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10pm Tadpole Bridge, Trout Inn

All set up and tucked in. Nice secluded spot for a campsite. 23 miles today… hopefully we can maintain it.

Test 2

Trying again this time with Diarist2

Mobile blogging test

Posted by mobile phone:
I setup mobile blogging for this weekend’s adventure… keep watch here

Quick thoughts on Amsterdam

I love girls riding bicycles, and Amsterdam has plenty of them.  I can’t explain why it’s so sexy, but it makes for pleasant bit of people-watching, and leaves a very favorable impression of the city… the whores and dope are just icing on the cake.

I’m apparently not alone in my appreciation of sensible urban transport for females.  My friends have made similar comments.  I should start a photo magazine dedicated to the subject.  Maybe I would, but the only catchy title I can imagine is “Dykes on Bikes” and that invokes the entirely wrong imagary.  I’ve got a strict no-girl-crewcut policy.

Back from Amsterdam

The night before flying to Amsterdam (where my meeting was scheduled) I discovered my hotel was 180km away in Brussels.  Which didn’t make much sense (especially with a 9:30am meeting) and left me scratching my head about what to do.

I called our travel agent about changing flights and he said: “Well…  See the Dutch are a sensible lot, and unlike the British they have an extensive and reliable rail service…”

He was right.  From the airport station, a 2 hr train ride (filled to the gills with goddamn dirty hippie backpackers) delivered me to Belgium.

Over dinner my co-worker remarked “Oh, if your room doesn’t have one, ask the front desk for an electronic mosquito repeller.”  It took me a while to appreciate how cunningly evil this tidbit of advice truly was.  I certainly was tired enough that I might have fallen straight to sleep; blissfully unaware of the insect horde draining my essence.  Instead, I bolted wide awake upon hearing the first buzzing marauder to fly past my ear.  An hour later I had worked myself into a lather from stalking around the room naked, wildly wielding a mosquito killing bath towel.

Bleary-eyed we made our way to the meeting the following morning, where I managed to deliver a convincing presentation with minimal preparation.  Meeting vanquished, I was free to wander around Amsterdam for a few hours.

If my wife had been along, I’d have done something sensible like a boat tour, or rented a bicycle.  Instead I plodded around in uncomfortable dress shoes for 5 straight hours raandomly exploring the city…  managing to miss the truly interesting sights (Red Light District) and sadly ignoring the sirens’ call (or aroma) of the many “coffee” shops.

A quick 45min flight later and I was happy to be home.  It was clean-sheet-day!

Worse over here (UK): Stinging Nettles

I’ve accidentally brushed up against some stinging nettles in the woods near my home.   A neighbor kid amusingly wiped his ass with some.  They were more itchy than stingy, and had a bit of a delayed effect.

I had my second run in with them today in the UK.  Damn!  They are down right evil over here.  Little pin-pricks of electric fire… and it builds.   They are still stinging 3 hrs later, but I’m getting used to it.  Strangely, it almost feels good.  Not enough to do it again, but not quite searing.

At least it was almost worth it…   the black raspberries around our house are ripening.

Password winge

It’s 2007. Why am I still being subjected to stupid password schemes?

I just signed up for a new account at a investment company. I had to specify yet another username/password combo. Password restriction: 6-10 chars two of which have to be numbers, no special characters, no spaces.

The arbitrary limitation is such a pain in the ass. It’s cryptographically dumb and more irritatingly it breaks my password scheme.

London on over £150 a day

We had a day out in London yesterday. Nothing fancy. Here’s the tally:

Two Travelcards to London (20 mile train ride + use of the Underground): £30
Two tickets with return from Seven Sisters to White Hart Lane (about 1mi, and we didn’t pay): £4.80
Two tickets to the Tottenham Hotspurs v. Turino football match: £50 (this was a “freindly” so the tickets were available and comparatively cheap to a league match)
Two tickets from Highbury and Islington to Camden Road (again a mile or two, and we again avoided the fare): £3
A modest dinner at a little Vietnamese place with friends: £35
A round of cocktails in Camden Town: £30
A tip for the bathroom attendant (whose presence was enough to freak out my “shy bladder” so I didn’t even get to properly relieve myself before the train ride home.) £1

Good God this place is expensive.

Back in the UK

Back from another 3 weeks in the US.  It didn’t feel quite like home…  I guess it couldn’t because I knew I had to get back on a plane.   I don’t have any fear of flying… but something about the process still makes me anxious.

One more flight for Elite status…  for whatever that’s worth

The postman rings early

We have an old-school “class-dismissed” door bell.  It rang rather shockingly at 7:55am yesterday when the postman stopped to make a delivery.

Interestingly, the USPS forwarded a large Priority Mail box internationally…  at no extra cost.  If I could rely on them doing this, it would be a much cheaper way of shipping stuff over here.

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