Sunday, February 2, 2014

How I lost about 14KG in 4 months.

God that Blog Post Title sounds like a bad late night TV ad.

So not really sure where to begin.  For much of my life I hated sports or physical activity.  As a kid I loathed Phys Ed at School, hated school sports and hated swimming.  I was a nerd before it was cool to be a nerd and before most people even knew what a nerd was.  And I'm proud to say I still am, nerd pride :)  After all, what non-nerd wears three (and sometimes four!) devices for a run.

It wasn't until my mid twenties that I had several half hearted attempts to get fit by joining gyms (I think I won a three month membership at one point).  These almost invariably came to nought because I didn't keep it up or because I saw little to no progress.

You'll need an Overclockers AU account to read this thread from 2004, where In my early 30's I started swimming.  Finally, an activity I enjoyed.  I'm no Olympian, but I've basically swam on and off since then.  Also joined and rejoined several gyms.  Have a good bike and enjoy riding, but not mega serious and not a member of the lycra brigade.  Commuted for a while, realised that in Melbourne it's simply not for me because it's simply not enjoyable.

At the beginning of 2013 I started swimming again, about three times a week, mostly 1500 metres a go.  Early on I got a Garmin Swim Watch.  It records the swim, the strokes, can tell when you turn, etc.  The main reason I got it is because I always lost count of how many laps I had done!

Garmin Swim Watch
Really enjoyed swimming, though I wasn't really losing any weight.  I was hovering between 88 and 90 Kilograms in weight.  Not obese but certainly should stand to lose a few KG.  I had a nice little spare tyre going on.  I'm 191 centimetres tall, 6 foot 3 inches.

My sister had been running for a while, and I'd been thinking of giving it a go.  So I went and bought some reasonable running shoes figuring that at the least that's what I needed over the crappy shoes I already owned.

I'd been recording Swims and Cycles also went into Runkeeper, so did the same with the run.

I went on Google Maps and measured out a course 2.5 Kilometres from my house, and planned to attempt to run out there and run back again.  I did this on October 3rd 2013.  If I needed to I would stop running and walk along the way, but I would attempt to run as much of it as I possibly could.

No-one was more surprised than I, that I managed to do it pretty much without stopping (apart from various drinking fountains along the way).  

Shocked at how much I enjoyed it, I continued.

I once ran around the Tan.  Bit overrated!

Sadly I didn't really keep a track of how much I weighed early on (e.g. during October), but with the crappy Big W Scales we had which I sporadically weighed myself on, I was still about 88KG when I started.

Kept running.  In October I basically ran and swam alternate days, a total of 22 Runkeeper Activities.

I was definitely losing weight now (and I'd had a few comments from various people, and my partner was obviously noticing a difference!).  But didn't really record it.

On November 2, my partner and I went and bought Fitbit Flex Bands.  This was another great motivator... walk the steps.  The Fitbit comes with a default goal of 10000 steps a day.  It does have the ability to track food though not from Australia.  To get around this, you link your Fitbit account into MyFitnessPal, another website/iOS app, and also Runkeeper as well. Here you can track food and scan barcodes of packing in Australia.  Now personally I haven't tracked my food that religiously, but my partner has, and we have kept pretty strict diets with only the very occasional slip.

Fitbit Flex.  The Charger is a bit dicky sometimes.
On November 15 we went and bought the Fitbit Wifi Scales.  This was where the real story begins... because now I was tracking my weight, as often as I wanted.  Just by stepping on the things I automatically had a record of my weight.  It's overkill, but mostly I weight myself in the morning after getting up, before and after a run, and before bed.  

When I first heard about wifi scales, I thought that sounded stupid and why would I want to spend all that money (they cost $149.95).  Well I can happily say that they are AWESOME because now I have an exact record of my weight history since November 15.  They do one job, and they do it really, really well.  I know there's other brands like Withings, but we chose Fitbit because it integrated with the Flex bands we already had.

With MyFitnesspal, you enter in your goals (e.g. lose 1KG per week).  So this is what my partner and I did.  It suggested we eat 1200 calories per day.

My Weight Loss since getting the Fitbit Scales

And here comes the biggest challenge.  Completely changing the way we ate.  Something I'm proud to say we've done and I really don't think we would ever go back to the way we were.

The biggest change for me personally was lunch (though all meals were affected).  Quite often I had Nandos or Oporto or Noodles with satay sauce, Burgers, Pizza.  From the Melbourne Central Foodcourt.  Jebus.

