Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's official, I've lost nearly all the pictures.

The memory card to the camera is blank and every card reader gives me a dialog box saying it is unformatted and offers to format it. I made a back up along the way until I lost the connecting cord, so I have some.

Time to move on.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sorry, technical difficulties

I'm having terrible troubles getting the pictures off my camera. Plus upon arriving home, my laptop died. I bought a new one and between looking for a job to tide me over until I find a career, well, sorry I have not posted.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Diving The Great Barrier Reef

Often considered the pinnacle of all diving spots in the world - it is a great dive spot, if you can call it that. It is approximately the size of Italy.

Turtles are always beautiful, graceful in the water and even when eating...
(Double click on the photos for full size.)

Easy to get close when eating as Isabel shows us.

I found Nemo and his dad.

Delicious food in Cairns

Something so enchanting about a boat out on the ocean...

A nice sunset helps too.

Surfing is a good idea.

From Byron Bay, Australia.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Diving in Byron Bay

Visability was a bit rough but the diving was fun. Great stuff from turtles to 3 types of sharks to rays to lobsters to spiders and more great stuff...

Getting to know the locals!

Lone Pine Santuary has some very loveable marsupials...

(Kangaroo is also quite tasty!)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I love the hats...

Great British tradition, the kids have school uniforms and aren't the hats adorable? I love it! Every school has it's own size and type. These tykes I caught in the courtyard of the Powerhouse Museum. The cuties near my friend's house have a darker blue with a more rigid crown and brim.

(click the pic to see full size)

G'day from Down Under

After flying for only 18 hrs, I arrived two days later thanx to the international dateline. I'm ahead of you all, let me tell you the future looks bright and sunny with a cool breeze off the harbour, people out in shorts, yep that's winter in Sydney. It's like San Diego but not as expensive. I'm not sure why everyone in the world doesn't want to live here.

I'm going to try to blog but for practicality's sake, it will be hard to blog as an exercise in writing. I'm going to, as folks have recommended, get pix up and tell what they are.

Sydney Harbour is absolutely stunning, especially if you are like me who finds such great peace when look out across the sea. Jetskis are illegal, so mostly the tranquil romantic sailboats glide hither and fro.

The iconic opera house and harbour bridge and both majestic and proud symbol of a captivating city.

There a many inlets from the harbour with homes overlooking the water and a marina abounding with sailboats.

Darling Harbour is a tourist center but not so much a tourist trap. It's actually an immegrant trap because you'll be asking yourself, "Why don't I live here?"

Fantastic old and new ships at the National Maritime Meuseum.

I'm hoping for more posts! And forgive me if I don't reply promptly.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Time to make travel plans...

Jury Duty is over; I did not get selected. (I was curious to serve, though.)

Guests are gone. It was great to see them.

Now it's time to hit the road and get this blog which was intended to be about traveling, back to traveling. Coming up are Houston, Atlanta, DC, Chicago & Wisconsin and I'm dreaming about the Pacific Northwest, California, BVI or Honduras (but only for diving), and I'd like to treat myself to Australia (only $800 if I fly in Oct).

Your thoughts on places to see and check out?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I’m an Engineer!!!

Classes and exams are over! I’m an engineer!!!

It feels good to be done; it feels great to be an engineer. Clearly the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Most of all, I’m finally getting back to being me. I had withdrawn from socializing as I had alluded in the last post and while it was a good choice it was a tough one too. However, today, I felt myself reconnecting with me - simple things. While cleaning I turned on the TV and there was nothing but trash, so I asked myself, “What did I do before when I cleaned?” It dawned on me that I used to listen to NPR via internet. So, I put it on (I have connected the two surround sound stereo sets so I get great sound in both rooms of the apt) and it “felt like old times”. I love NPR and I have missed it. Again, simple but something I haven’t done in years…spend a few hours listening to the news.

Then, I called an old friend and chatted a bit. We couldn’t get together but it was great to reconnect. Simple but significant.

I also went to Riverside Park to watch the sunset. I hadn’t done that since the last round of exams. There were big boats and small boats. They were what clinched the idea of going back to school for Mechanical Engineering. Tonight there were also helicopters and airplanes (aerospace also being an ME discipline) and it seemed as though all possibilities were open to me.

As a bonus, there was a free mini concert in the park. I remember enjoying those before school started. It feels good to be back.

Monday, February 9, 2009

If it feels like I've been ignoring you, well...

I have been ignoring you. I have not been doing well. (Not to fret, all in good time, I'll be back to me.) I noticed it about 4 or 5 months ago. Engineering school has taken its toll. I work 80 hrs/week and take one day off per month, if I can get it. (I did a stretch from 26 Aug 08 to Thanksgiving, no break. That will mess with your head. Engineering school is no joke. One dude started the program and by the end, he became a chick. I don't know anything that can hold a candle to that.) And I've been going at it like this for about four years. It's too much. Even for a damned obsessive workaholic demon like me, it's too much. There are a few emails that I've sent out to friends...some were silly, others spastic, some just stupid and I can't unsend them. There were few as I noticed myself not at my best, but anyway, it has been enough to make me shy away from a social setting.

The good news...I'm going to take the summer off. My job search in the last semester of school is terribly superficial. Listen, I've got 95,000 miles on both United and American plus 55,000 on Delta. Roughly, 250,000 miles, when else am I going to use them? (Email me if you want to learn the strategy.) I've friends in Houston and I will try to get interviews with oil companies for when I visit. My big bro in the bay area says, "Let's head to the mountains, the ski chalet is great in the summer time too." My lil' bro in Buenos Aires, Argentina - it's been three years since I've seen him and his wife. Family reunion in July (we're from Chicago but my dad and the boys do an annual fishing trip to the north woods of Wisconsin so they'll coincide) and it would be great to commune with nature and make friends with the mosquitos...I've been way to busy to give blood at the Red Cross, this way, I will have done my part.

Other invites so far include Atlanta, DC and San Diego. I'll certainly be spending time in Chicago. Those miles could get me a trip to Europe too. And until this blog post, I only mentioned it to a few people.

I would love to lay around my apartment and just read books that have nothing to do with engineering. Then, I'll read the chapters in the engineering books that were complicated and the prof didn't get to. I really do love engineering but it will be on my terms. And I'll do the crossword every day.

I've got the money to do it, plus a couple of part time things that are very flexible. The timing is right. And the last time I left a job and took time off, the HR guy said to me when I started having a sort of buyer's remorse, "Martin, if the only reason you can think of to not do it is because it's crazy, then you're crazy not to do it."

And well, I need a freakin' break. All that I've endured headaches, nose bleeds, shingles, sleep deprivation, group projects with a bunch of 20 year old kids - ooohhh thank god that they freakin know everything, that way nothing gets freakin done!

Ahhh, some down time would be nice. Just chill...yeah. Maybe I should get a Jamaican accent to help me round out the slow pace and calming feeling.

If I don't find anything before the next school year, I'll take an AutoCAD class and a friend wants us to take welding, so then as a student I can keep my health insurance. Also, the 4th qtr can be a tough time to find a job. The holidays wipe out a month and companies look to just get by until new budgets start in the new year. Sucks that it may be pushed off but that's life. And, and... that's probably the worst that could happen. Ha!!! Why work?