New Phone

Sometimes when you are tech geek, you get yearnings for more gadgets. I'm sure you all know me well enough to know that I fall into this category of people and now is no different. I have decided that I am going to get a new cell phone. The one I have now works great, but it lacks certain geeky features that I am starting to look for. The primary feature I am requiring is Bluetooth. My laptop has it built-in and I am looking to see in which ways I can take advantage of that. One of primary motivating factors in all of this is the desire to start uploading more photos, but not necessarily large batches of sought out shots — more random and indicative shots of my daily life.

To this end, I also am looking for a phone with a camera. With the camera and bluetooth combo, I am hoping that I will be inclined to develop a small workflow that will allow me to upload my photos with captions to this site without a lot of intermediate effort. Uploading my shots from the Canon has gotten very simple and smooth, but I'm hoping that this will be even easier without the requirement of connecting anything to my computer. I'm not going to stop using the Canon because of this — I love that camera, but it isn't convenient to bring with me everywhere. And the word subtle is not a word the Canon understands. My only real hang up about this is that the camera on these phones tend to top out at VGA resolution (640x480) and that's not much of a photo in my books. Oh, that and I have to make sure that the phone will work fine in Spain (I will likely use Vodaphone in Spain as I do now — but this is something else to think about.) The current phone I'm looking at is the Motorola V360v, which is a nice looking flip phone with camera and bluetooth. It is a Vodaphone phone and so should be good at least while I'm in Europe. I'm going to stop by the Nokia store today to see if they have anything that tickles my fancy. If anyone has any recommendations, drop me a comment.

The other side to this whole coin is to get a small, relatively cheap digital camera. One that will fit in my pocket and will be more useful with impromptu photo taking. For only a little more than the V360v I can get a 6 megapixel Olympus Camedia FE-120. It is pretty small — not as small as a phone — but it does take photos that have 20 times the number of pixels. And in today's society, pixels are king. The main caveat? No bluetooth. At least not without spending more than I want to. So that is my dilemma at the moment. Please comment with your opinions on this matter.

Besides if Sarah can get an iPod nano, surely this is something I can justify. Done.

3Mar
Location: Arrianou, Thessaloniki @ 6:15

Limited Access

Although I haven't been there for a number of weeks maybe a month, I might be forced to head back to Bits and Bytes this weekend as they are closing down the university to protect it in case there are riots and violence associated with the public holiday on Monday. So from 4pm tomorrow until Tuesday morning, no internet access via the university. How will we survive? :)
3Mar
Location: AUTh Lab, Thessaloniki @ 14:19

A little exercise

Yesterday Nenad, Q, Daniel, Max and I ventured out for a bit of basketball. After a bit of warming up we started a little 2-on-2 action with me sitting out a the beginning. Around halfway through, I replaced a winded Max for the second half of a game with Q as my teammate. Wow... I haven't done anything so exhausting in a long time. Q and I managed to squeak out a victory. However, my body was the main loser in all of this. After an extended rest period we started another game which went a lot quicker than the first one and Q and I came out on top again. Once I could see and breath again all was well except my ankle which I twisted when running after a much faster Daniel. It was fine at first but after returning to Nenad's place it started to tighten up and get more sore. We went out for gyros and I found that walking was a bit of a painful experience, but still managable. By the time we left around 2AM I had a serious limp going on. It felt better after being off it overnight, but walking here (Bits and Bytes) was a considerable challenge. It might be sprained, but I'm not that familiar with sprains — unlike some of my siblings. I'll take it easy for a day or two and see what happens.

I guess this is what I get for trying to get a bit of exercise. :)

5Mar
Location: Bits and Bytes, Thessaloniki @ 17:46

Yay snow

It's snowing again. Yes... sunny Greece.

On a travel related note, I want to wish my brother Peter all the best on his trip to Europe. He is scheduled to take off at noon (AST) which is in less than 45 minutes. He is visiting France and Italy with a group of school mates as part of what I assume is an EF tour. I don't know his exact itinerary, but I suspect it would include Paris, Rome and Venice. Perhaps someone in the know can comment and correct me.

