Sunday, September 27, 2009

So how 'bout that weather?!

Wednesday morning was a gorgeous clear morning. And as I drove to work, I heard on the radio that other parts of Australia was having some really bizarre weather. Apparently there was a tornado in South Australia, A couple of earthquakes in Melbourne, bush fires in North Queensland, and a dust storm in Sydney. I think I thought something like "I really love this country!" but otherwise, I didn't think too much about the crazy weather.

When I got to work though, I heard a bit more about Sydney's little dust storm. Apparently Sydney woke up that morning to an orange world! Overnight, high easterly winds were bringing the red dirt in from Australia's inland deserts, and dumping it all up and down the east coast. Here are a few photos from online news sources. You'll see the dual photo of the Sydney Opera House (how it normally looks, and how it looked in the storm), one of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and a famous one (that I keep seeing everywhere) of that woman going for a run under the Harbour Bridge. Pretty crazy stuff!

A few hours later, we heard that there was a good chance that we'd get a bit of the dust storm hitting Brisbane, although not as bad as Sydney. By lunch time, I couldn't see the high rise city buildings on the other side of the river! Our dust storm was more yellow than orange, but here's a few photos (again, from online news sources). I picked a couple of the Story Bridge, because I work right under the bridge on one side.

What's strange about the photos is that you can't see any of the cliffs or buildings that you'd normally see in the background - pretty surreal! The dust didn't come inside toooo much, although you could taste it in your mouth, and the light coming in through the windows made everything seem a surreal amber colour. Visibility was down to about 100metres during the middle of the day. Luckily, people were home at our house, and shut up all the windows, but a lot of people had left their windows open in the morning when they headed off to work - and did they have a mess awaiting them when they got home that night - a layer of dirt over everything in their homes!

As the dust was coming in, I looked out at the park across the road and saw a bunch of elderly people having a picnic (the nurses and bus indicated that they'd come out for a lovely outing in the city). Obviously the didn't stay long! But they had a few of us worried as they dragged their oxygen tanks back to the bus!

The 'storm' lasted over a 2-3 day period up the entire east coast of Australia. At it's peak, they estimate that 75,000 tonnes of dust were being lost from the Australian continent (out into the pacific ocean) ever hour. That's crazy. Scientists are still arguing about what that will do to the barrier reef. If your interested in the details of the storm (and they're fascinating), look at the wikipedia entry. Do you know what I thought was strangest of all though? That we didn't know it was going to happen in advance. I'm a bit of a weather report junky, and I can always tell you what the weather is looking like for the next couple of days, but no one in Sydney really knew it was coming till they woke up that morning! We just knew it going to be windy :) And I didn't really know it was happening in Brisbane until I noticed the light in the office changing, and then went to look out the window.

It had subsided some by the time I drove home, but visibility was still low. As I walked out to my car, there wasn't really anyone around on the streets, and everything was really quite. The street definitely had a bit of a spooky nuclear winter thing going on. The air was really heavy, and the lights all looked really eery (and beautiful) as they shone down through the dust.

So there you have it. The dust storm that didn't hurt anyone, but has left behind a huge mess, and was incredibly interesting.

We should all encourage mum to post a post about an experience she had in a severe dust storm when she was a little girl and her family lived out in the desert - it's a really fascinating story!

xo Tammy

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Um, are you sure you work here?

On Friday night my friend B and I decided to celebrate the end of the week in style: a girls night out with dinner and a movie. There's a plaza with several restaurants where the movie theatre is, and after wandering around for 20 minutes (we had to look carefully at each restaurant before we picked one), we decided on a Mexican place that looked really fun.

I'm all about the ambiance, and this one had oodles of it, and I love Mexican food. B had never had Mexican before, and was using her 'weekly-diet-free-day' on our outing, and her pre-requisite was that she be able to get a steak and mashed potatoes, and since this place was a Mexican grill, it was perfect. We went in, were seated, ordered some drinks, and settled in to look at the menu. There was no Caesar Salad, so it was obviously going to take me a while to decide what to get, but we weren't in any particular hurry, so it was fine. The menu was like a 17 page book, so it was taking a while to get through it all. B had zeroed in on the steak menu, and didn't take long to settle on the T-Bone with Mashed Potatoes and Corn. B absolutely loves corn, and once she saw it on the menu, that's all she wanted. I was tossing up between a couple of more Mexican dishes, and was close to deciding on a chicken Quesidilla.

Then the waitress arrived. She was a really contentious looking girl, with dark hair pulled up in a tidy bun, a fringe (bangs), and dark framed I-use-a-mac-computer type glasses that she pushed up her nose every 30 seconds. She could tell I was still trying to decide (pretty obvious, since I'm turning the pages back and forward and B's saying things like "yeah, just get that one. Or, okay, sure. That one.... Just pick one", more patiently than anyone should have to). So our waitress offered to give us some menu suggestions.

