29 June 2010


The title means hello in Thai if you were unfamiliar.  One of the few words I managed to master during my awesome adventure of Thailand over the last 10 days.  Wow, what an experience it was.  I have been fortunate to travel quite a bit this year, something that has always been a dream of mine for years now.  The more exotic and different to my current Australian life the better.

My latest escape from reality was spent at Patong Beach, Phuket, Thaliand which is currently the furthest I have been from my home of Victoria, Australia.  To basically sum up this trip: it was fun from day 1.

Everyday was an adventure =)

One thing I love about holidays is experiencing all the activities, people, geography, culture and much more that you never get the chance or opportunity to back at home.  This holiday I got to experience quite a lot of things for the first time!

We went jet skiing, rode elephants, explored the town, tore it up on ATV's (quad bikes), went white water rafting, played volleyball at the resort pool, drank heaps, ate more, snorkeled, canoed into bat caves in the middle of the ocean, visited tropical islands, fed monkeys, shopped, the works!



The people there were awesome, I felt so safe and welcomed, just walking down the street even at midnight I felt calm, at home.  After 10 days you start to get to know some of the regular shop keepers, by the end I had made some pretty great friends, got talking to them for ages about where they are from, about their family, their history.  What their hobbies are, goals, dreams.  It is so interesting that even people from a completely different country, race and culture, humans as a species all seem to have a common core set of values; to be healthy, happy and safe.

One of the more prominent differences between my culture and theirs was definitely their shop keeping style haha!  Anyone who has already been there will know exactly what I am talking about, the shops keepers really want you in their store.

"Hey, you sir, suit, you want a suit? Come on, here just have a look in my store, I do for you cheap real cheap!"

I seen the funniest t-shirt, it summed up what it is like perfectly.

Now the thing is is that I stayed at Patong Beach, which is a heavily saturated tourism spot with a very noticeable Western influence.  While of course there was still Thai written all over the place, you got the sense that is was a front, an act from what the real Thailand is really like, especially when on our travels from our resort to the dock to catch our boat trips to the island which was a good 40 minutes drive away.  As soon as we left the Patong Beach area the glamorous stores, the clothes people wore, the condition of the store fronts and roads all changed considerably. 

This isn't to say shame on Western cultures for their interference and influence on the Eastern cultures, you can easily argue the benefits of us bringing all of our money into an otherwise relatively poor country.  The point I am getting at is simply that some day I would love to get a taste of the real culture.  The people, buildings, foods, way of life that's away from the tourist hot spots.

There are countless more stories I could tell.  The fun I had bartering with the shop keepers, the time I pretended to be a shop keeper and tried to sell merchandise to customers and the other shop keepers, the time I pretended to work at one of the massage stalls, offering massages to passers by in a Thai accent screaming "Massaaage!? Massaaaage sir!?".  The time my grandpa accidentally walked in on my cousin and his girlfriend during their alone time (we will never let them live that down!), or how much fun it was when Thai people ask where you're from and you spend 10 minutes trying vehemently to convince them that you're actually from Phuket and just don't go outside very often (hence the white complexion)... ha wow, such good times.

But alas, long posts about other people holidays can be boring I can assume.

All in all it was an amazing 10 days, one that I would highly recommend with a group of mates (or even your family).  The food and activities are insanely cheap (we got a pizza, milkshake, side bowl of chips for $10au, and the two hour quad bike tours were only $40au), the people are very friendly and welcoming, you can shop to your hearts content and see some of the most beautiful coastlines and country sides that I have yet to see.

23 June 2010

Off and away!

My trip to Thailand has arrived!

I leave tomorrow morning for 10 days, surrounded by the company of 20 family members and relatives.  Should be epic =)  In my quest to live life to the fullest I always have holidays and adventures in the planning, and luckily this year I have a bit more freedom to be able to actually do all the exciting things that I dream of doing.  So far this year I have been to Queensland in February and a Cruise in April, each being absolutely amazing adventures. 

See you all again soon!

19 June 2010

Fate, lead the way

I wish I was a better writer. I guess it has never been my forte. I wonder if it is one of those things that you either have or you don't, one of those niches that a select few seem to shine with an annoyingly small amount of effort to do so. Story telling on the other hand is a forte of mine, it just seems to be the link from brain, to word, to paper (or in this case keyboard) that I seem to struggle.

