The Ride to End Alzheimer’s 2022

Donate to my Ride to End Alzheimer’s

This year I’m planning on physically riding the course in Hampton, New Hampshire. The last couple of years, due to the pandemic, we haven’t been able to ride together. This year I hope to raise at least $500 to further research to find ‘patient zero’ for this terrible disease. My mother-in-law suffered with the disease for over 10 years. Recently a close family member has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, so this year is especially important to me and my family.

Every donation, large of small is greatly appreciated.

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Legos

We had Lego brand building sets for the kids when they were growing up.   I spent many hours on Christmas morning working with the kids on assembling the latest sets from Legos.   As a result, I have a fair inventory of Lego bricks and have returned to building models for myself.

For the time being I’ve been concentrating on building modular buildings that conform to the Lego modular building specification as well as putting together the following Lego sets: Dectective’s Office, Parisian Restaurant, and Paradise Cinema.  The buildings pictured below were created from the Lego Neighboorhood book from No Starch Press.   On the left is the corner drugstore, included in the book, the others are adaptations of other buildings, including a mini-cemetery on the right.  (The car and minifigures are from the Paradise Cinema set.)

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Iceland Musings

General Impressions

We recently got back from two weeks touring in Iceland. Overall I found the landscape to be absolutely stunning. We took over 2,000 photos and a couple of dozen videos. I was surprised at how empty the country seems, once you get away from the main cities. The people are very friendly and helpful. Since almost everything is imported, prices are high, especially at restaurants, so eating out very day, could get expensive. Since we stayed at AirBnBs, we generally eat one mail out and cooked in for other meals.

Note: liquor is expensive, so buy as much as you can at the duty free shop at the airport, before heading out.

 

Driving

Driving can be a challenge as there is no shoulders, so there is limited places you can pull off the highway. Also, some roads are gravel with various potholes, so I’d advise getting a 4 wheel drive car. We went with a Rav 4, standard shift. There are a lot of instances where the road goes from two lanes to one, especially over bridges. In those cases the driver who gets to the bridge first, has the right of way. This can be a little tricky as you approach the bridge, as you try to figure out if the oncoming traffic is at the bridge or not. Iceland requires headlights to be on at all times for obvious reasons.

Since the country is very spread out, it makes sense to plan before heading out. Gas stations are few and far between, so you need to pay attention to where you’re going and how much petrol you have. Diesel fuel is readily available and most gas stations are self service and take debit cards and gas cards. First thing we did was buy a 10,000 K gas card at an N1, which are popular.

 

Weather

The weather for the first week and a half, was in the 50’s and sunny. The rains came the last few days we were there. I’d definitely advise bringing rain gear, including rain pants. Layering is key; as you warm up on a hike, you can take off layers, so its also a good idea to bring a small backpack you can stow layers, etc. Some kind of rain protection for your camera is recommended as well, along with a small cloth to wipe off the lens as needed.

Waterfalls

There are numerous waterfalls. Some can be easily approached from the highway, while others take a significant hike to see. In general the trails are well marked and not to strenuous. I would recommend hiking poles which come in handy fording waterways. Care must be taken hiking along the banks of a waterfall as there are no fences, guard rails, etc.

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Glacier Walk

We did a guided hike on a glacier.   Our guide was actually from Australia.   They outfit DSC_0327you with crampons, a helmet, ice ax, and a safety helmet.   The outfit seemed like overkill to me, but the crampons were a must as you are walking on solid ice.   The depth of the glacier was impressive; filling an entire valley.   We walked in a group, single file, up the glacier to the main ice wall.   The hike wasn’t too strenuous, as our guide took several stops to chop steps in the trail and clear a path.   Some of the ice chopping seemed like a ‘show’ for the tourists, but the breaks in hiking, were appreciated.   Being able to stop and fill your water bottle with ice cold, glacier water, was a treat.

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Update on China & Tibet Trip

Well, I had every intention of posting regular updates on our recent trip to China and Tibet.   It turns out internet access in China is spotty at best; no access to Twitter, Facebook, etc.   Also, the pace of the tour more or less made it difficult to put down thoughts for the day versus a good night’s rest.

The trip was great.   Overall I found China to be very modern and clean.   The highlight for me was getting to the top of the Dali Lama’s former palace.   You really do feel the altitude.   I had a slight headache and felt pretty tired most of the time.   We did take some medication for altitude prior to our arrival in Lhasa, which helped.   The walk up to the top takes a bit of effort, for sure.   They don’t allow the bottled oxygen that the tour supplies, so you have to take it slow.   The red part is the temple area.
More posts will follow as I go thru our media.   See also our Facebook travel page at Jonesware Travels.

