Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My friend Bob Paul died in Afghanistan

One of my first jobs out of undergraduate was in Wasco County, The Dalles Oregon. I didn't have very many friends there, so I hung out with Bob and Todd, two city planners in the area. They were literally two of a very few handful of cool people to hang out with in The Dalles (re: redneckville).

Bob was in the Army Reserve. He was eventually deployed to Iraq in the Civil Affairs Brigade and I think he was doing urban planning in Iraq, later he was deployed in Afghanistan. Must have been difficult doing urban planning in a war zone, though I can't think of a better thing to be doing in a war zone then rebuilding communities. I think the world needs more planners and less prayers.

So here's a post for Bob.

Picture from OEF

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Weekend Trip to the Coromandel Peninsula

Last weekend we travelled to the Coromandel Peninsula. It was fantastic and just one and a half hours away from Auckland. Here some highlights of our trips:

Hotwater Beach, we dug a pit in the sand during low tide and let the volcanic activity heat the water for a spa like experience. Did I mention it was at night? We were wandering around with shovels trying to figure out where to dig. We found the spot after falling into a steaming hot pools. I saw a couple of shooting stars, very memorable night. And we met a very nice couple from Oz.

We encountered wild turkeys and they were entertaining! See for yourself on our youtube debut:

The next day was beautiful for beachcombing at Shakespeare Cove.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Well if you haven't heard already, Steve Irwin died by getting stung by a sting-ray. It's really unfortunate, I thought he was pretty entertaining.

Anyway this reminded me of the time I got stung by a sting-ray. I had taken a year of from undergraduate school to travel in Mexico. I think I was 20 or so. We lived in the back of 69 chevy truck, which we painted with crosses, to make it appear that we were missionaries. But we carried a box of old porno magazines to bribe police at border crossings. This was in the mid-90's and this method seemed to work. We didn't get robbed or pay too many 'fees'. We were mainly traveling on the Pacific coast staying in primitive surf camps. I left with $1500 and came back to the US with $400, we were on the dirt-cheap trek.

Anyway I was learning how to surf on a smaller break and I got stung by a sting-ray, right after I got in the water. I stayed in the water for a few more waves before quitting for the day. I think the cold water was numbing me to the pain, because as soon as I started walking on the sand I was in excruciating pain. I met up with my friends who were sitting at a restaurant watching the surf. I tried to ice it but that was also very painful. Finally the waitress came by with a hot lime and she squeezed the juice on it. She knew what had happened. That made it feel a bit better. She also went on to say that after the warm lime juice cooled down my boyfriend at the time should piss on my foot, which he did. I don't remember that making me feel any better. I think it was more humiliating having my boyfriend piss on my foot. You have to remember we were in the middle of nowhere, no telephones, no hospitals and barely any electricity. I was willing to try anything.

I'm glad  it didn't kill me.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Best Four Hours of Your life

My friend "Bob" we'll call him had the best four hours of his life. I'm inspired to think about what the best four hours of my life would be, I don't think I can have sex for that long, so I have to think of something else.

Here's his experience, I've removed the names of the innocent , because "Bob" likes anoniminity, he's not a pansy-ass name dropper and the search engines find everything. If you know "Bob" you'll know who this post is about.

"So my friend and I went to bumbershoot in seattle last weekend to see 'THE famous comedian' perform. I do 'THE famous comedian' 's website and have known him for a while. He hasn't done a standup show outside of LA in like 10 years, so him doing 3 shows in seattle was a must-go kinda trip. We get there, get our backstage credentials, see 'THE famous comedian' s show, hook up with him backstage, the 3 of us go to the womens roller derby for a while and then we go to another comedy show thats happening at the festival, we go in the green room and have some beers and then slowly over the course of the next hour or so, 'famous comedian 2' , 'famous comedian 3' , 'famous comedian 4' , 'famous comedian 5' , 'famous comedian 6' , 'famous comedian 7' , 'famous comedian 8' , and 'famous comedian 9'  all start coming through the door one by one. we had beers and made midget jokes and generally shot the shit. I think if we hadn't been there as guests of 'THE famous comedian'  they wouldn't have given us the time-o-day, but since 'THE famous comedian' is some kinda hero of comedy, we were like royalty. They laughed at all our jokes (even the stupid ones) like we had some kinda power over them. It was the most amazing 4 hours of my life.
ok, i'm done. hope you guys are good."

Right-on, all those years of archiving and fandom paid off.