Archive for the 'Travel' Category

DefCon 15 Review

Monday, August 6th, 2007

While larger, the crowd has really changed. DefCon, overall, was much more subdued than in years past. To some degree, this was a necessity for DefCon to continue as some aspects were a out of control. For sure, money came and went from the scene, but it was still striking how the cDc’s presentation went from being nearly a rock concert to “hi, I’m with Cult of the Dead Cow. Here’s our presentation.”

There were also more women. Some of this is attributed us guys getting older and bringing significant others, but there were also quite a few women attending the show on their own. More power to you all. Bring your friends.

Overbooking Airlines Caught with Pants Down

Saturday, December 23rd, 2006

Denver is currently experiencing a severe snowstorm. 2,000 flights have been cancelled in the last four days. With that many postponements and passengers sleeping on the airport floor that all flights would be full. To see who overbooks and who doesn’t, I tried to buy a ticket flying from Denver today. Well, if you are [...]

I Watched a Space Shuttle Launch

Wednesday, July 5th, 2006

I went to Cape Canaveral with a few friends. We figure there are only a few more shuttle launches left and the timing worked out well where we could take off a few days and be able to wait it out of there we any delays. As it turned out, there were several, but we [...]

When is the Georgia Aquarium *not* busy?

Friday, February 17th, 2006

I played with the reservation system on the Georgia Aquarium’s web site today and saw some useful patterns.

My initial purpose was to determine when the least busy times were for people to visit so that they could avoid the large crowds I have heard about.

As expected, weekends are very busy. In fact, the Aquarium has no tickets available for the next two weekends and is half sold for the weekend after that. Rush hour is a good time to go. Pretty much anytime during the week after 3pm is decent since all the kids are back at school.

First Impressions of Georgia Aquarium

Sunday, January 29th, 2006

I went to the Georgia Aquarium for the first time. I mostly decided to take a break from work to decompress (sorry, bad SCUBA diver joke). I really enjoyed the coral tank and could sit there for an hour. They have a very large deep-sea tank with a 100-foot long tunnel underneath it. The displays are designed so that you can get up very close to the fish

High Power Rocket Launch

Sunday, July 10th, 2005

This weekend’s fun was attending a high-powered model rocket launch, sponsored by Huntsville Area Rocketry Association. They got permission to use a huge sod farm for their launch, plus a waiver from the FAA for flights up to 12,000 feet.

Got Another Postcard from Rome

Thursday, July 7th, 2005

During my recent trip to Italy, I mailed myself some postcards. This one arrived from Rome. It took 23 days to get here.

Public Transportation in Italy

Friday, July 1st, 2005

Italy’s public transportation system is pretty good. If you travel to Italy, Rome in particular, I suggest you find out as much about the transit system as you can in advance. There seemed to be few signs, pamphlets, etc. that explained how things worked. The in-town train was a lot like the system in New York. It ran on-time most of the time, was jam packed with people, and had lots of graffiti.

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.”


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