New Zealand


North Island

It’s time to visit one of my favorite places in the world again: New Zealand. With a land mass just a bit bigger than the United Kingdom and a population of four million, instead of 60 million in the case of the UK, New Zealand is a land of vast empty scenic country-sides and wildernesses.

During past visits we’ve spent time in the beautiful South Island of this multi island country. However, on this trip we plan to explore the northern most parts of the land of New Zealand. The reason is: because it is there. Sorry I couldn’t resist this.

Dutch explorer Abel Tasman and his crew in 1642 where the first Europeans to sail into this glorious place. Tasman named the island complex after the island complex he was familiar with (Zeeland) back in his home, Denmark.

Julia and I were fortunate to be able to visit Zealand and the capital of Denmark its great city Copenhagen back in 2013. We also visited Elsinore (Helsingor), which is the site of the great Shakespearean Play: Hamlet. Oddly, the island of Zealand is not connected historically to the Pacific nation of New Zealand, which instead is named after the Dutch province of Zeeland.

I need to take some zees now…

Our trip will start in Auckland where we will spend time recovering from our 13-hour flight from San Francisco. We arrive very early morning and so plan to spend that morning in a day spa, how lovely.

The next day will include a visit to Motutapu Island. Motutapu, is a 3,730-acre island in the Hauraki Gulf to the northeast of the city of Auckland. The island is part of the Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park. Its full name, rarely used, is Te Motutapu a Taikehu, which means: the sacred island of Taikehu. Taikehu having been a tohunga (tribal priest) of the Tainui iwi. Motutapu, meaning sacred or sanctuary island, is a term used for various islands in a number of Polynesian cultures.

After this, we’ll head north to Paihia where we’ll take in the magnificent coastline and hike some of the many forests there, such as Russell and Omahute forests.

We’ll head south again to Waiatarua where much hiking and beachcombing will take place.

Before returning home to the good old US of A Julia and I will visit with my family in Melbourne Australia.

I cannot wait for December.

Support the Standing Rock Sioux your fellow Americans

captureThe Native America protesters of the obscene oil pipeline in North Dakota are highlighting a pure representation of everything that mainstream America is guilty of. This situation is a concentrated version of all the injustices Mainstream America is responsible for.

Mainstream America builds oil pipelines to mindlessly continue to pump carbon into the atmosphere. Mainstream America does this by taking advantage of Americans that have been marginalized and disenfranchised. When these Americans peacefully resist Mainstream America releases its militarized police to intimidate, injure, and harm.

We as Americans are all responsible for this. We all use the oil and we all pay for these militarized police. If we do not support these peaceful protestors we too will suffer from this system of oppression, we have allowed to be created.

Act now and help the Standing Rock Sioux your fellow Americans.

Santiago Chile


Tuesday, July 17 2007

I left San Francisco for LA today. I had an uneventful cab ride to Oakland airport and a mundane flight from Oakland to LA. I am writing this sitting in the LAX international terminal waiting for my flight to Santiago, Chile where I spend two days before going on to the Valle Nevado ski resort. There has been lots of snow in Valle Nevado so I can not wait to get there. I have a 10 hour flight ahead of me.

It was a long flight down below the equator.

Wednesday, July 18 2007

It took 11 hours to fly from LA to Santiago. I did not sleep more than an hour or two on the flight. Finally landed at Santiago airport at 6:30 am local time. I was met by my transportation guy and it was a quick trip to the Sheraton downtown. I was at the hotel by 8:00 am so my room was not available and I had to leave my luggage and head out for a walk.

The snow capped Andes are the backdrop for Santiago.

The walk gave me excellent views of the city and the hill that has a statue of Mother Mary on it known as the Immaculate Conception. I met my first friend in Chile which turned out to be a stray dog. He could not introduce himself to me as he did not speak any English so I called him El Dogo. He did not seem to mind as he followed me for the rest of my walk. People seemed to think he was my dog. We parted company when I boarded the gondola to ride up the Immaculate Conception hill. More views of the city where had at the top of the hill.

A statue of the virgin herself.

There was a big statue of Mother Mary and a church there also. When I came back down the gondola my friend El Dogo had departed. I got back to the hotel and ate lunch. My room was ready so I slept for a few hours. I got up and ate dinner then went back to bed for a full sleep until 10:00 am the next day.

My new friend, El Dogo.

Thursday, July 19 2007

Got up feeling good and well rested. Ate breakfast and headed out to explore Santiago El Centro; which is the center of town — see how my Spanish is improving already. I walked from the hotel to the Metro. On the way I came across a curious show by a young girl in the middle of a busy intersection; I have no idea what she was doing but she was having fun.

An unknown tradition of waving flags at cars.

At El Centro I walked by many churches and museums. At the center of El Centro was a big hill not unlike the hill of the Immaculate Conception this is the Cerro Sta. Lucia. (I assume these hills all over Santiago are volcanic cinder cones). At the top of Cerro Sta. Lucia was a castle and church; well it was more of a fortification than a castle.

A castle on a hill in the center of town.

