Thursday, December 28, 2006

Doing Flips On The Trampoline

Ah, back to the days of my youth. A time when I could do flips on the trampoline. I felt like giving it a go today. Got the young fella recording and about one and a half seconds before I planted my face on the tramp the camera battery died. Never mind, just go inside and change the battey for one with some charge left in it. Here's the result. Nearly planted the face again.

I'm a bit concerned about trying the backwards somersault right at the moment but the day will come when it seems like a good idea, I'm sure.
The Dean Jones "Terrorist Remark" Video

I've changed my details on YouTube - might as well call myself FrugalBastard over there as well.

More vids to come. Sorry.
I Don't Like Butch Women

I don't like butch women. Especially when they have entered a male-dominated profession. Take the pro shop at the golf club. This is not a place for a butch woman to be working. It's a man's job. Unless the butch woman is a professional golfer.

The boy and I went for a hit at the driving range last night. I had a voucher for 30 free driving range balls that I'd been meaning to make use of for a couple of months. Yesterday, the 27th, I discovered that it expired on the 24th. Bummer. Thought I'd try my luck anyway. So I asked if there had been any extensions made on these vouchers. "No" was the very blunt and without any sense of humour response. If there had been a bloke I may have wangled it. I did ask to borrow a golf club for junior so that he could hit a few balls and she was happy to oblige. Also purchase a very nice golf umbrella as my Christmas present from my mum - thanks mum.

So the boy and I ventured to the range. There was a bucket with two balls left in it at one of the tees. I thought the boy should hit them off as nobody was using that station. I chucked the balls in the hopper and lo and behold some 15 or 20 balls came out. Bonus!! So Yu-Jin got to hit heaps of balls anyway.

The practice was good for me and I'm in need of lots more. It's been over three months since I last hit a ball in anger. Too long and some of my shots really showed it. Couple of really nice tee shots though.
Boxing Day Sales Shopping

The Boxing Day sales have begun in WA, which stands for "Wait Awhile", after having started in the rest of the country the day before. Perhaps we have no right to call them Boxing Day sales as Boxing Day is actually the day previous.

With a forecast 37 degrees and thousands of shoppers looking for bargains it was never going to be too comfortable. I've changed a bit over the years and dipped into my pocket to pay for parking. Astounding isn't it how some people change? Marriage, and the need to maintain it, does that to a man sometimes. We slept in a bit and the sales had been on for two hours before we arrived at the six storey car park. I didn't expect to get a spot and that we would be driving to the top and back down again and have to chuff off looking for another car park. Plenty of spots, to my surprise, on the fourth level.

Man, the shops were busy. And most of the shirts and nice trousers in my size were already gone. Did manage to get a few bargains that were on our shopping list. After three hours Miky was buggered and we had to find somewhere for lunch. Jaws was the place and sushi was on the menu. They make some nice Japanese food there.

Bit of a surprise waiting for us upon our return to the car park. There was a very long queue to pay at the ticket machine. Nowadays you validate and pay for your parking prior to returning to your car and you have about another 10 minutes to leave the building without getting charged any extra. Twenty five minutes I queued up in the sun (with a little bit of shade depending on where I was standing), 37 degrees it was, only to find that of the two payment machines one was broken and the other was playing up. An angry lady, whose money the machine wouldn't accept, was informed that if she had a credit card she could make payment upon exiting instead. That was fine by me and I'd wished that I'd heard that 25 minutes earlier. By this stage the queue must have been well over the 100 people. Who'd have thought that the parking would be easy but leaving the parking would be so difficult?

Miky has, once again, become a coffee addict and we had to stop at McDonalds on the way home for a coffee. That did mean that I missed the cricket on the telly and the Aussies were pounding the Poms again.
Jilk Or Muice - New Drink To Market

I'm thinking of going into the beverage market. My latest concoction is a mixture of milk and juice. If the mixture tastes more like milk then I should brand it "Muice" and if the flavour of juice is stronger then I should market it as "Jilk". It looks like milk with some solid bits floating around. Waddya reckon? Would you buy a beverage from this man?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

More Proof Required For Australian Drivers Licence?

Do we need any more proof that an Australian drivers licence should be introduced? Currently we have stupid state laws whereby you get a state-sponsored drivers licence. Learner drivers are not allowed to drive outside the state that issued their licence but probationary and fully licenced drivers are free to driver wherever they like.

I just read that an unaccompanied 17 year old learner driver from the ACT was caught doing 203 km/h in NSW.

Let's see. Learner drivers are not allowed to driver unaccompanied. Learner drivers may only driver in the state or territory that issued the licence. Learner drivers are limited to 80 km/h.

The article says that this kid can't legally drive in NSW but if he went back to the ACT he could do so because it is a different jurisdiction. How stupid is that? Let's have one drivers licence valid for the whole country and be done with it. He's an idiot in one state but that doesn't count elsewhere?

Another thing that irks me is that you can only hold a drivers licence in one state. But, if you move to another state you apply for a local drivers licence and you are not forced to relinquish your original licence. What has this country become?
Seven Down, At Least One To Go

Mouse No. 7 has made his appearance and departed the scene. The trap is still set and Miky has seen another one. I tell you what, if mice were dancers they would be in contemporary dance. The way they pose and fling their heads back reminds me so. And I'm not a big fan of contemporary dance. We have been watching the show So You Think You Can Dance - warning, there is a spoiler contained in the link as it tells you who won the latest series. Not my cup of tea, or so I thought, and it is mildly entertaining. I like the fact that we Aussies don't have to wait to see the result as well. That's a pain in the bum on these reality TV programs.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Pied Piper Is Hammy

Recently I wrote about catching a mouse. Later that night Miky saw another one so I set the trap again and he was caught by the morning. I emptied the trap but left the walnut in it. On Saturday morning I noticed the walnut was gone. Must be another mouse on the loose in the house.

I reset the trap in the evening before heading to Bunnings to buy a pitchfork. No, I am satisfied with how well my hammer works such that I won't be chasing mice with a pitchfork. We had five cubic metres of mulch delivered to our place yesterday and the driver said that using a pitchfork meant that half the job was done. And how right he was. That stuff is very difficult to shift with a shovel and a breeze with a pitchfork. Back to the meeces. Upon our return from Bunnings I had to empty the trap. No. 3 was caught.

Reset the trap. Went to work in the front garden spreading much around the lavender, privet hedge and roses. We were all working for nearly two hours until nine o'clock. Even, pardon the pun, Yu-Jin pitched in. It was his job to fill the wheelbarrow using the pitchfork. The boy can really be helpful if you channel his energy. Back inside and there was mouse No. 4.

Reset the trap and had tea. Miky made sushi. Then we watched a murder mystery show - Midsomer Murders or something. Quite a good show. Mouse No. 5 made his appearance and was captured. This horrified Miky that there had been five mice in the house. Typical woman. Can't see the good side of things and that there were now five less mice in the house. I reset the trap, with the same bait that I'd been using all day mind you, and went to bed.

First thing this morning I find mouse No. 6. Bloody hell! What are they eating? It's not as if we have heaps of food lying around. I tell you what though, they must love the smell of the walnuts that we have. If I can find out the brand name I'll let you know. They attract mice like nothing else. And here we are in the West supposed to be experiencing a locust plague. It hasn't reached the city yet so we'll just have to put up with the meeces. They don't eat as much.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Hammer Time

It was a strange feeling in our house last night. The boy had been at childcare during the day where they went to the pool in the morning, back to the centre for lunch, and then returned to the pool for the afternoon. He was worn out and was sleeping when I arrived home from work. We have so much time on our hands we don't know what to do with ourselves.

It finally hit me that we should watch the DVD that I had hired on the weekend for myself - Hostage - starring Bruce Willis. Miky had given me a hard time when we hired it as it was a dumb action movie and I always get stupid movies, blah, blah. She was glued to the screen. It was a great movie. Bit of drama, bit of a thriller and very entertaining. Lots of shootings and death. Just the way I like it. It's about a cop and a hostage drama, if you hadn't worked that out already.

