Friday, December 29, 2006

a new year, a new look. it was time to give the blog an updated look. blogger has released new functionality, and to take advantage, i had to upgrade my template. so i just took the opportunity to update the feel a bit.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

a belated merry christmas. i know all my fans have been wondering where i've been. or i assume so, no one has mentioned my obvious lack of posts in the last month. but i'll just assume that it's b/c everyone has been as busy as me.

since i skipped right over thanksgiving, i should mention that my parents came out that weekend. it was good to see them and the first time they've been out to visit me in nyc together. the friday after thanksgiving the four of us had dinner at le tableau. we had the place to ourselves. dinner was really great, as was the wine.

and not to disappoint, we all went out to sing sing karaoke bar for some after dinner entertainment. unfortunately the next day i was left incapacitated with joint hangover and flu-ish symptoms which lingered on for the rest of the week.

skipping ahead about a month...i "successfully" completed most of my christmas shopping on or ahead of schedule this year. the notable exception was a near last minute gift idea for a-. we'll be returning that anyway for something similar, but it's the thought that counts, right?

part of my gift which was a hit (and not returned), was another great dinner at town. (with a supremely delicious wine). and the same night i got part of my gift early when we went to see "the vertical hour". two years in manhattan and i finally see my first big ticket play. thanks to the hordes of tourists and cranky nypd cops, we ended up running to the theatre, walking in during the first act. at least they didnt make us wait until intermission.

and as one last parting note, as this is starting to sound like a novella of extravagent dining experiences, i got several camera related gifts. so hopefully youll see more and better quality pictures on flickr soon.

have a happy new year.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

US Air seeks to merge with Delta. my favorite quote: "They’re taking two poorly performing airlines, especially from a passengers’ point of view, and putting them together," said Michael J. Grossman, a lawyer from Lexington, Ky., and a Delta frequent flier. "What you’re left with is the lowest common denominator."

Sunday, November 12, 2006

a little rumsfeld humour by way of scott.
playoffs. woohoo, we just barely slid into the last spot for the volleyball playoffs. so we get to play at least one more game!

Monday, October 30, 2006

hmmm, perhaps a compact tripod such as this is money better spent.
camera stuff. so, i want to get into my digital photography a bit more. and, since christmas is fast approaching, i figure it'll provide some good gift ideas. one thing i'm in need of is a tripod. i found the gorillapod which seems like a compact and versatile, although perhaps not the most professional-style, tripod.

if anyone has any recommendations on tripods, bags, lenses (for a canon body) please email or post a comment here. a guy at work recommended the canon F4/L 70-200mm lens--although i'm temped by the same lens with the image stabalizer. unfortunately it doubles the price. i'm also looking at the sigma 105mm macro lens which also came recommended.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

new job. for those of you who haven't heard from me (or my parents) yet. tomorrow is my last day with accenture and i start with "the bank" on monday.
and then there were pictures.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

happy birthday william. will notched his first full year this weekend and i went out to celebrate with dave and shelly. as is typical for first birthdays, he enjoyed smashing up the cake more than eating it (and he didnt seem to like the icing much). he also had more interest in the gift wrapping paper and boxes than the gifts themselves. all in all i think he had a good weekend with all the people and attention. pictures to follow.

Monday, September 25, 2006

IE. so, i spent the last 4 or so work days debugging an issue that occurred in only 4 people's browsers. we never found the root cause, but were able to narrow it down to the particular browsers on the particular boxes. microsoft has once again caused me much anguish by not supporting widely accepted standards. grrrr.
i think i had my first visitor from mexico yesterday. woohoo!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

rented a car and drove out to pennsylvania--or PA as we like to refer to it--for a friend's wedding.

Friday, September 15, 2006

drink more, earn more. (thanks to richesh)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

i went down to the WTC on the 11th. there were a ton of people around, even when i got there around 8.30pm. i took some pictures and uploaded them to flickr.

Monday, September 04, 2006

and one more for those of you bored at work...
the latest green innovations. i'd just like to note that the head of technology for tesla motors was on my galapagos trip a few months back. glad to see he's getting some international press.
this appears to be the world's most complete source for all things related to shoelaces.
in a way, perhaps not as surprising as it first seems. all the same, a lot of people will miss him.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

friday evening alicia and i met with maria and jeff to watch the new york grand opera's free opera in the park. since alicia was closing, she missed Suor Angelica, which is what she wanted to see since it's one of the pieces she's been studying. but the rain held off and overall it was a pleasant evening other than the fact that i'm getting old and can't sit on the ground for 3 hours.

