Friday, February 24, 2017

Christine Wildfire

I mentioned in an earlier post that reading book #5 in the list of the top ten best sellers of 1917 would be like pulling teeth. The book is Wildfire by Zane Grey. I'm not a particular fan of Westerns, but  I've slogged my way through 50% of the novel. It's as boring as I thought it would be; I've made it a goal to read all ten of the novels and I'll finish this one, come Hell or high water.

In order to make my way through Wildfire, I've begun reading #6 - Christine by Alice Cholmondeley (Elizabeth von Arnim). I've only just begun Christine but it is a pleasant change of pace. In spite of the fact that the novel is not as it was presented to be in 1917, von Arnim has become one of my favorite writers, and the character of Christine is very charming. Presented as truth in 1917, the novel is actually an anti-German propaganda piece written to encourage the Americans to enter World War I on the side of Great Britain.

As I said, I'll continue to slog my way through the Zane Grey novel, but switching over to von Armin from to to time should make it easier.

Dumaguete's New One Way Streets

In order to get a handle on the horrific traffic problems in Dumaguete, the powers that be have initiated a plan to increase the number of one way streets in the city. Prior to the initiation of this plan, three of the four main north/south arteries - Rizal Blvd., Perdices, Real and Cervantes streets - were already one way from 6 AM until 8 PM. Now, a number of streets running east/west, which had previously allowed traffic in both directions, are now one way only.

The police in Dumaguete had recently begun to take double parking seriously. This increased enforcement had eased some of the traffic snafus and many are hoping the new one way streets will improve the situation even more.

Yesterday, my wife and I had reasons to travel into the city twice. That morning, I needed to go to the immigration office on Dr V Locsin street to get information concerning my annual report due soon. It was around 9:30 AM as we passed Lee Plaza - the traffic appeared to be flowing smoothly. It's difficult to say from this incident how well the traffic will improve; at that time of day, the traffic in front of Lee Plaza isn't usually a problem.

In the afternoon, I drove my wife to the Manulife office near Robinson's Mall. This would be the ultimate test of the new traffic regulations. Unfortunately, the bridge crossing the Banica river on Perdices street is being widened now, and this repair work is causing a traffic jam around the Ceres Bus terminal. However, other than the jam caused by the bridge repair, the traffic on the south side of town seems to have improved slightly.

All in all, I'd say the one way street scheme appears to be of some help. It will bring about a on my old routes for getting from A to B, but I can adapt.

Yes, the one way streets have helped, but I'm afraid the traffic situation won't be 100% smooth flowing until something is done about the number of tricycles in the city and until the city deals with the lack of parking spaces available for automobiles.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Toy Car

The owner of this blue VW Beetle, photographed this morning on Hibbard Avenue near Silliman University, obviously believes it to be a toy car.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A New Blue VW Beetle

I came upon this baby blue VW Beetle while driving west on E Rovira Dr - not far from Ms Ann's Foodtown.

The color reminded me of a baby blue VW that I photographed in December. However, this Beetle has white bumpers and running boards, while the December Beetle did not. Not only that, I met the owner of the December Beetle and he is not the type to drive a vehicle with chipped paint.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Melania's "Lord's Prayer" Evokes Typical Responses.

Melania Trump opens a Melbourne, Florida Trump rally by reciting the Lord's prayer and the reactions are just as we'd expect.

The anti-Trumpers are condemning her for committing the worse offense imaginable from a Leftist's prospective, while not surprisingly, Fox News came to her defense.

Some of the nicer criticisms came in the cries guessed it....."separation of church and state". But as sanely points out, the First Lady did what several U.S. Presidents (from Obama to George Bush) have done - demonstrate their Christian faith publicly and openly. Besides, not being an elected official, Melania Trump is not the government.

I know that there are some who are declaring that this is the end of world as we know it, as Trump's Fascist Dictatorship takes over. Others are proclaiming that America has returned to its Christian roots and Greatness.

Most everyone is over reacting.

