation of their dreams, coming home, visiting friends & family, working on a business trip, returning from a deployment overseas or maybe even going on a honeymoon …dead at the luggage carousel because some crazy asshole fucker had a gun in his checked bag.

A fucking gun in a fucking checked bag on a fucking airplane.

Soapbox. Yep I stepped on it.

Now I’ll get back off of it.

So several hours late or maybe tomorrow morning I will finally arrive at my destination of Ft. Lauderdale Florida, my second home. I will stand at a luggage carousel waiting for my bag. I will shed tears. I will remember poor souls I never met. I’ll pray for the loved ones in mourning. I’ll feel gratitude that I was not there at that moment. I will be grateful I was spared and had the minor inconvenience of having to wait here at the United Club outside of Washington DC at the Dulles airport.

Tell your loved ones you love them. Tell them now, and tell them often. Stop smell the roses, take time, value the important things and never ever forget the blessing that is this very moment.