Day 14 was nothing spectacular: the usual work thing and in the evening the folks down here took us out to an excellent sushi place. Can't remember the name (it's only a couple of blocks from our south campus) but the atmosphere was very homely and sushi excellent and plentiful. Thanks, guys!
Today we planned to go out and play with Jüri and Bertrand in their hilariously large rental car. It's a Mercury Grand Marquis and a quite new one. The fake wooden inserts! The uncovered wires leading to rear screen heating! The ancient green lighting and only a little younger buttons on the dashboard! I have heard, that American cars are poor on packaging but this was just ridiculous. The car is actually bigger than a long wheelbase 7 series BMW (5361 vs. 5179 mm) but has no more legroom in the back than a 5er. How do they do that? Also, I'm highly suspicious of cars I can push down 10 centimeters with one hand and that have bumpers that actually bend while I do so.
Anyway, we started off to a place called Fry's that was literally jaw-dropping. It's the single largest electronics store I have ever seen, roughly the size of a really big supermarket back at home. Very good selection, too. However, they didn't have, and apparently did not know of, the IR-blaster thing I was looking for (allows your media center to control an external device via its infrared sensor). What they did have was an xbox 360 with Guitar Hero running on it and I was instantly hooked. Hooked, I tell you! They also had Lego Mindstorm but I could carry myself out of the place before forgetting the size of my luggage and the limit of my credit card.
After that, it was back to the cool photography store I had discovered and after finding out that stuff actually costs 30% less than in Tallinn, severe shopping was done. Excellent.
Next item on the agenda: Mythbusters. Finding their address was easy (do your own googling, will you?) and getting there was a toddle thanks to the Garmin device Avis had given to the guys (not the hideous Motorola I wrote about earlier, must check it out). We got there, I took the camera and... no CF card. Checked the bag, no CF card wallet either. Damn. This is just me: you go off for a day full of photography and you forget all of your media. Jüri had been more considerate and I hope I will get a picture of me and the M5 Industries logo. From the moment on, me and Bertrand shared a quest to find compact media (he had just bought a camera) which we completed at Ritz Camera on Market street completely blowing my photography budget in the process.
By that time, our adventures had made us hungry, the next stop was for some steak (Joe's Grill, near Union Square. Questionable service, questionable prices, questionable steak, not recommended). After we had finished, it promptly started to rain heavily. Which destroyed my hope for photography and the need for that 2 GB Lexar card I had just purchased. Oh well, you can't have too much storage these days. We headed back to base.
Decided to spend the evening at the movies. Hot Fuzz was supposed to be good and, guided by google, I ended up at Century Berryessa 10. Admittance cost reasonable $10 (wee bit cheaper than in Tallinn, would not dare to compare standard of living, though) the medium-sized popcorn was humongous and so was the mid-size coke. The movie itself was a mediocre one. Good old English language, good old English countryside, a tad weak storyline and some good action sequences. Good laugh, though.
Tomorrow I'll be off to Tallinn. I do think I will find time for some closing thoughts during my 8-hour stay in London but you never know. Seeya!
P.S. Some idiot has started posting spam into the comments here, will switch moderation on.