Saturday, May 31, 2014

Back in the States...

We managed to get a flight to Savannah, GA.  We were at the top of the list and there were only six of us on the flight, along with a large, dismantled helicopter.  It was nine hours of being chilly and wearing hearing protection.  Tomorrow, we will catch an early flight to Houston,because it was much cheaper than flying to San Antonio.  We'll drive a rental car to San Antonio and pick up our car at Bill's mom's house, along with our two troublemaking dogs.  Looking forward to seeing them and writing up this trip.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

German dreams...

Cheesy enough title? After being in France, Germany feels like home.  But I think we're ready to go to our real home.  I have a lot of stories to write here.  I also have a lot of pictures.

Someone from the PR department of my alma mater wants to interview me for a article in Longwood's magazine.  Hope he can wait until I get back to the States.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Nine miles...

That's about how long we walked today.  We walked down to the beach, then to the port and along the hilly road leading up to the high rent district.  It was exhausting.  We had lunch at a fish restaurant, then had some ice cream at a nearby mall.

Afterwards, we came back to the hotel room and I took a very long nap while Bill finished schoolwork.  We're going to eat a low key dinner in our room tonight.  Tomorrow, we'll go to Frankfurt and determine what the plan is for going home.  I'm kind of ready, though I love Europe.  I's time to do laundry and writing.  I also have lots of pictures.

We could go out and see more of Nice tonight, but we're kind of winding down...  Besides, pay day isn't until Friday and cash is getting short.  Nice was a good place to end, though.  Love this city!

It's nice in Nice...

We haven't yet explored it much, since we needed a rest after our travel adventure yesterday.  It's sort of as I remember it, though.  Very bustling and busy...  Lots of noise.  I think we'll walk down to the beach today... Maybe we'll take in a museum.  Most of them are supposedly free.

Wednesday, we'll go to Frankfurt and start the process of going home.  I think we can enjoy a couple of days in Germany while we look for flights.  

Saturday, May 24, 2014


Bill and I got to Nimes this afternoon...  What a laid back place.  It reminds me a little of Seville.  My old friend Audra picked us up and we went to this cool bar outside of Nimes where we had a birthday  celebration for her son.  It was such a treat to go there and fun to see Audra again.  We're going to get together tomorrow.  After that, perhaps Nice?

It's time to start thinking about how we're getting home.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Interesting day... But we ate Domino's Pizza for dinner!

We just weren't in the mood to go hunting for a lovely and expensive meal.  We had beer and then picked up a Domino's Hawaiian pizza.

We went to the city of Lyon hoping to find really good food.  We did have a nice lunch at yet another Irish pub...  But it was a rather American meal.  I had a cheeseburger and Bill had a "jacket potato".  I'm tempted to rip off the soap in our hotel room.  It smells great.  But that would be theft, so I won't do it...

This, even though I got the stink eye from a French lady and yelled at by a crazy street person today.

Riding the train back to our northern Lyon suburb was odd.  We ended up with a bunch of very young French guys who seemed clueless.  I felt like a den mother in a French frat house.  There were about six of them; the train was full, so they were eager to claim our seats when Bill and I got off after two stops.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

We're liking Lyon....

Okay, so actually, we're staying a little north of Lyon.  I looked for a reasonably priced hotel closer to central Lyon, but wasn't so successful.  But it's really okay, because our Best Western is perfectly fine  and not too expensive.  It's also near a great Moroccan restaurant.  I happened to spot the restaurant as Bill and I were trying to find the hotel in the wind and rain.  It turned out we were so close...

Bill went the wrong way and we ended up consulting a map.  As we were looking, a lady who did not speak English tried very hard to help us.  She pointed out the tourism office, but it turned out we were close to the hotel.  We just went a couple of blocks in the wrong direction.

We checked in, then visited an Irish pub that served Belgian beers and played music from the 80s.  I was in heaven.  We came back to the room; Bill did homework and I took a three hour nap.  Afterwards, we had an amazing Moroccan dinner.

The train ride was interesting.  It was an older train with compartments... Plenty of space.  A young girl asked if she could sit with us.  We welcomed her.  When she left, she smiled and said goodbye.  Bill said he got the impression that maybe she sat with us so she wouldn't be alone in a compartment and bothered by men.

France has been delightful...  I look forward to writing more in detail when we get back to Texas.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

In Dijon...

