Saturday, 21 August 2010

Hung like a Parliament

Election 2010.  Time to get our nerd on and visit the national tally room at Exhibition Park, to be at the heart of the action.  After dropping in on a friend's birthday party, we arrived about 9:30pm, by which time a normal election would have well and truly been called, but not this one. 

We stood in a cold queue outside for about 30min before we were let in.  Luckily for us, that was just a few minutes before Bob Brown turned up and got a big cheer from the Labor-Green heartland that is Canberra.  He proceeded to give an interview right in front of where we were standing, and we were in the background of a lot of TV footage. 

Unfortunately we couldn't hear a word of what he said, and that pretty much summed up the experience of the tally room - you are at the heart of the action, but really have no idea what is going on.  The TV sets are constructed along one side of the room, but they are too far back to hear what is being said.

The tally board itself is kind of cute, with tally monkeys running around behind it updating the numbers manually like the scoreboard at Adelaide Oval.  They could just have a projector displaying the electronic tally board the AEC has on its website, but they have opted for olde worlde charm.

We finished off the night at another friends' election party, which was actually fairly depressing.  It didn't matter who you voted for, with a hung parliament everyone loses.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Carn Stew! World squash converges on Canberra

The venue certainly isn't as cool as a glass box with a view of the pyramids, or hitting a yellow dot around in Grand Central station, but for the next few days the Convention Centre in Canberra is the focus of the squash world for the Australian Squash Open.

Some of the best squash players in the world are in town - 17 of the top 18 male players.  Tonight we saw, for free, the world #4 and #7 amongst others. Watching native Canberran Stewart Boswell ('carn stew!) go up against Thierry Lincou was great, even if the home favourite lost.  Boswell is in blue below.

The comp continues through to Sunday, tomorrow is the last day you can get in for free.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Stacks: Plenty, Coffees: 3, Red Bulls: 1

We spent yesterday at Perisher skiing, on a hastily-planned day trip. A friend had two spare seats in the car, and picked us up at 5am. I was more than a little worried about how bad the snow was going to be - I had heard talk of this being the worst July season in a number of years (despite some fairly creative positive-spin media reporting). So I decided to snowboard, since it wasn't going to bother me that the black runs were all closed if a blue was scary enough on a snowboard.

That was a good decision, but I was pleasantly surprised by the snow quality - those shiny new snow machines have saved the season, and I had a great day on the Mt. Perisher double.