Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Listening List

Music makes me happy.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Darwin at Work

Stacker: A remotely operated conglomeration of metal structure and conveyors, mounted on rails. Controlled from a central location, the stacker moves without warning to pour out coal into different stockpiles as it is recieved by train at the dump station. As the ships arrive, the coal is reclaimed by another machine and moved by a series of conveyors over the road to the ship loader.

Plover: Candidate for natural selection.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

State Library

Oh, the State Library. It's in a gorgeous section of Sydney right next to the Botanic Gardens, just up from Parliament House and not far from the Art Gallery of NSW and also the pointed beauty of the harbour and Opera House.

Forget about the surrounds - you could spend days in the library itself. I've only been twice, to see exhibitions they've put on, and regret not budgeting enough time to settle in for a while each time.

Last time there I spent a bit of time staring at the wonder of the reading room and then got down to business. First... Where the hell are the toilets here? But on my way down the halls I got a little distracted...

Why on earth do we have such a nice set of doors down the end where the toilets with the crappy pebblecrete dividers are? Let's stop and have a closer look. Click on the picture and you might be able to read it.

Ahhh. The Shakespeare Library. Fantastic! The plaque beside it says it was refurbished as a gift from some kind concerned person for the bicentenary of the colony back in 1988. I was excited at the thought of holing up into a room with such a beautiful door to read Shakespeare. I don't think many others have shared the same excitement (or maybe they have had too much excitement in the past?), because the doors were locked solid. I tried to peer through the keyhole, but did not get much of an idea of the space beyond.

I hate that the efforts of restoration cannot be shared by the general public. All I got was a few photographs and the dubious experience of being seen squinting through a keyhole in the vicinity of the public toilets.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Meme continued...

Carrying on with another installment in Maria's mammoth meme. There's already been a part one and a part two, and I still have't scratched the surface of the amount of questions really!


More beer.


My sister.


I believe my girlfriend is in love with me. I might have to check since that fart I dropped next to her on the lounge this morning...


My girlfriend. In fact, apart from my niece, and occasionally my cat, she's been the only person I've kissed in a long time.


Not even the tax department knows that one.


Bones. She's smart, awkward, incredibly gorgeous, and did I mention that combination of smart and incredibly gorgeous?

I kind of killed my enthusiasm for this one after watching DVDs of the entire series one episode after another over several nights and weekends. The writers have so much fun with that character - any chance to dress her up and put her into a weird situation and it happens. One episode has her running around dressed up as Wonder Woman, diverted from a dressup party and off to solve some crime or another.

Second is Masterchef Australia - purely because the judge Matt Preston is briliant. He is witty, sauve, a great food journalist and has an impeccable sense of style.

Here's a quote from an interview with him:
If you were having any three people, alive or dead, over for dinner, who would they be and what would you cook for them?

If I was working it would be:

Catherine de Medici, Jesus and my great (x8) grandmother whose hand-penned 1765 recipe book is one of my most treasured possessions. Together they could solve so many of the “big questions” that I have when it comes to food.

I’d cook them Balinese style roast suckling pig (obviously there’d be some Peking Duck, steamed barramundi or Sichuan style roast lamb belly for Jesus in case he felt more Jewish than Christian), Thai salads and stir fried Chinese noodles because it would be unlike anything they had tried before although great (x8) does have a recipe for oyster sauce and uses a lot of ginger and coriander seed.

If it was about having fun it would have to be:

Oliver Reed to drink with, Nico from the Velvet Underground to sing with and Sophia Loren to make pasta with. We‘d eat the pasta.

On that note, I'm off to watch an episode.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Surf's Up!

Head down the road a couple of blocks and you're at the pub.

If you manage to make it past the tempting wafts of the pub, move on to the little tunnel under the road. After a few dodgey murals, some bad attempts at stencilling - and not to mention the odd suspicious smell - you will pop your head out at the ocean.

Being winter, it's been spectacularly huge the last few days.

As well as the two brave buggers that took it on, you can see one of the ever present line-up of ships waiting to get into the harbour to grab our wares on the cheap and piss off with them. Oh, except when a storm blows up and they miss the entrance and hit the main beach instead.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Here is just one of the reasons I am not so much a fan of being a surveyor's assistant. One of the rail companies will eventually put a train refuelling station on this lovely patch, so that even more coal trains can run their loads more frequently.

Currently, though, there are significant items of "Aboriginal and European heritage" littered all over the site. They'll have to document these and then piss them off anyway, rather than leave them there, and that's where we came into the picture.

Three hundred and fifteen pegs. In a ten metre square grid. Never mind that the site has already been bulldozed some time ago, and that there are smashed old bits of stuff littered everywhere, really of not cultural significance any more at all. And guess who hammered those pegs in?

I'm going back to mining.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Saturday, July 9, 2011

One of my favourite once-a-week blogs is Mining Mayhem, a site showcasing pictures things which the industry collectively refers to as incidents. You slip and fall, it is an incident. You use a heights harness in a stupid way and get busted by somebody who knows what they are doing (one of the dickheads I had to look after did), it's an incident. A bulldozer falls off a highwall (seen it), it's an incident. An explosive shot misfires (been there, seen it, scared pants off me) sending rocks hurling a hundred metres in the air and a couple of hundred metres beyond their marked intended exclusion zone, it's an incident that pretty much gets treated like a crime scene.

This is probably a multiple of incidents all rolled into one big, comical video.

I could watch it over and over. Brilliant.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

More Random Sydney

There he is, looking down on an old lot being used as parking space - Thirty-four dollars for Sunday? - in Sydney's Chinatown.

And just around the corner of a broken wall from his gaze, some really intricate cartoonery.

I'm kicking myself now for not actually having taken any photos of Chinatown itself. We wandered around. We gave ourselves belly aches. We looked at unidentifiable things in crammed little grocers. I pondered the golden dripping tongue sculpture and decided that I still don't like it.

Then we grinned and paid thirty-four dollars to the guy in the box, waved to the man on the wall, and came home.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Quote of the Day

A physician can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.

- Frank Lloyd Wright

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

What the F... Will I Do With My Weekend?

Thank fuck it's Friday. There is no question about being happy to put the last week of uninspiring work behind me. The questions are about the future. I know it will be an ice-breaker with whoever I get paired up to work with today. Standard Friday conversation is always started around what you plan for the weekend.


The people around me are not understanding my drive to fill every weekend with activities. They don't get why I want to spend all day outside. They don't share the same constant dreaming for things I could do on the weekend. I think they are somewhat bewildered by it all.

Well. For three years I worked for a pack of wankers who would abuse you if you missed a phone call on the weekend to go to work at the drop of a hat. You were on call twenty-four hours a day and never paid an on-call rate. When you actually did score two consecutive days off your were exhausted and spent most of your awake time on the lounge snoozing anyway.

So weekends barely existed. Now that I'm in a job where I have them I feel like I'm trying to make up for three years of missing out. I'm living in a city that I've barely explored. I now live right near the beach and I've barely taken any photos.



Will I walk the couple of kilometres to Glenrock Lagoon because the start of the track is only a few blocks away?

Will I finally go looking for geocaches at night with MisterSham?

Oh yeah, how about I duck into the messed up treasure trove that is the old Jolly Roger site and take pictures of the graffiti in there before they knock it all down? I know last time I wished to get inside and messed up building I wished for far too long and next time I turned around it was gone.

How about sitiing on the beach playing classical guitar? Or even just the backyard?

I could go up to the University to that section we surveyed last week and take photos of the weird fungi I came across while I was kicking around being bored.

Too many things to do, too little time!