Friday, September 29, 2006

Holiday Blog Post

Been a rather hectic 2 1/2 days of leave so far...

Spent Wednesday driving around getting the kids too and from school,
Kate had an orthodontic appointment and then there was dancing for
Brooke in the afternoon. Yesterday was more of the same with kids
ferrying but Niki and I were able to have a nice morning with coffee at
one of the local café's. I spent the afternoon out in the garden giving
the lawns a dose of "Weed & Feed" and also trimmed some of the hedges.

Then last night was Kate's Big Variety Night at Glenbrook Public
School. It was an open entry from all the kids in the school and she
tried out and got selected. It was a brave thing to do because she did
a self-choreographed routine with pom-poms to Kenny Loggins' Footloose.
She got up there on her own and did her stuff in front of a few hundred
parents and teachers and school mates. She made us very proud and every
kid got a certificate and she was wrapped. We celebrated a little last
night with pizza which was her choice.

Today I am home now, but was up early to drop my car in to get a tyre
puncture repaired at Bob Jane which ended up with a whole set of new
tyres as a) the repair was unable to be done and b) 1 other tyre was
un-roadworthy and the other 2 were well on their way to being out.
Given we're planning on selling the Ford soon, I said "whats the
cheapest" and I bought some dodgy brand for $149 a tyre which added up
to $680 with balancing & alignment and the various enviro levies.

Did my tax return as well though while I waited and we've managed a nice
return which will be handy...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Last Day


Last work day for 2 weeks.  Unfortunately it could be a long one as I am still trying to get things done so that I can leave the office for 2 weeks and not have a care in the world.  Easier said than done.  The holidays are sketchy at the moment in regards to activities, but we intend to go to the beach at least once if not twice, probably take the kids to the movies and Springwood Pools will also get a working over I am sure.

I am looking at selling one or both of the cars.  The Ford is nearly due on its lease and I am thinking I may see what’s out there, the Barina is now out of warranty but has only done 30,000kms and we’re not sure whether we need a second car anymore.  Its just a thought…

Also, would like to get my suit pants re-tailored to take into account that I’ve lost a few kg’s and I walk around the office at the moment like I have pyjamas on.  Odd jobs around the house include a de-weeding of the lawns, maybe scrape some cash together to buy some new plants for the front yard and I want to fix some taps again – this time the ensuite vanity and the main bathroom bath.  The latter has a drip and the former has a cold tap that wont budge.  Also, there’s odd job lights to fix and I am sure a few other things I haven’t realised.

I also have a games day at Tommy’s next Wednesday (see forum for details) and will continue to run and play Diplomacy, Blood Bowl, XpertEleven and Battrick.

Posts here will be more sporadic, but we will have the camera on outings and I do intend to go on the odd bushwalk around the place so some pics will be posted here I am sure.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Games Day Review

As I mentioned in the previous post, Sunday was Games Day at my place.  Playing was Tommy “ozjesting” Dean, Richard “Virral” Andrew, Fernando “FLo” Lopez and Stuart “Smegish” Lynton and yours truly.

Formula De
Had a go at this and have been keen to play it.  Basically it’s a car racing game around a track and each player needs to select gears and go around corners in a manner that forces you to down shift gears.  The higher the gear, the greater the number of squares you move, but if you take a corner too fast you need to use a limited supply of brakes and fuel and when you run out of those items, your car can konk out or spin.  In addition, overtaking opposing cars means you can collide and take body damage and too much body damage equals failure to finish.  The very simple game system though means the game was easy to pick up and we played a two lap game around the Monaco circuit.  FLo had poll and basically led from start to finish despite a late push by Smegish (who span on the last corner) and yours truly came well and truly last when I ran out of brakes and tyres so I had to nurse the car in the last corners.  Great fun.

