nyc’s only drive-in cinema

Grand Opening‘ is New York City’s only drive-in cinema where, for two screenings a day, you can hire and sit in a 1965 ford falcon covertible and watch a movie. A film from 1960 was the first shown and films from each year since are being shown cronologically. The best part is that it is all temporary, when this year’s films are shown, it closes down. The same shop (and same owners) has already been a ‘Barn’ sales display and a ‘Pong’ parlour, hence the name ‘Grand Opening’. I wonder what the new Grand Opening will be next month?

Grand Opening NYC

fat freddy’s drop @ the tivoli 4-11-2007

We saw Fat Freddy’s Drop at The Tivoli last night. OMG.

We arrived around eight. DJ Katch was already warming up the growing crowd with his hip-hop beats. He dropped some old favourites as well as some new tracks from the forthcoming Resin Dogs LP.

At around nine, Belleruche appeared on stage. Admittedly I hadn’t heard of them before. It turns out they are three piece from London and sound like a cross between Portishead and Moloko. The singer, Kathrin deBoer, was flaunting her shoulders on stage like Nina Persson. Her voice was sweet too. Their combination of singer, guitarist and turntablist worked very well.

Belleruche played for an hour or so and the crowd was building up in anticipation of Fat Freddy’s Drop. I can’t actually really describe the Fat Freddy’s Drop experience using 26 different characters, but I can say:

  • They played for over two hours;
  • They played lots of new songs from their forthcoming album;
  • They blew my mind;
  • The 20 minute-ish version of ‘Wandering Eye’ was incredible; and
  • The closing track ‘Roady’ rocked the casbah, especially when Kathrin from Belleruche sang the female vocals.

Good times.

Fat Freddy’s Drop

Fat Freddy’s Drop Ticket

panography

Panography is about taking lots of photos of one particular thing/scene and then assembling them later to form one huge photo. It’s sorta like panoramic photography but a little more chaotic. Some people have done some amazing work which can be seen on flickr.

panography by onesevenone

(Photo by onesevenone, click to view huge version.)

Link to wiki on how to create your own panography.

stripped billboard in south brisbane

I love about walking around Brisbane because I get to see things that I would otherwise miss. Tonight I went for a late night stroll and took a few snaps of some different things. My favourite snap tonight was of the huge billboard on the railway bridge next to the South Brisbane Railway Station. Tonight it looked to be in between signs, the first time I have seen it this way. The resulting effect was amazing. It reminded me of a great flickr photoset I subscribed to a couple of years ago, that contained only stripped back postered sites in Sydney.

stripped billboard in south brisbane 1

stripped billboard in south brisbane 2

(Excuse the quality of the snaps. Kitty has the mini nikon in Italy so all I have is my crappy 2 megapixel nokia shooter.)

the language report

I have borrowed and I am reading ‘the language report‘ by Susie Dent. I have put together a list of my favourite words so far:

bolotics: a combination of nonsense and political correctness (= bollocks and politics) page. 18

gratters: a colloquial term at school and university for ‘congratulations’. (originally from 1903) page. 7

divvy: extremely pleasant, ‘divine’, ‘heavenly’. This word derives from the first syllable of divine. (again from 1903) page. 7

to text: to send a text message. This is an example of a recent ‘verbed noun’. page. 19

shopgrifting: the practice of buying an item, using it, and then returning it for a full refund. page. 27

ham: a piece of legitimate email that was wrongly filtered as spam by an anti-spam programme.

Language Report

car parking tickets at brisbane international airport

I took Kitty to the airport today as she is going to Italy for two weeks (lucky thing). I parked in the short stay car park to take her into the airport and say goodbye. I noticed that my car park ticket that I collected on the way in (from a standard ticket machine) actually had my car registration on it. There must have been a camera at the ticket machine that took a photo of my number plate, and OCR‘ed it, all within seconds of me pulling up!

