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Showing posts from 2023

Perth, Western Australia: Tomato Lake, Swan View Foreshore, Boatshed Restaurant, James Mitchell Park - Day 5

Tomato Lake Shelter and Boardwalk over the lake. Tomato Lake , located in Kewdale, is a very special location for my family. Specifically my Dad (before he passed) and his partner, who Enigma and I were meeting at the park café for breakfast on day 5 of our Perth trip. While it's essentially just a nice place that they've been coming to for breakfast for years, my Dad also spread my Auntie's ashes at the lake when she passed a year before he did. The café at the lake has been run by the same Asian family for more than 20 years, is mostly alfresco,  though there is a small undercover area next to the kitchen and ordering area. Obviously it's dog friendly and there is a large playground nearby for the kids. Enigma and I both got full bacon, egg and toast breakfasts. I had a white tea with mine. The café is extremely popular and, while there is plenty of seating it still pays to get there early if you really want a table (otherwise bring a picnic blanket because there'

Perth, Western Australia: Destinations Ascot Waters Marina, Wild Life, Kilns Café - Day 4

Ascot Waters Marina Apartments. After our all day outing, with the family, to Wireless Hill on our Perth trip yesterday , day 4 was mostly a rest and relax day. However we did start our day with a bit more exploration of the local walking trails. This time we walked the other way along the Swan River track heading toward Ascot Waters Marina that was less than a five minute walk from our apartment. The Marina itself was quite impressive with all the various boats and the surrounding apartments. It was hard to tell if each of the buildings were just one large home or a series of apartments linked together with common areas.  Moored Boats, Ascot Waters Marina. We couldn't really decide, since anyone living right on the Swan  River, and in a marina, no less, probably has the money for a large home, and would be less likely to settle for a smaller apartment. 'Bellarina  xxvii ' by Len Zuks Inside the Marina we came across an interesting statue of a half naked women who did not

Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023) *No Spoilers*

I'm probably one of the last people who actually wanted to see Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny in a cinema to see the film.  I didn't make it to the cinema when the film was released because the reviews were average and my local theater closed down, making it more of a trip just to go see a movie. I figured I could wait for it to come to Disney+ as one of the two streaming services I stay subscribed to (Amazon Prime is the other to save you wondering). Having now seen the movie I can see why it didn't really set the box office on fire. Sure there was some rumbling undercurrent of Indy's gone 'woke' with the inclusion of his god daughter, Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), but her character is really no different from other female supporting characters from previous films. She's strong, capable, but not without reasonable cause or back story. She's not just capable because she's Indy's god daughter. To be honest, it wouldn't have bothered m

Perth, Western Australia: Wireless Hill Park, Museum, and Wild Flower Walk - Day 3

Alien plant life or Aussie wild flowers?  Wireless Hill Park, Museum, and Wild Flower Walks was one of my sister's earliest suggestions for something the family could all do together on our trip back to Perth, Western Australia. I hadn't done a lot of driving prior to this trip so driving to the park was a little nerve wracking. I was expecting to make a tricky lane change/exit on Kwinana Freeway, that required crossing several lanes quickly, but we missed our exit for that route (directed by, my partner, Enigma's phone GPS).  The new re-routing the phone gave us turned out to be simpler and avoided the freeway altogether - which I'm still unsure as to how that was even possible based on my own 23 year old memory of Perth roads? Thankfully it made going home much less nerve wracking as we simply retraced the way we came. Wireless Hill Park is located in the City of Melville. It's a heritage area and the site of one of Australia's first Wireless Stations, linkin

Movie Review: The Marvels (2023) *No Spoilers*

I must admit I would've preferred more of a Captain Marvel solo movie over this team up event that is The Marvels . I'd still be fine with Ms Marvel and Monica Rambeau being in supporting roles but I kind of feel the character earned a sequel from the previous Captain Marvel box office alone. Unfortunately the audience for the MCU has shifted dramatically since the last movie, as has the quality of the films and streaming shows being made by Marvel Studios. The Marvels pays off the conclusions to two Disney+ shows, Wandavison and Ms Marvel , by bringing together Ms Marvel, aka Kamala Kahn, and Monica Rambeau with Captain Marvel, aka Carol Danvers. While the shows aren't essential viewing for The Marvels it is extremely beneficial having seen each character's backstory over just getting the speed notes version in this movie. In terms of being a sequel it's a direct sequel to Ms Marvel's streaming show, as well as picking up on storylines left open in the origin

