Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Warning: Adult Content!

Once again I was off to Seattle. Once again via Boston. JetBlue's terminal at Logan is not the best in terms of food choice. This is the receipt from my lunch (it was late) there. Kind of unappealing-sounding menu selections here, huh? I imagine O Rings are kind of chewy. They probably have little flavor, but certainly more flavor than a No Flavor food item would. I downed my O Rings and No Flavor and hopped aboard JetBlue for the next leg of my journey.

Here is my plane.

No wait. Here is my plane.

No wait. Here is my plane.

No wait. Here is my plane. Or the back end part of it.

Once I landed in Seattle, I went to the Seattle Grand Hyatt. I really like staying in the Hyatt. Go figure. Trying to take pictures without the flash kind of messed up the white balance here. Things weren't this yellow.

I believe this is the first room I've stayed in that had a flat-panel TV instead of a CRT.

I never sat in this chair once, but here it is.

Here is the desk in the room. The color is a little more normal in this picture.

As it is in this picture of the hall.

Which, of course, leads to the magnificent bathroom.

With the most dramatically lit toilet of any hotel anywhere.

And of course the shower with the all glass doors.

I've taken pictures of these buildings before. This is a tall building with a flag on it.

The tall building with the flag on it at night.

The shiny building during the day.

And the shiny building at night.

I wasn't in Seattle just to take pictures of tall buildings. I also helped support the TechReady event here.

I was not here for geocaching. Although you'll never guess what I found somewhere around this sign. Just as the person who hung the sign probably never imagined somebody would be taking a picture of it.

That sign is close to this park, which is actually just outside the registration area in the convention center. While I didn't see anybody taking a picture of the sign, right after I took this picture a guy lined it up in his camera phone. Just like the tables at the convention center in Atlanta, somebody is deciding to take the same picture I am taking.

The park here has a fountain. I took a picture of it. Guess what the guy with the camera phone did. If you guessed took the same picture, that would be correct. That's OK. There's at least one picture in this blog I'm almost positive nobody else has taken. I'll leave it up to you to guess which.

I wasn't in Seattle long. I decided to skip the last client-provided supper and head downtown to eat in a restaurant instead. This was the view outside. It wasn't quite this dark; the glass was tinted.

This mermaid had a spectacular view of my shin while I ate dinner. Maybe she is hungry.

Before I left Seattle again, I had to get a picture of Sylvester. This is an actually-factually dried-up dead dude.

And of course to his right is Sylvia. Sylvia is not quite as well preserved as Sylvester, but she is just as dead.

On the way back from the mummies, I saw this train rumbling on down by the waterfront.

And here is a closer look.

With dinner and the mummy visitation down, I was off the next day to visit my brother. I flew Alaska Airlines down from Seattle to San Jose, where he lives. The United plane is not my plane.

Closer. Right parent airline, but this is not my plane.

This is an Alaska Airlines jet, so we are getting closer, but it is not my plane.

This . . . this is my plane. I call it the Tinkerplane.

These two were waiting on the Tinkerplane. The stewardess--er, female flight attendant, may have been thinking, "They call me Miss-es Tinkerplane. That's how I got to get my name. They call me Miss-es Tinkerplane. So come along and play my game." Even if she wasn't, those were the lyrics running through my head. Fans of Ozzy will understand. Others--probably not so much.

And here's the picture I'm pretty sure nobody else has taken before. It's a picture of me, nekkid as the day I was born (but considerably larger), in the shower with the clear glass walls, taking a shower! Or at least in a shower-like pose, waiting for the flash to go off. So now there is a picture of me naked on the Internet. But it is OK because it is art. Besides, I warned everybody that this blog entry contained adult content!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 

Category: Life

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My Cousin's Wedding

My cousin Dorlisa got married the weekend after I got back from Atlanta.

My cousin and her new husband Don, clearly amused by something to their left.

There was food.

And cake.

And candles.

And geocaching. Well. Not at the wedding. That's what I did after. Unfortunately, this is how I found this cache. I rehid it somewhere else. Hopefully it will be around for a bit longer. Some people just don't have much regard for anything but themselves.

Saturday, July 19, 2008 

Category: Life

Thursday, July 17, 2008

This is CNN . . . Center

Wow. I think the only thing further behind than my blogging is my expense reporting for these trips. Hmm. I'm gonna have to fix that tomorrow. Pictured here is architecture in Atlanta's rail transit system, called MARTA. I took MARTA from the airport to CNN Center since it was basically point-to-point.

