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I have a ticket, but there’s no boat!

Archive for December, 2008

Christmas Cat

December 30th, 2008 at 9:13 pm

I promised to deliver some photos and so forth of my cat, so here they are. Meet Sweetie.

There’s also a ridiculously cute video I shot after the break.

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Written by jarrod.carlson

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Trip Logs Are Coming

December 30th, 2008 at 5:54 pm

It’s taken quite some time, but I’ve finally managed to type in all the journal entries from my trip to Europe. There were 23 hand-written pages of journal to type up, and it was the most boring, tedious thing ever! Next time I travel, I’ll bring my laptop and just forget this whole pen and paper crap. The extra six pounds of notebook are 100% worth the effort.

Anyway, I still have to proof read the entries and get the associated photos loaded in. This will take some time, but hopefully it will be more enjoyable than just typing in the entries. I’ll try to start rolling them out at least one a day. Maybe more?

Written by jarrod.carlson

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The Family Christmas Photo

December 30th, 2008 at 1:10 pm

Goofy Family Photo

We got serious for two seconds and the camera accidentally captured the moment

We got serious for two seconds and the camera accidentally captured the moment

Every year my mother insists that we do a “family photo”. This year was no exception.

I was delighted to take the photo, since I got to make good use of my new Canon digital camera and the super neat face-detect self timer. Basically when I start the shutter timer, it waits until a new face appears in the photo before it snaps the picture. And it automatically does three takes so you get it right. Of course, a few of our takes were less than brilliant, but some of them were just plain comic genius. Or maybe not.

Here also is my pick of the shoot for the photo. You can view all of them online on Picasa - Family Christmas Photo 2008.

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Back at Home

December 28th, 2008 at 1:41 pm

I’ve been a bit lazy the last few days. In fact, it’s already 1:30pm today, and the only thing I can claim for having accomplished is determining that cable TV is utterly useless and there isn’t anything on.

Yesterday I finished reading Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials - the trilogy of The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. I thoroughly enjoyed the series, especially the second and third installments, but I did have a few complaints. I’ll put up a proper review in a short while - after all, I’ve nothing else to do today!

Equally recent, Christmas has come and gone. I really enjoyed skipping town to avoid all the holiday madness around what is, after all, a culture of soccer moms and strip malls. Instead, I managed to get all but one or two gifts while abroad in Germany and Switzerland. That worked out quite well for me, and I think all the recipients of my gifts were thoroughly enthused as well. Where shall I go for holiday shopping next year, then?

Speaking of my travel, I’ve had a few people ask about pictures, stories, and the like. Okay, I’m getting to them. I’ve been competely uninspired to do anything for the last week or so since returning home, but I suppose it’s time to be productive again, so coming soon, the rest of my trip log and photos!

UPDATE: I’ve been working on typing up my journal entries, and I have quickly realize what a chore this is! I wrote significantly more than I had imagined, so bear with me. I’ll have to finish getting all the entires typed up, then load in some photos and tag the GPS data as well.

I’m about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way through the typing and it’s not 2:00am, so I have to stop. But maybe tomorrow I’ll switch gears and do the photos first so I can get some of the earlier posts out.

Written by jarrod.carlson

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Day Seven: Top Amazing Gear Race

December 14th, 2008 at 10:02 pm

The Black Forst

Captain Ludvig at the helm gives the 320i a Top Gear review

By the powers invested in some higher authority, we woke up Sunday morning, not hung over. Though I may not have been hung over, I was not on stable ground. I had completely expected the morning to be painful, but it was not. The world was still spinning a bit when I looked far into the distance, but that was little price to pay for the evening we’d just brought to a close not six hours before. And soon we would be headed for Bad Kreuznach and I could sleep in the car.

In Karlsplatz we picked up what was supposed to be a Ford Mondeo or Volkswagon Jetta. Sixt, however, had given them all away and offered us instead a BMW 320i instead.

Thrilled, we made for the Autobahn. Once on the road, I setup my camera on the dash and we did a little Top Gear style review of the car. Brian seems pleased, but perhaps that was because he had the pleasure of driving. From the passenger seat, I quickly began to despise the car.

The seat was obnoxious. You could only raise the seat by getting out of it - hardly practical at 120 km/h. It was awkwardly angled as well, so I couldn’t get my bum comfortably positioned. And there was nowhere to put my arms.

Besides that, the ride was incredibly stiff. Every little bump in the road made my guts jolt about like James May in his high speed boat ride. My bottom was sore by the time we’d reached out destination. Thankfully, I’d been too tired to care and simply slept most of the journey.

Road Trip from München to Bad Kreuznach in a rented BMW 320i

Road Trip from München to Bad Kreuznach in a rented BMW 320i

There were, however, a few parts for which I was awake. Wide awake.

Being the Autobahn, there is no speed limit in certain sections. So when the opportunity presented itself, Brian gave it the beans, so to speak. I took some proper video of us dashing along at ~220 km/h (~128 mph). Not surprisingly, those bouts of high speed were pretty exciting.

Secondly, our route (shown on my slick GPS map!) took us through the Black Forest, which was presently not black at all. In fact quite the opposite - all white and gray. Everything was glazed in snow, and the deeper we went, the denser the fog became. Soon, we were unable to see off the road at all, and in front of us, we could only see about 100m. Or less. The fog was in some patches so thick, it had became dark, like a thunderstorm cloud. Fog so thick the sun cannot shine through it. But it eventually gave way and we left the forest. And I returned to my dazing and drifting to and from sleep.

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Written by jarrod.carlson

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