Goodbye LA; it's been fun

May 8, 2010 - Reading time: ~1 minute

Historical note: I came back, without my co-workers (who were, in fact, terrible people).  LA is nice.

Leaving for home in a few hours.  Overall this was a really fun trip.  Got to see some really cool things, both for work and on my own.  Learned a lot about my co-workers (perhaps more than I wanted to know, but that's OK).  Gorgeous weather the whole time.  Pretty good hotel (I give it a solid B).  There's plenty more to do around here, of course.  Will have to come back at some point.


May 6, 2010 - Reading time: 2 minutes

Historical note: nothing came of the Oblong visit, because NASA.  But it was still really freaking awesome and I'm proud to have been there.

I've been in the Los Angeles area for about a week now.  Over the last few days, I've done several things that I found exciting:

  1. Driven the Miracle Mile
  2. Driven down Santa Monica Blvd and Hollywood Blvd
  3. Driven up and down at least a portion of the California Pacific Highway
  4. Driven the Mulholland Freeway
  5. Eaten at In-n-Out Burger a few times
  6. Talked to the crew at Oblong Industries

I've taken lots (and lots) of photos.  At some point, I'll post them here (along with all of the other ones that used to be here).  Driving the Mulholland Freeway was definitely the high point of today.  It would have been more fun in a vehicle that was sportier than my rental Toyota Camry hybrid, but the little thing behaved predictably and was still fun.  I don't think I'd buy one, but it's a totally acceptable car.

Visiting Oblong has probably been the high point of the entire trip.  I think I'd get along great with Paul Y.  I also think that Oblong has actually already designed the hard part of a very expansive (dare I say: paradigm shifting ... yes, I'll go rinse my mouth out with soap now) bit of work I want to do at NASA.  We'll see what comes out of all this.

Well crap.

April 6, 2008 - Reading time: 2 minutes

I just realized it's been several months since I took that vacation, and I still haven't finished posting about it.  On top of that, I can't seem to find the text I wrote.

I don't feel too bad about it because I don't recall writing very much.  Basically, I had an uneventful trip to Prague, and when I landed around 3pm it was already dark outside, and very cold (though I was prepared for that).  I wandered around Prague for several hours, bought some really good food at some sidewalk stands, and had some good beer (pilsner, of course) but didn't try this one.  [Historical note: this photo is lost forever]  I actually wish I had, because I hear that it's actually really good (unlike the American beer of the same name).  I didn't know it existed until I was waiting at the airport for my flight, and at that point it was too late (early?).  I'll just have to get some next time.

And there will be a next time - Prague seemed like a really nice place, and the hotel I stayed at is easily one of the nicest hotels I've been to.  The food in Prague was excellent, the airport was nice, the people were friendly, and the city seemed beautiful (at least in the dark).  If I could do it all over, I would have spent one night in Milan, skipped Rome, and spent a few days in Prague instead.

Is it bad that I'm already planning my next trip?  I have no hope of affording it.  Which is too bad; the thing I really miss from my last job is the international travel.

Anyway, there you have it - finally the last post about vacation.  Stay tuned for the next one, whenever that turns out to be!  Hopefully it will involve Cyprus.

Why yes, I *am* lazy!

February 5, 2008 - Reading time: ~1 minute

Still haven't posted those last few vacation entries. I'll get around to it some day. It's on the list ...

Almost done

January 12, 2008 - Reading time: ~1 minute

I've only got a couple of vacation posts left, but every time I sit down to do this I quickly get bored. Also, I've been putting in a lot of extra time at work, so when I get home I'm not really in the mood to sit in front of the computer. Maybe I'll finish tomorrow. I really had fun in Prague, but I didn't write much about it so the editing should be quick.

Chasing the Sun, Part 2.99

January 12, 2008 - Reading time: 2 minutes

Historical note: Italy in general has redeemed itself in my eyes (though I haven't been back to Rome, and Pisa was questionable).  CDG (Paris) has joined FCO (Rome) as an airport that I will never re-visit, for the same "your luggage is a tiny bit overweight so pay me money" reason.  Air France is also a terrible airline, but that's irrelevant here.  This historical note is getting a bit off topic.

Note: I wrote this while I was still on the trip, but didn't get around to posting it until now.

Well, I'm back on a plane.  My luggage arrived late last night, and I picked it up this morning when I got to the airport.  The airport here really isn't equipped for that sort of thing; I had to go backwards through customs via the employee entrance to get to the baggage claim area, then deal with more rude people to get my luggage, then go back through customs, outside, upstairs, and back inside to check in.  The check-in desk for my flight was actually in another building, which I had to ask someone at an information desk to find out, so back outside, walk past two buildings, into the right one.  Then I had to walk back to the original building to go through security.  What a stupid airport.

Ever since I left Australia, in every airport I've been at I've been told that my luggage was 8kg overweight, and that I'd have to pay some sort of fee for overweight luggage - and then the person would let it slide and I wouldn't have to pay anything.  Not here: the Alitalia ticket agent's "Christmas gift to me" was to knock 3kg off the overweight bill, so I only had to pay 15 Euros/kg for 5 kg overweight.  Gee, thanks.  It was Rome's last jab, I guess.  Oh, I did get an exit stamp in my passport, but the asshole stamped directly over an existing stamp (Singapore) instead of flipping a few pages to find an empty space.  I mean come the hell on, why would you do that?  Yeesh.

Anyway, I'm really excited about Prague.  Just an hour or so ...

OK, really

January 12, 2008 - Reading time: ~1 minute

Note: I wrote this while I was still on the trip, but didn't get around to posting it until now.

Does everyone in Rome pay $15 for a pair of underwear?  I don't want Dolce & Gabbana underwear.  Seriously.  This country is so stupid.

Chasing the Sun, Part 2.6: Still no luggage

January 12, 2008 - Reading time: ~1 minute

Note: I wrote this while I was still on the trip, but didn't get around to posting it until now.

Rome is about like yesterday.  Still no word on my luggage.  Tomorrow is my last day here.