The Noswonky Web Log:
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Saturday, April 30 2005[ Link to this entry ]
Yuko forgot to bring Belinda inside last night. When I looked out the window this morning, Belinda was still outside (and unlocked)!
|Belinda left out in the cold|
At Epitome, Yuko had pancakes and Tommy the chef gave her special honey with them.
|Tommy the chef holds the special honey|
The honey was straight from a hive (not a jar)...
He said it's from his friend's back yard.
In the way home we saw a house open for inspection, so we stopped to take a look. It was a 1952 brick house with three bedrooms and a run-down granny-flat at the back. The land was relatively small (570 sqm).
Yuko is very good at estimating house prices so I asked her to guess the asking price. She estimated the price at $1.15Million. They were actually asking $1.185Million.
In the afternoon we went to see The Interpreter with Mother.
It's the story of a woman from Africa who has a trans-Atlantic accent. The rest of the story... we didn't understand because the lead actors either mumbled all their lines or spoke in an imaginary language.
I was admonished by the other members of my party for choosing such a movie. The popcorn was adequate...
After the Movie we went to Waters Lane for dinner, but when we got there, it was closed for a private function. So we went up the escalator to the nearby Japanese restaurant Totoya...
But it was full!
So we considered the nearby Indian restaurant Little...
But we had a bad experience on our only previous visit. So we went to a nearby Chinese Noodle place on Military Road. It was really just a take-away place with some tables. However the food was quite good.
|Don't know the name of this place|
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Friday, April 29 2005[ Link to this entry ]
Yuko and Keiko went to China Town to buy DVDs...
Yuko bought some Japanese DVDs. In particular, several movies directed by Akira Kurosawa. Unfortunately however, the DVD of his most famous movie Rashomon does not have English subtitles.
Now all we need is a DVD player!
She also bought some spicy chicken which we had for dinner.
Thursday, April 28 2005[ Link to this entry ]
The Lego warehouse is just down the road from Cochlear and today they had a huge sale with up to 60% off.
I wandered down at lunchtime to have a look. As I approached, there were groups of people going in the other direction carrying huge bags of Lego. However, when I reached the site, I was confronted by this queue...
I chose not to enter the building. However, did say hello to Lego Man...
On the weekend, Mother went to a live show with Betty and Bruce. She took her Disabled Parking Thingy so that they could park in a disable space legally.
|Disabled Parking Thingy|
When they parked, she handed the thingy to Betty who stuck it to the windscreen with the suction cup provided...
However, when they returned to the car, there was an infringement notice under the wiper. It was a fine of $392.00. The problem was that the Disabled Authority had fallen onto the floor and the parking officer had not seen it!
Mother has now signed a statutory declaration to explain what happened and has sent it to Bruce (as it was his car), who will send it to the appropriate authorities in the hope that the fine will be withdrawn.
I got paid! So it's only a small debacle.
Today I got an email from a blog reader who said:
"Your blog is boring."
I guess it's better than a death threat.
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Wednesday, April 27 2005[ Link to this entry ]
While buying coffee at the truck, I noticed some guys painting the opposite wall gray and lighter gray. It's an exciting new colour scheme, but I prefer gray.
I then discovered something truly exciting - monster bubble-wrap...
|Only a few of the bubbles were already popped|
The good thing about bubble-wrap, is that when you pop it, it sounds exactly like an electrical component exploding - and these big bubbles are particularly loud. I find it most satisfying to walk up behind someone who is working with high voltage equipment, and pop a bubble at a strategic moment... If can really freak them out. Sometimes they can even have heart failure and die on the spot.
I also found some food unattended in an isolated cranny of the building.
Naturally, I ate some immediately without bothering to find out where it came from. I hope it wasn't poisoned.
Then I went to the beach to get away from all the excitement.
DreamHost is working well so far. There are still some bits of this site that are not working, but that's mainly because I haven't uploaded everything.
Table Tennis players will be glad to know that the Table Tennis (RIP) section is now back on-line.
The photo gallery section is next, but that's a big upload... Maybe tomorrow.
At Cochlear we get paid every two week on a Wednesday. This is pay-week and it is now just after midnight (ie: Thursday) and I've just checked my bank account. It seems I have not been paid!
That's a bit of a problem! I wonder if my access key will work tomorrow...
