Try www.hollydoyne.net !!!!!!!!
As you can see – there aren’t many ports on this trip which means that there are a lot of sea days.
That actually is a good thing as I have a lot of knitting….
Yes, I know that I have been threatening to move websites, blogs and all the rest of it for several months now.
It is happening. I haven’t yet been able to replicate everything from here over to the new site as of yet but I have started to move pages, pix and the blog starting as of 1 Oct (yes, this year – 2015 AD).
admittedly, I decided that I would rather keep it simple and not have a title or name that made it hard to find. The “.net” is easy – “.com” is already tied up till I close down the websites on the German server….
Proved to be a lovely city for a walk. Without stores open, the streets weren’t crowded with shoppers. Instead, families were out strolling and tourists were able to gawk without appearing complete rubes.
It was up the hill and off to the left this time rather than hiking up and down the twisty streets and alleys of old town. I got to see some of the more modern sculpture, trees, shaped plants and parks.
There were doors:
And a bit of fun in the greenery department:
And my favorite sign of all:
We hadn’t arrived till 1000, on schedule in spite of 50+ knot winds. Our departure was smooth. Passing once again some of the islands off the coast, we were all rapidly enveloped by fog….
I hit the wall today considering travel, time zones and disruption of anything even remotely resembling a normal sleep cycle. It is a good thing it was a sea day.
Last night was mostly dozing on and off which means that I was both cranky and groggy this morning. The knitting entertainment with a fellow knitter from the Grandeur (2011? 2012) was followed by a shortened Cruise Critic meeting, lunch and what was going to be a short nap.
About six hours later I surfaced enough to realize that most of the day was gone. I managed to stagger around at glacial speed preparing for dinner. It was formal night and I had promised a friend to join him for dinner. Eating at Chops was a good way to burn out another 2/1 dinner coupon. Right now the plan is to eat there again on the last night of this cruise. I am not sure that they are going to be happy to see me. Normally I adore the forest mushroom soup. This version was too heavy on the cream and light on the mushrooms. The salad was terrific but for the goat cheese which was supposed to be baked and turned out to be ice cold in the middle. By the time my entrée appeared I think the waiter was holding his breath. The tuna and side dishes were excellent I assured him (and the manager) several times.
[aside – I always have mixed emotions on reporting food that doesn’t quite meet the standard. In this case it wasn’t really a complaint since the food wasn’t bad or unsafe – more like an observation that neither the soup nor the salad were as good as the same I had had on the Serenade just a couple of weeks ago. It makes me uncomfortable to say anything, but I don’t want to avoid menu items I would normally order. Does that make any sense?]
It was after 2200 by the time we finished eating. More than time to crash.
But funny thing, I wasn’t sleepy……
is now in the past. This birthday is different only in that it marks a turning point in those basic interactions with the government which most of us want to avoid. Part A & B of Medicare come to mind. In the same way, I’m hoping to avoid a fuss and absolutely detest public recognition or embarrassment. Specifically singing waiters and other assorted displays. Obviously, I am speaking to dinner possibilities this evening.
I don’t have any particularly brilliant thoughts to share. It has been a good year, an interesting year in which I have been fortunate enough to travel to areas of the world new to me as well as revisit places I enjoy. I have made new friends as well as maintained contact with those I have known for years.
There have been other milestones – probably the most significant (besides that pesky Medicare Part A & B) is renewing my medical license for the 40th time. I guess that balances managing to lose both a jacket and a phone on the same trip. Photo courtesy of one of my fellow traveler’s and probably the location of the escaped phone.
Thank you all for the well wishes on this, my 65th birthday. This coming year should be interesting complete with family, travel and a number of professional meetings. We will be closing out the house in Heidelberg, seeing the Eldest move into her own home later this fall, the College Guy transfer, Ms Chicago return to school and Ms Maus take on NYC. I’ll be on land a bit more, on ships a bit less and following the example of my good friend Carmen – start to make serious decisions on all that “stuff” I have been hauling around for years.
