Thursday, July 17, 2008

And melt with you

As I’ve mentioned before, I have to have my snacks when I travel. I don’t ever want to be stuck in a situation where I’m hungry and there is nothing to nosh. And I’m a messy eater by nature (I always have a Tide pen handy) and a germaphobe, so I like a relatively clean snack. Enter the Gerber Graduates Yogurt Melts for Toddlers. Yogurt Melts are freeze-dried whipped yogurt snacks. And they are delicious!! They come in strawberry, mixed berries and, my personal favorite, peach. I cannot recommend these enough. They taste great, aren’t messy at all and come in resealable packets perfect for traveling. You can find them in the baby food aisle at your local grocery store. (I will warn you right now though that the baby food aisle is usually full of squalling babies and their sleep-deprived mothers so tread lightly.) Give them a try and let me know what you think in the comments!

-- Haiku Hannah

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It may be years until the day my dreams will match up with my pay

According to the BBC, a 60 year old female beggar named Laxmi Das recently opened a back account (and qualified for a credit card) with 200 pounds of coins she had amassed after 44 years of begging on the streets of Calcutta, India. Her sister said she lived very frugally and saved most of her daily haul of coins. She saved the coins in iron buckets at her house in a shanty town. Police had encouraged her to deposit the coins in the bank to avoid becoming a victim of robbery.

Ms. Das says she saved the coins so they would be available to her when she was too old to beg. I love a woman with a plan!! Take a lesson from Ms. Das ladies and save for your retirement. You can't count on anyone else to take care of you. You have to take care of yourself!

And the next time you are traveling in India or even on the streets of your hometown and encounter a beggar, remember this story. Maybe they aren't just using it to buy alcohol. Maybe they have a pension plan!!

-- Haiku Hannah

Monday, July 7, 2008

Just 13 injured in Pamplona today? Shame.

Just because something is tradition doesn't mean it's a good tradition.

You're not Ernest Hemingway and running with the bulls isn't poetic, romantic, or brave. It's cruel and appalling.

PETA and its use of hypocritical celebrities pretty much grates my last nerve, but I appreciate any fight against the running of the bulls and traditional bullfights.

In the run today:

"Some of the bulls fell and two ended up running on their own. One of those became disoriented, trying several times to turn around and go back toward the starting point. But herders waving sticks eventually guided it to the bull ring where the course ends.

Inside the ring one black bull fell down and stayed there for nearly a minute, as jubilant runners scampered about." AP/Yahoo.

Nice. Well done, jubilant scampering runners. Very brave.

And what happens in the bull ring where the course ends?

It's not pretty.

-- Clear Plastic Bag

Ganja Queen: Bali, Bali bad for tourism?

This weekend I watched the "Ganja Queen" documentary about Schapelle Corby, a 27-year-old Australian woman busted for trying to bring marijuana into Bali (allegedly). In the event you have yet to see the documentary, I won't give anything away, but if convicted she could face the death penalty.

Do documentaries and films depicting people being punished for drug trafficking in particular countries affect whether you would ever visit that country?

My answer is yes. Yes, they do. And Alleve is the strongest drug I even get near.

-- Clear Plastic Bag

Friday, July 4, 2008

Dressed for Success(?) in Jasper

As some of you may remember, Japer, Texas, is a repeat destination for this High Flying Bird. While my previous trip was limited to the Ramada Inn and Andy’s Club, on this past visit, I experienced Jasper in all its summer sartorial splendor as I appeared in the 1st Judicial District Court of Jasper County, Texas.

So, what does a well-dressed lawyer wear in Jasper County in July? If you are a male, it’s seersucker, seersucker or seersucker. When I walked into the courtroom, there were four men dressed in light blue and khaki seersucker suits. Then there were the clients. What were the women attorneys wearing? Well, I was wearing a tan suit with a pink shirt. And leopard print shoes from Wal-Mart. Which brings me to the next question.

When you get to Jasper, the Jewel of the Forest but no shopping mecca, and realize at 7 a.m. that you have left your heels at home and your hearing starts in two hours, what do you do? Wear thongs with your suit? Or recall that there is a 24-hour Wal-Mart just down the road? I chose the latter course of action and decided to give Sam Walton’s shoe department a try. Between the tennis shoes, clogs and sandals, I came upon these little gems for a mere $12.74. Not my size, but ok because I won’t be wearing them for more than a couple of hours. Man-made soles and uppers that will likely begin squeeking with heavy wear, but only have to do for a short time for me. And my pants aren’t dragging the ground and I don’t totally look like I’m not wearing my own shoes. Leopard print is not necessarily what I would have picked for a Jasper courtroom, but most of the shoe is covered by the pant and I am not wearing thongs.

So off I go to court, where the Judge takes my motion under advisement, but does not admonish me for my footwear. In fact, one of the women—who had just obtained a D-I-V-O-R-C-E and was ready for some fun—actually complimented my kicks.

-- The Commish

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Our house was our castle and our keep

One of the lures of traveling to a foreign country is observing how the rest of the world lives compared to how you live. One way to get an insider’s view of housing conditions in foreign countries without leaving the comfort of your own home or spending a dime (except for the money you pay to your cable masters) is to watch House Hunters International on HGTV. This show follows people as they look for a home to buy in foreign countries. It is fascinating. You would not believe what passes for a kitchen or a bathroom in some foreign countries. I thought I had the world’s smallest kitchen until I saw the size of one in an apartment in Paris on a recent episode. Tiny doesn’t begin to describe it. It gave me a whole new perspective on my tiny apartment. It’s only tiny by American standards. I’m living large by Hong Kong and Parisian standards baby!!

-- Haiku Hannah