11 December 2006

Update on birthday madness

Here are some pictures from the Thursday night. Looking at the first picture we have Eddie, Andrea, Jon and PK! I'm pouting/pursing my lips in some of the pictures (as are the other guys) because Andrea's ex never smiled in any of his photos, and always did that with his mouth. We are always paying her out about that. I'm particularly impressed with my effort in the second photo.

The pictures were all taken at a hispanic club called 'Spice' in downtown Hollywood (the Florida Hollywood, not the California one). We apparently went there again Friday night, but Friday was a bit of a big one for me. I can't remember anything of what happened after the first hour, and I was out for 10 hours that night. At one stage I was supposedly dancing with one of the awesome bar chicks at Spice, but I can't remember that at all. I'd give anything to get that memory back!

08 December 2006

Happy birthday to me!

Shameless plug, yes.

I am tired. Really tired. Last night I got back to my friend's house and crashed on the couch at . . . 4:30am. So I guess I really got back this morning. My project group this morning was serving up breakfast, so I had to be at work at 7:30am. That hurt a lot, especially now that I'm 28! OMFG my bones are giving up on me, I'll need a walking frame soon and where the hell did I put my falsies???

P.S. I'm talking crap above. Although I am running on a couple of hours of sleep I have never felt better. Bring this older age business ON!

03 December 2006

Viva Las (ow my head hurts)

So for the past few days I've found myself in Las Vegas, catching up with a friend who is in the US on a work assignment with some of his colleagues. This place is a LOT of fun. "I don't gamble", but I have been playing a few blackjack tables here and there and doing okay. Last night though at the Hard Rock casino my mind finally gave up on me and I could not even add together 7 and 4. No, I lie. I could add that together fine, it's just that 5 seconds later I forgot what the total was. After realising that wasn't helping me (I forgot I came to that conclusion several times) I decided to have an early night (4 am) and reboot my mind. Looking forward to doing it all over again tonight!

21 November 2006

So I wanted to make a pavlova. . .

and then I found that my flatmate does not even have half the necessary baking gear for such a task (and it *is* only pavlova). 'tis a sad, sad day for Pavlova Kristian.

You know, I could run off to a Walmart and buy all the stuff I need, but I actually feel much better bitching about it on my blog.

Yes, this was really just a post to keep my blog updated.


Something more interesting, I'm listening to Quantic's latest album "An announcement to answer". It's so freaking cool. Soul, funk, hip-hop, latin beat, electronica, all blended together to form that tasty cake mix you end up eating half of before putting it in the oven. But it gets even better after a couple of listens! (i.e., bake @ 175 degrees Celsius for 35 minutes) . . . yep, baking is definitely on the brain.

16 November 2006

Congratulations Kynan and Debbie

Recently my friends back in Australia, Kynan and Debbie, had their first child Cooper, a healthy looking baby boy. Congratulations Kynan and Debbie!

K-9, someday you'll have to teach your son to do this. None of us standing there could believe you did it:

Congratulations Javi and Glenda!

Recently my friends here in Florida, Javi and Glenda, had their first baby. Her name is Veronica. Congratulations Javi and Glenda!

I took photos at their baby party recently, so now you know who I'm writing about.

How to save a wet cell phone

Hah! I cracked up laughing when I saw this website. Firstly because the pictured phone is the same damn one as mine that got a 'little' wet in the clothes wash a while back. Secondly because I failed at step one:

Get it out of the water as soon as possible. The plastic covers on cell phones are fairly tight, but water can enter the phone over time. But this time may be quite short - 20 seconds or less. So grab your phone quickly!

20 seconds is a lot less than 10 or so minutes, right?

08 November 2006

Scrubs at work

Oh, this is great. A recent episode of 'Scrubs' had Colin Hay, of 'Men at work' fame, singing 'Overkill'. Outstanding!


I had many good plans for this year's thanksgiving, even backup plans. Over the last few days I've watched each plan get struck down. Now I just don't know what to do at all. I certainly don't want to go somewhere I've already been, I really hate travelling by myself, and I sure as hell don't want to stay in Florida.

(puts thinking cap on)

hmmm . . .

23 October 2006


"THE United States has slapped a ban on Vegemite, outraging Australian expatriates there"

Link to news story

If I needed an excuse to leave this country, this is it.

vegemite 115gm
vegemite 115gm

19 October 2006

Some kewl new music

I used to follow a band called Zephyr Timbre, out of Brisvegas. They had some pretty cool tunes. Relaxed, funky, soulful... those are some words I'd use to describe them. Eventually they went their separate ways, much to my dismay.


For a while now I've been following a new group formed by a couple of the ex-members of Zephyr Timbre. The group is called "My Ninja Lover", and a few weeks ago now they released their first EP "Silk and Daggers". It's awesome, and I love it. Go buy their EP from any of the stores (physical and online) listed on their website: http://myninjalover.com/. Preview their music at their myspace page.

10 October 2006

Views from a plane

I've created a new set called 'views from a plane' on Flickr as I saw some interesting stuff when I last visited Australia. Here are some of the pictures (more to come). Set link is here.

Cloudy river

Black  streaks

03 October 2006

Bye bye New Zealand

This is a bit of a weird one. Currently I'm sitting on the upper deck (business) of a 747, awaiting takeoff to LAX, leeching the wifi signal from the Auckland international airport terminal.

An explanation.

Just under two weeks ago I got asked if I would like to fly to Australia for a work trip, helping the customer in Melbourne with testing of one of our new products. I had two days to prepare everything, and I spent a pretty hectic week in Melbourne with work related stuff. I was in Adelaide for about a day total and spent a couple of days back in rural SA catching up with family members. My brother and I staged quite a surprise for mum, thank God she's still around, we thought we'd nearly sent her to an early grave there for a while. I'll just say that she wasn't expecting either of us there when she walked into the kitchen.

I caught up with some people back in Oz, but not nearly as many as I wanted, as is always the case (really, I was only in Adelaide for a day). Some people I didn't catch up with I'll be seeing later this year anyway, and you know who you are.

There is only one bad thing about this whole trip: how the hell am I ever going to fly economy ever again after this excellent treatment? :-p

P.S. I must learn to say 'no' more often to 'would you like more wine?'

P.P.S. Also, it's not like I spent a large amount of time in NZ... all of about 2 hours I think.

22 September 2006

Miami at night

I took this HDR picture of Miami the other night. It's a few pictures taken at different exposures slapped together with photoshop. I ended up forgetting that each photo taken for a HDR really should be one-stop different from its 'neighbour', and the highest exposure photo wasn't nearly enough to bring out the reflection in the water. Also, I was in the sort of spot where I didn't feel completely safe, so I didn't hang around for too long.

Is that enough excuses yet?

Note this is a very small snippet of the Miami skyline. It's a lot larger than this and is due to get a *lot* larger than it is now. Count the number of cranes in this picture. I think there are something like ten of them.

Click on the pic to access the larger versions.

Miami HDR

Top Gear presenter in crash

I am a massive, massive fan of the BBC car show "Top Gear". The trio of presenters work just so well together and make it absolutely hilarious to watch. Frosty (who at one time maintained his blog!) used to have screenings during work back in Adelaide, something I always looked forward to.

