Thursday, December 22, 2005

Feeling Better

Feeling much more chipper today :-D Had a really nice night last night, got to relax and chill without any stress. We've even booked our trek for CRY (which some of you already know about), more info on that to come.

On a completely unrelated note, I subscribe to the rss feed of Astronomy Picture of the Day, and whenever there's a really nice one I all of a sudden have a new wallpaper, in particular todays pic of the Andromeda Galaxy is simply stunning!

Keep smiling!

Ed: Forgot to change the title of the post as it crashed half way through... my bad.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Nothing to see here, move along...

Feeling a bit melancholy today (not really sure why, could be the dreary gray skies, the bit of a hangover from the drinks last night)... But anyways going to listen to some cool music and try and insert some humour into my day. So onto some random updates

  • Christmas is here!! (well almost) and we've got our Xmas tree up! :-) Actually me and Ryan went out and bought a 7'' tree, so the star at the top is almost touching the ceiling.
  • Matt moved out, and our new housemate (A.J.) moved in... Nothing interesting to really say here, other than sounds like Matt's being enjoying the sun down in Melbourne (even if his luggage didn't arrive with him!)
  • I've finished my archaeology course, and have been thinking about what I'll start up in the New Year... I'd quite like to do something with my hands, though my suggestion of Woodcarving has been scoffed at :-P
  • Mark (of Andrea & Mark fame) had his 40th just recently, and a merry time was had by all down at the local Lebanese restaurant :-)

That's all I've got today... For everyone out there have a very merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Gambling as 'insurance'

Spotted this from one of those 'Oddly Enough articles': Man loses bet by staying alive

Turns out this guy placed a bet in order to insure against a possible inheritance tax bill..
  • If he died before the first week in December his wife would of been handed a £3000 bill from the IRS
  • So thinking laterally he approached a bookie and asked what odds he would get for him dying before the deadline
  • Getting odds of 6/1 he placed a £500 bet that he would die

So if he died, his wife would of been able to cover the tax, all for the 'insurance premium' of $500.

Kind of morbid but I like that lateral thinking... One thing I ask myself though is, does this mean that when you insure something you are in essence placing a 'bet' that your belongings are going to be stolen/broken/etc..? In essence betting against yourself? Of course you could look at as that insurance agencies are all crooks.


PS: Wonder how long it'll be till you can get an insurance policy to cover these kinds of uncertain taxes?

Welcome to GIANTmicrobes!

Was reading, and he just got one of the coolest gifts!!


We make stuffed animals that look like tiny microbes—only a million times actual size! Now available: The Common Cold, The Flu, Sore Throat, Stomach Ache, Cough, Ear Ache, Bad Breath, Kissing Disease, Athlete's Foot, Ulcer, Martian Life, Beer & Bread, Black Death, Ebola, Flesh Eating, Sleeping Sickness, Dust Mite, Bed Bug, and Bookworm (and in our Professional line: H.I.V. and Hepatitis).
fantastic! :-)

Ed: tottally stuffed up the first couple of posts of this, so now formatted and got the correct text!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Random links #something or other

Was doing some trolling, and came across a friends blog (who I hadn't realised had started blogging, shame, shame, shame! [not sure if that's for me for not realising or for her for not telling me]), anyways welcome Taggs to the blogging world!

But moving on, following random links, came across Miss Otis Regrets, loving the writing style there!! And I wish her luck in her admirable goal of:

the pursuit of the perfect top five. The perfect list (in order of virility and aesthetics) of male specimens.

RSS Feeds:
For anyone who's setup a blogger account, you can usually subscribe by using their address /atom.xml (I think it's on by default, but the link to it isn't on the templates), so:


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Songs that are stories

Was listening to the good 'ol iPod on my way into work this morning (makes the tube ride go much faster), and just as I got in I started to listen to Rock 'n Roll is where I hide (Dave Graney 'n' the Coral Snakes), and it got me thinking, there are some really good songs out there that are actually stories (or more commonly known as Ballads), that take you through a plot line, character development and all of that... Some of my favourite ones are:

Any other great storied music tracks? Ones that you'd recommend or that really speak to you?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Evaluating security risk

Escaped...From a Twisted Mind: The Human Side of Security
very funny post on an additional item in the SANS list (humans are the biggest security risk)
H1.4 How to Protect Against Vulnerabilities
- Unfortunately, patches to Homo sapiens have resulted in significant and harmful sequela such as holy wars, cola wars, communism, reality TV, and global warming; therefore, the current version of Homo sapiens is considered unstable and non-patchable.

Ah, I needed that laugh! Thanks David & Rick

Life & the Universe

Not feeling particularly chipper today... You know those days when you can't seem to get anywhere or do anything right?

But at least I got a small smile today, A Serendipitous Intention linked to that cool Introvert article I recommended.. Not sure if it was 'cause of my post that she found it, but I'd like to think so.. :-)

Anyways, I'm off to try and actually do something right today (wish me luck!)...

PS: Well done Old! I know you're tetchy, but you're doing well quitting smoking!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

And a kitchen sink

A while back I wrote about how I saw a guy carrying a bathroom sink on the tube.. Well tonight I recieved the first ever edition *shocked look* of the London Loop (so new it doesn't seem to have a website, but it's basically from the TfL), anyways I found this very funny, so I thought I'd share:

Handed into TfL's lost property office this year

  • Mobile phones 10,614
  • Umbrellas 7,026
  • Spectacles 6,118
  • Lawnmowers 1
  • Wedding dress 1
  • False teeth, limbs, eyes 77
  • Theatrical coffins 1
  • Stuffed eagles 1
  • Jars of bull's sperm 1
  • Dead bats in a container 3
  • Human skulls in a bag 2
  • Kitchen sink 1

I mean, seriously... 3 dead bats in a container! 3 of those got handed in!


Monday, November 28, 2005

Google Ads

Just a small warning for everyone, I'm going to be playing around with Google Ads for the next few weeks, this is more to get myself familiar with how they work (it's actually research for a site idea myself and a couple of others are playing with), so feel free to ignore!

If you think they're getting annoying or you notice something weird, let me know and I'll pull it off the blog. (it'll most likely be me just playing around with different formats/settings)


Sunday, November 27, 2005


I've heard from a few people that there's been difficulty in commenting on my blog, the comment spam filter that Blogger uses doesn't seem to really be up to scratch... As such, I'm turning off the filter and I'll just have to manually delete any spam that appears...

Thanks to those who have been trying to comment! There I was thinking no one was actually interested enough in my posts to discuss it... :-D


Caring for Your Introvert

The path

I was trolling through the website of one of my favourite authors (Neal Stephenson) when I came across this cool article 'Caring for your Introvert' (it's not written by Neal Stephenson, but by some other guy, it's just how I came across it :-P)

Anyways, go read it, it's cool! Specially liked these quotes:

"I'm an introvert. You are a wonderful person and I like you. But now please shush."

"are driven to distraction by the semi-internal dialogue extroverts tend to conduct. Introverts don't outwardly complain, instead roll their eyes and silently curse the darkness."

I'm not sure if I'd be classified as an introvert, last time I took the Myers-Briggs test in university I kind of confounded the psych lecturers (the word 'unclassifiable' was used)... Anyways, I identified a lot with that article on Introverts, especially about feeling comfortable by myself with my own thoughts. :-D

That's it... ain't got anything more for you... go read the article... I could ask whether you classify yourself as an introvert, but you won't answer anyway, so go be quiet and read the article


Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Well I've now finished my assignment for London Archaeology, and it was quite interesting... More from actually putting into practice the techniques of 'how to find out about the history of a place'. At least for me.

