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Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Yarn spinning
 
I never thought of myself as a good storyteller. (I mean that in the true [as opposed to the lie] sense of the word). But recently I've actually gotten compliments on words I've written in a non technical environment (namely here). The question I have to ask myself now is whether writing for years on this here blog thing has actually improved my writing, or if its reading other great writers out there (many of whom are linked on the left hand side over there- check em out!). And I think deep down inside I'm wondering why every few months there needs to be some entry loaded up with parens and squabs and double meanings at every corner.

Actually, when I sat down to write this post, it was going to be an insightful look at how my storytelling has progressed on here. Although the attempts have been few and far between to tell a personal life story from the non immediate past, I have been pleased with what I've written so far. What I do wish is that I had the always mystical 'idea of things to write about' fairy hanging around me more often, giving me inspiration for political rants and scathing diatribes about this, that, and the other thing. In the end I think I sometimes am writing for the crowd which, to be fair, is part and purpose for this site. I am far away from home and I do want to keep them informed about my life and my adventures in the land of unswirling toilets, but I'm wondering if I'm not showing myself true by refraining from potentially dangerous content. Or maybe I just don't have the ideas for them. I guess next time some crazy story pops into my head I'll just have to set it down here and see the reaction and decide if that's a route worth going down, or if it's even one I would choose if I could.

2 comments

Sunday, August 29, 2004
A slacker with a nice pair of shoes
 
So the title really says it all. I've been working hard on a paper all weekend and managed to get not enough done. It's not due till Tuesday, and with no class tomorrow it shouldn't really be too hard to finish up, but it just doesn't feel great. I think the main problem is the lack of definition on what we are supposed to be doing for it, cause the assignment is to provide an overview of how biomechanics can be applied in rehabilitation. Now this could be done in either a very short broad paper, or an extremely long and detailed one, but a 3000 word piece is just in that middle range where its going to feel awkward no matter what I write. Back to the grind I guess. Oh and the cool shoes are green and not mine and in fact this picture is almost 5 years old. But since I put it online for something else I figured some of you might want to see me in my long haired glory once again.

0 comments

Monday, August 23, 2004
Manly Nuts
 
Spent much of this weekend in Manly, on the north shore of Sydney. Their town slogan is '8 miles from Sydney, 1000 miles from care'. I was amused by the use of miles and not kilometers, although the town was beautiful too. I first went their on Saturday with ISS for the Manly to Spit walk, a 10km or so hike along the coast.

The day started with an early busride to Circular Quay with Cindy where we met the 20 odd others who were going on the trip. A bagel for me (more on that another time), and a rock cake for Cindy and then we boarded the ferry for the 30 minute ride across the harbour. We managed to get seats at the very back of the boat, so could watch the entire Sydney skyline disappear as we made our way over there. Once we got there Cindy, Virginia and I decided not to head right off on the walk with everyone else, as it would have been too many people trying to move together at once, and instead we decided to walk around Manly for a bit. We ended up finding 2 street markets, one arty and one flea markety, and also managed to get a canvas bag each to use for grocery shopping and cut down on plastic bag usage. It's a nice little bag with 'This is not a plastic bag' written on it.

After our town exploration we decided it was time to hit the trail, and started the walk. It started along the shore, and we crossed several beaches/parks before it wound inland into slightly drier land for a bit. Then there was a decent climb, which gave us a spectacular view of the harbour and Manly itself. A short treck through a bit of muddy terrain followed, and the last bit was along a beautiful white sanded beach which gave way to a not so nice beach before we came to the drawbridge that was the conclusion of the journey. By the end of the trip we had just caught up with some of the other walkers, and managed to catch a bus pretty quickly back to the city.

We got off at Wynyard station in the CBD and Cindy and I walked around a bit as we tried to find some decent food to grab. We ended up at the Pitt Street Mall and I munched on a spring roll while she had a smoothie. We even got to watch the Olympics on the widescreen plasma TVís they had hanging all around the food court, but the endless parading of horses didnít really do it for us. So then it was back on a bus and back to Randwick for us.

