ZEN Garage Photowalk

ZEN Garage has quite the reputation amongst the JDM Car loving community & beyond, but sadly their lease has run out and they’ll be closing their physical doors at the end of this month, but keeping their online presences alive. I managed to make my way out there on Sunday for the Zen Garage Photowalk out to the Rozelle Tram Shed via the streets of Leichardt.


Happy New Year

I’m standing at town hall awaiting a train to take me home to a nice cleansing shower and my cosy bed.

My night was spent at Chinese Laundry to hear UK DJ Danny Howells. His set tonight was good, but not great, having plenty of nice tracks, especially those of the funky bouncy progressive variety, but it was missing that spark that binds a set together making it flow on a proverbial journey.

Tonight was the first time I was able to test out my leg on the dancefloor after my knee reconstruction 4 months ago. I had a great boogie towards the start of the night before the crowds started to fill up the space around the dancefloor. Everything seemed to flow smoothly giving little to no pain, which was good. The only thing that seemed to be lacking was stamina, mainly in my calves and soles of my feet. As usual there were plenty of looks, stares and giggles, some of them appreciative and others in jest, along with the occasional request for pills…

The crowd tonight was a big mix; probably 1/3 was there for the DJs and got into it well, the other 2/3s seemed out of place or to not be enjoying themselves. There were plenty of beautiful girls fluttering about, dressed to impressed. It was tough not to continually look at them and cross the dangerously thin line of appreciating beauty and lust.



Last Thursday the 10th of September I went under the knife to have an Arthroscopy and an ACL reconstruction. I was booked as the second in the operating theatre, so it was an early start, arriving at the Sydney Adventist Hospital (SAN) at 7am. After heading to the Day of Surgery Admissions area, my Dad and I sat down to wait for things to kick off….

First up was the Anaesthetist who took us off to run a patient history and check to make sure that what was planned in the drugs department would be alright. Then it was back for a short wait before the clerk took us through the admission, mostly paperwork and money….

More waiting before a nurse took me through to be weighed, changed and put into a bed to wait to be prepared for surgery. This involved getting my right knee and surrounds shaved, washed and sterilised, and having a teds stocking on my left leg. Not long after that a porter came and took me upstairs to the operating floor, saying farewell to my Dad in the process…

After being placed in the operating queue, I was quickly whisked away to the outer operating room, kind of like an air-lock on a space ship. The Anaesthetists came and stuck a catheter in my left arm and then it was into the theatre to see Dr Hope, with a few last minute checks, like which knee was being done, it was G.O. time. The last few moments of consciousness began with the words “Think of your favourite place on earth“, my inner monologue went along the lines of “What’s my favourite place on Earth?? I wonder if Heaven counts??“…..

The next thing I know, I’m in the hospital bed in a ward with an oxygen thingo in my nostrils, a drip in my left hand, and little to no feeling in my legs. There’s also a cord with a green button tied to my right hand, which I soon work out is the pain relief drugs…. Throughout the afternoon I became accustomed to my new surrounds, drifting in and out of sleep…. I also worked out that intravenous pain drugs and I don’t mix particularly well when they make me vomit up any water that I’d drunk…. It kinda felt like the hamster experiment where it tries to eat the food with an electric current through it. After a couple of attempts, it just leaves it alone, preferring the hunger to the shock. I preferred to put up with the pain than to vomit and get hot and light headed. The nurse did offer a shot in the bum OR a pill up the rear to stop the vomitting, but I quickly refused those too… It was a shame that the nausea was still present at dinner time, resulting in a watery dinner tray, because the only mouthful of soup I had tasted very nice: a creamy tomato soup.

The night went very slowly, drifting in and out of sleep and having the nurses check oxygen, blood temperature and feeling in my toes every once in a while…. When the morning finally arrived we got breakfast and I was very relieved when I was actually able to stomach it. The cornflakes with apricot halves and skim milk, wholemeal bread with marmalade and Orange Juice went down nicely. Then the discharges started, with all four guys in my ward being discharged that day.

