Thursday, November 30, 2006

Xmas Card Photo Day

Today was Christmas card photo day for the dogs. Unfortunately, neither one of them were particularly in the mood for it (and since it was only 45F, I wasn't either). However, I did manage to grab a good shot of Zeke.
Zeke Sky Snout
It almost rivals the Louie Sky picture that I posted in August.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Equine Convention

I arrived home last week for Thanksgiving to find that Brownie and Whitey had company over.Apparently, my homesteading neighbor with the new barn brought along three horse (the wise men) and a few chicken with him. It isn't a llama or anything, but they'll do.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Lazy Sunday, St Kilda, VIC

So after I spent the week in New Zealand, I had to rush back to Melbourne for a Friday meeting. Which was canceled. Of course. Since I had planned to spend my weekend mountain biking in Wellington, I found myself without plans for the weekend.

So I went touring the local cafes and bars in St. Kilda, a suburb of Melbourne. Mostly bars. As you do. I settled in at one of the swanker, yet inside/outside compatible taverns called Metropol. I had planned to highlight a beautiful picture that I took with my panorama mode camera (using their cool stitch functionality), unfortunately it was late in the afternoon and my hand was shaking. Instead, I've given you yet another macro closeup of my beer bottle.

By the time you read this, I will be boarding my flight back to the U.S. as this trip has come to a close.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Air NZ

Air New Zealand is the finest airline in the world. Or at least they have the best tastiest drunkest airport lounges in the world.Yes, that is 24 different kinds of free beer. And those are mostly the Kiwi beers. And another section for wine. And free wireless.

Yes, I stuffed about 10 beers in my luggage.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hello Wellington

And 45 minutes later, I am down in the capital of New Zealand, Wellington. And the weather blows. I really like Wellington, even better than Auckland, but it does have a little bit of the "San Francisco in summertime" problem. Even so, I got my cup of coffee from Mojo (possibly the best tasting coffee in the world, they even put the Silver Fern in the foam like Guinness and the clover) and actually got some work done in the office today.

Goodbye Auckland

Up early this morning to get down to Wellington. Before I left, I caught breakfast near our office at the Viaduct. They had the racing boats out for the tourists.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Stopover In Auckland

Arrived in Auckland late last night (2 AM) and then literally ran from meeting to meeting all day. Well not all day. Basically, we got to about 3 PM and decided to leave for beers (as you do). Our office is down with the other tech companies at the viaduct, nearby to quite a few pubs. While they've replaced most of the America's Cup syndicate warehouses with fancy apartments, it is mostly as I left it a few years ago. This picture is out my hotel window towards some huge tower in downtown. Off to Wellington this afternoon.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Coffee Melbourne-style

The Internet connection in my hotel is bad, to the point of being unusable. So, I've been searching this week for suitable coffee establishments where I might be able to catch up on things after work hours. While there are plenty of coffee shops here in Melbourne (they fancy themselves the most european of Australian cities), most of them do not adhere to /k's rules of coffeehouse greatness:
  • The internet shall be free and it shall be fast.
  • The chairs will be comfortable and oversized.
  • The music will be playing, but quietly in case one wants to listen to their iPods. And if you do play music, it must not be elevator music or techno.
  • They should bring your coffee to you, if the wait will be more than three minutes. And it should be better than I can make at home.
  • Power plugs. Everywhere.
After much searching, I have found a place that actually fits all of these requirements (except the music): Mag Nation (as in Magazine Nation). Not a coffee shop, per se, but a shop that sells about 600 different magazines (mostly from the UK). The photo above shows the magazine selection on 1/4 of one wall on the second floor. And it happens to have free Internet, comfy couches, power plugs and a decent flat white. Unfortunately, its in Melbourne CBD which is a short tram ride from my hotel. Still, worth it. Now if they would just turn down the crappy techno music . . .

Friday, November 10, 2006


I see this sign everyday on my walk to work. And I have no idea what it means.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Melbourne Cup

Got a chance to go to the Melbourne Cup yesterday. The Cup is the largest horse race in the Southern Hemisphere, roughly comparable to our Kentucky Derby, with fewer rednecks and more champagne drinking. I got a corporate box to the festivities (through a client) so we were out of the unseasonably cold, wet weather. The picture below is the finish of the Cup, where Japanese horse Delta Blues edged fellow Japanese horse Pop Rocks (who I think ran in the US this year).
While I had a great time, we lost all of our bets. 9 straight races, 9 losses. In the main race, the 7th, we picked 2/3 of the trifecta, but the not the winner. However, I did manage to win a bottle of Chardonnay in one of the raffles in the corporate box.

Monday, November 06, 2006


After twenty-three hours and three flights, I made it safe and sound to Melbourne. A pretty tame flight all in all. In fact, if the entire international terminal in LAX hadn't been made to "freeze" (yes, freeze as in freeze tag), I probably wouldn't have remembered anything about the flight at all. Melbourne is as lovely as always and as a special bonus, it appears that my hotel has been renovated since I was hear last.

My hotel is across the street from the Albert Cricket Grounds, so I celebrated my good travel fortune by catching a quick run.

I'm tired now, so I am going to sleep. Finally.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Off To Melbourne

As part of my new job (which it a lot like my old job), I will be working in Melbourne, Australia for a few weeks. Along the way, I might make it over to New Zealand for a couple of days also. While I'm not that excited to be away from home, it turns out that I will be arriving in Melbourne just in time for the Melbourne Cup, the Aussie's answer to the Kentucky Derby (except with less white trash). My office has scored us some tickets, so expect some sweet photos around Tuesday morning PST.