Monday, October 28, 2019

Back in the mix

Well, my chapter (Theta Omega of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority) asked me to run for  PR and marketing chairman -- a volunteer position. Since I'd served in that role for the international organization, I felt it would be demeaning to run and campaign.

That was a condition.

The Nominating Committee told me that I had no competition.

One hurdle cleared.

Plus, I've been basking in my retirement life and didn't really want to work hard.

So, the former chairman called who informed me that I can set my own schedule and the tasks should revolve around what I want to do.

Second hurdle cleared.

Then, while this isn't a hurdle, they praised me and lifted me up and appealed to me because they have a need and I was the only one with the qualifications to really help the chapter soar.

With that genuine appeal, I was all in.

So, I'm back in the mix. Not making money but, hopefully, I'll make a difference.

Monday, October 21, 2019

The pleasure and perils of international travel

I just got back from South Africa....Cape Town.  I visited Robben Island where Mandela was imprisoned and I saw the majesty of Table Mountain and the serene animals on a safari.  I also dined at Gold Restaurant, a totally eclectic establishment with a unique take on service.  Instead of one big meal, patrons get a taste of everything on the menu...including Ostrich salad, a Ghanian peanut chicken and more.

It was delightful.

What I didn't like was the long....LOOOOOONG plane ride.  I knew it would be but being in that space was brutal.  My seat mates were fine but on the final leg, a mother with two bratty kids joined me in my row.  They were running and crawling up and down the aisle and the mother had no control over them.

I got no sleep.

My brother says that the answer is to seat in first class.  That may bust my budget but worth considering since that was the only downer to an otherwise-memorable trip.

Monday, September 2, 2019

The final slam

I love tennis....always have.  So, as the year's final slam comes to an end, I reflect on the triumphs, tragedies, ups and downs.  But, mostly from the joy I received.

Serena reigns and I hope she finally gets that 24th slam at this US Open.

Venus is still regal although it hurts to see newbies beat her.

Taylor Townsend has found her racket and is defying all by making a deep run.  She's been humiliated by the Tennis Titans because of her weight and, she's had to endure that and still try to win.

Coco Gauff is the future of tennis. I was concerned that she was getting too much swag but the gracious way she lost to Osaka showed graciousness and class.

Madison Keys was showing promise but still flails away during crucial moments.

Sloane stole her coach back and hasn't gotten her mojo back at the same time.

As we begin the final weeks of slams, I'm happy to reflect on the matches and narratives surrounding the tour.

I got to Cincinnati for a major tournament and, despite the mosquito onslaught, I had a great time.

So, the winner is yet to be determined.  But, for me, the winner was good tennis.

Monday, August 26, 2019

I took the lesser evil to reach the higher goal

My subscription with Direct TV/AT&T expired after two years and my reward was to have my bill increase by $74 a month...to stay on.

Cable bills are high as they are and I went ballistic.

So, I called Infinity/Comcast and they quoted me a nice price.  I set up the appointment for them to come out and set me up.

Then, I called AT&T to cancel.

My. My.  They offered me such a deal and adjusted the monthly fee -- significantly.

When I added in the $ to have Comcast come out and set up the service.  And when I considered having to get accustomed to a new set of channels.  And when I thought about the uncertainty of this new service, I caved.

I decided to stay with the devil I knew -- or the lesser of two evils.

The good thing is that it will only be for a year and that will give me time to master all of the nuances, and get used to a new set of systems (hulu....ruka and etc.) so I can cut the cord.

And, that is the ultimate goal.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Sometimes it just works out

I was going to book my trip to Thailand today but, within 24 hours, the price had gone up.  I appealed to the planners to go back to the original price.

They wouldn't budge.

Then, a trip to South Africa came across my thread.  I've always wanted to go there and to see the prison where Mandela "lived" for so long.

It was a better deal and less expensive and less time away.

BINGO!  I am happy with my purchase and look forward to going to the motherland.


Monday, July 22, 2019

Direct TV and CBS

Direct TV subscribers (like me) are no longer receiving CBS because of some dispute between the two mega corporations.

It appears to have reached a stalemate as, effective last Saturday, it's down.

I am not happy because I missed my favorite show:  CBS Sunday Morning...and 60 Minutes.

What to do. What to do.

After tinkering with it, I discovered that I can view both show -- 24 hours later.  And I can livestream the local news and CBS This Morning.

I'm hoping this will be resolved as I enjoy the CBS perspective and include CBS in my news watching.

I've heard that CBS wants to force viewers to pay a subscriber fee and that the stalemate is rooted in greed.  This appears to be an overreach as CBS local's ratings are in the toilet and the newest face of CBS News- Norah O'Donnell -- has not been received well, as evidenced by the plummeting ratings.  Even CBS This Morning has the lowest ratings when compared to the other network's ratings.

So, this doesn't help CBS.  If advertisers are not able to get viewer eyeballs this could end the impasse.

I hope so.



Monday, July 1, 2019

Just like Forrest Gump

When I first traveled to the Grand Canyon, I was totally blown away by its grandeur, majesty and the fact that it was God's creation.

I stood on the South Rim in total awe.

From that point on, I started going there every year.  I went by bus, plane and helicopter.  I stayed at the iconic El Tovar and at other hotels in the rim's area. 

I gazed as the sun set and the Canyon went totally black.  Then, I grabbed clothes and ran out to see the sun rise over the Canyon.

It is a sight that is etched in my memory.

I met two women on the Rim --one a professor at Harvard and another at graphic designer for the State of Rhode Island. We became such good friends that I visited them in Boston and we went to Martha's Vineyard for the weekend.

I went to the West Rim and donned footies to walk the glass enclosed walkway.

And, just recently, I went to the North Rim...with its rugged terrain.  

But I made it.

Suddenly, I decided that after 14 years, I'm not going back.  I feel like Forrest Gump who jogged all over the world and, one day, decided to stop.

That's where I am.

I have a wonderful bank of memories that I will always cherish.  But, as I age and my time on earth gets more narrow, it's time to see other wonders and bask on the memories of the Grand Canyon.