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.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Pre-Employment Medical Examination

I went for my pre-employment medical examination yesterday. Only two weeks after I started the job and about seven weeks later than it should have been carried out, but, what the hey?

There was a drug and alcohol test. Not being familiar with these products I couldn't tell the difference between LSD, cocaine and weed. Nah, only joshing. You have to pee into a jar and it gets sent away for analysis. It wasn't fair that the nurse who was holding the jar had large breasts and couldn't hold the jar steady either. He he.

Last medical I had the nurse was in the room when I provided a speciman. I'm not too comfortable with that. It didn't happen this time but there was also a bit of stage fright and I had to have a few goes at it with a walk around the block in between. I was busting to go but it's difficult when you have women outside the room discussing how much sex their boyfriend wants and the like. Ladies, I'm trying to concentrate in here.

You spend five minutes with the doctor. My blood pressure was 115/80, dunno if that is good or bad, reflexes were still there, no hernia evident on the cough, and my eyesight was as good as they can test. Not bad for an office jockey.

At the recent training course I attended the guy next to me said that his medical nearly killed him as he had to do sit-ups and other strenuous activities. The most strenuous exercise I had was to look to the sides, lift my legs and touch my toes.

I think I'm up to the challenge.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Tenth Anniversary Tea

Tea is what I refer to dinner as being so, no, we didn't just go out for a beverage. There were two eateries we had in mind. I met the missus and the boy at the pool after work as junior had a swimming lesson. Straight into Vic Park to decide where to go. On the list was Nando's and Emma's Seafood Restaurant. The plan was to park the car near Nando's and walk to Emma's to see if it was open.

Great plan apart from the delicious chicken smell emanating from Nando's. Miky couldn't go past it. Ooh, that flame-grilled chicken smelt divine. Waited nearly twenty minutes to receive our order but the taste was marvellous and well worth the wait. Peri-peri sauce, originally from Swaziland, I believe, is delicious. I can't believe that we haven't tried this place before. We'll definitely be back. Very noisy eatery so no good if you wish to have a decent conversation.

Across the road was Baskin Robbins so we popped in for some ice cream. Yum. Tasted just as good on Friday night when we were there.

The boy fell asleep in the car on the way home so we had the night to ourselves and watched The Bourne Supremacy which had been on telly the night before. I'm not a fan of movies when they break the action scenes into one second viewing and cut to all different angles constantly. A reasonable movie otherwise. Perhaps the first was better.
Best Thing I've Done In A Long Time

I made a great decision the other day. Just had to buy the latest CD by Nickelback - All The Right Reasons. It's a great album and it certainly gets Yu-Jin and I bouncing off the walls. Yu-Jin knows nearly all the words to "Savin' Me" and as we play it to death he'll get to know them all along with a few other songs.

Nickelback - All The Right Reasons - CD Cover.

As Molly Meldrum would say, "Do yourself a favour." But only if you like rock music with insane riffs.

Monday, October 23, 2006

$40 Idiot

The idiocy of people continues to amaze me. I went to a hole-in-the-wall to withdraw some money on Saturday and could have withdrawn money without even having to use my card. There was $40 sitting there waiting to be taken. I yelled out, "Excuse me, mate!" to the guy who had just used the ATM but I didn't get his attention until I yelled, "Oi!!" He then came looking and I told him to take his money.

How can you go to an ATM to remove money and not take the money with you? What was he thinking? And just how long would it have been before he realised?

Is this the future of our country?
More Cool Number Plates

YEHBABY - V8 Falcon
IND3BT - Hotted-up Pulsar
SIKEM REX - Subaru
LATA DUDE - Subaru
L8ER DUDE - Subaru

It is a worrying trend to see that Subaru owners are the most inventive in this country on a per capita basis. Or is it just that they have that little bit of extra money to throw away on a personalised number plate.
Busy Weekend

The weekend seemed to be over in a flash. I worked on a Saturday for the first time in about three years. It was a strange feeling. Ever stranger that I was the only one in the office for the first hour and a half. Then a few more bodies started rolling in. Yu-Jin was dropped off by Miky just as I was finishing up. She planned to catch up with a friend she hadn't seen for some time and so we swapped kid-sitting duties.

Back home for lunch and off to taekwondo. Normal Saturday stuff.

