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G'day mate! and welcome to my little home away from home on the world wide web. Look around to find out a bit about me. As I am pretty active in the chat subculture on the 'net, this site was designed to give interested people a quick overview of who I am and what I am about. I also use the page to keep my family up to date as to what is happening in my life.

A funny thing happened while I was building this site: I learned I didn't know as much about HTML as I thought I did. The last time I put a site together was way back in 1996. So, I have been steadily updating my knowledge of HTML (XHTML now), and CSS. You will need a fairly up-to-date browser for these pages to render correctly (for example, Mozilla Firefox). I also use this page to play silly games with Java and JavaScript that you wouldn't see me use normally. We've all gotta have a bit of fun, right?

If there's one thing I've learned, it's that you never stop learning.

All the news that's fit to print, a collection of random notes:

April 25, 2013

Australia takes her pen in hand
To write a line to you,
To let you fellows understand
How proud we are of you.

From shearing shed and cattle run,
From Broome to Hobson's Bay,
Each native-born Australian son
Stands straighter up today.

The man who used to "hump his drum",
On far-out Queensland runs
Is fighting side by side with some
Tasmanian farmer's sons.

The fisher-boys dropped sail and oar
To grimly stand the test,
Along that storm-swept Turkish shore,
With miners from the west.

The old state jealousies of yore
Are dead as Pharaoh's sow,
We're not State children any more —
We're all Australians now!

Our six-starred flag that used to fly
Half-shyly to the breeze,
Unknown where older nations ply
Their trade on foreign seas,

Flies out to meet the morning blue
With Vict'ry at the prow;
For that's the flag the Sydney flew,
The wide seas know it now!

The mettle that a race can show
Is proved with shot and steel,
And now we know what nations know
And feel what nations feel.

The honoured graves beneath the crest
Of Gaba Tepe hill
May hold our bravest and our best,
But we have brave men still.

With all our petty quarrels done,
Dissensions overthrown,
We have, through what you boys have done,
A history of our own.

Our old world diff'rences are dead,
Like weeds beneath the plough,
For English, Scotch, and Irish-bred,
They're all Australians now!

So now we'll toast the Third Brigade
That led Australia's van,
For never shall their glory fade
In minds Australian.

Fight on, fight on, unflinchingly,
Till right and justice reign.
Fight on, fight on, till Victory
Shall send you home again.

And with Australia's flag shall fly
A spray of wattle-bough
To symbolise our unity —
We're all Australians now.

- A.B. Patterson, published as an open letter to the troops at The Dardanelles, 1915.

April 25, 2012

A Turkish soldier, known affectionately to the Australians as Fatty Burns, ... walked into no man's land to help two wounded Australian soldiers:

"We watched him stroll over to the two men and lift up their heads and give them a drink of water each. He tried to make them comfortable, with us looking on, hardly able to believe our eyes. Then he strolled back quite unconcerned; and we gave him a cheer. That's not all. Just before dusk he came out again, and dragged both men over near a bit of cover, so that we could get them in when dark came. And these are the people that were supposed to be cruel!"

April 22, 2012

Went and saw Phil Emmanuel play last night at the Dee Why RSL. Wow.

July 25, 2011

Congratulations to Cadel Evans, the first aussie to ever win the Tour de France! Usually I blog about the tour here, but this year I descided not to as it seems every year I do, the aussies do well but not well enough.

Well, this year I didn't blog, and this year Cadel did it! Woohooo!!!

December 12, 2010

OK, this has been a massive weekend. Yesterday, Amanda and I went to the NSW Art Gallery to see "The First Emperor - China's Entombed Warriors". As you can probably guess, this is an exhibition including 10 of the terracotta warriors buried with China's first emperor in 210 BC.

We caught the ferry over, and after we went to see the exhibition, we went up to Paddington Markets to meet up with Amanda's cousin Katie, who has a stall there. We went a got some lunch, picked up the Christmas shopping that Amanda wanted to do, and headed back to Manly.

By the time we got back, it was 5pm, and at 7:30pm we had a 50th birthday party to go to for Jen. Amanda went home to drop off the bag and get changed and said she'd meet me back in Manly at 6pm. Well, with an hour to kill I thought it was a bit of a waste going home, so I went and met the rest of the crew that was going to the party as they were already at the pub.

