HERE WE GO

November 29, 2013

fireworks_monguiOk today is Friday in the US it’s called black Friday because it’s the day stores try to get back in the black to end their year. In Colombia it’s just another Friday, but tomorrow Nov. 30 at Midnight or 1 second into Dec 1st the sky will light up with illegal fireworks as the holiday season officially arrives down here. Now you have until I think February 7th to celebrate and of course down here that means a party almost every night drunks everywhere and fireworks culminating with a Christmas Eve party that will in a lot of case run all night. Then you have New Years Eve another all-nighter followed the next day by what is called Pot Day where the cook outside over wood fire and proceed to drink some more. Things tend to quiet down a little after that and everybody goes back to normal. Now for those that don’t want to party there is always the River lights one of the best lighting displays in the world and you have the little historical villages with their own spectacular lights. I found it surprising that the churches, this being a Catholic country, don’t do more processions and such at this time but they make up for it at Easter. Well I need to get some rest because tomorrow night will very noisy and I doubt that any of us will get any sleep until maybe Sunday so this is Flounder saying CIAO from Colombia

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING

November 28, 2013

thanksgivingToday is Thanksgiving in America, and as promised this post is going to be about that. The Holiday celebrates a gathering of American Indians and settlers referred to as Pilgrims. The Pilgrims were thanking the Indians for their help in growing crops such as Corn. It has developed into the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season. It would seem that the greedy just can’t let a day go by without making about buying stuff. I wonder if there will ever be a time when humans will be thankful for what they have and not go crazy for what they don’t need. I have watched how in the last few years stores have open earlier and earlier on the day after till now they open at 6pm on Thanksgiving day so that the people that work or that are crazy enough to shop can’t sit down and enjoy the Holiday. The tradition used to be Turkey dinner and football now it would seem the tradition is to stand in line waiting to get into a store so you can fight over a toy or TV that you don’t need but have been convinced you can’t live without. Jeff long ago found that after dinner and the games if there was something he needed and there was a good price all he had to do was go online to the same store and buy it. I’m thankful that I never had to get involved in all that. I’m thankful that Jeff found me in the shelter and took a chance on me and then put up with me until we became the friends we are today. Jeff is thankful for his wife Ruby all His friends in America and his Nieces. He’s thankful that they’re happy safe and that they grew up to be the type of people that their parents would be so very proud of. He wishes everyone could feel the way he does and that the holidays could go back to being what they were originally. As for me I’m so glad that I have friends like Jeff, Ruby, and my little buddy Hari. I’m thankful for the opportunity to write this blog even if not to many people read it, but I too wish that the holidays could go back to the way they were. I hope that as long as I’m alive Jeff keeps celebrating them the way he does. Jeff is opening a can to turkey cat food so this is Flounder saying CIAO and HAPPY THANKSGIVING to everyone from Medellin Colombia

criticYou know when you get to the end of a book and the author asks you to post a review on Amazon or Good Reads o r maybe some other web site do you think they really want the truth. Jeff doesn’t believe in critics because they only express a personal point of view unless they’re going to go after grammar or in the case of restaurants technique their opinions are just expressions of their own. Take for instance Top chef do you think for a moment that the judges aren’t influenced by their own like and dislikes then you extremely naive. So when it comes to books you might pick a book because the title intrigue you or the cover did and then once you start to read it the progression of the story doesn’t really fit your tastes. When this happens do you think it’s fair to write a review critical of the style simple because you don’t like it? I mean we’re not experts I could see reviewing the content for accuracy or grammar but not because I didn’t like it. Jeff just finished a book and it took him a long time which is highly unusual he said the pace of the story was just to slow for him now doe s he right a negative review because of that and maybe effect the authors sales in a negative way, isn’t just his opinion? His nieces read books and give good reviews but Jeff would probably not read any of them only because there not his style. Now he has read some and he didn’t enjoy them all that much should he right a review that’s the opposite. Now if you go to a restaurant and do so at least twice or have read a book and they were truly horrible then a negative review might be in order otherwise I think the old saying “If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all” should be the order of the day. Just so you know when Jeff sees a movie get a bad review it makes him want to see it more. Well listen tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the good old USA so we’ll have to come up with something in tune with it in the mean time this is Flounder saying CIAO from Medellin.

