Halfway There

He accepted the $1 donation and told me I should give up this search for the perfect job; corporate enslavement does not become me.

My street friend believes in my gift-of-gab and estimates an annual salary of $60k.

He offered to train me, with the prerequisite that I attend a self-defense class.

I laughed, told him I’d think about it, parted ways and woke up a few hours later dehydrated from sun; I’d fallen asleep in the park.

Perhaps I’m halfway there.

sleeping on a public park bench

When I was in Ireland, my cousins took me to Blarney but they physically blocked me from the stone. They said it was readily clear to all, the last thing I needed was the gift of gab. laugh

Btw, thoroughly enjoyed your post on the Dresden Xmas markets and Turkish cuisine – LOVE traveling the world with you guys.

Usually just take a sandwich and a notebook, write until the sun makes me sleepy and nod off for a few. 🙂

Fresh air! Making people feel good about themselves for a few buck. Sounds like Dr. Phil without the hypocrisy and studio lights! Something to think about. I love it. Great piece.

‘Gus’ is the only homeless guy I know who will ask about your troubles, offer you a smoke and thank you for any amount you had to offer.

You have to gauge your venues – Bozeman and Seattle are great places for daytime naps in a park. Texas, not so much… fire ants and beefy buzzing/stinging things outnumber humans. 😀

Monotony can be found in many “jobs” – think the rejection would get to me quickly.

Gus is a character, he goes by many names and has many stories to tell of his life – gotta take it all with a grain of salt as his name and story change each time you encounter him.

I don’t mean to be Pete and Re-Peat but Memographer mirrored my exact same thought, Maria! I love your Wordless Wednesdays but your personal stories are the ones that have me inch up to the edge of my seat with anticipation the second I click on them and open to read.

I may have missed one in months past but this is the first time I recall actually seeing a picture of YOU (your avatar aside)! You are captivating always, our friend.

Been there, tried that (fallen asleep in the park).

Every time I read your posts I expect a “turn-around”… You got me this time, Maria

Frequent shoppers of Kroger aware of the Krogerfeedback program to share their shopping experience with the management. Visit the official website and answer the questions. Retails stores are looking for the get information about the customer satisfaction level with respect to the valuable feedback for its product and services.

Moving Away Gifts for Best Friends 2020

The time has come to look for original gift ideas for a birthday, Valentine’s Day, wedding, anniversary, graduation, father’s day, Christmas or any other eventuality.

The problem is that for the occasion, he or she will receive so many gifts that the risk of giving a double gift or something he already has as a gift.

The person to whom you have to give the gift, however, is special for you and you would like to surprise her with an unusual, unique and original gift.

If this is the situation, you’ve come to the right place!

This list contains 80 gift ideas where you can find the right gift for any type of occasion, in person, even for those who already have everything.

It only takes you 3 minutes.

You will soon find a nice, funny and unusual thought that you are looking for.

Best Friends Moving Away Gifts 2020

Ps: If this list of ideas is not enough for you, read the articles dedicated gifts for friends moving away


spread nutella
  • What is sweeter and more loved in the world of Nutella?
  • A nutella spreader is a cheap gadget suitable for young and old, who adore the sweet hazelnut cream.
  • An original gift idea suitable for birthday or name day.

 Details on Amazon.it


Scalp massager
  • Many people love it. Acting on the very sensitive nerves of the scalp, a massager for the scalp gives intense moments of relaxation.
  • You can opt for a massaging brush or for the traditional ray massager.
  • If you give it away, be careful not to be hired as an official masseur. You risk not leaving it anymore.

 Details on Amazon.it


slice pineapple
  • Pineapple is an amazing fruit, rich in vitamins and substances that are very good for the body.
  • However, slicing them is quite complicated if you don’t have the right accessory.
  • This will allow him / her to do it easily and comfortably. This way you can enjoy all the taste of a good fresh pineapple.

 Details on Amazon.it


desk pencil holder
  • If it is a student or a student, or someone who works at the desk or office, a nice original pen holder could be the right idea.
  • You can choose from many models according to your tastes.
  • You can opt for the classic cylinder shape or for an organizer divided into compartments.

 Details on Amazon.it


pacman lamp
  • This original gift idea is suitable for young people. Who doesn’t know Pac Mac’s cute and troublesome red ghost?
  • Directly from the 80s.
  • It is a lamp that furnishes the bedroom and the living room (and not only).

