Archive for November, 2009

Another London Weekend

November 29, 2009 Leave a comment

I had another good tourist weekend in London (added to this photo album), which included:

  1. Buying lefsa at the Scandinavian Kitchen – it tasted OK, but it had been frozen for too long
  2. Sampling some very good scotch at Milroy’s of Soho 
  3. A tour of the Royal Albert Hall, which opened in 1871 with a bad echo that was never fixed until 1969 when they finally figured out how to get rid of the echo: hang mushroom-like things (acoustic discs) from the dome.  
  4. Talking to two large men dressed in drag who were in full black Victorian-era dresses just to be out on the town – no real special reason. (sorry, no picture). I asked if it was difficult to get around with the large hoops at the bottom of the dresses and they said not really and that people really get out of their way when walking down the sidewalk.
  5. Visiting the Science Museum, and specifically Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine (I saw it 3 years ago with Daniel and Angelina) and his brain, or at least the right side of it.  
  6. Visiting the new Darwin Centre at the Natural History Museum, where I learned about classifying bugs and plants 
  7. And finally, a night of comedy with Anne.

Yes, it ended up being a rather educational and interesting weekend. 

A Sunday Walk in London

November 22, 2009 Leave a comment

I had two things in mind for walking around London today: Visit a Christmas market near Oxford Street and see some rainforest tree stumps from Western Ghana. I never found the market, but here’s what I did find/discover/learn today:


  1. Rainforest tree stumps from Western Ghana are much more twisted than Douglas Fir trees from Northwest America
  2. Shelters for taxi drivers (cabmen shelters) have been in London since 1875, are no larger than a horse and cart, but can seat 13 with a small kitchen
  3. Selfridges has been around since 1909
  4. Walking down Fleet Street is a bit like an outdoor museum, which includes St. Bride’s Church – it was the inspiration for the layered cakes we’re all used to seeing at weddings.
  5. Walking into a vast, empty, and completely dark space is a weird feeling. (the exhibit at the Tate Modern by Miroslaw Balka is a massive steel box that is open on one end, but no light is shining into it so everyone just slowly walks into it. Walking out is fine since you can see the light at the open end, but walking into the dark is very weird)

Click the pictures to see my highlights from today’s walk. Yes, I had rain and sunshine.

15 years at Microsoft

November 18, 2009 Leave a comment

IMAGE_013 Have you ever wondered what I’ve done for the last 15 years at Microsoft? I just explained it on my work-related blog if you are curious. The thing pictured here (poorly) is my 15-year award sitting on my desk in London. It is a large chunk of glass with some orange colouring on it.

Birthday’s in Munich

November 15, 2009 Leave a comment

We spent our birthdays in Munich being tourists by going to the Augustiner Bierhall and the Hofbräuhaus for traditional Bavarian food and beer. We also tried Mexican food in Munich, which turned out to be pretty good. The best part of our long weekend was touring the area on the way to Neuschwanstein Castle with Mike’s Bike Tours (but didn’t get any bikes at this time of year). We had beautiful weather all day, so it was a great time to see the countryside. We didn’t get in any skiing, but we did see snow as we cut through part of Austria. Maybe next time!

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