Friday, 31 May 2013

Testing 1-2-3

Is It Possible Coherence has Something to do with Time?
If the above media player isn't working, go directly to: 

Here's a thought:  
Have a listen to "Coherence" (spoken word) above 
while flipping through the Web photos below.


Wednesday, 29 May 2013

All the Place is Peopled with Sweet Airs

All the place is peopled with sweet airs #literaryExpression

Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before. He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way. ~ Kurt Vonnegut #quote

His mind leaped gladly to meet new issues and fresh tides of thought #literaryExpression

Each word bears its weight, so you have to read my poems quite slowly. ~ Anne Stevenson #poetryquotes

The  probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically  when you are with someone you don't want to be seen  with. #lifelaws

It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating. ~ Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) #quote

Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful. - Warren Buffett #quote

You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone. ~ Al Capone (1899-1947) #quote
All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. ~ Walt Disney #quote

The flea can jump 350 times its body length. It's like a human jumping the length of a football field. #factoid

Mockery crept into her tone #literaryExpression

Fall off the back of a truck #englishlanguageidiom

A cynic is only a frustrated optimist. #fortunecookiesayings

In the 1940s, the FCC assigned television's Channel 1 to mobile services (two-way radios in taxicabs, for instance) but did not re-number the other channel assignments. That is why your TV set has channels 2 and up, but no channel 1. #factoid

Blessed is the man, who having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact. ~ George Eliot (1819-1880) #quote

I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure. ~ Clarence Darrow #sarcastic #quote

Elvis Is Dead And I’m Not Feeling Too Good Myself #bumperstickers

I am annoyed to find myself continually described by people whom I have never set eyes on as bad-tempered. - Evelyn Waugh, Diary (26 Dec 47) #quote

His swift and caustic satire #literaryExpression

Your attitude is the librarian of your past, the speaker of your present, and the prophet of your future! #oneliner

She had an undercurrent of acidity #literaryExpression

You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you. ~ Leon Trotsky (1879-1940) #quote

Jaguars are frightened by dogs #factoid

When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water. #paraprosdokian #ENGgrammar

After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one. ~ Cato the Elder (234-149 BC, AKA Marcus Porcius Cato) #quote

DELIBERATION, n. The act of examining one's bread to determine which side it is buttered on. ~ Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary #quote

All the lesser lights paled into insignificance #literaryExpression

Out Of My Mind; Back In Five Minutes #bumperstickers

God must love stupid people. He made SO many. ~ #BumperSticker

A lapse from the well-ordered decencies of civilization #literaryExpression

The steady thunder of the sea accented the silence #literaryExpression

The artificial smile of languor #literaryExpression

Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere. ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton #quotes

A first faint trace of irritation #literaryExpression

Last but not least: An introduction phrase to let the audience know that the last person mentioned is no less important than those introduced before him/her. #ENGidiom

TELEPHONE, n. An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeable person keep his distance. ~ Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary #quote

Very:  extremely, exceedingly, fantastically, unusually, incredibly, intensely, truly, fully, especially, shockingly, bitterly,  immeasurably,  infinitely, severely, surely, mightily, powerfully, chiefly #alternativesToOverusedWords

Sunday, 26 May 2013

We Have Met the Enemy

Llama in the Caja's ~ Ecuador
We are dealing with the best-educated generation in history. But they've got a brain dressed up with nowhere to go. ~ Timothy Leary #quote

Madness need not be all breakdown. It may also be break-through. ~ R.D. Lang #quote

I love it when someone insults me. That means I don't have to be nice anymore. ~ Billy Idol #quote

There's no use in weeping / Though we are condemned to part / There's such a thing as keeping / A remembrance in one's heart... ~ C. Bronte #quote

A belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness. ~ Joseph Conrad #quote

Our faith in the present dies out long before our faith in the future. ~ Ruth Benedict #quote

Do not mistake consequence for fate. ~ Kristin Brown #quote

Magenta: I ask for nothing! / Frank: And you shall receive it, in abundance! ~ The Rocky Horror Picture Show #linesfrommovies

The torch of doubt and chaos is what the sage steers by. ~ Chuang Tzu #quote

Every right implies a responsibility; Every opportunity, an obligation; Every possession, a duty. ~ John D. Rockefeller #quote

Ours not to reason why / Ours but to do and die. ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson #quote