Car Park Ticket

I then started to wonder about the reasons for doing this (surely it can’t be cheap to have this sort of system running). It is probably for their own legal/security reasons so that they know exactly what cars and coming in and leaving. I then thought of some scenarios that I could test the system with.

Firstly, how would it handle those funny/pretentious registration plates that use numbers for letters (eg. 5 is a S, 8 is a B etc.). Would this system recognise these correctly? What if my number plate read “8OO8S”?

Secondly, if someone tried to leave in my car, but using a ticket from a different car (ie. someone is trying to steal my car), would the system stop this person from driving out with my car?

What if I didn’t have a number plate on my car?

What if my number plate was dirty?

What if I wanted to park my push bike? A wheelchair? A horse? I would be interested to know.

dream home for sale in hill end, brisbane

I am a big fan of apartment living. Saying that, if I could afford this place I would buy it.

Such classic styling, river views, and still close to the city. Brisbane’s climate doesn’t justify four antique fire places though. I can dream can’t I?

Hill End Home 1

Hill End Home 2

Update – According to the Courier Mail this place sold for a cool 4 mil.

barbara’s asian infused chicken drumsticks

I initially made this recipe a few weeks back as finger food for a drinks night. I enjoyed the flavours so much I have made it another two times since. Thanks for the recipe Barbara!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce (light soy is good)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh tomato sauce
  • 2 cloves of Australian garlic (minced/smashed)
  • 1 or 2 small pieces of fresh ginger (minced)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock(or water)
  • 12 chicken drumsticks (preferably free range/organic) – can use chicken wings

Instructions

Mix together all ingredients except the chicken to form a marinade. Pour this marinade over the chicken and stir to coat. Leave this to marinate for a short while (5-30 mins, longer if you have time).

Chicken Pre Cook

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Put chicken and marinade into a baking dish, stirring to cover it with sauce. Bake it for approximately 50 minutes. Increase the heat to 220 degrees to evapourate the liquid and the chicken becomes dark and shiny.  This may only take 10 minutes so keep an eye on it.

Chicken Post Cook

Serve with a nice salad, some corn or whatever else you like.

a night in byron bay

We decided to spend an impromptu night in Byron Bay on the weekend to celebrate Kitty getting a new job. Luckily, the Beach Hotel had one room left so we decided to stay there.

I was extremely impressed with the hotel. You can’t beat the location plus the actual accommodation is top notch. The heated pool was especially nice. The landscaping is very tropical and modern and features beautiful pandanus palms.

Beach Hotel Pool 1

Beach Hotel Pool 2

Beach Hotel Pool 3

I was also impressed by the simple things, like the “do not disturb” sign that was printed on recycled cardboard. It was a simple but effective use of a symbol. Why use three words when a symbol will do?

DND Byron Bay

In the morning we walked along the main beach where we were lucky enough to find a ♥ shaped smooth stone.

Main Beach Byron Bay

Heart Shaped Rock

We then enjoyed the included continental breakfast (which was great) and another swim in the pool. Good times.

blog action day part three – avoid bottled water

Today is Blog Action Day so I plan on providing some of the small things that contribute to reducing my impact on the environment.

I try to avoid buying and drinking bottled water as much as I can. This is because:

  • Creating and transporting plastic bottles containing water is not environmentally friendly.
  • Transporting water from one side of the world to the other (eg. Evian, San Pellegrino) is just plain ridiculous.
  • Empty plastic bottles end up in landfill.
  • The cost of creating a bottle of water uses about 16 times its volume in water.
  • Tap water is drinkable. For those who don’t like the taste, water filters are available.
  • Spending money on bottled water is a waste of money.

Bottled Water

Picture by cowgummy

blog action day part two – use your local library

Today is Blog Action Day so I plan on providing some of the small things that contribute to reducing my impact on the environment.

