Happy 4th of Jul… What the HECK!!!!


IMG_5170Initially we celebrated the 4th of July back in February.  I know.. I know.. I really didn’t understand what was going on because.. well.. it was February.  I had NEVER heard of celebrating our nation’s holiday five months ahead of time. Apparently there were good reasons for it.  Though I can’t necessarily be convinced.

In essence, we celebrate the 4th of July to honor the adoption of the declaration of independence.  We claimed independence from Britain on July 4, 1776 and lo and behold Democracy was born.  We take this time to celebrate that event by eating hotdogs and hamburgers with our family and friends or even just groups of random people. There are usually fireworks, popcorn, and children running wild.  So in honor of this great tradition, we commenced celebrating our 2nd fourth of July for the year.

It started out so normal….

The singing of our national anthem and the raising of our flag…

Next came the food.. apparently not delicious but still fairly normal..

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Is that a.. piece of chicken or pork or ???

Oh and who doesn’t like a little popcorn, ice cream and ..uh.. tarot reading..

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Yes, there were kids.. not necessarily running amok.. but there were kids.. docile kids standing in a line.. waiting to have their faces painted. A huge contrast to my own childhood.

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There were ponies, face painting, nail art and henna tattoos, pottery making and cotton candies.. yeah you heard me, more than just one..

Oooohhh yeah.. carnival rides.. that’ll be fun..

Then it got a little weird.. strange there wasn’t a line..

Apparently "sitting in a chair with a man on a ladder ready to pour a bucket of water on your head was a little too long for the sign"

Apparently “sit in a chair with a man on a ladder ready to pour a bucket of water on your head” was a little too long for the sign”

And then just plain frightening.. There was a clown.. JUST ONE!!!! Maybe if there had been a couple of them.. or they were dancing in a line or juggling.. maybe it wouldn’t have been so frightening.. OHHH SOOOO VERY FRIGHTENING.. I know of at least one baby who cried and two grown boys who were terrified.  They tried to act like they weren’t but they were.  Every where I looked there he was// or she was// or it was!!!!!  In retrospect.. I suppose I WAS only looking at the cotton candies.. I mean.. I really wanted some but that clown wouldn’t leave.. I eventually had a child bring me one.

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Lucky for me.. right before I left.. I was able to see something to remember exactly why I was there..

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Happy 4th everyone!!

In response to the daily wordpress challenge I now present to you other posts showing contrasts that I enjoyed:

  1. Chittle Chattle Weekly Photo Challenge – Contrasts
  2. SERENDIPITY FRAMING THE SKY
  3. Monochrome Contrast
  4. Life is a Vacation 2 Men, Music and Light
  5. Across the Bored Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast
  6. Retired2Travel Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast
  7. drycrikjournal Riding Drag
  8. Jasper Smits Contrast
  9. The Bass Rock – Mittened Hands
  10. Morbid Is as Morbid Does Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts
  11. Stefano Scheda Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts
  12. The Rider Contrasts- Weekly Photo Challenge
  13. Cee’s Photography WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast
  14. codziennik Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts
  15. scrapydo Contrast – Weekly photo Challenge
  16. Northwest Frame of Mind Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts
  17. Words We Women Write WPC: CONTRASTS
  18. Beyond the Brush Photography Nature’s Contrasts
  19. Third Person Travel Contrasts-WP Weekly Photo Challenge
  20. The other pictures. Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts
  21. Today, on Earth Contrasts
  22. Mad Meandering Me Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast (Take 2)
  23. Chris Breebaart Photography / What’s (in) the picture? Weekly Photo Contest: Contrasts (Breakers Noordwijk)

Till they all come home….


Whether you support the policies or the politics, conflicts or peaceful resolutions…Please support the people… Hate the game not the player

Happy Memorial Day…

This video was created by Joe Curtain.  He is still an active Navy officer… The only link he has is his Twitter page. His Twitter handle is: @FR33SpeechMusic

I spent 20 years and 9 months in the U.S. Navy and Navy Reserves.  I joined when I was 16 years old and went to bootcamp between my junior and senior year in high school.

I spent a year on a ship and visited dozens of foreign ports. I learned how to create and be a part of an extended family that your biological family may never even know about.  Like a biological brother or sister, sometimes you hated them and sometimes you loved them but you always supported them.  I was trained to have very high work ethics for self and how to expect and obtain the same from others. I grew up to be adaptable, creative and accepting of others and to reach out a helping hand to those life long friends I have made over the years as well as to random strangers on the street.  I made friends I may never, ever see again but know that at the drop of a hat if I did see them we could reunite as if no time at all had ever passed between us.

