I Love You Adrienne, Happy Adrienne Day!

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Once again, I ask you to take time out of your busy schedules to wish Adrienne a happy Adrienne Day (Here is a brief history of Adrienne Day).

I could easily start another site called “Things That Are Wonderful About Adrienne” and keep it much better updated than this one. Until I get around to that, here are some Amishrobot entries about, or involving, Adrienne:

And, I think the funniest thing on the site was written by Adrienne, The Hammer Spinal Repair

Also, I am really glad the kids got her looks.

Coastal

I made another foray into rock ‘n’ roll photography the other day. I shot my friends’ slocore band Coastal.

Enjoy the photos and then go buy the albums, their music is beautiful.

Coastal

Coastal ~ Coastal at amazon.com Coastal ~ Halfway to You at amazon.com

P.S. – Click on the photo and it will take you to Flickr.com. I think I am going to move all my photo galleries over to Flickr. They have really nice services. You can comment on the photos and even “View as slideshow” (link to the upper right).

Wales and the Journey Home

I found the lost notebook from my Wales trip. It is fun to look back at the little notes I scrawled and remember the vacation again. I don’t know that I can be bothered to turn these notes into an essay, so I think I will just throw them out here for you to read.

On this flight I am playing a role I don’t like, The Guy With The Cold Who Is Coughing and Sneezing and Blowing His Nose and Surely Going to Get Us All Sick, I Hate Him, I Hate Him, I Hate Him. Little do the poor fools know that I also have strep throat. Take that!

Actually, I have been taking MASSIVE doses of antibiotics and I am doctor-certified non-contagious. In fact, these people should be thanking me instead of giving me wary looks. I am probably spewing antibiotics with every sneeze. I am inoculating this whole plane!

You are all welcome. Now quit looking at me.

red tree in green fieldWe are supposed to be hiking Offa’s Dyke, an ancient earthwork that roughly separated England from Wales.

“As originally constructed, it must have been about 27 metres wide and 8 metres from the ditch bottom to the bank top.”

I have yet to see anything resembling an ancient earthwork. Maybe it is invisible!? Now that IS spectacular. Those clever English!

And a little later…

Ancient RampartsWe just hiked up an enormous hill. The grass green beyond compare and the ground is vaguely sponge-like. I am sitting down in the hollow between what is left of the ramparts of a Roman hilltop fort. The cold wind and freezing drizzle are just above me, but down in this small hollow there is no wind at all and I am warm and dry.

After dinner at a pub…

That pub food was not good, even the vinegar was bland! That can be no easy feat. Clearly the Welsh have technology we do not.

And a letter I wrote to Adrienne, but never sent.

Lazy shot taken from my bedAdrienne,

I wish you could see this house! It is beautiful. It is only one-hundred years old (The other homes think of it as a snot-nosed punk). It is much more frou-frou than I would like, but I love it. I guess it doesn’t hurt that it is set in one of the most beautiful towns I have ever seen.

We ate dinner at a restaurant perched over the wide flat river that cuts through the town and walked around a bit while daydreamed about buying a house here and moving us in.

I was just downstairs in the sitting room, feet propped up in front of the fire while I read. I decided I would like some time by myself and came up to my room. I am now sitting on my bed listening to the little electric pitcher boil water for my hot chocolate.

I will set my drink down on a little silver coaster on the ancient side table so that I can sit in bed reading, sipping cocoa, and glancing out the window at the oak tree branches swaying in the breeze.

I flew into Boston Logan airport on the way home. It took me a minute to decipher the announcement about my departure, since it sounded like “de PAT chah” (The letters PAT were sucked right up the announcer’s nose and never seen again).

Also, either the souvenir to have is a Harvard T-shirt, or I just witnessed the entire university being evacuated.

Delta now euphemistically“..offers you the opportunity to purchase from [their] new in-flight menu.”

Translated, “We can’t figure out how to make money as an airline. Even though you are on a six hour flight we can only budget enough to offer you a coke and one package of peanuts. But feel free to spend $19 on a club sandwich, we are going bankrupt soon.”

