11 November 2007

Pillow Talk

Hi All.

Yes, all in the name in blogging, I am about to post about my pillow.

I sleep on my side in a 'recovery' position you see in safety posters (get pain in the small of my back if I sleep on my back). Because of this I need a good high pillow that offers lots of support. After going through quite a few pillows over the year I have come across what may be the perfect pillow for me.

It' s latex and cost about $70. Moulded to have a slight concave depression in the middle and on the side so you shoulder fits in nicely. Very comfortable. Feels a little strange because it doesn't feel like foam. It's as if a foam pillow and a rubber mat had an illegitimate chlld.

Have had great nights sleep so far.


Hi All.

Yes, I'm a bit behind the times but finished Halo 3 last night.

First thought was that it was a bit short and a bit too easy. In the first halo, it took me a while to complete it even while on Normal. But that maybe just because I'm a lot better at it than I was when I played the first game. But Halo 2 wasn't easy on normal so go figure. Good to see the Brutes were toned down a tad. They were a f*cking pain in the arse in H2. Also just realising it now, I didn't find 1 plasma beam rifle. Maybe the Halo gods heard our prayers for a change (no jackals with plasma rifles or at least not as many).

Story wise 1 & 2 were more cohesive. 3 seems to lose it self a bit. But I do miss having to kill the elites. But I suppose the new and improved flood made up for it.

The spider flood looked to be a late addition. Their movement looked out of place with the rest of the flood characters. I found it interesting how the take over of human npc took about 5 seconds. When I first had one left he got an infection form, I just assumed that he would die, so wasn't really paying much attention to him. Then I noticed a flood combat form coming at me. So have to watch out for that. Also that previously "killed" flood can be reanimated if a new infection form attaches itself to the killed form. Very sneaky. I kept wondering why I was getting more flood attacking me from behind until I saw what would happen. Then it was "Right! No more ignoring the infection forms, try to kill as many as possible with the least amount of ammo."

Grunts are still fun. Fun to kill, fun to bash while asleep. All the comments they make.

The assault rifle is back!!! Happy happy joy joy. The flame thrower is cool how it doesn't force you to drop a weapon for it.

Does the rocket launcher still track enemy targets? Don't know, didn't use one rocket in the whole game.

The destruction of the covenant ships reactors was pathetically easy. Might as well had a touch panel that said "To Destroy Ship - Press Here".

I'm wondering how much harder the game is in Heroic and Legendary. Does the difficulty increase exponentially? Time will tell.

Currently Reading: Cavern of Black Ice

Mood: Normal

After The Holiday and Stuff

Hi All.

I thought I would start posting again because I thought I may as well continue blogging.

Okay the rest of my holiday was spent with my parents in the tablelands inland from Cairns. Very pretty area. Where as most of Queensland is in drought, most of the Cairns area is still green. It was just coming off winter so it was quite cool. Days were around 18°C with nights dropping down to 5°C. It's lucky that I really enjoy cold weather ^.^

Visiting Mum and Dad was great. Helped them pack up the house (they have decided to sell and move down the coast a bit). They still had a shipping container, so we put everything into boxes and packed it all in to there. Dad and I ended up moving about 5 Tonne of stuff!

So have come back to Darwin at the start of the buildup. Or to the uninitiated, an increase in humidity and temperature, but no relief of rain for a couple of months. We get days of humidity of around 90% with temperatures of 32-35°C. We won't get any serious rain until well into December. Although we have been getting some fairly impressive isolated showers of late. But they are more trouble than they are worth. Because it doesn't rain enough to lower the temperature so we get insta-sweat-bath.

Oh! We ended up with 20 gigs of photos between us. When I work out how to post them you'll be able to see them.

Highlights of Japan:

1 Atomic Dome in Hiroshima (was really cool had the lunar eclipse over the top of it)
2 Climbing Fuji-san
3 Ladies in Kimonos
4 Getting my photo with Naruto (yes, a sad fan boy I am ^.^)
5 The shrines and temples in Kyoto (the Gold and Silver temples and the Water temple in particular)
6 Shinkansens!

Downlights of Japan:

1 Climbing down Fuji-san (really really unpleasant).
2 It's okay to smoke in restaurants
3 More remote places don't bother with romanji for train station names. Sometimes they even do away with hiragana too!