Tuesday, April 26 2005[ Link to this entry ]
When I woke up this morning, my new account on DreamHost had been activated. I started a big upload and went to work. However, Yuko pulled out the power lead of my computer to use in her computer. Normally this is not a problem as it continues to run on batteries. But only for a while.
Anyway, I guess the battery ran out and the upload did not complete.
In the evening I did a massive upload and a monstrous download from my old server (which is now back up), and then another huge upload to the new server.
Of course my scripts didn't work on the new server... so a debugging session was required.
Now, most of it is working and it's time to get drunk and crash...
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ANZAC Day[ Link to this entry ]
ANZAC day music.,.
It is thirteen years today since Yuko arrived in Australia to begin her new life.
To celebrate, we went to Ponto-Cho. Although the big sign out the front still says "Waizu", they now have a small Ponto Cho sign too...
This is the place for sushi...
Yuko paid because it was her anniversary...
At about 8.30pm, my web site began responding with an error page. It's better than nothing...
Although my account was going to take some time to be activated, I was able to login and check my disk usage. I like these numbers...
I decided not to wait for the new server to become active before re-directing my domain. I changed the Domain Name Servers immediately as it will take a day or two for this to take effect.
Sunday, April 24 2005[ Link to this entry ]
Today's paper came with "ANZAC Biscuits For Every Reader". Yuko complained that even though she read some of my paper (making her a "reader"), she didn't get her own biscuits.
When I got the car out of the garage in the morning (at a little after 10am), I heard the sound of the hosing of a hard surface coming from next door.
I went back inside and took up a vantage point at the window of our Japanese room. By lifting a slat on the venetian blind, I was able to obtain a view of our neighbour blatantly flouting the water restrictions. Not only was she hosing a hard surface (her house), but it was after 10am!
The following 13 second video shows the flouter flouting...
In the afternoon I tried to find out what's going on with PixieHost, the company that hosts my web site.
This is the third extended outage I've experienced with this company since I moved my site there ten months ago.
The outage has also affected Yuko's blog because when she posts videos, I host them on my server due to the limited space on her server. She was appalled when her videos suddenly became unavailable.
It was still down today so I got on the forums at WebHosting Talk and searched for references to PixieHost.
The general opinion expressed by the forum contributors, was that the company is probably dead and nobody will be surprised if their site never re-appears.
I also learned that the guy who owns PixieHost, Roy Katadinata, was named in a Grand Jury Criminal Indictment in the state of Virginia for being part of a conspiracy to "willfully infringe copyrights".
It was two years ago, and he was not the main defendant, but it's probably not a good sign. Apparently he was charged with being part of a group which would crack the copy protection on commercial software and sell the cracked copies on the web.
I'm looking for a new web host.
Saturday, April 23 2005[ Link to this entry ]
My web host, PixieHost was down this morning. Not just my site, but even their main page is not responding.
I couldn't post today's blog, but I still wrote it.
In the afternoon, Yuko cremated a cream puff...
Relations between China and Japan are at a low ebb. It was therefore with some trepidation that we ventured into that part of Sydney known as China Town.
We went there to investigate a DVD/CD shop which Keiko told us about. We found shop, but didn't find any DVDs worth buying. There was a section of Japanese DVDs which Yuko browsed, but they were not particularly cheap.
The only thing Yuko bought in China Town was a pair of slippers.
We then walked to Darling Harbour and had dinner at our favourite Chinese Restaurant.
|Sizzling Chili Prawns and Chicken in Three Sauces|
We sat outside and watched Jupiter and the gibbous Moon rise over the city skyline.
Friday, April 22 2005[ Link to this entry ]
There is no coffee picture today. This time it is my fault. The reason is that I forgot to put the battery in my camera before leaving for work!
Today I was approached by a work colleague whom I have known for twenty years. I'll call him John (because that is his name).
|John (photo taken last November)|
Mother invited us for dinner. We decided to take the dessert, so Yuko cooked these...
Mother cooked this...
I drank this...
While Yuko told Mother about some stuff...
Meanwhile, I found this coin lying in a pile of change on Mother's table. I wondered whether it might pass for a 20 cent coin at the Newsagent...
Thursday, April 21 2005[ Link to this entry ]
The pen in the coffee picture is my favourite pen. I has a bulbous rubber grip that makes it a joy to hold. It's heavy giving it a substantial feel that makes you feel like writing on a post-it note is really a very important thing. And the ball runs across the paper like a dog's wet nose runs up your leg - smoothly and with precision!
It's certainly not standard Cochlear issue. Rather, At the end of a meeting, as I was leaving, I noticed it on the table so I picked it up and kept it.
Later, someone told me that it probably belongs to my boss. This is plausible as he was at the meeting too.
We had a big glass milk jug which was great because it had a pouring spout that didn't drip - a rare feature indeed. It only cost 50 cents at a garage sale!
Then, one day it did not survive a bout in the microwave, and emerged in one piece, but with a big crack running down the side and around the base. I wrote it off as garbage.
However, Yuko persists in using it as a drinking glass for cold coffee. Each time I see her drinking from it, the crack looks bigger and longer.
I predict that soon there will be a cataclysmic event involving spilled coffee and flying shards of broken glass.
My web server has upgraded its features. I was looking at the new statistics features that are now available and found this one particularly interesting. These are the most popular search terms that people have typed into search engines (this month only) and found my site as a result...
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Wednesday, April 20 2005[ Link to this entry ]
The Coffee Truck Guy is not dead!
But his truck is. That's why he has been absent for the last couple of days. He turned up today in a truck he borrowed from another Coffee Truck Guy. The Coffee Truck Guys look after each other.
But before that...
When I woke up this morning, I was relieved to learn that the answer to this question is still 'yes' - the cardinals had elected a catholic as the new Pope.
Had they chosen a non-catholic, it would have spelled disaster for users of this cliché rhetorical response to 'no brainer' questions the world over.
Q: Do Japanese like rice?
A: Is the Pope catholic?
Q: Is the U.S. President really as dumb as he seems?
A: Is the Pope catholic?
It was Mitsy's turn to go to the doctor. Unlike yesterday's adventure with Belinda, there was no need to cycle today as the doctor was just 10 minutes walk from Cochlear.
However, things did not go smoothly.
Mitsy chose today to refuse to start! It was that damned battery again. So I used Belinda to give Mitsy a jump start.
Anyway, I dropped Mitsy at the doctor, and walked to work from there.
As usual, the doctor found a couple of problems with Mitsy (including the battery) that pushed the price up to $504, but it was still cheaper than Belinda's visit.
There was free cake again...
Tuesday, April 19 2005[ Link to this entry ]
It appears the coffee truck guy is dead. On the other hand he might be just having a holiday. Both are plausible explanations of the fact that the truck failed to appear again today.
However, another department had a cake eating session and there were some left-over pieces which were put to good use...
|A worker salvages left-over cake|
We got up early because Belinda had to go to the doctor. Belinda is not sick - it was just for a regular checkup.
I put Yuko's bike in the back of the buggy, and drove to the service place at Artarmon. After dropping Belinda, I cycled to work.
The route from Artarmon to Cochlear is mostly down-hill, so it was a pretty easy ride. It took 30 minutes at a leisurely pace.
|Bike parking at Cochlear|
At lunchtime, I had lunch at the Cove Cafe...
...and photographed a bird...
|Bird without its beak ripped off|
...and played table tennis...
Most of the regular players did not show up today. In fact, there were only three of us, allowing me to play five games of singles.
After work I cycled back to Artarmon. As it was mostly uphill, I expected it to take significantly longer than the morning ride. However, it only took five minutes longer.
The doctor found a few minor problems with Belinda and his bill expanded accordingly to $757. Yuko thought this was quite cheap!
The doctor also critcised Belinda's wheel covers. He told me in the morning that the covers were so damaged that they might fall apart during the treatment. Fortunately, he was wrong...
The videos we made with Mother on Sunday are not ready for release.
In addition to the R/L problem, the Japanese also have difficulty with long 'O' sounds...
The Japanese also find it difficult to pick the difference between the long 'O' of 'won't' and the short 'O' of 'want'...
Monday, April 18 2005[ Link to this entry ]
The coffee truck did not come today. It's not my fault!
However, someone left this mini-muffin on my desk. I ate it immediately without bothering to find out where it came from. I would be very easy to poison.
