10 Beautiful Tweets That Will Make You Book a Trip to Hydra, Greece Right Now. Written by Scott McGinnis | Goombay Tally | www.goombaytally.com | Hydra, Greece | Please contact us at [email protected] for feedback, writer and advertisement requests. For those that are unfamiliar with the Greek Islands — “Hydra” is one of the […]
Written by Goombay Tally Staff | Goombaytally.com | The Silver Jar Product Review
7 Reasons Why Jersey Girls Love “The Silver Jar” Restorative Face Cream, (But Won’t Talk About It).
The state of New Jersey is known for many things. The “Jersey” attitude, the Jersey Shore, The Jersey Shore reality show (shutter), The Sopranos, New Jersey Exits, and of course…Jersey Girls. So let’s talk about Jersey Girls for a second.
“girl with a love of an unpretentious good time, and a certain sense of style. Jersey girls are about attitude. They’re about eating pizza, drinking beer, having great hair – and enjoying it all…She’s got a mouth on her. She says what she means. And she’s got a nice, cheerful laugh…Bottom line, all of them are sexy as hell.” -The Star Ledger
“The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.”
Bottomline: We Think The Silver Jar has great potential to hit a similar “tipping point” and quickly take the health and beauty industry by storm…due to selective marketing and an effective word of mouth consumer methodology.
Here’s why people are talking (or at least whispering…)
1. A One Product Focus…Uncompromising Quality is The Silver Jar’s Core Competency!
The manufacturers of The Silver Jar pride themselves on developing one single product that deliberately focuses on a single objective: “to provide essential restoration to your skin.” They seem to intuitively understand what their core competency is and are determined to aggressively capitalize on it.
Hence, The Silver Jar is advertised as “the ONLY product in their cosmetic line. There are no variations, no lipsticks, and no eyeliners to dilute our focus and quality.” Let’s be honest, there’s nothing worse than a beauty and health company that puts a basket of soft and mediocre consumables on the shelf but never truly builds their business around one solid and effective product.
The Silver Jar appears to be hell-bent on not being that company…ever.
“Make One Thing and Make It Better Than Everyone Else!”
2. Fact: Prolonged and Continuous Exposure to the Sun Will Make You Look Like Yoda’s Grandmother. Good News–The Silver Jar is Sunscreen Friendly.
Love it or hate it, sunscreen is an absolute necessity for all of us. Yes, although many of us grew up spending hours on the beach or sunbathed all day for years without even thinking about using a sunscreen product back in the day–but those days are long, long gone.
It’s now common knowledge that most dermatologists recommend a SPF of at least 15 daily and a 30 SPF or above for prolonged exposure to the sun, e.g., driving long distances, golfing, or even window exposure in an office setting at work.
To guarantee absolute potency, The Silver Jar has been formulated with active ingredients and without inexpensive sunscreen. So if applied for daily use, the manufacturers highly recommend using your preferred sunscreen product in concert with this product.
3. Spoiler Alert: This Product Actually Does What It Advertises.
How many times have you mused through glossy and overly-hyped beauty product advertising that promises you the world in terms of corrective skin results after continuous use, only to be sadly disappointed in the end when you don’t see noticeable improvements. Trust me … you won’t see that here.
The Silver Jar claims to “even skin tone, hydrolyze skin, and reduce fine lines.” Additionally, they guarantee that your skin will look and feel softer, fresher, and younger.
After trying The Silver Jar cream for a few weeks, I have to tell you that it really does what it says it does…there’s really is no better way to articulate this.
Yes…Proof Positive That Our Staff Actually Uses The Silver Jar Restorative Face Cream…See, Half Empty (Or Half Full…Depending on Your Temperament)
4. Holy Moly! This is Really Powerful Stuff.
I’ve personally used The Silver Jar for over a year now and this skin cream is truly phenomenal. Honestly, once you apply this cream on your face, you will feel it work immediately. The Silver Jar has been formulated to achieve super intensive results using the following age-defying ingredients which are designed to work in concert for maximum effects.
Here’s a list of the key ingredients:
- Retinol – Retinol, also known as Vitamin A1, is a vitamin found in food and used as a dietary supplement. As a supplement it is used to treat and prevent vitamin A deficiency, especially that which is resulting in xerophthalmia. (Source www.Wikipedia.com)
- Hyaluronic acid – is a substance that is naturally present in the human body. It is found in the highest concentrations in fluids in the eyes and joints. The hyaluronic acid that is used as medicine is extracted from rooster combs or made by bacteria in the laboratory. People take hyaluronic acid for various joint disorders, including osteoarthritis. It can be taken by mouth or injected into the affected joint by a healthcare professional. (Source: www.WebMD.com)
- Adenosine triphosphate – Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is considered by biologists to be the energy currency of life. It is the high-energy molecule that stores the energy we need to do just about everything we do. It is present in the cytoplasm and nucleoplasm of every cell, and essentially all the physiological mechanisms that require energy for operation obtain it directly from the stored ATP. (Guyton) As food in the cells is gradually oxidized, the released energy is used to re-form the ATP so that the cell always maintains a supply of this essential molecule. (Source: www.hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu)
- Resveratrol – Resveratrol is a natural compound found in red grape skin, Japanese knotweed (polygonum cuspidatum), peanuts, blueberries and some other berries. It is a powerful antioxidant produced by some plants to protect them against environmental stresses. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which are believed to be the cause of aging. Japanese knotweed is the plant source with the highest resveratrol content. A large amount of resveratrol is produced in the skin of grapes to protect the plant against fungal diseases and sun damage; therefore wine has higher levels of resveratrol compared to other natural food. (Source: www.drugs.com)
