Robot Hand

My commute today

Here is this morning’s commute, in its entirety. About 5 and 3/4 minutes.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 11.35.26

Darker and wetter, below is today’s bike ride home. Looks like it took me about 20 seconds longer on the way home.

If you have any questions you can email me.

 

It’s Fall

And in case you don’t want to take my word for it:
img_2449sm

London Quick Rip

I went to London last week for about 20 hours. I ate a lot, and conferred in a conference room quite a bit, but in between that I walked around and looked and pointed at stuff.
img_3680smI’m a huge fan of Steve Powers, both what he writes and how he writes it. He wrote the words above.

The last time I saw the Tower bridge was in the ’90s. I’m a lot older now, but it hasn’t changed.

img_3691sm
The greyness in the above picture represents the greyness of London in October.

Me and Jeff and Jeff in the elevator at the hotel. The thing I did more than anything else in London was ride this elevator. I think I rode it 12 times (6 up and 6 down).
img_3719sm

Oslo

I went to Oslo for the weekend. I was looking at going to Copenhagen, but flights to Oslo were half the price. Oslo it is! But after I got the tickets I noticed that the site I’d bought them from searched a pretty wide area around Oslo to find that deal. I was arriving at 11:30 pm about 110 km south of town. Oops! So I rented a car, which meant it cost more to get to Oslo from the airport than it did to get to the airport from Amsterdam. Oooooops! Lesson learned, maybe.

The upside was that I had a car. It was a strange good feeling to be driving from the airport to Oslo in the middle of the night. And the next day I took advantage of it and went for a long drive.
img_1226smThe feeling of driving around that Saturday was also good but less strange. It felt like a drive I might have taken in Oregon to go look at a point on a map or to try to find a swimming hole or some mushrooms. I was feeling very Pepe, a feeling named after a man named Pepe that Frosty and I met on our motorcycle trip. He was enjoying the shit out of his motorcycle trip and kept calling Mexico a wonderland. “Truly, it is a wonder land. Is that the right word?” Sure it is, Pepe.

Eventually I got up above the trees. I was driving towards a spot that people had posted nice pictures of on google maps. I had a bit of a cold and my ears wouldn’t pop. As I got up higher, there was just a dusting of snow and I started to regret not having packed my hiking boots.
img_1287sm

The regret that I started to have earlier about not having boots became complete a few hundred feet into the trail when I slipped and stabbed both knees and both elbows into the snowy mud.
img_1332smThe good part was how I managed to keep the camera I was holding out of the mud. During the rest of the hike I reminded myself a few times how nice it was that that hadn’t happened.

Ominous but ultimately friendly fellow hikers:
img_1515sm

Look! This big rock is resting on three smaller rocks. Did a glacier do that?
img_1334sm

At first the fog was so thick you could barely see the next hill. Eventually it started to clear and you could start to see things and colors.
img_6313sm
The computer I use these days tries to autocorrect “colors” to “colours.” Fuck off, computer.

These ladies hiking along the lake for some reason didn’t have big dark wet spots on their knees and elbows:
img_1500smThe drive back was even more beautiful than the drive in.

 

You have to like the grass growing on the roofs of some Norwegian houses.
img_1269sm
That is correct, I am not giving you an option about liking the roof grass.

Look at this barn.
img_1556sm

 

The boat is afloat
img_1622smAdj

The Heddal Stave church. These stave churches are beautiful and look like something out of a fantasy world. But not a very cheery fantasy world.
img_1662sm

The route I took.
Oslo_Drive_MAP
The section in red indicates the part of the drive where I was listening to AC/DC.

On Sunday I did my best to soak up some Oslo. My time was short and there is a lot I didn’t see. The highlight of what I did see was the Vigeland sculpture park. It is full of tons of sculptures of people doing a lot of every day things, like kids wrestling with their parents or throwing tantrums or goofing off. Or a bunch of friends climbing on eachother into the shape of a giant obelisk. 
img_2199sm
I really enjoyed the Vigeland park

 

Here is his famous tantrum baby.  img_1782sm
Someone told me the night before that the baby has been stolen 3 times. That is a lot of times for any baby to be stolen, much less a heavy bronze baby.

These diver guys were near the center of town.
img_1717sm

I’m pretty sure the sculpture below was not done by Vigeland. But! It is the finest dickbird I have ever seen in the wild.
img_1684sm

Early days bike rides

This is the bike that I ride around townimg_8069sm

I also brought a road bike over with me, and took some longer rides out of town my first couple weekends.

img_6018sm

The ferry to the Noord

I happened into this big warehouse called NDSM that has workshops built into it.

img_7978sm

img_7984sm

img_7986sm

I rode out to the coast and had a sandwich and some coffee at Bloemendaal aan Zee. Aan zee means by the sea.
IMG_9767sm

Good bike path at the beach
img_6237sm

I’m looking forward to renting a boat here in half a year when it warms up again.
img_0074sm

These shipping containers contain a great restaurant and bar called Pllek
IMG_9282

This is me, back at NDSM the following weekend to check out Europe’s biggest flea market. Someone saw me with a camera and asked if I wanted my picture taken and I didn’t really but said ok to be polite and here’s the picture.
img_9241sm img_9239sm

Old brick buildings up in Zaandamimg_9226sm

 

The windmills at Zaandijk
img_9216sm

One of my rides took me past the Amsterdam Bulk Terminal. I guess this stuff is coal?
IMG_8990sm
I had to shoot this through the fence there. I’d love to get to go inside. It’s so dramatic looking.

