Wednesday, May 25, 2005

cafecruise : entwine

Footscray is one place that does have many gems in hiding.  After visiting Small Poppies which is only located 2 blocks or so away from this cafe, this is another gem on the list if you do want a good drop of coffee in this suburb. This particular place is becoming a regular pit-stop for myself on my way to work.  There have been a few changes since I have visited there over the past couple of months, but the coffee and atmosphere provided remains the same, or even better.  

Whether you want a good drop of coffee, or to buy a lovely bouquet of flowers, Entwine is the place to be able to provide such service.  The cafe has since downsized it's operations and only provide barista (coffee), tea and biscuits.  When I first visited the florist, there was a selection of cakes and savoury treats provided, but as a cost cutting measure and focusing more on the florist operations and allowing the public to enjoy the atmosphere provided with the range of flowers and plants on display for your enjoyment and also the temptation to dig in a little deeper into your wallet or purse and purchase one, two or more. 

I found the service to be quite friendly and quite adequate considering the demand to be able to handle customers that are there to purchase their primary source of income, ie: flowers. A selection of locally made teas is also provided, and can also be purchased from the cafe counter.   

Overall I do recommend for anyone to visit this lovely cafe/florist and take the time to appreciate what it has to offer. 

Coffee - Gravity

Flowers by Entwine - 90 Buckley St Footscray VIC 3011  T - (03) 9687 0444

Rating - 4 out of 5

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

greying skies

The skies are grey, the wind is cold and we finally have moisture on the ground.  This would be a sure-fire sign that winter is now finally upon us.  The last leaves are about to fall from the branches that they hang from, waiting for that one blast of winter to release them to their freedom and fall to their ever existence of turning into mulch.  The past month, Melbourne has not received a single proper drop of rain.  Any hope of the drought ending last year was all in vain as we now approach another dry winter with not much rain predicted.  Was it all in haste in the Brack's government decision to dispose of the water restrictions, I would think so.  What could the permanent water saving rule really achieve that water restrictions couldn't? With Melbourne's current water reserves at 53.4%, they're not likely to improve dramatically, even with the current rain falls in that area.  In the end this could all be put down to a gradual global shift in seasons.  Here we are approaching the middle of winter and the leaves are only just starting to fall on some trees, with temperatures in the 30's still at the end of April and into the beginning of March.  It's what you can assess yourself of what might be happening all around us, you'll be able to get a general understanding of what you can do to help. 

I don't expect a government to change it's position so soon after it endorsed these changes without any proper thought into the situation.  But as you know, it may end up raining cats and dogs and we'll have nothing to worry about in the end.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

dark side climax

The journey to the dark side is now complete.  The final Star Wars saga is now on the big screen and for anyone, including myself, who loves the dark side, then this is the movie for you.  This movie does not fail to disappoint from the very beginning.  From the introduction... War!  You start off with a battle above the planet of Coruscant, the death of Count Dooku.  The impressive droid android General Grevious with his impressive lightsaber techniques.  You'll be very pleased to how Anakin chose the path of the dark side with the help of Chancellor Palpatine, who becomes deformed during a fight in which Anakin steps in to protect his Chancellor. Thus his journey to the dark side is now complete and Lord Vader arises.  I do not wish to discuss too much of what really happens in the movie, but it is something that you would enjoy.  It's offers a better contrast to the previous movies.  The dark side is everywhere.  This is definitely not a movie for children to see if they have weak hearts and minds and would not want to see the charred body of Anakin.

The amazing way on how Padme Amidala is able to hide that emerging bulge in the costumes that she wears is interesting, especially when you notice that it is concealed rather well as she heads off to see Anakin. Obi-wan Kenobi is looking ever so lovely, but then you do have to give them credit in trying their best to make him look like Ben Kenobi in a New Hope. Acting has improved slightly, but that is something you try to ignore at times when you're trying to concentrate with what's happening in the ever changing and eye catching scenes. Love, betrayal and mistrust. A heart is broken, a master of evil is born.  What more could you want when you're dealing with evil?

