...finding that photo. i still find it pretty funny.
...finding that photo. i still find it pretty funny.
I don't know why I'm so reluctant to document or write about trips; do and see and sponge up experiences and enjoy: yes, absolutely. photograph stuff and write up: not really. So it's no surprise that I've been back a full week already before writing this, and haven't got too many photos to show.
Anyway, to the story: this year I booked three weeks of vacation in
one go, with the aim to hit the roads and dirt tracks westwards and
see what I can see and wander around until I run out of time or
energy. One tentative aim or pivot point, so to speak was to be
Cameron Corner, where
the borders of Queensland, NSW and South Australia meet in one spot.
click here for the rest of the story...
...is pure hardship, just plain horrible.
The British Isles have a reputation for being a culinary wasteland (pickled eggs, offal pie, absolutely dead mashed vegetables combined with meat red enough to hop of your plate, etc. pp.), but I guess this here might be an example of colonial one-upmanship:
This Australian wooster sauce boastfully claims that it's made from 50% recycled plastic. I'm not quite sure whether I want to know about its other "premium quality ingredients".
I find it very interesting how Stiegl is increasingly present in the Australian beer market; a few years ago you'd find it only in very very very special beer pubs, but that's changing. In December I had a few here on the Gold Coast, at the Bier Cafe in Broadbeach. (On tap, not bottled.)
And now even Aldi has it - except that for silly hysterical raisins most of Oz still requires totally separate bottle shops, and in QLD Aldi's booze branch is mail-order-only for that reason.
With the also ridiculously high alco taxes factored in, the lovely Stiegl costs about 50% more than the decent local brews; $7.6/litre vs $5/litre. No surprise that lots of Australians do home-brew; even I do it every now and then.
While I intensely dislike the City of Salzburg (it's the anus mundi as far as I'm concerned), I wholeheartedly endorse the products and/or sevices of the Brauerei Stiegl :-)
...but the local weather sucked nevertheless: still 86% humidity at 2100.
Today is also the day on which I gave in (to a recommendation by a friend) and spent $249 on a Rowenta DH4120 dehumidifier (on special/clearance at Hardly Normal, RRP $590 or so). It's now been running since 1730 and I just emptied out 4l of water, and the relative humidity inside is now 68%, not qute perfect yet but not as dripping wet as earlier.
We'll see how the thing does over the next few days, especially whether it's big enough to handle the 200m^3 of my place.
"Gold Coast Show Day" - das ist ungefähr so weltbewegend als wie ein Kirtag in der Provinz irgendwo hinter St. Blöden.
Mehr weltbewegend find ich das Feiertags-Faktum an sich; etwa so unglaublich als wie wenn in Wien alle frei hätten und alles zu wäre, weil's in Sopron den "Tag des Kukuruz" zelebrieren.
bundjalung n.p. was pretty nice, if busy and very windy. we had a good
...für sonst nix gut aber immerhin brauchbar als Anlaß für Feiertage.
Start with this:
Minus all this:
It's somewhat obvious that I have spent a bit of money at subaXtreme, isn't it.
Weird coincidence: just a few days before the coffi^Wpallet arrived a total bimbo bumped into my car: I was waiting behind her in a right-turn lane, she committed to turning, successfully crossed the two lanes of oncoming traffic - and then suddenly decided, for no good reason whatsoever, to reverse back across those lanes...all the way into my bumper - thunk.
I guess the new bar will be pretty good not just for the silly roos but also for brainless suburban bimbos.
It's pretty obvious that 15.875mm is more than 11.1125mm. It's certainly not immediately obvious that 5/8" is more than 7/16".
(and by immediate I mean "at a glance, without mental effort".)
my father wanted to know what kind of car i drive; apparently the soobies aren't exactly common in austria? - at least that was his excuse for not associating my answer ("2006 forester") with anything. well, here you are:
the elevator billboards in the office building lobby have not shown the correct weather screen a single time during our four months there. mind you, the stock tickers are current down to the milli-cent, but the weather? "feels like undefined".
i on the other hand feel reasonably good about work, what i do and who i do it with. sure, the last five months have been pretty busy and occasionally quite stressful but that comes with working in a small startup.
it's nice to be able to make a difference; the downside is of course that you do make a difference, whether you want it (e.g. having a stroke of genius) or not (e.g. having a bad day slogging through hard-to-grok undocumented complex tangles).
but i'm not complaining, except that i'm often too tired come saturday morning to even consider going flying - and that, combined with the vagarities of the wind & weather isn't ideal...
With the new job I tend to do my bicycle runs much later, usually after dusk or at night. That time of day has its own special challenges: occasionally I get mobbed by bats and flying foxes, one of the trails is full of frogs or toads if I'm really late, and oh, there are lots of homo sapiens automobilis who are blind as bats.
