A Travellerspoint blog

October 2014

October 2014 Around the world and then some, Part III

Amsterdam! The ATCE and more


View October 2014 on fracmeister's travel map.

The following blog entry describes a long trip. "Around the World" tickets are cost effective but a little complicated. This trip is both an around the world trip combined with a massive "around the Caspian" trip thrown in. Once again it combines some work for my employer along with a lot of travel with the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Buckle up!

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Snapshot

Amsterdam
Then off to Amsterdam for the SPE Board of Director's meeting and the Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. Not becoming the President Elect until the end of this meeting means I did not have an intense schedule as the President (Jeff Spath) or even President Elect (Helge Haldorsen). My wife joined me for the Amsterdam portion of the trip. I was fortunate to be able to speak to the R&D committee Sunday night after the Awards recipient reception and before the Owl's club dinner.

The "Owl's Club" comprises the former SPE Presidents after they have finished as Past President. The name does not come from their inherent wisdom, rather it (allegedly) originates with my mentor, M. Scott Kraemer. He would say "I used so be 'Scott Kraemer, VP of Amoco or Scott Kraemer, VP of Champlin, or Scott Kraemer, President-Elect of SPE, Scott Kraemer, President of SPE or Scott Kraemer, Past-President of SPE ....but now it is just Scott Kraemer...WHO?"

As the names of former SPE Presidents are mentioned, occasional "Who!s" come from the audience. Each year the Owls sponsor a dinner for current SPE Board members and Omega Association members.

I also was deeply honored to be the recipient of the SPE's Public Service Award. The past recipients include some very distinguished individuals.

My wife came to Amsterdam and managed to do a lot of sightseeing. The Anne Frank House, the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh museum, Vondelpark, Rembrandt House museum, etc. I had a chance to participate in the new SPE board member orientation, audit committee meeting, board officers dinner, finance & strategy meeting, various luncheons and dinners, board committee meetings all day Saturday, board meetings all day Sunday, the board leadership reception, speak at the R&D committee dinner, more luncheons, banquets, presentations. The Owl's club dinner was excellent. There was still plenty of time to participate in the great ATCE events. Our attendance was lower than many prior years in the US but well above our first overseas ATCE.

I did manage to squeeze in a little sightseeing on Thursday after the conference. My daughter and her husband flew down from Norway to see me receive the Public Service Award and brought my awesome youngest grandson. Jan and I managed to get reservations at Amsterdam's only Michelin two-star restaurant. It was awe inspiring food. We went to the Hague on Thursday.

Since we were staying at the Amsterdam Hilton we decided to revisit a March, 1969 event. The actual room was unavailable---we had no guitar so I borrowed a balalaika--- and we only spent about 10 minutes on it.

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Some pictures from the award ceremony
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My daughter Sarah came down from Stavanger to see me (and Grammy). She brought my youngest grandson.

Next stop, Frankfurt Germany. This is mainly a travel weekend but not much in the way of Halloween fun for me! Overnight in Frankfurt and a long day flying to Kazakhstan.

Thirty five days, twelve flights, 36,000 miles, six currencies, eight beds, 1 opera.

IAH-SFO/SFO-AKL/AKL-ADL
ADL-SIN
SIN-AMS

train to FRA
FRA-TSE
TSE-GUW
GUW-SCO
SCO-ALA/ALA-DXB
car to Abu Dhabi
AUH-AMS
AMS-IAH

Posted by fracmeister 07:34 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

October 2014 Around the world and then some, Part II

Singapore


View October 2014 on fracmeister's travel map.

As this trip started I was going to go to China in between Australia and Amsterdam. This trip was postponed so I had a weekend in Singapore plus a couple days. It was good to be back in such a great city and I managed to visit our Gaffney-Cline office there and meet some old friends.

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Snapshot

Singapore
From Adelaide to Singapore to met with a Baker Hughes consulting firm (Gaffney-Cline & Associates) in Singapore. Singapore is wonderful. Plenty to see and do. Wonderful history and culture. Also my favorite food---chili crab, black pepper crab and lakhsa. Singapore also is celebrating Deepavali with a Festival of Lights and it was really fascinating.

For 20 years, Singapore was (to me) just an airport and a place with hotels and meeting rooms. Sure I would go by Jumbo Seafood to have Chili crab and black pepper crab with steam buns. But I never saw the town. When my wife and I traveled there it was much better and documented in our blog entry. We saw almost all the tourist stuff and love Singapore. This was more of a working weekend as I am behind on articles and presentations.

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Little India was packed for the festivities and local temples had more than the usual number of worshippers.

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The streets were crowded with hawkers and shops---and one man providing a service I didn't take advantage of.

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Some Malaysian food from a hawker stand. 3.50 Singapore dollars, or $2.80 USD. It was excellent.

