Wednesday, December 31, 2008

So where did 2008 go?

Just wondering where I spent the year. Things I can think of include in no particular order (and will be updated if I think of more of them):

- Graduated MBT (not much effort really since I did the hard work in the previous 4 1/2 years)
- Visited Melbourne (40th)
- Visited Brisbane (funeral)
- Visited Hobart (Christmas)
- Visited Mudgee (Wine!)
- Visited Oberon (Driving lesson for my Bro; only popped out for the day)
- Visited Terrigal (although that was work)
- Bought a house
- Got engaged
- Camped at Glenworth Valley (mmmm.... Festival)
- Got my RSA
- Got my ITILv3

Just trying to keep track of where the time goes, and reassuring myself that I'm at least trying to use my time well.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ritmo Brasil festival, Sydney 2008

These photos were taken at the Ritmo Brasil festival in Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour. The festival was today, and the highlight was a performance of the Maracatu performed by Umbela Brasil. Apparently, this particular celebratory dance hasn't been performed in Australia before.

The guy in green below danced a lot. The weather was hot. Luckily he has someone to keep him well watered. It also gives you a bit of an idea of how many drummers were involved.

This was back on the stage again back at Tumbalong park.

My Parents' Garden has Funky Plants

See? Funky!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A lovely day

Had a lovely day out today. We spent quit some time at Burwood fair. I didn't take many photos there but I eventually used the ol' camera phone and took a piccie of some hungry ducks on the pond.

For dinner we ended up going out to Bagan in Strathfield. It's a Burmese restaurant. Were supposed to be going with some friend who sadly couldn't join us, but we decided that since we'd booked and we were hungry we'd go anyway. Below was one of the specials, the mango salad. Very spicy (not recommended if you don't like chilli) and very tasty.

This was the deep fried melon and some other spicy chicken whose name escapes me. Managed to take a photo of the melon before we scoffed it all.

We also had some delicious fried rice. The bill was surprisingly low, and there was so much on the menu that we are definitely going back. Mighty tasty. Oh and way too much food.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Funky knitted thing!

Some clever person made this thing for me :-)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Random photo time!

I took this from the carpark roof in Burwood Plaza. Turned out well enough that I decided to share.

And in totally unrelated news I again have access to a blender. It allowed me to make these:

Note that no animals were harmed in the making of these Toblerone cocktails. I made them without the honey but with slightly more cream and a fair bit of ice. The new blender turned the ice in to smooth cocktail goodness very quickly.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Yay for funky birthday outings!

Destructomeg took me on a great outing for my birthday! It all started with bacon and egg rolls with BBQ sauce in the comfort of our own home. After that, we took a train in to the city, and then went to Cockatoo Island which has some of the Biennale stuff on it. Spent some hours there (there was lots to see). We then went back to the city and stopped in at the history of Sydney Pubs at the Sydney Justice & Police Museum before being whisked away to a fabulous dinner at Sander's restaurant in Cabarita. There's a few photos of the day which I might put up on Flickr, but in the mean time, here's some that I've tried to paste together. They are all taken from Cockatoo Island.

I am going to grumble about the quality of them. I have some trouble at the moment with the exposure blending, and the last one shows that lining up the photos at the taking them stage is also a lot harder than I realised. Anyway, here they are:

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Panorama time!

So I finally found the time to put some panoramas together. I downloaded the latest version of Hugin (they've really worked on the user interface) and put these together:

This is in Japan, on one of the bridges outside the royal gardens.

This is in Singapore, on the island of Palau Ubin looking towards the mainland.

This is another panorama at Palau Ubin looking at an old mine.

And this final one is from last weekend in Brisbane, taken from Storey Bridge.

Stuff from Japan and Singapore

So we went to Japan and Singapore last year and I haven't posted anything yet, so here's a random sample.

This was early on in the trip near Ueno or Asakusa. Just a regular street with regular people following instructions.

This is a picture of Himeji-jo. That place was far too photogenic. I took a lot of photos there.

This is one of the posts of ichi-no-tori (if we read the map correctly) in Nara. It's supposedly one of the oldest recorded/documentable gates in the country.

Here's a taste of Singapore from the shopping centre we were waiting in before heading over to Sentosa.

I also had to try one of the local desserts (and what would my blog be like without food photos anyway?). In Japan I had sweet potato flavoured soft serve amongst other delights, but here I got to try something in a natural shade of green. Well, I liked it.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

More of Mudgee because I can!

We stayed at the lovely Horatio which didn't have a stovetop that we could use. Well, with necessity and optimism (sadly the optimism wasn't mine), there was no desperation at all.

Amazingly it actually worked!

This was a view on the way back of the vast plains and vast wine.

