Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

The Christmas Spirit at the Pageant

There is nothing on earth as heart warming as three and four year olds at the Episcopal Day School doing a Christmas pageant. The teachers and aides are truly heroes, teaching Christmas Carols and a script to children so young. Getting the children in, getting them in their places, keeping them on track – it was adorable, heart warming – and totally hilarious. The songs were so sweet, the kids so delighted to see their loved ones in the audience (“Hey, Dad! Dad! DAD!”) and their joy in being a part of it so palpable. The little Star of the East who missed her cue and followed the Wise Men, the little girl belting out the Christmas songs, the adorable sheep – I grin just thinking about it.

00ELCMangerScene

Herding cats, LOL!
00EDSPreK4

00ELCPreK4

Joseph and Mary start their trip:
00ELCJosephAndMary

Joseph and Mary are presented with a pillow for their trip:
00ELCPillow

Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
00ELCJosephMaryJesus

The Star of the East:
00ELCChristmasStar

The manger, Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the angels, the wise men, all the barnyard animals, and the Star of the East:

00ELCComplete

It didn’t last thirty minutes. It is a highlight of our Christmas season :-)

December 21, 2014 Posted by | Advent, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Christmas, Community, Cultural, Entertainment, Events, Generational, Humor, Parenting, Quality of Life Issues, Relationships | Leave a comment

All Time Stats Keep Me Humble

Screen shot 2014-12-11 at 8.04.23 AM

Wouldn’t I love to think that the most profound posts I write would garner the most attention and the most comments? But the truth is so humbling; the posts I write for fun, or in a hurry have long legs, or so WordPress tells me, and gather up statistics year after year.

I never know, when I write an article, what its future will be. It’s not unlike giving birth – you can input, but you have no control over who that child will be or where he/she will go.

God has the most wonderful sense of humor.

December 11, 2014 Posted by | Blogging, Humor, Statistics, Technical Issue, WordPress | Leave a comment

Lexophilia (with thanks to KitKat)

I have a friend who shares a love of words, and, sadly, we both love good puns. There are some great ones here, thanks for sending, KitKat!

Lexophilia

“Lexophile” is a word used to describe those that have a love for words, such as “you can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish”, or “to write with a broken pencil is pointless.”

A competition to see who can come up with the best lexophiles is held every year in an undisclosed location. This year’s winning submission is posted at the very end.

.. When fish are in schools, they sometimes take debate.

.. A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

.. When the smog lifts in Los Angeles U.C.L.A.

.. The batteries were given out free of charge.

.. A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.

.. A will is a dead giveaway.

.. With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

.. A boiled egg is hard to beat.

.. When you’ve seen one shopping center you’ve seen a mall.

.. Police were summoned to a daycare center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

.. Did you hear about the fellow whose entire left side was cut off? He’s all right now.

.. A bicycle can’t stand alone; it’s just two tired.

.. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

.. The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine is now fully recovered.

.. He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

.. When she saw her first strands of grey hair she thought she’d dye.

.. Acupuncture is a jab well done. That’s the point of it.

And the cream of the twisted crop:

.. Those who get too big for their pants will be totally exposed in the end.

ALWAYS LAUGH WHEN YOU CAN … IT’S CHEAP MEDICINE.

October 28, 2014 Posted by | Humor, Words | Leave a comment

If Disney Princes Were Real . . .

I just laughed myself silly! People are so funny and so creative, and you can see the dancers in the Aladin segment are puffing they worked so hard. This is a VERY witty group of people, and the Princes come off so creepy and pathetic!

September 8, 2014 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Cultural, Humor, Mating Behavior | | Leave a comment

Pensacola Drug Sweep Arrests 13 with Warrants for 20 More

Wooo HOOOO Pensacola, getting those dealers off the streets. It’s not like its permanent, but it’s a start. There is one funny thing you will spot in this write-up in the Pensacola News Journal, that the next to last man named had charges that include selling cocaine within 1000 feet of a place of worship.

If you’ve ever been to Pensacola, you will understand how hilarious that is. You can’t go 1,000 feet away from one house of worship and not be within 1,000 feet of the next. It’s just like the mosques in Qatar and Kuwait, if you are lost, you can’t call someone and when they ask where you are, you can’t say “I’m by the big mosque/church on the corner!” because there are mosques/churches on EVERY corner! Pensacola has churches everywhere! I just think that’s interesting, that it seems to be an additional charge on the sheets in Pensacola.

An approximate 4-month-long investigation targeting street-level drug dealers resulted in the arrests of 13 people for selling crack cocaine to undercover Pensacola Police officers Friday.

Warrants for selling cocaine also have been issued for an additional 20 people, said Sgt. Marvin Miller, who supervises the department’s Vice & Narcotics Unit. Miller said the investigation targeted areas notorious for narcotics sales.

All of the charges are third-degree felonies punishable by up to five years in prison. Additional prison time can be added for selling within 1,000 feet of a specified area such as convenience stores, schools, and places of worship, or if the person is a repeat offender.

