Happenings…

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Quick update, I suppose.

Update 1: I recently had the chance to interview one of the museum curators at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, as well as tour their latest exhibit “A Song for the Horse Nation.” You can find both articles in the links provided. I rather enjoy blending interviews, history, and museum exhibitions together and really enjoyed the process for these.

Update 2: My wife and I just returned from an extended vacation in Paris. Yes, again. It was fabulous, wonderful, exciting, and much needed. I’ll be posting additional journal thoughts and photos here when I have free moments to construct them.

Update 3: I am pulling back into the writing saddle (so to speak) with both BattleTech and my aforementioned nonfiction book project. I have a few new chapters to complete for Potomac Press and I am in the process of submitting two proposals to Herb for additional sourcebooks in 2012. Plus, I have this whole Handbook: House Kurita to outline and write.

Update 4: And, finally – there’s a new MechWarrior game coming out. And I’ll be skipping this, mostly because of this from one of their game blogs:

So remember this, time and experience (the real kind), will always equal greater skill. Greater skill will always equal more rewards. You can’t buy skill, you earn it.

Let’s face it – for me, time is precious. With my commitments to my wife, work, freelancing, and basic life skills, I barely have time to play Wii and Xbox (first generation – not the 360), much less play with my friends. (They’ll vouch for me here – I see them for a HALO or Black Ops party maybe once in 3 months; you can imagine where I usually place on the kill boards and where my rank sits…) And I ditched my desktop PC last year; the main computers in our house are our laptops, and mine is specifically geared to writing and photo editing.

So as much as it might be fun to play, I’ll be avoiding it.

Place de la Concorde and Pont Alexandre III (Day 5)

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The last and final entry of our October 2010 journey to Paris. View some of the 700+ photos I took in my Flickr collection.

We awoke late in the morning – no surprise after a full and relaxing late day/night before. After a brief morning nibble, we wandered the Marias for a bit, souvenir hunting for family and friends and generally determined to enjoy our last full day in Paris. Being a Sunday, there were few people out and about, save the various cafes and brasseries around us.

We stopped for a lingering brunch at a cafe near the Centre Georges-Pompidou. It was probably the first meal I had that was only so-so; my chicken was rather dry, though the coffee more than made up for it. We then took advantage of the few remaining Metro tickets we had left and headed out to the Place de la Concorde where the Luxor Obelisk stands at the entrance to the Tuileries. Roughly a kilometer away was the distant Arc de Triomphe, a straight shot down the Avenue des Champs Elysées. The sky was a perfect blue for photographing. Continue reading

St. Germain and the Arc de Triomphe (Day 4)

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Already halfway through our stay and we’ve seen everything we wished to see, save the Arc de Triomphe – something we planned on doing at night. So today was a morning of leisure and rest. When we were finally refreshed, we headed out to the Batobus and rode it to Faubourg Saint-Germain-des-Prés under a glorious autumn sky. (We had awoken to rain, so the clearing weather was a blessing.) We managed to shoot a few more photos of the Tour Eiffel with the gorgeous blue sky as the boat wound its way to St. Germain. Continue reading

Tour Eiffel and the Louvre (Day 3)

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After a leisurely morning, we headed out towards the Seine to get passes for the Batobus, a river taxi relatively new to the city. We stopped by a boulangerie for a mid-morning snack, which we partook of while sitting in the large courtyard of the Hôtel de Ville. Our destination today was Tour Eiffel; rather than brave the Parisian Metro or walk the 2.5 miles, we opted for the river taxi which was a pleasant ride.

It’s hard to believe we were actually at the Tour Eiffel. If you couldn’t believe it, the multitude of souvenir sellers made sure you didn’t forget. With their wares dangling on large rings or spread out on blankets, they were EVERYWHERE. My wife remarked later that there was no “official” souvenir shop in the area, unlike in DC where the National Park Service has a shop at practically every single memorial and monument. Continue reading

Paris – The Journey Begins (Day 1)

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(In the fall of 2010, my wife and I made our first trip to Paris, France in celebration of our 15th wedding anniversary. What follows is an electronic version of the journal I wrote while on the trip, liberally sprinkled with photographs taken during our Parisian visit. For the full collection of links, stay tuned to this page as I post my thoughts on our excursion.)

Long flights are exhausting.

“Red-eye” flights across the Atlantic (or anywhere overseas, for that matter) seem to serve nothing more than to completely disrupt your body clock. In hindsight, of course, it’s a good thing.

There wasn’t anything really wrong with our Air France flight. I’d had a difficult time sitting comfortably since only a couple weeks before I’d bruised my back and hindquarters from a short fall down some stair s in our home. I ended up sleeping maybe a total of an hour during the 8 hour journey. My wife slept comfortably beside me. Continue reading