27 March 2013

Hiram's Visit

I grew up as a missionary kid in Ghana, West Africa. One of the other families we worked with over there was the Rings, from the US. Among their many children were Ethan (my age) and Hiram (my brother's age), and we've been friends pretty much ever since. When I got married in Seattle back in June 2007, Ethan flew most of the way across the country to be a groomsman, and Hiram also flew across the US to attend as a guest.

I hadn't seen Hiram (other than keeping up with his worldwide travels, and music, online) since our wedding day. He's currently spending a couple months in Canberra doing research as part of his PhD studies in Singapore, so arranged to spend a weekend up north visiting the Davies families. He's now the second Ring to stay in our house, as Ethan was here on a work visit not long after we moved in to this place.

Friday, 22 March

He's here!

26 March 2013

Music Month continues...

Saturday, 16 March
Opeth @ The Tivoli

Opeth are a folk/metal band from Sweden. Their style encompasses acoustic guitar, haunting melodies, distorted guitars, and death growls.

25 March 2013

Adelaide, Day 6

Thursday, 14 March

Checkout was at 9am. I checked out, got my $20 key deposit back, and left my full backpack at Reception. The room was full of many other bags, as some guests were checking in and out (changing rooms), or like me didn't have to head to the airport till later in the day.

From the hostel, I wandered on foot to Rundle Mall, where I got some bananas and iced coffee at Woolies. I've had Farmers Union (the major flavoured milk brand in South Australia) iced coffee years ago, but had never seen the "Strong" variety. It tasted OK, but is nowhere near my favourite - that space is reserved for a fistfight between Ice Break and Dare Double Espresso. I was slightly worried that "water" was listed as an ingredient on the carton.

Not the best Iced Coffee on the market.
After having my banana-and-coffee breakfast, I stopped in at the State Library again to update Facebook, check emails, and continue drafting these posts. Yes, I realise I'm actually publishing this over ten days later.

24 March 2013

Adelaide, Day 5


The hostel had a noticeboard, where you'd find things like local short-term jobs, people looking to buy/sell vehicles, or people seeking company on road trips across Australia. Like the one pictured below, which has some interesting spelling ("Kowallas") and entertaining conditions ("No dickheads! Cool people only!")

Wednesday morning started out cloudy, and even attempting to rain. It was way cooler than my previous 4 days in Adelaide.

Adelaide has some good free public transport options. There's a bus route (99C) that runs a continuous loop in the CBD, in both directions, and the tram is free between any of the CBD stations. On Wednesday, I took the free bus around, seeing a few more parts of the city, and getting off on North Terrace near the State Library.

21 March 2013

Adelaide, Day 4 - Coopers Alehouse

Tuesday, 12 March... Continued.

As mentioned in the previous Adelaide post, I stopped in at the Coopers Alehouse on my way back to the hostel.

Up here in Queensland, I've been to pubs that have Coopers Pale Ale on tap, but for anything else you have to go to a bottle shop - and even then, not all shops have all varieties. So to be in South Australia and have a whole range on tap, how could I not? I was also lucky to have friendly bar staff who were more than happy to pour me small free samples of different varieties, in between my full glasses.

Sparkling Ale.

Adelaide, Day 4 - Part 2

Tuesday, 12 March


Three fennecs being extremely inactive in the middle of the day.

20 March 2013

Adelaide, Day 4 - Part 1

Tuesday, March 12

After the late night wrapping up WOMADelaide, I had another slight sleep in, followed by another trip to Woolies to get some food for the next couple days. This time, a dozen doughnuts were half price (for a carb/sugar hit), and I got some bananas as well. Somehow I misplaced my nice 1.5 litre water bottle the night before, so I got a 500ml iced coffee. After finishing the coffee, I rinsed the bottle out and continued using it as a water bottle for the rest of the week.

Pedestrian bridge over the River Torrens.

