Monday, August 30, 2004

How To Make A Scotsman Happy

I was thinking about why Mary Donaldson's father, John Donaldson, was so happy that his daughter was marrying a prince.

Then it struck me. He wouldn't have to pay for the wedding. That would put a smile on any Scotsman's face.

Another Olympic Scandal

I just read today that countries competing in the taekwondo at the Olympics were only allowed a maximum of four competitors over the eight classes. The article said that this was designed to stop Korea from dominating. I thought the Olympics were supposed to be about the competitors and not countries?! What's next? The Americans can only send one athlete for the 100, 200 and 400 metres sprints for the men?

If they only sent one swimmer, in Michael Phelps, that we be enough by itself. Interestingly, in this article, he was compared with a Russian gymnast, Aleksandr Dityatin, for the possibility to tie a record of eight medals won at a single Olympics, which he did. The article fails to mention that the USA boycotted the Olympics in 1980. Phelps won eight medals against the whole world. He is an out and out champion.

Miky Is A Great Storyteller

I never had such an idea that Miky was a great storyteller. Yesterday we went to the park in South Perth overlooking the foreshore. We brought Yu-Jin's bike and went to a couple of the playgrounds. On the way back, when Yu-Jin got a bit tired, she started telling him the story of the Tiger and the Persimmon. I'll have to look it up sometime for you. Then she started Hansel and Gretel. The detail that she went into made me feel a bit slack. She remembered the story so well and considering that she would have heard/read it in Korean a lot longer ago than I did, she did a remarkable job. Yu-Jin was so intrigued she had to say it again.

Suffering from a sore throat Miky asked me to tell a story to Yu-Jin. He refused because he wanted mummy to tell him a story. As she told the story so nicely he failed to notice just how far he was riding and didn't get tired at all.

Bit Of Immobiliser Trouble

Miky's car has a half decent immobiliser fitted and we get an additional 10% reduction on the insurance premium because of the brand. Bonus. Especially for a frugal bastard. Anyway, she called me at work on Friday and said that she couldn't get the car started. Thoughts about the blonde Korean were starting to enter my head. When I got home I found that the led wasn't flashing meaning that it wasn't armed properly but it was armed, we just couldn't reset it.

I phoned the mechanic the next morning and he said that it had failed and would need to be replaced. However, he didn't do it and gave me the phone number of a guy who they called. I rang another couple of car parts shops and the second one was sold out of them. But they had a guy who fitted them. Unfortunately he had sold out and couldn't get any until Monday.

I pulled the black box apart and noticed four wires. With a bit of mucking around I discovered that if I pulled one of the wires off, reset the alarm, and then replaced the wire I could start the car fine. Not the sort of work-around that I could Miky to do. I rang another few companies and found an auto electrician, Lance Auto Electrics, and he asked me to bring the car down for a look. He didn't sell that model anymore but called one of his lads over to short the wires out so that we could use the car without the immobiliser. All for nothing. And he told me where I could get the immobiliser fixed. I guess that I'll be buying a box of chocolates to give to them for their service. And the plug for their Website.

I didn't think that an immobiliser would be so easy to bypass. No wonder cars still get stolen. A little knowledge can be dangerous.
And The Winner Of The Worst Olympic Games Closing Ceremony Speech Is...

Jacques Rogge.

Perhaps they should have dug up old Juan Antonio Samaranch to make the speech. What the hell was Rogge doing? It looked as though he was reading from a script or was he just making the whole thing up as he went along? For goodness sake, he had four years to write the bloody speech. And that was the best that he could come up with? What an utter disgrace.

It was almost as boring as listening to John Howard or Mark Latham prattle on about truth, honesty, interest rates, the Australian people, un-Australian behaviour, and why they should be elected for six weeks. Oh, that's right. We still have that to look forward to.

Perhaps there should be a special Australian Idol for Prime Minister. Get Little Johnny and Bruiser Latham to have a sing off. The most votes from the public gets the job of PM. At least there won't be as much silly voting as happens in Australian Idol. I heard one woman on the radio during last years final say that she had phoned about 20 times that day for Shannon Noll and when she got home she was going to vote another 20 times. I am sure that is more votes than Howard and Latham would get combined.
What's New For The 2008 Olympics?

I guess that we'll see some more "sports" introduced for the Beijing Olympics. Stand by for:

noodle making - got 10000 athletes to feed
dragon dancing - gotta be better than synchronised swimming
wall building - complements fencing, I guess, in a grander style

Friday Night Farce

I hope not to see any more Friday night football with Eddie Maguire. Just who are his cronies that he has in the commentary box. It has been shocking to hear Dermott Brereton, one of Hawthorn's favourite sons, and Gary Lyon, a courageous former captain of Melbourne, grovelling and kowtowing to Eddie about how good Collingwood are and how sad we must all feel about them not being in the finals, etc.

