Fortune Cookie with no Fortune

Fortune Cookie

True story; yesterday I ordered Chinese food for 3 people, it was more impressive and more delicious than any Cantonese Chinese dishes I’d eaten in years. When we were finished, each of us chose a fortune cookie. I was second of three people and selected the fortune cookie furthest away from me, which is actually contrary to my normal habit and at that moment I had a flash of a thought. To myself I asked ‘what if there were no fortune in the cookie?”

Yes, it happened, I opened a fortune cookie that contained no fortune. In other words there was no piece of paper inside the fortune cookie, this never happened to me before,  and I never heard of it happening to anyone else. What did it mean? What should I do? Google (search) it, of course….

If there is no fortune in a fortune cookie, it is a sign that something good will happen to you soon. (Because fortunecookie-fairy owes you one fortune.) Source: We created this rule as a solution to one of frequently asked questions.

Fortune Cookie – Rules

eatfortunecookie.com/rules.htm

Rules
Do not grab the cookie closest to you, but the one furthest away when served by the host or hostess.

Pick a cookie that is most closely “pointing” towards you (i.e. the 2 pointed ends, not the rounded part, is facing you).

if you rip your fortune, it will not come true.
Source: We received this rule from one of our visitors (thank you!).

You have to keep the fortune for it to come true.
You cannot look at all the fortunes first, then claim the best one as your own – or give the worst one to someone else.

After reading the fortune, you must not tell anyone your fortune, and then eat your fortune cookie and put paper on fire for it to come true.

If there is no fortune in a fortune cookie, it is a sign that something good will happen to you soon. (Because fortune-cookie-fairy owes you one fortune.)

If you get 2 fortunes in 1 cookie, they cancel each other out. The fortune from the next cookie is the one you will receive.

If you text your fortune to one person that is very close, the fortune can come true for both you and the person you texted!

In order for fortune to work, you cannot tell anyone what it says.

You can’t look at the fortune until you are done eating the entire cookie.

You have to eat the entire cookie in order for the fortune (that came from the cookie) to come true.

You cannot pick your own fortune cookie. (Someone has to give you a cookie)

* If you know or heard about any other rules about fortune cookie, please let us know.
* If you want to make up a new rule of your own and have others follow it, feel free to e-mail us the rule. Only the thing we ask is if you made up a rule, please state as such in the e-mail.

Photo credit: Randy Heinitz via Visualhunt / CC BY

Stravinsky by Picasso

Stravinsky and Pablo Picasso collaborated on Pulcinella in 1920. Picasso took the opportunity to make several sketches of the composer.

Igor Stravinsky (5 June 1882 – 6 April 1971) was a Russian-born composer, pianist, and conductor. He is widely considered one of the most influential composers of the 20th century. Stravinsky lived a remarkable life, during the most amazing era, among the most fascinating people but we may have never known about it, were it not for the genius of Pablo Picasso.

Stravinsky as drawn by Picasso in Paris on 31 December 1920
Igor Stravinsky as drawn by Pablo Picasso (dated 31 December 1920). Published in France in May 1921 in the program for the 14th season of the Ballets Russes at the Théâtre de la Gaîté-Lyrique in Paris.

Stravinsky despised the Bolsheviks as he was a staunch Monarchist, so the Russian revolution forced him to move to the Ukraine and then Switzerland, however it was the couturière Coco Chanel who invited Stravinsky and his family to reside at her new mansion “Bel Respiro” in the Paris suburb of Garches (until they could find a more suitable residence). Life became illustrious from that day forward, as he became the preeminent composer and conductor of the twentieth century.

During his later years in Paris, Stravinsky had developed professional relationships with key people in the United States: he was already working on his Symphony in C for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and he had agreed to deliver the prestigious Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard University during the 1939–40 academic year.

Despite the outbreak of World War II on 1 September 1939, the widowed Stravinsky sailed (alone) for the United States at the end of the month, arriving in New York City and thence to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to fulfill his engagement at Harvard. Vera followed him in January, and they were married in Bedford, Massachusetts, on 9 March 1940.

