Menu Close

Category: Miscellany

Madrid notes

I’ve been thinking for the longest time that the only reason I have to keep this website going is that my expat musings from the years of living in England can be of use to friends and strangers alike. Only yesterday a couple of friends relocating to England for work…

Expensive espresso

An espresso at a European café or even a restaurant is likely to cost €2. Maybe, €2.50. If the restaurant is upscale, it could go for as much as €3.50. But paying more than that for a shot of espresso happens only at the brazenly overpriced locations, such as Venice’s…

Into the fifth decade

Mark Wahlberg turns 40 today. Noah Wyle turned 40 yesterday. Me, I’ve been on the other side of 40 for a few days now. I have a vivid recollection of a kitchen conversation between my Dad and one of his friends that took place some short time after my Dad…

Not dead yet

What do you know? The patient still has a pulse. Despite the fact that I have been, sometimes willfully other times inadvertently, shirking my blogging duties for most of the last couple of months, Google Analytics tells me that there continues to be a fairly steady flow of visitors to…

On street names (encore)

Remember my editorial of several years back on the curiosity of British street naming practices? It occurred to me the other day that the Brits do not have monopoly on making weird decisions in regard to street names. Not far from where we live, if you travel eastward on Lafayette…

$4 gallon of gas

In the middle of the night, needing to put gas in my car, I ended up paying over $4 per gallon for the first time that I can recall. I was unpleasantly bothered by that fact. Rewind a few years back, and I used to pay nearly £5 per gallon…

Oscar coincidence

For the second year in a row, I manage to see one single Oscar contender for the Best Picture award ahead of the annual ceremony. The movie wins the corresponding Golden Globe award and is generally regarded as a front-runner for the Academy award, but ends up losing both the…

iPad update

I am still listening to music on an iPod. I am still reading books on a Sony PRS-505. It is pretty clear to me that those habits are not going to change, as my preferences outlined here were not swayed by the capabilities of an iPad. However, I quickly found…

Small range

The trajectory of my blogging activity went from unenthusiastic to senile. In the last few weeks, there’s been a spike in electronic communications with my high-school friends. We go through these periods once in a while, when we realize that the last time we had any meaningful exchange was months…

Fail again

I’ve had this idea for a recurring blogging feature/angle ever since I knew that we were repatriating and my “expat observations” would be soon drying up. Which means, I’ve been considering it for roughly 18 months now. The concept was fairly simple: An essay about each place that I’ve become…

No reason to watch

OK, instead of Phillies vs Yankees World Series, it’s Giants vs Rangers. As disappointing as that is, at least I am not missing anything I care about due to the Cablevision/FOX dispute. I suspect World Series ratings will take a big hit in markets other than Northern Cal and Dallas-Ft…

No FOX 5

For the third time in about a year, Cablevision is in a dispute with a content provider that prevents us from watching channels that we like. First, it was HGTV and The Food Channel (no big problem for me, much bigger problem for Natasha) – “blackout” lasted for about a…

Kindle, too

I’ve become such a true convert to electronic book reading since I bought my Sony reader at the start of the year, that I for once managed to come up all on my own with a gift idea for my wife on her birthday. (Never mind that her birthday is…