Saturday, May 18, 2013

Beautiful songs

I've been thinking about this for a couple of days now.  I want to share with all of you a beautiful Italian song we have been listening to this weekend.

Some things are just so beautiful in what they say and how they say it.  It doesn't seem right not to share it!

Please don't tell me you don't understand the language—just sit back and enjoy it!  You surely can pick out a few words!  I know that some of you will like this very much, so this is for you!  I'm thinking of you and hoping it takes you back to days gone by—does it?

The artist's name is Salvatore Adamo and the song is called Com'ero vecchio from his album Canto l'amore.  Here are the words for you just following the song.  Beauty is where you find it; hope you enjoy it!  God bless you all!

Dio com'ero vecchio quando non ceri tu
nemmeno nello specchio mi riconosco più
Dio com'ero grigio senza i tuoi colori
e successo quel prodigio che si chiama amore

Seduto in ufficio col colletto inamidato
dietro le sbarre del mio bel vestito rigato
respiravo appena e per poco ci sarei rimasto
ma tu sei venuta un sorriso e mi ai liberato

Dio com'ero vecchio quando non ceri tu
nemmeno nello specchio mi riconosco più
Dio com'ero grigio senza i tuoi colori
e successo quel prodigio che si chiama amore

Mi facevo piccolo per non disturbare la gente
lasciavo lo spazio a chi si credeva importante
e tutti i miei sogni gli schieravo nella mia mente
ma oggi mi ami e di colpo mi sento un gigante

Dio com'ero vecchio quando non ceri tu
nemmeno nello specchio mi riconosco più
Dio com'ero grigio senza i tuoi colori
e successo quel prodigio che si chiama amore

Dio com'ero vecchio quando non ceri tu
nemmeno nello specchio mi riconosco più
Dio com'ero grigio senza i tuoi colori
e successo quel prodigio che si chiama amore

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My reading

I thought some of you might be interested to know what I'm currently reading; it's a book I heard someone mention in passing and which piqued my interest.  After a little investigation I bought it and am presently working my way through it.

First of all I should say that this is not really a contemporary book since it was written in the late seventies and published in 1978.  At this point I presume Mr Mander considered the option he is proposing to be feasable.  I don't think he would, today.

Let me quote you from the back cover:  

"A total departure from previous writing about television, this book is the first ever to advocate that the medium is not reformable.  Its problems are inherent in the technology itself and are so dangerous—to personal health and sanity, to the environment, and to democartic processes—that TV ought to be eliminated forever.

"Weaving personal experiences through meticulous research, the author ranges widely over aspects of tellevision that have rarely been examined and never before joined together, allowing an entirely new, frightening image to emerge. 

"The idea that all technologies are 'neutral', benign instruments that can be used well or badly, is thrown open to profound doubt.  Speaking of TV reform is, in the words of the author, 'as absurd as speaking of the reform of a technology such as guns.'"

 This is well-written book written from a surprising angle.  It's a relatively quick read and I suggest you owe it to yourself to be informed by it.  By his education and experience, this is a Luddite to be reckoned with!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Evil and Stupid: A Waste of Life

Taking a break from holidays for a moment I want to give you all something of value to think about.

When I look back on my life, I realize that I wasted countless hours watching or reading things that were stupid, evil, or both.  I have now come to realize that all these things were a complete waste of time and that I should have separated myself from them.  I would have had a better life.

I don't think the creator put us on earth to have a rotten time of it, but rather to allow us to enjoy our lives and be productive men and women.  Evil and stupid get in the way of us enjoying our lives.  So, the obvious thing would be to separate ourselves from those things, and enjoy the life that God gave us.  Evil and stupid are a waste of life and we should take extra measures in our lives to separate ourselves from them.

Now, I seem to be doing much better in life because I try not to pay attention to most sources of media.  Because the content that is available is not meaningful, does not edify me, and it does not serve any productive purpose.  I have found that avoiding evil and stupid things results in a much more peaceful life.  I try to do my own thinking for myself, rather than trying to understand information that is either stupid or evil.

Evil and Stupid in Movies

Why would I want to go to any violent movie?  I think that these movies are extremely destructive to the mind, and I believe that is the intent of the people who make them.  The intent is to destroy the minds of young people and inflame their minds and souls with evil.

I have watched a fair amount of these movies over the years and I can't think of one good thing that I got out of them; not one thing.  Imagine the stupidity of it—going to a movie on a date and watching violence, murder, and mayhem—how romantic!  Rather than spending quality time together, people pay good money to go see evil and stupid.  These things are a waste of life.

Separating from Stupid and Evil

     Today I was at the store and someone asked me what I was going to do for Halloween.  I told them that "I don't do Halloween" and I gave him the reason why.  I don't believe it is healthy for the mind and soul for a little child to dress up as a dead person.

Somehow, the whole idea of Halloween is grossly misdirected and stupid.  Why would anyone dress up their child as a ghoul or a vampire?  It is just demonic and satanic.  This is also a waste of life.

