Transportation of the Future

London Heathrow and Masdar City are both set to become the modern test for a very interesting transportation system called Personal Rapid Transit, or PRT. This system is one right out of science fiction, and really seems to make a lot of sense. According to Wikipedia's entry on the subject, this sort of transit system is one that carries passengers from point to point, but in a way that is far more effective than a regular bus or light rail line. While it's not as mobile as a network of automobiles, in that it runs on a track, it brings passengers directly form point to point in individual vehicles.

This isn't a concept that is new, even if it sounds and looks like something from the future. In 1975, Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit of West Virginia University, has been operational since 1975. This system was designed to link together West Virginia University, and was built as a demonstration of the system. Linked together with five seperate stations, MPRT covers almost nine miles, and transports almost 16,000 riders per day, who largely fund the system through a cheap fare. This system is apparently not a true Personal Rapid Transit system because it does have set stations and a schedule during peak hours, while it can take people directly to destinations on off-peak hours.

The systems that London and Masdar City are planning are true systems, guided by automated systems that will carry passengers directly to their destinations. In London, the system will connect a parking lot to one of the terminals, while in Abu Dhabi, cars will be banned from the city, leaving this to be the only transportation system, along with light rail service. There are apparently other systems planned in Europe, as well as one in Santa Cruz, California.

I really like this idea, and I think that it can be successful, and a good alternative to mass transit in large urban areas. The system helps to undercut some of the main problems with mass transit, such as delays, busy schedules and breakdowns that affect whole lines by creating a very versatile network that can cut down on transit time for commuters. There are obvious problems with this system, especially in highly developed cities. It would be a massive undertaking for most places to establish an additional transportation system in pre-existing routes that are already likely in heavy use. Projects such as London Heathrow make sense because there won't be a dependency on preexisting roads and rails, and there is a bit of space in which to build this. I have a very hard time seeing a city such as New York or London proper adopting something like this simply because of the infrastructure costs associated with it.

But there are major benefits as well. These systems are environmentally friendly, essentially pay for themselves through commuter costs, and would be much more comfortable and direct as opposed to subway and bus systems in cities. Plus, it looks like a very cool system. The London cars that are being put into service look sleek and exciting, almost as if they have jumped from the pages of a science fiction novel or film. Furthermore, they are run on a computer network, which could likely locate a destination and origin, and plot the most effective route. With other cars in the system under the same control, it seems likely that there would be little problems with traffic or congestion as a computer would likely be able to control everything in the system. They would even be able to keep the cars apart, and this would go a long way towards preventing accidents that are inevitable in the roadways now.


I've been missing London a lot lately. Just this week was the two year mark since I first got on a plane to go overseas for the first time. I remember that entire day with an incredible clarity. The flight, not so much, but meeting our Resident Director Barbara, learning the ins and outs of the Tube and watching London fly past as we rode into central London and to our flat at Doughty Street in Camden.

Looking back at my entire time there, I've only begun to realize just how much going abroad changed me. It was a huge change in how I lived - I'd never had a roommate, nor had I lived in a city.It was a bit of culture shock for the first day, but I adapted to life quickly, and picked up a lot of things from my experience there.

There's a number of things that I really miss about the city. The biggest thing that comes to mind is just the environment. I miss the traffic, walking down the streets to get to class, hell, even the commercials on the television. London was extremely easy to get around, and there was plenty to do when I had downtime, from visiting the vast number of museums, historical sites and parks to just finding a random place around the city to explore. My biggest regret is not getting out more often, and not making the effort to meet new people while I was there.

One of the best parts of living over there was the ease to which I could make my way around the country. Through my class, I visited Bath, Bristol, Cambridge, Norwich, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Oxford, Windsor and York, while on my own, I traveled to Edinburgh and Eastbourne (as well as Athens and Munich). I really looked forward to those classes, every other week, when we got to see something completely new. I loved the trains - I loved sitting and watching the countryside go by while I read my book and listened to my music. I especially miss Oxford, the bookstores and Forbidden Planet, not to mention Eve's, the little sandwich shop off of Tottenham Court Road. I miss the pubs, and the museums and galleries.