Friday night football has just become the "We Love Eddie and Collingwood Show". The commentary was so blatantly biased it was unacceptable. Or, to use that catchphrase of the moment, un-Australian. Made me sick just listening to them. Not sure who the winner of the "I Love Eddie Award" should be.

What The Mouse Was Thinking

He obviously didn't have much time to think. I can see, and maybe you can if you look closely, but he's just started to sink his teeth into the peanut. Probably was about to think how nice the peanut was going to taste and what a good meal it would make. Didn't get to finish the thought though. That'll teach him. He won't be making that mistake again.

Thought For The Day

If only Eddie Maguire was in that rowboat. You think that Sally Robbins got a hard time. Just imagine the knives that would have gone in had it been Eddie!
Utter Disgrace

Can’t say I’m too impressed by the Australian Government and its attitude towards the Bali bombers. They basically forced the Indonesian Government to implement new terrorism laws and use them upon the Bali bombers. The Indonesian Judiciary has followed the correct procedure. Laws can’t be applied retrospectively.

There were several opportunities and other laws that the bombers could have been tried by. Murder, ownership of explosives, causing grievous bodily harm, etc. But oh no. You have to try them as terrorists. That will scare the terrorists off.

Let’s just say that some of the Australian Government’s policies haven’t been too clever but to force another country to bring in new laws for its own benefit is pretty low. And then to get all flustered when they fall flat on their faces.

I think it is more a case of crossing a bridge when you get to it. They shouldn’t have tried to pre-empt the charges and make such a big deal out of terrorism.

Olympic Medal Tally

Commentators kept going on about the record medal tally for Australia at the Olypmics. Ok, we won more gold medals than ever before and that is some sort of achievement. But how many more medal sports are there now compared with the Melbourne Games of ’56? Taekwondo, beach volleyball, trampolining, synchronised swimming and diving, the list goes on. We should be winning more medals at each Olympics.

Boxing, At The Olympics, During The Marathon

I guess we’ll never see the best boxing that took place during the Olympics. It would have taken place during the marathon when that stupid bastard attacked the lead runner from Brazil. A big guy from the crowd in a light blue shirt jumped the fence and reached the attacker before the police did. My guess is that he laid into the idiot and there would have been some good combinations thrown. Love to see the aftermath.

How bloody ridiculous. Glad to see that the runner got the bronze and the Pierre de Coubertin medal in recognition of his "exceptional demonstration of fair play and Olympic values."

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Don’t Try To Pinch My Food

I mentioned previously that we had a mouse on the loose in the house. The little bugger had been eating my rice and a few other food items that were stored in the pantry. And he seemed to be making a nice bed for himself and the dish towels and place mats. So last weekend Yu-Jin and I went for a walk to Bunnings and purchased some mouse traps.

Now, my best man’s cousin had had problems with mice when he was in Japan. In actual fact it turned out to be a rat. So I visited his Weblog and looked at his methods of eradication. Also checked out a site for bait for the trap. Chocolate, peanuts, cheese, among others, were the recommended bait.

Having some Easter eggs left over from April I loaded up a trap in the study with some chocolate. I had seen him in the study one night before. After a couple of days I had caught nothing. And the little bugger was still sleeping in the pantry. So, the trap got set in the pantry with one peanut. It took a few minutes to set the trap as it was a bit trigger happy. A couple of days later, voila!

Once again, don’t try to pinch my food.

Speaking of Food

This must be the deal of the century. Especially for those of you who enjoy your coffee and cake. I spotted a restaurant in South Perth on the way to work one morning. It is called Reflections Restaurant. They have an offer for:

Coffee & Cake
All Day from 11:00am - $6.95

Wow. All you can drink/eat coffee and cake for only $6.95. I reckon that I could stay all day and polish off two cakes for that sort of money.

Finally, Some Support For Sally Robbins

Somebody read my blog and got a little bit pissed about my comments regarding Sally Robbins. It is much easier to make up funny comments than to speak from the heart. I’ll admit, this girl is pretty damn fit, in more ways than one.

If Sally Robbins had torn a muscle in her arm or cracked a rib with the oar then everyone would feel sorry for her. There are very few of us who can relate to how hard she pushes her body for her sport. Almost everyone felt sympathy for Jana Pittman. It wasn’t her fault that her knee required surgery. It was unavoidable. If somebody falls over at the velodrome people don’t start pointing the finger. Too bad, let’s think about the other athletes.

