Number 27 - See an Erupting Volcano

Climbing the final leg on foot, you feel a small rumble and then hear a tremendous roar as you climb, Yasur is greeting you. What a sight to behold.

Number 49 - See both Solar and Lunar eclipses

And while it was not total in Brisbane (83%), it was a strange thing watching it through the solar glasses seeing a massive slice of the sun missing.

Number 98 - Take part in a Demonstration

Remember, remember! The fifth of November. The Gunpowder treason and plot; I know of no reason why the Gunpowder treason should ever be forgot!

Number 11 - Storm Chase a Tornado*

Partial complete, but an amazing experience even as they were "Rain Wrapped". Huge epic storms with beautiful structure and powerful lightning.

Number 67 - Visit... The Grand Canyon

A lot of things that are "Must See" have a habit of being quite overrated, this is not one of those things. Truly epic in size and scale, the helicopter is a must.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Number 14b: Watch all of the James Bond movies

Completed 9-11 November 2015
23 Movies - 3 Days, Duration: 48.25 Hours.

This is the first thing completed off my "Bonus Round" list, a list I decided to create where I could add new things I think of that might be fun or exciting without cluttering up my base list.

So I got the idea for this when looking at another random list online which included "Do A Movie Marathon" and after looking around, there are not many (if any) movie marathons that go longer that the entire 007 James Bond series. 
A brief investigation shows that most movie marathons pale in comparison to 007 with the top contenders being:
  1. 007 - James Bond: 2894 Minutes
  2. Marvel Cinematic Universe: 1502 Minutes
  3. Star Trek: 1395 Minutes
  4. The Lord of the Rings saga: 1222 Minutes
  5. Harry Potter: 1179 Minutes
  6. Aliens vs Predator: 1118 Minutes
  7. Star Wars Saga: 804 Minutes
  8. Planet of the Apes: 710 Minutes
  9. Twilight Saga: 609 Minutes
  10. The Dark Knight Trilogy: 458 Minutes
So with that in mind, along with the fact I had never actually watched all the Bond movies, it was decided. So a short time later I booked in the leave from work and decided to commence the marathon on the Monday 11 November, as Spectre (24th Bond movie) was released later that week. So along side that I booked my tickets for that for the Thursday morning.

So up at 5:30am on the Monday, to kick off at about 6am with Dr. No, a coffee and a muffin from the Muffin Break downstairs. .

Let the games begin!
Day one consisted of:
  1. Dr. No - 1962
  2. From Russia with Love - 1963
  3. Goldfinger - 1964
  4. Thunderball - 1965
  5. You Only Live Twice - 1967
  6. On Her Majesty's Secret Service - 1969
  7. Diamonds Are Forever - 1973
For a total of 842 Minutes, with the highlights being Goldfinger and On Her Majesty's Secret Service and the weakest being Thunderball.

End of Day 1

Day two consisted of:
  1. Live and Let Die - 1973
  2. The Man with the Golden Gun - 1974
  3. The Spy Who Loved Me - 1977
  4. Moonraker - 1979
  5. For Your Eyes Only - 1981
  6. Octopussy - 1983
  7. A View to a Kill - 1985
  8. The Living Daylights - 1987
For a total of 1016 Minutes, with the majority being fairly average. Nothing standout good or bad... well apart from what was clearly the worst part of the entire James Bond universe. Making appearances in two movies Day two, Sheriff J.W. Pepper.

During this period of really formulaic and generic movies they were quite often releragted to my second screen while I did something else of the main screen like mine minerals in EVE Online. 

A View to a Kill on the left, mining minerals in EVE on the right
End of Day 2
Day three consisted of:
  1. Licence to Kill - 1989
  2. GoldenEye - 1995
  3. Tomorrow Never Dies - 1997
  4. The World Is Not Enough - 1999
  5. Die Another Day - 2002
  6. Casino Royale - 2006
  7. Quantum of Solace - 2008
  8. Skyfall - 2012
For a total of 1036 Minutes. In this final batch there was some really good ones with the likes of GoldenEye and Casio Royale and terrible ones like Die Another Day. I also had a new appreciation for the "rebooted" movies with Daniel Craig as they do callback to a lot of the older movies from the 60's and 70's which now having seen them I actually understood some of the references. 
End of Day 3

So overview time, first up breakdown of how long it took and hours watched.

  • Day 1: 7 Movies - 842 Minutes / 14.04 Hours
  • Day 2: 8 Movies - 1016 Minutes / 16.94 Hours
  • Day 3: 8 Movies - 1036 Minutes / 17.27 Hours

  • Total: 23 Movies - 2894 Minutes / 48.25 Hours

I then followed all this up with Spectre on the Thursday morning completing all 24 current bond movies. So now having seen all of them, I created a short list of common bond quests people get asked like "Best Bond" etc. 

