Monday, 25 February 2013

You May Say I'm a Dreamer

If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there. ~ Lewis Carroll #quote

Learn politeness from the impolite. ~ #Proverb from Egypt

God is a concept by which we measure our pain. ~ John Lennon #quote

For all my education, accomplishments, and so called 'wisdom'... I can't fathom my own heart. ~ Michael Caine #quote

You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will live as one. ~ John Lennon #lyrics

She got diamonds on the soles of her shoes / Well that’s one way to lose these / Walking blues ~ Paul Simon #lyrics

Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson #quote

The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me. ~ Ayn Rand #quote
A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm. ~ Henrik Ibsen #quote

You've got to separate the singer and the songs. ~ Van Morrison #quote

If everybody minded their own business, the world would go around a great deal faster than it does. ~ L.Carroll, Alice in Wonderland #quote

That’s me in the corner / That’s me in the spotlight / Losing my religion ~ R.E.M. #lyrics

A man who lives, not by what he loves but what he hates, is a sick man. ~ Archibald MacLeish #quote

I could paint for a hundred years, a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing. ~ Paul Cezanne #quote

The death that will kill a man begins as an appetite. ~ #Proverb from Nigeria

In every woman there is a Queen. Speak to the Queen and the Queen will answer. ~ #Proverb from Norway

Aggression unopposed becomes a contagious disease. ~ Jimmy Carter #quote

We have no choice but to be guilty. God is unthinkable if we are innocent. ~ Archibald MacLeish #quote

If it has more than three chords, it's jazz. ~ Lou Reed #quote

She gave me a smile I could feel in my hip pocket. ~ Raymond Chandler #quote

A career is wonderful, but you can't curl up with it on a cold night. ~ Marilyn Monroe #quote

A million old soldiers will fade away / But a dream goes on forever ~ Todd Rundgren #lyrics

Every man has a sane spot somewhere. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson #quote

Well you don't know what we could find / Why don't you come with me little girl / On a magic carpet ride ~ Steppenwolf #lyrics

Every tear has a smile behind it. ~ #Proverb from Iran

A prudent man does not make the goat his gardener. ~ #Proverb from Hungary

Take everything you like seriously, except yourselves. ~ Rudyard Kipling #quote

Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? ~ George Carlin #quote

A fool and his money are soon elected. ~ Will Rogers #quote

A beautiful thing never gives so much pain as does failing to hear and see it. ~ Michelangelo #quote

Don't insult the alligator until you've crossed the river. ~ #Proverb from Haiti

The witness of a rat is another rat. ~ #Proverb from Ethiopia

You can’t always get what you want / But if you try sometimes, well you might find / You get what you need ~ Rolling Stones #lyrics

You can't say civilization don't advance... in every war they kill you in a new way. ~ Will Rogers #quote

No one tests the depth of the river with both feet. ~ #Proverb from Ghana

Once I built a railroad, and now it’s done / Buddy, can you spare a dime? ~ E.Y. "Yip" Harburg #lyrics

Mistakes are the portals of discovery. ~ James Joyce #quote

Mediocrity is climbing molehills without sweating. ~ #Proverb from Iceland

He who has done evil, expects evil. ~ #Proverb from Republic of Guinea

Workin' on a mystery, goin' wherever it leads / Runnin' down a dream ~ Tom Petty #lyrics

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The Only Paradise is Paradise Lost

All pictures taken at Cuenca's Museum of Modern Art

Luigi Stomaiolo

Listen to what they say of the others and you will know what they say about you. ~ #Proverb from Cuba

It is true that we are weak & sick & ugly & quarrelsome but if that is all we ever were, we would millenniums ago have disappeared... ~ J. Steinbeck #quote

A wise man never knows all, only fools know everything ~ #Proverb from Africa

Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism. ~ Carl Jung #quote
Luigi Stomaiolo

There'll be war, there'll be peace. But everything one day will cease. ~ Pink Floyd #lyrics

A man of 80 has outlived probably three new schools of painting, two of architecture and poetry and a hundred in dress. ~ Lord Byron #quote

A cat goes to a monastery, but she still remains a cat. #Proverb from Congo (Kinshasa)

Old age is like a plane flying through a storm. Once you're aboard, there's nothing you can do. ~ Golda Meir #quote

Immortality is a good idea until you realize that you are going to spend it alone. ~ Interview with the Vampire #linesfrommovies

Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around. ~ Vanilla Sky #linesfrommovies