Oh well, we try our best, and that is what matters.

I love reading blogs, but for a very specific number of reasons. For me to like (or love) a blog, it has to either be really funny such as Hyperbole and a Half, Out-Numbered, Steam Me Up, Kid..., has to be a story time line of their life like from cold to fire and 20-Nothings (her very early stuff) and The History Chick, or, and this type is my favourite and most awe inspiring for me, the way they use their words, align their thoughts, connect with the reader and themselves. Examples being Mr London Street and The Hitch List.

I envy that last category. I wish I had even a sliver of the talent they have.

I am not a very good blogger/writer, hell to put simply I am just not good at arranging my thoughts. Which I am ok with. And I am working on. My point is I would like if I was better, for starters it would make for much better posts, but I think it would also help me discover and unravel the mysteries that seem to swirl within me. Causing confusion that I can't quite work out.

Yesterday was a very strange day. This strangeness has been continuing steadily ever since my very bazaar fate driven day a few weeks back with constant unusual incidents and coincidences and the like happening on an almost daily occurrence. Note to self, I should really start writing them all down. Alas tonight was... words to describe it elude me. It is a Saturday night, I am holed up in my room (as I have been every weekend for the last 3)... I was hoping to put my depressing abundance of free time to good use by actually being productive. This lasted all of 30 minutes until I stumbled onto a movie residing on my computer, one that I had no idea what it was about nor why it was on my computer in the first place.

That movie was 'Stranger Than Fiction'.

Anyone seen it? I had never even heard of it. My verdict? Absolutely fucking brilliant. I was skeptical at first... well for starters it had Will Farrel in what was apparently going to be a 'serious' movie. Will Farrel can't be serious, can he? It was elusive and confusing and a little bazaar for quite some time, but I hung in there. The main character, he related to me (which is not a good thing). His life reminded me of mine, especially for the fact that I am spending a Saturday night watching a movie, alone, in my room. He met a gorgeous girl, one that he didn't seem to be going anywhere with at first. I meet gorgeous girls all the time, and like the main character, they never seem to go anywhere.

By the end, I was moved. It was brilliant, it related to yesterdays post and the other post about fate and all the other ridiculously 'fate fueled' things that have been happening to me lately perfectly. Is this another to add to the list? Was this movie meant to be a sign? If so, what does it mean? What do I do now, at this very minute, in light of this new information? It is currently 8.46pm, do I leave my room, maybe see what my house mates are doing? Should I go try to start my car in the off chance that it might start which could lead me on unforeseen adventures?

Or maybe, acting on it is the exact opposite of what you are supposed to do in this situation? Maybe I should just stay in my room, continue on like nothing ever happened?

What I loved in the movie is how it was exactly how I have been living lately. Wondering if things are fate, if so, what does it mean? Should I just go about things normally? The problem there is I start thinking about 'what is normal'... and probably end up doing something that isn't normal, therefore am probably missing out on something great.

Wow, I ramble so bad. I'll tell you something though about my posts, the ones marked with the 'Reflection' tag. I write them all in under 30 minutes, all in one go, all on the fly. There is no editing (besides grammar), no planning beforehand. Often times I only have a very vague idea of what it is I actually want to say. Hmm, could explain why they turn out so haphazardly, don't you agree?

I gained a new follower today, something that never fails to fill me with extreme amounts of joy. This is then followed with 'they must of followed by accident, my writing does not compare to theirs!'. Then I panic and wonder if I might lose them in the future as a follower, I probably change how I write the next few posts after their joining... purposely thinking to myself 'just write like I always have' which most likely ends up with me writing differently anyway. It is exactly how I react to the whole 'fate' scenario.

Strange indeed. I really am a strange one. I am 80% sure that I am made up of about 25% crazy, 20% smart, 40% analytical, 10% self doubt, 5% optimism. The remaining 20% of the 80% believes I am simply an analytically thinking optimist that is far too clever for his own good (and for those around him) who doubts himself to the point of crazy thoughts and actions, all with a slice of 'whatever' on the side.

Something along those lines at least.

