Chantix

Posted in Introspective Ramblings on December 18, 2009 by philthink

This is easily my favourite disclaimer yet, provided by the drug Chantix, which “helps” people quit smoking.

Keep in mind…if you develop SUICIDAL thoughts while taking our drug. maybe stop taking our drug.

far too many

Posted in Introspective Ramblings, Poetry on May 21, 2009 by philthink

there are far too many opinions in this world.
everybody has got something to say.
ones that contradict their others and lead each one astray.

but who are we to keep our mouths shut,
against the lives of louder thoughts –
so join in the masses and yell out loud,
to shroud a future plot.

Munich

Posted in Introspective Ramblings on April 9, 2009 by philthink

Munich is renowned for its beer halls. It’s true. We took a tour. Drank our share of beer – massive…quantities.
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We drank where Hitler drank, where he delivered his speeches and formed his National Socialist Party. No wonder they were such nuts, they killed all their brain cells with beer.
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There is a connection between the modern and history here. Malls flow in and out of the old castles. There is certain architecture here that reminds me of something out of Disney.

75% of Munich was destroyed during the way, so it can be dubbed a “rebuilt” city. It is an absolute must to come back here for Oktoberfest! and to drink plenty from the Augustiner Brewery, which to this day, follows the purity laws strictly, and does not export their beer.

I had a great time here. Had a great smoke with Ankur and a very stereotypical looking Bavarian security guard, who thought we were hilarious. But i’m pretty sure he was just laughing at us.

Oktoberfest! – I will be coming to you.

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Berlin

Posted in Introspective Ramblings on April 8, 2009 by philthink

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There is a constant ambiance in Berlin. The stars will never shine.

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The train station alone brightens the night with two impressive beams pointed skyward, removing any chance of the surrounding sky sneaking through. We only walked a strip of the city, but it was filled with historical significance. img_1347
The Brandenburg Gates whose story began with King Frederick II, whose idea sparked its construction. In later years, Napolean conquered the land and fancying its headpiece, takes it back to France. World War II left it in ruins, only to be restored in time for the Berlin wall to go up.

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This is obviously my paraphrased version of a rich and detailed history.image010_9image012_11image013_12

The wall itself was erected by the East (Ost) to keep people from fleeing. Imagine for a moment someone putting a wall up around your home and telling you, you can’t leave. I imagine I would try to get out as well.image011_10

We had planned quite a bit more excursion throughout the city, but ended up beside an ice rink, and crepe stand, where we met Bjorne and Juliana, whose conversation was quite welcomed. They were home for the holidays from South Africa, Capetown specifically.

What a boisterous laugh she had.
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And so, with one more chocolate crepe in our guts, we said goodbye to Marx and Engil and boarded a train to Munich.

The bar below the bridge

Posted in Introspective Ramblings on April 7, 2009 by philthink

Born to be a conversationalist. People are drawn to him. By look or stare or just presence in the room, who knows, but people feel the need to express to him. And so should he express to them, for what better way to improve the surroundings.

The S-bahn is not open between 1AM and 4AM

Posted in Introspective Ramblings on April 6, 2009 by philthink

December 19th, 2007

There is a closeness he requires that perhaps even he does not understand. A friend lost – his old chum whose companionship in the moments of his life, whether serious or tedious, is now lost. A vacant soul in need of a patch. New conversation can only go so far. This wreck of a man has only his stories to hold him together.

Walter Suthern

Posted in Tributes on April 5, 2009 by philthink

In November of 2008, my great grandfather, Walter Suthern passed away. I made a point while traveling in 2007, to visit him in Manchester. I headed up there on a roadtrip with the Dynamic Dudes, and captured video of an afternoon tea session. I’ve had this footage for a while, and have put something together to show you the person Walter was before he died.

He lifts anybody’s spirit when around him. I asked him the secret to the longevity of his life, “Helping people out. That’s always been my pleasure.” He says it so plainly, with the undertone of “isn’t it obvious?”

Below is what I wrote on the way back from Manchester after our second visit together in December of 2008.

*****
In a place of such monotony, it must be so hard to keep a mind healthy. And yet, when the mind deteriorates, challenging circumstances are more troubling, to already troubled minds.

The more I speak with Walter, the more I get a sense of age and the intricate workings of the mind. I guess its a sell for longevity in life: fill your brain with as many memories as possible so that there’s always something else to say, something else to pass along.

“That’s life”, he remarks when I comment of the luck of good genes, such as ours. He enjoys a laugh and then tells me about Rose, who we had met during our previous visit in April 2007. She was also from a family of good genes, having passed away just two weeks ago. She was 102.

Walter admired her spirit. “She kept on going.”
And it is this admiration that I find so inspiring. Here is a man at 99 years old, admiring those who, like himself, have such a strong will to live.

Still a charmer in his old age, he mentions how he broke down a woman who refused, at first, to speak with him. He leans in, motioning around the room with his left hand, “There’s always one that’s awkward, but I kept at her, and now she talks to me, yes.” And with that, he leans back in his chair, genuinely satisfied at the accomplishment of getting this woman to open up. At no point should we stop talking, if all but a whisper.

You can see that his knee is bothering him more but he still insists on his constitutionals. “I’ll sneak out that door if I have to.” he says with no ounce of concern on his face. Damn right.

He recounts his involvement in history, considering his luck to be there, and then takes the word “luck” back.

“A lot of people hear about the assassination of Mussolini…I was there. I was there, when they shot her [Clara Petacci].” He recounts how they drove them off to the forest to face their punishment.

At the time of this writing, there is civil unrest in Pakistan. Benazir Bhutto has just been assassinated. I can’t help but think of the situation in Pakistan, and the potential chaos that may result in that region. How many Pakistani’s will be saying similar things in their old age. “I was there when Bhutto was shot.”

It gives me such pride to know a man such as Walter, and to hold any, if some, similar characteristics and beliefs. The secret to a long life and his advice on what it takes to be happy in life, is to help people out. “If anybody needs me, I’m there for them.”

Rest in Peace, Walter Suthern.