So, a typical day for me now goes like this:


Black Espresso Coffee, no sugar.  (I always had a full on Latte before, two sugars).
1/2 Cup of Quickoats.  Put some honey on top. (used to have 4/5 weetbix and milk).
4 prunes (god I love prunes.  Prunes are AWESOME).
Activia Yoghurt.

Morning Tea: Long Macchiato (changed from a XTRA LARGE Skinny Latte).  

Tin of Tuna, on Bread.
An Apple
A Banana

(Changed from god knows what at the Melbourne Central Foodcourt listed above).

Example Dinner:
Steamed Brussell Sprouts with Carrots, peas, corn.  Lite Hommus Dip.  Cottage Cheese. 

We have a lot of Asparagus, spinach, sprouts.  Hardly have any potatoes.  We do have pasta one night a week with sautéed Asparagus, garlic and chilli, blanch some tomatoes and stir fry all that up.  

Tonight we had steamed Vegetables with a Miso Broth.  Delicious.

So I've kept running and we've kept dieting.  My partner cycles to work and that's his exercise. 

Christmas was difficult, because there's heaps of social occasions to go to and it's very hard not to have a little nibble of what's on offer.  Christmas Day was just a dead loss, but that's okay.  It only took a day or two to recover.  

Last weekend I had a Chicken Parma.  It was delicious but I paid for it... I could feel that massive meal in my stomach for a day I reckon.  I don't need to eat that much any more.  I'm learning that if I do eat out and have something "naughty" it will almost certainly have an effect on how I feel, and also how "Regular" I am.  I'm so regular now that you could set Flinders Street Clocks by it.

So now it's four months later after I first started running.  Somewhere along the way I started doing pushups and crunches most mornings as well.  I started doing 3 sets of 12 pushups, I now do 3 sets of 25, and 3 sets of crunches of various ab exercises.

This 42 year old nerd just went to a Fitness Session for the new gym he's joined.  One of the activities was do as many pushups as you can in a minute.  I was just a little bit proud that I could do more than a much younger guy next to me (and he didn't look unfit).

I'm now hovering between 74/75KG,, down from 88, and about 10/11% body fat (down from about 18/19) according to the Fitbit Scales, with a Body Mass Index of about 20.  I don't need to lose more weight now... I'm waiting for the gym to open (long story) and then I'll be hitting the weights.

Current Weight and Number of Fitbit Steps

I've dropped from a size 36 pants to 32, and the 32 is loose.  I've gone from a Size 43 shirt to size 40.  Large T-Shirts I used to own would swim on me now, even some Mediums are to big.  I gave a whole heap of clothes to the Salvos because I just don't need them any more.  I'm not planning on going back.

And the best bit is if I was brave enough I could go to the beach and take my shirt off and it's possible that at least one or two people might look twice (not in horror).  

I feel better than I have in a long time.  

And the most incredible thing of all?  I enjoyed the entire process.  I love running, swimming, all the fitness stuff so much.  I want to go back in time and tell myself to start running at a much younger age, but it's too late for that.  I wasn't woefully unhealthy before due to the varied fitness over the years, but the big change was the diet, I would have lost weight with that diet with Swimming it just might have taken a bit longer (since swimming doesn't burn as many calories as running over the same amount of time).

The main challenge now is to stabilise the diet.  I don't need to lose more weight, so I need to increase the calories and continue with the fitness.  This will be a challenge as it would now be very easy to slip into old habits.  Never take my eyes off the scales.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Hollywood and Village Cinemas, you suck.

At the weekend, against our better judgement, we decided to go and see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. 

First problem:  Ticket price.  Seriously, it cost $44 dollars for the two of us.  Apparently this consists of:

$18 Ticket price
$3 3D Surcharge
$1 Booking fee.
$1 3D glasses

We already had 3D glasses from Avatar, so we didn't have to pay that.  But dutifully we paid the rest of it.

On the way into the cinema we stopped at the snacks cart, where the girl tried to sell us some chocolate for $6.00, which could probably be bought across the road for $2.80.

So, let me get to the crux of the issue.  Why should I have to pay good money, to go and sit in a room full of people who I probably wouldn't like if I met them, and who seem to only exist to annoy everyone else?

