WOW-#213 Country to visit my blog is Cuba Population: 11,061,886


  Just really surprised to see a visitor from Cuba…happy surprise! 
 History
The native Amerindian population of Cuba began to decline after the European discovery of the island by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1492 and following its development as a Spanish colony during the next several centuries. Large numbers of African slaves were imported to work the coffee and sugar plantations, and Havana became the launching point for the annual treasure fleets bound for Spain from Mexico and Peru. Spanish rule eventually provoked an independence movement and occasional rebellions that were harshly suppressed. US intervention during the Spanish-American War in 1898 assisted the Cubans in overthrowing Spanish rule. The Treaty of Paris established Cuban independence from the US in 1902 after which the island experienced a string of governments mostly dominated by the military and corrupt politicians. Fidel CASTRO led a rebel army to victory in 1959; his iron rule held the subsequent regime together for nearly five decades. He stepped down as president in February 2008 in favor of his younger brother Raul CASTRO. Cuba’s communist revolution, with Soviet support, was exported throughout Latin America and Africa during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The country faced a severe economic downturn in 1990 following the withdrawal of former Soviet subsidies worth $4 billion to $6 billion annually. Cuba at times portrays the US embargo, in place since 1961, as the source if its difficulties. Illicit migration to the US – using homemade rafts, alien smugglers, air flights, or via the US’s southwest border – is a continuing problem. The US Coast Guard interdicted 1,275 Cuban nationals attempting to cross the Straits of Florida in 2012.

Continue reading

Why I Ride Episode 2


Our 2nd video in the series features an adventurous Harley Davidson rider Leslie Padoll, living in Brooklyn, NY. Check out the full site at esurance.com/whyiride

Music:
agentsdelfuturo.com

Artist: The Sam Chase
Song: Thank God
Album: The Sam Chase Will Lead Us To Victory
thesamchase.bandcamp.com/album/will-lead-us-to-victory

212th Country to Visit My Blog – Equatorial Guinea Population: 704,001


thank you Equatorial Guinea!  
 History
Equatorial Guinea gained independence in 1968 after 190 years of Spanish rule. This tiny country, composed of a mainland portion plus five inhabited islands, is one of the smallest on the African continent. President Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO has ruled the country since 1979 when he seized power in a coup. Although nominally a constitutional democracy since 1991, the 1996, 2002, and 2009 presidential elections – as well as the 1999, 2004, and 2008 legislative elections – were widely seen as flawed. The president exerts almost total control over the political system and has discouraged political opposition. Equatorial Guinea has experienced rapid economic growth due to the discovery of large offshore oil reserves, and in the last decade has become Sub-Saharan Africa’s third largest oil exporter. Despite the country’s economic windfall from oil production, resulting in a massive increase in government revenue in recent years, improvements in the population’s living standards have been slow to develop.

Continue reading

USS Shreveport (LPD-12)



Contributed by Mike Smolinski

USS Shreveport (LPD-12)

International Radio Call Sign:
November – Alpha – Delta – Yankee

NADY

What are the chances that I take a picture of a graveyard Navy ship yard and one of the pictures is that of a ship of blog reader, Kevin B. used to sail on.  The USS Shreveport.

I was on my way to Revzilla in Philly this past June 2014 and stumbled across this yard on a back route.Thought this would make an interesting post for those who love old ships and are decommissioned.

Kevin said to me,

“Most every Sailor, always knows their first ship when they see it. No matter how many years it’s been or how bad a shape it’s in. Hard to explain really…lol”

A lot of history to that ship. Real shame their going to turn her into razor blades.”

See below the picture some interesting facts that I learned after Kevin sent me this link.  Thanks Kevin and thanks for idea for a new and different post on my blog.  I would have never known this name or history of this ship.

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons Continue reading

My X Country SOLO Trip Slide Show


It’s long but made for me to share with you.  Music included were the tunes I listened to a lot throughout my journey.  Some may sound depressive some may not.  All have meaning to me and I can actually visualize the sights, sounds, smells and weather of course throughout my trip based on songs.  It’s a cool way to correlate all the many places I was fortunate to explore from May 17th – June 15th 2014.  At the end of course is my tribute to me Beagle, Cruizer….I hope some will watch and get a flavor of what it is like to travel 14,107 KM’s.  Leslie

Final Day & Reflections


May 17 2014 – June 15th 2014 (2014 X Country Solo Trip) if you make to the bottom you will see some stats or you can scroll down not read this wordy post and cut to the chase. ;-)

I got a big smooch from Sierra when I arrived home…

My good luck charm came with me the entire trip and I now wear it everyday too…nice people gave this to me…really nice!

IMG_3306 Continue reading

Guest Post – Europe 2014: Day 7 – Prague to Wemding


We left Prague around 9:30am towards Germany. Traffic was reasonably light and before long we were in the rural countryside.

Around 11:30am we had a slight setback. We were riding down a gentle hill at about 70kph/45mph (for reference the speed limit was 90kph/55mph) and without any warning at all the bike popped out from under us and we slid to a stop on the tarmac. As I was sliding I could see the bike sliding on its left side ahead of me until it reached the grassy shoulder where the wheels caught and the bike flipped over onto its right side.

We both got straight up to our feet and looked at each other, completely perplexed and somewhat shocked. After determining that nothing hurt, we realised with relief that neither of us were injured and our gear had taken the brunt of the fall. I had slid on my left side and Zev had slid on his bottom, dragging his left arm.

A few seconds later a young chap came along and stopped to help us put the bike upright and then carried on his way. I noticed there was oil all over the engine and tyres and realised we had ridden onto an unnoticed slick of tarry oil. From the direction we were travelling, the angle of the sun made it blend into the road, looking like just another patched area of tarmac.

I called 112 (emergency line) and explained what happened and they sent out the police. Meanwhile I took photographs of the area and the damaged parts of the bike. I called my insurer and went through the details. Continue reading