Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hamster's New DO!

I thought I would share my new DO with the lads

I realise the coolness of the BTi DO......
Well I'll keep it at least for summer, winter may be a different story.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Boston and New York (Picture BLOG)

Time to take a week and go see a few things.  So off we went to Boston and New York City.

Freedom Trail... with the Mass State house in the background. You just follow the red line and walk down a history lesson - lots of fun and very interesting.

Hamster at Bunker Hill, Battle took place in 1775....  We climbed up inside the monument, 297 steps, you really feel it the next days in the legs.  Would be great training.

Boston Common in the evening..

500 Boylston St - the building featured in the US show - Boston Legal... 'Denny Crane'.

Cheers.    Photo Op only.  Didn't partake in an ale this time.

Bikes can always be victims... Sad

Squirrels running all over the place in Boston Common.. They don't mind having their photo taken...

Sam Adams - and 'Cheers' it was to quite a number of his finest...

The view from the Top of the Hub Restaurant.  This place in on top of the Prudential Building, also known as the Pru.  Great restaurant, wonderful food, very friendly staff and amazing views.

I met a frog friend in the Common.......

Well 3 and a half days enjoying Boston it was time to head south to the Big Apple for a few days, say hello to Julia, Nic and the boys, take in the sights, see a show and generally absorb the atmosphere.

Brooklyn Bridge from down on Pier 17......

Take NY by the balls.  There is no Bear around here - Actually there's too much Bull.!!!  They should put up a Bear next to this fella or at least a Matador - some symbol to tame the Bull going forward or we'll simply see another cycle and the same thing will happen.

Then Up in the air we go for some aerial sight seeing.....

South NYC by the air - what a great ride...

The new New York Yankees stadium - it is built right next door to the old one.....

Central park from above

The Lady of NYC from the air - a far easier way then lining up with about 5000 people down at Battery Park trying to catch the ferry out to the island.

Chicago in New York - Great show

Jazz band in Central Park - nice and relaxing for 20 or so minutes 

Times Square....

All in all NYC is one hell of a busy place

Well it was a fun week away and much needed.  I wish I could be on holidays for 3 months - alas, back to reality.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Spring has Arrived...

Its only another week and it will have been 6 months since I left Australia - time flies. With the arrival of Spring and warmer weather comes the time to hit the road.  Last weekend (April 26th) the temperature hit 34 degrees C and that's the maximum temp around here in the last 6 months.  

The route I have done a few times so far starts from a local high school car park which is only 3 miles from my place.  The ride goes south-west from Mechanicsburg to a place called Boiling Springs - nice little town with a small lake in the middle on which people hire boats and do a bit of fishing.   They also have a small fun park/water park with a few slides etc but still not open for another month.  From the first cruise of the main street the only cafe has closed and is auctioning off its inventory so that's a lot worse than Bobo's coffee.  Oh well, its only 13 miles from home and not the target for a general stop on future rides.  

Lake in Boiling Springs.....

Hamster's Black Beauty ready to go.....

When in America.......  
I found my old Motorola American Champions jersey so thought I would see how it went in its own backyard.  

On the way home I meet a rider, named Bob who works in the Harley Davidson factory down in York and rides as part of his cross training for weightlifting, nice fellow.  As I meet some more locals hopefully I will get to know where the better roads are to ride.  I would like to also know where the better cafes are but I think that might be stretching it a bit as there doesn't seem to be any cafes as we know them anywhere.....the search will continue all the same.

More sunshine means more rides [no excuses now].

Til next time.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Shipping Containers, Guns and Ice

All our stuff from Australia arrive.  The container finally arrived and we took a day off to direct the unloading of the contents.  The deal with the moving company was that we had a selection of our stuff to remain in Australia in storage and the all the other stuff to be transported to the US, simply right, wrong.  

On unloading the contents I was pleased to see the bike bag all wrapped up safe and sound, and the golf clubs and then the large pieces of furniture and assorted boxes.  Our inventory list showed we were due to receive 103 items and 70 items were to remain in storage in Sydney.

