Saturday, July 24

From the plane, Scotland looks how you’d picture it: Green. It’s now 9:50am Glasgow time, so like 4:50am Toronto time. No problems getting off the plane and going through customs. We exchange our money for pounds sterling at the airport, and are very dismayed at the exchange rate. For my $300, I get £149 and change. We hop in a taxi and proceed to the City Inn. It’s a little weird watching traffic move on the other side of the road, and to have the driver be on the right side of the car. He is friendly enough and shares some info with us. The room is small, but just as I pictured it. The bed is wide, and short, and we have a view of the Clyde. The Clyde runs through Glasgow, just a little off of the center of it. We get settled in our room and we head over to the Scottish Exhibition and Convention Center, where Geoff’s conference is. It’s right beside our hotel, a five-minute walk. I grab a muffin to eat for a late breakfast, and we travel back to the hotel to retrieve Geoff’s poster to put up. We return to the hotel for a short nap. The bed is very soft, and the blanket is thick and heavy. I’m out like a light. We only nap for an hour, as we’ve lost a day on our trip. It has started to rain; it starts as a scotch mist, and progressively gets harder. It eventually slows and stops. We walk up through Kelvingrove Park, which is a huge park. There is a fountain sort of in the center. It’s hard to tell where the center of the park would be. The fountain is dry. We continue to walk up to city center, Merchant City as they call it. There are tons of shops, and old buildings to admire. One of the things I’ve noticed as we walk is there is a plethora of Indian restaurants. Makes me think of Lister (Red Dwarf) who loves vin de loo and lager. We see a big group of percussionists playing in front of Buchanan Galleries, a decent size mall. We look around a bit inside, to get out of the rain, which has picked up again. The mall is way to American for me, not the feel I wanted. We leave the mall and decide to head back to the hotel, and possibly look for some place to eat. We see a cute shop, James Pringle Weavers, which sells Scottish wears and gifts. As we are about to leave the rain has gotten even worse, coming down in sheets. We hang in the store for a bit, and then decide we’re done waiting. The rain lasts maybe another 15 minutes. We don’t find anyplace we want to eat, and have a small snack on McDonald’s fries. We hope to find a pub to have dinner at, some we saw a short walk from our hotel. All the pubs we visit don’t sell food, so we’re really disappointed. Some sell food, but not for dinner. It’s a little weird to see that. Naturally, they are very smoke-filled, as it seems everyone here smokes. We settle on a very tiny Italian restaurant, it seats maybe 10. I ordered spaghetti, and Geoff has penne. I’m not feeling well, so I eat very little, and Geoff is hungry so he finishes my food. We head back to hotel, and get some sleep.

Thursday, July 22

We go to Mary’s to drop off my key. She & her 3 daughters are looking forward to taking care of Honey. We get a quick tour of her house, and holy cow she has a pool in her house! After departing Mary’s we go home to have lunch then head to the airport. The drive to the airport brought a quick storm. Though the TV had told us to expect flash floods, I didn’t believe it. We saw hail along the side of the road, but we missed the hailstorm. Once we get parked at the airport, a loud siren goes off. No one knew what it was, but I heard the driver’s radio say it was a lightning warning. We arrive at the airport around 1:15pm. Our flight is scheduled for 3:50pm. At 3:30pm, they let us know our plane is in Pueblo, CO, most of the flights are stuck in Colorado Springs or Pueblo and we will be delayed. They tell us at 4:00pm, that the plane will leave Pueblo at 6:00pm, that the airport at Pueblo is not equipped to deal with so many planes. At this point we know we’re going to miss our connecting flight in Toronto. We only had 1 hour 15 minutes to make that connection, so Geoff talks to the people at the desk to see what can be done. They assure him someone will be waiting at the gate to assist us once we land in Toronto. Geoff then goes off to contact American Express, to see if we can set up a phone card through them. He is successful, and attempts to reach the City Inn in Glasgow to hold our reservation. At 5:10pm, the airline informs us that our plane has left Pueblo, and is on its way to Denver. We board the plane shortly after 6pm, and we are finally airborne. We finally get to Toronto at 11:15pm. Before we exit, we’ve learned that we have been booked on a new flight, since we missed ours. Geoff tells me it’s the same flight we would have been on. Meaning, we’re stuck in Toronto for the next 23 hours! Tired, and angry we de-board the plane, and are told to wait in a line for an agent to come and explain to us the situation. A few short minutes and the agent shows up to tell us what we already know. We’re stuck, sorry, talk to an Air Canada agent at the desk to get your new flight info. Oh yes, and because the flight delay is due to weather, they won’t do anything for us. Oh, they will recommend some hotels we can stay at that discount us poor plebes. We make our way through customs with no problems, and find the desk. We try to be reasonable, but we’re very tired, and they tell us something that just upsets us; that the flight out of Toronto was delayed and didn’t depart until 11:40pm (the exact time Geoff’s watch was showing when we learned this). We rail at them, had we known, we could have run for it, we have no checked luggage, and they could have held the plane for us. The agent is adamant, there is no way we’d have made it as it takes at least 30 minutes to get to the gate. Plus we would have to deal with customs and luggage. But there was no line at customs, and we had no checked luggage. We’re very upset, and I’m crying because I’m tired, and frustrated at being stuck in Toronto. I’m not keen on spending $80 Canadian on a hotel room. Geoff being sensible says a good night’s sleep in a hotel is better for us than sleeping in the airport. It’ll leave us better prepared for the day. We head off to the 4 Points Sheraton in Mississauga, and I sleep great until 8am. We head downstairs for breakfast, have a hot shower and watch some TV until checkout at noon. There was another couple from our flight that crashed at our hotel. They were destined to go to Ireland for a wedding, and were going to miss it. How much does that suck? We go back to the airport for a full day of sitting. My day is brightened by the fact that I can eat Harvey’s and Geoff’s keen on having some Tim Horton’s. Okay here’s the part where the story where it hits it’s lowest point. Here are the 3 things that make Lester B. Pearson the suckiest airport ever!

