Thursday, January 31, 2008



I succumbed to the nerd pressure and signed up on Facebook.  I don’t quite see what the fuss is about other than I spent most of the time searching for people who I have lost contact with old school and uni friends and ex-work colleagues.

Last night I found the profile of an old uni mate I haven’t seen in about 12 years and I sent him a hello through the Facebook site.

I get to work this morning and am crossing the road and I hear this Gday Clay! and sure enough it’s the same guy I found on Facebook last night talk about freaking spooky!  We were both in a rush, exchanged business cards and I said that I had sent him a message via his Facebook page and he said he hadn’t checked it.

Very freaky.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I have found my calling....

I have found my religion!


I am now enlightened and wish to go down the path as a "Pastafarian"

Join me!

Health System Issues

Niki’s mum has taken a turn for the worse recently when on Friday she was in a large amount of pain. She was stuck in bed with severe nerve pain running through her back and legs. When I left to go to CanCon on Friday Niki was heading over to look after her and see what could be done.

Whilst I was whooping it up in Canberra though Niki had a really shit time of it as her Mum was a) bed ridden due to pain and b) was vomiting a lot because of the severity of the pain. I find that hard to imagine, that you can be physically ill, but she was. This culminated to a trip to the hospital on Saturday night. At the hospital, it was the typical mad house and when a doctor finally saw her, she was given Morphine (enough to last until Tuesday) and asked to come back at that time “when the Doctors would be back from the long weekend”. WTF?

So at 2am she returns home hocked to the eyeballs on Morphine which stops the pain but increases the nausea.

Then on Sunday night / Monday morning, the Morphine – which was supposed to last until Tuesday – runs out. Niki gets more over the counter from the local chemist despite the lack of a script and they’re forced to hire a wheel chair to get her around the house. She cant walk but obviously has to do things like go to the bathroom and shower etc.

So Tuesday arrives and they head back to the Hospital yesterday morning. The doctor gives her a different medicine to ease her pain and suspects a ruptured disc in her back. His advice – “go and have a CAT scan and an X-Ray and come back NEXT TUESDAY”. Again… WTF??

Niki and her Dad wheel her (in our own wheel chair) to the place to have the tests and guess what… BOTH the X-Ray and CAT scan machines are “Out of Order” and they cant do the tests.

This culminates in Niki taking her mum back home until some time in the future when they can have the tests and the Doctor can be fucked to actually do something pro-active.

All this time, Niki has been living at her mum & dads and the kids have been at friends or other relatives houses – they’ve been fine but they too have slept at their Nanny & Poppy’s house over the weekend. But given that this temporary arrangement cant go on, Niki’s mum has moved in with us until she can get fixed / seen to or something. So I am sleeping in Kate’s bed, Kate is on her sister Brookes floor and Niki is staying with her mum in our room. Last night she had a good rest but the medicine has effectively turned her into a sleeping zombie – which is good for her if the pain is still there behind the medicine.

But the question has to be asked: At what point does a hospital admit a women aged 75 years with a suspected ruptured disc? Why cant she be admitted and cared for by professional nurses rather than being shipped around and turned away or dealt with incompetently by a Health System that has clearly gone to the dogs? My parents in law have Private Health Insurance and have been members of their fund all their adult lives.

Clearly, something is going very wrong and I am sure our issue this past weekend – and presumably for the next week at least – is not an isolated case.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

CanCon - Custom Pitches

CanCon - Custom Pitches

One of the truly amazing things about playing a game like Blood Bowl is that many players enjoy the modelling and customisation of their teams just as much as the playing of the game itself.  Over the years, two guys in my opinion have stood head and shoulders above the rest.  Two friends, Gavan and Rod who live in Canberra each year build upon their custom boards and this year they dead-heated in the voting for Best Custom Board and I unfortunately had to cast my casting vote which I gave to Gavan.