Some extra stuff that I found out that wasn't relevant to the assignment:
  • Shakespeare wrote his first play in Shoreditch which appeared in a theatre called 'The Theatre' (later renamed to Curtain Theatre after the road it was built next to)
  • Curtain Road was named that because it's where the defensive 'curtain' wall of London was located... (Not the other way round)
  • There has been a reformed French church in Shoreditch, which got converted into a Jewish Synagogue and is now a Muslim Mosque (over the last 400 years)
  • Truman Brewery became big in London, because it's rivals beer (served to the 'commoners' at a Royal celebration) caused a riot, and Truman's had to be brought in to quell the unrest...

I'll upload the report in a few days and post a link for anyone interested in reading it... Oh and in case you haven't realised, it was actually on 'Old Truman Brewery' and touched on some of the history of Brick Lane....


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Future emails

Forbes has got an interesting experiment going on, where you can send yourself a future email, thought it was such an interesting idea, that I'd give it a go... Here's what I'm sending myself, 20 years in the future:

Hi, this is you speaking... (sorry Red Dwarf reference, did they ever make that movie?)

This is when I'm still engaged to ..., working at ..., and looking forward to a bright and happy future with the love of my life.. I really hope it works out!

So what does a 28 year old say to a 48 year old? I feel alive now, hope I always will, I love spending nights cuddling up to ..., I watch all sorts of odd shows and keep track of technology (rss has made it big in the geek world but not yet in the mainstream..) I've almost finished that short archaeology course (remember that?)

I'm hoping that we'll have kids, a few... but I'm scared of bringing them into this world, and of that responsibility of looking after them, emotionally, financially and physically... Hope I'll be a good dad.

Now to give you a laugh (because the future rarely turns out how you expect), here's what I think will happen by 2025:

  • space joy flights will become a normal thing for the rich (though probably just as a special occasion thing), not full on space just into the stratosphere or LEO (low earth orbit)
  • a permanent base on the moon? maybe.. dunno about that, I'd like it to happen but more likely to be trialing use of research/resource gathering.
  • islamic terrorist activity, it'll of been resolved one way or the other, most likely recognition of various political groups and 'peace roadmaps' will be worked out, but because it's been going on so it may be questionable as to whether it can ever end... But they said the same about the IRA.

That's about all I can think of for the moment... Keep smiling, give ... and the kids a hug from me :-)

what would you send yourself?


spotted from: Gadgetopia

Ed: had a bad title, was too busy writing that letter!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


CryptoKids "America's Future Codemakers & Codebreakers"

now why wasn't this around when I was young! Okay I know I'm a serious geek for saying this, but COOL! :-)

Found on: Shneier on Security

How to write an EULA

Illegal Art Exhibit Contract

spotted on: Scoble

Hi there

Noticed that I've been getting a few hits from A Serendipitous Intention (also known as Emily Hambridge's blog). Just thought I'd put in a short post to say Hi & Welcome!

So I thought I'd give you all a brief run down of what you can find in this blog, so that if you decide to read some of my older posts & possibly keep track of what I've got to say (ie: subscribe to the rss feed), you'll have an idea what to expect...

Who am I?
I'm a software developer from Australia, who about a year and a half ago decided he'd had enough of this working malarky and decided to quit his job and go travel the world...

As a consequence large sections of what I've written in this here blog are about places I've been, and things I've seen, since arriving in the UK though, I've kind of started to settle down (though we are planning on a massive trip after the wedding!)

So what do you actually write about?
This is the hard question to answer, I can write about some seriously geeky things or possibly some deep and thoughtful posts about life and where I'm at or then again there's stories about my humourous efforts a baking...

The point is, I write about me and my life, whatever it is that is happening around me and grabs my attention, hopefully some of it will give you a laugh or maybe look at the world in a different way...

So anyways... Welcome have a look around if you desire, leave a comment and keep smiling!


Friday, November 11, 2005

What's in that burger?

The British Heart Foundation has been sticking posters up all over London showing all the gruesome ingredients in junk food... Here's a nice article about it..

"The campaign comes as a BHF survey found that 36 per cent of youngsters aged eight to 14 could not correctly identify the main ingredient of chips as potato.
Almost one in 10 thought hot chips were made of oil, with others suggesting eggs, flour and apples."

Thursday, November 10, 2005


I baked a cake yesterday..

It was supposed to be a deliciously soft moist chocolate cake..

Instead it turned out like a flat piece of brown rubber..


London Archaeology

Getting educated

Just recently I signed up for a short course on London Archaeology at City University this was in part because I've always been interested in Archaeology, along with just wanting to learn something (preferably in an area not related to what I do for a living) besides which I've never been very good at doing nothing!

What I thought to learn

When signing up for this course, I was never really sure what kind of things I'd learn/do over the course of those 10 weeks, perhaps:

  • Be Indiana Jones like and go traipsing through secret underground caverns in the centre of London
  • Getting down and dirty through the mud at an actual dig, trying to find those rare artifacts (some actual hands on experience)
  • Perhaps just learning about the history of London, from the prehistoric until now..

What I didn't expect to learn was the actual process of how modern archaeology works, and the history, not of London (though we have learnt some of that); but of archaeology itself...

I'm going to make this bit short as I'm sure that people's attention span isn't that long (and I've spent longer getting to this spot than I originally thought), so without further ado...

State of Archaeology in London

Archaeology in London is now a legal requirement for any development process, not sure of the exact wording in the books, but in essence:

Developers must cover the cost of any archaeological investigation/recording/retrieval that their development may disturb

What does this mean?
Well aside from it making sure that possible archaeological evidence is found and properly maintained (ie: you're not dumping a huge building on top of a beautiful roman mosaic floor or the remains of a temple), it has also pushed the financial burden of said investigation and process away from the government and squarely into the hands of the person/company that would be doing the damage...

Not a bad thing..?

I agree, actually making it a requirement in law is brilliant! Except for 2 things... The first is contained in the above statement..

Economic burden:
Say you've purchased an old old house that is falling apart, and you decide that rather than fixing up the house the best use of that land is to knock down the house and build a new one, perhaps even you've borrowed money because you're going to build a beautiful 3 story house/apartment block and the money you make from this is going to pay for your retirement! Yay!

You've spoken to the archaeologists and they've said (by giving you a desk based assessment) "nah not much likely to be here." So you've worked out your budget, you've borrowed your money, you've got your terms and conditions and as long as you can have it ready within 1 year, you'll of paid of that loan and be laughing to the bank.

The workmen come in and after demolishing that house start to dig away... and they hit something, it's a coffin (after calling the police and finding out, no it's not a new grave, at least not in the last 1000 years), the archaeologist come along and say "oh, sorry... we were wrong, the romans had their cemeteries outside of the town, this is a new found cemetery! Fantasic! We're going to need 2 years to excavate these coffins because the weight of the apartment will damage anything left insitu"

Suddenly you've hit the problem of rather than the development taking 1 year (with known costs), it's going to take 3 years, and you're going to have to come up with the money to cover the costs of a dozen archaeologists working on the site for 2 years along with termination of the contracts with the builders/plumbers/electricians/etc...

So you declare bankruptcy and now you're in financial direstraits and this possible archaeological find is just left there, there isn't even money to produce a report saying "we found a grave, with evidence to suggest further graves in region x. All graves are being left in situ"...

no one wins under such a circumstance, of course it's an extreme example but it can happen. This is compounded (at least in terms of the negatives to the archaeological side of things), by the Thatcher efforts a privatisation, namely she privatised the Archaeological Services which of course means that the archaeologists are now bound to the developers, with all the caveats and terms in the contracts that they will enforce.

to be continued.... (have a think for yourselves as to what are the effects of having the archaeologists privatised and having to both bid for the contract and accept the contracts terms and conditions)


Thursday, November 03, 2005

Drop bears!

One of my favourite comics (Bunny) had a fantastic Aussie reference today: out of drop bear repellent"



quote of the day

"Those who can laugh without cause have either found the true meaning of happiness or have gone stark raving mad."
- Norm Papernick

Thoughts on sport

Being thinking today about how the type of sport a country is a big follower of can affect the cultural identity of that place (or you could say the culture makes it more likely that the sport will become popular)...

