Oct. 23rd, 2008 10:02 am
ljplicease: (лена и грэм)

Just spent two weeks with my girlfriend лена in New Jersey and New York. It was wonderful. I met her family and friends, and she met my friends, most of whom still live in New York state. We are still trying to workout the whole future thing, although I'm confident that we can work things out. The shitty economy stateside is decidedly not helpful.

This is what a jerk I am. When I was in the Hudson Valley we went on a hike where the fall colour was in full force and my friend Brad said something like “This beautiful colour is our reward for having to live through the cold hard winter”, to which I responded reflexively “Speak for yourself, I'm going to the beach!”. Yay for Australia being awesome. Only, wait for it, then I started repeating this story over and over for people who were actually going to have to live through the winter in New York this year (which in my defense I had to do six times). The awesome thing about my friends is they still like me anyway.

It's weird now though because just a week ago the trees were all red and yellow and some of them were on the ground and walking to work today they were green again and fastened tightly to the trees. And to be honest, it isn't warm enough yet to go to the beach (karma). How can two places so far apart seem like home.

ljplicease: (Exploding Brad Photograph)

Cairns, Day 1

Day 1 of Cairns actually started at 4:00am in Sydney. We took the red-eye to Cairns, which required getting the very first train into the city from Artarmon. e can attest that flying makes me grumpy. Flying on no sleep doubly so.

btw- I would like to thank e for still being my friend after having to fly with me :P

After checking in and checking out the resort, we took a taxi into town and had over priced sea food. The view was nice, but I vowed that I would not spend $30 on bad food again this trip. I can eat five or six times for that much usually... and it’s better.

Cairns, Day 2

Quicksilver cruise to the Great Barrier Reef where we went snorkeling. This was, for me, the highlight of the Cairns trip, as I had not been snorkeling since the last time I was in Cairns which was about 15 years ago! Still the whole experience left me feeling that I had been hermetically sealed from reality. I think it would have been better to have gotten a smaller boat that didn’t go out so far and spent more time snorkeling.

Cairns, Day 3

The third day we did smallish bus tour around areas south of Cairns. Our tour guide was obviously a local bloke who was highly entertaining. I often wish I could sound Australian like that. We got to see some of the devastation which Cyclone Larry had brought in March of last year. We also got to see this crazy water soluble castle in the tropics, which I think I mentioned in a previous post.

Cairns, Day 4

Our last day in Cairns involved a train ride up to Kuranda, which was lame, followed by some tourist shopping, a so-so meal and the “sky rail” back down the mountain. Sky rail is a fancy name for a gondola. The Gondola was pretty cool way to see the forest, especially since there were two stations to stop at and take a look around, but not worth the hefty price tag.

Then we went to Djabugay World (or whatever it was called), which was a little park dedicated to presenting local indigenous culture to tourists. There was nothing new here for me, except for actually being shown how to throw a boomerang by a true native. I was kind of nervous, but with all the other white people behind a net I made a pretty good throw and it did actually come back to my approximate vicinity.

For dinner we had really nice fish and chips. Actually I had prawn cutlets. There were of course too many chips. There seems to be a correlation between the quality of sea food and the amount of chips. The best fish and chip places seem to have way too many chips. They had fresh sea food in the window (which you can also buy to take home and cook), which also seems to be the mark of a good fish and chips place.

Melbourne, Day 1

After fish and chips we flew to Melbourne and arrived today at 12:30am. Slept in, then I went looking for film. I got to know Melbourne a little better. I haven’t been here since 1999. I have to say, for the whole Sydney/Melbourne rivalry, that Melbourne is a pretty cool city. This is definitely the sort of place that I could live if I knew anyone or if I landed an awesome job here.

All of this, despite the fact that I was born in Sydney and thusly should be biased in favour of Sydney. Sydney does, however, have much better beaches, the opera house and the bridge, so I think I will stick with Sydney for now.

Then the kids went down to see the penguin parade. I wasn’t much interested in seeing penguins so I stayed in the city to check out things here on my own.

