I like America. I've been to the United States twice, including a Californian road trip in 2004.
Parts of Los Angeles are great and I particularly like Santa Monica and its beach.
The weather's often warm in California and there's something about the US being the land of opportunity that for me gives it a slightly romantic feel.
I have sometimes wondered what it would be like to live there. We know people who do and they seem to enjoy a good lifestyle.
But if I needed another reminder of why I will never live there it is this week's deplorable Boston Marathon bombings.
It brings back memories of 9/11, although obviously on a much smaller scale.
It is a terror crime that has forever marred what is one of the world's great sporting events and has again reminded me the Western world, and in particular the US, will never be free of terrorism.
It is a miracle only three died and 170 were hurt. The fact a boy was one of those three victims and members of his family were injured in the blasts drives home just how evil - or insane - these terrorists are.
Whether they are Americans or foreign nationals, they do not care about others, only in their deluded cause. They do not care if they kill and maim innocent people. They have no empathy or conscience.
Violence can happen anywhere but we are lucky New Zealand does not appear to be on the radar. But the United States will always be a target for terrorism and mass shootings.
Its involvement in various world affairs means there are countries and people who wish it harm. Its crazy, lax firearms laws mean criminals on home soil have easy access to guns.
I see no end to its big cities forever being on high alert.
I feel sorry for everyone caught up in this week's attack. Thankfully, no New Zealanders were hurt and Tauranga's own Boston marathon runners Stephen Blair and Judith May were away from the blast scene.
Hopefully, those responsible are caught and, if guilty, will never see freedom again.
I like the US, but I'm thankful I live in the relatively safe city of Tauranga, where we enjoy hot summers, white sandy beaches and a great vibe. It is a great place to live and raise a family.