5. This is a Single Source Product – That Means Door-to-Door Freshness With Every Order!
True story. Don’t look for The Silver Jar at your local Target, Wal-Mart, or Rite Aid. The manufacturer’s claim that “it will never be available in stores” is not just a desperate attempt at faux exclusiveness or snobby marketing. Why? This strategy ensures that the product you receive will always be the freshest and most potent available…not sitting dormant on a Walgreens shelf across from the teenager zit creams, lip gloss, and Watermelon bubble gum.
6. The Silver Jar Doesn’t Need Ellen DeGeneres, Christie Brinkley, or Dr. Oz to Peddle Their Cream.
Here’s the deal: Just because a filthy rich celebrity says that a skin cream or beauty product is the best thing since sliced bread, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the right product for you and certainly doesn’t mean that they are genuinely passionate about the product that they are shamelessly holding up on T.V.
Conversely, what better way to sell a product than to see your next door neighbor waltzing out of their house in Cherry Hill or Denver, Colorado for that matter, looking more rejuvenated and youthful every day. That’s what this company depends on for their advertising and marketing…real-world results and viral connections that steadily drive sells…no actresses, actors, NBA players, or aliens from Mars (although that would be cool actually).
7. The Silver Jar Doesn’t Want Your Restorative Beauty Regiment to Become a Daily High School Chemistry Project – This is a One Step Process!
The Silver Jar recommends applying the cream “sparingly on clean, dry skin at least once daily.” The manufacturers deliberately designed this face cream to eliminate the need for the arduous, complicated 3, 5, and 8-step restorative systems…and we think that’s SIMPLY awesome!
In fact, Cue in Dwayne Johnson and the popular Moana movie song “You’re Welcome” here right?
If this review compels you, go to www.thesilverjar.com and rock on. Let us know your results in the comments section.
Written by Goombay Tally Staff | Goombay Tally
Why I’ll Never Go Ghost Hunting Again.
Written by Keith “Sid” Watson for Goombay Tally Blog | www.goombaytally.com | Ghost Hunting | Contact us at [email protected] for feedback or advertising details.
So … I’m never going ghost hunting with another weird, nerdy, black T-Shirt wearing, patently antisocial, ghost hunting friend again. I will never listen to George Noorey from Coast to Coast AM Radio or the Real Ghost Stories Online podcast ever again. Let me explain.
Self-admittedly, I used to be one of those guys with (let’s say) a moderate degree of interest in the Ghost Hunters television programs and would occasionally sit down on my black leather couch with a warm Pepsi and bowl of popcorn just to see what these quirky fellows and ladies were up to in that particular episode.
Honestly, I was more interested in making fun of their over-exaggerations during the investigations and use of strange meters, cameras, and electronics to record the slightest bit of evidence. I thought they were total idiots.
I must admit that on balance, I thought these “let’s scare ourselves silly in an old abandoned hospital” shows were mostly bunk and generally just modern day versions of the old “camp fire stories” from our great-grandparent’s generation.
Additionally, I didn’t believe that any of the “evidence” was REAL and certainly didn’t buy any of the legends or back-stories to any of the alleged hauntings.
Categorically, I believed that the ghost hunting community just played on age-old fears and superstitions that have plagued all of us since we were young, gullible children. We’ve all nervously stared at the creepy closet door in our rooms in the middle of the night as kids and swore that we saw shadows move and strange and disturbing noises emerge from these dark and ominous places.
Now enter Alexandria, Louisiana 2016.
During my sophomore year at Tulane University in New Orleans, I received a call from Rodney Hebert, one of my old high school buddies who lived in Alexandria, Louisiana. Rodney was one of my odd but incredibly interesting friends in high school who was both athletically and academically gifted but had an unusual and (probably) unhealthy interest in the paranormal world.
So in short, Rodney could effortlessly get a date in high school but his dates would often go on haunts with him in old libraries and turn-of-the century homes in downtown, Alexandria. Rodney was obviously a “rare bird” in the ghost enthusiast world as most of these guys were treated as outcasts and social lepers in school.
Rodney said that his ghost hunting group was investigating an old elementary school on the west side of town on Friday night and wanted me to take a break from school and drive up for the weekend.
After laughing at him for about 20 seconds, I paused to clear the air and ensure myself that he was just joking.
