The daughter and I just visited Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca. Can you say ”Lake Titicaca” without smiling? I can’t.

Non-trivia: What is America’s longest war?

On the recent trip, I learned that Bolivia once had access to the ocean, but lost it in a nineteenth century war. Maybe you already knew that.

I know of females named “Tiffany,” but I have never heard of one called “Cartier” or “Bulgari.”

The sign in Peru said “Joylong.” I was told that it was a Chinese car company. But I thought that it had something to do with sex.


President Trump, according to recent articles, does not believe that exercise is good for the body. Instead, he believes that, like a battery, a person is born with a finite amount of energy, and exercise needlessly dissipates it. In his view, those who don’t exercise are in better health than those who do. Perhaps with the proposed Trumpcare, insurance companies will be required to offer lower premiums to those who just watch television and read tweets. Certainly, at least, we can all sleep better knowing that our future healthcare system is in the hands of such a sound thinker.

I expect the President to be proclaiming, “Preserve your body’s finite energy.”  This reminds me  of General Jack D. Ripper, played by Sterling Hayden, in Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Jack D. Ripper believed that there was a communist plot to sap and pollute American’s “precious bodily fluids” through the fluoridation of our drinking water. (Back in the 1940s and 1950s and probably beyond, conservatives did maintain that fluoridation was a commie plot against America. Is this the only thing conservatives have been wrong about?) Jack D. Ripper hesitantly admits that he gained this knowledge during the “physical act of love” which left him profoundly fatigued followed by an empty feeling. “Luckily I was able to interpret these feelings correctly. Loss of essence.” Ripper reassures his listener that he does not shun women. “Women sense my power and they seek the life essence. I do not avoid women. . . . But I . . . I do deny them my essence.”

So my question, “Does General Jack D. Ripper help explain Donald J. Trump?”


All citizens of Peru have to vote. The mandate is enforced by a heavy fine. How would it affect this country if all citizens were required to vote?

Ancient cultures always seemed to have many more memorials to death than to birth. Discuss.

The daughter and I ate alpaca in Peru. Quite tasty. The daughter also ate guinea pig. Not so tasty.

“Question: Why are there plenty of televangelists in America, but not a single tele-ecologist?” Lawrence Millman, At the End of the World: A True Story of Murder in the Arctic.

A portion of a museum had erotic ceramics from cultures that predated the Incas in Peru. I wondered: “Surely they did not refer to it as the missionary position.  What did they call it?”

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