Wednesday, June 28, 2006


over my lunchbreak today i was reading a blog of a friend i worked with at camp eyons ago and it linked to another old camp friend's blog. i looked at that and found a link to her husband's myspace (also a friend from camp). i clicked on that and becuase myspace has that section of "friends" i found several names i recognized and friends from way back at camp and church(so that killed my intire lunch break and i had to inhale my food to get back to work on time).
i also had weird connections at work. the girl i was working with this afternoon worked at the kinder i'm at now last year. she ended up covering for me when i took a sickie a couple days before i quit work in march and came back the next day to cover for the other woman i worked with so i met her then. after talking with the director that day it was decided that she would temporarily take on my position when i left until the council filled the position (she didn't want permanent work this year). she's still there (but that kinder doesn't run holiday programs so she was available for work this week and decided to come back to her old kinder when they called). we starting talking about how things are going back at my old kinder (her temporary new kinder). she's the oldest staff person left there now (and she's still just doing it casually)!!!! the new director ended up having to go on maternity leave early (i think she planned on working up until mid august) and the other woman (who had also just started this year) decided it was too far to travel and ended up getting a job at a kinder closer to where she lives. it was great finding out how all the kids have been doing there (apparently they still ask about me all the time-- i only knew them 6 weeks). the last parent tonite was over 45 min late tonite (the dad didn't know what happened to the grandfather that was supposed to pick up the girl-- hope everything is alright) so we had lots of time to talk about everything going on at the old kinder, why i resigned and stuff like that (the girl that was left with us was really good and just played uno with us while we talked). it made for a VERY long day though (11 hrs at work-- minus an almost 1hr lunch break). tomorrow i babysit all day. i think going to the aquarium should kill a good part of the day though 8)

Sunday, June 25, 2006


i've been playing around with photoshop trying to figure out how to stitch together nice panoramic photos out of 2 or 3 shots. this is my latest one. i took a walk down the merri creek yesterday to get some cool photos. the photos i used here were taken about 5 minutes before the nice blue sky dissappeaered behind the black clouds on the left of the photo and i got rained on. fortunately i was near an overpass that i could go under so me and 2 other people walking the path taking photos all stood under there taking photos of the ducks, pigeons, stencil art and the architecture of the overpass while we waited for the rain to ease up.
(click here for a bigger shot of the playground photo)

Saturday, June 24, 2006


i didn't know this vegetable existed until yesterday. it was sitting next to the cauliflower in the supermarket and was slightly more expensive. its lime green colour kind of put me off buying it. i looked it up on the web and found a bunch of contradicting articles on it. some say its a cross between broccoli and cauliflowers, others say it's its own vegetable. some say it originated in holland, others in italy. some say it tastes more like cauliflower, others say it tastes more like broccoli. the name has been trademarked by an american company (i think). i think i might have to try out this weird vegie for myself one day.

lost boys of sudan

we went to see a screening of the documentry "lost boys of sudan" last nite. it was really good. it's actually an american doco but sudanese refugees here face the same challanges in resettling. i've been to a workshop on refugees before and i've dealt with refugee families in childcare and kindergarden and even a few people i've worked with have come to australia as refugees but there's always more stuff to learn about what refugees go through to resettle in another country. its all the little things that they have to deal with as well as the big obious ones. learning a new language is tough but i never really thought about all the little parts of the language that someone coming to a new place needs to know. before the documentary a woman from the tomorrow foundation talked a bit about their programs and gave a few anecdotes. one guy said he drank some red wine and then felt really sick after. the australians there said "well that's what red wine can do to you." they looked at the bottle and discoverd he'd drank most of a bottle of red wine vinegar! even having enough understanding of the language to read "red wine" wasn't enough for this guy. in the start of the documentary an american was taking a few refugees through the supermarket to explain things. they had a pretty good grasp of the english language for conversations but the woman had to explain things like that "ea." on a price meant each which is one. it would be all those little things that would add up to cause for a lot of confusion and a lot of new things to learn.
even when i came to australia from another english speaking country i still had trouble with the little things (like learning how to order coffees-- i'd never heard the term "flat white" or had a coffee with nice WARM, frothy milk in it. finding my favourite foods was another problem-- i've had to find new favourites). i still have to ask zac what the "australian" word for things are sometimes but fortunately most australians understand "north american english" cuz of tv and movies. its just talking to kids at work that i sometimes can't remember what word to use so they will understand me-- and i'm speaking mainly the same language and have similar traditions and ways of doing things. i can't imagine how hard it would be moving to somewhere where i didn't speak the language or know how to do things (like using public transport or buying things in a shop).

