Monthly Archives: November 2010


Just spotted my beast on Felix’s Flickr. I really want to put my full cage back in!

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Great Race – Felix’s bucks party

Felix and Di’s wedding is only 2 weeks away and yesterday the troops were rallied together for a great race through the city (based off The Amazing Race concept).

I was still in a lot of pain from yesterday’s killer personal training session with Frenchie so I was feeling pretty nervous about the race. Looking around the group it looked like a few other guys were feeling the same way but in the end, despite earlier expectations we all had an insane amount of fun!

Central Station was the starting point. Here’s Felix, deep in thought about the race ahead.

We were split up into 5 groups (some groups had 3, mine had 4), all groups were given a balloon to protect (if anyone else popped it your team loses 10 minutes and their team gained 20!) and we were off. The first challenge screwed us straight off the bat. Drawing a couple of red markers forced us to complete a tangram (we had to form a square, then a triangle) before we could even get our first instruction sheet!

Richard wearing eye protection as he had to blow this balloon until it burst. There were a lot of bonus activities to do which bought you time. One of them involved buying a chickens foot and getting a stranger on a bus to put it in their mouth (and taking a shot of it for proof). Since we were lagging behind (due to the damn tangram!) we skipped the chickens foot and ran for the first checkpoint – St. Mary’s Cathedral. It turns out we were first to this checkpoint. Our timed challenge before getting the next set of instructions was to eat and swallow a timtam covered in vegemite, a dry wheatbix and blow a balloon till it popped.

One easy bonus was to find out what the Chinese star signs were of 3 different years, find them and take photos of them. With a bit of google iPhone help we were on the hunt for a dog, tiger and monkey. Asking this guy on the street to pull over as we needed a shot of a monkey could have ended in a punch in the face if we didn’t word it properly!

Another bonus challenge for time deduction was getting into a compromising position with the boar on Macquarie St. Kieren going for broke, hilarious as there was a tour group at the scene.

This challenge had us running to flip plastic cones over. Each cone had a riddle and we had to solve 4 of them (they were hard!). At this stage Felix’s group caught up to us and their prize for winning the riddle challenge first was a 10 minute penalty (haha!). Richard from my team also managed to sabotage their chickens foot by stomping it all over the ground ending their chances of finding someone to put it in their mouth for a 20 minute time deduction. The guys in Felix’s group were fuming!

We followed clues to the Cahill Expressway where were were on the lookout for a red box with combination lock. A magic eye puzzle we received at the start revealed the key and inside the box were our next instructions. The elevator was only one way up and down from here and one our way down Felix’s team popped our balloon (sweet revenge!).

After a few more challenging challenges we got to the final checkpoint. The Harbour View pub at The Rocks (cold beers = so much win). On each info sheet during the race there were guess who clues. At this point we used all the clues to figure out who our guy was, once this was done, and all photos submitted our time was marked.

Felix’s group beat us by a few minutes and it took almost an hour for the other teams to roll in. Due to the slower teams doing a lot of bonuses, and Felix’s team popping our balloon our team were knocked down to equal 3rd (boo!).

Felix’s team “Team Lost” were the winners.

Group shot!

Later that night we ate at Churrasco on Liverpool St.

Heaps of laughs reliving moments from the great race earlier in the day.

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Bicycle Christmas Tree

Spotted at the Harbour.

Cycling in the city. Sydney’s got it going on!

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Mia Maw Maw

So hard to get a shot of her with her big eyes on!

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Beer surprise

Thanks Byron!

Christina and I did a training session with Frenchie today (he’s a friend from the VWGolf Forums). He killed us both. We then dropped in to Jamie and Richies to re-shoot some Modern Pet products and on our return home we both ran for the fridge to find a 6-pack of my fave beer + this little note Byron left us. What a guy!!!

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ADA Iwagumi update

Automatic top-off in operation.

25litres of top-off water should last a few weeks (or more). I’ve got to make a cabinet or shelves to hide this gear (and get those powerboards away from potential spillage!).

Surgical like gear to help prune and plant.

Black background installed to hide all the hang on back filter.

I’ve taken a leaf from the advanced world of Marine Aquariums and I’ve semi-automated the ADA Iwagumi’s evaporation situation. When the water level drops from evaporation the filter starts making splashes, for a planted tank running C02 this water surface agitation wastes valuable C02 so I have to keep the water level very high. Instead of having to top up the tank every day I’ve installed an automated top-off system. It’s basically a float switch connected to a small pump in a bucket of fresh water. When the water level drops it activates the pump which pumps water into the display until the level I set it at (full to the brim almost!).

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Photo by Cirkel.

A while back Grant from MC Cyclery (that’s his girl Miki 2nd from the left) put me on to his mate Christian who I’ve done some web work for. Christian needed some web tweaks and I spotted this shot on his site yesterday. 4 Sydney girls +his summer gear +a bike = so much win!

Visit: The Velovixens Thread at Bikes Move Us (170+ pages strong!).

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Hemianthus Callitrichoides


Tank in situ.

I’ve been looking to create a lawn effect for the ADA tank. The idea is to make the rocks look like huge mountains. After much hunting I’ve managed to source some South American HC (Hemianthus Callitrichoides) which is amongst the smallest of plants. I’ve killed a lot of plants in the past, far from green fingers. Fingers crossed I’ll keep this stuff alive though!

I had the C02 running and it finished in 2 nights (it’s meant to go for months at a drop or so/second). Yup I had a BIG leak somewhere. In a hurry I dropped in to see Barry at B&C Aquarium this morning and he went all out to help me find the leak, fix it and fill up my bottle too (he’s a top guy especially considering I didn’t buy the C02 gear from him!).

I still need to hunt down a G12 150W 8000k bulb, this bulb is a lottle too purple for my liking as it’s meant for a marine set-up. Finding the right bulb is proving impossible though. No one has one in the country and the only place that does know of themwill not bring just one in from Japan (min. order is 50!). I also still need a black background. and I’ve yet to tidy up all cabling with white cable tidy.

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Ordinary Extraordinary – Quiet Achievements & Heroic Feats

I’ve been working on this project with Caryn Gillespie for the past few weeks. Caryn and I used to do a lot of pro-bono work together (I always saw it as stocking up on good Karma!). It’s been a while since we’ve worked on something together and when she called me up with this idea I was sold straight away.

The project is called “Ordinary Extraordinary”. The concept is simple; to feature every day people who are doing extraordinary things. One photo and one person’s acknowledgement. Initially Ordinary Extraordinary will be a gallery event up north but it will continue on as it’s own project online.

Here’s the call out (please pass this on!):

Do you know anyone extraordinary? Is there someone you would like to acknowledge? This is your opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge people who make a difference in your life and the lives of others.

Quiet achievements and heroic feats equally welcome!


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ADA Iwagumi

Beautiful Fig Tree.

At the base there’s glosso, hair grass and java moss.

It’s so bonsai like. I love it!

Fig tree sitting in the hang on back filter.

Iwagumi scape.

Today Christina and I dropped in to Aquaristic, an aquarium shop on Botany Road I’ve been wanting to visit for some time. The shop was super impressive. So clean, so neat and everything was just presented so well.

I walked out with a few rocks to begin my Iwagumi (Japanese rock garden) scape for the ADA Mini-L Nano tank and also scored a lovely fig tree which I’ve put in the hang on back filter.

I’ve got a lot more work to do. Cleaning up the wires, the background and also changing the light to a more natural yellow bulb but I’m pretty happy with the scape I ended up with. Looking forward to getting some micro-leaved plants in there soon.

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