Essex House in New York, where Stravinsky lived at the end of his life
Essex House in New York, where Stravinsky lived at the end of his life

Stravinsky settled in West Hollywood. He spent more time living in Los Angeles than any other city. He became a naturalized United States citizen in 1945. In 1969, Stravinsky moved to the Essex House in New York, where he lived until his death in 1971 at age 88 of heart failure. He was buried at San Michele, close to the tomb of Sergei Diaghilev.

He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in 1987 he was posthumously awarded the Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement. He was posthumously inducted into the National Museum of Dance’s Mr. & Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Hall of Fame in 2004.

Igor Stravinsky photograph by Arnold Newman
Stravinsky photograph by Arnold Newman

Personality of Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky

Stravinsky had adapted to life in France, but moving to America at the age of 57 was a very different prospect. For a while, he maintained a circle of contacts and emigré friends from Russia, but he eventually found that this did not sustain his intellectual and professional life. He was drawn to the growing cultural life of Los Angeles, especially during World War II, when so many writers, musicians, composers and conductors settled in the area: these included Otto Klemperer, Thomas Mann, Franz Werfel, George Balanchine and Arthur Rubinstein. Bernard Holland claimed Stravinsky was especially fond of British writers, who visited him in Beverly Hills, “like W. H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood, Dylan Thomas. They shared the composer’s taste for hard spirits – especially Aldous Huxley, with whom Stravinsky spoke in French”. Stravinsky and Huxley had a tradition of Saturday lunches for west coast avant-garde and luminaries.

Stravinsky displayed a taste in literature that was wide and reflected his constant desire for new discoveries. The texts and literary sources for his work began with a period of interest in Russian folklore, which progressed to classical authors and the Latin liturgy and moved on to contemporary France (André Gide, in Persephone) and eventually English literature, including Auden, T. S. Eliot and medieval English verse. He also had an inexhaustible desire to explore and learn about art, which manifested itself in several of his Paris collaborations. Not only was he the principal composer for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, but he also collaborated with Picasso (Pulcinella, 1920), Jean Cocteau (Oedipus Rex, 1927), and George Balanchine (Apollon musagète, 1928). His interest in art propelled him to develop a strong relationship with Picasso, whom he met in 1917, announcing that in “a whirlpool of artistic enthusiasm and excitement I at last met Picasso.” From 1917 to 1920, the two engaged in an artistic dialogue in which they exchanged small-scale works of art to each other as a sign of intimacy, which included the famous portrait of Stravinsky by Picasso, and Stravinsky’s “Sketch of Music for the Clarinet”. This exchange was essential to establish how the artists would approach their collaborative space in Pulcinella.

Louise Donahue portrait of Igor Stravinsky
Louise Donahue portrait of Igor Stravinsky
According to Robert Craft, Stravinsky remained a confirmed monarchist throughout his life and loathed the Bolsheviks from the very beginning. In 1930, he remarked, “I don’t believe that anyone venerates Mussolini more than I … I know many exalted personages, and my artist’s mind does not shrink from political and social issues. Well, after having seen so many events and so many more or less representative men, I have an overpowering urge to render homage to your Duce. He is the saviour of Italy and – let us hope – Europe”. Later, after a private audience with Mussolini, he added, “Unless my ears deceive me, the voice of Rome is the voice of Il Duce. I told him that I felt like a fascist myself… In spite of being extremely busy, Mussolini did me the great honour of conversing with me for three-quarters of an hour. We talked about music, art and politics”. When the Nazis placed Stravinsky’s works on the list of “Entartete Musik“, he lodged a formal appeal to establish his Russian genealogy and declared, “I loathe all communism, Marxism, the execrable Soviet monster, and also all liberalism, democratism, atheism, etc.” Towards the end of his life, at Craft’s behest, Stravinsky made a return visit to his native country and composed a cantata in Hebrew, traveling to Israel for its performance.