My discharge was the longest: After Dr Hope came and saw me, telling me how happy he was with the surgery and that he wished all his patients were like me, the nurses finally came round to unplug all the tubes and whatnot…. and then when they went to take the dressing off of my leg, we found out that the bandages over the stitches had soaked through, so they needed to be re-dressed, which took a bit of time… Then the Physio came to give me some exercises to do and teach me how to walk on crutches…. Her phrase for stairs was helpful, but not quite right:

The good go to Heaven, the bad go to Hell

meaning that when approaching stairs, the good foot goes up first when ascending them and the bad foot goes first when descending. Then it was another wait for the pharmacist to tell me what drugs I had to take, one for anti-inflammation and a pain-killer. And then I had to wait for my Dad to come and take me home…

Since I’ve been home I’ve been in bed for most of my time, sleeping and watching television…. I’ve had to battle my way through some headaches as well, mostly just with sleep…. On Sunday Mike came over to visit in the afternoon which was enjoyable.

On Sunday night despite wanting to go to church I wasn’t able to, but I did attend via Skype and was able to hear the majority of the service. Wazza spoke on 2 Peter 2, and I was able to catch up with a couple of people after the service through the chat window….

So for the remainder of my time off (2 more weeks) I plan to:

  • read
  • write – specifically my Engage posts
  • some design work – CHONGLAND, and maybe SALT
  • play games – Marvel Ultimate Alliance comes out soon and I’ve a copy on order
  • setup some computer stuff, if my body allows for it

Thanks goes out to all that have been praying for me during this time, it mean alot and I love you for loving me in this way


Knee Deep

It was back to the knee specialist today for a pre-operative check and discussion….

This visit was to confirm that I liked the use of my ACL, and this book me a slot for a reconstruction. Initially there was an open time next Monday, but that window was closed off this morning, so I was booked in for the 10th of September. After that was a run through of the procedures to be performed, medical disclaimers and dangers, signing off on numerous bits of paperwork and answering any questions that my dad or I had…

So my knee future has been determined and the dreaded waiting and preparing begins…


On My Knee

My right knee is broken, that’s no new news. It was injured back in late February during a Mighty Kites game, back when we were.

After months of physio visits with apparent healing to the diagnosed meniscus (these are cartilage in the knee that act like shock absorbers) injury, my knee was no better, so I made it along to the doctor who referred me on to see a specialist.

My initial consultation, last Monday, confirmed that the injury was more serious than the meniscus; the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is torn.

Next step was to find out the extent of the damage, and to see if there had been anything else damaged in the process. This was done on Wednesday when I went for an MRI.

Today I was back at the specialist and he breaks the news that not only is the ACL torn, but both meniscus have tears in them, hopefully minor… The result is that I need to get surgery done to have my knee reconstructed and sooner than later….

More news as it develops….


Sore Knees, need prayer.

I had an extra long weekend – Thursday through to Sunday and pretty much kept to myself for the whole time unfortunately…. My parents went for a road-trip down to Canberra for a conference and will be back today, and my sister kept up her busy schedule….

On Thursday night I played basketball and again hurt my knee, this time was just a twist as I changed direction on my way through the key, halfway through the first half. I was out until early in the second half when I decided that I would play through the pain, before the swelling came on. We lost, but it would have been worse if I hadn’t come back on…

Friday I spent the day hobbling around due to a swollen right knee. Went to the Physio and did some shopping for ingredients to make bolognaise, which I spent the greater part of the afternoon doing. The evening was spent at Code Red taking photos for SALT’s end of term social.

Sunday was by far the most productive day of the weekend. I did washing of 2 varieties; dishes and linen, before heading to church at night. The service seemed quite small, especially at the start, due to holidays. There was another engagement this week; Imanuel and Allison, but with a downside: Imanuel was set to lead the congregation in prayer, and we were told that since he was busy getting engaged, that we’d let him off….. So we had no general prayer, nor did we have prayer in response to the sermon on alcohol, throughout the entire service, there were 2 prayers; one after an interview with a member about their experiences with alcohol, and one during the Lords Supper.

This morning at work, I find out that another 2 colleagues had gotten engaged over the last few days…. That’s 6 guys that have, theoretically, dropped to one knee in the act of proposing in the last 2 weeks in my circle of separation…. I must admit, I’m a little envious that my knee hurts for other reasons….


Sore with the Mighty Kites

Last night I made a return to the courts at Fred Caterson Reserve to play ball with The Mighty Kites against Midnight Gamblers after a few months on hiatus thanks to a tear in my meniscus earlier this year in February, which is mostly healed.