Richard Hammond, one of the presenters, was recently in a car crash while trying to beat the British land speed record. I'm not surprised at that, I'm surprised he actually got injured (and pretty badly too). Here's hoping he recovers soon!

Story is here.

21 September 2006

Cafe Tacuba

I've really, really been getting into the Spanish/hispanic thing lately. I've started listening to a lot of the music, local bands like Minimal and now branching out to some other groups like the superstar Mexican group Cafe Tacuba. My fav song from them so far: Eres. Even if you don't know a lick of Spanish, it still sounds damn good.

20 September 2006

Felicidades Omar y Jessie!!


One of my best friends over here in the US, Omar, and his wife, Jessie (who is also a best friend), just informed me that they are six weeks pregnant. I was informed of this via a text message today that said:

(news)We're pregnant, talk soon!"

It took me a little while to recover from falling off the floor. Awesome, awesome news. Congratulations again Omar and Jessie! I know you never read my blog but what the hell I just had to write this down anyway!

This adds to the list of friends over here and back in Oz who are pregnant or who have had kids recently:

Plugger and Kate
K9 and Debbie
Cepi and Arlene
Javi and Glenda
Todd and Heidi
Susan and Rick

Wow. Just wow. The ground is covered in babies.

19 September 2006

Nice conversations

Americans like having discussions while occupying the toilet. It's a fascinating if slightly disturbing habit. Americans also like guns. Also fascinating, also slightly disturbing. Now that I've got those major generalisations out of the way, let's combine them: talking about guns while in the toilet. Today there was a three way conversation about guns going on. One guy was talking to a fellow gun-toting dude over his phone, some other guy recognised his voice and love of guns and decided to join in. "have you bought your gun yet? ... all I need is a .45 and my collection will be filled out..."


It's obviously too quiet in toilets around here, so people feel the need to occupy the silence with their important conversations. I say that massive speaker systems should be installed in the toilets, with fully sick subwoofers, and volume knobs that go to eleven. If they could wire those speaker systems into Radio One, that'd be pretty awesome. Problem solved!

13 September 2006

Wassup, PK?

Time has been... interesting, lately.

So I went to Nicaragua, again, "to see what I missed out on last time". The photo set I recently uploaded to Flickr is here. The set consists more of people shots than anything else. It's not complete (the sets never are, it seems. There are many pictures where I think "hmmm, that needs to be edited a bit..." or "ok, I have to turn this into a panorama"), but it's a start.

[... emotional content snipped :) ]

01 September 2006

The Fifth

I'm currently chillin' in Miami airport waiting for my flight to Managua, so thought I'd upload a video of a recent night out at "the fifth". It's a very SoBe sort of club. Very expensive too (da, that's SoBe as well). The music was a bit dodgy earlier on, but once the DJs decided to do away with the "hey, we're a club, let's play hip hop" cliche and actually play some decent dance music, then things got a little better.

Here is a pic of one of the dancers at the club:
Dancer @ The Fifth, South Beach

Here is a short video clip from the club:

29 August 2006

Thank God for ears!

I'm lying here on my bed (no work today due to the storm) listening to Hybrid's latest studio album, "I choose noise", which got released today. In a word, it's fan-friggen-tastic. It's everything I hoped for in an album of this genre (think a symphony having a head-on collision with break beats). Listening to it is like diving into a massive pavlova and finding Tim Tams at the bottom. It's available for download in a "quite unlike iTunes" non-restrictive audio format, called MP3, from their label, distinct'ive records.

Not only that, but BT is also releasing his new album today, "This Binary Universe". I had to order the album the old fashioned way and wait for it to be delivered. I couldn't find a digital download (a.k.a.: torrent) to appease the consumer-whore in me that can't wait for delivery by the postman. The really cool thing about this album - apart from the fact that I know it's going to be cool because BT is the ultimate in his field - is the fact that one of the discs is recorded in full DTS surround sound! It makes me want to fly back to Oz and give it a listen on my old faithful sound system. I wonder if my subwoofer is still doing a decent job back in Adelaide... ahh yes, I can feel it now.

27 August 2006


I have some plans to go back to Nicaragua next weekend. Ernesto, don't you fcuking dare...

26 August 2006


It's amazing what one can accomplish when one chooses to not sleep.

Here are some videos from Ultrafest 2006. I've been meaning to put these up for months and months. You'll just love how the little microphone on my camera has no clue what to do with all the bass that's hitting it.

I can't remember the name of this band, but the lead singer kept saying that one of their songs was on iTunes' top 100. Apart from that, he sang a lot about how weed would solve all the world's problems.

Eric Morillo, with cruise ship visible to the right. Ultrafest on a cruise ship would be pretty awesome.

Carl Cox dance tent. I didn't want to put up the actual video of Carl Cox DJing. Anyone who has "Carl Cox" spinning on the display behind them while they DJ won't get any space in my blog. Unless, of course, they have "PK" spinning on the display, then that's cool.

Drum and Bass set.

Pendulum - look out for the dude wearing the flashing glasses, it's sort of surreal as he walks past. I felt like shooting the MC with my mind bullets during the Pendulum set, he was annoying the fcuk out of me. Oh, the reason why I was so far back? My feet were hurting like hell from jumping up and down all day, so I decided to go barefoot for a while. Those of you who have seen people dancing to DnB know that your feet would not be safe even if they're protected by steelcaps! The Prodigy cover that Pendulum ends on in this video leads into...

The real Prodigy! Awesome, awesome, awesome. We couldn't get any closer though, no matter how much we tried. You might see some wafts of smoke in the foreground during this set. That's not any special effect, that's something that causes special effects. I swear I was passively getting high during this set.

Van de Graaff generator. Check out how something wrong starts to happen. I was waiting for it to explode, but you do get to see some little sparks fly off the shaft.

BT. This was such an awesome set, and was by far my favourite of Ultrafest 2006. Fan-bloody-tastic, BT!

Volcano Concepcion

This is a video I took of some cloud moving over the top of Volcano Concepcion on the island of Ometepe in Nicaragua. The speed has been increased by a factor of eight.

25 August 2006

Bad Friday

Today I am just in the worst, most depressed mood ever. I don't even know what to blame it on . . . many things I guess. No, I'll blame it on distance and the fact that work is sucking right now.

But anyway, for some reason I am inspired to take pictures of bugs and maybe a Miami skyline at night. I'll see how I go with that this weekend.

UPDATE: In the last 1/2 hour of my working Friday, everything seemed to fall into place. Ummmm, yay!

18 August 2006

Fatality in South Beach

I was having dinner with friends down at Lincoln Mall in South Beach and couldn't help but notice this...

a fatality. broken. wasted. it not just any broken bottle, it's a broken bottle of Evian water. oh, so SoBe.

16 August 2006

New blogger: cool


I'm not one of the special people who can do the switch to the new version of blogger yet, but a new funky layout could just be what this site needs. Of course, 'funky' is completely in the eye of the beholder. Some people around here are still convinced that wearing brown belts with white sneakers is totally funky.

(whatever, pk).

11 August 2006

Nicaragua: It's beautiful! I love it!