The soundtrack is brilliant, with John Williams utilising his talent in bringing the movie alive

This is a movie well worth seeing.  It's the darkest out of all 6 movies and you'll enjoy all the action. There will be enough force lightning to power your house for a year and enough use of the force to flatten a neighbourhood or more.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

growing teas

I mentioned in my last T2 entry on this blog that they were going to open a store at Melbourne Central.  Whilst I had the chance today, I decided to quickly go check to see whether the store was open and to my luck it opened 5 days beforehand. It offers a similar set-up to the Brunswick St store and you can still be offered a lovely tea to try whilst you are browsing the merchandise.  Well worth a visit.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

busted deception

Well what a day it has been in the Big Brother house.  Deception revealed and dealt with strongly or quite reasonably by BB.  It was revealed just before the housemates went into the house that Dean was not single.  Constance and Nelson also boasted that they had deceived BB.  The last bit of deception was organised by BB itself and as you know that would be the Logan twins.  It seems our dim-witted country boy Glenn is smarter than he seems, or it comes in handy having the chance to be able to sleep with both of the twins, but he was the first person to notice that there was a difference.  Funny enough I just happened to go on the live cam during the time they first were discussing whether there was a twin.

So live on TV tonight, BB discussed his disappointment about Dean, Constance and Nelson to all housemates (HM's) and those three were evicted with their fate yet to be decided on.   BB, asking Glenn to the diary room exposed both twins much to Glenn's enjoyment, especially when Gretel mentioned that he might like to sleep with both of them.  Glenn is an interesting chap it may seem.  BB then introduced the Logan twins to the rest of the HM's, much to their excitement and relief (except to Gianna). More should be revealed soon as it may seem.

I will do a blog entry on Dean soon.  But only if he is evicted completely from the house.  Till then, enjoy.

I was going to type more, but very hard to concentrate with SW Episode 2 on TV (no I'm not switching it off). 

beware the dark side

Four days to go to the final instalment of the Star Wars prequel trilogy.  Episode 3 screens in Australian cinemas at 12.01am on the 19th. Whilst some lucky people in other countries have had the privilege of watching the movie at special screenings for $650, Australia, as far as I know hasn't had that option available for them, not that I would pay that much to go see it.  I've waited this long to watch it.  It'll be interesting to see how many kids go off to see the movie with it's new M rating.

Never underestimate the power of the dark side.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

cafecruise - Tullamarine McDonalds McCafe

You think I might be nuts reviewing a McCafe, but then you can't quite complain with what they provide and have to offer for their customers.  Normally I would show a pic in a cafecruise, but unfortunately I left my phone at home.  Well I've only just returned home after being at McDonalds for my niece/god daughters 7th birthday.  

Upon arrival at McDonalds, I noticed that the place was packed and I reminded myself that a morphine shot might be needed later on to cope with all the kids, so I observed the local medical centre across the road. To put it in a nutshell, they way of McDonalds is completely changing.  From what people remember the restaurant looking like in the 80's to now is a complete contrast.  You would never think of having a cafe latte, a salad or even deli rolls in a fast food restaurant. But that's what you'll start to expect in many McDonalds restaurants. It's only been recently that the Tullamarine McDonalds had been refurbished with a McCafe included.  Every restaurant with a McCafe has had a complete change with the decor, providing a more modern and trendy cafe style appearance.  As with Tullamarine, all the counters have been upgraded utilising granite benches, new seating (a mixture of curved wooden laminate and soft cushioning).  I noticed a large solid wooden table, and in the back corner was a lounge area with very comfortable lounges and seating providing a cafe experience.  This has also been the case with many other McCafe's that been too, but not all (being all the stores with a high traffic flow).

You will find a selection of hot and cold drinks available, very similar to other coffee franchises.  There is also a range of very nice cakes, biscuits and savoury snacks also available from the McCafe counters.  If you're eating in, your drink can be served in a cup or glass, but unfortunately I wasn't that lucky in having mine served in one (pity, they lose a point with that, especially when I mentioned it).  

When I first arrived I ordered a tall latte, which wasn't too bad, and then went off to the main counter to try one of their new deli rolls.  I ordered the Mustard Beef roll which took only about 2 minutes to make since It was a popular roll to order from what I noticed.  The result, a very fresh and soft roll, I did find the roll did sweat from the heat, but it did taste quite nice and I cold also taste the mustard. 

