Wednesday, December 13, 2006

2006 RSC Cricket Match

Nine runs, no wickets from 12 balls faced.

Organics were defeated by "All Other Chemists" yesterday in the annual cricket match. Mental note: you really can get burnt on an overcast day!

Stevo made sure thirts were quenched by making beer runs on the village bicycle.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Ijong & Monc'

Happy housewarming, Finch and Bree - the cocktails night was a blast. Hello to Drummey, Sherry and all the other party animals.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Virgin for a Change

I am reluctantly test-running ownership of a mobile telephone - 0435066389.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Thanks Deb', for the loaner! It is a dream of mine to get a tandem bike. Having a ride today with Jen was great fun. Perhaps I can talk her in to going halves in one with me...

Snowy Mountains

There was still quite a few snow drifts left up in the Snowy Mountains. On our hiking trip, organised by Emma, up to Mount Kosciusko, I spotted a snow drift here in the shape of Australia.

The Snowy River is little more than a trickle at the point that we crossed it here. Of course, being snow-fed, this is one of Australia's rivers that has a constant flow.

In winter time, the bizzards can be quite rough, so this hut was built to shelter hikers and skiiers from the extreme cold. Really quite unnecessary at the time of the year, but quaint.

Some cool streams ran adjacent to our campsite and a few of us could not resist the chance to go swimming. Even fewer took up the opportunity on Sunday to swim in Blue Lake - the largest of Australia's five glacial lakes. In there, the water is very deep and close to freezing. Exhilarating though!

Up at around an elevation of 3000m, the views are spectacular. (This is as high as it gets in Australia - the Himalayas rise to about 8000m!) From the top of Mt Kosciusko, it is possible to see in to Victoria!

Monday, November 20, 2006

GS500 Unleashed

On Friday, my GS500 arrived at Dahlitz Motors in Queanbeyan and I had it on the road as soon as I could manage. Over the weekend, I clocked up almost 700 km. (The first service is due at 1000 km).

My friend, Glynn, and I have been on a couple of long rides. Saturday afternoon saw us take our bikes (Glynn is on his '89 Honda CRR250R) out through the Cotter. We stopped off a Casurina Sands for a dip and then continued south to the Tidbinbilla space tracking station. We had another splash at a waterfall in Namadgi and stopped off for fuel at Tharwa, the southern most tip of our journey. The Monaro Highway brought us back in to town. Bikes are awesome - I can't rave about the riding enough! Claire and Phil and Adam P. - we will have to take some rides out in the countryside as soon as we can manage.

We were more adventurous on Sunday and took the bikes to Bateman's Bay and headed a little north from there (to Agony Mountain Road) and had a swim in the ocean in the Murrumarang National Park. We gained a heap of practice with cornering as we came back up the "Clyde" on the way back to Canberra. By now I was getting a bit of a tender bottom from being in the saddle for so long and we took stopovers in Braidwood, Bungendore and Queanbeyan before beating the sun home.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Honourable Discharge

The Fox Flag was at half-mast on Wednesday when Christmas had his last homebrews and headed off, suitcase in hand, to take the next big leap into the workforce. You'll be missed, mate - and hopefully I will catch you in Perth early in the new year. Be sure to fulfill your promise to update your blog. Also, book your ticket early to get back for the races. (First weekend in July, right?)

Off he goes with Leah in the XR6... It was a tough few days after CJ headed off, then a distraction arrived, and a new housemate. (Post coming soon..)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Farewell Christmas

The Old Man departs this week to start his career in engineering in Perth, so in true Fox style he was farewelled with the greatest Singstar party yet. (Though, I am sure the neighbours and many people in the suburb would not agree...)

We connected the whole setup outside to take advantage of the excellent weather. The Beer-Can chook made another appearance, too.

The Singstar battles were hard-fought. Rimsy, of course, was unassailable when Nirvana was playing.

I had a blast and I trust that you all did, too. Fare ye well, Xmas and come for a visit when you can. Of course, now that you are returning to Perth, we are even more obliged to made the vast trek west-wards.