 Details on Amazon.it


Make up mirror
  • Portable mirror in plastic and glass, which resembles a chocolate biscuit, equipped with a comb that massages the scalp improving blood circulation.
  • It is available in 7 rainbow colors.
  • It is anti-knot and anti-static, suitable for all hair types. It keeps them soft and shiny.

 Details on Amazon.it


wall photo frame
  • What’s better than surrounding yourself with the happiest and happiest memories?
  • A frame for the photographs to put on the wall allows it.
  • Choose the one you like best. You could give it with a photo of the two of you inside. It is a gift idea suitable for anyone.

 Details on Amazon.it


Clip Wine Thermometer
  • This is suitable for true wine connoisseurs. It is applied directly on the bottle.
  • It is useful for controlling the suitable temperature at which the wine should be stored.
  • Some models have a LED display and indications regarding the correct temperature of each type of wine.

 Details on Amazon.it


invisible book holder original gift
  • If the person loves to read and his room or house is a kind of library, this is the right original gift idea.
  • These shelves are applied to the wall in a very simple way.
  • They are invisible, help keep books in order and decorate the environment.

 Details on Amazon.it


Mr Mrs Always
  • This set with two ceramic cups is suitable for a couple or for a party or a romantic gift.
  • They are white with a really fun design.
  • The mug has a black mustache for him and the words “Mr Right”. The one for her has a pair of red lips and the words “Mrs Always Right”.

Moving away gifts for best friends : Incoming search terms.

AWESOME 8 Travel Gifts 2020 – Christmas Gifts for People Who Love to Travel

Below is the list of awesome collection of travel gifts 2020 for every travellers out there. If your friend is a vagabond or a backpacker or any type of traveller these gifts will fit to his life easily.

Also read : Gifts for travelling businessman

In this article we recommend what we think are the only useful and original accessories that you must never forget when you are about to leave, and we give you some suggestions for choosing the best ones.

The list of best travel gifts for 2020 is compatible with any type of traveler (man or woman) and contains useful objects in many different categories, including tech travel accessories (to be able to use all your devices at any time of the trip and to capture the best moments), accessories for traveling comfortably by plane / car / train, those for organising luggage, and much more.

List of Travel Gifts 2020 for Travel Lovers this Christmas

Everything else is obviously important (you won’t leave without socks or underpants no !?), but some of these items may escape you when you pack your bags and you may miss them during your trip. So here is the list of accessories to always carry on the road with you:

1 | Light and resistant backpack

Indispensable for: traveling with comfort

If it is obvious to carry a backpack or duffel for your travels, it is not as easy to find the right one, in which to store in an orderly, comfortable and easily accessible way, all the objects to take with you, without the risk of losing something on the street . Furthermore, whether you are about to embark on a journey by plane, train, car or any other means, the ideal backpack must be resistant but at the same time light, so as not to weigh too much on your shoulders or on the check-in scale if you travel by plane.

Recommended accessories:

    • Type:
      short trips / backpackers
    • Features:
      ✔️ light (700gr)
      ✔️ large (44 liters)
      ✔️ small size (55x40x20)
      ✔️ also suitable as hand luggage on the plane
      ✔️ internal organizer
    • Similar alternatives:
      ⭐ Overmont 35L
      (convertible into a duffel bag)
      ⭐ Neekfox 35L
      (also ideal for trekking)
    • Type:
      long journeys
    • Features:
      ✔️ very large (55, 65 or 75 liters + expansion bag for additional 5 liters)
      ✔️ water repellent
      ✔️ comfortable (adjustable bands and height)
    • Similar alternatives:
      ⭐ Mountain Warehouse

2 | Travel pillow

Indispensable for: recharging energy during the journey

Whether you are leaving for a trip for months or only a few days, time is very precious on the road, and trying to rest during long journeys (such as by plane, train or car) is one of the most useful tricks to succeed to make the most of your time, without ever having to give up anything.

So an indispensable accessory to rest as much as possible is the travel pillow, which you can find in dozens of shapes and colors, soft, rigid, even inflatable if you have little space available.

Recommended accessories:

    • Type:
      classic travel pillow
    • Features:
      ✔️ ergonomic and robust (excellent cervical support)
      ✔️ complete set (includes case, eye mask and ear plugs)
    • Similar alternatives:
      ⭐ Glaucus Kids Pillow
      (cute designs for kids: panda, piglet, strawberry, frog, cat, tiger)

    • Type:
      inflatable travel pillow
    • Features:
      ✔️ quickly inflatable with a special button
      ✔️ extra-compact (it compresses and can be stored in the small case)

3 | Universal adapter

Essential for: using / recharging any electronic device anywhere and without difficulty

We are confident that, like us, most travelers always carry a wide range of electronic devices (smartphones, PCs, tablets, cameras, action cams, drones, headphones, Kindle and whoever has more to wear).

