US Embassy Passport Services and Extra Pages


The Line for US Citizen services was much shorter when I was leaving

With the next trip less than three weeks away, I could no longer delay on getting new visa pages in my Passport.

The US Embassy’s website indicates that one can obtain new pages with a two week turnaround  by sending one’s passport by mail, which wasn’t going to work for me because getting my visa to go to China will take four days.

I rang Passport Services and learned that one may have Visa pages added same day if one shows up between 830-11 am and if one can evidence that the expedited service is necessary by providing a ticketed itinerary and evidence of a visa appointment at a Foreign consulate.

Today, I went for the new pages. Here’s how it all played out

New Pages!

0840: Arrival, place mobile phone collection into Embassy-provided plastic bag
0841: Commence queuing 
0945: Queuing Ends. Security Check.
0950: I am assigned number P36  by the security desk
0953: P36 is called to Window #1. I hand in my passport and am advised to take the bill for services over to Window #9. When I point out that there is no payment receivable, I learn that the receipt has to get to Window #9 somehow, and that way just happens to be yours truly.
0958: I make payment of 0 USD at Window #9 and receive my receipt. I feel wonderfully frugal.
0959: Waiting commences 
1020: Embassy-wide announcement of the discovery of a suspicious package in the mail room. The waiting masses are undaunted. No one leaves in fear of their lives. It seems that they all have concluded that the odds of death (minute) are better risked than the odds of needing to queue up again to get back in the room (highly likely).
1050: Waiting ends. P36 is called to Window #5. Passport returned, complete with snazzy new pages, which don’t match my Passport, strategically replaced right before the introduction of biometric requirements in 2005.

Now to get my travel visas…

I am an Ameristuff Mule


Yet another airport line!

In the spirit of my last posting, it seems worthwhile to note the many things I’ve ferried from the US to the UK.

Yes, I am also an Ameristuff Mule! This time, much like during my flight over, I have no haul because I was so busy working there was never any shopping time.

Anyway, here’s a list of items I have been asked to bring to the UK from the US over the past few years:

I am a Britstuff Mule


Newark, Ahoy!
My first name doesn’t fit on the ticket ..

As I find myself embarking on another trip to NYC, it occurs to me that there is another aspect to visiting home:

Being a Britstuff Mule.

This particularly comes to mind because this trip is such that unless you work at my office*and* are involved in the project that I’m resuscitating and expected to present on Thursday, I probably won’t see you. Thus, this is my first trip from London to the US *ever* where I’ve not had goods.

So, as I wait for take off, please enjoy this list of items I have been asked to bring to the US from the UK over the past few years. I’m sure this isn’t all of them…

(I’ve also included a photo of a haul from a 2007 business trip… that bedspread is the Ritz’s not mine!)

New Kitten! (soon)


This is a picture from her breeder…
Yes, her ears are supposed to be that big.

Things have been seemingly quiet here since the volcanic disruption, but really, we’ve just been having a bit of downtime in preparation for a busy summer.

It will busy summer that will include a kitten!

We chose her last weekend, and in the picture to the right, she is seven weeks old. We will travel to Norwich to meet her later in the month, and she will come home with us around the 12th of June.

New kitty (we’re not committing to a name until we’ve really met her) is a Cornish Rex, which is a breed with very short fur and generously sized ears. The breed is popular with allergy sufferers because the short hair makes for easier maintenance.

Expect a lot of kitten pictures in the near future. I may not be able to resist turning this into a website of full of them, but I’ll do my best. After all, we’ve got trips to take, roasts to eat, and much to snicker at.