Global Thoughts — 1 November 2021

Paws Up Resort in Montana

You know you’re tired when you give out an address you lived at 20 years ago when ordering something.

We went to this haunted house for Halloween and, for the first time in NYC, I went to something where nobody gave a crap about masks. My son insightfully said, “Woke progressives don’t come to Halloween haunted houses.”

I always figure that my daughter watching Tik Tok is just wasting her time. Today I was about to tell her that a retail building in London that housed Top Shop was bought by Ikea. That’s a weird factoid that she’d only care about because she shopped there in London before the chain closed. But she already knew that – from Tik Tok.

For our summer vacation, we went to Chicago, Montana, Seattle and San Francisco. Montana was really refreshing for 5 days; you wouldn’t know there was a pandemic going on in the country except while you were at the airport. Travel notes later in this posting.

I have this great idea for progressives in the US to campaign on in the next election.  You know that they want to get rid of school testing because racial minorities do worse on tests than others do. How about an affirmative action program for drivers’ licenses? Since minorities tend to fail driving tests more than others, how about if we simply abolish driving tests so that they can no longer be disadvantaged? Afterall, they are saying that anything that has different impacts on minorities is by its very nature evil and should be abolished. Yeah, how about that?

Fall Foliage at Nemacolin Resort in Pennsylvania

I am also an abolitionist. I want to abolish the book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” which my daughter is complaining she has to read for school. It is something like 400 pages long and she doesn’t understand what the heck the book is talking about or why it dribbles on 300 pages too long. She says it’s the worst piece of literature she’s ever had to read. Maybe some of these books being thrown at kids to check some kind of box need to bite the dust. I was thinking that if progressives ruled the skies, white clouds would have to check their privilege.

While on wokiness, have you noticed that media such as cookbooks and National Geographic have gone woke? There are all kinds of suggestive political messages in the recipes they are choosing and articles about racism in housing that have nothing to do with penguins in the Arctic. People I know are dropping their subscriptions to some of these periodicals because this kind of stuff is not what they thought they were subscribing to. I think that businesses should do business and leave the politics outside, just like the deli doesn’t cash checks and the bank doesn’t sell corned beef sandwiches.

Our rabbi spoke over the high holidays about heroes, noticing that during the pandemic almost everyone became classified as a hero which had the effect of cheapening the currency of heroes, while historical heroes that had been held up for centuries were now said to be goats because they had faults. Interestingly, one of the leading characteristics of biblical heroes is that they all suffer from imperfections, but yet they are still considered heroes despite that. Something is wrong in our society in the way we decide what is heroic. When the man in the supermarket stocking cheese on shelves is now a hero and George Washington becomes a goat, you know that something is not right.

The Bean in Chicago

I have a big problem with people going crazy over wearing masks in synagogue. I agree that viruses do not respect religion and that people need to take sensible precautions. But if you are in a  synagogue in a neighborhood in which maybe 3-4 vaccinated people in the entire zip code are testing positive a day for covid and only vaccinated people are allowed in the synagogue, why would you then drive those people crazy every time somebody’s mask fell below their nose, especially while they are sitting 20 feet apart and then going downstairs afterward into a room with free food and then taking off their masks and standing all over each other getting the food and eating it. If God exists, don’t you think that maybe in this one in a million chance that is left over, that maybe God has some say in who might get sick and that He might offer some protection to people praying in the synagogue? If you really don’t believe that God has ANYTHING to do with it, why sit in synagogue for 3 hours on a Saturday morning? What are all those prayers exactly about anyway? Why did we sit there all of the High Holidays praying to a God who sits in judgement and decides who lives and dies and how they die? I have to tell you that these days I don’t believe that there are 5 people in my synagogue who act as if they believe that God has anything to do with anything and I figure that either I’m sitting there with a bunch of morons or that the whole thing is bullshit. Makes you really wonder what it’s all about. I’ve moved to a different synagogue which is a lot more chill; the rabbi there says that the vaccine was supposed to change your life and we all took the vaccine, so change your life. That’s where I’m at.

