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Archived Boards and Threads... => Archived Boards => MotM Travel Blog => Topic started by: Gazmanafc on January 01, 2008, 03:29:14 AM

Title: Gars in Yankieland. :P
Post by: Gazmanafc on January 01, 2008, 03:29:14 AM
Okay, I'm not much of a blogger, I never haven been I dont even use my own ( one that much. But this kind of event doesnt happen all the time. If at all. :P

Okay, shall we have a run down of my experiences so far of a country thats strange and weird to me? :P So prepare for a long post.

December 27/28th, 2007
At 11 am I woke up, I still had to pack and there were still a few small items I needed to buy, so I armed myself with my card and headed out to the local stores. Of course, I'm going to keep their location a secret except for saying that they're in London. (England by the way :P) I forked about £40 for a new PSP game and a new USB Headset as well as a couple of other little bits and pieces from a pound shop (a shop where everything costs £1). I installed the USB Headset onto my laptop and ensured it works, which it does because I'm using it right now.

When my mum came home, we both started to pack. It makes things easier if we both did it and we can both check to ensure that everything is there. Even though I did in the end forget a pair of gloves, it doesn't really matter too much. By about 2 or so in the morning we had everything packed and I just had to wait for my dad to come pick me up at 6:15 am.

I got a call from my dad, indicating that he was waiting outside so I head out and get into his car, and he starts moving, you can probably imagine what was going through my mind as we went through that one hour or so drive to Heathrow.

I got to the airport at about 7 am, my dad and his girlfriend hung around with me to keep me comfortable I suppose, and checked me in. Now the pain in the butt part was meeting up with RunicWarrior who was coming down from Edinburgh. We both had a hard time finding each other as it would turn out he was in the wrong terminal. :P We went through to security and to our gate for our flight to Chicago. At the gate who would we find? None other than Compuart! (Well, we did expect to see him there, as he was flying in from Amsterdam)

We boarded, and the flight crew seemed like very nice people, but being on what is pretty much a nine hour flight at 10 in the morning, is pretty tiring, even though it was my first flight of the day, compared to RunicWarriror's and Compuart's second, I was very tired, for an entirely different reason. I never went to sleep the previous night. So all three of us went to sleep on the plane.

As the plane was landing in Chicago, I was getting a little nervous even more because I had to go through Customs, get our luggage, etc... and the plane was delayed in landing so we had less time to get our luggage, go through security etc... and get to the gate of the second plane. And to make matters worse, the screens on the plane that listed the times of the connecting one to Tucson were listing the incorrect gate.

Fortunately the departing plane to Tucson was delayed because of heavy snow. While waiting we met up with Sarge, BlackMage, jerm and Harro. Another plane ride that seemed to just take forever. But we finally landed in Tucson, exhausted. Where we met up with a majority of the other team members.

Normally, I'm quite quiet when I'm in unfamiliar territory, and that applies here, I was quite quiet for the first day. But in the second day, I got more comfortable with the people I was with and I started having a little fun and talking a lot more. Even though hardly anyone can probably understand me except RunicWarrior because of my accent. :P

So after a few hours of discussing things, with various members. By surprise, I didn't bring up any Simpsons discussion, but it was brought up by other members. I'm trying not to bring it up, but if it does get brought up, I will talk about it. :P

Unusually, I went to bed rather quickly, since it takes me a little while to become comfortable. Maybe I was just *that* tired.

For now I guess I've just bored you. So I'll save the next bit for another post. :P

Gary M. Gadsdon
Title: Re: Gars in Yankieland. :P
Post by: Gazmanafc on January 01, 2008, 03:50:30 AM
I know I've pretty much just posted a long post about my first day, but whatever. I want to post about this before I forget.

I thought I'd comment on the food over here in America compared to Britain. Usually, there's various items I'm used to but they don't exist over here such as Irn Bru, which Trekkie101 keeps talking about. :P And the same in reverse. Such as Beef Jerky, Mountain Dew, and Red Lobster.

