Archive for June, 2005

First Postcard From Italy

Tuesday, June 28th, 2005

I mailed myself a postcard each time I sent other people a postcard, that way I could guage the amount of time it took for delivery. This one is the first. It is from Vatican City.

Landing in Italy

Sunday, June 26th, 2005

After we got off our plane, we stood in a huge mob of people for “passport control.” When I got to the booth, I handed the agent my passport. She spent, maybe, 400 milliseconds looking at the photo, putting a worn out stamp in it and handing it back to me. She gave me the impression that stamping passports all day was as silly and annoying to her as standing in line was to us. As you walk down the Customs corridor there is a partition dividing the walk way. A sign above one side says “Items to declare” and the other says “Nothing to declare.” I have no idea if I have to declare anything or not, but it does not matter. Both sides lead to the same hallway. People went through both sides without stopping and the two men in uniform just stood there with a dull expression on their face that said, “Oh, God, I hope none of these people are stupid enough to declare something. I might have to do paperwork.”

Flying to Italy

Friday, June 24th, 2005

I just got back from two weeks vacationing (and a little working) in Italy. This was my first trip out of the country, so I’m back fresh with “gee, that’s different” ideas. My overall impression of Italy is that it is a lot like California. When you land, it looks a lot like California. Most [...]

Post Office Charges a Penny

Sunday, June 19th, 2005

Credit card companies charge merchants a series of fees for each transaction, that’s how they make their money. Because consumers demand to pay with credit cards, and because consumers are likely to spend more money, merchants are happy to pay a monthly connection charge, a fee around $0.35 per transaction, plus a percentage of the [...]

Pictures of Mail Order Camera Stores

Thursday, June 2nd, 2005

Someone posted a site with a bunch of photos of the shady camera stores that advertise on the Internet and in the back of camera magazines.


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