“Are you finished?” Rodney said in a slightly annoyed but understanding voice.
“You Cajun Rednecks are still bumping around in creepy old buildings and convincing yourselves that you see dead people?”
“No,” I said, and proceeded to laugh at him again before rudely clearing my throat directly into my iPhone. “Let me get this straight,” I said. “You Cajun rednecks are still bumping around in creepy old buildings and convincing yourselves that you see dead people?”
“Crap…you know you’re still a prick right?” Rodney said; now even more annoyed. “Look, I’ve invited you to go ghost hunting with me about a hundred times since we’ve known each other, and you’ve refused to go every single time. If you’re so convinced that we’re wasting our time doing this, be a man and come up to Alexandria on Friday and prove us all wrong,” Rodney said.
Rodney and I played high school football together at Alexandria Senior High School and have been good friends since middle school. So as painful of an experience that I knew this weekend would be, I also knew that I couldn’t turn Rodney down yet again. So I reluctantly agreed to go to Alexandria for a “fun-filled” weekend of ghost hunting and nerd socializing. I also told Rodney that he owed me two Moose Drool beers at Hot Shots Inc when all of the buffoonery was finished that night.
He enthusiastically agreed.
Alexandria, Here I Come.
Wanting to get the ghost hunting investigation over with as soon as possible, I drove directly from New Orleans to the old elementary school in Alexandria to meet Rodney and his team at 7:00 P.M. as agreed. I remember pulling up to the drab looking school but saw no other vehicles parked in front of the building at the time. The sun was setting, but the school was illuminated well enough as the building lighting highlighted the east side of the main entrance and the small play ground to the north of the campus. The school was generally rundown, needed a professional paint job, and had obviously seen brighter days in the past.
Rodney said that a small number of the school’s faculty and janitorial staff reported seeing the image of a tall man walking the halls of the school – mostly during late evening. When challenged to see if he needed assistance or who he was looking for, it was said that the man would essentially vanish into thin air. Apparently, three members of the janitorial staff refused to come back to work after only a few days on the job.
“Oh great,” I said to myself. “Rodney better not be playing games with me tonight.” Already pissed that I would be missing out on some well-deserved partying and relaxation down in New Orleans this weekend, waiting for a team of ghost-hunting misfits wasn’t on my list of things to do tonight.
I quickly thought about all my frat brothers partying down on Bourbon Street tonight. Instead, I was sitting in my car in front of a “haunted” elementary school that only a handful of ghost hunting nerds and a few scared school administrators gave a crap about. It made my head hurt.
I decided to give Rodney and his merry paranormal crew five more minutes before “pulling anchor” and hauling my butt to Hot Shots Inc on my own. I remember looking down at my iPhone to check the time and to send Rodney a quick text message to see where he was. It was 7:05 P.M.
At that moment, from the corner of my eye, I distinctly remember seeing the blinds in one of the classroom windows quickly lift up as if someone was peering out from inside. In fact, I could now see a bright glimmer of light shine through, possible from the glow of a hallway floodlight inside. I could also see a figure passing in front of the light. There was definitely someone there. Trust me, I’m getting goosebumps on my arms right now as I write this.
Initially, I was startled, but then I began to crack a huge smile. Was the janitor staff still in the building? At 7:00 P.M. on a Friday night? “Ah, I get it,” I said. Rodney and his buddies decided to get back at the paranormal critic by showing up at the investigation site early and trying to scare the crap out of him just to have a little fun.
Well, I didn’t have time for this man! Those bastards must have parked their cars in the back of the school or down the street and set me up from inside. I peered back at the window with the peeled back blind and saw the same blind slowly fold itself back down as the inside glare disappeared as quickly as it appeared. I picked up my iPhone and called Rodney this time.
“Nice try dude!” I yelled into my iPhone as Rodney picked up.
“Yo man, I’m really sorry…Jeff’s car died on us in Pineville–we had to borrow Janet’s van…we’re right around the corner bro,” Rodney quickly interrupted before I could lay into him.
“Look, I know you planted one of your boys inside the school already dude…you must think I’m an idiot,” I said. “In fact, that’s probably you screwing around with the classroom window blinds right now you jerk,” I added.
I remember distinctly that there was roughly five seconds of disconcerting silence on the phone before Rodney finally mumbled, “what blinds are you talking about Sid?”
“Oh…O.K., we’re playing freakin’ reindeer games now right,” I said. “You know damn well what window blinds I’m talking about Rodney…someone just lifted up the blinds in one of the classroom windows and closed them back…I saw you in the window man.”
Again, there was silence on the phone.
Rodney finally said in a bewildered tone, “Sid, the entire team is in the van with me right now; there’s nobody else in the building dude.” At that moment I saw the headlights from a silver minivan with Rodney’s ghost-hunting team peel around the corner from the main road and park next to my Nissan Altima.
Rodney quickly jumped out of the driver’s seat and ran to the school’s main entrance door. Jeff Booker, another one of our mutual friends and long time member of Rodney’s ghost hunting team, immediately ran to the school’s rear entrance door. Both doors were locked and they quickly opened them with a key and subsequently disarmed the security system.