For example, take soccer... I saw an add today which said something along the lines of "Take the opportunity when it comes your way, you've usually only got one shot!" (or something like that).. With the obvious reference being to soccer which is such a low scoring game that every shot at goal counts, such pressure on a single moment. Is that an indication of a European approach to life? (in a very general sense) are there a load of brits out there looking and waiting for their one and only chance, and ready to go for it?

Conversely look at AFL.. It's a fairly high scoring game, where anything can happen.. the game isn't over until that siren goes! You've always got another chance to get back to the top, no matter how far down you are... You could be 17 points in the lead with only 2 minutes to go in the game, but those 2 minutes can be enough time for the other team to score 3 goals and take the lead from you. Is this where the 'Anzac spirit' of never giving up comes from? or is it just a manifestation of it?

I don't know, maybe it's all bollocks and it's just sport, or I could be onto something there...

Either way, that's my thoughts for today. :-)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The next Big Brother?

Saw this article 'Out-of-this-world sex could jeopardise missions' and it got me thinking...

Given that space travel is looking like it will be commercialised (well... eventually) how long do you think it will be until there's a space trip sent to Mars or the Moon (or wherever) and it's the new 'out of this world' reality TV show... Hell, is that a bad thing?

I mean, if that's how they get the funding together to actually push out commercial exploration of space? Though you couldn't really vote people off the show, just push them out of the airlock or something!

Ed: spotted from: A Serendiitous Intention (and somewhere else I forgot to take note of)

The Wrath Of Grapes

Was catching up with friends recently and found out that Old Matt has joined the infamous blogging circle with the fantastically titled 'The Wrath Of Grapes' :-)

I've also got to agree with him on the joys of hard rublish collections, I remember when he used to spend a fair bit of time around my place and on the occasional hard rubbish collection we'd end up with:

  • Couch
  • TV
  • Table*
  • Stereo*
  • Coffee table*

some of those items came in damn useful, of course some of them had to be chucked back out straight away, when they were found to either not work or emenate a strange and pervasive odour! I haven't noticed the hard rubbish tradition over in this country as yet... But I'm sure something similar is around, and I look forward to finding those little gems! :-D


* these items may of been obtained independently of Old's help... can't quite remember who assisted in their gathering

Friday, October 21, 2005

What will they think of next?

While looking around some very geeky blogs and news sites (Gadgetopia, Wired & Engadget) I came across this article about adding mp3 devices to breast implants

"If a woman has something implanted permanently, it might as well do something useful... like play audio over A2DP Bluetooth for instance"

Though I do like the suggestion of: "Think of having a tazer-like implant. Anyone who isnt supposed to touch gets shot with an electronic pulsing nipple."

Edited: Apparently Matt was not the one who came up with that suggestion (Though I think it sounds like something he'd come up with), it was a comment against the Engaget article!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Selling out?

I read Gadgetopia quite regularly (really good geek site for various odd and interesting tech news)... and just recently Deane announced that they're joining FM Publishing network of sites...

I think it is a good thing for Gadgetopia, but it did get me thinking what is the difference between selling out and joining a quality network? Frequently if a company gets bought out by Microsoft it will be called selling out, yet if Google did the buying, then no, they're not a sellout, they're joining a quality company which will help them reach their full potential..

Is the difference purely market perception of the buying company? Or are there other factors? I don't really know, but interested to hear any thoughts...


Monday, October 10, 2005

Running around

Yay! back in London (again)... Since the family have been over seems as though I now know the route to Liverpool and Manchester in my sleep...

Some stats:
  • Driven over 1,000 miles
  • 6 trips to/from London & Liverpool/Manchester area (that's 3 round trips) in 3 weeks
  • 10 trips (driving) between Liverpool and Manchester in 3 weeks
  • 2 trips between Liverpool and Southport

And we're back up to Liverpool this weekend! It's nice and all seeing the family and friends but I'll be happy next week when we don't have to go anywhere until Xmas!!! Ah, to just sit and relax of a weekend...

Oh and in all of this, I've started a short course on London Archaeology (just to be different), so far it's been interesting, more about the history of Archaeology (who discovered what, when).. But it includes a field trip and all sorts of interesting stuff. :-)

Anyways, keep having fun and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Free Wine!! :-D

Have had a busy time running around this last week or so, with my sister in the country... So haven't had time to post this yet...

Last week, my free bottle of Stormhoek arrived... Courtesy of Hugh Macleod (He of Gaping Void fame)

Haven't tried it yet... But it was cool recieving the personalized bottle (had my name and blog address on the label), I look forward to trying it out :-D


Oh almost forgot!!! Thanks Hugh! (and Stormhoek)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Good quote and latest news

'You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.'


Andrea's wedding
Well it's been several weeks since this fantastic event, so a belated congrats!!! :-D Well not too belated considering I was there on the day to witness and be part of their special day... Thank you for asking me to do a reading for you. :-) As soon as I get off my preverbial and upload some photo's you'll even get to see what dress Andrea was wearing, and just how much Mark snogged her (it was lots!)

Grandma's b'day
Well even though it wasn't actually her birthday, we celebrated with a big family day on this Sunday just past... Was interesting to meet up with relatives that I'd heard of... And even more interesting to meet one's that I didn't know that I had, followed with entertaining discussions about how everyone was related, including some interesting family 'stories'...

Namely that we might be related to a fairly famous American who's grandfather (I think) was once a Welsh minister... That is before he disappeared (with all the church gold) one winter... Of course this is all conjecture and can't be proved in any shape or form. Still it was fun to gossip! :-)


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Freaky shoe

Through gadgetopia I found this:
  • adidas_1 The world's first intelligent shoe

It's actually got a processor in it that will adjust the cushioning on the heel based upon weight, speed, etc... doing so every 4 steps aparently....

It's got a cool little video as well..

Monday, September 19, 2005

International Talk Like A Pirate Day

There I was happily catching up on the blogs that I read, when I came across this amusing chicken comic.

Apparently September 19th is International Talk Like A Pirate Day, so Avast ye scurvy dogs and let the pirate within out... Arrr!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Funny stuff

A friend has recently joined the blogging world (It that IT then?), and posted up an amusing first post... :-)

So welcome Ryan, I look forward to some entertaining posts (I still think you've got sitcom writer potential)... And for all my regular readers, highly recommend bookmarking his site... Or if you're technically savvy, the rss feed will be:


Congrats to England!

I've just been informed that England has won the ashes, well done, from what I've heard you've played brilliantly and it's been a very exciting series... So congratulations you deserve that win!

For all the brits out there that actually know me, may I offer my apologies... As I'm sorry but gloating over that victory isn't going to be as fun as you are hoping, given that I really don't care about cricket... I've been known to go out an watch grass grow rather than sit through another boring afternoon...

As a nice Welsh bloke I met recently said.. "Cricket's a nice game, but like darts, it's not a real sport"... ;-)

Sorry couldn't resist throwing that one in... Either way congrats on a well deserved victory. Can we talk about something I have an actual interest in now?


PS: In case you haven't guessed, I'm tired of hearing about cricket... It got the stage over here that I could tell when England was losing by the fact I wasn't getting any comments of 'So how do you feel about the cricket... eh?', I've been trying to be a good sport and take their jibes, but I'm just not interested in it and after getting identical comments 20 times a day... To be honest, even though not interested in the game, I do actually think it's fantastic that England have really played well, because this'll mean that a higher level of competition will be occuring around the world. When you have a single team winning year after year, everyone else gets sick of losing, and so you lose your supporters, people stop playing it, and it gets boring. Maybe now with a higher level of competition I'll actually find it interesting, I doubt it, but you never know....

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

English Summer

What have I been up to?

After a quick trip to Belgium (for Marks stag do) myself and Matt have been up in Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival and the world famous Tattoo..  Had a very fun time seeing lots of shows, and catching up with Ronnie, Paul & Lydia…  (

Some of the highlights:
  • Tao martial art of the drum (a very cool group out of Japan, go see it if they make it to your neck of the woods!)

  • Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen (a seriously fun, morbid, entertaining, cabaret/gypsy/odd group performing in the Spiegel tent!)

  • Lots and lots of entertaining street performers and comics! (

Back to London

So now I’m back in London, it’s summer, the sun is shining…  And I’m wondering is it a testament to the fabled English summer (or simply me being me..)  but I’ve gone and got myself a mild form of Pneumonia…  Coughing up lots of bright green and yellow goo is not my idea of fun, but hopefully should get it sorted real soon!

Anyways, gotta head off and finish cleaning and moving stuff about in preparation for some guests arriving for Mark & Andrea’s big day…  (I would link to their blog, ‘cept they haven’t posted anything since they first created it 3 or so months ago!  I mean, you’d think they’ve been organising a wedding or moving house or something…)

Keep well everyone, and keep smiling!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A year on!

Well this time last year, I had just arrived in London, and well it seems absolutely amazing what's happened over the last year and a bit...

  • I've left Australia to travel the world, quitting my job (highly recommend doing it! Nothing like the feeling of handing in your resignation without having a plan to even start looking for a replacement job)
  • Spent 2 months travelling around the USA and Canada (Found the Amish, spotted a whale jumping)
  • Visited Scotland & created a small movie of a friends exploits
  • Found some fantastic friends
  • Written some odd and geeky posts!
  • And announced some news that I never thought I'd announce in my life! :-D

Just thought I'd follow with that classic tv soap opera tradition of: I don't know what to write about, so let's have a recap episode, looking back on where we started and where are now

So there ya go! A year in this country of Rain & Pubs, and still with a big grin on my face :-D


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Appropriate quote

Spotted on my Google homepage:

"Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art."
- Tom Stoppard

Thought it was appropriate give my last (very odd) post. :-)


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Something random

hmmm... it has been a long time since I've posted anything and here I am posting two things in a single night... and guess what? I have no idea as to what I am going to write about in this one, I just want to write something, I want to be creative, I want to produce something spontaneous....

Art is odd in a lot of ways (stay with me here), I've always wanted to learn how to sketch or paint or carve sculptures or even just come up with a fantastic storyline for a book... But in my strange mind the way to do that is to almost do it impulsively, to see in that overly large twig the makings of a charging elephant, complete with mouse trying not to be stepped on... and then to pick up that paint brush and bring out that impressive beautiful picture from the canvas, bring out the picture that only you can see hidden in the leaf, the smile, the cloud formation (or whatever inspired you in the first place).

But there's a problem here, in fact there's several. Skill & Effort. I enjoy what I write (most of the time), I even enjoy what I draw (even if I have to explain to other people what it actually is), but neither of them seem to come close to the picture that is in my mind when I first put pen to paper. It's like the difference between making a little twig house in the mud when you're a kid, when what you really see in your minds eye is the Sydney Opera house...

So why keep picking up that pen, that paper? Quite simply because I enjoy it, I write and draw for myself, that is why I keep doing so. I hope I always will, and I hope I will still take my best and most favourite pieces to the people close to my heart in the hope that they will see past the mud and broken twigs to the beauty that my mind first found and wanted to share.


like I said... Something random...

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Interesting stuff & some other stuff

Interesting stuff... for geeks
I've been using an RSS aggregator by the name of NewsGator which aside from having the funky aspect of keeping track of my feeds (and keeping track of that across multiple pcs), also has a neat little 'save' option for all the posts.

Now the reason I'm talking about this is that NewsGator allows me to publish the rss feed of what I have saved, so if you're curious about what kind of funky things I read and like, check out my Clippings Collection, I don't save much, but anything that I find especially funny or interesting does get saved to it...

Old news
Quite a while ago now I started to write about my experiences of London getting bombed, what I personally felt on that day and what I saw from those around me... There were a lot of other people more affected by me, but I guess I'd wanted to get down on paper (well on the pc anyway) what I'd felt...

I'm not going to post any of that up now it's no longer relevant or appropriate, I just want to share that one of the reasons I was so shook up (as was matt) is that I usually walk from Moorgate station and through Liverpool St Station to work. And while I would of been fine 'cause I don't catch any of the particular trains attacked, I would of been in the thick of it if there hadn't of been a broken down train on the Northern Line... Literally I would of been walking through Liverpool St Station at just before 9am. Not nice to think about, not nice at all...

Sorry about getting all depressive there, just something I needed to get off my chest, even now I (and just about everyone else in London) am jumpy when I go into the tube or pass through a crowded/popular concourse.. I'm just glad that the people responsible are being chased and being caught.


Friday, July 08, 2005

Post from Cath 7th July...

Hi all

In some repects it seems a little odd to be posting celebratory things today but I very much believe that it is absolutely the right thing to do. Been a tough day no doubt, but it has also put so many things into perpective. London was buzzing after winning the 2012 Olympics yesterday, and that coupled with the success of Live 8 at the weekend (although some would argue the 2 conflict somewhat - discuss!) has made today yet more poignant. The real point is that London is truly resilient and even as a northerner who has reservations about the London attitude, today has proved a great deal. Personally speaking the relief I felt knowing that not only Andrew but also close friends were safe was immense. Really makes you remember what is here are some photos from our very happy engagement party last weekend.

Hope you enjoy them

nice shirt!

just when you thought it couldn't get worse...

family resemblance?

the morning after the night before...

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Small update

Matt has heard from Andrea, she's ok as is Mark.

Looks like it was just contained to a couple of key public transport hubs, it's also the G8 today so:
- no real surprise that it's happened today
- announcements that it's not going to affect the G8 summit

I think it will affect the G8 summit, but not to the benefit of whoever has set these bombs off, if anything there's likely to be more support and actions that are aimed against these terrorists....

At this stage there hasn't been any real word on who is responsible... wait... just in there is an announcement that there has been a message received from a group claiming to the European arm of Al Qaeda and claiming that they've now enacted revenge against the UK for what has been done in Iraq. If I find a link I'll post it.

Latest facts:
- all public transport now closed in London (not sure if that's only central)
- 6 explosions have occurred (2 near where I work!)
- everyone is keeping very calm, just walking to wherever they need to get to
- still having troubles on making calls internationally and on mobiles (but apparently that's clearing up)

Lots of love to everyone, having trouble accessing my emails ('cause the server is down), but when it's up I'll respond to any emails


I'm OK

Just want to do a really quick post and let everyone know that I am alive and ok.

What I know thus far (and I haven't checked the news sites yet):
- there's been 2-3 bus explosions in Central London
- there's been 2-4 bombs found (some may of exploded) on trains/tubes/stations
- At least one of those has been at Liverpool St Station (which I walk through to work every morning)
- All embassies have been closed in London
- The army has been called into Central London
- No public transport into London, the word is: go home!

I know thus far that:
- Cath is OK
- Matt is OK

- Andrea (she works in Green Park, so I have concerns about her safety)
- Mark
- Maz

The mobile networks are pretty much flooded so not getting any signal out, and have been having difficulty calling internationally....

More when I know...


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Quote of the Day

"In the beginning there was nothing. God said, 'Let there be light!' And there was light. There was still nothing, but you could see it a whole lot better.
- Ellen DeGeneres

Friday, July 01, 2005


I've got no idea on how to even announce this, so I'm just going to blurt it out


Me and Cath
Myself and Cath up in Liverpool

The Ring
A special ring, almost one of a kind

Plenty of you already know about this, and great big thanks to everyone for their congratulations and really nice words! :-D


PS: I was going to put up something really soppy, describing why I asked and the fantastic response I got from Cath, but I think I was sopping even me out! I love you Cath and am incredibly happy you said 'Of course!' :-D

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Today's quote (for the travellers amongst us)

"Isn't air travel wonderful? Breakfast in London, dinner in New York, luggage in Brazil."

