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14 March 2005

iron city


the phantom is resting safely in pennsylvania and sarah and i are back in boston... flew in today out of pittsburgh with a connecting flight through washington dulles. had a great time hanging out with family and friends in ligonier... squeezed in a museum visit (please note stupid pic above [see # at the end of this entry]), checked out a band, and even played a little poker. i realized as i boarded the plane back to boston that i didn't take nearly enough pictures... the weekend went by so quickly. luckily i'll be seeing my family again in june at my sister's wedding... will make sure to take more pix then.

my dad has been putting out shelled corn for the deer around our house in ligonier... last night we counted almost twenty crowding around the feed bucket in the back yard. just one of the many missed photo opportunities... i shall not miss another.

my dana design swift traveler passed the carry-on test and i was allowed to bring it aboard each flight back to boston. each plane was fairly small and so we ended up stowing the bags in each plane's cargo hold as we boarded so i'm not positive the pack will fit in the overhead compartments of larger planes, but i don't anticipate any problems. we're flying down to miami on wednesday and i should be able to test the overhead compartments then.

i geeked out hardcore with my garmin 60cs gps both in the car and on the plane on this trip... the first real field use. it saved us two times while driving. the first, sarah offerred to drive for a while on the way to ligonier and i accidentally fell asleep before telling her which exit we needed to take... when i woke up i used the gps to quickly locate our position and discovered we were 20 miles or so past our exit. we were able to use the gps built-in basemap to find connecting roads to put us back on course without completely backtracking. on saturday, the gps saved us again when my dad lost his bearings in pittsburgh... the gps directed us right where we wanted to go. very cool piece of equipment... it should really come in handy in europe. i've purchased garmin's city select europe which includes detailed maps of most of the european countries.

on saturday we visited the carnegie museum of natural history in pittsburgh. i hadn't been there in about 20 years and the kid in me was pretty excited to see the dinosaur exhibit again. turns out the museum is in the middle of an extensive expansion of the dinosaur hall which will include a repositioning of the dinosaur skeletons to better reflect the current theories of their postures and behaviors. the skeletons of the tyrannosaurus rex and diplodocus both have the tails dragging on the ground whereas the current belief is that these dinosaurs used their tails as counterweights to their necks and torsos and so walked more horizontally with tails raised in the air. i would have thought this would have been corrected years ago... glad the museum is finally repositioning the bones.

scientists are currently working in the museum laboratory to remove a t. rex skull from the surrounding material. the lab sits right next to the main dinosaur hall and visitors can observe the scientists working on the fossils through a large window. the skull, found with its skeleton in south dakota in 1992, is believed to be the finest t. rex skull ever uncovered and recent ct scans have revealed that the skull has not been distorted by the fossilization process (apparently a rarity in the fossil world). the scientist working on the skull was using a pneumatic drill to remove the dirt from around the fossil (yep, missed this pic too)... looked like they had just begun the extraction process and so there wasn't much of the skull itself showing. i'm definitely interested to see the assembled skeleton.

so, back in boston, but not for long. i'm going to continue working on packing and hardening my laptop so i can connect it to the internet. stay tuned. third and last rabies shot tomorrow... yay.

# my girlfriend tells me that photos which involve people are much more interesting than photos of places or sites or things. so... there i am. hi. look at me with the giant dinosaur behind me. the camera i bought has a flip-around lcd screen which allows me to turn the camera around and still see what i'm shooting, so expect a lot of shots with my stupid head in them. hi, this is me in front of the eiffel tower. hi, this is me in front of the pyramids. question... do people really want to see me in these pictures? maybe a smile would be nice, eh? comments and suggestions are appreciated.

posted by paul on Mon 14 Mar 2005 at 19:25:38 est (-05:00)


Hey Honey,
What does url mean? Anyhow I am checking out your website and it is so professional looking - I am impressed. Talk to you tomorrow. Love ya.

posted by Mom on Mon 14 Mar 2005 at 22:38:55 est (-05:00)

hi mom! url is 'uniform resource locator'... it's the technical way of saying 'website address'. talk to you later. love you.

posted by paul recon on Mon 14 Mar 2005 at 22:48:57 est (-05:00)

"The smile is the last refuge of the boring". -Marat Sade

posted by sjn on Tue 15 Mar 2005 at 07:49:44 est (-05:00)

I vote face, smile, and native head-dress. Beret in front of the Eiffel Tower, Fez in Morocco, Something by Versace in Italy...

posted by Joey on Tue 15 Mar 2005 at 11:47:27 est (-05:00)

Definetly get in the pictures. We'll be able to tell how far into your trip you are by the length of your beard.

posted by NEAL DAVID on Thu 17 Mar 2005 at 22:06:36 est (-05:00)

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