I did an EF tour of Greece (of all places) when I was in grade 10 and it changed my life. I hope it opens his eyes like it opened mine. I'm sure he'll have a blast. And with any luck, it won't be snowing there.

7Mar
Location: AUTh Lab, Thessaloniki @ 11:14

Quick End of Term update

I've seen it before and I know I'll see it again, but every time I take a term full of university courses I end up swimming in too much to do by the end. This term is no different — except that most people believe that it is physically more than can be done in the time that we have — and they are right if they would like to actually prepare for the exams. Personally I'm not much of a studier, but I've yet to have that be a problem. So I can focus most of my time on the plethora of assignments and projects that we have stacked ahead of us. Of course I was still at the lab last night almost to 11pm and then we went to Nenad's place to continue work until after 3am. Today I suspect that many of my colleagues will be here very late as we have something due tomorrow. Some of us think that we have two oral exams tomorrow — and I'm pretty sure that is true. A lot of us, myself included, think that two of our assignments corresponding to the exams are also due tomorrow. But then we get vague emails about certain files from our assignments to be handed in on a different date and needless to say there is a lot of confusion.

The feeling in this lab is quite intense, most people either angry or frustrated or both. However, the silver lining of our time in Greece is that it brought our group closer together, giving us a chance to bond. Unfortunately it had to happen in a us versus the country kind of mentality, but spending 8 to 12 hours each day at school together with 22 other people and you are bound to get to know them better. For some people, the lab is the only computer they have access to. And for everyone it is the only way to access the internet. And we do have a lot more access to the labs than your average student perhaps, but we had to ask for it. And since police are not allowed on the campus due to some political agreements, the university is not a very safe place to be later at night. Junkies, thieves and other unpleasant folk tend to linger around after dark in this legal haven. So being here late at night to finish school work isn't only tiring and frustrating, it is physically dangerous. And this isn't a theoretical danger, a couple students have already had run ins with would-be muggers on campus and off — and March is when things start to get worse. Most carry with them some level of fear about traveling around the city, especially after dark.

Recently we filled out a survey and had interviews about the general nature and effectiveness of the Erasmus Mundus program, focusing on the two places we'd been to so far. My inclination is that Greece didn't fare out too well in that review. Personally my only major complaint about the location is the lack of facilities at the university, especially ones geared toward a group computing science grads. I do have a couple issues with the way that we were handled as a group within the university — but I do realize that we are the guinea pigs and a little of that can be expected.

I guess this update wasn't as quick as I planned — once I get ranting it can be hard to stop. Final point — would I do this again? Absolutely. So far, one the best experiences of my life. But is it a free ride? Far from it. Future years will be better and I suspect that other streams are quite different, but the European Commission needs to make some higher level changes if they want this program to really promote study in Europe.

12Mar
Location: AUTh Lab, Thessaloniki @ 10:18

Show me the money

I was certainly showing the money today. After my oral exam thing this morning which went relatively well, Nenad and I took off towards the center to satisfy our commercial needs. Specifically we went to find a backpack for Nenad to accommodate his handsome new laptop and to buy Office:mac for myself. The search for backpacks didn't yield anything that we liked — this really isn't a laptop oriented city (yet). Then we stopped at Elite Computer Systems which is very near my place and I purchased Office:mac Student Teacher edition. Nenad found a bag that he liked there, but there were no sales people around (this isn't exactly what I would call a retail outlet) so he wasn't able to find out the price. But he really liked it so I might head back tomorrow to check it out. I also want to ask the price of the macally icepad which is a laptop stand that looks good.

After a lunch of gyros, we headed back to school to work on the never ending pile of assignments. When I got to the lab, I finally bought my plane ticket to Madrid. I'm leaving on the 29th of March (at 7:15AM!) and I'm traveling with Daniel and Q via Athens on Olympic Airlines. It should be a good time had by all.

Now I'm going home to eat something and continue working on my fuzzy logic controller.

