Wednesday, May 31, 2006

If A Job’s Worth Doing…

It’s worth doing at least three times. That’s an old saying we had at Doggies (O’Donnell Griffin) which came about after doing a job and then the client changed their requirements.

Yesterday was a big day for home improvements. At 7 o’clock the plumber came and ripped out the old toilet. It turns out that it was the same plumber who was here over 18 months ago to replace a burst pipe at the back of the house. Three times. Before he got it right. He warned me that the jackhammer might ruin some of the tiles around the toilet but that didn’t bother me. The toilet came out very quickly and neatly.

At 8 o’clock the cabinet maker arrived to change the vanity unit the bathroom. We desperately needed a new basin and cupboard. The plumber was required to do some new pipework so it was good timing to have them there together. The cabinet maker’s work was done by about 10:30 and the plumber was able to stay there to avoid another callout fee and get both jobs done.

The toilet looks great. The doors on the vanity unit look nice, as does the basin, but the top doesn’t look so great. Bit of poor planning on our behalf, I’m afraid.

Later that night I went to christen the toilet and lifted the seat to have a leak which promptly fell back down. It did this a couple of times before I realised that the base unit was too close to the cistern and wouldn’t allow the seat to stay up. What good is a toilet if you can’t take a leak? Am I expecting too much or is it reasonable to have a seat that allows Percy to be pointed at the porcelain? The plumber will be paying us a visit again soon, I believe. When he returns to move the toilet he can fix the leaking pipe underneath the basin in the bathroom. Oh dear.

I didn’t mention that this is the same plumbing company that installed our gas hot water system and stove. The night that that job was finished I had to call the plumber out after hours to fix a gas leak at the stove the first time we went to use it. The guy didn’t want to come but I made him realise the seriousness of the situation and he didn’t say a word once he had fixed the problem. And there was no bill forthcoming. An admission of guilt methinks.

I don’t wish to name the company. Although they have never done a job properly the first time, and sometimes the second, they always return promptly and the job does get done to my satisfaction. Eventually.

Like I always say, if a job’s worth doing it’s worth doing at least three times.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Parenting Skills Update Required

News this morning that a 21 year old father put his daughter in the dryer causing her to suffer burnt feet and a hand, multiple bruises to her face and body and obviously a healthy distrust for her father.

The girl was wet and her father wanted to dry her. Hmmm, his parenting skills could do with a little updating.

Incidentally, Googling "girl dryer Perth", to look for a news story, came up with this page from Ooh, the jokes are a little rude on this page.

Post Script - Here's a news report. The buy is not the father but the boyfriend of the mother.
Rude, Crude, But Not Lewd, Post Warning

If you are easily offended look away now.

You've had your chance. Nick, you'll probably relate to this post well.

On Easter Monday, after dropping my friend Ben off at the airport, my son discussed counting to 500. I agreed to do so but only if I counted my farts. How long could it take? I must say that the weekends and weeknights were particularly fruitful but the numbers dropped away whilst I was at work. The reasons for that are probably obvious.

I may give you not-easily-put-off types a few days to guess how many days it took for me to do 500 farts.

Ok, it wasn't that bad, was it? If you have kids you'll understand.

Monday, May 29, 2006

It Takes Two ...

But sometimes one alone would be better. There's a new concept show on Channel 7 called It Takes Two. The show joins together 10 couples consisting of a professional singer and a celebrity.

Simon Reeve & Paulini - He's the newsreader from Sunrise on Channel 7. Nice bloke and he sang well. He sang better than Paulini and she was a finalist in Australian Idol. In her favour I should say that she sang in competition as a soloist but he would have been better off without her.

Michael Bevan & Jade Macrae - Bevo is a champion Australian cricketer but with quite a crooner's voice. Go Bevo. Jade, hmmm. She looked a bit like the Medusa and didn't sound much better. But, I've never been a fan of R&B singers.

Erika Heynatz & David Hobson - A model and an opera singer. Interesting couple and probably the most surprising. Worked well together and sounded nice.

Katie Fischer & Dave Gleeson - Over-the-top bimbo with lead singer of one of my favourite bands, the Screaming Jets, who, whilst performed a sultry song, were rather disappointing. They had fun together though but Dave appeared out of his element. Katie lives for the spotlight so as long as she's in it she doesn't care.

Kate Ritchie & Troy Cassar Daley - Kate has been a "star" on Home and Away for the last 19 years. This year she won the Silver Logie for Most Popular Actress. I.e., has never achieved anything and been way too conservative. Her only claim to fame is a video that she made with her boyfriend but as this is a family blog I won't be providing a link for it here. Troy is country and western singer and that's about all you need to know. They were awful together and Kate danced like Kim Dae-jung, i.e. a penguin. Should be first voted off.

Sarah Ryan & Guy Sebastian - Sarah is a three times Olympic swimmer and Gay, er Guy, won the first Australian Idol. She sounded more blokey than he did. Two reasons - she had a chest infection and his testes haven't descended yet.