Friday, June 23, 2006

christmas plans

its really early to start planning for christmas but i've been planning and working this out since last christmas. we're flying my mom down 8). i booked her ticket online today while working out specifics with her on messanger. she didn't really think she could make it for christmas day cuz of where she might be working but i told her to just let them know when she goes back there in autumn (sept/oct) that i've booked a ticket for her to leave and they'll have to deal with it cuz she can't change it (they really like her there and she's worked there past 2 years for their busy season over christmas so i think she should be given a little slack plus she'll be able to work until the dec 20 so that's most of the christmas rush). she leaves from vancouver on the 21st and arrives here on the 23 (you lose a day of your life everytime you fly from there to here) and she'll be here for 3 weeks (jan 11). i'm soooo excited. the last time i spent christmas with her was 2002!! hopefully my brother will come into some unexpected money really soon so he can come too cuz we couldn't afford to fly him down as well. it'd be really cool to have them both here for christmas.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

disappointments and achievements

this is how i watched the game (yes, i'm wearing gloves in the house). it was 7C inside the house when i arrived (10C when i left). the excitment of the game mostly kept me warm though (along with multiple layers and 4 large cups of hot tea).
unfortunately the oilers lost 8( 3-1 but it was a really good game to watch. the looks on the players faces (well then ones that didn't have their head so low that you could just see the top of their helmets) was almost enought to even make a a hurricanes fan cry. they looked so disappointed. i guess for a lot (or all) of them it will probably be one of their biggest disappointments in life. they were so close, played some good games (and some not so good ones) and then lost in the final game. they're still 2nd overall but i guess when you've just lost the most prized cup in hockey after a season of very hard work it would be pretty disappointing.
i achieved something on my ride home though: i made it all the way from macleod back home along the darebin trail with out getting hopelessly lost and/or having a flat tire for the first time. it only took 3 goes at it and a lot of map study before, during and after the rides but i've done it now. the only time i even slightly got lost wasn't a big deal and it wasn't my fault. there was a perfect intersection of 2 paths and horrible (no) signage. i assumed my trail continued straight. a couple hundred metres later it just stopped, right in the middle of a small park (there was a side trail going up to the road but that's not what i wanted). i saw the real trail down below next to the river but instead of going back to the trail intersection i followed a narrow bike tire trail through some grass and down a steep slope back onto the trail with no problems. that's one thing that really needs improving on in victoria is trail signage (both bike and walking trails). a lot of times there's paths branching off and no signs where they go or if there is a sign its very poorly done and you can't tell which direction of the trail the sign is actually referring to. i think bicycle victoria is working on getting concils to improve bike trail signs 8).

you knkow it's cold when...

...the unopened container of long life soy milk sitting on the kitchen floor is colder than it would be if it had been put in the fridge last nite.
it's soooo cold! it got down to 2.7C last nite (below freezing including the wind chill). i think that's the coldest nite so far this winter. yesterday morning was only a bit warmer and it was -1.7C with the wind chill when i went to walk up the road at 8:30 in the morning (weird having to put on multiple layers, gloves, scarf and winter jacket just to walk 2 blocks from here to babysit for the day.
despite living in canada most of my life i don't do well with cold. i blame california (even though i lived in the mountains of sothern cali and we still got snow a couple times during the winters). after that i just never reclimatized to canada in the year i was back there and then with melbourne's extremes i just never get used to the cold after the nice hot summers. i've always got more layers on than anyone else i'm around and i'm always the first to complain that its cold (and everyone's response is "but you're canadain!"). i'm going to attempt to layer up now to make the trek out to mcleod to watch the stanley cup finals on cable at zac's sister's house. the freezing cold will make it just like being at the game 8)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

going to game 7!

i managed to catch the last 21 seconds of the game on nhl radio. the oilers won 4-0 so now they're heading to carolina for the final game of the stanley cup playoffs 8). i checked when espn international was playing the game and its on 9pm on tues nite. i've heard of a bar/gaming place at crown casino that will put nhl games on the big screen if people wanna watch it but they're advertising for people to come watch the world cup games there so i think i'd have to show up with a lot of people interested in hockey to override the soccer being shown. maybe i'll listen to part of it on nhl radio but i don't think i could just listen to a whole game (i've a visual person). wait- i just remembered. zac's sister and her boyfriend have cable 8) i think i'm gonna have to ask them if i can watch the game at their place...

