Saturday, June 25, 2016

June 25 Gardening Update

In the June 19 gardening update, I included a photo of the property taken just before the rains as well as photos taken after a few days of rainfall. It's rained quite a lot since that post - mostly during the night while everyone's asleep. In this post, you'll see the results of the additional rain that's fallen since the 19th.

One of the photos show the weeds making their way toward the butternut squash. I another the weeds are approaching the eggplant.

One photo shows the two goats put out onto the property. As I noted in the earlier post, old farts like me aren't into taking up a hoe to clear out the weeds. The common solution here is to put goats on the problem. My wife's Papa brought in the two goats to eat the weeds. I don't know if my wife mentioned to him that that was what I wanted, or if it's just a case of great minds thinking alike. At any rate I'm happy to see the goats.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Stanley and Livingstone

In a post from last week, I related how my habit of watching movies from the 1930's and 40's on Youtube had introduced me to the novelist George Agnew Chamberlain. At the time of that writing, I had been able to find only one (free) ebook of Chamberlain's work - Through Stained Glass - and had read 20% of that novel on Kindle. Having finished Through Stained Glass, I am not nearly as impressed with the novel as I was at the 20% marker.

I mentioned in the same post that I had downloaded two novels by Jack London, The Call of the Wild and White Fang. I've finished reading The Call of the Wild, having thoroughly enjoyed the ebook.

A few days back, I watched the 1939 classic film, Stanley and Livingstone starring Spencer Tracy. The wikipedia article regarding the film says that it's "based loosely upon the true story of Welsh reporter Sir Henry M. Stanley's quest to find Dr. David Livingstone". No truer words have ever appeared on wikipedia than the words "based loosely".

After watching the film, I downloaded Henry Stanley's book, How I Found Livingstone from the Project Gutenberg website. I haven't finished reading this one yet, but so far, the only similarity I can find between the book and the film is that both have a character named Stanley who travels to Africa to look for Dr. Livingstone. Other than that, I don't believe the script writers actually read a single page of Stanley's book.

At the beginning of the film, Stanley is found among the Indians in Wyoming and returns to New York city to meet the publisher of the New York Herald newspaper. In the novel, Stanley is in Spain, the publisher in Paris. In the film, there is a rivalry between the Herald publisher and the publisher of the London Globe. No such rivalry exists in the book. Do I even need to mention the love interest created just for the movie?

The characters portrayed by Nancy Kelly, Richard Greene and Walter Brennan do not appear in the novel and were created out of whole cloth for the film.

If one enjoys movies from the 1930's, Stanley and Livingstone is entertaining, if one doesn't require 100% accuracy in your "historical" films. Stanley's book might be entertaining for those interested in history of the 1870s.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Inside the Sibulan Market

Last Tuesday, I posted a few photos taken inside Sibulan's public market. That was the day after the feast of St. Anthony of Padua and the Lechonpalooza. Consequently, there wasn't much activity going on in the area of the market where pork is sold.

Nearly a week has passed, and I was sure no one had any left over Lechon Baboy, so there'd surely be pork hanging in the market today.

It was a little after 7:00 when I dropped by the market this AM to buy a half kilo of ground pork. There was plenty of pork displayed. This wasn't the busiest day I've seen there, but I was able to get in a few shots.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

June 19 Gardening Update

The top photo is of an area of our property, taken a month ago after we had finished putting up our fence and just a few days before the return of the rains. The 2nd photo was taken yesterday; although the camera angles aren't identical, it is of the same general area and shows the results of the rainfall we received in the past few days. The eggplants that my wife's Papa planted are doing quite well - as are the surrounding weeds.

The third photo is of my beloved butternut squash, which also seems to be doing well.

The problem, of course is that now that the rains have returned, the unwanted weeds will begin to take over if something isn't done. As Barney Fife said, "This calls for action now! Nip it in the bud!"

Using a hoe is out of the question for an old fart like your's truly. The solution usually taken here is to put a goat or two on the problem. I'll be looking into that.

Friday, June 17, 2016

On the Streets

On my walk to the market in Sibulan this morning, I came upon this group of puppies sleeping in the road. I didn't see any sign of a mother; I don't know if these dogs belong to someone or if they're feral. It's not uncommon for folks here to allow their dogs to wander about.

