Blogging the Airshow, Part 1

This year I was fortunate enough to be a volunteer at the Australian International Airshow, held at Avalon Airport.

I initially contacted the Airshow in June '06, prompted by my interest in fighter planes, the fact that Olivia and I were planning on going to the Airshow anyway, and inspired by one of my co-workers who had volunteered for last year's Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

After being accepted in December '06 to the position of Main Gate Admissions, I was able to commit to working the 3 public days - Friday, Saturday and Sunday. As part of being a volunteer I would have meals & uniform provided, a free family pass, a free campsite and shuttle buses to and from the event.

Last weekend was the weekend of the Airshow, and it was fantastic. Working the Main Gate was interesting and different (even fun). Getting to see the sights and just hang around the Airshow was brilliant. And, on the last morning of the show (Sunday morning) I got to fulfil a childhood dream...

Stay tuned for more Airshow posts on what we saw, my experiences as a volunteer, and what I did Sunday morning (also see my Flickr set of photos).

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New Camera

This week we got a new digital camera to replace our ailing Ricoh - a Fuji FinePix S5600 (which seems to be exactly the same as the S5200).

Our old Ricoh, while taking a good picture, had a couple of problems and we felt it was time for an upgrade. We use our camera a lot - taking just over 2,300 photos last year - and it was time for a camera that didn't take 5 or 6 seconds to charge the flash, that didn't white out the sky, that you could enlarge the pictures from without them getting pixelated, and that could take a photo indoors sans flash.

So far the Fuji has been very promising. It's 5 megapixel and has 10x optical zoom. It takes only 2 seconds between photos with flash (according to the manual - much shorter without flash) and has lots of settings to play with. It can take indoor shots in low light without requiring the flash. So far, the only issue we've had is with the occasional blurry shot.

And the new camera was on special, and only set us back a little over our budget :-)

The other "issue" I've had is that Olivia has taken the best photos so far (and not me). Here's one I liked, where amazingly she was also able to take a photo of actual words as they were being spoken:

He he...

I've uploaded some other photos to my shiny new Flickr account too.

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Running for Buses

Lately I've been catching the bus to work. Public transport is pretty cheap and fairly direct for getting me to work - the bus stops right outside my house, and at the other end there's a short (probably around 12 minute) walk to work from the train station. 12 minutes is a reasonable amount of time to walk.

I hear some funny things on the bus and I see some strange goings on. For instance, I think that running for a bus that you may miss is strange. When I see people running for buses I chuckle - I think to myself that *I* would never run for a bus if there was a reasonable chance I was going to miss it!

Theoretically, I reckon the break-even point is probably 40/60 - if there was just a 40 percent chance I'd miss a bus (as in, I am most likely not going to miss it), I'd maybe jog or walk fast. Otherwise, I'd wait for the next bus and maintain my "cool".

I learnt the other day that this was just "theoretically" :-)

I lost track of the time and had less than 10 minutes, for what is a 12 minute walk to catch the bus on the way home. So, I ran for part of the way, and for the record, I jogged the last little part through crowded Frankston streets when I saw the bus had already arrived.

Then I sat there for 5 minutes before the bus left!

Now I don't think running for a bus is strange.

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Driving Efficiently

Wow, I read this post on Boing Boing about the world's most fuel-efficient driver (or "mileage hacker"):

Wayne Gerdis may be the most fuel-efficient driver in the world. Through tricky coasting, careful acceleration, and driving without braking, the "king of the hypermilers" can apparently squeeze 59 MPG out of a non-hybrid Honda Accord and more than 100 MPG from a Toyota Prius.
That's 25 kilometres per litre! I'm posting this to perhaps help my friend Leigh who is a big advocate of efficient driving :-)

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