What do Iraq, Benin, and Slovenia Have in Common? (Hint: This Map)

No thoughts

Wondrous World

This map details the countries with an extremely low or high amount of coastline when compared to their areas.  Countries in red have an extremely high area-to-coastline ratio, while countries in blue have an extremely low area-to-coastline ratio.  Methodology below.

View original post 91 more words

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment






Curmudgeon.  Andy Rooney was one.  And I am one.


Andy Rooney used to complain at length on how difficult it was to get the tops off of things and get at what lay beneath the wrapper, or cap, be it peanuts, a soft drink, or some other snack.  He was usually on an airplane when he would find the wrapper from hell, the packaging that would bring forth a vicious onslaught of words.


I am not on an airplane.  I am in front of my computer.  And I am about to complain about several things, but first, let us look at the definition of the word.


One of the first definitions of said word is ´a miser,´ an “ill tempered and surly person.` The dictionary, or thesaurus, goes on to say a bad tempered or cantankerous person.  An old person who is often in a bad mood.  WikiHow has a tutorial telling anyone that reads it how to become a curmudgeon, the only problem is that they do not use any old people.   All the characters are young. Some of their tips. Do NOT go with the flow.


What am I going to complain about here?  Well, let´s start with the telephone.


One of my pet peeves throughout the ages has been recorded messages, or the lack of a real, live, human voice when talking to no one in particular on the telephone. To register for something or other, press one.  To listen to a recording telling you what an idiot you are, press two.  To give up hope, press three. To hear this message again, press four. And, to speak to a live, human being, go away.  You won´t get that here.


These are just some of the options available on the telephone these days.  This message kungfu exists in Brazil as well as in most “civilized” nations.


I tried dialing 135.  Actually, I succeeded in dialing 135.  That put me in contact with INSS, where a litany of recorded messages awaited me, none of them with a real human being on the end of the line.  I was so rattled by the time I had hung up (I only lasted half a minute, if that) that I needed to sit down to collect my thoughts. Why, oh why, do people do this to one another?


Moving on to other things, let us complain about never getting a straight answer from anyone.  


I know, I know, you are probably thinking why cannot I get a straight answer out of Rick?  But I am thinking why cannot I get a straight answer out of Holt, my brother?


I asked him several times, in at least two seperate emails, if he had gotten my letter from Brazil (which was addressed to Patty, his wife, which I sent more that one month ago).  He chose to ignore this question and focus on more important concerns such as his upcoming trip to Arizona. I also sent Patty an email with the same question. Since she has basically never checked her email in her life, I am willing to wait until the cows come home to get my answer, which will probably never come.   


This, in light of the fact that I have received emails from him noticeably frustrated at the inability of his younger brother to respond to such and such a request.  It is as if all the world revolves around Holt.


And last but not least, Wendy and the boxes.  This takes the cake.


It seems that the people at the post office in China are really getting their money’s worth regarding Wendy and my boxes.  It turns out that the address wasn’t detailed enough. They need a more detailed address. I told Wendy that the address that I gave her was the most detailed one that I had.  Did she want driving instructions? Does she want an address from the bottom of the sea? What does she want, exactly? Who put her up to this? Why me? I just want my bloody boxes.  Boxes, boxes, boxes. I just want my bloody boxes.


Tomorrow is the magic day.  She will send the boxes tomorrow. So she says.  We have been there before.


So, this is the address which she says is not detailed enough.  I replied that it is a very simple address, and a very good address to boot.  


Rick Ruffin

C\O Holt and Patty Ruffin

403 Atlantic Ave.

Santa Cruz, CA

95062, USA


So, I spelled it out.  I told her that I am Rick Ruffin, and the owners of the house are Holt and Patty Ruffin.  I went on to say that the name of the street is Atlantic Avenue (two blocks from the Pacific, but I am not here to debate the nature of things), and the house number is 403.  I told her the city is called Santa Cruz, and the state is California, and the zip code is 95062, and the country is, roll the drums please, United States of America. But what I sent her, for perhaps the tenth time, was NOT DETAILED ENOUGH.  Beats me. It really beats me.


And so, I am a curmudgeon, and rightfully so.  Life has made me who I am.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

There IS an American University in Afghanistan? Amazing.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Supertyphoon Nepartak 

I have not been in Taiwan but 6 weeks and I have already experienced two earthquakes.

Now we have a supertyphoon threatening to stir things up.

Here you can read more.

Or, take a look at this pic taken by Yours Truly, at the beach here in Hualien.  This was taken when the storm was a couple of hundred kilometers offshore.



