Photos from Taiwan

A few years ago we went to Taiwan. I managed to capture some random bits of the city on film (and also some shots on my then phone, a Google Pixel). I find the different style of art on the streets around the world to be fascinating, and Taiwan had some good examples.

I’ve really enjoyed shooting Kodak E100VS film over the years, and some of my last rolls were shot in Taiwan. It’s a film that unfortunately is not made anymore, but at least we have a new Ektachrome to have fun with now.

Words for our time: “Where there is democracy, equality and freedom can exist; without democracy, equality and freedom are merely empty words”.

This is, of course, only a small number of the total photos I took there. I’d really recommend a trip to Taiwan, and I look forward to going back there some day.

Two Photos from Healseville Sanctuary

If you’re near Melbourne, you should go to Healseville Sanctuary and enjoy the Australian native animals. I’ve been a number of times over the years, and here’s a couple of photos from a (relatively, as in, the last couple of years) trip.

Leah trying to photograph a much too close bird
Koalas seem to always look like they’ve just woken up. I’m pretty convinced this one just had.

Photos from Tasmania (2017)

On the random old photos train, there’s some from spending time in Tasmania post 2017 in Hobart.

All of these are Kodak E100VS film, which was no doubt a bit out of date by the time I shot it (and when they stopped making Ektachrome for a while). It was a nice surprise to be reminded of a truly wonderful Tassie trip, taken with friends, and after the excellent

Photos from long ago….

It’s strange to get unexpected photos from a while ago. It’s also joyous.

These photos above are from a park down the street from where we used to live. I believe it was originally a quarry, and a number of years ago the community got together and turned it into a park. It’s a quite decent size (Parkrun is held there), and there’s plenty of birds (and ducks!) to see.

Moorabbin Station

It’s a very strange feeling seeing photos from both the before time, and from where I used to live. I’m sure that if the world wasn’t the way it was now, and there wasn’t a pandemic, it would feel different.

All of the above were shot on a Nikon F80 with 35mm Fuji Velvia 50 film.

$3 Kaiser Baas keyring photo frame and linux

I picked one up for $3 from OfficeWorks and wanted to put pictures on it.

So… I could list (and get) the default photos with gphoto2 (shipped with Fedora 20 it just worked): gphoto2 -L (list), -P (get all).

It turns out that the images are 128×128 PNGs! Easy: change resolution in GIMP of a picture I want, and then “gphoto2 -u filename.png” sent it to the device.

Wheee, it works! Not bad for $3

Hong Kong (OpenStack Summit)

I’ll be in Hong Kong for the upcoming OpenStack Summit Nov 5-8. I’d be thrilled to talk database things with others present, especially around Trove DBaaS (DataBase as a Service) and high availability MySQL for OpenStack deployments.

I was last in Hong Kong in 2010 when I worked for Rackspace. The closest office to me was in Hong Kong so that’s where I did my HR onboarding training. I remember telling friends on the Sunday night before leaving for Hong Kong that I may be able to make dinner later in the week purely depending on if somebody got back to me on if I was going to Hong Kong that week. I was, and I went. I took some photos while there.

Walking from the hotel where we were staying to the Rackspace office could be done pretty much entirely through buildings without going outside. There were bits of art around too, which is just kind of awesome – I’m always in favour of random art.
Statues in walkways

The photo below was the view from my hotel room. The OpenStack summit is just by the airport rather than in the middle of town, so the views will be decidedly different to this, but still probably quite spectacular if you’re around the right place (I plan to take camera gear, so shout if you want to journey too)
Hotel Window (Hong Kong)

There are some pretty awesome markets around Hong Kong offering just about everything you’d want, including a lot just out on the street.
Java Road
Hong Kong Street Market

Nightime was pretty awesome, having people from around the world journey out into the night was great.
Rackers walking Hong Kong at Night

I was there during the World Cup, and the streets were wonderfully decorated. I’m particularly proud of this photo as it was handheld, at night, after beer.
Hong Kong streetlife

Awesome coffee beans from Cartel Coffee Roasters

The other week Leah and I went to the Royal Melbourne Show (she won free tickets which makes it a lot easier to swallow than the $35/head otherwise) and I picked up some coffee beans while there (why not!). These beans are called “The Guji” and are from Cartel Coffee Roasters down in Geelong. I opened them the other day and as an increasing number of my Percona colleagues can attest to, I’ve been raving about them. These are some seriously good beans.

amazing coffee beans

Pictures of Auckland (where OSDC 2013 is!)

