Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday 24th January 2015….you know what this means!!!!

Lots of sports today for me starting with two great hours of tennis this morning but for a change the sun did not shine and it was quite dreary but still enjoyed the time on the courts.

Came home and made lunches for the kids with lots of fruit and juice and went and picked them up but because it was still not sunny decided to take them to the park and not go swimming…..

of course once we arrived the sun came out and it was nice and they enjoyed their time and their snacks…..








We then went and treated ourselves to ice cream and had them home by 4 o clock…..

Around 6pm a huge storm passed through with high winds downpour and thunder and lightening..nasty……relaxing this evening with live tennis from Australia….

Sad news out of SMA today!!!

Legendary Canadian figure skater Cranston dead at 65



One of figure skating's brightest stars and most colourful characters is gone.

Toller Cranston, a larger-than-life star on and off the ice who helped revolutionize the sport, died at his home in Mexico from an apparent heart attack, a Skate Canada spokesperson said Saturday.

He was 65.

Cranston, a six-time Canadian senior men's champion who won bronze at the 1974 world championships and 1976 Olympics, was known for his dramatic showmanship on the ice. While he never won an Olympic or world title, his unique artistic vision forever changed the sport.

There was a moment of silence in his honour between the men's event and the ice dance Saturday night at the Canadian figure skating championships in Kingston, Ont.

In a sport that later became full of high-flyers replete with arsenals of quad jumps, Cranston was all about the artistry.

"He is his own work of art," the Globe and Mail wrote in 2003.

When he hung up his skates, Cranston kept on creating with a paintbrush.

"He was one of a kind," said Brian Orser, a former Canadian and world champion, Olympic silver medallist and now in-demand coach. "Nobody will ever be like him. And such a great contribution to figure skating but me, personally, (it was) just his sense of humour and his outlook on life and (his) free spirit ... (he was) somewhat of a rebel. Always spoke his mind, wasn't always so accurate but he spoke his mind."

A member of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame since 1977, Cranston was always one of a kind.

"A skater with a painter’s eye, his original artistry and dramatic showmanship on ice broke new ground in figure skating and thrilled audiences," said Skate Canada.

Cranston was born in Hamilton, grew up in Kirkland Lake, Ont., and Montreal before settling in Mexico once his skating days were done.

He was also an avid artist and his work was exhibited in galleries and museums around the world.

He lived a unique life, cycling in and out of the public eye after his skating career.

In his 2000 book "When Hell Freezes Over, Should I Bring My Skates?" Cranston wrote of knocking hockey star Wayne Gretzky off a bicycle, chasing jazz singer Nina Simone down a Montreal street trying to recover a fur coat, of his costume sticking to the ice on the Rideau Canal during an outdoor show in Ottawa, and much, much more.

"Within the skating world, I've been privileged to have had a textured and multifaceted career,'' he told The Canadian Press in an interview at the time.

"I'm not blowing my own horn. I'm just making a point. With all the other things that surround my skating career, what skater in Canada or in the world has done those things? Nobody."

"When Hell Freezes Over, Should I Bring My Skates?" was a sequel to his 1997 autobiography "Zero Tolerance."

Olympic pairs silver medallist Debbi Wilkes trained with Cranston in the later years of her career, when Cranston's career was just getting going.

"He was a crazy person, but absolutely mesmerizing, an artistic genius even then," she said.

Wilkes recalls one particular practice when the two were standing along the boards.

"He had tears in his eyes and he said 'Nobody understands, I have these ideas, things I want to do, but everybody just laughs at me,'" Wilkes said.

Cranston won national titles from 1971 to '76 and placed second at the 1971 North American championships in Peterborough, Ont. He won Skate Canada International events in 1973 and '75.

He finished fourth at the 1975 world championships in Colorado Springs, and was fourth again a year later in Goteborg, Sweden.

Cranston was 26 when he reached the Olympic podium at the 1976 Winter Games in Innsbruck.

He was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1976 and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1977.

"Toller Cranston was a stellar athlete and a trailblazer for sport in our country," Marcel Aubut, the president of the Canadian Olympic Committee said in a statement. "His creative performances and artistry on the ice helped revitalize the world of figure skating, and his contributions helped inspire future generations of Canadian skaters.

"Toller was a passionate competitor and an icon to many in his sport. He will be truly missed and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time."

