Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Spelunking in Jenolan Caves

One of my other Adventures from Sydney was after seeing the Blue Mountains, we went to the Jenolan Caves. I was on a big charter bus like the one for the wine tasting, and I was the only one (from our bus) who did the actual spelunking; where you get down and dirty.

To view the album from the Jenolan Caves CLICK HERE.

Bungy Jump Video

Here it is, you can all now watch the moment where I changed from a boy into a man... enjoy!


video

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bungy Jumping in New Zealand

I'm getting these postings done while I sit in an Internet Cafe in New Zealand. I'm in the village of Taupo, and yesterday I went Bungy Jumping!

CLICK HERE to view the photos from my Bungy Jump.

There is also a video of the Bungy Jump that I hope to post the next time I can get my computer attached to the internet.

Blue Mountain Adventures

Second, I went to the Blue Mountains, which are located about 2 hours outside Sydney.

CLICK HERE to view the photo album.

The same day, I went to the Jenolan Caves and did some Spelunking. However, I haven't gotten those pictures up yet. They will be soon though!

Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley

I don't/haven't had a lot of time to update the blog here, but I'll do a few postings with the pictures from the different activities I've done.

First, Wine tasting in Hunter Valley
CLICK HERE to view the photo album.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Safe in Sydney

Just a quick check-in so everyone knows I am okay.

I arrived in Sydney with no worries, and I got to my place of accomodation with a quite expensive taxi ride.

Tomorrow I am going to Hunter Valley which is about 2 hours away from Sydney and I'll be learning how to be an expert wine taster. It should be bulk fun! I should be able to update my blog tomorrow if I can see the keyboard after my wine tasting adventure. :-)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Final Itinerary for Oz Trip '08

"Packing is depressing..."

Well tomorrow morning I leave for Sydney and I've been busy packing up all my stuff. And it's actually quite a depressing event. This place I've called, "home" for the better part of 4 months is now about to be just a memory. It's been a very educational experience. Not just in terms of academics, but also in terms of learning about myself and others. Anyway, enough mushy stuff... here is my itinerary for until I get home:

Wednesday, November 26th - Pack and avoid saying "Goodbye"

Thursday, November 27th - Leave for Sydney on Jetstar Flight JQ913
Departing: Townsville at 9:20 AM
Arriving: Sydney at 12:55 PM

Friday through Sunday - See Sydney

Monday, December 1st - Leave Sydney for Auckland, New Zealand on Qantas Flight QF49
Departing: Sydney at 6:50 PM
Arriving: Auckland at 11:50PM

Tuesday through Thursday - See the North Island of New Zealand

Friday, December 4 - Leave Auckland for L.A. on Qantas Flight QF25
Departing: Auckland at 7:40 PM
Arriving: Los Angles at 10:35 AM
I GET BACK BEFORE I LEAVE... I'M A TIME TRAVELER

Friday though Monday - Weekend in LA Part II

Monday, December
8 - Leave LA for Atlanta on Airtran Flight 51
Departing: Los Angles 1:43PM
Arriving: Atlanta 9:20PM

Friday, November 14, 2008

MOvember!

"Nice stash!"

During this month formerly known as November I will be growing my Mo (mustache) to spread awareness for prostate cancer. Here is how my Mo stands right now:

^Me and my Mo^

One of my fraternity brothers back in ATL is also growing his Mo:

^Topher and his Mo^

Now Topher had a little more time to plan, so instead of just spreading awareness he is actually raising money. It's super easy to donate...

To donate to our Mos you can either:

1. Click HERE. That link will allow you to donate online using your credit card or PayPal account,
or
2. Write a check payable to the ‘Prostate Cancer Foundation', referencing Topher's Registration Number 1839456 and mailing it to:

Prostate Cancer Foundation
Attn: Movember
1250 Fourth St
Santa Monica, CA, 90401

All donations are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

The money raised by Movember is donated directly to the Prostate Cancer Foundation which will use the funds for high-impact research to find better treatments and a cure for prostate cancer.

For more information about MOvember click HERE.

Monday, November 10, 2008

More Adventures with Dad

"Are yous from America?"

Dad woke up at 3 AM today to catch his flight back to the States. He has quite the trip ahead of him. He is first off to Brisbane, and then catches a connecting flight back to LA.

Here are some more pictures from our trip to the Whitsundays:

^This is the car we had reserved^

Something happened with the reservation, and...

^This is the car we got for no extra charge!^

video
^Video of our car in action...^

^Kitchen of the boat^

^Our bunks^

^Aboriginal Paintings^

^Another one with Dad^

^Whitehaven Beach^

^Dad putting on his stinger suit^
Don't wanna get stung by a jellyfish

^Our Group^

When we got back into Townsville:

^Dad and I on Castle Hill^
That's Magnetic Island behind us.

The next day Dad and I were going to go to Magnetic Island, but the forecast called for rain, so we ran some errands and explored more of Townsville from our convertible.

^Dad and I conveniently caught the end^
of a car show at the Strand.

At one point during the day we went to a store called Crazy Clark's. When the cashier heard us talking, she asked "Are yous from America?" And we responded with, "Yes." The girl then said, "I like the American accent." And then dad said with a grin, (as he always does when someone says something about our accent), "We don't have an accent, you're the one with the accent."

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Back from the Whitsundays

"OOOO... AHHH..."

Dad and I got back from our "sailing trip" today, and overall it was a really great time! However, there was some drama with the boat and crew. So while it wasn't perfect, the group we were with (and the fact that we were in the Whitsundays) made up for it. We met people from England, Germany, Norway, and America, just to name a few. Again, we had a good time.

If you want to read about the Whitsundays, CLICK HERE.

Now for some pictures:

^In case we didn't already know...^

^Our Boat "Samurai"^

^Sunset Day 1^

^In route to Jurassic Park^

^Whitehaven Beach^

More to come!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

DAD IS HERE!

Dad and I went up to Mount Stewart and then...

"Where are we now?"

^Sunset from Mount Stewart^

Dad an I are off to the Whitsunday Islands tomorrow for a sailing trip. We will get back on Saturday afternoon. Check back then... thanks!

Halloween!

"Where is your swimcap?"

Sorry for the hastiness of this post, I've been turning in projects, giving presentations, and getting ready for my dad to get here. It's been kinda hectic

For Halloween me and two friends of mine dressed up as the blueman group. We had to explain ourselves a lot.... Someone even asked me where I swimcap was. Then I had to explain how the blueman group memebers are all bald, and Tristam and Drew aren't shaving their heads. Anyway enough of that, onto the picture:

^Blueman Group LIVE in Australia^

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Birthday Photo Album

I've finally gotten a chance to create a photo album with some pictures from my birthday.

BEWARE: Keep in mind this was my 21st Birthday. There is nothing too bad in it :-)

Again, due to the larger number of photos, you can find the photo album by clicking here. Clicking on each photo will give you a larger view.

My video project is due on Tuesday, so I'll be working pretty extensively on that until then. However, I may get a chance to put a short video clip on here before I come home.

I hope everyone had a great Halloween. I sure did, and I'll have some pictures up soon.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Birthday Video

"Have another swing at it boy!"

Hey everyone, I've been really busy with recovering from my birthday, celebrating other birthdays and trying to find a Halloween costume.

I have a video from my party that you can conveniently watch by clicking here.

I gotta run because I have to go get dressed in my Halloween costume. Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Video Project Pictures Continued....

Sorry for the delay, but here are the remaining pictures from the video shoot:

(THE LAST PHOTO IS WORTH THE WAIT...)

^My sleeping arrangement^
Take notice to the open-air-ed-ness.
No windows or screens, just weird walls.

^Set-up for the outside shoot^

^Getting into character^

During one of our afternoon breaks we went to Tully Gorge. The river flowing through the gorge is commonly used by whitewater rafters.

^Little Beach^

^Notice the rainforest on the banks^

^Someone asked, "Which way to the rainforest?"^
So...I showed them.

Okay, now for the final picture... First, you'll need me to set the scene.

On the morning we were leaving, we were about ready to go, and it was around 11:00AM. We had all eaten breakfast (I ate toast with guacamole on it, I guess it's an Australian thing, and it wasn't too bad.). Everyone had done their part to help clean up, and we had experienced a few morning rain showers... after all it was the rainforest.

