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Since last winter went so swimmingly, let's try it again! TFS has very graciously opened her home in the west San Fernando Valley to me again. This time her daughter AS (and dog and cat) are there too. Two women + two dogs + two cats = not my usual solitary winter again. Huzzah!
Place name links like Los Angeles, CA go to Wikipedia. Place name links like Los Angeles use a local tourism or government website.
 Start Here

2013.10.28 The Idea Strikes Me (Again)...
Map and Weather Nerdery
All but for the Waiting
----------- In Los Angeles, CA
2013.11.13 Warm California Sun
Watts Towers
2013.12.01 Hollywood Christmas Parade
Oxnard Christmas Boat Parade
2013.12.16 Deer Creek Road
Cold Spring Tavern
Christmas Eve Sunset
  January 2014
2014.01.03 Edmonton Oilers at Anaheim Ducks
2014.01.11 The Salton Sea
From Brine to Bananas
2014.01.14 The Justice Private Automotive Collection
2014.01.23 Home, Home on the Range
2014.01.29 The Getty Villa
2014.02.12 Forest Lawn Memorial Park - Glendale
2014.02.18 Tide Pools at Leo Carillo State Beach
----------- To Dallas, TX
2014.02.21 Off to Dallas - Yeehaw!
2014.02.25 Musical Instrument Museum
2014.02.28 Arrived in Dallas
2014.03.01 Downtown Dallas
2014.03.02 Dallas Museum of Art
2014.03.08 Dr Pepper Museum
2014.03.22 Nasher Sculpture Center
2014.03.23 Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
2014.03.23 Kimbell Art Museum
2014.03.29 Texas Hill Country
2014.04.06 The Museum of Geometric and MADI Art
2014.04.09 Dallas Views
2014.04.11 Driving Dallas
2014.04.12 Texas Bluebonnets
2014.04.12 Houston
2014.04.13 Galveston
2014.04.13 National Museum of Funeral History
2014.04.18 To San Antonio Through Texas Hill Country
2014.04.19 San Antonio - Day
2014.04.19 San Antonio Museum of Art
2014.04.19 San Antonio - Night
2014.04.20 Newellian Easter Parade
2014.04.23 Anaheim Ducks at Dallas Stars
2014.04.26 Dallas Arboretum
2014.04.26 Fort Worth Stockyards
2014.04.27 Amon Carter Museum of American Art
2014.04.27 Fort Worth Views
2014.04.30 George W. Bush Presidential Center
2014.04.30 Dallas Golf Driving Ranges
2014.04.30 Dallas Miscellany
2014.04.30 Texas Water Towers
2014.04.30 Done with Dallas
2014.05.01 Dallas to Albuquerque
2014.05.02 Albuquerque to Flagstaff
2014.05.02 Petrified Forest National Park
2014.05.02 Grand Canyon - Evening
2014.05.03 Grand Canyon - Day
2014.05.03 Jerome, Arizona
2014.05.04 Sedona to Flagstaff
2014.05.04 Flagstaff to Los Angeles
2014.05.04 Route 66 in Western Arizona
----------- Back from Dallas, TX
2014.05.04 Back in Los Angeles
Last Week Down South
2014.05.09 The Road Home
Road Home Redaction
2014.05.10 The Nethercutt Collection
----------- Leaving the West Coast, Heading Home
2014.05.12 Leaving the Valley
2014.05.13 The Home Stretch
----------- Back Home
2014.05.14 Home From the Valley
2014.05.15 Three Springs
One Week Home
2014.05.26 Round-Trip Recap


I still have 8 museums to blog about, but I feel like doing a recap first.

Departure Odometer was 200,338 km (124,484 mi). Arrival Odometer is 225,417 km (140,058 mi). Did 25,079 km (15,583 mi). Not as much as last year's 34,000 km (21,126 mi).

I took over 5,431 photos (10.4 G of disk), around last year's 5,500+, weeding them out more aggressively before I sent them home. About 4,198 of those pics are on the 60 pages of this blog, plus another 330 images created for maps and diagrams, and 18 pics for Artifacts.