My holiday in Nicaragua was quite simply the most eye-opening, amazing trip I've ever been on. I've never seen such extremes in my life. I went to the upper class club "Hipa Hipa" in Managua and then drank Toña in a bar made of sheet iron on the island of Ometepe. I've never lived in such extremes, from the very nice Holiday Inn in Managua to sleeping at a place that only had a fan and no hot water on Ometepe (when there was water at all). It was just amazing to experience the two extremes.

What was the most amazing thing about Nicaragua? Well, apart from the people, it was that damn Volcano Concepcion on the island of Ometepe in Lake Nicaragua. It's still active, and every now and then spews out some ash and rumbles. It didn't do any of that while I was on the island, though. It's an amazing sight to behold (it's only half the height of Mt Fuji, however) and you see it everywhere you travel on Ometepe. It arrogantly stands there in stark contrast to the peaceful life of the people living there.

Click on the image below to get to the Flickr set, which I'm still working on. About 1/2 the photos are online.

27 July 2006

Nica, baby!

I was going to complete what happened on the rest of the roadtrip... but screw it. One of the highlights was when a girl I was chatting to at some bar in Asheville, North Carolina, basically proposed to me. If it weren't for the 5 pints of Guinness I'd had already, I might have even considered the offer. I don't even know how that makes sense. All I'm really trying to say is that a fair chunk of the pictures from the trip are online here.

I have been extremely busy lately with a lot of stuff, most of it work, unfortunately. I've just been damn tired the last week. Not to worry though - tomorrow I head off on another road trip! But it's not going to be in the US. I'm heading off with a friend for 8 days of exploring in Nicaragua. I speak very little Spanish (very, very little). That should not be too much of a problem though, as my friend speaks Spanish quite well and he's actually from Nicaragua. Convenient, no?

Whilst there, we'll be visiting the capital Managua (which, even with a population of over a million, is the only city I know of that has no street names... queue the U2). Also we're visiting the coastal town of San Juan Del Sur, Granada, the volcanic island of Ometepe, Leon, Selva Negra... the list goes on. I'm pretty damn excited about this. My camera trigger finger is going to get RSI.

Peace out,
BK (borracho Kristian).

14 July 2006


The forbidden dance, and Kaoma's song is one of my favourite songs from growing up in the 80's.

Check out this page and get your 80's fix today!!

12 July 2006

Favourite news story of the year

From http://msnbc.msn.com/id/13825566/?GT1=8307

"Paleontologists say they have found the fossilized remains of a fanged killer kangaroo and what they describe as a "demon duck of doom.""

The guys here at work are loving this story. Australia must seem like some magical mystery land of killer creatures.

Demon duck of doom. That's awesome.

11 July 2006

Worst hotel/motel ever

It almost seemed like we were never going to get on the road the Friday night of the road trip. I had left my camera tripod at Tobacco Road from doing photos the night before, and thinking that I might need to use it (I never did end up using it), I drove all the way to Miami to pick it up after work. Eventually my partner in crime Eddie and I left my place at 9pm ... that's a bloody late when we were intending to make it to Jacksonville that night (about a 6 hour drive, sticking to the speed limit).

Make it to Jacksonville we did, and then some. Eddie played the DS Lite (I love my DS... it kicks arse) quite a bit until he got road sick. I occupied myself by playing Muse over and over and then singing stupid songs in my head. We ended up stopping past Jacksonville at the last exit before Georgia. Here's the map.

This is where I'd like to say a big "Fsuk YOU!" to Days Inn. We were starting to get tired and were looking for some reasonable places to stop at. Someplace where we didn't feel like there was the danger of getting mugged, getting the car stolen, somewhere we could rest comfortably without fear of anything. Unfortunately this was difficult as a lot of the places were booked because of the Daytona 500. Yay for watching cars go round and round till your head falls off from boredom.

We eventually found a place, a Days Inn that was the only accommodation at that particular exit. By that stage we were tired and didn't really care about anything else. We paid $80 for the worst accommodation ever. I swear there was a frog in the room somewhere. Eddie thought it was in the air conditioner and was kicking it during the night to stop its croaking. My bed was like sleeping in a pile of moss. The room stank like ... something I can't even describe.

Thankfully we were both alive in the morning and still had our limbs and body organs. We promptly exited that abomination of a place and gave the Days Inn a big "up yours!!!". This act of affection was to be repeated throughout the road trip.

End of "day 1".

09 July 2006

Still alive

Believe it or not, I'm still alive. The last couple of weeks have been especially hectic, with me finishing up part of a music course and work being insane. Oh, and fit a supermassive road trip up through South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia in with all that on the past July 4 weekend. I've again been updating Flickr with pics from the trip so if you click on the badge to the right you'll get to them. I have some weird arse stories to share from that trip...

But aside from all that, today's surreal moment had to belong to the France vs Italy world cup final. I'm sitting there watching with a bunch of friends, Corona in hand, and then all of a sudden I see Zidane, who I always thought was cool, calm and collected, head-butt one of the Italian players. WTF?

24 June 2006

Black Holes and Revelations

So, my favourite music group just has to be Muse. I think it used to be Coldplay or Hybrid, but that sort of changed when I rediscovered them during hurricane Wilma last year.

I've got a copy of their latest album, "Black Holes and Revelations". My pre-order using iTunes doesn't come through until next month . . . I couldn't wait that long but when it is able to be downloaded I also get some bonues videos. Cool.

This album is cool. Way cool. More glam-rock than before, and one thing I can't get over is how much they remind me of ELO in some songs. Take the chorus in "Super Massive Black Hole", for example. I friggen love ELO and I just think that rocks.

Other initial favourites on the album include "City of Delusion" which has a flamenco-crossed-with-Arabic style, and "Knights of Cydonia".

UPDATE: After some more listening, other favourites include the rest of the album.

Santos Renuentes v2.0

This past Wednesday I took photographs for my favourite Spanish-rock band "Santos Renuentes". I've written about this group a lot before. They underwent a change recently where the drummer, lead guitarist and singer were replaced. Yeah, that's a pretty major sort of change. It was only a practice warm-up friends-invited-only session, but what's resulted from all the changes is a band with very different group dynamics and, in my opinion, a much better sound. It was just amazing to hear and *see* the difference in the band.

21 June 2006



This is insane. Miami Heat. NBA champions.

People are going insane around here. Cars everywhere honking horns.

And just announced - Dwyane Wade - MVP.

Awesome, awesome, awesome.

Gotta go now, gotta go party.

19 June 2006


Wow. What a game of basketball with a final scoreline of 101-100 in favour of Miami. This is the second time today I haven't been able to sit down to watch a sports game, the first being for the loss of the Socceroos against the Brazilians in the World Cup. I swear I need new feet from all the pacing that I've done in front of the TV. I definitely need a good strong liquor right now.

Dwyane Wade is just an amazing player. I can't believe the shots he made, he's just incredible to watch. One of my friends has likened him to Jordan, minus Jordan's attitude. Wade is just such a humble and smart basketball player, and if it's just one reason I've started to take notice of basketball more, he is it.

So now Miami play the next games of the finals series on Dallas' turf. Hopefully they can pull it off, and with a player like Wade everything and anything is possible. I can't remember a time when I was this enthusiastic about a basketball team. Freaking awesome, folks. Freaking awesome.


PS It seems there is a GO [insert sports team here] theme going on with this site recently, I've just noticed!

