Sunday, 29 March 2015

Blog Giveaway

Yes, you read it right... I am giving away stuff... not the stuff in the previous blog. Oh no! This is brand new, just not recently, items which I have collected from around the world. It could be anything from a postcard, to a notebook, to something very unique!

IF you would like me to send YOU something, let me know. Reply twice to this blog. Once with a comment about where YOU would like to go on a dream vacation (NO! I am not giving away a trip!). 

This comment will be published.

Your second comment will not be published because you will be providing me an address for mailing. Snail mail. With stamps and everything. Foreign address are good too.

All addresses will be kept confidential.

Stuff will be chosen at random from a giant bag of geedunk I have collected.

This post has no expiration date, so if you read this a year from now, go ahead and comment, I will still have stuff.

Coding and Breaking the Code

As I was watching the morning news/chat show, Zach Sims,the CEO of Codecademy was a guest. The subject was preparing todays students for the jobs of tomorrow. Too many organizations have jobs which cannot be filled with qualified applicants, and conversely, too many students graduate without the necessary skills to qualify for higher paying positions. Consequently, graduates today seek out jobs rather than career positions with futures.

Zach (may I be so bold as to call him by his first name?) spoke about his Codeacademy, an online coding training site. Starting at the beginning, this site takes the beginner with no knowledge of HTML through a series of exercises, or courses, and introduces them to the fundamentals of building a website, then onwards.

I have started the "Build A Website" course, and will be reporting on my progress here. As a 50+ non-programmer, I want to see how far I can get before I get totally frustrated with a strictly online tutorial.

I had a chat with my now 12 year old grandson about what to think about taking in school when he has a chance to choose classes, starting next year. My advice was, shortened for this blog, to find something that breaks and learn how to fix it. Be it bridges (Structural Engineering), plumbing, computers, etc., people pay to have others fix their problems. This includes medicine, law and landscapers.

As I progress (or give up) through this Codecademy, I will be considering whether it is a good site for him to learn also. As signing up is free, I will also learn at what point a fee is involved, if ever. 

More on this as I progress...

future CodeMonkey in training...


image by Pixabay

Monday, 23 March 2015

I Have Stuff!

And like everyone with stuff, I have too much stuff. The problem is how to get rid of stuff. The answer?? Find someplace local which will take it off my hands, and use it for good. This week I am delivering stuff to two places in town.
The first:

The Reuseum
  • 108 W 33rd St
  • Garden City, ID 83714
  • (208) 375-7507
  • Hours: Mon-Sat 10-6,
    Sun 12-5
I recorded a podcast about this place when it first opened at it's original Chinden Blvd location in Garden City, Idaho, but it has moved to a larger property and it is still a fantastic place.

For my purposes, they recycle old electronics and use parts for classes in robot building and other fun activities. One class scheduled for this month is "Bristlebots with Cub Scouts".

Although this is not open to the public, it is a great example of what is offered:
From their website:
Bristlebots with Cub Scouts
ReEd is very pleased to be partnering with Cub Scouts to build Bristlebots!
This workshop is part deconstruction lab and part robot build. Students will learn about extending the useful life of a product, how to safely deconstruct old technology & how to use tools, how to identify key parts and more. The robot build leverages those key parts and a few gems to become the first working robot many of our students have ever built.
This build includes recycling, sustainability, ingenuity, education and fun.
This is a closed event, and is not open to the public. If you are interested in a workshop for your organization, please contact us at!

So far I have donated two loads of monitors, keyboards, cables etc.

The next organization I am delivering to this week is:
The Boise Senior Center
Address: 690 Robbins Rd, Boise, ID 83702
I don't want to admit that I am eligible for membership here, so I wont!
The Boise Senior Center provides free and low cost activities for local seniors including a lunch program, free billards, yoga for seniors and a lending library and TV room.
They also have a Thrift Shop and Craft shop, one using donations of household items, clothing, DVD's, videos and CD's. The Craft shop is full of handmade items and craft supplies, made by the seniors themselves.
Today, I am taking over several dozen books and audio books, and next week will be shoes and DVD's. Then I will start on my extra kitchenware!

