Sunday, July 29, 2007

Beautiful Ballina

Mum and Dad came to stay with Clare and I in the unit in Byron Bay for the weekend. On the Monday, we went for a bit of a drive through the back country of the Northern Rivers area, ending up in Ballina where Clare and I were due to fly out of.

Here's a quick couple of pics from beautiful Ballina:

Dad in front of the Big Prawn (thanks to Mum for the fabulous photo. x)

Surf's up, with a pod of dolphins frolicking off the coast.

A few of facts about Ballina:
  • Circa 20,000 population
  • Named after a town in Country Mayo (Ireland) by Irish red cedar timber cutters based in the area in the 1840's.
  • Main current industries include tourism, fishing, sugar cane and macadamia nuts. Anecdotally, there is also a centralisation of aged care services beginning to crop up in Ballina to service the move of many retirees to the North Coast.

Where dreams are made...and then regurgitated

On day 2 of our little trip, Clare and I joined a few of her old mates from Lismore and visited Queensland's most dated theme park, Dreamworld.

The rides

Clare (right of centre) on The Claw. I declined a second invitation, as I was close to vomiting the first time.

The Claw fact: The 27 metre-high ride swings 240o vertically, rotates 360o horizontally, and travels at a gut-wrenching 75km/hr.

The Wipeout was gnarly, dude. Totally tubular. I'm sitting below the 'P' and Clare below the 'O'.

The Wipeout fact: The ride opened 14 years ago, costing $6 million.

Definitely my favourite of all the rides on the day (I'm a pansy), the Log Ride was a very wet affair. For those overseas, note the very Australian gum tree backdrop.

Log Ride fact: Riders scream down the shoot at over 50km/hr!

Incidentally, the last time I was at Dreamworld was when the Tower of Terror opened - 24 January, 1997. The ride was fantastic, but I think they need to do a bit of work around the's all looking a little shabby in the pre-ride theming.

Tower of Terror fact: Costing $16 million to build, the TOT accelerates to over 160km/hr in seven seconds and pulls 4.5G's.

We also went on the Cyclone and the Giant Drop. I nearly shat myself on the Giant Drop - check this link out for a Quicktime video demonstrating the height and speed of the ride. Below is also a video from YouTube which demonstrates the innate personal experience.

The animals

CRIKEY! Look at this little beauty!! The photo doesn't do it justice, but the croc pictured is bloody massive, with a body bigger than a horse and longer than a Datson 180B.

I reckon if I was locked up in Dreamworld for life, I'd probably lose all of my inhibitions as well.

The verdict

A fun day. Advice for those thinking of going:

Take a picnic...go in the summer when school's in to take advantage of the water slides...try not to wonder if the maintenance of the rides is given the same importance of the general cleanliness of the park...go on the log ride, three times.

Away to Byron Bay

Back in February, I bought Clare and myself a couple of tickets to Byron to spend a long weekend away - after a massive few months at work, the break was well appreciated and gave me the chance to have a bit of a think about where things are at.

I have had a lot of trouble in writing this post, as I've found it hard not to post a squillion photos of the beauty that is the North Coast. Here's a few of my favourites from Byron Bay:

Some shweetie I met on the lookout above The Pass near Watego's.

It's hard not to be mesmerised by the rhythm of the many surfers in and around Byron Bay. What a lifestyle! In the background is the sharp peak Mount Warning - Clare and I climbed it on our last visit to the's the first place on the Australian mainland that sees the sunrise!!

More surfers, framed by some of the gorgeous flora found in the area.

Sunrise at The Pass.

A morning walk on the beach.
Its calm and quietness numbed me into a sense of tranquility - my toes felt very much the same walking through the icy morning sand.

This one's for Angus. Note the texture.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Poll result: Emo's

The results from last week's poll are in:

Approximately 75% of respondents undoubtedly agreed that emo's should be slapped by a designated sub-set of the Australian Federal Police.

With a Federal election just around the corner, this could prove to be a real ace in the pack for whichever political party decides to jump onto this tide of public opinion...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Go go go! (Bag)

Be alert, but not alarmed people - some hot news in Sydney today.

Sydney's Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, has joined forces with the Federal Attorney-General's department to launch a new campaign creatively named, "Lets Get Ready Sydney".

As part of the plan, the campaign will today release 200,000 booklets which advise what to do in the event of a terrorist attack or natural disaster.

One of their suggestions is for people to prepare a 'Go-Bag'...essentially something you can grab on the run if you're confronted by a group of pissed off Decepticons or a five-story high carnivorous dinosaur.

What has Clover and her good mate Phil Ruddock suggested people pack?

