It’s Alive!

Cynthia has a low mileage (50,000) 1994 Toyota Hilux Xtra Cab and it has been sitting up in the garage, unused, for 9 years. She bought the truck new, but never really enjoyed it and eventually bought a Mazda Miata for her daily driver.

We finally got around to getting it pulled from our garage towed to a mechanic to get it back up and running. The truck needed a bit of work to get it running again, but now it has been resurrected. Cynthia has a new affection for the truck now and we will be keeping it as a utility vehicle as well as a classic collectible.

Toyota - Before

Toyota - Before

Toyota - After

Toyota Engine

Cynthia Starts The Truck

Ireland – Day 13

Today is our last day in Ireland before flying home tomorrow. We’re tired and we’re pretty much out of clean clothes.

The sun was out again today and we enjoyed walking in the good weather.

Our first visit was to the Trinity College Library to see the Book OF Kells. There’s no photography of the actual book, but you can take photos of the magnificent Trinity College Library.

Trinity University Library

Trinity College also has one of the Sphere Within Sphere (Sfera con sfera) sculptures like the one we saw at The Vatican Museums when we visited there last year.

Sphere Within Sphere (Sfera con sfera) Trinity College

Sphere Within Sphere (Sfera con sfera) Trinity College

From there we walked over to tour the Chester Beatty Library which has an amazing collection of books, documents and other artifacts. No photos in there, but the sun was shining brightly on the Dublin Castle and the view from the Dubh Linn Gardens was quite nice.

Dublin Castle

This little courtyard contained the Garda Memorial Garden which pays tribute to police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Dubhlinn Gardens Garda Memorial Garden

We’re going to take it easy the rest of the day. Packing and relaxing before our early, early flight tomorrow morning.

This trip has been amazing. Cynthia and I both agree that the rural part was much better than the city parts, though both were great in their own ways.


Why I love (and sometimes fear) Cynthia – reason # 2,341,456

One of her coworkers has been out of town this week. Let’s just say that Cynthia and this particular co-worker don’t always see eye to eye and have somewhat of a “friendly rivalry” going on.

While this particular co-worker was out of of the office, Cynthia busied herself “re-decorating” it by cutting out pictures of dozens and dozens of rats and placing them all over his office. There’s even rats in the drawers and in the cabinets. She also plans to scatter a box of raisins on his desk before he returns on Friday as a finishing touch.

Cynthia confided in me that the subtle symbolism of her message may be lost on this particular co-worker.

Click any image to see a larger, more rat-ly version.

Happy Festival Of Popular Delusions Day!

June 5th is Festival Of Popular Delusions Day.

The festival began in Germany on June 5th, 1945 which is one year after D-Day and one day before the one year anniversary. It marks the last day the Nazi’s were able to delude themselves that they would rule the Earth for a thousand years.

Festival Of Popular Delusions Day is now a day for ourselves to perform a reality check not only on our selves as individuals, but take a look at the popular ideas of the day.

To commemorate this day, and in the spirit of our “wacky” holiday card tradition, Cynthia and I sent out a card to our friends and also offer a copy here since we can’t afford stamps for everyone.

Stresscon 3

We’re in final preparations for the trip to Italy and I am at StressCon 3. Flight and hotels have been booked, rail passes secured, initial packing done as well as sorting out exactly which photo gear I will be taking on this trip.

To complicate things, I have a business trip to Orlando during the days leading up to the flight to Italy. That means I go to Orlando for work and fly back to Houston and turn around the next day to fly to Italy. It’s not all that tight of a schedule, but I have had to pack two separate suitcases so my Italy gear will be mostly ready when I get back from Orlando. This throws my planning and preparation out of kilter because I don’t have the week leading up to the big trip to verify everything on my checklist. I have to do it now and maybe a little the night before I leave.

And in keeping with the tradition of The Maiming of the Nose and Ojo Rojo, Cynthia has had a minor medical issue come up. One of her teeth has disintegrated. Old fillings just don’t hold up, I guess.

She has a temporary crown so we are good to go. Poor Cynthia. She’s being a real trooper, though.