 

Nemacolin

The Wall Street Journal reports that women do not want to return to in-person meetings because they feel bullied at them by men who do things such as interrupt them (not to mention each other). Women also by greater margins do not want to go back to the workplace. The problem is that major decisions are made at in-person meetings and there is no doubt that they are going to happen and that people have to fight their way to the top because nobody gives anything to anyone. When I go to a gym, I notice it’s always the women wearing the masks complaining about the men, and the men usually don’t put on their masks unless someone makes them. The two sexes are built differently and there is nothing sexist about observing that this is the case. I predict that the opportunity divide between men and women is being exacerbated by this pandemic and that women are going to fall a generation behind in terms of the workplace by the time this is over. In public companies, minorities are getting token board seats where rules governing public companies dictate that this be so, but not so at private equity-run companies where the rule of the jungle applies. You can see that where there is survival of the fittest, the white male dominance is simply becoming more entrenched as others fail to step up and get left behind.

I feel bad for Japan; when we were there about 4-5 years ago they were already getting ready to put up street signs in English in Tokyo in preparation for the Olympics. All that preparation gone to waste.

About Afghanistan: About a decade ago, I bought this picture from a press photo agency showing a girl playing softball and I sent it to my friend who was a colonel in the air force who spent a year in that country. I felt this photo captured the essence of our mission. The problem, my friend told me, was that you couldn’t trust your Afghan allies. The soldier you thought was your comrade might stab you in the back one night. Our so-called coalition of the willing was a joke; he told me of an Italian group of soldiers on the airbase who wouldn’t even help move a picnic table for a group picnic, saying “our mission is to be here” and they just stood there being here. I think that Biden probably knew this place was thoroughly corrupt and useless and wouldn’t last a week without the US propping it up and figured he just wanted to wash his hands of the place. Pretty much like Lebanon.

In China, its president Mr. Xi has been going around like mad trying to paint the country with his philosophy and creating a personality cult. The big problem is, that according to a few articles I read, nobody really knows what that philosophy is. People who have been reading through all the books of thought inside and outside the country are trying to figure out what his ideas actually are so that they can implement them, and they can’t figure it out.

Montana prairie

But I’m sure of one thing – Mr. Xi is ruining China’s future. Now he has decided that the English language is bad and should not be learned. That’s not going to make the country strong. A generation ago the Chinese knew that to get ahead they needed to encourage the learning of English. In this generation, I see Mandarin as becoming less popular for foreigners to learn as people see less reason to interact with China. Harvard has just moved its Chinese language program from Beijing to Taiwan saying that the Chinese have put too many obstacles in their way to operate there. Linked In has just pulled out of China, meaning the Chinese will have a hard time networking professionally amongst anyone other than other Chinese. The Chinese think they can live on this planet alone and not need to cooperate with others? And he has woken up the Australians to pursue nuclear submarines with the USA and the UK. The first submarines may not arrive until 2040 but the tent pole has been thrown in the ground – the Chinese have woken up sleeping giants who are increasingly focusing on diffusing a Chinese threat to the world. Japan is about to increase its defense spending because an attack on Taiwan, which the Chinese are increasingly threatening, is a direct threat to Japan. They cannot win this game and history should have taught them that.

