Monthly Archives: January 2008

Wine delights

Tonight I went to a wine tasting at my local wine cellar. They marketed it as wines of the world, saying they were showing off the best 9 wines the staff had tasted in the past year. The cost was … Continue reading

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Mobile phones in the US

Because I’m only in SF until the end of February, it was pointless getting a cell phone contract. So I was forced to get a pre-paid account. I chose T-Mobile because my previous account was with them: $50 for 400 … Continue reading

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Cool jazz at The Jazz School

Heard some excellent jazz at the weekend at The Jazz School, a private music college in Berkeley, in Addison Street. Four teachers and friends performed for about an hour. An audience of about 30 people braved the freezing weather. Highlight … Continue reading

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Perils and delights of public transport

Tempted to use a headline like “transports of delight” but resisted the urge. The public transport system here is big and complex. BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) is a subway, though it sometimes goes overground. It is fast. My 12-stop … Continue reading

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From zinfandel to swill-fest

At the weekend I went to the world’s biggest tasting of zinfandel, at the Herbst Pavilion at Fort Mason in San Francisco. The general public had only 3 hours to sample an average of 2 or 3 wines from almost … Continue reading

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University endowments

University endowments at elite American schools astound me, when we compare those numbers with education funding in Australia. Harvard’s endowment in 2007 was $US 34,600 million. Next highest was Yale’s $US 22,500 million. Third highest was Stanford’s at $US 17,100 … Continue reading

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A city of contrasts

Berkeley displays an immense amount of wealth. People drive expensive cars, dress well and exude an air of satisfaction and prosperity. I see lots of expensive shops, restaurants appear to be flourishing, and coffee shops on every corner do a … Continue reading

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