Someone’s good graff downtown:
img_8844sm

This is the climbing gym I go to most often, up near the station. It’s pretty small but it’s got a good low key vibe and they sell beer.img_7995sm
I just noticed right now that the “LOVE ME” graffitiist hit the climbing gym, too.

More lonely graffiti. This one’s my favorite so far.  img_7974sm
I rode down to the big park called the Bos. On the way back I saw these four folks in the trees, watching a tennis game that’s happening just past them.img_6072sm

 

Marseille

Before I got to Amsterdam I was getting emails about a trip to Marseille to come up with ideas for Corona. I was pretty sure it was a joke. But on my second day at work, after doing a little paperwork, a cab came and got me and almost right away I was here:

img_8440sm

The view from the deck

 

 

 

The back of the house.
img_8453sm

Food:
img_8795smNot pictured: Champagne

This is just the kind of picture I’m usually not sure what to do with. It’s not great. It’s not terrible. I definitely couldn’t have taken it back in Oregon. I guess I’ll stick it where the sun don’t shine:img_8721sm

Here are some pictures from the boat ride we took out to some islands you could see from the house.

The ass end of the ferry to Algeria:img_8704sm

 

Thomas:
img_8688sm

Jake:
img_8631sm

Thomas, Jake and Kia keeping an eye out for the big rock.
img_8677sm

Alvaro and Thierry, my bosses, looking like total bosses
img_8665sm

 

Fortifications on the island we boated out to. That little boat has a man in it who is trying to catch lobsters.
img_8660sm

Jake going for his afternoon swim. In addition to afternoon swims we did morning swims and evening swims.
img_8638sm

Our captain
img_8593sm

Statues in town. What do they mean?img_8573smI googled “cow on stilts” to see what the significance of this is. All I found was this joke: “THE STEAKS HAVE BEEN RAISED”

Thierry, getting ready to have a big idea
img_8450sm

Amsterdam: First Day

My last photo in Portland was from a genre I’ve never been much of a fan of. The feet and bags on Portland airport carpet. But it was a good chance to show off my sister’s bags and it’s one of the last swatches left of the Old Portland airport carpet.

img_5984sm

After I left Portland I slept a bunch and read some. The first picture I took was of Iceland,
img_7950smupdate
where I had an 8am layover. I was amazed how many people were having beers while I looked for a breakfast to put into my tired and confused body. The breakfast was delicious but it cost like 1200 of some kind of currency. 1200 seemed like a lot to pay for breakfast!

img_5989sm
If I’d had a layover in the states I could have eaten Pizza Hut and it would have probably only cost 6 or 7 local moneys.

A few hours later I was over Amsterdam. The google satellite images I’d been looking at for months were real!
img_5994smA driver met me at the airport. As we walked out of Schiphol Airport I remarked on what a nice day it was. It was! The driver said “It’s a good day for a beer!” Ok, it was, but it was still early and especially early on Oregon time. But, when we got to the car 1 minute later and he said “Do you want a beer?” I said ok. And he drove me to town and told me how, in The Netherlands, cab passengers can have a beer, but cab drivers can’t. If they have too much beer and then drive, they can get in trouble. Good to know!

I got to Amsterdam about noon. The first floor corner apartment in this building was, and will always be, the first place I lived in Amsterdam. Not the very bottom set of windows, the next ones up.img_7997sm

It was a nice coincidence that CVY was also in Amsterdam, the capitol of The Netherlands, when I arrived. I had told her the address of the apartment and when the cab pulled up she was right there. I had been on a plane for hours and hours and had just had a beer in a car that was driving through Europe and I felt pretty strange but pretty good.img_7957smHere, Cari checks her phone in the new apartment during the first moments of  me living there. So far so good.

We went and got coffee at ‘T Blauwe Theehuis, in the nearby Vondelpark, where I got to experience how bad Dutch service can be. Wow! Then we walked around and she pointed things out while I had no Idea where I was. Now it’s a month later and I have re-found some of the things she pointed at.

Here are two scenes I saw while we walked around that made me think: Yes, I am somewhere else now:

1
img_6004sm

2
img_6007sm

Here’s a map of the early days:
lairessesstraat_map

That’s about a 10 minute bike ride from the apartment to downtown.