flying to the American S.W.

Canada is great. But the winter weather #sucks(™).

I’m off for a couple of weeks hiking. I’ve never visited New Mexico.


KashaKatuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

I booked with Delta. The same seat on the same flight is priced differently depending on which Code Share partner you book with. WestJet #sucks(™).


The Mountain Shadow – Gregory David Roberts

Roberts’ Shantaram (2003) is my favourite novel all time.

The Mountain Shadow – a sequel set 2 years later – was not published until 2015.

Julia Flyte:

Like many others, I loved Shantaram, and so I approached this sequel with an equal mix of anticipation and trepidation. Could Gregory David Roberts repeat the magic? The short answer is no. This book isn’t nearly as good as Shantaram, and worse, it has the potential to make Shantaram seem worse in retrospect. But having said that, it’s not a total disaster either.

I agree with Julia and most other critics. I do not recommend The Mountain Shadow to anyone.

There are a few good scenes. Some interesting philosophical observations. But overall it’s a too long, messy ramble with no story line.


Roberts dropped out of public life in 2014.

Is organic food any healthier?

Brian Dunning doesn’t think so:

I want to stress that I am not opposed to organic food. It is generally a perfectly fine product. I do have objections to the way it’s marketed: It’s an identical product, sold at a premium, justified by baseless alarmism about standard food. …

Organic vs. Conventional Agriculture

Brazil NOT welcoming to tourists

To foreign tourists, that is. (If you speak Portuguese it just might be terrific.)

People ask me my favourite countries. Usually I reply by saying China is over-priced and too much hassle for the western tourist.

I’d say the same about Brazil.

Most signage is in Portuguese only. Even museums.

Distances are vast. Traveling the Amazon or moving around the Pantanal wetlands is tricky.

It’s not easy to travel … anywhere. Buying a long distance bus ticket is more complicated than any other nation I know.

Internal flights that cost Brazilians $75 can cost the tourist well over $400.

wikitravel – Brazil

On the bright side, over 3 weeks I saw very few mosquitoes. And found the streets quite clean.


related – Brazil one of 8 Countries That Don’t Roll Out the Welcome Mat

Hateful Eight – Tarantino now dead to me

The Hateful Eight (informally titled The H8ful Eight and The Hateful 8 in some marketing materials) is a 2015 American western mystery film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.

It stars Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason LeighWalton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, and Bruce Dern as eight strangers who seek refuge from a blizzard in a stagecoach stopover some time after the American Civil War.

Click PLAY or watch a trailer on YouTube.

I’ve liked all previous Tarantino films. And liked Samuel Jackson in 6 of those eight.

But Tarantino relies too much on ultra-violence. Hateful Eight seems to have no purpose other than violence.

I’m boycotting all future Tarantino films.

Jeff Bridges does NOT like plastic

Me either.

Click PLAY or watch it on Facebook.

Plastic Pollution Coalition is a global alliance of individuals, organizations, businesses and policymakers working toward a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impact on humans, animals, the ocean and the environment.

refuse disposable plastic