This Blog is Dead. Long Live This Blog!

For no particularly good reason I’ve remade this blog over at I’ve already migrated all the posts, but the comments will remain here. The comments will be eventually lost when I delete this blog. But that will only happen in response to lots of people commenting here, either as spam or real comments

New xml feed for people reading via that.

PS: I have already added new content to the new location :)

San Marco

Several of weeks ago my girlfriend (not likely to avoid opportunities to slip that phrase in for a little while yet, sorry) brought a coupon from one of those coupon web sites for a cheap meal at San Marco in Coburg. A couple of weeks ago we got around to making use of it. Continue reading

I think it’s time for me to mention my all time second most common place to eat at (behind at home and it recently passed my university’s food hall for most meals eaten): Alphabet City Café.

I’ve eaten here weekly for the past 11 years, with a few short breaks when my congregation has flirted with other venues. At the end of each of those flirts I’ve been very happy to return to the trusted old friend ABC Café. It is a great warm welcoming place. The staff is very friendly and they all have authentic flair, none of that forced flair that we all remember from that awesome movie that escapes my memory right now.

My favourite meal is the Chicken Oscar, a decadent chicken schnitzel topped with crispy bacon, avocado, hollandaise sauce and melted cheese. In all its extreme artery clogging power it is a delicious dish served with chips and salad. It featured on the specials board 4 or 5 years ago, and we just kept ordering it for the next year till they finally put it on the menu.

A chicken oscar

Deliciously ugly

My other favourites include the Lara’s Fav salad, which is surprisingly filling, and many of the common items on the specials board like the ribs and various pies.

Alphabet City Café on Urbanspoon

I really don’t understand their low rating, it’s probably from people looking for something less interesting or more up market. They are well worth a try for a casual meal.

Vinny’s Cucina

A couple of months ago I visited a great little random restaurant in Ivanhoe (which is soon to become my new suburb of residence, but I doubt any one who is reading this and cares doesn’t know that already) and I loved it. When trying to find some info on it today I couldn’t find anything of substance. The most information was on UrbanSpoon, but that merely had 9 votes and not much data.

Vinny's Cucina on Urbanspoon

So I’m posting this so there is more than zero data on the web about them :)

I was wandering down Ivanhoe strip looking for somewhere to eat with two gaming buddies of mine and we’d got to the end of the strip with no decisions having been made. So we went into Vinny’s and asked for a table. The first sign we’d made a good choice was they told us they were sorry but they were fully booked but we could have a table on the front patio if we wanted. It was long enough ago that eating dinner on the front patio was still a good idea so we stayed.

The food is good Italian with lots of pasta and pizza, we ordered a range of them and were very very pleased with everything we ordered. We were pleased enough that I even ordered a desert that would typically not be on my list of desires and it blew me away (I usually don’t order chocolate deserts, this one was awesome).

I’m not sure why I haven’t made it back there yet. I probably will later this week (hence why I was looking for details online).

I’ll probably post a better write up of it after that. Hopefully when it is still fresh in my mind.

PS: Hrm, it’s been over a year has it? Oh well.

Some Idle Thoughts On Osma’s End

While I believe that the US’s response to September 11 was completely wrong, I don’t have too many issues with how they handled this particular tiny facet of it.
When they knew where he was they needed to do something about it, and what they did about it was probably right.
They were trying to capture him, which I support, although I wonder where they were going to take him.
When he tried to attack the soldiers they defended themselves, it was a plausible outcome so we shouldn’t be surprised.
When they had a dead Osama I think they should have just made a positive ID (taken finger prints, sample of DNA, photos) and left the body.
I understand why they didn’t do that though: So they could make a better ID on the boat and so there would be no grave of Osama to rally around.
While that choice will cause some greater unrest in the short term it might be the better answer in the long run – we’ll never know.

