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Showing posts from June, 2010

The Next Level: Heading to the Arctic Circle

I created this blog to chronicle my first major solo adventure in late 2008, when I rode my motorcycle over 4,200 miles in just over three weeks from the east coast to the west coast of the USA.  That was the longest amount of contiguous time off I had taken from a job in nearly eight years and it solidified a slowly building realization that I wanted something different out of life – I wanted adventure! In the year and a half since then, I’ve completed major overland trips on two more continents along with another 10,000+ miles around the USA and I’ve gained a strange need for the challenge of open sky around me.  While I was driving an auto-rickshaw across India I started to think about what I wanted to do next, and it’s been bouncing around in my skull ever since.  I want to drive across Africa, I want to cross Australia, but most urgently I want to visit the Arctic Circle! Originally I thought about just flying up to Alaska and spending a month or two puttering around, but I re

Jury Duty: Deliberation and Verdict

Last week I spent four days down at the courthouse in Washington DC participating in the important civic exercise of jury duty.  After each side had presented their case and made their final arguments, our jury retired to the jury room in order to deliberate and find on the defendant’s guilt.  The relevant facts of the case can be reviewed in my longest blog post ever, available here . The presentation part of the case ended Wednesday afternoon at approximately 3PM, leaving us only an hour and a half to deliberate on this day.  As everyone filed into the jury room I could see a certain tension in the air, certainly felt quite strongly by me.  I took a quick break to use the restroom and returned to find everyone discussing the process of choosing a “jury foreman” – in what seemed a somewhat predictable routine there was an expectation that an older dignified looking gentleman (Ken) act in this role because he looked the part, however he wasn’t interested in doing so.  After listening

Jury Duty: Not Like TV (or: Longest Post EVER)

Prepare yourself for by far the longest blog post ever – if you’re at all curious about real life jury duty or enjoy all those cop & lawyer shows then give it a go - this recount of the trial and details given for evidence will blow your mind, make you think twice about the effectiveness of our police officers and the impartiality of our juries… Shortly before leaving on my trip in January, I was summoned for DC Grand Jury Duty .  I was able to have it rescheduled to begin on June 7 and made it back to the US only a few days before it was due to start.  After thinking about it I really felt that I would not be comfortable spending 27 days of 8:30AM to 5PM in an “office” for $30 a day, especially with the changes to the economy going on right now – I’d rather enjoy that time. Upon arriving at the courtroom for Grand Jury Duty, I quickly noted that there were over 40 people in the room, considerably more than the number required for the Grand Jury.  Once we were checked in, the c

Flight Fun

My flight from Delhi to JFK was diverted to Newark due to visibility issues, now two hours later I have to shuttle over to JFK and attempt to get another flight home. Ah, airline drama. At least I am home sorta! My phone's internet is faster than anything in Asia and I had a sausage mcgriddle so I can't be too grumpy. 

Goodbye Nepal!

After many months in Asia, I will finally be heading home tonight.  I made a number of friends (Tak, Mike, Ray) at various places, but nowhere did I get as close to people as here in Nepal.  It was especially odd saying goodbye to Mickey and Guy, but it will be really tough saying goodbye to Katrin – it’s incredible how a friendship can form in only a few weeks when you spend a lot of time walking mountains and exploring together. The last couple days in Kathmandu she has been my “German tour guide” as I relied on her and her German guidebook to figure out where to take us around the city.  Kathmandu is a pretty huge place and two days only allows you to barely scratch the surface, but those days have been pretty intense.  We’ve been staying in Boudhanath near the biggest stupa in Nepal which is supposed to contain the wordly remains of the original Buddha and is a really cool mix of Nepali, Tibetan, and tourism. Monday started with a rare venture to a restaurant recommended

Festival Day in Gorkha

On the way to Kathmandu from Pokhara, Katrin and I decided to spend part of a day in Gorkha, which was once the capital of the Nepali empire.  One of the things that made it clear this was a good choice was the approval of all the Nepali we ran into who were asking where we were going - something seemed to light up in their eyes and their smiles would get wider as they would excitedly tell us about Gorkha.  It’s clearly still a culturally important place to them. Pokhara let us go with a fine send-off, a beautiful sunny lazy day for last minute shopping followed by a wonderful evening with a huge bright moon and only a few clouds.  We had dinner at Newari Kitchen (where I spent quite a bit of time during my stay thanks to the great food, ambience, and wifi!) on the balcony street-side with a huge moon staring down at us, excited about leaving and heading somewhere different but also sad that this really relaxed and accommodating city would be left behind us. An early morning s