We stayed one night at the Amman Airport Hotel and left the next morning by bus for Israel driving through downtown Amman just in order that we get a glimpse of the capital since the previous day we were on the outskirts of Amman while visiting Madaba and Mount Nebo. We had wanted to visit […]

Continue reading about Our visit to the Holy Land – Crossing into Israel from Jordan

We will be listing our house for sale in the next month and as anyone who has been through the process knows a series of tedious and time-consuming steps are involved in readying the house for sale to optimize its value and saleability. We have been busy having the house painted, giving away tons of […]

Continue reading about “The best kept secret in the hardwood flooring world”

TJ on February 28th, 2013

Last weekend, my grandson DJ, came over to spend the afternoon. After a while he asked if I had any funny DVD of TV programs to watch. I told him I had the whole series of “All in the Family” on DVD but I did not think he would find it interesting since although it […]

Continue reading about Political correctness run amok?

Gender selection with a marked preference for male children has been a major problem in India and some other countries. It has resulted in severely skewed male/female ratios in some parts of India with major repercussions as a shortage in the number of eligible young females has caused social unrest in these locations and the […]

Continue reading about Physician heal thyself ……….and other observations

TJ on February 24th, 2013

The title of this posting was the headline of an article in an Indian publication. Indians have a reputation for being frugal or thrifty …. though some would describe them as being cheap. Perhaps some of the explanation is because of the absence of any social safety net in India which causes people to feel […]

Continue reading about “Frugality is in the Indian DNA”

TJ on January 29th, 2013

My family knows that I have a proclivity for pranks. In fact, there is a sense of puzzlement among some within the family as to why a man in his mid-sixties is amused by such frivolity. I don’t have an explanation for this. I have loved shows like “Candid Camera” and more modern equivalents that […]

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TJ on January 28th, 2013

Tony Blair in an address to British ambassadors who had congregated in London said: “A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in.. And how many want out.” Blair was not the first person to make such a remark about the attraction that the US holds for […]

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TJ on January 27th, 2013

I just love this story! “Bob” – his full/real name is not known – worked for Verizon as a software developer/programmer drawing a six figure salary and came up with a creative idea. We all know of companies who outsource their work to India and China to save money. Bob decided to take things one […]

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TJ on October 30th, 2012

Robert Contreras, who first commented on my blog entry regarding the crash of Pan Am 217 sent me a number of images ….. some of them quite graphic …… which were published in the Venezuela newspapers at the time of the crash. I am including all of the images ….. the script is in Spanish […]

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TJ on September 1st, 2012

These were among the first words uttered by Neil Armstrong after the Apollo 11 mission landed on the moon in 1969. He actually said: “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” The recent death of Neil Armstrong brought to mind memories of that extra-ordinary year when humans first landed on the moon. It was […]

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Sotantar Sood on August 26th, 2012

Guest post by Sotantar Sood who lived in Kenya until the mid-1960s, attended Allidina Visram High School and returned to Kenya recently after 46 years. Sotantar currently lives in Canada with his family In February and March of 2012, my wife and I spent 2 weeks in India followed by 3 weeks in Kenya. We […]

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I was made aware about a huge controversy regarding some comments that Oprah Winfrey made during the airing of a documentary about India called “India: The Next Chapter”. Most of the criticism centered around a remark that Oprah Winfrey made while dining with an Indian family when she asked quite casually: “I heard some Indian […]

Continue reading about Much ado about nothing …….. or about very little

Jill Breitbarth on August 18th, 2012

Guest posting contributed by Jill Breitbarth in memory of Juana Maria Martinez. Jill says: “I hope others who knew her will see this and add their own memories.” When I was six-years-old until seven months beyond my twelfth birthday, Juanita Martinez was my other mother, my confidante, and my mentor. Her mothering was not tied […]

Continue reading about Tribute to Juanita Martinez who died on Pan Am Flight 217

TJ on August 17th, 2012

For the most part, I have only a passing interest in sports. During my years in Kenya and later in the UK, I was interested in cricket but that faded over the years after I moved to the US. However, I have maintained a sustained interest in the Olympics – an interest that commenced with […]

Continue reading about An iconic moment in the history of the Olympics

TJ on August 8th, 2012

I had read some months ago that dogs were being trained to detect cancer ……. with some success. But nothing could have been more remarkable than what happened with our very own dog, Max …… a German Shepherd who is just over five years old. Max is an intelligent dog and seems to have a […]

Continue reading about Coincidence or can dogs detect cancer?

