September 18, 2017
Some expressed concern about my traveling so soon after getting off crutches. I’ve had zero problems with or limitations from my ankle.
As expected, there has been more fatigue than usual because I couldn’t do my usual pre-trip hill walking. So, also as expected, I’m doing less than usual each day. An unexpected benefit of the fatigue is I can’t remember the last time I had this many nights in a row of long, deep, satisfying sleep.
A word to you java junkies. Don’t think I’ve lessened my intake because of excellent sleep. Can’t pass up the wonderful blends of Brazilian and African coffee here. Can’t pass up one of the world’s best morning food combination, a Pastel de Nata (a egg tart pastry) and Uma Bica (an espresso) because, in the words of Elvis Costello:
Pump it up
until you can feel it
Pump it up
when you don’t really need it
September 14, 2017
The irregular posts of questionable quality on this blog will be suspended for the duration of my current trip. Instead, I’ll be posting photos and descriptions of questionable quality on my 2 Project 365 albums. One album is more of a travelog, the other is more pretentious. At this point, both suck equally. Once I stop spending most of my energy inside places that don’t allow photography, either the photos and descriptions will improve or I’ll find a new excuse.
September 6, 2017
I already know the answer. It stopped being a question this morning. I will cancel everything. I would have done it by now except this morning the internet is so slow the only pages that load, eventually, are 99% text.
So what changed my mind? What overruled my optimistic view of lack of fitness from walking only trivial distances without hills in the last 2 months, tight muscles and loss of range of motion in my right hip from using crutches, and not enough Spanish flash card practice (it’s widely useful at a basic level in Portugal)? I was either being realistic or pessimistic. I’ll never know which.
I wrote the above yesterday morning. After the usual morning stuff and a late breakfast out, I came home, looked at what I’d written and thought WTF? What was I thinking? For the want of some bandwidth, a trip was saved.
Oh goodie, because my fantasies about visiting this place once a day for the 5 days in Vienna were not wasted: Cakes and Pastries and Tartelettes, oh my! And I won’t forget the Strudel. It’s 300 meters from my hotel.
But wait, there’s more. Yesterday, between cancel related decisions, I revived the idea from last year of relearning to soar during a week in Australia. Gliders this time, not hang gliders. Only reason I didn’t do it last spring was they were sold out. So, today I booked airfare, flight school, and, as two 3 night bookends to the 7 day flight school, lodging in Melbourne for early Dec. Why? It will be fun. I can afford it. You can’t take it with you. And every year the unknown number of circles around the Sun you have left decreases by one, so carpe diem.
August 29, 2017
On the planned trip, that is. Decided to stay before I decided to go. Between a rapidly improving ankle, but almost no walking to build some endurance, it was iffy for a few days. Didn’t stop preparing because most things learned this time could be used next spring. Then I bit my tongue so bad it needed stitches.
Two of my heart meds are anticoagulants. My arteries thank them. When I am cut, I curse them for S L O W clotting. Or should I say when I cut myself as when shaving. Or when paying so little attention while chewing that incisor met tongue when it was returning from dislodging food. After 20 minutes of non-trivial bleeding I decided it’s time to worry and started a stopwatch. An hour and 40 minutes later I was talking to an ER nurse. Doc sent me home with 2 stitches, meds, gauze pads, and instructions not to eat ‘hard’ foods and said the stitches would fall out in 2 weeks.
Doc should have told me, or I should have known that eating soft would have been better than not eating hard. Or maybe he’s bad at stitching tongues. Or it was a tough cut to stitch. Anyway, bleeding began during breakfast today, despite chewing only on the side away from the cut. Thirty five minutes of pressure with a gauze pad stopped the bleeding. Traveling with such bleeding potential was nuts, so the trip was off.
Then I realized the stitches had come out. Now it seems bleeding and clotting happened as expected because the holes were small. Twelve hours later and 3 small meals produced no more bleeding. I remembered and confirmed the tongue is the fastest healing part of the body. With 11 days left before the trip, I’ll check the healing daily and revisit the stay or go decision as needed. In the meantime, the trip is a Go.
