Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tuesday 30th June 2015…an easy last day of the month!!!!

Rather than me starting out the e mails about me having breakfast at Wimbledon just presume for the next two weeks that is how my mornings will be… as it was this morning.

The only thing on my agenda today was to go get Annie and with her friend Judy and Helen and off here



for lunch…..it is a lovely old style English pub  and the grounds are quite lovey…I felt honored to be with three “young ladies”


Annie in blue then Helen and Judy..the reason why I have that silly look on my face is that Helen showed me how to set my camera for a timed shot…so she placed my camera on timer and put it on the window ledge and 10 seconds later this photo above appears ..so a new feature on my camera that I know how to use now…so I can do my own selfies!!!!!

The grounds at the pub….




None of us knew what this shrub or tree was


the leaves were huge and underneath was this


US TV network NBC fires Donald Trump over Mexico comments

It was a very leasant afternoon….

Came home and took Boomer down to the beach he loves it down there and then settled down with a nice cold drink and watched the first semi final of Women’s soccer…it was a very entertaining  game and Germany the number one seed were beaten 2 – 0 by the USA…the other semi final goes tomorrow which is a holiday in Canada.

Are  you ready for another shot or two of me…I thought so here goes!!!!




I have never liked this man or his hair!!!!

  • US TV network NBC fires Donald Trump over Mexico comments

Donald Trump speaks at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua - 18 April 2015 Donald Trump made the controversial comments while announcing his presidential campaign

US TV network NBC is cutting ties with Donald Trump over "recent derogatory statements" that the veteran businessman made about immigrants.

NBC said the company would now not be airing the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants that are co-owned by Mr Trump.

Responding to the announcement, Mr Trump said he would consider suing NBC.

Earlier this month, he accused Mexicans of adding drugs and crime to the US as he announced he was seeking the Republican presidential nomination.

"They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists, and some I assume are good people, but I speak to border guards, and they tell us what we are getting," he said in his speech on 16 June.

He also pledged to build a "great wall" on the US border with Mexico and insisted it would be paid for by Mexicans.

He later insisted he was criticising US lawmakers, not Mexican people.

null Mr Trump has threatened to sue NBC and Univision for dropping his beauty pageant shows

NBC had faced pressure from Hispanic advocacy groups to drop Mr Trump's shows and a petition on the Change.org website gathered more than 200,000 signatures.

On Monday, the network issued a statement saying: "At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values."

Celebrity Apprentice would continue to be aired, it added, as it is licensed from a separate group. Mr Trump stopped hosting the show when he entered the presidential contest.

'NBC is weak"

He issued a statement shortly after NBC's announcement, saying he stood by his statements on illegal immigrations, "which are accurate".

"NBC is weak, and like everybody else is trying to be politically correct - that is why our country is in serious trouble," he said.

He claimed the network had violated its contract and said the move would be "determined in court".

NBC is the second network to drop the divisive politician after Univision, one of the largest US Spanish-language broadcasters, also ended its coverage of Miss USA.

After being dropped by Univision last week, Mr Trump accused the Mexican government of pressuring the network, saying: "They want to silence Donald Trump. And Donald Trump can't be silenced."

Even if his commercial prospects are taking a battering, Mr Trump's political fortunes seem to be improving.

Polls suggest he is running second to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in the crowded field of Republican hopefuls.


Yashi Kochi!!!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday 29th June 2015….a tennis day!!!

Just because it is almost the end of the Women’s world cup of soccer and hockey season has finished does not put an end to my sports viewing…this morning I had breakfast at Wimbledon!!!!!!

Mid morning I went into town for errands and decided to get my hair cut….this crazy Englishman runs this barber shop and I am sure there is not a spare piece of wall where nothing is hung!!!


I got a good cut, a bit short but good for the hot weather and gone are my 4 dollar Mexican hair cuts..this was not so bad at 12 dollars.

I then had an afternoon of tennis and as I mentioned it was very hot played with a group of eight men from 1.30pm till 3.00pm all good games and then I was joining another group at 4.30pm for two hours so I stayed at the club took a lounge chair and went and sat down by the lake had some snacks and drinks and read my book…not bad views!!!




