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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

THE MOST ENJOYABLE DAY OF MY LIFE

The most important day of my life was when I was born.  The odds of me being here were very low.  How low?  There are various ways one can determine the odds of my creation.  Let me simplify it with a rough fact that the average male will produce around 500 billion sperms in a lifetime.  Every female is born with around 2 million eggs.  Each combination of an egg and sperm produces a totally different human being.  Thus, there was one chance in a quintillion of me being born, which is one in 10 to the 18th power.  This is a best case scenario, for what were the odds of my father and mother even hooking up.  Each of you is here with this same probability.  That photo to the left came from FX Studios.  Watch the video, with music, no less.  But this was not my most enjoyable day because I was too young to appreciate this miracle.

If the title had to do with the best day of your life, for most of us it would be something close to:
  • being born
  • surviving a life-threatening event
  • meeting your true love
  • getting accepted by Stanford
  • graduating with a PhD
  • making nearly perfect scores on your SATs
  • finding out  that your school was selected to play in the Sugar Bowl
  • learning that some family member or friend got elected or won a major prize
  • ....and I can go on forever for many more
    Most of the above could well have been among my best.  But the posting of the day is "most enjoyable" day of my life.  
These days were not particularly enjoyable, as such because:
  • when I got married, that day was stressful and sweaty
  • when I graduated with a PhD in biochemical engineering, it was terrific, for I did not have to take another exam again in my life...plus the future potential was immense...but it was not a particularly enjoyable day
  • when I retired, my whole life changed, mostly for the better, but that first day was not  memorable
  • ...again, I can go on and on
Among those days that made the final list included, in no particular order:
  • except that in 1989, I had spent a few really stressful days in Papua New Guinea, and succeeded in my escape to Brisbane--those three days in Australia, compared to the previous three in the midst of cannibals, a revolution and malaria, perhaps would rank #2
  • on a trip from Honolulu to Bangkok just about six years ago I actually enjoyed 24 different kinds of alcoholic drinks, but mere survival is no way to enjoy life
  • I can't recall the details, but surely, some Christmas morning when I was very young and opened presents had to be enjoyable...I lost that special feeling of Christmas a long time ago
  • in all my years at the University of Hawaii I helped a range of students win awards, earn degrees, etc., and the totality of them all made were important...but there was no one day when anything monumental happened
  • well, getting promoted to full professor with tenure was a huge relief and enormously satisfying, but I can't even remember if I celebrated
  • I went to five films one day at the Ward Consolidated theaters, but just because I did not nod off once or get a headache is not the same as truly enjoying that ten-hour period
  • there was that two-day period in 1999 when I golfed at both St. Andrews and Carnoustie (the year they hosted the Open--and where the tournament will be played next year), which was a nice achievement, but not ecstatically enjoyable
I can list several dozen more of these pleasant moments, but to my surprise, after giving a lot of thought, my most enjoyable day of my life turns out to be on 19 October 2015 in Venice.  You can read that posting, but here is why:
  • The year was 2015 when I was on day #35 of my Grand Around the World Adventure.  This was the trip where I lost my wallet (which was later returned to me with nothing missing), lost a tooth in Istanbul and caught food poisoning in Frankfurt.  I was staying at the Westin in Venice had breakfast in my hotel.  I went to get some free champagne, and returned to see a pigeon eating my meal.  I quickly took out my camera and took a photo of a Blue-bar flying away.
  • For lunch I went to Quadri where I had five dishes all with white truffles, said to be the most expensive food in the world, three times the price of gold.  The white type costs three times more than the black ones.  Five wines were served.  Quadri is located on the second floor facing St. Marks Square.  
  • To my surprise the same (of course it's not the exact same one, but in subsequent stops on this trip and the rest of my life, I've been taking photos of blue-bar pigeons visiting with me at recognizable tourist sites) bird watched me eat.
  • After lunch I noticed a 100 yards away a theater which was selling tickets for a special tribute to Antonio Lucio Vivaldi by the San Marcos (Italian for St. Marks) Chamber Orchestra of the complete Four Seasons.  I very much enjoy classical music, especially Baroque, with Vivaldi my favorite composer.  I featured his Four Seasons here three years ago. What caught my attention was that this auditorium was where he actually composed some of this piece.  He was born in Venice.  
  • So I walked up to purchase a ticket and found out someone had just returned one, it was now available, and the performance had been sold out for some time.  Watch a 45-minute performance of The Four Seasons.  This experience occurred the day after I visited Leonardo da Vinci's painting of The Last Supper in Milan.  Something about being in the same room where masterpieces were created is difficult to match.
What is happening to our economy?  Today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average again broke its all-time high, up 39 to 22,371:


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Super Hurricane Maria is now at 160 MPH, destroyed Dominica and will make landfall over Puerto Rico tomorrow morning:


Category 4 or 5, Puerto Rico will be devastated.  The white line shows the probable track of Maria, still expected to miss the USA.



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