Saturday, 5 November 2011

Danger 5!

Wow, I almost think this may not be real, simply because it looks like it's going to be so amazing:

But according to their website (which has a pretty hilarious spoof on a 60s action magazine complete with clickable articles), they're actually going to produce this, starting November 21st. I'm pretty sure the guy who says "Domo Arigato" is wearing the same wig I wear for most Halloweens.

I'm gaining more and more respect for Australia and Australians.

Monaco is the November Vacation of my Dreams

Monaco is situated not too far from the place where my friends have their summer flat. When I visited them for the first time about 25 years ago, they wanted to show me all the most interesting places and Monaco was among them. We travelled with the car, and there were the custom barriers in that period. I had the permission to stay only in Italy and could not pass the border, normally. But we found one place where the customs officers did not look at the passes (even if the first time I laid on the seat under the coat).This way we passed every afternoon and evening abroad.


One evening we were near the famous casino of Monaco and wanted to enter inside. Together with the very beautiful women with evening dresses. :-) that went out from Aston Martins cabriolets... Do you think, it was unpossible to enter there? No, we could enter without any problem in the main hall. But it was only a beautiful building... The entrance of the casino was in that main hall. Clearly, we could not enter there without special evening clothes.
Monaco was so beautiful in the daytime and in the evening, and I was so much impressed by it's beauty...I thought, it is the most beautiful place I've ever seen in my life (betraying my love for Saint Petersburg).
Hotel in Monaco
I would like to visit Monaco once more. But NOW, in this period. Do you know, why? Because they have the most important feast on Nov. 19 and it will be the fireworks show in the evening. They say that those fireworks are the most beautiful in Europe. I would like to see this show...

Friday, 4 November 2011


Just a quick re-cap from Blogtoberfest: It was awesome! Many thanks to everyone who checked out the posts. I actually got up to 31, which is one more than last year. We'll have to see what I can get done next year!

I'll also include the Pictures of the Day from October if you'd like to check them out. You can see larger versions of them and the October Leftovers on flickr, or you can just check out the slideshow here:

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Walking the Nantes-Brest canal - update for 2012

The Red Dog Books guide to the Nantes-Brest canal first came out in 2007, and has been very well-received, proving popular with walkers and cyclists alike. It gives maps of the entire 365kms with details of what to see, where to stay and places to buy provisions. The introduction also covers the history of the canal and its construction.
This guide is now in the process of being updated for a new issue in 2012, when it will appear in a bi-lingual English/French form - the result of so many French people asking for a guide of this handy spiral-bound format in their own language.
Autumn and Winter walkers should make the canal towpath a prime target, as it offers easy going on made paths which do not get too muddy, although some stretches (in Finistere in particular) are occasionally underwater after very wet weather. Recommended areas for beautiful and varied scenery are the Foret de Branguily near Pontivy, from Plelauff to Bonen in Cotes d'Armor and from Chateauneuf-du-Faou to Pont Coblant in Finistere.

Monday, 31 October 2011


I originally had combined this post with the last post about the Animal Sanctuary, but it became really huge so I divided them since they're not related, anyhow.

I put a message on Twitter the other day talking about an app called Box giving away 50 GB of cloud storage to iOS 5 users. I've not got an iPad or an iPhone, but I'm sure a lot of you do. Still, I do have an iPod touch, which is basically like an iPhone without the phone (and with a crappier camera, unfortunately). Nevertheless, I downloaded the app and I indeed have 50 GB of free cloud storage now. It's a pretty good backup option for documents and pictures, quite similar to Dropbox in many ways. In any case, if you're interested, check out this link. It does say that it'll only be doing the free 50 GB offer for 50 days, which means there are probably 40 days or so left. I don't get anything if you do or don't go for this deal, but I thought I'd share it since it seems pretty cool.

So, that's it for now... We'll have a Blogtoberfest wrap-up in a little bit, though!

Wild Animal Sanctuary

I recently saw this picture on

At first I couldn't figure out what it was, but then I read the caption:

"Keenesburg/Colorado, USA. Noch feiern die Amerikaner zwar nicht Erntedank, Truthahn gibt es f�r den L�wen aber trotzdem schon. Der gerupfte Vogel wird dem Tier im Wildtier-Schutzgebiet serviert, in dem rund 290 L�wen, Tiger, B�ren, W�lfe und andere gro�e Fleischfresser leben. Das Gel�nde ist das �lteste und gr��te seiner Art in den USA."

That more or less means:

"Although Americans aren�t celebrating Thanksgiving yet, the lions already have turkeys. The bird is being served in a wildlife reserve area, in which around 290 lions, tigers, bears, wolves and other large meat-eaters live.  The reserve is the oldest and largest of its kind in the USA."

