Archive for March, 2008

Sunday Afternoon — Zeku Tibet

March 30, 2008

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Sunday Morning — Tibetan Crossroads

March 29, 2008

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Flying Adventures

March 29, 2008

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Well actually I do not have that many adventures, normally my flights international or domestic, are pretty much pathetically boring and long.
That was until I flew to Tennessee…
I stowed my camera gear in the overhead directly above my aisle seat. A semi pretty brunette in her early 20’s took the window seat, she looked right at me and coughed loudly and wetly without covering her mouth, then got on her knees turned around in her seat hollering and began to invite her friends to come sit with her “HEY I asked the stewardess and she said this seat is empty, someone come sit with me!” They all proceeded to say no, just as I was beginning to feel safe and think this is cool no one will be sitting here. Then a guy spoke up “I will sit with you Megan!” Suddenly a kid mid 20’s also, about 5 1/2 feet tall and 300 lb. was standing at my side. He looked exactly like a kid from a movie I saw the week before. He sat down in the center seat took up both armrests not only with his arms but the fat that protruded over the armrests as well, said absolutely not a word sitting down and fell asleep immediately, never once did actor boy and Megan speak.

Now I can sleep on any flight in any condition anytime EXCEPT when 300 lb….. people male or female lean against me and snore in my ear. 2 hours and 15 minutes into the flight Megan needed to pee. While she was climbing over actor boy he woke up as I stood to allow her to get out and as I stepped into the aisle a fat lady ran into me while she was doing some kind of fat lady lunges up and down the aisle while each time nearly getting her ass stuck between the seat armrests each time she dipped. I will give her credit she was very flexible and was lunging as well as any well trained fencer. But her lunging expertise in no way out shined her grossly fat, ugly and on the perpetual verge of being stuck parts.
Once I sat back down actor boy said to me “what time is it?”
“I have no idea,” I told him, as I do not wear watches generally.
He stared at me for about 60 seconds and said “you not wearing a watch?”
“No” I said
Staring at me 60 seconds later he said “are you sure?”
— Ok just to clarify, while at times, I can be and quite often am known, as a “first class professional prick” in this case I was being indifferently polite–
“No, I positive I am not” I said holding up my both my wrists, showing only my black piece of twine that is tied to my left wrist as always.
60 seconds later (I swear he mentally counted out the seconds! To the creepy end it was like an audio delay)
“Why not?” he said.
“WHAT!” I said.
60 seconds… “What was for breakfast?” he asked.
“They did not serve breakfast,” I said.
60 seconds… “What was the food then” he asked.
Again, I am attempting to be polite so I answered him, “Delta was selling sandwiches and salads only, they passed out menus pushed a little cart up and down the aisle, gave out peanuts or crackers for free and took drink orders all while you slept” I said
60 seconds… “Did I upset you?”
“No” I said
60 seconds… “I just feel that we got off to a bad start in our in relationship, I don’t want you to be upset and I think we can work through this” He said
“Dude, listen to me. I am not here to be your pal, buddy or even to have a conversation with you. I am here to occupy this seat and read my book and listen to my iPod,” I said (OK so now I am starting to be impolite).
60 seconds… “I just want to be clear that I am not upsetting you,” He said.
“Then CEASE,” I said
60 seconds… “I don’t think we can work this out,” He said
Me, silence…
60 seconds… “Perhaps we should end this,” He said
Me, silence…
60 seconds… “I think perhaps I shall leave,” He said
So I stood up to let him out and he left! I must admit on a airplane at 37,000 feet I have never had anyone say they were going to leave and then honestly leave.
Oh well, for one brief second I thought what if this group of 10 or so kids that all look like the cast of the movie “Goonies” jumps me in the concourse. Just then Megan the coughing girl began to cough without covering her mouth on the window, the seat in front of her and on me again. Then I thought I hope the cast of Goonies does jump me in the concourse! It would be a joy to kick the crap out of them!

1:15 left in the flight…
The stewardess comes on the loud speaker. First why in the hell are all Delta sky waitresses all so loud and peppy? “Hi my name is Michelle and lets play some games and get this party started!” Then she told us 5 bad jokes and then began playing guessing games with the passengers sitting around her and held the microphone up to each of them like we are all suppose to be enjoying this captive crappy game show.
Now that I have taken off my ear phones to talk with actor boy and hear the super important sky waitress announcements. I become aware that there are about 5 of those cheap video poker games that you can buy for under $10 being played lat FULL volume. An elderly, also nearly deaf husband and wife team about half way between the super peppy sky waitress, and me has one of these obnoxious games and with every noise the wife hollers “DID YOU SCORE HUN?” When suddenly the game makes a different noise and the sky waitress calls for a round of applause because apparently that is the “big” score noise that everyone waits for!
Immediately next to me, across the aisle, is a nicely dressed lady in her mid 50’s, that also looks like she has been sentenced to Purgatory with me, just stares straight ahead while the stewardess has a conversation with her seat mates of 20E & 20F, also known as the fat lunging lady. The conversation went like this, “how many waters do you think this bottle is?” Fat lunger asks. (Referring to the same 8.5 oz water bottle they gave to me) “I don’t know Hun, why cha axe?” Said the sky waitress. “I am trying to figure if this is more or lessen than my normal bottle?” said Fat lunger, and yes, she said lessen!
— Now, God knows none of us have ever seen her “normal” bottle before, so she might have said is this bigger or smaller than something in her top kitchen drawer! —
I am staring at the 3″ tall bottle sitting next to my notebook and without the aid of science or researchers I am going to venture a guess, that this tiny 3″ bottle is smaller than any normal water bottle.
Meanwhile, the “why cha axe?” conversation continues. “Well my doctor says I should be drinking 8 bottles of water a day to lose weight and I was wondering if you knew if this counted as ONE, because thens I would be peeing lessen and it’s been a month since my last appointment with the doctors and I hate to go back and ask him” Fat lunger said. “Well Hun, I am not qualified to answer that, how about you drink what you can drink and I will give you some more if you be needen”. “OK, maybe the captain will know?” Fat lunger asked. “Well Hun, the captain is kinda busy right now, but if I run into him I will be sure and axe him for you though”. As the sky waitress walked away I looked at my fellow captive in Purgatory and met her eyes, I am certain she wanted to scream, then she looked at her book and tried to ignore the world. I looked past her and stared at the Fat Lunger, just to confirm that she was indeed for real, then I realized she was so damn big that her 53 F breasts made her silhouette against the airline window look like an eclipse!