There's something about England and London that I've never really been able to find here in Vermont. I miss living in a city.

Back in the USA

So, I'm back - currently in New Hampshire, with my Aunt and Uncle, who picked me up from the airport. Yesterday was incredibly long and with probably two of the worst flights that I've ever had. They were smooth, which was nice, but both legs of my trip home had one thing in common: screaming infants. Three of them. One on the transatlantic flight over, and another two on the two hour flight up. I don't know what it is, biology maybe, that makes a squalling baby such a horrible thing, but it's a horrible thing on a flight because of the limited space. The two in the last flight were also RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. Fortunately, I had my CD player and Victoria's Wars to keep my sanity to some degree.
So, I'm back in New England, trying to readjust me biological clock, which is currently telling me that it's around 2 in the afternoon, even though it's really 9 in the morning. Aunt Jan and Uncle Tom are currently out to a meeting with a doctor (Uncle Tom had surgery a while back) and after they get back, I'll head out and go home.

The trip was amazing, and it hasn't really struck me until now how fast it went by. I have to say thank you so much to people who sheltered me and were able to meet up with me during the trip (And I feel really bad that I didn't get to see everyone), but because of people's help, I was able to survive in London and eat at the same time, so I'm thankful for that. Meeting up with people, such as Sara and Naomi was also great, because I haven't seen them in a long time, and it was good to have someone to talk to, or bug, depending on the hour.

Normandy was surreal. Seeing the battlefields with two Army Generals is probably the best way to see the battlefields, given their background, and we got such a detailed look at the battlefields, that I think I need to go and throw out my paper and re-write the thing. As it is, it needs significantly more research time and writing time, because I'm still finding mistakes in it. (I did get an A for it though, which is a plus). Hell, while I was out there I was able to do some work on it - I found the resting places of four of my guys, as well as their service numbers, exact units and date of death, something that I either didn't have or was incorrect. Yeah, I'm a geek like that.
Actually seeing Normandy put a huge spin on how I perceived the battle - the books and things that I've read don't really tell the entire story - we looked at terrain and things like that at points, something that I'd never really thought of. And, Normandy is HUGE. Hundreds of square miles, all one fairly continuous battlefield. Most people think of just the landing beaches as where the fighting was - that was just the first day. And, like when I went and visited the battlefields at Marathon, Greece, I got chills thinking about what had transpired there, although in this case, there's still a huge active local memory for the event. People still remember the battle there, and appreciate us for it. There's still the bunkers, the beaches, bullet and bomb craters, and I'm sure if you really really looked, you'd find some of the equipment that the allies lost in the airborne drops (they lost almost 90% of the soldier's leg bags due to prop-blast), bullets, guns and I'm sure that there's still a couple bodies kicking around somewhere that were just never recovered. The battle here isn't nearly as abstract as the one in Marathon.

Seeing London again was nice, but a little empty. I didn't have anything official to do there, like school or work, or a larger circle of friends to hang out with. But, it was nice seeing everything again, the accents, the To Let signs, everything about London just came right back to me, and I was comfortable there. I got to see a bunch of familiar things, like the Imperial War Museum (I did end up finding and splurging on a book on the Falklands War) and some new things, like the Geological Society of London and got to see an original print of William Smith's first Geological map, which was something like 12 feet tall and 6 feet wide. And lots of walking and bus riding.

All in all, it was a very very fun trip. I'll have good memories from it, but I am happy to be back home (sorta - soon) and get back on with work here.

