Friday, December 30, 2005

Castle of King Louis the Second

A few years back, I handed my camera to my niece, Alicia, who was probably only 10 or 11 at the time, and let her wander off and do what she wanted. What came back on my camera is this inspired piece of movie making, done on one take with no preparation. I am truly impressed. Maybe she is the next Peter Jackson?

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Flower in Sydney's Botanic Gardens

More than a year ago, I spent a day in the Botanic Gardens trying to tech myself how to photograph flowers. I am getting better, but there is still a long way to go. I suppose they are right, zoom in to maximum zoom, then physically move until the image is the correct focal length. My camera struggles to focus up close. Being at maximum zoom actually makes the subject further away from the camera. T'is a good thing. When all is right, the wind will start blowing.

Original Image at

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Bird of Paradise

One day I wandered down to South Head to have a look around. After alighting the bus, I wandered down the local streets to the park. On the way there was a Bird of Paradise plant in bloom. The perspective is forced from being on the foot path. The image has some of the layers stretched a little more that the others to provide some blurriness and a slight hint of double exposure.

Further down the road is the pathway around to the headland. On the way is one of Sydney's nudist beaches. I think that the location is curious. Maybe they should move it to Bondi. It would make that beach much more famous. It would be covered in another type of bird of paradise.

Original Image at

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Government House in Sydney and the halls of debate

The new Government House in Sydney is not an architecturally pleasing construction. It is a mock castle of romantic Gothic construction by English architect Edward Blore. I wonder if they were disappointed when it was built? It supposedly had a big impact. At the time it was probably the most significant building in the colony.

It brings to mind the idea that one of the features of a democracy is the debate of ideas by it's citizens. I wonder if this has been replaced, here in NSW, by a desire to be seen as being on a particular side by the repetition of a particular view or position as distributed by various media outlets. The latest distribution system is the Internet and the denigration of opposing views as being unreliable or unsavoury it no different nor correct or incorrect that the same views put forward when the printing press was invented and when the sudden ability of people to start printing their pamphlets was seen as a threat to those who were able to control knowledge because it had to be handwritten. Hopefully as a society we are older and wiser. Sometimes I wonder...

I was listening to a radio show recently on a 2SER, which was discussing how, 100 years or so ago, the news papers were dominated by small and partisan papers. You could guarantee to only have to read the views you personally want to subscribe to, by buying the appropriate paper. With mass production, papers became fewer, because of cost, and hence needed to appeal to a wider audience. However, you can still say that there is a general bias in individual papers, covering different audiences. Perhaps with the internet, we are now moving back to a world where groups can put up sites again which allow a much wider points of view, but where the coverage of each site is much narrower in focus.

Original Image at

Monday, December 26, 2005


I was down in Seymour after my mother had her hip operation. This is an old style circuit breaker at the Seymour Railway Museum.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Holiday Movie Set - Part 1 - Getting There

I have 10 movies from my holiday in 2002 to England. The movie set covers the holiday and the places I visited for my family history research. (Mostly the research was visiting and videoing the places I already knew.) There are 10 parts arranged in 9 sections. One section is split in 2 as it was a bit big for my computer to handle. I have converted the MPEG-1 files into MP4, iPod compatible files. This movie covers the journey form Westmead, via Kensia to Hastings.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Centennial Park, Paddington

This is another image taken in Centennial Park before I had to start work on a weekend. The flower bed is at the north western end of the park. If any are interested, I use a Sony CD MAVICA camera. It is a real compromise. As it uses a CD rom drive, it is very slow to start up. Being an older camera it also takes a long time to focus and shoot. Though I am used to this now. It also has quite a lot of digital noise in the shots. So I have to use the magic unsharp mask and now that I am using Paint Shop Pro X, there is a good digital camera noise remover utility. This cleans up the photos a treat. I then have a series of scripts I have developed which use the Paint Shop tools to generate the images such as this one.

Friday, December 23, 2005

The 728 tram bound for Ryde

The 728 tram bound for Ryde
Originally uploaded by yewenyi.
Sydney was once full of trams. Now they all hide down at Loftus and run around on the disused rail line into Royal National Park or hide in their shed. So sad. I was very lucky on this day and when I arrived it turned out to be one of the two days per year when every one dresses up in period clothes. There was a brass jazz band playing to celebrate the arrival and Departures of the trams.

When I show people this image, they struggle to accept that I took it as it looks like a picture out of the 1930's. Yay! Now if only the man on the horse was not looking at his stirrups...

P.S. I had to teach the spelling checker the word trams. Such are the times.

Making noise

It seems that by making noise, you can make less noise. I cannot play the Didgeridoo for more than one breath. Circular breathing is probably an unnatural act. (Well that is my excuse and I am sticking to it.)