While I was photographing the tip of a piece of wire (using a Leica camera), I was approached by a colleague whom I have known for twenty years. I'll call him John (because that is his name). He asked me about my camera again. He seemed to be close to a purchase decision so I extolled the virtues of the IXUS 40 and its ilk.
I showed him the Stitch Assist feature by making a four image panorama right there in the office...
This may have been the deciding factor, and by the end of the conversation, I believe I had sealed a camera sale for the Japanese company that sacked me in 2003.
I wonder if I'm eligible for a commission.
A second Optus dude came today and at last brought us a new cable modem.
Yuko hurled abuse at the guy for the way our problem has been handled by Optus. Unfortunately, this exchange was not recorded.
When I got home from work, the new modem was sitting on the floor with a bunch of lights lit on the front panel. It's smaller and blacker than the old modem.
|Bad White Modem, Good Black Modem|
Not only that... It works and it seems faster than the old one! I don't know how that could be. Perhaps the old one was slowly dying without us noticing.
To celebrate, I put on a pair of Bugs Bunny socks.
Sunday, April 17 2005[ Link to this entry ]
Yuko used the glass doors at Epitome as a mirror...
I tried putting a bike in the Buggy. This is because on Tuesday I have to take Belinda for a service at Artarmon. I plan to drive there and then cycle to work. Anyway, it fitted... just...
Then I cycled to the service place to sus out a route.
|It's called Chatswood Classic Cars, but it's actually at Artarmon|
In the evening, Yuko made fire...
And chicken was cooked...
And we indulged with Mother on the terrace (just like last Sunday). Again the weather was perfect.
After dinner we made some more instructional language videos with Mother. These will be released after we get our broadband connection back. I'm not going to upload them on this disgusting dial-up line.
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Saturday, April 16 2005[ Link to this entry ]
After breakfast Yuko bought a tartan coat for $12 at St. Vincent De Paul's. It looked brand new.
Then we dropped in to say hello to Mother, and she told us that she thinks it's not a coat, but a man's dressing gown. She forbade Yuko from wearing it in public!
Then Yuko told Mother the Optus story, venting her disgust with gusto...
We invited Mother to another BBQ at our place tomorrow. To prepare, we went to Bunnings at Artarmon to replenish our supplies.
We suspect that the Lane Cove Hardware shop was driven out of business by this huge hardware supermarket.
|Stuff we bought - mainly things for making fire|
The kiwi fruit is still in the driveway. I'm surprised it hasn't rotted of been eaten by birds.
Friday, April 15 2005[ Link to this entry ]
There is no coffee picture today. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. Noswonky.com apologises for the inconvenience.
We received a communication via an antiquated communication protocol from someone called Anonymous!...
My understanding of this method of communication is limited. However, Yuko thinks that because the stamp appears unmarked by ink, we can use it to send another message for free!
The message said...
The Noswonkies would like to thank Anonymous! for this information. It may be useful if we can't resolve our Internet problem promptly.
The following picture was enclosed.
|Bat in a blackout|
We went to Taiki for dinner.
The main reason for going there was not to eat, but for Yuko to obtain more biographical information on the staff.
|Yuko takes notes on Yukiko's life story|
But we also ate something. The sushi at Taiki has improved, but it's still not as good as Pontocho.
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Thursday, April 14 2005[ Link to this entry ]
Someone stole a short section of Mother's front garden hose...
Well, we know what kind of people steal short pieces of rubber hose don't we!
Fortunately they were considerate enough to cut the hose close to the tap. I was therefore able to fix it by just re-connecting the remaining host to the tap connector. Mother was happy...
In the afternoon the Optus dude came. I was at work, so Yuko took these pictures.
He looked at the modem and said "looks like a weak signal". Then he looked at the cable box on the wall outside.
He adjusted something and said "see how it goes". Then he left without checking whether our Internet connection was working.
When I got home, the faulty modem was still sitting on the floor with the power cycling on and off. The Optus dude hadn't fixed anything, and according to Yuko, he was reluctant to sell us a new modem because "it's expensive" even though that's what we had already agreed to.
I called Optus again and told them the situation. They said they wouldn't charge us for today's visit. The next available booking for a dude to come and bring us a new modem is next Monday!
