14 January 2010

A Sign of Commitment

Thursday 7th January 2010

Nothing stood out about the day or the date. It was just any old Thursday night. It was a week into 2010 but bore little significance. Except to me, and it wasn't until later that evening it would become more apparent why I had chosen this night to take Eleonor out to dinner.

Whilst some people know I can be good at keeping something a secret or setting up a good surprise, I was genuinely wondering if I could pull this one off. Any little thing could upset the night's events and so I tried thinking of all the different approaches and backup plans possible in case something did go wrong.

As it happened though, I didn't need them. I took Eleonor unsuspectingly to Sydney Tower without any trouble. We got to the 360 Bar and Dining revolving restaurant without a glitch and enjoyed a wonderful meal with one of the best views Sydney had to offer.

It was after our meals had been finished and cleared that I put everything in motion. Thinking that no other venue that night would be as 'perfect' as the here and now, I proposed to Eleonor and with watery eyes she accepted - and we are now engaged :)

We've both been excited since that night (a week ago) and thank everyone we've told so far who have offered their Congratulations and well wishes. Eleonor has been on Cloud 9 ever since and the happiest I've seen her in a long time - maybe the happiest I've ever seen her!

Of course the big question regards the ceremony and when all that will happen but we have decided to concentrate on the construction of our house for the moment which should be completed in the first half of the year. After that, we can look at other milestones in our lives.

2010's off to a very good start so far!

06 January 2010

AbraxasVideo - Live on YouTube!

I finally got myself a YouTube account to bring some of my video work to the online community! You can check out my new 'channel' on YouTube: AbraxasVideo.

My first video is an aviation related piece that I've been working on throughout much of 2009. Footage taken by me from 2007-2009 has been matched to a beautiful piece of music called 'Serenata Immortale' by Immediate Music.

Struggling for a title I named the piece 'Serenade of the Skies' (as opposed to the Seas as I've seen many results for on Google) which includes footage mainly filmed from locations around Sydney Airport but also onboard flights during my globetrotting adventures and a rare Alitalia visit to Richmond AFB when the Pope came to Sydney in 2008. I tried to include the huge variety of airlines that come through Sydney so that everyone has something they can look for and/or recognise.

I'd recommend viewing the vid at YouTube itself in a larger resolution, but for those who can't wait, here's the video, I hope you enjoy!

I'm looking forward to another video project for me to get into now that this one's done...

Until next time, take care :)

01 January 2010

2009: The Year of New Priorities

So, 2009's now behind us and we're moving along into another new year. Last year went as quickly as most others and certainly presented a great number of challenges.

Mainly 2009 was a year to set up our future. Starting early in February when Eleonor and I put down a deposit on our very own block of land in Woodcroft. It was all exciting and we were finally on the road to independence for ourselves looking at getting our very own place built there. We weren't so prepared for the rollercoaster ride that would follow though - but that was all part of the 'adventure' 2009 brought us.

Work continued to be interesting in '09, but brought up several of it's own challenges creating more internal politics than any of us expected but the people I care about and enjoy working with have remained much the same. The most satisfying aspects came out of professional development which was sorely lacking in '08 as well as a work paid trip to Brisbane for the CreateWorld conference later in the year.

Aside from the above mentioned trip to Brisbane, 2009 was very light on the travel side of things. The only other trip occured in May which was also to Brisbane for a friend's wedding. Eleonor and I expected a light year for travel since we were putting our concentration into saving for the house - so it was nice when the CreateWorld opportunity came up. We're addressing the travel 'issue' in 2010 with a trip already planned to Egypt in May and who knows where else?

Sending out some Congratulations to friends including Craig & Maria, Ebony & Andrew and Leon & Kim who each tied the knot in marriage in 2009. Congratulations also out to Eleonor's brother Henry and his partner Megan on their engagement :)

On a different line, but Congratulations are also in order for my good friend Steve who purchased his very own apartment this year and also to Eleonor for purchasing her very own, brand new car in December.

With the massive purcahse Eleonor and I were undertaking, I cut spending on most of my hobbies. Flying was only every fortnight and even that was only when the weather would allow it to occur. I dropped a number of magazine subscriptions and decided to readjust my collecting criteria with my diecast cars and planes. The cars were helped with the news that TeamVodafone, the V8 Supercar team I follow would be changing sides next year from Ford to Holden. This allows me to kill a few birds with one stone, as I've been supporting their iconic race driver Craig Lowndes since he came to Ford in 2001 and now he's going back to Holden... well, it seems an ideal time to pull out of supporting the category myself as well.

My diecast plane collection never quite reached 400 models and in the past 6 months or so I've been selling off unwanted planes to other collectors. This will continue in 2010 as I hope to cut back to only the planes which I've had the experience of flying aboard.

In terms of music, of the bands I enjoy, Rammstein were the only ones to release an album in '09 (that I purchased) but I did get to see Eskimo Joe & Nickelback perform live at the Hordern Pavilion and Acer Arena respectively with Eleonor in what were both great concerts.

Sci-Fi was back in '09 as well with the conclusion of the Battlestar Galactica (reimagined) series and the backstory provided in 'The Plan'. Stargate reincarnated itself again with the series 'Universe' and we're still watching through the Atlantis series.

While we were treated to such movies as Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Terminator Salvation (haven't seen), the two standout films for 2009 would definitely be Star Trek and Avatar 3D.

I only saw Avatar in the last few days but the 3D experience really sells the film. However, getting past the technical mastery & wizardry presented, the story is something much simpler and predictable. Still a superb piece of work in anyones mind, but it depends on your perspective and what you look for in a film. Star Trek is this year's obvious winner for me but I try to say this without the Trek bias coming out. This film was able to reboot the franchise and make it fresh, new, interesting and cool - something Star Trek has always struggled with. The fact that so many of my non-Trek friends have said how much they enjoyed the movie reinforces that. Even though there were still some holes in the story (pointed out by the devoted 'canon followers' of Treak). So, 2009 was the year where being a Trekker(ie) was finally okay!

I'm looking forward to what 2010 might bring. As said above, '09 was all about setting up the future and I'm hoping to finally start living some of that future in the coming year. I'll aim to be a bit more dedicated to my blog as well, which yes, I know, was neglected in '09!

All the best to all of you,