I have one final post from Jordan. The Church of St Lot and St Procopius is located about 3 miles from Mt. Nebo in the municipality of Khirbet Mukhayyat. The church was built in 557 and has almost intact mosaics of daily life. It also has some fantastic figures, like seahorses. It is near to the major tourist attractions of Mt. Nebo and St. George, … Continue reading The Church of St Lot and St Procopius
First Sunday in Advent, 2016 Dear Friends, We are writing this letter during a dangerous period, at least according to Brian. When he was a kid Brian heard, probably on NPR, that marriages were more successful when both halves of the couple were the same age. The first Sunday in Advent falls between Rich’s and Suzi’s birthdays, which are three weeks apart. Rich is now … Continue reading 2016 McClear Family Christmas Letter
Modern Amman, including West Amman is spread out over several hills and has steep streets. I was last in Amman 5 years ago and modern Amman has grown, with new skyscrapers and, it seems, more headquarters offices as organizations relocate to relatively stable Jordan. Here are some shots from modern Amman. Continue reading Modern Amman
I am catching up on my backlog of pics from Jordan, these are some Amman street shots. I did some walking and quite a bit of riding through Amman. These shots of Amman show little change from when I was last there in 2011. As in many cities there are streets in Amman that specialize in one product. The street below is a Pet Store … Continue reading Amman Streets
Mt. Nebo is the spot where, traditionally, Moses stood to look across the Jordan into the promised land, where he could not go. He died there and tradition has it that he is buried somewhere Mt. Nebo. On a clear day you can see Jerusalem from Mt. Nebo, which sits at 2,680 above sea level and 3,600 feet above the Dead Sea and lower Jordan … Continue reading Mt. Nebo’s New Church.
I am home in Sitka and will have the pleasure of looking out my window across Jamestown Bay and to the Gulf of Alaska or a little to the westward toward our volcano, Mt. Edgecumbe. We have had two consecutive glorious sunrises. The last two mornings the sunrise has reminded me exactly why I live here. But for the past two weeks the view from … Continue reading King Abdullah Mosque, Amman
Before there were Google Maps and Garmin there were maps made of stone. I’m sure I will have more to say about Jordan as the weeks go on, I have lots of pictures to share and lots of thoughts, and it looks like I will be going back to work in February. But, today, sitting in an airport lounge in Frankfort I am thinking about … Continue reading Maps of Stone in Madaba Jordan
I have just finished my work in Jordan. I have completed my interviews and typed up my notes. I will put off writing my report until after Christmas. So now I am sitting in a hotel waiting for a taxi pickup in less than 5 hours and my thoughts are turning to Christmas, seeing my children and grandchildren, and, of course “The Battery Exchange.” I … Continue reading Amman’s Other Christmas Souk
Christmas Markets came late to the UK. It’s not that the UK didn’t celebrate Christmas. Since Victoria’s Albert brought the Christmas tree to England the Brits have done it up in grand style. Before Christmas markets, in the European fashion, came to the UK there was always Covent Garden with its stalls and decorations and Regent Street moving out from Piccadilly Circus. (Below are some … Continue reading Brexit Or Not, London Gets European Christmas Markets
I was all set to post today about my trip to Madaba and Nt. Nebo to look at the wonderful mosaics and take in the view of the Holy Land from the mount where Moses stood. But after I got back to Amman and had a good swim I decided to go to the Christmas Market at “The Boulevard” an outdoor walking street in the … Continue reading A Christmas Souk in Amman
Last night I popped my Jeep into 4 wheel drive for the first time in 33 months. I had begun to wonder if Sitka would ever see winter again. When you live in a rain forest the snow is a relief, precipitation in a different form. precipitation that you don’t mind walking in, precipitation that brightens up the town, even cloudy days. Today is transitional, … Continue reading It’s beginning to look a lot like…ALASKA!
