Scenes on Sunday ~ America

America is a land of endless inspiring vistas.

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My Adult Life in Snapshots

Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.

It’s a long way and a long time from a coal mining village in the North of England to an upscale hotel in Sedona, Arizona ~ and I made all the stops along the way.

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Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Embracing Bliss

follow your bliss and the cosmos will open doors where there were only walls

The view from my hotel balcony

Over the weekend, and for the next few days I will be attending a conference ~ retreat called Embracing Bliss in Sedona AZ.  It’s spiritual / self-improvement, and I’m expecting great things as far as balancing my life is concerned.

Sadly this means that I won’t be online as much as usual.  But normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Take care in the meantime.

 

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Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Sedona is a beautiful town, and this is a cool hotel

A Mustang in Arizona

No matter what life throws at me, at least I have a cool car.

In Arizona my rental is a Mustang.

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Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

now all I need is a cool girl riding shotgun

A Californian I Am Not

California is a nice place to live, if you happen to be a hippie.

Orange County in Southern California is a very beautiful place to spend early summer ~ the great weather, fabulous beaches, and fascinating countryside….. But any Englishman thinking of coming here for the very first time needs to know that SoCal is as different from the Shires as Wensleydale cheese is from the muck known as American cheese.

George Bernard Shaw once said that England and America are two countries separated by a common language.  This is manifestly true.  Californians do not know how to speak or understand English, even if Spanish is not their first language.  Certainly no Californian will ever understand English humour, irony, sarcasm, or know what real honesty is about.  Also Californians have a language of their own; WTF does ‘Jonesing’ mean?

There is popular movement that calls on us all to walk 10,000 steps a day.  Californians do not walk anywhere, unless they are a penniless bum.  A Californian will drive to the gym and then spend some time on the treadmill while listening to mindless music.

And, Californians are among the very worst drivers I have ever come across, possibly barring the French.  The two real downsides are #1 all Americans think they are good drivers, #2 in California the standard of driving worsens by age, sex, and ethnicity, (not how you’d think).

Californians even drive to and from what they are pleased to call a pub.  I’ve been in several pubs / sports bars here, and to any decent Englishman they are universally appalling.  Do Not think you will get a decent pint of beer here, they serve dross such as pineapple flavoured beer.  Americans are also pleased to sit at the bar and watch sports TV all night.  Do Not eat the food in any American  pub / sports bar.

Some Californian food is fabulous, you can get a wonderful steak and salad here.  On the other hand sushi is popular here, and so is serving nasty cheese with everything.  Do not try ‘Mexican’ food, it’s greasy muck with jalapeno.

Some say that California is the Golden State.  And that saying ‘have a nice day’ isn’t actually an insult.  All I know is that bikers, drop-outs, hippies, stoners, and surf bums do well here.

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Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

The beach bars are cool in California,

and some serve good food,

Using marijuana is deadly dangerous.

As legalization spreads, more Americans are becoming heavy users of cannabis, despite its link to violence and mental illness.  ~ The Wall Street Journal.

The resting place for alcoholics, bums, and drug users.

The ideas I want to share with you are considered subversive and ant-social.  But subversion can be a good thing.  Sometimes going against mainstream opinions is not only justified, it is necessary to counter vested interests, prejudice, error, bigotry, and bad science.  If an idea or opinion is not universally accepted, that does not per se mean that the different theory is wrong.  Galileo was denounced for suggesting that the Earth orbited the  Sun.

There exists today an extraordinary denial of the clear links between cannabis use, mental illness, crime, and violence.  For what is the real difference between pot, cocaine,  heroin, and sundry other dangerous psychoactive drugs, all of which lead to the untimely death of someone?

As many Americans are regular users of dangerous psychoactive drugs as there are Americans who drink booze every day.  And the cannabis used today is far stronger than it was is the 1970s, containg more than 10 times as much THC now than it did back then.  ( The psychoactive ingredient of cannabis is TetraHydroCannabinoil.)

Some of the effects of THC on the brain are a lowered IQ, an increased risk of psychosis, schizophrenia, paranoia, delusions, hallucianations, losing touch with reality, reduced cognition, impaired and false memories, and a hell of a lot of ‘neural noise’. THC also totally fucks the brain’s pleasure / reward systems, suppressing self control, leading to increased appetite for food, booze, sex, more drugs…..

