Don’t be alarmed if you’re a regular visitor to my Flickr photostream – today Flickr updated their site to a more scrapbook style layout. It does look quite cool but I must say I was quite surprised by how many blue photos I have! I guess that’s what comes from living in California. I honestly thought my photostream would look more orange
May 20th, 2013
May 13th, 2013
This post appeared on SF Foodie today: San Francisco’s Top Five Coffee Shops
We’ve been to all those listed, some several times in fact. I like the reviewers scene-setting at the start, what he’s looking for in a great coffee/coffee shop. The only slightly dodgy candidate is Cafe Trieste – we’ve been there a couple of times but I think the coffee is made too hurriedly so the taste is not up to it.
Here are my previous reviews on 4 of the 5 listed:
Currently we’re drinking Reveille Coffee from their truck just around the corner from work which I’d put in the top 5 today, and of course we spent the last year drinking from Elite Audio Cafe before our office moved.
April 25th, 2013
Tsk tsk KEA NZ … I’m all for supporting my home country of New Zealand in finding out where those of us living overseas are and what we’re doing with our lives after our great start in New Zealand so will happily fill out an online census-type survey like the one from KEA (Kiwi Expats Abroad) that landed in my inbox a couple days ago. But I think there’s a very relevant check box missing on this form …
… I don’t really consider myself young any more, however the only ‘older couple’ check box assumes you have kids. I know I don’t like being put in society’s boxes but I’m so proud of us being a country that supports gay marriage, how about being one that supports ‘older couple no kids’. It’s not a taboo subject – there’s not always something wrong that we can’t discuss – sometimes it’s a choice.
April 24th, 2013
Xero has been profiled by The Muse – a site that profiles cool company cultures, jobs and offices. Of course what company is cooler than indulging in some mad orange woman’s glowing orange workspace? So I ended up in a tile on the front page
And then there’s the entire PAGE dedicated to The Mister – photos, videos and quotes.
April 22nd, 2013
My blog has basically been on hiatus for 4 months. Obvious. I had a major catch-up on work over the quiet Christmas/New Year holiday period which meant that my head cleared a little and my mind wandered to think about things I normally push aside, usually when I’m ass-up scrubbing out the bath and can’t write it down, but never-the-less, I’m thinking! During that time I thought about this blog. What it’s for, what did I want it to be for, what it could be for, or is it time to let it go? There are millions of blogs out there, something for everyone, so if I’m not getting what I want out of mine then maybe there needs to be some changes. I’m not sure I like it how it is so stopped writing until I figured a few things out. Some points in no particular order.
- I’ve been blogging for almost 9 years.
- I already had orangethings.com as a site dedicated to photos of orange things, I wanted to write about orange things to go with the photos. In fact my first 2 posts were about something orange I saw.
- Twitter didn’t exist back then so for my own amusement it was a place to put little things that popped into my head … like the time I saw potatoes in the gutter on the way to work, or invented a new phrase ‘scone horrors’ after getting that post-scone dry mouth feeling on Sunday after Sunday after Sunday at Nikau or received good or bad service somewhere.
- I never wanted anyone to see my blog when I first started it. I definitely started it for ME. A place to keep an almost-journal, nothing particularly private but somewhere to write anything I wanted that I wouldn’t be judged for. I was really nervous when it first went live and I got The Mister to hide it. It stayed that way, undiscovered by search engines and no comments allowed for 3 years.
- I had a terrible time at work around the time I started blogging – hard to describe but in the simplest terms it was a period of being bullied by someone in authority – to the point I was sick to my stomach, a nervous wreck, paranoid about everything, not eating much … the doctor gave me pills and a ticket to see a shrink and it’s one of the few times I’ve let my guard down and let my parents see in. I couldn’t blog about that although I so desperately needed an outlet. I wrote it somewhere else and that’s since been destroyed, perhaps out of embarrassment or perhaps some ridiculous need to protect the people involved. Looking back I wish I’d kept it, published it, if others are in the same situation they need to see they’re not a freak and don’t need to feel trapped.
- When we lived in New York briefly a couple years back I started writing coffee reviews – as an anchor for exploring the city I was on a mission to find coffee like the great stuff we had in Wellington. Armed with a list of independent roasters and cafes we explored many and I really enjoyed writing about them. Then I got a buzz out of people recommending me as someone who knew about coffee in New York, then other places, and I often get tweets from people I don’t know asking where to get good coffee.