Paws Up Resort, Montana

Now they are outlawing crypto-currencies and destroying companies at the risk of financial contagion and taking China out of the financial marketplace, making every entrepreneur and company know that China is not the place to make your fortune and that it can all be suddenly taken away from you, and that everyone from the Philippines to the Africans should fear them as debt collectors and military encroachers. Israel is a good bellwether which pursues business in a non-ideological fashion, and I see that they are pulling out of investment deals with China because the business climate is deteriorating. Maybe there will be war someday and if Mr. Xi is still in power, he will suffer Egypt’s Nasser’s fate and after he’s gone the next leader will be trashing him as an idiot and putting his family in jail for corruption. But meanwhile, I would say that all of China’s bullying and Xi’s posturing over the past 5 years has left China less influential than it was 5 years ago. His consolation is an enemy like Biden – so risk averse and full of talk without walk that the only weapon he wields is the promise of killer UN resolutions sure to invoke shock and awe in all that read them. Call it Ivan’s Pac-Man Theory of Foreign Relations: If you sit still, the bad dots come and eat you. So you have to keep moving and either eat up dots or at least keep the baddies at bay by making them turn color and run away from you. In this vein, Biden is a disappointment; I was hoping for a more sophisticated foreign policy than tariffs, sanctions and speeches, but instead of engaging the Chinese and trying to work out areas of mutual interest that would also benefit American business interests, Biden just sits there like a wounded duck trying to get cosponsors for resolutions pinging China, and neither the Chinese nor the rest of the world including American companies are amused. Mr. Xi is literally retreating behind a Chinese wall but this is not good strategy because if my friend is right and Mr. Xi will ultimately be judged by his deliverables to China, the future for him does not look bright because China is giving up on the things that made it successful the past 25 years and which will probably bring humiliation upon them in the medium to long term. Betting against the US is just not a good bet for the long term, just like the US led the world out of this pandemic after a lousy start.

A word about Putin – his party got about 14 million votes in the last election and then they faked another 14 million to seal the deal. Nobody respects him at this point and it’s pretty clear that he only stays in power out of sheer ruthlessness. Yeah, he won the election but he had to go to such lengths to rig it that he looks weaker than ever. Too clever by half. He can stay in power as long as he likes, but he’s not going to have much of a posterity because he’s just not respected.

ATV riding in Montana

Two articles I read this month about covid bear serious consideration. One of them asks what is society’s goal – is it to keep people out of the hospital and dying or is it to keep people from ever getting sick? If it is the former, vaccinations work and the idea is to get more shots in arms. If it is the latter, which it seems to be, then this is never going to end because it is an impossible goal as vaccinations are not purposed toward preventing infection. To try and prevent infection, which globally has been an impossible task, we’d all have to live like scaredy squirrels for the indefinite future. The government is not helping by scaring people with this Delta variant into thinking that everyone is going to get sick and maybe even die, even if they’ve been vaccinated. So therefore, everyone is being treated the same even if they got their shots. So why get your shots? Why ever go back to work? Why not just continue to act like idiots everywhere for the next 5-10 years?

The UK, which has seen about 650 vaccinated people die from Covid over the past 6 months, is much more chill with the masking than the US and is letting vaccinated people go about their business. The UK has a population one-fifth of the US. In the US, an average of 100 people A DAY die in road accidents and I don’t see everyone getting out of their cars and walking everywhere. Do the numbers and, adjusted for population, you’ll see that you’re about 5x more likely to die in a car crash than a normal vaccinated person is to die from covid.

New York’s new governor quietly slipped into a law a workplace mask mandate which, if enforced, will ensure that nobody will ever want to go back to work. She did it because the unions wanted it. And, of course, they don’t want to go back to work. Maybe, after more businesses leave the state and taxes dry up, she will reconsider. But don’t bet on it. She’s been hearing their cries and ignoring them. Can the Republicans get their act together and run a decent candidate? So far they just run complete morons who scare people, such as in California. But if the Republican gubernatorial candidate wins in Virginia, it will be interesting because it will be a guy who does not owe his standing to Trump.

Elizabeth Home on the Range

 

I’ve read half of Bob Woodward’s new book and I’m in no great rush to finish it although it’s a fast and shallow read. It’s pretty boring. Been there, and done that. We all know that Trump was an idiot with a bunch of incompetents around him and a lot of what he’s writing you already know from his previous books. I guess his next book will be about the boring incompetents around Biden, especially in the national security area where you get the feeling that Secretary of State Blinken is flailing about, and I hear all these think-tank experts from both sides criticizing the current administration on its haphazard foreign policy. I’ll let you know more when I finish the book this month.