Richard Zachariah & Karen Knowles - Richard is a journalist and Karen a professional singer. Who on earth knows what she was doing but Karen couldn't string together two words in the same key. I was shocked at how poor she was. Richard, well, I don't know about him. My ears were filling with blood from Karen's off-key performance.

Richard Champion & Wendy Matthews - Richard was a champion footballer with the Brisbane Lions. A bit of a gangly bloke I expected him to be good for a laugh. His singing was ok, quite ok, and Wendy Matthews was far too husky. But, she always has been. Could do very well together.

Judy Nunn & Glenn Shorrock - having a shower so I missed out.
Mark Furze & Rachael Beck - having a shower so I missed out.

Gosh I hope there is some improvement for next week.
Golf From The Weekend

Interesting game of golf. Nothing spectacular happened that would relate to my dream of scoring in the World Cup. I joined with Maureen and T.S., a regular couple, and Eric, another loner. Collier Park Golf Club looked after us and fitted us in as none of us had a booking. I only hit one fairway on the outward nine - my slice was horrific and regularly saw me on the fairway to the right. Even my irons wouldn't behave. Brought up the rear of the group with a 53! My goodness.

Eric had the strangest approach to putting I have ever seen. He squats behind the ball and carefully places his putter almost touching the ground. He lifts it up slowly and judges the angle of the putter's face to the hole. Really odd. I asked him if he was an engineer or an architect. Seven holes later he informed me that he is an architect.

On the back nine I cracked a couple of huge, straight (!!!) drives. Didn't that do the world of confidence for my game. Buggered it up on the last with a triple bogey but shot a 44. Quite a turnaround and most pleasing.

A 97 off the stick from me which included two 8s and a 9. Still, as ever, improvement required. Mind you, I had only 14 putts on the back nine and 31 overall. It does mean that my approach shots were generally short as I chipped an awful lot but not awfully. I left the golf course happy though.

Not a bad day during winter. It was about 13 degrees when we teed off, which was so much better than the 2.9 degrees we had a couple of days ago, and there were a few spots of rain but the back nine was generally very sunny and felt rather warm. Good company and a half reasonable game.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

What Does The Dream Mean?

Interesting dream last night. I played as a substitute for Australia in the World Cup and scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory. It was the first group match and I almost gave away a goal seconds after coming onto the field. I think that we were in Paraguay.

Anyway, I'm off to play golf to see if it has any bearing on that sport.
Clever Number Plates Spotted Yesterday

IN10CT - On a maroon sporty coupe. Bit dirty and dented.
SEXIAZ - A red souped-up Nissan Pulsar, I think, with female driver.
HELZBELLZ - A red Honda Civic, I believe, complete with blonde, makeup painted on, mobile phone-toting female driver.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Don’t I Feel Like A Ditz

We are about to change our bathroom vanity unit and, while we’re at it, the toilet will get changed too. As it turns out the toilet decided to shit itself at the same time. We’ve had to put up with a workaround for a couple of weeks now so it won’t be too soon.

Last week I purchased a toilet from Bunnings. Once I got the toilet home I realised that that the poop shute was pointed towards the floor whereas our existing toilet pointed backwards through the wall. Oh no, I’d bought the wrong unit and didn’t need hundreds of dollars worth of plumbing done as extra. So I took the unit back last night, went through the refund process, headed to the toilet display and couldn’t see any units on display with the poop shute pointing in the direction I wanted. Asked for assistance and the guy informed me that they sold S-trap and P-trap (I wanted to mention that I needed a Poo-trap) modules. The P-trap was the correct unit. But, I also required a cistern, which they didn’t have available. Nor did the nearest Bunnings. The shop nearest to my work has some so I’ll be leaving quite early this morning.

I checked the toilet that I had received the refund for and, guess what, it was a P-trap. Didn’t I feel like a ditz? I wanted to purchase a brick paver as well but they had sold out so the only thing I could buy was the pre-refunded toilet.

Some mothers do have ‘em.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Murders For Sneakers About To Rise

People have been murdered for their sneakers for a while now and it's catching on with iPods as well. Haven't Apple and Nike come up with a good idea - merge the two products and increase the rate of murders? I can see some synergies here - the sum of the two will be greater than the sum of the individual parts.

Here's the story.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Survivor vs Prison Break

It's the meeting of the reality and non-reality TV shows. Richard Hatch, the original winner of Survivor, has been jailed for tax evasion. (Clever spoof). Anyway, I'm guessing that there is another TV show in the making. Perhaps he could guest star on Prison Break and during his escape he could be marooned on a tropical island and become Lost.

His manager should be sacked. How on earth could he not mention the US$1 million in winnings, and rental income apparently, when the whole world saw him win the money? Maybe Survivor will move into Alcatraz for the next series and introduce some mean members of the underworld to negotiate. Immunity would never have been so important.

