I figured out today why, out of all the "reality/vote off competition" TV shows, I like "America's Next Top Model" the most: I watch it for 2 parts of the show (in fact, I probably have it on in the background while I'm doing something else): A) the photo shoot that will be judged and B) near the end when the final photo's of each model are shown. For me, this show could be edited down to just these 8 minutes and I'd be satisfied.

I don't watch it or "see" it like most people do. I watch it for the creativity of the post-production artist's work on the photo's from each judging round. Creativity. Other shows like this on teev don't have that much appeal to me. I love photo correction and I would LOVE a job as the Creative Director. You know, the person who receives these images from the photographer and organises, or "directs" if you will, the fixing up in Photoshop then printing and has them finally delivered to the show's producers before the judging. I WANT THAT JOB!.. or a Creative Director job on a similar level. I have so much experience under my belt these days that I find direction so much more interesting than production.

I don't care about who stays or goes.

I actually find it depressing...

going to clubs/RSL establishments.

Ok, sure I won $4 on my $1 game of KENO, but these are not my sort of places. It really depressed me. The old folks there seemed to be enjoying themselves which is good, but I don't want this as I get old. In fact, it started me thinking about getting old. What sort of old man am I going to be? Who will I have in my life? I won't have family. Will I be satisfied with becoming less mobile? So many thoughts rolling around my head.

I came to the conclusion that I don't want to get old. Duh! No-body does. But I guess not having siblings to be responsible for means I can be in control of my own destiny a little bit more than some. I decided I'd be happy to just go and disappear one year in the future while walking a mountain. This thought was kind of satisfying. But when will I know the time is right? I'm guessing, that with the exception of an accident while trekking, this decision doesn't need to be made for a while.


Damn it...

So much going on in my brain. Stupid brain.

I admire my father. Him and Mum are visiting me this weekend and we're just hanging out.

Last night we had a few beers at my local pub watching the footy semis on the teev. We casually chatted, as we do. We never talk too deeply. Just surface stuff. Somehow I started thinking about how different we are... but how similar we are. We weren't talking about achievements in life but I was thinking about his as we spoke. I have always admired his sporting achievements. I mean, my Dad's involvement with sport as a coach, mentor and enabler from ground-roots to some international sport's people is pretty admirable to me.

We talked about stuff I do. My solitary sense of adventure for climbing "hills" and sitting on cliffs is something he thinks is pretty amazing. We can sit and talk about diving together. Some of the places I've dived totally blow him away. We connect on a level that's totally different to anyone else I know. It's not deep, but it's definately a family connection that runs deep within us.

I want to share with him so much more about my life. So much more... but then, again those differences between us come into play and I wonder, after all this time, it really matters.


Scrag fight...

"Scrag Fight". Basically, you tell me who would win a particular scrag fight. Today we have two fiery redheads with questionable morals, foul mouths but both with hearts of gold:
Red corner: Lois GriffinBlue Corner: Kathy Griffin

So who do you think would win this scrag fight and why?



My weekend...

Party 1
Party 2
Party 3
Break, back at Dave's
Party 4
Party 5


Sticking with the music posts...

This song means more to me than ever before.
If I could come up with lyrics like this to express how I feel about someone then I would, but this song says so much anyway.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I challenge you to make a wrong move
Even when your acting the fool I cannot see through you
The culmination of experience that I can only ever dream of
Is tearing your clothes off
How many lifetimes does it take to live in the present day

I only know that your the one that always makes me feel it
It's nothing that you say or do it's just the way you are
If I could bottle what you got then life would be too perfect
I'll take it as it comes, any way you choose to give it


Get on this...

Finally Wolfmother are back with something totally impressive. This mix is great... think 2am, lounge room and a couple of mates, all feeling a little chopped with too many beers in the belly.

What do you get when you cross...

This image:

with this image:
A shit hot header.


It's all about balance...

and getting it right. I tested my marine tank on the weekend to see how things were progressing. It's progressing well actually. One of the more difficult parts of maintaining a marine tank is ensuring the water is always in excellent condition and provides a healthy "natural" environment.

Testing includes pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels. These need to all be within a specific range or the tank can become toxic very quickly. Testing involves chemicals and test tubes and colour charts. All these things appeal to the mad scientist inside me. At this early stage my tank testers, the mollies, are doing a good job. The water is healthy and algae is starting to grow. This is also a good sign that the water is starting to become more biologically sound and no longer a marine desert. Still, I have a few weeks to go before I can be sure the tank is right. The nitrate and nitrite levels need to fight it out until they reach an equilibrium.

Oh, and the randy little mollies had babies again. This time I saved 5 of them and they are isolated in the tank so they don't get eaten this time. I'm enjoying watching them grow day by day. See, I'm not a total monster.


Poor man's Tenori-On...

You know how I've always wanted a Tenori-On, well, this online app doesn't even come close... but I'm having fun with it. The "play" button is in the bottom right corner.


Scrag fight

I've had a couple of "features" on fridays during my blogging time and it's probably time I did another one. Let me introduce "Scrag Fight". Basically, you tell me who would win a particular scrag fight.
Let's begin with this topical one:

In the Red corner we have twelve-time Emmy Award-winning American stand-up comedienne, television hostess and actress: Ellen. And in the Blue corner we have the Grammy award winning and long time host of American Idol: Paula.

