Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ford Tough - But a Ruined Christmas Holiday Anyway

I saw a strange sight on the way to work this morning. There was a car parked on the roundabout at the entrance to the city. Not something you see every day. I thought, initially, that it was a Holden Commodore and that it had just crumbled. Later, during my lunchtime walk, I discovered that it was a Ford Falcon. Obviously must have struck the palm tree with some great force.

Pity that it was a Ford. Otherwise the idiot that stole it, I'm making an assumption here, might not have been seeing in the new year and wasting more oxygen. It could have been someone driving their own car, drunk, and crashed it. Notice the "This vehicle has been reported..." sticker. Judging by the number plate it's a, or was, a pretty new vehicle.

That's ruin your Christmas holidays, whichever way you look at it.

That'd ruin your Christmas holidays.

Bit of a bingle.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Ant Ecosphere

The Boy received an ant ecosphere for Christmas, among other things. It's much cooler than the ant mine that he had earlier. There are four spheres which we've set up with soil for tunnels, soil and grass for that outdoorsly living, hay for nesting and a pantry. The spheres are all connected by tubes.

Following assembly, no glue required, The Boy obtained some small ants. The instructions did warn us that the ants needed to be more than 3mm in length otherwise they would escape through the air holes. Well, I reckon ours were 4-5mm and they still escaped. Nevermind, there were some much larger, red-headed ants not far from home. Bit of sugar-flavoured, damp cotton ball to attract them. Pretty soon they were crawling all over the small container that we had to capture them in. Managed to get the lid on without getting bitten but did squash a few heads.

By the time we arrived home I'm afraid that many of them appeared a bit lifeless. Perhaps there was too much moisture in the container and they'd drowned. After two days inside the ecosphere only two or three ants, from the 30-40 we'd obtained, had ventured outside of the container. As they weren't interested we released them.

The next time we decided not to have any moisture available. The Boy didn't think that we would capture any ants with such small bait. Only a matter of minutes passed and there would have been close to 100 ants swarming around the container. I managed to get the lid on and between then and removing the ants on the outside of the container I happened to receive three bites. Little buggers.

A couple of hours passed and only a few ants ventured outside of the container. And there were 50-60 inside that container. So, we went outside to play soccer, washed the cars and had a water fight with water blasters that Santa brought. When we checked on the ants about half of them were running around the ecosphere. They are fascinating to watch. In the morning there were only two left and the rest appeared to have made their home.

Ant Ecosphere - a video.

That night I was surprised to discover a spider on the floor of the living room. Next surprise was that he wasn't dead. I grabbed him with the tweezers and put him in the food container for the ants. By morning there was no sign of the spider. I'd say he had been completely devoured.

Ant Ecosphere.

Ecosphere from below.

Ants up close and personal.

Close up.

Dried grass sphere.

Wall of death, ant style.


Avatar. Brilliant. Must see. Hugely entertaining. Craps all over Titanic.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Spider Keeps The Peace

A spider has set up shop in front of our house. Don't come visiting after sunset as that's when she spins her web. Obviously there is a great deal of food in the vicinity as there is a swampy wetlands area across the road and mozzies galore. But we have had our altercations and disagreements over time. My missus has walked through the web at night time on a number of occasions and I've done so once or twice in the morning.

Maybe Spidey is keeping the peace now. The web doesn't go up until just after sunset and takes about an hour to be spun. By sunrise all traces, bar one or two guys, are gone. She completely dismantles the web each night and respins each evening. So, the disagreements have abated somewhat and everybody is happy. Well, almost everybody. The missus still believes that as this is her house she should be entitled to enter the front door via the pathway as that's how the entrance has been designed. The other night she gave me an ultimatum, of sorts, that if I wasn't going to remove the spider I had to remove the pavers.

Spider remains. I think that it will be a long time before I rip up the pavers. Just don't come to our abode after dark or you'll be in for a nasty surprise. Ideal for Halloween though.

Spider working away building web.

Finished web.

Spidey up close.

Web with palm tree fronds in background.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas One And All

I'd like to wish everyone a merry Christmas for 2009, whether you celebrate Christmas or not. May your family arguments over the dinner table be amicable, your turkey/chicken/prawns be cooked just right and peace and wellbeing bestowed upon you and your family. Stay safe over the holiday period so that I may have the pleasure of your company in 2010.

Monday, December 21, 2009

My First Taekwondo Grading

I had my first taekwondo grading on Sunday. I guess it was a bit easier for me than for my son as I've watched him for a number of years and knew what to expect. Even though it was over in about ten minutes I felt pretty exhausted during the sparring. The temperature was reasonably warm at 35.5C and I stood in the non-airconditioned section of the room. Still, did well enough to receive an honours pass but just not quite enough for a double promotion.

Taekwondo Oh Do Kwan white belts who graduated to yellow belt

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Strange Lights In The Sky

Yesterday was warm. Warm as in 37.1C. Good weather for a dip in the pool. Upon our return I noticed some strange lights in the sky. They were still evident by the time I arrived home so I took some photos. Weird. It was almost like somebody was having a party or the airport had some searchlights during an air raid. Don't know what it was.

Strange lights in the sky.
Sunset 180 degrees away

Incognito Muslim

I saw a funny sight yesterday. As I was passing by a newsagent I noticed a muslim woman, all dressed according to the strict Muslim dress code. I'm not sure but I'd say she was wearing a niqab as well so that you could only see her eyes.

Obviously she felt the need to go incognito and hide her identity further. I saw her trying on a pair of sunglasses. What better way to keep your identity secret? I was wondering why she would need sunnies with that much of her face coered up but I guess she had her reasons.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Weird Sun Greets The Day

As I left my abode this morn I was struck by a sense of the strange. The light outside was somewhat weird. One glance at the most approximate star revealed a strange orange glow and then my sense of smell informed me that a nearby fire was responsibility for the unusual light conditions. One comandeered the best camera within near possession and photographed the item for posterity. And I thought that it might make reasonable blog material. The photo doesn't do it justice though. Almost looked like we were in a third world or heavily industrialised country overcome by pollution.

Strange glow of the morning sun

Bit of a weird feeling ensued upon the sight of this mornings sun.

Spooky, huh?

Turns out that there were a couple of bushfires south of the city responsible for the smoke and haze conditions.

ABC Online article.
WA Today article.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Not Long For This World

I read, aghast, a report today that if you have a baby face then you are more likely to live to a ripe old age. If that truly is the case then I don't have long on this planet.

I remember working as a 22 year-old in London at one stage and the foreman asked me how old I was. His guess was 36. Another bloke thought that I was 35 and about the closest was 30-odd. Obviously I didn't have a baby face back then and things haven't gotten any better. People were surprised at my age and the comment, "Gee, you must have had a hard life," was mentioned on a few occasions.

Actually, I don't think I look much older than just after finishing high school. And I was pretty gawky looking at school. Can't get over some of the old photos of me.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The World Is A Safer Place - The Boy Is A Blackbelt

Last Sunday we I spent four hours watching taekwondo blackbelt grading. The main reason behind that was for the fact that The Boy was grading for his blackbelt. The first group of students included many blackbelts going for higher dans and their board breaking, between three and five boards, was done individually. This took an hour and a half for that group. The Boy wasn't in the second group graded so it was nearly an hour later before he hit the floor.

Actually, it was the best grading that he has done so far. He had to do taeguk 4 to 8 (patterns), kicks and blocks, ho shin seul (self defence), one step sparring, two step sparring and break two boards. I don't think that he's broken the boards before so he surprised himself somewhat. And when the board breaking was complete he was one happy chappy.

It was so great to see him be awarded his blackbelt as he's worked hard for just over four years. Not bad for a nine year old. And the world should be just that bit safer.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

More On Tiger Woods

Or should I say "Moron, Tiger Woods"?

Every time a golfer lines up for a putt in the vicinity of 50 feet or more, there is a race to be the first idiot to yell, "In the hole!" At Tiger's next tournament I'd like to hear somebody say, "In the wrong hole!"

Rachel Uchitel has been offered, allegedly, $1m to shut up about their affair. I wonder if she has been given money to change her name by deed poll to Rachel Donchatell.

What's Tiger Woods's favourite score? A 69 of course. (I'm sure that someone must have come up with that previously).

His scorecard isn't the only thing full of birdies. Only thing is that he has phone numbers next to them.

Maybe we should all leave him alone. He has a problem. A problem that he's seeking to address. Somehow I don't think the cure is to be found amongst a bevy of tall, buxom white women. But he's sure trying hard.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Christmas Party 2009 - Trip to Rottnest Island

We had our usual Christmas party last Friday which included a cruise to Rottnest Island. There was some confusion as to where the meeting point should be, as it was different this year, because the map that everyone was provided with included an erroneous address. Luckily, and I think I was the only one, I looked at the map and went to the meeting point instead of the address given. That was lucky. One person missed the trip altogether because of this and we had to wait for a few others to make it.

