How many other things are we missing

How many other things are we missing?
I will beg for forgiveness everyday of my life, I will say,
“I am sorry,”
yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Today, I am ready to stop the whole world to listen, it is my atonement.

My Niger Shame

I received another email; this one poses the question,
“In an incongruous context, would ordinary people recognize genius?”
“In an incongruous context, would ordinary people recognize an honest person?”

If it is not in the guidebook, does it exist?

Bauang - Paringao - San Fernando, Philippines
La Union Province
Southeast Asia
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Buy the Same Gear as Andy uses


Do the good die young? I had a Swedish guy make fun of Americans; we have a “Readers Digest” view of life. I was impressed that he understood the American culture so well, but sad he did not appreciate the wonderfully genius and corny world of Readers Digest. I want to scream, it is an ideal world, not your jaded world, people fight hard to keep their dreams, real or unreal, please be careful, there is great danger when you interfere with a persons dream.


..something to think about...

Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes, a middle- aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later:

the violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes:

A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes:

A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

45 minutes:

The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour:

He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities. The questions raised: in a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: if we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made.... how many other things are we missing?


Need an even better fix, please go and read the original article by an Washington Post writer, a truly great piece.
Bauang, Pearls before Breakfast

By Gene Weingarten
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 8, 2007; Page W10

By the way, I still carry that bag I purchased in Niger, West Africa, it holds the most valuable things I own, passport, money and memories.

How many other things are we missing?


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I had to read this article three times to understand how to connect Niger to Reader's Digest to Joshua Bell, but it was worth the effort. Now I know that genius lies in unexpected places such as blogs. :) Your ability to extract meaning and something beautiful from what most people pass by and ordinary is unparalleled - keep up the good work!

although some of the stuff you go on and on about is sometimes très irritating
sometimes you are right on- which is why I reading, for those little rays of
sunshine you send my way.

this was a good one. I was in New York City in May, for the first time, and was struck
by the quality of music I heard on the streets. My problem wasn't stopping to listen, it was making myself move so that I could take in the city - and yes I gave everyone who played for me some money . . more than pennies

I also stop to smell roses, enjoy beautiful architecture, have conversations with people, take the street food, read the plaques, ask questions . . I do it all FOR ME

Andy, you have been right on in your personal posts since arriving in Phillipines. I am over 60, grew up in the library and my folks bought Reader's Digest every month, I learned all about how dangerous Saddam would become from a 1981 article in the Digest. As for your hate mail, expect it, your website is YOUR virtual home, delete or store em if you wish, tell a far left hatemonger you 'love' him or her for being so concerned about you!!! As for meeting those of other nationalities on the road (like the young Swede) who despise "America" so be it. I counter them with a sense of humor, when worse comes to worse I act really stupid (as y mentor used to alugh, easy for me, acting crazy in tight situations even easier) and let them feel superior for a few minutes, if I become triggered (angry) I do my best to get away pronto from such persons, they are at best mediocre egomaniacs with an inferiority complex , as well, such persons,, for me, are toxic people. Alcohol was toxic enough. I have as well over years learned to associate with 'sober' people, not just alkies in recovery, but non drinkers and social drinking friends who know I can't imbibe and don't care, mostly locals, I live in El Salvador as you know, Arturo and I in Pana, and my US Citizen mentor in Guate City (I was mainly a Guat City expat, city boy) used to read the La Pura Verdad, The Plain Truth magazine in Spanish, had free mail subscription and we were discussing their articles about events, in Guatemala in the late 1980s and early 1990s, that are coming to pass now. I'm a long term ex pat, you travel constantly, does not matter one damn bit, the both of us have been into Hell and made U turns, I know what really is in my heart and soul, I am just not as gooda writer as you are, nor have your tech savvy, but time to learn, got a lot to say for my own self.
Besides Glenn Beck and others on FOX News, a few opened minded( left or right don't matter to me..right or wrong does!) local, Guatemalan and International on line buddies and friends I am not alone. Thanks. Read you every day, like I used to read the Digest every month without fail.

Sober and free today
saludos de Donald Lee
San Salvador, El Salvador

'politically incorrect to the max, dude!'

'I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person.'

Such is life when lived for the future or anchored in the past more than living and enjoying life's moments in the present. It's a weird and difficult struggle for humans to focus their attention, emotions and thoughts at the present past or future as it seems that living a quality lifestyle requires some sort of harmony between all three. Of course anyone who chooses to live mostly in either the past, the present or the future will be missing something in life as all three are necessary for me, anyway.

Scott Life should not only be a journey of learning it should be fun. Yesterday in Reno Nevada a tomato throwing game went on. They do this in Spain once a year and Reno decided it was time to jump in the fun too. Everyone had goggles and I do not know many tomatoes but it was halarious. NOW Andy, do you remember when your mom sent you and Jerry to garden to gather the last of tomatoes with a huge waygon and baskets. You never brought even one tomato back but the Fuller boys and Graham boys had the time of their life. The fresh smell of overripe tomatoes everywhere and much laughing and hollering. Your mom did not have the heart to stop the hurling tomatoes and even got splatterd with one herself. This was life at its best in a little town in Indiana and I am betting the people of Reno felt the same way.

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