the adventure continues

December 2008: Graduated from university January 2009: started getting sick December 2009: worked on beating cancer January 2010: TBA

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Location: Seattle, WA, United States

newly minted alumnus of the Art Department at the University of Idaho; BFA in studio art, with a history minor


road hazard

Moscow Idaho is undergoing some serious road construction: The primary highway through town has been getting resurfaced and the main East-West artery has been completely torn up right in the middle. This hasn't been much of a problem for me-- considering I ride a bike and rarely need to use either of the sections being remodelled. However, there are still dangers lurking in the lanes--

this morning I almost ate a butterfly.


Portland, OR

Greetings to all my faithful readers;

I just got back from a sort of field trip to Portland, Oregon, subsidized by the University Honors Program. Friday night's entertainment had a bit of a hiccup (they had no record of the ticket transaction), but we got in and saw a great show-- Ovid's Metamorphoses retold with a few modernizations and an incredible set. After the play most of us (around 15 people) walked back to the neighborhood of the hotel and found a late-night cafe that serves tea, pastries, and gelato. It turned out that the hotel we stayed in was also within a block of Powell's-- one of the most famous booksellers in the city. I picked up a couple tomes I've been after for some time-- at a good price, no less.

Much of my time on this trip was spent behind the lens of a really nice camera that a friend of mine lent me. It may not use film, but a Canon Rebel XLT is a good tool to have. If this trip has emphasized anything, it's the fact that I need to start searching for a nice digital camera: to wit-- I took over 300 shots over the course of three days, and while they're not the greatest photos ever, some of them are pretty good. I lucked out and had three days of sunny 75 degree weather to work with, too. My travel companions were also very freindly and quite photogenic; I took as many pictures of landscape as I did people-- which is not really my norm (although I do like portraiture alot).


The Lost Posts of Rob


Somehow the following snippets of text were not incorporated into the blog as they happened. It appears that they were misfiled and then lost to the world. Here now, in their entireity and for your enjoyment: The Lost Posts of Rob

28.6.06, Brussels


Getting up early was not my idea of fun, considering was still sick and finished packing between 11 and 12. Around 3 mom woke me up and after sitting around for a few minutes we were off to the Pasco Airport. I really enjoy those small airports that don’t really have waiting lines anywhere (if it’s less than a dozen people, it doesn’t really count, usually).

I got to Salt Lake City, but couldn’t get to Atlanta G-AAAAAA (this would make a good blues song :)
Chorus: He can’t get to Atlanta-- there’s no room on the plaaaaaaane!!

Despite taking from 8:30am to 3pm to get onto a plane, I met some interesting people and we shared a couple rounds of the Worst Game EVER. I goes like this-- when you fly standby now, your name goes on a list that shows up on a screen. There are three columns per screen, and you’re hoping that your name moves closer to the top of column #1. If you make it to the top of #1, you’re the next person who’ll get put onto the Cleared List, which is an additional list which shows who got an open spot on the plane. There are no levers to pull, no buttons to push, and no dealers to glare at.

Kathy, June, myself, and about 40 other people were very excited when we found that all the standby-list had gotten cleared (because a flight got delayed and other people cancelled. We were then... moderately perturbed (?) to find out that we still couldn’t get to atlanta-- there’s to much thunder & lightning, and another little thing called “40-mile-an-hour-crosswinds, hovering over Atlanta’s runways.

What’s a delayed flight to do? Go to Knoxville for more fuel, since the holding pattern above the lightning show used up the spare tank.

Finally: Atlanta. the flight got in around midnight, and I was able to get ahold of my aunt, who kindly picked me up (I’ve slept in the Atlanta Terminals before, not bad, but not overly comfy).

Conclusion: kin are the best hotel-- I got a really comfy bed and a bath, and food, and a new prescription of meds-- all for knowing the right people :)

But the worst was that I didn’t connect with my European friends to let them know I wouldn’t make the flight I had said I’d be on = ;_;

I waved

My cousin Courtney drove me to the Atlanta airport; I was slightly surprised to find her a bit taller, and a junior in highschool. I think my brain said something like “my she’s grown”-- but don’t we all..

Waiting for Brussels was less intense, mostly because I knew I had a fall-back option of going home with my Aunt. Fortunately I got the flight near to the last minute-- had to wait till 5pm to start boarding. The good news! “1F” means I’m Biz-class = free everything and a butler :D

The bad news: I’m still sick and the new meds = no free champagne for me.

The further good news: I get to sit in the front row and talk to a Belgian/French/American. Got a little background and it was nice to have someone to talk to (besides off hand jokes to the flight attendants. It is a small world though-- he went to school at UCL (where I’m going to dig). The primary flight attendant also grew up north of Amsterdam and Noordwijk (sp), which is where my Dutch friend is working.

The Proclamation: First class is my only class for trans-atlantic from now on. Why? Two words = hot towels. That and the adjustable seats, hospitality kit, blankets, pillows, mini-TVs, drinks, multi-course meals, and lots of hot towels.

Watching Ireland pass beneath the wings was the highlight of my morning. Then England swam past and I actually saw Brighton, London, and the cliffs at Dover. This may not seem like a big deal-- but I’ve been reading history books, Jane Austen novels, and other literature that mentions these places for about... 10-15 years now.

