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I’ve spent the last 10 days up here in Buffalo New York. I’m putting a Lustre cluster together for a cancer research institute.

The trip started out on a sad note. Gandalf was not happy with me when he saw me packing my bag. He wouldn’t even look at me. The hardest part about getting ready to leave is disappointing my pup. Go figure.

I miss the guy. He loves hanging out with me in the mornings. Sitting on the porch. I’m drinking my coffee, he has his head out between the railings watching the world go by.

 

Here is a statue I’m seeing a lot lately. I remember when I flew out the first time to interview with Sandia Labs and seeing this statue. I thought it was pretty neat. Now I walk by and half the time I don’t even look up. I think that’s pretty sad. We should always try and notice the world around us.

Buffalo is an interesting place. It reminds me of a cold Seattle. Overcast, grey, etc. You can tell there is a history of manufacturing here. Row houses, old shut down plants, abandoned factories, etc. Just the feel of some of the neighborhoods.

Downtown was pretty neat. It’s a fairly modern city in that regards. Definitely shuts down at night though. Almost nothing was open.

I also found a place with a Marilyn Monroe statue. A local underground bar. Any place with a Marilyn statue is a happy place. 🙂

On Saturday I took a Lyft up to Niagara Falls. It was raining and chilly, but definitely worth the visit. Not sure when I’ll get another chance.

 

This is me being soaked and waiting for the bus back into Buffalo. Yep, I took the bus for grins. I love to adventure when I’m in a new town. See the sites, experience the place.  By the time I got back to the hotel I was literally soaked. 

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So. I had a thought this morning while driving to the customers data center.  I’m currently traveling around the country for Hewlett-Packard Enterprises. I don’t know how long I’ll be doing this, if it’s short term or long. However, while I’m doing it, I’m seeing some parts of the country that I’ve never been. It might be nice to make comments and write about what it’s like in each area. That’s my thought at least.

So. Right now I’m in Woburn, MA.  Just outside of Boston. I’m here putting a Cloudera cluster together for a customer. I’m part time out in Lowell, MA and part time downtown.

So. This morning. I woke up after a long day of travel from Albuquerque, NM. We had a medical emergency on the flight and had to return to the ABQ terminal. Fingers crossed the guy who had the heart attack survived. It didn’t look good, but the paramedics are the best. So, fingers crossed. Because of that I missed my connecting flight in Atlanta. Which means I finally got into Boston late at night.

I think Google Maps has a personality. Because I pissed it off. Coming out of Boston Logan Airport I missed a turn and google ended up taking me through some pretty sketchy neighborhoods and a seriously round about path to my hotel. I’ve seen more industrial areas of Boston than I knew existed.

This morning I woke up feeling pretty icky. Sinus’s were stuffed, head ache, moving slow, no coordination. Way too many people at breakfast. If they went left I went the same way, etc. headed to the car to drive to the Lowell data center. I still felt pretty crappy. Just couldn’t get motivated.

Then I noticed the trees. The trees here are starting to change colors. The air was cold, almost frosty breath cold. It felt like a pre-winter day in Seattle. A humid, cold day. With orange, red, green trees.  Then I noticed, the traffic wasn’t really that bad. I was moving along okay. In fact, I decided to get off the turnpike and take some back roads. Google Maps bitched a bit, but gave me directions anyways.

I passed houses right out of the revolution. Any one of which could have been the home of some famous revolutionary at the beginning of America. It dawned on me that I was driving over old cart paths that took our founding fathers around. Literally.

I know my friends in the UK are going “#$% traitors!”. 🙂 It’s history my friends. For good or ill. And looking at our current president, well, it’s really a debate. So, think the Queen will take us back? Kind of like rebellious teenagers? We’ve learned out lesson.

As an American who grew up in the west. Well, this is pretty cool stuff. I am literally walking in the footsteps of our founding fathers.  In fact, this weekend I plan on following Freedom Trail.  Either that or drive down to New York city to have a Manhattan in Manhattan. 🙂 I’ll try to post my adventures later.

Back to my impressions of Boston. So far, it’s been a pretty good experience. I really like how the houses make me think of the 1700’s. The roads are mainly 2 lane back-roads with freeways/turnpikes as main thoroughfares. The people have been friendly. Even if the speak funny. “I pahked my kah in tha pahkin loht.”

Tomorrow is my first day in downtown Boston. I’m looking forward to it.

 

One neat thing about Chicago is all of the different murals and misc art works.

This year during Supercomputing in Salt Lake City it decided to snow on our last day there. Morgen and Nora decided to wander out and do some adventuring. I really like this picture of them.

Morgen and Nora adventuring around Salt Lake City

Morgen and Nora adventuring around Salt Lake City

Here we are at the Seattle Pride Festival enjoying a Drag Queen show. It was a blast.

 

Seattle Pride Festival

Seattle Pride Festival

We had a family day not to long ago and Nora, Morgen, and I went and checked out the Solar Tower. Pretty interesting. They use molten salt to transfer and store the energy.

Solar Tower

Here we are reflected in one of the many many mirrors.

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A month or so ago one of the contractors working on the bathroom started hollering at me from the front yard. Seems we had a 3-4ft Bull snake heading for the open front door. I ended up chasing him across the parking area to where the gophers live. Hopefully it’ll stay over there and help with the gopher issues.

 

A local Sandia Mountains Bull snake

A local Sandia Mountains Bull snake

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We stopped by the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  A bit hazy, but still a sight to behold. 

Here is the route we’re looking at doing. Give or take a side road or three. This is going to be a kick. I’ve never been to places like Bryce Canyon, Arches National Park, etc.

 

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Took a couple of hours three weeks ago to knock down the front area, then another two hours today to redo the front and add the whole side section. A lot of mowing was done to reclaim a piece of the property. We’re on 4.7 acres here.

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The new cleared area.

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The area I removed after reclaiming a couple of weeks ago.

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