Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rotto Trip

We had a holiday recently. Had been planning to visit Sydney but with the airfares costing just under $2k thought better of it and holidayed locally at Rottnest Island. Managed to obtain some accommodation although the chalets were booked and only one night out of the three was available at the Rottnest Lodge. So, we put up with a family room at the hostel.

Bought the missus and The Boy new bikes as about half of the expense of buying them would have been taken up with renting bikes anyway. I wasn’t too concerned with paying $12 for each bike to be transported to the island. The trip over wasn’t too bad although the missus suffers badly from seasickness and she had to find someone else to sit. The water was reasonably calm though.

Finding our accommodation was pretty simple and it was only 1.5 kms out of town. Had to wait an hour and a half for the reception to open and then they were rather slow at processing guests. Never mind. Our room was spacious enough and clean so that was a good start. After unpacking we rode into town to grab some lunch. Spent a bit of time there before heading back to the hostel and down to the beach. There were a number of sandcastles that had been built and with quite a bit of detail. Some of the kids must have taken hours to do them. I did a bit of snorkelling but it was fairly cold. When we arrived back at the hostel there was a bunch of Irish backpackers sitting out on the verandah just drinking, smoking and talking. It’s what the Irish do best. And they sat and drank and smoked and talked until who knows what hour. Inconsiderate pricks.

The Boy rode some 62 laps of the quadrangle in the evening. We also kicked the footy around for over half an hour.

Next day we rode around the south part of the island and visited Salmon Bay with an osprey stack ventured up to the Wadjemup Lighthouse. Nice view of the island from atop the hill. Ride back into town was a bit of a killer. The Boy, even with his new gears bike, found the going too tough. His mum put him to shame on the hills. He'd done too many laps the night before. Almost ran into four guys who parked their bikes in the middle of the road and said a few choice words to them. I mean, what idiot parks his bike on the road which a bus and other cylists pass through regularly? The funny thing was whilst The Boy and I bought our lunch the missus found a table and who should it be next to? And she didn’t even notice. And she'd yelled the most abuse at them. We ended up shifting as we had no intentions of sitting next to them.

Spent the afternoon down at the beach splashing about and building sandcastles until the rain became too heavy and we had to head back. The Irish backpackers had emerged about lunchtime to continue their drinking, smoking and talking. Even though they were supposed to checkout at 9am they didn’t leave until about 3pm. And they didn’t take any of their rubbish with them. The Boy and I kicked the footy again even in the light rain. It became badly shredded on the hard surface after becoming wet.

I guess the lack of consideration provided by many people was the most disappointing aspect of the holiday. The communal kitchen was left in a mess and people just left their dirty dishes in the sink for someone else to clean. The lounge room was covered in bits of paper, noodles and chip packets in the morning. Quite disgusting really. And the closest shower was quite a disappointment also with the head not being able to be fixed into position as it was broken.

On Tuesday we rode around the northeastern tip of the island and visited the Basin, Geordie Bay and Little Parakeet Bay before riding past Pink Lake on the way back into town. Stopped for lunch before heading to the Basin for a snorkel. The Boy only lasted about five minutes before the urge to build sandcastles took over. I snorkelled for 45 minutes but apart from a few samson fish and a wrasse and the seaweed there wasn’t a lot to look at. So I sat on the beach and soaked up the sun. We’d been quite lucky with the warm weather, even though it had rained for half of the previous day, as it was rather pleasant.

On Wednesday the missus didn’t feel too well so she caught an early ferry home. The Boy and I visited the museum and wandered around The Settlement viewing the old houses. I heard about the oarsmen on the pilot boat having to work for 24 hours straight to bring ships into the port of Fremantle. I’m glad those days are over. We headed up to Bathurst Lighthouse for a look and then back to town for a late lunch.

The ferry ride back was a bit exciting as it wasn’t too calm in the late afternoon. Made it back to Barrack Street jetty by 6pm. Had to wait about 10 minutes for a maxi taxi, one that could fit the bikes, and some old lady was adamant that it was a taxi for her because the cruise company had called for one. Well, I booked a maxi taxi, usually used for wheelchair-bound passengers, as I required the space for three bikes. You pay one and a half times the going rate of a normal taxi for the privilege however.

Ah, nice to be home. Warm, powerful shower, familiar bed, computer, etc.

Rottnest Island Holiday 2009 Photo Album

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Anzac Day 2009

It's tradition for it to be cold, wet and miserable on Anzac Day, the 25th of April, every year. This year was quite mild but morning showers were predicted. I took a warm jacket. And so did many of the estimated 40000 attendees to the dawn service in Kings Park at the war memorial. There we stood in silence listening to a recollection of the Australians battling Rommel in north Africa, watched as dignitaries laid wreaths in remembrance of the fallen and heard a speech by Brigadier Steve Cain about what it was like waiting at home when your loved ones had gone to war. His speech was quite thought provoking as we normally hear about the men and women who have gone to war.

