Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Drumpf Supporters

“Oh, Mr. Trump is a businessman, and I think the government should be run like a business.”

 “I’m a professional fisherman, and Obama has put me out of business” (no more fish because of overfishing by professional fishermen, so of course he is voting for Trump.)

“I’m a coal-miner and Obama has put me out of business” (because he advocates for renewable energy).

And from a Jordan Klepper interview of a Trump supporter: “ Barack Obama had a big part in 9/11-- not being around, always on vacation, never in the Oval Office.” “Why do you think Barack Obama wasn’t in the Oval Office on 9/11?” “That I don’t know. I’d like to get to the bottom of that?”

So sayeth Mr. Trump’s supporters.

I don’t know what is more terrifying. The sheer stupidity of some of Mr. Trump’s supporters, or what it is they hope to see him achieve while in office—yeah, let’s run the government like Wells Fargo, or HSBC. That’s the ticket.  I keep hoping against hope that America really is better than this. That the 40+% support for him is some kind of statistical aberration, or folks just having fun with pollsters. The fact that he seems incapable of uttering a full sentence without inclusion of some lie seems to be, a) clear, and b) reason enough to conclude he is incapable of assuming the mantle of the US Presidency.

And now, I read articles that predict violence by the heavily armed Alt-Right should Mr. Trump lose. That group, neo-Nazi’s all, appear to form the right wing core of the Republican Party. We think of them more benignly as “The Tea Party”, but we now know they are both KKK and Neo-Nazi in origin.  And violence by that group would present an interesting challenge to our government. Would we allow a group of heavily armed insurrectionists to mount a serious challenge to the American Government? Let’s see, let’s see . . . do we have any precedents for that? Hmmm . . . think April 12, 1861. And that was lots of fun, wasn’t it?

So this election is getting more interesting by the minute. Day by day, we observe sheer idiocy generated over and over by our Republican Party, you know that party that used to be one of our two responsible political parties?  Well, we now seem to have only one party, the Democrats. Republicans have sold themselves to a lying Carnie Barker and his narcissistic family. The Libertarian Party, such as it is, is too strung out on dope to even understand what an election is all about, and the Green Party, well it’s a bad joke at best.

And so we have the Dems, and their candidate Hillary.

And you don’t like Hillary, you say?

Well, get a fucking grip on reality folks. She is the best, most experienced person ever to apply for this god-forsaken job. And you claim you can’t vote for her?? Well, maybe it’s you who should be applying to leave this country. I’m sure Bashar Al Assad will welcome you with open arms.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

On 9/11

Who are we?

Are we simply murmurs in the night, sounds heard briefly by another, and then we disappear?

We arrive as if by magic. We roam the earth for a while, touching others, and being touched ever so slightly. We leave traces behind, traces of memories, ever so slight, and then the traces are gone into the mists of time.

Some believe they are majestic, like the mountains of the Himalayas. They shriek into the night, insisting they are forever grand, and will live on as the sun and the stars. But then they too are gone into the mists.

Those who awoke on 9/11 thought they were passing through yet another day, one more in the continuing saga we often call life.  And then, in a swift moment in time, they disappeared, taken away by a disfigured thought. And the takers were also gone into those mists.

And we think now, we remember those murmurs in the night.

But we don’t, can’t. Because we still think we are magic and we will survive, regardless of our own disfigured thoughts.

If only we knew, or could imagine. Perhaps we might smile more, love more, hate less. 

And then we too would be gone . . .

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

God, Trump & Hitler

I was just thinking, if God invented everything, and everyone, then she obviously invented Donald Trump, and all of his New Nazi followers.  Wondering why she would do something so obviously nasty for the rest of her creations.

Of course, to be fair, she also invented Adolph Hitler, and we all know where that ended. All this does make me wonder whether she is simply a figment of our collective imagination. Surely no actual god(dess) would do something so obviously nasty. Designed to shake the body faithful to its core.

So, on that note, why do the Trumpies actually follow him? Is this something like a belief in God(dess)? That is, regardless of all the contradictions, all the evident nastiness associated with him, the lies, the corruption, the multiple misogynies, racist, even sadistic behavior, the body faithful are with him.

He says he will bring back jobs . . . yet all of his actual business behavior suggests that he is personally responsible for outsourcing his products to other low cost countries.