Fury of Dracula
A good game that was hindered by the fact that we Vampire Hunters got off to a great start.  Tommy was playing Dracula and the board was a map of Europe with a lot cities joined by roads and railway lines.  Essentially Dracula was hidden from view from us and we Hunters had to travel around Europe searching fro Dracula who left encounters for us to deal with as he passed through cities.  However straight from the get go, we worked out by luck that Dracula was in Prague and we descended upon him.  A merry chase across Eastern Europe forced Dracula to set sail across the Mediterranean and Smegish was lucky (downright arsey) to simultaneously land in Genoa when Dracula did.  Dracula met his match and given Smegish also had the good fortune to meet up with Dracula in the daytime where his powers were weak and he was slain.  Good game, I liked the dynamic and the game play (card based system for Dracula’s movement and combat) but the game was stymied by great luck for the goodies.

Betrayal on the House on the Hill
A game we have played before and was made even weirder because at this stage the house had lost power, but we had two very quick games of this as both hauntings were fairly easy to defeat.  In haunt one, Tommy’s character (Professor Longfellow) went insane and sacrificed himself to allow vampire bats into the haunted house who then were seeking the rest of us.  To defeat them, we had to find the organ in the organ room, fire it up, play the right chords which would cause all flapping bats to flee and then slay any vampires that remained attached to any of the remaining heroes.  Unfortunately for the game, FLo’s character was in the Organ room and quickly started her up and all the bats which were still flapping flew away.  Only one had started feeding on Smegish and it was quickly dispatched.

Given the very quick finish, we went again and this time it was Virral’s character who was the traitor and had evil house servants in his employ and we had to survive till dawn (10 turns) whilst we ran around the house trying to hide from Virral and his servants.  Virral quickly killed Tommy’s character and then Smegish’s character was slain soon after whilst FLo and I hid upstairs.  I had a spear and decided to defend myself whilst FLo ran away to avoid the servants and I held them at bay for the last 2 – 3 turns.  A win for the goodies!

All up, a great day thanks for the guys who came up and thanks for Niki who fed us and looked after the kids.  The next Games Day is on 2 October, details in the Forum.

Weekend Blues

Had a great weekend this weekend with a big work night our Friday with cricket and then the NRL Final on Saturday night followed by a Games Day at our place yesterday.

The only issue was however that a) I got a golden duck opening the batting on Saturday.  First ball of the innings and I failed to move my feet (was it lingering effects of the big night Friday?) and bang, off stump gone.  Greystanes 1/0.  We batted OK to recover, but failed at the death and were all out for 128 and Pendle Hill are 2/54 in reply.

Then I went to the NRL and saw Saints not play badly, but didn’t play well enough to win and we got steam rolled 24-10.  Noyz (who’s a Parra fan) went with me and was good enough to sit with me with the Dragon Army and despite it being a high class game of football, there is little consolation in that and once again Saints fail at the Prelim Final.  Bugger.

Then Sunday, lucky we were playing board games, because we lost power at about 1:30pm and the lights didn’t come back on until 9ish.  Niki, the girls and I had left over salad and sausages for dinner by candle light and the girls basically went to sleep around 7.  I fell asleep too on the lounge and woke up at about 8:30 thinking of going to bed but I went for a drive to see where the outages were.  Heaps of trees on the roads but some sections of Glenbrook had power and some were dark and even my own estate was 50-50.  The people around the corner and up the hill a bit had power.  So I went back home and Niki and I chatted instead of going to bed and sure enough the lights came on soon after.  Every clock is out, and I had to fix up the computer and then print Kate’s homework assignment and coupled with the nap I had earlier in the evening, I was wide awake at midnight.  Bugger.

Two days at work though, then its holidays :-)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Early Start - Late Finish

Am on the 6:22am train this morning as I have a teleconference with Los Angeles and because the poor Americans don’t like to work late, we start early.  8:00am Sydney is 3:00pm yesterday in LA and I don’t know why we cant move it forward an hour…

Then tonight my department is going out for dinner.  There’s about 8 or 9 of us and we’re going to a Teppanyaki style restaurant and a few bevies.  It will be a trip home courtesy of Mr CabCharge tonight.  In between the early start and dinner, I am flat out at work as I try and clear the decks before I go on leave.  Seems odd at the time you really need a break and bite the bullet and take one you work 3 times as hard in the build up,.. I am already counting down the hours to next Tuesday evening!