I noticed the Keenesburg, Colorado part and I realized that it was talking about a wildlife reserve where my dad volunteers sometimes (he's a veterinarian). I found their page online and it's pretty interesting. I thought I was going to just look at it for a minute, but there's so much information that I spent about an hour there, and now I'd really like to go visit the facilities next time I'm in Colorado. You can check the website out here if you want: The Wild Animal Sanctuary. (It's also got more information if you're interested in visiting).

My dad also mentioned that the reserve has trouble keeping things running since it's a pretty expensive type of place to operate. We always complain that our two cats (aka Our Little Crap Factories) are expensive to maintain, but I can't imagine how much it must cost to keep a bunch of wild tigers, panthers, and bears.

I considered making a donation, although when I checked it out more I saw that they also have an online gift shop, and the products are pretty cool (I like this picture of a lion that looks eerily similar to 1980s Steve Perry, and the lion in this poster reminded me a bit of our old cat Cucho... with Steve Perry Lion behind him). Even better, the proceeds from online purchases are tax deductible and support the Sanctuary. Or, if you're so inclined, I think it seems like a good place to make a donation. I myself bought an item in the store and made a donation to help out the Wild Open Spaces project today. That's a program to buy land surrounding the reserve to expand it and build the "Mile into the Wild Walkway." It seems like a great idea because it combines animal protection and expanded open space, both of which I strongly support. It'd be cool if you'd consider it, too. Thanks!

That's all for the moment, but now that I've asked for your help, in a few minutes I'll put up a link that may help you!

The Ghosts of Halloween Costumes Past

They don't really celebrate Halloween here in Costa Rica. Well, I guess they do have some parties, but since it's not part of the cultural background here, it feels a bit like forced cultural imperialism. But in this case, it's strange because the country is forcing the cultural imperialism on itself, if that makes any sense. As long as they don't try to adopt Thanksgiving, possibly my favorite holiday, I'll probably be OK. But Thanksgiving is ours, man!

But hey, Halloween's OK by me. We didn't go to any Halloween parties this year, but I have been to some pretty fun ones in the past. In fact, one of Angela's dreams is to be in the U.S. for Halloween so that she can wear a costume. We'll see if we can get that done one of these years. But in the meantime, I thought I'd show a few pictures of my favorite Halloween costumes that I've accumulated through the years... enjoy!

This is from Halloween 2008, I believe. I was working as an English teacher at a call center outside of San Jos�, and I figured that I should at least dress as something, so I decided to go as "My Arch-Nemesis, Bryan Fitzman." That bastard! In any case, one of my students took this picture, and I liked it so much I decided to use it for my Sitzman ABC site's logo.

I think this is from 2004, when I was a grad student. It's at the faculty party. Obviously (can't you tell??) I'm going as Axl Rose. I also had a very similar costume a few years before that, when my roommate Himal went as Slash. It's a cool costume, but all too literally... we went out afterwards and I was incredibly cold walking around in the late October snow.

For all those in the know, my 2005 costume was Prince, but a few thought I was a pirate. Their loss. In any case, it was much more comfortable and warm than the Axl costume, but on the downside I had to put some kind of makeup on my eyebrows and skeezy facial hair... eyeliner? Whatever that makeup's called that women usually use on their eyelashes. That was the stuff.

I happened upon this one when looking for Halloween pictures today. It's me and my friend Miss Thang (now Mrs. Thang) in Regensburg in 2001. I can't remember who took the picture or how I got it, because people didn't even use digital cameras then. It must be scanned. In any case, I think I just wore random crap and called it a costume. I know I borrowed the wig from Matt (thanks) and the shirt from Miss Thang (also thanks), and then called it a day in terms of costuming. As usual, I also included my "Smart Guy Glasses," which are actually construction goggles I got a long time ago.

This was 2004, I think? I think I also wore a costume in that house where I dressed up as Tom Cruise's character from Risky Business (it's probably better I couldn't find a picture of that costume, since its main components were sunglasses, a dress shirt, double-bagged tighty-whities, and a smart-ass smile). But time-wise, my math may not work out. In fact, this may have just been a costume party, and not actually for Halloween. Who knows. All I know is that Jesse, Zach, and I dressed up as the undercover cops from the Beastie Boys' Sabotage video (I think I'm supposed to be "Vic Colfari as Bobby, 'The Rookie'":

Now, prepare yourself...

Finally, we come to my favorite costume, "Sitz-man"! I think the idea of this picture is that I've just saved Cowgirl Katie from some kind of danger. It's my favorite costume because it's the most original thing I've probably ever come up with. Plus, due to the long underwear it was really warm, one of the two prerequisites I've come to adopt in my Halloween costumes (the other apparently being a wig). It took me about an hour and a few drafts to color in my chest insignia. I then found a baby blanket, some long underwear, and some blue underwear, and I even put together a pretty awesome utility belt! The very next year after wearing this costume, I was in Costa Rica, so maybe subconsciously I recognized that my costuming had reached its apex, and I semi-retired after that. 

Anyhow, if you're going out tonight, have fun and be safe! Eat some candy for me!