Posted by: pjgron | July 3, 2011

Five Things About Our Hawaiin Cruise

The Hawaiin Islands have got to be among the most heavenly places on earth.  My wife and I were able to see glimpses of four of the islands.  So it’s going to be difficult to limit this blog post to five things, but I’ll try.  This will be even more difficult since I have to use one of the five to tell you that we almost didn’t make it out of Cleveland.  Here goes.

1. When planning a Hawaiin Island Hopping Cruise, I don’t recommend flying out of Cleveland in late February.  The worst blizzardof the year hit the night before we were supposed to depart. 

2. Taxi drivers in Oahu are as bad as the hotel shuttle drivers in L.A.  It was almost better than a coaster ride at Cedar Point.

3. When on Maui, the Road to Hana is a must.  Be warned, it is a very challenging drive, but beautiful beyond words.

4. Volcano National Park on the Big Island is amazing.  The miles-long lava flows, new and old, tell the tale of the formation of the islands.  But the Kona coast was my favorite stop. 

5. Last, but by no means, least is Waimea Canyon on Kauai.  The long, winding road to the overlook is tough, but you’ll be glad you made the trip.  The clouds move in and out quickly so be patient when you arive.

 

Waimea Canyon, Kauai

 

The island hopping cruise has advantages and disadvantages.  You get to sample several of the islands, but it is just a sample.  You don’t have time to really, truly explore.  But these teasers will ensure that you plan return trips.  Who knows?  Maybe you’ll even make it a one-way trip.

Pete PJ Grondin – Autor of A Lifetime of Vengeance, A Lifetime of Deception, A lifetime of Exposure, and the soon to be released, A Lifetime of Terror  

www.pjgrondin.com

 

Posted by: pjgron | January 18, 2011

Five Things About Human Tragedy

You had to be in hibernation if you didn’t hear about the shooting in Tucson, Arizona this past week.  Literally within minutes after the shooting of 18 people, the news was flying all over the world.  You just knew that politicians were going to start beating the gun control drum.  It started immediately following the initial news reports.  Never mind that the shooter, no, the murderer, was a deranged individual who should have been on medication long ago.  But in this country, we have freedoms.  You can’t lock someone away on suspicion that they might, or probably will do something wrong.  Maybe, if some law abiding citizen with a conceal carry permit would have been at the scene, he could have taken the shooter out before he had time to continue the rampage.  So, as tough as this case is, here are five things about human tragedy.

  1. Everyone will second guess what could have been done. 
  2. No doubt, this will spur more debate about our gun laws.  Most of it will be repeatedly redundant (over and over again).
  3. We’ll watch the news until the national media milks this story for every possible angle until we know what dress size Congresswoman Giffords wore at her wedding. 
  4. We’ll forget most of the names of the others killed, and we’ll never hear the names of many of those injured.  
  5. Life will go on, until the next tragedy. 

We all have to get up tomorrow, shower, dress, and head to work to tackle the next problem that’s thrown our way.  If you don’t have a job, get up anyway and look for one, or help your neighbor with their chores.  Or go to church and volunteer your time.  Do something positive.  Tragedy happens every day.  Some you hear about, most you don’t.  But you can’t dwell on it.  Get away from the TV and pick up a good book.  It doesn’t have to be one of mine, but get away from the tube.  It’ll drag you down. 

Pete PJ Grondin, Author of A Lifetime of Vengeance, A Lifetime of Deception, and A Lifetime of Exposure

Available in most all eReader formats from www.Smashwords.com.  Visit www.pjgrondin.com for more information

Posted by: pjgron | October 13, 2010

Five Things About Modern Dirty Politics

I remember playing war when I was a kid.  It’s a funny thing about playing war.  You have to have two sides.  Somebody’s got to be the good guys and someone’s got to be the bad guys.  We switched roles so nobody would have to play the bad guys all the time.  We were just playing, like acting.  As an adult, I never got into role playing in wartime reenactments.  But I have a lot of respect for those who do, regardless of what side they’re portraying.  After all, they’re acting, and somebody’s got to play the bad guys.  I mean, what if you had a war and no bad guys showed up.  It wouldn’t be a war.  It would just be target practice, or a costume party.  So why would anyone make anything out of Rich Iott’s portrayal of a German soldier, part of a reenactment of a very real piece of American history?  Because there are people who just can’t separate real life from acting.  They’ll buy anything a candidate says.  So here are five things about Marcy Kaptur’s character assassination of a very fine man:

  1. If this wasn’t during a political race, nobody would think twice about it.  To prove the point, does anyone know the names of the other men dressed in German uniforms, side by side with Mr. Iott?  Of course not.
  2. If Rich Iott is guilty of anything, it is thinking that he could run for office with honesty and integrity, talking about the issues and leaving personal attacks out. 
  3. Marcy Kaptur is proving that she needs to be removed from office because of her below-gutter-level tactics; Washington politics at its worst.
  4. During her commercials, she shows great disdain for the “American Dream.”  Her opinion seems to be “How dare anyone prosper in this country?”
  5. She needs to be returned to the private sector, even though you and I will foot the bill for her more than generous retirement.