Economics and politics are the governing powers of life today, and that's why everything is so screwy. ~ Joseph Campbell #quote

I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in. ~ George McGovern #quote

If we don't discipline ourselves, the world will do it for us. ~ William Feather #quote

No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does. ~ Christopher Morley #dogs #quotes

Buttercup: We'll never survive. / Westley: Nonsense, you only say that because nobody ever has. ~ The Princess Bride #linesfrommovies
Steff: You're a bitch. Ya know, you should really see a doctor before that condition worsens. ~ Pretty in Pink #linesfrommovies

Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box. ~ Italian #Proverb

Decision: Something a man makes when he cannot get anyone to serve on a committee. ~ Fletcher Knebel #quote

The only way to escape the abyss is to look at it, gauge it, sound it out and descend into it. ~ Cesare Pavese #quote

Agricultural burning in the Caja's
Imagine the Creator as a stand up comedian - and at once the world becomes explicable. ~ H.L. Mencken #quote

Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or doing it better. ~ John Updike #quote

Don't steal. The government hates competition. ~ Anonymous #quote

Fix the problem, not the blame. ~ Japanese #Proverb

We have met the enemy and it is us. ~ Walt Kelly #quote

VENUS: Every now and then I get this uncontrollable urge to wear a hat. ~ WKRP in Cincinnati #linesfromTV

Dos Chorreras Lodge in the Caja's

Dos Chorreras Lodge

Dos Chorreras Lodge Grounds ~ Trout fishing here.

Indifference creates an artificial peace. ~ Mason Cooley #quote

You must stick to your conviction, but be ready to abandon your assumptions. ~ Denis Waitley #quote

In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer. ~ Albert Camus #quote

The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. ~ Oscar Wilde #quote

If The Beatles or the 60's had a message, it was 'Learn to swim. And once you've learned - swim! ~ John Lennon #quote

The definition of a beautiful woman is one who loves me.~ Sloan Wilson #quote

Those who stand for nothing fall for anything. ~ Alexander Hamilton #quote

Believe me my young friend; there is nothing...half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. ~ Kenneth Grahame #quote

Chris Taylor: Somebody once wrote: "Hell is the impossibility of reason." That's what this place feels like. Hell ~ Platoon #linesfrommovies

He that cannot endure the bad will not live to see the good. ~ Jewish #Proverb

There is no order in the world around us, we must adapt ourselves to the requirements of chaos instead. ~ Kurt Vonnegut #quote

Nothing endures but change. ~ Heraclitus #quote

There are no facts, only interpretations. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche #quote

Do not wait for the last judgement. It takes place every day. ~ Albert Camus #quote

Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together. ~ Eugene Ionesco #quote

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr. #quote

Ramius: Upon reaching the New World, Cortez burned his ships; as a result his men were well motivated. ~ The Hunter for Red October #quote

Life was simple before World War II. After that, we had systems. ~ Grace Muray Hopper #quote

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Except for the Windmills in Ireland

If you plug your nose you can't hum (keep your mouth close too). #factoid     
Rio de Janeiro translates to river of January #factoid       
The can opener was invented 48 years after the can. #factoid   
Dreamt is the only English word that ends in the letters “MT”.  #factoid

Hair is made from the same substance as fingernails. #factoid

Use a meat baster to "squeeze" your pancake batter onto the hot griddle - perfect shaped pancakes every time. #tips                        

Human eye detects 10 million colors #factoid       
Dr. Seuss pronounced "Seuss" such that it rhymed with "rejoice. #factoid"
Back in the mid to late 80's, an IBM compatible computer wasn't considered a hundred percent compatible unless it could run Microsoft's Flight Simulator. #factoid   
Most people blink about 25 times a minute. #factoid   

Pamela Anderson Lee is Canada's Centennial Baby, being the first baby born on the centennial anniversary of Canada's independence. #factoid   
Coffins which are due for cremation are usually made with plastic handles. #factoid       
A rocket-like device can be traced back to Ancient Greece when a flying steam-powered pigeon was built out of wood. #factoid

Some kinds of frogs can be frozen solid then thawed, and continue living #factoid

M&M's chocolate stands for the initials for its inventors Mars and Murrie #factoid   
The only animals that purr are cats #factoid    

It takes 110 domestic silkworm cocoons to make a man's tie and 630 to make a blouse. #factoid     
The little bags of netting for gas lanterns (called 'mantles') are radioactive.  So much so that they will set off an alarm at a nuclear reactor. #factoid

