Archive for February, 2006

Paris, France — December 2005

Friday, February 24th, 2006

Paris, France on Flickr

After more than three years away I made it back to Paris with my digital camera. Ever since I got the 10D I have wanted to return to Paris—and the rest of Europe that I visited prior to my digital upgrade. Last time I was in Paris one of my younger sisters was with me, this time the other younger sister was with me, and my older sister, and my mom, and, most importantly, Candice.

We visited many of the same places that I took my sister last time. There was, this time, as before, a lot of steps. There were steps at the Towers of Notre Dame []. There were steps at Montmartre [] and some more at Sacre Coeur []. There were steps at the Arc de Triumph []. There were steps everywhere, except at the Eiffel Tower [] which I did not make them climb to the top of.


As usual we did a lot of walking, though we did more Metro riding than I have done on most trips. Too cold outside and too many people to make them walk all over the city. As a result of not walking as much and eating way too often in the Latin Quarter I don’t think anyone lost any weight this time. That’s too bad losing a few pounds is the best side effect from walking miles a day—even eating all that fatty street food.

All in all a good trip. I like Paris better in the late spring or early fall but at least there were almost no tourists this time. It only took 30 minutes to get into the Eiffel Tower! I took a lot of photos though as usual some of the shots I thought would be best did not turn out well. I even managed to clean the photos up and post them in under two months!

Thaipusam Festival 2006 or ‘Stick it to me’

Monday, February 20th, 2006

On February 11th the annual Thaipusam [] festival took place here in Singapore. The festival, celebrated mostly by Tamil Hindus, is a celebration of the birth of Lord Murugan [] and the day his mother, Pavarti [] gave him a spear to vanquish a demon.

Whatever the details are about the origins of the festival the striking feature of the festival to an outsider today is the Mortification of the Flesh associated with thevel kavadi, vel meaning spear and kavadi meaning burden. The vel kavadi is basically a portable alter carried above the head and shoulders and attached to the body by a number of vels piercing the flesh.

While there were a large number of vel kavadi, some up to two meters tall, there were also a lot of other types of mortification. Some people had small hooks in their legs, back or chest each attached to an orange or lime. Others carried kavadi but rather than having them attached by spear like vels they had them attached by hooks on ropes or jeweled chains.

I understand that the festival is outlawed in India and the largest festivals today are in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia and in Singapore. As one of the guys hanging out with me the day of the festival said: ‘this is the most interesting thing to happen in Singapore.’


Monday, February 13th, 2006

I’m going to hell…

(15:06:21) hawk: IT’S COMING!!!
(15:07:51) beggs: sweet
(15:09:40) hawk: At some point in the future …
(15:09:51) beggs:
(15:09:57) hawk: I can see us destroying entire islands … of puffins …
(15:10:10) beggs: kinda scary as I think we are in the middle of all that yellow and red…
(15:10:48) hawk: hmm … where does Singapore get its chickens … hmmm …
(15:11:00) beggs: bird flu rice…
(15:11:20) hawk: haaa …
(15:11:30) hawk: with a side of SARS
(15:11:38) beggs: yes…
(15:11:46) beggs: I’ll have two please
(15:11:52) hawk: takeaway
(15:12:52) beggs: I’m telling you, the CIA should be lobbing whole infected masses of live birds into Iran and North Korea…
(15:13:16) hawk: hmm … maybe they are …
(15:13:22) hawk: homing pigeons?
(15:13:39) beggs: no no no… we don’t want them to come home… they can stay in NK and Iran.
(15:14:07) hawk: trained to go “home” to NK and Iran?

Oh yea. I’m going to hell. Strait to hell. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

iTunes listens to ME!

Wednesday, February 1st, 2006

South Park is available on iTunes! Woot! Now get in the kitchen and make me a pot pie, biaatch!