MW Mobile Blog

For friends, family and the random search engine visitor. This blog started as an experiment in mobile blogging from my Palm TREO 600 700 Prē HTC Evo,Samsung 5. Now serving as a simple repository of favorite activities. Expect bad golf, good fishing, great sailing, eating, drinking, adventure travel, occasional politics and anything else I find interesting along the way including, but not limited to, any of the labels listed here...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Roy and Adam console themselves...

... with beer and food after their pathetic rounds.

Roy 106
Adam 104
mw 98
Rick 98
Bob 88

Adam in particular was despondent after being "served" by his old man.

Father and son

On approach on 18

Roy with a spectacular shot out of the trap...

...to the par 3 17th green. Yes that is a cloud of Lincoln Park sand/dust/dirt enveloping Roy and drifting toward your intrepid photo-blogger after his explosion shot out of the trap. You can see the ball in flight above the flag (click on photo to expand).

BTW that was his fourth stroke on the way to a score of six. I had a three.

Adam tees off on 17

Traditional 17th portrait - with hallucinogens

We found some funny looking mushrooms and took a taste

Bob misses birdie putt on 14

but gets the par.

Adressing the ball on the 14th fairway

Aiming through the trees at the 13th green where I belong.
















I hit a miracle shot 160 yards through the trees to 20 feet off the green, pin high. I then proceed to chip through the green twice and two-putt for an eight.

Rick from the fairway (sort of) on 13

Missing my birdie putt on 11

But I got the par.

At the turn

Bob 45
mw 51

Bob approach on 9 after a fine drive.

BTW, that orange dot about 20 yards closer to the pin is my drive.

Roy tees off on 8

To the center of the green and rolled off the back.

Adam escapes jail on 7

Or dancing the watusi, I am not sure which.

Rick and Roy look for their wayward tee shot in the bckground.

Bob misses short putt

on 5 for a triple bogey.

Bob tees off on 3

In honor of GLFP Day I am playing with colorful balls today. I already lost the pink one on two.

Roy tees off on 1

Live blogging Lincoln

We are a fivesome today, Lance is sending us out 3-2..

Bobs driving range.

Early tee time (relatively speaking)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Back in San Francisco

But we brought some of the flavor of France back with us. Unfiltered olive oil and a selections of tapenades from Provence, foie gras and a recommended companion wine from a small shop in Paris. This should help us adjust. Also helpful was this article in the food section from the San Francisco Chronicle synchronistically waiting by the door when we arrived home late last night:

Celebrate the solstice with a Provencal-style seasonal feast

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It's two days before the summer solstice, and my friends in Provence are getting ready for their annual summer solstice party, participating in the age-old ritual marking the longest day of the year.

I can just picture it: Thick lamb chops and spicy merguez sausages sizzle on the grill as they're brushed with branches of wild rosemary dipped in olive oil. Long, brightly covered tables are set out on the grass terrace overlooking the fields. Pastis and rosé are poured liberally, and platters of tapenade toasts and bowls of olives are passed around the crowd.

At 10 p.m., when it's time to sit down to dinner, the sky is still lavender with the waning light. The traditional bonfire is stacked waist high with wood gathered from the nearby forest and will be lit at midnight, with much fanfare and dancing. In the old days, the village boys would jump over the fire, showing off for admiring girls.

I won't be there this time, so I'm having a solstice celebration here, where I'll raise a glass of my husband's rosé to our friends in the Old World, toasting the long days of summer.

In Provence, the summer solstice is called the Feast of St. Jean, and is celebrated all over the region with special meals and with pilgrimages to local churches and holy spots. Oily firewood and dried shrubs that will burn most brilliantly - juniper, olive and rosemary - are stacked in town squares. The bonfires offer the same sense of community as our fireworks displays do on the Fourth of July. The food on this occasion varies from a dramatic centerpiece, like a roasted wild boar or lamb stuffed with rice, herbs and vegetables to more simple fare like grilled sausages and chops, the French equivalent of hot dogs and hamburgers.

The open markets and gardens are full of zucchini, eggplant and basil, which are turned into appetizers, salads and side dishes. It's the beginning of the summer vegetable season, which means there are tomatoes for salads, appetizers and sauces. Dessert will be something with the season's fresh fruit - peaches, nectarines, apricots or cherries.

For my own summer solstice party - one that anyone can easily do - I'm keeping things simple. Eschewing my natural inclination to roast a whole beast, I'll offer skewers of grilled halibut - equally good and far less work to prepare. Cherry tomatoes from the garden, stuffed with herbed goat cheese, make an easy appetizer, and can be made a day ahead. Tender golden beets, sliced and topped with fresh mozzarella and basil, are also easy to prepare, and the beets can be cooked in advance.

For a first course, I decided on new potatoes, since I have lots of those, freshly dug from the garden, mixed with some young arugula. To accompany the halibut, a luscious romesco sauce and some baby zucchini, all served with crusty loaves of bread.

