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Uncle Markie out and about.

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Wed
12
Sep '18

Home Report: Projects, Dogs, & Distilling

There is a project that I started in the middle of summer – and then abandoned when the heat spiked – but I finally got it done! A ramp from my back deck to the yard with replaces the rotted-out deck. Now I have easy rolling access from the sidewalk out front to the garage […]

Sat
1
Sep '18

Trip Report: Kansas City

The trip didn’t come off as planned. I made it, but DancingBear had to cancel at the last minute since his dog Buster just got out of surgery the afternoon of the day before we were slated to leave. Buster went under the knife to remove a cup of pea gravel covered in BBQ hamburger […]

Sun
26
Aug '18

Trip Report: Back To Whistler For Seconds

Once again, I’m making multiple trips to Whistler to get the most value out of my Season Peak-2-Peak pass. This trip, the midway stop on the way north is Vancouver – which it’s rare to find a room during summer, especially a 2-bedroom! The trip north was a little smoky, though not as bad as […]

Thu
2
Aug '18

Trip Report: Quick Trip To Hell

Just kidding about hell, but it was Vegas in the summer, and no matter how many people say, “But, it’s a dry heat,” it’s still hot as hell in the summer. More on that later. This trip was really about just going down to hang out with friends and spend a little time by the […]

Sun
22
Jul '18

Trip Report: Wonderful Week In Whistler – Part Three

Well, it’s time for the final day on the mountain – and to beat the crowds we are actually AT the lift entrance just before it opened at 8:30. I think the trick would be to show up at 8:45 when the initial crowd has cleared through. We got up the mountain so early that […]

Fri
20
Jul '18

Trip Report: Wonderful Week In Whistler – Part Two

Rache was up and out and on the mountain before I’d dragged my lazy ass out of bed. At least I was out of the condo at 11am. Oh, what a difference a day makes – yesterday, no lines to get on the gondola, today, 30 minutes of wait time, even with the season pass: […]

Fri
20
Jul '18

Trip Report: Wonderful Week In Whistler – Part One

As is my usual summer holiday routine, it’s off to Whistler to enjoy some “hiking”, which for me means the one Black Diamond hike that is the only way to get to the Whistler Peak Express chairlift. But we’ll come back to that – first we have to get there. I booked Sunday night at […]

Wed
11
Jul '18

Trip Report: SEA-JFK-NYC-FLL-MSP-SEA

Sounds like gobblely gook when you type it out like that. Got notice about five days before my flight that I was upgraded from Seattle to JFK in NYC. But, it’s a red eye, so I’d better fill up in the Lounge before the flight: Alaska’s Lounge has lots of healthy options, and some unhealthy […]

Sun
17
Jun '18

Trip Report: Final Legs Of New Zealand Trip

No ill effects from my night of sobriety here in Dallas. Didn’t seem worth $15 worth of Ubers to pick up a bottle or two to drink and/or take home. Awoke at 6am – said, what the hell, the breakfast bar is open. In the south there is always biscuits and gravy on the buffet. […]

Thu
14
Jun '18

Trip Report: Auckland To Sydney To Dallas

Time to bid adieu to New Zealand. Up at 5am, well, 5:20, to get to the airport for my 8:35am flight. Another Uber ride. The Auckland Airport is torn up, and it’s a maze to get to the lounge – but at least there is a lounge, though they only let me into the Business […]

Wed
13
Jun '18

Trip Report: Auckland – Day Eight

How lovely to not having to get up in the morning on a schedule – a rarity when travelling. Today is one of those days. The day is about starting laundry (if you pay for en-suite laundry – you should use it!), did one load last night, two loads today including one with my jacket, […]

Tue
12
Jun '18

Trip Report: Wellington To Auckland – Day Seven

Its train day – I’ve got to make a 7:55am train – fortunately, the train station is right across the street, and McDonalds is just next door for a quick breakfast. Ever heard of a NYC Benedict Bagel? In New Zealand, it’s a thing. Mind you, mine didn’t look quite like the one from the […]

Tue
12
Jun '18

Trip Report: Picton To Wellington – Day Six

Yep, I really took the ferry to Picton: For the ferry ride So I could say I’ve been to the South Island Didn’t even try any of the world-famous Marlborough wine while actually in Marlborough. It seems a lot of hotel in New Zealand have a check out time of 10am – which seems a […]

Tue
12
Jun '18

Trip Report: Wellington To Picton – Day Five

Check out time is 11am, but the ferry to Picton isn’t until after 2, so there is a little tie to sleep in, and scout out some breakfast after leaving the bags at reception. For the first time on this trip I actually used Trip Advisor to find a close-by restaurant – and considering the […]

Mon
11
Jun '18

Trip Report: Wellington – Day Four

I know someone in Wellington, he’s been to dinner at my house in Seattle at least once, a friend of Roxy. We’d been messaging over the last couple of months – I added Wellington to my itinerary because he said it was his favorite city in New Zealand. Getting together with him is proving a […]

Sun
10
Jun '18

Trip Report: Auckland To Wellington – Day Three

I had wanted the flight closer to noon, but even after spending 45 minutes on the phone with United, grabbing supervisors, etc., the 10am flight it was. Didn’t want to do the schlep to the Airport Shuttle, so just booked and Uber door to door: NZ$49.62 (US$34.91), which is basically twice what the shuttle would […]

Sat
9
Jun '18

Trip Report: Auckland – Day Two

Lovely to be able to sleep in this morning! Today’s wine tour to Waihele Island doesn’t depart from Auckland until the 1PM ferry. I wandered in the direction of the ferry in search of a late breakfast or early lunch – discovering that lots of Auckland lunch places don’t open until 11:30am, and I was […]

Fri
8
Jun '18

Trip Report: Auckland – Day One

I’m not sure what possessed me to book a winery tour for my first day in Auckland, arriving at the hotel at 7AM, which gave me time to track down some breakfast. What I found was The Federal Delicatessen, which turned out to have just the breakfast I needed. Nothing heavy, just something to tide […]

Fri
8
Jun '18

Trip Report: Headed Down Under

The journey begins with the tale of two lounges…I started off in the Alaska Lounge for round one of food/drink, then went to the other end of the airport to the United Club because it was closer to my departure gate and as a Million Mile United Premier Gold for life, lounge access comes free […]

Tue
29
May '18

Life Report: Hacking Your Luggage

Because I’ve had this design gig for the last couple of months, I’ve been traveling with a rolling laptop bag because: I’ve got a pinched nerve in my left shoulder and my laptop backpack doesn’t help the tingling It’s an older, heavier laptop, but it has programs installed that I can’t do this gig without […]