13Mar
Location: AUTh Lab, Thessaloniki @ 13:28

π day

I would be remiss if I didn't wish everyone a happy Ï€ day. It is also Einstein's birthday. So if you are a scientifically inclined person, then pause for a moment and think of all those who came before and helped us further the sciences to the point we enjoy today. But don't let that satisfy you. It would be insulting if we didn't follow in their proverbial footsteps and help make the world a better different place. So to all, a little piece of Ï€ — 3.1415926536
14Mar
Location: AUTh Lab, Thessaloniki @ 9:24

Puddles

I can't help but smile to myself when someone fails to recognize the significance of a huge puddle of water just on the edge of the road in front of the bus stop. And we are talking about a big murky puddle that may have had its own current. Combine that with the conspicuously vacant part of the crowded bus stop and you really can't feel sorry for the people who get soaked when a rogue motorcycle or taxi drives a little closer than normal to the curb. I saw it happen to about 8 or 9 people today. Normally I would warn people, but I don't really speak the language, so I just stand there at the dry leading edge of the puddle and try to keep from looking too amused when it happens.

Good times.

15Mar
Location: AUTh Lab, Thessaloniki @ 16:08

The first rule...

of the HCI exam is that we don't talk about the HCI exam.

However, as a reward for finishing the first exam, I decided to take some time to do a long planned update to the look and feel of the weblog. I changed the header image, moving the date up to the top. I also added little flag buttons on the bottom of the entries, which gives you at-a-glance knowledge of where I posted it from.

Next step: Accounting. I actually found this class to be much more understandable than my pre-conceived bias against accounting would have had me think. I managed to do the assignment for the class relatively quickly and didn't need to rely on the slides too much. Of course, I have no idea how I did on the assignment, maybe it was terrible and everything I know is wrong. That is the trouble with not getting any feedback — ever. However, I'm not that worried, although I might go out and pick up a cheap calculator so that I can hasten my arithmetic. My calculator is one of those things that I left in Canada without thinking that I might need it. And I don't really. But since I doubt they will let me fire up my laptop mid-exam to crunch some numbers, I might want to have something just in case.

16Mar
Location: AUTh Lab, Thessaloniki @ 5:45

I ♥ Managerial Accounting

That's right. Savour it Mom and Dad, I'm only going to say it once. Apart from one small issue that I've come to realize from one question, I think my managerial accounting exam went very well. Apparently some other people aren't talking about this exam either so I think that is all I'm going to say about it for the moment. I still have my fuzzy logic assignment due today, but for the most part I'm finished — just need to "discuss" my results.
17Mar
Location: AUTh Lab, Thessaloniki @ 5:26

Fuzzy Systems

I just finished my fuzzy systems assignment which involved me creating a fuzzy logic controller to control the orientation angle of a satellite. Of course, it doesn't actually control a satellite, but merely a transfer function we were given which is supposed to simulate the change in orientation of a satellite. The fuzzy system handles it quite well.

If this doesn't mean much to you (it barely means anything to me), then you might appreciate a different kind of fuzzy that is happening. I call it the assignment stubble, or the end of term beard which might be more accurate soon.

Fuzzy

17Mar
Location: AUTh Lab, Thessaloniki @ 13:00

Welcome Nikon

Walking To School
Camera
NIKON E5600
Taken
2006-03-18 13:34:30
Exposure
10/6172
Aperture
f/4.9
ISO
50

Finally a shot with me in it. :) I'm on my way to school on a Saturday to study like a good boy.

I took the plunge earlier today and I bought myself a small portable digital camera so that I can take more photos when I am at school and don't have my Canon with me. This one easily fits into my pocket and I have already witnessed how much easier it is to just whip out and capture a quick memory. :) I also have the start on a workflow that will let me go from camera to website in only a couple of keystrokes. I've also added a bit of photoblogging hocus-pocus to my site which allows certain posts — like this one to be considered a photo post and the site can automatically extract the Exif data in the image to provide the photo specifications above. There is still a bit more I would like to do — perhaps separate out my photo posts from my regular posts so they can be browsed separately. This post for example is a hybrid post and I'm not sure what I would do with that. Rest assured that I will not be removing the photo gallery I have now.

