Dateline: Athens, Day 1 – Athens in 4 Hours

Athens, Greece
4 July 2009

With the assistance of last nights mid-voyage Internet connection, we were able to find what we thought would be a good chance at a bed. Unfortunately, we couldn’t actually book anything. After talking to Mom and Dad on Skype and explaining the 14 second audio delay because of the satellite connection I was using, we made out way to the hostel.

The downside of arriving anywhere past midnight is that there is no guarantee of a working metro system. Many places shut down their metros at midnight and also reduce bus service. Athens is one of those cities. We ended up sharing a cab with the American couple, since they were staying at a hotel near us. We paid €5/each and were on our way.

We got to the hostel and low and behold, they had one room left. So, the good news is that we had a bed. The bad news is that we had a bed, singular.

Whatever, we took it and went to bed.

Exploring Athens in 4 hours was pretty exiting. We had three goals: National Archaeological Museum of Athens, Parthenon, and catching our boat in Patros1.

The National Archaeological Museum of Athens is quite amazing

18.0 mm || 1/50 || f/3.5 || ISO1000 || NIKON D70

18.0 mm || 1/80 || f/3.5 || ISO1000 || NIKON D70

70.0 mm || 1/20 || f/4.5 || ISO400 || NIKON D70

31.0 mm || 1/80 || f/4.0 || ISO800 || NIKON D70

18.0 mm || 1/40 || f/3.5 || ISO400 || NIKON D70

…and yes, that’s a guy giving himself a tittie twister2.

We grabbed a quite bit to eat before racing off to find the Parthenon. As we started to climb the steps leading to the Parthenon, the clouds began to roll in. Although I think it made for rather excellent lighting in the end…

18.0 mm || 1/5000 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Athens, Attica, Ελλάδα

18.0 mm || 1/2000 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Athens, Attica, Ελλάδα

18.0 mm || 1/2000 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Athens, Attica, Ελλάδα

18.0 mm || 1/1600 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Athens, Attica, Ελλάδα

18.0 mm || 1/1600 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Athens, Attica, Ελλάδα

31.0 mm || 1/100 || f/8.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Athens, Attica, Ελλάδα

As we were leaving the Parthenon, the drops started to fall. By time we made it down the small ridge the Parthenon was on, it was pouring down rain. We made a mad dash for the hostel were we grabbed our bags. Already running late, we hailed a cab (the second in as many days) and raced to the bus terminal. We made it with, I swear, only five minutes before the bus left. But we were on, and that’s what mattered at this point…even if we were soaking wet.

The bus ride, like all the bus rides before it, was uneventful.

50.0 mm || 1/50 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Aktaio, West Greece, Ελλάδα

We got to the bus terminal and ran to the ferry terminal, which sucked because we had to go all the way to the ticket counter on the far side of the terminal before going back to ferry. By time we got to the ferry, they had already started to pull up the car ramp…so we just barely made it.

This ferry, the Superfast Ferry, was quite a bit nicer than the other ferries we had been, which is saying something because the other ferries were pretty nice. I’d actually call this ferry more of an ocean linear.

We made our way to the foyer and sat down. It wasn’t long before I was scouting out a place for out “instant upgrade.” The place I selected was the airplane-style seats. It seemed to more or less be a free for all, and there were plenty of extra seats. I would suspect that less than half the people actually had tickets for the airplane-style seats. We managed to snag a couple and settled in for our night ride to Bari, Italy.

Around midnight, there was a commotion that aroused me from my sleep. We were being kicked out. We had just pulled out of port in Igoumenitsa and someone actually had a ticket for our seats! What luck!

We tried finding a place to sleep somewhere else, first in the foyer (no place to lie down), and then in the dining area. However, some official actually kicked us (a bunch of people actually) out because the area was for people who were eating. Problem was, the restaurant wasn’t open. I guess he didn’t care.

So it was back to the foyer. However, I was determined to get back to our plush aircraft-style seats. After waiting a bit, I made by way back in to the cabin and scouted our another spot. I found a guy sitting with two bags taking up two extra seats. I asked if he was using them, to which he prompt got up and left. So I took them. And all was good with the world again.

Happy Forth of July!

  1. Charlie figured out that it was faster/easier to catch the boat in Patros, rather than four hours later in Igoumenitsa. Not to mention that buying a ticket for Patros is easier… 