Just before we finished watching it we heard a noise from the kitchen. A rustling noise. It sounded like a mouse was into the chip packet on the kitchen bench. I crept into the kitchen, turned the light on an there was nothing. Back to finish the movie.

Just as the credits started rolling we heard the sound again. Once more I crept into the kitchen. Same rustling noise but it wasn't coming from where the chips were. It was eminating from the bread on top of the fridge. I turned the light on but there was no sudden movement as I had been expecting. The packet containing the bread had chew marks on it. Oh well, better pick up the bread and throw it in the bin. As I was lowering it to the bin I noticed that the mouse was still in the bag. Dropped that on the floor quick smart.

Went hunting for something to hit the mouse with. After watching a violent movie it was the first thing to enter my head. Couldn't find the vacuum cleaner pipe that had worked so well for me in the past. Opened my toolbox searching for a screwdriver when my hammer presented itself. No, it wasn't Saddam, The Mother Of All Hammers. He had been stolen some years before. Just an ordinary claw hammer that had been passed down from father to son. Made light work of the mouse. Little bugger. Won't be doing that again.

Miky saw another mouse later. I set up a trap with a walnut in it and the bait was gone in the morning. And so was the mouse. I'll get him. It might be hammer time again.

Yes, I do own MC Hammer's CD.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Biggest Loser - Call Centre Special

After watching the movie, A Good Woman, last night, we flicked the telly on and caught some of the finale of the American "The Biggest Loser". I'm not sure how long the contestants had to make their weight loss but 50% of your bodyweight is astounding. I was flabbergasted to see someone who had been 140kgs shrink to 70kgs and look extremely healthy with no visible signs of flab. And to think of the person that they had started with and the athlete they had finished with. Amazing.

It got me thinking. A dangerous prospect I know. Why don't we do The Biggest Loser - Call Centre Special? There is a call centre in our building. There is good reason why call centres are on the bottom floors of buildings. I'd has at a guess that 70% of the employees are overweight to obese in the call centre. Elevators should not be expected to herd them about. Some people are extremely unhealthy and can't possibly feel good about themselves. I see people drinking soft drink and eating iced buns or big, greasy hamburgers in the morning. That's not what I can face at that time of the day.

Get The Biggest Loser team into our building and run a special for the call centre workers who require it. Fair enough, not everyone is in need of a serious bit of weightloss. Don't think that I'm singling them out. Help these people choose healthy lifestyles and feel good about themselves. There are plenty of bodies to work with.
People Undeserving Of Air

Just the other day a car block my bus from exiting a bus stop in the morning. Let me tell you, the mentally retarded guy in the front seat, no, not the bus driver's seat, started yelling everything that I, and probably half of the other passengers, wanted to say in the way of abuse. I kept my composure and said nothing but it worries me that the only difference between myself and the retarded bloke was that. And, I'm not too good at keeping my mouth shut.

Anyway, the wife got out of the car blocking our exit, walked slowly to the bus, the bus driver, increduously, opened the door for her, she boarded the bus, asked some questions, fumbled around in her handbag for change, purchased a ticket and smiled whilst walking to a seat. All the time she appeared oblivious to how inconsiderate her behaviour was to other passengers.

I think everyday we should be allowed to let our inner retard out and say what we think.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Lara Bingle - What The Bloody Hell Has She Been Up To?

Lara Bingle. The face, and bikini-bound body, of Tourism Australia's "So Where the Bloody Hell are you?" commercials that featured recently. Caused a bit of a storm in Britain and not over the bikini. The Poms were more upset about the use of the word "bloody".

Nevermind that storm in a tea cup. The latest gossip is that she's been having an affair with Brendon Fevola from the Carlton Football Club. Fevola's wife, estranged I guess, has confronted Miss Bingle about this. Not a wise career move. I read today that Lara has signed a one year contract with Channel 9 but her audition for a children's program was not successful. Eddie Maguire probably wishes that he could "bone" her but not in the sense that she's attractive. More in the Jessica Rowe boning category. Eddie wouldn't stoop to the other type of boning. After all, he's a married man. Oh, so is/was Brendon Fevola.

With regards to her failed audition I'm sure that Channel 10 could offer a hostess job and create a show called "So you think you can have an affair with my husband?" That would be reality TV.

I bet that Fevola thinks he could handball this problem. It might turn out to be more of a Crow Throw though (resembling a rubgy pass instead of a legitimate handpass). And he wants to captain his football club. Looks like the right choice to lead Carlton, in my opinion.
Free Bus Trip To The City

Not having to make breakfast or lunch for any other household members this morning I left home a bit earlier thinking that I would catch a slightly earlier bus. But, as there was less traffic and people taking public transportation, the buses were also earlier and I missed the bus that I had been expecting to catch by about two minutes.

I needed have worried though. Another bus arrived shortly afterwards, the one that I normally catch if I am on time, and the multirider validator didn't work. The driver wasn't interested so I thought, "I'll be damned if I'm going to get some change out as I want to use the multirider service." You save 25% by purchasing 40 rides in advance so it would be a bit rude to have to pay extra because their system failed. So, I didn't have to pay for my trip in this morning. And many other travellers gained the same advantage.

I'll have to look for the same bus when I'm heading home tonight and again in the morning.
A Power Weekend, It Must Be Said

A very busy weekend is what I have just experienced. We were going to have some friends around for a BBQ on Saturday. I decided to make a path out the front with concrete slabs. To prepare the ground you have to remove all of the grass and weeds, settle the area with water and soil wetter, lay down some plastic to discourage weed growth and then lay the slabs.

Yu-Jin helped me dig up all the soil and sift out the rubbish from the sand until twenty to nine. That was when the mozzies started to attack. By that stage we had dug up all of the earth required but only sifted a third of it. At 6:30 Saturday morning I was out there sifting away. Had the job done by about nine.

Miky wanted to go shopping for grocery items before we had lunch. We did this and also bought the boy a new swimsuit as he'll need it next year. Once we arrived home I spent the next two hours cleaning the house whilst Miky made salads, hamburgers and marinated the chicken. Then Yu-Jin and I took off for taekwondo. I had a catnap while watching him train. Man, I was buggered. It reached 38.8 degrees, nearly 102 on the old scale, and I was a bit knackered.

Our friends arrived soon after we got home and we chatted away until six o'clock before venturing outside to use the BBQ. Thankfully it had cooled down somewhat by this stage. We had a lovely tea with some lovely company. For some reason the dishes weren't piled too high to wash afterwards. An early night was called for but we put the telly on and watched some show about murders in Badger's Creek, I think. It was British and quite enjoyable.

Got to sleep in until 7:30 on Sunday morning. It's what I call a sleep-in anyway. Made the boy have his breakfast early as he had a taekwondo grading at 12. I went off to Subi to buy the fruit and veg from the market whilst Miky and the boy went shopping. The plan was that they should return home at 11 so that he could have some lunch before his grading. I bought the F+V, a few toys for stocking fillers because I remember how magical it was to receive lots of small toys one particular Christmas, a few groceries, filled my car up with fuel and returned home in time. At 10 past 11 the missus rings and says that she is in McDonalds. Not too happy about that and I told her to give him something for lunch. I ended up picking him up on the way through.

Bloody good thing that he had lunch. Although it was supposed to be a small group being graded there were heaps of kids and Yu-Jin was the last to be graded. I think he started about 1:15 and that is a long time to be sitting on your bum doing nothing. During his grading he had no partner so when it came to exercises that involved a partner another boy who had already been graded filled in. Instead of Yu-Jin doing a wrist grab exercise and then having it done to him, he had to do it constantly. Now, he's been told previously not to do the same pattern. So, once he had done it one way he didn't want to do it again. Not realising that once he had used all of his routines he should just repeat them as he had twice as many to do as the other kids, he just got lost and stood there. The same thing happened with one-step sparring. I felt really sorry for him as he knew what he was doing but became lost because the situation was beyond his control. Subsequently he didn't score very highly but still passed his grading. He's know a 5th gup, or two-tips blue belt. A great way to finish off the season. His grading didn't finish until about a quarter to two so I'm glad he had lunch previously.