As far as the camera itself is concerned, it is a Nikon Coolpix 5600. It is quite light and small, which was the point and takes up to 5.1 megapixel photos. It has a 3x optical zoom and your standard collection of scene settings and menu options. It works with my laptop and it seems to have a really quick start up time, so I am happy. The photos themselves are clear and the colour reproduction seems good. I had been looking at an Olympus camera at the same price, but the salesman convinced me of the merits of this one, including the use of standard AA batteries and the cheaper SD memory card. I didn't think about it until I got back to my apartment but I just bought a camera from the 'other side'. As a Canon user, Nikon is like the bad guy, so I did feel a little bad about that — kind of like I cheated on my Canon, with the enemy. But I didn't see any Canons with the specs I was looking for at the price I wanted — at least at that store — so that is how the cookie crumbles. I'll cope.

18Mar
Location: AUTh Lab, Thessaloniki @ 9:54

Computer Architecture

Computer Architecture
Camera
NIKON E5600
Taken
2006-03-19 00:40:48
Exposure
10/57
Aperture
f/2.9
ISO
50

Our lab is a computer architecture lab so we share it with various circuit boards and other equipment.

19Mar
Location: AUTh Lab, Thessaloniki @ 11:44

Database Exam

Database Exam
Camera
NIKON E5600
Taken
2006-03-20 12:35:48
Exposure
10/300
Aperture
f/3.4
ISO
50

Prof. Mitkas wanted to take photos of the class doing the exam and I had my camera handy. More photos in gallery. (Photo credit: Pericles Mitkas)

After a weekend of what was apparently an appropriate amount of studying, we wrote the database exam today at 11:00. However, what most of us didn't know was that the exam was open book. Obviously an open book exam is a bit different than a closed book exam both in how you prepare and how you write it. And most of us didn't have any books, notes or other materials other than the slides downloaded onto our laptops. So we were allowed to bring out the laptops and use those to read the slides. Much more efficient than printed material in my opinion. Especially since the slides were in PDF format and the Tiger version of Preview has some very nice search capabilities.

So we only have one written exam (which we all know is open book) and one oral exam tomorrow. Aside from the brief complication that my oral exam was scheduled to start at the same time as the written exam, everything should be fine. The written exam is PHP which I know like the back of my hand — maybe even better. ;P I will go over some of the theory for the fuzzy logic oral exam but that is mostly about my assignment, so I'm not terribly worried about it. The weird thing is that even though we will still have two largish projects to keep us busy, tomorrow is the last day that we really need to come onto campus. After the exams we are only for the projects which we can theoretically submit and work on from anywhere. But who am I kidding, I guarantee you that most people will be in the lab because of the internet. Some people are even leaving on Wednesday and Thursday. It is almost like I fell asleep on the plane from London and I'm going to wake up in Spain with strange pains in strange places.

But hey, the (off campus) food is good.

20Mar
Location: Lecture Room 8, AUTh @ 9:02

Getting His Hands Dirty

Getting His Hands Dirty

This is my youngest brother Devon in Brazil apparently learning how to form clay into pottery. I'm not sure who took this photo, it is shamelessly stolen from a website describing his exchange.

20Mar
Location: AUTh Lab, Thessaloniki @ 11:45

Fountain of No More Exams

Fountain of No More Exams
Camera
NIKON E5600
Taken
2006-03-20 22:54:28
Exposure
10/167
Aperture
f/3.6
ISO
50

The last time I saw this fountain it wasn't working. Not only is the water flowing now, but they fancy it up with lights. I caught these shots after a very filling dinner with Ion.

This is the first day of the rest of my days in Greece. Seven days to be exact. The difference now is that I don't have any more exams, which is nice, but two projects still loom up ahead. I'm not concerned, both are within my grasp to complete on my own, but they are both group projects which adds a whole different dimension to them. Not that I don't like my group mates, quite the opposite, but collaboration, especially here is difficult. The facilities just don't allow it. And to make it more complicated, Nenad is leaving the country tomorrow. So we'll see how this works out. I know that they'll get finished, but I would actually like to enjoy a couple of days in Greece before I go, so things will likely get pushed to later. All I know is that after this past two weeks, I don't want to work on them tonight.

