December 7 2014

A photo tour of the Buddhist temples of Myanmar

A photo tour of the Buddhist temples of Myanmar

I was going back and looking at more and more photos from our trip all over Myanmar from 2013 and rediscovered many of the amazing temples we visited.

I have broadly divided the photo collection here into 3 segments:

  1. The temple city of Bagan
  2. Cave Temples
  3. The Temple punched on top of Mount Popa
  4. The last Kingdom of Mandalay
  5. Slowly crumpling temples in the hills of Inle Lake


Temple City of Bagan


Cave Temples


Mount Popa


The last Kingdom of Mandalay

Temple spires in the hills of Inle Lake




October 6 2014

House Buying: slight stumble at the final hurdle

House Buying: slight stumble at the final hurdle

So close

So in the middle of last week I received a call from our mortgage broker who was asking if I had the approved First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) paperwork. I was under the impression that it was completed and approved in January.

Sadly I had that mixed up with the clearly different First Home Owner Concession.

With a crazy rush on Thursday this week to get the paperwork sorted. Fortunately due a twist of the Federation of Australia, while ACT and NSW have a public holiday on Monday, Victoria where our bank does all the processing for the FHOG so we may just have this thing settled on time.

In the mean time, here are some new photos from just prior to final hand over condition.






October 5 2014

My first few weeks with the iPhone 6 Plus

My first few weeks with the iPhone 6 Plus

Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 1.15.26 amI had been holding on to my iPhone 5, waiting eagerly for the goodies that are announced each September by the doyens of product secrecy and marketing.

Hearing the rumours of a larger iPhone really wetted my appetite. I was weighing up getting one of the larger Samsung Note 4s and immediately wipe any remnants of Samsung’s gimmick filled bloatware. Thankfully the iPhone 6 plus was the answer I am looking for.

I conceit that the name of the new device is pretty crappy, most people just call it ‘the big one’.

While the size is defiantly the draw point, after working with and using closely, there are other features that have really come to the forefront for me – the battery and the camera being amounts them.

The Camera

I have to admit, I am not a great photographer, Frankie is far more the photographer than I am. Most of the fantastic images we took in Mynamar were taken by Frankie.

The manual or dynamic stabilisation is comparable to my mirror-less Samsung NX1000.

The Battery

Any one who knows me knows that I am very far from my phone – to the point of even having my previous iPhone 5 in its Lifeproof case in the shower with me for music.

This often leads to having a dead phone by noon. Not with the iPhone 6 plus. With a fair among of usage, including streaming musics, push notifications, location services, background activity and constant use I easily have over 70% left at 2:30 in the afternoon. Most days achieving 11-12 hours battery life between charges.

I am now really hanging out for the life proof case for this phone

Honourable mention – the external speaker

It is not a make or break feature of a phone for me. I say phone but I am getting more and more annoyed with actually having to talk to people by telephone. I use this device like many others for the consumption of news, media, sound, podcasts along with communicating with you – the lovely people of the inter webs.

The external speaker located on the base of this phone if big, and LOUD. I can hear the sound better and clearer sitting on my sink in my bathroom, than from a bluetooth speaker in the shower.

The bending thing

I know a lot of hoohar has been made about the ‘bending’ of the iPhone 6 plus in people’s pockets – personally I don’t have those issues, mainly because I am not stupid enough to put something that cost over $1000 in my back pocket and sit on it – but hey if you did and it bent. I am sorry to hear that.



September 14 2014

Why would @fitbit take away a product I loved with no replacement?

Over the past week I have discovered some cracks on the back of my Fitbit Force. As you remember I purchased this device in the US as I am still as yet to see it available I Australia.

I contacted Fitbit support first via twitter as then by their support page as they requested. I provided photos. After a follow up request to find out what was going on as I had not heard from Support.


What I received, I thought was sent in error. Basically due to a small number of people (mainly in the US) suffering skin irritations, the Fitbit force was recalled. While I knew about the recall, the issue didn’t effect me and I carried on.

