Saturday, 27 September 2008

Hey Rocky...

Rocky: "And now..."
Bullwinkle: "Hey Rocky, watch me pull a mark out of my hat!"
Rocky: "But that trick never works."
Bullwinkle: "But this time for sure. Presto! Well, I'm getting close!"
Rocky: "And now it's time for another special feature."
Not Rocky's
Good luck and good hunting...

Friday, 26 September 2008

Nice hat rack!

Looking for a place to rest your hat in Canberra? May I suggest you try the cube sculpture in Belconnen?
cube sculpture in belconnen, actThis is my shot to NutMeg's mark in the blog photo game. You can find it also on Google's street view (see the Google map thingy below).

View Larger Map

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Real car in a toy box

These days I find myself carrying my camera around with me a whole lot more. This is due to playing a certain blog photo game. I was driving home tonight from dinner, and noticed a real car in a toy box on the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Constitution Drive - in Canberra. Thinking it would make a really good mark, I got out to take photos - and hence found one major flaw in the design of Canberra roads. You have to drive all the way down to Canberra City if you're heading north on Commonwealth Avenue, as there are no U-turns.

Upon arriving at the display, I asked the security guard how long the display would be there for, with the man responding "another 5 days". Since we're in a holding pattern while we wait for the next mark to be posted (yes, NutMeg, that's a "dig" at you), I didn't think that gave enough time for this to be a mark in itself. Too transient. So therefore, here is the mark I would have posted, with some subsequent photos of the display as well. The following images ARE NOT apart of the game:

audi in a box pic 00

audi in a box pic 01audi in a box pic 02audi in a box pic 03audi in a box pic 04audi in a box pic 05audi in a box pic 06

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

And the game goes on...

In the last blog photo game, NutMeg has submitted the first shot that matches my mark.

Control of the game now moves... check NutMeg's blog for the next mark!

"What is thy bidding, my master?" -- Darth Vader (Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back 1980)

Monday, 22 September 2008

The new "mark"

Here is the new mark in the photo blog game, as I am the new master from the last game.

"Only a master of evil, Darth!" -- Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope - 1977)

ric_man's mark 00
If you seriously cannot figure this out in a few days, I will update this page with the google map location. The link is just to, and has nothing to do with it expect provide some weird information. Fast game is a good game.

Good luck and good hunting...

Sunday, 21 September 2008

The shot for Jarvo's mark

In the first blog photo game, here is my shot for Jarvo's mark.
Photo for Jarvo's mark #1
In case you want to find it for yourself, it's "SAP House" on Bunda Street, in Canberra City (see the Google Maps thingy below).

View Larger Map

You need to go after dark, as that's when all the neon is turned on. Here are some more photos of the building, in both day and night.

Photo for Jarvo's mark #2Photo for Jarvo's mark #3Photo for Jarvo's mark #4Photo for Jarvo's mark #5
I believe this makes me the new master...

"The circle is now complete. When I left you I was but the learner. Now I am the master." -- Darth Vader (Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope - 1977)

Filthy with Jarvo, and the Frenchies...

Finally got to Filthy McFadden's with Jarvo (it was supposed to happen earlier), and grabbed some pics. It does grow on you, and I think in summer would be a better establishment to drink at than Phoenix - I've been told that Phoenix is hot, humid, and uncomfortable in summer. I didn't know about Phoenix last summer, as I wasn't out and about much. Anyway, here are some pictures:
Filthy's Main Square EntranceFilthy's interiorInside Filthy's looking outFilthy's Laneway entrance

Pre drinks Jarvo and ric_manL to R: Jarvo and ric_man before a drink

post drinks Jarvo and ric_manJarvo and ric_man after a drink

Jarvo has a "strange super-power" of just meeting people, but they're not normal people - they're people from overseas. Anyway, Jarvo and I have been invited to participate in some french speaking lessons. I feel sorry for my poor liver already...
Relaxing with the FrenchiesL to R: BP and Pman

Kicking back on the couch with the FrenchiesL to R: Ollie, Jarvo and BP

French hat stealerBP (after stealing my hat) and Pman

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Happy Birthday spudman... and that's a big crack!

Happy Birthday spudman. Keep on rocking!
spudman and ric_manspudman and ric_man

spudman and I had dinner at one of my favourite Italian restaurants in Canberra - La Dolce Vita (in Kingston - the link isn't to their site, it's just to a Google search - I can't seem to find their web site). I go there once or twice a week. It has a great spaghetti marinara (seriously, it IS that good), but as Nutmeg pointed out, I also eat their pepper and cognac steak (one of the few places I will eat cooked steak) - as long as it is blue with no green beans on the side. What is it with green beans? Does anyone actually eat them? Or are they like parsley - you push it aside before you start eating? Yuk!

And since I'm taking pictures with my camera... here is one of a stone chip in my windscreen. I don't know where it came from (ie. the stone off the road) as I don't remember any cars in front of me at the time. The chip itself formed an interesting shape.
Stone chip Sept 2008Click on the image to see the enlarged version for greater detail.

Don't look for the chip if you see my car - the nice guys from Windscreens O'Brien fixed it by replacing the windscreen in around 20 minutes.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Blossoms in Canberra

I've always liked the look of blossoms. Maybe its due to my Asian background. I don't know. Here are some photos I took of blossoms last Saturday (click on the individual images to see larger versions):

blossoms on tree #1blossoms on tree #2blossoms on tree #3blossoms on twig

Visually, they look great to me. As long as I don't have to clean them up when they start dropping from the tree, I'm more than happy to admire them.

"The perfect blossom is a rare thing. You could spend your life looking for one, and it would not be a wasted life." -- Katsumoto (The Last Samurai - 2003)

Monday, 15 September 2008

Let the photo game commence...

Jarvo came up with this really good game, and him and I will play it over blog initially. Simple rules, and anyone can join in. Fork it, and play it in your locale as well.

The Blog Photo Game
Objective: Match the photo made. One person ("the master") takes a photo of something ("the mark"), and drops some clues on their blog. The other people ("the hunters") involved need to take a similar photo of the mark ("the shots").
1. Must be in your locale (currently ACT, Australia for Jarvo and me). Be reasonable - eg. don't drive out 200 kms away from your locale to take a photo.
2. The shots should be taken around the same time of day as the mark. They do not necessarily need to have the same transient objects in the photo - eg. you do not need to have the same people in the photo.
3. Where possible, do not use phone camera photos - they're grainy and they suck.
4. First person to duplicate the mark takes control of the game, and becomes the master for the next game. This doesn't stop the other hunters from still making their own shots. New masters should be announced and linked to from the original photos postings. Use the "comments" feature, which should be available on most blog pages (where possible - allow for anonymous comments on blogs). At the discretion of the original master, he or she may reveal the location of the mark. A fast game is a good game. If you become the new master, don't procrastinate and delay posting a new mark.
5. All marks and shots should be posted on a blog, and should be licensed with some open license, preferably something like Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, or tailored for your region if required. Although you don't need a blog, it will help. There are many cost-free public blog sites out there (like this one). Do not use social networking sites that requires the participants to log in (eg. facebook), unless all you want to do is play a private game. As mentioned previously, allow for anonymous comments on your blogs in case participants want to keep their anonymity.
6. No need to GIMP or "photochop" your work - but feel free to make photos more fun!
7. When posting photos on your blog, state whether it's the mark, or if its a shot. Link to the original where possible.
8. Photos should be able to be taken in public or accessible by the public. For example, a picture of a specific tree in a park is fine - a picture taken only from the 20th floor of a building that is only accessible because you work there is not. Additionally, please refrain from taking photos from places that you have to pay admission to enter.
9. This game is open to anyone. No restrictions, and no need for an invitation! Just put comments on the master's blog. You can always remain anonymous, but if you become the new master, you will need to communicate where the hunters can see the new mark. Respect the right to privacy and use pseudonyms, unless the person consents with using their real names.
10. Do not make the marks and clues too obscure. Ideally, it should only take a day or two for the hunters to figure out where the mark was taken, so they can make their own shots. The format of the clues is up to the master.

