Thursday, 30 April 2009

Watching The Time Blow By Your Face

My friend Brad sent me a link to this cool time lapse. Which makes me wonder how Brad has time to find so much cool stuff on the internet, what with his beautiful photographing and his eloquent lawyering and everything...
(And yes, the two beautiful people in the first picture on that second link are Angela and I... I'm the one who looks like he's wearing a skin yamika.)

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Workers Of The World, Unwind!

Just so you know, I might not be able to post for a few days. Tomorrow I've got to go to the Costa Rican version of the DMV called the "MOPT" to renew my driver's license. I'm pretty sure that stands for Ministerio de Obras Publicas and Transportaci�n. It's in a heated competition with the phone monopoly ICE, the insurance monopoly INS, the Ministry of Migraci�n, and the Junta de Agua de Berl�n for the award of "Most Bastardly Costa Rican Bureaucracy of 2009."

To understand the MOPT, imagine a typical DMV in the US, but take away all the efficiency, non-corruption, and human warmth, and you'll get a pretty close idea of what the MOPT is like. Oh! And add a bunch of so-called gavilanes ("hawks"), which are losers who form lines outside the MOPT branches starting the night before, in order to "sell" their place in line and offer other thoroughly corrupt and bullshit extortionist services to motorists wishing to renew their licenses.

BUT, if I make it out of there in a day or two, I'll probably be able to relax on May 1st, which we have off for Labor Day! I know that in the US Friday is only "May Day," so if you're in the US, then the traditional May Pole can represent "the shaft" that you are getting by having to work on International Worker's Day.

All this, plus people losing their minds about pig flu, means that I might not be able to get to an open internet caf� over the weekend. If that's the case, I hope everyone is well, and we'll see you next week!

PS - If you did your own music album (see yesterday's post) and would like to share it, email it to me and I'll put them all up in a few days. I've gotten some pretty great ones so far!

PPS - For some reason, after I wrote the word "weekend," I got Loverboy's song by that name in my head. So, I share this classic with you:

Extra Baggage

Why are all the productive people talking about what they put in their bags? Check here and here for examples. Perhaps I should give a tour of my own bag, or forever be doomed to wallow in my own inefficiency and decreased proactivity?

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Getting The Band Back Together

A while back, my friend Annie put up a post on her blog about her a "fake band" that she was in. At first I was a bit confused, because she and I were actually two of the founding members of another fake band that we formed while we were both TAs for the Scandinavian Department. That fake band was called Faded Sky Gods, and our first album was even going to be called "Bitch's Lucky Day." But then I found out that Annie had left Faded Sky Gods to embark on some solo work under the nom du musique(?) of "Osnat Elkabir." Her debut album was to be called "statesmen and philosophers and divines."

Not bad work, I have to admit, but it could have used more synthesizer.

In any case, I decided to follow the rules (detailed below) that Annie mentioned in her blog, and I started out on my own solo career under the name "Iffeldorf." As you can see from the cover of my debut album above, it's just about guaranteed to go multi-platinum in any country that has cassette players readily available.

In any case, here are the rules if you want to start your own band (cribbed from Annie's page, where it was cribbed from Facebook):

1 - Go to Wikipedia. Hit �random�. The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.
2 - Go to Quotations Page: the last four or five words of the very last quote on the page will be the title of your first album.
3 - Grab the first photo randomly generated from Creative Commons licensed photos on Flickr here.

So, that's how I started on my own musical adventure. Evidently, "Iffeldorf" is the name of a town in southern Bavaria. Looks nice. The picture is from a random guy on flickr. And finally, the quote is the last part of a quote from Mignon McLaughlin that's good in it's own right. The quote goes: "I'm glad I don't have to explain to a man from Mars why each day I set fire to dozens of little pieces of paper, and then put them in my mouth."

Anyhow, it's all pretty good stuff. Try it out for yourself and tell me what you come up with!

Pennsylvania, Gettysburg Battlefield Resort

What a great way to teach history to the children! Go to gettysburg camping and step back in the time. There you live on the historic border between North and South, can visit battlefield and the cemetary for the soldiers, take part at the events of the Gettysburg Battlefield Resort that want to remember American Civil War.

