March 3rd, 2012
Well this is new, and I’m utterly baffled. Here’s a file that’s not in use by anything.
$ md5sum xppro.vdi
$ md5sum xppro.vdi
Every time I run md5sum on it, I get a different answer. Same story with sha256sum. If I grab just the first 100MB, it gives the same answer each time. dmesg doesn’t show any sort of errors whatsoever during the time I’m running the tools. The file is 13GB, and was copied from one laptop to another (the new one being a Thinkpad T420s). The old laptop gives the same answer every time. The new one doesn’t.
I’ve put the file on different ext4 filesystems on the same machine (one using LUKS encryption, the other not, both under LVM) – same result. This will have also guaranteed different placement on the underlying hard disk.
I verified that nothing is modifying the file by using lsof and inotify. The system is a freshly-installed Debian wheezy running kernel 3.2.0-1-amd64. Any ideas how I go about troubleshooting/fixing this? So far I don’t know if it’s hardware or software, though my gut says software; SMART isn’t showing issues here, and the kernel didn’t log hardware issues, either.
February 25th, 2012
Our society is one that is pretty well defined by timeliness. TV programs start at a precise time, down to the second. Schools have elaborate timekeeping systems. Even church services are carefully timed. We know how fast we’re going, and our GPS or phones tell us when we’ll get there. And we’re pretty confident that we will, in fact, get there.
Somehow this doesn’t apply to our pickup.
This pickup, in case you’re wondering, is a thing of… stories, shall we say. After a particularly frustrating experience with it one week (oh yes, the battle extended several days), I likened it to the Greek gods. And Terah had a good laughing fit when I began a sentence with “The reason there’s a towel connecting the brake pedal to the steering wheel…”
But I guess the thrifty side of me won out, and somewhere along the line, I relented. My brother fixed up the carburetor. I got it a new battery. The flat tire is repaired. The starter broke, and I got it replaced. And I even got an oil change. Fancy, I know.
So today, when I needed to take some backbreaking junk off the yard, I was hoping the pickup would work. I hadn’t driven it in months, and any manner of catastrophe could have struck it in that time. So I was mildly relieved when it started on the 6th try. That is, quite seriously, quite the improvement, and shows how skilled a mechanic my brother is.
The speedometer, of course, isn’t working. The odometer stupidly reads “21531″ or something like that (it was only a 5-digit odometer, broke long ago, so who knows how many miles it really has.) And I like to keep things like grease and heavy ancient air conditioners (one of the things I was hauling) away from my watch, so I wasn’t wearing it.
The result: I have no idea what time it is, how fast I’m going, when I’ll get there, IF I’ll get there, or all those things.
I set out, and made it a good half mile before it died as I was rounding a corner at the bottom of the hill. Always a great place for a finicky old stick-shift vehicle to die, right? Anyhow, a few random adjustments to the choke later, and the thing sputtered then roared (and I do mean roared) back to life. A little lurching up the hill and I was back on my way. Now, I was stuck there in the middle of the road, but it was a country road, so I’d have probably had a good hour to get it fixed before worrying about blocking anybody’s way.
My first stop: my great uncle’s place. He has a “scrap metal for charity” project going on. He is looking for old motors, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, etc. He takes them apart, separates out the metals, sells them, and donates the result to MCC, a world relief agency. I knew I had an old dehumidifier in the basement, and thought I remembered seeing an old window air conditioner in the elevator. That thing is probably the single heaviest object I have ever moved without help. I have a bandaid to prove it. It was way too heavy to carry, so I kind of rolled it, side to side, from the side of the elevator on to the pickup. If you were watching, you’d have heard me making struggling noises, followed by “BANG rattle rattle rattle… pause… struggling noises…. BANG rattle rattle rattle” as I “rolled” it along the ground, and waited for the internal bits to settle after each quarter turn. So anyway, eventually I got it to the pickup, and then had the sickening realization: I have no way to get this thing up there. Oops.