On a positive note, my database professor (the one who took that photo during the exam) has invited the class out to dinner tonight. It should be a good time — and I think I'll bring the Canon which tends to behave a bit better in a low light situation — so there should be photos tomorrow. And there is an excursion planned for Thursday which will also result in many photos and good times had by all in attendance.

And for those who like to know these things (Mom), both exams today went very well. All told, I'm very happy with my results in Greece, despite the conditions.

21Mar
Location: AUTh Lab, Thessaloniki @ 9:49

Evening at Agora

Evening at Agora
Camera
Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XT
Taken
2006-03-21 23:19:21
Exposure
1/30
Aperture
f/5.6
ISO
100

Q and Daniel enjoy the fine libations available at dinner.

Last night was a bit of a celebration — or at least a release from several weeks of non-stop work. For some of my colleagues it was also the first time to a taverna/ouzerie which is a shame because it is quite the Greek experience. I arrived with Q and Daniel a bit late, but nothing unfashionable and benefitted from not having to wait for the food to arrive. We comprised the meat eating end of what was a primarily vegetarian table. This was fine since we were in no short supply of various pork, beef and lamb dishes. Chicken tends to be a bit scarce these days because of the general not really talked about fear of avian flu. I don't think it is necessarily scarce, just people tend to not order it and so I suspect stores and restaurants aren't stocking it in any great quantity.

Since there were around 25 people in our party, we were split into two tables. Most of the students were there in addition to our Greek coordinators and a couple of professors. I had both cameras with me and was snapping off shots with both all night. I captured around 80 or 90 in total which isn't too bad given the amount of photos I've taken for the rest of this trip. Many glasses of ρ&epsilonτσινα (retsina) and Mythos beer were had by some and towards the end of the night there was much laughing and carrying on. Without question it was a great release for everyone. We were also given a number of ideas for things to see and do in Thessaloniki, but unfortunately it might be too little, too late.

Nenad leaves today for Belgrade to (hopefully) collect his Spanish visa. He is scheduled to arrive in Madrid the day before I do. We were given directions from the airport to the various residences and sent a map of the subway system. Both are obviously useful, but from what it sounds like, we are quite the distance from the airport. Essentially we are to get on the line 8 subway from the airport to the end of the line, then get on the line 10 to the end of the line, then get on the line 12 which which we take until the appropriate stop. After that we still have a 5 minute walk (which could be a lot worse, I'm not complaining about that part). The email neglected to mention the time that each of these trips will take, but given the map and my limited knowledge of the geography of Madrid, I suspect it will be a long time. Fortunately we arrive shortly after noon which should get us to the residence at least before dark... maybe :). The other benefit for me is that I am taking the same flight as not one, but all four of my Guatemalan friends, which should eliminate language issues from the equation. I am pleased with the little bit of Spanish I did learn this term, but it wasn't as much as I planned so having four translators can only be a good thing. I realize now, that this post is starting to veer into a completely different topic than I intended, so I will leave it at that for now.

22Mar
Location: Arrianou @ 5:55

The Quest for a Jersey

Stone Lion
Camera
NIKON E5600
Taken
2006-03-22 14:27:07
Exposure
10/826
Aperture
f/5.7
ISO
50

Bits of a stone lion outside the Archaeological Museum.

Today was the day without internet. After sleeping in to a satisfying time this morning, I ventured out into the nice day to pick up a few more chocolate filled croissants and some garbage bags. I knocked on Daniel's door and asked what he wanted to do given that we had a bit of opportunity to explore. He wanted to go to the museums and a particular sports store, but he needed a few more minutes to get ready so I waited in my room, tidying up a bit given that I have to move out sooner rather than later.

So once we were both ready, we headed down towards the museums which we learned closed at 15:00. It was 14:30 when we got there and on top of that Daniel didn't have his student paso (which allows free entry). Thinking back, I remember that Sarah told me that the museums closed at 15:00, but of course, I didn't really think about that until afterwards. So we decided that will have to be something we do next Monday and we headed on towards the store Daniel wanted to visit. It just so happened that this store was past Nenad's place which meant a 30+ minute walk. Not too much of a problem, but it was starting to rain a bit and I didn't have a jacket, or anything to protect my camera with other than my regular camera bag, which I doubt is very waterproof. But the rain held to a casual sprinkle and we made it to the store without incident. The reason we were going is that Daniel wanted to buy a football jersey — specifically the one that the Greek team used when they won the World Cup in 2004.

