Monday, March 28, 2011

Happy Birthday T-chan... My Love

If there's anyone out there that reads this blog (firstly thankyou, and secondly, there's most probably better things to do with your life... but thanks again). You will know that my wife and son recently departed for Japan... not exactly the #1 destination at this time. However, the reason they were going was to spend time with my wife's family, and eventually for us all to attend T-chan's brother's wedding in Tokyo.

Well... what you might not know is that today is T-chan's birthday (I won't say how old, but she's still but a spring chicken at heart). And whilst flowers may not have quite the same impact over the internet, they express my love on this very special day (the first birthday T-chan's had with her family since 2002). So here's a small gift from my heart, and from our home... to the most beautiful and loving wife a husband could have.

For my best friend, who is so far away... I love you.

(I'm sure she's either red with embarrassment or rage, or both... or possibly just vomiting sickly sweet nothings... but I just couldn't help myself)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Family Arrive Safe and Sound in Sapporo

Hi all - well, I saw T-chan and L-kun off at the airport on Wednesday evening here in Adelaide, and then had a pretty awful 24+ hour wait before they arrived (via Hong Kong and Osaka) into Sapporo. Thankfully all went well, and they were able to make it without too many dramas... but went straight to bed on getting home (after a long hot bath).

I'll give an update later tonight.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Adelaide's Rundle Street Architecture - A Change of Pace

For all the going's on in the world, there's often no place like home. And home for me is Adelaide. Good ol' Adelaide. Now, Adelaide is a relatively young city, having been founded in 1836, and as a "free colony". That gave us a few things - most notably the distinctively "proper spoken english" with it's fuller, more rounded vowel sounds, as well as a much larger proportion of German Lutheran settlers around the outskirts of the city. The nature of the colony was also such that we never really out-grew our colony status... and to this day, Adelaide has a "big country town" feel that is often noted by inter-state visitors.

It also has Rundle Mall... the central shopping district of the CDB. A throw-back to the 70's when Malls were a novel invention to post-war Australia. A street for pedestrians. Add to that the 70's architectural modernism as encapsulated by the Mall's Balls (the two silver spheres shown above).

The architecture of Adelaide owes a lot to the period of it's founding, and indeed there remains a few relics of that time - including a fountain cast in the late 1800's. This is always a mecca for kids in summer... though it used to be filled with a white foaming substance (I don't even want to imagine what sort of chemical they used to put in there). Thankfully, it's now a more "normal" if coppery colour.

So Rundle Mall (which extends on to Rundle Street to the east) is the heart of the city. Looking at it, you might not be that impressed. And for good reason. It's meant to be a casual place for spring and autumn with plenty of outdoors walking. In winter and summer, pedestrians are always clambering to find shelter or shade respectively. Indeed, around late February you can see that in the later part of the afternoon, the Mall gets quite shaded anyhow.

Now I am no architect - amongst a great many things that I can safely say I'm not. But I do like looking at buildings as a way of reading the history of a city. And Adelaide has a fairly traditional, though slightly off-centre architectural heritage. I was hoping to take you on a quick walk down the Mall to see some of the more notable, though often unnoticed buildings. Actually, after I went looking... even I was quite surprised at the heritage that I had been walking around in - and the very unusual styles that pervaded the early buildings of Adelaide.

The Regent Arcade (below), like the Adelaide Arcade (next below) have a lot of style... ok they're not quite on the same scale as the QVB in Sydney, but they're grand old buildings that have been given a nice facelift of  late.
Regent Arcade
Adelaide Arcade in particular has a very nice style - which I will have to photograph next time I'm in Adelaide with my camera (not that often).
Adelaide Arcade
Yet beyond these obvious buildings, the real interesting story for me begins not at street level, but rather higher up - where the original buildings stand above the newer facia with a some kind of greek-like tragic pose. The styles are varied - but elaborate is an underlying theme. There is no real order to these photos - and no real story to the architecture... as I said, I'm no architecture expert.

And as you move into Rundle Street proper, it is actually a bit like walking on to a stage from an old historical movie (admittedly I'm showing a biased sample here). Still, you get the feeling of what sort of architectural skeletons can be found without too much effort in Adelaide's central business district.

One of the nice buildings is the old Adelaide Fruit and Produce Exchange building, or market. Though it's days of being a market have recently been replaced by trendy apartment living (not shown here) - there remains some of the old character. The east-end of the city really had a beautiful (and sometimes bohemian) feel to it. That's now replaced by the cafe set... still pleasant, but lacking much of the real honest personality.

The one building that I missed to photograph is the Adeliade Beehive building at the other (western) end of Rundle Mall - this building was owned by John Rundle (ah - now it's starting to make sense). I'll add that to my list of photo projects to do.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Drawing Breath... A Shift Towards a New Normal

Well - it's Saturday night, and there's been no serious "worse news" coming out of Japan, other than the mounting death toll (over 7,000 confirmed dead, and a growing list of the missing now exceeding 11,000). There's also been the discovery of higher than expected levels of radiation in the milk and spinach from the Ibaraki and Fukushima. And of course there's the discovery that the Miyagi prefecture was moved a whole 5.3 meters laterally, and 1.2 meters down. I think given the whole tsunami thing, if you had to move in any direction - up would have been the most desirable. On the human front, the cold weather has been causing all sorts of dramas - not least the outbreak of influenza that's claimed the lives of some of those that escaped the horror of the quake and tsunami.

On the upside, radiation seems to have stabilised and temperatures at the power plant seem more manageable after an amazing series of actions to pump water into the four reactors. Also power has been restored to the reactors - at least some of them. It's hard to see that there'd be much left to work after all that's happened. Also, work is about to commence to construct the first 200 pre-fabricated houses as a starting point to reconstructing people's lives. And it's with these small steps that life reverts to a new form of normal. It's to be sure that normal will be a whole different type of creature than it was a little over a week ago.

And whilst we've had our own dramas (on a much different scale) in terms of working out whether we're going to Japan or not... we feel a small level of calm spreading, like the dawn's light, across our emotional landscape.

To remind us all of the real situation, a M6.1 quake hit the already ravaged Ibaraki Prefecture just a couple of hours ago.

Normal will almost certainly involve a more uncomfortable relationship with the earth for the weary and worn Japanese of the Tohoku region of Japan. May they find some pause in their own struggles, that they too may draw breath.

Family Travel Update to Japan - Travel via HGK and Osaka

Well - I have to say that Qantas have come through (we've taken our travel agents out of the loop)...this morning we rang Qantas and changed the flights to go via Hong Kong (unavoidable for the foreseeable future) but instead of transiting through Tokyo (either Narita or Haneda) we've gone the slightly safer - though slower - path of travelling via Osaka (KIX airport). This has the advantage of avoiding any risk of things going worse. We've also delayed a further 2 days to allow T-chan to collect herself and just to let the dust settle a bit more (it's been a long, stressful week).

Our Qantas contact was especially good in helping us out, and was very patient when we bombarded her with multiple options. Very helpful and very informative. A BIG thumbs up to Qantas.

Stress levels receding - hopefully like the radiation levels in Fukushima.

Update - the power has been at least partially restored to the power station (according to T-chan's parents via skype just now); and at least one of the diesel motors has been restarted. Not sure which reactor they're trying to power up first.

You Know Things Are Working Against You When...

It's been a very difficult time for us recently, trying to decide what to do travel-wise. We had changed T-chan and L-kun's flights to a week later (departing from Adelaide this monday evening for Sapporo via Narita). As I wrote early, we had heard that they were going to fly via Hong Kong now, to avoid crews sleeping in Tokyo (by the way, rumour has it there was a mini mutiny on a recent Jetstar Flight where the crew refused to stay in Japan).

Anyhow... I've been keeping an eye on the situation very carefully (even during my business trip today)... and you can imagine my surprise when I check out T-chan's Qantas booking online (amazing I could rememeber her booking number), when I found that they had changed her flights such that she had to overnight in Sydney, depart Sydney at 6am to arrive in Narita (via Hong Kong) at 6pm to connect with a 10am flight on the same day.... what the!?!?!? Ok, I trust Qantas is efficient, but I don't think even they are that good!

A (not so) quick phone call to our travel booking agent ( told us that we could ignore that itinerary as they would book an alternative flying via Hong Kong (flying Cathay Pacific) through Haneda to Sapporo. With 1 hour to clear customs / immigration / change to domestic terminal... etc etc. Admittedly this is infinitely better than the travel-back-in-time option they were giving us initially, however, it's pretty risky still (though we've never been to Haneda internationally).

