Bye bye summer

and so to celebrate the end of summer I'm having a day off.

I jumped on my bike early this morning and headed south. The aim: Head to Canberra for the night. I didn't get to Canberra.

The weather was crisp and cool. Perfect for riding. Best of all, there were no cars on the road this early to disturb my rhythm as I swung from one corner to the next. The previous couple of day's storms left the road through the Royal National Park covered with detritus and bits of trees so it was not easy riding. I stopped at the end of the park to gather my thoughts.

I headed towards Macquarie Pass (or heaven for motorcyclists). The ride up the pass was fun. I opened up my bike on a few sections and swept the city riding cobwebs out of my bike's pipe. At the top of the escarpment at the Pie Shop a motorist spoke to me, "You'll lose you're license if you're caught mate!" I assumed that he was talking about my super fast riding, but no... I was riding without my number plate!

Damn! Shit! Poo! ( < - that's official biker talk) It must have fallen off somewhere earlier in the morning. A couple of other riders turned up and told me not to go back down the pass as the cops were setting up in unmarked cars. So, I shared a coke with them and the continued on the back way towards Bowral. The thought of riding on with out a number plate worried me. I headed for the Freeway back to Sydney. But - and here's the thing, the advantage of not having a number plate also thrilled me. Why was that??? *insert evil grin here.

Back in Sydney, a visit to the RTA and I have a new number plate.


Flashback Jack...

Tonight I was digging around some old photo albums and came accross this... my Academic Report from Semester 1 Year 12, 1987.

Wanna know what sort of student I was? Well read on because I'm about to transcribe the comments from each of my teachers for each of my subjects -

Religious Education: Murray has achieved an average result with minimal effort.
This is a most accurate assessment of my effort in this class. It's my favourite comment from a teacher.

English: Generally Murray should be quite pleased with his efforts this semester. His essay results have been good but he does need to take more care with creative writing pieces.
Creative writing has never been my forte. Thank god my blog is not creative writing.

Mathematics I: Murray has worked quite well but obviously finds the concepts difficult.
Er*.squared = Duh

Mathematics II: Final test results were sound.
I actually really enjoyed this subject. It was all vectors and matrices.

Music: Murray continues to perform at a consistently high standard.
Yes, yes I did. In fact I was the college dux for the 3 years I took this subject. Was always proud to accept that award each year at the school awards ceremony in front of the school and my parents.

Speech & Drama: A pleasing result, Murray.
Gee, thanks for the encouragement. This from the teacher who had me banned from using any sound equipment at the school and suspended for "sampling" her voice during one lesson and cutting it up so that she said some very funny things... The sound recording made it's way into the teachers staff meeting and she stormed out in tears after fellow teachers laughed at her. - so legend has it. :)

Physics: A big effort is required.
Who was I kidding? It was my bludge subject. I don't think I did one assignment or even bothered to open the text book during this class.

And the final remark from the Year Master:
It is pleasing to see that even though you find some subjects testing you are still trying. Physics can obviously do with a lot more effort Murray.

I know a few people who would still call me "trying".

Freshest mooooove arv eva seeeen...

80's revival continues...

Please excuse me while I get up and dance. I just can't help myself.


Those friends...

you know the ones. They're the ones that when you FINALLY catch up it feels like there hasn't been any time missing between you at all. Even though a lot has happened since you both talked on the phone, or the two of you just caught up for a few beers together. Both last night and tonight I had that experience.

And it's not because your life is SO busy, it's just because, well, you just haven't caught up. It's not like you haven't thought about catching up either. You do think about it. You do think about them... often.

There's just something special about some friends.


Nothing like a beer to finish a race...

and that's how I finished the Team Emu Draft Charity Fund Raiser Amazing Race.

Sydney had turned on one of those days where it would have been criminal to be indoors. Running/walking around the city in a foot race was a fantastic way to enjoy it. Ok, sure cruising around on the Harbour might have been better, but I did that 2 weekends ago, so racing was todays option.

12 challenges and checkpoints spread out across the width and breadth of the city including trips to various art galleries to find clues, attempting to throw a frisby into a circle 40m away (not easy with the wind blowing across the frisby's path), sketching a statue to a rather young art critics satisfaction, setting up a tent and only using one hand, and drinking some sort of drink that contained chunky bits and tasted rather like flat grape flavoured coke... and then trying to run after drinking that! Didn't sit very well.

