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!



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 - Washington DC-1




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…



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:



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…





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_Switzerland_Travel Blog.

Spocklogic_Germany_Travel 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…


If it’s true that we come from nothing when conceived and return to nothing when we die, then the time spent in between is all we have or will ever have. Doesn’t that make the time we spend and how we choose to spend it all the more important? I think so, and some stories might help to make sense of it – Consider it Blogotherapy to understand myself and others this way.

Some years ago I had a girlfriend, R, who had a best friend, S, and for many years they had enjoyed the kind of friendship one would expect to last a lifetime. So good was the friendship that S moved in with R one day and they were bosom buddies. My girlfriend R and I had relationship problems and she asked S to act as intermediary to smooth things out. I would have conversations with S about R and she was always supportive of R, but occasionally would comment on R’s bad mood. This was not something I was unaware of either. Sometimes I would ask, “Is R in a bad mood today?” Long story short, and S went the beach with a friend one weekend but did not sign out on her mail. Well, R did snoop (and this was a wrong thing to do), but the deed was done. R did not see all the loving things her friend said about her and only saw the comments about a bad mood. I was caught in the middle and tried to tell R & S that their friendship was more important than a misunderstanding. Nevertheless, R confronted S about it, and they fought. I don’t know what really happened because I wasn’t there, but they stopped speaking to each other as a result. Some time later S moved out and as far as I know they have never spoken to each other again. The reasons seemed so silly to me, and to throw away a long standing friendship like that was without good reason, as I saw it, and seemed such a waste. For pride, righteousness, feeling injured? As H.G. Wells said, “Self-righteous morality is jealousy with a halo.” Both R and S seemed to tell a different story of what transpired between them and I gathered there was some issue of betrayal involved, but I never could fully put the pieces together from the stories they told.

I had a disagreement with a friend once  (a very serious one, much more so than R and S had). We didn’t speak for several months. I thought about it a good deal and the conflict had been due to faults on both sides. I called my friend one day and explained to him how I felt and told him I missed our friendship. He agreed with me and expressed the same. That was many years ago now and we have been the best of friends ever since, perhaps even better friends because we saw something in ourselves and each other the was meaningful. But that is part of me, who I am in my life, and the friendships I care for in life that I don’t want to lose. I am never too proud to admit when I have been wrong and make amends for that. Some people just cannot do it for what ever the reason. They will insist they are right, while victimizing themselves and demonizing others, all the while continuing a pattern of behavior that will never bring any happiness to their lives. There is a greater good in this life if only you open yourself up to it, own your own faults, allow others theirs, and seek some peace of mind in between. Good intentions like these sometimes backfires and is met with more animosity. Such personalities can not be helped. They are the origin of malcontent, creator of conflict and ultimately the source of unhappiness. Self realization should never be underestimated as a power for change.

Brian Walsh & John Ransom (then & now with ~ 20 years of friendship in between)

Returning to my story of R and S, about year or two after they dissolved their friendship,  R stopped speaking to me too. It did not end on a good note, which is unfortunate, but I suppose that it was inevitable. I have discussed some of the circumstances from my point of view in a previous blog entitled Relationship Reflections.  I have come to believe that it is not only important how you begin things, but how you end them in relationships as well. It says something about a persons character. Walking away in anger or ignoring the other person not only dishonors them, but yourself as well. The majority of disputes, disagreements and misunderstandings can be resolved if each party is willing to admit faults on their side, and not ‘lord it over’ each other. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone; but not everyone is willing to admit it. R was never a person I knew to admit faults, and only rarely in the years I knew her made attempts to apologize to me or give in on some issue for the benefit of the doubt to promote greater harmony. She found more things to complain about than anyone I’ve ever known. I do not regret the years I spent with R, and in fact I learned some important lessons from our relationship. Of what she learned from it I cannot say. She was normally rather concerned with her own needs, and I am not sure how often she stopped to consider mine, so there may be little room for self-reflection there. I can not judge anyone, and it is not my place, but perhaps she has reflected on it in the time since we last spoke and I hope so. I try to keep an open mind and never burn the bridges I have invested time in making. I am fairly certain that R did not know me as a person as well as she thought she did, and maybe that’s true for me regarding her as well. Nevertheless, such experiences in life have made me wonder on the nature of love and caring, be it in intimate relationships or friendships too. I am not a religious man particularly, but I do read the Bible for wisdom sometimes.

I like this passage: Corinthians 1, Chapter 13, verses 4 to the end,

     4 Love is patient, and kind; love is not jealous or boastful;  it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices on the right. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends; as for prophecy, it will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.  For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; 10 but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.
So faith, hope, love abide, these three;but the greatest gift is love.

How much do any of us wonder on the emotional pain or injury we inflict on each other, even though we all seem fine later down the road and survive the injury? I think these words on love are quite profound and a guide book of sorts on how we should be. Well, maybe these words have some meaning, not just the biblical verse, but what preceded that thought too. For me it’s a form of healing I like to call Blogotherapy – writing down the bones of what makes me solid, the heart that makes me feel, the mind that makes me think, and the flesh and tissue that holds it all together. Whatever you, the reader make of it, this what I am and who I am – inside and out. My pondering ways are what my blog “Cogito Ergo” is all about…

Disclaimer: All characters resembling any living  persons in this work are real. The resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely intentional. Any characterization beyond scenarios depicted in this work, of said persons, could possibly be through imagination or coincidence.

It has been pointed out to me that the background information I provide on some of my bogs is sometimes not necessary to the point I am trying to make. Fair criticism. I am always open to opinions on this topic. Let me explain: I tried to make a point in my last blog that Darwin is not a final thought on the subject of evolution. Huxley and Wallace were contemporaries of Darwin and had their own ideas, some of which are only getting serious consideration today. Should I assume the reader knows the topic or should I continue to provide background info in the context of my thoughts? That is, the reader can do his/her own background work if interested. I need only make my point. I need not lecture and asume you, the reader, does not know. This may question a writing style – journalistic versus professorial. I seek to be a better writer and welcome all thoughts on this matter. My thoughts are my own, but if I am to convey a thought, to you the reader, then I wish to do it well. Honest thoughts, opinions, and methods for writing a better blog are always welcome.

Ultimately, this is the greater issue: The evolution of a blog depends on you, the reader, who is viewing this. My thoughts are guided and have relevance only upon your feedback. I am not here to make speeches, but to encourage a dialog, inspire thought, and raise topics for consideration. Think about your own Blog’s, think about mine, and others you have read. What can we say is the evolution of a Blog? How does it get better over time? What elements are considered essential to a successful Blog? Seems strange to comment on a blog about blogs, but if it makes a good dialog and future blogs better, then it its worthwhile I think. I thank you in advance for offering some thought on this.