Welcome Home

So, we’re in a cheap but swank hotel near the Madrid Airport.  And as wait for our trip to North Caroline tomorrow, we started making lists of the 10 Things we’re looking the most forward to in the USA.  (We’ve been living in Europe for 2.2 years, and are now setting up shop in NC for the next 9 months).

So here are the lists:


  • Mission style burritos
  • Movies in English
  • Customer Service
  • Thai Food
  • RoadTrips
  • 24Hr Shopping
  • Backyard BBQs
  • Us Sports
  • Strangers saying hi
  • Multicultural diversity
Renee’s List

  • Small Talk in English
  • Dipping Sauces and Salad Dressings
  • Movies in English
  • Convenience
  • Record Stores
  • Trader Joes
  • Anthropologie
  • Home Depot
  • Pedicures
  • Book Stores


Cella’s List

  • Taco Bell
  • Root Beer
  • Sour Patch Kids on Demand
  • English
  • Target
  • American Traditions
  • American TV
  • Mac & Cheese on Demand
  • Cousins & Family
  • Baseball
Josiah’s List

  • Driving
  • Movies Theaters
  • Thai Food
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Best Buy
  • American Sports
  • BBQ
  • English
  • Friendly Neighbors
  • The US Dollar

Visual thinking examples about topics Big and Small

Recently I came across two examples of my favorite subject – How Visual Thinking and Visual communication is more adept at presenting “Big” or “complicated” ideas and stories than just text or spoken word.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love reading, but there is definitely something significant occurring in the modern world.  With the increased amount of data that the Average Developed World citizien consumes, more and more of this information simply needs to be captured and communicated in visual ways in order to condense it in a digestible format. The first video (a TED Talk)  is about global population growth, a topic which is ready made for visual communication:


The following less significant story, but worth watching is an animated version of the News story about Steven Slater the Jet Blue flight attendant that freaked out and launched the emergency life raft upon landing. Without understand the language, it’s pretty clear what happened just from the animation.


Things my wife says



So yesterday while putting together yet another pair of endtables with my wife Renee, I asked her if she had seen my legs (she had the box with all the parts in it). She turned to me and says in a deep throaty pirate voice

Aye, shapely enough to make any man quiver!

Renee Raiteri

On Being Foreign

This article in the economist is pretty helpful in understanding how we’re living our lives these days.I owe Denmark a giant apology. Spain as well. Recently I figured out that one of the main reasons life has been so difficult over the past 2 years has been that we are foreigners. I know this doesn’t seem like much of a revelation, but it actually is. In the beginning of being an expat, you see yourself as “on an adventure” and it can be quite frustrating just how unadventurous figuring out how to get home heating oil delivered in your new host country can be.But the main point here, is that I want to apologize to the people of Denmark and Spain. I can’t say I was a gracious guest. I complained all the time about how strange and difficult a place it was, (and is with regard to Spain). When in fact, it’s not difficult for Danes in Denmark, no is it difficult for Spaniards in Spain.I suppose it might be difficult for Danes or Spaniards in the USA, but I know for a fact, that most of my complaints have been not about the place where we’ve been living, but about the context of being a foreigner.Odd, and obvious little realization. Felis Navida. Gød Jule. Merry Christmas

Get me younger Quick.

Okay, so its been longer than a week since I went running. So I thought I’d try to take a class of yoga to stretch me out and prepare me for this morning’s run. It was a beginner class, morning Yoga. So beginner that it was “Free” for all to come. Which I did, there was me, the instructor (a very very helpful woman who was far too patient with this aging codger), and another intermediate level practitioner. I did okay I guess, and it sure did help me run. Continue reading “Get me younger Quick.”

My First Ever Real Race

Golly Gee! Results hereI ran a race. Before I saw the sign for the 1st mile marker I thought I was doing pretty good.My pace was up, and I felt like I was about half way through. After that disappointment I resolved to stop thinking about how far I had to go and just get into listening to my breathing. It was like 98 degrees outside and it was on pavement which was new for me. But they finally had water stands set up around mile 2.Near the last half mile I started to bonk out. I stopped and walked for about 30 seconds twice, which I know added to my time. But overall I guess I was happy. Beat my previous best time on the Lake Loop by 5 minutes.I know that 33 minutes is not exactly Olympic but for me it was a good measure of my progress and dedication to something new.It was pretty funny being beaten by a lot of people who coudn’t drive though. The youngest person to beat me was an seven-year old girl! The oldest person to beat me was 81! But Hey, at least I beat eight people in my age group!.

SmokesBeerandWork are also Drugs

Running is a drugRunning is a drug, but smoking, working, drinking…these too have powerfully addictive qualities. I went 5 days without running last week, then we did our thing with the Texas round-up which involved a little bit more training but then I went off to Seattle to work, and only managed to actually run a full 5k one time along the Seattle Elliot Bay parkline. Dang. This thing is probably going to take some serious commitment.

Running is a drug

So, just back from Copenhagen, where I rode my rented Bike everywhere (I wonder if Markus – my friend there – ever returned the bike for me, cripes, that would be a lot of rental days unused!)Anyway. So being back on the bike made me feel POWERFUL.I wanted to replicate that feeling so as soon as I got back to Austin I started running. Basically I hate running. Always have. I prefer to swim. Continue reading “Running is a drug”