Stravinsky proved adept at playing the part of a ‘man of the world’, acquiring a keen instinct for business matters and appearing relaxed and comfortable in public. His successful career as a pianist and conductor took him to many of the world’s major cities, including Paris, Venice, Berlin, London, Amsterdam and New York and he was known for his polite, courteous and helpful manner. Stravinsky was reputed to have been a philanderer and was rumored to have had affairs with high-profile partners, such as Coco Chanel. He never referred to it himself, but Chanel spoke about the alleged affair at length to her biographer Paul Morand in 1946; the conversation was published thirty years later. The accuracy of Chanel’s claims has been disputed by both Stravinsky’s widow, Vera, and by Craft. Chanel’s fashion house avers there is no evidence that any affair between Chanel and Stravinsky ever occurred. A fictionalization of the supposed affair formed the basis of the novel Coco and Igor (2002) and a film, Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (2009). Despite these alleged liaisons, Stravinsky was considered a family man and devoted to his children.

Full Snow Moon

silicon palms night on a full snow moon

For most of my adult life, from the age of twenty-two, I lived in the tropics. This year I’m enjoying the Canadian winter and being with my family but I’m pining for the palms. Thinking about balmy Brazilian nights at this time of the year and remembering the giant palm trees. The reality is though, according to the “Farmers Almanac” this is a legendary moon and a very beautiful one, here tonight in Canada.

Full Snow Moon

Full Snow Moon

February’s full Moon is traditionally called the Full Snow Moon because usually the heaviest snows fall in February. This name dates back to the Native Americans during Colonial times when the Moons were a way of tracking the seasons. And the Native Americans were right. On average, February is the USA’s snowiest month, according to data from the National Weather Service.

Hunting becomes very difficult, and so some Native American tribes called this the Hunger Moon. Other Native American tribes called this Moon the “Shoulder to Shoulder Around the Fire Moon” (Wishram Native Americans), the “No Snow in the Trails Moon” (Zuni Native Americans), and the “Bone Moon” (Cherokee Native Americans). The Bone Moon meant that there was so little food that people gnawed on bones and ate bone marrow soup.

See more about  Full Moon names and their meanings.

cognitive dissonance

cognitive dissonance

Definition of cognitive dissonance

  1. :  psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously

The remedy for cognitive dissonance is forced positivity with large doses of reality. If raging conflicts in the mind continue to plague the host, then more information is recommended, until the symptoms subside.

Common side effects of cognitive dissonance are loss of appetite for CNN, often accompanied by mild irritation on the topic of the NIST 9-11 Report, or migraine headaches from the Warren Commission report and the magic bullet theory, as well as loss of sleep due to the London Bombing hoax, or Boston Marathon Bombing hoax and other mental maladies.

If conditions persist seek asylum in a foreign embassy, or move to tropical country where they don’t watch CNN and make a living selling ski toques on the beach. People would buy them for the Canadian maple leaf and because no-one ever sold a ski toque at the beach, which is a completely incongruous exercise, working as a form of therapy, in order to manifest harmony.

Seriously though, I caught a lethal dose of cognitive dissonance from CNN on the day that Barrack Hussein Obama posted his badly forged birth certificate on the Whitehouse website, where it still till this day remains. Then a few days later, in order to distract the public, especially because the social media channels were abuzz with immediate alt-media reaction to the fraudulent document.

I and thousands of other web geeks downloaded and opened it in Adobe Illustrator, where we could easily move the layers around with the touch of a mouse – people were making allot of Youtube videos about the obviously bad hack job, everyone started talking about it. So the Obama puppet-masters (CIA) had to throw a hail-Mary on a Sunday night and interrupt the regularly scheduled programming of the entire world, to tell us that Osama bin Laden had been ordered killed by BHO himself, using the now famous Seal Team Six, then had his body thrown-off an aircraft carrier in a burial at sea.

That was the last time I ever watched CNN but I’ll never forget how the Whitehouse correspondent at the time, Ed Henry, had a cognitive dissonance outbreak on live television and started laughing during the supposed-to-be super-solemn and serious presentation. Ed Henry lost his job from his folly and was demoted to Fox, he just could not keep a straight face and look at the camera, while telling the audience such a ridiculous lie.

