Soaring Capitalism and Boeing’s Max 8

I’ve long felt that the United States’ economic model is leading us to ruin. The grab-all approach to business and wealth strengthens the strong while shutting doors to the rest of us. Capitalism encourages greed and monopoly. This graph clearly illustrates the rise of corporate profits (the blue line) and the decline of […]

Just Desserts on Airbus A320

Shadows on the Big Thompson

You can fly for peanuts, but don’t let one cross your lips.

Towards the end of November, Bob got assigned of a couple of farm audits in the-middle-of-nowhere Kansas and, in a stroke of brilliance, decided to route himself through Denver, book an extra four days, and bring […]

Bridging the Gap

As he does every year, Bob rents a car and drives us to DC, our first stop on an annual trek to see my parents and four of my five brothers. We spend the night at our friend Ned’s and pick up my brother Joe at Dulles in the morning. He’d nearly missed his flight. […]

Kill Chicken, Start World War III

“Kill chicken, show monkey,” the Chinese doorman at the Tianjin Hyatt shrugged in reference to a geopolitical news story. This was in 1998 when Bob and I were working in northern China, living in a hotel, absorbing all the nuances of the Far East. I pictured emboldened macaques terrorizing a barnyard flock, the farmer stomping […]

Pit Stop – an after-vacation vacation

An American flag strains against its moorings outside our second floor window facing the Atlantic. We made our way here down Ocean Boulevard past beach clubs landscaped in cypress and roses, silent miniature golf creatures, gaudy life-sized plastic Arabian horses, and cartoonish restaurant signs with names like Awful Arthur’s, Tortuga’s Lie, and Hurricane Mo’s, all […]

Published Authors

This year, both Bob and I become published authors. He co-authored Backyard Biodiesel – How to Brew Your Own Fuel with Lyle Estill, and I co-authored Two Brauds Abroad – A Departure from Life as We Know It with Stephanie De La Garza. Amazingly, Steph and I remain good friends as do Lyle and Bob.

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The Golden Rule of Travel Diplomacy

Hoping to fit in – Tianjin 1998

“Duì bù qi! Duì bù qi!” Ann shouted imperiously, pointing to a row of taxis and staring at a group of drivers eating rice in the shade of a tree. It was a hot day and she had generously offered to take me shopping. I appreciated […]

Riding on the Ritz

Just when you think everything is getting worse, you run into something that throws you for a glorious loop. A time hiccup back to more prosperous days. My hiccup happened the moment Bob and I boarded a B777 for our Emirates flight to Milan.

Emirates, the fourth largest carrier of international passengers is on the […]

Gelato and Cigarettes

Rome is a study in contrasts defined by monumental marble, miniature cars, horse carts, cripples, smokers and saints. A city of nearly three million represented by every race which draws about ten million tourists a year. A city where impeccably dressed men on motor scooters whizz past beggars and where gum spots collect on white […]

A Matter of Pride

The view of Lake Lugano from our TASIS dorm room.

I can’t say I’ve been many places as beautifully engineered and tended as Lugano. Also known as the “Italian” part of Switzerland it is built along the shore of Lake Lugano and on up the hill. The streets here are tidy and clean […]