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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Shane's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, February 5th, 2004
11:46 pm
Tired...
I don't remember getting up early this morning. I think that's mostly because I didn't.

Chris drove me home tonight, which was great. Thanks Chris!

We watched a movie -- The Devil's Own -- and I was falling asleep before it was over.

It's now over two hours later. How do you think I feel?

On a side note, I think I've mostly configured an MT blog over at my real site, http://www.kf6nvr.net. The new blog is at http://www.kf6nvr.net/blog/, naturally.

Current Mood: exhausted
9:00 am
On another note...
If, in another 12 years, home speed increases by the same 540k% margin, that same download would have taken about 11.1 milliseconds or come in at a rate of 3.26 Gigabytes per second. That just might be a little fast, although it's hard to tell. Certainly right now that's even fast for motherboard memory transfer rates. But then, my first RLL hard drives, which came long after the 1200baud modem, were lucking to write at 50 kilobytes per second. So, the hard drives back then couldn't keep up with my connection now. It's not too unlikely that the hard drives now might not be able to keep up with the connections in 12 years... But, of course, at some point physical limits will start to affect things even more. Maybe... people have always said that and it hasn't happened yet, really.

Current Mood: contemplative
8:52 am
On DSL, WiFi, Ethernet, and Time of day...
So, this new DSL is spiffy and all. But my WiFi isn't fast enough to fully take advantage of it!

This morning, I plugged in our Netgear WiFi (802.11b) router and tried the speed. I couldn't get over about 2300kilobit. So, to factor out the Netgear itself, I plugged into the switch part of it with ethernet. The speeds went back up to about where they were. Things were a little bit slower, but it's not 1am anymore, either!

Curiously, though, I was connected to the WiFi from about 5 feet away and it was claiming 11megabit which, in theory, is 10% faster than the 10baseT connection I use to the switch or directly to the SpeedStream DSL modem.

That really isn't too impressive for WiFi speeds. Granted, it's still about 2x the speed of the previous DSL, but with the potential for so much more, how can I give up on it?

I mean, back in the early 90's I remember tweaking modem settings to get 120 bytes per second rather than 110 that the default settings would give. And it made a difference in how many minutes it took to download stuff.

The different to now is amazing -- and it's barely been twelve years. That 37.1megabyte file (which would have taken many floppies to hold -- no hard drive at the time!) would have taken 3.75 days to download. Now it takes 1 minute! That's 540,000%!

Standard dialup modems, like that 1200 baud was, haven't actually gotten than much faster with 53k being the legal limit. That's "only" 4522%.

And now with 1xEV-DO we'll be getting wireless speeds of up to 2.4megabit. That's faster than a T1 (at least in one direction) and most DSL lines. And it's wireless. And it costs less than $100 per month for unlimited use. Of course, you have to live in Washington DC or San Diego (or South Korea). But still...

Even now with my 1xRTT connection I can get speeds in the 120 kilobit range.

Of course, this new DSL will spoil me. I think I can live with it, though. ;)

Current Mood: calculative ;)
1:11 am
New DSL update!
I got the DSL modem on the doorstep today. It's smaller than our previous one, which is nice. It also came with cables on lots of filters.

Our DSL wasn't supposed to be activated until the 9th. But it's on now.

So I just had to do a speed test. Our old connection got 1212kilobits/second at the c|net bandwidth meter. It was with SBC.

Our new connect gets 4117 kilobits/second according to the same bandwidth meter. The lowest I've seen has been above 3400. I had some bursts around the 13megabit range, although it just looked too fast. ;) Well, the reason I say that is because the connection is only 10baseT ethernet. Heh.

2wire consistantly was giving me in the 5300kilobit range.

It's with DSLExtreme.

On to downloads....

So, I didn't have any updates to download from Microsoft and having just reinstalled my computer, I couldn't actually think of anything else it needed at the moment.

