Birthday Boy

Man, the last few weeks have been hectic. In my last few days in California, I managed to squeeze in a trip to Cupertino, to visit The Apple Store (for shwag) and I managed to get a quick Apple campus tour while I was there. 🙂

After arriving back from San Francisco, my jetlag was prolonged with a small case of insomnia. 🙁 At the same time, nomad was in Dublin for a few days, after I first suggested he drop by when we met at LISA in DC, last December. Hanging around with Lee, even playing tourist and doing a tour of Dublin Castle was good fun. Before Lee left, he gave a very well received talk to SAGE-IE. Just after Lee left town, an old friend of Ciara’s from Canada came to visit, so tourist activities such as attending the St Patrick’s Day Parade continued for another few days.

Last week was one long blur, predominently of work stuff. Then came the weekend, when I was expecting to have a quiet meal out with Ciara, until we arrived at Chai-Yo on Baggot St, where I found 7 friends waiting to surprise me and wish me happy birthday. It seems I underestimated the lengths and just how sneaky the female gender is…

Today is my birthday. I turned 0x18 (or 24 if you’re unable to read hexidecimal 😉 ) and I received messages from all over, including Hong Kong airport (Hi Mark!) and even a colleague in Zurich (who noticed the unsubtle, yet tasteful way one’s birthday is shown on the internal phonebook 🙂 ) People have also given me some wonderful gifts, in particular, Ciara gave me a Canon SELPHY CP510 photo printer. 🙂 Now all I have to do is continue to resist my current “lens lust” for a fast shuttered, wide angle lens.

Jaded, on the West Coast

So, I’ve been over here in San Francisco for a week and the weather is quite like being at home in Ireland – chilly gusts of wind, unpredictable rain showers, etc – the only difference is when it’s sunny, it’s slightly warmer (and by slightly I mean twice as warm).

So far, my work trip here is going well, I’ve done many things and I still have lots to do. I’ve started to feel a bit jaded in the last few days which is probably due to the combination of jetlag and work. Last weekend was spent vegetating and doing very little. I didn’t actually venture further than a few blocks from Union Square (which is a block from my hotel). This weekend, I plan on being a bit more of a tourist, probably with a trip to Alcatraz and spending some time trying to take scenic or interesting photos.

Not much else has happened during my trip. The dollar is still rediciliously valued, so shopping still feels like I’m pillaging. 🙂 US online stores are still stupid, they initially take and then ultimately refuse non US credit cards, since they’re baltently fraudulant. I guess I need to find someone to go visit a Fry’s with. The food, particularly sushi and Mexican food, as expected is fantastic, particularly compared to what’s available in Europe.

I’ve also getting annoyed with US TV networks again. I became a big fan of Studio 60 after only a few epsiodes, but it’s now been put on hiatus mid season, which is never a good thing. Maybe it’s because Amanda Peet popped last weekend, but I’m probably being too much of an optimist. It’s a shame if it doesn’t return, too many TV shows I’ve enjoyed watching – The West Wing, Alias, etc – have all ended, leaving not a huge amount on TV. Sure, CSI is entertaining, but they are formulaic.

Maybe I’ll find something else to watch, now that I’ve become a Joost beta tester. Early impressions are that Joost is quite shiny. The UI is very nice and from my initial glances, there is a lot of content available. I’m looking forward to playing with it when I’ve more time.