I have been wishing for something great and unexpected to happen for ages now. I am constantly in a battle between believing 'things happen for a reason' and 'there are only coincidences, nothing more'. The former is how I used to live for the past 20 years, until last year that is (when I turned 21)... a lot of bad events unfolded, questioning my 'things happen for a reason' belief. Maybe though, I am taking these coincidences that I listed in previous posts, and taking the meaning of stumbling across 'Stranger Than Fiction' tonight, not for what they really are which is in fact 'a series of unrelated events'... and am just wishing for them to mean something, anything... just so I can feel something other then the emptiness that lives with me in my very busy but very lonely life that I live.

Lets let fate decide shall we.

18 June 2010

What does it all mean?...

My life is full of chances, coincidences, unlikely occurrences, strange events, bazaar situations... it is just a weird weave of life. It is so prominent that when something completely unlikely occurs, friends and family who I recap the story to aren't in the slightest surprised what so ever simply because of the fact that it happened to me. Which to be fair these events aren't always bad, they are just unlikely.

Example, the other day I needed to hand in an important report that was due by that afternoon. No worries I will pop into Uni in the morning before class, do some last minute research and finish it up. Get to Uni, my internet quota for my account had run out. Bummer, why today... oh well, lets go top up my account at the little booth thing in the library. Oh man, got no cash on me, alright I'll stop by the ATM. Man this chick in front of me at the ATM is taking forever... I don't have all day. 10 minutes later she turns around and complains that the machine is broken and ate her money. Oh come on... crap well I can't get any cash, what to do? Hmm, maybe I have some left over on my Uni ID card (which you can assign money on)... sweet, I have $2 left on it! Finally some luck. Alright, transfer this $2 from my card to my account... done!

But wait, theres more. Now with the internet back I was able to finish it off. Sweet, let's print it off and we are set. What's this, says I have $0 credit on my printing account? But I have $2 that... oh. Printing credit is linked to your Uni ID card... to which I transferred the remaining amount over to my internet account (which can't be transferred back). Now I can't print my report, yay.

My point is that that was an event that happened only a few days ago purely off the top of my head... I have countless more, these things really are a weekly occurrence. As I said, people aren't even surprised by these stories any more. There was also the case of when one of these... 'series of coincidences' if you will, happened on a monumental scale to which you can read about here.

So why is it that everything seems to be happening for a reason... but for the life of me I cannot figure out what or why.

Today on the way home I thought I'd treat myself to some take away dinner, and after wards I'd stop by the shops and grab a bottle of vodka to have a few quiet drinks with the house mates. On the bus ride home from work I realized that I didn't really feel like take away and much rather prefer to cook tonight. Ok, that's settled, I'll cook and watch a bit of TV, then I'll drive to the store later on.

After dinner I walked out to my car to which it immediately started to rain heavily as I stepped out the front door. "Hmm, maybe that's a sign I should save my money (and my health) and not drink tonight"... so back inside I went. No drinking tonight, no big deal. Aww, who are these people who have arrived at the house... friends of the house mates who I don't know. By now I know most of the house mates friends and get along with all of them really well, but it is always a little awkward meeting new people and tonight I wasn't in a particularly social mood. Think I'll retreat to my room for the night.

At 10.10pm as I was... well I was basically doing nothing to be honest, Jason (one of my last remaining friends) texts me to say that him and the guys are heading to a club back at home (about 30 minute drive away). Wow, I never get asked out by the guys anymore! It is a decent drive... and it is pretty late, and it means I'd have to stay at my parents house after clubbing (as it was close to the club). Alright hell with it, it will be great to see them lets do it. Lucky I didn't drink after all it seems!

Pack my bag, do my hair, get dressed, all set lets go. Jump in my car... turn key... turn key again... lights start to dim... car doesn't start. Aww what! 5 minute of key turning was futile, it wasn't going to start. Sigh... why tonight. Oh, I know what this is from... the other day when I drove to Uni I happened to choose the car park that just happened to be next to the guy who's car wouldn't start. So, as the nice guy as I am of course I helped jump start his car. Sigh...

Back inside I go... put my bag down... turn my laptop back on, stare at screen wondering what to do for the rest of the night.

