Egyptian Elections

Reading about people in Egypt voting for the first time in nearly 30 years, I thought about my trip to that country last August.

I wasn't in Cairo where the trial of Hosni Mubarak was being held.

I was southwest of there in Sharm El-Sheikh on the Red Sea at a resort.
 I longed to witness the trial, but who can complain about a relaxing time on the beach on southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, with views of the mountains and all you can eat and drink service.

The people working at the hotel were Egyptian, but they didn't have much to say about Mubarak. It was Ramadan, so they mostly spoke of how they couldn't eat most of the day, drink or have sex.

Sharm El-Sheikh is south of Mt. Sinai. I didn't take the two day trip up to the mountain, but I did take a bus into Wadi Mandar in the middle of the desert.

Camels then took us into an area where bedouins fed us and hosted a dance around a fire pit. There were also telescopes set up to look at the stars. I've never seen the rings of Saturn so distinct.

This historic election comes after mass protests led to the ousting of Mubarak. I like the way this Washington Post blogger put it... "After a revolution, a dictator’s flight and a year of debate, the people go to the polls." It's a two-day voting event, Wednesday and Thursday May 23 and 24. There are 13 candidates. If one doesn't get 50-percent of the vote, people return to the polls.

The Diamond Jubilee

Raise a cuppa in honor of the Queen. 2012 is her 60 year Diamond Jubilee.

She took the throne in February of 1952, but according to the official website of the British Monarchy, the big celebration weekend is 2nd-5th June. June 2nd is a special date because its the day of her actual coronation in 1953.
Click here for the official Diamond Jubilee website.
I found this tea cup in a friend's cabinet. It's from the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977. Much like plans for the upcoming weekend in June, the previous celebration included street parties, pageants and parades and a Royal Tour of the UK and Commonwealth.

 Both of the websites can serve as a refresher course on history. Quite honestly I had an "oh, that's right" moment when reading about planned visits to some of the Commonwealth countries, Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories. Click here for history on the Monarchy from 400 AD to present.
Pour me another cup while I have a go at some history lessons.

Battleship Texas

So many "100 year" celebrations this year.

Chevrolet is celebrating it's 100 year anniversary.(Click for 1912 pic.)
Grand Central Station is 100. (Okay so it was actually complete in 2013. But it took a decade to build and a "celebrating 100 years" sign is currently on display.)
Bryron Nelson, Eva Braun and Woodie Guthrie would have all turned 100.
In March of 1912 Tokyo gave Washington D.C. 3,000 cherry trees.
Of course all the media won't let us forget the Titanic.
And there is another ship with a centennial this year.
Battleship Texas.

I only paused to click on the information because I saw Battleship Texas is part of the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, and just recently on a drive from Houston I stopped to take pictures of the monument. After spending time in London and seeing all the memorial obelisks, I was interested in seeing the "world's tallest monumental column."
However I didn't notice Battleship Texas. But then I didn't go to the site, just pulled over on the side of the road. Maybe I did capture the Battleship in my pics? Nope. Looking back, doesn't look like it. I got a nice sunset.
I've probably read about Battleship Texas in the past, I just don't recall. I guess that is why we have 100-year celebration reminders.
According to the state media release, Battleship Texas was launched May 18, 1912 and "served the country in both World War I and World War II and was the only battleship to serve in all theaters during the last world war."
(READ the release here for details of the Saturday, May 19th event.)
It goes on to say she (oh, it's a girl!) "was presented to the State of Texas and commissioned as the flagship of the Texas Navy on San Jacinto Day, 1948 and retired on the site of the San Jacinto Battleground, the state’s most significant victory. She has served as a museum memorial since 1948 and is anchored on the Buffalo Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel."

In all honesty I had to look up details of the Battle of San Jacinto. Wikipedia not only offered a concise description, it gave options to read of other San Jacinto battles.
As for the event that happened where Ms. Battleship Texas is stationed, most websites sum it up at the "decisive battle of the Texas Revolution." Led by General Sam Houston, it's said to be a fight that lasted a mere 18 minutes and delivered Texas it's independence from Mexico.
However it happened in 1836.
So while this summer we remember 200 years since the War of 1812, we'll have to wait until 2036 for a proper bicentennial bash for the Battle of San Jacinto.

Every Four

Four years might be the life span for a computer.
Back in January of 2008 I was celebrating my new Mac Book Pro. (Read the blog post here)I was really excited about all the igadgets I would be needing.

Now, four years later, celebrate isn't the term I'd use for things I say out loud while using my laptop. Actually, it's not that bad. It just needs more memory and an electrical outlet nearby. The laptop has to always be plugged in because the machine keeps killing the internal battery.

But I do have another computer and I can use my Mac Book Pro as an external drive. I bought a special cord- and if you hold down "ALT T" as you turn on the computer you want to use as the file source, you can drag and drop and access all your content. Well, most of it.
This weekend while staying with a friend in Austin she told me her computer is four years old and she also has to keep it plugged in. Her other problem is her N. It doesn't work well. You have hit it really hard. It made me realize how often I type New York. And, no getting around not using N in Austin. (See I used N in every word?)
N-nee way...
While in Austin I heard the *n*ews Apple is dramatically increasing the size of it's headquarters there.
Then I drove to the Apple store at the Domain and bought an iPad Camera Connection Kit. For 30-dollars the two adaptors allow you to import pictures and video from an SD Card or USB.
Which basically means I now have a USB inport for my iPad. (N-port:)
Too bad I saw the sign in the window reminding me I need a new iPad. The third generation has now been out for a while. I'm still using the first one- and it's doing just fine. I bought mine in April 2010 so using the four year rule, I should have two more years to go! iPhones are a different different story. I've bought four in the past two years. Only one still works (despite it's busted screen and broken status.)

Back in 08 when my shiny new laptop was full of free GB and hope, it was a year of election coverage.
Read about the use of twitter in the 08 elections on our way to November 4th of that year. Every four. Hmmm does anyone know anything about numerology? Are we living in quads? I did in college. Here's to the next quantum leap.

Cinco de Mayo - Dia de deportes. (Day of Sports)

When I first heard Cinco de Mayo was also the day of The Kentucky Derby this year, I vowed to celebrate "Cinco de Derby."
Get the fancy hats and mint juleps ready for the 138th Kentucky Derby. Previews begin on NBC at 4pm ET and don't blink, the race is  6:24 p.m. ET.

But first, don't forget to cheer on the New York Rangers in the conference semifinals at Washington starting at 12:30.

Quite honestly if you like sports, your team might be playing today. We have baseball: The Red Sox at 1pm, the Mets at 4:00 and the Yanks at 7:00.

The NBA has matchups. My Mavs play at 7:35pm.
And there is soccer. The New York Red Bulls are playing for the first time without Thierry Henry against the Galaxy in Los Angeles. But you might want to tune in at David Beckham is supposed to make a return to the Galaxy tonight. Mr. Spice himself.

If you like Football- (the European kind) as I'm writing this the Premier League match between Arsenal and Norwich is already over, ending in a draw.

THE BIG game over in London town is at Wembley where Chelsea is taking on Liverpool in the 131st FA Cup Final at 5:15 pm. (That's London time.)
It's a classic race of red and blue between two old rivals. Read this post where I sort of compare the teams to the Yankees and Red Sox.

Actually having the derby on the same day as big soccer match ups reminds me of a match at Stamford Bridge. One of my female friends from London had never been to a match so I was explaining which team we were cheering for and which goal post they were aiming. She made the comment: "These men are like race horses, THOROUGHBREDS."

Click here to check out last year's Cinco de Mayo blog. It ended up being about Manchester United.