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Uwe Ommer - Transit

Transit: Around the World in 1424 Days, by Uwe Ommer.
Kevin Kelly turned me on to this stunning, joyous book. Photos of the photographer's four-year, 150,000 mile Land Rover journey in over 130 countries, it's in scrapbook form and a total delight. It's huge, must weigh 10 lbs., 720 pages. Like Japanese photographer Yoshio Komatsu, Ommer obviously has rapport with everyone whose picture he shoots. It's remarkable how happy all these people look, obviously comfortable with the photographer. It's such an inspiration to me.
Uwe Ommer's website

Brick Work in German Village, Columbus, Ohio

Tatoos in Columbus

I've shot tons of photos in the last 24 hours. This was last night. There are gorgeous buildings all over Columbus.
I'll try to put together a Picasa slide show from the trip (in my spare time!) Last night, driving around in the rain, Leonard Cohen's song "Never Any Good" came on and it was one of those moments. Rain pouring down, an incredible song! I turned it up full volume and was bouncing in the seat; stopped a few times to clap along. Embarrasing, huh?
What a rich voice; he gets down as low as you think he can, then goes lower. The band and the backup girls are exquisite, the poetry tough and tight and witty. Called my friend Sherm 2500 miles away and played the entire song for him at full blast driving on the brick streets of German Village, rain streaming on windshield. It was a movie in my brain.

Columbus is Photogenic

I got up at 2:30 AM yesterday, finally got to my hotel in Columbus (after a delay in Denver) around 5 PM, met with 3 senators last night, then gave testimony today at the Ohio Environment and Natural Resources Committee, which is trying to figure out which of two septic bills to adopt. More on this later. About 3 this afternoon, I got in my rental Toyota and headed for what's called German Village. It's a gorgeous district in Columbia, with brickwork I couldn't believe, it's truly a village within a big city. All the streets, miles and miles of them, are brick. I had a great meal of sausage and sauerkraut and local dark beer et Schmitt's Restaurant und Sausage Haus (est 1866), then drove around in the rain, listening to A fabulous Leonard Cohen CD, "More Best Of" as a storm blew in. Got a cheap umbrella and shot a lot of photos in the rain, juggling the umbrella in the wind to keep drops off lens.

Treehouse Restaurant in New Zealand

Here is an updated photo of a treehouse restaurant north of Auckland, New Zealand, that I posted about 6 months ago. From here

Math Magic With The Number 9

Sent me by Rick Gordon:

• First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to have chocolate (more than once but less than 10).
• Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold).
• Add 5.
• Multiply it by 50 -- I'll wait while you get the calculator.
• If you have already had your birthday this year add 1759. If you haven't, add 1758.
• Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.
You should have a three digit number. The first digit of this was your original number (i.e., how many times you want to have chocolate each week).
The next two numbers are:
(This will only work in the year 2009.)
This reminded me of a carpenter's trick someone showed me recently: take a tape measure and bring the end (tip) back around in a loop so it rests at 109". Now look up the year you were born on the tape measure, i.e. "56" for 1956. Turn the tape over and opposite the 56 will be your age. What is going on here?

Bronze Eagle by Maori Artist Todd Couper

The Spirit Wrestler Gallery in Vancouver, BC, has a stunning collection of native art from three cultures: the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest Coast, the Inuit of the Canadian Arctic, and the Maori of Aotearoa (New Zealand). This hokioi (New Zealand eagle) bronze was carved by Maori Todd Couper, then cast in bronze. It is 14 x 17 x 12.5 inches. Couper says: "...our Maori ancestors believed it to be a spiritual messenger that could transcend the physical and spiritual realms...Parallels can be drawn with the First Nations tribes of North America. A bird that is seated deeply in their culture, is greatly respected and to which they hold a strong spiritual connection. The Eagle is truly a magnificent creature, having the beauty, grace and elegance of a king with super acute senses, raw power, agility and speed. Such a combination can only describe this creature as the ultimate predator."