Since the number of the damn saps who pass me much too close is a lot higher at night I decided to replace my dinky red flasher with a Really Annoying Red Light.
So I spent the grand sum of $22 on a set of "Tioga Dual Eyes", and the better light seems to help - it's really bright and obnoxious, might not be good for epileptics but that's SEP. Very much recommended.
On today's 26km cycling loop I had 4 swooping attacks - a new record
Ten days ago I returned from a 5874km road trip that took us through the archetypical parts of the QLD outback and up to (but not into) the Simpson desert: starting at the Gold Coast we went west to Quilpie and Birdsville, then north to Boulia and Winton, looped back south to Charleville and on to Bourke, followed by a trip to Sydney and finally a solo drive back home along the coast.
Sorting through the pictures and notes was tedious, and I'm happy that the write-up
of this travel report of sorts is complete (and I'd love to travel out west again any day).
click here for the rest of the story...
is upon us. Unfortunately that's also magpie swooping season - as I was reminded of today: two substantial attacks by two separate birds in two different areas (one I knew of from last year on Markeri Street, one new bird in the bushes off Bermuda Street). The first of those almost sent me in the ditch: no warning, just a thunk against the side of my helmet.
Damn birds. Neither of the two spots is easy to avoid on my 26km "standard" route, so it looks like I'll have to rethink the route for the next 2-3 months.
Ingredients: one drive south to a place called Minnie Water in the Yuraygir National Park, good company, pretty good weather (it did rain but it wasn't very cold), and gorgeous scenery. Mix well and enjoy.
In the beginning Oz was cursed with British bread: white, without form and void; and darkness was on az's face. And moldy spirits were hovering over the bakery shelves.
Then az said 'Let there be Rye!'; and there was rye bread. And az saw the rye bread, that it was good; and az divided the Real Bread from the White Crap.
Life would be so much less nice without my bread maker and decent ingredients.
as of this moment, and after an unwelcome parting gif^W^Wbit of extortionist bank fees i'm now the undisputed, debt-free owner of my house: i finally paid off my home loan and got the house and land title transferred.
it's a good feeling not to owe anybody anything *happy* :-)
"ANZ's profit swells" it said in the news, and no surprise: this bank's greed knows no bounds.
To close a paid-out home lown and get the title to your property back you have to pay them:
oh, and by the way, the registration fee doesn't mean that the title is actually transferred do you; no sir, we do no such thing: for that purpose we recommend you lodge your documents ASAP and by yourself with the Land Registry Office, for another measly $152.10. WTF - what did i pay you $137.10 for, then?
There's not too many of them (10 in Queensland versus 17 in Austria), many of them are mobile (rescheduled if they should fall on a weekend), and some of them are handled really oddly, for example Easter:
Good Friday: everything is closed, and I mean just about everything
including bottle shops.
Saturday: everything is open.
Easter Sunday: everything is closed again (didn't check the bottle shops though).
Easter Monday: everything is open again.
That's very good to know. For the first time in 12+ years I saw a snake near my house this morning: it was sunbathing/slithering through the branches of a bush just outside my kitchen window. I saw it only because I thought 'hmm, I'll have to cut that back soonish...wait a minute, what's that?'
After a brief bit of online investigation I found out that it's a common tree snake, which is not poisonous according to Wildlife Queensland; its colouring was actually quite beautiful (similar to this blue-green one). Mind you, I still don't plan on going anywhere near the critter...
Yesterday I had yet another punctured car tyre, this time two for the price of one: one nail (not through) and one fat screw (all the way through). Luckily it was a slow puncture and I found it in time, repressurized the tyre and put in a quick trip to the local repair shop ($15).
This must be at least the tenth puncture in eleven years in country, which is gazillions more than I've had in Austria: looks like punctures are a part of the Australian way of life, too :-)
Weird. We drive slower here and the roads aren't that bad so why the all damn holes? I think it's because the buildings here in Southeast QLD are mostly constructed of wood, and most tradesmen drive utes without canopies over the cargo bin and are pretty messy with their gear: all the punctures I've had so far were caused by spiral-shank nails or by drywall, roofing or other wood screws.
I really like this lovely small gem of common sense, uncommon in this century of propaganda and threat exaggeration:
Last week Aldi OZ had an especially odd item on special: blood stain removers, 8 units per pack.
Just how did I survive for 39 years without such highly crucial, essential stuff that you need every single day?
(Maybe it's because I have a spade. Then, maybe not.)
I like gumtree quite a bit: it's free for private ads, no registration required, simple email-based access and best of all it works. When my nephew visited we needed a car seat for him, and the second ad I responded to worked out. Now that Emil is back in Vienna the seat is surplus. I posted an ad two days ago, had four responses within 24 hours and sold the seat today (for the same amount as I paid two months ago). Very nice.
I just hope ebay (who own gumtree via some subsidiary nowadays) don't stuff this service up...