Monthly Archives: July 2007

SW USA trip

our SW USA trip is shaping up! Here is a link to our updated route…

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finished Obama’s book – still thinking about great nations

Here are a couple of quotes from the last third of the book I found significant:

“The United States won the Cold War not simply because it outgunned the Soviet Union but because American Values held sway in the court of international public opinion, which included those who lived within the communist regimes.” (p. 307)

About a visit to a Ukrainian weapons disposal factory…
“…our group entered another building, where women wearing surgical masks stood at a table removing hexogen -a military-grade explosive- from various munitions and placing it into bags. In another room, I happened upon a pair of men in their undershirts, smoking next to a wheezing old boiler, flicking their ashes into an open gutter filled with orange-tinted water. One of your team called me over and showed me a yellowing poster taped to the wall. It was a relic of the Afgan war [1980s], we were told: instructions on how to hide explosives in toys, to be left in villages and carried home by unsuspecting children.
A testament, I thought, to the madness of men.
A record of how empires destroy themselves.” (p.314)

then he ends the book this way…
“And in that place, I think about America and those who built it. This nation’s founders, who somehow rose above petty ambitions and narrow calculations it imagine a nation unfurling across a continent. And those like Lincoln and King, who ultimately laid down their lives in the service of perfecting an imperfect union. And all the faceless, nameless men and women, slaves and soldiers and tailors and butchers, constructing lives for themselves and their children and grandchildren, brick by brick, rail by rail, calloused hand by calloused hand, to fill in the landscape of our collective dreams.
It is a process I wish to be a part of.
My heart is filled with love for this country.” (pp.361-2)

I may comment later…

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28 years

I have been travelling with sweet Anna for twenty – eight years today. Thank you Anna for loving me. Here’s to twenty-eight more!!!

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what makes a nation great?

Had lunch with some dear friends and this question was put forth…

What makes a nation great? Is it the government? the culture? or is it, as my friends put forth, ordinary people doing extrordinary things for the greater good…???

I am still reading Obama… currently in the chapter on foreign policy… America had been great before… “The Greatest Generation” is the generation dubed so because of their service in WW2…

Churchill was great.

Britain has been great. Wilberforce…

Is America in her current state great?


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a long trip home…

So, for the second Friday in a row I had a less than optimal travel experience…

but don’t worry, I had travel rule one in mind… rule 2 as well!

a 2.25 hour flight from Bp to London took six hours… six hours, in a middle seat! the crew on this BA flight was great… but six hours from boarding to getting off the plane at Heathrow… hey, no expectations here…

but, I made it to my flight to DC because it was an hour an a half late taking off… and much to my surprise, since I was late arriving at the second leg, I lost my assigned seat for another middle seat – great… its not better, its not worse, its just different…

SO we landed at 1205 Saturday morning… and guess what? my bags didn’t make it… I didn’t expect them to… but BA was great, instead of making us wait to come to them, they called us all over to the podium and told us our bags were delayed and took our addresses! I was blessed by this step!

Then sweet Anna and I headed home… at 0230 I thoughtlessly and hurriedly hit Ruckersville at 60 (a 45 zone), uh oh… Greene County turned on his lights and came and got me…

he asked me a few questions, I asked for some slack, he said wait in the car… 3 min later he gave me my licence and registration back and told me to slow down… yes, you heard right – a warning from Greene County… God blessed me. “Wow”, I said… “Thank you Jesus,” sweet Anna said…

at 0330 (that’s 0930 in Bp) I laid my head on my own pillow for the first time in six weeks and a day… it is good to be home.

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heat warnings

today was my last full day on this trip… on this leg of the journey… it has been a really valuable trip… the last few days it has been SO HOT that the city government has water stations set up… when you come to a major crossroads between a tram or subway or where people change busses or whatever, there are people there handing out water… back home (in air conditioned land) when a heat alert goes out, people are asking for fans for the elderly who don’t have air conditioning… the electric companies talk about how they have hit a new high for electric usage… here, many, but not most people do not have air conditioning… they are careful… they take steps to keep their home as cool as possible, but they are generally fine… why is it so different?? Yeah, there is WAY MORE humidity on the east coast but, we only feel it from the house to the car or from the car to the store or whatever… its all about perspective… tomorrow it is going to be 107 in Budapest… but by the time it crosses the century mark for the fifth time this week, I’ll be flying home… all you Budapestians, be careful out there, walk a little slower on the shady side of the street and drink plenty of that free water that’s being handed out… Peace and thanks to all my friends in the six countries I visited this summer!

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