Selling – TerraTrike Cruiser 2009

Lightly ridden and kept undercover/in garage when not being ridden. a lot of fun and great introduction to trikes. Only selling due to a move and lack of space at new place.(comes with original pedals, not as pictured)

$999 ono.

Rooms for Rent

Looking for 1 person to move in ASAP and another 1 person/couple in mid may.

House is:
4 Bed Room
2 Story
Bathroom + Ensuite + Guest Toilet
Ample New Kitchen
Large Living Room flows into Kitchen, a good entertaining area.
Rear courtyard suitable for cooking a BBQ in

Current room vacancy is a reasonable sized bedroom with built in wardrobe.
Room available in Mid May is master bed room with en-suite and walk in ‘robe.
Double Garrage, 1 space available to applicant.

The Lounge Room

Quiet street
Short walk to Watsonia train station & main Watsonia shopping strip
Shorter walk to Diamond Village shops.
Short walk to Simpson Army Barracks

Current room mates are two late 20’s males working full time professional jobs. One is looking to move out in the next few months and the successful applicant would be welcome to be involved in the finding of the new 3rd room mate.

Bills and food expenses to be shared.
Rent (single bed room): $130/week
Rent (master bed room): $150/week
Bills & food: ~$30/week

Movember 2011

The start of a handle bar moClick my mo to donate or join the MetaMo Team.

Digital: A Family Tragedy

“In the transition to digital many of them stopped printing their images. And that’s a family tragedy because although it’s a business, we’re looking after people’s memories,”  – Paul Curtis, Photo Imaging Council of Australia

The above is the closing quote from an ABC article lamenting the closing of most of the countries independent film processing businesses.

As a digital camera user who has never had any of his (~10,000) photos printed I am going to believe that his lack of comprehension of reality as a symptom of while his whole industry is failing: People like photos to be on their computers.

A digital photo is more convenient. I can send a copy of any of those photos to anyone I’d care to send it to for no cost. Regardless of where they are in the world. When I want to show my Grandmother my photos from my trip to the US last year I’ll walk over to her house with a DVD full of photos. I’d hate to think how heavy that’d be walking over with photo albums. Continue reading

Duck, Grapefruit!

Last night I hosted my first successful dinner party. After the essential failure of Mothers Day last year where I didn’t notice that the oven had turned off till much too late some people were suspecting I was incapable of cooking.

Mum had suggested that I host a night for my Sister’s wedding party and I was looking for an excuse to make use of this nice place I’m renting. Hosting more things was the reason for moving in the first place. The wedding party is rather large at 10 including the Bride and Groom, so with hangers on we reached a grand total of 13 people.

Calling on the impressive powers of the Internet (Looking for recipes is the only thing I don’t use Google for these days, using Google is a waste of time, its just going to point you to so why not just go straight there ?) I decided on Spicy Pumpkin Soup for entrée with Cinnamon Spiced Duck for mains. My Sister and the Maid of Honour (a pastry chef) took care of the desserts. I normally wouldn’t choose to make more work for my self by adding courses to a meal but my first idea of a roast (lamb probably) but then I realised my oven would probably struggle to cook a roast for 8 let alone the 13-16 I thought were likely to turn up. Going with a entrée of soup allowed me to choose a smaller main dish that wouldn’t stretch my resources. Continue reading

Portable & Editable: PDF + ODT

This is a little tidbit of information that I’ve recently come across that I think is really cool. I’m sharing it because I want to see more people use it.

For many years now (longer than I’ve been using computers in a productive way) PDF files have been the de-facto standard for creating portable documents that look good. By and large this has worked but the down side has been that Adobe charge a lot of money for their editing software and PDF files are not meant to be editable. This is all fine and good if you don’t want your documents to be edited but that isn’t always the case.

When someone wants to distribute a document for editing they tend to use one of various closed document formats, which is fine if you have the same editor as the author but pretty clumsy if you don’t. Sometimes the person viewing the document can’t see it at all till they download and install another piece of software. Continue reading

Long Live Comics / Die Comics Die!!!!