Richard should start his own show perhaps - Richard Millionaire. Or at least used to be.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Birthdays And Inflation

I've just bought my grandma an 80th birthday card. It was her 82nd birthday the other day and seeing as I was at home with tonsilitis I never got around to getting the card in time. The reason I've bought an 80th birthday card is to allow for inflation. Australia has an inflation rate of approximately 2.5% p.a. and seeing as the card has been on the shelf for in all likelihood 12 months it should, in fact, be worth 82 years now.

Logical methinks.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I've Been To A Wedding


Day of the wedding. Ben and I didn't have much to do before the wedding, except call our mums as it was Mother's Day (yeah, I called Miky too), and so we did a bit of driving in the countryside. First stop was Nairne which was founded in 1839. There are some lovely old buildings in existence.

Nairne - so I don't have to type about it.

Lovely old Albert Mill in Nairne.

Millers Bakery Cafe in Nairne.

Headed to Woodside/Lobethal and visited the markets at Lobethal. I bought Miky a ceramic figurine and some quangdong and chili sauce. We had a couple of hot dogs outside with that same sauce and I just had to get some.

The world's largest rocking horse - at Gumeracha.

The sign proclaiming the world's largest rocking horse.

Long way from home. Long way from anywhere actually.

A funny toilet sign in Gumeracha at the Toy Factory.

We went to Birdwood for lunch. The publican at the Blumberg Hotel asked if we had a booking. As we didn't he put us in the counter area. We didn't get served our main course until just on 2:30. The wedding was at 3:00 and we were 20 kms from Ben's place and a further 20 kms from the wedding at Hazelmere Homestead! And, I had to have a shower, shave and get dressed approppriately. Mind you, Damien told me that the ceremony didn't start until 3:45 so I wasn't panicking.

Blumberg Hotel - Birdwood.

Peerless Roller Mills - Birdwood.

Arrived back at Ben's place at 2:55 and took off about 15 mins later. Made it to the wedding at 3:30 - plenty of time to spare. Driving through Hahndorf on the way was a bit of a pain as it was extremely busy. And now for some wedding shots.

Best Man No.1 - Paul.

Best Man No.2 - Marty.

Here comes the bride - Wendy with dad Heinz.

And the band played Waltzing Matilda. Hang on, no they didn't.

Sonny Pillay (the Minister), Wendy and Damien.

The ring is on the finger now mate and there's no getting away from her.

Ain't it sweet, the moment we've all been waiting for?

Wendy's parents - Heinz and Margrit. Obviously wondering if they've done the right thing.

Des and Denise (Damien's parents).

Closeup of the happy couple.

Damien's side of the family.

Wendy's side of the family.

Don't know and didn't ask.

The dress (and occupant). If you see any goosebumps it is because the temperature was only about 10 degrees.

And that's about when the battery went dead. A lot of formalities fell by the wayside. Damien didn't wear a tie, Wendy didn't have a veil covering her face, there was no matron of honour and seating at the reception wasn't prearranged. The reason from two best men was that the matron of honour, as intended, had to shoot back to South Africa when her visa expired. So, Wendy's brother Marty filled the role.

Interestingly the ring for Wendy was her engagement ring. This is a Swiss tradition whereby they only have one ring. Makes more sense to me as the engagement ring is always more expensive than the wedding ring anyway.

At the reception, held at the lovely Hazelmere Homestead had a surprise or two in store. A Swiss tradition called "check check, peg peg" (I seem to recall) is played whereby two pegs are sent around the room but the guests don't know about them. The trick is to put them on somebody's clothing. If you discover them on your own clothes then you have to transfer them to somebody else without them noticing. When enough time has elapsed we find out who is wearing the pegs and what tasks they have to perform for the newlyweds. These tasks included washing their cars, preparing coffee, gardening, maintaining Damien's bike and servicing Wendy. If Wendy needs servicing before 12 months are up I suggest taking her back to the manufacturers!!

The buffet for tea was lovely except for the fact that I couldn't eat too much with my tonsilitis. People came from the Sth East, Sydney, Perth (me), Alice Springs, Queensland and Switzerland for the wedding. I managed to catch up with a few people that I knew and had a most enjoyable time. Managed to bum a lift home at midnight.

A great evening and I'm so glad that I didn't miss it. Thanks Damien and Wendy.
Off Work For A Few Days And Here's Why

Warning - Not for the squeamish. Look away now if you have a weak constitution.

I've got quite a good case of tonsilitis. I judge that by the way the doctor cringed yesterday and was going, "Ooooh, aaagh." His face became rather contorted also. It was interesting when he greeted me as he felt that he had seen me before. My reply was that I did have a face that was hard to forget but, no, we hadn't met previously. When I mentioned that I hadn't been sick for quite a while he decided to check my records. That was a bit fruitless and I had informed him that this was my first visit to this clinic. No wonder he didn't find any records.

It's been a couple of years since the tonsilitis struck last but it wasn't going to stop me from attending my mate Damien's wedding. It didn't make life easy for me but it didn't stop me. I'm going to be pretty much housebound for the rest of the week.