My plan for the day was to visit Adelaide Zoo, which had been recommended to me. I've been to quite a few zoos, and while not quite up there with Singapore, San Diego or Woodland Park, it's a very good zoo for its compact size. The paths and layout of the exhibits are placed in such a way that you don't feel like you're in a small(ish) inner city zoo - you still have to do quite a bit of walking in order to see everything.

TV spoilers

The TV show we've been making our way through on DVD for the past few weeks is "24". I watched most of the earlier seasons when they first aired, but there are a few gaps in my memory. Kara, on the other hand, hasn't really seen any of them.

The pace of this particular show makes watching episode after episode a lot of fun, and we've had a few late nights staying up for "just one more episode". None of this wait-around-for-next-week stuff.

However, it does lead to spoilers. Not of the terrible, "Thanks you just wrecked Star Wars for me" kind, but along the lines of the following. Which I will outline in some sort of screenplay format.

19 March 2013

Science Fiction films of the 90s

Here are my favourite Science Fiction films of the 1990s.

No less than four of them feature time travel.

18 March 2013

Adelaide, Day 3

Monday, March 11

Monday was the final day of WOMADelaide. I liked that nothing started till noon, and ran till midnight, which meant I could sleep in and not miss out on anything.

Panoramic view from my upper bunk.

17 March 2013

Adelaide, Day 2

Sunday, 10 March

Sunday morning I slept in. The day before, I'd seen so many of the food stalls that were operating in the park, but unfortunately they were out of my price range. I hope to go to WOMADelaide again next year, but next time I will save up for it well in advance so that I can try some different foods from around the world - at festival prices, eg 1 curry meat dish and rice $12, or 2 meat dishes for $15.

So my first stop for the day was Woolworths, in the main city mall. For $11 I got all my meals for the next two days - some fresh fruit, salami, cheese, and hamburger rolls. So perhaps not all the flavours of the world I could've had, but I definitely saved on money.

A sign posted in the mall.

15 March 2013

Adelaide, Day 1

Saturday, 9 March

I boarded my flight out of Brisbane, and we took off on time just after 6 in the morning.

I was in a window seat, and the couple in the seats next to me were also first-time WOMADelaiders heading down to Adelaide for the world music festival. (But with thousands of people in the park, I didn't actually end up seeing them again at any of the shows.)

With a tailwind, we landed in Adelaide almost a full half-hour ahead of schedule. South Australia is in the Central Australian time zone (GMT + 9.30), so it's usually 30 minutes behind Brisbane. But since that state observes Daylight Savings, it's now half an hour ahead of Brisbane. So I flew westward, but the clock went forward... weird.

When I travel to other countries, I re-set my watch to local time. With only a half-hour difference, I kept my phone on Brisbane time for the week, and just had to remember to add 30 minutes to whatever it said.

The sign inside Adelaide Airport, welcoming me to South Australia.

13 March 2013

Holidays, Day 1


My first day off was also the first night of WOMADelaide, but I had a slight clash of timetables - Friday 8 March was the first Broncos game of the season, and was being played at home!

Being season ticket holders (for a second year), Kara and I of course went. But due to my Saturday flight plans (departing 6am), I stayed up late Thursday and had a really long sleep-in on the Friday to prepare for my all-nighter.

07 March 2013

Music Month

It looks like March is going to be a Music Month.

As of tomorrow, I'm on annual leave from work for 4 weeks.

My holidays start with a trip down to Adelaide (my first visit in actual - not toddler - memory) for the annual music festival WOMADelaide. With artists coming from all over Australia and the world, it's a festival I've wanted to go to for quite some time.

04 March 2013

90s Action

More explosions, more car chases, more complicated plans to steal all the gold or rule the world. It's time for my favourite 90s action films.

This list features:

  • 3 starring Bruce Willis
  • 2 starring Nicolas Cage
  • 3 directed by Michael Bay
  • 4 directorial debuts (Bad Boys, Speed, Boondock Saints, Con Air)
  • 7 with police/FBI officers as major characters
  • 1 with oil-rig workers as major characters
  • 0 featuring space aliens... unless you count Peter Stormare's cabin-fevered cosmonaut.

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