Thursday, December 23, 2010

Leaving Melbourne

I don't feel like I really got to say goodbye to Melbourne. The visa, resignation, and move were really close together.

Melbourne has been a lot of fun and a great experience. We have had the chance to see and do things that many never will, and I don't want to marginalize what we got to do. But I would be lying if I said I didn't have some regrets.

We did a great job of seeing Victoria. We did a good job of seeing western Tassie. But for the other states and territories we really didn't excel.

Trouble is, with different work demands and schedules, it was really hard to do exploring that went longer than a long weekend.

I even have regrets in Victoria. We didn't spend nearly enough time in the alpine region. We didn't spend enough time backpacking. My new job strung out long enough that we (or at least me) sort of checked out of Australia prematurely and didn't take enough advantage at the end.

And that's the thing. For me, this is the end. I expect to make a trip in January. I'd like to think that before it's time to return to the US we will still get to drive around Oz, but I have no idea. I never expected to not be returning to SF when Shannon's assignment ended.

I just hope we really take advantage of NZ. We are embarking on a weeklong trip to Auckland to try to fond a house and a car. If we can knock that out fast, can we break Shannon off her job fast and get started exploring? NZ is small by comparison, but there is a lot to see. We will have more holiday time, but we may have booked out three weeks walking down the street last night.

How does one make the most of a place you aren't sure will be home for all that long? Our two and a half years in Melbourne really flew...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Slaying the Environment

That's really what you're doing when you have professional movers box your life and take it away. I'm sure that the protective wrapping consumed today in our little apartment alone killed at least one species of tree somewhere. Total madness.

They did a good job though.

In related news, what's the fastest way to feel like an ass? Have three women pack your house while you sit around.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Today was a pretty big day. Today, I quit my job.

Some folks are aware that it's been in the works, but for some, it may be news. I've accepted a job with Altitude Aerospace Interiors in Auckland, New Zealand. Shannon and I are in the process of getting our lives together to make the move to Auckland. Obviously, this is a pretty substantial change.

This was also a really difficult decision. In all reality, United has been very good to me. I've learned a lot and work with really good people. I have no complaints. In the end, I wanted to try to find a new challenge, and I wanted to remove some of the uncertainty in my job situation that I feel currently exists. I hope it was a good decision. It did not come lightly.

I finally got notice that my visa had been approved on Friday. This has been a long time coming. It's much more time consuming to get a visa in NZ than in Australia for over two years. There are full medical exams and police certificates that are challenging to get. There is a longer wait (or at least a variable one) with Immigration NZ. It's taken a full quarter to get it all lined up.

I'm excited and nervous. 2011 is going to be an interesting year. The movers come Thursday. That should be interesting too. Oh, and down here, movers are called removalists. Odd.

I guess the next question is - when will we have visitors?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Photo of the Day

Christmas in Melbourne

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Photo of the Day

The city from the river

Saturday, December 4, 2010

World Cup Follow Up

Just two more pictures. Number one - look at the legs on the guy in the rainbow kit. The announcer called him "quadzilla" after he false started. He was the #2 man.

Number two, looking at the second rider, I'm guessing they eat well in Poland.

Just sayin. I know the sprint isn't an endurance race, but there are enough six packs walking around the infield to start a bar.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Melbourne UCI Track World Cup

I did not expect to get to see a third edition of this race...

The event has a slightly different format this year, in terms of what events are being held and when they are being held. Also, night session ticket prices went up, and you can no longer watch from the ends of the track. I don't know if this is the fault of the organizers or the UCI, but it's sort of disappointing all around. The Madison final on the first night? The place wasn't even half full. Based on the schedule, I doubt I'll check out any more of the events. Too much individual sprint scattered on each day.

Anyway, I still enjoyed myself. The events for the evening were men's and women's team sprint, woman's team pursuit, men's omnium elimination, and the 40k Madison. Below are some photos. No Madison shots, as it's hard enough to just watch the race.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Photo of the Day

Fitzroy Thought Fence

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Euro

How do we manage to take a trip to Europe during the peak between two lows in the exchange rate that touch on historical significance?

Poor timing...

Photo of the Day