He says he will build a wall, and Mexico will pay for it. Yet, Mexico says categorically, they will not pay for such a wall, and knowledgeable observers assert his wall probably could not be built anyway.

He rails about Hillary, basically calling her a crook, yet provides no evidence, and refuses to provide any evidence of his own health status, his tax behavior, his actual income, or his financial relationship with folks we consider our adversaries, i.e., Russians. His own behavior at least suggests a crooked lifestyle, e.g., failing to pay people who work for him, filing multiple bankruptcies (including marital bankruptcies), while sucking cash out of his failing businesses.

He has no actual policy positions on any subject that might be viewed as vital to our national interests—somehow “Make America Great” does not seem like a plausible policy position.  The fact that our actual standing in the world, and our actual economic performance during the current President’s tenure are radically more positive that he implies, are ignored by his happy band of followers.  They simply do not wish to know that Obama has been a moderately successful President . . . unlike, say, his republican predecessor who brought us unnecessary wars, provided an accelerant to the formation of ISIS, produced huge deficits, and failed to produce anything of value to the economy or to the world. Also, unlike that republican, Obama’s VEEP has never shot any of his friends in the face.

In terms of Make America Great Again, I am a bit baffled about how his body faithful views Trump University—an obvious scam that bilked thousands of dollars from vulnerable suckers, and has now been shut down.  He started a fake university, conned hundreds (thousands??) of people and then went back to his Mara Lago estate and had a couple of whatever it is he consumes to get his rocks off after a con. And his followers think that’s ok? Well, to be fair, he promises to deport all those druggies and rapists and murderers that our current Prez allowed into the country—well at least all the non-white ones.  I guess his cheerleaders love that promise.

But do his folks actually understand that he is lying when he says that?? Much like he lies every time he opens his mouth and words come tumbling out?? It seems, when his body faithful is informed that Trump lies, they stick their fingers in their ears and start going “Nyahhh, Nyahh, Nyahhh, I can’t hear you!” They do not wish to be so informed.

Which brings me back to 1930s Germany. There too, a body faithful formed, after the Armistice for the end of World War I. Germany, having started that unnecessary war, failed to win it and had to agree to disarm, yield lands they occupied throughout Europe, and pay reparations for the damage they caused. Germany suffered economically after the war, and continued to suffer even more after the global financial collapse of 1929.

Then along came Adolph. He had served as a minor corporal during the first war, could not make it in civilian life as a painter non-extraordinaire, and so he decided on politics as an alternative.  See, he never had the daddy-dough that the Donald inherited, so Hitler embarked on his political career much earlier than The Donald, who tried and failed to suck the life out of his country before entering politics.

But what was Hitler’s message? We were once great, before the Jews came along and sold us down the river. We can and will be great again! Just elect me, and I will make Germany Great Again. Hmmm, what could go wrong? And so the despicable little man embarked on his political career, rearmed Germany, and began his campaign to make Germany Great again. Of course, he didn’t stop at just deporting Jews. He rounded them up and then killed them. So far as we know, Donald has no thought of killing the murderers, rapists, druggies, and other LibTards who snuck into the country. He’s just going to kick them out.  I suppose, he might have to detain them somewhere before they actually get kicked out officially.

But why did Hitler succeed in conning the German people? Because they were pissed about the Armistice and what it required of Germany. And they thought they had identified the cause of their anguish—in their case, Jews. In today’s America, Immigrants.

Some segments of the American population are genuinely pissed. They feel economically left out, because they are economically left out. What they fail to understand is that The Donald is but one of many rich oligarchs who are the root cause of their problems. See, The Donald is Not the Solution. He IS the Problem!

Until these folks understand that simple fact, they will continue to support this lying, corrupt, despicable creature, this narcissistic-sociopath, who has serious, untreated ADHD. This man who is conning them at the moment, and every time he opens his mouth.

So, oh Godly One, you who supposedly created this creature, are you going to do anything to relieve us, since we are clearly too stupid to do it ourselves? Or are you just sitting somewhere, laughing a lot at this YUGE joke on humankind?

