Friday, June 30, 2006

Dragonlance - The Movie

Second to the Lord of the Rings, probably the most widely read Fantasy novels has been the DragonLance series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. These books were for me a great intro into the world of fantasy fiction and formed the basis for many of my early gaming sessions.

Now scheduled to be an animation feature, I hope it does it justice. Check out the official site of this movie here.

Rave of the Seven Year Olds

Its not quite July, yet preparations are well underway for Kate’s 7th birthday party in about 3 weeks time.  Yesterday, I used work’s colour printer to knock out 30 invitations done on PowerPoint for her “Disco Party”.  Yes that’s right hipsters, the House of Clay will be a rave party for 7 year olds later next month!

I am organising lights, speakers, have bought a rotating coloured light ball on eBay, have our eyes on some other fluoro trinkets and glow sticks / bracelets on eBay as well.  The power of the internet is also providing music with yours truly about to embark on a LimeWire / BitTorrent journey to download the very best party tunes to play for the raving 6-7 year olds.

Kate has drawn up a guest list of 30 kids so it will perhaps be the biggest party that these kids would have been to.  Typically kids parties have a limited invite list because parents cant cope with a huge crush, but if you want a disco, you have to have a crowd.

And the little ravers will be well stocked with party food and sugar so they will be well hyped when their parents pick them up at 7pm in the evening (hee hee).  The food will be the typical part fare, but I presume we’ll do some fairy bread because the colour on the hundreds & thousands will match the lighting in the garage.

We’ll have a breakout area too where the lil’ ravers can “chill out” and catch their breath and the only thing left for me to do is to decide what I will wear... what can a daggy 33 year old blogger-dad wear to a 7yr old rave… ;-)


Thursday, June 29, 2006

Nasty Westpac phishing scam

As a Westpac customer, I thought I should post this... Remember people banks and other financial institutions will NOT contact you by email... If you get one from your bank, delete it!

Bleeding Edge: Nasty Westpac phishing scam

Capital Punishment

Death Penalty.  Should it be in place?  The reason I ask this is again because of yet another shocking murder of an 8yr old girl in a shopping centre in Perth.  Raped and then murdered in a disable toilet in a shopping centre and the victim being 8yrs old.  As a father of two girls (aged 7 and 5) it just makes me absolutely shiver when I think about it.  And for those that know me, the location being a shopping centre makes it doubly close to home.

It has been revealed that the man that they have charged was charged on sexual assault in a toilet block on an 8yr girl back in 2000.  In my view, how can anyone get to court on a charge like that without some semblance of guilt.  Forget innocent until proven guilty, if you’re on child sex assault charges and sitting in the dock, you must have done something to get there.  Its not like the police nab random men off the street and charge them randomly.  If you’re being investigated, then there is probably a reason that you’re a “person of interest” to the police in the first place.

So in 2000 this creep gets let off and 6yrs later he is busted with the proverbial blood on his hands.  What has happened in the intervening 6yrs?  Surely he has committed other offences… people like this are sick and as such don’t wake up one morning and decide to kill someone.  It’d be a build up, it would be a series of offences starting off small and then getting bigger until the events in Perth earlier this week.

Now the question is how to deter it from happening again?  Well I don’t care about people like him being “deterred” I think the risk of re-offence should be eliminated – permanently.  John Howard – at least put it to the people for a referendum.  Do something gutsy for a change.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

New Blood Bowl Game Coming for PC

Another skeptical attempt at recreating Blood Bowl (the table top turn based strategic game of Fantasy Football) into a real time sports sim...

I think this would be the 3rd or 4th attempt at this (Blood Bowl PC game circa 1990, Mutant Football League, Chaos League) plus the fumbbl java version of the game which I play.

Seriously, I hope it works, but I will wait until its on the shelves...

New Blood Bowl Game Coming

Roll up, roll up!

I see a lot of stuff in my net travels and bookmark a lot – particularly at work (go figure) – of sites that I want to come back to later.  A lot (most?) of these are blogs of one description or another.

I have stumbled upon the site and have signed up for a blog roll.  Basically at a click of a button, I can add sites to my list you now see on your right nav panel.  As I peruse the in-teh-webz I will add to this list from time to time.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tonya the Cat - RIP

Tonya the Cat was put down today... a very sad day, but the girls have been very brave about the whole thing

Kate in particular has taken it hard (probably because she is a bit older) and she stayed in with the Vet through the whole procedure

Brookie stayed at home but we brought Tonya home to be buried in the garden and Brookie cried badly when Niki & Kate got home. I guess it finally dawned on her that it was all real.

So she is now buried under the bushes in the front garden. We had a large piece of cut sandstone and that has been placed at the spot. I was a bit sceptical at first in burying a cat in the yard, but the girls have laid flowers and it is actually quite a nice spot.

BrazilName - Generate your own Brazil football shirt!

In the spirit of the World Cup go to this page and have your own Brazilian name on a Brazilian soccer shirt.

I like how I put in Lime Kettles and I get "Limildo"... eh eh eh.

Credit to Poida for the link :-)

Apparently this site has gone down... since I got this link from Poida I have seen it in emails and websites all over the place... must have overloaded their server ;-)

Sad Day

I have had my rant over on the Lime Kettle Boards here. Feel free to post comments there... the result last night is just starting to sink in, but the silver linings of our efforts must be exploited to their full potential.

