You can do better

A couple of weekends ago, I was walking on the quay near the Casino in the city of Constanta. There was this girl sitting on one of the benches with a guy, supposedly her boyfriend. Her curly hair reminded me of my wife, so I watched them for a bit, to see how they fit [...]

Sometimes you need to use a book the right way

There's a Looney Tunes cartoon from 1944, entitled "Brother Brat". It stars Porky Pig and speaks eloquently about child discipline. In it, Porky becomes the unwitting baby sitter for a Rosie the Riveter type super-woman who's pulling long shifts at the factory, helping out with the war effort. When she leaves her brat, Butch, with [...]

What do you do all day?

We are defined by what we do with our time. When it comes to our health, that same adage can be re-stated to read: our bodies are the record of what we do with our time. If you happen to sit in a chair all day, perhaps you wish for a job where you can [...]

The ancient city of Histria

On the shore of Lake Sinoe in Romania, very close to the Black Sea, lie the ruins of the oldest documented city on the territory of modern-day Romania: Histria. (See satellite view below, or go to Google Maps to explore the full map.) We visited it in September of 2008. It started its life around [...]

American habits

Slow down. That's a phrase not often heard in the US. At least not among the people I know. But it's a notion that's slowly starting to make more sense. Americans love to think big and spend big. They want progress on every front, no matter what the cost. In the 20th century, that sort [...]

Happy Birthday Tataie

It's my grandfather's birthday today. He died just a couple of weeks ago after a painful struggle with mesothelioma, a form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. He'd been coughing for a few years. It was a persistent cough, but it wasn't a severe cough. He coughed here and there, and especially after he came [...]

Hot teachers and sex with students

Three more female teachers have been jailed after it was discovered that they had sex with students in Tampa, FL. MSN has a video report on this. Plus, if you do a search on MSN Live, you'll get plenty of search results summarizing recent news stories about similar events. What bothers me about these reports [...]

A bouquet of fresh tulips

The following photos are from a recent still life session with a bouquet of tulips, at home. The fresh green and yellow colors floor me every time I look at tulips. I love those colors! I liked these photos best out of all the ones I took that evening, and decided to publish all of [...]

Awakenings (1990)

We watched Awakenings (1990) tonight, and I was left with a newly found appreciation for life. This movie drives home the following point very well: you don't know what you have till you've lost it. Imagine watching your life, as you know it, become unavailable to you, which is what happens to people who suffer [...]

How houses get built in the DC area

I thought that when I lived in Florida, the construction there was shoddy. I was wrong. At least there they used concrete pillars and floors for the houses, and the building code was so strict everything was anchored properly, especially after Hurricane Andrew. When I moved to the DC area, I thought construction would be [...]