Found on: Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters


Dr Karl & brief mention of Glastonbury

Just quickly want to say, had a great time at Glastonbury! Even with all the mud and water :-D All part of the experience I say! I will be doing a post about it soon (when I get some of the cool pictures up), but before I do that just wanted to let people know that...

Dr Karl is podcasting!!!
Dr Karl for those who don't know (re: the non-Australians) is a science commentatory who has a regular spot on the Australian alternative radio network Triple J where he'll answer all sorts of odd questions like 'Where did the carrots give you night vision myth come from?' or 'Why are eggs, egg-shaped?'

To read his articles check out:

Gotta say it mad me really happy to see that I can still listen to my favourite show (even now that I'm on the other side of the world), so if you're like me and need your fix of Dr Karl, or are just intrigued by this crazy scientist read the instructions on how to grab his podcast (or if you're a geek just grab his feed)


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Beating Cancer - in a big way!

A friend of Cath's (a girl our work named Rachel) was diagnosed with no less than 2 forms of cancer in 2003 (she is better now)... And with a very good friend is now scheduled to climb Kilimanjaro for
"... getting to the top to stick two "v"s up at cancer and prove that it has not beaten us, as well as raise stacks of cash for charity"

Some history
The two girls doing the climb are:

  • Rachel 'At the end of 2003, Rachel, 29, was diagnosed with two forms of cancer. She is now better and planning to raise money climbing Kilimanjaro'
  • Allie 'When Rach was diagnosed with cancer I didn't know what to do. I was shocked, angry and most of all felt it so unfair that such a young, bubbly and vibrant friend of mine had been struck down with such a nasty illness.'

They have set a goal of raising £10,000, and thus far have been able reach approximately £7,000.

Note: They are paying for the trip, This will not come out of money raised

How can you help?
Firstly go read up on their amazing story at: Great Heights

Throw a link into your blog or website/email it round... (don't forget to include that the climb is scheduled for June/July 2005)

Send them a message of support

Finally, go Sponsor them!


Thursday, June 16, 2005

Geeks & Nerds in relationships

Quite recently I’ve noticed quite a few articles and postings on the web about how geeks & nerds are great to have as partners:

Though I think my favourite one by far has been 'Dating an Apple Developer' which is more of a guide/advice for girlfriends of developers and how to interpret (ie: deal with) our occasional obsessive behaviour…

Advice like:
There is nothing like being the one there when he completes something new.
I can honestly say it’s the greatest feeling in the world to be the one there when Justin gets out of the chair (for the first time in weeks) and is beaming at me (through red, puffy eyes) and dying to show me his newest creation. Somewhere between the annoying profanity and the lack of sleep he created something wonderful.

With some very useful comments by other readers as well, like:
As a side note, I just wanted to mention that this doesn’t give developers free reign to geek out all the time and contribute nothing to the relationship. And S.O.’s should be careful not to get too permissive about their developer’s behavior: It’s one thing to be flexible and understanding, but it’s another if that flexibility and understanding are completely one-sided. Then it’s just bad and unhealthy.

I liked this article so much that I’ve forwarded to Cath, who hasn’t really experienced the ‘full-on intense deadline approaching must get this code out tonight I’ll go to bed when it’s done please can I have another coffee work damn you FIGJAM!’ moments that she’s going to have in store for herself…


PS: In posting this Cath has actually been asking how HTML works and how those pretty blue lines appear under certain words... ;-)

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

It was such a lovely day I thought it a pity to get up.

From: W. Somerset Maugham Quotes - The Quotations Page

Just thought it was a really cool quote, found while I was using one of the new-ish google labs sites: Personalised frontpage which allows you to setup your own stuff (to a point) in the blank spot underneath... Good way to check gmail and some news headlines. :-)


Friday, May 27, 2005

My right toolbar

For those who have noticed, sorry about the right pane disappearing (the box with who I am, and links to various stuff).

Because I went and posted up a couple of images that are tad too wide, it's moved that box to the bottom of the page, so if you really want to see it, scroll down... :-)


Liverpool wins!

Well it's been a few days, but I figure that most of the people who read this blog aren't big Soccer followers so you may not of heard what has been front page news over here for the last few days.

Liverpool has won the UEFA Champions League!!!

The lowdown
Myself and Cath made for one of the big Liverpool fanatical hangouts in London Extra Time where we watched what was one of the most amazing games, where Liverpool went from being down 0-3 (at half time), and within a 6 minute period (9 minutes into the 2nd half) scored 3 goals to bring it even.... You don't ever see that in a soccer game, let alone the European championship final!

Then to top that by winning in a penalty shoot out (after about half an hour of extra time)!

Some cool fans who happened to be standing in front of us

Intense looks as the penalty shoot out is on...

Jubilation as Liverpool WINS!!


For the Aussies (and whoever doesn't follow this soccer shinagins)
Champions League is the top most European cup where only the top teams out of all of Europe get to compete (so we're talking a fairly big deal here), one of the interesting things about this particular game is that Liverpool will not be playing next season..

Why I hear you ask...
Well as far as I can make out, UEFA being the governing body of 'football' has a rule that only the top 4 teams from the countries local league get to compete in the Champions league, and well... Liverpool only ranked No. 5.. There is no clause that allows for the reining champions to be in the competition...

No doubt if I got any of these details wrong I'll be corrected, and if you spot anything just post it in a comment :-P

So till next time...

and yes I am calling it soccer just to wind up these Europeans... ;-)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Actions speak louder than words

While reading my favourite web comic Questionable Content I noticed that he had some recommending reading, so I checked out Bunny a very odd-ball comic, and saw this:

I like that motto! :-D


Thursday, May 19, 2005

I like monkeys

Saw this on Slashdot in response to the new HoneyMonkey project from microsoft, it cracked me up!! :-D




I like monkeys. The pet store was selling them for five cents a piece. I thought that odd since they were normally a couple thousand each. I decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth. I bought 200. I like monkeys.

I took my 200 monkeys home. I have a big car. I let one drive. His name was Sigmund. He was retarded. In fact, none of them were really bright. They kept punching themselves in their genitals. I laughed. Then they punched my genitals. I stopped laughing.

I herded them into my room. They didn't adapt very well to their new environment. They would screech, hurl themselves off of the couch at high speeds and slam into the wall. Although humorous at first, the spectacle lost its novelty halfway into its third hour.

Two hours later I found out why all the monkeys were so inexpensive: they all died. No apparent reason. They all just sorta' dropped dead. Kinda' like when you buy a goldfish and it dies five hours later. Damn cheap monkeys.

I didn't know what to do. There were 200 dead monkeys lying all over my room, on the bed, in the dresser, hanging from my bookcase. It looked like I had 200 throw rugs.

I tried to flush one down the toilet. It didn't work. It got stuck. Then I had one dead, wet monkey and 199 dead, dry monkeys.

I tried pretending that they were just stuffed animals. That worked for a while, that is until they began to decompose. It started to smell real bad.

I had to pee but there was a dead monkey in the toilet and I didn't want to call the plumber. I was embarrassed.

I tried to slow down the decomposition by freezing them. Unfortunately there was only enough room for two monkeys at a time so I had to change them every 30 seconds. I also had to eat all the food in the freezer so it didn't all go bad.

I tried burning them. Little did I know my bed was flammable. I had to extinguish the fire.

Then I had one dead, wet monkey in my toilet, two dead, frozen monkeys in my freezer, and 197 dead, charred monkeys in a pile on my bed. The odor wasn't improving.

I became agitated at my inability to dispose of my monkeys and to use the bathroom. I severely beat one of my monkeys. I felt better.

I tried throwing them way but the garbage man said that the city wasn't allowed to dispose of charred primates. I told him that I had a wet one. He couldn't take that one either. I didn't bother asking about the frozen ones.

finally arrived at a solution. I gave them out as Christmas gifts. My friends didn't know quite what to say. They pretended that they like them but I could tell they were lying. Ingrates. So I punched them in the genitals.

