Monday, May 31, 2010


At the Frankfurt International Airport the boarding area for the flight to Riyadh was directly next to the area for the flight to Tel Aviv.  The German's have a strange sense of humor.

Friday, May 28, 2010


It's been very warm in Saudi, so I decided to take advantage of my jetlag and went for a run this morning at 5am. While out I saw this bird flitting around some of the trees.

Upon landing on some brush, the bird's crown of feathers spread out into a black and orange tipped mowhawk. This seemed pretty cool and when I got back from my run I looked it up in a compendium of Birds of Arabia. The bird is called a Hoopoe and was recently named the national bird of Israel. I wonder who gave it flight clearance to land here?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


While visiting California last week Lydia and I went on a short hike with my parents. We drove up towards Colfax and didn't let the threat of rain stop us from wandering along a trail for about 45 minutes. Along the way I got to play with the digital zoom function on the camera and catch this wildflower.

On the way back we almost stepped on this snake sunning itself in the middle of the trail. It didn't seem to notice us gathered around taking pictures.

After the hike, we headed over to Nevada City for some lunch at Ike's Quarter Cafe, a really excellent New Orleans creole restaurant that serves all organic, locally produced food. According to their sign, Ike's has been 'keeping it Creole since 2001.' I can't really judge that for sure, but the food was good and we all left stuffed.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Why Fight It.

I'm back in the U.S. for only a short time and already I'm posting pictures of the cat sleeping in a giant cardboard box. I guess there's no point in fighting the inevitable.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

That Special Someone.

I have three fraudulent charges on my credit card.

1. Subscription to

2. $50 flowers-to-go order.

3. $75 flowers-to-go order.

All three charges occurred within four days of each other. Isn't it nice to know that even as we get older, the internet can help us find that special someone.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Cup.

Messed up from jetlag and the extended travel thanks to the Ash Cloud of Doom, so the accompanying story will have to come later. For now, a shot from the second half of the King's Cup National Championship game. No hotdogs or beer, but free VIP seats were pretty cool.

Monday, May 10, 2010

You Just Know.

I saw two French kids on my street today. How did I know they were French? They were riding unicycles.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Best of the Best of the Best.

Made in America, painted and flown in Saudi Arabia. Pretty cool either way if you ask me. How do you say IceMan in Arabic?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Dried Out.

Rain one day, 100+ degrees the next; this can all be very confusing to a pile of dirt just trying to mind its own business.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Buffet.

The menu at last night’s banquet:

Yellow Fin Tuna Sushi Rolls
Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail
Sashimi Salmon
Whole Roasted Goat (including the head) on Rice

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Art. History.

Primitive art. Graffiti. Storytelling. History books. Just passing the time.

Call it whatever you'd like, but there sure is a lot of it spread around this country. Some of it's pretty old too, like a few thousand years old. The dry air and general lack of people help preserve most of the drawings pretty well.

You won't find ostriches anywhere around here nowadays, but I've found enough pieces of petrified ostrich shell to understand why this was put on the rock. Somewhat reminiscent of the mother duck leading her baby ducks to school sign.

Ancient goat rodeo?

Gazelle on what were once grassy plains? Okay, much more likely that these depict the Oryx, a relative of the antelope.

That's not Arabic. Or Hebrew. Or Aramaic. It's a pre-Arabic Semitic script that has some similarities to all three languages. After all, the Arabian Peninsula would have seen travelers and traders who spoke many different languages.

Whoa, pre-James Cameron 3-D artwork. Cool.