Thursday, May 15, 2008
I was in Detroit for a day for a project planning meeting and had to drive from DTW to Clinton, MI. Went to Hertz to pick up my rental car and they gave me --- wait for it --- a RED VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE CONVERTIBLE. Full leather interior and everything. It was a zippy car to drive but I just couldn't help feeling a little CHICKY! Drove for about 100 miles round trip and it used only about 7/8 of a tank of gas (about 2.5 gallon). Much as I like that, it is not a car that I would consider buying -- it was really noisy inside the car when you are driving. You have to turn the stereo way up to hear what's playing and you can't really talk on the phone either. I can't even hear the GPS' directions when I am driving so I had to keep looking at the map when I have to make quick turns in the city.
The Scott Pratt that I successfully rooted last year bit the dust today. It fell over the railing of the deck at the end of the season last year and broke into two. The lower stub is still in the pot with roots (I think -- can't really see into the pot) and I tried to re-root the upper stub. It seemed to be doing fine for a while but then the cutting got softer and softer and browner and browner. So, I finally decide to pull it out of the dirt to see what's going on. The center core is mushy and not white and milky. I decided to cut away the brown stuff but, as I slowly move up the stem, I found that they were all brown and rotting. Sigh . . . so, into the garbage it got chucked! Let's hope the lower stump put out a branch or something. Sigh!
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Talk about all day on the bus. An epiphany -- never join a tour that requires a change of hotel everynight and spend most of the time on the bus!!!! So, this is the third day of Chinese New Year. We boarded the bus after breakfast to head to Vietnam's border town. Again, everything is closed. We barely found a restaurant that is opened and while we were eating the tour guide took our passport to the immigration office for stamps and clearance. So, after lunch, we waited for the tour guide to come back and then it's on the bus again to go to the border with our already stamped passport. We waited for our "alloted" time slot to cross the border. So, you show the immigration officer your passport with the stamp and then you have to drag your luggages across this long bridge to the other side and go through the same procedure except that you have to complete the visitor card for China and then -- get this -- climb down this huge flight of steps with your luggages. Needless to say, I had to help my parents with theirs. Oh, what a workout. Then it is back on the bus for a long road trip to Nanning. Had to take a little golf cart to the bus parking lot first. Good thing they were able to put all the luggages on one golf cart. When we got to the parking lot, guess what, it is the same dingy bus that we had complained about in Vietnam. The uproar was so loud that it might have registered on the Ricter scale. Well, there was really nothing they could do because the tour company is based in Guilin and we're in some middle of no-where border town. So, we boarded the bus, complaining the whole time. Half way to Nanning the bus broke down. This did not go over well with the passenger and the men on the bus actually had to push the bus to get it started. That was the highlight of the trip. Everyone was in a foul mood by that time. When we got to Nanning, all we could say was, "I wanna see your boss".