Dave was my team mate and we did ok. We both knew this one was a fund raiser, so we had no trouble bribing a few officials to sign our log book to say we had completed the challenge. The prizes weren't any motivation for this race, so we took our time and just entered into the fun spirit of this one. Officially we came 4th and missed out on first place by 14mins, however I believe I could have protested that result because we took a 15 minute penalty for skipping a check point although we did pay bribe money for it... :)

I had tickets to a performance by the Australian Ballet in the evening. It would have been the first time I've ever been to any sort of Ballet. However, I was so buggered that I was falling asleep by 7:30 and ended up missing the ballet.


I love trying something new...

and now I can add Korean to my list of enjoyable foods.

Last night I did a quick search online for a local Korean restaurant. I found a couple but only 1 was open for dinner. The reviews online were positive but one was scathing. That was good enough for me.

It was the most unassuming restaurant. In fact I think it was the families home and they had converted the front part into a dining room. Mismatched furniture, faded prints on the wall, faded silk flowers in odd vases on some tables, no table cloths and dodgy old lino on the floor. It was mum and dad doing the serving and cooking in what looked like a typical family kitchen. Their grasp of English wasn't the greatest which to me explained the bad review about the service.

Reading the menu made my mouth water. It all sounded so different to my usual Asian fare. I chose 3 entrés and a bibambap for main. Mum wasn't happy with my selection of entrés and waved her hand in some sort of gesture which told me I had ordered too much food, so she said she would just bring 1 entré. It was the dumplings (I was hoping it was the potato and spinach pancake). The bibambap arrived a little later in its super hot stone bowl. I mixed it up and it sizzled away at me. Spoon at the ready I dived in. It was hot. It was yum.

The food was cheap and very filling. I'm convinced. I will be back for more. There are a few more interesting things on that menu that I need to try.


Food fight...

Last week an email was circulated at work about the eating habits of different families from around the globe. The cost of food for a family of four or five was displayed below a picture of the family and their food. A discussion ensued and the question was posed: Could any of us live on $20 a week. My answer was "No way! I eat out." We all then soon agreed that it we might be able to do it, but it wouldn't be sustainable or advisable! I'm sure I'd go a little nuts living on beans, rice and soup mix and for the sake of the team it wouldn't be a good idea. So the challenge was put out there for the team to just document all our food and drink expenditure for a week. The week ended today. It's been an interesting experiment and I realise I don't eat as bad as I really thought I did. And as for cost, the whole team was only separated by a few dollars so I didn't feel too bad about that.

So here is the last week in food:

DayFood or drinkCost
Roast Chicken Sandwich$3.25
15/02/2008Eggs on Toast & Coffee$13.00

Thai & wine$19.00
16/02/2008Eggs, beans on toast & Coffee$15.00

Mezze Plate$9.00
2 Jugs beer$20.00
17/02/2008Eggs on toast & coffee$11.50
Steak, salad and mash$10.00
1 Jug beer$10.00
Peroni 6 pack$15.00
18/02/2008Bagel & coffee$6.00
Coke Zero$2.50
Veges and Rice$2.75
19/02/2008Bagel & coffee$7.50
Veges and Rice$2.75
Japanese and Sake$20.00
Sushi, Seaweed salad and water$11.00
Steak and Veg$4.00
Tea through the week$1.00

Lust item of the week...

It's a fair way off getting its Australian release, but WiiFit is definitely on my list of toys of the year. This console just keeps on getting better with its range of rainy day fun things to do.


I sleeveface...

I've a new favourite Flickr group. Sleeveface.


I've upset the universal ballance...

by playing around with something that was already good to begin with. I tried to update my "morning walk to work" playlist. The delicate balance of tunes that would prepare me for the day ahead has been totally disturbed and I can't get it back on track.

I mean, after 6 or so months of listening to the same tunes (often in different order all bar 1), I felt like I needed some new tunes thrown into the mix. How wrong could I possibly be! Rarely, if ever, would I hit the button to skip a tune after only a few a few bars of intro. But now it's like : Next... No... YesNo... Next. Grrrrrr. It's not the way I want to start the day.

