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I need (really?) a new cell phone. Should I consider a candy bar on ginger bread upgradable to ice cream sandwich?


Just heard 2Cellos perform Smell Like Teen Spirit live on Studio Brussel radio. Goose bumps and even tears in my eyes.

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Finally finished my Budapest photos and put them in Smugmug.
Gnoes (wildebeests), hurd in NgorongoroGnoes (wildebeests), hurd in Ngorongoro
NgorongoroKet me try this function of the smugmug photo site.

I m sitting at the Travelodge at LAX Los Angeles Airport. This wasnt planned. After 3 weeks of family holiday in the US, we were going to fly home yesterday. The man at the check in desk, Joe, surprised us after checking in our luggage by saying that we should come back in 20 minutes because as it was our seats were all spread out and he would try to get us sitting together. So, 20 minutes later my wife returns to the counter and is told that there no 5 seats available anymore. Do we want to stay together or should he give us 2 seats on the flight anyway and book the remaining 3 to another flight tomorrow? We decide to stay together. It all takes a long time (2 hours) before he comes with some decent news: financial compensation, a flight a day later (in a couple of hours as I am writing this) and a reservation at the Westin LAX. It took us a bit of time (less than the 2 hours it took him to sort things out) to accept that overbookings are part of travelling life and we should have checked in online the day before to avoid this type of mishap, so we could live with the idea of going to the Westin hotel, getting a good meal and extra night in a decent hotel and not having to get up early the next day since our new flight was going to be around 3 pm. With the hotel voucher in my pocket we headed for the Westing LAX Hotel. Bad surprise however when we arrived there: BA did not confirm the rooms and they had no vacancy. SAY WHAT? Did they f- up again?

The girl at the Westing counter wanted to send us to the Marriott at the expense of BA. Some older guys from the Westin did not think this was a good idea for 2 reasons. First of all they did not expect the Marriott to have any vacancies (which was confirmed by a quick phonecall by one of them) and second, it would be really expensive and we had no garantee BA would refund. What to do then? Well, one of the guys of the Westing (thank you, Natal) called “a nice, cheap hotel” closeby and found us a couple of rooms. And that is where we are now, hoping that BA is not going to f- up even more. Diner last night was take out from Denny’s next door to the Travelodge, which is just fatty crap. One of the rooms has a faulty door lock, that opens only 10 percent of the times I try. Luckily the lock on the window is also broken, so I can get it through there. But anyone could have come in that way…

We will see in the next hours what else BA has up its sleeve for us. That they overbook flights is just a fact and apparently customers have to put up with that. That they lie to us about the singel spread out seats in stead of just telling us about the overbooking is actually not acceptable. That BA then sends us away with a hotel voucher that has no value what so ever, is pure scandal. That some good soul (a porter at a hotel) helps us out is just luck. At least we had a bed for the night. Not that I did sleep well….

Hope to be home in 18 hours or so and that the good memories from this US south west holiday remain.

BA and especially Joe, shame on you. 

This is claimed to a “fata morgana” or “mirage” in the chinese city of Huangshan, appearing in the mist after some heavy rain.

IMHO this is just some misunderstood and wrongly translated chinese romantic commentary saying how amazing their city looks in the mist, with cities appearing to float on it. Sorry, this is just a translator who did a bad job.