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Friday, December 21, 2018 4 comments

Friday's Tapas, Tintos y Tiempo


Finishing up the blogging year on the Friday before Christmas, so here's some cold soup that perfect to beat the summer heat.


But wait, it's not just Tapas, it's Salmorejo!

Some people may know, and adore, (as I do) the more well-known gazpacho, but Salmorejo is an amazing tapa (if you're close to your tapa-sharing peeps) all of its own. It's rich, delicious, regional and seasonal! (If you want a recipe, click on the wiki link above.)

I'm breaking the rules this week (already) to say my Tinto story has more to do with Belgium beer than Spanish wine, but when you run into a Dutch bartender at said Belgian bar and have a 30-minute conversation about your shared adventures travelling Route 66 from Chicago to California (his on a Harley, mine in a Mustang and 20 years apart). you know a good time was had by all as we tried to out-wow each other with cool memories.

For Tiempo? Thought I'd share this picture from Ronda, where we visited a couple of years ago. It is an amazing place, only 2 hours from here and I can't wait to go back one of these days. How do you even build a bridge like this - and who wants to work at the hotel near the edge??

Hey, I wish you and your loved ones a very peaceful and Merry Christmas, and here's to a very Happy New Year to us all.

Christmas party at Lola's Bar, Fuengirola :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2018 5 comments

Wednesday Weekly Wictures #3


Quite a varied lot this week. Hope you enjoy.

Guy said on the phone that "the roof may need some work..."

So, I said, "Well at least there's an outside toilet..."

Different home, but I'm sensing a theme....

Sunset, with the hard-to-see Alhambra (Granada) in the background


We walked literally into a hole in the wall to find this tiny bar in a cave

Tine for Christmas Tree #2...

…With enough decorations to do the window, too!

Last week's tower from the opposite side (below the well-positioned bird:)

The *day* before these ruins were destroyed, I said "Oh, I should take a picture of it..."

Two days later!

Sunrise: Wonder what the tanker (bottom right) could see...

Monday, December 17, 2018 5 comments

Monday's Musings - Una Nota de Amor


Back from the airport, I stared out the window a few minutes ago, musing about life and the decisions we make that lead us to where we're going - or hope to go - and my current view got me thinking, so I ran over here - mas rapido.

About three years ago, I moved into a huge, 4,000 square-foot home that was terribly way too big for me, but at the time it was perfect, (at least in my head.) I had plans, you see, and the expanse of the backyard won me over with its conservation area that led to a lake I could see...sometimes (especially after hurricanes!)

I spent many, many hours staring at that quiet view, thinking it was a little slice of heaven. Then, life took one of those quirky turns, caused by many bad (and a few) good decisions of mine, and there you go, and here I am.

My new, beautiful vista overlooks part of the town and has massive and panoramic views of the calm Mediterranean. Because of its freedom, possibilities and expansiveness, I love being able to see the sea and have already planned that my ashes be one day scattered in some calm, blue waters - (hopefully not that of a freshly cleaned W.C.)

So, while I miss the tranquil view of the past, and the Sandhill Cranes that adopted me, the view from this small 600-square-foot apartment leaves me happy, fulfilled and positive about the future. Which brings me back to my musings...

I couldn't have done any of this without the love, patience and 1,000 percent support of my beyond-amazing and supportive fiancée. Not a chance. Mirjam is the keeper of my heart, and although I drive her nuts sometimes, she's been my rock throughout our relationship..

Knowing my three boys have adapted to all the changes, and that we Skype frequently means a lot, too. I can't wait to see them in the next months.

Honestly, 2018 has a ton of memories I'm happy saying adios to, but there's definitely some others that are worth keeping ahold of.

2019, however, has the potential to be a great, great year for many good reasons. We'll wait and see how it turns out, but I'm truly happy to be in love, healthy, self-employed - and sitting in my room with a view.

Merry Christmas, my love. Here's to a happy, peaceful new year - and our life together.

I love you.

Friday, December 14, 2018 5 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...


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