I arrived in eager anticipation with about 20 minutes to tip off to run through the paces of stretching, jogging and general warm up. As game time approached, my team didn’t, and were unfortunately absent until minutes into the first half when they slowly trickled in, forfeiting several points due to the late start and lack of a team to take the court.

Once the game finally got underway things didn’t improve much… The team performed rarely as one, opting more for an individual showcase, focusing more on the individual and less on the showcase…. When we did manage to pass the ball around, they were sloppy or lazy and were thus intercepted, or even passed straight to the opposition, and there was no effort to recover the ball. Of those passes that did make it to the intended player, they were wasted with poor shots or passes…

I went slow and safe to make sure I didn’t do any damage. This put me at a disadvantage, not being able to jump for the ball meant that potential intercepts were centimetres out of my jump reach and I wasn’t able to run as fast or manoeuvre as much as I’d like to have, or am used to…. When I did manage to get a hold of the ball I managed to sink a three pointer.
I am very very very much feeling the results of the exercise today though through my quads, and rest of my legs as well as some in my chest and arms, having sored so much last night….


We Love

On Saturday I got along to We Love Sounds at the Hordern Pavillion and surrounds. This would have been my fifth, sixth or seventh year there. My main drawcard for heading along being James Zabiela.

I rocked up at about 3:15pm to find the place already busy, having started at midday, with plenty more people pouring in through the gates. After grabbing a a handout with set times and a map, it was straight into the Renaissance Arena inside the Royal Hall of Industries where Grafton Primary were hammering out some of their tunes.

After a quick trip into the Armin Only Arena, which seemed already packed and very dark, it was time to boogie on down to Dirty South back in the RenaissanceArena. I’m not sure what the organisers were thinking with the Armin Only Arena, because the southern entrance led towards the girls bathrooms AND a bar, creating a chaotic crowd at the intersection.

Dirty South was playing some great tunes, his brand of electro house even had me moving and grooving around. Kissy Sell Out were next up, and definitely not my cup of tea, so it was time for another adventure…. I wandered over to The Forum which housed the Lost Baggage Arena. Anja Schnieder was on the decks playing some pretty groovy minimal progressive techno. I started busting out my shuffle on the mezzanine floor, grabbing the attention of the bartenders, a few guys and several girls. Anja played an enjoyable set, however as 5:30pm approached, so did the anticipation for Zabiela. Upon re-entry to the Renaissance Arena, it was clear that the crowd wasn’t into Kissy Sell Out as half the hall was emptied out. As James Zabiela started off, the area was quite empty, and so he seemed to start out slowly…. It turns out that his computer was playing up according to his Twitter

Played at a big rave in Sydney. Computer was glitching. Was in the dark throughout most my set. NOW they figure out the lights :-/

But Zabs has not disappointed me each time I’ve seen him play and this was no exception. He seemed to span plenty of styles; with the assistance of my iPhone and Shazam, I was able to pick these tracks (plus some resourceful internetting):

  • BjorkDull Flame of Desire (Modeselektor Remix for Girls)
  • Black Rock featuring Debra AndrewBlue Water (unsure of which mix)
  • Lee CoombsFuture Sound of Retro (2008 Remix)
  • Guy JLamur (Henry Saiz Remix)
  • Underworld 2 Months Off (Tong & Rogers Wonderland Mix)
  • Rennie FosterDevils Water (JZ Edit)
  • RadioheadReckoner (Zabiela’s Tweezers on a Towel Rail Rmx)

I’m sure there were plenty more tracks off of his Renaissance Masters Series too.

Amongst my circle of clubbing friends, it’s customary to give a courtesy call to others not present at a gig, so I made my calls and was called a few times. John was the most receptive, he was starting to dance around in his kitchen with a beer in his other hand whilst hearing Zabiela over the phone, and that was just the first call…. Pushack was the other big responder over in England, he was listening via John over Skype, then listened to the voicemail I’d left him and then called back later in the set for an update.

After that epic effort from Zabiela it was time for Laidback Luke to play and me to have a seat…. His bigroom Swedish House Mafia style music wasn’t for me, so I made my way back over to The Forum to watch Popof punch out some minimal techno on his Korg and wait for 16 Bit Lolitas to play. By this time the room was starting to clear out, so I boogied for a while, till my knee decided it had had enough by twinging and twisting a little and sending me home.