Some reading this may view this as cruelty - callous indifference to the fate of these animals. Some may even be surprised that dogs could be treated in such a manner.

It shouldn't come as a surprise, considering that human beings are treated in the same callous and indifferent way.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

London’s Muslim Mayor Bans Sexy Women In Advertisements

From the Daily Caller:
London’s Muslim Mayor Bans Sexy Women In Advertisements -

"Sadiq Khan, London’s first Muslim mayor, announced Monday that 'body shaming' advertisements will no longer be allowed in London’s public transport".

One wonders if the motive behind this ban is "feminism" or Islam.

I suppose he's just one step away from requiring women to dress like his wife.

Books & Blogs

Earlier this month, I wrote that, after having read one chapter of Sir Ernest Shackleton's South! The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition, 1914-1917, I'd highly recommend this book. Now, after having finished reading it, my recommendation still stands (although I found the appendix to be a bit dry and uninteresting). Project Gutenberg gives a number of options for downloading and I choose "Kindle (with images)". Unfortunately, no images were downloaded with the mobi. I was only about to see the original photos with the html option

Lately, I've been watching old movies on Youtube - particularly movies starring Edward G. Robinson. One film of his that I watched recently was a 1947 film noir, The Red House. The movie is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by George Agnew Chamberlain.

According to his biography, "George Agnew Chamberlain authored some 36 books in a career lasting from the 1910s through the 1950s, of which a handful were turned into movies." Unfortunately for me, only one of Chamberlain's books are in the public domain and available at Project Gutenberg - Through Stained Glass -. I'm recommending this book as well (as of this writing, I've read 20%).

While I'm on the subject of books, I'll list two books which I plan on reading soon, and how I came upon the idea of adding the books to my list.

I've written 2 posts recently on Mark Shea's blog, Catholic and Enjoying It ! and while reading his blog in order to get my facts straight, I discovered a fellow exile from Shea's blog, Manny.

Manny is the author of the blog, Ashes From Burnt Roses. In a recent post, Manny mentions Jack London's novels,The Call of the Wild and White Fang. That post has encouraged me to download both novels, which I'll get to after I finished reading Chamberlain's book.

Mark Shea Punts the Ball

In a recent post - Banned and Enjoying It - I noted that Mark Shea would never vote for Donald Trump, and I assumed that, because of his having made it clear that he will not vote for a candidate who asks him to support grave and intrinsic evil, he could never vote for Hillary Clinton either. I was wrong in my assumption.

Shea will not be voting for Clinton because, in his words, "I will not, myself, be voting for her since I don’t live in a swing state. But I have no problem at all defending somebody who lives in a swing state who does vote for her and would, in fact, urge people to do so (bearing in mind that some cannot, in conscience, do so)".

Shea lives in the state of Washington, which hasn't given it's Electoral College votes for a Republican since the days of Ronald Reagan. Living in a "non-swing state", Shea knows his individual vote will have no affect on the outcome of the election. He can vote "third party" all he wants, and his vote will be pretty much meaningless. He can play the "I didn't vote for Hillary" game all he wants and bask in the glow of his superiority.

I find it troubling that he would consider voting for Clinton if he lived in a swing state, like Ohio or Florida, and that he actually urges voters there to vote for her. He goes on, "The only thing I would argue is that support for Trump simply cannot be squared with the Catholic faith".

Obviously, Clinton's views can't be squared with the Catholic faith either, but Shea maintains that because Pope Benedict XVI says it is morally permissible to vote to lessen evil, a Catholic can vote for Hillary Clinton because her evil is less than Trump's evil.

I'm not quite so sure that either one is less evil than the other. I could never vote for either candidate. Choosing between Trump or Clinton is like choosing whether you prefer mustard or mayo on your fecal sandwich.

Shea says to abstain from voting is the final act of nihilist irresponsibility. Well, if that's true, what do you call voting for a third party candidate who has absolutely zero chance of being elected?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Mike Tyson's Time Traveling Fan

In Oct. 2010, in a post entitled Time Traveler with Big Feet I posted a Youtube video - Chaplins Time Traveler - which contains film footage taken outside the 1928 premier of Charlie Chaplin's silent film, The Circus which, some believe, shows an old woman walking in front of a camera talking into a mobile phone; evidence, they say, of time travel.

