Fellow SMPTE TC delegates:  Welcome to day three of the TC meetings in Sydney.   I have now heard The Benediction enough times to know that I’m not allowed to tell anyone what we’re doing here, including you.   So read this, and then pretend I said nothing which discloses who or where we are.

More on coffee
While assisting Barbara to order some supplies, I noted that there are even more coffee terms which might be unfamiliar.
* long black:  a shot of coffee with steam continued until the cup is full
* short black:  just the shot of coffee (probably 7ml).   Might be equivalent to “an espresso”
* ristretto:  hardly ever heard.   If you ask, and they say yes, you’ll probably get something you’d enjoy
* macchiato:  single shot with a splash of someone else’s foam.   I’ve never understood that.
* double shot: 7ml, but with double the grounds as input
* small, large:  refer to the size of the container, not the strength, although large will generally lead to something less strong, since the container size is not necessarily linked to the strength of the input.

There is a standards issue here that needs to be resolved.   If someone wants to join me to establish a Caffeine Descriptor AHG, please advise.

Tipping: Culturally, Australians don’t tip.  My experience is it’s almost impossible to tip a cab if you pay by credit card.   If you pay by cash, then it’s acceptable to offer “keep the change”, or round up, or something.   No more is likely to be expected, although an american accent is a dead giveaway that you can’t help yourself and will try to tip, and no cab driver would be immune to that.

Don’t leave money on the table in a cafe;  it will vanish in the wrong direction.

If you want to tip in a restaurant, then 10% is fine.   If you get crappy service and then don’t tip… the whole point of tipping is to indicate pleasure or displeasure with the service.

Steaks:  If you would like a steak and are willing to cook your own (worth the experience) then Phillip’s Foote (http://www.phillipsfoote.com.au/) offers good food in an interesting surround.  101 George Street, at The Rocks.   That’s a cab ride from here, or a 30 minute walk.   I’m happy to give you tips about how to cook your own steak, but you should also get a second opinion.

Touch Too:   There is a small art exhibition  at the bottom of the escalator on Level 4 at UTS.   Check out Pouffy the Pouf, and the Broken LCD art.   This is a must see:  some fascinating works, and it’s right here onsite.

Religious observance (Sat/Sun):  If you desire to find a place of religious attendance, please ask and I will try to help.  I can point you to many denominations of Christian celebration, and at least two Synagogues.   The nearest Mosque might be further.

Maritime Museum:    Australia was discovered by sailors, which happened after the British government conceded that the earth is not flat, and after further explorers concluded that you could not drive here from Mongolia.   The Sydney Maritime Museum, just north of the Darling Park Harbourside shops, is exciting for two reasons:
1.  it’s a really good museum
2.  it’s free
What more could you want?

* Rick Ackermans reports that there IS an all-day and all-week transport ticket that works, and would be cost-effective if you’re here for some days longer.    Ticket information is at www.cityrail.com and covers ferries, buses and trains.

  • Mymulti day: covers all transport for one day and costs $20.   That includes the light rail, but not the monorail
  • Mymulti week.   a zone 1 weekly is $41.
  • Sunday Funday.   If you’re a family and have at least one child in tow, you can travel all Sunday for $2.50.   This is such a good deal that you might want to rent a child for the day.   Rick swears that the machine would ONLY sell him a $2.50 ticket last Sunday, but maybe the machine was smart enough to realise that Rick did have his son with him in Sydney.

* The abundantly cheap MSY computer store is in Jones Street and that’s at right angles to Thomas Street.   Jones Street is the road where the Cafe 10 is located;  just keep walking north on Jones Street and you will get to MSY in about 3 minutes.   MSY is open until 1830 tonight, and from 1030-1600 Saturday and Sunday.  I don’t have shares in MSY, but I do know a good source of supply when I see one.