Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Shalom monastery

Carcoar, Shalom monastery
Originally uploaded by yewenyi.
Some time ago, I visited a Green Family Reunion. They are another branch of my Blackman Ancestors. We met in Blaney, and they had an impressive array of family history documents and memorabilia. One day they organized for a tour of Carcoar and I took lots of photos. They had another gathering last year, but it was in Queensland and I did not have the time to visit. Maybe next time.

According to one of my viewers, Shalom is Hebrew for Hi.

Images from the Green Family Reunion:

Other images of Blaney:

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sydney Harbor Bridge Footpath

It seems that this foot path is one of the better kept secrets of Sydney, even though it is well sign-posted. Many locals have expressed surprise at it's existence.

Recently they have turned it into fort Knox. The outer wall of barb wire was put there a long time ago, I presume to stop people from jumping off. It is clearly a latter addition. The roadway barb wire is a new addition and I presume part of the current security concerns.

Strangely though, it makes for a much better photo by adding symmetry. I'm still looking for the photo I have of this foot path before they made it a cage.

More images...

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Fishing with Elisse and Jeremy

AUS VIC Weribee DSC05248
Originally uploaded by yewenyi.
While in Melbourne, to attend Arcanacon, I stayed with my brother in Weribee. One evening we went down to the entrance to the river and did some fishing. Unfortunately we did not catch any fish. Jeremy and Elisse were using prawns and shell fish. I used a plastic lure supplied by another fisherman on the wharf. He is in this picture, but unfortunately he is hiding behind the post.. But no-one was catching anything. Not long after the sun began to set.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Taiko drummers in Sydney Town Hall.

A series of three mobile phone videos.

I had seen this on the net, and thought, probably should go. Luckily, Belinda also though the same and organized for us to go and see the show. Charlotte and Chris also attended.

We met before hand for dinner and in keeping with the style of the evening went to a Japanese restaurant. Though I kind of defeated this by having bibbimbab.

I had not been in the Sydney Town hall previously. So it was quite an experience. It has some very pretty decorations, though they need to paint more than just the ante-chamber the correct colors.

Taiko drumming is a type of drumming used in street ceremonies in Japan. This man, Eitetsi Hayashi has taken an amateur art form and turned it into a professional one. The show was excellent. I particularly liked the performances at the start and end which were more aligned with the street theater side of the art form. I must admit to not liking the flute playing. But the rest was good and the had several unusual instruments. I think the award for the most unusual was the ming vase which was used as a chime and a drum at the same time. The award for the most musically interesting was the thing that looked like a tin lid being hit with what looked like a drum stick. It was a but hard to tell with the latter as the artists were hiding behind their props.

The only embarrassing bit was when my phone beeped. I thought i had turned off all the noises. And during the loud drumming the noises could not be heard. But in the helicopter video, the sound from the artist died away and then my video went beep as it reached the end of the video. It never goes beep at the end of the video, only at the start. It was very embarrassing.

This is the artist's site http://www.eitetsu.net/eng/

And my videos...(They are pocket videos - only about 0.25M)

http://yewenyi.blip.tv/file/15400 - Waiting for the show to start.

http://yewenyi.blip.tv/file/15530 - The Drums

http://yewenyi.blip.tv/file/15679 - The Helicopter noise

Monday, February 20, 2006

Pocket National Parks

aus nsw nepean river dsc05078
Originally uploaded by yewenyi.
Sydney is full of nice little pocket National Parks. It seems to be a hangover from the difficult terrain protecting areas from urban development. This one probably struggles to be small enough to be a pocket national park. I have been driving past it for many years, but this day we did not have time to travel further into the mountains. It was a plesent discovery. The lookout is much better than the ones that are on main roads.

Not at all like pocket battleships.

More images:

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auis nsw alicia dsc05086aus nsw sylvia dsc05088aus nsw alicia dsc05085

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Phil Potter

AUS NSW Narooma DSC05181
Originally uploaded by yewenyi.
And here is Phil at work.

Also see The Potters.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Potters

AUS NSW Narooma DSC05171
Originally uploaded by yewenyi.
After driving down the coast and stopping off for a swim and tan, we stayed with the Potters. Enid (on the right) is my mother's sister. Donna is her daughter and Ben is her granddaughter. I am on the left in my Thursday islander flag top. It is the only top I own which is a flag. Phil was at a Lions Club meeting. I first visited the Potters when they lived in Lake Cargellico in about 1965. Later they purchased my Grandfather's farm Lightwood near Jingellic. Recently they retired to the South Coast and now own a Real Estate Business.

Also see Phil Pottter.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Geelong Weekend

AUS VIC Geelong DSC05229
Originally uploaded by yewenyi.
Every time I look at this photo I want to shout out... Yes it's the sail. It's still there!