I have no idea what the woman is actually doing but I do not believe she is a time traveler. Just because I can't explain this odd film, it does not follow that we are witness to someone going back in time.

Now, we have another video, posted to which reportedly shows a person attending the 1995 Peter McNeeley and Mike Tyson heavyweight championship fight, recording the fight on a smart phone. Smart phones, of course, did not exist in 1995. More evidence, some are saying, of time travel.

In the comment section of the article, someone points out that the device in question is most likely a Casio QV-10 which was on the market in 1995. Some argue that a Casio QV-10 would not be held at the angle this device is being held. The resulting video would be sideways when viewed. I've know lots of folks who have held cameras and phones at the wrong angle - without any logical explanation. I would come closer to believing that the person using the Casio was using the camera improperly. Afterall, it was just brought onto the market and the person using the camera may not have been absolutely sure how to use it.

That's easier to believe than the time travel scenario.

The Sibulan Public Market

Every morning, when my son and I take our walk, I take along my camera on the chance that I'll see something I think is worth posting, either on this blog, or Facebook. Naturally, I'll photograph anything I believe to be unusual or out of the ordinary, but some times I will photograph quite ordinary things; what might be looked upon as ordinary here might be consider extraordinary to my friends and family outside Philippines.

As we were walking this morning, it occurred to me that I had never posted photos of the public market taken inside the market. Unfortunately, today was not the ideal day for that.

The photos taken in the fruit and vegetable area did not turn out very well. Due to improper lighting, these photos were blurry and not fit for posting.

When I arrived in the area where pork is usually cut up and sold, I was surprised to find that there was absolutely no pork being sold. No pork - no butchers.

I don't know the exact reason behind this. Perhaps, there was no pork available after yesterday's Lechon Baboy extravaganza. Maybe it was just assumed that people would either be burned out on pork, or content with left-overs. Perhaps the butchers needed the day off.

Of course, I'll have to return another day to get better photos. I just picked the wrong day.

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Lechon Baboy

Today, June 13 is the feast day of St Anthony of Padua and like everyone else in Sibulan, we will have Lechon Baboy for the celebration.

For us, however, there will be two pigs instead of one. The additional pig is in celebration of the baptism of my brother-in-law's infant daughter.

Update: Here is a photo of one of the baboy hours later.

Politicians' Predictable Responses to Orlando Massacre

An American-born man, who had pledged allegiance to ISIS, kills at least 50 people and sends 53 more to the hospital, most in critical condition, early Sunday at a gay nightclub in Orlando and the political class gives predictable responses.

Hillary Clinton states the obvious by calling the attack an act of "terror" and "hate". In a statement, Clinton mentions that the gunman attacked an LGBT nightclub during Pride Month. She failed, however to mention that the gunman was Muslim and the attack occurred during Ramadan.

No one should be surprised that Clinton called for stronger measures to restrict access to guns.

Donald Trump does a victory lap by saying the massacre shows he is right about terrorism.

Associated Press summed it up nicely by reporting that both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton ".....infused their sympathy with statements that favor their presidential aspirations, and the presidential race rolled on".

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Final Bridge Update: We'll Cross That Bridge When We Get To It (Video)

Finally, after nearly three months,the bridge between our apartment and Sibulan is finished and open to traffic.

I was reasonably certain that the bridge would be open in time for Sibulan's festival celebration for the patron saint of the town, St. Anthony of Padua on June 13. Except for a few cosmetic touches, the bridge has been finished for a week or so, although it would not be opened until today, June 12.

The only reason I could see for the delay would be if there was some sort of opening celebration planned. I can't say if there actually was a big tadoo or not. I was awake early this morning (as usual) and looked out toward the bridge at about 6:30 and traffic was already going across. The barriers had to have been removed pretty early.

Yesterday morning, as we were returning from our walk to the market, we saw a large blue truck drive up on the west side of the bridge. There were a couple of workers at the bridge and someone from the truck wanted the barriers removed so they could get across. He was not accommodated.

