Saturday, April 29, 2017

Fahrt ins Glück

Having finished reading the the top ten best sellers of 1917, I went on to Jerusalem by Selma Lagerlöf. Now, having finished Jerusalem I've gone back to reading the works of Elizabeth von Arnim. Armin's novel Vera was the last book I read in 2017 and going into 2016, I immediately read four more novels by Arnim. Another of her novels, Christine was included in the top ten best sellers of 2017, published under the nom de plume Alice Cholmondeley.

I've downloaded and begun reading Arnim's Princess Priscilla's Fortnight.

In 1929, Princess Priscilla's Fortnight was made into a silent film - released with English subtitles as The Runaway Princess and with German subtitles as Priscillas Fahrt ins Glück. I've looked online for the film, but have been unable to find a copy. It's interesting to note that quite a few German films have been made with "Fahrt ins Glück" in the title. Google translates the phrase as "ride into happiness".

Jerusalem - Part Two

I'm three quarters through Selma Lagerlöf's Jerusalem. I knew I would enjoy reading this novel after reading Elizabeth von Arnim's praise of it in her novel Christine. I haven't been disappointed. The wikipedia description of Jerusalem follows:

"The narrative spans several generations in the 19th century, and focuses on several families in Dalarna, Sweden, and a community of Swedish emigrants in Jerusalem. It is loosely based on a real emigration that took place from the parish of Nås in 1896."

The true to life emigration in 1896 involved a group of Swedish co-religionists - what we might call a cult today. In the novel, the majority of the families in Dalarna, Sweden are Lutheran and the introduction of this messianic Protestant sect into the area disrupts life in the town. Families are torn apart and friendships end.

In the introduction to Jerusalem Henry Goddard Leach quotes Swedish composer Hugo Emil Alfvén's description of Lagerlöf -

"Selma Lagerlöf is like sitting in the dusk of a Spanish cathedral.......afterward one does not know whether what he has seen was dream or reality, but certainly he has been on holy ground."

An apt description.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Bill Nye - Open Mouth, Insert Foot

Being an old fart myself - I'm 2 1/2 years older than Bill Nye - I was spared the trauma of having grown up watching Bill Nye the Science Guy on TV. Fortunately, I was an adult when that program originally aired from September 10, 1993, to June 20, 1998 and consequently, it's fairly easy for me to see Bill Nye, not as a "science guy", but as the windbag he is.

During the 13th and last episode of Nye’s Netflix series, "Bill Nye Saves the World", entitled "Earth’s People Problem", Nye advocates that governments should consider punishing people in the developed world for having "extra kids." Thankfully, everyone else appears to disagree with Nye on this. He's being criticized by National Review,The Federalist, New Republic, Lifesite News,Mark Shea, and Matt Archbold, to name just a half dozen.

I believe Mark Shea summed it up best when he wrote:
"Curiously, those who go about deciding who the 'extras' are never number themselves in the ranks of excess humanity, perhaps because they never give any indication of having an excess of humanity."

When it comes to science, I'd probably turn to Louis Nye first before listening to Mr.Bill.

Where there's fire..........

The city of Dumaguete now employs "smoke free enforcers" to see that the city's ban on public cigarette smoking is being followed. While I support every effort to ban tobacco smoke, I also wonder if something can be done to eliminate the burner of trash and refuse.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Having read the top ten best selling novels of 1917, I've decided to start reading Jerusalem by the Swedish writer Selma Lagerlöf. In book #6 on the list, Christine (written by Elizabeth von Arnim and presented under her anonymous pen-name Alice Cholmondeley) the heroine mentions to her mother, in a letter, that her fiancé had given her a copy of Lagerlöf's novel. The character, Christine spoke highly of the novel, and I wanted to see what von Armin found so enjoyable as to make mention of it.

I haven't gotten so far along into the novel, but I'm finding it an enjoyable read - I've already begun looking into what other works by Lagerlöf I might download and read in the near future.

Jerusalem can be found at Project Gutenberg.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Dumaguete's Chinese Bell Church

I've been residing outside Dumaguete for three years, and before moving here, I had traveled here - off and on - for nearly 17 years. I was certain that I knew all there was to know about the city and its sights. However, I was very surprised, recently to learn of the Chinese Bell Church.

The church is located in an area where I hadn't roamed until a few weeks ago, and I probably would never had discovered the church had it not been for the repair work being done on one of the bridges that crosses the Banica River. It was while taking this detour that I first spotted the Chinese Bell Church.

This afternoon, I drove out to the church for photos - I took more than 75 photos. Of course, I won't be posting all of those here.