And for the record, Niki has asked me to tell you all that by moving the cat scratch pole to a more central part of the living room, he’s now using it instead of the lounge.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Holidays and Antics

Well I have had my annual leave approved.  I will be off work from 27 Sept to 10 Oct.  Am so much looking forward to 2 weeks of doing not much at all.  For most of that time, the girls will be on school holidays and we will do some day trips to the beach etc but other than that there are no solid plans.  I want to get in and do things like getting the lawn back into shape and we should plant some more plants in the garden.  I am keen to go bushwalking as well – take the kids on some expeditions and also do some long distance walking myself.  Also have to consider getting the car(s) ready to sell and may take some time to visit some dealers (yech!).

In addition, social times with friends, a game day or two, and hopefully watching St George win the NRL Grand Final.  It all sounds like a loose plan!

Speaking of St George, I will be heading out to the Grand Final qualifier with my mate Noyz on Saturday night against the evil that is the Melbourne Storm.  I am quietly confident and as Coach Brown has been dictating – we’re all very relaxed!  Its funny though because each season I get excited about Saints’ prospects and the so called “best roster on paper” and every season I get terribly excited and stressed and when the defeat comes its devastating.  This season however, its more back of mind for me, more of something that I am not overly thinking about and hence if Saints were to lose on Saturday night it will be disappointing, but in my mind not unexpected (Melbourne were clear Minor Premiers for a reason).  So, we’ll see where we are come Sunday morning…

Which will be my Games Day!  On Sunday, I am hosting about 5-6 people for a games day and Tommy will be bringing his kit bag of various board games.  I want to have another crack at Betrayal on the House on the Hill, plus I think I will play Settlers of Catan for the first time…. There will be about half a dozen games to choose from and maybe some split sessions.  Some of the guys will be coming up on the train and it should be good fun.  Details are in the Lime Kettles Forum (which now is correctly linked).

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Catz Jackers

Well the Diplomacy Game is well underway and I am very happy to report that all players have been chatty via email and all players seem to know what they’re doing and are enthusiasts for the game.  Playing Russia I seem to have attracted correspondence from every player and all of it has been extremely well written tactical advice and propositions.  I am glad that the turn-around time for move submission is 2 weeks and not 1 as I am used to normally.

I am the only Aussie in the game with one American (based in Oklahoma) and the rest being Brits but one of those is living in Japan.  The GM is Dutch so it really has a global feel to the game.  Every time I log into my email acct, I seem to have new messages!  All very interesting.

In other news around the place, my little kitten which is now as big as an adult cat, is going into the vets today for the big snip.  Charlie the Cat has been terrorising the house and jumping out at the girls and has been going a bit stir crazy.  In addition, he has developed the biggest set of Nads I have ever seen on a cat.  He’s like a rogue bull and its been pretty funny.  The vet has said to keep him inside until he recovers from the snip, but once done I hope his “primitive urges” will subside and he’ll become a bit more placid.  He is maturing though in other ways and does have his moments when he’ll sit quietly in the lounge room or snuggle up to the girls while they sleep, but generally he is scrambling around the house looking like he’s on a big game hunt.  Also, the scratching pole and sleeping platform that we bought for him – dead set useless.  Our lounge has borne the brunt of his claws.  My advice for those who get a new kitten… save your money on scratch poles and keep it to pay for re-upholstering.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Death and Taxes: A Visual Guide to Where Your Federal Tax Dollars Go

Whilst not an American, this is an amazing snapshot of how the US Govt spends their income tax dollars. 64% of every dollar that an American Citizen pays in tax goes into the Dept of Defence. The remain 36% goes to the "Rest of Everything Else". No wonder Americans need to have so many wars and skirmishes!

Death and Taxes: A Visual Guide to Where Your Federal Tax Dollars Go

Admin Post - Forum Board Link Change

For those Lime Kettle members who use the Forum Boards, please note that the old link may be dead and the forum boards have now migrated fully to and you can get to the forums by clicking through here.  I will change the Nav bar link on the right later when I get a chance.



Joker Poker Night

Am feeling surprisingly good today considering I went out last night courtesy of the Wild Turkey people to the final taping of “Joker Poker” and imbibed a great deal of the sponsors product before and after the show.