And then a very convenient accessory, all in all economic, and which allows you to save yourself many troubles, is undoubtedly the universal adapter, a very simple device to be able to connect your devices to electrical outlets of any country in the world, (Check gifts for someone travelling to italy) without having to search and purchase a specific adapter.

If you don’t already have one with you, make sure you buy one that has, in addition to the main socket, at least 3 or 4 USB ports, so that you can connect multiple devices at the same time and that supports fast charging. The most recent also have at least one USB Type-C input, useful for compatible devices.

Recommended accessories:

    • Type:
      travel adapter
    • Features:
      ✔️ 4 USB ports
      ✔️ USB Type-C
      port ✔️ fast charging fast-charging
      ✔️ devices up to 2000W (supports electric razors, hair
      dryers , hair straighteners and the like) ✔️ safe and tested (FCC, CE, RoHs certifications)
    • Similar alternatives:
      ⭐ Base adapter
      (2 USB ports, medium power devices up to 660W (at 110V) or 1380W (at 220V))

4 | Powerbank

Essential for: using / recharging electronic devices at any time

Still on the subject of electronics, another very practical tech accessory on the go is the powerbank, or more simply a portable charger. Once fully charged, a good powerbank can easily recharge your smartphone, tablet, and any other small device 4/5 times.

If you need to buy one, make sure that the power bank has a good capacity, at least 20,000 mAh (or better yet 25,000 mAh). This capacity represents the amount of energy that can be stored and, considering that most smartphones / iPhones have a battery with a capacity between 2,000 – 4,000 mAh, you will be able to comfortably recharge each device during the trip, without having to connect to an electrical outlet. and wait for the necessary time.

Recommended accessories:

  • POWERBANK 24,800 MAH
    • Type:
      high capacity powerbank
    • Features:
      ✔️ very high capacity (24,800 mAh, on average charging 6 times a common smartphone)
      ✔️ led indicators for the remaining charge
      ✔️ fast charging fast-charging
      ✔️ 4 USB ports
      ✔️ colors available: white, red, black

    • Type: power
      bank with solar panel
    • Features:
      ✔️ integrated solar panel (allows charging the powerbank without electricity, ideal for camping or during outdoor excursions)
      ✔️ very high capacity (26.800mAh)
      ✔️ wireless charging (on devices that support it such as iPhone X series, iPhone 8 etc.)
      ✔️ 4 USB + Type-C
      ports ✔️ 18 led flashlight
      ✔️ IP66 certified (certified resistance to dust and water)

5 | Waterproof case

Indispensable for: protecting smartphones and important documents

Another travel accessory very useful on several occasions is the waterproof case, often sold in the ideal size for smartphones, but can be used in the same way to protect identity documents, passport, money, keys and so on. Obviously this accessory is very useful to the sea, to avoid leaving your objects unattended on the beach, but in our opinion having one behind it can always be useful, for example when it rains, or more generally whenever there is a need to keep safely their belongings.

Recommended accessories:

    • Type:
      smartphone waterproof case
    • Features:
      ✔️ IPX 8 certified (indicates that the product has passed the resistance tests for prolonged immersion)
      ✔️ material that supports the touch-screen (possibility to use the smartphone indoors)
      ✔️ high compatibility (all smartphones up to 6.5 inches diagonal)
      ✔️ manufacturer’s lifetime warranty

    • Type:
      waterproof case
    • Features:
      ✔️ IPX 8 certified
      ✔️ large (21.8 x 17.6 cm, suitable for large smartphones, wallet and documents)
      ✔️ material that supports the touch-screen
      ✔️ adjustable strap

6 | Mini first aid kit

Essential for: simply solving small emergencies

When we are leaving for long journeys, we often exaggerate a bit in terms of medicines and we start with a supply worthy of a small pharmacy, which obviously we bring back almost intact. As always when it is too much, it is too much, but a small first aid kit with all the essentials for small events, is the most balanced (and compact) solution to take with you, and can avoid unnecessary worries during your trip.

