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Old 03-25-2017, 04:05 PM   #126
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Re: golddog runs around

Took off with the rental. Really worn down from the illness. Didn't even get out of Houston before taking a quick nap in the car.

Went downtown and wandered in Tranquility Park, which is a small space decided to the Apollo program. Headed west, and saw the Beer Can House.



I found out later that Houston has essentially no zoning laws. I guess a long time ago, the person who lived here decided to decorate with his empties. Now it's an art thing. By this time, it's probably 7:30 AM. It wasn't open yet, I didn't feel like hanging out til 9, so didn't go in.

All I can say is, he really liked cheap, light beer. Texas Pride or some such.

Headed west, mostly sticking to the back roads, as I was feeling terrible still. Every couple of hours I would find a shady, quiet spot like a town park, recline the driver's seat, and crash for a few minutes.

Went to the laundromat in Columbus, which is the hometown of some acquaintances. Ran into them the other day, mentioned I'd been in Columbus.

After a while, I found myself in Shiner and took the tour.



Here's how bad I was feeling: turned down free beer afterward.

Went along a bit further west, found a hotel in Seguin. Got there a bit after 5, brought one bag in, laid down, woke up after 6, got the other bag in. Called Mom to let her know I got back to the States o.k., took some NyQuil, went to bed about 6:45, out til 7:30 the next day.

Still feeling bad, but rallying. At least felt good enough to get something to eat. Started heading east again, saw this very impressive cloudbank. Horizon-to-horizon.



Fortunately, it wasn't full of thunderstorms or tornadoes (or they missed me). Wandering along I-10, I saw a sign for US 287, which goes about a five-iron from my house. Took that down to Port Arthur, where it ends. Reminded me of my hometown up north; seemed like it was once an important port, but now is pretty run-down and depressing.

Anyway, went as far east as the first exit in LA. They love their casinos over there; must've been five or eight at that exit. Wasn't in the mood, so turned around and went to Beaumont for the night.

Next morning, went down to the space center to take the tour. The actual Space Center Houston is outside of Johnson Space Center, and is pretty kid-oriented, though I did find enough to kill the morning. They have a tram that takes you into the actual Johnson Space Center, where you can see a few things, like the original Mission Control.



From which the world first learned that the Eagle had landed and that Kevin Bacon blew up 13. (Sorry for the bad exposure, it was kind of dim).

Another stop was walking above the training and simulation area. Some buggy-type vehicles down there.



This machine is meant for simulating low-gravity environments. You can't see it too well, but there's somebody suspended, and they were training how to use a wrench when you don't have gravity or something to brace against.



Also, the shuttle simulator is still on the floor. The guide said they'd be moving that out sometime. They should make that an attraction. I'd pay $20 or so to crash the shuttle.

After that, I met up with somebody who I'd worked with remotely, getting our system to use his services. It was nice to meet in person after all those emails and calls. He's the person who told me about Houston's lack of zoning.

Went up to my hotel near the airport for the last night. Not sure this really qualifies under zoning, but I saw what Andrew meant: On one side of my hotel (just a cheap budget place) was a Super 8. On the other was a McLaren dealership.

One of these things is not like the others.

In the morning, just up to Waffle House for breakfast, then return the car, fly home. I think I got home on a Thursday, still sick, just laid around, laundry, catch up on home things etc until work on Monday. It hung on (but was good enough so I didn't miss work) for about another week. In fact, I've still got an annoying, occasional cough about 1 month later.

Anyway, I think that's going to be in for a while. Right now, I'm down to about 30 hours of time off, so build that up while trying to figure out the next adventure.

I've got ~125K miles on United if anybody has any suggestions. Haven't really looked into where I can go with that.

Last edited by golddog; 03-25-2017 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 04-26-2017, 11:36 AM   #127
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Re: golddog runs around

Just found this due to a site search of "Laramie". Pretty interesting so far. Looking forward to catching up!
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Old 04-28-2017, 08:40 PM   #128
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Just found this due to a site search of "Laramie". Pretty interesting so far. Looking forward to catching up!
Thanks, Mark. Hope you enjoy.
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Old 07-15-2017, 05:41 PM   #129
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Ah crap, I see photobucket's terms got me like Dubnjoy. Well.

Anyway, just an update. Nearly out of PTO earlier this year, building that back up. Looks like next travel worth a report is February 2018. Just finished booking tickets/car/lodging for a few days around Hawaii.

I'll probably go up north again at the holidays, but that's never worth talking about.

At some point, I'll try to get back to photobucket and see what's what, or move my photos to another provider. I looked at imgur, but they inexplicably can't do a hierarchy of folders. Seems like a big organizational headache.

Welcoming other suggestions.
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Old 07-16-2017, 07:24 AM   #130
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Re: golddog runs around

Darn, you got had as well

Photobucket's price is outrageous (500$ yearly), not sure which other to suggest (perhaps flickr.com), I just switched to imgur. GL
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Old 07-16-2017, 12:53 PM   #131
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Yep, they finally found me out.

Thakns for the ideas. I looked at imgur, didn't like that they don't allow something as straightforward as a hierarchy of albums. Seems like an organizational nightmare, but they are still in the running.

Haven't really started researching, it's summer and I'm going outside.
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:56 AM   #132
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Huh. My pictures are back. Maybe I just have them cached. Or maybe that jackoff CEO of photobucket died and they went back to a sensible model.

Anyway, I'm traveling again. Going back to the midwest for a few days to console some friends from my former life whose young-adult daughter passed away unexpectedly.

So, it won't be a fun trip. Probably nothing to write about, but as I'm traveling and this is my travel blog, figured I should make an entry.
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:40 PM   #133
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For some reason, United (really the TSA, I guess) didn't give me pre check, despite my having Global Entry. Grrr.

So, I had to go through the slow line, which they stopped for no particular reason. I was there very early compared to my flight, so no big deal, just frustrating to go through the charade of security.

A small win on the way over. Flying some sort of Canadair regional jet by SkyWest, only 12 rows, two seats on each side of the aisle. I was seated next to the only open seat.

Picking up the rental car took over half an hour. I don't know what these two womemn at the front of the line were doing, but I've bought cars in less time than it took them to get their rental.

But anyway, got here, saw one set of friends. Early dinner, then off to the visitation to see the people that are the reason for my visit. Probably see some others I haven't seen in quite a while. I saw a lot of old names on the email trails letting people know about the tragedy.
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Old 09-24-2017, 12:59 AM   #134
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Re: golddog runs around

Fine pictures and story telling. Thank you for sharing.
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Old 09-24-2017, 05:42 PM   #135
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Fine pictures and story telling. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks, HUMBLE. I'm glad you've enjoyed it.
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Old 10-09-2017, 09:47 PM   #136
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Another "trip I'd rather not take, but it is travel" entry. Heading up north to my hometown to help care for my mother tomorrow for a week.

I doubt there will be any pictures or stories from this trip either.
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