Monday, October 20, 2008

Canon Photo5 Entries

Competition deadline is already on Oct. 22, and I have yet to take pictures of all my mystery items. Actually not a mystery anymore. Here are the items for this year's competition:

  • a green Faber-Castell crayola
  • a tealight
  • a plastic bottle of bubble liquid
  • a cocktail umbrella
  • a red ribbon
And here are the photos (minus the tealight):

Friday, October 17, 2008

Terrigal and The Entrance

Woke up from a colleague's SMS saying that they can see whales (or was it dolphins) from the beach. Looks like they did some early morning fishing again. By the time I got to the beach, the whales are gone.

After a sumptuous buffet breakfast, everybody got ready to head back to Sydney. I stayed behind because GF is driving over with a couple of her overseas friends. We took some pictures at Terrigal Beach, then had lunch at the hotel. Went to The Entrance for a short tour. The tourists (and GF) had a great time at the pelican feeding. Back in Sydney, we had dinner at Ramen Ken.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

NSN Day at Terrigal

The past week has been pretty stressful. After months of testing, our customer launched this prepaid wireless broadband service. Turns out it's not yet ready for primetime. Once in a while, the servers would give up the ghost, and service go offline. When that happens, we get called up 24x7 to resolve the issue. We'll get it running, then after a while, it'll all go bad again.

Today, the whole company is off to Terrigal for a two-day outing. It's true I'm not on call, but that never stopped the customer (and our boss) from calling us at odd hours and asking us to "help out". Well, if other people can simply drop whatever they're doing and have fun, I should be able to do the same. And it looks like the only way I can stop myself from worrying too much is by having a forced break.

We just got on the freeway when we got a call from the boss. Our software team came up with a new binary, and the customer wants it put into production immediately. As in right now. Thank heavens for mobile computing. I had my mobile dialed into the conference call. Using a special dongle, we connected the mobile's audio out to the car's aux in, so everyone in the car can listen in through the car's speakers. My colleague fired up his laptop, and using a USB HSDPA dongle, we got on to the Internet. From there, we used a VPN to connect to our intranet. For power, we had a device that connects to the cigarette lighter to provide 220V AC. By the time we got to Terrigal, we've copied in the new binary to the servers and coordinated with our colleage in Melbourne to confirm that everything works fine. All this time updating the customer in the conference call. I doubt if they even know we're doing all this from inside a moving car.

That gave us a respite to enjoy the rest of the day. While everyone else went for a game of laser tag, we went down the bay to do some fishing. Joined the group for buffet lunch at Crown Plaza. More fishing after lunch. I went around the area taking pictures. At night, we have our Hawaiian-themed buffet dinner. Most of the guys simply put on a Hawaiian shirt for their costume, just like me. Easy. Didn't stay around for the post-dinner entertainment anymore. We headed down to the beach for more fishing. Way too cold for me. Went back to the hotel around midnight.

Monday, October 13, 2008

RadioBlog 2008.10.13

Last time I changed the songs on my Radioblog was more than a year ago. To keep things fresh, I've put in a bunch of Japanese ones, and kept some favourites.

  • Folder - All or Nothing
  • Globe - Feel Like Dance
  • Misia - Everything
  • Pizzicato Five - Sweet Soul Revue
  • Ryoko Hirosue - Escalation
  • Track03
  • Track12
  • Utada Hikaru - Close to You
  • BoA - Feel the Same
  • BoA - Goodbye
  • BoA - Pit-A-Pat
  • Aled Jones - Count Your Blessings
  • Bic Runga - When I See Your Smile
  • Carly Simon - I've Got a Crush on You
  • Diana Krall - S'Wonderful
  • Hayley Westenra - Pokarekare Ana
  • Kathy Troccoli - If I'm Not in Love with You
  • Katie Melua - The Closest Thing to Crazy
  • Lani Misalucha - Ang Iibigin Ay Ikaw
  • Lisa Keith - None Better than You
  • Lou Pardini - What Might Have Been
  • Morten Harket - Can't Take My Eyes off of You
  • Paul Jackson, Jr. - If I Go Away
  • Robbie Williams - Somethin' Stupid
  • Sarah McLachlan - When SheLoved Me
  • Shanice & Jon Secada - If I Never Knew
  • The CompanY - Baka Ikaw
  • Vonda Shepard - Hidden Persuasion
Like the songs? Head over to or check out the integrated Radioblog on the right panel.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Four Seasons at Chatswood

Been quite a while since I've visited the Zenith Theatre again. Today, the Willoughby Symphony is staging a concert entitled Four Seasons. Programme as follows:

  • Corelli - Concerto Grosso, Op. 6 No. 8
  • Quantz - Flute Concerto
  • Puccini - I crisantemi (The Crysanthemums)
  • Vivaldi - The Four Seasons
WSO’s Principal Flautist Katrina Kelvin performs Quantz' Flute Concerto, while prize-winning Chinese-Australian violinist Kylie Liang performs Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Now, this version is special because we have a narrator who recites some Italian sonnets (with English translation, of course) as an introduction to each of the seasons/concertos. Not the best, but still nicely played.

Met up with GF at Westfield Chatswood, then off to Bhudda Raksa Thai Restaurant in Enfield for dinner.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bundeena Birthday

Drove to Bundeena for AS' birthday party. Apparently, they rented a house along Loftus Street for the weekend, so here we are. The house sits on top of an elevation with an outdoor entertainment area looking out to the sea. A few minutes walk and you're at the beach already. Since GF and I got there early, we helped set up the tables and pretty much blew up all the balloons. That gave us an appetite for lunch. While GF is having a meeting with the girls, I went to the beach with KC's kids. Left the party around 4pm. Dropped by Horderns Beach for a short walk, then passed by the Royal National Park Visitor's Centre, before heading back to Sydney.