Well, Gettysburg Battlefield Resort is not only about the war. You can explore Pennsylvania countryside and enjoy it's beauty during your stay at rv camping gettysburg where you will find a park, a river and a lake, all the possibilities for fishing and relax on water and walking trails. Maybe you prefere swimming pool? You will find it there too. The stay in the Gettysburg Battlefield Resort is very funny because there are many different attractions and things to do.

Gettysburg Battlefield Resort is the best pa rv camping. It is situated not far from different important and very interesting cities. Even the nation's capital is only 1 hour and half of drive away from it. But you will find eveything you can desire near your RV. A store and caf� and ice-creams for your children. To feel it more relaxing, they offer 3 days and 2 nights of free camping.

Where The Sun Is Shining

It's the holy truth: I can't live so more. Rains, rains, rains, rains. Cold and dark. For months and month. Oh my dear god, could you give us at least some days of sun her? Only some days. 4 or 5. I would stay all them in the yard, on the sun. I want only to feel it's rays on my face.

So I asked where is the life not so dark as in Italy this year? And somebody answered me: there is a happy place on this Earth, where the weather is always good, the temperature of the air is around 20-25�C and the sun is shining 340 days a year. The name of this place is Azores.

Sincerely, I don't believe that it is really so as people describe. If you ask me, I will say you that Italy is -generally- a sunny country too. Generaly. But not this year. From other side, it's unpossible that islands in the middle of the ocean have always good weather...
But... I would like to visit this beautiful place. Look at these photos:

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Donostia-San Sebasti�n

And if we began to speak about Basque's part of the world, I wanted to share with you the new interpretation of the Atlanti's myth. They say, Basques are the direct discendants of the people that went away from the Atlantis after the catastrophe happend with the island. (Read my post The Ghost Of Atlantis too) There ae different "signs" that it could be really so. The particular culture, language, some similar sides with the other people living on the Atlantic coast just in the places the habitants of Atlantis could reach with their boats...

On the photos one of the Basque's cities, Donostia-San Sebasti�n.
So beautiful... I would like to visit it.

Museums Of Modern Art

As I told you before, I learned to appreciate modern art when I visited different specialized museums in Finnland.I was very impressed by visiting them because there were interesting forms not only of paintings but sculptures and other creations too. I thought, many of them seemed to be part of the nature that was around them.

One of the persons that collected paintings of the modern painters was Solomon R. Guggenheim. When he had a very great collection, he wanted to show it to other persons and created the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to manage his collection. This foundation has today different museums all over the world. The main site is New York (first photo The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum). It was the second museum of his foundation. On the second photo is the other museum of the Foundation, in Bilbao, Spain.

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Monday, 27 April 2009

What A Terrible Language

In his book A Tramp Abroad, Mark Twain included a section entitled "The Awful German Language." Here's a brief quotation to get this post started:

"A person who has not studied German can form no idea of what a perplexing language it is. Surely there is not another language that is so slipshod and systemless, and so slippery and elusive to the grasp."

While I certainly would have agreed with Twain during the decade or so that I attempted to learn that "awful language," I have also come to realize by teaching English that my native tongue is not much kinder to language learners. My students have particular trouble with phrasal verbs, which are basically verbs that are followed by a preposition.

Don't feel bad if I lost you just there; in fact, for about 13 years between being in eighth grade and actually teaching eighth-graders, I wasn't able to tell my ass from an adjective. So, as a quick refresher, consider the verb "look." I can add different prepositions to the word, such as "up" or "down." With "look up" and "look down," I may be indicating a direction in which my listeners should direct their gazes, but these particular phrasal verbs also have other meanings. "Look up" can also mean to search for information in a work of reference, and "look down on" can also mean to regard someone with disappointment or disrespect.

But then consider something that looks simple at first glance, but which can get pretty hairy, especially if you're trying to explain it to a room of language learners. (This may also put to rest the claim that if someone speaks a language fluently, then he or she should naturally be able to teach it, no sweat): I submit to you the verbal phrases "close up" and "close down."

They look like simple opposites, right? But then you realize "close up" is maybe an adjective, since it describes a type of photography angle, and doesn't that mean you need a hyphen between the two words, as in, "I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. Spielberg!"