I feel like I’m serving a jail term living in New York. My taxes are 50% of federal taxes, the streets are filled with homeless people, there is nothing to do, there are regulations everywhere you look that scream Nanny-State and which make people act like idiots, there are constant fees and surcharges every time you walk out of your house, and there is no end in sight. I pay for plastic bags except that now we throw away more indestructible bags than ever before. I pay congestion surcharges meant to keep people out of Manhattan even for short rides within my local area. Why do kids in private schools where everyone is vaccinated still need to wear masks when even without vaccines hardly any kids were making other kids sick? Do you think kids want to pay attention while being distracted by masks? No wonder JetBlue has flights going to Florida almost every hour of the day. People want to live their lives and not be treated like idiots who can’t make choices.

Near Seattle Washington

Biden has made some big mistakes: I wrote in January that he should govern as a 60-senator president, and instead he has wobbled all over the place with nothing to show for it as a captive of his party’s progressive wing which doesn’t have the votes to pass anything. The country doesn’t need big ideas; it needs to seek consensus and get things done, such as the infrastructure bill which would have passed if he had governed this way. His CDC is ruining an economic rebound by terrifying people with distorted science about Delta, which is being shown by prominent liberal media sources to be false and which I wrote about in detail earlier this summer. He is hindering commerce and international relations by banning vaccinated Canadians and Europeans from entering the US even though more of them at this point have gotten shots than we have (which is only now about to stop). He hasn’t done anything to show where he stands with China; he is being made a fool of by Iran which spits on his JCPOA negotiations and by Russia which continues its cyberattacks after being told point blank by Biden to stop it; people around the world think he comes across as increasingly senile and unsteady; he has been slow to appoint people to senior positions and it’s all for the wrong reasons (putting tokenism over merit); and all this masking to prevent infection is simply nuts when the odds of vaccinated people making other vaccinated people sick is about the same as being in a car crash (and I don’t see everyone getting out of cars). He’s caused real inflation by reducing incentives to work and thus creating shortages throughout the economy. Democrats campaigned that they would reinstate state and local tax deductions that the Republicans got rid of, and their new tax bill does not address them at all; they totally screwed their voters and those voters won’t forget it. No reason to vote Democrat after that kind of screw.

Amidst all this, Fox News is riling up half the population over the culture wars (all that wokiness in the schools that I talked about earlier in this posting) and anything they can think of. My daughter and I saw Fox News on a screen in a gym on a Sunday morning and she said “Hey look, Fox is not talking about politics. They are talking about Christmas toys.” I said you just wait one minute and see. And a minute later, they were telling everyone that Biden was the most un-Christian president ever, that kids wouldn’t get their Christmas toys under the tree this year because Biden’s policies were tying up the supply chains at all the ports, etc.

Chihuly Glass Museum in Seattle

The country is going to remain in a funk as long as 1,000 times a day people look around and see the government creating an environment that screams out “Everything Sucks.” Instead of trying to make broad rules covering everyone that many people simply ignore, it would make more sense to carefully tailor regulations that make sense and that minimize inconvenience except where necessary. The US needs to stop being so risk-averse and allow people to enter the US to allow business to resume to something closer to normal. We have to accept that about 50 million eligible people are never going to willingly get vaccinated, either because they are pussied about getting a shot or because they feel the cure is worse than the disease. Studies show that no matter what happens, even with financial incentives, you will never get these people to get with the program. So we will have to work around them instead of driving ourselves crazy to keep them from either bothering us or getting sick themselves.

Let airplanes, trains and subways have separate sections for masks and non-masks, just like they used to do for smoking and non-smoking or trains do with quiet cars. Studies show that the risk of infection while sitting on a plane is small; it’s the boarding process and crowding in the jetway that is the real threat and nobody does anything about that. Why should a person sitting in a private cabin in first class wear a mask across the ocean anyway? It needs to stop making vaccinated citizens get PCR tests abroad in order to return home because nobody wants to risk being stuck abroad so we are effectively captives within our borders — and now resorts in the US are charging triple the normal rates for vacations as a result.  It needs to have more of a policy than pin-prick measures against global baddies that are so precise that the other side hardly notices the incision. And it needs to realize that the majority of the country voted for Biden to get Trump out of office; it did not vote for a 3.5 trillion dollar tax increase and a whole new socialist economy based on redistribution of wealth with cradle to grave disincentives to work for minorities who will therefore wind up being poor even 50 years from now. The GOP only needs to obstruct and wait its turn; you can see the avalanche coming in 2022. To give you an idea of what’s coming, the New York Times quoted a prominent Democratic fundraiser who spoke of a “bloodbath” in 2022.

