How do you enjoy your tequila? If you’re anything like me you enjoy it with triple sec, lime juice, and a little salt. (A glass in the shape of a cactus is COMPLETELY optional!) However, if you’re anything like the folks at BevShots you enjoy your tequila crystallized on a slide and photographed under a Polarized Light Microscope. And what would that mix of tequila, triple sec, and lime juice (traditionally referred to as a margarita!) look like through a microscope? It looks something like this:
BevShots was founded by research scientist Michael Davidson who, while looking for novel ways to fund his Florida State University lab, decided to take his micro-photographs to businesses for possible commercial opportunities. BevShots is licensed from Florida State University and Michael Davidson, but apparently the main party man is Lester Hutt, president of BevShots MicroArt, LLC. Hutt, while working on his graduate degree in chemistry from UC Berkeley, according to the Bevshot website, also worked on NASA’s Mars probes searching for evidence of past life on our neighboring planet. And that’s just damn cool!
A BevShot Vodka and Tonic! This, and other equally amazing micro-photograped beverages, alcoholic and non, are available on giclee canvas or metallic prints at the BevShot site (where hours can be lost just going through their vast catalog of completely interesting images). Check them out!
Postcards to Tassie
A recent call out was issued to excite the life of one particular post office worker in Australia. Apparently, Kelly in Woodbridge, Tasmania (population 271) is trying to fill the walls of her office with postcards from around the world. And how COOL is that?!
I became aware of this Postal Project via a post by Heather (aka Kanerva) of A Taswegian in Finland in her Feb, 26 post titled Let’s Get Postal! And apparently Heather was made aware of the project by a post by Jennifer of Coffee, Camera & Kids in her post of the same day titled Postcards for Kelly. Exciting? No doubt! I love how these projects spread like wildfire!
If you’d like to get involved, and I know that you do, just pickup a postcard from your hometown, or when you’re on your Spring Break road trip, or during your summer travels, or preferably all of the above, and post them over to Kelly!
C/- Woodbridge Post Office
Woodbridge, Tas, 7162
Also, it’ll be really cool if you jot a few words to Kelly, not mandatory, but I’m sure she’d love to hear about you in addition to the places you live and visit! My postcard from ole San Antone is sitting on my desk right now waiting for me to make the trek down to the post office….which I’ll do, right after my 3rd cup of coffee. It’s only a couple of blocks away, but — you know — it’s TEXAS sized blocks so caffeine is required. I’ll probably need my hiking boots too….
Has The Future Arrived?
with Neil deGrasse Tyson
The mission of NASA’s Earth Observatory is to share with the public images, stories, and discoveries about climate and the environment which emerge from NASA research, including its satellite missions, in-the-field research, and climate models. The images are not only amazingly interesting and informative, but they also illustrate not only the absolute beauty and awe of the planet we all call home, but also its — at times — undeniably powerful brutality.
Clicking on the image itself will present a larger view. Clicking on the highlighted title below each image will take you to more info about that particular image. Clicking on the highlighted image credit will take you to more information on the technology used to create the image.
‘”Internal waves” off the northern coast of Trinidad. – Photograph taken Jan 18, 2013, from the International Space Station (ISS).
The Sundarbans, stretching across southwestern Bangladesh and southeastern India, is the largest remaining tract of mangrove forest on the planet. - This image was created by merging Landsat 7 satellite observations from Nov 24, 1999, and Nov 17 and 26, 2000.
Intense bushfires in Dunalley, a fishing village on the eastern coast of Tasmania, Australia. – This image of the charred landscape was captured Jan 14, 2013, by The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite.
Polar mesospheric clouds over the Tibetan Plateau. These clouds, also known as noctilucent or “night shining” clouds, form between 47 to 53 miles above the Earth’s surface, near the boundary of the mesosphere and thermosphere, a region known as the mesopause. – Image taken Jun 13, 2012 by astronauts aboard the ISS.
