Some San Francisco pictures are up

Pier 33

As you may recall, I am in San Francisco at the moment (yes, I got here safe and sound so worry not!). I posted earlier about how I had visited San Francisco many times and yet never managed to get to Alcatraz. This trip I made sure I had time to visit The Rock, and here are the pictures to prove it.

This isn't the first old prison I have visited, I do live pretty close to Eastern State Penitentiary (if you live near Philly and you haven't been to Eastern State you really owe it to yourself to visit. Here are the pictures I took at ESP.). Both places seem to embrace the idea of stabilizing not restoring. Alcatraz seems to be doing alright for its age, but the weather and the birds have not been kind.

Overall, I had a good couple of hours over there and I would recommend it to anyone.

Oh, and I also snapped some pics of VMWorld (which is the reason why I am here in the first place).

Blankbaby is going to San Francisco

Cable Car StopVMWorld, which is VMware's gigantic conference (Joe tells me 10,000 nerds will be there). I'll be there for work, but I won't be overwhelmed with having to try and see everything, talk to everyone, and write about. That means I will:

  • Be able to learn stuff
  • Be able to actually see some of SF

I've been to San Francisco 5 or 6 times, and I have yet to set foot on Alcatraz, which is one of the things that I have always wanted to do (I would also like to meet the MythBusters, but something tells me that won't happen). I'm flying into SFO tomorrow at 10am (that's when my flight gets in) and I will be on a ferry making my way to Alcatraz at 3:20pm. Can you tell that I'm excited? I love doing crap like this, and I am going to have my super cool camera along with me (and my iPhone.. I'm sure I'll be posting some pictures to the blog from time to time).

So, Blankbaby readers, what else should I do while I am in SF? Oh, and if anyone will be out there let me know and we can meet up (though I doubt anyone in SF reads Blankbaby).

For those curious you can see some pics from my previous trips to the West Coast here, here, and here.

The Ferik wedding

Ain't they cute?
Originally uploaded by blankbaby.
This weekend was the wedding of my dear friend Owen to his lovely bride Jess. Check out all the pictures I took here.

I've known Owen for about 12 years now (has it really been that long?) and while I am pretty sucky about keeping in touch with people Owen has made the effort to say in touch with me (why, we might never know). Now that Thad is in Philly I make it out to Allentown more often for some quality Owen time, which is a good thing indeed.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed the wedding.

Jess and Owen, here's to many years of bliss.

My trip to the National Museum of the Marine Corps

What a handsome man!
Originally uploaded by blankbaby.

Since I am a good son, I went to visit my mother for Easter. Sure, I don't actually celebrate Easter myself but I love my mom and she wanted to see me... so VA bound I was.

I usually try to cajole my mother into doing something while I am there, which is met with varying degrees of success. She works hard, so when she has time off she would rather not go walking around Washington, DC (which is what I often suggest we do). This trip was no different, as I kept saying, 'Let's do something!'

Finally my mom said, 'Well, they did just open that new Marine museum that I wanted to visit.'

I'm a sucker for a museum (the topic really doesn't matter) so off we went to the Marine Museum. I took lots of pictures. As you might expect there was lots of Marine stuff in the museum (shocking, I know) and I do believe lots of the visitors were either currently enlisted Marines or retired Marines.

Now, I'm not the most manly of man at the best of times. Finding myself in a shrine to the kind of of macho man that John Wayne played (though these dudes were actually brave, they weren't play acting) made me feel a little insecure. I mean, I type behind a computer for most of my life, not that brave. However, to make matters worse my mother made me hold her purse in the lobby while she used the bathroom.

A computer geek holding his mommy's purse in the lobby of the Marine Museum... it really sums up my life, don't you think?

I love L.A.

This is the first time I have ever been in L.A., and I am just going to be in the airport for another 30 minutes or so. I can't say that LAX is impressing me.

Anyway, did you know that United Airlines charges $46 to sit in the emergency row? How do I know this? Because I just paid $46 to get my seat in the emergency row, though since that is all I paid for $46 ain't bad to get from L.A. to Philly.

Do I sound like Madonna?

madonnaAt the moment I am still in San Francisco, sitting the hotel lobby using my computer thanks to the wonders of EVDO. I had lots of fun at Macworld this week, and did lots of work as well. One of our goals for this Macworld was to shoot lots of video, and I think we were partially successful. We shot lots of good stuff, but it is taking us a little longer than I would like to get it up on the site (though that is mostly due to a number of technical problems). Anyway, some video is up at TUAW, like this hands on with OWC's ModBook. I had fun doing this video, and I didn't think I was half bad interviewing folks. Leave it to TUAW commenters to crush my dreams:

scott, where are you from??? you've got that quasi british-madonna accent going on. passable job? stay away from cameras and stay in front of your computer. you just went down 10 steps in my book.

This marks the first time I have ever been compared to Madonna, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. I don't think I have a 'quasi-british' accent at all, though I do enjoy speaking the Queen's English from time to time. At least I can console myself with the fact that this comment is from the small, but vocal, minority of people who read TUAW and think that everything we do sucks (though why they continue reading is anyone's guess).