14 June 2006


So I'm sitting in my cube, watching in disbelief the matchcast of the Germany vs Poland match. I took this screenshot because I didn't believe that Germany could have so many shots on goal and not get anything:

And then I saw it. Such a beautiful thing. In the last moments of the last minute my screen updates beautifully to show this:

Go Germany. After Australia, this is my favourite team. Ich liebe Deutschland (und Australien!)

12 June 2006

They start 'em young in Oz

From this link
"The 10-year-old and his brother, 6, decided to take the family car for a 100km spin to visit their grandfather in Moree, in the NSW northwest, about 12.30pm on Sunday."

This reminds me of my cousin Levi, who is quite adept at driving a car as well (click on pic for details)



I'm sitting here in my very grey cubicle at work looking at the final score between Australia and Japan, and it's all good baby! I've got my green shirt on today and combining that with the face colour of my watch and maybe a few post-it notes, it's green and gold all the way. Pity I couldn't watch a live telecast as I had to be at my desk, so I ended up refreshing the main page of the Fifa website over and over again to get match updates.

Awesome stuff Australia, just bloody awesome.

09 June 2006

That doctor visit...

I got the results for my tests back.

According to the results, there is absolutely nothing wrong with me at all. Nada. Nichts. Jack $hit.

So now I ponder and wonder what the hell went on, whether I get a second opinion, or whether I ignore it ever happened. My doctor told me it was probably an anxiety attack of sorts.

Whatever the case, it's time to move on in some direction, albeit more cautiously than before. I'm sick of staying home. I need to get out and do some stuff again.

Maybe if I could meet a girl like this then all would be well again (beware of managers). I'd probably think I'd died and gone to heaven though :-p

05 June 2006

On the other side

So I've come through what seems to be a rather weird ride. Whatever caused me to pretty much collapse and have difficulty breathing, resulting in a rush to the emergency room, has gone. I have not been able to link it to anything that I ate. I'm thinking that somehow my body was telling me to slow down a bit. Perhaps.

I've had a CAT scan, 24 hour heart monitor and blood tests done. I'm getting sick of all these blood tests. My arm skin is a slightly yellow colour around the region where all the needles have gone in. I feel like a pin cushion.

I think the weirdest experience I had was during my CAT scan. I was just laying there and all of a sudden I had one of the "episodes" as I now call it. A really weird feeling, like it triggered something to happen. That, and the iodine I had pumped into my body later for the contrast scan. The iodine first made my chest feel warm, then my bladder, and then I had a metallic taste in my mouth. Complete and utter weirdness.

It was also pretty weird having wires attached to my body for 24 hours. I had what looked like a massive walkman around my hip, which recorded the heart patterns to a tape. Yeah, no digital tech there. I was thinking how cool it would be to reverse the flow of signals and put a drum and bass tape in ... I wonder how I'd handle 160bpm. hehe. Of course, I can't work with tape technology anymore as I don't have the equipment. Yeah, bugger.

Other than that I now have a massive cough, worse than I've ever had a cough before. This I think is unrelated. Emphasis on "think". What I do know however is that I can pretty much do exactly what I did the day I had the episode and I'll be fine. It took me two weeks to recover from the episode ... I don't want that happening again.

Whatever the case, the tests have been done and I visit my doctor this week. I'm pretty sure that if anything bad came up I'd know about it by now.

23 May 2006

Down memory lane

Whilst I've been bed-ridden recently, I've summoned the energy up to entertain myself with a little surfing of the internets. This post is a whole lot about nostalgia, so see if you remember these little youtube gems that I've found.

Anyone got any more? Ones that I just can't find are "AEIOU", with those little characters drawn in the sand who fight some dragon or something. Another is "Robo Story", where the white leader keeps calling everyone else "imbeciles".

What's up with PK?

So Sunday night I found myself in the emergency room of a hospital. Three scoops of icecream is all it took to turn me into a mess of a person who had difficulty breathing or swallowing, was very light-headed, shaking, had a high pulse rate and was just about to collapse. I scared the hell out of my flat-mate, but rest assured, he wasn't as scared as I.

I've been talking to doctors, venom experts from Australia, etc. etc. etc. to see if this had anything to do with the bite I got in January. The consensus was that no, it didn't, and that the venom only lasts for 5 days anyway. So whatever I've got now is supposed to be unrelated to the bite, supposedly.

The major theory going around is that I have an allergy to something. Obviously, this allergy must have developed this year (since the bite, I reckon) because as my friends know, I eat a heck of a lot of food. Currently I can't eat any type of food without getting a reaction. Even a glass of water yesterday caused something to happen. In the past few months I have at times experienced numbness in my legs and just a general light headedness. I've told this to doctors etc, but they've either put it down to the bite or just don't know what is going on and that I'll recover from whatever it is.

Yay, so now I'm probably allergic to anything you can eat or drink. This is a problem. I'm not expecting anyone out there to solve this, but it's just for my friends and family to know.

18 May 2006

Complainers, whingers, whiners

We're all allowed our fair share of whinging and whining and complaining I think. You know, people have to get that stuff off their chest every now and then. But hell, the number of times I hear people complain about the weather around here. I actually like weather in general. I like its unpredictability. The day we can control the weather is the day I'll start complaining about it.

But seriously, I can't even get people to sit outside when it's slightly humid. They'd rather stay in the air conditioned building and when they leave work they get into to their air conditioned car and when they get home they get into their air conditioned house. I constantly hear about it being too humid, too rainy, too hot, and they hardly spend any time outside.


Deep breath.


Complaining about complainers. Hmmmm....

UPDATE: It was pretty hot the other night out though :-p


Recently something happened... I can't remember what it was...

nice one pk.

P.S. Although I haven't been making too many posts lately, I have been taking quite a few pictures. Like, the flickr badge to the right has been in a state of constant update, pretty much. Apart from that I've been pretty flat out. Some major stuff coming up in the next few months. Hope you're having fun y'all.

Peace out.

09 May 2006

Weird Saturday stuff

Last Saturday was a pretty weird day, in that everything I had planned didn't work out. The original plan was to:
- go see Fiona Apple at Sunfest in West Palm beach.
- drop in at a friend's birthday party in Plantation.
- have dinner at Thai Orchid in Coral Gables.
- see Mimimal play at I/O lounge in downtown Miami.

That plan was pretty damn ambitious, since it involved traversing three counties in one day. I like the ambitious plans though, so I was all for giving it a shot. Unfortunately, as the day wore on, I realised that I just wouldn't be able to get to see Fiona Apple. I had to drive to Sunfest the next day anyway to shoot photos for another of Hilary's concerts. I couldn't be bothered. I also wanted to spend more time at the birthday party so I cancelled my dinner and told the people I'd meet up with them at the Minimal gig. No real drama.

The birthday party was next. I ended up arriving at the party precisely one week early. I haven't done anything like this before, but I'm sure it brought some laughs to the birthday girl. There is a good reason why I stuffed this up - I'm stupid.

So, not having a birthday party to go to I called up the dinner friends and told them I could come. One of them offered me a lift to the restaurant from his place so I took that offer up.

