Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

It’s September 8th, and the 55th anniversary of the first airing of Star Trek: The Original Series. Now, I was always a Star Wars fan first and foremost* but Mr Man persuaded me to revisit and reassess, and I’m glad he did. The more geeky space fun, the better, as far as I’m concerned.

Want to know more, or commune with fellow Trekkies basking in the glory that is the Trekiverse? Click through for links to the annual Star Trek Day celebration:

Star Trek Day 2021: Celebrate 55 years of Trek with live panels and more tonight | Space

In closing…

(You know what I’m going to say, which also says something about the remarkable reach of this show into the global consciousness.)

Live long, and prosper.

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Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash

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* The show had ended by the time I was ready for such things, and without a television even reruns were off the table. Hard to obsess over a series that you can’t watch!

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A Good Day

I would have liked to have some profound thoughts for you today, but instead it’s been a morning of work, a drive in the country, a bit of sunshine, then adult beverages and Return of the Jedi.

So, a good day:)

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Photo by Caio on Pexels.com

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I’m on vacation today and thought I’d do some cool stuff. Instead, my afternoon looked like this:

  • lunch? lunch
  • read terrible book, give up on same
  • feel v. blah. stupid book. I hate bad books
  • think about a new story idea, make less than desired progress
  • research random topics of interest (mystery songbird illness, treasure maps, letterlocking methods, software stuff, etc.)
  • realize I should have worked out this morning, tired or not
  • start three projects, or was it four? nope
  • read about temptation bundling
  • attempt to learn a thing or two. maybe?
  • work on a new project
  • have the program crash at the last minute and decide, you know what? I think I’m done for the day

Plus Mr Man just came home with tales of unfortunate events, mysterious machine mishaps, and more.

Aaaaaand, I just realized that it’s Friday the 13th.

That actually explains A Lot.

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Half Day

Today is a holiday in Canada so while I had to work this morning, I’m taking the afternoon off to sit outside, read, and drink a tasty beverage. I’m thinking Sangria-ish, a new drink I’m perfecting with whatever I happen to have in the fridge, like half a bottle of Alsatian red, frozen lime cubes, haskap juice, lemonade, cherries, and sparkling water:)

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Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

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Today is Bastille Day.

Photo by Joe deSousa on Unsplash

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Today is also a family member’s birthday, yay!

Photo by Robert Anderson on Unsplash

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And on this day, years ago, I visited a floating market in Thailand.

At 6:45 this morning I hopped a bus for a two-hour ride to the floating market at Damnoen Saduak. I’m sure the pictures will tell the tale well, as long as the viewer can also imagine the sticky heat of the morning sun rising over a town whose streets are made entirely of water. It was totally touristy and, admittedly, lots of fun.

On the way there the bus stopped at a coconut oil factory, made obvious from the road by the mounds of coconuts piled everywhere. A woman stood by a huge stove and swirled coconut oil or juice around and around in the largest wok I’ve ever seen. She actually had three of these monstrosities cooking at once, each in various stages of reduction. Every so often she’d reach over and grab another handful of coconut husk to stoke the fire. I couldn’t resist a bag of coconut candy; it’s probably 99 percent fat and terrible for me, but it tasted like richly-flavored brown sugar. Delicious.

The first boat driver was a little throttle happy, so we got the speed demon tour of the town’s waterways. He’d race full ahead toward a wall, then turn at the last minute. The front of the boat would turn sharply, the back swing around, and we’d race off to the next corner to do it all again. Along the way I realized how little difference there is between streets of gravel and water. All along the banks there were walkways leading up to people’s houses, small yards where they kept everything from pets to fishing traps, and little garages off to the side where they parked their boats at night. One difference: on the canals’ sides I noticed an odd creature, a fluffy pink worm-like animal that looked a little like a small sea cucumber. It was easy to spot because it was hot hot pink. 

The first thing we were encouraged to do after stepping out of the boat was to get right back in another. For a few dollars a sightseeing boat of sorts would shuttle tourists around the main market canal. In a few seconds we were off with the rest of the boats, making our way along the canal crowded with boats carrying food, trinkets, and other tourists. The only thing they told us was to watch our fingers, as the boat’s metal-rimmed edges collided frequently. Good to know. 

Almost all of the boats selling things were occupied by women. They talked amongst themselves while making fried rice cakes or chopping open coconuts for us to drink. It seemed like a crowded market anywhere, just on the water.

A woman with a Bunsen burner and stack of bowls in her boat made noodle soup. As my boat mate sat back to slurp up his lunch, a man came over and asked me a question.

He wanted to know why I wasn’t eating too, and wanted to assure me that the food was both good and safe. By pointing at a passing boat and a billboard adorned with smiling faces and happy stomachs, he managed to let me know that the market had been established as a “Safe Eating Zone” which was enforced by police. I could eat without fear. I thanked him and let him know by pointing at my stomach that I just wasn’t hungry. I tasted some of the soup soup and declared it delicious. We concluded the conversation with smiles and thanks. 

Pretty good, considering neither knew a word of the other’s language.

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J.R. Johnson

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Happy Fourth!

I’m out enjoying a beautiful Fourth of July. Hope you are too!

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Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

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It’s a holiday weekend, bookended by Canada Day and the Fourth of July. As a dual citizen, I feel obligated to celebrate as much as possible, which means I am trying to work as little as possible. Today, that means learning something fun. Like perspective bending, with sheep.

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Original photo by Hasan Almasi on Unsplash

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O Canada!

I originally hail from the United States but I’m also proud to be a citizen of Canada. Is it perfect? (Is either country?) No. But this is a multi-faceted country with a complex history and also a lot of good, and being part of something is the best way to both contribute to its present and better its future.

Happy Canada Day, Canada! Let’s all work together for brighter days.

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Photo by Steve Philpott on Unsplash

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I’m in seat 34 and already seven minutes late. We’re on the night bus to Cappadocia and I’m settling in for a ten-hour ride into the heart of Turkey. The old woman ahead of me is getting feisty, pounding on the window and demanding to leave, loudly. This little drama is all in Turkish, of course, but it’s hard to misunderstand this kind of impatience. Most of the country seems to travel by bus and this is the largest terminal I’ve ever seen. The station is huge, complete with hotel and shopping complex, mosque, 200,000 lira WCs, and plenty of air guns to keep the kids occupied. 

What’s this? We’re leaving right on time, only 14 minutes behind schedule.

Tops in Turkey: Topkapi Palace, cherry juice and jam, beer on a rooftop terrace with a view of the Haghia Sofia and Blue Mosque.

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Photo by Fatih Yürür on Unsplash

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To my dad, who taught us to read without genres, cook without recipes, and love without limits.

Happy Father’s Day!

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