yesterday we went to see the dada exhibit at the MoMA. then we watched munich at home and ordered sushi.

i had to work this morning (longer than i had anticipated). its been a rainy and miserable day, so it's ok i haven't done anything else.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

recommended reading. bbc did a laptop linkup in southern lebanon with some local residents. it's interesting to see the perspective of the people affected. disappointing to read statements that hezbollah finds joy in the death of civilians and its fighters as martyrdom. but at least pierre seems to have a true desire for peace.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

its always interesting to view my traffic to see how people find there way to this blog and where they are from. in just the past week, i've had a vistor from egypt and one from poland. the polish visitor found his way from a not so public part of elan's old blog.

most folks i don't know personally find there way here by searching for pictures of europe.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

saw little miss sunshine this afternoon. one of the better movies i've seen in a while. from what i can gather this was written as a screen play (not adapted from a novel or other story source). the characters had a depth--well played by the actors--that i just havent seen or connected with in recent movies.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

today's weather is perfect. 75, sunny, low humidity. couldnt ask for better weather during and outdoor wedding.

Monday, August 07, 2006

create your own visited states map

Can you tell i've driven cross-country...twice?
google is trying to give wifi away for free. (makes part of me want to go back to the bay).

Sunday, July 30, 2006

there are a few new pics on flickr. just some random new york photos.
movie. i know ryan loves a good movie review, so i feel a bit remiss that i havent posted more recently.
alicia and i saw scoop yesterday. in contrast to match point, it was a much more 'woody allen' movie. i thought scarlett played her part very well. and woody played his part (the usual type of part he plays) well. if you're not in the mood for mann's miami vice action or the humor of owen wilson in dupree, then go for scoop.
ingenuity. i experienced one of those moments of 'wow, what an incredible waste of ingenuity' last night as i was entering my apartment building after dinner. it was 8pm or so, about the time the party is just barely getting start in my neighborhood. i heard loud music that you normally hear coming from a tricked out car. but this was moving far too fast to be a car in the traffic on the street. i didn't hear a motorcycle engine. that's because it was a bicycle rigged up with a box on the back housing what appeared to be 2 6x9" speakers.

truly amazing...and obnoxious.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

too much time on your hands. try building a penny bridge or a nickel spiral.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

heat wave, nyc. its been a warm one the past few days. and a. hasn't had electricity in two days.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

in case you want to try to grow some bad-ass facial hair. like me.

Monday, July 03, 2006

off to pennsylvania for the fourth. have yourself a lovely barbeque.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

here's a little narrative of the trip in scotland as documented by the picture set on flickr.

the trip started off with a circumnavigation of manhattan in a super shuttle van, during which i receive a travel alert from orbitz telling me the flight was delayed. eventually the flight left and we went nonstop to edinburgh. got our luggage and went to pick up the rental car.

we had the car, the atlas, and sense of excitement as we set off for a drive to catch the ferry to arran. first, i had to get out of the parking lot. the car was manual, which is fine, b/c i drive a manual. however, i have never shifted with my left hand. despite starting in 3rd gear a few times, i did alright.

after we were able to navigate the roundabouts to exit the airport (we did an extra lap around the terminal for kicks). we were on our way. we did well up until we ran into some road construction and couldn't figure out where the detour was telling us to go. we somehow visited the same roundabout 3 times before we eventually found another route. which neither of us was sure if it was the detour or not.

uneventful rest of the trip to glencloy. the first picture (101) is the view from our room's window. notice the condensation due to rather chilly temperatures (even for scotland). the second (159) is the ferry between the mainland and isle. the third (155) is me behind the wheel - more detail on that later as it was taken on the return trip. i dont think it was a fully functioning farm, but they did have this chicken with chicks in the front yard (145).

that evening we went to a local pub for some food and sampled some arran ale (quite good). then we crashed.

the next day we went for a short walk from whiting bay to some water falls (128, 119, 110, 120, 111). 110 is a single rhododendron.

we had lunch on the shore a kings cross point (skip ahead two to 131). this had a nice view of 'holy isle' that has a lighthouse on it. after lunch we set off for brodick castle where we toured the castle (no photography allowed). it was interesting b/c it had been lived in up until the late forties. then we wondered around the grounds (138) and the walled garden (135).

the following day was the distillery day. since i figured i'd be tasting some, we decided to catch the bus. again no photography in the distillery itself, but it was cool to see how the whole process takes place. the end of the tour had a tasting (152, 149), after which i did a separate tasting of some cask strength. those were surprisingly good and not too overwhelming. altho after 3 i felt pretty good. since it was pouring down rain we decided to have a little snack at the restaurant.

the rain didn't let up and bus ride home wasn't the best part of the trip. but the worst was walking the last half a mile home in rain and driving winds. i think the misery factor was at about 8 about now. but it did get better.

the next morning we were scheduled to catch the ferry about 11am. due to the high winds the ferry was delayed and we sat in the car (155, 159). so we spent several hours in our little car staring at the sea and hoping we would make it back to edinburgh that day. which we did, just a few hours later than planned.

this is getting a bit long, so i'll write about the time in edinburgh in a separate post.