Also, sad news on the home front today that Tonya the Cat will have to be put down today... Her age is around 18yrs and she has deteriorated badly the last week or so. The girls are fully aware of what's happening and Kate wants to go to the Vets and be with her when it happens.

Its always awful when you lose a pet, but Tonya has been Niki's cat since high school. Its very sad.

Sad day all round.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Weekend Wrap

It was my wedding anniversary this weekend and after two pretty shitty weekends previously, I decided to take off Friday and make it a three day weekend.  Friday was spent being very lazy and ginger whilst I recovered from not having gone to bed the night before for the soccer.  I did get home in time to take the girls to school and we spent a quiet day with lunch at one of the local cafes.  Friday night Niki was out at one of those parties where women gather and buy stuff (as if shops open until 9pm at least most nights of the week ain’t enough!) so the girls and I had pizza after dancing.

Saturday, our anniversary, was lunch with the girls at the Norman Lindsay café at Faulconbridge.  Very nice food at a reasonable price.  We sat outside because it was sunny despite the cold weather but it did get a bit cloudy and we were pretty chilly, but a coffee for me, a hot chocolate for Niki and babychino’s for the girls kept us warm.

In the evening we had the place to ourselves whilst the girls went to their Nanny & Poppy’s and we went for a movie.  We saw the new Adam Sandler movie “Click”.  Now Adam Sandler is never going to win an Oscar, but his movies are generally pretty good (Happy Gilmore, Wedding Singer etc) and for a light hearted laugh it was good.  I assumed that it would be a silly laugh fest, but the movie was quite different.  It was funny, but it had a strong moral to the story.  In all, a good picture which gets the Lime Kettle Cinematic “Thumbs Up”.

There have been some fairly ordinary movies out of late but I see Johnny Depp’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” is putting out a sequel… we’ll go see that I think.  Looked good.

Sunday was my nephew Scotty’s 20th birthday lunch at my brother and sister in law’s place at Springwood.  They have a great mountains house with a very scenic bush outlook and they always put on a good spread.  To put the whole weekend into perspective, Scotty was our page boy at our wedding 11 years ago and here he was turning 20.  Pretty weird … makes me feel old.

Tonight is more soccer with the Aussie game and I am hoping the roller coaster doesn’t end tonight.  I have a real good feeling in my bones that the Aussies can triumph.  It has been reported that Harry Kewell has a groin twinge and that will be bad news for us if he doesn’t play.  I am hoping this is all media gamesmanship as Nesta for the Italians is also reportedly out – their best defender.

I predict we’re in for a long night into extra time and penalties.  If so, I think we will win due to the pressure the Italians will be under.

Forza Australia!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

She did it again...

Kate beat me again at Blood Bowl tonight... her concentration was a
little off (The Incredibles movie was in the other room) so I virtually
coached her Orcs against my Dwarves but she did all the dice rolling...
she seriously injured my only troll slayer on Turn 1 and badly hurt a
longbeard and then killed one of my two blitzers all in the first
quarter of the match.

With only 11 players each, I was stuffed! 2-0 in the end... didnt even
come close to scoring.

With her luck, I should take her to the casino!

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Lime Kettles World Cup Discussion

Got a view on the World Cup? Then discuss it here!

The Lime Kettles World Cup Discussion Board

Over The Moon - We're Into the Second Phase

Went to Wenty Leagues Club to watch the soccer today, but given the importance of the Italy v Czech Republic and Ghana v USA games, we decided to go for the long haul and watch all three games (Australia v Croatia being the third) all through the night.

Midnight to Dawn... 3 games... all with results that meant things to Australia.

Our perfect plan was a Czech, Ghana and Aussie wins that would have set up a Ghana v Australia Round of 16 match, but the Italians spoilt that scenario and won, so we are now up against Italy on next Tuesday morning at 1am.

But that is in the future... I want to talk about what happened last night / this morning...

Sitting in an auditorium with about 2-3 hundred Aussie fans, we were all aghast at the decision by Hiddink to play Kalac in goals over the well performing Schwarzer. The theory being with Kalac being 6'7" tall, he would stifle the strong Croatia aerial threat. True... but did Hiddink know Kalac was a klutz with the low ball?!?!

Game starts, crowd is boisterous with "Aussie Aussie Aussie" chants and a rather sombre rendition of the national anthem. People were too tired and too emotionally tense to sing! We applauded loudly when the ceremonies ended and the game kicked off.

2nd minute - A Croatian free kick and they score with a direct curving shot around our wall. Kalac beaten in the top right corner. 1-0 Croatia and we were currently "OUT" of the 2nd Phase. So much for having a near 7' tall goalkeeper!

7th minute - Viduka is deadset rugby tackled in the 18 yard box. The Croatian defender clearly has him firmly around the waist and is dragging him off the ball. English ref Poll does his first blunder and waves play on.

For the next half hour we assault the Croatian area and have about 70% possession through this period. Many half chances and opportunities lost until the 38th minute where the Croat's hand ball (rather deliberately - hand of God style) and Craig Moore (not Viduka!) step up for the spot kick.

Its well taken and the score is 1-1 and we are now IN the 2nd phase.

Half time and we are buoyant and bacon & egg rolls are served by the club en masse for brekkie.