So, I went off the pocket movies (http://www.pocketmovies.net/) and downloaded ornaments.avi in divx format, which weighs in at 37.1megabytes (38,922,240 bytes to be exact). The download took 60 seconds, which translates into 633.5kilobytes per second or 5068 kilobits/second. I think that's rather acceptable. It's essentially rolling in at half ethernet effective rates.

Standard web browsing seems limited by the sheer number of requests that have to be made on a typical page to grab all the little images and rendering time (this machine is "only" a 1.13GHz P3). No idea how to confirm this, of course.

Current Mood: excited
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2004
10:50 am
New DSL
Our order for the new DSL went through. With Laurie leaving Thuridion, they'll no longer be covering our 1.5Mb/128kb with 5 static IP addresses line. So, we found a special on a 6Mb/608kb line with one static IP. In fact, at $60/mo, it's cheaper than the current line. Unfortunately, it doesn't have enough IP addresses for us to host all of our websites. So, my site is being moved over to he.net. Laurie's site is going away for a while in favor of her company site, http://www.mamlambo.com. My site will still be available at http://www.kf6nvr.net. However, it's not currently available because our server is having issues. Once the domain changes go through, though it'll be available again. It is, of course, going through yet another change. This will be the fourth major change in it's life.

I'm thinking this time around I may have it be host to a blog as well as some form of Wiki. I may try to use asp2php to keep the current stuff, but that may be more trouble than it's worth. It may be easier to do a text import of current stuff into a new system.

In any case, I'm looking forward to a 4x boost in download speed and nearly a 5x speed in upload speed. We'll see if it's actually that fast. We're pretty close to the CO, so I'm confident it'll be fast.

Current Mood: excited
7:45 am
Smelling the roses...
...or so to speak. Well, I guess it's "stop to smell the roses."

Chris Haseman Post

That post prompted me to think about my commute. I commute over Hiway 17 everyday. It's not too long of a commute over the Santa Cruz mountains, which are full of redwoods. Now, I've always lived around redwoods (or at least my dad has). I tend to take them for granted and make comments like "why are the trees so short here?" when I go elsewhere.

The first time Laurie and I went to Redwood National Park was very eye opening. Many of the views were less interesting and less spectacular than the view I get every day while commuting. So why'd they make a national park out of it? Well, that's the wrong question. The real question should be: Why aren't the Santa Cruz mountains a national park? Well, they certainly are many state and county parks that cover a lot of territory throughout. And the rest of it are either small residences (relatively speaking) or vineyards. Gotta have our wine! ;)

The difficult thing about this is finding something you take for granted. For instance, I no longer take the commute view for granted (although I try not to look at it too much while driving -- that could be unhealthy!).

Current Mood: contemplative
7:32 am
Spam
I had the best piece of SPAM yet today, as far as I can tell.

It appeared to be a message from an eBay buyer about an item I'm selling. The problem was: I'm not currently selling an item.

Additionally, the item # in the subject line differed from the item number in the URL line in the message. Oddly enough, the link itself was valid -- just not to a valid item.

Also curious is the fact that the item description was for a ham antenna. Now, I might have passed it off as a mis-typed email had it gone to my primary eBay address, which is at kf6nvr.net, but it wasn't.

Curious... in looking at it closer, it actually appears to be a response from the seller... unfortunately, neither seller or buyer IDs exist.

What I haven't seen in the message is the hook -- some link to some outside source.

Current Mood: Annoyed
Monday, February 2nd, 2004
7:13 am
Curious...
I had been searching for ".HACK//SIGN" stuff. Of course, Google didn't get the dot part of dot-hack. One of the first links was this site, that kept me distracted for quite some time:

http://hacks.mit.edu/Hacks/

Sure, it's hacks and MIT. But it certainly wasn't what I was expecting...

Current Mood: curious
Sunday, February 1st, 2004
12:17 pm
Google searching
It's odd, but I had always assumed that a search on Google on two computers at the same time would have the same result. Heck, I even thought searching in the browser and search in the Google toolbar and in the Google start menu bar thingy would also return the same results.

Well, I wouldn't be blogging this if that were true. And this isn't a browser caching thing.

Yesterday, LD could find something and I couldn't. But I could from one of the Google bars, just not from the Google main page. Now it's just the opposite for us, expect that she can't find the result at all...

It must be hitting different back-end Google servers that have a slightly different cache version. But it's still curious and perhaps a little disturbing given the power of Google these days.

Current Mood: Accomplished
Friday, January 30th, 2004
10:35 pm
More Laptop woes...
Last Friday, I had finally gotten my laptop back and working again. Tuesday, the hard drive started making noise.

Wednesday, it died. Called Dell.

Thursday, received new drive in mail.

Friday night, laptop still not 100% configured, but workable.

So, the Dell call was surprisingly pleasant. I had walked outside so as not to bother my coworkers. This was actually after I'd emailed tech support online. I got a real person who spoke reasonable English within about 5 minutes. I told him it was clunky. He asked if he could listen. I said the machine was off. He said turn it on. I said I was worried about losing data. Immediately, he backed off, said he would get a replacement out overnight and went on hold for a few minutes. He then confirmed shipping information and had me run a quick diagnostic, which the drive actually passed. That was it. I quickly received a confirmation email about this -- which was a first. Overall, I was rather impressed. They even gave a recommendation for a data recover place.

Luckily I was able borrow some things from coworkers, including kf6gpe. This helped recover lots of data. I got all of what I really needed to get and some other stuff, including my entire 1 gigabyte Outlook PST file. *phew*

Current Mood: accomplished
Tuesday, January 27th, 2004
10:15 pm
Goofing off...
I simply decided not to work tonight.

So I've been goofing off.


Penguins? yeah, I got 593.5, which seems to be the max score.
http://www.archlug.org/kwiki/index.cgi?Whack-A-Penguin
(Sad, huh?)


Found on Mars!
http://www.lowgenius.com/rover.htm


Kinda cool... didn't even know people bothered with telnet and ASCII anymore ;) (Not that I haven't been playing nethack lately, but I digress..)
telnet://towel.blinkenlights.nl
Actually, this just keeps getting cooler as I realize it's _Really Long_.



Linux is everywhere...
http://bigmouth.here-n-there.com/



Still watching ASCII Star Wars.


Yeah, it's just a joke this time....

Q: Emacs can work as a text editor? How do I enable that feature?

A: ctrl-meta-c k meta-p 1 1 ctrl-v shake it all about, you do the hokey pokey and turn yourself around. AFAIK that's what it's all about.

;)




Uhm, the FBI can watch your browsing now...

http://users.chartertn.net/tonytemplin/FBI_eyes/




This was from a couple of days ago, but is fitting now...

http://www.deviantart.com/view/4743899/




Gotta admit, good focus here:

http://www.scarysquirrel.org/



This is just weird:
http://www.tongsville.com/city/index.html
So much of it actually has real links and stuff, too... odd...




Obnoxious music. Makes you go "WTF???"
http://www.realultimatepower.net/



Yet another "Oh no! They didn't!" (I saw this back long ago... but yeesh)
http://yoga.at.infoseek.co.jp/flash/kikkomaso_e.htm



This is just asking for it....
http://officediversions.com/discover/modules/news/index.php?storytopic=19

Current Mood: Still Burnt
4:21 pm
Netflix and post office bandwidth
In this article:

I saw this line:

"The company frequently points out that the data which Netflix ships on a busy day on plastic discs is about half the total US Internet capacity at around 5,000,000 gigabytes per day. "

which is sufficiently interesting. That's 5 petabytes in a day (search for "5000000 gigabytes in petabytes" on Google). This is just one rental company that commands less than 2% of the entire movie rental market in the US. Sure, very few DVDs are shipped to consumers, but given these numbers, some 238.4 petabytes of movies are rented (and, likely, transported) daily.

