Monthly Archives: May 2012

I’m Not A Candidate For President . . .

But I play one on T.V.

Mitt Romney wants to be President of the U.S. but his campaign can’t even spell the name of the country right:

The depressing thought is that come November millions of people who drive beat up 15 year old cars are going to be voting for this guy who has elevators for his Cadillacs…and we wonder why AMERICA is in trouble.

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Best Spam Ever

Today when I logged on there were 31 spam messages in my junk box. Half of them were from, supposedly Facebook people. Personally I despise Facebook. One of the best things that’s happened in the 21st century as far as I’m concerned is that the price of shares for the recently offered Facebook stock have tanked. Couldn’t have happened to better people.

Anyway, I received the following “comments” to my blog post “About.”

क य कह .. कई अखब र क ज च ह म न .. कई पर घ म कर भ आई.. पर न श चय ह आपक अखब र सबस अलग ह .. इक ह व षय पर सबक अपन अलग नज र य .. वह ह ह .. “य ज ञस न क व यथ ” म कभ न ज न प त .. अगर आपक ब ल टन म न आत … स ग त द क श क र य .. और उनक बध ई … न ह सम ज क ऐस ओछ व यक त त व स द -च र ह प त .. ज हब ब ज क “द र पद ” क न पढ त सभ म त र जन और ब ल ग ब ल टन क श क र य .. ज म र रचन क पस द क य .. और अपन ब ल टन म स थ न द य य चक र य ह यथ वत चलत रह ग .. आश ह श भक मन ओ क स थ .. रश म द .. स दर प रण म आपक ब ल टन म र ज न आन ह त ह म र .. आप ल खत ह इतन ख ब ज ह .. बस जब कभ कम ट स द न स बचत ह म .. क य क वह ल ग क ह द म ल खत द खत ह त ख द म आलस कर ज त ह …. no doubt क म झ अब तक क इन स र web newspapers म सबस अच छ आपक ह अखब र लग … हर खबर इक द सर स म लत ज लत .. स पढन क मज द गन ह ज त ह श क र य द ऊपर ज कम न ट द य ह व पहल भ द य थ .. पर क न ह क रण स वह ल क पर प स ट ह नह ह प रह थ .. स आज आपक प स ट कर रह

న ల న ల బ ల గర ల , క ష ణక త ప ర క ల కల స త న న ర . వ ర ఛ య చ త ర ల చ ల స ర ల ప రచ ర తమయ య . ఈ వ యక త గత పర చయ ల , ఛ యచ త ర ప రచ రణ ప ఠక లప ప ద దగ ప రభ వ చ పల ద , ప ర ణ మ న మ నహ య స త . స జ త ఒక రహస య చ ప త -జ గ రత తగ వ న డ . ప ర ణ మ క బ ల గర వయస స ఎక క వయ త , ఆమ /అతన బ ల గ ప ఆసక త తగ గ త ద . న ఉచ త సలహ ఏమ ట , మ ర త స త ర స ప వ డ డ . మ వయస సడ గ త , 26 అన చ ప ప డ . ఎవర న మ ప పన చ స త , మ క చ న న వయస స ల న ప ళ లయ దన చ ప ప డ . ఇల చ స త మ అభ మ న ల తగ గ ప ర . ఆగస ట 17న ప రమద వన వ యక త గత సమ వ శ క వ ళ ల నప ప డ జ గ రత తల ప ట చ డ . మ ర ఎ త Young గ కన ప స త అ త hit. సమ వ శమయ య క, అవతలవ ర ప మ pre expectations, ఎక క వ ల క ట , న ర శ చ దర .

 

