52 Pics – Week 1 – Diamond Beach sunrise

I thought I’d try one of those 52 Picture projects this year – where I add a photo each week, every week, for the whole year. What better way to start than with a nice sunrise image. I took this one while we were spending a few days relaxing up at Diamond Beach, on the NSW Central Coast. With plenty of cloud around there were some good opportunities to snap away as the sun peeked through the gaps. This one was a merge of three different exposures and I tweaked the colour a little to bring out the orange in the clouds. Worth getting up at 5.30am to see. There a couple of other pics from the morning over on my Flickr page.

Sunrise on Diamond Beach, Jan 2014
Sunrise on Diamond Beach, Jan 2014

Oh yes, a new theme/look for the blog too! 🙂

Back from PAX Aus

We are back from the inaugural PAX Aus and I have to say that we all had a great time. Other than some minor niggles with the size of the theatres at the venue everything else was well organised and well run.

The kids had a blast once they got over the fact that they were being told to touch and play with everything instead of the usual “don’t touch”. There were plenty of new and old games to play; video games, board games, card games, dice games, physical games … all types of games. A spontaneous game of “get the ball over the PAX sign” even broke out one morning while we were queued up waiting for opening time. Several thousand gamers cheering each other on to bounce a beach ball over an advertising banner was a fun experience.

Kids playing games at PAX

We spent a bit of time in the console free play area and the board game area, trying out games (and making a shopping list as it turned out). Our video gaming popular spot seemed to be the Australian indie games area and it was great to see some of the fantastic stuff coming out from small local development groups. Lots of developers were on hand and happy to answer questions from the kids or just show off their new games.

It was also good to see that nearly 40,000 gamers could get on so well together in a venue that was probably just a tad too small. Everyone was friendly and well behaved. Nobody hogged any of the games. Everyone seemed happy to jump into a multiplayer game with complete strangers, even when some of them were kids (and young kids were definitely in the minority).

PAX Aus 2014 has been confirmed and I think Shannon has already started planning a road trip for us. I’m looking forward to it! 🙂

There are photos of our PAX trip over on our photo site. Check them out and feel free to leave comments.

PAX Australia – getting there

Off to PAX Australia for the weekend! PAX is a huge expo of all things gaming that started in the USA and has headed down to our sunny shores (well, Melbourne) for the first time this year. Unlike the Australian Comic-con which had nothing to do with its international counterpart, PAX Aus has been organised by the Penny Arcade people who run the USA incarnations. Covering all types of gaming – video games, board games, card games, dice games, war games, etc. – it should be a fun filled weekend.

People may joke about Melbourne’s bad weather, but so far it has only delayed our plane flight by an hour. 😛

Holiday playtime

We’ve had plenty of time for family board games, including some old “favourites” like Monopoly.

We also spent a couple of evenings taking advantage of the country darkness to do some light painting with torches, sparklers and glow sticks. The kids enjoyed were impressed, although the glow sticks weren’t quite bright enough. They got the hang of it with the brighter torches though.



Holiday in the country

A week of piece and quiet in the country. No TV, no Internet, no phone. It’s so cut off that even this blog entry is being composed offline for later sending. No noisy neighbours either. In fact, there’s no noise apart from the creek and some chirping birds.

The kids plans for exploration of the 110 acres have been limited considerably by their discovery that they really don’t like leeches. Unfortunately you can’t walk around outside for more than five minutes without masses of the little bloodsuckers climbing up your boots and attaching themselves to your legs. The bites don’t hurt, but it’s all a bit yucky. If you don’t notice them in time they fill themselves and fall off and leave a nice stream of blood running down your shin.

So we’ve been getting plenty of indoor relaxation mixed with trips to nearby site seeing spots. Books are getting read and board games are getting played. Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves.

We have been told there is plenty of local wildlife but other than the leeches, noisy birds and a few geckos we haven’t seen any. Maybe the kids have scared the rest away.

This is where we stayed.
The back yard. Can’t see the leeches from here. 😛
Misty mornings, but nice weather most of the week.