Saturday, October 29, 2016


A friend recently announced that they were "leaving Facebook," calling it an addiction.

Certainly it can be. Scrolling through posts from friends, friends of friends, and sites we chose to like once upon a time can be time-consuming.

I find, whether it's good or not, that I get much of my "news" via FB, whether news of some major event in the world such as an earthquake or political shitslinging, or news from family members, friends, and a few business colleagues who are also friends. I also regularly check news aggregators such as Drudge, and Twitter is pretty much confined to professional aviation connections.

The best thing about FB is that I can keep up with what my grandkids are doing. It fills in the gaps between visits and skype calls.

I also love the wide-ranging diversity of views from people I know, some very right-wing tea-partyish, others radical liberal. I may not share their views, but I like that they voice their opinion, and I think it's good to keep an open mind, not listen just to people you tend to agree with.

When I post or share something potentially controversial (which is almost everything these days), I sometimes pause to think which of my family/friends/colleagues will be offended, and will it sour or kill a longstanding relationship. (Doesn't seem to stop me from posting, though.)

I love the intelligence of many of my friends, especially the ones who will push back and challenge something I post. Maybe I didn't explain myself thoroughly enough. Oftentimes, I am spurred to go do my homework to better understand and define where I stand on an issue.

In general, I avoid posting responses to people with huge followings, simply because my email will then fill up with replies from people with contrarian opinions. However, from time to time I will post on a fringe site such as DailyKos just to be provocative and stir things up. After a few predictable nasty replies, usually name-calling with no substance, I will take down my original post to shut off the stream.

I especially love to challenge statements which appear to be unsupported, for example, people pushing the theme that the Russkies are behind the DNC hack and Wikileaks posts when not a single person has offered any proof. That's one of those "big lies" - tell it often enough, and some sheep will believe it.

My brother claims that I post photos of everything I have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and perhaps at one time I was, almost. I do get some good recipe ideas from other people, though.

Most of all, I like videos of kittens. Call me addicted.

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Having been in five different countries in the past couple of months, and three more coming up, staying in a dozen homes and hotels, we've experienced a lot of variation in shower water pressure.

My favorite is Geneva where the pressure is strong and the temperature fairly consistent.

My least favorite is Argèles-sur-mer in July and August when the village is flooded with tourists and the pressure can at times drop to a trickle. However, the touristas do bring money into the village, which enables the local merchants to survive year-round, for which we are grateful. Like yesterday when I needed mozzarella to make a pizza and could dash about 50 metres down the street to the green grocer and be back in less than five minutes.

Now that the tourists are gone, not only does the village have a very different dynamic of mostly locals, the water pressure is more than adequate. I can stand in the shower long enough to get some serious thinking done.

Just, please, don't turn on the dishwasher while I'm in there.