April 28th, 2008

Last weekend we went to Melbourne to celebrate Simone hitting the big three zero. Being in my mid-twenties it was an incredible experience of things to come for me in the distant future.

The Gang

Amy and I flew down early in the morning on jetstar, a cheaper airline that doesn’t actually fly you to your destination but actually to an airport somewhat close to your destination. So we got the bus that takes you from Avalon to Melbourne. It was just a shuttle bus but the driver obviously takes pride in his job so every 5 minutes we would get some information about what we were passing. So we now know that the nationwide distribution centre for k-mart is located just outside of Melbourne, where the Australian Army live firing range is and where Little River Band got their name.

We got to the hotel we were staying at in Elizabeth Street and met up with Simone, Roxanne, Tasleema, Stuart and Justin our fellow hotel mates and birthday celebrators. The hotel had a very vibrant orange colour on the walls which made me think it was perfect for Bhanglassi to stay at if they ever tour down here. Maybe a band photoshoot for Rollingstone, OK or whatever magazine at that stage of their career is covering them.

We headed out down to the south bank and hired bikes to ride around in the glorious sunshine it was a great time and also some good exercise. We then headed to the roof bar that Amy and me visited last time we were in Melbourne for a couple of post-bike drinks which was great fun.

Melbourne Bikes

That evening we went to St. Kilda and had a fantastic “mexican inspired” dinner after much searching around for something to eat. We were all fully stuffed and really tired from our early morning flights so we headed back to our hotel and fell asleep.

The next day we were up early for a visit to the Queen Victoria Markets, which was a bit like Borough Markets in London but on a smaller scale, here’s Amy buying “3 Cheese for $10” which was great as the portions were huge and a great appetizer for later that evening.

$10 Cheese

We went to a place called Fitzroy for a lot of shopping fun. Justin went crazy buying clothes out doing all the girls, I ended up buying a top from Myer and Amy bought me some chocolate which was really nice. Fitzroy is a pretty trendy place, it has a lot of posters and stickers eveywhere so I couldn’t help adding a bit of Global Surfari fun to it –

GlobalSurfari.com Street Team

My favourite part of Fitzroy was probably the ATM crime scene –

ATM Carnage

One of my personal highlights of the trip was to find out J’s works for a well known coffee company that only has 85 stores in Australia but 171 in Manhattan and even more in London. He gets a staff discount so we went there and got some coffee and I got explained what coffee machine they are using as well as getting some tips on the coffee machine I should get at home. Here we are outside the coffee house –

Outside the Coffee House

That evening we went to The Long Room for tapas dinner and a multitude of cocktails, it was really good fun and we ate some great food and had an excellent waiter, we then moved on to ‘The Supper Club’ where we had a game of ‘guess the most expensive bottle of wine on the menu’ which turned out to be a 1986 bottle of Château Latour coming in at just under $12,000. I was reading a story in the Economist on the plane about the global food shortage and how a billion people earn $1 a day – which puts it into a rather sad perspective at the waste of money that would be to drink.

After a great weekend it was time to go back to our little airport in the middle of nowhere, here’s our plane coming in to pick us up –

Lets fly Jetstar

A great weekend!

April 14th, 2008

Future of the internet is here! Twinkle is a new application for the iPhone that lets you see who is using twitter within a range of km of where you are, it uses your current mobile mast position to roughly locate you. Not only will it let you find new friends but it will also make it possible to find out what is going on in the area you are in. The possibilities of this are endless, image how useful this might have been in London during the terrorist attacks the hours of not knowing what was going on may have shrunk as people posted messages about what they heard, of course on the flip side it may have made it worse with conflicting stories etc… I imagine for the geek crowd this will be handy trying to work out where everyone is going for the conference after party. Here’s a screenshot of it in action –

I set my distance to 1000km for that screenshot but there’s some people using it within 4 miles of me!

On a separate note I started twitlinks.com this evening, it is a simple site I wrote in my spare time for getting tech. news out of twitter faster. I gave RWW the exclusive to it, check it out at twitlinks.com Andres, the South American artist genius did the logo for it –

Checkout Anhdres.com for more drawings

April 13th, 2008

This weekend we went to Newtown again to visit some of the cool shops that we saw when we went out for dinner the weekend before. It has some fantastic furniture shops at a 3rd of the price of other ones you visit in malls. It also has a wide selection of eaterys you can visit but it doesn’t have a starbucks.

One of the best shops in Newtown is this bookshop at the top end close to the city. It is a stock take nightmare as there’s about 4 million books just piled up all over the place. After some serious searching I found the IT section in the top right hand corner which was just wide enough to fit one person in but not really enough room to turn around. It’s all 2nd hand books so there were some classics like “The Network Revolution” written in 1982 which of course you can now read on the huge network for free called the internet.

Here’s me in some section with a load of books –

That night we had tickets to go and see Lars and the Real Girl, which is an indie film starring Ryan Gosling – it is very good I would recommend seeing it. Here’s Amy in the Hayden Orpheum, a pretty special cinema in Cremorne that is like something out of the 50ies –

Saturday morning we hit the new Manly Bike Rental shop that has opened just down the street. 15 bucks for one hour and we saw some parts of Manly we didn’t even know existed, including Manly Pool and Manly Dam. Here is Amy on the bike having a great time in the sun, that soon turned into a mega storm but we lucky got home before that happened –

A good fun weekend which I finished off with by upgrading Ubuntu Dapper to Edgy (for the tech. fans only).

April 9th, 2008

As my parents “jolly well” know, I have a bad habit of leaving lights on. Even writing this now it’s obvious I’ve left the hall light on, serving no purpose but to make my life a little bit easier when I walk through to the kitchen a bit later. In the other room there are two laptops both switched on (for work), and in this room there’s another laptop with a 27″ monitor that is on for most of the day. So whenever we get the electricity bill I always get a little bit worried about how much its going to be.

Our average daily usage is 11kWh which is almost half the Australian average but then again we live in a one bedroom apartment.

What interested me most though about this bill is it included this little mention of how much CO2 was getting pumped into the atmosphere because of my inability to switch off lights, it comes in at a wapping one long ton!

So I decided to look into what the equivalence of was compared to something else I know is bad for the envionment. I found a calculator which works out totals for all of the flying we’ve done in the past 3 months (including the UK) and it comes in at ten long tons which although is a lot isn’t as much as I thought it would be. So I am going to make a more conservative effort to turn off lights when we are not using them from now on.

I used terrapass flight calc. to work out my emissions.

April 6th, 2008

This Saturday we went to Bondi Junction, Manly to Bondi Junction Mall is a 40km round trip that costs approximately $0.50 a kilometer based on the $3.40 bridge toll, $5 eastern distributor toll and $11 parking plus petrol! In 2015 someone will read this and will laugh at how cheap it is or be amazed as they will be driving their carbon dixoide fueled space shuttles.

The City from Bondi with Smoke Haze

In the evening we went to Newtown from Manly for dinner with Simone, Stu, Lachlan and Claire which was fantastic, we set off at a reasonable 18h15 for a 19h00 dinner but we didn’t arrive until around 19h45! Which averages a speedy 12km/h for that journey which is a little bit crazy! Not to mention another $3.40 bridge toll.

Sunday and we were a little bit over driving so we just went to Manly. In the afternoon Marcus and Nancy had organised high tea, which involved drinking pimms, eating cup cakes and having a sweep stakes on the Grand National which Marcus had cleverly found on YouTube for us to watch at our own convenience at 4pm in the afternoon rather than 3am in the morning or whatever time it was live.

Grand National You Tube Sweep Stakes

A great weekend yet again!