In 1995, Cranston received a Special Olympic Order from the Canadian Olympic Committee. He was also an illustrator, author, designer, choreographer and sports commentator.

While Cranston had worked in the past with some skaters on their routines, later on in life he called himself estranged from the skating world. He washed his hands of the sport, in part because of the new judging system implemented following the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics that he believed had killed the skating's popularity and stifled its creativity.

But he had no shortage of opinions about the Canadian champions who followed him.

He called Elvis Stojko a "great competitor, one dimensional." He applauded Orser's combination of art and sport and liked the dramatic element Kurt Browning brought to the table.

And he marvelled at Patrick Chan.

"I'm on another planet watching Patrick Chan with binoculars and applauding along with the rest of the world," Cranston said from his Mexican hideaway in 2012.

"I don't think I could watch him skate live, I'd commit suicide out of depression at how good he is," Cranston added, erupting in loud laughter.

He did not shy away from confrontation, taking on the CBC after he was let go as a commentator. And his relationship with Canadian figure skating officials was stormy at times.

Cranston returned to the public eye briefly in 2010 when he was a guest judge on CBC TV's "Battle of the Blades." The judging panel eliminated defending champion Jamie Sale and former NHL star Theo Fleury.

Cranston found a home in Mexico's San Miguel de Allende, savouring its history, perfect weather and interesting inhabitants.

"The people are as international as any town can be: London, Paris, Rome, New York and San Miguel. I have seven neighbours — six come from different countries," he said in 2012.

"San Miguel seduced me," he added.

Wilkes last saw Cranston at the 2013 world championships in London, Ont.

"Nobody could enter a room or a rink the way he could. He loved being the centre of attention," she said.

Autopsy results were pending. There was no immediate word on funeral plans


Yashi Kochi!!!!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday 23rd January 2015….tour guide day!!!

My lovely friend Rita has her sister Gail and her husband Bill visiting for a week and I offered to take them on an afternoon drive so my Friday was a little different today.

Lovely day again and I spent the morning doing laundry, my Spanish homework and just taking it easy and at noon I went to meet Gail and Bill and off we went….the first place was the BIG TREE……this is about 15 miles out of town on a lovely dirt road with the river at the bottom of a small canyon…the tree is I think the third biggest tree in Mexico and it’s roots are incredible!!!


One of the local villagers..


We then wet into the country over the dam and into the small village of Atotonilco the sight of a world heritage church…..


This is a beautiful building and most of the ceilings are covered in lovely murals!!!!



Just outside something happened to me that has never occurred before in over 50 years of driving…I got my first flat tire…..I pulled over and got the spare out but before Bill or I could take the wheel off a local man on a scoter stopped and went right to work and in 5 minutes he had changed my wheel…only in Mexico!!!!


On the way back into town we stopped to see Paola I needed to tell her what time I will get her tomorrow to go swimming..she came out to the car and was very polite saying hello and shaking hands with Gail and Bill.

The next stop was the Aurora building which is the site of an old cotton mill now turned into wonderful galleries and studios….

We were back at Rita’s at 4 o clock and I really enjoyed the company I like being a tour guide.

On the way home I stopped at the tire shop and 15 minutes and 40 pesos later, yes that is right not even 4 dollars, I was back on the road…..


Had a wonderful bath and some great pea soup that a special friend made for me and now about to watch live tennis…not a bad life!!!




How McDonald's conquered India

By Shilpa Kannan BBC News, Delhi

Indian Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan (L) poses with Ronald McDonald the clown Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan poses with Ronald McDonald while promoting a film


A staunch vegetarian, Amit Jatia was 14 when he walked into a McDonald's for the first time.

It was in Japan and all he could have was a milkshake.

He loved it.

He is now the man behind McDonald's in India, responsible for the phenomenal growth the company has had in the country.

Vegetarian family values

When the American fast-food giant first contacted him in 1994 Amit's first challenge was close to home, convincing his vegetarian family to invest in the business.

"From my family's point of view we thought through this carefully," he tells the BBC.

"What convinced us was that McDonald's was willing to localise. They promised that there would be no beef or pork on the menu.

"Nearly half of Indians are vegetarian so choosing a vegetarian to run their outlets here makes sense."

Across the world the Big Mac beefburger is the company's signature product. Amit and his partners had to come up with their own signature product for India, so the Chicken Maharajah Mac was born.

