“A nearly impenetrable thicket of geekitude…”


About travel, or things seen while travelling.

Pretty Fly

Seen on my phone while in a hotel in Philadelphia last week. If you’re wondering why I think this is funny, you probably need to view this reference video.

No Hats

Please do not take photos with hats on

Seen on a recent trip to San Antonio, Texas, which is probably the last place you’d expect to see any attempt to constrain the use of any kind of headwear.

Obviously they don’t mean you can’t wear your own hat while taking photos; what they want to prevent is people wearing the display hats for the purposes of having their photographs taken. Or at least I think so; there were no hats in the vicinity of this particular notice.

Bedside Chocolate

This is another “snapshots from my travels” picture, from a recent trip to Zürich, Switzerland.

In many countries, it’s common to find an inedible boiled mint on your hotel pillow. In Switzerland, hoteliers apparently have tastebuds that work.

More Pixies Inside

There used to be a joke in photographic circles that most people had rolls of film printed with “Christmas at each end and a beach in the middle”. This blog hasn’t been idle quite that long, but I’ve just got back from a very nice vacation in Bruges inspired by the visit I made for the conference mentioned in the last two entries.

Mmmmmm, chocolate… and, apparently, pixies. Who knew?

Dueling Fingers

Dueling Fingers
Originally uploaded by nklingenstein

The wireless networking may have been problematic, but the human networking was excellent. Spirited argument between friends (see picture) is always great fun.

Beyond Connectivity

No Wi-Fi

I’ve been at a networking conference this week. If you’ve sent me mail and I haven’t replied, the above indicates why. Normal service will be resumed in a day or so.


Helpful Earthquake Suggestions

Remain Clam

I knew the seafood here in San Diego was supposed to be pretty good, but apparently it’s also important to hang on to some during natural disasters.


Piraeus Lion

Arsenale Lion
Originally uploaded by iay.

I was contacted a couple of days ago by a Wikipedian who had seen this picture in my flickr stream. He had a story to tell about this lion, he said, and would I be prepared to re-license the image appropriately to allow this?

Of course I agreed, and the Wikipedia article on the Piraeus Lion is now available. Of course I’m immensely chuffed that something I took as a holiday snapshot should turn out to be a bit more useful than that.

I knew there was some sort of story connected with one of the lions when I took the picture, but wasn’t able to see the rumoured graffiti even with it right in front of my face. One of the most interesting things to me about the Wikipedia article is that the second image illustrating the topic is actually an enhanced version of a detail from my own image.

For someone who believes in the Creative Commons, this is a pretty nice unbirthday present.

Cockit Hat

Another slightly odd street sign, this one from Edinburgh. I assume that the reference is a local variant spelling of Cocked Hat. There’s a local dominoes club that uses the same name.

Cold Snap(s)

I spent a few days in the Hyatt/McCormick Place Arcology in Chicago recently, afraid to venture outside lest my limbs break off like brittle sticks in the -15C temperatures. So, here are some entirely unadventurous pictures taken out of the window on the 23rd floor of the hotel.

Venice 2006

We have recently returned from a very enjoyable week’s vacation in Venice, Italy. I have posted a flickr image set of a few of my happy snaps; you can view it as a slide show if you like.

Venice makes a pretty restful place to visit for anyone tired of city traffic noise. They might also have the best gelati I've ever tasted. I heartily recommend the mela verde, limone and melone from Bar Solda' in the Campo Ss. Apostoli if you're in the area.

The photographs were all taken with my Nikon E5700, mostly in RAW format this time round. Post-processing was done in beta 3 of Adobe Lightroom. I must say I am really impressed by Lightroom; I hope they don’t charge an arm and a leg for it once it becomes a real product.

Pink Assassins

Another fun street sign, this one from Burano (near Venice) in Italy. A “fondamenta” is the kind of street that runs along the side of a canal. Just the place you’d expect an assassin to ply his trade, perhaps, but the colour doesn’t match the image somehow.

Mowbrays Slap

Mowbrays Slap
Originally uploaded by iay.

Poor old Mowbray, whoever he was. This street sign is in West Linton, Scotland. I don’t know the story behind it, but perhaps “Slap” is another local name for “small street”. Or not.


Number one in a series of probably at least two “Great Street Signs of the World”.

Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate is the name of a very small street in the city of York, England. In York, “Gate” means “Street”, but “Bar” means “Gate” (as in “city gate”). It is probably something to do with those Vikings.

Feed Me!

In Windermere this week for the Core Middleware Programme Meeting, I find this little fellow in my bath.

Alas, I was unable to take up the invitation.