OTOH – I can finally set up my Playmobile trains, the weather in Berkeley is pretty decent….. Garden Gauge thank you very much……
Is the ship I am boarding starting tomorrow from Southampton. Between now and then – I have my plane to LHR, the NationalExpress Bus to Southampton and three rounds to go with Barclay’s bank. I also have to figure out what I might possibly have planned since I am sure that I made arrangements to join a group at least in Gibraltar.
So – 2-9 Oct 2015
The route –
(Exhausted and still time zone whacked – it is now 1930 in the evening. I have been to Barclays. I am checked into the hotel. I found something for supper. The Wifi is free……
Didn’t plan much of anything today. Instead the thought was walking around town with one or more of the people whom I know from past cruises.
Plan didn’t go well. Where am I? Oh yes, taking pictures from my balcony. Oslo with a migraine. Serious enough that I took one or two of everything and went back to bed. Lost day. ‘Nough said.
Well, here I am – back on the Serenade of the Seas.
and the schedule
|Thu||Sep||3||Klaksvik, Faroe Islands, Denmark||8:00am||5:00pm|
|Sun||Sep||13||Halifax, NS, Canada||8:00am||5:00pm|
Other than Iceland – I don’t have a lot planned. I want to head back to the waterfalls but other than that – I am going to relax and otherwise read, study, knit and deal with files if I can get Internet access on the ship with out it bankrupting me.
Probably the only really bad stop is the end in NJ. My plan there is simply to go to the airport – hang out and send Miriam a post card since she says she has never received a post card from NJ. Go figure.
Which is not a food, article of clothing or disease but the name of the Copenhagen Airport.It was where I arrived late morning after running through the following:
- taking out the garbage
- hauling suitcases down to the garage
- hiking to the train station (forgot till this morning that I didn’t have any Euros which meant neither cab nor street car). I went via the overpass rather than heading under the bridge and past where various homeless sleep. Not before 0515 in the morning when it is still a bit dark
- taking the train (which of course had swapped the 1st and 2nd class ends of the train such that everyone was running along the platform bound for the other end, Did I mention small kids towing suitcases which they were bouncing off everyone’s ankles
- dropping off another FORTY (40) books at the USO. Now they need thrillers and SciFi – I have those too.
- catching my plane.
- I’m boarding the Serenade of the Seas tomorrow for a 16 night Northern Route TransAtlantic Crossing. Details will post here tomorrow.
1525+40= 1565. There are a number of out dated school books in the garage which will be gone by the time I get back. I didn’t count them (and won’t) since they didn’t start out in the Studio Box pile….
Did I mention that George and I are looking to relocate sometime in the not so distant future (next year? Year after?)? I realized as part of the move a requirement to shift from my German web host which I have been using since 2006/7. Using the same system and software for that entire length of time; including Smart-FTP which works so well that I have forgotten how to set it up.
Seriously. My FTP software is running on an old netbook. Old enough that it runs Win98. No hassles, no problems, not supported for a long time. I had a major brain cramp in getting it all organized in the first place. Ran over my limits a couple of times and had to regroup. The help guys are great – or at least they were at last pass in 2007. Under the adage of “if it ain’t broke – don’t screw with it” I have left the system alone.
Webpages are easy. I can cut, paste and reload pix without a problem. But eight years of blog posts just aren’t going to happen without some help. Then I had the brilliant idea of using a WordPress plug in to automate the process. OK – that part sort of seemed to work – except that you first scan and build the backup. My sites + build is higher than my allowable server space.
It is 1900 in the evening. I am packed. And tired. And leaving early tomorrow for the train station. I’ll be home for a couple of days end of Sept. I will deal with it then.
20 Books to Rohrbach this morning and 121 to the Heidelberg Altstadt Shelf.
Basic numbers here 1261 + 123 yesterday = 1384 + 20 + 121 = 1525. I have 40 more children’s books to be dropped tomorrow at the USO.
Driving to Wallhausen is fun, especially when I do it with someone else. We had a good time there and back. A stop at my house involved Nana and the kids books. And some old shirts for wearing, painting, crafting with kids.
