Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Viva Italia!

Amy and Italy arrived last night. Since then we've enjoyed the wine, coffee and hazelnut products of Italia. All excellent! Along with the espresso pot and cups Amy also brought a lanyard for my collection. Not just any lanyard its from the GIRO! (and is the pink ribbon like thing in the foreground).

In honor of the occassion I finally cleaned up the little Panasonic DX and took a wonderful spin around town.

Everyone ready for The Tour?

Saturday, May 26, 2007


This coming Tuesday, the 29th, marks the first year anniversary of the trip to Europe....and the beginning of the amazing year that followed. Over the last year I've experienced so many new places and met some really great people. I loved biking in Europe, hiking and exploring in the Grand Canyon, Sedona and Utah. Different ends of the cultural and natural spectrum but all opening up both exterior and interior worlds. I've learned so much history, geography and geology the world feels like it is ever expanding, ever richer and complex yet with a beautiful unity. I know, that all sounds so nebulous but seriously...the more I see, experience and know of the world, the more comfortable I feel here in my skin.

...and speaking of stop? I'd like to hike the AT through NH this summer (perhaps taking the luxury way and doing hut-to-hut), and in October take a swing through Denver, Moab and New Mexico.

Anyone what to come?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Salmon River

Everything at home is pretty much back in order so I decided to check out the Salmon River hike. It's about a 7.9 mile hike in Colchester, CT off RT 16. It starts at the covered bridge, and heads north west along the river. After a mile it turns in to the wood and winds through some older forests, along and over various streams, Day Pond, and along a ridge line. There are some great views and this time of year, there was also a lot of wild columbine.

Would I do it again? Hmmm. Aside from the first mile along the river it was a pretty typical CT hike, but I would go back and spend more time on the river.

Friday, May 18, 2007

More on Hillary

Found this news story and video on The Visit. I was there! I saw this wave.

Kelly (I have no idea why this interests me) Drake

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Group W Bench

So I'm sitting here at Chicago's Midway Airport waiting for my plane. Originally scheduled to leave at 4:40, revised to 6:10, and now showing as 5:15. For those of you who are intimate with Midway I'm sitting in a rocking chair in terminal A between Manny's and The House of Blues, right behind the life-size statues of Jake and Elwood. (Only rocker I could find near a power source). In between dodging people having pictures taken of them with the Blues Brothers and deciding if "the moving walk way is ending" voice will drive me crazy, I'm typing away, and starting to get back into the work mode. You know, work would be so much more productive if it wasn't so fragmented...hmmmm.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


These cell phone thingees are handy. Did you know that if you have one you can know who is calling – even before you answer the call?

Even more cool – say you remember, or you decide you need to, call someone. You don’t have to wait until later – when you then have a million other calls to make to make the call, you can make it when you think of it – and avoid lists!

If you want to read my comments on AAM (and I have some very enlightening observations you won’t want to miss) check out my other blog –

Tomorrow I’ll be attending a morning session on podcasts, having coffee with some museum geeks and then head home. It will be nice to be home. I will also be a different person from when I left.

Here is what I need

To be outside
To be focused not scattered
To be centered and aware – to Meditate
To be Creating/Building something that speaks to the higher levels of cultural or self-actualization.
To love every bleeping thing

Monday, May 14, 2007


According to the wife of the Mayor, Chicago is not named the Windy City because of the wind, but because the people here brag about it (blow hot air) all the time. Strangely there were 40 knot winds all day.

And speaking of hot air...I left the hotel this evening and noticed 4 tv camera men hanging I asked one why. Seems Hillary Clinton is spending the night at this hotel and they were waiting to film her arrival. Hey, I had nothing else to do so tried to look as casually as i could leaning against a building in downtown Chicago. Can't say I was successful because pretty soon another conference attendee asked what i was doing. By the time Hillary arrived we had gathered into a small mob. While seeing Hillary in person wasn't all that thrilling it was very interesting to see the build up to her arrival. First the camera guys, then the news personnel for each station, then the hotel security, then two real live secret service guys, then the Chicago Police (on Segways) then finally Hillary in a huge black suv-type limo thing. Joanne got a picture and when I get it, I'll post it.

The Conference is okay. Mostly learning from talking to people although the keynote by Salmon Rushdie was very good...who'd a thought a guy with a fatwa out on him can be really funny...he's also incredible smart.

Sunrise in Sedona

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Its Always Sedona

Well, here I am in Chicago. Watched the sunrise from the El, had a Diablo Burger (rare) and a blueberry mojito and now I'm going to relax.

