cats, witches and wolves

Finally got around to revisiting Fairy Park in Anakie. As a kid my family went there many times  although I can only remember two —one when it was sunny and the other cloudy. Yesterday was sunny but I think I prefer it better when it’s cloudy there. More Germanic feeling.

We got there a few minutes after 10am, when it opens, and there was still people ahead of us. It turned out to be quite busy a couple of hours after that. People from all over: international tourists, other parts of the state and locals.

The playground had been totally remodelled but apart from that it hadn’t changed much since the early ‘80s. All the displays were the same and in one case had lost function (Jack no longer climbs the beanstalk). I guess the hazard insurance for having little kids crawling all over the joint must be high but apart from that the owners must be raking the cash in for the part of the year that it’s open and hibernating nicely during the part that it’s not.

What was really nice to see was all these northern hemisphere conifers that have grown over the years.

, , , , — yak sox @ 8:32 am, January 27, 2015

When in Rome

Went to the tennis yesterday. Even though it’s been two years since leaving korea I can still appreciate the convenience of having world class events like the Aus. Open happening right on our doorstep. We only had ground passes, so no entry to the two really big-name stadiums but that was plenty fine. And mum gave us the tickets because she couldn’t use them. Tennis (compared to something like motor racing) is really worth seeing in person compared to on TV.  It’s pretty cool being that close to the players and seeing the game from different angles.

Having said that, the first thing we saw was in ‘hisense’ arena – a women’s match with players I wasn’t familiar with and we ended up sitting behind and to the right of the main TV cameras so all the fotos from that match look as if I’d photographed the TV at home.

like this

I wish we’d been better prepared for the sun. It wasn’t an especially hot day but the sunshine is unrelenting even with sunblock on. I sat out at a smaller court watching Sam Groth play doubles but an hour was about all I could take.

I didn’t know there was a juniors section to the tournament but they were out on the back courts and all hitting it just as hard as the pros. Here’s Japan’s Chihiro Muramatsu carving up against a GBR girl. If she becomes super-famous remember you heard that name first here at Sunny Breaks.

My only criticism of the tournament organisation is the ridiculous prices of food and drink within the venue. People pay a lot of money to get into these kind of events, so why not show them a little respect by providing some decent, reasonably priced food? If we’d known we’d have made sandwiches. As it was we had some wedges and a crappy ‘pizza’ plus a couple of drinks for 45bucks. It was Je paying. If it was me I’d probably have left early. I watched a family of four come into the place we were at, they sat down, looked at the menus for a few minutes then left.

— yak sox @ 4:01 am, January 25, 2015

Korean food in Melbourne

Went to a few Korean restaurants in Melbourne recently. It’s fairly hard to come by authentic dishes. Partly because of the embarrassment of riches we have here in Australia when it comes to ingredients. For example, beef is used sparingly in Korea (if it’s on the menu at all) but here it’s cheap so the temptation for restauratuers is to use more but that completely changes the food.

Presentation is also different.

This place in Richmond is a good example of a kind of korean food but definitely one for a mild australian taste. Also the stools you sit on here were ridiculously uncomfortable. It really is an indicator that these leeches we call real estate agents rule the land when you’ve got a city as sprawled as Melbourne is, yet here I sat is a busy (and therefore presumably successful) restaurant that was tiny and elbow-to-elbow.

In contrast, we went to another place in Clayton called Kang na roo which I am guessing is play on words. This was just like what I’d get in Korea at an everyday restaurant, right down to the plastic bowls and tupperware-style bottle of water. The only difference was the price, in that it’s a good deal more expensive here but then that’s to be expected. Two thumbs up!


, , , — yak sox @ 2:44 am, January 17, 2015



As if I didn’t already have enough reasons to dislike real estate agents.

— yak sox @ 8:08 am, January 9, 2015

standby readers is in transit.


Edit: Okay that went about as expected. Time-consuming, perplexing but eventually most things end up in the same place. However, like moving house something always gets lost or broken. There’s all these backup/import options but none of them get everything. And now I find that wordpress, for quite some time has not included a link list in it’s default installation. Welcome to the Me generation. I don’t care about anyone else’s website, this is all about the self-aggrandisement.

