Michael's Observations, Notes, and Comments

The musings of this guy from Northern New York are for your enjoyment and thought. 

UPDATED January 18, 2017.  If you want to start from the beginning, please look down this page to the April 3, 2008 entry...


 Michael has published several books...  "Thoughts on Life" in English, Russian, and German

"Thoughts on Life Volume Two" in English and German

and also "Thoughts on Life Volume Three" in English

They are also available on Amazon.com

"A sample:  The sun is always shining, whether we see it or not"

Where do I start? Since December a lot has happened. Senator Gillibrand, and her assistant Brenda did amazing things to help Annie come to America. The local college started classes January 25th.   After reviewing 77+ pages of FAXed documentation, Senator Gillibrand's office  informed us she would write a letter of support to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and advise Annie to re-apply for her U.S. visa.  Because of the Christmas holiday in America and Russia (which celebrates Orthodox and has a long vacation period at the beginning of January) Annie’s U.S. visa re-application interview was scheduled on January 13th.  Without knowing the interview outcome, airfare and other travel arrangements would have to be made at the last minute and would be very expensive.  Class scheduling would be difficult.  Annie asked the U.S. Embassy to reschedule the interview sooner, although this seemed very unlikely to happen.  It did, though. On Thursday December 17th, she found the interview was rescheduled to Monday the 19th.  We notified the Senator's office Friday the 18th .   Senator Gillibrand’s staff worked miracles to get the letter to Moscow and copies to Annie in time for the interview. The second interview was not going any differently until Annie showed the officer Senator Gillibrand’s letter. After that, things went well and her visa was granted.

So much has happened since that event, it is impossible to even summarize. The addition of a new member to our household, learning and sharing cultural differences, continually navigating the local college rules and classes, finding dozens of things Americans take for granted that do not apply in other areas of the world, some mundane, others that were such a "reality check" even I was shocked speechless.  I am very thankful for family and friends who have helped and continue to help Annie live her dream.  

Another update- March 22, 2010...  Annie is taking 19 credit hours at the local college, 9 credit hours of business, English research and composition, (3 credits), College Algebra (3 credits) and Accounting (4 credits).  Her mid-term grades are ALL "A", except for a single B in algebra, primarily due to word problem translations and teaching herself the TI 83+ calculator she has never used before. 

Another update- August 16, 2010  When Annie finished the semester in May she ended with all As and her name on J.C.C.'s President's List.  She took ANOTHER 13 credit hours this summer and finished with 3 A's and one B. 

 I'm adding some comments this weekend.  Some are silly, like an image of a free sample of cat box wipes that are labeled "Safe for use around cats".  Imagine that!  I AM worried about the dog now.  I wonder if they are safe for humans too?


     I've been listening to Radio One/CBC from Canada lately.  Here's one thing on making the world better.  Donating the use of cottages for cancer survivors... what a GREAT idea!!!



    What do I think about the US stimulus package?  How DOES a government that can do very little in a hurry come up with a thousand page document quickly anyway?  How fast could YOU make a 3/4 trillion dollars shopping list? I think we'd do better if government officials would be quiet and let people and the market have some hope.  I think substantial amounts of this crisis were caused by government interference and the media and officials promoting the bad news rather than the good.  I also believe that much of the stimulus package came from "wish lists" sitting on shelves in congressional offices.  It sure would have simplified creating a package of this size and also explains the pork in it.  I hear of new high speed trains that will be constructed.  Looking at this, it sounds good... but if a plane costs less, takes less time, etc. than the train, will we take the train?  It's not "The Field of Dreams" where if you build it, they will come.  They may come, but only if it is worthwhile.  Meanwhile, a truck accident damaged a local bridge over Interstate 81 near here a couple of years ago, forcing the bridge to be closed.  It was needed in the early 1960s when the population was lower, and is needed even more now.  It is unlikely to be repaired/replaced.  This is our government in action.

I hear China has purchased floors in the new building to be constructed at Ground Zero in New York City.  It was supposed to be the Freedom Tower, but the name was just changed to One World Trade Center.  Freedom and China don't mix well, it seems.  Just a bit over a year ago, I wrote below about buying Chinese manufactured goods.  This is one of the results. 

It's time to go outside and enjoy springtime weather!  Have a great weekend!


To comment- email Michael at mringcne@aol.com.

I want to hear from you!

"The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the Michael F. Ring and do not reflect the position of, or the endorsement by, the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, its members, officers, chapters, or board."


This page last updated on January 18, 2017.
Copyright © 2008-2017

 Michael F. Ring

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