Saturday, December 28

New problems!

I went out running today and found this:

Now I have to spend my entire day today making sure that these two become friends. I've called him Fane (from Stephen - Saint Stephen was yesterday) and I hope Fane and the Bear will be friends!

Thursday, December 26

The Bear!

I just found myself a new best friend! Enter Bear, my grandmother's one year old romanian shepherd puppy. I say puppy, but he's like 35kg in weight, and when he stands with  his paws on my shoulder, his nose is higher than my head.

He's a lovely little one but he's untrained and my grandmother cannot really handle him. The fucker who brought him here can go and fuck himself. Ah well.

The problem with this breed is that they are very hard to train, especially at this age. It took me 2 hours to train him to sit and it's probably going to take three days to learn a stay. And of course, my grandmother will not practice this with him and aaargh. Ah well. Who can resist this smile?

 Here's us demonstrating sit. We are very very proud. Whereby "we" I mean "I" because he couldn't really be fussed as long as somebody plays with him.

He's really really curious and somewhat smart. Also, very stubborn. 

PS. San, Dodo, I have no wifi hence no whatsapp - this will change soon! Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 20


On Tuesday I skipped half a day of work to go pick cherries. I wish I could say I'm sorry, but I'm not.

Behold my stash!

The cherry orchard also has morello cherries! ZOMG!! Soo cool!!

I wish I could say I had a bad time. And I did, once all the cherries were eaten. Sigh. 5kg is just not enough.

Wednesday, December 18

One picture Tuesday

Had rice soup in Brisbane. Just a little bit closer to Thailand!

Sunday, December 15


I never do book reviews here because what the hell why would you.

But this book. This book had me crying, and I mean floods coming down from my eyes, on my face and all the way down my neck before I could stop the tears in any way. This happened in broad day light, on a plane (15 hours flight btw), in front of everybody. So much so that the person sitting next to me asked me what I was reading. I couldn't answer, of course, because I was still bawling. Poor guy was probably terrified thinking that he has to spend the next 13 hours so close to a lunatic.

In this book, my favorite swear word is a deity. Because, help us, Oh Fuck.

Wednesday, December 11

One picture Tuesday

At 6:30 am at the Lincoln memorial, the reflecting pool is reflecting and the runners are running. 

Not only this, but runners are also talking. One of them, after passing me and saying hi!, also said:"looks like it's starting..." I said "yeah", but what I was thinking was "what is starting?!!" 

And then it did and I knew. It looked like rain but it was snow and it turned me into  a snow man in about five seconds.

Sunday, December 8

Overheard at the Lincoln Memorial

No statue in Washington, D.C. is allowed to be larger than the statue in the Capitol building, which is 19 ft. The Abraham Lincoln statue and all other statues around the area are 19ft. But if you're in Washington, D.C. and know the rules you can do anything. This statue is on a 16ft platform. The statue of dr Martin Luther king is 30 ft but that is not a statue, it is a sculpture because you can't see its feet.

Saturday, December 7

Training put to good use...

What do you do when you're stuck in a queue for six hours in Dallas because your flight got cancelled because of a snowstorm? Well, first you call American Airlines to rebook yourself. Then you call a hotel to get yourself a room in fucking Dallas!!

Then you wait in queue for two more hours just in case there's that small tiny chance that there IS a spot on the next flight out of Dallas. And what do you do when the lady says: "there IS a spot on the flight that is boarding now at terminal C (you are at terminal D, 20 minutes train ride from C). RUN, girl!" 

You RUN. This is where all that ultra, upjo training is put to good use...

Ran like mad. Caught the plane. Got stuck on the runway for another hour while they cleared the ice off the plane (which was good, because like this my bag caught up with me hahahah). 

Arrived at 1am in Washington DC. It is chilly and raining, but the delicious, northern hemisphere chilly (-1 C). I'm having mac and cheese that I microwaved myself because the restaurant is closed (it's 2am). I think I deserve it, if not for anything, but for still managing to be civil after being late because of other people so many times!!

Thursday, December 5

Heart attack!!!

International travel is never without its perils for my poor, old heart. Today, instead of looking at my departure date and time from Adelaide, i looked at my departure TIME (only) from Washington DC. And then had a major heart attack because I thought I was leaving tonight instead of tomorrow morning. Yes, I triple checked. I'm leaving tomorrow morning. gah.