Hurricane Sandy moving north along the East Coast of the United States, its waves churning up sediments from the continental shelf and leaving turbid water in its wake. – Image captured Oct 30, 2012 by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite.
Swirling sea water off the east coast of Greenland. – Observed by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite on Oct 17, 2012.
All Photographs – Alex Autin
All photographs: Alex Autin
Me – “It doesn’t look venomous to me, gonna get a picture.”
Aussie Bloke – “Oi…I wouldn’t get too close!”
Me – “Why? Do you know what kind it is?”
Aussie Bloke – “Yeah, mate, its my least favorite kind.”
Me – “Really? What kind is that?”
Aussie Bloke – “The not-dead kind.”
* * * *
Yep, the words…‘it doesn’t look venomous to me’ actually came out of my mouth and, no, it wasn’t in reference to The Wallaby, but rather in reference to a snake I had just suddenly come across in a car park. And just as with anything else I ‘suddenly’ come across…I am ‘suddenly’ an expert…THE Snake Specialist! I am not only fearless, I am also an authority on all things venomous. I am Venom Woman and I was having my very first Australian snake encounter! (Please see Photographic Evidence #2 – The Snake) I actually very nearly stepped on this snake, but it wasn’t my fault! The snake was hanging out in a very non-snake-like location; the car park behind the Rock Pool. (A car park is a ‘parking lot’ to us American types.)
I managed to whip out my Nikon camera in time to snap a pic before the snake slithered away. (At this point I think it important to make clear that I ADORE Nikon cameras, always carry a Nikon camera with me in my travels and would swear on my mother’s collection of whimsical ceramic hummingbird figurines that Nikon cameras are the best in the world!)
Checking the photo I was instantly delighted by the out-of-focus, fuzzy quality to it. As Mitch Hedberg pointed out, ALL photos of fantastical creatures are in fact blurry and out-of-focus. See any picture of Big Foot, Sasquatch, The Loch Ness Monster, or The Abominable Snowman if you have any doubt. These creatures are, in actuality, fuzzy. It is not the photographer’s fault (and certainly not the fault of Nikon cameras!). If you’re ever in the woods and come across a fuzzy creature….RUN!
Though I AM a snake specialist, I did feel the need to get a second opinion on my car park snake. So I shared the photo with my friend Ben, down in Melbourne, because he’s awfully hot…I mean nice, he’s awfully NICE…and yep, he’s also really fun to share with. No, he’s not an ophiologist or a herpetologist, but he IS a photographer and a bartender, and damn good at both from what I understand. Furthermore, he’s been to the Out Back….more than once, so yeah…snake expert. I also imagine he would sound really Australian saying the word ‘herpetologist’! (I should, in addition, point out that I’m fairly certain Ben also uses Nikon cameras.)
Melbourne Ben – “Hmmm, might be a taipan.”
Me – “So, taipan it is then.”
Melbourne Ben – “…….maybe. I’m not sure. Kinda looks like one.”
Me – “So, yeah……taipan.”
Melbourne Ben – “Hard to say, the pic’s a lil bit fuzzy.”
Me – “Well, yeah!”
Melbourne Ben – “Were you using a Nikon camera?”
Me – “……..of course.”
Melbourne Ben – “Hmmm.”
Now for you Steve Erwin fans, the taipan is what he referred to as the Fierce Snake.
The Taipan : (It helps to read the following description using an Aussie accent, preferably Victorian.) Australia has 30 different kinds of venomous snakes. The largest and most poisonous of them is the taipan. Taipans eat rats and hang in car parks.
CRIKEY!!!! Now with that rather unpleasant, though not completely uncool, taste in our mouths, I think I should quickly direct our attention to Photographic Evidence No. 3 – The Possum.
While the sight of the (possible) taipan caused me to (naturally!!) draw nearer to it, the initial sighting of the possum caused me to – well – scream, and not at all un-little-girl-like. I’m sure, given the time of night, most neighbors were thinking the sound to be that of a Bush-stone Curlew. (See Photographic Evidence No. 4 – The Bush-stone Curlew, aka The Screaming Woman Bird.)