Staying at an adorable hotel outside of town with a beautiful view.  It's maybe three miles from the center of town. Bill and I walked to town from the hotel.  It took over an hour.  Then we wandered around looking for food.

I was impressed by how good Dijon smells.  It's like the air is perfumed by lilacs.  We visited a cathedral and had a nice meal... Took a cab back, but not before I spied a karaoke bar.  Luckily for Bill, it seemed to be in French and I was too hot, tired, and sweaty to want to hang out there tonight.

We're going to Lyon tomorrow.  I'd like to stay in Dijon another day, but we're kind of on a schedule. I'd come back here, though...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

We visited Epernay...

Reims is where champagne gets sold.  Epernay is where it's made.  We ended up visiting there today, having lunch at a brasserie, then after walking around, drinking a couple of beers.  The bar where we drank locked the toilets to keep people off the street out.

I dozed off on the train back.  We ended up at a small, family owned place for dinner.  I noticed it smelled really good at lunchtime, so we came back... I was not disappointed.  The food was wonderful and someone there was able to translate the menu for us...  It was also significantly less expensive than last night's meal.

I look forward to writing about it and sharing photos when we get back.

In other news, Bill says only one seat out of 60+ available was used to go to Shannon yesterday.  *Sigh*. I'm not sorry we came to France, but that would have been a hell of a lot nicer than the jam packed Germany flight.

Monday, May 19, 2014


I have been wanting to visit the Champagne region of France for years.  This morning, we tossed a coin to decide where to go next.  Reims won over Bacharach, Germany... So here we are, after six hours on a train.  We booked a room at an Ibis, which is basically a cheap motel.

Then we had an amazing dinner... It was served by very weeded waiters who didn't speak much English.  Now we're drinking my favorite Champagne in our cheap motel room.  The room is tiny, but it's clean and has all we need.  We will stay in Reims another night, then head somewhere else Wednesday.

Arrived in Germany...

Now I'm jet lagged and on the rag.  Sometimes menopause seems so appealing to me.  It's nice to see Germany again, though.  I didn't realize how much I've missed trees.  San Antonio has them, but they're kind of small and scrubby.

Our flight was full and there were many families with kids.  As much as I thought I wanted them, now I see why it's good we don't have them.  At my age, maybe I'm too old and cranky to appreciate them.

Bill and I landed at a hotel just off Ramstein.  It's popular with Americans.  He's already talked to a guy who works at SHAPE in Belgium.  It would be great if this trip turns lucky, but I'm not holding my breath.  I'm wide awake at 12:16am, after being totally exhausted earlier.  We need to decide what we want to do while we're here.

I want to go to France.  Wine helps soothe the menstrual beast.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Made it...

Flying to Germany from Baltimore tonight.  We were #5 on the priority list for space A.  In a couple of hours, I expect to be flying over the Atlantic.  I will probably be a wreck when we get there...

We'll see what happens.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Another outstanding meal at Saveurs 209...

Yesterday, I was really bored and wanted to go out to dinner.  I thought about all the new dresses in my closet and how badly I needed a new Facebook profile picture.  I usually replace my profile photos when I put on makeup and look presentable.  Bill came to my office and asked if I'd be okay with burgers for dinner.  I blurted out, "I want to go out!"

Bill looked a little chagrined.  I think he was thinking about the cost of a nice meal and the fact that he'd pulled the ground beef out and didn't want it to turn.  Bill asked where I wanted to go out and I said I wanted to go downtown… perhaps to Saveurs 209.  I saw Bill cringe as he considered the traffic involved with going downtown.  Then I said, "I want to put on a dress."

Bill and me, dressed to the nines...

Bill relented and made reservations.  I got all pretty.  We went downtown and much to my delight, when we stepped into the restaurant, were immediately recognized!  The last time we went to Saveurs 209 was for Thanksgiving!  I told our host, Sylvain, that we'd been meaning to get back to their restaurant.

We were seated and proceeded to enjoy a wonderful authentic French meal for the third time in San Antonio.  Here are some photos from our delightful dinner!

Bill peruses the menu...