In the case of Sally Robbins, she’s an Aussie. Well, it wouldn’t surprise me if she changed nations after the way she has been treated. But if she hadn’t been an Aussie, nobody in this country would be bagging her. The incident would have been looked at with very little scrutiny. Oh, one of the Croatian rowers has collapsed. How sad.

Yeah, I do feel sorry for Sally Robbins. I hope that she can recover from this. It will be a huge test of her mental strength. I wish her all the best.

No Money For Library Books

Yu-Jin is reading the same books as I did when I was his age. At childcare they have Meg and Mog books which I can remember. And Miky borrowed a book from the city library about Hendrika the cow and her trip down the canal on a raft. I read that when I was a youngster. Obviously no-one has any money to spend for library books these days.

Appropriate Dress

We had pizza on Friday night. Whilst Yu-Jin and I were waiting in the shop some guy pulled up in his big 4WD and parked it across three parking bays. It makes my blood boil to see someone too lazy to park their vehicle properly. I felt like telling him off (I haven’t changed).

But the way he was dressed summed it up. Big fleecy top, fleecy pants and Ugg boots. The only way he could have spent less time getting dressed was if he didn’t bother to wear any clothes. And he bought four pizzas. Looked like the sort of bloke who could demolish them too.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Death Of A Friend

I wouldn't say he was a close friend but I liked the bloke. Simon Schreiber is no longer with us.

My mum sent some Border Chronicles over and I was reading a couple last night. There was an interesting story about Midge Jones from Keith who had opened his own business. It included a picture of Midge, his wife and two kids. I was thinking, "I played cricket and football against this bloke." It left a warm feeling inside.

In another paper was an obituary to Simon Schreiber. I was gobsmacked. This was a bloke my age, I had played cricket and footy against him, I had played district cricket and football with him, and I felt that he was a top bloke and a fair player. He was, in fact, an excellent sportsman. Simon was my age and has two little boys and I know the name of his wife. Nowhere in the obituary did it mention what killed him. Couldn't believe it.

Still can't get over it. He was a nice bloke.

Mum rang me tonight and said that a brain tumour had killed him. Gee, I know a few blokes who have died early and they were both great people. The world is better for knowing them but I am saddened by their absence.
More Olympics Goings On


Congrats to Fani No-oneseverheardovus, the Greek 400m hurdler, who beat Jana Pittman. And the three other women who did.

Cathy Freeman will be smiling. I’m sure she is. She and Jana never saw eye to eye.

Bugger it. Jana, bloody good onya. No need to make a big deal about it, your knee and all. As an Australian we would expect nothing less from you. Top effort though.


What is it with this sport? Two people dressed up in battle armour facing off. They bounce up and down and all around the mat. It is a funny sight with their arms by their sides and just bouncing around. I get the impression that they are thinking, “I’m gonna kick you! Don’t get any closer because I’ll deck you. Yeah, that’s it, you’re scared, aren’t you?”

They only look serious when they start laying into each other.

Water Polo

How come the water polo players are the only women with breasts at the Olympics?

Q. How Many Weetbix Did Sally Robbins Have?

A. Nowhere near enough.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Doing A Sally Robbins

Your heart has to go out to this girl, Sally Robbins, somewhat. She's trained for four years to reach the Olympics Women's Eights Rowing and then is completely fatigued with 650m to go in the 2000m race. But I can certainly understand the emotions of her teammates. Or should that be former teammates?

There has been so much talkback on radio surrounding this and a great deal of debate on TV. Personally, I think that she should look for sponsorships.

Rexona - It Won't Let You Down

Sealy - Made For Sleep

(Perhaps Sealy could change their name to Sally)

Capt'n Snooze

Monday, August 23, 2004

And They All Chant For Sydney

Is anyone else getting sick of the way the Athens Olympics are compared with the Sydney Olympics every five minutes? The Greeks are doing a wonderful job. Only the officials seem to be buggering it up.

But one of the reporters for CBC Sports Online must have been confused by the message. Check out the second last paragraph of this report and see the mention of Sydney.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Hamm Causing Trouble At The Olympics

Only days ago I mentioned that there were three competitors from the USA with the surname Hamm. Now there is a great deal of controversy surrounding one of them, Paul Hamm, and it wasn't any of his own doing.

He won the gold medal for the men's all-around gold medal but it is believed that two Koreans should have scored more than him due to an error in the judging. Read a short report about it here. It has been alleged that the Korean who won the silver was only given a difficulty level of 9.9 instead of 10 for his vault and his score would have been enough to register the gold medal. More relevant article.

