Halcyon Repose

Life

Perseverance

by on Jun.12, 2010, under Life

Making myself hit the gym this week seemed to be harder than ever. I some how managed to make it every day regardless *cheer*. I guess if it was easy, it wouldn’t be called working out.

I can only hope that next week will be easier, though the past has shown me that getting to the gym during my on call weeks is even harder than normal 0_0.

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Long time no see.

by on Jul.28, 2009, under Life

It is amazing how often I think about posting, but yet I never do. I come up with a decent post in my head, but it just never makes it to the site. I am by no means the avid blogger that many of the people are that I follow are, but hey, I should at least make an effort right?

I also constantly yearn to go take some more photos, but I haven’t had the time recently. This summer has been constant motion. Hopefully things will slow down some so that I can relax and do some recreational photo shoots.

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Santa Barbara and Cars!

by on May.08, 2009, under Life, Photography

Pictures from my trip to Santa Barbara.

Full larger images and comments in the Gallery to the right.

I also offer up some pictures of my car. It has been over 3 years, and I just now got to take her out for some pictures. Two slide shows in on post gets awfully busy, so head over to the Gallery also to the right.

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Being Mean

by on Jan.14, 2009, under Life

I am updating my website so that Alana can not play her game. Perhaps I’ll check everyone’s facebook status next.

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Update to site

by on Jan.09, 2009, under Life

Yes my site looks bad, yes I’ll fix it… at some point.

Edit: Ok, now things don’t make your eyes bleed. I guess my previous theme was not compatible with the new version of WordPress :( I’ll go searching for something new I like soon.

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Contact

by on Jan.05, 2009, under Life

A year ago I made a post about a shipment I had received in the mail which had been damaged in shipment, and as a consolation prize I received someone else’s shipment of personal photographs. At the time, I had done some research, trying to find contact information about the owner, and while I was able to find mention of some of her art pieces on exhibit in Florida, I was unable to find a a way to contact her directly.

For over a year, the box sat in my closet, the constant reminder that I need to go looking for the owner again. Finally, when packing for my holiday trip, the box completely disintegrated, spilling the contents all over my closet. This ultimate reminder finally goaded me into doing another quick net search this weekend, and sure enough, this time, I was able to find a facebook profile matching her name.

I quickly sent her a message, trying to sound as non-stalker like as possible, and today I received a message confirming that she was the owner of the lost package. As stalkerish as it felt trying to track her down, it was nice to find out that she was relieved to find out about her lost family mementos. Address in hand, I will finally be able to send her pictures to her, and get them out of my closet. A win for everyone.

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Not a fan of Prop 8

by on Dec.03, 2008, under Life

Like most people here in California, I am not a fan of prop 8. If two people want to marry, I think that they should be able to regardless of race, class, or sex. The backlash after the polls has been pretty severe, and I get the feeling that we will see this come up again at the next polls.

That being said, I found a great clip on Whil Wheaton’s blog, and I thought I would post it, the best comes at around the 2:00 mark.

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die
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Ireland, The Journal Part 5

by on Nov.10, 2008, under Life

Finally getting around to my final part of Ireland posts. Sorry it took so long, but I have been working constantly it seems, and when I was not, I felt like I need to force some inactivity to keep from going crazy. I was lazy sums it up pretty well.

Day 11
Tuesday, September 30th

After getting up late, we made the trip downstairs for a breakfast, and then back upstairs to shower and pack. We checked out, and the lady of the house was kind enough to let us keep our car parked in front of the house for the day while we did some site seeing.

We caught the Dart to the Tara Street station, and the walked the last few blocks to Trinity College. School had just started up, and Fresher week was ongoing. This made the trip across the courtyard into an epic battle situation. After we navigated our way through the student activities booths we made our way to the Library. Before reaching the Book of Kells there are a couple of rooms detailing the creation and history behind the old books, which Joe and I poured over. The whole process
was amazing an the artwork beautiful. It rekindled my desire to get a tattoo, and of course if you are going to get a tattoo of celtic knotwork, Dublin is the place to do it. I am sure my mother would love that, for sure.

After going through the intro material, we made our way to book room where we got to see two of the books of Kell, one opened to text, the other opened to a pictorial, and two of the other manuscripts they put out on display. The art work Is amazing in all the pictures you see, but it is
truly breathtaking in real life. You get to see the way the light catches all of the different inks, and how truly small and detailed some of the pictures really are. To think that to produced the texts hundreds of years ago is really awe-inspiring.

Next we went upstairs to the Long Room which, by the way, is incredibly huge and deserving of the name. Stacks of old texts tower to the ceiling and busts line the room on either side. They have a display of books along the center of the room, and off to the sides. This room is also were Ireland’s oldest harp is on display, which we had been clued onto by a kind couple in one of the B&Bs we stayed at while in Galway.

