Blogs from Union Square, San Francisco, California, United States, North America


Just to fill your holiday during the stay at home, or rather Ground Hog Day existence we are now living. Some totally useless information that may bring a smile or a snicker. So, let's check into Twinkies, fried chicken, catsup, and apple pie and ice cream. From the NYT: Twinkies as we know them now are simple: yellow cake filled with vanilla cream frosting. But when the sweet snacks first appeared in 1930, the tasty filling was banana-flavored, not vanilla. Twinkie inventor James Alexander Dewar, then a baker for the Continental Baking Company, came up with the treat when he was looking for a way to utilize the bakery's strawberry shortcake machine when strawberries were out of season. He substituted banana cream, and the Twinkie was born. Unfortunately, with the advent of World War II, bananas ... read more
Grandma's fried chicken
Ketchup or catsup?
Homemade apple pie

In the mad rush to celebrate our mothers, I forgot to mention my two grandmothers. Both, in my opinion, were pioneers, and adventurers in a strange, new world. Both were here by arranged marriages back in Japan. Neither spoke a word of English when they reached San Francisco or Seattle via ship. I cannot imagine what they must have gone through. I know more about my fraternal grandmother, Yuki, since they lived across the street from the time I was born until I left for UC Berkeley in 1964. Perhaps most astounding, is that she took care of us four children for almost two years while my Mom was hospitalized in Auberry at a tuberculosis sanitarium. She rose to the challenge, taking care of four children, with myself the oldest at 7 years of age! Another ... read more
Mom with siblings
Mom with all of her grandchildren

Rarely does anyone discuss travel budgets PRIOR to a trip to a far away place. I am so very fortunate to have the inimitable Mr. Mike as the best travel buddy in the universe. We have been all over the world, with rarely a hiccup. He knows how to travel (we both traveled extensively on business during our working days), and does not skimp on anything. Furthermore, we are not joined at the hip, stay in separate rooms, do not fly or sit together on planes, and pursue our own interests once at our destination. But I realize this is a rare occurrence, and most people who know us find this arrangement hard to fathom. We get asked often if people can join us on our trips. And to my great delight, he says I am ... read more

Ashlea from Afar provides a great framework for dealing with travel withdrawal, or as she calls it, "travel grief." For myself, I would not call it grief, it is more like withdrawal. But I am so fortunate to have a wonderful situation here at home, the ability to work as much as I want, and still enjoy a wonderful life. Anyway, she calls it the Five Stages of Travel Grief. Of course, she travels for a living. I do not. She spends half of her year on the road at Afar's Editor at Large. I am fortunate if I go somewhere, even nearby, once a month. The corona virus not only changed her travel plans, it has changed travel. It may even cost her livelihood, at least in the travel business. But better than ... read more
Travel happy

Is the Corona virus altering some or all of your travel plans. Where do we stand right now? The travel industry's refund policies are changing almost by the minute. Here's what they look like now: Airlines are waiving their change fees for flights in March and April.Cruise lines are offering credit for sailings until the end of spring.Hotels are loosening their cancellation policies for certain areas affected by the coronavirus o... read more
Corona?  Which one?

url= Today, March 14, is pi day. That is pi day, not (national) pie day, which is celebrated in January. Pi day is observed on March 14, since the first three significant numbers, in decimal form, are 3, 1, and 4. Was it the former professional and college basketball star, Jerry Lucas, who memorized pi out to hundreds of digits? ... read more
Big Al's birthday is 3-14

Now this is just crazy! What is wrong with us? I am guilty of this too! Number of minutes each day, sixty one, that women in the United States spend eating and drinking. (American men spend slightly more time). The U.S. was dead last among the 30 major countries surveyed in the Organization for Economic Co-Operation & Development’s Time-Use Database. The French spend more than twice as long—eating and drinking for a good 130 minutes each day. Obviously, this is not the case in many countries, like many European and South American countries. Eating tends to be very social, family time, and a great chance to catch up on each person's activities. Busy, hectic countries England, Japan, and China tend to have even quicker meals than here in the U.S. Adding alcohol to the meal obviously ... read more
Funny meals, laugh and relax!
A romantic meal is slower?

After about sixty years of air travel, airports, and airplanes, I have seen many crazy things. Here are just a few: Poor hygiene-well, first of all, most men do NOT wash their hands after using the men's room. That in itself is as disgusting as it gets. But some other culprits will clip their toe nails on board, file their nails, clean their ears, or place their stinky feet on the back of my seat!!! Or how about the amateur dental hygienists on board who must floss their teeth after EVERY meal?? Don't even get me started on dandruff, acne pickers, and nose hair trimmers. Pet stuff-you can guess what happens when a "therapy" dog has to poop while on the plane, even in first class. Not fun!!! Worse yet, how about a pet snake? Yes, ... read more
Eat your kim chee elsewhere!
Stay away from cheap perfume!
Barf bags!!!

Today starts yesterday, but bear with me. After a free burger dinner, finding out that my bus leaves at 11:59 not 11pm and being bored with every aspect of Chinese politics from a new friend it was finally time to abandon Isabell with him and get my Uber. I get a $15 free first ride, so I figured why not, especially after today's incident. You pay if it waits for you, so I grabbed my shit and headed down stairs to retrieve my main backpack from storage. Everything was going perfect, until I clicked confirm and then the Uber app kept sending me error messages, I turned my phone off and on, I shut the app, I logged in and out, I tried removing my free ride code, literally everything and nothing worked. It was already ... read more

4 attachments (836 KB) Download all Save all to OneDrive - Personal I read a great article today about ten things that suck about airports. I found it on a website I have started to read and use called Godsavethepoints. After all, is flying not about collecting all the frequent flyer miles you can before you die? Not really, I firmly believe in using them once yo... read more
I love upstairs in the 747, very quiet.
This says it all!!!!

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