I was away for 196 days, less than the 211 of last year.

I was in 8 different states (in order of first visit). No new ones this year.

Here's a clickable map of some of the overnight trips I made, and some day trips or stops on the way. Pick a marker to see what I blogged about that place. A, H, and L have two sides: departure on the right, arrival on the left.

Google Maps says this is 10,485 km (6,515 mi), 95 hours.

Edmonton: Returning Ogden, UT WH-Departure Sedona, AZ Flagstaff, AZ Albuquerque, NM Dallas: Departing San Antonio, TX National Museum of Funeral History Galveston, TX Texas Bluebonnets Texas Hill Country Fort Worth, TX Waco, TX: Dr Pepper Museum Dallas, TX: Arriving Phoenix, AZ Salton Sea Cold Spring Tavern Oxnard, CA Los Angeles - Arrive Edmonton: Depart

Or use the table below. There's also a larger map . Points that aren't listed were either not blog-worthy or are covered by other points.

A     2013.10.28     Edmonton, AB        Leaving Home
L     2013.11.13     Los Angeles, CA        Watts Towers ; Hollywood Christmas Parade ; Justice Private Automotive Collection ; Getty Villa ; Driving Ranges ; Edmonton Oilers at Anaheim Ducks
1     2013.12.01     Oxnard, CA        Oxnard Christmas Boat Parade
2     2013.12.23     Cold Spring Tavern        Lunch on my birthday
3     2014.01.11     The Salton Sea        International Banana Museum
E     2014.02.25     Phoenix, AZ        Musical Instrument Museum
H     2014.02.28     Dallas, TX        Arrive for 2 months
Dallas Views ; Dallas Museum of Art ; Nasher Sculpture Center ; Museum of Geometric and MADI Art ; Newellian Easter Parade ; Texas Water Towers ; Driving Ranges ; Anaheim Ducks at Dallas Stars ; Dallas Arboretum ; George W. Bush Presidential Center
4     2014.03.08     Waco, TX        Dr Pepper Museum
5     2014.04.26     Fort Worth, TX        Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth ; Kimbell Art Museum ; Fort Worth Stockyards ; Amon Carter Museum of American Art
6     2014.03.29     Texas Hill Country        Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site ; Lukenbach, TX
7     2014.04.12     Texas Bluebonnets         
8     2014.04.13     Galveston, TX         
9     2014.04.13     Houston, TX        National Museum of Funeral History
10     2014.04.18     San Antonio, TX        River Walk (Day) ; San Antonio Museum of Art ; River Walk (Night)
I     2014.05.01     Albuquerque, NM         
J     2014.05.02     Flagstaff, AZ        Petrified Forest National Park ; Grand Canyon ; Grand Canyon again
K     2014.05.03     Sedona, AZ        Jerome, AZ ; Route 66
L     2014.05.04     Los Angeles, CA        Nethercutt Collection
M     2014.05.12     Ogden, UT        Heading home
A     2014.05.13     Edmonton, AB        Home Again

These are all the routes of significance I could remember or reconstruct from blog entries.

While in Dallas

Routes travelled from Dallas, TX


I was in nearly every easily-recognizable Texas municipality, with the exception of Lubbock and perhaps Paris .

There's not a lot of recreational driving around Dallas that isn't like what I know from home: flat farmland and straight roads except around Texas Hill Country and even those roads were pretty plain.

That probably contributed to the 9,000 km (5,500 mi) difference in mileage between last year and this.

There aren't any other maps worth showing here.


Categorized museums and parks I visited, in order of visit.


Art      Transport      Other          Parks / Historic
I went to 18 driving ranges: 11 in Los Angeles and 7 in Dallas.

I saw 2 live hockey games: 1 in Los Angeles and 1 in Dallas.


Now I'll go do some back-filling of museums.

2014.06.03 Process


I'm home for a while now and just catching up with museums I've seen, and the Nethercutt Collection is the last. And I think largest: I took 416 shots. You'll only see just over half - wherever I can I snap a title card, but I don't include them in these posts. Feel free to ask for one though.

