Jim R. Long


Jim R. Long

I live in Midtown Sacramento and love my one-mile bicycle commute to the office, where I work as a state biologist. I enjoy playing soccer, SCUBA diving, traveling, and taking pictures everywhere I go, be it in the mountains, on the coast, and underwater.

In recent years I've traveled to Fiji, Vanuatu, Australia, Tahiti, Bora Bora, Belize, Tanzania, Amsterdam, and Mexico.

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Lucca May 15th 2012

While I'm starting to get the bug bad for visting the rest of the country, on Tuesday I set off with my cousin Arianna to visit the local town of Lucca by foot and on bike. Lucca has, among its narrow, narrow streets, once protective walls, and many piazzas, famously 100 chaese, or churches. Its history goes back a long ways, as you can imagine, and I will get into the walls and some of the history as I learn to translate the local story from Italian. I learned a little about the history of the competitive development of churches in Lucca. As some of my pictures show the size of churches and especially their connected torre (towers) were a sign of power, and of course wealth. Over the years, when local people of power got ... read more
La mura terzo di Lucca
La mura terzo di Lucca

Europe » Italy » Tuscany May 14th 2012

Today I went on a nice hike with my cousin's wife. This was welcomed exercise because I'm being stuffed like a pig at each of two big meals per day. Oh, mamma mia!... read more
Tree-lined road

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence May 13th 2012

Today I joined Rolando and two of his friends, Lusciano and Giannino, for the final Serie A soccer match between the home team Fiorentina and the Sardinian team Cagliari. Not only was it an ugly, windy and rainy day, but the match turned out to be less than exciting, ending in a 0:0 score, and with the Fiorentina not playing all that well. Oh well, this was my first European soccer match, so all was not lost in a poor performance! The Italians, at least in Florence, mean serious business with regards to security at the ball park. Every ticket purchased is assigned to a specific person using Italian I.D.s and passports for foreigners like me. There didn't appear to be much if any alcohol inside the stadium, but del cafe, as with everyplace in Italy, ... read more
Battery of Espresso Makers
Break, in Case of Riot,

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Pisa May 13th 2012

Ooooohhhh...tonight I was told by la mia cugina Ari' that "stasera" I have finally arrived in Italia; mid-festa! I joined my cousin Arianna for a quick giro (tour) of the Piazza di Miracoli, which includes the "piu famoso" leaning tower of Pisa. Since our destination this evening was the birthday party of a friend of hers, I did not bring much more than my pocket camera, although I have plenty of time to revisit the site to take all the pictures I want...NONE of which, mind you, will be of me trying to hold up the towner from the foreground! ':~P I've included some pictures of some of what this looks like, and I'm pretty sure some of you may have partaken in the very same poses! After discovering that it would cost me nearly $100 ... read more
La Mura di Pisa
Mura di Pisa
La Piazza di Miracoli

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Lucca May 10th 2012

Thanks to some jet lag, I woke up at 5 a.m., Italian time, to a serious chorus of birdsong outside my window. I arrived in the heart of spring, and the birds are going crazy in the midst of doing what birds and bees do, comprende! I certainly had enough NRG to grab my lenses and head outside as the birds were singing like crazy and sunrise was approaching. I discovered, embarrassingly, that my hosts had the house alarm armed at the time, and so yeah...you guessed it, I woke all of those who were lucky enough to be sleeping at the time... ':~p I was forgiven, and so I made my way outside, and explored my way around the property with camera in hand. The tule fog and sun rays cast through it were amazing ... read more
Sun rays in the fog
La Mia Casa per un Mese
La vista dalla finestra della mia camera da letto

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence May 9th 2012

It seemed almost a waste of good ink to receive a passport stamp from the French customs officials for such a very short layover within the confines of Paris' Charles De Gaulle Airport (especially since I did not visit customs upon arrival in Italy; I want my stamp!). Although I couldn't recognize it in his completely serious tone, I think the agent was teasing me for having not visited New Caledonia, for some reason, when he recognized my previous trips to the former French colonials Vanuatu and French Tahiti, all of which came off as though he was quizzing me on my own record as a security measure. And I thought the Germans were supposed to be lacking in the Humor Department! The layover was quick and easy, although directions to the appropriate terminal and gate ... read more

Europe » Italy » Tuscany May 9th 2012

Start the Clock, My Month in Italy Begins NOW! ... read more

North America » United States » Georgia » Atlanta May 8th 2012

After a night spent sharing a guest room bed with three cats and a dog (LOL) I made it onto my 07:35 flight from SFO bound for Atlanta, GA. One of the two books I brought with me, The Invention of Air by Steven Johnson is a quick and easy read about Joseph Priestly, the ordained minister, scientist, and author who was a contemporary of Ben Franklin, known for his works in electricity, chemistry, and other fields. He's credited for THE account of Franklin's "kite experiment", the invention of soda water, and origination of Coulomb's Law, and much more that I will soon read about... I enjoyed one passage for its particular contrast to my own travels across the country today, and on across the "pond" later tonight, which is offered to provide the context to ... read more

Great way to travel. I took the (supposedly) "two-hour" ride from Sacramento to the Richmond hub with BART, and then on to South City from there. ... read more

Packing This blogging platform doesn't come with much instruction, so here goes... Today marks the end of a two weeks of shopping to add to my camera equipment coming up to my May 8 departure. I now have my new lenses, carry-on bag, memory redundancy, and portable hard drive, and I still need to find my tripod. In addition to this, I've been working on scheduling all kinds of friends and colleagues to come by my place to care and socialize for my cat, "Lote". I'm devoting much of today to laundry, packing, and then eventually cleaning up my home. On Monday, I will depart Sacramento via the Amtrak Capital Corridor, transfer to BART in Richmond, bound for South San Francisco, where I will spend the night at my cousin Susan's house before my 7 a.m. ... read more

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