December 24 will not be “Just Another Saturday Night.” It is Christmas Eve, which means the Battery Exchange is back. Here is a history of the Battery Exchange. The Tradition continues live on Christmas Eve on Raven Radio, KCAW, Sitka, streaming on www.kcaw.org. — The Battery Exchange started on KAXE in Grand Rapids Minnesota on Christmas Eve, 1976. When Suzi was a girl neighborhood parents … Continue reading The Battery Exchange, 8:00 PM to Midnight, Christmas Eve, on Raven Radio
This is supposed to be one of those “milestone” birthdays. Even the Bible mentions it, ominously. “Three Score and Ten” is the measure of man’s life. But I’m not feeling like I’ve passed a milestone. Other birthdays were different. When I turned 7 I felt that I had finally made it, out of first grade, into second. I got a Roy Rogers sweat shirt for … Continue reading Reflections On Turning 70
Sitka Whalefest has two wildlife cruises each year. This year we took both of them. According to Jan Straley there are 100 whales in Sitka Sound right now, bulking up for their 30 day swim to Hawaii and their mating and calving seasons. The weather Friday night was so stormy that I wondered if we would get out on the water Saturday morning, but as … Continue reading Whales and Broken Clouds
For 20 years Sitka’s Whalefest has occupied our town during the first week on November. The festival is centered on a science symposium but integrates the performing arts, visual arts, education and outdoor adventure into a package that engages the community and brings visitors from as far as Australia and New Zealand. The Symposium dove into topics ranging from harpoon heads found bowhead whales captured … Continue reading 20th Sitka Whalefest.
Here is the second batch of photos from the 2016 Stardust Ball. It was a great event with Sitka putting on the Ritz and whimsy. Enjoy. Continue reading Stardust Ball, 2016, Photo Tranche 2
This year Raven Radio’s Stardust Ball returned to the newly renovated Centennial Building. This is the first batch of photos from he ball. Enjoy Continue reading Stardust Ball, 2016, Tranche 1
October 3, 2016 As a kid I used to read Scholastic Magazines as part of my social studies program. They were a mix of history and current affairs laced with a lot of 50s Americanism. These magazines first interested me in Cuba. In the fall of 1958, when I was in 7thh grade, one of the Scholastic magazines did an article on Cuba. It had … Continue reading C.U. in CUBA
October 3, 2016 I normally do not like organized tours, and our Old Havana (Havana Vieja) walking tour reminds me why. While the guide is good, it is largely a standing tour, listening while the guide explains some aspect of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. I begin to wander off to find a book seller in the Plaza de Armas, or some musicians in a … Continue reading Havana Vieja
We got back to the ship, showered and went out into the cool of the evening. Our p2p obligations discharged for the day, we were ready to strike out on our own. I found a 1955 Chevy Bel Air convertible, two toned red and white and flying the American Flag. We went for a ride with Ignacio and Alejandro (uncle and nephew.) Ignacio owns the … Continue reading Crusin’ the Malecon
I’ll take a break here and just sit back and enjoy the eye candy of old cars cruising through Cuba. After the revolution the state allowed people who owned cars before the revolution to keep them and even sell them. Cars from after the revolution were more difficult to get. The revolution took power on January 1, 1959 so owners of cars from the 1950s … Continue reading Cuban Eye Candy (Classic Cars)
We stopped back at the ship for a quick run to the buffet before heading out for the 9:30 show at the Café Taberna. The Café serves dinner but Lonely Planet warned us off the food there. But the mojitos were good, as was the beer and especially the music. The band was of mixed ages, races and musical styles. The trumpet player was blonde, … Continue reading Havana Night
October 4, 2016 Much of our trip to Cuba is defined by conditions set by the late Senator Jesse Helms in the Helms-Burton act. The act limits the conditions under which Americans can travel to Cuba. We are here on a Person to Person, p2p, program. Technically we cannot come as tourists but must come on an approved p2p itinerary. It used to be that … Continue reading Sustainable Propaganda (But Nice Pictures)
Our bus tour took us through different neighborhoods of Havana, through the Miramar and Vedado neighborhoods and we arrived at the pier in time to do a little shopping. At each place we stopped the seller said “See you Saturday.” We are not scheduled to return to Havana but Hurricane Matthew is headed toward Santiago in Eastern Cuba so it seems reasonable that we will … Continue reading Sailing into a Havana Sunset.