Hot bike for sale

Scorching!

Ok, so it’s not the best photo ever. My garage is rather dark.

But, there it is, my lovely import mountain bike from China.

18 gears. Dual piston shock fork. Rear coil shock. Shimano derailers. Twist grip shifter. Front and rear fenders. Awesome orange paint job. Wicked useful bell.

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Street life

Street ledge home

A family keeps its household wares sprawled out on a step along the sidewalk where they sleep. The New Horizon Sugar Mill is now defunct.

Pondicherry hip shot.

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Bright, upright Pondicherry

I don’t like vertical images. They are particularly unflattering on a blog.

But here are two from colorful Pondicherry. Sue me.

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Getcha hot, salty nuts here!

Masala peanut

Peanuts are my favorite snack in India, by far. Maybe my favorite snack anywhere (especially since I learned baby carrots are simply shaved big carrots).

The photos come from an afternoon visit to a peanutwallah in Pondicherry. Mom bought peanuts, I took pictures, he demanded an extra 10 rupees.

I’m used to the fact that people want money when I take their picture. I treat cases individually. For journalistic photos, I try to explain in bad Hindi about photoJ ethics and how I don’t pay for photos. In personal settings (i.e., photos of a peanut wallah), I’ll usually just cough up the extra few rupees. C’est la vie.

I do balk at extortionate demands. Like the one from the guy who wanted five hundred rupees for a picture of his monkey (true story) in Delhi. He got 50 out of me and that was a stretch, made possible only because the monkey backflipped. PETA was crying.

I should also note that the peanut wallah also had a disabled right eye. Disabilities can often relegate someone to the bottom of the economic ladder in India. Indeed, as a street snack vendor, he’s one of the country’s huddled masses living on a couple dollars a day.

But he does roast a damn fine peanut.

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A plea from the uninsured…

Today, in Washington, D.C., on the floor of the chamber of the U.S. House, your elected officials will tilt on the topic of health care. This is being billed as a marquee showdown, an epic vote.

I’ve read through parts and summaries of reports from the Congressional Budget Office and followed the big news outlets now and then, but I can’t claim to have been very diligent. I also will note that this blog is mostly a-political. After the better part of four years as a political reporter, I find politics vital but bluster and bombast all the same.

But I will offer a personal plea now for calm, cool reason. And for compassion. And for common sense, which tells us the system is broken for more than 30 million Americans, myself included.

I will try to be brief:

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Chalk outlines

Street art makes me happy

Pondicherry graffiti.

I’m traveling at the moment in Rajasthan with Joel and Kate. I won’t be near the Internet much for several days. Enjoy preset blog posts.

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Honk if you like India…

Makes the autorickshaw even more like a clown car

I’m traveling at the moment in Rajasthan with Joel and Kate. I won’t be near the Internet much for several days. Enjoy preset blog posts.

Indians like to honk. That’s undeniable. It also can be incredibly annoying.

Unless you’re in a Pondicherry rickshaw, where the horn is an old fashioned honker with a squeeze ball. Then the hornographic obsession is wicked.

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Now that’s a ‘stache

So Jaipur is a bit touristy...

From 2004. He demanded payment for the photo. For the record, this guy also played two wooden flutes with his nostrils. Huzzah!

I’m traveling at the moment in Rajasthan with Joel and Kate. I won’t be near the Internet much for several days. Enjoy preset blog posts.

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The art of impermanence

Beauty that is skin deep

I’m traveling at the moment in Rajasthan with Joel and Kate. I won’t be near the Internet much for several days. Enjoy preset blog posts.

Mehndi, or henna tattooing, is a common ritual for women in a variety of celebrations in India and, most frequently, is a part of wedding traditions for the bride and often the bride’s friends.

Hands and feet are the primary canvasses for the artist, who paints slowly and meticulously. Though many intricate designs today are applied with a stamp, the best artists still work freehand. It’s fascinating to watch the skilled practitioner; I sat for more than an hour watching the woman I photographed above in 2004 in Jaipur.

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The kids love me

Home, dusty home

I take pictures of street kids everywhere I go. This comes from the bare home of some poor families my cousin does work with in and around Jaipur. I visited them in 2004.

I enjoy pictures of children for many reasons. Though still don’t know if I want my own some day, I appreciate their innocence, their relativism and their ability to laugh in most circumstances.

I’m traveling at the moment in Rajasthan with Joel and Kate. I won’t be near the Internet much for several days. Enjoy preset blog posts.

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