Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Today on twitter

  • 05:28 At Amsterdam pending a return to the US of K. This location thing is cool: it updates my co-ordinares when I tweet. #
  • 11:45 Home. After the tantrum on the way out, on the final flight I got juice thrown over me by a child... #

Monday, March 30, 2009

Today on twitter

  • 16:40 Wow! One of my photos was used for the entire front page of the Daily Record PM on friday. That's he free paper for commuters in Ed and Gla. #
  • 16:44 I have a PDF of it so will upload it as a pic when I can. 20,000 odd people forced to look at one of my pics! #

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Today on twitter

  • 13:19 I have the Internet back after a short break. In Saudi Arabia for 1 more day then back to blighty. #

Here and there

But mostly there.

Internet access has been rare over the last few days. I had Internet in Abu Dhabi but the local company filter seemed to block everything that I wanted to do. What exactly is wrong with insulting Islam and watching Lolita porn?

Anyway, the week started on Dubai. The city seemed ok but did not really grab me. The famous Burj al Arab hotel was nice but not jaw-dropping; I'm not sure how iconic a piece of architecture it will be seen as in the future. The major surprise was the Burj Dubai, the new tallest building in the world. It is sleek and elegant, delicate even, like a shard of glass or wood stuck in the desert. Pictures don't really do it justice, but suffice to say it's a much better tallest building than the fairly ugly Taipei 101. My picture below us terrible (taken from a taxi and I couldn't get the right angle when we were closer) but it's the sliver between the trees. Is it talk though. It absolutely dominates the landscape and is easily higher than anything else in the world.

And so to Abu Dhabi. A taxi journey down from Dubai showed me the desert and Gulf coast. Let's just say it was not particularly dramatic. Abu Dhabi then rears out of nowhere on a Manhatten-esque island. Dense with buildings, none are particularly tall but (in contrast to Dubai) at least there is a feeling of design consistency and planning. I didn't really find the soul of the place (more if that in a future post) but spent a pleasant 4 days there and had a bunch if beers. No alocohol ban on the hotels there... On one day I met one of the Sheiks belonging to the ruling family. Did you know that the average wealth of the Abu Dhabi citizen (not resident, an important distinction) is over $17 million?

And so to Saudi. Lovely Saudi Arabia. To be fair, my hotel this time is excellent, and I only have to stay 3 nights... Tonight is BBQ night at the hotel, and tomorrow I work all day then head back home on the night flight.

Gutted to have missed the GP today, which sounded excellent. Hopefully my Sky+ recorded it for me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Today on twitter

  • 13:57 Internet access as spotty as expected. Dubai a mishmash of skyscrapers but the Burj Dubai is surprisingly elegant and pretty. #
  • 13:58 Abu Dhabi seems nice enough and relaxed. Nice Mexican food and excellent margeritas last night. #

Monday, March 23, 2009

Today on twitter

  • 23:15 The Lost season finale is entitled "The Incident". Things are beginning to knit together now, revealing that the show is a work of genius. #
  • 11:52 At heathrow on my way to Dubai. The first flight was ruined by a little girl having an hour-long tantrum. twitpic.com/2dh83 #

On the road again

It's been a busy time for work travel recently. I'm currently in Heatheow waiting to board a flight to Dubai. I'll be there tomorrow, then it's off to Abu Dhabi for a few days, then Saudi Arabia. I could theoretically go to Qatar as well but this seems unlikely. I have no idea how good my net access will be.

After this trip it's home for a couple of weeks then probably Norway.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Today on twitter

  • 14:18 Mmm, sushi. Now for Gran Torino. #
  • 18:41 Gran Torino was good. Better than Watchmen, which is a bit of a screwy comparison. How about significantly better than Changeling? #

Friday, March 20, 2009

Today on twitter

  • 18:39 Hallelujah! The F1 teams stand up to Max n Bernie and get rid of the crazy scoring system: tinyurl.com/ct72cs #

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Today on twitter

  • 13:31 An exceelent article on F1's farciacal rule changes, which sem to be an attempt to fix "un-broken" rules: tinyurl.com/cq8rxh #

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What have I been doing?

In short, nothing groundbreaking.

In long, but not too long:

In January I was ill. This doesn't happen very often but I felt crap for a while, but not as crap as French Claire who seemed to have tuberculosis.

From mid-January to mid-February I honestly can't remember what I did, which tells you all you need to know. There were a few good drunken nights with various good folks; Mark and Claire in particular were a bad influence on my binges. Red wine is lovely, isn't it? I did cook some lovely ribs and lamb (seperate meals, although now you're suggesting it that is not a bad idea), rode my dad's awesome new convertible Mercedes SLK, and watch Lost.

Lost is back, baby, and is becoming even more of a mind-fuck than ever. That's not a bad thing, and to sweeten it they are answering loads of good questions. And hasn't Ben cemented his place as one of the great TV characters?

