Sunday, October 30, 2005


No shit, i just watched the clock go from 0159 to 0100. It's the fucking night of the living dead who turn your clocks back, much like mogwai did.

I totally want an alpaca scarf. and an alpaca. couldn't tell you why, but my lady and i refer to them as "macaroni dogs".

Saturday, October 29, 2005

La Paz, Bolivia

What is up with you hoe bags? I am in the capitol of Bolivia and it is pretty neat. They built this city (not on rock and roll) in the middle of a valley to escape the winds in the other mountains. The location is great to ship goods but otherwise, its just a city that spang up and got made popular because it is the capitol.

We have visited Isla del Sol which was nice and pleasent but not very appealing in the long term. I could not stay more than two days there without going stir crazy. In the mainland city, Copacabana, we had a nice room with a decent view of the sunset for about 6.25 USD. Bolivia is cheap. If you want alpaca scarves, they are about 3 USD where in the states they are are 40ish USD I think.

Man, its cool.

We are heading on another trek and will be back in La Paz on or around the third. That is also Shannon´s birthday. Wahoo.

Next we start heading south to the salt flats, Sucre, and then Argentina.

Hope all is well.


Friday, October 28, 2005

Since the rest of you fuckers dropped the ball on this one...


I saw another rainbow while driving home, right before where the Bishop Ford northbound joins up with I-57 to become the Dan Ryan, by the Jay's potato chip factory. They've got a loading dock that a 53' semi-trailer can park on and rotate up to dump all the potatoes in the trailer out the back doors. Funny as fuck to see it operate.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Mark, can't you just set your camera to take smaller pictures? If not, are you stuck using intarweb cafes or do y'all have a laptop with? SO MANY QUESTIONS.

I saw a big fucking rainbow this morning as I pulled into work 1.5 hours late.

I also need a new mp3 player. My archos recorder is showing signs of aging and the woman's jukebox is kaput. Other than a pricey ipod, anybody got a recommendation?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Puno, Peru

We have spent three days in Puno visiting the highest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca. The name Titi means Puma in Quecha (the native languge) and the puma represents the Quecha people. Caca translates roughly to rock or bowl. So, imagine a bowl in the mountains filled with water for the people at 3810m. Its high. And large.

Shannon and I took an organized tour to some of the islands that still preserve a native way of life. It was pretty cool. We first stopped at a group of islands that the people make out of reeds. Imagine a floating water bed and thats what the whole place felt like. It is layered reeds floating on top of the water and have a lot of give when they are walked upon. The people make their homes, boats, and trinkets all out of the reeds. Very interesting.

Next we stopped on an island that mainly does subsistance farming and weaving. On this island we stayed with a host family for the night. It was a good experience living in someones home and not just a hotel. We ate what the family ate, walked around the island, and watched an amazing lightning storm in the evening.

We visited a third island where the men do all the weaving and the women do the spining for the textiles. On this island the men and the women both wear their traditional garb which is not the case in most places. After that, we had a choppy 3.5 hour boat ride back to Puno.

Tomorrow, we leave Puno for Copacabana in Boliva. We will still be on Lake Titicaca. There we will take a few days to see Isla del Sol which is supposed to be the birthplace of the Incas. I have met a few people traveling south to north and they have all had good things to say about Boliva. One is that the people there do not see tourists as walking cash or candy machines. The cost of living is supposed to still be very cheap. And the scenery is also stunning.

In other news, I am looking for some free stand alone picture software to shrink fotos. This 33kb/sec (bits MikeX0r, bits.... dumbass, I thought you went to computer school) is shit. I am looking to get photos that are not huge on the website. Hopefully then, I may get to add an of doom modiferer. Until then, we shall see.

Hope all are well.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

33 kilo whats per second? llamas?

Friday, October 21, 2005

Cusco, Peru

I have just arrived in Cusco for the last time. Well, maybe when I´m sixty, I´ll be back. I should have posted this from Aguas Caliete near the base of Machu Picchu but the internet prices were quadrouple that of here in Cusco. I´m not no sucker.

I am posting pictures on in my images/raw folder. The problem is that these are the actual files that we want to make prints from. Carrying cd´s for question mark lengths of time through public transit on third world buses is not a good idea (imo). So, I upload them at about 33k/s at the speedy place. Alas. I promise that when I get back I will make a better website telling stories instead of just pictures. Anyway, they are mostly there and large. They are of (in this order) ruins at Pisac, Cusco city, Manu Jungle, Cusco (not the sponge bob in some of them. Baba Spongia is really popular.), and finally Machu Picchu.

