Monday, April 24, 2017

Important PASSPORT changes are here!!! If your passport expired or you do not have one, APPLY NOW.

2017 marked the beginning of a major policy shift for US passports. published a great article that every one should take the time to read:

Major changes to Passport(1)

This great article highlights these important changes:
  • Starting this year, there will be a delay in processing passports.  The article recommends you do them now.
  • Effective January 2018, there were be stringent information required for state driver's/ID.  You should get your passport, especially if you fall into one of these states that do not meet federal requirements.  Do not risk your ability to fly domestically by not having a passport.
  • As of 11/2006, glasses cannot be worn for your passport photo (there are certain exceptions).  The State Department has rejected many passport applications because they did not meet passport photo guidelines.
  • Passports are changing.  All new passports will include a chip on the information page.  In the future these chips may contain more personal information.  The State Department is advising that there will be more technological features on US passports.   Also, the number of pages in the book will be decreased.  I guess that's to discourage travel?   There will also be other changes to protect the passport from physical damage.
(1) Baumann, J."U.S. Passport Rules Are Changing – Here is What You Need to Know".  March 2017.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


I regret that I haven't seen this movie, Hidden Figures, sooner.  What a remarkable movie and timely a movie it is.  It is sad that the racial discrimination issues that the film depicts about from decades ago are forefront to our political environment theses days.

The movie is about 3 African American women working at NASA during the fledgling first of period of the space race between the US and USSR.  The film is a star-studded cast of actors which deserve kudos:   Taraji P. Henson as Katherine Johnson, Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan, and Janelle Monáe as Mary Jackson.

The movie is brilliant.  I'm going to watch it again.  It is so hopeful in these days of terror we live in.  It tells the saga of three black woman who work at NASA and ultimately become the most part of NASA's early space missions, with their mathematical calculations and ability to master the new computer systems.  Talk about pioneering!

This film tells the true story and does so with a masterful team of actors also, including actors Kevin Costner and Kirsten Dunst.

I used to watch all Academy Award nominated films before the awards.  I failed miserably this last last award season.  

This movie is fantastic.   Please see it.  I seldom find movies to watch that are interesting and worth the effort.  This is definitely one of them.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Another SAD SIGN of our time. It looks as though THE QUEEN MARY ocean liner will be scrapped.

Don't confuse this with the newer cruise ship, the Queen Mary 2.  This is the original!

I love everything about transportation (both current and past).  But this news just breaks my heart.   The majestic and loyal ocean liner that transported British royals, celebrities and WW2 war troops is such a magical place.  I have stayed there and visited it since the late 80's when I moved from LA to Long Beach.  If you are interested in ocean liners and their illustrious past I'd suggest you go and visit the ship soon.

News reports suggest that The Queen Mary it is not long for this world.  I truly hope this is not so.. See this article which says that the beautiful piece of history needs $300million to renovate: