eurotrippin’ in france (day 2)

We had decided the previous night to go ahead and visit wine country in Strasbourg while we had an opportunity, a decision which required us to rent a car since wine country was not accessible. There was a huge wine route in Alsace, unsurprisingly known as “la route du vin” which was basically a road that went through all the wineries in the Alsatian region (of which there were hundreds and thousands). Instead of falling for the same mistake we had made in Switzerland, we booked the car online the previous night and got a really good rate on it.

Our car was supposed to be picked up from Budget Car Rentals at the station in Strasbourg but once we reached the station, it appeared that all rental companies except Budget happened to be there. A few cabbies outside directed us to Budget, which was located about 0.5km away from the station. So take that advice of booking cars online with a pinch of salt! Once we finally found Budget, we had missed our reservation by about 15 minutes but it didn’t matter since it didn’t look like they got much business! We completed the requisite paperwork and were off and on our way in no time.

We were armed with a map of all the wineries in the region (represented by white dots with the large areas being larger white dots) so we had a fair idea of where we wanted to go. We decided to head to one that was about an hour and a half away (about 150 kilometers using the superfast French highways). The name of this town currently escapes me, but we made good time and ended up following the often confusing directions to find the town. But before I get into that, let me go ahead and make my promised gripe about the French and their obsession for roundabouts.

When you exit a normal highway, you typically can keep going straight on the feeder if you wish to get on the highway, or you hit an intersection which allows you to go left (under the highway) or right depending on where you want to go. The French do not like this easily obvious design. Instead, every time you take an exit on the highway, you are greeted with a roundabout. The good thing is that there is no traffic light stopping the progress of cars, the bad thing is that the roundabout usually results in utter confusion. Furthermore, if you have a heavy vehicle, or a long vehicle (such as a moving truck) involved, all traffic in all direction stops while that truck maneuvers itself around the roundabout.

Anyhow, we made it past these silly roundabouts and got to our final destination where we promptly stopped at a gas station to check out where to go. Unfortunately, we seemed to have misunderstood the concept of wineries. Whereas we had thought that each of the dots on the wine map corresponded to a winery, instead each of the dots corresponded to a town that contained many wineries. The town we were in had a lot, but upon asking the person at the gas station where to go, instead of directing us to the wineries in that region, she directed us to backtrack and get on the wine route. Maybe there wasn’t a way to get on the wine route? I’m not sure, but we ended up backtracking anyway and following the crude directions to search for the elusive route de vin.

On the way, we stopped at a town called Osthiem which was not on the wine route, but nearby it. I got out of the car and, in my broken French, asked at the only open establishment in the little town, a restaurant, how to get on the wine route. She gave me directions pretty confidently, which suggested that we weren’t entirely lost. Seeing that it was around 1pm and that it would be a while before we found the wine route, a winery and thus a place to eat lunch, my Dad made an executive decision to have lunch at that restaurant. The meal turned out to be pretty delicious and pretty huge. My parents ended up taking one of their set meals, which cost $10.50 euros per person and consisted of a starter (soup or salad), a main course and a dessert. I ended up getting a standalone dish which was chicken in a mushroom sauce and their portions were so huge that I felt like I was eating a whole chicken myself.

The house white wine we had in Osthiem

Once we were done with our meal, we set off again, optimistically, in search of the wine route. This time we hit jackpot as along the way we saw brown signs proclaiming “Route de Vin” and hence began following it. We eventually reached the Ribeauvillé region, which was one of the larger spots on the wine map. There we parked (all parking meters in France appear to be coin-operated) and headed out on foot, only to be hit by rain. We eventually wet-trekked our way to the tourist office where my parents got some information about what to do and where to go.

Apparently we missed the wine festival by a period of about 24 hours. This would have allowed us to pay a nominal fee of about 6 euros per person and taste wine at any of the wineries in the town. Sad at missing this opportunity, we went to a couple of wineries and did a couple of tastings. I also learned the French word for tasting: degustation. Surprisingly, the tastings were all free. We only had two tastings, however, since my Dad was driving and my Mom doesn’t like doing wine tastings. After we left the first winery, we visited one of the larger distributers.

There they had a wine museum as well as many different wines to taste. It appeared to be a pretty popular place and one, in fact, where people bought 3-4 boxes of wine at a time, so it was pretty busy. We spent about 15-20 minutes ambling around the wine tasting counter before tasting one Riesling and then settling for a three-pack that consisted of bottles of Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurtzraminer wines. After making our purchase, we hurried back to our car so that we could drive back home and return the car by 6pm, which is when the car rental place closed.