It’s getting close to time to head to Auckland for OSDC and a few days ago I blogged about how I’m speaking there). I’ll be speaking on MySQL In the Cloud, As A Service and all of the challenges that can entail as well as on The Agony and Ecstasy of Continuous Integration. Both of these talks draw heavily on the experience of Percona (my employer) and with experience from helping customers with all sorts of MySQL deployments and in our experience in producing our own high quality software.

I was in Auckland earlier this year, so thought I’d share some pictures of the wonderful city in which OSDC is being held.

Firstly, New Zealand has some pretty awesome wildlife. This is possibly not the best example of it ever as there are way more odd looking birds than this one:


The waterfront is quite nice, and when we were there earlier in the year it was awfully nice weather for it:

I’m pretty sure there isn’t going to be a triathlon in Auckland for OSDC, but I’m still hoping to get out for a run while there (anybody else up for one?). We left home at something like 3:30 in the morning and got some silly early flight (6am or before) and were totally walking around the city a little like zombies, realising that we simultaneously wanted to go for a run and sleep.

Auckland Triathlon

We were meeting friends from Seattle and managed to spot this coffee place down by the water. I didn’t try it myself, but I’ve certainly had good coffee at other places in New Zealand.

Seattle coffee in Auckland, New Zealand

Streets at night:


And if I haven’t already convinced you that Auckland would be a great place to be, here’s a crappy cell-phone snapshot of a variety of New Zealand beers – a tiny, tiny fraction of beer you can get in New Zealand (the microbrewery scene is amazing)

A selection of NZ beer

Go register for OSDC 2013 right now:

Adventures with Velvia 50

I’ve finally gotten around to uploading a bunch of photos I’ve had sitting around for quite a while now. Recently I finally got around to shooting some Velvia 50, after now several years of meaning to. This is all 35mm with a Nikon F80 and likely all with the 50mm lens. I’m quite pleased with some of the results, slightly more so for the ones not in full direct bright sunlight, but they were much better light for photos anyway. The downside of Velvia 50? Not a portrait film at all.

Manly Lizard

Rocks, waves, Manly

Coffee at the lighthouse

Cape Otway Lighthouse

Photos from BarCampMel 2012

Just thought I’d post a couple of photos I took today at BarCampMel. Actually, this is technically 4 photos as I’ve used a Fuji Instax shot in each one. The first is Ben making coffee: in the morning and the afternoon. The second shot is awesome partially automated brewing setup.



Innis and Gunn Canada Day 2011

Although Innis and Gunn is from Scotland, they’ve made a Canada Day beer. Rather unusual for a clear bottle, it’s bottled conditioned – and 8%. On her first taste, Leah described it as “mmm buttery”. You can taste the rum cask (as with other Innis & Gunn that I’ve had) and this one is rather nice. It may be hard to get any more of this as, it, well, Canada Day in 2011 happens once.


Brasserie Dieu due Ciel! Peche Mortel

It’s from Canada, not France. Although it’s certainly from a more French part of Canada. This was a nice imperial coffee stout. The coffee flavour was not overwhelming in any way, it was this nice pervasive hint . At 9.5% it’s strong in alcohol and the flavour is also nice and strong, although not overwhelming. I’d certainly have this one again.


St Peter’s Ruby Red Ale

A Ruby Red Ale from Suffolk from across the world: the United Kingdom. This bottle is marvellous. Looks like a medicine bottle and the beer in it is lovely – if medicine tasted like this, it’d be way easier to get people to take it.

A lovely red colour, a lovely spicy hop red ale aroma and it even tastes good. There’s a lovely malty undertone to it all that isn’t overpowering, just what you want from a red ale.

I kinda want to have more of it just to get more of these bottles…


St. Bernardus Apt 12

This is one of my favourites. Look at any list on and it scores rather highly. It’s dark and delicious. Yes, it’s Belgian and it’s 10% and it comes in large bottles if you like. If you’re really lucky you can find somewhere with a tap of this stuff – If anyone knows somewhere in Melbourne with one, I *MUST* know.


Hitachino Nest Real Ginger Ale

Ahhh Ginger. I had the Matso Ginger Beer the other day and quite raved about it (my search for a Ginger Beer with ginger in it is strewn with disappointments). This was a different kind of drink, while there was ginger in it, it was certainly a beer with ginger rather than *ginger* beer. Honestly, I prefer the Matso by a long way.