Wednesday, March 30, 2005


The magnitude 8.7 earthquake flattened buildings on Nias and sent a 3m wave crashing into nearby Simeulue Island. Photo courtesy HeraldSun.com

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

bulldogs maul maggie

The football season is now upon us. The last most important game that I would have any interest in would have been the match between the Western Bulldogs and Collingwood. Much to my pleasure as being a Bulldog fan, they won by 32 points. A great day for new Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade and a great start for our doggies. Hopefully we will have some luck for this season.

ROUND ONE

Sydney Swans 4

Melbourne 4

Fremantle 4

Geelong 4

WESTERN BULLDOGS 4

Brisbane Lions 4

Kangaroos 4

West Coast Eagles 4

Adelaide 0

Carlton 0

St Kilda 0

Collingwood 0

Richmond 0

Port Adelaide 0

Essendon 0

Hawthorn 0

Thursday, March 24, 2005

a hawkers feast

Chopsticks, woks and wine, that's what you'd expect from the Connex Hawkers Market which is part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Well finally after about 4 years, I actually managed to go to the event at the Queen Victoria market. I invited Warren to come along and was told that it was well worth the money going to.

Having finished work and knowing that I would have had quite a bit of time up my sleeve before the second session started, I made myself comfortable with a glass of red in the Mercat Cross bar and waited for Warren to arrive. With a gin and tonic for Warren and another glass of red for myself we walked across to K shed where the market was being held.

The Hawkers Market hosts a nice assortment of asian foods and a nice range of Victorian wines. Having paid $32.90 which entitled an individual to 4 tastings. The only catch was to decide from the 12 food vendors cooking up delicious food and making sure you got a decent amount of food as well (which I noticed wasn't very hard for them to do). Being a Connex sponsored event, I was bound to meet fellow Connex workers, in which I did in their special area.

One good feature of the night was going to the Shadowfax winery stand and meeting the lovely good looking guy who served me when I visited the winery recently (and he remembered me as well).

After having a good amount of food and enjoying the entertainment and the company of Warren and the great weather for the night I look forward to next years festival (and hopefully this time I might have to pay to go).

Monday, March 21, 2005

weekend sproutings

Well the last weekend was rather entertaining and rather refreshing but then that would depend on which way you would be looking at it.

Saturday was the day that I would be going to the wine showcase at Southbank as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Meeting up with Chris and Rebecca at Flinders Street after having a caf latte and a donut, we ventured down to Southbank to pay our money and get our lovely wine tasting glass which we could keep. This years glass was slightly different in shape compared to last years glass, even though we noticed that last years glass did make a resurgence later during the day.

Starting off on the whites, we moved from stall to stall, having an occasional break as the heat was starting to get a bit much and certain whites didn't quite meet our expectations. One exceptional wine I did try was from Brown Brothers. A beautiful sparkling shiraz call "Cienna". The weather was perfect to drink this fabulous wine. Bold in colour yet so wonderful in your mouth with that cool fuzzy taste, enough to play with your taste buds.

Having had once again another break out of the sun, we started on the reds. I don't know how many faces I pulled that day, but they were about to continue further. Not all wines were good on my taste buds, but the other factor was that it was getting a little bit warm even for the wine, which made a dramatic difference when tasting a wine. We did however try a fantastic raspberry wine from a Mornington Peninsula winery. This drop was so dangerous that it actually tasted like raspberry cordial. Well that's one day trip we intend on taking to get some.

After standing around all this time, the heat was getting to us, we decided to retire across the road to Transport and have a few beers and wait for Frances to arrive. After my usual perving on people and staff, Frances finally arrived and we had dinner there before heading off to get Chris's car and head down to South Melbourne.

Stopping off at the Blue Cafe on Claredon Street for a caf latte, we dropped by "Spy on Claredon" for a drink or two (cute bartendar) before going across the road to the Star bar where 80's Enuff would be playing. Having a few drinks, a dance and a sing a long, it was time to bid farewell and head to the confinds of home.

Sunday was as a Sunday would normally be. Did some painting in the kitchen, a friend came over for a chat and I just took it easy either chatting online or watching futurama and the simpsons.