A hippo can open its mouth wide enough to fit a 4 foot tall child inside. #factoid            
A Blue whale's tongue weighs more than an elephant. #factoid   
If the average man never trimmed his beard, it would grow to nearly 30 feet long in his lifetime. #factoid       

In the last 4000 years, no new animals have been domesticated. #factoid   

Alert, in Nunavut territory of Canada, is the northernmost permanent settlement in the world. #factoid                                       

When George I became King of England in 1714, his wife did not become Queen. He placed her under house arrest for 32 years. #factoid       
Pups ~ A Litter of pups; A Puddle of puppies. #factoid  #collectivenouns     

The Dutch in general prefer their french fries with mayonnaise. #factoid
In 1726, at only 7 years old, Charles Sauson inherited the post of official executioner. #factoid

Panama hats come from Ecuador not Panama. #factoid   
The three most valuable brand names on earth: Marlboro, Coca Cola, and Budweiser, in that order. #factoid       
Bats are the only mammals that fly #factoid   

The MOON PLAQUE placed by the crew of APOLLO 11 reads: "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind." #factoid"   

During World War II Canadian scientists secretly developed biological weapons which were later taken over by the USA.  Anthrax was one. #factoid       
The airplane Buddy Holly died in was the "American Pie." (Thus the name of the Don McLean song.) #factoid

Cows ~ A Herd of cows; Kine of cows (12 cows are a Flink). #factoid #collectivenouns

Names in Iceland's phone books are listed alphabetically by first name not by last name #factoid       
Whispering is more wearing on your voice than a normal speaking tone. #factoid                                       
Butterflies taste with their feet. #factoid    
100% of all lottery winners gain weight. #factoid   
Fourteen percent of the one million citizens of Nairobi, Kenya carry the AIDS virus. Some 20% of the Kenyan military is infected. #factoid (1997)       

Queen Elizabeth II is the 10th wealthiest woman in the world. #factoid  

Windmills always turn counter-clockwise. Except for the windmills in Ireland. #factoid

Some US airports use falconry (hunting of game with falcons) "to scare off birds that can be hazardous for airplanes." #factoid

Loudest burp Paul Hunn of from London, recorded a burp of 104.9 decibels - as loud as a pneumatic drill. #factoid   
Dalmatians are born without spots #factoid   

In the 1400s, global income rose only 0,1% per year; today it often tops 5%. #factoid                                       
If you toss a penny 10,000 times, it will not be heads 5,000 times, but more like 4,950. The heads picture weighs more, so it ends up on the bottom. #factoid

Golfer Jack Nicklaus found a new way to hold his golf club in a dream, which he credits as significantly improving his game of golf. #factoid   
Every year about 98% of the atoms in your body are replaced. #factoid   
The word 'karate' means 'empty hand'. #factoid       
Lady Astor once told Winston Churchill 'if you were my husband, I would poison your coffee'.  His reply …' if you were my wife, I would drink it!'. #factoid   



Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Ecuador by Bug: Cuenca to Vilcabamba

Fred & Sigred had been to Vilcabamba several times since moving to Ecuador (See Planet Irony: Vilcabamba, and for more pictures click here) but this would be their first trip in the Bug.

It had taken Fred some time to feel quite confident that the VW was up to snuff to make a real cross country trip.  They'd gone to the Cajas a few times and to the Yunguilla Valley but the last trip to the mechanics where the maestro tweeked the Bug's transmission finally gave Fred the confidence he needed in the car.

As the Bug would provide a level of mobility and freedom not available with public transportation, they were excited about the prospect of a real look-see adventure!

Their initial goal was to get to Loja, which turned out to be about a four hour trip.  They stopped once high in the Andes to stretch their legs and let Princess have a bit of a run and a pee.  As is usual for Princess, when she gets further than about 50 miles from Cuenca, she growled menacingly at the air and was very anxious if the pack didn't stay in tight formation.

As always, the scenery through the mountains goes from lush to high sierra desert and then the closer you get to Loja the foliage gets denser and greener and the weather warms up.

Fred remembered a hotel from their first trip to Loja (more than 5 years ago now) that would have secure parking for the VW and that he felt would take Princess (which they did).  They signed into the Podocarpus for $60 for the night, figured out the Wifi in their room, had a bit of a rest and then went out into the streets to see what they could see.