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Reinvent the GOP

What to make of The Donald and his quest for power and admiration? Perhaps the most amusing of the many theories about the Donald’s quest is that he is part of a Hillary-inspired campaign to wrest the powers of government away from the Republicans after eight long years of Democratic rule.  At first blush, it has some plausibility. Donald persuaded to join Hillary in a mock Presidential quest, in which he would pretend to be crazier than he actually is in order to allow Hillary an easier win. The main problem with that is that he actually is as crazy as he seems.   Sarah Palin seems a model of sanity and intellectual brilliance when compared with The Donald. When people say, “oh, I love that he says what he thinks, without regard to political correctness”, they are howling at the moon. He really doesn’t “think” at all it would seem. He’s like an ADHD baby just learning to talk. He cuts loose with whatever crosses his mind at that moment, whether it makes any sense or not. He imagines that he is always making sense, whereas in reality, he is just babbling stray words.

It has begun to alarm me when I listen to people, commentators generally, trying to compare what he says with what Hillary says.  Hillary seems to me a normal politician. She has some good ideas and some not so good ideas. She sometimes bends the truth to make herself seem better. And her hubby created for her a world of crap. Mostly, it would seem, people hate her because Fox News says she is to be hated. Then, when The Donald called her Crooked Hillary, or Lying Hillary, his idiotic supporters, all of whom seem to love to hate, adopted that theme.  I listened in disbelief when the idiot Christie put on that performance, calling her “GUILTY”, and then saying that he was a prosecutor. I wanted to vomit all over him. Christie, for God’s sake. That Christie, the one who abused his office by inventing the Bridge trauma, and then lying about it. Yeah, that Christie . . . perhaps the worst governor in the history of New Jersey.

Still, people look at and listen to The Donald and imagine that he is somehow on the same planet as Hillary, and that they can be compared. There really are not two sides here. Trump is not a responsible candidate who just differs from Hillary in his policy positions. Donald Trump is a dangerous man, a narcissistic-sociopath, who periodically crosses the line of psychopathic behavior by suggesting to his crazed followers that violence is ok with him, even to calling out to his gunners (that Second Amendment crowd) suggesting that “action” could be taken by them should Hillary get elected.

Trump is in a class by himself. It occurs to me that his wife and children must be viewing his behavior with some considerable alarm. They must surely have observed his craziness in the past. They above all other viewers must understand that he is now a danger to the world, should the unlikely occur. It is, it seems to me, time for his family to call it all off, and to corner him in a room in his big house, and just lock him in until they can get the friendly neighborhood shrink to come over and administer some serious antipsychotic medication.  He needs to be: a) institutionalized, and b) on very serious medication.  This would be for his own good, for the good of his family, but mainly, for the safety of the only world we have. He needs to be removed from his current playground.

And then, someone needs to reinvent the Republican Party.  Declare the current entity bankrupt, and begin anew to conceive of a party that supports free enterprise, but with limits, and a party that has a brand new moral compass that declares all of its citizens as worthy of protection from the forces of evil that have been let loose by Trump, and his ally Fox News.

We need to begin anew.

The time is NOW.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Amerika and Other Nightmares

Click your heels Richard. Maybe you will awaken back in Brooklyn in the 1940s, when America had just awakened to its real threats from abroad (as distinct from the Trumpian nightmares conjured by that carnival barker).

I have been thinking about writing an addition to my blog, but our world has become so bizarre that I really have become clogged. Mostly, I have been struggling to figure out what has happened, and how much of it is real.  For months now, concluding with that bizzaro Republican convention, I have been watching our world of democratic politics play out and fall apart, orchestrated by Fox News and the Trump Nightmare Express.  I still don’t know which is worse—Donald Trump or Fox News. Both seem to me to be existential threats to our democracy.

But I think what is even more troubling is the role being played by ordinary (Republican) citizens of the realm.  When I listen to those folk being interviewed about why they plan to vote for Donald Trump, I am struck by an otherworldly tone to these conversations. It is as though the folks understand they are being conned, but no longer care.  How does one know when Donald Trump is lying? Well, whenever he opens his mouth and words begin tumbling out, he is lying. And it is so abundantly clear that is the case, it must be that everyone is aware of that characteristic. He lies folks, all the time. He doesn’t even disguise the fact that he is lying.  He seems not to care that everyone knows he is lying, so long as nobody says anything directly to him. Then he becomes cranky.

He is the dictionary definition of a narcissistic sociopath. And what is that, you might ask?