But wait, "close down" is completely different. It means to shut or deactivate something, right? And come to think of it, "close up" can also mean the same thing, as in "Let's close up the shop," but then in that case the "s" is no longer pronounced like an "s," but rather like a "z." And "Close Up" is also the name brand of toothpaste that you keep in your desk for the days that the cafeteria serves pungent food (ie, weekdays).

And this is just an easy example. Try to think of all the uses of the word "get," and you'll be happy to go back to the three words above. "Get," on the other hand, can be mixed around so much that it makes your head hurt and your stomach feel vaguely like you got bonked in the nuts.

How am I supposed to teach this language??

Unforgettable Vacation In NC Luxury RV Campground

If you like nature and camping, you have to consider a stay at Sycamore Lodge RV Resort,
a rv park nc. This private park is a luxury RV campground, but if you have not a RV you will find onsite private cabins there. The campsites are so big that the largest RV's can be parked in that areas. And to make your decision for stay at Sycamore Lodge more attractive there is a 3 days and 2 nights free camping offer.

Sycamore Lodge is one of the higher rated nc rv parks. All the complex is immersed in greenery. There is a great variety of trees there. Near the Rv-s grow pine, sycamore, dogwood, oak and magnificent magnolia trees, there are lakes where you will find good places for fishing, spectacular landscapes and natur trails. For those who prefere it, there are a swimming pool and a Jacuzzi complex or you can pass relaxing hours playing or reading or communicating with other guests in the lodge. Visiting the site of Sycamore Lodge you will discover all other accommodations and amenities they offer.

Very important is that this rv park north Carolina is situated not too far form the towns, known tourist attractions, one of the nation's legendary and historic golf communities. So if you like to visit museums or local events you have this possibility. But the Sycamore Lodge Resort offers theme weekends all the year too. And if you like shopping, you will find a nice shop there.

What members get up to......

Committee member Karen has spent the weekend making sausages from local pork, ably abetted by (ex-butcher) husband Graham. There's a thought for the BWs summer party!

Knights Templar Places In Europe

You surely will remember my post To Visit Places Of Teutonic Order where I began to write about the places connected with the Knights of military Monastic Orders.

There were not many of them in the history. Knights of St. John, Knights of St. Thomas as the less known. The most known and that you can find so much to read in all languages are Knights Templar.
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon (Latin: Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Solomonici), commonly known as the Knights Templar or the Order of the Temple (Wikipedia)
By the way, did you know, that these orders included nuns too? I did not know about it. I thought, they were only for men...

Well, if you want to visit places related to templars, you have go in France first of all. There are many misterious places and castles in Italy too. You can find them in UK as well. Very interesting places are in Puglia, a province of Italy, where you can visit private churches and strange castles with nothing except the external wall.

On this photo is the templar's monastery in Tomar, Portugal

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What Are Our Men Looking For

In this difficult for many persons period when everybody looks not only for cheap tours and flights but often remains home, touroperators adopt every modern psychological tool to give to the tourists all they can desire. So the surveys are very popular. One of these wanted to discover what men and women look for when they plan their vacations.

The result was surprizing in one sense.

Yes, men and women want relax, when they go in vacation.
But men want
1/ sex
2/ sightseeings
3/ sport
4/ parties

women are interested in
1/ sightseeings
2/ shopping
3/ sex
4/ sport
(parties wanted less than 1% of women)

Both men and women say bad weather and bad hotel are the reasons of the ruined vacation.

Dear women, so don't believe your husband if he wants to go alone in vacation!!!

New Laws To Remember Before You Depart

There are many stories about tourists that had great problems and even finished in a prison because they did not respect "special" laws of this or that country. I wrote about it some times in this blog and continue this theme while I found some new information about laws that were accepted in the last period or will be accepted in short time.

If you plan to visit Dubai, you have to know bikini, short rocks, public kisses and alcohol will be forbidden there from this summer.

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The other country adopting a new law to know is Japan. From April is forbidden to smoke in public places there.

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They speak about biometric visas and controls in different countries ut it is not sure else.

