18 November 2015


Regular readers may be aware that quite a few years back when I was a chef I once ran my own restaurant called Apicius. It was named after the oldest known cookbooks, authored by a Roman named  Marcus Gavius Apicius sometime around 1 AD.

So you can probably understand my excitement at finding this video from the British Museum...

In AD 79, a baker put his loaf of bread into the oven. Nearly 2,000 years later it was found during excavations in Herculaneum. The British Museum asked Giorgio Locatelli to recreate the recipe as part of his culinary investigations for Pompeii Live.

I am so going to have to make this recipe

400g biga acida (sourdough)
12g yeast
18g gluten
24g salt
532g water
405g spelt flour
405g wholemeal flour

Melt the yeast into the water and add it into the biga. Mix and sieve the flours together with the gluten and add to the water mix. Mix for two minutes, add the salt and keep mixing for another three minutes. Make a round shape with it and leave to rest for one hour. Put some string around it to keep its shape during cooking. Make some cuts on top before cooking to help the bread rise in the oven and cook for 30–45 minutes at 200 degrees.


It's true, just today someone left a comment on my Flickr page, in particular on the photo below which I took while cruising through Texas along Route 66. This is what he said ...
You effectively captured the image of the Texas Panhandle most burned into my memory from my childhood summers which took me through there. I've only ever seen it captured in one other instance, which is this painting from Michael Frary's "Impressions of the Texas Panhandle":
Heading out of Amarillo along route 66 towards Conway, Texas. Panhandle country
Which is a lovely thing to say but the real impact was when I looked at the painting he was talking about. wow! I think he just might be right. I've never seen this painting before now...

Michael Frary's: Impressions of the Texas Panhandle

14 November 2015


Feeling a bit more homesick than usual this week, mostly because it was my birthday yesterday and that usually entails as a series of parties and events that became known as the Festival of Stu. That's on hold for the time being, so to ease my homesickness I asked a bunch of my pals on Facebook to snap and send me pictures of Perth's Jacaranda trees. Because they bloom in November I have always associate the purple flowers with my birthday. My pals did not fail me. Thus I now present to you the Jacaranda trees of Perth, oh and Adelaide, as snapped my my buddies.

Claire sent this one she took at my old campus, UWA
Kigsley snapped this opne in my old suburb of Mount Lawley
These two came from Hiedi
Kathie made sure Adelaide got to represent
Chris was shading under one at Parliament House
Cathy has this beauty in her back yard
There was a knock on my door yesterday afternoon and Laina's aunt Monica dropped off this fine collection of snaps she took in NSW two days ago along with some birthday love
Thanks everyone, you really perked me up

13 November 2015


A couple of years ago a good buddy of mine, Garry, introduced me to a very cool pod cast called Dave's Lounge. The music Dave plays is perfectly me. Chill out, trip hop and down tempo beats, pure aural bliss. Dave's Lounge is kind of awesome because you will get to hear music from artists you normally wouldn't hear from here in Oz, I've whined on about major labels and their inability to understand how people listen to and discover music these days before, so I wont bore you again with all that. But cool peeps like Dave are still bustin a nut to get this music out to us, so hats off to him for that, you righteous dude you.

Anyways Dave got married recently and his latest pod cast just happened to open with a cover of  the Stateless tune Bloodstream (which as you may have noticed in the side bar over there > is from my latest album purchase) by a newish artist called Kawehi (who I incidentally discovered via Dave's Lounge - see how it all works Big Label dudes!). Kawehi recorded it especially for their wedding, how cool is that?!

Congrat's on the wedding Dave and Melissa and keep the cool tunes coming, oh yeah and you guys reading this really should have a listen to and subscribe to Dave's Lounge right now. Link above or search on iTunes or soundcloud or google or yeah you know what to do.