Naturally, I wanted to post a few of these onto the Google Maps website. In addition to these sample photos, I'm also including a map to the church.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Uncle Meat

Speaking of Facebook notifications, I learned yesterday, that April 21 was the 48th anniversary of the release of The Mothers of Invention's fifth LP, (Zappa's sixth) Uncle Meat.

Although I was a fan of the Mothers, it was only recently that I listened to the entire album. When Uncle Meat was released, I had copies of Freak-Out!, Absolutely Free and We're Only In It For The Money. As far as I can recall, I had only heard portions of the LP that an acquaintance of mine owned. The little I heard at the time did not convince me to run out and get a copy for myself.

That's my loss, of course.

Listening to the LP today (thanks to Spotify) I understand that the work was ahead of its time. I could not appreciate the LP at the time. There are many today that still cannot appreciate Uncle Meat, but after years of listening to Zappa, Edgard Varèse, and Igor Stravinsky, I can say, although it's hardly Easy Listening, I do easy listening to Uncle Meat .

Scheduled Brownout for Tomorrow

The photo accompanying this post is of a press release from Negros Oriental II Electric Cooperative (NORECO II) informing us of a scheduled power outage coming tomorrow, Sunday, April 23, 2017. The text of the press release was posted onto Facebook and follows below:


NORECO II regrets to inform you that there will be a scheduled power service interruption

Date of Interruption : April 23, 2017 (Sunday)

Time : 7:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M.

Areas Affected :
Part of Tandayag, Amlan
Entire area of San Jose, Sibulan, Dumaguete City, Valencia, Bacong, Dauin, Zamboanguita and Siaton

(Pulantubig, Bagacay, Dauin and Siaton substations will be

REASON : NGCP will de-energize its Amlan-Siaton 69kV transmission line which conveys power to our Pulantubig, Bagacay, Dauin and Siaton substations to conduct the following activities:
1. Replacement of parallel groove clamps to wedge type connectors at str. # 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 14, 24, 32, 43, 45, 48, 49, 57, 58, and 59;
2. APMS of Amlan-Siaton 69kV transmission line HVE’s and
3. Replacement of line PT phase-B and C.

(This is a re-scheduling of the canceled power service interruption last February 19, 2017)

All works may be finished ahead of time and power may be restored earlier than scheduled, so please consider the lines always energized. Member-customer-owners in the affected areas are advised to take the necessary precautions.

NORECO II apologizes for this inconvenience.

Thank you.

More Strange Behavior from Google Maps

In one of yesterday's posts, [Google Maps' Strange Behavior] I posted a number of screen shots of the number of individual places Google Maps which had credited me for having photographed. The numbers ranged from 619 - down to 613 - up to 630 and back to 619, without my having added (or deleted) any photos after 619 was reached. At the end of that post, I wrote that I believed the final total of 619 to be the correct number.

Later, yesterday afternoon, I uploaded a photo for a motorcycle dealer located near St. Paul Univ. - Wheeltek. I was given credit for that photo, putting the total at 620. I did not, however take a screen shot of that total.

When I awoke this morning, I went to the Google Maps website and discovered that I am now being credited with having uploaded photos for 632 places. I have no explanation as to why 12 additional places were credited last night while I slept.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Patrol Boat Outpost

As I mentioned in an earlier post, while on my morning walk today, I took a detour in search of the AA Prawn Hatchery. I was unable to locate the elusive hatchery and speculated in the earlier post, that it may been an invisible hatchery in much the same way as Biringan City is believed by some to be an invisible city in Samar province.

Not having located the prawn hatchery, I could not photograph it. I did, however, come upon an outpost for a patrol boat. Not only was I able to photograph the outpost, but I managed to get a photo of the patrol boat as well.

Google Maps' Strange Behavior

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had recently added two new locations to Google Maps. Not only have I added locations recently, but I've uploaded new photos of preexisting locations to the website as well.

Being a "Local Guide" for Google Maps, I get "points" for each individual place that I photograph. Earlier this week, I had taken photos of seven different locations. A screen shot of my "points" prior to my uploading these new photos showed that I had 612 places with photos. After uploading the seven, Google increased that number to 619. Naturally, 612 plus 7 equals 619.

Later the same day, I went back to the website where upon it said I had only 613 places with photos. No explanation.

At a later point, I went back and found Google Maps had given me points for 630 places with photos. Still, no explanation.


Now, today the number is back to 619, which is probably the correct total.

I'm not making money off this - it's not like Google adsense. I don't get anything for these photo points. However, even though this is just a hobby for me, I would like to see an accurate count. Is that too much to ask?