I try to use my local library as much as a I possibly can. Using the library has many environmental, economic and social benefits:

  • Most suburbs/areas have a local library. This means you don’t need to travel very far to borrow books.
  • Libraries are free to use and therefore economical (I understand libraries are funded by council rates, but you do pay these whether or not you borrow from the library!)
  • Borrowing books is the ultimate form of recycling. I usually only read most books once so it makes sense to borrow them. Less books would need to be printed if more people borrowed books from libraries.
  • Libraries have a large variety of books across the various branches, much larger than a retail book store. You can easily find some old lost gems for loan that are well and truly no longer for sale.
  • Every time you read a really good book you can be happy to know that many other people before you have read that exact same book.
  • Libraries offer social clubs as well as an environment to enjoy without material or commercial solicitation.
  • Reading books makes you smarter and more of an interesting person.
  • Libraries offer more than just books: cds, dvds, magazines.

Library Book

blog action day part one – shop locally

Today is Blog Action Day so I plan on providing some of the small things that contribute to reducing my impact on the environment.

I try to do as much of my fresh food shopping as I can at my local farmer’s market. These are held at the Powerhouse in New Farm on the second and fourth Saturday of each month.

The reasons I do all my fresh food shopping at the local farmers markets are:

  • The supply chain is shortened. If food travels a shorter distance, less carbon dioxide is created during its transportation.
  • The food I buy does not use fancy plastic packaging (I use green bags), nor does it require long term retail refrigeration.
  • The food I buy is so fresh that it lasts a full two weeks in my fridge. This means less food is wasted.
  • Because the food lasts two weeks, I only need to do my shopping once every two weeks. This means I travel less frequently to the shops.
  • Most of the market vendors I shop at do not have plastic bags so this encourages people to use environmental bags.
  • The food tastes more intense and is better for my body.

Take the example of garlic:

Chinese Garlic

Exhibit A

  • Grown in bulk in China.
  • Unknown growing conditions.
  • Has traveled 8000+ kilometers before it hits your belly.
  • No idea how long it has been in transportation.
  • White in colour, artificial tasting.
  • Costs $0.99

Australian Purple Garlic

Exhibit B

  • Locally grown in Australia by an Australian farmer.
  • Organically grown, no chemicals.
  • Has traveled less than 100 kilometers for you to eat it.
  • Beautiful purple in colour, fresh and flavoursome.
  • Costs $3

You decide.

blog action day is coming

Blog Action Day is imminent and I am currently thinking of a topic that I’ll write about next Monday.

In the meantime I noticed their article on ‘50 Quick, Painless Ways You Can Help the Environment Today‘.

The list reminds me of a bit of “Change the world for ten bucks“, which is an excellent ten dollar investment by the way!

I am happy that I have pretty much already followed most of the ideas on their list, including 42. Use Cloth Shopping Bags. I have a small collection of shopping bags that I use every time I go shopping. I used to occasionally I forget to take them shopping with me. I have overcome this by a) hanging some on the back of the front door to our apartment so I can’t forget them, and b) folding one up and putting it in my work bag for any incidental purchases (or library borrowings).

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

boggle on the balcony

Tonight’s storm finished earlier than expected so Kitty and I decided to play a game of Boggle on the balcony. We didn’t use a dictionary so any questionable words had to be substantiated in a sentence to gain points.

We played four rounds, and K came out the winner on 28 points compared to my 24.

Boggle

I won the last round. My unique words were: TIN, NIT, WINK & WINKED. K’s unique words were: VIEW, WIN, WIT & WEED.  3 minutes is never enough.

scrabble on a sunday night

after dinner tonight, kitty and I enjoyed a game of scrabble on the balcony. i have to admit it was the first time we have played scrabble in many years. kitty kicked my butt, i focused on building up low valued letters to supplement my high valued letters (Q,Z’s). These words never came to fruition and therefore wiped me out at the end of the game. it was fun to sit, relax and enjoy a board game on a sunday night, we should do it more often.

kitty won on 210 vs my 162.

Scrabble

Scrabble 2