The short video below shows our first crossing of the bridge by car since March 14. The video shows us driving through Sibulan - past the Catholic Church - and onto the highway. As one can see, Sibulan is preparing for tomorrow's festival.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

You Know Times Are Hard..........

........when James Bond has to drive a pedicab in Philippines.

Banned and Enjoying It

There was a time when I was a frequent visitor to Mark Shea's blog, Catholic and Enjoying It. However, after I was banned from commenting on his blog in August 2015, I stopped reading it. Why should I continue to read someone who will not allow me to leave a comment?

Today, after many months away from his blog, I thought I'd check it out. That is when I discovered a strange post, "Michael Brendan Dougherty Advocates Final Act of Nihilist Irresponsibility." In the post, Shea is is critical of writer Michael Brendan Dougherty's decision to abstain from voting in the 2016 election for POTUS. Like me, Dougherty cannot stomach the thought of voting for either Clinton or Trump and Dougherty will not participate.

Shea maintains that "..........conservatives, above all, have a moral obligation to do all in their power to defeat Trump since it is they and they alone–the Party of Personal Responsibility and the Right Wing Noise Machine–who bred and catechized the base of morons, racists, and misogynists who made him a power in the lend. Sitting this out is just the final act of nihilist irresponsibility by the party that bears 100% of the weight of responsibility for paving the way for this guy".

I don't agree that it is conservatives "alone" who are responsible for the rise of Trump and I resent being labeled with "morons, racists, and misogynists"; as a conservative, I don't fit in with that category.

Secondly, this is the same issue - more or less - that got me banned from Shea's blog to begin with. Shea has made it clear  that he will not vote for a candidate who asks him to support grave and intrinsic evil. I was banned from commenting for saying Shea only votes for perfect candidates.

It's clear that Shea will not vote for Trump. At the risk of being accused of putting words into his mouth, I'm pretty sure he won't cast a vote for Clinton either. So where does that leave Shea?

I can't support Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson because of his pro choice stand on abortion. I don't know if that's a deal breaker for Shea as well, but I think it would be. So then, what other choices does one have? If you're voting your conscience and can't support the Democrat, Republican or Libertarian candidates, who is left to vote for?

American Independent Party candidate, Tom Hoefling might lose Shea's vote over his views on guns.

The American Freedom Party candidate, Robert Whitaker's racism would not be a good fit for Shea either.

The Georgia Right to Life PAC Endorses Darrell Castle of the Constituion Party of the U.S. for President, but is he on the ballot in Washington State where Shea lives, and where does Castle stand on other issues?

Going to, one is given a list of the countless number of  POTUSWANNABES......Right Wing, Left Wing and all points in between. Only two candidates on the list have a snowball's chance in Cebu of being elected.

Basically, your choices are Clinton, Trump, some unelectable candidate, or not voting. Considering our choices, I don't see how not voting can be the "final act of nihilist irresponsibility", as Shea puts it.

I haven't been keeping up with Shea's blog enough to know if he has publicly endorsed anyone. I guess I'll never know. I'd ask him, but I'm banned from leaving a comment on his blog.

Friday, June 10, 2016

June 10th Gardening Update

I make a short visit to the property in Magatas this morning. Thanks to the recent rains, the butternut squash plants are surviving. I was hoping before checking the plants today that they'd be doing a little better, but all things considered, I should be grateful that the squash is going as well as it is.

In an earlier post, I noted that my wife's papa would be transplanting cucumber plants along side of the fence. From what I saw this morning, it doesn't appear that he's done that yet.

I've given up on the zucchini. None of the zucchini seeds have germinated and I doubt they ever will. I'm about to give up on the sweet pepper seeds as well. It's been two weeks since I began germinating the peppers and none have sprouted.

I am. however, having luck with the cantaloupe. The cantaloupe seeds are the latest seeds that I've put out and I have two sprouts so far. I wrote that I would be moving the soil dug up for the piggery septic tank and make use of it to plant the cantaloupes. I haven't moved the soil yet, but should begun that project after the festival.

Sibulan Preparing for the Festival

June 13th the feast day of St Anthony of Padua is almost here and Sibulan is getting ready for the celebration of the town's patron saint.

