Friday Fives – habooby edition

Image result for beset phoenix haboob photos

Have you ever had a vacation ruined by the weather or did you just work around it?

Nothing dramatic I can remember.  We go to Mexico a LOT, almost every year.  I remember we were there one year when a hurricane was coming soon, but it petered out.  I realize this is first world cruel and fucked up, but lots of places we go to (not the tourist spots, obviously) you think “how could a storm fuck this place up?  There is no infrastructure. I good hurricane might give them a chance to start from scratch. However, this isn’t Japan. The town would be rebuilt in just as haphazard as it was the first time.  You go to a small down and see the decimation, and realize a hurricane whipped through here. “When did this happen?” (thinking in the last 2 years) “oh, about 18 years ago.” When you see building happening in Mexico, it is done mostly without mechanization.  They have guys carrying 5 gallon buckets of cement up 4 floors of stairs.

Rocky Point is a real heartbreaker.  I was just there for the first time in 30 years this year.  I was stunned by how many empty and half finished huge resorts there were.  There was a couple dozen (source below) buildings which had been abandoned during construction.  Many of these were HUGE… 20 stories or more.  Someone ran out of money and just quit. The buildings stay there for decades.  Like a proper entitled liberal straight white male, I have a fix that I am sure no one has thought of.  For any new building permit for a huge resort there (of which there are plenty), I would say “here is the deal.  I’ll give you the permit, AND the land, and resources already deployed… if you take one of these half done buildings and finish it.  Yes, even the land for free. We’ll make plenty of money off the taxes and tourism. Otherwise, it is a 10 year wait for a building permit.

Oh wait, they have thought of this.  Even though they admit nothing has happened in at least a decade.

Javier Tapia, general coordinator of the Sonora tourism development commission – the state’s tourism chief – created a task force called the rescate de inmuebles turísticos inconclusos, or unfinished tourism real estate rescue, that has now met with condo builders and city officials. The result: a half-dozen builders have requested state assistance, including use of a private industry expert, to look at how to conclude construction and what to do with a building whose end product, if offered, would be one for which there’s little or no demand.

There is clearly no OSHA in Mexico, and I doubt much building code.  This is why a 4.0 earthquake can break some glass in the US, but kill hundreds in any other country.  Jesus, look at Haiti earthquake in 2010. They are still ‘recovering’ and living in tent cities. It will be a 100 years before anything is restored to any kind of glory.  That isn’t a knock on the Haitian people, but against their shitty leadership, and decades of unfair debt laid on them by the first world.

What were we talking about again?   Sorry, that went way off topic.  How deeply unlike me.  🙂

Man, I am such a pretentious windbag… like every good liberal.  At least I am aware… and well intentioned.

What small changes do you feel people could make to give the planet a fighting chance against global warming?

Stop using single use plastic water bottles!  I see all this outrage about plastic straws ****, but come on people.  Now, you know the environmental impact of the water bottles, right?  The Great Pacific Garbage Reef?  Last month, Consumer Reports taught us that the water isn’t even better.  Not even by a tiny bit. Almost all bottled water is just other cities’ tap water.

Are you adversely affect by the weather, such as SAD?

Are you calling me a pussy?  No, Winter does not make me sad.  Christmas mostly makes me happy. However, it is also a time of great anxiety.  Not because I don’t have enough money to buy Timmy a doll house, but because of my wifey.  I love her, and she means a lot to me. And she is super duper tough to shop for. So, every year I just panic.  I end of doing well, but it super stresses me out every year. Yet another first world problem. 

How is the weather where you are and have you seen drastic changes in it during your lifetime?

It is cold and snowy, which is natural for Denver in December.  What I have noticed is what happened to Phx, AZ. You know those freaky special effect looking sandstorms called ‘haboobs’?   They are really something, and I am sad I have never seen one in person.  Growing in Phx, and so having lived there approx 19 years, this had never happened ONCE.  According to this source, they happen about 3 times a year.  Now, is that climate change? I have no idea, and won’t pretend to know.  This PBS piece says it is directly related to ocean temperature.  If that is the case, it is absolutely related to climate change happening.