Tali had just gotten out of the shower, and she went to her drawer to get some clothes. When she opened the drawer this is what she saw:

^Australian Brown Tree Snake^

As could be expected, she came running and screaming out of the bedroom, and as soon as she let out the first scream, the first word that popped into my head was "SNAKE!" Sure enough, there was a snake in one of her drawers.

We later identified the snake as a Brown Tree Snake. Which is venomous, but their fangs are in the back of their mouth. I'm not sure if that is supposed to make me feel better. If so, it didn't work. I actually didn't even see the snake. Tali took the picture of it.

It was a good thing we were leaving that morning, because I don't think I would have been able to sleep on the floor anymore.

Paul said that they were going to deal with the snake once everyone left. Tali told me in class the following Tuesday they got a neighbor to come take care of the snake, so no worries.

Last weekend I went to Magnetic Island, and I have some pictures from that little trip that I will put up here as soon as I get some time. If you want to read up on ole' Maggie Island, you can by clicking here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Post Production

"That's a wrap!"

Well I got back from Tully on Tuesday, and overall I feel good about the video shoot. I didn't do very much directing because I was in character all the time... I did give my expert opinion every now and then.

Tully was really interesting. It was covered in sugar cane and banana trees. Apparently Tully is the UFO capital of Australia. I didn't see any UFOs though. :-(

If you want to read more about Tully, click here.

Now, for a little bit about the video project:

  • The class is Video Production.
  • There are 5 people in the group. Me, Kristen, Kayleigh, Maria, and Tali. I'm the only guy.
  • We are to create a 5 minute short video.
  • Tali wrote a script and had it take place at her weekend getaway in Tully. It is only about 210 km (3 1/2 - 4 hours North of Townsville), and the weather is much more humid. It is pretty much in the rainforest.
  • The video is called "Dingo Pocket," it is a psychological thriller, and that's all the information you get. :-)
  • Tali and Paul's place has the nickname, "Hekarwe" pronounced "Heck-are-we" which comes from "Where the heck are we?"
Now, here are some pictures from the video shoot:

^Front/Side Door to the house at Hekarwe^

^Side/Front Door of the house at Hekarwe^

^Looks a little bit like the ground in Georgia eh?^

^Banana trees in Tully^

^Cane Train on its way to the cane mill^

^Battling with Karen (co-star)^

^Tali and Kayleigh^

^Paul, AKA: Tali's Husband, Cook, and "the Creepy guy in the ute"^

^"The Shower Scene"^

^Kayleigh and Karen showing their evil side^
after deflating my air-matress....
while I was sleeping on it....:-(

To be continued...


Thursday, October 9, 2008

I'm George Clooney!

"Ready......and........ACTION!"

I am very short on time right now, so I apologize for the briefness of this post. I am getting ready to go on about a 3 hour road trip up to a small town called Tully to film a video project for my Video Production class. I am starring and directing, so that makes me George Clooney, or Clint Eastwood......or Kevin Costner. I am going to be among the few who can say they have directed themselves in a movie. Apparently there is no electricity where we are going, but there is wireless internet via Satellite. I'm not sure how that is supposed to work, but I'm sure I'll find out. Hopefully the internet there will allow me to post on the blog, and I may be able to post some production pictures....we'll see.

-Mike

PS - And if I don't get to tell you on Saturday..... HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! I LOVE YOU!!!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Back in Townsville with 600+ Photos

"Well see ya later, I'm locking myself in my room!"

I'm back in Townsville with a suitcase full of dirty laundry and memory cards full of pictures. Between three of us, we easily took over 600 pictures this past week. Unfortunately, I don't have time right now to upload them all online. I have a report due on Tuesday. :-( Fun times...

However, I will show you one picture:
^Random Guy on the Beach at Lake McKenzie^
I want his hat.

I'll hopefully have a chance to upload more (not all 600 of course) after I finish this report. So stay tuned...

I hope everyone has a great week!

-Mike

Thursday, October 2, 2008

No Worries from Brisbane!

