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Uncle Markie out and about.

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UMTravels

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Wed
12
Aug '20

Trip Report: Shakedown Trip To Assess Comfort Level

I forget how long ago I booked this trip, but I thought it was far enough out that we would be back to normal. Part of how I booked it was that even in this time of free changes, parts of this one were not. The upside is that it was booked in First Class, […]

Wed
5
Aug '20

Home Report: Masks and Pillows

I seriously thought when I made the first 48 masks that would be enough for a lifetime. Apparently, I’m a creature with more than one life. Not a cat, I’m allergic to them. Last week was upcycling bad wine, this week it is turning thrift store Hawaiian shirts that have seen too much love to […]

Tue
28
Jul '20

Home Report: Unplanned Project

If there is anything in this world that I dislike more that “45”, it would be plumbing repairs. This week was slated to be version two mask making week (elastic head [not ear] straps, wire insert by the nose for better fit. The saga begins a month ago when I swapped out the float mechanism […]

Wed
22
Jul '20

Home Report: Living Room Redo Done

Just realized that I’m cleaning/redoing the décor in a very slow clockwise path. Finished the living room this afternoon. Here is the before: Can you say CLUTTERED! I’d been wanting to change out the artwork for the last couple of years – but the piece with the massive frame weighs a lot. The frame is […]

Sun
19
Jul '20

Home Report: Failed Cooking Experiments

I post all the pretty dinner pics on Facebook – but rarely the disasters. My first attempt at making zucchini fries crusted with parmesan. Definitely, a fail. Maybe if I had cooked smaller batches with them spread out. Oh well. Plus, I accidentally put in too much salt – and with the parmesan, definitely noticeable. […]

Tue
14
Jul '20

Home Report: Second Bedroom Done

Second bedroom is a bit misleading…technically, it’s the Master Bedroom, i.e., where the Master (that would be me) sleeps. Before, the shit show of leftovers from years of travelling: Thought it wouldn’t need all that much time, but that’s when “project creep” comes into play: Jewelry chest needed to be cleaned, items passed onto friends […]

Wed
8
Jul '20

Home Report: Pantry Update

One would think that with this 4+ month travel grounding, that I’d be further ahead on my cleaning/organizing. Hard to get excited about anything. This project wasn’t even on my list, but the purchase of an Air Fryer, I needed someplace to actually store potatoes (and onions). And I needed a better (heavy duty) potato/vegetable […]

Sat
27
Jun '20

Trip Report: Road Trip To The Woods

After three and a half months of being in my own bed every night, what a joy to take a road trip! Hatched the idea on Sunday, with an email to my friends that run the Quillayute River Resort outside of Forks, Washington. Enquired about how their occupancy was since they reopened a month ago. […]

Sun
21
Jun '20

Home Report: Back Bedroom Clean/Organize

Three months into the lockdown, I’ve finished one project, the cleaning/organizing the back guest bedroom to make it more comfortable for guests. Like there will be any guests anytime soon. The before, trashed version: The after, before stuff starts showing up on all flat surfaces (nature abhors a vacuum): And from the other direction – […]

Mon
25
May '20

Home Report: Covie-19 Feeling Chart

Periodically during this pandemic I’ve been feeling a wide swing of emotions. I decided to make a “fire danger” chart for myself and everyone else to use. So, if you’d like to download a copy of this, you can find the PDF at this link. It’s formatted for landscape letter (US) size. UncleMarkiesCovidPoster I decided […]

Wed
20
May '20

Home Report: My Tax Dollars Spent On Trump Campaign Advertising, AGAIN

Estimado Líder Exaltado, Si bien le agradezco por devolver $1,200 de mi dinero de impuestos, la carta de explicación que llegó dos semanas después del cheque me parece una pieza de literatura de campaña para la candidatura de reelección de su alteza. El pplazamiento de us$franqueo para los 150 millones de personas que reciben estas […]

Thu
16
Apr '20

Home Report: Time Travel

As you all know, I live to travel, which, sadly hasn’t happened recently, and it’s looking maybe by the end of May, maybe. About a year ago, I was on a quest to find a world clock with the ability to display four time zones at a glance to help with my every present travel […]

Sun
12
Apr '20

Trip Report: Last Trip To Hawaii For A Bit

It seems like a different time, though it was only a month ago. It’s taken me that long to find the motivation to document my trip to Waikiki. This was the week before the shelter in place order. There was such a lull in air traffic, the both DancingBear and I got upgraded to First […]

Wed
25
Mar '20

Trip Report: Nagoya To Seattle

We had one last afternoon meal of conveyor belt sushi (see previous post) before I headed to the airport – since I have an early flight, staying at an airport hotel. This time (I’ve done this before), staying at the Centrair Hotel which is directly connected to both the train station and the airport: A […]

Mon
16
Mar '20

Trip Report: Japanese Vending Machines

One of the wonderful things about Japan is their Vending Machine Culture. Years ago, in Tokyo in the red-light district, I saw pornography in a street side vending machine. Nothing as tawdry this trip. Just everything from cigarettes, to beer, coffee, high balls…. Cigarettes — Hot dogs and French fries — Sodas, water, tea — […]

Sun
15
Mar '20

Trip Report: Osaka

So, took a late afternoon Shinkansen from Hiroshima to Osaka. If you were trying to save money, you could shave $25 off if you were willing to transfer three times and have it take 6 hours rather than 2. We took the semi-fast train (more stops, but direct). Unlike last night’s hotel, which was near […]

Sun
15
Mar '20

Trip Report: Hiroshima

With my unexpected extra time in Japan, Julian and I decided to head several hours south to Hiroshima, yes, that Hiroshima. Back on the train go we. And yes, there are little smoking rooms on the train: At the train station in Hiroshima, besides displaying cars… They also had a seating chart of the station […]

Fri
13
Mar '20

Trip Report: Couple Of Days In Nagoya

Change is in the wind. Next stop was supposed to be a hotel near Tokyo Disneyland Sea – until they closed the park, then shortly after, India cancelled eVisas for Japanese citizens. Delhi was the destination after Disney. Change is in the wind, roll with it. My answer? Cancel the Delhi-London section of the trip, […]

Wed
11
Mar '20

Trip Report: Gero, Japan – A Mountain Hot Springs Town

Having had a good night’s sleep in Nagoya – thanks to Julian buying a new guest mattress – in the morning we are off to Gero, which is a town several hours away, up in the mountains. WikiPedia link here. We took the slow (i.e. cheap) train, which took a couple of transfers – but […]

Tue
10
Mar '20

Trip Report: Seattle to Nagoya

The beginning of a 12-day adventure! All packed and ready to go. First, a stop at Duty Free – yes, the limit is THREE bottles going into Japan: Flight is on time… Riding in style – Japan Airlines Business Class to Tokyo’s Narita Airport with a stop in the lounge first… The plane is here… […]