The train ride was easy and uneventful. They served a breakfast snack right after we boarded in Cologne, and a lunch snack just after Brussels. Since we were in the Premium class, we were able to fill out a form and pre-request a taxi for €7 extra. It was nice because the taxi line stretched from outside all the way into the middle of the station. We took the quick taxi to the new hotel, Hotel Paris Bastille Boutet. It’s near the Bastille Plaza, and in fact we drove right through it on the way to the hotel. I planned to take a quick nap and then go out, but I realized I would just skip everything if I didn’t go out right that second. I consulted Google Maps for the best way to get about, and I decided on going to the Louvre since it was a straight shot without multiple line changes. I turned left out of the hotel and walked about 10 minutes to the Reuilly – Diderot Metro stop. The ticket machines were easy to switch to English and accepted credit cards, though I had to use my pin. I barely have to use it since it still […]
Our second stay in Guangzhou was shorter than the first. I had time to take a nap, go to breakfast, take another nap, then hang around in the room until the late wakeup call. The captain chose to do a long, long, short, short rest cycle for the trip to Cologne, meaning we had about 3.5 hours on, 3.5 off, 2 on then 2 off before getting back in the seat for the landing. At the last company we used to split all the flights right in half, but current fatigue studies suggest breaking the rest periods up can be more beneficial than only one long rest. I slept pretty well during our first rest, and then while we were up front for the short period we got to see a lot of China. The weather was beautiful, and it was easy to see the many towns, military bases (we think) and other odd buildings that just seemed to be in the middle of nowhere. On the second rest I just read the whole time, and then we got back in the seats for the landing. The approach was one we don’t often have to fly, meaning the normal level […]
Well I made it to the gate this morning. So far it looks like I have a good shot of getting to Atlanta at least. It was more emotional than we expected after two previous attempts, but we’re both doing fine now. Saw old friend GH in the terminal and that helped take my mind off saying goodbye to E and the boys. I’m ready to get this adventure started.
Let me tell you something, you want to hear a pin drop in an airport? Just yell out "Breach!" near the metal detectors and see what happens. I had just gone through security when that happened, and in about 10 seconds the place was so quiet you could hear the scared heartbeats of the people around you. After a few seconds of silence, a TSA employee walked out and said, "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Atlanta Hartsfield Airport. You have just participated in a security drill. Have a great day." Unfortunately, the TSA had just unnecessarily confiscated my tiny vials of Refresh Tears® because the employees at the X-ray machine weren’t familiar with TSA’s rules, so I couldn’t go on to have a great day. I did have a pretty good one, though. The worst thing that happened after security was that my laptop battery went from 94% and 2 hours, 42 minutes to 3% and 0 hours, 5 minutes in just over an hour, which means I got to see only 2/3 of The Usual Suspects. I spent the rest of the flight listening to my jukebox while I alternately snoozed and worked on the crossword puzzle. Even with […]
I took a little 200 mile ride out to Little River Canyon National Preserve near Ft. Payne, AL today. I have been wanting to go there ever since I overflew it about 2 months ago on a Herk low-level route and the Nav told me it looked like a great place for a motorcycle ride. I initially planned to go yesterday but held off due to a lot of t-storms in the area. The ride over was not bad at all: it wasn’t too hot, and I got there in about 1.5 hours instead of the 2-2.5 I was expecting. The falls aren’t exactly spectacular when it hasn’t rained a lot lately, but the canyon still looks cool and you can also walk right up to the edge of the falls. e and I hope to take The Boy back there for a picnic someday. The curvy road near the canyon was fun to ride, and I stopped at several of the overlooks (see map below). One thing I didn’t like is that all of the overlooks are loose gravel, making it a little slippery for my bike. When I got to the junction of AL 176 and county road […]
I had horrible traffic on the drive in this morning, which gave me time to watch the drivers in front of me. For a few miles I was behind what appeared to be a guy based on the very short or nonexesitent hair. As we moved along it appeared he was washing his face, perhaps cleaning off the crumbs from his breakfast. Then it looked like he was possibly putting on makeup, and then I was sure as he started to apply mascara. As I looked I realized he had on long, dangly earrings too. Was I following a bald woman or a transvestite without his wig? The world may never know.
It’s not why I bought it, but it’s nice to see that my new motorcycle gets more than 50 miles per gallon! My first fill up was 1.6 gallons for right on 100 miles, getting me about 60 MPG. My second was yesterday and I bought 1.8 gallons for about 56 MPG. Gotta love that!
Well, it only took 3 visits to the dealer located over an hour away, but today I finally picked up my new bike from Lawrenceville Honda. Naturally there were some last-minute complications that made it take over 3 hours to pick it up, but we finally left the dealership around 3 pm. Since I don’t have a lot of experience, I didn’t want to start out with an hour drive on Interstates 85, 285, and 75 to get home. Instead we took GA-120 all the way to Marietta and then US 41 home. With all of the stoplights and extra distance, we finished the trip in just over 2 hours. That gave me plenty of practice starting, stopping, changing lanes, etc–everything I needed to practice before taking it to work. Thanks to the ride home I’ve already got almost 75 miles on my brand new Honda Shadow Aero 750, and I can say without a doubt that I love it! Now let’s get riding!
Or Black Jeep, as the case may be. After 10 years of getting me up the hills, across the country, and back and forth to work, I let the old girl go this morning. We decided several months ago that one of my cars had to go, and since I’m definitely not ready to lose my M3 I reluctantly decided to sell the Jeep. I put it in the paper 3 weeks ago, but it was still in my driveway this morning despite many phone calls and a few promising visits. I finally decided to take e’s advice from 3 weeks ago: I took the Jeep over to Carmax and had it appraised. I honestly didn’t think they’d be interested in a 10-year-old Jeep, even one with only 50,000 miles on it, but they offered more than I expected to get in a private sale. I ran home for the title and let them have my baby. I am sad to see it go, but our house just isn’t big enough for 3 cars. I’m sure one day MJ will look at pictures and say he wishes I still had the Jeep, but hopefully he’ll be happy that I still […]
50,000 miles, that is. Today on the way to Sam’s my Jeep hit that milestone. Not bad for a car I bought in May 1995. That’s about 413 miles a month for the last 10 years. I didn’t have a digital camera back in 1995, if you can even imagine that, but here’s what the old girl looks like today: