Posts Tagged With: India

Ready To Roll Once Again…

The motorhome is parked at Mary’s home in Murphys, California.

I’ve completed my repairs, routine maintenance and cleaning of both the Bronco and motorhome. I’ll be departing later this morning.

It is mixed emotions that I leave Mary’s home today. For the past several years, when I departed, I usually said that Mary was going to be meeting me in Yuma, Arizona in early January. But no more can I say that. On October 20th just past, Mary and I announced that we were down-sizing our relationship…meaning Mary has advised me that her over-loaded plate of life leaves no time for RV traveling…at least for the next two years. Looking at her plate…I’m saying more like five years.The truth is she never should have taken time to do some RVing with me and it all finally caught up with her. But, I’m glad she did…we had some wonderful times together.

According to WordPress this is blog entry #3,950 on our blog with 3,594 followers enjoying our travels.

For the time being, I’m going to leave the title of the blog as On The Road With Jim And Mary. I’ve asked her to limit her postings to travel-related subjects only. For instance, in February she and her grandson are taking a two-week trip to India. It will be fun to see her report of that trip.

We will still remain the best of friends, continue to talk everyday by phone and I’ll stop by her place for my usual April and October/November visits. We’ve both have agreed to live by one of my philosophies…that is…to live our lives…One Day At A Time…and see what happens.

And so it must be…

 

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

 

 

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I hope you enjoyed the photo.

 Yesterday was sunny and 54 degrees. Forecast for today is sunny and 52 degrees. 28 Degrees at 5 AM. Too darn cold…time to leave!

Enjoying nice weather is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows my approximate location in the State of California. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…

 

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Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein

 

 

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My current travel rig is a 2006 Fleetwood 26′ Class A Motorhome and a towed 1986 Ford Bronco II, Eddie Bauer Model. This photo was taken in the desert at Slab City near Niland, California…

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On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.
http://youtu.be/FfZUzEB4rM8

If you would like to see my YouTube videos, click this link… http://www.youtube.com/user/JimJ1579/videos

There are more than 600 photo albums in my Picasa Web Albums File. To gain access, you simply have to click this link… https://picasaweb.google.com/jimjrver

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…http://ramblinmanphotos.wordpress.com/

For more information about my books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

All original works copyrighted – Jim Jaillet -2015

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HANGING ON THE PHONE FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE.

 I recently complained about Belkin’s horrible customer service. A rep read my blog and called to tell me they were refunding me post-haste and investigating the people who put me through that alienating experience.
 Hanging on the phone for minutes or hours is an affliction of our modern commerce that bugs me. It makes me think twice before I buy anything on-line. But, all of us can make changes and I had read this before, but I forgot it. So, I’m reminding you and myself again,  that we have a law that can help us fight back against this kind of abuse.

I got this note from a friend of mine who lives in Virginia:  “A gas company recently moved their call center back to Phoenix from India last year after numerous customer complaints.  What a difference now when you call them…and it created 300 jobs.  I know this works because they were so bad that when India answered I wouldn’t even deal with them.  I’d simply ask to be transferred to a supervisor in the U.S. and they would comply.

 Now that I know it is the LAW – I will do it for sure

 Any time you call an 800 number (for a credit card, banking, Verizon, health and other insurance, computer help desk, etc) and you find that you’re talking to a foreign customer service
representative (perhaps in India , Philippines , etc), please consider doing the following:

 After you connect and you realize that the customer
service representative is not from the USA (you can always ask if you are not sure about the accent), please, very politely (this is not about trashing other cultures) say, “I’d like to speak to a customer service representative in the United States of America ..”The rep might suggest talking to his/her manager, but, again, politely say, “Thank you, but I’d like to speak to a customer service representative in the USA.

 YOU WILL BE IMMEDIATELY CONNECTED TO A REP IN THE USA .
That’s the rule and the LAW.

 It takes less than one minute to have your call re-directed to the USA. Tonight when I got redirected to a USA rep, I asked again to make sure – and yes, she was from Fort Lauderdale .

Imagine what would happen if every US citizen insisted on talking to only US phone reps from this day on.

 Imagine how that would ultimately impact the number of
US jobs that would need to be created ASAP.

 If I tell 10 people to consider this and you tell 10
people to consider doing this – see what I mean…it becomes an exercise in viral marketing 101.