Back to work I go the next day.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

cyclone watch

Tropical Cyclone Ingrid has for the 3rd time intensified to a category 5 cyclone. She is currently on her way to the Western Australian coast.

making an old girl shine

The Tramway Museum Society of Victoria (TMSV), recently acquired Y class tram 612. The tram was delivered to our Bylands site last week and has been given quite a bit of attention. The unforunate thing with the tram being stored at the Preston Service Centre it did bring the unwanted attention of vandalism by trespassers. Upon delivery to Bylands the tram did have large amounts of graffiti and broken windows. During Sunday, society members did their very best in cleaning the graffiti off the outside of the tram till it looked like a treat.

I went up to museum site yesterday to do some work and ended up assisting on cleaning up on the inside of the tram. After a few minor adjustments by Cory to the general mechanics, he took the tram out for a test run, and can she purrr. It was decided that we give the tram a good clean out, so the tram was moved down to stand along side the Exhibition shed and given a good wash on the inside. There still needs to be more cleaning to be done on the inside and a few windows replaced. Once that's done, the tram can actually be put back into service.


The trailer for Episode III has now been released and is available on starwars.com. Well I'm already drooling over it.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

a powerful bitch

Whenever you try to trick a woman into defeat, they'll always find a way to get back at you even more with a bit more tack and force. Nothing will get in there way. They love to play with guys, lull them into a false sense of security and then go in for the kill, but not always with the right amount of tact that they originally thought of. Take for instance Severe Tropical Cyclone Ingrid. Here she was in the Coral Sea, intensifying herself to become one more powerful than TC Tracey of 30 years beforehand and a category 4 cyclone. But Ingrid had to be different, she had to be better and was classified a category 5 cyclone. The only other category 5 cyclone that has been in Australian waters was TC Vance in March 1999. This particular cyclone produced a measured wind gust of 267km/h, but it did not make contact with land, just brushing past Darwin.

TC Ingrid is one powerful bitch. She made her way towards the top end of Queensland, but lost intensity to become a category 3 cyclone as she hit out shores and to become a category 1 cyclone as he reached the town of Wiepa on the western side of the cape. Normally a cyclone will weaken when I does reach land and not all the time there would be the probability that the cyclone will increase in intensity. Whilst TC Ingrid poured down on Wiepa, she then moved into the nice warm waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria. On the 11th of March, TC Ingrid had her eyes set on the Northern Territory and as she crossed the gulf she once again regained intensity from a category 1 cyclone in Wiepa to hitting the NT town of Gove as a category 4 cyclone, recording winds stronger than TC Tracey once again. As of 4pm on the 12th as TC Ingrid was gracing the top end of the Northern Territory, she was upgraded to a category 5 cyclone. Making the record books as the first category 5 cyclone (320km/h winds near centre) to hit the mainland of Australia. As of now most of the top end has been placed on a Cyclone warning, whilst Darwin was issued a cyclone watch. It's turn will come when TC Ingrid will unleash her rain and winds on the city.

With minimal damaged reported, but severe flooding being reported, we can only but hope that the top end will be able to recover.

It's an on going saga.

This was captured at 0138 hrs. TC Ingrid has intensified since midnight and was upgraded to a Category 4 Severe Tropical Cyclone. NT is to get a thrashing.

TC Ingrid (Category 3) on the NT coastline at midnight

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

improving techniques

Well for the past 3 days, I've currently been going through a new Conflict Management course at work which has really been quite good and today absolutely great.

Well training has been held at Flinders Street, starting off with "Communication" which is an important key factor in whatever we do, because we always do it. With a range of scenarios and many elements covered, and a good lunch break it was a success. Many items did deal with my particular job at work, so at least the information was relevant and accurate to the situation.

Tuesday we had a different instruction who basically went through arrest situations. This I won't go into much, but we did cover a lot of ground. Had another good lunch break, went to Chilli Padi at Melbourne Central which was great. They will also be at the Connex Hawkers Market (since the manager noticed the logo on the uniform and brought it to my attention). Woo hoo also bought Futurama Season 2 box set since it's going back down in price again.

Well today (Wednesday), was actually held in a taekwondo studio. Everything was all hands on, different techiniques in using as minimal force as possible and it was all fun, exciting and really informative. Everything that was taught today goes hand in hand with the information that we have learnt the past two days. Hey I wasn't complaining that the instructor was saying that I was flexible when he was playing with my legs.

Well tomorrow will be the last day of the course and then it'll be back to reality. It's all be worthwhile to polish up on information that we already knew, but it's always better to learn something new.

Monday, March 07, 2005

motoring around - pt 2

Okay, so now i'm going to try and catch up with myself and move onto Saturday (even this is Monday night). Well this morning would be the first time that I would be meeting collegues from North Melbourne and such outside work hours.

