Summer Vacation

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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby Haggis@wk » Tue Dec 04, 2007 3:56 pm

jamiebk wrote: As you might guess with names like Jamie, Bonnie, Heather, and Taylor, we are of Scottish descent. Unfortunately, we never searched out the home of clan McLean of Duart while we were there.


A hasty survey shows the the MRHYN and I are among the 9-20 Americans who are not decended from Scots; it's a burden we've had to adjust to.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby jamiebk » Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:04 pm

Haggis@wk wrote:
jamiebk wrote: As you might guess with names like Jamie, Bonnie, Heather, and Taylor, we are of Scottish descent. Unfortunately, we never searched out the home of clan McLean of Duart while we were there.


A hasty survey shows the the MRHYN and I are among the 9-20 Americans who are not decended from Scots; it's a burden we've had to adjust to.


Strange...out here in CA we are now among a fading minority. Well overshadowed by Asian and Hispanic.
Jamie

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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby piqaboo » Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:52 am

Scotland sounds fun. It will rain a lot again. It does that on them thar british isles. Rain coats are more practical than bumpershoots. Hae fun, laddie!

We just got back from a vacation trip to Florida. We spent a day plus with Jim's friend in Delray Beach (east coast just above Ft Lauderdale), took a tour thru Shark Valley in the Everglades, and visited Jim's family on the upper West coast (about an hour north of Tampa).
As ever, the Everglades were fascinating and well worth the expenditure of time and cash. Turns out Altoid is too big for the baby seat on the rental bikes, and too small for the smallest rental bike, so we took the tram tour. There's a 15 mile loop tarmac. The west side is butted up against bayheads mostly (shrubs) and the east side is more open to the 'sea of grass' aspect of that big slow river. We saw many and varied birds - blue herons, greater Egrets, cattle egrets, ibises, two kinds of vultures, a hawk, etc. We also saw baby gators with their mamas close by keeping guard. Apparently mama invests about 2 years in baby-gator protection. For her troubles, ~ 1/20 grow to sexual maturity.
OT got several good photos and one spectacular shot from an overlook tower. The gator is floating in water so clear that its legs show in the photograph.
The water was clear and warm, so there was fun in the ocean waves to be had as well.
Altoid proved to be a very accomodating traveler, bless her little cotton socks. OT bought a DVD player just before we left. It got many hours of use, at night to wind down a tired kid and during the flight - to entertain said child or said child's father. I suspect if we'd passed the hat on our flight home, we'd have collected enough to cover the cost of it, for Altoid watched one video three times thru, then fell asleep, having said fewer than 200 words, and never kicking the seat in front of her. Last year, it wouldnt have worked. She wouldnt watch a movie all the way thru, let alone repeatedly!

We went to Homosassee (?) Wildlife park when we were on the west side. A good place to go with small kids. Also with those of limited mobility. Next to the free to borrow kids' strollers were also-free adult strollers. Not exactly wheelchairs, tho they were wheeled chairs. Nice touch.
There's HUGE manatees to be seen, and a place to go under the lagoon and look at the fish/manatees thru glass underwater. Very nice. And inexpensive as these things go. 4 of us went in for $28.
A small highlight of our trip was multiple stops at DairyQueens to get hot fudge malts. That really helps pass the time on a long car drive! :)
Altoid - curiously strong.
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby barfle » Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:42 pm

Will pictures be posted? I hope so (so says the slowest photographer on the board).
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby piqaboo » Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:01 pm

I hope so, barfle, but since I myself have not yet seen them :curse: , I am not optimistic.
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby Haggis@wk » Fri May 30, 2008 1:18 pm

Survey: Americans Make 41M Fewer Air Trips

I last flew in May 2006. Of course I quit my job in June 2006 and started my own company that is primarily local based, but one of the reason I quit was the mandatory requirement to travel 75% of the time. Even “local based” requires travel to Austin, (181 mi.) San Antonio (275 mi.) and Houston (239 mi.)

I drove down to Houston last week for work and came back the same day, 536 mi., 10-hour roundtrip. I’ll do the same in a few weeks and regardless of the expense will never again fly from Dallas to anywhere I can drive to in 5-8 hours.

I hate flying these days (and I still have more than 500K frequent flyer miles!) and will avoid any but the most necessary flights.

We plan to fly to Scotland this year and I still haven’t bought my tickets.

GAWD, I hate the process that “flying” has become!
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby Shapley » Fri May 30, 2008 2:03 pm

I also hate flying nowadays. Not that I was particularly fond of it before. St. Louis-Lambert is no longer a major hub and is, for the most part, a shell of an airport. There are few direct flights to anywhere distant. If you want to get anywhere, you have to connect at a larger airport - Minneapolis/St. Paul, Northern Kentucky (Cincinnati), Chicago, Dallas, depending on where you're going. The planes are tiny.

