Monday, July 30, 2007


Delane and I hit a "proper" footy game this past Saturday. We went to an NRL (National Rugby League) game at Telstra stadium to see the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Titans. NRL, in my opinion, is the best "code" of rugby. The game is rather timeouts. 40 minute halves, with a 20 minute break. But the action is much better than Aussie rules footy.

Apparently, there was some controversy during the game. People started throwing change at the opposing team's players. Now there is a big "probe" and the police are looking at video to find the coin throwers! LOL

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Well, Delane departs in just over 24 hours. I can tell it's gonna be a bit of a tough day.....what an awesome opportunity we've had to share this experience.

Calling all friends to keep a good eye out on her! Delane requires fairly consistent trips to Los Bravos, Bellas, and even Moes (with good friends) to keep her well fed and smiling. :)

BizCoach Ron; thanks for picking my sweets up......really means a ton to have her met after a long trip. A taxi wouldn't have been the same.

Sandra/Doug; Delane will be by with a truck soon to tow away all our mail! Don't know how to say thanks enough......

Weekend Fun!

We decided it was time for one more nice night out for Delane's last weekend. She departs Monday :(. So, Friday night was a light dinner and drinks at Opera Bar and then we saw Othello at the Opera House. Opera bar has to be about the best design and location of anywhere! Overlooks the Opera House and the harbour. And Friday night is PACKED. A fun evening!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

APEC Summit

So the Asia Pacific Economic meeting will be here the first week of September. Apparently, there are 21 world leaders here.....including Bush. They are taking it real serious and have declared a public holiday on Sept 7th in Sydney. Got a message from work today. Monday and Tuesday are regular work days. Wednesday is an off-site meeting outside of the Central Business District. Thursday is work from home and Friday is off completely. Check out the event details at

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


So they have the most amazing skyrail in Cairns! Most of us have probably ridden a skyrail up in North Carolina (or even Stone Mountain!). But right North of Cairns is one that is....get this, 7.5 kilometers long! The thing takes you to a small town in the mountains called Karunda. But the skyrail also stops twice on the way to Karunda. The stops allow you to hop off the cable car and take a stroll through the rainforest. Check out the pictures to the right......many are taken from VERY high up in the air!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


What makes a Rainforest? I'd always wondered what it took to be a "rainforest". Apparently the rules are:
  • A minimum of 1300mm (1.3 meters, or about 5 feet) of rain each year
  • A forest canopy - layers of trees/shrubs such that there are tall trees blocking out some of the light from lower levels
  • A self-contained environment - dead trees/plants serve as a breeding ground from new vegetation
One of the coolest parts of our trip was a short trip up to Mossman Gorge and the Daintree rainforest! We drove North from Port Douglas about 20 miles to a little town called Mossman. Just 2-3K off the main road was a nice little parking area. A trail of about 4K total left from the parking area and walked you through some real-life rainforest.

Now it is the dry season up in Queensland, so it wasn't like steamy and humid as you might expect. Queensland gets it's rain about 4 months of the year.....December - March it apparently does nothing BUT rain. The rest of the year is much much drier. So it was a very nice cool dry walk. The plants and trees are very dramatic (see the pictures to the right). We were hoping to see some tree kangaroos but the only wildlife we saw were some sow/pigs, plenty of birds, and a snake. One of the coolest things up Queensland way, in the rainforests, and all over New South Wales as well are the fig trees! The things are MASSIVE and the roots grow out in a very unusual way. Very stunning plants. Here is a picture:

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Great Barrier Reef

Delane and I took a slightly different approach to visiting the GBR; We booked an overnight trip to stay on a boat for the night. We were in a town called Port Douglas the day before our visit to the GBR and were departing Cairns (about 1 hour drive south) at 8-8:15AM. So we hopped in the car at 6:45 and made quick work of the first 50 minutes. We got 10K away from Cairns and started CRAWLING at like 5K per hour. The clock ticked by and next thing we know we've moved like 2 miles in 20 minutes. Anyone that knows me well knows that being late SERIOUSLY stresses me out! But a quick call to the Dive store let us know that the traffic (an bad car accident) was holding up others and they would wait for us made me relax a bit.

