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  1. Palmyra, a memory

    During the winter of 2006-2007, I hit the labor trifecta and was stationed in Syria, at the time a peaceful country where a savage ruler made sure nothing out of the ordinary would happen. Praising a dictator is not in my blood but in those days Syria was, for those not interested in politics, a better place to be than most other Arab destinations. Damascus, the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the world (Syrians claimed) was a beautiful place where to get lost on an afternoon, walking up ...

    Updated 06-29-2015 at 02:13 PM by ponchi101

    Tags: isis, islam, palmyra, syria
  2. Wish You Were Here - 40 years later

    In 1975 Pink Floyd released WISH YOU WERE HERE, the much anticipated follow up to its massive-selling DARK SIDE OF THE MOON. After the success of DSOTM the band and, especially, Roger Waters (who for all purposes was the creator of almost everything in the DSOTM universe) were under tremendous pressure to release something of at least comparable quality, if not better. It remains for aficionados to determine which album is better but the general consensus is that, while DSOTM is still Floyd’s masterpiece, ...

    Updated 06-21-2015 at 11:12 AM by ponchi101

  3. Log book to the end of civilization. End

    I write this last entry from the comfort of home. It has been a few days since I arrived from Kurdistan, and I haven’t thought about it during this time. But now I must.
    Kurdistan remains a mystery to me. Due to all the security concerns we had while in the area I can’t say that I got to know it. We were locked in a bit too much, so what I end up with is not what I knew, but rather what I felt.
    Hardship can make you stronger, if you make it through it. I say may because I am not a ...
  4. Log book to the end of civilization. XXIII

    The day to start returning arrives. The lads celebrate that two of us will be free soon by simply drowning any last sense of civility and culture in pints and pints of lager (“lohg'r”, as my Scot buddy says). That means that next morning I wake up, slightly hung over but ready to begin my journey.
    We travel back to Suly, on the same potholed, two lane road, which guarantees that we will see our death close up on a few occasions. The driver does not disappoint in that aspect, and two hours ...
  5. Log book to the end of civilization. XXII

    I get fed up with life in camp and I get an excuse to leave for one day. Destination: Kalar, the city where the whole visa issue was done.
    We travel early in the morning and get there in time to do what we have come for, and then have some time off. So we decide to hit the market.
    You have never been shopping unless you have been in an Arabic Souq (market). The one in Kalar does not disappoint. It is small, crowded, with waters from who- knows- where flowing through it. It is, like ...
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