From 5pm through to about 1am I was rarely left empty handed in regards to a Wild Turkey & Cola and am happy to report that apart from being a bit tired and flat, I am head ache free and not in the least seedy.

The show itself was an interesting experience for me.  Having been warned by Tommy Dean that I would be bored shitless, I went along with no great expectations.  I was happy that the line up for the game of poker were comedians I knew about – Mickey Robbins, Peter Berner, Nick Giannopolous and Julia Zemiro of SBS’s RocKwiz.

After a few Wild Turkeys to lubricate the vocal chords, we were ushered into the set in Fox Studios – err sorry the “Entertainment Quarter” or “EQ” – we were ushered into the set with a few words from the production crew.  “No phones, not even on silent”.  “No moving from your seat”.  “Please feel free to hoot and holler as you like”.  Seemed pretty simple really and the guys I had met up with were well ahead of me in the drinking stakes as they had been bussed in from the Blue Mountains.

Then we realised that the set was a “dry set” and despite the comedians drinking Wild Turkey and the VIP guests in the upstairs bar area allowed to drink, those of us in the bleachers directly in the line of sight of the camera’s were not allowed to have anything to drink – not even water.  Don’t know why.

As the show started taping, there were frequent interruptions due to technical issues and then the killer came from an audience participation perspective – we couldn’t see the cards on a monitor.  We were therefore actually watching 4 comedians with their backs to us playing poker and we were asked to boo when someone folded or cheer for large bets when we didn’t know what was happening.  Odd.

The sound wasn’t too crash hot either.  It ebbed and flowed and half the jokes were lost on the audience but those that were picked up were funny.  In the end though Nick Giannopolous won the day when Peter Berner went all in and he won his charity a cash prize.  Off air, Peter Berner did a funny routine how Nick G’s charity wasn’t a real charity and that his – Kids Without DVD Players – was a much worthier charity than Nick G’s “Kids With Cancer” charity… bad taste, but very funny but of course wont go to air.

From then on, the night became a blur of Wild Turkey, bus rides, late night McDonalds stop, cab to the Lapstone Hotel, more Wild Turkey and I walked home in the pitch dark from the Lapstone Hotel sometime between midnight and 1am.

Not a bad night and I am happy that I am not riding the Porcelain Bus today!


Monday, September 18, 2006

Diplomacy 2000 Gamestart.

I have just received an email confirming my first Diplomacy game participation from the Diplomacy 2000 site.  This is my first game against “strangers” who are clearly enthusiasts for the game.  I am curious to see how I go…

By the luck of the draw, I have been drawn to play Russia… which is probably the nation I have read the least about in regards to tactics…  In addition, I am not sure if I should write my correspondence “in character” as the Great Tzar Clay or whether I should stick to regular names.  “Hey Bill, what are you doing with your army in Berlin?” type stuff.  I hope the former, but who knows.

Russia… so many people on my borders… so many options… I better go read up on it!


Pass me the plough....

Monday morning, on the train and it’s a beautiful day.  One of those days you wish you were an unemployed bum and could do nothing but sit around in it.  Alas, it is not the case and I am suited up for Monday.  Still sore from the weekend’s activities, but not that bad.

Its days like this that you stop to think about what you’re about and why you’re here and what it all means.  On such a day, I wear a suit and tie, sit on a train to get to an office to punch out paperwork and emails about boring stuff and you say “why am I doing this?”  The simple answer is because you have a family to support and a house to keep from being repossessed and that’s a valid answer.  But what about deeper reasons… Why do I spend 13hrs a day out of the house to pay for a house that I rarely get to be in?  Then you start thinking about democratic capitalism (yes, I know that’s a big jump, but it’s the way I think) and you start to think about “western society” and being in so called First World country in comparison to subsistence farmers in a Third World country (where is the second world?).

The video clip I posted up on Thursday called Miniature Earth is a prime example of what I am talking about.  For starters, if you’re reading this, you’re in the 3% of people who have an internet connection, and you realise that you’re an incredibly lucky individual.  That video clip has prompted a lot of my friends and work colleagues who have seen it to say things like “Wow, that was really good… makes you think doesn’t it”.  And yes it does make you think.  What I found most stunning about that clip was that for every 100 people on the planet we spend $1.2 trillion dollars on military / defence costs.  Why?  Why the fuck are we spending so much on planes, bombs, payroll for soldiers and all other military expenditure.  $1.2 trillion for every 100 people.  Astounding.