Congress needs swift and immediate reform.  There needs to be a reversal of many of the laws that are strangling the business climate in the United States.  The only way to do that is to show lifelong politicians the door.  Look at your paycheck and see the percentage of taxes that are going directly to Washington, compared to what is sent to your state or local government.  We’ve allowed the federal government to run roughshod over us.  It’s time to stop that growth and reverse it before more aggressive action is necessary to make it happen.  It isn’t that far away, folks.  Marcy Kaptur is just one example of the sickness infecting our government.  God help us if we don’t stop this trend now.

Pete PJ Grondin  Author of A Lifetime of Vengeance, A Lifetime of Deception, and A Lifetime of Exposure

ps – I write murder mystery / suspense novels.  Does that make me a murderer or someone who empathizes with murderers?  Come on folks, get a grip.

www.pjgrondin.com

Posted by: pjgron | September 16, 2010

Five Things About Time

I’m about thirty seconds into writing this blog entry and I’m wondering if this is the best use of this

Classy but cheap

 slice of time, because it’s gone.  There’s no recouping it.  It has me wondering about other areas of my life.  Am I spending my time here on earth in the best possible way?  Here are five things about time:

 1. Time is ‘spent’.  Make sure you invest your time wisely so you get positive results and future growth.

 2. Time is an equal opportunity commodity.  It is the same seconds, minutes, hours, days, etc. for everyone, at least for as long as you live.

 3. The only way to have more time is to live longer.  A healthy lifestyle will help.

 4. Don’t risk your investment of time by doing anything illegal or unethical.  The interest rates (legal troubles) are much too high.

 5. When your time is up, will you be able to look back and smile?  Or will you say, “I wish I would have done more with the time I had.”

Gift From Mom

 Time spent is called history.  We can spend our energy trying to rewrite it to our advantage or we can learn from it and do better in the time we have remaining.  At 53, I’m pretty sure I’ve crossed the halfway point in my life.  Based on some of the things I’ve done, maybe way passed halfway, but only time will tell.  So far, time has been tolerant with me; maybe not kind, based on my wrinkles and lack of hair, but at this stage, I’m okay with tolerant.

Pete Grondin   Author of A Lifetime of Vengeance, A Lifetime of Deception, and A Lifetime of Exposure

www.pjgrondin.com

Posted by: pjgron | August 3, 2010

Five Things About “The Lebron Fan”

You and I know that we have lots of rights in this country.  I won’t take the time to spell them out.  This, hopefully, will be short.  But just because you have the right to do something doesn’t mean that you should do it.  I mean, women have the right to prance down the street past rowdy bars at 2:30AM in a thong bikini.  That would be like slicing your skin until covered in blood and jumping into a shark tank (You have the right to do that, too).  But you’re just asking for trouble.  And if you want to stick your privates in a hornets’ nest, hey, it’s your right.  But you’d be a damn fool.  Speaking of damn fools, here are five things about ‘The Lebron fan” wearing a Miami Heat Lebron jersey into the Progressive Field hornets’ nest:

     1. There’s nothing else to call it but stupid. 

     2. If you want to get your butt kicked, there are other ways to do it where your odds of not being completely stomped and humiliated are much better.

     3. You may have your right to wear your Miami Heat Lebron jersey, but the 20,000 angry fans have every right to express their opinions about your choice of attire, too.  

     4. The Cleveland Police also had every right to protect the fans at the Indian’s game, even the stupid one’s wearing Miami Heat Lebron jerseys.  That’s why he and his companion were escorted from the game; for thier own protection.

     5. A much better choice for this “Lebron fan” would have been to save his money and watch the game from home, either with or without his Miami Heat Lebron jersey.

 There is too much “in your face” attitude in this country.  We’re all screaming, “Hey, I have my rights.”  Not enough of us are thinking of the consequences of exercising those rights.  Along with the right to do things comes the responsibility to know when you are endangering yourself and others.  And, of course, this Lebron fan is going to sue somebody.  He’s quite lucky that his estate isn’t having to file the suit.