1. No Tim Horton’s.

2. No Harvey’s.


I couldn’t find any Hickory Sticks either. We started to question whether we were even IN Canada. There is something so wrong if you are in a Canadian airport and you can’t enjoy Timmy’s, Harvey’s or snack on Hickory Sticks.

You’d think it’s hard to kill 10 hours at an airport, but somehow we did it. I credit 20 Questions, Eye Spy, and yummy chocolate. What also helped were seats without armrests, so we could stretch out and sleep. At last, we get to board the plane for Glasgow, and it’s packed. Since I slept great at the hotel and Geoff didn’t sleep as well, I let him have the window seat. It’s easier to sleep in that seat; you can lean against the window. I dozed a little but I felt awful, and totally exhausted by the time we land.

Toronto sucks!

We got home alright (eventually), the trip was an adventure to say the least. From Thursday night on, one of the only things that got me to laugh about all the crap we’d been through was The Toronto Song by 3 Dead Trolls In A Baggie. In all fairness, there are aspects of the town that don’t suck, but essentially the Lester B. Pearson Airport sucks big time. It’ll make sense once I can post my journal from the trip. That’ll be tonight. Now, jet-lagged, I have to go work a full day.

I guess I’ll close with some lyrics from The Toronto Song.

I hate the skydome and the CN tower too

I hate Nathan Phillips Square and the Ontario Zoo

The rents too high, the airs unclean

The beaches are dirty, and the people are mean

And the women are big, and the men are dumb

And the children are loopy cause they live in a slum

The water is polluted and the mayors a dork

They dress real bad and they think they’re New York

In Toronto, Ontario


I don’t know how much time I’ll get to blog this week, with working all week and preparing for the trip. So I thought I’d tackle some now. Let’s talk about people I don’t really like.

John Kerry. He’s kicking off some campaign at his birthplace, which happens to be RIGHT BESIDE GEOFF’S WORK! What disappoints Geoff and I is it’ll be while we’re in Scotland. I would have LOVED to go and show my support for Bush. Carry a sign or something. This would have been my only chance. I doubt seriously he’d return so close to me before the election.

Michael Moore. Some guy named Michael Wilson is putting out a documentary called Michael Moore Hates America. I don’t think I’d watch this movie, despite how I feel about Mr. Moore. And frankly I have serious doubts it would be a project done well. I’m all for a movie that would be the antithesis to Michael Moore’s movies, but I’d want it to be a well thought out project, and not the propaganda that Moore puts out.

