Portrait of a Time Vampire Part II: The Camera Returns

While I know I’ve acknowledged this time vampire before, the pesky little thing has come back around again–with a vengeance.

Last time down I bonded with a koala I named Lloyd.  This is not Lloyd.

Last time down I bonded with a koala I named Lloyd. This is not Lloyd.

In the wake of my huge holiday trip, I have pictures.

Lots and lots of pictures.

I am ashamed to say we’re talking not dozens, not hundreds but…thousands.  Of which I’m anticipating maybe 12 will be any good (when you don’t have skills, you wind up hoping the quantity will yield at least a handful of shots of quality).

Of course, to find those 12, I have to sort through the whole lot.  It took me a month to take all these things, but this time vampire of sorting through them promises to take a lot longer.  This is only a problem because I still have people I work with who are asking when I’m going to bring pictures to share.  I’d kinda thought the requests would taper off–after all who really wants to see anyone else’s vacation photos?  They’re just being polite, right?  Apparently not.  And I’m a little worried about what people are going to think when I don’t hurry up and bring something for them to see…

If you only know how many photos of New Zealand I had like this, you'd understand why I have no clue where on the South Island this was...

If you only knew how many photos of New Zealand I had like this, you’d understand why I have no clue where on the South Island this was…

Since I wasted too much time tonight on battling this time vampire (at least two hours of deleting just the total crap images–out of focus, over or under exposed, and I just barely started sorting the “readily viewable” from the “need cropping/touch up”–oh and the “WTF was this?!?” set), you may have noticed that I have once again attempted to distract you from the short length of this post with (semi) pretty pictures.

(Did it work?  Are you distracted?  No?  Yeah, well, consider having looked at this post a time vampire all your own.)

Lots of local school kids were out learning to wind surf right before they got out for December break in the Aussie town where I spent most of the holidays.

Lots of local school kids were out learning to wind surf right before they got out for December break in the Aussie town where I spent most of the holidays.

 

Coffee At the Top of the World

Would we have coffee with Sir Edmund Hillary?

Cammy:  Definitely game for coffee with Sir Edmund Hillary.  Though I’ve no great hankering to climb Everest (or any other significant mountain for that matter), I’m still a little enthralled by the people that do.  There’s something inherently cool about explorers, and that’s definitely what this guy was.  In addition to Everest, he also landed at the North Pole with Neil Armstrong in a twin-engine ski plane, and drove a tractor (not making this up) to get to the South Pole.  Add to this that he was helped set up a humanitarian trust to build schools and hospitals in Nepal, insisted that he and his Sherpa buddy Tenzing Norgay stepped onto Everest’s summit at the same time (while Tenzing himself has said that Hillary was definitely the first one to step on top)–both of which imply he was a decent enough guy–and he definitely makes the list.  Clearly he’s got plenty of material for stories to tell (and from the little bit of his book High Adventure that I read, he’s not going to get over-blown in his re-telling), which I’m eager to hear (especially about Antarctica).  I’d also like to hear more of his opinions about the dangerous commercial forces at work on Everest.  He had seemed down on this in at least one interview before his death, but this situation seems only to have worsened over the years.  And what does he think of the state of exploration now?  Is mountaineering suffering from a world where even monkey-bars are “too dangerous” for kids?  Oh, and because he spent a lot of time on/around Mt. Cook/Aoraki, and I kinda fell a little in love with that area on my trip, I want to get him talking about his time there (y’know, tips for my next trip…)

Kristy: Sure. I’m going to admit that neither Everest nor Antartica holds a lot of thrall for me, but yeah, I like that he seems to be a good guy. I think I’ve read too much of John Smith’s memoires, because I tend to think of explorer adventurer types as mach douche bags, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with Hillary. As Cammy said, you know this man has some awesome stories to tell (I don’t even care if they get a little over-blown). I’d also like to hear what he thinks about commericalization not just of Everest, but of adventure in general (paid trips to space, paid adventures in the Amazon, vacations in Antartica). And I’d like to know what he thinks is next. What does he want us to explore now? Is it space or the depths of the ocean or something else entirely?