I was trained to give and receive orders.  I took entire courses on how to build things and how to immediately tear them down.  I practiced the art of self-defense and learned how to shoot a variety of guns, studied crowd control measures and sometimes fought the art of self-control. I had to practice how to never use these skills unless under extreme duress and then I was trained in how to handle extreme duress.  Most of the people I have worked with over the past near 21 years have considered themselves peacekeepers and not war mongers.  Through all of these times I was fortunate enough to mostly serve with people who could laugh at themselves as often as they laughed at me.

We have all believed in our country and gave up a lot to support it.  Most of us would do it again if asked with absolutely no hesitation.  We do not expect everyone to agree or believe in our purpose when we leave.  However, we do hope that we will be accepted and welcomed home on our return.

“I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: ‘I served in the United States Navy.” 
― John F. Kennedy

There are always two sides to every story. Two opposing thoughts to every situation.


We must never forget why we have, and why we need our military. Our armed forces exist solely to ensure our nation is safe, so that each and every one of us can sleep soundly at night, knowing we have ‘guardians at the gate.’ – Allen West


“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.” ― Dwight D. Eisenhower


“The soldier is the Army. No army is better than its soldiers. The Soldier is also a citizen. In fact, the highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one’s country”  ― George S. Patton Jr.


 “As long as a population can be induced to believe in a supernatural hereafter, it can be oppressed and controlled. People will put up with all sorts of tyranny, poverty, and painful treatment if they’re convinced that they’ll eventually escape to some resort in the sky where lifeguards are superfluous and the pool never closes. Moreover, the faithful are usually willing to risk their skins in whatever military adventure their government may currently be promoting.”

― Tom RobbinsSkinny Legs and All


“This topic brings me to that worst outcrop of herd life, the military system, which I abhor… This plague-spot of civilization ought to be abolished with all possible speed. Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism — how passionately I hate them!”

― Albert Einstein


So long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, we will sustain the strongest military the world has ever known. When you take off the uniform, we will serve you as well as you’ve served us – because no one who fights for this country should have to fight for a job, or a roof over their head, or the care that they need when they come home. – Barack Obama


The basic problems facing the world today are not susceptible to a military solution.–   John F. Kennedy


I started to make a study of the art of war and revolution and, whilst abroad, underwent a course in military training. If there was to be guerrilla warfare, I wanted to be able to stand and fight with my people and to share the hazards of war with them.   – Nelson Mandela


The U.S. Military is us. There is no truer representation of a country than the people that it sends into the field to fight for it. The people who wear our uniform and carry our rifles into combat are our kids, and our job is to support them, because they’re protecting us.   –  Tom Clancy


We shall listen, not lecture; learn, not threaten. We will enhance our safety by earning the respect of others and showing respect for them. In short, our foreign policy will rest on the traditional American values of restraint and empathy, not on military might. – Theodore C. Sorensen


  1. How America Treats Illegal Aliens vs. Veterans
  2. Friday Night Think Tank:  Memorial Edition
  3. Growing up after Graduation
  4. What Heroes Gave
  5. Memorial Day is not about your aunt
  6. To all our service members
  7. Thanks Dad

 

Taking it to the Streets – Peruvian Style Street Art


POR FIN!! I know this will be a shock to some in locations that are more technologically stable, but it took literally 3 days to upload these few pictures.  That’s the thing about technology.. when it works it’s amazing and when it doesn’t we all begin to feel a little doomed.  I know, I know.. a bit dramatic.

Speaking of dramatic.. (nice lead in right).. Some of the street art / graffiti in Peru did in fact carry that title quite proficiently.  As you might have noted from one of my past blogs regarding street art I am a bit fixated on random artistic street art.  Some of the following pictures are definitely typical graffiti and some of the pictures show how amazing and beautiful this type of expression can be.  I think even some of the most basic graffiti can look amazing when presented in a different language.  Same when someone says something to you with an accent right? Tell me I’m wrong.. go ahead..  Enjoy..

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Travel Theme: Signs


So this week’s travel theme, posted by Where’s My Backpack, is signs.  As she says in her post, they come in all shapes and sizes.  I’m a bit infatuated with signs, especially signs from different countries, and have tons of pictures of signs.  However, the more I looked at my photos the less inspired I became.

As I was perusing my photos, I came across my photo documentation of my experience at Jon Stewart‘s Rally to Restore the Sanity and Stephen Colbert‘s March to Keep Fear Alive in Washington DC on October 30, 2010.  The crowds were massive.

It dawned on me that this was the perfect set of photos to demonstrate my take on signs – – – –

“Signs of the times”  Straight from our nations Capitol…  Signs that demonstrate freedom of speech, freedom of expression and the freedom to completely confuse everyone around you… I hope you enjoy some of my favorite signs from the rally.

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To become self-aware, people must be allowed to hear a plurality of opinions and then make up their own minds. They must be allowed to say, write and publish whatever they want. Freedom of expression is the most basic, but fundamental, right. Without it, human beings are reduced to automatons.
Ma Jian

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