Just sayin, they just started happening in the last decade or so.  From afar, I just have to say it looks cool as hell.  If you are driving home, though, and see this?  I have a term for that.  I call it ‘Steven King outside’.  If someone says look at your window, what do you see?  I would look at this and say “it’s rather Steven King out today.”   Meaning > something this freakish, otherwordly, and endtimes-y… could only be in a Steven King story.

Do you think we can stop global warming or is it too late?

I think it was the prophet Donald Trump Tiny Tim Nicky Minaj Kid Rock Robert Burke who once said  ‘Evil triumphs when good men do nothing

Yes, it is too late to avoid the impacts, we are seeing them all around the world daily.  How about when a couple years ago, Kansas had the most tornadoes in history? Or when last year, for the first time in history, 3 cat 4 hurricanes made landfall?  Obviously, there are a million anecdotes like that. And obviously, one can likely find half a million anecdotes to disprove it.

Ok, soapbox tirade coming.

Let’s say climate change is a hoax made up by liberals.  For why? What, exactly, do we gain? What is the worst case scenario of us as a culture reacting aggressively to combat climate change?  Less pollution? Cleaner water? Gee, ok. Maybe it isn’t such a bad thing. Please consider this, mechanization (or… electricity… or automation… or engines) all came about about 120 years ago.  Let’s pin the date at about 1900 for reference. This is when cars, electricity, and the industrial revolution began. Do we not think that has had any impact on weather, or the environment? The only question to me is… how did it take so long?

If that planet isn’t getting fucked by very quickly changing for the worse environmental reasons, why are we hell bent on getting to mars?  Though the president does not acknowledge climate change, the US Govt does, and you can bet your ass the US Navy does.  Rising sea levels are a pretty BFD to deal to them.

“The pressures caused by climate change will influence resource competition while placing additional burdens on economies, societies, and governance institutions around the world,” 

Look at the pollution in Beijing?  In short, it exists because the Chinese economy was growing at a super scary rate of 12% annually, as opposed to the median 3%.  The govt was taking advantage of it, and they aren’t know to be touchy feely environmental impacts. This is the impact of coal burning fuel (cars, machines, manufacturing).  You cannot dispute that is where that is coming from. Perhaps a temperature inversion is making it worse… but this is carbon burning based pollution. This is what we have done to the earth for 120 years.  You can’t argue that. I guess what we can, and do, argue about is if we caused it. Well no shit we did, jackass.  I am no Ed Begley.  We live in a house larger than we need, and I drive a big ass pickup truck.  It’s for the horse trailer, but still.

I also think it is odd we have made it a political discussion, instead of an environmental one.  I have been lucky enough to be around the world. Just about everywhere I go, it is acknowledged.  Not with judgement, just as an observation. Most other countries see it as a thing that simply is.  There is also proof that even righty lawmakers know it is a thing, but they know they will get drummed out of office if they say anything about it (just like discussing gun violence).

it can all be addressed in SO much more a succinct manner with this

Image result for imagine a group of plucky scientists

What constitutes salad?

Image result for gross salad

It’s a simple question, with no easy answers.  As you may imagine, I have always been creative writer/ranter/provocateur.  In college, or maybe high school (this is all pre-internet) that was the name of my sad little refuselnik newsletter I made in college… thinking I was a subversive genius.  Really, the origin story of this blog goes back to this stupid, but legitimately interesting thesis of just what does constitute a salad.

What makes something a salad?  Had you asked 10 year old me, I would say lettuce.  We know that isn’t the case. Potato salad (gross). A mix of ingredients?  That is too lazy. Cereal and milk is a mix of ingredients. Has to be cold, maybe?  Nope. Take a look at a taco salad. There may be places that serve a taco salad cold, but those people are assholes.

Let’s ask the veterans word smiths I don’t have a copy of the OED, sadly… so we’ll use the online equivalent:  Dictionary.com says:

any of various dishes consisting of foods, as meat, seafood, eggs, pasta, or fruit, prepared singly or combined, usually cut up, mixed with a dressing, and usually served cold

Merriam Webster says:

1any of various usually cold dishes: such as small pieces of food (such as pasta, meat, fruit, or vegetables) usually mixed with a dressing (such as mayonnaise) or set in gelatin
2a green vegetable or herb grown for salad 
3a usually incongruous mixture HODGEPODGE

Well, that seems vague.  What have we learned above?  More messaging from Big Salad and the Big Salad lobby.  ‘Usually cold’, that is a total dodge. My omelette? That is totally salad.  Pizza? Yup, that is not only a salad, it is now officially good for you. Wait… cols pizza cut up into small pieces.  Look, I just crapped in some iceberg lettuce (and chopped it up.  There are rules, duh!)  Don’t act like you haven’t! Anyhow, that was yesterday, so its cold, and …chopped… it’s salad. I did it again today, too. But it won’t really count as salad until tomorrow.  I am not an animal.

It’s ok, its just an unsafe vehicle

image

Driving to work today, I saw this car.  Well, if you can call it that. Let’s first point out that I am mocking ‘unsafe vehicles’ while taking pictures and driving.  See what I do for you?

The doors, if you can zoom, are covered in cardboard.  It appears a tent on the roof, so I can assume that is also his home.  Not my point or my business. Truthfully, I feel like a jerk now that I see dude is literally living in on his car.  But we aren’t talking about that, stay with me.

In Colorado, you get speeding tickets.  Like most states, your ticket can be downgraded to an ‘unsafe vehicle’In Colorado, specifically, it drops your moving vehicle record gets 2 points instead of 4.  Big difference.

I speed.  A lot. Not proud of it, just making a point.  The idea that me going 90mph through a school zone  safely going 70 on a 4 lane freeway is safer and superior to this… seems kinda silly.  That’s all I am sayin’.

ed note to self – it is technically called an defective vehicle.  Oops, that is way fucking worse, isn’t it?  Here is what comes up when you google ‘defective vehicle’.  It’s ok, he wasn’t speeding!

Image result for defective vehicle

Yeah, I took typing in high school, so what about it?

Image result for monkey typing

You read that right, bubba.  I took typing in middle school, and high school.   Believe it or not, this was not a cool choice.  Ok, I guess you can believe that part.  Why? Two reasons > it was easy, and it was all girls.   Yeah, who is the dummy now? You don’t get homework in typing, which was nice.  This was a long time ago, pre-computers. Heck, in my first class, we didn’t even have electric typewriters.  Editors note – we need details, man. Ok, fair point.

I was in 8th grade, which makes me about 13, right?  Born in 1972, so this is about 1985. Our class had 10 or 12 manual typewriters, and one electric.   So, one day a month we each got to use the electric. Sidenote – did you know the ‘qwerty’ keyboard layout of letters is designed to be as inefficient as possible.   FACT. Manual typewriters were jamming, so this was laid out to slow down typists. Interesting, eh?

Sholes’ original prototypes had a problem with the bars colliding with each other and jamming. So the story goes that he arranged the keys with the most common letters in hard to reach spots, to slow typists down and try to avoid this problem.

Clearly, I was just dodging real school work.  I knew I would never actually use typing. Back then, mid-80s… typing was perceived as for women.  Specifically, secretaries. Today, we call them ‘executive admin’, or ‘Laura’. I did well in that class, a very good grade.  Come to think of it, how does one grade a typing class? I don’t remember. I just remembered that I learned to type like a motherfucker!  So when the chance came to take it again in high school… you bet your ass I was all over it.

And guess what?  Here is what I could have never guessed… how useful it would be. Imagine if you told me that most of America’s workforce sat at tiny desks all day long typing things.  In fact, no matter what job you have, it involves you sitting and typing all day. Regardless of sex or age or education level. The future of America is people sitting and typing.

In that sense, I think I won.  Wait!  You still want to beat me up?