Actually, I'm kind of amazed they could find a flight out of Tokyo with seats available... even under normal conditions it's difficult to get an internal flight with this much notice - let alone these sorts of conditions.

So tonight we go to bed just that little bit more stressed... and annoyed that no one bothered to contact us that the flights had been changed (especially to an impossible schedule). I'm glad I'm pretty anal about these sorts of things and check constantly.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Australian Government Now Says "Do Not Travel" To Tokyo

I've just noticed that the DFAT travel advisory has been ramped up from "reconsider need to travel" to Tokyo, to "Do Not Travel" to Tokyo. Not sure what the implications are - or whether this is a precaution against the inherently more dangerous phase that the Fukushima operation has enetered. The overall Japanese advisory has also been upgraded from the lowest level of "Be Alert" to "High Degree of Caution".

I have to say, it doesn't get much more blunt than that. This comes on top of Australia following the US lead by increasing it's recommended exclusion zone to a radius of 80km from the Fukushima reactors.

Update - Australians Told To Leave Tokyo

The continuing (worsening) drama at Fukushima Daiichi Power Station have caused the Australian Foreign Minister to announce that all non-essential Australians should evacuate from Tokyo and the 8 affected prefectures. Embasssy staff have been told they may leave Japan if they wish. Things are continuing to spiral down... meanwhile the actual radiation levels observed in Tokyo are currently very low, and whilst there's ever present concern the brave Tokyoites are being strong and resilient.

I've included a Japanese-language stream from NHK below from UStream.

Stream videos at Ustream

We've now about 4 days to decide how to proceed with our trip to Japan. The biggest problem is that whilst Sapporo is quite safe now, transport is still currently passing through Tokyo.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Qantas Now Stops Over in Hong Kong Enroute to Japan

This afternoon there was a lot of rumor and mis-information going around (including some very disturbing stuff coming out about the recent Shizuoko earthquake of last night...) The worst thing is that you don't know which news source to believe - or which news sources are just too slow to bring the news out.

The other thing that happened is that we've heard on the ABC news that Qantas has stopped flying direct into/out of Narita airport - but instead having a stop-over in Hong Kong to change crews. At first we thought this meant that they were not flying into Narita at all. We haven't heard anything direct from Qantas as yet - but this may be that the change affects only flights up to the 19th so far.

What we don't know is what that means in terms of T-chan's forward flight to Sapporo (now scheduled for the 22nd March). Hopefully this will all calm down shortly.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Update - Still In Adelaide Watching Live NHK World

This evening T-chan, L-kun and I are home, safely, thinking how lucky we are - but mixed with sadness that T-chan will not be meeting her parents tomorrow. Hopefully this will only be a short delay whilst we all come to understand the nature of the problems facing Japan - whether it is big or small. 

Once again - here is a live feed from NHK World... from Ustream. It's horrible to watch some of the footage, and I try not to watch the graphic stuff (will I be any better off for watching people being consumed by the waves?)... still, the thing that makes me angry is watching the briefings from TEPCO where they can't come up with a straight answer, or worse still, where they voice their meaningless apologies. 

Update - The death toll mounts (around 2,500 confirmed with many more unidentified as yet). And yet still, there are survivors being found. Today a 75 year old woman and a man in his 20's. It would be nice to think that there will be more found, but as time goes on, and with a cold snap here, those chances are getting slimmer and slimmer. Radiation that is harmful to human health is detected - however, there is confusion as to how much and how far from the site.

I know it's wrong... but I'm sure that there were plenty of people wishing that the people found were someone else... someone's loved one, missing relative, lovers, parents, children, friends. There is no right or wrong to who survives; but we should be thankful for everyone that can be pulled alive from the rubble.

T-chan & L-kun's Flight Postponed

Just to let you know that with current situation appearing to get worse, we have decided to delay T-chan's/L-kun's flight to Japan until the 21st March. There's a lot of relief (from my perspective), but also a lot of disappointment for T-chan who is missing out on meeting her parents for another week.

This is a stressful situation for all of us now... let's hope it starts to calm down a little.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Last Thoughts Tonight....

Actually... watching the footage coming out of NHK World now, I am starting to get quite sick. What a horrible, horrible tragedy. Even though I know that these things all happened over the course of a few minutes on Friday afternoon, the continual release of footage makes it feel as if it's an unending catastrophe.

