Friday, February 27, 2009

Swordfish at Australia

Swordfish is one bad movie. When I say bad, I mean not good. Hugh Jackman as a hacker is just unconvincing. Halle Berry might look hot, but she can't act. As for John Travolta, you can take him out of Face Off or Pulp Fiction, dump him straight into this movie, and you wouldn't know the difference. The scriptwriters tried to spice up the plot with double crosses and sudden change of plans, but it's all too contrived. Halle Berry claims to be an undercover DEA agent, and was later killed off by John Travolta. There's no need to do this as Hugh Jackman never trusted her anyway. And Hugh Jackman can't possibly crack a secure code in 60 seconds given that he was using a stranger's laptop with a gun on his head and a woman's mouth on his other head.

The only nice part of the movie was John Travolta's escape from the bank. His gang gets on a bus on their way to the airport, and all the cops are on their tail. A helicopter swoops down and airlifts the bus to the rooftop of a skyscraper, where they make their escape using another helicopter. Hugh Jackman gets there in time and shoots down the helicopter using a bazooka which happens to be there. End of story. Or is it?

In keeping with the Hugh Jackman theme, we watched Australia at WHQ's place. It was so bad even WHQ was bored. This is definitely not the story of Australia. If this movie is supposed to be the saviour of the Australian tourism industry, then we're in deep trouble. The problem with the movie is that everything's so superficial and the plot too mixed-up. You have King Carney stealing Sarah Ashley's cattle and sabotaging her, so she'll be forced to sell Faraway Downs to him. Nullah's grandfather King George was being blamed for the murder of Sarah's husband, but it was actually someone else. Sarah and Drover and company were driving 1500 cattle across the outback when they had a stampede and later a water shortage. The Japanese attacked Darwin and Drover had to go and save the kids "adopted" by the mission. Then there's the romance angle between Sarah and Dover. So predictable!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Agent

Another day, another property manager. Anthony Trees First National first checked out the Chatham property on Tuesday. Elders came on Friday to take a look. Today, it's the turn of the director of First National West Ryde. The guys differ in their opinion whether the rental market is going up or down, but they all agree on the target rental price - nothing beyond $500 per week.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day 2009

Valentine's Day 2009 turned out to be an ordinary day just like the rest. Think of it this way, if you do it right, every day can be Valentine's Day.

Woke up early in the morning, and my brother and I started moving the dinner table set and washing machine to the Frederick unit. Easier said than done. Just hauling the front loader to the car took us half an hour already. After that, we went to West Ryde to do some cleaning up. WHQ dropped by to help out. It started to rain, so we didn't get to do much. Off to Bing Lee at Rhodes Shopping Centre to check out some appliances. Didn't know that the rest of the family was at Ikea to buy some curtains.

Had Valentine's dinner at Rhodes Phoenix for three hours. Not that we ordered a lot. Good conversation beats good food any day. We originally planned to attend the Love Music concert by Sydney Symphony at the Olympic Park Overflow, but didn't go anymore because of the rain. Movies is another option, but were a bit tired from all that talking.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Medicare Claim

My first time to claim from Medicare. Working from home today, so had the chance to go to Westfield Burwood in the morning. Got a good-sized crowd when I got there at 10am. From the $330 that I paid to my doctor, I got back $211. In cash. Without filling up any forms. Not bad at all.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Australian National Wedding Exhibition

Went to see the Australian National Wedding Expo at the Olympic Park Sports Centre. Not much stuff to see. I would say 80% of the exhibitors are photographers. The rest are jewelers, make-up studios, car hire, cakes, formalwear hire, 1 caterer, etc. No wonder entry is free.

Lunch at Dooley's. The cool airconditioning inside is welcome relief from the extreme heat outside. We noticed most of the patrons are getting some bread and cake with their orders. Must be free to members or something. Signed up to be a member for 4 years. Costs only $11 compared to annual membership of $5.

Went to the unit afterwards to do a bit of cleaning up. Switch the lighbulbs to energy-saving CFLs, changed one of the locketsets (darn difficult), sealed some gaps in the corner floorboards, etc.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Fil-Chi Buffet and Twilight Parade

Had lunch buffet at Auburn RSL with a group of Fil-Chi friends. After a few introductions and some chitchat, everyone seems to know everyone else through some common friend. Talk about six degrees of separation.

We (WHQ, her mom and sister and I) went to Chinatown late in the afternoon to watch the Chinese New Year Twilight Parade in Chinatown. The parade starts at Town Hall and makes its way to Chinatown, followed by fireworks at Cockle Bay at Darling Harbour. We got to Chinatown about an hour early, and the crowds are already taking up their places along the streets. With every passing minute, WHQ's sister is get more and more antsy. Doesn't help that the crowd is getting bigger, and they're slipping into any free space that they can find. After about an hour and a half of waiting, the parade started trickling in - the illuminated animal floats, the lion and dragon dances, the hundreds of martial artists, musicians, and dancers from Hunan province, etc.

The parade eventually finished around 9:30pm. By then, we all just want to go home and give our legs a rest. The fireworks at Cockle Bay can wait till the next Chinese New Year.