All posts by carolkubota

I am a retired ESL teacher. I have a dog that owns me. I travel to learn about a culture. I want to share my stories with you. Come along with me!

The invisible enemy.

Coronavirus Day #20

The invisible enemy.

A war is fought between two or more enemies. Soldiers fight for their countries wearing uniforms to distinguish enemies from friends. These soldiers identify themselves by the color of their uniforms and the patches attached, displaying their country’s insignia. Everyone involved knows who the enemy is.

The President of the United States says we are at war.

The enemy of this war is invisible. A disease, the coronavirus, revealed itself at the beginning of January. The president did not recognize or deal with the enemy until the end of February. The enemy entered the country with very little trouble.

The soldiers fighting this war are the nurses, doctors, and other health care workers who are fighting on the front lines with no weapons. They were not prepared. The weapons they need are ventilators, face masks, protective gowns, vaccines, and virus tests. These weapons are not available. They are being held up in government warehouses and have been hoarded by people who rushed to the store to buy more masks and sanitizers than they needed for their homes. Mayors and Governors must order supplies from foreign countries such as China. Imagine this scenario in an on the ground war with a physical enemy.

These soldiers are dying on the front lines. As of today, more than 60,000 have lost their lives, and more are on their death beds. There are not enough hospitals to house the people who are suffering from the symptoms of the virus. People can’t be tested for the virus because there are not enough tests. The president has refused help from other countries. He “alone” can take care of the problem.

Governors have asked the president to dig into the stockpile of equipment and send it to those who need it the most. Ventilators are in short supply. Older people and people with underlying conditions are left to die.

The president is of no help. No one is directing the distribution of the necessary equipment, which leads to chaos. The president was not prepared or equipped to guide us through this “war.”

We don’t know who the enemy is. It does not wear a uniform or carry a gun. We are in fear of those around us. Does the lady who just used the self-checkout in front of me have the disease? Is she going to kill me? Am I going to kill the person behind me?

People can walk around with the disease for a week without any symptoms. The supermarkets are trying to keep the carts and self- check out screens wiped down for safety. There are red squares on the floor, six feet apart. A shopper is not allowed to advance until the customer before them has bagged their groceries and left the counter. If you fail to follow any of these rules, you will get a glare from the cashier. You can only see the eyes because the cashier is wearing a mask.

No one talks to each other while standing in line. No one shakes hands or gives hugs. I don’t wear gloves or a mask, but I put on hand sanitizer, which I found at the bottom of one of my travel bags, before I go into a place and apply another coat when I get into the car. I got to the store too late to buy hand sanitizer and haven’t seen it in stock again.

Once the coronavirus became a real thing in the states, everyone rushed to the store to stock up on toilet paper, paper towels, and sanitary wipes. I missed out on the message and didn’t get any of those things. I have eight rolls of toilet paper in my closet. I am only one person, so it should last for another month. I have rationed myself to three sheets each time.

War has a beginning and an end. The end is not always clear. The purpose of this war is not clear either. Some people, including the president, think it will end in another month. Most of the doctors are calling for another three months. This idea doesn’t sit well with the president or his cronies, who are billionaire business owners. They want it to end now. Many were calling for  Easter when all of the people could get together, hold hands, and celebrate Easter. Yeah! Sure.

In a war, we pray for our soldiers and know that the government will keep them safe. In this war, the government is holding back supplies and not providing for the essential needs of our soldiers on the front line. The government is not keeping them safe. It is throwing them in harm’s way because they don’t know what the hell they are doing. Doctors, nurses, and other health care workers can’t go home and put their arms around their families. They take up residence in their garages, basements, and RVs parked in their driveways. They wash their clothes as soon as they get home. Their families serve their food set outside of the door to their home; they eat from paper plates and plastic disposable utensils and communicate with their families on their phones and computers. These are our soldiers.

Six cruise ships are still floating around in the seas because no state or country wants them to land. This enemy is no fault of the people on these ships. Countries, including the USA, do not want them to dock on their shores in fear they will bring the disease with them. Instead, they spend more time at sea, and more of them get sick.

We protect ourselves from this enemy by staying in our homes and waiting for the enemy to leave.

When will this invisible enemy leave?

 

Stay safe.