We need time to draw breath, and need time to grieve.

And I understand that Fukushima Reactor #2 has undergone at least partial meltdown, and radioactivity is being detected (apparently injection of seawater is not working sufficiently to cool the core down). What will happen? The language from the government to me is changing dramatically from one of a semi-controlled situation to one describing a situation that is rapidly going out of control.

It is like a dream where you are perpetually falling - and you never reach bottom.

Of course there will be a bottom, and things will improve - and we all have to have hope and confidence that things can be returned to normal, that life must go on, and that Japan's battered nation can be rebuilt stronger. We have to.

Let us all go to sleep thinking of life... and hope tomorrow brings the first of many better days.

What a Way to Spend a 7th Anniversary...

Well today is our 7th wedding anniversary, and yet it feels anything but romantic. There's so much concern about the trip, and the wider issues of Japan... it's sort of over-shadowed everything else. Not only is it our wedding anniversary, it's also White Day in Japan. I'll post on that later...

It's now about 30+ hours before T-chan and L-kun get on the plane for Sydney, and about 46 hours before they arrive in Narita - and another 6 hours before they arrive in New Chitose Airport. It won't be till about 3pm on wednesday that I'll know that they're safe and sound back at home in Sapporo. Oh how I wish that we could have flown direct into Sapporo.

According to Qantas and JAL services are all on time, and there's minimal disruption. We're outside the current period to change flights (only included flights departing today). Not that T-chan would think of changing flights... easily. Yet she's also nervous about going back now... is it safe? We know that there's a 70% chance of another 7+ magnitude earthquake  - but also there's a much greater chance of another larger (more unpredictable) earthquake in the near future. Not to mention the growing threat of nuclear power-station problems (with yet another reactor having problems... and much closer to Tokyo this time around).

There's a lot of talk about people getting out of Japan - and for tourists not to come to Japan. Does that apply to us? Are we tourists? Our friends in Japan are starting to consider whether they should be returning to Australia... one works in the Australian embassy and he's wanting to send his family home. With talk about rolling power cuts and food and fuel shortages, it's also a worry to think if we've all underestimated just what the short to medium term implications will be.

How can I not be worried?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Third Reactor Emergency - A Quick Summary

News coming out now is that another reactor core in the same complex has triggered an emergency alert, with increasing temperatures raising concerns of another impending problem. The reactors in this case are Light Water Reactors, which use a thermal process - controlled by the presence of water. The earthquake on Friday caused the safety systems which control the flow of water to be rendered inactive, thus removing the coolant water regulation, and hence the increase of temperature to the point where the water begins to boil. When the water level drops, exposing the fuel to air, they melt (thus producing the "melt down" phenomenon). After a now incredibly high temperature disintegrating core interacts with whatever coolant remains... this can potentially cause a huge steam explosion that can eject large amounts of radioactive material into the environment.

That's the worst case scenario. The Japanese government has provided assurance that there is no real threat, however, there are already reports of three of the people working on the damaged reactor having been exposed to radioactive substances (related to the partial meltdown). The extent of this has not been identified, but is suggested as being of a low level. There is however a history with slow responses when it comes to nuclear accidents... with incidents in Tokaimura (in Inbaraki Prefecture) in 1997 and a significant incident in 1999. The current accident is of the same order of severity as the second incident - a level 4 (out of 7) emergency.

The current plan is to fill the reactor cores with sea-water (the only large quantity of water available) - though estimates are that this process will take up to 10 days, and will also effectively mean the reactor will need to be shut down permanently.

What seems a problem to me is the rate at which the now introduced seawater heats up, as it will be unlikely to be regulated in any significant way. Unless the heated seawater is purged with cooler water. This has the problem of where the now contaminated seawater will be stored (or released). There are some very tricky decisions to be made, but they have now essentially committed the reactor to a "rapid as possible" and permanent shutdown.

Despite the severity of the action, it is somewhat incongruous to me that the Australian foreign minister (Kevin Rudd) has apparently all but demanded a full briefing on the threat posed by the reactor from his Japanese counterpart. To put this into some context, whilst Australia has the largest single deposit of uranium in the world, we do not have nuclear power stations (and only one experimental "scientific and medical" reactor). The question of nuclear power has been a long divisive one here in Australia over many decades - but the tone used by Mr Rudd beggars belief in the context of the on-going tragedy. I do not want make my blog political at all, but Australia's response concentrating on the state of the reactors seems disproportionate to the very real threat that has been manifest in Japan due to the earthquake and tsunami.

