Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

Saturday, June 13, 2015

A Trip to Metropolis II - Adventures in Superman-Mania

Had a SUPER fun day palling around with Stuart at the Superman Celebration in sunny Metropolis, Illinois.

For a review of my participation in Day 1, here's a link.

I arrived around noonish, and stumbled Stuart without really having to try.  I should also mention that fellow Austinite Tim Gardner was here for his 23rd Superman celebration with the entire family in tow.  Very nice fellow with a great family.

I realized I had not shared any pictures of Stuart, so here he is, showing off his immunity to Kryptonite.

A Trip to Metropolis!

I wrapped my conference in Indianapolis on Thursday night, and, on Friday, jumped in a rental car to head down south to Metropolis, Illinois for the annual Superman Celebration.

I confess the conference left me a bit wiped out, so I grabbed a nap and didn't get down there until 6:00ish, where I met up with longtime internet pal, Stuart Ward.  Great guy.  More on that later.

The festival goes all weekend, but I'll only be in Metropolis on Saturday, really, and then drive back to Indianapolis to fly out Sunday.

Anyway, here are some sights:

I finally met the Man of Steel!

Yes, I am 6'5"
He was as swell in person as you would hope.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Signal Maintenance: Headed for Indiana

not that Indiana

For work related reasons I am flying out Sunday morning for Indianapolis, Indiana.  I know!  One year it's Prince Edward Island, Canada and another it's Helsinki (it was, trust me), and the next, I'm off to the American mid-west for...  whatever happens in Indiana.

This conference tends to be pretty action-packed and can be social.  The Americans pretend we care what the Europeans are doing, and the Europeans acknowledge, partially, that the Americans are in the room.  Coffee will be consumed.  Then booze.  I'm just being honest.

So, the only movies I'm likely to see will be on cable in my room, but I have a few books I threw in my bag and I'm ready to go.  Not so sure about the posting.  Sometimes I spend a lot of time in my room, sometimes I only get a chance to walk in the door and flop.  We'll see which one this is.

At the end of the week I have a side-trip planned.  But I'll report out on that as events warrant.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Last post on Hawaii

So, we've been back since Sunday.  Jamie more or less got home, realized she was sick and went to bed.  I feel terrible for her.  She seems to pick things up in airports very easily.

I took Monday off and retrieved the dogs, who had been at the Puppy Ranch for the duration.  It was a long stay, and they've been super tired since, so everyone is on the same page here.  As much as they like the kennel, where they get to play with other dogs and go outside a lot, they also are always very happy to get back to the routine and their couch-dwelling existence.

no doubt that noise she heard was a bear, and I must be protected

I was back at work on Tuesday, which was a hard adjustment.  We have a lot going on right now, but we always have a lot going on, and I'm having to learn that I have to be able to not lose my mind when things don't go exactly as I'd have done them when I wander back in from 6 days off.

As Jamie isn't well, we haven't gone to see the new nephew who joined us just prior to our departure.  I'm excited to see how much the wee nipper has grown.  I bet he's already doing long division.

I was trying to think of some reflections about Hawaii or travel or something.  I dunno.

I will say the following:

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Trip Diary - Saturday May 9th and Sunday May 10th

Here's the thing about leaving Hawaii.

All the departing flights start departing at something like 9:00 PM.  This actually makes sense when you realize that they're flying you to the West Coast-ish over night.  So, we took off from the Maui airport at 10:30 PM, and with the time change, landed at about 7:00 AM in Phoenix.

I'm lying.  I think it was 7:00.  I was out of my mind and had no idea what time it was.  But, boy, did being back at Sky Harbor remind me how much Sky Harbor sucks.

The point is, we checked out of our hotel at 10:00 AM and had half-a-day to kill in Maui before being on an aeroplane over the sea.

Since we'd survived the winding, one-lane road of Jamie's Island Adventure earlier in the week, suddenly the oft-whispered "Road to Hana" didn't seem like such a big deal as that road has two whole lanes in many parts.  Plus, Jamie wanted to go chasing waterfalls.*

So, Jamie took the wheel and we were off to Hana.

People just sort of stop and park and take photos.  Doesn't really matter if it makes sense or if its safe.  Here's us doing same.

Jamie wonders where our common sense went in the face of all this majestic jungleness

The roads are windy and curvy, and it's hard to explain because I wasn't going to take any pictures while Jamie drove as they'd all just look like masses of green with some sky popping up once in a while, but it's a big ol' Jurassic Park-type area full of bamboo, all sorts of plant life, gigantic trees and a million ways to kill you.

Over the years I'd sort of noticed this micro-trend of people dying while hiking around in Hawaii, such as the guy started the COPS television show.  Now that I've been to Hawaii, yeah, this place has sheer, sudden surprise drop-offs and slots of slippery edges.  That anyone survived here before gravel is a @#$%ing miracle.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Trip Diary - Friday, May 8th

Friday we seemed to have finally adjusted to the time difference.  Great, since we leave on Saturday.  We ate breakfast, then sort of hung out in the room for a bit and relaxed before heading off to a beach just north of the hotel.  It's a public beach called "Black Rock", which is odd as the rock is reddish and sand is white-ish, so who knows, I guess?