An enjoyable day overall, would definitely rate up there with other We Love Sounds that I’ve been to.


Life Detox – the cover and the title page

I read (or at least used to) this Tumblr (an artsy type blogging platform) by Rachel Manchester, I guess I’d class her as an acquaintance…. Someone I’ve seen and know of, have communicated with, but not actually met. This was one of her last posts before going on hiatus:


things in life i need to discipline:
– computer/internet use
– compulsive iphone checking
– bedtime
– quiet times
– morning times
– school planning work
– eating well
– exercise
– money
– being outdoors

per day
– can check facebook three times per day (including phone check)
– can spend maximum one hour online (total)
– no tumblr
– must go to bed before 10:30pm unless out
– only three nights out a week
– prayer and praise on the way to school
– quiet times as soon as home from school (unless circumstantial)
– out of bed at 5:50am every morning
– eat breakfast at home
– stay back at school for at least an hour to mark and plan each afternoon
– free periods at school scheduled
– to do lists realistic and completed
– three meals a day. 2L water a day.
– at least one outdoor activity per day (no excuses)
– three instances of exercise per week
– money transferred for london trip within 24 hours of pay
– no extras bought between now and july
– read a book a week

It looks like a great plan of action to make some changes in ones life. I’m keen to take a leaf or two out of her book and work on a few disciplines as well. Here’s the disciplinary list:

  • bedtime
  • morning times
  • quiet times
  • prayer
  • eating well
  • screen time
  • home cleanliness & service
  • site maintenance, creativity
  • physical wellbeing
  • money

And the action/reactions:

  • bed by 10:15 (unless out)
  • up at 5:15am
  • 1st devotional bible reading after shower
  • breakfast before train
  • prayer session on train
  • 3rd devotional bible reading when home
  • 4th devotional bible reading before bed
  • exercise knee daily
  • weights 3 times a week
  • file things away, throw things away
  • bi weekly site updates at a minimum
  • minimum weekly photo shoots
  • three meals a day. 2L water a day.
  • budget & stick to it. Pay off loan asap

Looks like a sturdy list of things to do. Keep up on telling me if I’m dropping the ball, ask me how I’m going etc etc.
Are there any things you need to go about changing in your life?? Got a standard plan of action?? How’s that workin out for you?


The Status of CHONGLAND

Good Morning Blogosphere!!

Apologies for the neglect and lack of blog posts…. Things have been pretty hectic of late, resulting in a lack of time to complete blog posts…. (I have about 5 draft posts sitting here to be completed….)

So what’s been taking up my time and energy??

  • I’ve been coming to work early (getting in between 7 and 7:30am) because my sister is catching an earlier train due to her job demanding longer working hours. I’ve decided that the loving thing to do for my dad is to go at the same time as her so he doesn’t have to make 2 taxi runs to the train station…
  • I’ve been working on the SaltYouth site. It’s now in its second skin and hopefully staying that way for a few months, at least until the lead-up to AWESOME: their annual youth camp in October
  • Just the general flow of life, being up and down….

I am hoping to get the ball rolling again now that things are more complete….
As for the content?

  • Bible Study coverage will still be a feature, I’m enjoying the time I spend with the group and the things we’re discussing…
  • I fear the Mighty Kites coverage may drop off…. The new look team isn’t providing a great write up… the first two games of the winter competition we’ve consecutively scored 18 points, but the opposition has clocked up 45 and 58 respectively…. Plus my Meniscus/Knee still haunts me and I doubt I’ll play until mid June…
  • Music should be getting a good plug as well, I’ve promised many album reviews, but provided little…. And there so much great music I’m enjoying that I’d love to share with you all

I am working on yet another visual metamorphosis of this site, which I hope to get up soon.
I’m aware that my readership is generally reading via RSS, but for those of you that do drop by the site, I’d like to know what you think of the sidebar; that thing that sits over there -> ->.
Do you find it useful?? Do you have an account setup to login to and see how many comments you’ve made?? I’m thinking of ditching it, or refining it and it’s position, plus moving the b-sides back into the everyday blog….