This turned out to be a smaller problem than it could have been as it started pelting rain, and as a result we didn’t feel like stopping at anymore of the wineries that we were passing. We did get a good look at the vineyards along the way, though. The trip back to Strasbourg was uneventful as we were able to follow the signage and avoid being misled by the roundabouts, and we returned the car at around 5:30pm, with plenty time to spare. After that, we took a tram back to our room and rested for a bit before setting off again in the evening.

My Mom wanted to check out the Petite France area on foot, so we headed out in that direction. It may have been because of the cold caused by the rain or it may just be that the French don’t like going out on Fridays, but the whole area was deserted. The same places that had been stuffed full of people the previous night were completely empty. Most restaurants that had had seating outside the previous day were now boarded up or only serving inside. It was extremely peculiar the way the tourism had u-turned, but we didn’t complain as we were able to go around to more places and get more photos.

A closer view of the torture tower we’d seen on the boat

This was apparently the symbol of the Strasbourg Tram System–empowerment of women

One of the many bridges we had passed under the previous day

A building at Kleber Square… I think it was a museum or train station or something

Once we were done taking photos, we had dinner somewhere that I now forget and then headed back to the hotel. The next day was going to be a pretty early start as our train back to Paris was leaving at around 9am. So ended our last day in Strasbourg, and our 6th day of our Europe trip. We had not only gotten a good taste of the beautiful architecture and history surrounding Strasbourg, but also a taste for one of the specialities of the Alsatian region—the wine country. Unfortunately, we were not able to complete my Mom’s inspired-by-travel-guide goal of having breakfast in Switzerland, lunch in Germany and dinner in France, but it had been a good trip and choice of destination, anyway.

eurotrippin’ in france (day 1)

Our flight from Zurich to Paris was at around 8:30 am so we left Luzern at around 5:45 am, hoping to reach the airport by around 7am. The drive was supposed to take a shade over 1 hour, so we had given ourselves a pretty large buffer in case things went wrong. As it turned out, they did. We had again used Google Maps to get our directions from the Luzern hotel to the Zurich Airport and had even scoped out our initial departure route on foot the previous day. However, once we got past that, the directions got plenty confusing.

It appears that Europeans have some sort of obsession with roundabouts, something we would find out when we were in France, and thus something I will gripe about then. However, roundabouts caused us our share of problems here, since every turn seemed to be given as a roundabout (at least by Google Maps) and the number of roundabouts didn’t appear to match up. We got lost a couple of times (once climbing up some mountain area) and using my Dad’s BlackBerry EDGE connection helped us relocate a bit. However, we still wasted at least 25-30 minutes going the wrong way and recovering.

Our saviour came in the form of a gas station on the way to Zurich. The directions provided by Google Maps were confusing enough that they told us to go towards Zurich and then take an exit for Luzern (where we had been coming from!) before heading to the airport. Basically, there was a lot of implicit highway switching that only confused us. A line such as “follow the overhead signs to the Zurich Flughafen” would have been better! Luckily, the gas station employee told us to get on the transit highway and then just follow the signs to the airport.

This we did and although Zurich was under heavy construction and there was a bit of traffic, we pulled into the airport’s car rental drop off area at around 7:30am. From there we went ahead and got checked in and by the time we got through security, it was time to board. In that way, it was good that we got lost since we didn’t have to sit around and twiddle our thumbs at the busy Zurich airport! However, we didn’t get an opportunity to do any gift shopping, which we decided to leave for when we were on our way back.

The flight to Paris was uneventful and lasted only about 45 minutes. We then reached the mess that is known as the Charles de Gaulle Airport and quickly whisked ourselves away to the train station. This is when the French really get you. I had done some reading up before of how the Paris public transportation/railway system works. There are three companies with stakes: SNCF (the national rail network), RER (a local rail network that also operates medium- and long-distance trains) and the local metro. To complicate matters further, it appears that you can use tickets interchangeably on 2 of the 3, sometimes. Yup, must have been designed by a Frenchman!

Anyways, we found the TGV counter and bought ourselves a ticket to Strasbourg, which is where we had decided to go to first. We had about an hour to kill before the train got there and then a journey of about 2 hours on the TGV. Traveling on the TGV was a pretty sweet experience as it was a pretty superfast train. After staring at the blurred scenery outside for a few minutes, I picked up the book I had bought in the Mumbai airport, the latest Lee Child book, and settled down. My Dad did get a little impatient and bought some wine and snacks from the kitchen car, but that was the only eventful thing that happened on the train ride.

