Posted by: pjakubo86 | April 26, 2007

A list of food from America that I miss:

Taco Bell
Panera Bread (esp. broccoli cheddar soup)
Portillo’s (Chicago-style hotdogs and chocolate milkshakes)
Giordano’s (Chicago-style pizza)
Mac and Cheese – american style
Chinese food (lol)
Crispix/Trix/Cheerios, etc (good call Anna)
Boston Market (esp. the mac+cheese, cinnamon apples, and mashed potatoes)
Noodles & Co.

(I’ll update this as I recall various food items)

Posted by: pjakubo86 | April 25, 2007

Happy ANZAC Day!

Hey guys, I have the day off for ANZAC (Australia/New Zealand Army Corps) day so I thought I would update my blog.  I know it’s been forever since I last posted, so I’ll try to roll up everything that’s happened in the last week and a half:

Semester Break
Well, most people went off to New Zealand for the weekend, but Mat, Jason, Meredith, Polanco, and Margot stuck around.  After the Easter Show and beach, I didn’t do much.  Mat and Jason went skydiving on Wednesday, which made me jealous, but I just don’t have the money to that here (I will do it at some point when I get back to America).  On Thursday, I think, Mat and I went on a date to the zoo and saw some neat animals and such.  Here are some pics:

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The next morning, a whole bunch of us woke up at like 6:30 in the morning to go on this wine tour of Hunter Valley – one of the best areas for wine in all of Australia (apparently).  Unfortunately, the company bungled our reservations and when we showed up, they had to turn us away.  Anger!!!  So, I rebooked for Sunday and we did the whole thing again, except this time it was just Meredith, Mat, and I.  The tour consisted of going to three different wineries and sampling their various alcoholic products including many varieties of wines and liqeurs.  But first, we stopped at a reptile park which actually had all kinds of animals.  I got to pet a koala and hang out with kangaroos, dingos, and emus as well as seeing lots of other animals (including some of the most poisonous snakes in the world and a bunch of crocodiles).  Some places had some really delicious liqeurs like chocolate, butterscotch, and even chili (which was really hot).  We had lunch at one of the wineries where I feasted on a very delicious chicken burger.  Finally, we stopped at place that sold cheese and chocolates and then it was a 2.5 hour drive back home.  I bought 3 bottles of wine while there which tasted really good and were reasonably priced. I can now officially wine and dine Shannon when she gets here.  Some pics:

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Aside from those two things, I really mostly worked on my artificial intelligence project which consisted of 1) making a program which searches for numbers with a bunch of rules and 2) making a program which played connect 3 with you (a watered down version of connect 4).  That was fun – NOT.  Well, it was nice to reconnect with my C++ skills which are still lacking.

This Week
Well, this week hasn’t been anything special.  I went out to Scruffy Murphy’s last night which I love on Tuesday nights.  They have a live band and I find that so much more fun to dance to.  I even managed to lose my voice 🙂 .  Biggest Loser is over tomorrow night which will be a sad event, although Big Brother has just started.  Still, it won’t be the same.  I’ve also found that they have $6 cooked bbq whole chickens over at Bi-Lo across the street which will be my main meal for the remainder of my stay in Australia, I think.  It’s certainly cheaper than alternatives.

That’s it for now, but I will try to keep the blog updated better in the future.  Later peeps!

Posted by: pjakubo86 | April 21, 2007

The end is in sight

Almost there…almost there…

Posted by: pjakubo86 | April 19, 2007

I want one of these!

Secret Bookcase Doors | Bookcase with Doors – Woodfold

A bigger update on Semester Break and current happenings on Monday night after my exam and project are done with.

Posted by: pjakubo86 | April 13, 2007

A little call for help

So pretty much all during break I have been re-watching Arrested Development shows, but DivX is just not doing it very well on my Toshiba m200 which is running Vista.  Head over to DivX’s site and complain if you are having problems as well.  I’d really like to be able to use their technology:

Posted by: pjakubo86 | April 11, 2007

The Royal Easter Show and another day at the beach

So on Monday, Mat, Polanco, Margot, and I went to the Royal Easter Show at Olympic Park in Sydney.  Whew that was a lot of links.  Anyway, we arrived in the morning and started exploring.  Unfortunately, it was ridiculously expensive and I am ridiculously poor. There were tons of rides and attractions, but they were just too expensive.  So, we ended up looking at the stock animals for a while.  First were the cows, where we saw a cow judging competition and later a live birth.  These two guys basically yanked this baby calf out of its mother by its hind legs.  Here’s a pic of the little guy/girl being licked by its mother:


