東京スカイスクレイパー

The Whole Circle

25 Aug The Whole Circle

I’ve been busy this past week. More busy than usual, really, which I guess is a good thing. Just this morning I finished reading The Martian by Andy Weir. Wow. What a fantastic book. I’m not much of a reader, but from page one I was hooked. You should give it a go. It’s only 380 pages.

On top of reading, I’ve been spending many, many hours helping a friend put together a website. The best part is learning new things that I should’ve learnt eons ago – like adding PayPal buttons and whatnot. At the moment, it’s live, but still needs more content. All in all, it’s got enough information to get off the ground, but things like recipes will come.

I was hoping to make it through WordPress, but somehow fell back on a HTML template I’d purchased a while ago on ThemeForest. It looked nice, did everything I wanted, and more, though adding in recipes will be a pain with all that HTML editing and FTP-ing. Then today I’m asked if I can add in a blog. Nooo! Oh well. There’s a WordPress theme I’ve found which closely resembles the HTML template I’m using, so I may get it, play around, and if I can get everything working in a timely manner, use that instead.

The problem with professional WordPress themes these days is that they have sooo much on offer and are very complex. I like simple editors, and theme options that have a dozen sections can be overwhelming. And sometimes they have CSS files buried away in a distant folder, ones that you can’t edit from within WordPress.

But yeah, at the moment I’m really happy to have this site 95% completed, and I’ll be even happier come pay day.

Ka-ching!

Link – www.wholecirclefoods.com

Osaka iBook

19 Aug My Book

Since March I’ve been making a book. The problem I had back then was that the content would be coming from a holiday in June, which gave me a great layout, but lots of Lorem Ipsum and dummy images. And in June I went away for ten days, come back with some fresh stories and lots of photos, though some did need a touch up in Photoshop.

While away, Adobe decided to update InDesign CC with the 2014 version. It made images look horrible, very pixelated, even on the highest setting. I tried everything with no success. So I ditched InDesign CC 2014 in favour of iBooks Author.

Earlier this month I submitted the book for publication on the iBooks Store and it’s now available for all to download and read. It’s not breaking any download records – only four so far, including me – but that’s not what it’s about. I just wanted to get an ego boost, knowing I’ve made something that’s out for all to read.

As you’d expect, once hitting the submit button, I noticed a few minor errors. Like a text box that had inadvertently been moved over an image, and a copy/paste photo description that hadn’t been correctly edited. Yeah, small things. Version 1.1 with the corrections is awaiting approval.

If you’ve a spare 40mb, please download it. It’s free, so why not? There’s lots of pretty pictures and stories, including one where I have very little recollection of the day, apart from a receipt for a CD. And I was sober that day too!

iBooks/iTunes Link - Osaka 2014 Travel Journal.

Behind The Myths

19 Aug MythBusters Live in Melbourne

I’m home! Actually, I got home on Sunday night and it was a fun, exciting weekend… that almost didn’t exist. You see, my alarm was set for 8:45am, giving enough time to pack and be ready for the shuttle bus, but instead I woke at 6:20am, noticing a text message from Jetstar which had arrived two minutes earlier. Yep, my flight was cancelled. I was on the phone right away to arrange another flight, but the man I spoke to had to put me on hold for a moment to check something… that lasted 45 minutes.

So I hung up and called back.

Big mistake. There was a message to tell of the 30 minute wait for the next operator and 65 minutes later I got someone. I was offered a flight on the Saturday – no go, it leaves AFTER MythBusters starts – so I ask about going to Sydney, then from Sydney to Melbourne. That worked a treat, and the flight left only a little after the one I’d originally booked.

Sydney_01

Why do I get to airports so early? I was at MCY by 11:15am, and my flight left at 3:15pm. There’s absolutely nothing to do at MCY other than look at the Coke vending machine. Once through security there’s a newsagent, cafe and Rip Curl shop, not much else. But I eventually boarded the flight to Sydney and that was good. Time to relax a bit.

Sydney is way huge compared to MCY, and I never thought I’d make it to my next flight – had to check in again, go through security again, but I worried for nothing. Even though the queues were long, it was pretty quick.

Arriving in Melbourne came soon enough and then I was on my way to the hotel, thankfully with a lift from a friend I hadn’t seen in seven years. Another was waiting at my hotel, and soon after we went for beer.

Melb_01

Beer in Melbourne is super-expensive. It was $9 for a glass at every bar I visited. NINE DOLLARYDOOS! The Kosciuszko Pale Ale was quite nice, the VB kinda meh. It was about 2am before I got to bed, waking about 11am and heading to The Plenary for some Mythbusters goodness.

Not knowing what to expect, I had a great time. I like how they regularly got the audience involved (I didn’t get to go up as I had no waiver on my chair) and Adam had the greatest t-shirts (all superhero based). I’m sure he went through 5 t-shirts and a Han Solo costume, all within 2 and a half hours. Jamie was Jamie, crisp white shirt and beret. The paintball cannon was insane, and I couldn’t help but wonder how they got that through customs when a bottle of water is a no no.

I’ve about 20 minutes of video, and a handful of photos. Unfortunately my camera doesn’t like low light and struggled to focus on the fast movements, so those photos were pretty much zapped. The ones on my phone looked okay until they got onto the computer. Definitely not photography award material, not even a good effort, keep trying ribbon.

Walking back to the hotel, I noticed an old colleague walking by, so I said G’day and we went to a bar for a quiet one. After that, I bought a six pack and had a few while watching the football.

Melb_02

Sunday morning I woke up tired. Super-tired. And it was going to be a long day too. I met up with another friend and we had breakfast in Southbank. Turns out he works for my web host, so he’s gonna try do some good things for me. Nice!

I had to check out by 10am, giving me 3 and a half hours to explore the city and go to Daiso. I was greeted by a monk who gave me some shiny gold card and wanted money. He got about 60c change from my bag. A little up the road, another monk. This time a shiny gold card and some beads. And he demanded money. I had no money, not cash anyway, and showed him the empty wallet. He snatched the beads and shiny gold card and walked off. It wasn’t until later that I discovered they’re scammers, not monks. Damn.  I could use that 60c right about now.

Made it to Daiso and had a look – no Mintia lollies, no pepperoni pizza flavoured chips. So I made a quick exit. They’re the best Japanese treats and Daiso didn’t have them.

After struggling to kill time, another friend picked me up at 1:30pm for a ride to the airport. This one I used to live three doors down from, and I hadn’t seen him in about 10 years, maybe more. He’s offered me some web design work too – BONUS!

It was good to catch with everyone, and it would have been better to spend more time with the ones I did. Unfortunately, it was a quick weekend away with no major plans set, so maybe next time I’ll stay longer and see more friends.

 

 

MythBusters

14 Aug Two Sleeps ’til MythBusters

Not long now! I bought this MythBusters ticket in March during the pre-sale, ensuring I got a good seat, and after five months of waiting, it’s almost here. Aahhh MythBusters. I remember the first time I saw it, which was back in 2004 when channel surfing. Some dude was sticking CDs in a microwave and from then on I was hooked.

The airport shuttle bus is picking me up in twelve hours, dropping me off at MCY a good three hours before my flight. Why so early? It’s just me. I have this fear of being late. I don’t want there to be road closures or an accident which’d make me miss flights, so I get to airports super-early and walk around. It’s not so bad at larger international airports like Changi or Kansai, but in places like Cairns, Maroochydore, Brisbane, there’s not really much to do. I guess that’s why I have an iPad.

The plan is to get to Melbourne CBD by 6-6:30pm, then head off to Crown Casino to catch up with a mate and have a few beers. That’s pretty much what Melbourne is going to be this weekend – beer, sleep, beer, MythBusters, shopping at Daiso, beer, sleep, beer, home. I’ve never been to Daiso, so I’m hoping they stock Mintia lollies. They’re sooo delicious, especially the grape ones. And I hope they sell other Japanese treats, like the pepperoni flavoured potato chips I had in Osaka the other week. We’re missing out on so many yummy treats in Australia.

My flight home leaves Melbourne about 5:30pm, arriving back here around 8ish. From there, I’ve nothing else planned. Once home, I can catch up on sleep, play with my Melbourne photos, and get ready to go back to work on Monday.

I love these weekend trips interstate.

Edit 15/08 – This morning my alarm was set to wake me at 8:45am. For reasons unknown, I woke at 6:20am… two minutes after an SMS from Jetstar came through telling me about my flight and how it was cancelled. No biggie, I can just change flight, right? Wrong. I was on hold for ten minutes before the gentleman answered. All was going well until he had to pop me on hold for a moment while searching for alternative flights. On hold for 40 minutes. I hung up, then called back, only to hear a message that the call centre was extremely busy, with a wait of 30 minutes. Nooo!

In the end I was on hold for 65 minutes before the staff answered. I was offered a flight for tomorrow – no go; the earliest flight leaves here AFTER MythBusters starts – so I now fly out of MCY today down to Sydney, then a second flight 90 minutes later to Melbourne. I hope I’ve enough time to collect my luggage, check in, then go through security for the second flight.

Thankfully I was nice to the lady on the phone. I’m sure she’s getting enough people on the phone who are angry at A) the flight cancellation and B) being on hold for an eternity. I will cry if today’s flight is delayed out of MCY and I miss the one to Melbourne.

Wish me luck!

back

14 Aug And hey presto, he’s back!

It’s funny. I didn’t wake up this afternoon thinking I’d have a blog started again before bedtime. And at 11:54pm, here I am. I go through so many phases with blogs… post heaps, go quiet, post heaps, go quiet. Then after a few quiet periods, decide I can’t be bothered with it, then starting other projects… only to return.

So what is this, my seventh attempt at a blog in the past two years? Maybe more. But yeah, I like doing stuff and writing about it, and nobody really cares about my mundane life on Facebook. Here I can post my thoughts, work, hobbies, dreams, goals and other miscellaneous whatnot here instead. Hopefully I can maintain that super-high standard from the past.

Not much has changed since I last had a blog. I was in Japan in June, and head to Melbourne tomorrow for the weekend – going to see Mythbusters Live – as well as catch up with some friends, y’know, the fun stuff. I hope to buy some goodies at Daiso too. Actually, that’s the only reason I’m taking a suitcase along. Wonder if I can fill it with $2.80 bags of lollies. That’s what we’re missing on the Sunshine Coast. Daiso. Sure, there’s one at Chermside, but that’s a 90 kilometre drive away. And being a suburb of Brisbane, I’ll pass. I don’t like driving in Brisbane. It’s just wrong, what with the parkland in the middle of 3 southbound lanes. Riiigghhht.

That seems about enough for a welcome back post. Bedtime before 1am looks good, though I am feeling a wee bit peckish. Wonder if there’s anything left to eat.