So I got back from camping this weekend and I definitely would have to say that I had fun. Our friends Ryan and Nancy are always cool to hang out with and their friends Shilpak, and his wife Yoko were as I suspected very nice people. We did have a couple snags though. Well maybe snags is the wrong word...
Firstly there was the campground if you can call it that. Maybe I've been going to State and National Parks for too long and just don't remember private campgrounds... but no. NO honestly this was more than that. Cause when I was a kid I stayed at K.O.A.s and other campground all over the States, and I have never, I mean really never stayed at such a ghetto campground in my life. I mean you talk about white trash! My god! This place was like a trailer park without the luxury of trailers... It was absurd. I mean really just every site was piled on top of one another, to the point that people going to other site had to walk through ours, there were tent sites right beside trailer and RV sites, right next to these ugly ass falling apart cabins. The people, all struck me as local types, and we were probably 150 feet from the nearest Pub. So there was this weird mix of people with kids and families, and rowdy drunks up literally until 3am partying. The bathrooms were atrocious, dirty and not working right, and they had these broken down homemade shower stalls scattered around the campground. Everything was really just dirty too, there was cheap plastic children's toys all over front grounds, a waaay overflowing full sized dumpster of nasty garbage, and just dirt everywhere. I was honestly completely disgusted. I really think we might've been better camping on the side of the road in a ditch. Seriously people, if you're planning on visiting the Russian River, DO NOT stay at the Hilton Park Family Campground.
The other minor snag, was the canoeing itself on the Saturday. Not that canoeing itself was so bad. I've done a lot of it back in the day. Also as a Canadian it's sort of a matter of national pride. Like we have to know how to canoe, lumberjack, and make poutine... Basically anything Farley Mowat does...which by definition is cooler than anything Jack London does... yeah. Anywho, we were using this company called Burke's who rent apparently like a zillion canoes out on the weekend in the summer, for people to travel a 10 miles stretch of the Russian River. And while I was a bit amazed at how crazy crowded the river was (once again with mostly white trash), and I wasn't really overly impressed with the "pristine wilderness", we passed multiple riverside pubs :( I was still generally having a good time. And honestly overall I did have a good time, I don't want to bag on it, but we had some problems with getting Shilpak and Yoko down the river in any sort of a reasonable amount of time. Granted Yoko is 6 months pregnant so I wasn't expecting much, and I believe only Ryan and I even knew the J-stroke, which is the standard paddle stroke for steering, but I think that really the problem was that they just didn't really 'get' the whole canoeing thing. I mean we were basically floating down the river, it was that slow. Maybe I'm coming off like a dick. Sorry. I really had a good time, and eventually we ended up convoying the canoes with me and a rotating other paddler, including a very dedicated Erica, and Nancy, paddling us all safely down the river just in time to catch the bus back up to the car. Still, that was a lot of work, and it left me pretty sore. I really don't think 10 miles is too far, it should have taken us 6 hours...
I think that overall the trip was successful, I mean ultimately it comes down to the people you're with. And we did have some good company, but I don't really think I need to go back to the Santa Rosa area again. I'd rather head down to Big Sur, or somewhere more interesting.
Onto other things though, apparently I spoke too soon when I made this post about our 'new' celestial buddies Xena, Ceres, and Charon. Although I got the gist of the reporting correct now apparently it's being labeled differently. So while Pluto, Xena, and Charon are called dwarf planets they are now NOT officially collected into our main solor diagrams. I guess I had been wondering if this meant that technically we had like 50 new planets. Anyhow, officially this means that we've only got 8 planets in our solar system now. Damn us and our astrological elitism! I'd heard this whispered for the past few days, but now that the IAU conference is over for good, I learned the entire sordid truth on this (rather boring) episode of Rocketboom.
In much more entertaining news, I was watching Yahoo's The 9 today and saw two extremely cool things: Firstly, this site called View Do. Basically its a how-to video site. So say for example you happen to know expertly how to do an Ollie on a skateboard, or bake an apple pie, or suck the venom out of a snakebite... well why not make a video about it showing everyone how-to and then post it online. This seems like a great idea. And really could be a good resources. Its not that big yet, but I could see it being really interesting. So far today I learned how-to make Jello shots, how to play Beer Pong, and how to do a running Wallflip. I can't wait to try all three! Although, admittedly I might chicken out of the wallflip... So the other thing I saw on the 9 was a link to this video on YouTube that's actually a BBC report on this Kung Fu master who knows how to channel his Qi (Chi) really really well. Check it out at http://kungfurock.com. The guy does these truly amazing things.
I watched basically the second hour of the Emmy's last night, and while I actually thought it seemed pretty good this year. I just honestly don't watch enough tv to be enwrapped by all the spectacle. I did see the Dick Clark tribute and the song by Barry Manilow, who is totally creepy looking. I also saw the Aaron Spelling thing which was sweet. Honestly I'm glad I missed the first hour for Big Brother, which although is kind of a bit boringer than it should be is still pretty damn good. Ok, this post is getting way long now. I'll head out. Talk with y'all later. damn white trash rubbin off on me now.