today i did a little time travel (a 15 min drive across the border to NSW, where the timing sucks but the alcohol licensing apparently doesn't), and bought austrian beer at aldi:

 egger märzen

it's quite obvious that australian beer prices are mostly driven by very high taxation, when aldi can make a profit selling the far travelled egger märzen not that much dearer than local(-ish) beer: the egger goes for $5 per litre, whereas aldi's nice kiwi low-carb goes for $4.42 per litre (that's aldi prices, the other booze 'discounters' are nowhere near except for headache generators like xxxx gold...).

[ published on Wed 12.12.2018 19:25 | filed in interests/au | tagged beer, taxes, egger, austrian_beer | ]

after reading my recent post about my new car one of my austrian friends asked for more details; not exactly surprising as utes like that are not exactly common in austria.

so here are some more photos and phacts.

 fiddly colorado garage fit comfy outback garage fit

for comparison here is a photo of my old subaru outback, an average length station wagon ('kombi'). the colorado just fits into the garage, ie. iff i drive up to and carefully bump into the wall. stock length is 4.9m, add about 25cm for the bull bar on mine.

 colorado plus canopy colorado plus canopy

stock weight is about 1920 kg (cf. 1460 kg for my previous car, a forester), but this one lugs around a bull bar, winch, canopy and dual battery; installing a lift kit is very much in planning.

it's got about 120 kW and lots of torque thanks to the turbocharged diesel; agility is...well, this is not a race car. it doesn't feel underpowered but there's the inertia of 2 tons of car.

[ published on Mon 26.11.2018 14:18 | filed in interests/au | tagged toy_car, 4wd, chick_magnet | ]

i'm now driving what might conceivably be called a chick magnet car -- with the understanding that the magnetic attraction is confined to within the cabin, and the repelling forces work all over the outside. net result: it'll take a woman of superhuman persistence to actually come close...
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Fri 09.11.2018 16:43 | filed in interests/au | tagged chick_magnet, toy_car, 4wd | ]

i don't watch much tv. never have, likely never will. ("not much" is no more than half an hour a month.)

i definitely watch no live tv at all as that amounts to cruel and unusual punishment; instead i use my fairly old twin-tuner topfield disk recorder which does time-shift pretty well.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Sat 10.03.2018 13:16 | filed in interests/au | ]

i had to laugh when i saw the caption for the top photo on this current news story about politicians having sex: harold holt, curiously misplaced prime minister, and his fishy "mistress (not pictured)".

 maybe he was abducted by mermaids.
[ published on Fri 16.02.2018 16:23 | filed in interests/au | ]

...finding that photo. i still find it pretty funny.

 confused roos
[ published on Fri 22.07.2016 20:47 | filed in interests/au | ]

I don't know why I'm so reluctant to document or write about trips; do and see and sponge up experiences and enjoy: yes, absolutely. photograph stuff and write up: not really. So it's no surprise that I've been back a full week already before writing this, and haven't got too many photos to show.

Anyway, to the story: this year I booked three weeks of vacation in one go, with the aim to hit the roads and dirt tracks westwards and see what I can see and wander around until I run out of time or energy. One tentative aim or pivot point, so to speak was to be Cameron Corner, where the borders of Queensland, NSW and South Australia meet in one spot.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Fri 07.08.2015 21:57 | filed in interests/au | ]

...is pure hardship, just plain horrible.

 gold coast beach
[ published on Mon 08.06.2015 18:27 | filed in interests/au | ]

The British Isles have a reputation for being a culinary wasteland (pickled eggs, offal pie, absolutely dead mashed vegetables combined with meat red enough to hop of your plate, etc. pp.), but I guess this here might be an example of colonial one-upmanship:

 wooster plastic wooster plastic

This Australian wooster sauce boastfully claims that it's made from 50% recycled plastic. I'm not quite sure whether I want to know about its other "premium quality ingredients".

[ published on Mon 16.02.2015 17:59 | filed in interests/au | ]

I find it very interesting how Stiegl is increasingly present in the Australian beer market; a few years ago you'd find it only in very very very special beer pubs, but that's changing. In December I had a few here on the Gold Coast, at the Bier Cafe in Broadbeach. (On tap, not bottled.)

And now even Aldi has it - except that for silly hysterical raisins most of Oz still requires totally separate bottle shops, and in QLD Aldi's booze branch is mail-order-only for that reason.

With the also ridiculously high alco taxes factored in, the lovely Stiegl costs about 50% more than the decent local brews; $7.6/litre vs $5/litre. No surprise that lots of Australians do home-brew; even I do it every now and then.

While I intensely dislike the City of Salzburg (it's the anus mundi as far as I'm concerned), I wholeheartedly endorse the products and/or sevices of the Brauerei Stiegl :-)

[ published on Sun 08.02.2015 13:45 | filed in interests/au | ]

...but the local weather sucked nevertheless: still 86% humidity at 2100.

