Lessons Learned From the Movie Captain Ron

Tonight I watched the movie Captain Ron again (for about the 10th time in the last 12 months) — and let my daughter Chelsea watch it for the first time. I decided the story made up for the language and the slightly inappropriate shower scene. Partly because Chelsea’s now 14, and partly because the shower scene is just darn good comedy.

The story of Captain Ron is so freaking awesome: the Harvey family of Chicago inherits an old sailboat and decides to throw caution to the wind and sail it from somewhere in the Caribbean to Miami where they will sell it. Since they’re not sailors, they hire «Captain Ron» to sail the boat and teach them how along the way.

The movie stars Martin Short as Mr. Harvey and Kurt Russell (in a Speedo) as Captain Ron. It’s a funny movie with a great moral: Get out of your rut and go DO something as a family!

When my family started this whole «living on the road thing» I hoped to be in a trailer for about a year and then graduate to a sailboat. Due to business slowing down the sailboat piggy bank hasn’t filled up yet, but I’m still working toward that.

I’m starting to feel more than a little pressure because my son Tom turned 16 last February and while I don’t know that he’ll take off as soon as he turns 18, I want to get us on a boat for a while before he is eligible to escape my clutches.

Why? Because I think people who have «typical» upbringings are at a disadvantage in life. They see things in a very narrow way which limits their choices. After all, how can you make a sharp left when everybody else is veering right if you don’t even know that left is an option?

When we started this journey we didn’t have enough money saved up. But if we had waited until things were «better» we’d never have hit the road and experienced new things…

Places

We played on the beach in Santa Cruz.

Picked oranges outside our trailer in Bakersfield.

Walked the rim of the Grand Canyon (and got some great photos).

Watched the moon rise over the Superstition Mountains (and talked about the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine hidden there).

Wandered the streets of Tombstone where the Gunfight at the OK Corral took place.

Cheered Tom as he followed in his Uncle Nick’s footsteps and chased down an armadillo (it was catch and release, folks).

Saw the Alamo where so many American heroes lost their lives.

Visited the UFO Museum in Roswell. («UFOs aren’t real, Dad.» Five minutes later, «Are UFOs real, Dad?»)

Drove across the London Bridge (brought brick by brick from London to Arizona).

People

And we met some wonderful people on the trip, including the Sauers family in Santa Nella. We ended up parked next to each other in an RV park and while there was a pretty big age gap between their kids and ours, they were still all kids and got along pretty well. After we left we continued following their travels via their blog.

And we met — and juggled with — both members of the Raspyni Brothers. Barry invited us to his house for the day to meet his family and play and Dan let us stop by his place for some juggling and an impromptu piano concert. I’d been fans of the Raspyni Bros for-freakin’-ever, so the chance to actually spend some time with them was the coolness.

Plus many more people — the families in Bastrop, the gunfighters near Tombstone, the jugglers in Austin, etc.

When you live in a house, and go to the same job every day, and see the same people all the time, you don’t have adventures. You just skate through life. And at age 47 I’m realizing life’s too short for that kind of skating — I regret the time I didn’t spend seeing new things and meeting new people.

Which is why if we had the opportunity to move onto a sailboat tomorrow, I’d do it — even though none of us know how to sail. We’d stay anchored (mostly) until we could figure out how to work the thing, but at least we’d be on the way.

I don’t see any reason to «settle down» at this point — there are too many things to see, places to visit and people to meet. How could you trade those things for a house fastened to the ground?

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RTS League of Legends – The Overview

League of Legends from Microsoft is a multiplayer competitive online game developed by Riot Games, set in an imaginative world. As it is a free to play strategic multiplayer game, players forms a team of 3 each or 5 each. These groups of players are called champions. League of Legends is a micro-manage RTS (Real Time Strategy). This game announced its entry on 7th Oct 2008 and got released a year later on 27th of the same month. As of latest statistics released there are 85 announced champions for this game.

Background of the game

The lands of Valoran have always been affected by continuing conflicts and Rune wars till it came to an end by the super powers creating an Institute of War. It is created to settle disputes by League of legends that have their users with magic powers compete with each other as part of a team to rule the land of Valoran. You fight the battle with your trusted champions to win the game and rule the world of Valoran.

