March 30th, 2008

I seem to be on a bit of a role in regards to wordpress widgets. I notice with the ever increasing amount of entries on the blog, the more inaccessible some of the content was becoming. This sucks a bit and a I want people to be able to see some of the best posts on my blog. I also want them to get some eye candy in the process such as a thumbnail.

Here’s the widget in action or see the sidebar of this blog –

Download the best posts wordpress widget here spotlight.zip 5kb

March 30th, 2008

Easter 2008, a break from the normal ritual of going to far North NSW we headed to Fingal Bay instead. Fingal Bay, is a bay about 3 hours drive North of Sydney, slightly south of Seal Rocks.

The scenary up there reminded us all of the television series LOST as it is pretty amazing. On one of the days we went on a walk to an Island which is separated by a sandbar to the mainland. It fills with water which makes the crossing dangerous in rough seas. Fortunetly for us it was pretty calm that day, the pictures don’t really do the scenary justice (although they are very good pictures thanks Marcus and Nancy for letting me use them).


Me Mid-air Fingal Bay

The house we booked into had a trampoline in the garden which provided hours of slightly dangerous fun, here’s Amy doing some special trick –


Amy Trampoline Air

Marcus and Nancy made a special Mars Bar cake, which I believe was one of Scott’s reciepes and involves a lot of sugar. It was absolutely delicious!!!!!

Nancy is a bit of a stunt kite user, here she is on Marcus’ new kite getting some serious air –


Nancy Getting Air with Kite

Unfortunetly that concludes the pictures of people not touching the ground, but here is a great picture of Rachel, Lorraine, Gemma, Amy, Nancy, Josh, Marcus and I around the dinner table with some of the magnificent food that was being cooked that weekend –


Around the Dinner Table

A great weekend and a really relaxing Easter!

March 30th, 2008

My $99 Nokia phone starting cutting out of phone calls after about 30 seconds, it was a bit frustrating to say the least. So I decided I would get the jesus phone but would wait for the official version to arrive here in Australia. I waited, waited some more and then waited loads. I finally got fed up with the Nokia and fed up with Telstra and fed up with Apple and purchased one of the unlocked versions from the USA.

Opening the box –

And finally when its all up and running, checking the stock prices –

So far to say its been brilliant and the 3rd party support in Australia is also brilliant! The other night we had dinner with Simone and Stu and a song came on and we were trying to think of the name of the song, so I knocked it into Google, connected to the Telstra EDGE network and I had it (All-4-One was the name in the end).

March 27th, 2008

The internet is becoming more and more social and friendfeed provides a one stop location to aggregate all of your social data. For example, it can create a feed of all of the ‘things’ you do on the internet which include blogging, uploading pictures, bookmarking sites, favourting youtube videos etc..

I want to get this information onto the blog a lot like yongfook has done, thankfully friendfeed now provide an API and a man named Adrián Moreno has already started a wordpress widget.

I jazzed up his widget slightly so that is fits in with the scheme of this website, you can see it in the side bar under ‘LifeStream’ or by looking at the image below –

FriendFeed Lifestream

I knocked this up pretty quickly so you may be annoyed to know it uses tables rather than some elegant CSS div positioning and it also only supports the services that I actually use on friendfeed. But hey, that is why I’ve linked to the source – so you can add to it or redesign it completely!

Get the source here friendfeed_widget_g2007.zip 13kb

March 27th, 2008

Last night Amy and I went to see the Smashing Pumpkins at Hordern Pavillion here in Sydney. It has been 8 years since I last saw the Smashing Pumpkins at Wembley Arena for their ‘farewell tour’. It was also ten years ago that SP came to Australia, so there was a lot of excited fans about. So it was great to see them play once more, the set lasted for some 2 hours and 15 minutes which justified the $100 a ticket price tag.

Billy Hordern 2008
© middleearthguy

Billy was in a good mood for the gig which is not always the case, he even talked to the crowd about Peter Garrett who I’ve seen twice, once in a coffee shop in Maroubra and again at Melbourne International Airport.

The music was varied and they played some tracks that I’d never thought I’d here live, like Starla off the Pisces Iscariot album.

The highlight of the evening for me was probably the women infront of us cradling her head between her arms trying to cover her ears like a puppy in a lightening storm during the dissonance that was United States.

Rock on!