So when we had finished at 6.30 I was feeling tired but good…came home and ate and showered and now almost ready for bed but before I had tea on the back deck…



This article was taken from the BBC website!!!!

Can you teach people to have empathy?


Two men facing each other

In today's Magazine

Empathy is a quality that is integral to most people's lives - and yet the modern world makes it easy to lose sight of the feelings of others. But almost everyone can learn to develop this crucial personality trait, says Roman Krznaric.

Open Harper Lee's classic novel To Kill A Mockingbird and one line will jump out at you: "You never really understand another person until you consider things from his point of view - until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it."

Human beings are naturally primed to embrace this message. According to the latest neuroscience research, 98% of people (the exceptions include those with psychopathic tendencies) have the ability to empathise wired into their brains - an in-built capacity for stepping into the shoes of others and understanding their feelings and perspectives.

The problem is that most don't tap into their full empathic potential in everyday life.

You can easily find yourself passing by a mother struggling with a pram on some steps as you rush to a work meeting, or read about a tragic earthquake in a distant country then let it slip your mind as you click a link to check the latest football results.

null Can you read someone's mind through their eyes?

The empathy gap can appear in personal relationships too - like when I find myself shouting in frustration at my six-year-old twins, or fail to realise that my partner is doing more than her fair share of the housework.

So is there anything you can do to boost your empathy levels? The good news is that almost everyone can learn to be more empathic, just like we can learn to ride a bike or drive a car.

A good warm up is to do a quick assessment of your empathic abilities. Neuropsychologist Simon Baron-Cohen has devised a test called Reading the Mind in the Eyes in which you are shown 36 pairs of eyes and have to choose one of four words that best describes what each person is feeling or thinking - for instance, jealous, arrogant, panicked or hateful.

The average score of around 26 suggests that the majority of people are surprisingly good - though far from perfect - at visually reading others' emotions.

Going a step further, there are three simple but powerful strategies for unleashing the empathic potential that is latent in our neural circuitry.

Make a habit of "radical listening"

"What is essential,' wrote Marshall Rosenberg, psychologist and founder of Non-Violent Communication, "is our ability to be present to what's really going on within - to the unique feelings and needs a person is experiencing at that very moment."

Listening out for people's feelings and needs - whether it is a friend who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer or a spouse who is upset at you for working late yet again - gives them a sense of being understood.


Let people have their say, hold back from interrupting and even reflect back what they've told you so they knew you were really listening. There's a term for doing this - "radical listening".

Radical listening can have an extraordinary impact on resolving conflict situations. Rosenberg points out that in employer-employee disputes, if both sides literally repeat what the other side just said before speaking themselves, conflict resolution is reached 50% faster.

Look for the human behind everything

A second step is to deepen empathic concern for others by developing an awareness of all those individuals hidden behind the surface of our daily lives, on whom we may depend in some way. A Buddhist-inspired approach to this is to spend a whole day becoming mindful of every person connected to your routine actions.

So when you have your morning coffee, think about the people who picked the coffee beans. As you button your shirt, consider the labour behind the label by asking yourself: "Who sewed on these buttons? Where in the world are they? What are their lives like?"

null Think about all the people you take for granted

Then continue throughout the day, bringing this curiosity to who is driving the train, vacuuming the office floor or stacking the supermarket shelves. It is precisely such mindful awareness that can spark empathic action on the behalf of others, whether it's buying fairtrade coffee or becoming friends with the office cleaner.

Bertolt Brecht wrote a wonderful poem about this called A Worker Reads History, which begins: "Who built the seven gates of Thebes? / The books are filled with the names of kings / Was it the kings who hauled the craggy blocks of stone?"

Become curious about strangers


I used to regularly walk past a homeless man around the corner from where I live in Oxford and take virtually no notice of him. One day I stopped to speak to him.

It turned out his name was Alan Human and he had a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford. We subsequently developed a friendship based on our mutual interest in Aristotle's ethics and pepperoni pizza.

This encounter taught me that having conversations with strangers opens up our empathic minds. We can not only meet fascinating people but also challenge the assumptions and prejudices that we have about others based on their appearance, accents or backgrounds.

