Vladimir Antropov

Road To Nowhere

Posted in Observations by Vladimir Antropov on January 10, 2012

Driving from Port Stephens to Sydney I came across this sign:

Since my destination was Sydney, I turned left, no problems, but looking at the sign I couldn’t help wondering why someone bothered to build the road to the right…


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Thanks God It’s Friday

Posted in Actions by Vladimir Antropov on April 7, 2011

This will be my screensaver tomorrow:


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Soban – Korean BBQ Restaurant

Posted in Observations by Vladimir Antropov on April 7, 2011

This year I decided to celebrate my birthday in style, which, in my world, means going to a restaurant. As I don’t like surprises on my birthdays (after all, I have another 364.25 days each year to try new things and get upset), I opted for Soban, a Korean BBQ restaurant which we visited before. I reckoned that Monday night is not the most popular time for people to go out so I didn’t bother myself with booking a table for three. Sure enough, when we arrived there was plenty of vacant tables and we occupied the best one on the terrace. Choosing an outdoor table in Soban makes perfect sense as not only it gives you a better view, but also saves you from suffocation if you order one of the BBQ dishes, which was our intention. (more…)

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Posted in Observations by Vladimir Antropov on March 25, 2011

As I said before, the garden around Norman Lindsay Gallery was not a masterpiece. To complement the experience we headed to another National Trust property – Everglades – which was all about landscape art.

Everglades appeared to be a large park with numerous terraces built on a rather steep slope ending with a spectacular drop. It was commissioned by a Feltex carpet merchant and cost him, in modern money, 25 million dollars. I wonder if it was an attempt to buy a piece of happiness, because he didn’t seem to have a blissful family life. When he died in 1962 his will revealed that the park was left to National Trust, not to his wife. (more…)

Norman Lindsay Gallery

Posted in Observations by Vladimir Antropov on March 7, 2011

Recently we went to Blue Mountains and visited two National Trust properties – Norman Lindsay Gallery and Everglades.

Norman Lindsay Gallery and Museum are located in Faulconbridge, a few turns away from Great Western Highway. Each turn has a large brown sign directing visitors to the gallery, so it is easy to get there even without a GPS. However, such a device may be handy on the way back, as no one cared about marking the route from the gallery to the highway.


Chinese Reading Skills

Posted in Observations by Vladimir Antropov on March 7, 2011

Today I overheard the following conversation between two Chinese guys:

“Can you read Chinese?”

“Except for my name and numbers one to ten, no.”

“Oh, then you are missing all the fun of reading grammatically incorrect tattoos!”

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James Squire Brewhouse

Posted in Observations by Vladimir Antropov on February 17, 2011

Yesterday a colleague sent me an invitation to a team lunch in James Squire Brewhouse. I opened a Google Maps link provided in the email and the first thing I saw was user reviews. It was good fun to read them aloud:

But it was not all doom and gloom. There was one glowing recommendation – guess who wrote it…

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Power Plant at Darling Harbour

Posted in Observations by Vladimir Antropov on January 23, 2011

Recently we visited Power Plant at Darling Harbour, an exhibition presented by Sydney Festival and Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority in Chinese Garden of Friendship. I didn’t have any expectations – it was my wife’s idea and I simply tagged along. What I found there was one of the most dazzling experiences in my life. Below is my account of the visit – spilled dragées of impressions coated in words. (more…)

Seasonal Love-Hate

Posted in Thoughts by Vladimir Antropov on January 22, 2011

During a Table Topics session at a Toastmasters meeting one guy, Chris, was asked what he liked more – summer or winter. Trivial question, and he didn’t hesitate to give a simple answer – winter. “Ha!” thought I, “you wouldn’t say that if you saw Russian winter. It was one good reason for me to move to Sydney.”
In Table Topics a speaker can’t get away with a one-word answer – he should speak for a minute, so Chris continued, “If it is cold, you can put more clothes on. If it is hot, you can take your clothes off, but if it is even hotter, you have nothing left to take off – only your skin.”

“True,” agreed I, “but still, as a saying goes, heat doesn’t freeze your bones.”

Chris kept speaking. “Originally, I am from Malaysia. On an average summer day there you get 35°C, or, if you are lucky, just 32. It was one good reason for me to move to Sydney – the climate is so much better here.”

Okay, I’ve got his point. My idea of summer was a season where 35 degrees was an extreme, not an everyday experience. Similarly, his notion of winter had nothing to do with Russian under-zero reality. Nevertheless, coming from opposite temperature extremes, we both found Sydney’s climate beautiful.

Ironically, Chris the Winter Lover was, in fact, looking for a cooler summer, while I, a self-confessed summer addict, was pursuing a milder winter.  What is your favourite season?

A Text Generation’s Dictionary

Posted in Thoughts by Vladimir Antropov on January 14, 2011
Artemus Ward, from book Wit and Humor of the A...
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If in a fiction book I saw words “be4” and “there4” I would have thought that the book was a recent creation and an author was quoting an SMS message. Imagine my surprise when I found those words in Artemus Ward‘s Interview with President Lincoln written in XIX century. Ward was using them to imitate writing of an uneducated person.  What once was a sign of illiteracy, in our days became a smart space-saving trick in electronic communications.

This thing repeats over and over again. What used to be a jailbird’s pride has become a fashionable skin adornment. Onetime shameful secrets are now worn on a sleeve. Ward’s story nicely puts the linguistic changes, that we observe now, in the same context. I won’t be in the least surprised if “be4”, or even “b4”, in 20 years time makes it in a dictionary, and in 50 years time the word “before” gets “archaic” tag. Moreover, I can easily imagine it will happen even earlier.

Anyone wants to know future trends? Don’t go to a fortune-teller – just check modern taboos.