In 2007 I went with some friends to Melbourne (among other places). The camera that I brought, a Nikon FE broke on me and so i went to the camera store to get a replacement. They don't make 'em like the FE anymore, but I was able to get an over priced Nikon FM that worked with all of the lenses that I had brought. I had a few hours on my own while my friends went to see the penguins so I bought three really cheap rolls of film and had at it. Melbourne is quite photogenic, although it's no Sydney.( more )
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.
Today right before I left work I asked Kim how her vacation was. Not good, she answered. Not enough excitement, she said. Only one amazingly beautiful sunset, she said. My instinct was to point out that some people live their whole lives and only get to see one amazingly beautiful sunset if they are lucky.
I was leaving (mentioned) and I was just trying to be friendly. The America in me wants people just to answer in short positive statements regardless of actual mood. The rest of me doesn’t like that, but it is hard to deny that it is there.
SOAP::Lite is like a mule. You can often coax it into doing what you want it to do, but not without a lot of headache. SOAP::Lite reminds me that designing good APIs is not easy. The Perl community, despite a lot of good work, has unfortunately produced some turkeys; there are warts everywhere. Boxing Day this old lady declared that if everyone just did as she said then the world would be a better place. I think anyone writing an API is something like that: either arrogant or deluded. Usually both.
Needless to say I spent the whole day coaxing SOAP::Lite
“ NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that, as Pluto passes overhead through New Mexico's excellent night skies, it be declared a planet and that March 13, 2007 be declared "Pluto Planet Day" at the legislature. ”
—New Mexico State Legislature
In August I am going to be in the only state in the Union where Pluto is (as it should be) recognized as full fledged planet.
I don’t usually get misty-eyed when reading legislation, but I did when I read “New Mexico’s excellent night skies.” The night sky in New Mexico is pretty, and NM is definitely the Land of Enchantment.
2007 US Tour
Some of you already know this, but for those that don’t, I will be in the USA for most of August to visit good friends, go hiking, and to eat some mighty fine New Mexican cuisine. Here are the approximate dates:
|Hiking, hanging out in the city, bar fights, museums, movies, enchilada night, breakneck ridge, awesome friends|
|hiking, heat, enchiladas, breakfast burritos, posole, chilies rellenos, green chili and of course green chili cheeseburgers|
|Jack in the Box, Vasquez Rocks, Castlevania, Wii, sushi, petquakerstalking, and more!|
If you think you might coincide, let me know. You too can be part of the action. And knowing is half the battle.
- somewhat flexible
- just kidding
- somewhat flexible
- that place where Kirk kicked the Gorn’s butt with his home made cannon
Melbourne, Day 2
On the second day we toured around the city. Oh, and my camera broke, the day before we were doing the Great Ocean Road! I couldn’t believe the horrible luck. I managed to pick up a used Nikon FM body in perfect condition to replace my FE. The FM is the mechanical version of the FE from the same time period. I could have probably gotten an auto focus camera new for less, but I had been enjoying the feel of my manual Nikon which hasn’t been getting much of a work out since I moved to Australia.
I shot three rolls of 24 in my new camera around the centre of Melbourne, and I felt like for the first time in ages I had gotten my camera legs back. Whatever that means.
Melbourne, Day 3
The next day we did the Great Ocean Road. It’s pretty. There are lots of flies. If you go you should arm yourself with some bug spray.
Melbourne, Day 4
Our last day in Melbourne was only a half day, so we didn’t do much. First we went to the Melbourne museum, where they had a blue whale skeleton. Actually it was a pigmy blue whale, named on account of it being small for the species. This is kind of funny because it was still enormous. They also had a vast collection of bugs. Some of them still alive even. Cicely came into the bug section to tell us that she wasn’t going to look at the bugs because they creeped her out, but by the time she was in she started looking around and didn’t seem so bugged out.
The computer geek in me enjoyed the CSIRAC, Australia’s first digital computer, and the worlds fifth stored program computer, and the oldest intact computer of either type in the world. Joe commented that “your” calculator probably has more computing power, to which I responded, “your” phone definitely has more computing power.
They also had an IBM PC... the original which was simply called a PC, because that wasn’t a generic term when it was produced. I think the oldest PC I ever used was an XT, which came out about two years later in 1983. The XT’s major innovation was that it had a hard disk, whereas the PC had two low density 5¼” floppy disk drives. In Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum, they have a TRS-80. There used to be a whole room full of them at my elementary school. Stuff I used to use is now showing up in museums. What are the museum curators trying to tell me?
For lunch we had Mongolian Barbecue. It was pretty good and all you can eat, so I wasn’t hungry again that day. After that we took a taxi to the airport and flew back to Sydney. When I looked out the window as we were landing, I saw a Tangara, which exists (I believe) only in Sydney and I started feeling oddly nostalgic being back in Sydney. It was really nice being back in Sydney after being away fro a week. It feels like home here.
I guess that brings me to today. Brian is off to Fiji. Joe and Cicely are climbing the bridge today and we are meeting later tonight for dinner, along with the girl that I met at Thanksgiving. Joe and Cicely fly back to the states tomorrow, and I’m back to work on Monday.
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 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!
The Chrissy decorations are out already. In America don’t they usually wait until after Thanksgiving for that? Anyway, it’s not the timing that is unnerving for me, but the time of year. I know I will have to get over this, but this isn’t the time of year that you expect to see snowmen and fat guys in cold weather gear.( weekend and food stuffs... )
- Australian for Christmas
- the “Gong Ride” or Sydney to Wollongong bike ride
- Or for that matter, how I managed to get along without it when I was over there
a jumpship landed a short way off. a hundred short pink lizard like aliens swarmed all around the vehicle, flashbulbs going off in every direction every few seconds. they all looked the same to duub, though he knew they had distinguishing marks to tell themselves apart. didn't matter much because this class of tourist didn't require his services.
( Read more... )
I can't wait for it to be next year, because I will be able to say "The Year Is 2005..."
Anyway, Mum has this meeting down under and she can probably get me frequent flier ticket, so the price is right. I noticed that the meeting is the week of my dad's birthday, so it seems like the perfect time to go visit Dad and that side of my family. I thought dad would be thrilled to hear that I would be coming out for his birthday, but he didn't seem to be so particularly. I'm going to be there in February when it is cold here, but warm there, so I will have to contend with this kind of weather:
I arrived in Concord at about 8:30pm. Only half an hour late, and had I not been delayed at departure, I would have probably been on time. I circled around a couple of times while Sherry tried to describe where her apartment was over my cell phone, but eventually I found the place and parked in a slot marked "Visitor." I was on my way up to Maine and had asked Sherry if I could crash at her place on the way up so as to break up the long drive. That was what I had said anyway; my main reason was to see Sherry a friend of mine who had recently quit The Company to go to back to school to study patent law.
She showed me around her new apartment, which is entirely too cute, if a little noisy from the nearby street. She showed me her schedule for each week which was blocked out every weekday from 8:00am to 10:00pm, and then told me, without a hint of irony that she hadn't really gotten serious about school yet. I showed her my portfolio from my Color1 class, and we talked about numerous things, including what would happen to "The Group" now that Joanna had left the Hudson Valley for Berkeley. She told me how much her apartment was costing me, which was low compared with the Hudson Valley, but high for a student, which is pertinent, since she is a student now. I told her how excited I was for her in her new endeavor. I would have liked to have told her how proud all of us were of her, but the thought didn't come into my head until later. I slept on the floor that night and the traffic outside didn't bother me too much.( more )