Second half and we start slow. Croatia come out firing to get the lead back and we hold on dearly. Then in the 56th minute the selection of Kalac comes again to front of mind as an innocuous shot, straight at him bubbles as he parries it (why not catch it!) and spins over him and into the goal. 2-1 Croatia and only half an hour remains.

We must score to pull us back from the brink and we are not awarded another penalty for another hand ball by the same player and the Croatians do a better job spoiling our attacks than they did in the first half. We haven't made any substitutions at this stage and we look tired. Could we be going out!

Aloisi (a striker) is subbed for midfielder Grella and Bresciano comes on for Sterjovski and we are now firing again with some fresh legs. So many contentious decisions through this period and also Harry Kewell hit a point blank shot to the keeper. 1m either way and we would have scored.

Then in the 79th minute, we score via a clinical strike from Harry Kewell after a ricocheted cross. Some contention here that the last touch before Kewell was off Aloisi's shoulder / head and perhaps offside. With replays its hard to judge so no wonder the ref awarded the goal... finally some justice.

We had also subbed Moore for another striker Kennedy and we were now playing what was a 3-2-4 formation! All out attack was required and then delivered.,... but we had 12-13 agonising minutes with a whole bunch of strikers playing fullback to stop a 3rd Croatian goal.

It all gets blurry here. The crowd is clapping and booing EVERY kick, pass and whistle. The Croatians have a man sent off. Then Emerton is cautioned twice and he is off too for Australia. 10 on 10 men. At least twice did Croatian players man handle the ref and we believe one was sent off... but with the commentary drowned out by noise, we had no idea.

A Croatian is awarded what is believed his 2nd caution of the match but the ref fails to notice this and does not issue the mandatory red card! Will we protest if Croatia score? The team is very tired and we hold on.

3 minutes of stoppage time and when the clock reaches 2min 55sec of that we seemingly score, and we go nuts. 3-2!! We win outright! But its turned down for no real clear reason. Then arguments ensue and then we think the referee blows his whistle in a full time manner. But the Croats argue some more and seemingly try to play on, yet a wide shot shoes some players shaking hands and swapping shirts. Its utter pandemonium and we have no idea if the game is over.

Finally we see a TV crew on the field and we jump for joy - yes the game is over! Its 7am and I had sat in the club for a bit over 7 hours taking it all in. 4 coffees, 2 beers (at the start) and 2 cokes and a toasted chicken, cheese and tomato sandwich around 2am got me through plus the bacon & egg roll during half time. We talked a hole bunch of weird shit in between breaks out of sleep deprived delirium and I found myself raising things to talk about but had already talked about them 2hrs before.

I drive home exhausted have a snooze and then take the kids to school. Now more sleep before Niki comes home from the hair dressers...

Forza Australia! And we'll do it all again vs Italy next Tuesday morning (1am kickoff I believe) at the Wenty Leagues Club... no need to break the jinx after being their 3 times so far!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Had to run...

Ran so late this morning I had to run from the car park at Emu Plains to the train a distance of a couple of hundred metres as the back carpark is huge.  The train was sitting at the platform when I drove in but I guess my gut busting effort to make the platform was worth it.  The train guard would have been able to see me sprinting (sprinting?  Perhaps extremely aggressive waddle…) and she politely held up the train for me.  Thank you to her…

I also have tomorrow off because it is not only Australia’s big crunch game tomorrow AM, but Saturday is also our wedding anniversary.  So with the girls in school, Niki and I are going to go out somewhere local for lunch.  We’re thinking of the café at the Norman Lindsay Gallery at Faulconbridge.  On Saturday itself, no idea at the moment, I’d like to go to the movies but I think there is SweetFA on at the moment other than what looks to be ordinary – The Poseidon Adventure.  I will check out the websites today.

I’m too puffed to write much more… have a good weekend all!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I'm early, you're late

I am on the train early this morning because I have to be at an external meeting at 8:30am so I am on the 6:50am train.  However this post wont go out until I log into the office so from your perspective, it’s a late post.  But rest assured its still dark – the sun is just dawning – and the rain is spitting down.  This train is very packed and incredibly warm.  They have the heating cranked up, so its very toasty in the carriage.

Yesterday I got caught up in a debate via email with my friends about the advent of technology and the correlation in the change in society in attitudes to all things that encompass “humanity”.

The merit of downloading material (music, books, movies) and the advent of players of these media (iPod, laptops etc) leading to society becoming increasingly fixated on “gadgetry”.  What use are gadgets when the world is at war and terrorism is rife and Africa remains in poverty despite the Live Aid efforts of 20+yrs ago?

Are we “programming” ourselves to oblivion?

My mate Noyz said it best when he and his colleagues at the school he teaches refer to school age kids of today as the “Click And Go” generation.  By this he meant that the impact of being born into a world were all information is available to you at your fingertips via the Internet and being born into a world were mass murder via terrorism is “the norm” and the level of shock at these events is reduced by subconscious acceptance.

I hate to use the expression “but in my day” computers were rare and people got by with ringing people on their home land line numbers as opposed to mobile phones.  A quick scan of my phone numbers on my mobile reveals an incredible percentage of being mobiles.  My friends are “transient” in that they are not fixed to one phone number and are in theory am contactable by mobile / sms 24x7.