The waves pounded harder here than anywhere else we'd yet gotten in, and we both got slammed a bit against the bottom right after we stepped in.  Near the outcrop of rock where there's coral, there wasn't as much in the way of tough surf, so it was nice snorkeling, and we saw a good variety of fish, if not as densely packed as Thursday morning.

But, yeah, those waves.  I think I may have kind of busted my ankle.  We'll see how it is in the morning.  Nothing too serious, but not going to be much fun walking through airports and whatnot.

In the evening we went back to Lahaina for some souvenir hunting and to get some Hawaiian shaved ice.

She's pretty pleased.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Trip Diary, Thursday May 7


I dunno.  This was what I woke up to Thursday.  Not bad.

I found out that a buddy of nigh 30 years is also on the island, but pretty far away.  (Some of you Austin people might know MichaelC)  I think we've agreed that we won't seek each other out, but if we run into each other - super!  Anyway, funny coinky-dink.

We got up, ate some breakfast and then went snorkeling off the back of the hotel.   This thing is in the elevator lobby.  It is my personal Groot.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Trip Diary - Wednesday, May 6


Jamie lost her shades on Tuesday, so we bought a new pair.

"Don't post this," she said.  "Of course not, my dear," I responded.

We visited something called the Nakalele Blowhole.  No, really.  It's an incredible view on the northern side of Maui.  Basically, the tide is pretty intense on this side of Maui, and there's a spot down there where it comes shooting up in a jet.  They say as high as 70 feet, but I only saw maybe 40' spurts.  Still impressive.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Watching the World Go By From Vacationland - things I've missed

I don't think I've taken this much time off from work... ever.  At least, not for "let's go have fun" reasons.

But skipping town for a while also means you might miss whatever is going on in town.  Or on TV or whatever.  The only TV I've watched in the past week was 40 terribly depressing minutes of something on TV about the Dust Bowl while Jamie was at dialysis.  Did you know the Dust Bowl was even more depressing than you thought?  Well, however bad you thought it was, multiply it by ten then double that.  So, fun programming about babies dying choking on dust.  VACATION.

Anyway, I'm desperately trying not to get spoiled as I have been unable to watch with The Flash or Mad Men.  Flash I could handle spoilers, but Mad Men...?  And it's not like folks don't put spoilers right in headlines and social media doesn't just feed up those headlines whether I asked for them or not.

I could go see this, or be there to watch "New Girl" at home, I guess

I should be home for the Mad Men finale, so hopefully no one will ruin it for me.

Seriously, I will stab you.

Trip Diary - Tuesday, May 5

This was a briefer day to report.  Jamie is on dialysis, which always wreaks havoc with our travel plans.  It was mid-day on Tuesday, so we planned for an early morning submarine ride.  Like you do.

The Atlantis IX is a good ship.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Trip Diary - Sunday and Monday, May 3-4

So, Maui..?   That's different for us, right?

Between March 25th and April 28th, Jamie and I celebrated our 40th birthdays and our 15th wedding anniversary.  Hawaii has been something Jamie has wanted to do since we were two fresh-faced kids in college, and due to many, many factors, it's been something I've not been willing to do or not been able to do.

We set about planning this trip a long time ago, and it finally happened.  We're not exactly jet-setters, so getting to Hawaii was a bucket-list sort of thing for us.  With the convergence of birthdays and anniversaries, it seemed like a pretty darn good reason to go.  And, of course, Jamie's been healthy(ish) for a long time, so any jitters I might have had about this a while back are now long gone.

So, that's that story.

Sunday - Day 2

I kind of forgot to take pictures on Day 2 in Maui.  Mostly, we hung around the hotel, swam in the ocean and napped.

The only two pictures I took were of the residents of the hotel, a set of penguins and a koi.

I was still pretty punchy from the time change, and we got up around 6:15 for breakfast (it seems the tourists all get up early as everyone is decidedly not functioning on Hawaiian time.  Even the locals appear to mostly be on mainland time.)

After breakfast, we ran out and bought me a snorkeling mask (I have a loaner snorkel from PalMatt), some towels we'll no doubt leave here, and some other sundries.  Then we hit the water.

There are actually plenty of fish right off the hotel, even if the coral isn't super awesome.  But I had a great time going splishy-splashy.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Trip Diary - Saturday May 2

As I mentioned, we're on vacation.  So far, so good.  We left Austin on Saturday in the early hours and arrived in Maui in the afternoon.  I was completely out of my mind by the time we got to the hotel, as 4:25 AM is not my usual wake-up time, and I was just punchy.  But we also needed to stay up at least for a while.  I think we made it to 7:30 or 8:00 PM, but no later.  The time difference is 5 hours, so we're talking after midnight.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Everyone relax. I'm back. Til Tomorrow.

