A Wild Weekend Update

Let’s see… On Friday Priscilla had a meeting at a hospital downtown and got out early so I walked down and met her there. We were planning on going camping this weekend so we went by BigW (Walmart) to grab a couple things and walk around. Unfortunately it turned out that this is a 3 day weekend for school kids and the rental car places were charging double. We were also advised it might not be the best weekend for camping due to the crowds so decided to postpone it. We have plans for this coming weekend so maybe we can go the weekend after. Hopefully it won’t be too hot, its starting to warm up here.

That night we went out to a nice fish and chips restaurant. It was all really good except i had a very strange salad. No joke it was pure cilantro and mint leaves. I couldn’t it eat it.  They had lots of different kinds of fresh fish and seafood though and you basically chose a fish, how to cook/fry it, a sauce, sides, etc.  

The next day was another Saturday of shopping. This time i had to go because P said i need new shirts cuz i wear the same one every day. gah. So i had to spend my increasingly scarse dollars on stupid shirts. 🙂

That evening we decided we’d go out so we made dinner at home to save money for beer. We went down the street to an outdoor market area where there are outdoor bars and cafes and a few clubs. We sat outside and proceeded to drink more than a few. Then Priscilla got all clubby on me and made me go clubbing with her. haha It wasn’t so bad i guess and we were having fun.

Things were a little hazing but i remember this dude giving me pissed off dirty looks. I have/had no idea what his deal was but he was angry about something. Priscilla said that she thinks she might have pushed him to get by and he thought it was me or something, but who knows. So he gets all up in my face and i just play along w/ the staredown thinking “is this dude for real?” in my head. He looks away, stare down victory! and off i go. But then somehow he got all worked up again and pushed me outta nowhere! I’m just like dude, wtf,  you need to get outta here. I’m like just walk, man.  So then he pushes and drives me back pretty hard into the crowd and people start to take notice. He comes rushing at me again so i guess its time to do something. WHAM! i punch him square in the nose. It was a beaut, blood everywhere. It crunched pretty good. He backs up and there is blood all over his face and shirt and on my pants and my arm.  Pretty gross. So he’s real pissed and rushes me again like a bull.  Fortunatley i watch a little UFC and have studied the fine art of watching take down defense on TV. I got my underhooks in and after a short struggle I flipped him over and threw him on the ground and put a knee in his gut to hold him down. I then put my hands up and got off him. I disctinctly remember one guy in the crowd giving me a thumbs up. hah it was so awesome. So then we’re like, we better run! So we took off, ran out and down the street. I didn’t look back, but P did and she said she saw the bouncers walking him outside holding his nose, etc. He was all bloody, i bet i broke his nose.

I didn’t get touched except for a couple scratches and blood on my clothes. Well i did sort of hurt my hand from punching him and it was swollen up the next day, but its fine today. So i sum it up as one of those hostile trouble maker types starting shit and then getting his ass wooped for it. Everybody who knows me knows i’m not a tough guy, but its all changed now.  I am now DAN THE ANNIHILATING BRINGER OF MAYEM!

We spent the next day taking pictures of flowers in the park…

 

-Dan

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Weekend Update

Friday we went across the street and had sushi at Sushi Station.  Its the kind of place where the conveyor belt (in this case a little toy train) with sushi on it goes around the bar and you grab what you want. Thats fun. Then we went downtown to Borders to try and find a cooking book. Not a recipe book, but a “how to cook, cooking technique” sort of book. I think I’m lacking in some fundamentals… I found the perfect book, but it turned out to be a $205 culinary textbook.  So the hunt continues.

Saturday day we didn’t do much. P went downtown shopping while I slaved away cleaning at home. Just kidding, I probably didn’t do anything of measurable importance. 🙂 She bought shoes.  Later on we went down to James St. (cool nicer/artsy/bistro/shoppy sort of place a block from our apartment) and ate dinner at a bistro there. My food was good, but P’s was kinda cold and not so good. Service really is hit or miss around here and more often than not a miss. So then we went next store to an indie film theater and saw a movie called Waltz with Bishar. It was an animated, but intense, movie about the Sabra and Shatila massacre during the Lebanese Civil War in the early ’80s.  I knew absolutely nothing about this before the movie, but the movie was effective I guess in that P and I went home and read up on the war. Feel free to click the links for more info. I just tried to write it all out, but it got pretty messy. It basically boils down to the same old story, Religion A attempting to erradicate Religion B. 