Both pitches have been converted into mini-stadiums and the detail in the modelling along the sidelines is really impressive.  I gave my casting vote to Gavan because he has used a PSP with a mounted webcam to create a large plasma screen for the crowd!

Check out the pitches here.

Gavan’s Crystal Vision Stadium

Rod’s Orca-Cola Stadium

Monday, January 28, 2008

CanCon 2008

Well, I am home from Canberra after running and playing in the Australian Blood Bowl Nationals.

I finished with 4 wins and 3 losses to come some where around 18th - 20th but we did get a record 50 coaches!

Saving me posting pics, here is a link to the CanCon 2008 gallery.

Am very tired, as the running around doing the organising, the playing itself, and the late nights with a few beers (hic!) has taken its toll!

But I was very happy with the whole weekend! Looking forward to next year already! :)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Speaking of Dilbert...

Scott Adams has this little post today that with the death of Heath Ledger makes interesting reading and opens up a nice conspiracy theory.

I do like one comment in this post too:

"Let's send Britney to Darfur and trick the press into reporting on the real world by accident."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Look Over There --->

As a fan of Dilbert and a reader of Scott Adam's blog, I was happy to see he had put up on his site for use a "Dilbert Widget" in which there's a new comic strip everyday of the week... sweet! Enjoy the free daily Dilbert people.

Dead Pool Curse...

Was listening to the radio the other night (well a podcast of the radio) and they were talking about the notion of “The Dead Pool”.

This is where a group of friends would list 20 celebrities of any type and the one who has the most people on their list to die in that calendar year wins the pool of cash.

The guy on the radio was already gloating how he was “up” as he had Ike Turner!

So, this morning… who had Heath Ledger???

What a turn up for the books is that. Yes, its all a bit sketchy at the moment, but you have to be certain it was drug related and the question needs to be answered was it suicide or accidental overdose? Its very sad, but again and again these people get caught with their fame and fortune and wind up dead from so much drugs because they have such a large disposable income.

The thing about Heath Ledger is that I am a bit surprised and shocked. He wasn’t a known drug user, he wasn’t a “bad boy” so to speak… he seemed like a fairly young clean cut guy who was able to hang out with some very attractive girls… in short, a young rich guy enjoy his fortune! But drugs? We all know about Aussies with troubles – Keith Urban’s alcohol rehab was news for weeks (and alcoholism is hardly uncommon) so I am starting to think that Heath Ledger may have committed suicide. If he was a druggie, we’d have known about it…

Which brings me to the other gripe I have regularly – the press’s fascination with Amy Winehouse. The day Ledger dies, she is all over the news videoed smoking crack cocaine at 5am before she went to her husbands court hearing. Give this skank a wide berth please! I still haven’t heard her sing… and yet she’s supposed to be famous, yet all she is is a deadshit loser with a death wish.

Wish she was on my Dead Pool…

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bloggidy Blog

I seem to have attracted a bit of attention from my blog post of yesterday from my family I do come across as a bit down, but hey you can’t be a happy extrovert every day of the year!!

Nevertheless, whilst things are a bit tense on the work front, its not the end of the world and we move onward and upward

With lots on the work plate and the weekend ahead, I am a bit rushed in regards to digesting the recent news but it appears that the stock market has plummeted like a stone.  I am not a share market player, but I do have Super so it has wiped a bit of that but hey, I won’t be retiring soon so what the hell!! hehe

But when reading this today, you have to wonder if any of us will get to retirement!  In these troubled socio and economic times, when the world is being divided by the haves and the have nots and when the worlds major religions seem to be seeking to obliterate their rivals rather than to nurture the faithful they have, the Western military think tanks that resorting to pre-emptive nuclear strikes is the way to go”…

Way to go?  Way to go to hell

Monday, January 21, 2008

Job Stress

I alluded to a possible sale of my company last week and on Friday afternoon this transpired with approximately 50% of the company being sold off to a competitor.

