Mt Buller Postmortem Part I

I just arrived back in Melbourne an hour ago, hurting all over. Heh. It
was a very good weekend, I got a lot of runs in and it was snowing every
day too.

It’s snowing!

I actually only skied 2 out of the 3 days I was there, because I
only arrived at 1:30 pm on the first day and couldn’t justify paying for a
full day lift ticket. I just walked around the village and slopes during
the first day because I could only check into YHA at 5 pm.

This is where I stayed.

I skied the second day and boarded on the third.

Skiing down Bourke Street.

It was pretty punishing
because I was really out of shape. Loved it though. =D I did a couple of
runs down Bourke Street (a green run) on the first day and then went down
the blue Shakey Knees run. I didn’t know it was a blue run until I was
halfway down, and thought…hey, this is pretty steep. I was enjoying
myself so much, I went into an aggressive alpine crouch to pick up speed
(woo hoo adrenaline rush) and wiped out towards the end in an effort to
avoid a stopped skier. Very nice run, but a bit embarrassing on the lift
up. It was a T-bar lift and I unconsciously sat down on the T-bar and
tipped it (I was riding alone) while it was going up an incline. Bourke
Street seems rather anti-climatic after that.

View from Blue Bullet 1 quad chair lift.

I did catch the Quiksilver
GP at night but couldn’t take any photos because it seems that my digicam
does not like snow. I put it into my pants while skiing and forgot to do
up the zip, and as a result, snow got into the pocket and got the digicam
wet. It won’t even start up after that, but after a day of drying out, it
can be started up and the view pictures function is still working and I
can still copy out the pictures, but some buttons seem to be disabled. Doh!
I should have done up my pants zipper but I must have forgotten after
taking it out to snap some photos. (Update – I just tried starting up
my digicam and everything works now. Damn, the Nikon 885 is one tough

Blue Bullet 1 chair lift area.

Anyway, I got a disposable film camera on the second
day before I went boarding. Oh, one funny thing happened today. I went up
to the blue Summit run even though I’m not that good at boarding. I went
for a regular aligned board even though I’m a goofy on a skateboard. I was
carving up the slopes of the summit when the fog rolled in and I
accidentally went down a wrong run. I saw a black diamond flash past and
stopped near the Howqua black run. I had the choice of taking the Kofler’s
T-bar which goes up a steep incline (I do not like heights), taking a long
trek back up the blue Chute run or try to carve black Hawqua. If you’re
not familiar with the color codes, greens are easy runs, blues are for
intermediates and blacks are for experts only. I’ll rather go down black
diamond Hawqua
than take the T-bar up the steep Chute incline coz it will only take one look
down for me to piss my pants. Heh. The end of Hawqua wasn’t really hard
actually, but there are several hazards, including one steep turn that
only has netting between you and a drop down the slopes. I didn’t do too
good though, coz the powdery snow was pretty hard to navigate with my
board. I accidentally did a hard toe edge brake and started losing my
balance. I had the presence of mind to do an ollie to compensate for the
drift but ended up carving my toe edge straight into the power and I must
have flipped 5 meters and ended up face first in the snow. Oh boy…I
couldn’t stand up for a full minute. Heh. I had the wind knocked out of me
and I felt like I cracked a rib. That’s a nasty way to fall, I
reckon…falling ass first is okay, that’s not painful, but going face
first is pretty horrible. Anyway, that’s it for today. I have to wake up
at 7 am tomorrow for my ITPM group meeting. Stay tuned for Part II
tomorrow. I still have a bunch of pictures that’s not up from the
disposable film camera. I’m going to get it developed tomorrow.

Enjoying the fire in the main village.

Read Mount Buller Part II.


Melbourne again. GMT +10 again. I arrived at around 6:45 am but got delayed by a HORRENDOUS line
to the red exit. The red exit is for people who have stuff to declare. The line snaked all through
the baggage collection area. I was waiting there for half an hour and I had barely moved 10 meters
and the line in front of me was 50 meters at least. There was this one customs guy going through
the line to try to reduce the people going for the red exit. After a bit of questioning, some
people were directed to the green exit. Now, come my turn, I told the customs officer I was
carrying stuff for a friend and I’m not too sure what’s in there so I have to go through the red
exit. This revelation alarmed the customs occifer, I mean, officer, and he directed me RIGHT
THROUGH THE CROWD to the alternate red exit! Apparently, there are two red exits, the normal one
with a mini x ray machine and manual checks and the alternate one with an industrial sized x ray
machine and more stringent checking. There were only 4 or 5 people in the alternate red exit. The
only way to get to the alternate red exit is to bypass the cordon, and for that you must be
escorted by a customs officer. How nice indeed. I jumped the bulk of the queue just by saying that
I was carrying “unknown stuffs” (make a conspirational face while you say it) for someone
else. Oh what a tangled web we weave. Heh. Granted, the checking is more thorough, but hey, it
saves you from queuing up. So if anyone experiences a long red exit queue at Tullamarine airport,
it won’t hurt to try telling the customs officer that you’re “taking something for a
friend”. Heh. I was slightly worried coz I had a warez version of Photoshop 7 conveniently
concealed behind my legit Nikon View driver CD, but fortunately the customs guy did not care to
look through it. I’m starting to think that the intellectual property issue is becoming less
enforced nowadays. What of those horror stories about warez CD being fined A$1000 each?

Oh, something funny happened on the KL -> Melbourne flight. There I was, reading a newspaper
while an orange juice laid in the cup holder of my seat, conveniently within arms reach. Alas, I
accidentally tipped the nearly full cup with my newspaper and it poured unto the pants of the guy
sitting beside me! How embarrassing…I apologized and got the cabin attendant to bring us some
napkins. The guy was pretty cool about it, but I still felt bad coz it wet the whole left side of
his pants and I could see he was uncomfortable for he put napkins on his pants to try and absorb
the orange juice. Oh well, these things happen in sardine class. Speaking about fluids, the Sibu
-> Kuching and Kuching -> KL flight left me all st and uncomfortable due to the heat.

I finally caved in and paid RM 20 (!) for a private shower at the KLIA Airside Transit Hotel
[]. They give you a towel and you use the private toilet/sink/shower room. Bar soap
or liquid soap is provided in the shower. I still can’t believe I paid RM 20 (!!) for a shower,
but it sure felt good, coz I was st and uncomfortable by the time I reached KLIA. You know,
if you’re so inclined, you can actually bum a free shower if you want to. The hotel staff only
provides you with a towel and you leave the used towel in the shower, so if you bring your own
towel, I presume they won’t know either.

Well, I noticed that the in-flight entertainment system of Malaysia Airlines has improved. They
now have a larger library of games – even multiplayer games (chess, reversi, trivia) where you can
compete with other passengers. The trivia one is quite fun coz when the scores are tallied, it
displays all the current players and their seat number. But the best thing is that they have
Bejeweled! Apparently they have gotten a license from PopCap Games []. It’s not exactly easy to play
though, coz you have to manually move the square down the grid instead of using the mouse in the
PC version [] and the Web version [] or the stylus in the
Palm version []. Nevertheless,
it was very interesting to see it available in-flight.

PC Games on the in-flight entertainment system.



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