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Friday, July 6, 2018

Just Hanging Around Devizes

July 5, 2018

Just Stuff

Last night I noticed that there was a broken spoke in the rear wheel.  Well, that just will not do since my bike has to carry 38 lbs. and me.  So it is in the shop now getting fixed.  My bike is a Specialized Crossroad that I purchased her for $1400 about six years ago.  It is the same bike that I have at home with almost the same configuration.  I’ve put about $400 more in adjustments to make it easier to ride he in the U.K.   I’ve had it regeared both rear sprocket and crank.  Replaced the handlebars, seat, wheels, tires, and added front and rear panniers carries.  Each improvement was repeated on the bike I have at home and visa-a-versa.

Also two days ago my air mattress popped a seam right down the middle.  Which makes it somewhat difficult to sleep.  I have to pump it up just right so I don’t spend the night having to balance on the top of the mound created by the popped seam.  I’m now waiting to see if the company will replace it via FedEx.

This is a replacement mat for one popped three years ago.  I’m thinking maybe a different company for my mats.

Yesterday I wandered around the local museum.  I’m always impressed with these small museums that pack a great deal into a small space.  Today I’ll be taking a tour of the Wodwort Brewery.

It is eleven miles for Devizes city center to the campground.  Uphill one way which rises 237 ft in 2 miles.  It takes me 1 hour to get to town 20 minutes to get back to the campground.  I’ve been here five days now and will be here two more hopefully waiting for yet another replacement air mattress.  

After Auschwitz

July 3, 2018
This morning I stopped in a second-hand book to pick up something to read.  One of the books I picked up is After Auschwitz written by Eva Schloss stepsister to Anne Frank and published in 2013.  I began reading the story of a fifteen-year-old girl arrested with her family and send to Auschwitz.  No more than three pages into the book and I read this:

“Many things have changed in the world since the end of World War Two. Unfortunately, prejudice and discrimination have not.  From the Civil Rights Movement in the United States to Apartheid South Africa, the war in the former Yugoslavia to those caught in the ongoing conflicts in countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, I saw people across the world struggling to be treated with equal human dignity and understanding.  And as a Jewish person, I saw that even the truth about the Holocaust had not woken the world to the full horror of anti-Semitism. Today there are still many scapegoats based on the color of someone’s skin, their background, their sexuality – or their religion.”

As I read this, my stomach churned, and I became ashamed that the persons who hold the highest offices in the United States continue the divisive rhetoric of us against them.  People who should exhibit higher standards of standing against any kind of discrimination do not.  Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and Jeff Sessions encourage discrimination against people whose skin is not white, or who chose to practice sexuality that differs from theirs.  They have zero-tolerance which allow for the destruction of families. Allowing for children to be ripped from the mother’s and father’s and placed in detention cages. Much like Ann Frank, Eva Schloss and thousands of children were by the Nazis. Thus we have “make America Great Again” the standard for this discrimination.  The standard which allows for those that believe White Christian’s should be in charge to rage through the streets and harras people indiscriminately.

There is currently a call for Civility which ended as soon as Trump announce make America Great Again!  “Again” being some undefined point in time when American was greater then it is now.  When was that?  Was it the 1800’s, the early 1900’s, the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, or 2015.  Come on Trump supporters when was American Grater then it was when Trump came along to make it greater; WHEN?  To some, it was when Negro's knew their place, to some when women knew their place, to others, it was when this country did not allow people fleeing from the horrors of their country, looking for asylum and the promise of a safe life and came to American seeking it; whenever that was! 

What happened to “You’re Welcome?”

When I was growing up one of the things I was prompted to say was “You’re Welcome.” Any time someone said “Thank you” the proper response was “You’re Welcome.” I was told constantly that this was a sign of good manners. Any child not giving this response was quickly reminded by the closest adult “What do you say (insert name).” Once the proper response was spoken the adult would reward you with “Good boy or girl.” Of course “Thank you” was also treated in this manner as was “Please or May I.”  It became second nature that these words and the correct response were uttered in all situations requiring them.

“Would you like a cookie?” “Yes Please.” “Here you go.” “Thank you.” “You’re welcome.” “What a polite young girl or boy.”

Everyone smiled at a job well done. I was raised to say “May I have another one?” But, this was asked only at home, you never asked that question when you were at someone else’s home.  If the person in whose home you were visiting asked if you’d like another the correct response was “No thank you” even if you wanted it. Also at the dinner table in another’s home one never asked for more or accepted a second helping. This was done by pretty much everyone and was taught to my children when they arrived in the world.  It was also taught to my grandchildren.

However, not long ago people stopped saying “Your welcome.”  It was replaced by “No Problem.” When my “Thank you” is responded to with “No problem” I was taken aback and chalked it up to improper up bring.  Several times, when in a particularly bad mood, I’d say “I’m glad to hear that. But, I really don’t care if it was a problem or not.” The person receiving this remark would look at me stunned as if I’d just said something that was in-comprehendible to them. As if they had never heard of any other response to “Thank you” but that one. On a few occasions I’d receive them, in my estimation, the correct response to my “Thank you” and I would say “Thank you for saying Your Welcome.” Again the person would look at me not understanding my meaning

It seems now commonplace to respond with “No problem” whether young or old. “You’re Welcome seems to be dyeing a slow death. Not only here but in Europe also the “No Problem” has taken over as the correct response to “Thank you.” I think it’s time to fight back against this barbaric reply. It is time to that the bull by the horns. From henceforth I shall begin to ask the question “Did I ask you if it was a problem?” and await a reply. Dull looks will be met with yet another question “Did you not understand what I asked you?” I personally find nothing wrong with saying “Your welcome” when someone had done something for me. When someone asks me if what I’ve done for them was problematic I’ll respond “No, no problem at all” which in my estimation is the only time “No Problem” is an acceptable response.

What do you think about the disappearance of “You’re Welcome?”  

Friday, April 20, 2018


Much has happened since the last post.  Quick update:

2015: My Daughter Stacey and Grandson Luk met me in England for a fun-filled, whirlwind week.

After my daughter and grandson returned home I then found myself in, for reasons I can not explain, in Nepal

and then in Thailand.

When I returned from my adventure I decided to create a program for students at Coconino Community College which would enable them to go with me on European adventures.

2016: Created a class for Coconino Community College called Tracing the Roots of Psychology in Ireland and England Tour.  Took four Travelers on the tour and had a grand time.

Upon return started a tour company called Carl's Europe Tours, LLC.  My friend Mark created a website which can be found at

2017: Took six Travelers on the tour and again had a wonderful time with them.

After the tour was over I escorted the Mother and Daughter on the right top to Paris.

Soon after they departed from Arizona my Daughter joined me in Paris.

Upon returning home I began work on my 2018 tours.  They are a repeat of the Ireland & England tours and have added an Ireland and Spain tour.  I  have 8 Travelers heading off with me on May 14, 2018, to Ireland and England and 5 Travelers that I'll accompany on the Ireland and Spain tour from May 26th to June 7, 2018.

This is a quick down and dirty, however, there are other events that I'll fill in over time.