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What Not to Do as a Parent

21 Jan

So those of you know me probably know I have three sons I love dearly, well at least most of the time. They have some neurological and psychiatric issues. Here is a confession of things I have said or done, which won’t likely be on the list of recommended parenting techniques. This is only a partial list.

  1. Whenever your kids say something about planets, and you immediately say something about “Uranus.”
  2. When you go into your son’s room with OCD and move his CD’s into a different place.
  3. When you move other sons’ Playmobil characters into the wrong settings or change their hair or clothes to be a different gender or person.
  4. When you tell you young (not yet aware) gay son that the gay son always takes care of his aging mother.
  5. When your children don’t do their homework and even though you already bought a Christmas tree tell them that there won’t be time for them to decorate unless they catch up on their homework. When they don’t, we had a nude tree, but they still got presents. One got a piece of coal in his fireplace stocking.
  6. When they turn into difficult early adolescents and you tell them they should go to another planet (not Uranus) until they turn human again.
  7. When you take your eventual gay son to Gay Pride events and he is shocked.
  8. When you tell same said son you will take his driver’s license away if he doesn’t take his college entrance exam. In spite of being a genius, he says he doesn’t know how to get to the local college. So he did take it, and in spite of not taking any of the typical pre-college entrance test prep classes, at graduation, it was announced he had the highest college-entrance exam score of anyone in his high school. He was also rated by one of the most admired and popular in spite of being the first person “out” in his high school.
  9. When a son with a number of disabilities, but hugely intelligent, goes on to get black belt in Karate (even though resisting finishing), do stand-up comedy, be an avid dancer, economics degree from highly-rated University California Irvine, and now getting a master’s in Data Analytics at George Mason University.
  10. When a son gets to be an Executive Chef at new and upcoming restaurant in DTLA, Belcampo. And is written up as chef of the week in the LA Times (yeah, that is how long things are relevant in LaLaLand). And also has done YouTube cooking videos. #family #fam #whatnottodoasaparent #belize

Two Palace Hotels: San Francisco and Madrid

11 Jan

One of our favorite hotels in San Francisco was the (new) Palace Hotel (left is the Garden Court). Originally built in 1875, it was gutted and demolished following the great 1906 Earthquake and rebuilt. Famous tenor Enrico Caruso was performing in San Francisco, staying at the hotel at the time of the earthquake and swore he would never return there. The hotel also has rare indoor pool for San Francisco (on the third floor if I remember correctly).

When I was in Madrid I twice stayed at the Palace Hotel (right), and was surprised at the La Rotunda at the similar ceiling. I highly recommend both hotels.

#Palacehotelsanfrancisco #Palacehotelmadrid #decorativeglassceilings

Lazing Leopard

8 Jan

Due to the inability to travel currently, I will post some photos and memories of some of my prior travels.

Leopard relaxing in Tanzania. Local author of a book on leopards told us you can spot leopards by their legs hanging from tree branches, when they otherwise are camouflaged by the tree. (This photo is not mine.)

#leopards #tanzania #africantravel #abercrombieandfitch

Update

16 May

Thanks to all who have visited my blog to date, which have included 60 countries. As you may have surmised, the blog is on hiatus for an as yet undetermined amount of time. I am working on some interesting content for my resumption, which will be several months away.

Central Coast Bandit in My Rearview Mirror

27 Aug

Looking in my car’s rearview mirror, I suddenly see multiple flashing blue and red police lights giving chase to a vehicle about a half mile behind me. Working with law enforcement for over 25 years, I immediately realized that the two law enforcement vehicles (combination of California Highway Patrol, County Sherriff, or local Atascadero Police) I had seen waiting on the on each of the last three freeway entrance ramps must have been waiting for a specific car. After I passed the San Anselmo freeway exit, I saw the vehicle being pursued was quickly approaching my car in the fast lane.  At that moment, I was the only vehicle in front of it. I took my foot off my accelerator, intentionally causing my car to slow, in the hopes of slowing the car being pursued. Once that car came very close to the back of mine, in my rearview mirror, I clearly saw a woman with curly hair who I estimated to be in her 50s. She then started to try to go around by pulling into the median, so I moved into the right lane. Multiple law enforcement units continued pursuit.

When I got to my destination in Paso Robles five minutes later, I called 911 to inquire if they wanted a statement. I was told they had a woman in custody, and they would call me if they wanted to talk to me. My assumption that this was the notorious female “Central Coast Bandit” turned out to be correct. She was wanted for bank robberies in Modesto, Monterey County, and four in San Luis Obispo County.

I later learned that just before the chase, she had gone into a bank in San Luis Obispo where the clerk became suspicious and notified law enforcement. The woman drove north on Highway 101, eventually being pursued by law enforcement. She crashed in Paso Robles and was taken into custody.

After being told by law enforcement they would not be taking a statement from me and that I was free to share the information, I am doing so here. Not my usual travel story, but a story of  how unusual things can occur in the most unexpected places.