January 6th, 2005



あけましておめでとうございます!Happy 2005, peeps! Hope it's great.

(Am I late?)

My start to the year was mostly business, but here's what I got.

Chris, Steve, myself, and Joe. Sydney, Australia.

Bruce Willis, Ernest Hemingway, and Celine Dion: This Wharf's For You.

Here I am with Canadian Steve in front of a mandatory Sydney sight.

Not a great photo, but it's all I got of Auckland.

The guys in the first picture are pilots, if you can't tell just by looking at them. Joe, I'm sorry I cropped your face, but I'm no longer the skilled autophotographer I once was. Maybe it has to do with the 13 hour flight we were just on, or the two full minibars we consumed before heading into town without a nap. Note eye circles and lopsided smile on your narrator. Hey, it was the first of January.

The second time I was in Sydney (two days later), I went to this fantastic garden near the opera house. There were so many flowers, trees, birds, and even insects that I had never seen before. And wouldn't you know, I forgot my camera. I saw "strangler fig" trees for the first time and they are just amazing. (As seen on The Private Life of Plants.) I searched for some pictures on Google that would convey what I saw, but found nothing even close.

In between was Auckland. Last time I was in Auckland was July, or the dead of winter, and January is the height of summer there. So why was the weather exactly the same both times? It was a little cool and overcast. And the exact same flowers were still in bloom. Does it change?

In other random ponderances, why is there a disproportionate number of commercial pilots named Steve?

SYD-AKL-SYD-DXB was a 5-day party in the sky. I think it was a good indicator of the year to come.

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One more thing: You've probably already seen Garden State but if you haven't, you know what to do.