Constantly throughout the film people were rummaging with chip packets, lollies etc etc.  It got to a point where it was quite distracting, particularly in the quieter parts of the film.  The woman next to me seemed to be wanting to elbow me in the ribs for no good reason.  Some guy bought a pizza box into the cinema and put it on the floor, but didn't eat it?  Are you people serious?  And it goes on.  Kids giggling, someones phone ringing. 

Hollywood, your distribution model and the model of cinemas in general, suck.  Do you seriously wonder why people pirate and download first release films which are only on at cinemas?  It's because CINEMAS SUCK.  If I've got a perfectly good large screen TV and possibly even surround sound, why should I be forced to suffer in going to the Cinema?  Oh yes, for the "atmosphere".  Well, the atmosphere sucked on saturday night, and this was at Rivoli Cinemas Camberwell.  I'd imagine your average suburban megaplex would have been even worse.  I'm kind of surprised someone didn't start smoking.

Now I would happily pay a reasonable amount to download a High Definition version of a first release film.  I'm not talking about films released on DVD or Blu-Ray... I'm talking about a film that's just been released, that's on at the cinema.  I'd do it through itunes or Bigpond Movies or whatever, I don't care where I get it from. 

And I'd expect to save a fair amount too.  After all, at the cinema I'm paying all the overheads, for the faux art deco styling, to have acne covered kids greet me with disdain, and to be offered the chance to buy incredibly expensive chocolates. 

By getting rid of all those overheads, I'd imagine by just purchasing content I'd have to be saving them a bunch of money.  However, I know they are still greedy money sucking vampires.  So say I paid $10.99 for a first download movie.  That's $10.99 they're going to get that they otherwise wouldn't, because otherwise like many others I'll probably just wait for the first DVD quality torrent that became available.

And more than likely I'd watch more films as well.  There are lots of arthouse/independent type films that I don't bother going to see because of limited opportunity at cinemas.  I'd happily pay to download and watch them as well, and hopefully much of that would go directly to the film makers.

And being shackled with delays just because of where we live on the planet is indescribeably annoying.  It doesn't seem to happen so much these days, but particularly with TV shows I like to get online and talk about my favourite shows with others.  But I can't do that, not legally, if the show hasn't aired here yet.  I don't see why I need to wait to watch something just because TV stations etc are still stuck in the past, no matter how modern and up to date they pretend to be. 

It's possible for us to have whatever content we want right now, without waiting, without having to leave our couches.  Hollywood, we WANT to give you money.  We WANT to consume your content.  But you persist with these archaic way of doing things, and then you wonder why people seek other means of watching things.  In the majority of cases they aren't thieves or criminals.  They just want what technology can give them, without waiting.  Why must you be so stupid?  Why won't you just let us have it???

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bunnings Hawthorn!

Bunnings Hawthorn is now open.

When Bunnings Melbourne CBD closed and the site was redeveloped, part of me died. The closest Bunnings was either Northland or Box Hill, and both were 10K away. When I sold my car in March 2007, visiting either of these was out of the question. The only choice was to catch a train to Nunawading and then walk 2k to the closest one there.

Port Melbourne opened but that was also inconvenient (though it is close to the 109 tram).

So when we discovered that the site being redeveloped on Burwood Road (a mere 900 metres from my house), I prayed, and I prayed. I'm not religious, but my prayers were answered, because one day I walked by and saw a big sign proclaiming "Bunnings Warehouse" amongst the construction. And I shouted to the stars because it was GOOD.

Since the store was apparently finished on the outside a month or so ago, I've been watching, and waiting. Finally I could see shelving inside... and then stock starting to go up. So I knew it was only a matter of time before it would open... they would be mad not to open and take advantage of the Christmas silly season, GFC be damned.

Well this morning I logged into the Bunnings Website as I've been doing for the last month. I typed in my postcode... and my heart missed a beat, because it was OPEN.

Finally tonight we arrived there for a brief dalliance at 8:10PM. 50 minutes (they closed at 9) was nowhere near long enough. We (my partner and I) were in a trance... it was like manna from heaven. All the shelves, full of wonderful, wonderful products. A MASSIVE outdoor garden section at the rear. Lighting, paint, hardware, plumbing... it's simply to good to be true. All sorts of cool home automation stuff. I did not even dare enter the power tool section as I may have collapsed.

We were in such a state that we did not even make one purchase, because there was just to much choice to be had. We have had to come home to collect ourselves and will try again tomorrow night.

The place however was basically deserted when we got there, so to have the entire place almost to ourselves was rather amazing as well. Highly recommended.

