Friday, December 23, 2005
On entrance to the palace, we encountered a couple of cobras, which we gave a wide berth!
Belowis a picture of the Mubarak Mahal or Welcome Palace. It's a covered open area built for receiving and entertaining dignitaries.
Near the City Palace is the Hawa Mahar (Wind Palace). It is five stories high and only one room deep; a true facade. The rooms are designed to allow the ladies of the harem to observe the happenings down in the street without being seen. We took this picture the evening we pulled into Jaipur.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Sunday, December 18, 2005
We were the recipients of tremendous hospitality from our hosts and without that, our experiences would not have been the same. Our thanks go out to all of them.
I’ll try to post more from the trip before long but right now I’m still trying to adjust from the long trip home and I think I need to take a nap. In the interim, I’ve included a picture from my first day of sightseeing in
Tuesday, November 1, 2005
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
The trip home from Canaan is over a road we fondly call the Canaan Turnpike. It's a stretch through the woods between Lyme and Canaan that is ... very lightly traveled. This night, we met nobody on the Turnpike after leaving Canaan proper and for the next 8 miles or so we trundled through 2" to 4" of extremely wet snow. The snow bent the young trees on either side of the road - especially maples - down forming gentle arches over the road and trailing still vibrant fall leaves over the car like the dancing scrubbers of an automated car wash. Luckily no big trees were down and we were able to get all the way through to Lyme Center and back home where ... wonder of wonders... there was absolutely no snow on the ground.
Monday, October 3, 2005
BTW: Tyler Kepner - who reported so accurately on the Sox decimation of the Yankees last year - had this to say about Sunday's game: "They bludgeoned the Yankees, 10-1, with homers from Bill Mueller, Manny Ramirez and Doug Mirabelli and six strong innings from Curt Schilling."
On to Chicago...
Cheers to the Sox for thumping the Yankees 10-1 yesterday and clinching the Wild Card spot!
Sunday, September 18, 2005
This is a basic auto everything shot of our late summer Dalia which barely survived hibernation last winter but thrived in the Vermont sun this summer.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Thursday, September 1, 2005
Monday, August 15, 2005
All that said, my favorite part of the week was the quiet time that Meg and I had together. It took some time to slow down and get used to just 'doing nothing', especially given the modern amenities of our 'getaway cottage' including broadband wireless and cable television. But we did get used to it. We spent more time reading than we have in a long time. We watched a couple old movies late into the night. We biked around McFarland Shore, New Harbor and Pemaquid Point and of course we sampled the Shaw's raw bar together.
The need to get away - to break from the daily routine and to get new perspectives on your own life and the rest of the world - is so easy to underestimate. We've taken alot of wonderful "busy" vacations - the marathon trip to Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic comes to mind - but I think these get away vacations are equally important in a different way. We're already working on booking a cottage for next year - and thinking of an off season visit as well.
The picture was taken one morning from the deck at Sail Away. The mornings would start with the bright sunlight streaming in from the ocean and the sound of lobster boats moving through the sea of traps. The picture below is also from the front deck.
Tuesday, August 9, 2005
Monday, July 25, 2005
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Monday, July 4, 2005
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Sunday, June 12, 2005
We were fortunate this morning to have a deer wander quietly up the treeline on the NorthEast side of the house while we were having morning coffee. She kept coming nearer and it was a real delight to see her up close. Meg was going through some magazines and held up an issue of Vermont Life with a beautiful deer and fawn on the cover. Not two minutes later, I realized that the deer we were watching *had* a fawn with her, previously obscured by the tall grass!
This fawn was new! It was nursing much of the time and Momma was licking the little shaver every chance she got. Long story short, they wandered up closer to the house, actually coming out on the lawn and we took about a billion pictures. Here are a couple.
Friday, June 10, 2005
[AKA Marty's victory dousing!]
Marty and the boys went to Burlington and delivered big time again, beating Northfield 3-2 in a tense but strangely familiar South Royalton victory to become Division III Vermont State Champions!!
