Casey and the tree frog

While I was plugging away on my computer inside Casey reminded me that we are in Costa Rica wilderness and cool things are happening all around us. Right outside our door she found this really cool tree frog. Here are both pics and video of it. Enjoy!

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I never get tired of the view from my balcony

samara beach sunset small.jpg

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Road trip planning – Costa Rica style

planning-road-trips-in-Costa-Rica-map sm.jpgDriving in Costa Rica can be challenging.
One of the leading causes of death, apparently, is traffic accidents and after driving 658 kilometers over the weekend I can see how that is certainly possible. But check out the image included here and you’ll see another reason why driving here can be more than interesting. It’s a screenshot of a map I was looking at on how to get to a town not far from here in Samara. The map showed a small gap between where the road stopped and where it picked up again. Examining the satellite image was still inconclusive. It looks like the gap is either where a bridge should go or used to be present.
The fun part is that this gap is pretty close to here and I’ll likely find out first-hand if its passable by some form of transportation. For all I know, it’s possible that a scheduled bus line regularly runs across this supposedly desolate river path. Ah.. la pura vida de Costa Rica.

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CNN: Costa Rica is the ‘happiest’ nation.

casey jumping at conchal - sm.jpg Costa Rica tops list of ‘happiest’ nations, according to a CNN report. After being here for only a few days I can see why.
By the way, the picture included here is Casey being super-happy in Costa Rica yesterday at Playa Conchal. :)
In related news, United States ranked in at 114th.

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Samara – Day 1

samara beach day 1-sm.jpgThis is my favorite image from my first full day in Costa Rica. It started with getting up early and checking out the beach just down the street from our house. This was taken right before I reached it for the first time.
I haven’t even been here for 48 hours and I already feel like I’ve lived here for a week. Things are comfortable and very, very relaxed. I’ve been in the pool behind our house several times and have taken 3-4 trips to the beach already. I only brought five shirts with me but can already tell that five is entirely more than necessary. It’s hot and sticky enough to wear too much clothing but just right for going topless whenever possible (in this town you can surely go to the bank with no shirt) and feeling refreshed. I’ve already gulped down more water than I have in the last 30 days combined and am learning the importance of siestas in the mid-day so I’m not completely exhausted by 9pm.
This morning I got to experience the Costa Rican pharmacy with an eye infection and I hope that the drops they gave me enable me to see during my first surfing lesson tomorrow morning. Then I’ll spend a few more hours working before, hopefully, heading off somewhere fun with my girlfriend for the weekend.
I’m only here for 5 weeks or so but I’m so happy about how easy and comfortable its been to just settle right in. Ahhh……

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Samara, Costa Rica – first night

After a long day of constantly moving I’m finally at my new home for the next 5-6 weeks in Samara, Costa Rica. Here’s my first picture from the balcony of the house (30-second exposure) right after the sun set.

samara costa rica at night - sm.jpg

I’ll be back later with more tales and pics. Buenos noches!

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Darden Family Reunion

I spent this last week with my family in Ruidoso, NM, at a family reunion. Below are the pictures from it. Family: if you would like to order any you should be able to but let me know if you have any problems.

Click here to view these pictures larger

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Critical Mass in San Francisco = FUN!

Every last Friday of the month in SF (and in cities world-wide) there is an event called Critical Mass.
To understand what ‘Critical Mass’ is in this context, first look at the Wiki definition of the general term:

Critical mass is a sociodynamic term to describe the existence of sufficient momentum in a social system such that the momentum becomes self-sustaining and fuels further growth.
As a simple example, consider a big city. If a person stops and looks up at the sky, nothing will happen. People nearby will go on about their business. If three people stop and look up at the sky, perhaps some people will momentarily turn around, but then continue on their way. But only a small number of people is required – say, 5 to 7 (depending on such factors as the culture, time of day, width of the street, etc) – to cause others to stop and look up at the sky, too. This number is called the “critical mass” or tipping point.

In SF, thousands of people jump on their bicycles and ride around in a huge “mass” through the downtown area of the city, completely taking over the streets. Traffic signals and even road directions are not only totally disregarded but the police actually ride along with everyone to sanction it. I took a lot of pictures yesterday during the ride (my first time doing it) and the best ones are linked below.

critical mass sf

My most favorite one is this one. We rode through a one-way tunnel the wrong direction against traffic! It was soooo FUN!
Most of the cars appeared cool about being completely stuck for a while (some even honked in support and gave us high-fives as we passed by) and only a few were really pissed off about it. Most of those people were responsible for Twitter filling up immediately with negative reports about it (what else are you going to do stuck in your car with an internet-capable cell phone?). But once the cyclist got home the “this was so cool!” (click here for the CM-SF edition) reports started evening things out.
This was a LOT of fun and I can’t believe I never did it earlier. Very cool!

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i love my new camera

I’m in love with my camera. I’ve had it for less than a month now and I’ve already taken more than 3,000 pictures with it. I’m still learning how best to gauge the shutter speed, aperture, ISO, white balance, and everything else that you can customize with it and I’m having a ton of fun doing so. I took a bunch of pics of my first guitar (which, cool enough, is my bro’s first acoustic guitar that he passed on to me) and below are the five that I like the most. Which is your favorite?


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Colorado Camping Adventure

A week or two ago me and five lovely friends that I live with (Otto, Erin, Alex, Tom, and Pink) went on a 2,700 road trip/camping adventure in Colorado. There was a huge CS gathering that turned out to be a lot of fun. Here are 157 pictures of that adventure. Enjoy!

CS Colorado Road Trippers

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