I want to be the second guy in that room

Proctor Silex  White  2 Slice  Toaster  7.75 in. H x 6.5 in. W x 11.38 in. D

I keep thinking about this fun idea.  I want to go back in time to show a cell phone to the great minds of any time.  Let’s say the founding fathers of the USA back in Philadelphia. I want to step into the room of the… um…   6 to 8 alpha dogs. I wanted to show them a cell phone. Power it up, and hand it to them. Explain this little box accesses all recordings made.  What are recordings? We’ll explain that in a minute. It will let you talk to anyone else alive on Earth. From this device, you can access and read just about anything ever written of consequence.

THEN… show them a movie.  Any movie, but prolly best if it were a super hero movie where people were flying and shit… in HD.  Let them also assume that by now, we are all flying.

Explain that just about everyone has one, even the rather poor.   THEN… explain we mostly just use it to play games on the shitter.

THAT would blow their minds, capiche?  

Sure, that would be great.  I think it might be more fun to show them a rather minor invention, but still a great one nonetheless.  You got the whole ‘phone’ thing, right guys? Yeah, we call it a phone. We’ll explain that later. THIS, though… this is a ‘toaster’.  With the aid of electricity, (again, we’ll explain that later) it ‘toasts’ bread.  It takes a piece of bread, and we all love bread, and gently cooks it. Now, your bread is crispy on the outside, and still soft and chewy and warm on the inside.   

Maybe y’all aren’t ready for this.  Please, gentlemen… sit. It ‘toasts’ the bread on both sides.  Both fucking sides, I said.

The flying people and the repository of all music and literature that Kyle showed you?  True, it is pretty great. I am here to take questions about the toaster, though. Perhaps even investors.  Who’s with me, guys?

Ok, Tom, you had a question?  No.  It doesn’t fly, nor talk to people.  YET… you can almost always adjust the ‘toastedness’ of each slice.  Would you like some time to process this?  How about questions!  Any questions?

Michael?  No, I am sorry,  It doesn’t do invisibility, but neither does theirs.  Ours?  Does two slices at a goddamn time!  TWO you motherfuckers!  Ask Kyle if his precious phone does any of that?  The answer, gentlemen, is no.  No it does not.

Please, can we focus on the toaster, guys?

Barenaked Ladies & Steven Page… what are you waiting for?

Image result for gordon album cover                             

15 years ago, I wrote a piece here called ‘Never Say Never’.  The premise was all bands will get back together.  Barring death, of course. Back then, in 2004, I looked at the great white whales of broken bands:  Guns & Roses, and Pink Floyd.  It’s tough to say which guess was crazier.  Pink Floyd spent decades in court. Specifically, David Gilmour fought Roger Waters for the rights to the name.  This was an ugly and long battle. Still, I knew they would come back together. They did, since then, a whole bunch.

Then, I told you G&R would get back together.  Even though Slash & Velvet Revolver were a bi success (#1 album at the time I wrote that piece, in fact)… we all knew Slash & Axl could never be half as good apart as they were together.  Now, it’s been many years they have been back together. Very sad side note: they have been playing the same setlist since day 1 of reunion. Will they ever change the setlist? “Not in this lifetime!”. See what I did there?

Image result for oasis

Ok, who is left?  The Gallagher boys from Oasis?  I don’t even count that. I bet your ass that is not a feud still.  I bet they meet for beers monthly. How and why do I know this? Oasis broke up what 10 years ago?  How do they remain in the press EVERY SINGLE DAY? Collusion, that is how. Let’s hop over to NME.com (the British equivalent of Rolling Stone, but better regarded) and see what we can find.   Yup, here we go. Page one: some shit about Liam. Now, don’t believe me? No matter when you are reading this, hop over to NME.com (which I do religiously. Aside from their Gallagher obsession, they are top notch) and you will find a headline about either Noel or Liam.  My point being… they are just playing until someone offers 100 million to do the O2 for a week. Their ‘feud’ is a fraud!

So… what happens to break up the ‘Ladies’?  Well, Steven (who was married until about 10 minutes after this little event) gets busted for coke.   How?   Well, that is just weirder.