Well when the washing machine came off the truck I knew something was wrong, then came box number 109, then 128, then 115, and so on.  Well we finally got 131 items delivered and thank goodness we had rented a garage in the unit complex or we would have been in real spacial trouble.

The truck unloads....

Our empty garage......

With some extra stuff from Australia.......

Lisa and I worked all weekend sorting through the boxes for the stuff we wanted to have out and the rest went back into boxes for now. 

A few weekends ago we visited a local sports store - this is no ordinary sports store.  Its a store for real SPORT, and that means, hunting and fishing.  So when in Rome (ok, Harrisburg, but you get the picture)....

Hamster with a hunting rifle, with camouflage to boot....
And Lis gets into it too.... This is fun...

And if bullets are you're thing, there are plenty of arrows too.... These things are high tech...

While cruising around you can watch a video here and there where they have home videos playing of peoples hunting adventures and trying to explain how exhilerating it is to shoot a deer who is standing there in the woods under a tree where you climbed 17 hours before hand and waiting for a deer to walk under you.  Ready, aim, fire.   Pop goes the gun, jump goes the deer, flop goes the deer, down the tree coming the hunter, holds the deers head and smiles with glee.... like I said, Real Sport...

Work Story
Its going well and full of challenges.  I am off to Germany again in March for a two week meeting so hopefully will have some more news to report form over there too.  

I hope to get onto the bike when I return from Germany.  I have unpacked the bike and have it half assembled.  Pedals and rear derailleur to go and a few checks on handle bars and then its pump up the types and the rubber can hit the US roads.   

Last month the weather was a tad cooler with some moisture in the air, the result is going out to the car to find the car in ice. 

When it doesn't snow but rains and then the temp drops, see below for the results.

That wavey effect on the car is ICE.  As the car is waxed the water beads and then freezes

Thats all for now.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

December - into the New Year

Hi - it has taken a little while to get to the keyboard and jot down a few things the hamster has been up to.

December was a busy one.  A trip to Germany, bring Lisa back to the US and settling into winter time.

Frankfurt - Business meetings all day and a little relaxation in the Frankfurt downtown area where the Christmas festival was on.  People everywhere, it was like a outdoor nightclub and only 0 C - quite cold
Drinking the local Gluhwein - can't say I like it, but I have tried it, maybe it just wasn't the good stuff. 

Christmas - Lisa and I spent a nice quite day at home and cooked a special seafood pie which is a tradition in the MacKenzie household.  

On Boxing Day we took a drive around the local area and dropped into the closest Ski slope - its not Whistler but it is only about 35mins from home..  We'll try this out in the new year.

 The next few days we relaxed around home.  We have found a place called Pancera, they do nice sandwiches, soups and sell freshly baked breads and they do coffee.  We reckon the coffee is a step up from Starbucks but still has plenty of room to improve.  I would say that it's on par with Bobo's.  As you can see the cups are large enough not to need a second one.  

Lisa and her Mega Mugachino - Don't fall in Lis.......

December 30th we drove 5hrs to upstate New York into the Catskill State park where Julia and Nic have a house on about 3 acres.  It was great catching up with Julia, Nic and their twin boys. They're 2 years old and quite a handful.  We woke up on new years eve to a winter wonderland - everything outside was covered in a blanket of about 5 inches of show (12.7cm).   

Upstate New York - Julia's Place

The day of arrival and the sun was out.
The next day and here's Lis and the new car in the snow....

From upstate New York we drove south into NYC on New Years Day.  It was an easy 3hr drive on the I-78 South.  A few tolls on the way down (a whole $2.65) and then crossing the George Washington Bridge over the Hudson was $8 - welcome to New York :-)

While in NYC we stayed in Julia's apartment as they were still upstate and kindly offered for us to stay there.  The building's on 42nd St and so it's only a short stroll to Time Square.

Hamster in Times Square......

Hamster at a typical hot dog stand (this one was just outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Walking south along 5th Ave after having a quick peek inside the Guggenheim Museum we crossed E 66th St - Dave, remember this corner??

It was a relatively easy drive home from NYC on Saturday afternoon - about 3hrs on the I-78W.  The drive was after sundown so there wasn't too much to see along the way.  We got home about 10pm.

