Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Geocaching in Hubbard County Park (Long Island)

Another geocaching "hike" on Long Island, the first one since our return from Slovakia.  This time, I was joined by Richard who quite suddenly started geocaching himself. The weather was very nice, sunny but relatively cool and breezy and we even had Curie the dog with us for the day. I have geocached in the area before, in the Maple Swamp County Park to be exact. That time, we also ventured a bit into Hubbard County to pick up a few caches. That was I believe in May, during one of Francis' visit. There were, however, enough caches left to warrant another visit.
Penny Pond (Hubbard County Park, Long Island)
Penny Pond (Hubbard County Park, Long Island).

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mount Monadnock (NH) Hike

A sizable chunk of visitors seem to arrive at this page after searching for "Can you drive up Mount Monadnock?". Well, here is your answer. No, you can not.

After last year's unsuccessful attempt (rainy and slippery) with Francis, Lisa, Andi and my mom I decided to try hiking Mt. Monadnock again, except this Millicent was around to join me on this hike. We decided to get an early start as we were still planning to drive down to Long Island later that afternoon. After a 30 minute drive from MA to Monadnock State Park in NH were paid the hiking fee ($4 per person), were given a map by a ranger who also gave us some good, albeit obvious advice. Bring plenty of water and warm clothing because weather can change quickly.

The White Dot Trail to Mount Monadnock (NH)
First views from the trail.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Slovakia 2009 - Bicycling around Martin (Part 3)

For this ride, we were joined by my mom the first time although she did have some doubts about us being able to finish this ride, considering the amount of hills. The ride would take us from Ladoven through Drazkovce, Horny and Dolny Kalnik via the first climb to Turcianske Jaseno, from there via the second climb to Jasenska Dolina and Bela-Dulice. From Bela to Necpaly and from there via the third climb to Folkusova and then through Pribovce back home to Martin. When I was a teenager, this was one of my favorites I was riding it multiple times a week.

Top of the hill between Kalnik and Turcianske Jaseno
Top of the climb between Kalnik and Turcianske Jaseno.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Slovakia 2009 - Bicycling around Martin (Part 2)

One evening, after a reasonably rainy day my friend Richard suggested we go out for a "short sweet bike ride" (his direct quote). You see, I have known Richard for over 15 years but have not really been in touch with him since he left Stony Brook more than a year or so ago.   It must be said upfront that unlike Richard, I am not nearly in that good a shape as he is, not to mention the fact that I am easily twice his weight.  At this point I was still blissfully unaware of what his concept of "short and sweet" is but in the interest of full disclosure it must be stated that it does not even to begin to approach mine.

The bike after the ride

Monday, June 22, 2009

Slovakia 2009 - Bicycling around Martin (Part 1)

With a significant delay of more than one month, I am finally finding small patches of free time to write about our vacation activities. One of the first things we have done after settling in my mom's apartment was that we got a bike for Andi. After her dissatisfaction with a hybrid (trekking) bike in the US, we got a mountain bike - Author Solution. Just like last year, I borrowed a bike from my father - Author brand as well. The next day, we took both bikes for a spin in the hilly terrain around Martin, my home town.

Author Solution2
Author Solution.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Geocaching on Long Island: Maple Swamp County Park

As Francis' visit on Long Island was coming to an end, we decided to do some geocaching on the Eastern end of Long Island. The weather reports for Saturday looked rather gloomy, but since we haven't geocached together in a while we were determined to go rain or shine. I put together a pretty busy itinerary of almost 30 geocaches in the Maple Swamp County Park as well as in the Hubbard County Park, close to Riverhead, on the south fork of Long Island.

First signs of spring in the park

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Geocaching on the Mason Rail Trail, NH

Compared to Long Island, north-central Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire offer plentiful opportunities for mountain biking, hiking as well as geocaching. One of those opportunities is the the Mason Rail Trail, which starts at the MA/NH border and continues north before turning west.  We were eager to take an easy walk in a fairly secluded place, while doing some geocaching and giving Curie a chance to run around. Curie is a shitzu/poodle mix that we were dog-sitting that weekend.
The gate on the north side of Depot Road.
The gate on the north side of Depot Road.

