Friday, November 30, 2007


That's International First Lounge, of course. I managed to snag an upgrade to First for today's trip, so my first ever international first-class trip starts off not with the Red Carpet Club, but with the IFL. So far, the advantages seem to be:

  • Better food. They even have Cherry Coke!
  • Better service. While I was getting the better food, a guy came up to me and made sure I had seen the tiny vials of soy sauce that went with the sushi.
  • Free wireless access. It's kind of funny, given how much people are paying for some of these tickets compared to the cost of wireless access, but this may be my favorite feature.
  • Isolation. There are about 100 chairs in here, and I think 3 or 4 passengers. On second thought, this may be my favorite part. :-)

Given the parts of this that I'm enjoying, my suspicions that I'm not high-class enough to partake of this on a regular basis are being confirmed. Just as well, as I'll probably be "stuck" in business class on the return flights. (Cough.)

Saturday, November 24, 2007


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The green paths represent where we went this week in Puerto Rico. We took the GPS because it turns out that its North America coverage includes Puerto Rico. It also turns out that the GPS doesn't speak Spanish as well as it thinks. On our first full day, it took us down a one-way street in Ponce. Still, it made it very easy whenever we needed to get back to the hotel.

Monday, November 19, 2007

EuroQuest 2007 Redux

EuroQuest 2007
Originally uploaded by Eric E Haas
Greetings from sunny (and rainy) Puerto Rico.

Eric Haas left a comment on my previous post mentioning that there was, in fact, a picture of us playing Imperial.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

EuroQuest 2007

EuroQuest 2007
Originally uploaded by Eric E Haas
Last Friday, Ben, Martin and I went to EuroQuest. I had gone last year as well, you'll recall. Despite the fact that EuroQuest allows us to play games we don't normally play with new and different people, the one picture of us that ended up on Flickr involved us playing a game that we've played dozens of times by ourselves.

I posted a few more to Picasaweb, below.

Euroquest 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

Jazz Fest Hat


I wore my Jazz Fest hat to the Redskins game today. It's not my lucky hat or can see that from the outcome of the game. But I sure have worn it to a lot of places. Since I'm not sleeping right now, I thought I'd post a collage of the hat throughout the past few years. This is a 2001 Jazz Fest hat...I have a more recent, undated one, but I've tried to stick to my favorite. The pictures are from:

  • Cancun
  • A ferry in Australia
  • Great Barrier Reef
  • College Park, MD
  • Ferry to Ellis Island
  • Tucson, AZ
  • San Diego
  • Washington, DC
  • Blenheim Palace, UK
  • La Jolla Cove

...and then they repeat. For the past couple of years, the hat has the added benefit that I can feel like I'm showing solidarity with the people of New Orleans by wearing it.
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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Geocaching Update: Different Kinds of Caches recognizes 12 different types of caches. Almost all of the ones I find are "traditional caches" -- that covers everything from tupperware in the woods to film canisters hidden under lampposts. These past two weekends, I found two types of caches I hadn't found before.

The first is a "virtual cache". The one I found was in Silver Spring. Christina and I had a number of errands to run there, so we took a nice walk to this cache, followed by a dinner of Ethiopian food. Virtual caches were good for urban locations where it was hard to hide a traditional cache. I use the past tense, because they have been discontinued. To a certain extent, they were discontinued to encourage people to use waymarks, which are similar. On the other hand, waymarks are generally things you see on the site ahead of time, whereas virtual geocaches bring you to an interesting place that you generally don't know about until you reach the coordinates. Still, it doesn't make a lot of sense to have a "virtual cache", so the only ones around are those which have been grandfathered in.

Another type of cache is the "event cache". Really, this isn't exactly a "cache" -- it's an event. On the other hand, it has coordinates -- and you can put stuff there, which puts it a step ahead of the virtual cache. The event cache I attended was a 15 minute event in Columbia. It was part of a worldwide series of "flash mobs" organized by a geocaching podcast. In the picture (taken by an attendee), I'm the guy in the foreground in the black jacket and jeans. The event was mildly amusing -- someone handed out Hershey kisses, and there was a prize drawing. Apparently the Howard County police showed up to see what was going's sort of sad that a gathering of about 40 people in Columbia is such a shocking occurrence.

Meanwhile, my coins continue to march across Europe.

Coin #1 has crossed the Severn River into Wales. Coin #2 continues its apparent progress towards Prague. I thought they might at least head towards the States sooner...#1 is in what appears to be a difficult cache, so it may stay there for a while... I bought a few more coins on-line that I'll be releasing soon, since this has been fun.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

After The Fire

I made it to San Diego Monday night, a week after I planned to be here. Things were in an upheaval last week due to all the wildfires, and my trip got postponed. Other than smelling smoke on Tuesday (and to be fair that might have been the restaurant), I only saw one aftereffect...I had quite a time finding a parking space at my hotel because of all the fire vehicles from far and wide (Chico is the one that sticks in my memory) parked there. Tuesday morning, there was a meeting of uniformed fire officials in one of the hotel conference rooms, and fire fighters were all over the breakfast area. Tuesday evening, they all had moved on, and the hotel was fairly empty today.

The Web A to Z, Revisited

About three and a half years ago, I published a post listing which web sites my browser suggested when I typed each letter. Let's see how things have changed (or not).

How have things changed? Well, this time, I did the check during football season, so more Redskins stuff than just their site popped up. Also, I read a lot of content through Google Reader, so a number of sites don't pop up because I view their "feeds" more than the site itself. Ironically, Talking Points Memo, another one of the holdovers, appears there because I don't read its feed. I find it too hard to keep up with, but sometimes when I've cleared out the stuff in Google Reader, I head over there to see if there's anything interesting.

The Prince George's library system is another keeper, though they've changed letters. The fourth repeat site was United, so I guess I'm still flying too much.

This time, a lot of sites appeared with letters other than their main name. In particular, Google appears to own me. I can see some new interests I've developed in the past few years -- go, geocaching, buying meat directly from farms, and Netflix.

Hmm. Kind of interesting, but three and a half years seems about right.