So we departed Cairns for Norman Reef on a boat with like 150 other people....and they should have probably capped it at 100. It was CROWDED. The trip to the outer reef was about 90 minutes and when we arrived it was time to snorkle! We hit the water for about 45 minutes in wet suits, back in the boat, moved sites, then another 45 minutes at another location. By this time I was getting a tad tired of the crowds. But the very bright side was the crew telling Delane and I that the overnight boat we would be transferring too was meant to have 48 people and that there wold only be 28 for the evening! We motored over to the overnight boat around 2:30 and went from crowds to luxury! It was an amazing boat.......huge, with 24 rooms, 2 huge decks, a dive platform, dining room, bar, the works!
Now, about the reef; It is very difficult to describe how amazing the GBR is! Delane and I have had the pleasure to snorkel at many amazing locations around the world and this by far takes the cake! The water was flawless, the fish abundant, and the coral alive, colorful, and EVERYWHERE! I can't begin to count the different varieties of fish in the water........we even saw a Stringray!

We snorkeled a total of 5 times before re boarding the transfer boat for the trip back to shore the next day. We were both fairly surprised at how much we truly enjoyed the reef! It was even better than expected. And I can certainly recommend staying on a boat for a night or two.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Back to reality!

We'll, Delane and I arrived back in Sydney late Friday night. It was a glorious 8 days of "Holiday" (nobody here uses vacation...they are on holiday). We knew it was going to be especially tough to come back as we kept hearing reports of record cold temps and rain. But Saturday in Sydney was an exceptional welcome back. Today so much reminded me of an Auburn Fall football weekend.......warm in the sun, a bit cool in the shade, and a light breeze! Oh how I'm ready to see some American football!

Caroline, Mom, and girls visited Atlanta this week and stayed at our house. Special thanks to Sandra and Doug for noticing activity and checking on things! I hope the house served you well and that you enjoyed the time in Atlanta. And Brooke and April are there now for a Braves game......oh I'm jealous of that too!

Vacation photos and updates forthcoming.....I've got about 350 photos and I need to sift through a bit to whittle them down to the good ones!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Time for fun!

Well, it's time to venture off on vacation, so no more posts from me for a week or so. We are off to Cairns/Port Douglas Australia tomorrow morning and back the following Friday (the 20th). Really gonna be a good time. We are even considering zipping off to the Blue Mountains after we get back on the 20th. The Blue Mountains is a huge area with what is supposed to be some amazing views, "bushwalks" (hikes), and wildlife. It's about a 2 hour drive or you can even catch a train.

On a seperate topic; The office here in Sydney started a ten week boot camp program with instructors to help people get in shape. The first session was last week and was only a bit of testing....body fat, weight, pushups in one minute (56 for me) and a short sprint around the Opera House to measure now verse after the program. The first "real" session was this Tuesday. I've done these sessions before in Atlanta, so I was somewhat prepared. I ran about 40 minutes before class started then showed up with my other 12 or so recruits for a 45 minute session. Let me just be honest when I say that walking was a serious challenge the next day! I is amazing how you can be in good running condition and then do something new (like tons of squats and lunges) and be laid out sore!

Happy Birthday to Mr. Steiger (on the 11th). Wishing you the best, sir.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Interesting Australian Language Differences

We all know the Australian "G'Day, Mate" and "Barbie" terms from the TV. However, there are many other interesting language differences that Delane and I have been collecting. Here is a summary of my favorites;

  • Grog = Beer or other spirits. One of my co-workers is "off the grog" meaning he's given up drinking for a few weeks.
  • Dodgie = Kind of like sketchy or questionable. Used very frequently in sentences like "the weather is looking a bit dodgie" or "that part of town is a bit dodgie". Almost always proceeded with "a bit" :)
  • Proper = good, or high quality. If you have a nice umbrella, someone may call it a "proper umbrella". Or, if you go to a nice restaurant, they may call it a "proper restaurant".
  • Middie, Schooner, Pint, Jug = you guessed it; draft beer sizes. A middie is slightly smaller than a 12 oz beer. Maybe 10 oz. A schooner is slightly larger than a standard beer. A jug is a mini-pitcher, at 3 schooners in volume
  • Runner = This is NOT what Jim and Delane do in the park on a nice day, but rather an oft-used term for dodging the bill or shoplifting.
  • Kiwi = The term used to describe someone from New Zealand.
  • Footy = football, but not American. This is short for Rugby. Used in ways such as "did you see the footy" and "I went to the footy"
  • Mate = Ok, i know this is a common one, but seriously; this is very often used as a term of almost endearment. People at work end pleasant conversations with "thanks mate".
  • Booking = Delane called a restaurant the other day to get us a "booking". I don't even know if they would understand "reservation"
  • Tomato Sauce = Fairly obvious, but; It is NOT ketchup here. It's tomato sauce. Asking for ketchup will get you blank stares.
  • Chips = Not Lays, but rather french fries. Very popular here....and good.

more to come.....

