2007 Best of:

Clothing item: My blue Dainese T-shirt
Featured heavily in photos and was on high rotation this last half of the year.

Drink: Beer As with every other year.

Flavour: That meal I had in Montparnasse, Paris.
I don't know what it was, but it was 3 pieces of meat in 3 different sauces. The most divine flavour ever - and I never use the word "divine" to describe anything! Sorry I don't have a picture. Home delivery of Thai food has also featured highly this year.

Fragrance: The cold thin mountain air of the Alps. My God some of the smells were truly wonderful. One of the mountain plants (pictured) smells like sherbert.

Movie: None.
I didn't see one single movie this year that I would rave about. Although, I did enjoy The Simpsons.

Performance: Daft PunkI'm still humming "One More Time" one more time. And Casey Stoner's MotoGP victory this season.

Regret: Not going to the gym as often as I should have. Meh, I'll get over it.

Song: "By the time I get home there won't be a place for me." - Grand National

Toy: Wii.
Many late nights still to come with this one I think.

Photo: This picture I took from the summit of Aiguille Du Midi (3842m). The lone climber is trekking his way to where I'm standing looking back at him. The sheer cliff on the right of the image would have been close to a 1000m vertical drop. This picture thrills me each time I look at it. It is my inspiration and my aspiration.

Best experiences:
Way too many to mention, but some very memorable highlights were:
Flying over the summit of the Matterhorn in a helicopter.
Walking on the Mer De Glas Glacier.
Sleeping (or trying to sleep) in the car in a field after my first MotoGP in Mugello, Italy.
Moving into my own space.
Purchasing my sexy R6.
Laughing and spending time with my very close friends.
Just sitting and thinking to myself how lucky I am to be alive.


Bonding with my bike

Motorbike riding is all about cornering. The Southern Highlands provides some spectacular escarpments, tight bends and some of New South Wales finest rides.

Control. Total control over my bike and the road beneath me. My line was spot on and I used my gears on this ride more than my breaks. I managed to lean into some of the bends much more than I would have usually. It felt like my riding had matured and my confidence had just gone up a notch.

Riding through the National Parks, rain forests and along the coast was so enjoyable and an experience for all my senses. It was a long day and I saw some beautiful parts of the South Coast.


A haircut...

always has a way of making you feel refreshed. I've been growing my hair for a couple of months and today I thought I'd go and get it neatened up for the coming NYE celebrations.

The barber I go to is an old Greek man. I've been visiting his dodgy little single chair operation for 2 years now. He doesn't speak english very well. In fact, more often than not, I don't understand a single word he says. I just smile and nod. He's a friendly ol' fellow and does a great traditional hair cut. A $10 haircut. It's fantastic value, none of this Tony and Guy $100 bullshit for the same result.

Well today, I asked for my usual "Short back and sides thanks." He mumbled something that I didn't catch and then asked me if I wanted the usual #2 blade. I was pleased that he remembered that I like it very short around the back. With the flick of the switch the Wahl's buzzed and he commenced clippering my hair - on the very top of my head!

At this point I realised that what he had assumed was that I wanted a #2 crew cut. Hmmmm. I broke into a sweat. Really, I did. This was NOT how I wanted my hair cut. But alas, the damage was done. Without my beard, and now without my hair, my head is as round as the moon. ROUND... VERY ROUND!


A true audial and visual feast...

Last night I was lucky enough to catch Daft Punk live. These guys really know sound and they also know some pretty damn amazingly talented visual technicians. I've never seen L.E.D. lights used to such precise syncronicity and beauty. L.E.D. rocks!

This Sydney show was to be their last show to feature the amazing pyramid. To say that I was blown away is a little bit of an understatement. I walked away from the concert wishing I could go and see the whole thing again. The super large hi-def screens on either side of the stage, featuring one each of the two androids, were of the highest quality I have ever seen. Technically brilliant and visually stunning.

To top it all off, the two members of Daft Punk were looking damn sexy... well, as sexy as androids, who are "Human After All", can look. This strange attraction to these two characters I have made this a VERY compelling experience. But then again, let's face it, I've always had a thing for robots, helmets and leather suits.


Melb to Sydney in 4.5 hours...

Melbourne was great last night. It was warm. I managed to catch up with a mate from Melbourne in my hotel bar for a few beers when he suggested we go for a walk. Melb is a good place for that.

