Heavy Plant

Walk past a "Heavy Plant" warning and wonder vaguely if the trees thought it was for them; if whoever put it up had enough imag...

Friday, June 23, 2006


A proper interactive podcast, well kind of.

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  1. Part one

  2. Part two

  3. Part three

  4. Laura Imbruglia

A long, good Friday

At 7am local time the Soccaroos (euugh) made it through to the last 16 of the World Cup. The first time they have ever done so.

Australia has got right into the 'soccer'. I have a feeling not much work will be done in Australia this afternoon. I'm terrified of going to the pub tonight it'll be a mess.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Wired for sound

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Friday, June 16, 2006

Choices, choices...

Imagine for a moment that you have little or nothing to do this weekend. Then imagine that you have two conflicting invitations; the first is to a Samba night, the second to a Tupperware party. Which one do you pick?

Come on now, judge them on their merits. At the Samba night you will have the perfect excuse to drink many, many delicious Caipirinha. At the Tupperware party you will get the full retro experience. You might even be invited to a coffee morning, or a jumble sale, or a wife swapping party…

Without being rude to anyone that is involved in either of these events what kind of choice is that for a Saturday night, I mean bloody honestly? I know you social life dies down a touch as you get older but I’m only 28, how did it come to this?

Tupperware parties have been around so long that Ann Summers have pinched their business model and made it their own. And Samba/Salsa well I can’t dance before the eighth drink of the night but after that critical threshold I suddenly find my feet. Unfortunately reality reasserts itself at the eleventh drink and I realise that I hate dancing, everyone around me and life in general. After this point I generally fall over. There is a slim three drink window of opportunity in which I am unselfconscious enough to dance and still sober enough to put one foot in front of the other. This is a delicate balance that I have little experience of and not the slightest interest in maintaining. Ballroom dancing is a big competitive sport out here - mind you so is telling fishing lies and hyperbole in general – and I don’t fancy being shown up as badly as I would be (if you haven’t seen it you should watch Strictly Ballroom, it will give you some idea of how seriously the Aussies take just about anything competitive).

I have opted for the Tupperware party. I might bring the Ann Summers thing up every now and then, not often enough to get on their nerves but enough to make the point. Approximately once every ten minutes should do it. I wonder if Tupperware do any of the plastic moulding for them…

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Maps & Satellite photo's

Last week Google released Google maps for Australia and New Zealand which means I can now link you to map pages and their satellite photographs of places I’ve been or am going to which means more Google enabled web fun. You might need to play around with the map, satellite and hybrid views and the zoom control to get the idea. At some point I will figure out how to “mashup” all this with the blog on the main page, which will be very good indeed but right now all I’ve got is links:

To kick us off, this weekend we will be going to Nelson Bay for to eat in restaurants, soak in a hot tub and drink wine.

Also the wharf in the middle of Sydney harbour that I used to get the ferry home from.

Maroubra Beach

Pearl Beach where we occasionally go for the weekend.

And last just Sydney Harbour. If you look at the satellite photo you can see how busy the harbour is.

I’m using Google for a vast amount of things at the moment including email, diary organising even web favourites and tracking the traffic on this site through Google Analytics which even though I’ve only had access to for a week has absolutely blown my mind. In case you didn’t know they also own blogger. More about Google in upcoming geek posts including the infamous "Web 2.0" meme.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Maroubra beach today

This is a bit of an experiment. I have just shot some video of a small section of the view from our balcony and uploaded it to Google video. This means you can actually see what it's like outside my window today.

Warning the file is nearly 11Mb and it's not very long, I just wanted to see if it worked.


Ketchup on a pie - it's just wrong

Right, I’m back. It appears that we consistently exceed our bandwidth allocation so at the end of every month we lose our internet connection. Whilst I’m not averse to posting small things from work sat at your desk for twenty minutes whining online about how many pies you’re eating is probably not going to be viewed particularly well by your employer.

Speaking of which, I am eating too many pies! My pie count for the week is 4. It was a slow week pie-wise.

Not unlike the UK Australia has been through the foodie revolution and the standard of food available is now twenty or thirty times what it was ten years ago. Vegetarians are no longer put on the barbeque, though sometimes it can be a little difficult for Em to explain that chicken is not a vegetable, and that actually neither is fish.

Also like the UK there are some hang-overs from the terrible food past. For example in London you can buy a substandard cornish pastie just about anywhere. In Sydney you can buy a substandard pie just about anywhere. Although if you've got half a brain you'll look for five minutes longer and find that there is a bakers round the corner and that will sell you a gourmet pie for $2 more. Yes that's right a gourmet pie, and they're not kidding the good ones are really good. I'd steer clear of the curry ones though. What seems like a brilliant fusion of two great institutions is in fact a violation of natures law.

The Sunbeam Pie Magic 4

Australia may be the only country on earth where you can buy a pie maker. Most people would settle for doing it the old fashioned way, with an oven, but not your pie chomping sheep shearer. A pie maker is not unlike a toasted sandwich maker. You line the tins with pastry put in your filling, put on the pie lids and close the top. A few short minutes later you have pies. There even seems to be a pie maker specifically targeted at children. Why you would invest in a pie maker, make or buy pastry and make or buy filling and the fiddle around making substandard pies when you could walk to the corner of the street and buy a gourmet pie is beyond me.

Harry's cafe de wheels

My own pie consumption has been driven up by the amount of nights I am not at home for dinner. On my way off the ferry I have to walk almost straight past a window kiosk on circular quay that sells some of the bestt pies and pastries in Sydney. The temptation can be too much. Often I've grabbed a coffee and a danish for breakfast there in the morning too.

If you listen to the tourist guides there is only one place to buy a pie in Sydney Harry's Cafe de Wheels.

A pie floater

At Harry's you can buy an Australian delicacy, being Australia there is nothing delicate about it, it is called a pie floater. A pie floater is more commonly found in the state of South Australia. To make a pie floater take a bowl of mushy peas, float a pie in it - you're done. Harry's also put mashed potato on the top and cover it with gravy. I will leave you to imagine what I think of that.