More London Happenings

So, I'm still in London, visiting various places and things like that. I spent Thursday recovering from Normandy (my knees were really starting to hurt - I need insoles for my shoes, I think). Yesterday, I went to the British Museum and National Gallery, which was cool, as always - those museums never get old. Although I was a little annoyed - the National Gallery had several sections closed until June, and of course, they're the ones with the artists that I like the most. Oh well.
Went out on Saturday night with Sara and Rob to a pub and then to Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, which was fun, but like Dead Man's Chest, didn't quite get to the level of the first movie, although it was better than the second one. I'd give it a C+. I don't know if I'll type up a proper review, but it was fun to watch, although probably 40 minutes too long. I also finally caught up on Heroes and watched the last episode, which was amazing. SPOILERS - High body count, with Linderman, Ted and D.L. killed off, which I didn't quite see coming. Nathan choosing to be a good guy was also a great point, as was his carrying Peter up into the sky. Sylar's death was pretty well done, although I would have liked to see another hero or two take him on. And the ending - OH GOD HIRO IN THE VERY FAR PAST. That kicked ass, and I cannot wait to see the second series.
Went to the Imperial War Museum today, which I liked more this time around. Maybe because I'm in a bit of a military history mindset or something, but it was more interesting this time. There was a fantastic exhibit on the Falklands War, as we're currently in the 25th anniversary of it. I didn't know a thing about the conflict, and now I'm dying to get a couple of books on the subject. Max Hastings, who wrote the brilliant Overlord: D-Day and the Battle for Normandy, also has a book out called The Battle for the Falklands, which he was a correspondent for. I really want to get that, and Amazon's listing it used for $1.90 or so, plus shipping. I might get that when I return, because from what I saw today, it's truly a fascinating battle. The D-Day exhibit was also very cool, and the one on the Holocaust was disturbing. But it was a cool visit. I'm going to try and find the Burlington House, the home to Geological Society of London, and contains the first geologic map, drawn up by William Smith one of the biggest contributors to the field of Geology.
The weather's been typical London/English - Wet. Plus, the wind completely destroyed the umbrella that I found and fixed, and I mean really destroyed it. And carried it off as well. I haven't been taking a whole lot of pictures because it's been overcast, and as a result, crappy lighting.
And, because it's 12:36, I'm off to bed.

London / France Update

So, as I've mentioned, I'm in London. I went abroad last Wednesday from Manchester NH, and arrived sometime mid afternoon here. I went and found my hostel, and walked around London for a little while, refinding old places. Later in the afternoon, another Norwich alum, Naomi arrived at Waterloo - we were staying at the same hostel, and I was able to lead her to it. We walked around, found dinner and hung out for a little while. Thursday was fun - We went out to Oxford in the morning and walked around the place for a little while, went to most of the cool sites, although we didn't go into any of the schools, but we did end up at the Eagle and Child, then went back home to London. From there, we discovered that the musical Spamalot was playing in the West End, and went out to go see that - absolutely fantastic and brilliant musical. Anyone who's a fan of the movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail would absolutely love it - it's a fantastic adaptation, and they've thrown in a huge number of references to Flying Circus and Life of Brian. I can't remember when I laughed so hard. Highly recommended for everyone. The next day, we went out and met up with Sara, who's still in London. We also met up with her friend Rob, who I met last time I was here. We walked around for the rest of the day, got lunch and dinner and generally caught up and chatted. It was a lot of fun. I brought my suitcase over to her apartment, which is waay out in Zone 3. It's quite a ride out. The next morning, I left Naomi, who was to leave later in the week and went out to Heathrow, where I flew to Paris. It was a quick flight, and I arrived in Charles De Gaulle somewhat disoriented, but I found my hotel within an hour or so, where I met up with the Norwich people who were already there. I met up with Vice President Whaley and President Schneider, as well as several trustees, General Sullivan and General Nelson, which was cool. We had dinner there, which was fantastic, and then went to bed. The next morning, we were up early, got on the bus and picked out a couple more people, and then drove out to Normandy, via Caen. We stopped along the way at Pegasus Bridge, which was the first structure in Normandy to be liberated by the allied forces, the 6th British Airborne Company C. The store was a literal shrine to the American and British soldiers. I, along with General Sullivan, General Nelson, President Schneider and V. President Whaley had dinner in the back room, where I suspect that few tourists see. Afterwards, we walked around the area, saw where the three gliders of the Company C landed, as well as looked over the bridge. It was a cool walkaround. Our next stop was a windshield survey of the British and Canadian beaches and the tactical significance of their actions. We got back on the bus and went out to our hotel, which was really really high quality place. We had a seminar where we went over the overal world situations of World War 2, and I presented on half of my paper. We had dinner there and went to bed. The next morning (Tuesday), we set out for the vicinity of Utah Beach. While we were driving around, we spent a lot of time on tactics and the overall stratigy of the invasion and how all the elements fit in together. We first looked over the airborne forces and how they operated and the conditions in which they landed. We stopped by St Mere Eglis, which was captured on the first day, and where a lot of the American soldiers assembled. From there, we went to Utah Beach, where we went over the beaches. Utah was the easier of the two beaches, and we discussed that. There were a couple of bunkers on site, and we looked over those. We then got lunch and move on to Point Du Hoc, the site where the Rangers landed and took a German Battery that could fire down on the beaches and Allied forces. There are still a number of bunkers and craters still there, although the actual memorial is off limits due to cliff erosion. We returned to the hotel, dinner, etc, and the next day, we set out for Omaha Beach. We arrived there and talked about the people who landed there, and how it differed from Utah beach (2000 people killed as opposed to 200). We visited several sites there. I was presented a book by the entire group, who'd signed it, in thanks for my work on the Norwich people. I talked a bit about the Norwich alumni there, and we visited the American cemetary overlooking the beach. It was a horrible sight. I was a little disgusted by the people there - taking video and tons of photographs, generally acting like tourists. It seemed disrespectful. I found the resting places of four Norwich people (None were at that site). We then went on to lunch at Arromannes, where we got lunch and I sent off my postcards to the US (Various people should be getting them in a couple days). I went out to the cliffs and looked at the rocks and did some drawings, and we returned back to the hotel where we took a rest and had our last seminar, where we discussed the trip and how it can be used in the future. It was an interesting talk, and we took another break, packed and went to our last dinner there. Yesterday morning, we drove back to Paris, where I got my flight. I'd hoped to meet up with Linh, but we didn't get around to meeting up like we'd hoped (Sorry!). I flew back to London, where I dropped by bags off and bought a couple of books, found a park and read for a while, then met up with Sara, got dinner and went up to her place, where I am right now. I called home, Sarah and work (to brag), and passed out. I'm taking a break today, just staying in, resting from all the walking around that I've been doing, and catching up on TV show finales that I missed. LOST was mindblowing, and Heroes (which I'm watching now) is just jaw dropping. Many thanks to Sara for letting me stay here, because it's a much appreciated break and good to talk with people that I know. Pictures can be seen in the links below. Now, for the rest of Heroes and lunch.

