It was eight years and eight months ago that my very first blog focused on the two books I had then recently published, SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Planet Earth and SS for Humanity. The first book represented a crystallization of my professional life. Then, I thought, what about a book on topics of interest to me for which I was not a world authority.
Combined with the horrible air pollution and expensive visa, I now bypass China in my travels. I reported on my escape from Shanghai to Zurich to summarize my itinerary, then added a second entry on the Shanghai Expo that same day.
trip to Qatar intrigued many. As I earlier said, I can't quite grasp why so many show up on occasion.
I have taken more than a ten around the world trips, all via air, and for the future there remains a plan for a global cruise. However, the 2018 departure will now be delayed until 2020.
Stage 2 of the process to select a possible shipmate will involve one week on the Pride of America visiting the Hawaiian Islands, something I tested out earlier this month. If Norwegian Cruise Line calls me with a $1200 bargain for a solo room, I'll probably go again. That's only $171/day for all the food you can eat, wide-ranging entertainment, a room with a changing view and travel to all the major Hawaiian islands.
What have also attracted readers are animals, the larger and weirder the better. Can the Whale Shark Replace Cattle captures the imagination, while irritating PETA-types. It's possible that I get more negative comments on this issue than anything else. First, a whale shark is not a whale, but a shark. Yes, shark fin is now largely illegal, and it is terrible that humans kill 100 million sharks/year while they eat "only" about one American/year (perhaps 5-15 worldwide). Cows, yes, cows, kill 22 of us in just the USA every year. Mosquitos? 655,00/year worldwide.
The Magic of Truffles. I share with you my Dali-esque response and that image to the right is reminiscent of what I faced.
best day on any around the world trip was probably Vienna in October of last year when I:
- Enjoyed a five course truffles lunch at Quadri on St. Mark's Square. To the right a white truffles dessert. Those are shaved pieces of truffles on top.
- First met my Blue Bar Pigeon, that for a year now has been following me around the world.
- Then a hundreds yards away, got the final seat available for the San Marcos Chamber Orchestra performance of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, in the small theater where he composed this piece.
At the other end of the cuisine scale, a simple bento I generally have next to "Pearl's" statue at Jindaiji near Tokyo, has become an annual tradition. The story of how I found this art piece is both sad and, yet, remarkable, for two deaths occurred. My series on PEARL'S ASHES, with Chapter 1 appearing on Wednesday, January 4, will re-live some global memories.
27 February 2010, when an 8.8 moment magnitude earthquake struck Chile. The Huffington Post contacted me by e-mail, asking if I could report on the tsunami coming to Hawaii. I responded, OK...but I was in Amsterdam, and never told them that. Turns out that my hotel room television allowed me to constantly view two cameras from CNN pointed at Hilo Bay and Waikiki. A few friends of mine back home had to drive up to the hills just in case the worst happened.
Painting by Alex Stone.)