Friday, November 29


On Monday I did the Tabata protocol for running. 4 minutes (8 sets) of 20 seconds SPRINT WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT followed by 10 seconds of death.  I was dead by set 2, but still kept at it.

On Tuesday, I could barely move. On Wednesday, I could move but could not run. It was more of a death shuffle, requiring me to lift my legs using a rotative hip movement. I think my hamstrings shrunk by 2cm ...

I went for a recovery run in Morialta, figuring that I could blame me overall pathetic performance on the uphill on the hamstring issue. It was a beautiful, sloooooow run, but good nevertheless as I met this little guy. And yes, he's a guy (very much so actually).

Tuesday, November 26

One picture Tuesday

My new advertisement for PhD students.

Monday, November 25

Kermit's first day out

I got THE ROPE!!! And it's name is Kermit (yet another piece of western heritage that I need to familiarize myself with). We took Kermit to Arapiles this weekend and had a blast!

Here's how Kermit looks on me - apologies for the terrible quality, it's Marian's fault!

Check out the figure 8 knot!

We tried Dribble, 11 (I think) and two (TWO Stars!) Now remember, in the Arapiles guidebook, the number of stars is equal to the number of OMFGs you will utter on every pitch while you contemplate eternity. This was not the case on Dribble however. We had a blast! 

It starts with a glassy slab (GLAASSY SLAAAB!) but otherwise it has a superb, 50m long pitch! More about this later. First, did I tell you about my new awesome rope? It's name is Kermit!

After the first pitch with the GLAASSY SLAAAB! the weather turned crazy on us and it started to threat like it might transform into a gale. Sort of. Because spring. Or Arapiles. Here's me contemplating the fact that I would have to downclimb the first pitch and the GLAAASY SLAAAB! 

Not a very happy camper. Also, in need of moisturizer.  But in a short span (actually immediately after taking this picture - I wanted it to be on my tombstone, with the caption: "Josh gave me his rack"), the weather cleared and we could do the rest of the route. 

The 50m pitch was this beautiful delicious crack that ate up all my gear and then some. At the end of it you end up on this ginormous ledge where two little gifts from the Bolt Fairies await:

It makes sense because after placing 50m worth of gear, you end up pretty naked! 

I'd never thought I'd ever end up saying this, but here's me matching my rope.

I think Kermit is going to make a lot of friends because of its color. Mr Snake seemed a bit confused.


Wednesday, November 20

One picture Tuesday

I am not the brightest sheep in the pen. I went trail running in my five fingers. It was fine until it wasn't. Turns out, you can't really run downhill on a track in bare feet as those little pebbles are killers when you step on them at full speed/weight aaargh!

Monday, November 18

Realization. Part 249.

I have just been corrected on grammar by the associate editor of a top conference (that nevertheless accepted my paper). True, you might say, not only you learnt english mostly from books* but also you wrote that paper in a day because hell yeah! Coffee ftw!

Nevertheless, I have just realized NOW, while finally talking about people (as opposed to software systems, ok?!) in a paper, that there is a rule about when to use THAT and WHO. Apparently, unless you're a fancy schmancy writer,  you hafta use "who" when referring to people, and "that" when referring to objects.

Da fuck?! Apologies to everyone who was objectified in the past in my terrible AND NOW GRAMMATICALLY INCORRECT BLOG - I was totally not aware of this. Gah.

*and cartoon network.

Sunday, November 17

Training plan. I has it!

It took me a while to make this because it took me a while to realize that I need to get back into proper shape (snort) and that I will most probably never have a long distance running partner again. Sigh. Add to this the realization that the time and luxury I had during my PhD years will.never.come.back.again. Double sigh.

I need to train endurance and hills and overall bad-assness, so behold my training plan.

* run 5km
* boulder at BZ (non-friendly) or pyramid pull-ups: 1,3,5,7 times 3 sets on the rim of my office door because, I can. At least I can do 1,3,5 pyramids, so adding the 7 will not change anything, right? RIGHT?!

* run 5 km
* VR Boulder (non-friendly)

* run 5 km
* Mt Lofty trek: 10 kg - 20 kg; increase by 3 kg every two weeks
* start with one summit and progress to two OR run up Mt Loft if weight smaller than 15kg.