This is how you control weeds organically. Black faced Suffolk are the brains of the operation.

This is the view from Windamere dam where we had lunch (tasty pizza leftovers from Lithgow. Who knew Lithgow had good pizza?)

That'll do for now!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mudgee has food too!

While in Mudgee, we went to a very tasty restaurant. It looked like this at the back:

And like this out the front:

And like this if it was made out of chocolate:

Tasty tasty giant ravioli. Apparently you could actually call it a raviolo (the small ones are apparently still called ravioli in singular). Anyway, this one was stuffed with chunks of roast pork and apple.

The fish was also quite tasty.

And I had of course my favourite dessert. Mmmmmm. Blowtorch.

And we ordered wine by the glass which also rocked. Also, apparently this is Sydney style food, not country. As opposed to giant hamburgers that don't cost very much which are available from the local pubs. Either way, I'd go back.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Ranty McRant (why do I have to buy a new one?)

I forgot to have this rant earlier. As you know, dear reader, I like to reuse things where possible. I have successfully had my television repaired (still going strong now!) and had speakers repaired too. Last week I went to have my hair clippers sharpened and low and behold, the very place I had it done last time doesn't sharpen them anymore! Only new ones! And they didn't recognise my clippers because although they sold them to me the first time, they only have cheapo ones now. Why did I have to buy new blades? What is the world coming to?

Anyone know a place that sharpens hair clipping blades?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mudgee has wine n stuff!

Last weekend we got to drink lots of tasty wine out at Mudgee. One of the coolest bits of staying in Mudgee is the nice buildings they have kept. The streets have a really good character, so hopefully they will keep the new proposed mall at bay for a while yet.

This is one of the churches on the main street.

The town hall is also quite lovely.

I have no idea what this was.

They also have a new shop where you can buy whatever. What-evah.

Monday, June 09, 2008

I Like Oberon

With its sweeping vistas
and the many many sheep

the lack of speed limits

the wide road down the main drag

the local council digging up the park

and a shop for when you need to buy an exotic bird and a bicycle, and don't want to go to separate stores

In fact, they also had other farming supplies, chainsaws and... well... exotic birds...

Sunday, June 08, 2008

What's a Fizzy Vimto?

Well, I'm glad you asked. It's one of these:And it looks like this:

The taste? Well, this one is grape, blackcurrant and raspberry, made with actual fruit juice concentrate and somehow manages to taste just like creaming soda. Not a bad thing, but not what I was expecting. If you feel the urge to obtain some "incredibly fizzy Vimto", you can get it up at the lolly shop in Leura, along with other random sweets from random countries.

Edit: Apparently you can obtain Vimto in cordial form in the local supermarket. Who knew???? (Well, I didn't....)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Living on the caffeinated edge

or... the perils of liking a good coffee!

Okay so my usual coffee is a double macchiato, which I affectionately call a Mac Daddy. I drink these because I like a strong coffee. One shot usually isn't enough, hence the double. Secondly, if the coffee isn't quite awesome enough, the teaspoon full of milk is enough to take away some of the edge. I don't put sugar in there.

What can go wrong with this beverage? Well I'm glad you asked. One confusion is that when I order it as a double macchiato, they put in quite a lot of milk to go with it and it ends up resembling some kind of strong latte. In Melbourne I can call it a long macchiato but in Sydney that usually results in far too much explaining what they need to do.

The reason I started on this rant in the first place is that twice this year so far I've asked for a strong macchiato, and, much to my surprise, I've ended up with a strong mocha. The first time was up in Terrigal and quite frankly what they gave me was vile. The second time was this weekend in a French patisserie in Stanmore. Not vile but I really wasn't after a warm milkshake.

What I'm looking for now is suggestions on how to order my beloved Mac Daddy and actually get what I want without being condescending to the maker of the coffee. I know that when I'm out and about there's already a risk that I'll have a not so good coffee; hence the tiny bit of milk insurance policy, but I really don't want to end up with a mocha again.

p.s. in case you are wondering why I don't take them back, I've really not wanted to wait again for something else potentially equally bad to turn up. I drink what I can to get my vitamin C, and then find something a little tastier.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Cutting out the middle man

Coffee grinder laybacks.

That is all.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Happy Valentines Day!

Okay... so it is a bit of a commercial entity now, but it's still nice to stop and think of the ones you love. Not in an overcrowded go out to dinner like cattle kind of way, but in a little gesture kind of way. Thankyou Mz DestructoMeg! I don't think anyone has actually given me flower(s) before, and it was very sweet :-)

Not sure I entirely understand why, but it was a really cool thing to do. Maybe because it was so totally unexpected? Anyway.... I'll stop blubbering before this blog gets coated with mush.