Let’s pick. Cancer or Iraq.

So I just read my friend Jarem's blog.  He's doing a ride this summer to help raise money to fight cancer.  He himself is a cancer survivor, though it took his leg as a teenager.  According to his blog post, cancer kills as many people every 2 days as were lost in the terrorist attacks of 9/11.  I haven't checked these numbers, but even if they are remotely close to correct, that really puts some things into perspective.
Right now in the US Legislature they are debating how many Hundreds Of Billions Of Dollars to give President Bush to fight his war in Iraq.  This is in addition to the money already in the budget for the Department of Defense, which is already astronomical.  Does anybody ever wonder what could be done with this much money if it was funneled into constructive goals instead of destructive?  We could cure the sick, feed the hungry, house the homeless, provide more money for education or public safety to enrich the lives and futures of everyone.  Maybe we could even solve our energy crisis by developing renewable energy technology and infrastructure, and then we wouldn't need to be meddling in the Middle East's affairs because we wouldn't need their lousy oil.
If anybody agrees with me about this, then you can do two things about it:  1) Write your law-makers and tell them you don't want them spending your money that way any more.  Tell them to forget about Republicans and Democrats and stand up for what is right for a change.  2) Donate some money to my friend Jarem's bicycle ride to help fight cancer.  You can donate securely by going to the CT Challenge website www.ctchallenge.com and entering Jarem Frye as the rider you would like to sponsor.

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My Fun Status Is Complete

   Well, I just got back from my first cruise, and my first trip to Mexico (besides the one time I went to Tijuana).  Our whole family went on a cruise from Long Beach down to Puerto Vallarta, then stopped in Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas on the way back.  We went with Carnival cruise lines on a boat called the Pride.
   It was a good trip overall, but I wasn't very impressed with Carnival, compared with what I've heard about other cruise lines.  For starters, they made us wait in line for hours just to get on the boat, and that was after we had to deal with the whole nightmare that airline flight has become, and then wait for another 3 hours for my sister to meet us at LAX.  So the first day we were all about ready to kill someone by the time we actually got to relax in our rooms.  But, after a night's sleep we felt a little better about the whole deal.
   The food was plentiful and mostly pretty good, but there were only two restaurants, one of which you had to show up at a certain time each day to get seated.  Not as good as what I've heard of other cruises that have multiple open restaurants all the time.  The swimming pools were a big disappointment, too.  They were five feet deep and about 4 feet across, and they weren't heated.  That might not have been a big deal if the sun had been shining, but unfortunately it wasn't, so the pools were way too cold to swim in and the hot tubs were, of course, very crowded.
  When we got to Puerto Vallarta the sun came out and it was actually very nice.  Some of our family went scuba diving and the rest of us went on a tour to go snorkeling and visit a secluded beach near the small city of Yelapa.  That was a lot of fun for me and the kids.  I loved taking them into the ocean for the first time and letting them sit in the sand and get hit with waves.  Walker loved the waves.  Every one that hit him just made him giggle.  Porter, on the other hand, screamed and ran away from each wave, but I guess that was just his way of having fun, too.
  The next day in Mazatlan we took a cab through town to a very nice beach for the kids to play on.  It had small waves, very nice sand and a good, easy slope into the ocean.  We played there for a few hours and had a great time.  The only complaint was the non-stop vendors that kept trying to sell us crap.  I actually bought some if it, but it was very annoying.  Karli and I got some temporary tattoos and bought a necklace and a spider man toy for Porter.
  The last shore day was in Cabo.  That place was a piece of crap!  Nothing but non-stop, dirty old Mexicans trying to con you out of money.  We weren't very impressed.  My parents went on a snorkeling trip and said it was nice, but staying in the city was a mistake.
   The last day on our way back to Long Beach was stormy and the boat was rocking all over the place.  I had one last swim with Walker, who was the only one brave enough to swim in the cold water with me, and that was fun.  Then we had to endure an entire day of debarking from the boat, getting to the airport, getting strip searched in security, waiting for hours in the airport and, finally, getting back to home sweet home.
   All in all it was a pretty fun trip and a good experience and chance to spend time with my family.  But it's good to be home in a controlled environment.  Taking two little kids on the road is more of a chore sometimes than a vacation, but it's worth it once in a while.

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