That means another five days using the BigPond dial-up connection at $4/hour. I pointed this out to the Optus dude on the phone, and mentioned that this additional cost was the direct result of their technician's incompetence.
He suggested that we use Optus dial-up instead which was $4.95/month with unlimited access.
Although I didn't want to give any more money to those bastards, effectively rewarding them for their incompetence, it was still a much cheaper option than continuing to use the BigPond connection for another four days. So I agreed.
I had to call another number to sign up for the Optus dial-up account. But when I called, I found out that what the previous guy told me was bullshit.
The unlimited access account costs $16.95/month. Not $4.95/month. I signed up anyway, as it was still the cheaper solution.
During the sign-up process the guy asked me if I was having a nice day. I said No.
What a bunch of [Expletive Deleted] [Expletive Deleted]! [Expletive Deleted] those [Expletive Deleted] Optus [Expletive Deleted]!
I connected to Optus Dial-up with no difficulty. However, I was not able to get the a shared connection working so we can both use it at the same time. This should work shouldn't it...?
I guess I'll try again tomorrow.
Wednesday, April 13 2005[ Link to this entry ]
|Missed the coffee truck!|
This morning, our Internet connection was sort of down. I say sort of because it was sometimes up too. I noticed that the cable modem seemed to be power-cycling. The lights would go off, and then come back on, and then go off...
I didn't have time to investigate as I had to go to work. While I was at work, Yuko called Optus and they got her to do some configuration stuff on her computer. I was very skeptical that this could help as it seemed to be a hardware fault in the modem.
When I got home I called Optus and explained the symptoms. They diagnosed a faulty modem (as expected). They said they can send a dude over with a new modem and we can pay $179. That sounded like a rip-off given that it might be just a dodgy solder joint!
However, I made the booking. I thought I'd have a go at fixing the Modem and, if successful, I'd cancel the new one.
Meanwhile, Yuko was freaking out as she can't survive without Internet. She got me to sign up for a dial-up account to allow her to connect tonight.
I therefore got Yuko connected to BigPond on a pay-by-the-hour plan...
|Connecting to BigPond|
I was able to sign up for the dial-up account online using the 20 second chunks of usable time on the cable modem as it cycled on and off. It was a very frustrating process often requiring multiple attempts over several power cycles to get each page to load.
I was amazed when I succeeded in connecting to BigPond and I was able to send Yuko to her room with a bundle of phone wires...
Then I tried to take the faulty modem apart. I discovered that the bastards have used those special screws with star-shaped holes that need a special screwdriver to undo...
I gave up in disgust and resigned myself to being ripped off.
Then I wrote this blog. I hope to upload it later if Yuko lets me use the dial-up connection.
Note: If you are reading this, it means Yuko allowed me to use the dial-up connection.
Tuesday, April 12 2005[ Link to this entry ]
|Morning and Evening|
Here's a picture I took in Japan...
Last night I emailed [Name Omitted], [Name Omitted] and [Name Omitted] regarding XXXX XXXXX XX XXXXXXXX XX XX XXXXXXX XXX XXXXXXX They all replied promptly and in the affirmative.
[Name Omitted] said in [GSP] reply that XXX XXXX XXXX XXX XX XX XXX every day!
X XXXXXXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXXXXXXXX XX XXXXXX XXX 'Dude!'
[Name Omitted] was skeptical about XX XXXXXXXXXXX XX XX XXXX XXXXXXXXXXXX But here it is...
|Desks with no people is a Cochlear business strategy which reduces costs and increases the share price|
We went to Bardeli's in the evening to do some serious irresponsible drinking.
We took a bottle of red, and the staff then supplied us with an under-the-counter bottle rated at 40 percent.
As they are unlicenced, they said that if we told anyone about it, they would send their hired goons around to explain the liquor licencing laws to us.
We also ate some food.
The Pepper Boy was there, but he was only using a regular sized grinder, which was rather disappointing, and not worth photographing.
We took simultaneous photos of each other...
After dessert, we went on a drunken rampage through the streets of Hunters Hill and ripped the beaks of a few birds.
Monday, April 11 2005[ Link to this entry ]
One difficulty for Japanese learners of English is distinguishing between the sounds of 'R' and 'L'.
In the following video clips, a native English speaker and a Japanese learner of English listen as the teacher says two similar words - one with an 'R' sound and one with an 'L' sound. They must hold up their signs to indicate which sound they hear. You will see the difficulty experienced by the learner.
