Boojum Buddies

The international adventures of four geezers

Archive for the month “March, 2012”

Dubai Gets a Bum Rap

From: Boojum Bebo

Why is it whenever many people hear Dubai they think wretched excess and over-the-top construction such as the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa Image

or the world’s first AND second largest shopping malls Image

even one with a ski slope! Image

In fact, Dubai has a rich history dating back to antiquity – a crossroad for trade between the East and the West ImageImageImage

The historic architecture is a stark contrast (of beauty) to the new buildings…ImageImage

There are lots of tourists in Dubai –  mainly Russians, Chinese, Japanese, visitors from other Middle Eastern nations. But there are appear to be few Americans and I don’t know why. It’s a great destination, easy to get to, reasonably priced, very safe, English-speaking, and much to do (in addition to shopping) – dune-busting in the desert, boating on the creek, music, etc. If they don’t come because it’s a Muslim nation, WHAT A MISTAKE!


Following Bob’s Footsteps

From: Boojum Bebo

This past week Nancy had a conference at NYU so I went along for the ride. We stayed in Greenwich Village, so I decided to try and find some of Bob Dylan’s old haunts (Bob would be a great member of the Boojum Buddies). With the aid of the Web, finding these spots was quite easy.

It’s said that when Bob arrived at Greenwich Village/Washington Square he felt right at home

Musicians are still quite common here – even some playing jug band music –

We stayed at the Washington Square Hotel. It was once known as the Hotel Earle. The hotel claims that Bob and Joan Baez stayed there in Room 305. Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and Peter LaFarge were among some other folksingers to call it home. Next time, Nancy and I will request room 305…

Bob frequently played at the Cafe Wha? (115 MacDougal Street) which is still there and is pretty funky – the club clearly capitalizes on the Dylan (and Hendrix) connection.

Bob also played at The Gaslight Cafe and The Kettle of Fish (116 MacDougal Street). It’s said that he premiered Masters of War here.  No longer here, it’s a tattoo parlor. Is there something poetic about this? I have never heard if Bob has any tats…

The Commons was the club where, according to legend, Bob wrote Blowin’ in the Wind – it’s now The Fat Black Pussycat

Another legend is that Bob wrote Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall in the basement of The Village Gate. The club is gone, but the marquee has been restored and replaced

It appears that many of the Bob-related landmarks became victims of NYU expansion. For example, Gerde’s Folk City (71 West 4th Street) is no longer there having been replaced by huge university buildings.

I saved the best for last, this is Jones Street walking towards 4th Street – supposedly it is the location of the photo of Bob and Suze Rotolo that appears on the Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan album. I was humming Positively 4th Street here and surely some of the locals thought me to be a deranged old fart wandering aimlessly.

As Bob wrote, “wait only for my boot heels / To be wanderin’. / I’m ready to go anywhere” – a good motto for the Boojum Buddies.

The Boojum Budd…

The Boojum Buddies – not to be confused with the TV sitcom starring Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari, the breast cancer support group or the baby nursing gear – are buddies of sorts, bound by a curiosity of the natural world, a love of travel and a special affection for the Boojum bearing deserts of the Mexican Baja peninsula.

The Boojum tree (Fouquieria columnaris) or cactus is related to the Ocotillo and  grows only in the Sonoran Dessert on the west coast of Baja California and in one limited area of the Mexican mainland near Puerto Libertad.

The Boojum can grow 60 to 80 feet high in grotesque Dr. Suess-like configurations.  The name ‘Boojum’ was given the plant by Prof. Godfrey Sykes who was inspired by the poem by Lewis Carroll, “The Hunting of the Snark”

“It’s a Snark!” was the sound that first came to their ears,

And seemed almost too good to be true.

Then followed a torrent of laughter and cheers:

Then the ominous words “It’s a Boo-”

Then, silence. Some fancied they heard in the air

A weary and wandering sigh

That sounded like “-jum!” but the others declare

It was only a breeze that went by.

They hunted till darkness came on, but they found

Not a button, or feather, or mark,

By which they could tell that they stood on the ground

Where the Baker had met with the Snark.

In the midst of the word he was trying to say,

In the midst of his laughter and glee,

He had softly and suddenly vanished away —

For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.

Fitting, since the Boojum Buddies can also be a little Snarky when provoked

Snarks, Boojums, Mexico, Buddies, Margaritas, did I mention Hummers?  What else could we be but the Boojum Buddies?

Actual Boojum, near Catavina, Baja, Mexico

Unofficial sponsor of Boojum Buddies offroad trips

Meet the Buddies:

Boojum Bebo:                                                              

Worked at SLAC as a Computational Physicist and Senior Computing Information Systems Analyst. He is also a Visiting Professor of Computer Science at the University of Hong Kong and an Adjunct Professor of Integrated Systems Management at the University of San Francisco.

In recent years, Boojum Bebo has been known for by his involvement with World Wide Web technology.  He was instrumental in establishing the first American Web site at SLAC in 1991.

Bojum Bebo has lectured and spoken internationally to academic and commercial audiences. He is the author of eight books and over one hundred journal/proceedings articles.

His current research interests are Web Science, Social Media in Education, and Cloud Computing, and …Jug Band music and history.

Boojum Bebo, El Marmol, Baja Norte, Mexico

Boojum Allan:

Allan is currently Director of Research and Research Training for the School of Commerce and Management, Southern Cross University, Brisbane, Australia.

Allan is the organizer of the AusWeb Conference series and the Chair of the International World Wide Web Conference Committee.

Currently serving as the Buddies’ Committee Chair for the” Great Gathering of Boojums Down Under” – celebrating the 2012 solar eclipse and the end of the world.

Boojum Allan, Near El Rosario, Baja Norte, Mexico

Boojum Neil:

Born in Scotland, now a citizen of the world, Boojum Neil has made a career out of translating Geek to plain French, English and Japanese for the rest of us.

  • 1989–2001: Head of Office of Communication,  European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Geneva
  • 2001-2008: Director of Communication, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Stanford University
  • 2008–2010: Head of Communication, International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), Cadarache, France
  • 2011  Vice President for Communications and Public Relations, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University, Tancha, Okinawa, Japan

Boojum Neil, Bodie, CA

Neil also plays a mean shakuhachi, provides the Buddies with their Philosophical grounding and runs his own blog at  http://quietripple.

Boojum Ron:

Illinois native, retired San Francisco architect. Can use a computer, reads books, scans journals, attends lectures, listens to music and can recognize French when he hears it.   Serves as Buddies’ transportation coordinator, documentarian and armorer.

Boojum Ron, Taos, New Mexico

Photography for Helicopters

Hi guys,

TIme for an activity report and some photos. Lately I’ve been having fun learning to fly rc helicopters. Started with a little indoor model that you control with an iPhone – very cool.

Then upgraded to a bigger model and a dedicated 4 channel controller. A lot more powerful and good for outdoors.

The second machine also had enough lifting capacity to allow me to install a 5th channel to control a small camera.

It has 2GB card and records both stills and video

Here is image




PS I hope the linkS to  the images work for you. There is probably a way to display them on the page. I better start learning about WordPress.

Post Navigation