I guess this says "take mass transit"? I received helpful suggestions from several MARTA employees who saw me toting my suitcase around. They really could not have been more helpful. I enjoyed taking the train instead of a taxi for a change. I arrived in the middle of the day when there were plenty of trains running and it wasn't that far. I did have to transfer once though. And yeah, on the return trip, there was a random crazy person having a very agitated and occasionally profane conversation with himself. My brother was in Atlanta the following week. He didn't like taking the MARTA. But he arrived late, and there weren't many trains running. Taxi is probably the way to go after rush hour.

The Georgia World Congress Center, site of the Microsoft event I was in town to work on. I thought it was a nice facility.

This is an external shot of the Omni Hotel at CNN Center. Those black squares are missing windows. One of the guys on the glass repair crew said they would be there through December.

The Omni to the left, and CNN headquarters center. Philips Arena is on the right.


Behind me was the Georgia Dome. Its web site claims it is the largest cable-supported dome in the world. I didn't go inside it on this trip.

I walked in the door and asked the security guard where the registration area was. He pointed to this giant banner and said "over there." Right . . . .

Here's a picture of the registration area. There were words on all of the lighted headers, but you can only make out part of the words on the one on the far left. The rest were washed out by the light in the picture.

This was my first trip to Atlanta and the first time I stayed in the Omni Hotel. So that means new hotel room pictures!

My room at the Omni. Kind of an ordinary room, but very nicely decorated.

Back towards the door.

Of course, the beds don't stay that way.

A mighty stack of pillows.

The desk and chair.

A picture of the bathroom.

Out of my window to the right, I had a (very low) view of the atrium in CNN Center. At the right you can see the top of the highest free-standing escalator in the United States--or maybe the world, I forget.

And this was the view out of my window to the left.

Dinner for you . . .

. . . and a few thousand of your closest friends. I wasn't the only person who thought this was picture-worthy. I took this picture on my way to breakfast, and on the way back, I saw another guy taking a picture with his cell phone camera.

This is the view of the window right outside my room. In it you can see one of the rigs used by the guys who were repairing the glass.

And this is looking down. Unbelievably, construction crews started using a jackhammer every night at midnight when I was there! The first night it went on for about an hour. It was unreal.

A view of Atlanta at night from a window in the hotel (not my room).

A close-up of Coke HQ.

A view of the Atlanta skyline from a different window in the hotel. A corner of Centennial Park is in the foreground.

You can't see it in those other photos, but there is still plenty of evidence of damage from the tornado that went through downtown Atlanta earlier this year. I don't know what building this is.

The Westin (center) had its fair share of damage, too.

CNN Studio Tour Ticket
I had a few hours to kill before my flight so I went on the CNN Studio Tour.

CNN Studio Tour Pass
Apart from learning that the escalator was the tallest free-standing escalator, I learned that the studio occupies space formerly occupied by the briefly-lived theme park (The World of Sid and Marty Krofft) based on Sid & Marty Krofft's characters. Other than that, I didn't find the tour that informative. I guess maybe it's because it's not the first time I've been in a TV studio. But really, what you can see in the background on CNN newscasts is what is there. I think if you've watched CNN enough, you've seen snippets of everything you'd see on the tour. I think I would rather have gone to the theme park.

This is CNN . . . Center.

An entrance to Centennial Park.

OK. Centennial Olympic Park.

Microsoft had closed the park the day before for a private event, disturbing some local homeless people, or so I heard.

This is a great law. Unfortunately it didn't keep a young guy coming up to me and asking me if I wanted to buy magazine subscriptions for his school. I dismissed him curtly, as I was busy.

Busy doing what? Silly question. Geocaching, of course. Actually, I had messed up a tiny cache and was trying to repair it without destroying it when he decided to come up to me and bother me. And I was running out of time to go catch my plane. I tried to find a multistage cache in the park, too, but ran out of time and had to leave it unfinished. I also had a guy move in to try to steal my laptop while I was searching. Sigh. So if you don't mind the panhandlers and thieves (at around four in the afternoon on a weekday, mind you), Centennial Park is a nice park I guess.

A picture of the moon from Dulles airport, when I arrived home. This is about the best my camera can do.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 

Category: Life