Interlaken - with Pictures

So these are the pictures and my recollections in Interlaken Switzerland. I camped in Interlaken which was great and this first one was the view from my tent door each morning (though usually there were clouds covering the mountains in the mornings...this was actually taken in the afternoon. I didn't climb this one but I did something similar if not actually a bit taller.
This photo is of the main drag in interlaken heading from one train station, Interlaken Ost (East) to Interlaken West, a good deal of the town is situated on this one road with nice little side streets to explore along the way. Of course along the whole thing you can see the alps in all their glory surrounding you. The weather was also perfect here...days were nice but not TOO hot and nights required a light jacket at best.
This is phot of what is actually a chain of stores in switzerland that I thought was funny because if you don't know swiss german it would appear that the store's proprietor is CHRIST with a lesser partner in Schmuck. Its actually a jewlery store and the Uhren and Schmuch refer to watches and jewlery rather than well...schmucks. I'm pretty sure that the store is not actually owned by Jesus but I could neither confirm nor deny that fact.
The interlaken town looks right onto the Jungfrau (young woman) and while it appears nice hear is really overgrown and nobody seems to use it. Its actually kind of a bright green eyesore in the middle of the city. The swiss should take a cue from the French and start dominating nature a little bit more in their living areas.
Of course, interlaken wouldn't be complete without a Hooters in town. This place was packed both nights I was there. I didn't go because that might have been a bit depressing just to think about. I took the picture because it features really some of my two favorite things in the guessed it, the bike and motorcycle in the front. Get your minds out of the gutter.
A big hotel in Interlaken that I could never afford to stay in...but it was nice to look at from the outside.
I couldn't figure this out for the life of me. Its in the center of town and advertising itself (in English mind you) as being the last sex-shop before the Jungfrau. I'm not sure what mountaineer in preparing for his climb of the Jungfrau goes through his list as: " axe...check...midget porn...shit we better go back to Interlaken." Of course, Jungfrau translates to Young Woman so maybe its not the mountain they're refering to. I kept walking down the street looking for the young women as a better alternative to the sex-shop. The next day on my trip to the Jungfrau I forgot to stop here ahead of time...big mistake.

Some old church in town...i took pictures of churches in every city I visited. I thought it was ironic to do so.
So while in Interlaken on the first night, I took a hike up one of the big hills that flanks the city. At the top I found this weird little bench with the inscriptions about warts or something...i have no idea if it translates to anything or not (google seems to think it doesn't). Anyways, on the bench was that little bottle of wine just waiting for me. It was already open so I drank some as a self-congratulations for completing the climb. Ok, I didn't do that because it was open already and that would be a bit risky so early in my trip. It was a bit weird though.
One of my favorite parts of hiking in Switzerland were the trail signs. They start right in the middle of town and direct you very specifically to lots of cool things. They also deal in time rather than distance which took a little getting used to. Of course, these times assume you are the average swiss man or woman. On average, it appears that I'm about 20% faster than the average swiss. Anyways, it was nice and they made hiking around and getting places by foot extremely easy.
A view from the top of the hill looking down onto the town and the river. That river was about as blue as I've ever seen. Extremely clean and cold water that flows at quite a good pace through the town. There are multiple companies that run white water rafting at points just outside the city limits. I'm assuming that the water is mostly glacial run-off and i think thats probably why its so clean and clear.

Another view from the top looking over towards the Jungfrau again across the town green. My campsite is not quite visible but its close to the green patch in the distance on the other hill. A nice little spot indeed.Patrick OUT!!!


Looks as if the whitehouse has managed to ruin yet another good idea. The whole Crowley-Gates-Obama beerfest seemed like an alright sort of thing but then the pictures came out. Gates and Crowley in suits sitting at a small table with Obama (looking pleasantly casual) near the WH rose garden. So far so good, until…the butler brings out bar snacks in silver bowls. So now we have what was already an odd scene intereupted by a butler with silver dishes and BIDEN. Say it ain’t so…Joe, a non-alcoholic beer. Ugh. Obama drinking a bud light, probably so that he didn’t seem elitist but I’d rather have an elitist president with taste than a bud light drinking first executive. I can only imagine that it was probably the most uncomfortable beer hour EVER for any of them. Next time there should be a keg and maybe a funnel to go with it…that would get people talking. Maybe a fist fight to settle things old school…yea, that’s diplomacy. Patrick OUT!!!


Helsinki Recap with Pictures

So I think its that time now, when I should finalyl write about some of my European experiences. The first post will be about the conference in helsinki, not because it was my favorite place but rather because it paid for me to be there and so I need to give it its due.

This was my hotel room, it was really small but kind of cozy. The window at the far end looked onto an office building. I could see in all the windows but never saw anyone working (even during the afternoon one time). I'm not sure if maybe the work crazy hours because it certainly looked like the place was occupied.

