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Thursday, November 30 2006

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Package

In the morning, we found a package on the front doorstep. Yuko said it was the pizza she had been expecting from her blogger friend in Italy. More of this later...

Pizza by mail - It had been opened by customs but they didn't eat too much

North Sydney Again

Another day working at North Sydney. This time I went directly there and didn't go to the Kingsford office at all.

Something that puzzles me... This building used to be a magnificent, bright orange iconic landmark among the dull landscape of brown boxes that clutter the North Sydney skyline. Why now is it just another boring brown box?

Former orange box

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Wednesday, November 29 2006

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North Sydney

Today I went to North Sydney to work at a client's site for the day. However, rather than going straight there, I first had to go to the office and then got a lift to North Sydney with my colleague. Being in the passenger seat, I was free to take pictures.

Traffic on the Cahill Expressway

Going across the Harbour Bridge I tried to see the light-up thingy they have put up on the eastern side for New Year's Eve. It's easy to see, but hard to see what it is.

Thingy on the SHB

At North Sydney, the Christmassy decorations are up...

Tree

Going back to Kingsford in the afternoon we hit some heavy traffic after failing to leave at the optimum time.

And here's an exciting video of the trip back to the office...

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Tuesday, November 28 2006

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Watch Photography

When I came home, Yuko was photographing her watches. I understand she's going to put some of them up for sale on a watchy web site.

Photographing watches

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Monday, November 27 2006

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SHT

Another odd sign at the entrance to the tunnel today. I was only doing 10km/h but the sign was telling me to slow down. As before, I ignored it and sped into the tunnel...

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Sunday, November 26 2006

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My Coffee
Yuko's Chocolate

Civilisation Ends at Woolwich

This morning we decided to go to Bardeli's for breakfast. But when we got there, we were confronted with a shocking sight - Bardeli's is gone!

In its place - a new restaurant - Cucinetta. It looked a bit more up-market than Bardeli's and not a breakfast venue. So we got back in the car and returned to Epitome.

Cucinetta

Cucinetta

Cucinetta

Mac College

Is the college being taken over by Mac?

Riverview Real Estate

While browsing the auction results in today's paper, I noticed that a house in Mother's street was sold yesterday for $2.4 Million. Later, I visited the site, but as the house is up a long driveway, it was invisible.

Sold for $2.4M

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Saturday, November 25 2006

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Mole and Whale

As we were getting ready to go to Epitome, I got a call from blog reader Laughing Mole. He was at killing time at Lane Cove for an hour. So we agreed to meet at Epitome. He brought his Whale book...

Mole
Whale

New York's Non-Opening

The highly anticipated opening of "New" York's Corner was to have been today. But it didn't happen...

Shoe Scandal

Being Japanese, Yuko is in the habit of leaving her shoes outside the front ddor. But a few days ago, one Italian shoe went missing.

We suspect an animal, because a human would have taken both shoes - unless it was just for spite. But if it was an animal, then the cuprit is probably being harboured by one or more humans who might be able to read.

Yuko placed the remaining shoe in a bag, and hung it on a nearby pole with a sign offering an amnesty...

Park, De Luna

Wheel

Bird

Lights

Lamp

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Friday, November 24 2006

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Maroo Re-Opens

The Korean BBQ restaurant (Maroo) at Eastwood has been closed for weeks due to renovations. It has now re-opened and tonight Mother took us for dinner.

It certainly looked very different inside. The floor and ceiling are all new. But the most obvious difference is the big silver pipes that are now hanging from the ceiling. A retractable pipe hangs above the cooker on each table to suck up the smoke. Previously these were unnecessary because they had ducts built into the tables which sucked the smoke out through the bottom.

There were some minor differences in the food too - different side-dishes and dumplings, but fortunately, the cow and chicken were still excellent. However the rice was crap and I couldn't eat it.

Food - still good

As our food cooked, we noticed that the sucker did not appear to be sucking up the smoke adequately. I looked at the bottom of the sucker pipe and found that there was no hole! Yuko called over a waiter who removed the cover and the smoke then began to disappear up the silver pipe as intended.

Yuko messes with the silver sucker

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Thursday, November 23 2006

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Wednesday, November 22 2006

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TPF Turns Ten

Ten years ago today, the Telectronics People's Front was formed - or at least conceived. Other organisations, such as The Telectronics Popular Front, The People's Front of Telectronics, and the People's Popular Telectronics Front have come and gone, but only the TPF survives.

Allow me to quote honorable TPF member Louis Peppou who posted the following message to the TPF Mailing List today...