 Remember

The goal here is to restore jobs back here at home –
not to be abrupt or rude to a foreign phone rep.

You may even get correct answers, good advice, and solutions to your problem – in real English.”

Thank you Guerry for reminding me of a law that makes sense for America. In fact my daughter, after the economy took a tumble, got a job for a brief time in a call center. The rules were draconian, you had to stand all day rather than sit because your presentation is better when standing. Within 3 months, I think it was, the call center was transferred to the Philippines. She, and the other employees were out of work. She found a better job, but it took three moves to get to something tolerable. The way people are treated, on the job without unions, is nearly as bad as the “Snake Pit” of the 1920’s meat-packing industry and the horror of the garment industry in New York City after modest reforms.

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MADE IN AMERICA

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Normally when my son Ken visits, he leaves in a suit and tie. He is transitioning from Nevada to California, and stays with me periodically. This time, he was dressed as a huntsman. He brought 4 smoked pheasant for Christmas dinner and took clients hunting again on Friday. I’m not overly enthused about hunting in this day and age, but the hunt clubs provide birds just like stocking a lake. So, I guess I shouldn’t diss the practice too heavily. Better than depleting wild stocks of duck, pheasant and quail.

 

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Anyway, he had wet socks from Thursdays hunt and went to Big 5 to buy another pair. They were identical to his 10-year-old socks he still wears.   A big sign at Big 5 proclaimed, Proudly Made In America. Quality in a pair of socks that will see him through another ten years.

Yesterday, I picked up my wounded Toyota and stopped in Stockton to buy some art supplies, and a few items.  At a Marshall’s store I was surprised to find under garments made in America and socks, made in Italy. There was plenty of goods made in China, as well, but at least I had a choice.

I guess I’ve come to the point where I don’t want to buy anything made in China even though I like and respect the hard-working Chinese people.

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I don’t often have a chance to eat Indian food, but at Swagat, I met Misty. She pointed out that Swagat is the best Indian restaurant in Stockton and pointed me to her favorite dishes. All was delicious and such a bargain.

It was nice to get out and away from the rain for a day.

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The cook made some of the best tandoori chicken I’ve ever tasted. My own recipe is from a family friend is good, but this was better.

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I drove home with the sun setting in my mirror. It was spectacular, but by the time I found a spot to pull over, it was nearly over.

I like it that I can go to nearby Stockton and come home with a bit of India, Italy and Made In America. Don’t we live in a wonderful country?

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LITTLE WILDGOOSE PAGODA

 

Before leaving Xian for our flight to our next destination at Chonquin, we walked up the 100 steps to the top of this old city wall. This preserved section of the wall has wonderful views of the modern city in a very affluent section of Xian.

 

This view of  the street below is curious for how little traffic you see.  Budding new capitalists in China now want to own their own car, but they have yet to find out about  real traffic jambs.

It is a city in transition, with bikes and rickshaws mingling with autos.

 

On top of the wall, are  businesses, not yet open as we arrive early in the morning. We walk  and take in the view.

These very modern apartments have few cars parked outside.

An old walled enclosure now serves as a parking lot. In America it would be jammed full.

If you build a gate, why not make it beautiful?  We spend an hour on the wall before moving on to the Little Wildgoose Pagoda which is an old Tang Dynasty Temple with a huge city bell.

The grounds here resemble the Temple Of Heaven. It is the gathering place for exercise that all Chinese do each morning.

Chinese people do not have meetings in their small homes. They have a meeting and take care of business at the Temple or Park.

Tai Chi with swords.

These stone posts are left over from the old days when people tied up their horse or donkey to visit the temple.

The Little Wildgoose Pagoda is named for the wild goose because a starving monk, (monks cannot ask anyone for food,) was hoping to find some meat when a wild goose flew into the pagoda and couldn’t get out. It died, (they don’t kill), and he ate it and named it the Wildgoose Pagoda. Pagodas were used for the monks to study. Buddhism was brought to this particular Pagoda by a monk who walked the scrolls from India to China.

On the grounds is a famous bell. All of our big strong guys tried to ring it and could not. It takes about ten men to ring the bell as a way to warn the city that invaders were coming. It is hard to ring deliberately so naughty boys would not ring and run, it is speculated.  The Temple grounds had numerous craftsmen with shops, paintings, calligraphy, sculpture, glass, etc.  It is a lovely, serene place in the morning.

In the afternoon, we packed our suitcases and then visited a Jade Factory.  I couldn’t help but notice the poor working environment provided for their craftsmen.

The work they turn precious, works of art.

Factory visits on tours are designed to expose you to a quiet shopping environment of China’s best crafts.  We visited a pearl factory, rugs, and now jade. They are also expensive places to shop, and interesting.

Our final dinner before our flight was a special 23 dumpling dinner, traditional food for the area. Normally the huge center turntable is filled with individual dishes. In this case, a waiter dished out the dumplings, helping after helping in the little glass bowls. It was superb.

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PLASTIC BAG BAN

I celebrate every gift I get. This one is a biggie. I believe  Berkeley, CA was the first city to ban plastic bags in grocery stores. San Francisco followed.  Coastal North Carolina did the same. Now, Seattle follows Bellingham, WA  but their ban does more.

The Seattle City Council passed a broad ban on plastic bags Monday, outlawing them not just in grocery stores, but in department stores, clothing stores, convenience stores, home-improvement stores, food trucks and farmers markets.

The bill goes further than bans in other cities, which have largely banished plastic only groceries and sometimes drug stores. Customers in Seattle will still be able to get paper bags from retailers, but for a 5-cent fee.

Monday’s bill exempts customers on food assistance and other government benefits from the bag fee. The city will also make free or reduced-cost reusable bags available to poor people.

The ordinance applies only to single-use, checkout bags, and not to produce, bulk-ban and dry-cleaning bags. Plastic bags for take-out restaurant food are also still allowed, because they help protect health and safety while transporting hot food and liquid.

Read more:

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Plastic-bags-banned-in-Seattle-2412950.php#ixzz1h5V777oN

I shop with my own bags and my little grocery store, Sierra Hills Market,  will reward you with a $25 gift certificate, for using your own shopping bag. People who use their own bags are allowed to mark their name and phone number on a small paper by the checkstand and put it in the draw box. I’ve won the certificate, once. I regularly see about four others using their own bags.

A chain grocer in nearby Angels Camp tried the “recycle” your plastic bags idea. The container was always stuffed full of plastic bags and was emptied regularly in the dumpster. The bags are cheaply made, tear easily, don’t hold much and the only person I ever saw taking recycled bags on their way into the grocery store was-ME.  It just doesn’t change habits.

“A study a few years ago “found that the inks and colorants used on some bags contain lead, a toxin. Every year, Americans throw away some 100 billion plastic bags after they’ve been used to transport a prescription home from the drugstore or a quart of milk from the grocery store. It’s equivalent to dumping nearly 12 million barrels of oil.”

So, I celebrate it as a gift to our common environment. I’ve seen pictures of animals entrapped and dying from plastic bags drifting into their environment. And, just a reminder, there is a huge glob of plastic bags the size of the state of Texas in the ocean vortex where water circulates and keeps  miles of  plastic  afloat.  Other countries have banned bags in some cities.  Mexico City, twelve towns in Australia, Rangoon, Burma, Five major cities in India, London, Rawanda, the whole country is bag free.

It seems to me this is an opportunity for college students across the country to collectively  push for plastic bag bans in their communities. Hey, they know how to solve the deficit.  Over and again, they have proved to be smarter, and more effective than our do nothing government.

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NOT RECOMMENDED

I got these pictures from an email. Now, tell me, would you driver your family over this OMIGOD bridge?

I think Jim and I should haul one of these behind the motor home in case we have a fight. I can send him to the “doghouse” for the night.

I’m glad Jim is a do-it-yourself kind of guy. Hey, when you are in a fix, just fix it yourself.

Do you think the Highway Patrol would stop this load as unsafe? How did that guy get on top of that load of papers anyway?

When I look at these, I wonder what happens if the cow decides to move. It doesn’t look like it’s tied down, nor comfortable.

If the sheep bolts….? There is two of them. That guy has to be strong.

This is what used to happen here before we had OSHA. (Occupational safety laws.)

Gotta get that refrigerator home somehow.

Can’t we get one more person on?  Of course, I’m poking fun, but, its truly innovative how these people from poorer countries manage to make the most of their resources. Not safe, nor recommended, but admirable even so. Especially the loads the Chinese manage on bikes. Incredible.

Load hauling at its most economic

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