Thursday, July 26, 2007

My Trip to England

"Part of the time I was preparing this email I was test-driving a Mac in London. I only had about 10 minutes there, and that was all the computer use I got in England. Since July 6 I've been in England on a choir trip. For the last week of so we have been looking at old cathedrals and singing in them. They look so much the same that I stopped taking pictures of them. Some of the places we stayed were just plain nasty, but there was one super-modern one. Now if you go to the tour blog,, it will say a lot, maybe but I don't know, about almost a total of 100 hours of singing, (it's true! sometimes up to 6 or 7 hours a day) but it will not mention some things.
Our bus originally came with a trailer attached, in which we kept our luggage. When we were going up a really steep hill the trailer snapped off and rolled partway down the hill, however not hitting a BMW that was behind us. About a week later the bus sprang a gas leak. We waited in a parking lot for four hours at night for a replacement bus to come, and that was the end of the travel problems until we had to literally run to make the plane because the check in and security lines were so long (American Airlines). Otherwise the trip was fun."

PS. The country is totally socialist! The tax rate was a whopping 18% and I did not get to go to duty free to shop for cheap stuff, neither did the rest of the group. This might have been a good thing, as I got an offer of 2 pounds (approx. $4) on a single crunchy bar on the way home. The milk was disturbingly cheap, and International pay phone call pricing was gouged to subsidize 20p local and national calls. Nessie was cute (Scotland, not to offend) and I recommend Rowan Glen yogurts.
Quotes: " A Scottish coach with a Scottish Driver", "They're all driving on the improper side of the road", "Lots of crashes happen within the first half hour of the Chunnel because of England's "backward" driving system" "Even the light switches and power goes the wrong way." "It's alright, England, we understand"

Sunday, July 1, 2007

How to deposit $500 of coins

How much does 5000 cents, nickels, dimes and quarters weigh? A ton. (Not quite literally, though.) So after 5 years of waiting, wrapping coins, and having pleasure with the ranks of rolls, I turned them in. It took some thinking. In the end I used a kid's scooter to transport the small cooler. It turned out that the first bank (distance not given as protection) was closed for the day, so I resorted to the one with the coin sorting machine. (This was at Wisconsin and M street, later that night to be a SWAT team panic/media frenzy) Having to undo years of wrapping, I discovered First Union rolls. What a long time it has been. The total was $569.17 (3 cent rolls were delinquent a penny, unavoidable, and a Canadian Quarter and dime were rejected) So it turned out that this was noting to them. An El Salvadorian man had been saving coins for 4 years and put $4400 through the machine in 2 days.