Dean Clough

August 20, 2021

Portico Darwin: Travel Dreams, Travel Reality

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS
First, there's a new fun feature at my website.  Through the marvels of automation and cloud databases, there's now a live archive at my website.  It is a searchable/sortable list of my posts, with links to each and it includes the all-important KLUF music section.  I hope you'll give it a whirl:  Portico Darwin Archive

OK, on with today's festivities.

Despite my typically youthful demeanor, the fact is, I am getting older.  Later this year, I'll turn 58.  So what?  Who cares?  Yeah, I know.

But what it means for today's post is that time is not unlimited for my favorite thing, travel.  Specifically:  to what favorite places should we return, vs. what new places should we visit before we tuck in for our dirt naps?  

First, in no particular order, is a list of international locales to which I must return, while I am still able to enjoy them. 

Next, also in no particular order, is a list of international spots to which we've not been, which I (probably Julie, too) would like to visit while I am still able to enjoy them.
  • Scandinavia - but that's cheating because there's a lot to see, including:
    • Norwegian Fjords
    • Stockholm
    • Copenhagen
  • St. Petersburg
  • Lake Garda (Italy)
  • Banff/Lake Louise
  • French Riviera
  • Mexico City
  • St. John (I get it's not technically international)
  • Patagonia

And then, the loose itinerary of a trip I'm already planning, which will occur in celebration of our 35th wedding anniversary and Julie's retirement, in 2026.  I envision a 2 - 3 month duration, and this, too, is in no particular order.
  • Thailand
    • Fancy beach resort
    • A visit to Mrs. Crup's home town?
    • Swank suite in a top hotel in Bangkok
  • Japan
    • Tokyo
    • Skiing in Nagano if possible
    • Ryokan in some isolated place
    • A lot of Shinkansen rides
  • Australia
    • Brisbane, at the home of Damon Hemingway & Barry Bricks!
    • Sydney and/or Melbourne
    • Wine Country
    • That beach resort Hunter Deuce and Gunther Strobel always go on about
  • New Zealand (maybe)

While most everything on list 3 would be on list 2, the fact is, we're going to likely run out of time.  

Especially when you consider a US version having to be a part of the mix.  

First, where I must return.

And the places I've not visited, but wish to, in the good ol' US of A. 
  • Nashville
  • Glacier National Park
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • >=1 of Alaska's National Parks
  • Savannah
  • >= 2 of Utah's National Parks
  • Charleston
  • Grand Tetons National Park
  • Acadia National Park

It's daunting and scary - time will run out.  But it's very nice to even have the time to consider such a -  "problem".

Any glaring omissions?  Commissions?  Whenever I publish lists, I am interested to hear from any reader on their opinion on the validity of my effort.

FROM THE UNWASHED MASSES
A major shout-out to the new honorary mayor of Utrecht, Holland, Kevin Monza.   He, Miguel Shannon, and I had a superb day baseball outing Wednesday, and not even an extra innings Giants defeat amidst the awful wildfire haze could diminish Kev's beaming.  It seems this fine young man is in the throngs of a romance, and judging by a recent photo of the happy couple on the shores of an Amsterdam canal, he may want to step off the playing field.

Now, on to less fabulous matters.

I was clearly not the only one angered by our military and intelligence failures in Afghanistan.  The typically wise Steven Simon was quite blunt in his assessment of the situation.  Writing from his Chicago thinktank:

"No one seems to want to face it, but these Taliban fuckers have a weapon far superior to all the modern tech we so proudly throw at them.  It's called patience.

The Taliban played us like a fiddle.  And you are spot on. It's the DoD and other agencies that are at fault.  They are the SMEs.  Bush thru Biden doesn't matter."

Steven also shared an article from The Baltimore Sun - dating from 2003 - that ends with a haunting quote from a Taliban spokesman at the time:

"Maybe it will take time, maybe it will take 10 or 20 years," Latif said. "But we will continue our fighting."

We face the same type of adversary, in terms of patience, with China.  As I replied to Steven, China plans in decades and centuries, we plan in 2 year election cycles or perhaps even just business quarters.  Oy vey.

I'll return to the lighthearted-nature of most of this blog, with a fun photo from Byron Browne IV, who recognized the picture I took in the lobby of The Arizona Biltmore - from a puzzle box.

"Hey!  I thought that stained glass looked familiar.  Turns out I have the puzzle version of it!  It’s a great puzzle in case you want to borrow it."

Thank you to any one that is reading this blog.

KLUF
Let's go, indeed.  Here, on the second album of a one-two punch for the ages, and in pristine 192kHz/24 bit high resolution at that, are The Cars and "Candy-O".  

It's really quite stunning how well this album holds up after all these years - it was released 42 years ago, in June of 1979.   Imagine listing to music in that year from 1937 - uh, no.

And June of 1979 is just a few months before the Soviet Union would begin, in December of that same year, a 10 year misadventure of their own in Afghanistan.  Time flies when you're invading countries.