Tuesday, 19 March 2013

St. Ali North - Cafe Review


So I was meeting a friend for lunch last week and she promised me a "Totally rad cafe that's so fancy I have at least one word I don't understand in every menu item description!" and in house cured bacon! After I finished peeing myself with excitement (we're talking a good 16 hours here) I got to the cafe!

There are words you are supposed to use to describe places like this, but I'm not up with the lingo. I feel it's something like "chic" or "trendy" or "consecrated" or something.  The point is I could have entered through the window without comment. There's also a "ride through" section, which sounds fun, if morally questionable...

I really need to work on my photography (that is to say iPhone) skills. Specifically I need to remember to take out the phone and take photos of more than just half my plate.

My plate! (With stuff on it!)

Monday, 11 February 2013

Mama Bear - Cafe Review

I have engorged myself at a new cafe, Mama Bear!  Now I must share my findings with the world or all shall perish!

First, I must say I was disappointed that there was no "bear" in the menu.  I felt a bit cheated.  I expected a large, hairy man covered in blood to come to my table with a knife and demand "YOU WANT HEART OR EYEBALL?!"  My life should have felt threatened.  It didn't, and I was less for it.

Alternatively it could have involved a caged battle with a bear for your food.  You enter and Mama Bear, "Tiffany" is behind the counter.  Wild with rage at being captured, she stands between you and your meal behind her.  "YOU MUST FIGHT TO THE DEATH PEASANT SCUM!" announces an unseen voice as you take up your small dagger and charge forth!

The reality was that I walked in and was seated at a table near other people by a lady.  She smiled.  I didn't feel my life threatened even once.  I'd hoped maybe she was luring me into a false sense of security, but nothing came of it.

So I figured I'd have to get past the name and just make the most of my time at the new cafe.

Mama Bear opened around the start of February in the remains of Tres Tacos.  They've cleaned the place up nicely, it's bright and open and quite large with a decent amount of outside dining space.  As far as I know it's the only decent cafe in that part of Flemington.  Of course Union rd. and Pin Oak Cres. are both very close, but that small area has never really been a "food" place until now.

Parking looks troublesome, but Racecourse rd., just past the cafe (away from the roundabout) actually tends to have plenty of spaces available during the day.

I'll have to try the waffles some time, but considering I was looking for the RAW MEAT AND BONE OF A FRESHLY SLAIN BEAR, I figured I needed something more substantial.  So I got the Big Breakfast.  They have all day breakfast!

This is breakfast!

It was pretty damn epic.  Excellent eggs, crispy bacon, really tasty sausages and relish.  I approve.

The single origin latte (I think it was El Salvador...) was also great.

Service was friendly and quite fast.  They even gave me my coffee at no charge just because they forgot the first time I asked for it.

I'll definitely be adding this place to my regular cycle of cafes, and perhaps suggest they consider hiring a bear to viciously and brutally eat customers who lack the strength and dignity to stand and fight for the food that is rightfully theirs! They probably won't go for it, but I'd be remiss in not trying.

I rate this cafe four out of five bears... I will up it to a full five when they get a bear.

Mama Bear on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The Ballad of Schoolboy Jim

So I'm no poet, but it turns out my friend's dad Derek Wilson is!  He wrote this and his son posted it to Facebook.  I thought it was pretty damn awesome and worth spreading:

We've all heard about the plethora of school shooting over recent years.  We've also heard plenty of excuses and false reasons for them.  The truth however is far more disturbing.  Psychiatric drugging of children needs to be banned.

** The Ballad of Schoolboy Jim **
Jim came to school one morning
Feeling slightly down.
He was in no mood for learning;
Distracted, looking ‘round.

His teacher saw his vacant stare
And did as she’d been told;
And reported what she saw there
(Not done in days of old).

Jim came to school next morning
And, much to his dismay,
Was escorted without warning;
Protesting all the way…

…To a counsellor most haughty
With Mental Health Degree:
“Your teacher says you’re naughty -
You have ADHD”.

“But you don’t have to worry.
I’ll give you powerful pills.
Strattera in a hurry
Will solve your mental ills.”

He took the pills as he’d been told,
Hoped he’d get no worse.
But thoughts wild and uncontrolled
Were pounding like some curse.

Jim came to school next morning,
Feeling spaced and strange.
Thoughts in his head were forming,
Confusing and deranged.

Nervous agitation,
Exploding fiery head,
Violent imagination,
Wishing he were dead.

Jim came to school one morning
His head aflame with rage,
His father’s gun; no warning,
His private war he waged.

Short burst of senseless violence
Unloaded on his friends,
And suddenly to silence
A score of lives condemns.

He stops in the confusion
And for a moment sees
The death from his delusion
And collapses to his knees.

Dead and dying on the floor
He faces what he’s wrought.
Can’t face one second more:
Ends it with his last shot.

While guns are made for killing,
(As no-one can deny),
No-one sane is willing
For Innocents to die.

Jim came to school next morning
Not in body, but sad soul
And issued out a warning
About the Teacher’s role.

“Please tell those who won’t learn
To extrovert a bit,
And Psych labels you must spurn,
Like ‘attention deficit’.

And tell the Couns’lor if she gets the urge
To rapidly diagnose
To practise first this social scourge
And give herself a dose.

And lock herself in padded cell
Where no-one can be harmed.
And ride the Prescribed Train to Hell -
Courtesy Big Pharm.

-Derek Wilson, Jan 2013

If you doubt the subject matter, look at Strattera's own website:
Check it: http://www.strattera.com/Pages/index.aspx

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Spec Ops: The Line - Review

I had the good fortune of coming down with leprosy (or something) a few weeks ago and so with abundant free time and excuses to not do anything productive, I finally got to play a computer game start to finish in just two sessions!

I wasn't planning on writing about this game, until someone pointed out on reading my "The Walking Dead" review that my closing line ("The 'game' is to take a human, put them in front of a screen and make them question their own morality, and then kick them in the gut just because.") mirrors what many people said about Spec Ops.

Objectively that is true, but when I wrote that closing line - having only played The Walking Dead a few weeks after Spec Ops - it still didn't occur to me to compare the two.  They are incomparable.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

The Walking Dead - PC Game Review

Now that I've had a month or so to recover, I'm ready to talk about The Walking Dead.  Is The Walking Dead the best game ever made?  Yes.  Is it really the best game ever made?  No.  Is it an awesome game that could (or at least should) have a real impact on the future of story telling in games?  Hell yes!

No spoilers of note to worry about, incidentally.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

The Premises - Cafe Review

I was wandering around the Internet a few weeks ago and discovered a thing of great interest - How to detect serial killers!

And did you know that "Tactical Bacon" exists?  It does!

I also found a cafe called The Premsies!

The name is rather imposing really.  The Premises.  That is to say, the singular item that is a building with land, or simply "a place".  There are no other places, nor indeed buildings.  This is the single place of which all others are merely part.  The Earth, the Seas, all are mere subjects of this singular premises.  It is with the stage set thus that I entered.