Showing posts from July, 2014

Barista tales

Have you ever wondered what your barista is really thinking (of you) when you place an order for a coffee? It usually is not a kind thought. Interesting that these days we all have our favourite barista with whom we think we get that special service. My barista showed me an article in The City Magazine (30 July). He said that it's all true. The article is shown below (with some formatting and typo changes). It’s worth a read. It will improve your understanding and enjoyment of coffee and raise your ranking with your favourite barista. What’s your barista really thinking on the other side of the counter? The City spoke to one who spilt the beans on what makes them steam up. Requests for “hot” coffee The hot water at coffee shops comes at one temperature – hot. If the 95C water in your long black isn’t hot enough, it’s probably time to look for a beverage with a higher boiling point. Very hot milk can ruin a coffee. If you ask for a very hot coffee, don’t b

Old Codger

Last night I visited an old friend, an old codger who lives nearby. Before continuing with the story, I think the term old codger is a wonderful Australian term for an older man. I won’t get into comparing dictionary definitions, but in my mind, old and codger must go together. You simply don’t say that he is a codger. He must be an old codger. Yeah, the dictionaries disagree, but I dispute their comprehension. This leads me to wonder why there are no young codgers. Codgers simply appear as old codgers. Also, I am curious that there is no female equivalent of an old codger. Back to the story ... Last night I visited an old friend, Peter, an old codger who lives nearby. He is in his 90s and is always up for a visit. I take a bottle of brandy – St. Agnes VSOP. Actually I take a bottle of brandy every second visit. Peter likes to natter and is curious about what’s happening in the community and on Council. In the past he was heavily involved in local volunteer work.

SALA on Show @ Unley

Unley is a huge supporter of SALA and August heralds the month of the SALA Festival. August in Adelaide is SALA month. The City of Unley will again be supporting the SALA Festival. There are 2 events. The first is Where Business Meets Art and that is everywhere across Unley. It has been coordinated by Unley’s five Main Street Traders Associations and is designed to put art in our shops, cafes and businesses. 120 artists will participate and 40 businesses have committed to display the art. If your local shop doesn't participate, then ask them why. Maybe they'll consider it next year. The big event, the one I really like is SALA on Show where everything on display is for sale. This year it will return to Unley Road and be held in the Soldiers Memorial Garden and in the nearby Unley Shopping Centre carpark. Be there on Sunday 24 August starting @ 10.30am to 5pm. There will be 631 items for sale. Take a leisurely time to browse what’s on offer. It is estimated th

Library Maker Lab

The function and purpose of libraries is being challenged. Are books really out of fashion? I challenge that suggestion. Maybe they are becoming unfashionable and less read. Replaced by electronic media? Replaced by CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray? Curling up to book is a better feel than snuggling a CD. Whatever, the function of libraries is changing and whilst cracks of change might only appear on the surface now, there will be rapid shift in the near future. Libraries must recognise the need to change and embrace and experiment when the opportunity arises. It’s always better to be in control and driving the change rather than playing the hard game of catch-up. I found this interesting story about libraries in the USA that are establishing innovative and high tech facilities (aka. Workshops and Maker Labs) within the existing library. A practical example is the installation of 3D printers.  Residents can use the printers to make whatever they wish eg. a mobile phone case (yellow wit

Wayville U-turns final saga

The State Government presented to an Unley Council workshop the final design for the reconstruction of the median strip along Greenhill Road. This will impact and limit access to/from Clark and Joslin Streets in Wayville. This design is what was suggested by the residents at the first community workshop. At the session I attended there was a majority agreement. The solution is a compromise. What will be allowed is: @ Clark, right turn out @ Joslin, right turn in Can Unley Council in any way influence this proposal? No! Construction will commence after the Royal Show.

Goodwood Grants

Last night I was out door knocking Wayville residents about various local issues. I was unable to attend the annual event to celebrate the major recipients of Unley’s Community Grants. Here is a brief mention of the recipients in the Goodwood area: The Goody Patch. (Grant to develop a fruit and nut orchard.) Goodwood Community Services (Grant for a customised air gym to be used in the Goodygym.) Goodwood Central Traders & Services Association (Grant to stage the family friendly ‘Goodwood Groove’ event.) Goodwood Volleyball (Grant to purchase volleyball poles and nets to enable disabled participation.) For more detail on this night of celebration, I refer you to Cr Don Palmer’s blog.