I have the yarn I need which I promised people for later in the year. I have knitting projects for the next month (well, I had those anyway but….).
123 books to the good…. I mean to someone else. Nana, bless her heart, went through both the English and German children’s books and was easily talked into taking boxes home for nieces and nephews.
It isn’t that there aren’t other things to do…. laundry (four loads), cleaning and that every so fun and necessary scrubbing out of the fridge. But I decided to go ahead and start setting up my blog et all on a US based server.
Not. I started out with menus which have since disappeared. This is, I think, going to be more than balanced by the fact that I don’t have to maintain WordPress myself. And at less money per month than I am know paying. Oh. Did I mention about 10x the amount of storage as well??
we shall see – that is when I am back from dealing with yet another load of laundry.
It took actually less than 36 hours in real time but it seems like a whole lot longer. Maybe it is because I left Spokane on Sunday and it is now Tues. And I really can’t ignore the 9 hours of time zone change that is trying to wipe me out.
The flight wasn’t that bad. Unfortunately I didn’t pick a seat up stairs while there were still some which meant being within a few rows of the unhappy toddler. Her parents actively tried to keep her occupied; the little one was just bored. And, of course, fast asleep about 90 minutes before the plane landed….
After coffee in the arrivals lounge I made the 0953 train without problems followed by the connection in Mannheim.
I even had enough money for a cab (I don’t mind walking to the train station – it is downhill followed by flat) since uphill with luggage when I am tired is just not going to happen.
Nap. Yes, a nap sounds really good right about now….
Picking up where we left off (somewhere around sound asleep) I woke to the nasty surprise that the particular Doubletree doesn’t have free coffee in the lobby early in the morning. Yes, they have the stupid little coffee makes in the rooms, but no coffee in the lobby. I understand completely that the container should vanish the minutes they have a shop open which can take cash. But this hotel is the contract hotel for American Airlines and I suspect Delta as well. How do they expect aircrews headed out when it is dark to manage without coffee?
I trundled back upstairs after explaining to the desk clerk that other Doubletrees do have coffee. Then my keycard refused to open the room in retribution for me having a negative opinion of the management. Back downstairs. New keycard, across the lobby through the ballroom area and back to the Tower elevators. This time I was able to gain sulky access to my room and make dispenser coffee.
Shuttle, check-in, Lounge. Not the United Lounge! Several of the non-US carriers have banded together and have a lounge in the S terminal. Some are Star Alliance, some are not. But the important thing is that United doesn’t run the lounge. Instead of cheese, crackers and carrots there is good soup, a full line of beverages without costs and a rotating supply of munchies ranging from jelly beans through wasabi peas and good trail mix to a variety of cookies and crisps.
Here I sit with incredibly fast Wifi (good enough to download Dr Who Season 8 which I haven’t seen in less than 30 minutes) and a full view of one of the jet ways. I now know that SEATAC paints cross bars perpendicular to the pull-in line clearly labeled for each make of aircraft. Makes positioning properly for fast hook ups that much easier.
My flight is at 1340 if everything is on time. I arrive in the morning which means technically it takes 3 days to get home…..
Which should give you the basic idea that it is not as simple as it sounds. Today is the last day of WorldCon. Noah and I helped set up Registration this morning. It was quickly obvious that we had more people than we needed. There wasn’t anything on the program that really caught my attention so we headed back to the Staff Den and pitched in.
Several dozen scrubbed pans later, Noah moved his hands from the dish water and pitched in on packing. I turned in my towel (hand, bath, whatever was available for the moment) and helped first with the breakfast, then lunch set up. With a flight earlier than his – I headed to the airport about noon, willing to be bored there rather than at the hotel given that there was a “business center” where I could sit out of traffic, relax and use the free wifi.
