Luray Caverns and Camping

September 17, 2009

Lois Lane and I trekked out to do some camping and canoeing with Mr. Brown and Matilda a few weekends ago and it was a GREAT way to spend the Labor day weekend.

Here’s some shots:

The river was lazy and smooth all weekend

With nothing but blue skies and some calm clouds

Mr Brown had a birthday, and was enjoying the last of a vice before the big day

I strung up my hammock for an afternoon ciesta

The campsite lit up at night with lanterns, campfires, and the full moon

I’ve been meaning to head out to Luray Caverns for some time now, but never really had the motivation to do so. Since we were camping only 20 minutes away though, Lois Lane and I opted for a morning visit to the Caverns befsore trekking back to DC on Sunday. We were not disappointed.

The caverns were discovered ages ago and have been lit up to look truly magnificent. The pictures hardly do it justice, but I’ll show you a bit of what we saw.

Here’s probably the most impressive part of the tour. You can’t really tell, but the ‘stalagmites’ at the bottom of the picture are actually stalactites reflecting in a pool of water from the stalactites above!

(note that I forgot my tripod so had to balance the camera on the cave surface in order to get a good shot that wasn’t washed out by a flash, hence the weird angles and strange foregrounds)

Another shot of the reflection:

Here’s a shot taken from about 4o feet away from the large mass. You can’t really tell how big these things really are without a point of reference, but they’re HUGE!

This big guy stands 40 feet tall and looks like a waterfall. Some also call it the “shaggy dog” which you can sort of see in this picture.

Some of the formations dripped in curtains instead of sharp points as you can see in front of Lois Lane here

We opted to wear the headphones to get a self-paced tour of the caverns.  I really enjoyed the experience. They had two versions for every stop, one that was for kids, and another for adults. I listened to the adult version (exciting stuff) but switched over to the kids version for one of the stops. While the adult version was entertaining, it was a bit dry and fact filled, and the Kids version reminded me of the scene from Jurassic Park where the animated DNA yucks it up to explain the science.

The big white formation in the back is called ‘the ghost’ I believe, because of it’s stark white color and solitude.

Overall it was a great way to spend an hour and well worth the trip. I recommend it to everyone.

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Philadelphia Police Brutality on South Street

July 13, 2009

This past weekend I had front row seats to some police brutality on South Street in Philadelphia. After having a pint at Dark Horse on 2nd Street, my friends and I (A group of 30-ish white and Asian males, well dressed and relatively sober) were walking up South Street in Philadelphia with the masses. We had noticed a large police presence early on in the night, but did not think much of it.

On our way to the next pub, we were met by a wall of walking police officers who were telling everyone to turn around and go the other way – the street was closed. Confused, mostly everyone turned around. One man, a young well dressed African-American was on his cell phone and at the front of the line walking towards the police. Confused, he turned around and stepped in to an alcove to avoid the police and the masses who were being turned away.

Suddenly, and without provocation, the man on the phone was shoved into a window of a shop by police officers and manhandled. An African-American officer who did the shoving said “That’s it!”, and the next thing I heard was the young man yelling in a confused way ‘what’s going on!’ as they roughly twisted his arms around, forcing him in to hand cuffs.

The next thing I saw blew my mind.

Four police officers moved in to restrain the man, and the first officer who shoved the man into the shop window pulled out his Billy club and began beating the young man while he lay on the ground.

I immediately pulled out my cell phone to begin video-recording the beating, but no sooner did I pull out my phone and aim it at the tangle of police officers, than another officer pulled out his club and began walking at me with a purpose telling me to move along. Not wanting to be the victim of unnecessary force myself, I turned around and walked away to catch up with my friends who were now moving back up the street. Or so I thought.

It turns out that in the confusion, one of us was shoved to the ground by police, and another was the victim of pepper spray. Fortunately both were swift to move and got out of the situation relatively unscathed. We’re all lucky that tempers weren’t high and that the entire group of 8 did not see our friends being manhandled.

It’s a shame that things like this can happen and still go unnoticed. A quick search online for any news on the situation brought up only a small article about injured police officers. If anyone out there is reading this and knows the young man who I saw beaten, I’d be happy to testify on his behalf. He did nothing wrong and was severely punished for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

******UPDATE******

It was not this incident, but may explain why the officers were all keyed up. It does not justify the outcome though.

It also appears that this is not the first claim of police brutality by Philadelphia cops.

Chris on Jesus… and sushi

June 22, 2009

Chris: crap my sushi tastes weird

Chris: i probably shouldnt be eating this

Chris: If Jesus was a carpenter than how did he teach people to fish?

Chris on destruction

June 22, 2009

Chris: I am a ravenous bacteria bent on cellular destruction

Me: sweet.

Chris on power naps

June 22, 2009

Chris: damn

Me: whazzup

Chris: when I walk down hallways I close my eyes and catch a power nap

Me: well done

Chris: i have to pee

Chris gets Random

June 22, 2009

Chris: i will smite thee evil dragon kind

Me: rarr

Me: what are you doing tonight?

Me: (in the gym)

Chris: old chicks are hot

Chris: bench

Chris: and they have experience

Chris: im gonna go now

Me: ok

Chris: dont take strangers from their candy

Me: good call

Chris on T shirts

June 22, 2009

Chris: Im going to wear my ‘Satan does missionaries’ t-shirt

Chris: u get it?  Missionary style….and he’s satan so he does the entire missionary instead

Chris: get it?

Chris: lol

Chris: i made it up

Chris: i really dont have that shirt…but I might have to now

Chris on being a cockatoo

June 22, 2009

Chris: I am a cockatoo in the cage of life

Chris talks in lyrics (I join in)

June 22, 2009

Chris: what’s love got to do with it?

Me: well, it’s a second hand emotion.

Chris: like a highway that I want to ride

Me: or a steel horse.

Chris: that’s when I see the sign

Me: did it open up your mind?

Chris: it’s electric

Me: da da da da da da da da da

Chris: LMAO

Chris: WE SHOULD SPEAK IN LYRICS MORE OFTEN

Me: SHOUT

Chris: LET IT OUT

Me: all you like about me is the way i walk.

Chris: for I am death

Me: hello.

Chris: my God it’s cold

Me: was it me you’re looking for?

Chris: im freezing

Me: those dont sound like song lyrics

Chris: baby it’s cold outside

Me: i really don’t care.

Chris likes turtles

June 22, 2009

Chris: I LIKE TURTLES!

Chris: and oatmeal

Chris: and balls