I've got more to post but this is turning into a big post so I'll leave it for now.

Currently Reading: Cavern of Black Ice

Mood: Normal

14 September 2007

White Water Rafting

On Saturday the 8th I went white water rafting on the Tully river.

After my day off in Cairns in which I mostly strolled around (and watched the latest Bourne movie), it was another early start because I was being picked up at 6:30 to go white water rafting (yay).

So at 5:45 I was up so I could get some breakfast before I left. On the bus I met a Brazilian whose name was Philipe. He had been in Australia for about 3 months. I told him about my trip to Japan. Seemed impressed.

After the 1.5 hrs bus ride to Tulley river (and the viewing of the mandatory safety video), we arrive, get fitted with life jacket, helmet, paddle and I chose to hire a special shirt that draws the moisture away from the skin – figuring I would need it. I ended up in a boat with Philipe and 5 guys from Spain. Our boat was called "Dingo". High five/paddle call was "Pura" <pronounced: PuuurrRAH!>, which means "son of a bitch" or "slut".

Our guide was Julian (Jules). He spent some time going through some commands to help us all stay in the boat. As the water was f*cking freezing, we all paid fairly close attention. On the advice of a friend who had been wwr before, I volunteered to go up the front. Jules said "the leaders are important because they set the pace for the rest of you, which will determine how well we go down the rapids, so have you got a lot of faith in those two (5 pairs of eyes of swivel towards me, none of whom are looking very relieved about the last fact)?

The funniest was the guide Karou with his boat load of Japanese tourists. On entering his first rapid, he looked over to where we were parked, crossed himself and started praying. So funny.

Tully river gets up to grade 4 rapids (the scale goes up to grade 6), so they're getting pretty lively. There is a camerman also there filming the action. The Japanese would see the cameraman, then start wildly waving at him. All while being in the middle of a grade 4 rapid. o.O Several fell out from being unprepared...crazy. Another guide who also had a lot of Japanese tourists, after going down a big rapid, caught our eyes and just shook his head. I think we got almost as much enjoyment from watching the Japanese as going down the rapid ourselves. ^.^

One downside from being at the front: the bow get swamped fairly regularly as you hit the big rapids. It's f*cking cold. There were 8 boats on the river that day, and 4 of them went over. I am not counting the time where the guide got us all down to one end while going the last rapid before lunch (they do that to everyone). The guides would also try to distract you by pointing out something in the trees just before going down a rapid. Karou would go: "Look! Koala!", all the Japanese would be like "Doko? Doko?", not aware how close the the rapid they were, then have to hang on as they sail down. Evil bastards. We wised up fairly quickly though. The Japanese never seemed to learn though...

It was a fun day. My knees got a bit sunburnt. Tired after spending 6hrs on the water. I bought a dvd-movie of the day and a cd of pictures.

09 September 2007

The Reef

Hi All.
Just come back from being at the reef. Was quite a nice day out on the ocean.
We went to Oyster Bay and someplace else. Oyster Bay was quite good. Lots of coral and reef fish to see. The second dive site was not as good, although we did see a HUGE stingray and a white-tipped reef shark sleeping. Although we kept our distance from them both.
The water was nice, around 26 degrees, I hope I put on enough sunscreen as the sun was quite fierce. We'll see later tonight.
Tired now. Going to go back to my hotel and have a nice shower and then crash. I'm off to the Atherton Tablelands (now called "Cairns Highlands") tomorrow...
Finally I'll get some chance to rest ^.^ It has been a long week...
Ja ne.
- Grover

08 September 2007

Cairns, Here I Am.

Hi All.
While the rest of my friends are back in Darwin and back at work, I am currently in Cairns on my way to visit Mum and Dad.
I went white water rafting on the Tully River (it's rated 3-4). Had an awesome time. I was in a raft with 5 spanish tourists and one from Brazil. They were really funny. But the funniest were the rafts that had all the japanese tourists on them. One had a Japanese guide (fairly aussie though). When they went down their first rapid, he made them duck down and hang on, then he looked over to us and crossed himself and made praying motions. So funny. Then they would be going down a grade 4 rapid (which is starting to get fairly lively), and all the japanese would be waving at the camerman and waving their paddles around. We got a great deal of enjoyment from watching them throughout the day. Another guide would just look at us and shake his head.
The water is freezing, but the sun was hot so got sunburnt on my legs.
Off to the reef tomorrow. Going with Ocean Spirit...