Album 1

Album 2

Overseas Again...

I learned this the other day, and didn't want to say anything until I was sure, but the big news of the week is:

I'm going overseas again, this time to France, and most likely, London.

Basically, a spot opened up on the Normandy trip here at Norwich, and I got the e-mail earlier this week, and was told by President Schnider that I could go with them, cost free, save the flight over there. This is because I'm working on the Norwich Students & Invasion of Normandy paper that will be giving them a lot of information and putting a Norwich face on the battle. Thus, the invite.
I'm rather excited about this, as it's only about 40 or so days away, about a week after graduation.

What's also really got me excited is that this means that there's a very, very good chance that I'll be able to visit London for a couple days. I looked up flights from New York to Paris, and found them to be fairly prohibitive, running into the thousands of dollars. New York to London, on the other hand, is much cheaper, about half of that, along with the flight or train ride from London to Paris. The chance to see London again is fantastic, because I know people there, and will be able to revisit places again, a year after I left, also, when it will be really nice out. Basically, I've been bouncing around since I've heard the news. What's also cool is that when I went up to tell Mom about my thoughts about travelling through London and how it's cheaper, she suggested it to me first.

Don't get me wrong, going to France and to the Normandy beaches also has me very, very excited, because it was one of those places that I had really wanted to visit while I was overseas last time, but never got the oppertunity to really do. Plus, you know, I've been studying D-Day for the entire semester and did a lot of reading beforehand, and to actually see it would be amazing. I guess this means that my paper has to be really good. I'll be starting my writing on the second part either this afternoon or tomorrow. It's two weeks before the last draft is due, which means that I have three more sections to do, and to do fast. I think I'm on top of it though. If people are interested, I'll reprint it here, serialized, once it's finished.

I can't wait.