TJ on July 28th, 2012

I am not sure what it is that fascinates me about a website a South American, Diego Goldberg, started some years ago. Goldberg started to take pictures of his family from 1976 to the current year with following explanation: “On June 17th, every year, the family goes through a private ritual: we photograph ourselves to […]

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TJ on July 14th, 2012

It has been while since I posted …….. lots going on in my life and worthy of a separate post down the line. But this post is about common usage of some expressions and sayings we take for granted without knowing their origin. It came up when I was curious about the very American expression: […]

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The relationship between Americans and the British and how they view each other is complicated and interesting. For obvious reasons Americans feel they share a common heritage with the British more so than people from other countries. But I know from my days as a student in the UK, there is a mildly contemptuous attitude […]

Continue reading about Blimey! Is this really what we want in the US?

TJ on May 14th, 2012

I must confess that I am not overly enamored by some of the holidays celebrated in the US mainly because of the extent of commercialization that occurs. My biggest gripe is about Christmas which has lost all of its real meaning because of rampant commercialization – and I commented on this in in a prior […]

Continue reading about Mother’s Day ….. past and present

If you have ever, while typing on your laptop, found that the cursor jumps around for no apparent reason resulting in whatever you are typing not appearing where it should be, you have gotten, what I call the “jumping cursor syndrome”. This is a problem that affected my Dell Inspiron 1764 laptop and after googling […]

Continue reading about Is your Dell Inspiron laptop having a problem with a jumping cursor?

We love cruising and have been on fourteen cruises since I arrived in the US. These have included several cruises in the Caribbean as well as ones to Alaska, the Mediterranean, the Mexican Riviera and the Yangtze river in China. Our last cruise was with my brother Peter and his family and it was on […]

Continue reading about Voyages between Mombasa and Bombay – SS Khandalla and SS Amra

TJ on April 8th, 2012

A few months ago, I posted about the crash of Pan Am Flight 217 in 1968 while en route to Caracas, Venezuela and more specifically about a friend, Franciska Buyers, who was an air stewardess on that flight. More about Franciska and my relationship to her and her family appears on this link. When I […]

Continue reading about Pan Am Flight 217 Redux

TJ on March 8th, 2012

Today marks three years since I started this blog. During this period there have been 74 posts on a variety of subjects which have generated 334 comments from different readers. The blog has had well over 24,000 hits – most were during the second and third years of the blog. This is not a high […]

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TJ on March 6th, 2012

I was shocked to hear about the death of Steve Bridges whose uncanny impressions of George W Bush were hilarious and always done without any malice. He was only 49 years old. As I watched one of his more memorable imitations of Bush at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner – an annual fixture of […]

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TJ on February 29th, 2012

A firestorm recently erupted over a letter written by a Smith College alumna, Anne Spurzem, whose brazen comments were a mix of bigotry, classism, snobbery, ignorance, inaccuracies, misinformation and outright nastiness that was directed at the admission policies of the college in recent years. Smith College is part of the “Seven Sisters”, a group of […]

Continue reading about Alas, no more cashmere coats & pearls for Smithies!

“Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” was a best seller in the nineties by John Gray that sold over 7 million copies. It essentially sought to highlight the differences between men and women in dealing with problems and issues and how it affects relationships, etc. To segue from this to the focus of […]

Continue reading about Men are from Mars, women are from Venus ……. is there a canine equivalent?

TJ on February 11th, 2012

“The young perish and the old linger …………….. no parent should have to bury their child” Theoden in “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” When my mother was terminally ill with cancer in 1964, her mother who was then in her late sixties would tell me that she (my grandmother) would like to die. […]

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What are the odds of someone being born in the 18th century having grandchildren – yes, GRANDCHILDREN – who are alive in the 21st century? Pretty infinitesimal most people would say and they would be right. But a confluence of factors resulted in just such a thing happening with none other than the tenth president […]

Continue reading about More presidential trivia – but a truly remarkable fact

TJ on January 25th, 2012

Yes, we are back in Cochin, Kerala where we spend our winters away from the frigid temperatures of Virginia. I start every trip with a sense of dread over the the long flight from the US to India – a good 17 hours of flying time – but once I am here there is almost […]

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TJ on December 27th, 2011

I have always been fascinated by the phenomenon of the “near death experience” – known by the acronym NDE. Perhaps it is my belief in an after-life – even though I am not sure what form it takes – which accounts for this interest. After all, for someone who believes in an after life the […]

Continue reading about Jobs, Hitchens, faith and near death experiences