Hammy's tonsilitis - in case my boss needs proof that I'm sick.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I've Been To A Wedding


At 4:30 in the morning on Saturday I caught a taxi to the airport so that I could head to Adelaide for my schoolfriend Damien's wedding. Saturday would be about the only chance to catch up with him for a while and the wedding was to be held on Sunday afternoon. Funny thing was that the girl next door was just returning from her school formal dance as I was leaving.

Qantas' E-Ticket is a brilliant setup, especially if you don't have any luggage to be checked in. Insert your frequent flyer card or credit card that purchased the ticket, choose your seat, collect your ticket. Excellent. No queueing.

Following x-raying of my carry-on luggage and passing through a metal detector I was asked if I wished to partake in a random trace explosive check. Sort of Hobson's Choice as if I didn't have myself or carry-on luggage checked then I wouldn't be allowed on the plane. I was justly found to be non-explosive and allowed to continue my journey.

Whilst waiting to be seated on the plane and listening to calls for passengers who hadn't boarded their plane and were being called for up to 15 mins after the flight had been closed only for them to turn up with far too much carry-on luggage and having to go downstairs to book it into the hold, I spent my time reading my mobile phone user manual. Yeah, I'm still a geek.

Graftti artists attacked the plane before I boarded. Nah, looks nice.

I actually got some sleep on the plane. Having tonsilitis helped. The terminal in Adelaide, whilst a bit staid, is an improvement to having to disembark on the tarmac. Damien picked me up within a few minutes of my arrival - the most amazing thing was that he was on time. This is the man who left me at West Lakes Shopping Centre for about an hour and a half when we were in high school and who, very recently, forgot to collect his father from the airport. Perhaps he was ready to get married after all.

We drove around a bit and grabbed some tucker for lunch to have in Belair National Park. It was a chance for the two families to get together before the wedding and to get to know each other a bit better. Damien's family didn't show which didn't matter so much as I hadn't met Wendy's family and a small group was maintained. We had a wander around the old Government House. Wendy's family are from Switzerland so there was a fair amount of Schweizer Deutsche spoken. Margrit, Wendy's mum, was talking about getting a fake tan, and, noticing how pale Damien was, I mentioned that he could do with one. She thought that I had been talking about her and so she just belted me! Fancy that, from the future mother-in-law of my mate, who has only known me for 15-20 mins. After our walk Damien drove me to my friend Ben's house.

Damien looking a little pensive. Are you sure that you're doing the right thing?

Old Government House in Belair National Park. It was the formal Vice Regal summer residence from 1860-1880.

We drove through the town looking for his street, asked for directions at a petrol station, and were given a bewildered answer that we were on the correct street already. Ben wasn't home so I wandered around Littlehampton. There was a racing track nearby for remote control cars and the ones that I saw got up to 100 km/h within two seconds. Talk about cold. And I had a long sleeve shirt, thick jumper and heavy jacket which served me well in -5 degrees in Korea, and I was still cold.

Model racing cars at Littlehampton. They have people from Victoria come regularly and even had the National Championships here recently.

Boys with their toys. The bigger the controller the better they must feel about themselves.

Willow Bank B&B which is situated a little way out of town.

For tea we went to the local pub and had an enjoyable soup following by a huge main. The decor was pretty strange with Aboriginal paintings on one wall, Victorian pictures on another, early Australian mining scenes on others and a Japanese doll on display. The food was nice and generous, just as you'd expect from a country pub. My chicken schnitzel was nearly half a chook.

Great Eastern Hotel in Littlehampton - Aboriginal paintings.

Great Eastern Hotel in Littlehampton - Victorian paintings.

Great Eastern Hotel in Littlehampton - Mining painting and Japanese doll.

After tea we watched "Keeping Mum" followed by me watching West Ham United lose the FA Cup Final to Liverpool on penalties after finishing 3-3 after extra time. Needless to say, I went to bed very late and disappointed.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Tough Game Of Volleyball Last Night

I was able to make it to volleyball last night. Not like last week where the missus cracked the shits and I was able to go.

The Purple Cobras have been moved down to division four. The team we played last night, don't know the name, are the best team we have played this season. I made sure with the ref that we had gone down a division and not up one. Having said that, we beat them 2-1. What a thrill! In the fourth set we had only 6:07 on the clock and we were leading 12-11 with 15 seconds left. Three points required in that remaining time. A good serve by newcomer Dags, who didn't disgrace himself, and we had three seconds left for two points. Once the serve is in play the point is live even though the buzzer sounds. We won the point and so were leading 14-11. The ref said to one of our players, "You deserved the win," and so I think he gave us the fourth set. Come to think of it, I don't believe the first set counted as we gave one of our players to them, they were only four, and he played the rest of the match for us.

I've got to say that my serving at the start of the fourth set made the difference. We won four or five points pretty easily. Made up for my poor serving earlier. It has been three weeks since I've served due to last week and a bye the week before and it certainly felt like it after the first serve last night.

Woohoo!! Go Cobras. Purple Patch.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Bad Dreams - What Do They Mean?