Please see what organizations you have near you, and help them out by clearing out your extras.

**Photo was taken at the Georgia Historical Center, Atlanta, Georgia**

Out and About in Boise

Looking at the date of my last blog, I can see it's been over two years since I posted. Can this really be true??? I humbly apologize.

It's not like I've been confined to my bed for the last 3 years. No, I've been to new places, Paris, Puerto Rico, New York City, and the Dominican Republic. I've been to some places I have already been to, Washington, D.C., Honolulu, DisneyWorld and Atlanta, Georgia. So, to make it up to anyone who followed this blog in the past, here I go:

This past weekend I did a little geocaching around Boise. While I was finding a few caches, I came across this mini library in a neighborhood just a few blocks away. Now... I'm not saying there is a geocache involved here... oh, no... I wouldn't be so obvious as that, but...

This is a free, honor library which asks that you may "take a book, leave a book". Good thing I had a spare paperback in the trunk of my car, eh?? Inside is a shelf with adult books on it, with childrens books lower, below the shelf.

What a great idea!!

Have a great day exploring your town!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Originally posted on Bubblews August 2014

I am an avid traveler. I could end this with that statement, but who would want to read just that? As an avid traveler, I am always dreaming, planning or talking about the next trip I have planned, or the one after that, or the one after that. As of this moment, I am traveling in September, October and November. More on that as I +travel.

Also, I am always looking for unique +apps, websites, blogs or other ways to save money or time without compromising safety and comfort. Future posts will touch on ways which I either want to try out or which I have actual experience with.

Last September I was part of a group of friends which met up in +NYC New York City. I had several opportunities to use a new "hire car" service called &Uber ( Before leaving home, I set up an account, connected my account to a credit card, and I was all set.

Here's how it works: You order the type of car you need. You see on the app the name of the driver, they type of car with number plate, a picture of the driver and on a map exactly where and how far away it is. In four uses, the driver was never more than FIVE minutes away. Much closer than the end of the taxi rank at the airport. You can follow the progress of the driver on the map, watching the icon of the car coming to your location.

The nice thing is, you need no cash. The app tells you how much the ride will be, and a reasonable gratuity is added on, and when you get to your destination you get out, thank the driver, and are on your way.

All my Uber experiences in both New York City and Washington DC have been with professionally dressed (suit and tie) drivers, very nice immaculate sedans or SUVs. In the case of the SUV we called for four persons, there was even enough ice cold bottled water for everyone.

According to their website for prospective drivers, Über requires a newer vehicle and maximum personal insurance. Drivers are also covered under a commercial policy for rideshare  drivers.

I will not hesitate to call Uber again. Uber is not in every city, and taxi companies have a definite problem with "rogue" car services, but they are a quality service for me. However, my cabbie friend will not ride with them again, as they are not regulated "hire" cars.

The choice is up to you.

Comment here or on Bubblews (&Tiggr) if you have ever, or would ever, used a company like Uber.

Photo Credit: Pixabay
Original Bubblews post: Uber

It Took Thirty Years to Get There...

Dateline: London, 2003

 My first trip to the UK in 30 years. My first was in 1973. I vowed not to wait another 30 years, and I've kept that vow!

This trip I did a quick day trip to London, as I was home based in Hull, Yorkshire. My friend Suzy and I must have walked 10 miles, and we saw the outside of almost every tourist site in the City!

St. Paul's Cathedral? (It has been 11 years!)
Walking across Tower Bridge towards the Tower of London. I had visited the Tower in 1973, and it was still old. Well worth the time to take the tour.

Looking back through one of the Tower Bridge's arches.

Me. The Thames. The Bridge.

This was in October, and Harrod's famous London store. This was the first week that the very first Krispy Kreme Donut shop in the entire UK was open, and it was in the basement of Harrods', in their food court. Suzy and I bought three dozen and took them as gifts to friends... well, those which were left.

Photos from The Historic Dockyard

HMS Warrior- View from the Harbor
These photos go with my two Bubbles and the last post on this blog about the Historic Dockyards in Portsmouth, England. All these photos were taken in 2005. Any errors are mine.

