Fun with Time Zones

Here in Massachusetts in the good old (sliding uncontrollably toward becoming a fascist nuclear nightmare) USA, it is not Bellana’s birthday.

However, in Dublin, Ireland, where she is at this very moment, it is her birthday.

Happy birthday/day before your birthday, Bellana!!!

Birthday in Galway

My step daughter, Bellana, is in Ireland and I am super jealous. Jelly AF. Not really, but yeah, really.

Tomorrow is her 21st birthday and she has chosen to spend the day in the land of my forefathers. We had a FaceTime (actually, I think it was snapchat) call with her this morning while she was on a bus leaving the airport. We had to pause our conversation briefly while the bus’ safety announcement was read in a marvelous Irish accent. As soon as it completed I yelled out, “now in Gaelic!” They didn’t read it in Gaelic though. Oh well.

I am so excited for her birthday. I have been excited for all of her European excursions over the last few months, but Ireland… that’s just the best. I told her if she ends up in Cork she should look up my relatives. That’s where my father’s mother’s family comes from. My mother’s parents’ families are in Newfoundland, but before that they were in Mayo, so if she ends up there she can look for them as well.

She’s going to Galway today. She’s also an Elvis fan. Those are the only two things she has in common with the protagonist in this particular song, but it’s completely stuck in my head right now.

Thankfully Europe is Big

I spent my lunch hour reading up on the situation in Ukraine. Once again it’s really hard to tell which reports are real and which reports are propaganda or misinformation. It sounds like “Russian warship, go fuck yourself” is real. I don’t think the ghost of Kyiv is real though. Despite how much I want it to be real.

I was a good student in Junior High and High School Geography classes. The map of Europe looked massively different back then, but even if it didn’t I never saw a map that was drawn to scale so distances are all hypothetical, know what I mean?

There’s a war going on in Eastern Europe. Bellana is in Western Europe. She’s not anywhere close to the conflict, is she? How far is it from The Netherlands to the Ukraine?

Google Maps. I searched for a route from her school to Kyiv. It’s a 21 hour drive. I wasn’t nervous about it at all, and yet I am still feeling a serious sense of relief. Irrational, yes, but when is anything to do with war rational?

Western Europe needs to keep my step daughter safe. Good work so far. Keep it up.

Trip to France

We got a FaceTime call from Bellana today. She and her roommate went to Paris over the weekend. It sounds like it was one of those out of this world experiences that you can only have when you’re 20 years old and taking a semester abroad. You know what I’m talking about. She said there will be a vlog post at some point. I can’t wait to see it.

This morning I was talking about how bringing the barrels out to the street marks the high point of my social calendar. Oh to be 20 and crazy again. Again? I was 20 once, but I don’t think I was crazy. I’m proof that youth is wasted on the young as well as at least 50 other old people cliches.

Hook Amps

The YouTubes and I have been goofing around looking at reviews of grotesquely expensive boutique guitar amplifiers. There is a lot of dazzling stuff out there. One sticks out to me for purely family reasons.

I had never heard of Hook amplifiers before this evening. Now that I have, I want one. Drool and all that. The R20, on the demoes I’ve heard tonight, sounds ridiculous. Just plain sick.

Oh yeah, the family reason for wanting one? The company is Dutch! I can ask Bellana to bring one home for me. The combo is only about 2,300 Euros. Consider it done, yeah?

Sunday Morning Stuff

The plow guy did a great job. He only did our driveway, not the section of the yard that doubles as the kids driveway, but that’s okay. Those cars aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. He did a path from the driveway to the stairs on the side of the house which gains him the title of Hero++. That’s one rank higher than hero. He didn’t do the fire hydrant, but we didn’t ask him to. I went out and did it about an hour ago. Done and done.

I have some laundry to do today. I checked the dryer vent on the back of the house. It’s clear. We are all set to wash the sheets and stuff. Aren’t you happy to hear that little snippet of good news? I’m just a fountain of knowledge today.

The episode of The Mandalorian that introduces Ashoka Tano is so freakin’ good. The episode that reintroduces Boba Fett is almost as good. When he smashes the stormtrooper’s helmet with the gaffey stick? It’s like poetry, man.

Did I mention that the RPM Challenge starts the day after tomorrow? As if I haven’t been boring the crap out of everyone with music posts. Get ready for more, kids!

And that’s where we are at 12:09pm on a random Sunday.

But wait, there’s more! Just before I hit publish Bellana called. We had a FaceTime and it was lovely. Apparently our Dutch friends like to put mayonnaise on French Fries. I don’t know… I don’t know if I can get behind that trend. We’ll see.

Discord Doesn’t Like Me

I don’t like Discord. I know that makes me sound old, but it’s just an AOL chat room so it’s not that I am old, it’s that I’ve been there and done that and don’t want to do it again.

The RPM Challenge forums no longer exist as they have been replaced by a Discord server. Okay. I’ll play along.

There I was, typing in a post to the random chat board, and either the app on my machine crashed or the server went down. Like… right in the middle of typing!

Okay, we have established that I don’t like Discord. Now it seems that Discord doesn’t like me either. Well screw you, Chuck!

On an unrelated note, Bellana and her roommate posted another video. They went to Belgium. Just a spur of the moment trip to Brussels. How cool is that? How cool is the EU?

Maybe I’ll share the video one of these days.

On another unrelated note, why is the last post I made last night displaying in a box? Is this post going to display in a box? Did I accidentally click a put-your-post-in-a-box button? I don’t know. Let’s publish this puppy and see what happens!

ADDENDUM: I didn’t click a put-your-post-in-a-box button, but I did post the previous update while I was about 95% asleep and I did accidentally click a stick-this-to-the-top-of-your-page checkbox. It should be fixed now.

Netherlands Check In

My step daughter’s roommate posted a new video, letting us check in with their Dutch adventure. They haven’t started classes yet, but they have completed their Covid quarantine, so they get to wander the city.

Jealous much? Oh yeah.

The video right now has them checking out a bookstore that for some reason looks really familiar to me. It’s nice to see that all of the signs are in English.

They are doing well and are enjoying the experience so far. Still not sure if I want to post their videos here or not. Also not sure if I would be able to as they have some pretty tight permissions set.

That’s all I have for today’s lunch time post. It might not seem like much, but I got to watch the video so it’s pretty much the best lunchtime post ever. Also, I sent Bellana a picture of the newly potted plant that is a cutting from a plant that belonged to her step mother’s mother and she was very happy. I’m happy too.

Dutch Quarantine

If you were super curious about how The Netherlands is handling the quarantining of visitors from other countries, here’s what I know.

Bellana entered the country on Thursday morning, January 13th. She was allotted some time to get from the plane to her final destination, which was something like three hours by train, and then once she was where she was going her quarantine began. On Monday she will take a Covid test. The results will take 48-72 hours to return but once they do (assuming a negative result) she’s free to move about the country.

So worst case scenario (that doesn’t involve a positive test) is that her quarantine starts on 1/13 and ends on 1/20. Note that in The Netherlands they would say her quarantine starts on 13/1 and ends on 20/1, but that’s neither here nor there.

One funny note from our FaceTime. She has changed her weather settings on her phone to Celsius. She said it was currently 2 degrees. Jen laughed and said it was 2 degrees here too. Doing the math, our 2 degrees is -16.7 degrees for her. Brrrr, babie.

So now you’re up to date on the Dutch quarantine process for international travel. I hope you all enjoyed this little lesson.