Oct. 10th, 2006 08:59 pm
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So, I was up hugging sheep in Banchory, Scotland over the weekend. This trip included a harrowing (for my passengers) trip across the highlands in a Peugeot 301 with manual transmission. I last drove a manual in, oh, 1994 or so. It went surprisingly well, I thought, but for a couple of issues starting up on hills, and in reverse (another driver verified that this car's gearbox didn't like to stay in reverse, so it wasn't all my fault).

We were there to see a friend's institution as the rector and priest-in-charge of two Scottish Episcopal Church parishes up that way. The highlight of the trip was talking to the parishoners at the welcome reception (well, that, and the Provost of the Cathedral of Aberdeen, who has an excellent bowler hat, and who looked interesting in the line of 3 copes in the front row of one of the churches). At one, we had the beekeeping laird of the area, a man who had been captured at Dunkirk and escaped from German POW camps 12 times (he was a tunneler; according to his wife, he liked the solitude. Additionally, he melted down cigarette papers for the led and made belt buckles and buttons and things. Some of his handiwork is in the Imperial War Museum. Needless to say, he was the one who took a seat next to the famous grouse and pitcher of water :), and an old fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford, who had been there for 100 terms, amongst his various visiting gigs in the US.
And then there were the more mundane, like the woman who restores ironwork in cathedrals all over europe....

The other reception included a former professor at the university of sierra leone, and the wife of a clan chief who talked of her love of Kentucky and Tennessee and the old New Orleans; they apparently got to visit the US a few times for the Highland Games.

Compared to that, the Ceilidh was hardly worth mentioning.

On another church-related note, I will say that the visiting rector at St. Giles, where we went the previous week, was straight out of Python central casting. "We need an eccentric vicar with a high voice!" "Done!"

Quoth the priest:

"Now, [this book] was written by a slightly eccentric vicar...You must realize that when the phrase, "slightly eccentric" is followed by the word, "vicar" he must have been absolutely certifiable...."

Also, my parents were in Oxford all week. It was very good. We went to the Eagle and Child and the Radcliffe Arms and, uh, took a brief sidetrip to Stratford-upon-Avon to see Patrick Stewart as Prospero at the RSC. :) :) :)


Aug. 25th, 2006 11:12 am
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We have emptied our apartment of almost all our personal belongings.

Except for books. We weren't boxing up 800 books to give our sublettor 6 empty bookcases. I don't think he'd even want them (he said it was okay to leave our books up. Hope he likes the Nicene fathers and historic BCPs...or, you know, any of hte random collections of books that we have. Silmarillion? Check. Complete works of James Clavell? Check. Multiple complete Sherlock Holmes (including the new annotated)? Check. Complete Harry Potter, in multiple languages and localized editions? Check....)

Ahh! Such a great experience! I went to the budget truck rental place on Broadway just across the Arlington border at 8:45. The crusty old mechanic got my truck for me with no problems whatsoever. We loaded up the truck at our apartment in about an hour, and headed to Door To Door storage in Everett. Door to Door

I CANNOT SING THEIR PRAISES ENOUGH. Door To Door's main business is Pod storage. So you can have one of their pods delivered to your place, pack it up, and have it brought back to their warehouse and stored there. That costs ~$2/day for storage plus ~$140 for the drop off.

OR you can show up at the warehouse with a truck, pay no startup fee, and ~$1/day for storage. They will bring the pod to the front of the warehouse and allow you to back the truck right up to it. It took us 15 minutes to unload a 10' Budget truck and another 15 to do all the paperwork. From start to finish with these guys, they were friendly and professional. All questions were immediately answered, and they didn't give us a hard time about anything. It was, by far, the most pleasant business experience I have ever had. And if we decide we want it dropped off on the back end, we can do that, too.

By 12:30, our truck was returned and we were on our way home. And we stopped 45 minutes for breakfast after loading up the truck.


Now to pack the things we're shipping to England. That should be this weekend. Then we clean for the Belgians and get ready to take off....



Jul. 1st, 2006 11:23 am
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Off to Western MA to see a live broadcast of a Prairie Home Companion. Huzzah! Why is it, though, that my travel plans always interfere with the WC matches I want to see? First I was in the air for US-Ghana, and now I've got a 2-hour drive in front of me to start during England-Portugal.

At least I got pulled away for a carrier group "meeting" at CBC yesterday for Argentina-Germany. Hey, when all your customers are in europe or latin america, it's not as if you're going to get any work done, anyway.

Anyone in Boston for the 4th interested in Germany-Italy, let me know.

If it winds up being England-Brazil in the other, there will be NO work after 2:30 on Wednesday. The entire SE team and half the sales team will simply leave work 2 hours early, armed with blackberries in case anyone asks. Of course, if it winds up Portugal-Brazil, Somerville will likely never be the same again....

For those of us with bosses who spend weekends running soccer leagues, it's a good spot to be in, regardless.


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May 2010



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