 

 

 

Price Tower/Frank Llyod Wright Skyscraper

Bartlesville, Oklahoma was not on my bucket list.

My daughter lives in Tulsa and suggested we visit Bartlesville and stay in the Price Tower, a forty-five-minute drive from her home.

Price Tower, located in Bartlesville, is one of the only two “skyscrapers” designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

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The Price Tower caught my eye and I wanted to visit and find out more about it.

Lisa, my daughter, is not a Frank Lloyd Wright follower, but I am a volunteer tour guide at Taliesen West in Scottsdale, Arizona and she wanted to give me a birthday present. She made a reservation at the Price Tower for one night. She knows what makes her mom happy.

The tower is nineteen stories tall. It opened in 1956. FLW originally designed Price Tower as a skyscraper in Manhatten, New York in the 1930s. The project never went forward because of the Depression.

The Price Tower was called “the tree that escaped the crowded forest”. The crowded forest was Manhatten. The rooms within the building branch out like those of a tree. The trunk of the tree makes its way through the center of the building. There are three elevators and each floor. They are big enough for two people and one suitcase. Ascending the floors on the elevator feels like traveling through the trunk of a tree.

FWL installed levers on the sides of the building that moved back and forth to block the wind. They no longer work.

Harold Price owned oil pipelines and became the largest welding contractor in Mid-America by 1926. Bartlesville was a booming oil town at the time.

Mr. Price wanted a building three stories high and planned on putting a hair salon, a dress shop, and a gift shop. He proposed the price of $75,000. The ending price was much more. Frank Lloyd Wright added on features that were not requested by Mr. Price.

Frank Lloyd Wright had other ideas. He convinced Mr. Price to build the tower to nineteen floors. He told Price that he would recoup the money by renting the rooms out as living quarters, apartments. Mr. Price was not convinced, but he went along with the idea.

Bartlesville now has a nineteen-floor “hotel” in the middle of a town with a population of 36,389 as of 2017. The building is built of cement blocks, mahogany doors, turquoise carpet, and various types of chairs. The windows are tinted in a copper color. Copper represents the “leaves” of the trees. The drapes in some of the rooms are made from woven copper.

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Frank Lloyd Wright used triangles in his design of the building. Price Tower mostly features 30- and 60-degree angles, with triangles everywhere.

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The roof is made of the tectum for fireproof.  Price Tower represents the usual designs of FLW. Common materials, open planning, furniture design by him, and industrial type kitchens crammed in the corner of the apartments.

 

There were eight apartments in the building. Some of the apartments didn’t have draperies or artwork. He didn’t want anyone to be distracted by the beauty he had created. His furniture was built in, he didn’t want anyone to be moving it around. He used cast aluminum chairs. The sofas and chairs were red and diagonal in shape. Not the kind of chairs that make you feel comfortable.

FLW designed the dishes that the renters in the apartments ate from. He designed coffee cups with a red design so that women’s lipstick did not show up on the cups. He didn’t like women’s lipstick on cups.

The rents were expensive and it was hard to find tenants. The rooms were odd shapes and were not designed for entertaining your friends. Many of the tenants moved out. They couldn’t live their lives within triangles.

The Price Tower was redesigned to be a hotel. There are twenty- one hotel rooms. The room we stayed in was a suite. It was surrounded by windows.

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We spent more time in the room in the evening because it was raining. The toilet paper roll, towel rack, and lighting fixtures were copper. We had a full view of the town and of the prairie. I didn’t find the view extraordinary. There were no mountains, lakes or trees to see.

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The Price Tower belongs to the Price Tower Arts Center. Oil prices collapsed in the 1980s at Bartlesville was left with a lesser population and many of the businesses ceased to exist.

Note: Check for tour times before you visit. They are not open every day. You are not allowed to take photos of the rooms that served as apartments. You are not allowed to sit on the furniture. https://www.pricetower.org/

Outpost is the best place for coffee.

There are a few places to have dinner and breakfast.

 

 

 

7 Things to see in Bath, England

Get your comfy shoes on and head out the door of your hotel as soon as possible. Bath is a small UNESCO designated town. It is visited by world visitors and gets crowded on the weekends.