28 August 2007

Hakone Ni Ikimasu

Hi All.

Making our way to Hakone tomorrow. Hot springs here I come.

Tonight I had to replace the backpack that I was using. It died a horrible death involving Mt Misen at Miyajima. Got a better one for when we go up Fuji-san. Had some sai-ramen (seems to consist mostly of cabbage) from a little roadside place. Very nice. Wish we had the like back home. I'm going to miss $7 meals at restraunts...

On the first night we stayed in Hiroshima, we went and had lunch at a tempura restraunt. OMG! So yummy. All you people who go to Go Sushi and think you know what tempura is all about, you know nothing. Nothing at all. The batter is so crisp and light. It's like it is coated in rice bubbles or something.

And the miso soup here , beats anything I have every had back home. Havn't tried sushi yet, but mark my words we will. Especially I have seen places where sushi is 100 yen a plate ($1!).

So off to Hakone to get some good soaking. Might check out the public baths while I'm there ^.^

I'm rather addicted now. If the accommodation had a public bath, I seem to be more inclined to use it than the one in my room (well, have you seen the size of them? They're tiny!)

That's all for now. Have to finish laundry...

Oh! Todays steps = 25600 steps.

Currently Reading: NOTHING - Books back in Tokyo!!!
Mood: Normal

27 August 2007

Miyajima - Japan's Twilight Zone.

Hi all.

Am sending email from phone, so forgive abrns.

We r staying in Miyajima 4 2nite so we can get some good pics of the
huge tori gates & the town w/other ppl. A bit erie @ night, every1
goes back 2 Hiroshima b4 the ferries stop running, so very few ppl
about, like twilight zone. I was going 2 go out with the others & take
fotos 2 but 2 tired. Why? Mt Misen. 530 meters of it. Although nothing
compared 2 Fuji (worried expression). So about 2 hit the bed, here's 2
hoping that it will b a better sleep than last night...

Ja ne

- Grover

26 August 2007

Ofuro: An Experience.

Hi All.
I decided to bite the bullet and went to a public bath. As in naked. With other men.
First up some back story. When we were staying in Kyoto, I went down to the hotel's public bath a couple of times. By concidence, I managed to get the whole bath to myself on both occasions (really, really good. The best thing for a long hot day of sighseeing). I want a bath just like it at home now.
This time though, it nearly approaches arm wrestling trying to get time in the shower here at Osaka. So I thought "Stuff it" and made my way to the Ofuro.
I locked up my shoes in a locker at the entrance, paid the lady inside the door 350 yen, went to the changing area, put all my clothes in another locker and went into the bath area.
There were three other people in there and contray to all the travel guides that I have read, I wasn't suddenly the focus of attention or conversation. Nor was I particulary stared at, everyone else was busy with the business of getting clean.
What you do:
First off you claim a spot along the wall where you have hot and cold water taps, and douse yourself with some hot water. Then you go and step into a anti-microbe (reading the hiragana) bath for a minute or so. Then you can get to the business of getting yourself clean. Once you have scrubbed yourself to your heart's content (in my case about 15 minutes - I love nice long hot showers), rinse yourself throughly. Then you can get in the soaking baths. As you may know, Japanese baths have two temperaures: hot and scalding. My preference is to sit in the hot one for a bit then get out and then splash myself with some cold water. Repeat a couple of times and you will feel super clean - and a little lightheaded.
I suggest you try it at least once as you won't believe how clean you feel afterwards...
Ja ne
- Grover

25 August 2007

Last Night In Oksaka

Hi All.
Had a quiet day today.
Visited Shinsaibashi again today. Bought a yukata this afternoon ^.^
Oh! Were able to get into Round One, an amusement centre chain in Japan. I wish that we had something like this back home. It had about 7 floors of arcade games, then pool tables, soccer games, tennis games, golf, boxing, shooting and on the roof there was some pitching machines for baseball batting. Very cool. We spend 3 hours there.
We leave for Hiroshima tomorrow.
We are going out soom to have some proper okonomiyake.
Ja ne
- Grover

