Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Up a Hazy River

    In 1989, Jerry decided he wanted -- no, needed -- a canoe.  We were living in Southern Connecticut on the Long Island Sound at the time.  There were beautiful salt marshes, small and large rivers, idyllic lakes.  What this meant was that everywhere we went we saw cars with canoes strapped to their roofs.  And every time Jerry spotted one of those canoe-carrying cars, he would say, "They have a canoe."

    In 1990, we bought a brand-new Isuzu Trooper... because it would look really good with a canoe on top.  One extremely foggy early morning in summer, we went with our good friend Judy -- an avid hiker and camper who was visiting from Seattle -- rented a beat-up aluminum canoe for about $25 for the day, and paddled into the Connecticut River to see how it felt.  The fact that the fog was so thick that we couldn't see more than two-feet in front of us was a bit off-putting.  But, we appeared to be the only ones on the river and it was quiet and serene.  We were able to paddle around some of the small islands and marshes.  We shared the water with birds we had only been able to see from a distance before.  Coming out of the fog, we were stunned to find ourselves face to face with a magnificent pair of mute swans.  When you're down at water-level with a pair of mute swans you're struck by how huge they actually are.  And how much damage they could actually do if they so chose.  Which is why we paddled as fast as we could when the male rose up off the water with his wings spread and his held high and back.  Huge.

    We paddled for hours.  The fog had lifted and it was getting warm, so we decided to head back upriver to return the canoe and head home.  We paddled out of a peaceful cove to find that the serenity we had experienced earlier in the day was gone.  Powerboats and cabin cruisers flew by.  The trip was no longer bliss.  Each time a boat whizzed past us, we aimed for the shore to avoid being swamped.  I began to get a bit frantic.  At one point, we shot into a tiny beach, paddling so fast that the front of the canoe wedged into the muddy shore.  A snake sunning on the shore was taken completely by surprise by our sudden arrival.  It coiled and lifted it's head, ready to strike.  To avoid the snake, I leaned my upper body so far back that the back of my head was nearly in Judy's lap.  Jerry burst out laughing when he saw what I was cowering from.  It was nothing but a harmless rat snake, he told me.  Harmless?  Not to the rats.  It was a snake.  It was ready to strike.  And if it could eat a rat, I figured it could do me some damage.

    But, except for the rat snake, the attack swan, and the powerboats, I had to admit I had a really good time.  The basic lesson learned was that the Connecticut River wasn't a great place for me to be canoeing. 

    So, I finally caved and we bought a canoe.  But, not just any canoe.  We bought a 16-foot Mad River canoe in beige with taupe and wood trim to match our white Isuzu Trooper with its taupe trim and taupe leather interior.  It really looked great on top of the car.   

    We had a canoe.

    I suddenly became very frugal or, perhaps, penny-wise/pound foolish (well, that really wasn't anything new for me).   Our canoe, top-of-the-line paddles, life jackets, seat cushions, and additional canoeing paraphernalia, to my great consternation, cost us approximately $1,600.

    The first time we took our own canoe into the water, we had a very relaxing paddle through some salt marshes.  I have to admit it was bliss.  When we were done, we strapped our canoe to the top of the matching Trooper and I told Jerry, "Well, that trip cost us $1,600."

    The following weekend, we took our canoe out on Lake Quonnipaug in our little town of Guilford.  The lake was picturesque and charming.  And boats with motors were not allowed.  It was, again, bliss.  As we paddled at the far end of the lake, away from the few summer cottages and year-round homes, a snapping turtle the size of a Volkswagen Beetle appeared to our left and swam directly under the canoe.  The tail was still well to our left while the enormous head had already passed to our right.  I was fascinated. Jerry's comment: "Paddle fast!"  Odd.  He wasn't even the least bit concerned when I was nearly eaten by a snake.

    The rest of our paddle was uneventful.  When we strapped the canoe back on top of the matching Trooper that day, I told Jerry, "Well, that trip cost us $800."

    Over the next couple of years, there were some more blissful trips around Connecticut salt marshes and along the Saco River in Maine, as well as a rained-out camping trip in the Green Mountains of Vermont when the canoe spent the entire time strapped to the top of the matching Trooper.  In early 1993, Jerry was surprised to be offered a new position in San Diego.  A huge moving van arrived and our Mad River canoe, the matching Trooper, and everything else we owned, were loaded and taken on a week-long drive across the country.
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Outdoor Sports in Mendoza

    Fourteen is the number of National Parks in Mendoza, which shows the importance of the Cuyo region has been to preserve the rich natural heritage. For this reason, some parts of the route of the Paris Dakkar Rally were rerouted to avoid damage to the environment. Without relying on hyperbole, Mendoza is a true paradise on earth. You may very well stay in Mendoza and one of the many eco-friendly tours, the region has to offer.

    The National Park Aconcagua keep exactly the Aconcagua Mountain, the highest one of the continent. However, there is still much more to see and visit in the NW area of ​​Mendoza, apart from this huge mountain. The Inca Bridge and the Laguna de los Orcon are natural sites worth visiting for its natural beauty.

    It is amazing to see how the landscape changes suddenly, turning a barren and desolate landscape into a green oasis: the Telteca forest. This is one of the gems that Mendoza has for mankind.

    The area south of Mendoza holds many great places to visit. Pincheira Castle is a rock formation. It is the ideal scenario for photography, bird watching and camping. You can ride a tour of the area, or take a cycling tour, ideal for the sporty ones. The location is ideal for trekking. Llancanelo is ideal for bird and wildlife viewing. Herons, black swans and Flamengo can be seen here.

