Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Here's a few piccies from Chrissy so far this year... beer brewing with the neighbours, camping with the Schultz's (Mt Mee) and a bit of fun in Adelaide...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Stylin the Green

Di has an unorthodox, but surprisingly successful bowling style. Watch, and learn

Friday, December 08, 2006

Video Update

If anyone has tried the videos in this blog recently and they haven't worked - my apologies! All should be fixed now. Please check them out again!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


So, EWB - Engineers Without Borders
PNG - Papua New Guinea
AT - Appropriate Technology

For the last week, we had Shirlee from PNG staying with us. She works at ATprojects, where Di worked in January when we were up in PNG. She was here to spend some time with the EWB group at University of Queensland who is working with ATprojects to build affordable, easy to build toilets for use in villages in PNG - one of the most important aspects of improving people's health there.

SO we managed to fit in a few other things since it was Shirlee's first time in Australia, AND Anna from Adelaide was visiting - yet another South Aussie who has been lured up to Queensland at least partly due to Di's magic charm. Beach, Citycat, West End markets, Sunshine Coast hinterland, baking Christmas cookies, German club... fun week!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Nimbus #2

Just an update on my unicycling progress...
Remote Submarine

This is my re-enactment of Hunt for Red October

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Crazy Times!

Melbourne, Mackay, Adelaide - that's the weekend before last, last weekend and this weekend. CRAZY!

Since Di's finished uni (WOOHOO!) and is (relatively) free, we decided that she could accompany me on a couple of short work trips - both lengthened to take in the weekends.

A few of the highlights:

  • Being extras in a Bollywood movie and seeing the star - Sharuhk Khan (our hero, and only the most famous dude in bollywood cinema!). We were asked to return for a smaller shoot on the Tuesday night but they couldn't afford us... (plus it was from 8pm to 4am and I was working both days...)
  • Seeing Daz on Sat night with Markie and Rachel and friends
  • Experiencing Melbourne's coldest November day ever(?). Including a memorable walk in the hail in thongs by Di
  • Kulcha
  • Visiting my university
  • Kylie!! (And friends, and gelati)

  • BELLA! (And Mel...)
  • Paddling in the water and THEN finding the 'beware of crocodiles' sign
  • Uri - our little yellow hire-car
  • Platypus at Eungella
  • Pinnacle Pies
  • Eimeo Pub
That's about it for now... off to Adelaide!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Operation: Save The Fish - UPDATE

Two days later and all is well!
Nimbus Ride #1

So I got this unicycle for my birthday from Di... I thought I might provide a little entertainment for everyone by showing off my progress (or lack of) over the next few weeks/months/years/decades as I try to ride this thing.

Any unicycle riding advice welcome!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Operation: SAVE THE FISH

9:00am - Picked up a rental van
10:00am - Ben runs music at church, Brad packs van
11:30am - We leave for Yamba - 3.5 hours away, directed by 'Yoda' on my GPS software
3:00pm - Arrive at
Yamba and inspect the 6 foot tank of cichlids at Ben's cousin Dave's's Optometry clinic. He's moving office and doesn't want them any more. We're here to save them and the tank setup!

6:30pm - After 3 hours of catching fish, syphoning water, moving heavy things and eating a well-deserved sub, we're heading back to Brissy.
10:00pm - Arrive, Woolloongabba, start unpacking
10:30pm - Matt Jantezki, our handy-man saviour arrives to help move the tank cause it is HEAVY
11:30pm - The tank is in our new downstairs hangout room
12:20am - The tank is full of water and filtration system up and running
2:00am - Tank almost full of fish and cleanup begins - Only two casualties (out of around 50 fish!) Di is happy below because she's setting the last fish free!

3:17am and the operation is complete! Success! Sleep...

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Erin put this together for me on my birthday... I LOVE it! I hope you don't think I'm too odd after watching it.

That Erin sure has a talent for these things...

The last house standing...

I came home on Monday and there were three less houses in our street. The North South Bypass Tunnel is going ahead, and life in Gibbon St will never be the same. Not that it ever WAS the same... I mean, ever since we moved here it has been in a state of flux. But now ours is actually the only numbered house left in Gibbon St.