Daniel has informed me that the Greek team won the European Cup, not the World Cup. What do I know about soccer/football?

Unfortunately they only had that particular jersey in extra large and anyone who has met Daniel (or any of the Guatemalans) will know that he is not an extra large person. :) So as to not leave empty handed, he did by a very nice Greek baseball cap. At the register the woman asked us where we were from.

Daniel: "I'm from Guatemala and he is from Canada."
Cashier: "Ah Canada, that would be why he is so white."
Me: "Actually it's more because I'm a computer scientist, but you're right."

After all that we headed back towards the city centre and decided to look for a place to eat since we were both quite hungry. We were trying to find a place that had a view of the water, and before long we found a nice taverna that was near the water. We couldn't really see the water and we were inside, but the place was quite nice. It was also a seafood taverna, which I suspected before even seeing the menu given the location and feel of it. But they still had the requisite meat on the menu in addition to massive amounts of seafood, so we were both able to get something to eat along with sharing greek salad and feta cheese. It was quite a satisfying meal but slightly more expensive than some of the regular tavernas in the downtown area that I've been to.

Fast forward in time and we are back closer to home and visiting Intersport to see if they have any of the jerseys in the correct size. They did have it in medium, but apparently that was still too big (must be nice) so we headed back home because we didn't know of any other sports stores to try. Later we met up to grab a late snack, Daniel mentioned that when he went to take out his trash, he went down to Nik, our favourite fast food place and one of the guys there told him of another store he could try. Long story short, he found the jersey in small so he is pleased. We ended up going down towards the water and finding a nice crepe/sandwich shop where we had some dessert crepes and hot drinks. All in all, a very pleasant day considering I didn't get online. :) Tomorrow we have an organized trip to some archaeological site which should result in another large batch of photos. Cheers.

22Mar
Location: Arrianou. @ 17:41

Vergina

Vergina
Camera
Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XT
Taken
2006-03-23 11:22:50
Exposure
1/160
Aperture
f/10.0
ISO
100

Standing at the site of the palace in the former capital of Macedonia, the home of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great.

Today was our excursion to Vergina, the archaeological site which is the former capital of the Macedonia region and where many kings were buried. It was there that Philip II was assassinated, when his son, Alexander the Great, was only 20 years old. At this point, Alexander became ruler. Just ask Colin Farrell about it. :)

I have a lot of other cool information, not to mention many many photos to put up, but at the moment I am in a hurry because I am going to Athens tonight. Our train leaves at 23:00 and arrives tomorrow morning at 7:30 or so. There are a number of us going and it was kind of a last minute decision to go tonight and not tomorrow morning dictated by the fact that the only trains for tomorrow were the express trains which are a lot more expensive. I'd be all for that, but we haven't all budgeted our money the same.

I'll be out of touch until I get back either Sunday night or Monday. I will let everyone know how it goes and I will take many more photos. I have the storage capacity to take about 750 photos, so I don't think I need my computer with me. Cheers.

23Mar
Location: AUTh Lab, Thessaloniki @ 13:38

Athens 2006

It may not be as epic as the Olympics, but in my mind a lot more fun. I am back safe and sound from my voyage to Athens with some of my classmates. I have over 600 photos and several videos to prove it, but for a detailed journey... of my journey, you can visit my Athens Trip feature page. Hopefully tomorrow I will have more means to upload some more of my photos, but there are over 20 included in my 5 page essay about the trip, so they will have to tide you over. The essay has no capacity for comments, so you can leave comments attached to this entry.

Another note for those international (North American) readers, Europe switched to summer time this past weekend, so I am now at GMT+0300, which means for the week until North America switches to Daylight Savings Time, I am an extra hour ahead.