Children do not need to be exposed to nonsense like that, but this stinking holiday keeps going and going.  It lays the foundation of celebrating death.  This too is a waste of life.  If we could count the hours wasted on this garbage, that alone would be something to contemplate.

Is it several billion hours of life completely wasted on something so evil and stupid.  When looked at in those terms, one can see the damage done to the minds of children all in the name of just a little fun.  What's fun about death?  Again, this is a waste of life.

I try to just mind my own business, but I will point out the stupidity of it.

Avoiding Liars

  When I know I'm just going to hear a bunch of lies, I try to avoid any encounter with that kind of person.  My two big groups of liars are religious and government organizations.

Yes, I believe in God, but I can't stomach religion.  My faith is in the creator and not in any organization.  So by careful avoidance, I try not to waste my life on stupid and evil.  This really does work well and it makes my days more enjoyable.

I don't listen to stupid people or people who lie.  I try to completely avoid this kind of person because they have nothing to offer anyone.

Avoiding the waste of life

Whatever that I have under my control, I do my best not to get involved with stupid and evil because as an older man, I don't want to waste any more of my life on such things.  And while I am tempted sometimes, the fact is, that by measuring my actions along the lines of the commandments and natural law, I find that my life is much better.

In order to get my mind out of the control of other people, I have to severely limit my intake of stupid and evil.  If I can recognize stupid and evil, then I know that it is the fruit of the corrupted tree.

After I see stupid and evil, I then look to whose causing it and why.  And when I look at it this way, I always see a government or a religious person causing trouble.  If there is anything bad in life, the first place I look for the cause is government and religion.

I see this over and over and there is no denying the root cause of the problems of mankind.  So I try not to waste my life being involved with either one.  So far, I'm very happy with the results.

I have one more suggestion to help make life more peaceful.

I try to avoid groups of people.  Whether they be political, religious, or something else, there will always be something about the group that will be offensive to my moral values.

Rather than have to endure such things, I just stay out of these groups and if I had it to do over again, I would keep my wife and children away from them for a myriad of reasons.

Groups of people are dangerous.  If you must be in a group of people, just keep your guard up and don't allow anyone to start doing your thinking for you.  If you see something that is offensive, just know that there is probably going to be more coming down the pike.

I like to talk to people, I don't like groups because I don't trust them; especially government or religious groups.   I refuse to waste my life.  Our minds and our bodies are not made for that kind of idiocy.

Simplicity itself, and an excellent piece of wisdom from Walter Allen Thompson and his blog.  Visit him and get his book of much more in a similar vein.  Thanks, Walter!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Today's outings

The exploration of the Mediterranean island of Sardinia continues with today's report from Raph ...

Hi there !  Hope you had a good day. Here the weather was nice and sunny but with a bit of a  wind  which made it good for hiking. 

This morning we went with a picnic to a park where you can climb about trees using pulleys and cables, just like the one we went to at Arcachon two years ago. 

We had a nice time, then after lunch we went for a walk up a hill where you could see the whole of Porto Conto, the bay with the port, the beaches and the slopes of pines and macchia.
The vegetation is typical of the Mediterranean but also many species are endemic to Sardinia, or at least the corso-sardinian islands. The kids spotted wild rosemary, thyme, a corse-like bush (have to look it up), strawberry tree, and the myrtle (used here to make liqueur and to cook roast pig). 

After our walk we went to visit our first Nuraghe, which is a unique archeological structure dating from 1500 BC (think : around the time of the exodus). 

They only exist in Sardinia, and there are over 7000 sites on the island containing these structures!  The one we visited is called a complex, because it is actually the remains of a whole village. 
The tops of the house were made of wood and straw so are missing but a lot of the stonework is still in place so you can walk around the old alleys, houses complete with paved floors and fireplaces and sometimes doorways.  This complex has two big towers in the centre that are still in very good condition. 
You can walk around inside, peer through the ancient arrowslits, walk into the different vaults and rooms.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Walk at Porto Ferro

This afternoon we went for a walk along the coast at Port Ferro, which lies within a nature reserve stretching from here to Algherro along the coast. 

There is a beach at the end of the inlet but we walked along the tip coast further out where it was rocky. 

You'll see a photo of a very old stone tower which overlooks the entrance of the bay and dates from the Nuraghic period 3500 years ago.  There are over 7000 such buildings in Sardinia, and only here, ranging from small edifices such as this one, to big complexes such as Palmvera (a couple miles from here, we haven't visited it yet). 

The kids were enthused by all the different flowers, you'll see Mouss the young botanist expounding on some flower he found, Susie cuddling her favorite flower, and Tine taking closeup photos for identifying later on. 

The island also seems to be a favourite home and nesting place for Hooded Crows (we don't get them at all in France).  I managed to get a few nice shots of them in the cliffs including one who's up on his tiptoes ready to dive. 
Hooded crow

Amos, the botanist

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Next day...

