ljplicease: (reagan and cobra commander)

My friends Brad and Sherry got married in Georgia last weekend. We weren't able to make that celebration, but we did make the New York reception, which turned out to be a wonderful excuse to catch up with most of my friends from the six years that I lived in New York. Joanna and Padrock were there, which was nice because it allowed Lena to meet them for the first time. Now my only friend from my New York years she hasn't met is MegO. One day we will have to make a trip up to Boston so that I can catch up with her and so Lena can meet her and her family.


We headed right for the Hudson Valley this weekend and we had lunch at the German Deli. The German Deli is in fact not called the German Deli, and hasn't been since before I even moved to New York in 2000, but the name is always what people at The Company called it, and so the name has stuck. I had the beef brisket, which I always have, and I always sort of wish that I had ordered the bacon blue cheese burger. They also have Darrel Lea liquorice, all the way from Australia, so I had that for dessert.


I thought it was going to rain mercilessly (though in the end it didn't), so I suggested that we go up to Hyde Park to check out the Vanderbilt mansion and the FDR home and library. The Vanderbilt mansion is much as I remembered it. The tour was free apparently because it was National Public Land Day. The FDR home and museum has a brand new visitor centre, with a pretty tile floor that acts as a map of the region back when FDR was still alive. One of the guys there said that the Vanderbilts looked down on the Roosevelts, and I remember making the observation when I visited both sites with my family back in 2000 that it was better to be rich than to be President. The inside of the FDR house was covered with pictures of navy ships shooting at each other. FDR was clearly obsessed.

some more photos of the Vanderbilt grounds )


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.


Oct. 10th, 2008 12:27 am
ljplicease: (ratbat)
  • 30 September 2008 07:04pm: Waiting for my pizza so I can go watch daily colbert show report. Four sleeps till New York and thinking about which sweets to bring. Nice.
  • 4 October 2008 09:35am: The line for immigration was terrible! But at least that made the security line short. Plane is full of yanks returning from vacation.
  • 4 October 2008 10:27am: New York here I come!!!
  • 7 October 2008 12:18pm: Today is a good day to see the ocean. Well, what passes for an ocean on the East Coast anyway...
  • Today at 12:04pm: You can tell who someone is for by who they complain about, as you know they are going to vote for the other. Lizards *sigh*



Sep. 24th, 2008 04:16 pm
ljplicease: (pixel4)
  • 23 September 2008 04:02pm: Something for everyone, an opera tonight! First trip to the Sydney Opera House to see them sing and stuff.
  • 22 September 2008 02:22pm: I am going to be in New York/New Jersey 4-18 October.
  • 22 September 2008 08:29am: City jackhammers are my wake up call at The Point. Is it Monday again already?
  • 21 September 2008 10:19pm: On the train ride back from Canberra the kangaroos were scattering in fear as we coasted through landscape. Back in Sydney.



Nov. 26th, 2007 10:31 pm
ljplicease: (Cow Duck)
Simcha Felder, a Brooklyn city councillor, wants to ban the feeding of pigeons. Mr Felder, a Democrat, would like to slap a $1,000 fine on every transgressor, and hopes to introduce pigeon-terrifying hawks, avian birth-control and a “pigeon tsar” to control the bird population. He argues that pigeon droppings damage buildings and other infrastructure and can carry disease, and cites as a success the experience of Ken Livingstone, London’s mayor—who uses hawks to scare pigeons from Trafalgar Square. Pro-pigeon advocates plan to stage a protest on the steps of City Hall on November 30th.

—The Economist

I want the job of pigeon tsar. I think it would look awesome on my resumé.

Ice Bridge

Dec. 24th, 2006 04:30 am
ljplicease: (Canyon Eyes)
Poughkeepsie train bridge during the winter.
A place where it actually gets cold in the winter.
ljplicease: (Spider)

The other day, someone at work asked me (not entirely out of the blue), if I “had anyone useful” in my family.

Without missing a beat I answered: “No, they are all scientists.”