So. I originally wanted to treat myself to take away and decided against it, I really was looking forward to some drinks with the house mates but took the rain as a sign not to drink, I then figured I'd hang with my house mates regardless of the drinks but they have new people over (something that hasn't happened for months now), I then get a sms from my mates back home who I never hear from anymore saying to meet them at the club which I was prepared to drive the distance for... and my car doesn't start.

Man I got dressed up and everything, actually had a good feeling about heading to the club tonight too. My clothes were good, hair was looking sharp, am able to sleep in tomorrow morning, things were working for me.

So alas, it is now 11.14am on a Friday night, and I am sitting in my room to the sounds of loud laughter and drunk words from a bunch of people upstairs above my room. An amazing series of random events that all on the same night decide come together only to leave me more worst for wear then I was when I first jumped on the bus after work back at 5.30pm...

Meant to be?..

Update: I kid you not, after I clicked the 'Publish Post' button, 10 seconds later my laptop BlueScreened (crashed), something it hasn't done for many months. Unbelievable.

Forever progressing forward

I love science, technology, medicine, space... basically what ever nerdy topic you can think of, I enjoy it.  I am a constant visitor to NewScientist.com reading everything about anything, I can get lost and spend hours in the web of information that is Wikipedia, and I am currently an Honours student doing research for my Thesis.

The other day I was reading journals and papers in regards to my research and I found about 5 really detailed and highly relevant pieces to work from... the problem is they were written in 2006 - 2008.

Well we are only half way through 2010, 2006 - 2008 was only a few years ago how is that a problem?  To put simply the majority of what was spoken about in those journals, however only a few years old, are already out dated.  This isn't to invoke the sense of 'that's annoying'... to me it inspires a sense of 'wow, it is amazing and mind boggling how fast we are progressing!'.  To put it in another perspective, the Apple Iphone wasn't released until mid 2007 and since its release the mobile phone industry has exploded with touch capable phones and has really opened up mobile gaming (especially with the introduction of the Apple AppStore which houses over 100,000 games to play).

The journals are really well written, provide some amazing statistics and thoughts and at the time at least were mostly cutting edge.  The reality of our mobile technology now is completely different to a very short 2 - 3 years ago... 2 to 3 years, how short is that!

It is weird though because I think to myself that even my research (while is far from 'cutting edge' even as I write it) is only a tiny drop in this amazing, forever expanding ocean of academics working as one.  But then I realized that that is perfectly fine, because all these current modern technologies were no way possible without the use of previous research... and that research wasn't possible without previously done research, and so on and on.  So while my research isn't going to be ground breaking that will stand as a staple point for theories for the next hundred years (such as the work done by the great Einstein who's ideas and theories and still used today), it still provides a step for other research to build upon.  Well I like to think so at least.

Which to me is a great feeling.

It also is exciting to wonder what will be a reality in another 2 - 3 years time. Or further, let's say 10, 20 years... what about 50!  The first computers were developed around the 1960's, so in 50 years we have gone from computers that would take up an entire room, could only do one calculation at a time and couldn't store any data, to a mobile phone sized device that can do millions of calculations per second.  50 years is not a long time considering humans as a species has been around for millions, and it was 5000 years ago since ancient Egypt reigned free.

There is a fantastic service by the all conquering Google called Google Scholar that allows you to search published papers, journals and the likes that have been submitted by academics and researchers from all over the world.  It has an appropriate slogan on the front page  "Stand on the shoulders of giants".

You can only wonder the possibilities, which are indeed truly endless.

16 June 2010

10 Things I Enjoyed About Today - Day 7

Today was an absolutely awesome day so this top 10 (continuation of my little experiment) will be an easy one:

1. Got to sleep in (always a bonus)
2. Had a nice lazy morning eating breakfast while watching episodes of Two and a Half Men
3. I had a presentation to attend which started at 11am... I thought it started at 11.30am... luckily when I logged onto my personal Uni computer at 10.56am my calender popped up with a message reminding me haha
4. Today was the day of my very important Honours presentation*
5. My Honours presentation went AWESOME!
6. Hung out with Sophie in her office afterwards (she is ridiculously cool)
7. Did I mention that my presentation went good =)
8. My presentation kicked 2 out of 3 of the other presenters easily (one of them by the end I literally had no clue what it was about haha)
9. With my presentation out of the way my next deadline isn't until July 12th (ages away!)
10. Felt really pleased and proud of myself on how well my presentation went

*Ha, just reading over today's list there seems to be a focal point of some sorts. As mentioned multiple times already today was time for my mid-year Honours presentation that counts for a considerable amount for my end of year mark (something I am extremely determined to get as high as possible). The presentation had to be 20 - 30 minutes long to an audience consisting of Honour student supervisors, fellow Honour students, PhD students and a few staff... usually I would be extremely nervous but surprisingly this time I was rather calm, something that definitely showed during my talk.