I am more than likely to remain with the remaining business as opposed to going across to the new company but it does bring a whole degree of uncertainty to my place in the working world at the moment.

Readers of Lime Kettles would have read that I enthusiastically changed jobs last August for a bigger and better role and whilst that is the case, it has been relatively short lived!

My role isn’t under threat exactly, but it is hardly a morale boosting issue and I must admit that I have been thinking as to whether the move was in the long term the best idea.  People tell me it is because I have gained new experience and increased by pay packet, but I would really hate to be unemployed again (I was between jobs for 3 months in 2001/02 and it was the worst thing I have ever experienced!).  You tell yourself that youre quietly confident of getting a new job (and the job market is great at the moment) but there is always the dark spectre in the back of your mind how are you going to pay the bills etc etc

Yes, you get a payout (if it happens) but its never enough for both the payment of bills and the angst and stress it puts you under.

Still, we go on work today as been pseudo productive I have things to do, been busy, the remaining business just won a new contract but still, theres a lot of water cooler talk as well.

Will keep you posted sorry for being a bit of an Agony Aunt today :-)  Look at the pretty pictures below. Hehe.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

CanCon Team Complete - Nurglatosis

CanCon is soon upon me and I have been busy painting up my team for this years event...

It's a Nurgle team and I am fairly happy with the result... now I just need to win some games next weekend!

Beast Of Nurgle: Huge tentacled creature that puts the fear into the opponents and looks to devour opposing players to create more "rotters"

Nurgle Warriors: The big guys up front holding the line and pushing the opponent players back...

Pestigors: The ball carriers and ball hunters who look to win the game...

Rotters: These are the corpses of past victims who are infected with "Nurgles Rot" and are used as fodder for the opposition team to beat on... basically bags of gizzards on legs :)

And a happy team snap:

Thursday, January 17, 2008

2007 Freeware Listing

Regular tech site I read "LifeHacker" has a list of all their top Freeware Applications for all sorts of things.

Check it out, you may find something useful :)


Get back to work slackers!

How ridiculous is this?!

Can you imagine having to come into work and have your heart rate monitored? What happens if youaccidentally look at p0rn on the internet?

Red Alarms and Sirens?!

This stuff is scary because I bet in 100 years, it will be considered normal and Big Brother will be real

The Knee Bone's Connected To The Leg Bone

Saw the doctor this morning due to my paining left knee

He had a bend and a flex and made my eyes water when he deliberately hit the sore spot and said that although hell send me for an MRI that I undoubtedly have a torn cartilage and that it will need to be corrected by an arthroscopic procedure

He also said however my right knee which isn’t sore is actually worse because the cartilage has worn through and I have a bit of bone on bone rubbing behind the knee cap. I am not sure what he wants to do about that, he has only ordered an MRI on the left knee but he spent most of the time talking about the issue in the right knee.

Glad to be getting things looked at and fixed, but I am not looking forward to the actual operation and the post-op physio.

Also, his consultation - $150, the MRI - $500+ his follow-up visit after MRI - $80. The surgery itself?  No idea

I have Private Health insurance, so hopefully I will get most of that back but I doubt it!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mood: Impatient

Mood: Impatient

Everything seems in a blur at the moment… my company is selling off half the business to a competitor and hence us corporate types are wondering which half we will fall into after the sale or whether some of us will fall through the cracks… its an uneasy time at the moment, but I am not too fussed about it but it’s a hard subject to avoid around the water cooler so to speak…

On top of this, I am seemingly endlessly busy!  Last night I had to take apart our old Queen sized bed in anticipation of my new King size ensemble arriving today.  Niki has told me its here… in three large separate boxes!  I presume I will be reacquainting myself with the trusty Allen Keys and screw drivers again tonight if I want to get any sleep!

