Happy Birthday America

 Posted by at 12:51 am  Nick's Blog
Jul 042014

Happy birthday America. Yes, we have our problems, and there are a lot of things that need changing, but isn’t it wonderful to live in a country where we can complain about the government out loud and not worry about storm troopers kicking in our door late at night? I’ve been around the world and seen a whole lot of places, and people here really have no idea how good we have it. Even our poorest citizens live better than millions of people in the world could ever hope to.

Elkhart Campground is filling up for the holiday weekend, with RVs of every shape and size. This tiny little trailer pulled in next to Greg and Jan yesterday afternoon. Not a lot of elbow room in there!

Tiny trailer

You may remember that I reported on the nasty storms that raged through this area Monday night. Here is a photo from a Michigan television station from that night. Fortunately nobody was injured, but it could have been a tragedy. That’s why we don’t like to park under trees if we can avoid it.

RV crushed by tree

Bad news for fans of Microsoft Streets & Trips, which includes me. The company has announced that it has discontinued the popular mapping software. In their press release, they said support will be continued until July 14, 2015. The latest version of the software, Microsoft Streets and Trips 2013 , will be available for purchase until December 31, 2014. I have a 2011 version of Streets & Trips, but I think I’ll grab the latest version while I can.

We don’t have any big plans for the weekend. Today we’re going to hang out at home and I want to get some writing done, and Miss Terry is finishing up her latest weaving project. It’s off the loom, but now she has to do some finish work by hand, then wash it, which fulls it and allows the woven threads to settle into position and pull it into a tighter weave. I hope to have photos of it for tomorrow’s blog. Saturday we may take a ride out through Amish country, probably our last opportunity to do so, since we’re scheduled to leave here on Monday and go down to the Thousand Trails near Batesville, Indiana for a couple of weeks.

Have you entered this week’s Free Drawing for an audiobook of Longnecks & Twisted Hearts, the third book in George Weir’s excellent Bill Travis mystery series, yet? I’m a big fan of everything George writes and I think you will be too, once you have a taste of his Texas tales. All you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Longnecks cover

Thought For The Day – Love is not about who you can see spending your future with, it’s about who you can’t see spending your life without.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  9 Responses to “Happy Birthday America”

  1. As to the Streets & Trips program, I had never used it. What I use is DeLorme Mapping program, I liked that a lot.

  2. You might want to try Street Atlas by DeLorme. I’ve used both Microsoft Streets & Trips and Street Atlas and much prefer Street Atlas. Much easier to make your own customized routes.

  3. Happy 4th of July to the two of you, we also use DeLorme Street Atlas and have used if for years it is a good mapping program

  4. Bummer on Streets & Trips. Is MS going to abandon all of its products that work, so they can build new ones that don’t work. I have used both Delorme and Streets & Trips. I found DeLorme impossible to understand and worked with Streets & Trips long enough that I can make magic with it. In my opinion those people that don’t like a product simply gave up on learning how to use it before they mastered it. I am definitely guilty of that with DeLorme. I have had at least three versions of Streets and Trips and love it. Especially the POI overlay. I will live with my 13 version for a few years and then switch to DeLorme. Nick, do you know if the POI overlay works with DeLorme? If not could you please get your good friends from Geeks on Tour to start to make some noise so that could be added. Thanks.

  5. So true about how the rest of the world lives. We have traveled too but mostly to “civilized countries.” And we still live better in the US than the average person anywhere we have been. Presently in Canada. Prices HIGH. A gallon of unleaded is about $5.40 (A). I have run out of eggs because a dozen is over $3 (A and I refuse to buy it that high). I could go on and on. Their taxes are high, their cost of homes and living expenses are high. Their salaries are higher than the US but taxes and expenses take much more. NZ, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, UK , Switzerland, France prices all twice ours. Norway & Finland were 3 times our prices. Democracy and capitalism work.

  6. Happy birthday my dear old colonials 🙂

    Independence was right and inevitable and also showed to all empires that there are limits. You will never win against a guerrilla force many miles from home.

    Having lived amongst you now for 6 years, I am always impressed by the patriotism displayed at every opportunity. However, what happened to the skills of critical thinking? You health system is a joke …… a very expensive joke. Your education system is failing “the people” unless you are fortunate to have plenty of money for private schooling. Your infrastructure is falling apart all around you. All of this at home while your young men and women are being asked to fight dubious conflicts many miles from home.

    Your nation remains the largest experiment in both democracy and capitalism and it has done pretty well for many people. Sadly the reality these days is that you do not have a functioning democracy and capitalism, like any “ism” blindly followed, is eroding your freedoms.

    I feel fortunate to be in a position to live here and experience America, especially because I have the freedom to leave any time I wish.

    You love your country, that is right and good and understandable, but don’t be blind. Demand more of your elected representatives. Demand more of your fellow citizens. A strong democracy needs an educated and informed citizenry. Drive up education standards and voter participation. You are supposed to be the “Greatest Nation” so act like it!

    Lastly, you can’t judge a nations “wonderfulness” by looking at the price of petrol. It’s much more complex. There are a number of cost of living studies on the web like this.


    Happy birthday America ….. and many more to come.

  7. Thanks for the tip on the streets program…hubby has an old one…says now he best get the latest too. Very helpful.

    Waiting to see how Terry’s latest creation comes out…I think that is so neat that she has learned this in such a short time!!

    Also, looking forward to photos of your Amish country drive. The only novels I read much anymore are the Amish ones. Too busy with research and such to read much for pleasure.

  8. While in Shipshewanna have you ever visited Yoder’s Meat Market? It is in
    a large red building right in front of the flea market. They have a very large
    selection of cheeses, fresh & frozen meats and other goodies in “bulk” type
    packaging. The Blue Gate restaurant on the corner with the blinker also
    serves very good meals. Let us know if you find some other interesting place
    to eat. We plan to be there yet this summer.

  9. Let me make it clear the USA is a REPUBLIC for of Government to a Democracy!
    So, getting out and voting is the only way to make changes in our education, health and welfare systems.
    Oh, yeah if our country is so bad why is everyone else breaking down the fences to get into it?

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