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COFFEE, TEA AND CONVERSATION > COFFEE CHAT ROOM FOR OFF TOPIC CONVERSATION - # 6

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jul 01, 2011 09:29PM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
The first Coffee. Tea and Conversation chat thread was getting too long and a bit unwieldy, so we're moving to this new thread for friendly chat and postings about things other than the books under discussion or the various subject matter areas.

This is our community room. For all newcomers who are wondering about this thread, just as an FYI...we have had quite a few of these already and when each topic thread has gotten so long that they have become too difficult to navigate; we have just opened another one. This is our sixth Cafe; we have opened up a new one periodically.

You might want to know where are the others. Every thread is always saved; but the older ones are archived. So if you are interested just search through any of the archival folders and you will find the old and probably very long Off Topic Cafe which was set up. Some of them make for some very interesting reading...so enjoy,

In the meantime, this is the current one for your enjoyment.

Some of our newest members might wonder what is the Community Room for? It is a place where you can have discussions on anything you find of interest.

We have discussed in the past; art, music, movies, opera, jazz, The Teaching Company tapes, crossword puzzles, weather, education, courses, books that folks have read and want to recommend to others, etc., politics, interests and other topics aside from any self promotion which is verboten.

The sky is the limit otherwise.

We only ask that everyone is respectful of all topics and everyone's differing opinion.

Please just jump right in and post. We have found that the more everyone posts; the more enjoyable it is for all members. We would love to hear from all of you on any topic. I am sure you will find someone willing to converse with you. Enjoy.

Bentley


message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
For all of those members from the USA and for expats overseas as well:





message 3: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (new)

André (andrh) | 2847 comments Mod
CHeers, Bentley - and a happy 4th of July to you.
I'll have a cappuccino to toast with.


message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Good for you; right now we have a band of thunderstorms going through all day so I am not sure how that is going to affect the festivities yet; they may be canceled until tomorrow July 4th. But it is giving us some very needed rain which is always good.

Enjoy your cappuccino.


message 5: by Patricrk (new)

Patricrk patrick | 435 comments Bentley wrote: "Good for you; right now we have a band of thunderstorms going through all day so I am not sure how that is going to affect the festivities yet; they may be canceled until tomorrow July 4th. But i..."

We were out in West Texas for my Father-in-law's funeral (92, in good health and mentally sharp but found dead in bed 15 minutes after leaving the common room at his assisted living center) and they haven't had rain since October. All fireworks are banned due to extreme fire hazard.


message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
How horrible Patricrk...my condolences to your wife and you. It sounds like he lived a good life and sometimes I guess it is just time even though we do not want them to go.

Also unbelievable about no rain since October!

I wish I could send some rain to West Texas to relieve their drought.


message 7: by Patricrk (new)

Patricrk patrick | 435 comments Bentley wrote: "How horrible Patricrk...my condolences to your wife and you. It sounds like he lived a good life and sometimes I guess it is just time even though we do not want them to go.

Also unbelievable abo..."


Thank You, it was not a sad funeral. He was well respected in his church and community and I think he was ready to go. It was a sad way to end our European adventure but as much as we enjoyed our stay in France we were ready to come home.


message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Oh, so you are home now permanently; I had thought that maybe you were going back.

That really is a sad way to end an adventure; but life is like that sometime - you get a strong dose of reality which shakes things up and brings you right back to earth.


message 9: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (new)

André (andrh) | 2847 comments Mod
My favorite aunt passed away a week ago. We all knew her time had come and she went in her sleep, very peacefully.

Although the ones left behind for obvious reasons are often saddened by the loss I don't think a funeral necessarily needs to be a sad thing.

The Dutch Queen Wilhelmina decided in 1919 that she wanted a white funeral. When that day came, in 1962, on her coffin she just had the Dutch flag and a special bible opened on John 17:21 - That they all may be one...

My aunt had nothing do to do with church or religion but she firmly believed this is all just part of something much bigger which we will only begin to understand when we prepare for the next step and beyond. She would have loved those words too.

Best wishes to you Patrick - and your family.


message 10: by Harvey (new)

Harvey | 284 comments Condolences to Patrick and André.

Want to wish you all a Happy 4th July.

As soon as my passport is renewed, off to Mersa Matruh for holidays. Looking forward to getting out of Kuwait sandstorms!


message 11: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (new)

André (andrh) | 2847 comments Mod
Harvey wrote: "Condolences to Patrick and André.

Want to wish you all a Happy 4th July.
"


Thanks, Harvey. My Aunt has had a great life and she was ready for what she called "the great adventure".

