Weblog> March 2003
Have finished reading the books:
Ladies' Room' by Laura Demasi
Both are great books. Will write reviews of both books and post them up soon.
World's Smallest Film Festival
"The World's Smallest Film Festival, produced by BigDigit, Inc., is the first competitive showcase of digital video content for the new generation of mobile phones, PDAs, and other mobile devices." You can watch the films here: http://188.8.131.52/wsff/categories.html. Categories are: animation, comedy, commercial, drama, episodic, experimental, instructional, music video and sports. Awards were presented on March 18 at the WSFF symposium in New Orleans.
Free Computer and IT books online
This site features links to free chapters of books, tutorials and more in the IT area.
Astroboy's birthday on April 6
Finished restoring site
I swapped web hosts a couple of weeks ago. I have now restored all files that are linked to in the current pages. There may be older stuff still captured by the search engines that I haven't uploaded. I may upload these at some later stage. Will wait and see if anyone's still trying to access them.
Have added a few events to the events page
Apr 3: Hear
it from the BOSS: Leading CEOs talk with Adam Spencer
MAFIA Documentary Awards 2003
The MAFIA one sounds cool! They've got descriptions of the 8 films that are going to be shown on the night, on their website. It's great how they've said they want to encourage people to just go and make the films, without worrying about trying to get funding etc...
"MAFIA is not interested in highly polished, 'professional' looking films - our aim is to encourage well told films with vision and originality. With this in mind, we have decided to screen on mini-DV and limit entrants to films with a large proportion of the story shot with a digital camera. Why? Because it's good quality - and it's cheap! And it simply means that more aspiring filmmakers, with a tight budget, can enter."
If you can't make the actual event, the films are going to be uploaded to the site after the event.
Have been looking for simple recipes to try so that I can expand my 'repertoire' of dishes. Felt kind of like an Una's type meal the other night and remembered that I had made wiener schnitzel in Yr 7 'home economics' class once. So I figured it couldn't have been that hard. I found the recipe in a basic cookbook and it looked pretty easy. Then remembered that I saw saw a recipe for potato rosti in the 'Bill's' cookbook. So then went to the supermarket and bought the ingredients + some broccoli and cooked it all up. It turned out pretty good too! Next time, I'll make up some mushroom sauce as well, which I forgot to do this time round.
Tonight, I cooked beef stroganoff. Hadn't made that for a while.
Borrowed a book titled 'Bread' by Beth Hensperger and am feeling inspired to make the Banana Nut bread. The book is full of great photos of what the end results should look like. May make it tomorrow - in time for Sunday brekkie. It'll be nice to fill the house with a 'bread baking in the oven' aroma.
Want to learn to grow own fruit and vegies
Have been thinking about fruits and vegies I could grow in the patch of soil in the front of the house. Currently there is are a few lavender and camelia plants. I've got herbs at the side and citrus trees at the back. I was thinking of maybe growing some cherry tomatoes and some beans and things at the front. That way, I could just pick enough to cook that night's dinner.
I'd like to know that I can grow some basic vegies myself, to learn more about respecting the earth and its dynamics, rather than going to the supermarket for everything. I want to work towards a more 'natural' lifestyle - to get more into making stuff, as well as reducing, reusing, recycling etc.
Australian Community Gardens Network
Anyway, I remember hearing the concept of 'community gardens', so did a search and found a link to the 'Australian Community Gardens Network' website. The site says "Community gardens are places where people come together to grow fresh food, to learn, relax and make new friends." The site's got lots of information on everything from how to start a community garden to finding a community garden in your area.
AbsoluteArts.com is one cool website! It lists art exhibitions around the world. It also features artists' portfolios from around the world. I spent quite some time browsing through the Australian artists' work at http://www.absolutearts.com/portfolio/countries/au.html. If you click on one of the thumbnails, it takes you to information about that particular artwork, and on that page, there is also a link to the artists' portfolio online so you can see more examples of their work.
"A Web project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Tolerance.org encourages people from all walks of life to "fight hate and promote tolerance... Adults can find news, interactive maps of hate and human rights groups, tests for hidden bias and action guides for communities, workplaces, schools and homes."
Came across the Tolerance.org site through an SMH article titled 'Racism caught in the Net' which mentions that there are a number of online tests that you can take at that website to find out if you have 'hidden biases' towards people of particular ethnicities, body sizes, sexuality and more.
Powered by pig poo
SMH reports that "Pig poo could soon power Australian homes and businesses. Australian Pork Ltd (APL) today won a $150,000 federal government grant to look at ways of turning pig waste into electricity."