ర వ గ ర : మ ద న ఝ గ ఉచ త సలహ అన న అన న క అన మ న ఇప ప డ న న ద వయస అన న న అన క డ , అ త మ త ర న అ దర ప డర ల , సబ బ ల వ డ యమనడ ల ల జ క క బ గ న అన ప స త న న .. మ ర మర న కళ ళక పర క ష ప డ త న న ర మ అన ప స త ద . ఎ త మ కప ఏస క ట మ త ర న క త ల ద ఏ ట ? ఇ ద క న న న మ ట గ క వ ళ ళ ల మర !! (మ వ య ఖ యన అత య త సరద గ త స క ట వచ చ న ప రత స ప దన ఇద )స జ త గ ర : “మన ప ర ణ మ” అన నద మ వ య ఖ యల కన ప చకప త , అసల ఇ క మ చ ప పక డ వ ళ ళ ప య ద న న . I give a damn to how people ipntreret me. మ ర వ య ఖ య చద వ , అద నచ చకప య న న “ఫ ల గ ” క వ ల వ చ చ , న త అ త సరద ఉన న ద క ఎ త స త ష గ ఉ ద !! ఆ అన ద ల న ఈ వ య ఖ య!!మ అ దర క న న మహ అయ త ఓ మ డ న లల గ త ల స , క డల ల న టప ల వస త న న దగ గరన డ ! మ అ దర త ఈ ఉత తరప రత య త తర ల క డ అప పట న డ . క న న న గత ర డ ళ ళ గ త ల గ బ ల గ ల చద వ త న న న . వ య ఖ య న న చట చ ల తక క వ క న , చదవట న క , మ ఖ య గ బ ల గ ల చదవట న క న న క త త క ద . చద వ క, ఏ పట ట చ క వ ల ? ద న న మర చ ప వ ల అన న వ ట మ ద న క క న న ఖచ చ తమ న అభ ప ర య ల న న య . క న న స ర ల న న ర స ద ఆడ/ మగ క డ చ డన , ప ర గమన చన , ప ర ప ల ల క అసల వ ళ ళన , ఆ టప న న చద వ త న న త స ప , చద వ క ఆల చ స త న న త స ప , వ ర త న పర చయ . న క త చన వ ఏర పడ న , అద వ ర అక షర లత ట !! వ యక త గత స న హ ల గ మ ర త అడ డ క న గ న , అద పరమ వధ గ బ ల గ ల చదవన . ఇప ప డ న న ర స త న న ఆ త ర ఏ మ త ర మ రల ద . ఇక వయస స మ ద న కమ మ ట : “ఒక క స ర వ ర “వయస స ” త ల స క న న క.. ఆ టప ల అ తగ నచ చవ !! ” న క అన చ ప పల ద . ఎవర క అన చ ప పల ద . వయస స ఎక క వ , తక క వ అన చ ప పల ద , ఏ వ ధ గ నచ చవ చ ప పల ద . మర ద క ర స న ?? న టప ల వ ర వ గ చద వ ఒకర , న వయస స త ల స క.. “అబ బ .. ఇప ప డ త నచ చట ల ద ” అన న త చ ప ప ర కన క. ఇద క వల ఒకర న త అన ద !! అ ద క .. ఒక క స ర అన అన న న గ న జ నరల జ చ యల ద . న కన అసల చ ప పల ద . ఒకవ ళ ఆ అభ ప ర యమ ఉ డ ట న న త “ఆక ట వ ” గ ఉ డడ కష ట . వయస స ల ల క క ట ట క వట త సర ప య ద . “వయస న బట ట , ర ప న న బట ట అభ మ న ల ఏర పడ డ న క ,టప ల నచ చడ న క మ మ స లబ ర ట ల క ద గ ! “- బ గ చ ప ప ర !! ప ప హ గ ల మనకనవసర , మనమ ట మనక త ల స న త వరక !! మ మ ట , న ద న !! ఇక ఈ వ య ఖ యన ఎల ipntreret చ స క ట రన నద న న పట ట చ క న . అ ద క ఇక న న ద న గ ర చ ఏమ ర యన .మ ప ర ణ మ

I don’t think I’ll be giving these people a response.

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Panama Joins The Rest Of The World

I recently wrote about Panama’s slightly schizophrenic association with weights and measures http://onemoregoodadventure.com/2012/05/06/how-metric-system-may-save-teen-live

Mileages and speed limits are measured in kilometers rather than miles. Land is measured in meters and hectares instead of yards and acres. On the other hand while liquids, like soft drinks and beer are labelled in milliliters milk is still sold by the quart and gas at the pump is measured in gallons, not liters. Meat, vegetables and bread are sold in pound and ounce portions, not grams and kilograms.

These last vestiges of American imperial hegemony (Panama is, after all, a creation of the United States) are being stripped away.  No later than December 12th, by Law 52 of 2007, pounds and ounces will officially be replaced by kilograms and grams and ounces, quarts and gallons will become liters. We’ll see how easily Panamanians adapt to asking the butcher for “quinientos gramas de carne molida,”  instead of the”libra” of hamburger they grew up with.

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How Fast Do You Read?

I’ve been a reader all my life. I got the love of the printed word as a very young lad. During WWII when my dad was in the Navy in the Pacific my mom and I lived with her parents. My grandfather used to read to me every night before I went to bed. I remember at the time I wanted to write a book myself. I got out paper, pencils and then it hit me, I didn’t know how to write. I barely knew the alphabet and that was only to recite it, not read it. It took me more than 65 years to actually sit down and write a book.

But this is about reading, not writing. I found this interesting link on Huffington Post. It tests your reading speed. According to Staples (the office supply people) 3rd grade students read about 150 words per minute, average adults read about 300 words per minute, and college students read about 450 words per minute.

I took the test and discovered I read at 330 wpm, 32% faster than the average American (yes, yes, I KNOW everyone in the western hemisphere is an “American.” Get over it!)