24 August 2007

Himeji Castle

Hi All.
We visited nearby Himeji castle today, it was about 40 minutes on the shinkansen (kodoma line).
The castle is famous because it is one of the few remaining castles in it's origional form. Amazing on the inside. When we had a look at Osaka, it was very modern on the inside because it has been rebuilt so many times. But Himeji is exactly what you would imagine the inside of a traditional castle would be like. Highly recommended.
There were plans to go to Universal Studio land, but we have been on the go for 5 days now and I think we all need a quiet day. Because then we are off to Hiroshima on the day after.
We had a lunch at a udon noodle place. I had a set meal, it was quite good. Although if we had just turned the next corner, we would have hit a whole street of restruants. D'oh! >.<
Today's Pedometer Count: 21100.

Yes...It Lives!!! Bwa ha ha!!

We are in Osaka today. The shinkansen took all of 15 minutes from Kyoto. We nearly missed our train. We got on with, no joke, 30 seconds to spare.

We dropped off our bags at our accommodation (I'll post about that later), then went and visited Osakajo (Osaka Castle). The exterior is amazing. The view from the top floor (8th floor) is pretty good too. Although all big Japanese cities are very hazy about 10 km or so from any direction.

Then we went and checked out Shinsaibashi, a 2.6 km long mall. There are heaps of shops and restruants and good stores. The Hello Kitty store is an overload of cuteness.

We tried to go to a baseball hitting on the 8th floor of a games arcade building (read that last part again), but they were booked out.

I will buy a Yukata while I am here, I saw several shops that specalise in selling them. I'll just have to send it back to Australia as I don't have room in my suitcase ^.^

The title refers to the wonderful fact that 99.9% of all my photos that I did an accidental quick format over have been recovered and backed up. I was really relieved as that was cosplay from Comiket (including Mai Shiranui, D-Grey Man, Rozen Maiden), Wonderfest and me meeting Naruto. Would have been VERY pissed off if I lost that. So all is good.

Pedometer Reading for today: 22500

Currently Reading: Emissary
Mood: Happy but tired.

22 August 2007

Missed It By That Much

The hotel was selling yukatas for about 70 dollars. But they stopped yesterday. So dissappointed that I missed out. I hope that Osaka has some good one's too.

Currently Reading: Emissary
Mood: Normal

Kyoto - The Home That Isn't Home Because Everyone Is Speaking Japanese

Hi All.

Am currently in Kyoto. It's really nice. Not nearly as hetic as Tokyo. We are staying at the Nishiyama Hotel. It is really sweet. Nice rooms. Close to the train station. Highly recommended.

I have had the traditional breakfast today and yesterday.

It generally consists of: fish, tofu, salad, omlet, tea, rice, japanese pickles and a serving of grapefruit. It doesn't look like much on the tray, but it is very filling. We have pictures.

We went to the Gold and Silver pavilions (Kinkaku and Ginkaku) today. The Silver one isn't, as it's name suggests, silver. But is instead is just wood. But it is one of the best zen temples in Kyoto. Very cool. The gold pavilion, is actually gold. It is three stories tall and the upper two are covered in gold leaf. Even cooler.

We also went along the philosophers walk - a famous trail that runs along a river. Apparently Musashi (famous samurai) walked along it.

The Day before we went and hired some bikes from a rental place (go to Kyoto trains station, head towards Kyoto Tower, head right a little) and rode around. It makes it an easy way of covering large distances easily. Hills were a little bit hard. Although hiring cannondales did make it easier. You can buy a cycling map for 100 yen. BUY A COPY! IT IS WORTH IT'S WEIGHT IN GOLD!! Spend a bit of time studying it and have the locations marked out beforehand. This will help you from getting hopelessly lost (we got ourselve lost no less than three times that day). It will make for an enjoyable day.

Make sure you go to the water temple.

Plan to spend about 4-5 dollars on each temple/shrine you are going to visit. 400 yen seems to be the going rate...

Currently Reading: Emissary
Mood: Normal

20 August 2007

Kyoto Ni Ikimasu

Am currently in Kyoto. Took the Shinkansen to get here. It's more relaxed than Tokyo and that is a nice change.

Went up the Kyoto Tower this afternoon. Amazing to see all the moutains around the city.

