Sunday Gratitudes

A few things that are making me happy this week and that I’m grateful for: Great Movies I’m a movie buff. It was $50 to go see “The Avengers” this week (just the tickets, no snacks), but it was worth it. (Subliminal message: Joss Whedon is a god. Buffy lives!) I love slipping into the big, dark theatre with semi-comfortable chairs, and letting myself be transported to a space where there is nothing else, just…

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Drive Safely

Have you seen the latest TAC ad? The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) funds treatments and support services for people injured in road accidents. For my American friends, this is different from private insurance, which, in Australia, is for property damage and is optional. The TAC’s insurance is required and is paid along with vehicle registration. The TAC is known for road safety public education. It creates powerful and emotive videos emphasizing the personal costs of…

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Anzac Day

Today is Anzac Day. My American friends may be asking, “What the heck is Anzac Day?” It is perhaps Australia’s most important national occasion. Commemorated on April 25, Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli (in modern day Turkey) during World War I. The Allies suffered heavy casualties and the military campaign to knock the Ottoman Empire…

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How To Take a Photo

There are lots of people snapping photos at the Twelve Apostles. Bad photos. Some of them have fancy DSLR cameras. Some of them have simple point and shoot cameras like I do. Although I don’t consider myself even an amateur photographer, I can snap a decent picture. I snapped a few pictures of cute couples who asked if I could please take their photo together with the beach and rocks behind them. Theo and I also…

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Luna Park

Melbourne

We went to Luna Park Saturday night and it was awesome. There have been dozens of amusement parks all over the world named Luna Park since 1903. Melbourne’s own opened December 13, 1912. A huge smiling clown face (aka the Hellmouth) greets you as you enter these fairgrounds with traditional amusements rather than high-tech rides. We’re talking simple roller coasters, a carousel, bumper cars, a Ferris wheel, a maze of mirrors, a not-so-scary haunted train…

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Sunday Gratitudes

A few things that are making me happy this week and that I’m grateful for: Boomerangs I got me some awesome boomerangs this week and I can’t wait to give them away to my family and friends. I’m keeping two for myself, the ones pictured here painted by an Aboriginal artist with a snake and turtles. Luna Park We went to Luna Park last night and I had so much fun. Roller coasters, silly haunted houses,…

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Boomerangs

There isn’t a more iconic Australian souvenir than the boomerang. You see them in all the tourist shops and museum gift shops. Most of these are overpriced and they may not fly well. I was determined to get some real boomerangs for my family and friends back home. The boomerang is tens of thousands of years old and part of Australian Aboriginal culture. The popular curved varieties are returning boomerangs used for sport. Non-returning boomerangs,…

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Puffing Billy Railway

The Puffing Billy is a heritage railway in the Dandenong Ranges. Running 15.6 miles, the railway line opened in 1900 to serve the local farming and timber community. It stopped running in 1953 after a landslide blocked a portion of the line and closed formally in 1954.  A group of people saw something special in it and formed the Puffing Billy Preservation Society in 1955.  Today, there is a small, paid staff involved in Puffing…

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Collingwood Delivers My First AFL Game

Thank goodness Collingwood beat Richmond Saturday night because it would not have been as good a first footy game for me otherwise. In Miami, going to a sporting event can be a real headache. The latest news in Miami’s sports scene is around the new baseball park, a “gauche waste of public funds and taxpayer money” for the Miami Marlins, a losing team. The Sun Sentinel reminds fans how difficult, not to mention expensive, it…

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