Finally, if you want to go in Bangladesh without money and hope to live begging there, you have to know that it is forbidden now in this country.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Cheap Flights With

My friend told me about flights to Australia when she called me last time. He daughter has to go there to visit her friend's family next month. My friend likes the boy but she is worried about the long flight her daughter has to stand to reach that continent. And she told me about the prices. It's clear, they looked for something more convenient, specially that the girl has to travel with her child. If I have to tell you my opinion, I'm afraid of so long flights, but my friend told me that it has to be not only convenient but comfortable too.

They booked the flight with, one of the Australia's oldest travel websites, specialising in international flights and overseas holiday bookings and because it is not the first time they do it, they feel sure that everything has to be all right. Interesed, I visited the site and found different interesting offers, clear and easy navigation and simple to find information about everything you would ask them.

Many persons want to find cheap flights for their travels and offers different possibilities to choose from. There are gift vouchers and hot deals, new offers of this week and cheap flights on sale. As said, while the navigation is very clear, these flights are very easy to find and to book. And to resolve any problem if you have them with experts that you can reach in different ways listed in the site.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Cheapskate Window Cleaner Recipe!

Based on the title of this blog, you may think that I've translated Sitzblog into Engrish. Not true.

Instead, I actually have another recipe that I wanted to share with you, although it's better not to ingest this one. Basically, we used up our Windex a few weeks ago while we were cleaning our gigantic windows, and I didn't want to pay out the ears to get more. As it turns out, you can easily make your own window cleaner at home, and it barely costs a thing! Plus, if you use newspapers instead of paper towels to clean the glass, it's like recycling! The newspapers can even get a third or fourth life if you let the cat crap in them, and then later use them to start a fire in the backyard when you have to burn your trash.*

*These last two uses are optional, and only really recommended if you have a cat and live in a pretty redneck-y place without trash service (like we do).

Nevertheless, this window cleaner recipe is quick, easy, cheap, and effective. I compiled this one based on a couple of other recipes I found in the internet. Hopefully it'll help make your Spring Cleaning less Crappy!

Mix the following ingredients:
-1/2 teaspoon liquid dish soap
-3 Tablespoons vinegar (brown vinegar is better cause it looks more bad-ass)
-2 cups water

Put that all into a spray bottle and you're set to go! Or better yet, make multiple batches of the cleaner in a bowl or a small bucket, and clean the windows using a squeegee with a sponge attached. It works a lot more quickly, and that way, you only need to use the newspaper to clean up a few stray streaks and drips.

Sitzblog. Life lessons. For your life.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Beer + Bread = Beer Bread

I've recently gotten into beer bread 'cause it's cheap and easy to make. I've been going off the basic recipe that I got from my sister Di. It goes, more or less:
-3 cups of flour
-4 teaspoons baking powder
-1/2 cup sugar
-pinch of salt
-a beer

Then you mix them all together into a doughy lump, put into a greased bread pan, and bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for about an hour. It comes out like a slightly heavy, boozy bread. In other words, it's delicious! (Don't fear; that picture above is the raw dough... the finished bread looks a lot less dense and afterbirth-y)

I'm not sure why I'm compelled to do this, but I decided to write a bit about the bread I made last weekend. Maybe I'll make it a regular feature of the blog, since I keep mixing up the recipe. In any case, this time I made some changes:

-I used Guinness. That was a good choice to make it darker, but it gave the final bread a bit of a bite that's familiar to Guinness drinkers.
-I used less sugar, about 1/4 cup, and instead of sugar it was actually something called tapa de dulce. More or less, it's like sugar cane that gets compressed and then ground. I think. They use it a lot here, and it's sort of like brown sugar, but doesn't really pack down as much. The end result is that you kinda get these little brown speckles in the finished bread. Kinda good.
-I used half regular flour and half whole-wheat. Makes it tastier and thicker. Probably more nutritious, too.

The tapa de dulce and the beer.

So basically, when it gets all gooey and nasty like in the picture below, it's ready to go. It's one of the lowest-maintenance breads out there, so I'd advise you to give it a go!

Hm, now I'm realizing I should have taken a picture of the golden loaf after it came out of the oven, too.
What an anticlimactic ending.

