Europe Trip – Amalfi Coast and Pompeii (Day 8)

Our fifth port of call was Naples. However, we didn’t actually spend any time in Naples. Instead, we took a bus through Sorrento to the small town of Positano on the Amalfi Coast. We stopped briefly to get some photos of Sorrento before continuing to Positano. Positano was similar to the other villages in Cinque […]

Europe Trip – Rome (Day 7)

We also had a private tour in Rome. We were a big enough group that we needed two vans. Our guide and drivers were really amazing. We packed a lot into one day in Rome and couldn’t have done it without our excellent drivers (our driver was Nicola, who did an amazing job). Our drivers […]

Europe Trip – Pisa and Cinque Terre (Day 6)

Given the size of our group (15 total), for some of our excursions, Rosemary booked private tours. This also meant we got to customize our tours and do precisely what we wanted. That was the case on our third port of call, La Spezia. Rosemary arranged for a minibus and our own tour guide. The […]

Europe Trip – Marseilles (Day 5)

The second stop on our cruise was in Marseilles, France. Given that it was France, I was expecting a very nice city, like Paris. I was a little disappointed. Our excursion was called “Scenic Marseilles” and basically involved riding in a bus around the city with two stops. We stopped once to take some pictures […]

Europe Trip – Mallorca (Day 4)

Rosemary arranged for a very nice excursion while we were in Mallorca. We boarded a catamaran with about 50 other people and headed out away from the city to a nice area where there was no development, dropped anchor, and everyone got to jump in the water and swim around. The water was really clear […]

Europe Trip – Boarding the Cruise Ship (Day 3)

Rosemary (Debi’s mom) arranged a transfer to the cruise ship from our hotel. Getting checked in and the luggage situated took a bit, but we were on the ship by about noon. We made our way to the buffet and grabbed some lunch, then started taking advantage of all the offerings on the ship. We […]

Europe Trip – Barcelona (Day 2)

It was the birthday of one of my nephew’s and he really wanted to go kayaking. So, we went kayaking. I think we all were hopeful that sea kayaking in Barcelona would give us a lot to see, kind of like when we went sea kayaking in Alaska. We were also under the impression that, […]

Europe Trip – Barcelona (Day 1)

My in-laws took the whole family on a trip to Europe again (see the previous trip). This time, we flew into Barcelona, spent two days there, then embarked on a 7 day Royal Caribbean cruise with 5 ports of call: Mallorca, Marseilles, La Spezia, Rome, and Naples. The trip started off with some “excitement.” Most […]

Linux – Downloading YouTube Videos with VLC

I occasionally need to download a video from YouTube (e.g., my son’s school posts a video of him and I want a copy). There used to be browser extensions to do this. Most of those don’t work anymore. But I did find a new approach that is pretty slick and uses software I already have […]

Wagging the Dog – Iran and the 2020 Election

(NOTE: I submitted this to the Tampa Bay Times as an opinion piece on 5/16/2019. They didn’t publish it.) While no one can predict the future, it looks like we’re about to go to war with Iran so Donald Trump will be re-elected. Of course, skepticism is warranted, but a close reading of history suggests […]