  • Best Movie: Goldfinger, this one just grabbed me and held up surprisingly well considering its 1964 release.
  • Worst Movie: Die Another Day, I was surprised that the worst one was such a recent movie, but the phoned in acting, invisible cars, giant space lasers and windsurfing tsunami's... please.
  • Underrated Movie: On Her Majesty's Secret Service, really underrated and was a box office flop. But I really enjoyed it, it was a lot deeper and with more character development than all the other bonds of the era. I think it was truly ahead of it's time as when they did a similar thing with Daniel Craig's Bond in Casino Royale some 37 years later, people loved it.
  • Favourite Bond: Daniel Craig, I just felt he was a good combination of the classic Bonds and modern Bonds, bringing that sophistication, bit of humour and great action to the screen.
  • Least Favourite Bond: Roger Moore, for some reason he just didn't pull me in and his era of movies were a lot of mediocre, generic movies that followed the same structure almost to the minute. He had a few decent movies but as a Bond I felt he was the weakest.  
  • Best Gadget: GoldenEye watch, now it may be the case that I picked this because it was my first Bond I ever saw or the Nintendo 64 game which I played a lot of. But I just felt that it was the quintessential 007 accessory.
  • Memorable Good Moment: Casino Royale black and white opening scene, very noir, and gave a great initial impression towards the new Bond. Spectre introduction scene was also very very good set during Dia De Meurtos, the masks, the music and great action (if you can ignore the helicopter physics).
  • Memorable Bad Moment: Well that would be the aforementioned Sheriff J.W. Pepper series of appearances.

 So with that Number 14 (14b) of the Bonus Round list is completed.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Number 92: Own an Original Work of Art

Completed 17 February 2015
Think Tank, Issue 6 / Page 20 - Rahsan Ekedal

This one started off in a very different way, I was originally looking at your normal types of original art, like paintings, photography and other design work and while there were some interesting ones, there wasn't anything that really grabbed me or worth the insane price tag that came along with it.

So back to the drawing board I went, "What type of art would I actually want to hang in my apartment and what would suit it?".

An idea came to me when my cheap DC Heroes canvas fell off my wall. Bam, original comic art. Now with an idea in mind I started searching, checking out which comics I loved, and locating the individual artists brokers that sold on the artists behalf.

The trick was finding a balance or an artist that wasn't super well known, so I could actually afford the art but also a comic that I had read and enjoyed. The winning combination was located at comiconart for the artist Rahsan-Ekedal for his pencilling and inking of the comic Think Tank.

Now that I'd found the area I reviewed all his work that was up for sale and found a particular page that displayed the main character, his best friend, his dog and some crazy tech gadgets that he was working on that was also within my budget. So I contacted the broker that ran the site, and placed an order request, paid and waited for it to arrive.

A couple of weeks later (since it was coming from the US) it arrived, perfectly boarded and packed and even though I knew the dimensions it was still larger than I expected. I held onto it for a few months before finally getting around to calling local framing places and getting some quotes, with the end result being Abel Framing for around the $150 mark. Although that did jump up to around $220 once I upgraded the frame, acid free backing and UV glass for document protection.

Eight days later...

Mark 92 as done.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Number 94: Get Something Named After You

Completed 10 August 2014
Gamble's Theorem -

How, oh how was I to complete this one?

"Get a star named after you." Everyone said, unfortunately as an astronomy nerd I know how little they actually mean. For the record (and I hate to completely ruin the romance here) all those star naming companies, are basically not worth the paper they are written on.

I discovered a blog post while in research mode for Number 94 that listed a few interesting things you could get named after yourself for a varying degree of cost

  • A Rose - Your own personalised variety of bloom from World of Roses, coming in at around $1500.
  • A New Species - A long and expensive process, but it's getting a new species named after you from Discover Life in America, costing anywhere from $2500-$10,000.
  • A New Spider Species - Now I could no longer find the details of this, which means it may be off the table, but apparently at one stage the Queensland Museum was offering this for a price tag of $5125.
  • A Star - I talked about this just before, but they have no ties to the IAU (International Astronomical Union), read more here.
  • and lastly, a Mathematical Theorem - which was the way I ended up going due to the interesting nature and the great value price tag, $24.

So after some initial investigations of the website and research into the specifics of what a theorem actually is. I paid, picked a name and waited the two day waiting period while the system generated the mathematical theorem.

Two days later... it was born:

Gamble's Theorem:

fα(χ,Suc(fα(χ,zero))) = fα(χ,Suc(zero))

So What it meant I have no idea haha, although they did send me a instructional on what it meant and how it works but I'm still struggling to translate some of the components in relation to the outline: Induction and Rippling.

I've attached both the certificate and the instructional below so if you wanted to have a crack or want to help me understand it, that would be greatly appreciated.

But apart from that, I framed the certificate and ordered the mug with the theorem printed on it and popped them up on my office desk.

Mark 94 as done.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Number 11: Storm Chase a Tornado

Partial Complete Attempt 12 May 2014 - 22 May 2014
Tempest Tours: Tour 3 - Base Camp: Oklahoma City

Heads up, this might be a long post.
Now with my love of the extremes of Mother Nature this was always going to be something I would do. Planning started well in advance, probably a good 18 months before the trip was actually set for, with looking at companies, watching flight prices and planning the entire trip to America. So flash forward and the trip was planned, you can read more of the general details here.

