Thursday, February 11, 2010

Guatemala vs. Snowmageddon

This past week I found myself in sunny Guatemala followed by round two of the snow storm that just hit DC. The contrast was impressive. I must say the sun and ruins in Guatemala were preferred, but shoveling snow and watching the blizzard conditions were also impressive. Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Summer-Fall 2009 Pictures (Reverse Order)

Melissa, Matt, and Ben just before the Big Lick Triathlon. Team Name: Inside Joke. What's the joke? Not sure we ever figured that one out.
At the San Francisco Intercontinental Hotel with the Nicaragua delegation. September 2009

View of Lake Atitlan (from San Pedro)
Just after sunset in San Pedro (surrounded by volcanoes)

Thinking "Is that burning rubber I smell? Probably just my shoes...."

Tough hike up Volcano Pacaya

Regulator in Guatemala actually did topography work on this temple ground years ago. He also helped build about 40 chapels in Guatemala.

Visiting the Momotombo Geothermal Plant (with colleague from the Nicaraguan Energy Institute - Aura)

Church in Pretoria -July 09

Nothing like an Air Supply concert with energy regulators Nicaragua. I happened to sit next to the sound engineer for the concert on my flight to Nicaragua and he got us in for free.

Petra - Jordan (May 2009) - Hiked all day (10+ miles) in my flip flops. Definitely recommend (not the flip flop part)

San Francisco with Marco and Paul from Nicaragua - Sept 2009

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A Little Gardening...

With a short lull in my travel schedule I've decided to start a small garden. Hopefully I can stay on top of it with my busy Spring/Summer schedule. I'll have to see if I can find someone to babysit the garden while I'm away. We have some good garden space, which has been calling my name since I moved to this house back in September. I've always lived in apartments in Virginia, so I'm excited to have a yard for once. Let's see if the garden can survive my next 6 weeks where I'll have back to back to back trips.....Nicaragua, Jordan, and South Africa. I better start calling around for gardensitters quick.

About a month ago I decided to chop up my desk and make a compost bin. Now I just need to learn some of the finer details about composting. I'm getting some green material from the kitchen (vegetable and fruit scraps), but it's probably not enough to get the compost bin really going. I'll have to see what I can do to raise the temp (ideally 110 degrees F, if I recall correctly).

Three to four weeks ago I planted seeds indoors to get things started. The tomatoes were the first to germinate. I also have some sweet peppers, artichoke, and canteloupe. The artichoke are an experiment....can take from 180-360 days to harvest....apparently its a perrenial. I may have been a bit overzealous starting the cantaloupe so early. It's growing fast and will probably outgrow it's new pot in the next week or two. Things were pretty cold today, so I'm guessing we're past the last frost for another few weeks.

My star tomato plant. I have cherry and better boy tomatoes....although I've lost track which ones are which.

Snow peas just starting to sprout. They took about 14 points to germinate, and I'm a little worried about the soil I put them in. I've also planted onions, radishes, spinach, lettuce, and carrots outside.

Here are the sweet peppers. I think they need a lot of sun and have been slow to get going. Our window sill gets some sunlight, but they will probably do much better once it's a little warmer and our outdoors.

I watch these almost as much as the stock market these days....although the plants make me feel much more optimistic.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

September Trip to Belgrade, Serbia
My most recent assignment for work sent me to Belgrade for a week mid-September. The highlight of the trip was probably meeting Prince Alexander II and his Wife, Princess Katherine. The royal family left Yugoslavia during World War II and were not allowed to return until 2001. Serbia is currently not a monarchy, so they are not acting royalty, but still an interesting experience. One of our contacts with the Serbian energy regulator set up a tour of the old royal court and while we were on the tour, the Prince and Princess heard we were there (we = energy regulators from the US) and they wanted to sit down with us to talk about our experience. I have some pics from the meeting, but not with me at the moment. If I remember I'll post them later this week.

Here are a few pictures from my trip. I just bought a new camera, and am still trying to figure out how to use it...

Russian Restaurant where we ate the first night.

This was a small chaple next to a small cave where the Serbian Orthodox church has a sanctuary where people pray to their family saint and seek blessings. They also sell for a very small price bottles of miracle water that comes from Spring that is believed to have healing powers. One of my colleagues bought me a bottle of this miracle water, so if anyone is in need a miracle just let me know.

This was a beautiful Orthodox church just down the road from our hotel. The white marble is unique to Serbian Orthodox church's and there is some speculation that the Orthodox and Catholic church may be seeking ways to become more unified in the future.

I thought these chess tables at the park were kind of cool. It rained most of the week and right about the time I took this picture I got stuck in a rain storm. Even with all the rain, I really enjoyed Belgrade and hope I get to go back one of these days.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

As promised...a few pictures from Bucharest

Parliament palace.....apparently 2nd largest building in world...although I need to confirm that.

Strange architecture on top of buildings....and strange advertisements.

Fun side streets with cafes.

Bush in the shape of a piano

Orthodox church from the 1700s

Sunday, May 18, 2008


After a 7 hour flight to Paris and almost 3 hours from Paris to Romania I arrived in Bucharest. Ever travel by plane with a head cold? Not fun. I'm feeling better today, but the change in pressure on my sinuses...or something...was a killer. So yesterday I wandered around Bucharest and found church, where I was able to go this morning. I can understand a little Romanian (it's a latin language) but not enough to really be too helpful. The travel agency that has helped with logistics for the conference tomorrow offered to take me site seeing this afternoon. That should be fun. I actually kind of like Bucharest which has some interesting architecture. I'm also probably enjoying it for its novelty. Un until now my experience in Europe was based on a 12 hour layover in London.

So the workshop starts tomorrow and I'll be in the hotel most of the time. I'm excited to meet some of the particants as they will be from all over South East Europe. Maybe some connections for my travel?

Anyway, I'm alive...and having a good time. I'll post of few pictures when I get back.