When reading Al’s posting of September 20 reminiscing long-gone days of Rv’ing I came to think of our own experiences, our own “Wows” and “Oh Craps”. And there sure has been a lot of both.
After leaving L.A. behind us we were heading out into the desert. Been down Moreno Valley? “Wow… look at the wind turbines”.
The Salton Sea….”Wow..again”.
Imperial Valley….the Imperial San Dunes wow and wow!
Southern Texas at the Gulf of Mexico…WOW!
6 months later, we were on our trip home and holed up at Kaycee,WY. Next day, as a routine I walked around the rig before getting back up on the road.
It was then that I saw the flat tire on our 37ft. 5th.wheel. “Oh Craps” again.
Our jack wasn’t capable of lifting that thing in the air, so I invented something which I’m still proud of to this day. I unhooked the trailer and ran the front legs up, so the front of the trailer would come waaay down to the ground. Having that tag axle the rear wheels would almost come of the ground. Then I placed the jack under the rear axle and it lifted the wheels just a bit higher. That way I could get the flat tire off. “Wow”.
It was during the fall of the same year that we were heading south on Alberta Hwy36 towards the Dinosaur Prov.Park to spend a nice weekend with friends.
A sudden bang from the rear and the rig made an attempt to escape into the oncoming lane. Getting it back where it belonged we stopped along a narrow shoulder. Inspecting the rig I found it down on both rims on the passenger side.
Some parts of the skirting had taken off, a support arm of the awning were swinging freely from the top. “Oh Crap”.
I got on the phone and Bea was heading back in the ditch gathering various parts of the trailer which had been strewn around.
Much later, and during the aftermath of this, we found out that the manufacturer, Pilgrim International, (long gone now) had put faulty (el cheapo) tires on their rigs and that tires had exploded all over the U.S. in some cases with serious consequences.
If I should name every “Oh Craps” and every “WOW” I’d be “running out of ink” pretty soon.
With a Monkey in his Pants
New Dehli – With a monkey hidden in his pants he tried to get past Customs at the New Dehli Airport. But, according to the “Hindustan Times”, he was caught by airport security. The traveler had arrived from Bangkok and was on his way to his home country Dubai when he and 2 fellow travelers were arrested. A second monkey of the same species, a “Loris” was found in an airport garbage container. Lori monkeys get to be 8 inches tall and weigh a little less than 1/2 pound.
Comment: I wonder what made airport security aware of the hidden-away passenger?
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
This morning, I received an email from SOHOBLOG, where I am subscribed to a newsletter. It is a blog about entrepreneurship, a tool helping people to successfully run a business. And today’s email contained this story, which I decided to share with you.
Personally I grew up in a family where entrepreneurship was the backbone of the family economy. And it has been like that since around 1892 when my G.Grandfather started a little business making horse saddles and reins. I must admit that the bug of being my own employer did not grip me before later in life, but it sure has stayed with me ever since. And it has always been about small business, which I consider to be the most important ingredient to society.
Now here is the story:
Last weekend I was sitting with my wife at one of those strange coffeehouse chains. We didn’t like the coffee, the service, or the atmosphere in general. My wife and I started talking about the magic of small coffee shops; and how—in these harsh economic times—starting a coffee shop business is a real challenge. It was then that I thought I should tell the readers of this blog my own family’s story of small business and entrepreneurship.
During the Second World War, my grandfather fled the German-occupied area of Poland and crossed into what was then the Soviet Union. After the war had ended, he arrived in Tel Aviv. With all his family lost and with not even one penny in his pocket, he started washing dishes and cleaning floors at a well-known but rather small coffee shop in the center of the city. A few years went by. He managed to save some money, and when the coffee shop’s owner wanted to sell his business, my grandfather offered a bid. He had to take out a loan and find a partner, but eventually he managed to purchase the coffee shop.
At this time he was newly married to my grandmother, who also came to Israel from Poland. Boy—did she know how to cook! Both of them decided to expand the coffee shop’s menu, and they started serving home-cooked meals that were quickly known all over the city. Another few years went by. Again my grandfather (and my grandmother) managed to save some money. This time he suggested to his partner (who wasn’t really fit for the coffee-shop business…), that he buy his share. Again he had to take out a loan, but this time his life dream was fully completed. He owned a coffee shop! Not bad for a refugee who only a decade before had lost all he had.