So getting to taste these items is a new experience for me and some of the team members are quite shocked when I say that we don't have these items. In fact Mountain Dew is banned in the UK because it has a high Caffeine and Sugar content. So this is my first time drinking it and it tastes just like Sprite. IMO. :P

And earlier today, pmp6nl and I were discussing the differences between prices in vending machines in GBP and USD. And most of the team members were very interested in seeing what British money looks like and the values of coins and notes. Because obviously, they have never seen any before. :P

And as I was saying we had at least a five minute talk about the fact that in the UK, Starburst used to be called Opal Fruits and the fact that I prefer Opal Fruits better. :P

So all in all the food is very different compared to the UK. But I will always prefer British food.

And yes we do have Hamburgers and Fries in England, but we call French Fries, "chips"

Love Ringo.
PS. Please forgive the lateness of my reply.

Title: Re: Gars in Yankieland. :P
Post by: karlbenson on January 01, 2008, 10:55:29 AM
Nice reading.

Maybe its also worth clarifying that in the UK we call 'chips' aka potato snacks, crisps. :)
Title: Re: Gars in Yankieland. :P
Post by: Zetan on January 02, 2008, 02:50:40 PM
Oh.. and "Snickers" chocolate bars used to be called "Marathon", "Ajax" cleaning fluid is now called "Ziff" or something and a load of other brands have become Americanised.

Good reading Gary, hope the rest of the team are not busting yr balls too much  ;D

Title: Re: Gars in Yankieland. :P
Post by: Gazmanafc on January 06, 2008, 03:31:46 AM
Moving on shall we? :P

December 29, 2007

Okay, this is where the interesting stuff for the team starts to happen, and most is kept under wraps for what you would see as obvious reasons, after all, we dont want to ruin the surprise for you in future releases (if any. ;)) But the three Developers gave a brief presentation and a q and a session on what their plans were and how they intend to get there. As well as some (finally) follow through on various Theme site issues RunicWarrior, IchBin and I have been having.

We headed off to a desert museum, where RunicWarrior, IchBin, and RickC were constantly talking about stuff. People call it a "Desert Museum" but it is, in reality, just a zoo for desert animals really. At least, thats the way I saw it. I kept comparing it to London Zoo for some reason, but can you really blame me?

For dinner, it was Mexican, but I had never had mexican properly before, so I tried a Cheese Enchilada. I like cheese, but beyond that it was pretty feh. So you wont be seeing me eat that again, after that, Thantos, Runic and myself were discussing more stuff for the Theme Site, most of which I forgot. :P

Then from there on it was pretty much the same as the previous night. :P
Title: Re: Gars in Yankieland. :P
Post by: Gazmanafc on January 20, 2008, 05:17:13 AM
Marty, if you walk around town dressed like that, you're liable to get shot
Or hanged
What idiot dressed you in that outfit? did.

December 30th 2007
The day started pretty much the same the previous day did, get up, shower, get dressed (like I'll go out in my bed clothes. :P and then head to the Hotel's conference room for the second meeting, where we were given a second (in my case) SMF shirt and a little goodie bag with little stuff that I can give to my nephew, and a Worthers Original! :P

We then departed for the Tourist attraction of the day, Old Tucson Studios, before the team stopped off for Subs, I refused to have one since there wasn't anything on the menu that I wanted or liked for that matter. So I just sat with Thantos, RunicWarrior, Compuart, Amacythe and Harro talking about general PHP and Javascript stuff.

As we arrived at the Studios, I instantly started to think Back to the Future Part 3, and started to sing the Back to the Future theme no apparent reason while talking to pmp6nl, RunicWarrior, IchBin and Thantos throughout.

During a trip through a Haunted Mine late in the thing, we came across various skeletons along the route, I was laughing my ass off the entire time, for two reasons, one, RunicWarrior was making up crap as he went along naming skeletons as team members who weren't in attendance, and how corny the whole thing was. I even went though a second time, and it was just as hilarious.

