Sunday, March 25, 2012

ABYSSINIAN CATS SAGA:

ABYS


I adore Abyssinian cats. They're beautiful, intelligent, playful and loyal. I've had five!

This is Memphis, my current adorable Aby girl:


Abyssinian's are the most unadulterated house cat. By that I mean, genetic alteration like in so many domesticated cats has not happened in the Aby. Their fur, you'll notice, is 'ticked' or banded with many colors on each hair. This is unique and only otherwise known in wild cats. There's a black stripe that starts on the forehead, runs down the back of the neck, continues down the back onto the tail and ends in a black point—on all of these cats. Their bottom of their feet is always black; Their chins are always white. Abys present a fantastic assortment of colors and shades giving them a wild appearance. Far and away the most popular coloring is called 'Ruddy.' 

Originating in Abyssinia, the English discovered them in the early 18th Century and brought them to England for breeding. Since then, they have become one of the most popular breeds of domesticated cats. 


They remain rare and expensive, however. 


They're thought to be descendents of the ancient Egyptian temple cats. The resemblance is remarkable. Stone carvings and pictorial depictations indicate their heritage. While traveling in Egypt, I noticed a statuette that reminded me of my Liza, my first Aby.
It was, of course, the Egyptian god Bast!

Of my five Abys, three have been the most remarkable: Liza, Baxter and Memphis.



Next, LIZA.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

CAR CRAZY SAGA 16:

1963 KARMANN GHIA, TYPE 34 "RAZOR EDGE" (1964-1966)

MY FIRST CAR! I got it during my architectural graduate school days at the University of Oklahoma.

It wasn't sold in the United States, but someone had brought it over. I was immediately attracted to the beautiful lines and exotic look of her.

My mother didn't like it. I think because it meant independence for me. But I loved it. It caused stares wherever I went.

Mine was RED with a BLACK top!


  ---What a fun beauty!


When I had it inspected, the windshield caused it to be rejected because it wasn't laminated! No laminated windshields were made for that car, so I had to sell it. My mechanic bought it to fix it up somehow.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

PUERTO VALLARTA SAGA 4:

THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA

A few days after returning from Puerto Vallarta, David, Scott, Ted and I watched "The Night Of The Iguana", set in Puerto Vallarta.

When John Huston, Richard Burton, Ava Gardner and Deborah Kerr arrived there in 1962 to film the Tennessee William's play, the city had only a few thousand residents.

Though a small coterie of adventurous travelers had been coming to the small beach town since the early '50s, Puerto Vallarta was far off standard tourist maps. There were no large hotels or luxury inns, and the notion of million-dollar condos overlooking the bay was beyond conception.

But within weeks of the crew's arrival, things changed dramatically, with the bayfront village making front-page news and journalists and photographers descending en masse to implant the image of Puerto Vallarta in ihe imagination of millions of movie fans around the globe. lt wasn't the movie itself that attracted the attention but rather the illicit affair between Burton, the film's primary star, and Elizabeth Taylor, who had tagged along to be with her paramour. The fact that both were married to other people at the time made their romance a major scandal.

More than 50 years later, "The Night of the Iguana" remains entrenched in the city's history but things have changed so much that only a few physical reminders of the film remain. You can make a quick tour of them in a single day.

Begin at Casa Kimberly, a few blocks above the main church. Liz stayed here during filming, and afterward Burton bought the home for her. The couple liked Puerto Vallarta so much they continued visiting for years after and subsequently bought a neighboring casa to house guests, connecting the structures with a bridge spanning the street.

Taylor sold the properties in 1990 and bought a new home in Marina Vallarta, but the casas remain, drawing a steady stream of gawkers. Huston lived several miles south of town at Los Caletas; you can visit his estate as part of the "Rhythms of the Night" tour.

At night, Burton and frequent guest actor Peter O'Toole would often meet Huston a few blocks from Casa Kimberly at a bar where reportedly they would drink till they passed out.

The movie was shot south of town of Playa Mismaloya, then accessible only by boat. The set remains standing but has fallen into disrepair and has been fenced off.

For other reminders of the movie, a somewhat cheesy statue of Burton and Taylor stands inside the Fuente del Puente restaurant.

On the lsla Cuale, is a classier statue of John Huston.

The most peculiar tribute to the stars has to be the Elizabeth Taylor Theater which now shows porno movies.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

PUERTO VALLARTA SAGA 3:

TWO EXCURSIONS

The first was a 5-hour catamaran boat trip around the bay. What fun. Lots of Tequila. The views were spectacular.


We alighted at a beach restaurant for a lively lunch.

A good time had by all!
video

The next excursion took us way outside town to the spectacular Botanical Gardens:


We lunched at the fabulous restaurant.
video

Three of us had the horseradish dressed shrimp salad in a wonderful, whole avocado.
video

Next, THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

PUERTO VALLARTA SAGA 2:

ENVIRONS AND RESTAURANTS

We stayed in a nice condo on the south side of town, convenient to shops, restaurants and the beaches.


Walking around, we spotted many wonderful views.

Eating out was one of our favorite activities. Puerto Vallarta is a real restaurant city with many choices. Our favorites were on the beach or in the hills overlooking the city.

The sunsets were glorious.

This restaurant on a river had iguanas to view. During our meal, one of them landed on a dining table near us. It was pandemonium, but exciting.

Next, TWO EXCURSIONS.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

INVESTMENTS SAGA 3:

EEGC - DOWN TO A PENNY!

Nothing much has happened with the company since I first invested 5 years ago—except go down in value.

It's January 2012, EEGC is at a low point. Question is, will it recover or die? No one knows at this time but it looks rather bleak.

I can't get any answers from anyone. Everyone's mute.

It doesn't look good. My $200,000 investment is now worth $60,000.


TYPICAL CHART:

CURRENT CHART:


EEGC has a new Chief Financial Officer, David Villarreal, Jr. He holds great promise. But the current thinking is that the CEO, Malcolm Bendall, should be replaced!

And in contrast, OIL is at record highs—hovering over $100 a barrel.

I also feel bad for the several people I got to invest in the stock, thinking it was going to the moon. But there's always hope.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

BODY WEIGHT SAGA 8:

THREE MONTHS AFTER BARIATRIC SURGERY

I'm doing great! No more discomfort, unless I eat too much.

I weigh the least I've weighed since 1987 (24 years)!

I also weigh less than I did in High School! But I've weighed even less than that in the ensuing years: 151 in 1986 and 165 when I was in Italy in 1982. THIS IS MY GOAL: to weigh only as much as I weighed while living in Italy!!!

BEFORE 12/5/11, 225#
——————————————————————————
3/7/12, 181#

225# to 181# = -44#.    GOAL: 165# or 60#.
——————————————————————————