It has made a huge change in the way society is and I look at my girls and wonder how the world will change in the next 40 years given that the rate of technology change since the past 40 years is being outstripped at a rapid rate.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Rude People Can All Go And Get F#....D

On the train, but running slightly late and had to catch it up at Emu Plains… and I was thinking on the 10min drive to Emu what I could write about as my life has been consumed by the World Cup.  But this morning as I got on the train, I found my subject.

A guy was lying with his head against the glass not two rows in front of me with sunglasses on seemingly asleep.  He had headphones on and they were so loud that the whole carriage resonated with heavy metal music.  You know when you hear muffled music – you get the bass beat and the “doof doof” effect… but this was heavy metal so it was sort of like a machine of some sort revving its engine.

Anyways I, being the first one onto the carriage at Emu, get the shits instantly.  How rude to have the quiet solitude of a mountains train ruined by one tosser and his death metal mute music.  I sit down a couple of rows back and am glad I have my own headphones that I can drown out his rubbish (not quite – with my headphones on, I can hear his between songs despite the lumps of plastic in my ears).  Finally a guy sits next to him and in short time politely taps him on the arm and asks if he can turn down his music.

“Fuck off!  Get your own headphones!” is the response.

Now the carriage has this air of tension in it not made any better by the rolling death metal thrash bass line we can all hear.  “Budda-dah Budda-dah Budda-dah dah dah dah Budda-dah” etc etc.

Finally my laptop fires up and I get my own music playing and can leave that behind.

But in general, I have found that people are losing respect for each other.  Don’t want to sound prissy, but seriously what would it hurt to turn your headphones down a few notches.

Anyways, that’s my little rant over with… you’re lucky I didn’t rant about the injustice Australia faced at the World Cup yesterday which has now spilt over to Harry Kewell being shown to present why he shouldn’t be punted from the Cup…

Listening – The Cure’s “Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me” slightly (only just) louder than normal mixed with a Death Metal beat

Monday, June 19, 2006

We played great against the best!

It’s 5am and I am at the office!  After watching the soccer, I have decided to come in and catch some zeds before work starts, but I have been comparitely lucky as I went to bed at 6:30 last night and slept straight thru until midnight.

Head is fuzzy, but am running on adrenaline and should be right once I have a few more hours…

Recapping the game, a 0-2 loss to Brazil sounds comprehensive based on the scoreboard, but in reality, it was 0-0 at halftime, we had more chances, and looked very competitive.  Then after going down 0-1 in the 49th minute, we attacked and attacked and should have equalised.  The Brazilian second came with a minute to go.  We played very well but I believe the ref was a shocker.  How many times did we get clattered by a Brazilian defender – some from behind – and yet we were given free kicks against us!  Shocking refereeing!

But the team played very well and only need to draw against Croatia to go thru.  We though cannot play defensive, the Croats will play very attacking so we need to be able to counter punch and snag a goal.  We cannot (and I am sure we wont) play for the draw.

Gotta catch some zeds…. zzzzz

Friday, June 16, 2006

Is This Australia's Most Hideous Man

This case about the woman who was found dead in a cabin of 8 men, naked and dead from GBH and alcohol poisoning alongside some digital evidence of sex that may or may not be consensual, is awful as is.

Then, with all that, this guy who is the lead suspect has this to say:

She was a dog and she ruined my holiday, inquest told - National -

What a pig!

Sick Kids & Cats

Friday morning! Actually am feeling not too bad this morning and am now sitting ensconced in a heated train carriage after debating whether to drive in this morning or not because I am going out tonight with work. We’re off to a Thai restaurant down at Cockle Bay / Darling Harbour and then onto the Cargo Bar. I didn’t want to drive and then be a teetotaller but I didn’t want to take multiple bags (laptop bag + bag of change of clothes + suit bag) on the train. Well I managed to get all my clothes into a suit bag and decided to take the train – right move.

Plus when you drive, parking is an issue as well and an unwanted expense.

Speaking of driving, saw an interview this morning with a Shell Petroleum executive where he denied that his company has anything to do with petrol prices and that Shell simply pass on the fuel for the retailer – in their case Coles Myer – to set day to day prices. The interview was done at some science awards night and the interviewer obviously got the interview on the pretence that it was about the awards and then asked the guy point blank why prices in States that had the long weekend last weekend went up 10+ cents for 3 days and the state that didn’t (WA) had no price fluctuation. The guy side stepped and back peddled and flick passed the issue back to Coles… “I don’t know anything about petrol prices” he claims. When the interviewer then states that as an executive of Shell he should, he went all defensive and claimed that he wanted to talk about whatever science award function they were at. It was on Sunrise this morning, I am sure they have a video download or something – check it out.

On the home front, Kate was told yesterday by a doctor that she has “Viral Bronchitis” and that basically there is not much to do but ride it out until the temperature in particular goes away. She is very chirpy at the moment and besides the temperature, cough and snuffling like an anteater at a picnic, she is fine. Of course there was no school again today (which brought mild protest) and then of course that means there will be no dancing tonight. This brought the tears and the tantrums and claims she is fine and can go to school, dancing and the friends birthday party tomorrow. Its awful when kids are sick but when they’re sick, but close to being well, its very hard to be the disciplinarian to say “no” to things they like to do. I think Niki will be in for a hard day today.

