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A vacation is like love – anticipated with pleasure, experienced with discomfort, and remembered with nostalgia.

Author Unknown

 

Kathy and I just returned from a two week vacation (experience might be a better description than vacation). It was a grueling adventure but necessary and enlightening. For us, learning comes first and rest/ relaxation comes in dead last. We flew out to Hartford Connecticut and then drove 2,000 miles around New England’s  winding, hilly roads with one excursion into Canada (Compo Bello – the site of Franklin Roosevelt’s modest summer cottage which has only 32 rooms. I concluded that I needed to learn more about Eleanor and Franklin and found two good books in the library: Eleanor and Franklin: The Story of Their Relationship, based on Eleanor Roosevelt’s Private Papers by Joseph P. Lash and No Ordinary time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Much of the learning on this trip was unanticipated. I was pleasantly exposed to some new technology:

 We rented a Toyota Prius (hybrid gas-electric car) and averaged 48 mpg on the trip. The savings on the fuel bill made me a believer but when I got home and began driving my 10 year old Camry I felt like a was driving a souped-up dragster. It took some adjustment to get used to the Camry’s faster acceleration.

 I never leave home without my laptop but I begun experimenting with Kathy’s iPad. The fast boot-up speed and reliability really impressed me. The laptop seems to handle the data entry function better than the iPad and I prefer the laptop’s large size monitor screen  for reading documents, blogs etc. I’ll probably buy an iPad to supplement but not replace my laptop.

I had never used a GPS system (provides info about the car’s position and the best travel routes to a given destination by linking itself to a built-in digital map) but I suspect they will be part of all future travel plans. I was impressed.

 The most memorable experience for me was visiting the Amoskeag Mill in Manchester N.H. I love history and this provided me a fascinating peek into 19th century  industrial society. It whetted my appetite for more info; they were selling a wonderful history (Amoskeag: Life and Work in an American Factory-City) by Tamara K. Hareven for $29.99. I thought that was a little pricey and found a used copy (in good condition) on the internet for $.01 plus $3.99 shipping.

It feels so good to be home. Travel impresses upon me the lesson that life is short and must be lived to the max. That being said I made two purchases on Amazon today:

WL V911 4 CH Single Rotor Helicopter (Version 2). Drones fascinate me and this is kind of a hobbyist’s “starter model” for those who know they don’t a darn thing about how to fly one of these contraptions. It only costs $45.00 and apparently is very durable so you don’t completely wreck it when you fly it into the ground or a tree.

Creative Whack Pack By Roger Von Oech. An illustrated deck of 64 creative thinking strategies that will whack you out of habitual thought patterns and enable you to look at your life and actions in a fresh way. I think anything that will increase your creativity at a reasonable price has to be a wise investment.

 

LIFE IS GOOD!

 

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“The only reason a great many American families don’t own an elephant is that they have never been offered an elephant for a dollar down and easy weekly payments.”

Mad Magazine

I love a good cup of coffee. It’s one of those rare “addictions” that has some real upside (if drank in moderation) in terms of health benefits:

In Japan researchers have shown that caffeine increase memory.

Caffeine helps ward off Alzheimer’s

Caffeine can ease depression by increasing dopamine in the brain

Coffee cut mouth and throat cancer risk by 50%

Coffee can reduce risk of stroke as much as 22%

Coffee decreases risk of type 2 diabetes

More health benefits are listed at http://www.energyfiend.com/top-10-caffeine-health-benefits with links to additional information.

It’s always enjoyable to get what you desire especially if the price is right. It’s fun to be a good shopper. Last week while running some errands, I was in our local mall and was offered a cup of coffee for listening to a sales spiel. I have no will power when it comes to free coffee offered by a young female salesperson who should consider modeling as a career. She gushed over the virtues of the Keurig coffee maker with it’s amazing K-cups  (prepackaged single cup portions of coffee) that are easily inserted into the coffee maker for a convenient, no-mess, quick cup of coffee. It probably is marginally more convenient and a faster way of making coffee than the old fashion way with a coffee pot and filter. Their coffee maker with all its bells and whistles only costs $170.00. Walmart sells a coffeemaker (Black & Decker 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker) for $14.88. The one time cost for the coffee pot isn’t what really concerned me. There were other issues. The disposable plastic K-cup’s impact on the environment could be significant. I was also concerned about the price of coffee. At home, I drink Dunkin Donut Coffee. I’m a member of Sam’s club and buy the 40 ounce package of Dunkin Donut coffee  for $17.98. That rounds up to 45 cents an ounce. The Dunkin Donuts K-Cups sell for about $12 for a pack of 14. That’s approximately 85 cents per K-cup and each K-cup contains 1/3 of an ounce of coffee. So the cost per ounce of  K-cup coffee is $2.55 per ounce. The Dunkin Donut K-cup coffee is over 5 1/2 times more expensive than coffee purchased at Sam’s club. I felt very smug.

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FAILURE AND FRUSTRATION – IT’S JUST ALL PART OF THE GAME OF LIFE

May 14, 2013

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.  Mark Twain Lately I have made being humbled by technology a daily […]

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OLD HABITS DIE HARD

May 5, 2013

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. Groucho Marx  Reading is one of the great pleasures for me and I’m always trying to improve upon the experience. I’ve got a good system to ensure many good reads come my way. Of course it […]

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FAILURE IS PART OF THE FORMULA FOR A SUCCESSFUL WELL-LIVED LIFE

April 28, 2013

 Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.  Theodore Roosevelt  I think most of us are plagued  at one time […]

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WHAT THE HELL IS STOPPING YOU?

April 23, 2013

“Ideas without action are worthless.” Harvey Mackay    We, who love reading self help and self empowerment literature, are always looking for ways to enhance our lives. A trap to be avoided is mistaking the unending quest for information for real change and accomplishment. Do you really want to do or achieve something or do you […]

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WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO LEARN: REFLECTION, IMITATION OR EXPERIENCE?

April 3, 2013

“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”   Isaac Asimov   I suspect many of us wake up each morning without clarity and the necessary purpose to confidently know  how the day should unfold. Of course we all have obligations to meet and fantasies (some […]

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THE REAL SECRET TO LEADING AN EXCITING AND ADVENTUROUS LIFE

March 28, 2013

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” Anonymous  I’m a big believer in being a proactive searcher for inspiration. We are at our best when we are inspired. And being at our best is when life is at it’s best. History is chock-full of interesting […]

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YOU ARE NEVER SAFE FROM SPENDING MONEY!

March 22, 2013

“The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.” Ashley Montagu It always feels good to be in recovery from sickness or some debilitating ailment. My hip begun to ache in concert with what felt like strained abdominal muscles. I’m not sure what […]

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BOOKS CAN BE DANGEROUS; THEY MIGHT CHANGE YOUR LIFE

March 14, 2013

“A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy.” Edward P Morgan  Reading is certainly […]

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