Throwback to when I used to travel half way around the world to party with friends at Sydney Mardi Gras. I still do that now (or plan to) but this is definitely old because I was still ‘man at A&F’ at this point.? ? #tbt #stayathome #loveislove #instadaily #instaphotography #lovehasnogender #throwbackthursday #lgtbq #instagood #instathursday #lgbtcommunity #gaymen #queerlove #instagay #gaystagram #love #lovewins #happy #australia

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iPhone 3G jailbroken (beta)

The iPhone Dev Team released its iPhone 3G unlocking utility, yellowsn0w, on the first of the year although it’s still a beta.

If you’d like to crack your iPhone with the beta remember version 0.9.4 beta works only with iPhone baseband 02.28.00, that’s the version installed by iPhone 2.2 Software Update, Apple’s most recent firmware update. So before you start use yellowsn0w, make sure to use iTunes to upgrade your iPhone to 2.2.

If you’ve used QuickPwn to perform a basic jailbreak before and you use Installer to load apps then you should be able to use this beta with no problems – otherwise I’d advise waiting until the non beta version is ready as I’m sure there will be better support available then when they are not concentrating on the new version although there is some basic help available now

Allegedly you won’t notice anything about it other than that your third-party SIM now works.

I’ve not tried it yet as I’m not going anywhere that needs a different SIM – always my big gripe when I am in Australia with the iPhone. I’m likely to wait to the 1.0 release.

The long wait to record free HD TV in the UK with Freesat+

For years we’ve been promised that Freeviw would be the future. Now of course we have freesat too but more importantly and something I’m hoping will be the future is freesat+
Essentially it’s all the best bits of freesat – the free HD programmes the regular extra free channels and no monthly subscription with the ability to record to a hard disk. All using the EPG and with smart search and pause and chase play etc.
The only people looking to make a freesat+ box are Humax and if they make it like the FoxSat boxes in Australia then they are going to be smart enough to see if y ou have set something to record and it can’t then it will search the EPG for the next showing and set it to record that one instead. Also automatic recording of split (e.g. by the news) programmes. Oh and of course everyones favourite feature from Sky+ the series link or series record option. Allegedly it will also be capable of recording ITV HD Interactive service

My only concern is that we’ve been promised this PVR for so long and now it’s allegedly being release mid November and we are almost there and no further information or specs have come out.

Fighting back against the monopolists

So in my quest to get a Freeview+ box with DVD player/recorder I ended up buying an LG RHT297H which is great in most ways (a few niggles like losing the time and hence recording times when the power cuts) but is forced to only play region 2 DVDs. Now I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again if I buy a DVD from the US the UK or Australia then it should play on my equipment so obviously I wanted to fix this.

After searching on a few forums here is how to make your LG HDD DVD recorder multiregion.

Switch your player on.

When it’s booted up hold down CLEAR on remote (under the slider) and PROG Down on the front panel of your DVD player simultaneously for about 6 seconds

You will see a list of codes

Change OP6 from ae or af to 8e (move around using the left and right arrows on the remote)

Press Enter and then menu/list on your remote

Your player will reboot or switch off

Turn it on or wait for it to reboot and now your player is multi region.

πŸ™‚

Ten Four

Oh it’s been ages since I had a decent one of these…
Thanks to Spence for livening up my Monday morning!
Here are FOUR things you may not have known about me:

A: Four jobs I have had in my life:

1. Club Host at Heaven

2. Bar Manager

3. Licensee in Soho

4. Head of Training

B: Four movies I would watch over & over:

1. The Opposite of Sex

2. Thank you for Smoking

3. Twelve Monkeys

4. The Bourne Identity

C: Four places I’ve lived:

1. Blundellsands

2. Fitzrovia

3. Tilburg

4. Motspur Park

D: Four TV shows I love to watch:

1. Columbo

2. Law & Order (Special Victims Unit)

3. CSI (Any)

4. Oz

E: Four places I’ve been on holiday:

1. Sydney, Australia

2. Christchurch, New Zealand

3. Connecticut, USA

4. Singapore

F: Websites I visit daily: *

1. http://www.aol.co.uk

2. http://www.gmail.com

3. http://www.flickr.com

4. http://my.omniture.com

G: Four of my favorite foods:

1. Cherries

2. Beetroot

3. Bananas

4. Ramen

H: Four places I would rather be now:

1. Sydney

2. Wellington

3. A beach

4. Sydney (did I mention Sydney?)

* I can’t list all the work ones I visit as they are all confidential and/or behind a very good firewall.

gay marriages

Well over at Jonathan’s they are celebrating 11 happy years together. Which is sweet. Really heart warming stuff.
In the meantime though religion is striking out and John Howard is making a fool of himself again.
So basically the catholic church (never known for it’s ‘christian’ compassion) is saying that men and women who are in love and want to spend their lives together should be frowned upon. In fact actually more than frowned upon they should be abhorred. Although perversely it seems to be fine for members of their own clergy to abuse children. So how do they justify this stance? Oh that’s right they don’t. With one in three marriages ending in divorce you would think that they would be opening their arms (if not their hearts) to the gay population. Let’s face it religion is going down the pan. Numbers are dwindling and those in power seem to have lost touch with the world whilst they sit in their ivory tower Vatican city.
In the meantime over the other side of the globe Australia’s Prime Minister is referring to marriage as a bedrock institution and has been traditionally seen as between a man and a woman. Well Mr Howard Slavery was once an institution and was commonly between a white man and a black man. It doesn’t mean it should remain that way. People evolve and cultures do to. Discrimination on grounds of colour or race or sexual orientation or sex or ability is wrong. For a man in his position to even attempt to justify discrimination is morally reprehensible.
I’ll end my rant there I think…

“Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet” – Napoleon

Sunny Sydney

Okay so here it is the review of my last 3 weeks – so a bit of a long read…
I arrived after a flight fraught with anticipation. Time for a quick shower and headed out to The Imperial in Newtown to try and catch up with Herb and the other four Wellingtonians who had come to Sydney in Drag!

Harbour Party

Again the most excellent event I’ve been to (more details here). Lots of cool outfits. We walked down from Elizabeth Street through the botanical gardens which was stunning in itself. I never really saw much of them last time I was in Sydney.
We arrived and wandered down to the party to be greeted immediately by Bettina & Margi. Sue too and a number of other friendly faces from 2 years ago. Jo and I made lots of best new mates. Including Tony and his flatmate Duncan.
The crowds seemed much larger than in the past (and it transpires they sold more tickets due to popular demand).
We partied hard with the cool DJ’s keeping the crowd happy until midnight when we moved onto the after party at The Midnight Shift on Oxford St with Tony and his crew
The following morning (nearer afternoon actually) we headed back to Jo’s house in Balmain. We planned to hit the beach but unfortunately jetlag and lack of sleep got the better of me so I ended up crashing on the floor. Jo and Tony watching videos.
That evening we watched a bizarre norwegian movie called ‘Get Ready To Be Boyzvoiced‘. I’m not sure if it weas because I was still a little elevated from the previous nights escapades or not but it was a fantastic parody.

Blue Mountains

Jo and I had receovered enough from the excesses of Sunday night to plan a trip on Tuesday to Wentworth Falls and the Blue Mountains. It was stunningly beautiful (and photolog will be updated soon) We then ventured onto Echo Point to see the three sisters. As with most attractions of this type they look stunning but don’t turn around or the tourism will scare you. Echo point is being redeveloped currently and it’s a bit scary.
Finally after an amble through the rainforest and a trip down the scenic railway at Katoomba we took off to Leura for dinner. I could quite settle down theree I think. Open a little shop selling cheese or something. It’s nice and quaint.

