Following Apollo 11 for the first time

I wasn’t born yet when Lance Armstrong first set foot on the moon in 1969. I was less than nine months old when Eugene Cernan, the last man to set foot on the moon, left its surface in mid-December 1972. So I was born in the Lunar Age, although I was too young to remember it.

I vaguely remember when Skylab returned to earth over Western Australian in 1979 (earning the US a $400 fine for littering), but the most prominent memory I have of a space mission was when my father woke me early in the morning to watch the first launch of Space Shuttle Columbia in April 1981.

While I followed the shuttle program with great interest (and horror in 1986), the Apollo program was mostly unknown to me until I saw the movie Apollo 13 in 1995. While the movie had its share of artistic fiction, it was a great introduction to the space program that captured the world’s attention 40 years ago.

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Considering the Prius – Part 1

If you’ve spoken to me in person over the past 6 months or so, you may have heard me mention that I’m considering buying a Toyota Prius to replace my six-year-old Honda Jazz (known as the Fit in Japan and the Americas). Actually, you probably think I’ve been going on about it ad nauseam, so I’ve decided it’s time to share my enthusiasm for the car with the wider internet community (or at least the seven people who follow this blog). So, here’s part one of my thinking on why I might consider buying a Prius; I’m starting with the environmental issues.

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Kurt De Fris update

I’m back home after the Kurt De Fris tournament in Adelaide; W.A. won the bronze medal game (which I refereed), while NSW was the runner up to Victoria in the gold medal game. I’ve just gone through my photos and videos and selected a few highlights, including the final minutes of the grand final.

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Kurt De Fris tournament

I’m currently at the Kurt De Fris tournament in Adelaide, which is the national 15-and-under ice hockey tournament run by IHA. I’m one of two interstate referees who’ve been flown in to ensure we have neutral referees for the games (although all the linesmen are local).

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Days 22 and 23: LA and home

Today is my last day in the US. It’s been a great trip, and it’s gone very quickly, and so I’m a bit sad to be leaving. However, today I’m driving into and through Los Angeles, and I can’t think of a better way to convince me to leave.

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Day 21: Big Sur and big jam

When I was planning my road trip last year, a number of people suggested I should visit Big Sur; I didn’t make it last year, but that’s the plan for today. But the first stop is Monterey.

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Day 20: Golden Gate and farewell SF

Cable car turntable

Cable car just off the turntable

A number of us planned to ride over the Golden Gate Bridge today. After various delays (which we all decided were Ben’s fault), we eventually rented the bikes from just outside where the cable cars turn around.

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Days 16-19: WWDC Days 2-5

After the craziness of the first day of the conference with the Keynote, the rest of the days settled into a pattern which went a bit like this: breakfast, session, morning tea, session, lunch, optional lunchtime session, session, afternoon tea, session, session, dinner. Hunger was obviously not a problem, although brain overload often was.

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Day 15: WWDC Keynote

Finally, the day is upon us: the start of the Apple WorldWide Developers Conference 2009, the whole reason for my trip. “Today” is 8 June, day 1 of the conference.

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Day 14: Geeks in Silicon Valley

Today I met up with fellow WWDC-attendees from Australia for a bus tour to Silicon Valley.

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