With two little kids (that is, my mother and my uncle), my grandparents expanded their now coffee shop / restaurant business. Now it was a very famous venue in Tel Aviv; during the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s it was a home for the local bohemia: actors, singers, painters, journalists, and even politicians found a cozy and familiar place that was practically their office, living room, and kitchen. With my grandfather hosting, my grandmother cooking, and my mother and uncle orchestrating the business while serving coffee, it was a flourishing family business.
Years went by and I was born. As a young boy I enjoyed coming to the coffee shop and helping my family, especially my grandfather. I also liked sitting in the kitchen and watching my grandmother cooking her magical food. My family taught me the virtue of hard work: for every penny I earned for small chores I was given two more—this was the family’s motto: one must learn to earn his money. And more importantly: pursuing your dream requires hard work.
When I was a freshman in college, my grandfather passed away. He was working until his last days. A few years after, my grandmother also passed away. It was than when my mother and uncle decided to retire. Understanding the hard work that owning a business of your own requires, I decided that after graduation I want to be a salaried employee, and so I started working at a large firm. The coffee shop was therefore sold to a group of young investors who opened a fashionable though soulless bar.
After few years in that large firm, I started feeling unease, but couldn’t really tell why. It took me some time but eventually it hit me: just like my grandparents, I too have the soul of an entrepreneur. I decided to quit my comfortable job, completed a PhD degree, and established my own research firm. Today I am working harder than ever, but I am as happy and fulfilled as I have never been. And looking at my two small children I sometimes wonder: which one of them, if any, will catch the entrepreneurship bug?
Monday, September 24, 2012
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Why is everybody wanting to give me “POINTS”. Points which I can or cannot redeem for something I absolutely don’t need? Did YOU get points today? I’m talking about points which I can earn by participating in or purchasing something which doesn’t interest me.
|What am I gonna do with the 100 or so points I am gonna earn if I am signing up for “The Deal of the Day” at Worst Buy? They even created a “REWARDZONE”. Sounds like: Watch out CONSTRUCTION ZONE! REDUCE~SPEED SPEND MONEY GO SHOPPING. |
What can I get for 100 points? Nothing! The clou is that I start buying overprized merchandise and earn more points. They call this Reward Points. Good gracious..why would they reward me if I have bought something from them? Why not put the price where it should be in the first place instead of creating a lot of administrational BS, which finally ends up costing the company a lot of money. What you say? They have made the money on what they sold? Yeah…I guess so.
Take the Credit companies. They give out points in the east and the west. If I use their card I earn points. Trouble is I’m never ever gonna use those points. I must have thousands and thousands of points – at different companies and accumulated over 10 years. I’m just imagining how many points 33 million Canadians have which they never use? Must be in the Billions, that number.
Have you ever checked what price that handy little drill has if you buy it with “points”? How many “points” do I need to fly to Europe? How many dollars do I have to spend before I have earned enough points to buy that airline ticket?
I have an ugly hunch that very few people EVER earn enough to receive ANYTHING of value for them.
When I grew up Mother had a little booklet from the local little grocery store. Every time she went shopping there they gave her a few stamps, which she would glue into that booklet. When the booklet was full, she took it along and “redeemed” it for a rebate of what she would have bought anyway. Now that makes a lot more sense to me than what’s going on these days. She wasn’t coaxed into buying something she didn’t have any use for, but got a fair loyalty rebate on what she bought there every day anyway.
And it did not cause a hell of an administrative baluba at the grocery store either.
Thanks for ranting along!
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
|While I was out and about with island visitors, Bea went on a photo trek to find the eagles, which we really have a lot of this year. However, that alone doesn’t mean that you just can snap off nice pics of them. You gotto have the right position, the right equipment, the right light and still a lot of luck. And even if you’ve got all that you still need a computer and a picture editing software to make them presentable.|
Here’s what she got:
This morning we woke up to a very crystal clear air, and a deep blue sea adorned with white caps.
It was the first morning that I had to grab my jacket before going the doggy walk with Molly. After all the warm days it felt almost frosty outside. But Molly has a thick fur and felt right at home. We have often thought that she is definitely more a winter dog than one for the summer. And as she gets older (this Xmas she’s 10yrs) she seems to mind too high temps like never before.
With the nearing fall season, sunsets are also getting more dramatic. And like most people we LOVE to take pics of it.
Thanks for looking!