Once a brain is stricken with cognitive dissonance the mind becomes addicted to the very topics that caused the conflicts. Truth is the remedy and information is the treatment.

A sufferer of cognitive dissonance will feel much better once they realize that almost nothing since the Coup d’état of JFK, is what we’ve been told, or happened the way they say it did and especially the powerful people, are not who we’ve been led to believe they are. Much of what we’re told is without there being any real evidence or proof, in fact more evidence exists for conspiracy theory than proves otherwise. We’ve been played.

Photo credit: nic0 via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Forced Positivity

Forced Positivity is a rare commodity

pos·i·tiv·i·ty
noun: positivity

  1. the practice of being or tendency to be positive or optimistic in attitude.
    “pupils draw power from the positivity of their teachers”
  2. the presence rather than absence of a certain substance, condition, or feature.
    “the first biopsy specimen demonstrated positivity for cytokeratin”

PewDiePie has the most popular Vlog on Youtube and he started a discussion, perhaps inadvertently, about something I and many others, who’ve tackled a daily video blog (Vlog), have come to realize; it causes “forced Positivity”

BTW (by the way): I had to add “Positivity” to the dictionary on my computer, evidently my brilliant computer didn’t find that word in it’s massive brain but the search engine knew all-about-it – so I posted that above. However, the point of this post is how the process of creating something new and interesting every day, for your audience and followers on the web, creates a certain amount of fraud because nobody can be happy every day, it’s just not going to happen, no-matter how well-off you are or how great your life might currently be. It’s not possible to be happy all day, every day and it doesn’t matter who you are, or where you live.
The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle
Being grateful can negate negativity, as it’s impossible to be depressed and grateful at the same time but “forced positivity” is a practiced skill-set that comes with time. The Power of Now is perhaps the greatest user manual for the mind because the main premise of this wonderful Eckhart Tolle book, is that we have the ability to become conscious of what our ego is doing to manipulate our mind, changing the inner-dialog, to sabotage any comfort we may have otherwise enjoyed, by rolling visualizations of things that could go wrong, or making lists and repeating them to ourselves about all the things that are wrong in our lives, as if thinking about them could make them become any better.

The truth is that “forced positivity” is just another way of saying, what W. Clement Stone, a businessman, philanthropist and New Thought self-help author, told us in his book Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude.

W. Clement Stone - Forced Positivity

Silicon Palms New Design

Silicon Palms

The first month of 2017 has been a thrill so far, as our strategic partner for Internet technology and Website hosting, Verio was sold by NTT of Japan (world’s third largest Telcom company), to Endurance International Group of Tempe Arizona, which is also the home of Godaddy our domain name registrar.

Silicon Palms is now at home in Arizona and to commemorate our new host, we’ve launched a new design and new initiative to make the web great again.

Our new Internet Platform is best in it’s class and our technology products the envy of the web hosting industry, priced competitively, with stellar support. We’re affiliated with Aweber, Leadpages and HighRiseHQ for a WordPress Content Marketing Engine second to none.

Silicon Palms is ready to help you make a great website, or design a great content marketing strategy, with video and multi-media to market your ideas, across the entire spectrum of media channels. Then convert the traffic, first into subscribers and loyal followers, then into happy customers and clients.

With over twenty years of experience Silicon Palms has developed in-depth systems for collecting metrics of website traffic. We use Google Analytics for producing detailed traffic analysis reports, designed to pinpoint the most effective keyword terms and phrases for creation and conversion of content. This technique is known as a funnel, the core of which is the customer relationship management system; HighRiseHQ, another partner.

We are passionate about web design, development and content marketing. Reach out and contact us, if you need a second opinion on your Internet marketing strategy, or if you’re considering launching a new web project.

 

Come together

Come together

The first cassette tapes I ever bought, Abbey Road and Cosmos Factory, at the same time on the same day, the first of innumerable cassette tapes. Prior to that, everything I bought was on vinyl. Come together, was the most powerful song I’d ever heard and “Cosmos Factory” by CCR was a perfect back-up (and antidote) for “Let it Be” by the “Beatles”.