Originally Amit was the local partner in the south and west of India, running the chain as a joint venture with the global McDonald's company.

Later he bought out the McDonald's stake and now solely runs the chain in the south and west of the country.

A menu showing different vegetable and chicken burgers in McDonalds in India Changing the menu and dropping beef and pork was key to the success of McDonald's in India

Culture change

It hasn't been an easy journey.

"From a consumer point of view I had to start with the message that a burger is a meal," he says.

His research shows that in 2003, of 100 meals that people ate in a month, only three were eaten out.

They introduced a 20 rupees (20p) burger called Aloo Tikki Burger, a burger with a cutlet made of mashed potatoes, peas and flavoured with Indian spices.

"It's something you would find on Indian streets, it was essentially the McDonald's version of street food. The price and the taste together, the value we introduced, was a hit. It revolutionised the industry in India," he says.

Now eating out has gone up to 9-10 times per 100 meals and McDonald's in India has more than 320 million customers a year.

"Whether you love or hate McDonald's, they deliver a formula very well," says Edward Dixon, chief operating officer of Sannam S4, which provides market entry advice and support for multinationals in India, Brazil and China.

"Localised menu, delivered with precision quality at a price that works. One other trick they have used very effectively [is] an entry level ice cream which fuels the ability for consumers who might not ordinarily be able to afford to become a customer."

A young couple have their picture taken at a McDonald's restaurant by a friend on her phone Young adults dominate the McDonald's restaurants in urban India

New markets, new customers

The kind of customers McDonald's attracts in India is very different from other countries.

There are still families with young children who frequent it. But diners also include many young people, aged between 19 and 30, with no kids.

During the week, Amit says, this crowd dominates the restaurants.

I wanted to see how true this was so I decided to have lunch in the McDonald's in Delhi's crowded Lajpat Nagar market area.

Sitting to my right, a young IT worker munches on a McSpicy Paneer while conducting a Skype meeting on his laptop.



Breaking into a new market is never easy but many have achieved massive success far from home.

The BBC's global business team meet those who have managed to break into the fast growing global markets and find out what secrets they have learnt about how to succeed in them.


On my left, a group of college students share a meal.

But what's most interesting are the two tables behind me.

One table has two elderly couples in serious discussion; the other has a coy-looking woman and man trying to have a conversation amidst the din.

With a bit of eavesdropping I find out that this is traditional matchmaking but in the modern Indian way.

The parents have introduced the potential bride and groom who are having their first official date under the watchful eyes of their mothers and fathers. The parents meanwhile are sorting out the details of the proposed marriage, all over a Maharaja Mac Meal.

So Amit's research seems to be right: unlike McDonald's around the world, there are hardly any parents with young children here.


Fast competition

McDonald's doesn't have the Indian fast-food market to itself:

  • Domino's Pizza has more than 500 restaurants across India
  • KFC has more than 300 restaurants
  • Dunkin Donuts has more than 30 outlets in India
  • Burger King has just opened its first restaurant in Delhi and other outlets are reported to be opening shortly - it too has dropped pork and beef from its menu



Joint Venture Partner and Managing Director, McDonald's (Western Region ) Amit Jatia (L), Joint Venture Partner and Managing Director McDonald's (North India ) Vikram Bakshi (C) and President and CEO of Coca Cola India Sanjiv Gupta  in 2004 Amit Jatia (left) with Vikram Bashi and Sanjiv Guptam, the pioneers of McDonald's across India in 2004

Adapting McDonald's for the uniquely Indian market was a big expense when he started but Amit believes it has paid off in the long term.

When they started there was no lettuce supply chain in India. Most people used cabbage on burgers.

So they had to set it up from scratch.

The infrastructure is also now becoming a local venture.

"In 2001 we began to localise all the equipment that goes into the kitchen to build a burger," he says.

"For example, we took a burger and took it apart; now piece by piece every component is made locally.

A kitchen at a McDonald's restaurant in India More and more of the infrastructure in McDonald's in India is made locally

"All the kitchen fabrication is done locally. All the refrigeration, chillers and freezers and furniture are made locally."

In most cases their global suppliers have worked with local businesses to make that happen.

He wants to take it further. His current challenge is to make fryers locally.

