The Shining Path and Peruvian Art

While in Cusco, Peru lately we found a super cool boutique hotel/ art bar/ restaurant called Fallen Angel.  One of the highlights of the Peru trip, the experience there really captured my imagination.  If you dropped this place 100% as it is into San Francisco it would thrive.  The tables you eat off were made of a glass top over an old iron bathtub which was a live goldfish tank.  The menu had other things, but the flagship series of items was all steak with different seasoning or sauce.  I hope to go back someday. 

It was equal parts art gallery, hotel and restaurant/ bar.  The art featured modern Peruvian artists, one of the major installments was from Richard Peralta.  He has a series of mixed media paintings called Inmaculada Deception you can check out on his website here.  This series was inspired by the atrocities of the Shining Path.

The Shining Path was/is an extreme Maoist/ Leftist group in Peru.  They killed and terrorized particularly around the year 2000, but as recently as one year ago they have been re-organizing around illegal cocaine trade to fund their guerrilla activities.  They had a practice of abducting children and turning them into warriors.  Really terrorizing poor villagers and heinous stuff.  This is much of the content in Richard Peralta's series I very much found equal parts intriguing, atrocious, beautiful and stimulating.

The image above is a piece I bought from the gallery, below are a few others I found interesting also.  A theme was children with gas masks, spears, automatic weapons, angel wings, and Shining Path warriors.  A link to his website is above if you want to see more.

AFM 2010 Round Three - Infineon Raceway

Well, race season is off to a frustrating start.  Lack of practice time (too much work travel), many bike upgrades and it feels like a completely new bike I'm not "settled" where it's predictable.  Also, some bike downgrades to make myself legal for the "production" class I race in.  Production is a category for not-modified bikes, or in truth highly modified bikes but only modified in ways explicitly allowed.  For example can't change forks but can change fork internal parts.

So I'm doing roughly the same lap times I was at the end of last season.  But somehow the Clubman races have gotten extremely fast!  The same times that earned me 2nd place last year are good for only tenth place this year.  Ha, ha.  In part due to the economy, race grids are smaller this year.  Most of the very serious riders still race though - it's just the bottom of the stacked ranking group who's bailed.  So the average speed has increased despite the lower volume of riders.  Also, some of the sponsorship money has opened up for Clubman races.  I run Pirelli tires who will give cash prize for placing 1st - 3rd.  This also brings additional talent into the Clubman race.

I finally acquiesced to the incessant lament of fellow racer #630 and got a full leather suit, rather than using a two-piece zip together suit.  I'm not convinced this is a safety upgrade really, but it does make me look more professional anyway.  Friends have been coming out to the races this year in spades to watch - which has been outstanding fun.  Great fun to have a pit crew cheering us on!  Next race that's near-ish to San Francisco is August 1st... mark your calendars!  Even if I take absolutely last place, I'm 100% going to be fun to watch and having a blast!