The Noswonky Web Log:
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Friday, September 5 2008[ Link to this entry ]
Today was Yuko's birthday. She received some gifts and got very excited...
We will celebrate more fully tomorrow.
Tuesday, September 2 2008[ Link to this entry ]
Now that I'm working in the city (more or less) again, Yuko can meet me after work for dinner. So that's what we did today.
But before that, I was forced to perform a bizarre ritual...
At the place where I park my car, the early-bird rate - $15/day - requires that you exit the carpark by 7pm. As our dining would easily extend beyond 7pm, I would lose my earlybird rights, and thus be forced to pay $48!
So instead, I returned to the carpark before meeting Yuko, paid my $15 and drove my car out into the street. I then did one lap of the block and drove back into the same carpark and parked there again. By doing this, I only had to pay $12 for the rest of the evening making a total of $27 for the day - a saving of $21!
I met Yuko at the QVB and we went to Akaneya. The footpath outside the restaurant was undergoing an archaeological dig, requiring us to cross a flimsy bridge-of-death to reach the door...
|Akaneya and the bridge of death|
Once inside we ate, drank and made merry...
Yuko ordered rice, but didn't eat it and asked for a doggy bag. She then ate it as a rice ball in the car as we drove home...
|Yuko eats a rice ball in the car|
4185 Days Ago
Monday, September 1 2008[ Link to this entry ]
Shortly after setting out in the morning to drive to work I heard a traffic report on the radio saying that a truck had toppled over on the Harbour Bridge. Then, when I got to the freeway approach, the big electronic sign said that the Bridge was CLOSED! So I took the exit at Artarmon and caught the train instead.
But when the train got to Wollstonecraft, the driver announced that we had to wait there because a helicopter was landing on the Bridge and all trains were stopped!
When we eventually crossed the bridge I got a good view of the carnage...
Sunday, August 31 2008[ Link to this entry ]
Today at Epitome, Yuko freaked out. Readers familiar with Yuko's calm deameanour may find this hard to believe, but here's the picture...
|Yuko freaks out|
I didn't think fish had necks. But they do (apparently) because tonight Yuko ate one. But even knowing that fish have necks, I still don't understand why you would eat a fish's neck.
We also drank beer, which I understand much better...
Wednesday, August 27 2008[ Link to this entry ]
The Canon sign is looking sick - all the letters appear to have fallen off...
Today I witnessed what appeared to be a photo shoot in an unlikely setting...
Tuesday, August 26 2008[ Link to this entry ]
Today I avoided the battery-chicken train and drove to the city. I have found a place where they have early-bird parking for $15. This is the cheapest I've ever seen in the city. I used to pay $30/day!
Monday, August 25 2008[ Link to this entry ]
Today I started yet another new job.
This time I'm working for an online media organisation which is located in the city (more or less).
I went to the city by train for my first day. Even at 7.30 am, the commuters on the train from Artarmon were packed in like battery chickens. The evening commute was even worse. Now I remember why I used to drive to the city when I worked there in 2007. I think I'll be driving in the future.
Sorry Green Man!
My first priority on arriving in the city was to find a place to have coffee! I found a nice looking cafe called Dinky-Di where all the staff were chinese. The coffee was reasonable, although it was in a take-away cup (see top pic). I may return there.
My first day was interesting. I think I might go back tomorrow!
My iPod Touch asked me to upgrade its software (which I had to pay for). So I clicked the button to upgrade, and the result at the end of the process was that my iPod was broken!! That evil Steve Jobs again!!
|This helpful message appeared after the upgrade|
|My iPod displayed this screen continuously after the upgrade|
Sunday, August 24 2008[ Link to this entry ]
Part 1 of the adventure can now be revealed...
I found a pile of rocks...
When we go to Asian restaurants with Mother, we always ask for a fork for her because she's not a chopstick user. So at Maroo tonight, at the end of our order I asked for 'one fork'. As usual, they forgot and I had to ask again when they brought the first course.
But when they finally brought the cutlery, they gave us three forks! I assume this was because we are not Korean.
Saturday, August 23 2008[ Link to this entry ]
There was a medium sized game at SIC today. Unlike previous occasions, they were not letting cars park on the fields. This resulted in traffic chaos outside our house.
Usually, prior to such a game they send us a letter offering us a free sausage on the day to placate us, lest we wreak vengance upon them. But not this time...
Friday, August 22 2008[ Link to this entry ]
We ran out of croissants, so we had to go out for breakfast (which we don't normally do on a weekday). We decided to go to Aristocrat instead of Epitome. Yuko likes Aristocrat, but there are only a few good tables with adequate separation from other diners.
Aristocrat is an 'Olympic zone', with the games being shown on the wall with a video projector, and flags adorning the ceiling...
|Flags in Aristocrat|
|Aristocrat's outside area is enclosed|
|Yuko at Aristocrat|
Our bird feeder is becoming popular with the local avian population...