Recommended accessories:

    • Type:
      basic first aid kit (for small emergencies)
    • Features:
      ✔️ safe products (compliant with Directive 93/42 / EEC)
      ✔️ made in Italy
      ✔️ nylon bag with zip

7 | Action cam

Indispensable for: capturing the most beautiful and adventurous moments of the trip

Like many travelers, during our travels we love to capture the most beautiful and fun moments, and since we purchased a small portable camera, we have been able to take photos and record videos on any occasion.

Unlike the more demanding traditional cameras, unbeatable in terms of quality but much more bulky, with an action-cam or portable camera, you are ready to record in a matter of seconds, and there is no limit that holds: water, snow, mud, air, any scenery becomes the perfect theater to resume the unforgettable moments of the journey.

Faced with the choice between a traditional action cam (such as the GoPro 8 or the DJI Osmo Action) and a stabilized camera with gimbal, we personally oriented ourselves on the second, more precisely on the DJI Osmo Pocket, an extremely compact camera (so much to be really in a pocket) but capable of taking photos and recording 4K videos of surprising quality, thanks to the very precise 3-axis stabilizer. In short, an accessory that we never leave at home, whether it’s a weekend trip or a long trip abroad.

In choosing between a classic action cam and a camera with gimbal, consider well the use you will make of it and oriented on the first if you want to use it in purely sporting activities (diving, skiing, climbing), otherwise choose the second if you intend to use it more daily.

Recommended accessories:

    • Type:
      high-end action cam
    • Features:
      ✔️ very high quality video (4K HDR)
      ✔️ electronic image stabilization (ESI)
      ✔️ dual screen (front + rear touchscreen)
      ✔️ wide angle lens (145 °)
      ✔️ completely waterproof (no need for additional accessories)


    • Type:
      high-end action cam
    • Features:
      ✔️ highest quality video (4K)
      ✔️ electronic image stabilization (ESI)
      ✔️ rear touchscreen display
      ✔️ live streaming in 1080p quality

  • APEMAN A100
    • Type:
      economy-class action cam
    • Features:
      ✔️ latest model in the Apeman series of cheap action cameras (price below € 100)
      ✔️ 4K stabilized videos up to 50fps (50 images per second)
      ✔️ integrated wifi
      ✔️ 20MP photos
      ✔️ waterproof up to 40 meters deep
      ✔️ kit accessories included


    • Type:
      camera stabilized with gimbal
    • Features:
      ✔️ very high quality video (4K up to 60fps)
      ✔️ 3-axis mechanical stabilization (smooth and perfectly stabilized videos in any condition)
      ✔️ pocket-sized and very light (116gr)
      ✔️ active-track, time-lapse, motion-lapse mode, panoramic photos 3 × 3

8 | Travel organizer

To make sure you never forget anything, a particularly useful accessory is the travel organizer. They are available in many formats but the ones we recommend are organizers designed for electronic accessories, which have numerous pockets, zip and elastic bands and are therefore perfect for organizing every type of small accessory.

Without wasting time before each departure, prepare one with everything you can need while traveling, and always leave it ready, because even at home it is very convenient to have everything well organized in very little space, without dozens of separate boxes and containers.

Indispensable for: neatly protecting and storing all small accessories

Recommended accessories:

    • Typology:
      organizer for electronics
    • Features:
      ✔️ waterproof nylon case
      ✔️ compartments with elastic bands, pockets and zip
      ✔️ ultra-compact and very light (less than 60gr)

    • Type:
      suitcase organizer
    • Features:
      ✔️ cubes with compression system (to better organize the suitcase taking up very little space)
      ✔️ available in many colors with sets of 4 or 7 pieces
      ✔️ eco-sustainable (made with recycled plastic bottles)

These are all the best travel gifts for 2020 that we always carry, and that we recommend for your travels, but obviously when you are leaving there is also much more that you have to pack.

For this reason we recommend our article What to pack , where you can find a complete and well organized list in categories, perfect for quickly preparing your luggage. You can tick what you pack directly from your phone or PC, without having to print the list (but if you are more comfortable with a sheet of paper, we have made the lists available in PDF format to be printed).

Having said that, if you liked the best travel gifts 2020 article or if you think there are other useful accessories to add, please let us know with a comment below.

Monster in the Closet

Having only just moved there, I longed to learn about my new hometown and create a few friendships. I attended every lecture, mixer, and meet-up. I was at networking events for programmers despite having only a vague familiarity with the term, ‘reboot.’ I crashed sailing club meetings despite a fear of water, and there I was with the scientists; riveted to every factoid they related about golden-cheeked warblers and feral pigs.