That First Day

We have had a fair share of Spring-like days in the past several weeks, but last Saturday broke new ground. With the thermometer reaching into the 70's, it seemed as if everyone was outdoors. People were working in their gardens, children were flying kites, and shorts with a T-shirt didn't seem very out of place. West Beach at Hammonasset State Park was busy as well.
I stopped by late in the afternoon, but there was still plenty of activity. The beach blankets were spread out and the sound of chatter filled the air that had been silent for the previous months. A few brave souls ran into the water, and a windsurfer made his way along the shoreline. There was a cool breeze off the water, but for the first time in many months, I could feel the heat of the sun on my back.
The forecast for this week looks equally pleasant. Spring (not that fake 52 degree Spring) is really here.

Hammonasset State Park
CT Visit: Spring Bird Walks At Hammonasset

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Waiting To Go Round

Lighthouse Point Carousel, New Haven March 2009

New Haven Parks & Recreation: Carousel

To See In Russia

There were many virtual travels in Russia for me this week. In one of them I knew about "new russian style" in architecture and could confront 2 of the most important, I think, rapresentants of it. It can be that I'm not right in the definition. On the first photo is the original russian stile, on the second photo the "new" :-) On the first photo is the temple built in 1554 (the period was large but I give the rough date). This cathedral is situated in Moscow.

The second, in Sankt Petersburg, finished in 1907, wanted to imitate the first.

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Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Hot House Pictures! Get Your Hot House Pictures Here!!

And you know that you want to see what's behind that door.

And you know that you want to see it in STUNNING 360-DEGREE

Click here.

Nantucket Lightship In Oyster Bay

To some, it may be just an obsolete hunk of steel that served it's purpose for almost fifty years. But for lovers of old ships and maritime history, viewing the Nantucket Lightship (LV-112) in Oyster Bay is one of mixed emotions. Something sad is happening here; like returning to a childhood home only to find it rundown and abandoned.
The Natucket Lightship (LV-112) served in the waters of Nantucket Shoals and was active from 1936 through 1983. She was built in Philadelphia and paid for by the White Star Line as compensation for the collision and sinking of an earlier lightship by the RMS Olympic (a sistership of the Titanic). She was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1989.
The National Lighthouse Museum had hoped to restore the lightship and make her a floating addition to their proposed Staten Island location. But funding has fallen short and politics has reared it's head. The lightship arrived at the Jackobson Pier in Oyster Bay several years ago for a temporary stay. It is still there, and is presently for sale, slowly rusting away.

Boston Globe: Lightship Can Be Had For One Dollar
New York Times: Mutiny In The Harbor
Nantucket Lightship LV-112
USCG Lightship Sailors Association: Remaining Lightships
Tugster: Nantucket Lightship WLV-612
Lighthouse Friends: Nantucket Lightship WLV-613
Lighthouse News: Lightship Deal Falls Through

In the forest

(Photos by Barry)
We had a lovely walk in the Foret de Carnoet yesterday, blessed by sunshine and excellent food provided by members for the picnic beforehand. Thanks to all those who contributed to the very enjoyable atmosphere of the day, and especially Val for the delicious cakes. The ruined Abbey of St Maurice with its bat colony and park by the Laita estuary is highly recommended for a visit.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Attack of the Clones?

The other day while talking about names in Costa Rica, I mentioned that it'd be weird if there were more Ryan Sitzmans out there. Well, it turns out that there is at least one on Facebook (a site that I still hate, but if it helps me reconnect with my long-lost clone, it may be worth it after all). There are also a couple of variations of Bryan/Brian Sitzman, although everyone knows that if you put a "B" in front of "Ryan," the name turns evil.