Once we reached Strasbourg, we had to take the trams to get to our hotel, which was the Holiday Inn. I had looked up the station/trams we would have to take earlier, in Luzern, so we didn’t have any trouble finding our way. The tram system in Strasbourg was pretty efficient and we got to our hotel in about 15 minutes and checked in. We had taken an Executive Room, which basically meant we had free internet, as well as several little gifts throughout the day in the form of complimentary bottles of water, chocolates and whatnot. The receptionist was kind enough to provide some tourism information to my father while my Mom and I lazed in our room, so we got an idea of what to see and do in Strasbourg, apart from that which we had already researched.

After freshening up, we headed back to the city center using the trams by way of a trio ticket, which was a lot cheaper and allowed us to travel unlimited for a period of 24 hours (not like anyone checked tickets, anyway). Once we reached the main central station—Homme de Fer—we set out in search for the Cathedrale Notre Dame, with our map in hand. We were able to find it at around 7.30pm, which was unfortunately about an hour after it closed, so we had to make do with taking photos of it from the outside. It was a pretty spectacular structure, and we also noted that there was going to be light show there starting at 10pm. We thus quickly made plans to come back there after dinner.

Can you believe how blue that sky is?

It was so big it had to be photographed from many locations

Next, we headed to the river, which featured a “cruise” that would take us around the canals of Strasbourg and provide us a view from the boats of the many buildings that people came to see there. We booked our tickets for the 8pm boat, which was an open-air boat, and then hunted around for dinner. We had a faux start with dinner since we sat down at a place near the river only to realize that there would be no way that we would be able to complete the meal without missing our boat cruise. So we quickly abandoned that idea and my parents settled for a crêpe each while I decided to go ahead and wait for dinner.

Once we got on the boat, we had great photo opportunities. The Strasbourg canal system is pretty good at showing one all the places around, and it is also interestingly designed. They have “lock-gates” all over the place where there is an area for the boat, and the water level is adjusted such that the boat goes up or down about 2 meters. It’s hard to describe and unfortunately I didn’t take any photos so you’re just going to have to ask me to describe it to you in person if you are really interested! Along the way, we also saw a bridge that simply rotated away to allow for the boat to pass. The main sightseeing from the boat, though, was the Petite France area. I don’t know what the point of this area was, or why it was named as such. My Mom says it is because the buildings/architecture is in the “French style” but I wonder why you need such a region in France itself! I suppose it is because Strasbourg had its share of inhabitants from different countries (such as Germany) over the years.

One of the many buildings we saw on the boat ride

Sweet-looking church

Torture tower where prisoners were kept

After the boat ride, we made it just in time for the light show at the Cathedrale Notre Dame and thus decided to eat dinner there itself. Unfortunately, my camera produced an epic fail at capturing the light show, so you will have to make do with these poor photographs. The light show basically involved playing classical music accompanied by lights that highlighted different features of the Cathedrale’s carvings. Each of my parents took turns getting photos and videos of the show, so maybe I can enhance this blog with one of those sometime in the future (probably not!).

A blurry look at the Cathedrale Notre Dame light show

With the light show done and it finally becoming dark instead of twilight-y we decided to head back to the hotel. We took the same tram route and hit a minor speedbump with our connecting train, since it stopped two stops ahead of the one we needed to go to because of maintenance. Luckily, Strasbourg had metro buses arranged that followed the same route as the tram and thus we were able to get back to our hotel without too much issue. Once we got back there, I did some more reading on my book and then we crashed, tired from all the different modes of transportation we had used that day!

eurotrippin’ in switzerland (day 2)

After our naps the previous afternoon and a refreshing night of sleep, we were up on day 2 at around 8.30 in the morning and ready for breakfast, which was provided complimentary. Breakfast consisted of several items, including cereal, milk, tea, several different types of bread loaves (which we had to cut ourselves), cheese and butter of many different types, fruits, cold cut meat slices and 4 different types of yoghurt. In short, plenty of stuff to stuff ourselves with. After eating breakfast, we decided to check out of the hotel and leave our bags there, and then take the trains to Jungfraujoch–the “Top of Europe”.

We reached the train station at a brisk jog, reaching just about 10 minutes before the train was due to arrive. We were able to hit the ticket counter before the crowd grew (by the time we had paid for our tickets, the ticketing room was full) and then waited for the train to arrive. Our route would take us from Wilderswil to Lauterbrunnen, from where we would take a separate train to Kleinescheidegg. From there, we would take the Jungfrau Mountain Railways to the Jungfraujoch station. In all, the journey took something like 2.5- 3 hours each way!

