Arizona Baseball with Luke Mar 2015

Luke and I left Dallas Sunday morning and arrived in Phoenix in time for the Rangers vs Brewers game in Surprise, Arizona. Patty and Randy met us at the airport. On Monday we drove to Tempe for the Angels game and while Randy and Patty drove up to Sedona we hung out at the Mariott Buttes and had an awesome steak dinner on the patio as the sunset. On Tuesday, we toured Chas Stadium and then we returned to the Surprise stadium for the Dodgers game which ended up tied 11-11. It was a wonderful warm weekend with lots of fond memories. We also met Barbara Pappenfus at the Dodgers game. She is getting married in June.





Posted in Family, Friends, Sports, Traveling | Comments Off on Arizona Baseball with Luke Mar 2015

Atlanta to see Doug Feb 2015

Doug was my boss at Space Master Buildings where I worked from 1986 in Houston until 1995 in Dallas. He hired me when the unemployment in Houston was over 12% and always went out of his way to support and train me; setting the stage for our future startup business, Nortex Modular Space.

Doug is retired now and our visit in Atlanta today was like walking down memory lane. Working for him was “the good old days”.

(null)

Posted in Friends, Traveling | Comments Off on Atlanta to see Doug Feb 2015

Indonesia Jan 2015

Spending 24 hours on a plane isn’t my idea of fun but the experience of being somewhere new and unique always makes it worthwhile. Traveling to Singapore after the AirAsia accident has me wondering “what am I doing” but I trust God will continue to be in charge of my life. I will be missing Delilah very much and hope that she remembers me when I return. I hope to learn more about the biggest natural disaster in our world’s history. Go here to learn more. And here is a news article on the 10th anniversary
.

IMG_0569.JPG

After a short sleep at the Shangri-La Hotel I was met in the lobby on Saturday morning by Irina who was my guide in St. Petersburg, Russia about two years ago. She married Alexander Landau and now has a baby boy named Vasily. We took cabs and visited the main sights of Singapore including the bar where the Singapore Sling was invented. She made a list of evening adventures for me and then we met Alex and Vasily for a Chili Crab lunch. They are leaving for Bali on vacation and I will try to meet them there in a week or so. After a short nap at the hotel I started my evening travel highlighted by a sunset experience at tower three of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. I also visited the gardens and the laser show in Merlion Park and then took the Marina Bay boat ride across the bay. I caught a cab home to catch up on sleep.

After boarding the Silver Seas cruise ship on Sunday I relaxed in my room and then enjoyed a steak, cooked on a lava stone at my table, on the upper pool deck, while enjoying a beautiful sunset.

On Monday, a sea cruise day, I explored the ship, caught up on lost sleep, and was invited by the Chief Engineer to join he and two couples for dinner. One couple was from London and one from Capetown and we had a delightful evening while enjoying lobster and fine wines.

On Tuesday morning we arrived in Bintulu, Sarawak, Malaysia and I boarded a bus for a short ride to the national park where we walked through the lush jungle. We then visited a “long house” where a growing family of about 300 lived. As the family grows, they add onto the end of the house.

On Wednesday we arrived at Maura, Brunei, a tiny Islamic Monarchy of about 400,000 residents who get free medical care with no personal income tax. Almost every resident has several automobiles and gets a free home, courtesy the Government. Our speed and long boat tours through the lush forests was quite comfortable and we saw monkeys, crocodiles, and lots of birds. We also visited a catholic family in a long house.

On Thursday, after a 75 min bus trip through Sabah, Malaysia, i took a 90 minute river rafting trip down a lowland river through the forests along with 24 of the younger set from our ship. We were then served a terrific Malaysian buffet luncheon with curry dishes before returning to the ship. In the evening I had dinner on the pool deck, enjoying a nice cool breeze, with couples from Hawaii and Connecticut.

Friday was a seaday and Saturday was a rainy day but I went on a wildlife speedboat trip outside Sadakan into the Malaysian jungle and managed to see the native monkeys with the huge noses before we were driven away by the heavy rain. In all, we spent 3 hours traveling to get a 2 minute glimpse of the wildlife.

