Monday, 25 October 2010

Parramatta Interchange area

Recently I have been catching a train from Central to Parramatta and then changing over to a T-way bus (either the T65 or T65) to get home.  Apparently I should be doing the Central to Blacktown and catching a T-way bus from there but that kicks me into the next MyMultizone and it's just not worth it timewise.  The other alternative is of course catching the 616X or 616 from Haymarket to home... which is very convenient but takes forever!  (over 1.5 hours).

Anyway one of the benefits of doing the swap over at Parramatta is the stop in Parramatta.  There is an IGA Xpress where I can pick up last minute groceries and they even usually have cheap bananas or strawberries on sale too.  There is a small fruit and vegetable shop and a smattering of other useful shops such as Chinese style bakery and a Chicken shop.  Priceline is also there but I never see it open when I go through unless it's Thursday late night shopping.

I've been missing my Chinese groceries which I use to pick up when I parked in Blacktown but decided to venture out a bit further today than inside Westfields when getting to Parramatta.  Lo and behold when I got off the escalator when exiting the train station (towards the bus area) I saw a Chinese grocery sign for Sing Kee Asian Groceries.  I peered in and it looked like a nice little Chinese Grocery shop so I went around the corner to the entrance.  Wow.  A big thriving Chinese Grocery shop with vegetables some meat and lots and lots of groceries.  And cheap too!  3 bags of dumplings I usually get for $10 in Blacktown were $8.99.  My QQ noodles were $4.30 (not $4.90 as per World Square prices.  I even got some Bok Choy -- 3 bunches for $1.50.  BARGAIN :D

And opposite the Grocery Shop I spied a Chinese BBQ type eatery as well as a Japanese Bakery.  I'm sure there are other options around there too but need to find a more suitable time to explore than when I'm trying to rush home to cook.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Food Inc

I have just watched Food Inc and thought I'd Spread the Word (yep I watched it via one of links to my favourite sites  I do love watching those films and reading books such as Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma and Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation but live in my little bubble that tells me that surely in Australia we don't have the high level's of industrialised food production that happens in the US.  But the food we buy is still cheap... so are we industrialised?  I see the cattle that is farmed when we drive up to Howes Valley and they are grazing grass and not fed in feedlots... but then where are all these "grain fed" steaks coming from?  It scares me to think that they are marketing grain fed as a good thing when it's definitely unnatural for cows to be eating corn...  

So what actions am I taking as part of watching this?  (Especially since I've now watched many similar food related documentaries including the very disturbing Earthlings).  Well now I will insist on buying organic/free range chickens (even if it's $20) as well as free range and as organic as we can get it other meat as that way we may become more aware of the meat we're eating.  We are also challenged by our friend Nikki to eat more vegetarian foods where we can.  I'm sure we can do it even if it's more effort.. and even if Chinese food doesn't readily lend itself to vegetarian (well maybe it's just us use to eating the foods we have been!)

We'll also be ramping up our efforts at Howes Valley to get more of a food productive area going.  So in went some fruit trees this weekend with a few more to go.  We'll start planning out a vege garden and get that going too (as much as we can when we aren't there most days).  

Other than that we can only share what we now know about food and hope that Australia doesn't go the way of the US!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Solar Generators!

We are now solar generators!

We have panels:
We have an inverter (CMS2000):
Installed on a garage wall on the inside (other side of this lives the meter box).  It was better than putting it on the inside of our side gate (as the gate swings inwards it would have been a gates distance from the meter box) and better than putting it above the meterbox (as it would be too high for me to reach/read).  The installation inside the garage though is fairly low.  I suppose low is better than high up... 

And we even have our Gross meter:
As you can see it only just got installed as it reads with all these zeros!

We have been told with $0.60 feed in tariff we should be able to generate $1400 per annum.  Which means a payback in less than 2 years.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Bus craziness 610X

Standing at World Square stop waiting for a 616X. I have just seen 4 Hillbus buses and they were all 610X. And here is bus 5 but at least there was one 614X in between. Surely then the other buses should not stop on the M2?

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Friday, 2 April 2010


I'm giving myself a massive pat on the back as I have completed Week 5 Day 3 of the Couch to 5km program.

I started Week 5 on Monday but felt very bleah so didn't run... (not a good start) but made up for it by getting up early on Tuesday morning and doing my 5 minute/3 minute intervals. That was a really good run. Then on Wednesday evening I did my 8 minute/5 minute intervals which was a killer. Those 8 minutes could not finish fast enough. I can definitely say I was very very apprehensive about the 20 minute break through run... but this morning (Friday morning) I did it! I walked Batman (dog) when I first got up and then when I got back I started on the treadmill. Did my 5 minute warm up at 6.5kph then decided to back off the running to 9.0kph (usually run at 9.2kph and walk at 6.5kph). And I did it. With my trusty Sandisk clip MP3 player and the darkness of the morning I jogged for the 20 minutes straight! AND I felt like I could keep going for another 10 minutes :D.

YAY!!! The goal is definitely doable but I think I have definitely learnt that I am a morning person when it comes to running.

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  • Walk 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog two miles (or 20 minutes) with no walking.

Friday, 26 March 2010

C25K Week four done

Very happy that I have managed to complete week 4

Week 5 is the real test of my boredom level there is a 20 min run in there!

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Monday, 15 February 2010

What's with Padstow?

I was doing a search using the iPhone app using my last search criteria which happened to be padstow house or land under $500k and this is what I saw:

I was saying to Will that i don't think I could live in a street named Uranus and then I saw what else was on my screen!

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