Robert N Bowen

3D Modeling and Animation

Some photos from my trip…

I’m not exactly a shutter bug, but there were a few places that I wanted to show some stuff.  Once again, you don’t have to “listen” to me ramble on about how I feel about traveling, or hookers.  You’ll want to make the images big.  To do so, just click on it.  Clicking embiggens things.

This is the small one...

This is the small one...

This was taken as a series of images from the top of the Notre Dame Cathedral.

This was taken as a series of images from the top of the Notre Dame Cathedral.

In that last one, there’s kind of a strange “photomerge” artifact that doesn’t make sense visually.  I could fix it… but I’m on vacation, I think you can handle it.

This is Denis, the gent with whom I stayed in France's capitol.

This is Denis, the gent with whom I stayed in France's capitol.

I don’t want to give Denis’s full name, as I’m not sure his policy on his online existence.  I will say that he’s pretty damn cool though.  He worked on some Band of Brothers B-roll, and this was a photo taken of him while he was decked out in his “now I can be on screen” outfit.  He’s an Assistant Director, and for this project he directed crowds, which is much easier to do when you’re a part of them.  He gave me a map of Normandy that he used to navigate Normandy while on that project, since that’s where I was heading next.  There’s a good chance that this map was paid for by Steven Speilberg and Tom Hanks.  I don’t know what it is lately, but I keep meeting people that are or have been involved in things that interest me.  It started a few years ago with Alicia Keys (she’s not my favorite, but she is very good).  Anyway, back to the pics.

This is a bridge.  It's famous if you're in Prague, but I had never heard of it.

This is a bridge. It's famous if you're in Prague, but I had never heard of it.

This is... in... Prague.  I didn't label stuff well enough to know, so it looks like I'll be using the internet to put this back together.

This is... in... Prague. I didn't label stuff well enough to know, so it looks like I'll be using the internet to put this back together.

A cool view of one of three major churches right next to each other in downtown Prague.

A cool view of one of three major churches right next to each other in downtown Prague.

Time to go, so more pics should be arriving on the interwebs a bit later.

Posted 7 years, 9 months ago at 3:34 am.

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Back in Deutschland…

I think my most common thought since arriving back at my “home base” in Germany has been: I must come back to all of these amazing cities as soon as possible.  I’m also wondering how my cats will like traveling to Berlin for school if the whole “study in Berlin” thing doesn’t completely go up in flames.  Maybe I should start a preliminary apartment hunt right now.  Maybe I should just find some German House Frau, marry her, and move in.  Knowing me, that would never work.  I’m so reserved around women that I like that I would never be able to get to the point of moving in the next few months, but  I digress.

This place (Liam and Vanessa’s house) feels a lot more like home than trains and hotel rooms.  It’s nice to be back around some familiar faces, tell some stories that I haven’t already told a million times.  You can only say “Well, I was born in Colorado Springs, but I was a military brat, so I’m from everywhere” X many times in a week, where X = I’m sick of traveling alone… for now.  I actually want to do it again, which is strange considering what I felt like when I was in Carentan.  I just have to be smarter about where I go when alone.  I have to venture to the more major cities, hop on trains, do “free walking tours”, stay in hostels, etc.  I can understand now why some people think that isolation could be considered cruel and unusual punishment.  A few more days of that and I might be legitimately distraught, perhaps even depressed, and maybe even on the edge of going absolutely crazy.

The funniest thing that happened to me in Amsterdam:  While hoofing it through the city, I passed a couple of buildings with red lights in the windows. I wasn’t paying real close attention, I thought that they were porn stores, or lingerie shops, if which there are many in that city. While passing one girl in a window right next to me (who I thought was a mannequin) she moved. I was so startled that I jumped (and nearly peed myself). I think everyone around me got a kick out of that. It was pretty crazy.

Speaking of crazy, legal half naked hookers in windows are a weird thing to witness, and even weirder when they witness me.  There were girls, some of whom I would think of as “out of my league” (or at least not the kind of person I would expect to be attracted to me), basically telling me that they wanted me to screw them, like, in real life.  It gets stranger if you realize that this was not a ruse to mug me, or get a kidney or something.  They legitimately wanted sex.  They also wanted money. If they can get a guy to bring those two things to their door they would be quite pleased (though perhaps more pleased with the money).  So, yeah… weird.  None the less, it was an odd feeling to have a group of women so interested in me, despite the fact that I knew it was their job.

Let me put this in perspective for those of you who are neither me nor psychic.  I pretty much assume that any girl who hasn’t spent quite a bit of time with me is not interested in me romantically or sexually (they’re often not the same thing).  This may be an unrealistic perception, as I’m not a bad looking guy and have many positive traits, but this isn’t about reality, it’s about my perception of reality.  In my mind these are the only women who are truly interested in me without getting to know me, and that makes me feel like a sex object, though not exactly in a bad way.  Obviously, I didn’t take one of them into their bed for a “moment” (however you time it, it’s going to be a moment, they’re probably really good at getting guys out of there pretty quickly), but can’t say I didn’t like the attention.

What I need to take away from this is that it’s time for me to learn what a signal looks like when it’s coming from a real woman (sorry gals, but in my eyes if you’re a prostitute you offer a relationship as real as bugs bunny, all dolled up for “John” Fudd).  I’m smart enough to figure it out (with a crap ton of help and a lot of studying, mind you), and the reward might be generous.  Who knows, maybe I’ll meet “the one” (not Keanu Reeves, but his romantic female equivalent in the “Matrix” of my emotional core), and actually realize that she’s into me.  Wouldn’t that be nice?

Posted 7 years, 9 months ago at 2:24 pm.

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Many cities, and a few stories from each…

So, I “finished” Paris, not in the Mortal Kombat sense, but in that I left.  The more I see, the more I recognise that I can’t possibly be done visiting these places.  I need at least four days in most of these places that I’ve alloted myself one.

Paris was beautiful, but very expensive for a tourist.  I skipped the Eiffel Tower (because it was expensive), but did go to the top of the Notre Damme Cathedral.  It was absolutely stunning, and when I get back to my work laptop (in Berlin) I will upload some panoramic images I got.  There were a few other things I wanted to do, but this was a short, and now preliminary visit, so I don’t feel too bad.  I’ll be back.

Next was Carentan.  Carentan was a beautiful little town, and fascinating independent of its role in WWII.  I stayed for one night, and intended to find Brecourt Manor.  That never happened.  There’s really no transportation in that town if you haven’t rented a car (too expensive) or booked a tour (too expensive, and not enough warning).  Again, I will be back, and I will hire a guided tour.  One was recommended to me by a couple from California that I met on the train.  They liked their tour so well that they started hosting the guy’s website, and helped re-build his web page.

So that puts me in Amsterdam, where I am right now, in a cafe next to the Anne Frank house.  I walked for about 4 hours last night, backpack and all, looking for a room.  Arriving in Amsterdam on a Friday at 8:30 was probably not my best move.  I paid 114.14 Euros for the room (no breakfast, no WiFi), and felt like I was getting a deal.

Anyway, I just left the hiding spot for the Jewish families, and needed to plug in to get myself back to reality (strangely enough).  I had read the book in high-school, and thought it an interesting story.  It was sad, obviously, but being there made all the sad sit in front of you and stare.  I was about to lose composure (which for me is not all that special, since I cry at girl movies sometimes) when the tour ended and there was a multimedia presentation on which asked specific questions about where it’s appropriate to sacrifice our freedom of speech.  It was cool, and I’m sure is partially to recognise that publishing a girl’s diary is kind of an invasion of privacy.  That presentation put me back where I needed to be to face the world without an optical leak. 

I chose to leave my most interesting story about France at the end of this post, because I didn’t want people to think I didn’t like France because of this one event.  Anyway, I went to the Louvre.  It was pretty great, but some advice for the non-french speakers: There are two entrances, one is clogged with tourists, and you will wait  in line for quite some time if you go here.  The other entrance, called the lion entrance, rarely has a line.  Go to the main entrance.  The guys working the ticket counter at the lion’s entrance didn’t speak English, and I don’t speak French.  That shouldn’t be a huge problem, all I have to do is give them money, and all they have to do is give me a ticket. Plus I was the only one at the entrance, and it appeared that I was the only customer they had seen for a few minutes, so they will be polite and patient. That’s not what happened.  I tried to use the tiny tiny bit of French I learned to get a ticket.  They elected not to use their English to help me get a ticket, but instead wanted to know if I “had a problem?” (which they asked me in English).  I said no, not realizing that the two men at the ticket counter were angry, and about to unleash a mixture of French and English insults at me.  They told me that I was in France, and didn’t understand French, which was true, but then made a series of judgements about these facts that left me wondering how the fuck these guys got jobs working at an entrance to an art museum.  I could have totally understood their sentiment if I had been visiting a library, or a museum of French literature, but that’s not the Louvre.  I always thought of art as wonderful because it *doesn’t* require language to understand.  Anyway, I didn’t know what to do, so I just paid the guy, and said “merci” over and over.  They ended our engagement by mocking me for not saying “ou revuios” (or however it’s spelled).  If their intentions were to discourage me from learning their language, they succeeded.  I don’t care to talk to those two gentlemen ever again.  I still kind of want to learn some French though.  It’s a beautiful language when not used by ignorant brutes.