Ha, I guess it helps to know what I am talking about during a presentation for a change, makes rambling much easier. And yes, as any good student does, I put the slides together the night before =P

My slides flowed brilliantly, I spoke (although with a slightly shaky start) with great clarity and detail, something that was echoed by a few members of the audience afterwards. One reason why I am making such a big deal about this and why it is such a big deal to me isn't just because I went well and that should result in a good mark. It is all because of what one of the staff Rosie, our Student Administrator at my Uni, said to me.

She said "Aaron that was a fantastic presentation, for someone like me who doesn't really understand this technical stuff yours was the only one that was clear and concise and I actually enjoyed it." Now while that was nice of her to say that wasn't what made this such so monumental to me, it was what she said next. "I remember you gave a presentation a few years ago at IBL (a business lunch between the Uni and local companies), I had never seen anyone more nervous in my life" and then she cracked up laughing.

I cringed and laughed at the memory of that presentation... I had purposely tried to block it out (it was embarrassingly bad). But it made we realize something great. While it wasn't the praise I got after wards by some of the audience, or the sense within myself that I knew I had given a good talk, it was the fact that that was clear evidence of how much I have grown over the last few years. Today I performed much better then I would have only a year or two ago, I am accomplishing goals that I had set myself back when I was still in high school, I am sitting, talking and conversing with people of a status that I would have never of dreamed of only a year ago, or even a few months ago for that matter.

It was amazing to see and actually feel how far I have come.

During question time the Honours Head Coordinator asked me "Tell me, what do you find most rewarding about your Honours study".

I had to pause and think for quite some time, eventually I came up with this "When I graduated last year I felt that I was just another face in the crowd with so many other people in my same degree graduating as well. Doing Honours I feel like I am proving myself, standing above the rest, accomplishing something much greater then anything I had done before".

That sense of accomplishment and self improvement is what I am happy about the most.

15 June 2010

10 Things I Enjoyed About Today - Day 6

Unlike the previous 3 extremely low action days, I finally had some stuff to do today haha.

Today's top 10:
1. I had work today (I really like my job so I count this as a bonus)
2. Martyn and I relished about the fact that one of our co-workers is away for 3 weeks, making the office environment much more enjoyable
3. Missed my alarm so I missed the bus which resulted in me driving to work which actually turned out for the better as I had to stop by Uni after work anyway, score!
4. Spent a few hours at Uni to prepare for my presentation tomorrow and actually got a heap done
5. Finished my presentation slides
6. Really enjoyed staying late at the warm Uni library whilst listening to music
7. Stopped by Subway on the way home which was exactly what I had been craving all day
8. A absolute gorgeous chick smiled at me while I was in the library, always a plus
9. Got a few free hours to play Assassin's Creed 2 some more and I am glad to say it has lived up to my expectations and more!
10. Realized today that besides the fact that I hardly see my friends anymore, life is going pretty awesomely

14 June 2010

10 Things I Enjoyed About Today - Day 5

Today's 10 to continue the experiment I started 5 days ago:

1. Today was a public holiday so I got to sleep in
2. Had a nice lazy morning of eating breakfast in front of my laptop while watching episodes of Scrubs
3. Spent the day at Uni to prepare for my Honours presentation in 2 days time
4. Got to have lunch at Uni with my house mate Jack.  Was great to have some company
5. Found some good new research papers
6. Got distracted and ended up reading NewScientist.com for about 2 hours
7. Met up with my sister at Uni which I always enjoy her company
8. My sister brought me some home cooked dinner mum had prepared. Sweet!
9. Very much enjoyed the home cooked meal
10. Helped out my house mates who got stuck at Uni because the buses weren't running today

13 June 2010

10 Things I Enjoyed About Today - Day 4

Today's 10:

1. Got to sleep in as it it Sunday
2. Finished up to season 8 of Scrubs today.  The ending was really well done and actually a little sad.
3. Went for what was supposed to be a 10 minute walk around the block to clear my headache... got completely lost and ended up walking for an hour and a half.  I wasn't the least bit surprised which made me laugh.
4. Played Assassin's Creed 2 for a few hours which I am really enjoying
5. Cleaned my room so it looks much better
6. Had an extremely relaxing day
7. Got to do a lot of thinking on my extremely long walk
8. Spent the night watching TV with my house mates

Today was another really quiet day, so we shall leave it at 8.

