november 08, 2000
the most recent dispatch from the field... (more)
catch up on previous news postings... (more)
Sign up to get email reminders when there is new news... (more)
nov 05, 2000
3 B's Tour east of Canberra: Bywong, Braidwood, and Batemans Bay... (more)
nov 03, 2000
A day at the galleries... (more)
nov 02, 2000
Meetings at CIT and attending an online conference ... (more)
oct 30, 2000
CIT, Canberra, and sights seen ... (more)
oct 26, 2000
Landing in Oz, drive to Canberra, and a Kangaroo welcome ... (more)
oct 24, 2000
Train to Auckland- Parnell sites and Waiheke Island ... (more)
oct 21, 2000
City scenes and a run for rings in Wellington ... (more)
On Monday I was treated to lunch by fellow Director developer Mark Martin, who is a new media producer for the Swish Group with offices here in Canberra and Melbourne. According to Mark there is still plenty of work (using Director) in developing educational multimedia for kiosks, CD-ROM and online. Mark also does his own side work as Marmalade Multimedia developing interactive software with a keen interest in digital audio.
It is very much a working life here in Canberra. On a rainy Monday, after a morning slaving away at the keyboard and mouse, John from CIT took me for an external strategic meeting ... to visit, a small winery where his brother-in-law works. Clonakilla Wines, established in 1971, is on a side road off of "Gundaroo" Road in "Murrumbateman" (easy for you to say, mate!)
Michael started us properly with a taste of Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet, and Shiraz. Yum! I am not wine maven and thus liked them all. Afterward, we got a tour of the operation, from press to barrel and points in between. It is a fascinating process, from the smallest detail to all of the instinctual decisions that the wine makers go through to make the final product.
today's photos - all photos o o o o
o o Canberra Winery & Ridge Walk
o o CIT Workshops & Melbourne Cup
In the evening, I am off to dinner out with my host Allan and his family to a place that serves "Stone Grill" style. This means we order the type of meat desired (beef, chicken, shrimp-- they are out of kangaroo!) and it is served raw on a slab of black granite that ahs been heated to a very high temperature. We then get to cook it on our table, by cutting thin slice and laying meat flat to cook on the hot stone. It is very tasty.. and fun. After dinner we head off to see "The Dish", the Australian movie that glorifies the role a rural town played by being the primary satellite receiver for the Apollo 11 moon landing. The story had some fun jabs at Australians (like the earlier hilarious movie by the same folks, "The Castle"), but ended a bit slower (the plot was already written.. "one small step for man, yadda yadda yadda", but it was more fun to see a movie about Australians with real Ozzies.
Tuesday was the national Australian holiday know as the Melbourne Cup... a horse race! For days the citizens have been mumbling while mulling over the race forms and contemplating their bets. More than $100 million is gambled by "punters" on the horses. The race is less predictable because of its 2 kilometer length. Businesses close down in the afternoon for lunches and to watch the race on TV (It is a state holiday in Victoria!)
In the TEALS department at CIT, race fever is high. In the morning, Julia form the office organizes everybody's bets and places them at the "TAB" the betting office. I put down $15 on a combination "mystery" ticket- a computer picks three horse and spreads bets across a Trifecta, Quinellas. For fun, I put another $5 on "Celestial Show" who turns out to start the race at more than 100: 1 odds!
But before all of this there is important activity! The office staff contribute $1-2 into a betting pool, where each player is given a random horse with a prize of the money in the pot. As a "neutral" observer, I get the honor of picking the names!
By three o'clock everyone assembles in the conference room to munch on foods, sip champagne and question their betting choices. The race starts and 22 horses charge around. My horse performs just like its odds and has no chance of winning. The eventual winner, in a record time, a New Zealand horse named "Brew", was ridden masterfully by a 20 year old jockey who was only one week out of his apprenticeship. And it was my host, Allan, who picked the winner, cashing out on a 16:1 win on a $5 bet. "Good on ya, punter!"
After this hard day, we go home under a beaming blue sky, a great day for a walk on the ridges above the house I am staying, Mt Wanniassa. The path is a jeep trail that rides the ridge tops and wanders among majestic trees. Giant Eucalyptus trees provide dramatic backdrops to broad views of Canberra and green hills beyond.
The trees and sky are full of birds of various size, shape, color, and cries. White cockatoos munch among the tall grass. Crimson Rosellas, a red parrot, perch themselves in the high branches. Numerous others provide all kinds of crackles and whistles. Betty, you would love walk among the bush here!
Of course, a dusk walk would not be complete without a kangaroo counter, and the top of the ridge was populated by several "mobs" of roos, who do their typical rearing up on those big hind legs to start at the crazy human with the camera. As I approach within about 12 feet, the cautiously turn before lunging off in that crazy hop hop hop fast gait.
On Wednesday, I was on stage for another presentation at CIT, a lunch time seminar for about 40 faculty and staff who were either interested in what I had to say or in the lunch sandwiches served. I presented our What a Site! workshop created with Maricopa colleagues Donna Rebadow and Mary Lou Mosley (Hi guys! it's not nearly as good without you both!). The audience was eager and talkative, and they did not boo or throw vegetables at me.
Between this I manage to spend time in the online NET*Working 2000 conference and work a bit on my presentation for the Queensland Open Learning Network conference in December. Tomorrow marks my last full day here in Canberra...
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