I think I’m going to head back to Berlin tonight.  I’m out of clean clothes, and being alone is starting to wear on me.  I’m a loner by nature, but being completely surrounded by people with whom I cannot reliably converse is very lonely, and I don’t want to do it anymore.  I’m going to see if I can get in touch with Anna (Vanessa’s friend in Berlin) and chill with her for a day, before Liam and Vanessa get back from their stay up in El Dorado (they’re actually working this weekend, El Dorado is a theme park in the north owned by Vanessa’s father).  They should be back Monday, so if worse comes to worse, I’ll just have another day to tour Berlin all by my lonesome.  If I could, I would try to spend the day with a girl I met in Munich (she was in Berlin, last I talked to her), but I think she’ll be getting herself ready to head back to Canada (she flies out on Sunday, I think).  She was awfully cool, and if I can help it, I’ll keep in touch with her.

Posted 7 years, 9 months ago at 6:22 am.

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First Day in Paris…

My first day in this city was definitely a win, especially considering that I arrived on a train in the morning and got to the top of the Notre-Dame Cathedral and saw (almost all of) the free walking tour.  Special thanks go out to Denis, the gentleman who is hosting me in Paris, and Michelle, who told me to go to the ND bell-tower before doing anything else.

Many of you will think I’m crazy for having done this, but I walked from the east train station to the cathedral.  It took a long time, and made my feet unhappy.  Given all the walking that I’ve been doing lately, and the weight that I’ve chosen to cary while doing so, I should be eating way more junkfood.  I think that may be on the plan for tomorrow.

Also, Chuck would be proud of the following: I drank an entire beer (it was only a little gross, but I finished it because I wanted to be polite), and I ate a French dish made almost exclusively from Mushrooms (it was not gross, it was actually quite good, despite my unchanged assertion that Mushrooms are solid evil).  Don’t ask me to do either of those things when I get back stateside.  I will tell you “no”.

Posted 7 years, 9 months ago at 3:28 pm.

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In Munchen…

It’s supposed to have an umlaut above the “u”, and beyond that I’m still not sure if it’s spelled correctly here. If you don’t speak Deutsch then the name looks awfully funny.  It’s not pronounced how you think it is, it actually sounds somehow the opposite of the goofy word you’re thinking. Anyway, it looks like I have a truncated day to spend in this city, sooooooo… I guess I’ll do something fun! I’ve seen Neuschwanstein, so I may have to skip that.  I’ve seen Dachau, so I’m definitely not going there.  I guess I’ll just figure out what’s left, and do the “I’m a broke American” tour, despite not actually being broke.

 

I met a bunch of people (all from a different sometimes European countries) right before getting on the train from Prague to Munich, and they were all super cool. One girl was from Montenegro, and was really cool.  She was kind of a sarcastic practical jokester, so if you know me you know that we got along just fine. There was another gent in our car; not in the same group as the girl from Montenegro; who showed me to a hostel (kind of an expensive one).  That was incredibly helpful, and it eased my mind to know that someone familiar with the area could show me to a bed. Maybe I will see them again some day. Probably not, but it’s a small world, which reminds me of something that happened right before leaving Prague.

