Sunday, December 13, 2009

I Have Auryn

Auryn!I was recently feeling nostalgic and decided to re-watch the Never Ending Story trilogy. Usually I try and stay away from watching films from my childhood because they're never as good as you remember (I recommend you NEVER watch Labyrinth again!), but NES #1 and #2 were just as good as they were when I was a kid! I actually hadn't seen #3, but it was absolutely rubbish and I'm just going to ignore it completely.

I Wish for... More Presents!For some reason I decided to look into the Auryn, which is the necklace that Atreyu wears in #1 and Bastian wears in #2 given to them by the child like princess. Anyway it turns out that there's quite a few people that have made replicas as costume jewellery! There's quite a big range but I found one that I really liked and managed to pick up for $40AU (including postage) on eBay from a guy who also has an online shop. However he's selling them for $180US outright so if you're looking for one I suggest hitting eBay first!

I wore my Auryn for the first time on Friday night and one fellow NES fan went nuts! Turns out we both were scarred for life when Ortex succumbed to the Swamp of Saddness :( There were a few other people who asked about it because it looked familiar, and of course I was happy to explain, but I was surprised that anyone actually knew what it was! I'll definitely be wearing it again :)

The Auryn

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Matt's Newest iPhone App - Pocketball!

Matt has been working on his latest iPhone app, Pocketball, for a little while now, and it's finally out!

It's an awesome physics game where you have to draw ropes that direct balls into their respectively colored pockets while avoiding things like boosters, gravity wells, and nukes that explode your ball up into tiny pieces!

It's a really fun and addictive game, and the app as a whole came together really nicely. The graphics are really shiny, the sounds (which I helped on!) are cool, and I'm so proud of Matt for putting the whole thing together from start to finish :)

Awesome iPhone Game - Pocketball!
It's out now at the AppStore for $1.99US, so check Pocketball out!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Waiter, there's a Bug in my Table

Okay so maybe it's not a bug, but there's something strange going on with our table!

About a year ago we bought a beautiful and massive Shesham table from Classique furniture. After a couple of months we noticed that it was making a funny noise every now and then, maybe once every fortnight for around 5 minutes at a time. We just assumed it was the wood settling, and everyone we told said the same thing.

Our House looking more like a Home

I managed to get the sound on film a couple of times, and we started getting really worried that it may be something a bit more sinister, like a bug crunching away at our table! We had a few worried reactions from friends and family when we played them the sound, so we finally decided to go back to Classique and play it to them too.

They had absolutely no idea what it could be, and all of them said that they'd never heard anything like it! They assured us it wasn't a bug, since bugs don't make noise, and if they did, there'd be a lot of separate noises instead of just one. They also mentioned there's other signs like small holes in the wood, and sawdust on the floor that usually accompany bugs eating a table. Apparently this particular table is quite popular, and they said they'd never had any complaints about noise in the past! Regardless, they said they'd be happy to exchange it for a new one, so at least we won't have a crazy noisy table anymore.

If anyone happens to know what the noise could possibly be please let me know! Even though we're getting a new table it will still bug me for a while!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Present from my Parents and Mina

Last Thursday I got a strange phone call from my dad saying that he wanted me to come straight home after work because my mum wanted me to see something. When I asked what it was, he said that it wont take long, and to just come, because "you know how your mum is". Kind of strange, but knowing my family, I didn't think much of it!

I was really exhausted, since I had been out on a field trial at Garden Island for work and was sunburnt, tired, and dirty from the day. So when I pulled in to my parents house and saw that there was an unfamiliar car there, I was a bit annoyed that my parents had company.

My dad met me as I was walking up the driveway, and when I asked who was visiting, he said nobody was, and that he'd picked up a new car! Finally! I was so happy that they finally upgraded the family car, since my dad drives the same car as I do (a 1986 Mercedes 190E) and both of them had given us quite a few problems over the years.

So we all went out to take a look, and my mum and Mina were really excited about it too. It's a beautiful dark blue 1997 C180 Mercedes - my dad certainly has a type!

My New Car!!!

