What Not To Write About Russia: Re-blogged from Tara Sparling’s site

Here is a great blog I found when looking over my VCB sites… I want to make sure to drop back and hang out for awhile, so decided to Reblog it since the Reblog button beckoned. I’m especially interested in author Tara Sparling’s posts about Russia.    I have been studying Russian language for a few months… because it is something I’ve always wanted to do.   So I set out to translate the wall sign…which I think indicates the way to get out of town.  (Maybe…)   Thanks Tara!

 

 

Tara Sparling writes

What Not to Write about Russia and the Trans-Siberian RailwayAnyone who has the misfortune to have proximity to the daily life of a writer knows that everything is up for grabs when it comes to subject matter. Whether you’re an essayist or a novelist, a journalist or a blogger, you’re always on the hunt for material.

With this in mind, it seemed like going on the TransSiberian Railway last November, and not writing about it, would be like losing two stone and looking blank when someone complimented you on your newly invisible arse.

There were a few comments from readers about how much they looked forward to seeing me write about my travels. A few other smartie pantses commented on the fact that I had blog fodder for the foreseeable, now that I had actual adventures to bore people to death with. The fact that I’m not a travel blogger didn’t seem to make any difference to either camp.

Consequently, I sat down…

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Dreaming imaginary Prague, reposted

Dreaming imaginary Prague

 I have never been to Prague, except in daydreams…
but my impressionable mind is easily led
into the magical world of zithers and Gypsies,
of violins singing and wailing in ageless melodies…
music of joy and abandon…or sadness and melancholy.

Put on your hat, my girl, and come along with me…
We will trip the light fantastic (or is it a Fandango?)
whirling, twirling and dancing …and laughing at nothing
as our echoing soles  click and ring among  the cobblestones…
back to the days of fancy and intrigue.

Halcyon days of exquisite youth and passion for it all–
sordid or glorious, respectable or ridiculous–
days when common sense stayed at home amid the quiet
and comfortable over-stuffed chairs…and crackling radio static
never quite able to drown out the strains of an orchestral tune.

Prickles of goose bumps remind of running with n’er-do-wells
and bad influences…those mysterious, exciting  ones that
never existed, masquerading as “ladies” and “gentlemen,”
life’s forbidden (or at least frowned upon) adventures
among the brilliantly dark recesses of shadowy corners.

The mere mention of Prague always brings unseen wonders–
half-vision, half-dream.      There are Ladies in satiny dresses
and impossible shoes…. dancing away the nights, until dawn.
They sway with the music of instruments with no names,
enticing dangerously handsome partners with unknown designs.

But I digress, as is my wont…
the thoughts of romance and mystery subside–
old Prague returns to an idea that lives on
for dreamers…and poets.

©Sometimes, 2016

a glimpse of life…passing by (Daily Post Entry: Blur)

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/out-of-focus/”>Focus</a&gt;

village blur a glimpse of life.JPG

above is a shot taken years ago, in early 1980s, through the window of a van traveling at high speed along a rural road in Yucatan, near the archeological site of Chichén Itza, Mexico.     At first glance it is just a ruined photo, which is often what an amateur photographer gets when shooting on-the-fly from a grimy vehicle window, speeding down a road.    However, on close inspection, the camera apparently focused automatically on the village scene in a clearing beyond the surrounding jungle and captured this candid scene.   (Cropped close-up image below.)   Image by Robert Dreger, ©Sometimes 2017.

village-blur-a-glimpse-of-life-e1497725886780 CROP

 

 

Airport traffic

jet trails 4 w red

Afternoon traffic from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.     Jet trails against picturesque cloud cover.   We always have a ring side seat on airport activity.   These photos are facing southeast.    ©Sometimes,2017)

 

jet trails2

Voyager 2’s Golden Record… intercepted? or still out there?