It's funny, I never felt the least bit tired in Sedona but on the shuttle, in the airport, and on the plane I fell asleep. Adding up the hours, I guess I didn't sleep much while there, always felt so alive and awake. There is an energy there.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

If all your friends jumped off a bridge.....?

94 degrees in the shade and we set out for another wonderful hike today. So long as you have water and sunscreen all is fine. There were lots of other hikers, both old, young, single and in large groups. Also lots of mountain bikers. (I am definitely getting a mountain bike when I move here.)

Oh, last night we were sitting out on the deck, sipping margaritas and watching the sunset when a wild boar strolled by. Very casual. Ron and he had a conversation and then he strolled off into the west. Cute as he was, I thought of Amy’s encounter in France and decided I would not like to get too friendly.

But back to today. After the hike we went to Slide Rock State Park. It’s about 2 miles up Oak Creek Canyon, used to be an apple orchard, but now is a very popular swimming area. This being Saturday there were many other people there. All very nice and appreciating the cool 56 degree water running through the narrow channel. In places the water rests in deep pools, in other it has worn narrow chutes into the Red Rock which makes for perfect Sliding. There is also a place under the bridge where the water rests in a very deep pool between some very high rocks. It’s a perfect spot for rock jumping, and many people were doing just that. We watched for awhile and then it happened again…just like before on the Covered Bridge over the West River in Vermont. I had to jump. And let me tell you those split seconds suspended in mid-air followed by gravity propelled immersion….Awesome. So remember folks, the next time your friends jump off a bridge…check the depth of the pool, decide if it’s something you yourself want to do…and if it is, go for it.

Everyone that is, except Amy and Alyssa.

Blue Red And Grey - The Who

Some people seem so obsessed with the morning
Get up early just to watch the sun rise
Some people like it more when there's fire in the sky
Worship the sun when it's high
Some people go for those sultry evenings
Sipping cocktails in the blue, red and grey
But I like every minute of the day

I like every second, so long as you are on my mind
Every moment has its special charm
It's all right when you're around, rain or shine
I know a crowd who only live after midnight
Their faces always seem so pale
And then there's friends of mine who must have sunlight
They say a suntan never fails
I know a man who works the night shift
He's lucky to get a job and some pay
And I like every minute of the day

I dig every second
I can laugh in the snow and rain
I get a buzz from being cold and wet
The pleasure seems to balance out the pain

And so you see that I'm completely crazy
I even shun the south of France
The people on the hill, they say I'm lazy
But when they sleep, I sing and dance
Some people have to have the sultry evenings
Cocktails in the blue, red and grey
But I like every minute of the day

I like every minute of the day

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Courthouse Butte – a circumnavigation – counterclockwise

Sometimes you do get to go back and do it over, even undo it if necessary.Last December on my last morning in Sedona I started the hike around Courthouse Butte.It was early, but not early enough as I only was able to go ¼ of the way before having to turn back to catch the plane.

This morning I put on my new Chaco sandals, returned and finished the hike.
Courthouse Butte is located in Oak Creek, a village 10 miles south of Sedona. The red rocks here are the leading edge of the Mongolian ridge so while the
Butte and its close buddy, Bell Rock, are identifiably red rock formations in front of several others the land slopes gently south from their bases.
In general the walk is level, the trail wide and soft from the sandstone. There are flowers blooming everywhere.We saw the first of what will soon be thousands of prickly pare cactus flowers, as well as a blooming agauve. Some parts of the trail follow a dry steam wash, while others wind through the flatlands.

There were several people riding mountain bikes on one section – if I lived here I’d certainly have to get one of those. But as it is, I think I’ve got everything I need

Monday, May 07, 2007

Beyond the Post

You know those perfect moments? Those rare and special moments when you feel the world is in balance. There are no worries, no cares, and you know deep down, beyond knowing that everything is and you are.

That all is as it should be.

And you just let go.


After a long night discussing UFO’s, reptilians, Chemtrails, and other reputed Sedona-phenomenon I woke up at 4:40, ready for the next adventure. By 6:00 we were on the road, headed North. Sunrise in Oak Creek Canyon, the switchback out to Flagstaff. Then west, ever west to Williams. At Williams we turned North toward the Grand Canyon, stopping only briefly to make a quick detour to get in a helicopter. Okay, short of sky diving, and bungie jumping I think I’ve now done most of the things I said I’d never do. (And don’t anyone get ideas because that just isn’t happening).