Assuming your nifty new DSL line can actually do 1.5megabits a second, it'd take 43,265 years to transfer. ("(5000000 gigabytes * 50 )/ (1.5 megabits per second) " in Google). That's only one day. And DVDs don't even have HD quality video on them. That's a lot of data.

The article also says that the 5 petabytes is about 1/2 of the entire US internet capacity. In other words, to do full VoD delivery of all movies at non HD quality, the overall bandwidth in the US would have to increase 25 fold -- and that'd _only_ handle the video part.

I'm rambling.


Seems even when transferring digital data the USPS has a remarkably high bandwidth.

Netflix is absolutely great for us, too. If we send a movie in on a Monday, we get another one on Wednesday.

Current Mood: burned out
10:00 am
Exhaustion
Last night things finally caught up with me. Unfortunately, it was kind of in a bad way -- although amusing, anyway. I've been working 7 days a week lately with fairly long hours. It was after dinner and I was attempting to get going on another evening of work. Laurie was away in another room leaving me alone. What happened during the next hour was kind of a blur. The end result was that I barely got anything done and yet I got in a bad mood over it. Basically, I couldn't type or think at all! I was tired enough that it took me a while to realize it. But finally, I did and I stopped working and went to lay down on the couch.

At this point, Laurie had just turned on Step Mom. It took me a while before I realized just how depressing the movie can be. Basically, I had competely forgotten what it was really about.

I ended up not being able to sleep on the couch though, partly because of the movie and partly just from being too tired.

During the night sometime I had a very odd dream. Normally I don't think much about them, though. Every once in a while, however, I remember a dream that makes me wonder what someone would think about it. In this one, I was in some sort of city or out door mall or park or something. Some announcement somewhere was made that the cops were chasing someone. My point of view changed to this. As it turns out, it was two cops in a very violent fist fight with someone else. This someone else as it turns out was a security guard. ?! No idea what that was about. After this "battle" there was some form of friendly interaction between me (or my point of view) and one of the cops. A the time, and even this morning, I remember it all being quite vivid. Of course, it's all fading now, but that's the nature of dreams.

Current Mood: still exhausted
Thursday, January 15th, 2004
9:22 pm
My ongoing Dell saga...
Ongoing for me, but this is the first post about it.... *sigh*

Last week me Dell laptop (an Inspiron 8100, about 2 years old) died. Well, that is, it wouldn't power on (to put it simply).

So, I called Dell Tech Support (I have a 3 year mail in warranty, luckily!). After about a 40 minute call, I was disconnected. This guy called back and he said things were set so I could call Airborn Express and and get my laptop picked up (they ship both directions for free and provide the box).
I called them first thing. Nope, the reference number wasn't in their system yet. They said it usually takes about 4 hours. So, 5 hours later (it was now about 4pm) I called them again. This time they said it normally takes 4-6 hours. But, the?!

So, I called Dell Technical Support. After getting the call center run around, I finally got to tech support. And was disconnected after having been on the phone for about 40 minutes. Now I was getting a bit upset. So, I started hitting them from all angles: chat rooms, forums, etc. I then called again and after another 40 minute call, the Technical Support dude tells me that the first guy was supposed to have done a conference call with Airborne Express on the line. He does this and all is set.

Airborne Express picked up the laptop at about 4pm. That's normally when they come by, so I expected that.

I kept checking the forums for status. Finally, on Monday they Dell forums said my laptop had been received Friday. (Dell's online page has yet to list any sort of support status. That's just no right.) What's worse is they told me to check back near the end of the week. Come Wednesday (that's yesterday) I decided to post for status. About an hour later, my laptop arrived. Whoo hoo!

Or so I thought.

After using it, plugged in, I realized that the batteries weren't charging. I couldn't get them to. Nor could I get it to power for long on just AC power. So, back to Dell I call. The first 30 minute call ended up in a disconnect. The next call ended up with someone that I could understand fairly well and that went through all kinds of things. After all, the motherboard, CPU, heatsink, and keyboard (hey, not complaining!) had been replaced. But by the end, the machine was misbehaving even more. He came to the conclusion that the replacement parts must be defective. !?

