Yes, we just got back from 16 days in France. Yes, we took a lot of photos. Yes, we have a lot to write about. And yes, we’re behind on putting these up.
Our trip in France lasted 16 days, and we obviously ate a lot of French food. Which was wonderful, but it’s time for a rest. So today I ate Mexican food for the third day in a row.
Mentioned in the lead paragraph of that NYTimes article is the spreadsheet which Rochelle put together prior to our trip to France in 2002. Since publication we’ve actually had people inquire about getting access to it, so I thought I’d put it online. Some background will help you make the most of it.
About a year ago, I was sitting in a bar, and listened to one fellow trying to impress his table companions by making a sophisticated tequila order. He was having more than a little trouble, because he couldn’t remember the brand of any quality tequila except Patron. The waiter was trying to help, but he was using tequila terms correctly, and the customer just had no clue. He eventually managed to order “Patron Gold” (there is no such thing), and as the server walked away, he said to his companions “that guy doesn’t know shit about tequila.”
Two years ago, Rochelle and I attended a champagne tasting held at Absinthe, and hosted by Terry Theise, a specialty wine importer. He introduced us to “grower producers,” or, champagnes made by the same people who grow the grapes. It was eye opening, and we immediately decided our next big vacation would be to the Champagne region of France.
So, getting ready for our trip, Rochelle was going to Xerox our passports, so we would have copies, just in case. I was in the tub, and she went to get mine. A minute later, she came down the hall, laughing, “A ha, Michael is a dumbass!” It turns out my passport expired on 30 April 2003. Oops. We had exactly 18 hours to figure out what to do.
Rochelle and I have a thing we call the “stupidity tax.” It’s where you pay more money than you should, for a really dumb reason. My most common stupidity tax is forgetting to send in rebate forms. Last week I paid the stupidity tax three times.
Managing your own e-mail server is a pain in the ass. There’s no two ways about it, when you want to take control of your own network infrastructure, you increase the complexity of the systems you manage, and you greatly increase the consequences of screw-ups. So if it’s hard work, and screw-ups mean you lose important messages, why would anyone want to run and manage their own e-mail server? For me it’s all about spam and viruses.
We just ate cheese for dinner. Four really fucking good cheeses, air shipped to us from France. Rochelle read about Fromages.com in the New York Times, and talked Hilda into splitting a shipment with us. Our selection arrived this morning.
Photos of our meal from Gerard Boyer are up in the photos section. This was the best meal of our trip to France, and the most expensive. We both had the fixed price lunch of the day, with the only difference being our desserts.
Latest photos from France (yes, I’m still working on this), of the stone markers used to indicate which fields belong to which houses. We passed hundreds of these while driving in the countryside around Reims and Epernay.
I’ve been beavering away on setting up a new server, to replace the temporary server I set up to replace the machine that died while we were in France. This weekend will probably be the big swap, where I copy all the data from the old server to the new. The new server will be a _lot_ more quiet, because that’s my new Big Thing.