Historic Dockyard- Masts of HMS Victory

The Harbour Tour is great. I was there in February and it was toasty warm inside the tour boat. All part of the admission.

Previous Mary Rose Museum/Gift/Tea Shop

The Mary Rose Museum has a new building since I was there. The hull of the ship is now on display, after years of treating the wood ship with continuous spraying of preservation liquid.

HMS Victory

    One of my best of the HMS Victory.

HMS Warrior

Mary Rose

HMS Victory  

HMS Victory

Figurehead- Lord Horatio Nelson

HMS Victory

HMS Warrior and the Spinnaker Tower

From Bubblews to Blog- The Historic Dockyards in Portsmouth England

Good morning!!
This is an expansion of a posting from Bubblews.
You should get a better view of the pictures than on the bubble post.
If you have found this post through Bubblews, please let me know in the comments. 
Continuing my travelogue, I found some of my pictures from my first trip to Portsmouth, England. Portsmouth is on the south coast about 70 miles west of London. It is on the Solent river, and across the river is the Isle of Wight. On the other side of that is France, and you can catch auto ferries to France and hovercrafts to the IOW. Portsmouth, or Pompey as it’s called by her friends, is the home of the Royal Navy and the Portsmouth Football Club. 
There are quite a few museums and historical places to visit in Portsmouth, but this is the first about the Historic Dockyards. There are several exhibits and attractions within the Dockyards.
The short version:
     The Mary Rose Museum
     HMS Victory
     HMS Warrior 1860
     HMS Alliance
     National Museum Royal Navy Portsmouth
     Action Stations
     Harbour Tours

The photo above is a carved figurehead of Lord Nelson (if I remember correctly) and the ship below him is his vessel the HMS Victory.
“HMS Victory is the Royal Navy's most famous warship. Best known for her role in the Battle of Trafalgar, the Victory currently has a dual role as the Flagship of the First Sea Lord and as a living museum to the Georgian Navy.
Come visit HMS Victory and experience...
  • The Great Cabin, where the Battle of Trafalgar was planned.
  • The spot where Nelson died.
  • The once crowded decks where over 800 men lived, worked and fought.
It is a great guided tour of the ship which is in dry dock for preservation purposes.

“ HMS Victory is currently undergoing a period of restoration and visitors have the unique opportunity to witness the process taking place on the oldest commissioned warship in the world and a proud memorial to Vice Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, Britain's greatest Naval hero and his stunning victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.
Her topmasts and rigging have been struck, or taken down, and her planking is under investigation. This is nothing unusual as wooden ships like Victory needed constant care and attention from the day they were launched. These repairs are simply the latest in a long tradition of regular upkeep.
The last time HMS Victory was seen without her top masts was back in 1944, so this really is a once in a life time opportunity to see HMS Victory under-going such extreme maintenance. Interestingly, with her topmasts down, Victory will look much as she did after the Battle of Trafalgar when she had to be towed to Gibraltar for repairs." 

It is well worth the time and entrance fee to visit the Historic Dockyards and experience the Royal Navy of yore…

Original Content: @Tiggr ©2014
Photo Credit: &T!GGR

All content in quotation marks from the official website of the dockyard.

I will post more photos of the Dockyard in it's own post.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

September 11th

Today is the anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks by hijacked airplanes. 11 years have gone by and though Facebook has many pictures posted of the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and even a few from the Pennsylvania site, this simple video from Budweiser captures the simplicity of our grief.

The following Budweiser commercial was made after 9/11. It was aired only once so as not to benefit financially from it. It's a lovely tribute acknowledging the event.

So, while we remember the several thousand killed in New York City, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, remember how we all felt on September 12th. Remember the feeling of unity and patriotism that spread across the nation. Remember the flags which were waving everywhere we looked. No one asked which party was at fault, if any, we all pulled together to heal. On the anniversary of that day, remember September 11, 2001, but BE the person you were on September 12th.

Monday, 13 August 2012

A Father's Love

As someone who has had several babies come into my life this year, more than any year since 1977, this tugs at my heartstrings with a vengeance. If you decide you want a copy of this, please buy it from his link rather than iTunes, so more of it goes to Noah's care.

