Thursday, March 13, 2008

How To Clean The Kettle

This is a video I promised Luz I would post for her to watch.

The rest of you can get your vinegar water and get to it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Cooking in Canada.

Before Canada, my cooking skills extended to yelling at mum and asking what was for dinner. After cooking for myself for three months I think I've managed to improve from that, and in celebration of our increased level of autonomy, here are some photos of culinary delights we created from scratch.

Breakfast/Lunch -(as we rarely got up for breakfast, our first meal of the day was somewhere in between, in the brunch region)

Seafood omlette with Prawns and Scallops - the omlette is on the bottom somewhere.

Chicken omlette with bacon, spinach, noodles, red onion and cherry tomatoes - omlette more visible this time.

Sausages with prawns and vegetables.

Salmon burger with lettuce, tomato, onion, and jalepenos.

Chicken burger with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and sweet chili sauce.

Fettucini Carbonara - sauce made from scratch, and it tasted surprisingly okay despite looking like scrambled eggs more than anything...

Nachos with guacamole.

Bolognese (?)

Chicken Parmagiana with roasted garlic and potatoes, and salad.


Peanut butter cookies.

Sweet popcorn - Josh and I attempted to make caramel using just water and sugar but it just turned out to be sweet, sweet water. Tasty (and sweet) nonetheless!

Backlogging is a bitch...


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Australia vs Canada

Sup my hombres! So i know many of you are dying to know, just how does canada compare to the great land of here is my attempt to do just that:

I suppose the most important question here is how does one compare two countries in the first place? A wise person may use factors such as socio-economic status, level of employment, or political structure, while over-simplifying economists may look at the latest figures for GDP. But really, none of you want to hear about that as much as i could be bothered writing about it, so here are some different criteria...

1) Sport

I think i've almost said enough on this topic after i tell you that instead of having a 'Sport' section in the Calgary Herald, they have an 'Ice Hockey' section, and that their supposed sport stores contain no more than the equipment and accessories required for playing hockey and going skiing/snowboarding. It is most certainly true that during the winter season sporting activities in Canada become quite restrictive, especially in a place like Banff. Year-round sports in Australia such as golf and tennis are solely summer sports, while water activities such as skiing and recreational boating are difficult to pursue on frozen lakes and rivers. On top of all this, Australia is home to the greatest sport of all, Football, and has a national soccer team that would kick Canada's arse...

Australia 1 Canada 0

2) Beer

The social lubricant, a most integral topic. Almost all countries brew some magnificent beer, Australia the Crown Lager, Canada the Alexander Kieth's IPA, so in order to compare i will have to focus primarily on how it is served. For example, if you order a beer at the local pub in Melbourne, you will most likely recieve a 'pot' glass, no more than a few sips really. However i am yet to see such a small portion of beer served in Canada, you will almost automatically be served a pint, quite the perfect size. Another positive for Canada is the 12-pack carton, something i cannot recall coming across too often at the Dan Murphy's in Alphington. Not so large that you cannot take it on the bus home with you, and not so small that you find yourself back at the liquor store the next day...

Australia 1 Canada 1

3) Wildlife

some may question the relevance of this topic, since the argument of what animal is better than another is purely subjective. Therefore, the only reasonable means of coming to a conclusion is to hypothisize some sort of scenario where native animals from each land are put together in a room and compete in some sort of all-in fight to the death. While neither country contains any type of lion-eating hell beasts, I have to say that Kangaroos, Emu's and Koala's would have difficulty holding their ground against cougars, bears and mooses.

Australia 1 Canada 2

4) Food

With the wonders of international trade at work the products you find on the shelves at the local safeway (yes, they have safeway here) are practically identical. At least until you take a closer look for some subtle differences. One thing that caught my eye is the absence of lamb in Canada (what i wouldn't do for some tender juicy crumbed lamb cutlets right now). And the bacon here can be summed up with one word - rubbish, with a noticeable lack of any thing i would call 'meat'. I also sense a severe shortage of fresh seafood, and i dont think your traditional Fish 'n' Chip shop exists here. On the plus side i like the fact that you dont have to worry about your ice cream melting on the walk home from the supermarket.