My night continued on with a trip back into the city and onto a train head up to a classmateís Greek Olympic party complete with authentic Greek food and drink and lots of fun. Between the lamb, chicken, fried octopi, baklava and many other delicious delicacies I was stuffed with great food. The sad point of the night was seeing Australia lose to South Africa in rugby, but it was really cool to see a little bit of Durban, SA where the game was held and where Meg spent her semester abroad.

Adventures in Manly resumed the following day when we celebrated Cindyís birthday there. About a dozen of us took a ferry up there and walked around the city scouting for a good place to eat. We eventually settled on a pizza place called Beaches, where I ended up sharing a feta cheese pizza and a pumpkin pizza, both of which were excellent. The post dinner festivities continued on the beach overlooking the ocean where banana topped lemon poppyseed cake with a single candle, flickering harshly in the strong ocean breeze, and chocolate chip muffins, both baked for the beloved birthday girl. Then we headed back to the pier and tried to estimate how deep the bay was where we were, while waiting for the ferry, which would whisk us west, back to downtown Sydney. (Try saying that 3 times fast). We got back just in time to hop on a bus and came home for a good night sleep after a long weekend.

3 comments

Friday, August 20, 2004
Bug me again?
 
It seems that the recently touted site as the best way to get around logins for free content has diappeared. For the past several days I've found that bugmenot was unavailable, and have come across a couple others confirming what I've seen. Not sure why they've been taken down, but hopefully they will be back soon.

2 comments

Wednesday, August 18, 2004
A whale of a tale
 
A pair of whales decided to spend the afternoon touring the Sydney harbor today. The mother and calf are currently hanging out right by the Maritime museum, and if they are still there tomorrow I may have to go down and take a look. Whale watching is a lot easier when you can do it while standing on the shore than having to take a boat out.

1 comments

Sunday, August 15, 2004
Wascally wabbit
 
There comes a time in every rabbits life when it jumps into a fire and hops away in flames, with intent to cause major damage. Coming across 2 of the 3 in the same week convinced me they were worth posting, even if slightly twisted.

2 comments

Wouldn't it be nice
 
Before Dylans party last night, Lisa and I had dinner at Joe, Kevin and Jeff's place. Dinner was spaetzle, a dumpling made from from flour, milk, eggs and semolina. They were served cooked with onions and cheese. It was a different flavor than anything I was used to, but it was really good. There was also a salad with Joe's patented lemon dressing and garlic bread which didn't make it out of the microwave till after dinner had been finished.

After dinner we almost got sucked into Police Academy 2, but managed to tear ourselves away and make it down to the party, but not until we saw a cadbury commercial, which included the lyrics 'And if a shark came up and tried to bite you
You could say "I'm chocolate I invite you"'. The lyrics, all of which can be found here while funny on their own, don't do justice to actually seeing the commercial. At that part of the commercial, the surfer sees a shark, turns to the side, pulls his swimsuit down, points at his butt to the shark and wiggles it at him. Just too funny.

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Saturday, August 14, 2004
Last Chance to See
 
This morning I woke to something completely unexpected; Nothing. Despite having gone to bed at half past 2 in the morning, and setting my alarm for 9:30 am to get a decently early start on the day, at 7:30 I was wide awake and ready to go. A quick shower, and a few minutes preparing lunch and I was off to Glebe, a last minute decision spurred by the promise of a beautiful day and the oft heard of but never seen Glebe marketplace. I took the bus to Central, and then walked past UTS and Sydney University and made my way to Glebe.

