Urge to travel, need for a change

Today an old acquaintance from my days as an English teacher in Japan put up some pictures of Packwood House in Warwickshire, England.  One great thing about teaching in Japan is I made a lot of friends;  the English teachers came from many English speaking countries and many Japanese staff members married them.  From this short couple of years in Japan they then spread out across the globe and I now get to see many wonderful and interesting pictures arriving on my news feed.

Interconnection – Muslims, Mexicans, California and Conquistadors

Recently, I have decided to call California home for the long term.  It has been difficult to let go of the possible return to life in Asia but using the techniques laid out in my post “Mind Control” I’ve been able to do so and am enjoying myself!  (I simply decided to become enthusiastic about it and so it was)

In order to to ease my mind in this mental transition, I have decided to turn inward and study the history of California.  At first, my aim was to discover local, historical places of interest for weekend jaunts.  But what I have quickly learned is that California has been a crossroads for all the major cultures I enjoy!  Further, in a way it connects my past with the present.

Railroad Tracks

Railroad Tracks

The US standard railroad gauge is 4 feet, 8.5 inches.  That’s an exceedingly odd number.

Why was that gauge used?  Because that’s the way they built them in England, and English expatriates designed the US railroads.

Why did the English build them like that?  Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the  pre-railroad tramways, and that’s the gauge they used.

Why did ‘they’ use that gauge then?  Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they had used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Vietnam – An American complex

In the past week I have seen many articles concerning the influence of politicians service (or non-service) in Vietnam.  Most recently, Richard Blumenthal claimed he served when actually he did not.  During the presidential election of 2004 there was a big issue about the “swift boat” soldiers and to be honest, I forget what the controversy was and really do not feel like looking it up.