Cheese! Really Fine Cheese!

 Rachel and I both love certain kinds of fine quality, artisanal cheeses. One of our most favorite is 2-3 yr aged gouda. It's bizarre and probably not for everyone. But neither is crack and look how some people love that stuff. Anyway, I was at a hoity-toity party given by a huge corporation with very deep pockets. So imagine my surprise when I saw them serving up all-you-can-eat fine cheeses that run $10-14/lb. Wow! I ate all I could stand and then, for good measure, had to send Rachel a picture. Tee hee. The aged gouda is on the top tier of the serving tray. … [Read more...]

Vancouver, BC

Rachel and I recently had the opportunity to travel to Vancouver, British Columbia where I was speaking at the DevTeach Conference. DevTeach is one of my favorite conferences to speak at and has brought me to Canada many times, though never to the west coast of country. Rachel, on the other hand, hasn't travelled much at all. In fact, this was her third trip by plane and her second out of the country. That passport has really come in handy! In a way though, it's a dream come true for me to be able to take a business trip to a far-away place and to take my lover with me.Things in Vancouver … [Read more...]

A Birthday to Remember

Ever have one of those "special" events that turns out to be a lot more special than you wanted? That was the case with my 42nd birthday.The week started off nicely. We initially thought I had to leave for a long business trip on Saturday. So we were all happy to see that I had some extra time and didn't have to leave until Sunday. Rachel and I took the kids down to our church's Fall Festival for a hay ride, pumpkin carving, games, and general merriment. You can see Katie, Kaylee, Anna, and Rachel (standing) pretty clearly at right. Katie, who's closest to the camera, is just getting in her … [Read more...]

Europe at the Speed of Light

The Beau Rivage Palace in Lausanne, SwitzerlandI recently completed a whirlwind tour of Europe on behalf of my employer, Quest Software. As is typical for these sorts of trips, we try to pack in as many customer meetings and public seminars as possible to maximize the value of the trip while I'm there. This trip spanned seven cities and four countries. During the first week, I visited Cologne, Hamburg, Munich, and Franfkurt in Germany as well as Copenhagen, Denmark. I've blogged about all of those places before so I won't spend much time on them now. (Note to self - I just checked and it looks … [Read more...]

Air Travel in Your Future? I hope not…

The macro-economic scene these days is just getting worse and worse. Consumer confidence is at its lowest in 26 years. Need a hug? (It hasn't been this bad since Jimmy Carter was president. It's pretty clear that the current president will score lower than Carter in the history books, which is definitely the bottom 25% of presidents. But I digress...) So, I've got a trip to Seattle next week to attend Microsoft's annual MVP Summit, a pilgrimage of 4,000 Microsoft technology experts to drink from the holy fountains and carry off a lot of swag. Since we've had about 1,000 flights cancelled in … [Read more...]

Welcome to England

I'm off on my first international trip of the year and, let me tell you, the economic problems at home in the USA have a direct impact on my wallet. Look at these currency prices:In case you're having trouble reading the sign, it says that you can buy 229 pound sterling with change for $500. That means that every steak, fish & chips, soda, and newspaper costs more than twice what it does in the USA. Aaaagh! … [Read more...]


Singapore is such an amazing city. It's unique in very many ways. It is both multi-lingual (English and Chinese are both official languages) and mutli-cultural, with Chinese, Malaysian, and India populations plus Europeans. Chinese is the majority ethnicity, but I didn't meet a single person, from cab-drivers to business people, who didn't speak English. In fact, most people watch American television programs and listen to American pop radio. (The view from the Quest Software offices at right.)It's an extremely wealthy city with modern high-rises everywhere. (I sometimes wondered if it's … [Read more...]

The Aussie Bush and other various plagues

After Sydney, I headed out to speak at Charles Sturt University in the teaming metropolis of Wagga Wagga. It's about the size of Pulaski Tennessee and in the middle of BFE, in other words, the Australian outback aka "the bush". The airport at Wagga (they don't say it's 2nd Wagga for some reason) shown at right is about as big as a large IHOP or Shoney's and attended by the same sorts of people. In the picture at right, you can see a BOGAN kid in the foreground wearing the uniform of his favorite Aussie Rules team and the big Aussie rules football. It's a fun game to watch and, much to my … [Read more...]

World Famous Sydney

Everyone recognizes the world famous Sydney opera house. I consider myself a lucky duck to have taken a harbor ride right next to the darned thing. The only thing that could be cooler than seeing a world famous landmark is to see a world famous landmark in the arms of someone you love. (sigh...) I was really fortunate to be able to dine with several friends from Quest - James Delve, Prasant Moorthy, and Vanessa Barcellona. We road a JetCat from the pier right next to the Opera House out to Manly, a very posh suburb of Sydney. There, we ate at a very good restaurant called "Ribs & Rumps" … [Read more...]

Brisbane, the Gold Coast of Australia

As Florida is to us Southerners, so Brisbane is to Australians. It's the fun, sunny, beach-laden place to go for a vacation. It's also hot and humid as can be.Brisbane was one of the original penal colonies that the Brits set up to house convicts from England back in the day. Now, it's a beautiful and thriving city. To the left is a picture of the Story Bridge, one of only three bridges of this size that can be walked across on the very top girders (with a tour guide and carabiner lines for safety). You can also make out the "CityCat" high-speed ferry boat that's plying the river. I only had … [Read more...]