My dad invited me to sit in the driver's seat to look at all the new fancy controls, but as soon as I sat down Mina handed me a card. I was very confused, but when I pulled it out and saw that it was a Congratulations card, I got a little worried! Before I knew it, I was holding the keys to the biggest present my family had ever bought me!

I honestly couldn't believe it, and my first reaction was to tell them I couldn't accept it. I mean, it's the newest car we've ever had in the family, and I just couldn't accept that it would be me that was driving it! I started crying and trying to figure out how to transfer the ownership to them, but after about an hour they managed to convince me that they really wanted to give me this present, and they were happy to know that I'd be driving a comfortable car that would hopefully not give my dad any trouble for a while. My mum said that crying was the last reaction she expected me to have!

My dad is actually looking into one for himself too, and plans to get rid of our two 190E's to help fund his upgrade. He'd been looking around for 2 months before he bought the one for me, so he got a pretty good idea of what's out there. I really hope he gets a new car, since he really deserves it, and our driveway is starting to look a bit like a car dealership from the 1980's anyway!

So thanks to my family, it's such a beautiful gift *sniff*

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Pinnacles

This long weekend my parents, Mina, Matt and I went up north to Cervantes to see the Pinnacles at Nambung National Park. Matt and I had already been with his family, but I thought my parents and Mina would really enjoy it, and I was right!

Exploring the PinnaclesThe Pinnacles are about 20 minutes drive from the town of Cervantes (where we stayed). It's a really strange sight - in the middle of nowhere, there's a huge area of yellow sand with giant limestone formations jutting out of the ground. The whole area is surrounded by thick scrub so it really is like walking onto another planet (and at sunset, that planet would most definitely be Mars).

Jurian BayWe also drove up to Jurian Bay where we spent some time on the beach and had an awesome fish 'n chips lunch. It was the first day this Spring that the temperature rose over 27 degrees (where we were anyway, I'm not sure about Perth!) and the beach was packed with people making the most of it. We managed to find a nice quite spot to spend a lazy Spring afternoon.

To my surprise, everyone actually had a great time! My family is notorious for having arguments over nothing in times of high stress, and going on a road trip counts as an extremely high stress situation. My parents and Mina thought the Pinnacles were really interesting, and apart from them packing the whole house to bring for a 3 day holiday, everything ran quite smoothly. I may even be able to convince them to come down to Albany next long weekend...

Sunset on Mars

Friday, September 18, 2009

I Have Graduated!

Winthrop HallLast night was my graduation ceremony from Engineering / Computer and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Western Australia. I now have in my possession two pieces of paper that make my 5 years of study official!

As far as ceremony goes, it wasn't all that bad. Ever since my high school days, where our Speech Night went for 4h, I have not been a fan of ceremonies in general, but the 2h graduation was actually pretty good!

So WindyLara, Ro, Adam and I all deferred our graduation ceremony so we could graduate together, and it was definitely worth it. Because mid year graduation is quite small, R0 me and Lara (M, M, and K) actually got called one after the other consecutively! Adam (N) would have been called before Ro had he not chosen to drop the engineering part of his degree and keep going with Computer Science honours grrrr.

Wind SweptAs mid-ceremony entertainment, one of the computer science lecturers sitting up the front of the hall fainted in her seat. She turned a lovely shade of green which matched her sash color beautifully (we can laugh because she was OK folks). It was actually quite ironic since she fainted in the middle of the valedictorian speech during the part where the student was describing how they didn't become an air hostess because of fear of vomit, and was much more interested in disease anyway. How awkward.

The GangAfter the ceremony we did the obligatory dorky photo shoot all around the UWA pillars, had some drinks and nibblies, and then headed down to Basement on Broadway for a drink. Ro actually surprised us by booking an apartment for after graduation celebrations in the city, his shout, which was really sweet of him!

All in all a great night spent with family and great friends. I'm so happy that we decided to all graduate together - I couldn't imagine a better bunch of people to have graduated with!

I (Officially) Have a Degree!

Monday, August 10, 2009

My 23rd Bday!

Birthday time is always busy for the Manea family, since mine falls on the 6th of August, and my dad's falls on the 8th. This year has been no exception especially since Hybrid was in town!

