Sunday, April 30, 2006

Weird Night

Weekend has been good, but I just had to document my night tonight on the gaming front...

Firstly, I got my Blood Bowl board out and gave my girls a game.  Firstly, Brooke was interested, but being just 5yrs old her attention span waned and she wandered off after 15mins.  She liked the dice and moving pieces, but only for so much.

Then when Kate got home from her Nannies, she asked to play.  I told her the rules and she got into it pretty easily.  She played Orcs vs my humans and won the toss and elected to receive.  She then bashed my team to oblivion and with 2 turns left in the first half, she led 1-0.  3 casualties and I was decimated.

I scored to tie it at half time in just two turns, and then I showed her where she went wrong (she set her pieces on only one side of the field).  She then said "Daddy, dont help me so much this time" and I said OK.

She then proceeded to beat me handsomely with her doing 6 casualties in all (we only had 12 players each) and with only 5-6 players on the field at any time, she destroyed me.  Sure I helped her with suggestions here and there, but she really got a good grip of the rules and used her Black Orcs effectively.  She put them on the front line, she had her blitzers wide and her thrower deep as a full back. Amazing stuff from a near 7 year old.

In the end, she won 3-1.

Then to relieve my stress of getting done by a 6yr old, I went online and played my fave team Mr Whippy's Donut Boys.  I won again, but lost one of the two famous treemen who have played in this team since early 2003.  Nearly 3 years of playing and this treeman finally died.

I have had a bad night... maybe its time to goto bed.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Iraq - What is Our Contribution

Private Kovco died in Iraq in a circumstance that at this stage is still to be determined.  First reports said he had accidentally shot himself whilst cleaning his gun.  Rumours circulate as a result as to how a well trained soldier shoots himself accidentally and perhaps he committed suicide.  His family had to go public and proclaim that he was happy to be in Iraq and serve his country.  To have a soldiers reputation sullied in the press like that was appalling and should have been stamped on by the government.

Then it transpires that he was not holding the gun when it went off.  So who was holding the gun?  The military say no-one but it is subject to an investigation.  The family understandably want to know the truth.  The military are staying quiet on the matter.

What the hell is going on?  He either shot himself or was shot by someone else.  If he was shot by someone else was it accidental or deliberate?  Was there an argument?  Was there some skylarking with a loaded weapon?  At least say the circumstances and if required say that there will be an inquiry and put the family at ease.

But no matter the truth, the fact has to be said that this is our first casualty in Iraq.  (A soldier was accidentally killed in Afghanistan).  One death and we cock it up and I haven’t even raised the fact that they lost the body in transit and delivered the family the body of a dead American.

One death.

We are portrayed by our media and in the rhetoric from Bin Laden and co as “public enemy #3 behind the US and Britain” in the eyes of Islam.  We are routinely named as the 3rd cog in the wheel of their “Axis of Evil” as their eyes see it.  We worry about being an impending terror target.  We link the activities of Jamaal Islamia (sp?) with al-Qaeda and worry about attacks on our soil.

One death.

Why are we portrayed this way when the extent of our operations in Iraq and previously Afghanistan have resulted in 2 casualties, both accidental.  In comparison, Poland has 50 odd deaths.  Spain had 30 odd.  Japan a similar number.  These deaths were in the main in the course of combat or other action.  And yet, no body is threatening to blow up the local train stations in Warsaw.  However Spain was the target of a horrendous bombing and they withdrew their troops.

Why are we seen as so bad?

Is this because we engage in the propaganda war to such a high extent?  If we had quiet and did our duty without grandstanding to make us look good to George Bush, would we be so worried about terrorism?  Would we be named by Bin Laden on his home videos?

What is the advantage of being big on the rhetoric and propaganda and yet not on the front line so to speak?  I don’t mean to denigrate anyone serving in Iraq and I don’t want to see people killed at all, but what is the point of being in the rear?


Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Today was ANZAC Day and we all got up at 5:15 this morning and headed out to Dawn Service.  This was the first time all of us had gone to Dawn Service and it was much larger than when I last went (say 6 years ago!).  Niki goes every year, but I have always used the excuse that I had to look after the baby (first Kate, then Brooke) and have stayed at home and in bed.

This year we all went.  Kate lept out of bed and into her jeans and jumper, but little Brooke was a bit slower getting ready. We got there though on time at about 5:45am and the place was packed.  The service is held at the memorial out the front of the Glenbrook Bowling Club and the crowd was 10 deep along and around the carpark.  I would say there was about 400 people there.

After the ceremony we pretty much headed straight home and we all dozed a bit until it was time for Niki to take the girls to the Anzac Day parade in Glenbrook.  Kate wants to march next year and will probably do so as a contingent of kids from every school in the area does it.  I stayed at home and spent the day replacing the taps in the bathroom.  Not the wash, not the spindle, but the whole tap set in the vanity.  I am happy to report that it all went well.

The afternoon was spent watching Saints win the ANZAC Day match against the Roosters.  God I hate the Roosters!  "Oh woe is me!  We have so many injuries!"  I bet the Roosters are glad they have shelled out so much cash for Braith Anasta... that guy is useless!

Tomorrow is a work day and I have business to attend to in Brisbane on Thursday and am flying up Wednesday night.  I am staying at my Nan's on the Gold Coast and will drive to Brisbane as I dont have to be at the meeting until lunch time.  Nan though apparently has had a bit of a turn over the weekend and 'may' have had a mild heart attack.. she will be having tests tomorrow before I get there, so I will know more tomorrow.

I fly home Thursday night from Brisbane airport and wont be home until very late... at least though the day after is Friday and it will be the weekend again!  Gotta luv 3 day working weeks... should be more of 'em!

PS - won another Shadowforge blood bowl team for coming second at Leviathan.  Can email them with my choice... I am thinking the Nun Gridiron Team.  I have the Elves already... the Nuns will make a good Amazon team!

PPS - have painted 4 of the above mentioned elves... pics soon.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Day Off Relaxing

Had the day off today... felt it was due.

After a small lay in, I got up and cooked pancakes for breakfast and
then we bummed around the house some before heading off to the Nepean
River with a picanic basket and the dog.

Spent the lunch time / early arvo walking along the river's edge where
they have set up riding / walking paths and a few kids playgrounds. Zoe
the Dog enjoyed going in the car other than for a trip to the vet and
the girls rode their scooters. Brookie took her bike as well and we
finally took the training wheels off. She was very wobbly and couldnt
get far without my guiding hand, but at least she's started.

Went home after picking up a new set of taps for the bathroom vanity
(tomorrow's job) and had a brief nap. You know when you sleep very
soundly for like 45mins and you feel as though you've slept for 8
hours... it was one of those.

Then we went to the Drive Ins! Hadnt been in years (10+) and the girls
were amazed. Kate thought we would watch the movie on our own little TV
in the car, but was very surprised at the massive white screen. We
watched The Shaggy Dog with Tim Allen (shithouse movie, but the kids
loved it) and had McDonalds for tea and a Choc Top ice cream in the car.

The girls sat in the front seats and watched the movie whilst Niki and I
hopped in the back ;-)

The Drive In - one of those things you go "oh yeah, we should do that"
but never do... well we finally did it and 'twas fun!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Leviathan Day 2 Results

Can I just say, I am mildly annoyed... today I went through the competition and went undefeated.  I finished on top of the points scoring table with 27 points (out of 36) with 4 wins, 2 draws and zero losses.

Brendan "GardenGnome" Morrison finished 2nd on the table with 26 points and was unlucky given he had one bye and I had beaten him in Game 5.

So, why am I unhappy?  Why am I mildly annoyed?  Well I was not awarded the trophy, but was awarded second place and Brendan who had only one loss was not awarded second or even third... he didnt finish with a prize at all.

The person who was awarded first place was a player I had drawn against and who had lost the last round to Brendan... yet was given first based on "Sportsmanship Stats".

I wont name the guy, (but you may guess) and he was totally surprised and this was not his doing and mildly embarrassed, but what sort of scoring system does the matches played get disregarded for an arbitrary assessment out of 10 for Sportsmanship?  I know many of you may say "well I should have been a better sport" but define what that is?  I had 6 great games against 6 good coaches and I rated all of them highly.  From what I can tell, there was very little issue with anyone.  Sportsmanship was evident throughout the two days.

But apparently, the organisers decided that the scores out of 60 for sportsmanship would be added to the scores out of 36 for actually playing and winning.... I could have done better if I forfeited all my games, but got everyone tea and coffee... oh well.

But onto the results:

Game 4:  1-1 vs Ogres (Casualties 3-0)
Against Steve Thoms and his Ogres, who at this stage were sitting in first spot I was a bit worried.  He hired Morg'N'Thorg (sp?) and I in turn hired Grim Ironjaw and basically it became an Ogre vs Dwarf slug fest.  He scored halfway through the first half and I was really struggling against his 7 Ogres.  Receiving his kickoff, my line just crumpled and he stormed through and got the ball again and I looked like going down 0-2 before half time.  But a failed "Go For It" spoiled his massive lead and I was still in with a shot.

Second half, I fared much better.  With the ref in my back pocket, I fouled an Ogre out of the game and was able to grind down the field for the tieing score.  As an added bonus, I won the casualty count (amazing vs Ogres) and was now on top of the ladder.

Game 5:  2-1 vs Dark Elves (Casualties 2-2)
Against Brendan Morrison's Dark Elves, you know what you're going to get.  Brendan likes to cause carnage and his Dark Elf team had come back into contention after an early beating and he made no secret that the only way he knew to win was to take your players out.   Again I elected to kick and he promptly scored in 2 turns (as elves do) and I proceeded to take the next 14 turns to grind away.

It was tough and Brendan put up a great fight, but I slowly wore him down and numbers shone in the end.  2-1 and (in my mind) a last round win would seal it for me.

Game 6:  1-0 vs Dwarves (Casualties 1-0)
New player Pete "tribalsinner" Armentsen (sp?) came to me a few weeks ago and asked for some games to help him learn how to play on table top as he had only discovered Blood Bowl in January and apart from on fumbbl, he had never played.  He was playing Dwarves and asked me for some tips which I gladly gave.

Now the apprentice had come home to roost so to speak and we squared off in the final game.  It was probably the funnest (is that a word) game of the tournament - two Dwarf teams, in a blizzard, struggling to move a ball against each others walls of Longbeards and Troll Slayers...

But eventually, in the 2nd last turn of the match, I finally scored.  One nil!  Pete deservedly won the encouragement award as a new player and that was probably the only good thing in the presentation ceremony.

Not really, Dan Collins got the wooden spoon which was funny and it was overall a really great tournament for playing in... but the fact that the places won and lost on the game boards were screwed with by a completely senseless system of sportsmanship being more important... not that its unimportant, but really...

/grumble grumble....

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Leviathan Day 1 Results

Game Day!  Played 3 games today and am primed for 3 more tomorrow.  I am currently running 3rd out of 15 coaches and think that once again I am in with a shot of winning the day tomorrow.  My 3 games are summarised below:

Game 1:  2-2 vs Wood Elves (Casualties: 2-2)
A rough start that saw me win the toss and elect to kick against Dan "PianoDan" Pickler who's Woodies promptly scored in 2 turns.  Now my cunning plan was to grind away for the next 14 turns and score twice.  But it wasn't to be and after a shocking drive, went into the sheds down 0-2.  The good news was that his KO box was filling nicely and only 8 elves came out for the 2nd half.

I drove quickly and scored after only 4 turns (nice effort for Dwarves) and was behind 1-2.  He then received the ball and I thought he would easily tear my defence to ribbons with his high agility passing game and it looked just like that when with 3 turns to go, he fumbled the ball on the pass that would have taken him to 3-1 up.  I swarmed his bumbling passer and snatched the ball and after a short skirmish I darted in and scored and tied the game on the bell.  A draw was the result, but I was very lucky.

Game 2: 2-1 vs Lizardmen (Casualties: 6-2)
After the lunch break, I was against James Russell-Wills (Rabid_Bogscum) and his Lizards.  James was undermanned as he didnt have a Kroxigor figure and was also limited in the number of Sauris' he had, so it was a very Skink heavy lizard team that I faced in Round 2.  James found the first half hard and my Longbeards smashed his Skinks with their stunty dodging no match for my brutal tackling.  Skinks were being carted off the field each turn and he promptly lost the ball and I snatched it away to score 1-0 on the half time bell.

With me receiving the ball and at full strength, I expected to walk this one in, and James was a little despondent.  But to start the 2nd half his kick went very deep and he rolled a perfect defence.  My first turn stalled and he swept a Sauri and 2-3 skinks into my backfield between my runner and the forming cage of Longbeards.  I was in trouble and whilst I managed to dodge away and throw a pass, it was dropped and I was swarmed in my own half.  Soon enough, the Lizards had forced me to turn over the ball and it was suddenly tied at 1-1 with 4 turns to play.

Again, I was forced to extend my offence against much swifter opposition and it was very touch and go for a while there, but soon weight of numbers told and I again got away with victory on the bell.  6 casualties on the Lizards saw them in trouble for the next match with 2 of them serious.

Game 3:  2-1 vs Chaos Dwarves (Casualties 3-0)
Against Paul Morris and his Hashut's Slayers I hired Grim Ironjaw for his debut for the Glenbrook Kings.  The Star Player was to prove the difference in this one as I won the toss and elected to receive this time but stalled badly.  The last quarter of the first half was spent in the Chaos Dwarf half, but with Bull Centaurs and CD Blockers everywhere, the ball got lost in a mosh pit of battling Dwarves.  Then I can safely say that on the last turn of the first half I scored the arsiest touchdown of my Blood Bowl Career.  My lone runner reached the endzone and waited for "The Pass".  "The Pass" was delivered by my Blitzer who dodged away from 2 Bulls, into the tackle zone of one of those Bulls and without error did so and picked the ball up.  Still in the tacklezone, I threw a short pass over the head of the 2nd Bull (who failed to intercept) and into the arms of the runner.  Only on the catch roll did I burn my last reroll, but it was an awesome play.  Paul was a bit stunned.

Second half was about my defence and against a more moderate paced team I was able to hold him up and did some casualties along the way, but eventually he scored.  I had 5 turns though to retaliate and with Grim leading the way, I surged down the hash marks and scored in the end a comfortable 2nd touchdown and the victory.

Other Stuff:  Leviathan is packed.  I didnt know it was so big.  There must be 3-4 hundred people there today playing all sorts of games.  The Warhammer and 40K crowds are big, but there is plenty of other games.  Even saw Lego Wars where Lego knights do battle...  As an extra surprise, I won the Leviathan Day 1 Raffle (out of all those people) and for $2 in tickets, I picked up a milk crate of grab bag stuff.  Some books, some action figures but the pick was some great miniatures - a Warmaster Starting High Elf Army and a Brettonian Pegasus rider.  Also the Harry Potter Trivia Game and a rack for my paint brushes.  The High Elves alone have a price sticker of $70, so thats pretty cool.

From the SWL, Chunky holds down 2nd place with 3 wins, but has lost a few casualty points.  DanCollins is 0-3 and the DreamKillers are having a horrendous run... I think there are only 9 orcs left in his team.  PianoDan does well after my Round 1 match with him and is 1/2/0.  Tribalsinner, the new kid on the block is 0/1/2 but is holding his own after being beaten by Chunky and Ian Doubleskulls Williams in the first 2 rounds.  Ian himself is there abouts... iirc, he is 2/0/1.

Day 2 results tomorrow!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Early Start

Good morning from the 5:50am train!  Today is a day long session of presentations that we are giving to prospective insurers and I have to call by my own office first before I head out to our brokers office, so its dark, cold (7 degrees according to my car thermometer) and the train is surprisingly full.  I still can’t believe that CityRail would consider closing the trains for 3 weeks… where would all these people go?

Today also is Friday and the last day before a 4 day weekend.  Very nice.  Saturday and Sunday will be spent at the Leviathan Blood Bowl tournament at Quakers Hill High School and I have done absolutely no prep for it… I don’t even know what time I have to be there??  I will pack the board and dice into the car tonight and although I have decided on my team line-up, I haven’t done any of the paperwork.

Monday, I have taken annual leave and we have no plans.  I don’t want to visit or be visited upon by anyone.  A day at home, a day out with the kids yes, but I don’t want to have to be at someone else’s place by a certain time.  Monday will be “Wake Up & Do What You Feel Like” Day.  Tuesday is ANZAC Day and Niki & Kate will definitely go to the local dawn service at Glenbrook, but we’ll see if Brooke goes as well.  If she does, I will too.

After dawn service, again we have no plans so we will see how it goes.


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Sanity Prevails...

Bloody idiots... who actually in CityRail thought this was a good idea in the first place. "Yes, I think it will be fine to shut down Sydney's Western Rail Corridor for three weeks, even during peak hour... everyone can just drive for a while."

Bloody F#cktards!

CityRail - News & Media: "Over the past 48 hours, RailCorp has received substantial adverse reaction to the proposed upgrade, particularly from Blue Mountains customers concerned about the impact of the track reconstruction on their weekday travel to and from Sydney."


This is going to be a nightmare. Imagine if you lived 80km from work and that a bureaucrat decided to take your mode of transport away from you for 3 weeks. Given I have paid for my train ticket up until 15 May already, is anybody going to rebate me??

Sending mountain folk off the rails - National - "For three working weeks from May 8, most Intercity express
trains from the Blue Mountains to Central will terminate at Emu
Plains or Penrith"

Restless Nights

You know you’re getting old when you worry that you left your reading glasses on the dining room table and you have to face a day of looking at computer screens without them.  I can visualise the eye-strain headache already.  Oh Joy.  I left them on the table because I was painting my elven blood bowl team I won at CanCon last January.  They are pretty simple as they are really only 3 basic colours (uniforms all white, skin tone and brown hair) and 2 shading washes (grey-blue wash for the white uniforms, chestnut for the skin and hair).  Compared to the Dwarves I painted for CanCon (7 base colours and 3 washes) they are relatively easy.  I have nearly completed 4 of the 16 miniatures already in just 2 sittings.

I did sit up though past midnight last night doing this and hence am tired this morning.  What added to the sleep depravation is that I was awoken at 4am this morning because Kate was up watching television.  Bit disconcerting to find your 6 year old watching some form of American pseudo religious motivational show at 4am.  I said “whatchadoin?” and she just shrugged… so she came back to bed with us for a cuddle… with which the cat promptly decided to go bonkers and meowed incessantly, so I got up again and put her out.  Apparently the cat had been meowing before for food and Niki had gotten up to feed her.  Our cat is 18yrs old and I suspect is going a bit demented.  She sleeps all day and then is active all night and needs to be fed 3 times a day – 2 of which in the night.  We fear she may not be with us much longer.  I recall Kate mentioning in the pre-dawn darkness that Tonya the Cat is “nocturnal” which is now true.

Of course once the cat was out, the dog got into the act and our Golden Retriever Zoe decided it would be a good idea to stand at our bedroom door wanting to come up onto the bed as well – which is a tad ridiculous at 4:30 in the morning.  I think I fell asleep with her whingeing at the door, but she was on the floor outside our door when the alarm went off at 6am.

Then this morning, I snoozed that alarm until it was too late to get the 7:10 train and made the executive decision to catch the 7:40.  But then one of Niki’s girlfriends rang at 7am for a chat… what gives there?  I answered the phone expecting bad news at the other end from a sick / upset relative, but got “Hi Clay, its Rachel!”/

Standing at the platform this morning pondering the nights / mornings events I remembered that I have to be at a meeting in the city tomorrow at 8:00am but I have a work function tonight that could see me home a bit late.  My eyes are going to be failing out of my head come this time tomorrow…

Listening:  Is it bad to rip all the CD’s you have downloaded to your work laptop?  I have used 3Gb of space in doing so (and have more to do) and am now listening to my collection on shuffle play… At this very second, it’s the Black Crowes “Thorn In My Pride”.


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Trouble In Paradise

Two issues today, but both involving our international relations and by proxy, the performance of Alexander Downer and ultimately John Howard.

One, there are riots in Honiara in the Solomon Islands and two Australian Federal Police were seriously injured plus a there were about half a dozen other comparatively minor injuries.  The response from Howard is that we may send more troops as we must enforce the democratic decision of the people in the elections and cannot be held to ransom by a violent mob disgruntled at the result.  Well that’s all very noble Mr Howard, but according to the interview I heard last night on the radio from the leading local journalist in Honiara the government that was elected was actually rejected by the Prime Minister and he has appointed a person who is very much out of favour to be the Deputy PM when the local populace actually voted against this man.  (Why anyone would get into a mob and run riot over the Deputy PM’s appointment is beyond me… can you imagine doing the same in protest about Mark Vaille?  Sure he’s an idiot, but its not worth trashing the joint about)

So in essence, our troops (are Federal Police ‘troops’?) are defending the dictatorial decision of a ruler over the freely elected result – and yet tells us the average Joe Punter in Australia that we’re doing the good deeds here…

Second issue, the bending over Downer and Howard have done for Indonesia on this West Papuan refugee thing.  We let in some refugees and Indonesia protests that we consider people from West Papua to be political asylum seekers (hello! You’re an oppressive Muslim regime!) and we change the immigration laws over night with no debate on the subject to rule out any future West Papuan political asylum seekers.  But this isn’t good enough for Mr Bang Bang in Jakarta, he demands a personal apology in person by Downer and/or Howard.  He is demanding that our Foreign Minister and/or Prime Minister drop everything and duck up to Jakarta and kiss his arse.  And guess what, they partially agree by sending a senior diplomat.  What the hell is that about?!?! And Bang Bang, who must be laughing it up over his Roti this morning, says “No thanks, he’s not senior enough, send someone else.”  And we again agree and Howard says “that there will be a meeting between myself and the Indonesian Prime Minister shortly”.

Get some balls Howard!  Tell them to piss off!

Weak, weak as.  We are so weak on international relations that we do what ever the US says – you betcha we’ll be in up to our necks in Iran – and we also basically try to throw our pathetic weight around the South Pacific and we are now grovelling to the Indonesians and have changed the way we accept political asylum seekers… all because they didn’t like it.  We are a pathetic laughing stock on the international stage and I wonder if it has anything to do with the incompetent Nancy Boy we’ve had as Foreign Minister for the past 10 years?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

REVIEW: Tommy Dean at the Melb Comedy Festival (

Good friend and fellow blood bowl enthusiast Tommy Dean has been doing the Melbourne Comedy Festival this past week and a link to a review in The Age newspaper is below. Tommy helped open the Festival at its Gala which I understand will be shown on Channel 10 this Sunday night... check your local guides.

In addition, not only is he doing great comedy, but he swept the field in the ConQuest Blood Bowl Tournament this past weekend whilst down there! You Melbournites should be ashamed that a Sydney boy came down and stomped all over your little tournament! BWAHAHA!

If you're in Melbourne this week though, do yourself a favour and check out the show.

Tommy Dean - Entertainment -


With our friends over yesterday for a lazy Easter Monday afternoon, I got to chatting about how I’ve been downloading music and the odd TV show / movie and my mate Noyz (who is my age) mentioned how all this technology has passed him by and was asking how I or anyone else got to know how to do “stuff” on computers and the like. It’s a hard question to answer.  Then I also look at my two girls and how they are both handy on a mouse (they can double click and click and drag) and both like to do things on a computer.  Similarly I noticed on Sunday that my 18mth old nephew had a PC in his play room and that it was on with MS Word open with a document titled “Will’s Typing” and of course with a series of random letters punched in.

So for me, who can remember when Dad brought home our first colour TV and I can also remember when we got a VCR for the first time (and we rented Beverly Hills Cop) who now runs this blog, plays online games through a firewall and chats on IRC with his gaming buddies looks at my daughters double-clicking away, I can see the future and how the geeks of tomorrow will be able to do amazing things in the technosphere.

Technology is growing at an amazing rate.  For example, for nearly 100 years, the old gramophone record held sway in terms of music.  Sure, sound systems developed around it, but the black vinyl record was the main steady medium for delivering recorded music.  Then the A-Track and then quickly the cassette tape followed and became the new technology for say 20 years.  Records still were the main, but digital recording via magnetic tape became the “new way”.  Tapes break though and there was this whisper in about 1990 about CD technology.  I was finishing high school and can remember the first CD player that a friend had.  They were rumoured to be indestructible and people would Frisbee them about and then stick them in their CD player… we all know now that the can scratch quite easily.

Then 10 years on, DVD became the norm and in only 5yrs further iPod’s started coming into existence.  Now CD sales are dropping like a stone and the ability to download MP3 formatted music from record stores is now considered “normal”.

My point is the change of technology is increasing at an exponential rate.  From vinyl record to MP3, the rate of change is accelerating, so when I see my kids “just knowing how” to turn on our DVD player and rebooting the PC (Kate knows ALT-CTRL-DEL) I feel an ever increasing need to keep up with this stuff.

I don’t want to be an old phogey who has been passed by with “new fangled technology” and I want to be able to keep in the know how to do the latest thing.  I jump in and read about torrent streaming and IRC and tried them out and now use them automatically.  I had to have a Blog for some reason and now post here regularly although I have never kept a paper diary.  I just am enthused to take on new things and play with them and learn… but similarly I don’t want to be by passed.

I have friends that I have never met face to face and consider Twahn, theopacman, snorri and the rest of the fella’s at #swl as good friends.  Whilst my life long school buddies such as Noyz probably look at me with a view of “what the fuck are you doing that for?”, I have the view perhaps of how can you afford not to…

Technology: its happening so quickly that I believe if you don’t at least try to keep up, you’ll be left behind in a very big way.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Easter Weekend Wrap

Monday night... the house is quiet, the kids are still awake but
everyone is at rest. This is the first time this weekend that we've
been able to relax and enjoy a few hours of solitude. Basically we have
spent the entire weekend out and about and on the road or in the case of
today, entertaining.

Friday was the Easter Show, which was a very long day. Saturday was Mum
& Dad's for lunch and more chocolates for the girls. Sunday was lunch
at Niki's brothers house at Springwood which involved more food and of
course more chocolate. Sunday night I met Pete (aka Tribalsinner) who
plays blood bowl on and is preparing for his first ever
tournament at Leviathan next weekend. I was happy to oblige and played
him a couple of games, but didnt get home until nearly 2am this
morning! Was good fun though.

