Tag Archive for 'usa'
I’m in Hawaii up Mauna Kea doing some observing on the JCMT. Here’s the Keck laser guide star, click the image for a quick movie of the Earth turning.
Having coffee in Lyndhurst (Dorset) the other day I thought a photo on the wall looked familiar. Turns out I have a photo of the same waterfall from 2007, which is in Vermont (USA).
The New York Times has a cool “wordtrain” showing words summing up how people feel about the US election. Most interesting is how people supporting each candidate feel. If the words are anything to go by, Obama has already won…(0)
I’m a big fan of the b-side lounge, and the b-sidecar…
They also have excellent mac ‘n’ cheese. Yum
I love the Cape so much we went out there for my second trip in a few weeks, this time by car. We saw (generally actually old and expensive) antiques, marshy coastal stuff,
and a beautiful sunset from Race Point.
How much the colour of the sunset is due to air pollution I don’t want to know… More photos here.
We just spent a lovely week in the White Mountains, a few hours north of Boston. We tented on the hard campground sites, ate granola bars and breakfast diner food, saw chipmunks,
and wierd fungi.
We also only drove someting a bit over 300 miles for the whole week. More photos here.
I had a nice day out in Provincetown last weekend. We caught the boat and had a liesurely day, with the only real effort being the obligatory climb up the Pilgrim Monument.
The rest of the photos are here.
Walking home late one night last week I doscovered where the homeless people in Harvard Square sleep. This is the entrance to the Co-op (pronounced like a chicken coop), where you can buy books, coffee, and all sorts of touristy crap.
Boston being a blue state and all, I guess the state of this McCain sign isn’t all that surprising…
I made it to Boston, its wonderful to see my friends here again! The trip, not so much fun, though there were some nice views out the plane window at times…
More photos here.
I somehow scored an upgrade to premium economy on my flight to San Francisco. Two seats on the side instead of three, and they lean back heaps further, the food is a bit better. Nice.
Unfortunately it was on the end of a days wait in Sydney airport, and I now have another five hours at SFO before leaving. Not so nice.(0)
I finally found a simple way to export a time lapse movie of my time in Boston (thanks Frame by Frame). This was the view out my window during my year long stay (click image for movie).
So today was a walking day. I wandered all around the middle and western parts of town. I saw the Cable Car museum, some nice parks, the bay bridge, and a tower on top of a hill.
The cable car system becomes more incredible the more one knows I think. The whole thing is driven from a single place with four big motors, one for each line. The cables then head off around their respective loops.
Walking through Chinatown is cool, there are tonnes of native locals. Started by the the initial gold rush days like Central Otago I guess (where you can be served icecream by a Chinese local who probably has New Zealand lineage longer than me). The heart of Chinatown is on Grant St, so someone wrote my name in concrete for me. Cool.
I went past the lovely Yerba Buena gardens on my way out to the wharves. There is a MLK monument/sculpture which has lots of water and is very cool. There are also a bunch of his quotes, inspiring and powerful as ever.
I eventually made is out to the Bay Bridge, which is pretty impressive. I found a burger joint with outside seating and had a beer in the sun. Near the base of the bridge is a crazy large bow and arrow sculpture, known as “Cupids span.”
The people who designed the walk along the bay were apparently extremely worried about creating a skateboard mecca, and put little metal things everywhere to stop them. At least some of them are turtles and octopi, which is pretty imaginative…
I walked to the top of Telegraph hill, which has a big tower made with a donation from a colourful citizen. The view from there is not bad, though I was too lazy to wait in line for the elevator to the top. I wandered on home, stopping in Washington Square for an hour or so to just sit. People were picnicking, playing croquet, and throwing things back and forth on the grass.
On the whole a good day. I’m ready to leave since checking out a city is never quite the same by oneself…
Photos posted sooner or later.
Arriving late last night after a terrible flight from Boston I found myself in San Francisco… getting to my accommodations proved easy, a monorail around the airport, then on the BART, and a cab the last bit to the Green Tortoise. I think I may be getting a little old for backpacking, or need to do it with a clean start, rather than a month of socialising before leaving somewhere else. From the window of the main communal area I can pretty much see Larry Flint‘s Hustler Club, and the City Lights bookstore, so plenty of variety…
First thing, it’s pretty much freezing here. I only took my hoodie and was cold all the time, especially out of the sun and on the ferry back. I’ve learned my lesson, just because it’s California doesn’t make it killer warm in the middle of winter.
