Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Texting While Driving

11 Apr

We all have bad driving habits. We talk on the phone, pay more attention to the kids in the back seat than the road in front of us, sometimes, we pay more attention to the radio than to traffic. I’m not a perfect driver, or a perfect anything, for that matter. I don’t expect I ever will be. But we need to try and cut down on some of the more dangerous distractions.

Yet another young life was lost to texting while driving. The text wasn’t a big deal, just a mundane conversation that cost a young man his life.

Calling Indiana Jones

24 May

Some of the most fascinating archeological work currently being done is in Central and South America. One of the major sites is Pachacamac, outside of Lima, Peru. It’s currently under review to receive World Heritage status, which is only given to sites judged to have outstanding universal value.

Just recently there was a new find at Pachacamac- a massive burial tomb containing over 80 bodies, including a many infants, adults, and even some animals. The reasons for this tomb are still unknown, with many more questions than answers.

I am completely jealous of those working on finding out the answers.

Archaeological Botany

19 Feb

Imagine this- you’re a botanist working at a major research university when one day you get a call from the archeology department. “Hi, we’ve found what we’re pretty certain was a garden over 2,500 years ago. Do you think you could tell us what kind of plants lived her?”

I think that call has to come first, because how are archeologists going to recognize that there’s pollen captured in plaster? As a pollen expert, how often do you get a chance to work on a project like this?

Do we need a new field of study for botany- archeological botany?

Old Dreams

11 Jan

Way back when, I was a History major who wanted a masters in Museum Studies and my brother was an Archaeology major. I used to have these fantasies of us working at an important archeological site together and finding something amazing, something like the Hallaton Helmet.

Dating from Emperor Claudius’s invasion of Britian around two thousand years ago, the helmet took over 10 years to restore after it was first found (by a guy with a metal detector, along with a number of ancient coins). What a perfect combination of the work of archeologists and the specialists at the museum.

Carpool Lane Rant

11 Dec

I do not care that there are two people in your car. If you decide to move yourself over in to the carpool lane, you need to be going faster (or at least the same speed) as traffic on the rest of the freeway. Moving over into the carpool lane and then proceeding to drive 10mph SLOWER than everyone else is NOT kosher. It’s especially not kosher when you have oversized boards sticking out the back of your truck. Yes, you should in fact be going slow, but there is NO need for you to be in the carpool lane.

California Dreaming

23 Mar

I recently planned a vacation we will never take. Well, never may be a strong word, but the likelihood is probably 15% or less.

I like planning. I like dreaming. I know how much we can technically afford, and I love the idea of going places.

So why won’t we take the trip? Mostly because the money we have would be better spent preventing the basement from flooding, paying for college, or saving for a trip to Europe in a couple of years.

Still, I like my $1,000 dream, and will hold on to it for a day or two.


Atlantis Discovered?

15 Mar

It was thought Troy was just a legend until Heinrich Schliemann paid for a dig in the late 1860s. While we don’t know if the Trojan War actually happened, we do know that Troy was real.

Now, researchers believe they have found the fabled lost city of Atlantis- in Spain. As with Troy, the only mention of the city was in ancient Greek writings, but it may be time to remove “fabled” from the description. Buried under centuries of mud in the marshlands north of Cadiz, there’s a city that was wiped out by a tsunami. Have we found Atlantis?

The Disaster in Japan

14 Mar

The magnitude of the disaster in Japan is growing. I had such hopes that the number of dead would remain in the hundreds. As of this morning, 2,800 were confirmed dead, but with suspicions of 10s of thousands more.

The earthquake, tsunami, aftershocks, and explosions at the nuclear power plant are causing devastation not known in that country since the end of WWII.  Hopefully, an outpouring of aid will commence. Their government is not equipped to handle a disaster on this scale.

To my friends who have friends and family in the country- I hope your loved ones are safe.

A weekend away

01 Nov

I love living in Washington. Even with the gray skies and rain, we have some of the loveliest scenery in the country. And when the weather cooperates, there’s not much that can compare.

I spent the weekend out in Discovery Bay, a ferry ride from Seattle with a short drive across the Hood Canal bridge, through beautiful fall foliage. The bay was tranquil. Saturday was a crisp and sunny, conducive to relaxation and spending time with friends.

It was the a wonderful fall weekend, a last bit of vitamin D before the gray takes over for the next few months.


The View from the Train

17 Oct

The train ride between Seattle and Sacramento is a lovely trip in the fall. Going over the Cascade Range, the foliage was beautiful. For the most part, the trees were evergreens, but there were the occasional patches of deciduous trees in full fall colors, standing out from the green. We passed the Minnow Damn and rode along the Oregon and Washington coast.

We got to travel through small towns that you do not see from the freeway and peak into people’s back yards. The whistle stop train stations were cute pieces of a past we don’t see much of anymore.


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