For no apparent reason this morning I thought about the space capsule that went zooming out beyond our Solar System on June 16, 1977.      I have known about the “Golden Record” containing various information about Earth that space aliens might be interested in, assuming that they someday “find” the capsule floating around out there and delve into our characteristics.      The NASA Space Agency facility in Cleveland, Ohio used to be open to the public, and I visited a couple of times on field trips with Girl Scouts or school class groups.     I was especially impressed with two features…although there was an endless wealth of exhibits: our Sun, in an animated flaming ball complete with sun flares and other details; and the Golden Record on Voyager 2.

The thing that impressed me the most was that the United States’ choice of popular music at the time was Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode, also famous as featured at the “Under the Sea” high school dance, in the movie Back to the Future.      Not sure I ever knew much more detail, except that the compilers had included some Bach and Beethoven, chosen by some of the more grown up nations.

Included here is the Wikipedia link for those of us who would like either a refresher course in Voyager 2, or a deeper look into the contents of the Golden Record….which is, I believe, literally a well, golden…record.      There are all kinds of information about various countries of Earth, animals, humans (although NASA apparently got some flack about naked human pictures, so they used silhouettes.)    I love that there is a recording of authentic Navajo Chants, and an hour-long recording of someone’s brain waves thinking about “earth-things” including thoughts of love.  Also, the sounds of thunder and rain, birds, animals, and motor vehicles…uh, wind and thunder maybe, but a John Deere tractor?   (They didn’t specify the brand, that’s just me.)   Other humanoid species probably would identify with Earth nature sounds…but a rumbling bulldozer or whatever is a bit of a stretch.

This Wikipedia site is really good…pictures and easy-to-follow charts and symbols.    Here’s the link:     https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contents_of_the_Voyager_Golden_Record

 

 

Teotihuacan 1996 revisited

Wow!   Two promises in two days….      I checked out my Digital Film/Slide Projector for my pal Judy Dykstra/Brown over at Lifelessons, AND in the same swell swoop…or is it fell swoop?… found some of my ancient slides of ancient archeological sites as I had promised my buddy BadFish!

I will do a proper post about these pyramids  soon, right now the goal is to show that my old slides really can be  resurrected and restored by even ME…klutz that I can be even after thirty-some years of computer-practice.

The purpose of this post is to show the results of my test of my scanner converter…yes it works, and yes I love it!    It took me about four times longer than it should have, and I had a LOT of hassle getting the photos into the post.

No, that is not me up on that pyramid…no way.   It may or may not be my late husband, who went up part way.

These shots were taken in 1996 at the Teotihuacan archeological site near Mexico City.  This particular occasion marked the last time Bob and I went to Mexico together, although I made several more trips by myself.

These are not Aztec pyramids, but were constructed by the Teotihuacanos, who predated the Aztecs by centuries.    The city was a hub of commerce and trade that extended even down into what is now Guatemala.   National Geographic did a great magazine issue featuring this fascinating city.

There are hundreds and hundreds of photos of the pyramids.       https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=teotihuacan+pyramids&FORM=IARRTH&ufn=teotihuacan&stid=1a1f9c4b-ec11-aeee-db7b-def752eff0af&cbn=EntityAnswer&cbi=0&FORM=IARRTHds   I’ll check it.   I just googled Teotihuacan pyramids and got it.

OH yes!  the link works…many of the photos I looked at on the site have been taken much more recently.  There has been on-going reconstruction work at many of the Mexican sites for many years.

All photos were by Robert Dreger, 1996.   © Sometimes, 2017

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The Pyramid of the  Moon photo © Sometimes, 2017
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The much larger Pyramid of the Sun.
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A partially reconstructed Administration or residential Building.