This was my room key for the hotel. I could tell it was a classy place because of the included bottle opener. That was a first...of course I didn't use the bottle opener at all, maybe that would have made finland more exciting, i don't know.
This is a picture of the conference hotel's beach. I took the picture at 9:30 at night and you can see it was still pretty light out. It stayed this way until a bit after 10:30 or so. Crazy, i think it really threw off my clock more than usual. I was really dogging it at the morning sessions of the conference but then by about 2:00 I was wide awake and had a strange hunger for pancakes...
This is kind of like Finnish bowling. You throw these log/pin things at other log/pin things and try to knock over single pins to get points. Knocking over multiples gets you negative points and so on. I played for a while but the game takes forever (at least when you play with a bunch of other foreigners who suck). The best thing about finnland was definately the food. Reindeer, lots of berries, wild salmon, chocolate mouse, these potato pancake things for breakfast, smoked fish, all of it awesome. More on switzerland in an upcoming post.
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The Overthrow begins

Robot Attacks a Swedish Factory Worker

Apparently the robots have begun their rebellion and are starting in Sweden with the attack of factory workers. This is just a sign of the coming robotic apocalypse. Of course this was all predicted some  years ago. I’m off to buy robot insurance…

You’ve been warned. Patrick OUT!!!


Why Evolution is not only right but also AWESOME

Seriously…sometimes evolution is more amazing than usual.


I’m sure that the creationists will point to Tammy Faye Baker as refutation or maybe Hillary Swank…but fear not, women are getting more attractive each generation. Sweet! Patrick OUT!!!


How does this happen

4 Boys under 14 Molest 8 year old girl


In light of the recent campaign in the blogosphere to end the culture of rape that is ravaging portions of Africa we get the case of 4 young men under the age of 14 sexually molesting an 8 year old girl. All 4 alleged perpetrators and the victim are refugees from Liberia in West Africa. The boys lured the little girl with the promise of chewing gum into a wood shed where they committed the crime. The victims family has since shunned her and her father has stated the little girl has brought shame to the family. I’m having trouble determining who in this story I detest more…the boys who committed the crime or the father of the little girl. Sometimes I fall into the trap of moral relativism that says that we should do our best to respect other cultures, religions (less of that), at all costs…then something like this comes along that reminds me that sometimes there are indeed moral absolutes and this is one of those times. The amount of places that are just totally ass backward in this world make the worst of the US look like Disney world. I’m just totally astounded that people and views like this persist. Patrick OUT!!!

Gates Arrest

So Professor Henry Louis Gates of Harvard was arrested on charges (now dropped) of disorderly conduct. He claims racial profiling and a racist police force are to blame. The stories from both sides differ in the critical component of whether or not Professor Gates supplied proper identification when requested. The police say that their request for ID was denied and that Professor Gates became disorderly and began to draw a crowd while calling the responding officer racist and asking, “do you know who I am.” Wonderful. While I wasn’t there and really am not fit to comment on these things with any knowledge other than my personal intuitions…I get the feeling I know who Dr. Gates is. He is the worst kind of intellectual elitist who has made a career off of racial bias. Should we expect any other response from a man so steeped in a world he perceives as total white hegemony…I think not. Of course, the “do you know who I am” is the icing on the cake here…because as a Harvard professor, what more do you need. Not only do you have a PhD but you teach at the most prestigious university in the country, how could we NOT know who he was. Furthermore, doesn’t that position absolve him of any wrong doing? Doesn’t knowing prominent leaders like the Mayor of Cambridge, the Governor of the Commonwealth, and the President of the United States entitle you to act like a small child without fear of rebuke. Gates thinks that it must. Dr. Gates is clearly a smart man and surely he must appreciate the notion that the police must respond in this fashion and that contrary to President Obama’s remarks, they have not acted stupidly. If Gates’ home had been the victim of a robbery attempt and the police had not responded would this also draw cries of racism, would Mr. Obama think they were smart to have let such actions go for fear of being perceived as racist? Certainly not. Patrick OUT!!!

Europe Pictures

For those who just can’t wait… pictures from Europe have been uploaded for your viewing pleasure. These may or may not make it to facebook. Ones that seem out of place will eventually have explanatory captions. Stay tuned.


Patrick OUT!!!

Worlds most expensive Ham???

This must have been some AWESOME ham.  1.2 million? Thanks Prez…


Patrick OUT!!!

Back in Action

So I am at last back on US soil (I know some of you didn’t realize I was gone) and you can be sure that there will be numerous posts with pictures and such in the days to come detailing my experiences in Europe and blah blah blah. In the mean time, for all you harry potter fan’s I’ve got an awesome link that is a must-read and a real though provoking piece. Enjoy! Patrick OUT!!!


The World View that Must Not be Named


So apparently harry potter, actually Daniel Radcliffe (who knew?), is an atheist. Hopefully this will inspire countless young people to pick up a copy of “The God Delusion” the next time they are looking for a genuine harry potter magic wand or invisibility cloak. Hopefully…

Patrick OUT!!!

Another Sad Chinese Anniversary

Today is perhaps the second saddest anniversary in China (perhaps not for them but for those of us with a slightly different view of freedom…in the philosophical sense). The saddest day, I’ve already mentioned here is probably the June 4th massacres at Tiananmen square. Today is the anniversary of the British handover of Hong Kong to the Chinese government. This occurred in 1997 with the promise of the one country, two systems government. Of course, this isn’t really the case. The handover occurred 12 years ago today which gives Hong Kong 38 more years of supposed freedom…I’ll be surprised if they make it that long before Beijing exerts its iron-fisted control over that beautiful city. During my visit last summer we saw the monument (memorial?) to the event. A large striking black obelisk on the banks of Victoria harbor, a fitting symbol of a dark day in history when the ideals of the western world caved to a new superpower. Prince Charles wrote in his diary about the day as a witness to the historical event. Excerpts are available here



Well worth a read to remember what was and to hope for what still might be. Patrick OUT!!!