December 31st, 2008

Best of 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and now 2008! I really look forward to doing this list that I’ve added a new category called “Purchase of the Year”.

panicpreventionjamietAlbum of the Year – Jamie T – Panic Prevention

This album actually came out in 2007 but I did not hear it until Rach and Mike’s engagement party where they had it playing.

Jamie T is from Wimbledon so it might not be everyones cup of tea.

It is now my iTunes most played artist so it makes album of the year this year. Checkout a Jamie T track on YouTube.

thedarkknightbestof2008Cinema Trip of the Year – Batman – The Dark Knight

Amy, Jon, Marcus and I went to see this at the IMAX in Sydney which probably made this film the most memorable trip (second was to go and see the Smashing Pumpkins Documentary – If All Goes Wrong with Stu and Lachlan).

IMAX is a great experience if not for the screen but for the fantastic sound system that made this film really come at you.

arresteddevelopmentbestofDVD of the Year – Arrested Developer Season 1,2,3

Arrested Development is an American sitcom that actually debuted in 2003. I do remember it being on TV but never really having any kind of television schedule the chances of watching an entire series was very low.

Thanks to low price DVDs and QuickFlix rentals we’ve managed to watch all 3 seasons of this excellent comedy show.

If you are fed up of watching random TV then at least rent the 1st season this is comedy gold.

richdadpoordadbestofBook of the Year – Rich Dad Poor Dad

This book is great simple as that very interesting and makes you want to save money.

callofdutybestofGame of the Year – Call of Duty 4

I have a love hate relationship with this. I bought this game after getting a new computer which brought me into the 21st century of desktop computing power.

The game has an online mode where you can go around in first person and shoot your enemy with various guns. My favourite is the MP5 with dotted scope.

liveleakbestofWebsite of the Year – Liveleak.com

LiveLeak is a interesting site that attempts to “redefine” media. This is basically citizen journalism at its best. Video cameras are so popular that most things that happen are now captured on film. This site stores those videos. It has some fascinating videos from Iraq and Afganisthan and has been mentioned by Tony Blair at press conferences when he was Prime Minister.

iphonebestofPurchase of the Year – Apple iPhone

There’s not a phone that can compete with this one yet. Yes it may have its flaws against the blackberry in the fact it has no physical keyboard but in every other aspect it beats it hands down.

Google Maps with Street View Integration is very handy on road trips, Gmail on the go and Facebook on the go is excellent.

That wraps up the best of 2008, looking forward to the best of 2009 I wonder what it will be!

December 28th, 2008

This Christmas was spent on the Gold Coast and at Amy’s parents house in Brisbane. It was a good time to spend catching up with Amy’s sisters and their young babies and Amy’s parents. First off we visited Taryn, Wade, Zara and Wink the dog on the Gold Coast at their Palm Beach Unit and then onto Sam and Elliots house to visit Ali, Cooper and Buffy the dog. We then stayed at Amy’s parents house for the Christmas period where we had a mix of Prawns, Ham and Chicken for Christmas dinner. Rather than do the normal images I’ve created this fantastic little video of all the pictures from the trip. Andres put me onto this software called Animoto which is an online slideshow system that costs $3USD to make a full length video so enjoy this one!

[flv:http://s3.amazonaws.com/G2007/Xmas2008.flv 640 360]

After Christmas we hit the credit crunch Christmas sales where I bought some new trousers, shorts and two shirts for more than 50% off saving a small fortune. Merry Christmas!

December 21st, 2008

This weekend we went down to Boderee National Park for Rach and Mike’s wedding. We left Friday night and drove down in some gale force winds that were really driving into the car. My concern was the wedding would be as windy as the stag the week before but it wasn’t. We arrived at the house we were sharing with Esther, GaĆ©tane, Mel, Chris, Cooster and Snappers which was right on the beach in Vincentia, it was very nice.

I got down to Green Patch where the wedding was being held a couple of hours too early and parked in the wrong car park so it wasn’t for a while until I found anyone (I went earlier as I was filming the wedding – Amy came down later and so got to have a lay in). The weather was overcast but this was perfect as it didn’t make it too bright for the ceremony.

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Rach and Mike Getting Married at Green Patch

The beach wedding was fantastic and there wasn’t anyone else on the beach at the time (it was an 8h30 service). Josh did a fantastic job in conducting the ceremony and there were some great readings from Erin and Matt –

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Matt doing a reading with Rach, Josh and Mike

After the reading champagne and orange juice was bought out with some Croissants, Pain au Chocolat, Almond Croissants and another pastry based pastry. There was quite a lot of them and not enough of us so I had to eat four which was fine as we had not had breakfast yet!

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Amy and Me at Green Patch Wedding

After the great ceremony we went back to the house to chillax and ended up having a sleepy before waking up, getting something to eat and then heading to the homestead which was also in national park, 13km down a dirt track which would have been great for a rally car although the Vitara was fine.

The homestead was by the Sussex Inlet and had a colonial feel to it as we wondered around the gardens drinking tea and playing croquet and lawn bowls.