After the library it was back to the Dart we headed. We picked up our car and checked into the Kingfisher, our new B&B for the rest of the trip. We grabbed lunch at Cahoots again, the deli next to he B&B, where we were able to log onto their wifi and get caught up with the rest of the world before setting out for the rest of the day. This time I just had a bowl of potato and leek soup, hoping to get dessert as well, which never happened.

We paid for the hope on hop off bus pass, and took it to a part of the city where Joe could find his bank for an ATM. That hunt ended up being a bust, so we hopped back on the bus and headed to the Guinness Storehouse. It was an interesting tour, but the free pint and the gift shop were by far the best parts. After the tour we got back to the bus stop just as the bus was pulling away. Since the next bus was the last of the day, we had an extended wait of 30 minutes in the cold drizzle and cutting wind. We did meet a cute Asian girl from California named Cathy who was waiting as well, and we passed the time talking till the bus came. After embarking, we continued our conversation in the bus until we actually had the bus driver stop the bus and come back to tell us that the other two riders couldn’t hear the tour information… Pssh

We rode the bus back to O’Connell street, dropped off our bags, and headed to Flanagan’s for a BBQ chicken pizza and some bruchetta. After dinner, we went to Temple Bar to find The Kitchen nightclub, but alas we still didn’t find it. We did find a spot called The Purty Kitchen, so we stopped in for a pint of New Castle. Next was the huge Fitzsimons, for a Kilkenny and some live music. Then to a very small local bar called The Lotts (snug bar) for a Guinness to finish off the night.

Day 13
Wednesday, October 1st

Man these two weeks have flown by. This is our last full day, and we started it off with breakfast as usual. Then we went out so I could get some new socks and undies (I had hopes to wash at some point which never happened and I was completely out). We also stopped to get gifts for the peeps at home. Then we were off to the National Gallery of Ireland.

The building was a mass of labyrinthine rooms, layered in paintings. The number of pieces was amazing, and we easily wandered the rooms for a few hours.

After we finished the gallery we went hunting for lunch. I had a chicken and rice curry for lunch at the Brewbaker Cafe. Then we set off in search of the National Museum of Ireland. There was a great
Tara exhibit which was interesting after having visited the site earlier. They also had exhibits for Egypt and the Vikings, as well as a lot of Celtic jewelries from the ages.

After finishing at the museum, we stopped by the post so Joe could send off the last of his postcards, and seeing as how it was early yet, we stopped for a pint of Guiness at O’Donoghue’s since most of the attractions were closing down for the day. We got a pint of Guinness, and while Joe was in the bathroom I butting into the conservation with the people next to us. They was Marian and Dave from Arizona and Dave who was a local Dublin finance guy. We talked about travel, the American economy, Dave bought a round for everyone, and Marian tried to convince me to vote for McCain. About that time, another American couple, Pam and Al, asked me to take their photograph. I talked with them about the sites of Ireland for abit, and when they left I rejoined the conversation with the others.

After a couple of hours, we told them farewell, and headed back to pack. After packing we checked we the guy at the front desk for an Indian restaurant recommendation. He recommended a place called Maloti, which was a bit of a walk but well worth it. I got a large bottle of cobra, a fried onion appetizer, the standard chicken tikka marsala, and the obligatory garlic nan. All top quality stuff, and a good place to end the trip on, because we headed back to the hotel to crash before our flight out the next morning.

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Ireland Images

by on Oct.23, 2008, under Life, Photography

The photos of Ireland are finally up. I managed to find a few hundred I actually liked and now that all the post processing is out of the way, I’ll get the rest of my travel journal posted.

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Ireland, The Journal Part 3

by on Oct.08, 2008, under Life

On and on we go.

Day 6
Wednesday, September 24th

Upon waking up, Joe and I started off with another round of breakfast. I finally realized that the traditional Irish breakfast is way too much meat, and leaving a bit on the plate keeps me from feeling weighed down.

After getting ready, we packed up the car and then walked back to the town center to do a little shopping. Joe wanted to get another polarization filter for his second lens, and we stopped by a music store to pick up some CDs for the drive. I also wanted to stop by Fig Coili and pick up their tshirt as a memento.

Once we finished shopping, we headed back to the car and set off to the Cliffs of
Moher. The country side on the way was definitely different as we traveled south. It was almost all being used for raising animals and it was extremely rocky.
The rock fences are out in force here, adding a little something different to the ambiance of the area.

