Eastern Europe

Sep. 23rd, 2017 04:46 pm
vango: (Europe)
[personal profile] vango
This trip has been a long time coming. We learned about a cruise on the Emerald Belle from an email in November of 2015 and immediately signed up. Since the river cruises are less than 200 passengers they sell out quickly. The cruise was planned for October of 2016 sailing from Budapest to Bucharest on the Danube but it wasn't to be. The Belle was a brand new ship to be launched in April of 2016 and we would be sailing on it at the end of their first season. In February before the ship was completed it burned in the shipyard. A wielder's spark set the interior alight and the fire suppression systems hadn't been connected. The ship was a total loss. The ship company arranged for a different ship for the cruise but it wasn't available at the same time. The rescheduled cruise was 2 weeks later and everyone who had work commitments had canceled so the cruise was canceled.

RSVP Vacations is a travel company from Minneapolis specializing in gay travel. They started in the 1980s by leasing ocean going vessels for a Caribbean cruise. We have sailed with the company over a half dozen times. The difference between RSVP and other cruising offers is that the company leases the entire ship instead of a block of rooms.

We jumped at the offer when it came for the October 2017 sailing on the Danube. As we made plans more things came up for us to add to this trip and it ended up being a month long. Our travel agent was patient with us and the arrangements all got made.

We would be sailing out of Budapest and while researching the city Ron discovered that the Budapest bears where having a weekend even just before we sailed. We looked into apartments for the week in Budapest. Since we had an apartment with plenty of room we invited our friend Jeff to join us in Budapest. He cashed in airline miles and made his arrangement.

Years ago we had used a travel company called Mir. We have been periodically looking at their offerings. Mir specializes in Russian and Eastern Europe. The tour of Ukraine caught my eye and we added “The Essential Ukraine” on our trip. This stretched the trip to a month visiting four new countries where we have traveled.

getting ready to travel

Sep. 23rd, 2017 04:26 pm
vango: (Europe)
[personal profile] vango
The bags are mostly packed. The ride to the airport is arranged. The tickets are purchased. I guess we will go. We are headed off tomorrow for London then on to Vienna for the night.

Am I ready? Well, I'm not certain. I think I will be in a better mood when we are in the air.

SO . . . Please join us for an Eastern Europe adventure.

(no subject)

Sep. 23rd, 2017 12:33 am
pink_halen: (Default)
[personal profile] pink_halen
We are getting ready to travel again. We have a month long trip planned starting Sunday.

For those of you reading on Dreamwidth you need to add vango.dreamwidth.org to your circle.

If you still read on LiveJournal the messages will be crossposted there.

Red hair, blonde roots....

Sep. 22nd, 2017 12:15 am
osodecanela: (Default)
[personal profile] osodecanela
I'm finally not miserable after 4 days. I wanted to kick myself for forgetting limitations, but then my ankles, particularly the left one, was too sore to do so.

Twenty-five years of an inflammatory arthritis left me with some resulting joint damage that even though the inflammation is gone, I still need to remember there are limits to what I can do. Tuesday I was faced with painting some paneling with polyurethane & the only pair of shoes I had that I didn't care if they got ruined was a pair of water shoes. Basically rubberized this soles attached to synthetic socks. No padding to speak of.

At the time I felt fine. I hadn't intended to keep wearing them, but I got distracted with the work on the remodel that was needed. Two crew people expected hadn't shown that morning and there's much to get done with the garage remodel before the rains come. What I thought would be 30-45 minutes with them on stretched to 6 or so hours over half of which was in the garage itself, on a cement slab.

What the hell was I thinking?

Point is I wasn't thinking. I wasn't in pain to start & by the time I began to notice my left ankle was bothering me, the insult had been done. Tuesday night it hurt to walk or stand.

I awoke at 6 Wednesday morning, bladder insisting i needed to trot down the hall. I stood up and down immediately had to sit my butt back down. Both ankles hurt laterally, but I was having trouble trying to bear weight on the left, it hurt so bad. My ankles weren't warm or swollen, they were sore. It was minimal until I tried to stand up and then I almost went down. My bladder then reminded me if I didn't attend to it's needs, i would shortly be peeing on the carpet.

Celebrex, Tylenol and a Norco left over from dental work 6 years ago was the only way I made it thru the day. I was improved by 50% this morning, finally tonight, I'm aware of my ankles, but able to get around with just the Celebrex.

The right shoes make a tremendous difference. Brooks makes running shoes specifically for people who pronate their feet. These are the only running shoes I use. The moment I put the on, if I'm hurting, the pain is immediately reduced. Between adequate cushioning (aka shock absorbtion) and the support changing the position of my foot for the better, off loading much of the stress on the lateral ankles in particular. They are game changers.

I'm surprised I'm feeling as good as I do right now given what I did to my myself Tuesday. Need the remember to engage the brain, before I put the feet in gear again.

Do Re Me

Sep. 21st, 2017 04:48 pm

Another in the Music Series.

Sep. 20th, 2017 09:32 pm
pink_halen: (Default)
[personal profile] pink_halen
This is how you get a Head.

You may ask

Same as it ever was!

Aye Matey!

Sep. 19th, 2017 08:23 pm
pink_halen: (Default)
[personal profile] pink_halen
Avast. Did Ye know September 19th is Talk Like A Pirate Day?