Officers from various units within the Pensacola Police Department spent approximately 12 hours today making the arrests.

Arrested today and charged with sale of cocaine and conspiracy to sell cocaine were:

Alfred Peasant, 34, of 1300 block of North Sixth Avenue, Pensacola
Sharon Pickett, 49, of 100 block of North J Street, Pensacola.
David Jones, 24, of 3600 block of Swan Lane, Pensacola.
Demarko Weathers, 21, of 2000 block of West Chase Street, Pensacola.
Minnie Mae Sapp, 54, of 100 block of South N Street, Pensacola.
Terry Crenshaw, 28, of 1000 block of West Hillary Street, Pensacola.
Larry Dornall Knight, 52, of 3600 block of North Ninth Avenue, Pensacola.
Antoine Booker, 34, of 1100 block of West Hope Drive, Pensacola.

Also arrested today were:

Donte A. Brazile, 36, of 3000 block of Torres Avenue, Pensacola. Charged with sale of cocaine.

Dominique Blackwell, 19, of 600 block of North B Street, Pensacola. Charged with possession of cocaine with intent to sell within 1,000 feet of a place of worship.

Kernist Ferrell, 57, address unavailable; Robert Lee Watts, 23, address unavailable; and Michael Coleman, 33, of 600 block of North A Street, Pensacola.

All three, who are currently in jail, were charged with sale of cocaine.

September 6, 2014 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Community, Crime, Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Faith, Humor, Kuwait, Law and Order, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Quality of Life Issues, Social Issues, Values | Leave a comment

“You Can Be Right, Or You Can Be Happy”

As AdventureMan and I were trying a new place for lunch yesterday, the booth next to us filled with a group of roofers (roofers have a lot of good business in a place like Pensacola which gets both heavy winds and heavy rains). While they were not talking overly loud, one had a voice that carried and he shared with his friends – and us – a rule of life his Grandfather had told him.

“You can be right, or you can be happy.”

We laughed. When AdventureMan wants to annoy me, he tells other people that the reason we’ve been married so long is that whenever we disagree, he apologizes.

Hilarious.

August 20, 2014 Posted by | Civility, Communication, Cultural, Family Issues, Humor, Pet Peeves | Leave a comment

Fine For Littering on Old East End Road in Homer, AK

AdventureMan spotted this; we can’t figure out if it is an unintentional irony or just that no one has removed this abandoned truck:

00FineForLittering

July 8, 2014 Posted by | Adventure, Alaska, Environment, Humor, Road Trips, Travel | Leave a comment

Juneau to Anchorage on Alaska Airlines

Screen shot 2014-06-24 at 3.42.50 PM

I have such mixed feelings towards Alaska Airlines. I am about to vent, so if venting bores you, just skip down to the pictures.

I love that Alaska Airlines is truly Alaskan, formed of a conglomeration of smaller companies that used to fly Alaska, and that they truly serve Alaskans well. Alaskans get all kinds of perks on Alaskan airline. So when they board, it’s like “these special people, and then these special people, and these special people, and all the rest of you” and like there are six of us not-so-special people still standing there waiting to get on. After my first flight with Alaska, I learned not to carry any carry on baggage; just a large handbag I can tuck under the seat in front of me; all the overhead compartments are full.

Yes. I know. It sounds like sour grapes, and it is a little bit. I’ve been special too, on other airlines, and you get so you kind of like being treated special. I just take a deep breath and tell myself that old saw “every monkey gets his turn in the barrel” which is sort of a karma thing, everybody gets lucky some time and other times everyone has to take a turn in the barrel.

Here’s where the grapes really got sour. I am a cherry picker when it comes to trip planning. I don’t always get it right, but I put a lot of planning into finding the right small tours, the right schedule, the right seats, the right accommodations. I love the special details, and I take pride in juggling all the factors and getting a strategic plan together.

I found the perfect reservations, reservations that got us from Pensacola to Juneau in one day, and then from Anchorage back to Pensacola in one day. For three months, I gloried in the perfection of those reservations, until Chelsea called me and said they had changed everything.

It was horrible. I had to make decisions I wasn’t prepared to make. Chelsea did her best, but I was no longer in control (OH NO!) and I just did the best I could. She really did work with me. I was mad about the circumstances, but she did her best to find a solution. Just about every change cost me money, including the worst of all, because I am not special on Alaskan Airlines or American Airlines, we had to pay $25 every time we checked a bag, and every time we had a (mandatory) overnight, we had to pick up our bags and PAY AGAIN THE NEXT DAY! It irked me because I had us starting off with Delta originally, where our bags go free. Hey, these $50 (for two people) charges add up fast!

Of course, any seasoned traveller will laugh at “perfect” travel plans. It is a set-up. There is no perfect; God-with-a-sense-of-humor will always humble our human arrogance when we think we have achieved perfection.

