If you're looking for the funniest stuff, I suggest starting with the Steve, Don't Eat It Homage and then the travel category. You're on your own with the older posts that have yet to be categorized.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic

I shot this on the last tough day we had at sea. Keep in mind that things were much worse than this but when they are they don't let you out on the Promenade which is the best place to watch rough seas (also the best place to get tossed overboard). In addition, the worst seas were so bad I doubled up my meclizine and, thankfully, slept through them.

Cornless Cobh

Woohoo! Two days in Cobh!
Day 1: pic of some colorful boats.

Day 2: second most interesting thing I found in Cobh.

On to...5 days at sea!


In Greenock, I took a long walk from the short pier...a bit over 11 miles.

You can explore it in detail at this link: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=6106178
Here's the view from the "top" (which is actually a path that parallels the Greenock cut).

There are some, uhm, interesting things to see around Greenock. Like the farm where they grow holes. I skipped this tourist trap but here's how you get there.

The Scots are also very strict when teaching baseball.

They also drive extra light cars like this...

because they apparently have weak bridges that might break at any moment.

Monday, October 07, 2013

There's lots to see and do here in...oh, we're done

For a 17 day vacation I really didn't take very many photos. Here are some of the very few I did take.

This first one was taken in Copenhagen, in the Slotsholmen area. Slotsholmen means "something I'm too lazy to look up". There aren't many canals in Copenhagen so the picture is a bit misleading but the buildings are pretty typical.

This picture was taken somewhere between Slotsholmen and the Little Mermaid. The fountain was so special but I thought the backlighting made for a nice pic. The camera didn't do the live scene justice but a little auto-Gimp fixed things up (a bit too well). 
And, of course, the picture that everyone takes. Why this is such a big tourist attraction can only be explained by looking at the other exciting pictures I have posted.
Lastly, as the ship set sail I snapped this shot. You can see the bridge to Malmo in the far distance. Closer in are a bunch of windmills. Closer still are a some people sailing, likely in protest of the giant eyesore windmills with their clean power generation and such. Oh wait, this isn't Nimby, USA!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Those with independent travel arrangements

There is a couple on board that I've seen a few times now. They are notable because they brought folding bicycles with them. I saw them cycling in a couple ports. It's a pretty good idea, especially in northern Europe.
I just saw them again and they were in their gear-helmets, cycling clothes. Not sure how they will handle their luggage, assuming they have any.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Not the spice

Someone on the ship told me that the word "posh" is an acronym for "port out, starboard home"- the preferred cabin location for transatlantic voyages if your home was in England.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Last call

After 6 days at sea (long days since we gained 4 hours along the way) arrived in Halifax yesterday. Weather was very nice there so I wandered around. Not much had changed since the last time I was there.
Today we are in Saint John, NB. It's a bit cold and drizzly. Not much else to say about this place.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The view

Sunny today and the calmest seas yet. Makes for incredibly blue water.

It's Groundhog Day

It's the fifth day in a row at sea or maybe the fiftieth. Who knows?
The comedian on board right now was also on April Asia trip...and while he doesn't have new material the whole situation is funnier than he is so that's a plus.
Otherwise I am reading lots of books. Child 44 was good. Once We Were Brothers was so-so. Currently reading Syndrome which isn't so great so far. But maybe my standards are rising with all the reading. :)
I'm still not sure why I can get email but I'm not complaining.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Hell no, we won't blow

Pretty rough seas yesterday. I hit defcon 1 (aka cold sweat). Had to double up on meclizine and, no surprise, ended up sleeping for about 12 hours. According to the captain, I'll feel better once I get my seal eggs. What deck are they on?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Is this from Weiner or Spritzer?

Got this interesting SMS today. I'm just glad I can't receive picture messages.

Qaq or not

Another big low pressure system in the North Atlantic and, presto, Qaqortoc is canceled. They've added St. John's, NB for Tuesday after Halifax. As a consolation they gave us $50.
On the good news front today was $20 all the laundry you can cram I into this tiny bag (which means _all_ my laundry). Also I now have a captive audience for 7 seas days to play games. :)
The ship I'd supposed to be rocking and rolling tonight. Is there an emeticon for that?