How the game is played?

The game is played in a map area called ‘fountain’ with both the teams at opposite ends. There is something called ‘Nexus’ and the aim of each team is to destroy the ‘Nexus’ of the opposite team. Nexus is the final threat that is contained within the enemy’s base. The game will be initiated at the lowest level, Level 1 and can go on up to a maximum of Level 18. There will be obstacles kept in the form of towers called «Turrets». There are also many other obstacles in the form of spawns thrown at you called «Minions’, attacking opposite team players those need to be killed and also some monsters that attack both the teams. When you survive these, you get extra life or ‘coins’ and also move onto the next level. Each base where these ‘Turrets’ are placed is called a «Lane». The map area is called the ‘Field of Justice’ and the players can choose from the three available ‘Filed of Justice’ called Summoner’s Rift, Crystal Scar and Twisted Treeline. Each of them differ in the number of «Lane»s it offers and the number of players that can play. Summoner’s rift allows the play of 5 players each side with 3 lanes while Twisted Treeline allows only 3 players and only 2 lanes. Crystal Scar is released for the newly developed game type called ‘Dominion’. Each team will be having a base that will have a nexus, item shop and re-spawn point. There will be turrets in the lane engaging enemies. Once a team destroys a turret, it is permanently destroyed that can’t be revived in that session. There will be minions also battling the enemies in the lane. There are also some other type of elements called ‘inhibitors’ for each team. If a team kills the inhibitor of the opposing team, minions with more power to destroy the opposing team will be spawned. The destroyed Inhibitors can be revived after a certain amount of time.

Even though Leagues of Legends is a session based game, the persistent element in the game is the ‘Summoner’ who tracks the statistics of the game including the scores of each player. ‘Summoner’ can influence the game of play by gaining experience points and influence points from each session (battle) of play. They go to the next level of play with these points. Other than ‘Summoner’ that can influence the game, there are also Masteries and Runes that affect gameplay in certain ways. The store in the base of each team can be used to purchase additional options by the ‘Summoner’. It can be purchased either using real money or through points earned during the game.

To achieve extra points or ‘gold’, each time has to destroy ‘monsters’ that reside in the jungle. These bonus achieved by killing ‘monsters’ can be used to the team’s advantage in gaining more power for the attack on the enemy or for taking away some power of the enemy. There is also another element called ‘brush’ in the game that can be used to set up ambush against the opposite team. The first team to destroy the opposing team’s nexus is the winner of the game. The game can also be decided by a voting system if one of the team surrenders. This can happen only after certain amount of time since the game starts and it varies depending on the ‘field of justice’ you are playing in. It is 20 minutes for Summoner’s Rift and 15 minutes for Twisted Treeline.

Different modes of Games

This game can be played in 5 different modes such as following

Tutorial Mode: As the name indicates this mode played in offline session is for new players to get a feel of the game. They will be familiarised with basic understanding of the game including the aim and the controls of the game.

Normal Mode: In this mode players are matched by the automatic match making service either individually or as part of a team. A game is automatically created after matching all the players and players are put into each team so that both the team has equal chance of winning the game. The players are matched purely based on their EIo rating.

Co-Op Vs.AI Mode: This game is played against a team of computer controlled champions called ‘bots’. The game matches each player based on their average Elo rating. In this mode player can be matched either individually or as a team. This mode allows only 5 player team and can play only in Summoner’s Rift map. There are two difficulty levels in this mode, beginner and intermediate.

Custom Mode: As this game is a session based game, players can create sessions according to their liking and other players can join this game from the list of games. Players have the option of setting password or setting a limit on the number of players that can play and also adding champion bots.

Ranked Mode: This mode can be played only by players in very high level.

So what are you waiting for? Get a fastest progress, join the multi-player online battle arena and be one among the award winners in this 3D fantasy game.

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Proper Glucose Control is Key in Prevention of Vision Problems For Diabetics

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. It is estimated that more than 14 million Americans have some form of diabetes. Public health officials expect that by 2050, there will be more than 48 million diagnosed cases in the United States.