Though Northfield scored first, there was a feeling of inevitability about the ability of the Royals to come back and do what they needed to do. They did just that when Justin Densmore slapped a ball through the right side of the infield, scoring SoRo's third run. That was all Nevin Fulcher needed as he, and the SoRo defense (led by catcher David Manning's pitiless putouts at second base the only times Northfield was foolish enough to attempt stealing) held Northfield scoreless over the last six innings. Nevin worked hard all day, but owned Northfield in the seventh; once he threw the first pitch of the inning, we knew the game was over. And indeed it was as shortstop Paul Manning gunned down the last Northfield batter to give the Royals the State Championship.
These kids have had an amazing year, ending the year 19-0, going to and fro on a luxurious bus paid for by the royal fans of South Royalton who bought hamburgers at the SoRo "Cook Shack" run by Marty's Mom, buying 50-50 tickets all summer, giving TV interviews, dousing their coach after the game, and many of them graduating tomorrow. Tonight South Royalton was to celebrate with fire engines carrying the young heroes threw town. Now that's support.
It's been such great fun to watch these kids - a reminder of the intensity of high school emotions, as well as a poignant illustration of the greatest and most beautiful of sports. I thank my friend Marty for leading these champions and allowing me to vicariously participate in a very special slice of life that I might have missed had I stuck to delighting our customers with world class software solutions.
Tuesday, June 7, 2005
The boys from South Royalton did it!
They beat BFA-Fairfax (the team that bounced them from the playoffs last year) 3-2 in a wonderful pitchers duel in South Royalton this afternoon. As usual, Marty's boys put a couple runs on the board early, but unlike previous games they were unable to extend their lead. The good news was that Paul Manning, ostensibly their #2 pitcher had his game of the year, striking out 12 and walking nobody, taking a three run lead into the seventh inning. Despite BFA-Fairfax pushing 2 runs across that inning, Paul struck out the last batter of the game (above) to preserve the 3-2 victory and catapult the Royals into the Division III State Championship game at Centennial Field at the University of Vermont, either Friday or Saturday afternoon.
It was a great game and a great way to go to 18-0. One more little item to take care of...
Sunday, June 5, 2005
The Division III playoffs are down to four teams and SoRo will play Tuesday afternoon at home against - I think - BFA Fairfax, to whom they lost in the playoffs last year.
It was a gorgeous but HOT day for baseball - several of the players were visibly worn down by the heat.
Thursday, June 2, 2005
Marty's South Royalton Royals took an easy win against their first round Playoff opponents 10-4. The game was not nearly as close as that as Marty put in the subs in the third inning after gaining a nine run advantage, starting his second string pitcher.
It's interesting to watch all this. Marty's team is from a town not any bigger than the SAD 74 Carrabec Cobras for whom I gave my all twenty five years ago. He has a bunch of very talented farm boys who, when in the right frame of mind, are almost unbeatable. Much remains to be seen, but Marty's team is very definitely a contender for the state title. The apex of my high school career was pitching in the Carrabec's losing effort against Jay in the first round of the state championships in 1980. I felt for Williamston today as they really played quite valiantly.
The South Royalton Royals go again Saturday at 4:30PM again at home and against an undoubtedly tougher opponent (not yet clear who it is). They will throw their ace Nevin Fulcher, who while passable doesn't have my fastball (ha!) and I feel for the competition as Nevin is a pitcher with stuff like location and selection. Hmmm. Interesting notion.
Anyway, I got this nice shot of a beautiful June afternoon in Vermont with Marty overseeing the whuppin'. Fenway has absolutely nothing on a beautiful afternoon in South Royalton!
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
I don't see as many balloons here as I used to on Barker Road. That was after all, just up the road from the Post Mills Airport, home of ballooners and gliders (soarers?) alike. However, the other evening Meg and I noticed this colorful balloon up North of us. I pulled out the camera and started shooting. It was the best example I've had yet of experiencing a total disregard for snapping way too many pictures - ah the joys of a big blank SD card!