In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicable. ~ John Steinbeck #quote

Saidel Brito
At high tide fish eat ants; at low tide ants eat fish. ~ Thai #Proverb

Just cause you got the monkey off your back doesn't mean the circus has left town. ~ George Carlin #quote

Some of us are just trying to get through the day without breaking something. ~ Pacey, Dawson's Creek #linesfromTV

All war is based on deception. ~ Sun Tzu #quote

A man cannot become an atheist merely by wishing it. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte #quote

To live without evil belongs only to the gods. ~ Sophocles #quote

Action is the antidote to despair. ~ Joan Baez #quote

When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes. ~ Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus #quote

Saidel Brito
Canada is the only country in the world that knows how to live without an identity. ~ Marshall McLuhan #quote

I do not need the idea of God to explain the world I live in. ~ Salman Rushdie #quote

Born to be wild -  live to outgrow it. ~ Lao Tzu #quote

The important thing is this: to be able, at any moment, to sacrifice what we are for what we could become. ~ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi #quote

Birth was the death of him. ~ Samuel Beckett #quote

Marcelo Aguirre
As long as you derive inner help and comfort from anything, keep it. ~ Gandhi #quote

Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor. ~ James A. Baldwin #quote

Follow your inner moonlight; don't hide the madness. ~ Allen Ginsberg #quote

The Internet treats censorship as a malfunction and routes around it. ~ John Perry Barlow #quote

I don't take me seriously. If we get some giggles, I don't mind. ~ Paul McCartney #quote

I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library. ~ Jorge Luis Borges #quote

Why is it that right-wing bastards always stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity, while liberals fall out among themselves? ~ Y. Yevtushenko #quote

A wholesome oblivion of one's neighbours is the beginning of wisdom. ~ Richard Le Gallienne #quote
Canada was built on dead beavers. ~ Margaret Atwood #quote

All I ask is that the present moment be postponed until I'm ready for it. ~ Ashleigh Brilliant #quote

If one does not understand a person, one tends to regard him as a fool. ~ Carl Jung #quote

There is nothing to be learned from history anymore. We're in science fiction now. ~ Allen Ginsberg #quote

The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be. ~ Paul Valery #quote

Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind & dance upon the mountains like a flame ~ William Butler Yeats #quote

Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle. ~ Lewis Carroll #quote

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

Friday, 15 February 2013

Ecuador By Bug: Cuenca to SigSig

It'd been months since they'd been able to get out of town and finally Sigred sat Fred down with a calendar and they picked a couple of days to venture out of Cuenca.  The next step was deciding where to go.

The basic criteria was as follows: (1) Not more than 2 or 3 hours away in the VW, leaning to 2 hours.  This was because of Fred's sciatica. Neither Fred nor Sigred wanted to exacerbate Fred's condition by cooping him up in the Bug too long.  (2) Preferably some place they'd never been.  While Ecuador is a small country, even after several years they still had not explored it's depth and breadth.  (3) A place that would not only accept Princess but would accept her with open arms.

Fred got on the net and started looking.  After 2 days he narrowed it down to 3 places which he then shared with Sigred.

Sigred approved of all Fred's selections and emails were sent out.  Now you have to recognise that a North American "sense of urgency" does not seem to accompany emails in Ecuador.  One cannot necessarily expect a prompt answer, if any answer at all.  However, within 2 days days they had received 2 replies (one being from their first choice) and a booking was made and a deposit was placed directly in to their Bank.

"Woo hoo!" Sigred allowed herself a jubilant dance looking forward to their mini-holiday to come.

Trip Advisor had provided information on the El Barranco Eco Lodge as follows:

"Do not miss this gem nestled on a hillside on the outskirts of SigSig. This is the place to go for the ultimate in relaxation. Beautiful hand made furniture and appointments throughout. Breakfast is included, but we ate all of our meals here due to the quality of the food, service, and affordability."

...among other recommendations so they were looking forward to their trip with eager anticipation.

The night before they were to set out was a bad one for both of them.  While Ecuador is almost famous for barking dogs, it's not very often this phenomenon affects them.  Unfortunately, that night a lone dog kept them awake for half of the night.

The morning finally arrived and they set off on their adventure, albeit a little groggy.  The drive through the Andes is always spectacular and the closer they got to SigSig the warmer it got.

At one point a high pitched squealing was heard and finally Sigred asked Fred, "Is that us?"

"I don't think so" Fred answered in a much gruffer voice than he usually uses.