I eventually placed it on top of an old tire rim, balanced it there as I knelt down, and somehow — still not quite sure how — managed to lift the entire thing a few feet until I could get some leverage to shove it onto the pickup. I later commented to my dad that it was a Chrysler brand air conditioner, somewhat to my surprise, and he said that it was probably my great-grandpa’s. That was a surprise.
Anyhow, back to the pickup. I drove down the few miles to my great grandpa’s place, not really knowing how fast I was going. I smelled the familiar smells of the old pickup: exhaust fumes, oil on hot surfaces it shouldn’t be on, a touch of hot antifreeze. You never have any doubt about whether the engine is running.
It was sort of nice to not know, or particularly care, how fast I was going, or what time it was. Sometimes I’d idly wonder, but you know, it didn’t really matter and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it anyhow.
I got to uncle’s place, unloaded the junk — sorta dropped the air conditioner off the back of the pickup with a terrific BANG, then rolled it all the way to his trailer — and got back in. On to town. I hadn’t put gas in the pickup in a few years, and I suspected it was getting low. (The gas gauge, you guessed it, doesn’t work right either.) Plus we had some large recyclables built up and it was time to get rid of them. And for that, I had to drive on the highway a ways. The speed limit there is 65MPH. I have no idea how fast I was going, but it wasn’t 65. Maybe it was 45. I got passed a lot, but nobody looked particularly surprised that a pickup that looks like mine wasn’t going 65.
Partway there, I smelled a different smoke smell. Not an oil smoke, but more of a grassy or wood smoke. Hmm, I thought. That’s odd. Hope it’s not coming from the pickup. I didn’t really see smoke anywhere else, so I just drove on until I couldn’t smell it anymore.
I unloaded the recyclables, then went to the gas station. As the pump readout neared $50, I decided: 1) the gas tank really was pretty empty, and 2) I just can’t put more gas in it anymore. That would be more than the truck’s worth. So I drove home.
The drive home was into the wind. My face got pretty cold – I always drive with the windows open to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning (remember the fumes?) I got home and prepared to pack up the pickup – close the windows, replace the bungee cord holding the brake pedal up, etc. I then thought I’d have a look under the hood to see if there was anything, well, on fire. Nope, but there was a packrat nest that fell down as soon as the wind hit it. Source of grassy-smelling smoke identified.
It’s amazing what difference simple lack of knowledge makes sometimes. Not knowing what time it is or how fast I’m going means I don’t have to worry about those things. I wonder how society has changed simply because accurate and cheap watches are available. I kind of like driving the old truck. It’s a bit of an adventure, a bit of a challenge, a bit of randomness, and a bit of an escape from the normal and predictable. Not a bad deal for a $75 vehicle.
February 11th, 2012
When Jacob was just born, I wondered how I might introduce them to computing. I thought over various things, but that wasn’t really the most pressing thing right then.
I don’t suppose that I could have predicted installing an XMPP IM server (Prosody) for the boys. And I certainly couldn’t have predicted creating accounts named: jacob, oliver, butterfly, bear. Because, as Jacob pointed out to me, if (Jacob’s favorite toy) butterfly is typing with his wings, then he shouldn’t be logged in as Jacob. I admire my 5-year-old’s security consciousness…
Anyhow, as I mentioned yesterday, Jacob and Oliver enjoy “their” computer, which I recently put on the LAN. The firewall does not pass any of its traffic to the Internet, though, with very limited exceptions.
Jacob can read, and is starting to enjoy typing as well. So I thought he would enjoy sending IMs to me. As his computer has no GUI, I needed a text-mode client. Something with an IRC-like interface that could be scripted to open up a window with me directly sounded perfect. Initially I tried irssi’s XMPP plugin, but it proved to be too buggy (wanting to always latch on to a particular resource on the remote end, not having very predictable window behavior, etc.) So I switched to mcabber. With a couple of quick configuration bits to get him automatically logged in, remove superflous windows, and connect him directly to a chat with me, it was set. And well-loved. He sent me a mix of real words and random things he created by replacing letters in “Jacob” or by holding down keys.