I've been in the same boat as the Korean. In my final year at high school we had the Sports Day. I won two events, high jump and javelin, and knew how many points I had scored. I was surprised when my name wasn't read out as the second place getter for over 16 boys but absolutely shocked as it wasn't read out first. I tallied the points of the second place getter and realised that I had more points than him. I immediately lodged my protest with the Physical Education teacher who was in charge of the event.

It so happens that I did get my runners-up medal but can you imagine how I felt knowing that I had come second and it wasn't my face or name in the paper in the write up about the results and the winners?

Apparently the gold medal will stand and three technical judges have been disciplined. It doesn't matter that the athletes have to suffer? Paul Hamm will find it very hard to live with as everyone will consider him to be the American who took home gold when he only deserved bronze.

My relationship with the guy who had been announced as runner-up, Shaun Elston, didn't recover. I guess that he couldn't accept that I didn't accept the injustice dealt to me by the officials. Having said that, Shaun kept to himself quite a bit anyway but I getting the feeling that there is something niggling him still.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Getting Back To Having A Life

As a family we went to the cinema to watch Spiderman 2 today. Only $6 a ticket in the city at Picadilly Cinemas. Yu-Jin enjoyed and Miky was a little more scared than he was. It was a long movie, about 2hrs and 10mins but there was some exciting action. The action was better than in the first movie. Yu-Jin managed to behave himself even when the movie started to drag on a bit.

Afterwards we went walking through the city and saw a street performer that we particularly like. He does lots of movement, like Marcel Marceau, and to some cool music. His moonwalking is brilliant and I love the way he does sprinting in slow motion. Yu-Jin loves him too.

Today something special happened. And it involved a special person. He grabbed a guy out of the audience and got him to join in with some moves. They linked arms and did a wave from side to side. Now this guy wasn't too keen on being in front of a few hundred people but another audience member was. He has Down's Syndrome, and wanted to join in. This guy did as he was instructed while helping out and did very well. No case of stage fright or self doubt. He won the crowd over. And the street performer didn't mock him or try to disaude him from becoming part of the act. It made for a great performance.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Is Sick Leave A Thing Of The Past?

It is becoming more and more difficult to take sick leave nowadays. It used to be that you could have a couple of days off and no-one would care. There were enough people employed to cover your job. These days staff levels are minimalist and it is difficult when someone doesn't make it in to the office.

If you are off work now, or taking a sickie, you almost always need a doctor's certificate or, in the trades at least, you may forfeit your pay. Does anyone know how expensive it is to see a doctor? And doctors won't give you certification for the days previous to you visiting them. So, if you are bedridden for a few days before getting out to see the doc you can kiss those days goodbye as sick leave.

And it's not just that. You need to book three weeks in advance if you want to see the doctor in some cases. Oh, yes. I'm going to have a really bad cold in three weeks time and need to book an appointment now.

So, I get the feeling that the day of the sickie could be passing. But, I have one card up my sleeve. I have a kid and every now and again he gets sick. So I can save up my sick leave for him.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

My Views On The Olympics So Far...


I saw a bit of the table tennis the other night. I know that they have been having problems with the seating for the main stadium but I didn't know that it affected other venues. The table tennis referee seemed to be seated in a baby's high chair. I can understand that the ump needs to be positioned just above the net but in a high chair?

Watching the Olympics on TV

If you wanna watch the Olympics - watch SBS.
If you wanna watch the Aussies in Athens - watch Channel 7.

Big Family Impact

I don't know if they are related or not but I have noticed three Hamm members of the US team. Two brothers in the gymnastics and Mia Hamm in the "football". But, I hear you say, my surname is spelt "Ham". Well, going back in our family tree many moons ago there was one particular member of the family who had eight kids and I believe that all of them were given variant spellings of the surname. So who's to say that they aren't related?

Iranian Olympic Committee Shame

The Iranian Olympic Committee should be suspended for allowing the Iranian government to interfere and compel their athletes not to compete against Israelis. I believe it was an Iranian Judo world champion who refused to fight an Israeli opponent. He managed to disqualify himself by failing to make weight at the weigh-in. The Olympics are supposed to be apolitical and actually not about your country but about competing. It seems to have been lost somewhat, the Olympic ideals that is.

We Need Our Own Sport

I see that the Japanese are cleaning up the medals in the Judo. They invented it and following its introduction as a medal sport I would guess that the Japanese are climbing up the medal tally rapidly due to their dominance of the sport.

It is time we introduced some of our own sports so that we can win more gold medals.
For Example:

Vegemite sandwich eating
Beer keg rolling
Kangaroo boxing

We couldn't help but win more medals. I need to start lobbying the Australian Olympic Committee for their support.


Some of our commentators need to brush up on their pronunciations. I heard a boser last night referred to as a "Kazakhstani". I believe the term should be "Kazakh".

Gutsy Sporting Effort

I am not usually interested in Judo but made an exception last night. Saw a match between a guy from Azerbaijan and Dmitri Nossov from Russia. It was for a place in the gold medal match. Right at the end of the bout Nossov had his arm hurt and looked in very bad shape. Let's remember that these bouts have been going all day and the competitors have very little breathing space in between bouts. He had to back up for the bronze medal match and I thought that he wouldn't be capable of putting up an effective fight.

Talk about guts. He could barely move his left elbow in the previous bout, but managed to throw his opponent and gained a Waza-Ari, the second highest scoring manoeuvre, and was pleading for an Ippon, much like a knockout in boxing. He didn't get it and had to battle it out for the whole five minutes. It was incredible the way he fought through the pain barrier for his bronze medal. I dips my lid to him.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Olympic Inspiration

We were watching the Olympics on Saturday night and they were showing some men's gymnastics. Yu-Jin watched with much interest the high bar, rings, and floor routine. Then there was that moment of inspiration. He asked me to stand up and hold my hands out. I didn't know what he was going to do.

He went to the other side of the lounge and took a run-up. Yu-Jin ran towards me, grabbed my hands, ran up my body and did a backwards somersault!

Ok, he has done a backwards somersault before but from a standing position. The run-up took me completely by surprise. I'm not going to show him any wrestling although he did see some pugilism last night.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Brake Light Mystery Revealed

It mightn't sound like a big deal but I'm not too fond of driving at 80-100 km/h with the window wound down during winter so that I can make a hand signal when I use the brake. On Saturday morning I rang the mechanic to tell him that my brake lights had failed. He informed me that it was probably the brake light switch and that it was a simple job to replace.

Had to go to a couple of car parts stores before I found a brake light switch. Wasn't too difficult to remove it but damned hard to install the new one. Lost my temper. Kicked the car. It doesn't hurt anymore, my foot that is.

Put it back together roughly so that it would still work and took it to the mechanic. Within five minutes it was fixed. It wasn't quite put back in in the correct place.

I hate working on cars.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Bloody Bruce McAvaney

If ever there was a cure for constipation it has to be this guy. His commentating is full of nostalgia and over the top superlatives. Can't stand him. Take this from the opening day of competition:

"That's the fastest time he's ever achieved, in his career, to date."
Bruce McAvaney

What the hell are you trying to tell us Bruce? It was the guy's personal best. There are so many easier and less painful on the ears methods of achieving this. If I come across any more methods that work better than prune juice by the bottle full I'll let you know.
Friday The 13th

I'm not really one for much superstitious behaviour. It is still interesting to see what eventuates on Friday the 13th though.

Didn't take too long for the day to go down the toilet. At 10:15 I received a call from Yu-Jin's childcare. He had been kicked in the eye by a girl and they were concerned about his eye. Not too concerned mind you to take him to the doctors' surgery by themselves.

So I stopped what I was doing and drove the 25 minutes back to childcare. Took him up to the doctors' surgery and waited 50 minutes to see a nurse. Less than two minutes later he was given the all clear, although he should expect to get a shiner. (note: late Sunday night and no sign of a black eye.)

Took him back to childcare in time for his lunch. He was fine.

Second problem on Black Friday. Just as I was leaving work I noticed that I had no brake lights. That meant that I had to use hand signals all the way home and I was taking the freeway as Miky rang me and asked if I could pick Yu-Jin up.

Not much else went wrong. One funny thing I noticed was one of Yu-Jin's friends from childcare wind his car window down as he was going home and yelled out, "Beongu, beongu" to Yu-Jin. This is a Korean word for "fart" and it is lovely to see Yu-Jin teaching others about his inherited culture.

Another funny thing about Yu-Jin's eye was the fact that he had been drawing pirates in the previous couple of days. I ended up making him an eye patch. And he went to sleep with it on.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Little Bit More Finishing Work To Do

As soon as I got home last night I got the ladder out and jumped up onto the roof. There was a slight gap in the join between the flashing on the roof where the sewing room is. And we were due for a week of rainy days. So I covered up the flashing and thought that everything would be ok.

It rained after I went to bed and I noticed the wet floor in the morning. I'm guessing that I have a holey gutter and need to fix that now. That could be a little bit difficult with the weather that we are due to have. Luckily it's not carpet in the sewing room.

Lunch time is over. Must get back to work.
Checkout Chick

Bought some food products during my lunch break today. One item didn't scan properly so the checkout chick wrote down the details and then put the item aside. Excuse me, I would like to take the item that I have just paid for! What is going on here? People in the service industry must have such terrible working conditions. Nobody seems interested in doing their jobs properly.
It Didn't Take Long

Miky's car got stolen last night while she was studying at TAFE. She's only been a few times since getting her licence. One of her classmates offered to give her a ride home and it was during this time that she spotted her car. She'd parked it in a different carpark to the last time she parked there.

She'll learn.
Bloody Bank Tellers

Fair enough. She was easy on the eye. Ok, very easy.

I went into the bank during my lunch break to pay my childcare fees. Handed over an old receipt so that she had the account details and the money and she puts the deposit through and tells me that she is just waiting for the receipt. I guess it didn't make her day when I pointed to the writing on the old receipt that "Payer Name Required" hadn't been done. So, she had to reverse the transaction.

"Name for the deposit?"
"Yu-Jin. I'll spell it for you. Y-U-Hyphen..."
She was lost by this stage. It took her so long to find the Y and then the U. Hyphen. Tricky one that. She typed in an apostrophe.

Can't say that my demeanour was too good by then and I quickly pointed out that it was a hyphen and not an apostrophe. I'm thinking that the money has to add up at the end of the day but they couldn't care less about getting people's names spelt correctly.

Needles to say, I didn't get any of that, "Have a nice day" crap.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Done As It's Ever Gonna Be

The sewing room is complete. As complete as is ever likely to be. Now I can get back to my life although Miky has mentioned that there is another project for me but won't let on what it is. Must be a pretty scary one. I guess Yu-Jin will be happy. I haven't had much time for him over the last few weekends as I have had to work and there was very little that he could do to help. He's just the best kid when he can help. I've got a bit of a job cleaning up the study/computer room now. Tools everywhere.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

There's A Good Reason I Never Became An Auto-Electrician

Coz I can't stand doing electrical work on my car. Take last night for instance. About 8 o'clock I decided that it was time to work on the car and fix those damn brake lights. This is of course after taking public transport home which required an extra 50 minutes of my time.

First job was to find a torch. I don't have a garage and I needed to work under the steering wheel at the brake pedal. There is a light in the carport but that was only going to create shadows. I have two torches and it seems that Yu-Jin has been playing with them and both batteries are dead. These are 9-volt non-rechargeables. So I got Miky to find Yu-Jin's torch, one that I bought from a Reader's Digest catalogue when I was a small boy. What happened? I couldn't find any charged AA batteries. So I put four of them on the charger.

Bit more hunting around revealed a desk lamp of the flouro variety. Grab the extension lead and away we go.

Talk about awkward working under the steering wheel. I hate it. The mechanic next door to my work had mentioned a switch on the brake pedal. I finally managed to pull it apart and noticed that one of the connections was a bit melted. Perhaps it wasn't making a connection anymore. One of the wires came out easily but I had to break the plug to get the melted one out. Popped both connectors back onto the switch and we were in business.

Why couldn't a cheap fuse have blown instead and made it so much easier to fix?

Monday, August 09, 2004

The Sewing Room

It's damn near finished. On Saturday I spent the afternoon, with a trip to the playground in between, putting up three quarters of the ceiling. I had to mount some wooden battens on the metal bit behind the gutter (eaves by any chance?) and put up the plywood ceiling. Inside it I stuffed some insulation. Took plenty of time to do. I'm glad that I was talked out of doing it with gyprock as it would have been far too heavy.

Yesterday I had a friend, Bill, come around and we finished off the ceiling. Then we purchased materials for a bench with a fold-down flap and that went together rather well. I put up some lights and the associated ducting. Last, but not least, we installed some shelves. We worked from 9 in the morning and I was still cleaning up at 10:30 that night. It did include four trips to Bunnings and we went out for lunch also.

Doesn't sound like much but it is starting to come together nicely. The vinyl that we bought should have arrived this morning and that will be my job for tonight. But that's another story.

Another Story

The vinyl. We had seen some lino (linoleum) at WA Salvage for $6.75/m. Miky didn't like the colours and it was pretty thin stuff. Bunnings didn't have anything of great interest. Driving along Albany Highway we noticed a Solomons Carpets place. There were another two carpet/flooring places in the same building complex. We visited the first shop and his vinyls were $56-58/m. He gave us a price of just over the $1000 mark to cover the sewing room floor. The salesman didn't even know that there was a difference between lino and vinyl.

Thanks, but no thanks. I am a frugal bastard and I have a reputation to maintain.

Next shop. Prices started at $54, $72, $120, and we didn't bother looking any further as the prices went up from there.

Solomons was closed due to somebody being sick.