It was nearly 10 pm and I was in the home of the wonderful and awesomely cool North Queensland family I was staying with. The boys, Jack(10) and Dillon(7), and I were playing video games and Jessica (13) was in her room being a 13 year old girl and having no interest what so ever in video games. Dillon, being more of a morning gamer, had fallen asleep, while Jack, being damn hardcore, was killing everything in sight. I, being a somewhat responsible adult, was remembering washing which needed to be hung out on the line. And, yes, before you ask, any time it is NOT raining in North Queensland during the ‘Wet’ is a good time to put clothes on the line. I was nearly finished and reaching down for the last piece to hang……….when there at my feet……and I mean RIGHT AT MY FEET…….was this large furry ‘thing’! (Please note, the ‘thing’ was furry, but not fuzzy, so I know immediately it is non life-threatening. This, however, does not stop me from screaming.)
Ok, where am I? Oh yep……screaming…….
I’m screaming and I jump back. In my defense I did not immediately identify this thing to be a possum. I seriously thought it to be a rat. A very, VERY, large rat. (Though I had never seen a rat there, apparently they are found in car parks else taipans would not be hanging there.) This ‘thing’ was not small, it was easily the size of a cat, a good size cat!
To make complete my freaked-out-ness…..as I backed away…….it advanced! It seemed to be sniffing my feet – closely, intently. This, I’ll admit, was making me very nervous. I then realized it was backing me further and further away from the house. Then with agility previously unbeknown to me, with the grace and swiftness of a gazelle (one that’s been targeted, separated from the herd, and facing certain death) I leapt over the furry creature and race towards the open back door. The possum followed – quickly. I shot across the utility area and into the boys bedroom, “Jack, come see this!”
“Whoa!” Jack stepped out of the back door. “It’s a possum!”
Me, looking cool – “Yeah…I…..I know that.”
Jack – “Back away! That thing will bite you and…..and scratch you.”
Me – “Nah, it’s alright. Ummm, it doesn’t look venomous to me.”
This made absolutely no sense, however it HAD worked for me once before. I was extremely cool at this point as the possum, having found a much more preferable target, was now following Jack.
Jack – “It’s after my feet!”
Me – “Oh wow, it’s so cute!”
Jack – “What do we do?”
Me – “Lets feed it!”
Jack – “Hell, yeah!”
Jack raced around to open the kitchen door and we were thinking……now, what would a possum like to eat…..
Me and Jack – “Chocolate cake!!”
Three pieces of chocolate cake later and the possum was still into it. Jack and I, at this point, felt certain we’d hit on it’s natural and proper nutritional diet! If not for the lateness of the hour we could have rang Ben in Melbourne to verify this, but the cake felt right and we went with it. At some point Jess, hearing the ruckus, came from her room and joined in the fun. We tried to wake Dillon but not even a marsupial hopped up on chocolate cake was match for the child’s X Box induced coma.
By this time the possum had climbed it’s way up to the top of the clothes line post, and was in no hurry to leave. It held out it’s little paws as if pleading (or jonesing)….
The Possum – “Oi, what else ya got?” (The possum was obviously a Queenslander, and possibly sporting a mullet.)
It’s big shiny eyes were now on nearly the same level as ours, only a bit higher. If it were planning to launch into an aerial attack, it was now in perfect position. It was then Jess who thought of feeding it an orange. I’m sure given the time Jack and I would have come up with that, but in the excitement of the moment the chocolate cake definitely seemed the go. Once rendered passive by the combination of highly refined table sugar and carbohydrates the possum agreed to be photographed. Don’t be put off by the pic, the possum is actually MUCH cuter than it appears. (The poor quality of the photo is to be blamed entire upon the photographer and not at all the fault of Nikon cameras….)
