Holidays



As I did at the end of 2013, 2014 & 2015, so I do again here at the end of 2017 to recount some travel experiences, which I don’t normally write about here. I did not post anything about my travels at the end of 2016, so this years post will cover my travels from 2016 and 2017. I need not give the setup again for the premise of such entries and see my blog from the end of 2013: Travels of Spocklogic. The notable travels from 2016 & 2017 (travel blogs I finished or made additions to) include:







That’s the summary for 2016 & 2017. For the previous years travels, I include the links here for convenience, but all blog links can be found in the “Browse Blog Posts” at the top of the page.

Travels of Spocklogic
Travels of Spocklogic II
Travels of Spocklogic III

All in all, it was a good couple of years in travel with a visit to France in early 2016, visits to Sicily and Central Italy in the summer of 2016, and a trip to the Shenandoah region of Virginia in the fall of 2016. For this later blog on Shenandoah, I included a couple of other trips there with one from 2000 and another from 2005. Over the years, since I have lived in the state of Virginia, I have visited this area of the state maybe a dozen or so times, but I don’t have photos for all the visits there, and just the years 2000, 2005 and 2016. I also have a Virginia blog called “Virginia Perspectives” covering 1990-present that is a mix of travel & slice of life. The year 2017 consisted of a road trip to New England in the early summer and a trip to Brazil in late summer, my first trip to South America, making it my 5th continent to visit. There is also another blog I made on Places in Passing, which consists of entries regarding places I mentioned in passing, but did not write about in great detail. I have plans to fill in the narratives, but for now the entries display  photos and a reference link to a blog where the place was mentioned.

For a complete collection of blogs, one can always visit Spocklogic’s Travel Blogs at TravBuddy.

Best wishes for the New Year in 2018!

 

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Keep on Trekkin

As I did at the end of 2013 & 2014, so I do again here at the end of 2015 to recount some travel experiences, which I don’t normally write about here. I need not give the whole setup again for the premise of such entries and see my blog from the end of 2013: Travels of Spocklogic. The notables this year (travel blogs I finished or made additions to) include:

feature-Erice2014-lgFeature-Indian_Wedding

Feature - Washington DC-1

Feature-China_2014

Feature-Spocklogics_TravBuddy_Meetups

 

That’s the summary for 2015. Some are carry overs from 2014, but I finished the blogs in 2015, after my last post on travels (see: Travels of Spocklogic II) in December 2014 or earlier if I made additions. As I alluded to in recent entries, I will take a break from this Cogito Ergo blog for a while in 2016. I’ve had 20 years of internet exposure and been blogging for 10 years (see: 20 Years of Internet and Mapping the Internet). I hope to return again with a fresh perspective down the line. There’s plenty to explore in the Cogito Ergo blog archives until then (see the link to: Browse Blog Posts). Best wishes for the New Year 2016! See you in the future…

bones-travels-through-time

kirk-and-spock-travel-back-in-time-to-2014

As I did at the end of 2013, so I do again here at the end of 2014 to recount some travel experiences, which I don’t normally write about here. I need not give the whole setup again for the premise of such entries and see my blog from the end of 2013: Travels of Spocklogic. The notables this year are a couple of blogs I finished and some reviews that may be of interest:

spocklogic_Lyon-France_travel_blog.
spocklogic_Wroclaw-Poland_travel_blog.

spocklogic_Kirin-Hot-Pot_review.spocklogic_Long-Chao-Shou_review.
spocklogic_Ram-Pam-Pam-Pam_review.spocklogic_Raclawice-Panorama_review

That summarizes some travel selections for 2014. I did travel to Italy also in July 2014, and have some links to share for photo collections I put together for a special year in Erice to celebrate a 40th anniversary of the International School of Atomic and Molecular Spectroscopy (ISAMS):

Rino: 40 Year Erice Celebrations (2014) – Erice, Italy
2014 Erice Workshop: 30 July – August 5 – Erice, Italy
People (2014) – Erice, Italy
Places (2014)
– Erice, Italy

In addition, I traveled to China again this year in November 2014, but am still working on my travel blog for that, so it will have to wait until my 2015 account of my travels. I will make this type of entry something traditional at years end to cover where I have been and what I have done in travel ways. It’s all rather like the City on the Edge of Forever perhaps…

city_on_the_edge_of_forever-kirk&spock

 

 

WWII-propaganda

I suppose it is a question people abroad ponder, but it is a question pondered in the USA too. There is always some debate on the intent of the Founding Fathers and direction of the nation, but this is generally a fringe topic. Concentration in so-called ‘news’ is usually hyperbole, sensationalism, or something in the day to grab a headline. Sometimes there is good debate that is great. It is appropriate to inquire this time of year what it means to be an American and what American’s think of their own country. The Pew Research Center has done come statistics on this recently, and it is worth looking at:

Most Americans think the U.S. is great, but few say it’s the greatest – Pew Research Center statistics are used in the video below to try to answer what Americans think of their country, but there are always intangibles that enter into an equation and make a difference that way. Anyway, here’s a video summarizing that Pew Research Center study:

For the statistics mentioned in this piece, on the surface it seems alarming, but remember that statistics can be deceptive and used to promote an opinion by selectively sampling the data. In a perfect world the media would present what was a story in analysis from mathematics, but there is bias and in my opinion regarding the media (ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, FOX, CNN, etc…) so the media ‘cherry picks’ to make a point. It is rather base and a simple minded method, but effective for ratings. For me, I find the major players in talk TV as bad as the politicians they critique. Liberal, conservative or middle of the road matters not to me, but what does matter is that something constructive is done over time and perhaps progress made.

