Arizona with a hint of Barossa

Matt & Colleen again graced us with their presence this past weekend in San Francisco as we indulged (surprising I know!) in more than a little Aussie red wine, courtesy of the fantastic Murray Street vineyards. Our wine-buddies were in town from Vancouver just for a couple of days & the four of us had a wonderful dinner courtesy of Andrew Seppelt & his partners at a restaurant in the city called Sparrow then we kicked-on into the wee hours with many a fine bottle from the Barossa Valley. It goes without saying that the following day was "relaxed"...lots of strong coffee & some hearty mexican "dunch" (dinner/lunch) in the Mission with fellow Toronto/Adelaide inmates (recently married) Chris & Tracy Hamilton, then coffee at Ritual, a farewell to our British Columbia visitors, quick taco-fix at La Taqueria and finally a movie at the Metreon before catching the train back to Berkeley.
We find ourselves repeatedly enamoured with San Francisco every time we spend a weekend across the bay in the "big smoke" and we're starting to scheme our way into the city more frequently, perhaps we'll even move there if/when our work circumstances change.

After riding home from work my evenings have been consumed with violin practice for the upcoming Mozart opera season in Sydney. Idomeneo promises to be one of Pinchgut's finest productions to date, and I'm completely stoked to be invited back to play for my fourth season with this opera company and also have the chance to catch up with all my wonderful muso friends across the pacific ocean, some of whom will fly in from France, the Netherlands & various other global locales for this season. Wow only two weeks until I'm back in Australia ... a quick rendezvous with mum in Adelaide, then a fortnight of intensive music making in Sydney and addictive, heady, challenging dialogues with the Nielsens & finally a few days in Melbourne with Si & Tash (staying in their beautifully renovated house) ... can't wait! If you're in Sydney during early December be sure to come see this wonderful Italian opera filled with tales of love, the trojan war, gods, human sacrifice etc. etc. Winking

The world's mecca for colour imaging geeks (yes, there is such a place) is a conference that takes place annually in a town called Scottsdale within Arizona state, USA. Together with two of my esteemed Pixar colleagues I was fortunate enough to attend this year's conference & had the opportunity to put a few faces to names within the very small global community of colour scientists dedicated to imaging. Much theoretical banter and abstract cognitive / computational hypothesizing ensued. As it happens, Scottsdale is a bit of a hole (actually aside from San Francisco, the only other conference destinations that have broken this stereotype for me are Boston and Amsterdam) however with the company's expense account in tow we did manage to rent a grunty bright-yellow mustang coupe, experience the surreal cactus covered desert landscapes, sip cool beers by the pool & partake of some of the finest sushi ever served! I also had the privilege of filling my melon with the wise words of Dr R. W. G. Hunt, undoubtedly one of my academic colour idols and considered by many as the father of modern imaging colorimetry. Uber geeky I know, but it was heartwarming to listen to this eighty-something year old genius deliver his fascinating lectures while I reminisced about my career-introduction via his 1950's cloth-bound 1st-edition seminal text.

It's been a busy month filled with guests over here in California. A few weeks into their 12-month trip around the world via Sydney, Colin & Fiona came to stay with us in Berkeley while soaking up what appears to be the last week of sunshine the SF Bay Area had to offer. We shared many a fine meal & conversation ... it was great to catch up with the the couple as they slowly wind through mexico, USA then onto Canada & Europe before attempting South-East Asia. Plenty of inspiration for Z & I .. and as if that weren't enough, superstar Don Parker joined us just this evening from New York for some more heady, inspiring conversation over a bowl of Phở.

We've been graced with wonderful friends since planting our roots here in North America ... and have inspired many of them to visit (& work in) Australia even though it makes us terribly homesick to hear their tales of discovery in our home country.