But can one still make resolutions when one is over forty? I live according to twenty-year-old habits. – Andre Gide
I took the train from Paris to Zurich a couple of weeks ago and here are the things I saw; the ride is fabulous especially when it snows:
I arrived at the main Bahnhof,
And thinking about my dad who loves the famous veal sausages (Bratwurst), I had one before heading to my hotel:
The view from my hotel room was magic at dusk thanks to the snow:
I had a huge smile staring out the window the next day:
After two days I headed back to Paris but not before relishing the site of the divine Sprungli cakes; you gain weight just looking at them!
My favorite is this Vermicelles cake. “In Switzerland, chestnuts are used in a variety of desserts, most commonly in a dessert called Vermicelles where the chestnuts are sweetened in a purée and then pushed through a ricer or similar instrument to produce delicious “noodles” which can be eaten as is or as a decoration on top of cakes. Vermicelles are most commonly served atop some whipped cream with some crushed meringues for added sweetness and texture, a dessert sometimes referred to as Mont Blanc outside of Switzerland”:
The train ride back was as beautiful:
I came back and guess who was waiting for me in Paris?
Happy Holidays Everybody!
“We have a choice: we can become a shrinking regional party of middle-aged and older white men, or we can fight to become a national governing party. And to do the latter we have to fix our Hispanic problem as quickly as possible, we’ve got to accept science and start calling out these false equivalencies when they occur within our party about things that are just not true, and not tolerate the intolerant.” John Weaver (a Republican strategist)
“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” Isaac Asimov
It’s a rainy afternoon in Paris, just the way I like it, but I am in bed 3 weeks after a foot surgery and lots of time to read.
Some time ago I was nudged by my friend, Ajay, (happy birthday Ajay) to read Paris: a love story. I thought maybe it’s about the one among millions of little/big romances in the city of lights so I didn’t rush to it. I was surprised to find a very interesting book by Kati Marton:
She was the wife of Peter Jennings and Richard Holbrooke and she has been in love with Paris all her life. I liked both these gentlemen and her story starting in Hungary and continuing all over Europe and United States kept me reading through the night (pain is also responsible for keeping you awake).
I knew Holbrooke from his days in Bosnia and Afghanistan and Jennings was coming to all our homes for years via ABC News. After that book and no brighter future in pain reduction, I started reading The unquiet American, a very interesting book published by Holbrooke’s friends after his death in 2011.
It is an amazing book if you like history and/or are interested in high diplomacy; Richard Holbrooke shines with his whole package of qualities and imperfections. I am considering to read (finally) a book by John le Carré, being nudged this time by Holebrooke himself!
I rarely read fiction so it would be hard to choose which of these two to read and which just watch as a film. The free first chapters from Kindle will help me make up my mind. I am as they say a “promiscuous” but loyal reader – I read many books at the same time but I do finish them all!
“History keeps her secrets longer than most of us. But she has one secret that I will reveal to you tonight in the greatest confidence. Sometimes there are no winners at all. And sometimes nobody needs to lose.” John le Carré
I made the above image 4 years ago for this post.
I remember how happy I was when creating these and I am still hopeful that maybe he will be able to deliver in his second round…
And I remember this gloomy yet hopeful december in California in 2008…
My favorite picture of Obama is still this one:
Many are a bit disappointed with him but the alternative is just scary…
I’ve been to the Loire Valley in France a few times but never seen anything like the Château de Villandry’s magnificent gardens!
I would like to share this with my friends so let’s start: the Loire region is a few hours from Paris and the roads are bordered by poppies in May/June:
herbs and vegetables and of course fruits:
Let me tell you, living in Paris isn’t easy! Aside from dealing with stressed out Parisians on the Metro, one of my big problems here is that there are so many different wines: some great, some OK, and some terrible— and it isn’t easy to remember which are which! I thought that there must already be a great Android Wine App for that, so I searched and searched… to no avail.
I did find many Apps that promised they would do the job, but when I tried them, they were all terrible! Without exception, they were hard to use, ugly and filled with advertising that I wasn’t interested in…
This led me to realize that there was an opportunity to design an App for Wine Lovers using Android phones! A couple of months later, I am proud to announce that Wine Secretary is now available in the Play Store for free. It allows wine lovers to have a list in their pocket, of all the wines they have tasted.
Working with Android phones a lot, I need to pay an hommage to the fabulous Asimov, the great author and professor of biochemistry who is best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books.
“The Oxford English Dictionary credits his science fiction for introducing the words positronic (an entirely fictional technology), psychohistory (which is also used for a different study on historical motivations) and robotics into the English language. Asimov coined the term robotics without suspecting that it might be an original word; at the time, he believed it was simply the natural analogue of words such as mechanics and hydraulics, but for robots.
Unlike his word psychohistory, the word robotics continues in mainstream technical use with Asimov’s original definition. Star Trek: The Next Generation featured androids with “positronic brains” giving Asimov full credit for “inventing” this fictional technology.”
He believed that his most enduring contributions would be his “Three Laws of Robotics” and the Foundation Series. His 3 laws of robotics are:
A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the first law.
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
“Creationists make it sound as though a ‘theory’ is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night.”
I just found out via Mark that Ray Bradbury passed away today; his Fahrenheit 451 is still relevant after 60 years!
“Dalton’s records, carefully preserved for a century, were destroyed during the World War II bombing of Manchester. It is not only the living who are killed in war.”
“I am not a speed reader. I am a speed understander.”
“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.”
“It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.”
Watch him here with Bill Moyers.
Umami is a savory taste which is one of the five basic tastes, together with sweet, sour, bitter, and salty and my first burger in L.A. had a little of each five!
It came with sweet potato fries,
and a cool green iced tea:
It’s refreshing to be back to great and affordable food!