First, the students try to hear the difference between 'Rice' and 'Lice'...
Another pair of words which are difficult to distinguish are 'Grass' and 'Glass'...
Next, 'Race' and 'Lace'.
Finally, the students are tested to their limits by a random selection of words. The Japanese learner does better this time...
When Kazuki was here, he slept on a primitive mattress on the floor in the Japanese room. It's still there two weeks after Kazuki left, and today when I got home from work, Yuko was flat out on Kazuki's bed...
There was an item on ABC News tonight about a new thingy which Professor Graeme Clark is involved with.
I missed part of the story, but it appeared to be an electronic thingy to promote the regrowth of damaged nerves for the benefit of people with spinal cord injury. John Howard was there announcing a government grant for the research.
Although they mentioned Cochlear implants, and the reporter was standing in front of a Cochlear implant display, I don't know if Cochlear is involved in this. Anyway, he said that it looked like a piece of a bin liner!
Buy COH now.
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Sunday, April 10 2005[ Link to this entry ]
|Buskers at Lane Cove|
|Yuko ate a cone on the way.|
|York Street was closed in the block where the entrance to Wynyard is located.|
|This is a simulated traffic jam. Note the "Daily Planet" truck.|
|Some of the cars were left-hand-drive, but the rest just had their steering wheels covered with blankets and a fake steering wheel on the left.|
|The scenes being filmed involve a hospital.|
|Fake American police relaxed in the park between filming|
|The film logistics trailers|
|They brought their own shade, held up by a crane.|
|The scene being filmed involved these extras waving signs like this, presumably refering to Superman.|
|Yellow Taxis in the traffic jam.|
|American style police car.|
Mother came for a BBQ dinner out on the terrace.
|Cow and Capsicum|
The cow was nice, the weather was perfect, and no mosquitoes turned up. We started early while there was still some daylight, but stayed outside when it got dark.
|Dinner by candle-light|
After dinner, we produced four videos for publication on Yuko's blog. I directed, but chose not to appear. Yuko and Mother played the leading roles. The videos are now in post-production and will be released on both our blogs soon.
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Saturday, April 9 2005[ Link to this entry ]
Laughing Mole has provided the following wildlife pictures which further support the case for the cat's defence in the Kookaburra mutilation scandal.
This beakless bird looks very much like the bird which began the controversy. It appears to be a non-mutilated bird which just happens to have a small beak.
|Beakless (or Small-Beaked) Bird|
This picture of a headless bird shows another example of a bird which appears to be mutilated, and yet is in perfect health.
Yuko discovered that the shoes Kazuki left at our place actually fit her. She wore them to Epitome and it looks like Kazuki will not be getting them back!
We stopped at a garage sale after breakfast. Yuko bought some items including a huge candle for 50 cents.
The problem with such a tall candle, is that it has a tendency to topple over. To stabilise it, Yuko put it in a glass, and filled the glass with melted wax.
|Candle in glass (before adding the wax)|
I predicted that the lack of a wide base would still be a problem. I was then proved correct when the candle toppled before the wax in the glass had cooled...
Yuko found a dead fish in one of our tanks. She speculated on whether we should have sashimi for dinner.
I also found a dead Kiwi Fruit in our driveway...
In the evening, I turned on the TV to hear Australia's future head of state admit being wicked.
|Famously Wicked people|
Mr Bean was there to see it too.
Again, our Prime Minister didn't attend. But it was nice to see that Schapelle Corby was let out of jail for the day to represent Australia. This is Schapelle Corby isn't it...
Friday, April 8 2005[ Link to this entry ]
This is John...
John is looking for a small digital camera and today he asked me about my camera and what I like and don't like about it.
On the positive side, it is very fast from switch-on to shooting. John tested its speed by suddenly holding out his hand and asking me to photograph it...
On the negative side, there is not enough manual control. To demonstrate the maximum exposure time, I covered the lens with my hand (to simulate darkness) and took a picture. However, I forgot to disable the flash. The surprising result was that the flash penetrated my skin and produced a photograph of my blood...
|Blood of Noswonky|
Then John told me that he has been downloading a lot of huge (Gigapixel) image files from the net. I assumed he meant pornography, but he said that they are actually satellite images from NASA...