  • Hat
  • Toilet paper
  • AM/FM Radio
  • Sunblock
  • Torch
  • Spare batteries

  • Spare keys
  • Notepad and pen
  • Runners
  • Water
  • Disposable gloves
  • Adhesive tape

  • But I think they may be forgetting a few items:
    • Ipod - nothing can go wrong when you've got Jack Johnson ticking along
    • A copy of Nostradmus' Les Propheties - a bit like a movie preview
    • Lamb sandwich - you'll get hungry whilst running away from aforementioned carnivorous ancient reptile
    • 100mL bottle of Ultra-sensitive Day Moisturising Lotion by Jurlique - even in a catastrophic, possibly life-ending event, it's essential you maintain a radiant complexion
    • MacGyver - he can get you out of anything
    • A few beers - to drink whilst MacGyver does his shit
    • Some doritos - to eat whilst you're drinking the beers
    • A spare pair of undies - just do it

    What would you put in your 'Go-Bag'??

    Sunday, July 15, 2007

    The Poll

    Hi all
    Blogger has just put up a new feature - the poll. This is a very cool addition - I've been looking for a decent polling widget now for some time, but they all seem to come with a "we'll send you ridiculous amounts of pop-up ads and generally give you a friendly kick in the nuts if you sign up", clause.

    So this week's poll is:

    Should emo's be slapped by a designated sub-set of the Australian Federal Police?

    You don't need to enter in your email address to vote, just click the box and press the button.



    Never fear, Batman and Love Goddess are here...







    As long as these two crime-fighting machines still walk the streets, Sydney will be safe from terrorism.

    Sunday, July 08, 2007

    Mobilise people!

    As you can see, the petition to have the schmiddy outed from Australian bars is going well. --->

    Al Gore didn't mention it in his address to the world in the recent Live Earth concerts, but even he reckons that the schmiddy should be banned from Australian bars.

    He may or may not have also said that even if eradication means utilising the power of nuclear weapons to achieving the goal, he's prepared to support the move.

    Mobilise people...sign the petition for the good of our nation.

    Tuesday, July 03, 2007

    Blame it on the schmiddy

    Don't blame it on the sunshine
    Don't blame it on the moonlight
    Don't blame it on the good times
    Blame it on the schmiddy...

    Ladies and gentlemen,

    The time has come to make a stand. I am petitioning the Federal Government to have the schmiddy banned from all Australian hotels. Please follow this link to show your support in eradicating what is arguably one of Australia's greatest threats to national security. See below for further detail (from the petition):

    Schmiddy: (Eastern Australia) A beer glass of volume less than a schooner, but more than a middy - ultimately at a very 'un-Australian' price.

    The scourge of the schmiddy has gone on for too long. It has begun to infiltrate humble watering holes across the Australia, as publicans realise the potential gains of selling less beer at equivalent prices to a ‘caught in the headlights’ beer-drinking patronage.

    Native to Sydney, but starting to mobilise in other metropolitan and regional centres, the schmiddy has no right to embrace the fabled amber fluid that for generations has produced comical occurrences such as “last Saturday night” or (insert end-of-season footie trip moment here).

    There are also reports that the schmiddy was responsible for the recent Pasha Bulker disaster.

    Question: What held the “big cold beer” that quenched the hard-earned thirst in that nation-defining 1980’s VB advertisement? Not the schmiddy.

    Question: What did Prime Minister Bob Hawke drink out of when he became Prime Minister in March, 1983. I can tell you, it wasn’t a bloody schmiddy.

    Question: And what usually feels warm, you line up longer for, gives atrocious head and leaves your back pocket much lighter than when you walked in? The evil, sinister schmiddy, derived from the demonic depths of hell.

    Aussies, ex-pats and international beer lovers alike – strap on your boots, throw on your singo and lobby the Australian Government in a united front against something which has the potential to dissolve the very fabric of our nationhood.

    It’d be un-Australian not to.

    Do it.

    Monday, July 02, 2007

    The ice epidemic

    "Ice has become a menace in our society, tearing apart many Australian families and communities"
    - Prime Minister John Howard

    "Enough is enough, we must act before ice gets totally out of control as it can be purchased for $50"
    - Federal Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd

    "I enjoy it"
    - President of the United States of America George W. Bush

    I have a confession. Last night, I tried ice. It was shocking...I nearly went numb. I found myself falling over constantly. And even worse, there were 6 year-olds all around me on ice as well. Horrible. What is society coming to?

    Actually, Edwina thought it would be ace to go ice skating at Moore Park yesterday evening to celebrate her birthday which falls this Thursday.

    It was a lesson in retardation. A bonus though was the lolly bags (as promised!) that Ween's managed to produce. Here's a few more pics:

    Ween's straps her birthday boots on.

    Tim & Kendall or Torvill & Dean??

    Watch out Emelio Estevez...