After a bit I realized the balloon was coming almost directly towards me. This shot came just before he passed into the trees and landed two houses over from us. Though the descent didn't look planned, it apparently was as someone was waiting for him on the ground. In no time, they had the balloon packed up and were on their way.
I do miss the gliders I used to see at Barker Road. The planes would come almost directly over the house from the North, laboring to pull the glider up. Then some time later, if you scanned the sky, you'd see them silently soaring. Must be great fun.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
Yes, this is no Photoshop trick, that's me and a real Radio City Music Hall Rockette! We took a tour of the Music Hall on our trip to NYC this past weekend, culminating in meeting a real Rockette! I don't look shell shocked do I?
We had a great weekend visiting New York, seeing many of the Kremzner cousins, and attending Meg's cousin Elizabeth's daughter Melissa's wedding.
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
A beautiful end to the day here in the Green Mountain State. On the way home, I saw the most amazing end of a rainbow I've ever seen; it was so intensely orange/red at the base but faded very quickly to nothing. Unfortunately, I got home too late to photograph it, but I was rewarded with this beauty later in the evening...
Friday, May 6, 2005
Today is my nephew Kevin's birthday and I wish him a great one!
I dug out a shot from April two years ago when Kevin visited Barker Road for the second of two memorable bonfires. With Marty, we burned not only the huge pile of debris that I'd collected over the previous months, but went foraging into the woods for anything on the ground or anything standing that could be knocked over without power tools and dragged back to the blaze. I distinctly remember Kevin coming up over the bank shouldering a log the size of an ancient coastal redwood. Marty and I looked at each other and relunctantly headed over the bank to try, in vain, to show up the youngster. Nobody got hurt anyway.
We had a great time that day Kevin and I hope you have even more fun today!
Tuesday, May 3, 2005
My memories of Nana begin when I was very young and we took a trip (or several?) on the airline from Chevy Chase to Colorado. Mostly, I remember flying on a plane and of hearing the sound of Nana and Grandad's various clocks calling out the time through the day and night. Later, I remember a trip to Escondido California to visit them. Avacados and a (nearly?) adopted cat dominate that memory. I also remember when they visited Chevy Chase - I thinkit was late summer - and I had a toy lawn mower that my Grandad helped me "start" and "run". Not too long after that Grandad passed away. It was the first time I'd experienced death in any personal way.
In the years after that, Nana would occasionally come to Maine, though I think it took some getting used to for her - she always was one more for Sun than for Cold! I distinctly remember her coming off an Air New England plane in Waterville on one of her early visits; she emerged very happy to be back on the ground and wondering what she had got herself into I think! Her visits were swaths of penuche, homemade pasta, and wondrous sticky buns all painted over a canvas of cribbage! Man, did we play cribbage! She taught me as best she could, and took no prisoners: if there were unclaimed points in my hand, she took them. I learned to take my time scanning my hand!
Lots of other memories including the surprise trip we all took to Fort Collins for her 90th birthday when we convened at the Holiday Inn. That was a very fun time which I think truly delighted Nana. My fondest memory of that trip was seeing Nana watch Rod play her piano in Nana's apartment.
Nana had a determination about her at all times. She always seemed clear on the right thing to do. She seemed always to press on through life to find or make better times; a reflection on her reaction to the various challenges that life dealt her along the way I would imagine. A reaction I always found fascinating and inspirational.
Nana always said she had no regrets in life. I have to say that I have at least one regret already which is that Nana and Meg never met. Their is a similar steel that runs through them, an appreciateion for cats and beauty, a sense of independence (stubborness?) that I think they both would have appreciated in the other. Alas, I did not make that happen and while Meg and I were in California, my Nana passed away. Rod, Kathy and I joined Mom and Dad in Fort Collins to say goodbye to her. We played some cribbage, we did not poke holes through Virginia Slims cigerettes, and we watched a beautiful butterfly fly over Nana's casket the day of the funeral.