It was ten long years ago today,
That greedy Jude had his way.
We've been going out and out of style,
Its hard to even raise a smile.

So let me remind all of you,
It really has been ten long years,
Since Telectronics was closed down,
and those of us that were left were made redundant,
except those who stayed on a bit longer to turn off the lights.

This prompted a barrage of replies from the surviving members of this venerable organisation.

Being Intimate with a Kookaburra

As I was leaving for work, I noticed a kookaburra sitting on the fence bordering Maria's house. I took a picture and then ventured closer... and closer.. and closer! The bird was quite calm in my presence, and allowed me to get so close that I considered changing the camera to macro mode. But as I was changing modes, it flew away.

Kookaburra on fence

Up close with the Kookaburra

And here's a video of the bird. It goes out of focus as the camera gets close because my camera does not re-focus once you start shooting. This is one of the limitations of shooting video with a 'still' camera.

Hot

Today was hot - 38 degrees in the city. It was a day for daring and iceblocks...

Lights Out

There were two brief power outages at work during the day, and when I was drinving home I encountered two sets of traffic lights that were not operating. I later learned that there had been widespread power outages in Sydney today as a result of a grass fire which had damaged some electrical thingy somewhere.

Cops replace lights on the edge of Riverview

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Tuesday, November 21 2006

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North Sydney

Today's coffee picture was shot at North Sydney. I have made today's picture bigger than usual to compensate for the fact that not much else happened.

I had to go to North Sydney today to work at a client's site in my ironed shirt. It was to have been a whole day, but circumstances changed and I ended up having to go back to the office after lunch.

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Monday, November 20 2006

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SHT

This morning the entrance to the Harbour Tunnel was adorned with a big "STOP" sign and red crosses indicating that both lanes were closed. But despite this, everyone just ignored it and drove straight in. I followed the pack into the tunnel and found that there was no blockage or delay of any kind.

It made me wonder what would happen in the event of a disaster in the tunnel where the controllers need to stop traffic from entering...

STOP!

Blackout (Partial)

At about 8.30pm we had a partial blackout - the lights (and the fridge) stayed on while the rest of the power went off.

Not so dark blackout

I checked the box, and found that a circuit breaker had tripped. This happens occasionally, and it's just a matter of resetting it. But when I reset it, it tripped again immediately, indicating a real fault. Something in the house was short circuited.

Circuit breakers

I proceeded to turn off and unplug appliances, re-trying the circuit breaker after switching off each block of power-points. Eventually, I isolated the problem to a power board which was running our cable modem and my laptop. When I unplugged everything from the board, it still tripped the breaker! So the fault was with the power board itself rather than with anything plugged into it.

Irksome power board. I cut the cord off with a pair of scissors and discarded it with disdain

Ironing

Since starting my current job, it's been casual dress every day. But tomorrow, I have to visit a client's site, so that means dressing up a tad. So I had to do some ironing...

Ironing

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Sunday, November 19 2006

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TV Thingy

Today I bought a gadget which I placed on top of one of our TVs. At first it didn't work (no picture), but I speculated (correctly) that one of the connection cables might be mis-labeled. After plugging a different cable into the socket, it worked nicely.`

New York's

It's now less than a week until the grand opening of "New" York's Corner. Riverview is buzzing with excitement...

"New" York's

Hair

Yuko employed me to cut her hair again. The fee was again $5.00 for a straight-edge cut of 5cm. It might be time to raise my prices.

Before
During
After

Aftermath

Addiction

I am developing a debilitating addiction - YouTube. I have been spending hours at a time watching the mindless minutia of other people's boring lives. It's much better than TV!

Addicted to YouTube

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Saturday, November 18 2006

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Double Double Vee Doubles

Last night at Crows Nest, we parked right next to another Belinda. It was double Vee Doubles. Then today at Lane Cove it was double Vee Doubles again!

Double Vee Doubles at Crows Nest
Double Vee Doubles at Lane Cove

Double Decadence

As it had been a whole day since we went out for dinner, we decided to double up and go again tonight - this time to Darling Harbour.

Cockle Bay from the bridge

The Monorail speeds by

Like last night, we walked around looking for somewhere new to eat. We settled on an Italian establishment called Al Ponte

Yuko checks the menu

It was quite nice, but a tad expensive. We sat outside with a view of the bay.