The cliffs themselves were absolutely amazing, though a bit underwhelming at first compared to all the build up. We went out to the overlook to left and seeing a bunch of people out, beyond the lookout point, we hoped the wall and headed out to join them. I could complain about the bugs, the narrow ledges, or the stink of cow, but I won’t. Instead I’ll mention the amazing views further down the trail. It has obviously seen much use over the years, and for good reason, the shots we were able to get were amazing. On the way back, we noticed everyone seem to be enjoying some soft served ice cream. We decided to try some out, and it was some of the best soft served I have had in a long time.

From there we headed toward the portal tomb Poulnabrone Doleman, of course the fastest route from where we were was another narrow one lane road. After a death defying trip down the road, we arrived in Kilfenora and stopped at the local church which was noted as having a large display of High Crosses, and which had a small graveyard.

After taking some pictures, we continued on to Poulbabrone Doleman.
The landscape had gotten so rocky that trees were starting to get scarce. The man made rock formation set atop a very small cairn, and it was as eye catching as they were meant to be.

From there we decided to stay at the first small town we came to, which ended up being Corofin. We found a beautiful B&B, called Corofin Country House, which was the most expensive we have stayed at in the republic, but it was also by far the nicest.

After settling in, we walked back down to town in search of dinner and stopped at a little place called Bofey Quinns. I got the Lasagna and chips (and if you give me chips I will eat them), and Joe got a fish pie that was really good. We then split a chocolate cake which really did hit the spot. Beer of the night was Smithwicks.

We spent a few hours sitting and talking and around 9pm, a few locals showed up and started tuning their instruments, by 9:30 there were a full dozen musicians in a circle playing. The little local gathering was much more fun and interesting than the paid musicians you normally find in the pubs. We stayed for as long as we could stay awake, and then walked back to the room.

Day 7
Thursday, September 25th

We got up that morning by 8 so that we could eat (the blood sausage was not to my liking today, but Joe enjoyed it), and we were out the door running.

We made it to Bunratty Castle in short order and once in the park we made a B-line to the castle itself. It was in great condition, having been fully restored about 50 years ago, and a lot of the furniture was really interesting. After taking pictures around inside the castle (thank you 50mm 1.4… I love you), we checked out the rest of the park. It was of those restored village, ‘see how the people lived’ kind of things, which means it was pretty hocky and over played, but there were some nice pictures to be had.

On the way out we stopped in Limmerick for lunch. Our first choice for lunch was closed, so we stopped at small deli called The Wild Onion. I had an Irish style hamburger, and some hash browns both of which were really good. We also took the time to write out all of our postcards, and basically relax for a bit. On the way out I got a homemade chocolate chip cookie to munch on later.

Joe and I then made our way to Cork, and just as we pulled up to the Jurys Inn (Dagmara, the receptionist at the Blizzard Cork office was awesome and hooked us up with the corporate discount), Alex gave us a call. We took a few minutes to get checked in and unwind, and then I called him back.

We met Alex and a local (David) at St Patrick’s St at the bridge and we in search of a pub before dinner. We found An Bodhran and sat down for a Murphy’s since I had not tried it yet. Murphy’s was just as good as Guiness, and when in the south, it is the drink of choice.

An Brog was the next stop. It smelled of very old smoke, BO, and sex, but we got a beer anyways. This is where we tried Beamish for the first time.

Next, for food, we went across the river to a take out Indian restaurant called Spice Route for some really good tikka marsala and naan. After that we stopped by Greene’s Restaurant to set up a reservation for dinner Saturday night. Then we went for one more drink and we ended up at Bar Thios. After a pint we made plans to meet up with Alex the next morning for our trip to Kerry/Blarney.

Day 8
Friday September 26th

We started things off early, picking Alex up by 8 o’clock. We immediately headed out to Killarney. We made good time getting to the park and we spent some time taking pictures around the garden, and we drove down the road to Torc falls. After taking some pictures we started around the Ring of Kerry. Stopping pretty regularly to snap some pics.

We stopped in Kenmare for lunch at a small Italian restaurant called Prego by Day, I had a filling sausage and onion baguette. After lunch we got back to the journey. The roads were narrow, and while I was too busy driving to check out a lot of the scenery, I did enjoy driving to the utmost, taking advantage of the 100km speed limit around the tight corners.

We stopped regularly for photo ops, about one third as often as Alex wanted. After covering the south part of the ring, the roads straightened up and we were able to make a lot better time. We finished up the drive and made it back to Cork by 8:30.

Dinner was at Wagamama, a Japanese fusion restaurant. We had a large Asahi each, with some duck gyoza, and I had some fried Yaki soba, which was not too filling, so I didn’t have to worry about getting too full to drink.

After dinner we went South’s Bar so that Alex could meet up with his Russian friends. We had a black current Guiness (a little to sweet), and Smithwick’s to finish off the night. I asked the bar if they could do a carbomb but they said no since it would get us too drunk, what a waste. :(

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