Come together – Origin and meaning

The song’s history began when Lennon was inspired by Timothy Leary’s campaign for governor of California against Ronald Reagan, which promptly ended when Leary was sent to prison for possession of marijuana:

The thing was created in the studio. It’s gobbledygook; Come Together was an expression that Leary had come up with for his attempt at being president or whatever he wanted to be, and he asked me to write a campaign song. I tried and tried, but I couldn’t come up with one. But I came up with this, Come Together, which would’ve been no good to him – you couldn’t have a campaign song like that, right?

It has been speculated that each verse refers cryptically to one of the Beatles. It has also been suggested that the song has only a single “pariah-like protagonist” and Lennon was “painting another sardonic self-portrait”.

Recording

Lennon played rhythm guitar and sang the vocal, McCartney played bass, Harrison played lead guitar, and Starr played drums. It was produced by George Martin and recorded at the end of July 1969 at Abbey Road Studios. In the intro, Lennon says: “shoot me”, which is accompanied by his handclaps and McCartney’s heavy bass riff. The famous Beatles’ “walrus” from “I Am the Walrus” and “Glass Onion” returns in the line “he got walrus gumboot”, followed by “he got Ono sideboard”. Bluesman Muddy Waters is also mentioned in the song.

Music critic Ian MacDonald reports that McCartney sang a backing vocal, but recording engineer Geoff Emerick said that Lennon did all the vocals himself, and when a frustrated McCartney asked Lennon, “What do you want me to do on this track, John?”, Lennon replied, “Don’t worry, I’ll do the overdubs on this.”

In a 1970 interview in the Evening Standard, McCartney said he was disappointed about not singing live with Lennon; instead, he overdubbed his vocals later:

Even on Abbey Road we don’t do harmonies like we used to. I think it’s sad. On “Come Together” I would have liked to sing harmony with John, and I think he would have liked me to, but I was too embarrassed to ask him, and I don’t work to the best of my abilities in that situation.

Thanks to Island Plastics for being the nr. 1 plastic sheet suppliers.

Photo credit: Nick Kenrick. via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

The Girl from Ipanema

Garota_de_ipanema - The Girl from Ipanema

Brazil enjoys the largest recording industry outside of the United States, so the number of brilliant artists and the wide variety of genres (most people have never heard of), is truly staggering.

The first time I’d ever hear this beautiful language was by vinyl record, as my father had a huge jazz collection, and even before I was born the Bossa Nova was played in my house often, so the first song I can remember, and first words in Portuguese are from the famous song: Garota de Ipanema (The Girl from Ipanema).

The Girl from Ipanema is a well-known bossa nova song, a worldwide hit in the mid-1960s that won a Grammy for Record of the Year in 1965. It was written in 1962, with music by Antônio Carlos Jobim and Portuguese lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes. English lyrics were written later by Norman Gimbel.

In Revelação: a verdadeira Garota de Ipanema (Revealed: The Real Girl from Ipanema) Moraes wrote she was:

“o paradigma do broto carioca; a moça dourada, misto de flor e sereia, cheia de luz e de graça mas cuja a visão é também triste, pois carrega consigo, a caminho do mar, o sentimento da mocidade que passa, da beleza que não é só nossa—é um dom da vida em seu lindo e melancólico fluir e refluir constante.”

Translation:

“the paradigm of the young Carioca: a golden teenage girl, a mixture of flower and mermaid, full of light and grace, the sight of whom is also sad, in that she carries with her, on her route to the sea, the feeling of youth that fades, of the beauty that is not ours alone—it is a gift of life in its beautiful and melancholic constant ebb and flow.”

The song was inspired by Heloísa Eneida Menezes Paes Pinto (now Helô Pinheiro), a nineteen-year-old girl living on Montenegro Street in the fashionable Ipanema district in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Daily, she would stroll past the popular Veloso bar-café, not just to the beach (“each day when she walks to the sea”), but in the everyday course of her life. She would sometimes enter the bar to buy cigarettes for her mother and leave to the sound of wolf-whistles.

