31 August, 2007

Ten Mile River trails

I've been going on hikes at the Ten Mile River trails for the past two days. On August 29 I took Max on the O'Shea Loop, which took up along the Delaware. We hiked about two hours but stayed by the river for another hour to rest and play in the water. Max didn't like the water but I swam in the river while Max stood on the shore looking very concerned.

On August 30 we took the yellow dot trail, which is also called the Tusten Mountain Trail, and went for a walk in the woods. The path took us to the summit of the hill (approx. 1,100 ft) and back down to the Delaware.

The views were great and the river was refreshing. But the best part was the absolute silence of the woods. For the hours of my hike, except for my own footsteps and Max's joyful rumps through the bushes, I got to enjoy a quiet walk in the Catskills.
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28 August, 2007

Catskill visit

Day 1 - Got here on Saturday afternoon and was severely hungover from Friday night's outing. Got to Cochecton and had the first of several man-meals of the week at the Alpine House in Honesdale, PA - Paulaner München, schnitzels and potato pancakes – yum.

Day 2 –
Got up and took mom's dogs for long walks. Procured a loaf of onion bread, hot Italian sausage, and apricot rugelach from the Collicoon farmers market and ate man-meal #2. Went and watched the local youth soccer team practice.

Day 3 – Did absolutely nothing. Read a little, visited PB, whom I haven't seen since he left Leesburg, Virginia more than a year ago. Got home and was happy to see J Corveau and his old lady Laura. This was the day of reunions with long-lost friends. Now past 10:30pm – drinking bourbon and writing in me journal.

23 August, 2007

Taco stand, Das Leben Der Anderen, and little buggy

It has been great to have a little of time and space to do my own things. It's tempting to dig into the fall semester's reading ahead of time, but I'm going to resist that impulse and just enjoy the relative free time I have these two weeks (aside from work during the day).

I was going to hop on the bike and truck out to Arlington to get some tacos tonight, but thought I google the subject and found Taco Pepito's Bakery in Adams Morgan. For Angelenos who grew up on roadside taco stands and trucks, DC offers very few options. What most people here refer to as "Mexican" are just "Tex Mex." Some have also referred to "Cal Mex," but as a Californian, I've never heard of Cal Mex.

Anyway, Pepito's is pretty close to the real thing. I got a carne asada taco and a lengua taco, and washed the food down with a lemonade. The price is a little high at $8 and change, but since I don't have many other options within easy metro or walking distance, I'll happily take Pepito's.

I just wish DC is a more civilized culinary town. While this city has plenty of highly priced but mediocre restaurants to serve them Gucci-ass lobbyists and lawyers, it doesn't do everyday comfort food very well. DC needs more street food!

On the walk home, I saw this silly little buggy. It actually fits four regular size people but it's only slightly longer than a scooter.

Netflix finally sent me Das Leben Der Anderen (The Lives of Others). It was a fantastic movie! I really enjoyed the subtlety of HGW XX/7's changes throughout the film.

21 August, 2007

I'm not sure where this is, but it's a photo by the Chinese photographer Cang Xin.

Me gustas!

20 August, 2007

Ride in Fox Country

I took a good spill on the way to Flint Hill, Virginia yesterday.

As far as falling off a bike, at least it was a lovely spot, surrounded by the Blue Ridge, vineyards, hawks circling above, and just a beautiful silence. I just sat next to my bike, laughed, and enjoyed the scenery.

It was great to get out of DC. After weeks of writing papers and studying for my final exams, it was refreshing to see Virginia's mountains. I started at 11am in DC and rode through Route 50 to Fairfax County, only stopping at my favorite Vietnamese baguette shop to fill up for a couple sandwiches. After that stop, I had no destination in mind and just rode aimlessly through Manassas Battlefield, down Lee Highway, past Thoroughfare Gap, up to the Plains, and down to Orlean via Route 55 and Leeds Manor Road.

While I sat in front of the tiny Orlean Post Office enjoying the sun and making the day's entry in my journal , an Orlean woman still in her riding boots suggested that I give Flint Hill's Griffin Tavern a go. After my soft dismount on the way to the pub, I had meself a pint and a sandwich in Flint Hill.

Nothing to complain about for the day. But I'll have to visit the Red Truck Bakery in Orlean next time.

17 August, 2007

Upside: I spanked my two finals today
Downside: I have one more exam to go tomorrow morning when all I want now is to have a drink and sleep

I'm going to take a good long ride out to the Shenandoah on me moto this Sunday and go for a swim in the river.

16 August, 2007

Things to do and places to see

Just jotting down thoughts so I won't forget them.

