Friday, March 28, 2008

Time flies, and leaving for Europe is getting a lot closer. I've been playing catch-up over the last couple of weeks. I had 3 telescope kits to build (did you know I build telescope kits for extra $$$?). I came home from Jennifer's house on March 22nd and got busy the following day. I have one more to go, and I'll be done with all three of them.

I've also bought a very small PC, called an Asus Eee PC. It has a 7" screen, runs on Linux and weighs about 1.5 pounds It'll give me a chance to roam the internet and get on email while in Europe. One of the neat features, is a full Ethernet and wireless capability. At first I put the PC into my backpack and it seemed fine. Then, as I was visting an Any Mountain store in Berkeley, I found a day bag made by Pacsafe. Pacsafe sells travel bags with various anti-theft features -- wire net and cables. I also bought some combination locks for the zippers. So, for a few $$$, I now have a daybag I think is more secure than my backpack. I've bought some other little bits and pieces, so I'm getting closer to thinking I've got everything I need.

I've been hearing and reading alot about theft and pick pocketing in Europe, particularly Paris. So I've been thinking about protecting myself in various ways. I bought a "leg wallet" and a zippered bag to wear under the clothes. Hopefully I'll deter the thieves! I also heard one should copy their passports and credit cards, so I've scanned them and put them into a passworded folder on the Internet. I'll take printouts with me as well. I've arranged for my realtor here in Castro Valley to watch the house while I'm gone (did I tell you I'm interested in selling my house and moving into the southland or Phoenix?).

So, I'll be leaving for Los Angeles on April 15 or 16. Jennifer and I are going to have some fun on a 10K walk, going to Chicago for Passover and then to my kids for the Second Sedar. At the same time, I've promised my grandson, Oliver, I'd spend some time with him, so I'll take a couple of days before I leave to take him to the movies and have a fun "sleep over". It'll also be fun seeing my son, his wife and my granddauther.

That's all for now,

Doskoro, Dennis

Friday, March 21, 2008

This is a test of uploading an image with my eee PC..

Thursday, March 13, 2008

About 3 weeks ago, I was in REI looking for shoes I might take for the trip to Europe. As I stood there, in front of 30 pairs of shoes -- of every make, model and purpose -- I noticed another fellow doing the same thing. I said something like "well, what to buy, there's so much here". We started talking and before I knew it, we were sharing the purpose of our visit to REI. Gareth, the young mans name, was looking for shoes for a trip as well. He is going to take a "walk about around the world"! He is taking a year off, putting his furniture into storage, giving up his apartment and will be back-packing throughout much of the world. After I described my purpose for being there, we started comparing notes. What to buy, what to take, how much weight to carry, how to travel. It was great meeting a kindred spirit.

On Wednesday, March 13th, I received an "I've Arrived" email from Gareth. He was in New Zealand and on his way. He pointed me to his blog as a way to keep in touch with his progress. I noticed on Gareth's blog that he could notate his location using google maps. I thought I'd try the same thing, and during my trip around Europe, I will post my location from time to time. As a test, here's my "home" location in Castro Valley California. Just click on the link HERE and see it on a google map. Neat huh?

So, keep an eye for these links during the months of May and June 08. You'll join me, virtually anyway.

Au Revoir Mes Amis!
Time marches on. It's March 13th and I'm still readying myself for 2 months in Europe. My friend, Gareth, has left on his world-wide walk-about and is now in Auckland. His blog is if you're interested in following his progress.

Meanwhile, I've packed up my backpack and have been schlepping it around the house, trying to get used to it. So, as I work my way through the day I wonder -- am I nuts -- or WHAT!! Two months wandering around Europe with a 30# backpack on my back -- at my age?!! Y-E-S. I'm gonna do it and have fun in the process.

One change I've made is to leave and then arrive back in the U.S. from LAX (Los Angeles) as opposed to San Francisco. This way, I'll be able to leave my car in Jennifer's garage while I'm gone for 2 1/2 months. I've also thought that I'd have a property manager check my house a couple of times a week during my absence. It'll cost me a couple of $$, but I figure it's worth it. So what this means is that when I go down to L.A. on April 15th (or so), I will being leaving until July 2nd. I guess I'd better make a check list -- and check it twice!

So, that's all for now.

Hasta la vista -- Amigo(a)