I'm almost done with the entire first series of Life On Mars, and it's making me horribly nostalgic for my time back in London.

It's not just the big things about London, or just being there in England, but mostly the very small details and things that I miss. There's the King's Arms just down the street from my flat, sitting on the bus, the announcer coming on at the end of a television episode, the white street signs, red telephone boxes, the accents, food, the sun coming over the buildings, so much.
I've pulled out my journal entries that I kept while I was over there, looked over my photographs and have talked to several people that I met while I was over there. I wonder if I'll ever return there, and it hurts so much to see it in my memories, but not my eyes.

Indy Day

Hope that everyone had a good 4th of July. Camp traditionally marches in the 4th of July parade in South Hero, and we did again this year. The two British guys working for us were a little worried coming into the day, but we had some fun the night before, raising the British Union flag over the camp for the morning. It got some funny reactions that morning. Our camp director, who's Australian, told us to keep it up. Another counselor was really mad. I think that it served a good purpose though, representing what the 4th really means. Americans are terrible at history, so a reminder's always good.

The parade was hot, and we had to park several miles away (counselors with no kids) and walk to the parade route. Afterwards, we went to Hochelaga, the girls camp, where we usually do some events with them, before weather got bad and we returned home. I then went on day off, where I was able to sleep in this morning.

Got most of LOST season 2 on my computer, and have been catching up. Great show. Can't wait to finish it up.


Today felt like the first day of summer. After the past couple weeks of constant rain and cloudy days, it was a huge relief. I didn't work today, which gave me a bit of rest, which was nice. I caught up on some reading and did a bit more packing for my move into my apartment, which is still being cleaned.
I did a bit of driving between my house, the apartment and my car dealership, and noticed one thing that I really missed while in London - the trees. It was winter in London, no leaves anywhere anyway, but the only trees there were in the parks and along various streets. I live in the middle of a forest. Makes me pine even more for camp (no pun intended). I spend too much time inside - either guarding at the pool or just being inside the house reading or watching something on my computer or television. I need to get out and do some hiking.
I'm making the final move into my apartment tomorrow. Tonight, I'll be finishing up boxing up the books and other things that I won't be bringing with me, and when I get back from work, my bookshelves, desk, bed, couch, table and chairs will all be moved. It'll be weird finally living on my own, but I'm excited for it. My apartment is nice - save for the fact that the previous roommates left the place absolutely trashed - carpets need to be replaced, dishes were still in the sink, and who knows what else. Not really livable yet, but hopefully within the week.
Picked up the latest Star Wars book, Legacy of the Force: Betrayal, the first in a nine book series. Finally, Random House has gotten a larger series format done right: 9 books, three authors, all rotating. Aaron Allston's penned this one, and thus far, it's good, I'm really enjoying it, although I haven't had much time to read it. Karen Traviss and Troy Denning are doing the other six books. For the past couple weeks, I've been feeling that I need to re-read all the old Bantam Star Wars books. The ones that I really enjoy reading, that I started with in the first place, before the New Jedi Order came out and soured (in part) my feelings on the Literature side of Star Wars. Along with that, I've also been meaning to re-read Archer Mayor's books, the classic Joe Gunther novels, which much better than his more recent releases. I look forwards to all of his books, but Tucker Peak was really the last one that really fell with his older ones.
Now back to lifting heavy boxes.


I rewatched the pilot episode of the new incarnation of Dr. Who, a very popular show in the UK. It's filmed in London, and as a result, I recognize places, which makes me miss England even more. I've awoken a couple times and rolled out of bed, having a couple minutes before it strikes me that I'm no longer living in flat 9 of 5 Doughty Street, WC1N 2PL, Greater London.

On top of that, I've learned that two of my friends are going to be going through the same program next semester. I'm wondering if I picked the wrong semester to do, and realise that I wouldn't trade my experiences in London for anything else in the world.

Living in London made me more independant. My friend Kyle and I are getting an apartment just off of campus. It's not too bad pricewise, and once it's cleaned (The owners who live there make my room look clean) it'll be a great place to live (I hope.) I got to liking buying my own food, managing my own schedule, etc. It'll be even better not being the geek-who-lives-in-his-parents-basement.