The Kiwi Boyz

Todd and Dave arrived on Thursday morning, closely followed by Gary. Later we were joined by Warner and then the token Aussie from Melbourne, Paulli.
Since Toddster and Dave arrived first we collected out tickets to the main event and then wandered to Kings Cross to check them in to their respective hotels. Dave staying virtually opposite where Scally was last time in Potts Point.
A disco nap later and we were off to start the partying. We hit Darling Harbour and Wagamama‘s for a bite to eat (yes they are everywhere) before meeting Gary, Cheryl and Scott at the Establishment in the CBD. Free Champagne – now you can’t go too wrong with that!
Moving onto Oxford Street and The Colombian to meet up with Toddster, Warner and Tony. Good fun was had by all.
Another trip to the Shift for more fun and frollicks and a great lay (oops I meant lei obviously – it is mardi gras after all) I have no Idea how I ended up with a pink lei but I’m sure Gary or Dave will enlighten me one of these days πŸ˜‰
Way too much alcohol later and it was heading back towards Potts Point.

We dragged ourselves to town though and discovered Gowings. Lot’s of cashola later and I was the proud new owner of a pair o trainers, boxers and assorted gadgets.
We headed to Pitt Street for some nibbles and I managed to bump into some of my best new mates from Harbour Party (shouts to Duncan and his London mates). This is weird though as I never bump into people in London. Funny how that works.
Bridge Climb
A quick trip home to change Bridge Climb headquarters.
Awesome! it really is the only word to describe the experience. Signing our life away and taking the breahaliser test (hence the lack of alcohol with dinner) We changed into our ‘tomorrow people’ jump suits before being laden down with assorted safety gear and a quick training session.
Heading on out into the warmest night to date (it was above 30 degrees and still – I was glad I had stripped to boxers under the suit) to take in spectacular views of the bay. (pics available soon).
Essentially you walk up one side with views of Sydney Opera House and the central CBD before crossing over under ‘blinky bill’ and heading on down the other side.
Great company and fabuolous views.

After that we were all a little desperate for beer and luckily for us Cheryl and Scott where in a pub up the road so we wandered to meet them. They closed at 11 (just like home doh!) so we wandered through the boy racers around the rocks up to Oxford Street and …. The Colombian (I see a pattern emerging here).

Mardi Gras¹

Okay well where do you start? Well for a change we started at Town Hall to meet up with Paulli and Dave. Jo and I had been a bit leisurely that morning before realising we had a lunch date with the boyz.
We soon however headed…. yes you guessed it to Oxford Street and…. yes we did end up at The Colombian (by far my favourite bar of the trip). On the way we took in Hyde Park and the lower part of Oxford Street and it all seemed so quiet – a bit too quiet like the calm before the storm.
Cafe Comity was a tad busy but Paulli managed to secure us a table and after munching we moved onto the Colombian for a few rounds They had moved from glass to plastics in anticipation of the crowds so we ditched the cosmo idea and drank beers and vodkas. It was a very hot day and after 4 drinks we were all a little merry. A few temporary tatoos later and we staggered home to change for the evenings events, we left Paulli entertaining the locals (which he did well by all accounts!).. Todd and Warner had arrived and left in the time it took us to have 4 drinks – lightweights!
Jo and I made the mistake of a little retail therapy on the way home. Beer and shopping! not a good combination. 6 feather boa’s later and lots of sparkle we were showering, glittering and eyelashing before heading to various parties. Jo headed to meet Joe B in Bondi where I wnet to meet the boyz at Cheryl and Scott’s in Rose Bay – lovely barbie on their patio overlooking the bay and Sydney’s Northern CBD. Much vodka and redbull later we headed to see the parade.