It's about recovering the curiosity everyone had as children, but which society is so good at beating out of us. Get beyond superficial talk but beware interrogating people. Respect the advice of oral historian Studs Terkel - who always spoke to people on the bus on his daily commute: "Don't be an examiner, be the interested inquirer."

These are the kinds of conversations you will find happening at the world's first Empathy Museum, which is launching in the UK in late 2015 and will then be travelling to Australia and other countries.

Amongst the unusual exhibitions will be a human library, where instead of borrowing a book you borrow a person for conversation - maybe a Sikh teenager, an unhappy investment banker or a gay father. In other words, the kind of people you may not get to meet in everyday life.

Empathy is the cornerstone of healthy human relationships.

As the psychologist and inventor of emotional intelligence Daniel Goleman puts it, without empathy a person is "emotionally tone deaf".

It's clear that with a little effort nearly everyone can put more of their empathic potential to use. So try slipping on your empathy shoes and make an adventure of looking at the world through the eyes of others.

Yashi Kochi!!!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday 28th June 2015……..almost a day of rest!!!!

I have entered the BC senior games


in late August in North Vancouver..I have entered the men’s singles tennis..it is broken down into age category and I am in the 65-70 group…I also would like to have played doubles you are permitted to enter two events so I asked the organizer if there was a woman or man wanting a partner and I found one this morning at tennis at the club, I like to say that, tennis at the club!!!!

As I am a new member the lady who does the schedule has given me lots of games meeting new groups and this morning I met Shirley…..we partnered up and played two really good sets against a married couple who were in the early fifties…..we also were inside the bubble, the first time I have played inside…



we lost both sets 7- 5…… I have played lots of mixed doubles with Carolyn in San Miguel and she is a good player and you get to know your partner's moves on the courts…Shirley is not quite up to Carolyn’s standards but still a good player and a nice lady who happens to come from my home county in England…after the game she asked me if I was interested in partnering with her for the mixed doubles for the Senior games and i told her I would be delighted to do that….so because you are allowed in doubles to play up or down depending on your partners age and because I am younger than Shirley she will come down to my group….we plan to play a few more times together and it will be fun….





81 years YOUNG!!!!!

How fun that will be!!!!

On the way home stopped at the grocery store as I am planning to cook dinner for the family….Kirby is working and ach is in a two day golf tournament 40 miles away and Heather has gone down to watch him..so I am home alone with Boomer..after a hectic schedule I decided to stay home and I relaxed, read, did some trip planning, had a lovely long bath and cooked dinner and I ate outside on the deck not a bad view eh!!!!



I think my green tennis shoes are an added touch to the d├ęcor of the deck!!!!

Just heard Zach won  the golf tournament..way to go!!!

Trust your Sunday was a wonderful one…

Yashi Kochi!!!!

Saturday 27th June 2015…….heartache for the women!!!

Well this was going to be a day…….I have a ticket for the soccer game at 4.30 in Vancouver but did not want to give up my morning tennis   so only one option!!!!

tennis was great again good high level of play and where can you play tennis on nice courts with a view of the lake and see a family of deer come to watch…this baby was so small…


After tennis I showered at the club and drove Little Bluey down to the ferry terminal and parked her in the long stay stall and Karen came and got me and drove me to the down town sea plane terminal which was great because it meant when I get of the ferry tonight my car is right there…..the float plane is a wonderful way to get to down town Vancouver, yes it is expensive, but it only takes 20 minutes and the sights are amazing…








When the plane was coming in to land in Vancouver there was a lot of boat traffic and on the downward decent and before the pilot touched down I guess one boat was too close and he aborted the landing and came up again and did another pass before landing..he explained that this does not happen very often but it was especially busy with boat traffic.

It was fun for me to see this right next to the terminal



This will be my home for 39 days when I sail to New ealand the end of September!!!

I enjoyed a slow walk to the soccer stadium and the mood was very festive and patriotic…



I have had the same good seat for all the games……

It was a very entertaining game and of course with England as the opponents my heart was torn as to who to cheer for but I wore my Go Canada Go shirt and apart from a 3 minute spell when Canada fell apart and allowed two goals they were the better team….they managed to pull a goal back before half time but in the second half could not penetrate the tight English defense…..