Today was clean the house day in which I did the lawns and trimmed the
hedges whilst Niki took to the floors and dusting. Friends Glenn &
Brooke and Noyz & Rachel plus their respective children came over for a
few hours this afternoon and we fellas watched the footy (how bad are
Souths going!) and then basically ate more nibbles, drank beer and of
course ate more chocolate.

Its back to work tomorrow and I have already decided to take next Monday
off (between the weekend and ANZAC day) and that four day weekend will
be more relaxing as I will be playing in the aforementioned Leviathan
tournament and then get the Monday & Tuesday at home. Will be very nice
and am already looking forward to it.

I hope my Zits disappear by then!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Easter Show!

We went to the Easter Show yesterday and I have to say that despite it being Good Friday, the crowds where fine. The only issue was that once we got into the Main Arena for the evening Grand Parade and Show the stadium got locked and thousands of people were trying to get in.

We spent the day seeing all the animals and got some showbags for the kids (and I scored the Smarties Bag) and stayed 12-13hrs right up to the fireworks.

A great day and you can see some photos here

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Crazy Hair Day

Crazy Hair Day at Kate's school today... and here was the result...

She seems to have a pained expression on her face, but that makes the crazy hair seem all the more crazier... I am told though that her hair was a big hit with the other kids...

In the words of "Kath & Kim" - Noice! Posted by Picasa

The Day Before Good Friday

Easter is a weird time… being non-religious means that Easter doesn’t really hold any real significance for me.  I find myself thinking about the upcoming ANZAC Day and how we should all go as a family to dawn service this year (I usually sleep it away ‘minding the kids’ whilst Niki goes on her own) but I don’t think about Easter in any other way than as a 4 day break from work and an opportunity to catch up with family and friends.

Am I in the majority or minority here?  I know Christians will be flocking to churches and the like this weekend, but I also feel that there is a significant number who want to do “long weekend things” and make the most of the time off work.

So, that being said, I do have a full long weekend ahead with the Easter Show tomorrow (and I will eat a Dagwood Dog!) then my parents for lunch on Saturday, my brother & sister in laws for lunch Sunday, and friends over on Monday afternoon.  In between, I will be lazing about when I can :-)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Slack moment at work, waiting to leave to meet a friend for lunch… looking for something to do to fill in the time… jack of work…

All this added up to me tooling around the Interwebs for 10mins and before you could say “Lets Invade Iran” I found a new gimmick for Lime Kettles.

I got rid of the Blog Map (was kinda bleh) and have added a Bushism Generator!  Come back again and again to get great Bush Quotes.

Enjoy :-)

Other Bloggers On Downer Today

Other bloggers have had their say about Downer today…

Read them here, here and here.

Downer Must Go!

No other option.  The man has been shown to be an incompetent idiot at best, perhaps knowingly allowing $300M of tax payers money in bribes to Saddam at worst.  Even if the best case is true and he is simply an incompetent idiot, then he must resign or be sacked.

And right behind him should be Howard.

But I want to know why AWB executives are grilled on the stand for days at a time and Downer gets to sit there for 2 hours and claim he can’t recall or he wasn’t aware of things that where going on his own jurisdiction?  Why is he able to sit there for such a comparatively brief time and use the amnesia defence?  Surely he could recall something and he knew what he was going to be asked, so how could he say that he couldn’t recall.  You’d think that he would have referenced his diaries and calendar book and think a bit… but oh no, he just “cant recall”.

Idiot.  Sack him now.

Mr Howard, you’re next.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Scary Shit

This article, an essay on the US Govt's views on Iran and the use of nuclear weapons in any future confrontation is scary shit.

Bush is clearly a madman!

The New Yorker: Fact

The End Is Nigh

My two parallel running projects end today and I can only say “Thank Christ!”.  My first project, a business related website, launches this morning on time but slightly over budget.  This has been the project that has caused me the most angst and late nights, but it is going to launch on time.  The second, a related project, which is a massive report and a series of statistics on my company is also going to be delivered today but is a week late but there were some mitigating circumstances such as my boss’ mother dying on us - how rude!

The reason I bring this up is that I am so glad because my body is cactus.  I am hacking up phlegm, have headaches that just don’t go away with a nuclear payload of Panadol and despite the cool weather, I am sweating.  Essentially I am run down and sick of getting home late.  The Easter break cant come quick enough.  (Just had a coughing fit and the guy in front of me gave me the *turn* as if its my fault)

So I can see some easier days ahead on the work front and I can maybe think about other things… The Easter break will mainly be family / social things with a visit to the Show on Good Friday and friends Glenn & Brooke plus kids coming over Monday.  Sunday is a family lunch with Niki’s family so that leaves Saturday with Mum & Dad (Dad – will call you later today).  Easter egg hunts will be the go for the kids with a truckload of chocolate in the fridge at home.

After Easter is Anzac Day and given it falls on a Tuesday, it will be very tempting to take the Monday off and have a 4 day weekend.  This is particularly because that Saturday and Sunday is the Leviathan Blood Bowl tournament at Quakers Hill.  Again I will be playing Dwarves and will look to impose my famous Cage (known as the Clage!) tactic.  The rules are slightly different to CanCon with an extra 100,000 gold crowns able to be spent on teams.  Means I will have the same lineup as CanCon with a second Runner and perhaps a higher FF or an Apothecary.

That’s about it for today, I am hoping I can get thru today and there will be some light at the end of the tunnel so to speak…

Listening:  Ben Lee, “Awake Is The New Sleep”.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Odds & Sods

Apologies dear reader for the fairly sparse activity over the past few days, I think we should be in a bit of a better groove this week.  Last Friday I spent the train trip sleeping as I was battling late nights and the flu.  This weekend was a right off as well (well Sunday was) as I spent the day in bed with a migraine / flu combo that pretty much knocked me for six.  I didn’t get up until 4:30pm yesterday.  Niki took the girls out for the day and pretty much left me to recuperate – she is an angel!

This week though, I have to get my arse into gear and get organised a bit better and that includes some diatribe here as well.  But I will be honest with you, there is nothing REALLY grabbing my attention for a full on venting of the spleen.  But there are a few tidbits that I have noticed, that I will comment on here:

One, the AWB inquiry.  Downer and Vaile will front today to explain how $300M in bribes to a narcissistic dictator who we are supposedly at war against failed to grab their attention.  Should be a doozy today and I did catch Laurie Oakes on Sunday yesterday take the mickey out of Downer by asking him if “he promises to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” before he began his interview.  Downer squirmed in his pompous “I’m too important for Adelaide” kind of way… The guy should resign immediately.

Secondly; banks.  They want to “increase fees by 9% to offset the cost of competition”.  What the fuck does that mean?  There is a 4 big bank policy that has earned them billions of dollars profit each for years… where is this new competition and why does it mean an across the board 9% fee increase.  And how come they came to 9%?  Collusion and corruption at its highest form…

Thirdly, some odd sporting comments.  It was great to see Bangladesh do well against Australia yesterday in the historic first test at Fattulah.  5/355 is a great effort but I have to say, the pitch was the hardest block of concrete perhaps ever prepared for cricket.  The ball did not deviate, did not vary in bounce and slowed the pace of the ball down to make Brett Lee look like an honest trundler.  You can bet that whatever Bangladesh score, Australia will chase easily.  Also, glad to see Andrew Symonds dropped from the team.  Cannot afford to have a guy average 20 batting at #6.  Also the fact that MacGill got a game and looked the most dangerous of the 5 Aussie bowlers is no surprise.  He should play more often than people realise.

That’s about it… have a good week all!

Listening:  Wolfmother.  New download this weekend… sounds pretty good.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Health Problems Related to the Geek Lifestyle

OK, saw this article today and I have several symptoms:

1 – Sleep.  I don’t watch TV in bed but the first thing I do now when I get up in the morning is check my mail and my various websites.  This is now a disturbing trend in which I am getting up earlier to spend more time on the PC…

2 – Headaches:  I had them and now wear glasses when on the PC.  No more headaches.

3 – Back Pain:  I have just finished a course of physiotherapy for my back and now do (well I should do) exercises daily to stretch my back.

4 – Attention Span:  I believe mine is getting shorter on non-PC activities… I get bored by TV, I struggle to maintain an interest in other things (like reading) and I feel as though I can’t watch a game of football on tele without checking the email…

Maybe I should see a doctor…


Taking Stock

Yesterday there wasn’t a posting as basically I slept on the train and left the laptop off.  Niki was with me as well so we got to spend an hour together on the train in the sun dozing… best 60 minutes I have had all week!

The past fortnight has been a really tough week work wise with me being in the office until 10pm some nights and last Friday I didn’t get home until nearly 2am.  Consequently last Saturday was a right off and therefore this week has been tough with my weekend squeezed.

This weekend we have a BBQ on Saturday night at our friends Julie & Con but other than that we have no plans.  Perhaps a picnic of just the Niki, the girls and I – maybe take the dog as well and just chill out on the Sunday.  With the hours worked, have been battling the flu and am on the Codral’s this morning.

Niki too has been really busy with the kids, babysitting, errands and the like.  She and I had a long chat last night and said “enough’s enough” and we are going to take stock and reshape the way we do things.  Its OK to being busy, but we shouldn’t be stupid about things.

Having said that though, today is another work day and I am heading straight to an external meeting (hence why this posting wont be sent until later today) and I have a stack of emails to reply to this morning on the train… oh to be dozing again like yesterday!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006 :: Where Gamers get their News

I stumbled on this site off a link off my morning blog perusal over coffee... One to add to the bookmarks. :: Where Gamers get their News

Taiwanese Mad Bombers?

Is it just me or am I the only who doesn’t give a stuff nor sees a problem with us exporting Uranium?  I see our newspapers this morning being dominated by this issue and I am a little disappointed that such a fuss is being made of this in comparison to other issues such as the AWB inquiry and our general role in Iraq.

The reasoning for my view is that as far as I can understand it, Uranium in raw ore form requires massive amount of technology to get it to a form suitable for nuclear weaponry and also in addition to that the physical missile technology or detonation technology is another quantum step in expenditure, effort and technical know-how that is difficult to achieve.

Its like trying to argue that we should stop the Iraq war by not exporting Iron to the US to prevent their production of ammunition.  It’s the first step, but there are so many other steps in the process to get to a point of being able to detonate a nuclear warhead that really we should be able to focus on other things.

Uranium though does have significant uses in other areas, most notably in the medical profession and that I think the safe use of nuclear fuel is something that is acceptable for all people.