Fly to L.A., Fly to Vegas, Fly to Tucson and finally on to Oklahoma City. Finally I was there and ready. 

12 May 2014
So I headed to the base hotel from mine, and waited in the lobby and it wasn't long before you could start to tell who was also there for the same thing. With a few initial introductions done, we were all taken to a small conference room for official introductions and instructions. We met our tour director - William (Bill) Reid and drivers - Bob and Rook as well as all the other guests. 

With that we were into it, now the first few days were fairly quiet storm wise, however we still take in a number of sights, cities and towns such as:
  • Monument Rocks,
  • Joplin, MO - the site of the 2011 EF5 tornado, 
  • Walmart!
  • Gorgeous sunsets,
  • Awesome abandoned houses in the middle of nowhere, 
  • Cruising through the Rocky Mountains (complete with snow, which I didn't pack for),
  • Incredible scenery and beautiful country towns.
Monument Rocks

17 May 2014
Our first real day with a chance for some storms to pop, and we did get a little taste in eastern Colorado with a few good shots taken, but nothing too dramatic in the way of supercell storms. 

18 May 2014
Again a day where there was some slight chance of some cells developing, so early in the day we were playing the waiting game, visiting Lost Springs, Wyoming (Population: 7), some abandoned farm houses and general photography practise. 

Chilling reminder that people live with this threat
A cell really started to pop north of us, so that's where we went, but by the time we got their it was fading fast and the another one back south was going up, so back down we went only to catch the tail end. Although we did subsequently catch a nice night show.  

19 May 2014
Another day and now we were really getting into the thick of it. Lots of chances and lots of big beautiful storms that put on an impressive show in the Nebraska panhandle.

20 May 2014
This was the day with the second highest potential for storms for the entire trip, and it did not disappoint. Multiple supercells, impressive light shows, 2 inch hail and some great photo opportunities. The howl of the hail core as it approached was something I'll always remember. 

21 May 2014
This was the day, it started looking like a significant storm day 4-5 days in advance and the SPC (Storm prediction Center) had put up a small warning area showing 10% chance of tornadoes. The entire group was excited and eager to get going from our hotel in Ogallala, NE towards Denver/Fort Morgan, although it seemed like the entire chasing community had the same idea on the day.

Around 14:00 the SPC issued Mesoscale Discussion 640 advising of hail and tornado chances increased in the Denver metro area which aligned with out direction of travel a little two perfectly. The one thing you don't want during a chase is to be stuck in suburbia where the roads don't give you straight long paths to travel and instead give you short roads that curve around not giving you a lot of opportunities to chase.

We stopped for around 10-15 minutes in central Aurora, CO to watch what's called a "Tornadic Mesocyclone". When the tornado sirens started wailing, it became real and quite an eerie experience. It's a situation where it becomes real and you realise that people live here and have to live with this situation on a constant basis. Suddenly, instead of you crossing your fingers for a tornado to drop, you cross them and hope that if it does, it's not in the middle of suburbia.

We got a move on and headed out of the direct path of the storm to take in the size and scale of it, I must confess in my storm chasing experience I've never seen a storm with as much "Greenage" as I saw on this day.

News report from the day, confirming 6 tornadoes
22 May 2014
Our last real chase day, so we headed south through Colorado and into Texas where there was a slight chance of some type of activity. The landscape was much different through Texas, a lot more dry and dusty. The visibility was really low at a couple of points throughout this chase, although there was a pair of gustnadoes while exploring an old abandoned church and also a possible slight tornado (dust cloud leading up to a funnel cloud) however with visibility so low and dust everywhere it was difficult to confirm.

So all in all, I'm counting this as a partial complete as we didn't get that clearly identifiable tornado profile and that iconic shot. An incredible experience that I'll happily repeat to get the shot and to mark Number 11 as complete.

To Be Continued...

Monday, 15 September 2014

Number 50: Write Your Name Over a Star on the Walk of Fame

Completed 26 April 2014
Chuck Norris - Hollywood Walk of Fame

The Hollywood Walk of Fame, icon of Hollywood and the entertainment industry in general... and I had to write my name over one. Now because that's technically vandalism and I'm not an American citizen I couldn't risk doing something (like getting a criminal record) as it would prevent me from completing other things from the list that need to be done in the US. 

So after thinking about my plan of attack, I decided sticking a Gamble Agenda business card, with the number and my name on it to a star would class this as complete. 

My initial plan was after reviewing the list of names ( was to target Matt Damon since I quite often get told I look like him, however once I got there his area was fenced off due to construction :(. 

Curse you construction work!!!!
Much Frustration, so I wandered up and down, taking the the (way to touristy) sights and searched for a new name worthy of the list. 

Hollywood, the capital of marketing?

It After checking my phone extensively at lunch while using the McDonalds free WiFi, I found a name that would be worthy... an icon of brute force, power and countless jokes involving how hard he was.


 Nothing more needs to be said, except maybe...

This website may soon be in memoriam.

Mark Number 50 as done.