Thanks to Mitch Hedberg and Steve Erwin for their posthumous assistance in writing this piece, and also thanks to Ben in Melbourne for being extremely cool and stuff!
‘If you boat a lot, you’re known as a ‘boating enthusiast’. I like to boat, but I just don’t want to ever be referred to as a ‘boating enthusiast’. I hope they call me ‘a guy who likes to boat.’ ~Mitch Hedberg
I LOVE…Cycling! I feel the same as Mitch, but in reference to cycling…not boating. I don’t, in any way, consider myself a cyclist…but I do like to ‘cycle’, if that’s the correct term. If I WERE a cyclist I would probably have some really cool cycling clothes, cool cycling gear…oh, yeah….I would probably have a bike as well.
I had bikes when I lived in Australia and Timor, but since I’ve been back in the States…no bike. In those places riding a bike seemed natural. It was also fun and a great way to get around. Here, though San Antonio claims to be ‘bike friendly’ and in many ways I suppose it is, I’m just not seeing a bike as a practical means of getting around. I’ve friends who tell me there are some great mountain bike trails nearby, and I completely believe them, I just haven’t made the investment necessary to enjoy them.
The 3 things I enjoy most about cycling are:
1 – It greatly reduces the travel time of getting from point A to point B as opposed to walking.
2 – The way my thighs look when I’m cycling a lot. (Any activity which causes me to look at certain parts of my body and think… ‘Wow, that looks kinda hot! Are those MINE?!’ …is a good activity!)
3 – You get to name your bike!
Naming a bike is much more fun than naming a boat, though I’ve seen some very clever boat names. The bike I had in Australia was named ‘Silver’….but she was actually red. Silver was fearless and a trusted companion! She and I had many really cool adventures together. I bought her from a German woman for 75$AU….which was a steal! Silver’s accessories alone were worth much more than that. The woman was leaving Australia and wanted to make sure Silver went to a good home. Her boyfriend was definitely a CYCLIST, when I went to pick up Silver he spent over an hour with me going over her proper maintenance. At that point I knew I was getting a good bike. I, in turn, when I left Australia also sold Silver for 75$ and made sure she went to someone who would appreciate and take care of her.
In Timor I was fortunate enough to have the use of one of my friend Q’s bikes. This bike was named ‘Fury!’. (The exclamation mark is mine.) Fury! is probably the best bike I’ve ever ridden. I shit you not….Fury! was awesome. One of the coolest things about riding in Timor, I mean other than not getting hit and arriving home alive, was getting the bike serviced. In Timor the trails and roads are rough, and we rode often and hard ….so riding down to Loja Ma Li-Lait bike shop for servicing (or getting more tire patches!) was something I did about twice a week, and it was always an experience!
Another really cool thing about cycling in Timor is the Tour de Timor. Tour de Timor is a 5 day, 450 km, international Mountain Bike race which attracts over 300 cyclists from around the world. The race covers 9 of the country’s 13 districts and is one of the biggest events in Timor. Before you can ask….no, I did not participate! Are you on crack? I’m not fond of the expression…’life is too short’, because it’s usually followed by something very cliché. However, in my opinion….life IS too short to ride a bike uphill. I mean, for fuck’s sakes! Surely there is a better way to get up that hill. I’ve a couple of friends who are participants though, and who are part of Team Timor. These guys truly ARE cyclists, as opposed to my pseudo-cycling. I was lucky enough to ride with them every now and then when I’d run into them here and there around Dili.
I LOVE…weird, exotic food! I’m one of those people who will try just about anything once, and most things twice if I think maybe I did it wrong on the first try. This also applies to food. One of the incredibly awesome things about travel is trying new foods… some things I never in a million years thought I’d be ingesting! I found this Food Challenge over on kimkiminy’s very cool Check Your Premises blog.
So here I go….The 100 Foods Survey….
