Quinn McGinnis

Things to Do, Things to Pack

Plans are well under way now! I just booked my flight to Europe. I’ll be leaving on June 2nd at 7:30am and flying Seattle to Dulles (UA916/767-300) to Moscow (UA964/767-300), arriving at 10:45am on June 3rd, business class. I’ll be spending just over 60 days in Europe before I fly back on August 3rd, flying at 8:25am from Frankfurt to Chicago (UA945/777) to Seattle (UA929/757-200) and arriving at 2:24pm the same day, also business class. Fortunately, I’m using miles. Otherwise it looks like it would cost about $9,539.76 out of pocket.

Here’s the seat I’ll be getting to enjoy for the 15 hours it takes to get the Moscow:
united_business

Unfortunately, United hasn’t started to upgrade the seats on the 777, so my ride won’t be as comfortable on the way back. However, I do get First Class for the Chicago to Seattle flight.

I also booked a hostel for my stay in Moscow, I’ll be at the Olimpia Hostel. Should be good.

With all that done, I figure I better turn my attention to what I’m going to bring (and not bring). Like my itinerary, this list will definitely be updated as I think of more things and people suggest things to bring or not to bring.

To Do

  • Check on current level of travel insurance (health and theft)
  • Get travel visa for Russia
  • Buy Europe on a Shoestring1
  • Convince Quinn to come
  • Convince Charlie to come
  • Get ISIC (International Student Identity Card). Should only be $22?
  • Check into touring Chernobyl and get dosimeter badge

To Pack

  • Backback: The side loading green one2 or top loading grey/blue one
  • Clothes:
    • Orange REI jacket or Blue The North Face running jacket
    • Four t-shirts
    • One better shirt
    • Four pairs of socks
    • Four pairs of boxer-briefs3, they really are quite comfortable
    • One pair of nylon khaki pants with zipoff legs
    • One pair of4 shorts
    • Swim trunks
    • Sleepwear
    • Hat
    • The North Face green fleece/The North Face black polypro
    • One set of shoes5
    • One pair of sandals6
  • Camera/Electronics
    • One camera bag with slot for netbook and will double as day pack
    • One Nikon D90
    • One 50mm f/1.8 Prime lens
    • One 18-70mm lens
    • Headphones
    • One Netbook
    • Laptop lock
    • US/Europe/Russia electricity converter
  • Toiletries
    • Deoderant
    • Hand soap/Shampoo
    • Washcloth
    • Toothbrush/toothpaste
    • Floss
    • Mouth guard
    • Ibuprofen
    • Melatonin
    • Flagyl7
    • Moleskin8
    • Antibiotics
    • Bandaids
    • Medical tape
    • Charcoal pills
    • Penicillin
    • My meds
    • Nail clipper
    • Tweezers
    • Sunscreen
    • Lip balm
    • Contacts/contact solution/contact case
    • Glasses/case
    • Ear plugs
  • Miscellaneous
    • Nalgene
    • Money belt9
    • Padlock
    • Flashlight w/extra batteries
    • Laundry soap
    • Small towel
    • Sleeping bag
    • Pillow
    • Sunglasses (el cheapo’s)
    • Swiss Army Knife
    • Casio Waveceptor waterproof watch

Many items taken from: Packing Checklist for Asia and Rick’s Packing List.

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  1. and finally return the library their copy 

  2. my parents took on their trip to 

  3. ExOfficio Men’s Give-N-Go® Boxer Brief 

  4. http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=636528 

  5. New Balance 991 

  6. Keen’s 

  7. in case of dysentary 

  8. in case of blisters 

  9. Rick Steves Essential Silk Moneybelt 

Updated Itinerary

Progess is being made! I’m calling this Itinerary v0.2. It appears that the only country that will need a visa is Russia. Thus, I’m going to going to start my travels there since it will have to be the most planned part of this trip. I talked with Jeff last night, as he had traveled to Russia several years ago, and got some good information on places to go. I’m hoping to have trip start and end dates locked down and reserved by the end of March, along with all the Russian parts locked down and reserved. 