12 June 2010

10 Things I Enjoyed About Today - Day 3

I shall stick to my word and continue this, so I present to you today's top 10:

1. Being a Saturday I got to sleep in
2. Went to Uni today and managed to get a rather impressive amount of work done.  I know I will thank myself later for that one
3. Had the entire day free to do what I wanted
4. Watched episodes of Two and a Half Men
5. Cooked myself an awesome steak dinner with a mountain of vegies, mushrooms and onions (my favourite!)
6. Had time to play Assassin's Creed 2 for a few hours
7. Had an extremely relaxing day

Hmm, and that's about it today.  It isn't that today wasn't a good day, on the contrary it was an awesome day.  I basically did nothing today so it was hard to find 10 things to list haha.

11 June 2010

10 Things I Enjoyed About Today - Day 2

Continuing my little 'positive thinking' experiment, I present day 2 =)

1. Went to a seminar by a very highly regarded I.T academic who spoke about Cloud Computing.  It was one of the only seminars I have been to this year that I actually enjoyed.
2. Had a meeting with Sophie today, which as always was a highlight of my week
3. Got to sleep in this morning
4. Enjoyed the idea that it is Friday and spent the day wondering what my choice of entertainment can be for the night
5. Found Jason by accident at Uni today, so was good to see a friendly face
6. Made some really good progress with my research today with Sophie.  Made a rough time line on how my research should progress over the coming weeks
7. My hair looked good today which was a nice change lol
8. Lots of hot chicks in the Uni library, always a bonus
9. Sophie asked if I would like to help her for a University Information event for July, where high school kids attend this event with Universities around the area providing booths for the kids to chat to staff about the courses that are on offer.  I will be talking about my course which is Games Design and Development, and on show we will have the game my team made last year for a project =)
10. Sabbi called me unexpectingly after dinner and we chatted forages.  Always fun

This experiment is amazing, as you start to list them you really struggle to find a few, then at about item 5 onwards they really start to flow and you sit back and think 'wow, there was so many more positives in the day that I had completely forgotten about'.  I got Sabbi to give it a go while we were talking on the phone and the exact same thing happened.

10 June 2010

10 Things I Enjoyed About Today - Day 1

I am starting an experiment.  As I was thinking to myself the other day I realized that I seem to have an uncontrollable swaying view on everything, constantly wavering between positive and negative.  In light of this I would like to become a more positive thinking person (like I used to be long ago) therefore I have decided to try something I seen some other bloggers have tried.

Basically everyday you list a specified number of good things that happened in your day, no matter how small the event was.  Sounds way positive to me.  It may sound stupid, or actually turn out stupid, but it is worth a try.  Ha, and there you go, that was a negative thing to say.  I am off to a bad start haha.

So, today's 10:
1. There was a really hot chick sitting near me on the bus, makes the bus ride much more enjoyable
2. Today was 'Pub Thursday' at work where we go to the pub for lunch for a chicken parmigiana and beer
3. Listening to my music at work today was really enjoyable
4. Martyn and I had some fun at work watching clips of Scrubs on YouTube
5. With Uni finished it was good not to have any homework
6. It was nice to chat to my family on the phone
7. I got quite a few unexpected text messages from friends today which was great.  Was nice to know that people think of me.
8.  Sam posted on my facebook randomly today, laughing at one of our old drunken adventures.  That was nice.
9. Found a few new blogs that were pretty good, I think I even followed one of them.
10. I cleaned all the dishes today so we finally have some plates and cutlery to use.  A nice change lol.

Hmm, that was very interesting.  I really struggled once I got to about 5, but after that they really started to flow.  Maybe this wasn't such a silly idea at all. =)