I had a glass of champagne-- Piper Heidsieck, to be exact.  Bill ordered a very nice chenin blanc to go with our seafood heavy meal. The wine had a strong mineral taste, kind of like a chablis.  It was a good choice.  We enjoyed very fresh baguette bread with equally fresh butter…  

A velvety smooth chilled gazpacho amuse-- avocado, green pepper, green onion, cucumber and, I would swear lime, though I didn't hear that mentioned in the list of ingredients.   It was very refreshing!

My asparagus salad.  It was served with Parmesan cheese and San Daniele Proscuitto.  I love how this salad looks, but it also tasted very good.  The asparagus was firm and flavorful and the Parmesan and prosciutto added a delicately salty flavor.

Bill was eyeing a fish soup, but I talked him into the Comte cheese soufflé, which came with a small salad with walnuts and vinaigrette.  I would have ordered this myself, but cheese is kind of a hit or miss thing with me.  Very strong cheeses are a turn off.  I'm happy to report that this starter was delicious… not too strong and very comforting.  I would order it if it's available during our next visit (but I bet it won't be-- they change the menus frequently!)

For dinner, I had lobster with green peas, tomatoes and mint pesto.  The lobster was very generously portioned and delicious…  It was garnished delicately with roe.  The mint and peas complemented the lobster very well.  I'm not a huge fan of tomatoes, but the two included with this dish were flavorful and succulent.  They also added a dramatic dash of color to the dish, making it look like a work of art.

Bill had halibut with asparagus and roe…  I tasted the halibut, which seemed delicately poached.  It was tender and moist, cooked to perfection.

Dessert!  Bill ordered for me while I was in the restroom and I ended up with a dreaded lava cake…  Actually, it was a nice dessert, served warm with vanilla ice cream.  I have nothing against lava cake, except that everyone is doing that now!  I was hoping for a chocolate biscuit with raspberry ganache and chocolate chips.  Oh well… I didn't refuse the dessert!  Bill had a very interesting streusel with strawberries and pistachios.  

Bill and I finished with a round of espresso.  We basked in the afterglow of a delightful meal.  Afterwards, we chatted a bit with Sylvain, telling him how much we love Europe and that we hope to be there next week.  Where exactly we'll end up is still "up in the air", but there's a good chance we could go to France.  If we do, this meal will make an excellent kick off to our vacation.  In all, our meal cost just under $200.  It was definitely worth every penny.  Bill tipped 20%, which brought our total to about $240.  

I also told Sylvain that if Bill doesn't get a job soon, I might have to approach him for a job waiting tables!  I was half kidding.  His eyebrows raised when I told him about my experiences working at The Trellis, restaurant that for over 30 years, was owned by Marcel Desaulniers, a French American chef who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.  I told him how stressful it was to work in that place, because we learned how to serve food properly.  It took me a long while to get it right, but I finally did… and now, thanks to Marcel, I appreciate good food and good service.  And thanks to Europe, I appreciate the fantastic unhurried experience one can have at Saveurs 209.  If we can't live in Europe anymore, we can at least enjoy European people.

I think Saveurs 209 is probably the only authentic French restaurant in the San Antonio area.  It is also the only "nice" restaurant Bill and I have visited three times.  And if we don't move out of the area, we'll definitely be back.  If you are inclined to dine on French cuisine and you happen to be in San Antonio, I highly recommend Saveurs 209.  

In honor of my departed friend, Patrick… A review of The Singing Revolution

I posted on my main blog about my friend, Patrick Killough, who died yesterday after a battle with leukemia.  The review below prompted my first online meeting with Patrick, who was a delightful man who lived near Asheville, North Carolina.  He enjoyed the movie after reading my review, so I've decided to repost it here in his honor.

The Singing Revolution... a very moving film about Estonia's journey to freedom

 Jan 10, 2010 (Updated Jul 20, 2011)
Review by   
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating:Excellent

  • Action Factor: 
  • Special Effects: 
  • Suspense: 

Pros:Very inspiring and moving documentary about Estonia.


The Bottom Line:The Singing Revolution shows how the power of music can overcome oppression and despair.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.

Last summer, my husband Bill and I took our very first cruise. Although we were both hoping for a trip to the Greek Isles, we ended up with a Baltic itinerary. One of the exciting ports of call we visited was Tallin, Estonia. I was particularly interested in seeing Estonia because it was once one of the fifteen republics that had made up the Soviet Union. In the mid 1990s, I spent two years of my life living in another former Soviet republic, Armenia. I wanted to see how Estonia was faring since the fall of the once great Soviet empire.

