Tag Archives: Excuses


…can be a great help. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My last post was all about grabbing 2014 by the…hair on its head and making it count. Since I wrote it, I’ve read some other views on resolutions and must conclude that the word carries with it much too much hopelessness. Resolutions are made to be broken.

Going through my own private and personal “resolutions” for the New Year, I discovered I hadn’t even used the word when writing them. I’d written about GOALS, a more positive term, one associated with actually getting things done, a term used by businesses across the globe. So if I mean business, I must talk GOALS.

In the first few days of the year, I have to admit that exhaustion overcame me whenever I looked at the list of goals I’d saddled myself with. Everyone’s worst enemy (Well, it’s at least near the top of the list of the worst enemies we have to face…) is INERTIA. I spent 2013 NOT getting on with some very important goals. I blame it on inertia. I did, indeed, have some pretty good reasons for part of my inactivity. But they were not really good enough.

When I did have time to act, inertia was keeping me from getting that ol’ ball rolling, making me think: I really ought to get on with________ (insert any goal here). However, the project in question loomed on the horizon as an insurmountable mountain. So what have we got there?

Newton’s First Law at work! Our long-dead but favorite physicist Issac Newton (1642-1727) formulated it for us with scientific precision:

An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

Newton’s first law describes an object’s desire to resist a change in motion. How often does that describe any one of us, busily doing our couch potato imitation?


So do we give up and keep reading the newspaper or zapping the TV remote? That’s one conclusion we can draw. But somehow I discovered, if I could just bring into play the above-mentioned “unbalanced force”, maybe I could move my tushie.

I’m not exactly sure which force finally unbalanced my inertia, but something seems to have done so. Fourteen days into the New Year, I have actually started several of the projects  that are written in indelible computer screen ink. Sometimes all it took was a phone call or an email to set off a chain reaction that forced me to follow on with the necessary next step. Whatever works.

What this means, of course, is that the second part of Newton’s First, about an object in motion staying in motion, has now got me moving. And suddenly I’m thinking, INERTIA is probably my best friend. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


Filed under Beginnings, Fiction and Other Truths, Goals, Seasonal Reflections

Washington, Rome, Berlin: High-Stake Poker Games

I knew if I waited long enough, the world would sort itself out without me needing to waste my time and energy getting all hot and bothered about US, Italian and German politics. But the poker games underway still have no final winners. Here is a progress report from this interested blogger (who has never played poker).

The first poker game is in the US: President Obama and his crew have proved themselves steadfast in the face of the Republican tea drinkers who thought they could hold the country to ransom to destroy the Affordable Care Act (aka: Obama Care).  Since there is little hope that the ultra-conservatives have actually learned anything from their failure to keep the US closed for business and mutilate US credit ratings across the world, we must count on the voters in the corresponding states to chuck these misguided creatures out of the House of Representatives in the 2014 congressional elections. Even there I am sceptical that the electorate will act. Gee, it’s a whole year away and they’ll forget how upsetting it was when all kinds of federal agencies closed down for two weeks.

But of course, the problems have not been solved, just pushed 3 months down the calendar. So the US will, once again, have the opportunity to look foolish across the globe. For whether US citizens like it or not, their country is a global power – the only remaining superpower. With this exalted title also comes a whole bushel of obligations, including those involving global security and the global economy.

For those who found the past 3 weeks entertaining, let’s not forget: The Tea Party will have another chance in January and February to upset the tea trolley  UNLESS the time in between now and then is used to actually write a US BUDGET! Now that would be novel!

In my most recent visit to the States in August, I was reminded yet again, how difficult it was to actually find out what was going on outside of the country via TV news programs. Even CCN seemed only to show US news, not like the version we get in Europe where events all over the earth are covered and we are spared the hyped-up stories of domestic violence and political scandals that preoccupy US TV news broadcasts.  If I missed the 6:30 pm world news on NBC (I think it was), that was it for the day. So why should I wonder that the country is so near-sighted and egotistical when it comes to its politics? The average Joe doesn’t know we’re out there.

Moving on to another poker game being played in ITALY!

