Sunday, November 10, 2013


My apologies for not posting about my Scottish adventures earlier, but I've spent most of a month mollifying William of Yarmouth because he didn't go on this trip.  English bears, it seems, are not altogether welcome north of Hadrian's Wall.  That had something to do with Bonnie Prince Charlie and a little difference of opinion back in 1745. 

So back in September, Caro, Karl and I headed off to Edinburgh via first rate flights connecting through Houston and Newark.  Here I am enjoying a sip of Champagne before heading "across the pond" as they say.  I must say seating is much improved since the day we spent so much time flying to Vienna and such. 

We arrived in the Land of the Picts early in the morning, British Summer Time or seven hours off our internal clocks.  Since the hotel room wasn't yet available, we dropped off luggage, had a breakfast, and then set out for a stroll in the Scottish sunshine.  In the end we toured a lovely old graveyard and hiked up Calton Hill with its excellent views out over the city -- a wonderful way to get oriented to the city's features.  Here we are with the Edinburgh Castle in the background.  The prominent steeple is St. Gile's Cathedral.

When we returned from our walkabout, the room was ready and we found that the view from the sixth floor looked straight out at the hill we had just climbed.  The tall structure is the Nelson Monument, which has a peculiar ball on top of it that drops precisely at the stroke of 1:00 pm.  It was designed to let ships in the harbor know what time it was and they could set their chronometers. 

Our first dinner in Scotland was after a late afternoon stroll up High Street.  Caro ordered the ham and mushy peas appetizer.  Yumm!

The next day we climbed up to Edinburgh Castle and toured around inside and up on the battlements.  Here I am on the largest canon, Mons Meg. 

And here I am atop the battlements.  

We had a lovely luncheon at the castle's cafeteria and then strolled back to the Balmoral Hotel for a lie-down followed by dinner and then a wee dram of whisky. 

More to come as we explore the Royal Botanic Gardens in our next installment.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Dr. Strange Bear

For once the traveling was on someone else's shoulders:  Schlepp was at homebase in Albuquerque while the rest of the web geek's from DOE flew/drove in for this week's InterLab conference.  It was a busy time, coming right after Goen's visit from Seattle, but at least we had a 4-day weekend to prepare for the onslaught. 

Monday was the HTML5/CSS3 class followed by a trip to the Sandia Tram.  Tuesday was all day presentations followed by a banquet at the Sheraton.  Wednesday was more of the same with dinner and a tour of the Nuclear Museum. 

It was at that last event that I was able to break loose and enjoy myself, riding a few nuclear weapons and hopping onto the occasional missile. 

Here I am atop a facsimile of the Fat Man...

And atop some lethal looking missiles...

And right beside "The Gadget," the device exploded at Trinity Site.

Here I am in the "bell" or rocket engine noozle of a Titan 2.  Sheesh!  It's big!

And here's another hero shot of me atop some big-ass nuclear weapon.  Shades of Major Kong aka Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove.

Stand by for next month's installments from... Scotland.  Remember, you heard it here first.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

All three of the Schlepp gang had a fun outing for the 4th -- they got to ride with Caro in the Matthew Meadow Parade.  Not only that, but there were cookies afterwards at the picnic in the park.  Even Cousin Middle Schlepp got to join in the festivities. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


A couple weeks ago was Karl's birthday and to celebrate we all took a long weekend in Durango, Colorado.  The weather was iffy, but it all worked out in the end.  Little did I know it would be a bear-ful weekend. 

Of course, the first thing we did was check out the railroad station.  I got my picture taken on the wild horses sculpture out front.

A short while later we came across a hotel full of bears, the General Palmer Hotel. 

From there on, it was one bear-filled store after another. Stuarts had a friendly fellow.  We chatted while Caro bought a leather vest and Karl got a new hat. 

We came across this huge fellow just up the street.  He reminded me of the Kober's bear in Vienna.

And in an antique shop across the street, yet another interesting, if large, fellow.