I'm not fond of driving long distances, either. But it is preferable to flying for trips of 5 hours or less.

We took the Amtrak to San Antonio last year. We booked a sleeper, since it was a 22 hour trip (which actually turned into 26 hours). It was pleasant, if you have the time and patience for the trip.

Maybe it's time for someone to invest in coast-to-coast high-speed rail in the U.S. I know that Arnold is pushing for it in California. We could start with two lines - Miami to Seattle and Maine to San Diego, crossing in Cape Girardeau, MO. (okay, St. Louis would be near enough). at 200 MPH, I could get to either coast in half of a day, even accounting for a few stops at major cities along the way.
Quod scripsi, scripsi.
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby Serenity » Fri May 30, 2008 3:58 pm

People fly because they are in a hurry to get where they are going....just get to the fun fast, enjoy yourself, and rush back to work on time!....just meet the clients, wow them and hurry back to work!...

What happened to: planning your trip; researching where you want to go and why; allowing for distractions and unexpected events (fun or accidental)? Schmoozin' with the locals? I need a day like the movie Ground Hog Day, where I can relive the same events and focus on what was missed previously.....that sort of happens when my memory reboots ocassionally :screwy:
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby Shapley » Fri May 30, 2008 4:09 pm

Serenity wrote:People fly because they are in a hurry to get where they are going....just get to the fun fast, enjoy yourself, and rush back to work on time!....just meet the clients, wow them and hurry back to work!...


That used to be the case, but it's more difficult to do these days. Fewer flights means a lower likelihood of being able to travel, meet your clients, and return in the same day. You have to get to the airport an hour (in some cases, two hours) before your flight to get through security. Flight delays make the probabiliby of getting to and/or from your trip on time a lower likelihood. The planes are smaller, in-flight meals are non-existant.

The airport is two hours from here. Get there two hours early, and I have four hours shot before I've even gotten on the flight. So it takes me five hours to make a one-hour flight. I can drive the distance of many one-hour flights in five hours, so there is no advantage to flying. If I drive, I'm on my schedule for departure and return, not the airlines'. And I can carry more baggage. If I carry anything larger than a briefcase on the small flights, I have to go through baggage claim, add another half-hour, at least.
Quod scripsi, scripsi.
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby Serenity » Fri May 30, 2008 4:27 pm

OK, I guess we'll have to meet via videocam, at dinner time ....while having a nice Chianti... to do business... while having Beethoven Radio fed in surroundsound. :wink:

Now where did that Virtual Biergarten thread go? Do you do wine?....it so much more upscale, unless you're doing the microbrew specialties...I would have to have the video "doctored" so I appear to be in control, kind-of-like Hal9000....of course in reality, I'd probably be speaking through the 'cam with a heavy slur, or passed out on the floor....snorin' for a couple of naptimes....

Did they ever tell you that you should place one foot on the floor, off the bed, to help you avoid the room from spinning when you've had a little too much to drink?.. :barf: .........
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby Shapley » Fri May 30, 2008 4:32 pm

Did they ever tell you that you should place one foot on the floor, off the bed, to help you avoid the room from spinning when you've had a little too much to drink?..


They've told me that, but it didn't help.

Foot off the floor, the bed spins.

Foot on the floor, the whole room spins.

Body on the floor, the world spins.

I learned to live with it...
Quod scripsi, scripsi.
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby BigJon@Work » Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:03 am

You need a comfy car to make those 10 hour driving days tolerable. I recommend a Volvo XC90. On our trip last summer I could drive 10-12 hours and get out feeling fresh and not stiff or beat-up. Very few cars permit you to swallow up the highway miles like a modern Volvo. And it all starts with the seat design. Try one.

I’m with you on the driving vs. flying. I’ve always hated flying because I wasn’t in control. I’m not a control freak, but I am a control enthusiast. I will choose train, bus, limo or my personal car for any trip of less than 1000 miles.
"I am a 12 foot lizard." GCR Jan 31, 2006
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby Schmeelkie » Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:57 am

Leaving tomorrow on the train from Rochester to Worcester, MA. Will take an extra hour or two (if you count the stops we would have made driving), but will be much easier on the little ones. Bella is not at a good car-trip age. So you guys are worrying me about our one plane trip this summer - DC (well, we're actually flying into Baltimore - only direct flight and cheapest)...hope it's not too painful with kids.