11 November 2015


Last night was the last Tuck Truck Tuesday in down town Ballarat (for now). My newly adopted home town is a little backward in going forward and so it takes a while for things to stick or even arrive here. While the rest of the country has been embracing the Food Truck thing for years now, it's sort of only just now taken hold here. Sure they've had late night burger and pie floater carts for years, but actual nice food, well that's a new thing.

So the Tuck Truck Tuesday event down at Deakin Place has been a pretty cool thing to go to each week and for a big city boy like me a god damn fresh breath of air, I scored an awesome Chicken Banh Bao from the Lil Nom Nom truck and finished off with a tasty chicken taco from the Taco Truck. Oh so good to finally eat some descent food in this town (long story, for another blog post).

Also got to watch my girls brother, Cax One, spray a fresh piece on the side of the Pickles pop up bar...

Cax Spray
Cax One

good times

06 November 2015


and I'm digging her music lately, well some of it, these three songs in fact, I'm still working on the rest...

from France, Lou's had an interesting life with Jane Birkin her mother, Jacques Doillon her father, Serge Gainsbourg her step father and sisters Charlotte Gainsbourg and Kate Barry

01 November 2015

28 October 2015


I'm finding a bit of beauty and art in my accidental phone pics, may my fat thumbs continue to create for evermore...

street art
I have no idea what is happening here
full creep stalker accidental

27 October 2015


Today I did battle with three elderly people. Let me start by stating that I like old people, well actually I like people and it doesn't matter how old they are. But these three people had an impact on me today and it just so happens that they were elderly and prepared to participate in the tournament that I have dubbed "Me versus the elderly". (you need to read that last bit in an echoing thunderous voice)

Elderly person #1: I'm driving towards a quite large roundabout that has 5 entrance/exits, in the middle of this roundabout is a large flagpole that flies the Eureka flag. It's the spot they tell people the Eureka Stockade was on. But it wasn't, it's just for tourists and there's a McDonald's on one side of it... conveniently. But I digress, so I was about to enter the roundabout when suddenly a car appeared in front of me... going the wrong way. As in I was now face to face with a vehicle in a place that I should never be face to face with a vehicle. We both stopped, now I stopped because I had come face to face with a vehicle and the elderly driver of the other vehicle stopped because he was determining which exit to take. He wasn't bothered by me, in fact I'm not sure he even saw me. He chose an exit immediately to my left and we both went our separate ways. No harm done I guess :blink: Elderly 1 - Me 0

Elderly person # 2: I was lining up at the counter at Spotlight, glue gun refills in my hand. I stood out in the line up as I was male and under 70 years in age. Most of the elderly ladies in the line were nice enough, just looking to purchase some wool for their knitting or something like that. Then she appeared, elderly person # 2. She had a box in her arms, I know this because she hit me with it as she elbowed passed me, settling in at half a body length alongside and in front of me. At first I kind of awkwardly smiled to myself and just shuffled forward a bit. That wasn't going to sit well with her, so she elbowed past me with the box again. I tried to make eye contact, she wasn't having any of that, she was fixated on the check out ahead. I would need to be quick if I was to win this battle. Suddenly the lady at the counter moved to leave, I noticed my elbower was momentarily distracted by her box and I seized the moment. I stepped forward and threw my glue onto the counter, I glanced back over my shoulder and the elbower was frazzled, she was now out in front of the line in a sort of no man's land, with a box, with nobody to elbow and not being served. I won that round of me versus the elderly. Elderly 1 - Me 1

Elderly Person # 3: Flush with victory I exited the store and walked across the half full car park towards my car. I was almost there when a car came down the lane as I was about to cross it, it was being driven by elderly person # 3. And they weren't stopping for anyone. I had to check my stride and step back as she zoomed past me at a staggering pace of approx 10 km/h. Then this happened...

Ivy (I'm guessing that was her name because that's what it said on the licence plate) wasn't going to be confined by any white lines, oh no, Ivy was stopping right here. Four bays be damned, it was as good a spot as any, nobody else was using em anyways right? Elderly 2 - Me 1

Some days you win the tournament, some days you lose.