No Corn in the Cobh

Cobh is a quaint little place with a nice waterfront. It's mostly just the nearest port to Cork but has the dubious distinction of bring the last port-of-call before the Titanic sank. If you are like me you will now go read the definition of "port-of-call".
This picture was taken around 10:30am. By 10:45 it was raining. Now 11:15 and it is bright and sunny again. Maybe I'll just stick with Irish coffee which is more reliable.

Does this count?

You know the old saying, "If you can't visit the country, at least visit the supermarket with the same name!"
Or something like that.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

First thoughts on Scotland

Walking up and down town (it's quite hilly) I came upon someone trying to unpark their car on a steep uphill. They were having a tough time with the engine whining and revving like crazy. In my head I thought, "I need more power Scotty!"
"You can't defy the laws of physics, captain!"
Isn't it hard enough driving on the wrong side without these issues?

No Iceland this trip :(

Gale force winds expected tomorrow so we are skipping Belfast and Reykjavik and substituting an overnight stay in Cobh. Not sure what I will do there...other than eat one of their famous salads!

Can't you smell that smell?

This explains why I thought Oslo smelled like coffee.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Age is not just a number but who gives a crap?!

Whitewater rafting today in Kristiansand (actually nearby Senestal[sp?]. There were 20 of us on the tour. I was the youngest followed by one guy in his fifties. Everyone else I'd say was late 60's to late 70's.
The rapids were brief and rated somewhere in the 3+/4- range.
One guy cut his hand simply by banging it against someone else. "I bleed easy. Let's keep going!"
Since the rapids are brief we actually got out, portaged up a bit and did the best part twice.
Only a couple people had ever done any rafting. I had and knew the funnest place was in the front. And yes, I apologized for I knocking those old ladies down securing that position for our first run.
On the odd chance that someone reading this is planning on going know that you will get soaked. Wear a bathing suit and a sport T. Water socks or sandals. Bring dry shirt, socks, shoes and underwear to change into. Leave the camera unless it's waterproof. Better, bring a GoPro!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


The Danes are known for four things: Hans Christian Anderson, really big dogs, a sweet breakfast confection and Clair. Of these I have only been able to eat one!
OK. That's my report on Denmark. Tune in next time for my report on Norway where there may not be anything edible at all.

Monday, September 09, 2013


It's a bit gray and foggy in Copenhagen today. Really don't have much planned here except to see the Little Mermaid and not sleep until a fairly normal time.
View from my hotel room attached. I am very happy to not have the other view which is road construction.


I've successfully navigated to the airport lounge in Lisbon. I have almost 3 hours to kill here. But probably not enough time to same the dozen wines in the wine machine. There's also a coffee machine that makes 30 different drinks I've never heard of. A nice buffet of quiches and Euro-breakfast sandwiches and all kinds of sweets, many of which I've already eaten accidentally. (I swear I was just moving my mouth when they got in the way!)
Not much seating here but what they lack in quantity they make up in space-age style. (See pic)
Lastly, after a couple hours of flight, over the Atlantic Ocean, all the TV's suddenly turned off. Soon after we also realized our electric seats were not working. Reason? Computer crash. Fortunately this computer only controlled some passenger comforts and, after the usual fix (reboot) was up and running again.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Flight Intrigue!

Two young women with luggage were just escorted to my flight by Customs and Immigration officers. Their passports and some paperwork were in individually sealed manilla envelopes. I'm guessing they are being deported.

Bagels? Yes. Einsteins? No.

