Sunday, October 18, 2020

New England Fall Vacation

As vacation plans get changed weekly, Jyoti was able to put together a New England trip for us and Kevin and Robyn.

We first flew to Portland, Maine.  Portland is a nice small city, bigger than I expected but not crowded.  It had some great restaurants as well.  I highly recommend BlueFin, they had the best lobster dishes of the trip.  We visited Fort Williams Park and took the obligatory photo at Portland Head lighthouse.  Later in the day, we took a ferry to Peaks Island and rented a golf cart to take a tour around the island.

The next day, we headed up the coast. Along the way we stopped in Bath to visit the Maine Maritime Museum.  The museum had great indoor exhibits as well as outdoor ones.  After a few hours driving through some rain, we made it to Bar Harbor.

At Bar Harbor, we spent two days exploring Acadia National Park.  We did a few hikes and drove the loop (after figuring out the experimental reservation system).  Hikes included the Beehive, Jordan Pond, Wild Gardens, and South Bubble.  We drove up to Cadillac Mt. but it was super foggy and we couldn't see anything.  Acadia is beautiful but feels more like a big city park than the massive open spaces of the western parks.

Leaving Bar Harbor, we drove south.  We stopped at several attractions, small towns and lighthouses along the way to Bailey Island.  The island is way off the beaten path but is very nice.  We stayed at a small motel, the Bailey Island Motel.  It was very quaint and had the best homemade muffins!  Since it was pretty much the end of the season all the restaurants were closed and there weren't many people there.  We did a nice short hike to Giant's Steps and visited Land's End.  I would love to visit the island again and spend more time there.

Next stop was Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  We were able to tour the USS Albacore which was really cool.  Strawbery Banke was great even though the houses were not open to walk through.  We had a great dinner at Black Trumpet overlooking the river.

Last stop was Boston.  We spent a day here to visit relatives but got in some sights as well.  We hiked the Freedom Trail from the Commons to Bunker Hill.  Many things were closed but we got into the Paul Revere House.  The Charlestown Navy Yard was closing when got there which was a bummer.  However, our flight the next morning was canceled.  So with an extra day, we headed back to the shipyard to visit the museums, USS Constitution and the USS Cassin Young.

Portland Head Lighthouse

Peaks Island gold cart

Jordon Pond

Top of South Bubble

Beehive summit

Hiking out to a lighthouse

Lands End, Bailey Island

Paul Revere House

Bunker Hill

Monday, October 12, 2020

How To Open Schools and Outdoor Activity

 One of the big debates this COVID season is how to safely open up schools. Anecdotally, the schools that have opened up have had decent results. One of the local school districts has enlisted the support of UCSD to help them figure out the risks and how to manage them.  They have some interesting points.  But the main point IMO is that there is very little risk when outdoors.  The data (at least that data that government allow us to see) shows that there are no outbreaks attributed to outdoor activity.  Maybe we should hold the governor and health departments responsible for their bad decision to close the beaches, parks and playgrounds.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Trump Taxes

Assuming the NYT has it right about Trump's tax returns, I congratulate Mr. Trump on paying so little in taxes.  The NYT is showing that it is ignorant about tax law or is so biased they willfully make false/misleading statements regarding the tax code.

Bigger Pockets has a great review on the terrible Time article. 

Note that Biden uses all the tax "loopholes" available to him to lower his bill.