In the mcabberrc, besides the obvious setting of username and password, there is:
set log_win_height = 1
set hook-post-connect = source ~/.mcabber/post-connect.rc
The hook is simply:
roster search Dad
After awhile, Jacob wanted to switch computers. He wanted to use my laptop, and me use his computer. He refused to switch back. I asked him why. “Because on your computer, my name is red.” I should have known. I set it to bright white on his computer, but I think tomorrow we may need to upgrade him to the color monitor I’ve been saving for just such an occasion… It will be a whole new set of discoveries, I’m sure.
Update: I also tried out freetalk, which looked like it would meet my goals nicely. The problem was it didn’t have a dedicated “everything typed goes to this person” mode. It did have a mode where it put the person’s JID on the command line by default, but excessive use of backspace key by a 5-year-old could wipe that out and leave it in a state where he’d be confused.
Categories: Children & Computing, Family
February 10th, 2012
It probably comes as no surprise to anybody that Jacob has had a computer since he was 3. Jacob and I built it from spare parts, together.
It may come as something of a surprise that it has no graphical interface, and Jacob uses the command line and loves it — and did even before he could really read.
A few months ago, I wrote about the fun Jacob had with speakers and a microphone, and posted a copy of the cheat sheet he has with his computer. Lately, Jacob has really enjoyed playing with the speech synthesizer — both trying to make it say real words and nonsense words. Sometimes he does that for an hour.
I was asked for a copy of the scripts I wrote. They are really simple. I gave them names that would be easy for a preschooler to remember and spell, even if they conflicted with existing Unix/Linux commands. I put them in /usr/local/bin, which occurs first on the PATH, so it doesn’t matter if they conflict.
First, for speech systhesis, /usr/local/bin/talk:
echo "Press Ctrl-C to stop."
espeak -v en-us -s 150
espeak comes from the espeak package. It seemed to give the most consistenly useful response.
Now, on to the sound-related programs. Here’s /usr/local/bin/ssl, the “sound steam locomotive”. It starts playing a train sound if one isn’t already playing:
pgrep mpg321 > /dev/null || mpg321 -q /usr/local/trainsounds/main.mp3 &
And then there’s /usr/local/bin/record:
echo "Now recording. Press Ctrl-C to stop."
chmod a-w *.wav
exec arecord -c 1 -f S16_LE -c 1 -r 44100 "$FILENAME"
This simply records in a timestamped file. Then, its companion, /usr/local/bin/play. Sorry about the indentation; for whatever reason, it is being destroyed by the blog, but you get the idea.
case "$1" in
exec aplay `ls -tr| tail -n 1`
So, Jacob can run just “play”, which will play back his most recent recording. As something of a bonus, the history of recordings is saved for us to listen to later. If he types “play train”, there is the sound of a train passing. And, finally, “play song” plays Always a Train in My Dreams by Steve Gillette (I heard it on the radio once and bought the CD).
Some of these commands kick off sound playing in the background, so here is /usr/local/bin/bequiet:
killall mpg321 &> /dev/null
killall play &> /dev/null
killall aplay &> /dev/null
killall cw &> /dev/null
Categories: Children & Computing, Debian, Family, Programming
February 4th, 2012
Friday was something of a rare day for February in Kansas. Starting at about 2AM, the wind picked up, blowing so hard that our windows rattled. That part isn’t so rare. Then the cold rain started, dropping almost 2.5″ throughout the day.
As I worked, I had the blinds on the windows open, but they didn’t let in very much light. Still, the wind had calmed down, so the intermittent rain outside was peaceful. Jacob went out to play for a little while, so every so often I saw a warmly-dressed and excited-looking 5-year-old run past my window. A little while after he came in, I told Jacob, “I saw you playing outside.” His response: “Oh good! I got wet!” Which, despite the fact that it was about 50 degrees, seemed to excite him.
After the blustery start, the calm, slow, and peaceful rain was a pleasant thing to see throughout the day.