March 24th, 2008

Last week we celebrated Marcus’ birthday with a night out to Tetsuya’s. Tetsuya’s is a restaurant with a chef named Tetsuya. It is the fifth best restaurant in the world and the best in Australasia. It was booked several months ago to secure a table at this posh place.

It was a dégustation menu which meant we had 14 courses over a period of some 4 and a half hours! We also had some quality wines and champaign and a bill of $1200!

Tetsuyas Food

It was really funny when we first went in as we were all a little nervous as to what to expect. The decor is fairly simple as the main reason for going there is the food. Above is a picture of the leek and crab custard which was our third dish of the evening.

Tetsuyas More food

Fillet of Barramundi with Braised Baby Fennel

You’d think from the portion sizes that you’d still be hungry when you left, but surprisingly the good is pretty filling and you leave feeling just about right (especially after a few bottles of wine).

Tetsuya Food Again

Petit Four

One of the most memorable dishes for me was probably the Apple Sorbet with Apply Jelly Mont Blanc, which tasted like nothing I’d ever tasted before which was a nice experience. Sadly there’s no good pictures of us all eating there, we got some waiter to take a picture of the table and he proclaimed he was a bit of a camera boff, so he fiddled with the settings on my camera, took two photos and then said “I’m better with a Canon than a Nikon” – needless to say those pictures came out rubbish, he should have left it on “auto”.

A great night out, not sure what we are going to do next year, probably visit one of the top four restaurants in the world to one up it.

March 17th, 2008

Last weekend we celebrated Amy’s mums 60th up in Brisbane. We stayed at Amy’s sisters house to spend some time with their new baby Zara and Wink the dog –

Zara and Wink

Wink and Zara

We spent the day in Brisbane and visited the Modern Art Museum to see the Andy Warhol display they had going on there. It was very interesting and had a queue out of the door for tickets which shows its popularity! Brisbane has an interesting down town, there’s little sections where groups of kids hang out, one of them is right in the main shopping area and about 300 emo kids all congregate there. We even walked past an anti-scientology display, where one kid had a banner that said 1. Write a book 2. Start a religion 3. ?????4. Profit!!!! Which I thought was absolutely brilliant, clearly a slashdot reader!

For Amy’s mums 60th we went to a lovely fish restaurant in Manly QLD on the water where we had some excellent food, we then went back to Amy’s sisters house for cake –

Mrs Wild 60th Cake

Mrs Wild and Cake

Cooper was also at the party, here he is with Wink in the background –

Cooper and Wink

Cooper and Wink

A great weekend spent in Brisbane!

March 10th, 2008

Last year we hit The Cave and it was brilliant! So Rach organized it again but a few months earlier which made it a little bit warmer! A bigger group than last time went and we had some great fun. On Saturday we did a walk in the Blue Mountains at Wentworth Falls. This was one of the first times that I’d been there and the water falls were actually flowing which some power, thanks to the recent rains.

This video gives a better feel of the weekend trip (music by SpoonaSound – Dark Side of the Spoon) –

[flv:http://s3.amazonaws.com/G2007/Cave2008.flv 608 336]

A few of the cave dwellers have started taking drumming lessons so there was a lot of drums to go around, also the entire BhangLassi band were on hand to perform some acoustic numbers as well as preview a new track which they had laid down.

Get photos and another perspective over at Marcus’ blog and on Facebook.

Here’s the exact location of the Cave for the interested parties –

Get more info about the Cave and booking information at Hatters Hideout.

March 2nd, 2008

Last week we saw Daniel Kitson perform “The Impotent Fury Of The Privileged” which was a brilliant comedy / lesson in life adventure at the Factory Theatre. I won’t go into too much detail about it for fear Kitson will come across this blog entry and hate what I have written about it “he’s got it all wrong!” – checkout danielkitson.com for more info about.

This weekend we had a ‘lads weekend’ down the NSW South Coast, Marcus’ mate Scott is over from the UK and he is a keen surfer so we hunted out some surfing locations around the Jervis Bay and Ulladulla area. Unfortunetly the wind was blowing a gale from the South and most of the beaches were too big or just messy. Our base was Green Patch, in Bodoree National Park which had a lovely white sanded beach that we could chill out on in the evenings. Here’s a video of the experience which tells the story of the trip –

[flv:http://s3.amazonaws.com/G2007/CaveBeach2008.flv 608 336]

Scott and Marcus are staying an extra day, I hope they get some good waves!