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Puko’s World in Photos, Week 1

January 6, 2013 Leave a comment

Quick update on my New Year’s Resolutions one week in:  I haven’t written a speech, I haven’t joined match, and I haven’t lost weight.  BUT, I have stuck to my goal of a picture a day.  Here’s what I’ve got.  I swear these will get better over time, so bear with me.

January 1, 2013:  New Year’s Aftermath


I hosted a NYE party this year.  By party, I mean six people came over.  I’m not a huge NYE fan, and I’ve been asleep by 11:00 more often than not, but this year, I had some people over.  And rather than default to my usual decorations (i.e. a pile of Christmas cards I got), I actually bought junk to hang/put on the walls, and a cardboard hat that didn’t fit my huge cranium.  This is the extent of the decorations after cleanup the next day.  For some reason I felt the need to put them in storage, you know, just in case 2013 comes around again.

January 2, 2013:  Tofu and Asparagus


It was admittedly a slow day.  But I took a photo of my go-to healthy meal, tofu and asparagus over brown rice.  It’s actually delicious and very easy to make.  Beneath the meal is the custom placemat that was given to me last year.  It’s a picture of a chef with “Putro” written across it.  The ‘O’ is in the top right, partially obscured by the plate.  Funny story about the plate:  In 1997, after a year of living with Novak post-college, we had a “draft” to divide up the common goods in the apartment.  I had the first pick and took the set of dishes.  Fifteen years later, the set is generally intact.  I lost one plate, nothing else.

January 3, 2013:  Woof Woof


I got this for Christmas this year.  Every year, my dad asks me what I want, and my wants are pretty meager.  So this year, the only thing I wanted is the camera that I’m using to take these pictures.  To my surprise on Christmas Day, I opened a box and found this metallic dachshund.  I know my dad and stepmom like to spend the same amount on all the kids, so this was a filler because I didn’t ask for anything else.  But it’s also because I’ve often talked of getting a dachshund, but never have for a number of reasons.  Upon seeing it, my friend Lety named it Woof Woof.  It stuck.

January 4, 2013:  17th and Addison


I was walking with my friend to dinner in Philly and we passed this street and a girl was taking a picture, so I figured I should too.  The prettiness of the street doesn’t really translate in this photo, but it was cool to see in person.

I haven’t read the instruction manual for the camera.

January 5, 2013:  “The Trailer”


I was at a viewing on Saturday at the church / school I went to growing up.  When I was in school, this same trailer had a two-fold use.  First, in the finest Catholic way of dealing with things, kids whose parents were divorced had to go to this trailer for counseling.  Of course, the ancillary effect was to ostracize them.  It was also used for testing for the mentally gifted program.  Thus, I ended up going to the trailer, and I’m happy to say, I was the only member of the IHM Class of ’86 to be in mentally gifted.  (Note:  Tim Novak was also a member of this class.)  Being in MG was a giant pain in the ass, as I had to go to the weird public school one day a week with kids a year older than me, and all I really did was learn about diabetes and dissect a frog.  But I guess it was better than my brother’s MG experience which resulted in him being stranded on a corner in the worst part of North Philly while prompting a legendary meltdown by my parents.

January 6, 2013:  Pops


My dad turned 69 on Thursday, and we had a birthday dinner for him today.  Chinese food and wine, nothing big.  I tried to take a picture of him as he blew out his candles, but I screwed up the flash, so I took this picture a couple seconds later.  I know he looks very stern and / or annoyed, but I actually think he’s eating a nut or something.  My sister is in the back, by stepmother’s back is in the foreground.  My goal for this coming week is to work on my angles.

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Things That Really Aggravated Me This Month

July 25, 2012 Leave a comment

For years, I was very easily aggravated by even the slightest provocation.  And I’m not sure if it’s a function of getting older, or some sort of maturing process, or just becoming wiser, but for the most part, a lot of things don’t bother me any more.  Too many items in the express lane, not using a turn signal…things that used to make me irate no longer do.  I think at some point, I realized that about 92% of the country is dangerously dumb, so I have a lot more tolerance.  That being said, I have a few observations about things I’ve encountered over the past week that managed to, at the very least, perturb me enough to express them in blog format. Read more…

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Why I Don’t Go to the Gym

July 16, 2012 Leave a comment

My exercise regimen during this pre-midlife crisis get-in-shape extravaganza that I’ve embarked on has been limited solely to bike riding.  Well, I guess not solely.  I went out and played soccer one day (and by “playing” soccer, I mean I kicked a ball around for awhile and also chased some balls that I kicked over the fence).  I’ve taken several leisurely kayaking trips on my dad’s lake.  Oh, and I did some ab exercises from this app I downloaded to my iPad.  One of those ones where a woman in the best shape of anyone you’ve ever seen demonstrates how to do the exercises, then you try to do them and end up in the same position a dog assumes when you rub its belly. Read more…

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Huge Site News!