Al Ru Farm Spring Picnic, Sampson Flat, South Australia

Al Ru Farm Lilly Garden. When my partner, Enigma, pitched going on a picnic where you paid for a food hamper to be provided, I thought we were just going to a very nice, well manicured park.  Al Ru Farm (named after the owners Alan and Ruth Irving) is an actual private farm but, at the center, is ten acres of well maintained gardens, a large barn converted into a function/reception room, and three bed and breakfast homes. Located between the Barossa Valley and the Adelaide hills, at Sampson Flat, it provides a relaxing rural/garden experience without having to travel too far from suburbia. Typically the gardens and function rooms have been used as an ideal setting for weddings but the farm holds other events throughout the year, such as their Spring Picnic (held in November - which you have to book in order to receive your food hamper). Overview of the main building and Garden Bar area on the day of the Spring Picnic. More of a picnic box than a hamper but still very nice and more tha

Perth, Western Australia: Swan River Parkland Walk from Ascot Quays, The Cray, Seafood Bar and Grill Restaurant - Day 2

Bilya Kard Boodja Lookout, Belmont, Western Australia. On the second day of our trip we had still to plan how the rest of the trip was going to go in terms of dividing our time between seeing the family and having holiday time to ourselves. Our apartment sits right next to the Swan River on the south bank, and south east from the city. Along the bank is a cycle/walking path, through parkland, that I don't doubt you could probably follow almost to Fremantle if you really wanted to.  After breakfast Enigma and I headed out to follow this path, toward the city, for what we thought was going to be a short walk but ended up being more of a five kilometre round trip. Things of Note on Our Walk The Dollhouse The Dollhouse. Not far along the walk is The Dollhouse . Initially it just looks like it might be a public toilet block when viewed at a distance from the path but the tall fence surrounding it suggests otherwise. It's actually a heritage listed mini house that used to be a displa

Going Back to Perth, Western Australia After Seven Years, and Our Accommodation at Ascot Quays Apartments - Day 1

Bell Tower, Perth Western Australia. The last time I was back in Perth, Western Australia was October 2016 to see my Dad before he passed, and then attend his funeral a few days later. It was never my intention to wait so long before going back. Obviously the COVID 19 pandemic of 2020 caused the initial delay to go even longer than intended.  Then my partner, Enigma, and I had a short, four day trip all booked for the beginning of December 2021 when a COVID 19 scare shut down the border between South Australia and Western Australia and we watched our plans disappear within hours. Given that was almost a year after the world had started to come good again from the pandemic  lockdowns and travel restrictions, I just got very reluctant to book anything. Particularly after getting all my vaccinations done (triple vaxxed!) just to meet the requirements of crossing into WA at the time.  Fortunately we were able to get a travel agent credit for our cancelled airfares with no expiry date (or a

Australia Votes 'No' to The Voice, Opposition, Predictably, Calls for PM to Resign, and Now We Know Where the Racists Live!

The Australian people voted 'No' to The Voice , a reform to the Australian Constitution that would have recognized our first nation people and would have set up an aboriginal advisory committee that couldn't be disbanded by successive governments without a referendum. The committee would've advised the government of the day on issues affecting first nation people but the government would be under no obligation to act on that advice. Which could, maybe, lead to problematic differences of opinion if a government continually ignored advice, but that eventuality could happen. Our country's government opposition, being the weak minded dead weight that all oppositions seem to be these days (yes, I'm including the current government when they were in opposition in that statement), predictably called for the Prime Minister to resign. As if keeping an election promise was something to be shamed for just because the outcome wasn't favorable. Just once, for at least on