Tallin, Estonia turned out to be a wonderful place. Bill and I wandered around the old town, very impressed by how well preserved the medieval city was. Although we only got to spend a few hours there, I found myself mentally planning to come back someday. Then, the other day, while dreaming of my next trip to Europe, I read a CNN travel article about Estonia.  The author mentioned renting the movie The Singing Revolution, a documentary film about Estonia's great love for singing and how it helped them achieve independence. Intrigued, I immediately went to iTunes and downloaded the film so I could see it for myself.

The premise

Estonia has a long, complicated history as a land that has been passed around and fought over by a number of different peoples. It has been a Swedish, Danish, and Russian territory at different times in its history. In the last 100 years, it was invaded by Josef Stalin and the Soviet Union as well as Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. In the wake of these invasions, thousands of ethnic Estonians were killed, sent to prison in Siberia, or just plain disappeared. Thousands more fled to other countries, hoping to be able to return to their homeland someday.

The Singing Revolution introduces viewers to several people who were directly influenced by Estonia's history. We meet a conductor whose grandparents were killed during the Soviet invasion. We meet a female conductor who, along with her family, was herself sent to a Siberian prison camp at age 14. We also meet a man who was considered a "Forest Brother"; he and other men lived in the forests of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania for years and worked against the Soviet occupation through guerilla warfare.

The film very touchingly paints a picture of the way Estonia was "Russified"; Russians were moved into the country as a way to homogenize the culture and stamp out the Estonian majority. People lived in oppression, unable to express themselves freely. For fifty years, life went on this way until the late 1980s, when Mikhail Gorbachev was the President of the Soviet Union. Gorbachev sought to reform the Soviet Union and improve its lagging economy through perestroika (restructuring) and glasnost (openness). Through these new reforms, more freedom of expression was allowed among the Soviet people. Estonians now had the power to protest.

Starting in 1987, Estonians began to demonstrate by singing. In 1988, as many as 300,000 Estonians aided by Estonian rock musicians were singing Estonian national songs and hymns that, under Soviet rule, had been forbidden. One man in the film quipped that when thousands of people start to sing, it's impossible to shut them up. That's exactly how the Estonian people started to be heard. Meanwhile, by 1989, formerly Communist Eastern Europe was starting to disintegrate. One by one, countries were rejecting Communism and demanding freedom. In 1990, Estonia openly defied the Soviet Union by offering aid to Estonian residents who wanted to avoid being drafted into the Soviet Army. And of course, by 1991, the Soviet Union was dismantled.

My thoughts

I found this film extremely moving, especially since the Singing Revolution happened relatively recently. The film shows how everyone-- men, women and children-- came together to reclaim their independence against a mighty opponent. I also found this film very informative. Although I was a teenager and young adult when all of this stuff was going on, I was woefully uninformed about it as it was taking place. It was very interesting to me to be able to see this story unfold in a powerful and beautifully filmed documentary. Finally, I found this film satisfying on a musical level. I am myself a singer, so I was very interested in hearing the music the very talented Estonians produced. I found it very inspiring on an artistic level.

And now...

I'm dying to go back to Estonia. In fact, I'd love to take a trip to all three Baltic nations to learn more about their history and peoples. The Singing Revolution was a very worthwhile film in terms of giving a perspective of what it was like for Estonians in the wake of World War II. It was fascinating for me, as well, because I spent time in Armenia, where the Russians were seen more as saviors than oppressors... the Russians saved the Armenians from the Turks.

Having just spent two years on a continent that was so heavily affected by World War II, I now find myself much more eager than I ever was in the past to learn about what happened during the war. There's nothing like actually going to a place to develop an appreciation for it and a desire to learn more. Estonia is not one of those places that's easy to visit, particularly from America. Watching The Singing Revolution may be one of the next best alternatives to visiting.


I highly recommend this film to anyone who is interested in history, particularly as it affected the Soviet Union and the Baltic region. I also recommend it to anyone who enjoys music, powerful, inspirational stories about triumph, and a good documentary. The Singing Revolution runs for 97 minutes and is unrated. It's a film by James and Maureen Trusty.

For more information:

Recommend this product? Yes

Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Better than Watching TV
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 9 - 12

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Trying to make preliminary plans...