Late that evening beneath an ebony sky, I walked the dog – actually we were propelled along the dimly lit streets by a constant wind. No lightening, no thunder, but there was a definite storm brewing.  The walk had been more like Olympic speed racing as she dashed from shrub, to boulder, to tree.  Then I heard it… a single, guttural grunt that sent a chill down my spine.  I slowly turned and there in the spot light cast by a street lamp, it stood squarely.  It wasn’t that tall, but it was that wide.

I twisted the dog’s leash around my hand a few times so she had no choice but to heal.  Her ears slicked back, her head dropped to shoulder level; she’d spotted it.  A swift visual recon of my surroundings showed there was nowhere to hide.  Aim between the eyes, that’s what the scientists had said, but I didn’t have a weapon so I grabbed a garden gnome from a stranger’s yard.  If the worst case scenario came, I would smash the gnome over the pig’s snout, perhaps confusing him long enough to escape.  Sure, that was completely reasonable.

We moved closer, one foot in front of the other.  We crept forward, about 3 feet as the seconds ticked by (in synch with my pulse pounding in my head). Then, in a blur, it crossed the street diagonally – so suddenly and quickly that I yelped, tripped over the dog and almost lost my gnome-of-protection as my nemesis came to rest a few feet from me.

This large, angry feral pig was nothing more than a big, black, filled-to-capacity trash bag made kinetic by the brewing storm.  Sometimes knowledge is power.  Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

Sometimes, the monster in the closet… is just hiding from the feral pig on the street.

Wild Birds of Flame

Sparks leap to the sky

Gone before they reach the stars

Wild birds of flame dance

Aww, that cute little boy is trying to escape the smoke in his jacket!;-)

At first I was amazed by romanticism of your haiku.

The Arctic is truly remote, can sometimes feel hostile but is often breathtaking and the people are what really make it worth staying. As a photographer and adventure lover yourself, you’d have a blast here.

Here in the Arctic they are 2x the fun – it’s usually windy and rarely above 55F although we do lose a little of the romance that can accompany a bonfire as our sun never sets during summer.

That must smell so good. I wish I had a wiener, marshmallows, and a beer. What is that boy looking for in his jacket? Is that guy in the back going to swing? This looks like a great thinking spot. The last time I was at a bonfire, I fell asleep next to the warmth of the flames…gotta do that again.

The little boy was just trying to stay warm in the chilly fog and all the fixings for Smores were present.
The location is my front yard – the beach along the Arctic Ocean, a wild and wonderful place.

They had all the fixin’s that night (marshmallows, Hershey bars and Graham Crackers) and they did it right -Smores first, BBQ second.

That kid is a sweetheart and I couldn’t blame him for hunkering down – I was wearing earmuffs that night to keep the wind out.

I love the thoughtfulness of the man in the photo. I really appreciated your background story above as well. Very interesting!

It’s also unfortunate that I can only show you 100 miles or so of the northern most part.
Alaska is so large, Texas and California would both fit inside it.

What are they burning?

At first I thought I could see the ribs of a boat, imagining that someone died and this is the send-off for his belongings. Romanticising… But I see / I think they are palettes and bigger timbers. Maybe from a house? From some deliveries? Come to think of it, how do things arrive from the ‘outside world’? Does everything have to arrive by plane or boat? Or is it possible to drive there? Of course, it’s Alaska, so it’s part of the continent, (a piece of the main) – but maybe the route is impossible/impassible/impractical/impracticable for large trucks?

How do they heat their homes, their buildings?

How far has that wood travelled to get there?

How often do they burn stuff?

Is that a pet that the young man-boy is looking at inside his jacket?

And then you are there, Maria. Did you come across them? Did you go out with them to do or to watch the burning?

And again the sense of the place with the flat plain stretching beyond, is really captured.

David, I LOVE your inquiring mind – I’ll do my best to answer your questions (and I’d still like to see photos from your time in Finland) –

  1. The photo is of my friend and coworker, Maasak, at a bonfire on the beach this past Friday ‘night.’
  2. The wood was from palettes from food and goods deliveries.