After the confusion of Ewen being in Sydney and myself being on the (not really south) south coast. (Not really, because it faces east which would make it the east coast.) I arrived in Melbourne. The Scimitar was taking part in the Geelong Weekend. This regatta is held in Geelong every Australia Day with the first race starting in Melbourne. It is the largest regatta in the Southern Hemisphere. Back to the Scimitar. They were short of crew (there being three and needing at least 4), so myself with my great knowledge of yacht racing (I had been on some Hobie cats and was once on Apollo III as a tourist), was enlisted to crew on this forty foot 1950's technology cruiser. As it turned out, several of the crew who had helped race down from Melbourne on Wednesday had unexpectedly staid behind and there were 6 crew.

The pre race maneuvering was quite interesting. We were in communication (shouting) with this other yacht several times and with 5 minutes to the start, we still had not heard the starting guns or infact worked out where they had cunningly hidden the starting line. The delayed start gun went off and this dingy with lots of marker buoys was seen zooming around. There were two races, and we were in the classics race. They got the main race off before our race started some twenty minutes late. As it turned out, they moved all the buoys and adding the missing ones. For a while there the first buoy was behind the starting line, but eventually they moved the starting line and lo-and-behold the first buoy was in front of the line. So in the end we were off and racing. In all the confusion we were no where near the line when the race started, but out superior boat speed allowed us to start reeling in the opposition.

Around the first marker we raised the spinnaker. The winds were still quite light, but we succeeded in passing all of the other boats. However, they had moved the second marker by about a mile, probably because there was a giant cargo ship parked in the middle of the course. With the spinnaker raised, we could only sail in certain directions, which would have been great if the course was where the navigation notes said it should have been. As it was we sailed past the marker, several hundred meters inshore. Our competition noticed the true location of the marker and we were overtaken. Coming around it seemed that not many of us (me more than anyone else) had much idea of how to bring down the spinnaker. As a result it looked like landing in the water. I ran over to help (well just hauling on the spinnaker to get it on board seemed like a good idea) and the sail only spent a short time in the water. However, while we were doing all of this the fleet sailed past as we were almost dead in the water.

On the third and longest leg, we took the opposite tack to the rest of the fleet. We were so far behind that it was worth taking the non-preferred course to see if we could get a lucky wind shift. After a bit of bickering about the missed mark and spinnaker change, we determined the location of the next buoy. We caught up with the slower boats and after rounding the third buoy were closing on our opposition boat in this photo. We came close but were not able to overtake them by the time we crossed the finishing line. We finished third over the line, but fifth on handicap. This was the worst result, and on the three race aggreage, Scimitar was equal first overall.

You can view the slide show of these racing day photos below or click on the photo to see the individual image.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Aboriginal and White Man Rock Art

AUS NSW Hands DSC05084
Originally uploaded by yewenyi.
I have yet to load my photos from my trip around Australia. While in the outback I saw many Aboriginal Rock Art sites and quite a few white man sites, both new and historical. This image from the Blue Mountains near Gelnbrook sums my findings up neatly. Aboriginal Rock art ranges from hand prints to quite detailed paintings and in some place very detailed carvings of the milky way. White man rock art usually consists of writing your own name, or in more modern times, tags also both in paint or carvings. White men also use soot form candles or torches. My preference is very much for the Aboriginal version. Apart from the inner city graffiti artists, the white men have very boring rock art which is lacking in food for the mind. (Well some of the graffiti in Melbourne had no artistic content, but at least it made you stop and think.)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

My Birthday Party

aus nsw brians birthday dsc05098
Originally uploaded by yewenyi.
It has been a long time between birthday parties. Mainly because I only remember after the event. But this year I had mum and Alicia visiting so I organized a dinner. I went to Pendle Hill to check out a Chinese restaurant which had a good review on an Internet site. I did not like the look of the place. The next place was also a bit dubious, and when leaving I found the third place. It looked promising from the outside, so I went with Keat (who is from Malaysia) and Nick as I can trust Keat to also understand Chinese food. For a small suburban restaurant it is excellent for value and the authenticity was as much as could be expected, they tend to make the food too sweet. (Even the hot and sour soup was a little sweet.) We had a proper Chinese banquet, as ordered by myself, not the dodgy items you get when ordering a banquet from the menu. All of the dishes went well, except for one chicken dish which was not up to the banquet standard. But I was very much ordering dishes I had no had at this place before. Another good sign was the lack of a banquet on the menu, the fact that the restaurant was full every time we went and they provided chopsitcks as the default setting and there was narry a plate to eat off to be seen anywhere. Heaven. I even let the others pay. A very unchinese way of doing things, but then most of them are Australians and it is an Australian way of doing things.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Time for a tan

I have been away for a while visiting family and friends in Narooma and Melbourne and visiting Arcanacon.

We drove from my place in Sydney south along the hume and then cut across to Woolongong. After stopping to visit my mum's friend in Nowra we stopped at the beach in Huskinson on Jervis Bay before proceeding to Narooma. My niece took some time during this break to get a tan.

I have been to Jervis Bay a few times now. I actually find it a bit dull. I am more of an inland person, and the mountains and forests in the hinterland (now there is a Queenslandish word) are much more interesting. Still it was nice to visit the beach and I went into the sea for probably the first time in a decade. I think the last time was when I visited Fraser Island. An enjoyable experience.

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