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

Right now the 26th climate summit is taking place in Glasgow and promises to be as eventful as the 25 that preceded it. I am somewhat jaded about this climate change; I agree that it’s happening but I’m not sure that the ideas being thrown around to combat it are the way to go. I’ve written earlier this summer that some of the issues getting headlines are being blown out of historical proportion and I’m not at all sure that trying to ban coal and fossil fuels is going to solve more problems than it creates. People want to see action on this issue, but they don’t want to see social engineering moves by progressives masquerading as climate change initiatives.

That’s the crux of the problem; the progressives are trying to sneak in all this social engineering behind other issues that people support, and they’ve lost the credibility of the rest of America to the point that they won’t be able to do anything. People will look at the Democrats and say that they accomplished nothing so why vote for them again? Any Republican whose names is not Trump and who looks reasonable will win big-time because Kamala Harris is widely regarded as a nobody, and I said a year ago that I thought choosing her was a strategic mistake. I know people think Trump will run but remember Jed Bush, who was the hands-on favorite until people started voting. Trump will fall to the wayside when people start voting and when someone opposes him. On the other side of the ocean, Israel’s prime minster Bennett got to power by a wall-to-wall coalition of parties who wanted Bibi Netanyahu out. But the minute they pass a law that Bibi can’t run again, the whole raison d’etre of his coalition will collapse and so will his government.

I never watch Fox News (or any of the cable news networks for that matter except the BBC once in a while), but for a few nights in the summer of 2020 I watched folks like Hannity spout forth about the anarchy on America’s streets in Democratic-run cities and I figured they were being ridiculous. I gotta tell you – we’ve just traveled to 3 such cities: Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco. Guess what? Hannity was telling you the truth and the truth hurts. Sorry if you think I’ve gone nuts, but in this case, the guy is spot-on.

Alcatraz

In all 3 cities, you walk off the main street and you see homeless people and you feel threatened in broad daylight. In Seattle, this is so even on the main streets, even one block from a 5 star hotel. I’ve seen streets in Mexico City at night that looked better. Macy’s closed up both downtown stores in Seattle and my teenage kids were terrified walking just one block to the hotel from where I left them while it was still daylight when some delusional maniac with a whiskey bottle went after them. In Seattle, police are not allowed to patrol in their cars or on foot and can only respond if called. Tons of them have resigned, transferred or retired. People there are so neurotic with the covid that if you walk into a restaurant or a store, they look at you like you are a nuisance and a threat, even if you have been vaccinated. They want you to leave. They just work there; they are not owners and they don’t care about you. We couldn’t wait to leave Seattle.  If you ever wanted to see a city self-destructing before your very eyes, you have it in Seattle. Basically, the message there right now is Tourists: Drop Dead, but Wear Your Mask.

In Chicago, we arrived just as an indoor mask mandate went into effect, even though the rate of covid in the city was rather low. We had lunch at Gino’s East which had a limited menu due to covid, meaning they can’t get people to work in the restaurant even though the customers are there. Navy Pier was pretty quiet for a Friday afternoon. A ride on the Sea Dog is a great way to get the juices going and we went on the Extreme Boat which means you will get super wet and get thrown about! My wife was ready to just die but took one for the team! We had a good dinner at a kosher restaurant called Milt’s BBQ for the Perplexed. Also an excellent dinner at Shanghai Terrace, the Chinese restaurant in the Peninsula Hotel. The Gangster Tour of Chicago (Untouchable Tours) was fun; I won’t forget the raffle where someone put in two halfs of a ticket they tore off hoping it would double their chances! The Peninsula Chicago remains a great city hotel but beware of rooms where you can hear ambulances all night long going to a new nearby hospital. For the city’s architectural boat tour, get on the boat early and grab a seat in the shade and take sunscreen; we used Chicago Line Cruises. Eatily in Chicago is more easy to get in and out of than in New York. The Historical Museum of Chicago was fairly good but don’t go out of your way to see it if you have other things to do. RPM Italian is a really good Italian restaurant. Next visit we want to see the Garden of Oz with the various Wizard of Oz characters in Lincoln Park.

