Homer's Travels

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Weekly Ephemera #92

  • Travel season is approaching and we started money in motion in preparation for two adventures later this year.

    The first is a return to Spain for the second part of the Wife's Camino.  I purchased tickets to Madrid, train tickets from Madrid to Burgos (where we ended the first part of her Camino), and reserved a room near the Cathedral.  We will be flying the middle of June and returning sometime the first week of July.

    The second is a trip to the United Kingdom between mid September and early October.  We met with our travel agent and she made most of the flight, train, and hotel reservations.  The ones she couldn't do the Wife did.  During this trip we will be meeting with our friends we met on the Amazon - they visited us last year for the crane migration - and we will see the sights in England, Wales, and the southern part of Scotland.  (The Northern parts will have to be done on another trip due to time and money constraints.)  If the the gods of luck and fortune smile on us we will be attending a Wrexham game but it's a long shot now that they moved up a league and are more popular than ever.
  • On Thursday and Saturday the sprinkler people came to fix some issues in our aging inground sprinkler system.  A third visit will be needed to bypass a suspected blockage in one of the sprinkler zones.  We turned on the sprinklers this weekend due the hot weather - twenty-some degrees Fahrenheit above normal for three days - we are having at the moment.  We even turned on the air conditioner though the temperatures are going back down to normal which means switching back to heat.  Both of these things are a few weeks earlier than 'normal'.
  • I finished "True Detective" this week.  Liked all four seasons though seasons one and four are the best I think.  Now to look for something else to watch.
Color or Black & White - Seen on one of my walks.
  • I walked twice this week.  My hardest hurdle to jump is my laziness.  The two hikes I did totaled 13 miles (21 km).
  • Next week we are going to Minneapolis for the Godson's schools charity gala.  The ol' suit will have to be dusted off.

Sunday, April 07, 2024

Weekly Ephemera #91

  • The Wife got me on April Fools day.  She said she was having second thoughts about redoing the bathroom and she wanted me to cancel the job with the contractor.  I totally fell for it as you could tell by the hybrid confused and panicked face I made.
  • We went to our local home improvement store and bought the tile, toilet mechanisms, lights, and mirrors for our bathroom remodel - the one we are not canceling.
  • Mom had several doctors appointments ... most of them not really necessary but required by a doctor or insurance company policy.
  • We went to see Peter Frampton on Wednesday as I posted about here.
  • On Thursday night we went to see the Omaha Supernovas, our local women's pro volleyball team.  We got tickets from one of the Wife's friends and we had a good time seeing them win against the Columbus, OH Fury three sets to one.  A few crappy pictures can be seen in my 2024-04-04 Supernovas Volleyball Google Photos album.

    The Supernovas are in white and blue.
  • I did not walk this week due to all the appointments this week.  I had an opportunity to walk on Wednesday but instead I went down to the she-shed and took a nap.  I expected it to last an hour but I woke up nearly three hours later.  I guess I was tired.

Friday, April 05, 2024

Music: Peter Frampton at the Orpheum Theater

On Wednesday the Wife and I went to our second concert of the year.  Like our first (The Eagles) this one was also someone we'd seen before, Peter Frampton.   We saw him perform back in 2013 at the Stir Cove.

There was no warmup and the show started with Peter Frampton coming on stage with a cane.  He sat done on a swivel chair and started an awesome show.  As a matter of fact everyone in the band were sitting down during the performance.  A couple times he mentioned he would be playing as long as it would let him.  It turns out he has Inclusion Body Myositis (IBM) a form of non-fatal ALS.  Over time IBM suffered lose control of their legs, Arma, and hands.  It turns out Frampton is a special case because he still has control of his fingers.

Peter Frampton and his band.
The show was nearly three hours long and he covered a lot of his music.  He stopped a few times to talk to the audience and to give out signed copies of records (including an IBM sufferer in a wheelchair in the audience).  He was in good spirits and in good form.  His guitar skills have not diminished as far as I could tell.

His cover of Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun", which he performed both this and the other time we saw him, was amazing.

It was a great time, we had great seats, and I'm glad we went.

Photos can be found in my "2024-04-03 Peter Frampton, Orpheum Theater, Omaha, NE" Google Photos album.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Weekly Ephemera #90

 Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates!

  • A cute minion seen during
    one of my walks.
    We celebrated Easter first at the Niece's house near Sioux City and second at my Mom's house.  It was a nice time at both dinners and we now have full bellies.
  • We had a lawn service over to fix a leaking backflow valve.  Unfortunately this small repair is going to turn into a large replacement of valves and manifolds next month.  When it rains it pours being a homeowner.
  • I started watching "True Detective" this week.  The first season was interesting in a strange way.  The second season (each season is an independent storyline) is not as weird but still interesting.  There are four seasons.
  • I hiked three times this week and pushed my distance to the longest since the Wife's Camino last May,  I walked 29.4 miles (47.3 km) over the three walks.  My legs felt the extra distance but it felt good getting out and pushing it.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Weekly Ephemera #89

  • On Tuesday the Wife and I met with our travel agent to go over our fall trip to England and Wales.  Originally we were going to include Scotland but after going over the transportation options our agent pointed out Scotland could be three to four weeks on its own.  Since we wanted to limit it to only three to four weeks for the whole trip we decided to postpone Scotland, possibly combining it with Ireland.

    For those who are curious, the only thing we are interested in doing in Wales is going to see a Wrexham Match.  If you are asking why take some time to watch "Welcome to Wrexham".
  • I walked three times this week which was what I was hoping to do.  I managed a respectable 20.3 miles (32.7 km).  My individual hikes are still too short and increasing the distance is my new goal.
  • I watched "Harley Quinn" this week.  It's a raunchy, irreverent, and very funny animated series centered on a Batman Villain. Not recommended for young children.  I'm enjoying it.  I have one more season to go.
  • The Wife, after returning from the Big East basketball tournament on Sunday has been submerged fully in the Madness of March.  It's been quiet upstairs ... and intermittently noisy in the She-Shed.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Astronomical Spring!