Sigred rolled down her window and put her ear outside but couldn't confirm "yes" or "no" as to the squeal's location.

Fred muttered two words "wheel bearings..." and Sigred asked if she should stick her head out the window to see if anything was smoking, all the while calculating the cost of a tow back to Cuenca and the ruination of their small vacation.

"I'll stop soon as we get out of this traffic" Fred advised her.

Eventually they came to a place they could stop and Sigred watched while a long line of traffic went past them and Fred went around the VW inspecting the wheels and the brakes.

"Well..." he told her when he got back in the car, "the brakes seem warm but I think not too warm".  He shrugged and they set off again, both a little trepidatious.

"This is why I hate cars!" Sigred quipped and Fred laughed as they drove away.  They were quiet in the car for 20 minutes or so until they both confirmed the noise was gone.

"I thought it might have been that big truck" Fred thought out loud and then they both agreed they were very very happy it wasn't their little VW.

They stopped in Chordaleg for a sandwich (ham and cheese which is commonly called a "mixto" in Ecuador) and a bottle of "agua con gas", enjoyed their small lunch, paid the $3.50 it cost them and then continued on to SigSig.

The El Barranco Eco Lodge was charming and they were given a small hut built on a tiny hill, accessible only by a short winding path and a couple of flights of stars and overlooking a pool FULL of squealing school children.

While Sigred settled in, unpacking and running back to the office for two extra pillows, Fred got himself down for a  well deserved nap.  "I don't think I'll sleep" Fred told her... but was curled and cozy and deep into dream land before 10 minutes were up.  Princess on the other hand, who usually shares Fred's nap, sat tight and cautious on the end of the bed, alert should any of the school children decide to storm the hill.

After Fred's nap they went for a fairly long walk along the river. Princess was ecstatic as she romped off leash.  It was beautiful, just the slightest tinge of cool in the air and they virtually had the path to themselves.

The lodge apparently has been open for only 2 years although it seems more established than that.  During a conversation with the manager they were told it makes most of it's money from locals using the heated pool.  Fred & Sigred were their only overnight guests and got tons of personal attention.  That evening a special meal was made for them, sautéed chicken steaks, sautéed vegetables as well and rotini pasta.

The staff built a fire in their cozy hut and under no less than 5 blankets both Fred & Sigred managed to have a pretty good sleep... Princess, however, was on alert for much of the night

The next morning, fresh fruit,  buns, scrambled eggs and cafe con leche was provided for breakfast.  The place does't have a menu.  You are given a choice of pork, beef, chicken or fish for dinner and you then decide which earlier in the day.  Later on they go out and buy the ingredients and serve it up with their choice of side dishes.  So far, the food's been great... fresh, interesting and subtly flavoured.   Fred & Sigred were offered the opportunity to have sandwiches made up for their adventures out that day, but declined because, as is usual on a holiday, they were both eating too much.

After a couple of walks with Princess in the immediate neighbourhood, Fred, Sigred and Princess all hopped into the VW and headed off to a museum that exhibited artifacts of the ancient Canari civilisation.  The Canari predate the Incas.  The museum was located way off in the countryside on dirt roads that only kindly could be called rustic ( directions were given to them by the manager of the lodge).

The "curator" of the museum gave a lively tour of the two rooms and multiple exhibits of pottery, arrow heads & tools, costumes and an ancient Victrola - all of course, in Spanish.  Sigred & Fred listened with rapt attention, getting about every 7th word but saying "si" and "uh huh" in the appropriate places and ended up giving a $5 donation at the end, which was well and gratefully received.  When they signed the visitor book, they noted that the last visitor had been at least a week ago

Having received further directions from the curator of the museum, they set off for a 4 minute more drive to a path that would take them to a cave which purportedly had ancient carvings.  They parked the VW in a small, roughed out parking lot and walked 3 minutes more up a path to a cave.  Unfortunately, the carvings were almost a Rorsach test for them, in that they were not pointed out with a bright neon sign.   However, Sigred did manage to take a couple of pictures they believed were carvings.

When they got back to the parking lot, they followed the path in the opposite direction, which meandered along a pretty impressive canyon, but ended up returning to the car without seeing anything more than the canyon and a rather large field of corn.

A quick trip into SigSig to pick up an antihistamine for Sigred (yes, Sigred you've now entered the country), they arrived back at the Lodge just in time for Sigred to have a shower and Fred to have his afternoon nap.  Incidentally, the shower and the antihistamine did the trick and Sigred's eyes ceased to itch and her nose ceased to run.

