Accessing Qantas QStreaming on Windows — June 6, 2016

Accessing Qantas QStreaming on Windows

There are a number of Qantas flights where you can stream movies and TV shows directly to your personal device via the Qantas QStreaming app. Unfortunately this app is only available on IOS and Android. So, if you are like me, and travel with a work computer/tablet – which is a Windows – you miss out.

Follow these steps to enable the QStreaming service on Windows (tested on Windows 8/10) – and you don’t even need an app – just your browser.

On board, connect to the “Q Streaming 1” or “Q Streaming 2” network.

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Once connected, open your browser. I have tested on Firefox and Internet Explorer – however it doesn’t work on Microsoft Edge.

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Your browser should automatically take you to the Qantas QStreaming home page – if it doesn’t – type in http://www.qstreaming.qantas.com.au/ in the web address window.

You can now browse and view anything and everything that is on the Qantas App.

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Note: The first time you try and watch a video it will download and install a player. This doesn’t need to be pre-downloaded and will happen when you start to view something.

Enjoy all Qantas has to offer – on any Windows device.

 

Holiday Journals for Kids — July 21, 2015

Holiday Journals for Kids

I have just spent the last few holidaying with my 3 kids in India and Dubai. One of the things that we have always encouraged (and enforced) is for the children to keep a holiday journal while traveling. Every morning, no matter where we are, after breakfast, the kids sit down for 30 mins and write about the previous day. Given the difference in ages, expectations are quite different. My eldest, almost 11, is a writer and a thinker. He comes up with a different theme each holiday. Last year, he did a journal in the theme of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”, however called his “Diary of an Awesome Kid”. This holiday, he wrote it all in third person, like a novel. He even used some creative license and expanded on his experiences each day to write a compelling tale.

With my younger son (7 years) we usually get a travel diary or create sheets for him to fill in. He finds it easier to answer questions, rather than write from scratch. During the last holiday, we create a sheet which asked about his favourite experience, meal, quote and laugh for each day.

My youngest, who is almost 3, started her journalling as well. However in her case it was merely a notebook and a bunch of colouring pencils. To her credit, she sat every morning with her brothers and scribbled while the others wrote – needless to say she is getting into the habit.

What is particularly pleasing is going back after a while and reading what they have written, and what they see and notice. Sometimes it is very different from us adults, however is a great perspective of the holiday. Moreover, for the kids it is a great timeline of holidays and an insight into how they experienced each day. Sometimes specifics from an holiday can be forgotten, however a journal is timeless and can be revisited, re-read and, in a way, the holiday re-enjoyed.

8 Solutions for bored children — February 11, 2015

8 Solutions for bored children

Having just had 2 primary school aged boys at home for 8 weeks over the summer/Christmas break, the following a few of the tricks that served me well. My boys are 9 and 6 years old, so the activities are probably better suited for younger kids rather than teenagers.

1. Treasure Hunt: I hit upon the simplest treasure hunt template, that can be used either outdoors or indoors. Get a sheet of paper and divide into 8 squares – easiest is to fold it half lengthways and then fold twice breadthways. In each square either write a random letter or a colour. The kids then have to find items that start with the particular letter or are that colour and then draw them in the square. You can make it as easy or complicated as you want and even allocate areas in the house where each kid can “hunt”. I have also sometimes, for older kids, put in simple maths, and then armed them with a ruler to find items that are of that length.

2. Chalk and Draw: A box of chalk goes a long way on a warm day with nothing much to do. Either get the kids to draw welcome messages to the driveway to the house, or do shadow drawing of each other. I, sometimes, get the kids to do alien drawings of themselves. One kid draws the outline of the other kid lying on the ground. The kid whose outline it is, then fills in the bits of the body. Being an alien the eyes and ears etc can go anywhere and can have as many. They can also draw antennae or zappers or contraptions and can keep them entertained for a while.

3. Cubby Houses: Good for cold or wet days – give the kids a bunch of blankets, pillows and cushions and let them create their own cubby/hideaway houses.

4. Cooking/Baking Together: Another good activity for wet days, is to bake together. My wife is a much better baker than me and includes the kids in making cookies, muffins, tarts etc. I usually get the kids involved in making meals – like putting the toppings on the pizza or helping mix and stir.

5.Board Games: Probably the most under utilised and under appreciated mode of entertainment in our house – but it can easily fill in a couple of hours. A game of monopoly or scrabble is entertaining for all.

6. Story Telling: This involves a lot of effort from the parents, however is a great way to spend a large part of the day. I get the kids to make up a story, one sentence at a time. I start it off with something innocuous like “Once upon a time there was a little boy called ZZZ”, and then the kids take over saying one sentence at a time. Usually I record the story on my phone and then after its told, I get them to draw pictures of the main bits of the story. Later in the day, we do a show for my wife, with the story being played from the phone and the kids holding up the pictures at the appropriate times.

7. Local Library: Australia is very lucky to have well stocked local public libraries all over the country. They are all free to join and have a collection of books for kids of all ages. A lot of them also run activities and story telling sessions during holidays.

8. Music and Dance: Probably the easiest of the lot, turn on some dancing music and put on your dancing shoes. Each child gets to dance solo and impress the others and at the end of each song, the best voted gets to pick the next song. The secondary advantage of this is that it tires out the kids as well.

Dads Daily Poem to his kids — February 5, 2015

Dads Daily Poem to his kids

My two boys started back at school this week and I made it a point to write them a little poem in their lunch box every day.

– Poems for my 10 year old – needless to say he was very embarrassed and made me promise that I would write anything about how much I loved him 😦

Poem - B - 20150202 Poem - B - 20150203 Poem - B - 20150204 Poem - B - 20150205

– Poems for my 6 year old – he on the other hand was very very excited to find the note everyday and shared it with all his friends and his class teacher

Poem - M - 20150202 Poem - M - 20150205 Poem - M - 20150204 Poem - M - 20150203

Cricket World Cup 2015 Kids Activities — January 13, 2015

Cricket World Cup 2015 Kids Activities

I created a bunch of Cricket World Cup 2015 themed activities to keep my kids entertained during the school holidays. I have updated some of them so they include all nations – however a couple of them are only for Australian supporters 🙂

CWC 15 – Bookmarks – Cut out bookmarks with your team

CWC 15 – Bunting – Country Names – Bunting with the names of all participating teams

CWC 15 – Bunting – Flags – Bunting with the flags of all the participating nations.

My kids used a combination of the above to create a composite bunting of their favourite teams.

CWC 15 – Word Puzzle – Australian Team – Find the names of the Australian team

CWC 15 – Word Puzzle – Team Names – Find the names of the all the participating nations

CWC 15 – Word Puzzle – Young Kids – Suitable for younger kids – find the cricket related words in the puzzle

If you do download and use any of the above, please tweet or share the final result.

Remebering Peter Roebuck —

Remebering Peter Roebuck

I have never met Peter Roebuck. I have never shaken his hand. I have never had a conversation with him. However, as an avid cricket lover, he has had a profound impact on how I have watched and appreciated the game.

He had a magnificent way with words and had an amazing command of the English language – whether orally while commentating on ABC Grandstand – or when writing for the SMH. This coupled with his remarkable insight into the game of cricket, made his daily match reports descriptive, enlightening but also unique. He was never afraid to call a spade a spade as he called for Ricky Ponting to step down after the SCG test against India in 2008 (http://www.theage.com.au/news/cricket/ponting-must-be-sacked/2008/01/07/1199554570948.html) or when he wrote that Clarke must choose between Cricket and his fiancé (http://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/time-for-clarke-to-decide-on-his-career-path-20100309-pvs7.html). These were insightful commentaries by a man, who not just loved and understood the game but also the individuals and personalities that played it. His book “In It to Win It” which chronicles Australia’s rise from the late 80’s provides a fascinating perceptiveness and awareness on his part in predicting and foretelling the greatness that was to follow.

Since his death in 2011, cricket commentary in Australia has not been the same. The Australian summer just gone, has been one of the most tumultuous and exhilarating in recent memory. From the unfortunate death of Phillip Hughes on the hallowed grounds of the SCG, to the mental resolve of Michael Clarke in batting through the pain on Day 2 of the Adelaide test, to the emergence of the batting brilliance of Steve Smith, this has been a summer that has needed his discernment and comprehension.

Cricket is poorer for his loss and, this summer, more than any in recent memory, I have missed his commentary.

RIP Peter Roebuck and it is quite a reflection of your skills and your ability that people, like me, who you never crossed paths with, remember and cherish what you brought to this world.

Travelling with Kids – Yamba — January 2, 2015

Travelling with Kids – Yamba

We come to Yamba (http://www.yambansw.com.au/main.html) atleast once a year for a week long beach holiday. It is a great family destination, and all our kids (2, 7 and 10 years old) love visiting.

Getting here

There are daily flights from Sydney to Ballina and Gold Coast. We normally fly to  Ballina on JetStar and then rent a car. We once flew into the Gold Coast and drove from there, however it is a much longer drive. The flight times to Ballina are quite good as well as you could depart Sydney at lunch time and be in Yamba by dinner. On the way back, you could do the same, and have lunch in Yamba, drive to Ballina and be back in Sydney by dinner time. It should be noted that there is NO public transport in Yamba, so if you don’t have a car, you must be prepared to walk. Having said that, if you stay anywhere near Main, Turner or Pippy’s beach you can easily walk to town (15 min walk max) – however it is quite hilly so it could be hard for little kids.

Accommodation

As mentioned earlier, during the school holidays most of the accommodation is weekly rentals. Every real estate agent has their own website with a complete listing. Most units don’t provide linen, however it can be rented locally. During school holidays and especially Christmas, every rental property gets booked out – so get in early. Moreover, every property is “cleaned” between 10 and 2 on Saturday, so the quality of the clean is very superficial. Outside of school holidays you can get the holiday rentals for only a few days if required.

Breakfast/Coffee Places

A list of all my TripAdvisor reviews for Yamba can be found at http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/members-citypage/DaddyBlogger1/g529051.

For Coffee and Breakfast, I would recommend the following

1. Irons and Craig on Cold Stream St – limited menu but freshly prepared, good food at a reasonable price. Lots of room for pram storage and high chairs available. They also have an outdoor seating area in the front and out the back.

2. A new cafe (with no name) next to the Plank Shop on Clarence Street. This place has the best coffee in Yamba – we were addicted and visited every morning. The cafe is small with a very limited menu. There is only one shared table indoors and high chairs facing out from the front window. There are no high chairs. There is some seating outdoors and, since the street is not very busy, we sat outside with the kids and let them run around.

3. Caperberry on Coldstream St. A Yamba institution, however it is very cramped and on a major intersection (as major as you get in Yamba). Not much room for kids, however they do have high chairs and a standard breakfast menu.

Lunch/Dinner places

1. Sol Cantina on Coldstream St. Normal mexican fare with outdoor seating. Good food, quick service and not too spicy.

2. The Tavern: The only place in Yamba that has a kids play area alongside the restaurant. Bistro style food with normal kids menu The play area is shaded and you can watch the kids from all tables.

Things to Do

1. Movies: Yamba Cinemas – all shows all day $8. Small theatre but has the latest releases.

2. Surfing Lesson: Jeremy (+61 405 388 581) runs group or individual surfing lessons on most week days at Turners Beach. He is best contacted by text on his mobile.

3. Skate Park at the end of Coldstream street. Has ramps of various heights and complexity for varying skill levels. There is also a little playground with slides around the back for little kids.

4. Library across from the Bowling Club. Has a huge selection of kids books and activities.

Enjoy your visit.

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