I'm back from Baltimore.

You know, for a town that I think of as being pretty sketchy, I walked around last night in the touristy area after 10:00 PM, and it was actually really nice.  Found an area with a strip of local bars and went in with some A-level beer snobs to try some locals.  Discovered there's something called "sour beer".  As I asked them:  How is it I've lived on this Earth for 37 years and nobody ever mentioned sour beer to me before?

I didn't love it, it was fine, but... seriously, I feel let down by humanity.

The meeting was interesting, but I wouldn't describe it as "fun".  Dinner and then the bar was all right, but maybe less the governance talks regarding a semi-formal open source organization.  Still, I felt like I learned a lot, and that's always a good thing.

Tomorrow I pack it up and head to Spring, TX for roughly 24 hours of seeing former high school classmates at the conspicuously-named-but-no-turns-out-there's-no innuendo-there-after-all, "Bareback Bar".

Ah, Spring, Texas.  You never stop giving who you are, and I wouldn't want it otherwise.

Monday, March 11, 2013


No, I've never watched The Wire and your references will be lost on me.*  Yes, I'll get to it.

I am headed for Baltimore from Tuesday til Thursday.  I haven't been there since a day trip from DC when I was a kid where I saw an 18th Century Man-o-War and the rest of my family got lost in the projects looking for Edgar Allen Poe's house.

In honor of the trip, here's a cut from the super-depressing Lyle Lovett album, Joshua Judges Ruth

I'm going for work, not pleasure.  But I hope to have fun working, which, you know, weirder things have happened.

*The only characters' names I know from The Wire are Omar and Bubbles and I know what happens to Omar because the internet is full of people who hate narrative payoff, I guess.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thing not to do:

leave for a three day road trip when you wake up before your flight thinking "I might have a cold.  Oh, well, how bad could it get?"

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Rocky Mountain Hi!

I'm in Denver from tomorrow afternoon until Monday afternoon for work. Attending and participating in a conference.

I've never been to The Mile High City, but I certainly hope to join this club they have that I keep hearing is pretty great. Everything I know about Denver can be summed up this way:

That Elway Fellow is like Football Elvis

My buddy Matt hails from Denver

It seems to be home to the grossest family of beers I can think of

This dude is really named "Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr." and went to Texas Tech University

I won't actually learn anything else about Denver as I foresee a lot of the Westin convention center, cab rides, air ports and airplanes in my future.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Fiddle Dee Dee. I am off to Atlanta.

I know nothing about Atlanta other than that I will be there by 8:00 Tuesday night and flying back by lunchtime on Thursday.

No idea what my blogging future holds.

let's hope it goes better than this

We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Columbus (Ohio) Day, Comic-Con Stuff and a few words on Music

Columbus, Ohio

Tomorrow I present in front of a bunch of folks from a consortium of libraries here in sunny Columbus, Ohio.  The trip had been rumored since I was in Boston, but I didn't get confirmation that they actually wanted me here until last week.  With the mad scramble to get paperwork done during a holiday week, it wasn't really all locked down til Tuesday that I was actually going.  

So here I sit in a Springhill Suites in Columbus, Ohio.  I've seen only two slivers of the town.  The route I came in on and then the route I took to a nearby comics shoppe, something I like to do when I'm a-travelling.  I have to give a thumbs-up to Laughing Ogre Comics, not just for the great name of the shop (it sounds like they really want to open a pub where people can play RPG's with no fear of wedgies), but to their shop itself, which was professional, friendly, well-stocked and well laid out.  If in Columbus, we recommend.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Vacation Slide Show! Chicago 2012

What would a vacation be without snapshots with which to annoy friends and family?

Well, we don't want to leave you hanging, so here's some snapshots from Jamie and Ryan Go A'Touristing in Chicago: 2012.

For our Google Album (public for now, but not forever) click here.

The lobby of the beautiful Palmer House Hotel

Jamie and I headed to Grant Park

at Buckingham Fountain.  A tourist on a Segway took this one.  Very nice man.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Still in Chicago: Aquarium, Planetarium, Art, Comics, Improv and Gene!

Having a lovely time.

Yesterday was Texas Summer Hot, which was pretty rough.  We got through the Aquarium (which was pretty great) and made it through about 1/3rd of the Planetarium (well, we did maybe 1/2 the stuff adults are supposed to do) before we threw in the towel.

You know, I don't have kids, but I have mixed feelings for those of you who do.  Man, they just go nuts, don't they?  I mean, who can blame the little monsters when confronted with the amazing universe of our aquatic friends, but they certainly do go batshit given the slightest stimulus.  And for some reason the Aquarium was the hot ticket item for family fun, which seemed odd when the Planetarium was (a) awesome and (b) totally kid friendly.  Also, you think fish are really gonna hold your kid's attention after you've been playing Pixar movies and buying them iPads for the past 8 years?  Good luck with that.