You know, ALL of these people, every last one of them, got on the airplane with me in Los Angeles California and to the absolute best of my remembering this plane made no stops. Where in the hell did all these people come from! Maybe the cast of Goonies is for real and everyone else is an extra in a movie about Wal-Mart and my travel agent screwed up and put me on a chartered private flight?

Shit, Coughing Girl is now signing autographs on the back of postcards imprinted with her photo. Maybe the Actor Boy really was who I thought he was? I wrote her name down, since she was signing her name in 2” letters after the “hope you are having a wonderful & awesome season” Love Megan _____. I decided I would look her up later because I really did not recognize the name; only her face was slightly familiar.

24 min left in the flight…
The fasten your seatbelt sign bonged and then “Ladies and Gentlemen, we will be coming in shortly and…” the Captain said from the overhead.
Suddenly a lady sat on my armrest and put her hand on my shoulder. I was thinking perhaps she was getting out of the way of the sky waitress & cart but instead she said, “May I sit here?” What, I asked? “Did you hear the captain? He said we would be landing soon and I might not make it in time” she said. To your seat? Lady you will have plenty of time, no you may not sit here and it not that big of plane!” She stood, clucked her tongue and said, “you could have just let me sit there!” and walked 3 rows of seats further up to take her seat on the aisle!

I so longed for my normal 3rd world flights that you share with goats and chickens!

End Note: Later that week I looked up Megan and yep she is an actress and the “actor boy” is an actor and is in a current on the big screen movie that starts in 2 weeks. I know why McLoving, punched him…

Worker Portrait Mexico

March 27, 2008

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Tibet School II

March 27, 2008

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These photos are from the same Tibetan / Orphan school I wrote about once before here. Only about 1/2 of these kids actually get to use desks during school the rest sit on floors or stand. My friend found a Chinese carpenter who will sell a desk & chair set for a good price. The goal is to get all the kids sitting at a desk and chair. Christi and I help them out the other day. If anyone out there wants to help these kids, shoot me an email and I will point you in the right direction to help.

Hotel Yorba

March 27, 2008

After what seems like forever, after a trip to Tennessee, jury duty, press checks, estimating the entire 2009 printing season for a client, endless meetings and Easter. Christi and I have finally ended up back in Yorba Linda with no particular plans this week. So we will most likely go somewhere and take photos…
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Homecoming, well kind of.

March 16, 2008

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Well I never lived here personally, Knoxville Tennessee is where my fathers family the “McGill’s” are located and this is where he grew up & returned after retirement. So in a way it is like returning to my ancestral home, last time I was here I was 8 years old and we came for a family vacation. We drove across the country from California in a station wagon. Mom, Dad, David, Me & our dog Puffy.
These shots are from downtown Knoxville on Saturday morning.

Joshua Tree II

March 5, 2008

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Pack Memorial :-(

March 5, 2008

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So this weekend while Christi and I were out in Joshua Tree, the zipper on my Lowe pack failed 😦 my Contour Mountain 40 been such a great pack!
This pack has been my friend & companion through a lot.
12 years of service.
It has visited at least a dozen countries.
Traveled about 100,000 air miles.
Rode on my back for at least 2000 miles on a bike.
Has walked with me for at least another 4000 miles.
My pack has been above 10,000 feet over a 100x and above 14,000 feet at least a dozen times.
Been drenched in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, totally submerged in Nepal, fought snow storms in many a alpine peak.
My pack has ridden on Yaks, Horses, Taxi’s, Trains, Buses and has been carried by Sherpas.
It has been violated by customs agents, border guards and soldiers.
My pack has carried candy to orphans in remote villages and carried medicine to remote clinics & field hospitals and has carried a great many gifts “from back home” to field workers.
This pack has been my pillow countless nights in countless places.
This is not my packs first ouch, but this one I can’t stitch up with dental floss, once a zipper goes it is time to retire it.
I dread picking a new pack, it is as hard as picking a spouse. Will it bind, squeak, leak, wiggle, shift, be comfortable, will it have the right pockets, will my ice axe sit just so, fit in the overhead baggage, not bind my camera bag straps, etc etc. Oh and yes it is not my only one, but it is my favorite and will need to be replaced. Anyone have any connections at Lowe Alpine and maybe you can get them to make the “Contour Mountain 40” again?
If I sound sentimental about my pack? I am! Live out of one for awhile and you will be too. Below is a photo of what is on the wall behind me right now, so I guess the answer is yes I take them seriously.

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83024 Amboy Road

March 4, 2008

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