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One Year Ago

One Year Ago: Merry Christmas!

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On December 25, 2008, I posted:

Yes, it's been a while since the last post . . . a fairly eventful week (in a domestic kind of way) here at the Palatial Abode. Since The Shot, my heel's been somewhat better, and Janet's mending nicely from her hip arthroscopy.

I started up a batch of hard cider from the world-famous Broadland (SD) orchards. A couple of pictures:

The recommended yeast

Cider on the stove

My South Dakota State Jackrabbits are a Top 25 team in women's basketball, and the long-suffering men's basketball team got a huge road win at Iowa State. Go Rabbits! (I got this Jackrabbit logo trophy statue thing because I'm a rich and influential donor--yeah, right!)

Jackrabbit trophy statue thingie

We cooked up some seafood bisque, fauxtatoes (I go kinda heavy on the cream cheese and butter), cranberry-orange relish, Jello(TM) molds, and some eggnog for today's Christmas dinner over at Snookums' parent's place. Soon, we will indeed go "over the river and through the woods."

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Peace On Earth, Goodwill Towards Everyone!

One Year Ago: Whose fault is it?

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September 30, 2008, I wrote:

Do you want to know who's responsible for today's financial crisis?

Victor Davis Hanson

We created the cultural climate for this shared madness. Television shows advised how to “flip” a house after putting in cosmetic improvements. Real-estate seminars and popular videos convinced us that homes were not places to live in and raise a family but rather no different from piles of chips on a Vegas table.

We created the phony populist creed that everyone deserved to own a house. So lawmakers got the message to relax lending standards in service to “fairness.” But Americans forgot that historically nearly four in 10 of us aren’t ever ready, or able, to sacrifice for a down payment, monthly mortgage bills, home maintenance and yearly taxes — and so should stick to renting.

Do you really want to know who's responsible?

Go look in a mirror.

And then quit using so much G-Damned credit, and stop wanting something for nothing (or even worse, wanting "the government" to pay for stuff you can't afford on your own--like housing or medical coverage).  "Oh, it's not for me, it's for those poor souls over there," you exclaim, thinking it gives you the moral high ground, and somehow makes it right and proper.

It doesn't.  If you think that way you're simply a thief, waiting for an opportunity to strike.

Go look in a mirror.  All of us.  This is our crisis.  Unless we all admit it--to ourselves, to everyone, it will just get worse.  And the pinheads in Washington can only make things worse, not better.  This is the warning bell.  If you elect pinheads in November, this will be like a sunny day in the park.  You have been warned.

One Year Ago: The Grand Asia & Australia Voyage

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I'm cheating a bit with this one . . . the actual summary post was finalized on Dec. 16, 2008, but the first post overall was September 18, 2008. Oh, well. My blog, my rules.

This is the front page for our dispatches from our Grand Asia & Australia Voyage on Holland America's Amsterdam, from September 19-November 23, 2008, with bonus coverage of our pre-cruise visit to Seattle, and our post-cruise detour to Cancun.

Here are the individual posts, collected all in one handy location for your reading pleasure. As we travel, we'll be adding posts so you can follow our journeys.

Part 1, Seattle
Part 2, Seattle and the M/S Amsterdam
Part 3, the North Pacific
Part 4, the North Pacific
Part 5, the North Pacific
Part 6, At sea, and arriving Hakodate, Japan
Part 7, Hakodate, Japan
Part 8, Amori, Japan
Part 9, Miyako, Japan
Part 10, Kobe, Japan
Part 11, Kobe, Japan
Part 12, Shanghai, China
Part 13, Shanghai, China
Part 14, Shanghai, China
Part 15, Shanghai and Hong Kong, China
Part 16, Hong Kong, China
Part 17, Hong Kong, China
Part 18, Hong Kong, China
Part 19, In the South China Sea
Part 20, Da Nang, Vietnam
Part 21, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam
Part 22, At sea, and Laem Chabang/Pattaya, Thailand
Part 23, Ko Samui, Thailand
Part 24, Ko Samui, Thailand
Part 25, At sea, and Singapore
Part 26, Singapore, and out to sea
Part 27, At sea, and Padang Bai, Bali, Indonesia
Part 28, Snorkeling at Padang Bai, Bali, Indonesia
Part 29, Padang Bai, Bali, Indonesia
Part 30, Padang Bai, Bali, Indonesia
Part 31, At sea, bound for Perth, Australia
Part 32, Fremantle/Perth, Australia
Part 33, Fremantle/Perth, Australia
Part 34, Fremantle/Perth, Australia
Part 35, Melbourne, Australia
Part 36, At sea bound for Sydney, Australia
Part 37, Sydney, Australia
Part 38, Sydney, Australia
Part 39, Cruising the Coral Sea, and Noumea, New Caledonia
Part 40, Noumea, New Caledonia
Part 41, Noumea, New Caledonia
Part 42, Noumea, New Caledonia
Part 43, Suva, Fiji
Part 44, Apia, Western Samoa
Part 45, At sea bound for Honolulu
Contest photos
Part 46, At sea, crossing the Equator
Part 47, At sea bound for Honolulu
Part 48, At sea bound for Honolulu
Part 49, Honolulu, Hawaii
Part 50, Honolulu, Hawaii
Part 51, Honolulu and Lahaina, Hawaii
Part 52, Lahaina, Hawaii and bound for San Diego
Part 53, At sea, bound for San Diego
Part 54, San Diego, California
Part 55, San Diego, Dallas, and Cancun, Mexico
Part 56, Cancun, Mexico
Part 57, Cancun, Mexico
Part 58, Cancun, Mexico
Part 59, Cancun, Mexico
Part 60, Cancun, Mexico
Part 61, Home, at last!