Humor

Two friends we made here in Ecuador decided to sell their homes and move back to the US recently. They enjoyed their time here, but for various reasons had to move on. We will miss them, but wish them the best in the continuing adventure of their lives together. Their departure reminded me of an interesting discussion I saw a few months ago in social media. A blogger was convinced that the “retirement/travel industry” was hiding a deep, dark secret...

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Jerry Seinfeld once pointed out that in surveys, people consistently list "public speaking" as one of their biggest fears. In fact, it usually ranks higher than "fear of death". Mr. Seinfeld points out that this means for most people, if they are at a funeral, they would rather be the one in the box than the one giving the eulogy. This is certainly true for myself, which always surprises people who know me, and some of the things I've done in...

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I wonder how many people know the significance of June 3rd in the world of popular music? And this year, 2016 is the 50th anniversary of this important event. Give up? June 3, 2016 will be 50 years since Billie Joe McAllistar jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge. How many of you just heard a bunch of strings playing a descending scale? I'm speaking of course of the Bobby Gentry song, "Ode to Billie Joe", released in 1967, that starts with the...

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I once saw a quote from a writer, I think it was Robert Heinlein, who said "I don't like writing, but I love having written". It is not quite that bad for me, but I certainly understand where he's coming from. Overall, writing is a very satisfying and rewarding thing to do. But sometimes, the actual process is very annoying. Sometimes you have a phrase or an idea that seems to organize everything. There are times when the words just...

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I have a confession to make. I'm a serial monogamist. I know you're shocked. If you've seen my profile picture, your first thought was probably "Is that Brad Pitt?" Of course, your second thought was probably "Wow, he's really let himself go!" But it's true, all of this good stuff is being wasted on just one woman. It is not that I lack confidence or ego - I dare say I could sexually disappoint more than one woman at a...

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Another picture-perfect day in Salinas. May is a great month here, with most of the snowbirds gone, and kids back in school. We have a lot of days with blue skies, temperatures in the low 80's, and cool breeze coming in off the water. Rita and I took a beach walk in Chipipe yesterday, and plan on going back today for some lunch empanadas and maybe a coco batido. On our walk yesterday, I was marveling once again at all of...

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It was the summer of 1998. On the radio Will Smith was telling us to Get Jiggy With it, Brandy F and Monica were fighting over The Boy, Britany wanted us to Do It Baby One More Time, and Offspring was Pretty Fly (for a white guy). In the theaters, Titanic was sinking, two different asteroids threatened earth (one dealt with by Bruce Willis, the other wiped out Téa Leone), and we were waiting to see if Tom Hanks could Save...

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Facebook is good for a lot of things. You can stay in touch with friends and family around the world, you can share pictures and experiences, and you can find out about different places before you visit. Recently their "Safety Check" feature was very helpful in finding out how our friends were doing after the earthquake, and quickly letting people know we were okay. But it has a dark underside as well. You see some incredibly racist and sexist posts....

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A great benefit of traveling and spending any amount of time in a different country is getting a different perspective on the world. In the US, we tend to think that we have the best of everything, and that everybody in the world would rather be in the US, or at least wants to be like the US. This turns out not to be the case. For example, the trains in Europe are miles (or kilometers, I guess) ahead of Amtrak....

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Let me tell you about one of my proudest moments. I'm not sure why I thought of this today, since it is sunny and close to 90F here on the Pacific Coast of Ecuador, because our story begins on a snowy evening in Washington DC. I was working as a computer and network engineer for the US Senate. Our office was in the basement of the Russell building, and it was time to head to Union Station and catch my...

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