Didgeridoo lessons ease sleep disorders

Kept awake at night by a snoring partner? The answer to your woes could lie with the didgeridoo.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Video Blog Site

I have set up a video blog site. It is also accessible via the link on the side bar. You have to click on the title to see the video. I will have to work on this problem. I did not load a still with the video, so I presume that this is why there is no images. I have also added a link to Flickr which neatly shows a random set of images. I am quite pleased :). I cannot add it to my main home page as I use open office to edit the file, and open office keeps on removing bits of the html code :(.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Belubula Street in Carcoar in NSW and Hakka Peoples

A few years back when I started on the Genealogy beat, I went to a family reunion for another branch of the family descended from the Harley's, being the Greens. We did a tour of Carcoar in NSW, organized through the Wagga Wagga Family History Society. A full sized version of this image is on Deviant Art.

Today we had a lunch and I discovered, that Darren, who I work with is also Hakka, like me, but from a different group. Other notable Hakka people include, that man who's hand I would not shake (when I was 1 year old, and he was opening our house (part of the new extension at Mount Alvernia Hospital in Singapore)), Lee Kuan Yew and Sun Yet Sen, first president of China. Gosh, I haven't written with nested brackets like that in ages. I must be doing too much programming again.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Plants and Tents

This plant image was taken when I was at Norman Lindsay's house in Faulconbridge. The full size version is available at Deviant Art. The image is of a plant in flower. I have edited it with my contour edit script. I fully recommend that you visit this National Trust Site even though they may deserve to be boycotted for not allowing photos to be taken in doors.

Yesterday I went shopping for a new tent. I think I have decided to buy one which has standing room. Will it be able to be put up by one person? I did buy a sleeping bag which is rated to -5 deg. No more freezing for me!

I visited Sandra and Tony (again) to drop off the photos. Some are available at the site you can access by clicking on the image to the right. When I was at their place the day before I spent way too much time outside and the old hayfever is playing up seriously.

I have also created yet another site. This on is at Yahoo, like the photo one. They keep on adding features, but not advertising them. I will continue to use this site, but have supplied the other with a rss feed.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

First Birthday Party

Today is Marcus' first birthday. Yesterday Sandra and Tony held his party. I was reminded of all the processes and procedures we have a work. Perhaps we should bring out a spoof Australian Standard on raising a child using a TQM process. He clearly had not been trained on how to unwrap a present, in fact the presence of paper around an object was a source of confusion. If only the procedures and processes were in place for the raising of a one year old. I cannot blame my friends. They clearly have a lack of support form the appropriate standards bodies. In fact, may be we need a benchmark and a set of "world's best standards".

More seriously the party went well. Betheny eventually got over the problem that the presents were not for her. Marcus also has not worked out this candle business and after a guerilla raid by Betheny who blew out the candle the first time round, Marcus wanted to extinguish it with his hand. Blowing in his ear was not a sufficient hint about the task he needed to take. Maybe there is another market opportunity here. I suggest that a group like Banana's in Pajamas make training videos for your children on the basics of extinguishing candles.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Ute's and Christmas Parties

This latest image is of my Brother's old Ute. It is in his back yard. I had to squeeze in against the door frame to get the vehicle into the photo, and this has created an interesting perspective angle. I wonder if it ever worked?

Yesterday we had the annual Christmas party at my work. Here are two short videos [1] [2] of part of the party, showing the band and eating area. This years party must be the most upbeat to date. Previous parties have been quite somber affairs.

I have uploaded some photos for SummerFest to the Schwarzestadt group. You need to be a member of this group to see the photos. I have a two page document with a selection of 14 images on each page which is more easily downloaded.

Last of all is a blast from the past. The guys from Fast Fictions which was on many years ago on 3RRR, are now having a podcast. We want more.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Railway Workshops and Stations

The Eveleigh (railway) Workshops are now a high tech district. But once they were classical (19th century) work place with draconian practices and industrial strife. They were run by the NSW Railways and built engines and carriages. Nowadays you can both piss and post. But I suggest the opposite order as it will free your hands. I wonder if the urinal was always exposed like this. Probably it had a covering shed, made of wood.

Today I took the car in for a service. I walked though Parramatta to the train station. They are staring to complete the work, and bits of the station are opening again. I must admit to being a doubter. But I was pleasantly surprised. Some bits positively reminded me of Europe. Not bad for the Parramatta. I wonder at how other bits will age. They have kept the old station. Like any such structure, there are old bits, older bits an really old bits. I presume some go back to when it was first built in 1855. Back then the line from Sydney terminated here. But alas my history is not up-to-date on the matter.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Rugby Imortalised & a state of riot

I had to work in the evening, as I sometimes do. On this day I spent many hours wandering around the park. This is just one of many photos taken. It is a picture of a statue to a famous rugby player who looks out over the rugby fields in Centennial Park, which is near my work in Paddington, Sydney. You can tell I am not from here. I do not know if it is union or league. Like a good Mexican, I say rugby instead. Also, I am completely at a loss to explain the significance of the statues around the base of the player. Maybe it has to do with the mascot of his, unknown to me, team?

