Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Stack the memory

It has been a long time since I saw a nerdy office clip as good as this one.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wave Finder

Wave Finder Australia
Earlier last year I set out down the East Coast of Australia in a Wicked Van in search of surfing adventure, and after 2 weeks of driving around I had certainly had that adventure.

The trip was unlike the last two van trips through Europe but a little more like the trip around Ireland we did for St Patrick's Day.

On both of the European van trips we had a sat nav that pointed us in the right direction, turn left in 400 meters, keep left for 249 kilometers, do a u-turn where possible....... and while it saved a lot of issues with having to rely on navigators it did on occasion lack a sense of discovery.

Rewind back to last years East Coast trip and there was no sat nav, in fact there wasn't even a map.  

A month before I left for the trip I bought Wave Finder Australia, a small pocket sized book detailing the most popular surf breaks in Australia, and in the lead up to the trip I browsed the pages making notes of where I wanted to visit.

The day before I flew to Ireland for the biggest swell ever to hit it's shores I bought two items, a wind/water proof jacket and the Wave Finder UK & Ireland which landed me smack bang on the cliffs at Mullaghmore and scored some big wave footage.

Wave Finder Uk & Ireland
On both of those trips I used only the Wave Finder books to navigate me around the country and had some great adventures, great surfs, and scored some epic footage during that time.

The book doesn't give away any secrets, all of the breaks listed in here are well known so as not to give away any of the secret spots that surfers hold so dear.  It provides information on best wind/swell direction, tides, time of year, water temperature, and it even mentions a few surf shops to pick up supplies and a few places that your can crash for a few days.

In my opinion the book is a must have and provides the only map you'll ever need for a surfing adventure.

Wave Finder Central America
Wave Finder Mexico

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Roma Bar Cafe

The Roma bar is one of my new favourite places.

Not just for the good coffee and free wireless internet access point, but also for the range of people that dine here.

It's funny how different locations ensure a gathering of stereo typical people.  The Cavenagh across the road stays busy with a younger 'party' crowd that gather for debaucherous Sunday Sessions, while the Roma Bar seems to attract a group of people with extraordinarily strong opinions of politics, religion, world events.

It's not my favorite place because I'm opinionated in these topics.......... I'm just generally opinionated across the board, but because I can sit back and listed to how a group of people are going to change the world for the better.

Across from me on this occasion are a table of four, two couples, who are in the throws of conversation regarding the Bush's term in office.  While they are making a few good points, it appears that the only action one couple has taken is to refuse to shower or use deodorant and seem to have boycotted the use of a comb and shampoo.

It's a damn good thing Obama has come along now, because with eight years worth of talking about it I'm sure they were on the verge of actually doing something...... oh yes Bush you should count yourself lucky you couldn't serve another term.

Well I'd best be off, I'm going across to the Cav to meet a few mates for a couple of beers and discuss what can be done about the Australian Cricket team

Monday, November 10, 2008

Justin on wiki

I've recently flown back to my home town of Darwin and resumed at my old job working with nerdy IT stuff.  

One of the new things we're pushing are wiki's in the work place.  

Before you start..... yes I know wiki's aren't new, but when you enter a workplace that has become very particular in the way the work with paper it is difficult to push new technologies, even if they're many years old.

We set up Media Wiki on my computer which is running Xammp to show how beneficial a wiki could be to potential clients within the organisation.

Fortunately my mate at work decided to put up a post to show the ease at which you're able to update and share information.  UNfortunately he decided to post a wiki article about me that went along the lines of this.............

The Justin is a recently discovered species found to hibernate in dark corners of seedy pubs. First discovered in Australia, poor quarantine procedures allowed for the accidental migration of this species to several other countries, where it has become a evironmental pest. If not properly controlled, the Justin is known to take down anywhere up to 15 German Backpackers in a single month. It also has a significant ecological footprint on disposable resources such as doritos and midstrength beer.

While generally weedy and rather unassuming to look at, the Justin can often be mistaken for the Jesus christ, which, is of course, a totally different species. In fact, morally, it can be said the Justin and the Jesus Christ could not be any more different.