My great aunt Alice Goerzen passed away last Sunday. So today, for the third time in a little over a year, I was at the funeral of a Goerzen relative and neighbor. Alice’s husband, Milt, passed away in late 2010, and it was while I was at his funeral that Jacob got run over by a tractor. That memory certainly came back to me today.
But I think I should set the stage and explain what funerals are like in this small, rural Kansas community.
At the church, while people file in, family and close friends — generally defined as loosely as desired — meet in some other room before the funeral. Memories may be shared, or songs sung, or maybe just a brief meditation or prayer.
Then the man from the funeral home — there’s only one in town — will step in. Ivan Miller owned the business for decades, and although he’s now retired, his replacement seems pretty similar. Kindly, respectful, and pretty much unchanging. This group then files into the church sanctuary to sit up front, while the rest of the congregation is standing and music is played.
We typically sing some hymns, hear memories from the family, a message from a pastor, and then do downstairs for faspa: an light meal with coffee, zwieback, “funeral cheese”, and some relishes and dessert. You can, by the way, go to the local grocery store and find a product labeled “funeral cheese”. It’s a sharp cheddar, sliced thick and cut into pie piece-shaped wedges.
After everyone has picked up their food, microphones are passed around, and anybody that wants to can share memories and stories. These are often hilarious, or touching, and can be more random than anyone could expect.
Today we heard a lot about how Aunt Alice loved her flowers and garden. We even saw a video of her giving a tour of her garden, with Milt’s mower in the background occasionally accidentally causing a distraction (or maybe it wasn’t so accidental; he’d never miss an opportunity to cause some mischief…)
I tend to think of attending funerals around here as a good time. Sadness is inevitable, but there are so many amazing stories that it is hard to leave feeling sad.
This afternoon, Jacob found me in the office and as he often does, said, “Dad, I want to do something with you.” Usually I ask him what he’d like to do, but his first instinct is usually to ask for watching train videos on Youtube. So sometimes I make other suggestions. Today we played “hide and seek with radios,” in which the person that is counting is supposed to radio to the other person when they are done. Today was the first time that Jacob came up with the trick of talking into the radio while I was hiding so he could hear where I was. I was sort of proud of him, and he failed to completely hide his smile when I told him I had to turn off my radio or else he’d find me too fast.
Then later, we played with Jacob’s computer, a Linux-based command-line-only machine. I have set up a few shell scripts and aliases for him. Since it doesn’t play videos, he doesn’t use it as much as he does mine, but it is really fun to watch how his interaction with it changes as he gets older.
He can now read amazingly well for a 5-year-old, and is starting to learn how to spell. He loves word games, writing, and typing. I thought I would install an ASCII art program for him. I told Jacob I had some ideas for a new game, and he was irresistibly intrigued. I offered him a choice between figlet and toilet. And, as is probably no surprise to anyone with a 5-year-old, he chose toilet based on its name, Jacob and Oliver both loved typing things and seeing them displayed bigger. I showed Jacob how I could make a freight train by typing ,<@--(*)-@> (that’s the comma-shaped snowplow, engine, boxcar , tank car (*), and caboose @>). Then toilet drew them big, and though abstract, caused great excitement.
I hooked up one of the speech synthesizers in Debian to a simple shell script named “talk”, which is a huge hit with the boys. They enjoy typing in nonsense and hearing the funny result, or in typing in real words and hearing how the computer says them right (or doesn’t). All told, we had a good hour’s worth of excitement up there.
January 10th, 2012
I’m finding social media is becoming a bit annoying. I enjoy using it to keep in touch with all sorts of people, but my problem is the proliferation of services that don’t integrate well with each other. Right now, I have:
- A blog, which I have had for years. I used to post things like short links, daily thoughts, etc – almost every day. It seems that there is some social pressure to not do that on blogs anymore, so I don’t too much. My blog gets mostly edited, more carefully thought-out, longer-form posts now. I’m not entirely happy with that direction though, since it means I don’t post much on the blog because it takes a lot of time to compose things nicely for it.
