Friday, June 29, 2007

Next stop London...eventually

Christine and I went to the airport tonight for our week long trip to London. After we moseyed around the airport for a while we went to go sit at our gate. Having noticed that the departure time hadn't been updated for our delayed flight, we stepped up to the counter to make sure it was still delayed. They said it still was, and that they were also looking for volunteers to be bumped because they were oversold. To make a long story short, we used our keen negotiating skills score $400 in cash (each!) and an upgrade to Club World Plus (which is essentially business class on British Air). Sure, we get start our London vacation a day later, but spending a Saturday in Colorado isn't exactly terrible. We're both going to enjoy the morning by going for long bike rides. Then we'll cruise back to the airport tomorrow evening and fly in style to London. On our way back home we grabbed a few bottles of wine, some cheese, and some crackers for an impromptu wine and cheese party to thank the people who are watching our dog and who took us to the airport earlier today.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


I've been a super duper slacker lately about updating my LJ so here's some crap that's being going on:

Christine and I went backpacking with Nat and Carolyn up near Steamboat a couple weekends ago. I had gotten sick that week, so it maybe wasn't the best time to be backpacking. I think I may have had a fever the first night, but I felt reasonable afterwards. As far as high mountain lakes go, the one we hiked to (Long Lake) wasn't all that nice, and we ended up hiking down from the lake to go to a better camping spot near a river. That was our warmup trip for the year, so now we're ready for bigger and better things.
(Take a look at the map for the hike. Looks normal at first. Then you see that map is orientated with North pointing down. The elevation profile is in the lower left, and you can see from the "You are here" text that the profile reads from right to left. What kind of messed up person drew this map?)

Last weekend we went climbing with Livia, Carol, Tyler, and Jamie. I haven't spent much time in the Independence Pass area, and I had forgotten how beautiful it is up there. I think we'll have to plan some other camping trips up there. The climbing was cool and I led 3 routes (a 5.8, 5.9, and 5.10a). Our camp site had plenty of available wood so we had a fire each night. We are still put to shame when it comes to car camping accoutrements, but we're getting better. We at least thought to bring s'mores this time.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

City Eating

I like to check out the local fare at some nice restaurants when I’m on a business trip. In New York, though, I’m perfectly content to grab a slice of pizza or some junk from a street vendor. I’m sure it’s all terrible for me, but it tastes good. :)

Tuesday night I walked from the hotel up to Central Park, passing several street vendors before I came upon one with a huge line of like 30+ people. I don’t know if it was a cunning trick that they were putting on to attract people, or if this food was actually good. I took my chances and waited in line. I’d say it was good but then again I didn’t have anything to compare it to. They must be popular, because they have they own logo’d bags (so I know the place is Halal on 6th Ave and 53rd St.).

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Late trip planning

Waiting until the last minute to plan a trip has it’s downsides for sure. For example, I was in a middle seat near the rear of the plane on the way to New York, which kind of sucks. There are, however, some upsides. There must not have been a lot of rooms left when I made my reservation, because I’m on the 24th floor with a room overlooking Times Square. Actually, my hotel room is a suite with two rooms, so I can sit on my couch in my bedroom and look out into the city or I can sit at the desk doing work in the other room and look out. Pretty stylish. My coworker booked a room at the Marriott on Broadway a week or two before I did, but I guess I’m glad I didn’t get the travel approval until late.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

New York here I come

I leave tomorrow afternoon for a business trip New York City. I'll be at visiting a big financial customer to do some debugging on Tuesday and then I'll be coming home Wednesday. Hopefully good things happen at this customer, because they are very high profile for us (high enough that head of out division has been dealing with them on a regular basis lately). I'm pretty excited to go back to NYC for the first time in a few years. I hope I have time to squeeze in a trip to McSorley's, a good pizza place, and purchase bootleg movies and fashion goods. :)

Saturday, June 2, 2007

iPod USB adapter

I've always been a little annoyed at the proprietary iPod plug because it means that I need to remember to take a special cable with me if I want to charge my iPod or add music to it. I eventually found something called the SendStation:

It's a cool idea, but there's one glaring problem. They used a USB B connector, and if you go check all your gadgets to see which ones use that type of cable you'll probably not find any. The only things that come to mind that use the USB B connector are printers and USB hubs and I'm about as likely to carry one of those cables around as I am to carry an iPod cable. What I really wanted was an adapter that would let me use a mini USB connector to interface with my iPod. So I made one.

I initially couldn't find a place that sold blank iPod connectors, so I bought the SendStation and ripped it open. USB is only 4 wires, so it was all that complicated after I looked up the pin out. What I ended up with is this:

It's not as pretty but it gets the job done and now I only need to carry one cable to charge my iPod, phone, GPS, etc... I've since found a place that sells the iPod connector, so I bought a few of them so I can make a cleaner version. I kind of munged the line-out connector with the soldering iron on this one too. Function over form I guess.