Then you this mornings news about some “expert” in Islamic study claiming that Australian mosques are recruiting young men for Jihad and suicide bombing.  Then you have the Pope slamming Islam causing a nun in Somalia to be murdered and Christian churches in the Middle East to be fire bombed.  Why?

The plain and simple reason is that given that the political foes of the largest spenders of military dollars (the US) have collapsed in upon themselves (except for Communist China) then the next theatre of war has to be based on religion.  If political boundaries are no longer worth fighting for because the world has become a smaller place to live in, then the next avenue for keeping those Defence contracts buoyant are wars based on religious ideals.

Then with that $1.2 trillion figure ringing in your ear, you can see why this is all happening and you can see why “experts” spruiking anti-Muslim rhetoric that gets on the lead story of our morning sugar coated pro-Anglo Saxon news is now so vital for keeping the general populace aware of the “great evil” that is Islam.  We’re playing with a hornets nest and we’re willingly stirring up the Muslim people of the world and want retaliatory strikes (denounced as Terrorism) so that we can spend some more military dollars.

Then you realise wouldn’t the world be a better place if we had cut out the spending, cut out the “work for the economy” lifestyle and all the worlds population be driven by the basic necessities of food and shelter and we all were the atypical subsistence farmer.

Then we could perhaps be able to enjoy days like today…

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Long Weekend, Cricket Season Starts

After an impromptu day off Friday to attend to some family things, I had
a three day weekend. Friday wasn't exciting... mowed the lawns and then
picked the kids up from school before settling in to watch my beloved
Dragons win 28-0 over Manly! Happy Days!!

Saturday was supposed to be the day I went to the accountant and did my
tax return, but for the life of us we couldn't find my Group
Certificate. I distinctly recall bringing it home from work and saying
"this is important, need to keep it safe" and that was the last I saw of
it... will need to get another one printed from work and I ended up
rescheduling my tax appointment.

The afternoon saw us debut our cricket season and we took on Hills
Barbarians in a ridiculously short (31 overs a side) one day game.
Until daylight saving kicks in, one day games are a real lottery. We
did well though we bowled Hills out for 120 in the 30th over and in
failing light set upon our chase. Yours truly opened the innings and am
happy to report that I carried the bat through as we went along better
than 7 an over to score 1/128 in 17 overs. I finished 44 not out, big
Nick Nardo scored 54 not out with plenty of boundaries in that and Will
Graham was the man out for 20.

Considering I hadn't picked up a bat since the semi final of last
season, I was happy to get some runs... including two nice sixes! Next
week we're at Daniel Street against the Pendle Hill Colts.

Sunday was a home day and as I write this, am sore as a bugger as we
spent the day weeding the gardens. Our garden looks nice but just needs
that thorough spruce up every so often. Combined with cricket in which
I was on the field all day and the gardening, I sure am feeling it

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Taking A Break...

Received my monthly payslip yesterday (thank god, it was a 5 ½ week month this month) and I noticed something.  I have accrued 243.57 hrs of annual leave.  That is a tick over 30 working days or 6 weeks of annual leave.  It dawned on me that I haven’t had a holiday since last Christmas which whilst is a good time, is also a stressful time with all the hullabaloo of Xmas and New Year.  So I made an executive decision to take some time off later this month / early October.  School holidays are on soon, so I am thinking a week with the kids and a week with the kids at school.

But now that this realisation has dawned on me, its pretty much all I can think about.  We wont be going away though, its just too tight on the money front, but to have 2 weeks away from work with nothing doing will be excellent.

Sounds like a plan…


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Do you think you have it bad?

If you think you have it bad in your life (and I know I do think that at times despite all the good things), then I suggest you check this out.  Kudos to Dad for the link.

Yeah sure...

Tacky TV hosting has gone on too far... I wasn't aware of the story myself, but this is exactly why the Steve Irwin death has me miffed. Its not the man himself, but rather this bullshit.