Well, according to the Mayo Clinic, narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that's vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

Characteristics include: 
1. An exaggerated sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

2. Preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

3. Believes he is "special" and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

4. Requires excessive admiration

5. Has a sense of entitlement

6. Selfishly takes advantage of others to achieve his own ends

7. Lacks empathy

8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him

9. Shows arrogant, haughty, patronizing, or contemptuous behaviors or attitudes 

Do those characteristics seem familiar, as in every time the Donald shows himself in any public setting? And then we might add his apparent sociopathy. And what might that be?

Sociopathy is a mental condition in which a person consistently shows no regard for right and wrong and ignores the rights and feelings of others. People with antisocial personality disorder tend to antagonize, manipulate or treat others harshly or with callous indifference. They show no guilt or remorse for their behavior. Examine how he deals with his business associates. Mainly, he seems to treat almost everyone with disdain, as though they simply do not matter.

All of these characteristics were on display during and preceding the convention. So, virtually all of his (very serious) flaws have been on public display for some time, including much evidence of his fatally flawed business dealings—the fraudulent Trump University tops the list of late, but his multiple bankruptcies, his constant lying about his financial status, his failed marriages, all point to a man who seems incapable of actually managing/running anything. So, tell me again why anyone would decide that he should be running the country, running our foreign and domestic affairs, overseeing and directing our military, when he is simply incapable of running anything, and has proven that incapacity over and over again?

What in heavens name are people thinking?

The only conclusion I can reach is that those people do not actually want a President. They want a God of some kind who can wave magic wands to make the unlikely likely. Now it may also be the case that they want a magician who will con them so that later they can claim to have been conned (didn’t happen on my watch folks. I was conned by the best conman in the world). It may be akin to what happens when people click “like” or “share” on the Internet and claim they are sending off prayers—which means they are punting the problem upstairs—no longer my responsibility folks.

Think of what might have happened in 1940 if the American people had elected a Donald Trump as President. America might well have simply disappeared as an active democracy. And that is the precise risk we now run in even thinking about electing this narcissistic sociopath.

This all is very sad, of course, but sadder yet is what it says about that institution we came to know as the Republican Party. That political entity seems no longer to exist in any real sense.  I imagine the dead now spinning away in their graves. That the party officials gave away their party to the likes of the Koch brothers, Rupert, and now The Donald is way beyond sad.  It is a tragic loss to our Nation.

We now have one real political party remaining, and that party is under attack by anti-American right wing fascists. That attack is trying to destroy the only political party left in our threatened democracy.  Whether the attacks are supported/funded partly by Vlad the Impaler Putin as has been claimed seems even more weird. Think of that—the Koch Brother (Nazis by almost any definition), Rupert Murdoch, and Vlad Putin align themselves in a quest to destroy American democracy. Now that is way beyond just weird.  It’s the stuff of Randian novels.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Trump: A Strategy

Trump: A Strategy
It finally dawned on me. The Hillary hearings: they are the main Republican strategy for winning the presidency in 2016.  They know that they cannot beat Hillary in a fair fight. Leaving it to the electorate simply won’t do. The electorate will elect a Democrat. In Hillary’s case, it’s a far-gone conclusion.

Thinking about elections. Republicans apparently decided a while ago that they really cannot win in open contests. So, at the State level, they are gerrymandering the districts such that they disable the vote. North Carolina is but one of many ways the republicans have chosen to win at all costs. Make it as difficult as possible for likely democratic voters to become registered to vote, and, if that fails, then screw with the voting districts such that republicans will gain a majority, despite the will of the people.  Again, here in North Carolina, they have succeeded admirably. The Governor and the State House are safely in Republican hands, where they are free to discriminate against Gays, eliminate public schooling, and provide tax breaks for the very wealthy (owners of the party faithful).  They appear to have few principles worthy of the name, but they are faithful to a fault in following the wishes of their wealthy owners.

In state after state, republicans follow much the same playbook:
1. Rig the election game to advantage republicans, and disenfranchise likely democrats

2.  Disable/reduce the public school system (educated voters who actually think tend not to vote for them) 

3. Batter Gays and Lesbians

4. Eliminate access to health care

5. Provide tax breaks to their owners
6. Ignore the crumbling infrastructure throughout their state (see Michigan, Ohio)

But then there is this little nasty game of Presidential politics. Not satisfied with their winning strategy at the State level, Republicans are yearning for the Trifecta—gaining the Presidency so that they can control all three elements of government.