Creating museum posts takes a bit of time, and it's large ones like the Nethercutt Collection, with probably 200 images, that test my sanity and my process. And get me thinking about how to do 'bulk' things faster. The largest processing task by far is for images - I can made words pretty quickly - and I have some tools to automate some things as they become mind-numbing to do manually.

For the purposes of procrastinating on doing The Nethercutt and collecting my process into one place and maybe learning something useful about it, here's what I do. Things in italics are automated.

  1. Get images to the point of posting:
    1. camera to laptop ~/Documents via microSD
    2. rename all images to YYYYMMDD_HHMMSS.jpg My Canon PowerShot SX230 HS names every image IMG_nnnn.jpg. My Samsung Galaxy Note makes image filenames as timestamps.
    3. laptop review for bad - delete unless I feel they might be useful
    4. upload to desktop at home On cheap-hotel wireless this can take hours or overnight, perhaps failign several times and needing a restart. In a few hotels I had a 100 MB wired connection and it took minutes.
    5. copy uploaded images to ~images-home
    6. move uploaded images to ~/Documents/done

  2. in ~images-home, organize for (perhaps later) posting.

    Collect images of a particular YYYYMMDD into one or more folders based on what happened on that day and how many posts those images will represent. Folders are named something like YYYYMMDD_[0,1,..]_SomeTitle. Divert some images, like while in-transit, into a collection for a summary post, like Texas Water Towers.

  3. Make a working set of images, and move the YYYYMMDD... over into done where the master set of images lives.

  4. Prepare the working set:
    1. Map-making. A map, or maps, is always an easy way for me to get into starting a post. And for future trips, I can do it in advance from the mapping I do for the trip anyway. I use screen-snaps from Google Maps. Since my desktop video is bigger than my laptop video the maps I make from home are bigger and/or easier to pose.
    2. Review for familiarity, fitness/utility, storyboarding. I use Gwenview , an open source image viewer that's the default for images for my KDE desktop environment. It also has several plugins that I've used for image manipulation.
    3. Orientation adjustment - rotate vertical images to what the camera said they should be (in the image's EXIF data). Fine-tune rotation, especially for rectangular subjects like paintings in frames.
    4. Copy changed images to done/YYYYMMDD... so the master copy can benefit from the above adjustments.
    5. Panorama creation. New this year, since I found I had a Gwenview plugin that does a generally excellent job with the images I throw at it. My camera doesn't do this and it's a feature I want in my next one. My phone might, but I don't think so.
    6. Copy new (e.g., panoramas and maps) images to done/YYYYMMDD... so the master set can have the accompaniments I made for it for this post.

  5. Storyboard the post based on the working set of images:
    1. Prepare working set list (WSL), marking images that are vertical.
    2. Review WSL to exclude any images which are useful to the post but won't be part of it. (e.g., signs, exhibit cards, "reminders").
    3. Turn the WSL into a list of images (WSL-Use) to be copied over into ~blog-images.
    4. Review WSL-Use against image set for storyboard blocking and layout. Collections of horizontal vs vertical are important here. For places like a museum, galleries and layout will determine or influence blocking.
    5. Use WSL-Use to create template blocks for each image for cut/paste into a post.

  6. Open a post:
    1. Open a post from a template and edit fields.
    2. Write (or revisit) the introduction. Maybe write an ending.
    3. Create templates for each storyboard block (and sub-block if necessary).

  7. Write the post. For each storyboard block or sub-block:
    1. Copy one or more image block templates into a storyboard block or sub-block.
    2. Adjust order for shots that are better grouped together regardless of their chronological order. Sometimes I didn't shoot in the best order; sometimes a group of vertical and horizontals work better; sometimes I got a better shot later.
    3. Fill in templates from image review. Transcribe from signs and exhibit cards. Research with source-location's website, or just Googling. This is the least-automatable part of the process - OCR would really help. But I learn things.
    4. Adjust for image caption lengths. Man, those middle-ages Europeans had looong names and used some loooooong titles.

