Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I meant to post this a long long time ago, but haven't gotten around to it until now. Check this:


Those shapes are the tangeled mess of dozens of huge daddy long legs, which by itself doesn't seem all that gross, except you might wonder, "why the heck are they all so close together?" If I could show you, however, you'd see that those dozen are attached to literally thousands of others, possibly a million, in a huge black, throbbing web of spiders that runs a several-yard-long stretch of a river path in the town of Pai in Northern Thailand. I have a video (AVI format, 20 MB) of it, too. Pretty gross, huh?

And for those of you who really like bugs (Gaby and Court, I'm looking in your directions), I present to you a
small and incomplete web gallery of animals, mostly bugs, that we photographed from around the world. Enjoy!

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Monday, May 21, 2007

More Pics

As Justine mentioned in the previous post (see below), we're finally getting around to organizing the 10000 photos we took (literally) while we lived in the other "real world" overseas. You can see them
here. There's only a few and they're all from the S. Island of NZ, but enjoy anyway. More to come....

Scenes from the Kepler Track

Brought to you by Picasa. Google is cool.

We have a lot of free time, being unemployed and all. Above is an example of the creative and fruitful use of our free time. We've been home a month now and we're still looking at our photos and fantasizing about "next time". A special thanks to our family for sitting through a two-part slide show this weekend.

Mike claims he needs to use the computer for something actually productive, so here ends my brief post.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Laos: a country with massive poverty (31% live below the poverty line), only a small fraction of their roads are paved, people are starving, they have not railroads and very little infrastructure to support their own people. But there are NUMEROUS places... just.... like... this:

Tourists with iPods come into town wanting cheap and easy western entertainment. And since iTunes is illegal in these here parts (and they hardly honor American copyright), you can just go in there buy mp3s, tv shows, movies, etc. The interweb, it appears, is ubiquitous, even in small South East Asian countries (hence our ability to keep this blog all along). We a service like this once in our travels, when we were in Phenom Penh, Cambodia. And although the Boom Boom Room has literally thousands of rock and hip-hop albums available, as well as the Simpsons, Family Guy and MI:3, we purchased a pair of Cambodian rock albums for about 2 bucks. Well worth it, but I just can't believe how desperate people are to get the new 50 Cent when they're out travelling the world! Which brings me to another rant: how come every time we walk into a place, they take of the local music and put on Hotel California?! I cna't count the number of times we would ask restraunts or shops to turn off the western music and put on music in Lao, Thai, Cambodia, Indian, Chinese, etc. That's how we found out about those bands whose albums we bought in Phenom Penh! Arrgghhh.... I could rant for hours about how certain parts of our travels were ruined by westernization, but I'll let the picture above tell the story, instead.

It was taken in Vang Vieng, Laos, a small town near these gorgeous limestone mountains (see previous post). We went for some hiking, caving, and river tubing, but most people go there to watch TV (literally... the place is known in the guide books as the place to watch Friends and every restaurant is blasting at least two different episodes of some kind of American TV) and get high (opium, shrooms, and weed are openly on the menus there). It was a gorgeous setting befouled by the worst kind of tourism and travellers. We met only a few other people there we liked, and every one of them (including us) couldn't wait to leave. So that's Vang Vieng. Otherwise, I though Laos was an amazing country with loads to offer all kinds of tourists. You should definitely go there, but skip VV.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Lao PDR ... With Pictures!

Here are a two incomplete galleries to keep you busy this week. I've posted about these places before, and if you need a referesher course, check these posts (one, two). Some of the pics have been posted before, but most haven't.

Trekking in Louang Phabang (without notes)
Vang Vieng (central Laos) (with notes)

And finally a great video (click here 16 MB, AVI file) of the kids playing with J at the village where we had spent the night.