The market was just getting underway at a little after 9 and I wandered in and out of stalls selling all sorts of clothing, homemade jewelry, used CDs, books, lots of food and all sorts of other goodies. There was also a jazz trio playing in the park right beside the markets. I ended up buying one book, and almost bought another, but decided I had too many already, so passed it up. I later walked through the town of Glebe, awash with cafes and stuffed with bakeries, each presenting their own tasty morsels in floor to ceiling window displays of pure sugary bliss. There were even a few used bookstores, including one which I fell in love with for a combination of its amazing children's section, its hidden crannies and sloping ceilings, and the back room where old first editions and other interesting books were to be found, including one copy of the book I declined to buy earlier at the market; the story of one man's (and his team/support crew's) journey to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in a rhino suit to raise money for Save the Rhino International.

I ate my lunch on the lawn of the Glebe public library with several others who were enjoying the sun, and played with a dog that just came bounding through. Then it was s short walk back to Chinatown where I bought a few gifts for people and a few buns from the bakery that so many of us have fallen in love with. From there I decided to walk a little more, spurning the bus stop that was close by, and instead walking halfway across the city to a different route that would drop me off in the exact same place. Now I just get to ready for another one of Dylan's parties, this time with beer pong.

1 comments

Friday, August 13, 2004
I need a dictaphone
 
While showering I always seem to get these amazing thoughts that flow really well and sound incredible while they flow through my head. By the time I get done with it though, and everything I need to take care of for the day, the ideas have long since flown the coop and I'm left standing around with a few scant handfuls of half formed ideas, scratching to make them sound coherently strung together.

That basically sums up my day for today, with a moving essay on the tragic annulments that took place today in California, which was going to segue into Australias gay marriage ban and finally sum up and tie together loose ends regarding Governor McGreevey's coming out/resignation and the inexplicable ties between homosexuality and political meddling being the lost topic. You can still read all the stories though, and I'm sure my position comes across right as rain, but I do wish I had some of my earlier thoughts back to write down. They may have been more filled with raw emotion, but I think they better suited what I wanted to say here.

3 comments

Wednesday, August 11, 2004
More pictures
 
Ok, the BME ball pics are now up here. People look a lot worse off in the pictures than they actually were. And the older guy in picture 15 is my professor Bruce; the one who threw us the party in class last week.

2 comments

Tuesday, August 10, 2004
And the fork ran away with the chicken?
 
You know dinner is good when even your fork doesn't want to let it go. Lisa and I made a blue cheese stuffed chicken breast, baked in a cream of chicken soup with a side of home made rice pilaf which actually combined brown and white rice, pine nuts, carrots and onions. No parisian carrots though. Halfway through the meal I took a bite and got a little more than I bargained for. My fork decided that would be a good moment for the tines to detach themselves from the handle and stay put in my mouth, with the bit of chicken still stuck on the end. A split second of puzzlement went by before I burst out laughing and reached up to withdraw the offending utensil from my mouth. Unfortunately, once let loose, my laugh could not be contained and I had to leave the table to regain my compuse (and procure a new fork). Ultimately the meal was polished off, with a bit of leftovers for tomorrow, and another piece of silverware that needs to be repaired.

2 comments

A dll of my very own
 
Apparently I have my own dll file. Granted, its for my IM name, but its still kind of neat. The best part is that it's for the 'pandoras box update' which probably sounds a lot worse than it really is. And it's better than 'The Fallen One' which is apparently what langenu translates to in some language, possibly estonian, (and has its own organ metal band). Interstingly enough, the band is registed to a Tokelau (.tk) domain, which is an island nation administered by New Zealand, and lies roughly halfway between NZ and hawaii.

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Monday, August 09, 2004
Getting to know you
 
This is the time when I get to know a little bit more about everyone who is reading this thing. Whether you are a regular reader, or a first timer I want to know who you are and a little bit about you. This is for me as well as for all of you, so feel free to say how you know me, what you want others to know about you or just whatever comes to mind. And please sign your comments on this one. Just because I know who is commenting doesn't mean that everyone else does.