The smoke from the forest fires has played havoc on air transportation in the region. Added to the runway maintenance under way in Seattle it meant that flights were a bit delayed. Once again I was impressed by Alaska. They are organized, rapid loading of plane and we actually made up time on the way to Seattle. Even more amazing was the fact that passengers actually let those who had short connections off first. Seriously – the average plane has everyone pushing and shoving to get off. Here – people who had longer connections or were local waited till those who were panicked looking were off the plane and on their way.
Picked up my bag, headed to the van area, handed the driver the luggage and got on the van. 20 minutes later I was in bed and heading for slumber.
I have mentioned before that the Hugo’s were going to be interesting this year. (the final list is here)A controversy exploded fueled by a couple of groups who felt that the Hugo’s were being nominated and rammed through the system by “persons with agendas.”
From my point of view, I can respect the opinions of anyone who wants to write/read a certain kind of science fiction/fantasy. What I can’t respect is an unwillingness to allow others the same choice.
In reality, science fiction/fantasy is no longer the bastion of the geeky guy with “no one with cooties allowed.” The first changes literally to the face of SciFi weren’t recognized by many. They started in 1975 with the publication of Ursula Le Guin’s “The Left Hand of Darkness” which deliberately dealt with the issues of gender identification and conflict of cultures.
Since then, women have become increasingly both fans and authors. It isn’t just vampires and it is not romance. Both fantasy and hard science fiction have expanded beyond being the bastion of white males. Personally, I like having a variety of authors and perspectives from which to chose. Not everyone feels the same way and let us just leave it at that. The end result this year is that there were categories in which the nominations had been “stuffed” but when it came to the final vote, many of those entries just weren’t high enough quality to win.
Back to Discworld
Death today –
One of the Wee Free Men got loose
and finally – the sign in front of some of the most fantastic hats I have seen in a long time….
For those of you who don’t know anything about science fiction – Sir Terry Pratchett, the author of the Discworld series, died in March of this year. Not old at all he was 66. Pratchett had early onset Alzheimers. He was very open about it, made a lot of appearances and campaigned for research. The Wiki is quite good, accurate and avoids being overly fawning. I had the privilege of meeting Sir Terry at Glasgow in 2005. Unlike a certain number of authors, he was an incredibly nice human being.
One of our community (John Kentner) is in the process of producing a film which he has funded through Kickstarter to document the effect that Pratchett and Discworld have had on people’s lives.
The Discworld Exhibit is in the main hall:
For the Librarians (Yes, Pat, Ann, Linda – I do mean you….)
Outside of the Exhibit – I found
And posted at all outside doors…
Our evening ended with the Masquerade and a concert by Tom Smith. I didn’t last till the award presentations. 2300+ is way past my bedtime on any continent.
This morning wasn’t as insane as yesterday. We had the line cleared out by about 1100 which meant breaks were possible. I did some wandering around. No shopping and and a lot of people watching.
It was also the main day for big campaigns. Voting for the 2017 location closes 1800 tomorrow. DC in 2107 is pushing hard and had a BBQ lunch on offer. Not only did they have drinks and munchies, but they also had burgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs and items for the gluten free crowd. It was also nice to get out of the building for a short time if not to breath the smoky air.
Tomorrow I am going to bring a camera. That way I can share both costumes and the Discworld Exhibit.
We are not all that far from the wildfires. I think most of us could give up the spectacular sunrises and sunsets in favor of thousands less burning acres of land and forest.
As this is the opening day of the Con, we expected a large number of people to show up at reg to claim their badges.
And we got hammered. The line was there at the 0900 start and it took until about 1500 before the insanity stopped. Over 2400 picked up their badges, including new registrants. With mostly six but sometimes eight computers up, it was a lot of people standing in front of me. Someone who is pre-registered takes almost no time unless they want to update everything we have on them. But a new registration requires data entry and money collection. And that takes more than a minutes or two.
But I have to admit, this is the way I get to see Mike Resnick, Connie Willis, P.C. Hodgell, Larry Niven, Michelle Sagara, Brandon Sanderson and a host of other authors. Yes, everyone stands in line to pick up their badges. Famous authors, not so famous scribblers, artists, normal fans, lots of kids-in-tow and the occasional stuffed toy.