I waited patiently for Simon to pick me up and we headed off down to Werribee to the Coffee Pot where Ray and the others were waiting. We discovered that the cafe actually had a breakfast menu. So a cafe latte and a big breaky (classic breakfast) you're looking at $12.50 which wasn't bad. Being a very temperamental day, the decking out back was unfortunately closed. After the food, we then opened up a bottle of the Shadowfax Pinot Noir which went down extremely well (since I was the only person who thought of bringing a bottle of wine) and was a treat to those still there. The food at the Coffee Pot is quite good, unfortunately the staff do seemed to be slightly under trained and that also included the boss himself. What people normally expect from staff, especially if you're leaving is some kind of acknowledgment such as a thank you, but the only person who was the perfect host was the father, whom I actually work with. But I'll give them a bit more time to polish the place up and then we'll see if they're any improvements.

Simon dropped myself back home, and I spent the rest of the afternoon doing stuff online, visiting the folks and popping into Coles to get some snacks for the night when Dan would show up.

After numerous phone calls in hoping that he was on the right path and not lost, he finally arrived and I hastily ordered some Chinese Take away. After settling down to watching "The Birdcage" and "Ice Age" and unfortunately only have 3 glasses of wine each which was a major set back from our original plan of having at least 4 bottles. Due to the fact that we were both tired from lack of sleep the night before, mine was from my pretty cat snoring in my room, I knew I wasn't going to win tonight either as Dan snores as well.

I did get to catch up on some sleep when he left for work the next morning.

Sunday needs no report since I didn't get out of bed till after 2.30pm and did bugger all expect play Civ 3. Hopefully next time I catch up to myself a lot quicker than now.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

motoring around - pt 1

Well the past couple of days have been rather exciting, tasty, stimulating and mouth watering.

Well first up on Friday, I ended up going down to Shadowfax Winery next to Werribee Park to get a bottle or two for the lunchoen that I was attending the next day. Being my first time to the winery and one in my general local area, I was greeted by a lovely nice young man. Had I just had a tasting of a small variety of reds and was striking up a good conversation with him, but unfortunately someone else rocked up and so full attention was swept away. The one advantage was that he mentioned which Food and Wine Festival Event he was going to be working at next.

I thought I would have a sneak peek at the cafe where I was supposed to be at the next day. The Coffee Pot cafe in Werribee was the location and overall I was impressed by the general layout of the cafe. The cafe itself is still trying to establish itself only being a new business in the area, but when I was there it did attract a few people especially onto the decking area which faces the Werribee River. At this stage I noticed a small range of gourmet sandwiches, foccacias, pasties, salads and an assortment of cakes. They just need to fine tune their coffee making skills to give the coffee that silky effect that many of us enjoy. But more thoughts on this later.

Time is ticking away and I was to meet up with Chris to go the Motor Show. After giving up on the idea of parking at Crown, I then ventured off to the Queen Vic and was able to find a park there and also bump into the Uki Choir conductor and his wife. The motor show was an eye opener of sexy looking cars to good looking guys and there was no shortage of both. After spending over 3 hours and a caf latte drooling over cars and guys, feeling up the upholstery of cars you would not be able to afford or even drive (that includes the highway patrol car), and then finding out that once I was outside the building that one of the cute coppers was checking me out it was time to make my way back to the car with a detour to Bourke St and to Melbourne Central to by some shoes and clothing (very cute guy checking me out in Target and making it obvious like hell), time to go back home and have a bite to eat and freshen up before hitting the nightlife.

Well I was hoping to meet up with friends at the Laird, but unfortunately they all had the same idea and went to DT's instead. Well from getting lots of smiles from one of the cute bartenders there and having an interesting and unexpected experience with one of the patrons. I did enjoy my time at the Laird like I normally do, plus I was chatting away with a guy who was also there by himself and also chatted to one cute stud before heading off to Throb at the Peel to have a different experience.

Well what a fucking rip off. $20 to get into the bloody place (makes me wonder what I paid to get in last time). Well apart from the normal cute shirtless stud at the door holding shots of cowboy. The air conditioning was fucked, the smell of body odour was hideous. There weren't many cute guys there, well ones I would want to jump on anyway. All the rest were just queens, fugly or just pure trash. I met up with a friend there, had a drink and a dance and went feeling unfulfilled. That will be the last time that I do go to Throb at the Peel. The plus was that I did receive a bit of attention at both venues, so it all can't be bad.