Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Up for a swim?

I have no idea if I have told you, I love swimming... Specially if I can go deep into the sea...

I know, is dangerous... Even more in Australia with all those sharks, deadly jellyfishes, stonefishes, etc. But I just can’t help it. Something in the sea calls me, telling me, kind of whispering ‘come... enjoy it... feel relaxed’. Today I just learned there is yet something else to be careful with... Rip currents.

As you might have read before, I posted once or more that I have went to some beaches here in Sydney, which I must admit, I thought beaches in Venezuela were awesome, but this beaches... The Australian beaches are something out of this world. But today I bumped into this news article.

I haven’t been near that beach, and to be honest I didn’t know the meaning of ‘rip current’ which I had to Google it (here is the definition on Wikipedia).

You might be thinking ‘Oh Rod... Why are you posting such awful news?’ Well, browsing a bit more I just found out useful tips just in case a rip takes you away.

how rips works.

How do I know I am in a rip?
If you start feeling struggling against waves and water, you might be in the middle or really close to a rip (No matter if you are in Australia, Venezuela or the States). Whatever current that takes you into deeper waters is a rip. There are strong and weak ones but in any case, if is pulling you to the sea you must understand something irregular is happening.

What to do in a rip?
First, be calmed. A rip won’t suck you to the bottom of the sea; it will take you far from the shore. In that case you need to start swimming in a parallel direction of the shore (trying to not get exhausted) till you stop feeling the waters getting you deeper. At that moment you can start swimming back to the shore.

How do you prevent rips?
Stay close to lifeguards. They will warn you if they see one close to you.
Stop swimming???? Nah... All you need to do is being careful.

How to identify a rip and to avoid it.
Till a next post.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, Kathy and I went to the cinema to watch Avatar (awesome movie by the way). Waiting for the movie, some trailers started to be on screen and then popped into scene the Qantas ad called ‘I still call Australia home’ (the song gave name to the ads, song by Peter Allan). I saw that commercial before arriving to Australia in September, but it was until today (when I wanted to show it to my friend) that I found out this song had been used by Qantas from long time ago on several other TV/Cinema ads.

Here I will share with you some of these videos. Enjoy’em.

I still call Australia home (not from Qantas, but first time sung by Olivia Newton John... Yeah, the one from Grease) - 1984

I still call Australia home - 1997

I still call Australia home - 1998 - 1999

I still call Australia home - 2000 - 2001 - 2002 - 2003

I still call Australia home - 2004 - 2005 - 2006

I still call Australia home - 2009 (you should try to watch this one in higher quality -
see it directly from

The awesome thing about all these videos is, I hope some day my offspring feel the same tickles I feel when I start watching every single of them.

Here is the lyrics of the song:

I've been to cities that never close down
From New York to Rio and old London town
But no matter how far
Or how wide I roam
I still call Australia home.

I'm always travelin'
And I love bein' free
So I keep leavin' the sun and the sea
But my heart lies waiting over the foam
I still call Australia home.

All the sons and daughters spinning 'round the world
Away from their families and friends
Ah, but as the world gets older and colder
It's good to know where your journey ends.

And someday we'll all be together once more
When all the ships come back to the shore
Then I realize something I've always known
I still call Australia home.

No matter how far
Or how wide I roam
I still call Australia home.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

This weekend Sydney was pretty moved... I know it will sound cliché... but as moved as I have never seen it... Ha ha, obviously, I haven’t seen that much of Sydney in four months I have been here.

To tell you about what kind of things we did this weekend... on Friday, my wife decided to establish a research about the Sydney Festival. An annual event of Sydney (I don’t remember if this is the third year of the event) where lots of people gather in several places of the city, to celebrate summer... Late arvo same Friday one of my fellow team members at Cochlear was telling me about the festival and well... Opinions of locals have serious weight on my perspective and planning of what to do on the weekend. And so, Sydney’s Festival was list’s top priority.

If you want to know more about the festival, click on the links, or watch the video bellow.

The hot Saturday (yesterday) went on with music and dancing... well, to be honest, the dancing was kind of erratic more than with a rhythm particular, but hey! At least the people that I saw knew how to move the feets, and that, compared to many other countries, is outstanding. At the end of the night, we tried to grab a spot in the domain to enjoy the Al Green concert... but duh! Al Green was the top scorer of the Sydney Festival first day and we were getting at last to grab a place. From our point of view, we only could see Al Green moving the hands on top... Still though the show was good, but we hit the road at the fourth song due to the amount of people in the concert; odd 120,000 people in there when a mate made an interesting observation...