I also talked with Quinn and Charlie, both of whom have indicated they would at least be interested in doing some traveling with me as well. I have calls in to Katelyn and Erin, both of whom have been and are currently in Turkey, respecitvely.

Below is a list of places that I think I would like to visit, in roughtly the order that I would visit them. I’ve also added notes (mostly to myself) about things I’d like to do there. I think this seems like a more managable list than previously. I’m also trying to setup a framework of things to do, however still allow the trip to progress organically.

  • Day 1: 
    Seattle, Washington 
    Dulles, Washington, DC
  • Airplane/10 hrs/UA964
  • Day 2: Moscow, Russia12
    • Red Square
    • The Kremlin
    • GUM
  • Airplane/1.25 hrs/$60 USD/Rossiya – Russian Airlines3
  • Day 6: St. Petersburg, Russia45
  • Bus/6 hrs/€30 ($40 USD)/EuroLines
  • Day 10: Tallin, Estonia6
  • France:
    • Paris, France (Paris Air Show – 15 to 21 June 2009)
    • Toulouse, France7
    • La Barre, France8
    • Vélizy, France9
    • Bidos, France 10
  • Italy:
    • Rome, Italy
    • Venice, Italy
    • Grottaglie, Italy11
    • Agnone, Italy12
  • Switzerland
    • Arbon, Switzerland
    • Interlaken, Switzerland13
  • Austria
  • Czech Republic
  • Poland
  • Ukraine
    • I’ve heard you can visit Chernobyl…could be cool.
  • Hungary
  • Turkey
  • Germany -> Seattle (UA8718)

Alternates:

  • Sweden14
  • Denmark->Seattle (UA9394)
  • Romania
  • Macedonia
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  1. http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/east/moscow.htm 

  2. http://www.lonelyplanet.com/russia/moscow/sights 

  3. http://www.anywayanyday.ru/en/ 

  4. http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/east/petersbu.htm 

  5. http://www.lonelyplanet.com/russia/st-petersburg/sights 

  6. http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/scan/tallinn.htm 

  7. 787 Production Stop: Groupe Latécoère 

  8. Birthplace of Jean-Luc Picard 

  9. 787 Production Stop: Messier-Dowty 

  10. 787 Production Stop: Messier-Dowty 

  11. 787 Production Stop: http://www.seattlepi.com/business/275606_italy28.html 

  12. We visited Agnone a couple of years, it’s where my maternal great-grandfather was born, and  I’ve wanted to return here to just spend a few days hanging out 

  13. I’ve heard this is a must 

  14. 787 Production Stop: Saab 

Comment Stats

TDavid over at Make You Go Hmm has been playing around with mySQL to get stats on his users comments. I also enjoy looking at pretty numbers (always being careful to remember they mean absolutely nothing), so I did some digging in my own comments database.

So here we go:
First up, total posts by year:

The blue line is all comments. The red line is all comments minus the ones from the WordPress plugin related pages, which are typically help related. While this year isn’t over yet, I highly doubt I’ll get to 2007 or even 2006 levels of comments.

Top ten commenters of all time are

  1. Andrew Ferguson (595)
  2. quinn (108)
  3. staples.jeff (107)
  4. Audrey (69)
  5. Matt Matteson (43)
  6. Peter (42)
  7. CrazyBarbour (40)
  8. laura (34)
  9. Amelie (23)
  10. Ryan “Artoo” Goodwin (19)

I was going to post the leader board for each individual year, however people changed their emails and the way they entered their names in the comment fields and I really don’t want to fix all of them to get accurate results.

I’m kind of stumped as to why 2006 was such a good year for commenting. Interestingly enough, this year has seen more comments per a post, which I think is good. Thoughts?

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Summer Wind

As July finishes up, so does my summer vacation. Less then three weeks remain before my final year of college starts. This summer has been a rather interesting one. If I had to put word to it, I’d describe it as: low-key.

Many of my friends have graduated from college and are getting jobs in The Real World©. My brother and one of my best friends are on mission trips in Europe for the summer. The dynamics have changed for sure.