Jessica Long, who I called the token ghost hunting “hot chick”… was a tall, creole-looking beauty who was just finishing up her freshmen year at LSU-Alexandria. Jessica was still inside the minivan talking to someone on her cellphone. Rodney later told me that she was on the line with the school’s vice-principal to confirm that the janitorial staff and faculty was gone for the day and that the security alarm was still engaged prior to them entering and disarming it. The vice-principle indeed confirmed that the school security system was not disturbed prior to their arrival.
It quickly occurred to me that if this was an elaborate hoax by Rodney and his ghost hunting team — they certainly were delivering an Oscar-worthy performance. And why go through all the trouble, right?
I also saw the rookie member of the team, Pam Thomas, outside the minivan and pacing back and forth–smoking a cigarette. She was visibly rattled and I could see her right hand shaking as she lifted the loosely held cigarette to her thin red lips.
Rodney soon came back to the car and asked me to recount what I saw in the classroom window before they conducted their first walk-through of the school. He was taking meticulous notes and drawing maps as I carefully explained what I saw. He was excited but noticeably nervous at the same time.
O.K., this was not a hoax I thought to myself.
I began to feel something in the pit of my stomach that I never anticipated feeling during this weekend excursion. It was fear.
My logical brain was no longer seamlessly computing the neatly packaged explanation that I previously concocted for the figure in the classroom window. My logical brain was doing the equivalent of what your laptop does when it freezes up and you get the perpetual spinning beach ball at the top of the screen. My brain was broken.
I began to feel something in the pit of my stomach that I never anticipated feeling during this weekend excursion. It was fear.
Images from the strange encounter now began to flash before my eyes as I realized that what I experienced was fairly consistent with the accounts from the school’s faculty and staff. Yes, ladies and gentlemen…the stubborn paranormal agnostic just saw an actual entity and the official investigation hadn’t even begun.
I was numb inside.
The excited ghost hunting team scurried around….grabbing video recording equipment, Electromagnetic Field (EMF) meters, digital recorders, and infrared cameras. I watched all of this busy activity as if I was back in my apartment in New Orleans; sitting on my black leather couch, drinking warm Pepsi and eating popcorn. The only problem was that I was actually in the show this time.
Goombay Tally Blog is on Facebook!
Everything was in slow motion at this point. Truth be told, Rodney later told me that most of the members on this ghost hunting team have been doing this for years and never personally experienced anything like I did that night. Sure, they’ve caught strange events on video during a later review of the footage, but not real-time.
And just like that … the slow motion effect stopped and I returned to earth like an Apollo Space capsule violently splashing back to earth into the cold Atlantic Ocean. I slowly got out of the car; almost in a trance-like state, and ceremoniously walked up to Rodney as he continued to shout directions and locations to his team as they dutifully prepared for a long night of ghost hunting success.
Rodney soon stopped what he was doing once he realized that I was standing in front of him. He looked directly at me and saw a nervous hand stretched out to shake his hand.
Rodney said, “What’s up Sid? “This investigation is gonna be sick man…are you ready?”
“Nope…I’m done Rodney,” I said.
“You’re what?” Rodney said in shock.
“I’ve seen enough brother … you win,” I said. “I’ll be at Hot Shots when you’re done tonight…all drinks are on me…but there’s no way in hell I’m going into that creepy old school after what I saw in the window.”
Rodney was silent for a few seconds, but then smiled reassuringly and nodded. We both understood each-other at that point–and without saying another word. I finally understood what compelled my friend to spend perfectly good weekends stomping through creepy old buildings and scary cemeteries. It didn’t make him a weirdo (per se) it just made him a man in search of universal answers.
Time to Get the Hell Out of Here.
I drove into the darkness that night and refused to look in the rear view mirror at the old elementary school as the ghost hunting team behind me continued making final preparations for their newest investigation. I was officially freaked the hell out.
Later, I found myself sitting at the bar with a beer in my hand and staring at an empty wall like a war veteran with PTSD…silently pondering the horrors his eyes have seen over the years and trying to make sense of it all.
The following day I would be heading back down to New Orleans, arguably one of the country’s most haunted cities and realizing that I’ve never seen anything ‘remotely’ paranormal in New Orleans but got my entire world shaken to its foundation in a small town in central Louisiana. Go figure right?
Truth be told, I didn’t care about any video footage, EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) or any other evidence Rodney’s team collected that night. It didn’t matter to me. I didn’t need further validation of what I saw. The window entity touched a hollow, vulnerable spot in my soul that I simply did not want to revisit. Ever.
Momma told me not to mess around with things like that when I was a kid…and you know what? Momma’s always right.
So there it is. No hair-raising, Amityville Horror-like stories to share with you. No startling pictures of hooded, monk-like figures peering from windows to post on Facebook. Just one simple but bizarre event that forever changed my perspective on life and the paranormal. Yep, mind…blown.