On the way to grading I noticed a legendary number plate. I kid you not. What I saw was:


I had my camera with me but didn't have enough time to get a photo. So, it does exist.

After taekwondo we did over an hour reading together as a family and ate sushi that Miky had made. Yum. Yu-Jin is taking part in the Premier's Challenge which involves doing at least 15 hours of reading during the school holidays. I think that he will get there and it is a great initiative to keep kids' brains active during school holidays.

Later on we popped down to the video store. Their prices went up during the week but it was still only A$7 to rent five weeklies. There are lots of older movies we wish to see and not just the latest release blockbusters. Yu-Jin chose a Batman cartoon and Wallace and Gromit. Not the same titles as last week but they were the same proponents.

I've had it this weekend. Christmas and the break up to the New Year are being looked forward to, let me tell you.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Which Nigerian Spammer Are You?

Which Nigerian spammer are You?

I saw this at Lori's blog. And then when I discovered that the html was all stuffed up and the image didn't appear I copied the appropriate html from her post as well.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

MM Electrical's Christmas Luncheon Extravaganza 2006

I received an invitation recently from one of our suppliers to attend their Christmas lunch. Gee, I'd have to give up half a day's pay to attend, as I'm a contractor, but they had Allan Lamb, past English Test Cricketer, and Dean Jones, past Australian Test Cricketer and one of my childhood heroes, as guest speakers. How could I turn down the invitation?

I'm glad that I went. Allan Lamb and Dean Jones were great speakers and thoroughly entertained the audience with some great cricketing stories. Not short for words either of them. That's probably why they are well-suited to the public speaking profession.

Allan Lamb mentioned his 18 runs off Bruce Reid to win a one-day international and how in a subsequent match he had to stop Reid in his run-up because there was a message posted on a commercial poster which read, "Bruce Reid please ring 24264." which just happened to be how Lamb had scored in that final over and he couldn't concentrate because of the sign.

Jonesy mentioned a great deal about his 216 and how Merv Hughes had made 72 not out. But the funniest part was afterwards when they had gone to the West Indies' dressing rooms afterwards and Sir Donald Bradman joined them to meet the players. He met Patrick Patterson, 6' 5" and just dressed in a towel, one of the most fearsome fast bowlers to grace the test arena, and said to him, "Gee, you bowled some shit out there today, Patto." Patterson fired up and said something along the lines of, "You shouldn't say that or I'll take you down to the nets and f$%&ing kill you, mon!" The Don's retort was, "If you couldn't get Merv Hughes out what would you do to me?" The Don was 80 by this stage.

Allan Lamb.

Dean Jones in silent contemplation. At this stage he hadn't said anything to put his foot in it.

Dean Jones from a long distance. Inside. So don't complain about the quality. Or lack of it.

The Jones Boy and Hammy

Jones Boy, Hammy and Allan Lamb

I got a chance to talk one-on-one later on and tell him that my kid is named after him. So, he autographed something for my boy but it wasn't only afterward that I told him it's my boy's middle name. Nevermind. I spoke about the test match in Adelaide vs the West Indies where he made 216 runs, his highest test score, where I attended all four days. I spoke about hearing his 145 runs in a one-day international that was an Australian record at the time and how it was so exciting to listen to on the radio. And how he had gotten out just before I arrived at my destination and could view the wonderful way he was batting. And I made mention of his 99 not out from 77 balls against Sri Lanka. I wrote down stats as much as I could whilst listening on the radio and I still have them at home.

After a photo session I managed to ask him if Craig McDermott had hit the ball to get out in that Adelaide test match mentioned previously and Australia lost by one run. He did hit it, or rather it came off his glove, which constitutes hitting it, and was correctly given out. I was sitting in front of the Bradman stand and could swear that it had come off his arm. Now it has been laid to rest. Second hand though.

MM Electrical put on a marvellous lunch. And a couple of the ladies who attended made it quite memorable. Especially the lady in the green dress. Well, she only just stayed in the green dress but it gave plenty of blokes lots to talk about. If Shane Warne had been a public speaker at this function he would have been too busy chatting her up and getting her phone number for later. I'm sure a few guys tried that too.
Dean Jones Explains "The Terrorist" Remark

Here is Dean Jones' version of events regarding the now infamous "Terrorist" remark.

Apologies for the waiters' heads but it was about the best I could do. My arms were tired by the end of filming that. I wish I had recorded the rest of his speech as he was a pretty funny bugger.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Tooth Fairy Finally Had To Visit

Nearly everyone in Yu-Jin's class has been visited by the tooth fairy. I had warned him that as it was the end of the year the tooth fairy mightn't have much money left. He'd had a wobbly tooth for about a week and Miky decided that it was time to come out. I wobbled it a fair bit but it wasn't about to pop out. We tied some thread around it and after a few tears it popped out. Ten or fifteen minutes later the pain associated with the backyard extraction was forgotten about.

Mouth full of teeth.

Mouth minus one tooth.

I had Yu-Jin put the tooth in a money bag from the bank, generally for ease of finding it. If he had placed the tooth under his pillow it could have been lost so easily. He very proudly showed me how part of the bag could be seen above his pillow to make it easier for the tooth fairy to find.

Later in the night I filled another money bag with schrapnel and put it under his pillow. Now that school holidays have begun I don't have to wake him up in the morning and give him breakfast before I head to work. Thankfully he woke up before I left and very proudly showed me the money that had been left for him. He even went as far as counting it.

It was a good day to be at work. Apparently he drove Miky nuts by talking incessantly about his tooth, the gap and the tooth fairy. The discomfort was obviously a distant memory. They got together with one of his schoolmates which was good for Miky as he was able to bother his friend with the story.

My boy is growing up.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Taekwondo Black Belt Grading

As a family unit we attended the black belt grading that was held today. We missed the actual black belts but saw the red belt three tips or more correctly, first gup, taekwondoers, for want of a much better and correct word, go through their gradings. I managed to get one little 1st dan black belt guy doing his board breaking exercise.

He was pretty impressive overall and would deserve to gain his 2nd dan black belt.

Looking For A Dog

Afterwards we went to the Canning City Animal Shelter to have a look at the dogs. There were only two there, a staffy and a rottweiler cross. Not the sort of dogs that we are interested in. Miky wants to get a poodle or a maltese. I'd settle for a beagle or a jack russel. Hopefully a beagle it will be. We may have to go through the normal channels to get one though.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Still Require Proof That Firefox Is Better Than Internet Explorer?

I've been using Firefox for quite some time now. It is much more user-friendly than Internet Explorer. And it appears to be more reliable. Check out the pic below.

Firefox vs IE

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Sunroom Renovation Pretty Much Done

Going back to about June and forward to December, here are the progress photos of the sunroom that was only going to take 8-10 weeks to build. There are still some gaps to be fixed but they are due to be done today.

I spent all day Saturday painting the front door, installing the blinds and a window lock. Too much trouble. And Sunday morning was used to paint the door again. It's come up nicely though.


Even did the garden out the front.

It's come together fairly well. I'm guessing that it was worth the trouble. Makes the house feel like a home.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Am I An A-List Bloglebrity?

Far from it, it appears.

D-List Blogger

Apparently I have linked only 9 blogs in the last 180 days. I'm sure I'm a much better name-dropper than that. There must be some mistake. I demand a recount.

I saw Lori do this. There, I'll have to check my bloglebrity status again.
Ben Cousins - You Idiot (Revisited)

Surprise, surprise. Ben Cousins, the "spiritual leader" of the West Coast Eagles has been arrested. This time on the charge of being drunk in a public place. I guess that's what happens when you leave a nightclub at 4:30am. Most people are bound to be drunk.

I immediately thought that he must have been with his partner-in-crime, er friend, Michael Gardner, when I heard that his arrest took place in Melbourne. And so it turned out to be. Unless he was being disorderly I don't consider the charge to be too serious though.