Today is also the day on which I gave in (to a recommendation by a friend) and spent $249 on a Rowenta DH4120 dehumidifier (on special/clearance at Hardly Normal, RRP $590 or so). It's now been running since 1730 and I just emptied out 4l of water, and the relative humidity inside is now 68%, not qute perfect yet but not as dripping wet as earlier.

We'll see how the thing does over the next few days, especially whether it's big enough to handle the 200m^3 of my place.

[ published on Wed 14.01.2015 21:54 | filed in interests/au | ]

"Gold Coast Show Day" - das ist ungefähr so weltbewegend als wie ein Kirtag in der Provinz irgendwo hinter St. Blöden.

Mehr weltbewegend find ich das Feiertags-Faktum an sich; etwa so unglaublich als wie wenn in Wien alle frei hätten und alles zu wäre, weil's in Sopron den "Tag des Kukuruz" zelebrieren.

[ published on Thu 28.08.2014 22:09 | filed in interests/au | ]

bundjalung n.p. was pretty nice, if busy and very windy. we had a good time nevertheless :-)

 ten mile beach ten mile beach ten mile beach and jerusalem creek ten mile beach and jerusalem creek
[ published on Mon 09.06.2014 18:58 | filed in interests/au | ]

...für sonst nix gut aber immerhin brauchbar als Anlaß für Feiertage.

Bissl ein Kontrast: In Ö feiert man jeden noch so mickrigen Heiligen - hier in AU hauptsächlich die Scheinheiligen.

[ published on Fri 06.06.2014 11:52 | filed in interests/au | ]

Start with this:

 forester before

Minus all this:

 discards

Plus this:

 coffin-sized pallet and box new bullbar and sumpguard

Gives this:

 new snout sideways new snout mostly done new snout mostly done forester after

It's somewhat obvious that I have spent a bit of money at subaXtreme, isn't it.

Weird coincidence: just a few days before the coffi^Wpallet arrived a total bimbo bumped into my car: I was waiting behind her in a right-turn lane, she committed to turning, successfully crossed the two lanes of oncoming traffic - and then suddenly decided, for no good reason whatsoever, to reverse back across those lanes...all the way into my bumper - thunk.

I guess the new bar will be pretty good not just for the silly roos but also for brainless suburban bimbos.

[ published on Wed 28.05.2014 23:56 | filed in interests/au | ]

It's pretty obvious that 15.875mm is more than 11.1125mm. It's certainly not immediately obvious that 5/8" is more than 7/16".

(and by immediate I mean "at a glance, without mental effort".)

[ published on Wed 28.05.2014 19:41 | filed in interests/au | ]

my father wanted to know what kind of car i drive; apparently the soobies aren't exactly common in austria? - at least that was his excuse for not associating my answer ("2006 forester") with anything. well, here you are:

 soobyroo mk2 soobyroo mk2 soobyroo mk2 soobyroo mk2 soobyroo mk2 soobyroo mk2
[ published on Tue 18.03.2014 19:45 | filed in interests/au | ]
 2014_01_30-feels_like_undefined-000.jpg

the elevator billboards in the office building lobby have not shown the correct weather screen a single time during our four months there. mind you, the stock tickers are current down to the milli-cent, but the weather? "feels like undefined".

i on the other hand feel reasonably good about work, what i do and who i do it with. sure, the last five months have been pretty busy and occasionally quite stressful but that comes with working in a small startup.

it's nice to be able to make a difference; the downside is of course that you do make a difference, whether you want it (e.g. having a stroke of genius) or not (e.g. having a bad day slogging through hard-to-grok undocumented complex tangles).

but i'm not complaining, except that i'm often too tired come saturday morning to even consider going flying - and that, combined with the vagarities of the wind & weather isn't ideal...

[ published on Sat 15.03.2014 22:25 | filed in interests/au | ]
 opmantek newspaper

sure, it's just an article in the local rag (quality: above Krone but way below derStandard) and they got a few minor bits wrong, but nevertheless not bad for opmantek.

[ published on Thu 06.02.2014 08:39 | filed in interests/au | ]

With the new job I tend to do my bicycle runs much later, usually after dusk or at night. That time of day has its own special challenges: occasionally I get mobbed by bats and flying foxes, one of the trails is full of frogs or toads if I'm really late, and oh, there are lots of homo sapiens automobilis who are blind as bats.

Since the number of the damn saps who pass me much too close is a lot higher at night I decided to replace my dinky red flasher with a Really Annoying Red Light.

So I spent the grand sum of $22 on a set of "Tioga Dual Eyes", and the better light seems to help - it's really bright and obnoxious, might not be good for epileptics but that's SEP. Very much recommended.