DYI Kitchen spice rack

Over the years we have accumulated quite a collection of spices. Starting with asafoetida (or hing, if you insist), through berbere and cardamom pods (both green and black) to vanilla and yellow mustard - it was all in there, stuffed several rows deep in a cabinet. An unfortunate  consequence of this arrangement is that every time we needed a bottle of spice that was not in the first row we had to rummage through everything and inadvertently drop some of them on the counter.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Images of Niagara Falls and Southern Ontario (August, 2007)

To conclude the summer of 2007 we drove across the New York State to visit Niagara Falls, and to a limited extent southern shores of Lake Ontario. In Niagara Falls we met up with Francis and Lisa and visited most attractions in the area, including both American and Canadian Falls, Cave of the Winds, the Maid of the Mist, Walk behind the Falls, etc, etc. Soon enough me and Andi got fed up with the tourists, crossed the border into Canada and visited the historic Fort George south of Niagara-ON-the-Lake, and  St. Catherines on the shores of Lake Ontario. The complete photogallery is available in my Picasa photoalbum.

Maid of the Mist battling the currents under the Horseshoe (Canadian) Falls - (Niagara Falls, ON, Canada) (22mm; f/18; 1/250s; ISO200)
Maid of the Mist battling the currents under the Horseshoe (Canadian) Falls - (Niagara Falls, ON, Canada) (22mm; f/18; 1/250s; ISO200).

Orphaned Kitten (07/2008)

In July 2008 my friend Harris stumbled upon an orphaned little kitten while walking on the Stony Brook University's campus. He took the kitten into his care and eventually adopted it. Her name is Mac and in these pictures, she is only several weeks old.

Orphaned Kitten (85mm;f/5.6;1/15s;ISO1600)

Images of Slovakia (06/2007)

All photographs were taken during our trip to Slovakia in the summer of 2007. With Francis, Lisa and Andi we have covered several touristy spots around the country: Banska Stiavnica, Pieniny National Park, The Spis Castle, Mala Fatra National Park, Demanova Cave of Liberty, and many many more. The entire photo gallery from the trip can be seen in my Picasa photo album.

All photos taken with Canon Digital Rebel with a Canon EF-S 17-85 mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM lens. Shot into RAW and post-processed. Click on the images to see a larger version. All images on this page are copyrighted and may not be used without permission.

Zilina and the Vah river (Slovakia) at Sunset
Zilina and the Vah river (Slovakia) at Sunset (41mm; f/5; 1/20s; ISO200)

The National Mall at Night (Washington, DC) (09/2007)

All photographs taken in September 2007 at the District of Columbia's National Mall. It was a clear crispy night with pretty strong winds which forced me to shield my camera positioned on a pretty flimsy tripod.

All photos taken with Canon Digital Rebel with a Canon EF-S 17-85 mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM lens.  Shot into RAW and post-processed. Click on the images to see a larger version.  All images on this page are copyrighted and may not be used without permission.

The Lincoln Memorial and the Reflecting Pool at Night (66mm;f/10;10s;ISO200)
The Lincoln Memorial and the Reflecting Pool (66mm;f/10;10s;ISO200)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A definition of real geologists

This is an entertaining description of real geologists. I have no idea who authored this but I got a copy of this during 1998 excursion to Bulgaria (and it's ore deposits). This article was posted on the wall in the chief geologist's office in one of the many mines we visited that summer. It's in particular offensive to geophysicists. Quite obviously I don't identify with this pamphlet but find it funny nonetheless. Enjoy.
  • Don't eat quiche. They don't even know what it is. Real geologists eat raw meat, bear and tonsil-killer chilli.
  • Don't need hammers. They break samples off with their bare hands.
  • Don't sit in offices. Being indoors makes me crazy. If they'd wanted to sit in offices they'd have become geophysicists.
  • Don't need geophysicists. Geophysicists measure things nobody can see or feel, make up a whole lot of numbers about them, then drill in all the wrong places.
  • Don't go to meetings, except to point at the map and say "Drill here!" and leave.
  • Don't work from 9 to 5. If any real geologists are around at 9 am it is because they are going to a meeting to tell the managers where to drill.
  • Don't like managers. Managers are necessary evil for dealing with bozos from Human Resources, bean counter from Accounting and other mental defectives.
  • Don't make exploration budgets. Only insecure mama's boys try to stay within exploration budgets. Real geologists ignore exploration budgets.
  • Don't use compasses. That smacks of geophysics. Real geologists always know where they are and the direction of the nearest place where beer is available.
  • Don't make maps. Maps are for novices, the forgetful, managers and pansies who like to play with colored pencils.
  • Don't write reports. Bureaucrats write reports and look what they are like.
  • Don't have joint venture partners. Partners are for wimpy bedwetters who are unable to think big
  • Don't use computers. Computers are for geophysicists. other nerds and limp-wristed quiche-eaters who can't think for themselves.