I highly recommend taking a tour by The Mayor of Bath’s Corps of Honorary Guides. The tours are free. They don’t accept tips. Our tour was three hours long and had eight people. Our guide gave us information I would not have known if I were walking around alone.

Bath has restaurants of many cuisines. Thai, Indian, Pub, and American. There are coffee and tea shops. I must admit I never had high tea because it is for two. If you travel alone, grab someone to share high tea with you. I gazed at the desserts every time I walked by one of the shops.

Bath Abby

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Bath Abby Entrance

River Avon

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River Avon

Avon is the word for river. The name of this is River River.

The River Avon is an English river in the south west of the country. To distinguish it from a number of other rivers of the same name, this river is often also known as the Bristol Avon. The name “Avon” is a cognate of the Welsh word afon, “river”.The Avon rises just north of the village of Acton Turville in South Gloucestershire, before flowing through Wiltshire. In its lower reaches from Bath to the Severn Estuary at Avonmouth near Bristol, the river is navigable and known as the Avon Navigation.The Avon is the 19th longest river in the UK at although there are just as the crow flies between the source and its mouth in the Severn Estuary. The catchment area is.EtymologyThe name “Avon” is a cognate of the Welsh word afon “river”, both being derived from the Common Brittonic, “river”. “River Avon”, therefore, literally means “River River”; several other English and Scottish rivers share the name. The County of Avon that existed from 1974 to 1996 was named after the river, and covered Bristol, Bath, and the lower Avon valley

Royal Mineral Water Hospital

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Royal Mineral Water Hospital

The Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (Royal Mineral Water Hospital) is a national specialist hospital in central Bath. It has been treating patients from across the country since 1742. The hospital has an international reputation for research, and expertise in complex rheumatology and rehabilitation. Adult and adolescent services include rheumatology, chronic pain management, neuro rehabilitation and chronic fatigue syndrome/ME, plus endoscopy (diagnostic investigation) and bone density services. The hospital prides itself on high standards of patient care and consistently meets national quality performance targets, has rigorous polices for infection control and scores highly in surveys of patient satisfaction. Share this page

Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (Royal Mineral Water Hospital) is managed by Royal United Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (Art at the Heart of the RUH)

Pulteney Bridge

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Pulteney Bridge

Pulteney Bridge crosses the River Avon in Bath, England. It was completed by 1774, and connected the city with the land of the Pulteney family which they wished to develop. Designed by Robert Adam in a Palladian style, it is exceptional in having shops built across its full span on both sides.

Within 20 years of its construction, alterations were made that expanded the shops and changed the façades. By the end of the 18th century it had been damaged by floods, but it was rebuilt to a similar design. Over the next century alterations to the shops included cantilevered extensions on the bridge’s north face. In the 20th century several schemes were carried out to preserve the bridge and partially return it to its original appearance, enhancing its appeal as a tourist attraction.

The bridge is now 45 metres (148 ft) long and 18 metres (58 ft) wide. Although there have been plans to pedestrianise the bridge, it is still used by buses and taxis. The much photographed bridge and the weir below are close to the centre of the city, which is a World Heritage Site largely because of its Georgian architecture.

Circus in Bath

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Circus Apartments

The word circus means circle. That is why the circus we know is in a circle formation.

The Circus in Bath is a unique Georgian achievement in urban planning.

The ‘London’ Bath Bun

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Sally Lunn Bun

The Back Door

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The Back Door

This back door was used for servants to empty the trash and the “piss pots” before there were indoor bathrooms.

The Fear of Yoga

 

Who is afraid of yoga? Me.  I am not afraid of airplanes, traveling alone, elevators, nor tunnels. I am afraid of MRIs, escalators, and yoga.

I am not a yoga practitioner. I didn’t have my first yoga class until five months after I retired. That was two years ago. The teacher insisted on physically putting me in positions that did not make me feel comfortable. Think pretzels. I was more like a tree limb that refused to bend. After the second class, I walked out and never went back.

The thought of doing yoga never entered my mind again until last week. The pain in my arms doesn’t let me lift as high as I could before. I researched how to improve my range of motion. Yoga was the answer given 99% of the time. I couldn’t put it off anymore. I had to get rid of my fear of yoga. I watched yoga videos to understand the vocabulary. I tried the yoga poses on my own, but I needed to be with an instructor to know that I was doing the right thing.