New places to visit and things to do:

  • Krakow before it becomes another Prague
  • NZ to see Maori haka and the All Blacks
  • Sunrise on Mt. Jade, Taiwan
  • Moscow, St. Pete, and Russia before someone figures out how to police the country
  • Beirut before it's bombed again
  • Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Pichu before too many yuppy hotels are built
  • Paris anytime
  • Hike the pilgrim trail to Santiago de Compostela
  • Cardiff and Paris for 6 Nations rugby matches
  • Fes to visit its Medina and Mellah
  • Mendoza just to drink more malbec
  • Travel to Cape Horn and Antartica by sea
  • Upper Quebec to see polar bears
  • Uluru
  • Wagner Festival in Bavaria to see the entire "Ring" cycle
  • Pow Wows
  • One more buffet meal at Caesar's Palace, Vegas
  • Actually finish reading "War and Peace"
  • Motorcycle Che Guevara's trail from BA - Patagonia - Chile - Peru - Venezuela (especially if I can find a Norton Commando in working order)
  • Learn how to take decent photos
  • Find good meatloaf in DC
Talking to L. last night got me staying up late to think about what I want to do in the next few years, and what I’ve done in Washington in the last 10 years.

I wish I can simply travel. I still can, but need to finish my education and figure out a way to fulfill my commitments to my family. My parents aren’t getting any younger and I need to contribute to their well-being and happiness. Further, I rescued Missouri 10 years ago when she was a pup. She’s going with me wherever I travel to. Aside from that, as soon as my condo in DC sells, I am going somewhere (to Brussels for a MA, perhaps Paris and Singapore for INSEAD’s MBA, and at least to San Miguel de Allende to learn how to make molé).

As for my almost 10 years working in politics and government, I am a pessimist by experience but still an optimist at heart. I know how Capitol Hill works, and have contributed to its negative nature by working on campaigns and in congressional operations. But what democracy isn’t factional, chaotic, and self-serving by nature? At least Sulla no longer proscribes his enemies after winning a campaign. With that thought I still keep my faith in a well-managed democracy.

Lastly, I’m a political moderate by policy, but regard very liberal and very conservative individuals as my most trustworthy friends. Don’t ask . . . I’m still trying to figure that one out.

14 August, 2007

Nena - 99 Luftballons

I loved this song when it came out. It was 1983 and I was only 10. But I never knew it was about the Cold War.

Here are the Lyrics.

Hast du etwas Zeit für mich
Dann singe ich ein Lied für dich
Von 99 Luftballons
Auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont
Denkst du vielleicht g'rad an mich
Dann singe ich ein Lied für dich
Von 99 Luftballons
Und dass so was von so was kommt

99 Luftballons
Auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont
Hielt man für Ufos aus dem All
Darum schickte ein General
'ne Fliegerstaffel hinterher
Alarm zu geben, wenn es so wär
Dabei war'n da am Horizont
Nur 99 Luftballons

99 Düsenjäger
Jeder war ein großer Krieger
Hielten sich für Captain Kirk
Das gab ein großes Feuerwerk
Die Nachbarn haben nichts gerafft
Und fühlten sich gleich angemacht
Dabei schoss man am Horizont
Auf 99 Luftballons

99 Kriegsminister -
Streichholz und Benzinkanister -
Hielten sich für schlaue Leute
Witterten schon fette Beute
Riefen Krieg und wollten Macht
Mann, wer hätte das gedacht
Dass es einmal soweit kommt
Wegen 99 Luftballons

99 Jahre Krieg
Ließen keinen Platz für Sieger
Kriegsminister gibt's nicht mehr
Und auch keine Düsenflieger
Heute zieh' ich meine Runden
Seh' die Welt in Trümmern liegen
Hab' 'nen Luftballon gefunden
Denk' an dich und lass' ihn fliegen

Have you some time for me,
then I'll sing a song for you
about 99 balloons
on their way to the horizon.
If you're perhaps thinking about me right now
then I'll sing a song for you
about 99 balloons
and that such a thing comes from such a thing.

99 balloons
on their way to the horizon
People think they're UFO's from space
so a general sent up
a fighter squadron after them
Sound the alarm if it's so
but there on the horizon were
only 99 balloons.

99 fighter jets
Each one's a great warrior
Thought they were Captain Kirk
then came a lot of fireworks
the neighbors didn't understand anything
and felt like they were being provoked
so they shot at the horizon
at 99 balloons.

99 war ministers
matches and gasoline canisters
They thought they were clever people
already smelled a nice bounty
Called for war and wanted power.
Man, who would've thought
that things would someday go so far
because of 99 balloons.

99 years of war
left no room for victors.
There are no more war ministers
nor any jet fighters.
Today I'm making my rounds
see the world lying in ruins.
I found a balloon,
think of you and let it fly (away).

10 August, 2007

Mint Radio Poster

 blog it

I posted this pic because I liked the photo - probably because of the woman, how she looked in her dress, the black and white background, and that she's walking her dog while wearing a fine outfit. But then I looked closer and she's walking a . . . . . piglet. . .