And that ladies and gentlemen…is why I’ll never go ghost hunting again.
Written by Keith Watson for Goombay Tally Blog | goombaytally.com | Share us on Facebook/Twitter
Let Everyone Know That You’re a Serious Ghost Hunter With This Cool Tee … Click Below.
Written by Scott McGinnis | Goombay Tally Blog | Artwork courtesy of DC Sammy Political Advertisements
What if You Could Interview the Next President of the United States? What Would Your Interview Questions Look Like?
Like many Americans watching the reality show that we like to call “The 2016 Elections,” I find myself not being overly thrilled and enamored with (really) any of the candidates that we see vying for the Presidency.
In the Republican camp, we have Donald Trump who will probably win the GOP nomination. But we also see a Republican Party mired in chaos and utter confusion. Let’s be honest, more than half of the party is actually sabotaging their front-runner’s efforts right now like turned-Ninjas. Moreover, major American cities are rioting and protesting Trump rallies like it was Adolf Hitler himself on a nation-wide propaganda tour. What a mess right?
In the Democrat camp, we have two “wonderful” candidates who are about as exciting to watch as a PBS 24-hour fundraising marathon.
“In the Democrat camp, we have two “wonderful” candidates who are about as exciting to watch as a PBS fundraising marathon.”
Listen … I’m not trying to side with any party or candidate at this point, but seriously, are you telling me that out of the 321,442,019 smart, courageous, innovative, and passionate people who currently reside in beloved country, the candidates that so grace us with their presence every day on CNN and Fox News, are the most qualified for the presidency?
Mind you, I work with a number of engineers who can think in levels of comprehensive and cognitive fluency that I couldn’t personally reach in a million years. These men and women are capable of solving mechanical and software problems that would make most of our craniums vapor lock and systematically shutdown like a poorly maintained Ukrainian nuclear power plant.
However, let’s imagine for a moment that picking our next president wasn’t the complex and frustrating process that it currently is. Yes, imagine that our presidential selection process was as easy as holding a national lottery. Americans love lotteries right?
Humor me for a minute: the ultimate winner of the lottery wins the exclusive right and privilege of choosing our next leader … but here’s the kicker: the lottery winner can’t just give the head nod to the next president like they’re selecting a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream at the frozen section of your local WaWa.
The lottery winner would then have to interview each candidate (like a boss) using the same scrutinizing, grueling, comprehensive, and painstaking interview process that the rest of us average “Joes” have to go through in the real world.
There will be application questions.
The other lottery stipulations will be that your interview questions have to be the same for every candidate, and they have to be made public and painfully transparent.
After each candidate has been interviewed, you as the lottery winner, gets to make your final choice for the rest of us to live with (for better or for worse).
So if I actually won this presidential “selection” lottery, these would be my interview questions … these questions would represent what I need my next president to focus their energies on daily. With that said, and given these application questions, who do you think our next president would be? If only other political processes
1. Are you a communist, fascist, or socialist? (mind you, we have a copy of your college transcripts and every research paper that you’ve ever written)
2. If my son ever becomes a Navy Seal and his team is pinned down by the enemy in an undisclosed (Top Secret) location in the world, and the only way that they will have any chance to survive is with the help of an air strike package that “you” can order; do you send in the Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters to turn the enemy into red confetti or do you wait three days to weigh the consequences from an international affairs perspective?
3. Can I see the last twenty Google searches on your laptop?
4. Have you ever actually compared yourself to the average man (or women) in public? When you made that comparison, were you actually aware of the average salary of the common man that you associate yourself with?
5. Have you ever served in the armed forces? If no, do you feel qualified to send people who actually serve into meaningless conflicts and countries that can give a rat’s a** about democracy or the free market?
6. Two-part question: Have you ever waiting tables in a restaurant full of ornery customers or served greasy burgers at a McDonalds just to finance your college education and supplement any scholarships you were lucky to get? If yes, how do you feel about the idea of giving the next generation a free education just for the asking?
7. Three-part question: Do you currently have a Costco card in your wallet? (Let me see it because I don’t really believe you) How many times have you shopped at Wal-Mart (sending the nanny or butler there doesn’t count by the way)? Do you know the name of at least one NASCAR driver?
8. Finish this sentence: The three greatest people who ever walked on the face of the earth are _____, _____, and _____. Note: if the answer “Jesus Christ” isn’t first on your list, this interview is officially over and you can catch the next flight back home.
9. True or False question: Quality of life considerations for actual human beings are infinitely more important than preserving the wet, stinky, and murky habitats of micro-organisms that have zero impact on our lives collectively.
10. When presented with the opportunity to polarize this nation for your own political agenda by penning races, economic, and social classes against each other; what would you ultimately choose do as President of the United States of America?
11. What is the first name of the janitor who cleans your office every day? (Your answer to this question will really tell us how you feel about the average American)
Written by Scott McGinnis | Goombay Tally Blog | Goombaytally.com
A Divided America: Through The Eyes of a Soldier.