Take the test yourself: http://www.staples.com/sbd/cre/marketing/technology-research-centers/ereaders/speed-reader/index.html

How’d you do?

 

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It’s a Language and Cultural Thing

A lot of expats have a long list of things they don’t like about Panama and the Panamanians. Then, of course, I wonder what the hell they’re doing here. My list is quite short about things I don’t like. One of them is that so many Panamanians seem to regard their country as one huge garbage dump. The country is gorgeous as long as you don’t look at the ground. It seems as if on Sundays many Panamanian dads gather up the family and say, “Let’s get in the car, ride around and throw our trash out the windows. Doesn’t that sound like a greatway to spend the afternoon?”

Let’s not forget that back in the 40s and 50s it was much the same in the States. It was Lady Bird Johnson who started the campaign to clean the country up and get rid of, as much as possible, billboard blight. But also to just stop throwing crap out the window of the car. It didn’t happen over night. It took a whole generation to make the change and become, for the most part, what the song calls it, “America the Beautiful.” Hopefully that will eventually catch on here.

But it hasn’t, yet. Today as I was walking down the hill from the cigar factory down into downtown Bugaba where I needed to pay my water bill, I stumbled across this piece which had been dropped on the ground.

We in the States, of course, know this as an “Eskimo Pie.” But in Spanish the letter “S” is pronounced “ES.” For example, at the end of the Rio Dulce in Guatemala, at the extreme end of Lago Izabel, the major town is called “El Estor.” That derives from the old days when the settlers of what was then British Honduras, now Belize, would come up the river to get their supplies at “The Store.” Hence El Estor. I know that sounds strange, but that’s the legend of how the place got its name.

Now, if the product above carried the English “Eskimo Pie”

it would have to be pronounced in Spanish with a broad “A” and then eskimo Pie. Oh, well.

While I was waiting in line at the water company a young man came in with a rambunctious little girl. Cute as a button. I thought I heard him talking to her in English so I asked him if he was. He said yes, she needed to learn the language. He was from England and married to a Panamanian girl. Though he said he speaks Spanish pretty well he always talks to the little girl in English and mom always talks to her in Spanish. I’ve seen this once before when I was going to the University of Miami back in 1961. My Cuban girlfriends aunt had married an American and while he spoke excellent Spanish and his Cuban wife spoke excellent English they always talked to the kids in their native tongues and the three boys were absolutely, flawlessly fluent in the two languages. I told this young man to keep it up. It is a wonderful gift to give to the child to be able to speak two languages as if both were their native tongue.

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Now In Paperback!

A lot of people don’t think a book is a “book” unless it’s made out of dead trees. I can understand that until I bought my Kindle and started publishing my Christopher Columbus books electronically. I say “books” because there are three different versions.

One is simply the original, all-English version that is only available as an e-book. http://www.amazon.com/Tacking-Through-Adversitys-Wake-ebook/dp/B007X8F278/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1337002969&sr=1-3  It is priced at $2.99.

Then there are the two dual-language editions. Stephany Peñaloza and Deyreth García, students at La Universidad Latina here in David, Panama, translated the book into Spanish as their thesis for their degrees in English translation. I combined the original English book with their translation and published them as e-books priced at $4.99.

http://www.amazon.com/Virada-Estela-Adversidad-Desafortunado-ebook/dp/B007XU7Y7M/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1337002969&sr=1-1 Is for English-speakers studying Spanish. The Spanish text is presented first in BOLD face followed immediately by the English text in ITALICS. This formatting, which I haven’t seen used anywhere else, allows the reader’s eye to follow the story as they would reading normally, yet they can easily check the italics to confirm their comprehension.

I also converted the book for Spanish-speakers studying English with the English version in bold text and the Spanish in italics. http://www.amazon.com/Adversitys-Wake-Calamitous-Christopher-ebook/dp/B007XTYMXW/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1337002969&sr=1-2

While Amazon has reported that e-books are actually outselling paperbacks, a lot of people don’t have an e-book reader. I know that’s true of several people who follow this blog. Also, in an effort to supplement my income, I decided to publish the books through CreateSpace, the Print on Demand branch of Amazon.com. to reach a wider audience.

Let me tell you, there’s a HUGE difference in formatting a book for print than it is setting one up for digital publishing, and the learning curve for doing it was STEEP! I spent more than a week tearing my hair out (and at 70 I still have a full head of hair) trying to figure out such things as inserting headers and footers and page numbering. The digital editions of the book are approximately 288 pages. The reason I say approximately is that with a digital book the reader can change the size of the type and when that happens the page count changes. In a printed volume the page count can’t be changed. It is what it is. Sort of.

