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Gimmewald, Switzerland

The most beautiful and majestic place we've ever been.

Paris, France

By far Adri's most favorite city and monument.

Istanbul, Turkey

The most culture shock worthy and wonderfully diverse city we know.

Cairo, Egypt

Our craziest, most intense story to date.

21 August 2009

Beautiful Abandonment

So, I am quite the curious person, and also have this odd obsession with old abandon places. With work this past week I was down in the Peoria, Illinois area and heard about an old abandon mental hospital. As I started researching it I found that it wasn't too far from where I was, and the people I was working with knew about it. I asked about it and said I wanted to go over there, so they told me where it was, but in the process told me about all these other abandon buildings. I had quite the list of places to visit that night. Most of them I could not get into, well, all but one in fact. Exploring places like this gets my adrenaline flowing, and I get so excited. So, here is a log of my adventures that night. The first picture is the asylum, and from there on, it is all this other building (an old grain milling and elevator plant I think) that I actually did get into without any trouble at all (i.e. no locked doors).
This asylum is currently being restored by some organization down in the area. They give guided tours for $25, or you can stay in it over night with free reign to go wherever you want for $100. I think I know where I might be going for Halloween.

From here on down is all the same place that I actually got inside of. I think I will go back when I am more prepared for the excursion (no work clothes and bring a tripod).

17 August 2009

Cash 4 Clunkers and a new health care plan...

So, I've never been a political analyst nor a political activist, yet this is something that has been on my mind lately. As many of you may or may not know, with my current job I work indirectly with the car industry. I work for a software company that helps dealerships manage their customers. Anyway, as a result, I am in dealerships all the time. As of late this whole Cash For Clunkers (a.k.a. C.A.R.S or Car Allowance Rebate System) has been the topic of conversation everywhere I have been. In hearing about it, I have made a few observations and a few of my own conclusions. In these observations, I start to wonder as well about the health care plan that is being debated as well. Here are my thoughts, again, they are only thoughts and opinions.

1. Cash for Clunkers was a good idea to boost car sales and try to get the economy going, but a horribly planned and executed idea.
2. While it is easy for people to get their rewards on this, for the dealerships, it is a nightmare.
3. What qualifies and does not qualify a car has changed a number of times without any warning.
4. There are 14 pages of paperwork that have to be filled out, then uploaded onto the internet. If you mess up, you don't find out until they reject you. In the upload process, there is no save, therefore if the site crashes from everyone else trying to upload, you have to start over. And I've heard it crashes a lot.
5. People are just getting info from clunker cars and uploading it without having to actually prove they took that car in and sold a new one.
6. Since beginning of this program, only 2% of all deals have been paid back by the government.
7. Dealerships are running out of inventory and don't have much coming. So, what's going to happen when they are out of cars? Oh wait, that means that don't make any money...

And really, this is only the beginning. So, as I was talking to a dealership about it, they had one thing to say to me... "People think this is bad... if this is any kind of sign, what do you think the health care plan is going to be like." I'd have to agree. Plus, living in Chicago, I hear plenty of stories from people who work in hospitals that already do universal health care. Latest, there is a lady who had a really bad case of TMJ and can't open her mouth. They told her she needs to get a scan to see what they can do to help. When she asked how long until that can be done... at least a month. Hmmm....

Just as a side note... Glenn Beck makes a good point here.

This is scary stuff if you ask me... and this is just about getting new cars and helping the car industry. What will they do with healthcare?

16 August 2009

When you're creative mind needs letting out...

So, when you have a job that doesn't really lend itself to the creative side of life, and you have a creative side (or at least I think I do), you start to come up with ways to use it. I've just always have this creative itch and when I can't scratch it all the time with work, there are days when I will just go all out on it. This, my friends, is the product of one such day.
Here's how it happened. So... I was sitting in my apartment one day and decided that I wanted to add some spice to it. As I was looking around many things came to mind as to what I could do. But, I had a few restrictions. First, I didn't want to do anything that would just have to get undone the day I move. Out goes painting the walls. I didn't want to spend a lot of money either, so there went putting up drapes around my windows. So, I looked at my table and said to myself, "This is kinda plain... I wonder what it would look like if... ..." So, after a trip to Wal-Mart, 2 cans of spray paint, some tape, a bunch of my pictures, a vision in the head and however many hours of putting it all together, here you have it!

The question is now.... what's next?