'High Heeled Steps to Success' book
The book 'High Heeled Steps to Success: the inspiring stories of 22 overachievers under 33' by Amanda Stevens looked like it would be an interesting read. Women interviewed include: Natalie Bloom, Natasha Stott Despoja, Kim Jones, Anna Carosa and others.
I was looking forward to reading the interviews but the format of the interview questions seems to have limited the quality of the end result. Each interview is broken down into the following sections: an overall summary, 'My Background', 'My Turning Point/ Inspiration', 'My Biggest Setback', 'My Greatest Achievement', 'My Motivation', 'How Success has Affected my Personal Relationships', 'What I'd do Differently', 'My Success Strategies', 'My Advice to a Young Woman Starting Out in Business', 'My Leadership Style', 'My Beliefs on Gender Equality', 'What I've Sacrificed' and finally 'My Three-Five Year Vision'.
It looks like the interviews had been faxed out to the interiewees with a few lines in which to fill in the answer to each question. Then these got typed up and published into a book. It would've been a much better read if there was more space allowed for each answer, as well as the opportunity to ask the interiewees to expand on interesting points and to ask further questions based on these responses. This would've enabled the reader to learn more about the interiewees' attitudes and thoughts and to further understand their journeys to success.
More information about how these women got there would've also been very inspiring and useful to read as well.
Weight Watchers recipe cards circa 1974
Came across the Weight Watchers recipe cards link in the Yahoo Picks of the Week. Some interesting recipes. Hmm. They have a picture for onion sauce. The comment the writer wrote for this one is funny: "They call this "onion sauce" but it looks more like the end of a snuff film to me. Yep. Fish snuff. Die, fish, die."
Nicole wins an Oscar!
Nicole Kidman is the first Australian to win the Best Actress Oscar. Yay!
BookCrossing is a cool idea. People leave cool books lying around in cafes, at bus stops etc for others to come across and read. They then read it and leave it somewhere for someone else to pick up and so on.
"Meetup: Organising local interest groups" is another cool idea. People find their interest group online and then organise to meet up with each other IRL (In Real Life). I saw mention of a potential BookCrossing one and some weblogger type ones that might take place in Sydney if there's enough interest. Anyway, the link to meetings in Australia is http://www.meetup.com/locale/au.
Not feeling so good
I seemed to have caught some fluey type thing. Felt pretty under the weather today. Slept most of the day and still feeling tired. Had a few hot lemon and honey drinks, lots of water, and made myself some vegie noodle soup. Hope I get over it real soon. Had to cancel going out plans tonight because of it :-(.
Was initally looking forward to just having a real chill-out weekend - going out, catching up with heaps of reading etc. But I don't even have much energy to do that at the moment.
The news reports noted that votes for the Greens was up by a further 4% this time round. Support was particularly strong in the Inner West. In Heffron and Port Jackson, over 30% of the votes went to the Greens.
So the war has started
There's a peace rally tomorrow at Belmore Park, next to Central Station, Sydney. For more details go to: http://www.nswpeace.org.
"The 'Not In Our Name' register will act as an historical record of those Australians who do not support an attack on IRAQ by Australia without UN approval." The site says "Since our launch 6 days ago, 44367 Australians have said 'Not In My Name!' "
Your Money or Your Life
Been reading a few pages of 'Your Money or Your Life' by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin before falling asleep each night. There's three questions listed on p119 that you can ask yourself to determine whether or not the way you use your life energy is aligned with your values and life purpose. Q1. If you didn't have to work for a living, what would you do with your time? Q2. What have you done with your life that you are really proud of? Q3. How would you spend the next year if you knew it was the last year of your life? Book then goes on to say "Your answers to these questions will tell you a lot about what you truly value."
The book also talks about your real effective income from your work. Time is a factor. For example, you spend time to travel to your workplace, you spend time to get ready in the mornings to go to work, or you may spend time to unwind from a stressful day at work. Money is another factor. You may need to buy a bus ticket to get to work, buy clothes specifically for work etc. So if you take the net take home pay and then subtract the dollars spent in order to do the work, get to work etc, and then divide it by the new number of hours required to get there etc, then you'll find that your hourly rate is probably not nearly as high as what you thought it was. Interesting concept!
Lychee and avocado plants - maybe
Was having a conversation with some friends over dinner one night and we were talking about growing herbs, vegies, fruit etc in our gardens. One guy was saying how he 'planted' some lychee seeds into the ground and after a few months, a plant seems to have emerged.
So thinking I had nothing to lose in believing his story, I went out to the garden late that night after having some lychees for a midnight snack and threw the seeds into the darkness and hopefully into the soil of the herb garden.