I am a big fan of the city circle tram which is free and uses these really old looking trams. I don’t know why, but I really have a thing for old stuff. I have always been a big fan of the old Sydney ferries, even though newer ferries would probably be safer, despite not looking as cool.

So far...

So that is where we are so far. I still have three days in Melbourne, although the last day is only a half day. Then we are back in Sydney and my friends will be headed back for the states. It’s been really wonderful having them visit. I’ve done a bunch of things that I wouldn’t ordinarily do, and I’ve gotten to know Australia a little better.

I am ready for more visitors, so book your tickets today!


Oct. 29th, 2006 10:42 pm
ljplicease: (window to decay)

This morning I was talking to e on the phone, and she told me that after seven months down under I “have a slight accent.” This made me happy, although I doubt I would fool any Australians. This and the call directly proceeding it to Joe (to plan Project NYE2006, wherein my friends are coming to visit), was the first time I had talked to anyone in America since I got here. I finally bought myself a calling card, and it costs me like 4¢ a minute, which is less than it used to cost me to make a long distance call in the US. That is shocking.

Australians no longer sound that odd to me. I expect when I go back to the states that Americans will be the ones to sound odd. Not my friends though. e and Joe don’t count because they just sound like e and Joe, not like Americans, since I know them well. It’s only American strangers that I expect to sound funny.

Today I went to the coast and took a walk along the ocean. It was nice, and it sort of reminded me of February 2005, when I came to Australia for a visit and had this strong desire to just stay after spending a few days in Sydney and Collaroy by the beach. Although now I have a bit of a sunburn, which is no good.


Aug. 16th, 2006 06:38 am
ljplicease: (Blue Self)

Here is an old photo that reminds of the days when I would get up earlyto capture the morning light. Brrr. I think it was cold that morning!


Today, in contrast was quite nice! Weather wise I mean.

Today was the farewell lunch for Rory (not sure about the spelling), which I was sort of not looking forward to on account of having to be social and stuff, but it actually went pretty well. After ordering my lunch at the bar I got to the tables reserved for us, and all of the seats were taken at tables that had people so I had to colonize a new table. Sitting alone in a group like that is pretty disturbing, especially if you are mildly socially phobic antisocial. Some office folk with mildly recognizable faces came over to my table shortly after and introduce themselves. I think I talk too much in those situations. I can't think of anything to say so all sorts of irrelevant stuff starts to regurgitate without my thinking about it. I had this theory that it would be easier to deal with my shyness in a place other than New York, and I think I was right, or maybe I'm just getting older and more able to deal with this stuff.

Ah, but the really good news is that Cicely, Joe and (allegedly) Brian[1] are coming out to visit for New Years Eve! NYE is, quite simply, the best time of year to be in Sydney, and Sydney is, quite simply, the best place to be for NYE. I was just thinking this morning that I really love Sydney and I am fairly certain that Sydney is the greatest city on earth (no offense to my friends in New York, which I also adore), but of course I miss my friends! I am super excited about having some friends out and being able to show them around and hang out with my friends.

Yesterday my new 23" Apple HD monitor arrived and I am using it right now. It looks really good. It's a new toy that is yet another reason for me to despise the inferiority of my work equipment. My friend e was telling reminding me that most places are like "that" ... and she's right to an extent (but at least she can IM from work!), but I think I will continue to complain about work anyway. It beats complaining about my personal life!

Not much else to report.

  1. I say allegedly, because he said we was "for sure" going to come to Salt Lake for at least one of those ski trips that I organized, but he waited till the plane ticket prices were astronomical


May. 3rd, 2006 08:42 pm
ljplicease: (pixel2)
Everytime I see an ad for Inspector Rex on SBS, I think of Jack, who may not fight crime, but he's still awesome. Ahh yes, those were the days; I'd go hiking with e and Jack in the New Jersey hinterland. The fresh air... the fun ruins... the bugs...
ljplicease: (Timing Zone)
I am now in Sydney, finally. I had a fun weekend in LA with Tyler. We did all the usual kind of stuff, except when we were playing video games I was getting a professional tour.

