If technology doesn't seem like magic, it's probably obsolete

I'm finding less time to update my blog these days, but my flickr photostream is often updated.

Playing in my house right now...

At 00:00 GMT on Thursday I was listening to:

More of what I've been listening to

Latest pictures from my phone
More pictures from my phone

Saturday October 27 2001 at 17:53 GMT

After a LOT of travelling, and a quite ridiculous plane-missing situation in Boston, I have finally arrived back in San Francisco. I stayed last night at my favourite Chancellor Hotel and visited Johnny Foleys for one last Guinness... This is a short update as I have but a few hours left here, and I need to make the most of them! The next update will be from home. :-(((((

Thursday October 25 2001 at 16:59 GMT

Pogo have an interesting product, covered today by the BBC. The Web site does not quite allude to how the device actually connects, or what the charges are likely to be. With none of the UK mobile networks currently offering GPRS to the public, and the costs pretty high for testers ... is this just MORE lies from the mobile Internet camp???

Thursday October 25 2001 at 16:32 GMT

Tuesday night turned out to be a lot of fun. Firstly, had a quick beer with Eugene Keenan (ex-Edinburgh person) and Penny Rigakos. Then off to dinner with Gordon & Jane Ashdown and Christina X at Rivoli in Queen St W, which was very good - accompanied by a few more of the local brews. Then Christina and I headed over to Chicago's for a quick beer ... which turned into a few, and getting to know our barman, Jamie, really quite well. After that it was time for some hotdogs, then sleep time.

I had planned to get up early to catch my bus from Toronto to Montreal, but slept through my alarm(!). The bus over was much quieter than when I went the other direction, which pleased me somewhat. When I got to Montreal, there was just over 90mins before my next bus to Boston, so I had some time to wander the streets and grab some food. I also popped into the Peel Pub for a tasty beer. The bus from Montreal to Boston was also nice and empty, so everyone had plenty of space to stretch out. I think I slept quite well on that bus! :-)

Arriving into Boston at 6.30 was not pretty, but after some breakfast, I jumped on the T out to Tim's house again, and have had a shower - I am *clean*.

Things to do today are: organise how/when I get home; but some more clothes that are cheap, cool and easy to pack!

Tuesday October 23 2001 at 19:58 GMT

***SO*** much has happened in the past ... week or so, but I have not had Inet access. It's been strange! Anyway, in summary:
- Montreal, Guinness, Larry, Pat, Dan, lots of fun
- Toronto - long overnight bus ride, lovely day on Monday for walking around, pouring today; strange night meeting a guy called 'Adam', then a quality night with Anthony; lunch with Nadi, Christine and Eugene

I will update this further, later.

Saturday October 20 2001 at 01:38 GMT

Now in Vermont, staying at my cousin's house, and running myself tired with her two children...

Wednesday October 17 2001 at 15:20 GMT

Today is the day of decision: can I stay for longer on the east coast, or will ATA make me fly back to SF...

Wednesday October 17 2001 at 06:08 GMT

What have I done a lot of in Boston? Well ... I made new friends in the pub.

Wednesday October 17 2001 at 05:54 GMT

ARGH! MTNSMS say: we r currently experiencing technical communication problems with the uk.

Orange say: 'Your SMS should be working...'

I say: 'I cannot message ANYONE!!!'

Tuesday October 16 2001 at 14:26 GMT

Always useful ... NetCafeGuide.

Tuesday October 16 2001 at 13:48 GMT

And who would live in a house like this??? Very cool indeed!

Tuesday October 16 2001 at 13:41 GMT

Today I am up early and ready to go! Just making some final preparations on what to see today... I also need to decide whether to re-organise my flights back to SFO, or to stay for a bit longer.

This article made me smile, as it is written by a Professor at MIT, where I will be visiting later.

Tuesday October 16 2001 at 06:31 GMT

Some good advices from The Onion for job hunters.

Monday October 15 2001 at 22:56 GMT

More telco news that I just noticed on the Nokia site is that Nokia are supplying GPRS equipment to China Mobile Communication Co's (CMCC). Apparently it is Nokia's second biggest market in the world, although it is not clear whether that is for ALL Nokia products, or just for the networking equipment section. This now puts China way ahead of America and other parts of the world in terms of mobile data possibilities - definitely one to watch!

Monday October 15 2001 at 22:50 GMT

Handspring have released the Treo - a combination of phone and PDA. Is it the ugliest thing ever? Wired have a good article on it. The whole area of phones getting bigger and more PDA-like vs keeping them small and cute, and with all the pertinent data stored on a central server is one that fascinates me. Based on my current phone and setup ... I prefer the second option of having a small cute phone, with everything stored centrally. My Ericsson T39 syncs perfectly with my work mail system for contacts, my calendar and my to-do list, which is pretty much all I really need in terms of that data. I can pick up my POP3 mail on it, and access WAP sites, such as Yahoo! to see my personalised pages. Yes, the screen is small, but I prefer that, to having to cart around a much bigger device. I am using GPRS too, which makes things nice ... although the bill at the end of the month can be somewhat offputting! Once those costs come down, I will be in heaven.

Meanwhile, those crazy Finns at Nokia have come up with an equally hideous phone - the 5510. Allaegedly they are offering it as a prize in the NokiaGame, which always proves to be a VERY strange and interesting experience to be involved in.

Monday October 15 2001 at 09:34 GMT

Very good meal in Chinatown tonight... Jumbos comes highly recommended, and you can even select the fish you wish to eat.

The worst thing about being away from work ... is the very thought of going back to work! I was originally planning to be back at work one week from today (22nd), however apparently I booked one further week away from my desk, so I had best make the most of it.

The options are lovely! I have a cousin in Vermont, a friend in Portsmouth, NH (I think - Michelle, where DO you live???), some friends in Toronto and some friends in NY, NY. I've also discovered that Stephen Malkmus is playing the Fillmore(sic) in San Francisco on the 21st, so I really think that I should be there to experience that! I just have to re-organise my east-west flights and my SF -> UK flights. All in a days (not) work!

Monday October 15 2001 at 01:00 GMT

Here are a list of recently occurred Good Things:

- Claire has got Yahoo! messenger, so I can talk to her without having to resort to the hideously complicated MSN Messenger (Yahoo! also has better smileys!)
- De La Soul have a new album coming out
- Tim's cable modem access and home network ROCK; how I will live without it, I am just not sure...
- Gnotella, a file sharing app that actually works! The cable modem access also helps here
- The Smashing Pumpkins - it has been too long since they were core listening material, but in the car yesterday, their brilliance was once again realised; their site is CRAZY!
- new people - hello to you all! Kevin, Dan, Adam, Scott, Lawrie ...

Sunday October 14 2001 at 23:48 GMT

Finally back to Tim's house! Yesterday was really nice - Tim, Kendall, Kevin and I drove up to New Hampshire, and through the trees that are incredible colours of yellow, orange and red right now. I bought a disposable camera, and took a lot of pictures - once I get my camera back from Kendall, and the pictures developed, they will be on the site.

We then headed on to Salem, where Sissi (Tim's girlfriend), Aileen (who has VERY nice curly dark hair) and Christy (who knew WAY more about the UK music scene and football/soccer then I did ... although I knew more about the American music we were listening to) met us at the Boston Beer Works. They have a range of interesting beers on tap, including pumpkin and blueberry flavoured beers, so once again, I felt the need to sample some, at Tim's insistance. We were planning to have food there, so ordered and waited and waited and waited. Then we waited some more, and then some more... Eventually, after 90mins+ we got our food, but some of it had definitely been sitting around for a while, so we called the manager over ... and had all our drink orders taken from the bill, which was a pretty significant gesture.

After our food, we took a walk around Salem, and had a walk through some graveyards and had a good look around. I would like to go back up there to learn some more about the witchcraft things that went on there, though. We then ALL squashed back into Tim's mighty Nissan Xterra and headed back into Boston, for a few more quick beers, in a random pub, with some pretty good live music. I think it was at this point that I misplaced my phone, which is never a good thing for me! :-))

Today has been spent sleeping, and riding about on the wonderful T. One US dollar to go anywhere in the city, really IS what mass transit is about (as well as nice clean vehicles that (appear to) run on time). Weather is not so nice today...

Tim is at a Thai-Chi class right now, and Sissi has gone to University to do some work, but we are all meeting up later for a big meal in Chinatown.

Saturday October 13 2001 at 17:40 GMT

No sore head today, but have slept for too long. Now off to see some witches!

The first Harry Potter film comes out on November the 16th, apparently. The site is cool, and worth checking out.

Saturday October 13 2001 at 09:18 GMT

All the SMS services back to the UK seem to be broken - how can I be expected to keep in touch?!?!?!?! X-(

Saturday October 13 2001 at 09:06 GMT

Even if you do NOT wish to see Tina Modotti's site, you should at least check out this and this, this and this.

Saturday October 13 2001 at 09:02 GMT

Whilst I am talking of photography, I feel I should mention Tina Modotti - my favourite photographer of all time.

Saturday October 13 2001 at 08:59 GMT

Today (yesterday?) has been a lot of fun. Kendall and her brother Adam looked after me all day - they took me around Boston a bit, specifically to the Harvard Square and to Bartleys and then on to the Museum of Fine Arts. Overall, I was really impressed by the building, the collection and most of all the organisation of the collection. I love photography, and some of Sophie Ristelhueber's work was incredible, and, as the museum noted, particularly ponient and relative at this time. If you are in the Boston area, I would really encourage you to go and see this while you can - the MFA are really presenting this work in a brilliant manner.

This evening, we have been to a few bars. These included John Harvard's (yes, the guy who started Harvard, according to my guides), The Littlest Bar which really does only hold about 40 people at a squash, Silvertone and finally JJ Foleys. I managed to enjoy a vaierty of beers at each of these! :-)

Whilst searching for info on JJ Foleys, I found this site. I have no idea who Jen Langley is, but her site is interesting in places.