Opposition to the tunnel is out there, but at this point, I think it's probably too late. Someone graffitied the worksite fence, calling the council 'terrorists' for destroying communities. Although terrorist is a bit of an exageration, I found that strangely affirming that someone else cared that the community we had in this street is now almost gone. Now it's just us, Ben and Sarah, Colin, and the Red Paintings next door...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Birthdays, Footy and Coopers

We're in Adelaide for a few days, primarily for Julie's (Di's sis) 30th birthday - celebrated by a fine Thai dinner last night and a champagne and pancake breaky this morning at the Zwars place.

A sad day for Adelaide however as the Crows lost the prelim final. A happy day for Loz though as she both started her very own blog and is a supporter of West Coast.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!

Joseph (in the picture) from the company I'm doing training for over here took me to a few Hawker Centres today - they're the best thing about Singapore methinks. Before he took me to this one to try the famous Cockles Curry dish, he made sure to check whether I was up to date on my hepatitis shots... as sometimes they aren't cooked completely.

I'll let you know if they weren't.

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Haircut in Singapore

Singapore for 4 days! Delivering some technology to a transit company here. Shouldn't be too crazy a trip - presuming all the technology works...

One of my tasks this morning was to get a haircut. Found a little place in Little India that did a $10 job. It was a little scary, as every time I tried to tell the guy what I wanted, he berated me. So I was reduced to squinting at the mirror (since I had taken my glasses off) trying to work out what evils he was committing to my hair. It didn't turn out too bad. I should have just trusted him all along...

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Plaza Singapura

Sometimes Singapore seems to be nothing but these types of places...

(This was put together from 10 randomly taken photos using 'autostitch' (a free program from Univeristy of British Columbia)) Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Bridge to Brizzie!

I never thought I would run 12km in my whole life, let alone all in one go... but I must admit, I actually enjoyed it. If you care about the figures... I came 4128th in a time of 1hr 7 mins 39.783sec. I was actually shooting for 0.002 of a second better than that...

And as a postscript - below is a happy snap from Ben's camera at the Soccer World Cup celebrations - Christel and I enjoying some German ale.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Purchase of the Week

Sometimes you really like something, and then you see a whole heap of it for sale for a cheap price, so you buy lots. Then pretty soon you realise you don't actually like that thing so much anymore...

Well I hope that won't happen with the 2 kg of Haloumi cheese I just bought from the famous fruit shop at Stones Corner. Mmmm Haloumi with bread, with sweet chilli sauce, with ice cream, with coffee...

Saturday, July 08, 2006


Last weekend Di/me and Ben/Sarah drove south to the TEAR conference at Stanwell Tops just south of Sydney.

Had a fun time and it was interesting/motivating hearing from people working with poor people in various places.

Krispy Kreme donuts were a bonus too.

The photo is near the conference centre, Mark (Ben's Bro-in-law), Jo (Ben's sis), Di, me, Sarah, Chris Martin (AKA Ben)

This one had to be included...

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Monday, June 19, 2006

See Ya Ev and Mel!!

I went out to Cecil on the weekend to have a final catchup with Ev and Mel Rohde (and Kai, Braithe and their 4 huskis) who are moving up to Atherton in a couple of weeks. Nice to have a bit of a 'mountain biker reunion' too (minus the Canadian Breezo unfortunately). I must say that there are two things that Rohdes do better than anyone - Hungis and Bonfires. We had both on saturday night. All the best Ev, Mel and Family!

Ev 'The Master' Rohde in the front with Jaydy, Gregory, Bradley, Daniel and Screndells along the back.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Inmates are Running the Asylum

'Inmates' being Engineers like me, and 'The Asylum' being the world.

I like whacking a quick review of some of the books I read on my blog. This one definitely falls under the 'nerd' category. However it's the type of book that if more engineers (mainly software engineers) read, would potentially make life a little better for most people!

It basically rips apart the usability of technology and puts together a case for having 'interaction experts' in any organisation that develops technology. This is so that Engineers stop having to be the ones that design interfaces that normal people have to use. the classic example is (of course) how unnecessarily hard it is to program a video recorder.

It was a little demoralising at times, but overall I think good stuff for me as an Engineer to read!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

A Canadian Blonde

The brewers are back. We brewed a Coopers 'Canadian Blonde' and named it 'Bunny' after our favourite Woolloongabbian Canadian!

Shown in the piccy is our dedicated brewing headquarters. Or the 'Situation Room' as I like to call it.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Home again

Back in Bris Vegas! The trip home wasn't too bad. Flew from Vancouver to Los Angeles - which was spectacular, the highlight being Mt St Helens (see the photo). It was truly massive and beautiful!

Los Angeles is truly massive as well, and I guess beautiful in it's own way (as Ben Lee would say 'living proof that people need to be together...'). I visited a customer for work, and then did a little shopping and also drove aimlessly around downtown for a while since I had never really done that before. Amazing how one avenue changes from being swanky downtown office blocks to a block with hundreds of homeless people on it in only a mile. The scale of homelessness in some parts of LA is really shocking.

The other major story of the day for me was that I ate donuts from both Tim Hortons (in Canada) and Krispy Kreme (in LA) in the same day. A feat worthy of note methinks.

Monday, April 24, 2006

More Wedding Photos Here!


It is DONE!

Yes, Benjamin Peter Briese is married! The day quite possibly the most beautiful day ever seen - SERIOUSLY. Not a cloud in the sky, snow capped mountains in the background - the first beautiful day since I've been in Vancouver! The wedding was fantastic, Ben and Charlene are happy, and perfect for each other and I'll be posting many more photos soon!

Monday, April 17, 2006


Just hanging at what's become my chill-out / internet catchup place - Prado Cafe on Commercial Drive. Why don't cafes in Brisbane offer free WiFi?? Out of the eight tables occupied here, four of them are people on laptops, one couple of guys playing chess, someone reading a book, a couple of girls hanging out and one freak sitting in the cold outside doing a crossword. Speaking of cold... I went to the dawn service this morning at Trout Lake, near Ben's place. It was outside on the shore of the lake. It must have been hovering near zero degrees, and started raining halfway through the service. Then to top it all of, at the end of the service it started hailing. I haven't been that cold in many years... I'm definitely heading back to MEC to spend some money on warm clothes tomorrow!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Me and Benny!

Originally uploaded by luckyforehead.

Coopers in the snow

Originally uploaded by luckyforehead.
Mount Seymour

coming down the mountain

Originally uploaded by luckyforehead.
This family was pretty lucky they didn't go off the OTHER side of the road

Commercial Drive

Originally uploaded by luckyforehead.
The main street near Ben and Charlene's place. Lots of great places to eat, coffee shops with WiFi and bookshops with dogs in them. Love it.

Owen and his favourite Sushi joint.

Originally uploaded by luckyforehead.
It's my favourite sushi joint now too... (But not Ben's Mum's favourite sushi joint) I think his Dad likes it. Esepcially the wasabi.

DJ Turtle, Skyping Corrina

Originally uploaded by luckyforehead.


Instead of posting heaps of photos here, it's a little easier to put them on Flickr - Photos at Flickr.

Mostly just walking around Commercial Drive, hanging out with Ben/His Parents and Owen. Today we hit Mountain Equipment Co-op. I managed to resist buying anything - but I do need to head back there to get some mountain biking shoes. And probably a warm coat.

We then drove to the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus. Huge place, nice drive and interesting anthropology museum. Sushi for lunch, including one of the funniest moments I have ever experienced as Ben's Dad put a lump of wasabi in his mouth despite Ben, Owen and I strongly urging him not to. A general drive around North Vancouver was next, including Lynn Canyon (forest / suspension bridge), Mount Seymour (where it snowed - yay!), some of the North Shore Mountain Bike trails (no biking for us...) and Deep Water Cove (I think that was what it was called). Fun day!

I'm off to Owen's place to be reprogrammed as an ice hockey fan.


Friday, April 14, 2006

How to take photos from an LA freeway

Hi from rainy, cold Vancouver! The locals assure me that it's been sunny for the last few days, but I'm not so sure...

Had a whirlwind trip to LA - straight off the plane, drove downtown to our customer, spent the afternoon there doing Vigil engineery stuff, back in the car to the airport and on the plane to Canada. Toni Collette was the person in front of me in the immigration line which was pretty funny. I learnt never to try saying hello to big movie stars. Not their fault... my fault for not being able to think of things to say, whereas I was able to have a normal pleasant conversation with the person behind me in the immigration queue...

Got to Vancouver around 11pm - great to see Benny and to finally meet Charlene! We basically just went straight home and straight to sleep. Today I'm hanging with Owen!

Ben's place on a rainy Vancouver morning.