The Invisible Prawn Hatchery

I'll be the first to admit that I haven't done as much for Google Maps as I have in the past. I did add two additional locations this week - Dr. Palma Jane Limpiado - Lozano Dental Clinic and Hemispheres Travel and Tours- but these two were the first I've added in quite a while.

I've been noticing a new sign along the street going from Cangmating to Poblacion, Sibulan - AA Prawn Hatchery -. While on my morning walk today, I thought I'd take a little detour and locate the hatchery, take photos and perhaps add the hatchery to Google Maps. I had been down this little side road before, before the new sign was put up along the road and I didn't recall seeing anything in that area that looked like a hatchery.

The road isn't very long; it basically goes behind the Sibulan ice factory. It does lead to paths that go to the beach and there are several houses and shacks along the road. I couldn't find a hatchery, however. Perhaps this prawn hatchery is an invisible hatchery - a place similar to the the invisible city located somewhere in Samar province, Biringan City, believed to be home of spirits known as the Engkanto.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Nearly Finished With 1917

I've finished reading book nine on the list of the top ten best sellers of 1917 - The Definite Object by Jeffery Farnol, and I'm about one quarter of the way through number ten, The Hundredth Chance by Ethel M. Dell.

In an earlier post, when I was just starting The Definite Object, I had high hopes for this novel. It started out with comedic elements, but unfortunately, it soon became a rather boring and trite work. Although published in 1917, the story takes place in 1910. The story reminds me of typical "romantic" comedies in the early days of "talkies". Coming before the advent of sound motion pictures, the book was obviously not influenced by the early movies, but I think it's possible that many of those early romantic movies could have been influenced by the author, Jeffery Farnol. Farnol wrote over 40 romantic novels, with many being very successful.

Dell's The Hundredth Chance was reviewed by at least 5 people and rated by 30 more at, receiving an average rating of 3.64 out of 5. One reviewer wrote:

"Wikipedia describes Dell's typical novel as containing: 'a very feminine woman, an alpha male, a setting in India, passion galore liberally mixed with some surprisingly shocking violence and religious sentiments sprinkled throughout.' The Hundredth Chance is not set in India, but it does contain every other element in that list, with an emphasis on surprisingly shocking violence. Every other chapter seems to contain a beating or assault: a man beating his twenty-five-year-old step-daughter because he thinks she needs a good spanking (appalling enough on its own, but Dell adds a sexual component to make it even worse); the hero beating various animals and stable workers and threatening others (he takes alpha male to a new level); and long before the invention of roofies, a man slipping a drug into a woman's drink for nefarious purposes. All very disturbing."

That pretty much sums it up.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Toy Truck Inc. and Google Maps.

Toy Truck Inc. is the rather unusual name of a truck dealership on the National Highway in Brgy. Maslog, Sibulan.

A few months ago, I attempted to add its location to Google Maps. Adding a missing location onto Google Maps can be hit or miss. Sometimes my edits are published immediately, sometimes it takes a bit longer, and there are some additions that get rejected without any explanation. When I attempted to add Toy Truck Inc., I was actually surprised that it was published then and there and I was able to add a photo immediately.

Unfortunately, seconds after my edit was published, I noticed that I had made a typo and had given the location the name of Tot Trucks Inc. - easy enough, the "T" and "Y" are next to each other on the keyboard. I tried to edit the location and get the proper name of the dealership. Google Maps would not approve of the edit. As a matter a fact, I've tried quite a few times over the past few months to correct the error, but Google Maps was not having it.

I decided this morning that my post for today would be the tale of my frustration at trying to get this name right. I would attempt the correction once more today before writing the post. Lo, and behold - the edit was accepted!

I've taken a screen shot of the edits page showing where the name was approved as well as an earlier rejection. I also took a screen-shot showing the correct name on the Google Maps link. There's the possibility that the correction might be rejected again. The screen-shots will back me up, whatever happens.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Crucifying Filipinos

For several years, it has become an annual event for news sources  around the world to report on Filipinos voluntarily crucifying themselves on Good Friday. While these news reports are true, I'm afraid the stories give outsiders a distorted view of the Filipino people.

Contrary to what some headlines might have one believe, these self-crucifixions are not a common practice in the country. I have never witnessed it first-hand and I don't know anyone who has. The practice is condemned by both the Catholic Church and health officials and is, for the most part, done in Pampanga - province north of Manila. The people of this province aren't in the main stream of Philippines; the people speak Kapampangan  (a language confined to that area) and not Tagalog.

The annual crucifixions are pretty much the brain child of Ruben Enaje, a Filipino carpenter, sign painter, and former construction worker, who was crucified for the 31st year in a row on Good Friday, 2017.

