Sea Cliff Bridge

I’ve been encouraged to write more personal posts on this blog. I’ve also discovered that some versions of Internet Explorer don’t render the page properly. Sorry if this affects you.

A couple of weeks ago, I went down to meet my Mum in Wollongong for lunch. On the way back I returned via NSW’s newest tourist attraction: the Sea Cliff Bridge.

Sea Cliff Bridge

See more pictures of the Sea Cliff Bridge.

While not exactly as exciting as the big merino, this is certainly an awesome location for a bridge. Driving out over the ocean was a new experience for me, as I hope it would be for any of you.

The bridge isn’t really that long – 665 metres – and it passes quickly. There are places to stop and view, though. I suggest taking a passenger with you – one can focus on driving and the other gawk out the window.

The project to repair the road cost $49 million. That seems a lot, but the old road (seen beneath the bridge in the photos) was the highest slope risk section of road in NSW with over 50 rock falls reported between 1996 and 2003.

Do yourselves a favour and check this fabulous, scenic bridge out. The tourists certainly are.

The Big Merino, Goulburn

L33t Signatures

Fortune Cookie

The unix fortune program is really cool. On demand it reaches into it’s library of interesting quotes and regales you with it. It is named fortune after fortune cookies and their words of wisdom.

I use fortune on my linux machines, basicly just to make logging in more interesting. But yesterday I came across this article describing how to use fortune to create an email signature that changes interesting quotes every time. You too can be 1337 like the h4x0rs out there.

Don’t worry if you don’t speak l337you’re not alone.

Having roughly followed the instructions as given on the site above, I wondered if I could get something similar happening in windows. I discovered a windows port of fortune called wFortune, made by a student at UTS right here in Sydney a few years ago.

Linux instructions

  • Install # apt-get (or yum or urpmi) install fortune
  • Create a signature file $ touch ~/.signature
  • Create a cron job to change the signature file every 5 minutes # vim /etc/cron.d/fortune-sig
    0/5 * * * * dan /usr/games/fortune > /home/dan/.signature
  • Tell your mail program to use the signature file Tools --> Account Settings --> Attach this signature --> Browse --> .signature

Windows instructions

  • Download wFortune
  • Unzip and install
  • Change directory to C:\Program Files\wFortune
  • Copy wfortune.ini to email_fortune.ini
  • Edit email_fortune.ini [wFortune]
    FortuneDir=C:\Program Files\wFortune\fortunes
    SaveFortuneFile=C:\Documents and Settings\Daniel\signature.txt
  • Start wFortune control panel – create new profile
  • Enter the following details: INI file C:\Program Files\wFortune\email_fortune.ini
    Run wFortune automatically every 300 seconds
  • Tell your mail program to use the signature file
    • Thunderbird:Tools --> Account Settings --> Attach this signature --> Browse --> C:\Documents and Settings\Daniel\signature.txt
    • Outlook Express:Tools --> Options --> Signatures --> New Signature --> File --> C:\Documents and Settings\Daniel\signature.txt

And pretty soon you too can be signing off your emails with such witty quotes as: Maugham’s Thought: Only a mediocre person is always at his best.

Old Ale

Fermenting: 31/01/2006 Bottled: 17/02/2006

Wal's Old Ale CanDark Amber SugarWillamette hops

I decided to put the summer wheat on hold for another couple of weeks, and get into some real ale brewing while the weather is appropriate. The summer wheat comes with a belgian witbier yeast, and I don’t know if Belgium has ever seen temperatures over 25°.

So instead, I’m making a dark ale, something with a bit of body and character to it. As a base I’ve used Wal’s Old Ale, from The Country Brewer as usual. I then added a Dark Amber sugar mix to it: 500g dextrose, 300g light malt and 200g dark malt. This should help the brew have “a creamy head and roast flavour.”

In a day or two I’ll add some Willamette hops as well. By doing so after the first couple of days of vigourous fermentation have elapsed, it will hopefully allow the beer to keep more of it’s hop aroma.

Willamette hops are a bit interesting. American, rather than British, they are still appropriate for this style of ale as they are a “Triploid daughter of Fuggles – Low alpha and mild aroma similar to Fuggles.” The two main sort of hops traditionally used for British ales are Fuggles and Goldings. The proprietor at the homebrew store told me that Williamette hops are pretty good, and a good alternative for something a little unique, but are often overlooked as they are at the end of the list (alphabetically) and not as well known.

Maybe another reason I am making an ‘Old’ is because it is my 28th birthday in a couple of weeks. I’ll think of a gag to put in here later.

Bottling notes: Tasted a bit like dark chocolate – bitter, rich in flavour and not remotely sweet.

SNC Music Review 2005

Toongabbie Anglican Logo

This blog has a wide readership. I’d say 90% or more of you know me personally, but I am popular around the world, particularly Germany, China, South Korea and Taiwan. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no David Hasselhoff, but you explain my Indian readership.

As I’m sure all my regular readers know, I help administer the band and music at the Sunday Night service at Toongabbie Anglican Church, in the western suburbs Sydney, Australia. If you aren’t one of the people who knew this, welcome to my beer blog, where I keep track of my home brewing adventures, and occasionally write about other stuff.

I’ve helped lead the band for 12 months now. Prior to that we were under the guidance of musician extraordinaire and all round good guy Tim Neal. He left our church after marrying the lovely Jamie, to start afresh together at Macquarie Chapel. So since then, Luke and myself have led the band, but now Luke is hoping to step back a bit. But this article isn’t meant to be about me.

At the start of 2005 we had a bit of a personnel problem. We had 2 bands, each doing 2 weeks playing, 2 weeks being a part of the congregation. One band had drums, bass, piano and a singer, while the other had drums, bass, guitar and a singer. Okay, but a real hassle when someone was away, or sick, for a weekend. Plus we weren’t really doing as much as we could with the songs, just going through the motions to a certain extent. Continue reading “SNC Music Review 2005”