Ohiopyle State Park

fayette county paSeries: Attractions of Pennsylvania

I'm really behind the eight ball in getting my "Attractions of Pennsylvania" written up about, but hopefully you enjoy this one from November of last year!

Ohiopyle

A few years ago, a close friend invited me to dinner at his parents' house, in suburbs east of Pittsburgh. We floated a few ideas for different activities near the area, including a visit to Ohiopyle, but due to time constraints and other reasons, just ended up hanging out at the Greensburg Mall.

Sans automobile, I didn't have an easy way to go to Ohiopyle myself, and so I never went.

A few years later, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I made arrangements to meet another friend in Ohiopyle, back in November. I drove five minutes away from Fallingwater, pulled into the visitor's center parking lot, and was immediately blown away.

Ohiopyle Falls
Ohiopyle Falls

And, also, I was quite miffed that it had taken me so many years to visit this amazing place.

Believe me, the mall cannot compare.

Mirth in Maastricht (2018)

travelnetherlandsMaastrichtrealizationsSeries: Western Europe 2018

In this post, I finally explain why I decided to write about some random, fairly spontaneous travel to Western Europe in 2018. Bear with me.

Maastricht, the Dutch city that is the subject of this post.
Maastricht, the Dutch city that is the subject of this post.

Here's a quick recap. In 2018 I went on an impromptu work trip to Berlin, which was extended at the last minute to Aachen, Germany. This was stressful, but fun.

(If you want, you can read the previous posts in this series for more context. Otherwise, the next paragraph serves as a condensed recap.)

My boss gave me a few extra days off before I returned to the United States, so obviously I wanted to take advantage. My goal was to hit up some cool places and stuff.

I got some travel recommendations from colleagues, and picked a few of them to visit.

The first was Maastricht, Netherlands.

Low-Flying Hawks and the Onset of Winter

life updates

I haven't written anything along the lines of a "life update" since August, I think, so it's time to remedy that.

The truth is, I had a lot to look forward to coming into the Fall. I decided to actually go on a nice solo backpacking trip, and made a couple of plans for socially-distanced meetups with friends -- some of which actually came to fruition. But after that, at times I felt like I had little left to do but to wait out the rest of the year, and ride out the increased cold, darkness, loneliness, boredom and isolation that winter would bring. (I don't think I minced words with those adjectives.)

The truth is that the last few months have been much better than I was expecting. And no, not just because of birds.

One in the tree, one in the aire

Kennett Classic: A Vintage Computer Museum

history of computingmuseumschester countykennett squareSeries: Attractions of Pennsylvania

The Donner 3500 analog computer from 1959, used for analyzing audio spectra
The Donner 3500 analog computer from 1959, used for analyzing audio spectra

Kennett Square, Pennsylvania is a town best known for mushrooms. South of the town center, there are numerous mushroom farms, which lovingly spread a distinct aroma of the manure used as fertilizer.

The less aromatic town center of Kennett Square has many amenities, such as giftshops, books stores, and so forth. To my surprise, it also has a shop and museum dedicated to the history of computing, which opened in January of this year.

Its full name is "Kennett Classic – Vintage Computing Gallery and Giftshop." It's free to visit, and home to a lot of really cool, historically valuable devices.

During my visit, co-founder Bill Dengan was more than happy to chat about the collection and visitors' interest in computing more broadly. He was also more than happy to demo any of the computers, including an Atari 2600, on which a young visitor enjoyed a game of Frogger.

As Bill explained, the gallery highlighted the growth of personal computing, from Korean War-era technology, to developments that enabled computers to enter people's homes, and become something more usable and desirable.