6th - My Birthday
On the night of my birthday (Thursday night) I had the family around to Matt's place for coffee and tea. It was really nice to get everyone together, but we had a few missing since Matt's lil sister has caught the dreaded swine flu, my uncle is currently in Romania, and it was a bit too late in the evening for Simona's kids to join us :) None the less it was a nice night of food and drinks, with Mina making way too many cakes as usual.

7th - Dinner with the Family
Mum, Mina and I and SandrinosOn Friday night I decided to take my parents and Mina out to Sandrino's, my favourite restaurant in Fremantle, and then out for dessert at San Churros which is a Spanish chocolatier right next door.

OMG My Mum and Dad Both SmilingIt was a typical Manea family ordeal, with Mina complaining about everything from A-Z (my favourite complaint was that the churros tasted like french fries with chocolate), but she decided she liked the Sandrino's pizza so at least there was one positive.

HYBRID!!!After dinner Matt and I rushed home and had a 2h nap because we were going back out at 12pm to see Hybrid! It was SUCH a long day - I had been working since 7.30am and was so ready to call it a night, but it's Hybrid... I would have really regretted missing them. When we got to Villa (the venue), it took us quite a long time to figure out that the guy dj-ing was actually Chris from Hybrid! We kept saying to each other how great this guy was, but we wanted him to hurry up so Hybrid would come on. Turns out Chris has just shaved his head and been enjoying a little bit more food lately so we just didn't recognise him, especially since we were expecting "Hybrid", which is actually 2 guys (Chris and Mike).

It was a really great set with a lot of variety. A few things of note were a Moby remix, a Radiohead remix, "I Love You" (John Creamer and Stephane K - Hybrid remix), and Finished Symphony which everyone went crazy for. It was a great night, but we ended up leaving at around 3.45am because we just couldn't stay awake any longer!

8th - My Party
A Starry NightWe had a nice long sleep in and almost got our 8 hours sleep, but we had to get up and start getting stuff ready for my party that night. But first off we went to visit my dad since it was his birthday, and gave him his present which consisted of "Bucky Balls" (little magnetic ball bearings that are really addictive to play with) and my old digital camera which he had asked to have since he knew I got a new one from Matt for my birthday.

After we got back from my parents house, we spent the rest of the day (until about 8ish) getting everything together. Mina made me a whole bunch of awesome little cakes, but I still decided to make fairybread, weetbix choc slice, and some fruit and veg platters (to ease the sugar pain). I couldn't wait to put on my new shoes and my new Review dress so I did a lot of setting up in style, which of course my feet punished me for the next day.

My New Dress

Friends from UniIt was a really fun night! I managed to catch up with uni and work friends, but I was missing a few people, particularly my friend Amy who was really sick that night. Poor thing came over anyway to drop off her famous Granny Crunch (a mixture of cream, crunchies, instant pudding, and other naughty things) so that was really sweet of her.

9th - Cleanup!
We spent the whole of Sunday cleaning up the house, which was long over due even before we had people over. Luckily we had the new espresso machine from my cousin Simona to provide us with much needed coffee for the day! In fact all the gifts I received were really thoughful, so thanks everyone :)

Some Bday Presents

Friday, June 26, 2009

Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time

My votes:
  • M83 - Teen Angst
  • The Postal Service - Such Great Heights
  • Phoenix - Too Young
  • Jeff Buckley - Last Goodbye
  • Underworld - Rez / Cowgirl (live)
  • Radiohead - Paranoid Andriod
  • The Chemical Brothers - Setting Sun
  • TV on the Radio - Province
  • The Future Sound of London - We Have Explosive
  • Sasha - Wavey Gravy

Would have loved to fit in:
  • Air - All I Need
  • Arcade Fire - Intervention
  • Bjork - All is Full of Love
  • Boards of Canada - Dayvan Cowboy
  • Fleet Foxes - White Winter Hymnal
  • Hybrid - Finished Symphony
  • BT - Never Gonna Come Back Down (Hybrid Remix)
  • Iron and Wine - Carousel
  • The Knife - Heartbeats
  • Looper - Mondo '77
  • Royksopp - 49 Percent
  • The Shins - New Slang

Monday, June 15, 2009

Matt's Surprise Party

Finally, I have the secret off my chest!