While recent weakening of consumer spending has seen a slowdown in sales, overall Amit has managed to grow same-store sales by 200% and he says he's not done yet.

The plans are to open another 1,000 restaurants in the next decade.

"Think about it," he says, "India has 1.2 billion people and we have just 350 McDonald's [restaurants] to service them."

But India is not an easy market to work in, especially for multinational companies.

McDonald's in India has another partner in the north with whom they are still in the process of addressing the issue of ownership amid an ongoing legal battle.

So how did Amit Jhatia get around it?

"There are a lot of regulatory approvals needed to get something done," he says.

"But that is known. Once you know it, you factor it into your business plan."


Yashi Kochi!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thursday 22nd January 2015… then tennis and finally tennis!!!!

Sounding like a broken record but waking up to lovely warm sunshine and off to the courts for two hours of great tennis this morning and then into town to go to the bank and back home in time for lunch and then off back to the courts at 1 pm for two more hours with the new group I have joined……the tennis in the afternoon is not as intense but still enjoyable.

I had a couple of hours to relax at home before I was back into town….the teachers that do the Thursday night class could not attend tonight and they asked  if I would sub in for them so I was in class at 6 o clock.

A very pleasant surprise for us all is that I always offer my students to bring their kids to class and tonight Mario brought his adorable niece Lezeth in to class…


She goes to an International school and is ten years old and her English very good….we all made her feel welcome and we all talked about the evening out we had last night and all the students really enjoyed the time with my friends……

We read some stories and then for the last 30 minutes had some fun and I divided them into teams and we played charades…they loved that and Lezeth took part in everything it was so nice to have her in class…

here is Christina acting out a charade…


and of course everyone received chocolate… really was a good class.

So now home relaxed with a cup of tea and maybe a few cookies and watching live tennis from Aussie land… as you can tell the heading of this post was quite appropriate!!!


You may wonder why there is a shot of the beach well maybe, just maybe at this time next week I may be swimming there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   More to follow.

7 cultural concepts we don't have in the U.S.

Perhaps one of these ideas will inspire you to think differently in your day-to-day life.


  Taken from the Mother Nature Network!!!


Exploring other cultures helps us learn more about ourselves — and perhaps find a new celebration or concept that speaks to us. From the end of October through the New Year and onto Valentine's Day, it's easy to forget that the holidays we celebrate are simply cultural constructs that we can choose to engage in — or not. The concepts and ideas we celebrate — like our spiritual beliefs and daily habits — are a choice, though sometimes it feels like we "have" to celebrate them, even if we don't feel like it.

Culture is ours to do with as we choose, and that means that we can add, subtract, or edit celebrations or holidays as we see fit — because you and me and everyone reading this makes up our culture, and it is defined by us, for us, after all. 

If you want to add a new and different perspective to your life, there are plenty of other ways to recognize joy and beauty outside American traditions. From Scandinavia to Japan, India and Germany, the concepts below may strike a nerve with you and inspire your own personal or familial celebration or — as is the case with a couple of these for me — sound like an acknowledgement of something you have long felt, but didn't have a word for. 




Friluftsliv translates directly from Norwegian as "free air life," which doesn't quite do it justice. Coined relatively recently, in 1859, it is the concept that being outside is good for human beings' mind and spirit. "It is a term in Norway that is used often to describe a way of life that is spent exploring and appreciating nature," Anna Stoltenberg, culture coordinator for Sons of Norway, a U.S.-based Norwegian heritage group, told MNN. Other than that, it's not a strict definition: it can include sleeping outside, hiking, taking photographs or meditating, playing or dancing outside, for adults or kids. It doesn't require any special equipment, includes all four seasons, and needn't cost much money. Practicing friluftsliv could be as simple as making a commitment to walking in a natural area five days a week, or doing a day-long hike once a month. 


forest bathing


Shinrin-yoku is a Japanese term that means "forest bathing" and unlike the Norwegian translation above, this one seems a perfect language fit (though a pretty similar idea). The idea being that spending time in the forest and natural areas is good preventative medicine, since it lowers stress, which causes or exacerbates some of our most intractable health issues. As MNN's Catie Leary details, this isn't just a nice idea — there's science behind it: "The "magic" behind forest bathing boils down to the naturally produced allelochemic substances known as phytoncides, which are kind of like pheromones for plants. Their job is to help ward off pesky insects and slow the growth of fungi and bacteria. When humans are exposed to phytoncides, these chemicals are scientifically proven to lower blood pressure, relieve stress and boost the growth of cancer-fighting white blood cells. Some common examples of plants that give off phytoncides include garlic, onion, pine, tea tree and oak, which makes sense considering their potent aromas." 