1. Abalone: Nope, never tried it.
2. Absinthe: Yes, and umm….it’s ok.
3. Alligator: Yes….I’m from New Orleans! Either fried or in a sauce piquante. YUM!!
4. Baba Ghanoush – Yes, and I love it as I do most Lebanese food. (I know it’s cooked in other places, but I’ve only had it at Lebanese/Mediterranean restaurants.
5. Bagel & Lox - Bagels-yes, Lox-no. I don’t think I know what a lox is….
6. Baklava – YES! Delicious!
7. Barbeque Ribs – Please…I’m living in Texas! Rather pork ribs over beef…with TONS of sauce. Best ribs in Texas: Salt Lick in Driftwood outside of Austin!
8. Bellini – I know it’s some kind of drink and that alone is enough for me to try it! But I haven’t as yet.
9. Bird’s Nest Soup - No…..
10. Biscuits & Gravy - Hell yes!
11. Black Pudding – Nope, what is it?
12. Black Truffle – Would like to, but haven’t.
13. Borscht – Yes, once….I’m not sure it was cooked right. I need another sample.
14. Calamari - Yes, and when it’s good it’s great, but when it’s bad…..ewww!
15. Carp - Yep.
16. Caviar – Yes, at parties….the kind of parties I’m not usually invited to!
17. Cheese Fondue – Melted cheese=good!
18. Chicken & Waffles - Never heard of this, but I’d give it a try.
19. Chicken Tikka Masala – No…but I SO want to!
20. Chile Relleno – Oh yes, plentiful here in San Antonio, and quite good!
21. Chitlins – Ok, yes I’ve tried them….and I never, ever, want to again!
22. Churros – Yep!
23. Clam Chowder - Yes, but I rather Crawfish Chowder.
24. Cognac – Yes, don’t mind if I do!
25. Crab Cakes - Love crab cakes….my mother’s!
26. Crickets – Nope, but it would be interesting.
27. Currywurst – Again, I don’t know what this is…..
28. Dandelion Wine – No, sounds good though.
29. Dulce De Leche - Mmmmm, yes!
30. Durian - Interesting….but no, never had it.
31. Eel – Yes, I’m kinda iffy on eel though. I’d give it another try.
32. Eggs Benedict – Anytime, yes, and with a Mimosa please!
33. Fish Tacos – Yes, awesome fish tacos at The Cove in San Antonio.
34. Foie Gras - No, thanks.
35. Fresh Spring Rolls – I knew a woman who made these, yummy!
36. Fried Catfish – Yes, my folks have a catfish pond!
37. Fried Green Tomatoes – Yep, and I can take it or leave it.
38. Fried Plantain – Yes, when living in Jamaica.
39. Frito Pie – Yes, I hate to admit…but I have had this.
40. Frogs’ Legs - Of course, I’m Cajun! Taste like chicken! (Not really.)
41. Fugu – Ummm…nope. Would I? Maybe….
42. Funnel Cake – Well, yes, I’ve been to a Fair before.
43. Gazpacho – Yes, I have a friend who makes it wonderfully!
44. Goat – Yes, goat soup in Jamaica. Interesting, but a bit greasy.
45. Goat’s milk – Yep, but I’m not a milk drinker no matter the source. Love goat cheese though!
46. Goulash – No, would like to.
47. Gumbo – Oh Yes!! See my post on COOKING. Not only do I love eating it, I love cooking it!
48. Haggis - It would take some convincing, but I would try it. Haven’t as yet.
49. Head Cheese – Yes, I’ve tried it, my step-father use to make it in his butcher shop. I’m not a fan.
50. Heirloom Tomatoes – YUM!! Yes!
51. Honeycomb – Delicious!
52. Hostess Fruit Pie – Fried pies! Ok, I’ll admit I have….but Hubig’s pies on Dauphine Street in New Orleans are SO MUCH better! Cherry or apple!
53. Huevos Rancheros - Of course….again I’m in San Antonio!
54. Jerk Chicken - Ah….jerk chicken! Before I moved to Jamaica I had spent the pervious 5 years as a vegetarian. The smell of jerk chicken cooking broke this. I wish I had some right now!
