Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Monday, June 21, 2021

A year of heaven and hell, in review

As you may know, my wife was diagnosed with cancer in April 2020. To say life has been challenging is an understatement. She did chemotherapy last summer, had the cancer surgically removed last fall, and underwent radiation therapy over the winter. On top of that, we put our old dog Cooper to sleep in April 2021.

I have a new perspective on life and appreciate every moment we spend with our kids. I've picked the highlights from each month to share with you.

And the best news is that my wife is cancer free.

June 2021: I visited Alpine County, the 58th and final California county.

July 2020: Our daughter's first birthday.

August 2020: We took a trip to touristy Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. There was not a single tourist in sight. We had a great time and had fish and chips. (We forgot to pack a jacket for our son. It is very cold in San Francisco in the summer.)

September 2020: This photo was taken at the lowest point of the pandemic for me, which meant things could only look up. My wife was battling cancer. Because she was immunocompromised, we could not send our kids to daycare. I had not had a haircut since January (the photo was taken as I was about to step into a hair salon). Trump may get re-elected in two months. Plus, the worst wildfires in California history were raging (the photo was taken at 11 a.m.).

October 2020: I made an airport fire truck for the boy.

November 2020: I had a meal from a local Ivory Coast(!) restaurant.

December 2020: Christmas with the family and Cooper.

January 2021: I got a surprise gift from my best Chilean internet friend Ramon.

February 2021: We took a trip to Mendocino. It was to be Cooper's last.

March 2021: I got my first Moderna shot at a county-organized mass vaccination event. While there, I found a great Korean restaurant for lunch.

April 2021: This was a fantastic month. First, we cooked a fantastic lamb meal for Easter.

Then we rented a fire truck for the boy's fourth birthday.

Finally, I visited the Lost Coast.

May 2021: While taking the kids to a nearby state park, we came across this gathering of radio controlled truck aficionados. So random!

June 2021: We just took a trip to Calistoga and Mendocino. We spotted this Chevelle outside a seafood grill.

31 year old Stalin Baku prison photos


Wednesday, June 16, 2021

For Your Eyes Only movie review

A Moore classic: For Your Eyes Only.

Dave's review: For Your Eyes Only is one of the most thrilling Bond films. After several entries with too much tongue in cheek humor, Eyes returns 007 back to the world of espionage. The film has several memorable set lives, including a fun little car chase jaunt through the villages of Spain, a daring ski sequence in Italy, and a nail biting scene where Bond and Melina Havilock are bound together and thrown into the water as shark fodder. The climbing sequence near the end is exhilarating too. Speaking of Havilock, Carole Bouquet is easily one of the best Bond women of all. She has a fierce spirit and her story of avenging her parents' death is compelling. Moore is at his best, more serious than perhaps ever. Finally even the soundtrack is top notch, one of John Barry's best. This is a film very conducive to repeat viewing. 

TT's review: This is definitely my favorite Moore Bond film and possibly my favorite Bond film of all time. Coincidentally (or perhaps not), it was the first Bond movie I saw as a child. This movie has everything-- the perfect Bond woman, the exciting (and cheeky) 2CV car chase, beautiful locales. The only thing that didn't make sense was Bibi. What a weirdo.

(Disclaimer: I cheated and watched Casino Royale. Wow. That movie is light years better than everything else that preceded it.)

Dave's response: I almost forgot about Bibi. So funny. "Get your clothes on and I'll...buy you an ice cream." 

TT's response: I concur with everything. It's a really fun movie. And Havilock is 100 emoji.

Dave's grade: A

TT's grade: A+

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Storyteller Overland

We are on vacation and I spotted this. Holy cow, it's expensive.


Topography of Africa


Tuesday, June 08, 2021

I went viral

Over Memorial Day weekend, a tweet of mine went viral. It's so random. I've been on Twitter since 2012 and nothing was this big. The now second biggest tweet was about a Czech pastry made by a Filipino baker in Houston. It gained traction because conservative pollster Frank Luntz retweeted it. It had around 100,000 views.

This tweet got going early when former Jalopnik writer Mike Ballaban retweeted it. Then, a bunch of his fellow blue checkmarked media cohorts retweeted it. And then, it really took off. It was particularly popular with young trans people and immigrants from all over the Caribbean. It settled at around 3.2 million views. At some point, when I was looking at the stats in real time, there would be 600 views every few seconds. It was a lot of fun, almost like a video game.

China's population tree over the years

China will allow families to have three children. Is it too late?

Saturday, June 05, 2021

What do Europeans feel most attached to?


Eating the Globe: Suriname

I have been on a huge Suriname kick recently. I bought a travel guide and am daydreaming about a trip there.

I made peanut soup (pindasoep) today. It's just chicken thighs, peanut butter, celery, allspice, mace, and sage. 

Countries tried so far:

Africa: Algeria, Burundi, DR Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zimbabwe
Asia: Afghanistan, Armenia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen
Europe: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Vatican City
North America: Barbados, Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, St Kitts & Nevis, Trinidad & Tobago, USA
South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela
Oceania: Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga