Category: Our Blog

Gold Coast Show

The Gold Coast Show is more or less the Gold Coast’s version of Brisbane’s Ekka.  Gold Coast residents get a public holiday to go to the show, similar to Brisbane’s People’s Day show holiday.  There are games, rides, showbags, animals and food similar to the Ekka, but at a much lesser scale.  However, unlike the Ekka, the Gold Coast Show has free entry.  That’s awesome considering it costs $35 for an adult ticket and $20 for a child ticket to enter the Ekka.

Sideshow Alley was of course smaller at the Gold Coast Show than the Ekka.  However, there were still plenty of games and rides to please all ages.  Most of the shooting, throwing and fishing games were present at the same cost per game as the Ekka.  There were a lot of rides for young children, but many of the big rides from the Ekka were missing.

Showbags were more disappointing.  There was only a small tent for showbags shared with other stalls.  The line up was so bad you couldn’t even walk closer to see what was in the showbags.  From what we could see, there wasn’t many different showbags to choose from and they looked like the same ones from the Ekka.

Food was even worse.  We thought we would have lunch early before 12pm to beat the line up.  However, many items at 3 different stalls were already sold out.  There were no shakes available at the shakes and dessert caravan, which was a quarter of their menu.   The soft serve stall shut their serving counter at around 12.30pm after running out of ice cream.  No pork or beef skewers were left from the BBQ skewers stall and we had to wait 30 minutes for our order of chicken skewers, mixed grill skewers and loaded fries.  Some customers got fed up waiting for their food and asked for a refund.

More organization regarding the showbags and food would have been nice.  Luckily, the games and rides made up for them.  You can’t complain about the free entry.  Overall, still a fun day out.

Are Video Games Bad For Kids?

Video games get a bad rap.  They stop kids going outdoors to play.  Kids sit all day staring at screens so they become fat due to a lack of exercise.  The flashing lights at close range are bad for the eyes.  They are the reason more kids need glasses.  Kids sit in front of a screen by themselves and become anti-social.  They don’t develop the normal social skills through interaction with other kids in person.  These are all the negative things associated with video games.

What if video games were used for exercise?  You can’t sit to play the game.  You have to stand and move about in order to complete the levels, win prizes and unlock new content.  When playing these video games, kids would be keeping active, not just sitting in front of a screen.  There are many of these type of games now available.

What if video games encouraged you to rest your eyes?  Looking at anything for a long time can be bad for your eyes.  Being out in the bright sunlight can make your eyes sore if you are not wearing sunglasses.  Doing an assignment on the computer for a few hours can be draining on your eyes.  At least video games have an inbuilt warning and ask you to rest your eyes after playing for a certain amount of time.

What if video games encouraged social interaction?  There are many offline games that allow you to play together with a second player on a second controller.  Many online games allow you to play with and against other people.  This interaction is not just on the screen either.  Many games encourage the use of headsets with microphones and talking to each other while playing.

Video games are not as bad for kids as they have been made out to be.  These days video games are part of kids’ lives.  As long as playing is in moderation, there should be nothing wrong with it.

Deliveroo Delivers

It was raining so we didn’t feel like going out in the wet as we originally planned.  We wanted to eat at home, but were too lazy to cook and we didn’t have a lot in the fridge to cook any way.  We decided to try one of the many takeaway food delivery options.  When you search Google for takeaway food delivery options, Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Foodora top the list.  We hadn’t heard much about Foodora so decided to cross it off the list.  Uber is well known, but more as a ridesharing taxi alternative.   The ads for Deliveroo are everywhere so it seemed like a safe choice so we gave it a go.

The takeaway food choices on Deliveroo were impressive.  A total of 38 options were available for my location from your typical burger joint to cafes to proper restaurants.  Most said the food would arrive in 20 to 30 minutes from ordering.  Ordering was easy.  Select the restaurant and then the items you want from their menu.  Pay with a credit card and wait for your delivery which can be tracked until it arrives.  The website will tell you if the restaurant has accepted your order, when they are preparing the food and when the delivery is on its way.  If there are any issues, there is online support via live chat.

The delivery person followed our instructions and used the intercom when they arrived with our food.  The food came within 30 minutes as promised.  Everything was packed neatly into containers inside a brown paper bag with no spillage.  The food was still hot and delicious.  Our experience with Deliveroo was a good one.  We will definitely be using it again when we don’t want to cook and want takeaway but don’t want to go get it ourselves.

McDonald’s – I’m Lovin’ It

The slogan for McDonald’s is I’m lovin’ it.  To be honest, most of us have a soft spot for their fast food at one time or other.  We know it is so bad for us, but it tastes oh so good every now and then.  However, are we really loving their latest marketing campaign?

Macca’s just maybe pushing their food a little too hard.  Not satisfied serving most of their items after 10:30am, select products are now available all day and all night.  You can now have a Big Mac, Chicken McNuggets and French Fries for brekkie.  Who really feels like any of these things for breakfast when they wake up in the morning?  However, we are now told that it is never too early.

The main issue is McDonald’s encouraging their unhealthy items more and more and more.  First it was All Day Breakfast where you can get the whole day many items normally served at breakfast time only.  I myself don’t mind a Sausage and Egg McMuffin and hash brown for lunch instead of the standard burger and fries every now and then.  However, let’s not encourage unhealthy eating all day and all night.

Breakfast is often claimed as the most important meal of the day.  A good breakfast helps kick start your day.  I typically have cereal with milk and some fruit.  I encourage my son to do the same.  Let’s not promote burgers, fries snd chicken nuggets for breakfast.  Shame on McDonald’s for giving it a crack.  Promoting unhealthy food all day and all night is the other problem.  McDonald’s message is you can have our burgers, fries and chicken nuggets for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  This is not the right message to be sending out.  I definitely don’t want my son to be thinking that this is the norm.

Avengers: Infinity War Review

With a 4 year old son, it is difficult to see all the biggest movies at the cinemas.  Most blockbusters are rated M and aren’t suitable for him to see.  Even if the rating was suitable, he wouldn’t last the 2 hours most movies are these days at the cinema sitting still without causing a scene.  It is therefore more often than not that we wait for the DVD or Blu-Ray release of the movie and watch it in the comfort of our own home.

We rated the first Avengers movie one of best action comedies ever made.  The memory of Loki being punished by The Hulk still brings back chuckles.  With high expectations after the first movie, the second Avengers movie just felt like a big letdown.  A bit too serious maybe?  So we readjusted our expectation level for Avengers: Infinity War.

Luckily, it didn’t disappoint.  Non-stop action with special effects galore as different groups of superheroes from all of Marvel’s other movies combine to take on the evil Thanos.  The to and fro dialogue between firstly Star-Lord of the Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor, and then Star-Lord and Ironman is comedic genius.

The only real issue with Avengers: Infinity War is that you a built towards a final conclusion, but the conclusion never comes.  I guess that’s how you sell movie tickets to Avengers: Infinity War 2.  It wasn’t a problem for us as we have seen all the other Marvel superhero movies.  However, for those who haven’t kept up with the other superhero outings, some things in this movie may also seem to not make sense.

Nonetheless, a thoroughly enjoyable movie.  So much so that we would watch it again just to get all the finer details that you miss the first viewing.  Bring on Avengers: Infinity War 2!


Best Food at the Ekka

Best Food at the Ekka

The Ekka is famous for the iconic strawberry sundae and the foot long dagwood dog.  However, you should save some room for other tasty treats and there are quite a lot of them.  Here are our recommendations from this year’s selections:

Woodfire BBQ

Sideshow Alley is known as the place for thrilling rides and testing your skill at  various games to see if you can win a big prize.  However, there are also food stalls to replenish your energy littered throughout Sideshow Alley.  Woodfire BBQ draws you in with their delicious barbeque aromas.  The tender baby back pork ribs and hot buttered corn are our recommendations.  Just make sure you get them freshly cooked or they aren’t as good when they have dried out.

Hoy Pinoy

As we walked towards the food stalls of Gourmet Plaza, we couldn’t help but be drawn towards the delicious smell and smoke coming from Hoy Pinoy’s open air grill.  It’s Filipino street food at it’s best.  Go for the giant tender chicken or pork belly skewers.  You will be impressed by the taste as well as the size of their skewers.

Puffle

A puffle is both a main meal and a dessert all in one.  The outside is a classic Hong Kong street food called an eggette, which is basically an egg waffle with circular instead of square shapes.  Instead of eating it au naturel or with ice cream, this stall fills their eggettes with Korean spicy fried chicken or sweet bulgogi beef.  We think the sweet bulgogi beef goes perfectly with the fluffy egg waffle.

Tornado Potato

The name of this treat is impressive by itself, but having one of the longest line-ups in the Woolworths Food Pavilion confirms it’s place as the ideal snack.  You get a whole potato sliced thin and spun round and round on a stick so you get one mega long, ultra thin slice on a skewer.  Watching the attendant do this was cool in itself.  Deep fry and add chicken salt and you get the best way to get a potato ever imagined.

Jucy Juice

Wash all the food down with fresh juice served inside the fruit at Jucy Juice inside the Woolworths Food Pavilion.  Everyone will be jealous of you as you sip away at your pineapple juice served in the pineapple or the watermelon juice served in a mini watermelon.

The Ekka Showbag Difference

Besides the strawberry sundae and the foot long dagwood dog, the Ekka showbag is the most iconic part of the Royal Queensland Show. When I was a kid, I fondly remember begging mum every year to buy a special edition of the Sunday Mail that was only available a few weeks before the Ekka started just to get the included Ekka showbag guide. We didn’t usually buy newspapers and this was the only way to have a sneak peek at what showbags were available that year. I’m sure they sold a lot of newspapers due to the included showbag guide back in the day. Times have certainly changed as the showbag guide is now free and easily accessible on the Ekka’s website.

The Showbag Pavilion is now a temporary big white tent instead of having its own building. The original building is now housing fine art and agriculture. The size of the space inside the tent is quite large, but there is a lot of empty space inside with less stands dedicated to selling showbags. Some Sideshow Alley gaming stalls have found their way inside the Showbag Pavilion, as well as a coffee van and area with table and chairs.

I’ve also noticed that there were a lot more showbags when I was a kid compared to now. As I walk along the aisles separating the stands, there are alot of repeat stands selling the same showbags. There were also a lot more licensed showbags back in the day. It seemed like every big movie or cartoon had their own showbag with licensed goods actually from the movie or cartoon. I still have Arnie’s sunnies from the Terminator 2 showbag and a glow in the dark Phantom ring from the Phantom showbag. Most of the toy showbags today are generic army, police or ninja themed with cheap plastic toys with no direct associations with any movie or cartoon. When licensed items were included, they seemed to be very similar between showbags. Most licensed showbags seemed to contain a licensed small plastic backpack.

The cost is also $20 to $30 a showbag for many of the toy showbags, which is very expensive. I feel that we should be able to buy many of the included items from Kmart, Target or Big W at a lower price. There were a few cheap $5 licensed toy showbags, which were a steal. However, there seemed to be very little stock of them, indicating they may be cheap as they were left over from previous years.