  3. A) Things arrive from the ‘outside’ world via plane.
    B) They can and do fly vehicles in, but a large amount of those (and other goods) arrive ONCE per year on the annual barge.
    C) There is NO port, nor dock, anywhere in this area so the barge is pulled in by tug boats (I haven’t lived here long enough yet to see this event but I look forward to it like a kid waiting for Santa) and then pulled ashore with heavy equipment.
  4. No, it is not possible to drive here.
  5. We are about 450 miles north of the demarcation of the Arctic Circle so you could use a 4-wheeler (ATV) in summer or a snow-machine (snow mobile) in winter but there aren’t any gas stations along the way so you would have to pull a sled with extra fuel and food to achieve such a feat and camp along the way.
  6. We heat with natural gas and electricity.
  7. There’s no telling how far the wood has traveled. The wood probably came from a gorgeous forest in Oregon, no telling where it was milled after it was felled and even then it would be shipped to some palette company somewhere before being purchased by the manufacturer or supplier of whatever was shipped in on it.
  8. We don’t typically burn trash here, which surprises me because nothing leaves the Arctic (except people) and with the way residents whinge daily about a few mosquitoes I’d think they’d adopt the SE Asian habit of trash burning to rid an area of mosquitoes. However, I digress – there are bonfires weekly. Just drive the coastal road (we do have roads in and around the village) and you’ll come across half a dozen or more each weekend evening.
  9. The young boy was bored, cold and trying to keep warm – no animals attended the event (jelly fish and squid washing up on the beach don’t count).
  10. I was invited to this event and it synched perfectly with my nightly habit of walking a mile of the beach so I stopped by on my way back – grateful for the warmth of the fire (that fog was accompanied by a steady wind that made it a nose-running-chilly night).

Bonus info:

  • There was a BBQ associated with the bonfire but the food was prepared and kept inside a building across the street.
  • I walk the beach daily, usually twice per day and generally for an hour or more each time, but rarely see anyone… unless there is a bonfire.
  • The geography runs as follows: The ocean, the beach (dark sand and dark pea gravel mix) a dirt road, a few buildings and then tundra… as far as the eye can see. When I took the shot of Massak at the bonfire, the ocean was to my left and the dirt road, buildings and tundra were off to my right.
  • We are still treated daily to the midnight sun so there is no sunset, there is no dusk, there is no twilight. It’s as bright at 14:00 as it is at 23:00 or at 03:00. The sun does not move up, nor down – just around to the right throughout the day/night as if on an invisible track. laugh

I love the pensive look my friend Maasak is giving – he appears completely mesmerized and I’d have loved to know his thoughts at that moment.

Haiku – Gone Fishing

No sound but the wind

Water and ice hide the bounty

Left on shore to wait

Can’t help identifying with the boat. So left and lonely.

Ready for action and adventure, to said the sea and carry the brave hunters. Don’t be sad, come summer in the Arctic – the snow is melting and everyday reveals a new gem to me.

The Arctic is truly an amazing environment – seemingly empty but teeming with life, you just have to look a little more carefully to see it.

You know, they still create these boats by hand and use them to hunt whale from the edges of the ice.
Amazes me that 4-6 men can catch a whale for their village in such a vessel.

Alaska has it all – beaches, mountains, rainforest, desert, trees, tundra and some of the most welcoming people I’ve met anywhere. Come north to the future, hit the top of the world and experience the land of the midnight sun.

I was watching a show about Arctic living this weekend and totally thought about you! How many layers do you need to wear on a typical day, or are there brands of REALLY awesome cold weather clothing you guys rock?

Today was 28 degrees (F) and I wore a sleeveless tank, and a merino long sleeved cardigan over Smartwool leggings with ONE pair of socks, and Ugg knock-offs.

Outside, I did add a fleece scarf and my Hally Henson parka. The wind was down so I skipped the hat. However, weather.com promises temps will rise to 40 (F) this week… Heat Wave!!!

I find Haiku perfect for the Arctic. I have a coworker who will tell you that desolation is a condition of the soul. The landscape is never desolate; we can’t see what’s below the ice and snow so we project an emotional condition onto what we do see. She may be right.

As the snow slowly melts and the ice recedes, objects lost last fall (I’ve started a quirky collection thereof), plants, and animals (sea gulls, swans, ravens, fox, lemmings, shrews and more) appearing -if only momentarily- everywhere.

Arctic Alaska is like no where else on earth. At times it gives the 3rd world a run for the money and at other moments the stunning beauty stops me in my tracks and I can’t imagine being anywhere else.

The “soil” is like the best pea-gravel you’ll come across (set atop Perma-frost – Google will give great intel on that term). You quickly learn the darker the soil, the more chances of getting your vehicle stuck.

Chief One Feather

We pushed through and broke free of the crowd to the sidewalk.  Chief Seattle kept me company and while I studied the bronze likeness under the glow of street lamps, a husky voice addressed me from behind, “I’m Chief One Feather, homeless, got anything for me?”