So any suggestions for good morning artists? And please if anyone suggests music along the pop route then wipe those thoughts from your mind immediately. So far the tracks that I will salvage and will remain are by artist like Nick Drake, Grand National and Jose Gonzales. Floaty guitar, a little bit of high standard production and maybe just a smattering of brilliant indie electronic (but please, no dance. My walk to work is for keeping a clear head, not for bopping along the side of a road). Something new would be good.


The case of the...

appearing and disappearing and appearing again then disappearing blog posts:

Sometimes I feel like I just need to get things out of my system. Don't we all? Writing them down is cathartic. I'll write it all down in some sort of conscious stream of thought. I hit publish, I feel relieved, I go to bed and then I sleep.

Upon waking, I know a post like that is a little out of character and often a little bit of a "blah blah blah" post. I don't want to complain or whinge about stuff or even give away my deep dark secrets (and we know they are there!). It's not my style. So sometimes I just want to get something off my chest so I can move on. Then sometimes, like last night, I open up a Pandora's box of emotions. Reading it back I know that it makes sense to me, but to someone else it may seem like just another one of those blogs where someone is having a whinge... There's enough of them already out there.



Lust gadget of the week...

It's the iPTUSB. A neat little USB deck. I have a couple of crates of vinyl that I've been carrying around with me that I find very hard to part with. I mean let's face it, who would want to part with a complete collection of 12" Banarama remixes including those rare US only items... (eh-hem, moving right along). But to set up my turntable is something that never happens and is a bit of a dust collector these days thanks to my digital life.

This little piece of equipment would solve that and who knows, I might be able to re-live those days from the 80's & 90's where I was able to whip the room into a frenzy with a carefully timed spin of the finger on a label... Ummmm, well my living room that is.

I love this Kit Kat ad...


I've got the Ot's for you...

Onitsuka. More Japanese goodness.

These little babies are the FENCING LA model. So now for a little bit of history: This shoe was originally designed for the Japanese Fencing Team at the LA Olympics. For the shoes to give athletes better traction during bouts the direction of the pattern on the soles of the shoes differ between the left and right foot. Interesting huh?

I've been coveting a pair of these for a little while, finally they have found a home with me. And they're green. VERY green. My colour du jour.


They didn't really think this through did they...

"Skin good enough to eat" is the slogan. I don't think so! Eewwww. Maybe if your a fly and like rotting flesh.

Down in First Fleet park is this 'live' ad for Ella Bache. When you have approx 24 000 peaches in wet humid conditions they are soon going to go off. She's looking a little furry and rancid. Hopefully she'll be removed before her face drops away like that of a zombie! Actually, I'd like to see that.


WTF??? What the 'FLOCK'

There's a new addition to my Dock - Step aside Firefox.

It's early days for the new web browser "Flock", but thank you internet... you've just simplified my life yet again. I can tell you already, that I really like this new web browser. It brings all my little community sites into one nice application. No longer do I need to log into Facebook to keep tabs on you. It's all there in my side bar when I open my browser. I can blog without having to go to Blogger (although, this is something they need to improve... I'm still looking for the image upload!). I can see when my fave blogs are updated without having to log into Bloglines. It'll let me know about Flickr uploads, and I can even keep up with my YouTube favourites and the news... all before I even start typing in a web address and start browsing. What's more, the next release will include email as well, so there's another browser tab I can dispense with in the future!

Still checking out the user groups and following it's rise and not too sure how stable it is (But it seems great on the Mac platform), so I'll continue testing this great little package and hopefully it's going to be my new internet friend.

P.S: This browser is SOOOOOOO hot...I keep finding really v cool things. No doubt the mjor browsers are going to follow it's development very closely.

Sorry for the "easy" posts...

normal blogging shall return shortly. But in the mean time:


One thing I love about...

TEN's Late News with Sports Tonight is when presenters Sandra Sully and Brad McEwan have a good ol' giggle.


Holiday ends.

Well, my brief holiday ended tonight. One thing I realised many years ago was that my own backyard is one of the most special places in the world. It's all here. There is something very special about this little corner of the world.
I've posted some pictures on Flickr from the past few days.

I wish I could explain how much I don't want to go back to work tomorrow.