apel: (California)
Carlsbad is on the coast between Los Angeles and San Diego in southern California. Of course I went to the beach. It was perfect t-shirt weather, even for this always-freezing Swede.

Passion flower, Passiflora coccinea, just casually growing in a garden.
Passion flower.

I saw these bananas in the San Diego Botanic Garden. What was even cooler was that a member of staff invited us to try some ripe ones from another plant. I've never had a banana straight off the plant before.

This area is close to Mexico, so there's a strong Mexican influence. Like in this tiled fountain in the botanic garden.
Fountain in the Mexican Garden.
apel: (stonehenge)
The instructions for tomorrow's Druid ritual in Menlo Park are to bring a poem or song. So I wrote a prose poem today at work.

Lughnasad: Taking Stock
Hummingbirds feast
On the last agapanthus nectar.
Peach trees, silent,
Have already been harvested.
The fear of forest fires,
And longing for relieving rain.
Planning my winter crops,
Sweet peas and pansies.
apel: (beach)
When we left Carmel the sun was out. This was at one of the first stops, Pescadero Point. "Pescadero" means fisherman in Spanish, so it's perhaps not surprising that there are lots of places called Pescadero-something-or-other along the coast.
Pacific in sun
Wallpaper, feel free to use

cypresses, cormorants, a squirrel and water everywhere )


Mar. 26th, 2008 01:06 am
apel: (beach)
three sunsets and surfers )

This was outside our room at the hotel, Normandy Inn. It came complete with a hotel cat, Mr. Taffy. He even escorted us inside when we arrived.
Normandy Inn
Wallpaper, feel free to use
apel: (beach)
The quickest way to get down to LA is to head east over the Altamont Pass and then take Interstate 5 southward. The I5 is known for being a cultural wasteland with hardly any edible food by Bay Area standards. It's a bit ironic since the Central Valley, which I5 skirts all the way down to LA, is a major centre for agriculture. You wouldn't know it by the fare offered in the fast food places and petrol station shops along the way, though.

We spelled each other for the long drive on Tuesday afternoon and evening. This is cattle country. Further south, the eastern side of the road was pink with flowering plums. All those California prunes you're eating are grown here.
Interstate 5, toward LA
Wallpaper, feel free to use

Pismo Beach and Highway 1 up to Carmel )

I'm Here

Jan. 16th, 2008 01:09 am
apel: (California)
I'm too tired to really take it in but writing it still makes me happy.
apel: (California)
During the day I've been developing a sore throat and now I'm starting to get sniffy too. I'd better go find something to drink, so I can knock this cold before it has me in its grip. Tomorrow's flight isn't going to help.

Tomorrow I'm leaving Newark at noon and arriving at San Francisco around 8. I got the cheapest flight I could find, so it has a stop over in Charlotte, NC. Charlotte is supposed to be pretty but the airport is probably just like all other airports. Hopefully I can buy another book or some magazines to while away the time.

I'm flying with US Airways. One leg is done by US Express and/or Mesa Airlines. Give it to me straight, just how bad are these airlines? These were the cheapest flights I could find, so my expectations aren't high.
apel: (fluffy_greeneyes)
Steve Wozniak intros and outros a trailer for the Human Society of Silicon Valley's program for homeless cats.

Via Valleywag.

BT Notice

Jun. 29th, 2007 09:36 am
apel: (pillarbox)
I just talked to BT. They said that they need 14 days to stop the service, including the broadband. Given BT's track record, I'll call back in mid-July. That should give them plenty of time to mess up.
apel: (owl)
I've packed two boxes loosely with mostly kitchen stuff. They'll come with me to Cheltenham so that Kieron can cherry pick them. The rest I'll give to Oxfam. I'd better put some bags in those boxes too, because the boxes are sturdy Staples boxes. I'll be wanting them back.

It's not much but it's a start. Maybe I'll pack another box tomorrow. Perhaps with CDs. I've got a ton of those.
apel: (California)
I've just got off the phone with the letting agents for my flat. They say that the notice period is a month from the rent day as stated in the contract. The rent day is 24. So I have a choice between giving notice for 24 August or 24 September.

That's a bit of a bummer because I'd prefer 24 August but I've just extended my contract till the end of August. So in that case, either GT let me go a week early or they let me work from home, i.e. Cheltenham for the last week. It would also mean I'd have to clean out the flat in the 5 weekends between getting back from my holiday and 24 August. With Kieron's help that's not impossible.

On the other hand if I go for 24 September, I'd have a lot more time. I'll have to talk to Kieron and see what he says before I make up my mind. There's a possibility that I could negotiate with the landlord too. He's fairly easy-going.

The letting agent also said that when I send them the notice, they'll respond with a letter that tells me all about what's required of me wrt cleaning the flat, handing over keys etc.

To Do
  • Ask cleaning people how long do the carpets need to dry after the shampooing before they can be walked on?
  • With the 24 as the hand-over date, when would they recommend that they come in?
  • Put outstanding tasks from Moleskin and LJ into Life Balance
  • Make print-out of tasks to be done before holiday and put in Moleskine
apel: (California)
I just got the email telling me that my H1 has been approved.
apel: (cute)
As expected Metaquotes had a ball with the passing of Jerry Falwell. One nugget was this, presumably fictional, IM conversation.

A coworker drew my attention to Salon's interview with Tinky-Winky sparked by the same occasion.

People think loftier thoughts in rooms with high ceilings according to a University of Minnesota study.

Photo of a red squirrel with snowflakes on the adorable little head.

A Flash banner for HP lets you arrange flowers in a vase.

California Bunny photo. Daily Animals is highly recommended if you like photos of California wildlife. This one was taken near Fremont.
apel: (California)
I just got an email telling me that my application will be processed. Unless there is something wrong with the application, I should be home in October. Words fail me.
apel: (California)
The CIS ran the H1b lottery on 12 April but hasn't provided any further information. They've not even said if they have started sending back applications and filing fees.
apel: (grain)
I've filed for an extension today. Living outside the US I'm automatically eligible for a 6 month extension. However, that's an extension for filing, not for paying. The reason I can't file my taxes is that I haven't received the tax papers from all income sources. Got one, missing two. So the next step is to request papers from the two missing sources.
apel: (California)
Just got an email from Sheetal saying that my application was received on time but that the cap for H1 visas was reached the first day. There will be a lottery but not until the USCIS has entered all of them into their databases. That's expected to take "several weeks".

If I understand things right, my chances should be in the region of 50%. That's better than the Green Card Lottery but I'd much have preferred if there wasn't a lottery. Just as with the Green Card Lottery, all you win is the chance to apply -- you can still fail on some other hurdle in the process.

Links to PDFs
apel: (California)
I just got off the phone from talking with the IRS. My American taxes are paid in full. I have a zero balance, Mrs. Cain said. That's a relief.

Now I just need to stand next to a fax machine and call them to get them to fax me a transcript. I think I'll do that tomorrow. Our fax machine may be crappy but hopefully it will work well enough for this. It doesn't cost anything. Well, except for having to call the US from a mobile because almost all our landlines are blocked for international calls. But that's a small price to pay for peace of mind.
apel: (Default)
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