Picked up an abomination bagel (that's a bagel with ham and cheese) to eat at the airport. A couple hours later I pull out the bag and it's wet and smells like pickles. I grab the sandwich and, although it smells like pickles, there are no pickles on the sandwich.
When I go to throw the bag away, it feels a little heavy. Sure enough in the bottom of the bag is a pickle spear, "wrapped" in one of those little pieces of paper you see used by people buying rolls...or bagels. My backpack smells slightly of pickles.
Ironically, I bought the sandwich because the United lounges have poor selection of food (crackers and cheese, fruit, chex mix) but I'm not in an United lounge so there are sandwiches here.
Of course, I ate a sandwich, too. It needed a pickle.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

T-minus 3 days

Leaving Sunday on TAP. Copenhagen via Lisbon. Mostly packed and ready to go.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

It's pronounced cack-gore-dork

Preparing for my next trip. Here's the itinerary:

Of these ports, I've visited Halifax and spent more time than I can count in NYC. I've flown/drove through Reykjavik, Belfast and Copenhagen but seen nothing there.

You might think I'm most looking forward to Iceland and Greenland. While they are the places I most look forward to seeing, more than that, I look forward to getting away from the sound of 8 jackhammers, chiseling away at my building during its decennial balcony rebar replacement fest. (On the plus side, free earplugs!)

Saturday, May 11, 2013


This is almost the classic shot Shanghai is known for with the famous TV tower on the left. Toward the right you can see the Shanghai World Financial Center (the one that looks like a giant bottle opener). It is actually the tallest building in Shanghai right now until that building under construction next to it is finished. You may also notice another very popular tower, the security camera (lots of those around). On top of the wall you see is a wide walking area which I show in the next couple of pictures.
The view to the left...yes, lots of people...as far as the eye can see.

The View to the right...yes, lots of people...ok, you get it.
Here are some people you don't see in the above pics. My former colleagues from work who took me out for lunch. AT this point in the trip I hadn't seen a familiar face for over 3 weeks. Seeing them and enjoying their company and hospitality were a highlight of my trip.
And this shows a tiny part of that lunch. Everything was, I was told, Shanghai-style (as opposed to Cantonese, Hunan or Szechuan that you normally find in the US). Shanghai style is not spicy and a little sweet.
I hope I can repay the favor one day when they visit the US.
Najing Road has many nice shops. This is where the monied go to become less monied. Also, they go here to listen to guys in really loud jackets play less loud music.
Not far (i think east?) from Yuyuan Gardens (a nice little tourist trap area) I found street after street of local shops. Incredibly crowded and bustling with activity. This was a side street (a bit less crowded) looking back toward the "main" shopping street.
I always smile when I see a shop with a name I would not expect. In the US you might guess this was a software store. Here, they sell juice. This was just off Nanjing Rd.
No actual sleeping allowed here!
Let's Eat Tar! Woohoo!
(In all fairness, I think it actually says Let's Eat Taro.)
I took the overnight train from Shanghai to Beijing. I actually fit on the bed with maybe an inch to spare but since there was no place to put my pack (not the daypack shown in the pic), it stayed on the bed with me but did not reduce my ability to sleep. Compared to the overnight train from Vienna to Zurich, this was roomier and more comfortable.
It was a four bunk room and they give you four different colored pair of slippers to walk around in. They are clearly not made for 11EEE feet. :)
I mentioned that my pack being on the bed did not affect my sleep. That's partly because despite this being a passenger train, it sounded like a freight train (listen to the video above). The good news (as much as I hate to say it) was that with his sleep apnea, this guy would stop breathing for 30 seconds or more every so often. By around 2am I was tired enough to fall asleep during one of those respites and it takes more than a freight train to wake me in my first 3 hours of sleep.

This concludes (I think) my blogging for now. Until my next trip!

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Me love you long tail

I wanted to post at least one normal picture from Bangkok. This is from one of the temple complexes (I think the one with the Emerald Buddha.) The picture really does not do the scene justice. Maybe if you zoom in you can see some of the incredible detail on the center and right buildings. And this is just a tiny section of a vast area of buildings like this. I think gobsmacked best describes how I felt.

Next we took a ride on a long tail boat. If you are not familiar with them they are long and narrow (like a gondola but longer). They harvest engines from cars or trucks, extend the driveshaft and stick a propeller on the end and then mount the whole thing on the back of the boat. Like something out of Junkyard Wars. In the mornings/evenings they are used by commuters and in between they give rides to tourists.
Here's a little clip from our ride. Note at the end our driver is talking on the phone though how he can hear is beyond me.