"Too easy bro!"

I just got back into Brisbane on a 6:00 am Greyhound this morning. Everything is good! Fraser Island was awesome! We took tons of pictures. It may take a day or two to sort through them, and I have a bunch of schoolwork waiting on me when I get back into Townsville.

I hate to cut it short, but the internet here at this Hotel is pretty expensive, and it says I only have 1 minute and 36 seconds left. I hope everyone back home is doing well, and be on the lookout for pictures from the trip!

-Mike

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lecture Recess Here I Come!

"Brisbane or Bust!"

Next week we have "Lecture Recess." It is essentially Spring Break for us. I couple friends of mine and I just finished planning our Lecture Recess vacation to Brisbane and Fraser Island.

Here is a link to the wikipedia article on Fraser Island. It is really interesting.

Our Travel Itinerary
Friday: Arrive in Brisbane @ 11:40PM
Saturday: Rent a Car and attend Oktoberfest Fest-Brisbane
Sunday: Drive South to Nimbin, Australia - It's a city in New South Wales (The state south of Queensland)
Monday: Drive North to Hervey Bay
Tuesday: Rent a 4x4 Toyota LandCruiser to take to Fraser Island
Wednesday & Thursday: Camp and 4-wheel around Fraser Island
Friday: Greyhound back to Brisbane
Saturday: Flight back to Townsville, arrive 10:35 AM

We are camping and staying in backpacker resorts during our travels, so I am not sure how much internet access I will have. However, I will have tons of pictures to upload when I get back. I will try and make a blog entry or two letting everyone know that we're okay. Until then, as my Aussie friends say, "See yous lata!"

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Aussie Coins

"Wait! Hang on, I think I just dropped like 12 dollars!"

The coins here in Australia are unique to say the least. Like I said yesterday, they have a $1 and $2 coin. The only way to explain how they look, and their sizes relative to each other is to show a picture:


Notice their sizes compared to the three American coins at the bottom.

Also, notice the largest coin is the 50 cent piece. And the coin that is worth the most ($2, far right) is the same size as the coin that is worth the least. This causes a couple problems. There has been several times I have dropped some coins, and I would say, "Hang on, that could either be 30 cents, or 12 dollars!"

Aussie Money!

"Well ain't that interesting?"

First, I wanted to say, "I'm sorry for not updating." This is after I write a blog entry about how I hope to update more often... I'm really dropping the ball on this blog thing.

On the bright side, I am going to share some interesting things about Australian currency. First here is a picture of some Monopoly money.... I mean Australian money:

^The Australian 10, 20, 50, and 100 Dollar Notes^

At the time the first picture was taken, I didn't have a $5. So here is one next to a $10.

^The Australian 5 Dollar Note^

Notice how they progressively get longer in size as their value increases. I don't know what the money is made from, but they have a very plastic/waxy feel which makes them essentially waterproof. Also, their consistency also makes them impossible to tear. Just watch this video:

video

Now you may be wondering, "What does an Australian $1 look like?" Well , there is no $1 bill. Only a $1 coin, and there is actually a $2 coin as well. Tomorrow I'll publish a blog about the Australian coins. Until then, cheers!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Pub Crawl

"Mr. Clean! Mr. Clean!"

On Friday night we had an event called "Pub Crawl." Like most social gatherings around here, there was a theme involved. For this event we had to dress up like a cartoon character. Here is me as Mr. Clean:

^Me and my friend Kali^
(I think she was Little Red Riding Hood)

^Jane (From Tarzan), A Dalmatian (101 Dalmatians),^
Smurf, and Mr. Clean

EDITOR'S NOTE: Some of you might argue that Mr. Clean is not a cartoon character, well he was! He just didn't have his own show.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Photography Project

"Oooooo.....Ahhh......."

I have my first major assessment due for my photography class tomorrow. We were told to pick a theme, and my theme was "Water" Each photo had to fit certain criteria. Criteria that I won't bore you with. Instead... just enjoy the pictures:

^This is a view from a hill behind campus^

^My friend Casey jumping into the river^

^Preparing the Water Balloons^

^Destroying the Water Balloon^

Until next time...