Monday, June 26, 2006

scotland trip pictures are up on flickr. have a look.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

last day. so today is the last day of holiday. it's amazing how fast it's gone by. arran was a great visit; got to taste some nice cask strength whiskies at the distillery. we also did a short hike to some waterfalls.

we're off to dinner and then a pint or two before we head out early tomorrow morning. more details and pictures to come. sam and kristin, thanks for letting us crash in their room while they were away.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

day of the beast. whew, looks like we made it through 6/6/06 without the arrival of apacolypse.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

a little something of a preview for the world cup.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

service. i traveled to columbus, oh for a meeting on thursday. i'd like to use the experience as a short case study on customer service. and it may well double as a bitch session.

i'm flying US Air, my coworker is flying Continental. thursday we leave for the airport, it's pouring down rain, monsoon like (anyone on the north east probably understands). each of us calls our airline to check the status. continental: canceled, recommends checking with a gate agent for rebooking. us air: on time.

we get to the airport. i check in and am told the flight is delayed 30 mins. coworker checks with gate agent. this guy ends up triple booking him: confirms him for the earliest continental flight in the morning, then puts him on the standby list for my us air flight and a delta flight. tells us to get dinner and check back in 30 mins or so.

we are eating. coworker gets paged to come to the gate agent. us air flight is delayed another 30 mins, but he books him on that flight. we finish dinner, go to the gate. flight is supposed to leave in 20 mins but the plane hasnt landed yet. of course, the departure time hasnt changed. upon inquiry, the plane hasn't left NY (its origination) yet.

another 40 mins passes, coworker is about to bail when an anouncement is made the flight is delayed another hour. they recommend rebooking for the morning flight. coworker bails, gets a hotel. i stay for the off chance the flight goes that night -- the us air gate agent said there is no curfew for the class of plane.

another half hour or so and flight officially gets canceled. i go to the checkin desk.
gate agent 1: earliest flight we have is 12:10pm
me: can you check all new york airports, laguardia, jfk, newark?
GA1: yes, all other flights are fully booked.
me: can you check other airlines?
GA1: there is one at 11 on delta to LGA. is that better?
me: its about an hour better. go ahead and book it.
GA1: (to GA2) why is this thing giving me trouble. what am i doing wrong?
(handing me back my original boarding pass with the delta flight number and time on the back) here is your flight information. do you need a list of hotels?
me: yes, do you have a voucher?
GA1: no, its weather related.
(transactions completed GA1 leaves)
me (to GA2): can you check flight availability for all new york airpots? i find it hard to believe there are no flights earlier than 11am to ny.
GA2: there is a 6:50 on continental into newark, would that be better?
me: absolutely.
i'm not sure if it's incompetence, laziness, or what, but when you compare what continental tried to do for my coworker versus what i asked for and couldnt get from us air the first few times, not to mention the poor communication of status by us air, there is little question on which was the better customer experience.

i had a similar experience with my hotel booking that night, which i won't burden you with. suffice it to say that you get what you pay for, and i ended up staying at the marriot where the hotel told me to take a cab from the airport which they covered.

Monday, May 22, 2006

galapagos. more photos have been posted to flickr. to get a detailed day-by-day i suggest reading ryan's account; i dont plan to post what limited record i wrote in my pen and paper journal, and i know i won't see everyone to tell them in person. i do plan to have some form of get together to show photos and talk about the trip and drink whisky. stay tuned for more on that.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

pictures. ok ok, days 1-3 are now up on flickr. more as i can get to them.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

travel. i´m in quito at the hotel. the trip has been amazing. i´m exhausted. tons of pictures to sift through tomorrow when i get back, then you´ll see some.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

galapagos. tomorrow i leave for the much anticipated trip to the galapagos. i'll be gone for two weeks. hopefully i'll have plenty of new pictures for your browsing pleasure upon my return.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

happy easter! it was a spectacular day here in nyc. the skies were clear, sun was warm and the breeze was cool. after church this morning, alicia and i had a bite to hold us over until dinner. we went food shopping (at whole foods, which is quite the adventure on a weekend) and made dinner back at her apartment. we had bread and hummus for a starter/snack while cooking, an asparagus, lemon, and mushroom pasta dish. and ended with the well reknown Guinness chocolate cake. yes, i ate two pieces.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

opera. i saw my first opera tonight. we got comp' tickets to don giovanni at new york city opera. i enjoyed it, but was glad to have someone much more educated in the subject to fill in or point out details i would have otherwise not picked up on. there were a couple mistakes i was surprised to see at that level, but enjoyable over all.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

food stores. so, there is a whole foods in union square, thats been there for about a year. recenlty, a trader joe's also opened near union square. yeah!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

go to church, live longer?