I had originally wanted to go to San Francisco and see Joanna and Padraic as well, but I needed a lot more time in Salt Lake to finish things up in America than I thought. Hopefully I will be able to see them on my next visit to America. It doesn't seem strange to talk about "my next visit to America," at least, not yet.

There is a wonderful view of the opera house and the bridge from our apartment. When I get a faster Internet connection I will post some pictures. Right now we are using some kind of neighborhood wireless connection which is real slow and tends to cut out from time to time.

The company my friend Mike works for just got bought by google[1], so now I know someone who works at google. They were already working closely with google, but I think this will be even better.

More later.

ljplicease: (street)
Next Friday I'm flying to LAX. I have seven days to wrap everything up. Beyond that is the unknown. While Brad and Sherry were out here, they told me that my mum was really nice (response: I'm partial to her). My mum told me that my friends were really nice and that I had chosen well (response: I didn't really choose them; they chose me).


Feb. 4th, 2006 07:01 am
ljplicease: (building beacon)

I'm now in Omaha, Nebraska. I read that this was the largest city in Nebraska, but from what Kathy had been telling me all these years, I half expected it to be a pub with three cows parked out in front. It is, however, a fairly large city. I drove through five states yesterday. Most of which I had never been to before.




Feb. 2nd, 2006 11:06 pm
ljplicease: (boat)
I am in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is fun to talk to Dave about computer geek things.
ljplicease: (Earth)
There is this cute Indian girl at work. She's friendly, and notices me when we pass in the hallway. Which is remarkable, since we've never really hung out or talked except when we pass at work.


Oct. 31st, 2005 02:50 pm
ljplicease: (Disc)
Party went well. It was nice to see Megan, Sherry and e, all of whom traveled from out of state to celebrate. Went hiking with Megan on both Saturday and Sunday, it was esepcially bright and colorful on Sunday.

P.S. I am ready to quit now.

Also: "Terwilleger" contributed this Hiku:
enchiladas good
full gut and visual joy,
next time, australia
Everyone should come visit me February in Salt Lake City, and Australia in 2006.
ljplicease: (Southpark)
I am not sure what direction I should be taking this journal in. Should it be serious, or humorous? Recently, it feels like it's just been kind of sucky, and boring.

Yesterday I went over to Brian and had dinner with Joe and Cicely and Brian.

Joe and Cicely were just back from California, and told me that they really liked the Getty, which they had seen on my recommendation. Last year they went to see The Boy From Oz based on my recommendation, and seemed to enjoy it. Incidentally, I didn't technically recommend either of these two activities, I just mentioned enjoying the experiences myself and they tried them too. It's nice to think that people actually listen to me from time to time (this never happens at work), and even more so because they actually enjoyed themselves. Cicely also told me that she told Joanna that she was going to miss me. I realize that I'm going to miss my friends.

Anyway, last night we had a nice dinner (steak, corn on the cob and prawns (shrimp as you Yanks would call them)), followed by a really terrible movie. The company was good though. I also had a conversation about Daylight Savings... )

Cow Duck

Sep. 19th, 2005 11:10 pm
ljplicease: (Cow Duck)
One of the Adium X icons that you can download is a cow, which reminded me of a certain friend from Nebraska.

Update: I should say Cow Duck, since it is actually a duck with cow spots, horns and bell.
ljplicease: (Thorden)
"Captain, this just in on the teletype!"


"My god ensign, it's true.
This is a terrible night to have a curse.
Unlike... every other night this week..."

I've started taking Caffein again. It makes me hyper.

P.S. Theresa: I have discovered an interesting adaptation to the 3x! [1], which is to put it in italics, thus: !!! One day I may develop the technology to also present the 3x! [2] in boldface.

[1] I just abbreviated three characters using three characters.

[2] It's abbreviated, btw-, because I don't want to over use the power of the actual 3x!.
ljplicease: (Broken Window)
One of the things that I noticed when I was staying with Megan's family and friends was the way everyone laughed so easily and enjoyed life. Maine rocks. If you haven't been there yet, I recommend that you visit. Maine is like being in the Northeast, except people are nice.