* run 5km
* VR lead - at least 3 roof attempts

* run 5km
* pyramid pull-ups: 1,3,5,7 times 3 sets
* 7 seconds hangs: 7x5x3 sets

Saturday - rest day
* friendly boulder at BZ  or the pad
* arapiles or grampians

* morialta 10 km run (1.5 loops) OR chambers gully 10km
* if in arapiles or grampians then 5-10km run depending on the overall ball shrinking the day before.
Cannot run if no ballz.
* if feeling like a wuss then can take this as rest day but need to replace Monday run with Morialta loops.

Friday, November 15

Gah. So true.

Read the whole story here. Must get myself a blerch tshirt.

Wednesday, November 13

I have a problem.

And my problem is that I am a compulsive tab opener. I have not one, not two, but three chrome windows like this. This one in particular is where all the gear search and the training programmes are. There are two others for research and education respectively, because hell yeah!

Anyway, I think this is becoming a problem because:

annapurna:Submitted claudia$ pdflatex icse2014.tex
-bash: fork: Resource temporarily unavailable

I think my computer needs a restart - boo hoo hoo - I would love to say how long it's been since it's been up, but I can't because:

annapurna:Submitted claudia$ uptime
-bash: fork: Resource temporarily unavailable


Tuesday, November 12

One picture Tuesday

I still can't believe that I did not bring Humpty and Dumpty to Australia but instead left them in Parc Guell in Barcelona. That being said, I can't believe that one month ago we were in Barcelona. ROAR!

Friday, November 8

The best anti-depressant

A student commented that (s)he hated every second of my course, without saying why. Two sleepless nights and a grant proposal rejection later, I have come to terms with it. Also, I bought this:

Because there is nothing like color to ward off depression. Also, there's nothing like color to replace rope safety specs.

Thursday, November 7

Spring is here!

I know it's spring because it's 32 degrees outside one day and 20 the next. Sunny and super hot one day and super cold-turn-on-the-heater-in-your-office the next.

Today it is a bit cold but nevertheless I went to have lunch outside. Sat my elephanty ass on the stairs of the library and proceeded to munch on things and read. I wish I could say that I was watching undergraduate fashion go past but I couldn't, because:
a) there's no such thing as undergraduate fashion
b) the semester is over and thus the campus is. E.M.P.T.Y.

As I was reading and munching, I heard this beautiful, loud, deep tenor voice singing Nessun Dorma. Jesus! It was deep and it was loud but nevertheless it was spot on!

At first I thought somebody was evacuating the conservatory and the tenors were still at it, but the loud voice kept singing and getting closer and closer. I was also surprised and miffed to see that the group of schoolkids that was clearly visiting the Uni had not stopped to listen at all! "Uneducated ruffians! We are doomed!" I thunked to myself.

But then I took a closer look and guess what? The tenor was a scrawny, 1.5m tall, vietnamese kid, visiting the Uni with his class.

I love Adelaide!

Tuesday, November 5

One picture Tuesday

The best reason to wear a storm trooper outfit: overheard while talking about gender misrepresentation in science: "oh, here at our school the number of female is equal to the number of male staff, it's just that they get themselves pregnant and there's nobody left to teach!"

Thursday, October 31

Arapiles - trip 3!

Day one started out being very very cccccold.

For our first route, we decided on an easy, loong multi pitch route. As the total noob that I am, I carry everything with me:

I reckon this gear weighs about 10 kg (ok, maybe 5). Still, the advantage of leading means that on has a lot of photos of oneself while climbing, some of them accidentally cool.

One also keeps bumping ones head on the rocks, hence the ever always slanted helmet.

We got to the top of tip toe ridge and were met by beautiful views and flowers. Life is better with both.

We also met an echidna, Marian's first and my third!! Echidnas for president!!

Our next route was a more difficult 10, called Xena, which, as the name suggests, is a bit burly. Not a problem though, although to be fair the sight of the rock face is kinda intimidating:

After this we rewarded ourselves with steaks in hippie Natimuk.

We only had time for one route the next day, and this was Eagle's cleft, which, as the name suggests, is kinda airy and a bit runout. I was scared SHITLESS. This May or may not have been because Marian decided to make a super super strong coffee that morning... Anyway, no more coffee before lead climbing for me: to be fair, our last Thai adventures were suggesting this as well: my old heart cannot take both the climbing and the caffeine, sigh.

We got to the top of Eagle's cleft in four hours or so and had an adventurous retreat: you have to down climb through a cave, squeeze through a tiny hole in the wall and then downclimb a via feratta (
and then solo down a wall (beginners MUST rapel)