Off to Dell my laptop goes. I told the Dell Technical support guy about the conference call thing, and he said they don't do that. But this guy gave me a reference number and, for whatever reason, an account number. I got a third number for Airborne Express (side note: the primary number the first guy told me to use was an adult 800 number... the "oh by the way, if that doesn't work try this one number" was an Airborne Express number) that was much better than the other working one. And this time I was able to schedule immediately. No 4, 4-6, or 24 hour waiting. It just worked.

So, it's back on it's way to Dell. If things are just as fast, I'll get it back again next Wednesday. I sent my AC adapter in this time, though. I hope it comes back. I didn't send my broken CDRW/DVD drive though. They don't seem to ever want to fix it.

Blah!

Current Mood: aggravated
Sunday, January 11th, 2004
1:32 pm
An odd experience...
Due to events that I haven't yet blogged about, I don't have my own laptop with me for a while.

This means that I've been using Laurie's old laptop (a touchscreen Fujitsu -- absolutely brilliant for browsing) at home.

I had started to install things, like the Google toolbar, etc. In doing so, I started to get concerned that I would bog the machine down (it is old, afterall). So, I decided to check to see if it had 256megs of RAM, or if it still only had 128megs of RAM.

It had 64megs of RAM.

!
Tuesday, December 9th, 2003
9:09 am
Backdating...
I'll be backdating (or at least trying to) a number of entries for the Paris trip very soon.

They're mostly my comments, although some things (like Place names, especially) have been edited by Laurie. In addition, there are some of Laurie's comments embedded inline. This is for enjoyment purposes only.

Sorry if it's confusing...

Current Mood: mischievous
8:32 am
Word spellings?
Like many people these days, I use Google to try to find the spelling of hard to spell words. Well, I spent way too much time recently trying to figure out the spelling of "hagen das" ice cream. All of the bad spellings were to be found on Google, with reference to the ice cream maker, too.

In the end, I finally found their website as I got closer and closer to the real spelling:

"Häagen-Dasz"

Current Mood: amused
Monday, December 8th, 2003
3:42 pm
A little experiment...
I've been doing an experiment with one of my credit cards. You know how some people are starting to write "See ID" on the back rather than signing so it can only be used with a photo ID?

Well, I decided not to write anything. In fact, it's completely blank. Well, I used it for about a month before anyone noticed and asked for my ID. But that's it. Just a quick glance at the ID.

What's worse, still only a couple places have asked. Most don't even notice it's not actually valid.

So, I used it a couple of times in France, too. No one noticed at all here.

Oh well, so much for security. -- I should sign it before someone else does.




Cool, the detect music thing actually works when I'm using Winamp... ;)

Current Mood: Befuddled
Wednesday, December 3rd, 2003
12:00 pm
Day 6: Breakfast and plane trip home!
Again, we got up to the TV turning on. Again, we relaxed watching it some. Well, at least I did. I then got up and after starting to pack for a little bit Laurie informed me that she wanted to do all the packing. (Laurie says: Shane was fucking it up. (Shane says: Hey, be nice!)) Of course, she's probably better at it than me, so that's fine. ;) (Laurie says: Laurie excels in delegating tasks so she sent Shane for breakfast instead of braving a 100 euro egg from room service. (Shane says: not to mention the 50 euro coffee, 50 euro slice of bread, and such. Did I mention the prices were rather scary – and we’ve been to a lot of expensive hotels by now.))

I took a shower and was then sent off after breakfast (minimum of one baguette, a diet coke, and an apple tarte). (Laurie says: I just cannot eat enough of those tarte aux pommes. (Nor pommes frites French fries)). Well, I wondered off and found a place to get some stuff. I ended up with a flan, something flaky and chocolaty, a couple of fizzy waters, and a couple of diet cokes. I had tried to order in French, but when I was asked something and gave an "uh" I was told she said "eat in or take out?" Oops. I tried, though!