So anyway – mo old, long link-list was one of those things that the damn exort thing doesn’t think to make a record of so I’m going to have to start anew and remember who and what was on there.

I’m really out of touch with this website building bizzo. It’s almost as if they make it increasingly complicated so the average person has to pay a professional to make it all work.

After nearly 10years of free hosting with it felt like it was time to move. For a long time I had a distant but very coridal assocation with the head guy there but it seems he’d left as my emails went unanswered during the last year or more. Everything worked but I couldn’t log in to the controls anymore. Kind of like how the mars rover gradually fell apart.

So I moved it all to bluehost. The first year is priced at a very reasonable rate. Hopefully it’s reliable.

yak sox @ 4:50 pm, January 5, 2015

country music

Some time ago I mentioned I’m listening to contemporary country music. At first I was doing it ironically but now I kind of like it. It is interesting – that’s what it is. For a while I’ve waved off all present-day music except for a very narrow sliver of the spectrum – alternative stuff and most of which was coming from artists that I’d known about for a good decade or more.


Commercial FM is full of new stuff that I don’t connect with at all. So anyway, this country music, while very much on the commercial edge of what is called country these days, is coming at lyrics and narrative from a different angle. This first one is probably the best example of that, that I’ve heard in the last couple of months. I was driving along, listening to this song and realised, Whoah – is this guy talking about broaching the subject with his SO of moving back in with his mum? Now that’s country!

As it turned out, this guy Tim McGraw is one of the biggest selling country musicians of all time. So I supposed it wasn’t just luck that he hit on a whacky topic, but is in fact speaking the thoughts of a whole generation of disaffected working class.

OMG! The pathos!


 The conversate continues:

I love the fact that this next one, Toby Keith’s ‘Drinks after work’ contains the line, Let’s conversate for a little while. I can remember years ago J-e used to say “I want to conversate with you!” when she was frustrated with using English.

I really like the chord changes in the song too. The sound really nails that mild, AOR sound that tickles my funny bone in a perverse kind of way. (Reminds me a little of the theme from WKRP in Cincinnati.) This song also introduces one of the big themes of country music: alcohol. Listening to the radio, you’d be forgiven for thinking that most of the south of the US is permanently drunk. Many, many songs revolve around getting to Friday night, it being Friday night and now we are going to drink. This is where Toby Keith shows his mastermindedness in that he wrote a song about having drinks in the middle of the week.

I also discovered that Toby Keith is a multi-millionaire and owns a chain of bar-restaurants across the US - mainly in the south and midwest. When he tours, he does gigs in these places. No doubt he sings this song, everybody drinks up and buys another beer.

 seat 7a

The first thing this reminded me of was I’m On A Boat but it’s different in a way that illustrates the difference between the hip-hop dominated pop scene and this commercial country genre. Even though the on a boat song is a send-up it’s that ‘hey look at me, I am very good!’ strutting that pop is all about these days. And then there’s Dierks Bentley getting drunk on a plane—why? because he’s having relationship problems. That’s the second theme of country. Sure, most popular music is about boy-girl problems, but a lot of pop seems to come at it from the angle of ‘I’m right, you’re wrong’. Country songs like drunk on a plane tend more to the bluesy sorrow and woe is me feeling.

Intertextuality with Taylor Swift

Even though it’s 9 or so years old, some of the songs from Taylor Swift’s first album still get played on this particular station I listen to. The station has a very narrow range of songs they play and you can often hear the same song twice in one day even if you’re only listening to the radio for 15 minutes total, but Taylor’s so damn popular they make exceptions of the age of the album.

This song is definitely right on the edge of pop and contemporary country but I can appreciate the craft in the songwriting and if the wickerpedia page is to believed she wrote that whole album pretty much by herself when she was 16 or 17. It’s ballsy to write a song called Tim Mcgraw when you’re just a newb on the country scene – very clever to pay homage but also hitch a little ride on someone who’s guaranteed to sell platinum.