Waitress: Okay, well, let my start by just telling you what not to order. Definitely stay away from the xxxxx because we really don't do a good job with those. And whatever you do, don't order the xxxx - they're disgusting!

Us: Ahh, okay. (Wow, okay, but I'm glad she told us if they're that bad).

Girl: And our xxxx have no taste, at all - whatever you do, stay away from those! And definitely not the xxxx - they're really soggy. And we always overcook the xxxxx here, so just skip past that entire page. And (and here's my favourite one) stay away from anything with seafood in it, because the seafood we serve here is totally (she then made loud gagging noises for 10 whole seconds).

It was at about this point, that I (attempting to hide my delightedly confused smile) actually glanced to my left and my right looking for the hidden camera! Surely this girl was a paid actress for a candid camera stunt. This girl was hilarious! Was she for real?!

Me: Ahh, okay. Well what is good here.

Girl: Okay. I'd totally recommend the Quisidillas. But not the seafood ones because -

Tammy: (cutting her off before the gagging could start again) - yeah, no, not the seafood. I'll get the chicken.

B: And I was going to get the T-Bone with steak with the mashed potato and corn.

The girl hesitated....

B: What's wrong?

Girl: Well. The T-Bone steak is always really, really, really dry. I'd stay away from that one if I was you. Why don't you get the xxxx steak instead.

B: (her smile faltering just a little) uh, well, okay, but I really felt like the corn, and that only comes with the T-Bone.

Girl: No - you don't want the corn - trust me! Our corn is terrible!

B's face fell, and her shoulders slumped, and I lost it! I just started laughing - I couldn't help it! I couldn't even hold it together until after she walked away! It was like she was playing some private game with herself to make sure we didn't order anything. Or maybe the owner of the restaurant once killer her mother and this was her idea of revenge!

But the girl didn't even notice my laughing, because she was still talking:

Girl: - Trust me. Go to Woolies, buy yourself some corn and cook it up at home. It'll be way better than what you get here!

A debate ensued. The girl was pretty set on the xxxx steak, but B was worried that the sauce on the xxxx steak was too spicy (and the girl concurred of course), so they finally fixed on the xxxx steak, but with the T-Bone sauce. And B wouldn't budge on the corn and potatoes. The girl gave a long suffering sigh, pushed her glasses back up her nose again and finally left us.

20 minutes later, we got our food: B's steak was dry, her corn was no good, and the potatoes (which the girl hadn't said anything about) were the worst of the bunch - completely flavourless! (I advised B not to mention it to the waitress though - surely she didn't need another menu item to add to her list of never-order's!)

My dinner was completely and utterly delicious :)

Moral of the story: totally pays to listen to crazy waitresses! Although I'm not entirely sure that I shouldn't mention her to the management before she completely does them out of business...

xo Tammy

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I'm having one of those days.

You know, the kind that make you fantasise about relaxing on a beach in the Caribbean, or attending the funerals of certain people....

xo Tammy

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fresh faced

Mum's decided that she'd like to take photos of each of each us today for a project she's working on. And to save her time in photoshop afterwards (mum's an avid photoshoper of photos that need improvement), she's noted that the twins (my 17 year old brothers) could probably used a thorough face scrub to get off any layers of dead skin etc. etc. The solution: Cliniques 7-day scrub cream.

They resisted at first, but they should have known mum would win in the end.

It involved mum herding them around the kitchen with the tube of cream, until she'd managed to dab huge globs of the stuff on their faces. To be fair, she put giant globs of the stuff on her own face too, so that they could see exactly how it should be done.

Four minutes of vigorous face scrubbing then ensued, with all three of them standing shoulder to shoulder in the bathroom. Faces were rinsed, and the boys now look look incredibly fresh faced. But still manly.

And mum looks beautiful as always :)

xo Tammy

Saturday, September 12, 2009

What do you think?

Is the new layout too annoying?!

xo Tammy

Friday, September 11, 2009

Attention Peta

It's time you started writing a blog.

A few compelling reasons for my suggestion:
1) Everyone else is doing it
2) You've graduated (yay for you!), so it's not as if you need to study in the evenings
3) It doesn't even take very long - they can be really short posts
4) For example, this post is taking me about 3 minutes to write
5) I miss you, and I never have ANY idea what's going on in your life because talking on the phone once a year (as lovely as it always is), just isn't enough.
6) You made my join facebook
7) You're a wonderful, fun and interesting person, and the cyberworld is missing out.
8) I've asked you very nicely (please Peta), and I've dedicated a whole post to you.

Okay. I'm done.
Looking forward to reading about you soon.

xo Tammy

PS. All in favour say 'aye'...