He's just proved that he is still an idiot. No outrunning the police this time. Can the Eagles dump him in time for the pre-season draft? It will be interesting to see how much they back their man this time. Involvment in a nightclub shooting, running from a booze bus and abondoning his car on a highway, drunk in public place. Wow, his achievements of winning a Brownlow Medal and a premiership are practically equalled by his public ineptitude and arrogance.
Daylight Savings Is A Winner

Daylight savings is a winner, in my book at least. Day one of a new dawn was welcomed by Yu-Jin getting up at 6am, which was the old 5am, to play computer games. And considering that we watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner From Azkaban until very late the night before, it wasn't a bad start. It was nice not to have the sun burning my eyes out from 5am also. I spent my day painting the front door of the new sunroom and installing a lock on the window. We also, the boy and I, went to Subi to buy fruit and veg. Woolies was open, unusual for a Sunday, so we bought 10 icecreams. Yum.

Once the door was finished and the sunroom cleaned we had to help in the garden. This involved digging up some irises and moving them, planting a couple of new agapanthuses, and putting down some recently purchased kerbing in the form of edging. It's come up nicely, what with the mulch that was added and trimming of the blackberry tree. Our place is starting to look like a home.

We did fall into the trap of working outside much longer than usual and so ended up visiting Dominos Pizza for tea. Well, I picked up a couple of pizzas anyway. Must have been just after 8pm before we ate tea. The girl who served me complained about getting up one hour earlier, going to school one hour earlier, leaving school one hour earlier... Then her complaints died away. One-all at this stage I believe.

This morning I had a bit of a laugh. The car yard near where I catch the bus had put their clock/thermometer reading sign two hours fast. Silly people don't realise that daylight savings just means that our clocks go one hour ahead and not three hours so that we have Eastern Daylight Savings Time.

I don't like the fact that the cricket starts an hour later in the day than normal. At work I can contact more people on the eastern seaboard during my working day. I do think that it isn't good for the water levels in our dams as people will have more time to water their gardens, which is exactly what we did tonight. There is more time to enjoy the family while it is still light and Yu-Jin even went to bed before it was dark without questioning it. He was dog tired though and who can blame him after his weekend's activities?

I'm all in favour of daylight savings. I just hope that the three year trial in the West is enough to convince everybody else of its benefits.
Beach Cricket On Rotto

I mentioned that we played some beach cricket when we went to Rotto. This is the way it should be played. I didn't get any video of Chelsea diving/falling into the water to retrieve the ball. Or of Eugene running backwards in the water with a beer in one hand and taking a one-handed catch, falling over and not spilling a drop. Or of Craig dropping four out of the five dollies that came his way. Gee, he resembled Phil Tufnell in the field.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

What Is Google News Telling Us?

Greg Page, the Yellow Wiggle, has had to retire due to ill health. He can't stand up or sit down without experiencing fainting spells. And wiggling is certainly not healthy for him. But what is Google News telling us?

Has the crime rate increased due to the Yellow Wiggle's handover?
Dodgy Share Pinching C@#$s!!

Direct Share Purchasing Corporation Pty Ltd - the dodgy share buyers are back. BHP Billiton warned shareholders recently that David Tweed was up to his old trips of offering money for your shares at substantially lower than market value. All you have to do is sign a form and return it. Then, a few days later, you will receive a cheque for possibly several thousand dollars less than you reasonably should expect.

Don't accept anything from the dodgy pricks behind this company.

Be warned. Even if you don't sign the form but return it the fine print says that still constitutes acceptance of the offer. My advice is to remove all personally identifying material, write some nasty messages and place is the pre-addressed envelope provided, don't affix a stamp (let the bastard pay extra for it being delivered without a stamp) and relax thinking happy thoughts.

Just don't get caught.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Christmas Party 2006 - Trip To Rotto

Our Christmas party this year was all planned for a boat trip to Rotto, or Rottnest Island for those not in the know, as it has been for the last four years. My first experience of it though as I've only been with the company for just under two months.

All week we've had unsettled weather so to be greeted with nearly clear skies and hardly a breath of wind was delightful. Dropped the boy off at school and headed down to Rous Head just north of Fremantle. I wasn't quite sure where to go but when I saw one of the ladies from the office I knew that I was in the right place. Our two charter boats departed from the jetty at the Perth Diving Academy.

The other charter boat leaving Rous Head.

We made a bit of a wake on the trip over.

The trip over was a little bit rough and Miky didn't feel too well. Despite taking seasickness pills prior to the voyage. Sid, on the other boat, threw up. He certainly didn't enjoy the trip over.

Who brought the bloody Pom?

Gone for a dip.

The rocks next to Parakeet Bay.

We anchored in Parakeet Bay. There were plenty of drinks and munchies. A few people brought wetsuits and took the plunge. I put my boardies on and went in for a dip. Bit cold to start with but I swam to shore and then turned around again. Henry lent me a mask and snorkel and I swam to the reef nearby and saw some marvellous seaweed, reef and fish. Can you believe that I've never snorkelled before? It was fantastic. Cramp struck both my calves, must be a bit unfit, but the current sent me back out to the boats pretty quickly.

Lunch was a mixture of salads, char-grilled chicken, sausages and steak. Went down nicely.

Snags on the BBQ - bloody bewdy.

Following that just about everyone went to the beach for beach cricket. Excellent stuff with one fantastic catch taken with a beer in one hand out in the water. The guy didn't spill a drop even though he fell over in the process.

About half past three we headed back to Perth. It was quite a bit rougher on the way back. Rene, who was upstairs, had a spew over the side. Just as we entered the harbour Miky had a spew over the side. I don't know how they faired on the other boat which was a bit smaller and therefore more conducive to a good ol' chunder in the rough seas.

Rene's spew - didn't he get a cheer from the boys!

Only when I had a shower later did I realise that my back and shoulders were burnt along with the top of my feet and just below my knees on my calves. I hadn't planned to be in the water for too long without a shirt or sunscreen as the water was likely to be really cold. Perhaps I have a bit more body fat as the water didn't bother me and I obviously stayed long enough to get burnt. And all day I had been worried about other people getting burnt. It's not too bad though.

My sunburnt back.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

I've Taken Up Jogging. Apparently.

Last night I left work almost 10 minutes late. Outside the building I noticed a bus that I could catch on the other side of the traffic lights further down the road. I found a gap in the traffic and ran across the road. I kept running towards my bus stop which is a couple of hundred metres away. The bus past me. I kept running, refusing to wave my arms like an idiot or yell out "Stop the bus!" The bus pulled up at the bus stop. I kept running. A lady at the bus stop moved to board the bus, backed away, and then boarded the bus. I kept running. By this stage I was thinking it would be pretty bad if the bus pulled away leaving me there. But, I kept running. Thankfully the bus driver stayed long enough for me to catch the bus.

This morning I was approaching my stop when I saw the bus at the intersection. I thought if there is turning traffic, meaning the bus would have to wait a few seconds, I may have a chance. There was turning traffic. I started running. The bus took off. "Damn it" I thought. I stopped running. I noticed three people waiting to board the bus. I started running again. The bus didn't have to wait for me as the people boarding took long enough.

I don't know how healthy this jogging is however. Might give it up if I can organise myself a few minutes earlier each day.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My Wife The Weather Girl

If Miky ever gets sick of her job I know another occupation that she could walk straight into. She has all the traits of a weather girl. Well, maybe she doesn't have blonde hair and unfeasonably large breasts but her weather-sense is second to none in the business.

Take this morning for instance. At 2:30 we had a very heavy storm which lasted for a few minutes but only dumped about 6.8mm according to the Bureau of Meteorology's Website. The forecast was for an early storm and morning showers. Just as I was about to leave for work I said, "It looks a bit dodgy out there. I think I'd better take my big umbrella."
Her response was that it "Would be fine". Even after pointing out to her that it was a black as a dog's guts outside she was convinced that it would be ok.

Stepping outside and it had just started raining. Miky offered me a lift to the bus stop which I accepted readily. As I alighted from the car it started pissing down.

Yes, she has all the hallmarks of a weather girl - no idea about what the future holds weather-wise. And happy to tell everyone about it.