Thursday, August 21 2008[ Link to this entry ]
I went to the city by train today to sus out how to get to work when I start my new job next week. I had never been there because the interviews I had were conducted at a different location.
While in the city, I chanced upon this...
This restaurant occupies the premises in York Street, of a place we used to go when it was a very nice underground bookshop/cafe. I was shocked to see that it has now become a Japanese restaurant with a mis-spelled name!
The mis-spelling makes one doubt it's authenticity. But it's possible that the mis-spelling is to avoid a name conflict with another restaurant called Wasabi (there is one).
In the evening we took Mother to the Red Chopstick - our first visit there since before our trip. We also had coffee at Epitome where Yuko blatantly brandished her new iPhone...
|Yuko brandishes her iPhone|
Wednesday, August 20 2008[ Link to this entry ]
A few days ago I mentioned that I had been approached about using one of my YouTube videos on a TV program. At first it appeared that they were trying to obtain the rights to use the clip for free. Their web site seems to be soliciting people to upload their clips with only the promise of being entered in a competition rather than being paid an appropriate fee.
For this reason I declined the offer on principle.
However, they then came back with an offer of payment! So, after discussion with the cast, I decided to make a deal.
I've never seen the show (I'm not sure it has even started yet), but it's on (or will be on) channel Ten on Friday (or Saturday) night and appears to be a low budget program which avoids the need to generate original content by sourcing its material from the Internet.
|Yuko watches the location marker moving on the map as we drive to the shops|
In the afternoon we went to Aristocrat (not Epitome) for coffee so that Yuko could try her iPhone 'in the field'.
|Yuko computing at Aristocrat|
The garlic bread at Aristocrat sucks!
Monday, August 18 2008[ Link to this entry ]
Yuko decided she wanted to go and look at the iPhone today, so we went to the city by bus!
After looking at the iPhone at the Apple shop, we went to an Optus shop to try to get a demo of the internet speed on a mobile network (as opposed to WiFi). They couldn't do that at Apple! The Optus demo was adequate, so Yuko decided to buy it!
But Optus didn't have stock, so we returned to the Apple shop where you have to make an appointment to buy a phone. Unfortunately there were no more appointment slots left for today, so Yuko will have to come back tomorrow.
|Yuko observes iPhone|
The Woolworths project at Lane Cove is now seriously progressing...
Saturday, August 16 2008[ Link to this entry ]
After breakfast, we went in search of wildlife. We found a couple of crocs but I decided not to wrestle them...
We also saw a 'wedding buggy'...
It was our last day on the island. We still had a couple of beers in the fridge. I thought we should donate them to the poor, but Yuko insisted on drinking them - one before breakfast and one after...
Then we waited for the bus to take us to the airport...
And we rode an aeroplane back to civilisation...
When we got home, Wii told us that we were fat pigs!
4206 Days Ago
4205 Days Ago
Friday, August 15 2008[ Link to this entry ]
Today we left our hotel early (9am) to go and have breakfast with the koalas. A nearby wildlife park offers breakfast next to some trees with koalas sitting in them.
Strangely, we didn't have to pay for this, although they did ask us our hotel and room number, so we assume that this breakfast counts as the breakfast which is included with our room. It appears all the businesses on the island are linked so that you can charge anything to your hotel account.
The beakfast was barely adequate, but the koalas were unusually active (for koalas) so Yuko got some good pictures.
|Koalas (inactive when this picture was taken)|
Later we walked into a residential area of the island where tourists don't normally go. We saw a house for sale. I was surprised to learn that you can actually see whaling happening from the balcony...
|Whaling! And space for two buggies|
|This is what the rich islanders keep in their garages|
Our earlier visit to the beach was at low tide when the dumped concrete and silt was exposed. So today we went at high tide to see the beach looking more like a beach should look...
|The way a beach should look (it only looks like this for two hours per day).|
I thought this was a vertical trampoline. But actually it's a video screen for the pub across the road...
Again we were too lazy to go out for dinner, so we went to the poolside restaurant at our hotel. It's called The Poolside Restaurant - a highly original name...
Thursday, August 14 2008[ Link to this entry ]
I have received two (2) offers in one day to use one of my videos for commercial purposes.
The first involves placing a link to a product web site in the video description on YouTube. However, I think this would violate the YouTube terms of service.
The second involves me giving permission for a TV program to use my video for their commercial purposes (ie: increasing their ratings and thus advertising revenue), for no compensation other than being entered in a competition.
This sounds like they want to exploit me ruthlessly.
We decided to walk out onto the expanse of sand which becomes exposed every low tide. On the way, we found another pool that's nicer than ours...
We went walking in the afternoon to get some more exercise. We decided to walk to the airport, which takes less than 20 minutes from our hotel.
