Wednesday, December 12, 2007

5. Spend a year (or two (or three)) abroad

I think everyone should spend a year (or two, or more) away from the country of birth (or of growing-up). It broadens one's horizons, and lends a perspective that would otherwise be difficult to achieve.

Ideally, this should be to a place where the language and culture are different from those you are used to.

At one time, I could claim that I lived in Japan longer than I lived here in the USA. (Alas, this is no longer the case). Still, I would like to spend a year in various great cities of the world: Paris, Rome, Berlin, Prague... Doing that was a dream once. And still a possibility.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

4. Visit Australia (again)

Brisbane by night from the southern bank of the Brisbane River, looking from east to west.Image via WikipediaI just returned from a two week voyage to Brisbane, Australia. It takes forever to get there from the US East Coast, and the time adjustment is really really bad (especially returning -- don't know why). But the little I saw of the Land Down Under caused me to immediately put a return trip to Oz in my top 100 "things to do" list.

Unfortunately, my weeks were taken up with work. Fortunately, the weekends were free, and the trip was paid for. I took complete advantage of this.

For my first weekend, I decided to stay close to Brisbane. As any good tourist should do, I booked a city tour which involved a guided tour of the city, a ride up the river (Brisbane is NOT on the coast -- but near it), a visit to a scenic overlook, and some time to see the local wildlife at a Koala sanctuary.

My second weekend, I took two day trips in two different directions. First, South to the Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise... to savor the glitz of over-commercialized sun-worship along a broad stretch of golden sand. Next, a boat ride to Moreton Island, a sand Island about 75 minutes from Brisbane by boat (kind of Northeast, I think). Here I was able to relax on the beach and fish off the pier. In the evening, at Tanglooma, I watched wild dolphins come in close to shore and eat fish offered by lines of chaperoned tourists.

Australia is huge -- around the size of the United States with a population of only 20 million. There is plenty to do, and I put some items on my list for the next visit:

1. Cairns, and the Great Barrier Reef
2. The Whithsunday coast
3. Sydney
4. Tasmania

Maybe if I had a month?

Monday, July 9, 2007

3. Go Green

Incandescent light bulbImage via WikipediaThis might be the perfect time to start doing more for the environment. Even before the Live Earth concert, I have been exploring ways to cut down on energy use and increase recycling.

My first thought was to install solar power in my house, especially since the back of my house faces nearly due south... I did a lot of research and it turns out this is still pretty expensive.

So, I actually did start by looking for ways to save energy inside the house. I am in the process of doing a room by room energy "inventory" looking for ways to save. The most obvious and immediate ones are: 1) Turning off electrical appliances when they aren't in use (costs nothing to do!!), and 2) Replacing incandescent bulbs with Compact Florescent bulbs.

Now this (going to CFl bulbs) does cost a bit, but there are several benefits. First, you are using less energy ( a lot less, per bulb to get equal brightness ). Second, since you are using less energy, your electric bill will be less. Third, these bulbs are supposed to last a LOT longer than the ones they are replacing (some even come with a warranty -- remember to save those receipts!!). A down-side is that the color and spectrum of light you get may not be the same as what you were getting with incandescents. But the most major down-side is that all of the CFl's I've seen seem to be packaged in excessive plastics -- just like everything else these days.

I still need to figure out what I'm going to do with the Honda Pilot... although, on the positive side, where I used to commute an hour and a half each way, I now walk down to my basement and telecommute. A lot less stress, and a lot less pollution!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

2. Do a Past Life Regression

An illustration of the Rebirth (reincarnation) process, including the postmortem existence in the supraphysical realms (where the so-called dead live), from the perspective of the Christian esoteric teachings (western).Image via WikipediaPast Life Regression is a technique where a subject, under hypnosis, is taken back, or regressed, to a point in time before his/her birth.

For those who believe in reincarnation, PLR is said to be a way to experience past lives. Others believe that perhaps, rather than one's own past, PLR opens a channel for other spirits to speak through a person, or for a person to experience or to recall a collective memory. Or, of course, there is always the chance that it is completely hocus-pocus, and the "memories" are nothing more than our own memories from reading books or watching TV or movies, or even fabrications by an active imagination.

Nonetheless, the subject of Past Life Regression has always attracted me, and I would like to have it done to see what I can experience -- whether it is possible that I have had past lives or not.

I will have to research this subject more.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

1. Take an Around-the-World Cruise

I am not new to ships. In fact, my first experience was a long sea voyage from the US to Japan when I was about 6 months old, aboard the SS President Wilson (postcard on the left).
In 1970, my family again returned to Japan on an American President Lines ship, this time the Wilson's sister ship, the SS President Cleveland.
These voyages probably shaped my life in some way, because I later joined the Navy and spent 10 years near the water, taking journeys on various ships and submarines. And later, after the Navy, I've enjoyed being a passenger on several cruises to the Carribean with my wife and kids. It was nice being "pampered" on the cruises, and I've always enjoyed visiting exotic ports, so, now that it will be just my wife and me, I think the idea of a 'round-the-world cruise is looking very attractive.
But cost is a factor... For the romantic in me, nothing would compare to the 'round the world maiden voyage of Cunard's Queen Victoria in 2008. But its gonna cost 30k for a room with a view. Think about it, though! 106 days of luxury...
Holland America has a 2008 voyage aboard the ms Amsterdam. This 113 days... and costs $25k for a view, $50k for a verandah. Cunard is looking better. But Holland America's itenerary takes a little jot into the Black Sea... interesting.
So is it worth it? How do I prepare for something like this? Stay tuned...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

So, why am I doing this?

P1130937Image by Matthew Vandenbossche via FlickrHere I am looking at the half-century mark... the big five zero. So I have maybe a good couple of decades left to get things done (maybe) before I kick off. I plan to use this place to start developing my dreams for What I Would De Before I Die If I Had No Limits. (Perhaps that would be a better tag for this blog?)...

Anyway, I plan to track what I want to do and take action and get a lot of them done... or at least started :-)

I thought about how to really do this online... because I want to start with an idea and develop it as time goes on. I think I will do the exposition of ideas here and then put the development and tracking into a Wiki or something similar.

Look for more info in days to come... Right now I have to go write a note to Apple to see if they can design a phone for Boomers because we are all approaching the age (or are already there) where we need reading glasses... and things like cell phones are getting harder to use because we can't see the small numbers and print. (I stopped wearing a watch for that very reason).

Dear Steve... please consider designing a version of the iPhone with big numbers and letters so that your fellow boomers can use it. (sincerely, etc).


Saturday, June 16, 2007

What to do

OK. So there are still a lot of things I want to do before I die. My intention is to start here and try to capture as meny of them as possible.