I’ve got nothing against trying out new technology.
After all, I own a laptop that works. I’ve used Windows Vista for years now and once spent $350 for Microsoft Office. I even maintain an active AOL e-mail account, for the bargain price of just $24.95 per month. Trying finding a great deal like that on your own — bet you can’t.
A few years ago, I signed up at Twitter and then launched my very own Facebook page. My blind leap into the murky jungle of social media has somehow led to multiple deeply personal and bitter political arguments every week and a half dozen marriage proposals from The Philippines. It’s also exposed me to 27,692 cute cat videos, all of which I’ve watched and about half of which have been shared with my dwindling circle of “friends.” I guess you could say, I’m pretty tech savvy.
Like everyone else in the uncivilized world, I’ve become totally dependent upon my cell phone for all the latest news and information about the Kardashians and Bruce Jenner’s sex-change operation. Over the years, I’ve listened to an iPod, bought and iPad, and done two different versions of the iPhone. Whenever my calls drop, I even become iRate.
But I have to draw the line somewhere and my last battalion of defense – if not my manhood — is most certainly my wrist. How else would someone ward off an attacker? I look at my wrist the same way Russia has always looked at Poland. That’s a buffer zone just in case some serious shit happens.
Not the Las Vegas Strip. Not the Manhattan skyline. No man-made object can possibly surpass the splendor of nature’s abundant power and beauty. Borrowing a famous line I once heard somewhere — You think a tall building is impressive? Try making a butterfly from scratch. You can’t.
I was introduced to the magic of gardens by two very special people about five years ago. Marieta and I traveled to London. However, we also spent a week wandering around in the English countryside, in Cornwall. We were the guests of some dear friends — Des Wilson (the poker author) and his lovely wife Jane.
One afternoon, Des and Jane took us out to an traditional English garden, which was more of a huge estate surrounded by thousands of unusual plants and animals. Once there, I couldn’t believe was I was seeing. One doesn’t associate England with being a nature’s paradise. But it was, and still is — at least when it comes to flora and fauna. There are dozens of gardens sprinkled throughout the entire country, all worth visiting, no doubt. Perhaps the best destination of all for greenery is the famous Key Gardens, located in south-central London.
This past week, Marieta and I were in Ireland. We noticed, much like neighboring England, Ireland is absolutely filled with gardens in just about every part of the country. These estates are usually free and open to the public.
Who knew on so-called “Good Friday,” that it’s illegal to serve an alcoholic beverage — in Ireland?
Sounds more like “Bad Friday,” to me. Or perhaps, Black Friday. Or at least — Dry Friday.
Apparently, there’s a national law here that’s been in existence since the days of Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair. All the bars and pubs completely shut down, supposedly in a concerted effort to ritualize a bloody torture scene that was played out in Jerusalem some nearly 2,000 years ago. This begs the question, “Why must I suffer?”
[Photo Above: See the notice posted in the lobby of the hotel, here in Dublin, which advises guests of the drinking law on this day]
You have just passed something euphemistically known as the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” now more simply referred to by the acronym — “RFRA.” Get used to seeing those four letters, America. They’re about to become a very hot topic.
Here’s essentially what RFRA does. I’ll borrow this description from Daily Kos which appeared yesterday, which goes as follows:
Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which governor Mike Pence signed into law today, does not create a de jure right or license to discriminate against gay people (or anyone else) on the basis of one’s “religious” “beliefs,” but it will create a de facto license to discriminate as such by emboldening discriminators and discouraging victims from suing.