Pete PJ Grondin  

A Lifetime of Vengeance     A Lifetime of Deception     A Lifetime of Exposure     www.pjgrondin.com

Posted by: pjgron | June 7, 2010

Five Things About Changing A Lifetime of Terror

When your creative juices flow, the words spill out on the page, like paint on a canvas.  The story just feels right.  But sometimes it doesn’t flow like you think it should.  Some obstacles that must be overcome are; not enough plot twists, too many characters, or lack of sensory touch points (like smells, or the heat of a room, or humidity that is so high, you feel like you’re swimming through the air).  With these thoughts in mind, after having completed about half of the first draft, I’m backing up and rewriting A Lifetime of Terror.  Here are five things I plant to do:

  1. Cut back on the number of characters.
  2. Add more adversity to Pat and Joe McK9inney’s lives.
  3. Provide more insight regarding why the bad guys are doing what they are doing.
  4. Add a couple more plot mis-directions.
  5. Add more details that affect the senses of the characters so that you feel like you’re with them, sensing what they sense.

This is a major change but I’m confident it will result in a better reading experience.  I owe it to you to make A Lifetime of Terror the best McKinney Brothers novel yet.

Pete PJ Grondin  -  Author of A Lifetime of Vengeance, A Lifetime of Deception,

and A Lifetime of Exposure

http://www.pjgrondin.com

Posted by: pjgron | April 27, 2010

Five Things about St. Augustine, Florida

Vacations are great, usually.  My wife and I recently drove to St. Augustine, Florida for a nice, relaxing vacation.  When we hit the intersection of Interstate 26 and Interstate 95 we were very happy that we weren’t traveling north.  Traffic heading north on I-95 was stop and go for many, many miles.  Tension was definitely high and numerous fender benders made matters worse.  It was the end of the last week for spring break so the main arteries north were jam-packed.  That’s a tough way to end a vacation.  I’m glad we waited until the following week.  With our kids being out of school now, we can afford to work around the crowds.  Anyway, here are five things about St. Augustine.

  1. The city and surrounding area is a living, breathing history lesson but it maintains a rich balance between old and new. 
  2. Downtown boasts a very cool shopping district on St. George Street and the steets on either side.  Many unique shops and eateries. 
  3. There is plenty to do for the kids (beaches, Fort Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, St. Augustine Lighthouse, The Old Jailhouse) and adults (all of the aforementioned and a plethora of restaurants, pubs and bars, shopping, and golf).
  4. The area is easy to get to by car or air.  Even though it’s in Florida, it’s just south of Jacksonville, so you don’t have to venture deep into the Sunshine State.
  5. Most parking downtown is pay by the hour but there are a couple of trolley/bus systems that provide cost effective transportation around the area.

 For the city and county governments, it has to be a juggling act to maintain the balance between progress and the deep historic flavor of St. Augustine.  I’m sure this is true in most cities but much more so in the oldest, continuously occupied city in America.  We enjoyed our stay.  It was, at the same time, relaxing, educational, and fun.  I highly recommend that it be placed on your list of places to visit before you kick the bucket.  We can now cross it off of ours but I’m sure that we’ll be back for a second visit.

St. Augustine Lighthouse, and Ponce De Leon and me at the Fountain of Youth.

Pete Grondin

Author of A Lifetime of Vengeance, A Lifetime of Deception, and A Lifetime of Exposure. 

http://www.pjgrondin.com

Posted by: pjgron | March 22, 2010

Five Things About Obamacare

I was really angry when George Bush decided to spend my money to bail out the banking industry.  I was more angry when John McCain selected a soccer mom from Alaska to be his running mate, essentially surrendering his chances at winning the presidency (I’m okay with Sarah Palin as a person and local politician, she just wasn’t ready for the big time).  I was further  angered when Obama was elected and threw even more money at the banking industry and took over private concerns in the United States.  Then came the bonus scandal at major financial institutions, which basically took your and my money and put it in the pockets of the very people who caused the economic crisis in the first place.  But this last tactic, to push through a health care bill, that might be the last straw that breaks the economy’s back, is just too much.  So here are five things about Obamacare that you should consider.

  1. It is going to accelerate the rate of deficit spending at the federal government.
  2. It is going to further drain the ability of states to balance their budgets because business activity will shrink.
  3. People who are lucky enough to have a job will be footing the health care bill for those who do not, plus the added government administrative costs that will go along with Obamacare.
  4. This is going to create another pile of money for lawyers to feed from (no tort reform anywhere in this bill, at least not that anyone is talking about).
  5. It creates another government buracracy but does absolutely nothing to curb the cost of health care (the reason this whole debate started in the first place).

We might as well rename our country now to the United Socialist States of America.  Our government has succeeded in making the word profit a four letter word.  They have villainized the insurance industry at every turn pointing to their excessive profits (even though the industry as a whole is well down the list of most profitable industries).  We have taken another giant step closer to the brink of economic disaster.  Hang on to your wallets for dear life.  It will be more difficult to pay your bills in the future. 

