Disneyland

Hello fellow Tuesday readers,

Last weekend, I was in Disneyland! Yes, it was a spur of the moment thing to get away from everything back at home. Life has been extremely stressful so it was nice to be a kid at the happiest place on Earth for a few days. I have an annual pass so I try to go as often as possible. I usually make it out there for 5-6 times per year so I get my money’s worth!

It’s funny how a place can instantly make you happy. It takes me back to when I was a kid experiencing everything for the first time. Everyone at my work doesn’t seem what’s so great about that place and it genuinely is a hard thing to explain. It’s magical, cheesy but true. Most people who don’t get it actually have never even been there before so they think it’s just for kids.

For the most part, I do go for the rides. My favorites are Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, California Screamin, Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Railroad. However, that’s not the only reason. The characters, the music, the theming is always nothing short of spectacular. The workers put 110% of themselves into the place and it’s just a great happy environment to be in. Every time I go, there’s always something new to do.

This past summer, I even took a tour of Disneyland just to cross it off my bucket list. I also love the history of Walt and the creation of Disneyland. I knew a lot of facts and trivia and I actually did learn quite a few more details of putting the place together. I even got to visit Walt’s apartment complex that he used to stay in on Main Street. I get such a rush even speaking about it.

So basically, when I’m older, hopefully in my 80’s or 90’s, I will be yelling to my grandkids to push me around the park still. It keeps me young. It keeps me happy.

And that’s really all you need to know about the place! Have a good rest of the week!

Daniella

Bill’s Saturday Musings and Observations: American Protest Unity

Good Saturday to you, everyone!

Life wins are hard to find at times when the things going on around you all seem so negative.

Take the recent decisions by grand juries in St. Louis, Missouri and Staten Island, New York. Their “no bill” decisions – that is, decisions not to file any homicide charges against white police officers who killed two African-American men, despite evidence to the contrary – were just two of many such outcomes in similar cases in the U.S. over the past decades. However, these decisions sparked protests across the country.

The “win” here, to me, is the unity and diversity of the protesters who marched in St. Louis, New York, Los Angeles, Oakland, Berkeley, Sacramento and Cleveland, Ohio (where a 12-year-old with a toy gun was shot to death without warning by a Cleveland cop) to say “Black lives matter!” and “Justice for everyone!” I was proud to watch these folks come together peacefully in the most recent protests and stand up for what is right. They were young and old, of every race and sex, men women and children, all ages. This was a Life Win for everyone, even those who don’t know it yet.

I was even prouder to learn that my niece, Jena, a student at U.C. Berkeley, was among the protesters. (She’s the one in pink hat, lower left corner of the photo below). She and the others she joined are proof that the “millennials” are NOT a generation of young people who just sit around thinking about themselves. Jena adds to the heritage of civil rights protesters in our blended family. My mother participated in sit-ins at one of the major banks in St. Louis in the 1960s to protest their discriminatory policies toward Black customers. My Uncle Jeff was a civil rights attorney in New York. My wife’s Uncle Mike ­– an ex-Marine who lost a leg in World War II – was one of many Caucasians to join the March on Washington with Martin Luther King in 1963.

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No Justice, No Peace: Black students rally in solidarity. D. Hayat/Senior Staff By Daily Cal Photo Staff on Friday, December 5, 2014, dailycal.org.

I’m also proud of the few police officers, like Pedro Serrano of the NYPD, who have come forward to testify about working under conditions of institutional racism that have been perpetuated for years, despite the institution of laws, policies and procedures to prevent them. His testimony in the face of ostracism and harassment from his ‘brothers in blue” is a Life Win for his community and a testament to his dedication and bravery.

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NYPD Officer Pedro Serrano. Photo by TV One

By the way, please don’t think I have a beef with the police. Some of my close friends are, or were police officers. I even lost a childhood friend who died in the line of duty (drug raid). I just don’t like those who abuse their authority or blindly make instantaneous, life-altering decisions based on centuries-old stereotypes and fears.

That’s it for me today. Have a “Win-derful” week!

Peace,

Bill M

Bill’s Musings and Observations – Thanksgiving and Thankful

Good Saturday to you!

Rain! It’s a big Life Win for everybody this morning and boy, do we need this. The sprinkling tease we got just before Thanksgiving day was nice, but the soft staccato of drops draining from my roof to are beating a calm, healing rhythm on the leaves below. Hallelujah!

Sometimes you find a smile where you least expect it, and it’s wonderful if you can share it. My brother-in-law drove up from San Diego Thanksgiving day (he’s a real road warrior”) and along the way he observed a somewhat magical cloud formation. There in the crisp blue sky above Interstate 5, he saw what looked like two quill pens side by side, pointing toward Sacramento. He stopped to get a shot with his new iPhone 6 and shared it with my wife and I. My wife calls cloud formations like these angels, and it’s as if they were poised to write a clear, safe path for him to follow home. Very spiritual, ethereal…and cool.

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Feathers over I-5. By Robert Camhi, Copyright Nov.27, 2014

Of course, I think the Thanksgiving holiday was probably a Life Win for everyone. Family, food and fun is what most of us experience, I’m sure. However, there are many who are not so fortunate, those of our brothers and sisters who have no permanent home or means of support. Thankfully, there are organizations like the Sacramento Loaves and Fishes, the Salvation Army and the Sacramento Food Bank who ensure that many of our homeless and less fortunate neighbors are fed, clothed and sheltered year-round, not just on Thanksgiving Day with, for example, a Run to Feed the Hungry. Think about sharing your good fortune and giving thanks in the form of donations – money, food, clothing, time – to any or all of these or similar organizations. Even a few dollars will help and most of us won’t miss those few bucks. Buying one less cup of coffee at Starbucks or Peets, or purchasing a little less at the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales and donating that sum to one of these wonderful organizations can help hundreds of people on the street, and it will come back to you ten-fold.

Ever think about building something from scratch and decided you didn’t have the “skills?” Check out JK’s blog, “The Right Tool for the Job,” for a little inspiration. And Kati’s brief  insight into walking the walk, not just talking the talk, will is food for thought in “Actions Not Words” on QuoteWriteInspire.

Until next week,

Peace,

Bill M