We went through Machu Piccu the long way. It took us about seven days total. Arduous (sp) is about the best way I can describe it. It is now the rainy season and hiking through the could forest meant rain almost every day. Sometimes the small spitting rain and sometimes the great big drop of never ending rain. I remember what you said about Africa´s rainy season--that it is bright and then the clouds move in and dump buckets. Well, here the coulds are always present and somedays they burn off and somedays not. If there are coulds, the rain is not too far behind.

Machu Picchu was amazing. It is this entire city set on top of a mountain of rock. You do not realize how large and grand until you are there. There are so many terraces and side ruins and such. Turely amazing.

Now we are off to Puno, Peru. Shortly there after we will go to Lake Titicaca. That is (legend has it) the birthplace of the Incas. After that we will cross into Bolivia, where we plan to see La Paz, Sucre, and a couple of other fetching sites.

As always, it is good to see people writing on the blog so that I can know what the hell is going on. Also, thanks to ted of the wedding kudos. I loved it. A good time hanging out in the bar and on the roof. Also, thanks to Martin for the contact info for David.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

If I need to reach you, you'll know it.

I had a tv here that had a busted tuner. It couldnt demodulate channels 3 and 4. It was broken but I didnt want to throw it in a dumpster. So I took it to this guy who recycles computer monitors and tvs.

He had a 300 sq ft solar panel array on his roof that he uses for all his power. he got about 8.8kwh out of it. He unplugs his refridgerator at night to conserve energy. His dream is to erect a windmill and use that to supplement when the weather isnt sunny.
Indy ain't such a bad town, but it lacks the scenic beauty of Gary, Indiana or the bustling city feel of Nampa, Idaho. A few months ago, I got called by some random recruiter (at work, of all places) who said he had a sure-bet interview lined up for me in Indianapolis. I told him not to call me at work anymore and to fuck off and hung up on him.

If the Japan thing doesn't pan out for you and you feel like looking in the Chicago area, i'm pretty sure i know where you can crash while you're in town.

Brad, how'd the blind date go?

Whoever figured out the hilarious combination of Matt Flagg + booze + electronics needs to get the Nobel Prize. That was the funniest phone call i've had in a long time.

Speaking of phones, We (my special lady and i) are taking a step backwards and have dropped our mildly expensive and rarely used cell plan and both gone to prepaid with t-mobile. So, if you need to reach me please call the house phone first (double seven, thirty seven, thirty seven, four, sixty nine three) before trying the cell phone.

It's getting cooler here and the leaves are changing. When i see a bigassed oak tree turn colors from the top down, it looks like it's burning in slow motion.

Martin reminded me of a strange thing. While i was at tech, there were 2 other Fortners what were students. One of them, Jason, lived down the hall from me in Smith my first year. The other one, Daverock, lived down the hall from me in Fitten my second year. Then i quit living in the dorms and tech quit admitting Fortners.

That's my story.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Damn those blog Nazis and their accursed blog quotas! When will they learn it only hurts the little people when Martin cant blog for a month. Like little Timmy, uh Pintglass. Yeah.

I just read an article about how people in various parts of the world are benefiting from the internet. Not necessarily owning equipment and subscribing to an ISP, but things like communal places where people can use the Internet. Peru was one of the places in the article. Cabinas publicas.

I do other things too. I've been reading some Japanese literature, not just sample reading problems for tests. I've been introduced to a great BitTorrent client, Azureus, that lets me download cool things. Cool things besides porn. Like Japanese TV, and episodes of Lost that I miss. I finished Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory. It was a pretty good game, but it did get repetitive at times. Its a lot more forgiving than Metal Gear. I tried to play Pandora Tomorrow, which is #2 (CT is #3) but it was to primitive compared to CT. Couldnt do it.

I'm sitting up here in my apartment, with my windows open. It kind of reminds me of the Fort, except richer. Theres all sorts of crap going on outside, since I'm outside a night club. Nobody crapping on the side walk though.