But now that there's a leak in the roof, I don't know what's going to happen.  Bill hasn't said anything about when he wants to try to light out of here.  Maybe this weekend?  Who knows…

As nervous as I am about spending the money, we'd probably be spending it anyway.  Bring on Ireland… or France… or Hawaii…  wherever we can get.  I need a vacation out of this shitty house we live in.

Friday, May 9, 2014

I think we're gonna do it!

Bill and I have been talking and I think we've decided it's worth it to risk a trip abroad.  If we're going to be broke, we're going to be broke.  Staying home in the meantime won't change anything… and we may never get this opportunity again.

We were going to try to fly out of McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, but now we're thinking we may have to try flying out of McGuire Air Force Base near Trenton, New Jersey.  They have been offering flights to Shannon, Ireland lately, with 59 tentative seats.  Granted, if we go to Ireland, we will probably have to fly out of somewhere else… either Germany or England.

I would rather fly out of England, since I do want to visit Mildenhall if we can.  This is all still very tentative, though.  We still have to arrange for everything.  To complicate matters, we have to be around for a house inspection on the 13th.  We don't really have to be here for it, but I want to be… this house has some issues and I want to be sure to explain them.  I also don't want to leave the dead bolt unlocked while we're out of town.

I am a little worried that we're getting too close to summer and that may make things more difficult.  The whole thing could fall apart, too.

In preparation for a potential trip to the Emerald Isle, I got a free downloaded guide, which has resulted in an Irish tourism firm trying desperately to get Bill and me to sign up for some tour program.  Maybe we will; maybe we won't.  I really would rather just wing it.  That's where the best stories come from.  I look forward to having more pictures to post here on my travel blog!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

How my dad got a street named after him and a beer in England...

I just heard an interesting bit of family lore today.  I called my mom, thinking it was Mother's Day.  It's not Mother's Day, of course, and I woke her from her usual Sunday nap.  Nevertheless, despite being disappointed by some photos I'd sent her by request (she was hoping for full body shots), she was in a pretty good mood.  We had a nice chat.

We got on the subject of Bill and me potentially trying to go to Mildenhall AFB in England in a couple of weeks.  I was telling my mom that it makes me nervous to take a trip right now, since Bill doesn't have a job lined up yet.  On the other hand, this trip would not be as expensive as it could be, since the flight there on military transport would be close to free.  Mom said if we manage to get to Mildenhall, we should see if Tolley Cobbold Road is still there.

Tolley is my maiden name.  My dad is Charles P. Tolley, but everybody calls him Bill.  Bill is a childhood nickname given to him by my Aunt Jeanne that stuck-- she evidently preferred the name "Billy" to Charles.  Apparently, my dad liked it better, too.

Anyway, I do remember Tolley Cobbold Road, even though I was very young when I lived in England.  When I was growing up, we had a British road sign that my dad had put up in his picture framing business.  I was told that the sign was the result of a practical joke one of my dad's Air Force buddies played on him when he was finishing up his Air Force service in the late 70s.  You see, Tolley is a very English name.  And, for centuries, the Brits produced a beer called Tolly Cobbold Beer.  I even have a bar towel that I purchased from a Brit on eBay a couple of years ago.  Tolly Cobbold Beer was made at a very old brewery near Bury St. Edmunds, which is the neighborhood near Mildenhall.

I bought this bar towel because we used to have a light blue and white one…  Tolly Cobbold Beer went extinct in 2002...

One time when he was stationed in England, my dad had to go TDY to the United States.  There was evidently an unnamed street on or near the base that didn't have any houses on it.  One of my dad's co-workers, an Italian guy, had a sign made for that empty street.  The sign read "Tolley Cobbold Street".  It was a play on my dad's name, using the "e" in our last name, and the name of the beer, of which my dad was probably a diehard fan.  They put the sign up on the street.  When my dad got back to the base, the military police called him asking where "Tolley Cobbold Road" was, since someone had had an accident there and they had never heard of it before.  That's when my dad found out what his buddies had done.

About twenty years ago, my dad had occasion to visit Mildenhall and the sign was still there.  I looked on the Internet, and lo and behold, it does appear that Tolley Cobbold Road  may have actually become official.  I see that if you look on maps, the street is spelled "Tolly Cobbold Street", but if you search for it using the "e", there are many references spelled as my maiden name is spelled.  In fact, I don't see any references of it, other than notations on street maps, where it is spelled "Tolly".  And again, my parents actually saw the sign posted, got photos, and were even presented with a replica of the street sign.