As we headed off a few drops of rain sprinkled down. By the time we had gone halfway around the block it had become a shower. It was great. We both weren't in any hurry and we both were enjoying wandering around chatting in this very warm summer rain.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Today the flight home was a little delayed. Melbourne airport had closed earlier in the day due to storms. Judo and I managed to change to a different flight so our delay was going to me minimised.... That was until Qantas realised that after we all had boarded the flight they had "forgot" to load the baggage. So, we all sat patiently on the plane while they rounded up the baggage and loaded it into the cargo hold. Finally, we're ready to push back... Well, that was until a bird flew into the cockpit and then the pilot couldn't find where it flew to. Apparently this bird had decided that hiding behind the instrument panel out of reach was a good place. So, while the flight deck was dismantled, we all sat in the plane and waited patiently. 2 hours later the bird was off the plane and we were ready to take off. This was my longest time on a plane that didn't involve an international destination.


My new favorite...

toy is the Wii. This little box with its welcoming futuristic blue lit slot is providing me with the most fun I've had at home in my lounge room for a very long time.

Yesterday afternoon Dave and I grabbed a controller and nunchuck each and challenged each other to a few Wii Sports games. If you've got one of these you'll know how cool and how much fun these games are. I'm crap at tennis, just as I am in real life, but faired much better with golf and bowling. I've never worked up a sweat playing with a game system ever, but this little baby had us sweating and panting after a few rounds of boxing. This is serious fun.


Big Brother '08

10 Things meme

1. When you were born, how much did you weigh?
No idea. I need to call Mum... brb.
Ok, 7.6lb. That's about 3.44kg for the metrically minded.

2. What's you're sugar poison?
Recently I've discovered a cake shop in Kirribilli that is as traditional as they come. I've been stopping in on my way home from work to get a Neenish Tart. These have been a fave since I was a young lad. MMMmmm, the choc and vanilla iced variety. But, I've been really enjoying the strawberry and vanilla ones lately. Holy crap I love these tarts. Mum used to make these and had her own varieties. She'd even make a delicious lemony passion fruit version.

3. If you had to choose between meat and cheese for the rest of your life, which would you choose? Then be specific.
Well, considering I've lived without meat in my life for longer than it's been in my life I'll have to go with cheese. I really love all sorts of cheese so it's hard to choose. For practicalities sake I'll go the humble Coon slice. It's versatile and good on a pizza, pasta, nachos or even just in a sandwich.

4. What, in your opinion, is the worst song ever?
Hmmmmm... So many to choose from. But I'll settle on Wham - "I'm your Man". Does this song suck or what?!. It was a close tie with Denis Leary "I'm an Asshole". Now that song really does annoy me. No, maybe it's just Denis Leary. Hold on, I have a late contender: Madonna "Beautiful Stranger".

5. Who was your favorite teacher growing up and why?
Annie Mulkerin. She was a teacher who I respected and she taught me through most of my high school years. Will always have fond memories of her because she was able to be more than a teacher and she had such a good sense of humor.

6. What personal activity, when performed in public, bothers you the most?
People picking at their toe jam then smelling it. I mean c'mon, what's with that?!

7. Ok, there's a $50 bill lying on the ground. You pick it up. Dumbfounded by your incredible luck, what do you selfishly purchase?
It'd have to be a Thai take-away dinner and a 6 pack of beer. I'm a simple lad with simple pleasures.

8. Do you have a recurring nightmare? If so, explain.
Yeah. I often dream of falling onto a large upward pointing shard of glass. It's most often from a smashed fishtank. It slices right through my guts and I always feel it grinding against my spinal chord, and as I try to pull it out it slices through my fingers. It's a dream that really creeps me out and I've been having it since I was a child.
Oh, that and turning up to work each day is a bit of a recurring nightmare these days.

9. Name one place on Earth you've never been, but vow to visit at least once.
Japan. I'm in love with its artistic culture.

10. You notice that question #9 wasn't really a question. You feel smart for catching such a small detail. What else can you do really well that reminds you how smart you are?
They didn't call me "Mr Pixel Perfect" at work for nothing. I'm very good with attention to detail and alignment in digital creative.


Street art...

Recently my interest in street art has been aroused once again. I've been very impressed with the scene and what's going on overseas with lowbrow art on the streets. It's becoming more diverse in the materials that are being used and some of the concepts are very clever. I often think about the time when I was out and about on the streets. The super fond memories I have of this time period and the creative people who I shared this time with will always be very close to my heart. Street art, to me, is fantastic and bold. I often wish I had captured more of this time on video or with photographs.

The image above is one of mine in Melbourne. I've put a couple of pics on Flickr, but I couldn't find any better ones. Jelly fish below. :)




This is the chocolate I got today out of my advent calendar.


The race is on...

and I have to admit, I'm disappointed. The Amazing Race is back on Aussie TV. However, I'm not disappointed because it was a crap episode, I'm disappointed because I saw this series last year. Damn it. The Amazing Race is probably my all time favorite TV show. So much so that I bloody well downloaded this series last year and have seen it before.

