Monday 27 September 2010

Pic of the Week: 27 Sep - 3 Oct

Leeds City College Graduation

Leeds City College Graduation

Pics from my sister-in-law's graduation with honours and a special commendation last year. It's no wonder she's smiling - she has good reason to feel proud!

Monday 20 September 2010

Pic of the Week: 20-26 Sep

Brighton Beach Chairs

Brighton Beach chairs

Last year when I was compiling the photos for this year's calendar, I must have known that I would want to hang onto the final vestiges of summer by the time mid-September rolled around. This picture was actually taken in April 2008 but the ColorSplash version seems appropriate for the first week of autumn. The empty beach, the wind blowing the fabric chair covers, the dimming sunlight, but just enough vibrant color to keep spirits high.

Click on the photo to see a larger version on flickr.

Saturday 18 September 2010

Protest the Pope

S and I joined the British Humanist Association a few months ago. Between people we follow on Twitter, BHA email alerts, and general news coverage, we knew that there would be various events in London to protest the Pope's state visit. On Monday evening, we went to a comedy benefit concert featuring some of our favorite funny people: Tim Minchin, Ed Byrne, Tony Hawks, Robin Ince, and others. Today, we headed to Piccadilly to see the Protest the Pope March. Despite being a crowd of mostly godless heathens who (some might say) have no reason to be moral, peaceful or friendly, there was a great atmosphere and it was a lot of fun.

Getting a good view

The media awaits the arrival of the crowd

Protest the Pope March, Piccadilly

Protest the Pope truck leads the march

Protest the Pope March, Piccadilly

'Protector of Paedophiles Everywhere'

'Not my guest'

'The FSM will forgive you, Ratzinger'

Protest the Pope March, Piccadilly

Ben Goldacre takes photos of the crowd
Ben Goldacre taking pictures of the crowd

'The Flying Spaghetti Monster says Nope Pope!'

'Gay marriage isn't evil ... Spreading hatred is!'

Policing Protest the Pope

Protest the Pope March

Richard Dawkins addresses the crowd
Richard Dawkins addresses the crowd

Lest you think I am one of those immoral heathens, I should point out that I had every intention of wearing my 'Good without God' button - but I forgot it. Why protest the Pope, though? He and the Catholic Church have very little bearing on my daily life. However, I felt it was important to speak up in some small way because I don't agree with the homophobia, misogyny, pedophilia (!), and basic hypocrisy that he represents - especially when my taxes are paying for his state visit. I'd like to see the Vatican return the favor by paying for Richard Dawkins or Daniel Dennett to go visit them. Please, Flying Spaghetti Monster, let it be so!

Monday 13 September 2010


It's my Londonversary: I moved here on 13 September 2004. At the time, I didn't know how permanent it would be. I knew that I wouldn't need my apartment, my car, or most of my furniture anymore. But at the same time it didn't feel like moving - more like a year abroad. I wasn't ready to bring all my clothes, books and other worldly possessions. If nothing else, I spent my first year in student halls, in a room that closely resembled a Swedish prison cell. I couldn't squeeze in much more than my laptop and iPod, and really, who needs more than that these days?

In September 2005, I went back to California for my sister's wedding. My future in the UK was far from assured. My Master's course had finished, I had no job, and I had only just barely met S. I came back to London homeless, unemployed, but optimistic.

By September 2006, I was married. I had changed my name and address. I lived here.

In September 2008, I naturalised and became a dual citizen.

Six years does not feel that long, and yet I'm a different person now, at least on paper. The time is more noticeable when I look at my friends' kids: children I remember as newborns are now in elementary school. Some of the older ones are now taller than me. Students I taught in California have graduated from college... Students I taught in Japan are married with kids of their own!

So here are a few photos from my first week in London, Sep 2004, taken at Kew Gardens. See if you can tell the difference!







Pic of the Week: 13-19 Sep

Skansen Aquarium, Stockholm

Skansen Aquarium from our trip in April 2009.

Click on the photo to see a larger version on flickr.

Monday 6 September 2010

Pic of the Week: 6-12 Sep

Petra, Jordan

Monastery, Petra, Jordan

Jerash, Jordan

Jerash, Jordan

Two more from our Jordan & Egypt trip in Nov 2007.

Click on the photos to see larger versions on flickr.