Over to you Jarvo - you can start with the first mark. playaDee, Nike, and Tickets - you're more than welcome to join in.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Phoenix to Filthy's...

Yesterday was a great day in Canberra. It's been a long time between sunny days (both in reality and "in my head"), so I somehow got up early and decided I wanted to see Filthy McFadden’s Irish Pub in Kingston. I picked up my camera, and started walking there (I don't drink and drive, so if I go somewhere to have a drink, I don't take the car). I started at the Phoenix (which I think is still the best place to have a drink in Canberra). And as another connection, Phoenix and Filthy's are owned by the same guy. Here's a whole swag of photos:
Phoenix Bar in the Sydney BuildingPhoenix Bar in the Sydney Building

Front of Phoenix BarFront of Phoenix Bar

front of parliament houseParliament House

flag of australia on top of parliament houseTop of Parliament House - Flag of Australia

ric_man on top of parliament houseric_man on top of Parliament House

magna carta in parliament houseMagna Carta in Parliament House

house of representatives in parliament houseHouse of Representatives in Parliament House

senate in parliament houseSenate in Parliament House

some random building in barton, actSome random building in Barton, ACT

Now, I was supposed to catch up with Jarvo at Filthy's for a drink, but he dragged his heels all day. I did later catch up with him, but it was more like 1am - therefore I don't have any photos of Filthy's. I'll have to go back to take some. I did get a stupid photo of my knee while I was waiting for my lunch in Kingston in some sushi place.
ric_man's knee

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Socceroos on track to World Cup 2010

The Socceroos, this morning, beat Uzbekistan 1-0. I wasn't awake for the match (and it was on a channel I don't receive anyway). One step closer!! I did see the highlights on the news as I was getting up. Lovely header from Scott Chipperfield!

This leads me to think about Josh Kennedy as a striker. While I like Josh playing the position he plays, he needs to bulk up. He appears to get pushed out of the way by defending teams. He does have the height, but by the time the lob pass is made, he may be muscled out of position. I think that was the value that Mark Viduka gave the Socceroos. He wasn't the quickest or smartest of all the strikers, but he could single handedly tie up two defenders - thus freeing others.

Good luck against Qatar!

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

You've got to find spam entertaining...

I don't know what you use for a spam filter, but I find Google's Gmail service very good when it comes to deciding what is spam and what is not. Usually, I will go into my spam bucket once a week and look for anything which might be a real email. Most of the time, I just press "Mark All" followed by the "Delete Forever" button. Occasionally I find one with an entertaining subject. Here is such an email (click on the image to see it larger):
Thick and juicy sperm spamThick and juicy is what I like in my hamburgers... I don't think any one would appreciate it that in fluids secreted by the human body. You've got to have a sense of humour... at least the spammers do... (I hope)

Sometimes, I don't know what has just happened...

I don't know what has happened to me today. I feel strange at times. I don't feel like I have purpose sometimes. I think it was triggered by a phone conversation with my ex-wife's father yesterday (for Father's Day). I still get along with him, and I appreciate his rapport with me. I don't remember what I spoke about. I think it was about the settlement. I just wish this would all be over. I missed my dog - Jazz. She was the closest thing to a surrogate child my ex-wife and I had. Then someone calls me up, asking for my ex-wife. I barely remember what that was about either, but I forwarded them onto her.

After that, I was chatting to my brother Jay. The conversation went along the lines of I don't know why I am here. I don't know what worth I have. I just want to jump into my car and drive - fast, somewhere. Not here - not Canberra. Not Australia. I don't know. Just fast - with some tunes blaring loud out of the sound system. There's still too much crap in my head, and I can't seem to get it out. I can't seem to connect with the people around me. It's good to have people around me to chat to, but the true deep-down connection (someone of you may say "spiritual" connection) I had with my ex-wife is lost or broken, and in a way it affects the others around me. I don't feel like I have a soul (no connection with me previously pricing it). I feel like I am RĂ´nin - set adrift without direction. I didn't think life would turn this way. I feel so emotionally cold. I hope this doesn't upset or piss too many people off. I think I've pissed off Jarvo already - but he seems to be able to let things slide with me. My interactions with others - I can't comment - but for what it's worth "sorry".

