Update from NOTEFLIX’s “Troubles in the Garden”: Mamzelle Pinkie, having been cooped up for so long, is thinking of having a bit of a travel. But where to go? What language do they speak there? And why does Mamzelle Pinkie worry about this? She does not speak any language – for she is a stuffed animal. Maybe she’ll stay put. She is in a nice place, after all.


*(Translation: “The more things change, the more they remain the same.”  -Jean Baptiste Alphonse Karr, Editor; Le Figaro, (in his journal “The Wasps”) 1849

WORDS AND THE LIKE:  Years ago, when I was a student, we had to learn certain words  (Such as: Perspicacious, Amalgamation & Sonorous)  in order to get good grades on various examinations.  A large and active vocabulary was thought to be helpful in dealing with the world around us, once we entered it for real.  To my astonishment, new words and terms keep coming in to the general community – and I suppose it is necessary to try to keep up.  Here are a few (new to me) which might help you survive, or at least keep you “Au courant”.

  • TECHNO-CHASM:  This term “…describes the sharp, and growing, wealth divide in our world that’s being driven by technology.  This “haves vs have-nots” divide applies to personal incomes, business profits, and even stock performance.”  What “They” are saying here is: if you do not keep abreast of  the ‘Exponential Progress of Change’  (5G, Blockchain, Cryptos, Bio-metrics, etc.), you will lose out and become a member of the lower than the working class.  I, for example, have no “Techno” skills & knowledge – and am cascading downward in the Chasm…and I am doomed.
  • SPIRITUAL OPIUM:  This is a derogatory reference to: Video Games, which are sopping up the  mental energy of some of our young, who should be concentrating on learning about 5G, Blockchain, Cryptos and Bio-metrics, etc., in order to climb the ladder to success.
  • FUNCTIONAL BEVERAGES:  This is a new name for Drinks that people like PEPSI and COKE (companies are people, too) are coming up with to sell to you. These newly named drinks have neither sugar nor chemicals in them.  ( Sounds like ‘Water’ and, or  ‘Juice’ to me) What’s in a name?” asked Juliet. A drink by any other name could taste just as good…La plus ca change…
  • REVENGE TRAVEL:  I read where “Revenge is boredom spread thin.” (-Paul Tillich)  Then, I read, somewhere else, that a sense of ‘Entitlement’ is a major cause of “Rage”.   On top of all that I read many Americans have gone bat-crazy, staying cooped up at home during Covid – and they are fed up and not taking it anymore.  (…thinking they are ‘entitled’ to travel about freely, whenever they want.)   This explains the manic, and worse than rude behavior on Airplanes, Trains and Space-ships.  People are going out no matter what the name of the Variant is…and my bet is they are not interested in FUNCTIONAL BEVERAGES while en route.
  • BLUE ZONES:  …Where the highest number of people live the longest and healthiest:  Ikaria (Greece), Sardinia (Italy), Okinawa (Japan), Nicoya (Costa Rica).  Things these people (many centenarians) have in common:  Healthy Diet (vegetarian, mostly), walk a lot, strong family connections.  My hunch is none of these ‘BLUE ZONERS’ know anything about the TECHNO-CHASM they are falling into – what with its  5G, Blockchain, Cryptos, and Bio-metrics, etc.  Just saying.

And now a few words from our guest columnist MATHUZALA, who, yes, is a rodent, but a wise one, nonetheless):


  • “You don’t see people from the BLUE ZONES traveling about, do you?  None of this Digital Divide, ‘Man beating Man’ competition going on.  They stay put and mind their own business.  We will leave them be.
  • “You want to live longer?  Better?  Follow me.  I can show you the way.  I even know more than your last President of the United States did.

(If you want to know more about MATHUZALA and his ‘movement’, go to Amazon or Barnes & Noble and buy “THE RAT PAPERS”.  Buy it now and be in the ‘In Crowd’, on the right side of the Chasm, before Netflix, Disney or Amazon makes a movie out of it  – so you can say you read it before it was a movie.)

NOTES FROM TUSCANY:  (Or, “Mona Lisa Slept Here, and I Know Why”)

  • This week, sitting in the Piazza, in the caffe across from our apartment, I met several people who were on vacation from Holland.  Here is what I learned:   There are more bikes in Holland than there are people. (They are very proud of this.)  Also, the Dutch have a strong sense of National pride. I was informed the Dutch were in Holland before the Germans were in Germany and – also, the Dutch people are taller than the German people.  Now you know, and you do not have to travel here to find this out – especially if you are in the mood for some REVENGE TRAVEL. (Next week, I will try to corroborate the Dutch height claim with some German tourists. Stay put.)
  • Tourists have arrived in our town. No Americans, yet. But you have to have a practiced eye and ear to know that. Many male tourists wear t-shirts with American lettering printed on them: NYC, NIKE, NYPD, Washington D.C., NAVY – to describe a few. But you have to listen to the tourists speak before you make a fool of yourself by asking them what part of the States they come from. Most tourists who come here do not speak Italian – so, English is the default tongue. Half of those who speak English, speak American accented English when they order coffee and a pastry – and if they are wearing a t-shirt that says “LAKERS” you can really be fooled. I will keep an eye, and ear, out and report more on this in later posts.

And now a quote:

  • “The more things change, the more things really change.” -c.e.. metzger, Author ‘THE RAT PAPERS”
  • “Detroit Can’t Be Beat” -seen (today) on a German tourist’s t-shirt.
  • “Why Travel? We’re here!” -A question I overheard a wealthy woman in Cleveland, Ohio ask many years ago.

Goodbye for now – and Ciao to Bazel, wherever you are.

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