hygge and cozy winters


Hygge is the idea that helps Denmark regularly rate as one of the happiest countries in the world — Danes have regularly been some of the most joyful in the world for over 40 years that the U.S. has been studying them — despite long, dark winters. Loosely translated at "togetherness," and "coziness," though it's not a physical state, it's a mental one. According to VisitDenmark (the country's official tourism site): "The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family — that’s hygge too. And let’s not forget the eating and drinking — preferably sitting around the table for hours on end discussing the big and small things in life." Hygge's high season is winter, and Christmas lights, candles galore, and other manifestations of warmth and light, including warm alcoholic beverages, are key to the concept.

Still a little confused and wondering how you could cultivate hygge in your life? This Danish NPR commenter sums up some specifics: "Hygge is a deep sense of cosy that can originate from many different sources. Here is a good example from my life : a cloudy winter Sunday morning at the country house, fire in the stove and 20 candles lit to dispel the gloom. My husband, puppy and I curled up on our sheepskins wearing felt slippers, warm snuggly clothes and hands clasped around hot mugs of tea. A full day ahead with long walks on the cold beach, back for pancake lunch, reading, more snuggling, etc. This is a very hyggligt day." Now that sounds do-able, doesn't it? 


patina and the concept of wabi sabi


Wabi-sabi is the Japanese idea of embracing the imperfect, of celebrating the worn, the cracked, the patinaed, both as a decorative concept and a spiritual one — it's an acceptance of the toll that life takes on us all. As I wrote about it earlier this year, "If we can learn to love the things that already exist, for all their chips and cracks, their patinas, their crooked lines or tactile evidence of being made by someone's hands instead of a machine, from being made from natural materials that vary rather than perfect plastic, we wouldn't need to make new stuff, reducing our consumption (and its concurrent energy use and inevitable waste), cutting our budgets, and saving some great stories for future generations." We might also be less stressed, and more attentive to the details, which are the keys to mindfulness.  


kaizen or continuous improvement


Kaizen is another Japanese concept, one that means "continuous improvement," and could be taken to mean the opposite of wabi-sabi (though as you'll see, it depends on the interpretation). It's a very new idea, only coined in 1986, and generally used in business circumstances. As this tutorial details, "Kaizen is a system that involves every employee, from upper management to the cleaning crew. Everyone is encouraged to come up with small improvement suggestions on a regular basis. This is not a once a month or once a year activity. It is continuous. Japanese companies, such as Toyota and Canon, a total of 60 to 70 suggestions per employee per year are written down, shared and implemented." These are regular, small improvements, not major changes. Applied to your own life, it could mean daily or weekly check-ins about goals, as opposed to making New Year's resolutions, or a more organized path based on small changes toward weight loss, a personal project or a hobby. 


Gemütlichkeit is a German word that means almost the same thing as hygge, and also has its peak usage during the winter. In fact, some linguists posit that the word (and concept) of hygge likely came from the German idea. Blogger Constanze's entry on the German Language Blog for "Untranslatable German Words" describes how the word means more than just cozy: "A soft chair in a coffee shop might be considered ‘cosy’. But sit in that chair surrounded by close friends and a hot cup of tea, while soft music plays in the background, and that sort of scene is what you’d call gemütlich."


jugaad or ingenuity


Jugaad is a Hindi word that means "an innovative fix" or a "repair derived from ingenuity," — think a jury-rigged sled for snowy fun, or a bicycle chain repaired with some duct tape. It's a frequently used word in India where frugal fixes are revered. But the idea has further merit beyond figuring out solutions to get by with less. It also encapsulates the spirit of doing something innovative. As the authors of Jugaad Innovation write in Forbes, they see jugaad in many other places than the repair shop: "In Kenya, for instance, entrepreneurs have invented a device that enables bicycle riders to charge their cellphones while pedaling. In the Philippines, Illac Diaz has deployed A Litre of Light — a recycled plastic bottle containing bleach-processed water that refracts sunlight, producing the equivalent of a 55-watt light bulb — in thousands of makeshift houses in off-the-grid shantytowns. And in Lima, Peru (with high humidity and only 1 inch of rain per year), an engineering college has designed advertising billboards that can convert humid air into potable water."