I may have accidentally lost some 200 photos including the cosplay from Comiket and me with Naruto. A friend is going to see if he can do something. I hope so. I do not quite believe that I could have done something so stupid.

Currently Reading: Emmissary
Mood: Normal

17 August 2007

Fly Me To The Moon, Just Drop Me Off At Japan

Hi All.

I think we can all agree that I am a terrible updater, but here we go...

I am in Japan (and have been so for about 8 days). This is the first chance I have had to get to a internet cafe...

First up the trip. I don't recommend anyone travel on Tiger. The trip out of Darwin to Singapore was the most uncomfortable trip that I have ever had the misfortune of experiencing. Just sitting in the normal upright position was damn uncomfortable. The Sing - Tokyo on Singapore Airlines was absolute bliss. One of the nicest journeys that I have ever had. Which was heaven after Tiger...

We are staying in Ikebukuro which is interesting as there are love hotels, literally, everywhere. Have gone into a lot of anime shops (and figurine and manga) here and in Shibuya and Shinjuku. It's really wild.

We went up to Nikko on Day four (just when I had the route back from the train station sorted out >.<). That is really pretty country. We went for what turned out to be a mammoth walk through some very nice scenery. I was able to take some amazing photos.

Oh yes, I bought the big brother of the camera I was looking at earlier (the Cannon Powershot S5IS not the S3IS). It was about 50500 yen (so $500). Cheap. Thinking of getting the wide angle adaptor that is an accessory. It is worth about $150 here, will have to check to see if it is worth getting here.

Wonderfest was interesting. Amazing to see how popular Evangelion still is, apparently there is a "new" movie comming out while we are here. We won't understand it, but that won't stop me ^.^

Oh! (cue fanboy squeal). I met Naruto! Well some one dressed as him... There was a display thingy on in Sunshine 60 (huge buidling) of Naruto (plus a preview of the next movie - looked quite good. Have to see that too...). I got my picture taken with Naruto - I was the only "adult" who did so. Ahhh, the fanboy in me was content that day ^.^

I'll see if I can some how get the photos up here sometime after I come back...

And it' hoooot. Record temperatures across all of Japan. It has turned cool this evening, I think there is a storm on the way, but the rest of the time here in Japan has been very sweaty. Sweat + walking all day. Do the sums, get the picture...yeah.

The days have been really long and right now it it 2330 and we are going to Komiket tomorrow.

So that'll do now that I know where this place is.

Ja ne

- Grover

Currently Reading: The Goblet of Fire
Mood: Tired

18 July 2007

And Then There Was An Update! Or At Least It Will Be!!

Hi all.

It's was my intention to increase updates as the time got closer, but that that hasn't eventuated!!!

Anyway, met up with my friends who I am going to Japan with. There is talk of attending a baseball game whilst in Tokyo. Also we might be going to a concert or something as well (to what I don't know, the details were rather vague.)

23 Days to go...
Currently Reading: Kushiel's Scion

Mood: Normal

09 July 2007

Nothing But Blue Skys Over Me

Well, it seems like I am on the mend. Headache is almost gone. Don't feel so drowsy any more. Still got a sore throat, which air-conditioning exacerbates. But feeling not too bad. As daytime tv is so bad, I hired some stand up performances by Billy Connelly. He is, by far, one of my favourite comedians. The only one who tops him in my book is Bill Cosby.

Wow, thanks to this cold I have, I haven't managed to catch up with any of the other people coming on the trip.

Oh! But I have found some things to do in Hakone. Each of us have been given a area/city with which to gather some points of interest that we will see when we get there. After much searching and some advice from some friends of friends who have lived in Japan, I finally found some good places to go.

The Outdoor Art Museum looks great. The Hakone Glass Forest is apparently a must see. There is a part of the old road to Lake Ashinoko which has some historic temple at the end of it (plus a good vantage for taking pictures of Fuji-san). Taking the cable car up to Tozan.There is a board walk through some wetlands (though it will be summer so not sure how appealing it will be then). And having a ride back across the lake in a 'Pirate' ship is recommended. One of those 'so bad it's good' kind of things.

So there is a bit to think about...

Currently Reading: Kushiel's Scion

Mood: Feeling Better

06 July 2007

If Yer Sick, Give Work The Flick

People who come into work sick. I hate them.