Diabetes is caused when the pancreas either does not produce enough insulin or is unable to process insulin correctly. The disease poses numerous complications for the eyes, including fluctuations with eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions; cataracts at a younger age; increased risk of developing glaucoma; and diabetic retinopathy, which is the most serious risk.

The retina is the wall-like structure that lines the back of the eye; it is made up of light-sensitive tissue and a network of blood vessels. In cases of diabetes, the blood vessels of the retina can begin to leak fluid, blood, or cholesterol deposits on the retina. It is also possible that abnormal blood vessels will form and can cause serious bleeding and scarring of the retina.

Diabetic retinopathy frequently has no accompanying symptoms until it is advanced, at which point it is more difficult to treat.

The effects of diabetic retinopathy vary by case, but some common symptoms include blurred vision and a sudden, temporary loss of sight. In late stages of the disease, abnormal vessel growth can lead to retinal detachment and glaucoma.

The longer a person lives with diabetes, the greater their risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. After five years with diabetes, a person’s risk of development is around 20 percent; after 15 years, the risk increases to about 80 percent. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among people aged 20 to 64 in the U.S.

Studies have shown that those who have good control over their diabetes and carefully monitor their glucose levels have a decreased risk of developing sight-threatening complications. In addition, it is important to treat high blood pressure. Also, those who smoke are more likely to have high blood pressure and higher blood sugar levels, which makes diabetes more difficult to control. Not smoking and maintaining good glucose and blood pressure levels can reduce one’s risk of diabetes-related vision problems.

Diabetic retinopathy is generally treated with laser beams that both seal the leaky blood vessels and prevent more from developing. Laser treatment is often successful at maintaining vision if the retinopathy is found early, but it is not capable of restoring vision that is already lost.

Although diabetic retinopathy is the most serious vision impairment, blurred vision and cataracts can also affect diabetics. Blurred vision can be an early symptom of diabetes and can also occur when the disease is not being well controlled. In the case of cataracts, the lens of the eye becomes cloudy causing vision to be blurred or dimmed. It generally afflicts people as they age, but can affect younger individuals who have diabetes. Treatment involves removal of the clouded lens and replacement with a specialized inert plastic lens called an intraocular lens.

Most sight loss from diabetes is preventable. It is crucial for diabetics to have their eyes checked annually, even if they are not experiencing any vision problems.

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Will The President Pay The Price to "Denuclearize" North Korea?

Although the United States has a nuclear stockpile of approximately 4,000 warheads, it cannot win in a nuclear confrontation with North Korea, which is estimated to have no more than a dozen warheads. The reason: The price the United States would have to pay to «win» is simply too great.

North Korea has a population of approximately 25 million and a land area of about 46,000 square miles. That means it has the population of Florida and the land area of Mississippi. The United States, in contrast, has 320 million people and a land area of about 3.7 million square miles, making it the third largest country in the world. On the surface, it would appear that a small country would never be a match for the United States.

These calculations are upset, however, when the destructive effects of nuclear weapons are factored in. By most press accounts, North Korea has at least a dozen nuclear warheads, the largest of which have yields in the 100-kiloton range (1). In contrast, the atomic bombs we dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 were in the 12- to 15-kiloton range. Additionally, this small;country’s Hwasong-15 missile has a range of 8,000 miles (2), which means Honolulu and Los Angeles are within its range. The total population of these two cities is approximately 14 million. Atomic warheads with yields of 100 kilotons would kill most of them.

Kim Jong Un has shown, so far, that he is not intimidated by the huge military apparatus of the United States, including its arsenal of nuclear weapons. He apparently feels that his country needs nuclear weapons for protection, just like Israel, Pakistan, and India. The United States says that North Korea must «denuclearize» completely, while never mentioning similar arsenals maintained by the other three countries.

All is not lost, however. There is a way that security can be guaranteed while it greatly reduces its nuclear stockpile. Kim Jong Un might take the initiative with this letter to the president:

The President of the United States

The White House

Washington, D. C.