Also, I think it is getting close for Tonya the 20 year old cat to be put to sleep… its sad, but she has aged incredibly these past couple of weeks – essentially since the cold weather hit hard – and she is starting to limp around the house, is loosing clumps of hair and has a bit of a mange starting… sounds terrible and I think its time to consider the big decision. We have always said as long as she isn’t in pain then she can live out her years naturally but now she wouldn’t be in “pain” per se but would be in “discomfort” with probably no chance of getting better. I think next week some time may time to take her to the Vet.

Anyways, better get to work on the laptop and stop rabbiting on….

Thursday, June 15, 2006

RPGMP3 - Dungeon ON!

I am going to check this out when I get the chance and have no idea if the thing is any good or not, but you can download audio files of D&D games... Interesting concept. Wonder if I will here any "Huzzah's!"

RPGMP3 - Dungeon ON!

Why bloggers blog - Technology -

From today's tech section. For me, I think the "collection of my thoughts" view point suits me best.

Why bloggers blog - web - Technology -

No soccer... let's talk State of Origin instead

After the week so far has seen me spending 12-13 hr days in the office, with no early morning meetings, I took the opportunity for a bit of a lie in and decided to take the late train (7:37am).  However I snoozed a bit too long and was pushing it when I got outside and found the car frozen solid!  The door to the car made a crack sound when I opened it due to ice and then the windscreen was very iced up.

Murphy’s Law dictated that the car was out of washer fluid so I had to head back inside and got some warm water from the kitchen.  Which worked a treat but of course as I pulled into the station carpark, the train was pulling away.  D’oh – missed it.

So here I am on the 7:50something and will be late in today – I think I am entitled to that :-)

I must admit I am struggling to write anything not involving soccer and the only thing I can think of discussing is last nights horrendous State of Origin match.  Seriously, the NSW halves played terrible and Brett Finch had a game that in any other situation would call for him to be sacked.  People say that a half back will always look bad behind a forward pack that is getting dominated, but I believe the reason the NSW pack got dominated was because Finch and Anasta kept throwing passes into the turf / decoy runners / opposition back line that the NSW forwards were forced to continually tackle or work it out from their own line.

Mason, O’Meley, Bailey, Hindmarsh are great forwards – they shouldn’t be blamed for last night.  To an extent, we need to look at the long term viability of Kite and Simpson, but seriously if they keep Finch in for Game 3, then you may as well hand the trophy to QLD.  In terms of replacements I think Matt Orford is long over due to get a run and if it wasn’t for his minor injury before Game 1, he would have got the nod.

Two things happened out of Game 1 that the selectors didn’t consider when it came to Finch.  Firstly, he had an average game.  He didn’t make any blunders like he did last night, but he was essentially a distributor and played minimal role in attack.  Consequently we didn’t put QLD to the sword when we had a 14-0 advantage, but given that we won in the end 17-16, it was put aside.  Secondly, he scored the game winning field goal which is great for the team, but not a golden ticket to the next game necessarily given he was an injury replacement.  He should have been given the pats on the back and asked to sit down again.  Instead, he gets sent to SunCorp against a fired up QLD and he got crucified.  Also, the fact that Finch had a shocker should not disguise the fact that Anasta also had a terrible game.  Due to lack of alternatives at 5/8th he probably would get the nod for Game 3, but really he has never stepped up to the class required to play the key position of 5/8 in Origin.


"WereWolf" has started!

Page 1 is the rules... game starts on p4. Ignore the middle bits, there's just a lot of Q&A and trash talking...

Who's afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

Lime Kettles :: View topic - "Necro In the House" - A SWL Werewolf game

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Pardon The Interruption

Apologies dear reader as the World Cup and my work schedule have thrown me out of the loop when it comes to posting.  Normal transmission will respond soon but the fact is I haven’t caught a train this week as I have been driving to work due to a combination of early starts and World Cup festivities.  I managed to get to bed at 10pm last night (very early by my standards) after getting home from work which involved a 12 hr day in the office (7am – 7pm) plus travel time.  I was up and in the car again at 6:30am this morning after being up since 2:30am in front of the soccer.  I do admit though that the France – Switzerland 0-0 draw sent me back to sleep, but I awoke at 5am again (on the lounge with a crick neck) to watch the BrazilCroatia game.  I only watched an hour of it on the account I had to leave for work, but I surprisingly feel fine.

My throat though is very hoarse but that is on account I am sure of my table and chair hopping scarf waving efforts the other night.  I (and the couple of hundred other punters at Wenty Leagues) really did shout and scream… never seen anything quite like it.  I lost my voice principally in 8 minutes.  For the bulk of the match, the mood was comparatively sombre so when the 3 goals came at the death, we all went collectively ballistic.

I would have to say the experience was greater than beating Uruguay in terms of “going nuts at a TV screen” and other than my wedding day and birth of my children, I am struggling to think of a day I was in a better mood.

Tonight is the State of Origin too and given the apparent victory that awaits NSW as the QLD team is shit house and the World Cup, I haven’t even given the game a second thought.  I was going to go out to watch it, but I think I will stay at home and watch it as filler before the 11pm soccer game tonight.