July 6, 2017
Somewhere in the Photobucket terms and conditions is says users can’t host photos for display on another website. Like this one. Recent photos and the oldest one, posted 8 years, 7 months, 24 days ago, display as expected. The others I checked were replaced with the above notice.
Photobucket seemed the best choice for my needs in 2008. In the early days of this journey, I didn’t have – or didn’t think to have – physical backups of my photos in the cloud. However, a change in their business model in 2012 made it obvious their user base was shrinking. So I downloaded everything and, since then, only sent copies to cloud photo services.
It would be easy to upload this blog’s photos to a different service. Changing the links on 511 photos, not so easy. I’m as likely to do that as I am to clean the floor of my apartment everyday. With a toothbrush.
There is another option. Pay $399 a year for a different Photobucket plan. Riiiiiight. Such pricing strikes me as an indirect way to rid themselves of unprofitable users.
June 26, 2017
Moribund, but not dead. I’ll revive it for a possibly too detailed account of the quest for a residence visa to where ever the next country is. Portugal looked good enough on first impression. I’m headed back for 2 weeks in Sept, by way of Vienna, to venture into the suburbs of Porto and Lisbon so as to simulate some day to day resident behavior.
In the meantime, here are Ideas for blog posts I rejected almost as fast as they appeared.
Also known as cholesterol in saturated fat.
No one cares this lie flat airline seat has a cubby hole for your shoes.
Top can has 3 big sardines. Bottom can has “12-22” svelte, pliant ones. They’ve only been sold in Hua Hin for a few months. They are far less likely to trigger my stomach acid problems, so I’m stockpiling them. Why? Calcium and heart-healthy oils.
Sprained my right ankle. Got a Slab put on today. It’s rigid cast material that runs down the calf to the heel, then across sole to in front of toes. Front is open so I can remove it to shower. It’s held on by an Ace bandage. Crutches are going to suck.
I passed on buying this in Portugal because I thought the fun would immediately wear off unless one was drunk enough.
April 8, 2017
It looks a lot bigger in real life. There wasn’t a ramp from the gate to the plane, there was a ramp to a 3 way intersection (First, Business, Economy), then stairs, then another ramp then OMG. It’s bigger on the inside than I expected. Four across seating allowed for ‘seats’ (pods would be a better name) with this between the seat part of the pod and and the aisle:
For the first time there was more – far more – storage space at the ‘seat’ than I could use. One of these holds the full length sleeping pad and pillow, the other is for, uh, duty free purchases?
I put that pad and pillow to good use, getting 5.5 hours uninterrupted sleep on the way to Sydney.
Return flight was scheduled for 7:30 pm. We left at 9 pm. Is flying Business Class worth it? Good question. Maybe if I could barely afford it I’d have a good answer. I do know time passed quickly and comfortably in the Emirates lounge. But the best part, after walking about 5 kilometers on the warmest day yet, was my first stop in the lounge:
In 2015 I flew biz class for the first time, on a flight to Vienna. It was a 60th birthday present to myself and an experiment to see if it would reduce jet lag and travel fatigue. It did. Flew biz class again last year to Amsterdam to verify my findings (HA! I don’t even believe that justification). Thought about a quote I’d read decades earlier: ‘A luxury once sampled becomes a necessity.’ Wasn’t concerned because I’d long since learned that when I did splurge it was balanced by my pervasive living beneath my means.
After my third trip with long biz class flights I’ve realized it’s probably time to switch to another quote. Last year I read about the discovery of a walled off section of a NYC subway line. It contained the deteriorating remains of one of the best known and most opulent private subway cars from the era when the system accommodated them. The author found a quote by the owner from the period she was using the car. When asked if a private car was an acquired taste, she replied, ‘No. One takes to it immediately.’