Written by Gregory Hutchinson for Goombay Tally | goombaytally.com
As an active duty member in the United States armed forces, I’ve had an opportunity to see America from several unique vantage points and kaleidoscopic angles. Does that make me an expert on American foreign policy, U.S. politics, international or domestic affairs? Of course not; but I think my perspective at least counts for something.
So here it is.
Like many veterans, I’ve deployed several times since the terrorist attacks in 2001, and have visited over 27 different countries over my lifetime. I’ve seen Americans in other countries playing the role of fellow military members, tourists, professional athletes, politicians, military contractors, comedians (Robin Williams was a genius…God rest his soul), media personalities, NFL cheerleaders, and the motley list continues.
Throughout my travels, I’ve found that people have varied opinions about this country. Some think America is the proverbial “land of milk and honey” and hold up our democratic system as the quintessential template for the rest of the world to follow. Others think America is the modern day Sodom and Gomorrah filled with greedy, heartless politicians and corporate CEOs, blood-thirsty lobbyists advancing an out-of-control military industrial complex, or a cesspool of half-naked models and pornography on every corner and website. These folks obviously have no aspirations of ever visiting this country, much less immigrating here.
However, I find that most foreigners I’ve conversed with over time fall somewhere in the “gooey” middle in terms of their opinions about America: “Americans are generally pretty cool, but your government is a hot mess.”
Like many of you last week, I watched the GOP debates along with a few network commentaries on some of the night’s highlights and opinions on who won and who lost the debate. I must say that I eventually turned off my television and crawled into bed feeling a little confused, angry, and even a little sad for our nation that night.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t just a biased, myopic indictment against the Republican Party, I felt equally disheartened and disenfranchised after watching the series of Democratic debates over the last few months. I saw painfully academic, craftily scripted speeches, all made to convince us that each candidate was the only viable solution for America’s problems.
Besides the rancor and infighting that we’ve all observed during this election season, I’m sure you’ve noticed the raging political skirmishes that are prevalent on the social media battlefield. Memes attacking Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders. Let’s be honest, most of them are amusing to say the least; but I tend to view most of them for what they are: one man’s opinion, neatly packaged as the truth, and nefariously fueled by an agenda.
What’s less amusing, is the divisive battle lines that the country seems to have drawn racially, socially, in the schools, in social media, in the churches, and in the courtrooms.
On Facebook, you are invited to join in on the buffoonery. Each political party has bloggers and social engineers feverishly hammering out quirky little articles with grabby titles and humerus memes to discredit, demonize, and demoralize the other party. You’ve all seen them and most of you have probably shared them with your buddies at work.
We’re made to believe that all Trump supporters are crazy racists who want to brand, than kick all Muslims out of the country, that Bernie Sanders supporters are all communists, and Hillary Clinton drones are disloyal, untrustworthy feminists who would soon vote for a crazed circus monkey as long as he’s a Democrat.
Here’s another perspective.
In Iraq or Afghanistan, the locals didn’t necessarily make overarching, sub-categorizing distinctions about Americans based on their political affiliations, religion, race, gender, height, overweight. Were there prejudices about women in uniform. Yes, and we all know the stories but at the end of the day, love it or hate it, you were an American in their country and that’s all that really mattered.
As military members deployed to a war-zone, Trump-supporting Soldiers, Hillary-supporting Seaman or Marines, and Bernie Sanders-supporting Airmen or Coast Guard members are all part of the same team and would bravely give their very lives to save any of their fellow service members who were in trouble.
Let’s be frank: our nation’s military could not function if (for example) Liberal soldiers decided to peel off and form their own distinct divisions in west Afghanistan. Likewise, Conservative F-16 Eagle or A-10 Warthog pilots wouldn’t break from their squadrons at Bagram Airbase and determine independently what their target priorities will be. Moreover, you would never find pro-abortion special operators breaking from their teams to determine which missions they will support and which ones they’ll ignore.
In the war-fighter environment, the need for the forward progression and ultimate success of the mission transcends individual goals, objectives, or desires.
Don’t get me wrong, America should never be run like a military organization. In fact, we commit billions of dollars a year in defense spending to keep nations like that in check. However, I do suggest that there are valuable political and social lessons to be learned from the military in joint operations. Is there conflict between branches of the military in this environment? You bet your a** there is. But at the end of the day, (typically) the advancement of the mission, the well being of the fighting forces, and the nation’s primary objectives and interests are first and foremost in any course of action.
Instead, in America we see a dangerous racial divide sweeping across the country, the African-American community is at odds with law enforcement, we have a disappointing, stagnant, and unresponsive Congress that votes itself a pay raise every year or so, a nation split down party lines, and a lukewarm economy that serves as the bitter, wilted cherry on top.
So as a member of the greatest military in the history of the world, what is my hope for the future of America?
My hope is that we stop just seeing ourselves as disjointed and independently-operating teams, units, battalions, battle groups and squadrons of Liberals, Conservatives, Libertarians, blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asians, Catholics, Muslims etc.