Well, the observant will notice I had no baguette. Luckily, just next door was a bread-only place. So I went in and ordered one baguette, in French. I then paid, she smile and very properly said "Thank you." I must have American written all over my forehead. I smiled back and said "Merci!" as best I could.

On my way back I saw the coolest Smart car yet. Looked like a little sports car. But being a Smart car, it was little -- and probably cheap, too.

I got back and Laurie was just about done. We ate breakfast and got a taxi out to the airport. It was a Mercedes. How nice. ;) (Laurie says: Laurie didn’t feel well – it was a stuffy car. However the ride was surprisingly short. (Shane says: Yeah, those damned Mercedes. We shoulda taken a BMW.))

On the way, we ended up at the Arc de Triumphe round about. How bloody random! Sheesh.

At the airport, we had plenty of time to spare (we gave about 2 hours for the drive and it took our taxi (going 150kph) about 40 minutes. ;)) so we did some duty "free" shopping and got some more wine at reasonable prices. (Laurie says: We then hung out in the American Admirals Club drinking 1664, Hennessy XO cognac (very good), red wine, port and eating Carrs water crackers and brie. Poor us. )

The flight was boring and it was another crappy 767. (Laurie says: Laurie bought and finished a book.) We landed in Chicago. (Laurie says: The terminal had a shitload of food and Laurie was happy with McDonalds salad, fries and a caramel apple cider that took 30 minutes to prepare. Laurie called Asher and arranged a ride home from the airport. ) (Shane says: Laurie said this because somehow I got the trip there and the trip back confused. I had been thinking originally that it was the trip back where there was nothing to eat. But, clearly, I was wrong. There was a rather large food court in Chicago. And there was a Starbucks where I orderd a CAC (carmel apple cider). They didn't have the cider so they had to run and get more. This took a while, but they gave us a large (Well, Venti, which oddly, they have trademarked, as opposed to their small called a Tall.) but we had just wanted their small tall, but that just meant that I ended up with more.)

I slept a bunch on the next flight. (Laurie says: So did I since she had finished her book – it was good.) We landed at about 10:15pm pacific time. We got home a while later (thanks Asher!).

We (well, Laurie) did a little unpacking... we had to get up the next morning to work!

(We both say: Blech.)
Tuesday, December 2nd, 2003
12:00 pm
Day 5: Paris, Arc de Triumphe , Montmartre, the Musée D'Orsay, and Le Tour Eiffel
We got up the next morning. As usual, the alarm (our TV turning on) went off and we lay in bed for a while watching it. We were in no hurry; we'd been doing a lot of stuff and we had all day. ;)

(Laurie says: First we walked back up to the Champs Elysees and up to the Arc de Triumphe. It was just opening up and we walked up the 260odd steps to the top for a fantastic view of the city and Place de L’etoile (place of the star). This area is named because there are something like 14 streets in all directions around the Arch. We stopped in the little shop within the arch to buy a little metal arch for ourselves. Next we caught the metro to Monmartre. )

We went off walking towards the metro. We hadn't eaten yet. We were hungry, though. We decided to grab something when we got off. But we didn't see anything. We did, however, get to see _the_ Moulin Rouge. Cool. ;)

We ended up at the Montmartre cemetary. This was a rather large cemetary in a fairly urban setting. (Laurie says: Many famous dead people.) A low road overpass was mere inches above some of the über grave markers. Many of them were very elaborate. There were a couple that must have been at least 30 feet high with maybe 200 sq ft of space. There were some very old ones, but the oldest I could read (which were in much better shape) were from the early 1800's. The newest, however, was a fresh opening. This was useful, though. I had wondered how a family of dozens of people could be burried. The answer was that the markers opened up to reveal immense vertical space. Who knows; maybe there were catacombs underneath like in the RPG games. ;)

The layout was also very cool. There was a few main road/paths that the little carts could drive on. All of the roads had street signs, too. And the walking only ones were very narrow in between the walk-in gravemarkers, but they still had street signs. After walking around, some in the rain, for quite a while we realized that the only way out was the way in. So out we went. We then headed up towards the Mont Martyre church and Sacred Heart cathedral (or whatever they were called).