I spent my fist day today on a bike checking out the Golden Gate bridge, and some areas on the other side. I got a bike for the whole day for $20, which felt pretty good to me, since I probably did 50kms. I cruised along the shore to the bridge, and across the other side. The highlight along the way was the Museum of Science. I didn’t go in, but around the outside is a huge dome flanked by a series of massive pillars. Beautiful and very impressive.
Carrying on there were plenty of photo ops as the bridge drew closer, right under the south side of the bridge were surfers and bodyboarders, with a random wave being generated there. Nice to sit and watch…
Next came the chance to ride over the bridge, which apparently gets a lot of paint to keep it in its orangy red hue. There is a lot of infrastructure on the bridge to make it’s upkeep possible. On the other side there is a large hill which affords more nice views of the bridge, this time with the city in the background. San Francisco has a lot of hills… so the ride down was fun, if a little cold.
From there I continued on to Sausalito, where one can catch the ferry back to the city. Instead I carried on to Tiburon, another 8 miles on top of the 8 I had done. The total distance was some 20 miles or so. Sore arse for me. I had to go a bit faster to ensure I’d make the last ferry that would get me back before the bike place closed. Turned out I did, just. The ferry had a bunch of great views of the bridge, bay, and city. We also went past a really really big ship.
Back at the hostel I sat and sorted my photos with some Chinese food. Very fast service at a place just around the corner, and I got a cuppa while I was waiting!
Thanks for a nice first day San Francisco, see you tomorrow. Photos will be uploaded later when I sort them out…
So any complaints from referees aside, I’ve submitted a paper today, which gives me something to show for my time here in Boston!(0)
So walking out of the Sam Adams brewery tour, we were coaxed in the back door of the 2008 NEBSRA Winter Nationals. Free beer and loads of entertainment. (NEBSRA = New England Belt Sander Racing Association)
There’s a collection of videos here.(0)
“sasquatch! sieve! sasquatch! sieve! sasquatch! sieve!.” to understand that you’d have to go to a BU Hockey game… well worth it in my opinion.(0)
Australia day (try googling “invasion day“) was celebrated in proper tradition on Saturday, with footy on tv, at the Phoenix Landing, pies, and beer. Later Jill had a party with copious amounts of Australiana, like pav, koalas, coopers, and vegemite. Nice.
So yesterday I wandered down to my local apple store (Cambridgeside Galleria in Boston) to see if I could get a replacement for my dead 11 month old battery. They have this “Genius Bar” where black belt OSX dudes give help on mac related problems. They were very busy, but I got an appointment for this morning.
So I wandered down there this morning to see what they could do. The guy fired up the system profiler and said something like “my goodness” when he saw the available charge and number of cycles. New FREE battery for Grant. I am within my 1 year warranty, and have applecare too so there were no worries. A mate of mine had his replaced the other day, with a 13 month old macbook and no applecare, so it’s worth a go…
See the mac page for a few more comments on how to avoid the problem with your new one.
I like this image. A smokestack belches steam or smoke into the hazy sunset, while a tv antenna and the moon look on.
So the weekend I arrived here in Boston nearly a year ago, we went to R. F. O’Sullivan’s for burgers. Very good burgers indeed. I couldn’t even finish the chips on my plate… I finally went back there last night, and had exactly the same burger, totally devouring it and had two pints of the good ol’ UFO to go with. Being here has trained my stomach to new highs in food consumption… thanks America!(0)
So picture this: You park your car under a tree, and overnight it snows. A huge branch gets more snow than it can handle, and falls, smashing in the back window of said car. Bummer. It continues to snow, filling up the back of your car with snow. People like me walk past one their way home and go, “man that sucks.”(0)
There are some clever ads on tv over here. Unfortunately they don’t always advertise products I would endorse or purchase. Here’s an excellent example from Bud…(0)
So the coolest thing about snowboarding in places that aren’t New Zealand is trees. I just spent three days snowboarding through trees at Sugarbush resort in Vermont. Some times they were spaced nicer than others, but there was generally a ton of powder on the way through… it’s times like those that there just isn’t time to take photos, and I can’t be bothered carrying my camera, so you’ll just have to picture me cruising through silky powder in beautiful birch and pine glades…