Damn I suck as a blogger…

It’s been over a year since I last posted here.  Since no one reads this blog except I, who cares, right? 

Someday I’ll be room-temp and some unlucky undergraduate will be charged with scouring my history and find this website archived on a thumb drive (or future-equivalent), and it will change their life!  

Enough about me… how about what I’ve been doing since last post?

Went to Greece, Istanbul, Rome,  South Africa (www.afrikaburn.com), Burning Man (www.burningman.org) a couple of times, daughter got married, am about to become a grandfather (dang!), and oh-so-much-more.  Lots of work on the rentals, programming for clients (part-time), tons of volunteering, and generally trying to look busy when people are watching.  

I drove to Colorado to get a tiny RV trailer (www.casitatraveltrailers.com).  Love it!  I took it out the other day on its maiden voyage for an over-nighter.   Forgot to pack a pillow.  Ugh.  Bought one along the way.  Yay.  

I’m streaming train-of-thought here.  Hopefully I’ll return to edit this into some coherent masterpiece, but probably not.  At best, I’ll start urping up more fodder on this blog in the near-future…aka: won’t wait another two years to impart my wisdom.

Move along… there’s nothing more to see here.

 

 

Santorini.

It’s been over 20+ years since I last visited Santorini.  I’m as awed by its beauty now as I was then.  Something magical about a city on the side of a volcano in the middle of the Mediterranean.  Walking the foot paths along the cliffside between houses and restaurants, stopping at sunset to watch the day melt to night, is beyond description.  

Here are some photos:

 

Symmetrical Rock Stacking. Yeah, like no human would ever do that….

A beach.  In Greece.  Rocks.  Time.  The photos say it all…

Istanbul — here we come

Istanbul, the city of minarets and and Turkish delight.   We arrive at the airport, gather our luggage and meet our private car to the hotel — The Mara Pera.  After a thirteen-hour flight plus half as many hours in travel to and from airports, it was a long 18 hours.

My impression so far is one of intrigue. After dinner in the hotel — salmon on gnocchi with a broccoli soup — we took a short walk down a popular pedestrian cobblestone street. A feast for the eyes, the pastry shops are cause for Weight-Watcher suicide!  The artistry in each confection highlights the passion of the pastry chefs. Who knew there were dozens of flavored of Turkish delight? The rose-petal cubes of yummyness are a must-try.

Cat: Yeah, like I’m the idiot…

So I walk in to the room to find my cat staring at a blank wall.  I ask it “Hey…what’s up?”

Slowly she turns her head and gives me the look — the “Are you kidding me?” look.

“What?” I ask.  “I’m just being friendly — trying to start a conversation.” I say.

Again she gives me that “You’re an idiot, right?” look.

“Fine.” I say “Never mind.  I’ll just move along.”

At which point she slowly turns her head back toward the wall and resumes intently staring at that every-so-interesting-nothingness that is the blank wall.

 

…and that’s how it goes

It has been a few days since I last blogged — and yes, I feel a bit guilty that I’ve not urped-up some priceless piece of info to the ether since last.  Because I now exist in the blog-o-sphere, must I post daily?  I’ve come to the agreement with myself that this just ain’t going to happen.  So, for my singular follower out there, and for the digital-wayfarer who might stumble upon this cache of bits in the future, don’t expect regularity here.  If you need regularity, eat more bran.  For me, I may burst forth with multiple posts per day, or go stretches of days or weeks without uttering a single bit.

‘nuf said.

Hollywood graves

Hollywood graves are never oval. Seriously… Check out just about any Hollywood movie where there is a guy in a hole digging a grave. It almost always has a perfect rectangular shape (just like as would be made by a backhoe). Hmmm. I know whenever I dig my graves, I use a rounded shovel which means the grave corners are almost always round. Truly, most makeshift graves need to be dug in a hurry so who has time for sharply defined rectangular corners?

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Frappé done right…

nescafeAnd now for something on the lighter side.

Ever travel to Greece and order a frappé?  Yes?  Then you know what you’ve been missing when you get back home.  If you’ve not already discovered this, you can purchase frappé coffee from Amazon and make your own authentic Greek frappé’s!

“Nescafé Classic,” on the surface, appears to be just another instant coffee mix, but however Nescafé does it, they manage to pack that magical Greek frappé flavor into such a tiny can.  You can purchase a 200g can of Nescafé Classic from Amazon (Click Here).  Make sure you order the coffee that comes in the can that looks like the photo in this posting.  Don’t order the jars, pouches, or the red cans.

Once your golden nectar arrives from the Amazon Gods, take a moment to hold it, caress it, and dream of the ambrosia within.  Next, pop the lid and put a heaping teaspoon full of coffee in a martini shaker.  Add about 1.5 cups of water and a couple of ice cubes.  Optionally add some whole milk and/or sugar to taste.  Shake, shake, shake it up…about 30 seconds should do it.

Pour this, the pinnacle of all Greek contributions to civilization into a cold glass, add a really flimsy straw and take the rest of the day off (just like the Greeks).

Opa!

Words have NO meaning!

“Words have no meaning.”

Those words were tossed at me by one of my English professors while attending U.C. Berkeley.  Now, it’s been many years since college and unfortunately I don’t remember the Prof’s name that told us that, but what a powerful lesson.

What do I mean words have no meaning — of course they do? It’s an illusion my friend. Most of us have never differentiated the word (spoken or written) with its meaning — but the subtle difference is there. Words have no meaning as they are mere containers for meaning. Just as a can of corn is not corn, but a container for corn. On the can there is a picture of corn and when we look at that can, we all have an agreed-upon notion of what it contains — of what it means.

So this analogy closely explains words. The combination of a series of letters, forming a particular word, have within a language, an agreed-upon meaning. The word itself is therefore just a container for that meaning. Why is this important?

It is important to understand this subtle difference because believing that a particular word only has the meaning as defined in your head — placed there by your education and experiences — may not be the exact meaning as the person with whom you are speaking. When the person you are communicating with uses a particular word in an attempt to pass meaning to you, and your meanings differ, then communication fails, possibly leading to misunderstandings and conflict.

One word can do this you ask? Maybe. But more likely a series of words, sentences, paragraphs, etc., with subtle meaning differences surely can. And when this failure to pass meaning from one to another happens, usually the recipient has the issue — be it confusion, anger, or something else. But whose fault is it that meaning is not passed correctly? Is it the speaker/writer who is certain that a word means one thing, or the recipient who knows the word means something else?

The point I’m trying to make here is that in communication, the best tool we have to pass “meaning” between each other is language (without getting existential here), but that tool is not perfect. So when communicating, allow the sender of meaning to verify that meaning is transferred properly. When listening, and before assuming a particular meaning, don’t hesitate to ask for confirmation from the speaker. Saying “so I hear you saying this…” is perfectly acceptable and desirable before taking something the wrong way. Of course, when asking for confirmation, you really must allow the other person the opportunity to say “no, I meant this instead….”