I have traveled the world in my time and encountered many a perspective on America in foreign lands. The perception is always different from the reality, but even that reality has multiple pundits with a viewpoint. That is the really great nature of America – Free thought and expression, even against the government. I just wish such thought was not so partisan much of the time – Left vs Right, and it accomplishes what? I find the political system in America a blind following: Republicans to Republicans and Democrats to Democrats. They are equally contemptible for their inaction to achieve anything.

I am an American and I think we should solve problems, not by party lines, but as human beings and what society needs for solutions today and tomorrow. In my opinion I don’t think there has been a good President in America since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, but even his initiatives have seen their day. Yes there has been progress in many ways since then, but not by presidential influence and more from grass roots and movements by the people for man as a whole – that is what makes America great.  What do Americans think? They think freedom is good and support that endeavor, whether implemented well or not, and fight for what is right in ways beyond the ordinary. Americans, in fact, strive for the extraordinary –  a rather unique concept in the world and one that has been in development since 1776.

Panelle_postcard

Postcard from my trip to Sicily in 2004

While in Sicily some years ago (2004), I had this absolutely delicious snack called Panelle (Chick Pea fritters). They are not particularly filling, but sure are tasty. They are made with chickpea flower (also called garbanzo bean flour), which may be hard to find in the supermarket, but perhaps in a gourmet or specialty type store. One can also buy a 5 lb. bag online for $14.50. Check this link – http://www.nuts.com/cookingbaking/beans/garbanzo/flour.html

You can search around for better deals, and may find some cheaper ones, or just check your nearby local markets. The recipe is fairly simple, and translated from the postcard:

Ingredients: 200g chickpea flour, 1/2 liter of water, salt, pepper, parsley, olive oil.
(200 grams = 7 ounces, 1/2 liter = 4.25 cups)

Mix the chickpea flour in a saucepan with water, salt, pepper and chopped parsley. When the flour is well dissolved and no lumps, put the pan on medium heat. Stir continuously until you get a thick paste. Pour on a surface and flatten it to give a layer thickness of 2/3 cm. Let it cool and cut into rectangles of 8×4 cm, then fry in hot oil.
(2/3 cm = 1/4 inch, 8 x 4 cm = 3 x 1.5 inch)

You can find a variety of recipes online in Italian and English. I had a thought this might be a unique Valentine’s Day gift for your significant other. You can make the Panelle in any shape you want (hearts even) and considering it is not something common outside of Sicily, something special to show your love in preparing a tasty Italian treat. A good idea I think – Try it…

Buon San Valentino!

Valentines Day Italian Flag HeartHappy Valentine’s Day!
(Love, Italian Style)

I will take the opportunity here to wish everyone a Happy New Year for the Chinese Calendar – Gong Xi Fa Cai! Luck (福), Prosperity (禄), Longevity (寿) in the days ahead…

P1080051
A poem seems appropriate here to celebrate the Chinese New Year (Spring Festival / Chunjie):

Spring Dawn

This Spring dawn, not fully awaken from my sleep,
Everywhere I hear the calling of birds,
Last night came the sound of wind and rain,
I don’t know how many blossoms fell.

~ Meng Hao Ran (c. 689-740)

eudora_footer

.

马年吉祥!

万事顺心如意!

Auspicious Year of the Horse!

Everything is tame!

drspock

I don’t often write about my travels in this WordPress blog (Cogito Ergo) as I have another site for that (TravBuddy). In this year of 2013, I completed a number of travel blogs on that site that are worth noting and I give the links to them here. Mind you, I don’t know that any of my travel blogs are ever really completed. Each one is like a child I nurture and raise up, but always needs attention in future ways. Anyway, I suppose I list them here for my own reference and also to offer it to others who may be interested in my travels. There is some connection of the blogs, one to another in embedded personal ways, but are also self-contained. Here they are:

Spocklogic_DC_Travel_Blog

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Spocklogic_Italy_Travel_Blog.

Spocklogic_Switzerland_Travel Blog.

Spocklogic_Germany_Travel Blog.

Spocklogic_Travel_Topics.

Spocklogic_China_Blog.

Some of these blogs have been posted for some years, and I either added to them, made them more complete, and/or formed connections between them. Some of them are entirely new in 2013. They do tell a story in total I suppose and maybe that’s why I decided to make a sort of review of the Travels of Spocklogic here. They were also all the blogs featured on TravBuddy for me this year. My Italy blog (L’Avventura Dell Italia) seems never-ending and I have some more work to do on it, but the majority of important events are there for the most part. The last one in this list, the blog on China, is something I am still working on too, but intend (or hope) to complete it before the end of 2013. I suppose this collection of blogs forms a personal journey of sorts that I tried to form this year regarding my life and relation to travel. When I finish the China blog, maybe I will know what I have been endeavoring to understand and ultimately discover in my life. It’s not a teaser, or cliffhanger, but maybe more a matter of what I will embrace. Sounds enigmatic I suppose, but not really. It’s my personal perspective, the choices I make and what is ultimately best for me in a world of possibilities…

knowyourspock-1

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