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There were scores of butchers doing on the spot work with huge crowds buying every conceivable animal.

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Seafood and fish were also in abundance and obviously very fresh.large_2016-10-16_23_02_42.jpglarge_2016-10-17_00_15_33.jpg

There was a display of Japanese design. This picture is not a computer simulation but an actual photo.

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This is atop the taipei Buddhist center

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There is a large "Arab" town in Singapore with many mosques. This is the same one where my wife and I witnessed a wedding on a previous visit so it holds a special memory for me.

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An old Moslem cemetery

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Some typical shops in the area

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My wife and I went to all the tourist stuff before but here are a few pictures from my walking around. This really is a great city.
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Finally, a note about Singapore airlines --- I really like this airline. Almost everyone does and Singapore Airlines perennially winds up on the top of the list of "Best Airlines." They deserve it. The service and food were excellent and they do a wonderful job.

If you have a chance in Singapore spend some time in Fort Canning. Splendid views and a great insight into the history of Singapore.
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Thirty five days, twelve flights, 36,000 miles, six currencies, eight beds, 1 opera.

IAH-SFO/SFO-AKL/AKL-ADL
ADL-SIN
SIN-AMS
train to FRA
FRA-TSE
TSE-GUW
GUW-SCO
SCO-ALA/ALA-DXB
car to Abu Dhabi
AUH-AMS
AMS-IAH

Posted by fracmeister 03:07 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

October 2014 Around the world and then some, Part I

A very long trip, becoming President-Elect of SPE, first stop Adelaide


View March 2015 & October 2014 on fracmeister's travel map.

The following blog entry describes a long trip. "Around the World" tickets are cost effective but a little complicated. This trip is both an around the world trip combined with a massive "around the Caspian" trip thrown in. Once again it combines some work for my employer along with a lot of travel with the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Buckle up!

large_copy84.jpg
Snapshot

Do you normally know where you will be going and when before you take off on your trips? As this one begins, it is certain I will go to several cities in Kazakhstan mid-way through the trip but details are not yet arranged.

The trip begins October 8 from IAH to SFO and then off on a very long flight--- from SFO to Auckland, New Zealand. After the four hour trip to SFO it is more than 13 hours to Auckland. Then another 5 hours to Adelaide. More than 10,000 miles and the flights which began October 8 at 4:12 PM end up, on time in Adelaide at 10:20 AM on October 10. Where did October 9 go?

Adelaide

Adelaide hosts the 2014 Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition (APOGCE). The current SPE President, past-President and President-elect are committed so the opportunity falls to me as 2016 SPE President (not yet President-elect) to give the welcome remarks to the YP workshop, a presentation at a Young Professionals (YP) workshop, remarks at the opening session of the conference, speaking in the executive plenary session, making regional awards presentations and many other awards, welcome remarks at the "Education and teacher's Day" meeting and a talk with other teachers, presenting awards at the SPE Regional Student Paper Contest and meeting with regional SPE leaders to review the SPE Strategic plan. Some more talksThe amazing help from SPE staff that make it possible to arrange this and keep everything straight. More about that later.

Adelaide is a vibrant and dynamic city. The University of Adelaide is very open with varies architecture. The parks and walkways along the river are colorful. There is a great "buzz" around the city.
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The Art Museum doesn't make a point of putting all the art of one particular style, time or place in specific areas. These three are all right by each other.
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Kangaroo Island

Arriving early provides the opportunity to have a "day off" and one of the best day trips from Adelaide is to Australia's third largest island, Kangaroo Island.

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The Heath Goanna --- he is a local hero. When people tried to introduce rabbits to the island, the goanna dispatched them all before they could make too large an impact.

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Sea lions at Seal Bay. These are amazing animals.
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The koalas were just hanging around in the trees. Way up in the trees.
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"Remarkable rocks" --- these rocks are perched atop a large granitic weathered sculptures. Sure, they look cool but they also have some large inclusions.

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Not far from the Remarkable Rocks is Admirals Arch and a lot of seals.

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The Cape du Couedic lighthouse.

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OK, this isn't my picture. We also saw kangaroos but none of my pictures turned out.

No operas in Adelaide these days. The flight to New Zealand takes a long time and those movies on the little screen aren't that interesting. What do you do on long flights? On this one I listened to the James Levine, Metropolitan Opera performance of Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro while reading the libretto--listening in French and reading the French and English together is quite engaging compared to just listening.

The current plan:
IAH-SFO/SFO-AKL/AKL-ADL (done)
ADL-SIN
SIN-AMS
train to FRA
FRA-TSE
TSE-GUW
GUW-SCO
SCO-ALA/ALA-DXB
car to Abu Dhabi
AUH-AMS
AMS-IAH

Posted by fracmeister 23:26 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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