What I got out of Paris

I found a few nice French people but on the whole they were haughty, aloof and rude. I spoke with British, Finnish, Dutch and other tourists who felt the same way. The attitude seems to be that either one is French or one isn't French and if you are the latter you will be treated as a second class person.

If you eat at McDonald's in France and have wholesome natural beef hamburgers, fresh bread buns, fresh cheese, fresh French pastries and BEER you will NEVER enjoy an American McDonald's again!

Things that were closed: The Picasso Museum, the Egyptian wing at the Louvre, the catacombs.

There's a LOT of walking, which we expected, but to successfully traverse the Montmartre area you need to be part mountain goat. We did eat at the "Amelie" cafe in Montmartre and had creme brulee for dessert. It was cool that people can bring their dogs into restaurants.

The view from the top of the Arc D'Triomphe is absolutely stunning. The stairs to reach the top will kill you.

The value of whether or not to buy a Paris Museum Pass is up in the air. I guess I would say to go for it just to avoid having to stand in line at each museum to buy Yet Another Ticket.

I love cinema, but didn't feel the Cinema Museum was worthwhile.

Napoleon's apartment in the Louvre is a must see, but oddly several guidebooks fail to mention that it exists. The Louvre cafe is pricey but good. It cost 7.5 Euros for a slice of pizza which is ten dollars! We also discovered a British potato chip there that came in flavors such as Stinky Cheese with Onions, Roast Ox and Ham with Mustard.

Paris 2009 photos

My daughter is a better photographer than I am.
These are the few photos I took in Paris.

Just click "Paris 2009 photos" to be taken to my Picasa album.

I left my camera in our hotel room more often than I took it along.

The Louvre and Egypt

October 2009 the entire Egyptian wing at the Louvre, which is the largest collection of Egyptian objects outside of Cairo, is CLOSED.

Centre Pompidou and Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol's Elizabeth Taylor work was not on display due to an all woman art show being exhibited. So since Andy wasn't a woman they put his Elizabeth Taylor silkscreen into storage.

Yet another Paris disappointment. This is from our October 2009 trip.

The Paris Catacombs October 2009

CLOSED! No re-opening date was given.

We traveled across Paris to see the catacombs but they weren't open.

Netbooks in review

I finally bought a netbook based on 2 reasons:
One, Fry's had the Velocity micro NoteMagix M10 Netbook on a special price of $199 instead of its normal price of $349.
Two, I realized that I would rather travel lighter on my trip to Paris with a netbook (2.6 lbs) instead of my Dell D620 (5.74 lbs, using the 9 cell extended battery and the media bay battery).
This purchase led me into the wild and woolly world of netbooks.
First of all it seems that almost all netbooks have the same motherboard in common, using an Intel Atom CPU running at 1.6 GHz with 1 GB of DDR2 (sometimes DDR3) SODIMM for memory. For anyone wanting to go beyond Windows XP (the usual OS on netbooks) to Vista or Win 7, Toshiba's netbook can be upgraded to 2 GB and HP's can go to 3 GB.
There are usually 3 USB ports, VGA out, audio I/O and LAN RJ-45 connectors on most netbooks, as well as a webcam.
Battery life is 3 hours as a rule. Claims of 6 hours of battery life are from marketing people who don't actually own or use a netbook.
Wireless is universal on netbooks with B/G being standard. Some vendors such as Sony include N.
Standard hard drives are 160GB 5400RPM SATA although HP offers drives up to 250GB and SSD as well.
While most screens are 10.2 inches HP offers one (with HD no less!) at 11.6.
Graphics engines tend to be Intel GMA 950s, although HP has begun offering the Nvidia ION.
I will admit to being biased, but having seen 10 of these lined up at Fry's, Sony's looks the best and feels much more sturdier than all other vendors. Of course you pay the price, $500 for a Sony versus $350 for a similar notebook.
I'll report in the future on how I fare traveling with a netbook.