Saturday, April 28, 2007

Higland Festival

I visited Bundanoon with Keat. I have some Scottish blood in my family tree. On one side we have the Balgowans and further back the Shands of Ryhnie and Essie in Aberdeenshire. I guess that they were Jacobite's and left at the end of the last Jacobite rebellion during the land clearances. In this time, wearing a kilt was considered an act of war and was banned under the Dress Act 1746.

My grandfather had a tractor like this on his farm near Jingellic, NSW. I used to drive it when I was between 9 to 12. You can see that the man's feet are on leavers on the side. To have enough force to push both down at the same time, I had to stand up.

massey ferguson, originally uploaded by yewenyi.

After this we went to Belmore Falls. Well, the falls were not visible, but we could faintly hear the falling water.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Let we forget

While wondering through my friends photos accounts I can across this image. I nearly fell off the back of my chair. It is just so good. Click on the link and check this out and more other images. This ANZAC day image it is a great reminder of our past.

, originally uploaded by Findo.

Animated Gifs

I have been playing with animated gifs in Gimp. To see the animation click on the file, but be warned, they are about 3MB and will take a while to load.

SMR 10

Balloons Animation 2

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Harbor the Entrance

Andrew joined in the caching. This was about the third on the day, and is probably my 100th cache. I had looked in the right spot, but not seen the cache. Then Charl found it. Later we had a snack at the Bottom of the Harbour fish and chip shop. It was always my favorite when I lived in Mosman, but it has been renovated and the food was only worth 2.5 stars. I was disappointed. The chips were made in burnt oil, and while I thought the herb bread was acceptable, Chris did not like it.

Harbor the Entrance, originally uploaded by yewenyi.

Mexican Breakfast

We had a Mexican breakfast for lunch at Don Adan in Clifford Street, Spit Junction. I had the Typico at Charl's suggestion as she has traveled to Mexico. It was a very excellent meal. The beans made were excellent. The other ingredients were good. It was an interesting meal and I will certainly be having it again. I also had the fruit smoothie. It was a little lacking in taste.


fruit smoothie


Well I have had the Prius for a few weeks now. Here is an update:
  1. The car is amazingly quite, so much so that sometimes the tyre noise is annoying and occasionally you can hear the break pads scratching against the disks.
  2. Having no gears is a very good thing.
  3. The hand brake is located in the same spot as the clutch on a manual. I have already stopped once unexpectedly because of it. Luckily I was going very slowly. I find my self having to resit going for the clutch while moving.
  4. It has enough power when needed.
  5. It works well up hills.
  6. I am getting between 3.9 and 4.9 l per 100 km, averaging 4.6 as measured at the pump. This includes driving with only me and with a 5 people and luggage.
  7. The heating and air con leave a bit to be desired.
  8. It takes a lot of getting used to the engine management. You will be driving at 100km and the engine will be revving up and down with no change on the accelerator.
  9. There is a small jolt when the engine stops when the car is already stopped.
  10. You can roll along very slowly, and this annoys other cars.
  11. The lack of noise is not a problem, only had one minor collision with a pedestrian in a car park, no harm done and it does get looks from people.
  12. 5 people is squeezy.
  13. The engine breaking down hill is poor because it is using the generator to brake.
  14. The direction shift is back to front. Pushing the leaver towards the rear of the car causes it to go frontwards, and pushing it towards the front causes the car to go backwards.


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Maitland Steam Fest

Chris and I went down to the Maitland Steam Festival and then onto the Richmond Vale Railway museum. Lots of trains and stem vehicles.

trains, originally uploaded by yewenyi.

iron works wagons

maitland steam fest

I went to the steam fest with Chris. We went to the main festival and the Richmond Vale colliary with it very industrial setting. I was surprised to see these wagons. I had only ever seen them before in train set catalogs.

steel wagon, originally uploaded by yewenyi.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Civilised Eating

Went down to Canberra for the Balloon Fiesta. Left early on Saturday morning, traveled down the coastal road to Wollongong, then cut inland to Moss Vale. In Canberra, we had lunch at my favorite eating suburb - Dixon. It was good to see a civilized Chinese restaurant. Even though the place was full of non-Chinese, everyone was eating with chopsticks, everyone knew how to use them and they understood how to eat the food. So much better than the Menzian era eating habits of those here in Sydney. Spoons and forks were never mentioned, nor was fried rice or dim-sims.

After checking into our hotel, we went to the Nighttime Spectacular at Manuka Oval. This was interesting, but I had the wrong lens and the timing of the balloon operators left a lot to be desired. We had a Italian inspired dinner in Manuka, a very happening place.

ghostly parade

The next morning, met up at 5:30 AM to see the Balloons take off. However, even thought the wind speed was really good, the direction was not and they inflated the balloons, but did not take off because to do so would result in 30 or so balloons floating gently across Canberra Airport.