Muir Woods in California

In Montana, 3 hours flying time from Chicago, we spent 5 nights at a resort called Paws Up near Missoula. American Airlines is a much smaller a presence at the O’Hare airport than United and more user friendly. The scenery by airplane into Missoula is beautiful. The airport is bursting at the seams for a town of 80,000 which is fast growing. The resort is 45 minutes from the airport. We generally liked the resort but found some important pain points here which would probably preclude us from returning; there are other good places here to try. The house we stayed in was worn and small and the resort makes you use an app to contact anyone and you basically get shafted around in a very impersonal way. The activities are good; lots of outdoor stuff to do. We were lucky with 75 degree weather; earlier it had been close to 100. But in the morning it’s cold at about 40-50 degrees and it’s not inviting to go canoeing with glacier water in shorts at that time.

Best family activity there was the RTV ride to an old ghost town and some outdoor dinners facing the Montana prairie.  Funniest thing was looking at all these guests coming from the New York metropolitan area wearing these fancy clothes and bandanas and you know it’s all going to the back of a closet when they get home. The pandemic hurts as it is hard to get workers and service suffers and everyone there is new. The hotel is 30 minutes drive from Missoula, the state’s second largest town. The local Artists Shop on the main street has some nice crafts to buy. Along that street are some pretty galleries and shops. The resort lends you a car to use to drive into town.

Rooftop pool at TWA Hotel at NY’s Kennedy Airport

Another 2 hour flight takes us to Seattle and an hour’s drive to a small town near Seattle called Snoqualmie and the Salish Lodge. A good place to experience the countryside of Washington (which I’m told is similar to Alaska; Northern Exposure was filmed here) but yet close to the city. The Lodge is not a full service hotel but it has nice rooms and great food. We enjoyed a train festival and some ice cream in the small city where the center of town is a few blocks long about half an hour’s walk from the hotel, and when you go to the gym in the city, nobody wears a mask and it’s friendly. The hotel is near a pretty waterfall to which you can walk to the bottom of in about half an hour for great views. If you are afraid of walking back up, there is a parking lot there and somebody can pick you up.

Seattle was our next stop for 3 days. If you want to go for an after dinner walk, go on the treadmill in the hotel gym. We walked one block and turned around. You can’t get a print newspaper in town (go to the Big Little Newsstand in the Capitol Hill neighborhood). The fruits in the Pike’s Market were fair by the time we got there beginning of September; the best fruit is earlier in the summer like in early July. Some attractions we saw were the Chihuly Glass Museum and Gardens by the Space Needle, Beneath the Streets tour of underground Seattle, Seaplane tour of the city from Union Lake with Kenmore Aviation, Museum of Flight (the Boeing Factory tour is currently closed) which is a really great attraction and you should allow 2-3 hours to see; and we did a city tour for 3 hours which was offbeat and with a great guide (Totally Seattle: guide’s name we don’t remember but it’s his company). We also did a private glass blowing class in a the Seattle Glassblowing Studio which was fun and which resulted in some cool projects that they shipped to our home. Next trip we’d try Molly’s Ice Cream but the pistachio and peanut butter ice cream flavors at the Four Seasons’ restaurant are fantastic. A good restaurant was Acquos at the Waterfront on the edge of town.