As my friend met his request I noted the shiner quickly developing under his left eye and a white, shining pearl caught the street light – a top tooth had broken through his bottom lip.  Chief swayed forward, and back, balancing on the curb’s edge. 

He smoothed his long, ebony hair back from his angular face and over one shoulder with shaking hands.  He wasn’t drunk enough to ignore my stare; he laughed and exclaimed, “You should see the other guy!” then recounted the details of his recent bum-fight.

Cigarettes spent, story told, I asked if he wanted a ride to a hospital.  Chief’s face slowly twisted in an expression of disgust, he spat at my feet, crossed the street and silently disappeared into the night.

Not a story I was hoping to read while drinking my English breakfast tea… But, still a good one. I guess, you didn’t spit back.

I didn’t spit back. I game more of a shrug and subtle head shake in response.

Worked in downtown, seen some nasty behavior of homeless… Not a supporter in general.

There is this guy i met had blood all over his body and when i offered help to take him to hospital he said if i can give him a little cash he will manage to hospital. I gave him cash . It was a shock to see him on a television carrying animal blood which he smear his body then out in the street to be given charity. This is soo bad.

He carried the animal blood to stage an injury, get pity and cash? Wow!

I stopped giving money to the homeless after living in NYC. I started keeping protein bars in my bag and offering them instead of cash. That’s when you realize how many just want money for drugs and alcohol.

I have friends who give out socks – homeless have a lot of issues with their feet. The power bars are a great idea!

Ah, so you met one of Seattle’s street residents? Their actually quite vicious. I’ve had a few encounters with some over the years, but in recent times I’ve become as condescending to them as they have been to me. Luckily you only got spat on.

One of the funniest instances is that my friend got chicken bones thrown at her when she refused to give money to one. Not sure why they believe they are more entitled than other street residents from other cities. Oh, well.

I lived in Belltown for a couple of years and try to get back when I can to visit friends who still live there. Pioneer Sq and 3rd ave from Pine to Bell were always my least favorite spots. This encounter took place outside the 5 Point.

In the words of the song, ‘Don’t look at me to see if I’m alright’.

But it’s a hard road to follow.

Nice story – at least he spat at your feet and not in your face.

It’s heartbreaking to see people in this condition. We do what we can- and hope that others follow suit.

Once I offered homemade food to one of the homeless people in SF, instead of asking for money, he asked for water… It took me a long time to figure out he was saying “water” because most of the homeless here have physical and mental problems. They probably don’t even know what pity is… Totally agreed to “but you can only offer to help in whatever way you can.”

Your experience with the water is intriguing. Sometimes they don’t want anything and other times they want your sleeping bag – but that’s a story for another day.

Well told. I guess he wanted money and the chance to share a story…but obviously not pity.

So many of them are often on the edge Colleen – but you can only offer to help in whatever way you can.

I am very familiar with the homeless during my career. On the street one day about 15 years ago there was one on a street corner with the ever clever dog and sign, “Hungry! Need money to buy food”.

Which 75% of the time = alcohol. I made him a full 9 x 13 casserole for the next day and stopped and handed it to him. He tossed in the street shouting, “Give me money!!” Ya.

In fairness, there are a ton of truly down and out good people in this world who are homeless.

Just 5 Little Words

In Observance of Valentine’s Day I offer the following:

Leave me wanting more

Why bother playing it safe

Just 5 little words

Modern Valentine 2014 - MariaFalvey.net

“Every day is Valentine’s day!”

Must always want more. Can’t always play it safely. That’s Impossible! 🙂

That’s brilliant! Honestly missed that one – thank you very much. I know that I would get attached quickly and easily if I visited Gran Canaria.

Exciting stuff always. 5 little words “Can i be your Valentine?”. Hope you had a fabulous one.

You have to be good to and love yourself as well as others. I featured Phoenix on Wordless Wednesday during Valentine’s week and this haiku to remind people there are a lot of different kinds of love (love for pets, friends, etc…) 😀

The mood (serious, playful, lustful) will definitely influence the words chosen.

So many words, in so many languages, with so many choices of medium with which to express oneself. grin What would your 5 be?

The Traveler’s Note

The day is filled with color, texture, scents and sound. People speaking, factories whirring, traffic humming, but at this hour the sky soothes the bustle with ebony velvet.  Others are snug beneath their blankets, overcome by slumber yet busy still, as dreams fill their nighttime schedule.  I lie awake, waiting, yearning for the quiet to be fractured by its presence.