 

I was at the train station, trying to figure out how to get both Roma and Paris to remain in my itinerary (in vain), and I heard some very “American” sounding voice.  I looked up from my map thinking, “Ohh, maybe I can say hi to a fellow countryman visiting Prague”, when I see Joel Horton.  I stared at him for a minute thinking “that’s not Joel, because I’m in Prague, and Joel is definitely not in Prague”.  Turns out that Joel is in Prague, and it was his mother’s voice that I was hearing.  Joel and I chatted for about 10 minutes, I gave him all of my crowns because when I first arrived in the Czec city I wandered the train station for about 20 minutes trying to get change to use the toilette. After talking for a moment, Joel and the Horton clan headed out… and then he came back for another 10 minutes and we chatted some more.  It was cool. I guess that’s all I have to say about that, accept that maybe, by some small coincidence I might see any of the amazing people who I’ve met on the European Rail system.  I just have to keep my eyes open.

Posted 7 years, 9 months ago at 2:06 am.

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Are you sick of my writing?

Then let me provide some more images.  Images with very little text.

This is what your public buildings can look like of you charge 40% tax.

This is what your public buildings can look like of you charge 40% tax.

This is called the Brandenburger Tor.  I have no idea why it’s there, or what “tor” means, because I’m too cheap to pay for a tour, and my friends (the ones with whom I am staying) are at work.  Stupid work.

Brandenburger Tor! Yay!

Brandenburger Tor! Yay!

Vanessa said that this was the German equivalent of the White House.  I’m pretty sure she’s wrong, and it’s actually the German equivalent of Parliament, but whatever.  It’s a cool building.  They rebuilt the dome on top because they decided it was time that government had a little more transparency.  I think more countries should follow suit.

Old buildings are cool.

Old buildings are cool.

Here’s some more Engrish:

Hehe... Bad Saarow... German words are funny in English.

Hehe... Bad Saarow... German words are funny in English.

If you were to turn around you would see a train station, and if you were to investigate the building with goats in the yard you would find someone’s house (being renovated).  I just thought it was funny, so I’ve chosen to share.

OMGOATS!

OMGOATS!

I think that may be as many images as you need today.  I’m going to go play now!

Posted 7 years, 9 months ago at 11:04 am.

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Avienda got tumped…

The parents left me alone with her in the back yard.  We had a great time, until… Dun dun DUUUN, I turned a corner too fast when she was riding in the back of the toy dump truck and she took a spill.  She was sad because she bumped her head.  I was sad because crying babies fail to entertain me the way laughing ones do, and it was entirely my fault that she was crying (that’s the man-geek way of saying that it broke my heart).  Luckily her mother showed up mere moments after the crash, and she was almost instantly better, as babies often are.  Now she’s being consoled with a nap, and I’m consoling myself with dark chocolate with hazelnuts.  My ass doesn’t need hazelnuts.  It’s huge. Seriously… huge.

Posted 7 years, 9 months ago at 9:29 am.

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I miss my kitties…

This is photographic evidence that cats are better than dogs.  I was trying to get a shot when she had her spine in a complete 3/4 circle, but she moved when I approached.

Among the best kitties in the world, and she's all mine.

Among the best kitties in the world, and she's all mine. HAHAHAH!

Posted 7 years, 9 months ago at 7:54 am.

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Some Castle in Pottsdam…

It’s the university in the area, and it’s called Sanssouci, which I believe means “Without Tears”.  It was built as a summer home for King Louis the somethingth, because he didn’t have enough summer homes, and clearly didn’t have enough statues.  Srsly.  Statues are freaking everywhere.  You could close your eyes, spin, open your eyes, and see more statues than… I don’t know… dirt.  Here are some pictures proving that these strangers were there:

This is the short side of the building...

This is the short side of the building...

This I think is the front...

This I think is the front...

And this is the back, plus the building behind...

And this is the back, plus the building behind...

The number of statues in this area is ridiculous.  If you haven’t realized this already, every small dark column on the silhouette of these buildings is another statue.  Many of them appear to be actual people, so a historian would have a field day in these fields (I think I’m funny).  They all look like the classic old portrait sculptures though, so you probably couldn’t really determine what they look like.  The facial shapes were often sort of a Mr. Potato-head on the same simplified old roman head shape.  This was obviously not a place where Michelangelo sculpted.

Posted 7 years, 9 months ago at 8:55 am.

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Engrish happens in Deutshland too!

Well, the first one’s not Engrish, but it’s still pretty goofy.  I won’t tell you why these are funny.  I think you may be able to figure it out all by your lonesome.

Nasi GorengThai Massage

Posted 7 years, 9 months ago at 3:51 am.

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