I still get teary-eyed when I remember coming home from my last tour in Afghanistan. I recall finally landing at Baltimore-Washington International Airport after a long and grueling flight that began in below-zero temperatures on a flight line in Kyrgyzstan. I know it sounds cliché, but I literally felt like falling down and kissing the ground when the plane landing. I didn’t. But could have.
In the airport, every uniformed member on that flight probably expecting the routine walk to the baggage claim area, and the long wait for (hopefully) all of their bags on the conveyor belt (especially your weapons). Instead, what we all saw was about two-hundred patriotic Americans waving flags and clapping as we walked down the long exit-way to find a taxi and a hotel for the night. A few Boy Scouts in attendance even offered to carry some of our bags for us.
That is the American that I want to remember. That crowd of Republicans, Democrats, Christians, Muslims, whites, blacks, Liberals, and Conservatives, all showing their appreciation for those who serve on the pointy end of American diplomacy. These were good, decent citizens who knew none of us will probably ever stand and debate in the House of Representatives or the Senate as esteemed politicians, skillfully articulating the nuances of foreign policy on CNN or Meet the Press. But they knew enough to get in their cars that cold night in Baltimore and thank a few soldiers who risked their lives taking care of the government’s business in dirty, dark and dusty corners of Afghanistan. These Americans knew that democracy and freedom isn’t won by making pretty speeches and gestures in fancy suits on television; freedom is ultimately won through the humble spirits of warriors silently exiting and returning to our shores in the darkness of night.
My mother was the first to share with me the Bible verse Mark 3:35 which says, “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. Regardless of your religious affiliation or stance, this verse holds true in every company, corporation, organization, nation, group, circumstance or situation.
President Abraham Lincoln knew this simple but powerful precept back in the 1860s, and it is my final hope that my next Commander-in-Chief embraces it as well.
Written by Gregory Hutchinson for Goombay Tally | goombaytally.com
Photograph courtesy of George Skordaras
11 Reasons Why Hydra, Greece Needs to Be on Your Summer Vacation List Now!
Written by Scott McGinnis | Goombay Tally Blog | Goombaytally.com | Hydra, Greece
Let me be direct: there are essentially a billion reasons why you should book your next vacation on the beautiful island of Hydra, Greece. I will only write about a mere handful of them in this article.
For example, if you really only needed one (solid) reason to vacation in Hydra this summer, consider this: If you are one of those health-conscience, “I have to watch my figure” tourists who constantly worry about indulging a little too much on the local cuisine during your lavish summer vacation and consequently, needing to sheepishly request a lap belt extension from the airline flight attendant on the plane ride back home; please consider planning your next trip to a beautiful island in Greece called “Hydra” (pronounced ‘Eee-Dra’).
There are no cars, buses, planes, or trains on the island of Hydra. That means you walk everywhere, and the last time I checked, walking was really good for your health.
Hydra is one of the Saronic Islands of Greece and located in the breathtaking Aegean Sea between the Saronic Gulf and the Argolic Gulf. If you are anything like me, the only thing I really knew about Greece was what I vaguely remembered in the middle of intense daydreaming sessions during my Western Civilization class back in college.
“There are no cars, buses, planes, or trains on the island of Hydra.”
Here’s the deal: I was initially ignorant of the fact that Greece was such an awesome vacation destination.
So Hydra’s general layout is pretty simple. For example, there is one main town, known as “Hydra Port” with a population of about 1,900 people. However, Hydra’s stunning harbor is arguably one of the most beautiful and picturesque in Greece. To add to its Renaissance-like charm and simplicity; and as mentioned previously, Hydra has no cars on the island. O.K., with the exception of one small garbage truck and one ambulance vehicle hidden away for medical emergencies, Hydra has virtually no vehicles or traffic. That means you don’t have to worry about the kiddies running into busy streets and dodging wild speeding taxis.
In fact, on Hydra, teams of donkeys really serve as the island’s Yellow Cabs. Donkeys are used to transport luggage, groceries, supplies, big screen T.V.s, washing machines, and sometimes “people” up the winding cobblestone steps.
Simply put … Hydra is a gem of an island in Greece that despite its WiFi-enabled cafes and ATMs, has successfully managed to meticulously and thoughtfully preserve its old world beauty and charm.
So what about the beaches?
There are a number of beaches on Hydra for your summer enjoyment but I must warn you that most of them are not your traditional “white sand” variety that you are familiar with in the Caribbean, North America, South America, or elsewhere. I’ll be frank, Hydra has a lot of beaches with small rocks and pebbles that may be somewhat of a turn-off for die-hard “beach bums.”
The Awesome Beaches of Hydra!
Having spent a lot of time in Florida and Central America, I do have to admit that it took me a while to truly appreciate this aspect of Hydra’s beaches but trust me, with the incredible turquoise-colored water, spectacular hillside backdrops, and warm and inviting sun, you will ultimately enjoy Hydra’s beaches regardless.