I like monkeys


oh and the original article is kind of interesting as well.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Cool links

A friend just sent me a couple of links that I thought were hilarious!

Thanks Eva!


Thursday, May 12, 2005

I'm number 1!!!

Just for a bit of a laugh, I put into Yahoo! The term 'London Biscuit' and found out that my blog is in the top 2 entries!! :-D
See: Yahoo! Search Results for London Biscuit (Note: Search results may vary depending on when you run it)

Whereas Google didn't even return me at all... (I got to about the 12th page before I said stuff-it) :-(

/start techie discussion
One of the problems with the google search engine is that it's based on what links to your site not what you've got on your site... So as a consequence because there's only a couple of sites linked to this here blog I don't get that high a rating on google, yahoo on the other hand finds me right up there...
/end techie bit

Anyways, I thought it was cool! :-D So thanks to everyone who occasionally visits and reads about whatever it is travelling through my mind at this point in time.. :-)

Have a nice day!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Turkey and Anzac day

Just recently I've come back from Turkey (well not that recently as I've been slack in posting anything), was over there with a couple of friends (Matt, Fish & Lydia) to do a bit of sight seeing of Turkey (Istanbul in particular) and to pay our respects at the Anzac Day dawn service....

The Dichotomy of attendees...
I know that lots of people have described the rubbish and general yobbishness of the crowds that attended the services, however I'd like to point out a few things I noticed (and some that I heard of from other attendees). The Aus gov site points out that "Rubbish disposal is provided and visitors are encouraged to respect the nature of the Gallipoli environment and dispose of rubbish thoughtfully or, where possible, take their rubbish with them." however I for one saw not one single rubbish bin, though I did see what I thought were supplied rubbish bags for collection.

Things I saw:

  • With all the crammed space (17,000+ in space for only 13,000), I did not here of one single complaint, everyone was good natured and helped out all the new people arriving through the night to find a bit of ground to camp out on, lending a hand when necessary.
  • Complete silence and respect during the appropriate moments during the night and at the dawn service (very moving actually)
  • A fair bit of rubbish left about (but also quite a fair few people cleaning up their own stuff)
  • Someone blowing up a beach ball and throwing that around at the Lone Pine service
  • Lots of people sitting/lying/falling asleep between the gravestones at Lone Pine (then again I fell asleep sitting up on the stand a couple of times)
  • A veteran (looked WWII age) being one of the people sitting between the gravestones, and thoroughly enjoying the attention of two cute girls sitting next to him.
  • Standing ovations for every single one of the veterans making their way to the reserved area
  • A mexican wave going round the stands 7 or so times

So yeah, it was bizarre I got to see the full range or respect through to thoughtless inconsiderate-ness (is that even a word?). It also makes me wonder about what is needed for the Anzac day ceremonies? From all that I've read and heard about the young Aussies and Kiwis who gave their lives, they were known to be larakins and trouble makers, up for a bit of a laugh but ready to risk all when it came down to it.. Do we want to mourn and show our respect for these people by being sombre or celebrate the joy and laughter that was in their lives?

I don't know the answer, but I am reminded of the tradition with a lot of Scottish and Irish funerals, where you'll have the actual funeral which is very sombre and respectful, but then you'll have the wake, where you celebrate the persons life with a party and talk about and joke about what they did, you remember how they were when they were alive, not that they are no longer with us. Both elements are important, it is just a question of balance and when is the right moment to show either....

I'll let everyone else decide what they think is the most appropriate balance, for me, I am glad that I've been to the Anzac Cove dawn service, don't think I'll go there again for Anzac day though.


Thursday, April 21, 2005

Google Maps, Local Expands To UK

Just reading about Google Maps for the UK!!! :-D How cool is that? 'specially as their directions and searching for things like:

Or as I saw in some of the comments on Slashdot (where I heard about this):
"Type in: 'My Job'
And it goes to New Delhi...
Wow, those google people are so smart."


Monday, April 04, 2005

Secrets and privacy

What do you do when you have something burning you up inside, it could be anger it could be joy, and all you really want to do is shout it out from the rooftops to have everyone hear. But this thing is also someone else's secret and so you can't?

How do you let it out?

I've always prided myself that when a friend asks me a question I will answer as honestly and completely as I can, with only one exception to that rule. That I will not share someone else's secret unless explicitly told too, and even then it'll be a big judgement call. I think this is why (well one of the reasons) people trust me, you can tell me your fears and desires and they'll never pass my lips....

This rule has stood me in good stead for .. well all of my life... but sometimes there is a difference..

What if it is my secret as well? part of me wants to share what I feel with the world, I don't need to give the details or spill any secrets but I want to share what I feel. All strong emotion can be like that I believe... Both the one's that can make you so furious you can't even see straight and you just want to lash out and hurt whoever is causing that pain in you (even if it is actually yourself causing the pain), as well as the uplifting and joyful one's where you want tell everyone how happy you are, and that you want to share that happiness with them and bring a smile to their faces as well..

Breaking the silence
But what do you say? You need to deal with more than just the secret, something you think is good and wonderful to share, can be seen by the other as terrible and a violation of that trust.. You have your own needs to take into account, as well as theirs... Then of course there's ways and ways of sharing.. a private conversation in a lounge room is one thing, through to phone calls, email, blog posts. Each one expanding the audience and what 'control' you can have over who hears what you have to say... Do you want/care that complete strangers can read/hear about your intimate secrets?

As to whether I have something to share, and if it's joy, sorrow or anger? Well, you can guess as much as you want, I always have elements inside me that I only show to select few, or maybe this is just one of those random thoughts going through my head on the ethics of holding your own and others secrets. Either way I think it's worthy of a rambling post, food for thought?


Backpackers photo's

Well just recently I uploaded photos onto OneRoundPebble.Com photo's from when myself and Matt first met up with the infamous Birte, Celine & Eva.. So many drunken (and fun!) memories! :-) We first caught up with them when Margo (who we met up in Inverness), wandered over to London to catch up with her German friend (Eva), and as always happens whenever Margo's in town we went out on the town!

Anyways, not really going to say too much about that, just check out the pictures and enjoy (or just laugh at us!)

The girls: Birte, Celine, Margo & Eva

The boys: Matt, Me & Nick

Me being an idiot

Cool shot with matt in profile with Celine in the background


Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Cool Aussie band

Ok as the uninitiated may not yet know, I kind of like the comic strip Questionable Content, and for once this post is not actually about the comic itself...

Just wanted to point out that the writer made a reference to a cool little Aussie 'band' Architecture in Helsinki (not their actual website, just a review of their stuff)..

From Questionable Content
So lately I have been listening to this band called Architecture in Helsinki, specifically their album Fingers Crossed. They sound like a chest of children's toys got dumped onto a bunch of indie rock dudes and ladies, who proceeded to compose the most adorable music they could possibly think of. It is all dings and clicks and cutesy pop, and addictive like sugary cereal.

Well I think it's cool! 'cept that I realised I haven't actually got that cd here :-( I even went out and bought it back in Aus!!! Dang it! But anyways, cool funky music, listen to it sometime!


Thursday, March 17, 2005


Well it looks like the infamous London winter is over (it's like getting warm-ish out there!)... Everyone here seems excited and is thinking of doing outdoor activities and sitting in the beer gardens because this weekend it might make it to 19 degrees! ;-) Ah, gotta love that English ... hmmm... resilience?

But I do have to admit it is nice, today was the first day that I haven't worm my overcoat on the way into work, even brought in my sunglasses 'to encourage the sun' ;-)

Well Blogger introduced a new feature of 'popup' comments, the idea being that you just press the comments link on a post, and it'll show a new window with any and all comments... Funky idea, just a pity that they ucked up.. For starters it doesn't show the count of the comments anymore, and will only show that comment window when you choose to post a comment. So as soon as I've finished this post, I'm changing it back (luckily the original is still an option!)

