The Needles

This Wednesday just past I headed down to the Needles with the 100 Candles fitness group. The Needles is a spot on the Woronora river just behind Engadine. A fantastic spot that’s very popular with locals for swimming. The dam upstream has a constant flow through system so there is always some water flowing through this section and its very clean. The water is very deep in sections.

It’s approx. a 2km walk down from the closest road on the Engadine side of the ridge. A rather brutal walk back up the hill on the return, the total elevation drop from the road is about 150m.



Apple AirPods

I’ll start this post off saying I really wanted to love these. I ordered them the day they were available online for pre-order, and I finally received them two weeks ago on the 7th. I picked them up when I was last at Westfield Miranda. I waited this long to write about them as they were not quite what I expected.

Some people don’t like the fit of Apple earphones, however they suit me, so I was very keen to get a wireless pair. After unpacking them and pairing them with my iPhone 6S+, the sound kept dropping out every few seconds. The pairing with the phone was easy, just as Apple describe it. You open the case and they appear on your phone. I did think the sound drops may be due to the number of bluetooth items I own, so I gave them a day or so more of testing in various scenarios. They never improved, even dropped and hung up on conference calls when I was in the office.

I’d tried everything I could think of, re-pairing, switching off all other bluetooth and radio devices to no avail. On the third night I chatted with Apple support in Austin, Texas. Ran through all the same things I’d already done, which of course made no difference. The lady on the chat line booked me in for an appointment at the Apple Store in Sydney a week later (Apple service appointments are getting harder and harder to book…)

Turned out to be the worst Apple Genius appointment I’d ever had, at first they were surprised I had brought in AirPods, as the other support person had actually booked me in for a phone issue. The Genius also hadn’t ever used AirPods, so I really ended up demonstrating to him how they worked. Of course nothing could be done about the issue and in the noisy environment it was hard to hear anything through them at all. Apple didn’t have any spares I could swap with.

In the end I was fed up with them, Apple charge a premium for products that are supposed to “just work” and these clearly didn’t. At A$220 a pair, they have to be perfect and since I was in my two week return period, I just told them to process it as a return. This is thus the first Apple product I’ve every returned for my cash back.

It didn’t quite end here, after a service appointment Apple send you a link for a survey on your appointment. Of course I left a scathing review of the product in that survey and yesterday Apple called me back to discuss it. Since I’ve returned them, Apple did release a firmware update and they are going to reserve a new set for me in store and call when they arrive. I’ll give them a second shot since the returns process is quite simple. Only time will tell.





Callala Beach Weekend

We headed down to Callala Beach this weekend to celebrate my Mum’s Birthday. Callala Beach is a wonderful spot on Jervis Bay, one of the most beautiful places in Australia with amazing white sands and very calm waters. It’s only a two hour drive south of Sydney. The only real downside of Callala Beach is that since its so quiet and reasonably isolated, there are no Cafes and restaurants there. Husskison is the closet larger town and has quite a few, although its only about 4km away from Callala, its still a 25 minute drive away as there is no bridge across the river thats close enough.

We popped into Huskisson on Saturday to pick up a cake, catchup with some friends competing in the Husky Triathlon there and grab a coffee. We grabbed the cake and coffee from the “Huskisson Bakery & Cafe”.

For my coffee hits the rest of the weekend I had to rely on the Nespresso machine in the house. Unfortunately there was a coffee van at Myola for a few hours on Sunday (a few minutes in the car from Callala Beach) but I missed it.

Heading back to Sydney on Monday we stopped in Berry and grabbed a coffee from “The Hub of Berry” when having lunch.

Wandering around Wanda

Today was the first Saturday morning in the SHINE fitness program I’m doing with 100 Candles. A nice walk from the helipad at Greenhills beach at Cronulla down to South Cronulla beach and back. Of course no morning run or walk would be complete without a coffee, so we stopped at the Wanderer’s Cafe for some breakfast before returning home. Being there so early in the morning I was able to grab a few sunrise shots. Nice little reminder of what a fantastic part of the world we live in. Returned home before the searing heat of January set in.

Coffee and New Tech

I was at Miranda on Monday picking up my latest gadget, a new set of Apple AirPods. Of course after picking them up from the store I stopped and grabbed a coffee from “The Shed” cafe within Westfield Miranda. Good coffee overall, one of the better places within the shopping centre.

I’ll add a more detailed review of the AirPods in the near future after I’ve spent some quality time with them.