Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Human Nature?

Last year I was hiking in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon near Mount Hood. Near the side of the trail I came across a hollowed out stump of a tree. The stump was about 5 feet high and 3 feet across. You could see into the stump through an archway at the base and it was quite striking the way the sun light spilled in from the opening at the top bringing out the rich red color of the rotting wood. Stumps like this are very common throughout the Pacific Northwest.

What was uncommon was that someone had piled a number of river rocks of varying sizes one on top of the other in the center of this stump. It looked like a pagoda bathed in the red glow of the sunlight.

I remember thinking, "What would cause someone to do this?"

"Is it human nature for people to want to create something beautiful?"

As I walked away I felt good about human nature. I was glad that some anonymous person was trying to make the world a prettier place.

A little later we turned around and were hiking back along the same stretch of trail. We came across the same stump, but this time, the stack of pagoda rocks had been knocked down. In the hour since we had passed this random act of beauty, someone simply destroyed it in another random act. Why? For what purpose? Now I was struck with my second thought:

"Is it human nature for people to want to destroy something beautiful?"

Which case was true? Create or Destroy? Did people have one nature or the other? Did people have both at the same time? Was one urge stronger than the other? Is it simply easier to destroy than create? What makes a person want to take the harder route? Is it a conflict in everyone or just part of the balance of life?

What is your nature? Which impulse wins out for you?

Monday, June 27, 2005

Sometimes you need a Hawaiian Shirt...

Here's something fun...
There are some occassions where a Hawaiian shirt is required. When that time comes, shouldn't your Hawaiian shirt have beer mugs and beer bottles all over it?

Friday, June 24, 2005

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, Oregon

Picture taken with an old but reliable Kodak DC280.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Washington DC for July 4th?

Spring Cherry blossoms and the Jefferson Memorial, Washington, DC
Picture taken with a Canon Digital Rebel.

I am thinking about taking the family to Washington, DC for July 4th. I haven't been in many years.

-It's crazy
-It's crowded
-It's hot

-It's crazy
-It's spectacular
-It's historic

If you plan to go, you may want to check Hotwire for deals.

Friday, June 17, 2005

The Wharf Rat, Baltimore, Maryland

The Wharf Rat, Pub & Restaurant, Baltimore, Maryland

Let's get back to our roots here... You can go to the Wharf Rat at 206 W. Pratt Street near Camden Yards before the Orioles game or you can hang out at the more divey one at 801 S. Ann Street in Fells Point. At either location you are going to drink some good honest ales. The house brand is from Oliver Breweries. Try a couple of the varieties and let me know your favorite.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

New York City

We found ourselves in New York City briefly this past weekend. Kept getting stuck in the Puerto Rican Day parade traffic, but I did manage to get a couple of pictures of Central Park.

Central Park

Central Park

Puerto Rican Day Parade

Pictures taken with a Canon Digital Rebel.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Just a cool picture of some flowers.

Lavendar in the springtime. I don't know if this picture is very adventurous, but I just like it. I think it is kind of cool and peaceful. Now let's go get a beer.

This picture was taken with a Canon Digital Rebel.

Artscape Baltimore is coming up!

Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Artsuser - Artscape

Okay everyone, Artscape is coming up soon! This is a great free festival in the Mount Royal neighborhood of Baltimore. Lot's of music, food, entertainment, and art from July 22-24, 2005.

See you there.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Seattle, Washington

View of Seattle from the ferry.

Seattle is a great town. Lot's of stuff to do, very pretty, good beer and food. What else could you want? We usually stay at the Sheraton right down town. Using Hotwire.com we've been able to rates as low as 70 or 80 bucks a night.

Picture taken with an old but reliable Kodak DC280.

Friday, June 10, 2005

More Songs for Pirates...

Captain Bogg and Salty have another CD for buccaneers of all ages.

In addition to stories of adventure on the high seas, the crew of the Pollywogg takes us on an adventure in musical styles. All of the songs have pirate and nautical themes (except Nellie the Elephant but it is so fun we can forgive them) but alongside the sea chanteys and pirate rock we have come to expect from these fun-loving pirates, we have songs in the style of beach rock, elvis rock, a tango and more ballads.

The first time I heard this CD I thought it was a bit of a departure, but after listening to it a couple times it is easy to see the continuity and the evolution that led to it. Now I think I like it better than the first CD Bedtime Stories for Pirates

My favorite tracks are:
What It’s Really Like On A Ship
Sea Monster
Weigh Anchor
Pieces of 8ight
Nellie the Elephant
Sea Kings
Pull Away Home

I recommend that you get this CD for yourself or the little pirates in your life. If you are ever in Portland, Oregon, keep an eye out for a live show.

Captain Bogg and Salty Pegleg Tango

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Fun Wine Festivals in Maryland

Linganore Winecellars

Wine in Maryland? I will be honest, this place isn't for wine snobs but it is definitely for people that like to have fun.

Up in beautiful Mt. Airy Maryland, you will find Linganore Winecellars and Berrywine Plantations. They make a large variety of grape, fruit and specialty wines. They have a lot of fine dessert wines and their honey mead is outstanding. They also have real dandelion wine which isn't for everyone, but should be tried at least once.

Anyway, each month from May to October they hold Music, Wine and Craft festivals. Each festival features a different style of music. Look for blues, jazz, reggae, and zydeco. Admission is 10 dollars which gives you an etched wine glass, unlimited tasting, and a tour of the winery.

These festivals are family friendly, so bring the kids. You may have tasted better wines, but you'll never have as much fun.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas.

We love to travel. One way we have found to stretch the dollar is to use Hotwire.com to book the hotels. We've used it to get great rates in Seattle, Vancouver, Victoria and Cabo. I find that we are paying about the same for hotel rooms but we are staying at much better hotels. One of their taglines is, "4 star hotels at 2 star prices." I concur.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Mirror Pond Pale Ale - Pure Joy

Deschutes Brewery

Located in Bend, Oregon, The Deschutes Brewery is crafting beautiful beers in beautiful country. Bend is an outdoor recreation paradise, with hiking, camping and rafting in the summer and skiing in the winter. Regardless of when you are there, you should not miss the opportunity to pull up a stool at the Deschutes Brew Pub right downtown. I am particularly fond of the Mirror Pond Pale Ale, but all of their varieties are great. They even make their own ginger ale that is out of this world.

Bend isn't really on the way to anywhere, but it is worth visiting just for the beer.

Have fun.

This picture was taken in San Francisco, California. Behind me is the Golden Gate bridge. I should have been looking at that, but I happened to turn around and see this great shot.

This picture was taken with the original Canon EOS 6.3MP Digital Rebel with 18-55mm Lens and a Polarizer filter. The new Canon Rebel XT 8MP Digital SLR Camera is a step up. The new features include instant power-on and it is smaller and lighter than the original.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Bryce Canyon National Park

Looking up from the bottom of Bryce Canyon Utah.

Picture taken with an old but reliable Kodak DC280.

The Brewer's Art

The Brewer's Art

You really can get good food and beer in Baltimore. I have long been a fan of the beers at the Brewer's Art in Baltimore Maryland. It was only recently that I had the good fortune of trying their dining room.

I had the Pan Seared Lamb Loin with a couple pints of Resurrection Ale. What a fantastic combination. I recommend that you make a reservation.

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