Anzac Day
Well just like Fish & Lyds, myself and Matt have gone and booked in for the Gallipoli tour with Istanbul Life, hopefully it'll be a decent time (also trying to do a day or so free to wander round Istanbul!) :-D

Easter: Liverpool
Well as some know, and some don't I'm heading up to Liverpool for Easter weekend... Had an invite that was just too good to refuse ;-) So should be some fun! As it's close to Manchester/Southport, I think that I'll also try for a drop in with some of the relo's.. Might be an idea to give them a bit of a warning though...

And that's all I'm going to say for the moment, was writing a long-ish piece on my thoughts about passion and life's adventures last night, 'cept I kept on getting distracted... So that'll just have to wait until another day..

Lotsa hugs for everyone and keep grinning!

Friday, March 11, 2005

The powers of gaffa tape, amongst other things

I was just recently catching up on my favourite webcomic Questionable Content and there was a an episode that had me chuckling away, got to love the power of gaffa tape, just look at an earlier post I made on a possible use of gaffa tape. :-)

Random thought
Oh and I've decided on two randomish type things I want to do at some stage:

  • Go into a bar, order an expensive scotch drink (or something really cheap and nasty) and say "Leave the bottle"
  • Jump into a cab (preferably in New York) and shout "Follow that car!"

Life news
Well it's been a really fun couple of weeks recently, I've seen 2 soccer games (just can't seem to bring myself to call them football!), with Liverpool playing in both... The first Liverpool lost to Chelsea then the next they won against a German team who I can't remember the name of Actually I think that Liverpool is becoming my team ;-) I do have to say that it is very entertaining watching some of the fans get so worked up... It is full of tension. ;-)

Another random thought
I need to find a pub/venue somewhere nearish by that shows some AFL games, I do have a craving to watch a really good North Melbourne game. The walkabout would probably show it...

Back to news
Other than seeing a few soccer games, I've been having fun going out and enjoying the London nightlife (as per usual), and just this last Monday went and saw a very funny set of standups at The Comedy Store who were preparing to head to the Montreal Just for Laughs festival.. For the aussies here, that's on par (and in some ways bigger) than the Melbourne Comedy Festival. :-D Very very funny! Shall definitely have to go back there and check out some more stuff!

Reduced Shakespeare Theatre
Which reminds me, not that long ago went along to see the Reduced Shakespeare Company performing The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged) in 97 minutes... It had me almost rolling on the floor, found it absolutely hilarious, though as always seems to happen. I thought the people around me were finding it as funny as I did (well they were laughing as well!), except when I get out of the theatre and asked what they thought and the response was something along the lines of "I couldn't stop laughing at you laughing!" ;-)

Ah well, there's worse ways to be seen than as someone who enjoys a laugh eh? ;-)

Ok, now it's getting late here, and I'm tired and could do with some sleep, so I'm off to the hay! Take care of yourselves, drop me a line occasionally (and I might eventually even respond!)

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Ghost Dog and general thoughts

I woke up this morning, well ok, this afternoon (it'd been a fun night out with Jamie, Matt & Birte).. And doing the usual thing turned on my pc to check my email, and suddenly it popped into my head about how I wanted to see this Forest Whitaker movie again (Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (2000): Forest Whitaker, John Tormey, Cliff Gorman, Isaach De Bankol - PopMatters Film Review). There was something about the movie which really stuck a cord within me, not sure exactly why, but just those moments of so peacefully moving through the streets and accepting all that is around him (though I don't work as a contract killer for the mafia) ;-)

Either way, if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it, me I'm going to see if I can find it next time I wander into a video store.. Would really like to see it again.

How am I?
Well onto other points, I'm suffering a bit from a flu at the moment :-( got the whole blocked nose and lots of phlegm (ARGH!!), but I'm taking some meds for it, so it should hopefully be sorted very very soon.. But the rest of my life is doing really well! :-D I met a girl last week who I quite fancy, who I am actively chasing... As to what is going to happen? Who knows? But I'm happy. :-)

But in the meantime I'm enjoying life here in London and gradually making a home and place for myself!

Ok, enough of a slightly esoterical post from me, it is time for me to go and do something with this day (it was actually blue skies earlier today, but now it's all clouded over).. Keep having fun, smiling and for those who want it, have a big hug from me! ;-)


Thursday, February 24, 2005

London music

Who we went to see
Matt is a bit of a fan of a melbourne band paperadio, who have recently (as in about a year ago) relocated to London.

And wo and behold they were holding a cd launch (tonight in fact), at a little venue in London. So off we went to check out an Aussie band (in my case I'd never heard their stuff), and also a chance to see who else was playing.

The Sways
Were a very, very cool band! Loved their gig, so I bought a cd! Now I'm not going to attempt to describe their style, other than it's foot-tapping excellent stuff... In fact cddb (if you're a geek you'll recognise that), have them in as a genre of 'Unclassifiable'! If you get a chance have a listen to some of their stuff...

Only disappointment is that the cd is much softer than the live gig (also helped by a new drummer in the band, as in they didn't have a drummer previously).

Oh yeah, and Paperadio were excellent too! :-)

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Free Arash and Mojtaba

Free Mojtaba and Arash Banner

Two guys who have been imprisoned by the Iranian authorities for sharing their views on their blogs.

A few good places to check out are:


Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Andrea & Mark Brandwood / London Snow

Andrea & Mark
Well they're not even married yet, but they've created a lovely little blog for themselves:
Andrea & Mark Brandwood

Good friends who I hope'll keep enjoying life and having fun! :-)

Oh and yet again, congrats! (to see why: Congrats to Andrea & Mark)

London Snow
Guess what?!?! It snowed in London tonight!! It even stayed on the ground! :-) Absolutely fantastic!

Of course it brought the tube system to a halt (at least the northern line), amazing that, a train system what 40 metres underground is somehow unable to operate when a total of maybe 2mm of snow lands above it? Only in London.

Of course myself and Matt found the most logical solution to London's transport issues.. Find the nearest pub and have a few pints while the traffic cleared and the tube started running again. :-) Either way, I'm happy!

Keep having fun!

We're not insane...

We're not insane...

That's right it's Painter Smurf, Poet Smurf & Dreamy Smurf who tell me what to do!

Well usually, it's just that Painter Smurf isn't talking to me at the moment, something to do with a bottle of paint, a tooth brush and ... well... it's better I don't mention it.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Pictures of France (skiing)

Well a bit of a belated posting on the ski trip to france, not really much to say (recovering from part II of the Monopoly board pub crawl), so I'll just post some nice piccies:

A beautiful view of the resort we would be spending the next week in

Me and Fish with our snowboards

Me coming to the end of the green run :-)

Matt snowboarding along

Matt fell over, so I decided it'd be fun to bury him :-)

Apologies for the slow download speed on these photo's... But give it time and they'll appear (hopefully!)

Keep having fun whatever you're up to and say hello occasionally.

Yawn time for some more coffee!

Friday, February 18, 2005

Site tracking


For a while there I was using a really cool site tracker for this blog, called Re_Invigorate, very cool I could even see where in the world people were visiting from, Hi to those who visited from Asia! Very cool to see when people who I don't even know decided to read some more of what I had written.

However now Re_Invigorate is down, and while the message says it'll be up again soon, it has said that for nearly 3 weeks now (a lifetime in computer ages). So now it is time to move on and implement something else... Pity, I really liked their reports... (I am such a geek!).. The question is what to use? Has anyone out there used anything that they'd like to recommend? Not that I expect much of a response...

Oh, for those that were wondering, had a blast in Rotterdam!! :-D Very cool place! Fool of insane Dutch people! I shall put up the photo's to the usual spot soon.. ;-) (in a day or so)

Till next time, keep having fun and stay true to yourself

Zoo ditches gay penguin plan

A friend sent me an email about a german zoo's troubles with some penguins that seem to want to remain gay: Zoo ditches gay penguin plan - World -

From the article:
"A German zoo has abandoned a plan to break up homosexual penguin couples after protests from gay rights groups
Zoo keepers discovered that the homosexual couples had gathered rocks that they coveted like eggs and fooled their keepers for years into thinking they were boy-and-girl duos."