26 October 2015


I feel that if you are yet to watch this video then you need to rectify that oversight immediately...

17 October 2015


Between 2002 and 2014 I worked and lived (half the year) in the Pilbara doing archaeological surveys and excavations. It was tough work, hot, sweaty and flies and hot and sweaty flies and it was also great fun. I got to wander around an ancient landscape and I got to see and discover things no white skinned city boy had seen before. It's was a pretty cool job. 

I guess I look back at it with greater fondness now than maybe I did at the time and these two videos by Dan Proud certainly help with that. Friends often asked me what the Pilbara was like and sure I took photos to show them and sometimes those photos even captured the beauty of the place, but nothing like these two incredible videos.

I know everyone of these hills, plains, rivers and trees. Well, I know some just like them. The Aboriginal guys I worked with during this time often talked of feeling a connection to the country and at first I didn't quite get what they meant. It didn't take long for that to happen to me too. I often think of the Pilbara, surprisingly of late when I butter my toast in the morning, I have no idea why then though. I miss it, not so much the flies though...

Best watched in full screen natch


Tiki Tops Foodland - Hawaii 1959

09 October 2015


For every successful glam/punk/metal band there were thousands of also rans, these are just a few of those thousands, if only their gimmick had been a touch better. Feast upon their magnificence...

I think I might have actually liked these guys, the next few not so much
"So we're thinking we'll run with a kind of Athenian warrior meets Darth Vader meets BDSM theme"
The rainbow KKK look was never really gonna catch on was it?
"When I met your father he had better hair than me"
Post metal new romantic punk?
Steve had asked for a part down the middle... actually I'm pretty sure Steve became a serial killer and the band never went anywhere after that
"Yeah but i've got these pants so I get to be the lead singer ok?"
More to come soon

08 October 2015


Perth zoo, as it was. Not the modern zoo you see today. It was quite Victorian for some time, I even remember some of these cages and enclosures from when I was a kid in the late 70's. Glad it's changed, although I think they've kept a few of the old bits as old school examples and reused others in more suitable ways...

Let's start with the oldest
Original zoo entrance, 1898
Semi-trailer bus outside Perth Zoo, 1949
The old monkey cage, which I believe is still there, no monkeys though
I can't remember if this castle held penguins or guinea pigs
Sadly, this is how Tricia the elephant was held for quite a number of decades, no longer thankfully
bear dens
The final two photos were taken by me, the old Bear and I think (at one time) Wolf dens
Unfortunately I don't have credits for the rest of the photos, I collected most from the web a while ago and even then they weren't from original sources. So please just consider credit where credit is due.

05 October 2015


I have a thing for old Hollywood mansions and the like. I completely love their over the top grandeur and architecture. Now I'm not talking 1980's Dynasty style mansions, I'm talking the old school Hollywood homes of the 20's. 30's and 40's etc. So I think I'll start an occasional series on these palaces, it'll be cool to discover new ones along the way.

I'll begin with what has been described as "the most impressive movie star's estate ever created." Harold Lloyd's 44 room mansion on 15 acres in  the Benedict Canyon section of Beverly Hills, California. Lloyd was a silent film star and clearly a popular one. The hose was deigned in the Italian Renaissance Mediterranean Revival style: modelled after the Villa Palmieri near Florence. Construction of the mansion began in July 1927 and was completed in 1928. The 44-room, 45,000-square-foot (4,200 m2) house and estate was said to have cost $2 million at the time.

This house is incredible, happily it's still standing although most of the grounds were sold off after his death in 1971 and it sits on a smaller 5 acre plot. 

aerial view of the entire estate from 1920
Harold Lloyd and family
It even had its own postcards
The iconic Harold Lloyd Christmas tree, I believe it stayed up all year long

Famous shot of Harold Lloyd in the film Safety Last
A late entry, that Christmas Tree in colour