As the legend has it (which isn’t 100% accurate), in the winter of 1962, the composers watched the girl pass by the bar (now a restaurant, see footnote), and it is easy to imagine why they noticed her—Helô was a 173-cm (five-foot eight-inch) brunette, and she attracted the attention of many of the bar patrons. Since the song became popular, she has become a celebrity.

While Helô inspired the song, it was another Carioca who carried it beyond Rio. Astrud Gilberto was just the wife of singing star João Gilberto when she entered a NYC studio in March 1963. João and Jobim were making a record with tenor saxman Stan Getz. The idea of cutting a verse on “Ipanema” in English came up, and Astrud was the only one of the Brazilians who spoke more than phrasebook English.


The hit English language song; “The Girl from Ipanema” was the alchemy of Astrud’s child-like vocal, devoid of vibrato and singerly mannerisms, it was the perfect foil for her husband’s soft bumblebee voice. Jobim tinkled piano. Getz blew a creamy smooth tenor. Four minutes of magic went to tape.

Note: One of my favorite places to eat and drink in Rio is the Garota de Ipanema, sure it’s a bit of a tourist trap because of the song “Girl from Ipanema” but seriously the restaurant is really excellent and it’s super casual being just a couple of blocks from Ipanema beach. You can grab a good window seat near the corner if your timing is good and then watch all the Cariocas trudging home from the beach at the end of the day. The draft beer is cold and frothy however the caipirinhas might be as good as you’ll find anywhere but the main attraction is the great food, especially the Picanha, which is thinly sliced beef rump that you grill yourself, right at your table, on a super-hot brazier, similar to a hibachi bar-b-que. (See: Garota de Ipanema Restaurant)

Born under a Lucky Star

Lions Gate Bridge - Born under a lucky star

I was born under a lucky star, or so my Dear Old Mom tells me. She was born of Irish immigrants to Canada, who taught her to always look on the bright side of life, with a good dose of chin-up and carry-on when things didn’t go as planned. She and my Dad taught me to ski before I could walk, and how to teach skiing before I could drive (driving age is 16 in Canada).

My lucky star was being able to teach, that meant I was able to earn money, then own my own pick-up truck. Every Canuck buck wants to own a truck but the thing is you need an income to be able to keep one, same as today. I may have changed my choice of car but still need the money to keep it.

The Internet was how I managed to carve out a living, so that was another part of lucky star status. I saw the web really early and jumped all over it, had my first web design company before the mid 90’s. Mostly through consulting work and webmaster contracts I was able to support a nice lifestyle in South Florida, although it was up and down since we were all learning at the same time and the Industry was so new and unexplored.

Nowadays the U.S. Expat has a major advantage throughout the world in the Internet niche because most of the rest of the world want U.S. Talent, knowledge and experience, especially as in the case of countries where allot of those people want to travel to USA, like China and Brazil for example, where it’s right of passing for middle class and up to make trips abroad.

The key thing to know about becoming an Expat is that there’s more opportunity and often much bigger opportunities when you can provide a bridge between your culture and local knowledge and that of your new foreign home. The world is your oyster, when you’ve got a skill-set, that can help other people succeed.

Mount Robson, Mount Robson Provincial, overseas living.
~~ Mount Robson, Mount Robson Provincial Park, ~~ British Columbia, Canada.

When I first left Canada I was young and had serious wanderlust, funding my adventures was no easy feat. Several people I knew taught skiing and/or English, one friend that I admired in particular was Max, because he stayed in college to obtain an economics degree, then moved to Japan to teach English in a corporation.

Max had a thing about him, aside from being very smart, he was an absolute freak for mountain sports and outdoor recreation of all kinds. Ace tennis player and great golfer but even before snow boards arrived, he loved heli-skiing and knew about these incredible areas in British Columbia because we had planted trees in these mountains (for summer jobs). That’s how Max and I met.

Now that you have the backstory, while Max was in Japan teaching English to corporate execs, he was always talking about the back-country sports of BC. Next thing you know he’s opening an adventure guiding business in Canada, when Snow Boards arrived Max was among the first riding them, so he jumped all over the opportunity. Shortly thereafter it was Max throughout the mid 80’s that was showing Warren Miller and other ski film makers where to heli-ski. Max was the guide to the guides. To this day Max lives at Whistler, still involved in the hospitality industry and still helping Japanese people have an awesome experience in Canada.

