April 7, 2013
This one should be a good puzzle. The location where this photo was taken isn't visible via the Google Street View (at least I just checked and I couldn't see it), so you'll have to rely upon something other this time.
Here are your clues:
During the time that this boat made its most notable voyage, the water around it certainly wasn't stagnant.
It's old. Elements of it date back to before the second world war, and its history is richly intertwined with the narrative of its native land. It's one of over 100 vessels known for having plied the same waters, but there's something unique about this one.
Its current location is close to the beaten path but only a few locals know it's there.
The challenge is in three parts:
- What's the boat's name?
- What's it famous for?
- What is its current location?
So there you go. Have fun.
Mitch made me do it.
Posted by O Docker at 8:45 PM
March 31, 2013
March 26, 2013
hallowed be thy name,
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be don...
This whole town is very confusing.
But, most confusing of all are the silly boats scattered everywhere, with no sails and no oars again, just like at that other place I blogged about last week. Everywhere I go in this strange land, there are these silly boats...
Could this be that place almost like heaven, that Tillerman was babbling on about?
If it is, why is everyone bundled up in wool hats and coats and blankets? Maybe he just means this is the place that frostbiting must have been invented.
Posted by O Docker at 5:57 PM
March 23, 2013
March 17, 2013
My travels continue through the curious place I mentioned in the last post.
But there seems to be a problem with my camera now. Every photo has this white, dusty stuff spread across the frame. No amount of cleaning will eliminate it.
Below is a view of the river. They seem to fancy (see, I'm learning the local language) these shallow boats a lot. But I have no idea how they're propelled. There are no proper oarlocks (which they refer to as 'rowlocks'), no sails, and no motors attached.
And I couldn't suss out by observing just how the boats are driven, as for some reason no one was using the boats today.
I wonder if any readers can figure out what town this is. There's a major university here. JP attended a major university which he said was not the one here. He described his university as nearly heaven on earth, and kept referring to this as 'the other place'.
I always thought 'the other place' was filled with fire and brimstone, but that is decidedly not the case here.
Update, sometime a little later:
Well, now this duck has appeared on the dock, and doesn't appear to be able to get comfortable. It's buried its head under a wing and seems to be waiting for things to improve. I assure you it's not dead, but merely sleeping. Lovely plumage.
Posted by O Docker at 4:46 AM
March 15, 2013
A few days ago I began a long trip involving planes, trains, automobiles, and quite a bit of walking, too.
Twenty-four hours later, I arrived somewhere, but with all of the connections, I've sort of lost track of where I am, so maybe my readers can help me figure that out. Here are some photos I snapped while wandering around in a daze yesterday.
The strangest thing is that I nodded off somewhere along the way and dreamt I had a beer in a pub with gonzo Ozzie journo Buff Staysail. He bent my ear about how he writes all of the posts for world-famous travel blogger, Captain JP, who Buff claimed is not an actual person at all. The peculiar things that extended travel does to one's mind.
This must be the debtors prison. It has big fences and walls all around it and everyone was saying that none of the prisoners have worked a day in their lives.
The prison is very heavily guarded. The guards wear funny hats and march around a lot. They must not be very reliable guards because they are constantly being changed out for new guards.
This is a place of very sly irony and understated humor. The gates of the debtors prison are elaborately decorated and covered with gold - which must have been paid for by people other than the inmates, none of whom, remember, have ever worked for a living.
They have the world's laziest pelicans here. Most pelicans have to work pretty hard for their dinner, tracking fish and diving down quickly from great heights to catch every single fish they eat. These pelicans just open their mouths and expect someone to throw food in. But, they were close to the debtors prison, so maybe they've learned how to feed themselves without working from the prison inmates.
The people here must not have a very good sense of time. They've had to put up this enormous clock tower with a loud, annoying set of bells that ring - get this - every fifteen minutes. I have a cheap, Chinese clock at home that plays the same song. You'd think if they were going to the trouble of erecting such a big clock tower that they could have come up wih something more original for the bells to play.