And, I have a job for the summer. Let's see if I can find one for the next 5-6 weeks. London is expensive.

Current Music: Roll On, Norah Jones / The Little Willies

I'm Back

I'm home, and already I miss London a little. I miss the streets and the friends that I made there, but at the same time, it feels great to be back to familiarity, with my family and dogs and walls.
Reintigrating back to normal life hasn't been hard at all. Nothing's changed here very much. My friends have been up to the same things, and it's like that I've never left. I spent yesterday looking at an apartment and along with Kyle to look at used cars. It was great to catch up with friends that I haven't seen in months and seeing places that I haven't seen in as long.
But despite it, I'll miss London. I think that some part of me will never leave.

I remember...

First arriving at Customs with my belongings, meeting Barbara getting out, my first taste of the packaged sandwiches, the long tube ride to central London, meeting Fran for the first time, my first visit to the British Museum and the awe that it inspired, getting on the wrong bus with Will and ending up across the city with no clue where we were, Katie Bell's visit and my first taste of Indian food, finding Gosh Comics, learning to look the opposite way for traffic, using the bus, my first solo tube ride, the visit to the Tintin Shop, seeing Tintin live on Stage at the Barbican, getting blissfully lost on numerous backstreets, meeting Sara, a former Norwich Student, Chinese New Year with Luke and my roommates, hanging out with Jason and Zach, trying to watch Galactica with Ben, meeting the Marymount students, visiting Oxford for the first time and drinking in the Eagle and Child, my first beer, the Tate Modern and seeing the ledgends, House, MD and Prison Break, seeing Dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum, Ben's Cookies in Oxford, The small Geology museum at Cambridge, getting lost trying to find it, seeing where DNA was discovered, calling home for the first time, My first day at the Charter School, meeting the professors, planning my trip to Scotland, the long ride up, seeing rocks for the first time and elevation, watching the Olympics, seeing Scotland for the first time and the problems finding my hostel, Hiking on a volcano, calling Rachel from my hostel and running out of change, seeing Goodnight and Good Luck and Munich in theaters, travelling to Stratford Upon Avon with the Marymount people and making friends with them, learning that I'm going to see Philip Pullman, learning to update my iPod on a school computer, then having it crash on me, Oscar season, depression, Thinking about my next trip, reading book after book after book, learning that Nate died, presentation on the Grand Canyon at Charter, meeting Philip Pullman for the first and probably last time, Booking Greece for my final trip, learning that I have a job for the summer, classwork and problems, visiting Norwich, the real one, getting drunk with Jason and Zach, Eastbourne with Katherine, discovering Green Wing, more school work, panic, Greece coming up too fast, early morning, flight, 10 hours in Munich, landing in Greece and meeting Chris, walking around and getting lost in Athens, seeing the Pantheon for the first time, meeting Heather, Emily and Meghan, meeting Chris and Todd, showing them around, visiting Marathon, flying home, meeting the Green Wing actors, Prediep's visit, showing him around the city, my last day at Charter, last trip with Lexia and sitting in front of a computer wondering what I've missed, and that there's too much to type.
But finally, the goodbyes. Goodbye to London, to Luke, Jason, Zach, Ben, Katherine, Melissa, Bryant, Mark, Joanne, Jeremy, Sara, Mr. Dean, Mr. Hand, Mr German, Mr. Henderson, Fran, Will and Barbara and anyone and everything that I've forgotten for the moment.



London's changing in the last days that I have here. Walking down the street yesterday, I noticed that John Street and Doughty Street had a different feel to them than they have all year. Looking up, I saw that the leaves were starting to come out on the trees, changing from the bare skeletons that they've been the entire time that I've been here. It's a nice change.

A friend of mine, Prediep, from Paris came to visit, and he came at a good time. The leaves were coming out, and it was sunny for most of the weekend, while I took him around to all the major sites in London. We caught up on what we've been up to since this past summer at camp. It was good to have a new person to talk to.

We visited a number of parks and walk ways along the Thames. With the sun and leaves starting to come out, it was a nice feel to the city, especially in Covent Garden and Leister Square.