We had another drinking session at Cochlear - just the department. The department manager announced that he's going to take a year off to visit all the major mountain ranges of the world - you know, the Andes, The Alps, The Himalayas, the Blue Mountains... etc.
|Beer Now... And Always!|
In the evening I watched the funeral of the Pope. There were six channels broadcasting the event, and as it was mostly conducted in Italian, the trick was to find a channel with a good translation and not too much interruption from the commentators.
John Howard must have been disappointed that he was unable to attend and hob-nob with Bush, as he is hosting the Malaysian Prime Minister at the moment. I didn't spot our Governor General in the crowd of VIPs, but at least our Treasurer made an appearance. This is the Treasurer isn't it...
The mystery of the beakless bird may be solved thanks to Laughing Mole. Mr. Mole has suggested that the bird seen on the Noswonky fence, may have been a Tawny Frogmouth. You decide...
|Tawny Frogmouth||Riverview Bird|
5527 Days Ago
Thursday, April 7 2005[ Link to this entry ]
This is the state of the garden bed just outside the side-door at Cochlear...
And this is a medical company. I'm disgusted!
Mother called and invited us to go to Taiki. We accepted the invitation even though this makes it two Japanese restaurants in two nights!
As usual we sat in the outside section.
|Noswonky and Mother|
Yuko took a picture of two of the staff and asked them to write their biographies so that she can write about them in her blog. Fortunately the restaurant wasn't busy so they were able to write extensive essays about their lives.
|Taiki staff - Yukiko and some guy|
After having tea at our place, we were leaving to take Mother home and I spotted this bird in a tree.
It looked quite similar to the bird we saw yesterday which I thought was an injured kookaburra. Now I'm now so sure. Today's bird looked very much like yesterday's bird, except that I think it's actually an owl. This explains its apparent lack of a beak when seen in the dark.
But still, yesterday's bird wasn't just lacking a beak. The beak area appeared to be mutilated. But I could be wrong. Perhaps the cat is not guilty after all!
Wednesday, April 6 2005[ Link to this entry ]
I have noticed a trend at Cochlear, whereby some of the male players are playing in their underwear. I asked one of them about it. He said that they were hoping the trend would catch on with the female players!
We can now reveal that Ponto-Cho has moved to a new location...
|The new address is 32 Falcon St. Crows Nest|
But, don't be fooled by the sign out the front. It says Waizu, because the building was formerly occupied by a restaurant of that name...
|It's really Ponto-Cho!|
They only re-opened on Monday of this week, so the place is not yet fully up to speed. There is an upstairs area and this room, which are not yet open...
It is much smaller than the old place and the smell of fresh paint was in the air.
Yuko quizzed the Owner-chef about the Rental Problem which had forced them to move. He said that the landlord had suddenly told them to get out. They are still fighting it in court, so it's unclear whether they will move back to the previous location.
The food was excellent as usual...
|Note the woman in the background trying to avoid being photographed|
When we arrived home, there was a bird sitting on our fence. It looked like a kookaburra and it seemed surprisingly unconcerned by the approach of our car. Usually the kookaburras are easily scared away...
When we got closer, Yuko took this picture. It looks like the poor bird has had it's beak ripped off! Yuko has seen cats chasing kookaburras before, so we have our suspicions about how this happened...
She is going to be the subject of an SBS documentary.
On the morning news on channel 9, there was an item about
"Boeing's new super jumbo, the Airbus A380"
|The A380 - not made by Boeing|
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Tuesday, April 5 2005[ Link to this entry ]
While showering in the morning, I noticed a monster spider in the shower with me...
I wondered what had happened to its other two legs. Anyway, it descended the wall...
And met its demise...
I don't like spiders... or snakes. Especially when I'm naked!
Thanks to blog reader Mungo Whacko for providing a more appropriate response for the situation when you don't hear someone properly...
Yuko freaked out when she saw a dead body on the TV news, being carried through the streets. She thought it was a bit spooky...
Monday, April 4 2005[ Link to this entry ]
|Events conspired to deprive me of Mokador today.|
Blogwonky welcomes back readers who have just returned from Easter holidays.
A moderately well known company has sent me a letter saying that they want to give me money. I was quite surprised to receive a letter like that, as it goes against the laws of nature...