Australia 2 Canada 2

So at the moment the scores are tied, but I'm going to settle the debate on the grounds of a few annoying facts regarding Canada:

- The existence of the penny, a completely useless form of currency. If a penny fell from the sky and straight into somebody's palm, they would throw it on the ground since it is not worth the effort it would take to reach into your back pocket and get your wallet out.

-The 'tipping culture' and pricing system. Not only are you expected to tip someone for merely pouring you a beer, but the majority of prices you see around do not include tax. People should not have to need to calculate 7% tax in their head to determine exactly what they are paying for their deli sandwich.

- It's proximity to the USA, and the Frenchies.

In regards to the videos, we had trouble uploading to Youtube so you guys will have to see them on our return (thanks mum for sending the CD-rom though!)

See you all soon

Aussie Aussie Aussie...


Lux Cinema / Farewell Party.

As most of you may know, Josh, Cam and I served popcorn for a living in Banff. It turned out to be the perfect job for us, as the most difficult part of the job was probably fighting off the boredom between each movie session.

Box office. This is where tickets got sold by the 'box officers'.
Corridor leading up to the theatres and the concession stand. the big orange thing on the right is a standee of the new Dr. Seuss movie that Cam and I spent around 5 hours putting together. It looked good for about 5 minutes before it started falling apart.
Cam bucketing some ice into the ice bucket. This was probably the pinnacle of physical labour that we had to go through at this place.
The 'Pop' machine. Ignore the underside of the drink taps, it doesn't taste as dirty as it looks.
Cam busy at work again, transferring popcorn from the popcorn machine to the warmer. All the English tourists that came into the cinema were flabbergasted when they found out that we didn't serve sweet popcorn.
Organizing candy, the pinnacle of mental exertion required.
Regular bars, family bars, then M&M's.
Popcorn machine hard at work.
Josh the Box Officer hard at work, he owns the box.
Cam and I hard at work, doing what we do best.
19th of Feb was the night of our self-imposed going away party, where we got to watch the Night at the Roxbury on the cinema screen. It was a fun and emotional night, where Cam and I got our shirts signed by our co-employees and bosses.

Lola & Luz, two Phillipino ladies who keep this place going.
Theatre No. 1
Inside the projection room.
Movie containers. Most are labelled under fake names to prevent theft or piracy or something of that nature.
Letters for the marquee.
Spot the asian.

From left: Luz, Lola, Lucy, Sherrel, and Darren.

Nice little group shot.
Jae and Lucy signing our shirts.
Adam, 7000th Aussie to work in the cinema, with a love of Family Guy to rival even our own.
Michael's not the only one who steals your M&M's, Darren.
The cinema crew + heathy.
A Cheesy farewell-shot of Cam and I with our boss Teela.
Best wishes to all our friends at the cinema, hopefully we'll get to catch up someday.

RAMBO! I mean Jin.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Sk8er boiz.

Some of us have become big fans of ice skating and ice hockey. There's a public skating rink (like just a pond that's been frozen then groomed) in one of the big hotels so we've been there a few times to skate and muck around with a puck and whatnot.

Josh and Michael trying on their skates. This place is pretty convenient 'cause it's right next to the cinema and we can just drop the skates off then go straight to walk next door.

Inside the little hut next to the pond, loving the blue socks there Golden.
Views around the pond;


Josh has a pretty good control over his stick.

This photo was taken about 2 seconds before I scored the winning goal.

Golden doing the same, except his shot was blocked by Josh's intense keeper effort.

I teleported myself to behind the net and managed to take this photo just before Golden took the shot, which is clearly the more likely explanation than Josh and Golden holding the pose for about half an hour while I leisurely skated around to behind the goals to take the photo.

The guy on the left was really good at skating and hockeying. Pity he's a French-Canadian (zing!). That's right Francis, you heard me.

We were only too eager when he suggested that we play a game, so we dragged in a few more randoms and had a pretty massive game of 3 on 4.

I fell on my face when I went one-on-one with the FC guy, but it was really fun nonetheless.

Having a breather after a long day of skating.

Golden thinking about his next move against a cool backdrop of pink sunset.

Josh's special move, the rising-phoenix-puck. Click to enlarge.
I still hope to fit in a game of 3 v 3 with all of us and Jae!