Dandyism Incarnate

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Nan Desu Ka?

Today we asked the question “Nan Desu Ka?” – which is Japanese for “What is it?”. The answer was surprising…

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Getting Air

Today Yuko’s Macbook Air finally arrived after some debacles with the delivery process.

Apparently it’s been sitting  in the warehouse in Sydney for nearly two weeks because TNT thought our address was invalid! Actually it’s valid, but we had to call them and tell them before they would even attempt delivery.

Part of the ‘Air’ is Yuko’s Christmas present from me – I paid for the extras. Yuko was very happy indeed…

Of course, she took her new toy to the cafe…

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Tree Succumbs to Gravity

In the afternoon, a dude knocked on my door and asked if I owned the car which was parked outside. I didn’t, but he was asking because the road had been partially blocked by a fallen tree and the car was blocking the other side.

I went out to gawk…

Yuko was at the gym, and was due home soon. I was concerned that she would freak out it she arrived home and was blocked by a tree. I sent her an SMS to warn her.

A ranger came and blocked the road while a gardener from the college started cutting up the tree with a chain saw. Then I helped them to move the pieces onto the nature strip.

While this was happening Yuko did arrive home and her car was stopped by the ranger. She hadn’t seen my message. I jumped in the car (and Yuko jumped out) and I drove it around the block to get into our street from the other end. Meanwhile, Yuko took pictures of the tree.

Later a dude brought a four-wheel-drive and used a chain to pull the last heavy branch down from the tree.

The whole episode was very exciting indeed!

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Losing a Camera

We went to Epitome in the morning and played with our computers…

In the evening, Yuko went to a party. It was some kind of anniversary celebration for the kindergarten where Yuko used to work. It was held at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel in the city.

When she was ready to come home, she called me and I drove over to pick her up. It was around this time that the debacle began to unfold…

Four Points Hotel

Yuko was waiting out the front of the hotel when I arrived. She jumped in the car and we headed home. When we stopped outside our house, Yuko uttered the dreaded words: “Where’s my camera?”

It quickly became apparent that she had left it somewhere at the hotel!

She called the hotel and after negotiating the usual automated menu system, got through to the dude who deals with lost property – Eric. He said that no camera had been handed in, but said he would ask the staff to look for it in the area where Yuko thought she had left it – on a chair in the foyer.

After a few minutes, he called back to say they had found it! It was still on the chair where Yuko had left it – at least 40 minutes earlier!

So we jumped in the car and drove back to the hotel. I waited in the car while Yuko when inside. She emerged holding the camera. She was very happy indeed…

Yuko emerges with the errant camera

For helping her to negotiate this debacle, I told Yuko that she has to be nice to me for one week. However, instead she gave me ten ‘points’ which entitle me to ten points worth of niceness over the coming days.

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Yuko Doesn’t Win Photo Competition

Tonight we attended the awards night for the Lane Cove ‘Captured’ Photography Competition. The theme this year was ‘One Village, One Earth’ – which we didn’t really understand. We took it to mean that entries should convey the co-existence of humans (the Village) and the natural environment (the Earth).

People milled about viewing the photos on display in the foyer of the council building. There appeared to be fewer entries this year…

People Milling

Yuko assesses the competition

There was free alcohol available for anyone who walked in off the street. We drank in moderation.

We had entered five pictures (the maximum allowed) each. But on the night, there is only one picture by each photographer on display. Yuko’s pictures were all of kookaburras, with some man-made stuff to represent the ‘Village’.

While there were a lot of very good photos, I didn’t think that many of them matched the theme very well.

Yuko’s picture (below) has the kookaburra (Earth) and a man-made structure (Village)…

However, Yuko’s success of last year was not repeated. At least I was able to repeat my failure of last year. The winners can be seen on the Council’s competition web site.

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3D Ladders

At Epitome today, I wore 3D glasses.

This created the illusion that whichever direction I looked, Harley Davidson was always standing on a ladder…

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The Canadian

Back in January, we held a Garage Sale. One of our customers that day was a ‘Retired Canadian’ (that’s what it said on his business card), who said that he was a collector of cameras and lenses – particularly Nikon.

As Yuko is now a Nikon user, she decided to give the Canadian a call to see if she could try out some of his lenses. He said he had some time in the afternoon, so we went over to his house located in a dandy suburb not far from Riverview.

He took us around the back of his house and through the garage into a labyrinth of rooms which was like an Aladdin’s cave of riches. We gawked in awe at the treasures and trinkets on display.

The Canadian in his Aladdin's Cave

Sure enough, he had some cameras…

And some movie cameras…

And some polaroid cameras…

The Canadian said that ‘most’ of his cameras we not even on display as they were securely locked away.

The Canadian had recently purchased a Nikon Digital SLR for taking pictures (as opposed to collecting), and it was actually the model below Yuko’s Nikon D700. The main different being that Yuko’s camera has a full sized sensor while the Candian’s does not. Yuko was interested in wide angle lenses, so the Canadian went away and came back with some lenses to try. He demonstrated why an 8mm lens is not very useful on a camera with a full sized sensor…

8mm lens on Yuko's camera

We went outside to try out some other lenses. The Canadian took a picture of Yuko…

Which we then examined on his computer…

The end result was that the Canadian didn’t want to lend any of his lenses, but he may be willing to sell one. It was a very exciting afternoon indeed!

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Last Day of Employment

Today was my last day of employment. But strangely, due to unusual circumstances, it was not my last day at the company.

We ate meat as usual, but the shade umbrella where we usually sit has been shredded and is now just a stick. This meant that we were all irradiated with potentially lethal doses of solar radiation, but at least the meat was good.

Cooking Meat

After work, we decided to celebrate my new unemployed status by drinking beer at the Red Chopstick. We had a table for eight people, although there were only two of us – that’s dandy.

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Origami Tigers

It’s the year of the Tiger, and today there were two (2) ‘Origami’ Tigers outside Customs House. Origami is perhaps a surprising choice for a Chinese symbol. However, the Japanese also use the Chinese astrological symbols. The confusing part is that in Japan, the year of the tiger starts on January 1st. This means that the Chinese and Japanese years are out of sync in January and part of February.

There were two tigers, but I choose to show only one

After work I met Yuko in Martin place. I found her photographing the Cenotaph…

We then went to the Italian restaurant which is in the old Post Office building. I don’t remember the name of the place. We sat outside on the ‘verandah’.

The food was very nice indeed, but the waiter who served us was an arrogant bastard.

We sat next to a very hot and very bright flood-lamp. I didn’t bother us except that we had to be careful not to let out bags (or bodies) touch it lest they melt…

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Valentine Time Shift

Rather than be packed into a restaurant like sardines on Valentines day (as has happened on some previous occasions) we decided to avoid the crowds by celebrating Valentines day a day early.

So we booked a table at Epitome for tonight. But Harley Davidson told us that due to a lack of demand, he was not opening for dinner on the 14th anyway (they are usually closed on Sunday evening).

We arrived early and enjoyed a quite meal. We took the wine which was given to us by the estate agents. It therefore cost $45000 – but that was for two bottles. We only drank the white tonight…

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