One thing is for sure... with this, and the impending opening of MSY in North Melbourne, I never have to go to zone 2 again if I don't want to.

Thankyou to the retail gods for blessing this hardware junky. I don't however think my credit card feels the same way.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Connex Oaks Day Stuff up

Oh no, some poor overdressed sods were inconvenienced and suddenly Kosky has a rail inquiry. Of course if a few trains are late or cancelled under normal circumstances, nobody seems to bat an eyelid, but when it effects Victorias multi million dollar racing industry we all have to stop what we're doing and ask why. Thank goodness there is no train to Crown Casino, one can but imagine what would happen if there was a problem with that.

Monday, September 1, 2008

How Slack have I been.

Hm, well the Melbourne Reviewer has been incredibly slack lately. In more ways than one.

Basically, I blame Melbourne. Or, more correctly, our disgustly horrible weather.

It's just been horrible lately... it seems like winter has no end. Dreary skies. Cold Mornings. Sniffles and flu and sickness. It's really very depressing.

What was worse is we went on a little holiday to Byron Bay, where during the day at least it was just gorgeous, and we actually wore shorts.

But the worst part was coming back to Melbourne. It was raining, freezing cold. Urgh.

I do really love this city, but sometimes it's just an horrific place to be.

On Sunday we went to visit a friend, and for a few brief minutes the sun came out and it was wonderful. Hopefully now that spring is here this London style doldrum will start to vanish.

Melbourne Reviewer, reviewing... well, nothing, really.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Iphone 3G... The Melbourne Reviewer has one!

Okay, so here's my review of the 3g Iphone. Probably showing a tad of bias but stay with me anyway, also I go on a bit, so sorry about that. Also it's not technically Melbourne, but plenty of Melbournians lined up just like me on Friday morning!

I was always an "Apple Hater" and I resisted getting an ipod for a long time, (I had Creative MP3 Players for ages). I couldn't understand using a Mac and thought all those people were nuts.

Now (it's even a shock to me) I figure there is space in the world for both. I've used the Macs that belong to friends. I doubt I'd ever get used to one, but hey if that's what they want to spend their money on then good for them. Anyway last year I got my first Ipod 80gb Video which was great, then switched to an 8gb Nano earlier this year. But Once I saw a first Gen Iphone and played with it, I knew I had to have one.

Was it worth standing for almost three hours in the cold? Well probably not really, considering the very next day I saw them on a shelf of one particular Apple related shop (albeit they are the dealer of a different carrier to my preferred one).

And of course it depends who you are and what you plan on doing with it. For me this is (almost) the perfect device.

The iphone has a lot of strengths, but also a number of weaknesses and annoyances as well.

Strengths> The interface. It is simply a joy to use. The touch screen defines touch screens. I've had two previous Touchscreen PDA's (imate JAMin and Imate JAM), and they are nothing compared to this, and no stylus is required. I was worried about the onscreen keyboard... I needn't have been. It does take a bit of getting used to but after about three days I have no issues with it. Sure, I'm not going to be writing essays or ultra long emails, but it's more than useable, and just as good (if not better) than the touch screen keyboards on other pda's that require a stylus.

Mobile Safari. Internet Browsing is great on the iphone due to two things: The screen size, which lets you see just a little bit more of a real website, and the ability to easily change orientation of the screen from portrait to landscape thanks to the built in accelerometer. You are easily able to view full web pages (not just the mobile versions), pan around them if necessary, and zoom in and out thanks to the two fingers "pinch" gesture.

Safari lets you view PDF's, Excel and Word Documents (up to and including Office 2007). So if someone emails you a PDF, or even a link to one, it is actually readable. All the same rules apply, zoom in, out, scroll up and down, left and right.

Annoyance: Safari doesn't appear to remember logins for forums, websites etc.
Also, famously, it doesn't (yet) support Flash. This was a sore point in the first gen iphone and it's pretty silly that they haven't included it this time round. There are rumours of an iphone version of flash coming out shortly (hopefully).

Safari has full bookmarking capabilities, and complete history capabilities as well, which are easy to use and understand.

There is a feature with like a "lineup" of recently viewed websites with thumbnails of that site, choose the one you want and it loads it up again for you.

Also, bookmarks can be set as icons on the home screen, for instance I use Tram Tracker, and the Mobile Age.