Later, after mucking around with some music stuff, we left for the restaurant. However, he'd forgotten where he put some flyers for the band that night. We ended up going back to his house and spent well over an hour looking for the damn flyers. They were absolutely nowhere to be found. I thought I'd seen him put the flyers on the car so I went for a pretty long walk to find any suspect flyers all over the road. I didn't find anything (apart from a few pairs of shoes, which I thought to be pretty weird actually).

We left his house, defeated. Calling the friends we were meeting for dinner, we were informed the restaurant was actually shut. Bugger! We made alternative plans and ate somewhere else. It was getting late and we all thought we'd missed the Minimal gig. We arrived at I/O lounge and discovered that they were actually still playing - although one of our group had forgotten their ID and couldn't immediately get into the lounge. Great! After some convincitroning (word?) we all got in and enjoyed a couple of Minimal songs. I guess that one thing sorta did turn out alright.

I took pictures on the night. I'm dragging my camera with me everywhere these days it seems. Click on the picture below:

You'll start working out pretty quickly who I hang out with here in South Florida.

03 May 2006

I'm back

And I'm bloody exhausted. I had accumulated about 2 hours of sleep when I arrived in Miami last night - I just can't sleep upright. Period. Sleeping pills (which I tried this time around) made me feel very tired but then I couldn't fall asleep.

I watched some cool movies on the way over though - "House of flying daggers", "Capote", "Good luck and good night", and my favourite of the flight, "Enron: The smartest guys in the room".

I also have some pictures that I uploaded from the trip. They're not all up, but click on the cute cat below to get to what there is...

01 May 2006

Seeya Australia!

I'm currently waiting in the Melbourne airport for the gate to open for my flight to Los Angeles. I've taken a quick picture of the plane I'll be flying back in so here it is:

Anyway, seeya to all the people I caught up with in Oz. To the people I didn't catch up with, I'll see you around sometime. I don't know when I'll be returning to Australia again, so I expect to see you overseas, ok? Good.

20 April 2006

Chilling out in LAX

Back in Fort Lauderdale it's currently 1:13am. This means that pretty soon I should be getting some sleep... yerr, that's just not going to happen. A couple of more hours and then I catch this bastard economy flight to Melbourne. I arrive at 12:30pm in Adelaide to a spanking new airport! It is working now, right??? Last time they were having fuel problems or something and we had to use the old building. Well, whatever, I never really had anything to say for this post, I'm only writing something coz I was able to find a free wifi spot.

19 April 2006

An up and down Monday

Monday started off like any other Monday. Check e-mails received over the weekend, catch up with other people to see what they got up to, think about what had to be done for the week. There was one thing in the back of my mind though: the flight to Australia. Now don't get me wrong, I was sooooo looking forward to going back to Australia and meeting up with everyone I possibly can, but it's that damn flight that I was worried about. If you read this mess of words often enough you'd know I got bitten by a red-back spider a couple of days before flying back to the US. The bite got completely mis-diagnosed, I thought I was ok to fly, but in the end I wasn't. It's the only time I really thought I was going to die, and I say that in all seriousness. Since then I've had dizzy spells and numbness like I had on the plane, but nowhere near the severity. They've pretty much gone *now*, but I was still scared of getting on the plane, whilst going through my Monday morning thought process.

I mentioned this to my friend at work and said that it would have really been good to go on a couple of rollercoaster rides before I left, just to test if I was fit to fly. What happened next was amazing. He looked up the weather for Orlando - awesome day predicted. Orlando of course has all the major theme parks, "Islands of Adventure" being one of them. "The Hulk", one of my favourite rollercoaster rides, is also there. Orlando is also 3 hours drive away from Ft Lauderdale. It was 11am. The park closed at 10pm. We decided to leave work for the rest of the day and ride on rollercoasters instead. Totally random. Totally impromptu.

We went on "the Hulk" three times. We went on "Dueling Dragons" four times. We also went on the "Spiderman" and "The Mummy" rides. It was an awesome day, full of adrenalin. At the end of the night, while on the "Dueling Dragons" ride, fireworks were setting an awesome backdrop to an awesome ride.

I am fit to fly.

16 April 2006

Going mobile and lacking sleep

It's currently past 5am in the morning. I didn't head out tonight, but I am at a mate's place (some dodgy Nicaraguan) working out some music stuff. At this stage I have had a few beers - Sam Adams and Presidente. I am loving my new laptop. I know someone reading this laughed when I said that I *needed* to buy a laptop. Well, I probably could have done my music course back in Australia by borrowing people's computers here and there, but that would be so damn inconvenient. Plus, now that I have a laptop, I am becoming a true geek. If I really want I could be one of those geeks who sits at Starbucks all day and surfs the net with their ultra-expensive T-Mobile access plan. There are two bad things about that - first, paying for the wifi access when many other coffee places have free wifi. The other one, oh so much more important, is that I still think that Starbucks' coffee sucks. Their frappuccino is the only thing decent there and if I drank them all day I'd probably turn out to be a pretty fat bastard, for some reason.

I try to adhere to a policy of not making blog entries when I'm tired and especially when I'm emotional or slightly drunk (I haven't been adhering to that lately, obviously), but what the hey. This site needed an update.

12 April 2006

Hurricane season 2006


I'm going to be getting familiar with some of these names, I think. I should start a pool or something as to how many, and which hurricane/s is/are going to hit the east coast of Florida. I will bet on three hurricanes: Ernesto, Gordon and Patty.

I think if a hurricane is getting close and dangerous this year I'll head up to Canada - and probably have a snowstorm hit. Ah well, the powder will be good for snowboarding then I guess.

Another thing, the 10 most expensive hurricanes to hit the US (source = Wikipedia) (costs are inflation adjusted):

Katrina ($75B)
Andrew ($44.9B)
Charlie ($15.4B)
Ivan ($14.6B)
Hugo ($12.6B)
Wilma ($12.2B)
Agnes ($11.6B)
Betsy ($11.1B)
Rita ($9.4B)
Frances ($9.1B)

I've watched 6 of those come through while I've been here in the US. Daaaaamn.

06 April 2006

Skype-ing it. Finally.

Sometimes it takes me a while to get around to stuff... like Skype for example. For those of you I know back in Oz, England, wherever you've gone, my Skype handle is daecks. So anyway, add me to your contact list! Or, let me know what other VoIP networks you may use. Or, continue thinking "PK, I don't really want to talk to you...". This stuff should be all operational within the next few days.

Brief return to Oz

I'm heading back to Australia for nearly 2 weeks at the end of this month. I'll be in Adelaide from the 22nd April till May 2nd. During the weekdays I'll actually be working but my weeknights should be relatively free. On the weekends I have to fit in a bachelor party, wedding and probably a 21st and a 50th as well. It would still be awesome to catch up any friends back there! Let me know if you'll be around by sending an e-mail to daecks@gmail.com. Due to me losing a lot of my contacts, it's probably pretty likely I don't have your number.

03 April 2006

Some ultrafest pictures


are now online here. I don't know what I'm going to do about the movies yet. I'd like to post them but having a sort-of permanent hosting site for them is difficult. Well, perhaps I could try Google video or something.

Anyways, Ultrafest was awesome. I actually had to take my shoes off at one point because my feet hurt from jumping around so much.

