"There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." - President Ronald Reagan.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Hollywood Is Imploding



The Harvey Weinstein scandal has opened the floodgates of more accusations of sexual misconduct within the Hollywood movie, television and music industries. Hollywood is, for all intents and purposes, imploding.

The New York Times reported:
LOS ANGELES — Harvey Weinstein is certainly not the first powerful man publicly and credibly accused of sexually harassing or abusing women in recent years. 
Since 2015, the Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, the Fox News prime-time host Bill O’Reilly and the comedian and actor Bill Cosby have suffered professional, financial or reputational setbacks after numerous women told stories of their sexual misconduct. 
Those stories dominated news cycles, to be sure, but the outcry accompanying Mr. Weinstein’s downfall seems louder and more impassioned — perhaps because Mr. Weinstein’s accusers include stars like Ashley Judd, Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow. 
“I think this is a watershed moment,” said the producer Gail Berman, who had top jobs at Paramount Pictures and the Fox network. 
That became clear on Sunday, when Facebook, Instagram and Twitter were flooded with messages from women who used the hashtag #MeToo to acknowledge that they had dealt with sexual harassment or assault.
The article then goes on to name the women who have come forward.

To read more, go here

Elvis Presley Enterprises Sued For Lung Disease

Above, Elvis Presley's Graceland mansion. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

A woman who was a guest at the new Guest House At Graceland in Memphis is suing Elvis Presley Enterprises for an illness she claims she contracted from the water at the hotel.

According to TMZ:
Elvis Presley Enterprises runs a disease-infested hotel where the water is full of bacteria infiltrating guests' lungs ... according to a new lawsuit. 
The company that runs all things Elvis has just been sued by Jennifer Walker, who says she stayed at the Guest House at Graceland this summer -- and contracted Legionnaires' disease during the vacay. 
Walker says she spent a lot of time at the hotel pool and hot tub and started suffering symptoms of the chronic lung affliction -- such as coughing, difficulty breathing and loss of appetite -- and was diagnosed with Legionnaires' later that same month.

When I visited Graceland last year, I stayed across the street at the Graceland RV Park that is situated behind the now-closed Heartbreak Hotel (it is scheduled for demolition).

To read more, go here

Trump To Visit USS Arizona Memorial

Above, the USS Arizona Memorial. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

En route to his Asian summits, President Donald Trump will stop over in Hawaii and visit the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

According to West Hawaii Today:
HONOLULU — President Donald Trump’s first official trip to Hawaii and Asia will include a stop at Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial, the White House said today. 
Trump will travel to Hawaii, Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines from Nov. 3-14. 
“The president’s travel will underscore his commitment to longstanding United States alliances and partnerships, and reaffirm United States leadership in promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” the White House said in a release. 
On Nov. 3 at the start of the trip, Trump will also receive a briefing from U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii. The impact on public visits to the Arizona Memorial was not immediately clear.

To read more, go here

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Abraham Lincoln's Long Goodbye

Above, a replica of Abraham Lincoln's casket at the Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Illinois. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The final journey from Washington, D.C. to Springfield, Illinois of President Abraham Lincoln began on April 21, 1865.

Lincoln's funeral train took a long route that was almost 1,700 miles long. It took 13 days to complete the journey. The funeral train stopped at major cities and state capitals along the way.

CBS Sunday Morning posted a video on YouTube telling the story of Lincoln's funeral train. It is an interesting video that Lincoln scholars and history buffs will find interesting.

Here's the video:




Tsukiji Fish Market To Move In September or October

Above, the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It has finally been decided (at least for now) that the operations of the famed Tsukiji Fish Market will be moved in September or October of next year.

The Japan Times reported:
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has set the time for relocating the operations of the Tsukiji fish market to the nearby Toyosu waterfront area at September to October next year. 
The specific date will be discussed with industry groups, the metropolitan government said Monday. The announcement came after Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said in late August that the market, where daily fish auctions attract hordes of tourists, will be moved no earlier than next June. 
The metropolitan government wants to reach an agreement on the date this month at a council consisting of government officials and business representatives. It expects that additional safety measures to address soil contamination at the new site will be completed no later than next July.
To read more, go here

Passport Renewal: The Time Is Now!



So you're planning a trip to another country during next six to eight months from now and your current passport is about to expire. Or, it may not expire for another year. You may wonder, When is the best time to renew my passport?

