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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hit The Road Jack

Road Trip Time

If you have plans to travel over the holiday weekend, be prepared to pay higher prices for a gallon of fuel if you travel to or through high traffic and popular areas.  The price for a barrel of oil just went over the $50 dollar per barrel mark since February 2016 when it was $26.
Whenever I go on a road trip I google the location of all the Costco gasoline station along my route.  They are not always as convenient as I wish they were, but I’ve been known to go a few miles out of my way to fill up at as much as 30 to 70 cents cheaper per gallon.
Looking at the Los Angeles area for this holiday weekend the Costco gasoline stations range from $2.32 per gallon on the low end to $2.42 on the high end.  By comparison the in the same area (LA) Super 8 in Norwalk from $2.37 to $4.29 at a Chevron on N. Alameda and N. Main St.

If you take a chance it will just come down to where you get low on fuel, and feel that you can no longer risk it and go for the best price you can get at a gas station.  On the other hand, if cost is no object, simply enjoy your trip and know that this holiday’s gasoline prices are amongst the best (lowest) we’ve seen for a while.

Many experts are predicting record number of travelers due to the great gasoline prices and the fact that we just came out of a long winter, and need the family getaway.  Expect heavy and slow traffic at times, and long lines almost everywhere you go.  Safe and happy motoring.  Remember the new laws regarding use of restrooms, keep your family safe.  The best is yet to come…………..

One Amongst Many

05/29/2017 - 11/22/1963

John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), commonly referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician who served as the 35thPresident of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. ~Wikipedia
  • Kennedy was the youngest man ever elected to the presidency, succeeding the man who, at the time, was the oldest. He symbolized—as he well realized—a new generation and its coming-of-age. He was the first president born in the 20th century, the first young veteran of World War II to reach the White House. John Hersey’s powerful account of Kennedy’s wartime bravery, published in The New Yorker in 1944, helped him launch his political career.
  • In shaping his legend, Kennedy’s personal charm helped. A witty and articulate speaker, he seemed built for the age of television. To watch him on film today is to be struck by the power of his presence and the wit and elegance of his oratory. His celebrated inaugural address was filled with phrases that seemed designed to be carved in stone, as many of them have been. Borrowing a motto from his prep-school days, putting your country in place of Choate, he exhorted Americans: “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” ~ ALAN BRINKLEY

I am committed to writing about this very special man every opportunity I have for the purpose of keeping his memory alive so that we can at the same time maintain a point of focus for the sake of comparison.  We must never forget what a great and civil society we once were.  Because as long as we remember, we may be able to find our way back.  The best is yet to come……….

Monday, May 23, 2016

Vocabulary Expansion

Vocabulary Expansion

Just when I think that I am at a point where I believe, I’ve seen it all and am coming close to knowing a lot, if not all.  Guess what?  Something new is added to my vocabulary for starters.

I want to share this new experience because it’s always better to be forewarned.  We live in a nice development, considered until recently very safe, but crime has come calling and touched our lives directly.

Up until a couple of days ago, I used to be impressed by someone riding a bike or going for a walk late at night (sometime between 11pm to 4am).  I used to tell myself that I was impressed to their commitment to staying healthy.  Well, for sure not everyone out late at night is doing the same thing, BUT most recently thanks to my security cameras, I came face to face with reality.

A woman in her late 20’s to early 30’s was caught on camera, breaking into one of my vehicles and stealing a second one right from my driveway around midnight.  The security cameras are HD so the police were able to ID the person, someone that failed to show up in court for sentencing for a similar offense.  He referred to her as a well-known “tweaker.”
Thus my vocabulary expansion:
  • Also: tweeker.

    1. Person who constantly stays up cleaning, washing, organizing, power tooling, sorting or otherwise keeping themselves busy doing menial tasks.
    2. Someone who constantly makes slight alterations on (usually a very specific) object, i.e. computer, software, automobile, etc.
    3. A compulsive liar, thief, or both.
    4. A methamphetamine ("
    tweak"), or other form of speed, addict (who displays all of the above in an obsessive-compulsive manner).

Don’t you just hate it when you think you’ve seen it all, and BAM, it comes knocking into your life.  You don’t have to live in a bad neighborhood to experience criminal activity, the tweakers go out at night to case vehicles and houses for plundering.

The perpetrator hasn’t been caught yet nor has the vehicle been recovered as of this writing, but time is running out for this individual.  When she does get caught, the price she pays will be a double whammy, she will do time behind bars, but the worst penalty will be the withdrawals she will suffer not being able to feed her addiction.  For the rest of us, the best is yet to come……………..

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A Life Well Lived

I still remember like if it was yesterday, how incredibly nice and empowering it is to
be young and have things going your way.  I was in my early twenties starting a family studying and held a job in mid management.  Among my passions, I lived for driving my muscle cars which I upgraded on average every 18 months.

