Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Old guy I came across in an antique shop.

This was a postcard I found in an antique store of someone perhaps long gone. Photos made into postcards seemed to have been be a common practice in days gone by, there were heaps of these personalised postcards. This one being my favourite.

I touched up the browning and oxidized photo with Photoshop only using contrast, saturation and sharpen airbrushes .Now he can live on, utilising the wonders of the www in an old dusty blog rather than an old dusty shoebox in someone's shed.

Click the above for more detail, the pinstripes, fob watch, carefully polished shoes and other small details seem to have survived the ravages of time.

There's snow in them thar hills.

You don't associate snow too much with Oz. Beaches....yes. Dry dusty deserts.....yes. Sydney Harbour with a nice lunch & a good bottle of red....yes. But snow doesn't rate much of a mention.

Anyway.....I woke up this morning, shuffled up to get a cigarette and a coffee and opened the front door to let the cat in. The chill hit me immediately, there was snow around! I showered, grabbed my camera and hopped in my car and headed about 30 minutes up the mountain to get some pics. This is sbout the fifth or sixth time I've seen the white cold stuff.

All of these photos are around the Blackheath area which is about 117km(65 miles) from Sydney at an altitude of 1100 metres(3300 feet). It's not that spectacular and was beginning to turn to slush at 8.30 in the morning when the sun was coming up. I realise those from colder climes may be totally non-plussed and even underwhelmed by it (much the same way I'm pretty blase about kangaroos hopping around outside my front door).....however it's still snow, kinda exciting for me.

Much later, after my snow induced ecstacy, I was speaking with an old guy in an Antique shop in Katoomba. He said the best snowfall he could remember was in 1965 when it went all the way down to Springwood (near where I live), perhaps one day I won't have to travel and take it from my front door.

First sighting of SNOW(!) along the fence of the Hydro Majestic Hotel
at Medlow Bath.

Rest Stop Area on the Great Western Highway

Golf green becomes a golf WHITE!

Eucalyptus trees seem out of place with snow.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Mr Picasso-head

Drawn.....well cut, pasted, coloured and manipulated using Mr Picassohead, I could NEVER do those sweepy lines that Pablo mastered. You'll need the latest version of Macromedia Flash to make it work. It's rather effective, the signature is the icing on the cake!

Via The Generator Blog (which has a heap of cool generators) which was via Scruggs.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Autumn Maples

Thought I'd share some pictures of the wonderful reds, yellows and light greens of maple trees coming to the end of their active cycle in the lower Blue Mountains. They BURST with colour.

It's one of my favourite times of the year before the chill of winter sets in. A lovely sunny Autumn day with the sunlight bouncing off the leaves is always a treat.

Hope you enjoy these as much as I did.

Closeup of tree just starting to change colour.

Some deep rich burgundy leaves. No photoshopping required!

A line of maples stretching off into the distance. Train supplies some movement.

Winmalee Road. A big puffy maple bursting with yellow goodness!

A lone maple..... again in blood red, with the sunshine streaming through the leaves.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Quick Observation.

Such is the pervasiveness and reliance on Google, I noticed a friend typing in the google search field on my computer where Google is the home page.

Uberman or devolution?

Can you see the Uberman cape under this dude's suit?

J Alva Scruggs at UFO Breakfast writes a piece about devolution from Reagan to Bush and questions how bad will it get next.

I left a comment noting how I'd noticed a re-emergence of braces in Sydney last week. 80's revivalism seems to be on the increase.

Nostalgia is history viewed through rose-coloured glasses.

Old Eucalypyts

The light was great on the day I took this photo.

Well I'm back after a bit of a blogging hiatus. Just reading Peter's blog and he makes this observation.

The stretch of 7th St. in Santa Monica, between San Vicente and Montana, has always been home to a long line of giant eucalyptus trees. They provide shade and a wonderful, refreshing smell, also creating a cathedral like cover of the street. I have often relished walking along them on my way to the shops and local theatre (nobody walks in LA). They are prone to dropping branches, and in fear of liability, the powers that be are going to remove them in the coming weeks.

Ever since watching the town I grew up in (outside of Boston), that was simply covered from one end to the other with giant old elm trees in my youth, become a barren "Orange County" in the matter of ten years of Dutch Elm disease, I am very sensitive to losing trees, and most particularly large old ones.

The Eucalypt is native down here, many were introduced to California due to the similarities in climate and their fast growth rate. Thing is California now has some of the Eucalypts particular problems such as the falling branch issue that Peter mentions and wildfires (bushfires). These trees sometimes NEED a fire for their seeds to propogate, their oil fuels the fires at the crown level and their leaves and bark acts as an effective fire medium on the forest floor. The ash forms an alkaline medium for the newly germinated seeds a place to grow. New shoots are sprouting out of burnt trees within a week.

This phenonema of branches falling down is one that is sometimes taken pretty seriously downunder. There is a rule .....DON'T PITCH TENTS UNDER EUCALYPTS which is sometimes forgotten. The result, some city kids killed or injured as a branch falls on top of a school camp tent. I regularly hear the crash in the Eucalypt forest in front of my house as another branch decides it is time to let gravity take a hand in matter. The reason? The branches drop off as a result of it being dry, the tree sacrifices a branch in the name of staying alive.

The ghost gum had a reputation as "The widow maker" with old loggers. Blokes on their stands chopping down trees would have a branch falling on top of them when their axes caused enough movement to dislodge a loose branch. Nature's revenge, I suppose.

Monday, May 01, 2006

A little quiet

I'm working on a stand at the Sydney Mind/Body/Spirit festival and have been busy getting things ready. I'll have some reports and photos from the event over the coming days.

Vandalized Romance Novel Covers

Came across this whilst looking for some suitable Mountie material to rib a Canadian friend.

More available here.

The true Irish sandwich?

Guinness and Oysters.

I always have trouble spelling Guinness using one "n" instead of two.

More Guinness old classic ads here.

There a couple of things I wish I DID enjoy that others do. Elvis Costello, Pet Sounds, fantasy novels, badly made 50's and 60's sci fi/horror flicks that sort of thing.

In the culinary world there isn't much I don't enjoy. However, I don't like Guinness and I don't like oysters, I wish I did. Guinness reminds me of watered down gravy and oysters always seem to taste the notion of the two together is doubly unappealing.

Nevertheless there are those who love Guinness. I do some volunteer work with an Irishman named Patrick (Paddy) and he loves his Guinness although he says the stuff downunder doesn't taste the same as the real stuff from Dublin. Apparently our Guinness here is either a) bottled in Ireland and quite old or b) bottled in Singapore or c) made and bottled in Australia using our water. d) bottled in Australi using bulk suplies from Ireland.

I'm not sure which is the case. I've heard all four of the aforementioned reasons, I'm in the beverage industry so one of them is probably true.