The helicopter was really actually very nice. Very gentle, and the front seat was an amazing viewpoint from which to see the Canyon. I didn’t think I’d be seeing it again so soon….and I want to hike it now more than ever (if you’re interested, I’m thinking October). And you could see the Colorado River too! Amazing. And the North Rim! The Aspen and Ponderosa Pine. beautiful! You know, that Powell guy really had guts.

From there we drove to Flagstaff via the West slop of the San Francisco Mountains. Took a short detour up to the Snow Bowl – made my first snowman of the year! Saw a coyote, enjoyed an awesome burger a brew at the Flagstaff Brewery, and contemplated the pros and cons of jumping a train, and redeveloping the ‘wrong side of the tracks’. Like I said, its been one the most relaxing vacations I’ve ever had.

After posting this however, I’m going for a hike...maybe.

Enjoying Sedona

It’s 3:30 on Monday afternoon. I’m sitting outside by the Hot Tub looking West. Taking a break. It’s been an amazing two days.

Sunday started with the sunrise which was followed by meeting the local Gambel Quail family. Mom, Dad and about 11 little chicks who regularly walk up and down the road. After Heuvous Rancheros at the Coffee Pot Restaurant (something I’ve been dreaming about since last December) I spent some time just hanging out at Ron’s place. Have I mentioned how cool this place is? It’s so cool, its hard to leave, but around 3:00 we went for a hike to Devil’s Bridge.

What is this fascination with naming unusual things after the Devil? And really the Bridge isn’t all the unusual, just another amazingly beautiful spot inside an amazingly beautiful Red Rock Canyon. The hike was nice. The wild flowers are just blooming here, although there is a dispute as to whether the prickly pear have already, or will soon bloom. Honestly it’s hard for this New Englander to tell the difference between a cactus flower bud and a cactus leaf(?) bud. But the agaves! And the spikes – oh I wish I was here for when they flowered. Gardening here would be extremely difficult. It all looks so perfect just how it is – what would you add?

But, back to the bridge. After hiking a while we turned a corner and saw it above us, a little while longer and we had scrambled to the top. Ron just walked out across it while I hemmed and hawed, weighed my options, equivocated, gesticulated…and slowly, looking neither left nor right walked across it too.

Pretty much the same way it went the next day in the helicopter.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Good morning campers!

While the duties of a blogger demand that I tell the details of yesterdays flight I will begin by saying that I am sitting in –Nirvana? To be more exact, it is 5:31 am. I am looking due West (the same due West over which there was a deep magenta sunset last night). The red rocks of Boynton Canyon are just beginning to take on color although the suns rays have not yet begun their slide. The house could be described as a Sante Fe style artists loft with a bedroom and a long deck. All facing West. Go West? Well I’m here.

But back to the flight. Not bad except for the turbulence when we were flying over the storms in Nebraska, and the half hour before landing in Phoenix. Neither Providence nor Midway have free wireless access – something I’m proposing should be written into the Constitution. On the other hand, perhaps its good to not be able to tap into the world at all times. On the other hand they have those obnoxious tv monitors blaring. But I digress…

The Book Selection turned out remarkably well. While reading the Chick Lit Selection I had to burst out laughing (dour man sitting next to me was not amused) but you may be. In the book the heroine is reunited with her mother who had spent many years in the desert of Sedona trying to find her self. Once the mother gets back the whole family goes to family reunion at the family farmhouse in Salem, CT. For an outing they go to…”Old Mystic Seaport, a sort of Disneyland-on-the-Sea that recaptured the magic of the whaling industry.” How cute is that? And do I add that to my list of books that cite our sources?

But here comes the sun and I must be off…..

Friday, May 04, 2007

Patience Prudence

So I'm sitting here at work...3 hours and 2 minutes left.

3 L o n g h o u r s.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Moment You've Been Waiting For

The Book Selection!!

Chick Lit:
Good fiction:
Thought-provoking non-fiction:

Happy May Day!

Gee I almost forgot. Today is the first real day of summer.

May 1 is a traditional summer holiday in many pagan cultures, and many elements of the holiday are celebrated. May 1 is the first day of summer, the summer solstice, June 22nd, is midsummer.

As my friends, who celebrate Beltane today, would say...Blessed be!

The Lemming Conspiracy

About 7 years ago I read The Lemming Conspiracy: How to Redirect Your Life from Stress to Balance (Includes Bibliographical References) about how every 7 years or so the average person goes through a stress induced re-evaluation of their lives. Usually the 'way out' is only temporary, often addressing only the symptoms, and not the deeper life needs that remain unfulfilled.

The author's explanation of how this cycle comes about, and how society and our programmed selves keep it going is well explained and worth reading, the solution...well, as I said, I read it 7 years ago.