Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Scorpoppers and Snurms

Some of you may remember (the oh-so-forgettable) post I did on the famous goat-dogs (dog-goats?) of Cuenca.  As some of you may know, this was the style of engaging, in-depth and thought provoking writing that resulted in this humble blog being awarded the coveted 'Dorkie' for 2009..  Recently this humble blog was  awarded the 2010 and 2011 Dorkie.  The two years were awarded simultaneously (that means at the same time) because the award committee was in rehab for most of 2010.

Anyway ........ on to the Scorpoppers and Snurms ..........

Snake or Worm?
Snurm, Snorm or Wake?
This 'little fellar' would have been a good 8" long if I had straightened hm out.
Brennie told me not to touch him 'cause he might have had fangs hidden in there.
Scorpion or just a scary littl grasshopper fellar?
Scorpopper or Grasspion?

I was told that ...'yeah it has a stinger back there, but it is not poisonous.
Opted not to test it.

Life is Sweet,

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Alzheimer's and Retirement?

You know what 'they' say about holding back the dreaded Alzheimer's?  

'They' say that getting plenty of exercise helps ..... both mental and physical.

So ............

Learning to Play Bridge:  Bridge is the king of card games.  I have always wanted to learn to play.  Just never had the time or opportunity before.  So ....... at age ______ (fill in blank), I am taking it up.  It is much more complicated than __________ (fill in blank again with just about any card game).  Anyway, it is great mental exercise.  It is fairly complicated and I count myself lucky if I can grasp one new concept each time I play.  

I have heard/read:
- That it takes a year to learn how to play and 5 years to get any good.
- That it takes 10 years of playing 20 hours/week to get good.
- That I don't stand a chance.  (This kinda hurt and I don't think the Brennie should have said it.)

My mom was a very serious bridge player.  I think that she and her friends played for 1/4 or 1/2 penny a point.  She played right up until she passed away in her mid 80's.  She was sharp as a tack.  We also found a bag of (bridge) money in her condo.  It had 100's of dollars in it!  It was either her bridge money or she was hoarding pennies, nickels, dimes .......... 1's and 5's.  She wasn't the hoarding type

Learning to Speak Spanish:  Holy Mother of God!  You want to see if anything is working upstairs?  Try learning a new language at my age.  I have always had trouble with languages.  They do NOT come naturally to me.  

I flunked German 2 years running in high school.  Well, I didn't actually study much.  But I didn't think that I really should have to.  German was (mostly) the first language I spoke.  And I spoke more German than English until I was three and a half.  I (wrongly) figured that just being exposed to it every day in class ....... and it would float back to the conscious surface.  I was determined in this passive approach.  I am using a different approach with Spanish and it is working (a little ..... but not much) better.

Physical Exercise:  Cuenca is a walking city.  That is one of the reasons we moved here.  I love to walk and ride my bicycle around town.  My preferred modes of transport are (in order of preference): walk if there is time, bicycle (going by myself and am in a semi-hurry), bus and motorcycle (a tie for 3rd and 4th depending on circumstances), and last is taking the car.  So I think that I am covered on the exercise thing.

Uh ......... I forgot what I was going to say next.  Gotta question if this mental and physical exercise BS is working all that well!  OR.  Maybe it is just too late.

LIfe is Sweet,

PS:  Who is the 'they' that are always saying what is what?  I think that 'they' are just a convenient construct when someone wants to back up their own 'opinion' with some type of bogus authority figure or expert status.  It is my opinion that 'they' say that for a harmonious and happy house, at least one cigar should be smoked inside each and every day.  That's what 'they' say!  (That is the demi-rant for the day.)

OMG!  The Brennie just walked in.  She is eating a raw turnip.  We have plenty of chocolate bars in the cupboard.  What is wrong with her?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Holiday Reflections

I have to admit that over the years, I truly came to hate Christmas and so much that it represented.

Bah and Humbug!

Many years ago, the Christmas Season followed Thanksgiving.  In more recent years, the commercial madness started with Halloween or even before.  All the hype, advertising, commercialization, the often overdone decorations, the plastic Santas lit up everywhere and the PRESSURE.  There was never any doubt as to how many more shopping days until Xmas.  Christmas became Xmas.  Xmas became this monstrous, horrid thing.  The poor children.  They were deluged with all the advertising ...... brainwashed, driven to a frenzy. Truly victimized.  The total insanity of it all.  God, I grew to hate it.  

Christmas became Xmas and Xmas belonged to Madison Avenue, Hasbro and Toys R Us. (Sorry, can't get the 'R' backwards.)

I could go on and on about the perversion of what should be a lovely time of year ...... but I won't.  You should get the drift by now. 

Switch Now to Cuenca:   

You want to know what Christmas is about here?  (I can only observe from my standpoint .... only give my impressions.)  But Christmas here is about F-A-M-I-L-Y.  Yep, family!  Wow, what a cool concept.  Take a look at the pictures from the prior post.  It is the Christmas parade of the children!  There are still parades almost daily.  NOT the Parade of Roses.  Not the Macy's Parade.  FAMILY parades.  Funky ..... not grand.  The parades are full of children and parents.  Oopsie, can't forget to mention the fireworks.

You gotta love it!  It is like it might have been long ago in the states.  You know ...... 'the good old days'?  I don't know for sure what it was like 100 years ago in the states.  But I suspect it was more like it is here now.

I am not totally naive.  I know that Christmas is a commercial event here too.  But, it is a far cry from the perverted insane nightmare that it has become in the states.  

Okey dokey.  All done with my little rant.

Life is Sweet,