The trip to Rottnest took about 40 mins and was reasonably smooth. Once we'd arrived it was time for the sunscreen and don the snorkelling gear. The temperature was supposed to climb to 37C in Perth but only reached 34.5C although it was a little cooler on Rotto. A number of people went snorkelling at the nearby reef. I saw a groper that was about two and a half feet long and on the way back to the boat two fish that were some four feet long swam in front of me. That sent a shiver up my spine as I've never seen fish that large before.

The water was about three metres deep but boy was it cold when you first got in. After a couple of minutes you forgot about the cold. One of my colleagues lent me a set of fins and I found it amazing how much faster I could swim. Mind you, the calf muscles didn't enjoy the additional strain.

The menu for lunch included steak, sausages and some chicken with salads as side dishes. Nice to have a BBQ in summer on the back of a boat. Then we took the inflatable to the mainland so that the annual beach cricket could take place. There were some very funny moments where people went to take catches and ended up falling over into the water. Just wish I'd gotten that on camera.

The trip back to Fremantle is usually eventful and it was no different this day. Normally somebody throws up but that wasn't the case. One lady decided that she would dance her way to the toilet. Then the boat lurched to one side. If she had been half a metre closer to the toilets she would have been over the side. No kidding. Fortunately, or unfortunately, she crashed into the seating and already had a huge, nasty bruise by the time we landed some 15-20 minutes later. She was lucky.

Christmas Party '09 on Rottnest Photo Album on Facebook.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Anagrams - Tiger Woods (NSFW)

If you are put off by crude language then look away now. This isn't a post for kidlets. Let's have some fun at Tiger's expense.

His real name is Eldrick Tont Woods.

Anagrams of his name:

He infidelity will lead to a breakup of his marriage which leads to - "Roots dint wedlock".
Jamie Grubbs said that he wasn't good in bed - "Dick lets down root".
Obviously Tiger's thinking was done by his penis and not his brain - "Dick led wont roots".

I guess we have to come up with a new phrase, paraphrasing an old favourite, to describe a sex addict - "Like a Tiger with a bone".

Friday, December 04, 2009

Could One Million Dollars Be Worse Than One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars?

Ask yourself this question. Would US$1m be worse to receive than US$150k? Ninety nine out of 100 would answer no but I'll answer yes. That's because I know what is behind the question.

Tiger Woods, whom, I believe, has changed his nickname to Cheetah, by some media accounts has paid one million dollars to one mistress, named by others as Rachel Uchitel, to keep quiet about their alleged affair, and Us Weekly paid Jaimee Grubbs $150,000 to spill her guts about her affair with him.

I think Jaimee Grubbs is in the better position. She's told her story and people can accept that. Rachel Uchital, allegedly, has received more money but is not in a position to tell her story. Ever. How could you live with that scenario? People would be second-guessing you all the time and asking you questions about the (alleged) incident.

I would find it hard to live with myself after that. After all, if I had had an illicit romance with Tiger Woods I'd want to keep it to myself. Stuff the money.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Thai Green Curry Is A Dish Best Served...

Thai green curry is a dish best served frozen. In my opinion anyway. The missus made some for tea tonight. The Boy complained, "How come I didn't get any soup?" The reason behind that was that he doesn't have the taste for hot food so she had prepared him something made from all of the ingredients except for the curry. After being told that he hadn't received any soup "Because you're a sooky la-la" he tried some. The missus warned him but he tried it anyway.

About ten seconds later he was racing around the room and diving onto the couch, his tastebuds obviously horribly burned. And he'd only tried a smidgen. I could tell when she was cooking it that it was going to be hot just from the smell.

Well, it was hot. Damn hot. I don't understand Thai people. Ok, if they have no tastebuds I can understand but their threshold of pain must be very high. Bearing that in mind they should be a very tolerant people and never go to war.

I'd rather have it served frozen. Although the soup wasn't too bad if you soaked it up with rice before consuming.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Time For A New Wife

Remember recently when my watch told me that it was Christmas Day when in fact it was only the 24th of November? Well, today it came up with something better. Today I was informed that it was the 31st of November.

Time for a new watch which means time for a new wife.