Next day's report from Raph : "This morning at a beach in Alghero (where signs are bilingual, Catalan/Italian ; read up on it in Wikipedia)."

Davie in the foreground preparing a fort for the tide that never comes !

After in a restaurant tasting the local specialties.

Amos and Claudia went for the mussels and spaghetti, yum !

Friday, May 10, 2013

First days in Sardinia

This one is at Porto Torres right after we got off the ferry. We did our first snorkelling
and got our first sunburns.

This ones is from the place we're renting in Santa Maria la Palma (near Algherro). It's an agristurismo which means the houses are on a farm which also has a restaurant
serving food prepared from their own produce.

Our house for the next two weeks.

We we were able to sample the roast pig on the first evening at the restaurant.
This is a photo of one of the non-roasted ones. 
More news and photos coming ...

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Picture from Sardinia

Raph writes,"This is the view from our balcony in the house we're renting."

More photos coming!

Wednesday, May 08, 2013


Today being the eighth of May we have a national holiday, of course, and all the normal pageantry around the monuments aux morts in each village, as well as the national celebration in Paris on the Champs Elysée.

My email this morning contains a picture with only the word "Ajaccio" as the subject and was taken at 7:30 this morning—just look at that glorious light!

Temperatures here have been very aestival as well almost hitting the low thirties yesterday.  We've waited though a long winter to get to this kind of weather so we're not quick to let it pass!

This morning Christopher, Claire, and Olivier went over to Jonathan & Debbie's house right after breakfast to help him on his projects: today he's laying the foundation for his new room.  All week he's been digging the trench and today's he plans to get some stones in there.  Debbie got some to eat and invited the whole crew to stay and eat lunch there together which makes it a fun day.

Meanwhile Rebecca, who is diligently studying for her exams next week in Montpellier, spent the day revising as I struggle with a rather complicated spreadsheet I have to finish today, if I can.

At noon Becky went out to the greenhouse and brought me back a fresh head of Amos' Batavia lettuce for my daily salad—my pleasure in goat's cheese salads in place of a noon meal is legendary around here!

I sent this picture to the Sardinains with the caption "Thanks Amos !"

Thanks, Amos!


Tuesday, May 07, 2013


We don't devote much bandwidth to Evangeline around here, living as she does in the wilds of Nepal.  But more's the pity and I don't want to deprive you of her glorious photos that do make it through customs every time the moon turns blue.

Here's the latest that just came breezing into my inbox.  I thought you'd like to see this bevy of beauties.  For those of you who may not know us all as well as others, Eva is the one with glasses. :-)

She writes, "I think I haven't sent a photo for a while so here's one, taken with some precious Nepali friends that we often meet with for fellowship and Word.  I find that I don't have as many pictures with me in them any more, I enjoy taking photos of others more now. :)

I saw the recent posting that Raph and family are going to Sardinia, which brings back memories--I went there once with mom when I was really little.  My memories are like movie clips, just short bits--I remember the crackling bread and a white sand beach with clear water that seemed shallow no matter how far I walked.  I think they'll have a lot of fun!"

Meanwhile, on with the expedition!

This photo, just in now, speaks for itself and brings the current adventure going on in Marseilles up to date!

Ready to board!

Monday, May 06, 2013

Off they go!

Well, this is one holiday that has been well-planned and much-talked about!  All weekend Raphaël & Camille and crew were packing and making last minute plans for their visit to Sardinia: and now the day has arrived!

Off at the crack of dawn (just after eight), :) the idea was to make the eight hours they need to get just past the viaduct de Millau and spend the night in a country inn they have used before.

In the evening we got the first word from them with a couple of pictures of the children with the viaduct in the background so I knew that all was well and going according to plan.

They are driving the Marseille where they catch the ferry boat that links the mainland with Corsica and Sardinia.  I think the trip is some twelve hours so they ought to have some fun!

Christine, Susanne, David, Amos, and Junia with Camille and Claudia at Millau.
Meanwhile back at home Olivier left this morning on an all-day school trip to Jublains—a very old and very interesting archealogical site just a couple of hours from here, in the Mayenne departement.

Jonathan and family were over here for awhile today.  Having dug the  foundations needed for a connecting wall he plans to use the nice five-day weekend coming up to start building his wall.

Here is another photo, fresh from the trail : Nimes.  If you have to be reminded what this town is famous for click here.  Here's a picture of our crew doing a little exploring!

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Aunty Claire and Amos

My continuing update of farm life here takes us to the greenhouse!  Here's Amos' patch of carefully-watered heads of lettuce, (Batavia, oak leaf, and so on) and with his beloved Aunt Claire.

Friday, May 03, 2013

David and his rabbit fram

David has been farming rabbits here for quite some time but a new litter of babies has all the little ones out in the backyard playing with them!

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Grown by Amos

Just got this picture to send you: Amos is very proud of his gardening abilities as his brother David is with his rabbits.  You'll get a glimpse of his new brood tomorrow!