Be sure to have two hankies before you watch this.

From the YouTube page:
Dear Friends and Supporters, on July 5th, 2012, my 11-month-old son, Noah, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Please consider making a donation of support, as well as helping spread this link. The proceeds from your donation will go towards getting Noah the best care possible, as well as helping keep our family afloat while we focus on little Noah's treatment and comfort. Anyone who donates will receive a downloadable mp3 version of this rendition. Here is the link:
On Twitter, please include the hashtag #letitbefornoah.

A special thanks to Jesse, and everyone else at Cover Cows, for suggesting I record a charity song for Noah, as well as offering to waive any of their proceeds from the donations received. Thanks also to Cover Cows for handling the licensing with the Beatles' publisher, securing permission for us to make my rendition available on their site and iTunes. And thanks to Jeff Hall for letting me borrow his video camera (identical to mine), so I could shoot the performance from two angles at once.

My rendition of this song was recently the #1 single on iTunes in the Netherlands. Thank you SO MUCH, Holland!

And thanks to all of you so much for your friendship, generosity, support and efforts to help spread Noah's story.

Here are some links to some of the local, national and international media coverage of Noah and this video:



P.S. If you prefer, you can also buy this song from iTunes (with Apple taking 30% of the purchase price, as is their policy). Here's the iTunes link:




Standard YouTube License

Monday, 6 August 2012

This morning I posted the following to my Facebook page. I hadn't had my coffee yet, lol... It got quite a lot of comments from my British friends, most of whom I know "in real life". Enjoy. Comment if you like!

The "Trending Ariticle" I get to see first thing this morning is titled "Boring Olympic Opening Ceremony Should Bar London From Hosting For 68 More Years" from the Washington Post Social Reader. I'm sorry, no I'm not, but I won't dignify it with a click to read how some snooty DC reporter who is too young to know about, let alone remember, our over 400 year history with Great Britain. The ceremo
nies were thoughtful, colorful (or colourful, lol), educational and above all, showed the diversity of the four countries which make Great Britain... great.

Just because YOU, dear reporter, didn't know who all the people were, as I didn't, there is this great invention called GOOGLE and WIKIPEDIA where you can be educated without leaving the comfort of your cubicle for this other place called a LIBRARY.

I watched the ceremonies not on NBC, but the BBC, so I got it without commercial interruption, without sections cut out "for time allowances", and without the inane comments by "professional" hosts getting paid more for their coverage than I make in a year.

Please excuse the air quotes.

Oh, and I haven't had my coffee yet, can you tell?? Will you even read this far?? Bwuaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahaha!!!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

If I had a magic wand...

I would be in this video

Since I'm not, I'm heading up to the Sun Valley/Ketchum area to shop for my first Scottevest items which I will be taking on my 11 day trip in October. Scottevest is carried only at one location, Silver Creek Outfitters, three hours away, but it's hot out, but it'll be cooler up in the Sawtooth Mountains.
I'm not an easy person to fit, so I'm going to try the Scottevest items on to see which size they say I am.

I'm going to try and not carry anything on the plane but my purse, and if you've listened to my podcast, you know that I don't travel gadget free, lol.

Full disclosure. I have no sponsors. Anything I review on here or on my podcast (Boise and Beyond Podcast) is paid for out of my own pocket, good and bad alike.

But if I did have a sponsor...

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Volunteering around the world

I've been looking at various organizations  which offer volunteer opportunities around the world. From teaching English to helping in orphanages, there is a huge variety of volunteer programs out there. As I approach my retirement years, I'm trying to find different ways to see the world.

Have you ever volunteered outside your local area?

Leave a message and tell me about it. Include a link or the website to the organization.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Have you got what it takes?

Do you dream of being a professional soccer player?

