A friend pointed out that I’ve been pretty awful about updating this blog. Part of that can be attributed to my being busy, and certainly part of it to sheer laziness. But there’s a part of me that isn’t willing to write a blog entry just to keep the RSS wires humming. I mean, my life is great, but I’m pretty sure it’s not all that interesting to the outside observer. And I’m not a good enough writer to make a trip to Tesco fascinating reading. 
Anyway, I spent the last 24 hours in London working, and that seemed to be sufficient material to justify an entry. It’s been in this last year, since we returned to Isle of Man, that I’ve experienced an “odd” sensation in London. Specifically, a sense of actually knowing where I am. I remember coming up from the Oxford Street tube one day, and thinking, “Okay: east – and Tottenham Court Road – is that way; west – Hyde Park and Edgware Road – is that way.” And my next thought was, “Wow. How cool is that? I didn’t have to look at a map to know where I was in London.”
I think it’s that subtle shift from “tourist” to “visitor” that feels good. Just the way I felt when I realized I knew where Virginia route 603 would come out at Troutdale; I wasn’t a resident, but I was more than passing through.
Anyway, that understanding of London has gradually grown, and, like a jigsaw puzzle, the small pieces have hooked together to form larger pieces. Which brings me to this morning, when I looked at Google Maps to consider walking from my hotel in Leicester Square back to Victoria Station, where one gets the train to Gatwick Airport. It was just 1.4 miles in chilly but sunny weather.
The path also had the pretty cool feature of taking me along St. James Park and right past Buckingham Palace (and one billion tourists). I had jotted down the various turns, but as I went, I thought, “Heh – I don’t need my crib sheet – I know how to get there.”
Does this make me cool? No, it makes me really lucky. My job at PokerStars has given me a ton of gifts, not the least of which has been the opportunity to see a great deal of the world and actually become a bit familiar with a few exotic (to Americans) parts of it. So here’s the visual tour, right down to the Krispy Kreme (headquarters: Charlotte, North Carolina, USA) at Victoria Station.
Seriously, who’s luckier than me? 
 Brad Willis is that good a writer, but he also has the head-start of two young boys mixing a charm and chaos cocktail.
 NB for the grammar nits: I researched this. “Luckier than I” or “Luckier than me” is an ongoing battle between “conjunctionists” and “prepositionists”. There are arguments on both sides, but at least one leading grammarian says that both are “standard”. I picked “luckier than me” because it sounded less stilted to my ear, which is my preferred judge.