Happy Birthday Nana! I think of you often.
A shot I took this morning on a quick walk around the field. The fog is laying in the Connecticut River Valley this morning and it looks like a bright sunny day. The forecast however speaks otherwise. Hopefully the day will hold together long enough for Marty's South Royalton boys to put a hurtin' on Thetford Academy at 4PM!
Friday, April 29, 2005
As my friend Mark says sometimes it feels like you're "falling into the weekend". This was one of those weekends. Though Meg is feeling a bit better from her Indian excursion, she is still not quite right and the change of seasons has my allergies complaining bitterly. Despite that...
It was a GORGEOUS afternoon here in Vermont, which we were not supposed to have (rain is forecast for most of the weekend). Both Meg and I left work a bit early and it was fantastic to spend the first part of the evening on the deck watching the Maxfield Parrish sunset. Lucky indeed!!
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
What music pops into your head when Spring rolls around?
Monday, April 25, 2005
Sunday, April 24, 2005
Anyway, we do the standard stuff, lighting candles, re-arming flashlights, and setting new world records for opening and shutting the refridgerator door, and then we wait. And wait. And finally go to bed 'cause the entire valley in front of us is dark except for car lights. The power finally returned around 4:30 or 5:00 this morning and all is back to normal.
It again reminds me how dependent we are on electric power for pumping water from the well, heating the house, cooling our food, and lighting the night. Jeez, when I was growing up this was no big deal at all! Lights, heat, refrigeration etc. were all taken care of by a more "storable" energy source: propane. Pumping water etc. was still a job for an electric pump but of course this was powered by our twin Onan generators - again running off propane.
Now of course the interesting thing is what happened when the generators wouldn't generate for one reason or another. The answer was simple: Dad went up and fixed them! The problem we have not is that is a) we don't have any generators and b) if we did, I couldn't maintain and repair them. My vocation makes it more likely - though by no means a sure thing - that I can fix the computer system if suddenly we are unable to print from the iBook. How useless is that?
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Several years ago as Christmas approached and the Christmas music came out, we opened Vince Guaraldi's Peanuts Christmas CD case to discover nothing inside. Panic ensued for several minutes and when things settled down I jumped in the car and drove to our local CD store ("Music Matters" - wonderful place) and remedied the situation. Since then, the Vince Guaraldi CD case has sat with other lost souls in the aforementioned stack glumly listening to it's replacement at Christmas time.
Flash forward to the present. Tyler's gone and, believing this will make him more hip, got an iPod and is busily transferring CDs onto the computer and then to the iPod. Yesterday I decide I need some classic Zappa on the iPod (you know where this is going right?). After the first disc of Live in New York has been ripped and I'm struggling to open the other side of the double CD case, it finally comes free and who should stroll out but Vince Guaraldi complaining "Hey, about time you let me outta that madhouse! That Zappa guy is NUTS!!"
Leave it to the iPod to bring Vince and Frank together. I wonder what they jammed on?
Friday, April 22, 2005
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Meg's trip to India is coming to an end. As I post this, she is packing up her things at the Radisson in Noida and preparing for dinner with their host Kapil. After that it's off to the Indira Ghandi International Airport for the beginning of a long ride home during which she'll chase the sun through Amsterdam to Detroit and then backtrack to Boston for the bus ride to Lebanon. Whew!
Her last 'picture of the day' comes from their return trip from Agra to Noida when they stopped to get tea at the Sarpanch Hotel. The trip to Agra and back certainly exposed the less developed side of India and illustrates some of the revolutionary change going on in that country. I read an article in the New York Times yesterday about the advent of prepared food in India and how, as workers have more money and less time, this is becoming more common.
