Support a cause

September 28, 2006 at 10:04 am | Posted in General | Leave a comment

Got a headache or hangover? Use Herron because at the moment they’re supporting youngcare and the establishment of a Young Care centre so that young people with high care needs have their own specialist place to live instead of the aged care homes they must use at the moment.

I’m back! – an update

September 28, 2006 at 9:48 am | Posted in General | Leave a comment

Well after an eventful past few weeks searching for and finding a new apartment I am now moved in and my cable’s been installed! The new place is a little cosier than the last one but it’s clean and things work (well other than the blind in the bedroom). Best of all, it has views! I can see the Opera House and Bridge on one side and Rushcutters Bay on the other. Very cool.

As you may have guessed I haven’t been updating the blog (that includes studying languages – big suprise!) but obviously now that things have normalised so too will the sightseeing.  With a long weekend coming up I’m hoping to catch up on a few places.

Podcast update

September 12, 2006 at 12:04 pm | Posted in French Lessons, General, Podcasts | Leave a comment

I have to apologise for forgetting to include this site for studying French in my discussion of language learning by podcast. I’ve used this for a little while and I think it’s pretty good and it is distinctly different to Japanese and Chinese pod. Personally, I quite like the musical interludes. Although as discussed before, like a balanced diet you need to mix the podcasts up with other modes of study to get the most benefit.

Also, Josh in Japan is back. So for a gaijin’s guide to Japan check him out. OK for some reason the link function isn’t working and the html isn’t showing any discrepancies so…JiJ’s site is:

Now on a random note, I’ve been looking at hundreds of emails at work today and it strikes me as odd that in this day and age people would submit registration emails like: or So weird.

Goodbye funky phones, hello simplicity

September 11, 2006 at 1:53 pm | Posted in General, Headphones, i-mate, Music | Leave a comment

Today I finally threw out my funky, relatively unique in the world of ear buds, headphones. I didn’t really want to but, like all other headphones before them they died. At least they didn’t zap my ears like the last pair. I don’t believe these Philips’ ones were of a poor, Sony battery quality, rather through poor compatibility with that other favoured device of mine – my I-mate Jam. First off I love my I-mate and even though I’m jealous of my manager for having a newer version I still don’t feel particularly compelled to buy a new one, not while I can still transfer TV, music and movies onto my 1GB SD card.

My complaint is that the JAM’s headphone jack is the inferior 2.5mm, with most headphone jacks are a standard 3.5mm. The earpiece that came with the phone was just a hands-free device not suited for music and the adaptor to convert normal headphones is a bit bulky, causes instability in the volume and eventually the death of the headphones (at least in my experience with 3 different adaptors and 3 headphones in the past year). One example that is supposed to work is here.

Ultimately, I just don’t understand the reasoning behind installing a 2.5mm in an otherwise high-tech and useful device. So until I can afford to buy a more suitable I-mate (if one exists) or a similar PDA phone I’m left with regular, uninteresting, non-conversation starting ear buds. Although I did go with Philips again and they do seem ok. A day in.

If anyone can explain I-mate’s decision to use the small headphones it’d be appreciated.

Meanwhile, I-mate get your act together!

Messed up Mash-ups

September 10, 2006 at 12:06 pm | Posted in Blogs, General, Music | Leave a comment

Well this story isn’t cool. Since when were mash-ups high on the corporate legal concerns? Or have I been under a rock. Makes me want to download this song.

Assuming I’m understanding anything properly here.

Procrastinating Active Procrastinating

September 10, 2006 at 11:03 am | Posted in General | Leave a comment

Sadly I didn’t manage to go to a Sydney venue this week and indeed I’m not sure I’ll make it to one at all during September. As some of you know my apartment was recently sold and I have to move by the end of the month. To that end when I’d normally travel around town I’ll be looking for a place, packing and moving. I’m hopeful that during the October long weekend I can catch up.

Speaking of the sale, the real estate agent told me it was privately done and it seems odd that this was done sight unseen as I was never informed of an inspection. Furthermore, where my hot water tank is used to have a layer of …something…on the floor but now that’s largely gone. Therefore, I’ve got a sensation that perhaps the owner has perhaps been coming in unannounced. Prefer not to think about it too much.

On the plus side I’ve decided to renew my focus on languages. With 16 weeks to go in the year I’ve decided to structure the Languages page on a week by week goals list. Also, copying the concept from Ruby I’ll be writing a small blog for each language per week. Granted for Chinese and Japanese it will be of the “I am a student, this is my book” variety. French will consist of lots of bad grammar.