Believe In Destiny...
The Anaheim Bolts are a proud member of the Anaheim Professional Sports community. The last time professional indoor soccer called Anaheim home was in 1997 with the now defunct Anaheim Splash.   
Pro Indoor Soccer Has Returned!
  "Believe in Destiny"
“Believe in Destiny” is a phrase that has been created from the founding members of the Bolts organization and will be engulfed in all initiatives of the organization.  
Believe is to have the belief in something or someone. 
All members of the Bolts organization believe in this organization and all of its endeavors. From the ownership group to the players, we have a belief in this organization. Every person that is hired must believe in the organization and will do their part with this belief. 
The Bolts organization will be a high energy machine that operates at full voltage all the time. As an organization we are doing everything possible to make the Bolts a success for ourselves, but also for the city of Anaheim and surrounding communities. 
With all beliefs you must have something to believe in. In our organization it is Destiny.
Destiny has brought us all here and brought the Bolts to Anaheim. Destiny is difficult to explain, but when destiny aligns things in a manner that can be explained, then you know it is right. Destiny has a tough way of letting you know if what you are doing is right, but in the case of the Anaheim Bolts it couldn’t be more right!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Beach Buoys of the Isle of Wight

Meet Simon Ledger.
Among other things, Simon is a very talented singer, pianist and comedian who lives on the Isle of Wight.
Simon survived a bit of trouble last year, when he was arrested on charges of racism after a Asian couple complained to police after walking by the outdoor pub at which Simon was performing. After breaking into the hit "Kung Fu Fighting", the couple called the police complaining that Simon only started the song after seeing them walk by, clearly making fun of them. Fortunately, Simon could prove that the song was a regular part of his set, that he'd played it many times before, and he was not racist.

To bring a little reality (and levity) to the whole situation... Simon was joined in a video presentation of his performance by the original singer of this cult tune, Carl Douglas... all filmed in (of all places) a Chinese restaurant. Try proving racism now, sucka!! (oh my, did I write that?)

All this blather is leading up to the part where I tell you that this only proves the point that there is no such thing as bad publicity. Several months after the whole Kung phooey incident, Simon gathered  over 20 of his friends and family in a recording studio on the Isle of Wight ( an island just off the Hampshire coast) and recorded their own version of the mega-hit "We Are The World". Why? Charity. To raise money for the Isle of Wight hospice.

Nice, Simon. According to Skinny Mammoth studios " The song reached number 28 in the download charts, outselling well established acts and raising thousands of pounds for the Hospice. We were extremely proud to have been a part of the project and it was a great chance to spend some time with singers from the music scene on the Island. "

Beach Buoys Demo 2012

Now, Simon and his group "The Beach Buoys" is taking on that icon of the 60's surfing scene with their own nod to summer, and I can't wait for the full result. Listen to the cut above, and let me know if you can tell whether it's the Beach Boys or the Beach Buoys. Simon and the gang can hit the high notes that the remaining originals (all eligible for AARP and some for Social Security) cannot.

Can't wait!

You can find Simon all over the net, but specifically here:
Beach Buoys Facebook Page

Thursday, 28 June 2012

The Bald Explorer videos

If I really wanted to make videos from my travels, I'd like them to be like Richard Vobes'. Subscribe to his podcast, The Vobes Show, but more importantly, watch The Bald Explorer!!

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Welcome to Boise

Welcome to Boise... on the Western edge of the Rocky Mountains and the Eastern edge of a very large desert. 

This is my town. It can get hot in the summer, and cold in the winter. The leaves change colors in the autumn and the hills are green in the Spring.

I'm writing this for those who have never been to Boise, have never thought about visiting here, and/or when you have gone on vacation to somewhere in the US have gone to either the East or West coast, somewhere with "Disney" in the name, or Las Vegas. Please remember, it's 3500 miles from Seattle, Washington to Key West, Florida.... and it's 3100 miles from San Diego, California to Brunswick, ME.  Go ahead, map it yourself... those are the four corners of the mainland America... imagine all the people you've missed in between those four points!!

Case in point: My town of Boise:

This picture is looking towards NNW and you can see the blue and orange of the Boise State Bronco Stadium in the lower right corner. We have a WINNING collegiate football program with the best, and most humble, coach in Coach Chris Peterson.
From his bio on Broncosports:
Success has come at extraordinary levels for Boise State head football coach Chris Petersen during his five years guiding the program. Petersen is the winningest active coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision, boasting a 61-5 record for a winning percentage of .924. The mark is the second-highest amongst active coaches at any four-year institution, regardless of division or association. He is also one of just six coaches nationally to have won multiple Bowl Championship Series games at his current school.