So I’d have to say the previews we saw yesterday ranked high in crap. Each trailer was worse than the one before. First up was an Icon Production (which I will support because Icon is Mel Gibson’s company, and I had a friend who worked for Icon) called Paparazzi. I’m guessing you’ll be able to piece together what it’s about. A little cheesy, but this was the most promising. Second was Resident Evil: Apocalypse. This looked so wretched, but then maybe I just don’t get it. I’m not a big fan of video games becoming movies, and this plot was so laughable. But again there was the worst to come. Lastly, Alien Vs. Predator. The two villains do battle with innocent humans caught in between. I was just so thankful for I, Robot to start. Ah, Hollywood. What would we do without you?

Everyone I know is busy traveling. Colin, Dawn and Dylan took a trip to Banff a weeks ago. The Armstrongs have plans for Victoria, Lisa, Chad & the girls are heading to Vancouver next week, and my mom is going to visit her best friend Heather next week. Crazy! I guess there’s something about July. I’m looking forward to taking a break from travel after Glasgow. I was hoping to do Edmonton next spring, but we’ll see what time & money affords. Geoff has a conference in Providence, Rhode Island in April, and I’d like to go there.

That’s all for now. I’ll close with a quote from one of my favorite shows Titus. (Hey Fox- Put Titus On DVD!)

Christopher Titus: The only way to tell my Dad something is to write it on a note, and tie it to a brick, and throw it through a window. Of course, now Dad’s armed with a brick.

I, Robot…I Love It!

Can you believe it? We went out and saw a movie. I, Robot was awesome! Everything you want in a Will Smith movie. I love Will Smith, for many reasons, he is an amazing actor. He’s committed to his family, he’s an all-around nice guy, he puts out great music, and he’s a damn fine looking man. But I Robot is a good movie, I whole-hearted recommend it. Maybe I’ll read some Isaac Asimov, which they say the movie was “suggested by”. I guess that’s kind of like “inspired by”.

I’ll close with a quote from the movie.

Detective Del Spooner: Somehow “I told you so” just doesn’t quite say it.

Some Kind Of Day

Man, I am having some kind of day. I woke up early, which isn’t much of a problem, as I felt totally rested. But it has made the day feel like forever. I walked to the library to pick up Kids In The Hall Season One (guess what we’ll be doing this weekend). On the walk back, I was looking at all the houses for sale, there are quite a few. It made me think of when Geoff and I will get to buy our first house, and will it be a new house or an older house. Then I thought of how my dad never got to move into the house he & Debbie bought. I got a little teary, as I knew the house meant a lot to my dad. I got home and I got an email from Dawn. It was filled with a lot of info, advice, and love. I miss Dawn, Colin & Dylan. I miss not being to see them often. Same with my mom. My mom is working on finding an affordable flight here, and you’d think it wouldn’t be so hard. Denver is a very accessible city. Flying is so expensive, but it’s the fastest way to get anywhere. I dream of the day when flying won’t cost so much. Will never happen, I know.

So… the Mormons came to the door. I was on the phone with my mom, so I tried to hurry them away. When we lived in Irvine, the Mormons came to our door. I was home alone, and I had nothing else going on, so I let them have it. I told them what I thought of the Book Of Mormon, how they are a contradictory group of people, and that I was very happy being a Christ-follower. Today they got the condensed version. I go to a church, I’m a Christian, I read the Bible, I have issues with Mormonism that I don’t have time to get into with you because I’m on the phone long distance. “Can we come back at a better time?” “No.” If you are going to preach something, be consistent. Why would I want to be a mormon? Ooh, please, when I die, can I give birth to spirit babies? Uh, thanks. I’ll take eternal life with Jesus thank you very much.

Chris sent me an article from CBC about Michael Moore that totally brightened my day.

Celebrity Poker Showdown. Last week, Dave Navarro won. I had predicted it to be Richard Kind, who was the runner-up. It was a very exciting game. Last night, Jeff Gordon won. (pause for puzzlement) Yeah, I was surprised too. He wouldn’t have been my pick. Next week’s match, I’ll have to pick either Jason Bateman (Hogan Family! Come on!) or David Cross. I won’t be able to see it, or tape it, so I’ll have to catch it in a rerun.

It’s raining here, and I’m thrilled. It’s been hot hot hot all week, so this is a great change of pace. Did I mention we’re scheduled for rain all week in Glasgow while we’re there? 🙂 I had a great jacket for rain, but it got lost with our luggage 4 years ago. I loved that jacket. Mountain Equipment Coop. It was purple. I may have a picture of it somewhere. Geoff did buy me a jacket to replace it a few years back, but it’s fleece, which isn’t so good for rain. But I love it. It’s blue.

