Friday, January 30, 2015

Quote of the Day

History teaches us that when a barbarian race confronts a sleeping culture, the barbarian always wins.
- Arnold Joseph Toynbee

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Returning to Greece

I've booked flights and eight nights in the same hotel where I was for Christmas. Athens, here I come, whooooo hooooo. Hoping a combination of good weather and no public holidays will give me the flexibility to rent a car and drive out to see some sights, either up at Thermopylae and Delphi, or down on the Pelopponesian peninsula, with Mycene and Olympia. Either way I am bouncing with excitement!

Quote of the Day

Hypocrisy is a tribute that vice renders to virtue.
- De La Rochefoucauld

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Quote of the Day

You can't hold a man down without staying down with him.
- Booker T. Washington

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Quote of the Day

Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason why it was put up.
- G. K. Chesterton

Monday, January 26, 2015

Quote of the Day

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.
- Samuel Johnson

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Quote of the Day

I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.
- Winston Churchill

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Quote of the Day

I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked me for my autograph.
- Shirley Temple

Friday, January 23, 2015

Quote of the Day

Charity is injurious unless it helps the recipient to become independent of it.
- John D. Rockefeller

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Quote of the Day

Old age is fifteen years older than I am.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Quote of the Day

Wealth may be an excellent thing, for it means power, and it means leisure, it means liberty.
- James Russel Lowell

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Quote of the Day

It is the nature, and the advantage, of strong people that they can bring out the crucial questions and form a clear opinion about them. The weak always have to decide between alternatives that are not their own.
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Monday, January 19, 2015

Quote of the Day

Der Hunger is der beste Koch
[Hunger is the best cook]
-Freidank, German 13th century writer

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Quote of the Day

A creed is a rod,
And a crown is of night:
But this thing is God:
To be man with thy might,
To grow straight in the strength of thy spirit,
And live out thy life as the light.
- A. C. Swinburne

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Quote of the Day

Yea, though I walk through the valley of death I will fear no evil, for I am the meanest son of a bitch in the valley.
- Joel Rosenberg

Friday, January 16, 2015

Quote of the Day

There are worse things than getting a call for the wrong number at 4 AM. It could be the right number.
- Doug Larson

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Quote of the Day

A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.
- Frank Capra

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Quote of the Day

Nothing is like it seems, but everything is exactly like it is.
- Yogi Berra

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Quote of the Day

It's a good thing we have free speech because it helps us find out who the real idiots are.
- Avon Wilson

Monday, January 12, 2015

Quote of the Day

Without free speech no search for truth is possible... no discovery of truth is useful... Better a thousandfold abuse of free speech than denial of free speech. The abuse dies in a day, but the denial slays the life of the people, and entombs the hope of the race.
- Charles Bradlaugh

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Quote of the Day

Theists have good reasons for not believing in every god but their own. Atheists make no exception for the last one.
- Brett Lemoine

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Quote of the Day

There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want.
- Bill Watterson, American cartoonist "Calvin and Hobbes"

Friday, January 9, 2015

Quote of the Day

Why shouldn't truth be stranger than fiction? Fiction, after all, has to stick to the possibilities.
- Mark Twain

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Quote of the Day

The only infallible rule we know is, that the man who is always talking about being a gentleman never is one.
- R. S. Surtees

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Quote of the Day

Many a man's tongue broke his nose.
- Seamus MacManus

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Quote of the Day

That which is not just is not law.
- William Lloyd Garrison, Boston abolitionist

Monday, January 5, 2015

Quote of the Day

The whole history of civilization is strewn with creeds and institutions which were invaluable at first, and deadly afterwards.
- Walter Bagehot

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Quote of the Day

The study of theology, as it stands in the Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authority; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and it admits of no conclusion.
- Thomas Paine

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Quote of the Day

If people really liked to work, we'd still be plowing the land with sticks and transporting goods on our backs.
- Eilliam Feather

Friday, January 2, 2015

Quote of the Day

The scholar who cherishes comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.
- Confucius

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Quote of the Day

Wail, for the world's wrong!
- Percy B. Shelley

Odds and ends from Athens

Some bits and stuff that doesn't fit in with other posts, for your education and amusement.

First of all: The Bush Bar. Best food, nicest people in Athens. I went down there on Sunday Dec. 21 and while sitting outside, sipping diet coke, somebody stole my backpack. The first I knew of it was when the waiter came running out the door and asked me if I had a black backpack, to which I answered yes. He then took off down the street at some speed. Two minutes later he came back with my backpack, which had been stolen by a gypsy. That's the kind of service and commitment you'll get at the Bush Bar. These past two weeks I've talked with just about everybody who works there, and they're good, decent people. Iffin you're in Athens, you could do worse than give'em your business.
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This is their signature dish, the peri-peri chicken. OMG.
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Huge and very tasty dessert I had at a place by the southern entrance to the National Gardens. Don't judge me.
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Outside the same place, this white wagtail was attacking his own image in the side mirror of a motorcycle. He was at it for 20 minutes, and was still going strong when I left.
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Even in Athens, Hell can be found.
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There's an area just north of Acropolis called "the flea market". It's more a collection of small shops, mostly selling souvenirs and such.
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There are tons of homeless cats and dogs in Athens. Again, the climate makes it livable year round here. A guy in the National Gardens was feeding some of 'em, and told me those that had collars had been sterilized by the city authorities.
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A completely white dove eyeing me with suspicion.
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Whaddya do iffin you find yourself down on your luck in Athens, but you just don't feel like you have what it takes to become a beggar? This. It's the saddest sight in the world.
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Pancakes. With nutella and all kinds of goodies for a pittance.
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That wooshing sound you hear is Euclid spinning in his grave.
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A moose shitting out strawberries. I got nothing.
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Starting the year with a bang

I took some pics of the fireworks over Acropolis last night. It was raining and blowing, so I decided against Lycabettus Hill and instead went down to the Bush Bar at Monastirakis together with a Belorussian and a Ukrainian who were in a hotel room just across the hall from mine. We stayed at the Bush Bar for a few hours, but popped out to catch the fireworks at midnight.

COMET! AAAAAAAAAAAAH!
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Note the Parthenon in the back.
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It was nothing like Carcassone in July 2010, but nice all the same.
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So 2014 is history and 2015 is the future. May it be a bright one.
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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Quote of the Day

Gutta cavat lapidem, non vi, sed saepe cadendo
[The drop hollows the stone, not by force, but by continuously dropping]
- Ovid, Roman poet 43 BC - AD 17

Athens skyline

Here, I've gathered some pictures I've taken of the Athens skyline; some from Mount Lycabettus, which is the highest point in the city and where I'm heading later tonight to watch the fireworks. There's a seriously overpriced restaurant up there, a small chapel and a funicular. The rest are from the Acropolis.

Athens is a big, big city.
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According to official numbers, the urban area (including the port city of Piraeus) has 3-4 million people, but who really knows. Including all the illegals, not to mention the tourists, it may be more like 5 million at any given point.
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From Mount Lycabettus, you can see the ocean.
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I was up there yesterday, and there was snow on the surrounding hillsides.
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One has clear views of the Acropolis, whence most of the fireworks tonight will be deployed.
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I'm not sure if the fog is rolling down the hill or climbing up it, but it looks cool.
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There are three marble blocks up at Lycabettos with information on what you're actually seeng from the top. They've all been destroyed by vandalism and idiocy.
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These are both from the Acropolis area:
Mount Lycabettus.
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The ocean.
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