The Japanese people certainly are experiencing calamity on a number of different scales - and whilst the quakes and the tsunami threat is for the moment subsiding, there remains a very real threat. Not least of all from the condition of the reactors.

Update on Japanese Earthquake... Anxiety Starting To Rise.

It's been a long night... and I haven't slept much (thanks to the worsening situation in Japan, and having made the mistake of having had some decongestant for a cold that left my brain all wired). Anyway, I'm also starting to get a little worried about T-chan's and L-kun's trip to Sapporo (2 more days to go)... and my own trip in 3 weeks time when we intended to spend over a week in Tokyo. The thing that makes me worried most of all is the realisation that an earthquake of this magnitude is not only likely to have large aftershocks, but more worrying it is also likely to generate other stresses that could lead to other big earthquakes (similar to what has happened in places like Christchurch just recently).

I've included a link below to a live streaming NHK World News for those looking for up to date news. As the horrible news of death continues, it is worth remembering that there are moments of life and miracles. I am hoping that we will also see that Japan's early warning system has saved many more people than could otherwise be expected.

Free video chat by Ustream

Update - The initial estimates on Minamisoma may be overestimated... or misplaced... the media is now talking about the town of Minami Sanriku - where there are some 10,000 people missing (over half the population of the town). The situation on the ground is still quite chaotic, and it is therefore difficult to get a good view of exactly what has occurred.

Further Problems at Fukushima Reactors

There has been an explosion at the Fukushima #1 reactor site. This is believed to have been caused by a hydrogen build-up due to a partial meltdown of the reactor core. This is likely to have only destroyed the outer building that surrounds the reactor core containment shell. Four people have been reported as injured - and whilst there have been nuclear fissile contaminants detected around the plant, the government are saying that no major radioactive leak has occurred.

Reports indicate that they have already started pumping seawater into the core to reduce the temperature. This action will almost certainly mean these reactors will not be re-started. This should however avert the risk of further meltdown. Whilst there will inevitably be lessons learned from this disaster, it raises some serious questions about both the design and the inherent vulnerability to power infrastructure in Japan. That is a discussion for another day however.

To make things worse, Fukushima prefecture has also just been hit by a magnitude 6 earthquake as an aftershock - in itself a serious earthquake. It is speculated that due to the extreme severity of this earthquake, the earth's crust has been highly activated and that many other large earthquakes are now likely, even well beyond the normal aftershocks.

The nuclear power plant problems are to some extent hiding the much larger problem of the extreme inundation of the miyagi and surrounding prefectures.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Situation in Japan - The Wait Begins

Whilst we know T-chan's parents are safe, communications with Sapporo seem to have been quite badly affected. Landlines are still out, and even contacting T-chan's mother by phone is disrupted except for texting. We're now waiting to until T-chan can get back to Sapporo. Edit - seems that NTT lines were working, but other providers were struggling with demand and infrastructure problems in Sapporo.

We know that Hakodate (southern Hokkaido) was hit by a 2m tsunami and has sustained some damage, but news is still filtering out slowly. Airlines are now warning of significant disruptions to flights into Tokyo - but we're still hopeful there will be little affect on T-chan and L-kun flying to Japan on Tuesday. On more serious news - there is the real prospect of massive loss of life in North-Eastern Japan, with entire cities (such as Minamisoma, with a population of some 70,000 people) and large numbers of towns being either completely inundated, or worse, destroyed completely. Edit - the extent of damage here is now unclear.

Two nuclear reactors in Fukushima prefecture, near the worst hit area, have caused atomic emergency warning (and evacuations to be undertaken) as control to the cooling to the reactors have been at least temporarily lost - at best this will result in the release of some radioactive steam into the atmosphere, but at worst the reactors will continue to increase in temperature... and some limited meltdown occur. This is important as it could be the make or break of modern nuclear reactors.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Sad Day...Sendai Earthquake

Returning home from an interstate trip I came inside this evening to the news that Japan had suffered one of the worst Earthquakes on record - and in a tragedy that is still unfolding, the resultant tsunami threaten to widen the sorrow to many more places beyond Japanese shores.