"I no longer know how to pray
Live in a dog town, and it's a dalmatian parade
I change my spots over and over
But they never seem to fade away..."

-- August and Everything After (Counting Crows - 2003?)

Thanks for being there Jay... I'll see you in the UK, bro! You're the closest thing I still have that is connected with reality...

"Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it. You know, I just do things." -- Joker (The Dark Knight - 2008)

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Drinking in Canberra, and well done Socceroos (vs the Dutch)

Went out last night and caught up with a work colleagues partner's 50th birthday. Really nice couple, and it was a good social gathering. Anyhoo... after that I caught up with Jarvo, who was celebrating another birthday of someone else. Had a drink at the Phoenix Bar - which in my opinion is the BEST bar in the whole of Canberra. It has the most character and reminds me so much of bars in Melbourne I frequented a long time ago - long before I was with my ex-wife. I have been to a few of the establishments here that cater for "younger" people, but I feel they are a very plastic - both the establishment and the people that go there. People that go to those places are living in the "now", and while they may look appeasing to the eye, they do not appear to have much substance in character (yes, this is a stereo-type, and I have been privileged to meet many exceptions to this rule). And the places are generally too loud, and therefore you cannot chat to anyone. Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate the music, and with enough liquid encouragement can "move", but really do not find them pleasant to go to - I'm actually listening to Pendulum's Coma and Yakuza's Cocaine as I've been writing this:

"Hug me till you drug me honey; Kiss me till I'm in a coma"
-- Coma (Pendulum - 1997)

I eventually came back to where I'm staying, and I go to bed, but somehow leave the TV on. I don't know what I was watching when I went to sleep, but it was obviously some sports channel, because I get woken up pleasantly to the Socceroos playing the Dutch. And the Socceroos won: 2 - 1. The Dutch weren't a push-over side either. They're ranked #4 in the world!
It's a good start to the rest of the World Cup 2010 qualifier in the Asian Football Confederation standings. Only a pity I was in a beta state of lucidity - being half awake and half asleep while watching the football game. At times I dreamt I was actually on the field watching the events unfold. Then I'd wake up and watch a few more minutes. Good game overall, and it was a pity it was marred with a red card - therefore not really testing 11 Australians against the 10 Dutch. Hope the Socceroos do well in their next game against Uzbekistan!

Friday, 5 September 2008

Finally... I'm getting a better score...

If you remember how upset I was at the value of my soul, well now I am a little bit more pleased:

ric_man is 90% Evil

Unfortunately, ric_man is NOT the most evil person he knows - pappaD has a better score (for now).

The devil is even a little scared of ric_man!

Maybe that's the reason I never got a large amount of money for my soul... Satan is scared to own it!

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Violent video game to be blamed for saving family

If you play any type of video game console, and you have not been living under a rock for the past 10 years, you would have heard of the Grand Theft Auto series. In a nutshell, you start your life as a low level criminal, and depending on your actions, you can just cruise around and do nothing all day, or complete missions to advance the storyline and climb in your criminal career.

The problem with this type of game is that it attracts a lot of press - mostly bad press, by "experts" who think it is corrupting children. And then something like this comes along: Grand Theft Auto help preteen rescue family from crashed car. I wonder what these experts will spin this into? These "experts":
  • may have inadequacies, and want a scapegoat to blame, due to the lack of efficiency of raising their own children;
  • may just want to sell books (or get their face on TV).
Make up your own mind on this!

And one last parting thought - in all of the major war conflicts in history upto the 1960s, why wasn't video games to blame? And did Jack the Ripper have a copy of Manhunt before he went on his killings? If you listen to the "experts", he may have.