Tripod Business

Over the past few weeks I’ve been slowly buying the last pieces of the photographers jigsaw puzzle. After much searching and reading of reviews I settled on a Manfrotto tripod a couple weeks ago, that while not as compact or light as some of their models (but by no means the worst performer) would more than suit my needs now and into the future, eliminating potential future upgrades. The model is the MT294A3, taller than me fully extended, sturdy aluminium legs and able to hold 5kg of camera.

This was only the start though, as the next part took a lot more head scratching. There are many tripod head systems, that will affect how you can pan and tilt the camera, but also bulkiness when packed up. It’s an important consideration. There’s also a few different systems for connecting the camera to the head… gone are the days where you’d screw it in each time you wanted to use the tripod, instead you now keep a plate permanently attached to the base of the camera that enables quick release.

I already use a Joby sling that connects through the base of the camera to keep my camera snug and easy to access on my body, so any system I chose had to be able to work with that, as it’s a very nice system.

Ultimately, I chose to head down the Arca-Swiss quick release system, as it’s used by many professional products, and if it works for them, it should for me too. First up this meant choosing a plate for the base of my camera, and that lead to me splurging on an L-plate. A piece of metal that forms the shape of the letter “L” around the camera, allowing me to attach the camera in portrait or landscape, forget even bothering with tilting the head to switch orientation. Really Right Stuff have good reviews, so I went with them and had something shipped from the US. It adds a little extra bulk, but weight practically nothing.

Next was the bit in the middle. I chose a ballhead because they’re recommended, and did want to buy a Really Right Stuff model, but I’d have needed to sell a kidney. As luck would have it, a Vanguard BBH-200 popped up on eBay for a good price right as I read a good review on it, and it seemed to fit that I should get it from there. The BBH-200 can hold camera equipment up to 20kg.

Review: Saké (restaurant)

As is my want, having eaten at Sake Restaurant & Bar on The Rocks in Sydney, how can I not provide a review? Now I must say, I loved the fusion of the dishes, and will try to include as many photos as I can, because I did take them, however didn’t think it rated all that high in quality of meat compared to my local on the Gold Coast, Arakawa.

Their drinks list was superb, which comes as no surprise as this is the sort of place you come for lunch and entertain at, not doing any work in the afternoon. Decor… really awesome vibe inside, and very large so the place could seriously handle a lot of people. Also, when an order was put in, they came out fast, so a great kitchen!

Now I believe I mentioned they had a fusion sort of food menu. It was a sort of Japanese meets Mexican, or at least that’s what I think they were going for, but ended up being mostly Japanese tastes with an occasional flash of Mexican. Take for example the kingfish jalapeño, my first thought was of a flashback to Black Sombrero, Lismore and having jalapeño poppers. No such luck… instead, these were simply thinly sliced pieces of kingfish with a thinly sliced piece of jalapeño. I can deal with that, but there was no heat there at all, it was more of a decoration than a fusion. To add to my woes, having sampled a lot of kingfish at Arakawa, I didn’t find it to be very good quality (wasn’t as tender as I’d have expected) and was drowned in dressing. See for yourself.


Moving onto another disappointment for me was the salmon belly nigiri, my first “toro” of the season and I was looking forward to it, but they must have had a bad cut because I wouldn’t have had it grilled on top, the toro should be amazing already.


The steamed prawn dumplings were out of this world, lovely flavour, texture, presentation. However, if Dumpling Kitchen is still open in The Argyle (next door) I’m sure they could could also offer up a similarly tasting and looking dish, based on my experiences in January.


There were moments of brilliance, such as with the miso-cream scallops, followed by questions of what were they thinking, when the wagyu new style is literally swimming in oil!



One of the biggest fusions was sashimi tacos, which as you’d expect was a taco stuffed with sashimi. It tasted good, mainly because of all that sashimi, but the sashimi would have tasted good regardless. Ultimately, I thought the dish was great, it just lacked oomph… why am I ordering this dish when I can just order some sashimi… I’m definitely not getting any heat, it’s just cosmetic once again.

I’m sure the menu works, it’s something different, but I wonder if a touch more Mexican could really spice things up, could really bring out new flavours and something original, as it all seems a bit gimmicky.

All Clear

Had my followup visit with the neurologist today, and essentially all is clear. so I just need to continue on the dosage and my next appointment is at the previously agreed to time of November.

What I will say though, increasing my dosage hasn’t been easy… I’ve felt nauseous and had very reduced alcohol tolerance (second one not so bad) for a bit now, and am hopeful it will pass soon. I’ve also seemingly increased my appetite, which doesn’t work with the nausea, and has resulted in a slight weight gain (few kilos).

Another EEG

Today I had another EEG and must say it’s really taken it out of me. I felt sick this evening and have pains in my chest every so often like a bruised rib or something.

Incase I haven’t mentioned it, the test essentially starts with me facing a slowly blinking light source with my eyes alternately closed and opened. The intensity of the blinking increases until it seems like its on constantly. Following that I do deep breathing with my eyes closed for 3 minutes, that usually leaves my fingers tingling, and certainly did today. I then get a bit of time to recover and the test is over.

Results on Friday.


With thanks to Jetstar for my day. Other than gaining a middle seat, I had a lovely time in the F lounge (though that may have perhaps been more of Qantas’ doing).






Once in Sydney I checked into the Westin with Martin, had drinks with Jeff at the Sheraton and eventually the party headed out from the Pullman to N2 Extreme Gelato for dessert together. A good day.