 

I signed up for the yoga class at the local community center. The day before fear set in. What do I wear? Do I need yoga socks? What do I need to take to the class? I knew that I needed a mat and a bottle of water. What kind of mat do I need? I went to Amazon but didn’t see what I needed. I went to Target and found yoga mats. I found purple and pink. Does this mean that only women do yoga? Next to the mats, I found a “beginning yoga kit”. It included a purple mat, purple block, and a white strap. I don’t know how to put the strap on. I assume it is to carry the mat around.

On the morning of my yoga class, I took the mat out of the box. It smelled new. I had this feeling everyone would know that I was a beginner. I unrolled the mat for the first time when I got to class. It made the soft sound of unfolding polyurethane for the first time. I was nervous. I walked into the class five minutes early. There were twelve women in the group. I rolled out my purple mat. I wasn’t sure which side was face up so I watched the girl next to me. I saw that her label was facing up. I quickly turned my mat facing up. I didn’t know anyone and I was afraid to speak to anyone. The girl next to me asked if it was my first time. She knew. She saw me unroll the mat, the agony in my face, and the nervousness of my hands shaking.

The instructor came over to check off our names. She said you must be Carol. I said yes. She said she remembered me from the last yoga class. She remembered I didn’t come back. She was not my instructor for the first time, but she was the one who checked the attendance. I asked her if this required experience because I had none. She said no. This will be an easy yoga class. I wasn’t sure what she meant by easy. Nothing in yoga is easy for me.

We started the class by sitting on our mats with our legs crossed. I was able to do that. I was hoping I would be able to get up later. We put our arms out in a lotus position and meditated for about five minutes. She encouraged me to think of good thoughts. Forgive those who have done you wrong. Think of flowers, nature, and animals. I am not so sure about the animals.

We did some neck holding and stretching. So far so good. I can do this. Then we stood up. I could do that too. We stood in a pose with our right leg pointed to the front and our left leg pointed to the left of the mat. We reached up with our arms and made an arch. This was hard for me because it was painful. That’s ok. I told her ahead of time and she didn’t push it. My goal is to make my arms reach higher.

In one of the poses, we were required to stretch in a child’s pose and touch our faces to the ground. I could not get my face to touch the ground. I observed others who were using the blocks so they could touch their noses to the blocks and not have to reach the floor. I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t put her face to the floor. Now I know what the blocks are for. I left mine wrapped in plastic sitting on the kitchen table.

The last pose was to sit back on the floor and lay down with our shoulders flat on the mat. The instructor came around and applied some smelly stuff on my shoulders.

The class was over. The instructor told me I did great. I have no yoga fear from this class.

I will go back again.

11 Cowboy Slang words for “Hot”

Cowboy Slang

Edgar “Frosty” Potter

Have you ever wondered how cowboys communicate?

Here are 11 examples of describing “hot”.

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So hot it’d slip hair on a polar bear.

So damn hot that if a man died an’ went to hell, he’d feel like wirin’ home for a couple blankets

The heat would loosen the bristles on a wild hog.

If somebody had stuck a fork in me, they’d a-found me well done.

It took me two hours to blow a cup of coffee cool.

Even the shade of a bob-wire fence didn’t help me.

So damned hot the prunes started a stewin’ in their own juice.

So hot and dry a grass-widder wouldn’t take root.

We had to feed the chickens cracked ice to keep ’em from layin’ hard-boiled aigs.

Hot ‘nough to sunburn a horned toad.

So damn dry, the bushes follow the dogs around.

7 Facts about Hi Jolly

hijolly_Fotor_FotorHe is buried in Quartzsite, Arizona.

His grave is a pyramid topped with a copper silhouette of a  camel. He died while he was trying to round up a camel who had been scaring the people in the Arizona desert. He was lying next to a dead camel with one of his arms wrapped around the camel’s neck. He died in 1902.

He was a Greek-Syrian and his name was Haji Ali.

Everyone who knew him could not pronounce his name so they gave him the name of Hi Jolly. He was born with the name Philip Tedro. He changed his name to Haji Ali when he converted to Islam.