Just after 2 a.m., Manlius officers on patrol found a car parked across the sidewalk

with its driver’s side door open outside the apartment. An officer looked up the 

license plate and saw it was registered to that address, Bleyle said.  As officers approached the house, they saw Page and Stephanie Ford, 25, at the kitchen table with a white capsule that later tested positive for cocaine

Right after this happens, Page leaves the group as a ‘mutual parting’.   It still breaks my heart. I fully get why they had to do it, though. I guess it was the end of an era.  Remember what Doug Hopkins said after Gin Blossoms fired him (and right before he committed suicide’?  You don’t, but I do. Hopkins said “I get why they fired me, but they didn’t have to be so fucking brutal about it!”.

Let’s just look at the timeline here.  BNL is set to do a kids album (or had just done one) and booked a bunch of stuff with Disney.  During this exact period (a few months, I’ll guess) he gets busted for coke… and cheating on his wife.  Kinda looks like the band choices were:  keep Steven and forego Disney money, fire Steven and pick up that cool 10 million.   Sorry Steven, they didn’t choose you.  Ironic, isn’t it?  “If I had a million dollars…” insert a million jokes here.  “I’d spend on hookers and blow (if I had a million dollars) you’d host a cruise but I couldn’t go…”

I have seen everyone in rock.  I have been to hundreds of national shows (“last count was about 250 in the last 20 years since we moved to Denver.  In the top shows of all the ones I have seen, Barenaked Ladies shows are always at the top.  First time I saw them, I only knew few songs, I left that show a lifelong fan.  Same thing happened with Pearl Jam.  There is no one better than BNL – Page & Robertson riffing and goofing together.

Ok, hold on and time out.  I went all me above and overstated the situation of them apart.  It is true that with them, one and one makes three. But here is proof each is amazing.  I say ‘each’ because we aren’t talking about the rest of the band. We are talking about the power struggle of John & Paul, Mick & Keith, Axl & Slash, Don & Glenn, Lindsay and Stevie = Ed Robertson & Steven Page.

Here is what I mean by how good they are alone.  Here are some wonderful and kind of odd clips. The first series is Ed Robertson filming himself doing all their hits in his bathroom with an acoustic guitar.

The second piece is Steven Page wandering around in a park and singing his hits from the band.  Don’t look at any stills. Its not good, he looks like a wandering hobo.  His voice is still just perfect.  You guys belong together!

Good news… they all are on some kind of speaking terms.  they appeared together last year and it was just perfect. Perhaps naively, we assumed they had kissed and made up and were ready to announce a tour.  Not yet, I guess. I can tell you, they WILL return together. When they do, I will be there. You should, too.

*** can I riff for a moment on that album cover up there at the top?  Apparently, they replaced it with this.  My brother Johnny turned me on to the band from this first album.  While I LOVE that album, and now regard it as a masterpiece, it took me a long time to listen to it.  Why? I guess you might call it homophobia. That album cover is SO gay. Not a little bit gay, either.  Not gay like ‘hey its no one’s business’. That, I agree with. This album cover was more like ‘oh, there is a big ass Canada gay waive and we are coming for you… coming ON you!  You will ALL be gay when we are done. don’t judge me, as everyone else clearly felt that way.  Here is the new cover of the first album.

Editors Note: 

This is a cross post from my music site.  I do a bit of music writing over there.  The reason the post is here is the formatting on blogger (where the other site lives) sucks!  You get what you pay for (free)!  So I wrote it in wordpress to then move over to their platform pre-formatted.  Then… I figured… why not leave it here?  Content is content, eh?

So you want to travel the world?

Macchu 1

*** this piece is part of a larger series on my travel writing, called the ‘Travel Thai-aries®’  It is best to start here before going any further. ***

Wifey and I just got back from a wonderful trip to Peru.  It was just amazing, but no surprise.  People tend to have the same reaction > I wanna go to Peru, too!