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Lawn Games at the Homestead

A jazz band was also playing and Beatlassi did some Beatles songs whilst we sang along which was good fun. Rach and Mike then turned up on a boat and we drank champagne to celebrate there arrival – very good fun.

As the sun set we moved into the tent where dinner was served – a delicious combination of fish, meat and salads. We then had little cup cakes for desert and the beers and champagne were still flowing when the DJ and drummer Rach and Mike had hired started the party.

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Dinner and getting ready for the speeches

Rach’s Dad did a speech and so did Mike’s brother Darrell which was very funny indeed, Darrell later told me that night he was “writing cheques he couldn’t cash” which is my new favourite one liner.

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Disco Fever!

It was a fantastic night and a great wedding which was very relaxing and chilled out which I think was just what Rach and Mike wanted which was great.

The next morning we woke up and had to be out at 10am which was a challenge. Lorraine and Matt cooked breakfast in the house opposite us where we went over to and then we went down to Cave Beach which was looking really nice. I tested out Amy’s waterproof camera in the surf and didn’t loose it but didn’t really get any good pictures but I’m working on it.

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Cave Beach and Amy

A great weekend! Off to the Gold Coast tomorrow. Good luck to Nance and Marcus who are getting married tomorrow about 16,000km away!

December 17th, 2008

Hot off the heels of Marcus’ stag is Mike’s stag. Rach and Mike who are getting married next week are renowned for their adventures in camping, trekking, mountain biking to name but a few, so it was no surprise that Mike’s stag would involve some sort of extreme element – so it would be that we would spend the weekend kayaking through the Kangaroo Valley slightly south of Sydney. The weather all week was pretty rainy so I packed with that in mind, when we arrived at the river on Saturday morning the rain had cleared and the sun was shining, perfect you’d think – but the wind was blowing gale force and worse still it was blowing into our faces.

Not really noticing the wind Hari, my Kayak partner jumped into the Kayak with all our gear and promptly fell straight overboard. Not a great start but at least we knew it was possible and would be making sure it didn’t happen again! The kayak from the drop off point to the camping ground is supposed to only take a couple of hours, however after 4.5 hours of kayaking we hit a stretch of water that was more suitable for surfers as it had waves! We looked at the bank and no matter how hard we paddled against the wind we actually started to go backwards so we decided to forget about the camp area and find our own. This was good fun as we found a little side stream which lead to a bank which we climbed, walked through some trees (which had branches falling down around us) and to a clearing which had some power lines above us. This was to be our camp.

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Campsite Ground Zero

There was loads of kangaroos running around and even one with a Joey. We had a great night of boozing and some guitar action one of the group even got Mike to wear some more traditional stag clothes –

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Mike the Stag

The next morning it was hard to tell if Mike had enjoyed himself so far as he had gone very quiet and was slightly worse for wear for the indulgence in alcohol the night before, Matt said it might be sympathy sickness but I don’t think Mike was so sure.

So we started off on the kayak into the wind which hadn’t really died down much, thinking it would be another 4.5 hours of kayaking to the end. Luckily we bumped into a group that had made it to the camp site and been told to kayak back the other way, which we did do and took us what felt like about 15 minutes!

Great weekend lots of exercise the past two!

December 11th, 2008

Last weekend we went to Boomerang Beach for a couple of days of nonchalance for Marcus’ Stag / Surf weekend. It was an extremely good trip with 8 of us in total. Six of us drove up in a people carrier that Marcus had hired from Budget. It was a good vehicle as it fitted us all in and was fairly comfortable to drive. The journey took us about six hours in total which included a few stops and the obligatory shopping/booze stop. Bobby felt sick the entire way but he’d had five drinks the night before and a dodgy pizza apparently.

When we got to the house we had rented it was fantastic and a short walk across the street to the beach. The surf wasn’t really going crazy but we managed to get out that afternoon and hoped for some decent waves to come for the rest of the weekend.

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Marcus, Troy, Bobby and me Surfing at Boomerang Beach

That night we retired back to the house for a relaxing evening of a few beers and some guitar hero, which ended up being a bit of a theme.

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Mark, Iain and Marcus on the Balcony Chillaxing

The next day the surf was not as good which was ashame as it made it very small indeed. I took my softie so I was able to catch the shore break and claim some waves which was good fun and a lot more exercise than I thought I’d get at the weekend.

That night we went into Foster, which was the main town. We couldn’t find anywhere open so we asked someone who said the “best place” (we think she meant only place) was Club Foster or something along those lines where the ladies choice of drink was a “Goon Sunrise” – so it was a classy joint to say the least but it was good fun and involved two shots too many of Sambuca.

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Tom on Drums, Me on Guitar, Marcus on Guitar/Bass, Bobby on Vocals, Troy on Camera

There was another dimension to the weekend which isn’t on the blog (you can find some dodgy pictures on Flickr if you really want to look) because older people (35+) read this and they would be appalled but to give you a hint it involved chocolate sauce, girls, money and Boston and not necessarily in that order.