In any case, I wrote this message to Ryan Sitzman:
Hi there,
My name is also Ryan Sitzman. I know that's not really that interesting in and of itself, but since it's the same as yours, it's maybe worth mentioning. Still, I thought we could maybe be friends... or perhaps since we have the same name, I'm like your archrival or you're my nemesis or something. So if not friends, then perhaps enemies?
Anyhow, just figured I'd say hi. If you're ever in Central America, say hi. We could have some sort of Ryan Sitzman convention. We could even let the Brian and Bryan Sitzmans come. Maybe.
Have a good one,
The Other Ryan Sitzman

Then, I also came across a "Bryan Sitzmann." I sent him this message:
My name is Ryan Sitzman. That's basically your name with the first and last letters cut off.
Does that mean you're the more sophisticated, updated model? Is there some sort of a primitive "Yan Sitzma" lurking out there, who is merely jealous of me, but considers you to be a sort of mega-advanced Super(Sitz)mann?
Anyhow, just thought I'd say hi.
Ryan Sitzman

I just figured I'd mention this now, so that it's all well-documented in case I get taken to some sort of international tribunal and get charged with Internet Harassment in the First Degree.

Otherwise, though, it could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Suspended Bridges

Suspended bridges are relatively common solution to reach the other bank of the river or similar. Personally, I was sure they are used only in the mountains. But in this collection of photos you can see that it's not so. In any case it's an interesting entertainment for a tourist. Specially if the bridge is like that on the second photo.

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Sunday, 19 April 2009

New Rock Park Playground

OK, so it might have actually been here for about a year now, but it's still new. And its the first time we've been here. Like what seemed like hundreds of other people we took advantage of the sunshine, and the fact that daughter no.3 can ride a bike now, and went out to play today. This playground is much bigger that I thought it was going to be with loads of things to do, unfortunately they are mostly aimed at the younger children so my 11 year old got quite bored. However, after encouraging her to try out a few things, and after an ice cream, she got quite into it and raced around with my youngest having fun. I'm sure, had the zip-wire not been broken, she'd have not wanted to leave. It's a good park, one of Barnstaple's best now, but still doesn't match Bideford Park simply because it doesn't have a pool.

Sunday Magazine!

Hi There Everyone!

Well, I've got a few things to share with you for a Sunday Magazine. First up, we've got a link to an interesting Slate article about Mexico. It's take is basically that it's interesting to note that the U.S. and Mexico share such a huge border, but that the countries as a whole still "know" very little about each other. It's part of a larger series of articles on U.S.-Mexico relations. Check them out if you get a bit of time.

Next up here's another Slate article, but about something completely different: Limp Bizkit. Now, I hate Limp Bizkit, and I'm pretty sure most everyone else does by now, too. And the author sort of investigates that hatred, but also puts a slightly positive --but only slightly-- revisionist twist on the band. The writing is also pretty great, so have a read!

Now, check out these pictures:
Here and Here.
Don't worry, they're not inappropriate or anything really secretive --although they ARE Canadian-- but they're really cool!

Finally, the following video has nothing to do with horror, although I would still easily classify it as The Scariest Shit I've Seen In A Month Or So:

Anyhow, that should give you a few things to check out if you're having a boring Sunday. Make it a good one, and have a great week!

Saturday, 18 April 2009

A Nice Video, A Chill Song For Saturday Morning

If the EELS video I posted earlier was too intense for you, my friend Brad passed this video on to me:

It's pretty great. PLUS, it's stop-motion fun without all that creepy claymation! Enjoy, and have a good weekend!

Wake-Up Call

Here's your Rockin' Saturday Morning Wake-Up Call:

And it comes with pancakes and zombies! Man, I love the EELS!

Friday, 17 April 2009

Call To Arms, Sort Of

This is going to be a weird post.

OK, does anyone know about a music video from a few years back, where the band was on the roof of a building(?) and there were statistics projected onto the sides of other buildings? Or am I completely messed up, creating my own mental music videos?

I could have sworn that this was a video by Rage Against The Machine from the Godzilla soundtrack, but all my searching for such a video has been fruitless.

Has anyone got any leads?

Picnic and walk - Foret de Carnoet, April 21

We have a picnic (12 noon) and afternoon walk on Tuesday 21st around the Foret de Carnoet. This is just south of Quimperl� in the SE corner of Finistere. Take the D49 (direction Le Pouldu) from the town and after 7kms turn left to the site and abbey of St-Maurice. Meet in car-park there and bring food to share for lunch by the Laita estuary. The abbey and its gardens will be open at 2pm (entrance fee) for those who'd like to enjoy a beautiful waterside setting and ancient buildings. Then a gentle stroll in that area or move (5mins) by car to the forest for a longer walk - plenty of options on the day! All welcome.