Drove to Belmont and had a look at WA Salvage there. They only had one style of lino! I remembered that when we had looked for some carpet before there was a place just across the road. We didn't see it but there was a floor coverings shop. Talk about pleasant, well mannered people. They couldn't stop saying "thank you" and "please" the whole time we were there. They had some remnants available and it was just one of those moments. Miky and I both like one particular remnant and our calculations indicated that it would fit with minimal wastage. Perfect!

Being four metres long we had to pay for delivery. Mind you, the vinyl cost only $130. None of this $1000 rubbish. The guy stuffed up on his calculations. These guys actually charged $60 per linear metre, at four metres wide, for a cut length. So the first salesman made the mistake of quoting us about $230 for the same material.

Couldn't believe that we found something we both liked at a discounted price. My next headache is installing it. But that will be another story.
A New Religion In The Sport Of Cycling

By now I guess there are very few people on the planet who haven't heard about drugs in Australian cycling. Well, inside of Australia anyway. Junior World Champion, Mark French, blabbed about seeing his fellow cyclists injecting substances in his room at the Australian Institute of Sport. And fair enough too.

One of the Aussie cyclists, Jobie Dajka, said to an investigating panel that he didn't inject any substances. Mark French said that he saw him and enough evidence was found to prove that Jobie did in fact inject some substances, whether or not they were legal.

Does this mean that Mark French is Jobie's witness?
Taking The Bus Adds A New Perspective

Went to Bunnings for the second time yesterday, out of four trips, and bought some material for a bench and shelves for Miky's sewing room. As I went to pick up a hire trailer I was greeted by the trailer nazi. Incidentally, one of the first things I did today was buy an adapter for my trailer connection, so they weren't going to catch me out on that again.

The trailer nazi kept spewing on about the size of my tow ball and wouldn't let me have a trailer if it wasn't 50mm. I wasn't allowed to explain that I had put a trailer on the tow ball on Friday night and it fitted perfectly. Got it all hooked up and checked the lights. Blinkers fine. Brake lights nada. No brake lights at all. I'm the first person to crack the shits when I see someone whose brake lights don't work.

I had the car serviced a week ago and I'm wondering how the brake light check came up. There was no blown fuse and it seemed strange that none of my three brake lights worked if that was the case.

Loaded up the car and left my mate Bill at Bunnings. Managed to get everything inside but it meant an extra trip. We did a bit more work before I looked at the brake lights at home. Damn difficult light covers. Didn't want to come off. One of the back lights looked a bit suspect. Drove to Super Cheap Autos, where I had purchased the trailer adapter in the morning, had a quick look around and bought some brake/tail lights. Couldn't find a lamp for the middle light. After much frigging around I finally discovered that the middle brake light was buggered and not the other one. But I still don't understand why the two other lights didn't work.

Back to the bus story. Having no brake lights and Miky needs her car to drop Yu-Jin off at kindy today, it neccessitated my taking of public transport. It was supposed to be two degrees this morning so the 10 minute walk to the bus stop was fresh. Just missed one bus and waited five minutes for the next.

You get on the bus and you feel like an alien. Everybody can look at you and you can't look at anybody. They all feel comfortable in the knowledge that they were there before you. Obviously they stare a bit. But once you are on the bus you can have the same attitude towards the next lot of aliens to get on the bus.

People don't talk, unless they see someone they know and then they yack like nobody's business. They're caught up in their own little world, staring out of the window, listening to music but oddly enough nobody was reading a book.

In the city it was another five minute walk to the train station and then three stops to Subiaco station. From there it was a 16 minute walk to work. It was an interesting feeling to be walking up a one way street in the opposite way to which I normally drive it. I quite enjoyed it.

And all this because of one little broken lamp. At least I hope it is. We have a mechanic shop next door. Hopefully I can buy a replacement lamp from them.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

All Seats Sold At The Olympic Ceremonies

I heard on Friday that all the seats had been sold for the opening and closing ceremonies at this years Athens Olympics. I guess that means about 50 people will be in attendance then. Exactly how many seats have they installed? I've heard that there will be heaps of people there - standing room only. Or is that because the seats haven't been sold?

Messy job to be an usher.
"I'll show you to your concrete stone, sir."
Who Do They Think They Are Dealing With?

I went to Bunnings on Friday night. We got off work early as the phones were just not ringing. I had to pick up some material to make a ceiling for the sewing room. The decision came down to plywood instead of gyprock as it would be so much easier to work with. And a bit cheaper as it turned out.

Organised the four pieces and trailer hire, which incidentally, was free. Had to give a $20 deposit though. Got back to the car and hooked the trailer on. Then the old guy from Bunnings noticed that he didn't have a flat plug connector for my Falcon. They only stocked a couple of round pin connectors. So he went to phone the supervisor.

Bunnings wouldn't let me take the trailer in case I had an accident as they would be sued. I asked if I could take a ute instead of the trailer. The question was asked but I would have to pay full hire for it. Not bloody likely.

Obviously they had no idea who they were dealing with. I remembered that I had a picnic rug in the car and some rope. I ended up tying the plywood onto the roof and had to climb in through the window.

I have managed to get a whole kitchen home from Ikea in the Falcon in one go. I've even tied a mattress onto the top of the car.

Yep, where there is a frugal bastard there is a cheaper way. Hey, that sounds like a motto.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Stick To The Automatic Son

Had to rush off in the work vehicle this afternoon. I must be too used to driving an automatic. First thing I did was look at the gear stick and make sure that it was in neutral before starting it. Put my foot on the brake, turned the ignition, and then promptly shoved it into reverse.

I completely forgot about using the clutch. Needless to say, the car didn't go too far. Whoops.

Just My Luck

I had to deliver something in the city on this run in the company vehicle. Amazingly I found a parking spot at a meter very close to the place I needed to visit. And there was five minutes remaining. Just my luck, when the company is due to pay for parking I find a free parking spot. It would never happen if I took my own car and was paying for parking.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

She’s Got A Ticket To Ride

That’s how the Beatles put it. Yes, Miky has passed her driving test. What’s it been now, three years? Anyway, on Tuesday night she finished the 25 hours of driving that she had to complete following her pass of the practical test. We both had to sign some documentation and get a witness. Basically the only person who could witness our signatures was a chemist and so we had to drive to the late night chemist down the road. It was a busy place and we had to wait about 20 minutes – well, we weren’t paying customers so I could understand it.

There was a picture of a human skeleton with the names of the bones. It caught Yu-Jin’s attention and he was very interested in knowing all about them. So much so that I downloaded a picture from the Internet and he wants to take it to kindy and childcare to show everyone. He can even pronounce the names of the bones.

Back to the main story. Yesterday Miky had to pass a hazards perception test – a computerised test about viewing of hazards while driving. She said this was very difficult and you get no indication of how well you are doing. Once this was passed the woman in charge of issuing the probationary licence was a bit suspicious that Miky had taken so long to get her licence.

And guess what. Miky didn’t want to drive by herself last night to go to TAFE!!

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

And The Renovations Continue

On Saturday I had a friend come around so that we could do the feature wall, ceiling, lighting etc for the sewing room. But I realised early in the morning that I had booked my car in for a service and brake replacement. So I telephoned him and said that we'd be about half an hour late. Then I went to the mechanic's shop. As it turns out, I didn't have a booking. I'd only written the time that I needed to get the brakes done three months earlier on the calendar.

Not five minutes after getting home the phone rang. The mechanic wanted to know if I would bring the car in as they had had a cancellation. So I took the car back.

When we picked up my friend and brought him home basically all we could do was measure up the room and talk about what we be the best way of tackling what we needed to do. I had to catch a bus to get back to the mechanic's shop and so the morning was pretty much wasted. They hadn't finished my car and so I had to wait for about an hour. By the time I got home it was lunch time.

Following lunch everyone except Miky went to Bunnings. We wandered about like women in a clothing shop, shopping at our leisure. It was nice to spend an hour and a half in Bunnings. I wanted to get some gyprock for the ceiling but it was raining. After bumbling about finding the materials that I required and putting them in my car, I noticed that the weather was ok. So we went back inside to hire a trailer and buy the gyprock - until I noticed that all of the trailers had been hired.

We spent the next four hours sealing the sewing room with rubber which had to be cut to size. Yu-Jin surprised me by getting his own scissors and cutting the rubber without even being asked. And he made it the right size. I couldn't afford to have any cut incorrectly as I would have to go and buy some more.

The feature wall was a bit of a problem. How do you fix something between some bricks and a gutter? The answer, my friend, is to use liquid nails. I will rave about this product. It sticks wooden battens to bricks without any problems. It seals gaps without any problems. Fantastic stuff. And the feature wall came up quite well also.

Still have plenty of work to do for the ceiling next weekend.

Monday, August 02, 2004

New World Champ In The Making

Yesterday Miky locked the keys in the car. Again. That's twice in a couple of weeks. My key wouldn't get the boot open this time. Strange, it worked so easily when I did it in the dark and couldn't see what I was doing.

She's obviously going to be a world champion with that strike rate. I've managed to lock the keys in the car also. But that was once in 16 years of driving!! At least I learnt my lesson.

Luckily she left the driver's side window down a little bit and I was able to get a branch inside. She left the keys on the back seat so it was a bit tricky.