A view of Jungfraujoch from the Kleinescheidegg station

The path taken by Jungfrau Mountain Railways to get to the top

The crows in Switzerland were all yellow-beaked

The ride from Kleinescheidegg to Jungfraujoch stopped at two or three viewing posts on the way, as we got progressively higher. I don’t remember the names of these posts, but we had only 5 minutes at each station hence a lot of time was spent running around lest we missed the train. Compounding this was the fact that we kept leaving our bags on the train so taking the next train wasn’t an option. 😛 We got our first look at the glaciers there, as the following photo shows.

The view of the glaciers from one of the “scenic stops”

After we reached the top, there were several choices of what we could do. There were several locations to view the glaciers, a place where we could actually step out onto the mountain, a “snow lift” or something like that that would take us up to the highest point at Jungfraujoch, an ice “palace” or food. We obviously chose food since it was already about 2pm! We got in the self-serve line and grabbed some unmemorable grub. My Dad and I both had a German-style sausage with beer and my Mom, with it being Monday, had a salad and the “vegetarian plate” which was apparently not very good. Anyhow, the purpose of eating was to fill us up so we could explore the actual place!

The view of the mountain from the station

We visited the “ice palace” first, which was essentially a cave in the ice with various ice sculptures around. It was extremely cold and slippery and it took us a while to convince my mother to enter it. Once we were in, it was fun viewing all the different sculptures in there, but the extreme cold forced us to get out of there as quickly as we could!

Sculpture of a bear with its baby

Proof that my parents were at the Top of Europe!

An E.U. mouse doll frozen in a rectangular prism of ice

After we were done with the ice palace, we took the elevator to the next floor, which dropped us off exactly at the location where we could step out onto the mountain. Interestingly, the snowy mountain-top was a good deal warmer than the ice cave, because we were in direct sunlight since there were no clouds. In fact, it was so warm that the ice had started melting and really getting our shoes wet. That didn’t stop me from grasping the opportunity to pelt my Mom with a couple of snowballs. 😛 The views were absolutely breathtaking. I think when it comes to pretty landscapes, nothing can beat the snow-peaked mountain.

The view from outside… that railing wasn’t helpful in stopping one from falling down!

Another direction… the snow looks so smooth but I bet sliding down it wouldn’t be fun

That’s me in the white hat in the center of the image

After we were done with our little foray into the snowy parts, we came back in and warmed up a bit before heading downstairs. It was starting to get late, considering the 2.5 hour journey in front of us to get back to Interlaken, followed by the anticipated hour drive to Luzern. Hence, we skipped the trip to the top of Jungfraujoch and instead headed back to the train station to prepare for our departure. On the way back, we went through Grindelwald (instead of Lauterbrunnen) since the proprieter of Hotel Baeren as well as the railway travel clerk had suggested we do it so we completed a circle of the Jungfrau region. However, the sun had started coming out and with no air conditioners, none of us were interested in leaving the train to admire Grindelwald. Hence, we simply swapped trains and came back to Wilderswil. At Wilderswil we loaded up our car, said goodbye to Hotel Baeren and were on our way to Luzern!

Luzern (spelled Lucerne in French) in Switzerland is also a pretty touristy spot and also features a lake–Lake Luzern. The directions for the drive to our hotel were provided by Google Maps again, and they worked really well until we reached the city of Luzern. Once we reached, we had no idea where to go. Unfortunately, the roads in a real city (Interlaken/Wilderswil were nothing but little towns) were a lot more complicated and in Switzerland, there were a ton of little roads and lanes all over the place. Not to mention that there was a dedicated bicycle lane which added to the already confusing lines and stripes on the ground.