Sunday was another sea day and we crossed over the equator and had a little fun with that. I visited the casino with Tim and then Shiela, his wife, joined us on the outdoor lounge where we enjoyed several pleasant hours visiting before dinner and an early retirement.

On Monday, we travelled by bus into Sulawesi, Indonesia to learn about the Bujis. They are devout Sunni Muslims and arranged marriages is the norm and usually between first cousins who live with the wife’s parents. The countryside is covered in rice paddies and houses are mostly on stilts.

On Tuesday we visited the Komoda National Park and after a hike to the top of a mountain to see the great view, we descended to see the rare Komoda Dragons roaming the forests. There are just over 2,000 left in existence.

On Wednesday we travelled to the Elephant Reserve in Benoa, Bali and the long trip was well worth it as I managed a 30 minute safari trip on an elephant through the lush forests of the park. The elephants also performed for us including soccer and basketball.

Thursday was a long day with a flight to Hong Kong and a late arrival there.

On Friday, I awoke early and spent the morning walking along the waterway enjoying Starbucks coffee and a warm, pleasant morning. I then travelled to the airport for a long 13 hour trip back home to Dallas.

Posted in Friends, Traveling | Comments Off on Indonesia Jan 2015

Nanaimo Family Dec 2014

After arriving in Vancouver I met DJ and Kerry at the seaplane terminal for lunch and after finding out that my flight was cancelled DJ and Kerry drove me to the ferry terminal. Trisha flew out to Nanaimo and we met at the ferry terminal and then went to visit Mom.

On Saturday morning after Peter’s bible study group we went to Mom’s, got a cab, and went to the mall. In the evening we had family dinner at Mom’s and Sarah and Kevin came.

IMG_5540.JPG

IMG_5539.JPG

IMG_5538.JPG

IMG_5536.JPG

IMG_5540-0.JPG

IMG_5549.JPG

IMG_5551.JPG

IMG_5545.JPG

On Sunday after church we met at Mom’s place for lunch before taking Trisha to the airport.

IMG_5555.JPG

IMG_5553.JPG

Posted in Church, Family, Friends, Traveling | Comments Off on Nanaimo Family Dec 2014

Tucson Speed Biking with Dan

Dan is here for a 104 mile race around Tucson and I came out to cheer him on.

IMG_5460.JPG

IMG_5468.JPG

Dan took off at 6:30 am Sat morning on his bike all geared up on a very nice day and headed to the start line along with 7,000 other riders. The winner came in after 4 hours and 7 minutes covering 104 miles. Not bad.

IMG_5479.JPG

Posted in Friends, Health and Fitness, Sports, Traveling | Comments Off on Tucson Speed Biking with Dan

Mount Everest Nov 2014

Trip Video Documentary click here

Peter left Vancouver early this morning and will meet me in Beijing tomorrow evening. I flew from Dallas to Chicago and board an American Airlines 777 to Beijing this afternoon.

IMG_4895.JPG

The thirteen hour trip from Chicago to Beijing was uneventful and I slept for a couple of hours early on in the flight to help with the time difference. I arrived about 7:00 pm Beijing time and after clearing customs, meeting my guide, and a traffic-congested, 30 minute cab ride to the Beijing Peninsula Hotel, i met Peter in the libby. He are some dinner then we retired early to our room.

IMG_4911.JPG

On Saturday morning we met Brian Ma, my guide from 2 years ago in Beijing, and he took us up to the Great Wall of China and then Timminen Square and the Forbidden City. The scenery along the way was terriffic and I had forgotten just how modern and clean Beijing was. We also were blessed with limited smog and Brian helped me to get a sim card for my travel iPhone 5s. We met our group in the evening and then hit the sack early as we leave at 6:00 am in the morning.