This sums up the jubilant English players moving on to the semi finals…a fantastic record crowd of over 54 thousand fans…….it was great to be a part of that.

Then it was taking the bus back to the ferry terminal and the three hour wait for the late ferry and home after midnight….so a day does not get much fuller than that one…

Yashi Kochi!!!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday 26th June 2015…hiking day!!!

Inga and Richard invited me this morning to join their hiking group and I gladly accepted and met the group at a local parking lot where 12 members car pooled about one hour to here



It was only a short hike to the falls which I think you agree are quite lovely!!







Then we went on a wonderful trail through the trees…..


by the side of the river


Then along this trail




We eventually came out at Lake Comox and had lunch with these views…



Then back to the cars we hiked around 15km and it was wonderful…..

Tonight a quiet night and I am getting ready for what will be a fun filled day tomorrow..stay tuned!!!



A landmark day!!!!


How legal tide turned on same-sex marriage in the US


Rainbow gflag flies at SCOTUS

Gay marriage ruling

Same sex marriage is now legal in the entire US after a Supreme Court ruling striking down state marriage bans.

The ruling means all US states must grant marriage licences to gay and lesbian couples and recognise marriages that have taken place in other states.

So how did we get to this point?

null One of the first couples to wed in Massachusetts

In 1996, the US Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act, a law that prohibited federal recognition of same-sex marriages.

In 2003, Massachusetts judges ruled the state constitution allowed gay marriage, and marriage licences followed shortly after that. In the following years, a handful of states passed gay marriage bans while others began working towards allowing same-sex unions - either by court order or legislation.

One high-profile ban occurred by referendum in California in 2008 after courts had previously allowed same-sex marriage.

This continued across the US until the Supreme Court heard a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013.

What did justices have to decide in this case?

null Jim Obergefell brought a lawsuit against the state of Ohio after the state refused to recognise his marriage to his late-husband

The justices, who had previously have stopped short of resolving the question of same-sex marriage nationally, had to consider whether or not states are constitutionally required to issue marriage licences and if states are required to recognise same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

How many states previously allowed same-sex unions?

Before the ruling, thirty-six states were issuing marriage licences to same-sex couples, as well as Washington DC, which sets its own marriage laws but is not legally a state.

null A referendum on gay marriage in California in 2008 put the legal status of previously performed marriages in question

A critical turning point came in October 2014, when the Supreme Court chose not to hear appeals against lower court rulings that had overturned same-sex marriage bans - expanding the legality of gay unions to many more states.

In other states, same-sex marriage has been approved either through legislation or voter referenda.

Michigan couples were briefly able to marry before a court stayed a ruling overturning its ban.

What have been the key Supreme Court rulings?

On 6 October 2014, the court turned away appeals from five states with gay marriage bans on the books that had challenged appeals court rulings overturning those bans.

In challenging the gay marriage bans, proponents relied on a 2013 Supreme Court ruling in the case of United States v Windsor.

null Edith Windsor, was the plaintiff in the last gay marriage case at the Supreme Court

In that case, the court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act (Doma), which barred the federal government from recognising same sex marriages.

Under Doma, for example, individuals in same-sex marriages were ineligible for benefits from federal programmes such as the Social Security pension system and some tax allowances if their partners died.

Another key case, Hollingsworth v Perry of 2013, was filed by two lawyers, Theodore Olson and David Boies, working together on behalf of their California clients, Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier and another couple, Jeffrey Zarrillo and Paul Katami.

They argued that the Supreme Court should strike down a state law, called Proposition 8, which stated that marriage is between a man and a woman. The law, approved by California voters in 2008, overrode a state Supreme Court decision that allowed for same-sex marriage.

What is next?

Marriages will continue as previous in the 36 states. The remaining states will have to issue licenses, although it is unclear how long they have to comply with the court's ruling, but there were reports of court clerk offering licences only an hour after the Supreme Court decision.

Yashi Kochi!!!

Thursday 5 th January 2023…it was a great run!!!

 This was my first ever blog post back in November of 2006!!! With just a couple of days off I have written a blog every day since and I hav...