26Mar
Location: Bits and Bytes, Thessaloniki @ 20:17

Acropolis

Acropolis
Camera
Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XT
Taken
2006-03-24 10:28:50
Exposure
1/200
Aperture
f/9.0
ISO
100

Patriotically standing in front of the Parthenon on the acropolis in Athens.

27Mar
Location: AUTh Lab, Thessaloniki @ 17:02

One of those days

It started off innocuously enough, save for waking up too early — but that was planned. Daniel and I met up to head to the white tower to go up inside (apparently there is a "museum" in there). First we planned to drop off our dirty clothes at the laundry place to have them cleaned. However, when we arrived there at 9:15 or so, they weren't open, so we dropped our clothes back home and went to the White Tower. It was a nice day already and when we finally got to the tower we climbed to the top to enjoy the view. It was quite amazing. I took a number of photos, but those will have to wait because I don't have them with me. So many photos taken recently which is a change from the usual, so I don't think anyone can complain.

After the tower, we went home to try the laundry again — success, except they said it wouldn't be ready until 18:00. Small obstacle, nothing that was going to cause a problem. We then went to the university because we wanted to see if we could find a store that sold clothing with the university logo on it or something similar. We eventually did find what we were looking for and we each paid 12€ for a t-shirt. A brief stop in the lab taught us that there was ongoing maintenace on the network and the internet was out in the lab — until 14:00 apparently. No worries, we went home and I continued packing. Daniel said he was going to go the Olympic Airlines office to see about his ticket because it still hadn't arrived.

Long story short (because I haven't much time) our flight was cancelled. At this point Q was already on his way to the airport to pick up the tickets. They printed them, but wouldn't give them to Q without Daniel's credit card which had purchased them. So Daniel and I went to the airport and he and Q got their ticket — now for the 30th. I brought my ticket and got a sticker on it stating that I was now flying on the 30th and not the 29th. So I guess I'm in Greece for one more day.

And then we went to the lab later in the evening only to find out that the internet was still out and that is why I am now in Bit and Bytes again. Like I said... one of those days.

28Mar
Location: Bits and Bytes @ 15:53

Slice of Excellent

Slice of Excellent
Camera
Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XT
Taken
2006-03-30 17:30:47
Exposure
1/60
Aperture
f/5.6
ISO
800

Half of my new room H234 in Fernando Abril Martorell, in pleasant Madrid, Spain.

This is a quick note to let everyone know that I made it in one piece to Madrid and I am very happily typing this from my bedroom — an experience three months in the waiting. While I did grow to appreciate Thessaloniki more in the last few days that we were there, I can tell that, at least as far as accommodations go, Spain is ruling the roost. My shower has a curtain, and while it may not be much bigger than my previous one, it is a lot nicer and the bathroom itself is easily twice as big.

Nenad has been here a couple of days and says that the cafeteria is excellent with lots to drink and eat — salads, yogurt, and all manner of other things that make this lofty residence fee worth every penny. There is also a modest gym in the building which has Nenad beaming. That said, for the time being I am extremely glad that I have the Guatemalans close by because almost no one speaks any English. I'm fairly excited about that because it means that I should be forced to learn the language quicker — in theory. There is an intensive Spanish course that I am going to take in the first couple weeks of term to hopefully get myself to a point where I can communicate simple messages.

Some of us are off now to pick up some of the essentials that we need to buy each term. Toilet paper, hand soap, pillow, blanket (Nenad says it gets vicious cold at night), and probably some snacks. So until I get a chance later tonight to get some more photos sorted out, I give you a quick look at my room. :)

30Mar
Location: Fernando Abril Martorell (FAM), Madrid, Spain @ 12:22

What Now?

Well, it would seem that for the most part, my Europe Adventure is over. It has been an amazing time. Now, I am reviving the ailing colinbate.com and going to make a go of it over there. All the best.

Times

Nova Scotia, Canada
4:51 (Dec 2, 2020)
Reading/London, United Kindom
8:51 (Dec 2, 2020)
Thessaloniki, Greece
10:51 (Dec 2, 2020)
Madrid, Spain
9:51 (Dec 2, 2020)
Guatemala, Guatemala
1:51 (Dec 2, 2020)

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