July 2007 Archives

Cause for optimism

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For the last while in Iraq, there has been little cause for good news or optimism. However, with the "Surge" in full force and Gen. Petraeus in command, it appears there has been some improvement. While I've learned to temper my optimism regarding Iraq, this report on the state of Iraq is good news.

A little trip


My brother and I have decided to go on a little trip from mid-September to mid-November. Well, it's not that little - we're going around the world. In fact, according to About.com, the earth has an equatorial circumference of 24,901.55 miles, and just our flights (even excluding a couple), come to roughly 53,678.26 miles (using Google's distance finder). So you could say we're going around the world twice, and then some.This, by the way, is what I am dumping all my money on. And I'm even getting much of the airfare for free through the Delta Round-The-World special offer, and that's flying business class. In fact, I was pretty unsure I wanted to spend so much (all my money) but between my brother and my boss and her boss all pushing me to go, I finally decided to classify it as a true once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and to heck with the cost.The girl will unfortunately have to wait. What we're doing is fairly aggressive and probably not suitable for most retirees, so doing this same trip in my golden years probably wouldn't be doable. I'll add that it probably wouldn't be possible if my brother wasn't as willing to plan as he is. While I'm at work, he has put in an enormous amount of effort putting things together and it's almost overwhelming everything that needs to be done for the trip. Anyway, here's the itinerary and map (click to go the real one). When playing with the real map, some of the legs won't show up until you pan over to another hemisphere. Also, you can look at some very brief commentary on the stops, including links to some sights:

    Our legs:
  1. Galapagos Islands, Equador
  2. Oruro, Bolivia
  3. Noel Kempff National Park, Bolivia
  4. Lobeke and Waza, Cameroon
  5. Istanbul, Turkey
  6. Sinai, Luxor, Cairo, Egypt
  7. Bangkok, Thailand
  8. Fiji

For a mere travel leg - the travel between stops 3 and 4 is nasty. We have a little 4-seater plane from the park in Flor de Oro to Santa Cruz, Bolivia, then a flight to La Paz, Bolivia, then a connection in Lima Peru on our way to Quito, Ecuador. Then we fly to Bogota, Columbia to Miami and then to Paris and then to Douala, Cameroon. Once in Cameroon, we have some 3 days travel off-road to Lobeke. FUN! Having to go through Seoul for all Pacific area flights bites too. Just wish me luck and to not get too sick too early. I really do hope I have a great time.

Jury Duty


I haven't posted for a long time. It almost seems like a hassle to post something, which I don't see as a good sign if you (I) want to maintain a blog. Maybe it's that whole lazy-days-of-summer thing. It has been pretty hot in Utah with several days over 100 - kinda sucks the energy out of you.But I guess there are a few things I can report. I turned 31 in the past month, and it was actually a very enjoyable day. I had a small pre-birthday celebration a couple days earlier which was also quite nice. At some point, I also went to my first rodeo, though I can say that it's not really my thing. I was perhaps a little underwhelmed, though parts of it were fun. In other news, I decided to basically spend all the money in my bank account (which will happen in a couple of months), but I'll post about that later.Something else I did was be a juror for a Federal criminal case. I was on call with the US District Court from May - August and got called in a while ago. I had mixed feelings in that I wanted to do my civic duty and wanted to see what being on a jury was like; however I (and especially my boss) didn't want it to last too long and disrupt my life in any significant manner. I'm going to need all the vacation days I can get coming up and didn't want to take any off for an extended jury absence. Fortunately, the case was pretty short.And it was a good experience. First note is that if you ever get called in for jury duty, bring a book or magazine or something. I spent hours and hours waiting, doing nothing. I couldn't even play cell phone games because they confiscated our phones. Even when you've been selected, things still move quite slowly. But again, it was a short case. The first half of the first day was taken by selecting the jury, and then we heard witnesses and arguments for the next day, spending a few hours or so in deliberations before coming up with a verdict. I was impressed with the objectivity of the jurors. I feared some of them would just assume the defendant to be guilty, but it turns out we all (or most of us) struggled with the right decision, going back and forth between not-guilty and guilty. It was definitely an insightful and interesting experience, but I also think it was one I don't need again for a while :).

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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