Archive for June, 2006

austin day 2

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

Lots and lots of busy work today. I don’t really like being away from home but if I’m getting a lot of work done it feels more worthwhile. It’s certainly good to be meeting up with my co-workers in the other location.

Last night I was quite wiped so after working till about 8pm I just had a bowl of soup from room service and watched the movie Syriana – really outstanding.

Speaking of food, most people I’ve spoken to have advised me to eat barbecue and Tex-Mex food here. I did indeed have barbecue yesterday for lunch, and today was taken to a rather self-consciously hip little taco place, which does small soft-shell tacos, so you need to have two to make it a lunch. I had a totally delicious fish taco and another tasty one which had pork and spicy sauce. Yum.

in texas

Monday, June 26th, 2006

I’m in Texas today, visiting our office in Austin. I flew down last night via Memphis – nice easy flight, exactly 43 minutes to change planes which was perfect to get from gate to gate past the Elvis and Sun Records tourist stuff stores. I was upgraded to First on the Memphis – Austin flight – I guess it was nice to have more breadth in the seat, and I got a free glass of wine in an actual glass made of glass, but I wouldn’t have paid the extra for it.

Staying in a pretty nice hotel with a nice spacious room, but it’s a bit of a culture shock having gone from a full house (Paul and Claire and Sam and Lauren are staying for a month before moving back to the UK) to complete silence. It’s always a bit strange getting ready on my own in the morning. It sounds from Emma like Toby didn’t like his established routine of sharing breakfast with Daddy, but I think he coped OK.

Work is good here – I’ve been in some really worthwhile meetings already. Really decent bunch of folks too. They took me out for lunch to a little barbecue place which did a brisket sandwich and a drink for five bucks. Delicious. The place was done up all old-style Texas with wood walls and maps and country music on the stereo. Everywhere there are reminders of the Texasness of the place – the stores and malls are Texas this, Lone Star that.

why i don’t miss scotland much

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

What a sad story, and how pathetic: Scottish attacks on England supporters.

toby photos

Monday, June 19th, 2006

Only one month from the last set, here are some new Toby pictures. There are a few from when his uncles were here, but seeing as his Uncle Richard took most of the shots, there aren’t actually many of Toby with his uncles. Still, I think there are some good ones.

It does make me realize yet again that I need to clean up the design of the photo pages. One day…

midlake

Monday, June 19th, 2006

For my birthday my brother David, who works at MTV in London, got me the usual and very welcome present of a couple of CDs I’ve never heard of. He’s always sent me good stuff but one in particular this year is spectacularly good: Trials of Van Occupanther by Midlake. I’ve listened to it at least once a day since I got it and it’s completely haunting and beautiful.

solution

Thursday, June 15th, 2006

Ah, the power of the internet. No matter how insurmountable your problem, there’s always a solution.

don’t be alarmed

Tuesday, June 13th, 2006

It’s a good thing this several million light-year spanning fireball is nowhere near us. Makes you think, though – if it was indeed anywhere near the solar system we’d just be done for and that would be that.

To put the size of this thing in perspective (if that’s at all possible) the sun’s light takes a few minutes to reach earth. This fireball is so big that it would take light three million years to get from one side to the other.

usa out?

Monday, June 12th, 2006

The USA team just lost 3-0 to the Czech Republic – pretty bad, especially as they had been fairly highly rated going in. It’s a shame and, not to get carried away, runs the risk of sinking soccer’s repuation and profile here for another long while. Part of the problem was succinctly noted in the Washington Post’s pretty decent World Cup blog:

Halftime on ESPN2 will feature “Rece, Alexi and Julie.”
In England, halftime hosts are named things like Gary, Clive and Nigel.
No wonder the Americans are losing 2-0.

soccer in america

Friday, June 9th, 2006

Before you read any of my nonsense, please read this from Slate – a very funny primer on the popularity or otherwise of soccer in America. Read it now, then come back.

Back? OK. So World Cup fever is approximately underway in the Mogendorff house. I have gone to the extreme step of voluntarily paying more for cable TV, so that we get ESPN and the TiVo doesn’t miss any games. Actually a fair number of big matches are scheduled to be on ABC, a regular broadcast station, including tomorrow’s England opener which I’ll be watching for sure – starts at 8am, and hopefully a good way to start my birthday.

Two of my brothers, Richard and Robin, were visiting last week, hence lack of posts here, and Toby totally loved it. One of his high points was when we took him to the park to play soccer. I took him there again last night, and he’s getting pretty good for a three year old. I persuaded him to follow the ball after he kicks it rather than standing and waiting for it to stop, so he’s now able to dribble the ball, and does so with fair accuracy and great determination (his general approach to life). He’s also getting more power in his kicking, and really enjoys what he’s doing.

The park experience itself was fun. There was a large, noisy softball game going on, and at first Toby and I were the only people playing soccer at the other end of the grass. However within half an hour several other people had arrived for their own kick-arounds (kicks-around?), interestingly all immigrants like us (or at least me – Toby’s not really an immigrant), while the Americans doggedly kept on with their softball.