Last Saturday was Matt's belated surprise birthday party. Matt's dad was already quite sick around his birthday (in April), so the day came and went and just got forgotten. I thought he deserved a party - better late than never right?

I managed to get the numbers/emails of all of his friends, do all the shopping and organise the food without Matt even having a hint of what was going on :) My mum and Mina helped out heaps though - my mum organised all the food on the day, and Mina made many of her famous cakes which were much appreciated on the night.

On that Saturday we were actually invited to Matt's cousin's 21st birthday party, which unfortunately fell on the same day. I got Matt's mum to ask him to go over her house to help out with the new computer at 6pm, which gave me 1.5h until 7.30pm when Matt would come pick me up to go to his cousin's. My excuse for not going with him to his mum's was that I was feeling sick, and so he tucked me into bed, and went without me. Little did he know that as soon as I heard the garage door go down, I was out of bed quick-smart and running around like a madman getting everything ready.

When Matt arrived, he gave us a bit of a surprise too, since he was meant to message before he came but didn't! I think he was in the twilight zone for about an hour trying to figure out what was real and what had been lies, but slowly all the strange happenings of the week started falling into place.

All in all, it was a success! Very stressful, but so much fun to do :) Happy (belated) birthday Matt!

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Last Tuesday I went to see Cirque du Soleil's Dralion with my mum, tati, Mina, and Matt. It was amazing! I had never been to a Cirque du Soleil performance before, and I didn't know much about it in general, other than it wasn't a regular circus. I ended up getting tickets by chance since there was a special offer through my work that got us cheap tickets, but I'm completely won over and will definitely go again at any chance I have!

My favourite performance was the hand balancing act. As the name suggests, it was a girl balancing on one hand (for over 5 minutes straight!) while performing inconceivably elaborate holds. She switched hands a couple of times but for the greatest part of the act she was balancing on her right hand with her elbow slightly bent. This was the only act that I actually couldn't believe was possible! All of the other acts also seemed extremely hard, but it was perceivable that with an immense amount of practice, the human body was capable of doing those things. The hand balancing act was like... magic. I was speechless at the time!

My second favourite act was the ribbon dance. This involved a guy and a girl performing a love story type dance on suspended ribbons. It was very beautiful, and it was of particular interest to me because I've actually looked into taking lessons at a dance studio I used to go to that recently added a suspended ribbon room to their building! It was amazing to see what is possible at the height of that sport - really really impressive.

In conclusion, if you ever have a chance, go see a Cirque du Soleil performance! My whole family loved it, and they're pretty hard to impress :)

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Getting a bit TallI recently bought a small bamboo plant from IKEA which already had a little shoot growing out of the side. I planted it in a vase by propping it up with marbles, and maintained it by keeping the water topped up whenever I remembered. I can't remember exactly how long, but it took no time at all for the little shoot to be almost as big as the main bamboo!

ConnectedI decided to take a clipping of the little shoot and put it in it's own vase. I looked it up on the net and found that bamboo is quite resilient and clipped shoots grow quite readily. It seems that as long as the shoot is bigger that about 10cm you shouldn't have any problems with getting it to catch and grow.

Snip!I made a clean cut with a really sharp serrated knife at the place where the shoot connected to the main bamboo, trying to keep as close to the mother plant as possible. Then I placed the shoot in a similar setup to the original bamboo - propped up in a vase with marbles and water - since the original bamboo seemed to be doing really well in it's environment.

Hope it works!
Mother and Baby

Monday, March 2, 2009


This long weekend Matt and I decided to tackle the next step in fixing our front yard disaster - putting in reticulation. We got a couple of quotes for around $2000 (parts and labour) which seemed a bit excessive for something we felt wasn't too difficult (hah!) so we decided to do it ourselves.