Work though eases off tomorrow with no early meetings, so I will probably have a bit of a lie in and then catch the train for the first time this week!  I will enjoy the shut-eye for an hour :-)

As an aside on other things, Kate is still off school with a virus that she’s now taking antibiotics for.  She seems to be on the improve, but slowly.  Work is having a night out on Friday night for drinks / dinner.  Been here 4yrs and we have yet to do this as a group… I get on well with people at work, but I hate mixing social things with work people – I like to relax and get away from work which means I cant relax with work people.  Odd.  I am thinking of not going, but you have that guilt that “you should make an appearance”… will see how I feel on Friday.

Also, on Saturday am playing blood bowl for no reason other than to be social with Pete “Tribalsinner”.  No comps, no pressure than to have a muck around game(s).  Not sure what team(s) I will play, as 2 of my 3 new teams are still only bit painted and the third is untouched.  Still I might give the skaven a run as a trial…

Oooh, better get back to work :-)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Treasure Tables - GMing advice, tips, ideas and resources - Dedicated to helping GMs

Noting this just for my our reading purposes, but this site / blog looks like a great resource site for GM's / DM's.... Personally I have always used the term "Dungeon Master" over "Game Master"... just sounds cooler :-)

Treasure Tables - GMing advice, tips, ideas and resources - Dedicated to helping GMs

Ole! Ole! Ole!

Un-farking-believeable!  Down 0-1 with 6 minutes to go and we win 3-1 against Japan in the opening World Cup Game.

I have had no sleep, stayed at my mate Joe’s house after the game and had 3 hrs sleep… am battling a virus or something because my guts are churning and my head is aching but I am still ecstatic and am moving on pure adrenalin some 6 hrs since the game ended.

Am in the office early for a meeting, but doubt I will last the day due to a combo of being crook and a lack of sleep.

But what a game!  The Japanese goal at the half hour mark was a clear foul on Schwarzer but we did have most of possession and played a great game but we just couldn’t get the ball in… that was until all hell broke loose in 6-8 mins of glory.

Well done Australia!  We’re now in the box seat to qualify for the Round of 16.  Lets hope Croatia get pumped by Brazil and then we’ll be ahead on points and goal difference.

Monday, June 12, 2006

News from the Front

Monday morning of a long weekend and it has been pretty ordinary so far
with the whole family battling flus and bugs. Kate is the worst with
high temperatures and nausea. Coupled with the late nights of soccer
watching and the cold weather (at least today is sunny), things have
been rather dreary around the Lime Kettles house.
Big night tonight however with the Aussie game... can't wait for that.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Lets leave our talking on the pitch...

Friday before the long weekend… Unfortunately I am quite flat out at work today so I will be trying to get a lot done before knock off time so I can be “work free” on the weekend.  Not that I do any work on weekends as a matter of principle, but I don’t want to be worried what is due on Tuesday.

The plans for the weekend are sketchy at best.  I need to buy some suit pants to replace the ones that have worn out (jacket is fine, because you only wear it 10% of the time you were the pants) and I have to get some dry cleaning done and I think we need to buy a vacuum cleaner – this is all riveting stuff hey, but it is all merely “filler” between watching the World Cup!  2am start for Germany v Costa Rica.  I am determined to watch it and hopefully see the Costa Ricans put up a good show.

Also news this morning that al-Qaeda leader in Iraq Al-Zaqawi (sp?) has been killed in his house via a US missile strike.  Identified by “fingerprints, facial recognition and scars” he has been pronounced dead.  Funny how they do that and yet the most common methods of verifying the owner of a now dead body by dental records and DNA were not used.  I guess Al-Zaqawi wasn’t big on tooth decay and regular check ups.

What struck me as odd was that George Bush and Tony Blair both staged elaborate press conferences in front of the world’s media and had carefully sculpted words.  In Australia, we got a flustered looking Alexander Downer in the spotlight of a mobile news crew looking like he was just coming out of a theatre.  Whether it was the ballet or a peep show theatre is unclear, but you know what I mean.  Why wasn’t Howard up there giving “the word according to George”?  If we’re such a big player on the world stage of the War on Terror ™ then why isn’t our leader putting his own nuts on the line?

(*LOL* As I write this, the Cure’s “Killing An Arab” has just come on shuffle play – an omen perhaps!)

My point is that we really are a two bit western nation in terms of “targets for terrorism” and despite Lexy Downer doing the sabre rattling, we are not a priority for attack.  But the more that we grandstand and big note ourselves on the world stage, the more that we’ll bring unnecessary attention to us.

Anyway, enough of the heavy political stuff… I’ll go back to dreaming of Australian World Cup Glory!  Forza Socceroos’!


Thursday, June 08, 2006

Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting Map Gallery

For the D&D fans out there, particularly for the Forgotten Realms setting, the link below takes you to the gallery of maps. Free downloadable maps of Faerun... much better than that new fan-dangled Eberron setting ;-)

Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting Map Gallery

The Hype Is Building

Thursday already – this week is flying!  I have had a few early starts this week and will do so again next week as the build up to 30 June continues for me on a work front.  This morning though, I woke late principally because I took some night time Codrals to help with the flu I am staving off and I hit the snooze for a full hour in my grogginess.  Luckily, the train was running late and I managed to get the 7:37am from Glenbrook.  Mind you its running 10mins late!

