Friday, 27 November 2009

Guy stuff

HMAS Vampire, destroyer.

The Submarine moored alongside. It was closed to visitors shortly after we left, due to the intense heat. It has a crush depth of 300ft, but in an accident some years back went to 400ft almost hitting the ocean floor - the sailors said that the stuff you hear in movies - the groaning and creaking and straining are real. He said there was a queue for the head (toilet) afterwards!

These are the torpedo tubes - this class of sub carried 25 torpedoes.

A close-up of the prop of a torpedo.

The engine room (diesel) enough to power a small town.

Weary / cheesy smiles to show the scale of the size of the engine.

The Helipad at the rear of the destroyer.
Over the past few weeks, it has been cooking in Sydney. Luckily we had a couple of cool days this week, but otherwise it has been sweltering. Last weekend we went to the Maritime Museum in the heart of Sydney and adjoining the Sydney Conference and Exhibition Centre in Darling Harbour. Ladies, you can make some tea. Guys, they have a destroyer from the 70's and a Submarine also post WWII. This is where the photos were taken. It was over 40 degrees so if we look less than enthusiastic and the smiles forced - it is just the heat.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Why the Mona Lisa isn't in Aus

The Aussies are not big on security here. My state manager travelled with me yesterday and because he had to leave early for another meeting, we parked his Landcruiser, hooked up to one of our open trailers with a scrubber on it (a small one but still about $ 25 000 worth of machine) on the side of a nondescript street in an industrial area and travelled in my vehicle for 4-5 hours. I then later dropped him back off and went on my way. It never even entered my mind that it was a wonder that the machine and trailer was still there when we returned, until later when I thought about it as a South African.

But the one thing they obviously spare no expense on is the security of their books here. Carmen popped down to our community library, ID in hand ready to register because she wanted to take out a couple of books. So she walks in...'Hello...? Anybody here....?' No answer. Place is open but deserted. So she walks across the road to our gym and asks our local gym instructor:
'Do you happen to know where the librarian is, by any chance?'
'Who, Jim? Yes he's on holiday in China, but don't worry I open up for him in the mornings before I open the gym.' He frowned: 'Is the library closed - did I forget this morning...?'
'No, it's open, but I want to take out a few books: Jodi Picoult and...'
'O, well look on the table, there's a book there. Write your name in it and the books you take.'
'But they trust me to bring it back?'
He regarded her for a moment: 'Well you look trustworthy. Aren't you?'
'Well, yes, but... O, ok. But how many can I take out?'
'How many books can you read at one time?'
'Yes but how long - it doesn't say how long I can take them out for?'
'Well then you bring it back when you have finished.'
'You sure?'
'No worries.'

Ok then, No worries.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

The South Pole

Last month my brother and his wife flew to South Africa for her best friend, Sam's wedding - a real space cadet. But I digress. Their Qantas flight on the way back to Aus flew over the South Pole - I suppose it has to do with the air tailwinds or something. Anyway, my brother took this photo as they flew over it and I thought I would share it - as I'd never seen it before.

The Blue Mountains

About 8okm West of Sydney is a range of Mountains called The Blue Mountains and this range separates the greater coastal Sydney from the interior. They are more like a range of hills compared to what we would really call mountains in SA, but there are some spectacularly beautiful views from up there nevertheless. They are called the Blue Mountains because of the blue ephemeral haze that hangs over them. I thought that it was largely atmospheric, but apparently it is caused by the vapour from the many eucalyptus or blue gum trees that cover the mountains. I heard that in a fire, this vapour can actually ignite and spread the fires frighteningly quickly. The photos looking out from Echo point show a rock formation called The Three sisters - reminiscent of Drie Susters in SA. Anyway, there is a legend attached to them which i suppose you can google, but basically, as I understand it, there were 3 brothers from one tribe who fell in love with 3 young women from an enemy tribe and when the tribes went to war, in order to protect the 3 ladies from harm, the witchdoctor cast a spell on them to turn them into stone for the duration of the battle, intending to return them to life after the battle whereupon they could be reunited with their lovers. Unfortunately, the witchdoctor was killed in the ensuing battle and the poor ladies have been stuck in their rock formation ever since. The first recorded case, to my knowledge, of there being evidence of Afrikaner chicks in Aus before my wife. :-)

Friday, 6 November 2009

Advice on Dating

Work has drained me of any creative energy, but I came across this advice to a young girl on dating and I thought it was just so - O I don't know - all warm and fuzzy in a first crush / love kind of way- hopefully just to lighten your day as it did mine. Bye for now. :-)

Find a guy who calls you beautiful instead of hot, who calls you back when you hang up on him, who will lie under the stars and listen to your heartbeat, or will stay awake just to watch you sleep... wait for the boy who kisses your forehead, who wants to show you off to the world when you are in sweats, who holds your hand in front of his friends, who thinks you' re just as pretty without makeup on. One who is constantly reminding you of how much he cares and how lucky he is to have YOU... The one who turns to his friends and says, "That's her..."-- (Author Unknown )

Monday, 2 November 2009

It's a Sonim

This is a bit of an odd post but I had to share. I have a thing for well built products. Today so many manufacturers of goods build down to a price that there are very few genuinely good consumer goods - craftmanship in other words. People simply don't want to pay for quality. I guess probably because we live in a throw away society. So when I come across good things, I love it! You want the best earthmoving machine in the world? Buy a Caterpillar. You want the best drill in the world? Buy a Hilti. The toughest industrial cleaning equipment? Buy a Tennant. The most accurate watch in the world - as well as the toughest? A Tag or Rolex? No - buy a Casio Gshock Atomic Solar. The toughest cellphone in the world? Buy a Sonim. I did (and I own a Casio Gshock and Tennant as well and am saving for my Hilti.) But the story is about my Sonim.

I look after my stuff generally pretty well, but I destroy cell phones - just the way it is. So I googled for the toughest phone in the world and ordered a shock proof, waterproof, dust proof Sonim online. As can happen, even with these tough buggers, I had a software glitch. But these guys have a 3 year unconditional guarantee. The thing is, the online shop I originally purchased it from, had in the meantime gone under and I had also moved countries so I emailed their international warranty guys with the details asking what I could do. They mailed me back saying a replacement phone had been despatched to me and would I send my one back to them when I had a chance via DHL on their account the number which was attached!!!

Yes I do not apologise for this advert on behalf of them: If you want a phone, don't buy a toy. Buy a Sonim. The guys are legends! I attach a picture above to show you what these things look like.