Whenever Miky dreams about her father something bad happens. And I'm talking fairly serious business not just a nail getting broken. For instance, following one dream she had her purse stolen by some Aboriginals who were sitting behind her on the bus. Then there is the car breaking down or having a bingle with the car itself. Thankfully he doesn't appear in her dreams too often but he did again last night. I'll wait and see what happened today. She even planned to leave work earlier than normal to combat the issue.

I'm being serious for a change. There is an air of bad karma and it really gets to her. Whether it has anything to do with making bad things happen because you are expecting them to, or not, it is a bit freaky.
Invasion Of The Curly Hair People

I was walking down the street yesterday at lunch time, minding my own business, when I spotted a group of five people waiting to cross the road. To my horror I noticed that three of five, not some cyborg from Star Trek whom they named Hugh, had curly hair. Man, did these guys stand out in the crowd. I was glad to have finished lunch a bit earlier.

There is one family at taekwondo where there are five kids. The mum has curly hair and only one of the children has a mop. At least the breeding rate appears to be one in five if one of the parents has curly hair.

It is a shocking situation. And I want to know what the government is doing about it. I didn't hear any money in the Federal Budget to tackle the issue. Perhaps it is time to lobby my local Federal Member of Parliament. Or maybe it is time to start my medication again.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Idea That Maybe I Should Patent

Does anybody have a doorbell for cars? It could come in very handy on those stretch limos. I mean, you don't know which door to knock on to get the attention of those inside, do you?

If it hasn't been patented I should do so. No stealing my idea people. Wow, nearly everyone has a car and nearly everyone will want one. I can see taxi drivers wanting to install them too so that they can spend more time reading the paper, drinking coffee and smoking without having to worry about passers by wanting to become passengers. The passengers can help themselves.
The Miners Are Out So Why Weren't They Together?

Brant Webb and Todd Russell have been saved after 14 days and nights about 925m underground in a small cage at Beaconsfield Gold Mine. After visiting the doctor Todd Russell attended the funeral of their fellow miner, Larry Knight, who died in the same collapse that had them trapped. Apparently Brant Webb wasn't well enough to attend.

A report on the radio said that they had a rating of 3 for physical wellbeing where 4 indicates perfect health. So, we are led to believe that they were in good shape following their ordeal.

I saw on the news last night that Todd Russell went to the pub where everyone was surprised and relieved to see him. But no Brant Webb. Can't say I blame him. After being cooped up in a cage for 14 days and nights, the first five without knowing whether anyone was coming to rescue them or not, putting up with each other's bodily functions, etc, who would want the company of the other? After being in that close proximity in those conditions for so long I wouldn't be surprised if they never wanted to see each other again.

A mate of mine and his friend drove from Adelaide to Perth, 2700km, for my wedding. They had a good time and got on well together. He said it was a different story on the way back and they hardly spoke by the time they reached Adelaide and I don't know when they got back on speaking terms. And they had the radio, music, sights to see, etc, to keep them occupied. We are only talking a trip of about 30 hours here as well. Get the picture? A good friend's company can only be put up with for so long, not withstanding the circumstances that these men found themselves in.

I wonder if they will be conducting interviews jointly.
My First Respectable Haircut

As I have a wedding to attend in Adelaide on the weekend, onya Muzz, I had to get a respectable haircut. That, coupled with the fact that Miky hates my really short flattops, has led to my first respectable haircut since I've been old enough to get my hair done by myself.

Model - Frugal Bastard
Artiste - Bo
Style - Respectable (at last)

Not that the missus noticed when I got home. She rather liked it when I pointed it out though. If I wasn't married too her I'd get the feeling that she was coming on to me. Woah, too much info.

Had to pay for parking until 5:30. There's no need for a $50 fine over just a few minutes. My 10 cents would have lasted until 5:29 so I waited half a minute before paying. No point in wasting 10 cents is there?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I've Been Conned

Emergency my arse. The mobile phones that were purchased the other day were under the guise of "in case of emergency". I was at work yesterday and my mobile rang. My initial thoughts were "Why is my mum ringing me at this time of the day?" It was Miky and she had a problem with her computer.

And then last night she had to go out and did not take her mobile with her. After she got home I mentioned that she must not have had an emergencies to worry about on the drive there or the way home. She did not understand what I meant. Then she had a laugh about it.

I feel like I have been conned. It is not so bad though - my son gave me his mobile phone skeleton decoration and it looks pretty cool.
Couple More Deaths About The Place

We had another mouse in the house. This time we heard him eating a biscuit behind the fridge. I set a trap with a walnut three times for him and he ate it each time. The fourth time I set the trap and he was caught within three minutes - I kid you not.

