Archive for January, 2011

Anything worth doing is worth overdoing

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Or, as the MTV tagline used to have it, “Too much is never enough.”

Via Neatorama.

Dietary dangers

Monday, January 17th, 2011

I was not aware that pistachios are hazardous materials. Much more impressive than the rumors about Pop Rocks.

At least they aren’t poisonous.

Reconnecting with Connections

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

I loved Connections when it was first broadcast. It was a fascinating show. A few years ago, I discovered that the downtown location of the Denver Public Library had a set of the VHS tapes of the shows, but I never got around to checking them out.

Now I don’t have to.

Didn’t I see Jimmy Cagney do this in a movie once?

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Fresh bulb lilycelery west fruit in eyes.

The (lack of) smell of death

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

This doesn’t bode well for me and my abysmal sense of smell.

Now I’m unpacked

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Lost Luggage

My luggage was delivered to my home Wednesday evening. Ten days after the flight. I’m just glad it was the return trip – if it had happened on the trip out, I’d have gone from Cairo to Aswan to Kom Ombo to Luxor to Cairo to Mt. Sinai to Nuweiba without my luggage. I’d also have been down to one working camera, since the charger for my Canon was in the checked bag – there was a limited amount of room in the backpack I used for my carryon.

The expensive souvenirs (as well as some I really didn’t care if I saw again or not – it’s an embarrassing story) were in the checked bag. They were still there, which is good, because one entire side of the bag was torn out at the seam between the side and the bottom. I’m not blaming Lufthansa for that, because it was a cheap bag I picked up in Cairo. Marion and I both started the trip with Jeep duffel bags that turned out to be a bit small. Mine tore out more quickly than hers, so I replaced it in Cairo the second time we were there. I bought two duffel bags (one large, one small) from a street kiosk. They both had Adidas logos, but were counterfeits. The large bag had an “H. N.” logo on the zipper pulls, and the small bag had “Diesel” zipper pulls. Together, they cost about 110LE (Egyptian pounds, about $19US). They got me through the end of the trip, so I’m fine with it.

I’m glad the expensive souvenirs made it. I’d have been disappointed if they hadn’t – I had two tins of Jordanian baked treats (pistachio mamoul and some pistachio/sesame/peanut things) that cost 26JD in Amman (Jordanian dinar – about $37US) that would cost me over $100 to replace via the web. They’re quite tasty – I may have to see about making some once I run out.

The cartoon at the top of the post was given to me by my boss; she’d been given it by friends who’d been told about my missing bag.

I’m back

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

I went away over Christmas. Marion and I took a two-week adventure travel tour, and we got back yesterday evening. Unfortunately, my checked luggage didn’t make it back with me. I’m hoping to get some word about what happened to it beyond what I was able to find out before I left the airport (which was, “It was loaded onto the airplane in Amman.”) I’ve had no luck so far, though – the tracking website just has the information I gave them about the missing luggage, and the phone number they gave me doesn’t appear to be answered by anything other than a recording machine. It may be a long time before I can say that I’ve unpacked after my trip.

Overall, I liked Jordan better than Egypt, even though there was more to see in Egypt. They were both pretty dry and dusty, but Jordan was cleaner, and traffic wasn’t insane. And by insane, I mean that in Egypt, particularly Cairo, traffic laws appeared to be an unknown concept. Getting to the hotel the first night, our van was in one of five lanes of traffic (on a road with three lanes marked), with motorcycles moving in whatever spaces they could find between vehicles. Traffic lights appeared to be ignored unless a policeman was present, and pedestrians had to be pretty bold.

Traffic and general cleanliness aside, it was a good trip, but there were problems. I think everybody on the trip came down with traveler’s trots, and we had one full-blown case of dysentery that required hospitalization. My own digestive problems weren’t all that serious, but they came late in the trip, and I just got more-or-less over them right as the tour ended. I also came down with something flu-like right at the end, which gave me problems on the flight home and is still affecting me.

The monuments and ruins we saw were impressive, and I’m glad I got to see them. Abu Simbel particularly impressed me, not so much because of the size of the monument itself, which is pretty damned amazing, but because of the magnitude of the effort required to save it from the rising waters of Lake Nasser.

Petra was also impressive. The whole site is about 265 square kilometers in size, and it’s only about 30% catalogued. Our guide told us that we walked about 18 kilometers (and went up and down about 800 meters vertically) the day we spent there.

Anyway, more to come later.