Here is a picture I took after I managed to get my circa 1950′s British bike down to the beach area. Right after that, I figured out that the bike really only goes downhill. This is the sort of thing you wish you had figured out before you went down that hill.
We took a bus to Castletown and ended up with some extra time so we went into a local grocery store to see what kind of crazy items they had inside. It’s always strange being in another English-speaking country but with slightly different consumer products. It sometimes makes me feel like I am in a parallel universe.
Here is an interesting candy bar whose tagline appears to cut out about 50% of the market:
Here is a Kit Kat bar that has actually been renamed to a rather cumbersome web address:
Here is Will – he has Nice Biscuits:
And this is some honey that must be made by some distant relative of mine:
I like the tagline on the one below…so mysterious:
And then here is a Cadbury bar filled with a very sketchy looking pink substance:
I got a bike from the hotel and decided to throw on my backpack and go find some interesting sites. I tried to bring along Monty and Will, but these guys are not much for adventure. They tend to enjoy sitting around and generally not adventuring. They do adventure in Cyrodil, however, although that place does not really exist.
Here is a picture of the bicycle and my gear at the top of the sound. The bike wasn’t really the best, but I’m sure it was great when delivering telegraphs during the second world war. It was also a bit unnerving riding on the opposite side of the street – narrow streets at that. It was sunny and warm for most of the day, but then some squall blew in from across the Irish sea and dumped freezing rain on me for the ride home.
I set out to ride from Douglas to Laxey to see the giant water wheel, but I had no idea how far it was. It looked close on the map, but I forgot that those things are drawn to scale. I had to ride up a killer hill just to get out of Douglas and at the top I asked some Scottish girl how far I was from Laxey and she just laughed and then went to go find the nearest pub to get drunk.
It was a bright and sunny day here and the temp was a cool 60 degrees or so. We are staying at the Sefton in Douglas which sits right on the ocean. I went outside and grabbed this picture below of our hotel and the next one of a war memorial that lists all the people from the Isle of Man that fought for England. I surprised Monty and Will by telling them that the Isle of Man is where every ship was built for the German navy in the second world war. The could not believe it, but I told them it was true because I heard it from the internet thing.
Right before I left the Isle of Man today, I was getting some food and I saw this interestin’-lookin’ Chinese girl surrounded by two bodyguardin’-lookin’ guys. I went over to her after we both finished eating and I asked her why she was the only asian on the Isle of Man. She said she was there for publicity purposes, promoting her new CD. I told her I know about as much about Chinese pop music as I do Chinese anything else, but I was sure she must be famous if she had bodyguards. She was super cool and spoke English perfectly. She took down my name and said she was going to send one of her music CDs. I told her she was full of lies like all the other Chinese. Then we had a good laugh and high-fived. Just kidding about that last part… but I did hold out the camera for this awkward self-photo with her:
Okay – getting on the plane to get back for the Austin Game Conference!
So this morning I figured out that I actually caught something when I was in Costa Rica – I am pretty sure I was bit by something in the rainforest. There was a time I was reaching for some stupid butterfly and I fell down a smallish but lush hill, doing a faceplant in a weird pile of creepy-crawlies. I had two bumps on the left side of my face for about five days, which have now quickly spread. For some reason, I thought itching them would make them go away, because that is usually a good plan with this sort of thing. When I woke up this morning, they had spread all over my face. I don’t know if you can quite see from this picture, but it is getting a little perilous. I decided to contemplate my situation beside this picture in my hotel.
Later, I would go to the chemist at London Gatwick and he set me up with some sketchy advice and sketchier pills. We will see if they work.
Here is a cool picture from inside a skybridge at Gatwick:
After a bit of time here, I finally found a good place to get coffee and wireless internet access at the same time. Where else is a guy supposed to get any work done?
I ordered some tapas and got some seabass. It came served inside this clamshell, which I thought was kinda cool, although probably incredibly confusing to the clam.
If the Isle of Man was not small enough, it boasts a smaller island called the Calf of Man. There is supposedly just one person that lives on it, and she is rumoured (notice the Manx spelling) to be not terribly sociable.
The Calf of Man is also a famous bird sanctuary. And by famous, I mean that it is well known among a small percentage of the 70,000 people that live on the Isle of Man.
I took some pictures of it today. In that little bit of Irish Sea there, I saw about 5 or 6 seals that were plopping about. I’m not sure what they were doing, but I am sure they were wondering why the island had so little internet access.
And here are some other pictures from the area… I wasn’t very pleased with these pictures because the lighting was bad, but you get the general idea. It was a very desolate spit of land. I only saw one other person there, and he was searching for some lost sheep. I commented that perhaps the sheep was looking for a good wireless point, to which he said, “Rubbish!”