After carefully dodging cow urine and feces in my flip-flops, we headed over the the next barn.  Here, they had a whole bunch of alpacas and an alpaca judging contest for kids.  I instantly knew Ray would be proud of me.  Using knowledge gleaned from Shannon’s paper on alpacas, I explained to the group (who had never seen/heard of alpacas before) that they were a member of the camelid family and were valuable for their wool.  I also learned that twinning in alpaca’s is extremely rare…something like 0.00001% of births.  This was the coolest alpaca there by far and is clearly one of those menacing skater alpacas:


The next barn over had horses, and thanks to my expert girlfriend on the subject, I had a lot to tell everyone about the various horses.  They even had some clydsdales there!  Here is one being groomedand having these stupid things tied into its mane:


Afterwards was lunch at this place where I got my first milkshake in Australia.  It wasn’t particularly good and was not nearly as thick as I like them back home, but it satisfied me.  We then pushed our way in to the nab stadium where we saw a dirtbike/car stunt/human cannonball show.  Here are some highlights:

And for all of you interested in the Holden Commodore/Pontiac G8, here’s a pic of a souped up on they used for the show:

After this we went to a lumberjack contest which was really cool.  I’ll post a video later, I’m tired of waiting for my slow-ass ISP to upload to Google video.  Ugh.

Yesterday, Mat, Meredith, Jason, and I went to Bondi and I am once again sporting a nice tan.  Sweet!  Now it’s time to go Target to do some shopping.  I might even buy some clothes while I’m in the mall.

Posted by: pjakubo86 | April 8, 2007

Happy Easter!

So, for various reasons, I decided to go to church today to celebrate Easter, and I thought, “Hey, as long as you’re going to go to church, you might as well go balls to the wall!”  So, Mat and I planned last night to head to St. Mary’s Cathedral, which is right next to Hyde Park downtown.  The mass was very interesting.  There was a lot of singing (about 15 minutes straight after the opening procession) but the music was very beautiful.  Lots of chanting and opera-style singing as well backed up by an orchestra!  They say a few things differently than we do in America as well. Consequently, I got tripped up in the profession of faith a few times.  Oh well.  The archbishop gave a homily that began with talking about how America is the most religious nation on Earth and how it was so commendable which is funny because I was just thinking about how deplorable it is that religion colors so much of our country’s national conversations.  I dare you to find one major election in 2008 that isn’t somehow concerned with the topic of gay marraige.  Oy.  Anyway, back to Australia.  Here are some pictures of the beautiful cathedral.  I took a couple movies as well, so I might upload them later.

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Posted by: pjakubo86 | April 5, 2007


So here is a typical meal that I might eat in my room (this one is a lil bigger than normal):


That’s 6 pancakes (from mix), 3 eggs (sunny side up), 3 pieces of bacon (Aussie style), 2 pieces of bacon (my best attempt at turning Aussie style bacon into American style), and “brekkie juice” (containing orange juice, apple juice, pineapple juice, and passionfruit juice.

Posted by: pjakubo86 | April 5, 2007

For the geeks…

This is an interesting article about the death of the Windows API and web development:

Posted by: pjakubo86 | April 4, 2007

Back from the mountains (part 2)

In part 2, I’ll talk about what happened after the awesome hike through the “Grand Canyon.” I call it the “Dark Days.”

So after we got back from the hike, we had a pot roast dinner which was probably the best meal we had at the camp.  However, immediately after this meal, something so frightening, so odorous, so consistent as to shock, frighten, and horrify everyone around me set it.  Farts.  Bad ones.  And smelly ones…really smell ones.  As Mat Major explained, I “lit it up” all night long and consistently about every 10 minutes.

As I fouled up the camp, we continued with activities including a trivia night which our team nearly won (and would have if we had been smarter about some of our answers – or won a physical challenge).  We did come in second though and were able to pick some nifty gifts.  I got a hat (yay!).   I went to bed with the farting still a problem.

The next morning we headed out to do some sightseeing of the Three Sisters and the surrounding area.  It was absolutely the most incredible sight I had ever seen.  My fear of heights really set in at many points.  We were actually able to walk out onto the first of the three sisters by going down a staircase carved by prisoners right into the cliffside.  Yikes.  I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking:

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It was really cool.  We got to go on this old coal mining railway at Scenic World with an incline of 52 degrees – the steepest in the world.  From there we walked through a little exhibit and saw some cool wildlife.  We then took a cable car back up the cliffside to back and got some incredible views.  I couldn’t believe it.

If you’d like an awesome 3D view of this place, check this out:

And here is a little video compilation of my trip:

On the bus back, diarrhea set in.  I won’t go into that, but it finally cleared up this morning.

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