Weird to be watching the parade and not partaking this time around. I knew plenty of people in it though. Tony, Duncan and Todd to name a few.
I headed back to Daves so he could change into something appropriate. Whilst their we were joined by Gary who had been visiting some of Sydney’s ‘beautiful people’ on his way – purely by accident you understand.
Gary was already very merry by the time he arrived so I felt obliged to keep him company whilst Dave pottered and showered and uhmmed and ahead over outfit decisions.
One hectic cab ride later and we were outside Fox Studios. We wanted to be inside though and finding our way in proved traumatic. Eventually though we arrived at the party.
Less best new friends than the previous weekend but plenty of real friends to make up for it. The party had sold out earlier that day so there were literally thousands of people there 15,000+ It seemed like everyone I knew was there. Gary and I became playmates for the evening which was excellent until around 5am when I lost him in the crowd πŸ™
I spent a while wandering before seeing dodgy UK popstars rejects on stage and deciding it must be time to get the hell out of there. A timely SMS from young Mr Pannett and I was heading off to Potts Point.

Oh and one final point (as Mr Springer might say) I saw the following statement on the Mardi Gras site and thought about rewriting my references to Mardi Gras then decided what the heck! Everyone knows it’s a Lesbian & Gay event.

¹ For many of us, being visible in a world which sometimes acts as if we don?t exist, is what this event is all about. So please remember when writing your stories, that we?re not the Sydney Mardi Gras, but the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. And this year we have something special we?re celebrating: ?25 years of gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and queer culture?. We?d like you to celebrate it too ? please consider using the full title and tag-line.

Recovery

Whoever named them recovery parties needs their head examined.
Spent most of the day in bed by all accounts watching crap US tv. I’ve never seen Jerry Springer before – and I’m hoping never to again πŸ˜‰
Jason the chef boy is quite nice though – and much better than dodgy old Jamie Oliver.
I nipped home to change before meeting the boyz at Wagamama’s (yes we are a predictable bunch). In fact we are so predictable I think you can write the next part yourselves. Insert the following words in te correct order. (Oxford headed We Street to drinks for). A change of plan as the Colombian was not letting more people in until later so we ended upstairs at Stonewall.
By all accounts I was a bit of a muppet again!. Toddster reckons I have no career in lap dancing!

True Recovery

A few text messages in the morning and I was heading to Circular Quay to meet for brunch. As it turns out it ended up just being Gary and I . It was a very very relaxed day strolling in the water along the beach. Eating and drinking as necessary. If the restaurant at Cabbage Tree Bay had given us the bottle of wine we probably would have stayed all night. As it was they refused and we headed on back to Circular Quay instead.
Our first mistake was to have beers. Our second was to have more. We had a bar tab and were trying to get the gang together for more.
A few beers later and the Colombian beckoned (see I told you we liked it). Crown and Oxford never looked so familiar.
A few PDA’s later and we had attacted the attention of some new best friends. Some of the other boys from noozleland arrived and the plot thickened. This is a family service so we’ll skip straight to the happy but sore head the following morning. We won’t mention Colin or the other forms of PDA that were happening. One of the highlights of my trip I must say πŸ™‚ I enjoyed that!

Rest & Recuperation


Okay well the recycling although necessary was totally uncalled for at 6.30am in the morning.
I got up early and wandered for breakfast at Fundamental in Balmain followed by a stroll down to the Ferry Terminal. I spent the rest of the day being a tourist at Circular Quay taking pictures of Sydney Opera House. View the photo’s here, catching ferries and buses with strolls on beaches and surf watching.
Jo had been working again so I caught up with her afterwards for vietnamese food in Balmain. Very relaxed and chilled with yet more beer.
We wandered back for a sorely needed early night.

