Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

Another day in paradise

March 28, 2007

Pictures tell a thousand words

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Memories of The Lobsterman

January 18, 2007

Back in July 2004 I went over to the US to attend the wedding of my wonderful friends Sal and Steve. They had arranged to have their wedding not in Santa Monica where they live, but on Deer Isle, in Maine. A place that was special to them both, and the location of Steve’s parents property, Edgewood Farm (conveniently a wedding venue).

We spent a few days on Deer Isle, before and after the wedding, kayaking, hanging out, petanque etc. One of the activities was going out on Steve’s Uncle Dick’s lobster boat (Maine is well known for it’s lobsters) and while the trip started out in fog it quickly rolled away and we spent the afternoon in the sun on the boat. It was a very picturesque part of the world and all the wedding attendees were just starting to get to know each other, so it was a great afternoon.

Anyway, what reminded me of all this was S&S let me know there’s an article in the New York Times about Uncle Dick and the Maine fishing industry. Be sure to check out the photos.

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Week at Watego’s

January 7, 2007

Just spent a week up at Byron Bay for AR’s 30th party week with a bunch of friends. We stayed at 16 Palm Valley Drive, Watego’s Beach, which was simple place with a big verandah and a great view of the bay.

Couple for quick notes:
– I made sure I got down for a swim every day, and on some days I got down there three times. It’s so nice to have a beach so close convenient and picturesque.
– JD and DVM dropped in for NYE which was AR’s 30th and therefore a 80’s Rock fancy dress. I went as Jimmy Barnes…
– First time since 2003 I have spent a week without a laptop (from memory) and I didn’t even check the Blackberry until the final days (when I had to for an opportunity). It was great! 🙂
– I played my first game of golf ever. It was interesting and I made it around without holding the other guys up much, but not something I will be out doing every weekend.
– Although I used to surf many years ago and still wavesail/windsurf occasionally, a group of us had a surf lesson, which was good fun
– I read my two Christmas present books ‘The World is Flat‘ (Thomas Friedman) and ‘Past Mortem‘ (Ben Elton). The former is a good read, though he’s a bit soft on the technology (he is an economist), while the second is Elton’s usual engaging, strange, lite style (I read it in a day).
– Didn’t go to The Balcony this year but went to Olivio to catch up with some other friends who were also in town. I enjoyed the food I had (Prawn entree – a Special and the Seafood Broth), but I wasn’t excited by the overall menu.
– You forget how easy it is to get up to Byron, an hour in a plane is not a bad commute 🙂

Great spot, great company, very relaxing!

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Get outta town

November 23, 2006

It was nice to get out of town on the weekend and go up to the Blue Mountains for E’s 30th. She rented a great house for the weekend and I got up there a bit early while they were still out rock climbing (I was feeling fluey, so didn’t go). The place had a great verandah with a wonderful view out over a valley. I went into Blackheath, bought the paper, a pie and beer and kicked back. Nice way to spend a saturday afternoon.

Thongs Beer Pie and Paper and a view

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Beautiful old film footage of Russia in 1908

November 1, 2006

I’ve never been to Russia, but I will go one day.
This old film footage (and soundtrack) portray an air of hustle and bustle, excitement and beauty.

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Poor job of catching up…

October 14, 2006

Just realised two of the best times in my recent history haven’t really been recorded here (though they have a little in my Flickr photos).

1. Santa Monica/L.A.
The first thing I really haven’t documented is the rest of my overseas trip which included hanging out in Venice/Santa Monica and down in Orange County at the UbiComp conference. It was wonderful to catch-up with Sal & Steve and of course, meeting Lil’ Oliver was great. Such a happy and friendly kid (clearly following his parents lead). Venice is such a relaxed place for the U.S. and I always enjoy it there. The Abbot Kinney street festival was on while I was there too, and that was amazing. You’ll find the review of the Red Pearl Kitchen below but there was alot of other fun that was had.
The Flickr set from Santa Monica

Steve Sal Oliver at Venice Beach Oliver at Venice Beach Lil' Oliver on swings
In and Out Burger Steve Sal Oliver at Red Pearl Kitchen L.A. The Getty from the Gardens
Steve and flying Oliver Abbot Kinney Festival street Oliver and Oliver in Backyard

2. Foo Fighters
More recently the biggest night was the Foo Fighters acoustic set at the Sydney Opera House. Needless to say it was absolutely awesome. Thanks to the always marvelous Dee getting tickets for me, Jackie and Dimity.
Here’s a couple of links to convey some of it:
Dee’s photo’s of the night
A better blog post of the event than mine and some photos (both via Boudist)

Sydney Opera House starts to fill up Foo Fighters at the Sydney Opera House Taylor Hawkins Dave talks with guitar

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Red Pearl Kitchen in Hollywood

October 1, 2006

Last Saturday night in L.A. we went out for dinner at the the Red Pearl Kitchen on Melrose Ave, Hollywood.