Jugaad's idea of frugal innovation can definitely be applied in the individual life — what about setting aside a half a day twice a year where everyone in your family fixes something that needs repair? You'll save money, spend time together, test problem-solving skills, and get a sense of accomplishment from repairing instead of buying new. 

Yashi Kochi!!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wednesday 21st January 2015…an interesting and fun Birthday day!!!

Today is the Birthday of Allende and there were huge celebrations all over town all day and it made it hard to get through the road blocks and detours to my Spanish lesson this morning……I enjoyed the lesson today we went out for a walk and talked…I feel slightly better than I have the last two lessons and I have lots of homework for Monday.

I went straight to poker and it was another great three hours but the final results were not great for only the second time in 6 months I came away a loser and got hit hard for 300 pesos….

Home in time to shower and change and back down town as I has a special class for my students tonight…I had 12 of my friends meet me downtown and when my students arrived I paired them off with each friend and had them talk about their families for 5 minutes and then I moved them onto my next friend so for over one hour they had great conversations with  all my friends…….thanks to all for giving of your time and the students sure appreciate the time you gave…….








I then stayed in the Jardin for the wonderful musical festival followed by amazing fireworks display…I must say these people sure know how to celebrate!!!!







Some information on the famous birthday boy!!!!!!


Allende was born on January 21, 1769, to a wealthy Spanish criollo family in San Miguel el Grande in Guanajuato. His father was Domingo Narciso de Allende, a wealthy trader.

In 1802, he joined the Viceregal army of New Spain, serving under general Félix María Calleja. In 1806, he started to favor the possibility of independence from Spain. His attendance at a conspiratorial meeting in Valladolid (today Morelia) was discovered, in 1809, by the Spanish and went unsanctioned. Regardless, Allende kept supporting the underground independence movement. He was eventually invited by the mayor of Querétaro, Miguel Domínguez and his wife Josefa Ortíz de Domínguez to discuss further plans for independence at their home. It was during one of these meetings where Allende met Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla and his captain Juan Aldama.

Allende statue in Chihuahua City, Chihuahua

Originally, the independence movement was to be led jointly by Allende and Aldama. A change of plans prompted by the discovery of the conspiracy forced Hidalgo to start the rebellion earlier than agreed. The famous Grito de Dolores by Hidalgo signaled the beginning of the revolution, after which the conspirators rallied behind him. The rebel army quickly captured the town of Dolores and marched towards San Miguel el Grande, where Allende obtained the support of his cavalry regiment. On September 22, 1810, Hidalgo y Costilla was officially made captain general of the Revolutionary army while Allende was made lieutenant general. After the famous capture of the Alhóndiga de Granaditas, in Guanajuato, and his victory in the Battle of Monte de las Cruces Allende suggested Hidalgo march toward Mexico City and capture it. As a consequence of the rebels' defeat in the Battle of Calderón Bridge, the leadership of the Revolutionary army demanded the replacement of Hidalgo as their leader. Allende took this new responsibility and, with a decimated army, he decided to march north to the United States, hoping to gather more money, weapons and troops. The rebels, however, were ambushed at the Wells of Baján (Norias de Baján) due to the betrayal of Ignacio Elizondo, leading to the capture of Allende, Hidalgo, and several other commanders. Allende's illegitimate child Indalecio was killed during this ambush.

Allende was taken to the city of Chihuahua where he was tried for insubordination and executed by firing squad on June 26, 1811. His body was decapitated and his head taken to the Alhóndiga de Granaditas where it was shown to the public inside a cage hung from one corner of the building. In 1824 his remains were buried in the vault reserved for the viceroys and presidents in the cathedral of Mexico. His remains were moved in 1925 to the Independence Column in Mexico City.


Yashi Kochi!!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tuesday 20th January 2015…….a bright sunny and warm day!!!!

Great for my two hours of tennis this morning and then into town for some errands and just home in time to almost turn around and go to Rita’s for our afternoon of chatting and cards and an added bonus Roger is back from Australia and we had a great time and that Rita card shark that she is won again!!!!

Tonight just a nice time at home with some lemon cake, tea and watching live tennis from down under…….forget to mention somewhere today I spent an hour on my Spanish homework!!!!