At the bus stop some Indonesian or Malaysian guy told me that I look like his friend, Gary. "Not me mate," I informed him. He insisted that I did and that Gary caught the bus at this stop. I had to explain that this wasn't my normal stop. Didn't get a chance to tell him how sorry I felt for Gary, his poor bastard friend. I wouldn't wish my looks on anyone. Except mini me.
Sunroom Debacle - How Hard Can It Be?

Monday. The day after the weekend where Yu-Jin had his best friend stay over and then went to the beach with their family the following morning and left us two in peace. The day after I started painting the living room walls because Miky had come to the realisation that spending $350-$700 on fabric to hang on those walls wasn't justifiable, especially as I already had the paint to do the job. The day after Australian Idol heralded Damien Leith, our favourite singer, as the new Australian Idol. It must have been my vote that saw him across the line.

Monday. The day that I rang my builder and he actually answered the phone instead of letting it go through to his message bank. He, the Willy Wonka lookalike, informed me that the window would be there at 12 o'clock the next day and his carpenter would arrive at 12:30 to start work on it.

Tuesday. Twelve fifty. Miky rings me to say that the carpenter waited 10 minutes and then just left. No window. I rang the builder and he rang me back almost immediately. The carpenter had just gone to the shops for a drink. One thirty and Miky rings me to say that the window has arrived but it is the wrong colour and a patio door and not a window. I'm not the sort of bloke to panic when I have a contract because if it doesn't come up to standard I don't sign off. Miky is the sort of person who spits chips viciously. Another phone call came through less than a minute later. She had seen somebody else's door which had been taken off the back of the truck. No problem.

About 20 minutes later the phone rang again. The new, correctly painted window, didn't fit. The carpenter was effing and blinding. Miky was so concerned about this. I wasn't - if it's not right I won't settle for it and they can make it again. Then she started going on about cutting it down to size by about 15mm. Later she rang me to say that the door had to be cut. Our new, very expensive, door.

When I arrived home I discovered that the concrete floor had been ground down a little bit to allow the window to sit level. The problem was caused by an uneven floor. I don't know how many times that the front of the house was measured but this really shouldn't have happened. How hard can it be?

At least I don't have to pay for the heartache. I'm on a fixed price contract. Can't understand why Miky doesn't see the funny side of it all. Her panic button is permanently pressed, methinks.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Number Plates That Caught My Eye

1GEEZER - On a 4WD. Obviously owned by a Pom. Funny.
FASHN8N - Red sports car. Fascinated with himself no doubt.
WEEBEASTIE - On a black VW Golf. Tres cool.
KORRUPT - Over-accessorised Commodore.
Consolidation In The Fashion Industry

What would happen if the fashion houses of Pierre Cardin and Collette Dinnigan were to join? Would we be greeted with the House of Cardigan?
When Do You Give Up Your Seat On Public Transport?

Chivalry determined that gentlemen should give up their seat for ladies on public transport. Then feminism reared its ugly head and we gents we not welcome to offer our seats to the ladies. I read this morning that due to cosmetic surgery 40 is the new 30 and that middle age doesn't start until 60.

That begs the question - when do you give up your seat on public transport? Anyone under 50 will be offended and anyone who has just reached pensionable age will contend that they are only in middle age not age old. I guess you will only be able to offer your seat to octogenarians and above although they already have their zimmer frame or gopher and shouldn't really need the seat by that stage. So, those that are old enough to be offered a seat without being offended will be too old to take it.

Just stay in your seat people.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Customer Service Received At Myer

I popped into Myer yesterday to get my 25% discount on the shirt I had purchased the Sunday previous. My understanding is that the shirt wasn't purchased in the same department as where the shirt was on display so the clerks just didn't realise that they had to ring up the discount. No bother. The helpful lady yesterday refunded the 25% discount and then gave me an extra 7.5% for my trouble. Now that's what I can customer service.

Perhaps the new management of Myer has changed the attitude towards customers somewhat.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

When Are Free Phone Calls Not So Free?

Ask yourself this question - When are free phone calls not so free? Answer - When your prepaid mobile phone company stuffs up and blows all your money on your calls.

I have an Optus prepaid mobile. Thirty dollars of credit is valid for 60 days. Apart from that I have 300 minutes of free calls to other Optus prepaid mobiles. With my mum, sister and Miky on Optus prepaids I have almost all the people I need to ring available for free.

My 60 days were up so I recharched my account and I had $12 remaining. Add the $30 and freetime and my balance should be $42 and 300 freetime minutes. This was done four and a half days ago. Yesterday I went to make a phone call and was warned that I had less than $2 credit. News to me. In that time I had sent two SMSs and not made any phone calls that I would had to have paid for.

So I rang Optus customer service to sort it out. Of course Optus' database was a bit slow and Eden, the customer service rep, couldn't access my details regarding phone calls too quickly. He finally came around and offered me $30 credit which "Should last you long enough." I politely informed him that that wasn't good enough and that I should have $42 credit and 200-250 free minutes. After speaking to his team leader it was decided that I should get $30 credit and 300 free minutes.

I guess that I can be happy with that although I'm still down about $12 more than I reasonably should be. This is the first major hassle I've had with them in six months of usage. They haven't been too bad up until now.

Gotta watch the bastards though.
Killing Three Birds With One Stone

How do you get a trampoline for the boy home if you don't have a trailer and you are too cheap to hire one for the purpose? Easy. Buy some slabs of concrete from Bunnings that you need for the front door path that will be operational in but a few days and get free trailer hire for two hours. And while you are at it go to WA Salvage as they have 30% off storewide due to them closing down and pick up some kerbing for the front garden. Then you pick up the trampoline. Take the trailer back to Bunnings and everyone is happy.

I've still got it.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Western Australia Steps Out Of The Dark Ages

Western Australia is about to experience daylight savings. Yes, you heard correctly. I can't believe that it has taken so long to catch up to the rest of the world. It's a three year trial initially. Last time we had daylight savings was in 91/92 apparently. Some IT professionals aren't pleased but what do they think the rest of the world has been doing forever and a day?

I feel that the extra time at the end of the day will be beneficial to families and I'll probably be able to kick the footy with the young bloke after tea and before bed. There doesn't seem much point in having the sun shining in your eyes about a quarter to five every morning and trying to sleep as is the case currently. Plus, we'll be able to communicate with the rest of the country more easily as the maximum time difference will be in the order of two hours and not three.

What I find most ridiculous about the situation is that the Liberal Party has been calling for daylight savings and once it was finally introduced to Parliament they spent as long as possible trying to delay the vote. Dickheads. Politicians are the same everywhere. They all want the limelight and aren't interested if it's not their idea.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Spot The 7 Differences

Child's play really. Remember when you sat down to two pictures that looked very similar and had to spot the differences. They usually ranged between seven and ten in number. Obviously Kim Beazley wasn't too good at this game judging by the fact that he tried to convey his condolences to Rove McManus after losing his wife, Belinda Emmett, to cancer, and confused him with Karl Rove. What an enormous political gaffe - almost as big as the man himself.

Let's play the game ourselves, shall we?

Spot the 7 differences in the pictures below.

1. Karl Rove is the Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush. As such he's probably not a barrel of laughs.
1A. Rove McManus is a comedian/entertainer/TV host.

2. Karl Rove was born in Denver, Colorado and has an American accent.
2A. Rove McManus was born in Perth, Australia and has an Australian accent.

3. Karl Rove isn't exactly thin.
3A. Rove McManus isn't fat but he isn't exactly as skinny as his wife was when she died.

4. Karl Rove has a son.
4A. Rove McManus has no children.

5. Karl Rove's wife Darby survived breast cancer.
5A. Rove McManus' wife Belinda Emmett survived breast cancer but didn't beat a secondary bone cancer.

6. Karl Rove is not well known in Australia.
6A. Rove McManus has won three Gold Logies for Most Popular Personality on Australian Television. It is not known if Karl Rove has a personality.

7. Karl Rove's name is spelt K-a-r-l R-o-v-e.
7A. Rove McManus' name is spelt R-o-v-e M-c-M-a-n-u-s.

And Kim Beazley wants to be the Prime Minister of Australia. If he can't spot the differences between Karl Rove and Rove McManus then he would probably confuse cricket with baseball and we could never have a PM who doesn't know anything about cricket.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

When Is A Bargain Not So Much Of A Bargain?