It wasn't till walking back to the party room that I actually noticed the lounge area.  So I thought second latte time.  Still no glass, but this time a different guy made it (first one was the manager and this time a nice cute guy with goatee).  I saw straight away as soon as I took the lid off the cup that this was a improvement to the last latte and placing the sugar in and then having the first sip proved my guess to be right.  The milk was right and it had that beautiful silky affect that I love in a latte. 

I had the same girl serve me twice at McCafe and found her attitude to be rather pleasant and friendly.  The quality of the coffee was done rather well.  In a good attempt to promote a positive atmosphere in a fast food restaurant I would definitely have to give McDonalds a lot of praise for, as it is having the desired effect in bringing more people into their restaurant and it's also showing many parents that there are healthier and more enjoyable options for them to enjoy.  For the amount of traffic that was going through the restaurant, with all the kids parties and other people, they did well.  With the new uniforms for the counter staff and the appealing uniform for the McCafe staff, they've come along way to promoting a positive image.

Tullamarine McDonalds McCafe - 173 Mickleham Rd Cnr International Dr - T: (03) 9338-9557

Rating - 4 out of 5

Thursday, May 12, 2005

gay pheromones

This is an interesting article that was sent to me.

WASHINGTON - Gay men's brains respond differently from those of heterosexual males when exposed to a sexual stimulus, researchers have found. The homosexual men's brains responded more like those of women when the men sniffed a chemical from the male hormone testosterone.

"It is one more piece of evidence ... that is showing that sexual orientation is not all learned," said Sandra Witelson, an expert on brain anatomy and sexual orientation at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.

Witelson, who was not part of the research team, said the findings clearly show a biological involvement in sexual orientation.

The study, published in Tuesday's issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , was done by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

They exposed heterosexual men and women and homosexual men to chemicals derived from male and female sex hormones.

These chemicals are thought to be pheromones — molecules known to trigger responses such as defence and sex in many animals.

Whether humans respond to pheromones has been debated, although in 2000 American researchers reported finding a gene that they believe directs a human pheromone receptor in the nose.

The Swedish study was one of a series looking at whether parts of the brain involved in reproduction differ in response to odours and pheromones, lead researcher Ivanka Savic said.

The brains of different groups responded similarly to ordinary odours such as lavender, but differed in their response to the chemicals thought to be pheromones, Savic said.

The Swedish researchers divided 36 subjects into three groups — heterosexual men, heterosexual women and homosexual men. They studied the brain response to sniffing the chemicals, using PET scans. All the subjects were healthy, unmedicated, right-handed and HIV negative.

When they sniffed smells like cedar or lavender, all of the subjects' brains reacted only in the olfactory region that handles smells.

But when confronted by a chemical from testosterone, the male hormone, portions of the brains active in sexual activity were activated in straight women and in gay men, but not in straight men, the researchers found.

The response in gay men and straight women was concentrated in the hypothalamus with a maximum in the preoptic area that is active in hormonal and sensory responses necessary for sexual behaviour, the researchers said.

And when estrogen, the female hormone was used, there was only a response in the olfactory portion of the brains of straight women. Homosexual men had their primary response also in the olfactory area, with a very small reaction in the hypothalamus, while heterosexual men responded strongly in the reproductive region of the brain.

Savic said the group is also doing a study involving homosexual women but those results are not yet complete.

In a separate study looking at people's response to the body odours of others, researchers in Philadelphia found sharp differences between gay and straight men and women.

"Our findings support the contention that gender preference has a biological component that is reflected in both the production of different body odours and in the perception of and response to body odours," said neuroscientist Charles Wysocki, who led the study.

In particular, he said, finding differences in body odours between gay and straight individuals indicates a physical difference.

It's hard to see how a simple choice to be gay or lesbian would influence the production of body door, he said.

Wysocki's team at the Monell Chemical Senses Center studied the response of 82 heterosexual and homosexual men and heterosexual and homosexual women to the odours of underarm sweat collected from 24 donors of varied gender and sexual orientation.

They found that gay men differed from heterosexual men and women and from lesbian women, both in terms of which body odours gay men preferred and how their own body odours were regarded by the other groups.