Although Loja is smaller than Cuenca the streets seemed more crowded and there appeared to be more hustle and bustle.  They wandered up and down several streets keeping an eye out for some place to eat dinner.  They dropped in to a Levi's store and astonishingly they had a jean shirt in Fred's size, which of course he bought, as such a thing couldn't be found in Cuenca.  Weary, they sat in one of the downtown squares and watched people go by and admired the scenery.  In the end, they ate at the restaurant recommended by their Hotel.  It filled them up but as Fred said, "The burger was like a bad vegetarian burger but with a hint of meat."

Fred and Princess walked Sigred back to the Hotel as she wanted a shower and some quiet computer time and then they headed out for a bit more wandering before settling into their room for the night.  The shower for Sigred was disappointing in that there was no hot water (not the first time she's encountered that detail in travelling around Ecuador).  She washed her hair and basically had a sponge bath.

Fred and Princess did the park circuit hitting two small parks and walked along the river a bit before coming back to the Hotel.  Fred reported Princess was very nervous what with all the people and everything being new.

Final note re Loja:  the city garbage trucks roam the streets playing a song much like the ice cream man does in North America - presumably as notice they're in the neighbourhood and one should bring out their garbage.

Princess did not sleep well, on guard most of the night to any peep or rumble from the hallway.  Nevertheless everyone pretty much woke up at 5 AM.  At 5:30 Fred took Princess for a walk while Sigred ipaded and at 7:30 they all went for their free Ecuadorian Hotel breakfast of buns, jam, fruit and scrambled eggs.  Thus, they were well on their way out of Loja by 9 o'clock.

The mountains got greener and the weather got warmer and before they knew it they were entering Vilcabama. They had noticed a Hostel called the Ramses several visits ago and knew that there was secure parking there, so decided to try it out.  The grounds are absolutely stunning with fanciful rock formations, oranges and orchids growing in the grounds, a coolish swimming pool right outside their door and potted plants arranged in stone work pots to create Ecuadorian bonsai.  The smallish room was $40 a night, including WiFi near the office, TV in the room and the ubiquitous breakfast the next morning.

After setting up their room they all set out to explore downtown Vilcabamba and eventually have lunch. They immediately found a place that served cappuccino and gratefully sat inside a cool building arming their restless night heads with caffeine.  Later on, they talked with a few Gringo locals, bought a picnic basket and had tortilla soup and a veggie sandwich at the Jardin Escondido Hostal.  Then it was back to their room, past time for Fred and Princess' nap.

The afternoon was spent reading, ipading and of course Princess was taken for a walk.  For dinner they hopped into the VW and headed up to Izhcaluma.  Although German food is Izhcaluma's specialty, Fred had curried chicken stroganoff and Sigred had one of her favourites, breaded fried trout.  A couple from California were seated at the table next to them and the two couples traded stories on their adventures in Ecuador.

Riding back to their hostal, Fred pointed out fireworks off in the distance and once at the Ramses they sat in the warm dark for a while and admired the stars.

Sigred Writes in her Diary: Day 3
It's hot... hot hot.... face sweating hot... it's great!  After the cold weather in Cuenca this is just the treat we need.  We got up at about 7 o'clock and ipaded while Fred took Princess for her walk.  Ramses served Ecuadorian breakfast at 8:00 and we went for about an hours walk afterwards all uphill, sitting and resting in the shade every twenty minutes or so.  
It's truly beautiful here (!) and the people watching is first class: hippies, old grandmother's on two crutches inching across the road but still quite willing to grant us a huge, semi-toothless smile of greeting, cowboys, farmers, young men building houses everywhere, exotic young women in flamboyant clothes, a dwarf decked out in every colour of the rainbow that prompted me to comment under my breath: "Well, I guess it's either Vilcabamba or a circus?"  
After our walk, we hopped in the VW and drove up into the mountains, got ourselves turned around and then eventually we found a little one lane dirt road that finally took us along side a creek deep into woods and in the end to Podocarpus Park.  On the way out, we stopped near the creek and I took my shoes off and Princess and I waded in the creek for a while until my ankles began to hurt from the cold of the water.  
We had lunch at a tiny hippy cafe:  focacia bread with homemade pesto,  tomatoes and cheese, bubbly water for me and of course a  Pilsener for Fred and then back to Ramses for Fred and Princesses naps.  We're really having a lovely time and decided to spent an extra day here in Vilcabama and then trek back to Cuenca on Saturday in two hour increments.  Had dinner at the Secret Garden; Fred had curried shrimp and I had a vegetarian taco thing that I really enjoyed.  Sat outside after dinner and people watched for an hour and then back to the Ramses where we sat outside some more just enjoying the ambiance.
The next day was more of the same: a long walk, an hour and half drive into the hills, ipading, reading, good food, meeting strangers and becoming acquaintances, walks with Princess and generally having a relaxed but active day.  The day after was the long drive home to Cuenca done in two hour intervals with stretching walks and bites to eat along the way.

