Mar
31
2005
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I’m dying…..

When is it going to end, I’ve been sick for the past week and a half and it just keeps hanging around. I’m sure I should have gone to the doctor by now but in my infinite male wisdom I have not. The symptoms never seemed drastic enough. Occational coughing fits, a little phlem, but not really any fever. Each day I figure will be the last and yet each new day is just like the last. The most annoying symptom is how lethargic I feel. Can’t really get anything done, can’t do anything fun while I’m not getting anything done. All around I am just ready for someone to insert a drain in to my lungs and relieve them of the extra fluid they are carrying around so that I might continue about my regularly scheduled life. I’ve had this long enough that I honestly cannot remember what it feels like to be normal. Tomorrow if I don’t feel any better I’m going to the doctor, and I mean it this time….maybe.

Written by John in: Ramble | Tags: , ,
Mar
18
2005
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Philly Day 1.5

This post is a little late in coming, but I felt that I should rant on few things that happened later that first night. After walking around town and doing all the things previously listed, I was exceptionally hungry, so I figured I would look for a nice place to eat. I now understand why ‘Super Size Me’ was an idea founded in New England. There are zero regular restaurants to be found on the major streets, only McDonalds and the occational Denny’s, at least that’a how it is in Newark, DE. So I drove, and then I drove some more, and some more, litteraly for about an hour and half. After finding nothing of value and passing probably eight different Mcdonalds, I decided to call it quits and just head back to my hotel and eat at the Denny’s next door. Well on my way back, a light appeared before me. Something on the horizon that called to me….Chili’s. My search was finally over. I prepared my taste buds and walked up to my new found mecca. And then it happened, my literacy informed me that the writing on the door said they had closed at 10pm, and this being 10:15, I was too late. Rejected, I returned to my car and headed to Denny’s a broken man. The story should end now, and yet further disappointment lies ahead. On my way to Denny’s I contemplated the menu and set my sites on the Egg’s Dagwood with a large Dr. Pepper. Well as it turns out, Delware Denny’s has never heard of the Egg’s Dagwood that all other southern Denny’s make so well and Dr. Pepper….well it seems that our friends in Waco really should invest more in the NE because nobody has it. So I settled for a second rate Moons over Myhammy and a bad cup of coffee. The Dr. Pepper thing reminds me that I really need to stop being dependent on local beverages. Every time I travel I am at a loss for what to order because outside of Texas nobody has my favorite soda and no bar has my favorite Shiner or Lonestar beer. Well with my stomach full but not satisfied I headed back to the hotel to sleep and prepare for my early day of work and thus concludes the extravagaza that was getting food that first night.

Written by John in: Travel | Tags: , , , ,
Mar
16
2005
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Philly Day 1

It has been a loooonnnnggg day. Started sometime yesterday. Left for Philadelphia, PA this morning at 7AM and since I had to be at the airport so early I ended up not sleeping last night. Thanks to Meaghan for helping me get to the airport on time. The upshot of all this awake time is that the flight passed very easily with me simply passing out and probably snoring all the way to Philly.

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a truly large city. I had always thought of Austin as being a fairly large city, but Austin is like a ¼ scale version of Philly. For all its size, it has a very quaint feel to it. The traffic is not atrocious, there are lots of people walking around and riding their bikes and it has all the comforts of home. There is an area on South Street that is pretty much like the Drag and 6th Street combined. There are venues, an Urban Outfitters, bums, and punks – pretty much felt like home. I said the traffic wasn’t atrocious, however that says nothing for the parking. The lack of cars on the road is more than made up for by the number of cars hogging the spots in which I would like to park my rental. After about 45 minutes of searching for parking I finally found a spot that I thought was close to everything…….but it wasn’t. Fortunately the rather long walk from my car to City Hall may have been one of the best experiences. Simply walking down a non touristy street admiring the townhomes and walking among the residents was somehow very calming. I’d pause every now and then to take a picture, but on the whole just walk around and pretend I was walking from my townhome to the Whole Foods or something…..for which they have two that I discovered in my journey around town.

One thing that is always great about being in the northeast is that even just walking down the street you are surrounded by history. Random statues are littered all about the city, not to mention that every building probably dates back a couple hundred years. I think they may have gone a little overkill on the Benjamin Franklin however. He’s got a street, a bridge, a building, a monument, several smaller statues, and that’s only the stuff I saw in a 4 hour walk around a fairly limited part of downtown. I didn’t even have a chance to make it over to Independence Hall yet (drove by, but as I said before….no parking) where he no doubt has more crap. Of course almost equal to Ben is Rocky as far as presence goes. Rocky has spawned several knockoff names that appear on billboards like Rocco’s Collision Repair, Italian Stallion Pizza’s, and he too has a statue. And while we are on the topic, yes I did run up the steps where Rocky once tread. I was not alone in this. I would be willing to bet that more people have run up those stairs like Rocky than have been in the art museum to which the stairs lead (which is currently showing works by Dali). There used to be a statue of Rocky atop the stairs, but I was very disappointed to find that all that is left of the statue is a pair of footprints. After much fighting about it not being nothing more than a prop and not deserving to share the plaza with the art museum, it now rests outside of the arena football team’s stadium. I did come across an interesting quote while looking up where the statue was, “Commerce Director Dick Doran was thrilled with the gift saying Stallone had done more for the city’s image ‘than anyone since Ben Franklin’“.

There’s not much else that I can describe about this experience in Philly. I went and saw other things, but that was secondary to the importance you feel just walking around in the same places where so many pivotal moments in history have taken place.

Today I pretty much just stuck to touristy stuff, tomorrow I plan on hitting one more touristy thing, Independence Hall, and then go on a search for two things that make me very happy while in a foreign town:

1.A nice cafe with Internet and comfortable couches
2.A nice bar with good music and very few people

Beyond that, most of tomorrow will be spent doing the thing I actually came to Philly for and that is my job and the business of testing some equipment. Speaking of, I should probably be bedding down because I have to be up at 7AM. I have another rant I must go on about food in Delaware, but that will have to wait…..can you feel the suspense….me neither.

Written by John in: Travel | Tags: , ,

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