I'm sure you all get it, but as an example, and for anyone new who doesn't know me well, I'm Andrew. Smallwalls.com came about after an intense debate with my college roomates over what we wanted our post-college email addresses to be. After losing out on our first choice to an Irish golf tour company over at Wellplayed.com we decided on this one, which edged out over coveredinbees.com. Taken from an Eddie Izzard routine on speed archaeology, smallwalls became the new home of this website as well. Oh, and I'm 22 and getting my masters in Biomedical Engineering at UNSW in Sydney, Australia.

So that's me and my association with this site. Tell me about you and yours.

4 comments

Saturday, August 07, 2004
The Biomed Ball
 
Went to my first ball here in Australia this evening. Dinner and dancing at Pavilion on the Park, a lovely little place right across from the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Dinner was a 3 course meal, consiting of either salad or scallops, chicken or lamb, and chocolate cake or apple crisp. The way it was served was that everyone at the table got an alternating dish, and you were just supposed to swap to get what you wanted. It worked out alright, and I got to try everything in the end. There also was unlimited wine, beer and champagne, so everyone was enjoying themselves thoroughly.

Highlights of the evening were the star and heart confetti that was stuck to everyones faces by the middle of the main course, dancing with Bruce, the professor who threw us a party in class last week, and the wigs which were brought by someone at our table and helped to really put the 70's into the party.

I ended up sitting with Lisa, Aoife and 5 of her non biomed friends, variously from England, Ireland and Australia, so our table was a good mixture of internationals. One of the couples were named Paul and Esther, leading to my terrible pun about what they could have worn if they were Spanish. (Leave groans in the comments when you figure it out)

Afterwards we headed downtown to try and find a place to go, but the Arthouse, where some people went had a 25 dollar cover, more than we wanted to pay, so a few of us decided to forgo further festivities and make our way home, while others went in search of a cheaper place to carry on the party.

Pictures from the night will be put up soon, complete with wigs and stars and everything else you'd expect from a night like this.

1 comments

Monday, August 02, 2004
Soooo Good. Teen girl squad style.
 
When I was a kid I, like many others, loved chocolate milk. We would buy the hersheys chocolate syrup and when squeezed into a cold glass of milk would make for a healthier snack than cookies or candy. When we would go out to eat, my brother would often order chocolate milk, which was better than soda in our parent's eyes. In restaurants however, they make it differently. Almost invariably the chocolate syrup goes in before the milk, leaving the bottom of the glass coated in chocolate gooeyness. To me this practice was an outrage, because try as you might, you could never scrape off all the chocolate with your spoon, whereas when you put the milk in first all the chocolate got mixed in.

Regardless, as my brother and I got older we discovered U-bet, a slightly goopier syrup that made even better chocolate milk than the hersheys of old. We even ended up getting one of those push top dispensers for it by sending in labels from a few jars of it, although by the time they came off, the labels were sticky and thick with dried syrup.

Once at college I rediscovered Nesquik, the powdered chocolate mix that I had really only had on rare occasions when I was younger. It quickly became my chcolate of choice to add to milk, and was soon a staple in my cupboard. Finally, when I came to Australia I was introduced to Milo. It is slightly grittier than Nesquik, and although good in certain things and hot drinks, I quickly reverted to the Nesquik for my chocolate milk cravings.

One thing has remained constant throughout all the years though, and that is how I drink it. I use a spoon. I don't know how it started, although I remember doing it as a little kid. I use a spoon to mix it up and then, one spoonful at a time, drink-slurp the glass. Sometimes to get the very last drops I would actually drink from the glass, but more often then not I would tip the glass into the spoon, making a mess, but allowing me to get the last spoonful out via spoon. I know this process sounds crazy, but as a kid it did let me drink chocolate milk for a long time, cause I would only get a teaspoon to use. As I grew so did my spoon size, and a tablespoon is my utensil of choice now, making it go faster, but still giving me more time to savor the flavor than if I were to gulp it down.

So if you see me drinking something with a spoon out of a cup, its likely not the soup you might have thought. Its chocolate milk.

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