COPE @ Work

Today is Friday and it’s Casual Day at work. It is customary to have a charity donation tin to collect for the privilege of wearing jeans and casual clothes to work. Earlier in the year, a female colleague visited Laos and was shocked by the stories about the impact of unexploded cluster bombs scattered across that country. During the Vietnam War, Laos became the most bombed country on the globe with the USA dropping (amongst other ordnance) 270 million cluster bombs on the country. Many remain unexploded. They continue to maim and kill. Often the result is loss of limbs. There has been a recent documentary about the efforts being made to find and destroy the cluster bombs. It has been estimated that at the current rate of progress due to a lack of substantial funding, it will take another 30-50 years. At work, our Casual Day charity is COPE - Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise which provides prosthetics and mobility devices for people who require them

Knot Physics

I have an enthusiasm for science and mathematics. I am intrigued by some science trivia and often surprised by the practical everyday outcomes. Fact: if you put a length of string or ear buds in your bag it will later emerge tangled and knotted. Every day I watch people struggled to de-knot their tangled iPod ear bud cables. Solution: simply join the ends of the string or cable to make a loop and place in your bag. Use a simple clip, maybe a hair clip. The string or cable will emerge untangled. Scientists have found that string spontaneously knots itself and the longer the string the more likely it is to happen. People have done serious study in this area. As the string gets longer, the probability of string knotting increases exponentially. The studies revealed that the longer the string, the more likely it is to form a knot. String that was 1.5 feet (46cm) or shorter never got tangled up. As the string gets longer, the probability of a knot forming increases expon

Itchy iPad

If you have an unexplained rash or itch, then it may be due to use of a mobile device, in particular the iPad. Mobile devices contain nickel and that can irritate the skin. It is thought that the contact is from a surface coating that contains nickel. It is not life threatening, but it can be uncomfortable. There have been recent reports in medical journals regarding nickel allergies from personal electronic devices, Here’s a link to the story.

Top Taste Pie

Black Forest and Goodwood pies have been declared amongst the short list of best pies in Adelaide by Simon 'The Pieman' Wilkinson and the 'Taste' team ... see the article in Taste, The Advertiser 09 July. The Village Baker (in the Black Forest shopping centre) was the runner up ie. won the taste test for the 2nd best pie in Adelaide. Owner/chef Ben Sachse declares his braised lamb shank pie a 'big hit'. The price is $5.20. Another must try is Ben's Portuguese custard tarts and later in the year his Christmas puddings. Nearby in Goodwood, the Goodwood Bakehouse scored well with its steak and kidney pie priced at $4.60. The bakery has a reputation as a cake specialist. The Village Baker is closer to my home and I buy bread there, to avoid the traffic and parking issues at Goodwood. The Taste article came as no surprise. Back  on 02 February  I blogged about the merit of the Villager Baker. Here is a link to  my earlier blog. I was a

Millswood train timetable

The Government is asking residents to tell them how often trains should stop at the about to be opened station at Millswood. I would have thought that the answer would be every train must stop . Below is an extract from a Government advertisement. I urge residents to contact AdelaideMetro and provide feedback. The Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure (DPTI) will trial reopening of the Millswood Railway Station. While upgrade works are underway to: raise the height of the platform to reduce the step and gap modify ramps for improved access install new lighting, shelters, platform furniture and fencing upgrade passenger information systems DPTI are seeking feedback on a proposed Belair train timetable that will allow extra time in each trip for trains to stop at the reopened Millswood station while minimising the impact to other services. If you wish to provide comment on the proposed timetable go to and select; “Announce

Anzac spirit 100 years

This October will mark the centenary of ANZAC. It was in October 1914 that the first convoy of Australian troops left Western Australia by ship to fight the war to end all wars. To this day, the ANZAC spirit lives on and remains relevant to our ever changing society (and its make-up). This year's Annual Hawke Lecture is titled Commemorating the ANZAC Centenary: Why is it Important for all Australians? It will be delivered by Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston ACAFC (Ret’d). He will reflect on the centenary of ANZAC and explain why it is so important to observe this time in history and just why does the ANZAC story and the values remain so central to what it means to be an Australian today and in the future? The centenary not only provides us with the opportunity to remember the service and sacrifice of our past and current servicemen and women, but it helps to unify our ever-changing nation. I hope that recognition of the centenary helps to inject the ANZAC spirit into all s

Rich use public transport

Here's a quote that has been gaining traction across the globe. A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It’s where the rich use public transport. This has been paraphrased from Enrique Penalosa, the former Mayor of Bogotá, Colombia. It's a profound statement and just so true. We must strive for a public transport system that will be preferred (over cars) and used by the majority of society, rich and poor (and those in-between). Here's a link to a relevant story about public transport in New York, USA ... click here

