Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Nikola Tesla BioPics

I was searching for the Tesla Roadster (sounds like TestaRosa) when I found this 14-minute bio sketch of Nicola Tesla.

Eli & Saul decided to drive through the night on a vacation trip. They woke us in the parking lot at Niagara Falls before dawn. They had decided finally to visit this classic. There was a memorial to Tesla, not as well-known as he should be. It was drizzling and the spray from the falls made it even damper.

View directly at YouTube.

There also is this four-part documentary on Tesla's life and genius.

Linda's New Office at Champlain College

Ralph and I rode over to Champlain College at noon today to see Linda's new office.

Now she is in the thick of things and can see colleagues easily.

Trip to Marion, IL

Linda and I took some time to drive out to Marion to help put Linda's dad's ashes in the grave with her mom, Norma. Ted died before Christmas and was cremated. After Norma died, I told Ted that my dad was cremated and I missed having a place where my dad was buried. Ted said that he was planning to be cremated. That was a surprise. What I didn't figure was that we could bury the ashes and have a place to visit.

So we visited Norma's grave to have some more opportunity to tell stories and talk about them and the family.

Ken & Donna, who have been at the center of organizing Ted's end of life, came down from DeKalb, and Carolyn and Terry came up from Jacksonville (and would then visit Terry's dad in Arizona). Carl and Les couldn't make it, but cousins Tim Rodd and Pam Baker and her daughter Jackie and husband, Bob, came over to visit.

Pam had a great collection of family photos, many of which we hadn't seen. There was one of Grandma Lela Rodd smiling and holding baby Lenora (we think).

I documented the trip:

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

We awoke to a lovely Paris morning.

First, a walk up the hill with breakfast an a street-side shop. Then to the Pantheon and the Sorbonne (don't we have photos?). And then over to the Luxemburg Gardens.

We both just love tree-lined walks.

Linda was taken by this Italianate pool and sculpture garden. One of the Borgia queens had this erected to remind her of her roots.

We walked to the Louvre

and around with all the other tourists.

Tourism is a very old pursuit. People have travelled to the Holy Land, to new worlds, to China, to see what they could see. We embrace our inner outer tourist.

The Picasso Museum held wonderful treats:

We saw the bicycle seat/handlebar that looks like a bull's head. I'm sorry. No photo.

In the evening we got on the Metro and rode to Champs du Mars to view the sunset with le Tour Eifel. At first it looked like it was being underlit by the setting sun, but then we realized that spotlights were helping the illusion. Pretty nice even so.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Today is our 31st Anniversary. We wanted to get married on Bastille Day (the 14th) but that was in the middle of the week in July, 1976, so we went for the weekend before. Eli & Saul gave us a gift of this trip.

Here is a slide show of the highlights:

Last evening we arrived in Paris via the EuroStar. This fast train departs from London Waterloo Station and moves at 239 kph once it leaves the Chunnel to get to Gare du Nord in 2.5 hours. Whew.

We frenched our way through getting tickets to the Metro. When we got off at our stop, just over on the Left Bank, we emerged to see Notre Dame de Paris:

Actually, this shot is from the next evening when we had our 'dinner' on the bank of the Seine. The boat offers a magic show. We didn't go.

We stayed at the Hotel du Commerce. It was recommended in the Rough Guide as an affordable place.

The entrance is below the street,

which is on Rue St Genevieve, which climbs up to the Pantheon and the Sorbonne.

Here's the view up the hill:

down, toward the river.

A lady asked us to take her picture with her dogs on the Pont des Arts and she took ours. Natalie told us she used to cross this bridge every day on her way to school.

We saw Thomas Jefferson:

And these two typical Parisians:

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Toward leTour de France

An early step was to learn how to pack the Bike Friday in its case. I wanted to document this process so I could reproduce it in France.
From Bikes

(Blogs seem to be designed so that you can put your current thoughts up and the posts appear in reverse chronological order, newest on top. Perhaps the blog is not the best format for posting a history of a vacation adventure. Can I reverse the order?)

It turned out that I repacked the bike on a cliff in Normandy with no WiFi, so I couldn't look at the original even if I had it.

We left Vermont on July 9th, 2007, and drove Linda's wounded Honda to the Pierre Trudeau Airport in Dorval, PQ. We had the Bike Friday neatly stowed in the heavy luggage, which had to be treated as oversize. We put the car in long-term parking and moseyed through the airport procedures. We watched a guy eat "poutine," which seems to be fried potatoes smothered in gravy. Eventually we got on the plane looking forward to an overnight flight that would put us in England in the morning:

We got to Gatwick around 8 am, got some pounds from a machine, and bought tickets on a train that was supposed to take us to Victoria Station. The train was delayed because a lorry hit one of the supports for a bridge on the way. Calm Britons took this in stride. In a half an hour we were under way again.

We got out at Victoria and found ourselves in downtown London. Signs on the streets said "Look Right." I guess they get plenty of people who drive on the right and look left when crossing.

We hauled the suitcase and backpack over to Buckingham Palace and saw the end of the changing of the guard.

Then we found a lovely alley of trees for Linda to pose under.

Friday, August 3, 2007

How to blog photos

Before I put up maps and stories, I want to master posting photos to illustrate them.

I found that I couldn't easily link to photos on my iGoogle Photos page, but rather had to download an image and upload it before it would appear in the blog.

There is an album with the right title. "Dave & Linda's Tour de France" in my Picasa space, but I can't seem to copy photos to it through the Picasa interface.

But only an empty frame appeared. What's up?

Well, it says that I can insert the URL of the image I want. Here is one of Graham at Olde Spokes Home preparing the Bike Friday for the great adventure.
OK. Now I think I get it. Thanks to Eli.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Posting Pictures

I tried to load some pictures from my Picassa set, but only a frame showed up.

This one is from the album I downloaded in preparing to put a select set on a CD.

Breakfast in Savonnières, Loire valley, before visiting Villandry:

Monks planted these in contrasting colors. I think the tourists have to support this work now.