January 2008

:: Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! …. Oi! Oi! Oi!

Feeling a little patriotic… or just needing an excuse to head out to the pub for a drink, Tash and I decided to go to a local Aussie pub called “Mooses Downunder” to celebrate Australia Day. Even though we were 15 hours or so behind the actual day, the 200+ Aussies that gathered at the pub were definitely in the mood to drink, dance and celebrate. Since we were feeling a little homesick it was great to hear a familiar accent, see people wearing Wallabies and AFL jumpers, and listening to great Australian music that we don’t hear on the radio here…

In the spirit of Australia day, they were handing out free Aussie Flag tattoo’s and had a menu to match… Tash and I couldn’t resist the “Aussie Meat Pie with chips and gravy”… yes CHIPS!… not fries… best of all… they used CHICKEN SALT!!!

It was a nice night to wind down and reminisce about all things Australian and off course our family and friends back home… If this pub was a reflection of how Aussies celebrated overseas, I can only imagine what went down at Whistler!!!

Happy Australia Day everyone! Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!…. 

… Oi! Oi! Oi!

:: Random Website Tweaks…

Have you ever noticed when you visit certain websites you see a little icon next to the URL address? 

In my infinite bordem I researched how you create them and with a little self inspiration…


I give you…

:: myPhone The iPhone

Meet my iPhone… Anyone that knows me will know that I love my gadgets and that I research about them heavily before I buy them. I’m always out to find out how I can push the limits and extend the functionality of them. My latest addition is an Apple iPhone. They have been out for over 6 months now, and everyone knows the limitations that Apple have imposed on the devices to prevent usage on networks other than AT&T (in the USA) and also the installation of third party applications. The stock standard iPhone only comes with a few basics such as web browser, email/contact/calendar synchronization, weather and stock widgets, iPod interface with video capability and google maps to name a few. To most techheads, that is pretty limited in comparison to what other manufacturers like Blackberry or those that use the Windows Mobile on their phones can achieve.

Enter the wonderful world of firmware hacking and hardware modification…

To bypass the locking to AT&T network I have a Turbo SIM that overlays my Rogers SIM card (after a little cut is made into it) and this fools the phone into thinking it’s an AT&T SIM card and lets it work on any network. Secondly, the phone has been “jail broken” which means that it uses a vulnerability in the firmware 1.1.2 to unlock the phone and allow you to install third party applications such as games, theme organisers, and other useful utilities.

I really like the look of the phone, and the screen is so amazing. I’ve had touch screen phones before, but non have had a shiny glass finish. The large screen screen is so vibrant and extremely responsive to touch. The on screen keyboard is a little cramped, but once you start trusting the predict-a-text it doesn’t matter. As you type fast and press “godd”, the minute you press the SPACE button it will change the word to “good”. If you intended to write “godd” you can override the predict-a-text before you move to the next word. The coolest part about the phone would have to be the accelerometer that rotates the screen orientation whichever way your turn it and the multi-touch feature on the screen. All that this phone is missing is built in GPS or the ability to connect to a third party device. I’m sure that will be on the horizon soon… for now google maps with mobile tower triangulation will have to suffice. The built in WiFi is great so that you can avoid data plan charges (one major flaw in my previous phone the Samsung Blackjack). The built in camera is very average, but I don’t know anyone that actually uses any phone for that reason, and the iPod interface is very hands on with the touch screen interface.

Apple has always created aesthetically nice devices, but in some cases I think they worry more about the looks rather than the features. For such a new phone the use of EDGE rather than 3G is a bit disappointing (slower data transfers with mobile towers), the chrome bezel is very nice but like most previous iPods this scratches very easily, and finally the device doesn’t support stereo Bluetooth headsets. These things aside I’m loving the phone…

Oh… and did I mention it makes calls too…?

:: So Here We Go Again…


Another year gone by so quickly and my one year working visa is up… although I may be able to extend it, I am opting a different path as to where my career takes me. I have been working with CruiseShipCenters Corp for about a year and I was fortunate that I was hired 4 days after we arrived in Vancouver. I applied for this job the night we arrived and 2 days later I got the interview, 2 days after a second interview and I was told I was in that night! CruiseShipCenters is a reputable company and therefore I had no hesitation whatsoever in accepting their offer.

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My job was very similar with what I do at STA Travel, except that I worked in the Head Office as a wholesaler and I didn’t meet people face to face and only liaised with the cruise consultants via emails and telephones, which is somewhat nice.

I’ve met some beautiful people during my time there. I’ve always liked working with people from different backgrounds and cultures. It fascinates me, there are always stories to tell, after all, this is what travelling is about…

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What can I say? It’s been an awesome rollercoaster ride, the joy of dealing with our day-to-day problems 😛 but at the end of the day… we laughed, we tried to make each other feel better (somehow…), we took the piss out of each other (always…), they dissed me because of my Aussie accent (if I have any left) and I dissed them back (but there were a million of them and only one me :( … so yeah, it didn’t work), gave me a hard time whenever I’m about to scoff my vegemite (yeah! you know who you are…), we hung out, we partied, got drunk and stumbled thru the dance floor in Oosterdam (hey what’s new?).

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I wasn’t the only one who had Friday 4th as my last day, it was Jennifer’s too and it was a mixture of sadness and excitement as I look forward to the next chapter of my life. We had pizzas and cakes for lunch, we did bugger all the whole day (yeah I’m sure it’s coz the whole server was down…), and we had drinkies afterward. Thanks to Casey and Leah for organising the whole thing and made 2 beautiful scrapbook photo albums for Jen and I as our farewell gifts.

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Thanks to each of you who made my time at CruiseShipCenters a memorable one, I hope 2008 brings you much love, happiness and excitements in your lives… stay in touch! xxx