- A twitter account, which I sometimes use to post links and such. However, I have noticed a significant decline in the number of actual conversations I have on Twitter since Google+ came out, and I wonder how relevant Twitter will remain to people in the future.
- I also have an identi.ca account, though I almost never have any interactions there anymore.
- A Facebook account, which is mostly used to keep in touch with people I know offline in one way or another. Many of them use Facebook exclusively, sometimes even more than email.
- A Google+ account. I post similar content there as I do on twitter, though probably more of it because it doesn’t have a character limit. I really enjoy the community on Google+ – there are few people I’ve met in person in my circles, but many people I know from various online activities. And many just plain brilliant, engaging, or interesting people. As an example: I follow Edd Dumbill, the (former?) chair of OSCon, on Google+. He started talking about his Fitbit getting broken, which led me to ask him some questions about it – which he, and others, answered – and me ordering one myself. I just don’t have that kind of interaction anywhere else.
- A Diaspora account that I created but honestly haven’t had time to use.
So my problems are:
- Posting things multiple places. I currently can post on identi.ca, which automatically posts to twitter, which automatically posts to Facebook. But then I’d still have to post to Google+, assuming it’s something that I’d like to share with both my Facebook friends and my Google+ circles – it usually is.
- The situation is even worse for re-tweeting/re-sharing other people’s posts. That is barely possible between platforms and usually involves cutting and pasting. Though this is somewhat more rare.
- It’s probably possible to make my blog posts automatically generate a tweet, but not to automatically generate a G+ post.
All the hassle of posting things multiple places leads me to just not bother at all some of the time, which is annoying too. There are some tools that would take G+ content and put it on Twitter, but without a character counter on G+, I don’t think this would be useful.
Anyone else having similar issues? How are you coping?
Categories: Online Life
December 5th, 2011
It’s been busy lately, and I haven’t had the time to blog. With the change in job, various travel, and settling into a new routine, I’ve not done as much writing of late. But life marches on, and before memories grow too fleeting, I think I should share a few.
We recently changed the arrangements for the boys. Instead of them each having their own room in which they sleep and sometimes play, we purchased a bunk bed. Oliver graduated from his crib to the lower bunk, and Jacob has the higher bunk. This has, predictably, created a few opportunities for behavior issues. Overall, it’s going well, and they appreciate their new, more open, “play room.”
Both boys sleep with their stuffed animals. Jacob calls his “my friends”. He still likes his butterfly, which he has had since he was an infant. He sometimes talks about how much he loves his friends, and how they like to get hugs, and how they are happy.
Jacob continues to enjoy reading. He has a toy low-res camera and he even recorded a video of himself reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear.
Oliver’s vocabulary is coming alive and is fun to watch. Jacob has taken to trying to teach Oliver how to say things. One day, Jacob saw a number like 451 on the side of a train, producing a conversation like this: “Oliver, can you say four hundred and fifty-one?” “Four dred iffy on!” “You got it!!!” “YAY!”
Today as I was walking past Oliver’s train track on the floor, he grabbed me by the hand, had me sit down, and kept holding on to make sure I’d stay right where he wanted me as he pointed and talked all about his trains. Aww.
One cold and windy Saturday morning, the boys were getting restless. What to do, we thought? I decided to bring out one of the manual typewriters from my collection. Oliver loved watching it do things as he pressed buttons. Jacob enjoyed spelling “mom”. New problem: boys fighting over how long each one’s turn at the typewriter is. This has gone on for a month now.
A few weeks ago, Jacob informed us that he built an antenna out of blocks. He was REALLY proud of it, and even, incredibly, insisted I take his picture with it!
I’m pleased to have a 5-year-old that calls this structure an antenna instead of a skyscraper or tower or some such thing ;-)
We took a train trip to Portland, OR, recently. That’s about 2.5 days on the train each way. It went pretty well — we had quite a bit of excitement though it got a little long for the boys at times. One evening, Jacob excitedly noted that the sky was “almost really dark blue, just like my song!” Wow. That was a song he made up in New York in summer 2010.