Personally, I love Kamini, Bisti, and Saint Nikolaos Beaches because of their food and snack service, incredibly scenery, and magnificent, crystal clear water. Both beaches are approximately 30-45 minutes by boat from the harbor…but well worth it.
The majority of Hydra’s commerce, entertainment, and general day-to-day “hustle, and bustle” occurs in its unique, crescent-shaped harbor. This is where you will find your traditional Greek stores, jewelry shops, markets, banks, galleries, night clubs, cafes, and of course, restaurants.
O.K., What About the Food?
Let’s talk about Hydra’s restaurants.
Simply put, “I love to eat.” I am not a fat man mind you, but I do love to stuff my face with food like an ancient Pompeii degenerate.
More specifically, I enjoy walking down to the harbor with my family around 9:00 AM for breakfast as the sun starts to beat off of the cobblestone streets and through the winding alleyways.
In the evening, we would walk back down to the harbor around 7:00 PM as the sun began to set in the distance and we decided which traditional Greek dish we wanted to try that evening.
I honestly cannot say that I’ve had a horrible meal on Hydra during my three trips there. Yes, (just like any other vacation spot) you will find the elite few that just “knock it out the park” in terms of quality, wait staff friendliness, attentiveness, presentation, and ambiance.
“I honestly cannot say that I’ve had a horrible meal on Hydra during my three trips there.”
However, I do recommend visiting Sunset Restaurant which offers a number of traditional Greek salads, fresh fish dishes, Lamb chops, Feta in crust, and fresh vegetables.
A few more recommendations.
Before you leave the island, you also have to visit Gatto Nero, Cucina Italiana. As you can tell by the name, this restaurant specializes in “Italian cuisine,” but trust me when I tell you, the food is phenomenal and the service is obscenely superb. Just in case you were wondering if you can get some wonderful Italian Gelato at Gatto Nero, the answer is “Si.”
Here’s one more. When you’re in the harbor waiting for your next boat (taxi) to your beach of choice, also visit a lovely cafe called Tassos and order an incredible cheese omelet, toast, and English tea. Ask for “George” while you’re there. George is part of an exceptional staff who will ensure you are well fed before starting your daily adventure on Hydra.
I could write all day about the incredible food experiences on Hydra but I will go back to the weight loss sale that I pitched to you early in the article. Honestly, the only occasions that I’ve actually gorged myself while on vacation, yet came back home weighing at least 5 to 7 pounds lighter, has been after our summer trips to Hydra.
Here’s the secret: Hydra’s cobblestone alleyways, and steps are literally carved out of the mountain. So unless you reserved a hotel room in a hotel near or in the flat harbor, you will be hiking up numerous cobblestone stairs to get to and from your lodging destination; several times a day.
Hydra Can Be an Awesome Daily Workout.
My family was fortunate and blessed to be able to stay with my wife’s wonderful and generous parents who own a beautiful villa on Hydra. Lucky right? I must confess that the daily climb to get to and from the villa was approximately 214 steps. This served as a great vacation workout that we never had to formally schedule into our day.
To make things even more interesting, if you happen to have a toddler (like we do) who may need to be backpacked up and down the steps, get ready for your “intense” Greek-style “Stair-Master” workout. Yes, you will feel the burn in your calves and a sting on the back of your neck as your child occasionally smacks you and laughs hysterically.
Click below for Big Blue Bearwear Deals!
Let’s be real … you certainly can’t get this combination of cardio, sweat, grit, scenery, and entertainment at an overpriced health club back in the U.S., that happens to be blasting “Taylor Swift” and “Flo Rida” songs way to loudly over an annoying speaker system.
During your first few trips up and down the mountain, you (depending on your general health and level of fitness) will be hot, tired, sweaty, and a little fatigued. However, you will quickly get used to it and start to feel yourself getting stronger and more confident each day (I hope).
If for some strange reason you begin to lose your motivation, just observe some of Hydra’s more “senior” residents who seemingly spring up and down the steps on a daily basis and may indeed make “you” look like the 70-year-old.
Please don’t let Yaiyai (Greek grandmother) pass you up on the stairs. If she does, she automatically earns the right to heckle and berate you mercilessly (in Greek of course).
Seriously, after two weeks or vacation time on Hydra this year, I lost a total of seven pounds before we wrapped up the trip and made our way back to Athens, and eventually the United States.
Mind you, I was able to accomplish the same “dieting” feat 10 years earlier during a trip to Korat, Thailand, but this abrupt weight loss achievement was directly attributed to bad shrimp soup purchased from a popular sidewalk cafe and had absolutely nothing to do with a daily exercise regiment up and down a mountain.
Unlike my wonderful experiences in Hydra, I will have to spare you the horrid details surrounding that specific vacation.
In the interim, I highly recommend adding Hydra, Greece to your next vacation destination soon. Enjoy the incredible food and please take advantage of the opportunities to come back home in way better shape than when you left.
Scott McGinnis | Goombay Tally | Goombaytally.com | Hydra, Greece