In my mind’s eye I see it coming, swiftly passing backwater towns, sensually winding its way through the mist and picking up the scent of evergreens despite its brief encounter with them. The track is miles from here, far too great a distance to catch sight of the single headlamp illuminating what lies ahead.  Nonetheless, I wait.

My eyelids (tired and heavy from not wanting to miss a moment of the day that had passed) now attempt to convince me that my own dreams are so enticing I should relax, let go and sink into the comfort of the bedding.  With a blurred view from beneath my eyelashes’ flutter I hear it as if it’s just at the end of my block.

A single, sonorous note lasting no more than 5 seconds, but heralding it’s arrival, and I’m no longer drowsy.  I have the image of the sleek, aerodynamic carriages, one after another, moving as though gliding along ice.  Once again, now much closer.  A 5 second blast assures me I am not alone this night; someone else is awake, is traveling, en route and as it passes I receive the third and final auditory gift that dissipates more quickly than it arrived.

A train whistle in the still of the night, has a great soporific effect and I slip silently into slumber.

chalabala - Fotolia.com - train sopeeding through the night
Photo Credit:  © chalabala – Fotolia.com

While I do love trains I also love air travel 🙂

Next time I lay awake waiting to hear the train whistle – I really will know I’m not alone… got a lot of great readers who are doing the same.

This one is so smooth! The magic between the lines almost made me “slip silently” at the end.

Who can better put in writing the feeling we all know? – “My eyelids tired and heavy from not wanting to miss a moment of the day that had passed…” Ahh, so lovely.

I was lying in bed listening for the train the other night – made me think of how I do that very same thing everywhere I travel. In the morning I wrote the Traveler’s Note.

When I lived in Vancouver we used to hear the train whistles and the steel on steel as it lurched around sharp corners. I like the fact that you can usually set your clock to the train schedule.

A train whistle, the sound of a river, rain, thunder, birds starting the day a few hours too early … none of these sounds I find disturbing while asleep. Except once when I had a hotel which was located next to a train station and it seemed like there was an earthquake every time a train passed which was about every 30 minutes … for the entire night.

There are definitely times when you can have too much of a good thing.

I like this… because I can relate to both positions in the story. For me, this is kind of like the perpetual “grass is greener” feeling. When I’m a grimy and tired traveller, all I want is the comfort of a familiar bed, especially at night. But when I’m too comfortable, all I want is to be getting a little dirty on the road.

It’s a great gift to be able to travel and explore the world without going anywhere. But be careful with the Freudian imagery:)

In Reno, Nevada I live at the top ridge of this enormous “bowl” the city sits in. Trains come through a few times during the night. This “bowl” creates a perfect acoustical environment for everyone to hear not on the trains but the jets taking off 10 miles away at the airport. A girlfriend texted me about 1 a.m. several years ago saying, “Do you hear the train?” I did. She said, “It sounds like a friend I want to be leaving with.” I said, “Me too.” We still text each other from time to time upon hearing it, “There goes our friend again…” It’s really cool.

LOVE hearing the train whistle at night, and I’ve always lived close enough to hear one.

Many people think the train whistle to be lonely but I don’t – instantly I start imaging who is on it, where it’s going.

Think you and I must be traveling romantics through and through.

Haiku – Beyond the New Year

Countdown to midnight

Resolutions forgotten

The new year begins

Single Sparkler for New Years or any Holiday - from pixabay

But this year, since the holidays coincided with my move, and now my job (and man lol) search, it is a season of change and growth.

Muse and the song, Feeling Good

  • – – – – – – –
    It’s a new dawn
    It’s a new day
    It’s a new life
    For me And I’m feeling good

Daily resolutions are more immediate, e.g. wake up, write down the toughest thing that you need/want to get done and try to start working on it as soon as possible. I got off a semi-hellish overnight bus this morning so today was an exception. The most important thing I needed to do was take a power nap. DONE!

They say 80% of resolutions made every year fails. Thanks i do not make resolutions cause i will definitely fail or forget.

I stopped making resolutions all together cause I never seem to be able to stick to it anyhow.

I think you have an amazing amount of self-discipline… unless you’re about to tell me that your resolution was to not make resolutions laugh

I’m resolved to avoiding all things virtuous this year… think I’ve got a good shot at keeping that one. Ha!

I want my resolutions based always from within not by a calendar. The bright, beautiful sparkles epitomize all that is possible as I strive to achieve the best that I can be as a person.