5 minutes later, the pub was inundated with people dressed as Santa (or elves, etc). This is an annual event here in Manly. with up to about 200 people doing the tour of the pubs. They seem to have lots of fun every year.

Amanda arrived back just after 6, and 7 saw us in a cab heading for the party.

Mark and Jen also used the occasion to announce their engagement, so we really had a good night. At the end, Sandy, Greg, Amanda, and myself ended up back at Greg and Sandy's place and continued until about 4 in the morning, when we all crashed out.

After picking ourselves up in the morning (more like at 11am) Miss A and I made our way back to Manly and proceeded to met up with the rest of the crew who were also on the recovery trail from the previous night.

What a weekend.

November 25, 2010

Brian, Brett, Terry, and myself went to Angel Restaurant for dinner tonight. They do an eight course seafood degustation menu on a Thursday night, and Brian had been trying to get us to go for quite some time. I kept refusing because by Thursday night I am generally so tired from work, I didn't think I'd manage an eight course meal.

Anyway, we finally arranged it. We all ordered the degustation, which makes the kitchen happy. Matched wines were also ordered.

The food was good, if not spectacular. The first five dishes were pretty darn good, with the standout being the house cured ocean trout, which was just awesome. Unfortunately, the last three dishes let the whole thing down a bit. The Thai fish cakes for the 7th dish could have been from any suburban Thai restaurant, not part of a $105 dollar meal. Oh well.

Terry had us in stitches most of the night. This was the first time I'd met him, and he was great value. He's definitately welcome to dinner any time.

Just as we were finishing up, Gary rang up and said he'd just got into town, so we told him where we were, and he came around, gave us a lift back to Manly, and we had a couple of drinks at the Wharf Bar to finish up.

A good night.

November 4, 2010

Amanda and I went to the The Public Dining Room at Balmoral for lunch today. This place was previously called "Watermark", and had a very good reputation. We were not disappointed.

We got over there by cab, which was just as well as it would have been far too long in a bus.

I had beef carpaccio, globe artichoke, rocket, shaved pecorino pepato, with lemon dressing for a starter, and roast duck for a main. Amanda went with the sirloin. A nice bottle of a red that I can't remember accompanied.

When dessert time came around, I convinced Miss A that if she ordered dessert, I'd order the cheese plate. Heh.

Mini pavlova with passionfruit and white chocolate for her, and a beaut bit of Pyengana clothbound cheddar from Tasmania for me.

We finished off with a stroll down to the other end of the beach where we picked up a cab and headed back to Manly.

Work keeps giving me nice little bonuses to spend on restaurants. I keep working well, we keep eating for free :-)

November 2, 2010

Melbourne Cup day. Three winners and a place for the day, although I didn't do any good with the Cup, saw me well and truly ahead. Actually, one of the winners - Influential Miss - paid $29 for the win. That alone covered the cost of the day :-)

September 17, 2010

All the IT people at work went to the Sydney Olympic Archery Centre this afternoon for a BBQ and a bit of fun shooting off bows and arrows and a little friendly competition.

After the BBQ and a safety demo, we had a number of practice shots at targets 20 metres away. The last time I had a bow in my hands was over 25 years ago when as a couple of nutso teens me and a mate went out rabbit shooting at night with his compound bow! The bows we were using today where standard recurved bows which I initially found quite difficult to aim. After a number of shots it was coming back to me though.

We drew lots for team members, and I ended up with one of the desktop guys, and the new guy on the support desk. All three of us were consistently improving as the afternoon when on, and when it came to the scored team event, we took it out with ease. The support desk bloke pipped me by two points: 126 to 124. And then ended up winning the individual total. Bugger. I got beaten for second by one point too and ended up third.

After this we had a bit of fun popping balloons and some of us tried our hand at 40 and 60 metre targets. The afternoon was a lot of fun, and it makes me want to go and have another try, this time with a proper compound bow that's adjusted for my draw length. There's a range up the back of Dee Why...

August 26, 2010

I've recently been to the Le Kiosk restaurant in Manly for the first time in years. We had the restaurant basically to ourselves on a Wednesday night so the service was attentive. The food was also yum. I'd heard a few down comments about this Manly icon recently and found them pretty hard to believe. Fortunately, they turned out to be incorrect, and I'll be back to Le Kiosk again.

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