  8. Finish the post:
    1. Review the whole post. Look for image blocking adjustments, errors, more writing, edits.
    2. Review the opening. Write a closing.
    3. Adjust post timestamps.
    4. Update blogs index.
    5. Update main blog page, at least timestamps, perhaps (Not Ready Yet) marker.

  9. Publish the post: push to web server. On this trip I learned how to push from my laptop right to my web server, rather than remote-control my desktop like last year. This made production and posting way more portable, and viable.

  10. Archive:
    1. Backup web server to desktop backup disk.
    2. Backup blog and images (working and published) to desktop backup disk, and web server.
    3. Backup desktop backup disk to cloud server. This can take hours for a real big post.


That's enough for now - I think I got it, and there will be edits while I work through the last catch-up entry: The Nethercutt Collection, ready in a day or so, or so - it's a biggie.

Time for #9 from above (I'll skip #10 because it'll be done by overnight backups), and onto #4 for The Nethercutt.

2014.06.11 Me, There


Well, back-filling is done. Eight museums, 1,146 pictures, twice that many moments of memory at least. Lots of researching that left me more educated, or exposed to education, than I was before. A tune-up for my blogging toolset to handle the volume of my photographing phoolery.

These pages are updated in chronological order with pictures from TFS, around 100, of me in a bunch of places, and some of the scenery. I usually don't care about pictures of me in places.

Fortunately, TFS did.


All that's left now is to document the stuff I collected up and carried back from a world away.

2014.06.12 Artifacts


Trinkets! My penultimate post from this adventure. I brought back more than mashed and dessicated bugs on the front of my car. Now this cargo need to be merged into the collection of things that need dusting. I haven't dusted the ones I got last year. I may need to open up a new shelf. Oh, first-world problems!

Not as much as last year I think. But, I shopped more for my friend PM who was watching my home.
In chronological order, more or less, since some things are combined.

Christmas gifts from TFS

TFS was most generous, as was her family. These goodies were under the tree for me Christmas morning. Other things I ate or drank. :)

The 1954 Road & Track magazine's cover story is "Is Road Racing Safe?"

The car model will become a dustable memento, and the silver bar will go into my automobilia collection.

The Lego model will be a handy procrastination tool one day. ;)


east & west golf balls

The Floater is from Islands Golf Range in Anaheim, CA with a large pit of water as a field. The Texas ball is from a gift shop in the Fort Worth Stockyards.

east & west packets of sand

On the left from 2 places along the Gulf of Mexico in Galveston, on the right from the Salton Sea.


Stylophone & Super Road Whiz

On the left a Stylophone from the Musical Instrument Museum. Just like Rolf Harris and David Bowie used!

On the right a find for my small collection of calculating devices. A Poor Man's GPS from Ultradata Systems. Apparently there's a talking model, but this one isn't it. Enter two endpoints, it displays a route and distance. A hit on the QVC Shopping Channel in 1999. 10 bucks from a junke shoppe in The Bishop Arts District in Dallas, TX .


food and beverage holder

If you've been to many wine-and-appies gatherings you've come across little plastic plates that have a notch in them to be a wine glass holder.

This a deluxe model we got at Taste of Dallas, an exhibition of Dallas, TX food and beverage providers held at the Dallas Convention Center where I had been 20-some years earlier for a digital architecture and construction convention, the week after Jerome, AZ.

This bad-boy has holders for 2 different types of beverage container on the right, and cutlery on the left. Sponsored by The Dallas Morning News , my local morning newspaper.


"Shoot a Waco" token

In exchange for admission to the Dr Pepper Museum you get a token for a free soda ("pop" to Canadians). I thought it more interesting (and humorous) to keep the token, given the phrase on the top side, and some history there .


shot glasses

I'm not a big shot-drinker, but the glasses are a convenient size memento. The left two are from the Fort Worth Stockyards. There were Forth Worth mugs in that attractive blue/back, and I should have bought one. On the right, from the LBJ Museum on our trip through Texas Hill Country.


beer coozies and big-ass mug
    Left to Right:

National Museum of Funeral History
The chill of a reminder of death may keep my beer even colder.

LBJ museum in Texas Hill Country
This mug is so big I had to get a new coffee-maker.