Robson's reptilian reasoning

Memorial to Mammaries

Again, I feel derelict in my blog duties today as I am too engrossed in either a) work or b) my Stephen King novel to write on the train…

Having come in and been in an all morning meeting and then a bit of lunch, I have come back here and realised that no blog posting was done…

Ummmm, sorry!

I guess what has been front of mind lately in the news front and something I probably want to comment a bit on in more detail in the future is that the 5th anniversary of 9/11 has come and gone with a lot of rhetoric from both sides of the divide.  George W said his bit, Osama released another of his hit al-Jazeera videos and everyone looks around nervously at Muslims with backpacks.

The world is a sad place at the moment and when you talk about life pre-9/11 it was all so much more simpler.  But today, being the 13th here and the 12th in the US, the day after 9/11 memorials, we have Brittney Spears’ baby and Anna Nicole Smiths’ son dying as the most important news items of the day.  Another day at the office for the resident hack tabloid press…

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Bah Humbug

Shitty morning this morning as I spent my entire trip cramped into the corner with my laptop open trying to review a document whilst some Chinese bloke with the flu kept snorting snot back up his nose instead of using a tissue or a hanky.

Get into the office and there are a thousand and one things to do and despite me working until nearly 7pm last night things just ain’t getting done.

Am selling chocolates today for the girls’ dance school (Caramellos and Freddos) for a $1 each and they’re going out fast already.  Its amazing what a broadcast email to everyone on your floor can do :-)

Rain continues outside and as I look out of my Level 17 office window, I am sure I’ll be able to swim home soon…  Unfortunately they keep telling us that none of the rain is falling in the catchment areas…

Monday, September 11, 2006

Rain Continues!

Most Sydneysiders would be feeling like building an Ark at the moment as the rain continues to bucket down here in Sydney.  Been about a week now of solid rain… and I am sure NONE of it is getting into the Warragamba Dam.  Day One of the cricket season was washed out without a ball being bowled and we didn’t even need to turn up to the ground to inspect the field, I got an SMS at 10:30am saying not to bother showing.  So for you cricket fans, there’ll be a short (35overs a side) one day game next week.

Also on Saturday, Niki took the girls to Julie & Cons for their youngest Shannon’s 5th birthday party.  The party was good despite the rain but unfortunately I heard the jumping castle got minimal use. :-(  I had promised to visit Mum & Dad before cricket and despite it being off, I still went down and it was nice to visit just because.  I did get back after lunch though and took the girls to the library to return their swag of library books and borrow some more.  5 books was a bit ambitious last time, so we kept them down to 3 books each.  Kate also has reading for homework so its important that she does those books first.  Both the girls love books though and that makes me very happy to see them sitting quietly reading instead of watching TV.  I too got a book, Stephen Kings “Rose Madder” which I have never read – I am a bit of a King fan, so I surprised myself I hadn’t read it.

Sunday was another kids birthday party at Niki’s girlfriend Tricia’s house at Leura.  Magnificent old house and again for the poor old kids it was raining, but they had a large back room and had hired as entertainment an African drumming group ( who entertained the kids with rhythm and beats on the drums.  Each kid got their own drum and also some of the parents.  It was a great idea and was handy because of the wet.  I also met some of the other dads who are also commuters from Leura, Wentworth Falls and Hazelbrook… and I realised that Glenbrook aint so bad.

After the party we had more kids stuff given we had agreed to baby sit Tyler and Mia, the 2yr old and 6mth old of friends Monique and Sean.  We had given Monique & Sean a “free babysitting” voucher as a bit of a laugh last Christmas and it is a bit sad though that they finally cashed it in in September.  But they went out and had dinner and a movie (12 Canoes, they said it was very funny) and we got to look after a baby for a few hours.  I gave my first bottle feed in about 4 years… very strange to do that again.

So all in all, it was a wet, kid frenzy of a weekend…

Friday, September 08, 2006

National Fuckwit Day | The Spin Starts Here

I thought I was apparently alone in my criticism of the mass media and outpouring of emotion about the death of a man who was clearly a few sandwich's short of a picnic and played one too many games with dangerous animals.

