Tuesday, September 8, 2009

This 'n That

by Chuck

I thought I would put down a few thoughts before they escape me entirely - they are all over the map (figuratively): I love the yogurt, here. There is one type we got that is the best - except for Greek Yogurt - that I have ever had. I remember that one of the delights of the trip to Yugoslavia, years ago, was the varieties of "yogurt" they had.

I love my Ikea toilet kit. There are several hooks in the showers and I have, for the first time in my life, a kit that hangs from a hook and is large enough to hold my toiletries. A part of the ensemble is the ARC "shopping" bag from the UC Davis Activities and Recreation Center. I got this as a gimme from one of the Mini Service Fairs we held at noon during New Employee Orientation. It fits into a bag about half the size of a mini mouse (for computers); yet, when open, it is large enough to hold the kit, a towel and a washcloth - perfect! Finally, I am really enjoying my "free" 24 speed bike; but, I need clean it up and I need to figure out how to put a front fender on it - both bolts I have tried have not fit!

Claire mentioned the princess decor in the women's bathroom. She did not know that the equality of the sexes in this part of the world demands equal consideration for the little pirates of the campground. I did not even notice, of course, until she mentioned the princess layout.

The most intriguing part of the sculpture tour, for me, was the engineering marvel of the Needle Tower - a lattice work arrangement of pipes and metal cables. I have always been challenged in the area of understanding spacial relationships; so, it does not greatly surprise me that I cannot figure out how this damn thing is suspended. Any ideas?

I also enjoyed the Buddhist section of the outside sculpture gallery. My favorite statue was the one with the Buddha leaning on his hand; this may be a mudra with particular significance; but, I was simply taken with the uniqueness of the image.

Two other interesting impressions - regarding the influence of American English on the international scene: First, one of the teen-aged school girls, upon seeing one of the sculptures, "Wow, blah blah blah (in Dutch) igloo blah blah (again in Dutch). Sorry we have no picture of this metal igloo composed of metal shingles. Second, another young woman was chatting with her friend and said "Blah blah blah (Dutch one more time) Shit blah..." You can tell that my translation skills are poor; but, I am paying attention. The latter example remends me of my trip to Yugoslavia in 1973; I was sitting in a restaurant with my first wife, frustrated that I could not make myself understood, and said, "Shit, I cannot even order a bottle of wine in this country." Immediately, a diner from another table slid over to me and responded, "Did I hear a lovely American word?" I guess we are making significant contributions to world culture!

The park today was lovely; the weather was unbelievable; the bike ride was my third longest ever - but it was not challenging at all - thank goodness. The hardest part was finding our way back on a "shorter" route. My only disappointment for the day was the fact that I was too tired to enjoy the museum and we left having only seen a portion of what was offered. But, let's not be too greedy; it was a fantastic day. Now, if I could only figure out how to open and close our folding chairs.

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