So you know our trip started badly with the continuing weather delays in Dallas Fort Worth, and that was not American Airlines fault, but even so, neither was it a fun way to start our vacation.

Now, leaving Juneau for Anchorage, it’s a piece of cake. The hotel is five minutes from the airport and car rental drop-off is just out the back door. Juneau airport is small, and friendly feeling. The Alaska Airlines baggage check-in was compassionate. She looked at our trip history so far and said “you guys don’t have to pay today” and that small gesture really made us feel good.

At our gate, I took a photo of the entire upstairs waiting room. This is the whole Juneau airport:

00JuneauAirport

At our gate is a pictorial history of Alaska aviation, but it doesn’t answer my question: What was the other airline that flew alongside Coastal Airlines out of the downtown amphibious airport?

00JuneauDisplayAlaskaAviation

The plane we are on is kind of old-timey, and it is stopping in Yakutat and Cordova, two fishing villages, en route to Anchorage. There is no first class on this flight, but there is freight, and evidently a whole lot of freight. I have never seen this before, but the front part of the airplane is all blocked off with this black curtain/built-in thing for freight:

00FreightBreak

Sitting next to me is a man exactly my age who grew up across the channel from me. We were the same year in school, and he is cousin to the girls I played with when I was a kid. We didn’t know each other. As a grown-up, he piloted ferries for the Alaskan Marine Highway System and now does special contracts, guiding the large cruise ships through the various ice fields. And, he tells me, the other airline flying out of Juneau when we were kids, the one with the green planes, is Ellis Airlines. Wooo HOOOO! He tells me before we take off so I quickly text my Mom’s old friend because she was stumped, too! I knew it started with an “S”, LOL. Isn’t life funny, how you can end up sitting next to the right person at the right time and place, and ask the right question?

Anchorage airport is much larger than Juneau, but as we pick up our rental car, the man behind the counter learns we are former military and gives us a great car, and map, and lots of good directions to get us headed towards Seward. Life is sweet, in spite of all my griping and sour grapes.

June 25, 2014 Posted by | Adventure, Alaska, Bureaucracy, Civility, Cultural, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Geography / Maps, GoogleEarth, Humor, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Local Lore | 2 Comments

Crime to be “Happy” in Teheran?

From today’s Kuwait Times:

 

TEHRAN: The arrest of six Iranian youths for dancing to US singer Pharrell Williams’ hit “Happy” in a video that went viral highlights the rift between conservatives and youths fascinated by the West. Recorded on a smartphone and uploaded multiple times on YouTube, the clip shows three girls dancing and singing along to the song in a room, on rooftops and in secluded alleys with three young men. For the youths, the homemade video now watched one million times was merely an “excuse to be happy”, but for the Iranian authorities it was “vulgar” breach of the Islamic republic’s values. Originally posted online in April, the clip gradually spread online before it led to the arrest of the dancers and their director on Tuesday for having “hurt” the country’s strict moral codes, according to Tehran police chief Hossein Sajedinia.

The youths appeared on state television repenting for appearing in the clip, after the girls failed to properly observe hijab, a series of rules that oblige women in Iran to cover their hair and much of their body when outside.

Their arrest sparked international fury and criticism in the media and online, with many Iranians expressing shock and some observers questioning whether it was a “crime to be happy in Iran”. Supporting the young Iranians, Williams himself chimed in and hit out at their treatment, saying on Twitter and Facebook: “It’s beyond sad these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness.” Reports emerged Wednesday night that the dancers were released on bail, with one of the arrested girls, Tehranbased fashion photographer Reihane Taravati, saying on Instagram: “Hi I’m back.” The arrests came after President Hassan Rouhani-a selfdeclared moderate who claims to be for more social freedomsreiterated in a weekend speech his calls for a relaxation of Internet censorship. Rouhani’s statements have irked the conservatives, who have long imposed limitations on the Internet, blocking millions of websites particularly social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, as well as YouTube. — AFP

 

May 23, 2014 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Civility, Community, Crime, Cross Cultural, Cultural, ExPat Life, Experiment, Faith, Family Issues, Humor, Iran, Living Conditions, Movie, Music, Women's Issues | Leave a comment

Love That Technology, But Sometimes it Takes Me a While . . .

Another way of saying “I’m slow, but I’m slow . . . ”

As I was sitting in a meeting, I watched one of our delegates take a photo and then she zoomed in by doing that finger thing that works on my iPad.

“She must be using an Android or a Samsung” I thought to myself, as I have often wished my iPhone had a zoom feature.

And it dawned on me . . .

after owning my phone for three years . . .

and wishing I could zoom . . .

that the delegate’s phone looked a lot like my iPhone.

So I tried it. And it worked.

So the good news is that I can zoom photos on my iPhone. The bad news is that it took me so long to figure that out!

March 30, 2014 Posted by | Afghanistan, Aging, Arts & Handicrafts, Humor, iPhone, Technical Issue | Leave a comment

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