Last spotted in San Francisco, USA on March 28, 2003, 1:23 pm
Who is he? Where is he going? Where has he been? David Barrett / Quinthar
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... for Haggis. That's right, everybody loves diced intestines boiled in a goat stomach with barley and spices, prefaced with a steamed mussel appetizer and a washed down with a glass of cool merlot. The night before leaving Scotland I realized that I had completely overlooked this fine regional delicacy and, despite a lurking fear that it would be absolutely disgusting, I sought to conquer my culinary fears in the belly of the beast. So to speak. So I commanded an incomprehensible Scottish taxi driver to lead me to authentic Scottish fare, and I was dropped off at... some place with a fancy name I cannot recall. Anyway, I must admit, the haggis was really fantastic. A bit spicy, with an earthy texture (from the barley, presumably). The meat had a gamy taste and a composition like ground beef. Though boiled in the stomach, it was removed from the lining and served over whipped potatoes, covered with a rich gravy. All in all, it was excellent, and I look forward to having it again.

Incidentally, on Highway 9 between San Jose and Santa Cruz there is a nice Scottish pub set back in the Santa Cruz Mountains that I hear serves a mean haggis. When I was last there, warming my feet by the well-fed fire, I was told by the cook that he had some friends in once that had the misfortune of asking him what vegetarian food was on the menu. The cook, fresh off the boat from Scotland, replied in jest "Aye, haggis, that's good vegetarian fare." Not knowing that it is perhaps the least vegetarian fare on the planet, they took his advice at face value and ordered it. The cook fixed it up and served it, thinking it was a joke, but saw his friends wolf it down with gusto. When asked what vegetables were in it, the cook was a bit ashamed of his deception and refused to say.
Hopefully they learned somewhere down the road, but I wouldn't want to be the one to tell them.

... get dozens of facial piercings. And that doesn't include all of those that were surely hidden from my view. I... I shudder to even think about it. Anyway, I met the Guinness Book of World Records holder for most facial piercings in a gay Scottish karaoke bar (it was late and advertised a good tea selection, which it had), and she invited me to her piercing studio in Edinburough. As much as I would have loved to go, I didn't actually make it to that town (much to my dismay, as apparently it's amazing), and so couldn't make good on the invitation. But, I'll have to go visit when I'm next in town.
Anyway, so now I've met two record holders: the other world record holder I know is for juggling, with a record 13 rings simultaneously juggled (or was it 11? Whatever, it was a lot). We met in a San Jose Starbucks, where he explained to me how yes, you can copyright and trademark juggling maneuvers. He, in fact, had the intellectual property to anything involving flaming hockey sticks, which he ... [more]
One of the nicest benefits of using a digital camera is having virtually unlimited film, so you can afford to take pictures of anything that tickles your fancy. For example, when I meet up with travelers I often borrow their guidebook for a moment just to take pictures of the pages that list hostels and guest houses, or to get maps of the area. Or, when I see a sign that I'd like to remember, or even a page in a book that I'd like to record, my secret spy camera comes in very handy.
The first time I wrote this I had a nice bit about community and inclusion, and how train stations are open and welcoming centers of the town. But, alas, that was lost with the Great Electric Hurricane with much other data, and I'd rather leave it in the abyss than try to recreate.
I think this building would look nice surrounded by thunderclouds on a stark obsidian landscape of barren volcanic rock, high over jagged windswept rocks continuously buffeted by icy, shark-infested water. But downtown Glasgow? Dunno.

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