Monday, 26 September 2011

As We All Crowd Together

All pictures from Cuenca Foundation Day Crafts Fair April 2011
Humanity is a parade of fools, and I am at the front of it, twirling a baton. ~ Dean Koontz #quote

Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible player ~ Einstein #quote

Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. ~ Aldous Huxley #quote

The sea has never been friendly to man. At most it has been the accomplice of human restlessness. ~ Joseph Conrad #quote

Dogs never bite me. Just humans. ~ Marilyn Monroe #quote

There is no heresy or no philosophy which is so abhorrent to the church as a human being. ~ James Joyce #quote

Man's enemies are not demons, but human beings like himself. ~ Lao Tzu #quote

The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy. ~ Meryl Streep #quote

Art is not an end in itself, but a means of addressing humanity. ~ Modest Mussorgsky #quote

Inside every human being there are treasures to unlock. ~ Mike Huckabee #quote

Music is the voice that tells us that the human race is greater than it knows. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte #quote

I remain a humanist. We are a very curious race. ~ Michael Tippett #quote

What a pity human beings can't exchange problems. Everyone knows exactly how to solve the other fellow's. ~ Olin Miller #quote

Do your bit to save humanity from lapsing back into barbarity by reading all the novels you can. ~ Richard Hughes #quote

It is human nature that rules the world, not governments and regimes. ~ Svetlana Alliluyeva #quote

It belongs to human nature to hate those you have injured. ~ Tacitus #quote

One of the greatest pains for human nature is the pain of a new idea. ~ Walter Bagehot #quote

How embarrassing to be human. ~ Kurt Vonnegut #quote

Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron. ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower #quote

The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition. ~ Carl Sagan #quote

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. ~ H. P. Lovecraft #quote
Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build & nobody wants to do maintenance. ~ Kurt Vonnegut #quote

I believe that every human has a finite number of heart-beats. I don't intend to waste any of mine...doing exercises. ~ Buzz Aldrin #quote

I never claimed to be normal. Just human. ~ Stephenie Meyer #quote

But who prays for Satan? Who, in 18 centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most? ~ Mark Twain #quote

Saturday, 24 September 2011

But I Must Scream

This is slavery, not to speak one's thought. ~ Euripedes #quote

Sigred's been fooling around with quotes for something like 3 years now.  She's getting pretty good with quotes in that she'd never noticed before how many people pirate quotes as their own.  It's a natural enough thing; even the "famous" do it.  Plus, it's not wholly beyond reason that more than one person could genuinely come up with a clever thing to say... and then say it. 

In any case, Sigred's "#quote thing" all started with Twitter and something to Tweet.  She researched on the net, from personal reading, from friends & family & from various quote books and then plastered her research in Twitter.  The "#quote thing"  progressed to making single quote graphics for the blog plus quote menageries with personal pictures.  She began to sprinkle her every day conversation with quotes (always careful to acknowledge their provenance) and she began to take note of quotes from TV & movies.

The whole thing took on a minor life in itself. 

(Aside:  It takes a while to find your place in retirement.)

At this point (with the above But I Must Scream) Sigred had exhausted her built-up supply of single quote graphics.  She still had quotes to distribute, but the plan was she'd do this in multiple quote posts.  After she'd finished off her supply, her further plan was to quit the quote business (acknowledging that one should never say never).

(Second Aside: 
After composing the above and setting this blog up in a queue,
several more opportunities came up to make additional single quote blogs.  
Thus, this is not the beginning of the end...
as anticipated.)

Something about mice and men...?

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Buenos Días

Brian was out doing Ecuadorian chores.  He'd unhooked our modem and was taking it back to our carrier to get a new one.  It'd been on the fritz for 3 months and we'd finally gotten the repair guys out to tell us it was time to exchange it.  (What a concept!)  In addition, he was going to drop by the place he'd taken his drivers' training to see if his certificate was ready.  He'd taken along his English/Spanish bookie just in case, even though his Spanish these days, was pretty adequate. 

Fredi & I were out for a walk.  Every 100 steps or so, Fredi would stop, dig her heels in and look back towards our apartment building.  You see, we were not supposed to be walking about without Brian the Alpha Male.

Solitary walks are good for me.
(Fredi doesn't count...well Fredi counts but not in that way.) 

I get to thinking pretty clear thoughts on solitary walks. 

A long time ago Brian & I & and my youngest child piled into our boat (Dowager) and putted away out into the wilderness.  It was a "pipe dream" but not one that neither Brian nor I regret.
[In the "long run" I like to think my youngest daughter will not regret it either, but we're a good distance away away from 
the long run.]

Blah Blah Blah...

In any case...during the year "out" we spent a few months in a small town called Gibsons.  Gibsons is somewhat famous in Canada because it hosted a television show called The Beachcombers for several years.  There are many of us of a certain age in Canada (before the miracle of cable TV), with only 1 or 2 channels available, who were big fans of The Beachcombers. 

In Gibsons, we were a part of small dock-side community and fitted in pretty well.  In addition, it was a friendly town, in no small part because it had for so many years hosted the crew from The Beachcombers.  Walking down the street we learned to nod and say hi to a great portion of the populace. 

Many adventures later we eventually returned to the City of Vancouver, defeated, unable to find a way to support ourselves out in the wilderness.  Nevertheless, we were happy to be back in the city with our other children and confident that things would turn around quickly.
They did. 

There I was, glorying in the short-term Vancouver sunshine, walking down the big dock, off to do some chores and I passed an older fisherman. 

"Good morning!" I said, still in the routine of being cheery with everyone.

"What the f**k do you want?" grumped the fisherman.

I stiffed-leggedly passed the man and continued on my day, lesson learned.  I was back in the City.  It was time to lower my eyes and my lofty expectations and worm into a place that was adequately safe.

Later on,
that grumpy fisherman and I became, 
perhaps not friends, 
but 2 people who had a small respect for each other. 

So, there I was out walking Fredi in Ecuador (keep up) while Brian was doing Ecuadorian chores.  Every 27 or 53 or 172 or maybe even 345 steps I encountered an Ecuadorian.  Eyes up, I always said "Hola" with a smile on my face & a bounce in my step and each and every Ecuadorian (with one exception which I'll speak to below) said either "Hola" or "buenos días" back to me with a smile also on their face.

(The exception was a teenage boy, who had the good grace to look embarrassed when I looked him in the eye.)

Now...I've heard people say that folks here in Ecuador aren't ready and/or willing to accept us extranjeros, but I have never encountered this. 

Eyes up, small smile on my face, a ready "hola" or "buenos días" on my lips and I always, always, always (with expectable exceptions) get the same in return.


Everyone here (with exception of some small minded, mean spirited "gringos") loves Fredi.