55. Kangaroo – Yep, it was alright!
56. Key Lime Pie - Yes, and as often as possible!
57. Kobe Beef - No, but I would.
58. Lassi - No…what is it?
59. Lobster – Yes, but only once. Would like it again!
60. Mimosa – Do you even have to ask……Yes!
61. MoonPie – Yep!
62. Morel Mushrooms – I’m allergic to mushrooms, but some are worth the reaction!
63. Nettle Tea - Yes, in Australia….horrible!
64. Octopus - No, not as yet….cook it up!
65. Oxtail Soup – Yes, in Bali….delicious!
66. Paella – Yes, I like it!
67. Paneer – Never had it, but I want it!
68. Pastrami on Rye – I love pastrami, not crazy about rye bread.
69. Pavlova – Yes….very nice!
70. Phaal – Another food I don’t think I know of….I’m starting to feel very unadventurous about which foods I’ve tried….
71. Philly Cheese Steak – Of course!
72. Pho – Vietnamese….yummy!
73. Pineapple & Cottage Cheese - No….not together. Love pineapple though.
74. Pistachio Ice Cream – Love it!
75. Po’Boy – Again this is a New Orleans thing, so, definitely yes! Roast beef po’boys are the best!
76. Pocky - no….should I?
77. Polenta – Yes, yes, yes!
78. Prickly Pear – No, want to though.
79. Rabbit Stew – Yes, my mother’s. I don’t eat the meat, too many small bones for me, but the gravy and rice is heavenly!
80. Raw Oysters – Are you kidding?! Fuck yes! And I love them naked…not me naked, the oysters. If they’re fresh and naturally salty there’s no need to add anything.
81. Root Beer Float - Yes! What’s not to love?
82. S’mores - Yep, over-rated….I’ll just eat the ingredients as is please.
83. Sauerkraut – Never have, and I feel that I should.
84. Sea Urchin – No.
85. Shark - Yep. In Australia most fish and chip shops have ‘flake’ on the menu, it’s shark. It’s not bad but it’s not nearly as nice as barramundi. The barra is worth the price difference.
86. Snail - Yes, unfortunately I have.
87. Snake – Yes, it’s alright…not something I would go out of my way to have again.
88. Soft Shell Crab – This is one of the wonders of life….soft shell crab! My mother keeps a stash of these in her freezer….hidden, well hidden. I love them!
89. Som Tam - No, but sounds interesting.
90. Spaetzle - No…..
91. Spam – Of course I’ve had it….really don’t care for it though.
92. Squirrel - Yes…there are cute and delicious!
93. Steak Tartare - Yes, I tried it and my conclusion….we have fire for a reason….
94. Sweet Potato Fries – Yummy! Sweet potatoes are great anyway you cook them!
95. Sweetbreads – What are sweetbreads. It sounds like I’d like it….
96. Tom Yum - Oh, yes, more please!
97. Umeboshi - Don’t know this food….
98. Venison – LOVE it!! Another food in the ‘cute and delicious’ category.
99. Wasabi Peas – Fun to eat!
100. Zucchini Flowers – No….but zucchini is wonderful, and the flowers are pretty…I’d try it!
My Score: Of the 100 foods listed I’ve tried 68. Not a great score! But I’m willing to try the other 32…well, most of them! How did you score?!!