To the Trump lovers, I'd point out that not everyone prays the Protestant version of the Lord's Prayer. I would have rather she not done it, but I'm not having a conniption over this. To the Trump haters, I'd just say, "Relax and breathe. Take a chill-pill and give it a rest".

Peppa Gets Another Try.

I mentioned in Peppa's Latest Adventure that three weeks after the attempt to get the first pig pregnant we would know if the attempt was successful.

My wife's Papa came over this morning to tell us that Peppa had gone into heat again. So, obviously. she isn't pregnant. He'd have to contact the owner of the boar for another try.

I failed to mention that a week or so following the attempted breeding of Peppa, the other pig, Olivia went into heat. Again, we'll know if she's pregnant if she fails to go itno heat next go 'round.

Mark Shea's Quintessential Trump Hatred

During the 2016 election campaign I made it very clear on this blog that I did not support either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for POTUS. On more than one occasion, I stated that choosing between either candidate was much like being asked if you prefer mustard or mayo on your fecal sandwich.

In a post from last April, I opined that Trump's narcissism was even greater than Obama's - which is off the charts. Trump is Obama squared. In one post, I even went so far as to call  Trump - Benito Mussolini with (Bad) Hair.

However, with all that said, after Trump was elected, I was willing to give Trump a chance.

Others, on the other hand, have increased their anti-Trump rhetoric. Blogger Mark Shea has one of the worst cases of Trump Derangement Syndrome of anyone on the Internet. In a recent post, Shea maintains that Trump's ongoing battle with the Press shows Trump to be in the same league as Stalin, Chairman Mao, and worst of all, Richard Nixon.

Shea goes on to show how evil Trump is by posting a quote from Thomas Jefferson regarding the Press -

The way to prevent these irregular interpositions of the people is to give them full information of their affairs thro’ the channel of the public papers, and to contrive that those papers should penetrate the whole mass of the people. The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” – Thomas Jefferson, 16 Jan 1787

Shea's use of Jeffersonian quotes is not unlike some folks' use of the Bible to prove whatever point they might hold. Just as you can find any number of contradictory quotes from the Bible to prove whatever you may believe, the same can be done with Thomas Jefferson.

Below are a few examples of Jefferson's disdain for the Press:

"From forty years' experience of the wretched guess-work of the newspapers of what is not done in open daylight, and of their falsehood even as to that, I rarely think them worth reading, and almost never worth notice." --Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 1816. ME 14:430

"Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day." --Thomas Jefferson to John Norvell, 1807. ME 11:224

"As for what is not true, you will always find abundance in the newspapers." --Thomas Jefferson to Barnabas Bidwell, 1806. ME 11:118

"Advertisements... contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper." --Thomas Jefferson to Nathaniel Macon, 1819. ME 15:179

It's unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any antidote for Trump Derangement Syndrome in its advanced stages, such as the one Mark Shea is in.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Gold Bug

While driving into Dumaguete from Sibulan this afternoon, I spied this gold & black beetle headed toward the city. This is the closest I was able to get to it, because the driver was moving like a bat out of Hell - AKA a typical Dumaguete driver.

It appears that this is a Beetle I was able to photograph in November.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Further Evidence Regarding the Death of the Intelligent Scammer.

Almost one year ago, February 21, 2016, I had a post entitled Death of the (Reasonably) Intelligent E-mail Scammer where I lamented that one would-be scammer sent an email to me, while pretending to be from Google regarding my Gmail account, sent said email via rather than Gmail.

Someone, somewhere must have fallen for this because I received a similar scam email today from "Google" using an email account.


No imagination.

VW Beetle # 21

It was noted on a local Dumaguete oriented Facebook page, that one of the bridges crossing the Banica River would be temporarily closed for repairs and traffic headed south towards Robinson's Mall would be re-routed. Traffic in Dumaguete is an hair raising adventure at the best of times, and this bridge repair work would guarantee that these would not be the best of times.

I needed to take my wife to work this afternoon to an office not far from Robinson's Mall. That put me slap dab in the middle of a number of  bumfuzzles. One positive outcome, however was the fact that one particular traffic headache put me in a spot where I might not have been otherwise and I was able to take a photo of another Volkswagen Beetle roaming about Dumaguete. This particular one is painted a sort of indigo. In many ways, it looks like some of the blue VWs previously photographed, but even with the similar coloring, the white wheels prove it to be unique among my photos.