There are so many examples of the foreigner next door. Everyone can remember someone in their life, who had a funny sounding accent. My life growing up in Western Canada was all about sports and recreation.

In the ski teaching business we would meet interesting people all the time, people from the farthest corner, end up at ski chalets. Especially common near ski resorts and water sports are Australian’s and Kiwi’s (New Zealanders). My young impressionable life was filled with great stories about “Down Under”, as my winters were filled with many weekends with my Oz and Kiwi mates, at our ski club. We loved to ski together, the deeper and steeper the better!

These people were smart, sophisticated, experienced and very determined to live free and prosperous. Their timing made them appear to be Hippy but they were world-wise way beyond their youthful appearance. World travel had also taught them about cultural cuisine, and they loved to cook fabulous foreign dishes and entertain large groups of us, with music and wine from the various regions of the world, to match the meal.

One winter we made our own Saki from rice, then at the end of the season, enjoyed an authentic 7 course Japanese dinner party with the homemade rice wine. It tasted great, as did incredible Mexican and my personal favorite Greek dinners, all of which were very novel to me, at 16 years old.

English: WildVenture Volunteers Teaching Engli...
WildVenture Volunteers Teaching English in Mongolia

Teaching skiing taught me how to help people get what they wanted. This is what is so fundamental about our language, more than half of the world wants to learn English.

All of the people I mentioned above, and just about anyone who has ever lived overseas, has at one time or another, taught English to someone. It’s part of humanity, to try to exchange languages. It is the most common principle of good-will, to show an interest in another person’s culture, to speak their words.

The best thing about Teaching English is the people you meet, and that you are becoming an Ambassador of our language. You are helping someone else get what they want, that’s what creates value, and it’s the most common way to make money while living overseas.

The greatest thing in today’s English teaching community is Internet video, as many people want to learn online but still the basis of the teaching starts with a book at a table, with the student sitting beside you. It’s a one-on-one style method, where the book does the work but you need to be taught how to teach.

It’s highly recommended, that anyone embarking on a serious global Expat exploration being armed with more money making methods, than just teaching English. However, always be proud and happy to teach, it’s an excellent means of immersion into a foreign country.

Remember it’s an honor to be invited to anyone’s kitchen table, to teach them how to speak English. You benefit in many more ways, for sharing your time with people, than just the money in your hand.

Classroom teaching is another realm and above my pay-grade but I imagine that it’s the same in that your let the books do the teaching, just follow the words in the book and do the best that you to help people get what they want – and – if all else fails in the class – speak English!

Tarot Card Reading by an Intuitive

tarot cards read by an intuitive

I knew she was an intuitive when I first met her about 3 years ago, we became friends almost immediately. We both worked within an old used book store, one of the biggest in Brasil. Her thing, among others, was tarot card reading and she’d been reading them for more than half her sixty-five years.

What makes her different is the answers she can extract from people no-longer living, an incredibly well tuned ability that had initially been discovered due to a punishing cruel, tragic incident in her younger years, followed by a series of more devastating situations that seemed to befall her again and again. Then one day, something happened and she realized her gift/curse.

Throughout my life I’ve been exposed to psychics and seers. My mother introduced me to the writings of Edgar Cayce when I was young, as she was practicing automatic writing, dream analysis and programmed meditation. Even though I want to believe in the supernatural I remain skeptical, however that has never stopped me from reading everything I could about remote viewing and all things related to the transcendence of the mind, whether by a substance or by some esoteric art, my entire life I’ve been fascinated by the power of the mind.

Several times I visited Cassadaga Florida, plus experienced some very weird things, to with with a crystal ball, in New Orleans. However, Cassadaga in Florida is most interesting because all along the opposite side of the road to the spiritual camp there are small houses, one after another, they almost look like children’s playhouses but they are all the dark arts, such as tarot, voodoo and other practices that are every bit as valid as the light-workers across the street. As I remember it, the tarot readers and occultists etc… were on the dark side of the road, they’re in an UN-incorporated township and were once (maybe still are) in dispute for their right to remain in quasi-business (some only open on busy weekends).

The Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp is large and impressive, on manicured grounds in a park like setting, very peaceful and inviting but it’s all the wonderful people and great psychics that attend, that makes it so great and so much fun. On certain days at designated times there are free psychic readings, for a selected number of attendees, by a panel of local and visiting psychics. The readings are done live and in front of the attendees. I was once lucky enough to have my fortune told, in front of the crowd by an elderly southern gentleman, with white hair, who I’ll never forget, was wearing a canary yellow sports coat, told me several things that day that have all but one, come true.

Probably in some cases the village prophet, seer, soothsayer or psychic was a family business because they were the ones to dispense the herbs, potions, lotions, lexers and concoctions. One wizard passes down the secret recipes to his own progeny, just keeping it in the family. Therefore, in modern times it stands to reason that a majority of the people making a living from reading tarot cards, palms, tea leaves, crystal balls and people’s fortunes in all the ways possible, are making the stuff up and actually have no clue… Not an Intuitive.

Throughout the world, every culture boasts of it’s special person, the witch-doctor, soothsayer, or in the case of my friend at the bookstore, an “Intuitive”. My thinking is that in many cases of folk-lore, the “medicine-man” person was often a charlatan that got in that position by a lucky twist of fate, or a smart guess in front of a curious crowd and then the word spread. We all want magic, it’s in our genetics. To actually have the ability, whether by dark arts or light, is both a gift and a curse. It’s one thing to be admired by the tribe, plus keeper of all those herbs and lexers but you soon discover that the job comes with major downside – no peace because everybody wants you, including the dearly departed.

Cassadaga (a Seneca Indian word meaning “Water beneath the rocks”) is a small unincorporated community located in Volusia County, Florida, just north of Deltona. It is especially known for having a large number of psychics and mediums, and has consequently been named the “Psychic Capital of the World”.

History of Cassadaga

The Cassadaga Spiritualist camp began when the Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp Meeting Association was founded by George P. Colby, from Pike, New York, a trance medium who traveled to many different states, giving readings and seances. He was well known, and in his travels, Colby was referred to as the “seer of spiritualism”. Colby attended summer Spiritualist Camp meetings at Lily Dale, New York, the town adjacent to Cassadaga, New York.

Colby worked with several spirit guides who would give him knowledge. One of his spirit guides was an Indian named Seneca, who had manifested to Colby during a seance in Lake Mills, Iowa. According to Colby, Seneca had instructed him to travel south to Florida, where he eventually arrived at a place called the Blue Springs Landing, near Orange City, Florida. According to Colby, the area that Seneca had led him to was the same area that Colby had seen during the seance in Iowa.

Colby had arrived in Florida in 1875, and on the 18th of December, 1894 the charter was granted to form The Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp Meeting Association. Later on January 3, 1895 Colby had signed a warranty deed to the Association for thirty-five acres. The people who came to the Spiritualist Camp in the early days of its formation were affluent and well educated. The Cassadaga Spiritualist camp was named after the small Spiritualist Camp community found outside of Lily Dale, New York. The Spiritualist Camp Association later received additional acreage that expanded the camp to the current fifty-seven acres.

The Cassadaga Camp today

Today, the Camp features the Cassadaga Hotel, a central auditorium, The Colby Memorial Temple, a community library, the Caesar Forman Healing Center, a Camp Bookstore, and a welcome center. Also, there is the Andrew Jackson Davis Educational building, used for musical performances and gatherings. Nearby is the Colby-Alderman Park.

The principles of spirituality that are taught by the people at Cassadaga state, “Spiritualism has no dogma or creed, just a simple set of nine principles to help guide our lives”. According to the teachings of Spiritualism, it is the “Science, philosophy, and religion based upon the principle of continuous life”. On March 14, 1991, the Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist camp was declared a U.S. Historic District. The Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp is a federal tax-exempt Church currently governed by a Board of Trustees.

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