Step 1 CompleteTo get started, we measured up our front yard, and then went to Total Eden with a scale drawing. We didn't realise we had to provide them with our bore flow rate too, so we had to go back for that missing detail. After figuring out how to turn our bore on, we realised that measuring would be difficult since the water pretty much exploded out of the bore pipe! To actually measure the water, we used a big mop bucket with measurements on the inside and let the bore run for 1 second (I timed 1 second with Matt's iPhone). Well, we didn't PLAN it to be 1 second, but it just so happened that the time it took for Matt to turn the bore on, and then turn it off again as soon as he heard me scream "ARHGHRHSTTTTOPPP" was 1 second. We measured 4 litres in the bucket, and 0.9 seconds on the iPhone, and lets estimate about 10 litres all over me, which was enough to tell the man at Total Eden that we had plenty of bore pressure to run the whole front on one solenoid (he almost didn't believe us).

Total Eden drew up a plan for us and quoted $680 for all the parts, so we were really happy to save the extra even if it meant doing the hard bit ourselves.

I HATE Digging TrenchesActually doing the retic involved measuring where the pipes were to be laid, digging trenches for the pipes, and putting the pipes together. Before we started, we decided to get rid of our old and unused cement bore by smashing it up with a sledge hammer and filling it in with sand. It was much more successful (and fun!) than we expected and it's completely gone now so we have one less eye sore to worry about!

Matt, my dad and I spent all day Saturday measuring and digging the trenches. It was... extremely difficult, and the 36 degree heat did not help. We found that taking turns digging while one person went around wetting the dirt with the hose was the most efficient way to work.

We spent all day Sunday actually laying the pipes. This involved measuring the pipes up, priming the ends (with pipe primer) and gluing pipes together with T-junctions between them (using PVC cement). The T-junctions had the bottom of the 'T' facing up and were for the actual sprinklers to sit in. Another key aspect of the day was continuously driving to Bunnings to get extra parts as we kept breaking stuff.

Watering the RoadAfter all the pipes were glued together, we turned the bore on (with the sprinkler tops taken out) to make sure the water ran correctly, but we were a bit worried that the pressure wasn't high enough since sprinklers at the end of the rails weren't really turning on. We ran it for a bit to get all the sand out of the pipes and then screwed all the sprinkler tops on for the final test. It worked great! Turns out you get heaps more pressure when the sprinkler tops are on so there was no drama there. The last step for Sunday afternoon was to cover up all the trenches, which was much easier than digging them, but hard work none the less.

So, we now have retic at the front! For anyone planing to take the "do it yourself" option, I highly recommend waiting for a long weekend (or taking the Monday off) to recover from the task! Next we're planning to get roll-on lawn as soon as we can, and get some paving done to run along the garage and to the back fence. Easter's coming up so hopefully we can get our act together and make good use of the days off from work. Although tomato sauce day is coming up too so that may put a hitch in our plans!

Sprinklers On

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year!

Ok so it's a bit late, but I'm sure everyone's Christmas and new years was just as busy as ours :|

Our New Improved BedroomHouse Stuff
We got a bit done over the holidays, including leveling the front yard, getting a new kitchen sink, a new fence, a whole lot of gardening, a dining room table, and painting the 4 bedrooms in our house. Painting really made a fantastic difference, especially in our study (which was previously a sickly purple colour) and the master bedroom, which had a poo green feature wall.

The dining table was also a great next step to making our house look more like a home. Because it's so gigantic (2.4m x 1.2m) it fills up our equally as gigantic dining room. We were a bit conflicted originally about the woven chairs, but they really grow on you and they're actually extremely comfortable! We also did a bit of work on completing our little lounge room area which is now a really cosy place where we hang out quite often.

Our House looking more like a Home
Summadayze 09
This year Matt and I went to Summadayze to see Underworld! It was really amazing to see them live and the performance was just breathtaking. We were smack bang in the front/middle of the stage which meant that we had primo view of Karl's bizarro dancing. Of course it also meant that we got pretty trampled, and being as short as I am is not fun in the front row of the final performance of a 36 degree day. 

Today was my first day as a grown up! I have officially started full time work at L-3 Nautronix and I'm really looking forward to getting into it. The software tasks I've got lined up look pretty interesting, which makes up for the 6.30am wake up :( 

So happy new year to everyone, and have a happy and safe 2009 :)