Posts Tagged ‘travel’

I just relocated my travel journal from Blogger/Blogspot/Google to another WordPress folder on my server.  The Blogger account was the first on-line posting I did way back in the ancient days of the Internet, and I was happy with Blogger.  Even as WordPress vastly eclipsed Blogger with features, there’s a role for simpler tools and it did enough that I did not feel very compelled to move.

The driver for the move was really more about Google Maps than Blogger.   Google changed their Maps product substantially a little while ago, and I’m in the camp that liked the old version much better.  The new version seems like they shoehorned the tablet/touch interface into the browser and I find it more clumsy to use.  More specifically, they removed the simple feature where you could easily create HTML code to embed a small map in another piece of content – Email, blog post, etc.  I’m sure its still possible, there are certainly still Google Maps embedded in other content.  But, it is no longer a simple cut & paste into a limited content tool like Blogger.

To help insulate me from the changes, I set up a new WordPress folder, and started copying content from Blogger to the new location.  I also found a plugin for WordPress (MapPress) which insulates me from the Google Maps API and whatever changes they make down the road.

A lot of old content isn’t moved over yet, but all the new content is now here.  You can also see the RSS feed on the navigation section on the left.

Side Issue: an example of how intolerable Google Maps has become.  Embedding maps is supposedly still available as long as you aren’t in “lite mode”.  The instructions on lite mode are here, but notice the instructions tell you that the control is on the lower-right and down further lower-left.  When I run it, the control is in neither.

Iceland Gear

Author: Lyle

Documenting gear purchased for Iceland in the winter.

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Changed Travel Log URL

Author: Lyle

While its been there for a long time, I needed to change the URL for the Travel Log.  The underscore in the URL (lschofield_travel.blogspot.com) was wrecking the ability of Urbanspoon to spider through the site and make cross-links.  Upon reflection, an underscore in a URL seems like a dumb idea.  I’m surprised Blogger allowed it in the first place.  So, if I wrecked any links, sorry (but I can’t imagine anyone cross-linking into the site).  Please make a note, the travel log is:

http://lschofieldtravel.blogspot.com/

The links on the left have been fixed and work fine.  If you linked to me from an outside place, sorry for the change.  Remove the underscore and the link will be repaired.

Dulles Aero Train

Author: Lyle

The real excitement is that this is my first YouTube video.  Shot with the trusty Canon PowerShot SD400.

This is the replacement for the famous Dulles “Mobile Lounge” trucks.  I was previously against this improvement, as it took away that glorious 1960’s vibe that went along with the distinctive Dulles architecture.  However, while it seems to have lengthened the security time at Dulles, the new trains retain their 1960’s vibe with the new 2001 A Space Oddessey styling queues.

Video below shows the ride.  The interiors of the tunnels could have been better done, although I’m guessing that they were thinking most people aren’t in the front of the train and wouldn’t see the tunnels.  They nailed the stations, however, including the awesome glowing light bridge.

Disappearing Keys

Author: Lyle

For the second time in as many months I’ve had the experience of my hotel room key not working when I returned to my room.  Apparently, the magnetic stripe on the key can lose its information when placed in the proximity of a cell phone.

Perhaps the hotel industry should try to find a technology for room keys that is not damaged when close to a common object almost everyone carries around with them in their pocket.

Visit with the Doctor

Author: Lyle

While in Dallas this week I was extremely lucky to meet Julius Erving.  He seems to have a connection to a healthcare software company, as I’ve seen him at several trade shows over the years.  But, I never was able to press through the line to actually talk to him.  Thanks to the economy, the attendence was low enough that it was easier this time.

Julius Erving in 1981 performing a slam dunk. (Jim Accordino at http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimmyack205/)

Julius Erving in 1981 performing a slam dunk. (Jim Accordino at http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimmyack205/)

The funny part was actually being nervous about this.  I had seen him play a few times when I was young at the Spectrum (which he told me was going to be torn down very shortly), and seeing him play in person was somewhat sureal.  When we watch NBA players now their jumping ability is often taken for granted.  But, Dr. J was the one who showed us man could fly.  I remember watching him leap from the foul line and dunk the ball, and the first time you saw it you couldn’t believe it – as if you just looked away and your brain told you that’s not what really happened.  Then, you see it again, and again, and you realize someone actually can jump that far and high.

He couldn’t have been a nicer guy – sitting there shaking hands and talking with all those strangers.  For someone whose family is from Philadelphia while he played for the Sixers it was just a great experience.

I have the pictures to prove it, also!

Meeting Dr. J

Meeting Dr. J

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(Dr. J photo from Wikipedia under Creative Commons license.  See here.  Dr. J & Lyle photo taken by me October 6, 2009 in Grapevine, Texas).

The interior of a 757 is fast becoming the only place where you can still find functioning cathode ray tube television screens.

United 757 Interior

United 757 Interior

Thank goodness you don’t need to rely on this to entertain you anymore on long flights.  Charge up your iPod/laptop before boarding.

Around the Country

Author: Lyle

Some information on my use of the application Tripit.com is here.

Point Along The Curve

Point Along The Curve

But a comment here about how much of the country I’ve covered.  Tripit keeps track of all my travels, and although it isn’t complete since its use is more recent, it’s very interesting to see all the breadcrumbs I’ve left around the country through its map.

It’s interesting to me to look back and reflect on these travels and I’m actually a bit shocked at the number of places I’ve been.  More of a property of how old I am, and not how much I travel (I avoid it as much as possible).  But some other observations:

  • I haven’t touched much of the west.  Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, the Dakotas are untouched for example.
  • The map doesn’t let you appreciate some of the places I’ve been a lot.  I know San Diego, Seattle, Chicago, Austin, Boston, Orlando, Minnesota quite well, for example.
  • You also don’t get a sense of the places I love.  I love Boston for its history and dining.  I love San Diego for its weather.  I love Minnesota for its people.  Etc.

My travel is a lot more revisits of places I’ve been now.  But I’ll look at this every once in a while to see how it changes.