Your Homescreen can have up to 9 separate pages of icons, so you can easily set up your most visited mobile sites for ready access when you are out and about. It's a simple matter of scrolling left and right on the homescreen to access the other available screens. If you want to move icons around or between the home screens, you hold down an icon and then they "jiggle", letting you move them all around, however you want.

Email. You are able to easily setup an Exchange account (assuming your exchange server/IT area supports the device. I'm perfectly happy not having access to work emails however). Also Gmail works beautifully via IMAP. You can of course use standard POP accounts and the new MobileMe service from Apple (though at $119 a year, you'd need to think seriously before wanting that I think). YahooMail is another option.

When reading emails all the same scrolling rules apply. Weblinks, PDF's and Excel/Word documents all open up as viewable (but not editable). I predict some sort of iphone version of Office if Microsoft can swallow it's pride, or maybe openoffice? Haven't read anything about this but it makes sense.

When composing emails, if you start to enter in a name of someone who has an email registered in your contacts, it's like outlook and automatically suggests a name without having to type in the entire address.

It has a perfectly good Calculator, which in portrait mode is just a standard calculator, and in landscape mode is a fully fledged scientific calculator for those that want one.

The camera is great for happy snaps. Some people complain that a lot of other phones have better cameras, more megapixels etc (the iphone is only 2.0 megapixels). I'm of the view that if you want to take real photos, buy a real camera. This is for happy snaps, and taking photos of people for your contacts (which works well), and if Aliens happen to land, you can take a shot of that too, though people will probably think it's 'shopped.

Google Maps and the A-GPS. This is simply AWESOME, works beautifully. However, it CHEWS through the data, as all data is pulled down from Google's server. If you aren't connected via some free wifi, be careful. Although it can be used for tracking you as you drive/walk etc, this would very easily eat through various available 3G data plans. Be warned, or risk appearing on Today Tonight with a second mortgage, depending on who your carrier is. It's probably best used sparingly for finding simple directions and local businesses etc in whatever area you are in. The A-GPS works great and you have your position very, very quickly, far better than any other GPS I've used before. I'm hoping for an iphone version of Tom tom or similar, which is rumoured to be in the works.

The Appstore. This is the highlight so far of the iphone 3G. The Appstore was released on the same day and looks very promising. This isn't just a phone, or a PDA... this is a portable touchscreen computer.

There are a number of free apps, some of them good, some of them bad. Some of them are just geekily awesome for those that are into such things.
Some free ones I've downloaded: Phonesaber (also available for N95). Search your feelings, Obiwan! Shazam: Hold your iphone up to a song playing on the radio... it will tell you what the song is, and point you to a link where you can buy it on itunes. Requires data connection, but it actually works.There are Facebook, Twitter and Myspace clients that access cutdown versions of those sites. I've only tried facebook but it seems to work well and you don't get alot of the superfluous stuff that clutters facebook up.

There are heaps of others, and lots and lots of games. I've only tried one or two of the free games (imaze, ball bearing rolling around inside a maze). The reviews I read of the pay games are good though and apparently put other mobile gaming platforms to shame, as far as graphics and sound goes anyway. I'm still to be convinced on controlling games as the game genres seem limited to racing type games where you use the accelerometer to steer.It's obviously early days for the appstore, but I would say we've only scratched the surface of what the device can do.
Ipod... well, not much to say here. You've got all your standard ipod functionality, coverflow is great and very pretty. The headphones have a microphone built in for handsfree phone calls, and the microphone is also a button. one click pauses music, two clicks moves onto the next track. When the phone rings your music fades out and you can then click to answer.
Watching video's is great. Again, the iphone doesn't support divx (come on apple... even xbox360 supports it now). You can however use something like the free "videora" converter to get divx files playable on your iphone. And they are great to watch on the wide screen.

Phone functionality. Well, it is the iPHONE, though reading what I've said so far you'd almost forget you could make calls on it.

It works well, with 3G the calls are of great quality. There is speakerphone functionality as well. you can browse to contacts, make notes, even browse the web while in a call. Finding contacts is easy, contacts have a myriad of fields and options, you can assign separate ringtones to separate contacts. When syncing with itunes on the same PC as Outlook you are able to import all your contacts from there. You can also, for instance, sync all your contacts at work, and then sync your music separately at home.

You can also set up a list of favourite contacts for fast dialling, this is as close as the phone gets to speed dialling.

For those who use it, there is currently no voice dialling. doesn't bother me, but it might bother some.

