Monday, September 20, 2021
Sunday, September 19, 2021
This is the opening of a pedestrian tunnel, not far from where I live. Would you go down those stairs and walk into the yellow light? Kind of looks like a place monsters lurk.*
1: What is the greatest threat to your safety?
2: Do you fear the dark?
3: What is the greatest threat to your health?
4: Would you visit a place where you didn't speak a word of the native language?
5: When you were a child, where did the monsters lurk?
1: What is the greatest threat to your safety? Republican nut cases.
2: Do you fear the dark? No, maybe it should fear me.
3: What is the greatest threat to your health? Old age - it kills more people than anything else.
4: Would you visit a place where you didn't speak a word of the native language? Yes, I have a couple of times and I would again.
5: When you were a child, where did the monsters lurk? In basement of the barn.
Please share your answers in the comments, feel free to be silly or frivolously. We need more silly in our lives.
* This is a redo of a post that was so negative that I didn't publish it, left it in draft for several weeks. The photo, and the first paragraph are all that remain from the depressing dirge.
Saturday, September 18, 2021
When I was and packing my daily messenger bag for the trip to New York, I ran across a card with the entry code for the Hygge recline lounge from the ferry crossings between Ireland and Wales back in March of 2020.
The card describes Hygge as "slowing down, enjoying the moment, feeling content." The concept is such a contrast to our rush-rush try to do everything, hummingbird lives.
Take a moment, sit still, listen, watch, breath, smell, relax and enjoy just being.
The Hygge lounge was kind of first class on the ferry. A secluded comfortable space that people paid a little extra for. The room was filled with wonderfully comfy reclining seats. On one of the boats the lounge had huge front facing windows (into the rising sun) on the other newer boat on the return trip the lounge was inside with large TVs you could plug in a headset to hear, quiet and darker. Both were a joy. I also enjoyed walking around the boat.
Stumbling across the card, and leaving it on my cluttered desk, reminded me of those moments of hygge. Ahh!
Create for yourself a hygge moment this weekend.
I have a couple of new Photo Geek posts at the Adventure Continues
Friday, September 17, 2021
Okay, I will admit it, I have a history of finding some of the worst restaurants in New York city. Bad food, miserable service, and yet J lets me lead the way. On the August trip we also found a couple of real gems.
This one was the Bryant Park Grill, literally on the back side of the New York Public Library. We opted for indoor seating, it was hot and humid and air conditioning was desirable. The restaurant was following current policy in New York city and asking for proof of vaccination for inside seating.
The cheese tray was amazing, with three very flavorful cheeses, two soft cheese and a firm spanish cheese. I wish I knew where they found the tiny grapes, they were sweet as candy. I had a mushroom tortellini that wonderfully made. All in all it was a delightful meal, with excellent service. It almost made up for the so-so kosher french restaurant the night before. Nothing will ever make up for the world's worst Korean BBQ back in March of 2019. Those are stories for another day.
Thursday, September 16, 2021
A friend posted on Facebook about her grandson starting school for the first time, he will graduate high school in the class of 2034, University in 2038, if he goes to Medical School he will finish his training and specialization when statistically I am dead.
Sweet fellow blogger Spo posted recently on the topic of sometimes wanting to run away from it all. I posted a comment about a co-worker who very dramatically quit a job one day - pissing all over the conference table on his way out the door - kind of the ultimate running away - or setting fire to a public building. Not really the exit most of us want, not the way we want to be remembered - though he will never be forgotten by those who were in the office that morning. Yet we probably all have those moments of frustration when we dream about a dramatic exit.
I had a couple of those moments this week, with wonky computer issues, and stupid responses from technical support. I am fairly open about my plans to retire, and my intended timing. One of the advantages of leaving when I want, the way I want, will be to avoid standing up one day and shouting, "I AM TOO OLD FOR THIS SHIT, AND I AM NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!"
Months of working at home, were good practice for retirement. Getting out for walks, doing the shopping, taking photos, blogging, reading and writing are all things that will fill my time. I look forward to being able to travel without time constraints. The last trip we did to Europe was in March, really off season, hotels were cheap(er,) airline seats easy to get, places were not crowded. When J was teaching off season travel was only an option when he was on sabbatical or leave every 7 years or so, and we did a couple of those winter trips. The constraint now is only being away for a couple of weeks at a time. I look forward to planning a trip and not having an end date before I start planning.
I just need to stay healthy enough and live long enough to enjoy some of this. Getting old is not easy.
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
I took these photos in Athens. The inscription at the top, is 2,500 years old, and describes settling of a dispute. Sometimes I read the news, and the authors seem to think that this is the first time in the history of civilization that people disagreed with one another. This is proof that disagreements, compromise, settlement of disputes has been going on as long as there has been civilization.
An anthropologist was asked what the earliest signs of civilization were? Her answer was not fire, or shelter, or farming, it was an adult male skeleton with a healed broken leg. She explained that in the wild as a hunter gatherer a person with a broken leg would be unable to move about to gather food and water and would certainly die before it healed, unless others gathered around to help, with food and water and basic care, to allow time for the leg to heal. A process that takes weeks, maybe months without what we consider to be medical care.
Civilization is about banding together, helping one another. It is not about the rugged individualist, people who live in isolation from other human beings, die from circumstances that people living together in civil societies don't die from.
At times we fail as a civilized society. When one of us dies of hunger, dies of exposure to extreme weather, dies for want of the help of their fellow man. At times we fail when we don't take basic steps to help others, like accepting medical science - getting a vaccine, or wearing a face mask.
Travel and thinking about the world, and the history of civilization, has helped me understand that civilization is not a new concept, and we have to work together to maintain it.
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
I have a new collaborator on a work project who lives in New Mexico. I have been to New Mexico a few times as a child, once as an adult. I did a some training in Albuquerque a decade ago. I added a couple of days to that trip and did a little touring. I started to spend the day in Santa Fe, it was massively crowded, parking was impossible, and it was raining, so I got out of town. I drove north, looked at the GPS and realized I was near Las Alamos. Los Alamos was home the Manhattan project, the super secret project to develop nuclear bombs during World War II. Why not?
There is a nice small museum there, the photo above are replicas of the two original devices, Little Boy and Fat Man. The gravity of what happened there is overwhelming. I drove through the National Laboratory grounds, a weird experience that requires permission from the guard and instructions to not stop unless and until the police pull up behind you. There is a national park with remains of cliff dwellings on the other side that I went to see.
I would like to go back to New Mexico, I think I will avoid Las Alamos the next trip. Too weird in ways that are hard to explain.