Looking for adventure?
Climb to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica and bring your binoculars. You never know what escapades you’ll discover when you peer into all these windows:
Visit the Vatican and experience sin first-hand.
I wonder if the ever-so-vigilant Vaticanites complained when those unsightly apartment buildings started blocking people’s view of their churchly treasure… or if they decided to (euphemism alert!) look at the bright side of life.
Travel tip: If you show up early, the workers may see you and conveniently forget to put up those obnoxious chains that keep people from getting too close to the attraction. Then, you might find yourself in the fray of some nice, beautiful military endeavors:
Luckily, I’ve never been closer to the business end of a cannon.
In case you were wondering, this is the changing of the guards in Stockholm.
You may remember that I’ve already written two posts (about London and Stockholm) on how low-light conditions can contribute to greater pleasure as a tourist. Today, I’m shifting gears to explain how sunlight can provide new and profoundly accurate dimensions to what you see. For instance, take this photograph:
Marvel as this beast stretches towards the sun. It’s the stuff of dreams.
What thoughts entered your mind when you saw that picture? Don’t worry. It’s okay that your mind didn’t move towards G-rated things like Thumper and Bambi and Bambi’s mom. I took this shot in Amsterdam and the sunlight makes this structure look… uh… well…
People go to Amsterdam to experience precisely this. I think that explains it.
Sometimes I get sick of wading through posts that show no evidence that a brain is or was present on its blog. Brains are important. (So is beauty. Me saying that is how you can tell I’m probably not a zombie.)
I can do better. Therefore, I’d like to show you something pretty today:
You deserve to look at something of this quality.
Look at the motion of the ocean. Such beauty! See the algae gyrating in the waves. Notice the sunlight glistening off of the pristine water.
Oops! I’m terribly sorry. That’s not water. It’s a recolored photo of raw pork brains. You can see the original picture here. And before you complain…
At least I kept my promise about not giving you a brainless post.
Once upon a time, a young Mr. Duck was enamored with a certain Ms. Duck. He’d keep his eyes glued on her and she’d just swim on by, oblivious to his existence.
One fine summer day, Mr. Duck realized that he’d need something really big to grab her attention. And, lo and behold, a gargantuan human clad in a Daffy Duck t-shirt came ambling towards the lake.
Mr Duck, mistaking himself for an owl, wisely deduced that Mr. Human was a fan. Maybe Mr. Human would assist with his procreative efforts. So Mr. Duck flapped and flapped and quacked and quacked and got a lot of attention for himself and his beloved.
Unfortunately for the not-quite-couple, it was duck season, not wabbit season. Fortunately for us, we get a crispy story of culinary love instead of sappy sentimentality.
This summer, find your true love and put it on a plate.
My long time followers may remember that I enjoy unusual culinary treats. Today I’d like to share the inedible remnants of a favorite exploration:
Fruit doesn’t scream as loudly as meat when you cut it open.
This is Rambutan. You can see the sizable interior and exterior of the husks as well as the almond-sized pits. I hope that this will serve as an important reminder of several things:
1- If you bite into an unfamiliar fruit without removing the not-so-tasty bits, you probably won’t have an pleasant experience. I bet this stuff makes a mouth full of lemon peel look pleasant.
2- If you would like to keep your teeth, don’t bite willy-nilly into a fruit. Those pits ain’t soft.
3- If someone tells you that they’ve designed a bra or jockstrap based on some unknown tropical fruit, it will probably turn out worse than the ever popular banana hammock. Just say no.
4- Tropical fruit may look expensive, but it’s worse than you think. There’s a reason the grocery store doesn’t clue you in to all of these inedible components. The fruit part of a rambutan probably takes up only half to a third of the weight you’re paying for.
People often throw around the word “relic” without giving thought to what they’re saying. First off, there’s the word’s religious version that refers to the shard of a saint’s bone… among other things. Then there’s the use of the term to describe something really really old, like this:
When in Rome, roam like the Romans.
One might call this a relic of an ancient civilization.
And then one might refer to an Apple IIe as a technological relic.
And the oldest teacher at your child’s school might be designated a relic as well.
Your dishwasher might also be a relic, though not because of any added respect because of lengthy experience or significance in history. You probably call it a relic because it’s dead.
And at that point, the word “relic” loses all of its meaning… unless we’re talking about something I own that no longer works properly. Then it’s a relic because I’m special and, because of that, it’s special too.
Or it would be special if it weren’t broken…
Ever wonder why they call it horsepower? Horses used to be the major mode of transportation but they, like Congressmen, can be a little hard to control. And they’re big and strong and they’ll but a huge gap in your teeth if you’re not careful.
One day, someone imagined that maybe, just maybe, a safer transport method might be possible. And so he took a beach towel and two hamster wheels and created a makeshift treadmill that could be hooked up to a wagon. Of course, something had to make that treadmill go.
Enter Mittens, the cutest little cat you ever did see.
See Mittens smile.
See Mittens scratch…
Bad Mittens! Mittens had to be controlled, so he was put on a leash. Then, of course, our friendly engineers needed a way to make Mittens run.
Leather whips were out of the question, so they cooked up a nice bowl of cream of tuna soup and put it just out of Mittens’ reach.
The cat marched forward, but unfortunately he wasn’t strong enough to pull a cart.
Since that day, cats have lived happily ever after. Horses, not so much.
Don’t you hate the masses of tourists that clog all the sites and turn your nice peaceful vacation into a noisy game of human bumper cars?
That’s why I would go out at night. When I did, I could find things like this:
London’s Big Ben shines at night.
No tourists and no traffic. Just me and the view and the muggers and the rapists and the murders who I luckily managed to avoid. That’s quite a contrast.
I had a dream. I was walking around in Innsbruck, Austria and I discovered a crystal blue river. I followed that river because it provided a most excellent view of the town on the other side:
It’s almost such a beautiful scene.
However, as you can see from this picture, there was a problem. Nature was interfering by getting between me and nature.
That’s not a misprint. Nature got in the way of nature in my dream. I suppose that means those leaves must have a compelling psychological significance.
If you read this blog regularly, you already know that I’m not into deeper contemplations that might bring about inspiration or anything like that. So the interpretation of my dream is very simple… and I’m sure you’ll let me know what it is once you figure it out.
If you visit Bern, Switzerland, you’re likely to find a pit at the end of town that contains a few friendly-looking bears:
If I were one of these bears, I’d miss the little things like grass and trees.
However, Switzerland is a zoo… especially during tourist season. And do you know what happens in a zoo?
Here’s a closer look at the same image. Notice the parent and child in the upper right.
As the sign often says, “Do not feed the bears.” But if you must feed them, please remember that your kid is not appropriate for a bear’s dinner. The bear may enjoy him, but you’re inviting a lot of trouble on yourself.
The quiet ain’t worth it.
Ah yes, an old Austrian castle with all the amenities:
Old is beautiful.
I can forgive the poles and chains because they bring back the whole torture aspect of the good ol’ monarchy. And I can forgive the lovely refurbished medieval shiny pleather or wheatevertheheck material it is on those adorable chairs.
However, the glare from my camera flash on the unknown synthetic material detracts from the room as a whole. Nevertheless, I’m sure those chairs are more comfortable than period-appropriate pieces would have been