Sunday I bought a new digital SLR camera (little Nikon D40) thanks to a great sale, the exchange rate, and me selling the brand new camera that Canon was nice enough to give me for free. (When I sent in my five year old camera for a recall repair, they sent me a new better/newer model one.  Thanks, Canon!)  So now I have a basic, albeit real deal digital SLR. Let’s just say photography isn’t as easy as it looks, but I’m working on it. After picking it up and running a few errands in the morning we picked up some Subway (they don’t have chips at Subway here, wtf?) and headed to the gardens to have a picnic and take some pics. It was a perfect day and it was great to sit and relax outside like that. We need to do that more often.  Here are a few pics we took that day:

Definitely room for improvement! It’ll be fun to see how/if I can progress.

-Dan

Birthday!

So Sunday was my birthday and I’m now officially a quarter of a century.  I’m not going to say how depressing that is (because I think everyone who reads this is older than me, ha!) but it’s really freakin depressing. 

Went shopping in the morning to buy more shoes that I didn’t need and then when I came back Dan and I went to The Powerhouse, which is a little local music venue about 15 minutes from here.  We went a few weeks ago with my boss and his wife and saw 2 local bands.  One had a girl singer and the other was a punkier rock guy.  They were both OK but not very memorable since that’s all I remember about them.  This week we saw a band whose lead singer was reeeally similar to James Blunt (much to Dan’s dismay) but I thought he was pretty good.  Kinda sappy but nice.  The second band had a female singer who played keys and cello, as well as 2 other cello player.   It was pretty cool and was interesting to watch but it got kind of old after a while.  I guess I just lose interest in bands quickly.  I like to switch around and not listen to the same thing for very long.

Then it was present time.  But first a little backstory.  So there’s a department store downtown that’s pretty upscaple called David Jones.  It’s probably similar to a Saks or Lord and Taylor in the US.  Well they have lots of big designer labels and the first time I went there I saw these shoes…

and thought they were absolutely ridiculous but totally adorable at the same time.  I thought it might be funny to get them just for the hell of it.  Until I turned them over and saw the price.  $550.  Marc Jacobs.  Riiiiight.  So I put them down, gently, and backed away.  Next time Dan and I were in the store I showed them to him and said I really wanted them.  He just laughed.  And the next time we were in there I showed them to him again and said I really wanted them.  He laughed again.  Repeat probably about 8 times.

Ok back to the presents.  There were two and one of them was in a box that was very similar in shape to a shoe box.  Hmm.  I opened it and recognized the box as one I already had.  Bummer, they’re not the mouse shoes.  Then I opened it…

BAHAHAH! Dan made me mouse shoe knock-offs!  How impressive is that?!  He said he spent ages figuring out how to make the ears and getting the whiskers on right and glueing on the eyes.  Total price- $20.

Thanks babers.  Maybe one of these days I’ll be brave enough to wear them outside.  🙂

We had dinner at a fancy restaurant just on the corner of our street.  The menu was a bit…exotic.  It had a lot of things that I didn’t really want to eat (rabbit, quail, buffalo, venison, snails) but I finally decided on venison and Dan got buffalo.  They were both really good as long as you didn’t think about what you were eating.  This was probably the first really good meal we’ve had since moving here.  The food here is surprisingly bad and I don’t know if it’s that we’re just not used to it or what, but even our friends from the US agree.  We’ve probably been eating kangaroo without realizing it (another thing I don’t want to try).

-P

Australia Zoo

So the Saturday before last, we decided to check out the Australia Zoo. This is the zoo Steve Irwin created and setup. The zoo features almost entirely Australian wildlife and is designed to be “hands on”. The motto there is “If you interract with the animals, you’ll love the animals, and you’ll protect the animals” or something like that.

 

We saw some cool animals like otters, tazmanian devils, crocs, strange giant ostrich-like birds with blue heads [cassowary], echidnas, koalas, foxes, camels, and kangaroos. And there was also a kid’s petting zoo (P’s favorite) with baby cows, pigs, and goats. There were some six week old piglets there that were pretty cute (Dan’s favorite).

We did the usual zoo thing wandering around when it was finally time to go to the kangaroo area.  We went in through a giant double gated entrance and stopped… there was a kangaroo like right there! No fence or ditch or anything. No one else was around and we weren’t sure what to do. Are they nice? Do they punch people? Are we supposed to try and touch them? It was basically a really big area, a few acres, or open grass and trees and hills with a river winding through it. And all around were kangaroos hanging around. Interesting. So we decided to sneak up to the kangaroo and try to touch it. Priscilla slowly krept up talking to it softly, etc and finally worked up the courage to touch it. It didnt even flinch. So she worked her way up to petting it and it turns out it was pretty laid back and friendly so I went over and petted it to. Cool.

Then we noticed over on the next hill that there were like 2 toddler kids yelling and running up to a kangaroo. He didnt budge. They petting him and poked him, etc and he didn’t seem phased a bit. So apparently this is the norm and we weren’t Kangaroo whisperers after all. 