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Hong Kong Celebration

We found out there was a celebration of the birthday of Tam Kung scheduled for the day.   We opted for the tram, over the subway, to get a better feel for the city.   The celebration seemed to entail elaborate dragon teams parading down the main street of the district, ending up at the temple for Tam Kung.   The streets were jamed with people.   The scent of incense filled the air and the vibrant colors of the teams and dragons was a sight to be seen. 

Background of Tam Kung:

Tam Kung or Lord Tam the Sea God as he’s also known, is said to have come from Guangdong Province in China. According to the legend, when he was a young boy, he had already the powers to contain the winds and the storms, making him a popular amongst the fishermen, and together with Tin Hau, the Goddess of the Sea, he became a patron deity of the seafarers.

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Hong Kong Arrival

The flight from Boston to Hong Kong was uneventful.   Although we had to leave at 1:45AM, and it was a direct flight of 14 hours, but we were glad to get all the travel to Hong Kong done in one hop.   Being able to take a shower in the arrvals lounge was great, before heading out to the hotel.

Hong Kong is impressive.   The harbor is pretty dramatc, especially at night.   We walked thru the Honk Kong Park which included an aviary, conservatory, waterfall, fountains, etc.   We lasted a few hours then crashed back at the hotel from the jet lag. Tmorrow we’re off to the Happly Valley Racetrack.

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Day 5.  A Day in Macau

Inspiration for our upcoming trip to Macau…

Love Travelling Blog

It was drizzling slightly as we caught a rush hour MTR train from North Point station to Sheung Wan for the ferry to Macau. On arrival in the ferry terminal we discovered ferries were subject to delays due to dense fog in Macau and we were unable to depart until 10.30 am so we found a coffee shop to pass an hour before getting underway. Turbojetferries run regular services from both Hong Kong and Kowloon to Macau. There isn’t any advantage in purchasing return tickets and as passengers need to select a particular sailing we find it easier to just buy single tickets at each port. If you are planning on making the trip please remember to take passports as these are needed for the journey.

Untitled Senado Square, Macau

Turbojet provides reserved, comfortable seats and we soon found ourselves dozing during the one hour crossing. Fog had lifted by…

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China & Tibet

As we work thru our ‘bucket list’, next up is China & Tibet.   I hope to post something on a semi-regular basis.   We’ll see how that goes.  Usually I start out all gung ho and slack off as the tour progresses.  I’ll definitely be taking alot of photos in any event and they’ll be posted here.

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Apple Watch First Impressions

I went with the larger Sport model in “space gray”.   The band is sort of a black flexible rubber compound.   The clasp is a ‘hole and stud’ arrangement, but fits very comfortably and securely.   The screen is very readable and the touch interface works well.   The screen also supports ‘force touch’; you do a long press on the screen, get a slight vibration, and whatever action is initiated.  I went with a screen protector the first few weeks, but found it bulky, so took it off.   The watch face is extremely durable.   No scratches yet, and I’m pretty active.

(A nice touch is the ability to take ‘screen shots’.  Holding down both buttons, takes a screen shot, which ends up in your Camera Roll.  I paired the watch with an iPhone 6.  The images below are all screen shots.)

imageI’ve had the Apple Watch for about 6 months now, and what follows is my impressions, to date.  There are multiple watch faces you can choose from.   I settled on the one pictured  here.   It has multiple ‘complications’ that I found very useful.   Tapping the temperature in the lower right hand corner will give you the weather.   The number in the lower middle is the watch battery gauge.   The lower right will show the upcoming sunset or sunrise time given where you are in the day.  The tide information comes from the Tide Pro application that is running on the iPhone.   The display will always show the next tide and feet.   Very handy for maritime activities and walking on the beach at low tide.

imageI listen to Spotify a lot.   I like the what’s playing display, as shown here.   You can pause, adjust volume, see what’s playing, etc.   Nice to be able to easily adjust the music playing, without digging out your phone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

imageWe try to get in at least 5 miles of walking a day.   The Workout app is my current favorite.  I can dial in how many miles I want to walk and the app will track my current pace, let me know when I’m halfway there, elapsed time, etc.   Alerts are via a gentle ding and vibration. Any workout can be saved .

 

 

 

 

 

Previously I had a Fitbit flex.   I’ve found the iWatch is more than ample in replacing all the functionality of the Flex.   I did have to install the Sync app to move iWatch data to my Fitbit dashboard, also I’m now able to track heartrate data,

 

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