The next day, I also threw an avocado stone into the herb garden. Hey it's worth a try! One of these days, many years into the future, you may find me writing about picking lychees off the lychee plant, shelling them and adding them to my fruit salad. Yum.
Short Business courses
The Sydney Business Enterprise Centre has a training timetable for courses including: Starting a Successful Small Business, Researching your Business - The Business Plan, Financial Management, Operating a Business From Home, Legal Issues Affecting Small Business, and Importing and Exporting for Small Business. I haven't actually been to one of their courses but they seem reasonably priced. They also have business networking events.
There's a few interesting sounding architectural talks coming up. Further details in the events page.
Sydney: RAIA Monday Night Talk: Dale Jones-Evans
Sydney: How Successful Architects Make Money: Robert Caulfield
Red Carpet Film Festival
Went to the Red Carpet film festival at the Vahalla in Glebe tonight. The place was buzzing. It was great! It's great to see strangers, friends and families of the filmmakers etc all being so supportive of the filmmakers, and just cheering them on. If you missed out on this one, be sure to catch the next one which I'm told will be in June. Thanks Sarah!
The films were all great! I particularly loved 'Intersection' which is about a girl's relationship with a guy and her thoughts about him, their relationship and what she decides to do in the end. I'm into spoilers. She does end up staying with him. Then there was 'Butterfly' where a young woman Charlie, dreams of being with a nice, good looking guy and in her mind, he's really into her, proposing to her and everything. She eventually expresses herself through singing on stage where she gets totally into it and is confident and everything. 'The Family Jewels' was another good one. Two guys negotiate a deal with each other to swap a diamond for money, but both items end up in someone else's hand in a twist.
After this, went to coffee in town. Ended up sharing a cheese plate and creme brulee and discussed the films we had just watched and had heaps of fun.
American Survival program
Couldn't sleep this morning. Got woken up by these loud screeching birds. They seem to love waking up the neighbourhood really early in the morning - like around 6am.
So I thought I'd just get up and get into my day. Was flicking channels while having brekkie. Saw this American 'Primetime' program on how to survive a plane crash, a car going over the cliff into water and getting locked in the boot of a car. It was kind of interesting to watch. Not sure how confident one would be feeling if actually in that situation though.
With the plane crash one, you're meant to keep your seat belt on until the plane's stopped moving so you which way the plane is oriented. You're also meant to count the number of rows to your nearest exit beforehand as it could be dark, or the plane could be filled with smoke so it's important to know exactly where you're headed.
With the car going into water, you're meant to undo your seat belt and swim out through the window, or you can wait until the pressure inside the car is equalised with the pressure outside the door, allowing you to open the car door when the car is under. Then swim out. Also even with electric windows, apparently, they're meant to work for a while at least whilst car is sinking.
With the car boot one, there's a lock mechanism where you put the car key into, from the outside. You can usually quite easily just press it or something similar so that it pops open. Or there'a wire you can pull on that will also pop the boot open. Apparently when you lift the lever at the driver's seat to open the boot, it is triggering this wire to open the boot.
Saw one of the guys from the 'popstar' group Scandalous yesterday at Broadway shopping centre yesterday. I thought it'd be funny if the shop knew he was there and started playing 'Me, Myself and I' or something like that. He was in the audio/video section. Then last week, saw Andrew McFarlane in North Sydney. Have also seen Hugo Weaving more than once in Darlinghurst/Paddington - close to the Ariel bookshop.
Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever
Maybe the title of a film provides enough of a clue about whether a movie will be good or not. Anyway, I kind of guessed that Ballistic was going to be a b-grade action movie but I thought I'd enjoy it anyway. I did. It was great fun! It was really two dimensional and incorporated some fun Matrix moves e.g. when Lucy Liu's character Sever flicks the base of her long black coat back like in the Matrix, and how she wears these Anatasia type glasses through practically every scene in the movie, or how she uses these machine guns to just fire at everything. I think it was her chance to show the Matrix casting agency that she would've made a great team member as well. Hey, I'd pick her. Antonio Banderas is well typecast also. He's wearing a long coat with the collars folded upwards, smoking a cigarette, looking deep and broody?! with rain pouring down in the dark of night.
Changing web hosts
I had been meaning to change over web hosts for quite a while now since it was costing me around $500 Australian dollars to host my site every year. I had been with the same one for over 4 years, though they got taken over last year by another company anyway. When I first went live with CG, there weren't nearly as many web hosting companies around as there are now. But now with a lot more options, I thought I'd change to a company offering more features and at a better price. I probably would have stayed with the old one had they come down in price in line with what others are offering.
Since I don't have an exact mirror site and I no longer have access to the old site anymore, I will be gradually restoring the files on this site over the next week or so.
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