May 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Please keep checking back–the re-launch of Puko’s World is (theoretically) just days away!  In the meantime, follow me on Twitter @pukosworld.

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Europe, Days 4 to 6

September 14, 2011 Leave a comment

On Monday morning, I took a train from London to Paris. While seated, a mildly attractive Swedish woman asked if she could “have the pleasure of my company”. It quickly became apparent that she simply wanted the two open seats across from me so she could lay down and sleep the entire time. Oh well.

I got to Paris and took the metro (that’s a subway in English) to my hotel. After walking around the general vicinity for thirty minutes, I finally found the hotel. It’s no great shakes, but it’s perfectly adequate to give me a place to sleep, shower, and eat a free breakfast.

My first stop was the Eiffel Tower. I went all the way to the top which was pretty cool. I finally befriended some Americans–two middle-aged black women, one from Minnesota, one from Georgia. I’ll tell you what–if that was my type, I’d be golden because middle-aged black women love me. Anyway, after descending, I bought a two-day boat pass along the Seine that would let me hop on and hop off as needed. It was cool because most of the major attractions are along the Seine, so I got pictures of everything.

When I got back towards the hotel, I wandered into a local bar. Now I quickly realized that me trying to order in French made me sound either retarded or deaf. Nonetheless, I was able to get a few beers and a huge salad. Along with the bread on the side, this was the most I’d eaten on the trip.

On Tuesday, I sauntered out to the Rodin Museum. Unexpectedly cool and spent a lot of time there. That guy produced over 6,500 pieces of art–kind of like the James Patterson of sculptors. Lot more dongs than I expected, but I guess that’s par for the course when looking at French art. I also went to Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe, both of which were cool to see, but nothing to write home about (unless, of course, you’re trying to fill up a blog).

Today I went to this cemetery which was really an excellent trip. Just wandered around with no real plan. Jim Morrison is the most famous inhabitant, and his gravesite is the only one that’s guarded (due to people vandalizing it). There’s a tree next to the grave where people leave their tributes (like writing lyrics on the tree). I was never really into the Doors; not being a pot smoker probably lessened my appreciation of the music. Oscar Wilde is also buried there–it’s a custom to kiss the marker while wearing lipstick; alas, I left mine at the hotel.

After that, I sat in a park for a while and composed this post. Might try to find something to eat, then I got to the Louvre tonight. Probably bum around during the day tomorrow, then I take a sleeper train to Rome tomorrow night.

In all honesty, I’m so-so on Paris. I enjoy seeing all the historic stuff, and I’m glad I came, but I don’t see any reason why I’d come back again. Sort of the way I felt when I went to Tokyo. Much different than London, which I think I could go back to multiple times and enjoy.

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Europe, Days 2 and 3

September 11, 2011 Leave a comment

Yesterday, I took a train up to Liverpool. About a two hour ride. Seemed like a decent enough little town. Obviously, Beatles stuff proliferates the downtown area. Then I went to a Premier League match–Everton (the local team) versus Aston Villa. I sat next to an older man who didn’t say much other than muttering the f-word every ten minutes. The most interesting thing there is that you can’t take beer into the seating area. I expected a British soccer match to be a beer-fueled experience, but it was quite civil.

Today, I went to Windsor Castle. Weird to see a place that’s basically four times as old as our country. My favorite part of this trip was when the tour guide said, “The Queen has been on the throne for sixty years”. This made me giggle.

I then went to Stonehenge. On one hand, it seems very mystical. On the other hand, it seems like it could just be a bunch of rocks. There were about a thousand sheep no more than 50 yards away and they didn’t seem to have any superpowers.

My last stop was Bath. I was looking for the filthy Wife of Bath, but she was nowhere to be seen. I drank this mineral water from a hot spring that the Romans thought had magical healing powers when they built baths around it about a million years ago. We’ll see if it helps with these blisters.

Back at the hotel now, following the Phils game via the iPad and listening to a British guy recap the Eagles game. Stuck watching the Giants-Redskins game, but it’s better than the British TV I’ve been stuck with. Also fun to watch the NFL hype fantasy football to a British audience, as the ads go over pretty much every rule as if explaining to a six-year old.

Next update whenever I get steady Internet access again.

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Europe, Day One

September 9, 2011 2 comments

I’m safe and sound in London. As I have not slept in over a day and am paying for the Internet by the hour, this post will be short and sweet.

I’ve walked so much that my right foot bled. Need to remember to break shoes in prior to going on vacation next time.

People in London are very fashionable. My Banana Republic polo/jeans combo paled in comparison to 98% of the other people I saw today. The most notable exception was the chunky fella pushing a stroller while wearing a Kansas City Chiefs t-shirt. I somehow saw him three times today.

I thought I saw the Spice Girls and Paul McCartney walking around, but it probably wasn’t them.

Oh, I got hit by a car today. It wasn’t moving fast enough to even wrinkle my pants, but itndid hit me.

Bedtime…train to Liverpool in the morning for a Premier League match.

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