Monday, August 28, 2006

Round the Bend

This is for Highriser.

If you want to have a look around Yarra Bend I would recomend the following:

Catch an Epping (and somerimes Hurstbridge train) to Victoria Park station and walk past Victoria Park football ground (taking note of the grafitti on the wall, "I want to have Chris Tarrant's baby" etc) to Dights Falls, the upper tidal limit of the Yarra River and former site of a mill (which still partially stands). The falls are best seen a day or so after rain in upper catchments of the river.

From there you can walk along the river to Yarra Bend (where you ended up after crossing kanes Bridge), which was the site a Lunatic Asylum, and is currently home to the Yarra Bend Golf Course. Following Yarra Bend Road North you cross the Eastern Freeway. On the left (west) hand side just over the Freeway you can find the remains of the former gates to the Lunatic Asylum. Opposite this is the site of the Fairlea Women's Prison, a remnant of which is now a Parks Victoria Office. Then you could make your way past the Thomas Emling Hospital and fly casting pools (as in fly fishing). From memory you can get get down to the river from wehre you can follow the path to the Fairfield Boathouse for refreshments.

To get back to the City you could take the route 546 bus to Melbourne Uni. This bus only runs every half hour on weekdays only from Heidelberg Road just near the Fairfield Boathouse. Otherwise it's a further (farther?) walk to Dennis Station on the Hurstbridge line.

I spent a lot of time in Yarra Bend a few years ago with TAFE and uni. Not particularly scenic, but I find it interesting none the less. It has it's fair share of wierdos hanging around too, so watch out...

Monday, August 14, 2006

Poor Form

Two winners! I can't believe I only tipped two winners! I would have been better off not tipping at all. I did better the week I decided to tip the losers, I got 6 or 7 that week (out of a possible 8!). Shows what I know about footy.

Seriously though, I can't beleive Collingwood went down to cellar dwelling Essendon, thats two losses in two weeks now for the mighty (bah!) Magpies. Collingwood is now 7th on the AFL ladder.

It cold be worse, I could barrack for Carlton(but that would never ever happen)...

Friday, August 11, 2006

New Toys

Two weeks ago I finally got around to getting a new camera. After much research I settled on a Canon Powershot A700 (reviews by dpreview and Steve). Short of getting a digital SLR, the A700 has everything (well most things) I want in a camera. In time I will get a DSLR, but for now I wanted a do everything compact that I can slip in my pocket (I have big pockets ;-) ).

It's 6 megapixel for decent sized prints, has a good reasonably fast lens, and shooting modes ranging full auto to full manual (as well a whole heap of scene modes I know I will hardly ever if not never use). It has a 6x optical zoom, which is only let down by the lack of image stabilisation. Camera shake at long focal lengths is assured, however this is overcome by the use of my mini tripod in such situations (I plan to get a Gorillapod for the go anywhere sort of photography I like).

So far it's proving to be a good all rounder (oh yes it takes pretty decent video as well), with excelent results. I've had fun experimenting with time exposures without the expense associated with my film SLR. Hopefully I'll be able to get out and shoot some photos this weekend and have something to show for my efforts here. So watch this space...

My other new toy is an MP3 player, after more research (hey that's half the fun of buying a new toy) I settled on a Creative ZEN Nano Plus 1GB. I very nearly purchased an iPod shuffle 1 GB, but luckily the stores I went to were out of stock. For the same price as the iPod I got the same memory capacity, an LCD screen, voice recorder, FM radio and line-in MP3 encoder. Most importantly however I avoided the use of iTunes in favour of a simple windows explorer drag and drop file transfer. It may be irrational, but I just don't like iTunes. With regard to the battery the downside of the ZEN Nano is that it does not have a built in recharble like the Shuffle, but the plus is that it takes just one AAA cell, alkaline or recharble. A pair of AAA rechargables is on the shopping list.

Soundwise the quality is good, the LCD screen's menu is easy to navigate and it's a small unit. Oh and it also can shuffle songs!

Now to show off both of my new toys, here's a photo of my mp3 player taken using the superb macro mode on my new camera.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Coathanger City

That's the Sydney Harbour Bridge on the right. One afternoon in early February 2005 I sat in the park on Observatory Hill for almost an hour just watching the world go by. There was even a wedding while I was there.

Beforehand however, I had a look through the Sydney Observatory. An interesting way to spend an hour or so. Best of all, it was free.