The evening consisted of (1) another lovely meal; this time trucha (fresh caught trout), sautéed carrots & cauliflower, roasted potatoes then cut into slices with a delicate sauce, plus rice and a fresh green salad (2) another roaring fire in their hut's fireplace (3) another early night, calm, satisfied and comfortable under their multiple blankets.

Breakfast the next day was a finely flavoured omelet with toast & coffee.  The total bill for their stay was $225, which included a 10% tip that they threw in themselves.  Probably a tad expensive for the room at $85 a night.  Their estimate is that the room should probably have been around $60 a night based on similar experiences in Ecuador. 

After breakfast they set off for their drive back to Cuenca.  As is usual, the drive back seemed to whiz along compared to the drive there.  In no time they were home, unpacking, putting all their clothes into the laundry as they were all permeated with smoke smell (due to the fireplace in their room) and having a nice warm bath before Fred's nap.

All in all, a great get away.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

In All Disorder a Secret Order

These pictures are to add to TNCNNA's collection of Ecuadorian Crosses & Angels
A man once said death smiles upon us all. All a man can do is smile back. ~ Gladiator #linesfrommovies

The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live. ~ George Carlin #quote

Two roads diverged in a wood & I - I took the one less traveled by / And that has made all the difference. ~ Robert Frost #quote

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt. ~ Charles Schulz #quote

If the problem can't be solved, worrying is unnecessary. ~ Seven years in Tibet #linesfrommovies

Please send me anything but signals that are mixed, because I can't read your rolling eyes. ~ Chris Carrabba #quote

There is some comfort in the ocean, no past, no future. ~ The Last Samuri #linesfrommovies

You can't be a proper writer without a touch of madness, can you? ~ Madeleine, Quills #linesfrommovies

I'm not well read, but when I do read, I read well. ~ Kurt Cobain #quote

If you're going to send someone to save the world, make sure they like it the way it is. ~ Vin Diesel ~ Triple X #linesfrommovies

Apathy is the glove in which evil slips it's hand. ~ National Lampoon's Van Wilder #linesfrommovies

If I’m killed by the questions like a cancer, then I’ll be buried in the silence of the answer. ~ Linkin Park #quote

Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So... get on your way. ~ Dr. Seuss #quote

I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity. ~ Edgar Allan Poe #quote

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. ~ Bertrand Russell #quote

But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I've spread my dreams under you feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. ~ William Butler Yeats #quote

Eighty percent of success is showing up. ~ Woody Allen #quote

If love is the answer, could you please rephrase the question? ~ Lily Tomlin #quote

In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order. ~ Carl Jung #quote

Despair is a narcotic. It lulls the mind into indifference. ~ Charlie Chaplin #quote

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. ~ Mark Twain #quote

He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future. ~ Adolf Hitler #quote

Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense. ~ Mark Twain #quote

In a thousand pounds of law there is not an ounce of love. ~ John Ray #quote

Death is a very dull, dreary affair, and my advice to you is to have nothing whatsoever to do with it. ~ W. Somerset Maugham #quote

The Word of fire burns today / On the lips of our prophets in an evil age. ~ Margaret Walker #quote

Let us have a care not to disclose our hearts to those who shut up theirs against us. ~ Francis Beaumont #quote

In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these. ~ Paul Harvey #quote

Middle age is when your broad mind and narrow waist begin to change places. ~ E. Joseph Cossman #quote

War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace. ~ Thomas Mann #quote

If we will not learn to eat the only food that the universe grows...then we must starve eternally. ~ C.S. Lewis #quote

In order to be respected, authority has got to be respectable. ~ Tom Robbins #quote

I really wonder what gives us the right to wreck this poor planet of ours. ~ Kurt Vonnegut #quote

Yesterday ain’t gone / We just pushed it aside / Out in the jungle / There ain’t nowhere you can hide ~ Culture Club #lyrics

There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls. ~ George Carlin #quote
Resolve to take fate by the throat and shake a living out of her. ~ Louisa May Alcott #quote

Let me tell you how it will be / There’s one for you, nineteen for me / ’cause I’m the taxman ~ George Harrison #lyrics

A man sees what he wants to see / And disregards the rest. ~ Paul Simon #lyrics

The liar's punishment is not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else. ~ George Bernard Shaw #quote

Please don’t tell me that’s the way that it goes, ’cause I’ve tried hard and I know. ~ Grand Funk Railroad #lyrics