Chris cranks his stereo up and enjoys the subsequent rock concert atmosphere generated in the Lyneham Highschool grounds.

Impervious to the noise-pollution being generated, hardcore Singstar fans blazed on into the evening. At one stage, Chris put the stereo up to its maximum volume setting and it really sounded like a rock concert was being hosted at the Fox.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Guys (and lots of girls, too) enjoy going to Bunnings. It is a hardware mega-store. On Saturday, I picked up some new toys. Shown here is my Flymo push lawnmower. We have a petrol mower, but this one is fun and very efficient. I don't have much lawn so, if perhaps my grass doesn't grow sufficiently, I will take it out on the oval this weekend.

Some other items I picked up were hedge trimming shears ($5, already bent) and pruning secateurs. One of my favourite items is the mushroom farm. I will get some photos when I set it up and perhaps we can follow it through to harvest time?

Brewing kits aren't sold at Bunnings (yet), but I picked a couple up on the way home and now brew thirty-four is bubbling away happily. (It is a wheat beer).

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Under the Sea

It is often hard to describe what a strange place it is under the waves, so I will let the pictures do the talking for me. All of these photos were taken on the Great Barrier Reef last week while under the sea with my dive-buddy, Jenny.

Jenny and I crammed eleven dives in to three days while we were "living aboard" on the Great Barrier Reef. Jen is shown hovering above some interesting varieties of coral.

We almost bumped in to two enormous cuttlefish last Thursday. These molluscs were bigger than footballs and hovered and rotated like aliens in another world. Colours ripple and change over their body depending on how they feel and you can easily see if you are getting too close. I didn't try to pat these guys in case they decided to "ink" me.

Ange, I wonder if you will be able to keep up with the food bill when your turtles are as big as this guy!? This turtle was just munching on some coral and cruising along at about ten metres. Jenny and I were lucky to spot him because we were just about out of air and heading back to the dive boat.

White-tip reef sharks were pretty common on the reef. They are not lethal to humans and are actually fairly timid. I certainly couldn't get much closer than this photo indicates before the sharks get spooked and sidle off some distance.

It really is a three-dimensional world on the reef. The coral grows and forms interesting structures. This little gap is is a great spot for fish to take a break from any surge near the surface. We also found a little cave to swim through a little further on.

I took a shine to these strange fish with the pointy noses. It is really difficult (impossible?) to talk under water, so there are some standard hand signals that divers use to communicate to each other. Jenny and I have been diving together for a while now so we have started to incorporate novel gestures. I doubt, though, that our signal for "pointy-nose fish" would be novel!

Giant clams are real! They do not just live in the realm of computer games. Apparently, just like in the computer games, their grip is phenomenal and I was very careful not to stick my hand in! If you do, you're not getting it back... ever. Watch your pressure gauges, Jenny!

Thousands and thousands of fish! A tough life, by my standards, but these guys flourish amongst the coral. Diving or snorkelling on the reef is amazing stuff! Cheers everyone.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tropical North Queensland

Jenny and I have just returned from a trip to "Tropical North Queensland". We spent a few days diving on the Great Barrier Reef near Cairns. I used a couple of rolls of film underwater and will post some of the better photographs up in a few days.

After a little difficulty regaining our land-legs, we hiked through to Daintree rainforest. Frequent swims in the cool streams were vital!

Palm trees, cane toads and crocodiles are abundant in the far north. I will spare you a shot of the cane toads for now...

We spotted a wild croc - just a little fella' - on a boat cruise on the Daintree River.

Of course, at the crocodile farm, we saw hundreds of them. There was plenty of death-rolling and snapping at scraps. After watching the "croc-show", it is difficult not to have some affection for the crocs.

Monday, October 23, 2006

To Be Fair...

