Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Haven't blog in a long time

This one is going to be a long one, as so much has happened.
Were does one start... at the beginning I suppose. I am writing this on the train on my new work supplied pda an iPAQ 3870. Funky, but ppc is so slow compared too palm. But has some funky freeware apps.
It is easier to write it on here and upload it later.
So what has happened since my last post... well one major thing was Fiona's birthday, which was awesome go checkout the pics of a Bear (my childhood nickname) feeding a bear. See we went to Canberra zoo.
We had fun getting there too, I had had my car serviced by the fine people at Jim Wall Automotive in Mittagong (shameless plug, also maybe this will prompt them to put up a website address here Jim Wall Automotive/Mittagong Brake Centre 51-59 Hume Hwy, MITTAGONG, NSW, 2575 Phone: 4871 2940 ) so I didn't think my car would be the issue. But I think you would have needed at least a level 9 mechanokineses(speaking of kineses check my next entry)to find/fix this problem, for all you comic book geeks I doubt even forge himself could have :P
So anyway coming back from that slight askew, we headed out a little late as in my excited rush I ran down the stairs at town hall deciding it might be a good idea to take three steps at once I usually take two... my foot landed oddly and I hobbled onto the train, I managed to get a seat and the guy next to me asked what happened, my mp3 players batteries had just died so I was able to reply, he replied back saying to treat a twisted ankle it was best to in the first 4 hours ice it for 15 minutes on then 15 minutes off, I thought that might be difficult with our imminent 3+ hour trip to Canberra, it ended up pretty easy, Fiona had already got most of our stuff ready so while I played the council worker (directing somebody else’s work) and iced my foot for 15minutes, then when that was up I got dressed did another 15minutes of ice, then we left, on the way buying a bag of ice to follow the aforementioned procedure.
We decided we would stop at Hungry Jacks on the way we tried to stop at where I thought Hungry Jacks was, it wasn't there, but we decided to go into the petrol station to check the water and tyres, Fiona wanted to get out and help, but her door wouldn't open. We had, had this problem earlier in the trip and had, had to wind down the window and use the key at the same time as trying to unlock it from inside, it eventually worked when I walked around and helped, as soon as it opened there was a click sound, and the door would no longer shut. Ahhh try as we both did even borrowing a screwdriver from the petrol station to try and pry the mechanism free, this didn't work, and we call NRMA (No real mechanic available, I am told is what it stands for :P) and this guy who happened to be from the southern highlands, and talk with a Scottish accent which I though was a classic, came and fixed it, but now it won't open, ah well.
We headed back on the way to Canberra, we eventually found Hungry Jacks but it had closed 10 minutes earlier, ffs, back on the road again, heading to Canberra, we found our room, which was supposed to be a luxurious 4 star hotel... it may have been 4 star in the 60's but has dated since then, the spa barely worked, and everything had a sleazy feel to it.
Ah well, we slept pretty heavily after such a busy day, then woke up early to get ready for the zoo and our ramble around Canberra. I put some ice on as my leg was still hurting, we had forgotten to charge the camera battery so we stalled the hotel staff by faking checking out, then saying "oops we forgot something in the room"... hehehe.
Then we went to a new mall in civic, it is huge, very surprising to see this in Canberra... we had some really nummy sandwiches, and sat watching the strange people of Canberra...lol, that Mall must have had some cash too, in their food court they had about five 42" plasma displays, nice... damn public servants with their disposable income.
We then left the odd mall(they had a candle shop ffs, candles...wtf, candle meet light bulb, light bulb candle). Deciding that we would drive around Canberra a bit, it is something that still rings true I used to know some rovers who said Canberra driving is you can see where you want to go but can't get there, and I added to this, Wollongong driving is where you can't see where you want to get to, but you can get there, and Sydney driving you can't see where you want to go and you can't get there.
So anyway we had to literally drive around in circles till we found were the houses that Fiona had lived in, we took some Photos, one had been unfortunately lost during the Canberra bush fires, the other had survived.
We then drove back to Canberra to visit a museum possibly, we eventually got to a funky looking building that was new, that's built on the foreshores of lake Burly (sp?) Griffin it looked very cool but I realised when I got there that I wanted to save my leg and money for the zoo, the whole point of the trip.
We decided to head for the zoo.
We got there, but only after calling for directions...
The tour didn't start till 3pm so we had some time to have a little look around, we didn't get much past the aquarium section, especially watching the sharks quickly devour rather large fish.
When we did finally break our attention away from them we only had a little over an hour to look through the rest of the park before our tour. I knew the tour wouldn't cover all of the park so I wanted to look around anyway. We had a pretty quick look around actually missing a lot of the animals that we missed on the tour...ah well.
We came back to the meeting point to wait to meet our zoo member and also pickup our camera batteries that they were thankfully charging for us.
Eventually another couple showed up who where doing the tour as well, it ended up being just the four of us too which was good.
First it was down to the otters, which we had already seen but had been much more placid earlier, I suppose cause they knew they were going to be fed... But they bounded up to the small wall we were standing behind and stood up, I am going to put this and some photos in my Jaunts section promise.
Then we went up a little bit then down into the Sun bear feeding chamber, she told us Sun Bears are actually the most vicious of all the bears even though or despite being so small and cute looking (except when walking, it hunches over like a bulldog), we fed it using a fork which was very cool.