"All in all", Sigred told Fred, "for me, this has been one of my favourite holidays!"

Fred agreed.

Vilcabamba is a village in the southern region of Ecuador, in the Loja province, about 45 km (28 mi) from the city of Loja. The etymology of the “Vilcabamba” apparently derives from the Quichua “huilco pamba.” Huilco denotes the sacred trees, Anadenanthera colubrina, that inhabit the region and pamba is a word meaning “a plain.” (cognate with pampa) The area has been referred to as the "Playground of the Inca" which refers to its historic use as a retreat for Incan royalty. The valley is overlooked by a mountain called Mandango, the Sleeping Inca, whose presence is said to protect the area from earthquakes and other natural disasters.

Monday, 13 May 2013

It is the Only Time We Have

The only tyrant I accept in this world is the still voice within. ~ Mahatma Gandhi #quote

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

Give assistance not advice in a crisis. ~ Aesop #quote

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. ~ Les Brown #quote

Civilization is a race between disaster and education. ~ H.G. Wells #quote

Cats don't like change without their consent. ~ Roger Caras #quote

The fingers must be educated, the thumb is born knowing. ~ Marc Chagall #quote

Whether it is the best of times or the worst of times, it is only time we have. ~ Art Buchwald #quote

We are not rich by what we possess but by what we can do without. ~ Immanuel Kant #quote

Everything becomes a little different as soon as it is spoken out loud. ~ Hermann Hesse #quote

If a person who indulges in gluttony is a glutton, and a person who commits a felony is a felon, then God is an iron. ~ Spider Robinson #quote

HOMER: I never apologize. I'm sorry - that's just how I am. ~ The Simpsons #linesfromTV

If the world were a logical place, men would ride side-saddle. ~ Rita Mae Brown #quote

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.  ~ Suzanne McMinn #quote

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. ~ B. Franklin #quote

Everyone is the age of their heart. ~ Guatemalan #Proverb

A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials ~ Chinese #proverb

Empty vessels make the most sound. ~ John Lydgate #quote

We have to be the change we want to see in the world. ~ Mahathma Ghandi #quote

It is not true that it's one damn thing after another - it's one damn thing over and over again. ~ Edna St. Vincent Millay #quote
Everywhere I go I find a poet has been there before me. ~ Sigmund Freud #quote

All that glitters is not gold. Gilded tombs do worms enfold. ~ William Shakespeare #quote

I discovered that I am tired of being a person. Not just tired of being the person I was, but any person at all ~ Susan Sontag #quote

Values are like fingerprints. Nobody's are the same, but you leave 'em all over everything you do ~ Elvis Presley #quote

Everything has been figured out, except how to live. ~ Jean-Paul Sartre #quote

The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education. ~ Albert Einstein #quote

If everything's under control, you’re going too slow. ~ Mario Andretti #quote

As honest as you can expect a man to be in a world where its going out of style. ~ Raymond Chandler #quote

If I must fall, may it be from a high place. ~ Paulo Coelho #quote

Smoking is the only honorable form of suicide. ~ Kurt Vonnegut #quote

There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. ~ Arthur Conan Doyle #quote

HOMER:  We're going out, Marge!  If we don't come back, avenge our deaths! ~ The Simpsons #linesfromTV

If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live. ~ Lin Yutang #quote

Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere ~ Erma Bombeck #quote

It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education. ~ Albert Einstein #quote

...I privately say to you... please accept from me this unpretentious bouquet of early-blooming parentheses: (((()))) ~ J.D. Salinger #quote

Believe me...there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. ~ Kenneth Grahame #quote

A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar. ~ H.L. Mencken #quote

A conclusion is the place where you get tired of thinking. ~ Arthur Bloch #quote

Age is foolish and forgetful when it underestimates youth. ~ J.K. Rowling #quote