meeting people while traveling

Returning from a hike in Parque Inglés by bus, I decided to stay the night in Molina, a tranquil town of about 40,000.

I (eventually) found an inexpensive and interesting place to stay in the small town. With a BIG swimming pool. Hostería Suichi (Suisse + Chile) run by Robert, a Swiss expat.

Arriving back at the Hosteria late at night, I bumped into Héctor. He and his wife were looking for a place to stay while on holidays. I recommended Suichi.

We had breakfast together next morning. Turned out Héctor had visited Canada some years ago – and still had the t-shirt. Meeting people is one of the great highlights of travel. :-)

 Héctor Adofacc

Héctor Adofacc

Perry Mason – Raymond Burr

I’ve watched some of the excellent old Perry Mason shows over the holidays. My Dad is a fan.

Click PLAY or watch a retrospective on YouTube.

Raymond William Stacey Burr (May 21, 1917 – September 12, 1993) was a Canadian-American actor, primarily known for his title roles in the television dramas Perry Mason and Ironside. …

… His portrayal of the suspected murderer in the Alfred Hitchcock thriller, Rear Window (1954), is regarded as his best-known film role.

He won two Emmy Awards, in 1959 and 1961, for the role of Perry Mason, which he played for nine seasons between 1957 and 1966. …

Turns out Raymond Burr was Gay. I’d never heard. And my Gaydar has always been terrible.

Straight Outta Compton

In 2014, Dr. Dre was ranked as the second richest figure in the American hip hop scene by Forbes with a net worth of $550 million; he is at the top of the 2015 Forbes list, with an estimated pre-tax take of $620 million in 2014. …

I first learned of Dre when confiscating N.W.A. cassette tapes from teenage boy gymnasts in the late 1980s.

I then listened to albums like Straight Outta Compton and learned to enjoy rap music. :-) I still feel N.W.A. is as good as any rap band all time. 

Fu©k tha Police was their most controversial song. I have much more appreciation for that sentiment from the African American community now than I did at the time.

Straight Outta Compton is a 2015 American biographical drama film. …

Among the film’s producers are Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and Eazy-E ’​s widow, Tomica Woods-Wright …

N.W.A goes on a national tour in 1989. The FBI demands that they stop performing “Fuck tha Police,” declaring that it encourages violence against law enforcement, but they refuse, and the police raid their Detroit concert, resulting in riots and the group being arrested. Interviewed by the press, the group maintains that they did not start the riot, that their music was a reflection of their reality and that the first amendment protected their free expression. …

Here’s the Rodney King video, in case you’ve forgotten the story. Police brutality. The police unpunished.

Click PLAY or watch the Straight Outta Compton trailer on YouTube.



Homeland season 5

… premiered on October 4, 2015, and concluded on December 20, 2015 …

Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison, an ex-CIA intelligence officer with bipolar disorder, now working for a philanthropic foundation in Berlin. …

The season includes several real world subjects in its storylines; including ISIS, Vladimir Putin, Bashar al-Assad, the Charlie Hebdo shooting,Edward Snowden and European migrant crisis. …

I admired seeing an American TV show move to Europe. It’s must watch, no matter how much Carrie irritates you. No other current television series offers as important commentary on the state of the world.

That said, Mike Sissons – who lived many years in Arab countries – tells me it’s controversial with Muslims. Too many stereotype characters. Mike’s not actually watched the show himself.

My feeling is that the show is quite balanced. It shows the stupidity of U.S. foreign policy.  There are no good guys in this show.

Click PLAY or watch a season 5 preview on YouTube.

related – “Homeland” season 6 premiere date is speculated to be October 2, 2016.


The Cartel – A Novel

If you’ve ever wondered how nobs like this peasant-farmer-turned-billionaire-drug-lord can exist, read The Cartel: A novel by Don Winslow .

El Chapo

Though it’s getting great reviews, I found it too long. Too violent. The ending not believable.

The rights holders want Leonardo DiCaprio to play the role of Keller, the (so called) good guy of the story.

related – ‘Cartel’ Author Don Winslow Responds To Sean Penn: “Call It Anything You Want – Except Journalism”