Later in the morning we spent an hour riding around Lake Burley Griffin. In the afternoon met up with friends of friends and had a good lunch and found a really great chocolate place in Kingston. We also went to the Mount Stromlo observatory, a place very worth a visit. Complete with ruins from the 2003 fires and kangaroos.

And then onto Black Mountain.

(Photo by Anna).

I have to say that I am impressed at how far Canberra has come. I have not been there much in the last 10 to 15 years and the quality of the eating places has improved immensely. (Even given that Canberra has always had one of my favorite Chinese eating places.)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Beware of the Sushi Police

I sent Planet Japan an email about some bovine images (of cows leaving on a space ship) and ended up with a mention on this show. You can also see an article on the Sushi Police. I have not yet mentioned the fact the cows are unnatural animals! *furtively looks around to see if anyone noticed*

Monday, April 09, 2007

New car

Well the lease came up on the old car. I had decided a long time ago to replace it with a LPG car such as a Ford, but on the lease car list was a new car, the Toyota Prius. I headed off to the dealer for a test drive, joined a user group on Yahoo, and read the Wikipedia entry all as part of the research for the car. I am very happy with it. At the moment I am supposedly getting 4.5 l/100 km. Less than half the consumption of the Xtrail (8 to 13 l/100km).

The findings so far:
  • The car is very very quiet. Keat was noting that the road noise (from the uneven Parramatta Road) is suddenly the main noise in the car.
  • The acceleration is good. It sill behaves a bit like a automatic when accelerating as the engine has to kick in.
  • The petrol engine kicking in and out is barely noticeable, except when the engine stops when the car is already stationary.
  • Getting used to all the stalk controls is a problem and the placement of the cruise control leavers is very poor. There are other things on the steering wheel (where the cruise controls should be) that are weird, like the rear demister.
  • I had to get out the manual to find the 12 volt outlet and there is only one.

my new car
fuel consumption

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Sydney Royal Easter Show

I spent the day at the Royal Easter Show in Homebush Bay. Not much had changed since last year.

food display 2, originally uploaded by yewenyi.

P.S. Charl has also posted.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Locomotive speed record.

With all the announcements of a new train speed record of 554.3 km/h for the TGV, I was interested to notice that the Trevethic Locomotive (this one is a reproduction of it) holds the first train speed record of 8 km/h. Of course this is unofficial. It was only later that people became interested in such things.

Trevethic Locomotive, originally uploaded by yewenyi.

Monday, April 02, 2007

April Fools Day

April Fools Day, originally uploaded by yewenyi.

the flickr toys april fools day screen. Every photo is a favourite. But they are still listed in order, so these are the most interesting photos I have according to the flickr computer.

1. Sydney on the harbour, 2. Who are you looking at?, 3. portal, 4. Making Clouds, 5. bei jing dong lu (北京 東路), 6. Under the upside down hedge, 7. Prison Baob, 8. Scotland Dunnottar Castle (2),

9. Sydney Harbour, 10. Double vision, 11. The dome, 12. Costal fringe, 13. Defensive Position, 14. Arches arching over, 15. The old tree, 16. Under branch and bridge is the brook,

17. Thistle, 18. Tressled, 19. The Country Alliance surround Charing Cross Station, 20. The wreck of the Cherry Venture, 21. The James Criag, 22. a recycled swimming pool, 23. Tall ship in concrete, 24. Night view,

25. A money shaped building, 26. pincushions, 27. A Swedish Sports Car, 28. Church door with 19 enneagons, 29. England, Ambleside (3), 30. Early sunset, 31. the vent, 32. Waiting to enter,

33. three dragons, 34. Scotland Dunnottar Castle (1), 35. In memory of the Red Barron, 36. gas works bridge at night, 37. Centurion, 38. Boggy Creek Railway Underpass, 39. fake opera houses, 40. Java Moonshine,

41. Parliament Hotel, 42. Rose Siedler's House, 43. Sydney Harbour Bridge, 44. Algae colony, 45. Warning - you may die, 46. River crossing, 47. Dublin Ireland 3, 48. happy sun,

49. Underneath the M2, 50. Sydney City Aug 2002, 51. mirror ball bar, 52. Yau women, 53. Rice Paddy - Balinese style, 54. ENG, Yorkshire, Fountains Abbey (8), 55. Norah Head Lighthouse, 56. Prambanan coffee house views,

57. HMS Belfast, 58. Hornby Lighthouse, 59. Window and frettwork, 60. Boronia, 61. The Boggy Creek Bridge, 62. Mother and Calf whale, 63. tram, 64. Kitchen from years gone by,

65. The underside of a wagon, 66. balmain panorama - looking over white bay, 67. Harbour Views, 68. View from a Bell 47, 69. Caution, 70. Looking towards Hexham, 71. Various lines of defence, 72. The wall

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Railway Festival

Anna, Chris and I went down to the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the opening of the opening of the first railway line in Australia.

South Maitland Railway Engine #10, originally uploaded by yewenyi.

We also spent some time traveling around the coast taking photos.

life saver