For those that don't know my wife's family live in Sapporo (in Hokkaido) to the north, but her brother (and soon-to-be-sister-in-law) live in Tokyo. Even though we knew that the earthquake was centred around Sendai (on the northeast cost of the main island of Honshu... a major city with a population of around 1 million people (the same size as my home city of Adelaide). We quickly heard from T-chan's parents, and then from her brother... all were well. However - it was definitely a very bad earthquake, even at those distances (about 550 km from Sapporo, and only 350 km from Tokyo) the effects were very bad. T-chan's parents were badly shaken and left feeling physically sick - as was T-chan's brother.

The damage is still not well understood - and with the resulting 7 - 10m high tsunami that followed... but given that there was only some 15 or so minutes warning before it hit Japan, you can well imagine the carnage, and the likely loss of life that will result from this disaster. After the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, I am sure we all hoped that we wouldn't see anything like this again - and we can only hope that this one dissipates it's energy before it hits other countries.

From NHK

Our hopes go out to all the people who have been affected by this quake, and in particular to our close friends in Saitama that we have yet to hear from. Our hopes also go out to the people that live in the danger zones around the Pacific...UPDATE: the latest news is that the evidence from Taiwan and Russia is that the tsunami may not have the same strength as the one in 2004.

This is also a sad day for another reason, that I might post about later - but not today.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Adelaide Festival Fringe... Garden of Above Earthly Delights

February and March are Festival months in Adelaide. And one of the most popular festivals is the Adelaide Fringe Festival (started in 1960 as an alternative to the more establishment Adelaide Festival of Arts). This used to be one of my favourite times of year, but alas work and family (and the overall lack of funds due to saving up for our upcoming trip to Japan) all have precluded us from enjoying it.

One of the exceptions to this is the Garden of Unearthly Delights.... a somewhat colourfully named addendum to the festival that has become both a focus for family fun during the day, and a full-on venue for all sorts of delights in the evening.

Now today I wasn't going to post about the Festival Fringe... but I do encourage you to go if you get to Adelaide around this time of year. No... I had much more mundane things to write about. My fear of heights. I've become increasingly stressed by heights over the last few years - but I've come to realise just how debilitating that is when you have children. Case in point. Last year we went to the Garden of Unearthly Delights and there was an old clunker of a ferris wheel that L-kun just couldn't stop raving about. Unfortunately - and this gives you a hint of one of the sources of my phobia - all I could see was the countless holes that my then 3yo could fall out of. Unfortunately he missed out on riding the ferris wheel... though Daddy was a little relieved. Phobia's generally relate back to anxiety at it's root - the anxiety of losing something, including control. And I have to admit that I'm kind of an anxious parent. And yes, I know it's not a good thing - especially if you impart that anxiety onto your child. Hence this challenge...

This year that old clunker was going to be defeated, and the monkey was coming off my back.

With a small wait, L-kun and Daddy jumped on board... I was kinda curious to see how L-kun would react. Would he be afraid... would he be laughing? Would he decide to get up and jump about (giving Daddy a heart-attack). Luckily there was none of that. He took it all in his step - but did manage to say to Daddy, "Don't step off Daddy, that would hurt". Thanks L-kun. Advice heeded. And in the end, the ride was a piece of cake. Actually - the funny thing is that I'm not at all scared of heights... I guess I'm just scared of falling. Having avoided falling, everything was good. ?;-)

So having bested the Wheel of Death (really - it's a baby ferris wheel), L-kun and I spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the park. It's not the ideal place for kids - although there are a few attractions of older kids there. It's mostly a place to hang out, have something to eat, see a show, and have a few drinks whilst waiting for the evening entertainment to start. Still, it was fun, and L-kun and I enjoyed a go on the Dodgem Cars... though he didn't particularly enjoy the impression he was doing of a bobble-head.

So if you're in Adelaide over February or March, see a show, and if you've got kids, taken them to the Garden and have a bit of fun. Hopefully next year will be better weather (this was the best couple of days for quite a while). It's definitely more mainstream these days, and indeed a lot more commercial (and expensive). Thankfully however it's a good free afternoon in the city.

And the days are counting down before T-chan and L-kun head off for Japan... and we're all getting a little stressed about how poorly prepared we are. Still. Gotta make the most of the remaining time. Which kinda explains why my posts have been drying up of late. Gomen ne!