Jacob enjoyed collecting leaves as we walked around in Portland. He would then stash his pile of leaves outside the door of whatever building we’d enter, then hope to find them still there when we got back out. It usually worked out OK for him.
November 15th, 2011
A few snippets so far from our train trip from Kansas to Portland. Terah, Jacob, Oliver, and I are on the trip, which is about 2.5 days on the train.
The Parenting Dilemma
So, if you are eating dinner, and your 5-year-old falls asleep with his head on the table, and you know he had been excitedly waiting for raspberry sorbet for dessert, and know there will be tears when he later realizes he missed it, what do you do? Let him sleep, or wake him up (with possible tears right then in the dining car?)
As it turned out, I tried to quietly ask him if he wanted dessert. He woke up with a start, banged his head on the table, and then, yes, there were tears. I asked him if he wanted dessert or if he wanted to keep sleeping, and he gave a pathetic, sniffling, “dessert.”
But by the time dessert arrived, he had fallen asleep again. I finally woke him up again, asked if he wanted to eat, and he just ignored me. I asked twice more and then he all of a sudden realized what he was being asked, sat bolt upright, and dug in.
Jacob noticed graffiti in Los Angeles. He called it “silly words” and kept commenting about it as we passed it.
Oliver always sleeps with a stuffed bear, which is his favorite comfort animal. But Oliver is 2, and when he says “bear”, it sounds more like “beer”. Plus, the boys still seem to be operating on Central Time. So at 4:15AM yesterday, Oliver awakened us saying:
“Beer! Beer! Beer! Where’s beer? Where’s beer? Need beer! Beeeeeer!”
Jacob always sleeps with a stuffed butterfly, which he likes just like Oliver likes his bear. Jacob had this conversation with me this morning:
Jacob: My butterfly knows all the people in the world. And all the animals, too!
Me: Does butterfly even know Nash? (our cat)
Jacob: Yeah, and he knows Sam and Edna too! (the cats across the road)
Me: Wow. I think butterfly knows a lot more people and animals than I do.
Jacob: *brief pause, then* Oh, silly dad! *collapses laughing*
November 12th, 2011
See also parts 1, 2, 3, and 4.
This is the biggest highlight of our trip to Greece for me. I enjoy having the chance to meet people, visit for awhile, and make new friends — and that certainly happened in Greece.
In one of the shops we happened to step into, I noticed a radio behind the counter. That’s not unusual itself; radios often catch my eye these days. But this radio was tuned to 21.070, an amateur radio frequency. So I asked the shop owner if he happened to be a ham. And indeed he was. He was Lakis (SV5KKU), and Terah and I had a great time visiting with him. Terah took some photos of us, and then we made our purchases and headed out.
I had brought my HT (handheld radio, weighs a few ounces and is powered by batteries) with me, and Lakis told me about the repeaters in the area. I had known about some of that since I had emailed Panos of the amatuer radio club in Rhodes before leaving home (I found his name via Google).
A couple of days later, on Tuesday, we found ourselves back in Lindos. It was mid-afternoon, so the shops were quiet. After a late lunch, I thought it would be nice to drop in on Lakis one more time, since we were scheduled to fly back the following morning. I’m not sure how long we stayed — it must have been at least an hour — and enjoyed the fresh orange juice he prepared.
After we got back to our hotel Tuesday, I learned that our flights on Wednesday were canceled due to a nationwide air traffic controller strike in Greece. After 3 hours on the phone with Delta (more on that experience later), we got rescheduled to fly back Friday.
On Wednesday morning, I remembered that the Rhodes amateur radio club meets every Wednesday evening, and now I would be able to go! I knew how to contact Lakis by email and on the radio, and he kindly offered to pick me up and take me there.
So that evening, I got a tour of his impressive mountaintop installation, and then it was on to the club – the Radio Amateur Association of the Dodecanese (SZ5RDS). There I met Panos, whom I had emailed earlier (and I think surprised him a bit). It was a friendly group, and they translated into English for me every so often so I knew what was being discussed.