But then I noticed the date and it all made sense...
The Giant Easter Egg which the Easter Bilby brought me has lasted well. However, it is now nearing it's ultimate demise. By the time you read this, the Egg may have departed this world, so here is a farewell portrait...
Sunday, April 3 2005[ Link to this entry ]
We omitted breakfast, and just had coffee at home (above). We were saving our hunger for a seafood lunch at Doyle's at the Fish Markets with Mother.
We sat in the semi-outside section. It was a nice location and the restaurant wasn't too crowded.
|Yuko and Mother at Doyle's|
When we returned from the Fish Market, Yuko gave Mother and me the task of making some more instructional videos. She wanted to show the confusion between "yes" and "no" that can arise for Japanese learners of English...
Japanese learners often have problems with negative questions in English. For example, "You don't like snakes do you?"
Yuko agrees (she doesn't like snakes). So, she answers "Yes", as she would in Japanese...
However, in English we normally use "no" when the answer is negative - "No, I don't"...
One way to avoid misunderstandings is to replace "yes" with "that's right", when answering a negative question. For example, "That's right, I don't like them." (Not: "Yes, I don't like them.")
Yuko tries it out and Mother understands this time...
In the evening, Yuko made fire and smoke...
And cooked the lobster and other shell-fish she bought at the Fish Market...
|Lobster and Shells|
The lobster was very nice indeed! Then, while relaxing on the terrace after dinner, I took this arty picture...
Saturday, April 2 2005[ Link to this entry ]
When I woke up I heard splashing outside. This is not unusual as birds often jump into the pond. However, when I looked outside, I saw that it was a kookaburra...
|Kookaburra on the edge of the pond|
We occasionally see kookaburras in the garden, but they don't usually wash their arses in the pond as this one did...
|Kookaburra washes his arse|
The weather was perfect for sitting out on the balcony at Epitome. There was a Jazz Band playing in the plaza, creating a very pleasant village atmosphere.
On the way home, we stopped at a garage sale in Sofala Avenue. Yuko bought three glass mugs (pictured), a stoneware cooking pot, a lamp and a picnic blanket.
Total price: $10.00
Yuko asked me to demonstrate the different ways to say 'excuse me' and 'sorry'. She wanted to explain this to her Japanese blog readers.
So I was given the task of bringing these concepts to the computer screen in a series of videos. It took me at least two hours in the afternoon to create the videos below, although the total running time is only about 20 seconds.
Here are three ways to say 'excuse me'...
Excuse me #1
Excuse me #2
Excuse me #3
Asking for information
Here are two ways to say 'sorry'...
Didn't hear properly
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Friday, April 1 2005[ Link to this entry ]
There's a guy at Cochlear whose job is to drive this golf cart around from one entrance to another all day.
He drives it from the loading dock on one side, to reception, to the loading dock on the other side, and then back. Sometimes he actually carries stuff too - boxes or mail - in the back. It looks like a fun job.
Yuko emailed me at work suggesting that we go out tonight. I liked the idea, but I pointed out that it would be disgustingly decadent to go out for the third time this week. Nevertheless, we went to Waters Lane.
The place is called Waters Lane because it is located in a lane called Waters Lane.
|This is Waters Lane (the lane) and Waters Lane (the restaurant)|
|Waters Lane (inside)|
Yuko ordered clams, but was shocked at the size of the dish. She had clams last time and it certainly wasn't this big...
|Clams and Barramundi|
Dieter (the main Lane dude) turned on the video projector. It points at a wall where there is a picture hanging. There is a pull-down projection screen for the TV. However he didn't pull down the screen, but just projected it on the painting...
|The Fashion Channel|
He keeps his cable box tuned to Fashion TV which appears to be a channel entirely devoted to showing images of angry looking women wearing either bizarre clothes or almost no clothes.
We used to always see a guy at Waters Lane who looked like a pig. We thought he might be the owner of the restaurant, and we refer to him as the Pig Man! We didn't see the Pig Man tonight.
Since Waters Lane is in the same area as Ponto-Cho, we decided to walk over and investigate what's happening there.
The door was locked...
We looked in through the glass...
It was dark and stark...
On the door was this sign...
It doesn't look good for Ponto-Cho!
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