Thursday, September 03, 2009

Step into the Way Back Machine



Ah to be in Athens, the city where ancient history appears along side bustling modern life. We started the day with a trip to the Panathinaikon (Athens) Stadium, site of the first modern Olympics in the late 1800's. From there we headed down to the colossal Temple of Olympian Zeus, with its 15 remaining columns of marble glistening in the sun. Below are the grounds of houses that were built by Romans after they invaded the city.

In the searing heat of the midday sun we made our way up the hills to the top of the Acropolis with the Parthenon, Theater of Herodes Atticus and Temple of Athena Nike. What a sight to behold! The temples are largely encased on scaffolds as the 25 year restoration proceeds, but it takes your breath away to see the scale and contemplate the centuries of human history that have passed through this very spot before you. It is, at times, heartbreaking to uncover the story of these sacred places and the destruction that mas been visited upon them in the name of war, religion and conquerers. But yet so much still stands as a testament to the human story....

We made our way down (after drinking gallons of cold water to stave off dehydration!) to the New Acropolois Museum and viewed the fraises and statues that remained in the area and/or we uncovered in archeological digs. Under the museum is a settlement uncovered during building which is visible through many glass floors around the interior and exterior of the museum.

After having our fill of marble statues, we walked back toward the hotel and stumbled on the Roman Bath site uncovered during the Metro construction of the 90's. There were channels and water heating rooms along with divided bathing rooms full of pillars. I couldn't help but think it must be very challenging to do any construction in Athens that requires digging, as chances are very high you'll hit a significant find! We found some shady refuge in the national garden and tried our best to stay cool and avoid a nice sunburn.

As day passed into evening, we viewed the Parthenon and Temple of Zeus bathed in light against the moonlit sky. We enjoyed some Greek food in another open air restuarant and took in a bit of traditional music at the Syntagma Square just down from our hotel.

In the morning we head out to Delphi, site of the famous Oracle and the Temple of Apollo. Enjoy the pictures!
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Tuesday, September 01, 2009


Before we begin, I forgot one key learning from yesterday... There was a profession known as the 'piss profits' who claimed to determine all that ails you by examining your urine. Lucky for us they were discredited by the 17th century, but how did this ever come into fashion in the first place...

Moving right along then. We started off this morning at the Van Gogh Museum and I discovered I am a big fan of Odilon Redon lithographs housed in the museum, especially the very science fiction-esque "As In a Dream" series. In short, Van Gogh was passionate, talented and tragic. Very interesting to see the chronological progression of his works aligned with his life experiences.

Next we headed off to the Heinekin Experience, where you see me in rare form with an actual *gasp* beer in my hand. Gwen is not a beer drinker, and try as they might, the good folks at Heinekin were unable to change this. We did go on a little 'brew you' ride where they 'bottled' us and we got to taste beer ingredients in their pure form, wort form and as a finished product.

We settled in to a canal cruise and learned about the building of the canals and the bridges throughout the city. The evening breeze started to cool off as we finished our ride and headed for the Anne Frank house.

That was truely an amazing place to see, to try to understand what it must have been like to live in this hidden place with eight people and no chance to ever see the sun. I am always moved by small glimpses into Europe during WWII and her short life is tragic and touching - you can feel her presence in each of the rooms.

Tomorrow morning we bid Amsterdam farefell and fly off to Athens for the next leg of our journey. More then!
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Put the Mormon Church out of its misery. Please!

First they spend ridiculous amounts of money on Prop 8 (that could have been used for all kinds of good deeds, but whatever...)

Today I spy this article which covers the fact that the Mormon church has been baptizing Jews killed in the holocost for YEARS.

What is wrong with these people?


Thursday, July 10, 2008

In case you had any doubt.

Karl Rove is a giant douche.

Let's see if I can capture his arguements against appearing under the supeona issued by the House Judiciary Committee here (something not even Presidents have been able to find a way out of):

- I don't care who you are, I don't have to answer to you. Neener.

- Laws? What laws? You silly people still think I'm subject to laws?

- And anyway, I don't know why you all hate me so much. What did I ever do to you? I mean, it's not like I was a giant asshole to everyone on the planet. Oh, wait....


Friday, May 16, 2008

Starbucks is getting nekkid

A new, apparently scantily clad Starbucks logo is coming to a cardboard sleeve near you!


I'm starting to think the latte crowd (which usually includes me, but not this time buddy...) is in serious need of some hobbies. Next we'll be draping statues of lady justice with togas to cover the naughty bits... Oh wait, we did that already. Clearly the end is near!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Meet Lollie!

Lollie is a sweet creature, charming and clearly helps to overcome many stereotypes about her breed...clearly I've been very misinformed about Pit Bulls.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Time to deconstruct my psyche.

You Are 5: The Investigator

You're independent - and a logical analytical thinker.

You love learning and ideas... and know things no one else does.

Bored by small talk, you refuse to participate in boring conversations.

You are open minded. A visionary. You understand the world and may change it.

At Your Best: You are sharp, inventive, and creative. You have the skills to lead the world.

At Your Worst: You are reclusive, weird, and a bit paranoid.

Your Fixation: Greed

Your Primary Fear: Being useless or incompetent

Your Primary Desire: Being competent and needed

Other Number 5's: Bill Gates, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Bjork, and Stephen Hawking.

Wait - at least half of the other Number 5's are also dead. Hrm.

These are the people in your neighborhood....

These are the people I hope I don't meet when I'm walking down the street. You can't make this stuff up....

West Metro Police Blotter
Animal rescue. A distressed squirrel was stuck in a hole in some concrete steps in the 200 block of Morse Avenue.

Disturbing activity. A snowball thrower was found at the Pizza Ranch, 425 Merger St.

Miscellaneous. An intoxicated woman in the 6600 block of Pioneer Trail reported that she was afraid of some howling coyotes.

Suspicious person. Police received a report of an 80-plus -year-old woman peeping into a neighbor's window.

Things that make me crazy.

The top 5 companies in the US according to Fortune 500:
1. Wal*Mart
2. Exxon Mobil
3. Chevron
4. General Motors
5. ConocoPhillips

Seriously? THREE of the top 5 companies in terms of size and profitability are oil companies. That is completely messed up. Excuse me while I go research plug-in electric cars and biodiesel.

And I must repeat a line from a previous blog here:
180 million people shop at Wal*Mart? Really? Stop It!


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Maybe it's just me...

But the pope looks like he's ready to bite someone.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Mmmm.. Lemony!

I dig CC Lemon (a very popular soda in Japan). I discovered that The Simpsons are featured in many commercials for the soda in Japan...and then discovered this oddly disturbing CC Lemon commercial on You Tube:

Wednesday, March 26, 2008



We've made it to the last leg of the journey - Hawai'i! Our first day in Honolulu was spent exploring Waikiki and watching the sun go down on Waikiki beach. Tomorrow we're off for some sun and to test the underwater camera case snorkeling at Hanauma Bay.

On the way here we caught the Origami Museum in Narita - I was completely awestruck by some of the pieces there. Certainly skill far beyond my meager paper folding ways is at work!

I really hope it is finally starting to warm up in Minnesota - all this sun does not make we want to come home to snow and 40 degree days :)
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