Mercado Flores Pantleon Re-Blogged

Here is a great treat! I found this site this morning and just had to browse the marvelous photos. This post is of a flower market in Guadalajara, Mexico. I do love Mexico and all things Mexican—so I’m happy to look around. These photos are great! Be sure to click on one of the photos so as to get the slide show—and be prepared to say WOW!!! Thanks to the blogger for permission to repost…

Guadalajara en Fotos

This is the biggest flower market in Guadalajara, and the best place to go on Valentines day.  It is across the street from the Cemetary, so people can buy flowers for the departed.  It has stores that face the street Federalismo, and more and more stores as you walk a block behind the storefronts.  My favorite part is the open air Flower Market and watching the trucks unload flowers in bulk.

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travel tales

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/01/01/1355081/-Why-Airlines-Collude-To-Make-Flying-As-Miserable-As-Possible/

Here is a story about just how terrible the experience of flying has become.    Once…not too long ago, the process of taking an air trip from a major airport, on a major airline, was one of life’s pleasures for those who could afford it…and that was a pretty broad segment of the population in the United States.

Not to belabor the fond clichés of those of us who remember the dressing-up in “air travel outfits” in order to look good while strolling the airport terminal, and creating a “Wow!” factor appearance for emerging from the tunnel into the waiting area–where sizeable groups of people awaiting the arrival of air-travelers.   Then each little group would walk off down the concourse  sharing snippets of exciting conversation about the flight.   “Man, the sun is shining back in Albuquerque!”   “Wow!–look at all the snow!”  and “It was so rough that I really thought we were going down…”

Here’s the thing that has always griped me.   Why don’t we have a decent cross country train system, like Europe and Mexico, Japan, the United Kingdom…etcetera,   One of my most wistful dreams has always been about traveling on a glamorous  fast-moving train, sipping fine wine in the club-car (my ideal of glamour) and watching scenery flash by.     Yes, I know–a bit exotic, but hey–that’s me.  And yes, I also know about Amtrack–which I hear is great once past Chicago or so, heading West.

Of course I DO know the reason we don’t have a cross-country railway system…and between you and me that is easy: the auto industry.  Our society and economy has always been about making cars, advertising cars so that everyone must have at least one…and except for the East coast cities where there IS a decent train system (as far as I know,) efforts at installing  North-South Corridor high-speed systems have been suppressed.     At least that is the case here in Ohio.

I admit that my experience with train travel has been limited, consisting of a trip to California from Ohio when I was five-years -old; travel from Bremerhaven, Germany to Frankfurt in 1955 (courtesy of the U.S. Army); at least one ride to and from Boston when my son lived in Massachusetts.   I think that is all..not counting some rapid-transit travel in Cleveland back in my commuting days, and assorted tourist travel in New York City, London, Mexico City and Quebec…. oh–and in New Orleans, the trolly from the city out to the university.

 

A Pleasant Chat With Myself …with no regrets

This post was first published October 16, 2015 here in SOMETIMES.

SOMETIMES

Writing 201, poetry: Pleasure, Sonnet, Apostrophe
(not that kind of apostrophe…)

                     Say What, SELF?

Talking to Myself is something I do
Listing accomplishments, dreams, and regrets.
Bragging to Self is always permitted
as long as the truth is told.

But sometimes I resent what SELF has to say
in questioning and doubting and high-handed
pouting over things that
I never got to do.

Travel might have been, should have been, would have been
had the opportunity and ability been present
much sooner in life than it was..

What’s that you say, Self?–
I didn’t apply myself?
I wasted much of the time of my life
on the mundane and unnecessary (in the grand scheme)
pursuits such as housework and not
enough adventure and travel?

Well that’s not the case!  I hasten to say–
I’m not indignant, I just need to explain.
My years as a gadabout (now I only…

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Lake Voyage

What I remember
of that day in September
is the Canadian shore line
drifting away to the North.

The warm sun and the rafters
of the ferry as it lumbered
southward, plying the waters,
widening the distance encumbered.

Green and gold on the tree line,
still shades of autumn, the hint
of  coming winter still vague.
The horn sounded farewell as it widened the wake,
and set off on its great voyage across the lake.

©Sometimes, 2016