As mentioned before, the bridge between Brgy. Cangmating and Brgy. Poblacion is nearly complete, and farmers have been setting upon the roads into town in order to sell pigs destined to become the lechon baboy so popular on special occasions.

Tents have been set up in the Poblacion area for vendors to sell to the large crowds who will gather there Monday. Typically, vendors gather in Poblacion on the 13th of the month for a makeshift flea market of sorts and it should be even bigger this coming 13th. These photos show only the beginning; many more vendors will arrive between now and then.

The Penultimate Bridge Update

When I wrote on June 1st the bridge project would be finished before the June 13 festival for St. Anthony of Padua, I actually believed that the work would be completed before then.

Except for a few cosmetic touch ups, the bridge is essentially finished. As can be seen in these photos, there have been a number of these touch ups done in the past 10 days. Street lights were being put up on both sides of the bridge this morning.There isn't any real reason why traffic across the bridge cannot resume.

The latest rumor has it that the bridge will be opened on Sunday, June 12th, the day before the festival. The only reason I can see for the delay would be that a ceremony is planned for that day. Perhaps.

Be that as it may, I hope this is indeed the penultimate bridge update. We'll know soon enough.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Thanksgiving Rooster

In a recent blog post, a friend wrote of two roosters owned by his nephew and niece, and the roosters' ultimate demise. Spoiler alert! The roosters are eventually cooked and eaten.

Dom's mentioning of the roosters being eaten reminded me of something from my childhhood. I can't recall the exact year. It was so long ago, that I am the only person in this story still living. My youngest brother and sister weren't even born yet, so that gives some of you an idea of just how long ago that was.

It wasn't my first Thanksgiving, but it's the first Thanksgiving I can remember, and I'm not 100% confident of the reliability of this memory. We - my parents, my brother Rod and myself - lived on what was then called Bankhead Highway in Atlanta. My parents didn't have a lot of money. We were so poor, in fact, that we could not afford a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. Through the magic of movies and television, this five or six year-old knew one was supposed to have turkey on Thanksgiving, and I was surprised to learn that my mother had cooked a rooster. The story was, we were given the rooster by a friend of my Mother.

Looking back, this seems so odd to me. Not that we couldn't afford a turkey, but why we would have to eat a rooster rather than a hen. We had often eaten chicken.......why should this time be different?

At any rate, my mother prepared the rooster and put it in the oven for roasting. When the time came for carving the rooster, it was discovered that my mother had neglected to remove the innards before cooking the bird. The liver, gizzard, heart - the whole shebang were cooked inside the bird.

Thinking it might be, uh, foul, the entire rooster was thrown out.

After all these many years, I have to wonder how much of this story happened the way I remember. As I said earlier, it seems strange to me that we would have had to resort to rooster rather than chicken. Knowing my Dad, it's within the realm of possibility that he may have told my brother and me that it was a rooster. It could have very well have been a turkey, as far I know.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

What About the Libertarian?

In 2008 when it became clear that John McCain would be the Republican candidate for President, and I believed the Democrats would pick Hillary Clinton over the then relatively unknown Barack Obama, I originally supported the Libertarian Party candidate Bob Barr for President.

Generally speaking, I tend to agree with the Libertarian Party on quite a few issues - particularly on the role of the government and fiscal policies. Where I usually differ from the Libertarian Party is on the subject of abortion. Libertarians very often express "pro-choice" views on abortions. I could support Barr in 2008 because this was the one area where, like me, he differed from his fellow Libertarians.

Now, with the choices given us by the Democrats and Republicans - probably Trump vs Clinton - I cannot support either Party and am looking at the Libertarian Party once again.

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson has been appearing on cable television and at first glance, he seems to be more "reasonable" than either of the "main stream" candidates. Of course, I'd want to look into his positions.

When the issue relates to Homeland Security,Health Care,Gun Control,Government Reform, I have very little disagreement with Johnson. His support for the the legalization of marijuana seems reasonable to me, as well - although unlike Johnson, I do not smoke marijuana.