But we are now confronted with the headline this morning that we’re exporting Uranium to TaiwanTaiwan, a crowded island off the coast of China… I am sure that they have plenty of room to do nuclear testing there!

Methinks this is another Johnny Howard Red Herring story to deflect attention away from the AWB… if you read the headlines in the Sydney Morning Herald today you will see the first article on the China / Taiwan deal and the one immediately below it is about Beazley’s poor response to the issue… seems as though the politics of the issue rather than the issue itself is the prize here and we punters are once again treated like mushrooms.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Sunday Review - Dancing Scholarship Day

First day of winter time – i.e. non-daylight savings time – is supposed to give everyone a chance for an extra hours sleep in.  Well I got gypped because I have an early start today which means I have to be in by 8:00am.

The good thing though is that the 6:40am train is 80% empty and I pretty much have the top deck of Carriage #8 to myself.  It is probably worth considering using this train all the time…

The weekend was very busy.  I gave a run down of Saturday nights activities already, but Sunday was busy with Kate’s ballet scholarship competition being on.  The premise is simple, in each grade the ballet classes dance a series of routines / exercises and then do a rehearsal of their performance that they will do in their official exam in a couple of months and the best dancer gets a scholarship of a years free tuition.  That is probably a $600 prize or thereabouts.  Given that the dance concert at the end of the year has a 30cm high trophy up for stake, I would have thought that the Scholarship Day would have been ultra bitchy  with stage mum’s breaking other kids legs and all that.  But in fact it was the opposite with a fairly relaxed atmosphere and nobody got real bent out of shape.

The only issue I had was the duration (9:30 – 3:30) in which Kate performed first and we had to wait until the end for the announcements.  This was Kate’s first year of examinable ballet and she was in the “Primary” class and then there were Grades 1 thru 7.  You only advance in grade when you pass the exam and some kids take 2 years to do this… so Kate although only 6 (nearly 7) was competing against 8-9 year olds.  And the award wasn’t given to the “most deserving or promising” but the best, so it was a big ask to knock over kids much older than her.

She didn’t of course, but she did do really well and I was very proud to say that she was by no means in the bottom of her class of 14.  I am so surprised that she is so good at dancing given that I have two left feet, but she really loves it.  She said to us yesterday that she wants to be a professional dancer when she grows up… but don’t all little girls say that?

This left Sunday night to being my father-in-law’s Geoff birthday.  He turned 78 I think and is going great guns for his age.  We had dinner at their place but the girls (and their mum and I) were really tired so it was an early night and we were home by 8:30 – which felt later of course due to Day Light Saving.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

BYO Comedy Capers

Well, the working week ended with me actually working in the office until midnight Friday night which saw me get home at 1:45am... and I mean work, not work PLUS drinks on a Friday night... spent the evening cursing my PC, trying to build a website for Monday launch and wishing I was at home watching Friday Night Football.

Needless to say my Saturday was nerfed on account of extreme tiredness.

But we had plans for Saturday night in the shape of tickets to see my mate Tommy play at the Comedy Store alongside Bruce Griffiths as part of the Sydney "Cracker" Comedy Festival and after a few hours snoozing I was right to go!  The funny thing was was that Tommy rang me and needed a lift to the gig, so it was kinda funny that I was going to see a show yet had to bring "the entertainment"... sort of a BYO comedy night I guess :-).  Also it dawned on me that we were going to see some comedy on April Fools Day... kinda ironic.

Having never been to the Comedy Store before, I was surprised that the place was a very nice, classy sort of venue with small tables and candle lights on each and table service... I was expecting the typical stage / floor / rowdy bar type atmosphere...  very nice.

Bruce Griffiths opened the show and he is as Tommy called him a "fourth wall" comedian.  Dead pan, 10 second one line / two line punchy jokes like a metronome.  Line - Laugh - Line - Laugh etc.  Sort of like an Elliot Goblett / Stevie Wright sort of act.... but he did do some great one liners, but 30mins of it was a bit long.

Tommy was up next and he was a bit worried on the drive in as the show was being taped for release to agents overseas - mainly US - and hence he needed to use his jokes about things that are more generic things rather than Aussie centric stuff.

And it worked very well... and it also helped that he changed the pace after the Bruce Griffiths set in that Tommy is more of a conversationalist (is that a word?) than a one liner guy and he worked the crowd really well.  The other thing was too that since the Comedy Store is a comedy club and not a pub, heckling was non existant.  Usually, you get some drunk up the back calling out, but this was a much smoother show atmosphere wise - which is good as i think heckling is down and out rude.

Tommy's routine itself was excellent and was three quarters new stuff I hadn't heard before and he also improvised on stuff that had happened to him at home that day (a bird died on his lawn and WIRES was called) and he went on a bit of a tangent, but it was good stuff and the audience lapped it up.

Afterwards, Niki, Tommy & I went for dinner in the "Entertainment Quarter" which is what Fox Studios is now called and enjoyed pasta and pizza... now I am home, its only 11:30pm (well it would be tomorrow when Daylight Savings Time stops) and have henced gained an hour. Add in the fact I had a "nanna nap" this afternoon and I am wide awake... mmm.

PS - Tommy is playing at the Melbourne Comedy Festival later this month... your Melbournites better support him or else!  He also has a spot on the Gala Opening which will be screened on Channel 10 at some stage soon...