To cut a long story short, we got lost. We reached Luzern in about 1 hour and it took us about an hour more just to find our hotel. Turns out it was on a street that seemed inaccessible and even if the maps had given us meter-by-meter directions (which is close to what it had done) we wouldn’t have been able to reach. In the end, it took me walking to the hotel and getting exact directions to get there. Once we got there, it was great. The hotel–Hotel Rebstock–was set at the base of a beautiful church. Our room was supposedly in a part of the building that had been built in the 1200’s. I didn’t get any photos of the hotel, unfortunately…

Once we reached the hotel, we freshened up a bit and then headed out for a walk around Luzern. We walked along the lakeside all the way to the train station where we crossed the road and started looking for dinner. We ended up finding dinner alongside one of the smaller creeks/canals that led into the lake that we later found out was known as “Old Town”. Unfortunately, what we ate for dinner has fallen out of my memory range. 😛 But I’m sure it was delicious and expensive! After dinner we walked back to our hotel and crashed for the night, picking up brochures for Luzern to study and plan for the next two days.

power to drive

Today, I finally achieved my New Year’s goal of obtaining a Texas Driver’s License, approximately 2-3 months after I had originally planned to. Oh well, I will not gripe about the delay as I have finally got it! The ZipCar has stood by as a good friend (although a somewhat expensive one). I was able to pass my road test this morning but had to come back later in the day to complete the license process since the computers at the DPS were down. However, I made it back at around 4pm courtesy of Johanna and the process took only about 10-15 minutes. I was actually surprised by the speed and friendliness of the staff.

The rest of the day was kind of stretched out because of traffic on both the road as well as the KFC where I had dinner. Ended up watching the newest episode of Lost at J&J’s place. I felt kind of meh about it. It seems to be dragging on the story very slowly and the whole time travel past-future nonsense is seriously making my head hurt a bit.

To ease the pain I focused in on the Rockets-Lakers game. Kobe came out fired up and shooting the lights out. The Lakers hit almost 40 points in the first quarter itself but only managed 18 in the second and at half-time the score was tied up at 57-57. Then the second-half blues hit the Rockets (again) and Kobe kept it going in a dirty, rough game with ample help from Gasol’s uncontested shots and Odom’s rebounding. Our defense in the paint has left a bit to be desired, although I suppose that comes from having to defend several long players (Gasol, Bynum, Odom) concurrently. The Rockets ended up losing but they still have the home-court advantage at the moment.

I spent the evening concurrently packing my belongings. I have managed to pack all my old textbooks away (hopefully the first step in the process of selling them off on eBay or Amazon). I also packed up my printer, so hopefully I won’t need anything from that soon… It appears that I do not have that much to pack. Packing clothes will take a long time, obviously, but I cannot really do that immediately. I hope to wake up tomorrow at around 10am and pack the rest of my non-cloth belongings away into my boxes. I have booked the ZipCar at a bit after noon tomorrow (since we have a Baker seniors lunch) and hope to sign up for my room and transfer a fair few boxes, then. It will also be my first time driving alone!

That’s all for now. Going to continue packing (or at least mentally organizing the packing).

inefficient dizzle

I had great hopes that today would be a very productive day for me. I woke up at around 6.15am to get ready for my driving test, which I was hoping to take pretty early after getting to the DPS at around 7.30am. I was at the Zipcar by 7am and drove along with TGJ to the DPS only to find a pretty decent line outside already. Luckily we only had to chill for about 15 minutes and then were let in. I stood in the main line, not realizing that since I have my instruction permit, I don’t need to apply again for a driving license (apparently–this may still change, of course, because of the way bureaucracy works). After standing in that main line for about 15 more minutes I went up to the counter and was told I had to go to station 10 to schedule my road test and I did not actually have to apply for a DL.

So I went to that station and of course there were no spots available today. So I scheduled an appointment for tomorrow at 9am. On the way back there was a lot of traffic on main so I suppose in retrospect the result was good because I didn’t have to pay a late fee. Now I have one more day to worry about my road test! Humph. Came back today and could have started packing and stuff but instead I just bummed around on the internet, checking results from last night’s game (the Rockets won!!). By around lunch time I started feeling sick and coughing regularly. I hope I didn’t catch something at the DPS. 🙁 I was already a little sickly with coughs over the last couple of days. I decided to take a 30-minute nap after lunch to sleep it off but that ended up becoming more like a 90 minute nap. And I didn’t feel much better when I woke up either. So I popped another Alerid Cold (I had one in the morning) and decided to take off work and nap again.

Now I feel a bit better but still not 100%. I’m thinking of going and working out so that I don’t feel completely sedated. I may even catch a bit of the baseball game after that. Let’s see…

So something else interesting happened today. At around 11am there were huge roars of helicopters going around. I didn’t think much of it but then Paul came in and told me that apparently a shooting had happened on the Outer Loop (the jogging track that surrounds the Rice campus). At that point news was bare but it is a little clearer now. You can read up on various articles on Google News. The gist of it was that some guy with a knife attacked a woman at the Light Rail station across from Rice and that officers followed this man. They then attempted to taser him without much success and as he approached them with a knife, they started shooting at him. He was dead on the spot, but apparently a bullet went through/ricocheted off of him and hit a bystander. There is no news about the status of the other guys.