Another 2-hour flight takes us to San Francisco where at the airport we saw yoga rooms and lovely pet bathrooms and wondered if they had all-gender pet restrooms as well. We stayed at the Cavallo Point Lodge, built on an old coast guard base between the Golden Gate Bridge and Sausalito, about half an hour’s drive from the city. It’s a good place to rest up after a flight from Asia and to enjoy San Francisco without being in the heart of it. You need to rent a car here. There is a house you can rent by the night called Frank House. It was not bad but it’s not great for a family with 2 kids as the second bedroom has only one small bed. There are loft 2 bedroom suites though with 2 double beds in the second room; go to the 300 Building on property. The food is good here too; it’s not a full service hotel with a pool and a big gym but it is adequate (has a small gym) and it works well as long as traffic into the city remains light due to covid. You can also easily reach restaurants for dinner in Sausalito (some good ones included Scoma’s and Trident). Scoma’s has outstanding 7 layer cake in the top 10% of pastries I’ve ever had. At night along the water while you eat dinner you might see someone swimming in the bay training for the annual Alcatraz Island swim. There is also a good Italian bakery across from Scoma’s and a good sandwich shop a few doors by the bakery.

The Love Tour van in SF

In San Francisco, we took a ferry to Alcatraz and the audio tour there was actually fine. We had thought it would not be good to visit without a private guide, but they are not allowed. Figure you need about an hour and a half on the island and it is 15 minutes each way on the ferry.  We enjoyed a 2 hour city tour called the Love Tour which goes around in a 60’s style van with a groovy guide who talks about things from a hippie perspective. We did some shopping in the Hait-Ashbury district which was fun, especially if you like vintage clothes. We did a guided walk to an area overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge which was quite a walk and which fetched me a big suntan. The hotel offers a short history tour which is definitely something to see; you see stuff that’s hidden that gives you some real history such as an old bowling alley and jail. A favorite city stop is the Penny Arcade Museum at Pier 39. You can enter for free and play all kinds of arcade games. The Embarcardero market place was dead due to covid in this rather neurotic city but there is good food in the back of it along the waterfront and there is a place to buy print newspapers there. (This is becoming so hard to find in a city anymore.) The contemporary Jewish museum there is a joke and you can totally skip it. They had nothing to see there except a room with a big music video of some American Jewish pop singer. We drove to Muir Woods; you need a parking pass to get in which you must reserve online in advance. It’s a pretty walk through the park; allow about 2 hours. There are well paved paths throughout.

At San Francisco airport, it’s a pain to return the car to Avis. You have to get on the highway for a bit after leaving the terminal and it’s a pain to cross over to the Air Train for the ride back to the terminal. Drop off your luggage and family first and then return the car; and allow a half hour to return the car and return to the terminal.

During mid-September, we returned to the TWA Hotel at JFK airport where I had visited during July. Go to the rooftop pool (guests can swim for free in the morning), the hotel’s signature restaurant is excellent and drinks about the vintage Connie airplane are fun on weekends when the plane is open for guests. During October, we returned to the Nemacolin Resort in Pennsylvania about 90 minutes drive from Pittsburgh airport, for a fall weekend getaway. The newly renovated Falling Rock Hotel is a 5-star property there and it is a beautiful hideaway with only 42 rooms. We enjoyed such activities as zipline, ropes course, clay shooting, horseback riding, a new super-heated outdoor swimming pool, bowling, a Safari tour with lions, tigers and bears, a fantastic mini golf course, and a nostalgic ride on a 100-year-old carousel. It’s a great resort with very good restaurants, gym and spa facilities, and pretty scenery with fall foliage at its peak during our visit.

We also celebrated by son’s Year-Late-But Better than Never Bar Mitzvah and here is the link to the 4 minute video that I created for the occasion. The theme of the party was Welcome to JeremyLand – the State of Carefree Youth. The video is not some stupid montage of baby pictures – it’s funny, so click and enjoy.

I’ve had 3 Pfizer shots, a flu shot and a partridge in a pear tree. So it’s time to move on and the globe-trotting is about to resume. I’m heading to the Dubai Expo this month with a side visit to Qatar. London beckons for Christmas and skiing in Switzerland is on tap for February. So let’s dust off those passports and prepare for adventure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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