Sunday, March 19, 2006


This weekend, I went on a lovely two-night backpacking trip with warmfuzzy, fishfrog, and nell. It was a bit cold, but the trail was a good level of challenging and the company was good.

Backpacking is one of my favorite activities, and one I should make the time to do more often. It's cool to know that you can survive (even in bad weather) with just what's on your back. It's fun to play in streams and identify trees with nature books. Most important, it's great because it's such a complete vacation from my normal life. The normal things I deal with--e-mail, school books, driving, television, phones, clocks--are absent or irrelevant. My only worries are things that I don't usually have to think about too much--whether it's light outside, how close I am to a water source, what the weather is like, how to protect my food from animals. It's such a completely different way of life that I really feel refreshed when I get back.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Listen to this band: The Vacation

I saw a great show last night by a band everyone should listen to: The Vacation. I went to high school with the lead singer and guitarist, twins Ben and Steve Tegel, respectively. (Ben's in the middle in the photo; Steve's on the right.) Even if I hadn't, though, I would be a fan.

Their music is pretty simple, really catchy rock. It's very easy to like. If you're interested in such things, their influences include the Velvet Underground, the Sex Pistols, Guns 'N' Roses, and the Rolling Stones. I recommend "White Noise" as a starting point, but all the songs are good. Their first album is available on Amazon and iTunes, and it's being rereleased by a major label soon.

A review from the BBC is here. An article from Filter magazine is here. Their official website plays music automatically when you go there, so I am not linking to it, but it's