Full Circle Tavern in Dallas
I have to get them a picture of me and the coozie for their Facebook page.


Texas speeding ticket
    That's 2 speeding tickets in Texas. One less this year than last year though, 100% better!

88 mph (142 kmh) in a 70 mph (113 kmh) zone coming out of San Antonio trying to make the Newellian Easter Parade. 18 mph (29 kmh) over, US$167.48 all-in.

I routinely do 10-20% over the speed limit so over 25,079 km (15,583 mi) it's $0.00667 per km ($0.01075 per mi).


Kinky Friedman shotglass & card

Kinky was Grand Marshal for the Newellian Easter Parade. He was also promoting his Man in Black tequila.


Easter eggs, hockey duck

There were easter-egg hunts for kids (right) and adults (left). Kids got a fancier egg with more candy.

The duck was a $1 fund-raiser for a dog shelter.


rally towel

Speaking of ducks, these were on every seat at the 2014 NHL playoffs, round 1 game 4, Anaheim Ducks at Dallas Stars. They worked - Stars beat the Ducks 4-2.


JFK Assassination postcard

From a 7-Eleven in downtown Dallas, TX . The only Dallas-specific souvenir I bought, because nothing said "Dallas" like this. Months after being there two months I still can't think of anything I wish I had got from there.


CDs from CD Source in Dallas

About 2/3 of what I got last year


from Jerome, AZ (mostly)

TFS got me the cactus-shaped golf tee from Oatman, AZ on our trip along Route 66 in Arizona.


    These are about half of the brochures that collected up mostly over two months in Texas. I kept only ones for places I was at. Now they'll go into a plastic tub after I have a sentimental look-through, and join those from last year.    

    Ticket stubs, for movies and plays, and theater programs, A Lost Valentine for a production in which TFS had a witty monologue. A wad of receipts from driving ranges in Los Angeles and Dallas. A few movies.

A few things aren't shown: The duty-free cigarettes and Jack Daniels I got at the border on the way home, because they're gone. How do you think I caught up with all the material I had left over? ;) A new-and-improved redneck windscreen for the car, a sturdy piece of cast-off cardboard from a Home Depot in Barstow, CA just before I got into Los Angeles. It's a little weather-worn but perfectly serviceable for more top-down zooming. Some clothes. You may see some of them on a future blog, or in person. A Wilson driver for my golf club set. 4 bucks, brand new, at a Goodwill in LA. Hasn't helped my shot off the tee one bit yet.

2014.06.13 Fini


I got home a month ago and since then have eased into the mundane-compared-to-what-I-just-experienced realities of off-the-road life, entertained by memories recalled by the also-entertaining process of completing a lot of blog posts. The onset of spring-summer at home has occurred in fits and starts. Seems like more fits than starts. Having had a protracted taste of "summer" weather already I am not as anxious to get it going after a long winter as everyone here. In the winter stay-in season I usually get plenty of time to sit at my desk and be a Nerd, and the last month of recollection and presentation has been a great taste of that time.

But now I'm out of history, so this adventure ends.

I must acknowledge several people without whose participation and help and forebearance I would never have gone, and seen, and done.

TFS for ... possibilities · friendship · hospitality · adventuresome spirit · affability · directions · patience · acceptance · easy laughs · imagination · organization · surreptitious photography · many, Many things. Everything, really.

AS, Jake and Tucker and Kiera and Bella, and TFS's family for much of the same.

PM for watching my home, tech support, and being interested and in contact.
TO for depositing my paycheques, and most importantly Apalon.

Nikki for unknowingly starting me on the road over two years ago with a NASCAR race in Bristol, Tennessee.

And you, for reading.

Thank you all!


Texas Hill Country
on the way to
San Antonio, TX

Grand Canyon Day



2014.07.02 The View Missed


My friend PM was watching my apartment while I was gone. He took a picture of the view out my balcony window on each visit from December 20 until a few days before I got home. I made an animated GIF of his pictures. I used a popup because I hate webpages with moving things I can't stop.

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Document EMK/KLRH/0.69:2014.07.02    A branch of The BRIDGE Tree