Tuesday, 26 June 2012

When You See...

When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing; when you see that money is flowing to those who deal not in goods, but in favors; when you see that men get rich more easily by graft than by work, and your laws no longer protect you against them, but protect them against you...you may know that your society is doomed. ~ Ayn Rand #quote

The quietness of his tone italicized the malice of his reply. ~ Truman Capote #quote

It is one of the most saddening things in life that, try as we may, we can never be certain of making people happy, whereas we can almost always be certain of making them unhappy. ~ Thomas Huxley #quote

One person's crazyness is another person's reality. ~ Tim Burton #quote

When you don't know what you're talking about, it's hard to know when you're finished. ~ Tommy Smothers #quote

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right. ~ Thomas Paine #quote

There's always got to be a struggle. What else is there? That's what life is made of. I don't know anything else. If there is, tell me about it. ~ Van Morrison #quote

The universe is an intelligence test. ~  Timothy Leary #quote

You see, it's never the environment; it's never the events of our lives, but the meaning we attach to the events - how we interpret them - that shapes who we are today and who we'll become tomorrow. ~ Tony Robbins #quote

Mental fight means thinking against the current, not with it. It is our business to puncture gas bags and discover the seeds of truth. ~ Virginia Woolf #quote

The only valid censorship of ideas is the right of people not to listen. ~ Tommy Smothers #quote

On the outskirts of every agony sits some observant fellow who points. ~ Virginia Woolf #quote
The breaking of a wave cannot explain the whole sea. ~ Vladimir Nabokov #quote

The clever cat eats cheese and breathes down rat holes with baited breath. ~ W.C. Fields #quote

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages. ~ William Shakespeare #quote

Considering how foolishly people act and how pleasantly they prattle, perhaps it would be better for the world if they talked more and did less. ~ Somerset Maugham #quote

The surest cure for vanity is loneliness. ~ Tom Wolfe #quote

There is no explanation for evil. It must be looked upon as a necessary part of the order of the universe. To ignore it is childish, to bewail it senseless. ~ Somerset Maugham #quote

Human folly does not impede the turning of the stars. ~ Tom Robbins #quote

Whoever degrades another degrades me, And whatever is done or said returns at last to me. ~ Walt Whitman #quote

It is a short walk from the hallelujah to the hoot. ~ Vladimir Nabokov #quote
People of character do the right thing – not because they think it will change the world, but because they refuse to be changed by the world. ~ Michael Josephson #quote

The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next. ~ Ursula K. LeGuin #quote

No man, for any considerable period of time, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the truth. ~  Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), author #quote
But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. ~ William Butler Yeats #quote

Caress the detail, the divine detail. ~ Vladimir Nabokov #quote

If it happens, it happens... We can't stop living. ~ Walter Reed #quote

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

I am the Lorax

All pictures taken in Ecuador....
Percy wouldn't notice a joke if it danced naked in front of him wearing one of Dobby's hats. ~ J.K. Rowling #quote

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. ~ Albert Einstein #quote

The Law of conservation of energy tells us we can`t get something for nothing, but we refuse to believe it. ~ Isaac Asimov #quote

All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream. ~ Edgar Allan Poe #quote

...where the flowers grow year round....
I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet. ~ Mahatma Gandhi #quote

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. ~ Robert A. Heinlein #quote

The obstacle is the path. ~ Zen #Proverb

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. ~ Voltaire #quote

a wondrous thing, this year round growing...
The more I see, the less I know for sure. ~ John Lennon #quote

I don't go looking for trouble. Trouble usually finds me. ~ J.K. Rowling #quote

I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues. ~ Dr. Seuss #quote

The only tired I was, was tired of giving in. ~ Rosa Parks #quote

....of flowers is....
When you give a lesson in meanness to a critter or a person don`t be surprised if they learn their lesson ~ Will Rogers #quote

A good scare is worth more to a man than good advice. ~ Anonymous #quote

If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there. ~ George Harrison #quote

I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter ~ W. Churchill #quote

...for a Canadian.
A book is a garden carried in the pocket. #Proverb from Saudi Arabia

A man may learn wisdom even from a foe. ~ Aristophanes #quote

Experience teaches only the teachable. ~ Aldous Huxley #quote

Houston, Tranquility Base here. The eagle has landed. ~ Neil Armstrong #quote

There is no hope for the satisfied man. ~ Frederick G. Bonfils #quote

Nihilism is best done by professionals. ~ Iggy Pop #quote

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. ~ Isaac Asimov, Salvor Hardin in "Foundation" #quote

You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist. ~ Indira Gandhi #quote

We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses. ~ Carl Jung #quote

I am become death, the destroyer of worlds. ~ J. R. Oppenheimer #quote

Expect nothing, live frugally on surprise. ~ Alice Walker #quote

The only paradise is paradise lost. ~ Marcel Proust #quote

Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise. ~ Margaret Atwood, Cat's Eye #quote

A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us. ~ Franz Kafka #quote

The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age. ~ Lucille Ball #quote

Take what you can use and let the rest go by. ~ Ken Kesey #quote

We are all born mad. Some remain so. ~ Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot #quote

Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river. ~ Nikita Khrushchev #quote

What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal. ~ Albert Pine #quote

When you learn, teach. When you get, give. ~ Maya Angelou #quote

Laws are like sausages. It's better not to see them being made. ~ Otto von Bismarck #quote

I base my fashion taste on what doesn't itch. ~ Gilda Radner #quote

It's the suppression of the word that gives it the power, the violence, the viciousness. ~ Lenny Bruce #quote

Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business. ~ Tom Robbins #quote

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Everyone You Meet is Fighting a Hard Battle

Churches in and around Cuenca Ecuador

What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness? ~ Jean-Jacques Rousseau #quote

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway. ~ Mother Teresa #quote

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~ Plato #quote

Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind ~ Henry James #quote

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. ~ Aesop #quote

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy...the philosophy is kindness ~ Dalai Lama #quote

Shall we make a new rule of life from tonight: always try to be a little kinder than is necessary? ~ J.M. Barrie #quote

It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one's life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than 'try to be a little kinder'. ~ Aldous Huxley #quote

When you receive a kindness, remember it. When you do a kindness, forget it. ~ Greek #Proverb

When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.  ~ Abraham Joshua Heschel #quote

Life is mostly froth and bubble, but two things stand like stone, kindness in anothers trouble and courage in your own ~ Adam Lindsay Gordon #quote

I've learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant & kindness from the unkind.  I shouldn't be ungrateful to these teachers ~ K. Gibran #quote

What I want is so simple I almost can't say it: elementary kindness. ~ Barbara Kingsolver #quote

The ideas that have lighted my way have been kindness, beauty and truth. ~ Albert Einstein #quote

So many Gods, so many creeds / So many paths that wind and wind / When just the art of being kind / Is all this sad world needs. ~ E. Wilcox #quote

The highest form of wisdom is kindness. ~ The Talmud #quote

Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true.  ~ Robert Brault #quote

Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world. ~ Annie Lennox #quote

What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness? ~ Jean-Jacques Rousseau #quote

Those who have suffered, who have known poverty or oppression, are generally the most prone to kindness. Perhaps it is well to endure some misery if only to learn this lesson. ~ Arthur Lynch #quote

An unimaginative person can neither be reverent or kind. ~ John Ruskin #quote

Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness. ~ Seneca the Younger #quote

There's only one rule that I know of, babies - God damn it, you've got to be kind. ~ Kurt Vonnegut #quote

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Ecuador By Bug: Cuenca to the Yunguilla Valley

It was time for a shake down run on the bug.  We'd spent a couple of years just negotiating the possibility of owning a car in Ecuador (Fred for and Sigred very much against) and then before actually looking around and finding one, Fred had to take lessons and maneuver through the Ecuadorian system in order to get a proper drivers' license.  That saga took several weeks and involved actually having to find the Police Station twice as they'd moved without notice.  However, in the end, Fred finally prevailed.

Next there was the actual looking for a bug in decent shape.  This too involved many false starts, disappointing sub-endings and having to negotiate the buying process in Spanish.  Fortunately, having been in the country at that point for 3 years, both Fred & Sigred had fully adapted to "mañana" and the heavy paper-work way of doing things.  In that end, believe it or not, the bug was finally purchased from a young man from the Czech Republic who had moved here with his family to grow strawberries.  (Note:  thus Fred was working in Czech, English & Spanish). 

Then, much to Sigred's disgust, there were a few things that needed tweeking on the bug.

Side Note:  Sigred's previous mantra was as follows:  Cars are like men, they always break down just when you need them the most.

No one is really sure if Sigred is joking or not.

Back to this story:  Initially Fred went to the mechanic who had done major work on the bug previously.  After several weeks and a saga involving 4 countries (Ecuador, Brazil, Mexico & Germany) Fred ended up paying that mechanic off and going to another man, "El Maestro".  It goes without saying that El Maestro is a master mechanic, instantly cognizant of the work needed to be done on the bug, honest, efficient, friendly and charges very reasonable rates. One over night stay and one 3 hour visit put to right the immediate repairs on the bug.

We had agreed to take the bug on a short initial trip and decided to venture to the Yunguilla Valley (about an hour and a half from Cuenca) to visit the Sol y Agua resort.  We'd been there before and quite enjoyed our stay.  The Yungilla Valley is stunning in it's breadth and majesty and sitting at the resort, surrounded by big sky, swaying palm trees & ageless mountains is hugely soul cleansing. 

Note:  There is an adequate restaurant at the resort, TV's with only Spanish, a huge clear blue pool, ostriches and no internet access.  Bring several good books!
It is very difficult to take a snap shot of the crashing depth of the mountains'  peaks & valleys.  You might be driving through green fields with mountains in the distance and dairy cows chewing their cud and then 20 minutes later your throat is in your mouth as you look down a periscope distance to see a small river snaking through a cut between peaks. 

From Cuenca to the resort is mostly downhill and we knew the real test of the bug would be our return trip.

We settled in at the resort, napped & read, lazed by the pool, admired the scenery, had breaded shrimp at the restaurant and took a drive around the immediate area. 

The elevation at Sol y Agua is over 2,000 feet lower than Cuenca.  While Cuenca (to us) seems to have a perfect "Spring" climate, in the Valley the weather is quite bit warmer.  It's wonderful (for a bit of change) to don shorts & flip flops and worship the sun for awhile, although it's a bit too warm at night, there are mosquitoes (hardly seen in Cuenca) and heat and humidity take some getting used to. 

A tad worried about our uphill trip home, the bug ended up performing admirably, putt-putt-ing quite contentedly up through the various passes and finally down into Cuenca.  There actually comes a point when you can feel the difference in climate and at that point we knew we were almost home. 

We thoroughly enjoyed our shake down trip to the Yunguilla Valley and our quiet time at the resort.

Next Trip:  Perhaps North?