Have a great holiday and a happy 4th of July!


message 12: by Harvey (new)

Harvey | 284 comments André wrote: "Have a great holiday..."

Thanks André; I will if my new passport gets back from Düsseldorf in time!


message 13: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (new)

André (andrh) | 2847 comments Mod
Harvey wrote: "André wrote: "Have a great holiday..."

Thanks André; I will if my new passport gets back from Düsseldorf in time!"


I'll cross my fingers they haven't been drowned in some beer pot!


message 14: by Harvey (new)

Harvey | 284 comments Thanks! :)


message 15: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Also my condolences to Patrick and André and have a nice holiday Harvey, sounds like a lot of fun.


message 16: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Harvey have fun. Saw some great fireworks last night - old time celebration which was fun. And took some time off today to unwind and smell the roses. Some days it is fun just to do nothing.


message 17: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig My condolences to both Andre and Patricrk, as well.


message 18: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (new)

André (andrh) | 2847 comments Mod
Thanks Bryan, Rick - but like I said, I'm not sad. Sure I sometimes miss her but then I also sort of carry her with/inside me because the memories are so many and so very rich.
Also I know she is happy wherever she is now. She was very much looking forward to the next step. I'm sure she's enjoying the adventure.


message 19: by Robert (new)

Robert Fay (robertfay) | 16 comments Where do I get started? I see the Introducing new members part however where and how do I introduce myself?


message 20: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Hi Robert:

Read this section:
http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/5...

And just do a short introduction here:
http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/9...


message 21: by Harvey (new)

Harvey | 284 comments Well.... the bad news was I did not fly tonight. The good news is that I do finally have my new passport in my not so grubby hands! So... Monday afternoon 'InShallah' I will be off to Cairo and thence maybe Tuesday the Med. Have a good supply of Emmental and Raclette cheeses. Egypt has the wine so I hope to go crazy on fondues. I will be taking my Food in History by Reay Tannahill Food in History by Reay Tannahill. It is a great read, though the Arabic section is small for my current bit of research on Arab-Andalusian cookery. God only knows if I can get a book out of the above subject but it should be a culinary adventure at the very least.
Psmith, Journalist (Psmith, #3) by P.G. Wodehouse Psmith, Journalist by P.G. Wodehouse P.G. Wodehouse as an audio book should make the Cairo-Matruh drive relaxing as my much better half and her sister will no doubt indulge in sisterly banter for the five hours or so the drive will take!


message 22: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Glad that things are improving and you are on your way soon. Sounds like on the culinary side you have things covered.


message 23: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (last edited Jul 07, 2011 11:49PM) (new)

André (andrh) | 2847 comments Mod
Harvey wrote: "Well.... the bad news was I did not fly tonight. The good news is that I do finally have my new passport in my not so grubby hands!..."

Harvey, if one day you'll find the time, a trip to Gruyere (and/or the Valley of the Emme (Emmenthal)) is very special in itself. Especially the part in Western Switzerland surrounding the two lakes (Lac de Neuchatel and Bielersee) is very precious. Best to see in late spring or late summer (before and after tourist season)


message 24: by Harvey (new)

Harvey | 284 comments Thanks for your wishes. A pilgrimage to Gruyère and the Emme sound like heaven on earth. Fine cheese, fine wine and fine scenery. Certainly best to avoid tourists en mass.
It is a paradox that gorgeous/interesting places attract tourism (naturally) but in turn too many tourists tend to destroy the atmosphere one came for.
I avoid Khan El-Khalli market in Cairo for that very reason. Luckily Siwa Oasis in Egypt is difficult to get to and summer too hot for many people. After Kuwait NOWHERE is too hot in summer! :)
I have some culinary projects in mind; initially testing out the Arab-Andalusian idea as being maybe well suited to Kuwait.
While the dry whites will not be Swiss I will content myself with dreaming of Switzerland, but at the same time thanking the Egyptians for putting in several thousand years of viticulture and brewing practice.
For the last ten years or so, since the Government denationalized the vineyards and breweries the quality has improved no end, though the 'Batalsa' as it is known was always wonderful. Slightly chilled and accompanying Sea Urchin corals at Abu Kir Bay, superlative!


message 25: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (new)

André (andrh) | 2847 comments Mod
Sounds terrific, HArvey.


message 26: by Harvey (new)

Harvey | 284 comments Can't remember if Food in History Food in History by Reay Tannahill byReay Tannahill has spoilers but page 238 of my edition on truffles mentions desert truffles in Botswana, well, FYI so does Kuwait, seasonal and called 'Fajar'. Very expensive and would have been a food photography subject of mine had the journalist NOT decided to be food stylist too. He was a dear friend but no food stylist. Actually no stylist at all. The truffles do exist though, but only after the rains, so you may imagine how often they are found...
Andre! Photography got me interested in cooking. I feel it is a time to revive this, only all my stuff, large format and all is mechanical and uses film. No film in Q8! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!


message 27: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (new)

André (andrh) | 2847 comments Mod
Harvey wrote: "No film in Q8! Grrrrrrrrrrrr!..."

