Starting an exciting new blog — all about Biking

Just about the time when all of China has rushed into getting to drive cars (in the millions), bicycles are having a major resurgence in the US.  All it takes is to get on the Austin, Texas roads on a Saturday morning and you will see dozens of bicycles — road bikes, mountain bikes…. being ridden or transported on the roofs and back of cars / trucks with one objecitve in mind — GO BIKING !

According to China Daily, there are 5.017 million cars registered in Beijing as of February 15th 2012 — a mind boggling number !!!

But then anyone who has spent time commuting in Beijing on any of the ring roads will tell you — really?!?! Only 5 million?  It feels like 6…. !  Yes, there are way too many cars in Beijing and as you probably know already, for the last 3 years, coming on 4, the Beijing drivers have had to endure the regulations of driving only on given day per the number on their license plate…..

So now, back to the Biking!   My new blog is Bikes, Biking Resources, Biking Fun

Check it out!

Cinnabar – What is it?

I have had a number of people ask about CINNABAR — what exactly is it…. So with help from my spouse's e-commerce site and knowledge as that is one of the main materials a lot of the products she imports are made out of we put this brief summary in place:

Cinnabar, also known as Chinese Lacquer, is a famous Chinese handicraft. Traditionally, cinnabar items were created by painting multiple layers of lacquer onto an item, letting the item dry between each coat, and then carving the resulting layers of lacquer into beautiful patterns. Cinnabar gets its name from the toxic red mineral cinnabar (mercury sulfide) that was once used to give the distinctive red color to the lacquer used in the process. Today, cinnabar jewelry is formed from a dyed red resin that contains no harmful cinnabar mineral. However, the look is largely the same. In fact, not all cinnabar is even red! Pure red cinnabar items are very popular, as are items which have both red and black cinnabar. However, the less common all black cinnabar is also available and is quite stunning.

Here are some examples 

Cinnabar Cinnabar ornament
Cinnabar earings Cinnabar earings

If any of these catch your imagination and/or if you would like to see more examples or even think of purchasing some of the crafts shown, please follow the link to the page covering quite a number of examples / different types of costume jewelry...Keep in mind, cinnabar is used also for small ornamental boxes and even for vases and various other objects found around the home….

Any questions — please do let us know.

How Many of You Have Been to Alabama’s Coast? Or to the City of Fairhope?

Earlier this year my family and I decided to visit relatives in Alabama — in Fairhope.  I bet many of you readers do not associate Alabama with beaches and beautiful ocean coastline scenery….!   Well, as it turns out — it is quite the coast. 

But then pictures speak best for themselves.  Here is a slideshow from Fairhope's ocrean views: