Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Cities I Have Visited - And Some Of My Favourites

Visit To The Dentist

I had a trip to the dentist this arvo. One of my teeth was giving me pain whenever I bit on something, had some cold water or sucked cold air onto it. I’d put up with it for about two weeks but it was time to get something done. Luckily the dentist had a spot in the arvo the day after I rang.

Started work early today so that I would do all that I had to before leaving early. The dental assistant was quite chatty and wanted to talk about holiday destinations. She appeared to be very new at her job. In fact, three long timers had left their jobs at the practice over about the last year so there were quite a few new faces about. I hadn’t been to the dentist for nearly three and a half years.

Forty five minutes later, one filling removal and one temporary filling until my next appointment in a month’s time, and a significantly lighter wallet, I walked out with a numb face feeling a bit better about myself. There was a crack in the tooth and it didn’t take too much to remove the filling that it had. The dentist gave me a couple of injections, one in the top and one in the bottom, as he wasn’t sure which tooth was causing the problem after his initial inspection. I did tell him which tooth it was and where it was situated but I think he was a bit out of it. He asked me about five times when my next check-up was even though I mentioned that I had an appointment in a month’s time when I first spoke to him.

I expect quite a bit more damage next month when the missus and I both have examinations, scaling and a clean. Ouch. Even with anaesthetic.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ant Mine

Cool toy, is the Ant Mine. I promised the boy to buy him one for Christmas and his grandma provided the money for it. It's only taken two months for the National Geographic shop to get it back in stock so I bought it on Sunday.

The boy was quite excited by it and wanted to put it together by himself. I was busy washing the dishes. Imagine my surprise when he walked into the kitchen with a surgical mask and gloves on! They were provided to protect him from some harmful substance used to build the ant mine. Turns out that it was for the plaster of paris which had to be mixed and set into a mould. We did that together. Forty five minutes later and it was ready for painting. Then it had to set overnight.

Next evening we had to finish building it and catch about 20 ants to install. The boy wasn't having much luck as he'd only managed to collect about three ants with his fingers. I went outside with a spoon and we had something like 22 ants before too long. Put them in the fridge for 20 minutes before they were subdued enough to let loose in the ant mine.

They don't take long to awaken though. Before long many of them were scurrying around the mine, shifting the dirt and sugar we'd dropped in their also, and generally making themselves at home. There is one entry point for water and another for food. This afternoon I caught a live shield bug and inserted it into the ant mine. I'm a sadistic bastard. It's fun to watch nature at work.

Ant Mine Terrarium

Monday, February 25, 2008

Similarities Between A Boy And His Rabbit

I'll compose a short list of similarities I've noticed between the boy and his pet rabbit in the week that Stew has been with us. Miky even called him Stew yesterday and she's determined that his name is Tommy. He he.

- same front teeth
- mouth is always open
- drop things on the floor (one drops food and the other drops poo pellets)
- jumps on the sofa (frowned upon with both parties)
- runs around the house
- eats a little, plays a little, eats a little, plays a little, eats a little...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Miniclip Games - Fire Storm

The boy found this game, Fire Storm, on Miniclip Games.

Games at - Fire Storm
Fire Storm

Destroy as many targets as possible with your souped up chopper!

Play this free game now!!

Ben Cousins Attends Heath Ledger's Funeral

I saw recently that Ben Cousins attended Heath Ledger's funeral. I could say that perhaps he was confused with all the headlines about drugs being involved in Ledger's death and attended the funeral expecting drugs to be on offer, but I won't. I was a bit surprised to see him there. I don't think that they even attended the same school.

Gotta keep in the public eye, I guess.

Update On The Rabbit

Young Stew, or Tommy as other members of the household refer to him, is a funny creature. He'll run around the house and spin 180 degrees much like a little dog would. He pees and poos in the one spot although he does leave a few pellets around the house. Miky bought him a dog bed and filled it with straw for sleeping in but he prefers to crawl under the buffet and sleep there. I guess no-one can bother him there. He's rather affectionate and will come and sit next to you. Yesterday he jumped up on the couch five times. Talk about a wascally wabbit.

Miky was working yesterday from early in the morning and Stew would pop in to see what she was doing quite regularly. That's rather nice but he's not attention seeking like a dog. He will just about follow her around the house. I guess it's got something to do with the fact that she feeds him. He'll even let her kiss him.

The biggest surprise of having Stew as a pet is the missus. As I've mentioned before she's a bit of a clean freak. Now with rabbit poo around the house and hay, pee and poo throughout the laundry you'd think that she couldn't handle it. To my shock it doesn't bother her. And to think that the choice of dog we had was narrowed down to a couple of breeds because they were the only ones that didn't drop hair. Yep, she was worried about dog hair lying about the place. No such qualms about rabbit poo.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

G-Spot Article - Researcher Who Enjoys His Work

What a plum job, eh? A research team, of Italians, has been spending their time trying to locate the fabled G-Spot. And they reports that they has done so. Although they only studied 20 women to come up with the result. Doesn't sound very thorough or very Italian for that matter.

The strange news headlines that catch one's attention.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Prize Pumpkins - Almost

It was harvest time last night and I picked a few pumpkins. All of them were the butternut variety. There's one Queensland pumpkin but I'm not quite ready to pick him. About three pumpkins previously have been harvested and they take a bit of eating. So it's been boiled pumpkin and pumpkin pancakes. Haven't done pumpkin soup or baked pumpkin yet but they're on the menu.

It's amazing what will grow in your garden if you let it. Unfortunately the weather was too hot for the one rockmelon that was growing.

Prize pumpkins.

The biggest butternut pumpkin that I've harvested.

he big butternut tips the scales at 1.725kg (nearly four pounds).

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Meet The Newest Member Of The Household

It's been a long time coming but we have a new member in our household. His name is Stew. Well, that's what I call him. Miky and Yu-Jin have called him Tommy. Miky's preference was Oliver. I'm sticking with Stew.

Miky bought him today. We actually went looking for a rabbit last weekend but saw a few other animals of interest. At one store we saw a beagle puppy but at $825 that was a bit much. At another store there were Jack Russell pups for $450. Just a bit more than the $100 dad paid for Georgina back in about 1981. A few of the shops near the boy's school were closed when we arrived so Miky went back after school one day. She fell in love with a four month old bunny who was the size of a medium dog.

I didn't feel like paying $120 for a small cage or $200 for a medium cage for the rabbit so we looked in the paper. Found a couple for $50 within half an hour drive. Pity I couldn't fit it in the car with the rest of the family in it. I took a day off work, which I worked today instead, so that we could spend the whole day shopping. The new Ikea store has opened in Osborne Park and it's massive. Arrived at lunch time and had to queue for about 15 minutes to get lunch. Whilst in line a magician came to entertain us and then gave the boy a $5 gift voucher. Bonus. Ikea was so busy that you couldn't think and we didn't end up buying anything although we had heaps on our shopping list. Disappointing that. It's about four times the size of the old store.

Spent much of the morning and some of the afternoon hunting for tiles to redo the bathroom. Picked up pretty much what we wanted too. Not a bad days shopping.

This morning Miky bought another bunny. This time it was a tawny coloured dwarf lop, I think. I drove up to the guy's house with the rabbit hutch for sale and we only just managed to fit it into my car. Funny, I've put a whole Ikea kitchen into my car before.

Once home my missus informed me that the mozzies were bothering Stew and I would have to cover the hutch with mosquito wire. Duly went to Bunnings to purchase said article and then spent another hour installing it. Came up ok.

It seems that Stew is quite comfortable inside our house. He has a pee and a poo in the same place and likes wandering around the house. Stew is especially fond of hiding behind the buffet.

Stew just stretching out

Psycho Stew

Friday, February 15, 2008

Videos From A While Ago

I used to use Google Video but found the uploader problematic before switching to YouTube. Here's a couple of videos I prepared earlier and have added to YouTube.

Joe with his 300m+ driver

Robin the well trained corgi

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day or, as one of my colleagues put it, the day that John Sands, Hallmark etc have over-commercialised and created an industry that isn't necessary. His opinion of Valentine's Day is that it was meant to be a way of gaining an introduction after sending your message of admiration to a person distant to yourself. It has lost that meaning almost completely.

Last weekend my missus said, "Don't get me anything thing for Valentine's Day. No chocolate." I had no intention of buying chocolates as she's on a health kick and there was a box of them in the fridge anyway. I did want to buy her some flowers and she said that they had to be red roses. Ok, fair enough. So I bought them on the weekend when they were still a reasonable price. Not on the day when sold by Mediterranean man who resemble Exzorbitant the Greek (Just my attempt at humour there - moving along). Can't stand paying three to four times for something that I would be happy to pay on any normal day.

Miky rang me this morning and reminded me not to buy her anything. I reminded her of our agreement on the weekend. About half an hour later I noticed a message on my phone so I rang her back to find out what she wanted. It was at this stage that she informed me, "Don't worry about buying me a present for Valentine's Day as I have already bought mine." Um, what happened to our agreement? So I could now buy something to the same value for myself. How quickly it went from just costing me for a bunch of roses to outlaying $100!!

Starting to believe my colleague about the commercialising of Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Strange Egyptian Cult Takes Over Perth

I had planned to write something witty. But, with my ability for wit limited to sarcasm, as a previous employer mentioned on a few occasions "Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit", I think that we're going to have a struggle for a witty comment.

The other day on my way to work I noticed some strange white structures that had overtaken a nearby park. It looked like the work of a strange Egyptian cult, as they were the shape of pyramids and I was determined to take a closer look at lunchtime. And to take some decent photos. But, by lunchtime they had almost completely disappeared. Another nail in the coffin for my wit. So I'll just include a couple of photos and be done with it.

Strange Egyptian cult constructions

More strange Egyptian cult constructions

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

South Korea Will Be In Mourning

This morning my mum alerted me to the destruction of Namdaemun this yesterday. It is/was South Korea's National Treasure No.1.

Associated Press article
AFP article
Guardian UK article

President-elect Lee Myung-Bak, a former city mayor, said after touring the site, "This is a symbolic place that people want to visit whenever they come to Seoul."

I visited it whenever I went to Seoul. It was a magnificent structure and had stood the test of time for 600 years and survived the Japanese annexure and Korean War. Last time I was there I took heaps of photos but none of them really did it justice. I feel for the Koreans' loss.

The Koreans, being a proud people, will rebuild.

Down On The Farm

Recently I returned home with the missus and the boy for my mum's birthday. The trip home involved one day down on the farm and I'm pretty sure that the boy had a good time. We visited one of my uncles and he had a calf that was being looked after. This gave Yu-Jin the opportunity to feed it. Just look at the world's latest cowgirl too. She sure looks like she could handle a bullock.

Feeding a calf

I think the thing most enjoyed by the boy about farm life was getting to drive the car. No, it wasn't quite as irresponsible or Britney Spears-like as I did wait until he was physically able to steer and see over the steering wheel. I see that playing computer games does have its uses.

Kid driving the car

Monday, February 11, 2008

Afternoon At The Driving Range

The boy and I took some time out on Sunday afternoon to go to the driving range at Whaleback Golf Club. The 3-wood was fairly straight. Straight over the right side fence followed by one straight over the left side fence. Well, it amused the boy somewhat. Not having played since last Easter it was hardly surprising when I a blister appear on my left thumb. What to do in this situation, especially considering that you've paid for the balls? Change hands, of course. So I hit a few left-handed 6-irons. The result wasn't too bad either. All within the 100-125 metres range and pretty straight.

FB striking an 8-iron

FB striking a left-handed 6-iron

The boy enjoyed himself. Mostly he wanted to hit the guy in the ball-collecting vehicle and was disappointed when I didn't do it.

The Boy striking a 3-wood

The Boy is reasonably handy with the left-handed 6-iron also

Nice drive from the Boy

We also had a putting competition. I let him do the bunker practice by himself as my thumb was hurting too much. Watching him was rather reminiscent of my mate Loppy and his 11 or 13 shots to get out of a bunker one day.

The Boy in bunker trouble

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance Australia?

I think there are some very talented dancers in this country and So You Think You Can Dance Australia is going to show us quite a few of them. And I'm not much of an enthusiast when it comes to dance but some people blow you away. One of my favourites on tonight's episode was Don - a bboy. If you enjoy watching bboys check out the Korean bboys in the videos below. I also quite like Sirone the krumper.

Extreme Crew Bboy Superman - this guy is sick.

Korean Bboy (or should that be Bbaby?)

Korean Bboys from Bboy World

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Strange Feeling At The Petrol Station

On Saturday afternoon I filled my car up for the first time in eight weeks. No, it's not ultra fuel efficient. I just don't use it a lot as I catch the bus to work. And considering that it cost over A$80 to fill it's not something that I'd like to do each week.