CORRUPTION

November 26, 2013

2004-05-22-Police-corruption-Victoria-bullets-200226There’s something insidiously wrong with the world when the people we put out there to protect us don’t give a shit. I’m talking about police and how their supposed to enforce the law equally amongst the rich and the poor. But we all know, that’s not true; just ask O J Simpson or any of the Wall Street crooks that aren’t in jail. Down here law enforcement corruption is a way of life people may not like it but they except it. That’s truly regrettable because police are the poor person only protection against the evil we all know is out there. Who else are they going to turn to when their children are attacked or their homes are robbed? Who does the wife turn to when her husband beats her? Who’s going to catch the rapist that’s attacking young women in their homes? If the police are or are thought to be corrupt people won’t go to them instead they’ll let these criminals keep on doing what it is they do. In America people say they should be able to carry guns I order to protect themselves better. In Colombia you pay the extortionist who promises to keep the neighborhood safe neither of these is a good solution and I’m afraid I have nothing new to add to them. I do believe if people get together in orderly fashion and approach the politicians in charge and threaten to remove them from office or petition the Federal Government to investigate the police maybe some will change. If not I fear that in the not too distant future things will go back the Wild West style of justice and the rule of law will be forgotten but what do I know I’m just a cat in Colombia. This is Flounder saying CIAO from Medellin.

THE HOLIDAYS BEGIN

November 25, 2013

eI don’t know when today this will get to the net the internet down here is experiencing some problem or maybe it’s just me. Anyhow this Thursday is Thanksgiving in America a holiday which is not celebrated in Colombia since they didn’t kick the Indians out. Although they are still around the government has found other ways to screw them, just keep them poor. The politicians can’t trace the history back as far as the Indigenous people, as they are referred too, can sort of reminds of us doesn’t it. Most of them are farmers and if you’ve ever seen pictures of farming down here you won’t see all the expensive equipment you on a US farm. What you will see are hard working people you also won’t see the environment being used up by over cultivation of the land. The destruction of the land is handled by the oil and mining interests that are not from Colombia or are owned by the few rich people in the country. Getting back to Thanksgiving I’m really surprised that Colombians haven’t picked up on the idea in some way since they love any excuse to take a day off and party. I’ll be back later in the week to talk about this more for now this is Flounder saying CIAO from Medellin.

john-f-kennedy-ask-not-1a50 years ago today President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas Texas ending what has been referred to as Camelot. Many of our friends that are reading this today weren’t alive back then or weren’t old enough to understand what was going on. Jeff was 17 and had just graduated High School that passed June. Like many other people he can tell you exactly where he was when the news broke. I can’t remember if it was cloudy or clear but I remember hanging out in the Munn Variety shop luncheonette on the corner of Central Ave. and South Munn Ave in East Orange New Jersey. I lived at 77 South Munn Ave. next to East Orange Hospital about 200 yards from the Munn Variety. What I remember was walking home and noticing traffic had stopped and there wasn’t a sound. I don’t think I ever heard a city that quiet in my life, until I heard someone yell the Presidents been shot. I ran the rest of the way home and my mother met me at the door crying. I don’t ever remember seeing the world basically come to a complete stop as people leaned into stranger’s cars to hear the radio and everyone was waiting hopefully to hear Kennedy was OK. But that’s not what happened you could hear and see everyone crying and then people got scared they didn’t know who or why was it an enemy plot, would we be at war. As the story played out over the next few days and America watched as his accused killer was gunned downed on live TV and some breathed a sigh of relief while others moaned now we’d never know what really happened. I have to tell you 50 years latter I don’t think we know the whole truth yet. But the government feels that people like me are too old to really want to know and their probably right except I do want to know so that the young people will know and can do what’s necessary to see that the truth will be known. Most people want to believe that the truth is already out there but is it. Two reports exist first the Warren Commissions lone assassin conclusion in 1964 and later the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations which they concluded in 1978 that there was probably a conspiracy and another gunman. Like all history when someone comes forward with something that might prove different people refuse to acknowledge it. I believe the HSCA report only because in my youth I was an exerts marksman and I find it unbelievable that one man could fire four shots from the type of rifle claimed to be used with the accuracy which is said to have been necessary for the results that were achieved. As for me Flounder my mom and my grandma weren’t alive back then so I don’t have a personal opinion on the subject. All I can say we’ll never know what could have been if JFK hadn’t died that fateful day in Dallas, if you have a story about that day please leave a comment about it. This Flounder saying CIAO from Medellin Colombia