Some Things In The News

Bayside Anglers: Little Neck Bay Beach Clean up this Sunday
Save The Sound: Beach Clean Ups In Connecticut
Suffolk Times: Save Clark's Beach
Bowsprite: Humpback Whale In NY Harbor
Stamford Advocate: Lobster Catch Hits 25 Year Low
Sphere: Commerce Department's Broadwater Press Release
NY Times: Sinking Broadwater
NY Times: South Street Seaport Bankruptcy
NY Times: Rails To Trails Project
NY Times: Fishing Limits Worry Charter Boat Captains
New London Day: Speeding Concerns On The Mystic River
CT Environmental Headlines: America's Endangered Rivers

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Playland Pier & Boardwalk

I like it here best in the Spring and Fall. Unlike many amusement parks, Playland Park in Rye is an attractive waterfront destination. Opened in 1928, this county park has many art-deco buildings, as well as a great deal of open space. It is an amusement park with an emphasis on the word park. I think the only major flaw is that the beach area is too small.
Playland is scheduled to open for the season on May 9, which also means that fees and crowds will be a daily feature. I took these photos on a warm November day last autumn. Quite a few people were taking advantage of the weather, but the size of the park easily absorbed the small, off-season crowd.
The pier underwent extensive renovations in the early 1990s. From the 1930s through the 1950s, large excursion steamers brought passengers to this pier. Two ships, the Americana and the Westchester carried passengers daily from Battery Park to Rye. The Wauketa traveled here from New Jersey. Despite the renovations, the pier still maintains the historic feel of an old ferry terminal.

Playland Park
YouTube: Dragon Coaster 1929 (?)
YouTube: Polar Plunge December 2008
Flickr: Tom Hanks and Elizabeth Perkins in Big
Flickr: Playland Pier
Painting Rye:Playland Boardwalk
My Rye: 1950 Aerial Photo

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Sitzblog President Calls An Emergency Cabinet Meeting!

If you're into cupboards and kitchen furniture, then the new post on Gringiticasa is the place for you to be! I put up some pictures of our cabinets for my mom's benefit (she designed them and wanted to see them), but you can check them out, too, if you're into that sort of thing. Just click here. Enjoy!

New Address, Sort Of

Well, Angela and I have moved into our new house.
That actually doesn't have anything to do with our new address, though, since no one actually relies on the postal service here to deliver letters. So as a result, our house "address" is actually just a description of where the house is. Translated, our possible address might be: "The intersection of the road to Berlin and the road to Llano Brenes." But that's just what you tell the taxi driver. Fortunately, it does get a bit more specific than that if you pay for a post office box, which is what we did.

We used to have a box in San Ram�n, but we realized that we were never in San Ram�n, especially during their limited postal hours. We also found out that there was a post office in Palmares, so we now have a box here. If you would like to send us a letter, then you are among the very few (thanks Grandma!). And if you indeed break through that letter writer's block, you can send it to:

Ryan Sitzman y Angela Jimenez
Apartado Postal 32-4300
Palmares, Alajuela
Costa Rica

Happy writing!

Tuesday, 14 April 2009


For lunch, I went to the cafeteria at my work. I sat alone, ate my food, and then I took out "American Psycho," the book I'm reading now.

No one wanted to sit at my table with me, for some reason.

Oyster Sloop Christeen

In an ideal world, other coastal towns would follow the example set by Oyster Bay and their magnificent Waterfront Center. The non-profit organization offers a slew of activities ranging from kayak and sailboat rentals, to educational programs, as well as providing coastal access to Oyster Bay Harbor.
The flagship of the Waterfront Center is the Christeen, a 40 foot gaff rigged oyster sloop. The Christeen was built in 1883 and is the oldest oyster sloop in North America. After surviving two sinkings and severe neglect, the Christeen was brought home to Oyster Bay in 1992 to undergo a seven year restoration. She is now available for harbor tours, sunset cruises, private charters, and educational sails.

Oyster Bay Waterfront Center

Christeen: Video Clip
New York Times: A Link To The Past
Thomas Cardone: Paintings