Getting a car licence

When I was 18 I didn’t get my licence on my 18th birthday (the earliest you can get a full licence)
Why? .. the police station was closed.

I did it the day after.

My friend William has been a PR (Permanent Resident) in Australia now for over 3 years.
He did not bother to get his licence. Now he is unemployed and he needs a licence to get a job.
If he had a license he would have a job within the week.

The problem is it is much harder to get a licence now then when I was 18.

My licence test consisted of driving past the local primary school, out into the countryside where the policeman’s house was and the back to the police station.
Total time: 10 minutes
Bad Points: Was told off for speeding past the school
Result: Pasted by a country mile!

I did after all grow up in a small country town, and a country mile is not that far 🙂

My friend on the other hand has a much more difficult proposition. The current test ia about 20 minutes and it is very easy to make a mistake and fail.
Which he has, three times.
Once for speeding for more then 5 seconds (around 43 in a 40km zone)
Second time, when at a stop sign failing to wait 3 seconds before proceeding through.
and the third time … I have forgotten.

His last chance comes in a little over a week. If he fails then he has to wait 3 months before taking another test and the test will consist of a 50 minute drive.

No End in Sight [Movie]

If your are interested in an engaging breakdown of the litany of mistakes made in the Iraq war, then this is the film for you.
It lays the blame squarely on the bush administrations team showing them to have an amazing capacity to do virtually everything wrong.
It also does this without being boring, even though it is a film full of “talking heads”. It shows the human side of the conflict interviewing high level american officials, soldiers on the ground and most importantly the Iraqis people themselves.

No End in sight DVD Cover.jpg

Cowra Breakout [Movie]

Just finished watching the Cowra Breakout. It’s a 1984 mini-series about the only fighting in Australia during World War II.
Namely an escape attempt by Japanese prisioners in Cowra, NSW


I love historical dramas and it’s even better when it’s about your own country.

Horton hears a Who [Movie]

Want a good review of Horton hears a Who? … then you are at the wrong place.
What can I say. I like it, kids will love it. This is the sort of movie that little kids love and parents will learn to hate because they will hear it over and over.

Horton hears a Who.jpg

Horton, our hero

Horton Hears a Who 2.jpg

Mayor of the Who

2008 Giant CRX City Pro

Today I purchased my new bike. It’s a 2008 Giant CRX City Pro. What’s special about it is that it does not use a derailleur , it instead uses an 8 speed internal hub (Shimano Nexus)

My impressions based on one short ride home?
– The steering is twitchy! why? short wheelbase make turning easier, but high speed stability is lessen by this.
– Had some problems changing gears. Not totally unexpected, new bike, new problems – the gear still has to run in. But there are some funny sounds when using 3rd gear
– When you are pedalling it sounds like you are coasting on a derailleur normal bike
– Not sure if I like the handlebars, but I need more time to tell
– The tyres are are 700c (good) and inflate up to 120psi (my poor bum!, you really feel the bumps).. So not so good for going over curves.

It will be interesting one the bike runs in and I get used to riding it. It should be a fast bike

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In early March I finally got my rear suspension fork fixed. It worked beautifully (note past tense)
In fact it still works beautifully, but now (March 12, 2008) the rear suspension has broken completely!
The new problems is different to the old, but it will entail even more expenses I expect.

I have already spent over $300 on a minor service and fixing the rear suspension. 

Here is a before photo:

Look at the rear suspension fork, note carefully how it connects to the frame

Close up:




Broken Rear Suspension of my FSR XC MTB a few weeks after I got it fixed!

Very frustrating!

This comes on top of my road bike having a cracked frame and being dangerous to ride because of the risk of a catastrophic failure at any time.

The Children of HungShi [Movie]

Children  of Huang Shi

Set during the Second Sino-Japanese War it’s another one of those historical dramas where an idealistic white man ventures into China to his ultimate demise, but on the way manages to do a lot of good.
It’s a beautiful film to watch with good actors, good script and the cinematography really highlights how beautiful China can be.

It is an Australian/Chinese production. The post production was done in Melbourne, the oldest boy in the film is a 16 year old Sydney school boy and the opening scene was filmed in Melbourne (The ballroom scene?)


Nanking Massacre 


Children of Huang Shi Michello Yeoh.jpg

Michelle Yeoh is in the film, but unfortunately just a cameo. But that won’t stop me (or the chinese press) highlighting her role with a nice movie poster. 

Empress and the Warriors [Movies]

Watched yet another chinese historical drama, this one is called “Empress and the Warriors”

Its stars Kelly Chen and Leon Lai, both mainstays of the Cantonese movie and pop scenes. But like the recent movie of a similar ilk with Jackie Chan this one didn’t really do anything for me.
No real connection with the characters, and not enough violence or special effects to make it a good spectacle.

I not saying it’s bad, just ho-hum. kelly-chen-empress-and-warriors.jpg


Last week I upgraded my video card from an Nvidea 6600 to an ASUS EN8800GT. I was going to get the 9600GT for AUD $219, but the old (last December, less then 5 months!) 8800GT was only AUD$ 279
According to the reviews the 9600 is a good purchased b/c it almost equals the 8800GT in most aspects, but it lacks the extra “oomph”.

So after 2 years of playing Battlefield 2 in 800 x 600 with minimal settings, now it is 1600×1200 with everything on MAX …. aahh bliss! Now I can see what shot me, still can’t shoot it 🙁

But Battlefield was getting a bit boring so I purchased my first computer game for over a year. It’s name is Crysis.

Crysis DVD Cover.jpg

The reviews said it pushed your system to the max. They weren’t joking.
I have a P4 3ghz, 2 GB RAM, 8800GT and it is running on the lowest settings! 640×380, low settings

So how is the game?

Fracking great!

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