According to a wikipedia article, 2013 was supposed to have been Enaje's final year to be crucified. He had promised God that he would undergo crucifixion 27 times, but he has not yet found a replacement.

I'm not surprised.

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Via Crucis In Sibulan

Today, being Good Friday, we did what nearly everyone in Philippines does - walk in the Via Crucis processionFor those unfamiliar with this tradition, it is a commemoration of 14 "events" (called stations) which took place during Christ's passion on the day of His crucifixion:

1 Pilate condemns Jesus to die
2 Jesus accepts his cross
3 Jesus falls for the first time
4 Jesus meets his mother, Mary
5 Simon helps carry the cross
6 Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
7 Jesus falls for the second time
8 Jesus meets the three women of Jerusalem
9 Jesus falls for the third time
10 Jesus is stripped of his clothes
11 Jesus is nailed to the cross
12 Jesus dies on the cross
13 Jesus is taken down from the cross
14 Jesus is placed in the tomb

Every Catholic parish in Philippines will have its own Via Crucis today and we participated in the Stations of the Cross for San Antonio de Padua Parish.

The procession began at the Church at approximately 4:30 AM. We walked north along Western Nautical Highway - turning left at Calingacion Street. From there we turned right onto Divina Gracia Street until we came to the National Highway south of the Church. Turning right on to the highway, we walked down the highway until we reached San Antonio Street - taking San Antonio back to the Church, for a total distance of about 6 kilometers - approximately 4 3/4 miles.

The photos I'm posting here were taken by my neighbor, Vern as the Via Crucis passed our apartment building in Cangmating after the 12th Station. It was before sunrise when we started this morning and I knew it would be useless for me to carry my camera.

Being in the middle of the crowd, it is impossible for me to get a realistic idea of how many people walked in today's procession. My neighbor, who watched as the crowd walked down San Antonio Street, estimated the number of people to be close to 10,000.

The procession took about 2 hours to complete - we did have to stop at each of the 14 Stations, after all. It was between 5 and 6 AM as we walked down the long stretch of highway, stopping traffic along the way. I had very little sympathy for the cars and buses waiting for the thousands of people to make their way; Filipinos have been following this tradition for hundreds of years and anyone attempting to drive on Good Friday should know what to expect.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Another Photo Takes Number One Spot

I noted in March that my photos uploaded to Google Maps had been viewed more than 1,000,000 times. Now, the total number of views has exceeded 1,300,000. At the time of that post, my photo of Manhattan Suites Inn on South Road Calindagan, in Dumaguete was the one with the most views of any of my photos - 30,104 views. As I noted in that post, I was surprised to learn that my photo of the St. Joseph parish church on Pope John Paul II Ave. in Cebu City had overtaken the number two spot.

Today I learn that the St. Joseph parish church has reached the number one spot with over 32,000 views. Also, surprisingly, my photo of Our Mother of Perpetual Help Redemptorist Church in Dumaguete has become the third place photo. I especially like that result because this is the church where my wife, my son and I attend Mass.

Where Does the Spin Stop?

When I was living and working in the U.S., I rarely found the time to watch the O'Reilly Factor on TV. Now that I'm retired and living halfway around the world, I must say that the show on Fox News has become my favorite morning television program.

Needless to say, I was completely shocked by news that the show may not return after Bill's "vacation". Claims that O'Reilly has sexually harassed a number of women have led many to speculate that his show will be canceled and his vacation may be permanent.

Of course I have no way of knowing if the allegations against O'Reilly are true; I'd like to believe that the accusations are false. However, if true then it's goodbye Bill.

The Starfish

Normally, I take my morning walk at about 7:00 AM after I've returned home from taking my son to school, but today, because school is out for the remainder of Holy Week, I left the apartment a little earlier than usual. While walking to the market, I came upon this starfish drying on the sidewalk.

Obviously, someone found the starfish along the beach and left it where I found it.

The top photo was taken when I first discovered the starfish on the way to the market. I hadn't considered taking it home until after I had arrived at the market. On the way home, I put the starfish into a plastic bad I found on the street nearby and placed in outside our apartment. It's difficult getting an idea of its size in a photo; I measured the starfish at its longest point - from the tip of one arm to another - and it is 6 1/2 inches long.

Following the advice I found online, I am drying the starfish in salt to preserve it When it has completely dried out, I can place it near my brain coral.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

A New Beetle

Although this particular Beetle is a newer model and not the classic Beetle like those that I've been featuring in this blog, there are two reasons for my taking a photograph of it. One, of course is so I can post the photo onto this blog, and secondly, because it is parked in front of the Tiki Restaurant, I have yet one more photo to add to Google Maps.