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Live Earth Show

Interesting thing we've notice around town; Many of the ticketed events in Sydney have public transportation included in the ticket can take trains, ferries, and buses for free to and from the events. Interesting concept; they make it almost too good to pass up to take public transport instead of driving.

We spent most of Saturday at Aussie Stadium watching the Live Earth Sydney Concert. The show started around 11:30 AM and was 10 or so musicians concluding with Crowded House around 8:30. We figured that it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.....getting to see the first of 8 concerts globally to support the environment.

All and all, an unbelievable show. There were maybe two bands that Delane and I both thought not really to our liking. Otherwise it was amazing! Crowded House closed the show. This is the first concert they have performed since ending their career in front of the Opera House in 1996 with everyone says was an unbelievable show.

Even though we just sat and listened, we were both wiped out by the time we got back around 9:30.....and were in bed by 10. A full day of music will wear you out! :)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

A bit more status quo....

Been slack about updating the blog this week. Seems I'm starting to settle in at work...and therefore getting BUSY! Had a few late night "emergencies" this week that required my assistance, so I must now be adding some value!

I had a bit of home-sickness this week. Missing the 4th of July was a bit tough.....All the fun activities....Peachtree Road Race, social time afterwards, cold beverages, and friends.....those are good times. It was just another day here, but my thoughts go out to my country, friends, and family on the 4th. God Bless the USA. One minor taste of home....the Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier pulled into Sydney Harbour yesterday. Check out the picture below.

The weather this week has been fabulous! Delane looked at the weather forecast and decided Tuesday was to be the best day. She hopped on a Ferry and spend the better part of an entire day at Manly Beach. I'll hope she adds some details, but....lots of people surfing, sunning, etc. It's "school holidays" here (3 weeks, I think) to lots of people out playing.

We are headed to the "Live Earth" Concert on saturday at Aussie Stadium. It's one of 7 or 8 concerts globally and apparently the first of the 8. It's an all day affair.....starts at like 11 and last till 9 or so. Should be a great time and I'm already feeling very "green" :0

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Invasion of Sydney! :)

Well, we've had a busy and extremely fun and active weekend. The weather has turned beautiful (although a tad windy) and we were excited about a fun weekend. Friday we had a pint at Rosie's pub then a lovely dinner at a restaurant overlooking Darling Harbour. Hard to describe how beautiful an experience that is.

Saturday (after sneaking in an early run) we caught the bus from Circular Quay to Bondi beach. We walked the beautiful beach and then started off on a 6K foreshore walk to Coogee beach. There is a path that follows the coast and passes 4 or 5 beaches and many rocky cliffs. We stopped about half way for lunch at Bronte and sat at an outdoor cafe for a nice lunch overlooking Bronte Beach park. We strolled on and arrived in Coogee about 4 hours after we began the walk. We wondered around Coogee and happened upon a small stadium with a footy game in action. We walked in and watch for 15-20 minutes. Funny thing is that later than night we caught news footage of the game on TV. Apparently it was a big college team footy game!

After venturing home on the bus, we were a tad tired and sat on our butts for like 2 hours! Then off to a new pub called The Paragon Hotel. We had pints and good food and watched New Zealand and Australia play footy in one of the big "Tri-nations" games. The Aussie's won in an exciting finish!

Sunday was a bit more causal but still a blast! I met Delane after a run through the Royal Gardens. We were going to do a tour of the Government House. Turns out it is being worked on and all but a small area was closed. However, turns out they were having a big "Reserve Forces Day Parade" right out in front of the Government House. We stopped and got coffees and watched a cool military parade (picture of the "invasion" of Sydney above). Back home for lunch then we headed to Darling Harbour. Listened to some live music for a bit then went to the Chinese Gardens......very cool. We finished the day with a trip to Paddy's Market to start buying a few gifts for friends and family back home.