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

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Travelogue: I was in Indiana - Plus, Frankenstein and whatnot in the special collections



The project I'm on at work is a joint partnership between Northwestern and Indiana Universities, and while I've been to Chicago plenty to get to NU (it's my institutional "home"), I'd not been to Bloomington, Indiana where a good chunk of my team lives and Indiana University resides.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Wrapping Up The Chicago Story: 3 trips in a Lyft, Superman on VHS

After the Fourth of July, Jamie, her dad and myself flew to Chicago to take in some Cubs games.  We talk a bit about the games and whatnot here

Sunday the 8th, we rose, cleaned up the AirBnB, and Jamie and her dad waited for a Lyft to O'Hare while I waited for my own, separate Lyft that I might be whisked northward to Evanston where I was scheduled to put in two days of facetime on campus at Northwestern.

We bid each other good-bye and I jumped in the Lyft, bidding our neighborhood, Chicago's Boystown, good-bye, and rode mostly up Lakeshore.

I mean, just look at this idyllic summertime BS


Saturday, July 7, 2018

Where in the World is The Signal Watch? Chicago 2018

the coolest kids you know.  I am moping because my Cubbies just lost, 3-2 to the Reds.

This is our second year in a row to travel to The Windy City to take in some Cubs games (and rumor has it, we're doing it again next year).  It's no secret I don't just cheer for The Cubs, but quite like Chicago.  I also happen to work for a university in Chicago (from home), so I'm up here a lot.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Travelogue: Up to Bozeman, Montana and a day in Yellowstone

So, on June 2nd I flew out from Austin to Bozeman, Montana to attend a conference.  I never tack vacation days onto my work trips, but this year I'm doing it twice.  I had never been to Montana, and as this event took place on the campus of Montana State University - and I really had no idea when or if I'd get back this direction - I booked a few extra days to just take it in.

A lot of us stayed at the Lewis & Clark Motel. 

My colleagues feel welcomed, indeed!

A fine place for a bed and some sleep.  They were really pushing the sauna, but... I dunno.  I don't want to see my colleagues in just a towel any more than I suspect that's how they want to see me.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Where In The World Is The Signal Watch?


For the next week, I am in Bozeman, Montana on a work trip.  Big conference.  And if noir has taught me anything, we will all wear matching fezzes and get drunk and provide cover for someone trying to hide out in a hotel

I'm also taking some vacation days while I'm here because I've never been to this part of the world, and I'd like to see a mountain, a moose, a bear and water that is neither gross Texas creek water or gross Texas lake water.

Thus far I've eaten lunch here, had some coffee and walked around to see Downtown Bozeman, which is high-end knick-knackery and touristy eateries.  Which serves my purposes well.

So, no movies for me this week, I'd guess.  I might read a Superman comic or two.  But expect a slowdown in posting, etc...

Yes, Jamie is still in Austin, but The Dug is set to be there by this evening and is hanging with her all week.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Wedded Bliss in New Orleans - Congrats Lauren and Steven



This weekend Jamie and I flew to New Orleans for the wedding of two folks I met via blogging and have become good pals with as we all lived in Austin for a few years before they departed for San Francisco and then NYC.  On Saturday Steven H and Lauren R tied the knot in City Park with yours truly officiating.

The Peristyle in City Park.  This is from the internet, but it is where the wedding occurred.


This was the third time I've officiated and every time it's no less nerve-wracking, and it is no less special as I've known all the couples well and know their stories.  It's truly an honor and privilege to be asked, and to get to play that role is a truly memorable experience.

It's also the best seat in the house, if you're going to show up for a wedding, anyway.  You want to see people having a moment as up close as it gets?  That's where you want to be.  You'll also see your friends looking as dashing and beautiful as they will ever be from, like, three feet away.

In short - I hope I didn't mess up the ceremony too much.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Work Trip - We Were in Palo Alto/ Stanford



There's a bit of a travel season in Library-land, and it started this week (for me). 

This week was a 72 hour turn around to Stanford to meet up with colleagues, plot the future, etc...

In my 9 years of working at my last job, where I traveled quite a bit, I never dealt with anything but the barest of inconveniences while flying or driving.  And, the bit of travel I've had so far with this gig, it's been the smoothest of all possible sailing.

Nothing "bad" happened, but Wednesday I was set to fly out at 10:30 AM to be in San Jose pretty early (I think 2:30 Pacific) so I could get my hotel, get some work done, meet up with colleagues to do dinner.  Instead a pretty standard issue awful spring weather system cut through Texas.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Seattle VayCay - Star Trek, Sci-Fi, Horror, Fantasy and more at the EMP

GORN FREE!!!

We're in Seattle for a week of vacation.  We've seen the Space Needle, Pike's Place and a few other things as we caught up with old friends who've relocated to the area.

Today it was just me and Jamie, and he headed down to the EMP.