JIM_5135.JPG

JIM_5173.JPG

On Sunday we awoke very early and started a very long journey to the airport, flying 2 1/2 hours to Chengdu, a one hour lay-over and security check, then flying 2 hours to Lhasa and a 45 minute drive to our hotel. The mountain scenery was breathtaking but we were so tired and impacted by the 12,000 feet elevation that we went to bed at 8:30 pm after our group meeting and dinner.

On Monday we slept in till 7:00 am, had breakfast and then took a short bus ride into Lhasa where we visited two monasteries including the largest in Tibet and one that housed 10,000 people at one time. Tibet’s tourist industry is flourishing and it has become a very modern city of 300,000 people. The weather was sunny and pleasant and we enjoyed lunch in the shopping district.

JIM_5200.JPG

JIM_5216.JPG

JIM_5278.JPG

On Tuesday we slept very well and visited two monasteries, a nunnery, and local shopping in what was a very strenuous day including over 12,000 steps. The weather was beautiful and our guides prepared a very tasty sit-down, local-food picnic in the mountains for us. The restrooms, however, evolved into what we were warned that they were…. A hole in the ground with no running water. We arrived back at our luxury hotel very appreciative of the amenities.

JIM_5313.JPG

JIM_5352.JPG

JIM_5345.JPG

On Wednesday we drove a couple of hours to a Monastery up in the mountains at 14,000 feet and were privileged to witness a reincarnation ceremony where those killed accidentally were prayed over that they may no longer we “stuck” in spiritual form and would go to where they were supposed to go. The view was spectacular and afterwards we enjoyed another picnic lunch under the tent. Also under tent were two restroom tents that the guides built just for us, complete with toilet paper, a rare treat in Tibet. At sunset, we drove to the large palace in Lhasa and received training in nightime photography by Ira Block, our Trip Manager.

JIM_5366.JPG

JIM_5370.JPG

JIM_5396.JPG

On Thursday we drove to Lake Yamdrok at about 13,000 feet above sea level and Peter and I got to ride a yak overlooking the beautiful valley below. The Yeti Hotel in Gyangze was pretty low-end and I managed to have a round of food-poisoning from an earlier meal somewhere.

After a morning sleep on Friday to recover, the group picked me up at the hotel where I was feeling much better.

IMG_0609.JPG

IMG_0612.JPG

We then drove to Shigatse and visited the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery the seat of the Panchen Lama. We also walked through the town which is about 12,800 feet above sea level.

On Saturday, we continued to tour Shigatse which is one of the larger towns of Tibet.

IMG_0211.jpg

IMG_0171.JPG

On Sunday, Nov 9, we drove through the Lapka La Pass at over 17,000 feet altitude and caught our first glimpse of Mount Everest in the distance.

IMG_0457.JPG

IMG_0606.JPG

On Monday we drove to Mount Everest Base Camp on what could hardly be described as roads as the route was more like crossing rocky fields in our four-wheelers. I would not recommend this trip for anyone who dislikes treacherous driving conditions including stream crossings. The trip became very worthwhile once the majestic Mount Everest peak came into view and the experience was just spectacular.

JIM_5641.JPG

JIM_5628.JPG

On Tuesday, we departed the Snow Leopard Hotel (or at least they claimed it was) that was lacking in heat, running water, and basic cleanliness and set out for Zhangmu, Tibet at about 9,000 feet. The drive was full of many incredible views and it was wonderful to see trees once again. There were numerous checkpoints along the route and it was apparent that China controlled its population with a Big Brother hand.

IMG_0491.jpg

IMG_0510.jpg

On Wednesday we drove to Nepal and the City of Kathmandu and braved an emergency road built around a recent mountain slide. Once again, the scenery and views were outstanding as we dropped into valleys around 3,000 feet in altitude.

IMG_0615.jpg

IMG_0523.jpg

After touring Kathmandu on Thursday, we met for a final dinner together and Ira, our photo instructor, presented a photo presentation of our trip consisting of some of our photos.

