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jwg

License plate replacement

The license plate on my car - which might be 50 years old because I think it was on my 1967 Volvo 122S wouldn't pass inspection.. I checked the Massachusetts RMV several times which posts wait times for all their sites - for registration and for licenses. Once it was over an hour, at 10am it was only 4 minutes. So I drove there - 40 minutes. There were lots of people waiting in the waiting room. But I went to the greetings line and had to wait a minute; they sent me to a nearby window. I had to wait a half minute while the second clerk was logging in. I handed her my registration - she reached under the table and got a set of new plates, stuck an expires in '20 sticker on it, typed onto a computer, reached into the printer and handed me the plates and new registration form. And I didn't have to pay.

Now I have to memorize it and un memorize the old one.

moi 1946
jwg

My first job

Yesterday susandennis posted a "What was your First Job, and did you like it".

My first job was when I looked like this icon- I worked for my father (his food exporting business) addressing envelopes for Christmas cards to his customers. I was paid a token payment.

My firsr real job - sort of - was a a camp councillor at a summer camp - actually two camps, for 7 years. Job? it was lots of fun getting paid to have a summer away from the city, hiking, canoeing, being among a nice set of peopke - kids and peers.

While in grad school at Columbia (Physics) I had a part-time teaching 7th and 8th grades science. It was enjoyable and hard. At the end of that year I decided I didn't want to be a teacher, a physicist, or a mathemetician. While agonizing about what to do - and not get drafted, my father said "you should take a computer programming course" (this was in 1961). I did in the fall and after about 4 weeks I knew what I wanted to do for my career. In the spring I took several more as a special student at MIT thinking about continuing there, but I applied for a real job. The other one-sentence piece of advice from my father that I remember was when I was thinking about where to apply to college, my father said "you are going to MIT"

I was hired. I got a verbal offer at the interview and on the way home I stopped at a bank to get a loan application. When I got the real offer and accepted it and shortly after this I took out the loan and bought my first new car, an MG-A. The job was to write the code-generator for a Fortran Compiler and started in June 1962. I loved it, the project, my peers, and was good at it. A more detailed description of that project. This was really my first real job. And thus my career was really launched.

ArmGrip
jwg

The JP Gender Free Contra dance

One of the things that I do a lot is to go Contra Dancing (and English Country dancing).. I am one of the organizaers of the Gender Free Contra Dance in Jamaica Plain (Boston). Today's Boston Globe had an article about our dance with a picrure of me and rsc.

The reporter campe to our dance on July 28 and interviews quite a few people. We are getting ready to celebrate the 30th anniversary of this dance series in September.


- I'm on the right, Robert on the left. -

EvilGrin
jwg

Spice Bazaar and the Bosphorus

After leaving the Grand Bazaar we went to the Spice Bazaar. Much smaller but also an interesting sight.

Click here for larger pictures:


And then we went to the edge of the Bosphorus and crossed the bridge. Lots of people were fishing - catching little fish- on the bridge. On the level vbelow the thouroughfare were restaurants. If we had more time we would have taken a boat cruise on the river.

Click for larger pictures:

armyboy
jwg

Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

On our first day in Istanbull we visited the Grand Bazaar. It is collosal, it has over 4,000 shops. It has a long history as do maby things in Istanbul. It was fun to wander around in it. When you levae it there are outside markets as well. Of course it attracts tourists, but I think it serves many of the residents in Istanbul as well.

Click Here for larger version of the pictures: </a

Hippo
jwg

Basilica Cistern

Near the Hagia Sophia (and our hotel) was the Basilica Cistern. It is a huge huge cistern constuircted for purifying water in Constantinople and was construted under the site of a Basilica. Now it is a tourist site - mostly quite dark. Especially noted are several columns with Medusa's head at the base. Also a tank with fish swimming around.

Click here for larger images of pictures

RomeFountainMan
jwg

Hagia Sophia

As a very simple desciption of complex history, the Basilica of the Hagia Sophia was built in 360 as an Eastern Orthodox church in Constantinople. Earthquakes, wars, political disruptions, etc. caused it to have a complex history with considerable damage and rebuilding at avrious times - it was turned in to a Mosque in 1453. In 1935 it was turned into a museum. There is a movement to turn it into a Mosque again. As in many historical building there is renovation work underway so some of the views are messed up.

We could see it from the roof of our hotel. and it was the first place that we visited.

Click for larger view of pictures;

with camera
jwg

Our recent trip to Georgia and Armenia - with several days in Istanbul

We went on a Ken McFarland trip to Georgia and Aremnia (this was our 15th of his trips) and spent two full days in Istanbul on the way. This was not a dancing trip as are many of Ken's trips, but many of his travelers are dancers and of the 14 people, only 5 of them had not been on other trips that we've been on,

In Istanbul we visited Hagia Sophia, the Basilica Cistern, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palice, the Archeological Museum, the Grand Bazaar, and the Spice Bazaar and lots of walking around. Amazing city - with lots of history - Constantinople had such an important role in that region as a European/Asian gateway.



In Georgia we had a few nights in Tbilisi, and several long trips to see mountains, monastaries, caves, old villages. and the Black Sea. Nice meals and local folk dancing. We just had two days in Armenia. Gorgeous vistas everywhere - interesting architecture in Georgia. Some of the roads aren't in good shape - especially in the mountains where threwe small landslides. And often there were cows nonchalantly walking on the roads.





Both countires have unique alphabets - I learned (and forgot) a few letters. Many of the signs were also in phonetic English and/or Russian (which I can read). And the explanations in museums and other sights were in multiple languages incljuding English.

More posts and pictures will be coming.

EvilGrin
jwg

A vist to the Dalí Museum

We went to Espace Dalí Paris in Montmontre which was full of incredible examples of Dali's work. Lots of fun to walk around and see huge amounts and variety of his work. Of course if you want to find out what time it is the clocks aren't very helpful. In 2012 when we were in Barcelona we went to the Dalí museum in Cadaqués which is located in a house that he lived in.

I always wonder what a session between Salvator Dalí and his psychiatrist would be like...

Click here for pictures:

harp
jwg

In memory of Martin Luther King

On the left (MLK's right) is the late Rev. Ira Blalock, on the right is Rev. Gordon Gibson. They were in jail together with Martin Luther King in Selma, Alabama in 1965. I went to a UU church in Wellesley, MA for a while - mostly because my roomate's friend was the organist there and several other friends where in the choir. (This was the only church or synagogue going experience in my life.) Ira Blalock was the minister; his services were very interesting and always dealt with current reality. Gordon Gibson was the minister in another Boston area church and when I got married. In 1966 he conducted the ceremony because Ira had moved away.