10 January 2008

RIP, Sir Edmund Hillary

Like many of the folks who travel to Antarctica and parts thereabouts, I was lucky to meet Sir Edmund Hillary. He was at McMurdo Station in summer 96/97, and gave a great lecture in the old Galley about what it was like leading a traverse to South Pole and helping to establish the New Zealand station, Scott Base.
My one anecdote about Sir Ed is that when I went to greet him after the lecture we shook hands. In my hand I was holding the St. Christopher medal that I've had since third grade, and still wear everyday. This St. Chris has been all over the world with me, and I've sometimes loaned it out to friends to guarantee their safe travels. I also have a Kiwi 5 pound note that he graciously autographed for me. It's not often that you get to meet a living legend such as Sir Ed, and my world is much richer for our brief encounter. He was a great old soul.

01 January 2008

Close Calls

Every now and then something happens which reminds you that life is short, and that you need to cherish every moment that you get on this good, green/blue/white Earth. Last night, while driving a friend home from the Cake/Lovemakers concert at the Warfield, Gwen and I were hit by a driver who was looking for street signs while blazing around downtown SF at 40+MPH, running a red light, and auguring into us on the passenger side. We're all OK, but it could have been bad. A foot or more into the intersection and I would have definitely been in the hospital. As it was, our VW Golf had to get towed out of the intersection, and my sis and her beau came to pick us up at the corner of Page and Gough. Finally, we all got home to reflect upon another close call, and with a hearty helping of gratitude, began 2008 with a nice bottle of champagne. The photos here are a reminder to myself of all of the wonderful things that can happen in life.

Be grateful.