Italian Beer
Yuko's Oysters

My Chicken
Yuko's Calamari

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Friday, November 17 2006

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Kenso
De Nero's

Choc on a Stick

After lunch, one of my co-workers returned with a box full of chocolate ice creams and offered them around. You can't beat chocolate on a stick, so I accepted...

Before
After

Sapporo

Not wanting to remain in our rut of going to the same restaurants over and over, we decided to try something different. We went to Crows Nest and just walked around looking for somewhere new to eat. We ended up at a Japanese place called Sapporo (named after a city we visited in 1997). There were no tables available (which is what happens when you don't make a booking), but there was space at the sushi counter.

The counter at Sapporo (Note Sumo wrestling on the big screen in the background)

You can't beat a nice cold Asahi!

Crab Legs
Dead Fish

Yuko's food
My food

Yuko drinking

On the bill in the 'Persons' box it said "J1A1", which obviously means one Japanese person and one Australian person. This may be racist...

From Message
Nikki
20/11/2006
5541 Days Ago
The J1/A1 thing lets us know when to bring your food. "A" people generally like miso soup as a starter, and "J" people like it to come out at the same time as the sushi. Mmm.... racial profiling can be fun! And tasty!

From Message
Webslave
20/11/2006
5540 Days Ago
Thanks for your inside knowledge Nikki. Glad you're still reading.

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Thursday, November 16 2006

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Kenso and Coldness

I usually have breakfast at De Nero's which is a short walk from work. But sometimes (like today) I go to Kenso instead. It's on Anzac Parade at Kensington (hence the name) a couple of kms before work. The problem with Kenso is that it gets quite crowded from about 8.15am, so I have to get there earlier to get a good table.

Most of the day was cold and rainy. In fact it was apparently the coldest November day in Sydney in more than 100 years! Must be that global cooling.

Rain

Mother

Mother came to our house for dinner. Yuko cooked sweet and sour prawns which met with Mother's approval.

Yuko photographs her creation before allowing Mother to eat it

After Mother went home, Yuko made tea and gave me a snake and a piece of chocolate.

Tea, snake, chocolate

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Wednesday, November 15 2006

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Working Late

It was a busy day at work, and I was there until 7.30pm. By that time the sky was darkening...

Sky from car when leaving work

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Tuesday, November 14 2006

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TVO

The Lane Cove council is offering a bounty on the head of the North Shore fire bug. This, along with a story about the green chemical spill in the bay were on the cover of the Mayor's personal propaganda magazine...

Shopping

I went shopping. Here's the list, which was dictated to me over the phone...

Shopping list

Later, as a reward, Yuko gave me a piece of broccoli.

Broccoli (not celery)

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Monday, November 13 2006

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Rice

Today a co-worker gave me a bland rice cake (his words).

Bland Rice Cake

Mitsy

Then, Mitsy's door handle broke! She's getting old...

Kettle

Yuko bought a funny looking kettle. It blows a whistle when the water boils just like back in the dark ages...

Kettle

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Sunday, November 12 2006

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Collaroy Again

Yuko slung her huge new lens over her shoulder and we went to Collaroy again. We also invited Mother but she cancelled at the last minute.

Yuko slings her camera, lens and monopod over her shoulder

We had lunch on The Deck and Yuko sat with the camera on her monopod taking photos of men in surfboats.

TamBayRes Music Day

Today was the annual music day at TamBayRes. I observed the activities when I went for my afternoon walk. The band was on the new wooden deck (which is now complete) and the crowd was in a frenzy of excitement...

Our street was packed with cars due to the huge crowd

The crowd (in a frenzy of excitement)

The band

From Message
Anonymous
17/11/2006
5544 Days Ago
My you do have a big lense

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Saturday, November 11 2006

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Sculpture by the Sea

There are sculptures, and there's the sea, and they're near each other!

Links...

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Friday, November 10 2006

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Thursday, November 9 2006

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Coffee
Buggy

Vito

Vito our gardener came today and did gardening. The trees along our driveway are now noticeably leaner. He stayed for 4.5 hours, so when I got home Yuko demanded my share of the money to pay him.

Driveway trees trimmed

Amber Light Man

Q: How many men does it take to change an amber light bulb?
A: See below...

Kitchen Explodes

I was working on the computer at about 8pm, when there was an explosion in the kitchen. There was a loud bang, followed by a huge cloud of steam filling the room. I jumped up in a state of panic to see what had occurred.

Yuko had been cooking something on the stove in a stoneware vessel which turned out not to be suitable for cooking on the stove. It shattered, spilling its liquid contents onto the gas flame resulting in the steam cloud.

Shattered vessel on the stove

And Yuko drank...