Interesting article I think!!!


Rafael Nadal's new tennis racket

Rafael Nadal's new tennis racket, The Canadian Press

MELBOURNE, Australia - Rafael Nadal's new high-tech tennis racket looks and feels like his old one. Except for the on-off switch.

Call it a "smart racket," the latest advance in tennis technology tells you where you hit the ball — with the help of an app.

Sensors embedded in the handle of the racket, made by Babolat, record technical data on every ball struck. At the end of a match or training session the data can be downloaded to a smart phone or computer and used to help analyze a player's strengths and mistakes.

Aside from the sensors, the racket is just a racket. It's the same size and weight as Nadal's old-fashioned former racket.

"I know to play well I need to play 70 per cent of forehands, 30 per cent of backhands," Nadal said after racing through his first-round Australian Open match over Mikhail Youzhny, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 on Monday. "If I'm not doing that, I know I'm not doing the right thing on court."

"This (racket) is a way you can check these kinds of things," added the 14-time Grand Slam winner, who was sidelined for much of last season from a wrist injury and an appendix operation.

The International Tennis Federation had previously outlawed what it calls "player analysis technology" during competition but adopted a new rule last January that allows players to wear or use "smart" equipment, like Nadal's new racket and devices like heart-rate monitors that record data about player performance in real time.

Babolat initially fitted the technology into its "Pure Drive" rackets, which are used by Karolina Pliskova , Julia Goerges and Yanina Wickmayer and then incorporated the sensors into a newly-released version of the "AeroPro Drive" racket used by Nadal, Caroline Wozniacki and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Don't expect to see players on their iPhones analyzing their game mid-match. An ITF ban on coaching during matches prevents players from consulting the data on court.

The way it works is simple, says company spokesman Thomas Otton.

There are two buttons on the bottom of the racket's handle.

"You press the 'on' button. A blue LED light appears. And, you play," Otton said. When finished, a second button is pressed, activating Bluetooth which synchs the information with a smart phone or other device.

Otton called up Nadal's data from his practice session on Friday that lasted 1 hour, 31 minutes. In that time, he hit 572 shots, or 22 per minute, which broke down to 156 backhands, 222 forehands, 118 serves and 76 smashes.

The data also gets more detailed and analyzes, for example, how Nadal hit his forehands — 133 had topspin, 49 had slice and 40 were flat.

Swipe to the next screen and an image of a tennis racket appears that shows where the ball is making impact. For Nadal's practice, he hit 42 per cent of shots in the centre and 20 per cent on top of the racket — the rest on the bottom and sides.

At a demonstration of the racket before the tournament started, Wozniacki and Nadal joked about the pros and cons of knowing too much.

"Sometimes it's not a good thing," said Wozniacki. "Because you think you're hitting it in the middle of the racket, but really it shows you you're not. And there's no going around that."

Nadal's uncle and coach, Toni, joked that the racket would give him an edge.

"Sometimes when I correct Rafa on how he's hitting the ball, he doesn't agree." said Toni. "Now I have the data."

Nadal retorted, without missing a beat, "Now he has the data to know that he was wrong."


Yashi Kochi!!!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday 19th January 2015…here we go again!!!

With another busy week and went off to my yoga class and then to my Spanish lesson again I found it very difficult and again Marysol was great with me she is also hard on me and I have lots of homework to do……then went into town had lots of chores to do and did not get home till almost 3 o clock…..time to get ready for my class tonight and get some dinner and get changed.

Class was great for homework they had to come to the front of the class and be teacher for 5 minutes…I have done this with them before I am amazed at the time and effort they put into it all and the results were great…they look happy don’t they!!!




I then printed off copies of the article below and we took turns to read paragraphs and then talked about the article I could tell they were interested in the content…it was a great class.

I was home after 8pm and now watching the Vancouver Canucks hockey game!!!!


The Lasting Power of Dr. King’s Dream Speech


Associated Press

Words spoken that day by Dr. King still reverberate.




He began slowly, with magisterial gravity, talking about what it was to be black in America in 1963 and the “shameful condition” of race relations a hundred years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Unlike many of the day’s previous speakers, he did not talk about particular bills before Congress or the marchers’ demands. Instead, he situated the civil rights movement within the broader landscape of history — time past, present and future — and within the timeless vistas of Scripture.