I mentioned recently that on Sunday I purchased an expensive shirt in Myer. It was a JAG business shirt and the 25% discount made the price much more attractive. I have one other JAG that my mother gave me money for as a birthday present and I love it. The fit and feel are fabulous.

On Sunday one of the shirts caught my eye and when I put it on it felt nice but the look was just that of an ordinary $25 business shirt, I'm sorry to say. I wasn't going to pay that sort of money for something that didn't look the part. Miky found a few more to try on and a black and white number looked great. As I paid for it I was talking to Miky about something.

This morning I received quite a surprise to see that I had been charged the full amount for the shirt without the discount. Ouch! This just means that I'll be paying a visit to Myer on Thursday night, most likely, to rectify the situation. Can't afford to have my reputation tarnished in that manner.

And no, it doesn't seem like such a bargain at the moment.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Red Bull Air Race and Worm Farm Were This Weekend's Highlights

The boy was sick this weekend. So, no Korean school or taekwondo for him. Instead, we built a worm farm. Well, I wasn't going to pay $90 for the plastic version in the shop. Hopefully that which I have put together will work as the 500 starter worms cost over 20 bucks. Wish I had my camera with me. I've glued some supports inside a few planter trays, put legs on the base and installed a tap.

Talk about getting the runaround at Bunnings whilst searching for the tap. I looked in the plumbing section, aisle 42, for a plastic tap. Then I went to gardening, where they sent me to reticulation, aisle 17. The team member at reticulation needed help and they dragged me over to homewares, aisle 29. Finally located a plastic tap but it was only a threaded version without a locknut. Do you think that I could find a locknut? My best bet was going to be a reducer but the reticulation guy found a sprinkler accessory that did the job. Only problem was there was no sticker and the checkout girl had no idea what the part was. I told her that it was 99 cents, which was no word of a lie, and she found a sprinkler part that cost 91 cents and put it down as that.

Nearly finished the worm farm on Saturday night while we watched Chicken Run. On Sunday morning I ventured to Bunnings again to purchase a holesaw arbor as I had a holesaw but not the right size arbor. There was a nice brand-name set of holesaw that I was willing to pay a bit extra for but they were all too big so I had to settle for the cheapie Chinese variety. This was one occasion that I wanted to pay more for something and I was let down by it not quite being appropriately. Got myself a lovely rat tail file also. It's some new fangled design and is not a solid piece of metal a all.

Anyway, put it all together up until the last bit of gluing. Vaccumed the house prior to us going out to see the Red Bull Air Race. I'd seen these guys practising during the week. My boss let me use his car park at work which was a great help as I would otherwise have had to pay for parking. There were a few hundred thousand people lining the foreshores of the Swan River to see this spectacular event. We found a spot under a tree so weren't going to get sunburnt. I was surprised that Miky got so into it. Didn't think that it would be her cup of tee. Yu-Jin was inspired too and it helped that I brought a couple of planes along. I even saw one of my workmates there.

To see the pilots going at something like 360 km/h and pulling 11 Gs on some of their turns was amazing. On the news we could check out the cockpit footage. Brilliant. Nice and loud too. Not too many drunken yobbos about either. After the first leg of the race, we and many thousands of others decided that that was enough. Walking back to the car and we have to leave the roadway as an ambulance was in a hurry to leave. Found out later on the news that some guy had dived off his boat into the river and broken his neck. Not the smartest move.

Caught a bus into the city after showing Miky my office. Good move although the traffic was so bad we were only moving as fast as people walking but the bus was airconditioned. Went to Jaws sushi for lunch and had to wait 10 minutes to get a table. The city was buzzing. They had a book sale in Myer with 40% off so we bought a few books for the boy. A Harry Potter novel, book on Egyptology and an animal encyclopaedia. Bought myself a new shirt which will probably end up being a Christmas present in some form as it was so expensive.

Got home and put the worm farm into the garden. Chucked the worms in and some scraps for them to get started on. We'll see how it goes.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Harvey Norman 0 : Frugal Bastard 2

Don't argue the toss with a Frugal Bastard when he's in the mood to save money. Harvey Norman recently sent out a catalogue full of pricey gear, ok some of it was competitively priced, but they also included some vouchers for FREE photos. I know, I know, it is just a gimmick to get you into the store. With that in mind I took the boy. And for some reason they delivered two of these catalogues to our household. Very nice junk mail indeed.

We each printed off our 20 free 6"x4" photos for one particular voucher and five free 6"x8" photos for another voucher. The guy at the photoshop thought that that was ok. He came running to us shortly after as we were on our way out as he didn't think that we could use two vouchers each. The voucher said, "Limit 1 per customer." Yes, I explained, but that means one voucher of that particular type per customer as it didn't say "Limit 1 voucher per customer."

Then he tried to pull me up on the "Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers" line. I explained that legally that meant if the store had an item on sale, i.e. another offer, I would be unable to use this voucher to get a further discount. Just because I had used a different voucher for a different set of prints didn't constitute me using it in conjunction with another offer.

He still wanted me to do my prints again and split them up. Fine, I told him, but that I would just come back another time to use the other free offer. I started processing my pictures again and he had a word to the manager, who must have been a smart bloke as he didn't think it was worth going through the motions of cancelling the first order and replacing it with two orders, and he then informed me as I was prepared to come back later I might as well be allowed to keep my original order.

Later when we came to collect the photos the cashier didn't like ringing up four vouchers for two people. Luckily the salesman who had given in earlier was nearby and after I pointed him out the cashier called him over. He took one look at me and said, "Paul said it's ok."

That makes two to me and none to Harvey Norman. I'm sure I mentioned the time I got a red hot price for a printer from a guy I went to uni with who used someone else's ID to offer me a cost-price plus deal at a computer shop, on an item not in stock, and I just went to Harvey Norman with this price and they knocked a further $40 off their already discounted sale price. I love putting it over Harvey Norman.
How To Get A Seat On The Bus

Sure-fire way to get your own seat on the bus. Last night, heading towards the uni incidentally, there was a girl in the early rows with almost bright green hair. As I wasn't stepping onto the bus my first thoughts were, "I'll steer clear of that weirdo." I think that everyone else had the same idea. Nobody sat next to her and they gave her a bit of a wide berth as they went down the aisle.

She looked nice enough. Somebody should tell her that Halloween, which we don't celebrate in this country, finished nearly three weeks ago and that she should stop scaring little kids. Mind you, the hair colour looked alright. It was just a bit confronting though. Perhaps she did it to raise money. Or for a bet.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Buses Are Filling Up Lately

A couple of ocassions lately have seen the local bus drivers stop people from boarding as the bus was already full. Legally most of the buses are only able to take 64 passengers with about 45 of them sitting. I've had to stand a couple of times for part of the journey but sometimes I am grateful for the fact that I have a multirider ticket and don't need to purchase a ticket. That allows me to get the last available seat on the odd ocassion.

Perhaps as I didn't take the bus before the rise in petrol prices I'm not best placed to comment on how full the buses are but it does seem a little unusual to see them so crowded. There are a great number of buses that go past my stop early in the morning.

Just make sure that you have a ticket and are the first to get on at the bus stop. Or maybe even walk in the opposite direction to the previous bus stop to ensure that you get a seat. Oh, and give them up for the pregnant ladies or elderly people.

There was one bitch, let me tell it as I see it, who didn't bother to remove her bag from a seat, even though lots of people were standing, until someone said, "Excuse me" and motioned to sit down. Can't stand people like that. And she was on the bus again this morning sitting in the aisle seat and hogging the window seat with her bag. One of the hair dyed black and piercings all over the place mob.
Something Different - Mexican For Tea

For four years we've lived here. Right near a Mexican restaurant. And we haven't bothered to try it. Last night we decided to give it a go. The place is called "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly". Most of the decore is centred on the movie starring Clint Eastwood.

