World's Largest Flying Water Insect

OK…first of all…LOOK AT THAT THING!

Secondly, how stupid is Mashable? The text of the article says:

The insects’ venomous stings cause victims’ bodies to swell and can lead to kidney failure and even death.

But, if you watch the video, at the 40 second mark they say:

A female’s bit will reportedly hurt a whole lot more than a male’s but it’s not believed to cause any significant health effects…

I’m sorry but I consider “swelling, kidney failure and even death” to be fairly significant…

Regardless, it gives me another reason to not want to go to China, Vietnam or India.

World’s Largest Flying Water Insect.

Pay It Forward with a Cup of Joe

EU Embraces “Suspended Coffee”:

Tough economic times and growing poverty in much of Europe are reviving a humble tradition that began some one-hundred years ago in the Italian city of Naples. It’s called caffè sospeso — “suspended coffee”: A customer pays in advance for a person who cannot afford a cup of coffee.

I saw this mentioned on Facebook by Jell Carlson. What a great idea. I’ve “often” (whenever I can afford it) buy coffee for the person behind me at Starbucks. And I almost always do it for military personnel I see in a line. It’s a little thing you can do every now and then to make a complete stranger a little bit happier.

40 Breathtaking Places to See Before You Die

Check out the “40 Breathtaking Places to See Before You Die”.

Let’s play an imagination game…

I’ll give you unlimited funds to go to *ONE* (and only one) of these places with a friend to take pictures with your choice of cameras (and me along as your instructor, of course! 🙂 ).

So – which place would you pick? For me, it would be a toss up between #10 and #21 but if I was forced to pick, my heart always wants to go to Italy.

Jim Dalrymple and Keith Urban


My close personal friend, Jim Dalrymple, was down in Austin, Texas this past week attending the SXSW iTunes Music Festival. He apparently had a great time.

His lovely wife Monique posted this video on Facebook.

Now – leave aside how completely out of place Jim looks at a Keith Urban concert (or, for that matter, anywhere outside of a hardcore biker bar), there are a couple of things to note in this video.

At 1:28, Urban has climbed up into the crowd to play. You can see Jim on the right. He’s really easy to spot. He’s the biker looking dude who, quite simply, CAN’T DANCE.

But he’s obviously having fun, even though, as you can see by the video, he’s surrounded by douchebags who just want to get on camera.

At 3:26, Urban finishes the song, signs his name on the guitar he’d been playing and goes to hand it to Jim. A little backstory – Jim has been in Austin interviewing some of the people and bands playing at the festival. He had interviewed Willie Nelson and Urban earlier in the day.


I wonder if that guy is lying dead in an Austin ditch right now.

The Transfgran – 56 miles of twisties

The Transfăgărășan, pronounced transfa-gara-shan, is the second highest paved road in Romania. Also called the DN7C, the road is 90 km (55.9 mi) of elevation changes, twists and turns running North-South through the Carpathian Mountains –aka the Făgăraș Mountains. The road connects the historic regions of Transylvania and Wallachia. This motorcycle route from Sibiu to Piteşti is 200 km (124.3 mi) of riding in 5 hours.

Car and motorcycle buffs have this road on the bucket lists.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

I watched the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” over the weekend. It’s available via Netflix. It’s a very interesting (if slowly paced) movie about one man, 86 year old Sushi Master Jiro Ono, and his driving passion to create the world’s greatest sushi.

The care Jiro takes in preparation of his sushi is remarkable. The presentation to the customer is simplicity itself. The family dynamic of the restaurant is very interesting.

I applaud him for his remarkable life and effort but I’m never going to eat at his restaurant.

Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE sushi. I can eat a LOT of sushi. But Ono’s Michelin three star rated restaurant is in the basement of a building in the Ginza section of Tokyo – I’m unlikely to ever get back to Tokyo as much as I would love to.

Sukiyabashi Jiro also requires reservations be made three months in advance (that may partly be because the restaurant only seats 10 people at the sushi bar). And, as many people point out, the cost of the meal starts at $300 per person and rapidly goes up from there.

I’m not a chepskate but I find it hard to believe that even the greatest sushi in the world is worth that kind of money.

But what makes it worse is the speed at which you are expected to eat your meal. Every article I’ve seen on the restuarant always remarks on the 15-20 minutes you are “allowed” to eat your meal before you are moved on for the next customers.


I will take my own damn sweet time eating bad steak at a Chili’s – and I have. I will take my own damn sweet time eating shepherd’s pie at my local pub – and I have. I will take my own damn sweet time eating a 10 course meal at one of the most expensive restaurants in Las Vegas – and I have.

I sure as hell won’t be made to rush and eat faster by an 86 year old Japanese man who just took $300+ dollars from me and each of my friends for a 20 minute meal.

If I want “fast” food, Tokyo has all kinds of MacDonalds.

Promise if you're ever in Cottonwood, Idaho, you'll stay here!

Cottonwood’s Dog Bark Park:
We knew it wouldn’t be difficult to locate the Dog Bark Park, which is found in the tiny town of Cottonwood. And it wasn’t. There’s simply no way to miss the gigantic beagle towering over Highway 95.

This massive dog is one of America’s most unique Bed & Breakfasts.

If I ever get another motorcycle, I can definitely see this being a great road trip out of Portland.