Friday October 12 2001 at 15:36 GMT

Forgot to say thanks to my brother for his list of suggestions already, all the way from (almost) Melbourne, Australia! The wonders of SMS.

Friday October 12 2001 at 15:33 GMT

Made it safely to Boston ... flights were all OK, thankfully, and somehow Tim & Kendall managed to find me in the airport! There was NO additional security at Boston, but I did get my laptop scanned separately, and my carry-on bag searched before boarding in SFO. That was their first mistake - not realising exactly how much I could fit into my bag! :-D

I have to say that the ground lighting at both airports was very cool - the same blue lighting colour as used in Volkswagon cars. Highly recommended for worldwide airport ground usage!

Now off to explore Boston with Kendall and Adam. If you think there is something to do here ... then drop me a mail: ml (at) .

Thursday October 11 2001 at 11:42 GMT

I am now booked to go to Boston ... in 10 hours time! The best deal I could get was 457 USD, with ATA. Scared? You bet!

Thursday October 11 2001 at 09:40 GMT

Tonight was cool. I met up with Janice Wong, and we went to a small Chinese place called Great Hunan for dinner - left feeling stuffed. Then we headed over to catch the One Hundred & Six Years of Comedy. There were four plays in total - the first two (MIxed Doubles by Georges Feydeau and Maurice Desvallieres and Overruled by George Bernard Shaw) were pretty similar, so time seemed to drag a little. The last two were good though - Noel Coward's Early Mourning was essentially a monologue that was very well portrayed, and Moss Hart's Franklin D. Roosevelt To Be Inaugurated Tomorrow was short, quick and funny.

After that, I walked Janice back to her car in the warehouse district (I think) and then stopped at a small hole-in-the-wall bar called Attitudes, which was pretty uninteresting. After helping some locals (from SF) find Stockton Street, I headed over to Johnny Foleys for a swift Guinness. :-)

I've been trying to decide when to go to Boston ... and I think tomorrow is the day! Planning to head over for almost a week, and stay with my friend Tim, and hang out with Kendall and meet some new people! As well as drinking lots of beer. :->

Wednesday October 10 2001 at 22:36 GMT

Last night, thankfully, turned out to be good! I had planned to meet my cousin for dinner and to hear some jazz at the very cool Enricos, but he had a late day at work and couldn't make it, so Kim kindly met me. We had a good time mostly catching up on what was happening at Franklin, where she used to work. The food was tasty, and the jazz was good to hear - I was desperately missing some live music.

After that I went to Johnny Foleys. I have been spending quite a lot of time here - so much so that when I went there on Tuesday night, the barman said 'Hello Martin' and got my a Guinness straight away. I've always wanted that to happen!

As I was trying to write in my previous (lost) post, Tuesday night turned into a comedy of errors. Firstly, I had planned to go and hear Sebastian Junger, the author of the The Perfect Storm, but due to the bombing in Afghanistan, that was cancelled. [I love the name of the place the talk was meant to be at though - A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books.] So then I went to try to see One Hundred & Six Years of Comedy as recommended in SFWeekly. I misread the performance information though ... and got there to find out the place was shut.

Third time lucky, I thought, and went to see ANOTHER film. Joy Ride was pretty gripping throughout - finally, a recommendation! It is in the same vein as Duel.

I am now off to enjoy some more of the SF sunshine!

Tuesday October 9 2001 at 23:52 GMT

AARRGGHHH - just wrote a huge update, and Blogger snapped! :-| MUST now go for a walk in the sunshine.

Monday October 8 2001 at 21:05 GMT

Had hoped that Zoolander would be a lighthearted laugh, but it turned out to be quite banal and painful. :-( Going to the cinema/theater here is such a different experience to going in the UK. I think I like it more, although I have been unable to put my finger on quite what it is.

Had a bit of a late night, catching up on personal emails and trying to clear out loads of list emails that I've just not had time to read lately. Today is the first official day of my holiday, and it is SO nice to look forward to two whole weeks with no work. What I need to do now is turn my mind away from nasty work thoughts ... which may take longer.

Weather here looks pretty good again, for Columbus Day, so I am off to the Mission district to find a mighty burrito, and to find a computer shop selling the Xircom Bluetooth card. :-)

Monday October 8 2001 at 06:26 GMT

I should say that most inspiration for doing this comes from the mighty Grant Baxter - check out FRESHfiltered.

Monday October 8 2001 at 06:24 GMT

So ... this is my first Blogger post. Currently in San Francisco, one of my favourite places in the world. CDs playing are: DJ Krush - Zen; Omni Trio - 01.2; Matchbox 20 - Mad Season

Today the US and allies (UK) started bombing Afghanistan. I still feel that more talking should have been done, however it is too late for that now. My hope is that the campaign is swift and successful in achieving whatever goals have been set out. My fear is that the goals are not completely defined or thought through, and the world is going to end up in a worse mess than when these 'Terror Attacks' started on September 11. Seeing the extra security here in SF (police on the BART, for example) and getting text messages from people back home, has brought what is going on to the forefront of my mind somewhat.

Now off to see my second movie of the weekend - 'Zoolander'. I think this may be a record!

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