  2. Check that one off the list of words I didn’t think I would ever write on this blog 

25 Random Things About Me

Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

  1. I’m an introvert.
  2. I want to go into space (and visit the Moon, specifically), but probably won’t get the chance.
  3. I plan on getting my EMT.
  4. I plan on getting my pilots license.
  5. I plan on getting a masters degree (although I don’t know in what).
  6. I plan on getting my professional engineers license.
  7. My blood type is O+
  8. I have a website:
  9. I’ve been consistently blogging since 2003 (2099 posts and counting).
  10. I listen to NPR podcasts when I go to bed (Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me; This American Life; Radio Lab; Car Talk).
  11. My goal is see every single Star Trek TV show and movie, in order, before I graduate college.
  12. So far, I’ve watched 661 Star Trek episodes and movies, I have 116 left.
  13. I enjoy programming, especially in PHP.
  14. I enjoy taking photographs and I want to expand.
  15. I’m thinking about going on a mission trip this summer.
  16. I’ll be working in Seattle for Boeing after I graduate.
  17. Out of all five of the years I’ve been in college, I serously think this year has been my favorite.
  18. I think it’s been my favorite because of the amazing community I found at MERGE and The Annex.
  19. I’m worried about going back to Seattle.
  20. I used to drink rediculous amounts of Dr Pepper. Now I try to limit myself.
  21. I have been diagnosed with generalized anxiety.
  22. I used to have lots of panic attacks in school, all the way into high school. I do pretty well now.
  23. I turn 23 on Saturday.
  24. I share the exact same birthday as my mom…only 30 years later.
  25. I think it’s harder to be a Christian and an American than it is to be a Christian and a scientist. I struggle every day.
  26. I can’t put my contacts in using two hands, I have to do it with one hand. I blame my dad for this.

Note: I’m posting this on my blog, which is then sucked into my Facebook Notes.


Dad’s in Town

Dad called me today to let me know that I should print my boarding pass online when I fly back for Thanksgiving.

Then he wanted to know if I wanted to grab some food tomorrow. He’s in town!

Brian flies back tomorrow, Dad flies back Sunday, and I fly back Monday.

Poor Mom, she’s going to be driving to the airport a lot.


Guest Authoring at GottaBeMobile

Update: It’s up! Check it out: GottaBeAStudent and The Myth of Battery Life. Also a special thanks to Mom and Dad for A) proof reading it, and B) providing me with a title.

Starting later today, I’ll be doing a series of articles on that deals with tablet issues from a student perspective. We’ll, at least from my perspective (if you know me, you know that I can bring a unique perspective to anything).

GottaBeMobile is the site for Tablet PC information, so it’s a pretty big honor to write for them.

I also need to take a moment to point out the incredible irony that finds me, an engineer, writing in a situation like this. One of the reasons I went to Mines was to get away from all the writing that high school and humanities classes had. Yet, I find my self blogging several times a week on my personal site and writing articles for two outside sites.

In any event, it’s going to be more of an article based series, rather than the short and informative posting I do like to do at However, I think many will find them just as helpful.

I’ll post again when I put up the first article later today.

I’d also like to thank Rob for giving me (and STPC) a chance to expand my (our) audience and Tracy for letting me get away with it 😉 . Rob was also very helpful and kind in helping me make the decision to contribute to GBM, including helping me with a list of topics.


Will This Work?

When I last left off, the lady downstairs was banging banging banging.

Well, the next morning I walked out to check the mail and I saw that a representative from the Golden Police Department had left a business card with a note on back:

Received noise complaint on 12/14/2006 at 1:05AM

The interesting thing is that the officer didn’t knock last night, so I’m guessing they didn’t take the complain seriously or assumed that it had stopped before they got here.

I talked with Dad and he talked with Laurel Property Services. Then I talked with Laurel Property Services. I was very disappointed by how Laurel decided to deal with the situation. Their suggestion was to call the police if she banged again. Okaaaay.

I did some more thinking and talked to some more people. I finally decided to go talk to her, although somewhat reluctantly. The conversation went something like this:
Me: “So, there was some knocking last night.”
Her: “Yeah.”
Me: “And I’m trying to figure out why.”
Her: “You were noisy and woke me up.”
Me: “Okay. We’ll, I’ve tried to keep noise to a minimum. I’ve worked out in the living room when possible, but sometimes it’s not, and I’ve had my Uncle, who’s a carpenter come and install screws to help minimize the squeaking. That’s seemed to help a bit, at least from what I can hear. I don’t think there’s anything more I can do.”
Her: “Last year, Logan studied in the living room and that seemed to work pretty well.”
(My jaw figuratively dropped in my head; did she just say that?)
Me: “Have you tried calling Laurel?”
Her: “Yes, they said to call the police.”
(I found this part interesting…almost like Laurel is playing both sides)
Her, continuing: “I’ve been nice and haven’t called them all semester, but last night was just too much. I’ve been constantly late to work. Before you moved in, I was never late. I may lose my job because of this. ”
(Inner commentary: “One word lady: earplugs”)
Me: “Well, okay then. Thanks for your time.”

And I left. Did I just have this conversation? I called the non-emergency police number and informed them that I was having a dispute with my neighbor and would like an officer sent over. The dispatcher asked if I would be willing to go to mediation. “Sure!” I said, “Anything at this point.” She gave me the number for the Jefferson County Mediation. I gave them a call. The called back the next day and left a message. They seemed very nice. I’m going to call them tomorrow to get the ball rolling so that I can get this all figured out right when I get back.