23 February 2010

august, september, october, november, december, january, february redux

If one were curious enough to Wikipedia or  Google (take your pick, similar outcomes) the oft-used term "redux" they would discover its fascinating etymology* (from the Latin reducere or "bring back"), popular, yet misappropriated, synonyms (e.g. remix [borderline acceptance; sometimes used in the music industry (where, let's be honest almost anything is permissible)], reduction, etc.), as well as some interesting pharmaceutical marketing strategies. Perhaps more pertinently, if one were patient enough to follow my intermittent (rounding up on the list of possible adjectives for a more favorable option) blogging, they may be wondering,

"Justin, why such a long and obscure, yet simultaneously straightforward, title? Isn't obvious that you haven't blogged since leaving Kuwait (save for the 12 words [including title] and video you posted last week)?"

To such wonderment I respond with a simple expression of atonement. You placed trust in me to fill your screens with witty monologues, artistic photography, and philosophical contemplation. Alas, I wronged my blogging raison d'être: you, my faithful audience. In the event that anyone is still out there in the vastness of the www wanting and waiting for me to digitally self-publish, rest assured that blogging has resumed. In fact, you know have a new layout, different title, and a great picture of Bernard Hinault leading a rain soaked 1980 Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

And now, without further delay...the six month redux (in pictures).

وداعا ، وداعا الكويت
(bye, bye Kuwait)

hallo Deutschland

Lufthansa was kind enough to provide me a
multiple day layover in Germany en route to the
US, so I spent a few days exploring Heidelberg.

exploring the various architectural, cultural,
and historical wonders including:

After long days of touring, it was of course
necessary to explore the local cuisine
for nutritional and caloric sustenance

After a few lovely days in a quintessential German university town, I headed back to Frankfurt am Main (Frankfurt on the Main [a river], more commonly known as Frankfurt) for an afternoon and evening before embarking on my transatlantic flight.

Distinctly more modern and industrial than Heidelberg,
Frankfurt is home to the European Central Bank

with my luggage stowed at Flughafen Frankfurt am Main,
I was traveling with only the bare essentials

unfortunately, the knapsack above did not contain
a camera battery charger so, shortly after eating
the yummy wurst pictured below, my camera
morphed into a medium-sized paperweight

don't worry, the photo montage continues...

Upon returning stateside and immediately charging my camera battery,
Cole, Samantha, Courtney, Thomas, Ashley, Carmen, and I pooled
our financial resources and  headed straight to the ballpark to attend
$1 night and cheer on Virginia's finest baseball team

shortly thereafter, Carmen and I moved into a new flat

and since then, its been all




and still more work

with such little leisure time, I cherish opportunities to



or simply relax

Hopefully there will be more chances to develop
my extracurricular interests in the days to come.

*The truly inquisitive may wish to peruse the digital pages of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) for a more scholarly investigation of the term's origins and evolution. For instance, although common  and now popular usage (i.e. "Brought back, restored; experienced or considered for a second time; revisited. Chiefly as postmodifier.") is often attributed to Anthony Trollope's 1873 work entitled Phineas Redux (as Wikipedia may lead the casual observer to believe), this denotation dates back to 1612. Preempting  the better remembered Englishman by 261 years, Scottish writer and poet William Fowler set to paper what would prove to be a critical line for the Latin (reducere) to Early Modern English (redux) transmission. "Commend deare vix, who after perrelous procells is redux to keepe thy fame from Letheen Laik and Stix." Now in the early 21st century, Fowler's words are well remembered and arguably even revered, but during the writer's lifetime, his adept poeticism and intelligent rhetoric was little known beyond the upper echelons of English and Scottish society. Ah, the cruelties of history.

**Dear Marmot (if you happen to stumble upon this blog and picture),

Thank you for making such a wonderfully secure and magnificently waterproof piece of gear. The Aeolos 2-person tent saved two weary trekkers, one (surprisingly well) sleeping dog, and all our gear from a torrential downpour, high speed (i.e. 50+ mph) winds, and some suspiciously close lightening strikes.

With great appreciation,
Justin, Carmen, & Zoe