Monday, April 03, 2006

baptism. i'm godfather all over again after this weekend. on sunday d&s's son was baptized and a. and i spent the weekend with them. it turned out to be a great weekend as the weather was as beautiful as all the people that came to celebrate. will was really good all weekend considering all the new faces and excitement all weekend. hopefully he--and his parents--are getting some more peaceful rest during the week.

Friday, March 31, 2006

i am also the proud new owner of a digital rebel xt. so, be sure to check flickr for more photos in the near future.
godfather. dave's son is getting baptized this weekend, so i'm off to philly. i can't wait to see him and everyone else.

Monday, March 27, 2006

pictures. for those that haven't noticed the new right hand link, i've signed up for a flickr account.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

some long awaited photos from the whisky tasting. thanks d.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

notable people that share my birthday are: Willard Scott, Tammy Faye Bakker, Franco Harris, Lynn Swan, and Rob Roy.
thanks to all those that sent me birthday wishes by phone, email or post over the past few days. i had a long day at work, but a lovely dinner and wonderfully chocolately dessert.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

whisky tasting. so last night's whisky tasting was a success. there were five of us and five bottles of whisky. no, we didn't finish all of it. dave took some pictures, so hopefully he will share some and i'll post some here. we tasted the following (in order of tasting)

Auchentochan Three Wood
Aberlour 15
Arran Non-chillfiltered
Bowmore Darkest
Highland Park 12

Several of these were new to me, and in hindsight, I should have probably switched the order of the Aberlour and Arran. And in my taste, the Highland Park and Bowmore can go in either order.

A good time was had by all, and we finished the night in fine style with a trip to san loco for a bite of mexican.

This morning I slept in (12 hrs in all) and got out of bet around 2pm. Thankfully with little more than a minor headache from dehydration. This is pretty much to be expected.

Monday, February 20, 2006

alicia and i went to see "dog sees god" last night. it was excellent. great writing and acting. the writing did a great job of addressing big questions of the day, but also included the right amount of wittyness so you don't start taking the cartoon characters too serious.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

i know my attendance has been sub par here, i'll try to improve.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

got one for the thumb. the steelers won their 5th superbowl tonight, tying dallas and san francisco as the three teams with 5 rings. i can only image what its like back home.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

whisky. so i'm planning to do a scotch whisky tasting at the apartment in a month or two. i started building my stock (it won't be cheap). yesterday i picked up bowmore darkest and auchentoshan triple wood. both were reasonably priced at the broadway liquor warehouse. and of course i had to make sure the bowmore was still as good as i remember it. i also need to pick up michael jackson's latest guide.
inane things. item number one -- doggy steps. yes, all those years of trying to train your dog to stay OFF the furniture have failed. and if you can't beat em, join em. or have them join you, on the couch, on the bed, or in the car. now really, do people sleep with their dogs? isn't that illegal?

item number two -- the 24 poll question of the week:
Do you believe Jack would really have sliced Cummings' eyes out?

1) No--he was only bluffing. (latest results 11%)
2) Of course--he's done worse to get answers (latest results 88%)

Monday, January 23, 2006

the steelers keep rolling. and if they play the way they did today in the superbowl, i don't see how anyone can stop them.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

sickness. i think i'm coming down with some sort of illness. i've never found a better phrase to express it better than my dad. "i feel like shit warmed over"

splitting head ache, tender glands, mildly sore throat, and that general achiness that i can't really describe, but it makes me not want to get out of bed.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

a little fun for all you IT workers out there. i think my favorite is the pizza launcher.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

recruiters. so, i put my resume up on dice. more specifically, i just updated it. since then, i've been getting at least two calls a day and two emails a day from recruiters telling me that have a hot position. it's becoming so annoying i'm thinking of taking my profile down. my favorite is when they call once and i don't answer, so they call back 2 mins later...and still don't leave a message!
meet fulla, middle east barbie.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

need to kill time, go sudoku