- I still want my blog for me. But I’m conflicted. I want to write whatever I observe or feel like ranting about, and often fantasize about my observations being commented on or tweeted. But too many people I know read my blog. I’m worried about being judged, being naiive, or sharing too much personal information. How can I be noticed and private at the same time?
- I realized (again) that I don’t really have any interests or hobbies. I never know whether I’m sad about this or don’t care. People ask me what I do for fun, or outside of work. Hmmm, nothing worth writing about. But wait, I do. Coffee, knitting, travel. I can hear in my head voices telling me it’s not good to just be about work. That I should make more friends and get a hobby.
- I never have time to blog, I have a very VERY full -time job. I think I’m a good writer when I put my mind to it but lately it’s slipped into a perfunctory travel diary to keep the family updated. I don’t want it to be a diary (although I do like reading back, to remember what we were doing at certain points in time).
- My job is very public and the connection between my public profile and my personal profile has been made. Not on the levels of those with fame but certainly blogging as an outlet for work purposes is off the table and even airing personal stuff is probably inappropriate.
- Thinking about the blogs I like to read, they’re real accounts of people’s lives and what they’re doing in their jobs but often a glimpse of a life that’s fairytale-ish – perhaps they’re really successful or leading in something and have the kind of life that I think I’d love to have.
- I went to a blogging workshop in Portland recently which was a nice escape and a chance to hear from 3 women who’ve been blogging for a while and meet a whole lot of others who blog. There was nothing earth-shattering that I didn’t already know. It was interesting to get comments about my blog from the professionals – that it’s not very personal, it’s factual and accurate (SO interesting, seems I am hiding who I am from strangers because I feel like it is all about me!). The message is to write as an outlet, think about what you want your blog to be, what you want it to be about and write.
There’s something somewhere I read about there being millions of voices and millions of blogs out there, lots of them about the same thing, but that your own blog is the only one in your own voice. So maybe that’s it, doesn’t matter what you write about whether light-hearted, personal, factual, recipes, reviews, rants or dreams, stop worrying about it being unique or offending readers, just write from you.
April 22nd, 2013
My last Xero knitting was for none other than Mrs Jam-off! Rivalry aside, little Poppy needed a Xero cardie in honor of her dad being a long-time Xero.
It was so great to meet Poppy when we were in New Zealand and give her a cuddle and a cardie!
When the Wellington summer cooled a little, she rocked those Xero colors – awesome!
April 21st, 2013
The next Xero knitting project was a quick one for a Xero partner’s new son Archer born in March – a beanie to match Xero knitting #13 for his dad! It was very well received and goes very well with Archer’s onesie – seen here on Twitter!
February 23rd, 2013
We stayed on the Viaduct in Auckland when we were there for Xerocon this year. No chance of good coffee in that area! I knew Espresso Workshop was a 20 minute walk away in Britomart, we’d been there on our last trip, however when looking up their opening hours I spotted that they had a cafe in Parnell as well – quite close to our new office in fact!
First day in the office and we started the 11am coffee walk tradition – didn’t realize it was up such a huge hill in the heat though! However, I rated my chances better than the Italian restaurant downstairs.
The cafe is on a small street parallel to Parnell Rise so quite handy if you know where it is. The cafe was quite cool, a little cabinet of food, the roasting equipment, a pour over bar and machine.
The coffee was OK but not that great, too weak. But I wasn’t that surprised, Auckland doesn’t always deliver the best. Great little carrot cakes though!
We went back each day we worked in the office, even took Deborah from the US office coffee group one day
February 23rd, 2013
Imagine my surprise when I bumped into an old colleague on the way back to our Viaduct hotel (Sofitel) and she told me that in the foyer of the Vodafone office building that was right across the street from the hotel was the latest Mojo.
Open nice and early for office workers so that became our breakfast spot while in Auckland for Xerocon. They did table service for breakfast which was pretty quick despite how busy they always were at the start of the day – 2 lines of early morning coffee drinkers. They also had homemade grain bread which made very nice toast for my butter (needed more though!) and peanut butter. Coffee (flat white) was fairly decent and strong too – probably the best I’ve had in Auckland.
February 9th, 2013