Prediep's visit served another purpose, something that I didn't come across until after I saw him off on his train earlier today - It was a chance for me to say goodbye to the city. During my tour, I showed him the major sites of London: The London Eye, Parliment, Big Ben's tower, Wesminster Abbey, King's Cross, South Bank, St. Paul's and a number of others. I showed him some of the pubs, the back streets, all the while talking about the meaning of being a tourist and fitting in, among other things. During this long walkabout, I saw a number of the things in London, probably for the last time in a while, ending today with something that I hadn't made the time before to see, Abbey Road.

There will be a lot of goodbyes in the next days, as I begin closing out and packing. Goodbye to friends that I've made and the places that I've come to call home.


It hit me as I was on the train this morning. In a week, from that moment, I'll be on an airplane, going back home. Everything that I've known and been forced to get used to will be gone. The money will change, my friends will seperate and go their own ways and in the end, all we'll have is just the memories.
It's a bit sobering, at just how fast everything has gone past. I remember coming in very clearly. My own nervousness and self doubt even a day or so in, hoping to hell that I had made the right choice, coming out here.
So far, I have few regrets about making the trip. Now, I'm torn over returning. Now that I've lived here for four months, I'm reluctant to leave the confines of my squeaky flat, my own cooking, the city and the people around me that I've come to know and enjoy being around. In a week, that'll all be gone, and I'll be back home with familiar people and surroundings.
On the other hand, I'm eager to leave. To see my friends and family back home, to share my experiences, pictures and stories that I've slowly accumulated over the past 104 days that I've been here. To see my two dogs, my sister, my room and my own computer, and to be away from my roommate and for the near future, work in general.
Most of all, I'm aprehensive about what's coming up, I think. Living here has been a dream. I'm surrounded by things that are fantastic and different, and that'll be gone soon, and in the next year, I'll be coming up to my last year of school, and spat into the real world, something that I'm nervous about and not sure if I'm ready.
I don't have a plan, an idea or a clue about what to do next.

Work, work, work

Happy Birthday to Jason, one of the guys from below us. I daresay we'll be hitting the pub tonight with him. And most likely some more Green Wing. As Jayne has said: High-larious.

Crunch time. 8 Days until I return home, and work's kicking in. I just finished a rough draft of my Science Fiction in the UK paper, coming out at a good ten pages. I'm presenting on the paper today, and it's due next week, so I've got a bit to work on, and I'll know what to flesh out later today, so that's a plus.

2 More papers to do for British Heritage, one of which is almost done already, I just need to do the second one.

Tomorrow, I'll be going to my last day at the Charter School, which should be fun. I'll say goodbye to people that I've worked with and whatnot. I'll miss them. Friday, my friend Prediep, from France is coming to visit. He worked with me at camp, and won't be returning this year.

Now, for a presentation.


Counting down the hours until I leave. A bit nervous, but that's normal for me before setting off on a trip to somewhere I haven't been. Happened with Scotland and Eastbourne and even England. Now for Germany/Greece. But I think that I have everything together, and that's something. I've already had two friends tell me that they hate me for going to Greece. I'll send them mocking postcards.

Other than that, it's been a somewhat slow day - got a haircut and found that the cast of Green Wing, a British comedy that I really enjoy will be just down the road signing boxed sets. Me and a couple of friends will be going to do just that. Exciting!

Also updated a weeks worth of photographs on my photoblog, here. The current top ones are some of my favourites thus far. I'm thinking that when I return home, I'll be posting up a best of thing. I can't believe how fast time is coming to a close, and there's so much to do.

Oh yeah, and I found a CD/Tape player system with speakers that someone was throwing out. It makes a good addition to our flat.

Now, for more running around and getting ready.

Edit: Several Hours Later

Just got back from waiting in line to meet some of the members of the Green Wing cast. Green Wing, for those of you who don't know, is an extremely funny show here in the UK, just released on DVD and with the second series on the air now. I picked up the set after watching one episode, pretty cheaply too. Tonight they did a signing, got to have a couple of words with some of the cast members, nice guys, very happy for the fans to be there, which was a plus.