According to Condé Nast Traveler, the best time is NOW!

They wrote:
The main reason? Processing times are shorter between September and December, with a big rush of passport renewals coming in January and clogging up the system. But the more important reason to renew your passport ASAP is that the Real ID Act kicks in January 22, 2018, meaning driver's licenses from a number of states will no longer work as forms of ID at the airport. (You can see if your state's licenses are complaint or not on the Department of Homeland Security's website.)

According to this, now is the time to get off your butt and get your passport renewal done.

To read more, go here

Joshua Tree Hikers: Bodies Locked In Embrace

Above, the south entrance sign to Joshua Tree National Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

More details on the finding of the two missing hikers at Joshua Tree National Park were reported by the Daily Mail (U.K.)

They reported:
Two bodies were found in Joshua Tree National Park, locked in an embrace, nearly three months after a southern California couple vanished while hiking nearby.  
The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said the bodies were found Sunday. Officials have not confirmed the identities of the bodies. 
Rachel Nguyen and Joseph Orbeso, 20 and 21, were reported missing July 28, after they failed to check out of their accommodations near the park.

To read more, go here.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Changes May Be Coming To Las Vegas

Above, my drive down the Las Vegas Strip two months ago. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Las Vegas is still recovering from the shooting that took 58 lives at an outdoor country music festival.

According to Japan Today:
LAS VEGAS - Las Vegas' tourism sector is bracing for changes in the aftermath of the massacre that killed 58 people at an outdoor music festival. 
Analysts who closely track the finances of the city's casino companies say Las Vegas will see a short-term dip in visitors in response to the shooting. 
Casinos and police may have to impose new security measures after gunman Stephen Paddock brought more than 20 rifles into his hotel room and drove a car filled with explosives into the parking garage. 
The "What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas" slogan has been put on hold, as has one unveiled in the weeks before the shooting by the owner of Mandalay Bay that said, "We are not in the hotel business ... we are in the holy s--- business." 
Electronic billboards that typically promote restaurants, concerts, a topless pool and other entertainment are now showing a dedicated phone line for victims and their families, along with words of appreciation for first responders and casino employees. 
"We've been there for you during the good times. Thank you for being there for us now," reads a black-and-white billboard message with the city skyline and "#VegasStrong." 
It's hard to quantify the effect the shooting will have on Las Vegas tourism. Airplanes still carry loads of tourists to the desert oasis, convention-goers fill large halls to discuss the latest industry trends, and slot machines ring in the casinos.

To read more, go here

Bodies Found In Joshua Tree National Park

Above, the south entrance into Joshua Tree National Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Two bodies were found today in Joshua Tree National Park that may be of the two missing hikers.

According to KESQ news:
Joshua Tree National Park, Calif. - BREAKING: The discovery of two bodies in Joshua Tree National Park on Sunday may finally give some answers to the families of a pair hikers who have been missing for nearly three months.  
A source close to the investigation confirmed the news to I-Team Investigator Karen Devine. 
21-year-old Joseph Orbeso and 20-year-old Rachel Nguyen were last heard from on July 27.  Their car was found in the park near the Maze Loop trailhead. Their last known contact was a cell phone ping in the area; their belongings were still at the rented home they never checked out of. 
The remains were found today on the north side of the Maze Loop trail. Joseph Orbeso's father Gilbert was with members of Joshua Tree Search and Rescue when the bodies were found.
To read more, go here

Hawaii: Keeping Costs Down In Oahu

Above, an evening view of Diamond Head from Waikiki Beach. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The Los Angeles Times must be in a "Hawaii mode" today as they have posted another money-saving article on Hawaii.

This time it is saving dough in Oahu.

They begin with:
Hawaii has certain allures, but low prices aren’t necessarily among them. With these insider tips to Oahu, though, you can have a Champagne experience at sparkling-cider prices.

The tips they provide are good ones. We spent a week in Hawaii last year (Oahu and the Big Island) and we were able to get a bargain deal though the Automobile Club of Southern California. For seven days, it cost only $1,400 each and the price included airfare (to and from Hawaii), land transportation, accommodations and inter-island airfares.

To read more, go here.

Saving Money At Hawaii's Big Island

Above, a beach scene in Wakailoa on the Big Island. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Vacationing on the Big Island of Hawaii doesn't have to break the bank. There are ways to saving money and still have a grand time.

The Los Angeles Times has some tips on saving dollars on Hawaii Island.