Wednesday night is 2 for 1 night so it was the most appealing time. Sunday night is family night where kids eat for free. Seeing as our kid doesn't eat much and two meals are usually enough that seemed like a complete waste.

We bought nachos for the boy. They were quite tasty. Our meals were seafood quesadilla and a chicken and mushroom burrito. The thought of seafood in a wrap seemed a bit odd and not exactly what you would expect from Mexicans and it didn't work too well. Miky, the orderer, wasn't too happy with it. I dunno. It was ok. My chicken and mushroom burrito was really quite nice and probably worth the expense as a meal on its own. Very enjoyable.

We sat in the back room which didn't have airconditioning as that would have been too cold as we were lightly dressed. Acoustics in the back room weren't conducive to conversation but the setting was nice.

The food was ok and the menu was huge. I liked their motto - "Good Food, Bad Service, Ugly Waitresses...."

Monday, November 13, 2006

Rove (A)Live : Belinda Not

This came as a bit of a shock. Not that we've heard much about Rove's wife of late. Even the girls at work, who love a bit of gossip, were taken by surprise. On Friday night they were advertising what would be on Rove Live this week. Only, Rove won't be performing live for some time to come. Don't blame him. Poor bastard.
Some Relatives Came To Visit

Being in WA, and a long way from anywhere, it's not often that relatives come to visit. Last month we missed out on seeing an aunty and uncle from Queensland as we had gone to Victoria for a holiday. When I heard that my aunty and uncle from Adelaide were over I couldn't wait to see them. They had a few functions to attend for the first three days but would be free on Sunday. Perfect.

I had planned to take them on the Perth Tram Company tourist tram, which a former work colleague recommended, but it had limited stops and with our timeframe it would be easier to drive by myself. Plus, I had to do the fruit and vege shopping also.

My aunty is a bit of a tidy freak, good reason not to mention any names (sorry), so I spent the evening before and the morning of cleaning the house as best I could. Yu-Jin and I picked them up at 10am as Miky had work to be done. Man she works hard on the weekend. Our first stop was Kings Park where we did the treetop walk, looked at the area where we were married, went to the DNA Tower and Yu-Jin raced up to the top, and returned to the car via the fountain area. As my rellies hadn't had breakfast we made a stop at the cafe and the refreshment we had was much enjoyed. Even though it was only 23 degrees it felt closer to 30.

Second stop was the Bell Tower. We were lucky enough to visit when the bell ringers were going their hardest. Lastly we visited Subiaco. Mainly so that I could buy fruit and veg but so that they could have a look around the market. Lunch was Subway. Mmm.

Back to our house for a bit of a tour, sit down and a drink. Chucked the DVD on about Miky's TAFE graduation fashion show, as my aunty is into that sort of thing. Later we, including Miky this time, drove to Hillarys Boat Harbour before eating out at my friends' restaurant - Fratelli, in Sorrento. I haven't seen my friends, brothers, for about four years. They are busy people, what with running the restaurant and their families, and it is such a long way to go. Enough of the bullshit excuses, it was great to see them and have a long chat. Luckily Sunday nights aren't too busy. The food was excellent and my uncle refused to let me pay. He paid for the whole lot. It made me very glad that I was able to take them around but he didn't need to do that.

Dropped the rellies off at their hotel around 9:30. It was great to see them and we had a lovely day. I quite enjoyed being able to play tourist guide. Yu-Jin had an excellent day.

Do you hear that rellies? I enjoy having you come to visit. Pop your heads over this side of the country a bit more often.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Text-Based Blogging For A Bit

The camera is in the repair shop. There's been what appears to be a scratch on the lens for donkeys ages and I've decided to bite the bullet. Gonna cost a bit and the worrying thing is that the repairman said that it is a common problem. Apparently some foreign object gets to where the camera becomes "digital film" and buggers up the image. Couple of weeks to fix as they are a bit busy at the moment.

Great. That means that plenty of work will go on and I won't be able to photograph it. Unless, of course, I go back to using real film. Ugh.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

War - In The Living Room

I guess this won't appeal to too many of you but we boys like playing war. On Sunday the boy and I set up a couple of castles and had a battle between the Koreans (Yu-Jin) and the Japanese (Me). I have American and Japanese soldiers from when I was a kid and it's always fun to play. Maybe not the setting up part but the destruction is.

Koreans vs Japanese War Video

Yu-Jin's fortifications for the Koreans.

Behind enemy lines.

Japanese fortifications.

Up close and personal with the Japanese.

Korean aftermath - strong defences but not protective enough.

Japanese aftermath - couple of survivors.

Monday, November 06, 2006

If Only My Wife Had Been My Woodwork Teacher

The original pantry doors. What on earth were the previous owners thinking by putting these in with the lovely jarrah door jambs?

The missus had me busy on the weekend again. On Sunday I put the flyscreen in the new pantry doors. Bit of a tricky job and moreso than I had planned. Not having done this sort of thing before I did a better job on the second screen. Well, the missus came and had a look and did she go beserk.
"You never do a professional job. I'm going to pay somebody with your money to do the job next time." On and on she went.

I noticed that there was enough flyscreen to have another go if I could just get the framework holding it in position out without damaging it. Managed to prise it out with a chisel without doing any damage and did a much better job of it the second time around.

All I needed was a little encouragement in the form of a rabid wife. I must say that it looks close to magnificent. If only my wife had been my woodwork teacher when I was at school. Perhaps I would be a woodworking genius by now.

Newly stained pantry doors without flyscreen.

Pantry doors with flyscreen.

The finshed pantry doors.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Getting Back To My Best

Managed to spend some time with the missus yesterday. Mind you, she had to work until after midnight to afford the time for me. Had a cuppa and a muffin in Subi after buying the fruit and veg. Bit of a chinwag as well.

In the arvo I stained the new pantry doors. They've come up a treat. Whilst carrying out that work I had the boy wash my car. I saw him climb up on the boot to do the back windscreen. Later he rushed in and excitedly told me that he'd managed to climb onto the roof to clean it. That soon became apparent to him that that wasn't a good idea.

After finishing the doors I just had time to duck outside and give the car a once over to clean it up before driving it out to let an approaching thunderstorm rinse it for me. Who says I'm not waterwise?

Speaking of waterwise - what happens when you leave a six year old in charge of a running bath? You probably guessed it - the floor gets a good washing. He started yelling out, "Mum, you've put too much water in!" Not too bright as he should have noticed the high water level long before. Funny, the missus and I were just discussing how intelligent he was. I said that it's a pity he's not smart enough to go to medical school and Miky said that he was a very smart boy. Then came the yelling about the full bath. Within two minutes of telling me that he was smart she was telling him how stupid he was.

Friday, November 03, 2006

It's A Worrisome Sign

"Help Wanted" - I view this as a worrisome sign. The Western Australian economy is steamrolling along, there are high paying jobs on offer, and everything appears to be peachy. Or is that just a facade? Are there large cracks in the foundation that are about to open up and start swallowing us?

In the news recently I heard that Woolies, and perhaps Coles, were struggling to find checkout chicks. This is due to the booming economy offering people better pay and conditions than they otherwise would experience in menial jobs. Last night we went shopping and the queues at the checkout in KMart were quite long. It worries me what will shopping be like at Christmas time. Pretty ugly I imagine and far worse than last night.

Go for a walk along a restaurant strip and every second shop is looking for a waitperson. Even one of the Chinese restaurants is looking for someone who speaks either Mandarin, English or both. They are becoming less fussy with whom they choose. What blew me away last night was a local family-owned Chinese fish shop and even they were even advertising for staff. They generally keep everything in-house and don't open up to non-family members.

It is looking pretty grim out there. I don't think the picture is as rosy as the Government would like to paint. You may have more money in your pocket but chances are that you will become frustrated trying to spend it. I see plenty of scope for moving purchases online if possible - the stores just won't have the staff to serve you. It will get much worse before it gets better.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

What Do You Call...

Q. What do you call three people having a massage?

A. A massage-a-trois. Of course.

I have too much time to think on my walk home from the bus stop.
Racist Attack Or Not?