I submitted updated info on Geoff to the UofA Alumni magazine New Trail. Diane emailed me last week to tell me it was in the latest edition. We got our copy the other day. Hey, it’s a wife’s right to brag about her husband’s accomplishments.

We went to the Bull & Bush twice this week. Sunday was just the two of us, and last night it was out with a student visiting from Michigan. He was a lot of fun to hang out with. He shares a love of MST3K, Civilization, and the visual of scientists breaking out into a fight. Geoff talked him into going to the ENC. Next year it’s in Providence, RI, and I’m hopefully going to go. We’ll see how money is. I’m anxious to go in 2 years when it’s back to Monterey, CA.

I’ll close with a quote from MST3K.

Tom Servo: [upon seeing the credit “Brian Hamill – Still Photographer”] I’m glad Brian Hamill’s still a photographer. I was afraid he’d be laid off.

Afternoon Report

I couldn’t call it the morning report as it’s 4:30pm.

Someone at the museum thought I was from NYC. How funny is that?! I took it as a compliment, having never met anyone from NYC. Someday I’d like to go and see what the fuss is about. The topic of San Francisco came up a few times this week, and made me want to go back. I really dig that town, even with it’s hippies.

I bought some running shoes so I have something comfortable to walk around Glasgow in. I found someone who is willing to take Honey in for a week. She’s someone I work with and a big cat lover. This is a huge weight off my shoulders.

I’ve been laughing my butt off this week at I Love The 90’s. It’s all about Hal Sparks. He makes the best comments. His rendition of Nothing Compares To You had Geoff laughing so hard. I’m taping the series for Colin & Dawn, as I know they’ll get a kick out of it. For me, it’s like a funnier way to relive my junior high & high school days.

So, the airline is showing The Station Agent (Oscar Nominated Movie) and Tomorrow Never Dies on the flight out to Glasgow. On the way back, we have Starsky & Hutch, Lethal Weapon, and Calendar Girls. But with the flight out there being overnight, I don’t know that we’ll watch anything. We’ll likely sleep. Geoff laughed at me when I mentioned we could eat at Harvey’s in Toronto on the way home. Come on! It’s Harvey’s!

I’ll close with a quote from That Thing You Do!

Mr. White: This “Oneders” thing, with the o-n-e, it doesn’t work. It’s confusing. From now on, you’re just The Wonders.

Lenny: As in, I wonder what happened to the O-Needers?


It is unbearably hot here. I realize this does not help my cause of getting my mom to visit here, and I hope it cools down soon. Mind you, the pictures Lisa sent me of Edmonton this weekend, doesn’t make me want to visit there. Craziness! I am thankful of the cool weather we’ll get in Glasgow. I’m not even there yet, and I’m starting to fret a little about the souvenirs I’ll have to get. This trip is huge for us, and I would like to bring gifts back for family. I guess they probably don’t care what we bring back, so long as we think of them. Right? I just would never presume to say I know what other people would like. I find sometimes I’m surprised by what I like. Okay, less fretting, this trip is about having fun. 🙂

Sunday night, I had a bad night. 1. It was too hot to sleep. I had to get up and watch some tv to bore me to sleep. That helped a little. 2. My mind was racing about something that was bothering me. I tried to listen to some soothing music (this was before the tv), but it didn’t really help. The worst part about something bothering you, is the inability to do anything about it. It’s nothing I can fix, just something I have to deal with. Given time (I pray) I’ll be able to deal with it. Sorry, it’s not something I can write about.

Work is good. I met with Maria in Human Resources to talk about positions opening up at the museum, and she gave me some leads. I hope to meet with one of the supervisors on Wednesday.

I should get going with my day. We’re supposed to get up to 95 today, so I want to get to the library before it gets too hot. I’ll close with a quote from 10 Things I Hate About You.

Walter Stratford: I’m down, I’ve got the 411, and you are not going out and getting jiggy with some boy, I don’t care how dope his ride is. My mama didn’t raise no foo’!

Pocket Aces

A few months ago we bought some poker chips to play Texas Hold-Em, and it was short one chip. I wrote an email to Bicycle and today in the mail came a package of 100 poker chips! 🙂 Cool! Now maybe I can sway Geoff into a game of No Limit Texas Hold-Em.

Don’t you love having little surprises like that?