No you don’t.  You don’t want to go to Peru.  You want to be in Peru.  See, going to Peru is quite a pain in the ass, and some high level tedium as well.  You wanna just GO to Peru, I’ll take you right now.  We’ll do a virtual reality adventure.

seans back

Is that Peru?  Did we make it to Lima?  Are we at Machu Picchu yet?  I have no idea, because this is all I saw for 2 weeks.

See that?  It’s a headrest and the back of someone’s head.  That is pretty much your view for the next 12 hours.  Oh, there are variations to be sure, but mostly this will be your trip.  Perhaps you think “oh, to be the guy up front.  At least he gets the cool view.”  Wrong.  First off, he is very tall, so this whole trip will be misery on his body.  Secondly?  You don’t really EVER want to see the view straight ahead when traveling outside the US.  Everywhere outside the US they drive like maniacs.  Somehow it works, but it is terrifying.

Do you really want the view up front in a greyhound when the greyhound decides to pass into oncoming traffic on a split highway round blind corners in the cloud forest of Costa Rica?  No, you do not.  Because you don’t want to see that bus coming at you at 60, and your driver’s solution is NOT to get back into his lane, but to honk at the idiot who is driving down the mountain in their own lane.  When it’s not that, there just may be a cow on the highway that you don’t see until its too late.  Or, fires right in the road.

Somehow, it always works out.  But, I have learned in traveling a decent chunk of the world to stick with the view out the windows.  Sideways is your friend, I promise.

Slow down, that was just the long ass drive to the airport at 5 am.  Scroll back up to that picture and sit down and stare at it for 45 minutes.   DO IT!  You want to travel, this is the deal.  Ok, airport time.  Ready for lines, asshole? You better be.  Now that you are traveling international, expect LOTS of scrutiny and lines everywhere.

lines of peru

That is the wifey ahead of me in line.  I actually had writing this piece in mind before we left. This is why I am prepared with seemingly dumb photos and perspectives.   Why we are deck out in jackets to head to the jungle?  Because we had to get up at 3 am and stand in that freezing ass Pike’s Peak parking lot to wait for the shuttle bus.  Also, after a week in the beautiful but hot ass jungle, our next stop was Machu Picchu at 12K feet.  Don’t worry, we were only there for a few hours.  You don’t get those photos.  You get to see what the real aspect of travel is > just lines and buses.

Ok, security is done.  Once again, paying that $75 for ‘pre’ was WAY worth it.  Even though I only fly a few times a year… it is worth it.  It gets you relaxed security protocols, and a secret much shorter line.  I am loathe to endorse any aspect of TSA, but this program is worth its weight in teeny tiny airline bottles of booze that are hidden all over my person.

seatback plane

This is nice.  The stressful part is over for a long time.  Now, we sit!  You want to go to Peru?  Ok.  Stare at this picture for 6 hours.  Surely, for a 6 hour flight across the continent and the equator will have TVs and movies and charging ports for USB, right?  Not this cheap ass plane.  This was our flight to Panama.  I get it, these are first world problems.  Who am I to bitch about world travel?  I am Correct, that’s who!  Scroll back up.  Remember, stare at that seat for 6 hours.  You are totally free to sleep, just don’t get up.  You can’t.  Once the 6 hours has elapsed, you may continue reading.

Because I am kind, and wisely looped on valium and booze, we can skip ahead.  We now need to get on our third plane today.  The first one went from Colorado to Panama.  The next was Panama to Lima, Peru.  This last one was Lima, Peru to Puerto Maldonado.  This was not exactly supersonic modern travel.  Here, I snuck a picture of this janky ass plane.

sketch plane puerto maldonado

Ok, we made it!  Well, not really, but the air travel part is over.  Let’s jump to this part.  Please stare at this for 45 more minutes.  Don’t get up.  And don’t be concerned that the idea this thing we travel over is barely a ‘road’ by any stretch.

the road

We were in an old Land Cruiser.  It looked SO cool, but as a ride was horrible.  The suspension was shot, no seatbelts, and a door that didn’t totally close.  Go ahead and put a camping chair on your washing machine.  Then put one of those really heavy rugs in the washing machine that makes it freak out off balance.  You know, when you can hear the machine from upstairs… and you go down to check on it and it has walked about 5 feet away from where it was?  Yeah, that is your drive from the airport.