I can't wait to see her.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Monday, April 18, 2005
Meg is back in Noida after spending the weekend exploring in and around Agra. I got this picture from her this morning. I'm astonished to notice that there are people in the foreground near the bottom of the picture. The structure must be much bigger than I had imagined. I can't wait to hear more about this part of the trip.
Sunday, April 17, 2005
Meg snapped this picture in Noida, on her way back to hotel on Friday (her Friday which happened before out Friday) after work.
Since then she and her co-worker Amy have traveled South to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal. It's apparently a fairly popular tourist destination but has proven to be a very different world compared to Noida and the area around New Delhi. Meg said that that poverty and rubbish she saw along the way to Agra was almost overwhelming. I'm so glad that she and Amy were traveling with a driver for this trip. Also apparently the customs and day to day details of life are less Western (I'm paraphrasing Meg now) than around Noida - Meg said it was difficult to figure out how to dial another room in the hotel.
Meg said the Taj Mahal is incredible - but also that it was incredibly crowded. Apparently they were told they were there on a 'quiet' day because of the heat (looks like it was over 100 degrees!) but Meg said the place was just packed! In one hundred degree heat, I can only imagine. Meg's statement resonated with me as I heard a very nice 'public access' type commentary on a local radio station last Thursday where the fellow was describing how as a young man living in Washington DC, he regularly took in the city and the monuments in relative solitude - even relating the fact that he stood on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial with nobody else in the entire memorial. He was remarking on this because he had just been back to DC for the cherry blossoms and couldn't get over the hordes of people.
Meg said 12,000 people a day visit the Taj Mahal. Holy smoke.
I'm anxious to hear more of what they experienced sightseeing Sunday. Meg and Amy will be getting up shortly and traveling back to Noida to resume work there through Thursday. Then my sweetie starts the long journey home.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Meg's trip to India has already proven interesting. She's visited the Baha’I House of Worship (aka, the Lotus temple, the Iskane Temple (a Hare Krishna temple) as well as the National Museum. Along the way she has seen a boy with a cage full of parrots, monkeys on a leash, an elephant, and (see above) a camel and rider crossing three lanes of traffic and then the median!
Friday, April 8, 2005
Armed with this new way of deciphering what I was seeing I realized there was another several feet beyond the first and yet another a few feet to the right of him. All told we saw about 10 frogs on the road over the course of less than a quarter of a mile coming to the house. Neither Meg nor I remember seeing such a Spring phenomenon ever before in Vermont.
Tuesday, April 5, 2005
I woke up thinking about the Pope and of our trip to Poland in 1999 for Meg's brother Stu's wedding to Bogusia. After the wedding, we traveled a bit in Poland with Bogusia's friend Ewa who was a wonderful tour guide. Ewa described how important the Polish Pope was to the people of Poland, both in a spiritual sense and in a political one as they emerged from the long period under Soviet domination. During this tough period, it was understandably a matter of great pride that this Polish Pope was the first non-Italian one in over four hundred years.
With Ewa's help, Meg and I traveled to the mountains of Southern Poland (the Tatras) where Karole Wojtyla skied and hiked in his younger days. This was a picture that I tooke from our hotel room in Zakopane of this beautiful area of snowy mountains and smoked cheese.
Monday, April 4, 2005
Over the course of the winter, I read a couple of great baseball books including Moneyball, A Day in the Bleachers, and of course Faithful. It got me by but it's good to have the real thing finally!
So Friday was the day. I came home (late) Friday night and unpacked it. In no time I had it setup to retrieve e-mail from our existing accounts. By Noon the next day it was on our in house wireless network, streaming audio from the PC upstairs and delivering it to the Apple AirTunes unit hooked to our stereo downstairs. So far - and there is alot more to explore - I'm very impressed with it. As was pointed out by Walter Mossberg in a very good article in the WSJ about 'switching', some of the UI paradigms are different from the PC, but it certainly seems managable. Will it be worth it to have a hybrid house? We'll see.
Friday, April 1, 2005
Maybe this spring thing is really going to happen!