It begins with:
On Hawaii Island, you can have a first-class trip at coach prices. I’ve been traveling here for years, and I learned to visit and have fun without spending a small fortune. Here are some of the ways.

To read more, go here

Saturday, October 14, 2017

RV Show Literature

Above, stuff from the California RV Show. Photo by Armand Vaquer.


Having been to many RV and travel shows over the years, I am well aware that one accumulates a lot of literature for later reading.

Such was the case of this year's California RV Show at the Fairplex in Pomona. Being that I was only interested in specific things, I was selective on what literature I was going to bring home.

The nice folks of KOA Kampgrounds provided me with a nice carry bag to bring it all home in.

As I was only interested in campgrounds and RV parks, I picked up the following (not in any particular order):

  • Frandy Kern River Campground
  • Pala Casino RV Resort
  • West Wind RV & Golf Resort
  • Pirate Cove Resort (they told me they have an on-site jet ski rental vendor)
  • Rio Bend RV & Golf Resort
  • Campland On The Bay
  • Fountain of Youth Spa RV Resort
  • Palm Springs/Joshua Tree KOA ($20 off coupon)
  • Ventura Ranch KOA
  • Newport Dunes

The 2017 California RV Show

Above, shopping for a new RV? This is a good place to start. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

"Life isn't fair. The fair's in Pomona!" - Lee Sholem, Adventures of Superman Director.


Indeed it is! I spent nearly three hours today at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds (known as the Fairplex) in Pomona for the 2017 California RV Show.

There were RVs of every size and description from motorhomes, travel trailers, pop-up trailers, truck campers, toy-box trailers and fifth wheel trailers.

Above, the show has grown since the last time I attended. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

All the big manufacturers were represented. The show has grown considerably since the last time I attended, at least about 13 or so years ago. It has grown so big that there was a golf cart shuttle service (many were sponsored by RV Trader) to take people around the show.

Above, inside the "big tent". Photo by Armand Vaquer.

For myself, I was mainly interested in seeing what RV parks and resorts were there as well as accessories. As for RV parks and resorts, there were plenty in the big tent. As far as accessories, not many. At least none that I was interested in. That was disappointing.

My only purchase were some jewelry and eyeglass cleaners. Plus, a Coke from Pink's food trailer.

Above, Pink's was one of the refreshment stands available. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The starting time for the show was 10:00, but I got into Pomona at around 9:00. I spent about a half hour at a local Subway restaurant. Following that, I headed to the parking area for the RV show. After parking (I got a good parking spot close to the show entrance), I noticed people were being let in at 9:30. So I headed to the ticket booth and was let in.

Above, the new Winnebago Revel Class B. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

At that time, there wasn't too much of a crowd. So I bee-lined it to the big tent. 

Above, the 2018 Minnie Winnie 22R. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the interior of the 2018 Minnie Winnie 25B. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the 2018 Minnie Winnie 25B. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

After perusing the vendors in the big tent, I then wandered around (KOA Kampgrounds sponsored a free Ferris wheel for the kiddies) and headed over to the Winnebago area. I looked over the new 2018 Minnie Winnies, the new four-wheel drive Class B (the Revel) and the new entry-level Class A (the Intent). 

Above, the 2018 Winnebago Intent. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the interior of the 2018 Winnebago Intent. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the Intent's outside galley. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

I wandered around to see other brands of RVs, such as Jayco, Fleetwood and Coachmen. 

The show was much too big to see everything. The best way to do so is to decide what brands one wants to see and particular models. At least the free shuttle would help getting one from one dealer to another.

Above, some Class A motorhomes were like small apartments. This one has a fireplace. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Another interesting item that I saw was an old, beat-up travel trailer. It was actually part of a display for a vendor called Vintage Camper Trailers. They specialize in restoring vintage campers and put out a magazine for vintage camper fans such as "collectors, restorers, admireres and dreamers."

Above, an old trailer at Vintage Camper Trailers. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

This little jaunt to the California RV Show whetted my appetite for a few years. It was fun to browse around. If anyone is thinking on buying a new RV, going to one of these shows will be a big help in the decision-making process. I noticed a lot of "sold" signs on RVs at the show.

Above, a Jayco Class C. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Oh, yes. Sierra got something from the show too: a little football from the KNX-1070 Newsradio booth.

Above, an aisle in the Winnebago area. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The show runs through tomorrow.

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