Language

November 21, 2013

LanguagePartners5Thought we’d talk about language today since Jeff is still struggling to learn Spanish. It is said that English is the hardest language for a native to learn and is very hard for others as well because for different spelling and pronunciation of the same word. For instance To, Too, Two and there and their plus they’re and there are others as well Chinese words change meaning with the tone you use. Spanish and German are supposed to be the easiest languages for an American to learn unless of course your name is Jeff. I don’t know if either Jeff or I will live long enough for him to learn Spanish but so long as we’re breathing there’s will always be hope. All languages have accents as well they usually go with what part of a country you’re from. Today they seem to be disappearing because people aren’t staying where they are born and now you have great mixing of cultures and language is again changing. Well I cut my lip last night so I need to go lay down and rest this is Flounder saying CIAO from Medellin.

THIS-AND-THATHere a little this and that: First in Colombia President Santos has decided to run for reelection, no surprise there. His peace initiative is supposed to be his legacy. I wish politicians would care less about their legacy and wallets and more about the country. Look at Bush he invaded Iraq some legacy there. Then you got Obama and his health plan which is a great one if you’re a Democrat and a horrible one if you’re Republican. Ii need some guy from either Costco or Wal-Mart to tell me how they feel about it before I make up my mind. Let’s see the Giants beat Green Bay and Denver beat Kansas City in American Football. Columbia played to international friendly matches and won one and tied the other. A lot of problems with the internet today it said I had a good connection but wouldn’t connect me to the net, it’s all good now. Jeff has 118 followers on Twitter now not that I care enough of this it’s Founder and I’m saying CIAO from Medellin

AND NOTHING HAS IMPROVED

November 19, 2013

fAs you can see from the photo above we’re going to talk about the farmers of Colombia and what has happened since their protests in August. The answer to that is nothing. The Government has successfully ignored them and according to a professor in Bogota the country is headed for a social revolution. I hadn’t realized that one of the provisions of the trade agreement with the US was that the farmers had to use genetically altered seeds from Monsanto to plant their crops. Part of the protest was about this and the adverse effect it would have on environment of Colombia. This harkens back to a statement we made when the trade agreement went into effect and that was the US doesn’t make deals unless it can screw the little guy. As far as I can see there is no reason to use Monsanto’s seeds at this time other than to make money for them. Colombia has enough diseases to cope with without the increased risk of Cancer that comes from what is called GMAs by Monsanto. If the Government continues on this path it will accomplish what 50 years of fighting by the Farc and other rebel groups has not. And that is a complete social revolution that will remove the Elite of Colombia from power. This is Flounder saying CIAO from Medellin Colombia.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWell the Christmas decorating season is here and Jeff and Ruby have begun the process. This year the train won’t be under the tree they have their own room which Jeff plans to convert into a Christmas room. Ruby and Hari get to decorate the tree so that should be fun. My job is to annoy them as much as possible by climbing over everything, and I’m good at it. You can expect updates with pictures as the process continues. In other news Nacional won their championship over Millonarios. We were surprised, albeit pleasantly, that John didn’t call last night laughing to tell us the news. We are Medellin fans, in part to support Hader, and in part to piss of John whenever we can. Well I’ve got a Christmas tree to climb and a train board to mess up so for now this is Flounder saying CIAO from Colombia