A few nights ago I was watering the garden at night time when I noticed a couple of frogs. I showed Yu-Jin as he is interested in wildlife. One of the frogs jumped into Miky's gumboot after Yu-Jin patted it. He was there the next morning sticking his head out. On the weekend Yu-Jin wanted to have a stick fight with me whilst I watered the front garden. We battled for a while and then he tried to kick my stick and the result was his boot flew off. When he went to put it back on he noticed that the frog was in the bottom. So, for some 10-15 minutes he had been wearing a boot with a frog in it and hadn't even noticed. Needless to say, the frog didn't make it.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Shane Warne Sex Romp

A bit of traffic has been coming my way looking for "Shane Warne Sex Romp" and the like. Perhaps I'd better write something about his latest escapade with a couple of girls. Apparently he put on a much better show with the two ladies than he did begging for sex with one woman earlier on and was "Owzat" in a matter of seconds. And they got it all on video. Shane Warne you have really been exposed this time.

He's approaching 40, I wouldn't have thought that the English girls would go for the Aussies that much, he's known for his philandering and just what do they hope to gain from it? What has he got going for him - surely a question that must be asked?

The two girls involved, Coralie Eichholtz and Emma Kearney, work for News of the World - a British tabloid and I'm not linking their site here as it is a bit naughty. Warney, you've been set up. Gorgeous looking women throwing themselves at you for a threesome would set off alarm bells for a normal bloke. He does look as though he's lost some weight, I must say. If they don't work for the tabloid then they've just sold their story to the paper. Just how much ridicule are they going to get out of it? Surely there are no bragging rights to be obtained from bedding Warney.

I can't believe that the girls would go all the way with him for their job. It doesn't make them much better than prostitutes, I'm afraid. Sleep with someone for more than getting it on video to make him tabloid fodder. It must be easier than taking candy from a baby with Warney though. I doubt that he'll be taking any legal action for invasion of his privacy and being secretly filmed. More likely he will want a copy of the video to show his mates.
One Of My Uncles Has Departed This Mortal Coil

I was only saying to the missus last Tuesday that only one of my uncles was dead. Dad has six brothers and six sisters and there are two sisters and a brother on mum's side of the family. Yes, I have lots of cousins.

Friday morning comes around and I get a phone call very early in the morning. Well, a bit earlier than usual, but I was up. Strange for my mum to ring that early but one of dad's brothers, Uncle Athol, had died overnight. He was a diabetic and had been very sick for a long time. He made his own decision when to go and I would liked to have had a chance to say goodbye. I think the last time I saw him was when he came to my wedding in '97.

Uncle Athol was a funny bugger. He had that Ham sense of humour and could tell complete rubbish and manage to keep a straight face - my mum will attest to the fact that she didn't know whether he was putting one over her or not most of the time. But, if you knew my uncle, he was always trying to put one over you. I wouldn't have put it past him to have pretended to die and then come out of that state with a, "I was only joking. Just wanted to see what your reaction was." Wouldn't put it past him at all.

It took three attempts to contact my aunty by phone to talk it over. I'm sure she has been a very busy woman of late but she sounds as though she is handling it well. It's not as if it wasn't unexpected and they had prepared for it.

Uncle Athol used to call me "Spear" or "Rake" but more often Spear. That was because as a lad I didn't have much meat on my bones. I'm going to miss him.

Goodbye Uncle Athol. Rest in peace.
Where Are They Now?

We watched Channel 7's Where Are They Now last night and one of the guests was Alby Mangles. I remember going to the RSL Hall back home when I was a youngster and seeing his movie.

The show is taped and Melissa Doyle, one of the hosts, is actually in Tasmania covering the Beaconsfield Mine collapse and rescue of Brant Webb and Todd Russell. My question would be "Where Are They Now?", refering to the miners. They've been trapped for 13 days and we've known that they've been alive only for the last eight days. Everyone listens to the news and wants the latest. Have they been rescued? When will they be rescued? How far away are the rescuers?

Trust Richard Carleton to make a scene. Trying to upstage the rescue by suffering a heart attack during a press conference and dying. I've never liked him as a reporter much. He is (was) one of the most recognisable journalists in Australia however and his voice was very distinct. I'm only joking - it's quite ironic that he stole the headlines during a major news story.
Purchase Of An Anti-Nagging Device

Yes, I’ve finally purchased an anti-nagging device – a mobile phone. One for me and one for the nagger, er missus. I’ve left the bottom 10% of the population and joined the top 90% that already have one.

Seeing as I only need it for “emergencies”, which generally means the missus’ car has broken down, my mobile is a cheapie. Miky has a Motorola L6 with colour screen and camera (I prefer to use my digital camera) and hers is really nice. Afraid that a little bit of buyer’s remorse has set in – I like her mobile much better.

Don’t worry – it’s a pre-paid so I won’t be paying for unused calls on a plan.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

When Is It Wrong For A 63 Year Old Woman To Have A Baby?

When her husband greets the world's media for the announcement that she is seven months pregnant and he doesn't wear a belt! Don't worry about her not being fit to be a mother, he is obviously less capable of being a father. It makes you wonder.


Friday, May 05, 2006

Here's One For Fine Cuisine

Rockwell Automation, whom we are distributors for, held their bi/quad-annual Automation on the Move on Wednesday and Thursday this week. I was invited out to tea on Wednesday night at the Old Swan Brewery Restaurant and it is a swanky joint. You know it is going to be a swanky joint because the carpark was some sort of ridiculously jumbled design and very strange to even enter.