Aug. 11th, 2005 11:59 pm
ljplicease: (Canyon Eyes)
Tiffany: you did it again
Tiffany: you pre-empted me
Gr8ham: i'm just creepy that way :)
Tiffany: I had noticed
Gr8ham: although only faux creepy.
Gr8ham: what's up?
Highlight of the day was definitely when Tiffany called. Somehow our conversations always end up sounding like the minutes of a mutual admiration society. She started out by saying, "you seem to be the most approachable over there [in EDA] or maybe it's just that you have the right level for sarcasm" and proceeded to ask me a few technical questions that I was happy to answer.

Tiffany is a patent lawyer, and we crossed paths last year when I was assigned to help make unencumbered one of our software tools, which had at one point been jointly developed with a competitor (an episode that has left most developers in EDA distrustful of management). Some of the people in EDA that I worked with on the project were very disparaging of lawyers, and the sort of work that they had to do to keep the layers happy, but for me the whole thing was a wonderful experience. I actually like working on different things from time to time and the opportunity to interact with professionals of another vocation is a great way to expand one's horizons.

I think lawyers have a bad rap, and I think it comes from the unproductive and not terribly uncommon tendency to shoot the messenger. Sure there are bad lawyers, but there are also good lawyers, and there are also bad programmers and bad doctors and sometimes even bad politicians. Working with Tiffany was a real pleasure, and I have to say that my experience with lawyers has been overwhelmingly positive. I told her all of this on the phone.

I also thanked her for talking to Sherry before she went off to law school. From what I gather, they really hit it off, and I think it helped Sherry decide that she really did want to go study patent law.
ljplicease: (Southpark)
People you love, will turn their backs on you
you'll loose your hair, your teeth,
your knife will fall out of its sheath

but you still don't like to leave before the end of the movie

People you hate, will get their hooks into you
they'll pull you down, you'll frown
they'll tar you and drag you through town

but you still don't like to leave before the end of the movie
no you still don't like to leave before the end of the show

Cake, "End of the Movie" from Pressure Chief

I've never had someone tell me, "Wow me too!" when I told them that my favoritest band in the world is Cake. Maybe it is just the way that I interpret their songs though, but I feel like I relate to what John McCrea is singing about, and of course I interpret "the end of the movie" in this song to be when the credits end, not when they start. I'm mostly in the minority on that one too.

A friend of mine who shall remain nameless [1] asked recently, "Do we have the tape?"

...and I was like, "you guys got VHS?"

...and she was like, "oh I meant DVD, it's just easier to say 'tape' ... fewer syllables."

...and I'm of course like, "how about 'disc'?"

I realize I am splitting the most irrelevant of hairs for the majority of the population out there, but I know Tyler would never confuse or abuse terminology, and I miss that about him and his appreciation and understanding of quality in media. Of all my friends he is probably the most likely to understand why I wanted to get this silly G5 with excessive memory to manipulate photographs (and dude, why getting a dell wouldn't cut it), in part because he has his own silly G5 which he uses to manipulate sound effects (and he does it very well).

Tyler is also one of the few people who will wait and watch the credits with me when we go see movies.

[1] Because she is a good friend, and it sounds like I am splitting hairs - and I am - but only for the purpose of dissecting the weird way that I look at the world, not to exercise critical thinking on my friend. My friends are awesome.


Jul. 29th, 2005 04:14 am
ljplicease: (hexed)
When Megan was here and asked me where I saw myself living, I surprised myself a little by the lack of hesitation when I answered "Sydney". Last night I asked my mum to see if she could find some contacts in The Company in Sydney. It might be interesting to see what they do there, to see if it would be a good fit for me. I know they have a group working on linux for PowerPC in Canberra, but I'd rather not live in our nation's capitol. I suspect I don't want to work for The Company though. I've rediscovered that I really enjoy writing perl, and I doubt I could find a job in The Company which allowed me to have a job where that would be my primary function. Not that it would be too bad if that were a secondary purpose. I more or less manage that where I am right now, and there are aspects of it that I enjoy.


ljplicease: (Default)

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