Another year comes to an end. During this year I have achieved many of the goals I set myself in January:
- Continue Learning German – and go back to Germany.
- I did well with the German in the middle of the year, but in the later months I have done none.
- I still have a massive desire to return to Germany.
- Summit Mt Kosciusko
- Fourth year in a row that this hasn’t happened. But I did go skiing in the Snowy Mountains.
- Read at least ten books – including the six paperbacks I currently have unread.
- I have read 36 books! But have now amassed 14 more to be read. In May I decided to start reading on the bus in the morning rather than reading Facebook and Twitter on my phone.
- Buy a VF Commodore – I’ve wanted a Holden since I was in my teens.
- Keep this blog up to date.
- I blogged fewer times than any previous year, so I avoided the problem.
The year has had many highlights:
A few weeks ago Act 8 of the Extreme Sailing Series was held in Sydney.
I went down to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair to watch some of the racing on the afternoon of the first day.
Below are a few photos taken from the shoreline.
Last weekend I went to the Saturday races of the Sydney 500 round of the V8 Supercars at Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush.
Below are some of the photos and a video from the day, it was really good to see the old supercars on the circuit.
The past two Saturdays I’ve been down at Bondi with friends checking out Sculptures by the Sea.
Below are a few shots of my favourite sculptures from this year.
A few weeks ago I went to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains for the day. We did a very short walk and caught the scenic railway back up the cliffs.
In mid-September I went with some mates to Perisher in the Snowy Mountains. This was the first time I have been skiing in Australia and the first time in three years I have been on skis.
After an hour or so of slow blue and green runs I finally sorted myself out and got my skiing mojo back, and my the end of the weekend was happily skiing some “basic” black runs.
I have to make a massive mea culpa though, for the past four years I have written off Australian ski fields without even visiting them. But Perisher was amazing. It is huge, there are so many lifts and this means there are no big queues, the snow was great, yes there were trees, but there were no rocks and a massive variety of terrain to ski on.
The weather was brilliant, actually ridiculously hot for skiing, 13c at the base area, and I didn’t crash into any trees.
Below are some of the photos taken on the trip.
In early September I went to Brisbane for a weekend to celebrate a birthday with members of my family.
This was my first proper time in Brisbane, and I was fortunate that the weekend I visited coincided with the start of the Brisbane Festival, which meant there was lots of fun stuff to see and do.
In late August I went to the V8 Supercars Sydney Motorsport Park 400 race at Eastern Creek.
As always I took hundreds of photos, but on this visit I was trying to get better panning shots. I’m fairly pleased with the results, and the 27 photos below are mostly focused on this.
Additionally, there are two videos of the race start and restart embedded further below.
The final part of my USA/Canada trip, and the main purpose of the visit, was attending the 2014 AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence. This was held in Quebec City, Quebec. During the week I spent there I got to hear some amazing speakers, and spent a few evenings exploring the city.
Quebec was a fascinating city, it really felt like being in Europe, the food, the street art and the churches were like nothing else I have seen in North America.
Below is a selection of photos from the week.
After four days in Florida I flew to Boston for a short two day visit.
After checking into my hotel, I spent the first afternoon exploring the Public Garden, Boston Common and CBD area. Boston is one of the birthplaces of the USA and has some amazingly old churches, buildings, and markets. In particular, there was a great mix between the old and the new.