And then Hillary decided to run. Oh, bad news Republicans. Well, first they had to face their own primary season, and it was not looking good.  Oh, they had candidates galore –16 was the count. Crazy people, ordinary nobodies, fascists. And even another Bushie. Oh Jeb, what were you thinking man?? And so they let their games begin. 

But then one of the crazies put his mouth in gear and Fox News (The Fake News Channel) was watching. The Trumpmouth provided fodder for their nightly fake news shows day in and day out. Even when he took on one of their darlings, Fox still prospered, and the Trumpmouth continued to spew forth its daily and nightly dose of garbage—how does one know when Donald Trump is lying? Well, when his mouth opens, and words begin tumbling out, he is lying.

But the illiterati in the land love it.  James Meek, writing in the London Review of Books[1] about the disaster that was Brexit, said, “We also have confirmation that people don’t object to being lied to, as long as they like the lie.  That sums up the Trump support nicely.

But, Then, a Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Trump stumbled, and bumbled, and coughed and sputtered, and the angry folks out there ate it up. He said, at one point, as though astonished at what was going on, “I could walk out on Fifth Avenue, take up a gun and shoot someone . . . and my support would increase.” See, he had no idea what the hell was happening. How could that be?

But, since the Republicans had no Plan B (Plan A remember was to take out Hillary by continuing to run investigations against her such that the public would finally sour on her, or she would be forced to drop out of the race) they elected to just let the game play on, assuming that, sooner or later one of the unholy 16 would finally assert himself (or herself . . . remember Carly Fiorina). And one by one, they dropped out.  Sort of like Ten Little Indians . . . and then there was one.

So, now the Republicans are totally fucked. Plan A is still in play—knock Hillary out of the game. Their last gambit was the FBI investigation.  But Comer failed to cooperate fully. They are still trying, seeing as Comer announced they could not/would not indict Hillary, just accuse her of bad judgment. The problem is that “bad judgment” is unlikely to derail her, so they are now forced to require him to testify, and they are shrieking about how all her e-mails and the entire FBI testimony and report must be made public (i.e., given to Fox News so they could create a story-line that would sway the public to drop her). 

But, what happens if Plan A actually succeeds and Hillary decides she’s had enough? They have no Plan C, i.e., some plan that gets the Trumpster to abandon ship.  It seems at least plausible that the Drumpf got into the race simply to boost his own stock. He would run for a while, get a lot of publicity, then find some way to drop out of the race, while he was still a “winner”, dropping out because he had more important and interesting things to do with his valuable time than run the United States of America.

But, as it turns out, everyone else got fed up first, and the folks who don’t mind being lied to, kept voting for him, thereby disabling his own plan to drop out.  

Now, a real Plan C would have included s scenario whereby the GOP would convince the Drumpf to leave the race in favor of someone else (Paul Ryan??). But Plan C never was developed--Republicans have never been big on actual planning—with them, shit just happens—see the invasion of Iraq.

So, now what happens? Suppose:

A.     Hillary drops out: well their worst nightmare would be that Hillary drops out and endorses someone like Elizabeth Warren. She may be to the Left, but she can out-argue almost anyone left in campaign-land. She would take the Drumpf apart even more effectively than he dismantles himself by opening his mouth.

B.    Hillary Stays in because Plan A fails to connect with anyone: Again, they are totally screwed, because then Hillary would not only take the Drumpf apart, but she would now expose Plan A for what it is, a cynical GOP plot to foil the will of the Nation. They might lose not only the Presidency, but state houses as well. Bummer.

C.    The Drumpf not only stays in the race, but wins it all, despite himself: perhaps this is a nightmare with the same force as A & B above. Perhaps this is the ultimate nightmare. Donald Trump becomes President of the United States. I imagine, even Rupert Murdoch and the Cock brothers would shudder, and slink off into their spiderholes somewhere. Who knows, Rupert might even give up entirely and move back to Oz, except that they hate him down under even more than we hate him here, or the Brits hate him there.

Yes, we all face our own Brexit outcome. What happens if all the republican gerrymandering and pandering to their rich owners produce this ultimate nightmare?  Who knows, maybe he would allow Texit to occur and his wall would be built somewhere just North and East of the former Texas. (One can hope).

Stay tuned folks.

[1] London Review of Books, Vol. 38 No. 14, July 2016, “Where Are We Now?”