This lead us passed the art area. At one point we had to stop to buy an umbrella to protect the cameras. (Laurie says: Montmartre is famous for its bohemian artists community and is the redlight district of Paris. It is also where SacreCoeur cathedral is. )

Once up to the actual cathedral the view was spectacular. Inside was also very cool, with a huge painting on the domed ceiling. It was no where near as large inside as Notre Dame, of course, but it was pretty high up on a hill top.

After this, we headed down the hillside in a different direction. Laurie always knows where she's going. (Laurie says: Oh?)(Shane says: Well, compared to me… I seem to be directionally impaired.) Finally, we found a place to stop and eat. Having not had breakfast, I just had to get an omelet again. ;) This café was quite crowded, with very close tables. But the food was pretty good. We ate and left, heading off towards the Musée D'Orsay.

We found a metro entrance to get us closer. (Laurie says: We got off a bit early at Place de la Concord and went back to the Louvre for a drink. The Louvre is closed on Tuesdays so it was pretty empty. ) Once there, we stopped by the Louvre real quick to try to get the special coins. We like collecting coins from places we go (the little bronze type ones).

The Musee d’Orsay specializes in impressionsm and is the former main Paris train station, so it was relatively long and narrow. We perused it for a while, seeing lots of impressionist works by the likes of Monet and Picasso. I actually enjoyed them more than the more realistic stuff at the Louvre.

After this, we decided to head back to the hotel. (Laurie says: We were really tired up the Paris metro requires a lot of walking so we walked up to a more direct route of Place de la Concord instead of talking 3 metro connections for a closer entrance. We walked along the Seine from the museum and got some great river pictures and Eiffel tower pictures.) We got back and again changed into our nice clothes. We tried to get reservations at a place in the Eiffel Tower, but had no luck. So, we headed over to the Eiffel Tower anyway to check it out (in our nice clothes, mind you). We decided to go all the way to the top since it was only a couple euros more than just partway. The view was quite nice. Of course, it was well past dark by now. It would be fun to go up during the day sometime with the 300mm turned 480mm in the DSLR just to look at stuff from afar. However, I really liked going up at night. It was all OK until we headed up a level to the unprotected section. It was quite windy and very cold on all but one side (technically, the wayward).

After this, we headed down and started walking back towards the hotel, looking for a place to eat. We found one that looked nice and busy called Chez Francois. We ordered a bottle of wine and some food and some oysters. One of them was still moving; apparently in South Africa, the best places serve them still living. Odd. Well, I ate my share of them. I not really sure it's considered eating since they just slide down and you don't really have a chance to chew them. Quite odd. I had no problem with them, but I'm not sure I'd eat them again just because I don't really see the point (unless maybe I can then grow pearls or something ;)). I had something that had the contents of a meatloaf in the shape of a large hamburger patty. It was actually quite good, but perhaps a little on the boring side. Tasty, regardless. Laurie had French Fries, of course. She also ordered something called "Chittering Sausage." Not sure what it was, but we'll never order it again. It didn't look appetizing, it was breaded, and it didn't taste good. Oh well.

We decided to not order dessert but rather to go somewhere else. We ended up going to a Häagen-Dazs hoping it'd have some of the more interesting flavors that we don't back home. It didn't, really, but we had a couple of good cones anyway (Laurie had tiramisu and I had ginger chocolate. ), which we ate walking back (recall: we're still in our nice clothes -- eating ice cream, at night, on the street, walking! ).

We got back to the hotel and crashed, again rather harshly.
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