Saturday, September 29, 2007

Goodbye Whistler (Flashback)

Goodbye Jade & Maia. Thanks girls for the wonderful stay in Whistler.

May your hearts always be joyful … and stay on tuned!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Exploring nature in Whistler (Flashback)

After biking under the trees we decided to explore higher up in the trees. Whistler has a great tour where you get to walk among the treetops via suspension bridges and tree-supported platforms and learn about the local ecosystem and what the town is doing to help protect the environment. Luckily, none of us were afraid of heights!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mountain Biking in Whistler, Canada (Flashback)

In August Woody spent quite some time in Whistler, British Columbia.
Until recently we did not receive pictures from his stay there. Recently we got some news from the Cohen family. While we are waitin’ for some new messages from our son, we will publish the pictures and stories of Woody in Whistler.

Mom & Dad.

After a bit of time with Joan and family, I was handed off to the Cohen girls, Jade and Maia, at the SHINE Conference.

Jade, Maia, and I had a great time mountain biking (although they didn't seem to have a helmet my size!).

Monday, September 24, 2007

Stars just get clearer …

Finally, this weekend we visited the telescope at Rice.
For Rice scientists staring into the night sky, the stars just got a little clearer since the National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced it will fund the refurbishment of a telescope at the McDonald Observatory in western
Texas that is used by Rice astronomers.

I looked through the wrong eyepiece but was able to tell Andrew that he really needed to wash behind his ears.

I guess this was the last weekend I stayed in Houston with the Alexander family.
I have no clue yet were the wind will bring me tomorrow or later this week … but I wanna thank David, Andrew and Caeleigh for these wonderful weeks I traveled and stayed with them.
David, Andrew and Caeleigh: “May you build a ladder to the stars, and climb on every rung and may you stay forever young”, I think Bob Dylan said that.
"I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours", I said that.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Sallyport, Rice University

This is the Sallyport through all incoming students pass into the University and all graduating students pass out (it gets really hot in Houston during summer, and some students do really pass out!).
David almost did a few times!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Beyond the hedges

Among those who study and work at Rice, a popular phrase is ‘beyond the hedges’, meaning the world outside the confines of the leafy campus.
One of my favorite parts was performing the traditional Rice student ‘jumping the hedges’. Mr. Rice doesn’t look too pleased!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Rice University, Houston

Today I visited Rice University with Andrew, Caeleigh and David. Turns out the University was named after a man named William Marsh Rice, who left the bulk of his fortune to the founding of a free institute of higher learning in Houston. The institute opened in 1912 as the William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Literature, Art, and Science, it is known today as Rice University.
I now realize that this is the first picture of Caeleigh on the blog. Sorry, Caeleigh!

Caeleigh is really a wonderful girl and looked after me really well on the trip to Houston, keeping the mosquitoes and cockroaches off of me. And she did plenty good, feeding me.
Oh, that cheese was deeeeelicious.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I am a football rat

To be honest, I prefer soccer (we call it football in Europe) to baseball. Never thought I would ever play soccer in Texas! I love the game, just as Andrew, David and their father do. They all are big fans of the Scotland Rangers. Unfortunately, the Rangers were beaten by the Hearts last weekend (4-2).

We won this weekend! Great pass from Andrew and David didn’t stand a chance. His ball was brand new and very nice, but we made it 1-0!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

This land was made for you and me

Since more than a month I heard rumors of goin’ to Texas and finally that's where I am: Houston, Texas.
Comin’ from
San Francisco, we took the long way to Houston to avoid the heat wave covering the central and west USA. It was a 2400 mile (3860 km) car trip through Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and finally Texas.
It was a wonderful trip.
I really felt like W
oody Guthrie travelin’ the mighty hard road …

As I was walking a ribbon of highway
I saw above me an endless skyway
I saw below me a golden valley
This land was made for you and me

I've roamed and rambled and I've followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of he
r diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me

The sun comes shining as I was strolling
The wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
The fog was lifting a voice come chanting
This land was made for y
ou and me

As I was walkin' - I saw a sign there
And that sign said - no tress passin'
But on the other side... it didn't say nothin!
Now that side was made for you
and me!

When we finally reached Houston, the first thing we did was trying out for the Rice Baseball team. I would have done OK if the bats had been smaller and if I didn’t keep falling into the love. Ran the bases pretty well though, the fielder’s didn’t tag me out once.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

We're back, we're back in San Francisco

We're back, we're back in San Francisco
And now, I feel the ever after
Over red wine on the eve of summer
The buzz, the buzz of the city
As we settle in it's majesty …

This is me playin’ the bass with Nate (and the Anchor Steam Brewery Band) in Golden Gate Park.
Got a lovely time here, but now it’s time to go.
We – the Alexander family and I – are headin’
Houston, Texas. Back home to where the Alexander family lives.
It gonna be a loooooong trip.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Small, petty Woody under the big trees

A Redwood tree is often referred to as a Sequoia. In fact there are three species knows as Redwoods: the Sequoia sempervirens, the Sequoiadendron and the Metasequoia. You don't have to go to California to see Sequoias, in fact in my home town in Belgium there are two Sequiodendrons.
To someone who has never seen one, a Redwood must seem to be something from a tall tale.
Averaging 2,5 meter (8 feet) to as much as 6 meter (20 feet) in diameter, trees over 60 m tall (200 feet) are common, and many are over 90 m (300 feet).
The current tallest Redwood tree is Hyperion, a Sequoia sempervirens measuring at 115.55 m (379.1 feet). That’s a tree taller than the Statue of Liberty, from base of the pedestal to the tip of the torch. It is absolutely the largest living thing on earth.
I am but a small, petty Woody rat compared to these impressive wooden cathedrals.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Rompin' in the woods

Not much time for rest here in the woods.
I got to climb inside hollowed out Redwood trees, and jump of stumps with David.
You bet I am tired in the evening, so I sleep very well with David in his tent. Although it's rather chilly at night, sometimes I prefer to sleep in the open ... rather frightenin', hearin' suspicious
noises all night. It's full of savage beasts here!

Time is a jet plane, it moves too fast...
Today it's 9 september (happy birthday Mark!) and in exactly two years I have to be back in Vlezenbeek.
Havin' some rest in this hollowed Redwood tree I’m dreamin' about all those countries I still want to visit and all those lovely people I will meet before goin' home to see my family back.
Ah, I love this planet!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Camping in Redwood National and State Parks

Since Friday we are camping in Redwood National and State Parks, north of San Francisco. I am here with Andrew, David and their aunt and cousin Jessie. We are havin' a great time here in the woods.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

If you are going to San Francisco ...

There are three kids in the Alexander family: David (8), Andrew (5), and Caeleigh (3). They all treat me real well. On the picture you see me with David and Andrew with in the background the Golden Gate Bridge disappearing into the fog.

You might have noticed I am wearing a superhero suit now, equipped with a mask.
It’s my way to commemorate the summer of love of ’67 forty years ago.
Unfortunatly, I have no hair to wear flowers in ...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Here I am … back in California

Howdy y’all ...
Sorry to have disappeared for 4 weeks. Sorry mom & dad, but I was on the road all the time.
First, it was a long road to get to the Shine 2007 Workshop in Whistler, BC,
Canada with Joan. After the conference I spend some time touring in Whistler with Maia and Jade.
Unfortunately, I have no pictures of me attending the Workshop, neither of my stay in Whistler …

After Whistler, I hopped on a jet and headed for San Francisco, CA.
And that’s where I am now with the Alexander family.
On the picture you can see the
Golden Gate Bridge in the foggy San Francisco Bay.