    In the vicinity, suggests the cave of the witches, to venture into another world beneath the world, exploring caves and grottoes. The sight is breathtaking with amazing stalactites and stalagmites. Payunia marks the end of the desert with herds of guanacos dominate the scene. Then it is no wonder that everyone who visited Mendoza is completely unbelievable by the possibilities that offer eco-tourism in Mendoza will be dazzled.
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Spring Home Decorating 2011

    Decorating your home for spring? What do you think of when you think, think of spring? Lighter, brighter, fresher and newer. I know what I think. I think the planting fresh flowers, my new furniture and arrange for a new look with new accent pillows. These are all simple and inexpensive way to decorate and give your home a spring tonic. But what if you have more or what if you are ready to design or redesign your facility have? So here is what is in the home furnishings industry for the new spring 2011.

    Let's start to begin with color. Color is exciting this spring. Think of walking through a farmers market or a foreign market. These colors are a mirror image of what you would expect to see in textiles. Popular spring colors are lemon yellow, golden yellow, tangerine, pink, red, light golden brown, dark purple to aqua blues, smoky grays and shades of green. Patterns include Band Candy Stripes, large flowers, trellis materials, China Seas and tracery pattern.

    Interior decorating styles to take on a global influence, especially in Paris, Africa and Asia. Along with that is the great look of the 50s, 60s and 70s. The look is a craftsman, rustic and ethnic. Some interior design styles you will read Refined Rustic, Art Deco, Mid-Century Modern, Classic Revival, 70's Retro Modern, and a mix of vintage and classic cars. We will see much more green design options such as home furnishings industry pushes for home owners to live healthier alternatives such as zero-VOC paint, wood floors and furniture made from sustainably managed forests, soy-foam for upholstered and non-toxic natural materials. Consciously as a house and flat owners to become more energy, energy efficiency a priority for households and companies will be.
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The history of Maserati

    Maserati officially began in 1926 when the Bologna, Italy, brothers, lay the Diatto had worked previously for cars ruled that stopped after Diatto, racing cars, that would make it their own.

    They created a race car, won the 1926 Targa Florio. This race was taken up in the hills of Palermo, Sicily was held and both a dangerous and treacherous race, the hairpin curves and temperature differences due to the elevation changes during the race. Since this is a difficult track to drive to get around to win the race brought prestige to the brothers. Enough to send them on their way to the manufacture of racing cars. Brother Mario created the logo, which is known all over the world and these brothers began the creation of four, six, eight and sixteen-cylinder racing car.


    Though, was the brother of Alfieri, the driver, that first race, that Maserati had occurred, he died in 1932 won. With his death, the other brothers sat together for another five years by selling their parts of the company to Adolfo Orsi in 1937. However, these brothers remained an active part in shaping the car and took engineering roles with the new company when it relocated to Modena.

    In 1939, Maserati was the winner of the Indianapolis 500 in consecutive years. Then came the war and Maserati stopped cars and instead focused on the war effort. There was a time of trials and tribulations, the Maserati over against Volkswagen. Maserati is trying to create a car for Mussolini in the hope of doing so before Ferry Porsche of Adolph Hitler. Of course they could in this sixteen V Towncar concept. But the technique was useful in the design of the A6 series, which became popular after the war.


    After the war, went back to the creation of Maserati race cars. In 1950, Maserati won the world championship. In 1993, Fiat was the owner of the Maserati name and in 1999, gave Ferrari, who was also of Fiat, announced a V8 engine and an automatic transmission in the 2002 Coupe and Spyder models, as with some success. It should not surprise that Maserati in Italy, the home of Ferrari and Lamborghini was coming.
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Rob van der Zwaan

    Terwijl vooraf alle Dutch Supercar Challenge-ogen in Oschersleben op titelverdediger Arjan van der Zwaan waren gericht, heeft juist broer Rob van der Zwaan afgelopen weekend een prachtige prestatie geleverd. Op het Duitse circuit boekte Rob met racepartner Elmar Grimm naast een tweede plaats bovendien een prachtige zege. Arjan had daarentegen de pech dat zijn DTM Audi TT-R met remdrukproblemen te kampen kreeg en viel beide manches vroegtijdig uit.

    De racende broers Van der Zwaan maken een totaal verschillend Dutch Supercar Challenge-seizoen mee. Terwijl de GT-kampioen van 2007 Arjan van der Zwaan zich na de eerste drie DSC-weekenden wederom in de top van het klassement had genesteld, was het Rob die vanwege aanhoudende technische problemen amper aan racen toekwam. ,,Naast een kapotte versnellingsbak hebben we ook diverse keren elektronische problemen gehad. Ik had tijdens de eerste drie raceweekenden nog maar 12 rondjes in de auto gezeten’’, vertelt Rob van der Zwaan, die er lachend aan toevoegt: ,,In Oschersleben had niemand in de gaten dat ik meedeed. Er was zelfs iemand die vroeg bij welk team ik sleutelde.’’

    Armen de lucht in
    Tijdens de tweede manche op zondag 13 juli had de vanaf pole-position gestarte Rob van der Zwaan de pech dat hij al in de eerste bocht werd aangetikt door een concurrerende wagen. ,,Gevolg was dat ik helemaal van achteren aan een inhaalrace moest beginnen’’, vertelt Rob. ,,Dat ging uitstekend want ik haalde de ene na de andere wagen in. Toen ik halverwege het stuur overgaf aan Elmar Grimm, lag ik zelfs aan kop. Door de winst van zaterdag hadden we wel extra ‘succes-seconden’ gekregen en moesten wij langer stilstaan tijdens de verplichte pitstop. Daardoor verloren we een plekje. Maar de tweede plaats was uiteraard ook een mooi resultaat. Bovendien had ik een dag eerder geleerd hoe je op het podium moet staan.’’ Lachend: ,,Dus heb ik mijn armen dit keer wél enthousiast de lucht in gegooid.

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hello World