I have just gone back to my old workplace after 13 months in another department. There has, during the previous week, a nasty cold that struck down no less than 4 people. Some of these people were not feeling 100% on Monday, but decided to come in anyway. I have not been back at work for not even a whole week and I have already caught what everyone else has...Not happy Jan.

I work for the State (well, Territory) Government, and each and everyone of us gets 3 weeks of sick leave a year. If you are sick, you take the f*cking day off. You don't come into work so you can give it to other people. I am annoyed at my work colleagues because
I have a propensity to get secondary chest infections from these little colds and flu's that take me weeks to get over. Hopefully, this will just turn out to be a head cold and will f*ck off in a couple of days.

- Grover

34 Days to go...
Currently Reading: A Man Betrayed

Mood: Annoyed

Show Me The Yen...

Okay, while I am in a posting mood...

Yen is back up again 1 AUD = 105.383 JPY

Very Nice. Apparently it is a 15 high (or low depending on on which country you are in).

- Grover

34 Days to go...
Currently Reading: A Man Betrayed

Mood: Normal

Come Fly With Me

Gomenasai minna-san!

I have, apparently, been lazy...June 20th was my last update? Is my everyday life that uneventful?

Well, this'll fix that.

Yesterday I finally purchased the tickets that will get me to Singapore to catch the flight that will take me to Tokyo. Yay for organisation. I have had the Sing/Tokyo/Sing part of the journey booked and paid since April, but hadn't yet booked the leg to get me to Sing from Darwin. And the fare options were starting to get less and less so I thought that I should hurry up and get it done.

You see, I was originally I was going to go to Cairns instead of returning straight to Darwin for the return. But after some checking, the fares would have been nearly $1000 more to go Tokyo/Cairns/Darwin than what is to go Tokyo/Darwin then Darwin/Cairns/Darwin.

It is looking like I will be getting a separate flight to Cairns the day after I get back to Darwin.

So am happily booked, my leave is approved. Just need to work out how much clothes I will need to take.

While I am in Cairns I am looking at going out to the Great Barrier Reef for a day Scuba diving and maybe some white water rafting before I head inland to visit Mum and Dad. Mum doesn't know that I am coming to visit yet so it'll be a big surprise for her.

And does anyone else find this funny?

News Story

- Grover

34 Days to go...
Currently Reading: A Man Betrayed

Mood: Normal

20 June 2007

50 Days

Holy Hell! 50 Day to go.

Can't believe it is counting down so quickly!!

In some actual news about the Japan trip, we are purchasing our Japan Rail tickets this week. We are doing a lot of travelling around Honshu (Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima then back to Tokyo), so a 14 Day pass will save us a lot of money.

Which reminds me that I also need to go and get some AUD changed in YEN while the Aussie dollar is strong aginst it.

Uwah~ getting exciting!!

- Grover

50 Days to go...
Currently Reading: Heretics of Dune
Mood: Normal


I baby-sat my two nephews on Friday night while my sister and her husband went and escaped to the movies (they went and saw Ocean’s 13)

The older nephew just turned 3 and the younger one is about a year and a half old.

So I had to entertain two very attention hungry, mobile boys. It’s not as hard as what it could be as whatever the older child is doing, the younger one wants to do as well.

So mostly we played with all the dinosaur figures. The eldest loves dinosaurs or anything dinosaur related. To hear him say pterodactyl or tyrannosaurs rex is the cutest thing.

The youngest one went to bed easily enough. Just had to give him a bottle with some warmed milk for a bit then put him in his crib.

The older one was slightly more problematic. Plus he was starting to miss his Mum and Dad. But I was able to get him nice and quite in front of the TV watching Little Einstein’s and some juice. He fell asleep in about 20mins and I put him into his bed.

There is a saying that goes along the lines of: “There was no child so well behaved that his mother was not glad to put him asleep.”

I somewhat know the feeling of relief you can get from finally getting a child to go to sleep.

I then read some more Heretics of Dune.

It’s a really, really good book. Work is really cutting into my reading time…
The Bene Gesserit are starting to annoy me, and I wish that something comes along to skew up their plans. Although, the new Duncan Idaho seems to hold some promise in this regard.