The main thing though on my mind is the World Cup.  I am a big soccer fan generally and World Cups are special and I have been known in the past to take annual leave to watch some games, but this World Cup is different because Australia is in it.  I am busting for it to start… I didn’t get up to watch it, but Australia beat minnows Liechtenstein overnight 3-1 with Harry Kewell playing a pre-determined 60mins and came through unscathed.  Nice to score some goals, although I wonder how we conceded one?

This weekend is the June long weekend and Monday night is Australia’s debut match with an 11pm kick off.  I am getting together with the guys to watch it probably at this stage at Wenty Leagues Club.  Its central for most of us guys who live at various ends of Sydney and we’re keen to watch it with the atmosphere of a group of supporters.  Plans are sketchy, but we’ll probably get together for dinner somewhere and make our way over for a few lubricating beverages before hand.  The only problem is though, that the next day is a work day.

And it has been doubly made worse as I am booked into a video conference with Los Angeles at 8am.  I wonder what state I will be in with that…

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

One Year Of Lime Kettles!

Today is the first birthday of your favourite blog! It has been a year since Lime Kettles was created from the ashes of my original blog " - Fact or Fiction".

My first posting was way back in June 2003. A massive 3 years ago and then went into hiatus for a while before I uncovered the Blogger site and began ClayInfinity via the good people of Blogger.

Of course, the site paused for a long time for reasons I can't recall until I reconstitued my account in June 2005 and then rejigged the site format and template completely on 7 June 2005. One year ago today.

From those early days of 2003 to today, I have been asked why do I do this? The answer for that is long and complex. I originally decided I wanted to learn html programming and try it out, but that became rather boring for doing it and I needed a good reason why. Having said that, delving into html back then was something that has led me to try alot of stuff in the technology space and I guess my "geekiness" has evolved from that.

At a deeper level, I guess I wanted to say things. Not to a particular audience, but just because I wanted to say things. I used to have a "Rants" section on my old tripod site and I would vent away for no reason. Looking back on it now, I guess it was kind of silly. Today though I blog more as a daily record of my life. I have no real motivation than to perhaps record things for the future... I do think that in the future, will my girls be able to look back and see things in chronological order from their childhood? It's an interesting notion... that instead of the "photo wall" at their 21st's that I present for them blog items.

So in that aim, and I may make this an annual event, I present below a collage of happy snaps from the past 12 months. Some have been posted here before, but others havent. They're in a rough chronological order over the past year, and when I put these together, it was good to have a reason to go over the photos. Niki is the person who is the photo keeper at our place and has the "scrap booking bug" so I guess this is my electronic version of the same.


So finally, now that you've indulged my little post of relection, I'd like to thank Niki for her support and her constant readership. I'd like to thank all of my regular contributors some of whom I know in real life, some I know via the internet and some who have just passed through on a web surf and left their tiny piece of commentary... thank you to you all.

As for the next 12 months, as long as I am sitting on that damn train, I won't see any reason not to keep jotting down things. Can't say that the quality is going to improve, but at least the quantity won't ease up.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

"Necro In the House" - A SWL Werewolf game

Attention all SWL players, Tommy is running a Werewolf game over in the forums... Take a look and if you're keen sign up. Restricted to fumbblers as we are using the Fummbl PM system for offline comms.

View topic - "Necro In the House" - A SWL Werewolf game

Other Cup 'game' concerns USA

All I can say to this is "What The..."

Yee Gods! People having sex with prostitutes! Lets ban the World Cup! Better still, why dont the Americans pull out (get it... "pull out"... Guffaw Guffaw!!)

Other Cup 'game' concerns USA

Its the End of the World As We Know It...

6/6/06.  Number of the Beast; End of the World; Armageddon… Well apart from a cold in which my throat is very sore, a developing tooth ache, a realisation with the downpouring of rain that my left shoe has a hole in it and the fact that I need to spend a wad of cash on a whole new work wardrobe (suits, shirts and ties), well I feel fine.

TripleM radio aptly played this morning “It’s the End of the World and I Feel Fine” by REM and you have to laugh at the doom and gloom merchants (read religious types) who think today is a significant day.

Well guess what Zealots, today is Tuesday and we’re all going to work and today will be no different than yesterday or tomorrow.  And why is today so significant? 6th day of the 6th month in 2006.  662006?  I don’t get it.  People quietly ignore the big bloody 2 and a couple of zeroes.  Didn’t the zealots say this was happening 100 years ago on 6/6/1906?  And every hundred years before that?

Well if perchance that today is my last post, I hope you all find peace and happiness in Heaven and say hi to the Big Guy for me.  Knowing my luck my train to Heaven will be delayed and have to go all stations.

Monday, June 05, 2006 - The 100 Best Products of the Year

Just a nice list of the Top 100 Tech Products from PC World. Some sites, some gadgets, some software... maybe you can find something in here that you may like to use/buy/download. - The 100 Best Products of the Year

Much ado about nothing

No posts this weekend as I was flat out doing nothing!  A rarity on our calendar, a weekend with no commitments from anywhere.  No family functions, no parties / get togethers with friends, no dancing for the girls – absolutely nothing.