The first paperback edition of the English to Spanish book is 316 pages. I’m working on the Spanish to English version now and it’s interesting. Even though the type face and type size is the same when the Spanish text is put into boldface and the English into italics the page count jumps to 319 pages.

Well, folks, here it is: https://www.createspace.com/3862699 Because of printing costs I had to price the book at $9.99. Odd thing is that while it’s a bit double the price of the electronic version my royalty works is only 1/3 of what I make from the e-book. Actually I make about a nickel more from the electronic version than I do from the paperback.

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Conservatives Want “Smaller” Government

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Advice Todays Conservative Republicans Choose To Ignore

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”~Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”
~Abraham Lincoln

“I believe that there should be a very much heavier progressive tax on very large incomes, a tax which should increase in a very marked fashion for the gigantic incomes.”~Theodore Roosevelt

“It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize.”~Theodore Roosevelt

“Today’s so-called ‘conservatives’ don’t even know what the word means. They think I’ve turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That’s a decision that’s up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the Religious Right. It’s not a conservative issue at all.”~Barry Goldwater

.) “While I am a great believer in the free enterprise system and all that it entails, I am an even stronger believer in the right of our people to live in a clean and pollution-free environment.”~Barry Goldwater

“Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost.”~Ronald Reagan

“Only a fool would try to deprive working men and working women of their right to join the union of their choice.”
~Dwight D. Eisenhower

“We establish no religion in this country. We command no worship. We mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are and must remain separate.”~Ronald Reagan

“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”~Dwight Eisenhower

“The divorce between Church and State ought to be absolute. It ought to be so absolute that no Church property anywhere, in any state or in the nation, should be exempt from equal taxation; for if you exempt the property of any church organization, to that extent you impose a tax upon the whole community.”~James A. Garfield

“We all agree that neither the Government nor political parties ought to interfere with religious sects. It is equally true that religious sects ought not to interfere with the Government or with political parties. We believe that the cause of good government and the cause of religion suffer by all such interference.”~Rutherford B. Hayes

“We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security.”~Dwight D. Eisenhower

.) “Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.”~Barry Goldwater

“As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality.”~George Washington

With the exception of the last quote all the others came from REPUBLICANS. It is truly sad to see what has happened to the ideals of the United States these days.

 

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Why You Can’t Believe Politicians

My dad used to say: “If you believe a weatherman you’ll believe a politician…

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How Metric System May Save Teen Lives

As a red-blooded American (Yah, Yah, I know all that stuff about everyone in the Western Hemisphere being an American even if they don’t identify themselves as such) I am genetically predisposed to abhor the metric system. It was made up by idiots for idiots so they didn’t have to think past the number of fingers and toes they possessed.

All measurements are arbitrary except for the nautical mile which is one minute of arc of longitude at the equator.  By international agreement it is exactly 1,852 metres (approximately 6,076 feet). But why should a metre be any more precise than the inch, foot or yard? Well, it isn’t. It’s as made up as the units we use in the States. The metric system was invented by the French, of course, and adopted in 1799. Over the years the definitions of the metre and kilogram have been tinkered with and changed and the metric system extended to incorporate many more units. After the French Revolution they decided to use the base-10 metric method for such things as the 10-day week, the 10-month year. Well, we know how well that turned out.

Here in Panama units of measurement are a bit schizophrenic. Because of the American influence from Panama’s independence they measure weights in pounds and ounces rather than kilograms. Gasoline is sold by the gallon while soft drinks, beer and rum are sold by the litre. When measuring things like “square footage” and distance, Panama uses the metric system.

Having lived in France I quickly learned that a kilometer is six tenths of a mile (0.6) and figuring out speed was fairly easy. If the speed limit is posted at 40 kph, multiply by .6 and you know you have to keep your speed at 24 mph. The other day, riding on the bus back from Bugaba, I noticed the speed limit sign which said “100 kph.” That’s simple… 60 mph.

Then I thought about young teen drivers, especially those in the States who have just gotten their licenses. One of the first things they want to do behind the wheel, at least among teenage boys, is to take that car up to 100 mph. It, too, is a genetic thing. After all, not only is it fast, but it’s a nice round number: One Hundred. Much cooler than 160.934 kph. Now, is there a single kid in a metric country that lusts to take their car or motorcycle up to 160.934 kph? I don’t think so. But American kids all want to hit that magic 100 mph.

Of course at 100 kph, or 60 mph, if you go flying off the road or hit a bridge abutment, even if you’re strapped in, there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to die. At a hundred miles an hour it’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll be “going into the light.”

Without that urge to go 100 mph I think the metric speed limit is a lot safer for young teenage drivers. Of course that’s all just theory since the average Panamanian driver is a reincarnated Kamakazi pilot to begin with.

 

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