Since we've been here, in our house, our letterbox has been targeted many times. Once I thought the missus had backed the car into it as it was so badly damaged. But there was no evidence of damage on the car and she said that it wasn't her. Obviously some young punk gave it a decent kick.

Just recently I've noticed another dent, a sizable one, in the letterbox. And only a few nights ago somebody put graffiti on the letterbox. Miky is adamant that it is a racist attack because there is a swastika on it. I don't buy that. There are any number of examples of graffiti in this area and she shouldn't feel that she is the one being targeted. Heck, the neighbour's letterbox has been bashed around and, being a wooden one, has even been knocked off its perch.

It's not some racist gang but much more likely to be some silly young punks with nothing better to do and no realisation of the hurt that they cause. Needless to say, the missus is pretty upset by the incident.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Slight Heart-In-Mouth Moment Suffered Today

I ducked into the city during my lunch break today to get my camera fixed. Or at least get a quote for the repair. I decided to get as close to where I was going along St Georges Tce before crossing the road but the lights at the intersection I had just passed changed and allowed pedestrians to cross. Well, ideal opportunity to cross the road. Maybe I was only 30 metres from the intersection but my first thoughts were, "I need to be 100 metres away by law to cross the road without being charged with jaywalking. Hopefully there aren't any police around.

As I took my first few steps I noticed two police officers on the opposite side of the road so, quick thinking as ever, I walked slightly away from them. To my delight they started walking in the other direction. Then, to my horror, and this is where my heart jumped into my mouth momentarily, they turned and walked directly towards me. Shock, horror, dread. Looking at them they appeared to also think that it was an ideal time to cross the road as they would only have been caught waiting for the lights by the time they arrived at the intersection. You can read a lot from people's faces sometimes.

Luckily they weren't coming to get me and didn't arrest me either. They could hardly charge me with jaywalking as they were doing it themselves. Had me worried for a moment there. Just a moment.

Monday, October 30, 2006

How Do You Refer To Children Of Mixed-Race Couples?

Cast your mind back about 20-25 years or so. Back in those days some zoologists announced to the world the Tigron and the Liger. So named as they were cats that came from mixed breeds. The Tigron had a tiger father and lion mother. The Liger had a lion father and tiger mother. It got me thinking what do you call children of mixed-race couples? I've come up with a few suggestions. Let's just assume that the terms white and caucasian along with African and black are interchangeable.

Whipanic - White father, Hispanic mother
Hishite - Hispanic father, White mother
Whack - White father, Black mother
Blite - Black father, White mother
Whitesian - White father, Ploynesian mother
Whasian - White father, Asian mother
Asiite - Asian father, White mother
Jewesian - Jewish father, Ploynesian mother
Afropanic - African father, Hispanic mother
Hisfro - Hispanic father, African mother

That's as creative as my brain lets me be this morning. Let me know if you come up with any more.
Usual Sort Of Weekend

Another crazy sort of weekend. After brekkie I dropped Yu-Jin off at Korean school while I went to the library in the city and to the camera shop to see if I could get the scratch on my lens repaired. Then off to do the fruit & veggie shopping and dropped into the supermarket while I was at it. Picked up the boy and had lunch before shooting off to taekwondo. Did a modicum of shopping whilst he was busy but got to see most of his training. The new moves as a blue belt are hard work. After taekwondo we ventured to Harvey Norman to collect photos and then to Bunnings to purchase some painting frame. Had to jump on the bike and ride back to Harvey Norman to collect the rest of my photos. They had had a special whereby you could get up to 200 digital prints done per day for only 15 cents each. I'm very glad to report that the quality of the prints had not been skimped on. Much better than paying their 29 cents a print normal price.

Sunday, the day of rest. Not. As a family we went for a walk prior to breakfast. It would have been much nicer if the boy wasn't a mouth-on-legs but I guess he gets that from his dad so I can't complain too much. We've had a new front door and some pantry doors delivered. I decided to hang the pantry doors which required resetting of the hinges. Luckily I own a set of wood chisels, which have never been used, and they were very sharp. Jarrah is such a nice timber to work with. Took a few hours to hang the doors and then I had to plane 1-5 mm from one of the doors. Sanded them up and fitted some door catches. Looks beaut.

In the arvo I had the boy attend a kids' workshop at Bunnings and make a pencil box. Bought some flywire to install in the pantry door. Got home and cut the picture frame material so that Miky could make a notice/photo board. We'll see how that goes as she is going to put fabric on it. I chopped the legs on the new footstall to lower it and reattached the wheels. Whilst I was at it I fixed the broom that had just fallen apart and cut down a callistemon in the backyard as Miky has ordered a mulberry tree as a replacement. I hate cutting down native trees, especially a bottlebrush, but it won't hurt to have another fruit tree in the backyard.

Clean up took a while - wood shavings, sawn material, metal shavings and wood chips. I'll take some pics of the pantry doors when they're done. Have to stain the wood yet and I have some jarrah-coloured stain for the job.

Miky made lovely Korean-style pancakes, salad, rice and veggies for tea. We watched Australian Idol. Damien Leith was great, Chris Murphy was exceptional, Jessica Mauboy was excellent, Dean Geyer was OK and Ricky Muscat tried very hard. I think it's time for Ricky to leave and Dean has to step up. Idol was followed by the ARIAs and I have to say that Eskimo Joe, if they sing live like they last night, are an absolute must to see in concert. They blew me away with their sound. Wow, I have to buy their album along with that of Living End.

Packed a bit in for the weekend. How come I didn't get out to the golf course?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

People Don't Seem To Talk Anymore

I've noticed that the Britannia Coffee Lounge & Restaurant is looking to hire a fulltime cook and two juniors/students. Either business is going well or it's going very badly. They have a blackboard parked out the front of the shop with just such a notice.

Next door is ORS Employment Solutions. I rather wonder why they didn't employ the services of an employment agency to find them workers. On the face of it there wasn't a lot of sense about it. Don't these people talk to each other? Or do they just wish to save a quid with some cheap advertising?

But, having a look at the Website they appear to be helping workers who have become injured. Not as cut and dry as I had thought.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Taking The Bus To Work

I've been utilising public transport for nearly three weeks now in my new job. Nice little 10 minute morning walk to the bus stop followed by about a 20 minute ride into the city and a further minute or two to get into the office. Home trip is a three minute walk to the bus stop followed by a 15 minute wait for a bus, 20 minute trip and about a 12 minute walk home. I nearly get my 30 minutes of exercise each day.

It's a bit of pot luck which bus I catch in the morning and on the way home. Some bus drivers are very friendly and I even struck one who greeted every boarding passenger and thanked every alighting passenger. Most will say hello but some are a bit stony-faced.

I did catch a bus with a number that I recognised but it took me to the other side of my home. I had been waiting for some 20 minutes and just decided to take it. The drop-off point was only 12 minutes from home so it wasn't too bad but it did take about an extra 15 minutes for the journey as it went the long way about it. Of course, that had to be the night that Yu-Jin does taekwondo which meant a rushed meal and then straight back out the door. Oh well, that's life.

There was a sign on the bus yesterday saying that spitting on Transperth buses was not allowed and that the drivers were equipped with DNA kits to help identify offenders. Wow, I didn't know that spitting had become such a problem. There are a few buses with wire cages protecting the driver from passengers. That's a sad sight to behold in our community.

Annoying things about bus travel are the inability to be able to fart freely, sitting next to people with "evil hands" ala Mr Burns from the Simpsons rubbing his hands gleefully, having to listen to somebody else's crap music, being unable to pick your nose and fling it out the window or underneath the driver's seat (not that I would ever do that, understand?). Surprisingly BO hasn't been a big thing. I guess I'll find out about the personal hygeine of others once summer rolls around. Not too many people seem to know each other so there isn't a great deal of chatting taking place.

I was watching the bus driver's face yesterday in the rear vision mirror when it changed to a look of horror as she realised that a truck had decided to stick its cab onto our part of the road. Boy, did she hit the brakes suddenly. Crisis averted.

It is amusing to catch the bus. I've only been rained on once but I had the brolly at the time so it wasn't a big deal.