Then it was down to feed some Horsie looking creatures, except they had straight antlers, can't remember their names, but they were pretty cool, the tour guide said they are actually pretty tame but the reason they don't allow people in there is they are unco, and may accidentally clip you with one of their sharp antlers when trying to get food from you. She said these ones were just babies, they were as big as a horse with antlers that were about 40cm long, she said they can grow to about 7/8ft at the shoulder and their antlers can grow to 1m in length... yikes.
We then were shown were to walk on the path as we were about to pass the predator cages.
First we went past the Lions, it was a nice sunny day and as cats they were having a bit of a snooze in the sun, the guide explained as she tried to call them over that this is just really a snack for them, as they eat a whole carcass every day it takes them about 15minutes to finish it, damn I am hopping it was just a sheep and not a cow cause that'd be scary. The two males in the enclosure she explained where the sons of the one that was now slowly walking over to us, she explained further that she used to play with them when they were cubs but no one can go in there now as it is there territory.
She showed us how to hold the pieces of chicken in the tongs so we could feed the Lions, and told us not to make them stand up too high as they can get their claws caught in the fence which would not be good. We all had a go at feeding them I went first, and the lioness leapt up to the height that where I had put the food (boneless chicken necks) through the fence, grabbed it and flicked her head back swallowing at the same time. Then one of the other people on the tour had a go then Fiona, by this stage I think the Lioness was full, and her sons were still over in the middle of the enclosure having a snooze, one rolled on its back very catlike. So anyway Fiona put the piece of meat through the fence at about the same height I had the Lioness by this stage had lay down, looked up at it with disinterest and then looked back down to the horizon, Fiona moved the meat to halfway meaning the Lioness would still have to get up, not even a response this time, I was joking in the background saying we could probably run through their basting ourselves in BBQ sauce and we'd be right. Fiona gave in and put the meat right in front of the Lionesses face, who leaned forward and snapped it up.
Then it was onto the Tigons, a half Lion half Tiger mix, that had happened accidentally at a circus 20 years ago. Tigons as explained to us are where the Lion is the mother, Ligers are where the Lion is the Father (or have I got this the wrong way round, no don't worry googled it I was right). The guide also said they don't happen in the wild, I am sure I have read of one that was discovered in the wild...(See here, although not likely that they existed in the wild, it does say they might have as reports match).
That site also has the li-ligers as they call them, or as the guide advised us a liger/tigon female is fertile (the male is not) and if a liger/tigon female mates with a full on lion the cubs will be li-ligers (which if then goes on to mate with another Lion) and there cubs will be li-li-ligers and their cubs will be just lions… interesting, I wonder what happens if it is Tigers all the way or tiger then lion, tiger then lion and so on, would it just stay a liger…hmm ah it’d be fun to play God you gotta admit… wrong but fun.
Another interesting fact is that Tigons are multi-lingual, they speak tiger and lion, interesting.
Then after the Tigons we walked back the way we came and up to the top of the park to visit the Cheetahs, who were by far the laziest not wanting to get up, eventually they did, still my second favourite land animal (after bears of course), we actually got to pat them through the fence which was awesome. We learnt some interesting facts, like cheetahs don’t growl they only pur, and when they do it loudly it sounds like a bird chirp, that they can increase in speed from 0-100km/h in about 2.5seconds, which would beat the worlds fastest supercar off the line (yes even the quad turbo 16-cylinder Bugatti Veryon).
We joked in our group that them next to the kangaroo paddock is interesting, I said they would probably sit there thinking hmm that’s looks tasty then the kangaroo gets up and they would think F$%^ that…
From the Cheetah enclosure we moved on to the Dingo enclosure, which we actually entered, as dingos are pretty passive, we could pat them etc, they are also a lot clean as they are somewhat like cats in that they clean themselves, they also will only eat the best meat.
Then from there we walk down almost to the other side of the park to see the Bengal tigers. Unfortunately their enclosure was being repaired (the animals are solitary and male and female will attack each other except during the mating season so they are kept separate) so they were in their tiger dens, we went in to feed them, the tiger in the first den was a little bit disturbed so the guide wouldn’t let us in. We walked down the stairs to the other den, and were told to keep right up against the wall, the tiger was pacing, like you have probably seen in movies, it was huge. We fed it, like the other big cats, only this one was bigger. When it leapt up against the wire I would have sworn at full height it would have been around 8.5ft tall.
When Fiona went to feed it yawned, of course a yawn by a large tiger in a confined space sounds like the world is tumbling down around you so of course Fiona jumped a little bit :P
It was a very impressive animal, huge.
Then we walked back to near the entrance, and to the European brown bear enclosure, now they are big. The big one Brutus weighed 500kg… we had a goop put on our fingers that they like to lick off, and they did, there is an awesome picture were the guide stood up at her full height with the tub of goop held over her head at her full arms length standing on a step on tippy toes and the bear still towered over her licking the tub clean.
All in all it was an awesome day, and I would highly recommend it, I hope I didn’t spoil the surprise too much for too many. But I hope I give a vivid picture to those who wouldn’t be able to go.
Other things that have happened since last post, after long deliberations I am switching to Linux, sure I started writing this on notes on a windows pda, and now I write it on word 2003, but it is at work, I have Linux as my main pc at home and am going to switch over an old laptop I picked up. Gotta update my pc section too as I scored some antique hardware from work.
I also got my dream phone, and Fiona got the same phone a Sony-ericsson Z1010 it rocks, only a couple little niggling sucky things the external camera is in a bad spot, your hand covers it, and the memory card is only duo not duo pro so no 1gb cards :(, also there is no random on the music player which is a bit sucky.
Oh well finally I posted, off to a clients now
Peace out all.

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