Everywhere you go here, there are monuments and statues of dead people. I think whenever someone dies, they immediately build a monument and put up a statue.
They seem to like fancy bridges and peculiarly shaped buildings here. I have no idea why, but I've been here only two days, so still have a few things to learn. Buff Staysail didn't explain everything to me in that dream I had.
If anyone has any idea where I am or why everything is so strange here, I could use some help.
And oh, I almost forgot - you're not going to believe how they drive here, but that's for another post.
Posted by O Docker at 10:53 AM
February 26, 2013
When did we forget how to walk?
No, I mean how to walk farther than from the parking lot into the grocery store.
When was it that we forgot how to walk a moderate distance - like five miles? Many adults today can't remember the last time they walked five miles. I'll bet there are lots of high school kids who have never walked five miles in their entire lives.
For tens of thousands of years, if you wanted to go anywhere and didn't have a horse, you walked. Period. Five, ten, fifteen miles - if you had to get there, you walked. You didn't complain about it - it was something you just did, like breathing, or hauling water from the well.
Serious walkers - like armies on the march or folks making pilgrimages - walked hundreds or even thousands of miles. Well OK, some of them may have complained a bit. After all, suffering a little is what making a pilgrimage is all about.
But that all started changing a mere hundred years ago or so. And now look at the sorry state we're in.
Think about it. If you told someone you just walked two miles to the grocery to pick up a box of cornflakes, what's the first thing they would ask you?
"Why, what's wrong with your car?"
(In California, they would ask, "You mean all of your cars are in the shop at once?")
At some of our larger shopping malls, people walk out to their cars, drive to the other end of the parking lot, and re-enter the mall because it's "too far" to walk from one end of the mall to the other.
If you think about it in a detached, objective way, this is a little sick - literally. We should be asking why we're not leaving the damned car in the garage and walking a piddling little distance like two or three miles. Our bodies evolved over millions of years to carry us, under our own steam, distances much farther than that. What are we doing to those bodies by protecting them from even this small amount of exercise?
Statistics are starting to prove overwhelmingly just what we're doing to our bodies. A lot of those statistics have to do with our diet. But most discussions of the connection between diet and rampant obesity also mention the lack of even the simplest exercise in our lives. And even light exercise like walking is proving to have nearly as much benefit as more rigorous running, cycling, swimming, or trying to figure out how Windows 8 works.
But why am I ranting thus?
Well two reasons, actually.
The first is that I started walking - for fun as much as anything - about a year and a half ago when I discovered I couldn't go more than about three miles without getting tired. That scared the shitake mushrooms out of me, after being able to ride my bike all day without too much fatigue just a few years earlier.
The second is that fellow blogger, Frogma, started posting about her personal 'NONgoal' to paddle and walk a hundred miles in a month. Hmmm, I checked my logs and discovered I'd been doing about 65 miles a month for most of last year and wondered if I could do 100 in a month, too.
So, I set my own NONgoal at the beginning of this month and just passed 100 miles a few days ago - coincidentally about when Frogma also logged 100 miles.
Being a bit more anal than Frogma, I guess, I set up a spreadsheet to log my daily progress, which I can now share with you here via the wonder of Google Docs.
In theory, it wouldn't be too hard to set up one Google Doc that allowed a number of bloggers to log their progress in the same place and compare results. But that sounds a little too competitive for the water blogging community I know. Or is it?
At any rate, outing my progress like this gives me some incentive to stay on task. I'll be updating the log every time I walk throughout the year, so you can follow just how well or poorly I'm doing, if you are terminally bored.
I could go on about what I like about walking, but if you already do some regular exercise, you probably know about the peculiar addiction that develops to this sort of thing, and about how you actually feel worse if you start missing too many days.
If you don't exercise, you are probably already pissed off by these arrogant, elitist, holier-than-thou skinny little shits with the bumper stickers that say things like, "I'd rather be jogging," so I won't piss you off any more.
But, you may have noticed that I like duking it out in the comments page, so feel free to vent.
Posted by O Docker at 10:36 PM