My Trip To The Ancient City Of Hoi An

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The Japanese bridge which leads to the old ancient city section of Hoi An.

The 16th century Japanese bridge which leads to the ancient section of Hoi An.

First, I should point out that I am back in Colorado. I returned from Vietnam on March 26th. Frankly, I haven’t posted because all hell broke loose insofar as my health going totally south. At one point, I had the flu, pink eye, severe athlete’s foot, cold sores on my lips and my usually mild psoriasis broke out to epic proportions. I suspect some of my maladies were caused by someone sitting next to me during the Hong Kong to San Francisco leg of the trip home to Denver (as this person had a chronic cough). Yuck! The rest of my health issues were probably attributable to my immune system being very vulnerable, as well as the dry Colorado climate. Currently, only the pink eye persists, but that is clearing up, after 3 trips to my physician. Last, but not least, upon my return home, I found out my long time companion and pet, Shasta had passed away . . . sigh. Shit happens . . . then life moves on. In any event, it isn’t exaggeration when I tell you that I haven’t wanted to be seen, much less write a blog post for the past month. However, I am feeling a bit better (smiles) and today I will tell you about my trip to Hoi An, the “Ancient City” I visited in mid-March.   Continue reading

My Best Friend

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Shasta during a 2006 hike in Salida, where we also attended the FIBARK festival with my friend, Doug. This is one of my favorite photos of her.

It’s early morning in Colorado, dark clouds dot the sky outside . . . sort of like how I am feeling right now. I have been sick the last few days, with the flu. However, this isn’t the reason I am feeling bummed out and sad, tears coming to my eyes as I type these words. Yesterday, my Mom told me my dog, Shasta had passed away while I was on my trip to Vietnam. Shasta was almost 15 years old. She explained that Shasta had been really sick the week before my trip, and they finally had to take her to the pet hospital on February 12th, where they put her to sleep. My mom made the right decision not telling me while I was away on my trip, as that would have really affected me while I was in Vietnam. Continue reading

Vietnam Potpourri

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Sunset at beach esplanade in Mui Ne, Vietnam.

Sunset at beach esplanade in Mui Ne, Vietnam.

I am back in Ho Chi Minh city, where I will stay for a few more days before deciding where I will go next. More on that later . . . I returned from Mui Ne, a seaside resort of Vietnam. Thao accompanied me and the mode of transportation was what they call a “sleeping bus.” Great for Asians, dwarfs and midgets . . . umm, not so relaxful for someone who is around 6 feet tall. Basically, you are in a single person, partially enclosed cabin, that looks like a recliner bred with a go cart. There are two levels or bunk beds, i.e., you definitely want to be on the bottom level and not have to climb into your unit on top. Thao is unusually tall for an Asian (5’7″) and that’s about the maximum size where one feels comfortable sitting/laying in one of these things. I had to take my legs out of the unit and prop them on top. Fortunately, I was in the front of the bus and didn’t hit anyone in the head with my dangling feet, much less bother anyone with foot odor (I am fairly certain my feet don’t stink, but who knows how accurate my olfactory sense is?).

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Driving And Walking In Ho Chi Minh City

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The Vietnamese Philosophy on driving in Ho Chi Minh city.

The Vietnamese Philosophy on driving in Ho Chi Minh city.

So, this post is going to be about motor vehicle traffic (mostly motor scooters), pedestrians, and how they interact in Ho Chi Minh city. The T-shirt above fairly describes the attitude of most Vietnamese about driving in HCM. When I was in Kathmandu, Nepal, I never got on a motor bike and consequently, I always drove in taxis to get around the city. Best mode of transportation, albeit, I described it as being in an action movie chase scene, with the requisite near misses of other vehicles, cows, dogs, chickens, and people. The saving grace was that the traffic was so bad and the streets were either pot-holed or rough dirt roads, that you rarely attained speeds faster than 35 MPH. If you got in an accident, you would probably be a bit “banged up,” but alive.

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Oakley Sunglasses, 4 Movies Watched, And Wiped Out In Vietnam

I left Denver, Colorado on time at 12:20pm, February 11th and fast forward thru the time continuum, I finally arrived in Ho Chi Minh City at 1:30am, February 13th. Yawn . . . A bit wiped out to say the least, as Customs and Immigration took over an hour, coupled with a half hour taxi to my hotel, I think I finally fell asleep at 3:00am (maybe 3:30am). Dunno exactly . . . Ha.
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San Francisco Giants Flapalooza 3.0 “Sombrero” Fest And Other Bon Mots

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Unca Chuck, Pawlie, Flav, San Dawg and Blade (me).

Well, it has been awhile since I last posted a thread on this blog. August 4th to be exact and quite frankly, the old brain housing unit really hasn’t had anything worthwhile to say. Not that I haven’t been doing things, but I just haven’t had the motivation to record my activities and thoughts. So why now? Well, I guess in many ways I was inspired by a recent get-together of which I was part. I’ve mentioned in past posts that I am an avid San Francisco Giants fan. So much so, that I am part of another blog, called One Flap Down located at . . .

http://oneflapdown77.com/

This blog has been around for approximately 5-6 years and is quite popular. Craig Vaughan, Flavor (or Flav) as we affectionately call him, is the creator of the blog and our leader (until such time that a coup occurs. HEHEHE). In fact, the blog recently recorded one million page views or hits in the parlance of blog speak. My blog should be so lucky. Sigh.  Flappers are located all over planet Earth. You name it, we are there – South East Asia, England, East Coast of the U.S.A., etc. We are legion!  Continue reading

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Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park, July 5th, 2013

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Background – During late June and early July, Jeremy and I went on a road trip to Banff, Canada, where we also visited the Little Big Horn Battlefield National Historic Site, Lake Louise, Johnston Canyon, Whitefish, Grand Tetons, Jackson, Bozeman, and Yellowstone National Park (the latter 4 places are all in Montana).

In Yellowstone National Park, Jeremy and I waited about 20 minutes for Old Faithful geyser to erupt. This 1st video is the “false alarm.” According to Wikipedia, “Old Faithful is a cone geyser located in Wyoming, in Yellowstone National Park in the United States. Old Faithful was named in 1870 during the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition and was the first geyser in the park to receive a name. It is also called the most predictable geographical feature on Earth erupting almost every 91 minutes. The geyser, as well as the nearby Old Faithful Inn, is part of the Old Faithful Historic District.”

In this 2nd video below, Old Faithful erupted for about 5 minutes and we actually made a quick get-a-way to our car before the eruption ended. The crowds and traffic congestion in the parking lot made this a good idea.

Eruptions can shoot 3,700 to 8,400 US gallons of boiling water to a height of 106 to 185 feet lasting from 1.5 to 5 minutes. The average height of an eruption is 145 feet. The highest recorded eruption was 185 feet. Intervals between eruptions can range from 45 to 125 minutes, averaging 66.5 minutes in 1939, slowly increasing to an average of 90 minutes apart today.

More than 137,000 eruptions have been recorded. Old Faithful is not the tallest or largest geyser in the park; that title belongs to the less predictable Steamboat Geyser. Its popularity is more likely due to the small eruption window and high frequency.

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Bozeman, Montana Fireworks Display, July 4th, 2013

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This is a video that Jeremy took while we were watching the fireworks at the Bozeman, Montana county fair grounds. Frankly, this was one of the best fireworks displays I have ever seen. Certainly, it was the longest (almost an hour). In the background, you can hear America The Beautiful by Ray Charles (tape). Awesome!

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