Yesterday, I had a pretty awesome day, as well. I woke up around 10.30am and bummed around till lunch. I then worked from 1-4pm and worked out afterwards till about 5.30pm. Then, Alice and I went to dark room at the Rice Gallery since I was interested in seeing how the process of developing photos is. It’s pretty intense. And dark. There was a glow-in-the-dark clock in the room that developers are supposed to use to count the time in the various different liquids. After about 5 minutes of staring at the clock, the numbers start disappearing… But it was a cool insight into how exactly that process works.

After that we had dinner at South Servery and then we went over to her place to celebrate our shared love for tiramisu. Yup, we tried to make it. I don’t know yet how it turned out since it had to be chilled, but it was definitely not the 25-minute preparation time that was speculated by the recipe off of Food Network! You live and you learn, I suppose, and I guess the next time either of us have to make tiramisu we will have learned something (don’t know what yet, though, haha). I then came back on campus and managed to catch the last quarter of the Rockets-Lakers game.

Everyone and their grandmom has written off the Rockets in this series but Houston played great basketball yesterday (with a brave game from Yao Ming) to “upset” the Lakers and wrest away homecourt advantage. Kobe drilled in 32 points but he took some very bad shots and was not at all in rhythm (at least in the fourth quarter). Let’s hope him and Gasol stay in that groove!

That’s all for now.

activate cheap mode

Oops… I did it again. I spent too much money. I am realizing the issues my wallet has with senior dead days. When there’s nothing to do, you have to do something. And doing something usually involves opening the wallet up. My last two paychecks are going to be quite delayed given that I forgot to turn the last week’s one in and the one for this week will end next week (when I’ll be long gone from Houston) and it will take one more week to process. So basically I’m looking at no money from there for about 3 weeks. That’s a damn long time.

Hence, I am going to counter this by activating cheap mode. Unfortunately there will be a slight hitch in the plans since I will have to pay for (a) storage this month and (b) various graduation things (such as a Baker stole). So that’s more money going out. 🙁 Boooooo…. Let’s see how it goes. Luckily one of my credit cards has a low APR so I can actually use my credit line a bit. Hopefully I should get my moving bonus from NI soon as well, although my last few emails to my HR rep and manager have yet to be answered. I guess times are pretty busy.

Oh, I did do something cool today, which was that I drove on the highway for the first time. Jesús was the accomplice and despite my suggestions to write a will before he volunteered, he did come and it was not bad at all. In fact, it was a lot better than driving on roads! I see now why people like highways so much.

Apart from that I’m pretty much ready to graduate. Woot. Anyways, I guess that’s all for now. I just wanted to gripe a bit. 😛 Now I am going to get some dinner and then I should definitely start packing. Yeah… still haven’t started that. Oops.

ready, set and go (again)

I have finally gone ahead and restarted my blog–this time using actual blog software (also known as WordPress). Being done with classes (all that shiznazz will be covered momentarily) is what actually allowed me to achieve this since I could dedicate something like a day to developing my custom WP theme, testing it and installing it, instead of doing all sorts of other things that I probably should been doing. Oh wells, I’m not one to complain especially since at the end of it all I can now blog again.

Unfortunately… there isn’t a lot to say. My career as a Rice student is now officially over as far as coursework is concerned. All the fun stuff (graduation, senior parties and the like) do remain; if only college was all that it was without courses! Maybe some day someone will come up with a way to address this dissatisfaction. I must add, as well, that this web-based WYSIWYG editor that WP provides is miles better than using a phpMyAdmin screen.

Anyhow, I have a few things to do tomorrow, namely go do my drug test for National Instruments and go to work. In the evening we have our final edition of Baker Beer Bus, wherein members of Baker College hop on a chartered bus and visit a few bars around Houston. It’s one of the few events that brings together all the different seniors at Baker together. I’m definitely looking forward to that.

In other news, I finally purchased my cap and gown from the bookstore. So I will be graduating in non-shirt-and-t-shirt attire (hopefully… depending on how I ended up doing in Comp 421). Other remaining things to do range from backing up all my stuff on Rice storage (including email and Owlnet files) to doing my driving test. Since I’m practicing driving in about 8 hours, this is probably a good time to end this entry and get some rest. Let’s see how v5 (or maybe v6) of this blogging affair progresses.