Saturday, June 17, 2006

just like home

i took a trip to get some canadian food today. its actually an american food store (you can't get redvines in canada) but it was filled with stuff i liked to eat in canada and california. it was all pretty expensive but i guess the price includes the shipping costs and import taxes so i stocked up on a few things i've been missing: black beans in a can (i haven't been able to find canned black beans ANYWHERE here even though they have every other type of bean in a can), reese's peanut butter cups (we make our own but they're not the same), triscuits, rice a roni spanish rice, redvines (a favourite that we used to get any time we went down to washington state for gas or shopping trip and when we lived in california) goldfish crackers, m&m chocolate bars (i've actually never seen them before but i love m&ms and these were on special) and aunt jemima's just add water pancake mix (its hard to find just add water mixes here and the one i tried wasn't very good-- i'll be having chocolate chip pancakes tomorrow 8)
it was funny listening to everyone's conversations in the shop too. i've never seen so many people so excited about food before. everyone was pointing out food they love that they haven't seen in a while and they were very excited about it. i actually saw people buying american cereals for $12-13/box (i do have to admit if they'd had honey nut cheerios, not just regular cheerios, i would have done the same though). Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 11, 2006

road rage at its worst

Posted by Picasa
i was just looking on some biking blogs and i came across a link to this forum. its about a guy biking through a busy street in one of the "nicer" suburbs of melbourne. its a little extreme what happens to him but it does happen.
the photo above is from another road rage story i came across while trying to find a photo to put with this post. this one happened in toronto. apparently it happened like this:

i did not see the beginning of this, but the report goes as follows:
motorist throws food out of window. courier, disliking littering, picks up food and throws food back in car. motorist dumps coffee on courier. courier scratches car with key. road rage ensues.

the courier is female. i 'got away' with taking pics by just doing it openly. nobody noticed me because the focus is obviously on the altercation at hand.

i followed the motorist back to his car to photograph his license plate number. he proceeded to open his trunk, take out a baseball bat, and charge me. i walked away, and was one of only two witnesses to stay at the scene and give a statement to police.

i haven't expericed too much road rage from drivers while on my bike. just one guy behind me at a red light who repeatedly honked at me to try to make me go (the right and left turning lanes had green lights but i was in he lane going straight and still had a red). i kept pointing to the red light but he kept honking and when i didn't move he started nudging my bike with his car! since no cars were turning left i moved decided just to block their lane and let the guy run the red if he wanted. turned out he actually wanted to turn right, was in the wrong lane and decided to abuse me so he could turn instead of waiting a few more seconds for it to be a green for straight and turning traffic. mostly i just experience careless drivers who cut bikes off, run pedestrian/bike lights or open doors into bike traffic). zac has had a few drivers shout abuse at him after he's knocked on their car windows to warn them as they're cutting him off or running him into parked cars and he's been chased by one guy in a truck-- zac made it down a side alley and managed to lose him but he was scared to ride home from work with his very noticable bag for about a month after that incident).

Saturday, June 10, 2006


its definately winter. at least the first 9 days of winter were sunny so as long as i had lots of layers on i could stay warm in the sun. today i was planning on going out to take pictures around the area but the gray skys just kept getting darker throughout the day. i went for a quick ride up to some shops (only about a 6km circuit)and it was FREEZING! when i got down to barkley square i discovered where everyone was spending their day to aviod the cold. i just went into kmart to grab something quickly and discovered multiple checkouts open all with lines across the main isle behind them. i went over to safeway just to grab a couple things so can make an african sweet potato and peanut stew (the perfect cold weather dinner). me and about half a dozen other people were hunting around the checkout counters for baskets. i should have taken that as a sign to go to a small independant store in the cold outside but i didn't. i walked around and got my stuff only to find that when i finished, so had everyone else who had taken one of the baskets and there was only 3 checkouts open. lines were winding around and down isles. i got lucky though and after a few minutes of standing in line and still being several people from the front a checkout opened near me and i ended up 2nd in line (and got to get back out into the cold sooner). it would be good if we got some rain. not that i like rain at all (except big summer lighting storms) but we really do need it. i think the last time we had a good rain was about a month ago!! Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 09, 2006

less free time?

