Tourist in Sydney

May 30, 2008

banksia-giant-candles290.jpgOccasionally we have attempted to be a tourist in our own town but we usually stagger to a hotel, collapse, have a late breakfast on the sidewalk and then head home feeling somewhat cheated and resolved to be more “touristy”next time. This morning I walked with some friends along 10km of track only minutes from home. It’s perhaps the best result of checking out my own town in a long time. Read more

Grief in the Rubble

May 26, 2008

chinaquakeschoolbags.jpgAn echo in my ear when the towers came down in New York was an American woman on the news, completely mystified, asking why do “they hate us so much?” The question resonated over the incident and in the press over the next few weeks and months. Read more

Nothing else needs to be said…

May 23, 2008


That eBook Screen!

May 18, 2008

ebook_images2901.jpgI am still messing with this thing sent down by RocketXL. But it took someone else to point out,as they sat across the table from me, that the screen was not reflective. The sort of blinding obvious quality I would have liked to think I would have picked up but had not. Read more

Dubai Tarmac

May 16, 2008

dubai-tarmac290.jpgWhile the new airport is currently being built (a massive enterprise which we are all looking forward to seeing complete – the current airport crowds and bustle resemble the New Delhi railway station, not a first world air port) you can find yourself being shuttled to and from you aircraft by bus and walking to your aircraft. Which you might find inconvenient in 45 degree heat but which takes any plane spotters into seventh heaven as you are taken back to the smell of avgas, tire rubber, and the whine of turbines. All lost in the cocoon of modern airports

Melbourne in the Rear View Mirror

May 16, 2008

melbourne.jpgWell, in this case, in the side mirror. The perpetual (and petulant) feud between the two cities about which is the better of the two is no doubt only going to be exacerbated by news out today that Melbourne has eclipsed Sydney in the number of domestic tourists hitting town and now ranks as the nation’s leading tourist destination. I have lived in both cities and have to say that, well I do enjoy the joke that asks what the best view of Melbourne is. (The one in your rear view mirror of course). Still, they both run rings around Newark!!

The Ghosts of Jerash

May 14, 2008

jerash-theatre.jpgThey follow you around this place. Sometimes they silently appear from behind golden pillars with authentic fake coins to sell. Sometimes they rise out of the ground in the middle distance, shimmering among the rocks,  and silently beckon to you to come and look at some ancient wonder, their dark robes flapping in the hot, dry, oven baked  air.  Other times you look behind you in the tunnels of the amphitheatre and wait for their silent appearance from around the curve of the wall. You hear their steps but never see them, no matter how quickly or how often you spin around. These ones only touch your skin on the back of your head, never your eyes. Read more

eBook for Grandma?

May 9, 2008

ebook.jpgAfter extracting the eBook (from RocketXL) out from the embracing clutches of the LA Weekly back pages I managed to resist being distracted by it for all of about an hour. After which I  decided it was time for an early lunch and bit of an exploration. I was initially taken by the cover and the sensation that it was akin a small paperback. And small it is, as a few coins collected from around my desk shows here in my attempt to give it a bit of scale. By the way don’t be deceived by my cheap camera here – it is extremely easy to read in bright, direct sunlight. Yet another  reason to buy a decent digital camera! Read more

eBook Surprises

May 8, 2008

us-newspaper290.jpgThe Internet is a pretty amazing place. But you all know that. Still, every now and then you get a pleasant surprise which is a change from the usual “shock and awe” that attempts to penetrate our dulled www senses. This surprise was a Sony PRS-505 eBook which landed on my desk today. But the  story about the device can come in the next post. How the thing landed on my desk in the first place is an intriguing little vignette. In more ways than one. Read more


May 5, 2008

cholon-bike-repair390.jpgVietnam is endlessly fascinating. Because it is Vietnam of course. But mainly because its people are polite, energetic, entrepreneurial, curious, engaging and well, just Vietnamese. They are charged up about building their country and raising their standard of living in the pell mell pursuit of the West. Fortunately they are not completely corrupted by that madness and suburbs and districts of Ho Chi Minh City retain their essence. Read more