I waved over London, just in case Greg & his family were watching.

Where now?

I prepared this entry seated betwixt gates A48 & 50 in the Brussels airport. I am kind of tired and my shoulders are sore. I keep coughing, but don’t understand why. I hope the new meds I picked up from family in Atlanta fix me up-- other wise there’ll be ‘Eltopia. I was able to connect with mom, who helped me figure out what I had to do to get my ticket to Hamburg.
I forgot to tell her about the lack of getting free champagne because of the meds. I also caught up with Steffi’s family and figured out the pickup for Hamburg-- I really just want to get the flying over with, at this point. If I had been well, this part of the adventure would have been much more fun. As it was, it probably rates “1/2 as Fun” whereas it could have been “Out of this World” (fortunately it wasn’t “Bloody Awful”). Getting to sleep some extra hours on a real bed in Atlanta helped alot, I suspect-- but the real bonus was getting to watch Pirates of the Caribbean before I headed back to an airport.

“...and for the remainder of the voyage you will contemplate all possible meanings of the words ‘silent as the grave.’”
~Commodore Norrington, PotC


Deutshland WON!!!

Many of you may know I am not that big on sports-- I despise [American] football, and don’t keep up on other team sporting events. However, I just returned from a lounge that was opening it’s doors for free to the public to watch the latest World Cup game. It so happened to be Germany vs. Argentina (or Deutshland vs. das Argentinien; pronounced Doy-ch-lah-nd & dahs Argg-en-teen-yen, respectively). It was a great game, in my book-- the first half was not the most exciting, but things picked up in the second and Germany won 5:3 in shoot-out.

It was alot of fun to sit in a club and watch the game, even though I didn’t know what the announcers or the fans were saying-- much less the bartender.

I was a little bit miffed when “das Argentiniens” scored the first goal, but that was nothing compared to the apoplexy when the German team scored and I couldn’t drink the free beer that got doled out to the crowd. An annoying side effect of the current batch of antibiotics I am taking for this plague which assails me.

I am now at the Hahn’s and we’re watching the opening of the Italy-Ukraine game.

Excitement will doubtless ensue-- but not on the level of the last game, which had people practically rioting in the streets of the small town (think Connell). They were driving around with flags in hand, honking horns, faces painted, and much more. There was even a police van with a flag attached. I told my hosts that this would NEVER happen in America-- we’re all to fat and lazy to bother getting up from the couch, especially when it’s not even a final match.

..another pleasant valley, someday..

I really enjoy sitting at the brasserie visiting with my colleagues after a long day in the trenches-- avec un crouque monsieur et un verre du vin blanc.

There is a particular variety of “vin blanc” which is preferred by most of the students at the Walhain-St-Paul Project. It is a mix of white grapes without a year on the bottle-- but it tastes somewhat like apple juice and goes down very easily. This evening I had the pleasure of imbibing most of a bottle in good company and the world continues to spin about me as I type this-- a miracle in and of itself. Hopefully it won’t look too bad on the ‘morrow; I seem to correct myself fairly well even in this state. Tomorrow I begin mapping the second trench officially-- it is a tedious task, requiring multiple rulers and tape measures as well as a plumb-bob. I leave now for the shores of slumber and restive behavior-- au revoir, mes amis.

Brussels a nuit

OWC rocks my socks

There is no coffee like One World coffee-- at least not that I’ve seen in Europe for comparable prices.

Robert Harder and the Airport of DOOM, concluded


I’ve made it! I got a flight! I didn’t think it was going to be today-- the only flight to Atlanta filled up, and I was probably at the bottom of the standby list. Let it be known: if you ever fly Delta-- don’t go standby overseas, and especially not a “buddy pass” during tourist season. You will be lower priority than a corpse-- seriously-- you will ask for a seat at the counter and get denied. The next group in line will consist of a dead guy and one of his still-living relatives-- and the attendant will say “Ah-ha! We have your ticket right here Mr. Bo-- ahem-- Mr. Jones. If you and your escort would proceed to gate...”

I was starting to contemplate how to spend the rest of the day, booking a hotel and riding the busses again-- and considering applying to the Italian government for some sort of citizenship or checking with Vatican City to see if they need another acolyte.

Although it would be really cool to be Italian and wear a robe to work, thanks to the efforts of a certain Delta Team Leader I obtained passage on a flight to Cincinnati.

It went something like this:

*Rob: is not called for DL71 to Atlanta
+10 to misery
+10 to discomfort
- 100 to wallet
*Rob cries: ;_;
*Rob: stands near gate 27 in the Airport of DOOM
*Airline attendant speaks: “Hey, kid. Wanna go to CIncinnati?”
+10 surprise
*Rob blinks: O.o
*Rob speaks: “DO I EVER!?”
*Airline attendant: types in computer
- 1 seat request
+ 1 boarding pass
*Rob: jumps for joy
- 0.5 boarding pass
+ admittance to jetplane
+ 100 relief
^misery cancelled, discomfort deacreases 2>1 cumulative

Flying Blind: I have no phone-- a man I met yesterday in the lines was kind enough to let me use his mobile when we got on the Cincinnati flight. Hopefully I will be able to find a decent pay phone or an internet connection when I touch down again. Until then...

Oh Bernie! I never thought I’d be so glad to see you!

Go west, young man, go west!