There was only one thing that pissed me off that whole day and you know it's going to be one of those weird things that just get to me. In the Carl Cox tent there was a guy with some really expensive looking DSLR camera, much more expensive than mine. You know, he had the whole proper camera bag thing, the big hot-shoe flash arrangement, the I'm-too-cool-for-skool stance, a posse of fairly attractive women around him. I'm there with my point and shoot wishing I had my DSLR with me but knowing one had to have a special pass to bring such cameras in. Anyway, he was standing around the middle of the room, probably around 40 feet from the front of the stage. He brings out the camera to get a shot of the DJ, bear in mind it's pretty bright in the tent because of the insane lighting...

He uses his bloody flash. Looking down at the photo he's taken, and I could see the image result too, he sees some bright heads in the foreground reflecting the flash and not much in the background. The DJ couldn't reflect the flash coz he was just too bloody far away, wasn't he!?! I nearly went up to him and said "mate, forget the flash. Crank your ISO up. Set your shutter speed to something like 1/60. See what results you get". But I didn't, I thought I would have looked like a dickhead or something, or maybe he had a meat cleaver stored somewhere that he would have felt like using. Every shot he took he used the flash. Anyway, point is that's one of my pet peeves: people using flash for objects further than 10 feet away (perhaps 20 feet if it's a more powerful hot-shoe flash). It pisses me off. It almost pisses me off more than people who pull up at stop lights and are always moving forward trying to predict when the lights go green. Then, when the lights actually *do* go green, they stay there for like 5 seconds. That really pisses me off.

Pissed (the non-drunk meaning) Kristian signing off.

29 March 2006


Today I attended a motivational business seminar as part of a team building activity for work. In a nutshell it was one of the weirdest experiences I've had while over in the US. The end result is that I'm not really any more motivated than when I got up this morning but I did learn a few interesting things.

The speakers that I saw today included Steve Forbes, General Colin Powell and Zig Ziglar, apparently the #1 motivator in the US. There were other speakers I didn't get to see including Rudolph Giuliani, Don Shula and Jerry Lewis. I wasn't feeling too well (6 days straight of going out finally got to me) so my friend and I left early.

Basically the whole thing was very American. Duh. When a speaker got on stage to talk there was a massive blast of music accompanied by pyrotechnics. This brought on many a raised eyebrow by myself. There was also a lot of 'patting America on the back', where the speaker would mention how great the country was, how free it was, how it was the greatest democracy ever, how it brought freedom to other countries afar, and there were a few compulsory 9/11 references to boot. At *any* of these references the crowd would go completely wild and insane which caused me to shrink down in my seat and think to myself "I don't belong here..." If you know me then you know I totally and completely disagree with the whole Iraq thing and I think America's foreign policy stinks. A lot of the stuff mentioned simply did not fly with me.

So the whole thing seemed to be a little Republican convention. It was about being successful and how you can best serve your own interests. Just from what I've seen over here so far that seems to fit the Republican psyche very well. It also showed how effective the speakers were at instilling these belief systems in the general American public. There is so much pomp and fanfare and glitz and glamour that I nearly found myself getting caught up in the moment.

The whole day also seemed to be an telemarketing campaign where you actually paid (I didn't of course, my company did) to get advice from people pushing their own agendas. "This tool is the best... you can see when the three green arrows come up and that's when you buy stocks... this whole program is normally $7000 but today you can get it for only $1000! Hurry! This is a limited offer only available today!" While I don't doubt the effectiveness of the tool, the whole thing did seem to be very late-night telemarketing-ish. It also brought back memories of the timeshare experience I had a while ago.

An interesting day, that is for sure. I learnt a few things, although the things learnt were not intended to be sent across by the presenters, I'm guessing. I'm actually keen to go to a full-on Republican convention now. Call me a masochist, but I just want to see more of this sort of stuff to see how bad it can *really* get.

24 March 2006

I think I should move to Miami

Don't get me wrong. I love the Ft Lauderdale pub scene and the general laid back feeling that you get in most of the places. However, if I start from Wednesday night I was at the Hotel Victor for a Hilary McRae gig.

Thursday night I was at The Road for another Hilary gig.

Today I had a lunch meeting at the Ritz-Carlton in Coconut Grove for a breast cancer walk I'm participating in with friends.

Tomorrow I'm going to Ultrafest, which I am pretty bloody stoked about.

Sunday is the NASDAQ-100 tennis open. I'm hoping to get some good pictures there... I'll be sitting in the VIP section ;-)

All this leads to the conclusion that I really should be living further south than I am now.

20 March 2006

One heck of a cool movie

V for Vendetta. Just go see it. I can't remember the last time I've wanted so bad to go and see a movie again. If I can get to see another session tomorrow night I will. It genuinely had me shaking in a couple of scenes due to the just how powerful they were. What an amazing film.

The things that surprised me the most though? There were teenagers afterwards debating if what V planned could be classified as a terrorist act. It actually got people talking. I actually caught myself thinking that maybe there was some hope still... sometimes I feel that isn't the case. Sometimes I think I just need to chill out.

What I especially liked about the movie were the parallels one could draw to the current administration over here in the US, but I guess any movie that talks about using fear and the media as a means to get what they want from the general population would draw such parallels. It's nearly 2am. I'm out of here.


It's always cool to see famous people out and about. I had great difficulty getting a picture of this guy, coz the damn bouncers kept on getting in the way...

P.S. You do know who it is, right?

15 March 2006

13 March 2006

Calle Ocho

As I type this I am absolutely buggered. I have been running on a minimum of sleep for a while now. This, of course, is entirely my fault.

I can't remember what I did Friday night anymore... something.

Saturday night we headed out to the lovely South Beach area to check out some cool places. There were a few spring breakers about but not as many as one would expect since South Beach can get bloody expensive. We ended up at a really, really cool hotel on the beachfront called the Shore Club.

Sunday was spent at Calle Ocho where I saw a heck of a lot of hispanic people walking about (of course) and Santos Renuentes were playing there too. I of course have some pics from their gig that I'll put up later. I didn't get too many pictures of the crowd... I'm getting pretty paranoid these days about taking pictures of people. There were some angry looking hispanic dudes walking about in this case.

Sunday night was awesome. We headed to Nikki Beach, where I got some great movies and some pictures. They'll be put up online later as well. That place is awesome and oh so relaxing and there is *always* a bewdifal crowd there.

08 March 2006

Coldplay and Fiona Apple

On the weekend I got to see Coldplay and Fiona Apple play in Orlando. Actually, ha, let me correct that. I got to see a bit of one Fiona Apple song - "Fast as you can" - and you can bet I was running as fast as I could to get to my seat when I arrived at the venue.

It turns out we had a bit of bad luck with the traffic that night. What should have been a 15 minute drive to the venue turned out being over an hour drive. Whilst sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic we had to get to exit 83B on the I-4. Fiona would have already started her set, and being support act, would only be playing for 45 mins or so. Anyway, we came up to exit 82A... 5 mins passed ... exit 82B ... another 5 mins gone ... exit 82C... at which point I stated "ha, wouldn't it be funny if there was an 82D exit!" Nobody in the car really appreciated the humour.

We arrived, sat down, and Fiona left the stage. Excellent. I can't really express how much I was looking forward to seeing Fiona play live. I guess I'll have to wait another 5 years or something now.