Next year we'll be back to driving - may try DC sometime. What kills me is that we're missing my sister-in-law (and son) in N. Carolina - couldn't coordinate a visit with her/my husband's parents which is how we usually see them. I seriously doubt we could get a direct flight, especially now from Rochester...I think you used to be able to get to Charlotte...oh, well.
"Up plus down equals flat" Pumpkin, 3 yrs, 10 mo, July '07
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby monkeymd2b » Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:06 am

Yippee! I'll actually have a nice long vacation after years of slave labor! Today was my last day in my residency clinic and then tomorrow morning is my last day of work.
The medical assistants did an amazing job making my last clinic day memorable. They TP-ed my desk and chair and put balloons all over the desk. I have a pooping penguin that poops jelly beans and so they put jelly beans all over my desk and chair with a note stating that my penguin had an accident. In order for me to figure out who helped decorate, I had to hunt for my stuff on their desks. They did a pretty good job at hiding it too. They also put clear tape on the bottom of my laser mouse and I couldn't figure out why my mouse wasn't working so I restarted the computer and then when that didn't work, I said outloud, "what the hell?!? Why isn't my mouse working? I checked the connections multiple times, then finally glanced at the bottom of the mouse and discovered the other prank. They also taped the handset of my phone to the base. Throughout the day they kept moving my stuff to their desks. Later they played a pretty good joke on me. Toward the end of the clinic day, Nadia asked me if I heard about the chest pain patient they added to my already full schedule. She was smiling so I figured she was lying. An hour later, the clinic nurse, Leslie, knocked on my exam door as I was starting my visit with the last patient of the day and started telling me about a chest pain patient and she had an EKG in hand so I figured that they weren't joking afterall. She said she already called for an ambulance since she figured the patient needed to go to the ED but asked me to step in real quick just to check her out. I don't know why I didn't ask why my supervising doctor any of the other doctors weren't looking at her. So I excused myself from my patient and then went to the other room. The "patient" was laying down with a blanket over her head and then revealed herself...Nadia! I learned that Leslie has a great poker face. Plus she hadn't been involved with any of the games throughout the afternoon so I had no reason to suspect she would trick me too. Apparently I dropped my pager when I jumped onto Nadia since the last fun thing was a scavenger hunt to find my pager. Tomorrow is our clinic party for the graduating seniors where the clinic staff roasts us...after today I can't wait to see what they come up with. I'll miss all this fun. I hope my new clinic is just as much fun but it will be hard to beat!

As for what I'm doing on vacation...not thinking. Graduation is saturday and then our family will have a party sunday with yummy hawaiian food. Then a week at the oregon coast. And a week in Vegas, then a week helping my friend get ready for her wedding. And my income is my tax refund.

Well, time for bed! Tomorrow morning I meet with my residency director to go over my final evaluation of the past 3 years of my life.
Simple words to live by...

When someone annoys you, it takes 42 muscles to frown, but it only takes 4 muscles to extend your arm and whack them on the head.
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby jamiebk » Fri Jun 27, 2008 9:02 am

Have a GREAT vacation! There is nothing quite as relaxing as closing one chapter of your life as another one opens. It happened to me (though not at my wish) when I changed jobs. My old company re-orged and my position was elminated. Still, I was required to "work" there for 2 more months even though I already had a new job lined up. I was not required to be in the office but was rather put on leave at home for about 6 weeks. Talk about fun! It was the best time of my life. Paid to be at home, no worries about where my next job would be, and 6 weeks to do what I wanted. I stayed up late, watched movies, got up late, went to the beach, goofed off, worked on projects around the house etc. and generally turned into a bum. It was about the only time in my life that I got to do that. Sort of a taste of retirement I guess.

Anyway, I digress. Have a super vacation and congrats on finishing your term of slavery.
Jamie

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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby barfle » Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:46 pm

Well, doc, by the time you read this, you'll be back from vacation, so now you have my deepest sympathies at this trying time in your life. Returning from vacation can be a traumatizing experience. I don't even like returning from a weekend of yard work, so that tells you something.

Congratulations, and best wishes as your medical career allows you to pay off your student loans!
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby piqaboo » Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:43 pm

Boston (and other parts of MA, ME & NH) was a great adventure. By OT's report, Altoid did the airtravel so gracefully that he formally thanked her after we picked up their bags from the carousel (they traveled together, I had gone a few days early for work).