Such a beautiful country, shame about the politicians. But lo and behold, I think I detect light at the end of the tunnel, a vision of Silvio doing social service instead of being under house arrest (when he really ought to be behind bars).  At long, long last, the Italian justice department has actually succeeded in nailing Berlusconi for a fraction of his crimes and misdemeanors after three rounds of appeals. If you want justice in Italy, you must be a patient sort.

But now the decisions are final and SB will be disqualified from holding office for at least a little while. The question remains, will it be long enough for Italy to start down the road of economic and moral recovery?  A shimmer of hope came when the government ministers from Berlusconi’s own party (i.e. the party he owns) actually refused to bring down Enrico Lette’s government when Silvio told them to. That is the equivalent of a coup d’etat! Hallelujah!

Now if we can just keep Silvio working in a  minestrone kitchen, preferably somewhere far from Rome, maybe in Domodossola or Trieste….And of course, far away from homes for teenage girls.

Again a change of scene: BERLIN. See full size image

This has been the most boring poker match to date (yawn). It has taken Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats four weeks of “exploratory” talks to decide what I (and most Germans) already knew on September 22: that they will negotiate with the Social Democrats to form a grand coalition.  Seems like a grand waste of time. Mind you, their meetings with the Green Party were very amiable. Unfortunately, sufficient common ground for a coalition was not discernible. As yet. Maybe next time.

Perhaps this poker game was necessary to keep the Social Dems on their toes, and to keep their expectations and demands well within bounds. Angela’s party will be after all the senior partner in the coming government and the SPD better not forget that. In fact, perhaps calling it a grand coalition is not really all that accurate.

I really don’t mind living in a country where politics are boring. Germany had far too much political excitement in the first half of the 20th century for anyone here to disagree with me on this point.



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Filed under Italy, Politics

M.I.A. – the Traveler returns

What? Did I not announce I was leaving town? Shame on me. I think I didn’t want to broadcast that I was heading for sand & sunshine, yummy food and an ancient civilization, for fear of making my loyal readers hate me. So rather than sharing lots of photos of Pamukkale, Hieropolis and Aspendos, I will just show you the sun setting on the Med. Okay, so I can’t resist adding a shot of a couple of cats at Aspendos. I sat and watched them for a while and enjoyed their society. In fact, the “wild” cats and dogs we saw wherever we visited were in remarkably good health, very tame, and looked well-fed and cared-for. The dogs had tags attached to their ears which signified they’d been inoculated and neutered. Both cats and dogs were amazingly friendly to the tourists, showing no apprehension if you tried to approach and stroke them. I even cuddled the odd kitten here and there. How tempting to abscond with one of those tri-colors (as pictured below), the most beautiful cats I know!


All good things come to an end. One returns home to November’s gloom and the impending demise of 2012, only slowed – or expedited – by the looming Christmas holidays.  But that trip only lasted a week and the second journey began almost immediately. Our son Steven has finally had his knee fixed in Straubing (Bavaria) – only 22 months after the accident that tore all the ligaments in his left knee. He’s home now and getting on par for the course but will be an invalid for the coming 6 weeks. At least the operation has finally happened and seems to be successful.
I’ll leave for today with my thoughts on November.



Like lovers bedded ’neath night’s cloak,

The mist caresses the earth,

Till crows heralding dawn,

Cry with startling mirth.


They screech, they circle,

Black dots in the haze,

They light on the oak,

Bare and wizened with age.


Their conclave is brief,

Suddenly they scatter.

A lone duck quacks,

Settling the matter.


Fog fragments rise from folded hills.

Like remnants of a dream,

They disappear when daylight breaks.

They’re seldom what they seem.


Wind whispers through nearby woods.

A scarlet leaf breaks free.

It mounts and hovers, it pirouettes.

A gust carries it off to sea.


My lungs are filled with limpid air.

What scents do I perceive?

Dank leaves embracing forest floor?

Roses hoar-frost filigreed?


Orchard strewn with o’er ripe apples,

Their gifts to Mother Earth?

Crushed chestnuts tread along the path,

Not knowing their own worth?


What weighs upon my heart so heavy?

I breathe deep and recognize.

Tis mortality’s heady scent,

That nothing can disguise.


But maybe you’ve seen it on my website? At any rate there’s more (and some in German) at: http://www.dchubbard-writes.com



Filed under Fiction and Other Truths