Saturday, September 08, 2007

~~Memories... Like the Corners of My Mind...~~

The Travel section of the NYT has an excellent article on Cappadocia up on its site. I’ve been there. But I think things just might have changed… if only a little bit… since my father, his Turkish interpreter and friend Yaşar, Yaşar’s 12-year old son, and I piled into our 1954 Hillman convertible (similar to this car, but no top) and set out from Ankara for a two week hunting, fishing, and touristing trip down to southeast Turkey…mostly around Kayseri. Which, of course, isn’t all that far from Urgup and Goreme…right in the heart of Cappadocia. That trip was in the summer of 1957.

There simply weren’t any “luxury hotels” anywhere in Turkey outside of Istanbul, Ankara, and perhaps Izmir, at that point in time. And believe me when I say my father and I, thanks to Yaşar, went places where NO Americans had ever been up to that point in time. At least according to the locals, who considered our visit an occasion worthy of feasting and drinking to all hours of the night, which happened every single time, in every single village we visited. It didn’t hurt any that we were traveling through Yaşar’s old stomping grounds; he grew up in a village in the area and the trip was a homecoming of sorts for him. With his American friends, of course.

That trip was arguably the best vacation I’ve ever had. The scenery (and the company) was certainly never surpassed in my later travels. And I envy my father…to this day…for his late-night raki-drinking exploits with the men in the villages we visited. Somehow I don’t think one could even begin to replicate this experience today and most certainly not in Cappadocia, based upon what I read in the Times.

I’d still like to go back, though. Just for the memories.

Update: I found a pretty cool teevee ad for Yeni (Turkish for "new") Raki at the wiki link:

So then there’s the new bin Laden video which, technically, hasn’t been released yet. But it seems al Qaeda has the same “leakage” problem as the CIA/NSA/FBI/AFL-CIO/NFL/AKC, etc. And, of course, the Dems just had to respond:

(2007-09-07) — Democrats in Congress today tried to get out ahead of the release of a new report on the so-called “war on terror” by casting doubts on the reliability of the data and its interpretation by al Qaeda leader Usama Bin Laden.

“Believing what bin Laden says about this conflict is like trusting Gen. David Petraeus or George Bush,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, “They’re all in cahoots. These war-mongering neocons have an agenda and they bend the facts to suit their blood-thirsty purposes.”

Sen. Schumer said Mr. bin Laden is likely to “reinforce the Bush administration’s foregone conclusions through his normal saber rattling, but everyone knows that, for the United States military in Iraq, the only way forward is backward.”

But. Ya know what? Based upon what I’ve heard about the “content” in the newest UBL rant…Lefties are peeing their pants (h/t: Lex). It really sucks when al Qaeda steals your talking points.

So, it being Saturday and all, I’m making the rounds and catching up on my “not quite daily” (NQD) reads. I say NQD mainly because the guys who run my NQD reads usually have a sort of hit-and-miss approach to posting. In other words, posting there is also NQD. (Did that make sense? Prolly not.) But anyway… I found this, and it’s a week old, so you may have seen it. But just in case you haven’t, an excerpt:

1. Scenario: Jack goes quail hunting before school, pulls into school parking lot with shotgun in gun rack.

1957 - Vice principal comes over to look at Jack's shotgun. He goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.

2007 - School goes into lock down, and FBI is called. Jack is hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.


6. Scenario: Pedro fails high school English.

1957 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.

2007 - Pedro's cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English banned from core curriculum. Pedro is given a diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

It’s The Bad Old Days vs. Now. I know which ones I prefer… and I’ll bet you will, too.

Today’s Pic: A transportable Border Patrol surveillance tower and generator-powered lighting system on the banks of the Rio Grande in Brownsville, Texas, with the Dearly Departed Yama-hammer in the foreground.

There’s this absolutely marvelous trail that runs along the banks of the Rio Grande down Brownsville way that is just tons of fun, in the “fast fire-roading,” motorcycling sense. As in full-lock power slides, whoop-de-doos to get airborne over, and motorcycle madness, in general. Until one comes face-to-face with one of those green Border Patrol SUVs while in one of those full-lock power slides, anyway. The Border Patrol guys are still cops after all is said and done, and cops don’t look kindly upon that sort of motorized anti-social behavior, even if it IS fun and you’re not on a public road, as such.

Don’t ask me how I know this.

Brownsville, TX. February, 2000.


  1. Lovely video, Buck. Love to see that part of the world one day.

    David Brooks' comment made it to CNN today. Great observation! "Like he's been reading Lefty blogs! LOL
    When I heard bin Laden's speech today I had a good chuckle. Kos is doing his darndest to turn it around somehow. The gymnastics are breathtaking.

  2. That video DID twang a few heart-strings...for me, at least.

    Did you notice the actors in the ad actually drank from their glasses? That's a no-no in the never see actors drinking in alcohol ads. US actors might raise a glass to their lips in an ad, but they're prohibited by law from appearing to drink. Which I've always considered rather bizarre.

    That ad also reinforced another message for me: the Turks are a secular society that we would be best-advised to court with fervor. Unfortunately, the Greek and Armenian (Armenians? There's a strategic bloc for ya...NOT.) lobbies in the US have succeeded in demonizing the Turks...witness the profoundly STUPID H. Res 106, which is naturally opposed by the Turks and their friends in the US. One only needs to look at the co-sponsors of this legislation (Maxine Waters? Gimmee a BREAK!) to realize how idiotic it is... And it's just pissing the moderate Turks off and providing anti-American fuel for Turkish Islamists. Pretty sad.

  3. Buck,
    Enjoyed the bad days vs new. I personally couldn't watch the whole OBD tape, he must of wanted to show off his new dye job, because he did't have much else..



Just be polite... that's all I ask.