So Friday night I did invite my mate Noyz up to watch the football – Saints vs Parra – and we sat on the lounge eating pizza and drinking beer and it was all the more better because the good guys won :-)

Saturday was a very quiet day and we did nothing except we went to the park at Glenbrook Village.  Kate and I walked our dog Zoe all the way there whilst Niki drove with Brooke and the bikes.  The walk takes about 30mins and we did it fine and met up at the park were Brooke was able to ride her bike without training wheels a fair distance.  She had her fair share of stacks, but she was able to go for 30 metre stretches without over steering and falling off.  She is well on her way.

Saturday night Niki and I watched “40 Year Old Virgin” on Foxtel Box Office and I highly recommend it – a lot funnier than we both thought.

Sunday I was up early and cooked up pancakes for breakfast (pancakes and BBQ is all I do!) and again other than a trip to Pet Barn to stock up on pet food for our menagerie we didn’t do anything.

Then it started – I sat up and watched the soccer which kicked off at 11pm.  Netherlands vs Australia – our big test.  So this morning, is an early indication of the next month or so – going to work on minimal sleep after watching soccer until the wee small hours.

From the game perspective, we did well to hold on in the first 30minutes, but I say we finished very strongly.  Mark Viduka missed ANOTHER penalty (can someone tell me when The Duke last scored an international goal?) and we had a man sent off, but we finished very much on a par with the Dutch, who are the #2 side in the world.  Sure we could have conceded another 3-4 goals if the Dutch had some luck and Schwarzer hadn’t made so many good saves, but that’s the game – you have to take your chances.

All in all, a good performance, but we need to start better than we did because we could be down very quickly against the likes of Brazil.

The next game is Thursday morning at 3am against Liechtenstein.  We’ll see how we’re travelling as to whether I stay up / get up for that one.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Daily, we grow in numbers... arise the Geeks!

A funny thing yesterday at work, I had an IT guy come up to my desk and scared the bejesus out of me as I had my headphones on with my brain firmly engaged in re-drafting a contract.  (I listen to whilst at my desk)  He tapped me on the shoulder and I jumped.  “Sorry mate, need to have a look at your Outlook.”  He went on to explain that with a recent shuffle of secretaries and maternity leaves that most meeting requests in the company are getting rejected on the basis of a persons PA is not there or has changed roles.  To me that seems stupid and I began to explain to this to my intruder, but he looked at me, put his hands up and said “Mate, I know, its stupid, but that’s fucking Microsoft for you.”

And who can argue with that logic, so I stood aside and let him sit at my machine.

He then noticed I run two monitors and said “Ah cool!”.  He then dives into MS Outlook and starts selecting options and sure enough my assistant Gaylene was not listed as one of my delegates but given she had gone on Maternity Leave (and had since come back) it listed Karen who was her Mat Leave replacement but Karen was now filling in for another department and was apparently, according to the IT guy, getting all my meeting requests.  So he wrote this all down and again I said “can’t you do this now?” and he just said without looking up “Microsoft.  Needs to be done from the server”.

He then minimises everything to get to my desktop and sees my spivvy Firefox wallpaper.  “Firefox!  Best program ever written.”  I agreed with him on that and then he opened Windows Explorer and opens the CD ROM drive which still had in it the CD for “IceWind Dale II”.  I hate that when you get busted for using your laptop for non-work stuff, but the guy went “ah cool game!  Have you got Neverwinter Nights II… Don’t worry I’m a geek too”.  I laughed, I had now been labelled officially as a geek… Tweaked work PC, Firefox replacing the work standard Internet Explorer, and a RPG game disc in the CD drive.  I was a member of the club.

So we got chatting about the virtues of World of Warcraft, the impending D&D online and the new IT helpdesk guy (well I hadn’t seen him before in the corridors) was a new friend and I now know that there is a geek culture in the office…

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Meet My Rat Ogre

Rat Ogre for the skaven team which I have dubbed "Cheatahs" due to their cloaks and because they, well... cheat :)


Rush for Ashes tickets knocks site for six - Cricket - Sport -

Further to my post below, the first thing that the news media seems to report is that the tickets are already up on eBay.

What's wrong with eBay? Why do people care that they're on eBay. If demand dictates that an entire 4 days of a Test Match sell out virtually instantly, then why can't there be a secondary market? But what i am concerned about is the supposed Australian Citizen living in Australia is actually in the UK selling his 5 day pass!

Rush for Ashes tickets knocks site for six

Blardy Ticketek

I have just spent 2 and a bit hours trying to get thru to Ticketek to buy tickets for the upcoming Ashes Cricket series.  To put into perspective, this is a cricket series coming to Sydney in January 2007.  Six months away.

I spent this time hitting the website and the phone lines and finally got thru to Ticketek’s Canberra office to be told that all 4 days had been sold out.

What makes this a worse feeling is this I am a member of the “Australian Cricket Family” which is a group of confirmed Aussie Citizens designed to ensure that Aussie fans get in instead of Pommy backpackers.  But they have all been snapped up and I didn’t even get a look in.

However, when it was apparent that the tickets for the test match had been sold out, I tried to log in again (don’t know why) and managed to buy 10 tickets to the One Day International of Aust vs England and also a family pass to take the kids to the Twenty20 match on 9 January.  All up, didn’t get what I wanted, but still spent nearly $700 on tickets!


There is a second release of Test Match tickets on June 19 but that’s when all the big package deals will be done to English tour groups and I think my chances are buckleys.