My dessert is a departure from my usual fruit tart - a fresh peach tiramisu, with ladyfingers well-drenched in hazelnut liqueur, made a day in advance. A simple summer meal like this one can be served any time in the next few months, during the long warm days and evenings, cooking outside, and celebrating the abundance of the season's fruits and vegetables.

Finally, if this "taste" of France is not enough, I am playing travel "tag team" with my brother HW, who just arrived in Paris with his family blogging team. Check it out.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Stacked up in Philly

It is raining. We've been sitting on the tarmac for an hour after our scheduled take off time, and still no idea when we'll get to the runway. All of the planes in this picture (and more) are ahead of us in the line. Looks like a long night.

I think this will be the last time we take a connecting flight to/from Europe.

Holding pattern over Philly

One more flight and six more hours to SFO, once they let us get on the ground. With this post we are back in Verizon turf and my TREO 700 is working again.

Departing Paris

Sigrid in the window of our hotel in Paris, shortly before we leave.Bags are packed and in the lobby, waiting for the taxi.

Au Revoir to Paris as we depart Charles DeGaulle airport - Philly is 7.5 hours away. San Francisco another six hours after that.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Last Supper - Paris Edition

After four and one half hours at the museum, we went back to hotel to begin packing and rest before dinner. For our last dinner in Paris, we had the opportunity to apply one other bit of good advice from Vincent from the day before. We told him that we traditionally enjoyed a “Fruit de Mer” platter whenever we were in Paris. Vincent said the only place to go was the original “Le Bar a Huitres” in the 4th Arrondissement.



And so, our final gastronomic extravaganza before heading home, was the...

“Plateau Geant"
1 crabe ou 1 araignee, bulots, bigomeaux, crevettes grises, crevettes roses, 6 moules d'Espagne, 6 amandes de mer, 2 clams, 11 huitres creuses no. 4, 5 belons no. 5.





It was just friggin' great.

The remains of the day.

Musée du quai Branly

Our last full day in Paris. We spent most of the day exploring the Musée du quai Branly. This new state museum opened its doors in June 2006, and is focused on primitive art. Since primitive art is a passion of Sigrid's, and we have done some collecting of our own in our various travel adventures, it was a must see for our short stay in Paris. Vincent (our conversational companion at the Brasserie Isle Saint-Louis the day before) was effusive in his praise for the museum, calling it unique and the best museum in Paris.

It was not like any art museum we have ever seen and lived up to its advance billing. Much effort and thought have gone into integrating audio, video, and digital features into the displays, providing a truly unique perspective and experience. As an example, a display of Dogon masks are supplemented with video of the traditional Dogon dance, as it was recorded in the 30's the 70's, and in 2001. This was a particularly interesting exhibit for us, as we visited the Dogon escarpment and observed their traditional dance last fall.

A NYT Review provides some background information on some interesting politics surrounding the museum's creation, and the legacy that Jacques Chirac hoped to create for himself with its construction. I also learned from the article that "primitive art" is a pejorative and no longer politically correct. Who knew?

Vincent also suggested that we get there early before the museum opens to avoid the lines, so...

... we were que'd up when it opened at 11.

First stop was the museum cafe (located on the grounds but not actually in the museum) for coffee, croissants and pictures. Note the interesting tower in the background. It appears to be an exact duplicate of the tower displayed outside the Paris Casino in Las Vegas. Not sure why the French are copying Las Vegas casinos. Then...

... into the museum itself. There were signs prohibiting photographs, but I interpreted that to mean only pictures without flash when security was not looking. I took a few discreet shots as we toured the museum:

This was part of the Dogon mask exhibit. Sigrid and I bought a mask on our first Africa tour that we were told was Dogon in origin. After our visit to Mali in the fall, we did not see any masks that resembled the one we have on display at home (left). However, this one on display in the museum, though obviously much older, is remarkably similar.

This crystal skull is displayed in the America's section. The display has been used to promote the museum, capitalizing on the recent Indiana Jones movie, but the description casts doubt on the authenticity, saying that it was probably fabricated in the early 19th century.

An interactive video display to show the journeys of exploration where many of the Oceania and Asian pieces were collected. Unfortunately, in the middle of the display is a large dialog box saying “Windows Error”. They should have used Macs.

An exhibit of Papua New Guinea war shields and drums (ok, I screwed up - I thought the flash was turned off). I believe these shields are from the Western part of Papua New Guinea, and are somewhat different in design than the shields we procured in the Sepik River area during our trip three years ago (left).

An out of focus shot of a "spirit hook" from Papua New Guinea. To be precise, it is not a focus problem but motion blur, as I could not hold the camera still enough. Sorry, it was the best I could do under the circumstances. You try sneaking shots in low light with a point and shoot camera. If you click on the picture to expand it, you can see reflection of the furtive photographer on the left side using an underhand point and click technique. Despite the poor quality, I decided to include the picture because of the similarity to a piece we collected (left) on the trip to New Gunea.

We spent considerably more time at the museum than we planned, so decided to forgo a return visit to Musee d'Orsay, head back to the room and pack for the journey home.