The Amazing Race annoys me incredibly, but it also, surprisingly, inspires me. It often makes me laugh and it always makes me wonder how I would do on this race. When Judo and I traveled together earlier this year we would joke about us doing this show together. Considering we argued "a little" on our trip, and maybe even refused to talk to each other a few nights, I think we probably would make interesting TV. (Actually, Judo, that last night in Paris would have made VERY interesting TV. Private joke... sorry!)But, Judo always inspired me and I was always blown away by his knowledge and experience.

I caught the end of The Amazing Race tonight and thought about it. Could we really do this? Yeah, we could easy. But, I then seriously began to think about who I'd really love to do an Amazing Race with. I just can't go past my Dad. I would LOVE to race around the globe with this very special man. Love you Dad. You mean the world to me. Heaps.

When all else fails, blog about the weather...

I'm a bit of a weather fan. This morning I woke to the sound of heavy rain. It was a great way to start the day. By the time I'd showered, ironed a shirt and had an OJ the rain had stopped and it was time to leave. I looked out my window to the west and although there were some dark clouds out there they looked far enough away for me to risk the walk to work.

Sydney is experiencing some rather unstable weather patterns at the moment. This means humidity and thunderstorms. 10 minutes into my walk and the sky became dramatically darker to the right (west) side of the bridge. As I stepped onto the bridge a clap of thunder warned me to pick up the pace. The only thing that kept running through my mind was that I'm now walking on the city's biggest chunk of metal. A huge lightening rod. Kind of made for an exciting walk. I wondered if I would feel something when the bridge was struck. Despite this fascination I decided that I'd prefer not to be soaking wet when I arrived at work so I didn't linger. It was a rather spectacular morning light show though.


Not bad for a monday.

Today was one of those days that had the potential to be really bad, but actually turned out to be quite good.

Work was good. I had a nice lunch with Judo and bought a needle so I can finally pump up my very flat basketball. Created a new header for this blog quickly, but really like the results. I really liked the movie The Iron Giant so this is my Giant inspired header.

After work I met up with a mate from London who had just flown in to Sydney today for work. Good effort on his behalf for staying awake during the conversations over a couple of beers. I know how hard it is sometimes to partake in conversations when you're very jet lagged.

Then on my walk home I passed under the bridge and stopped and looked at the community notice board. There was an ad for the local Rollerblade group and for a dude who gives tuition in blading for new comers. This reminded me that I had a pair of blades at home that have really never been used other than around an underground carpark many years ago. So I thought "why not?!" I dumped my stuff at home, quickly got changed into some dags, grabbed the blades and wandered down to the foreshore of the Harbour. The foreshore of the harbour has a nice boardwalk and path around it that also crosses the bridge to the city side.

Here's a couple of tips and words of advice from this skilled Rollerblader:
  • Don't ever overestimate your own skill!
  • Starting on a downhill section is not the best place to start if you haven't used rolerblades for many many years.
  • Applying the brake is a skill that should be mastered before going downhill.
  • Light posts make excellent crash barriers.
  • Light posts are not flexible or soft.
  • Make sure no one saw you get very close and personal to said light post.
  • Do this late at night when it's reasonably quiet.
  • Rollerblade wheels and wooden boardwalks don't mix right after rain.
  • Just when you think you can pull off that big 360 turn in style, you won't.
  • When you fall, again, try to do it in a less conspicuous place not like into the fence of a well lit fun park such as Luna Park.
  • Finish up with a few bruises and a big smile on your face for getting out there and giving it a go and making a goose of yourself by having some fun.


Weekends come and go...

and this weekend I bought a palm tree for my lounge. I've been wanting one for a little while now because I happen to like plants in my living environment. Now that I have it home and in my lounge, it's a little bigger than it looked in the lot of thousands of others in "Palm World" where I bought it, but I really love it. For me, it makes my living area feel a just that little bit more comfortable.

So anyway, there it is. The highlight of my weekend. Why? Because I got to spend time driving around with my mate Judo on a very wet Saturday looking for it. Because I feel like I have something "alive" and not something digital in my life. Because it added something new to my tiny little apartment. Because my mate Dave could see that this was actually exciting for me.

So, who'd like an update on the fish eggs? Well....
They are all gone. No survivors. All eaten. I think Mum and Dad Angel Fish were a little too weirded out by the new strange additions in their home, so they ate them. But, the good news is that I'm sure they are not lesbian fish. Not that that's wrong. It just means that I actually have a male and female because there were some fertile eggs on the leaf before they were served up for dinner. So, this time around, I saved my self a little time and effort on preparing for the new family members. But, according to my Angel Fish research, they should be back "at it" in a few weeks time. I'm not a grandfather yet. :)