Pictured is my new 8.9″ WSVGA Acer Aspire One in Sapphire Blue next to a Pepsi can for scale. It’s tiny. Specs: 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270, 16GB SSD (8GB SSD + 8GB SDHC), 1GB DDR2 RAM.
I plan on taking it to Europe with me and use around the house. It’s currently running Windows XP and while I originally envisioned putting Windows 7 on it, I think I will pass. The machine came with only 2.3 GB free of space on the SSD and I managed to gain an additional 2GB by removing a bunch of software.
I plan on using this as a netbook and will not mistake it for a fully featured laptop. I’ve read too many reviews of people unhappy about the webcam, the size (WTH?), and the trackpad. They must not have understood what they were getting into. After getting this thing slimmed down, I am amazed at its speed and can safely say that it’s one of the coolest machines I have ever owned.
I am a Mac user, but Apple has not released anything in a netbook size that is under $750 so I had to head to the dark side. With the Acer’s small size, SSD, and coming in at under $300 I’d consider it a risk worth taking.
It’s pretty difficult planning a self-guided trip of Europe, even if it’s only through three countries via rail.
3.12.09: Depart STL
3.13.09: Paris (A)
3.14.09: Paris – Versailles
3.15.09: Paris – travel to Lucerne, Switzerland (B)
3.16.09: Lucerne – side trip to Mt. Titlis
3.17.09: Take Bernina Express through Alps, see The Last Supper in Milan, on to Venice (C, D, E)
3.18.09: Venice (E)
3.19.09: Venice – Florence
3.20.09: Florence (F)
3.21.09: Rome – Vatican
3.22.09: Rome (G)
3.23.09: Rome – side trip to Pompeii
3.24.09: Depart to STL
It’s a pretty aggressive looking itinerary and I am still waiting on further guide books to arrive so that each city’s activities can be planned.
Hotels and flights are booked. We are cleared for take off. Hotels were the focus for this week and next week will be the train schedule. After that, I can focus on the fun!
I’ve been researching Vespa rentals for Rome. I’d love to tour the city from a scooter. A 9AM-7PM rental is about $45.
In discussing this with the girl I mentioned it seats two.
Me: Hey, they seat two. We could rent a two seater and a one seater (my sister is going).
Her: Yeah, as long as you let me drive.
Me: Hmm… yeah… the last time I was on a two seater motorized vehicle with you I ended up in the fucking lake.
Her: Shut up.
On our last trip to the Ozarks, we rented a Sea-Doo to be-bop around the lake. She and I hopped on, and she was driving. She would hit the gas, let off and the nose would sink in. I was explaining that she had to keep on the gas and we proceeded to have a tiff in the middle of the lake on the sea-doo. She was turning her body to talk to me and I felt the sea-doo leaning pretty hard. I yelled to sit straight and as I was saying, “Oh shit…” the damn thing lurched. As I was going in, I pulled her with me. I freaked. I have a pretty big fear of lakes and popped out of the water mumbling, “Snake ball… snake ball.” She was laughing, I was freaking.
So, I can just imagine being in Rome on the back of a Vespa with Janette driving. It’s probably going to happen and I’ll probably have another story to tell.
It’s official. We depart on March 12th and return on March 24th for Europe. Finding rooms in multiple cities is such a burden. Worrying about train connections and train reservations is complicated. So much research to do. I can’t wait to see Paris, traverse the Alps by train, and get lost in Italy.
I’m planning a few trips for 2009, including a 2 week Eurail tour of France, Switzerland, and Italy. We’ll be seeing Paris, Luzern, Lake Como, Milan, Florence, Venice, and Rome. I’m most excited about going through the Alps on the Bernina Express.
Other than that, I want to make the drive again to New Orleans. God, I love that place. The food, nightlife, and the swamp tours!
I spent last night in the arms
Of a girl in Louisiana
And though I’m out on the highway
My thoughts are still with her
Such a strange combination of a woman and a child
Such a strange situation stoppin every hundred miles
Callin Baton Rouge
A replay of last nights events
Roll through my mind
Except a scene or two
Erased by sweet red wine
And I see a truck stop sign ahead
So I change lanes
I need a cup of coffee
And a couple dollars change
Callin Baton Rouge
Operator wont you put me on through
I gotta send my love down to baton rouge
Hurry up wont you put her on the line
I gotta talk to the girl just one more time.
-Callin’ Baton Rouge, Garth Brooks
I said, “My pretty Creole girl,
my money here’s no good,
But if it weren’t for the alligators,
I would sleep out in the woods”.
“You’re welcome here kind stranger,
our house is very plain.
But we never turn a stranger out,
From the lakes of Pontchartrain.”
She took me into her momma’s house,
and treated me right well,
The hair upon her shoulder
in jet black ringlets fell.
To try and paint her beauty,
I’m sure ‘twould be in vain,
So handsome was my Creole girl,
By the lakes of Pontchartrain.
I ordered a dryer belt on the 1st from eBay. Ordered? Maybe won. I WON a dryer belt on eBay on the 1st of January and it was shipped priority, but as of yesterday had not arrived. It was faster getting my passport, which I DID receive yesterday. More on what’s to come for that later.
Anyway, I needed to do laundry. A week’s worth of laundry stacking up is ugly. It’s overflowing to the floors, chairs, and just about anywhere the dog cannot pick it up and run off with it. Instead of waiting we got a belt at a parts store, which had a nearly 400% markup, and then the girl and I installed it this morning. She held the drum and I put the belt on the pulley and motor. We then put the front back on, dropped the top, plugged it in, pressed START and…
I almost cried. I looked in to the lint filter and noticed the interior light was on. I forgot to put the door switch back in place that signals the dryer door is closed and safe to run. After I put that on, I hit START and heard the sweet hum of the drum spinning. It felt awesome.
When I originally told my mom about my dryer woes she recommended I buy a new one, but I thought that was ridiculous. It was more fun and a lot cheaper to take the dryer apart and replace the belt. Also, now that I now how the dryer works, I can totally run the dryer with the door open and show my kid what happens inside a dryer. I always wondered which way it spun when in operation. The answer is counter-clockwise. I know this because I ran it with the door open for about 30 seconds to make sure the belt was centered and the drum wasn’t doing crazy-eights when running.
Did you know that the dryer creates a laundry cyclone when it’s running. I had no idea a dryer spun that fast! I stuck my hand right in the center of it because I’m fucking crazy like that.
I’ve been having issues with my Whirlpool dryer that will be two years old in February. It started making some weird grinding noises and then today the drum stopped spinning. I decided to crack it open to see what was going on and the belt is broken. So, I’m gonna get a little handy, replace the belt tomorrow and hopefully that fixes it.
My parents had the same dryer for nearly fifteen years that had the kickplate panel broken off, was loud as heck, but ran forever. I hate saying it, but they sure don’t make em like they used to.