Yuko drinking and Dog-Blogging

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Wednesday, November 8 2006

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The aftermath of Australia's equine humiliation by the Japanese was splashed across the front pages of todays papers.

Delays

There were delays on Mr. ED today. Although it was the worst delay since I started travelling this route to work, I was only delayed about 10 minutes and still had plenty of time for breakfast at De Nero's.

Cleaning

Our woman Evonne, came today to clean the house. Yuko got her to clean the outside of our filthy disgusting kitchen window. I should have taken a "before" picture, but didn't. Be assured, it was a terrible sight!

Kitchen window after cleaning

Paper Disposal

In the evening, Yuko put out the papers to be taken by the council. I would have helped, but I was busy taking this picture...

Putting out the paper waste

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Tuesday, November 7 2006

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Horses

Today two Japanese horses humiliated Australia... and Yuko was very proud!

Cameras

When I got home, Yuko was wallowing in photographic equipment. She bought a new compact camera and a lens for her SLR. The camera is a Ricoh GR. It's a tad bigger than my IXUS and it has a good solid, heavy feel. The key feature of this camera is its lens, which is fixed (no zoom) and is supposed to be 'good' as lenses go.

Straight out of the box
Comparison with IXUS

Yuko tries it out

Meanwhile, after trying Yuko's IXY for a day, she demanded payment. But as her new Ricoh did not come with a memory card (just 26MB of built-in memory), she needed to buy back the 256MB card that was in the IXY. She therefore offered me $5 for the card which meant I only had to pay her $45 for the IXY camera.

I paid $45 for the cardless camera

And then there's the new lens... It's a monster...

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Monday, November 6 2006

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Camera Disaster

Today's coffee picture almost didn't happen.

After sitting down at a table in a quiet corner of De Nero's and getting my coffee, I took out my camera to photograph it. But lo! My beloved IXUS 40 failed to perform! When I tried to turn it on, it just beeped at me and displayed "E18" on the LCD.

Sikc IuXs

It seemed that the lens was only coming half-way out and then, when I turned the camera off, the lens got stuck and would not retract. After several attempts, I was almost ready to give up. But eventually, it worked - although it was still making an odd grinding sound.

Later, when I got home from work, I told Yuko about the camera and she offered to sell me her IXY, which she rarely uses since getting the SLR. Yuko's IXY and my IXUS are actually identical except for the name. The camera is called IXY in Japan, and IXUS here.

The asking price was $50.00. I said I would try it our for one day before deciding.

IXUS
IXY

New York's Corner

A flyer in out letterbox brought the exciting news that York's Corner is due to re-open soon.

The little corner shop, where Grandmother used to shop 35 years ago (when there was actually a Mrs. York), has been closed for months amid rumours of a scandal involving the owner who allegedly debarked to a South American tax haven with the ill-gotten proceeds of milk and bread dealings.

From Message
Laughing Mole
8/11/2006
5552 Days Ago
Did you get to SBTS yet? I was thwarted last weekend and will be thwarted this weekend, so maybe I won't get to see it.

Are you still with DreamHost? Are they any good?

From Message
Webslave
8/11/2006
5552 Days Ago
We hope to go this weekend after being thwarted last weekend.

Still with Dreamhost. They seem pretty good. More Gigabytes than you can shake a stick at for less money than the cost of a stick!

From Message
asian sexual
31/12/2007
5135 Days Ago
I haven't been up to anything lately. I've just been letting everything wash over me recently. My life's been generally boring lately.

From Message
pink visual dvds
1/01/2008
5133 Days Ago
My life's been pretty dull lately, but I guess it doesn't bother me. I haven't been up to anything recently. Maybe tomorrow. I've pretty much been doing nothing worth mentioning. I haven't gotten much done these days. Pretty much nothing seems worth thinking about.

From Message
just facial
2/01/2008
5133 Days Ago
Global Warming Isn't A Threat

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3/01/2008
5132 Days Ago
Space Exploration Benefits Our World, costs too much

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3/01/2008
5131 Days Ago
ofia accueille un forum du business bulgaro-israelien, organise par la Chambre de commerce et d“industrie de Bulgarie. La delegation israelienne comprend des representants de dix compagnies des secteurs des prestations financieres, des hautes technologies, des prestations juridiques et de consulting, de l“agriculture, de l“agroalimentaire et des telecommunications.

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Sunday, November 5 2006

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Coffee
Buggy

Camera Shopping

As I was reading the paper at Epitome, Yuko spotted an ad for Sony's new SLR camera. She then wanted to go to the Sony shop at Chatswood.

Sony advertisement

The Mandarin Centre at Chatswood
Sony Central

Yuko engaged the services of a salesman who pulled the camera out of the cabinet so that Yuko could play with it. We were moderately impressed, but fortunately she didn't buy it.

Sony on the left - Yuko's Canon on the right

Maroo Debacle

The renovations at Maroo were supposed to be finished, and they were due to re-open on October 29, so we decided to go tonight. But when I called them to make a booking, they said the renovations will take another two weeks!

Instead we went to Katsura at Neutral Bay.

Yuko and Mother near Katsura. It was raining!

Katsura has two sections - the normal section and the barbecue section. Today we decided to try the BBQ section for the first time. We ordered Wagyu Cow - a special Japanese cow which lives a life of luxury in Tasmania before being slaughtered for the pleasure of decadent North Shore dandies like us.

It was quite nice, but not as good as the cow at Maroo.

Wagyu Cow
Chicken - burned beyond recognition

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Saturday, November 4 2006

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Rain

In the morning, we looked out the window and saw that it was raining.

Yuko looks out the window and sees that it's raining

This thwarted out plans to to to SBTS.

Instead, we went to Epitome and while there I edited the video of last weekend's trip to Collaroy. But when I showed it to Yuko, she forced me to cut one scene by about 5 seconds - omitting some dialogue which I believed was critical to the artistic integrity of the piece. Despite this outrage, here it is...

Firebug

Our local firebug is penetrating the mainstream media. Today there was a full page about it in the SMH.

Firebug article

Buggy

Buggy

Clock

Yuko bought a clock. It was nicer than the clock in the kitchen, so Yuko got me to remove the kitchen clock, hang the new clock in its place, and hang the kitchen clock in the bedroom. That scene is depicted below...

Hammering the hook
Hanging the old clock in the bedroom

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Friday, November 3 2006

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Scissors

Today Yuko bought two pairs of scissors. She was very excited and spent the evening cutting paper...

Sake Debacle

In the evening I remembered the sake we had brought home from Taiki yesterday and decided to have some. But when I looked for it in the fridge, it was gone! I interrogated Yuko and she admitted to drinking it all last night while I was asleep!

I forced her to apologise.

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Thursday, November 2 2006

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Drugs and Buggies

When I went cruising at lunchtime, I saw a dude freaking out and making a spectacle of himself in the street - probably drugged up...

And two buggies...

Free Taiki

Last week Yuko went to Taiki one day to take pictures for them for use on their web site. The pictures turned out very well and Taiki management was very happy with them. In exchange for taking the photos, Taiki offered us a free dinner tonight! Of course, we also took Mother.

Arriving at Taiki
Mother on the booze

Yuko at Taiki
Nikki and Yukiko

Free Food (Note cups of white sake)

Taiki offered us sake (which we don't normally have), so as it was free we accepted. But Mother is not a big drinker anymore, having given up heavy drinking at the age of seven, so her sake was almost untouched - and I only drank half of mine because I had to drive. So when it was time to leave, we asked for a doggy bag for the sake! More of this tomorrow. Mother was also given an origami flower which, ironically, was made by one of the waitresses who is Korean.

Origami Flower
Sake in doggy bag

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Wednesday, November 1 2006

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Kingsford

Although my workplace has a carpark, it's a bit narrow and you can easily get parked in by another vehicle. So I have been parking in a nearby residential street which is about 2 minutes' walk from the office...

Mitsy at Kingsford

The religious activists in the area have unusual methods, and wear unusual head gear...

Religious activist with funny hat

TamBayRes

After work, I went for a short walk down to TamBayRes. The deck appears to be nearing completion, and the stones have moved from down near the pool to up near the ghost house. This would seem to be a waste of effort - carrying the stones down the hill, letting them sit there for a while, and then carrying them back up!

Deck

Stones - now at the top of the hill

Bird - possibly intoxicated

Keiko

After returning from my walk, Yuko wanted me to drive her over to Keiko's house at Rozelle to give her some strange green fruit.

Strange green fruit
Keiko receives fruit

From Message
Denzil
5/03/2007
5436 Days Ago
Enjoyed the funny bits. I was at school with Louis Peppou [unless this is another Louis Peppou. Unlikely.] He's going to be in London soon and I can't find his email address. Could you ask him to get back to me on denzil107@hotmail.com Oh, and do checkout 'My hands are bananas' on youtube. chairs, -Denzil

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