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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Link

Since I came here, I've been using the Link bus to get around places. It's pretty good; NZ$1.60 to ride (used to be NZ$1.50 when I got here) and it goes all over the place. Well, places I go often anyway, including Parnell (where my home is), Newmarket, Grafton (where my work is) and CBD. One problem with this service is that you never know how long you have to wait to get the next bus. Some bus stops have electronic noticeboard thing telling you how long, but it is often wrong. Another problem with this service related to the first problem, though probably not of their own making, is the delays. It's pretty good late in the evening, but horrible during rush hour. It's probably because it goes all over the place.

Anyway. I hopped on one this morning to get to work. I just had to wait for 14 minutes before I caught one. No problem. It's expected. I got to sit (yay!)... On a seat behind the back door. Then I noticed that the back door is slightly ajar... Well, I thought. Can't be too bad. After going through a few stops though the back door was completely stuck. Stuck on fully open position. Wonderful. Thank goodness the bus was not fully loaded. I've heard that the company which operates this service is under new management. With the new management, supposedly new Link buses will be introduced. I can't wait for that to happen.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Tunarama!

I saw this on telly and it all came back to me... Ah memories. Tunarama is a little wacky festival in the city of Port Lincoln. I have lived in Whyalla, a few hours drive away from Pt. Lincoln. I've been to that town; it was a nice little place. Anyway. The festival is known for its tuna tossing competition. Yeah they actually throw tuna. A bit of a waste if you ask me, tuna is best when it ends up in your stomach, not on the lawn. A bit of nostalgic moment on an evening with horrible weather.

Rain

It's raining so hard it's not funny. SkyTV is being disrupted badly thanks to the "atmospheric condition". I miss cable TV at times like this. Time to switch back to local TV. Oh wait, I only get clear reception on C4! Bummer! I wish this good drop is received somewhere else in the world... Australia could use some good drop. It's so noisy in my apartment thanks to the fact that it's on the top floor. Rain is hitting the roof so hard...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Water crisis

When I went back to Adelaide last year, I was shocked by the tap water; it was not clear, and tasted like mud. Then again, it's Adelaide for you. Hot southerly wind would bring dust down from the north and making the water brown. Currently Australia is going through one of the worst drought. I was shocked to see pictures of dried up Murray-Darling Basin. The Federal Government is trying to do something but I can see the State Governments will have some problems with that. Meanwhile the water shortage will continue in the foreseeable future. One of "solution" to this problem is to put treated sewerage back into the water supply. They are debating whether to go ahead with this or not. I see both sides of the arguments and they are both fully understandable. It's psychologically a bit of yuck to drink water knowing part of it was formerly someone's excretion. But on the other hand, you know it's gone through the full monty of water purification just like the regular tap water, and treated sewerage probably is actually cleaner than the original water source.

Luckily I'm in Auckland, and I don't have to worry about water supply just yet. Maybe we can build a pipeline to export water, just like pipelines carrying crude oil and natural gas elsewhere in the world...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Home made

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I like rustic bread and pumpkin soup. I found a good recipe at The Fresh Loaf website for an Italian bread, so I gave it a go. I think it came out pretty good. Tasted good too. As for the pumpkin soup, I just pureed boiled pumpkin, added some milk and vegie stock then some shredded ham. Heated up the whole lot in a pot and served piping hot. Pretty good meal that was.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

IHOP at home


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I used to go to IHOP when I was in the US. I must admit I found it strange eating savoury dish with pancake. This place served pancake instead of bread. I also used to frequent Pancake Parlour in Canberra when I was doing my PhD there. My record there was 13 pancakes... A few of us went out there for a late night snack, and a couple of us thought that we order 13, and share between 2 of us; 7 for my friend and 6 for me. We decided to do this, because at Pancake Parlour, the first two pancakes are expensive and adding more pancakes turned out to be cheaper than ordering 6 and 7 stacks individually. When the 13 pancake came out however, my friend decided to eat from both stacks from top. I refused to eat the remains... Of what he ate. I was about to order my own pancakes after all... Then my friends dared me; they'll pay for another 13 pancakes if I managed to finish them. So, I did. We got discounts from the place because they've never seen anybody do this; 26 pancakes for two... My friends paid up, and I was in agony. Ever since, I try to eat in relative moderation even though my own instinct is that too much of good thing is wonderful. Anyway. I made some pancakes for myself, but sadly, I managed to finish only half of this 4 stacker. The rest became my breakfast next day.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I am...

Optimus Prime, according to this website...

Optimus Prime!
Which Colossal Death Robot Are You?
Brought to you by Rum and Monkey

Not the fastest

I was looking at the web and found this site... According to this site, my net connection speed is:


I guess it's okay for what I'm paying but it sure doesn't feel the fastest... Pretty darn quick when I'm getting stuff off from Australia but Skype is choppy as. Oh well.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Big Brother is (indeed) watching

I found this web page full of traffic cams... Of Montgomery County. I found a couple on Twinbrook Parkway, just down the road from my old place. There are a few just off NIH as well. There is one just off from one of my friend's place too. I was wondering if I can catch any of my friends on these cameras... Maybe I should call them and see if they can step outside and make a quick dash to the traffic cam to say hi to me. It's pretty scary that all these cameras are in place. The Big Brother is watching over your shoulder! I found it odd though that there aren't that many red light cameras installed in the US, and people complain about the presence of the red light cameras, yet the same people let authorities have traffic cameras...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Improved banana bread

I like banana bread/pound cake. I found this recipe on the net and I gave it a go:

 

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I think it came out pretty alright. Now I just have to go and brew meself a nice cuppa.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Revenge

is a dish best served cold.

 

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On the other hand, takoyaki is a dish best served piping hot. When I bought the takoyaki maker, I really sucked at using it. I practiced since, and I took a sweet revenge by making good ones.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Clean sweep

And Australia has won the fifth and the final test in the Ashes series for this season. Clean sweep of the series happened last time in 1920's... I guess Aussies came back with a vengeance after losing the series in UK first time in a long time. I watched cricket first time in 5 long years, and I guess it was worth the wait. Bugger I couldn't watch it live... Anyway.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Goodness gracious

Australian cricketers are dropping out of the Test side like flies this summer... Starting with Damien Martyn then Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath... Now Justin Langer. I guess it's good for younger players that they have chance to make it to the top, but 4 players in a summer I thought was a little worrying. Then again, this Test side was getting a little old anyway, and probably it's time for blood letting and introducing new blood. At least players are choosing their own time to get out, rather than being cut from the side from the lack of form.