Ok. Time for a well earned break.  95% of our travel is done.  We made it to the headwaters of the Amazon fucking river!  How cool is this.  This photo is taken nearing the confluence of the Madre De Rios river, and the Tambopata river.  Here is the photo most would post.  This is the Instagram influencer photo.

madre de dios 1
it was stunning.  We are finally here!  We are on the river of the headwaters of the amazon river in the jungle in Peru.  This picture isn’t the whole story, though.  It is some clever selection of what I want to show you.  Here is a more accurate portrayal, taken standing in the exact same spot.  You see, this below is what the world looks like. You won’t find it in any travel books or commercials, though.

madre de dios 2

This is not a criticism of Peru.  Their streets were cleaner than hours.   Just keep in mind for every single shot like the top one, this one right here is the one you aren’t seeing.  The one they are likely standing on to take that other shot.

Ok, more driving.  I pictured this.  This was the drive described in the brochure.

the road 1

Ha ha ha, you dummy.  No, your 2 hour drive will be this.

the road

Yes, you feel all in touch with your human roots now.  Most tours don’t let you see this stuff.  That is why we don’t do tours.  We craft our own adventure.  In the business, they call it ‘independent traveling’, and they don’t like it.  Anyhow, I didn’t even have this view above.  I had this view.

road view sean

Most of my amazing Peruvian memories involve Sean’s neck.  End result was this.  Just an amazing trip.  However, if you did this right without cheating… it took you 16 hours from when you started this piece.  If it didn’t, scroll back up to the airplane headrest shot.  Stare at that for another 4 hours, because you didn’t count the flight from Panama city to Lima, Peru.

 

Now you have traveled the world!  Oh, here is another example from Thailand that very much fits the theme.  I can’t find my pictures, so these are pictures I copped from the internet.  However, I genuinely have these exact same photos.  There is a very famous and iconic Angkor Wat photo.  It is the main palace and sunrise, and being reflected in the water for a perfect mirror image.

angor watt 1

To get this pictures sucks ass!  You get up at like 4 am, and trudge through the mud with thousands of other pilgrims looking for the shot.  The shot, like the one above it, is worth it.  It is spectacular, and even more beautiful in person.  However, what none of these photos show you is how we got the shot.  In a thousand pics of this, you will a very specific angle, which means there is basically one location to get this photo.  Turn his camera around, and this is what you actually see.  This, below, is my memory.  and getting pushed into that mud by understandably overeager tourists.

angor watt 2

see how I didn’t blame the Chinese on that one?

And see how at least people are staying out of the water?  Yeah, that wasn’t the case when we were there.  Folks were in the mud.  We were in the mud.  I sure as shit wasn’t to going to miss this shot for anything.  Even if I am only using my cell phone camera.  This gal, whose picture I stole, wrote about her experience dealing with the whole thing of getting this shot. It’s pretty great, so let me acknowledge here, and read her piece.

People didn’t travel to the other side of Earth to miss this shot.   Also, people are pushing you all the time… maybe on purpose, maybe not.  No one means harm.  It is just that we all have about a 6 minute window to get the perfect picture.  And somehow, ideally, the picture above without all these folks.  I think it would be fun to do a travel book just about this.  ‘This’ being the disparity of the beauty of the world’s great sites… and the task it is to get there.  And… what you actually see.  I get it, these are painfully first world problem.  Boo hoo to the rich white guy with problems traveling the world.  I get that, and I agree.  Maybe this is why Rick Steve’s doesn’t leave Europe.  Anyone wanna pay me to do this?

 

*** I didn’t even get to tell you about the train into Aguas Caliente.  Here is how that worked.  Get some motion sickness in ya.  I mean sea-sick throwing up into a bag.  Then, come back and spend 3 more hours reading this.  That was the train ride.  🙂