29 July 2009

Friendly Encounter

Scissors Lift, meet Junction Box. Junction Box, Scissors Lift.

09 July 2009

Still More Lovely Things

08 July 2009

More Lovely Things

  • restored electrical power
  • the relative conservatism of philosophers of technology
  • the following phrases:
- feral philosophy
- legitimizing patina
  • loud televisions (ok, not really ... there's just one blaring outside my room right now)
  • UPDATE: nothing to watch on television so that loud televisions go silent

06 July 2009

Closed Monday

Everything in the Netherlands is closed on Monday. So much for wandering the city on my free day. Strangely, the bus system seems to think that the weekend is Saturday and Sunday, but the museums and shops take off Monday (at least Monday AM) as well. As does the tourist office.

The day:

  • 10:50 am - bus to Enschede Centraal
  • 11:10 am -wander over to Oude Markt
  • 11:15 am - look in vain for the VVV (tourist info) on the Oude Markt
  • 12:00 pm - still looking and wandering
  • 12:45 pm - found the VVV nowhere near where the map indicated. Closed.
  • 1:00 pm - dönor kebob time
  • 1:30 pm - start looking for Museum Jannink (fmr. textile factory)
  • 2:00 pm - walk through ALDI because I can
  • 2:05 pm - find Museum Jannink. Closed (and moved elsewhere).
  • 2:30 pm - ah, a library! They'll be able to help me find Rijksmuseum Twente.
Librarian: "Looks like the museum is closed on Monday during the school year - but school is ended so they may be open. It's a nice walk, why don't you try?"
  • 2:40 pm - start looking for Rijksmuseum Twente
  • 3:00 pm - see Rijksmuseum Twente
  • 3:01 pm - see open door in Rijksmuseum Twente
  • 3:02 pm - enter Rijksmuseum Twente.
Me: "Do you take credit card?"
Rijksmuseum Attendant: "We're closed. And, no."
  • 3:03 pm - sit on park bench and listen to mp3 player
  • 3:40 pm - buy bread in Oude Markt
  • 3:50 pm - buy cheese in Oude Markt
  • 4:00 pm - buy laundry detergent in Oude Markt
  • 4:30 pm - have a Grolsch at local restaurant
  • 5:45 pm - supper at same restaurant (one nuuuuuuursed-beer later)
  • 6:25 pm - catch bus back to Universiteit Twente
  • 6:30 pm - rain shower over; walk back to room
  • 7:15 pm - Skype Spouse
  • 8:00 pm - reserve room at Schiphol for Friday night
  • 8:40 pm - finish blog post
Yes, folks, that's me: world traveler.

Lovely Things

Apart from credit card PINs, here are other lovely things:
  • the Lenovo S10
  • fans
  • unseasonably warm weather in Holland
  • travel power adapters
  • equipment that accepts 220V without power converters (see Lenovo S10, above)
  • free time before a conference
  • city maps
  • public transportation
  • setting one's watch by the train

Adventure Travel

Travel math: if your plane to Schiphol leaves O'Hare at 4:15pm, what time should you take the South Shore (assuming nothing goes wrong) in order to clear security at 3:07pm to meet the 3:15pm boarding call?

Answer: 11:40am. This allows for a brief stop at the Chicago Cultural Center to verify that you know where to get the Blue Line (Washington and Dearborn), and assumes that your flight is leaving from gate M9 or thereabouts. Had I needed to walk any further I would not have had time to use the facilities twice or to refill my water bottle.

You're welcome.

The flight was just fine. The train system in Holland was relatively straightforward, though, upon further reflection, I should have been more worried about not being able to purchase a ticket with my credit card--the little ticket thing asked for a PIN, which I did not know. So I used cash. This created a bit of a problem when I got to the hotel and asked, "Do you accept credit card," and they said, "Yes," and I asked "Will I need a PIN?" and they said "Yes," and I said "Can I use American dollars?" and they said "No, only Euros ... how much do you have?" and I said "Thirty-five," and they said, "That won't even purchase one night and you have to pay in advance," and I said, "What other options do I have?" and they said, "None that we can think of."

Unnerving, that. Fortunately it was about 6:15am at home and I was able to use the hotel wireless to Skype my spouse who was able to call the credit card company from our home phone to reset our PIN. A lovely thing, Skype. Or, more precisely, Skype-out.

As it turns out, I was able to pay without needing a PIN. Still, I'll probably be grateful for the PIN later today when I visit downtown Enschede for lunch, tours, and whatnot.