I’ve started reading comics, for a long time now I’ve been reading quite a few web comics. There are 24 web comics on my iGoogle page. Not all of the actually update, but most of them do and I really enjoy them. Recently, due to a blogging god of mine giving a list of real comics he thinks are worth reading. So I’m most of the way through Miracle Man and have The Watchmen lying around waiting to be read.

It wont surprise many of you to learn that I love Buffy, so when I heard about the cannon continuation of the Buffy story line (commonly referred to as Buffy Season 8) I had to grab it and read it. So this last week I’ve spent some of my spare time reading the 34 comics. I must say they are fantastic. The story is enthralling and the art is great.

But its a comic, comics are worse than TV shows, with TV you only have to wait a week for the next episode. Comics are typically monthly! Heck, this most recent Buffy #34 < Spoiler > is just one long sex scene < /spoiler >. Sure there’s some juxtaposed explanation of the previous plot lines, but really it is just one scene.

It took me maybe 5-10 minutes to read and now to wait another month (actually this wait might be shorter, as I didn’t read it till well after the release date I believe). I have a feeling I’ll keep reading each month through the end of Season 8 (another 6 comics) then not start reading Season 9 till it is finished.

PS: When is Xander going to kiss a guy? Not that I’ll particularly enjoy it, but nearly every other long running character has had some gay action, why not Xander?

Restaurant Review – The Old Pepper

Long time no post eh? This ones for you Dad, your one of two people who mentions to me that I don’t update this place often enough. It’s not quiet for you Scott as its not a burger review :)

After the PTQ at Melbourne High yesterday Russell and I headed up Chapel Street looking for a place to grab a bite to eat at 8:00pm. A block along we decided to take the next car park and then walk to find somewhere to eat. After a 15point attempt at reverse parallel parking we jumped out and walked about 5m before deciding that the place directly across the street looked good.

It was a nice simple looking Pizza/Pasta place called The Old Pepper. The place looked new and clean and the menu by the front door proudly proclaimed nothing over $20 so we felt like we were in for a good evening. As we walked in the guy working the pizza oven casually asked if we wanted a table and as we did handed us over to the bubbly little waitress. Little doesn’t mean she was young but she would have been all of 4’10”. This is a nice height for a waitress as she doesn’t have to look down to people sitting at tables :) Continue reading

There’s Been a Short Delay

Sorry for the long time between posts, I suspect this might have gotten me off a few peoples RSS feed lists. I know that shorter silences have made me delete blogs before :)

Anyway, the topic today manages to refer to both my bogging absence and what’s got my goat at the moment.

Ubuntu 9.10 was released a little while ago and it doesn’t look too bad. I upgraded my laptop shortly after the official release and the media box at home only this last fortnight. I needed to upgrade it because it was running out of space on / and I wanted to start running Deluge as a daemon on the media box and the front end on my laptop. It was an upgrade from 8.04 I believe so I just did a fresh install formating / and keeping /data and /home intact.

This afternoon when I rebooted the media box I had to do this dance to try to make the torrents recheck their data because they were all at 0% apparently. Many attempts to get them to recheck their status left them at “0% checking” until eventually they started checking and everything was ok again. Naturally I thought that the last thing I did, pause -> force-recheck while un bandwidth throttled, was the silly new required dance to fix things. Continue reading


I can’t get over the media and people in general. The last few weeks the media has been full of some Australian community that was up in arms about a released paedophile being allowed to live in their community.

The laws that allow us to identify convicted criminals and to continue to identify them after they have served their penance I have serious misgivings about. A communities desire to know who is living in its area can be justified, but the desire of someone to attempt to be able to live a life after conviction is fair. If we don’t believe in the ability of criminals to change their ways why do we ever release them back into the community?

All of that is without mentioning our Christian duty to forgive people. Continue reading