I like it when someone else pays for a meal. And I must say, the ostrich sausages and potato for entree was delicious. The Tasmanian salmon for main course was a poor attempt, even I could do better with a fillet. The lemon tart for desert was nice. Not too sure about the lady who took my drinks order as, when I turned around, I discovered that she wasn't a lady at all.

Now, if the missus should ask what I had for tea I must remember to say - "Bangers and mash, fish and some tart."

People that you don't know too well become a bit more loose in the tongue when they've had a Pilsner or three. He he.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Play The Whistle

Ever since I was a kid I've heard the rule "Play the whistle". It means that you don't stop playing, and the game isn't finished, until the umpire tells you to. The umpire is the important figure to be respected and obeyed. It's a fundamental rule to be observed and has served us well.

I think the AFL has done the sporting world an injustice by sacrificing this rule. Last weekend the Freo Dockers played St Kilda in a footy match in Tasmania. Now, Tasmania has a history of strange happenings, usually family related, but something very unusual ocurred. The timekeeper sounded the siren to indicate that the game was finished but the umpires, all three of them and perhaps the emergency umpire, didn't hear it and the game continued for 26 seconds. Freo were leading by a point and their players heard the siren and started protesting to the field umpire in charge of the game at the time that it had ended. As I said, play continued and St Kilda scored a point to level the scores. Not only that but St Kilda were awarded a free kick to the player who had levelled the scores as he was infringed upon after he had taken his kick but he only kicked a point again.

Quite rightly Freo disputed the final score. But, the rules state that the timekeeper shall sound the siren and if the umpires don't recognise that the siren has been sounded then the siren must be continued until that happens. This wasn't the case. The umpires must then blow the whistle to indicate fulltime and acknowledge the timekeeper. Ok, something major regarding the result happened. But, the time-honoured rule of playing the whistle should apply and the draw should stand.

Freo appealed the result. The AFL Commission was asked to judge the outcome of the game and the tribunal that followed took four hours to come to the decision that Freo had won the game. This was an extraordinary happening. The bookmakers paid out for the draw though.

Is the AFL telling us that the umpire isn't to be respected then, even when he is wrong? What happens in the near future if the siren goes to indicate the end of the match and a player kicks a score a split-second after the siren to win a match? This has happened before and it is the umpire's decision as to whether the kick took place before the siren or not. Are we going to see clubs go to the tribunal to say, "No, this happened after the siren so we dispute the umpire's decision"? Under the current rules I believe that the draw should stand. And it's not just because I'm not a Freo fan. Play the whistle people.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Quick Trip Down To Busselton

I swore after the last time I stayed at Busselton that I would never return. This time we planned to stay in Dunsborough, about 19kms down the road, and the place I finally chose, The Geographe Bayview Resort, seemed to be far enough down the Bussel Highway to be out of Busselton.

Sunday, our departure day, was Yu-Jin's birthday. He was up at a reasonable hour and told me that he was very pleased with myself and Miky for the presents that he received. That sort of statement sent me into shock but I soon recovered. Interesting way to say that he was thankful.

Drove down to Dwellingup for the first stop to visit the Hotham Valley Tourist Railway. We arrived an hour before the ride was due so were able to have a bit of a wander around. Took a nice little trip to Etmilyn Station which is an old platform from the days of the tree-fellers. I don't think it was used for anything else and the rail is just over 100 years old. We were a little bit early in the season for the steam train, worried about bushfires, and so had a diesel engine to do the work. Quite enjoyable.

Miky and Yu-Jin outside the Dwellingup pub.

Yu-Jin and our diesel engine at Hotham Valley Tourist Railway.

Scenery at the Hotham Valley Tourist Railway - there's quite a lot of trees about.

Grass trees near Etmilyn Station.

Some very tall grass trees near Etmilyn Station.

Is that a leprechaun or a frog?

Had lunch in the pub at Dwellingup and boy they do nice burgers. Not like that fast food rubbish that you get in the city. And it was nice to be seated next to the wood fire. There's even a PoW camp for Italians and Germans nearby but we didn't get to see it.

We stopped at Bunbury for a drink and a check of the map. Made a quick detour to see the Ludlow Tuart Forest National Park. We almost missed it, it was that small.

Disappointing amount of large trees in the Ludlow Tuart Forest National Park.

Large fungus on a huge tree.

Once we arrived at Busselton I inadvertantly took the bypass and came around the back way to find our accommodation. The Geographe Bayview Resort is right on the beach. Bloody lovely to go out through the back gate and find yourself on the beach, let me tell you. Not that it was the sort of weather to go for a swim. Drove something like 290 kms on day one.

The beach was right at the rear of Geographe Bayview Resort.

Crabs on the beach at Busselton.

We took the "Cape Escape" package which included a dinner for two adults, a picnic hamper and four continental buffet breakfasts. The dinner meant that we could choose whatever we liked from the menu (woohoo!) and the breakfasts were very sizeable with a large range. Dinner was certainly enjoyed.

