Monthly Archives: December 2014

All in a Day’s Work

Yes, I am smoking a cigarette, It’s OK though, it was 23 years ago. Back then, cigarettes were cool.

barking up the wrong tree - Turkey 1993 Muslim country with belly dnacers....

As many of you already know, this Belly Dancer is barking up the wrong tree. I think it was the cigarette that drew her to me.

It’s really weird that Belly Dancers exist in Turkey. Even though Turkey is more liberal than other Muslim countries, it still IS a Muslim country… so it should be an anathema to have women dressed the way she is wriggling around a room letting men (presumably only men) stuff money into her clothing.  We all know what would happen to her, let’s say, in Iran. Yeah, not going to work out well for her there. In any case, I wasn’t going to slide 10 or 20 Lira into some part of her clothing. It seemed very inappropriate to me; it’s just not something I’d be comfortable doing.

This outing to a restaurant was by invitation of a DMC (destination management company) that had invited me to Turkey to see the sites and hopefully bring incentive travel groups to Turkey. That never happened.

However, this invitation was for more than just a visit to a club. It included a private car with a driver, a guide and entrance to several of the most famous and interesting attractions that Istanbul has to offer (Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar and a Bosphorus (a strait that forms part of the boundary between Europe and Asia) tour.

grand baar2

Here’s a picture of me and Allen in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.

But back to the Belly Dancer club. I remember this Belly Dancer and the fact that I ate some food, but the rest of the evening was less enjoyable. While eating a piece of bread, I bit into a rock and broke a molar in half. Yeah, not fun but All in a Day’s Work.

The DMC made arrangements for me to see the company owner’s dentist the next morning. Upon entering the dentist office, I was led down a hall in which I walked past a room that looked very clean but also very dated. It absolutely looked like a dentist’s office in the states circa 1930. I’m serious. I was now more than apprehensive and already thinking of my escape plan. But just as I was about to say “Üzgünüm” I entered the “real” dentist’s treatment room. It looked as modern as any dentist office I’d ever been to. All went well.

I brought the receipt for the dental work home with me and submitted it to my health insurance company. They reimbursed me for the dentist office visit. I think the cost was approx. 40 million lira. I know, that sounds like a lot, but I think at the time 40 million lira converted to about $35 USD. Since that time, Turkey removed six zeros from their currency making it much easier to use. Before that time, everything had cost several million lira for simple everyday items like inek sütü (milk) and ekmek (bread).


This is the lobby of the Conrad Hilton; the hotel in which I stayed during my visit to Istanbul in 1992.

A note about Turkey: I actually lived in Turkey from 1971 to early 1973. That’s a much more complex story which I will leave for another post.

Words from the Magic Wishing Well

Here are Words from the Well, Magic Wishes that have been Dropped into the Magic Wishing Well

Magic Wishing Well

Visit the Magic Wishing Well

1) To be 10 years old again

2) tworzę piękną artystyczną gejowską sissy scheme sztukę i religigooę

3) I wish that Mackenzie Ziegler would follow me on the dirt pATH

4) for chaos theory to fall back in love with me

5) I wish i had 99 wishes on a pencil

6) Minecraft for people on the island

7) I wish mr. and mrs. whitworth get whatever it is they most deeply sire

Looking ahead to 2015

Looking ahead to 2015Hate Speech

There are many reasons to look forward to 2015 and no really significant reasons to remember 2014. Or 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000 (except for the Y2K freakout), 1999. 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1987, 1986, 1985, 1984, 1983, 1982, 1981, 1980, 1979, 1978, 1977, 1976, 1975, 1974, 1973, 1972, 1071, 1970, 1969, 1968, 1967, 1966, 1965, 1964, 1963, 1962, 1961, 1960, 1959, 1958, 1957, 1956, 1955 or any years earlier than 1955.

I’ve double checked my research and found nothing of note in the years listed above or any years previous to 1955.

Lake Erie is really a BIG lake. Seriously.

This is me picking up stones on the edge of Lake Erie. This was several years ago during the only car trip Allen have taken (to date). We went through about 5 states. We didn’t actually go anywhere in particular. I think we went through Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Not really sure. But we did go to the Quaker Oats store/museum in Ohio. And we went to Atlantic City.  Maybe this spring we’ll take another trip. I suppose we could haul our travel trailer along… but it would be easier to just wing it and stay at horrible cheap motels.

lake eire great lakes

Lake Erie


It’s strange to look out over a lake and not be able to see the other side. The Lake Eire stretches all the way out to the horizon. I knew this, of course, but standing on the edge looking out across the lake was surreal.

I know this is boring post. But I saw this picture and wanted to comment on it.

I was just informed that we visited West Virginia during this trip.

Kacy Catanzaro: American Ninja Warrior


Kacy Esther Catanzaro is an American gymnast noted for being the first woman to qualify for the finals of the television sports challenge American Ninja Warrior.  She is a relatively small woman, standing 5 feet tall and weighing only 100 pounds.


In 2014, Catanzaro became the first woman to complete the qualifying course of American Ninja Warrior ranking 21 out of 30; this also makes her the first woman to make it up the warped wall in competition.

On 14 July 2014, Catanzaro competed in the Dallas finals of American Ninja Warrior. She was the first woman ever to complete the course (and the first woman to attempt it).

Here’s a clip of her making it up the warped wall.

Now with Bigger Images

all German on boatI should probably mention that I don’t speak German.


These are all places that you can buy a Xbox 360 steering wheel – it’s only available in Japan right now. They were all around $60 but the last listing caught my eye. Yes, I definitely think the shipping should be free. No wait… It would be much cheaper to fly round-trip to Japan and buy it in person!