- Grover

50 Days to go...
Currently Reading: Heretics of Dune
Mood: Normal

14 June 2007

Movie: Bridge to Terabithia

Just came back from watching Bridge to Terabithia.

While it is well done, I will say that the previews are misleading about what happens in the plot.

It is a Disney
family movie in every sense of the word.

I read the book back in primary school and I remember quite enjoying it.

It could have ended a completely different way in the same vein as another movie :cough: Monster's Inc :end cough:, but it didn't. Which did surprise me a little as it would have been so tempting and easy to do. Especially given Hollywood's inclination produce family movies that are so heart-warming that something inside me haemorrhages.

A few of the characters are a little too stereotypical: Jess's sisters for instance, and some of the other children at school.

On the whole it's worth seeing, but maybe on dvd.

- Grover

Days to go...
Currently Reading: Heretics of Dune
Mood: Normal

New System, How I Hate Thee

Okay, my Japan job has introduced a update for the POS software that we use.

Last night was my first shift using the new system. First impression? Crap!

Returning a movie use to be like thus: scan disc, hit enter.

Now it is: scan disc, hit enter, press F6.

May not sound like much of a difference, but repeated 200+ times in a shift gets old. Very quickly.

Apparently the owner and head office can get more info from it by the way of reports, but this seems to correspond to it being more complicated…

Sigh. I suppose I’ll get use to it eventually…until then it'll have the distinction of being the bane of my existence...

- Grover

56 Days to go...
Currently Reading: Heretics of Dune
Mood: Normal

13 June 2007

Work, Work, Work

God, today is dragging on.

Have work to do but don't feel very enthoused about doing it...-.-
Working at my japan job tonight so the owner can watch the state of origin. Meh, it'll be a quiet night, I'll be able to get some reading in ^.^

Edit: Take that you cockroaches! Pity it makes the 3rd game a dead rubber, but oh well, winning the origin makes up for it...

On the upswing,
just found out that Powerfinger and Silverchair are going to be performing a double act in Darwin in October. Sweetness. Tickets go on sale in early July. Must remember to buy. I remember going to Powderfinger ages ago at the casino lawns, they are a great band live. Both bands have released new albums recently too...

This is after the Triple J concert in Humpty Doo is bringing Something for Kate and Missy Higgins in July.

We also had Bass in the Grass a couple of weekends ago too. Had hip hop band Hilltop Hoods (who rocked btw), little fish (from Perth - female rock vocalist, she was also very good), Mammal (from Victoria) and Eskimo Joe.

I havn't seen so much good music in Darwin in ages (normally we are pretty starved for good bands).

- Grover

57 Days to go...
Currently Reading: Heretics of Dune
Mood: Unenthused...

10 June 2007

And It's Cold!!!

I live in Darwin, which is in the tropical region of Australia. For most of the year is it quite hot with temperatures of around 32-35°C. At other times it is even hotter at mostly around 36-38°C, coupled with more humidity (up to 90% humidity at times).

Then as a present for putting with 9 months of hot humid weather, we sometimes get what we call the "Dry".

As it name suggests, we get almost no rain for this period. But the real good part is when southern Australia get a pressure system passing over it, it pushes the cold air of the desert further north. End result is wonderful, wonderful weather. Daily maximums of 29, humidity levels of around 30%. All of the Top End longs for the Dry to come. And every few years, we get an especially cold Dry. Of which this season looks like it will be a good one.

It was cold last night. Looking at the Bureau of Metrology, it says that it was 15°C in Darwin the night before and it was even colder last night. It was turn the fan off and sleep with socks on sort of night. Normally it doesn't get this cold until the middle of July, so it's a month early.

But it's all good because I love cold weather.

When I go to visit Mum and Dad in Queensland they will be coming off the end of winter so they will have nights of 5° and day of around 12. Looking forward to that too!

- Grover

60 Days to go...
Currently Reading: Emperor God of Dune
Mood: Normal

09 June 2007

T-Shirt Goodness

Okay, I have a huge weakness for quirky/funny/retro tees.

Here are the latest ones that I may have to purchase:

Here and Here and Here too.

- Grover

61 Days to go...
Currently Reading: Emperor God of Dune
Mood: Tired

Mildly NSFW Some Things Are Just Wrong....Is That Warning Enough?