Under “Coach Pete” the Broncos have put together five-consecutive 10-win seasons, in addition to capturing four Western Athletic Conference Championships and winning three bowl games. The Broncos have gone undefeated twice under Petersen – 13-0 in 2006 and 14-0 in 2009 – capping each season with a victory in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

Following the 2010 season, Petersen was unanimously selected as the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year, awarded annually to a coach who represents the highest ideals both on and off the field. He was also recognized in the offseason as having the best Academic Progress Rate (APR) average the past two reporting years for FBS head coaches.

Petersen is also the only individual to win two Paul “Bear” Bryant National Coach of the Year Awards, earning his first after his debut season in 2006 and his second in 2009. Boise State went undefeated during both seasons.

In addition to winning the Bear Bryant award in 2006, Petersen was a finalist for the 2006 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, a semifinalist for the George Munger Coach of the Year Award and was named the Region 4 Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association. He was a finalist for the Liberty Mutual and Eddie Robinson Awards in 2008, and for the Joseph V. Paterno Award in 2010.

He was also named Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in both 2008 and 2009.

Considered one of the most innovative offensive minds in the collegiate coaching ranks, Petersen and his staff have guided an offense that ranks amongst the nation’s best year-in and year-out.

 The green swath of trees across the middle of the picture is about 2 miles of the Boise River. In the summer, you can bring or rent innertubes or rafts and float 5 miles of the river from Barber Park to Ann Morrison Park. If you do it right, this can be absolutely free!!! Otherwise, park your car at Ann Morrison park, take the River shuttle to Barber Park (it used to be $1, but may have gone up) and fill up your tubes and rafts with the air hoses then get in the river.

See those hills in the background?? In the summer and fall the hiking, camping, mountain biking, geocaching, hunting, fishing and just about any other outdoor sport is perfect up there. In the winter, downhill and cross country skiing is the sport du jour, but don't let that stop you getting outside for a walk.

Hotels are plentiful, from major chains to boutique hotels of all sizes and price ranges. Boise has a few guest houses and Bed and Breakfasts, and a year or so ago, Boise's first Hostel opened downtown, just a few blocks from the bus station and a block or two from the bus route from the airport, which is only 2.5 miles away.

So, are you intrigued?? Want to see and hear more about the area?? Well, of course you could Google the area, or you can pop over to my podcast page and have a listen. Available on iTunes, you can subscribe with a click on the show picture. The show with the word "podcast" and the picture of the gnome in New Zealand is the Libsyn feed.

You can also go directly to and listen there if you don't want to download the shows to a player.

Below is the new graphic for the show...

Sunday, 3 June 2012

I was going through a box of photos this week, looking to see if I had any pictures of my oldest son which we could compare with his new daughter. I did, and she looks just like him at the same age!!
I found these two pictures.

Nik Kershaw and band members. 
I took the picture of Nik Kershaw and his band backstage in Hampton, Virginia sometime between 1984 and 1986. A relative on my step-mother's side was his manager at the time. Whether he still is or not, I'm not sure, though he is still in the management business under the name of Mickey Modern.

Rod Stewart at Los Angeles International Airport

When we were picking up my ex's cousin from Ohio at LAX in the late 80's, Rod Stewart was in this car at the curb. He was gracious enough to roll down the window so we could get this picture.

What celebrity have you seen? Where was it?

Be sure to pop over to the podcast site HERE or subscribe to the show on iTunes... the new Libsyn feed is the one with the Gnome on the picture. 

I'm having a contest to see who can guess where I am going on vacation in October 2012. Clues/hints will be given during shows between now and then, and they will get easier as it goes along.

Clue Number One: I am going to a city that I've never been to before. (Not so easy, yet!)

I Love Air New Zealand... look what they do

I've been on a plane with prisoners in handcuffs, with celebrities, and on a plane where everyone had a weapon, but never with endangered species which got their own seats!

Air New Zealand has the best safety videos in the world, if you've never seen them, just do a search for Rico or any of the ANZ videos.

I hope to fly with them again soon.