The EMP is a museum that was set up by Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen and was originally going to be all about music.  Well, half of the museum is - and we went to that, but this isn't a music blog and it's weird to take pictures of certain kinds of exhibits or art.  But the EMP is now also home to Paul Allen's other collections, I guess.

Above, you see me freaking the hell out about the Gorn costume from the Star Trek episode Arena, the episode that first piqued my interest in Trek as a kid and - in my humble opinion - one of the finest hours of television ever produced.

But, I was basically just freaking the hell out through the whole museum as it was truly an amazing spectacle of genre movie and TV props and FX items.

You can view my stash of photos here.


This is exactly the sort of stuff I'd wind up owning if I had billions of dollars

Sunday, July 10, 2016

I'm Going to Harvard!


For a two day conference that starts Monday morning.

Just, you know, something that is happening.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Travelogue: Work Trip to Dublin

Your fearless blogger amongst the tomes of Long Hall


So, the reason I went to Ireland was to attend a conference called "Open Repositories 2016", which is sorta/kinda the premier very-specific conference for people who do what I do, professional-like.  Unfortunately, I didn't take any extra days or time to go touristing, so I didn't see much of Dublin and nothing of Ireland beyond a couple kilometers of my hotel.

OR is one of those conferences that has great material in every session across 5 rooms running concurrently, is competitive to present in (we got in!) and that's still only, like, 40% of why you go.  The rest is the out-of-band conversations you have after hours.  This means you're at the conference for formal stuff from 9 - 6, then at conference social events until maybe 8, and then you go out with conference people to get the real work done until, oh, 1:00 AM.  Then do again until you get on a plane and leave.  It's a long 5 days.

I did skip out and go see a sight as it was on the Trinity College campus, but the rest was finding bars and restaurants and holing up for work chatter.  I really like the people I meet up with at conferences, but let's be honest, what we have most in common is what we do between 8 and 6 at our desks.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

I Went To Ireland and Forgot to Tell You People I Was Leaving

Well, I am in Ireland.  No idea what that means for posting this week.

I'll be in Dublin til I fly out Friday.  So.  Yes.  Work stuff.

No, I will not go to this one bar you hit in 1996 while you were here, but thanks for the hot tip.


Photos as events warrant.  This was one I pulled off the internet, but I went over this bridge today, so there you go.

I'm going to collapse now.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Travelogue - Portland, Oregon

So, my apologies for not posting much this week.  I didn't even get to do a Flash re-cap, at least not yet.  Wednesday, I jumped on a plane and flew to Portland, Oregon for work.  I'd never been there, and of the many things I like about my current job, it's that I get sent all over the place on someone else's dime.

this was next door to my hotel


A lot of the time when I travel, I just wind up hitting a hotel, eating in said hotel, going to bed, getting up, working, then leaving.  That happens a lot.  But on other trips, particularly when you're meeting with people from all over, you tend to wrap up work and then at least walk around a bit with those folks and grab dinner out and about.

Now, I was only in Portland from 11:00 Wednesday night until when I flew out at 9:00 on this morning (Saturday), so I can't say much about the town.  I was working all day Thursday and Friday, but we did go out for lunch and dinner.  And, yeah, a few of those meals were kind of over-the-top Portlandia-style and fantastic.  We ate at the food trailer area on 10th street and a sandwich shop called Lardo's (I was very happy with my tuna sandwich).  For dinner, we hit a place out in the 'burbs called Old Salt Marketplace, that was a lot of fun, and they made a good cocktail, terrific ham hocks and broccoli.

I won't pretend that I am a Portland expert.  I was barely there.  But it's a beautiful town and they do a lot of things we could learn from here in Austin.  Like, hey, the drivers don't try to run you over.  And you can walk places.  Or take a train.

I stayed in a very nice hotel called The Heathman, where, just to make me uncomfortable, the doorman was dressed as a Beefeater.  I have no idea why and didn't ask.  Then, one of my colleagues who was also on my floor, pointed out that there was a security detail watching the door of another room.  They were just camped out in an open room, watching the door.  So, of course I asked, and the guy said "the reading light is better here" as he sat in the doorway.

I didn't push it.  Never figured out what was going on.  But I did see a lot of very nice dogs in my hotel.

Anyway, an unexpected highlight was getting an email from an old pal from college who moved up there years ago who saw I was staying right near her place of work.  We met up, grabbed some dinner then went to a bar/ restaurant that - you know, 20 years later, it's funny how people still know "oh, Ryan will love this" - was an elaborately Egyptian themed bar that had seen better days maybe 15-20 years ago, and was dead empty on a Friday night.  It was me, Amy, the owners, and a Stan Getz greatest hits album on the PA, surrounded by Egyptian kitsch.  Not another soul around.

If you were to ask me about my ideal drinking experience - buddy, I just had it.  So, thanks, Amy.




  


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

Thursday

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.