Highrise DPA2 opposition

Recently Unley Council (on behalf of the State Government) consulted with residents about a Development Amendment Plan (DPA2) to accommodate the forecast population growth over the next 30 years. The response from residents was huge with 100s of submissions and 45 verbal presentations at a recent Council Committee meeting. There was overwhelming opposition to the proposal. In its current form I can not support the DPA2. It encroaches too far into the suburbs away from the transport corridors where the high density should have been concentrated. Residents have commented to me that there was too much concentration of proposed highrise development in the western areas of Unley eg. Black Forest and Everard Park. Much of the eastern suburbs escaped the red pen. The pain needs to be shared across Unley. A report on the feedback will come to Council and direction will be given on where revision is required. My forecast is that it will take 6-9 months and further consult

Toxic Keswick

I was annoyed, very annoyed to learn that contaminated ground water had been found in Ashford, Keswick and Forestville. The EPA is continuing to sample the water and soil vapours. According to a press report, authorities have known about the contamination for years. If that is the case, then why the delay in alerting residents? The State Government will hold community meetings with residents. It is a sad legacy from heavy industrial pollution from past years.

Millswood Subway

It is good news that repairs to the pedestrian and cycle path over Goodwood Subway will be complete this week. It will be open by next weekend. The forecast cost is $140,000. This will probably be shared 50/50 by Unley Council and the Transport Department. To make it complete, all we need is the re-opening of Millswood Station. Just a few months to wait ... a Spring opening.

DVD Forever

The other day I bought a copy of Nero2014 online. Sucked in by end of financial year specials! A key feature is a tool to recover deleted files on disk and USB sticks. That's what sealed the deal! Reading further about the offer,  it also has a tool called SecurDisk 3.0 that enables you to burn critical data in a more durable and secure form on CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray disks. Sounds wonderful and it probably is. What struck me was some statistics viz. The average home PC hard disc breaks down after 3-7 years CDs/DVDs/Blu-ray disks break down after 2-15 years Only last week I had an old VHS tape of family memories converted to a DVD disk. I need to make a mental record to replace the DVDs in 5-10 years. If you're buying software online, then be patient and wait for the specials.

Japanese in Goodwood

Goodwood is becoming the new eating hub in Unley. So many new restaurants are emerging. So many I won't list them, but get on down and try them. The latest (to open in 1-2 months) is a Japanese Bar next to Ginger's. Sounds promising.

So bad

Something that annoys me ... Have you noticed that many people now start a sentence, usually in response to a question with the word so , followed by a pause. An example: Q. What do you think of this or that? A. So (pause) I feel that etc. Typically it is the older well educated 'youth' eg. 25-35 who start a sentence with so . I frequently hear it during TV interviews. It is so bad. But, who am I to complain? I remember when growing up, sentences were commonly ended with but . Or if you came from Queensland, you ended a sentence with hey (pronounced hay). I still drop one now and then.

Free WiFi in CBD

Free WiFi has been launched in the Adelaide CBD. It's a great outcome. Unley Council has considered how best to do it in Unley (without the limitless budget of Adelaide City Council) and that matter will be further discussed, probably be the new Council after the election in November. My thoughts on it are that the traders in Unley should be driving the free WiFi. They will be the prime beneficiaries. Visitors will stay longer and sip more coffee and shop longer. Here's more information on the free WiFi in Adelaide CBD ... High speed WiFi can be accessed at more than 200 locations. AdelaideFree WiFi has now been launched and provides fast and free wireless coverage in public spaces across the CBD and parts of North Adelaide, making Adelaide one of the most connected cities in the world. Whether you are a worker, student, business, tourist or visitor, you can now access high speed WiFi at more than 200 locations. The quality of the service is comparable to

Marinated Squid recipe

Marinated Squid Try this recipe - you won't be disappointed! Clean the Squid Can use: ·          Tubes ·          Tentacles (don’t worry about removing membrane or suckers) ·          Flaps Tenderising the squid: ·          Can soak cleaned squid in milk for several hours before cooking to help tenderise (I don’t usually bother) Cooking the Squid ·          Have basin of iced water (lots of ice cubes in it) ready to place cooked squid in and stop it from over cooking ·          Bring large pan of salted water to the boil ·          When boiling vigorously place cleaned squid (not too much) into pan to cook eg tube, tentacles and flaps of one large squid ·          Once water boiling again, cook squid for ONE minute ·          After cooking ONE minute, remove squid and place in the iced water immediately and leave ·          Do the next squid Marinade (enough for 2 squid) ·          Rind of one lemon ·          1 ½ lemons squeezed ·