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Posted February 7th, 2011 at 10:23 AM by chas
Updated March 3rd, 2011 at 12:25 PM by chas

1. The Spark
2. Antique Road Show
3. A 'Blasphemous" Secret
4. This Sacred Land
5. Beauty, Eh?
6. Jump!
7. A Part of It
8. The King's High Way
9. Good Old Rebel
10. In The Beginning
11. Pool Side
12. Keeping Station
13. Phantom Lady
14. The Taste of Soap
15. Imperial Prince From Brooklyn
16. A Taste of the Theatre
17. A Man's Movement
18. Schizophrenia
19. Disneyland For Adults
20. Cauldron of Creation
21. Cherry Blossoms Bloom
22. Mortality and Mystery
23. Duck and Cover
24. In The Family Way
26. Humpty Dumpty
27. Unrequited
28. Pressure Cooker
29. Shifting Sands
30. Eternal Moment
31. I Am In The World
32. Taksi!
33. Dynamic Duo
34. The Princess and the Pea
35. Tenting Tonight
36. Hands Off My Hero!
37. Study Abroad
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Pele's Paradise II

Posted February 5th, 2011 at 05:51 PM by chas

--‘Face the breath of life.’ (Hello. Or Goodbye, depending).

If you’re leaving New York, New York where I live, but want to visit another place with a double name, you can try Hawaii (the island), Hawaii (the state, comprising the entire island chain). To avoid confusion, and because its land mass equals about the whole rest of the group combined, they call it The Big Island. We flew here from our base in Oahu to sample its charms. There still isn’t much built up in the interior; you have to drive around the coast highway to get from one side to the other. So we flew into Hilo, on the East Coast, and out of Kona, on the West Coast. The Hawaiian Islands are still being created in the southeast, and then drift northwest, so Hawaii is Pele’s latest creation. A new island will eventually appear. The volcanoes on Hawaii still erupt. When lava blocks a road, they cut through it and you drive right between...
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Pele's Paradise I

Posted February 5th, 2011 at 08:10 AM by chas

“When Pele came to the pit of Kilauea on the island of Hawaii, she laid out the plan for her abiding home, beginning at once to dig up the foundations. She dug day and night, and found that this place fulfilled all her desires. Therefore, she fastened herself tight to Hawaii for all time.”
--Myths and Legends of Hawaii by W.D. Westerville

And the Volcano Goddess has good taste. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to visit our Fiftieth State by offering my friend The Princess some occasional child care for her little daughter, The Pea, when she needed to attend a business meeting or two over there. The three of us would stay at the home of some interesting friends of hers: the husband had run his own software company in Japan (you had to be good to hold your own in that field as a Caucasian over there), and the wife had written a review column on Noh Theater for a newspaper in Tokyo (so she had to speak excellent Japanese and...
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Njord In The Fjord II

Posted February 3rd, 2011 at 02:34 PM by chas
Updated February 3rd, 2011 at 05:15 PM by chas

“Who travels widely needs his wits about him,”
--The Elder Edda: Words of the High One

Copenhagen really is wonderful, as the movie song says. Yes, we went to a ‘Viking Steak House,’ where the staff was dressed up as Vikings, and did goofy things. Again we saw a National Museum, with artifacts from the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages, and a World War II Resistance Museum with a ‘home made’ armored car—a civilian truck with armor plated bolted onto it. When the Danes were ordered to turn in the Jews, they all put on the obligatory cloth stars a Jew was ordered to wear in public under German occupation, so the Nazis couldn’t arrest the real Jews. You have to give them points for that.

We took the city tour, which included castle tours at beautiful Eighteenth Century Fredricksborg, and medieval Elsinore, the historical Prince Hamlet’s abode. We saw Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid statue by the...
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Njord In The Fjord I

Posted February 3rd, 2011 at 12:16 PM by chas
Updated February 3rd, 2011 at 02:10 PM by chas

“And those that sailed the furthest set but a girdle about the Earth and returned weary at last to the place of their beginning; and they said: ‘All roads are now bent.’ …and yet the Eldar were permitted still to depart and to come to the Ancient West…Therefore the loremasters of Men said that a Straight Road must still be, for those what were permitted to find it…as it were a mighty bridge invisible…And tales and rumors arose along the shores of the sea, concerning mariners and men forlorn upon the water, who, by some fate or grace or favor of the Valar, had entered upon the Straight Way.”
--J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion: Akallabeth

On September 14, 1989, we landed in Oslo, our first destination in Scandinavia. I didn’t know then what I know now. But since my maternal grandfather had given me a book of Norse myth as a boy, it had been calling me. Some of my English people came from York, the capital of medieval Viking...
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