IMG_0651.jpg

IMG_0637.jpg

On Friday, many of our group went to the airport for a one-hour flight around Mount Everest. That was certainly one highlite of our trip. We then returned to our hotel, said our goodbyes, and then went our separate ways on our return home. I flew to Bangkok, stayed overnight, and then on Saturday, flew to Hong Kong and then home to Dallas.

IMG_0686.JPG

IMG_0689.JPG

IMG_0523.JPG

IMG_0524.JPG

Posted in Friends, Health and Fitness, Traveling | Comments Off on Mount Everest Nov 2014

Auntie Guites’ 90th Birthday in Calgary

I left Friday morning but our plane was delayed because the heater in the cargo bay was not working and they were transporting a passenger’s pet so they had to remove the pet for it’s own safety. That is a first for me.

I met Jennie at her office at Foothills Hospital and then drove to Airdrie where we met Cephas and Mishy for Indian food. She just got her new car and its standard shift so she is learning slowly. She is going for a BS degree at U of C next year and then a graduate degree at U of A. Possibly in physical therapy area.

JIM_4989.JPG

JIM_5002.JPG

On Saturday Morning I met Cephas and Jennie in East Calgary to watch his basketball game. He coaches U14 boys and is an excellent coach. Then, after having lunch with them, I drove to Trish’s place and we went to a local pub to watch the Stampeders Football game and then the Dallas Stars game.

On Sunday, I met Marijke Knipsheer for breakfast and then drove to Trish’s for a brisk one-hour walk. After lunch, we visited our home on 7th Street where we lived 50 years ago. Visiting with the current owner was fun and he was happy to hear of the history of his home. After dropping Trisha off at home I drove to Cochrane and enjoyed dinner and a nice evening with Cousins Cathy, John and Thomas and their spouses.

On Monday I met Dick Bissett and Trisha for lunch at Buchanans and then a walked all over downtown till around 4:00 pm. Trisha met me at my rental car and we drove to Jason and Robyns for an excellent BBQ steak dinner with the kids, including Kim and Aden.

On Tuesday I met for lunch with Jennie at her workplace and then Chris drove in from Banff and we spent several hours together. Chris and I went shopping and then picked up Mishy in Airdrie and took her to the Carriage House for Auntie Guite’s 90th birthday party. There were about 25 people there; mostly friends of hers and the telegram singer was hilarious.

IMG_0494.JPG

IMG_0497.JPG

JIM_5109.JPG

IMG_0501.JPG

JIM_5105.JPG

JIM_5098.JPG

JIM_5087.JPG

JIM_5075.JPG

JIM_5097.JPG

Posted in Dining, Family, Traveling | Comments Off on Auntie Guites’ 90th Birthday in Calgary

Europe Sept 2014

Today I begin my journey to Europe and I will be arriving in Frankfurt tomorrow and taking the train to Brussels where I will meet a driver to go to the Vimy Ridge Canadian War Memorial. The flight to Frankfurt was uneventful and first class travel on a Boeing 777 is very comfortable.

We took a cab to the Train terminal only to find that there was a train terminal at the airport. So, we had to buy a train ticket back to the terminal. I left for Brussels and met my Carey Limi driver at the Mariott Hotel in Brussels for a four-hour round trip ride to the Canadian WW1 Memorial in Vimy, France. That was a special visit for me as my Grandfather, Stephen Attrell, fought there as well at Paschendael and he not only survived both horrific battles, he survived the Spanish Flu as well.

IMG_9724.JPG

IMG_9752.JPG

IMG_9754.JPG

IMG_9726.JPG

IMG_9718.JPG

On Friday I boarded the train for a long journey to Hamburg where I met Jay and Bettye, Dick, and Cindy for dinner at a local German restaurant. We stayed at the Four Seasons Fairmont, a very nice choice, and met several others of our group of 26 people altogether.

IMG_9756.JPG

IMG_9763.JPG

IMG_9761.JPG

On Saturday we boarded a boat and cruised the canals of Hamburg before leaving to board the Crystal Symphony, our cruise ship, mid-afternoon. Hamburg is the second largest shipping port in Northern Europe and has more canals and bridges than Venice. We then met for late dinner seating at three tables all together and I got to know more of the very interesting group a little better. All have been long-term friends of Jay and Bettye and many have joined them for this annual occasion.

On Sunday, I got up early for a three hour bus and boat ride tour of all the sights in Hamburg. I’m still getting used to the time zone change and have had to take Ambien at bed time each night. We had our formal dining room and as usual, the food was extraordinary as was the service. This was an all-inclusive cruise and so the wine was included as is all services at the cappuccino bar.

On Monday we arrived in Amsterdam and I took the bus and boat excursion throughout the city. After an early dinner I took the evening excursion on the canals in a boat and got experience the extensive night life in what is a beautiful but very wicked city where the residents are over 60% less than 30 years of age. Most leave the city eventually to raise a family in the countryside away from the city.

On Tuesday I slept in and spent the day relaxing. On Wednesday we arrived at St. Peter Port in Guernsey and I went on the rib boat tour around the canals and captured some really good wildlife photos.

On Thursday we had a day at sea and it was very relaxing.

On Friday, we arrived at La Coruna, Spain and I boarded a bus to tour the many sites of the City including the Tower of Hercules and the beautiful beaches of the City.

Saturday, we sailed to Oporto, Portugal, famous for it’s vineyards, and I went on a tram tour of the riverfront shopping areas on a busy weekend.

Sunday, we arrived early in Lisbon, Portugal and I left the ship by taxi to travel to my hotel, and after checking in, I took the same taxi to the hotel where Dave and Sherri Meyer were staying and we had breakfast on the patio.

I then walked about 2-3 miles throughout downtown and then back North to my hotel where I met Dick and Sam (Linda) for lunch. Our Limo arrived early afternoon and we visited the area North of the City and some of the many famous sites in the beautiful hill country and along the beach. We met up with other members of our group who were flying home back at the hotel for dinner.

We checked out early Monday morning and began the long trip home. We first flew to London Heathrow and the split ways. My flight left mid afternoon back to Dallas and I arrived back in Dallas early Monday evening.

It was a fun and entertaining trip where I made new friends. Some of them will be on our next group trip to Italy, Greece, Ephasus, Istanbul and Germany next year.

See my photos and video

Posted in Dining, Friends, Health and Fitness, Traveling | Comments Off on Europe Sept 2014

LSU Bayou Weekend

YouTube Link

Dave, Randy and I flew to Lafayette on Friday morning and Michael and Richard picked us up and we drove to Pat’s Fishermans Wharf for lunch.

IMG_4590.JPG

On Saturday morning we relaxed at the cabin until Troy and Kim Morris brought us breakfast. It was a beautiful sunny morning and we went out for a little target practice and then drove into Baton Rouge to get ready for the LSU vs Mississippi State game. Brian served us Duck for lunch at his beautiful mansion. We left the LSU game when the score was going the wrong way (by a bunch) and drove to New Orleans while listening to the game and LSU almost came back to win.

IMG_4607.JPG

IMG_4603.JPG

IMG_4608.JPG

IMG_4598.JPG

On Sunday, Mike picked us up at the Westin Hotel and we went for Beniegent and coffee in the park where we met Randy and relatives before we went to the noon-hour Saints vs Minnesota game. The Saints squeaked by and Mike drove Dave and I to Baton Rouge for our return trip home after a great weekend.

IMG_4617-0.JPG

IMG_4615-1.JPG

Posted in Friends, Sports, Traveling | Comments Off on LSU Bayou Weekend

Seattle Summer Training

I flew up to Seattle today for a three-day advanced technical training class produced by StockCharts.com. There are about 250 students here and classes start tomorrow.

IMG_4210.JPG

On Sat might after the windup class we all boarded a private ship to visit Blake Island, have dinner, snd learn about the native indian settlement in the shadows of Mount Ranier. It was very pleasant. Blake Island Information

IMG_4222.JPG

IMG_4225.JPG

Posted in Business, Friends, Traveling | Leave a comment