So we wandered around petting various kangaroos and watched them walk and hop around. Then we came across an ‘safe area’ where the kangaroos can go hang out and people can’t go. There we saw a few kangaroos with joeys! It was funny because they were just laying around w/ two little back legs sticking out of their pouches. Finally after some waiting we got so see a joey hop out and playing around for a bit. Then the mom stood up which must have been the signal to hop back in because the joey just hopped and dove right into the pouch. Not gentle at all. Ha. 

We have a lot more pics of all the animals and I’ll add them as a gallery in this post later on.

-Dan


Another RAINY day in Brisbane?

The weather has taken a turn. Its now the second day of continuous pretty heavy rain. Brisbane is under a bit of a drought so I guess thats a good thing. Fortunately its supposed to clear up this afternoon for a nice fine weekend.

So yesterday I had my interview. I guess it was more of a chitchat than a formal interview. He never had a position open, I just liked the company and got in contact with him, the CEO.  I was optimistic though that after the phone conversation he wanted to talk in person. It went well, but in the end he basically said that he’d be interested in going further with interviews, but at the time there really isn’t an opening and he probably shouldn’t just shoehorn me in. He did say he’d pass my info around and talk to the other management to see what they think. *shrug*

The good news, though, is that he gave me a contact of his who started up a company a couple years ago designing and building autonymous farm equipment. That sounds awesome to me. i guess it’d be like a Roomba for a wheat field.  So I’m waiting to hear back from that guy.

Last night it was cold and P came home from work soaking wet after a long day so we got take out and stayed in and watched a movie. We saw “Into the Wild”. For some reason I never thought it’d be that great so i’ve been putting it off, but it turned out to be a good movie. So I’d put that on the recommend list as well.

It turns out my brother hasn’t fallen off the planet after all, he’s just been super busy with dental school. His forte isn’t e-communication. It sounds like a really rigorous program and its requiring some pretty serious dedication. The good news is that he did well on his first test and he’s staying on top of things. Its also good that he finallly shipped out my PS3 and camera. I’m going through Call of Duty withdrawl and i’ll be pissed if i get a job before the PS3 gets here. 

My mission for the day is to go to the mall and return some stuff and maybe find P a new backpack. We got one the other day but its proving to be too small for all the junk she brings to work and back every day. The rain looks to be letting up so that’d be helpful. Its about a 12 min walk to the mall downtown.

I’m not sure what we’re doing tonight, but tomorrow we’re going to the zoo. Its the Steve Irwin Foundation Australian Zoo. Should be fun.

-Dan

The Job Hunt

Well I guess i should try to update this often so I can remember what we do when talking to the family back home. So lets see…

I’m still on the job hunt here. My background is as an electrical/computer engineer in the semiconductor industry. Unfortunatley there is zero semiconductor industry here in Brisbane. When I talk to recruiters they seem to think that EE means I do either power or construction work (which there is plenty of around here). If i mention the word “computer” they switch to IT mode and ask about my Windows and web dev skills. Its funny, but not. For fun I applied for a job as a web dev for a department at the University of Queensland where Priscilla works. I’m pretty darn unqualified and I don’t even really want to do it.. but it’d be a job for now and i’m sure i could figure it out.

So I’m pursing the controls avenue of EE which is what i focused on in school and am most interested. It seems tough to break into though without experience. One big company in the area said they’re not hiring, but the CEO said I could call him up and chat. I just did, but he wasn’t there so i’ll try later. Thats good of him and hopefully i can learn a thing or two.

So yeh, I spend a lot of the day on the computer hunting for jobs, cleaning, and running errands.

Last night we went out to eat at a Spanish tapas restaurant. The food was great and the sangria even better. Its right across the street so we’ll surely be back.

We normally aren’t into and haven’t rented a stupid-funny movie in years, but we rented “Walk Hard” a week or so ago. It was pretty damn funny in parts. Especially the part w/ the Beatles. So that encouraged us so we rented “Semi-Pro” last night. It was so retarded we didnt even finish it. So much for that i guess.

Its strange to me to be writing a blog and telling people this crap. I’m not a blogger (or am i?), but my friend Joe says they rule. I’m pretty sure thats all he did/does at work.

AH HA! the CEO guys just called me back and we chatted for a bit. I got an interview for tomorrow. woot!

-Dan

“Another Fine Day in Brisbane”

Ah yes. Its always a fine day in Brisbane. Its funny to watch the weather here. Apparently “fine” means sunny, fair, etc. So they always say that its “fine in Brisbane”, “partly fine in Brisbane”, “mostly fine in Brisbane”, etc. Its also apparently often fine in a lot of cities so as they run down the list of cities you hear the word fine like twenty times. Sort of funny I guess so we decided to call our blog that.

-Dan