We were just in time to see a plane taking off.
|Plane taking off|
While walking back from the airport, I noticed that the marina looks uncannily like the one in the opening titles of Gilligan's Island...
* Actually, the 'Tropic Port' rather than the island
Wednesday, August 13 2008[ Link to this entry ]
The island has an abundance of white cockatoos. This morning some of them visited our room. A sign on our glass door asks us not to feed the wildlife...
We had lunch lazily beside the pool...
Then, in an attempt to negate our excessive eating, we went for an arduous trek along a 'scenic trail' which took us into the wild interior of the island. We reached a hilltop lookout where the best view was from atop a picnic table...
|Standing on the table for the best view|
|View from the lookout|
4210 Days Ago
Webslave (also not lesbian)|
4209 Days Ago
4207 Days Ago
Tuesday, August 12 2008[ Link to this entry ]
We realized today that we will need protection from the tropical sun, so we both bought dorky looking hats.
|My dorky hat|
Then we went exploring.
We found that the hotel next to ours has a nicer pool! Then we went and looked at the beach. We found that it is sub-standard. The main problem with the beach is that large parts of it are covered with dumped concrete! The rest is excessively rocky, making it unsuitable for walking on without heavy duty boots for protection.
This is the reason I decline to swim in the sea...
There are almost no cars on the island. Instead, the most popular form of transport is The Buggy. These can be rented for only about twice the price of a regular rental car. We decided not to rent one.
We went to the Marina, which is the centre of activity on the island. It's only a ten-minute walk away, but we took the shuttle bus so as to maximise our cabon emissions.
Later, Yuko relaxed on our balcony...
|Relaxing on the balcony|
4211 Days Ago
4210 Days Ago
Monday, August 11 2008[ Link to this entry ]
As prdicted, today something happened. But it was only one thing - not two.
We flew in an aeroplane to an Island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.
When we arrived on the island, we discovered that my luggage had taken a different route and will not arrive until tomorrow!
We checked into a dandy hotel overlooking the sea...
Later, we surveyed the scene and ate some food. Then Yuko blogged into the night....
|Island by night|
Sunday, August 10 2008[ Link to this entry ]
Nothing happened this weekend.
Something will happen tomorrow - perhaps two things.
Friday, August 8 2008[ Link to this entry ]
Today, being a weekday we stayted home and I made breakfast...
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The Olympic Games has begun. So far the countries beginning with 'A' are not doing too well...
Thursday, August 7 2008[ Link to this entry ]
Today was my last day of employment. A small farewell lunch was held at The Ranch and I was given the tradiditional card and gift. The Ranch is close enough to our office to walk there, so we did... but this turned out to be a less than optimal decision.
The problem with walking there, was not the walking there, but the walking back. As we made our way along Epping Road, it began to rain - just enough to force us to start running.
We reached an office building (not ours) with a big awning over the entrance, so we took temporary shelter there. Then the rain became a deluge, and we were trapped - still perhaps 200 metres from our own office.
|Rain viewed from the building were we were trapped|
|My team members wait out the rain in the foyer|
After a while we discovered a small cafe in the building and waited there drinking coffee and reading newspapers. Eventually the rain eased and we were able to make the final dash to our own office.
We had been trapped for more than half an hour!
4214 Days Ago
4214 Days Ago
4189 Days Ago
4163 Days Ago
Tuesday, August 5 2008[ Link to this entry ]
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On the way, I saw a large number of boats clogging Cockle Bay. I later learned that this is the Boat Show (which explains why there are so many boats)...
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Then, on the way home I saw a buggy...
Monday, August 4 2008[ Link to this entry ]
In February this year, Lila Salter, the 17 year-old grand-daughter of a reader of this blog (who posts as Lady Macbeth) was murdered in Vrindavan, India. I didn't write about it at the time, although it was prominent in the Australian media.
Now a petition has been started to urge the Indian government to deploy police to the area which is known to be dangerous, particularly for foreign visitors.
Please visit the Safe Vrindavan Campaign.
|SMH from Feb 4th with the story about Lila Salter|
Saturday, August 2 2008[ Link to this entry ]
We now have a bird feeder - expertly installed by Vito (our gardener) based on Yuko's original design...
Yuko is Japanese, and the Japanese like gadgets, and Yuko likes gadgets even more than most Japanese. So today she wanted to go and look at the iPhone - although she promised not to buy one.
We went to Chatswood and had a demo of the iPhone at an Optus shop. Yuko didn't buy it. Then we went to Harvey Norman for no particular reason and Yuko became entranced by the Eee PC. She didn't buy that either.
|Yuko looks at Eeeeeee|
However, she did buy a wireless mouse - after becoming disillusioned with her Dell Bluetooth mouse which she bought with her laptop. It has caused Yuko nothing but trouble and she is now much happier with a simple USB device. She tried it out at a cafe before we left the shopping centre.
|Mouse - The USB receiver is small enough to leave plugged in permanently|
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