As there was a recall in place Fitbit support stated they would not replace my damaged force but would refund me. I don’t want to go back to using the Fitbit flex, for one, I had issues with the band breaking after 8 months – the same time I have been using the force, not to mention the shocking battery life of the flex compared to the force.

I am now left with either rigging up some repair or take the refund and look for another product after I have already invested in the Fitbit ecosystem including the matching scale.



August 26 2014

Holiday Plans – April 2015

Holiday Plans – April 2015

Frankie has been looking at holiday locations for next year. He is looking at being home in Myanmar for the Burmese New Year Water Festival and usually falls around mid-April.

Taking onto the end of that I am planning some dive spots in Thailand as well as some much needed rest and beach time.

Some probable locations are:
Kuala Lumpur
Chiang Mai

And for the many may Americans who read my blog this should help

Have you been to any of the above, particularly Krabi or Chiang Mai? Suggestions? Diving Suggestions too?



August 26 2014

Working on my Fitness!!

Working on my Fitness!

I know it may come as a shock to some of you, but I am no athlete…

I have just entered week 7 of the couch to 5km running program.

If this fitness thing all sounds a little familiar, well yes.

I have been using the fitbit ecosystem for over 12months now. First the fitbit Flex which the band died after 9 months and there were little to no replacements available at the the time, so I imported the fitbit force which still does not seem to be available in Australia widely. Read the rest of this page »



August 6 2014

I am now a Student – God help us all

I am now a Student – God help us all

I have resisted it for as long as I could…

I have signed up for a Bachelor of attendance.. I mean Arts ( Internet Communication) with Curtin University in WA.

Looking at the subjects and units, I am actually really excited – most of them will benefit you, throughout this blog and who know what else it will bring.

As can guess, I live in Canberra, and the Uni is in WA. So the course is online based.

First off it will start with some introductory work for those of us like me that have shied away from formal higher education. That should start around the start of September 2014.

Stand by for more when I know more.



August 4 2014

Seal Diving – Montague Island, South Coast NSW

Diving with Seals on the NSW South Coast


As you know I recently learnt to scuba dive. I also became a member of my local scuba club, which offers a few times a year, trips to Montague Island
off the coast of Narooma NSW to dive with the Australian Fur Seals
that inhabit the island .

The boat ride out to the island was choppy to say the least, we anchored in the lee of the sou’easter that was creating the chop, which as (bad) luck would have it was directly down wind from the seal colony.



The day was split into 2 dives with the dive boat captain supplying soup and rolls to fend off the chill (temps were low teens out of the water, even less with the wind, while the water was 17-14ºc degrees depending on depth).

I really can see the ease that having a regular dive buddy creates. I joined a small group of 3 experiences divers.

Any one was more experienced as me – I have not dived since my open water qualification.

Read the rest of this page »



July 22 2014

How to read the news: a beginners guide for Generation Y and the “Millennials”

news-05Two tragic events this year have brought to the fore the fact that my generation and the generation following (Gen Y and the so called a i generation or the millennials).

I am often dismayed at the inability of my peers to be able to evaluate and reconcile news stories, rather than just take every word as fact.

Read the rest of this page »



July 17 2014

Travel: Winter Road Trips – Ep1

I love going for drives around our region during winter, it is the best time of year to see the region after the winter rains.

Starting early we headed off from Canberra to Batemans Bay via Bungendore, Braidwood. The sun was bright over the green dewy fields of Bungendore followed up by a stop off at the Lolly Shop in Braidwood.




Lunch was on the waterfront with fish and chips in Batemans Bay followed by wandering around the marina looking at boats and slips for #ProjectSailBoat, just information gathering.


Heading back south heading through Narooma down to check out our favourite camping site at Mystery Bay, then south to Bega and up to the mountains through Bemboka (remember to stop off for a pie at the famous bakery) then up further into Cooma.


Just before dark we managed to make it back to Canberra having missed most of the first snow of the year but we did catch the trail end of the storm.

Were is your favourite road trip to?






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