Although the Justin is not a naturally agressive species, it does have several defensive traits that are known to protect it from predators. Firstly, with its supporting diet of processed food and carbonated liquids of 'most' varieties, the Justin can produce a defensive odor that will literally burn your nostrils off. Victims of the Justin can often be heard sreaming, "For the love of god, I can't feel my legs..." Another defense mechanism the Justin has been known to employ has simply been coined, "the webmonster", but to date, those who have experienced this have been unwilling to discuss it, rather, they just curl up into the fetal postion and rock in a corner of the room. It can only be assumed it must be quite devestating.

The Justin is renound for it's amazing sense of sound, with large protruding ears capable of hearing what the Chinese are thinking. Although it is not known for what reason this enhanced sensory ability is for, it is suspected it could be used when preying on Swedish barmaids.

While it is not entirely true, it is pretty damn funny and one of the best digs I've seen in a while..... at least until the wiki post on Paul becomes available.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Surfing in Darwin

As I went through my morning ritual of checking my email accounts I came across something other then the usual Facebook updates, mailing list news and spam.

The email was from someone that wanted to know about Surfing in Darwin.

I just found your "surfspotmap" for Darwin, could you recommend it as a spot in april-may? I am struggeling to find any information about the surfing in darwin.It would be great if you could give me some good advice as I am looking for an hospital (close to some good waves) for my clinical elective!yeay. Thanks a lot!

Surfing in Darwin? Something tells me that I've somewhat mislead the readers with my post on Surfing Spots in Darwin, so I will revisit the topic and try and set the record straight.

Surfing in Darwin is for kamikaze's only. Not for the reasons that you would usually rate a break as kamikaze, shallow reef, big waves, thick lips, bad rips. It's not for what you're surfing in, but what you're surfing with.


I know, I know. Every break in the world is plagued by sharks. Some more so then others, like South Africa and southern Australia with the Great White Sharks, others with Bull Sharks and Darwin with their Tiger Sharks.

Box Jellyfish

These are no portugese man of wars or sea wasps. They sting, and they sting really bad. The box jellyfish, or Chironex fleckeri, are difficult to spot in crystal clear water and nearly impossible to spot in the dirty waters of Darwin. There sting releases a venom known to be the most painful of any species, and it attacks the central nervous system.

A sting on the legs or arms will be extremely painful and leave scarring, where a sting on the upper torso or face could be fatal.

Saltwater Crocodiles

That's right, as if two deadly animals in the ocean wasn't enough you've also got crocodiles to deal with when surfing in Darwin. These prehistoric beasts will make short work of your board and even shorter work of your limbs if it manages to clamp it's jaws around you.

So that's what you have to deal with when surfing in Darwin.

What's that you say? World class surfers deal with the dangers of big waves, shallow reefs and sharks just to ride that perfect wave, so what makes Darwin so much more dangerous?

Well the truth is that it's no more dangerous then any of those places, but there is one very obvious difference between surfing in Darwin and surfing anywhere else in the world.

There is no surf in Darwin.

Now that's a very simple reason, but I think it's worth mentioning twice.

There is no surf in Darwin.

That might be worth mentioning three times....... but I won't.

To be fair, we do get surf evey now and then, but it's only when huge low pressure systems sit about 100km NNW from Darwin, or cyclones such as Thelma or Tracey track near our shores.

The wind swell that is generated from these huge storms produce a washing machine type effect, which then makes its way to the shore and forms something that resembles a wave. This also brings storm surge and horrendous rips, but no worse then what you get anywhere else in the world.

Oh and you also need spring tides (0.5 - 5.9 meters at the very least) for any of the surf spots to work.

With all of these circumstances, the nasties in the water, the storms and the tides, it's very tough to get a surf in Darwin. You would probably be looking at 8-10 sessions a year, with only 1 of those being a nice glassy day, and even then you've still got the water based animals to deal with.

However as the sun sets at mindil beach, the water is warm, and it is that one day a year that glassy sets are rolling in, there are few places more beautiful to be sitting on the board with your mates around you.