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Perth, Western Australia: Guildford Antique/Arts and Craft Store Strip, Guildford Hotel, The Margaret River Chocolate Company - Day 10

Dr Russell's Imaginarium  Sign. T oday's plan was another family outing with Enigma and I along with my brother, sister, and Mum. My brother had suggested we all meet up in Guilford , a suburb (and historical town) of Perth, which was around 15 to 20 minutes up the road from our apartment. In particular he suggested browsing the many antique, arts, and craft stores in the main part of the town. There was one in particular he wanted us to visit called Dr Russell's Imaginarium , which specializes in old movie memorabilia. Sadly the physical store closed at the end of 2023 (see link for more info). Our meet up point was Alfred's Kitchen , a train car out door burger café that opens after 5pm that is the longest running roadside kitchen in Perth. My brother suggested it because he knew it would be closed and we could use the carpark which was virtually across the road from the antique store strip. Enigma and I arrived just as my brother texted to say he, my sister, and Mum
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Movie Review: Force of Nature - The Dry 2 (2024) *No Spoilers*

Eric Bana returns as Detective Aaron Falk in Force of Nature - The Dry 2 , and that's the only real connection between this and 2020's  The Dry . This is an all new mystery set in a new location. I will say, given that it's either wet or rainy, with the incoming threat of a major storm for most of the movie, the filmmakers really missed a trick in not renaming the film, The Wet. Back when I reviewed the first film I noted that I would love to see the second book made into a movie too, and here it is. This time Aaron and his detective partner, Carmen (Jacqueline Mackenzie), head into the mountains to investigate the whereabouts of a missing informant, who disappears on a workplace, team bonding retreat. All the performances in this film are easily on par with the first, though I do think some pretty outstanding actors really didn't have a lot to do here. In terms of mystery the first movie was better constructed as a who dunnit film you could play along with. Here you mo

Perth, Western Australia: Mandurah Foreshore, Hotel Clipper, and More Family Catch Up - Day 9

Mandurah foreshore train and playground. The train is not usually this spooky it was still decorated for Halloween. M y Dad's Partner took Enigma and I on a trip down to the city of Mandurah for the morning. Mandurah is just under an hours drive from Perth, with a very nice foreshore area that has plenty to see and do beyond visiting the beach. Stingray? Photo: Enigma The plan was for my Dad's partner to keep an appointment she had with a friend in Mandurah, long before we even booked our trip, while Enigma and I checked out the foreshore area. After which we would meet up for lunch, and then go visit one of my step sisters and her family. At the foreshore we were dropped off at the 30 minute parking bays just up from the enclosed Kwillena Gabi Pool, which is a safe swimming area that is fed water from the sea (although I don't think this area is looking directly out to sea, it's more of an inland water way. However Enigma did get a photo of a small stingray swimming by

The Barossa Valley Chocolate Company Nightlight Outdoor Cinema, Tanunda, South Australia

Pre movie at the Barossa Valley Chocolate Company outdoor cinema. This is the view from the VIP seats. You're a bit further back but you get a slightly higher chair and a small coffee table. W hile it may not be as big as the Chocolate Shop Enigma and I recently visited on our trip to Perth, Western Australia,  The Barossa Valley Chocolate Company  has a good range of chocolates in it's own, onsite store, and a pretty decent size café that's open seven days, from 10am-5pm for gelati, coffee, and cake, and 11am to 3pm for lunch. They do encourage you to book for lunch. We had no idea this place existed despite on living around a 30 minute car drive away. To be fair, as near as I can tell, from their website, they've only been open since around 2018-19 and have been winning awards for their chocolate ever since. The main shop area. The wall on the left is where you can select your complimentary 250g chocolate box if you purchase a VIP ticket. The Barossa Valley Chocolate

Why I Don't Celebrate Australia Day Anymore and Why It's Still an Important Day for All of Modern Australia

1938, 150th Celebration of European Settlement. President Patten (right) reads resolution, "We, representing the ABORIGINES OF AUSTRALIA ... on the 150th Anniversary of the whitemen's seizure of our country, HEREBY MAKE PROTEST against the callous treatment of our people ... AND WE APPEAL to the Australian Nation of to-day ... for FULL CITIZEN STATUS and EQUALITY WITHIN THE COMMUNITY" . ..This image is part of the collections of the State Library of NSW . January 26th is recognized as Australia Day in Australia (obviously). It marks the 1788 landing of the First Fleet and raising of the Union Flag of Great Britain by Arthur Phillip at Sydney Cove, a small bay on the southern shore of Sydney Harbour. For modern Australia it's a holiday and a day of celebration, with the Federal, State, and even Local Councils, handing out awards for achievement at various events. Quite often citizenship ceremonies for new Aussies are performed too. However, over the last few decades,

Perth, Western Australia: Parking and Public Transport Inconveniences, Empty Malls, London Court, One60 Cafe, and the Bell Tower - Day 8

London Court Mall, Perth WA. Day eight of our trip to Perth, WA, and my partner, Enigma, had made plans to go on a solo mission into the city, on public transport, while I went off to visit my sister for the afternoon. Public Transport Inconveniences (Always Have Change) Turns out buying public transport tickets in Perth is not as straight forward as it is in Adelaide, SA. For buses you need exact change cash fare (drivers don't give change) or a prepaid travel card (similar to SA's metro card). Enigma had used up most of her coins on parking, when we went to the Swan View foreshore, and only had a $20 note. I only had a $5 note. For trains it is possible to use credit/debit cards if you buy a ticket on the platform, so devised a plan to drive Enigma to the nearest train station at Victoria Park.  Perth City Train Station, WA. Since I hadn't planned to go to my sister's until nearly 2:30pm we decided to both catch the train from Victoria Park, I could then head to back

Meanwhile, in a Parallel Universe, I've Lead a Very Interesting Life - Deep Faking Yourself With EverArt AI

Could I be staring in Luc Besson's next Sci-fi epic? T echnically this isn't really Deep Faking but 'Training an AI Model on Yourself' isn't quite as eye catching a headline. Deep faking is the act of replacing one person's face (and sometimes voice) in an image or video with another. It's often done in fantasy casting for films where the face of one or more actors is replaced by another to get an idea of what that actor may have been like in the role. One particularly famous deep fake is  Robert Downey Jr and Tom Holland replacing Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox in the school hallway scene in Back to the future. But I digress... Deep Faking yourself into situations that never happened is now one of my new favorite things to do with AI Image Generators. I don't know why I hadn't thought to do this much sooner as it totally feeds into my somewhat suppressed narcissism. EverArt I got to trial EverArt.ai , a new text to image AI generator totally

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