Category Archives: travels

Backyard chickens across the country unite!!

Seriously, my chicken lovin’ friends, the backyard chicken revolution has begun.  So before it nose dives into some irrelevant so-last-year-fad, let us celebrate and truly revel in the fact that people everywhere are getting turned on to the idea of keeping hens in their very own backyards for the joys of wonderfully local, fresh eggs, and even more wonderfully local, fresh chicken shit enriched compost.  It’s true.  Chickens are so hot right now.  Here’s the proof:

As you probably already know, Tucson will be hosting it’s very own chicken coop tour on May 23.  But as much as I would like to say that Tucson is on the cutting edge of backyard chicken solidarity, cities and communities all across the country have been organizing to educate people about the benefits of backyard chickens, as is evidenced by this very helpful post on Urban Chickens.

philadelphians-for-eggsIn many places, it isn’t even legal to keep chickens in one’s backyard (shock!).  Philadelphians have created this very fancy and uber cool poster to champion their cause of keeping chickens.

In my old collegiate stomping grounds of Harrisonburg, VA friends of mine have been cited for code violations after keeping a handful of egg laying wonders, thus resulting in the organization of the Harrisonburg Backyard Chicken Project.

Fortunately, there are wonderful places like Austin,  where they recently celebrated everything fowlish by their very own citywide tour of backyard chicken coops, and you can find out all about it and get excited all over again on their Funky Chicken Coop Tour blog.

Tucson is no stranger to the rights of backyard chicken owners.  Which is why I am so very excited about the upcoming tour of the various chicken coops that the Old Pueblo has to offer.  I will keep you all posted as more details emerge.  In the meantime, backyard chickens and their owners everywhere keep keeping on!

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Be very afraid of chickens!! (I mean, really?)

Here is the latest update on your bird-flu panic news story. Never miss a chance to be afraid of something:

Bird flu remains a threat to humans, U.N. says

Tim Johnson | McClatchy Newspapers

last updated: February 18, 2009 04:06:33 PM

BEIJING — A handful of new human fatalities from bird flu underscore that the H5N1 virus has become entrenched in some countries, such as China, and that it still could mutate and flare into a global pandemic, U.N. officials said Wednesday.

China has reported five deaths from eight cases of bird flu so far this year.

U.N. advisers said that the victims had come into contact with infected poultry in scattered areas of China, and that the virus still wasn’t contagious among humans. They cautioned against dismissing the H5N1 virus as a threat to humanity, however.

“We really shouldn’t be complacent,” said Vincent Martin, a senior technical adviser on avian influenza…(continue reading) [McClatchy].

Salkantay to Machu Picchu – Peru

The main event (if you will) of our travels through Peru was a five day hiking trip that reached a 4,600 meter pass beneath the beauty of the mountain, Apu Salkantay, which is sacred for the Inca, and culminated at the ruins of Machu Picchu. It was a pretty amazing trip, made more amazing by the fabulous company we had in our tour trip. Besides myself as the lone american (whew), there was Mari, her brother Tshilo, friend Julito, four fantastic Argentinos, two splendid individuals from Basque country in Spain, Crystal from Canada, and our absolutely amazing guide, Juana. We couldn’t have asked for a better group considering none of us knew all the rest before we started and we only had five intense days of hiking, sleeping, and carousing to get along with one another. Unfortunately Mari and my camera passed on to the sleepy world of death a day and a half before we reached Machu Picchu so we only have pics up to a certain point. Here are some of the highlights but if you have time and are interested in the exhaustive line of photos, you will have to follow this link because, well, we (read, I) take a exorbitant amount of photos.

Walls and rooftops

In and around Cusco

Accordian busking in Cusco

Accordian busking in Cusco

Tshilo doubled as our tour guide

Tshilo doubled as our tour guide

Mate de coca

Mate de coca

The terraces of Moray

The terraces of Moray

Ollantaytambo

Ollantaytambo

Limping up the steps of Ollantaytambo

Limping up the steps of Ollantaytambo

Sacsayhuaman.

Sacsayhuaman was probably the biggest surprise for me, and therefore the most exciting of all the ruins we visited. It is located about a 25 minute walk just up the hill from Cusco and has the most enormous boulders you have ever seen in your life, and they fit perfectly together over and over and over again. There is nothing like this at Machu Picchu at least not to this scale. And to top it all off, people who study these things are pretty sure that the boulders were brought from about 5 kilometers away, which is also different from Machu Picchu where all the rocks they needed were basically right there. So we took some snacks and waited for everyone to leave and watched the sunset. It was pretty amazing.

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