At dinner, there were various discussions going on, but it was one long table, I mostly talked to RunicWarrior and Thantos, as well as dschwab9 for probably the first time in the entire thing.

Retiring to the room, again, pretty late, I pretty much just passed out after doing a few checks on the theme site. :P

We never lost a year before and I'll be damned if we lose one on my shift

December 31st 2007
New Years Eve, and nothing was going to change in the morning schedule. The usual meeting, most of the stuff that was discussed in this one escapes me now. :P Though right from the get go, there was always something on my mind that involved my phone and two parents. :P
We headed out towards Kartchner Caverns, where we went through a cave. I wasnt really *too* amazed as I had been inside one before when I was ten. I forget the name, but it was in Dorset, and half of that cave was actually flooded but it had an arcade which was pretty neat for a ten year old (in case you're wondering I'm 20 now so it was ten years ago).

Inside the cave, I was cracking jokes with pmp6nl and akabugeyes half the time. Later on Thantos and RickC joined in on the fun during the next exhibit. While waiting for the second trip a team member brought up the Simpsons and being the nerd I am, I went into all trivia mode and everyone was staring at my geekiness. :P

By the time we got out of the second tour, it was 5.15-ish pm. Later than I expected so I swiftly got out my phone, but no reception. So I waited until we got to Tucson and into a restaurant. Where I had an 8 ounce steak. I like my meat. I also pulled out my phone, and sent a Happy New Year Message to my parents. But only my dad got it.

Later we all went back to the hotel walking. RunicWarrior, Sarge and various other team members went away to celebrate the new year at a club, but I remained behind since I was only 7 months underage, which sorta made me unhappy, so I spent it developing my own project, The Cutest Baby vXI (, Donnie Shobe II and I worked hard trying to get the thing working in IE6, and IE7 but I gave up, and left it.

Eventually Runic returned with a beer for me. :P I saw no difference between that one bottle and the other British cans I drank back home, so why on earth is the drinking age 21 rather than 18? Someone should complain to Bush. :P

Dont worry Bart, I have something to keep you interested, a nickel in a water bottle

January 1, 2008
New Year baby, and everything started like normal really, a meeting, this time it was Documentation and Support, with a dash of Customisation thrown in. Runic headed up the Customise team as he was in Contact with winrules more than I was.

We headed out for Breakfast this time, walking, jerm, IchBin, akabugeyes and I sat as a group, IchBin and I were trying to figure out whats up with TCB vXI and he suggested something that I should give a try for IE. We then ordered, and all four of us got Buffets. I had mostly bacon, sausages, and some watermelon (I will always be reminded of my first trip to Greece when I see watermelon and yell out "WATERMELON?! HELLO BOY!" but no one will get the reference except family). akabugeyes and I were talking about stuff, some of it being about 2.0 and Docs on the way back.

We headed back into our rooms and many of us gathered our laptops and microphones/headsets to prepare for the Talkshoe Talk show. The way we ended up doing it was rather bad, but hey, thats only because the wireless network we were connecting to was terrible!

Later, the team headed out, without me, since I don't like Italian food, so I remained behind on the forum and playing Sonic Rivals 2 on my PSP. I ended up getting stuck in a zone as Tails racing against Silver the Hedgehog who was introduced in Sonic the Hedgehog for the Xbox 360 and PS3.

When the team returned it was pretty much same old same old.

