For Art’s Sake

SculptureLast week Sunday I went to the Dallas Museum of Art. This wasn’t planned of course, most of the best things in life aren’t. I had just finished church and lunch afterwards (as usual) and was making my way home through the city. It was about 1pm. As I drove towards my turnoff, I decided to carry on going into the heart of Dallas so I could take some pictures of this vibrant metropolis. I stopped in the shade of a large apartment block and got out into the hot, muggy Dallas air. I walked around the reserve bank on my way to the heart of the city sweating profusely. The image on the right is a sculpture that greeted me as I entered the city proper. This behemoth stands sentinel over the I35E and against the pale blue Dallas sky, it’s quite striking.

Chapel in the cityI carried on walking in through the city, happily snapping pictures of the impressive architecture, mainly consisting of steel & glass monstrosities rising hundreds of stories towards the Texas sun. Imagine my surprise then when I happened upon this lovely old chapel, juxtaposed against the harsh steel-blue reality of the city. This, I soon discovered, was the Dallas Arts district: A place where a tourist like me might go to see some unique and interesting things. I couldn’t believe my good fortune.

It turns out that the heart of Dallas is brokein up into 8 districts. Arts, City Center, Main Street, West End, Reunion, Convention Centre, Government and Farmer’s Market to be precise. I had stumbled on what had to be one of the more interesting districts on offer. Continue reading For Art’s Sake


This post is a self-indulgent religious post with no pictures. You have been warned 🙂

Last Sunday’s church service touched on the concept of generosity. Now, personally, my cynical mind suspected that the admonishment to be generous seems to be quite common in American churches, where they’re always trying really hard to bolster up the offering so they can afford that new sound system or gold trimmings on the pews. That said, I did take something away from that. For me, generosity is a core part of the Christian lifestyle, but it’s generosity of spirit, not necessarily of money. Continue reading Generosity

Photos of the simple life

Watering my rosesIt’s been a while since I posted so I thought I should update Y’all.

I have been busy with life and work but what I have really been trying to do is get more pictures of me. You see, what I realised is that when I am looking at someone’s holiday photos, I don’t really want to see the places they have been or the bags they packed. I want to see them and the people they met! So, I am endeavouring to do that now. I haven’t been travelling anywhere in particular yet. I think, however, that this will be my last weekend of “settling in”. I will have been here for about a month by then and I have promised myself I will go somewhere new and exciting once a month!

Above is a picture of me watering my pot plants, click “more” for more photos!

Continue reading Photos of the simple life

My first gay bar experience

It was coming up to my fourth weekend in Dallas. I had achieved all of the goals I had set for myself pretty quickly, there was just one big one remaining: I was determined to socialise with other gay people of around my own age (or generation). My experience at church had been disappointing, I really needed to get out of my comfort zone and start meeting new people.

Continue reading My first gay bar experience

New generation

Ok, so now it’s time for a boring work post. I wish I could show pictures of where I work but no recording devices of any kind are allowed in the building. Security is reasonably tight. I can’t even get back from the toilet without a swipe card.

Yeah, Cecil guys & gals, I have been there before, but this time knocking on the door is not allowed. I once forgot my card when I went to the toilet. I had to get the security person (her name is Barbra) to ring into the office so that someone could walk out with my swipecard. No swipecard, no entry. Our swipecards have our pictures on them too.

Anyway, So I am writing code (no specifics). The design is finished and one of our key problems is interfacing with a particular API. This API is all done in unmanaged C++ libraries and we’re programming in C#. Non-programmers, continue reading at your peril… Continue reading New generation


My new steeringwheel coverThis past week, I have travelled 455 miles (732 km). That’s over 100 km more than driving just 100km shy of the distance from Auckland to Wellington. It equates to about 65 miles (104 km) per day.

That includes 5 trips to work and 2 into Dallas (both about 30 miles each way). I filled up with 9.88 gallons (37.4 litres) today which cost me $28.25 ($2.86 / gal) and means that I achieved around 46 miles per gallon (19.55 kilometres per litre). A single tank of gas, will last me over a week (I estimate my tank to be about 11 gallons).

Yes, that is my steering wheel. I needed a cover because it gets so hot here 😉

Social Security

Sorry, Doug, this one is all words.I applied for my social security number today (Monday). When I first arrived here in Texas, the guys here told me that I would not be able to apply for my SSN until 20 days had past. So, I patiently waited 20 days (hopefully you noticed the day counter on the left of the web page).

During my lunch break I made my way into Greenville. Now, Greenville is probably best described as a farming community town. In that it is quite small and rural. Not much in the way of skyscrapers if you catch my drift. I went up through the main street and eventually found the Social Security Administration office. Kind of strange seeing residential houses still in what would be considered by most to be the centre of town. Continue reading Social Security

Home sweet home

Home Sweet HomeAs I sit here in my new home for 18 months, I muse on how truly charmed my life has been. I have reliable friends and family, I have never wanted for a good job, I’ve had a chance to travel to interesting places and everywhere I go people seem to like me. Though I didn’t grow up in the most affluent of families, I have never wanted for anything material in my life. I guess I never wanted much in the way of material things anyway.

As you have probably guessed, I have Internet! I called the cable company yesterday morning (Friday). I had had difficulty the night before with their online system and had to call them directly, spent all the money left on my phone (around $2 by this stage). Since I can only really be present on weekends, I have the cable guy coming in on Saturday 12th to install my “cable modem” (ADSL) which will get me 3Mbps download. Continue reading Home sweet home

Temporarily Incommunicado

I will be away from the Internet for up to a week while I move into my new place. It will take me a while to set up high speed Internet there, but I hope to do it ASAP!

Guns at Wal-Mart

Rifles at Wal-MartI made a bit of a faux pas today. We were talking at lunch about Wal-Mart. I love Wal-Mart: it’s a cross between Spotlight, Briscoes, The Warehouse, Pack ‘n Save, The Shoe Warehouse, Subway, Just-Cuts, Rebel Sport, Mitre 10, Repco… well, you get the picture. It’s a big warehouse that sells everything (except alcohol). They also (to my great astonishment) sell guns. These pictures I am displaying in this post were taken (with permission) from within my local Wal-Mart! Between the golf clubs and the fishing poles.

Anyway, I was marvelling at how incredible it is that guns are sold in what amounts to a supermarket when a man proudly piped up: “my 13-year-old son has a revolver”. My jaw dropped. Let me try to explain my reaction to you: in New Zealand, there essentially are no guns. The police don’t carry guns. If you want a revolver, it takes a year for them to approve of it and the police have to check out your house to make sure you have a secure gun safe. For all intents and purposes, guns are about as non-existent as snakes. That’s right, no snakes in New Zealand either. Continue reading Guns at Wal-Mart