On Sunday we all went to Bunnings to get some castors for Miky's new footstool and then I dropped Miky off at home as she had work to do. Yu-Jin and I went to Subiaco for fruit and veg shopping before some time at the playground. Then we went to the city to buy Miky a blouse whereby I got the price down from $60 to $15. Followed this with lunch where I ordered one burger but had three instead. The counter staff were new and took so long to do anything. Then they stuffed my order up by giving me two burgers, neither of which I had ordered. Finally got the burger I ordered but none of them were particularly appetising.

Just made it to the cinema in time to catch Stormbreaker. An enjoyable movie and a good one to watch with the family. After another toilet break for the boy I got his hair cut. My mum rang me as soon as the haircut started and I had to cut the conversation short as the hairdresser finished the job in about seven minutes flat. He even had time to put gel in his hair. Normally his haircut takes 20-30 mins. Now they're down in time and up in price to $2/min.

Finished off the night with Australian Idol.
Just How Small Is This World?

The other day I found out that one of my colleagues at work is from South Australia. Mt Gambier in fact. I had a chat to him and it turns out that his wife is from Naracoorte. Not only does she know my cousins and aunty but she also used to work with one of my cousins.

He and his family came to Perth for a holiday and liked the place so much they went back to the Mt. just to sell their house so that they could move over. He came over a year after I did.

Honestly, the world shrinks in size day by day.
Ten Years To The Day Since We Met

Today marks ten years since Miky and I met. That feels a little bit out there, really. Time has flown so quickly. And what have we done in that time? Well, we got married, bought a block of land, travelled a bit, bought a flat, had a rugrat, travelled a bit, sold the block of land, re-educated ourselves for three years each, sold the flat/bought a house, travelled a bit, started gardening, extended the house a little. That's about it, in a nutshell.

How did we meet - here's the story.

We've been married over nine years already so we must be doing something right. Or we've just learned to put up with each other. No, maybe she's just learnt to put up with me. That's a bit more likely.

I remember the day so well that we met. It was two days before a term deposit with the bank that I had was to mature. That makes it so easy to remember. Miky was actually doing the dishes when I knocked on her door. No wonder she took so long to open the door to a stranger at the time.

I thought of sending some flowers through Interflora or the like today but that can be hideously expensive. So I purchased a nice bunch of carnations at the markets yesterday, coz they are so well priced, and came clean with my intentions to celebrate this millstone, er, milestone. This leopard isn't changing his spots any time soon.

Now I guess I've got to find a place to go and eat at tonight. This romance stuff is neverending. Thank goodness for that.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Trip To Victoria - Day Six

I went for an early morning walk along the cliff line. There were masses of huge ocean waves crashing in. I even spotted a guy on a jetski in the ocean surf. Crazy. Port Campbell is a picturesque little town.

The cliffs surrounding the foreshore at Port Campbell.

Drove back the way we came and the Impreza really handled the windy roads well. First stop was the Otway Fly which was magnificant. The highest vantage point for this forest filled with Mountain Ash and Myrtle Beech trees was 47m and it worried Miky quite a bit. She didn't want to know how high it was until after she had come down.

This is what is known as the Otway Fly Boomerang Tree. It started growing the wrong way and then grew back on itself.

Young fella taking control of the map and telling us where to go.

They way you measure the width in centimetres, at chest height, to get the rough age of the tree in years. This one is a couple of hundred years old.

Here's the Otway Fly walkway.

Lots of tall timber. This area has been seeded and felled several times over the last 150 years.

View from the tower.

View from atop the 47m tower. Some of the trees are still a good 10m taller.

Treetop view.

The tower itself. Shakes a bit with the wind and people walking up and down.

Epiphyic ferns - epiphytes grow on other plants but don't feed on them. They are quite common in the Otway Fly.

Drove to Colac to have lunch and Miky spotted an antique shop. Purchased two different cup and saucer sets. KFC and fried rice for lunch. Nothing special. Took the Princes Highway right into Melbourne where we hired the car from, so that I could get my bearings, and we visited the Korean market area adjacent to the Queen Victoria Markets. Got the car back to Budget in one piece. Driving in Melbourne was not part of the plan but seeing as we had walked there I had a good idea of where I was.

Considering that I hammered the car along the highway and up the hills when I had the chance I was surprised that it returned about 38.75 mpg, or 7.3L/100km, for the whole trip. It didn't like the hills though and the cruise control was a bit fiddly. Nice car otherwise.