Well, I thought it was hilarious!

Friday, February 11, 2005

Happy Birthday to me!

Well, it's been a while since I've posted anything, and this post ain't going to be very full either...

Just wanted to say a big Thank You! to all who wished me happy birth day! Being having an absolute blast of a time since getting back from Brussels, which I shall spend some time and update you all on. I'm off to Rotterdam for the weekend (me & matt are catching up with Margo!), so during the travel time I'll write down what I've been up to.

  • Chillin out with Matt, Fish & Lyds
  • Eva's birtday get together (on a school night! Argh! that was painful)
  • Contract drinks followed by, Eva's going away (fun night!)
  • Cake concert
  • Attempted Monopoly board pub crawl (well we got half way round!)
  • of course my b'day as well :-)

not bad for just over a week (how the hell did I survive work that week?!)

But I will leave you with one tidbit:
The other night on the tube, I saw some carrying a bathroom sink.

am I the only one who finds that bizzarre but amusing? ;-)

Keep smiling!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Favourite comics

Two of my favourite comics (Pearls before Swine & Get Fuzzy) put out some absolutely fantastic ones today:

  • Pearls has a great piece on what is the real purpose of Social Services (got wrong in typical Pig fashion)
  • Get Fuzzy has re-introduced one of my favourite characters (Chubby Huggs!)

Well... They brought a smile to my face :-D

Oh, I'm still here in Belgium, about to head out to try some of the local cuisine (ie: beer). So have fun everyone!! *waves*


Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Concussion, Girl Power & Ceasar Salads

Ok, here goes again... (I've tried this post before 'cept it lost it when I went to publish it, ARGH!!!)

Salad Cesar in Brussels
I am in Brussels now (for work no less) sitting in a very plush hotel (gotta love work trips!) kicking back after a few Hoegaarden's, and I thought I'd put up a small update of what I've been up to in the last week or so.

But before I get into that I just wanted to let people know, you have not had a Ceasar Salad, until you've had one in Belgium! (at least not if the one I had tonight is anything to go by), it was absolutely delicious, it had all the traditional ceasar ingredients, plus: chicken, capsicum, roasted walnuts, orange pieces (as in the fruit), cherry tomatoes & drizzled with honey. Yum!

Well now to see if I can remember some of what I wrote before dinner...

Snow boarding in France
We got to Tignes via Geneva on Sunday (16th Jan) a bit after midday I think it was, and the sky was blue and the slopes were white.. So it was with great excitement we grabbed our lift passes and organised our ski gear. As we were mostly beginner boarders we booked ourselves a group lesson for midday Monday..

Ok slight diversion here, I might just quickly explain who "We" are, there's: Matt, Paul & Lydia, Leigh (the token skier) and Jon (the experienced-ish boarder)

So Monday morning arrived and straight after breakfast we headed out to the Nursery slope, for some practise runs before our lesson (can't waste any of that snow time!), whereupon within the very first half hour of being out on the snow with a board, I decided now would be a good time to do my Superman impression ... chin first into the ice I landed (I think it'd had been a week since it'd really snowed), all I can say is OW!

But I wasn't going to let a wee bruised chin stop me, no sirree, so we all kept trucking along through the morning, through the lesson.

Well, almost...

I lasted until 15minutes before the end of the 2 hour lesson, and it hit me... I was ready to pass out and well... empty my stomach as well.. Yep for those smart cookies who guessed it, that knock on the chin gave me Mild Concussion, putting me out of action for about 2 days.

Not exactly what you would call a great start to the week eh? But even with that and all the other trials and tribulations we suffered:

  • One mild concussion
  • 3 bouts of gastro (needing a day of sleeping)
  • One sprained wrist
  • One stretched medial ligament (in the knee, requiring a knee brace for 3 weeks)
  • Uncountable bruises, aches & pains
  • A lovely 9 hour delay for our flight back (story for another time)

I think we all really enjoyed ourselves! :-) I know that I did, and I do intend to go snow boarding again (though next time I might wait till there's some powder on the ground before doing a Superman impression).

Oh, and big massive kudos to the fantastic effort of Lydia, being the one and only member of our little group to actually make it out each and every day! You go girl!

Oh and aparently on the Tuesday (I wasn't exactly with it so can't confirm), was when it started snowing, (it didn't stop, not at all, it was still going when we left) on one day there was 18 inches of snow, nice and soft to land in!

Have fun!

Friday, January 14, 2005

Meow & Polly, Stories & Sad news

Yay! I got up a new post for Meow and Polly! :-) Well it makes me happy.

Not to sure about it, but I've got something up, when I said I would... Next will be the challenge of getting something up next week as I'll be off skiing, there should be some kind of net access over there. But I think I'll make next weeks post a wee bit shorter or at least not as many web links that I need to check! :-P

Old Stories
The other night I was glancing through all the various files that I'd dumped on my iPod (well the non-music stuff anyways), and I realised that I'd dumped up a whole bunch of stuff that I'd written up years and years ago, hell right back when I was in year 12. And even if I do say so myself some of it was actually pretty good.

This one in particular, I still find a nice read, though I think the ending needs work... And well nice isn't actually the right acronym to use. But read it for yourself and you can make up your own mind.

Oh and you might like my recipe for Argumentative Cakes (one of the possible pieces for my year 12 cat back in 1994)

I think that I'll try and post up some of the other stuff I found as I go on...

Sad news
Unfortunately my Mum's dog Kelly (the best little german sheppard/huskie around!) passed away. :-(
Aparently she is going to be buried at a farm in Northern Victoria, where eventually Cyprus trees will be planted, and so all those favoured pets and companions will once more be in the full circle that is life.
You were a great dog Kelly. Take a big hug with you.


Argumentative Cake

Arguments are one of the most enjoyable aspects of being human. We
talk and discuss amongst our friends, and add that extra spice
through serious arguments with all sorts of individuals.
Quite often we are unable to create arguments, or perhaps
those arguments we voice are uninteresting. For this explicit
purpose, I have created a simple recipe, which will enable you
to bake the most impressive argumentive cake, which you can
share amongst your associates.

Argumentive Cake.

2 cups issue (containing contention, and opposition).
3 arguments.
1/4 cup grammar.
1 cup sentence structure.
1 teaspoon of relevance.
1/2 cup punctuation.

Sift Issue, separating opposition and contention. Beat
opposition well until creamed, adding logic to help the
Add arguments to support contention, mixing well, while
continually adding grammar, sentence structure and
punctuation, until mixture is doughy.
Take 'dough' out of bowl, place on board sprinkled with
grammar. Using rolling pin, roll out to a flat shape. Gently
spread opposition even over contention to a depth of 1/4 mm,
lightly sprinkling relevance over cream. Fold dough several
times and roll out again. Repeat process until all of
opposition is used or a good consistency is reached.
Test mixture, it should have a powerful taste of
contention, with just a hint of opposition, add remaining
ingredients to spice to your taste.
Place in one human receptacle in oven for 1 hour (at 180
Celsius) or until solid outer layer, with a luscious interior.
While cake is cooking, prepare icing.

Persuasive Icing:

1 teaspoon persuasion.
1/2 cup logic.
2 cups conviction.

Mix conviction an logic in small saucepan, and bring to
boil. Then gently add persuasion to mixture. Allow to simmer
for 5 minutes, occasionally stirring, then turn heat off
leaving icing over stove to cool. It should still be luke
warm when the cake is ready to be iced. If not, reheat until
slightly runny, and warm enough for cake to absorb flavours,
then spread icing over cake. Your cake is ready, feel free to
add sprinkles of presentation in an attractive design.