, , — yak sox @ 10:49 am, December 18, 2014

I am hesitant to write

yet another blogpost about my cat but in the absence of motivation to write about anything else, I will simply say she is phenomenal with pest control. I guess now that it is late spring the four legged critters are in the upswing of their population growth, or rather, would be if it wasn’t for the Charu treating them like an hors d’oeuvre de jour dining menu.


We have this ritual where I feed her the usual tin cat food and a little dry food. She meows, I put the bowl of food down on the floor, she starts eating, I put the can in the fridge and do this or that for a moment. I come back over to her, hover above her and give her a pat. She looks up at me, often with mouth full and does this two-sylable mu-weow. And I always took that to mean ‘thankyou’ but I am starting to think it means, ‘is there any more?’ because she often seems unsatisfied with the amount so she goes out the back and swipes a young rat or mouse from near the neighbour’s chicken coop.

I was originally going to keep count of what she brought in but there’s been way too many. I’d say easily one per week.

I am reminded of that kids’ story about the goldfish. The more it was fed the bigger it got. Sometimes I wonder what the Charu would be like as a proper full-sized Bengali tiger.


— yak sox @ 8:33 pm, December 3, 2014

rise up

If Geelong people didn’t want to be portrayed as zombies then they shouldn’t have voted an idiot like Darryn Lyons into the mayor’s office.

That is all.

yak sox @ 8:00 am, November 8, 2014


I’ve never joined facebook and I don’t particularly like it but the esl teacher in me just got a bit of respek for zuckerburg here by somehow learning mandarin in the last couple of years and now seen doing a full 30min Q&A in it. Re the recent troubles in hong kong I read one opinion that the best hope for HK keeping the level of democracy that it has is mainland china becoming more democratic. While zuckerburg’s primary focus is getting his hands on that sino-social network power – maybe the more western thingy-mahbobs like iphones and facebook that get into china, the more likely liberties the people there will want.

yak sox @ 10:36 am, October 23, 2014

death death deady deady dead dead

1. Charu brought another rat into the house last night. By my calculations that’s 2 in just over two weeks! We were in bed when we heard her in the hallway talking happy sounds, which is odd if she’s not begging for food. The rat was lying in front of her and not quite gone. It move a bit and she grabbed it and it squeaked, which I guess was it’s death-squeak. See, that’s disturbing to me. Even if it is a rat, it’s disturbing to be right there because I start to think about what it would be like to be being killed and be living that last moment.

Charu only has three of those big canine teeth which is weird. We’d never have found out ourselves either if the vet didn’t tell us because charu’s not the biting kind of cat the way boy cats are.

Anyway, she took it outside by herself. I guess, learning since I took the last couple. Je went out and watched… charu ate parts of the rat. That’s probably not a good thing.


2. Gough Whitlam died. Abc news website had some photos. I C & P’d a couple for the perpetuity.


I like this one because Mrs.Gough’s feet/leg positioning is so rock n roll. If she was leaning over a bit and wailing on a Les Paul, that’d be great.

Anyway, it was cool that Gough introduced free education, I just wish I coud’ve got some. Although, not paying for it until I’m making decent money is nothing to complain about either. I also like how he bought Blue Poles too. However I wish he’d done something when Portugal pulled out of East Timor and Indonesia invaded. Australia shouldn’t have let that happen.

I’ve been getting more angry about politics again lately. I think it’s a result of just being more stressed.

3. And a week or so ago I got word that a former colleague died. I worked with Graham doing bidness english in korea and although I only talked to him properly a few times. He’d lived in Korea in the 70s which is really interesting if you ask me, and a whole bunch of other places too. His family put a whole load of photos of his up on the internet but I don’t know how long they’ll be there for. He was 66 which seems a bit early to me.

That’s Graham on the right.

There wasn’t much English in the signage back in the ‘70s

, , , — yak sox @ 6:36 pm, October 22, 2014
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