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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

A bad sign for an airport.

A bad sign for an airport.

I was going to spending several hours in the Chicago airport so to prepare myself I looked it up on my favorite website, Sleeping in Airports.

I have used the site in the past to plan overnights in European airports and it dawned on me, I could use it to get a general feel for any long term stay.

Of course I noticed this well after I bought my tickets. From now on if I have a choice between two extended layovers I will use Sleeping in Airports as the arbitrator of layovers.

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Solar Power Trash

Boston had a lot of stickers around the place.

Boston had a lot of stickers around the place.

Walking around Boston my host and I noticed that several of their trash cans were adorned with solar panels.

We wondered what they could be for, as we were not with the internet at the time we guessed. Maybe to heat the trash up to prevent freezing, some sort of sensor to keep track of when they were full or some mysterious government conspiracy.

Turns out they have built in trash compactors that work during the summer. That is just neat.

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I found these Fallout Shelter signs scattered throughout Boston.

I found these Fallout Shelter signs scattered throughout Boston.

Either these signs are relics of the cold war or a series of well done street artists. Either way I really liked them as a focus of my photos. If I had more time I would have hunted down more of them (I only found two).

This photo had the challenge of exposure. I wanted to have the sign either properly exposed or slightly under exposed with the building in the background almost full exposed. It took me about seven tried to get the final result above, the difficulty was going into manual mode on my camera while wearing gloves. I could have taken the gloves off but it was cold the day I was out.

When I uploaded the photo to my computer I noticed the very unfortunate lens flare in the center of the sign, I suppose it could serve as part of the photos but it bothers me to no end.

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See that snow on the ground? It appears I am not built for the cold.

See that snow on the ground? It appears I am not built for the cold.

It was cold there.

A bit of introspection while braving the chilling winds was that I do not in fact like the cold. Especially cold involving wind and me cursing heavily as I shuffle towards a warm inviting building.

The program had a lot of focus on satellite based research with a focus on the solar winds and the magnetic fields of the sun, earth and the rest. For some reason I was not fully interested in the research the same way I have been for other universities.

Aside from the University the town and local did not inspire me for photography or just general living. It was nice and all it just did not have the right feel for me. I also did not like the architecture.

Did I mention that it was cold?

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Airplane Shuffle

I got a lot of nice photos in Boston, if I only remembered building names.

I got a lot of nice photos in Boston, if I only remembered building names.

Both the start and end of my spring break trip had a bit of shuffling.

On the initial red eye flight out to Boston from LA I was stuck in a middle seat before the delicate dance of reorganization began. Two people behind me wanted to sit with their friend located six rows behind them. Eventually they sought to switch the man next to me (he was at the window) just one row back, move their far back friend into my spot and the person to my right into the middle behind me. I don’t know how the third person worked but I was able to switch into the back on a window seat. And that window acted as the best pillow ever allowing me to sleep from take off to sunrise a few hours later.

The return journey did not have an internal shuffling rather external shuffles. I was scheduled to fly from Madison, Wisconsin to Chicago, however it snowed the night before and Chicago was backing up. So at the check in counter (this is on United) I was offered an alternative route. So I switched to a late flight to Denver, then a few hours there to an upgraded (economy plus) flight to LA and finally my original flight to Santa Barbara.

But when I landed in Denver I noticed a flight to LAX boarding as I landed. I rushed down thirty or so gates and two automated walkways to the gate and managed to get on right as they finished boarding. After this serendipitous adventure I hoped to get a standby flight at LAX to avoid waiting there for four and half hours.

That did not pan out and I sat in various standby gates until my initially scheduled flight. It may have been faster to jog from LAX to Santa Barbara.

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Spring Break

I should make a macro lens for flowers, if only I had time.

I should make a macro lens for flowers, if only I had time.

From now until the 29th I am on Spring Break. Usually this means I go home for a week of rest between quarters but this year I am going to visit some graduate schools. To start I am flying to Boston (I should be there now), visiting the University of New Hampshire, spending a few more days in Boston, flying and visiting the University of Wisconsin Madison and returning to Santa Barbara.

And all the airfare and half the lodgings/food is paid for by the Universities. But because I am traveling I don’t know if I will able to post anything, the next week or so will be short automated posts unless I can find time to change one.

I hope that everyone enjoys their own version of spring break or at least the coming of sunny skies.

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My Favorite Sign

This is by far my favorite sign.

This is by far my favorite sign.

I was talking about signs with my friends the other day and it occurred to me that I never put this particular gem online. There is so much about it that is rewarding to the reader, mostly it is the santa hat.

This is why I travel.

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