Although this post is my 13th VW in Dumaguete posting, it is my 21st VW Beetle due to several being photographed and/or posted together.

Wild Fire

I've finished reading book #4 in the list of top ten best sellers of 1917 - The Road to Understanding by Eleanor H. Porter.

Porter was a very successful writer of children's literature - she is most famous for her novel Pollyanna.  The Road to Understanding was written with more adult readers in mind, though in many ways the plot is a bit too far-fetched for modern readers. I have no complaint with Porter's skill as a writer, the novel held my interest in spite of it's unrealistic (by today's standards) premise.

Next on the top ten list is Wildfire by Zane Grey. I'm not really interested in Westerns;  reading this one may be like pulling teeth, but I'll do my best to finish this one and get on with #6 on the list.

As an aside, this post contains a little Zane Grey joke. If you catch it and respond, you'll win a gift - however, all responses must be in by 2:30.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Trump : Are We Finally On "The Road to Understanding" ?

In a post written in early January, I mentioned that I would download and read the top ten best selling novels of 1917. As I write this, I am on #4 - The Road to Understanding by Eleanor H. Porter.

In Chapter IX - on page 149, the main character, Burke Denby thought this about his father, John Denby :

"What a trump dad had been to offer it! What a trump he had been in the way he offered it, too! What a trump he had been all through about it, for that matter. Not a word of reproach, not a hint of patronage. Not even a look that could be construed into that hated 'I told you so.' Just a straight-forward offer of this check for Helen, and the trip for himself, and actually in a casual, matter-of-fact tone of voice as if ten-thousand-dollar checks and Alaskan trips were everyday occurrences".

I won't go into the full details of the story, but at this point, the younger Denby is very happy about an offer made to him by his father, and to compliment his father, he refers to his father as a trump. In the above paragraph alone, he calls his father a trump three times. In later paragraphs, he again refers to his dad in that way.

After seeing that, I had to check the dictionary in my Kindle. According to Merriem Webster, one of the meanings for the word trump is "a dependable and exemplary person".

My, how things have changed since 1917, when being called a trump was considered a compliment.

It's That Time of the Month

Today is the 13th day of the month so, in Sibulan there is a mini-festival that takes place this time every month in honor of the town's patron saint, St. Anthony of Padua, whose feast day is the 13th of June. Each month, on the 13th day, vendors will gather in the area near the Catholic church.

Later tonight, there will be a Mass which very nearly the whole town will attend. All along the streets, there are also individuals selling candles which are to be burned in an area on the church grounds. Normally, when my wife attends, she'll not buy candles from theses folks on the street, preferring to purchase her candles from the nuns who will be at the church.

While taking my morning walk, I took a few photos of the vendors in front of the church, the elementary school and public park.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

William J. Locke

As I've mentioned in posts before, I've begun reading from the top ten best selling novels of 1917. As of this writing, I finished numbers one and two - Mr. Britling Sees It Through, by H. G. Wells, and The Light in the Clearing, by Irving Bacheller. I'm currently reading # 3 on the list, The Red Planet, by William J. Locke.

World War I was still being fought when these books were published, so it's not surprising that two of these first three concern the Great War. The Light in the Clearing is an historical novel of sorts, but takes place during the time of U.S. President Van Buren.

William J. Locke was a very good writer - five of Locke's books made the top ten best sellers list in the U.S.. I was so impressed with the first few pages of The Red Planet that I considered reading Locke's other top best sellers after I've read all the 1917 books on my list. However, I'll wait and decide on that after I've completed The Red Planet. As I said, Locke was a very good writer, but unfortunately, at this point in the novel, I am not at all fond of the protagonist, Major Meredyth. Major Meredyth appears to be more chauvinistic than I would like - but who knows, in Wells' novel, the character Mr. Britling becomes less enthused with World War I as the novel progressed, so perhaps there will be a change in the character of Major Meredyth as well.