He worked for the American Government

On March 3, 1855, lawmakers appropriated thirty thousand dollars for a project called the US Camel Corps. Thirty-five camels and five camel drivers were sent to the US. The climate in the Southwest was hot and the terrain was rugged. This proved to be rough for the horses. The experiment with the camels was put into place. Camels didn’t need as much water and could walk longer distances. One of those brave camel drivers was Hi Jolly.

The US Camel Corps came to an end

The camels terrorized the horses, dogs, chickens, and other animals. They bit and spit.

The camels were released into the desert and wandered around. Hi Jolly tried to round them up and put them to work.

Hi Jolly tried to become an entrepreneur

He established a freight line using the camels from Yuma to Tucson. The venture failed because Hi Jolly was not a good businessman.

He became an American citizen in 1880

He worked for the army as a packer and scout at Fort McDowell. He got married and had two children.

He abandoned his family and went looking for gold

He wandered through the desert but never found his pot of gold.

 

Hi Jolly was one of the many men who perished while wandering in the mountains and deserts looking for gold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Things Japanese Men do not do for their Wives

Japanese men do not open the car door for their wives.

They open the car door for their mothers. The wives are left to open their own door. The Japanese man will help if his wife is carrying a baby.

Japanese men do not babysit their children.

Japanese women rarely go out when their husbands are at home. They spend time with their friends during the day when the children are at school and their husbands are at work. A Japanese woman will leave her children with her mother if she needs to go to work or socialize with her friends. A Japanese woman does not go out at night with her friends to socialize.

Japanese men do not share in the housework or care of the children.

They don’t do laundry, cook, or clean the house. Their day to be with their children is Sunday. The parks in Japan are filled with fathers and their children. This is the day the mother can do something on her own.

Japanese men don’t sleep with their wives after children come into the picture.

Japanese women sleep in a separate room with their children. Her husband has his own room so that he is not disturbed by the noise of the children. He has to get up early and go to work. He also comes home late.

A Japanese father does not change diapers or feed the baby.

Japanese men do not cook for their wives.

This is a women’s job. A Japanese woman takes bed rest when a baby is born. She stays in the hospital for one week. She stays in bed at home for four to six weeks. Her mother moves in to clean, cook, and help take care of the baby. The husband goes to work.

Japanese men do not hang out with their wives.

They don’t go to dinner or socialize in the same groups. A Japanese man hangs out with his coworkers. They meet after work for drinks and food. A Japanese woman will socialize with other women. They go to coffee shops or local restaurants for lunch. Japanese couples don’t entertain at home. The home is for the family and a very private place.

Japanese men don’t wait for their wives to sit down before they start eating.

The Japanese wife sets the various dishes on the table and the men dig in. She is the last one to sit down to eat.

Japanese culture and American culture have almost nothing in common. I was the wife of a Japanese man and fortunate to find a husband that did not have all of these characteristics, but he did have a few.

He never opened my side of the car door. I never expected him to because I wasn’t raised that way and I was very independent. I didn’t need any help in opening my side of the car.

He was a very good cook but had no time because he left for work at 6:00 am and came home at 10:00 p.m. He cooked on the weekends.

He always waited for me to sit down before he started to eat. His father and brothers never waited for his mother to sit down.

The first time I went to my in-laws’ house I waited for my mother-in-law to sit down before I started to eat. Everyone else had already begun to eat. I asked my husband why they didn’t wait for his mother to sit down and he said it wasn’t necessary. He knew I was not going to eat until she did. He asked her to sit down so that I would eat. She sat down for two minutes and was back in the kitchen preparing another dish to bring out to the table.

My husband never really cleaned the house, but he did help to keep it in order and uncluttered. He washed the dishes on the weekends but never did the laundry.

He never took care of our daughter alone. The times I did leave to go shopping he would take her to his parents’ house for his mother to look after her. He never changed her diapers. When she cried he passed her to me.

We did hang out together by frequenting restaurants in the evenings when he came home early and I was too tired to cook. We never went to bars together except for one time. That is when I found out that going to bars is not what married women did. Bars were for men to drink and for the hostesses to flirt with them.

We did not sleep separately. We always slept together with the baby next to us in the other room.

Adapting to a different culture is not easy, but is possible.