I LOVE…Hammocks! Hammocks are just cool. There is probably nothing which better illustrates the term ‘laid back’ than a hammock. I’ve met people who’ve told me, straight up, that they are ‘laid back’. The first thing which comes to mind is…show me a picture of you in a hammock, then I’ll believe you. I need evidence. This said, after going through literally hundreds of pictures, I can’t find a single picture of myself in a hammock. I clearly must not be nearly as laid back as I thought. I do however have a picture of a hammock I’ve laid back in. (See Photographic Evidence # 1)
This hammock is much cooler than it appears. It would look much cooler if someone were actually laying back in it. That person would also look cool. (It’s a scientific fact that people in hammocks, generally speaking, look much cooler then they normally would without the hammock.) One thing which makes this particular hammock extra cool is it’s location which is right outside my friend’s place in Airlie Beach. (And yes, that IS my friend’s house in Photographic Evidence #1. Also yes, it is an extremely cool house made even more so by the clever placement of the hammock in question.) Another thing which makes this particular hammock cool is the view from that hammock. (See Photographic Evidence #2)
Aside from the coolness and laid-back-ability of hammocks, they are also light-weight, portable, often colorful, and can be folded up to easily fit in a back pack…and I’m all for things which fit in a back pack! The absolute best place to hang a hammock is, of course, on a beach, and any beach will do. However, hammocks aren’t limited to beaches. My mom has a really nice one in her back yard, and I have friends who have hammocks in their living room instead of a couch and chairs. These people are extremely laid back and have the evidence to prove it. I once spent the night in a hammock outside on a porch in Managua. If you should attempt to do this please note: Hammocks, alone, are not an adequate source of mosquito protection, especially from Central American mosquitoes. Though I may have looked cool sleeping there, I did not look cool the following day. I have no photographic evidence of this, you’ll just have to take my word for it.
I love…Getting Lost! And how do I know I love getting lost? Simply because I’m so amazingly good at it. I mean, I’m REALLY good at it. I can get lost anywhere. Being equipped with absolutely no sense of direction definitely helps in this endeavor. I love when people stop me to ask for directions. There’s nothing quite as wonderful as the look on their face as I tell them the location is four blocks north while I’m clearly pointing to the south.
My dear friend Pullo recently told me…. The key to becoming great at something is constant practice. The only way you’ll be able to succeed is if you love to practice what you want to be good at. Absolutely, and thank you Pullo! So I make every effort to practice getting lost because as good as I am, I want to be even better! I’m pretty certain I can somehow make a career of it.
The really great thing about successfully getting lost is that…well, that’s when the adventure truly begins! Last year I successfully got lost while exploring Magnetic Island, which is an amazing little island in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Not only did I get lost, I also managed to do so in a style which exemplifies my great skill in the art. I did accomplish finding the ferry to the island…and I did so in the dark! Once arriving at Nelly Bay, I managed to find the bus which would take me to the general vicinity of my destination on the island, which was an old World War II fort reputed as an excellent site for koala spotting. But somehow once the bus dropped me off in the middle of nowhere, I managed, rather quickly, to…umm… lose my bearings. (Please note the use of the navigational term ‘bearings’.) I don’t think I need to explain that getting lost on a ‘middle of nowhere’ island off the coast of Australia is completely different from getting lost in the ‘middle of nowhere’ downtown Cleveland. This is primarily because there are no death adders in downtown Cleveland. Here is an excerpt from my journal during that particular island excursion…..
“At some point, probably immediately after stepping off the bus, I’ve managed to get lost. Don’t panic! Getting lost is one of the things I do best. And actually, instead of saying I’m lost…because really, how lost can one be while on an island…I should say I’m ‘redefining my objective’. Apparently I’ve completely miss the trail to The Forts, and any chance whatsoever of koala spotting this morning. But as the Aussies say……no worries. The wonderful thing about getting lost, other than getting to stumble totally blindly upon cool things you have no idea exists, is you also get to return another day to carry out your original goal. In my book, this is called a win/win!”
The really remarkable thing about getting lost is that it can be done anywhere. One does not need an exotic island in the Coral Sea to practice it, though it does help to a large extent. My friend Oscar and I have been out to the Salt Lick Restaurant in Driftwood, Texas on two occasions, and both times we’ve gotten lost en route. Getting lost in the Texas Hill Country while seeking outstanding barbecue is quite simply one of life’s great pleasures. My friend promises next time we go, we won’t get lost. My very dear man….what would then be the point?