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Journal Journal: Geek Girl's Back from Scotland 3

Note: This is a copy from my story at FortKnox's web site.


  Well, I'm back from my 8,000+ round trip [from Scotland]. I'm here to answer your questions from last time.

Note: The photos aren't developed yet. Here's a Google Image Search of the Isle of Skye. It's a island shortly off the coast of Scotland.

I think the biggest question on everyone's mind is "When do we get another geek girl chronicle!!!".

I'm trying to do these weekly from now on. Wish me luck!

My fiancee and myself want to visit Europe in about two years, please let us know what the current 'security' and travel issues you encounter are like and how you dealt with the annoying stuff.

Wow. Where do I begin? Well, first of all, use common sense: Stay calm, stick together, get to the airport early.

Now for the unusual stuff:

1) Carry your passport at all times in the airport. People may stop you in line, or you may be like my friend who got separated from the group. She got pulled into a small room and searched. It's easiest to carry it in an easily accessible pocket, so you can "whip it out" whenever necessary.

2) "Random checks" aren't very random. The airport searchers may be targeting a specific profile. At the London airport, all of the Americans went through the uh, "random" check at different points. Nervous people in my group nearly always had to go through more thorough searches than the rest of us. Sometimes it looks like they were looking for certain profiles. For example, I saw a lot of girls in their midtwenties with black shirts being pulled out of line and searched for drugs. Now, the profiles probably change often, but perhaps you should take that into consideration.

3)Slip-on shoes are nice. Sometimes people want to look inside your shoes or X-Ray them. Slip-on shoes or loafers would make this process easier.

4)Avoid carrying electronic devices as much as possible. You're going to be asked a lot of questions when you return to the states, and having electronic devices will give investigators more questions to ask you. Being questioned is not fun.

5)You will probably be treated like crap. My friend told me she felt "violated" when she was pulled into a small room to be questioned. Of course, she separated from the group, and she was a lone American in a foreign airport. So I can understand why they viewed her suspiciously. I was treated better, partially because of my common sense, but mainly because my dad has a fairly high rank in the US government. (They treated me unusually well when they saw my passport. Guess my dad's status was listed on there.) So unless you luck out like I did, expect to be treated rather coldly. Just try to fly below the radar, and security will be a more comfortable experience.

What was your favorite scotch ale? Did it frustrate you not being able to buy export strength? Was there a noticeable 'smoke' or 'peat' taste?

I only tried 1 scotch ale, one that is only brewed on the Isle of Skye. That's the island where I stayed. Interestingly enough, it smelled like the odor of burning peat. It was a dark ale with a rich flavor, but I remember the peat smell the most.

Did ya get to see any of the castles? They're s'posed to be pretty impressive. For that matter, did you get any sightseeing in?

I saw a few castles, and they're really cool! I even saw the Loch Ness and its castle. But what most impressed me about Scotland was its black mountains, fresh air, and pure water. Such indescribably beautiful landscapes.

Note: The photos aren't developed yet. Here's a Google Image Search of the Isle of Skye. It's a island shortly off the coast of Scotland.

I think I want to be a mountain climber as a hobby. When I hiked up very steep hills, I had to grasp the peat and take it one step at a time. I couldn't think of the climb above me or the fall below. All I could do was focus on the present moment. After I reached my climbing goal, then I could congratulate myself on my progress, and then I could set my goal on the next hill. It was intense focus, yet strangely relaxing. It's like the clarity you get on a good caffeine high or right after you take your Ritalin. Too bad I could only hike and wistfully stare at the mountains. Next time I go to Scotland, I want to climb them!

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Adventures of Girl Geek, Episode II: Gay Is Bad? 17

For all their claims of being individuals, my guy geek friends seem to share one conformist fear: Being gay.

My say? Gay is good. Gay is happy. (I'm straight, but I'm accepting.) Maybe the fear comes from living in the Bible Belt. My boyfriend tells me that if a guy is perceived as gay, he is looked down upon. He loses status in the pack. He is weak, effeminate, and deserves to be harassed.

Case in point: A person in the pack admitted the other day he was exhausted and would like to take a nice, hot bath.
Gay alert! BATHS? REAL MEN SHOWER! Instant shun. No namecalling. Just snickering, subtle jokes. Isolation. Nothing terrible, but there, nonetheless.

Problem is, my good friend is gay and he is stronger, more handsome, more popular, more charismatic, and can get more women than any of my straight friends. And frankly, he can physically kick all of their asses with ease.

So I find this immature, ignorant, and stupid. I usually understand men (better than I do other women) but this stumps me. Is this some young twenty-something phase? Do most men have this fear? You men got some 'splainin' to do.

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Journal Journal: The Adventures of Girl Geek! Episode I 2

I recently looked at a Slashdot poll that said 95% of Slashdotters are men. (I know the polls aren't accurate, but wow! 5% female??? I thought there were less of us here! ;)) So anyway, I thought some of you may be curious about life on the other side. What are women like, why some of us are geeks, sex, college (Oh yeah, I'm in college!), Buddhism, Christianity, politics, current events, my ethnicity, other random observations, etc.

Oh, in case you were wondering, I'm committed to another geek. But that probably won't stop some of you from trying to pick me up. f people ask any questions I'll answer them if and when I feel like it. So make them good. This episode is meant to be short, introductory in nature and doesn't really contain a story. Mainly because I have 2 Perl projects, 1 HTML (sad but true) assignment, and 3 tests next week.

All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy.