Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Art of the Eight Limbs

While in VA my Dad took me to The King of the Ring not normally one for fighting and bloody battery I was skeptical about how much I would enjoy myself. But I must say I had a great time, even without out alcohol to fuel my blood-lust, it was really interesting and the fighting was brutal but for the most part skillful and intricate. The night was a mix of Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts. Muay Thai is a hard martial art (hard martial arts meets force with force as opposed to soft martial arts which uses the force and momentum of the aggressor against him/her (we even saw a girl fight.)) Muay Thai is Thailand's national sport and is called The Art of the Eight Limbs because one can strike with the arms, shins, elbows, and knees. In Muay Thai the fighters ideally stay on their feet (there are throws but the fighting doesn't continue if one fighter is on the mat) Mixed Martial Arts, on the other hand, takes the fighting to the mat. There is a series of strikes (like Mauy Thai) as well as grappling techniques such as clinch holds and submission holds, sweeps and take downs. At one point my Dad was chanting SUBMIT, SUBMIT!!! which tickled me to no end.

Guest photographer: My Mom

My Dad wasn't competing in this King of the Ring but these are pictures of him and his bling at the 2007 Florida Grappling Championship. All told he won 2 golds one silver and one bronze. I believe the 2 golds were for over 50 events and the others were for over 40. He has a very chivalrous story about how he accepted silver and let one of his gym-mates take gold.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Chris Meets King Neptune

Even though it was raining like crazy my Mom and I took Chris to the beach to meet King Neptune.

Neptune is a 32ft bronze statue.

Chris was in love. Later we got him a mini figure of the Neptune Statue and Chris kept asking when it was it was going to get big. Then he drew sea-creatures on the cardboard box the figurine came in to make Neptune a home.

Then we went to the Children's Museum. Chris drove to the bank.

Drove a fire truck.

Climbed a rock wall.

And turned into a puppy.

It was a long day.

Sandbridge, Va

My cousin Shell rented a house on the beach at Sandbridge (VA.) It was sort of a family reunion. My mom, 2 of her 3 sisters and some of my cousins that I grew up with were there. All of my cousins now have children (I am the youngest cousin and the last without children.) I did some research to figure out how the new children are related to me. So a cousin is a relative with whom one shares a common grandparent or more distant ancestor, and who is not in one's own line of descent. The degree (first, second, third cousin, etc.) indicates the minimum number of generations separating either of the cousins from the common ancestor; the remove (once removed, twice removed, etc.) indicates the number of generations, if any, separating the two cousins from each other. So the children of my first cousins are my first cousin once removed, and the children of my cousins are 2nd cousins to one another.
Thanks Wikipedia.

At any rate all the babies played together in the sand and water like we used to.

Chris and Ian played in the waves without fear.

It was Camille's first time at the beach so it took some coaxing but eventually she put her feet in the water.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Dogs Fly at Fort Funston

I didn't see any actually flying but there were all these official diagrams that seemed to imply that it happened on a regular basis.
Dogs may not have been flying but humans were making an effortand Wild Dani was pretending

There were left-overs from when the fort was active.

Apparently, the manned guns kept a watchful eye on the shores of San Francisco, constantly looking for the enemy. I thought this might have been a silly gesture when the sky at the beach is always so foggy and grey that you can rarely see Marin let alone enemies approaching on the horizon.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Amador and Calavaras Chronicle Day 1

It has taken me a while to post about our most recent ghost town extravaganza because I have been too busy itching myself. As posted in other blogs about the subject we had a rough first day. The Wild Dani was cranky because we had forgotten to feed her. She refused our offerings of a much varied array of snack foods. She would only be satiated by meat. Our first option for camping (we didn't plan ahead, poor Wild Dani) was a bizarre trailer park slash convalescent home. It's motto was something to the effect of "Come for a day and stay forever." I was already scared. But being the rough and ready ghost-towners that we are I pushed my fear aside and explored. This odd depot for decrepit faux-transients boasted a historic attraction called "The Glory Hole." When we got out of the truck I immediately heard the rustling of dragging walker wheels headed our direction. The old people were circling! We wrestled W.D. back into the truck and high tailed it out of there. We eventually found another campsite right before W.D. turned into a snaggle toothed demon searching for something to devour. Then we discovered that OH NO! we had forgotten our campstove and tent. (Don't ask how, but I accept no responsibility) Wild Dani flew into a rage (Andy conveniently went to the potty) and she rubbed my exposed skin with poison oak-- which is why I have been to busy itching to post.

The veracity of the above account is already in question but I stand by it.

The Butte Store:
There is no longer anything left of Butte except this store with no roof.

We found other things along the road that were slowly fading from existence.

There was an old appliance store that burned down. Andy has theories about the chain of events

Campo Seco or Dry Camp was the first ghost town that I got really excited about on this trip. There was a row of deserted stone buildings one of which was the Adams Express Building. It is amazing that people still live in this community. They have built their houses and lives right next to visible ruins of the past.

Amador and Calavaras Chronicle Day 2

Our camp grounds had left overs from Miwoks. We snuck in this round house. There has been much blog discussion about the Indian grinding rock, so I won't mention it here save to say-- I don't see nothing wrong with a little bump and grind.

Driving and driving...Looking for places that are barely there.

This is a tailing wheel from the Kennedy Mine in Jackson. With much research and an intense set of diagrams I now understand that the tailing wheels where used to transport the useless sediment to some place it can be dumped. The Kennedy Mine and others were forced to impound their tailings in 1912 after years of polluting streams and rivers. The Kennedy had a system of four wheels, 2 still upright and one crushed on its side.

Sheep Ranch strangely only had 2 sheep that I could fine and they were in a sad state, their poor wool was in dreadlocks. But there was an old gas station that was pretty awesome.

Chinese Camp. Varney said the main street of Chinese Camp repeatedly invited a sketch book. And boy was he right! We poked around these little houses that were barely larger than their attached chicken coops. Chinese Camp was home to some of the first Chinese laborers and had a population of close to 5,000 at one point.

We went to so many towns on this trip and these were my favorites. I am basically too lazy to carry my big ass camera around with me all the time so I didn't always take pictures.
Others not pictured were Volcano, Fiddletown, Amador City and Knight's Ferry.

My Traveling companions: