Archive for July, 2006

Japanese Weekend

Saturday, July 29th, 2006

Okay, I’m actually back in the ‘Loo now, but last weekend was an awesome weekend, so here’s a little synopsis with pictures.

Saturday, City2Surf training, then sushi for dinner, and then karaoke!

Florence and Tim gave by far the best rendition of “Love Shack” that I have ever heard! Tim and I did a pretty good Bon Jovi “Livin’ on a Prayer” cover as well. But Florence still wins best song of the evening in my books.

Sunday, sushi party at Tim & Ziv’s, complete with make-your-own (vegetarian) sushi, tea pouring ceremony, and Japanese movie watching. The tea pouring ceremony was researched by Roland, performed by Ziv, and took somewhat less than the specified 4 hours which these things are supposed to take. And may actually be Chinese. But who’s counting.

Mars makin’ some sushi…

Drinkin’ some tea…

And makin’ some of Michelle’s chocolate coffee brownies with Jamie and Jenny, ’cause how can we have some sort of potluck event without the famous brownies???

The Tiny World of PV Engineering

Friday, July 21st, 2006

So a funny thing happened today. Yesterday I e-mailed Prof. Nazir Kherani, a prof at U ot T who I’ve never met before, requesting that we meet next week in Toronto. He’s an elec prof who does PV research and I need him (as a Canadian expert in PV) to write a letter to NSERC stating that the PV research that I’m doing cannot be done in Canada, and NSERC should give me a big, fat scholarship. It will be a benefit to Canada. Well, today we had a birthday party for Martin Green, big wig at the institute, and across the room my friend Rob Largent was motioning me to come over and talk to him. So I did. He introduced me to the man next to him, and it turned out to be Prof. Nazir Kherani! So then I motioned over Canadian Joe, who gave me Prof. Kherani’s name in the first place, and introduced them.

Nazir Kherani had been at a conference in Darwin. His daughter and her fiance have moved to Canberra, and the whole family was meeting this weekend in Sydney to check it out. While here, Nazir Kherani decided to look up his colleague here at the institute, none other than PV guru Martin Green. Today was a birthday celebration for Martin, my supervisor Stuart, and Ziv’s supervisor Alistair, so we all met up while eating chocolate cake in a conference room. Nazir had been given the we-can’t-really-show-you-what-we’re-up-to tour earlier by Rob Largent, but then me and Canadian Joe gave a spill-all on our research, showing off the level 2 labs that we have access to, the microscope unit down in the Red Centre, and all the bits of the Centre for Quantum Computing that we have access to. It was a lot of fun. And next week I’m going to go and visit Prof. Kherani in Toronto, where he’ll write me up a nice letter to NSERC. Isn’t life grand sometimes?

So new and odd things that I learned about UNSW from Canadian Joe on the tour this afternoon: The Scientia building is made from sandstone from India (which doesn’t stand up to the weather here very well, apparently). The Scientia building corridor is also supposed to look like trees are holding up the top. You’d have to see it. It was also apparently used as the closing back-drop in a Japanese car commercial. And the Red Centre’s red facade is terra cotta imported from Spain or something. I know. Bizarre. Why? So expensive! Not sustainable! What are you thinking???

Broome Time

Monday, July 17th, 2006

Well Nath and I have sold our Sweet Sweet Ride for the special price of $1500.00 which is pretty good since we only bought the car for $900.00 and it needs a new muffler. This past weekend we went to a cattle ranch with Luke the mechanic that fixed our car and who’s place we are staying at right now. We took a couple four wheelers out and went pig shooting on the ranch. In the area their are wild pigs and they destroy the ground making it useless so they shoot them. Kinda weird  being a vegetarian going pig shooting but its a once in a life time kinda thing. Not many people are allowed on cattle farms and we got to see wild pigs, wild horses, buffalo, cows, dingos, cordials, and kangaroos. Luke and his friend Pete ended up killing 6 pigs and a couple kangaroos which they take the meat for the dogs as some of the pigs have TB and are not really good to eat any more. It was an awesome weekend and we got to see the country side, shoot some guns and drive a 4 wheeler. Now we are going to do some camping in the national park in Darwin and then I am going to head to Broome and Nath is going to Cairns so another adventure is about to begin.

Forza Italia!

Tuesday, July 11th, 2006

Roland has been pulling for Italy to win right from the start of the World Cup, so he very much wanted to watch the finals on Norton St., the heart of the Italian district of Sydney. It was pretty awesome! Ziv and Roland came over to my house about 11pm, slept until 2am on the couches, then we caught the bus to the city. We arrived in Norton Street a bit before 3am, and the place was on fire! Figuratively. But sort of litterally as well. The street had been shut down, there were thousands of people, and the police and the fire department were on hand just in case they were needed. Big screens were set up along the street to watch the game, flags were flying everywhere, people were setting off flares and fire works and fire crackers. Pizza shops and bars and cafes were open all night. We had a blast! We stood in the dark for 4 hours watching the game, an hour early to get a spot in good sights of a screen, 2 hours for the game, then over time, then the shoot outs. It was intense. But as the shoot outs went on, the sun was rising and the pink and gold of the sky mixed with the red from the flares was stunning, and the people were ecstatic. I was trying to think how we could possibly have a Canadian equivalent, and realized that Edmonton winning the Stanley Cup probably could have done it. Oh well. It was fun celebrating with the Italians. Check out the gallery (last page, ’cause Gallery’s giving me issues) for some crazy Italian soccer fan pictures like the one below:


Saturday, July 8th, 2006

Well the 1975 Carolla had made it to Darwin over 2000km and no major problems besides the flat tyre but that is all fixed up. Working at Club Med was a very interesting experience I now know forsure that I do not want to be a maid for the rest of my life. Canada Day was good, we were in Airlie Beach and meet up with Susan O’Neil (From MAC) and chatted about our times in Oz. At the end of the month I will be heading to Broome to live and work their for a couple months maybe get my diving certs done we will see.

Oh, get this cucumbers in Darwin cost $4.50 EACH lol, crazy. The best is that we can get dinner for a dollar at the bar and its pretty good food and a lot cheaper then buying fresh food here.

Thats about it at the moment, I do have pictures to post but its just not working at the moment.



The Price of Fruit in Sydney…

Thursday, July 6th, 2006


A Very Good Canada Day

Sunday, July 2nd, 2006

Well, so many good things have happened this weekend that I don’t think I can relate them all. Well, not all are good, but at least they’re funny now.

I had my exam Friday morning, and Ziv marked some of it that afternoon (it’s very strange being good friends with your TA) and said it was quite good (despite the fact that I believe he marked my two worst questions), so I’m confident I’ve done well. Anyways, this weekend has been so good because the power to the electrical engineering building has been shut down all weekend. Brilliant! So Ziv couldn’t go in to school and work, and so since he was bored he organized a whole weekend of stuff for the rest of us, starting with watching the Germany-Argentina game on Friday night.

Now Ziv HATES soccer, but it was exciting that he wanted to see a game on the big screen at Circular Quay, so we all went (’we’ being most of the PV Centre, and Karolin, and it turned out all my Sunday soccer buddies). The big screen was off, but we all ended up at a nearby bar that was open all night. Because the game started at 1am, and then went into overtime, and then shoot-outs. And then Argentina lost. What’s with this World Cup?!!?!?! France knocks out Brazil? FRANCE???? They barely made it out of the bloody first round. Now it’s all European teams left. Who am I supposed to cheer for? Why did Argentina have to lose that stupid shoot out? Shoot outs are stupid anyways.

Okay, enough soccer pouting. So Ziv and Roland came back to my place, and by the time we got there it was time for the 5am start to the Italy game, and Kushal was still up so they watched that while I slept for a couple hours. Then I got up at 7:30 to go diving with Frederick. Meeting Frederick was a bit of a fiasco, but that’s a story unto itself. Anyways, I went diving, ran home from uni to go running with the ‘team’ (me, Ziv, Danny, and Karolin). The idea was to do 3.5k as a start to training for a 14k race, but then that wasn’t enough for Karo, so she and I did 7k. The boys aren’t quite so fit yet. Then home for a shower, then Ziv and I went to a concert in Darling Harbour that ended with fireworks. So I did see fireworks on Canada Day! Hooray!

And the funny story for today: the ISS office sometimes gets these free tickets to performances at the Sydney Opera house. Ziv and I got some last time, and it was a really weird contemporary music thing. Bizarre. But we tried again, again it was contemporary art and we didn’t know what to expect, and again it was weird. We went into the theatre and the guy was already on the stage. There was this sort of booth, or shed, set up, and the actor was in it, behind a desk, just staring out at the audience, looking around at us just by moving his eyes. Only the inside of this shed was lit up, the rest of the place was all darkness. Well, this continued for a while, the audience watching him, him watching us. At least a minute and a half of silence and looking. Then he slowly raised his hand. Then slowly started moving his hand towards his chest. Sloooowly. And everything and everyone are still dead quiet. Nothing really happening. And then…..

My phone ran.

I’m madly trying to get my phone out of my purse but I can’t find it, and it just keeps ringing, and I just call out to everyone “I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!” and finally I get my phone out and open it and shut it off. I thought I was going to get kicked out. Ziv had this HUGE grin accross his face. I was hoping that the floor would open up and swallow me. Later Ziv said that was his favourite part of the show and that I had excellent timing, because he was really hoping that something would happen, and then it did. Ah well. Teaches me an important mobile phone lesson. They’re evil! And I’m never having one again. That’s it, after Australia, no more mobile phone.