Total Pageviews

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mănăstirea Voroneţ

Voroneţ blue, famous in the world of fine art, is the distinctive background color of the exterior walls of the church (biserica) in the middle of the monastery.

I find today that I have omitted from this blog all pictures of the monastery called Voronets (Voroneţ), in the village of Gura Humorului in Bucovina, Judeţ Suceava, Romania.  I visited there in November of 2010, in the company of two American students, Rachel and Tessa, from Bates College in Maine. These photos were provided by Rachel.

Poet's Plea

'Tis half-past time, 
To pen a rhyme,
So cliché ridden, 
Its sense well-hidden,
That Will Shakespeare, 
Would reach for a beer.

Do I have time,
To write that rhyme?
Muse, you are bidden.
I am not kiddin'!
(You inspire my pen,
As no one else can.)

By Duncan McDougall, 28 October 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

Seeking Subtle Subtitle

Da, da, dear readers, as Life Goes On, it does so in phases.  The next phase will be my retirement.

Having taught for 34 years, 26 of them at PSU, I have declared the end date of this career as the December close of the fall term.  Thereafter I can no longer call myself a "Professor of Plymouth State University" in the subtitle above.

What would be an appropriate new subtitle for this varied series of experiences, ideas, poems, non-coincidences and expressions of wonderment that I call my blog?

Please offer your suggestions in the comment function.  All ideas will be given due consideration. The one having the subtlest set of multiple entendres will take that place of honor, on the masthead.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Diana Does America!

At the Grand Teton National Park, WY. (Diana Cristea Photo)
Over the last two days, I have learned a new value of the Internet.  Here is a post that went up today:

iLove USA: 

A Romanian Girl's Solo Sojourn.

The subject young lady, Diana Stephania Cristea, is from Baia Mare, Maramureş, Romania. 

I have known Diana for several years, and she has appeared in this blog on a number of occasions.  When Monica Z. was visiting at Plymouth State University, we went to New York for a day's sightseeing, and then "crashed" at Diana's apartment in Stamford, CT, rather than face a midnight drive all the way home. Moreover, I have even sat at the kitchen table of Diana's parents in Baia Mare, and enjoyed an afternoon snack!  Hers is a kind and friendly heart, and she comes from a most hospitable family.

Hence, when I heard that Diana is presently stranded, and down to her last $80, in Grand Canyon Village, Arizona, I was happy to help her out.  That is one of the most expensive towns I have ever been in.  (I remember our shock back in 1977, when Shirl, six-month old Jamie, and I discovered that a McDonald's hamburger in Grand Canyon cost three times its price in the civilized world!)

For over six years now, I have been contributing my blogs to the Internet without advertising, simply to share ideas, beauty, Romania, Europe, Turkey, India, and myriad non-coincidences with you, my dear readers. 

Now, without any pressure or expectation, I am offering you a chance to join me in helping my friend Diana to complete her dream.  You may, if you wish, make a contribution at the link above.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Beat Goes On

Theme: There are no coincidences.
Plymouth, New Hampshire, 18 October, 2014

On Saturday, while hunting for a hard copy of the New Hampshire Magazine for October (linked in the previous post), our new Romanian friend Flavius S. (din Târgu Mureş, in Transilvania) and I stopped at Plymouth's Chase Street Market. Scott Biederman, the store's proprietor (and my longtime friend) was there, so I introduced him to Flavius. Scott asked, "Has he met Marina, our Romanian employee who is working downstairs?"

I have known Marina P., a student at Plymouth State, for some time. She and her boyfriend and fellow student, Mihai E., have attended some of our gatherings at "Hotel New Hampshire."  I thanked Scott for his suggestion.

Downstairs from Chase Street Market in Plymouth is Biederman's Deli, the town's premier pub and sandwich shop.  Flavius and I went around the corner, and walked down the hill on Chase Street to the Deli.  We sat at the bar, and asked for two beers, some popcorn, and Marina.

Marina, who had been working in the kitchen, came out and was clearly delighted to meet another Romanian. She and Flavius struck up a conversation in Romanian, and soon were far beyond my ability to keep up.  But, after awhile the fact came out that Marina hails from Braila, on the Danube in southeastern Romania, and Flavius asked her if she knew a certain girl of the same age from that town.

"Yes!" replied Marina.  "We were best friends throughout high school!"

"Well, she was my girlfriend for a year-and-a-half when I was at University in Cluj," said Flavius. "She was living in Bucharest, but I would commute by train every two or three weeks [an eight-hour train ride, each way] to see her."

Saturday, October 18, 2014

October Surprise

The October issue of New Hampshire Magazine has brought me a most pleasant surprise.  (Please click the link below, and read the section headed, "Shifting Gears.")

Friday, October 17, 2014

More Haiku


The epidemics afoot on Earth?
Ebola, ISIS.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Roman Wisdom?

"Vir mulierem in vita indiget, sed est satis superque."
(Ascribed to Julius Caesar)
Translation: A man needs a woman in his life, but one is more than enough.

"Vir mulierem indiget, sed una non est satis fere."
(Ascribed to Marcus Antonius)
Translation: A man needs a woman in his life, but one is not nearly enough.

(Please do not ask who did the ascribing.)

Sunday, October 5, 2014


Why is it I think my last poem,

Was for me,

The poem to end all poems?