Facebook photo album of Anzac Day 2009.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Where's the Scandal for Miss California in the Miss USA Pageant?

Scandal at the Miss USA Pageant? Surely not. Miss California answered a question about gay marriage honestly and loses the title because of it. The scandal was her answer, not the loss of the title, unfortunately.

I've taken Dante Thomas' song Miss California and changed some of the lines to suit.

She's Miss California
Hottest thing in West L.A.
Doesn't think that you should marry
If you happen to be gay
If she did then you should know
She'd now be Miss USA
She's Miss California
Coz she doesn't like the gays

I think the controversy is that the first honest answer in the history of the Miss USA Pageant was provided and the entrant was not respected for it. It's not as if it is a given that homosexuals should be allowed to marry. I'm on her side when it comes to my opinion. Marriage should be between a man and a woman. But I also have gay friends and I do not condemn them for it. Call me a bigot but that's my opinion. Anyway, Miss California, I'd be rooting for you.

If you want controversial behaviour I would have to say (ooh, I'm starting to sound like a Miss USA contestant) that the United States not attending the UN Anti-Racism talks, along with Israel, Canada, Australia, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and New Zealand, is scandalous. It doesn't matter if a crazy guy by the name of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from Iran has something to say that upsets a lot of countries, and lead to an EU walkout from the talks, it was the perfect opportunity to listen and rebut his argument. The fact that they chose not to face a difficult statement, that Israel was rascist, is scandalous. Grow up world! Face the man and stare him down. If you don't agree you tell him so. Wouldn't it have been a great gesture to see some 35-odd countries say that they don't agree with someone's opinion? Isn't that what the forum was for? They should be combatting racism not walking away from it like children.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fishing Expedition to Woodman Point

The Boy had been bugging me for a while to go fishing. And those adds on telly with cheap fishing tackle and rods don’t help either. What he doesn’t realise is that $25 for a rod isn’t much but you require the tackle box, hooks, sinkers, buoys, bait, knife, cleaning board, lights, lures, etc. It all adds up rather quickly. Best thing is to find someone that has all of this gear.

Well, good friends of ours have this gear and offered to take us. I bought the bait and they provided all the gear. Two dads and two sons plus a couple of onlookers. We visited
Woodman Point which is a popular spot. Quite popular. There were quite a few people there even though it was Sunday evening and the sun was setting as we arrived.

The kids showed us up a bit with the first fish and then The Boy caught the next three. My first fish, hooked through the eye, was too small and had to be thrown back. I did remove the hook as gently as I could first though. It was another two and a half hours before I caught a skippy that was just big enough to keep. By this stage The Boy had caught five fish but had to throw two or three back. My friend caught a couple of decent size taylor and they should provide good eating.

Champion Fisherman with his first fish.

Not too many fish on offer but there were two dolphins, a seal, a cuttlefish, a crab and lots of prawns on display. The dolphins hung around for close to an hour. On the way back from the jetty I spotted five rabbits in the park. Quite a bit of wildlife around actually.

At least the kids, and the adults, had a good time. Next time I won’t be wearing the same clothes. They’ll be closer to the rag variety.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Back From Holiday

Yo. Missed me? Nah. Back from a holiday on Rotto for a few days. Plenty of bike riding, building sandcastles and a bit of swimming over the past while. I'll blog about it sometime soon including photos.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Movies - Just Too Expensive

We thought about going to the movies last weekend to watch Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino. When we worked it out that the local cinema was going to charge the three of us A$45 for the privelige I wasn't too pleased about that. I'll wait until it comes out on DVD, thank you very much. Sure, it won't be the same as experiencing it at the movies but I'd rather spend A$3.95 and watch it at my leisure.

Hope it's a good movie. The trailer makes it look ok and one person I know that has seen it certainly recommends it. I like a bit of Clint Eastwood, I does.

Online Games

Few more games with The Boy this weekend.

Sneeze - not to say that it's addictive. More like infectious. Object of the game is to infect as many people as possible with just one sneeze.

Games at Miniclip.com - Sneeze

As a virus, your goal is to infect as many humans as possible

Play this free game now!!

Farmer - Build up your farm and collect produce to fill orders. Excellent game for kids.

Games at Miniclip.com - Farmer

Run your farm, grow your crops and provide the shops with supplies.

Play this free game now!!

Urban Sniper 2 - Not for the fainthearted. I think that Americans are playing this out in real life a bit too much of late.

Number Plates

I haven't posted number plates for a while. Here's a few that I've snapped recently. There are some goods one out that that have evaded me so far.

Excuse Me

Tough Enough

Moo Ute

Fat Ford - Phat Ford must have been taken already.