Saturday, July 25, 2015

Filling In Gaps

I feel like I didn't really finish this blog last year.  I suppose that was due to a mixture of time running out to get pictures out and being busy looking for a job.  I'll post some Venice and Vienna pictures now and talk about year later.

So, I went to Italy to visit Federico and his family.  Federico was taking courses at Ca Foscari over the summer and had a room in an apartment in Venice, and I saw this as a golden opportunity to observe life in an incredibly unique place.  Most people who come to Venice only really see a narrow corridor between the train station, San Marcos, and Rialto Bridge and only during daylight hours.  I think the visit re-framed my vision of Venice from a tourist destination, to a place where life continues much as it has for centuries.   People actually carry on their lives here without much thought as to how different life is in most of the world.  Even the trash is taken out by boat.

Trash collection via boat

I also spent some time in Federico's home town of Chioggia.  Much like Venice, old Chioggia was built on islands and is lined with canals and narrow alleys.  Somewhere I have pictures of the spooky cathedral campanile we climbed (still not sure we were allowed up there).

Got in trouble for taking this one.

Federico was brave enough to lean over the side of the clock tower.

After I left Brno I visited the Sonnweber's in Vienna before I flew back to the states.  I had a job interview the day I arrived and they were kind enough to purchase a new wireless router and configure it so I could VOIP into the interview (I think it was with the RTCA, which is funny for reasons I will explain later).

Banana ice cream with candy walnuts, egg liquor, chocolate liquor and more bananas in Vienna

Beer at Shoenbrunn

One last look at my neighborhood in Brno

One last look at the Brno train station

During my day in Vienna I visited Shoenbrunn castle, the home of the former Austrian-Hungarian Empire.  It was a wonderful lesson in a piece of history I knew little about before.  Walked around the museum quarter, visited St Stephens, had delicous ice cream.  Didn't make it to Freud's clinic or "The Third Man" tour, maybe next time.  In the evening I watched the USA v Germany World Cup match and had delicious pizza with arugula on top with Elisabeth and her family.  In the morning I got on a plane and left.  It was an uneventful flight back until I got stuck in Charlotte overnight.  This sucked as the remaining people in Florida had thrown a party and I wanted to attend.  We managed to have a get-together the next night though.  After 3 weeks of being unemployed and bored I talked with my friend and former co-worker Traci and discovered there was an opportunity for temporary employment back at Wichita State while she was on maternity leave.  Sounded good enough for me, so I loaded up my shit and drove home.

Hangout the night after I got back at Sarah and Russ's new house.

I missed the ocean in the morning.  I think it missed me too.

On the 4th of July Sarah introduced me to Mitt Romney.  First presidential candidate I've ever met and he had the personality of cardboard.

Will and I went fishing and saw someone catch a shark.  I threw it back.

Fehlinger ate this.

Getting ready to move back to KS, I had to do some cleaning.

Visited uncle Jack in Tennessee.

Good 'ol Kansas flint hills.

That covers the second half of June and all of July 2014.  The day I started back at WSU I interviewed with NASA Langley and a week after that I had a job offer.  Now I'm in Virginia working on the UAS integration into the national airspace and its keeping me very busy.  We are defining minimum operational standards for a see and avoid system for unmanned aerial vehicles for an RTCA committee (thats the funny part).

On another note, look who visited Kansas for Christmas:

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