Did I mention the lizards? The giant monitor lizards? We saw a few of them lining the canals. And when I say "We saw" I mean our guide pointed to them and we stared and stared and eventually distinguished them from the rocks.
Yeah, I wasn't too sure what this was either as our V8 truck engine long tail wizzed by but I still like the pic enough to post it.
The reclining Buddha. (The World's Largest Reclining Buddha, I believe...there are a lot of "World's ____est Buddhas" in Thailand.) As our guide pointed out, Thai Buddhas are thin, unlike the Chinese Happy, Fat Buddhas. Each culture makes Buddha their own.
Here's a cool bridge. It is a single tower, asymmetric  cable-stayed bridge. Gave me a bit of a nerd-gasm.
If you've seen the little baby bananas at the store, these are much smaller. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to taste one (or ten). :(
We also had a ride on a tuk-tuk, the half-motorcycle, half rickshaw taxis of Bangkok. With no doors and a crazy driver, I felt like I took my life in my hands just trying to snap a picture.
Safety rules in Thailand are apparently open to interpretation. Such as "Workers must always wear a hardhat!"

Saturday, May 04, 2013

No Lyin' City

Didn't have much time in Singapore (Lion City). We got into Singapore a bit late and customs was pretty ridiculous. So I wondered around admiring the architecture a bit. Singapore, which likely has the death penalty for looking at regular pornography, is architectural pornography. Here's a few highlights:

From the left: the double helix bridge, the Marina Bay Sands casino/hotel and whatever that white building that looks like a giant baseball glove.

Here's a shot from inside the double helix.

A good shot of the Marina Bay Sands cantilever. It hangs out more than 200 feet over the edge of the building below. If you zoom in, you can see the tiny people on top.

Singapore is short on land so here's the floating soccer pitch.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Coochie Coochie Coo

Here I am inside a tunnel in Cu Chi.

This is, I'm pretty sure, one of the enlarged tunnels as most Western tourists were simply too fat to fit through the original tunnels. Despite the enlargement I still had to duck walk my way through.

You may wonder why I'm wearing a hat inside a tunnel. The simple answer is that hair acts as an early warning signal something like "Hey, stupid, you're about to smack your head against the ceiling!" Lacking such a natural signal, I use a direct substitute. (Other people use an indirect substitute, like a Corvette, which says "Hey, you won't even notice my bald head if I drive an expensive car!")

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Good Morning, Vietnam!

Quick monkey + limited attention span photographer =

At least she didn't throw her feces at me.

Easy to take a picture of was my coconut drink. The guy with the machete accomplished this in 4 whacks. First to flatten the bottom, then three to make a triangular opening on top. I was amazed he had all of his fingers still intact. I thought mine kind of looked like a face.

We also stopped off for some local fruit. On the plate is dragon fruit, watermelon, pineapple, mango and papaya. In my hand is a non-Cavendish banana. While green, it was perfectly ripe and incredibly banana-y.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Hong Kong Escalation

As we sat off the coast near Shanghai, I snapped these pics of current conditions (to save you the trouble, 46 knots is about 53mph):

And so we skipped Shanghai and motored down to Hong Kong to spend an extra day. One thing to do in Hong Kong is ride the Mid-level Escalators. Here's the start of them:

After the escalators I planned to walk over to the Peak Tram but ended up walking to Victoria Peak. Most of this journey was up Old Peak Rd. which at least in part, is closed to vehicles. It's pretty steep, maybe 1000 ft. elevation over a mile. Probably took me about an hour stopping for pictures.
 At 8pm sharp, a bunch of buildings put on a light show. Don't bother taking pictures, just watch the show. (I took about 30 pics, this was the best of the bunch). Also, don't kill yourself to see the show. Frankly, the escalators are more fun.
 I can't tell you how many people asked about Chinese junk. Yes, I saw one and it was bigger than I expected.