[ published on Sun 08.12.2013 19:35 | filed in interests/au | ]
 angry birds, oz edition

On today's 26km cycling loop I had 4 swooping attacks - a new record :-/

[ published on Tue 24.09.2013 18:47 | filed in interests/au | ]

Ten days ago I returned from a 5874km road trip that took us through the archetypical parts of the QLD outback and up to (but not into) the Simpson desert: starting at the Gold Coast we went west to Quilpie and Birdsville, then north to Boulia and Winton, looped back south to Charleville and on to Bourke, followed by a trip to Sydney and finally a solo drive back home along the coast.

Sorting through the pictures and notes was tedious, and I'm happy that the write-up of this travel report of sorts is complete (and I'd love to travel out west again any day).
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Mon 02.09.2013 22:18 | filed in interests/au | ]

is upon us. Unfortunately that's also magpie swooping season - as I was reminded of today: two substantial attacks by two separate birds in two different areas (one I knew of from last year on Markeri Street, one new bird in the bushes off Bermuda Street). The first of those almost sent me in the ditch: no warning, just a thunk against the side of my helmet.

Damn birds. Neither of the two spots is easy to avoid on my 26km "standard" route, so it looks like I'll have to rethink the route for the next 2-3 months.

Alternatives: none, because the normal folk remedies do not work, riding without helmet is illegal here and I'm certainly not going to cycle with an afro wig over my helmet :-)

[ published on Thu 29.08.2013 18:04 | filed in interests/au | ]

Ingredients: one drive south to a place called Minnie Water in the Yuraygir National Park, good company, pretty good weather (it did rain but it wasn't very cold), and gorgeous scenery. Mix well and enjoy.

 trulsons wintertime camping trulsons wintertime camping campsite minnie water minnie water beach north minnie water beach north rabbit proof fence rabbit proof fence beach north of minnie water sea eagles above minnie water beach sea eagles above minnie water beach toys on the beach trulsons on the beach trulsons on the beach pano granite lookout washpool national park walking towards wooli walking towards wooli walking towards wooli pt on the beach beach towards wooli beach towards minnie water rutile sand pano wooli beach
[ published on Wed 31.07.2013 13:37 | filed in interests/au | ]

In the beginning Oz was cursed with British bread: white, without form and void; and darkness was on az's face. And moldy spirits were hovering over the bakery shelves.

Then az said 'Let there be Rye!'; and there was rye bread. And az saw the rye bread, that it was good; and az divided the Real Bread from the White Crap.

 fresh rye bread fresh rye bread

Life would be so much less nice without my bread maker and decent ingredients.

[ published on Tue 18.06.2013 22:55 | filed in interests/au | ]

as of this moment, and after an unwelcome parting gif^W^Wbit of extortionist bank fees i'm now the undisputed, debt-free owner of my house: i finally paid off my home loan and got the house and land title transferred.

it's a good feeling not to owe anybody anything *happy* :-)

Update (Tue 30.04.2013 21:47):

"ANZ's profit swells" it said in the news, and no surprise: this bank's greed knows no bounds.

To close a paid-out home lown and get the title to your property back you have to pay them:

  • $160 as "Production Fee".
  • another $160 as "Lodgment Fee".
  • and $137.10 as "Government Registration Fee"

oh, and by the way, the registration fee doesn't mean that the title is actually transferred do you; no sir, we do no such thing: for that purpose we recommend you lodge your documents ASAP and by yourself with the Land Registry Office, for another measly $152.10. WTF - what did i pay you $137.10 for, then?

disgusting bloodsuckers!

[ published on Tue 23.04.2013 17:39 | filed in interests/au | ]

There's not too many of them (10 in Queensland versus 17 in Austria), many of them are mobile (rescheduled if they should fall on a weekend), and some of them are handled really oddly, for example Easter:

Good Friday: everything is closed, and I mean just about everything including bottle shops.
Saturday: everything is open.
Easter Sunday: everything is closed again (didn't check the bottle shops though).
Easter Monday: everything is open again.

[ published on Mon 01.04.2013 12:50 | filed in interests/au | ]

That's very good to know. For the first time in 12+ years I saw a snake near my house this morning: it was sunbathing/slithering through the branches of a bush just outside my kitchen window. I saw it only because I thought 'hmm, I'll have to cut that back soonish...wait a minute, what's that?'

After a brief bit of online investigation I found out that it's a common tree snake, which is not poisonous according to Wildlife Queensland; its colouring was actually quite beautiful (similar to this blue-green one). Mind you, I still don't plan on going anywhere near the critter...

[ published on Tue 05.03.2013 12:16 | filed in interests/au | ]

As of a few days ago I no longer work for said uni, and I never cared about the sheep.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Thu 27.12.2012 12:01 | filed in interests/au | ]

Snow causes havoc across eastern OZ :-)

[ published on Sat 13.10.2012 13:50 | filed in interests/au | ]

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