Of course, I understand this story could very well be bullshit… but I'm guessing it probably isn't.  My dad is a memorable character.  Indeed, though my dad retired in 1978, his former secretary, Faith, still works at Mildenhall.  About ten years after my dad retired my cousin, Jeff Tolley, was in the Air Force and based at Mildenhall.  He happened to run into my dad's former secretary who, before knowing who Jeff was, commented that he reminded her very much of a gentleman she once worked with.  She said my dad's name, and Jeff said, "He's my uncle."  Mom says if we go to Mildenhall, we should look Faith up and say "hi".  They have kept in touch all these years; Faith even sent me a wedding gift!

Given this crazy bit of family lore, I feel I owe it to myself to check it out.  Besides, what better way to end my Bill's years in the Army than by checking out my dad Bill's last duty station?  I need to get there and take a photo of that street sign.  And if it turns out it is actually spelled "Tolly", no big deal…  I can still enjoy the UK and Ireland anyway.

I hope I inherit that way cool street sign someday.

Update!  We found Tolley Cobbold Road!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

"Do not take drugs and go whoring."

A friend posted this on Facebook today...

I've never had a particular desire to visit China.  I don't know why.  The Far East has never held that much fascination for me, though.  I think it's because it just seems so crowded.  I did almost take a job teaching English in Korea back in the 1990s, but I ultimately decided not to take the position when I started wondering how I was going to be able to pay my student loans.

In retrospect, maybe I should have tried to make it work, though I'm not sure I would have enjoyed Korea that much.  I would have stuck out like a sore thumb.  Of course, I stick out like a sore thumb in America, too.  I think maybe at that time, I was just too overwhelmed to use my problem solving skills.  I got the offer not long after I had returned home from my Peace Corps stint in Armenia and was sort of in bad shape emotionally speaking.

Nevertheless, when I see funny signs like the one above, I have to wonder what I might discover in the Far East.  Even when I have purchased electronics from countries like China, Japan, or Taiwan, I have run across some really funny translations by people who obviously know English, but maybe aren't all that familiar with idioms.

For instance, several years ago, I purchased a Hitachi Magic Wand.  Don't judge.  Bill was deployed at the time and I had certain "needs" that needed attending to.  The funny thing about the Magic Wand is that in the United States, it's well-known as a vibrator to be used for sensual purposes.  Apparently in the Far East, it was not intended to be used that way… or at least it wasn't marketed that way.  If you look at the packaging or the instructions within, you will find no indication that it's commonly used as a vibrator, even though you can buy "attachments" for it that are obviously to be used for sexual fun.

I ended up reviewing the Magic Wand on Epinions.  In my review, I included the following, which was in the instructions.

You'll want to use your massager on your shoulders, arms, back muscles, and legs. It's not for your chest and certainly not for use around you [sic] thyroid gland (just below the Adam's Apple)...

The rated maximum continuous use of your massager is 25 minutes. That's really long enough. Should you wish to use it longer, turn it off and wait about 30 minutes before using it again...

Don't turn the vibrating head by hand or press it tightly to your body. You could bend the head-supporter, and heavy pressure does not produce a stronger massaging effect anyway...

Never drop or insert any object into any opening.

For the record, the Hitachi Magic Wand didn't impress me and I didn't give it high ratings.  You can read my review in its entirety on my main blog.  There's nothing dirty in that particular post.  I used to have it on my sex blog.  Actually, there's little dirty in the blog itself.  I started it because I wanted to have a place to write my kinky fiction.  When Epinions bit the dust, I re-posted some of the reviews I wrote about sexy things.  Maybe later today, I'll continue the next chapter in the one fictional work I have going there.  I don't think posting the story in a blogging format is working too well for me, but I feel compelled to finish (ETA: It's not working).

Funny thing about that Hitachi Wand review, too.  It made me a lot of money.  Unfortunately, it also got me a few uninvited correspondents who would hit me up on Yahoo! Messenger.  I guess they figured that since I wrote in the review that Bill was deployed, I might be looking for "play".  The instant messages and emails went on for a few years and finally died off sometime around 2010 or 2011.  

Anyway, I am intrigued by the bluntness of instructions in the Far East.  Maybe Bill and I should go there and check it out.