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Friday, December 14, 2018 4 comments

Friday's Tapas, Tintos & Tiempo


In my new tradition of post-theming (so I don't go barmy trying to figure out what to write next) I'm ending the work week with "Friday's Tapas, Tintos y Tiempo."

As you may know, tapas are small appetizers or snapshot-sized versions of a restaurant's entrees or daily specials. Often, they're served free with a round of drinks, and as such, are a wonderful way to experience the delicious and amazing array of culinary wows in this kick-ass country. (And, who doesn't like free food, even if it's dodgy-looking!)

A tapa called Ensaladilla rusa - enough for 4 Russians, let alone one Irish guy!

But, Friday's won't be all about food. There's drinks to be celebrated, too, and a good glass of red wine or "vino tinto" must always be appreciated and encouraged. I will, therefore, research, discover and share the best wines I find... from the many lower shelves of my local grocery store - and promise to never mention the words "hint of blackberries and cassis."

My highly technical way of remembering which wines are good (on a 1-10 scale :)

Finally, as I've jumped heartily into everything Spanish, I've bounced again off the immovable wall that is the cultural differences (and remembrances) of Spain. I lived here once before in 1991 and of course, so much has changed, but so much is exactly the same.

Friday's will be a fun way to share some of my past and present adventures. To keep it simple, I'll pick three topics and share what I know (or expected) versus the new reality!

Honey, you got the rest of the building in your bag? I can't see it and shit, think I dropped it somewhere?

Hasta la vista, baby!
Wednesday, December 12, 2018 4 comments

Wednesday Weekly Wictures #2

And sure, didn't that work out well last week!

This week, I was like a madman looking for Pulitzer-prize winning photographs - until I realized I was trying too hard. As soon as I relaxed, the perfect shots presented themselves over the remaining days.

As they do.

Week 2: The no-sun episode

Got a bit worried seeing the light at the middle of the tunnel...

Pheew… a fissure

The old man by the sea...

One man's graffiti is another man's creativity

A shrine to Nuestra Senora del Carmen...

...At a most beautiful location...

Someone having a peaceful day...

Local tower with amazing vistas

There was a second set of flowers 100 yards along the fence... why, I wonder?


Monday, December 10, 2018 4 comments

Monday Musings... Oh oh...


In another effort to theme my blog posts, I'm going with the amazingly unique Monday's Musings until I come up with something sassy and/or fancy. (Although that one may take some time as I haven't been hit with the sophistication stick lately.)

Sadly, I must report that I slipped in my writing this week, and I was on a great roll, too!!

Darn it.

There wasn't any one big reason either, which was annoying! I just put it off one evening. I was knackered, I told myself. Surely, I can take one night off. Yes!

This, however, became two evenings when I finished work late again (I'm sensing a few nodding heads now), and crap, now it's five days since my last confessional page (I'm writing my memoir.)

So, this post will be short, as I will click right over to WIP and give this horse with no name a run for its money, while thinking of other dodgy metaphors.

I will not quit this bloody time!!

Cheers, and have a great week.
Friday, December 7, 2018 2 comments

77 Years on; The Date That Will Live in Infamy...

Here's a "reprint" of my Dec. 7, 2011 post remembering the attack on Pearl Harbor. I lived on Oahu and it was truly special to be there on such an occasion...

Today is the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii.
Source: U.S. Naval Historical Archives
I live about ten minutes from historic Ford Island’s “Battleship Row,” and the final resting place of the USS Arizona, where 1,177 men died in attacks that killed more than 2,400 people.
Several commemorative events are planned throughout the island, and I hope to post more later.
For now, here are some pictures, and a few lesser-known details about “the day that will live on in infamy.”
Radio bulletin from Honolulu heard over WCAE (Pittsburgh, PA) at 4:15 p.m.  (Dec.7, 1941)
“We have witnessed this morning the attack of Pearl Harbor and a severe bombing of Pearl Harbor by army planes, undoubtedly Japanese. The city of Honolulu has also been attacked and considerable damage done. This battle has been going on for nearly three hours. One of the bombers dropped within 50 feet of (...???taunty-tower...?). Its no joke. It’s a real war.”
Source: 2008-2009 UMKC University Libraries
Resting Place - Japan did not limit its offensive to Pearl Harbor; on the same December day in 1941, they also attacked American forces in the Philippines. (Despite being notified of the assault on Pearl Harbor hours before Japanese forces attacked in the Philippines, Gen. Douglas MacArthur inexplicably failed to prepare his troops to respond.)
Photo by Bob Landry/TIME & LIFE Pictures
A closer look at the wreckage of the USS Arizona. The Navy, which was able to salvage an astonishing number of ships damaged or sunk by the Japanese, could not fully salvage the Arizona.
Today, the USS Arizona Memorial straddles the ship's sunken hull and commemorates the events of that long-ago Sunday. Of the 1,177 Arizona sailors killed that day, 1,102 have the ship as their final resting place.
Source: Yahoo.com

The USS Arizona Memorial today
Source: Mark Koopmans

Source: U.S. Naval Historical Archives


One of several USS Arizona memorial plaques on Nob Hill, a U.S. Navy historical residential community on Ford Island.
Source: Mark Koopmans
Source: Mark Koopmans

A second bronze plaque erected to commemorate the loss of life on the USS Arizona seventy years ago today.