The last 3 weeks have seen a couple of trips away from home. First was London. This was for work meetings and a presentation. The talk was probably my highest-profile to date, for a seminar run by the SPE. To top it off it was at the Geological Society in Pucadilly. For a geologist (or for that matter many scientests) this was a big thing. I was talking from the same stage, in the same lecture theatre, that Darwin had, as well as any other number of household-name scientists. This was the room that plate tectonics was proposed in and agreed upon; where debates raged on evolution and the origin of life; where my science and others were founded. Having said that, I didn't really concentrate on that and gave (if I say so myself) a good talk.

London also allowed me to take in my first-ever English football match, and to catch up with a couple of ex-Aberdonians. Fulham's FA Cup fifth-round replay against Swansea happened to fall on my free evening in London, so I went along. Reasonably-priced at £20, the match was good without being great, and it was a nice stadium with friendly fans. I chatted away to the guy next to me, and he pointed out an old geezer a couple of rows in front who was in his 90s and had missed 7 home games in 75 years. That's commitment... On my other evening I caught up with Gauci and Marsh over a good burger (with habanero sauce and pink in the middle) and a couple of pints. Both were on good form. Some photos of LDN are on my Flickr page.

Finally, 2 weeks ago I spent the week in Houston for work. It basically consisted of me doing talks (I was on good form), drinking beer (Shiner Bock is excellent), and not managing to finish off huge plates of food. I managed to smuggle a new Mac and some form of food poisoning through customs.

So there we are. Back to the present. Upcoming is a trip to the Middle East next week for a couple of weeks. That may or may not be fun. I'll wait and see.

This has certainly made my bus journey fly. I'm only 5 minutes from home now. Curry and poker await.

An actual post

Yesterday I met with my good buddies Niall and Simon. This blog came up, and the gentlemen commented on the short and robotic nature of the Twitter posts. I agreed, but commented that I had been enjoying the ease of use of Twitter (from my phone at any time).

Niall then BLEW MY MIND by suggesting that I could write blog posts by email at any time I want as well. He shows occasional flashes of brilliance, that boy. So I commuted to having a go at that to resuscitate this blog, but wished there was a Blogger app available.

Guess what? There is, and I am writing this test post from it. I have shown my commitment to you, dear reader, by investing £1.79 in it. That's right, almost 2 pounds!

I write this from my tea break. Maybe I'll try a catch-up post on the way home tonight.

Don't hold your breath, though...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Today on twitter

  • 22:35 This is perhaps the best sporting prowess video I've seen: tinyurl.com/dkq47u It doesn't matter if you don't get NFL #
  • 10:17 How did they know I had soiled myself? twitpic.com/24b9l #

Friday, March 13, 2009

Today on twitter

  • 16:32 Paranoid Android, Nintendo stylee: tinyurl.com/coppcx It's got dog barks and everything #

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Today on twitter

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Today on twitter

Monday, March 09, 2009

Today on twitter

  • 13:25 Saw Watchmen. Good but not great. Stylish yet teenage/juvenile in content. Too long and occasionally boring. Good but intrusive musiic. 6/10 #

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Today on twitter

  • 14:32 Well the migration was successful. Bravo Apple: all apps, data etc. transferred seamlessly. Slick. #
  • 16:40 Just watched last weeks's Lost (the Locke one). Wow, was that one of the better episodes or what? Can't wait for tonight's one. #
  • 17:28 The Onion is becoming obsolete. This would be comedic if it wasn't blatant and bizarre corporate bullying tinyurl.com/dbl9eu #
  • 19:05 Nature's Great Events tonight was incredible: sardines vs sharks, dolphins, and gannets. Awesome footage: tinyurl.com/bsol26 #

Friday, March 06, 2009

Today on twitter

  • 07:24 Amsterdam. Tired. Thank goodness for the KLM lounge. #

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Today on twitter

  • 00:36 With exquisite timing I got my bonus this month and Apple refreshed their line while I am staying 1 mile from an Apple store... #
  • 00:37 Result = one new Mac Mini at essentially 10-15% off, even with the crappy exchange rate. Now I have to see if I can sneak it past customs... #

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Today on twitter

  • 02:33 American portions are ridiculous. This is fried crawfish and fries. twitpic.com/1tys5 #

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Today on twitter

  • 20:55 Just back from downtown Houston and a meeting with Chevron. A nice sunny day here. twitpic.com/1t0bj #

Monday, March 02, 2009

Today on twitter

  • 21:25 In-flight photo of pack-ice south of Greenland. Cool stuff. twitpic.com/1s7yq #
  • 21:26 In Houston safe and well. It's actually not too much hotter than home. Going to have a nap and then it's cajun food for dinner. #