There was a lady at the bowser in front of me and she went into the shop just as I was getting out and starting to fill my car. We were the only two people at the station at the time. The petrol bowser seemed to be quite slow and it must have taken about three minutes to fill. Then I thought to myself, "Hmmm. That lady has been in the shop for an unusually long time. I wonder if they are in the middle of being held up as she should have come out by now?"

So, with some slight trepidation, I entered the shop to pay for my fuel. The lady was at the counter with a 1L bottle of oil in her hand talking to the shop assistant. Then she turned to me and asked, "Do you know anything about scooters?"
My response was, "No. They're not real motorbikes."
That set her off a little bit and it was funny to see her reaction as she said that "Scooters are real motorbikes" before she left the shop. The guy at the counter explained, when I told him that I thought maybe they were being held up because she had been in the shop for so long that she wasn't sure which oil to buy for her scooter and was asking him lots of questions. He was unable to help her as he didn't own a bike or a car. And I'm thinking that "This guy doesn't even own a car and he works in a petrol station?"

Never mind. No crisis to worry about.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Mouse Trapped!

It was really doing my head in, having a mouse that carefully lifted peanuts, etc from the new mouse trap without getting caught. I had a thought that if something sticky was placed on the trigger he'd have to put some weight on it to steady himself. Bingo!

Warning - the following video contains animal cruelty. You are not being forced to watch. I'm not even forcing you to listen to the sadistic laughter.

Fed Up - The Mouse And Myself

We have an unwanted guest in the house. And he's a smart little bugger. Just to check if he, the mouse, was in the house I put some bread on a mousetrap. It was never going to set it off and, sure enough, was gone the next morning. So, I put an almond in the trap which surely would be difficult enough to remove without setting off the trap. Not so for our fearless little four-legged gatherer.

Stage two. Went to Bunnings to purchase another mousetrap as perhaps the ones I own are a bit old. They had some new design which clamps very quickly when touched. I put peanuts in the trap in the kitchen and one in the computer room. Later that night they were both empty. I tried putting some nuts far back in the trap so that he would have to step on the trigger to reach them but no, that didn't stop the little beggar either. I tried meat and that disappeared also. Before leaving for work today I placed about four peanuts at the back of the trap. Surely he can't fit them all in his mouth at once without triggering the mousetrap. I guess I'll find out later tonight.

I'm fed up and so is the mouse. But he's well fed, that being the difference.
Kalamunda Wet 'N" Wild Waterslides

Yesterday was the last day of the school holidays. I'd been meaning to take the boy somewhere for a day out and Kalamunda Wet 'N" Wild with their waterslides seemed the ideal place. Actually, there are three water parks around Perth, the others being Adventure World and The Great Escape. The boy had been to Wet 'N' Wild during the school holidays with his child care but I was up for a day of sliding. Gee, I must have been about eight years old the last time I did it.

The slides were pretty cool with the Yellow Devil Zig Zag Tube and the Red Monster Corkscrew Tube open all the time. The Awesome Foursome and the Screaming Demon opened alternatively for 30 minutes to allow the pool at the bottom to open. It takes some 9-11 seconds to complete the Screaming Demon and the boy wanted to have a go. The lifeguard said that as he was under ten years of age I had to go to the front office to sign a form allowing him to go on it. Ok, he said that he rode it when at child care. So we went all the way back to the front office, received a stamp as a pass and just as we got back at the slide it was closed. Bugger.

Half an hour later it reopened and we were one of the first on it. Excellent. The second time I went down I closed my eyes the whole way to see what the feeling was like. I survived.

We spent five hours, minus half an hour for lunch that Miky prepared for us, riding the slides. My left quadriceps are killing me. Not sure if I hurt it on one of the slides or by climbing the steps and ramp so many times. Worth the effort though as it was a great way to spend a hot day. The temperature did hit 36.9 degrees C.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Funny Signs In And Around Adelaide

Not much time for sightseeing in and around Adelaide as I spent most of my time visiting relatives. But I did see some signs that made me laugh.

Jesus can help you - ask him. And the sign at the shop next door, Blackwell Funerals, should be amended to say "And if Jesus isn't any help then come to us!"

I thought it was funny that one of the most interesting things about Murray Bridge was the road out of there. Well, one of the attractions was the "NEXT EXIT".