Pearl Harbor veteran Robert Templet, who was a Radioman 1st Class at Ford Island during the attack, is pictured outside his home in Metairie, Louisiana Dec. 4, 2011.
Source: REUTERS/Lee Celano
Templet was walking to breakfast on Dec. 7, 1941, when he heard a plane motor surging at his back. He turned and saw the pilot, his goggles atop his head, smiling down at him before a torpedo fell from the plane's belly.
Stories like Templet's are documented in "Infamy: December 1941," opening today at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.
Source: Yahoo.com
In this artist’s interpretation of a photograph, Sailors stand beneath the American flag on the 12-foot rangefinder platform of the USS Arizona’s mainmast at some point after the Pearl Harbor attacks. The rangefinder has been removed from the platform, as have the searchlights from the 36-inch searchlight platform above it.
Artwork by Jim Caiella
The mainmast was removed from the Arizona’s wreckage on 23 August 1942 and scrapped. At the height of the war, little thought was given to artifacts or the Arizona’s significance as a national shrine. Featured on the "From Our Archive" page of the December 2009 issue of Proceedings.)
Source: U.S. Naval Institute

Mary Ann Ramsey, a recent high school graduate and then-resident of Ford Island described what happened in the immediate aftermath of the attacks in an article originally published by the U.S. Naval Institute (Winter 1991.)
“...The entire island seemed to be blowing up. It was then that a fluster of activity outside telegraphed the arrival of our wounded. Passenger cars, Navy vehicles – any transport at hand – began to pull up, discharging men from the Arizona and the ships around her.
“A young man, filthy black oil covering his burned, shredded flesh, walked in unaided. The skin hung from his arms like scarlet ribbons, as he staggered toward my mother for help. Looking at me, he gestured to his throat, trying to speak; he must have swallowed some of the burning oil as he swam through the inferno.
The Corridor of Henry Adair Bunker (12.04.11)
“His light blue eyes against the whites, made more so by the oil clinging to his face, were luminous in visible shock at what they had seen and experienced  that awful morning. We directed him to the mattresses now lining the corridor of the shelter, as the Marines herded us into a side room in order to keep the passageway clear for the arrival of more wounded.”
Source: COMSUBPAC Public Affairs Office.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 7 comments

Wednesday's Weekly Wictures #1

Fun week for several reasons, and as promised, Wednesday is now my OCD-decided weekly pictorial recap.

Here's some highlights:

Have you seen the price of newspapers these days...

Don't worry Iron, we'll protect you...

"You should see it when it's grape season," said the flatulating, but still-feeling-fabulous cat.

Pink. My new favorite color.

Being non-bah humbug for the first time in 4 years...

(Later that evening...) What? Ma said Blue-lighted Christmas trees are in this year!

When two parts of one love are not apart...😍

Orange trees are everywhere!

Who needs a dryer?

Two Friends, lots of spuds (& one dumbass photographer)

Coffee with Lisbeth Salander. Huh? Where did she go now...


Monday, December 3, 2018 4 comments

Of Price and Pen

Not going to lie.

Posting 3x a week isn't as easy as it was a couple of years ago when there were so many of us out there, helping one another to boost stats, strengths and creative confidences.

I faded because I lost the point and the value of having a regular writing deadline, and the price I paid was a long-term lack of confidence, and a real feeling of missing something important in my life.

I've revitalized my blog to assist in the polite kicking of my writing ass, which comes from the excitement of writing on a near-daily basis for the last month.

Long may all this renewed creativity last - and if you're thinking of a creative renaissance, I say go for it.

The feeling is as good, and as much fun, as it was the last time you wrote regularly.


Wednesday, November 28, 2018 4 comments

Wednesday's Week of Wictures

Something new!

To help build my blog muscles and post three times a week, Wednesday will be a picture-based post, using pics I've taken in the preceding week.

I'll tag some, if needed, so you have an idea what's going on, and I hope you like this inaugural set.

Reflection of my "office"

Sunrise from the kitchen

Hopefully, the postman understands!

Monday, November 26, 2018 6 comments

My Nov-oir. (Eh... Your *what*?)

It may never see the light of the published day, but my WIP hits many personal hot buttons.
(As you do.)

This Work In Progress has me writing more consistently
 than I've done in 4+ years. (Even more than here, in 2005, when I blagged (not blogged!) my way into my first writing gig -- and then had to bloody produce.)

My lame, scared excuses are done and even my blog is baby-back up and running. This last few weeks have been a New Beginning.

I carve out at least an hour a day for writing, bust out a 1,000+ words and the habit has formed. No need to run anymore.

So, that problem is solved, and the book will be a history of me thus far, which my boys can one day use as a source of entertainment, or a really cool door stop.

Here's the deal, though. I have a completely and absolutely shitty memory.

Nothing to do with the drinking or excesses of the past. Of course not, (where's the angel emoji), but this memory issue leads to this quandary.

2005 me, trying to come up with a headline!

All my adventures are real, but I can't remember some of the names, and for sure as shit can't recall some of the actual conversations.

I'm thinking about doing a Netflix where they begin every episode of the hit show Narcos with:

"This dramatization is based on real events. However, certain scenes, characters, names, businesses, incidents, locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes."

Instead of a memoir, I may call it a Nov-oir. I can't prove all the crazy, dumb and lucky things that happened to me, but they did. I was there. Promise.

 What's your thoughts? I would genuinely love some honest feedback, please!

Which direction would you go? Strict memoir? Fictionalized novel? Mix of the two?

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