Coldplay were awesome again though. It was cool to see all the massive yellow balls fall down again during "Yellow". Afterwards we were supposed to meet up with some people who were going to get us into one of the cool clubs. Unfortunately, one of them had a bit too much to drink and she was getting sick in the bathroom HALF WAY through the Coldplay set! Awesome.

Downtown was also bumper-to-bumper traffic so we decided to grab some grog and drink up at our hotel. I can't remember much after that, although I do remember us watching my copy of "You shoot, I shoot" for a little bit. It's pretty difficult to concentrate on subtitles when you're not exactly sober.

28 February 2006

More photos please

Some "different" things have been going on in my life recently. People recently saw these photos from the CD release party. Actually the person who saw them was Fernando, who apart from playing for Santos Renuentes also plays for Hilary McRae (among many other groups).

I was asked if I wanted to further practice my photography and take pictures of Hilary's first ever gig. Those pictures are here. They liked those, so since then I've taken pictures of another concert by Hilary (photos are not yet online) and another Santos Renuentes gig.

I had heaps of fun taking the pictures, but what's even better, I got to take pictures for some awesome artists. Hilary, without even considering it was her first gig, was just absolutely outstanding.

27 February 2006

How to kill a RAZR

Last week was an up-and-down week. I was doing this new photography stuff and had lots on my mind. I had gotten back from the gym and decided to put a load of washing on. Sitting down to relax I went to check my phone for messages... I couldn't find it. A bit unusual I thought. I looked everywhere for it. Still nothing. I tried calling the phone using my friend's mobile and it was going straight to voicemail. "Damn" I thought, "I've switched it off". But then I thought about that some more. I clearly remember NOT turning it off. More thinking. Going to voicemail.... phone must be off... why is phone off?... flat battery... no, it's fully charged... load of washing... battery dead... load of washing... load of washing... LOAD OF WASHING!

I absolutely flew downstairs and emptied the washing machine. Down the bottom of the tub was a very clean looking RAZR phone. HOLY SHIT! It was off. NO SHIT! I took it into work the next day, dismantled it (nice instructions on how to do that are here, pity the people taking the pictures didn't know that if they used a high f-stop value then everything would have been in focus) dried it out with alcohol, and tried resuscitating it a day later. It didn't work. HOLY SHIT! All my contacts were stored on my phone and not my SIM. HOLY SHIT! Ok, so I did have a backup of contacts from a few months ago and I do have e-mails from people who have changed their numbers, but hell, this is a stupid process to be going through.

Proof #1764743347 that PK is very human. I love reverse engineering my reactions to stuff like this though, and how I cope. How did I cope? I went out and bought a stack of stuff, like a point and shoot camera (always needed one of these, just required the right excuse), flash kit for my Nikon D-70, oh and a stack of clothes.

Right now my awesome friend Maha has lent me a phone, a Motorola A630. I don't mind the little bugger, it's starting to grow on me. I definitely don't want to get another RAZR. They're too bloody common for my liking, everybody has a RAZR. I'm sorta leaning towards a PEBL. If anyone has some spare PEBL parts from which I can build a phone, that preferrably isn't tied into a carrier, pretty please send them my way :-)

20 February 2006

A warning

If I ever happen to call you and get your voicemail, and I'm within reach of my computer or iPod, you will get a power ballad left on your voicemail. I promise. Recent victims have received Michael Bolton's song mentioned previously, Heart's "Alone", Pat Benatar's "Love is a battlefield" and Def Leppard's "Love Bites".

16 February 2006

Ho hum

I'm bored at work, well, it's 6pm and I feel like dribbling on my blog. You're reading this so you must be bored too. Or maybe you're finding something to kick start your day. Look elsewhere!

I like to start my work day with a bunch of questions and my objective is to get answers to all of them by the end. Today is not one of those days as I haven't answered any of the questions and I actually have more questions than I started with. yay!

Michael Bolton. Now that you're awake, it's weird how you hear a name and then it keeps popping up. I hadn't heard of this guy for ages and last night I watched "Office Space" and have been hearing his name ever since (Michael Bolton is the name of one of the characters in the movie). This morning I listened to the Chris Moyles show on BBC Radio One and the lead in was "How can we be lovers?", i.e.

How can we be lovers if we can't be friends
How can we start over when the fighting never ends
Baby, how can we make love if we can't make amends
Tell me how we can be lovers if we can't be,
Can't be friends

What a power ballad! Whoa. I've posted up lyrics to a MB song on my blog. I could imagine Cartman from South Park singing this song...

Onto other stuff, I get along well with a couple of people here at work and we're always finding stupid stuff on the internets. Has anyone seen the VW Golf GTI "Fast" commercials? "Fast" is a little devil sort of thing in guys that influences how we drive, if you girls didn't know. I'm sure at some point they'll tailor the ads for the ladies, but at the moment it's a guys only affair. Here are some links to the ads:

"Take out"

Fellas, make friends with your fast. By the way, nice marketing VW.

More google videos that I'm enjoying:
Wicked electricity arc
More wicked electricity stuff
Substation explosion

14 February 2006

Yay yay for Valentine's Day!

Hold on... this is sounding a lot like last year.

Actually, this year was a little better. I ended up giving someone a Valentine's gift, and I dropped it off at 7am on their front porch on one of the coldest Florida mornings I can remember. Of course, we ain't getting blizzards down here so I can't really complain.

So last year I actually listened to some Rammstein. Maybe if I listen to the right sort of music, I can actually convince myself that everything is ok. How about "I feel loved" by "Depeche Mode"?

It's the dark night of my soul
And temptation's taking hold
But through the pain and the suffering
Through the heartache and trembling

I feel loved
I feel loved

As the darkness closes in
In my head I hear whispering
Questioning and beckoning
But I'm not taken in

I feel loved
I feel loved

From the depths of my emptiness
Comes a feeling of inner bliss
I feel wanted, I feel desired
I can feel my soul on fire

I feel loved
I feel loved

Yeah, that'll do nicely.

09 February 2006

Lou, the goldfish battler

UPDATED: Lou is actually looking normal now! He/she/it got rid of the buoyancy problem and is discovering the bottom of the fish tank.

I've posted about this fish before, but Lou's resilience and battler attitude has impressed me. It's a sign that even though something bad in your life may have happened (in this case, the swim bladder is all screwed up), then you can still keep charging along.

Or maybe the fish is just thinking "when the hell are they going to let me f#%ken die?"

08 February 2006

CD release party photos and geeks

There are online here. I kind of stuffed up the gamma in Photoshop... things were a bit iffy there for a while. Also the pictures were taken from the same perspective the whole night. There were lots of people in the club and some stupidly placed VIP tables. It was the best spot I could get.

Hey has anyone seen "The IT crowd", a British take on geekism? I've just watched 5 minutes of the second episode before posting this. It's not that bad! It reaches out to the geek lust buried deep within my tricuspid valve.

06 February 2006

The Muse, it is good.

I have just rediscovered a group that I first listened to 5 years ago. Ah, I remember fondly the days blasting out some 'Muse' in one of the project labs at my university, trying to figure out how to warp pictures into spherical coordinates so I could form a panorama. Those were the days *sigh*.

Fast forward to today and I have rediscovered them. Recently I played Muse's first album and thought "damn those guys are good". They have since released two more albums and both are effin fantastic. Definitely some good listening, definitely one of my favourite bands.