I checked out #travelmark, but alas, no mark. It isnt Thursday though. At least not now. Maybe I should try #markandshannonhavingsexinexoticplaceslikeinaperuvianditchelburrodotcom

And I got offered a job in Indianapolis. But I declined. That discussion did yield more about me possibly working abroad. Hopefully once a quarter in Japan.
It's October, which means I am able post again. I'm keeping it brief, I'll have plenty to post about later. I need to tell Mark something, and since I don't have and IRC/bin/-usrnme/fcku/bananasplit/einnod/~modfile.exe I'm just going to have to blog like the big tech-loser that I am. In what was the best trip to the Vortex that I have ever been involved with (sorry Matt) Rich, mikex0r, jeremy and I got Dave Fortner's address in Chile, so if you and Shannon and are in Chile you might want to check him out. I know he is working at a youth mission, so you might not want to go there and start fucking in their bathroom, but you could take a shower there. You might even be able to get some fud. Anyway, here's the action:

Dave Fortner
Emilio Vaisse 671
Nunoa, Santiago

I'm glad you have been keeping up with the blog, Mark. Others should do the same. Out.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Also Mark, i registered #travelmark with chanserv and you should be auto-opped when you join (assuming you're signed in as markh and have registered your nick with nickserv, which you should do - hit up /msg nickserv help register). i'm lurking in there and may or may not be near a computer. ahhh, the joys of irssi & screen.

How the fuck is everybody else?
banana was unreachable for a few days. sorry. power went out while i was out of town and the /etc/dhcpc/ file prevented dhcp from grabbing a new ip.

also we may be switching to a cable modamn soon, plus voip. Mark, if you/your folks got any recommendations on voip service, give me a holler.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Cusco, Peru

Well, I am back from a jungle trip in Manu National Park. It was quite a good trip with ten different species of monkeys being seen. It also had a hike through the jungle where I thought all of the jungle wanted to eat us and transform us into biomass. The flies kept coming up and biting us as if asking, Are you dead yet? In addition, the trial was overgrown with rain forest and even the groomed part was hard to navigate. On the way back to Cusco we saw cloud forest which is stunning. I don´t know of any actual cloud forest in the states so that was a treat to see. We have arrived back in Cusco and are planning what to do next. Machu Picchu is on the docket but there may be other options too. Stay tuned to see what unfolds.

I also may be on irc tonight if any of you are around. Maybe 8 or 9 tonight. Slashnet, channel travelmark.

Hope all you are well.


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Mark, be careful in Peru. Strange things are afoot at the Circle K.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Mark, Matt, Mikex0r - thanks for making it up to Chicago. Great to see all y'all again, especially considering the Matt/Mikex0r train rolled into town, hung out Saturday and rolled right back out and that Mark up and left for the Hinterlands at some point. Brad, it was good to talk to you. Hope yer date went well. I tell ya, though, meeting people on the internets? That's CRAZY TALK.

So yeah, the wedding went about as smoov as could be expected and everyone seemed to have a good time. The open bar probably had something to do with that. We spent Sunday being really fucking tired and hurriedly washing clothes and cramming them into suitcases. London was awesome and Iceland (mostly Reykjavik and a bit of Keflavik) was absolutely amazing. I'd like to go back and see more of the UK and definately spend more time in Iceland. They got this crazy Icelandic schnapps flavored with caraway seeds - Brennivin - which is like drinking vodka filtered through a loaf of rye bread. It's weird, but any country what produces Bjork and Sigur Ros deserves to have a weird drink.

Matt, Mikex0r - i don't remember if either of y'all took pictures, but if you did, i'd like a copy of them. Lemme know where you got the shit hid or we'll work out some manner of thing.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Cusco, Peru

Yo, what is up? I have finished a trek in the northern part of the country called the Santa Cruz Trek. It is very nice. It kinda slayed me. I hurt my knee on the first day (and felt like Martin), hired a pack animal to carry my shit for the rest of the trip, and made it to 4750 m. The high mountain pass was amazing. It looks so good from both sides and there are two different looks on each side. I have pictures. Check out:

Mark's pictures from his Santa Cruz trek

linkified and corrected per Mark's request - ted

Also, when I get back to the states I will pretty up the web site... but for now unless there is a team of ninjas willing to thumbnail the images for me and read my brainwaves on the comments, that will have to wait.

I am in Cusco right now which was the capitol of the Inca empire until the Spanish came in and declaired Lima the new capitol. It is a beautiful city. It is the first nice city I have seen on this trip. In two days I will be going to Manu reserve to see jungle and such. Should be a great time.

Spanish is getting better. I can order a room, tickets, and food. So, all the basics are now covered.

My poo is good. For those who care.

Shannon is also well. It is nice to be able to travel with her.

That is about all I have for now. If anyone wants alpaca fill-in-the-blank let me know and I´ll try to get it. It is really cheap here and suppsed to be even cheaper in Bolivia.

Hope all is well,