We Pirates are getting Old so Consult this Aye Chart to see if ye still has it!


Help out Allen

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:40 pm

Nature's Lace

Sep. 16th, 2017 09:02 am
pink_halen: (Default)
[personal profile] pink_halen
It was a cool foggy morning when I went on a photography tour of Venice. I was grateful to have someone who knew where photogenic places were and wouldn't get lot which I had earlier in the week. This photo was taken at the Church of San Francisco (Chiesa di San Francesco della Vigna).

I have been fortunate to travel many places. Some of the places have been interesting while others have been spectacular. We visited some at just the right time. Now those places are in conflict or not safe to visit. Turkey is in turmoil. Egypt is dangerous. We saw Tunis before terrorists shot up the Bardo Museum. We visited Russia at a time when the US was less at odds with Moscow.

I wish all the places were as peaceful as this cloister in Venice.

I have to agree.

Sep. 15th, 2017 02:14 pm
pink_halen: (Default)
[personal profile] pink_halen
ON THE MENU. Anthony Bourdain said his menu for a peace summit between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump would include hemlock.

The Sundial as a design element.

Sep. 14th, 2017 05:17 pm
pink_halen: (Default)
[personal profile] pink_halen
Do you remember when buildings had lots of classical elements?
The Sundial a wonderful decoration. It made blank walls have interest.

Built in 1885, Emerson is the oldest remaining elementary school building in Denver. It was designed by Colorado’s first master architect, Robert Roeschlaub, who became well known for his designs for educational institutions. It was the first Denver school to incorporate space for an in-house library and had the first PTA in the Denver district, as well as the first student council. The Emerson School served as a Denver public school for nearly 100 years, finally closing in 1979.

Source: http://www.westword.com/news/restoration-of-historic-emerson-school-nears-completion-8752869


Sep. 12th, 2017 01:26 pm
furr_a_bruin: (RayBall)
[personal profile] furr_a_bruin
...all hail the trail marker light! [grin]

What I mean is this; the design I came up with years ago (shown here) has become untenable. It takes a fair bit of dexterity and practice to put them together and even then, it takes a while. Given all the other tasks I've taken on at Badger Flat, I've been looking for ways to simplify and speed up what I have to do there - and the process of putting together SIXTY of these things was an obvious place to look.

The new trail marker lights will be based on these vertical CR2032 holders. I'm currently thinking of adding a small resistor to even out the light delivery - the LEDs will be a bit dimmer at first, but not burning so much energy in the first day or so will mean they'll be brighter toward the end of the run. Same LEDs, same CR2032 cell - just a different, more efficient way of putting them together at the run. And I've been able to order them through AliExpress for the insanely cheap price of 9¢ each - and while that IS a bit more than cost of the binder clip plus bingo chips, the convenience at the run site is well worth the price of the upgrade; I bought 200, so I'll have plenty even if I do lose a few to curiosity next year. The resistors are cheap; I'll have to check and see if I still have a record of what resistance I found best back when I was thinking of replacing a leg of the LED with a resistor; I might have to re-do some of my testing if I can't find that info, though as I recall - it was the smallest resistance I used that worked out the best in terms of having a similar brightness but still evening it out over time.

I also realized that I can use glue dots to stick the "warning" note to the cell holder, and the cell holder to the inside of the little zip-closure plastic bag so the LED is always properly aligned; then all I have to do on-site for assembly is pop in the CR2032 cell and seal the bag! (I actually did consider the idea of a switch so the cells could be pre-loaded... but that adds unnecessary cost and complexity.) I might consider the idea of using a plastic isolation tab like we often see in electronics that are delivered with a battery pre-installed; that would mean just yank the tab and seal the bag - I'll have to see how difficult it is to pop the cell into the holder when it's in the bag already.

While discussing this with someone who often helps me retrieve the trail marker lights at the end of the run, I had the idea that I needed something to make them more visible in the daytime - as the light which is helpful at night simply can't compete with ol' Sol when he's up and around. Given the nature of the event and my own club affiliation, the solution was obvious - rainbow ribbon! I figure a swatch of about 4" cross-wise on the tree with the light pinned to the middle should make them a LOT easier to see and retrieve. I was originally thinking of doing something to avoid fraying of the ribbon... but considering that a lot of the pieces will probably have to be discarded due to tree sap, I don't see the point in putting a lot of extra work into a chunk of ribbon. This is another item I'm getting insanely cheap direct from China - $10.50 for a fifty yard roll of 7/8" wide ribbon; I found a 20 yard roll of 5/8" ribbon on Amazon for $11.90, for comparison. And yes, having to fiddle with the ribbon will add a bit of time to putting up the lights - but sometimes I get REALLY stressed out about finding the last few lights and spend way too much time on that; having something that makes that process go faster is worth a little extra time on the installation side.

Needless to say - once I get the parts and know what resistor value I need and so on, I'll be posting again about the new Version 3 Trail Marker Light. ;)


Sep. 12th, 2017 02:45 pm
pink_halen: (Default)
[personal profile] pink_halen
Sometimes it just doesn't make any sense.


Sep. 11th, 2017 02:03 pm
pink_halen: (Default)
[personal profile] pink_halen
It seems that Starbucks is offering sandwiches with Cage Free Egg Whites. Personally, I never keep my egg whites in cages. Usually keeping them in their shells works just fine.
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