HArvey, can't you have them sent over and then returned to be developed like the Kodachromes? There should be some way...
As there are still photographer using film, especially in cities like New York, London, PAris there should be labs offering the service...


message 28: by Harvey (new)

Harvey | 284 comments Hey!
Great to know! Feel a bit iffy about large format, even by DHL. Worth knowing especially as I'm cooking up some ideas (no pun intended) about my Arabic-Andalusian project. I have all the equipment of course, including film holders, but not the actual film! Even for 6 x 6 or 35mm I have had to turn down a couple of assignments, but spools or canisters is sort of practical.
Oooops!
Food for thought! :))


message 29: by Harvey (new)

Harvey | 284 comments Actually it is good to know I'm not really a dinosaur after all!
I'm not knocking digital but film has its own qualities. Maybe I'm just used to film - or was, but Photoshop, as wonderful a tool as it is, is at the end of the day rather more mechanical than using the grain or lack of in film.
Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but also what about resolution! Especially scanning from large format transparency... how many mega, mega pixels????


message 30: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (new)

André (andrh) | 2847 comments Mod
I was a big fan of the Kodak 200 slide film - either used as Slide and pushed to 400 or 600 - or as Negative...
But it has long gone.
As C-41 I loved the Kodak 800 = never was much into Fuji (although the C-41 Fuji 800 had better colors than the KOdak - therefore I preferred the Kodak; terrific when needing subdued colors in bright lights...)

My customers forced me to go digital. I'm happy with the my cameras (though with analog lenses) and using Photoshop I can recreate film-like grain etc.etc.
Still, I had most fun using film.


message 31: by Harvey (new)

Harvey | 284 comments André wrote: "I was a big fan of the Kodak 200 slide film - either used as Slide and pushed to 400 or 600 - or as Negative...
But it has long gone.
As C-41 I loved the Kodak 800 = never was much into Fuji (altho..."


A trip down memory lane... I got used to Fuji and swore by it; partly familiarity and partly that in Kuwait the Fuji agent was much, much, much better than the Kodak agent.

Naturally I gravitated to better prices, deals, customer service and so on. I have no beef against the Kodak product line. The local agent did not care a toss for the professional market, whereas the Fuji agent was happy to give service and discounted prices for volume and actively wanted to capture the pro market... QED!

Having drifted back into design, media and then editing and museum work, I missed the digital camera revolution, excepting of course computer graphics.

Also the Kuwait market is small and CDs with stock pictures took away much bread and butter work like generic shots of beans or peas for food packaging. Watches and so on for promotions were on CD from Paris or wherever so the incentive to reinvest was not really there.

In any case, working as I did on a learned journal and being involved with cultural events was more satisfying, even if less well paid!

I can see the scope in Europe is very different in many ways. Photojournalists are regarded as professionals in their own right. Each industry sector has its own specialists and so on. It was an interesting struggle to battle against the odds for a time attempting all sorts of things that in the real world is rightly regarded as a separate skill; i.e. sports, food, automotive and so on.

It was photography that got me into cooking and in light of what you said about film still existing maybe food will get me back into photography! It would be very neat!


message 32: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Folks, I have been hit fairly hard by Irene and just have gotten my electricity back this evening. Some damage in basement and have had no internet, FIOS, electricity, telephone service, air conditioning, you name it. This storm hit us hard; but glad to have my electricity back this evening and be able to get back on to goodreads. Hope everyone else hit by this storm has come through this successfully.


message 33: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Thank heavens that you are all safe. Best to you and yours as you recover from Irene. Our beach house was spared but further north at the Outer Banks it took a toll. Thoughts and prayer for all who were affected.


message 34: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (last edited Aug 31, 2011 12:06AM) (new)

André (andrh) | 2847 comments Mod
Bentley wrote: "Folks, I have been hit fairly hard by Irene and just have gotten my electricity back this evening...."