Friday, July 1, 2016

61 Years Together

A Brief Highlight of 61 Years
1st – 1955 -- Honeymoon in Yosemite Park, accompanied by my Mother, sister and her family
5th – 1960, now living in our new home in pre-Silicon Valley, CA, a dinner doubtless in San Francisco

9th – Actual anniversary dinner at the St. George’s Hotel in Beirut, while enroute to New Delhi, India.

10TH – 1965, living at D-358 defense Colony, New Delhi, India, dinner of Tandoori Chicken doubtless at Moti Mahal in Old Delhi
11th – 1966—traveled East from New Delhi, through Bangkok, Hong Kong, thence by ship to Yokohama, and finally San Francisco, where we spent our home-leave anniversary with sister and family.

12th – Planned to visit Israel, but the idiot Arabs engaged in and lost (as always) the six-day war. So, we changed plans and traveled instead to Athens, Greece for our anniversary, while a sweet Canadian CUSO couple stayed with our kids. Spent our anniversary on Mykonos, dining by the harbor

13th – Left New Delhi for Moscow, where we toured Red Square, enjoyed the Bolshoi Ballet performing Swan Lake at the Bolshoi Theatre, and then on to London, where we picked up our new (1968) Rover 2000TC at the airport. We stayed at the home of our friends, the Dillons, who were still in Delhi, but had offered us the use of their home in Camberley. Dillo was an ex-Brigadier General who had served in Burma with the British Indian Army, and had been captured there. We were told he was a model for the Brigadier (Alec Guinness) in Bridge Over the River Kwai. Toured around London, before heading off to the Continent, where we lived wonderfully for a few weeks, touring with our three kids.

15th – Now living in the DC area, out in Cabin John, Maryland. Anniversary dinner at a favorite Italian restaurant in Georgetown.
20th – Still living in the DC area. Dined at a super expensive Italian restaurant in Georgetown, with the bill coming to $350. Carol closing in on her college degree, and poised to find her career as a school Librarian at The Bullis School.
25th – Celebrated our 25th with very close friends living in the DC area at the home of John and Susan Scanlon, with Pamela Horst (who now lives in Bangkok) helping to celebrate.  Had just left The Urban Institute and joined the Government under President Carter, only to discover that an idiot was scheduled to take over the reins of government later that year.
30th - Anniversary dinner again in Georgetown, our go-to spot for fine dining. Becoming ready to leave Government under Reagan, for fear of going brain-dead.
35th - Cannot believe it is 1990. We even survived 1984.  Began heading to the North Carolina beaches with our family of five plus Carol’s mom, who came to live with us in 1985.
40th – Wow, who do we know who has been married 40 years?  Traveled out to Seattle to attend Erika’s graduation from her family practice residency, and then we began looking and found a house in Concord, NC, after Erika and Steve decided they would move there so she could enter practice in Cabarrus Family Medicine. We had to fix up the house a lot, since it was an old bungalow, much like the ones we had encountered throughout India. We rented the house, first to Roxanne and Amy, two brand new lawyers.

45th – We began making plans to retire and move to Concord, NC. More house fixer-uppers.  Dinner somewhere in Concord.

49th – We decided to embark on a 9,000 mile road trip to celebrate 49 years together. We began in DC, after a meeting I had to attend at The Foundation School, wending our way down to Virginia and heading for our first stop in Nashville, where we met friends. We then drove through the Southwest and then up to Portland. Our plan was to visit places either neither of us had seen (Grand Canyon), or only one of us had seen (e.g., Grand Tetons.) Amazing 25 day trip. We love traveling together.

50th – Celebratory dinner with family. Then we made our trip up to Niagara on the Lake in Canada, arguably one of the prettiest towns in the world. We stayed at an inn, dined at a wonderful restaurant there (many available) attended a matinee performance of a play by Shaw (The Shaw festival runs there from April to October), and visited some wineries.

55th – Again visited Niagara on the Lake. We celebrated our actual anniversary at The Peller Estate Winery, having one of their wine-pairing dinners, after seeing a play at the Festival Theatre.
60th – We visited our favorite place in Canada again, attending plays, visiting wineries and dining again at The Peller Estate Winery, for another wonderful wine pairing dinner.

61 - Planning on a quiet evening, dining at our favorite restaurant, Gianni’s in downtown Concord.