Guys, I have narrowed it down to just one type of bike to purchase: The GS500 by Suzuki. With this in mind, Roberts, Jen and Mel came with me after lunch on Monday to check out the range of bikes on Wentworth Avenue in Sydney City. We certainly made the sales staff a little nervous by jumping on the bikes - though we did restrain ourselves from making motorbike noises and beeping the horns... anyhow...

Which one should I get? (The mechanicals are identical). The faired version looks a bit sexier and will perhaps be (possibly) "nicer" to ride at speed, though the unfaired bike is cheaper by about a grand and, of course, doesn't have sensitive fairings to be damaged... I don't really think that I would be going far wrong either way though... comments?

Elouise O'Toole Fare Ye Well

Phil and Jenny and I socialised with our fellow chemists at our end-of-week drinks at Bramley's. We will be returning from Cairns (via Sydney) in a bit over a week - so hang in there for some new photos!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sunrise over Lake Burley G

Puss has trained me to wake up at 4am now to let him in (through the window). Though I try to sleep, I still wake early. Without daylight saving time, and with the days getting longer and longer, it is bright ridiculously early in the morning now. Not one to waste an oppurtunity, I rushed in on my (push)bike on Sunday morning to take in the sunrise over The Lake.

The last time I took in this sight, I was one of the many clubbers and pubbers that I again saw pouring out on to the street at a little after five on my way through Civic. This time I felt as fresh as a daisy and was grateful for it. Nice view - I feel though, that my photo doesn't do it justice..

Farewell Jon Foot

At his farewell dinner in Dickson, Jon is shown sporting his farewell gift from us that sports a likeness of our illustrious professorial research supervisor.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Cackle Around the Barbie

This is a superb method for cooking a chicken. A half-empty (or half-full?) beer can is lodged in the cavity of a chook. Said chook is then "perched" on the barbie and the lid closed. At full power, the chook was cooked superbly in 50 minutes. The purpose of the beer can is to steam the chicken from the inside. This procedure, uncovered by Chris, looks to be a winner and will be repeated again soon. Of course, for full appreciation, the chicken lunch should be accompanied by a generous number of long-necks of homebrew while playing some darts in the yard. The weather now is perfect for chilling out in the backyard cooking chooks with cans of beer in them.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Happy 25th Birthday, Roberts!

The Todman Avenue lads - Roberts, JB and Scotty - hosted an awesome long weekend of partying to celebrate the big guy's 25th, take in the footy grandfinals and revel in the long weekend and top Sydney weather. After Sydney went down in the hard-fought AFL grandfinal, party-goers quickly swung in to Singstar mode.

Jilly and Bog cheer on JB as he wows the crowd!

The birthday boy was accompanied by Ange for a duet. Somehow Roberts, I don't know quite why, all good parties involve you getting absolutely drenched in beers!

The Idiot Patrol was in fine form. Whip-cracking took place at about this time out on the street. (As opposed to earlier in-door exhibitions - sorry about the light fitting, Roberts!). Mel was the whip-cracker to show the most improvement in the evening though Robbo was the deadset whipping cracking champion.

The Rege of course featured in the Sydney trip (like always!) as well as a couple of snorkelling expeditions to Gordon's Bay and Clovelly. They are absolute top spots for a dip - especially when the weather is as great as it has been over the last couple of days. Cheers again to the whole Sydney crew - as well to some new friends like Jill and Ed that I have finally been able to have a few beers with. Great stuff and see you guys again soon. (Good luck with the house inspection, btw!)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Emily Miller Beach

Here's a tip: Emily Miller beach in the Murramarang National Park. Jenny and I visited the beach to do some snorkelling and spearfishing. (Thankfully we have wetsuits!). I speared a red morwong that was THIS big, but after a brief struggle, it escaped. 'Til next time, fish!

Motorcycle Learner

Thanks Mal for the loaner of the "Fat Hog". The beauty about riding a postie is that even 50 km/h feels like a blistering pace.

I did get my learner's permit back in 1999, but it has expired in the meantime. I had a few stacks back then - always yanking on the front brack at the slightest sign of danger. Oh, but it will be all different this time around... I will be so careful.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006