But I am wrong! There are many like minded people over here: National Fuckwit Day | The Spin Starts Here

Busy Weekend Ahead

Friday morning, the rain has cleared and hopefully we’ll have great weather for the weekend.  The weekend for me is pretty packed with Kate’s performance as part of the Blue Mountains Nepean Dance Spectacular on tonight at the Joan Sutherland Centre, Penrith.  This is the first time she has represented her school at something so its pretty special.  She has already performed a midday matinee earlier in the week, but tonight is the “big dance” (pun intended) and it is sold out.

Then Saturday is cricket of course but also we have the birthday party for Julie & Con’s youngest Shannon who is 5 and then on Sunday one of Niki’s girlfriends Tricia and her husband are having a birthday party for their son but they are having a garden party at their new place at Leura which will be catered with “Horsie Doovers” and waiters for the adults.

In between, I have to try and catch the Saints game on tele after cricket and I have to say I am pretty nervous for the Dragons.  I think Canberra is a real shot at upsetting Canterbury which means Saints’ game will be sudden death.  If we get bundled out again in week 1 of the playoffs, it will be very disappointing to say the least!

Have been to see Noyz & Rachel’s new baby boy Matthew the night before last as well.  He’s doing very well and mum & dad looked very happy.  He’ll be coming home Saturday but he’s a big’un all right.  10lbs 1oz, 57cm in length… For those who know your Blue Baby Book from the NSW Dept of Health, 57cm is not on the chart in the height / weight ratio.  You can say you have a big baby when you’re off the official government scale!

That’s about it, I’m going to catch some zed’s on the train here in the morning sun, hope you all have a good weekend :-)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Cricket Season Starts Saturday!

Cricket season is upon us already and I am suiting up again for cricket for Greystanes CC in what should be thereabouts my 20th year for the club (not sure exactly).  We are playing in division B10 (there are 17 B Divisions) and our first game is this Saturday at our home ground of Daniel St Park Greystanes.  Play starts at 1:30pm and admission is FREE! (lol – we should pay our spectators!).  First game is against Hills Barbarians which is a side we haven’t played before, so I am not sure what to expect.  We have though a few familiar faces still in our division from last season including last seasons premiers Wenty Leagues and Norwest who finished mid table.

We lost the semi final last season, so hopefully we can kick on and win the comp this season.  We’ve lost 2-3 players from last season plus we’ve lost Joe for the first quarter of the season as he’s off on his honeymoon for 6 weeks and also Noyz wont be playing game 1 as he had the hide to have a baby on Tuesday!

But we’ve picked up three players from another team in the club after they folded and I understand they’re all good bats… just a bit worried about our bowling strength this season.

I personally am looking forward to having a decent season.  I weigh less than what I did last season (that’s always a good sign!) and despite not having picked up a bat in 6 months, am feeling in form ;-)

So from now on, Lime Kettles will take on a bit of a cricket wrap every Monday morning…

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Matthew David, 10lb's 1 oz

Yesterday morning my best mate Noyz and his wife Rachel (well Rachel did the hard bit) gave birth to their 2nd child, a bouncing baby boy “Matthew David”.  Weighing in at 10lbs, 1 oz he’s a bigg’un but from all reports, mum and baby are doing well.

So a shout out to little Matthew David and welcome to the world…  Now I know your Dad is not up with the latest technology Matthew, and I know that he has resisted to this very day in owning a mobile phone and berates me for writing this “silly blog”, so I thought it was apt that I announce your entry to the world here on Lime Kettles and give you a dedicated blog posting of your own.

You can thank me later when you’re old enough :-)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What a croc

OK, so Steve “Crocodile Hunter” Irwin is dead.  I am not going to speak ill of the dead, I didn’t like the guy particularly but I do acknowledge he seemingly could sell ice to Eskimos as he was able to secure such lucrative television and media deals on a global stage with a very rough and seemingly corny product.

What I am miffed about is the amount of press and also the words used to describe Steve Irwin.  I was watching A Current Affair last night and guest host Karl “2nd Best Ice Queen In Australia” Stefanovic describe Irwin as a “Hero”.  Just because a larrikin whose a sandwich short of a picnic can stick his hand / head / new born baby into a crocodiles mouth doesn’t mean he’s a hero.  Whilst I am not one to get too caught up in semantics when we describe sport stars as “sporting heroes” I am going to pull someone up if they call a TV “personality” (and I use that term loosely) as a “hero”.  The guy was highly successful at what he does and he was the walking advertisement for what too much cordial as a child can do to you in later life, but he wasn’t a hero.

