16 November 2011

Air Force 1 Lands in Canberra

POTUS has landed! Yip, that's what the President Of The United States is called amongst the security circles when he's about to hit town. Scott's been running himself ragged amoungst some of our clients who have secure facilities getting things perfect for the visit. He's also on 26 hour call - the full duration of the visit.
The C-17 Globemaster III landing at Canberra airport on Monday afternoon carrying some of the entourage vehicles - including the two presidential limos. One mightily impressive plane!!!
If you look really closely through the trees to the runway, that's Air Force 1 touching down. Sorry - couldn't find the zoom on my iPhone!
Air Force 1 landed and ready for da prez to hit Aussie soil. To be greeted by PM Julia Gillard and the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce.
And Obama drives by in the presidential limo - today he was in the second car.

I set the video to just record so I wasn't fiddling with the camera. Unfortunately I was on the wrong side of the road. Scott was on the opposite side and got a wave from Obama. Note Julia racing to catch up at the end - surprised with all those cops around that she didn't get done for speeding in a 40km/hr zone. LOL!
Exciting day! I'm not commenting on the politics or reasons for his visit. I'm choosing to keep this superficial and just enjoy the pomp and ceremony. First the Queen and now Obama. It is fun living in the Nation's capital.
The only downside (superficially speaking) is the American press corp who travel the world with Obama and get five star treatment where ever they go. Unfortunately, in Canberra, that happens to be across the road from our apartment at the National Press Club. I swear we're being cooked alive by the enormous dish pointed directly at the bedroom window. It emits this awful low frequency hum that makes me feel nauseous and gives me a headache. I don't think Aspro Clear can fix this headache! Think we'll sleep in the spare room tonight...

06 November 2011


Greetings from some rediculous height above the ocean! The Mupersans are at it again... This time we're headed to Perth for two weeks. We're in between contracts in Canberra and they're in need of extra hands over in Perth. I've been doing some AV courses recently and have been getting more into the technical side of things. So I'm tagging along on this trip as a junior tech. Yip, I'm gonna be a tradie for two weeks! I do occasionally head off to site here in Canberra, but it's usually more to help with system commissioning than installation. But this time it's getting down and dirty pulling cable and the works.

We're about to start our descent into Perth, so it's off with the iPad and off with the iPod for now. Oh joy! So half an hour of screaming kids - this flight has been a real daycare nightmare!

Cheers for now!

We touched down with no hassles and were lucky enough to have our hire car upgraded from a little Toyota Corolla to a great big Ford Falcon XR6. Grrr!  

We were accompanied by one of our Canberra techs, Pete.  The job we were working on was an AV refurbishment of one of the Midland Courtrooms.  Yikes!  Bit of a dodgy area Midlands so the characters coming and going in the courtroom next door were...  ummm... interesting....  Put it this way, the place was crawling with police, security guards and plenty of lawyers with greasy, greying shoulder-length hair in crumpled suits.  And we had to keep our courtroom door locked while the court next door was sitting.  

That's Pete and Scott trying to take an old TV bracket off the wall - the old TV must've weighed at least 70kgs!

Before pulling the cable through floors, walls and ceilings, it all has to be run out and untwisted. As the junior on site, that was my delightful job.  But once the cable pulling started - boy, did I have aches in places I didn't know I had places!!!!

Scott had to drill through a double brick wall.... Drilling shit with a giant drill bit on a mighty hammer drill......  Scott heaven!!!

Scott's legs as he tries to unhook a cable stuck in the under-floor run.

This was a messy, hard job to do.  Normally we have it easy as we install into gutted or newly built buildings.  Ripping carpet up, making holes in walls and floors, pulling cables through cavity walls....  hard work I tell you!

We only had one weekend in Perth which we spent with our friends Tanya & Jamie at their townhouse in Cottesloe.  They treated us to a feast of seafood on Friday night.  How absolutely amazing to catch up with great friends!

Saturday morning they went cycling and we headed off to spend some time with Shane (my cuz), Megs and their little boy, Felix, who we hadn't met yet.

Waking up with beautiful Zho Zha lying on a patch of sun on our bed.

Brekkie with the De Jongs

Heading down to the beach

Trigg Beach - Felix's favourite beach just a few minutes from their house

Scott taking Felix out for a wade

Chillin' at Trigg

After whiling away a few lazy hours at a seaside bar/restaurant with Jamie & Tanya where we forgot to take our cameras, we decided to head for the beach for sundowners.  

It's been a long time since we saw the sun set over the ocean.  One of the huge bonuses of living on the west coast.

Tanya, Jamie and Scott on Cottesloe beach

Goodbye sun...

Heading back to Jamie & Tanya's for a braai and a bottle of Groote Post Shiraz - thanks for sharing that with us guys!!!

Cottesloe Beach with the Indiana restaurant.  This was our destination for brekkie on Sunday morning. 

The view from our table.  That water is just beautiful!  

Absolutely stunning setting for Sunday brekkie!

Shane was racing in Perth's Classic Paddle Race - a 12km race starting at The Narrows and ending at Left Bank on the Swan River.  We met up after the race and they took us to the Little Creatures Brewery in Freemantle.  Megs managed to grab us a table right next to the kiddies sandpit for Felix to play in with the other kids.  

And the big kids drank beer, ate delicious food and just generally had a great time!

Megs, Shane & I at Little Creatures in Fremantle

Felix in the sandpit - love his t-shirt - "Caution - Extremely handsome"

Scott & Shane raising their glasses

Not sure who had more fun in that sandpit with all the tipper trucks - Shane or Felix

Shane with his excellent t-shirt which he actually bought in the US - "I'd rather be Down Under!"

After a full day of travelling via a 4 hour stopover in Sydney, we finally made it home on Friday evening.  It was a great trip.  Hard work, but we also got to spend some quality time with friends and family who we hadn't seen in years.  What an absolute treat - thanks to all of you for your hospitality!!!

Our next trip to Perth will be a holiday trip where we'll go and see all the sites.

For now, we're very happy to be home in Canberra.  Where's my bicycle?  After two weeks, I wonder if I'll still remember how to ride it?