Birthday cake for a special 6 year-old.

Breakfast the next day was heartily partaken. After we had gone for a walk along the beach, mind you. Then we played mini golf. Miky beat me on the first nine holes. How on earth could I lose to someone who doesn't even like watching sport? I won the 2nd nine and Yu-Jin knocked one in in two shots - wish I had it on video as it was an awesome shot. Played the 3rd nine left-handed and won but it was fiercely competitive. We let Yu-Jin have a go on the bouncy castle after mini golf.

Yu-Jin and Miky playing mini golf.

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse was our first stop for the day. Leon was our guide and he filled us in on the history of the 103 year old lighthouse. The glass is worth $5m at the moment and they didn't get electricity until 1976! There used to be a keeper and two assistants who worked in four hour shifts, had no holidays and were stuck there for a few years. One guy did 24 years. The four hour stint was because the light ran on kerosene and the fumes would overcome you if you worked for longer. Not pleasant work. Leon informed us that the day before the anonometer (wind guage) had stopped and that was only the third time in four years - it's a very windy place. He also said that we should go for a walk to the cliff face and drive to Sugarloaf Rock.

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse - built in 1903.

Original lighthouse keeper's house.

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse tour guide Leon Chidlow and assistant.

And these tiny motors running the light at Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse.

We took our 20 minute walk to the cliff face and were rewarded with lots of seals on the rocks below. Drove to Sugarloaf Rock and had our picnic hamper for lunch. Just off the coast were a pod of dolphins jumping out of the water and generally mucking around. The contents of the hamper went down very well. Yu-Jin and I did some rock climbing and it was three o'clock before we finished.

The coastline at Cape Naturaliste was quite striking.

Sugarloaf Rock.

Beautiful scenery, whichever way you look.

Trees grow in some funny places.

Did I mention that trees grow in some funny places.

I'm sure I mentioned before that trees grow in funny places.

We went home and we boys had a shower before heading off to the pool. I don't feel that the pool was suitable for kids as there wasn't a real safety ledge. Shower again, mainly to get warm following the walk back, then I went off to buy something for tea. Yu-Jin and I played cards and watched music videos on the telly, drew in his Doodle Book and partook in some play-fighting. Miky finished off her Da Vinci Code book, in Korean, even though I warned her that she would be bored the next day if she finished it. Spoke with an old friend, James, who now lives in the area and it was great to catch up. Our new next door neighbours were very loud. Thankfully I was very tired and they didn't bother me too much.

She's all go along the Busselton foreshore. Stand aside young 'ans.

Tuesday morning and Yu-Jin and I went for a walk along the beach collecting a few shells and spotting some crabs just off the shore. Another great breakfast, they never made us pay for Yu-Jin's breakfast as well, followed by some time on the bouncy castle. Yu-Jin, not me. Checked out.

Our accommodation at Geographe Bayview Resort.

Drove down Caves Road to the Lake Cave near Margaret River. The speed limit of 90 km/h was a bit fast in places even for me. But I did put the cruise control on so just had to grit the teeth on a few bends. I wouldn't like to be driving at that speed at night time however. Yu-Jin and I went down the cave whilst Miky stayed in the cafe. I had warned her about not finishing her book. Wonderful sight.

Been a fire near Margaret River.

Lake Cave guide Benson.

Some trees from 250-500 years old growing in the cave.

Pretty spooky looking decorations outside the moist part of the cave.

Going down to Lake Cave.

Watch your head whilst entering, Jnr.

It's only a tiny entrance to the cave following a rock fall.

Joined columns in Lake Cave.

We weren't going to be cold in the cave.

Looks like Superman's house of crystals.

Joined columns that dangle 50cm above the water.

Dig those columns.

Like a thousand daggers waiting to drop.

The stalactites look like something out of a Hollywood movie.

Then for the drive home. Spotted some emus on the road. Margaret River is a small town but I would give up on trying to park in the main street - it is busier than central Perth. We had lunch at the Ship Resort in Busselton, including Indian (tikka bikari - lovely) before heading out to the jetty. We walked all two kilometres of, perhaps, the world's longest wooden jetty. Then we walked all two kilometres back to shore. James had warned me that it would be cold and windy on the jetty and he was right. Spotted some Korean tourists on the jetty so I said hello in Korean which caught them off-guard. Love doing that sort of thing. Interestingly, the last time we were on a jetty, which was at Glenelg in Adelaide, we stumbled across some Koreans as well. Yu-Jin and I made a sand castle before continuing the drive home.

The start of the Busselton Jetty, all 2km of it.

They paint pictures like this of Busselton Jetty.

The Busselton Jetty sticks a long way out to sea.

Last chance to build a sand castle whilst on holiday.

Filled up my car in Bunbury and was stunned to find out that even though I had driven at 90-110 km/h most of the way my fuel economy was great - 30.4 mpg. I only get 23 mpg around town. All up I did close to 400 kms driving on our last day.

Great little getaway. And now the missus can't wait to go back.