Bonus Photos

Monastery

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Canal running through the edge of town


hiking along the face of the cliff

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Wales 2

bliss

OK, I have been meaning to write more about my trip to Wales, but I lost my notebook. That is too bad since I am sure the other stories were hilarious, and you were all waiting breathlessly to hear them (a dangerous thing since it has been a long time, breathe people, breathe!)

You will just have to settle for a couple of photos.

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Journey to Wales

I spent a week hiking in Wales. A week without a computer is pretty much unheard of for me. I bought a little notepad in the airport so I could write while I was on my trip. Confined so long to the purely up and down movements on my laptop, my fingers they were overwhelmed by the directional possibilities and took full advantage of the chance to run amok. They were drunk with power. I wrote a lot of this post on that notepad, and I can barely decipher it. My handwriting has degenerated to third grade levels.

I have included a few photos, but my photography insults the beauty of Wales. Its beauty most definitely should not be insulted (its food is another story).

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Dinas Bran Castle

I flew from Salt Lake to Newark, where the airline employees worked very hard to make sure we all had an authentic “People from New Jersey are really rude” stereotypical experience. They are paid to do this by the tourist board—on their own time they are all very nice.

I was informed in Newark that I was on standby and they couldn’t guarantee me a seat on the flight because they had oversold it. My simplistic understanding of commerce had led me to believe that my paying them an obscene amount of money for a seat on that flight, and their taking that money (no refunds) somehow entitled me to get on the damn plane.

After a New-Jersey-Board-of-Tourism-sponsored conversation with the agent I managed to get on the flight. An Englishman came on and had just stowed his carry-on when the lovely gate agent came on board and yelled at him to get off the flight. He quickly caught the spirit of how you should interact in New Jersey and began to yell at the gate agent. He was thrown off the plane.

His now empty seat (the only empty seat on the flight) had the most legroom I have ever seen on a flight. No seats or walls in front of it, just the opening to first class. As the steward walked past I pointed to the empty seat and said, “Excuse me, in light of my freakish size…” He smiled and said, “Sure, take it. But you’ll have to slip me a $20 when we land.”

Just as I settled into the seat the enraged Englishman returned. He looked at me in his seat, and at my now empty seat, muttered, “Bloody ‘ell!” and went to sit down. The whole plane was watching him now, hoping for more fireworks. I offered to switch back with him—it had been his seat after all.

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The Moors

He thanked me and said, “It’s just that I’ve got these long legs.…” He couldn’t have been more than six feet tall. A passenger next to him said, “I think that guy is taller than you.” Enraged Englishman looked skeptical, “What, are you a bit taller than me?”

I got up from my seat, my head almost touching the ceiling, and stood next to him. “A bit,” I said. I had over six inches on him. The entire plane erupted in laughter. With one last “Bloody ‘ell!” he conceded defeat and took my old seat.

I enjoyed the luxury of my seat until I took a good look at the first class section just a couple feet in front of me. If class warfare is ever to erupt, the frontlines will be where coach meets first class. It’s hard to be content with your lot in life when you are being fed peanuts in an uncomfortable chair and you can see someone a few feet in front of you in a gigantic electronically-adjustable leather recliner with so much leg room that the passenger in front of you is grazing cattle which he plans to sell upon arrival.

I fell asleep with my feet extending into first class, when woke up I found that they had wrapped a hot towel around my left foot and served lobster to my right.

Stuccopecker

MrsStuccoPecker1I was sitting by a window talking to a coworker today when some motion in my peripheral vision distracted me. I turned and looked out the window and saw what looked like snow at first. It wasn’t snow, it looked like foam of some kind. As I was looking at it another clump of it fell and I looked up to see where it came from.

MrStuccoPeckerThere, in a third-floor pillar of our office, was a woodpecker peering quizzically at me from the perfect circle he had pecked right through the stucco. He was merrily expanding it by scooping out the insulating foam.

Best nest ever.