Tuesday, January 28, 2020

POTD: Machu Picchu

From 2019 08 20 Machu Picchu

Made it. Today's photo-of-the-day was taken at Machu Picchu. Whether you get there via a four day hike along the ancient Inca Trail, or like us, by a two hour train ride to Aguas Calientes, followed by an hour long bus ride on a switchback road up a mountain, when you get there your breath is taken away, and not just by the altitude. It's beautiful.

Bonus photos after the jump.

Monday, January 27, 2020

The Wheel Award for Excellence in Motion Pictures

The Academy Awards will be given out February 9, 2020. I've seen all the nominees for Best Picture. That means my opinion means something. Right?

2019 had a diverse set of movies. I'm not in complete agreement with the Academy's choices, but overall, I'm not complaining with the nominees they've given me to vote on (even though they haven't actually, you know, given me a vote on anything). If I expanded the field of nominees, I would include three of the four movies I considered snubs.

My ranking of the Oscar nominees is based on the grades I gave the movies immediately after seeing them. In case of ties, I ordered them by my considered judgment today. Note this is not my prediction of which movie will win, but which I would vote for, had I a vote.

The envelope please. The winner of "The Wheel Award for Excellence in Motion Pictures" goes to...

Sunday, January 26, 2020

POTD: Road to Machu Picchu

From 2019 08 20 Machu Picchu

Today's photo-of-the-day was taken on the switchback road up the mountain to Machu Picchu in Peru, looking back towards Aguas Calientes, the jumping off point at the end of the rail line. The eye can't make out any details, but that's Aguas Calientes at the bottom of the canyon. Machu Picchu is still out of sight over the mountain ridge behind me.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

POTD: Peru Rail

From 2019 08 20 Machu Picchu

Today's photo-of-the-day is of the Urubamba River in Peru. It was taken from a train heading to Aguas Calientes, the jumping off point for the climb to Machu Picchu by bus.

Bonus photo after the jump.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Review: The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot

The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot
From The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot, by Robert Macfarlane:

Open quote 

The literature of wayfaring is long, existing as poems, songs, stories, treatises and route guides, maps, novels and essays. The compact between writing and walking is almost as old as literature—a walk is only a step away from a story, and every path tells."

It's a nature book. And a book of geology, history, archaeology, literature, and poetry. It's a journal of walks in Britain, Palestine, Spain, and China. And a vocabulary builder to boot. B-

Thursday, January 23, 2020

POTD: Urubamba Pottery

From 2019 08 18 Sacred Valley, Peru

Today's photo-of-the-day is from a pottery shop in Urubamba, Peru. I show it partly to recognize the skill of artisans, but mostly just because I like to say Urubamba.

Bonus photo after the jump.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Best Romantic Movies of All Time*

* Like love itself, a personal choice

This article was originally published in "Richardson Living" magazine. Read it on that website or in the print edition. Or read it here.

The saying, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," applies not just to love, but to movies as well. Putting together a list of the best romantic movies of all time is an invitation for criticism. There are so many great movies to choose from that many readers' personal favorites are bound to be snubbed. I'm of a certain age, so younger readers might not even have heard of some of my selections. You see the challenges. Anyway, here goes.