Here we are kids, the Grand Canyon.
It's so old and boring, I want a new one, NOW!
Hi, I'm Tom Hanks, and I'm here to tell you all about the NEW Grand Canyon. Coming this weekend, South of Shelbyville and East of Capital City
Thats where Springfield is!
It's nowhere near where anything is or ever was

January 2, 2008
Another day, another long journey, we got up, finalised our packing and headed out towards the Grand Canyon. We stopped of for Lunch, I had a burger where I was talking to pmp6nl and Compuart about stuff, half of which escapes me. :P

During the trip I had my PSP out and I was playing Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, I made it a decent way in the game, and I also kept getting caught, so I gave up and switched it for The Simpsons Game. :P Later on, we stopped at a rest stop to stretch our legs, pmp6nl, JayBachatero and RunicWarrior all ordered 52 oz of mixed smoothies, I however only got a 22 oz Mountain Dew. We kept joking that pmp6nl should change his display name and avatar. Which he did. :P

Shortly there after, David arrived. Since I was never on the team when he was, it was hard to be able to talk to him. But we did talk later. Sort of. :P

We later arrived in the Grand Canyon area, as we started to see snow, I was just looking out the window most of the way thinking of stuff and playing The Simpsons Game, Metal Gear Solid and Sonic Rivals 2 on my PSP.

We arrived, and I roomed with BlackMage who pulled out his router and Wii. I've never really been a fan of the Wii since it's name change from the Revolution. The team had Nachos but I dont like nachos so I ignored them and continued doing my thing.

The Grand Canyon... What a.... Grand Canyon. It's about time you called the people closed to you...

January 3, 2008
We headed out towards the Grand Canyon itself, but not to actually go down it, that would happen tomorrow. David had a three-set of Walkie Talkies, which were handed out and used for jokes along the way between the two cars.

I didn't realise that you drive pretty much directly next to the canyon rim, and a team member had to point it out to us and lo and behold it was there. From the get go, we split up, a majority of us went to the rim for photos and such including RunicWarior, David, Harro, dschwab9, Thantos, Compuart, akabugeyes, jerm, pmp6nl and myself. Thantos even left an SMF Business Card in one of the Canyon Donation Boxes. hehe. I am not kidding.

While some team members were climbing up and down ledges like yo-yo's I decided to text my mother and have some fun about huge holes. Turns out she wasn't getting my messages, buts what you get with international texting. :P Oh well. We took the bus back to the van and headed back to the hotel.

Later at the hotel after coming back RunicWarrior, David, Thantos, Harro and I headed out for a local restaurant and I ordered a 16 ounce T-Bone steak, double that of the last one I had. It was pretty tasty, the others had a pitcher and some Whiskey from Runic but I didn't due to being the youngest of the five. David then for no particular reason started to burn some bread after dipping it in some whiskey. Sadly, it didn't burn.

January 4, 2008
A Lazy day I wanted, and as it would turn out, this wasn't it, the phone rang, it was RunicWarrior, we wanted me out and about to meet some friends of his who were stopping by from Pagan Forum ( which I had recently joined. We talked about random stuff.

It came time for the team to head back to the Grand Canyon to hike down, BlackMage and I decided not to go down, so I spent most of the time playing on my PSP, browsing the forum and developing The Cutest Baby vXI, while BlackMage would do the forum thing and play on his Wii.

We both had McDonald's as it was pretty much the only quick place near by. I normally avoid McDonald's because I am aware of how things are done. They could easily tell that I wasn't familiar which how they work due to my accent. The place looked like it was unfinished with all the bare walls.

The team eventually returned, from the looks of it, it was exhausting. But three team members had to remain behind. We all agreed not to talk about it unless it gets brought up by the team members in question. That is their choice and I will honour that. Though I do give my kudos to all the team members who did it.

January 5, 2008
To me, it was a regular day, but to the others it was pretty painful with the amount of pain their legs must have been in. This time, everyone got into the van since it was our last day at the Canyon. We headed back to the canyon for what akabugeyes correctly dubbed as "The Rescue Mission". As we were leaving it was Windy, Raining, Hail and Snow. Though not all that same time. :P On the way, I was playing my PSP again :P

When we arrived, Compuart, RunicWarrior and I headed off into the lodge and then quickly moved to go down the Canyon to meet the others. However due to the weather condition and no grip on my trainers, I couldn't continue far so I retreated. I did feel kinda bummed. I'm used to trekking in poor footwear as I've done all sorts of climbing experiments in my school shoes in the steep hills near the school when I was like 14. But this was taking the cake, so much so that I could fall and kill myself.