You can't change SMS/Alert tones. There are some to choose from, but the choice is limited. Hopefully jailbreaking (as I right this, it's due out any moment from what I'm reading) will workaround this.

Ringtones. The Apple way is to buy ringtones from itunes. You can't by default use any of your own music/sounds. But there is a very simple process to create your own ringtones which I won't go into here, but a quick google search should find it online.

No clipboard... no task switching. If you click on a link in email, it opens safari. You then have to go out of safari, and back into email to get back to your message. This has been a sore point among many, but from what I've read it's a fundamental of the operating system that it doesn't do task switching (well, properly anyway).

You can however listen to music and do other things at the same time, so there is at least some multitasking.

The physical unit. Fingerprint city. I got the white one, which doesn't show prints or greasy stains as easily as the black one. But I went straight out and bought myself a skin because I know I'm going to drop it at some point and i want it protected. Also I got a screen protector with the skin. Reading online, lots of people say that you shouldn't need one since the screen is glass, but I'd prefer to have one anyway, it is still easily cleanable. You understand why they give you the cleaning cloth only a few minutes after you first pick the thing up.

You can load copies of photos through itunes from your PC taken with other cameras onto the iphone for backup purposes or to show off pics of babies, cats, tin dogs to your friends when out and about.

It shows up as a camera in Windows Explorer so you can easily import photos to your PC, but like other ipods it does NOT show as mass storage device. Also, syncing (loading of music) is fairly slow.

I won't discuss the merits of all the various plan offerings, as that's a veritable minefield of information. I will just say that you should DEFINITELY do you research on all of the available offerings, and then make up your mind based on what you think your usage will involve. Good luck!

Anyway that's probably about it. Am I happy with the device? Mostly, with one or two little niggles as mentioned. I wanted something where I could use the web (easily) when out and about. I had a Nokia 6120 and it's just not that great at it.

Several of my previous phones have had music players, but none of them were very good. It's great having my music and some videos and my phone in the one unit.

Some people don't want or need all this functionality, and if that's the case, then the iphone isn't for you. Is it overhyped? Of course. But you've got to give it to Apple, I don't think I've seen any ads for iphone on TV but they all lined up on Friday morning anyway. And I've just read that one million units sold since Friday world wide. I guess I'm not the only insane one :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Aviary - Victoria Street isn't all Vietnamese

Yet again my friend D organised a wonderful venue for us. The Aviary is in Victoria Street Abbotsford (just down from North Richmond Station).

It's a bit hard to identify what kind of venue this is. Is it a restaurant? Is it a bar? Is it a pub? Or is it a refuge for out of work actors (more on this later).

On arriving we were advised all tables (of which their currently aren't many) were booked but we can find some small tables down the back. They were near the toilets but it wasn't really intrusive at all, it was actually kind of private down there.

The Aviary's speciality is various plates of Tapas, which on a Sunday night are only $5.00 a plate. Three or four plates would be plenty for even the hungriest person I'd wager. But there is also a traditional pub menu of sorts, and so I ordered my staple of a Chicken Parmigiana which was $19.

Well, when it arrived I was simply flabbergasted, it came out on a wooden platter with a massive pile of chips, salad, and the Parma itself was simply gargantuan. The Terminus Hotel in Richmond could definitely learn from this one. As our waitress said (more on this later), "It could feed a small african nation", and I'm inclined to agree with her.

Drank quite a nice red, there's obviously an extensive wine list and every sort of drink you could want. Atmosphere is relaxed and happy. There was a sign up saying that a beer garden was coming (though hopefully not til after winter!) and also there's an upstairs which it would appear is going to be maybe another bar or perhaps more restaurant tables?

Anyway, to our waitress. As soon as we walked in I looked at her and thought "Hm, I know you", but couldn't place where from. But then it hit my like a bolt of lightning. She was an actress in a show that nobody in Melbourne can possibly have seen yet, but the rest of Australia is all over it. This was kind of exciting, but made me wonder... is she down on her luck, or does she own the place? I was to shy to ask and also even mention the show she was in that I can't possibly have seen, though I think she knew that we knew. Personally if confronted by some sort of celebrity in ordinary situations I invariably leave them to their own devices because I doubt there is anything original I could say to them outside of the situation without making myself look like an incompetent dweeb. But she was an excellent waitress.

Anyway, I'm not sure why it's called The Aviary but this is one cage it's a pleasure to be locked up in for a while.