Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What's the fastest way to spend A$160?

Lock your keys in your house like a dumbass.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Weekend Update

It's been a busy few days. First, I got a lovely reminder last week how much Japanese influence there is in Melbourne:

Shannon started playing in a touch rugby league this past week, which was pretty fun to watch. I'm amazed how easy the rugby balls are to catch. I guess it's the texture. I think it was actually easier to figure out the goal of rugby in the touch version, so now it should be easier to understand when I'm watching the real version. Touch seems like a really good way to get involved, way smarter than full on rugby (Agsten, let's see if you read this).

We spent the weekend trying to check out some of the Victorian countryside. Saturday we decided to go to Phillip Island to see the Little Penguin Parade, where these masses of Little Penguins return from a long day of fishing, cross the beach, and go into their burrows in the dunes.

On the way, we stopped off at the beach...

got a coffee in what seemed to be a bit of a backwater town (Koo Wee Rup, Vic)...

and at a winery in the hills.

Sadly, you can't take pictures of the penguins, I'm sure because people wouldn't turn off flashes, but it was really amazing. It was crazy how many there were, and how far into the dunes they burrowed.

Sunday, we drove northeast to the Yarra Ranges National Park. We were expecting to have to pay to get in, and find some sort of information booth when we got there. Neither were the case. The road we entered in went through a narrow part of the park, so technically, we were in and out in about twenty minutes. It was really beautiful, but there weren't even turn offs in this part of the park.

However, we did find Marysville, Vic, and made our way to Stevenson's Falls, which were really cool, and it would seem, functional.

There were a number of tracks around the falls that went up to overlooks. We hiked to two of them, then drove around to another on the way out of town. Great views, even for a cloudy day.

Also, the weekend gave me the opportunity to spend a few hours driving on the other side of the road. It was a pretty interesting experience, and much harder than riding on the other side. But, eventually, I got more comfortable with it. And at least you get to see some cool signs.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Smooth Roads

The roads here are a joy to ride on. None of that Bay Area beat you to hell asphalt. I think I can get behind that. Plus, bike lanes everywhere.

And today, I bought a washer, so now I'll be able to get clean enough to go do a few more rides.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Week One

Tomorrow will mark a week of being in Australia. Wild.

This is the view from our porch. Not bad.

And the view just down the street (better):

I've spent a lot of the last week trying to find reliable ways to get on the Internet, which has led me to spend a lot of time in the Melbourne Library. It's ok, but I'm writing this from Shannon's office, which is by comparison, a dream. I wish I could work from here until we got our DSL setup. Shannon works in this building, so it's actually a wonder anything gets done.

This past weekend was the conclusion of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, which finished with a Crit in Melbourne. There were a handful of names mixed into some local pro teams, including CSC, Jelly Belly, Toyota-United, and Team Type 1. A few pictures follow - I've never seen a scooter quite like this one from SRAM. Bonus points for anyone who can name the man in yellow.

And, in the best news of the week department, we went to the thrift store and got plates and wine glasses to the tune of $2. Needless to say, everything now tastes better.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Down Under

We have arrived. Or, I suppose more accurately, I have arrived, and Shannon is back. No trouble with the flights down, good seats all the way. Between our checked and carry on luggage, we had eight pieces, and amazingly, no luggage charges, despite two bikes.

I'm impressed with the apartment Shannon picked out. I knew the location was good, but I like the actual unit. I think it's going to work out well for us. As you might expect, the first couple days have had their hiccups, for example, not being able to get Internet access in the apartment for two to three weeks. But, I've found and been told places where I can get online and get some work done, now with less financial and gastric impact than before (Thanks, Melbourne Central Library). Working remotely has been somewhat challenging for the last two days, with limited Internet access, but should smooth out from here, which I'm sure I appreciate as much as my employers.

I also got on my bike yesterday for a little while. In a word, riding on the other side is "strange." And perhaps the most important news, last night I was introduced to a beer that is brewed locally by what seems to be sort of a craft brewer, and is pretty good. I mean, if I'm going to pay that much for beer, I'd rather it not suck.

Pictures to follow at some point. My external hard drive had to stay at home today, and I neglected to bring pictures to post with.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Parting Shots

So long, San Francisco. It's been a hell of a great run, and we'll miss you.

10/13/08 - UA 863->839.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Things I'll Miss in San Francisco, Part 5

This may be the last installment of the Things I'll Miss series. Time here is running short, and I'm not sure how much more I'll actually get to document that I'll miss (note: strapping tape and bubble wrap will NOT be seen in this feature).

But, I will miss:

The Sierras. I didn't spend nearly as much time up there as I would have liked, but each time I went, I saw something new and fantastic. I took this on the way to Vegas last week. Please imagine that the winglet is not orange.

Mission burritos. Frankly, if you've never had one, I'm not sure how to explain it. It's just a fiesta in your mouth. Nowhere can you find as tasty a source of protein for so little money. Eggs don't count.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Remote Control

Much to my surprise, I got word this afternoon that United is going to let me work remotely. I really didn't expect it to work out, especially with the timing surrounding Indy. I feel lucky, if not somewhat confused about the message that management is sending out, since my current role will by filled by a guy in Denver.

I'll be working in the projects group, focusing on preservice Panasonic issues for IPTE, which should keep me overly busy, since PAC has more issues than Newsweek. More details to come as they unfold.