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Showing posts from September, 2005

Why people build tall structures

Wow... there's a tall tower over there. I mean really tall. Like 800 feet or so.
Hmmm... I wonder what ... is that a sign on it?
It is! Oh. My.

(No, I didn't buy a ticket. Not for almost $170 a pop.)



The ubiquitous tram

Getting around Vienna seems pretty simple, as long as you like trams. Stateside, these would be more or less what we'd call trolleys, much like the ones once found in Philadelphia - but these tend to be 2-3 car articulated ones. They run in the streets, don't go terribly fast, but are quite convenient and are found just about everywhere. Plus, they have connecting points to the U-Bahn (subway) and Schnellbahn (high-speed regional rail).

If I want to go across town, I can take U-Bahn or trams, in any combination, for 1.5 euros. Not a bad deal, really. The only tricky part is making sure to get on the tram going in the right direction, since I'm not accustomed to the terminus names yet.

Preliminary thoughts on Europe

1. Nice trains. Lots and lots of trains. Must remember to take pictures. 2. However, a meeting must be held to agree what side to drive on. 3. Also, having an occasional on-time flight would be nice. 4. Austria's solar bill is apparently in arrears, so the sun refuses to shine. 5. Worst travel experience: landing in an Airbus A319. 6. Second worst experience: taking off in an Airbus A319.

(The Airbus A319 is roughly the European version of the Boeing 737. The one I flew on felt as though it had been assembled from the cheapest and least rigid materials available, and was working itself loose so it could fall apart. It wobbled or swerved from side to side while taking off, and did so again on landing - after a bounce or two.)



One hardback down...

Last night or this morning, my daughter proudly handed me her 3-chapter-books Arthur book, having finished all 187 pages of it. I had promised her another hardback from Borders when she finished that one, so off we went.She didn't want another Arthur one right away, and wasn't terribly interested in the Magic Treehouse or Little Genie ones. We looked over some hardback compilations of children's books by Richard Scarry and the like. She declared the "charming stories for little girls" volume to be "too heavy." And we couldn't figure out where the Encyclopedia Brown books were. Just as we were running out of time, she spotted a display with "deluxe" hardbacks of The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, and The Secret Garden. Each book had a little girl's necklace shrink-wrapped with it. So... she now has a necklace a little pendant of ruby red slippers, and the logical book. And she says she wants The Secret Garden, with its key penda…