A relaxing few days following the Kiwi exodus to Wellington and Melbourne.
Got up reasonably refreshed after the early night and spent the day mooching around until hitting Cargo Bar in Darling Harbour for beers with Jo’s mates from work. Thai food and yet more Tofu. What is it about Tofu in Australia? It tastes like polestyrene and has the texture of cooked spooge. Who on earth thought it would be a good meat alternative?
The following evening was drinks and a few bands with Petra and her beau Dave – also a few other assorted friends of Petra’s. The Cat & Fiddle was the venue and one of the bands was The Grand Silent System from Melbourne . They were so good in fact I bought a CD afterwards. I left Petra with supplies brought over from the UK, who would have though Heinz Tomato soup would be so in demand?
Friday Jo skived work again and spent another lazy day. We had planned on a quick trip to Melbourne to see Paulli in his naturall habitat but with the F1 being held there flights were a tad sparse and very expensive. So we did as little as possible (well actually I lie as we took in the excellent M.I.L.K. exhibition and a quick tour around the Opera House by none other than Joe B’s brother Richard. Can we not go anywhere without bumping into people we know? If you can’t make it onto the real tour why not take a virtual one?
So I say lazy day but it was fun filled and then later meeting for drinks at the local and heading to (round of applause please) The Colombian. We were joined this evening for debauchery by Joe B and after a bit of table dancing we headed to Shift for a very quick boogy.

Party Time

Michelle, Kylie & Mark, Ric and I had breakfast with Jo for her birthday. Michelle had organised it as she was flying to Munich and missing the party πŸ™
Lovely company and excellent views over the water. Balmain it has to be said is very clapham but very nice.
By midday Jo and I were moving furniture and mowing lawns before hitting every store in Balmain buying decorations and other party essentials like sparklers, fairy lights, party poppers and mirror balls.
The theme for the evenings entertainment was formal but not quite normal. (I might steal this for my next bash). Since Michelle was heading out the three of us hit the champagne to get us in the mood whilst preparing vats of cosmopolitan and jugs of fruit punch.
We had a quick breather on the veranda before the house was suddenly a sea of people wearing dinner jackets and shorts. Way too much alcohol later I crashed and burned. The excesses of the previous weeks catching up with me. Jo’s 30th was a blast though – the police might beg to differ after they were called to deal with the noise πŸ˜‰
The birthday girl did well though – Tiffany darling!

The following day was a hungover blur for Jo and I but we managed to make it to Glamarama so I could work on my tan (I know it was a bit last minute and all but I thought I ought to try and get some sun before leaving Sydney).
I had arranged to meet Bettina and Margy for dinner and we started with drinks too – always a bad move. We caught up lots which was lovely. Our choices of restaurant were either too full or closed so we ended up at The Clock on Crown St. By coincidence this was the restaurant we went to 2 years ago the night before I left. Talk about deja vu.
After dinner I ambled along Crown to where it meets Oxford St. Which is of course the location of the Columbian. I felt I ought to go in for a last drink in what was the most popular bar of my trip. I didn’t stay long though as I wanted to catch up with Jo on her actual birthday. When I arrived back at Jo’s she was mid conversation with Paul her brother so we had a quick catch up too. I had a weird moment when his daughter Amelia giggled in the background and all I could think was it being 11.30pm she should be in bed. Of course it was only 12:30 in the afternoon back at home so that was fine –
Jo had apparently said the same thing.

Moping

No sun so no beach. I resigned myself to going home without a tan. I seem to have spent most of my time in the colombian and no time on a beach this time around. I had plans to meet up with Gary for beers at the airport as his flight to Christchurch was leaving around the same time as mine to London. We both looked like we had been travelling for hours (obviously too much partying for both of us). What with spilt beer and dodgy gate number/seat number dramas I was feeling like a muppet.

So that was that – a not so short review of my last 3 weeks or so in sunny Sydney. I’ve had a great time and am looking forward to next year already :o)
Hopefully I’ll be a sydneysider by then πŸ˜‰

I love the internet

I forgot I needed a visa for my trip to Australia later this month so I zipped along to the Australian Immigration website for details of electronic visas. They let you apply online and within 2 minutes I have a visa πŸ™‚ Fab or what? It’s also environmentally friendly.
“Your ETA has been recorded on our database. It will be available for checking by your airline at check-in and for Australian immigration authorities on your arrival in Australia. You do not need a visa label in your passport.”