 I hope everyone is celebrating the Spring Equinox.  Nothing like the first day of Spring to lift one's mood.  To make it better it's a little earlier than normal since it's a Leap Year.

🌼Happy First Day of Spring Everyone!🌷

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Weekly Ephemera #88

I hope you all had an irrational 𝝅 day and an inebriated, but safe, Saint Patrick's Day!
  • Another ordinary week for me and an exciting one for the Wife.  The only thing I did was take my Mom to, what both my Mom and I agree was, a totally worthless and a bit weird appointment with a neurologist.  It was an appointment that could easily have been an email or phone call.
  • While Mom and I were wasting time the Wife was going to the airport to fly to New York.  She is there until later tonight.  She is there to attend the Big East basketball tournament.  Unfortunately the Wife's team, the Creighton Bluejays, got knocked out in their first game.  But there was more basketball to watch and a bit of New York sightseeing along the way.
  • I finished the Doom Patrol.  It was a well written series finale. You were both happy and sad for the characters and the ending scene and music was near perfect.  I will now move on to something else once I figure out what that thing is.
  • I only walked once this week.  No reason I didn't do more.  I have just have a massive deficit of motivation.  I only walked 6.6 miles (10.65 km).  So far I'm walking less than any of the eighteen years I've been keeping track.  Not good.

Friday, March 15, 2024

Book: Adrian Tchaikovsky's "Children Of Ruin"

The second book of 2024 - I can't believe I've only read two books in two and a half months - was the second book of the Children of Time series.  The book continues a few years after the events of "Children of Time".

In Adrian Tchaikovsky's "Children of Ruin" the Humans and their allies the spider-like Portiids set out to investigate a signal they were receiving from a distant star system.  The book flashes between two time periods, one when the Human terraformers first arrive into the system and the other when the Humans and the Portiids arrive.  They find two planets, one terraformed by the Humans and another hiding a terrible secret released centuries ago.

I liked the first book and I liked the second book too.  The life forms introduced in this series are interesting with varied societies and adaptations.

It took me a month and a half to read this book, not because it was long (it was) or uninteresting (it was interesting).  I read when I go to bed.  It's my unwinding time.  Unfortunately I have had the urge to stay up later lately and this means when I start reading I am already a bit tired.  The result is I only read a chapter or two (usually around one or two percent of the book) per day.  At this rate I will not get anywhere close to the twenty books I set as a goal for myself this year.

I gave this book four stars out of five on Goodreads.  I am looking forward to reading the third book in the series someday. 

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Weekly Ephemera #87

  • On Monday we met with our tile guy who took measurements and gave us an estimate.  It will be up to us to buy the tile.  This guy did the stone on our fireplace while I was hiking the Appalachian trail.  He did a great job then (even though I had reservations about doing this job but the Wife won that one) and I expect he will go another great job in our bathroom.
  • I hiked twice this week.  I was hoping for three times but the will petered out by the end of the week.  In total I hiked 16 miles (25.9 km).  I think the brief snow we had overnight Friday just made me want to hunker down even though it was all gone by the end of the day.
  • While I hunkered I decided to start watching stuff on HBO/MAX.  The Wife had been binging shows for a week or so already and I figured I needed to watch my stuff before the month ended.  I started with "The Last of Us".  I liked this post-apocalyptic series but I didn't like it as much as I expected.  I think this is because I watcher thirteen seasons of The Walking Dead (and several seasons of one of its spinoffs).  As I watched "The Last of Us" I couldn't help to notice the parallels between the two shows.  This made "The Last of Us" feel less original and more like a copy.

    Next I started on seasons three and four of "Doom Patrol".  I look forward to these.

    Now a minor rant.  I was going to watch "Titans", a live action version of the Teen Titans comics.  It is an HBO/MAX exclusive.  When I looked it up it said it had four seasons.  When I dug deeper I realized that only season one was available on HBO/MAX.  WTF?!?!  Either you show all four seasons of the show that you own and created or you do not show any of it.  I do not understand what HBO/MAX is thinking.  This continued with "Westworld".  I wanted to watch season four but the entire show was gone.  Another show, only available to HBO/MAX, taken away from us.  (Both of these series can be purchased on DVD or Digital but they really should be included in the relatively expense HBO/MAX subscription.)
  • If you live in the United States (or other daylight saving time followers) I hope you've turned you clocks ahead an hour.  Can't wait when this crappy practice ends ... hopefully in my lifetime.
  • This coming week is an exciting one for the Wife.  She is flying to New York with some of her ex-students' family to attend the Big East Men's basketball tournament.  She is soooo excited.  I am so happy for her.  She will have a fun time.  Having Saint Patrick's day happen when she's there is the cherry on the sundae.

Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Rome 2023 - Magnet Addition

This post is a bit late since our Rome trip was last September but I am a bit behind in scanning our travel magnets.  Hopefully I will catch up over the next few weeks.

Our trip was a week long but we still managed to return with nineteen magnets.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Seen on many public infrastructure.

A nice stained glass like magnet.

Everyone needs a Pope magnet.

We have run out of space to display our magnets.  We are currently brainstorming ideas for expanding our display capacity.  If you have any ideas, please leave a comment.

You can check out the magnets I've posted either by clicking on the Travel Magnets tab at the top of the blog or by clicking on my 2006-2023 Travel Magnets Google Photos album link.