Looking back from a fiscal point of view, I could be a very wealthy person if only I had taken a different tactic to fiscal responsibility.  As it is I am working on my third million!  I forgot to mention that I gave up on the first and second (LOL)!  No regrets, the lord took care of me despite my shortcomings.  At the same time, I harken back to all the wonderful times that I experienced being amongst the first handful of people in my city to drive the first of the new muscle cars for new year model.  Imagine driving the new models such as: 1967 Cadillac Coupe de Ville, 1968 Plymouth Road Runner, 1969 American Motors AMX, 1970 Dodge Charger, 1971 Dodge Challenger, etc.

All during this time I maintained a normal everyday work car (at different times), such as a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air, 1956 Ford Victoria, 1958 Chevrolet Nomad Station Wagon.  In looking back, I cringe at the very thought of referring to these gorgeous classics as “everyday work car.”

I started out thinking Cadillac was going to be the level of class that I aspired to, but I quickly learned that it made me appear older than my age so I change direction and went to muscle cars. Gasoline prices being what they were during the era of the muscle cars, I still caught myself stopping at gas stations and asking for a couple of dollars’ worth of gas and check the oil please.  

The other passion that rivaled my passion for powerful and very exciting cars (looks and power), was my love/passion for music systems.  Top of the line 8-track stereo system with 4 speakers (my AMX had a 7 speaker system) surround sound.  That my friends was the life.

Full disclosure:  I wasn’t the kind of person that had all his money invested in cars, the house had to be nice and nicely furnished because as important as my car passion was, the family was even more important.  The best is yet to come……..

Friday, May 6, 2016

Many Years Ago

Many Years Ago

Many, many, many years ago in what now seems like a Galaxy far, far away, exactly on this date I married the most beautiful young lady after only knowing her for two weeks.  If love at first sight ever applied this was the perfect proof of it.  Better yet, after all these years, four beautiful children and presently four gorgeous grandchildren I love her even more today than yesterday.

I’ve said in many previous posts that I am blessed beyond what any one person deserves, and she is the foundation of all my blessings.

One of the best things that I can wish on anyone is to live in a relationship like ours.  Our life hasn’t been without it’s peaks and valleys, but our relationship has always been powerfully strong and healthy.  I’ve always known that someone had my back and that someone was my sweetheart.

I can best tell her of my love for her by sharing with anyone that will take the time to read or listen of my love and devotion for her.  I wish you all love and good fortune!  The best is yet to come………

Life of Leisure

Life of Leisure

This morning while driving the first of my two granddaughters to school (which I do strictly of my own volition).  We engaged in conversation as we always do, except that this time it took a very different direction.  Our typical conversation is about the weather, upcoming events at her school or in the family.  This morning she started off by saying that she really didn’t feel like going to school.  My response was that there are many things, I would rather not do.  Some of those “things” have some flexibility where I can decide to do or not to do, and some that I have a commitment to and must do.

Of the two granddaughters that I drive to school, one is 10 years old and the other is 6.  The granddaughter that sparked the conversation and this Blog post is the 10-year-old.  Her response to me was (innocently), “you are so lucky that you can just go home and do nothing or only what you want to do.”  Before I continue, I want to make sure that we all have the same definition of Leisure.



  1. freedom from the demands of work or duty: She looked forward to retirement and a life of leisure.
  2. time free from the demands of work or duty, when one can rest, enjoy hobbies or sports, etc.:
  3. Most evenings he had the leisure in which to follow his interests.
  4. unhurried ease: a work written with leisure and grace.

I retired early with a comfortable pension to avoid unnecessary work stress, and hopefully maintain a life of leisure and in great health (so far so good on only one of those two goals, health).  The leisure part I have yet to realize.
It was so much easier to schedule a day or even half day away from work to play golf or go fishing, than it is to take time away from my granddaughters and grandson.  I am not complaining and the difficulty in getting away is my sense of responsibility to them (the children) not to their parents.

I presently take my two granddaughters to school in two different but adjoining cities (thankfully different start times to accommodate the travel time).  I also pick them up at end of school day.

The last time that I took a vacation out of State by myself the grandkids cried and missed me so much that I couldn’t really enjoy my time away.  I felt a deep guilt as if I had abandoned them.  Fortunately, this year’s vacation is all about them and will include a stop to visit the happiest place in the world (Disney).

I explained to my 10-year-old granddaughter that I officially started working at age 12 (I was raised on the farm) following the end of the school year.  Keep in mind that the first six or so years where Summer jobs.  Nonetheless I logged a total of 50 years in the work force.  My explanation was meant to justify what she perceived as being my life of leisure.  The best is yet to come………