Caught a taxi from Budget to the Skybus depot, tok the bus to the airport and waited for our flight. We were able to get Yu-Jin two seats by himself so that he could sleep after having his meal. It was so much nicer to be on Qantas with food and icecream being served. So much nicer than Virgin Blue. Although, we were seated at the wrong end of the plane for getting served rapidly.

At Perth we shared a taxi with a lady from Brisbane who only had to go a couple of streets from the airport. Good to be home.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Trip To Victoria - Day Five

Up early for breakfast, much like the sort of breakfast I had when on holidays at Aunty Joan's house when I was a kid, and a game of Trouble before heading off to the Great Ocean Road. Man, it's a long, winding road along cliff edges.

There were a few points of interest along the way. One good trick was to follow tourist buses around. They stop at the best vantage points and you save some $120 per head.

If you, as a tourist, had gotten this far I didn't think that you would need reminding which side of the road to drive on. Perhaps it's for the benefit of the Victorian drivers themselves.

Urquhart Lookout - a tourist bus was parked here so it was worth a look.

The spectacular view from Urquhart Lookout.

Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road was pretty much like this all the way.

Potter Point was another vantage point.

Took the opportunity to get a family photo in.

One tour bus that we followed for a while to take advantage of the best spots that they knew about.

Great views wherever you looked.

Stunning shoreline.

This is the sort of clifftop driving that there was a great deal of. Photo taken at Cape Patton Lookout.

Apollo Bay

Stopped for lunch at Apollo Bay and the place was teeming with Korean tourists. Who'd a-thought? It was a strange feeling.

Apollo Bay.

Mait's Rest Rainforest Walk - part of the Otway Ranges and there is a 30 minute walking path set in amongst the rainforest. Quite chilly inside and huge trees and ferns on display. A nice little detour and worth the visit.

Gives you some idea of the growth in the rainforest at Mait's Rest Rainforest Walk.

The Rainforest Walk itself.

They reckon this is a couple of trees that just fused together.

A myrtle beech, like this hollowed-out one, takes some 350 years to reach maturity. And they are massive trees.

Giants of the rainforest.

Even the ferns were huge in the rainforest.

Cape Otway Lighthouse - we had seen enough of lighthouses on our last holiday and certainly didn't want to spend a heap of money when I just wanted to see the cliffs. So we took another path that didn't cost anything.

Cape Otway Lighthouse - not worth the long drive to get there.

The 12 Apostles - truly breathtaking. No wonder tourists come a long way to see this. Definitely worth the effort to see. It was a bit of a pity that we arrived later in the afternoon and it wasn't conducive to good photography. Helicopter tours were available too. The place was pretty busy with tourists but there was only one tourist bus there during our visit.

The entrance to the Twelve Apostles National Park.

Twelve Apostles.

One of the giant stacks up close.

Twelve Apostles.

Twelve Apostles.

Twelve Apostles.

Twelve Apostles.

Twelve Apostles.

Twelve Apostles.

Twelve Apostles.

Cliff face at the Twelve Apostles.

Cliff face at the Twelve Apostles.

Cliff face at the Twelve Apostles.

Boxing the Apostle.

Loch Ard Gorge - named after the Loch Ard, a ship that was wrecked against the cliffs. Some very nicely manicured cliffs.

Loch Ard Gorge.

Loch Ard Gorge.

Natural archway at the Loch Ard Gorge.

We stayed the night in Port Campbell, an old fishing village. Had pizza and pasta for tea. The servings were huge but the taste was heading in the other direction. Unfortunately the pasta had pine nuts in it so Yu-Jin couldn't touch any of it. After tea Yu-Jin and I played a card game that Aunty Joan had given him. I beat him so badly, he insisted on played the skills game, and made him quite upset. Before going to bed he read me a great book about a giant that Aunty Joan had given him also.
Something In The Air - Good And Bad

Mozzies are bad, ridiculously though, and the sunsets are nice. It's a bit dangerous to be out at that time of the evening at the moment.

Mozzies are bad in the evening - this is in my backyard.

Another photo from the backyard

The sunset was nice though.

I can't believe the number of mosquitoes around at the moment. It's like we're living in a third world country. What the hell is my city council doing about it? I can honestly say that I've never seen so many swarms of mozzies. At least in the morning on the walk to the bus stop they aren't hungry. They just get in your face.

Mosquito swarms in the morning are huge.

At least these fellas aren't bitey early in the morning.