Okay, some things are just wrong.

Taking that first mouthful of breakfast cereal, only to discover the milk is off. Discovering what is making the fridge smell. Trying to guess what said foodstuff was originally. Older women watching anal porn titles.

Didn't expect that, did you?

I work in a dvd rental store so I will have spending money while in Japan.

Women who are the age of my Mum should not be returning titles that have "Anal" and "Love Stories" in the title.
I'm sorry, but I think I have to make it the newest rule in my universe.

I'm not comfortable with the idea of a 50-year-old-women watching such a title. I try to tell myself that they are just returning a title that their husband has borrowed. This worked until one day, the lady who returned must have seen the expression on my face and said "Oh. It's not mine, I'm returning it for my son."

Excuse me? How is that better? Now I am squeamish to imagining the type of relationship you two have. I mean would any of you be comfortable letting your Mum know what type of porn you watch? Or that you watch porn at all for that matter?

Also, I get people who will choose the following movies: Lion King, The Wiggles Do Someting Silly, The Hooley Dooley: We're Not The Wiggles - Really!, Barbie and Something Sickingly Cute....and Assman # 4...

To say the least it's very, verry bizarre.

When I turned 18 and was able to hire adult movies, I use to wonder what those console operators use to think...now I know firsthand...I could have quite easily lived my life not knowing, but now the knowledge is there to stay in my brain.

As it is also now in yours...

Sharing. The gift that keeps giving, even when you wish it wouldn't...

- Grover

61 Days to go...
Currently Reading: Emperor God of Dune
Mood: Normal

Digital Camera

I need to purchase a digital camera for this trip too.

I was thinking of going with a Canon PowerShot S3 IS. Some info is here: Link

I was wanting something I could grow into. In case I want to start doing more in photography. And this one looks fairly sweet.

The RRP is AUD$700, but I found a site that sells it for around AUD$450...

Let me know what you think.

- Grover

61 Days to go...
Currently Reading: Emperor God of Dune
Mood: Normal

Shrek 3

Just goes to show that sometimes you can’t trust other people’s opinion.

The prevailing view of this movie in the newspapers/entertainment sites is that it’s crap.

I found that I enjoyed it.

Okay, yes, it is pure popcorn. And no, it's not quite as fresh as the first one. But it got quite a few laughs out of me. So I don’t consider it a waste of time or money. A solid 3.5 out of 5.

- Grover

61 Days to go...

Currently Reading: God Emperor of Dune
Mood: Normal

Before I Forget...

Just to let everyone know.

I have set up this blog so that everyone can post comments directly without registering. I do want your comments and feedback.

However, if anyone flames me or a fellow commentator, I WILL delete it. If it continues, I WILL change the way comments are handled to a more controlled form.

That’s not to say you can’t post a differing opinion, just put some thought into your post. I think we have all read “lol u suxxors and r gay” enough times already. Don't add to it.

So have fun, but play nice.

That is all.

- Grover

61 Days to go...

Currently Reading: God Emperor of Dune

Mood: Normal.

08 June 2007

Wot's all this about?

Now that tickets have been paid for and my leave has been approved, I guess that I can start posting stuff here…

This blog is going to track the progress and planning of the trip I am going to take to Japan in August and September. I also hope to update while I am on the trip itself so you can share it with me. ^.^ There will be cosplay, sushi, mountain climbing, engrish, miscommunications, hotsprings, more sushi, ramen and kimonos. I can't wait!!

I’ll also post other stuff that happens in my every day life. I don't offer any guarantees that it’ll be very interesting.

How did all this start?

In the Beginning…In the dusty recesses of last year, one of my friends said that he was planning a trip to Japan next year and wanted to know who wanted to come along. Me, being a huge fan of anime and manga, plus having read a bit of history on the place, said yes immediately.

So, there are going to be a group of 6 of us travelling together. Plus we are going to be meeting up with some more friends whilst in Japan as well.

The trip is going to be 3 ½ weeks long visiting the following places: Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Mt Fuji and finally Tokyo again.

When we first get to Tokyo we are going to Comiket. And from what a friend who goes regularly to Japan has told me, it sounds like it is going to be an eye opener.

62 days to go…

- Grover

31 May 2007

Stand Up And Say Something.

This is my blog for my japan trip...