Georgia Aquarium

Today I headed into the Georgia Aquarium, which apparently has the biggest tank in the US (6.2 million gallons). I didn’t realise, but it’s only just over 12 months old so it’s also the newest.
Anyhow, although I’m not really a fish person, the aquarium was pretty damn cool and an easy way to kill about 4 hours. The highlight would have to be the Baluga Whales – they can actually see you standing on the other side of the perspex, and so were seriously playing up to the crowd !!!

Happy Thanksgiving

I reckon I could get used to this Thanksgiving holiday thing – we don’t have it at home in Australia (obviously) so the closest I can think of is that it’s like combining Christmas Day and Boxing Day into the one day. Lots of eating, drinking, lazing around and watching football on tele, and then the following day is when all the big Sales start.
It’s not as warm as Boxing Day of course (though Georgia has a lot easier to take temperature thank Missouri) and there’s no cricket or sailing races, but you get the idea.
I spent my Thanksgiving with Bryan and his family, which was pretty cool. Turkey is obviously the main thing, with a whole heap of stuffing and salads and all sorts of stuff. The traditional dessert is Pumpkin Pie – which I’d never had till this trip – and I’ve got to say it’s pretty damn good. Maybe someone should introduce it to Australia !!!

Atlanta, Georgia

Yesterday was the final day for me on-site in Maryville, MO – so now it was across to Atlanta, GA for a week or two and possibly another site trip into North Carolina.
Finally got into Atlanta airport around 8:30 (about an hour later than planned) and then dealt with picking up my rental car so didn’t finally get moving until around 9:30. The car I got is a medium sized thing called a Dodge Calibre – kind of a pretend SUV with a pretty cool constantly variable transmission.
Finally moving again, but even with Bryan being a local we managed to not be able to find our way around the airport properly – I had to drop him back to his car before heading out to Dunwoody where the hotel is – and there were more than a few U-turns and last minute direction changes.
Dunwoody is about 40 miles out from the airport, so all told didn’t get settled in till around midnight. It’s a good thing that it’s Thanksgiving holidays for the next few days !!!

SAC Museum

Bryan headed back home to Atlanta for the weekend to sort out house stuff, so I’m left pretty much to my own devices for the weekend. I have the car though, so get to practice driving on the wrong side of the road some more…
Saturday I tested the driving skills by heading about an hour South from Maryville to Big Lake to meet up with Juli, one of the site ppl from Energizer. Juli’s hustband is in the Air National Guard and she’s a bit of a plane nut, so she’d offered to take me over to Omaha, Nebraska to check out the Strategic Air Command Museum – or SAC – which is the main bomber unit in the USAF.
The SAC Museum itself is way beyond cool – just in the foyer they have an SR-71 Blackbird on static display above you, and then from there they have 2 very large hangars full of all sorts of aircraft – everything from a B17 and a B52, an F86 Sabre right through to a Russian Mig-21. Just the sort of thing I’m into – very damn cool !!!

It’s Cold !!!

Nothing much happening through the week – mainly working on site of course.
A lot of people didn’t beleive me when I said it had snow (briefly) last Friday, but as proof here’s a photo of one of those electric time and temperature signs I saw while driving back from dinner last nite.
-2 deg C – I told you it was cold !!!

Kansas City

Not much happened through the week on site – got a fair bit of work done of course – but Saturday headed down to Kansas City with Bryan (the guy from the US office who’s here on site with me). KC isn’t really that big a city of course – but it’s a lot bigger than Maryville !!!
Saturday night was spent in a combination of watching college football, the odd bit of bar hopping as well as trying out the ribs at Gates Barbecue (KC is pretty famous for it’s bbq). 
Sunday was a bit of a challenge checking out of the hotel after the doorhandle failed on the bathroom door and trapped Bryan inside. I was starting to think Bryan was a bit of a klutz not being able to get the door open, but then when we got the maintenance guy up it took him over half an hour to get the door open, and even then half destroyed the door in the process. Only disappointing thing was I was too busy laughing to even think of taking a photo of the wreckage !!!
Toured around KC a bit – Union Station, Liberty Memorial, the Hallmark campus (as in Hallmark cards) and then back to Maryville via St Joseph to catch the Packers NFL game.

Chicago – “The Windy City” ???

4 November – 6 November
The weekend up in Chicago turned out to be pretty damn good. Considering it’s known as "The Windy City", the weather was pretty good with almost no wind at all. A bit cool though since being from Brisbane I’m just not used to to 38 deg F 5 deg C) temperatures.
On the Saturday Damian and his wife Kelly had baby stuff to do (they’re expecting their first pretty soon) so I jumped on the train from Oak Park into the city (about a 30 minute ride) to spend the day touring around on my own. The best way I can describe Chicago is that its a cleaner, more spread out and slightly more laid back version of New York. Still plenty of tall buildings and busy streets, but there’s also trains running above the road (I think known as "the L") and some pretty nice lakeside parks with some funky things like "The Bean" and the famous Buckingham Fountain from the opening sequence to Married With Children.
Highlight though would have to be a trip to the Daley Planetarium where they had the Jim Lovell exhibit running – one of the Gemini astronauts most widely known as being the commander of Apollo 13 and the subject of the Tom Hanks movie. They had the REAL Gemini 12 capsule on display there, which was VERY damn cool. Amazing that a dinky little thing like it is – with such obviously so primitive technology – managed to get into space and back and keep the two guys in it alive for 18 days.
Also went in into the Field Museum next door to see Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex (apparently the largest and most complete there is).
Sunday Damian and I went round to all the electronics stores and checked out a few sites (and spent just a bit too much money) before flying back to Kansas City monday lunchtime to meet up with Bryan again and head back to site in Maryville.

Maryville, MO – Take 2

31 October – 3 November
Nothing much real interesting happened this week – spent most of the time on site, watching servers and things like that.
Am heading up to Chicago for the weekend – Damian (one of the guys from our US office) has offered for me to stay at his place, and he’ll show me around Chicago and stuff. Should be fun.
30 October
So, time to head back to Maryville again to visit one of our customers again.
This time for a bit longer – 3 weeks to start with, with a few days layover in LA on the way back.
Unfortunately I didn’t quite get the bug engineered in time, so it has to sit and wait till I get back…. but any excuse to post pictures of it hey ?