Friday, September 30, 2016

Climbing Olympus in Tallinn or Sherpa No More

Not as in 'Climbing Mount Olympus' but as in 'Freaking Learning How to Take Pictures with Olympus'.

When Wife bequeathed to me her Olympus camera, it created a domino effect of having to go from a cell phone camera that is the modern equivalent of the old Kodak Brownie camera to one that is basically a computer with a camera around it. Add to that the quirks of trying to use a new editing system (Photoshop Elements) and you have taken the complexity level of getting pictures into a blog to many levels of complexity higher.

So I've had to put my career as Camera Sherpa on hold. With BOTH OF US fixated on finding the right shot, NEITHER OF US is paying much attention to where the other one is or is going. Fortunately today, our first full day of sightseeing, we both managed to end up in the same place in the end, our hotel room.

Meanwhile, here are the first attempts with the photo system.

We start off with proof positive that this is NOT sunny New Mexico

We enter into the Old Town
Tallinn has one of the best preserved Medieval Old Town's in Europe
A panorama of the historic Town Hall Square

There is the famous Viru Gate
If you are familiar with the adventures of Wife and de-I, you know if it is famous, it is under construction!

 Scenes of the Town Hall

Dragon Downspout on Town Hall
Old Walls and Old Streets

Greek Orthodox Church from Russian Empire Occupation Days

One must be careful of wild life throughout the city
Many, many sections of the Medieval Walls are still around

  Including this fine tower that has five floors you can climb and go up with all kinds of exhibits.
In spite of the fact that Wife and I have forsworn going up these kinds of tortuous, narrow, steep stairs, we bought the Tallinn Card and in order to get our money's worth we had to do it.
Wife was in fighting mood after doing all those steps!

But we did get some great shots looking over the city

Thursday, September 29, 2016

After Returning To Airport World - Touching Down in Estonia

As frequent visitors to the travel portions of the de-I blog know, I have a fascination with Airport World (or Airline World or Air Travel World) and its wonderful uniformity that gives the international traveler comfort that wherever one goes, one can least until you get out of the airport.

Pictures from Airport World

The OFFICIAL symbol of the Eldership Mission Commencement!
Really, please, I dare you to tell me what airport in the world this is.
Could be anywhere!

Finally, 24 hours after leaving our home, taking a picture from our hotel in Tallinn, Estonia
And our first overtired foray into the Old Town of Tallin

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Houston We Have Lift Off

First Commander Wife and I are in Houston preparing to lift the Eldership off on its next mission.

How appropriate - Houston, Mission Control, "Houston we have problem."

The problem is NASA has no authorized nothing like an Eldership.

Next stop Tallinn Estonia!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Call To Arms

We have received the command.

As commander of record of the Eldership de-Intimidator, you are requested and required to assemble your crew for departure star date 20160928. Your mission, should you chose to accept it (understanding that you really don't have any choice at all in agreeing to accept it) will be a part exploration and part showing the ElderFleet Command flag to existing contacts. Details forth coming.

As is the case with all our missions, ElderFleet Command does not actually ever provide a full ship's compliment. Command staff is expected to recruit, or in extreme cases use a press gang, to find staff. First Officer Wife and I, knowing that ElderFleet Command provides no money for staffing, gave up on trying to recruit staff long ago. Sadly, our efforts to press people onto our ship also have not worked well. I suspect this may be due to the fact that either 1) the desirable potential crew are substantially younger and faster than us and pretty much laugh at our efforts to catch them, or 2) the crew that we could catch is even older and more decrepit than ourselves and would require taking care of them rather than take care of us.

The answer of course is for First Officer Wife and I to fill all the jobs on the Eldership ourselves (something we've become quite adept at), put various versions of our names in each of the positions, and collect all the pay that accrues to those positions. Thank goodness Wife is a top notch accountant and can make all these moves look pretty opaque. It does allow us to run a kitchen on the Eldership that meets my culinary standards.

We are running around taking care of all our provisioning and expect to be ready on time for our scheduled departure.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Long Trek Home After A Puzzling Conclusion

We came back to the big ABQ yesterday after our lovely week with family and others on the Outer Banks of North Carolina (aka as the OBX to those in the know much like the town we were in, Corolla, is pronounced CA-row-la).

We left a day early, Saturday, because we thought every one would be heading out on Sunday, plus the airfare was much cheaper. But it was still a bitch to get off of the Outer Banks. It took us 45 minutes to go 7 mile (it's just a single lane road until you cross over a bridge to the mainland. Then there were numerous other traffic delays so what took us 2 hours to get out took us almost 3 to get back. 

Then we had the joy of flying on the micro sized regional jets to get home. Actually if you want to make a CRJ 700 feel like total luxury (our plane from Houston to ABQ), fly a 3 hour flight on an Embraer 145, quite possibly the most uncomfortable plane I have ever flown on (and I have flown the ER 145 many times unfortunately).

All totaled from portal to portal it was a 12 hour trip...Booooo!

BUT, for all who are wondering, before we left there was the frantic last effort by Team Puzzle to put their 1000 piece over the top.

One of the key members of Team Puzzle had to leave early so only two of the three stalwarts were left to push the effort to completion.

The Final Push

A Job Well Done
And on to Happy Hour

Friday, September 16, 2016

Family Non-Trip In Photos

In Ohio
 Even our Wife's family has been infected with de-I clan food obsession.
 Wife's Bro as the Waffle Master
 Wife took charge of bacon to ensure some was to her liking.
A lovely picture of my SiL but in all honesty this burger represented everything I don't like about American food culture.
The general environs of the house my brother rented.
We an 20,000 of our closest vacationing friends

How long does it take to learn how to work the microwave?
Evidently 10 minutes
Beginning the 1000 piece puzzle early in the week
Enjoying the pool - de riguer
Our official grill man - the nephew-in-law in his happy space

The puzzle continues

Food? Duh?
My Southeast Asian Meal with Cambodian Amok, Thai Curry, and Malay Beef Rendang
My super awesome cooking nieces
Carving an entire ribeye into steaks

While the puzzle continues
Wife and I head to Historic Corolla
Historic lighthouse
Historic outhouse
Historic photographer
The puzzle never ends
I'm sure when you travel to rentals and bring 'just the essential' cooking implements that includes as my nieces said, their sous-vide machine.

Steak night
While the puzzle continues
And the sky is finished