Wednesday, 27 August 2008

First Aussie Lucky Draw Win!!!

I got a call the other day from Great Pacific Finance (GPF) during working hours. When I heard the name of the company, the first thought that came to my mind was, "Oh no... It's another marketing call". Before I can say that I was not interested, the caller was saying on the other side that I have won a notebook from the Home Expo. o.0

Mei Lee and I did go to the Home Expo two weeks ago. We were walking stalls by stalls at the Home Expo and there was one stall that was asking us for our tickets numbers to be in the running for a brand new notebook. Initially, I wasn't planning to give since I never believe in this type of marketing gimmick. Lily was the one that seemed really interested in it and her theory was, if you never try, you'll never know. She gave her ticket number and I gave mine reluctantly. Now I am glad I did! :D

After getting the call from GPF, I was still skeptical about the whole thing. I was waiting for the confirmation email, as promised by GPF, and the email came through hours later.

For me, that is good enough to believe I actually won a notebook! YEAH!

Went to collect my notebook this arvo from GPF office. I was expecting some hard selling of their products before allowing me to leave their office with the notebook. To my surprise, all they said was, "Congratulations Stephen, out of 5000 applicants, you are the lucky winner. Have fun with your new notebook and enjoy the rest of your day." 0.0 That was easy!

It took me a while to actually appreciate how lucky I was. 1 in 5000 chances and I got it! I guess I was too ecstatic winning a notebook to realise I was darn lucky! :D

Got home and with Mei Lee, unwrap the box to see what type of notebook we have won.

To top it off, I took the tram to the city and back and both journey, the ticket machine was not working. Free ride to get the free notebook. :D I am still having a hard time believing it.

Fingers crossed that there's more luck to come. :D


A nice rainbow shot taken from our balcony the other day. It just can't get any better than this. I am going to miss my apartment when we get our own joint.

Defense Lake Attack 2008

Referring to our earlier post, both Lily and myself are keen dragon boaters. After much practice every Saturday morning, last Sunday we put our stamina to test. There was a charity event, Defense Lake Attack 2008 hosted by the Australian Defence Force, held at the Albert Park. The team we are in, i.e. Chinese Youth Society of Melbourne (CYSM) joined other teams to compete at this event.

We got there nice and early, got ourselves settled in, all pumped up ready for the race (280 meters long). The race goes by point systems, first place 3 points, second place 2 points and third place 1 point. The top three teams that got the most points proceed for the grand final race.

Moved the boat into the water to start our warm up and getting ourselves use to it. This is not the usual one that we train on every week. Apparently, it is too risky to bring our usual boat from Docklands (where we train every week) to Albert Park. Each boat costs around $10,000? Any damage or scratches is going to be very costly. So, we had to make use of the boats that is already at Albert Park. It's ok since this race is just for charity. The important ones are usually held at Docklands, so thats ok.

Lily getting some motivational support from Hennley.

Both of us before the race starts. All dry, filled with energy and ready to go!

Got into the boat and started doing our warm up.

Then our captain made some changes to our seating and moved my partner and myself up to the front to make the boat more balance. It was heavier at the back, I think. After some warm up and got used to the boat, it was time for us to have our first race. We paddled to the start line and align ourselves with the other boats.

We were in ready position for our first race dragon boat race.

We didn't do too well in this race. Our timing is off, we should be paddling at the same time, which we didn't. We won the race though, but the margin wasn't huge. Got back on shore and receiving some improvement points from the captain.

Then our second race got much better, our timing was much better and everyone was paddling around the same time. This time around, we were racing the navy. Yes! It was a tough second race. We came in second in this round. Got back on shore and had some improvement points from the captain once again.

We won the first round and came in second in the second round. We were in the top 3 teams! Navy was obviously in there as well. Our grand final race photos as below.

Once again, we lost to the Navy but we came in second in the final race. :D That was a good result. We did well. It certainly was a good experience for newbies like myself to have a taste of an actual race. I am already looking forward to a more competitive race in December.

Lastly, our thanks to our photographer crew (Hennley & Devin) for such lovely photos.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Quick Update

What happened to us, you might ask. no blog... no updates... Both Lily and I have been real busy with work and non-work stuffs... recently, our good mates migrated to Melbourne and we were doing our best to make sure both of them settle in well... We have gone through it before and understand how hard it can be at times. Starting all over again is not easy.

We were preparing ourselves for the dragon boat race, which was held last Sunday. In case you were wondering how well we did, we got second place, we lost to the navy. I'll put in a seperate post on this.

Was busy doing house hunting on the weekend as well and sorting out our budget and cash flow. Now every single cent counts.

I'll post on dragon boating this weekend and some nice photos we took at our balcony.

Take it easy!

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Photos of Melbourne

I was going through some photos I took during our stay in Melbourne. And the above is just a simple cut and paste of the Yarra River I took at my audit client's office (sorry, phone camera is not very clear). As you would have notice that the left side of the photo is very foggy since it was 9am and the right side was taken around 11am which you can see a clearer view of a tall Eureka building and Crown Casino.

This was taken early in the morning from our apartment. Notice the black spots? Those are not dust on the lens, it is actually hot air balloons. We can see these on most clear mornings (provided we are awake).

Another view of the city from the South Gate. Just playing around with the back and white features of the camera.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Wicked, The Musical

There were much publicity going around the latest theatre musical that hit the streets of Melbourne, Wicked - The Musical. Local celebrities from high profile actors to well known DJs were invited for the grand opening at Regent Theater at Collins Street.

We drove by the theater by coincidence and saw guests were all dressed up, as if they were meeting the Queen! Males were in top hats, tuxedos, tailcoats and females in nice evening gowns. It was very different from what we have seen so far. Its not like we have been to most of the opening shows, but I don't recall seeing male guests dressed up in top hats and tailcoats.

Went back home, did some search on what all this is about. If my source of information is right, Wicked tells the story of Elphaba, the future Wicked Witch of the West and her relationship with Glinda, the Good Wich of the North. Their friendship struggles through their opposing personalities and viewpoints, rivalry over the same love-interest, their reactions to the Wizard's corrupt government, and, ultimately, Elphaba's public fall from grace.

It has broken box office records around the world, holding weekly-gross-takings records in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and London, and the record for biggest opening in the West End - GBP100,000 in the first hour of sale! WOW!

Not to mention the awards the show has won, winner of 20 major awards including the Grammy and 3 Tony Awards. Many claims that Wicked is one of the most successful shows in theater history with productions in North American tour, Tokyo and Stuttgart, on top of the locations I mentioned above.

The reviews we have heard and read were all good. It got us all excited about it as well and the next logical move is simply this. :)

As expected, most of the seats were all sold out 4 weeks in advance. This is the best ticket available within the next 4 weeks. We grabbed it with no hesitation.

Below are some of the images of the show.