Gay men preferred odours from gay men, while odours from gay men were the least preferred by heterosexual men and women and by lesbian women in the study. Their findings, released Monday, are to be published in the journal Psychological Science in September.

The Swedish research was funded by the Swedish Medical Research Council, the Karolinska Institute and the Magnus Bergvall Foundation. Wysocki's research was supported by the Monell Center.

Monday, May 09, 2005

tagged challenge

The charming Mikey has bestowed me the honour to basically talk of shit. "Turd in a punch bowl"

The rules of the game I and everyone has to follow;

1. Write a four line poem with the 1st and 3rd lines being "turd in a punch bowl" 2. Make lines 2 and 4 rhyme, using any topic 3. Tag three other poor souls, and suggest they give it a go.

Well this is my attempt

Turd in a punch bowl

How must I adore you

Turd in a punch bowl

Enough to just deplore you

Now it's my turn to issue a challenge to the next 3 saps:

Mikey from munchymunchymoocow

Adam from Hecho En Mexico

Andy from Spatula City

on the screens once again - bb05

The show which people love to hate has returned to our TV screens once again but I'm going to keep this blog short.  BB05 is here and he has a few treats in store, but enough of that till later. What on earth has Gretel done with her, we really don't know, but it shows the bags under her eyes with certain lights (It needs to be darker not to notice as much). This year we have 14 housemates, 7 males and 7 females all supposedly single. With the girls we start of to the bubbly bimbo blonde to the domineering younger or older female (there are two).  The guys, it all depends on how well you know how to wrestle sheep (no he's not a New Zealander), but it also depends on how ochre you want the show to be with a majority of the guys being in that category or just trying to imitate a bull. Mind you we do have a couple of exceptions, the golden gem and absolute pretty boy of the show is Dean. 

With beautiful eyes and a killer smile, he's got a body and bloody nice buns to die for.  But don't get me wrong, most of them are good looking no matter how large their mental capacity may be.  There will be one guy who might stir ideals at an intellectual level will be Tim who is from the journalist field of thought and has already firmly attached himself to Angela who also happens to be the oldest female in the group but also happens to be a Company Director.  But enough on them, when a few others are already reporting this right now. (MsFits and thelovepavilion)

Big Brother introduced two twists last night.  Rule No.9 - Big Brother can change the rules at any time (or something to that affect).  Everyone who's gone knows that they will get the 1 million dollar prize when they leave the house.  But as soon as they all walked in Big Brother change the rules.  Every single time someone breaks any rule in the house, $5000 will be taken from the prize money every time.  This could mean that the winner might walk away with no money at all. The second twist we knew about.  Those who have paid attention to the TV or to Fox or Nova would have heard the ads stating that their will be an impostor in the house.  The twist........... identical twins. Whilst one of the twins is living in a pretty nice isolated room and has no understanding or any knowledge of what's happening in the other house, he will be swapped live tonight with his twin Logan.  Both look identical, except BB has not managed to put an extra scar on the face of the twin which is currently in the house.  We'll see how that goes tonight.  If they are successful in being about to pull off the stunt in two weeks, then both twins will be allowed to live in the house.

Stay tuned......

PS: Yes I'm on the I love Dean fan club :P

Saturday, May 07, 2005

turning over a new tea leaf

Okay, well I'm not on my days off but I do have a surge of energy to play with at the moment and once again I've been creative with the header but I've dropped "Dancing Queen".  Well doing morning shift can take it out every now and then and since I only do it one week a month, but this time I have it 7 days in a row.  It's been a good week at work and away from work as I've read my tea leaves and gone off to splurge on some nice boutique style teas which are on offer from T2.

Before I started doing work to the house, I had a general idea on what accessories I wanted to include in most of the rooms.  The kitchen was one room that would get plenty of attention as at this stage would be the only room being changed dramatically in which ever way I was able to do it.  It was before then that I had noticed the brand T2 at a few cafes that I had ventured into. It would only be recently that I would actually make that move to go to their store and actually purchase some of their teas in the lovely metal canisters.  