Whilst it is a tragic death and a horrible way to go, it was perhaps very fitting and also a reminder that no matter how much you think you know about animals, when you enter their world, in particular the ocean, you are just another link in the food chain.

And on that note, let’s not make the Sting Ray the next big villain of the ocean.  They are not frenzied killers of the ocean and they should not be wrongly portrayed like the shark is.

Fathers Day

Had yesterday off work and was able to enjoy a belated Fathers Day at home with the girls.  After being away for work and then for the wedding, I hadn’t seen the girls since Tuesday night.  We decided before I left that we would keep Kate home from school and Niki arranged to have a day off minding our nephew Will which she normally does on Monday’s and Tuesday’s.

So yesterday morning I got woken up by the girls who came with a stack of presents and cards – all of which were home made.  It was special because the girls had gone shopping for presents and were able to choose what they wanted to buy me.  The gifts were very thoughtful and you could tell they had put some thought into them.

Firstly Brookie got me a nice shirt for summer, which I need, and one of those travel coffee cups – sort of like a mini thermos that you can sip coffee from.  She said I like coffee and travel on the trains a long way so she thought it would be a good idea.  On the side it has printed on it “Worlds Greatest Dad” which is cute as well.

Kate’s presents, in a bag she had made at school, were one of those new Gillette 3 Blade Razors with the battery operated vibrating motor.  She had seen the ad on tele and had noticed that my old Excel razor was stuffed so she pointed it out to Niki on the tele one day and was adamant that was what she was going to buy me.  She also got me a desk clock with an old style alarm that I can use as I tend to get the shits with digital alarm clocks and use my mobile instead.  Again, this had on it “Worlds Greatest Dad”.

Niki also gave me a very snazzy new pair of Board Shorts which will be handy for summer and there were so many cards and pictures and the girls made me feel really special.

The day itself was very relaxed.  We went down to Penrith Lakes and the girls rode their bikes whilst we walked the dog and we just enjoyed the day out in the sun.  I was able to go home and watch the Saints game on replay on Foxtel and then we bummed around the house until it was time to take the girls to dancing.

All in all a very good day and was well needed after the travels of last week.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Joe & Rosa's Wedding - Shepparton

OK, this is a quick post with heaps of pics for all of those who couldnt make the big wedding this weekend in Shepparton. Firstly, here is the gang the night before having an impromptu gathering in the hotel gardens as we couldnt get to the bar due to the local Year 12 formal going on inside... As you can see, some had been to the local Mexican restaurant for dinner where $5 margharita's were well sampled!

Fast forward to Saturday afternoon... Joe looks nervous whilst Nards stands by ready to hold him up should he keel over... but the big fella was feeling the heat of the stuffy church in the unseasonally warm weather.

This is my only shot of Rosa walking down the aisle... anyone know Photoshop well enough to get rid of Angelo's big head?? (Nice haircut too mate!). Rosa by the way looked fabulous!

Bad light, but as they say "You may kiss the bride!"

Outside, a quick pose for the hundreds of amateur photographers... Niki got this one off... And it was a beautiful day too...

Some of the boys... Dave, Wayne, Gools, Angelo, Terry, Siebs.

A nice photo of Niki and I.... this was at "The Manor" which was an old restored house next door to the reception place. They had pre-reception drinks there, beautiful place.

Mr & Mrs Puglisi make their entrance to the reception!

Enoch & Anitha with baby Rebekah hit the dance floor.

Glenn & Brooke (and congrats on Baby #5 on the way!)

Karen & Angelo...

Gools and his date for the evening... turns out, he ended up taking 2 of these "dates" with him...

More Newly Wed Dancing!

He finally drags himself away from his new bride to say g'day to his mates... in this case me looking rather under the weather... but I didnt have that much to drink! Honest!!

And last but not least, Rainer and Denise... they both look "under the weather!" Hehe...