Dr. King was about halfway through his prepared speech when Mahalia Jackson — who earlier that day had delivered a stirring rendition of the spiritual “I Been ’Buked and I Been Scorned” — shouted out to him from the speakers’ stand: “Tell ’em about the ‘Dream,’ Martin, tell ’em about the ‘Dream’!” She was referring to a riff he had delivered on earlier occasions, and Dr. King pushed the text of his remarks to the side and began an extraordinary improvisation on the dream theme that would become one of the most recognizable refrains in the world.

With his improvised riff, Dr. King took a leap into history, jumping from prose to poetry, from the podium to the pulpit. His voice arced into an emotional crescendo as he turned from a sobering assessment of current social injustices to a radiant vision of hope — of what America could be. “I have a dream,” he declared, “my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!”

Many in the crowd that afternoon, 50 years ago on Wednesday, had taken buses and trains from around the country. Many wore hats and their Sunday best — “People then,” the civil rights leader John Lewis would recall, “when they went out for a protest, they dressed up” — and the Red Cross was passing out ice cubes to help alleviate the sweltering August heat. But if people were tired after a long day, they were absolutely electrified by Dr. King. There was reverent silence when he began speaking, and when he started to talk about his dream, they called out, “Amen,” and, “Preach, Dr. King, preach,” offering, in the words of his adviser Clarence B. Jones, “every version of the encouragements you would hear in a Baptist church multiplied by tens of thousands.”

You could feel “the passion of the people flowing up to him,” James Baldwin, a skeptic of that day’s March on Washington, later wrote, and in that moment, “it almost seemed that we stood on a height, and could see our inheritance; perhaps we could make the kingdom real.”

Dr. King’s speech was not only the heart and emotional cornerstone of the March on Washington, but also a testament to the transformative powers of one man and the magic of his words. Fifty years later, it is a speech that can still move people to tears. Fifty years later, its most famous lines are recited by schoolchildren and sampled by musicians. Fifty years later, the four words “I have a dream” have become shorthand for Dr. King’s commitment to freedom, social justice and nonviolence, inspiring activists from Tiananmen Square to Soweto, Eastern Europe to the West Bank.

Why does Dr. King’s “Dream” speech exert such a potent hold on people around the world and across the generations? Part of its resonance resides in Dr. King’s moral imagination. Part of it resides in his masterly oratory and gift for connecting with his audience — be they on the Mall that day in the sun or watching the speech on television or, decades later, viewing it online. And part of it resides in his ability, developed over a lifetime, to convey the urgency of his arguments through language richly layered with biblical and historical meanings.

The son, grandson and great-grandson of Baptist ministers, Dr. King was comfortable with the black church’s oral tradition, and he knew how to read his audience and react to it; he would often work jazzlike improvisations around favorite sermonic riffs — like the “dream” sequence — cutting and pasting his own words and those of others. At the same time, the sonorous cadences and ringing, metaphor-rich language of the King James Bible came instinctively to him. Quotations from the Bible, along with its vivid imagery, suffused his writings, and he used them to put the sufferings of African-Americans in the context of Scripture — to give black audience members encouragement and hope, and white ones a visceral sense of identification.

In his “Dream” speech, Dr. King alludes to a famous passage from Galatians, when he speaks of “that day when all of God’s children — black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics — will be able to join hands.” As he did in many of his sermons, he also drew parallels between “the Negro” still an “exile in his own land” and the plight of the Israelites in Exodus, who, with God on their side, found deliverance from hardship and oppression, escaping slavery in Egypt to journey toward the Promised Land.


Yashi Kochi!!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday 18th January 2015…….a hiking day!!!

Off to the gas station down town at 8am to meet the hiking group and with three other friends Pierre and I took off for a hike through a slot canyon…well that was the plan but another friend who knew the directions was supposed to join us but he never showed so we went anyway and after parking and walking for 20 minutes we had to give up as we could not find a path through the canyons……so plan B came into effect …hiking along the shores of the lake at Jalpa!!!









It was a different hike in as much as we did not climb to our usual 9000 feet and it was only about 11 km but it was still a wonderful time….

Just a quiet late afternoon and evening and now enjoying the first grand slam of tennis from Australia it goes on for two weeks so I shall enjoy catching some games…..

Yashi Kochi!!!