World War One Started 100 Years Ago Today

My dear friends 100 years ago today an event sparked World War I; the assassination of Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand of the Austria Hungary Empire. Before it was over 16 million men and women would die and another 20 million would be wounded. “The War To End All Wars” set the stage for the great Spanish flu epidemic that killed another 18-20 million people.

First World War erupts — History.com This Day in History — 8/1/1914
Four days after Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, Germany and Russia declare war…
HISTORY.COM

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Former President Clinton Could Have Been On The Ill-Fated MH17 Flight

Everyone up to 100 Aids experts were on the tragic Malaysian Airlines flight brought down in the Ukraine. These experts were on their way to a big Aids conference in Melbourne. Former President Bill Clinton is going to be one of the keynote speakers at the conference there. I have a feeling that former President Clinton travels o his own private jet. Imagine for a second if he had been on that Malaysian Airlines flight and had been killed. It’s a frightening scenario that could have led to a war between Russia and the USA.

Yesterday Morning Our Comcast Internet Crashed In Pacifica,California

Everyone the Comcast internet service in our area crashed yesterday morning. It was an inconvenience for me. Please try to imagine the problems this would cause for a police department, hospital, etc. In the case of the police department, an officer pulls a car over and calls for a routine license plate or name check. If the person is a dangerous and armed fugitive the officer could get killed if he or she does not know that they are dealing with a dangerous person. In the case of a hospital the Intensive Care unit and surgical rooms would not operate. It is not a nice scenario.

Argentina Will Win In Rio de Janeiro Today!

Now I am going to make a prediction on the game tomorrow. Elena says it’s a 60% chance that Germany will win and a 40% chance that Argentina will win. One can see predictions like this all over the world.

Truly Germany has the best team. They also have huge financial resources, etc. I am not that rabid soccer fan who pours over pages of statistics,player data, and sports history.

I rely on 65.5 years of life experience and study of history. The Argentina team shares something with the great military leader from long ago, Alexander the Great. The team has incredible tactical smarts and discipline. Alexander the Great defeated much larger forces by drawing them into traps and surrounding them. One can study other battles such as many the North Vietnamese fought against the French, the Americans, and later the Chinese. George Washington’s masterful military skills are another example. Look for Argentina to show some brilliant tactical skills, great defense, and ferocious fighting that will carry them to victory.

This one could go to 0-0 right until the end. Get ready for a brilliant game that will be remembered for decades afterwards.

The World Cup-Brasil Showed What It Could Do!!!!

Most of you know that I’m a loyal Brasil fan of almost 40 years. I was sad today when Brasil lost again.

I sat back and reflected on things. I decided that all of the people in Brasil have won a big victory. In the last month some 600,000 to 1,000,000 people have visited Brasil. No doubt that they spent a lot of money that helped the economy.

But more important is the personal experience of my wife. In her three weeks in Brasil everyone was wonderful to her. She had an unforgettable time. She now smiles when she talks about Brasil and considers it a beautiful country.

All of the visitors like her are talking to others and telling them about how wonderful Brasil and its people are.

Despite all of the pessimistic predictions before the games started, Brasil showed what it could do!

The TSA Seized My Wife’s Dulce de Leche

Everybody Elena had a wonderful time in Brasil attending World Cup games. Everyone there “went out of their way” to make her feel welcome, to help her when problems arose, and to be especially warm and friendly. As Elena was leaving Brasil, she bought some dulce de leche at the Sao Paulo Airport. This is a sweet well known to people in Brasil and Argentina. It’s a paste made from milk,sugar and some other ingredients. Elena put it in her carry-on bag. She flew from Sao Paulo to Charlotte, North Carolina. US Customs had no problem with it at all when she cleared customs at the Charlotte airport.
When she went to go through security for her flight from Charlotte to San Francisco, she had a big problem with the TSA screeners. In their mind her harmless South American paste could be an explosive. They seized it from her. Elena tried to get it packed into her luggage checked on the plane but it was too late. Elena was never compensated for the seizure of her dulce de leche.
When Elena came home she was sad and angry about this experience. As her husband I felt that it was my responsibility to replace her lost dulce de leche. As luck would have it, I have been a customer for many years of Amigo Foods in Miami. They sell a large variety of food and drinks from all over Latin America. I found her lost dulce de leche and ordered some. Last night it arrived and Elena was a very happy lady!!!!

Argentina vs Holland-“May The Best Man Win!”

Everyone for almost 40 years I have been an enthusiastic fan of Brasilian soccer. Today Argentina plays Holland. It’s going to be an exciting game. As the old saying goes:’I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place.” I’m married to a wonderful lady from Argentina. I have numerous dear and long-term friends from Holland. My only comment is that old saying: “May the best man win!!!” (I did not put woman in the saying because the teams are all-male!)

15 Years Ago I Stopped Being A Homeless Person

This 4th of July is a very special day for me. 15 years ago today my status changed from a homeless person to a person with a two-bedroom apartment in the Willow Glen section of San Jose, California. I woke up that morning sleeping on the floor of a church. I had breakfast and got my things together, including my bicycle. All of these things were loaded in the back of a pick-up truck. I was driven to the Glen Willow Apartments.The people from Inn Visions helped me to bring my clothes and my bike up to my new apartment. They shook my hand and wished me good luck. It felt so wonderful to have my own home again. I had to sleep in a sleeping bag for the first few days. A Catholic Church in San Jose gave me furniture (some of which I still have today!). Joao and Djenane Santos helped me to move the furniture into the apartment. I had to work two jobs to afford the rent but it did not matter. Finally I had my dignity back! I had some hope in life.
When Elena came to the US to start our lives together she came to this apartment.
Rebecca Snyders Darr a big hug for you and a special thanks! Your grant for the damage deposit made it all happen. I had been homeless, on and off, from September, 1996 to July 4, 1999.

I Cooked Some Spicy “Jail House Chili”

My friends when I was a little child my dear mother would slave for hours cooking a dish known as “jailhouse chili.” When we ate it at dinner it was a master piece of great spices and meat. I remember it decades later. Yesterday I decided to try my hand at cooking. With the help of a mix I made my own chili dish. It took almost two hours of hard work. The end result was very decent.
It was also very spicy. Over thirty years ago my ex-wife Maria and I used to go to a special Indian restaurant in the Parramatta section of Sydney.(This was the actual town where British ships bearing convicts would land and unload their human cargo.) This Indian restaurant had very spicy foods. Maria and I would leave the restaurant sweating and with tears in our eyes. From that moment on I decided that food is not really spicy unless one leaves the table after eating sweating and with tears in the eyes.
I always tell Elena that people from the UK and Argentina have much in common including a disdain for spicy food. Elena appreciated my efforts and liked the flavor. But it was too spicy for her. She had to open another can of beans and put it in her chili to cool it down
I got up from eating dinner with sweat on my face and tears in my eyes. I knew that I had cooked a great meal!!!!!!

A Wild Day Of Watching Soccer

Yesterday was a wild day for soccer. Things started out good with Argentina defeating Switzerland at the last possible minute. In the afternoon I watched the USA play Belgium. The US lost but they put up one heroic and incredible fight. It is one of the best sports events that I have seen decades. Elena and I will have some great soccer games to watch on the 4th and the 5th of July as Brasil plays Colombia and Argentina plays Belgium.