Archive for January, 2010

Thanks WordPress

I received a note from the WordPress editor to say my post on Melbourne Aquarium was being promoted on the WordPress home page. It made my day – thanks WordPress.

So someone who averages about 7 hits a day on his blog suddenly had about 1,100 for the 24 hours it was there. It made for an interesting dashboard graph.

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Damn I had a great day today, on what I think was my fourth visit to Melbourne Aquarium (http://www.melbourneaquarium.com.au/).

I love trying to take good animal photos. You’ll find other attempts in other posts in this blog. Unfortunately the aquarium always presents some significant challenges. One can’t use a flash because of the reflection off the glass of the tanks, so there is a heavy reliance on a steady hand and fish that don’t move around too quickly.

For anyone who hasn’t been recently, the new penguin display is just brilliant. They have two varieties on display – King and Gentoo. There is a large area of ice where they walk around and a tank where they swim. In both cases, the viewing areas are great and it’s possible to get right up close – just on the other side of the glass.

Poor Carol! I spent a large chunk of time there as we entered, and then did it all again after we’d seen everything else. Apparently they have nine staff members there to just look after these fascinating birds.

The rest of the aquarium was great as well, albeit very much the same as when I was last there four or five years ago. The large shark and ray tank is great, although not as good as the one I remember from the Sydney Aquarium (that comment is only there for my Sydney-based brother, Ian – he gets sick of me talking down Sydney).

On leaving, I was delighted to find out I could upgrade my entry ticket to a twelve-month membership for an extra $32.50. Given I work just across the river from the aquarium, I can see myself spending plenty more time trying to get the perfect penguin photo.

Anyway, here’s the pick of the shots. Camera is a Nikon D40X with Nikkor 18-135 lens. Some photos have been cropped, but other than that, there’s been no digital enhancements.

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Manchester United 0  Leeds United 1 – 3rd round, FA Cup

It’s easy to dislike Manchester United. They really are the Collingwood of the Premier League. Absurd amounts of financial backing while other clubs like Portsmouth are almost bankrupt. Arrogant. A manager who gets way more publicity that warranted.

So how fantastic it was to see Leeds United, a League One (effectively third division) side knock them over in the third round of the FA Cup.

It was even more satisfying for me, because I used to keep a close eye on them when they were in Premier League, given they had both Harry Kewell and Mark Viduca playing for them.

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