October 2007 Archives

Postcard from Laos

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Vang Vieng - We had an adventure day where we mountainbiked to a cave, did some exploring, and then swam in the spring next to the cave. On the way back, we stopped in a Hmong village, and Chaz bought a few gifts from a woman on a loom. Her children were running about, and the daughter and kids were playing with this owl. He probably didn't get the most out of the deal, but he was hanging in there.

Today we're off to Phousavan and the Plain of Jars.

Postcard from Laos Day 2

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We were 31 hours from door to door to get to our hotel in Vientienne, 21 of those with our butts in airplane seats. The weather is balmy and warm, the food good, and the tour company quite capable. We spent Sunday doing sightseeing in Vientienne, and enjoying some quiet time in our French colonial hotel, as well as chasing our luggage which didn't arrive with us from Bangkok.

Monday was spent purchasing some clothes and bug spray for the trip to Vang Vieng, only to have the airlines call us 10 minutes after laying down the cash, announcing our bags arrived unexpectedly. We had a spectacular drive up the highway from Vientienne, a stop to see some 1000 year old buddha carvings in sandstone, a fresh fish lunch on an inland lake, and a stop at the fish market which was filled with exotic smells and sights such as piles of sardines, smoked fish, roasted bats, and wild boar. Tomorrow is a bike tour among the limestone cliffs, and some pool time.

Here we go!

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Bon Voyage!


Cambodia Tour

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For the record... I leave on the 20th as well now

Laos trip itinerary

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For the record....

Profound disappointment

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Despite the title of this entry, I found this story, and most particularly the URL hilarious: "http://www.welt.de/vermischtes/article1259522/Kinder_muessen_draussen_bleiben.html". The English summary and discussion is here. The editors at Die Welt co-opted the "Dogs must stay outside" text seen on many shop windows, and discreetly applied it to children by sliding it in the path to the story.

Also at Die Welt this week, a citizenship test (in German). My results? I passed.

Deutschland Test 30/30
76% korrekt beantwortet
Herzlichen Glückwunsch! Sie haben den Einbürgerungstest bestanden. Ihre Kenntnisse über Deutschland sind gut.

Tomorrow afternoon Chaz and I begin our trek to Laos, which has suddenly become a bit more challenging for us. Franz won't be able to travel with us as chief videographer, tour guide, and sunrise watcher. For us, our cultural instinct in light of his situation is to cancel our travels as well, and take the time to head to Munich to help him out, but he wouldn't have that. I don't know if that's a Austrian sensibility or just plain stubbornness on his part. Nonetheless, we're set on a course that while planned, won't be quite as much fun, and its disappointing.

Bears on the Run show

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I'm a total Nakia fanboy, so having him cap an evening of entertainment under a starry night and the trees of the patio of the Chain Drive has me totally stoked. He rocked, and its a shame that the other towns on the tour won't get to see him with his band. They're pros, and the stage presence and emotion they belt out is at times overwhelming. I wish I had backup singers through the day like he does.

These 6 guys were funny and thought-provoking at times, and truly seemed to be having a good time performing. Bobaloo was sharp as MC and was spot on with his Billy Squire tribute. Elijah and Shannon were solid, Kendall was hilarious and at times skitzy, and Matthew had a strong voice albeit with set that was at times somewhat of a downer. The show was long and strong, and I really admire these guys for being those that follow their muse.

Fly and Funky

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This reminds me of Burt, a cockatiel that lived two doors down that was quite the ham.


Tomorrow at 2pm CST, I plan on cracking open a Bud Light, and watching a match of Layer Tennis featuring Chris Glass. Go Chris!

Mountain View

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Chaz and I took the drive up to Pike's Peak this weekend on a bit of a geological tour of Colorado. Denver was wet and chilly this weekend, but we enjoyed the time away, and a bit of fall in the air was nice. I'm in Fort Collins for the first part of the week, then back home for the weekend.


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April, 1990

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Mini's trip to Berlin, combined with the current activity of unpacking and sorting through things to keep and not to keep led to me unearthing a pile of old photos.

A group of us from university were lucky enough to have a scheduled DDR field trip shortly after the wall fell. Jena, Dresden, and a side trip to Berlin. By the time April 1990 rolled around, Germans could cross the wall between east and west with no visa, no worries.

The rest of us had to buy a visa and cross only at Alexanderplatz if we were going to head over to KaDeWe and get a currywurst. Honecker had to have his cut.

I was last there in February 2003, and walked through the restored Brandenburger Tor and down Unter den Linden just as the Germans were able to in 1990 when I couldn't. The pace of change there is rapid, and I look forward to my next visit.



While I was smitten with the Mercedes 2-seater convertible along the Romantischestrasse, the real reason for the tour that Franz and I were taking was to follow the 15th century gothic sculptor and carver Tilman Riemenschneider, famous for the expressed mannerisms and exquisite detail in the clothing and the hands of his subjects.

Our final leg on the trail was his home of Würzburg, and the Käppele. The path up the hill from the river to the chapel has sculptures of the stations of the cross, which is probably quite dramatic to some. The chapel is dedicated to Mary.

View Larger Map

The gothic chapel itself was well reconstructed, and quite pretty, but Franz let me in on one of the little secrets of the place as he had me stand facing the east wing. He drew my attention to the right.

East Altar

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