Monday, September 30, 2019

Fooled by Everything

This morning I got tired of what I thinking about this and that and remembered a song I did with some friends back around 1980 called Fooled by Everything. It's the lead song on a tape I made that year with the same name. Here's a link to a page for that tape with credits and more details and links to all the songs. Here's the link to just the song Fooled by Everything. That's Liz Tuomi on the background vocal and dearly departed Alan Stone on lead guitar. 

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Mugging in Sanur

There's a stand alone ATM by a nice little eatery called Warung Kecil (small restaurant) in a fairly busy area but a little off the main street. A woman using it was confronted by a man who demanded her money and iPhone. That's an unusual thing to happen in Sanur. A few years ago a woman was sitting at one of Warung Kecil's two small tables in front and a guy rode up to her on a motorcycle, grabbed her purse, and was off. I heard of a few purse snatchings like that around here but an in person robbery is rare to hear about at all in Bali. We just go to guarded ATMs and stopped using stand-alone ATMs a while back - because of all the skimming going on here. They keep catching Burgarians doing it. A couple since I last wrote about that. I don't think I'll ever make it to Bulgaria.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Getting an Indonesian Drivers Liscence

I think it's pretty easy for a foreigner to get a drivers liscence here now, but it wasn't always. A woman we know and her husband have been here in Bali twelve years. When they applied to get drivers liscences they were required to take a multiple choice test in Indonesian with a time limit of fifteen minutes. They studied and tried but it was too hard and they both failed. They were told they could come back and take it as many times as they needed but they gave up. They have a business here and someone who worked for them had a relative that worked with the police office that issues drivers licenses. One day he got hold of them early and said that the computer was down in that office for the day so they should go there now. They did and since the computer was down were not required to take a test and got their licences. Katrinka and I don't drive here so we'll miss out on this area of experience.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

No News

Periodically, recalling the wisdom of "No news is good news," I take a break from following the news. There are different ways to do this. First and most important is to stop following US news primarily which is what you get from US news outlets. Then BBC and Guardian are good but still too much US news so I just look at Al Jazirra which has some but not too too much US. It's good with excellent in depth reporting that I don't want to take the time for. The best is to just look at science news which includes weather. Stuff happening there that will steamroll over daily news. But now, I'm on the fourth day of no news at all. Ahhhhhh. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Flight Safety in Indonesia

NYT Magazine - What really brought down Boing 737 Max. A highly experienced pilot takes one step by step through this analysis that claims the plane was not the problem but everyone wants to blame the plane - Lion Air, Ethiopean Air, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Trump pressuring the FAA,  Two of them crashed and they're all grounded. The author says he's no fan of Boing but in these cases it's poorly trained pilots that didn't act properly when an emergency happened - and corruption and greed. We live in Indonesia and flew Lion Air once to Java. Next time boat and train.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019


This morning Katrinka and I donned our sarongs and sashes and were off to Segara beach for Detia's Otonan ceremony. The first one is at 210 days but he's about three years old. His grandfather, Ketut, is our landlord, our wonderful landlord He spends a lot of time taking care of Detia while his parents are working. We arrived at Segara beach at 8am but didn't see any ceremony preperations. So I called him. He wsa there right away and led us back to a temple. There were many many banten offerings made with coconut and banana leaves and decorated with bits of food and  flowers. We sat around and talked and took photos with our smart phones. Women did some offerings at a shrine there. A small group of us - parents, uncles and Ketut went down to the beach with a priest. We sat in the sand and there was incense ond offerings. Then we walked a little ways into the water and a little offering boat was placed in the water. We walked back leaving the offerings in the sand and water. It's all organic. Back at the temple enclosure Detia, his mother and father, sat with a priest while he chanted some stuff. Meanwhile relatives and friends were talking, taking photos, eating snacks, drinking bottled water, little boxes of milk tea and coffee. All most easygoing. At no point was everyone paying attention, solemn, or quiet. There are ceremonies with quiet periods though. Next they were going to a larger temple. We said goodbye and walked down the beach path to home an hour away. 

Friday, September 20, 2019

Poor Little Ant

Frequently find a little black ant crawling on my computer or arm. Blow or brush it away. The black ones don't bite and don't see red ones much, but don't want them crawling on me or laptop. As they fly off  from where they were blown or brushed, I wonder if they will find their way back home. And what if it's far from home. I checked on that and found that sometimes they can be accepted in another ant community. Ah - there's one now on my knee. Good luck little fellow!  

Be a Fake News Detecter

How to be a human lie detector of fake news, according to the latest science

The researchers concluded that "falsehood diffused significantly farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth in all categories of information."