Categories: Uncategorized, Weather, typhoons, tropical cyclones, waves, wind, surf, rain | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mt. Marathon

This is path of one of the many 4th of July races.  This one takes place in Seward, Alaska.  It is 3,022′ to the top of Mt. Marathon, 3,022′ down.  The race started as bar bet 60 years ago.  Winning time, 41 minutes, 26 seconds. mtmara


And this is one of the woman who ran up and back.   Jo, The Human Hammer.  Good on ya girl!


Categories: Alaska, Mountain Running, Mt. Marathon,, Fourth of July, Kenai Peninsula, Southeast Alaska Scenery, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sailing La Vagabonde


I discovered this  couple–young, strong, good looking and imbued with the sort of confidence that we wish that we all had–by chance surfing the internet one evening.  I think I was on Youtube.

Riley and Elayna are seeing the world by sailboat.  They are privvy to the most spectacular sunsets on the planet.

Originally Riley did not have any sailing experience, but he had some money saved from working on the oilrigs.  He purchased a boat from  a trio of arguing Italians, somewhere in the Adriatic. I think he got a good deal.

Since then, along with Elayna who he met in a nightclub (was she performing at the time?), they have managed to cross the Seven Seas, and are now in the Marquesas Islands in the middle of the South Pacific, in the middle of paradise and one of the most remote places on Earth.  This is where Thor Heyerdahl of Kon Tiki fame went years ago, holing up with wife Liz and a baby pig in a cave while the natives beat the drums of war and threatened to come and get them. I remember him talking about how lush and beautiful his surroundings were, and how the native’s lower limbs were all swollen from elephantiasis.

Here are some links to their growing internet presence.  Youtube

Here is a link to a site where they try to raise money for adventures to come.

Then there are all the other social media sites, which are listed on the right side of their Facebook page. And, there is the attendant media publicity.

What this couple has going for them is pretty much a little bit of everything.  Elayna is simply a great presence.  She is as charming as they come.  She is a cook, videographer, first mate, musician, sailor, storyteller and much, much more.  Plus, she is the loveliest woman you will ever lay eyes on.

Riley is the modern-day swashbuckler, a man with a moustache and a bit of a profile of a pirate.  He has the unique ability to catch fish, sail a boat, chart a course, haul up the anchor, ascend the mainsail, reef the main, scrub the hull free of algae and clams, float the spinnaker, and tackle a million other tasks that come his way daily.  He even has the ability to make one walk the plank, although I am sure he would never do that.

The only task he seems to have problems with is getting his parts delivered to the next port.   Elayna admits that they have little luck in getting parts delivered to the next port of call.

But probably what endears me to Riley the most is his inner desire to become a writer.  He devours books, including a hugely thick novel by one David Foster Wallace.  I hope he understands it because I don’t.

And, he has a blog, here on WordPress.  May the force be with him.

Categories: Riley and Elayna, Sailing Around The World, The Vagabonde, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life is about Living

Living the Dream… on a Budget!

Source: Life is about Living

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Heroes Do Exist

Doug Hughes is one.  Read about him here, or there, or anywhere.

You can also read about him here

Categories: Gyrocopter Captain, mail carrier, Modern Day Heroes, Money in Politics, The Constitution, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Going Postal

Doug Hughes and his gyrocopter: under the radar to make a political point ( video).

Here is another news story on this brave, patriotic man.

Here is perhaps a more informative article than the others, courtesy of the Washington Post.

Here is a great pic of the pilot practicing in Florida prior to his White House incursion, courtesy The Independent in Britain.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Angry White Guy

Here is a classic example of road rage.

Angry White Guy is a much bigger asshole than Yours Truly.  Sure, I lose my temper occasionally, but I never act like this.

This guy is a genuine loser.  Plus, he’s a NYC cop.  Long live the assholes in blue!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Le Blog BlookUp

Imprimez et transformez vos contenus digitaux, blogs et réseaux sociaux, en magnifiques livres papier sur blookup.com

Sailing La Vagabonde

Looking for simplicity in an ever changing world

Drugstore Books

Half blog and half publisher, we are a literary website and writers' collective for those off the beaten path.

The Democracy Club - The Democracy Club

Looking for simplicity in an ever changing world

A Wilderness of Words

a good place to get lost


my travel and life adventures in korea

chloe caldwell

writer. person. writer person.

Stan Honda

Looking for simplicity in an ever changing world

Dialect Blog

The Accents and Dialects of English

Dreamy Adventure

Living the Dream... on a Budget!

Internationally Unrelated

Looking for simplicity in an ever changing world

A year of reading the world

196 countries, countless stories...


Howdy! We're the largest independent bookstore in Texas. This is our blog.

Brain Pickings

Looking for simplicity in an ever changing world

Surprisesaplenty's Blog

learning how to teach how to learn