Tag Archive for 'usa'

Yosemite Falls



Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch

Landscape Arch



Mauna Kea Frost




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.

Keck Laser

Keck Laser

Moss Glen Falls

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).

Moss Glen Falls

Seen in Lyndhurst



Indian Garden

Grand Canyon

Shoshone Point Sunrise

Grand Canyon





off to Vancouver Island tomorrow and then Seattle for a week and a bit


South Dakota

you should read this


NYT Wordtrain

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…



“Let’s Just F*#%ing Vote Already!” Thank you Magic Hat, for saying what everyone’s thinking…



I’m a big fan of the b-side lounge, and the b-sidecar…



They also have excellent mac ‘n’ cheese. Yum

Provincetown II

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,

Cape Cod National Seashore

Cape Cod National Seashore

and a beautiful sunset from Race Point.

Race Point sunset

Race Point sunset

How much the colour of the sunset is due to air pollution I don’t want to know… More photos here.

White Mountains

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,

got nuts?

got nuts?


one of many

one of many

great views,

toy train from a hilltop

toy train from a hilltop

and wierd fungi.

not quite sure

not quite sure

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.

Where to sleep near Harvard Sq

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.

homeless sleeping at the harvard coop

homeless sleeping at the harvard coop


Boston being a blue state and all, I guess the state of this McCain sign isn’t all that surprising…

vandalised sign

vandalised sign


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…

somewhere over the USA

somewhere over the USA

More photos here.

Premium economy

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.


A year in Boston, summarised

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).

view from my window

Balcony heaven

This was the view out the back of my house in Boston. I think I could count 30 or so balconies…

balcony view of balconies

San Francisco II

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.

my street

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.

yerba gardens waterfalls

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.”

cupids span and bay bridge

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…

turtles stop skateboarders

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.

San Francisco I

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.

museum of science

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…

surfers under the golden gate

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.

view of bridge and city

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.

big boat and big bridge

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…

Roller derby

We cruised out to Wilmington to see the roller derby on Saturday. Craziness.

girls at the roller derby

Dimick on a snowy night

snow by a street light

Hot Super-Earths: submitted

So any complaints from referees aside, I’ve submitted a paper today, which gives me something to show for my time here in Boston!


BU Hockey

These are the cute kids that played at halftime during the BU game I went to

kids on ice


pats lose! so long for the pursuit of perfection…



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.


BU Hockey

“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.


Memorial Hall

memorial hall pillars

Aussie day

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.

nz/australian invention

Food hall sign

read the small writing under hebrew national

Replacement MacBook Pro battery

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.




Statue around Harvard

Frozen bubbles

This is ice…

frozen bubbles

Celtics v Raptors

they lost due to poor d-fense

The Charles

the Charles

Moonrise at sunset

I like this image. A smokestack belches steam or smoke into the hazy sunset, while a tv antenna and the moon look on.

moonrise at suset

Sunday football on the couch

the couch

Snow tyres

tyre marks in the snow


snow shovels can be fun too

On large servings of food.

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!


Snowy wire fence

I love the way snow settles on different things in different ways.

snow onna fence

Falling limbs

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.”


Walking home last night

the CfA (or CAF as Dave would have it)