“I think the train will collapse as soon as the concert ends”

As the Saturday was a lovely sunny day... Kathy and I decided to go to the beach today (Sunday) and so, we choose “Curl Curl” as the beach to visit with some of our friends... Needless to say more... ‘One image worth more than thousand words’ is a old saying in Venezuela... Here (Oz) is ‘images speak be themselves’

How do you think my awesome Sunday was?
By the way, I took this picture... I have no idea if my photography skills are improving but still I am proud of it :P

Till next post.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lindbergh’s son

Maybe you don’t quite understand the title of this post but I will explain it shortly. But to get to that, I must tell you first that I am working!...At this point I am sure you have read my previous post, titled ‘Christmas present or Channukah miracle’ were I was mentioning that I found a job just at the moment I was starting to lose my temper (But I got to admit, for me it was pretty much easy as I just had few interviews before being accepted).

The real thing was I was addressed to start working from January 4th, 2010. So I had a bit of resting before starting my duties. And so, I started this year with a series of inductions about to things get done around here... Not much to talk about and I am certainly not going to talk about the insights of my work, but I funny thing (for you, not for me) happened yesterday at the end of my journey. I was heading to the exit of the building, minded in my brand new book “Agile – principles, patterns and principles...” (if you aren’t from IT... is NOT a sporty book, so don’t ask) and I jumped in the bus to then take the train to my home. As the reading went on and trying to get mentally compiling the code of the book pages... fighting with the authors of the book trying to get into my mind a simplistic yet powerful thought that I tried several times to sell (in idea) to director or project managers of one of my clients. In the heat of the fight with me virtually writing the code with the authors I started noticing a faint voice coming from the front of the bus; which shortly after a few moments when from low to a more louder sound till hit me quite strong


I looked around trying to identify the place and then I thought “this is not Macquarie Centre! Were the bloody hell am I???” I looked to the driver lady saying ‘I am supposed to drop off at Macquarie Centre... How do I get there from here?’ and she looked immobile and unbreakable... Just opened her mouth to say ‘Boy... you are quite far from Macquarie at all... You are at the moment at Denistone East and you better go off this bus as is out of service from this point on... You can wait the bus at the other side of the road to go back to Macquarie if you want (16 – 18 bus stops overdue from here)... The bus will be here in an hour or so. Bye!’ closing the bus’ door and leaving me there, feeling lonely and lost.

In Venezuela there is a common saying when someone is hopeless lost... Being as ‘lost as Lindbergh’s son’. My first thought was, ‘let’s take a look to the bus timetable’ just to realise the bus I was supposed to take was the very last for that day and the zone is just a small residential area with big trees closing my view to any direction I could try to. Then I pulled out my cell phone, dial my wife number to hear a lovely voice saying ‘hi there... you don’t have no money to call, browse internet or anything else... if you want to recharge your phone this is pretty much the time now!’

I looked everywhere, no store near... The Lindbergh’s son feeling as on as ever before... I had to calmed down a bit, take several deep breaths then feel a bit relief when the bus appears at the very end of the road. Jumped back into the bus with my eyes wide open just in case I went right by the train station again...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Ok now, I am a little more recovered from last night :P Here is a video from my New Year Eve as transmitted by

My point for view allowed me to capture even more scenery as I was in front of one firework launcher, having an awesome view of the harbour bridge; no music though (which I have to do some research to find out if is only provided at the Opera House or if there are other places where we can listen it as the show plays).

I love Australia even more now and being sincere with you, everyone at least once in a lifetime should spend new year eve here, in Sydney.

Sydney’s video of New Year Eve 2009 - New Year Day 2010.

Event’s down side.

I just have three comments here:
First, I have no idea if is the combination of visitors, drinking and excitement... But at the very end, the park was a total mess, rubbish everywhere and to be honest... There were three or four couple at least that took its rubbish with him to dispose it where authorities wanted to (one of them were us). That is not cool people... that’s why they wanted to charge $30 each when some regulations for this show came out, but then was dropped due to several claims.

Second, No music. We were in a remarked spot by Sydney events as shown in the website. We had public order, public restrooms, fireworks right in front of us, but no music at all. I have no idea if the firework vessels can carry some huge speakers or announce to the people to bring a radio and tune a channel to hear it.

Final thought, public transportation. I know it is supposed for us to abandon the park right away the ending of the show to found 12 buses waiting for us... But it took us 1 hour and 45 minutes to abandon the park, and we had to walk near 3 kilometres (1.8 miles) to reach a bus. At 2am in the morning, being there since 10am day before, crowded with stuff for the day camping... the walking is hard. But this is a good way to start the new year with a little of fitness.

Guys, to be honest, at the moment I am mentally and physically exhausted. I woke up today at 7:00AM, 31 of December, 2009; and at this moment... 1of January 2010 I have been up for almost 21 hours of waiting the fireworks, waiting the new year and even more important... Be with my friends and loved ones (though my family is really far away back in my hometown, Venezuela).

Sydney's New Year Eve is just, the best thing I have ever seen. I was surrounded by so many cultures, joined as one... Holland, France, Spain, Mexico, Germany, Italy, England and... well, I don't even remember now... to tired :P

I promise I will upload soon the fireworks video, so you can share my enthusiast and amusement with every light coming from that lovely harbour bridge :)

Have a new year and my very best wishes :P