May 20, 2008

An unexpected call

My friend Gombu Sherpa rang me today from 7000m on Everest. He's General Leader of The First Inclusive Women's Sagarmatha Expedition 2008 Climbing leader is Pemba Sherpa, who's made the fastest ascent of Everest.

Gombu was our kitchen boy in 1983 when with a friend I attempted a first ascent in Kanjiroba Himal in W.Nepal. Since then Gombu has overcome more challenges than even Michelle Obama to provide for his extended family and his home village in the Khumbu Himal by becoming a very serious mountaineer, leader and teacher. When I meet him occasionally in Kathmandu or London or Wales I am refreshed. We are hoping to go back to our 1983 target in the near future and try again. He could carry me up like the Yogistani porter in The Ascent of Rum Doodle. His voice today was crystal clear, as tho he were next to me.

Here's a shot of Lhotse's South Face. Everest's top, with a plume of snow flying in the Jet Stream, is seen low behind at the left :

function follows form

What's Farsi for 'metrosexual'?

Chicagoan, Louis Sullivan, 'the first modern architect', said "Form ever follows function.." For Chicagoan, Obama it's different. The form is prime, enveloping function and disfunction in waffle, cultspeak, wuss-speak, groupspeak and bright shining lies. To me he's transparent - a joke, impossible to take more seriously than the idea of an undergraduate as President. John Bolton says it well:
Look, he has led a very cosseted, privileged existence in his life, that this is not somebody born in poverty who was risen by his bootstraps. He’s had, basically, a fairly comfortable middle class life. He’s gone to Ivy League universities, he’s lived in a liberal bubble in Chicago. And you know, you don’t have to acquire a lot of knowledge to be acceptable in those circles, and I think what we’re seeing is, as he emerges from that bubble, we’re seeing his view of reality.