Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Let's recap, shall we?

Over the last year or so I've scrimped and saved, and then, after my not-really-unexpected windfall at Christmas, splurged, in an effort to turn my palatial imitation apartment* into something that looks like it belongs to an adult and not a college freshman. So, let's see what I've accomplished and what's left.

-New couch: technically it's a "love seat," but it's as big as a couch.
-New bed: a real bed, it cannot be folded up into anything else.
-New mattress: it's a top of the line futon style one, but that's what my back likes.
-New shelving units: they are the cheap "build yourself" type, but they're an improvement.
-New receiver: hey, a stereo upgrade is still an upgrade!
-New PS3: I need my games, and, a big "sorry about that" to those who went for HD-DVD.

From the "addition by subtraction" category:

-My two HUGE crappy/ugly CD racks have been replaced leather CD books that fit on a shelf.
-My old futon and mattress are now in my brother's basement and I have more storage room.
-My closet now has plenty of room in it.

Still to do:

-A table and two chairs for the kitchen.
-A movable island/counter for the kitchen.

These items have been located, I just need to wait until I'm back from vacation to make the trip to IKEA to get them.

*bonus points to anyone who can identify the source of that quote.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I've tried to remain somewhat calm about my impending trip to Scotland, but with less than two weeks to go I can no longer contain myself! So with out getting into way too much detail, here's the trip:

March 4
After a changeover in Amsterdam I'll arrive in Glasgow. I'm staying in the West End again, which is nice. The West End has the University, the Kelvingrove Museum, and is picturesque and low-key. My plan is to walk to some of the football stadiums I have not visited before- there are three (Parkhead, Ibrox, and Firhill) within 4 miles of my b & b.

March 5
Only one task for my second day and that is to go to nearby Bellshill where I will visit my grandmother's birthplace for the first time. This will also be my first trip to Scotland since her death, I'm imagine that it's going to be an emotional morning. After that, I'll spend the afternoon on the bus as I make my way up to Aberdeen for the first time.

March 6
For my full day in Aberdeen I plan to visit the Maritime Museum, the Gordon Highlanders Museum, and another football stadium (Pittodrie).

March 7
Ahhhh, Inverness, capital of the Highlands. This is one of my favorite cities. Just the right size, nice people, one of my favorite restaurants, and ten minutes outside the city and you are in the middle of postcard-like beauty. Only one task for my first afternoon and that is to visit Caledonian Stadium, which literally sits at the edge of Beauly Firth.

March 8
Today is the first "big" day of the trip! I'll be hopping on the bus (hopefully the RCFC Supporters' Bus!) and making the short ride up to Victoria Park in Dingwall to watch Ross County v. Brechin City. Ross County are currently on a hot streak and looking likely to get promoted back to the SFL First Division- 'mon the Staggies!

March 9
Sunday in there won't be any-thing going on. Thus, I'll take a nice leisurely walk along the River Ness and the Ness Islands and maybe up to the Pictish fort that I've managed to miss each other time I've visited.

March 10
Day seven brings me to Ullapool where I'll catch the ferry to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. This will be my first time in the Outer Hebrides and I can't wait! Once there, I'll go to the Museum nan Eilean (Western Isles Museum) and then rent myself a bike and pedal myself either to the Callanish standing stones or the Black House Museum in Arnol.

March 11
My goal today is to bike from Stornoway to Tarbert on the Isle of Harris (about 35 miles). If this isn't possible I'll take the bus to Tarbert and hike up Glen Ulladale in the afternoon.

March 12
Today will be a travel day, but a scenic one. I'll take the ferry across The Minch from Tarbert to Uig on the Isle of Skye. This is said to be a breathtaking trip visually and if it's anything like the ferry trip from Mallaig to Skye in the south, it promises to be spectacular. Once on Skye, I'll make the 15 mile walk from Uig to Portree. Not only are there plenty of nerdy historical stops along the way, but Skye is beautiful and wandering around it for five or six hours will be fun.

March 13
Day two on Skye will see me trying to get out to Orbost to Rebel's Wood, a forest planted in memory of the late Joe Strummer. If I can't get there, I'll walk around Portree- especially the harbor. Then it's off to Ballachulish!

March 14
I'll be spending this day in Ballachulish. It will be my first visit to the birthplace of my great-great grandfather, Duncan Livingston, and the second stop on my family history tour. With this in mind, I'll be visiting the slate quarry where he worked, the Miner's Museum, and hopefully getting some information on his/my older ancestors.

March 15
From Ballachulish it's on to Ayr for my first visit to Burns' country and the final stop on my family history tour. However, before I do either of those things, I'll be going to see Ross County v. Ayr United. And yes, since you asked, I did plan my trip so that I could see RCFC play a second time!

March 16
Again, it's Sunday, so I'll be making my own "fun." I may walk along the beach, I'll probably walk to Alloway to see the Burns Monument & Garden, but something else will take priority over both of these things. I will find some way to get to Patna. Once in Patna, I'm going to find a place that doesn't exist, called Tongue Row- birthplace of my great grandmother. Tongue Row disappeared when the iron works that built it for it's workers closed.

March 17
On my last full day I'll be back in Glasgow for a visit to the Royal Highland Fusiliers Museum and the Scottish Football Association Museum. After that, I'll need to get to bed early as my flight out is at 6:00am.

March 18
I will depart Glasgow for home...or will I?

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Congratulations to the Kosovars for declaring independence from Serbia! Especially given that they did so in the face of continuing and not-so-thinly-veiled threats from both the Serbians and the Russians.

I was especially happy to see that their parliament ratified the declaration unanimously, that there are specific guarantees for the equality of the ethnic Serbs, and that they recognized the need and worth of having international troops in the country.

Maybe the Balkans have finally, FINALLY, sorted themselves out.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Today's Developments

First and foremost, I'm typing on my new black's kind of like the "Darth Vader" of MacBooks- and I like that.

Second, my new"Norton Motorcylces" inspired Reverend Horton Heat t-shirt also arrived via FedEx today.

Third, Curt Schilling has an injury that will keep him out until at least the All-Star break, if not end his career. Might have been nice to know this before Johann Santana became a Met.

Finally, Mitt Romney dropped out of the presidential race today, leaving John McCain- the most palatable of the Republicans the defacto nominee- sorry Mike Huckabee. That being said, as much as I admire Senator McCain, I don't see myself voting for him.

Alright, time to put the new machine through its paces!


My new MacBook arrived a day early!

So, my next post, will be from my awesome new machine!

Saturday, February 02, 2008


I just ordered my new, upgraded, super sexy black, iBook!

I was going to get the new MacBook Air, but it has no optical drive, so if you can't get what you need (music, movies, games, etc.) on-line or have a second computer that you can install programs on and transfer them to the MacBook Air via wireless network, you're pretty much out of luck.

The best part? Add together my tax refund and the money from the sale of my current iBook, and I'll actually make 45¢, because, as we all know, your tax refund is "free money!"

"3-5 Business days"...