June 30th, 2004

How I fill the working week.

This is where I have spent most of the day when not doing any work. First off I have helped Tony and Heike move out of our flat and into their new places in The Rocks. For those not in the know, The Rocks is an amazing place to live in Sydney. It is like a tiny village right next to the City, just like Woolloomooloo but without the crime/homeless/drug dealers.

Here is a picture of Tony, their new cat (that Tony doesn’t like) and myself on their new balcony looking over the harbour. Beautiful.

After this I met Tag my Norweigan friend for lunch to celebrate the end of her exams. We went to a restaurant called Manta Ray. She is a bad influence when it comes to alcohol and we ended up having two of these strawberry margeritas –

That’s it.

June 29th, 2004

I set off this morning at an early 07h30 hours for the 300km drive to Canberra. Canberra is Australia’s capital, a ‘new city’ that had to be built as part of Queen Victoria signing the Constitution Act that created the Australian Commonwealth. The town was designed by a resident of Chicago, Illinois – so it feels very American. It reminded me of Geneva, Switzerland as it has the lake with government type building surrounding it, the hills and a very similar water jet in the lake.

The drive there is one long lonely road, most of the scenery looks like this, which is nice at first, but it doesn’t feel like you aren’t getting anywhere after about 2 hours of driving –

First stop, after the tourist information centre, was the National Museum of Australia – it was very interesting, had lots about the wildlife in Australia and how most of it was dead now thanks to us Europeans bring in ‘useful’ animals like cows and sheep. I found there a lot of references to aboriginals and alcohol, I came out thinking they were trying to give the impression they are all drunks! This was the path from the carpark, a clever design but a little bit confusing –

In the distance you can see the Telstra Tower which deceptively looks like it is behind the hill, when actually it is on top of it (more on this later).

I then went into the ‘City Centre’ which is tiny, although it does have a good record shop where I bought Mogwai – Mogwai Young Team for $20 (to kill some time in that car journey back). Whilst in the town I decided to pick up a map of Canberra and find out more about NASA’s Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex. I asked the tourist information lady for the map as well as what the opening times were for the CDSCC – to which she replied “It got burnt down in the fires” – I looked at her with a “oh? what fires?” expression to which she replied “the fires… last year?” – still using facial expressions I replied with a “no never heard of them” she replied “THE FIRES THAT NEARLY KILLED US ALL IN JANUARY LAST YEAR, DON’T YOU KNOW THEM?” – so I just said “no..sorry, thanks for the map” and ran away. Thanks to google I now know what she means – you can too.

I picked up a leaflet on Parliament House and decide that is the next place I shall visit on my list. Parliament House sits on top of a hill in the middle of the town, it has a road that leads almost up to the door. At first I was apprehensive if I should just drive my stupid car up to the door of the nations capitol. I could just imagine seeing the security guards looking at me with apprehension in their faces and then take the car and me out in a blaze of machine gun fire. However, after driving around Parliament House twice I decided it was the only way in. To my amazement, there was hardly any security and tourist parking was underneath the building!! This is me outside Parliament House –

This is the House of Representatives, which is the equivalent of the House of Commons (although the House of Commons was opened in 1852 and the House of Representatives 136 years later in 1988).

After being amazed by the lack of security at this place, I went to the Telstra Tower to take a look at the whole of Canberra (which is a very little place). It cost $3.30 to get in and was the only entry fee I had to pay all day. Here is a view of Canberra from the top of the tower –

I had to take a picture of the stupid car as the masts on the tower were interfereing with the radio controlled locking system. I was concered he might have driven away by himself and off the mountain.

Afterwards I drove to the Canberra War Memorial, it was 16h55 and everything closes at 17h00, all I really wanted to see was the Iraq section so I rushed through the building only to be told the section was closed. However, all hope was not lost, on the way back to the stupid car I spotted this little guy, the first wild ‘roo’ I’ve seen –

After this I drove back the 300km to Sydney but in the dark and with my new CD. The journey back felt much quicker, probably because I couldn’t see those mountains!!

June 27th, 2004

Is it a message from god? Or is it just we will never be able to get away from advertising!!!

June 26th, 2004

The Yes Men is a film about a couple of guys that run the website GATT.ORG. The site is pretty much a copy of WTO.INT the proper World Trade Organisation website. The film is about their appearances as WTO officials on television and at conferences around the world. They end the film be closing giving an announcement that the WTO is to close down, to which the audience of accountants respond positively to!!!

The film is a great little documentary. More can be found out about these guys at The Yes Men website.

I give this film –

And so that concludes the Sydney Film Festvial 🙁 A good film to end on.

June 24th, 2004

“A rebellious teen from a devout Muslim family discovers everything he likes is forbidden: music, poetry, and of course, movies”

This film was good. A autobiography from Iran. I recommend seeing this it has some great shots of Iran and the story line is good.

My only problem was with the ending. After a while the film didn’t appear to be going anywhere. When it ended everyone in the cinema seemed a little shocked. The ending could have been a little ‘better’. That’s why I give this film –

June 23rd, 2004

Recently I mentioned I got a GMAIL account and that I had to ‘trade’ something for the account. Well thanks to some help from C******** I have made the sign. See below –

June 23rd, 2004

Having only a few days left of the film festival, but 4 tickets left (and not getting up in time for the ones I planned on seeing or them selling out) – I went to see this film with no expectations. The film is about a guy that is choosen in his South African village to make the trip to the holy land of Jerusalem. Of course when he gets there it is not what he expects and ends up getting put into jail, to be bailed out by a man that makes him work cleaning houses.

The concept sounds crazy but it really works. I really enjoyed this film and as so it gets

More information on this film can be found at the official website.

June 21st, 2004

“Film-makers Tahir Cambis (Exile in Sarajevo, SFF ’97) and Helen Newman’s brand-new documentary is a free-wheeling expansive study of democracy, western civilisation and the relationship between America and Australia. The film also analyses the intersecting of Australia’s refugee policy and the war on terror.”

This film was ok, it was a documentary that was started in 2000 and ended a couple of weeks ago in 2004. I think the film-makers started off making a documentary about Australians and ended up just making a documentary about things happening in the world. I got a little bit lost at this concept when it was first talking about Australians relationship to the Queen and then they were in an Earthquake region of Afganhistan. The film appeared to only give one view on things as well as giving time to fanatics who have hallucinogenic visions of how the world should be run (namely ‘Jack’ the ex-green beret).

June 21st, 2004

This documentary covers the Al Jazeera news network from before the start of the American/UK War against Iraq. The film gives an insight at what goes on at Al Jazeera HQ in Qatar as well as in Iraq during the war. It proves the channel is not the propoganda outlet or “Osama Bin-Laden’s mouthpiece” which Donald Rumsfeld has apparently called it.

This is a brilliant movie that does not draw conclusions and if it is propganda for Al Jazeera then it was too clever for me to notice. Read a better review here.

June 19th, 2004

I am now a Gmail account owner, my email address is –

I got the account via GMail Swap – I had to offer something for Swap. My offer was to hold a sign up with anything the person wanted (within reason) outside the Sydney Opera House and then to take a photograph of it and send it to them. Within 5 minutes I have my invite to Gmail and here I am. I will post the picture when I have done it!

As for GMAIL it is pretty good. Not that I am trying to boast, but they use the same layer hiding methods that I do in corporate things I have done to make the site appear very very fast.