Because it’s true, at least in the context of the conversation, which made the question more like do you have anyone with skills that are useful to ordinary people in your family. I mean, they contribute to the sum of human knowledge, and arguably do important things, but hardly useful skills, such as being able to cut hair (like Nina’s husband) or even fixing a Windows XP machine full of viruses that you stupidly downloaded (like me. er, the fixing part, not the downloading of viruses part).

“But wait,” I added, “it gets worse, because I grew up in a company town, where the ‘company’ was a federal laboratory, and everyone who lived in the town were also scientists.”

Later, when I was explaining this conversation to my mum (who didn’t seem to find it as inherently funny as I did), she pointed out to me that there are also engineers in Los Alamos.

“Well, they can be useful.” I said.

“Not those engineers.”

Mum seems to hold engineers in the same esteem as people who live in Melbourne (“seriously,” I can imagine her saying, “if you are in Australia, why wouldn’t you live in Sydney?”).

I know this attitude sort of filtered down to me, unfortunately, because early on when I met my friends in New York who also worked at The Company, I said with some disdain that I wasn’t an engineer, when one of them described us as a group of engineers. I have always preferred the term “programmer” or “coder” (which is actually different from what my friends do), although I do have to admit my job title was “software engineer” for those six years in New York.

They are pretty cool engineers though. They do things like make the processors that go into all of the next generation video game consoles. (When the dust settles from this round of the Console Wars, I don’t know if Sony or Nintendo will be left standing, but either way The Company stands to make a tidy profit either way). More importantly, they are cool people, who know how to have a good time and be good friends.

I told my photography teacher what my friends did once, and she thought those GPUs The Company was making were a waste of resources that could have been more appropriately allocated. Seriously though, who is she kidding, she is a professional photographer. What is she contributing to the world that is so awesome that she can go around judging other people? There is nothing wrong with being a photographer, but there is everything wrong with being judgemental and condescending.

ljplicease: (Apple)
From the “Peek inside the Hudson Valley” series
ljplicease: (Mirror Shot)
What was 2004? It was a year of stolen and disputed elections in Georgia and the Ukraine, the rise and fall of Howard Dean and John Kerry, the first private space flight and the end of the "X-Prize," disaster in Darfur, prisoner abuse in Iraq, expansion of the European Union, the death of Ronald Regan and a month of flags at half mast, the return of Greek Olympics and a very smug presidential victory. In less political but tragic terms, the worst natural disaster in my memory has occurred in Asia as Tsunami death tolls top 135,000 according to CNN.com.

For me, the year started out as a bleak one in the coldest New York winter I have ever experienced. My mother came to visit me for her birthday. We stayed in Manhattan and it was bitterly cold.

Lowel and Johanna
I took a lighting class at Dutchess which was a blast. Some of my friends from Black and White II were taking the class and I met some other cool people. It was so much fun working with those people, including the teacher, Lowel Handler.

Read more... )

In Short, 2004 was A Great Year and I have high hopes that 2005 will be even better.
ljplicease: (Summer)
Today was the holiday bowling party. I don't bowl because years ago when I was just a wee little Graham Cracker, I attempted something kind of dumb and made the stupidest split second decision I have ever made in my life. I tried to catch a bowling ball when I accidentally dropped it. Kids, don't try this at home. My right middle finger is permanently disfigured, although not in a way that you would ever notice.

At the party, Linda takes me aside and asks if I want to sign the going away card for Kari. I didn't even know Kari was moving. I don't talk to Kari any more, not since The Incident really. We're not really friends anymore, I am not even sure that we ever were. I didn't really feel like telling Linda that I didn't want to sign the cared, so I just printed "Good Luck in CA - GRAHAM" in a space that hadn't been overwhelmed already by signatures.

I don't understand why Kari is such a popular person. If I had to think of the least nice person I have meet since moving to New York I have to say it would be her. Even Richard doesn't like her: he said good riddance. As Kathy would say, dealing with her is so like being in Junior High all over again.

I left early with the intention of coming home and doing some work, but let's face it. This project isn't going to be done by the end of the year. Who am I kidding?


ljplicease: (Default)

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