So who do you think would win this scrag fight and why?


La Roux and me...

have got together to produce this version of Bullet Proof. Well, kind of... we haven't met yet.

It's still a work in progress and I'm discovering that the sound I want from this is a bit hard to achieve in my bedroom. The levels are very soft when I export it. I'm working on fixing that in Soundbooth. So anyhoo, soft levels and all, here's my remix of "Bullet Proof":

La Roux - Bullet Proof (Muzbot Mix)


My new dietary habits...

are having some unusual side-effects. I've started eating good food recently. Organic and whole foods. On the weekend I noticed for the first time that my fridge contained more fresh food than alcohol! How weird is that?! A trip to the farmers market on Saturday morning is now a regular activity for me. The sight of freshly picked beens and broccoli excites me. Ok, so it doesn't really excite me, but I do enjoy carrying home a big bag of farm fresh food each week.

All this good food is having its effect too. I have much more energy during the day. I also fart a lot more. Oh boy do I fart! All this protein will do that apparently. But one of the biggest changes I've noticed is that my skin feels different. It really does. My face seems smoother to touch. Overall I just feel much better. This is a revelation. It's not always easy, but you know what, I feel like I'm not just feeding my hunger anymore, I'm feeding every cell in my body. I can see that. Others can see that. I like that.


Shhhhhh... Don't tell my trainer

that instead of my low-fat cottage cheese, sliced pineapple and oats with skim milk I opted for two eggs and the weirdest and chunkiest bubble and squeak that just happened to be swimming in tasty garlic oil. I think I still my got morning dose of protein.


Why do I have a sudden urge to own these Tshirts...


She's not fat, she's pregnant....

I came home from work yesterday to discover one of the mollies had had babies. Maybe the shock of the salt water induced her. For a moment I thought the babies were really talented fish swimming together in circles, but sad to say, but most of the babies were dead, swirling around the bottom of the tank caught in the current. I'm sure if they were alive they would have been going "Wheeeee".

So, with a slightly evil "Mwa ha haaaa" laugh, I know this is not a bad thing. Why? Dead fish are the perfect thing to help the bacteria in the tank.

This morning, 2 of the little fish have survived. I now have 7 mollies in my saltwater tank.


It's a fascination, turning into a hobby...

My dad has inspired many things in my life. I can attribute my fascination with diving to my childhood. Dad used to own an aquarium which sold many exotic varieties of fish. Having a HUGE marine aquarium in our own home with sharks, moray eels, octopus and other fish you wouldn't want to touch in it was so cool. I have no idea how many hours I would spend watching this tank and pretending I was a merman and it was my Atlantis. These days I am a diver. Any dive I've been on (except freshwater dives) there is always one critter I search for... the seahorse. I believe them to be good luck. Around the open waters and bays of Sydney there are actually a good variety of seahorses, but seeing one is never guaranteed. They disguise themselves very well. I love these animals.

Over the weekend I started to set up an aquarium to bring these little animals closer into my life. Australia has a strong captive-bred culture of seahorses ie: animals not taken from the wild. Captive-bred seahorses are delicate creatures, but hardier than their open water counterparts. These days you no longer need to have a separate tank for live feed for them, they will eat frozen food. Setting up a successful marine tank for these critters is going to be a long and complex process. Artificial marine environments are difficult to maintain. I'm going to blog about the experience as I go along.

Getting it right from the start:

My new tank: is 3ft.
Depending on the breed, this tank could happily house 3 or 4 pairs. Mixing up the salt water was a long process as this should not be done in the tank. Special marine salt is required as well. Table salt does not contain anywhere near the required trace elements required and will kill anything introduced to the tank. My tank holds around 190l of water. My process was to mix up the water in batches of about 10l. Firstly, chemically neutralising the chlorine then adding the marine salt, stirring then adding to the tank.

The lighting system on this baby is rather stunning, literally. It has turned my bedroom at night into day. It's freakin' bright - just like sunlight. You'd get a tan under here.

The Filter: MariSys 240
This is the most important part of getting it right. The choice of this filter system for my tank will refresh the water approx 6 times an hour. It's pretty powerful. It contains a protein skimmer which is essential for organic waste removal in salt water aquariums.
It contains a 4 stage trickle system. The mug is temporary... I will replace this soon with a more suitable gunk collector (yes, that is the technical term). The top layer contains typical woolen filtration pads which remove larger particles of waste. The water then passes through a carbon layer which removes finer particles and smells. The water then flows through the next stage which is the Bio Balls (pictured above). Bacteria will colonise these balls and will break down harmful ammonias and nitrates. After this the water then travels through another carbon layer which should remove any further organic waste and will polish the water. Finally the water passes through a very cool container of ceramic pieces. This final stage is where the good bacteria grow and do the final cleaning before the water is pumped back by the power head into the tank. Oh, and it sounds like it's raining in my bedroom. I find it really relaxing...

The biology:
The tank, at this stage, is a desert. There are no bacteria here. Solution: naturally introduce some into the tank. I added 5 mollies to the tank. These are usually fresh water fish but they actually happily live in saltwater as well. They took a little longer to introduce, but they seem happy enough. How will they help the tank?Poo!

And this is where we wait... This process should take about 6 weeks.