What makes T2 tea so special you might ask?   You have to try it for yourself.  There will always be a major difference in the quality of tea that is offered in teabags and with fresh tea.  Every brand does make tea different and it is grown and manufactured in different conditions.  One brilliant example I had recently was T2's Earl Grey.  (For those who don't like Earl Grey can butt out since this is my example).  A work colleague of mine is a tea drinker and recently tried T2's Earl Grey, he was that impressed with the drop that he went back to the cafe that we purchased the tea from and actually thanked them for such a wonderful drop.  I ended up trying this exact tea at my friend Warren's place and I could see exactly what Frank was raving about.  The tea had a wonderful flavour and wasn't as harsh as Twinnings Earl Grey and also produced a lovely aroma.

The time had finally come where I was currently running low on teas, but also at the stage where I wanted to put some order in the chaotic kitchen that's in pieces here and there.  I decided to venture down to T2's, Brunswick Street store in Fitzroy and purchase my first two canisters of tea.  As I wandered into the store, I was already amazed to how many teas were actually being provided.  When you first walk in, you'll notice a round table to your left.  Along the table is every sort of tea that T2 provide and you can pick up and smell every single bowl of tea if you wished to.  Each tea is set out in their different categories ie: black, green, semi-fermented, white, flavoured, etc. Along either sides of the tea emporium, as it is known, is the shelving where all the teas are housed.  Along the centre of the store are displays featuring teas, tea pots and a assortment of cups. An example of what you would find on one shelf would be one tea such as the Earl Grey.  From the start you'll find small noodle boxes full of Earl Grey, next you'll find the small and large foil bags and then the canisters.  There are other smaller bags on offer and staff are very helpful in obtaining one from out back.

Occasionally a staff member will walk around with a tray that has four sample cups of tea which they have just introduced in the T2 line.  On my first day I tried the Turkish Apple and I think it was the Red Green and Happy rooibos tea. On my first selection I ended up purchasing a canister of Earl Grey and Choc Chip Chai.  I would return to buy more and indeed I did the next day.

I did return the next day (since it was pay day) and my first point of call was buying a present for Mothers Day.  I noticed the day before that they actually had sample canisters of teas.  In one lot you would have 3 sample canisters of different teas.  The canister I bought for mum had Morning Tea, Afternoon Tea and Evening Tea.  Next I had to purchase some Orange Pekoe for Simon at work and then satisfy my needs to purchase two more canisters.  I thought I'd pick a green tea (Sencha) and a tisanes tea (Strawberries and Cream).  Once again the staff were very helpful and one actually recognised me from the day before.  After making my purchases, I tried the Buddha tea (green) and made my way home.

The cost of teas are quite reasonable considering the quality of the tea and the various blends that you can actually purchase.  You would be looking at a small from about $9.50 depending on the tea and spending up to $30 for a 250g Canister.  The tea would last you a while unless you drink it religiously then you'll be one of their favourite customers.  Living over the western suburbs the nearest store at this stage is the Brunswick Street Store, but there will be a new store opening soon at Melbourne Central so you won't have long to wait to be able to enjoy this wonderful tea at home. 

Keep an eye out next time you go to a cafe and see what brand of tea they have available.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Sleep mode

Sorry guys, been a quiet week on here. My mind had been on sleep mode since I'm currently doing morning shift so I'm not concentrating well but I do have plenty to say on here when I'm well rested on my days off. xox Will

Sunday, May 01, 2005

"This is not the station you're looking for!"

As I finish waving my hand, you will now know that you do not want to Flinders Street Station. But for those who do, you will notice that lovely display up on the main concourse. This time they aren't trying to crack you up with crackers, fill you up with beer, draw your attention to an impending world disaster. Nope this time we've gone down to the dark side of the force and no it's not my job. Displayed on the columns, hanging from the rafters, sprawled over the windows and getting you before you place your ticket in the barriers is the lovely advertising for the latest Star Wars installment to be internationally released on May 19. For avid Star Wars fans, such as myself it's very hypnotic and noxious as all the type for Episode III is now building up to a climax. After many sleepless nights the end is finally here, and for those who are fans of the dark side, this will be the episode to watch (yeah yeah at light side fans). It's the final countdown. 18 days to go.