Saturday, May 25, 2013

I already miss you to death

Ever time I see you I think how much I'll miss you. You are young and healthy and I know that won't last forever so I take these photos to remember your silliness. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013


Sitting in the cafe around the corner from my place, I don't even see it. But these German tourists stop and examine the whole place. 

Being in this town, with the throngs of tourists such as myself rummaging around, I've been thinking about what that means, to be a tourist.

I guess on the most basic level it involves you dragging yourself somewhere you don't live and experiencing 'stuff' (monuments, trees or what have you). Maybe learning the history and context of the 'stuff'. Why and how it got there... etc.

But what does it mean to say, 'I did -insert historical place here-' It makes me think of someone ticking things off of a list and that, in a way, it's like an unspoken competition to 'do things'.

Is it fair to say there is a difference between a traveler and a tourist? Or is that just creating more of a us versus them dichotomy? Well I'm going to say there is a difference and shades of gray and all that.

When I travel the thing that always comes to my mind is that quote, 'traveling isn't about going to new place but seeing with different eyes'. or something like that.

It's about going somewhere and being open to trying to understand what and why and not judge.

But I think it's also a process of getting to know and learn about yourself and of appreciation and being present. And I can't tell you how many times I've felt like trying to get that just right photo is really separating you from being there, always looking for that perfect photo so you can remember that moment forever shot. Why not just be present? Just take a moment and look around, take a deep breath, smell the air, feel the heat or cold or whatever... and be there for that moment and remember it forever that way.

Being in your head for 2 weeks on a motorcycle trip, Zen and the Art and trying to figure everything out. The connections and making sense out of it all, intellectualizing and understanding it all. Where does feeling and sense fit in?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wedding in Las Vegas

Got invited to an old friend's friend's wedding in Las Vegas.  Wow, I officially feel old.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Cat Re-Hab Project

Scared kitten

Not really sure when it started, maybe it was the stray cats sneaking in, the flurry of kittens leaping out of the yard when I would walk down the deck steps...   but I decided that there were too many cats around here.  I called up the SPCA to borrow some live traps.  I had done this before, years ago, and caught 2 or 3 cats but that was the end of it until recently.

There were just more and more cats showing up.  I filled the first several traps quickly and was catching them 3 at a time.  I thought that I would end up with the same ones again and again but oddly, almost every time there were different cats.  I started to name them to make it more interesting.  There was Gus, the massive gray tom.  Of course Dimitri, the one eyed black beast, my arch nemesis.  Leno = the cutest black kitten ever.  I was getting worn down by the volume of cats, the getting up early, picking them up after the spay / neuter to bring them back home.  I knew there was one more group of kittens that had just grown large enough to make it over both fences so I laid 3 traps and caught 2 black kittens.

One was a bit whiny and the other sat there looking at me, just quite and staring at me.  They went in for their procedures and the whiny one came back sooner than the calm one.  I thought about it and was going to give it a shot to socialize the quite one.  If I could save even one cat from all this nonsense I would be very happy.  The quite one had her bladder nicked during the operation so she was kept overnight and then 2 more nights.  I took whiny home and was trying to decide which one it was because she seemed so calm.  I decided to go for it with this one, Kira.

the great motivator

The first several days were just sitting in the garage in the cat trap with food and water.  It was getting messy so I turned the old laundry room into a cat jail and set Kira up in there.  Mostly it was her hiding in the back of the cat carrier and trying to escape.  Eventually I wore her down and was able to feed her cat food on a spoon.  My plan was, over the days, to feed her and slowly move my hand down closer to her as she was eating.  Over a week, this was working and then I went for it and one time while Kira was eating, I started petting her head with one finger.  She kept one eye on me the whole time while she was eating.  

Riding the Pampas Couch

Still thinking about Ben buying theNorton and riding to Tierra del Fuego. Yeah, I struggle with this dilemma all the time.  I've got the golden handcuffs for sure.  Seriously, I think of dropping everything and taking off to see the world everyday.  I know that the right thing to do is live life everyday without regret but damn they keep throwing money at me like crazy so I keep showing up.  What is the balance between working and playing?  I’ve never been able to find it.  Lately it always seems that I am working too much and on the very rare occasion it seems like I’m only playing. 

The way I finally came to grips with this was I was sitting in traffic going to work one day, and looking around me, I realized that everyone was doing the same thing I was, going to work.  That that is the normal thing, people go to work everyday. The weird thing is for people not have 9 to 5 jobs - doesn't make it right but it is how it is.  So I need to find a balance because I can'tjust work and I can't just play.  Back in 1993 when I was living in Argentina, that is what made me come back.  I felt so guilty at some point that I wasn't being responsible and building a career.  And that was one of the best times of my life.  But it was also the far other end of the scale. 

I guess the answer is to make playing your work.  Until that happens, I figure I keep sacking away the cash and, according to my plan, I should be able to quit a regular job in 4 to 6 years.  After that, I'll just need to work enough to pay for where ever I'm living at the time.  Might be plush suite on the Riviera or might be a VW van in the desert.  Might be on a motorcycle on the Pampas.

Wish I were going on a long ride….

Sunday, August 07, 2011

On the training train again

I was getting tired of being tired more than I should and feeling that bulge when bending over to put my shoes on so I decided it was time to commit to eating healthy again and to start exercising regularly. I did this once before but somehow, slowly, fell out of the habits that helped me lose 20 pounds a few years ago. It is pretty basic stuff that we all know, nothing magical or unexpected. 1) Eat healthy food like vegetables and lean meat - shocking! - and stay away from fat / carbs 2) Eat 5 times a day 3) Don't eat 3 hours before bed 4) Portion control / stop eating when satisfied 5) Excercise 3 to 5 times a week. That's it.

I'm not sure why I've always been heavier than it seems I should be, around 175, when my height and build say I should be 150-ish. I feel thick. Anyway, weight started creeping on and I decided to kick start my metabolism with a carb. negative diet and 30 minutes of cardio that kept my heart around 110 to 140. Again, nothing tricky but I was hungry for the 6 days of the diet. I lost about a pound a day so down 7 pounds in 6 days. Nice. I was at 177.5 and my target was to get to 170. I made it to 170.5 so I guess I already hit my goal. That was easy.

We'll see how it goes over the next few weeks now that I've reset things and remember the simple rules.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Practice Flight

Not sure what to make of it yet but today was very interesting. I've been tossing the idea around of getting my pilot license and decided to do something about it today. I met a friend for lunch at the local airport in San Carlos so we could talk about why he flies, costs, strategy, etc.. I explained that it seems like an ideal way to see more of the country and not have to deal with the traffic and general hustle and bustle of driving everywhere. I was imagining flying to Sacramento from San Carlos in 45 minutes to see family, or heading to the foothills for a nice weekend of camping without sitting on the bridge for 3 hours or taking friends on a nice Sonoma afternoon wine tasting and getting there in 20 minutes. How about taking out of town guests on a site seeing tour of the Golden Gate and Yosemite by air!

So I decided to go for the intro / 1 day training to see what it is like. I was expecting to sit back and have someone go over the general concepts, maybe take the flight yoke for a minute or so... but what I ended up with was basically doing a solo take off and landing, working the trim and heading I'm not sure how far out to sea. Holy crap was it terrifying and exciting. It all seems like a blur now but pulling back on the stick and throttling up on the run way, clearing the buildings and pulling away from the ground... amazing.

Will I continue? I'm not sure. There are some serious costs and time involved in pursuing this but it could be life changing. Here are some shots I took while out near Half Moon Bay and flying over Highway 92 on the way back, looking at all the suckers stuck down there in traffic.