01 February 2006

Santos Renuentes' CD release party

Woohoo! This is one thing I've been looking forward to for a while: the CD release party for Santos Renuentes. Awesome. To those in Australia reading this, you have approximately 5 hours to get down to South Beach. Sorry for the late notice...

25 January 2006


Have been made to this post. I somehow got my iPod working again and another third of the pictures have been processed and the ones I like uploaded.

Pics from the phone

Ok, here are some other weirdness pics I've taken with my crapola RAZR camera...

This fish looks like it's dead, but it's just got an airbubble in it's tail so has to spend most of its day upside down. Poor bugger.

Nice car, eh? Take a look at what is hanging near the rear view mirror - a disabled parking permit. Ok, so maybe the driver really is disabled... ya.

This is from a dart game (called "F#%cker", or at that stage it could equally have been pirate darts) I was playing down at the "local" with some mates. Look at the dart that has lodged itself in the other dart - the spider strikes again.

24 January 2006

Debut album out

Santos Renuentes have finally released their self titled debut album! It's in stores now all around the US, but in short supply as there were only 5000 initial albums pressed. Here is a link that contains their first single and music video, "Marcha". This video is on rotation on local latin MTV-like station "Mun2" alongside Coldplay and the Darkness to name a few. For me the great thing is that the CD sleeve contains all the words to the songs which will help in my learning of Spanish. I can't wait until the CD release party next Wednesday night at Macarenas in SoBe. Awesome.

21 January 2006


I could not stop laughing when I came into work last week and found that someone had modified a Spiderman poster in photoshop by replacing Peter Parker with an image of myself. Hats off Mark!

More photos uploaded

Slowly yet surely I'm returning to normal, so here are some photos! None of them have any comments yet, but whatever (update: some do). This is the result of me going through a third of the photos I've taken. There is still another third I cannot get off my iPod (unknown device problems which I just can't solve - update: I've fixed my iPod and have uploaded those photos) and the other third is in Wagga. God knows when I'll be able to get stuck into them.

This is the Australiana photo set which will have a lot more added to it in the future.
Here are some from the Boxing Day party.

09 January 2006

Revenge of the redbacks

I had the absolute, without a doubt, worst flight back from Australia ever. There were times - and I say this with all honesty - that I thought I wasn't going to make it. Allow me to explain.

Whilst watching "King Kong" with a couple of mates I noticed that the inside of my left leg just above my ankle was hurting a little. My sock had folded over a couple of times but I thought it extremely wussy of my body to be complaining about that so I ignored it at the time. Later on that night at Garage club whilst playing some fussball I noticed the pain had increased and the left side of my groin was also starting to hurt. Standing in the line for the Vodka bar I felt my left leg go extremely numb and more of a general numbness over my whole body. My teeth started chattering, my pulse was racing and I was finding it difficult to stand up. I pretty much said "I have to go... to the hospital"

In the hospital I was put on a drip and given pain killers. By that stage my temperature was 38.5 Celsius (not that high really), my heart rate was 110 bpm (or thereabouts) and I was generally not feeling nor looking the best. Here is evidence:

I was diagnosed with SVT (superficial vein thrombosis) ... somehow. In hindsight such a diagnosis completely ignored all my other symptoms and only focused on the red patch, about 3cm diameter, just above my left ankle. I spent about 4 hours in the emergency ward before being discharged and by that stage I was feeling pretty good, in comparison to when I was admitted anyway.

I spent the next day generally laying about watching my left foot to make sure it never got too swollen. I was still fairly red though so that night on my mum's insistence I checked back in to the hospital to see if I could fly the next day. This doctor was different and was more or less scratching their head about the previous night's diagnosis. She was leaning towards more of some sort of bite, since the swelling on my upper leg was my lymph node. She drew an outline around the bite area and said if the redness exceeded that line in the morning that I do not fly.

Morning came, I thought I was feeling well enough to fly, the redness was contained within the line, I still have a little trouble walking but I caught the flight back to the US anyway.

Biggest mistake I have ever made. But there was still some stupidity on my part.

The flight from Adelaide to Sydney was fine. My foot was still a bit swollen but other than that I could not really complain about much.

Sydney to LA flight: the absolute worst flight experience I have ever had. Period. I had been doing my regular exercises and walking around the plane but around half way through the flight I suddenly felt lightheaded. My left leg was really swollen now and my left foot was bulging out of my shoe. I told an attendant that I didn't feel too well so I got up and lied down at the back of the plane for a while, did some walking around and got a lot of air onto me. I must admit though I really did play down how I was feeling. I felt worse than I stated. I sat down again and that's when it really happened. I had massive difficulty breathing and I was nearly falling unconscious. Every time a "wave" hit I tried meditating to pull myself through. I nearly called for more attendant attention but thought I could pull myself through it. I'm a bit stubborn like that sometimes. I got over the waves and was able to enjoy a viewing of "40 year old virgin" until I started getting them again. Not as bad as the first time but still pretty bad.

In the end I made it to LAX, of course, and I was deciding whether I would check myself into hospital or continue the flight to Fort Lauderdale. I had a 4 hour lay-over and decided to sleep a while and see how I felt. I chose a nice corner at my gate and once I woke up I felt ok again. The plane lifting off was a little horrific, and I spent a little time fighting the waves again, but I was able to get to sleep and I felt good again after that.

I'm convinced now I was bitten by a redback spider. The symptoms I had both on and off the ground are absolutely consistent with such a bite. That day I had been working in the garage and had been moseying about a bit, so the potential for a bite was there. Oh, here is what a redback looks like (image from Victorian museum website)

I've felt relatively well since. I have had a light headed feeling and my arms and legs don't really feel like they're there. The swelling in my foot has gone down quite a bit and the redness of the bite area is nearly gone. I was in the emergency room last night at a hospital here in Florida getting more blood tests done as well as some ultrasounds. My blood tests indicate normality everywhere as did the ultrasound. The doctor compared my symptoms with that of a redback spider bite and agreed that they matched, but without actual venom tests there is still some uncertainty. Plus, they don't have any antivenom for such a bite over here anyway.

Right now as I type this I'm high on antibiotics, pain killers and anti inflammatories. Every night I still wake up with my bed soaked from sweat but I'm not sure if that's from the antibiotics or not. Here is a pic of my little pill collection:

If it was a redback spider bite, and I'm pretty convinced it was (the symptoms just matched up perfectly from the intense pain at the bite site to the swollen lymph node to the numbness, difficulty in breathing, fever, high heart rate... everything) then I'm just plain curious as to why I got bitten visiting Australia rather than when I actually lived there for my whole life. Weird. If I had known it was a redback spider bite before leaving Oz I would never have left, since the symptoms can be recurring, as I experienced. But I was also feeling ok on the morning I left. Next time anything goes wrong on a plane I'm not going to be so quiet about it, that is for sure. I also remember thinking at the time that I just wanted to get back to Florida.

There are two people I have to really thank who looked after me when I first got the symptoms: Mary (not Mazza) and Ben (the guy with the girly smile here. Hehe). Thanks! I owe you. And of course my Mum, but she already knows that.

Anyway, it's 9pm and not surprisingly, I'm tired. Time to look forward to another 12+ hours of sleep :-)