Bentley, my heartfelt thoughts go out to you. Best wishes for the recovery.


message 35: by Harvey (new)

Harvey | 284 comments Oooooooooooooooooh! Nasty! Been through mercifully few storms, the odd monsoon but no joke when nature hits out. Glad you are safe. Heartfelt wishes to all affected.
Blessings....


message 36: by Elizabeth S (new)

Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2011 comments Ouch. It is hard to be so disconnected. It is a good thing most of us like to read, because what else is there to do?


message 37: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Glad you got electricity back. I have a friend who has a vacation home on a NC island; he can't get there due to all the bridges are out. A real mess.


message 38: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 31, 2011 08:25AM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Thanks all; things are bad for so many so even though I was inconvenienced; there are so many folks who have had it much worse. I love the Outer Banks and hope that things are not too terrible there but I fear that they were very exposed. It is such a beautiful place. I think I have more of a mess on my hands than severe damage. Big cleanups in order.


message 39: by Harvey (new)

Harvey | 284 comments Main thing is that you are OK. Thankfully it looks like good warning was able to be given. Mess is a severe pain but blessings for you and all in the situation.

On an ironic note, two of the worst floods I witnessed were in Kuwait and Oman. In the Philippines it is an annual event so though I was aghast at seeing so much water where it was not supposed to be everyone just carried on as normal.

Great you are safe. Prayers are with you and all affected.


message 40: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Thanks Harvey and you make an interesting point - we think of sand and dry climates when we think of Kuwait and Oman. When an act of God sends water your way; it is not a good experience no matter where you happen to be.

So true about water and flooding.


message 41: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Reports are coming in that insurance companies will have a less of a burden, because they will not pay as much out due to flooding (no flood insurance) vs. hurricane damage (winds etc.) Crazy.


message 42: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Yes for sure. They always seem to find a way.


message 43: by Harvey (new)

Harvey | 284 comments Bentley wrote: "Thanks Harvey and you make an interesting point - we think of sand and dry climates when we think of Kuwait and Oman. When an act of God sends water your way; it is not a good experience no matter..."

I can tell you, driving through the mountains from Muscat to Buraimi was quite honestly frightening! It was eerily beautiful too.
Scared the **** out of me at the time.


message 44: by Marjorie (new)

Marjorie Martin I just heard a man from Vermont talking about how sad he felt that so many of their historical covered bridges had been destroyed by the hurricane, and he feared they would not be rebuilt. How very sad about that as well as all the lives lost and the damage to personal property.

Marge


message 45: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 31, 2011 10:30AM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Very true Marjorie; I had the good fortune to see those beautiful bridges and I count myself very lucky indeed. I do hope they rebuild them because they were such beautiful iconic structures.

Sadly, those the bridges are lost; let us hope nobody else loses their lives in Vermont and elsewhere (Catskills), etc. Tremendously powerful storm where creeks went from a trickle to a raging river destroying villages, businesses and towns and cutting off access to the population.


message 46: by Harvey (last edited Sep 08, 2011 11:42AM) (new)

Harvey | 284 comments Not more fun to do simultaneous translation? :)
Nice topic though! (Tim's dinner party)
Now, real characters are fascinating enough for me at any rate, so here goes:

Love the Shiraz grape so Omar Khayyam The Ruba'yat of Omar Khayam Omar Khayyám is going to get the party running.رباعيات خيام. My Farsi is very shaky but should be fun.

Next up Benjamin Franklin, The First American The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin by H.W. Brands H.W. Brands . Brilliant mind!

Actually they are in no particular order Apicius Apicius Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome by Apicius would sure to enjoy dinner. Mental note: Make sure there are tons of extra portions!

Wilkes would John Wilkes The Scandalous Father of Civil Liberty by Arthur H. Cash Arthur H. Cash be full of scandalous wit and satire.

W. A. Mozart Thomas Bauman W. A. Mozart Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Cambridge Opera Handbooks) by Thomas Bauman should not be lost in the company. How did he write all this music; just pouring out, even inebriated!

Maybe one who would compliment the crowd of fine sybarites would be Winston Spencer Ccurchill A History of the English Speaking Peoples - 4 Volumes. by Winston S. Churchill Winston S. Churchill . Who would drink the other under the table would be fascinating. My money being on Churchill and Mozart but not sure.

Unlikely to be boring as hell!

Bit of a stag night.... My next selection is which ladies I'd invite!


message 47: by Harvey (new)

Harvey | 284 comments Tim wrote: "If you could host a dinner party for yourself and six historical figures (real or fictional), who would you invite? Of course you have to assume that everybody will, just for the evening, be able t..."

Looks like we are in the right place but wrong order... no worries!


message 48: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Still a great exercise here(smile).


message 49: by Harvey (new)

Harvey | 284 comments Bentley wrote: "Still a great exercise here(smile)."

Oh yes!... just thinking which ladies I'll invite! :)


message 50: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Harvey you are too funny.


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