These statues make you wonder how long they will be there and in the end who will remember. Is it not interesting that in Australia we produce statues of sports stars rather than of "beloved" overlords. I dare say this is a good thing, though I do remember some scientists bemoaning the fact that Australia could be a great scientific country, if only it put the same effort into science that it puts into sport.
I am not going to say much on the next topic, that of riots. I still remember a time in my youth when living in Singapore and there were race riots over in Malaysia, where many of my relatives still live. At least here they are not chopping up people with machetes. But rioting seems much more common in NSW than elsewhere in Australia. It would be good if someone produced some stats. I think on car number plates they should replace NSW - the premier state, with NSW - A state of riot.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Globe Theater and 旅行向中國

Well I am looking at 旅行向中國 (traveling to China) for my next holiday with Ewen's travel company. But I need to sort out the finances on the new house before I will know if I can afford it.

I am loading a picture from a previous holiday onto Deviant Art. It is one I took in England a few years back when I produced of my family history VCD as a modern version of the slide show. The VCD is too big to load here, but some very small, and with poor sound and video quality snippets (as the compression rate is too high) are available at one of my genealogy sites. They are the movies further down the page.

I traveled to England with Wendy, we saw a show at the Globe in all it's authentic Edwardian glory. I saw Bell Shakespeare do the same show later in the Sydney Opera house, and it was impossible to tell they were the same story. I liked both versions and both places. I note that the museums in England have removed their stupid rules about not being able to take photos, now when will these places with their shows do the same?

And finally I am setting up my new home in Schwarzestadt, for my well traveled Perrenland character. I need to know the building code and costs to establish the home.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Site title: 馬馬虎虎 , explained

The site title, 馬馬虎虎 , is Chinese for so-so. It is one of the craziest of the 4 character sayings I have met and if anyone know the reason why, I'd like to know. So you may guess, my painfully slow learning of the language progresses continues. This saying was in one of the classes. I have found this wonderful site with free podcast lessons. So if you see me driving around Sydney talking to myself in schoolbook Chinese, I am listening to the lessons and practicing the Chinese. It is an amazingly effective method of learning. For those of you who want the literal translation, ma is the character for horse. If you look closely, you can see the body and head of a horse on top of 4 feet. So ma-ma is many horses. The second character (hu) is the character for tiger. So literally the saying translates as many horses, many tigers.

On the topic of Summerfest, the weekend went very well. It got off to a poor start. The convention is not in Bowral, but at a Marist Brother's center near Mittagong. After that all went well. It was well run, the games were good, the food was excellent, I even got to ring the breakfast bell! The bell was attached to a chain, and located on the second story roof. The accommodation was plain but functional. They only forgot to advise what to bring. The place provided a towel, which I brought, and no soap, which I did not bring. All in all it was worth at least 4.5 stars.

I had hoped to play a Quelland module and had my character all set up to go, but, alas, there were only LG modules. My old LG character had quite a ball, and traveled clear across this part of the game world, traveled at least 7,000 years (3,500 there and back) to see the end of an empire, fought off an invading army as part of a local militia, rescued a princess from a local war-lord, negotiated a peace with some ghosts, and sang a rewritten version of Advance Australia Fair in honor of the evil god Iuz (Advance Iuz the great) while working in a circus troop. Still he managed to scrape into third level and only lost one level along the way.


Well here are some previous posts to start the ball running. I will have to settle on a new format.

2005-12-9: Festivals, Deviations & Genealogy

Well today I am off work, skipping a presentation from our CEO, and heading off to Summerfest. This is a live in role playing convention, being held in Bowral. Lots of Perrenland, but hopefully also more than a little Quellburn.

Last night and this morning I spent some time adding to and configuring the Deviant Art site, thanks to those who gave nice comments, and adding to the Wikicities Genealogy site, adding a few hundred more entries.

2005-12-6: A new blog

Well, it seems that I have much more space on this site than ever before. The only complaint. No one told me! So I can now put my blog here. Much better arrangement, even if it does not have all the fancy features. I have added some pages from my old blog below. I will now discontinue adding to that site.

2005-12-11: Deviations

I just love the web site name. Deviant Art

I do intent to make the pictures printable, though generally I use digital camera formats which are not so compatible with the available print page sizes. The difference between 1.5:1 and 1.333:1 width to height, I think. Still I need to reorganize the bank accounts first. I have even updated my software to Paint Shop Pro 10. Though it does not seem to contain very many improvements over version 8.

2005-12-11: Geocaching III

Well I went on my third geocaching trip. I am still not very good. I can find the spot, but not the cache. We also did lots of shopping as we were in the CBD of Sydney. It is a little harder because of all the people. We do not want to give away the location of the cache.

2005-12-6: Geocaching II

Charlotte, Belinda and ChrisWell, last Saturday I went on second geocaching run. The first was in the CBD of Sydney and this was the first country session. I went with Charlotte, Belinda and Chris. It was a great day taking short walks around Mount Sugarloaf and Blackbutt park. We finished with Pizza in Newcastle. I was also impressed with the latter and will have to go back to take some photos.