More excellent views of the city were to be had there. The Andes mountains were always in the background of the views of the city. However, by this time of the day the regular Santiago smog had settled in and was obscuring most of the view. I was sitting in the park at the top of the hill enjoying the peace and quite when there was a very loud explosion! I jumped up and looked at two guards that were there (guards were at every tourist site I went to) but they just smiled and did not seem the slightest bit worried. I figured it was a ceremonial cannon shoot or something like that. While heading down the hill-park-castle I meet my second friend in Chile; yes you guessed it another dog. I named this one El Pucho and just as the other did, this one also followed me around like I was his master.

Dressed up llamas.

After following me for a few blocks he lost interest and left. I ate lunch in the old part of town known as the Barrio Bellavista. This area is on the other side of the Immaculate Conception hill which I had gone up the first day in town. I ordered what I thought was going to be a glass of wine with lunch but instead I had a whole bottle to myself. I could not be fussed with trying to explain I just wanted a glass with the waiter that spoke no English so I drank half the bottle and was very merry for the rest of the afternoon. At the zoological gardens I was confronted by llamas. There were many street vendors there trying to get you to sit on a llama and have your picture taken. I did not sit on one but I did get a few pictures.

Very cute…

Given that Donald Trump is a narcissistic

gplogostackedgreen300dpiGiven that Donald Trump is a narcissistic, self-interested, exclusionist, irrational, racist, liar anyone who supports him is also a self-absorbed, egocentric, exclusionist, foolish, bigoted, deceiver. Because of this Trump is only a presidential choice by people who are ignorant suckers or truly self-absorbed fascists.

 This leaves the only choice for president by anyone who is not a self-absorbed fascist to be Hilary Clinton. Yes, it is true that there are two other independent candidates that are running, but a vote for them is a vote for the narcissist. So, Hilary Clinton is the only person to vote for.

 My plan is to vote for Hilary Clinton for president and to vote for Green Party candidates for every other position up for reelection. The Green Party is the only political party that understands the real threats that face human civilization. Both the Democrats and Republicans are blind to these threats and concerned with business as usual only.

I would vote for Jill Stein, the Green Party leader for president, but it is clear she cannot win this office given the political system in place today. I must ensure my vote for president is not squandered, but by voting green for every other office my hope is to empower the Green Party and raise them to a position of prominence for the next election cycle. My strategy will also ensure the narcissist is not made president and Hilary Clinton will have to accommodate the Green Party’s platform.

 It’s not a perfect plan, but it is a rational one.

Lake Tahoe, Hiking

Friday, September 23, 2016

Lily Lake to Gilmore Lake

Julia and I hiked from Lily Lake to Gilmore Lake today at South Lake Tahoe. It was a six-hour hike, we climbed 1,762 ft., and walked 11.57 mi. This is the biggest hike Julia and I have done since she broke her knee at the beginning of the year, so we feel she is back to full power now.

Julia has also used her downtime to help me finish my new book The Truth About Truth. It’s been a year in the writing and creation of this non-fiction short read and I am extremely happy to have given birth to it and thrust it upon the world. It should be available very soon for your reading pleasure.

Hiking to Gilmore Lake on this day was a kind of celebration of our huge Desolation Wilderness back-packing trip we did around this time last year. It made us both feel elated that we could see the beauty that is the Desolation Wilderness once again. This time we day-hiked it rather than spending three days back-packing, but it was just as amazing a journey for us both.

Emerald Bay

The next day. before we attempted to attend the wedding of our friends Mellissa and Phil, Julia and I hiked the lovely Emerald Bay at South Lake Tahoe. This is a real beauty spot, although nowhere near as secluded as Gilmore Lake. Still even with the crowds of lake goers we really enjoyed this gorgeous part of Lake Tahoe.


The Ill-fated wedding

After hiking the wonderful Emerald Bay, we cleaned ourselves up and got ready to attend our friends Mellissa and Phil’s wedding. As it turned out they had changed their wedding venue at the last moment and sent a message to us via Facebook messaging, and of course we did not receive the message until it was too late. Yes, for the first time in both of our lives we missed a wedding we had been invited to.

Oh well, Julia and I hope that Mellissa and Phil have a great honeymoon and life together. We certainly enjoyed our trip to South Lake Tahoe even if we didn’t get to celebrate our friend’s wedding.


Will the fascists win?

TrumpIn every civilization throughout recorded history there have been groups of people who are driven primarily by self-interest and greed, let’s call them by their real name fascists. In a democratic system where all people get to vote there is a risk that the fascists win. You only have to look at Germany and Italy in the 1930s to see this in action. Once these very foolish people elect their leader, they are very disappointed as the world fascists build are never worlds anyone, including the chumps that vote them in, wants to live in.

And so here we are, all promoters of democracy and yet facing the creation of a fascist state. I really wish there was a supernatural power that could intervene. The truth is our future rests in the hands of self-interested, greedy, fools. If they could learn from human history Trump would not exist.

What ever you do, do not let Trump and his supporters win.