Sal had heard about it on Daily Candy and was lucky enough to get a reservation. This was a very impressive restaurant experience; a friendly Matrie De, a friendly, knowledgeable (and georgous) waitress, as well as amazing chinese food. The decor was very impressive with a golden floor and the expected red theme. The place even has a pool table in an outer bar, which kind of makes it sound cheezy, but it isn’t.

Steve Sal Oliver at Red Pearl Kitchen L.A. Oliver at Red Pearl Kitchen L.A.
If you go be sure to have the Jade Mistress, it’s a wonderful cocktail with Thai basil, chilli, apple and vodka amongst the ingredients. Highly recommended!

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New York in 24 hours

September 19, 2006

Left Helsinki at 3pm, 8 hours flight to New York getting off at 4pm local. It was great to catch up with Mike at their new flat in Brooklyn and take in the view from his roof top (photo below). Jessica and her friend came home about 8pm and we headed into Manhattan for dinner at Agozar on Bowery. Good Cuban food. I had the pulled pork, plantains, rice and black beans which was nice. At about 11pm I got very tired, so we headed back to Brooklyn and bed.

This morning I woke up early, but did some web-surfing and then had another rest before getting up about 9am. For a quick breakfast we headed down to the local little park and had an apple danish and croissant and iced tea. We were sitting in the park when I got my NY celebrity spot – Gabriel Byrne and friend came wandering through. The weather was great, in fact New York was really hot for the rest of the day, slightly too hot for my tiredness.

We all headed into Manhattan again on the subway and went to check out the new 5th Avenue Apple Store. It’s pretty impressive and Mike’s company was involved from an engineering perspective, so that’s cool. I bought a 5G video iPod as a souvenier. Also visited the Nokia Flagship store (OK – Actually, better than the one in Helsinki) and Niketown (very disappointing – no Air 180s or black and red Moires!).

NY City Skyline from Mikes 5th Ave Apple Store across street Apple Logo 5th Ave Apple Store inside
5th Ave Apple Store Great Glass Elevator Inside Nokia Concept Fire Hydrant in Brooklyn

It was then time for lunch with Tony and his wife Sina. The place was called Joe’s Shanghai in China town (9 Pell Street, off Bowery). It’s famous for it’s soup dumplings which were very good. It was great to catch up with Tony and he just got an award for his Comedy Central mobile application at CITA (he works for MTV Mobile), he’s also just been to Burning Man, so it was great to hear about all of that.

Jessica, Mike and I then wandered to a local cafe (past the pickle festival!) and had a drink and then I ducked into American Apparel to pick up a plain green t-shirt. We headed back to the flat and it was time to pack and go catch a plane. I jumped a cab, but the traffic was insane, so I got out and jumped the train. The subway sucks, trains were far apart and nothing seemed to be going right. I was already late because I expected the cab to be faster and had almost resigned to having missed the flight to L.A. Anyway, all turned out OK and although I got there late, I got my luggage on and got a seat.

Farewell NY, I’m sure I’ll be back someday.

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Helsinki – Day 3

September 14, 2006

This was the first day of the Mobile HCI 2006 conference and was good fun. More about the conference over on the work blog here:
Mobile HCI 2006 Kick-off
Best Mobile Presentations from Day 1

There was a cocktail event in at the Tapiola Cultural Centre which was good fun. Interestingly, there was no beer served only wine. It was great to chat with everyone. There are two Australians here Kirsten from UTS and Ming who works for Nokia here in Finland. Afterwards we were taken into town and the locals took us to the Torni bar in the Sokos hotel. There was a great view of the city and we got into the local pear cider, very nice!

Elan Kirsten and Oliver Anat Heather Gunnar Gunnar and Oliver Heather and Oliver Oliver and Harald

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Helsinki – Day 2

September 14, 2006

The second day in Helsinki was mainly catching up little bits of work and catching up with people back home. I went into Tapiola which is the closest town centre. Tapiola was interesting with some nice garden areas and a big pond that is an architectural centre point. The main area was a bunch of large department stores and apartment housing. Tapiola had a strange desolate eastern european feel to it. There were large expanses of concrete and white tile 70s style buildings and plaza areas that were in a state of disrepair and not many people around.

DSC02536 once was great? DSC02544 huge plazas of lonely concrete and white tiles

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