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Indonesia is burning too

NY Times article on Indonesian fires. This happens every year here in Indonesia, far away from where we are. Can't get in the way of progress. It doesn't get to us noticable here in Bali but Malaysia and Singapore get heavy smoke from it. We've been there when it was too much to go for a walk outside. - thanks Gregory

Should Scientists let on that they're Scared of what's happening?

Pace of climate change frightening scientists, especially because they don't see an approrpriate response. Should they publish their feelings or just data? - From BBC

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Caffeinated Tea

Had a cup of green tea today. First caffeinated tea I've had in three weeks. The reason for that is my stomach has been bothering me for half a year - tightness in upper abdomin, sometimes aching. Had a pretty large hernia and chronic constipation too which is unusual for me. So I'd been seeing what they call here a gastric surgeon about those problems. After some tests, he said I had an irritated stomach wall with a small ulcer. He did not prescribe medicine, just told me to eat lots of fibre which I already did - and he knew I'd cut out spicey, fried, and rich food. We're almost vegan to begin with.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Naomi Klein

Interview in Guardian with Naomi Klein. She is a visionary with important things to say about Climate Change, how it is tied to other issues, has to be dealt with on a grand scale. 

Friday, September 13, 2019

Weather or not it's Climate, it's Changing

Nature, magazine of Science, Climate Change section gets into the the nitty gritty of the daily march of byproduct of greenhouse gasses getting liberated from the ground. One can also click on the Nature home page link to see what else they're reporting. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Bulgarians Skimming ATMs in Bali

Bulgarians sure are getting a name for themselves here for their banking practices and right here in Sanur four were just arrested for skimming from ATMS. Here's an article on that.  There were two Bulgarians arrested for skilmming in May and five in February. They were looking for a sixth back then. It's common to read about other East Europeans getting busted here for that sort of crime and sometimes others. Russians sometimes too. I've been skimmed or phished twice and now only use an ATM at a bank with a guard - as advised by an article in the Sanur Weekly. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019


Bought some bananas at a store nearby here in Sanur. They were billed as pisang susu, milk bananas. Those are ususally small and sweet. These were medium size and fully yellow. But when I tried one I had to put it in the compost. It wasn't near ripe. I've run into that before with some bananas here. You've got to feel them too. They last really well. The ones that last the least long are the large yellow ones like in America. They're also our least favorite of the eating type. I say eating type because a lot of bananas are best for cooking. I've gone to the banana stall in the market and the whole long table will be full of different types and the guy will tell me there's nothing today. I learned from him about our favorite type which they call green bananas. That means they don't turn yellow. They turn black. 

Sunday, September 8, 2019

AI, all of us, and me

Stephen Hawking warned about the potential dangers of Artificial Intelligence. There's been a lot of discussion about whether it's a potential boon to us or a looming threat. The Terminator movies showed one imagined nightmare scenario wherein it took the advanced AI, once hooked up, immediately becomes self-aware, decides that humans are a security threat and must be eliminated. That idea was introduced in 1984. In 1970, Colusses, the Forbin Project had a similar theme but in it the computer just took total control of the world to insure peace. It was unstoppable but didn't want to control people other than keep them safe.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Kardino brings the wood

Kardino is an old carpenter who does work for us sometimes here in Sanur. The guest toilet room doorway frame wouldn't hold the bottom hinge anymore. He looked at it and said it was termites. It was made from pretty hard camphor but the termites here will get to that after a while. Wood had to be replaced all the way around. He said our home was built in 67. I wondered if this was the first time it had to be replaced. He rides a bicycle so I said that Nyoman could drive him there and get it with his bemo (like a VW bus with open side). He said he could get it easy with his bike. I asked if he could get me a hammer there. He said he'd have to go over to another store a ways from there. I said that's too far, I'll get it later. He replied that he rode his bike 15 kilometers to get here from home so that was nothing. Next morning he showed up  with the wood and hammer.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019


I was talking to Katrinka about mindboggling problems dealing with Amazon KDP which,  along with Ingram Books, distributes Cuke Press books. She listened politely and then said, "Look, there's a rainbow on the stove top. A tiny multicolored sliver of light was shining on the glass top to the stove that's back up against the wall under the vent. She pointed out another on the stainless steele top to a rolling rack where various items are stored under the window. She found two more. A nice accent to the morning.

Monday, September 2, 2019

NASA dealing with Asteroid Threat

Dealing with the threat of asteroids  - This is one of three items listed in the old Cuke Species Threats section. The other two being nuclear war and climate change. There are others like a sunstorm but not sure what we can do about that. Asteroid threat is the one that's easiest for us to deal with with proper and thorough observation of space which we've yet to do, and planning on how to deal with an asteroid, or comet, with an orbit that is on a possible collisiu course with earth - and all objects in speace, I've learned, have a discernable orbit. Species Threats/ Asteroid.