That’s not to say that I haven’t enjoyed my summer. On the contrary, I love returning back to Seattle. Sailing and hiking are definitely two things I enjoyed doing and I wish I had more time to dedicate to them. I haven’t been climbing or camping yet, which is sort of a bummer. Hopefully I’ll be able to get to those before I start school.

Heads up: any outstanding chits, beers, IOU’s, etc should be redeemed before I leave Seattle on 14 August.

And guess who sighs his lullabies – through nights that never end
My fickle friend, the summer wind

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Sarah Plants

Ben recently told me that a casual acquaintance of ours, Sarah Plants, had recently passed away due to cancer. I didn’t know her very well, but saw her quite a bit since she played Ultimate Frisbee on the UW team. Doug, her husband, also lived at Your Mom’s House last year with Ben and Quinn, so she was over quite a bit. I last saw her at Thanksgiving and she seemed very happy.

Plants, 22, died Feb. 7 of a brain tumor linked to Li-Fraumeni Syndrome, the same rare hereditary disorder that claimed the lives of her father and brother. She was diagnosed with the disorder in October.

Plants had survived cancer as a toddler. She suffered from adrenal cortical carcinoma, or cancer of the adrenal gland above the kidney, and went through chemotherapy at 16 months old.

Plants was 29 credits short of earning a degree in Public Health. When she died, the University gave her an honorary degree. She had planned to go to graduate school to study nursing.

She was captain of the UW Element women’s Ultimate Frisbee team and the coach of an Ultimate team at Whitman Middle School.

Death is a bitch, cancer even more so.

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Quinn’s Movie List

Quinn sent me his list of great movies a while ago (many years ago). It has resided as a page, but I’m now moving to a post.

This is Quinn’s Movie List:

I’ve made a list of great movies (some of them are just great comedies, not really great movies). If you haven’t seen all of these, make sure you do. This is a rough list so far, and I will certainly revise it in the future. These are in no particular order:

  • The Usual Suspects
  • The Godfather
  • The Godfather Part 2
  • The Godfather Part 3
  • The Matrix
  • The Matrix: Reloaded
  • The Matrix: Revolutions
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • Kill Bill Vol. 1
  • Kill Bill Vol. 2
  • Pulp Fiction
  • American History X
  • American Beauty
  • Braveheart
  • Gladiator
  • The Passion of the Christ
  • Vertigo
  • Rear Window
  • North by Northwest
  • Kramer v. Kramer
  • Taxi Driver
  • Apocalypse Now
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • Full Metal Jacket
  • The Deer Hunter
  • The Exorcist
  • Scent of a Woman
  • Goodfellas
  • The Italian Job (new)
  • Ocean’s Eleven (new)
  • Fight Club
  • Forrest Gump
  • Top Gun
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • Dumb and Dumber
  • Supertroopers
  • Gangs of New York
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • Primal Fear
  • As Good As it Gets
  • Casino
  • Dr. Strangelove or How I learned to
  • stop worrying and love the bomb
  • Spartacus
  • Paths of Glory
  • The Shining
  • Amadeus
  • The Silence of the Lambs
  • Red Dragon
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  • Barber Shop
  • White Men Can’t Jump
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2007 Year End Zeitgeist, Part 2

I forgot to mention some of the other important year end numbers, so here goes:

Number of posts: 326
Number of comments: 683
Number of comments by me: 208
Number of unique commenter’s: 217
Most prolific commenter (other then me): Quinn with 21 comments

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More Snow

Brian and Quinn both just let me know that it’s snowing in Seattle and sticking. Looks like I got out just in time. My flight yesterday was delayed 30 minutes so they could de-ice. I slept the whole way. I’m good on the plane like that.

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Finished First Season of The West Wing

  • Raves

Everything I’ve been told, by Celeste Jalbert, Jeff Staples, Darren Justus, and anyone else. The West Wing is really a superb show that everyone needs to watch, regardless of your political views. I just finished season one and can’t wait to start season two.

I was watching an episode a view days back and Quinn McGinnis comes over and watches for a few minutes states that he can’t believe he heard something intelligent on TV.

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