I differ with Johnson on the legalization of same sex so-called "marriage" , but I agree that "the government ought to get out of the marriage business." On Fox news Special Report today, Tucker Carlson hit him with a polygamy versus same sex "marriage" question that had Johnson on the ropes. Johnson believes the Federal government was right to legalize SSM but maintains the issue of polygamy should be left up to the individual States......a bit of a contradiction.

Unfortunately, in spite of the fact that I might agree with Johnson more often than I disagree (which can't be said about Trump or Clinton) Johnson's "pro-choice" views are a deal breaker for me. For me, I believe the un-born child is a human being and as a human being cannot live or die on the choice of the woman.

In 2008, when it became clear that Barack Obama would be the Democrat nominee over Clinton, I felt that Obama might be worse than either McCain or Clinton, who I identified as two peas in a pod. I held my nose, and voted for McCain. I won't do that again.

I cannot vote for either Clinton or Trump under any circumstances. Unfortunately, this time around,I can't support the Libertarian either.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Dump with Trump

From China

"While presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has made his appeal to blue-collar supporters by ranting on how China has taken US jobs and made money off US consumers, his face just helped Chinese manufacturers make another money-grab by selling to Americans toilet papers with his various facial expressions on them".

And one can buy a roll for your Hillary Clinton Caganer.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Road Trip to Tanjay

Saturday morning, after being cooped up all week, my wife and I really wanted to get out and about. My wife had found a photo of the Mangrove Boardwalk in Tanjay and suggested we go there. Suits me.

We thought it would be nice to have another kid along to keep our son company. A phone call was made to one of his aunts to check if a cousin could come. Since we had room in the car, the aunt and two of my son's cousins would ride along with us.

The Mangrove Boardwalk in Tanjay is a mangrove swamp that has been made into a park for tourists. According to

"Mangrove swamps are found along tropical and subtropical coastlines throughout the world, usually between 25° N and 25° S latitude. The mangrove swamp is an association of halophytic trees, shrubs, and other plants growing in brackish to saline tidal waters of tropical and subtropical coastlines. This coastal forested wetland (called a “mangal” by some researchers) is infamous for its impenetrable maze of woody vegetation, unconsolidated peat, and many adaptations to the double stresses of flooding and salinity. Approximately 68 species of mangrove trees exist in the world. Their uneven distribution is thought to be related to continental drift and possibly to transport by primitive humans. Mangrove swamps are dominant particularly in the Indo-West Pacific region, where they have the greatest diversity of species—30 to 40 species of mangroves, compared with about 10 species in the Americas".

While everyone was getting ready, I searched online to find directions. Getting to Tanjay would be easy. As a matter of fact, we have driven to Tanjay a few weeks ago when Sibulan was having an electric brown out. We'd just hit the highway and go north.

Locating the Mangrove Boardwalk would be a different matter. I was able (yesterday) to find the location on Google maps, although using the map for directions might be tricky. The roads leading in were not named, and I wasn't certain that we might not come across other unnamed roads not shown on Google maps and be lead off into areas we didn't want to go.

As an aside - I wanted to include a screen shot of the Google map I looked at yesterday, but I was unable to find a map today showing the location of the Mangrove Boardwalk......not even with my browser's history.

We decided to simply drive to Tanjay and ask for directions to the Boardwalk when we arrived in the city. In Tanjay, we stopped at an eatery and my wife and sister-in-law talked to a couple having lunch. The conversation was in Bisaya, so I would have to rely on the two women.

Soon, we were back on the highway, going north. It became clear that whatever direction we received were of very little use to us. We noticed a road sign for Luca Boardwalk. This didn't jibe with our directions, but I had seen a road on Google maps going to Luca pier which was north of the boardwalk.

Taking this road lead us to a dead end with no mention of the Mangrove Boardwalk. The road at the dead end was a bit cramp, but I was able (just barely) to turn around. Fortunately, at the dead end, there was a tricycle picking up a family to take them to a funeral or wedding, or some special event. The driver said he'd be driving right past the road that would take us where we wanted to go, so we could follow him.

Thanks to the driver, we found our road. He would not accept a tip from us.

We arrived at the Boardwalk, no worse for wear. Leaving, we had absolutely no problem finding the highway, but don't ask me for directions.