Hawkes Bay NZ Water trail

Monday, April 24, 2017

Break in the weather at Golden Gardens Park

A few hours of late afternoon Spring sunshine brings out the yachts, releasing their spinnakers, as they round a buoy and head back to the clubhouse at Shilshole. It's been a rather frustrating and cold spring and I'm still using a winter liner under my bike helmet for my daily commute. But at least I'm bike commuting again because my teaching schedule is a day class for once, and I'm making the most of the change.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Outside Suzzallo Library

The cherries in the quad are done, but some late bloomers are delighting visitors to the UW campus on Easter Sunday.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Are you tourists or archaeologists?

Now that I'm home and sleeping off ferocious jet lag, I find myself mulling over this comment, the parting question from a disappointed guardian in the Valley of the Nobles. Instead of racing through the dusty and claustrophobic tombs in 10 minutes like most tour bus visitors, then quickly pressing a thin and grubby E£5 of baksheesh into the outstretched hand of the attendant, in one particularly richly decorated tomb my daughter and I had spent an hour and a half taking turns to read aloud from our American University of Cairo archaeological guidebook. One of us sat on the stoop of a stone false ba door, reading aloud from the book, while the other studied the wall paintings and hieroglyphics, register by register. Then we switched. It was a fascinating way to visit this archeological treasure. It is the reason why we'd made the long and challenging trip to Egypt in the first place. The attendant was quickly bored, gave up, and disappeared outside for a smoke. Ironically if he'd bothered to come back as we were leaving we'd have given him a tip because he'd been observant enough to realize that hassle-free time was what we wanted and would willingly pay for.
This is the irony of Luxor. Keep out of our face and it's win win. The old ways of aggressive hassle don't work with the ever-shrinking group of western visitors who bring the most needed foreign currency with them. But old ways are so hard to release. What's the definition of insanity? Keep on doing the same thing but expect a different result?

Saturday, April 1, 2017

BBC News: Is it foolish for a woman to cycle alone across the Middle East?

I saw this on the BBC News App and thought you should see it:

Is it foolish for a woman to cycle alone across the Middle East?
When Rebecca Lowe set off solo from the UK for Iran by bicycle, friends thought she had taken leave of her senses.
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Book review

Cancer political consultant NPR
A short history Lauren...

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Friday, March 31, 2017

Elegance wasted on smokers at CDG M gates

This is a gorgeous vertical garden that complements both sides of a rest room in the terminal. Unfortunately, the one on the right is locked, while the one on the right (not shown) is for smokers. What a waste of resources to appease those who still don't get it. I am returning to the US with a bronchial infection caused by Egypt's smoking culture. Hotels stink, archeological resources stink, and the hookah bars are just nasty. It's a pity that smoking is ingrained as another example of Egyptian male bonding. Hookah bars for women aren't a strike for women's rights. Personally I prefer the disgusting opaque smokers' rooms that still fit airports outside the US. Stigmatizing smokers is an effective way to drive home the message that smoking is pollution and hurts everyone.

Thursday, March 30, 2017


We've been passing the same group of village ladies all week as we've come and gone from the guesthouse in Luxor. These kind women invited us for lunch. It's our last day here but this is a top 10 activity. Money can't buy it, only friendliness across a huge cultural and language divide. Thank you to the ladies of the village of Al-Awamiya. Shukran!