We had lunch at the lodge, since it was pointless in wasting fuel in the van and the weather got from bad to worse, I had a brief five minute chat with some other tourists at the Grand Canyon as they were leaving and were quite friendly.

RunicWarrior and Compuart eventually returned but only to buy ice spikes for themselves and the three team members, if I had those, I could've joined them! I had already eaten as well. Oh well. Maybe next meeting of the minds huh. :P

Eventually, all five returned, and celebrations were in order. The five were soaking wet, and I was getting wet just sitting at the table since the place was leaking! The five orderd, and I had a side of onion rings since I was still hungry. We then headed back to Tucson after that.

We stopped at a gas station on the way back and it was snowing pretty hard, I was happy, and it was very refreshing as it snows rather rarely in London. I bought a packet of Gummi Bears, Some Gummi Worms and a 22oz Mountain Dew again. We stopped off again later, and I bought a packet of Butterfingers, because they used to be advertised by The Simpsons, as there are commercials on my Simpsons DVD's. (Nobody better lay a finger, on my butterfinger). But they tasted terrible and ended up throwing the entire packet away. Along the way, Runic wanted to play The Simpsons Game on my PSP, and used up the last of my battery power, it took him forever to get through the tutorial level the Land of Chocolate. :P

Wow! Chocolate, half price!
Mr. Gadsdon... Mr. Gadsdon...
Huh wha? I'm sorry we were talking about chocolate?
That was ten minutes ago!
Oh right,
We arrived in Tucson again and gave a few overviews on the things that transpired, what we enjoyed, what we weren't expecting and such and then went to our rooms where RunicWarrior and I discussed various stuff for a theme we're going to be working on.

We are experiencing some Godzilla related Turbulence

January 6, 2008
Well, the time has come, time to return home. We left for the airport after getting some breakfast at the same place we was at just six days earlier, and once again, I had buffet. I sat with RunicWarrior this time around as we weren't really talking about much.

At the airport, we checked in using the self check in, Compuart and I could have upgraded to First Class for $90 and it was really tempting, Runic couldn't upgrade because he didn't have the money. BlackMage was also with us, but it turned out that his flight was hours earlier, so he was on Standby for ours, luckily he got it, so I did the Final Fantasy Fanfare to celebrate. He was the only one to recognise it. Later on, akabugeyes showed up after having missed his flight, so he was headed to Chicago. His flight departed shortly before ours did.

Our Flight to Dallas Fortworth went off without many issues, and we said adios to BlackMage. RunicWarrior, Compuart and I wandered around Dallas Fortworth, found our gate to London Gatwick. Once we found that we headed off to Rest rooms and Duty Free where Runic bought a bottle of whiskey.... again.

Our flight to Gatwick board and took off again no issues, so our flights were the only ones not to have any problems. Thankfully. While on the plane, I tried to get some sleep, but was unable to so, I played The Simpsons Game, Sonic Rivals 2, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, listened to the music I had on my PSP and watched one of the in flight movies, The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause.

Welcome to London folks, local time is....... tomorrow.

January 7, 2008
We landed in Gatwick and I was home! Compuart and RunicWarrior still had another leg of their journey yet, thats an advantage I get for living in the city the airport is located in.

We quickly headed down to baggage claim and I gathered a cart, and like most carts these days, they needed a £1 coin to disconnect! Good thing I had one then. :P Our luggage came off quite quickly, and we went through to arrivals where my dad and my brother were waiting. I left RunicWarrior and Compuart to go to their next flights and I went with my dad and brother to the car.

Once in the car, my brother phoned my mum and she answered, I said "It's me" and starts screaming in my ear. I was then talking to my dad and brother about the trip, what happened and such. When I got home, I logged on to confirm to the team that we landed in Gatwick safely, early in fact, and then went to sleep in MY bed for the first time in just over a week.

And the rest is... as you say... history.

Gary M. Gadsdon
MotM Participant.