Sorry, it's kinda blurry. Fun times. Now, for food and packing.

Greece : 2 Days

Two days until I depart for Greece. In the meantime (and this is mainly for my benefit) I have to:

  • Confirm my flights
  • Confirm my hostel
  • Write up a quick budget
  • Buy a phone card and call home
  • Write up a packing list
  • Pack
  • Get all of my information together, flights, passport, ID, money
  • Change my travellers checks for Euros
  • Find out the best way to get to the airport (I'm thinking the night before and just waiting)
  • Get to the airport for a 7 am flight


And, from the Guardian today:

US plans strike to topple Iran regime - report

God. Say that it's not true, please, someone say something. Has anyone gotten the impression that war in one country, then a worse one in another, and now it's being considered that we're looking to go to war with a third? How the hell did we elect our current president into power.
The thing that scares me the most is that he's looking for a legacy to lead behind. That's the worst part.

Another government consultant is quoted as saying Mr Bush believes he must do "what no Democrat or Republican, if elected in the future, would have the courage to do" and "that saving Iran is going to be his legacy".

Presidents, or anyone, shouldn't actively look for a legacy. It's arrogant and in this case, downright scary. Hopefully, the White House's response that this is overblown and untrue is true. Because this scares me more than anything else.

House, MD

I don't think that I've had the oppertunity to rant about this show yet. While here in London, I've had access to something that I really haven't before: Television. A couple of stations here play a number of shows that I've been interested in, a couple that I'd heard of and a couple that I've never thought about before. House, MD, is one of these shows.

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The title comes from the main character, Dr. Greggory House, a brilliant doctor who figures out a number of puzzling illnesses. While brilliant, he's also fairly antisocial, sarcastic and abrasive. He browbeats and lies to patients to get them to do something when he isn't avoiding them altogether. He's also addicted to the painkilled Vicodin because of a leg problem caused by a infraction, which forces him to walk with a limp and a cane, sometimes used to whack people with. Despite his misqualities, House tends to do the right thing. He lies to get patients to do what's right and despite avoiding patients, he does everything in his power (Including lying and blackmailing doctors) to get them better.
House is joined by a young but very bright team that assists him. Foreman, a black doctor who doesn't like House much, Chase, from Australia and Cameron, the only woman on the team, and who's been attracted to House in the past. One of House's favorite things to do is to pick on them and mess with their heads. Other members of the main cast include Cuddy, the hospital administrator, and Wilson, House's only real friend. There's also been a recurring subplot with a character named Stacy, a lawyer who worked for the hospital, and the woman who House could never work it out with, despite their mutual feelings.
I was attracted to House's personality. I love sarcastic humour, and House does it brilliantly. A couple of quotes:

Dr. Wilson: That smugness of yours really is an attractive quality.
Dr. Gregory House: Thank you. It was either that or get my hair highlighted. Smugness is easier to maintain.

Dr. Gregory House
: I am the doctor who's trying to save your son's life. You're the mother who's letting him die. Clarification- it's a beautiful thing.

Dr. Gregory House: I suppose "minimally at best" is your stiff upper lip British way of saying "No chance in hell"?
Dr. Robert Chase: Actually, I'm Australian.
Dr. Gregory House: You put the Queen on your money. You're British.

Dr. Lisa Cuddy: [approaching with two young-looking female interns] Dr. House!
Dr. Gregory House: Time for Girl Scout cookies already?
Dr. Wilson: Get me some Thin Mints.

Dr. Gregory House: [to the team after shutting blinds to avoid seeing Stacy Warner] What? Mommy and Daddy are having a little fight. It doesn't mean we stop loving you. Now, go outside and play. Get Daddy some smokes and an arterial blood gas test.

Dr. Gregory House: You're a wuss. Don't worry. Your secret's safe with me... Hey, Wilson! Guess what Foreman just did!

Dr. Wilson: Did you know your phone is dead? Do you ever recharge the batteries?
Dr. Gregory House: They recharge? I just keep buying new phones.

And so on. IMDB has a lot more if you really want to see more. It's the one show that I refuse to miss. I'll be getting the first season when I return home. Can't wait to either.