Dear Mr. Trump:

I am disappointed that our two meetings to date have not produced any worthwhile results. Nevertheless, I am hopeful that we can still reach an accord on the matter of nuclear weapons.

As you know, my country now has a considerable number of nuclear weapons, all of which are purely defensive in nature. In this regard, we are no different than Israel, Pakistan, or India.

In the interest of reducing tensions between our two countries and promoting world peace, I am prepared to dismantle all but two Hwasong-15 rockets and two 100-kiloton warheads, an effort that may be verified by international inspectors. In return I ask that the United States remove sanctions against North Korea and all American troops from the Korean peninsula.

Our two missiles will be mounted on transporter-erector-launchers that will be moved to new, undisclosed locations each day. Targets for these missiles will be the island of Oahu and the city of Los Angeles. As long as the United States and South Korea never attack my country the missiles will never be used

Sincerely,

Kim Jong Un

Supreme Leader of North Korea

Well, Mr. Trump, what are you going to do? If you launch a «preemptive» strike against North Korea the way George W. Bush launched a strike on Iraq in 2003, 10 to 12 million Americans in two of our cities will die. You can, most assuredly, «denuclearize» North Korea by dropping so many atom bombs on the country that it will become a radioactive wasteland. The real question is-are you willing to pay the price?

Endnotes

1. «Summing up the nuclear test in North Korea on the 3 September, 2017.» Press release from Seismic Observatory NORSAR, Kjeller, Norway.

2. «North Korea says new missile puts all of US in striking range», BBC News, Asia edition, 29 November 2017

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Short Breaks in the Capital – Choosing a Hotel in London

The rising cost of air travel has put UK city breaks firmly back in fashion, and with a multitude of crowd-pleasing attractions and affordable travel links to the rest of the country, there’s never been a better time to take a short break in the country’s capital.

Its spectacular West End productions, historic buildings, grand palaces, spellbinding museums and pioneering art galleries ensure London offers something to appeal to everyone.

And whether your budget is lavish or shoestring, you’ll be spoilt for choice with places to stay, from fashionable boutique hotels to ancient converted buildings and modern masterpieces.

Piccadilly makes a perfect base for theatre breaker’s and shopping fanatics alike. It’s ideally placed for bustling Oxford Street, home to Selfridges and a myriad of fabulous shops and department stores, while the hip hangouts of Soho and Covent Garden are also nearby.

In the evening, you’ll find the bright lights of London’s famous West End are just a short stroll away. Here you can catch a show, see a musical, visit the opera or laugh the night away with the country’s top comedians.

And if you’re in need of a little refreshment, head for Leicester Square to sample delicious international cuisine or innovative cocktails at one of the area’s many restaurants and bars.

If you’d rather explore London’s historic buildings, look for hotels around Westminster. From here you can visit Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral, the Houses of Parliament and nearby Buckingham Palace, then cross the bridge over the Thames to the London Eye and take in the city’s majestic landscape.

Some of London’s best museums are located in South Kensington, just south of Knightsbridge and Hyde Park. Here you’ll find the Science Museum, the Earth Galleries Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum and Brompton Oratory.

Art buffs should stay near Southwark on the banks of the River Thames – the iconic Tate Modern is just off the nearby Millennium Bridge. Visitors can take a short ferry ride between the Tate Modern and the Tate Britain galleries, while to the east of Southwark lies the Tower of London, one of the most compelling and historic buildings in the city.

If you’re after pure luxury, seek out hotels around the upmarket neighbourhoods bordering Hyde Park. Most have stunning scenic views and its proximity to nearby green areas like St James’s, Park, Green Park and Kensington Gardens make it a perfect base for relaxing strolls and picnics.

North of Hyde Park, the leafy Regents Park makes an excellent base for visiting the the must-see Madame Tussauds waxworks museum. Tussauds also offers some great time-saving packages combining the museum with other attractions like the London Eye and and the London Dungeon – not for those of a nervous disposition!

It’s a good idea to make a list of everything you plan to do before you book a hotel in London. Taxi’s around the capital can be very expensive, and choosing the right base for your short break will help you reach most of your destinations on foot and take in some spectacular sights on the way!

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