Sunday, 12 October 2008

October 2008 - Whitby

Descriptions at bottom...

1. Whitby is an old seaport on the North Yorkshire coast. It is the home Captain James Cook (not Kirk) and is the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula. We visited Whitby as part of a church retreat.
2. A great view of the harbor at low tide inside the seawall.
3. Hey! We're tourists!
4. Contemplating my eventual decision to revive the pirate lifestyle in Whitby.
5. A view of the ancient abbey and the monument to Captain Cook. The abbey is considered one of the most historically significant sites in all of England.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Recent Travels

The first picture is a handsome gentleman standing in front of Conwy Castle in Northern Wales. The second and third photos are from our trip to Edinburgh, where I was fortunate to find the burial location of John Knox. Knox, the Father of the Sottish Reformation, wanted to be buried in close proximity to St. Giles Cathedral. Who knew it would become a parking lot. All that is left of his grave is a plain brass plate.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

A Few More SW Scotland Pics, August 2008

Stone fire place in an old cabin...Mountain walks...Fighting the British Cavalry. That's my idea of a wilderness trip.
SW Scotland is a great deal more beautiful in the Summer than in the early Spring, though the midges were a massive pain. During the course of our young men's "Wild At Heart" Wilderness Week, we spoke of the journey into manhood. We agreed that many of the men we know are actually boys in big bodies, and that life must be something more than what we are making of it. We also agreed that there are just some things you can't learn about yourself sitting in a classroom or a pew.
Thank God there are still open spaces in this world.

Scotland and Latvia

We've been traveling a bit lately. Most recently, we went to Latvia to see some missionary friends of ours and to scout out a Summer 2009 youth missions trip I am planning. The highlight of the trip was probably The Occupation Museum, where I learned of the Soviet and Nazi tactics used to dominate the Baltic States. I found it interesting that much of the rhetoric used by The Soviets during their occupation of Latvia in the late 1930's is very similar to the rhetoric currently being used by the Russians in Georgia. The Latvians are keenly aware of the similarities.
The first picture is of the Riga skyline. It is an amazingly modern city. I think Americans would enjoy the Riga nightlife, but unfortunately, Latvian currency, called the Lat, is among the strongest in the world (roughly $2.50 to every Lat). So good luck, all you international travelers.
The second photo is me mastering the ropes course at the missionary base, located about 2 hours away from Riga. My outstanding athleticism is unmatched in Eastern Europe. USA! USA! I hope to take the kids from my youth group to this base next Summer for a service project. This missionary base runs outreach projects for kids with disabilities, drug addicts and at-risk people groups, so it might be nice if someone helped them out with the tedious tasks like gardening and painting.
The third picture is a glorious example of Soviet architecture. The square object you see is actually a water tower in a small town in Western Latvia. Examples of this square blockish style can be seen everywhere the Soviets set up shop. I don't know what they were thinking.
The fourth picture was taken prior to our trip to Latvia. In Early August, I traveled to SW Scotland with 6 young men from my church. The stone building is called a "bothy," which I guess is Scottish for "place to get out of the constant rain." The bothy sat in a large valley surrounded by steep Scottish hills, which can be seen in the second photo. More pictures of Scotland to come.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

More from Scotland

Here are some more pictures from the journey.

My favorite feature of The Galloway Forest Park is the streams. I have never seen more beautiful flowing water.

The second picture is pretty typical of what we saw: pre-Spring open spaces surrounded by mountains. I include this picture mostly because it seems to be what Americans think of when they think Scotland. That and men in kilts. Hey-o! Didn't see one kilt while I was there, by the way.

The third and fourth pictures are from our climb of The Merrick. The cairn we are standing on is actually on the smaller summit just to the south of The Merrick. We basically just stood there for the dramatic effect. The final picture is on the summit of The Merrick looking westward. In the distance is Ireland. From where we stood, many islands were visible. It was interesting to think about the Irish monks that reached these tiny places by boat, setting up monasteries and sharing the Gospel with natives.

And yes, that is snow you see. It was cold on the mountain, and we did not stay long. Looking north from the summit, we could see a big storm cloud quickly approaching. We basically raced the cloud off the summit to avoid being trapped in a potential whiteout.

That should be enough drama for one post. Take care, everyone.

The T and P

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Southwest Scotland

It's tough to pick a few pictures to sum up an awesome trip, and I don't think I did a very good job. Maybe I'l post some more in the near future, or maybe I'll just force all of you to fly over if you want to see the rest. A big thanks goes out to Tom for taking us north, and to Joe and Nate for flying over from Saratoga Springs.

We wilderness camped at Loch Trool in the Galloway Forest Park near Newton Stewart, Scotland. We chased lots of sheep (which we thought were Mt. Goats at the time), summited The Merrick (from which we could see Ireland in the distance), visited the sight of Robert The Bruce's first victory over the English (which he accomplished through rolling boulders down a hill onto the cavalry), ate Haggis (meat, grain and herbs stuffed into sheep's stomach) and sampled black pudding (congealed pigs blood stuffed into a sausage casing). It was a cold week to camp, but well worth it.

And by the way, we eventually saw some real Mt. Goats as we drove out of the park.

- The T and P

Saturday, 12 April 2008

From Dublin to Scotland

Last week was Dublin. This week is Scotland.

While in Dublin, we saw the birth place of "The Dark Stuff," The Chester Beatty Library (a must see for any fans of ancient manuscripts) and Trinity College's Book Of Kells Display. We also had the opportunity to visit a prehistoric burial/astronomical site called "New Grange," which dates back 5,200 years. At the summer and winter solstice, the sun shines down the corridor to illuminate the New Grange burial chamber. It is unknown how the site was built with such exactness.

This evening, I will sleep under the stars (or rain clouds) in SW Scotland. More pictures to come when I return.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

April's Adventure: Loch Trool, Scotland

No, it's not The Adirondacks, but it's outside and it's quiet. Next month the editorial staff of the T and P will spend a much needed week in Southern Scotland. In the 1300's, Robert the Bruce won a small battle against the English there. I hope to use the area to launch my revolution against the English as well. It will involve the introduction of salt and flavored food into their diets. They'll never know what hit them.

- The T and P

Monday, 11 February 2008 -Demotivational Posters

The mother of the editor-in-chief has made it known that the reflective, depressing nature of the blog has become too much to handle. Alright. Fine. Put this in your pipe and smoke it.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

The Finer Things

A quiet room. A good book. A pipe. A friend to share it with.

Monday, 14 January 2008

STIFFED by Susan Faludi

Of the many books The T and P have read on masculinity, this may be the best so far. Faludi has captured the problem with the modern man - he no longer has a purpose. In his efforts to find a place in an integrated society, the modern man, according to Faludi, has actually become like the 1950's housewife. Without the sense that he is contributing to society, he has become obsessed with personal appearance (gym memberships, metro-sexual clothing, $80.00 haircuts), his possessions (cars, boats, televisions), and leisure (recreation, sports, etc). For all his posturing and posing, he has actually become more "feminine" than he could have ever imagined.

This is a big book (about 600 pages). The Tan P editorial staff is approaching page 100 and may have a different opinion in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned.

_The T and P

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Yes, There Are Beautiful People In England

An anonymous yet striking couple, caught in a candid moment in Castleton, England. Located in the Peak District, Castleton is home to a rare stone called "Blue Jean" and the remains of a castle built by William The Conqueror.

The T and P