Pip pip and all that.

Moleskine City Notebooks

MoleskinecitybookI'm a card carrying member of the cult of the Moleskine notebook. Sure, they are over priced and just a tad pretenious, but then again so am I. It is a match made in heaven.

Imagine my glee when I read about the Moleskine City Notebook. It is billed as 'the first guidebook you write yourself,' and has a number of clever features. They are each city specific and feature a map of the city, zone maps, a bunch of note taking space, tabbed pages, and removable sheets (for handing out your phone number, no doubt). At the moment they are available for a number of European cities including:

  • Amsterdam
  • Berlin
  • Dublin (I so want to go to Dublin)
  • Paris

You get the idea. However, starting in the Spring of 2007 US cities will get their very own Moleskine Citybooks. The US cities are:

  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • New York
  • San Francisco
  • Washington

I have been to each of those cities (expect LA) and they have their charms, but where the heck is Philly? Come on! We have the Liberty Bell, Blankbaby Manor, Independence Hall, and cheese steaks! Surely, the Nation's first Capitol deserves a frickin' City Notebook.

Go to space on the cheap

That's a buttload of Frequent-flyer miles:

Watts has racked up 2 million flyer miles and plans to travel on the world's first commercial tourism flights to space, Virgin Atlantic Airways spokeswoman Katie Francis said.

He will be among the first 1,000 people to travel on a space tourism program in 2009 with Virgin Galactic, an offshoot of British entrepreneur Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic. Flights cost $200,000 (about 100,000 pounds, euro155,000).

My first digital pictures

Originally uploaded by blankbaby.

The weekend of Sept. 21st, 2001 I had to go to a meeting in Washington, DC. This was when I was still living in NYC, though my Mom had moved to VA. So I thought I would visit my mom and then go to the meeting.

That's what I did, but being in Washington, DC so soon after September 11th was a very surreal experience.

Anyway, here are the pictures I took whilst there, and they are amongst the first digital pictures I have ever taken.

If only I had $8,448 to spare


I have found the perfect vacation, though like many things that I desire it probably won't be mine. The good people at International Expeditions have scheduled a British Isles trip which they describe thusly:

Our superb 96-guest expedition vessel, the M/V Polar Star, was designed to navigate remote regions, and provides remarkable luxury along the coastal waters of Britain and Ireland. She is large enough to travel to isolated islands and ports in comfort, yet small enough to enter otherwise inaccessible areas that larger cruise ships can only sail past. Aboard the M/V Polar Star, we’ll experience this region’s remarkable combination of natural and human history that reaches back 6,000 years, all in a casual and enriching environment. Our ship is equipped with a fleet of Zodiac landing craft, allowing you to venture close to nesting sites for gannets and other birds, cruise along the beaches of small islands, and land securely at remote sites so you can explore Neolithic villages and centuries-old monastaries.

Now, that sounds like a vacation that I would enjoy the heck out of. Sadly, it would cost me at least $8,448 if I went by myself, and at least $5,598 if I found someone who wanted to go with me (and at that price I doubt I would have any luck finding a partner, but it would be super cool).

Well, it doesn't depart until May 11th, 2007 so I still have time to not go.

All my bags are packed

As I mentioned in the latest episode of Blankbaby Radio (you have listened, haven't you? My fragile ego requires an audience) I prattle on about needing to get out of Philadelphia. It is true, I need to go somewhere, but the question is: where?

So, dear readers, leave suggestions in the comments. Keep in mind:

  • I don't want to spend lots of money
  • I can't drive
  • I only have a week with which to do this in

Other than that I am open to suggestions.

Luxury hotel in a Lighthouse? I can die now

LighthousehotelI can now add Corsewall Lighthouse Hotel to the list of romantic places I would like to go with a special someone (the Ice Hotel is the only other entry on the list).  Any woman I want to find myself with has to love lighthouses (or at least indulge my odd love of them) and who wouldn't want to be amongst the raw elements of Scotland?

Ahh, perchance to dream.

Plus they will even pick you up from the airport in the Hotel Daimler, which just sounds so decadent (though it'll cost ya too).

My Final Easter pictures are up

They were replacing some of the stones
Originally uploaded by blankbaby.

Check out the whole set, if you like.

My mother and I spent a few (4.5 hours or so) walking around Arlington National Cemetery, and I took a little over 180 pictures (that makes about 250 for the entire trip).

I love walking about cemeteries and looking at tombstones (ladies, I'm still single!). Some of my pictures came out pretty well, if I do say so myself.

The last time my mother and I were at Arlington I was a wee lad. I do remember visiting the Eternal Flame, and that is about it. This time I recall lots more, and I am very glad that my mom wanted to go.

Easter 2006 Day 2 pictures

Fine, I'm welcome
Originally uploaded by blankbaby.

My second set of pictures from my Easter trip to see my mom are up!

We spent some time in Old Towne Manassas, a place my mom always talked about visiting whenever I was there. So we finally headed over there, and it was a bit of a let down. In the words of my mom, 'This sucks!'

However, we did have a nice lunch and got to spend some time enjoying the lovely weather.