TV Series Review: Ahsoka (2023) Disney+ *Minor Spoilers*

After spending a considerable amount of time catching myself up on the 'Filoni-verse' by watching all of Dave Filoni's, Disney+ animated Star Wars series I was definitely ready for Season Five of Star Wars Rebels ... A.K.A. Ahsoka . First impressions, the animation looks so real... I think they might have actually shot this as a live action show? I'm kidding of course. While I think you could probably jump into Ahsoka just based on the character's previous live action appearances in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett (where she, and a few other supporting characters, name drop Thrawn) you really will get a lot more from the series if you've at least seen all seasons of Star Wars Rebels. I was going to say at least season four of Rebels but I think you will get the most from Ahsoka if you've followed the characters arcs of the main supporting cast from the beginning. You'll get even more out of Ahsoka if you've watched the main character'

Movie Review: Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons (2022) *No Spoilers*

After previously being disappointed by Batman: The Darkness That Came to Gotham I was really in two minds about watching Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons . Not least because I was expecting to be disappointed yet again by another DC animated movie but also because this one features Damian Wayne (arguably the most unlikable Robin of all the Robins) and Jonathon Kent, two of the brattiest, most entitled, kid characters in all of DC. In yet another world ending plot, the Justice League is compromised by an alien invader, forcing Damien and Jonathon, to set aside their differences in order to save the planet. I will say this movie is one of the most watchable DC animated movies I've seen in quite some time. Initially both Damien and Jonathon are every bit as unlikable as they're usually depicted, with Damien being even more  unlikable than the last animated movie I bought with him in (which was 2015's Batman Vs Robin ).  But I was at least pleasantly surprised tha

Movie Review: Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham (2023) *Spoilers*

I don't know why I go into every WB Animation/DC Comics animated movie hopeful that it's going to be good. It almost never is.  You'd think my expectations would be so low by this point that it wouldn't take much to be pleasantly surprised but apparently not.  I can only guess that WB Animation's latest DC offering, Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham is intended to be some kind of special release for Halloween with the amount of monsters and supernatural elements that lie within.  The trouble is, I don't know who this is for? Given the body count, it's not for kids and, with all the magic and supernatural elements front and center it's not really a detective story? Set in 1920's Gotham, an ancient evil is awakened, and only Batman can save the city (I guess? I mean a good proportion of the city gets burned to the ground so... did he save it?). Given the time period I was hopeful this could be something of an interesting take on Batman along the li

The Princess' Butterflies - Using an AI Art Generator to Color and Enhance a 23 Year Old Rough Pen Sketch

The Princess' Butterflies - By TET and Prome AI Over 23 years ago I drew a very rough pen sketch to illustrate a scene from a story my partner and I were taking turns at writing, at the very beginnings of, what started out as a very long distance relationship. My original hand drawn pen sketch drawn over 23 years ago. The original image has been sitting in a frame placed on display in the various houses we've lived in over the years. As I've gotten more into animation I've thought about progressing it to a finished artwork and then animating it. It's one of those things I've just never gotten around to even though I have experimented with how I'd go about it from time to time. Today I came across a text to image AI art generator, Prome AI that has this incredible feature called Sketch Rendering  which you can try out yourself completely for free. They also have a number of other AI art tools like inpainting and out painting and more which you can explore. T

Deformed AI Art Cats is Beyond 'Louis Wain Like' Nightmare Fuel

A TET Cat generated by You may be familiar with the English Artist, Louis Wain (5 August 1860 – 4 July 1939), who is known for his illustrations of anthropomorphic cats that became more patterned and psychedelic in his later years as his mental health declined (at least according to speculation by psychiatrist, Walter Maclay in 1939). Six examples of Louis Wain's cat art supposedly suggesting the decline of the artist's mental health but the date of each work is unspecified. Previously I've written about my attempts to train an AI art generator to mimic my own cat art style without much success. While I was able to generate a 'cat art' that was definitely influenced by my own style I could not say, without a doubt, the art looked like something I would have painted. TET's Cats AI generated art trained on my own art style. Recently I switched form Open AI's text to image model to who allow you to train one model on anything comple

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