i've (kind of) officially got the job at the kinder i've been working at lately. the director asked me last week how many hours i was wanting and told me what she was looking at. yesterday when i was there she gave me a piece of paper with my proposed hours on them (mon-fri afternoons)and told me to think it over and she'll do up a formal job offer in the next week for me. i'm not too excited about working every day but i don't have to be there until 12 or 12:30 (depending on the day) so i guess i can't complain. i'll still have plenty of time to keep my ebay stuff going as well as my newly found fasination with digital photography. i've been playing around with our camera a lot lately and entering a few photos in online contests (my chook photo is actually getting published at the end of the year in an annual book and its in the running for some cash prizes-- although i don't think it'll win those cuz its not a really good quality photo its just funny and i caught it at the right second). i created the photo above in photoshop this morning out of an photo i took last september of the ocean down the coast. its kinda fun playing with all the editing tools and effects while i try to familarize myself with them more.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

the world just got a little bit smaller

i don’t know why i haven’t tried this before now but flickr inspired me to check it out. i was looking at a flickr group in spanish but because my spanish is very limited (my favourite phrase: guardo mi pato en una cadena; translated: i keep my duck on a chain. not extremely useful) i thought i’d do a search for translation sites so i could understand the photo descriptions. i found this one first. probably not the best one out there but it is pretty good and works for me (although translation sites have a hard time with slang words and phrases). its kinda fun translating stuff from english to other languages and vice versa. now that i know these kind of sites exist it just opened up the web even more. the next time i come across a blog in french i don’t have to spend forever trying to translate it with the bits of not-very-useful-for-casual-conversation-french i remember from high school and elementary school.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

"good news, read all about it"

this photo is by paul thompson. its the winner for today on the australian digital photo of the day competition. definately a great shot 8)

Monday, June 05, 2006


there's nothing better on a cold winter morning than a gigantic (north american size) mug of coffee with a timtam. my homemade flat whites don't look as pretty as in cafes here (or taste quite as good) but its coffee and i haven't come across a cafe yet that serves a timtam with their flat whites. i picked up the timtam idea before i came to australia from an american who would stock up on timtams any time she came to australia. she would then stick them in the freezer and for a special treat with hot chocolate or coffee she'd bite opposite corners off a timtam and suck the coffee/hot chocolate thru it until the timtam was all melted inside and fell apart. trying that out at her place was the first time i ever had a timtam (and i've been addicted ever since). Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 03, 2006

deer's revenge

zac sent me this. i wish my french was better so i could understand the french dubbing but its still pretty funny- that'll teach that guy to hunt 8)
one day cows and chickens will have their revenge too...

new bike!!

i finally got my new bike yesterday (gt avalanche 3.0). i picked it out a few days ago at our favourite bike shop and then went back with zac (made him walk his bike with me down to the shop) to go get it but they didn't have a small frame size left so they suggested another bike shop. instead i walked way out of my way home (while zac rode off on his bike to do errands) to try out another bike shop that i know is good. nothing. not even another bike that i liked. so i got on the internet that nite and found one on sale in ivanhoe (about 6km from here). zac's mum was nice enought to drop me off there on her way home from the city (her car was at our house and its not too much of her route home). she even gave me her train ticket so i could take the train most of the way back (i would have ridden the whole way but we were kinda rushed to go out later that afternoon). its soooo much nicer than my old bike (which is some brand that i don't think actually exists but i got it for cheap from a bike shop owner at a bike swap in a back alley in fitzroy just after i moved here-- i knew it wasn't a good bike but i only intended to use it for 10 months, 2 1/2 years later i was still riding it). just sitting on my new bike feels much more comfortable and the front suspension helps out a lot with just the bumps in the road. now i just gotta clean up my old bike a bit so i can get a few $ out of it (its an ok bike for a student or someone who just wants to use it for occasional riding, not the best for someone who can afford better and uses it for their main modee of transportation). Posted by Picasa