Using marijuana has detrimental physical effects causing breathing problems, cardiovascular dangers, intense nausea and vomiting, weight issues.  If a pregnant mother uses cannabis she is seriously damaging the foetus in her womb.

Marijuana users experience; lower life satisfaction, poor mental health, poorer physical health, and serious relationship issues.  These effects are very long term / permanent, even if you are / were an occasional user of this insidious drug.

Personally I would never get involved with any marijuana user, or indeed anyone who abuses drugs of any kind.  And, addicts of anything are infinitely more dangerous than someone who is clean and healthy in body, mind, and spirit.

Just a couple of examples of cannabis fuelled violence: #1 the Islamic terrorists who carried out a devastating attack on innocent passers-by on London Bridge on the 3rd of June 2017 were all habitual users of marijuana, #2 the despicable youth who deliberately drove into a young girl in Utah on Friday 31st of May this year was high on a mixture of cannabis, Xanax, and booze.  He  killed the 11 year old girl on purpose.

Some say that marijuana is a relatively harmless drug.  And, that the weed never hurt anyone.  All I know is that using marijuana means that someone is going to die an untimely death.

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Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Growing this in England is illegal,

but nobody cares anymore.

Monochrome Monday ~ Bondage

I want you.  I need you.  I’m addicted to you.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Now is different,

there are no limits

after all, you’re no lady.

Scenes on Sunday ~ Rental Cars

The fastest car in the world is whatever rental I’m driving.

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Not a car, but a fun rental.

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0Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

first rental this road trip

Mitsubishi Outlander

Songs on Saturday ~ Substitute

A substitute is only ever second-best.

Some of the time I feel as though I’m a substitute for someone else.  There is no substitute for true friendship or real love.  Sadly, some think alcohol-fueled casual sex is the same thing.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

she’s either getting drunk,

or looking for sex with a substitute for her regular partner,

or both.

Food on Friday ~ Summer BBQ

Friends, fun, beer, and BBQ ~ it’s what summer’s all about.

When you read this I’ll probably be in the air, somewhere over the Atlantic ocean, but I’m looking forward to sampling food like this when I eventually arrive at my various destinations in the USA; Orange County, Phoenix, Sedona, Flagstaff in AZ, and probably LA and San Diego Counties too.

From my Californian friends I know that it’s already BBQ season over there, so here’s an essential accompaniment to any grill, a potato salad.  Except from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest, here we have a wonderful looking pesto potato salad.

Pesto Potato Salad

Another potato side, this time from Diane’s Kitchen; simple twice baked potatoes, and the good thing about this dish is that, (if you need to), you can mostly prepare it the day before and finish it off in the oven or microwave.

Simple Twice Baked Potatoes

From Creme de la Crumb this is a fast, easy, and flavourful recipe you can just stick in the oven or broiler; sheet pan salmon, asparagus, and potatoes.  Or you could just do the salmon and asparagus and have it with a dill salad.

Sheet Pan Salmon, Asparagus, Potatoes

Talking of a dill salad, from Julia Moskin at the New York Times, we have this soft herb salad, which just cries out for whatever fresh greens you have growing in your garden.  This will go great with any BBQ’d salmon dish.

Soft Herb Salad

Your collection this week is from Olive Magazine which has 62 of the best BBQ recipes, and I especially like this very easy Miami-style blackened fish sandwich with smoked paprika mayo.  Cooking fish on the grill is so easy and deliciously cool.

Miami-Style Blackened Fish Sandwich with Smoked Paprika Mayo

And to drink with your early summer BBQ garden party; Beer.  Vine Pair has a list of the 50 best bottled beers of 2018, and at #1 the Sierra Nevada Brewing hazy little thing IPA.  If I was still a drinking man I’d quaff a few tinnies of this stuff.  IPA stands for India Pale Ale ~ Asian Indians, not the American kind.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Hazy Little Thing IPA

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jack collier

jack collier7@talktalk.net

 

BBQ chicken lettuce wraps

clean, healthy, great with tequila

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