In general, she was a graceful travelor, and the stress was definitely on. She never had her usual amount of sleep the entire 10 days. We had one weird little melt-down, and one pathetic one.
The weird one was getting into a friend's car and using a booster seat. Altoid flipped and wouldnt be calmed. Thank goodness there were two mothers-of-three in the car. They just ignored her and kept chatting. Upon arrival, she was appropriately chastized, made her apologies, and later we realized she thought it would be a long car ride and she wanted the car seat to sleep. Thank goodness she wasnt in it - the trip was < 10 min. She then was quite well behaved during a lunch which did not appeal to her in the slightest. The pathetic instance was after a hard day, a short night, another hard day. My hat blew off and into the water. Since we were on the destroyer ?Crispin Young? at the time, no retrieval was possible. My oh my did she mourn that hat with sad heartbroken little tears and quiet sobs on my shoulder. Oddly, she seemed to have cried the fatigue away, because she didnt nap when we did get back to the car. When she first started to be sad, I pointed out it was only a hat and not important. She and Daddy were important. She replied "I want you to think that hat is important" and cried harder. KSTDT :?

She also managed the flight home with 'flying colors'. There was minor fuss at loss of a perfectly placed window - we had to move so we could all sit together. Then she relaxed. Occasionally she'd quietly comment about the screaming toddler one row up "that little boy's screaming is annoying", then she'd settle back to whatever she was doing. She took a nap thank goodness (I'd hold folded blankets over her ears when it looked like she would wake up because... waking Altoid up too early in her sleep cycle is a very unpleasant experience. She'd have made the upset toddlers sound like newborns). When she woke, she wanted a DVD. The d*A&^*() player was busted! She didnt even make a fuss. She watched us try to troubleshoot and fix it, and seemed to thoroughly understand it was out of our control.

I still cant believe how easy she was to travel with.
And at our host's house, she was so enthralled with his kids (10 yr olds), that she did her very best not to need us. :happy dance:

Boston has lots to see. We only saw some of what it has to offer -
Swan boats
the duckling statues (we read the book last night Make Way for Ducklings, and Altoid remembered many of the locations)
We dragged her the length of the Freedom Trail and then tried for the Constitution, but couldnt manage the line (this failure was OTs and mine. Too hot to stand for so long), so settled for only the one ship.
I saw the musical instrument exhibit at the fine arts museum before they arrived
the sub Albacore (new hampshire)'
Maine coast, maine lobsters, etc.
italian food in the North End, and play in the public fountain out that way


If one can get a reasonably central hotel, Boston feels like a perfect destination for those with short legs and lots of energy. Things are close enough together, and the T is very good.

Probably the high light of the trip tho was the trip to Hahtfud and meeting with the other b.commies.
The radio station staff is gracious and friendly beyond belief, as were those we met up with.
Altoid - curiously strong.
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby OperaTenor » Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:21 pm

Photos are imminent, I just have one more thing to do.
"To help mend the world is true religion."
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby OperaTenor » Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:10 pm

Okay, we now have photos!

This was most of who showed up at the station, excepting Piq and Altoid:

Image

Back: Serenity, me, HRH Nicole Marie, Scott, Mrs. Shos, and Shos
Front: Chris Larsen(yes, *the* Chris Larsen), and *ignaf(yes, *the* *ignaf)

Scott at the console, where he recorded and mixed a promo featuring all who would speak, on the spot as we stood there:
Image

After getting thorough tour of the station, staff, and all of the inner workings - truly fascinating, Chris took us out to Avon Mountain(correct?) and gave us a tour of the transmission tower facility. At face value, that doesn't seem all that riveting, but it was, and more.

Image
Chris is standing in front of the FM transmitters, for their FM affiliate. The "pipes" above his head are actually sections of high capacity coaxial "cable", which Chris built himself, using 1" copper pipe sheathed within 2" copper pipe.

Image
These are the AM transmitters - the grey cabinets. The one on the left is the main, and the one on the right is the backup. The backup looks a little vintage, doesn't it? It is - it's from the early 70's and uses vacuum tubes(this is intentional, not for lack of money) - truly bomb-proof.

Image
these are the towers, the FM in front, and the AM behind. They lease space on the FM tower for cell service repeaters, and for a local TV station. I always assumed these towers tapered out gently as they reached the ground, but no:
Image
Chris told us it's only about 2" in diameter where it's buried in that dinky foundation.
You can also see the cable looms running up the tower - an incredible amount of weight. It turns out the guy wires are the main structural support for the towers, and they can pop up to three of them before the towers will topple.

Image

A final photo before we left the station. It's housed in an historic building, a beautiful three-story brick house with a basement.

Everyone at the station was extremely hospitable, and so gracious. We had a lovely time.

:)
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby jamiebk » Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:54 pm

OT...these are truly wonderful photos. Thanks so much for posting them. Wish I had been there with you all!
Jamie

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