I've been testing out the antarctic gear they give you/recommend. Interestingly, my standard Mpls coat is much heftier than the parka they provide. I suspect it will be colder here than there. I feel significantly better prepared for this expedition than your average cruise ship retiree from Florida. On the other hand, being the Guy From The Cold Place, I'd hate to underestimate the cold and be the one who needs another layer. So I'm packing a few extras that I hope I won't need, such as a heavier cap. Everyone says to travel light, which I usually do anyway. I'm bringing a second suitcase to hold all the electronic equipment (including a camera, 12 rechargeable batteries, battery chargers that will charge 12 batteries simultaneously, an international adapter etc), binoculars, messenger pouch, room for stuff I get on the way, etc etc.
This page has our Trip Itinerary. You can get daily updates by clicking on Daily Excursion Reports near the top of the page, then entering Month: November; Year: 200; Select A Vessel: National Geographic Endeavor. The trip hasn't begun, so none of our reports are up (showing a certain lack of predictive ability, but what the heck) and they don't promise timely reports every day.
I'm printing mailing labels that will (I hope) fit on postcards so the divers Chile/Argentinian/US post offices don't have to contend with my handwriting. I don't know how much time I'll have, or availability of post offices, but if anyone wants a post card from somewhere along the way send me a snail mail address. This means you asimovberlioz.
If anyone has any advice or places to visit along the way, let me know. minnehaha B has promised a couple of restaurant recommendations in Santiago, hint hint.
My major problem now is making sure I still have a voice. My normal shy reticent self has been talking a great deal, and loudly, about the trip. Ah well. I don't need to talk to penguins.
Quick review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a superb series entry. The fourth book is much longer than the first three, and the movie has to strain to fit it all in, which it mostly does -- Largely by skipping introductions and the boring muggle beginning. You're plunged into the story, which is fast moving and dark. Lots of black humor. Not for small children, but any kid who's read the books (and, presumably, seen the movies) will need to see it. On the Shockwave Radio Theater scale of 9 to 23, I give Goblet of Fire about a 20 if you've seen the first three movies: Add one if you've read the books; subtract two if you haven't seen the other movies or read the books.