Thursday, March 29, 2007

Picasa web albums

It appears that Google is hoarding all the photos that people post to their blogs in Picasa web albums. At the moment it's only photos that were posted after December last year, but they claim to be working on migrating all photos people have ever posted. That's great. I might consider dumping my flickr album which I never use anyway.

In general, I seem to be languishing in the photo taking at the moment, I just can't be bothered. The photos I took at the air show are evidence of this.


Catalina, Hornet and Tiger Moth

Yep, once again I ventured to the airshow. And you know what? It was boring. I've lost count of the airshows I've been too, I think I've been to all of them except for the the first 2 (92 and 95), and I may have missed either 2001 or 2003. It was probably most disappointing because there was nothing new or different there, I'd seen it all before, in fact I reckon there were things missing that had been there in previous years.

It wasn't all bad though, once again V/Line did a wonderful job of getting the crowds to and from the event. I walked straight off a suburban train and straight on to an airshow (Lara) train at Southern Cross, and then straight on to a bus at Lara. Bloody briliant. After the airshow I hung around on the flight line watching the departing aircraft while the hordes went home, I only left when security came around rounding up the stragglers. Again it was straight on to the bus to Lara station and a 5 - 10 minute wait before the 6 car VLocity train turned up, smooth and fast. I pity the fools who drive to the airshow, of course the only way to get there is in style and fly in.

At the end of the day I was $110 down, in possession of a new hat ($25), a program ($10), and a mild case of sunburn. (it cost $45 to get in, the train ticket was $16 and I spent about $12 on food and drink, I'm not too sure where the rest of it went)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Where'd all the water go?

Sugarloaf Reservoir - September 30 2006

Sugarloaf Reservoir - March 18 2007

The first photo was taken on grand final day, when I went fishing at Sugarloaf Reservoir, I was surprised to find this much water in the reservoir. Then on Sunday, nearly 6 months later we visited the reservoir and found the reservoir nearly empty. Sugarloaf Reservoir is fed from the Maroondah Reservoir near Healsville via the Maroondah Aqueduct, and the Yarra River. The first photo was taken from around about the greyish coloured rocks on the shoreline to the left of the second photo. The hill in the background of both photos is called Mt Graham.

Oh and if anyone is wondering I only caught one fish, a small Redfin, on grand final day. I threw it back. There are also Trout (Brown and Rainbow), Golden Perch and Carp. There are eels too, but no body talks about those...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Sydney has trams too.

A lot of people may not realise that Sydney has a short light rail line. It is much like the St Kilda and Port Melbourne lines in Melbourne in that much of the line is a former heavy rail line. The line originally opened in 1997, and ran from Central Station to Darling Harbour, and around the other side of Pyrmont to terminate at Wentworth Park. In 2000 the line was extended to its current terminus at Lilyfield. Major attractions served by the line include Darling Harbour, Star City Casino and the Sydney Fish Markets. The line is operated by Metro Transport who also operate the Sydney Monorail. A definitive history of the line can be found at Matthew Geier's Sydney Light Rail web page. There is a technical fact sheet on the system available here.

Sorry about the last photo, I was having a bit of an Alfred Hitchcock moment...;-p


Well there they are, the file names do all the explaining.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

General Updates

I don't know where the last two weeks have gone but here I am.

(Is it just me or do I say things like the above far too often on this blog?)

On the long weekend just passed I really did nothing in particular, it was nice and long though. I enjoyed it so much that I had trouble hauling myself out of bed this morning. I was an hour late for work...(it's OK though, my hours are very flexible)

Friday Evening: Uncle Ben's child minding emporium (no pies or dog food to be seen, you'd be surprised how often I'm asked about Uncle Ben's pies) was open for business. We played AFX slot cars before fighting world war 3 at bed time. I won (or perhaps it was tierdness?), in the end...

Saturday: Shopping and lunch at local shopping centre.

Sunday: Went to see The Illusionist. It was a great film, very mysterious and was well cast. It was set in Vienna but filmed in Prague, so was visually fantastic.

Monday: Took a "Sunday" drive to Kyneton and Malmsbury. Had a pie from the Malmsbury bakery.Very highly recommended. Walked around the botanic gardens before driving home again. The Malmsbury Botanic Gardens feature a lake, which unlike lake Wendouree in Ballarat still has some water in it, although it's not much more than a mud puddle. The ducks didn't seem to mind though.

That's it really.

P.S. I finally got around to going through my Sydney photos, so I might post a few over the next few weeks. And I might even install the final installment into my Sydney tale soon too.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Sydney ferries again

Lady Herron at Circular Quay. It's weird because only yesterday while driving over the Westgate bridge did I notice the same type of ferry moored in the Yarra River at Spotswood. It was Lady something, but the writing was too small to read. I believe Sydney Ferries only operate two of this class of ferry these days.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

I love Sydney Ferries

If you've read my rather lengthy posts on my trip to Sydney, you may realise that I spent a lot of time riding on the ferries. Over my various visits to Sydney I've come to love them. To me they have a personality, and think that they say Sydney as much as a green and cream (or red and cream) W class tram says Melbourne.

Much to my delight I discovered a book at the ARHS NSW book shop at Central Station, The Sydney Ferry Book, by Dale Budd and Randall Willson. These are the same authors who wrote the fantastic Melbourne Tram Book. I did intend to go back and buy the book but totally forgot on my last morning in Sydney. I must visit the Railfan Shop in Melbourne to see if they stock it or can order it in for me. Or I could just order it through the Railway Digest book listing, or the ARHS NSW online bookshop, which I just discovered while gathering links for this post.

Such Great Heights

Sometime last year I was lucky enough to hear Ben Folds perform Such Great Heights (originally performed by the postal service), on Triple J's like a version segment. It came in at number 70 on the 2006 Hottest 100. Only the other day did I think of tracking it down on the net. It was amazing to listen to live on the radio, and the video does it justice. All the instruments used were improvised, except for the piano, which had towels stuffed into it.

Anyway, here is the video, which I found on YouTube.

Friday, March 02, 2007

The end of the world: Back in Melbourne

I can't believe I've been back in Melbourne for 6 days. My time away in Sydney felt like about two weeks, but in reality it was only 5 days. I've decided that I need more holidays. Perhaps next time I'll go somewhere I haven't been before.

I'll finish blogging about the rest of my trip (as boring as it may be) over the weekend, with some backdated posts. I've been jotting down dot points of things I did so I don't forget. And I'll probably try and get some photos up as well.

I always find it interesting to draw comparisons between Sydney and Melbourne. The thing that struck me the most this time is how green and lush the vegetation is up there, there's lush green lawns everywhere. And fountains, they have water running in their fountains. I thought Sydney was meant to be in the middle of the same drought we are, obviously not. From what I've seen on the TV weather it's been raining pretty much the whole time since I left on Saturday under very threatening looking skies.

The other comparison is how laid back and Melbourne is, Sydney is so busy (traffic jams at 9pm on Tuesday evenings don't help). The humidity is another thing that I don't like about Sydney, although apparently we had that in Melbourne last week as well. Actually, it feels pretty humid now. Another difference is the public transport, I can see the good and bad of both cities. I think I'll save that for another post though.

I' don't mean to sound negative towards Sydney, I like it a lot, it's just different to Melbourne.