When I was about to leave, they gave me this:
The translation, partly from my memory and partly with the help of Google Translate, is:
Radio Amateur Association of the Dodecanese, SZ5RDS
Our friend and radio colleague KR0L JOHN GOERZEN, who visited the island, has our recognition as an HONORARY CLUB MEMBER.
PRESIDENT KAVALAKIS PANAGIOTIS SV5AZK (Panos)
SECRETARY PAPADIMITRIOU CHRISTOS SV5DDT
RHODES – Oct. 5, 2011
(I hope that any Greeks reading this will send me corrections.)
I truly appreciated that gesture – and meeting all the people in the club.
On the way back to the hotel, Lakis and I stopped by a restaurant, which I believe had the best souvlaki I’ve ever tasted — thanks! We brought some back for Terah. She had chosen to stay at the hotel that evening and had a small hotel meal earlier, but enjoyed the souvlaki and pita. Terah had explained to the maître d’ that I wasn’t along that evening because I had gone to an amateur radio club meeting. Judging by the surprised reaction, this was probably the first time they had heard that particular comment!
Experiences like this make travel fun and worthwhile. Thank you very much, Lakis and everyone in the club — I hope to have a chance to visit again.
November 3rd, 2011
See also parts 1, 2, and 3.
I am a person that enjoys food that’s different from what’s at home, and Rhodes didn’t disappoint. Terah and I used to live close to an excellent Greek restaurant in Indianapolis, so we were already familiar in some way with the food. But there isn’t any Greek restaurant at all in the Wichita area, so we missed it.
Our favorite restaurant on Rhodes was Kalypso of Lindos. Everything there was just excellent, starting with the saganaki, one of my favorite Greek appetizers. I had yogurt with honey there for dessert both times we visited, a surprisingly tasty desert. Like many restaurants in Lindos, Kalypso had the option of eating on the rooftop, or at ground level. We ate on the roof, which had a nice view of the Lindos Acropolis.
Being outdoors, there were sometimes cats around. This kitten enjoyed playing games with my shoestrings for awhile.
Kalypso is at a 17th century captain’s house. Here’s a view of it from the rooftop:
We, of course, had the chance to eat at quite a few different places during our visit, and I’d go on way too long if I mentioned them all. Terah particularly enjoyed the gelaterie.gr ice cream shop in the square in Rhodes. We liked our lunch at Maria’s Taverna in Lindos and enjoyed chatting with the staff there.
I recently talked about shopping in Mexico, and perhaps learned a thing or two from that. I won’t say we never buy them, but in general we don’t buy souvenirs like t-shirts, plastic things made in China, etc. We prefer to buy local. Those items tend to be higher quality, more interesting, and we like to support the local economy. We also don’t have lots of room for things, so we try to choose carefully.
So it was something of a surprise to Terah, and perhaps even to me, when I suggested we go shopping one day. Terah typically enjoys shopping a lot more than I do. Anyhow, off we went to Lindos.
One of the first things that had caught our eye in Lindos was the shop selling glass. But it wasn’t just any glass; it appeared to be made with some sort of layered process, and has a distinctly three-dimensional feel to it. As you move around, it looks like the background shifts. We wound up with this item, which was made in Athens:
By the time we visited Lindos specifically for shopping, we had a good feel for when the busy times of day were, so we could avoid them. It gave us the opportunity to visit with people — and when they weren’t busy, many shopkeepers liked to chat. I enjoy hearing people’s stories and we heard several.
One ceramics shop – the Musa Shop -caught Terah’s eye. They had such incredible and beautiful pieces outside that we just had to go in. We wound up with two pieces from there, both in shades of blue:
Both remind me of the Aegean Sea and the deep blue sky of Rhodes.
And then, as we were walking along, I pointed inside a shop and said to Terah, “Hey, those look different.” We went in, and eventually wound up buying these:
The appearance, and even feel, of them is unlike anything I’d seen. Quite interesting.
And seeing those particular items in the Lakis Place shop led to making some new friends — I’ll write about it in the next post.