 Pete Grondin  -  Author of A Lifetime of Vengeance, A Lifetime of Deception, and A Lifetime of Exposure.

www.pjgrondin.com

Posted by: pjgron | February 10, 2010

Five Things About – The Economy

The Economy in the United States is undoubtedly linked to the world economy.  There is no turning back.  It is a given.  But we can fix our economy.  That would go a long way towards fixing the economy elsewhere.  The bonus in resolving the economic issue is that it would fix a multitude of other problems (anybody heard of the healthcare crisis which isn’t really a crisis by itself).  So here are five things that I believe would be the foundation for fixing the economy:

  1. Roll back and lock in environmental laws to late 1980’s (or so) limits.  Make a LONG TERM COMMITMENT to NOT CHANGE those limits so business leaders know they can count on not having to spend billions of dollars to keep up with ever changing, more restrictive environmental laws.  
  2. Reduce federal spending by thirty to forty percent.  Some public employees will lose their jobs, but an expanding private sector will pick up those jobs and then some.
  3. The SEC should set limits on executive compensation, which is way out of whack with the rest of the world.
  4. Establish financial limits on jury awards regarding pain and suffering and loss of companionship (among other contrived bases for financial compensation). 
  5. Allow oil exploration in United States territory with known oil reserves, whether it is off the coast of California or in the Alaskan tundra.   

The same week President Obama made a speech about stimulating the economy and promoting job growth in the United States, the EPA announced stricter smog limits for much of the country.  I don’t know about you, but I saw jobs fleeing the country.  That’s a big DUH!  About federal spending; I was looking at my paycheck.  The federal government takes greater than 80% of the taxes that come out of my check.  That’s bass-ackwards.  If most of the money went to my local or state governments, they could do more hiring to fix roads and bridges, do local projects, all at a far less expensive price tag than the fed.  And if the federal EPA got off the states’ backs, imagine the savings.  I want to touch on executive compensation; it is outrageous that a person can make tens of millions of dollars running a publicly traded company, regardless of whether they are successful or not.  It is downright criminal if they drive a company into the ground and get a golden parachute.  Finally, it is rumored that the United States has more untapped oil reserves than any country in the world.  Start drilling, at least while we learn how to power our economy on hydrogen.  Come on folks, let’s get with it.

Pete Grondin

Author of A Lifetime of Vengeance, A Lifetime of Deception, and A Lifetime of Exposure

www.pjgrondin.com

Posted by: pjgron | February 10, 2010

Five Things About Climate Change

Five Things About Climate Change

I’m just a little ticked off this evening.  After listening to former Vice President Al Gore spout his version of the imminent destruction of the planet by man, I’m convinced that we need a collective brain transplant.  We all know we can be good custodians of our planet.  No argument.  But please stick a sock in Al Gore’s mouth.  The doomsday predictions of this man are grandstanding at best, and down-right ludicrous at worst, bordering on trasonous.  I’m fed up.  I hope you are, too.  If you think that Cap and Trade is a good idea, go ahead and sell all your worldly goods and send a check to Mr. Gore now.  But before you do, listen to a little reason.  Here are five things that you need to know about climate change.

  1. Global temperatures in the last nine years are actually decreasing.
  2. The air quality in the United States is better now than it has been in decades due to the measures that have already been taken.  In other words, the current limits are already working. 
  3. Further restrictions on certain emissions will absolutely hurt the global atmosphere.  That is because more and more industrial jobs will be shipped overseas to countries that have few, if any laws governing emissions.  They are more concerned about providing jobs for their citizens (what a concept).    
  4. When people in this country have no income, they’ll resort to heating their homes by any means possible, like wood burning stoves, and they’ll burn whatever is available (scrap wood, paper, plastics, you name it).
  5. If the polar icecaps have already melted significantly, why haven’t ocean levels risen in kind?  It only stands to reason that if the calamity has already started, levels should have risen at a faster pace than previous rates.  They haven’t. 

Al Gore routinely claims that scientific evidence proves “without a doubt” that man-induced global warming is indisputable.  Then why has it recently come to light that data has been manipulated solely to support these claims.  If the evidence is so overwhelming, then why are scientists taking it upon themselves to manufacture data?  Maybe it isn’t so factual after all.  And just maybe we need to take a longer, harder, factual look at the data that is gathered by scientists who are looking for the truth, not a reason to further the claims of a politician who is eager to plant himself in the history books as the savior of the planet.  Write your Congressman and Senators.  Tell them to get a grip on reality and stop spending phenomenal sums of our money chasing imaginary monsters and fairytales.  If you want more information, Google on ‘Global Warming’ and read the facts, not the fiction.    

Pete   -   Author of A Lifetime of Exposure, A Lifetime of Deception, and A Lifetime of Vengeance – Available from my website andAmazon’s Kindle

www.pjgrondin.com

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