More birthday madness

September 10, 2006 at 9:36 am | Posted in General | Leave a comment

OK so let’s try this again…On Wednesday I went for a belated birthday dinner at Sel et Poivre in Darlinghurst. It was a great night with excellent food and classic French service (there’s a sizeable amount of sarcasm on that one). All in all a cool night with Danielle, Jenai and Amy. We all had an entree, they had pasta for mains and I had a beef casserole, which was delicious. There was no need for the steak knife they provided. Yum! Also feeling a bit glutinous as I was the only one eating dessert I ate a Creme Brulee. It was a good size but I have eaten better. Still good though.  

The girls gave me some thoughtful and cool gifts, thank you! Then we headed to the Green Park Hotel for some more drinks. Fun times.  

Best work birthday ever.

September 5, 2006 at 1:18 pm | Posted in General | Leave a comment

I’ve been at my new job for about a month and I was surprised that last week when I had my birthday they not only took me out for lunch but gave me gifts, surprisingly neat gifts given that they don’t really know me. All of this, plus the general vibe, has made this the best work birthday ever. Which sadly is pretty indicative of my past workplaces.

I’m really enjoying work. While it is quite repetitive I am nonetheless busy and have very little free time. In particular, I love being in Martin Place where there’s always something going on, whether concerts, rowdy protests or free things being given away. All of this plus the wall of office towers on either side add to the sense of being literally in the middle of things.

On a final note some finance guy was saying how coffee grounds are going up in price so that’s not good for my caffeine addiction!


September 4, 2006 at 12:01 pm | Posted in General | Leave a comment

By now this has done the rounds but still the death of ‘Crocodile HunterSteve Irwin is still so suprising. I know it’s terrible but I kind of wish that if he had to die in the field it was from a crocodile. Also, I’d never have thought of a stingray as deadly. Poor Auntie’s website (ABC) was down when the story broke. I had to survive with only and

Condolences to the family.

The perfect combo: Spanish Festival and High Tea

September 3, 2006 at 11:43 am | Posted in Food, Out and About, Sydney, Travel | 1 Comment

Today was the Spanish Festival in the so-called Spanish Quarter of Sydney. Realistically it’s normally more of a street or a small L than a “Quarter”. However, today the Spanish Quarter took up Kent and Leichardt streets, near Chinatown. The Festival with all of its food, people and performances was a lot of fun. This annual event showcases Spanish food, drink and culture. Luckily it didn’t take that long to be served for food or wander around – except for the Churros that had such a long line I gave up. Meanwhile I ate a Chorizo and some Sangria! They were tasty! Granted I’ve never really had either so it’s hard to compare but it was good.


More people.


Churro Stand – long line (wider than my lense!)

French Restaurant in the ‘Spanish Quarter’

I watched some of the performances, a guitarist and some dancers – quite cool. Although I’ve realised that I need to work on my photography skills to compensate for movement. The dancers came out a little blurry (below). It only took an hour to wander and eat even with the hubbub of activity and people although with events throughout the day I imagine you could easily spend longer or come back for whatever you’d like to see.



More Dancing!

Performers on stilts – One frazzled, one cheery. Guess who’s who!

Next year, come check out the Spanish Festival.

What works well with Spanish hot-dogs? High Tea, I hear you say and you would be absolutely correct.

I met with Tam, Danielle and Amy at the Victoria Room in Darlinghurst. The Victoria Room is nicely decorated with plush leather couches and dim but inviting lighting. The staff were very friendly and helpful providing good service and even a vegetarian option. While they were reasonably good at refilling teapots and ice water the milk was not replenished as quickly. Nonetheless given how busy it became we looked after quite well.

I admit when I first saw the High Tea food tray I thought we were going to be ripped off but after eating up all of the sandwiches, scones and cakes we were all satisfied. Drinking copious amounts of tea (I had Prince of Wales, they had Earl Grey) and Champagne it’s hard not to be! Personally, I wasn’t a fan of the Cucumber Sandwiches (1 of 4 types) or the Shortbread but everyone else liked them.  While initially I wonder whether $38.50 was value for money I ultimately decide that given the food and drink we were given plus the 3 hours we sat around and chatted that High Tea at the Victoria Room is a well worth it, once in a while event.

High Tea


High Tea – Vegetarian

As usual more photos on Flickr.

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