Then it was back to work.  Let the year begin !!


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Short Europe Trip

Just after noon here in Mechanicsburg, a partly cloudy day with periods of sun, but still bloody cold, its 1°C today and the overnight temp tonight (although I won't be here is -8°C. I do have the apartment warmed up to 22°C so its pleasant indoors (so you know where I am).

I am off to Frankfurt, Germany today for a few days of meetings and on my return via London I link up with my wonderful Lis and we come back home (read US of A) together.

I leave here about 2.45pm and drive the 195km to Philadelphia airport, drop off the hire car I have been driving for the last three weeks (three weeks has gone pretty fast) and up up and away to Frankfurt via London. I have a 3.5 hour layover in London but the lounges in London are very nice (especially the new ones in Terminal 5).

The forecast for Frankfurt during the week is slightly warmer then here in Harrisburg (I will at times use these two place name interchangeably) with Monday 4°C, Tuesday 3°C and Wednesday 2°C, then it's outta there and back to London for an overnight stay and then Thursday morning, get to the airport, find Lis and head home.

It was nice to see the photos from the outing you had last week for Lis and well done to Greggie for the photography work. It looks like everyone is now very accustomed to the camera with your striking poses (after years of practice you're in the swing of it).

It did snow yesterday and left a cover of snow this morning but it has mostly gone already. IF its going to be cold I want it to snow. Having said that I am sure at some stage it will wear off, and when it becomes slippery on the roads and difficult if not dangerous to drive then that time will be here. Until then let it snow.

I get back next Thursday afternoon so it's not a long trip. Oh, I get the new car on Thursday night (if the plane is on time) - pics will be posted shortly after.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Radio, BO, Car & Lunch (mix of topics)

Well I thought I'd share with you all a few things -
Radio - I have a satellite radio in the car and there are only a few hundred channels to select from and I found this one guy John 'Someone' who reckons that the American system isn't broken and that capitalism will triumph even if it means a load of people suffer in the short term. He went on about how if we continue with the bail outs we'll be turning all socialist like and will be the laughing stock of the world for not up-holding the ideals of capitalism. Afterall we have been scorning countries like France for its socialistic framework for years. These guys really believe in this stuff, its amazing (bewildering) to listen to if not just a little entertaining.

BO - There's talk about how the hell did Obama win - and his shaping cabinet only lacks Bill himself - so much for hope and change. "If you voted for change then you didn't get it don't you feel ripped off already" - that will be the question going forward for a little while now.

Other lines such as, "We are still the power house of the world and we need to show great leadership in this time of uncertainty" and "Other countries will learn the American way and finally get there one day".

Enough of that stuff, down to some good old American consumption -

Car - I test drove a car on the weekend and hopefully will have it this coming weekend but maybe it won't be ready until Monday or Tuesday next week. Anyway when it arrives I'll be sure to post a nice little pic of it for you to see.

Lunch - Now for something a little more light hearted .. The picture below is my lunch time hang - Francesco's. They do great wraps but I am staying away from the hot buffet they offer (no thanks). It ain't the RemCafe but it does the trick. And the coffee at work is far from the normal standard, Eddie I miss you! And the normal cafe on Sat morning on Darling St, well it seems half a world away, wait a second, it IS !! (And BoBo you're a master barista (relatively speaking of course). While the definition from Wikipedia is - "In English jargon, the term "barista" refers to one who has acquired some level of expertise in the preparation of espresso-based coffee drinks. Within certain circles, its meaning is expanding to include what might be called a "coffee sommelier;" a professional who is highly skilled in coffee preparation, with a comprehensive understanding of coffee, coffee blends, espresso, quality, coffee varieties, roast degree, espresso equipment, maintenance, latte art, etc" the term barista may seem a little high for our Bobbin head friendly server of less then ideal cafe on Sunday mornings but he has a level of expertise, exactly the level I am not sure. The company on those Sunday mornings more then make up for it though.

I am still looking for the cafe that makes it 'properly' - no i dont want cream, don't you just have real milk?

The Lunch House.... This was covered in snow last week..... And i am sure will again real soon.