The Cricket Test match I am also seeming anxious to see start… I don’t know why, I love cricket, but the fact that the match is in Perth and it will be some 3 hours or so before the toss, I am for some odd reason on tenterhooks this morning… I think its because I want to see Shaun Tait ram a bloody great big thunderbolt up the Indian batsmen!  I have never been so fired up and I blame the rubbish that has been embroiling world cricket this week and the shoddy, in my opinion, treatment that the Australian team has put up with in the press namely from Messrs Greig, Gavaskar and Roebuck.  (sounds like a law firm!)

In addition, the Aust Day long weekend approaches and I am aware that I have A LOT to do before I head to Canberra that weekend to run the Australian Blood Bowl Nationals.  From giving it a go three years ago, I am now running the damn thing!  The prizes have arrived, they need to be bagged and labelled, the trophies are done, the registrations currently stand at a healthy 32 participants and my own team is nearly complete (2 last miniatures to touch up, and then bases need to be done).  I need to organise a laptop, a printer and paper etc as well…

On top of all this, my knee is getting worse.  Finally got to see an Orthopaedic surgeon yesterday… unfortunately the booking was messed up and when I showed, they had to bump me to tomorrow morning… so again, I feel impatient.

Which is my whole life at the moment… waiting for things to happen!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rudd Funds "Extremist Cult"...

Whilst everyone who regularly reads this will know, I was very against the Howard Government and strongly supported the Labor campaign for change. The basis of this wasnt really on the fundamentals of what a Labor govt would do as opposed to a Liberal one, but the driver was that I felt that the Liberal govt who had been in power for so many years had long ago ceased to be a government for the people and became a self driven machine that resulted in many instances of a lack of transparency. In short, they became self serving and not public serving.

Rudd campaigned about integrity and open and transparent government.

Now this:

In September 2006, a young Labor opposition front bencher named Kevin Rudd challenged the Howard Government on their support and funding of the religious cult / sect "The Brethran". At the time, it was highlighted by the Four Corners program that the Brethren received not only special funding but also critical excemptions from the Liberal Work Choices legislation. Many commentators / bloggers questioned whether the Prime Minister Howard was actually a member of the Brethren given his apparent generous and imbalanced support...

Fast forward to today and now the PM title sits with that very same frontbencher Mr Kevin Rudd. He now is reviewing the funding of Education at a Federal level and in the past week or so the media has picked up on the imbalances within the Liberal's scheme favouring Private education over Public. This shouldnt be a surprise as the Liberal cornerstone is privatisation and free market economic theory as opposed to state based schemes.

But why then has Rudd promised a whopping $10M of government funding for the Exclusive Brethren schools? Kevin Rudd has not hidden his Christianity at all during the election campaign and it wasnt an issue during the campaign as both candidates seemed equal in regards to their personal beliefs and outlooks in life. Whilst I am not of those same beliefs I feel that as long as a person does not use their political power to promote personal beliefs (i.e. Tony Abbott and Abortion / Birth Control legislation!) then a member of parliament can be of any faith whatsoever... seperation of Church and State if you like.

But now that he's in... he has done the opposite to a) his comments on the Exclusive Brethren b) his notion of fair funding for all school systems and c) has perhaps been influenced by his personal beliefs against the principals of the Labor Party and his very recent election campaign.

Views people?

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Working Year Commences!

Greetings from the desk of Clay!

I have returned this morning, one week after most other people and have gotten through the first couple of hours with some light catchup of emails / mail, some chats to colleagues about holidays and the cricket (India are being girly idiots is the concensus) and a long chat to my boss about his break (lack of it) and the issues that have continued to bubble along during the holiday period...

So, its almost Coffee Time and I thought I would let you all know that I am back here and ready to tackle the inane issues for the year ahead.

In passing reference, I have been continuing to read the papers during the holidays and would have liked to have commented on the Bhutto Assasination, the Indian Test Cricket shenaningans, the early days of the Rudd Gov't and the ongoing US Presidential Campaign, but really I dont think I should begin by going over old ground.

So I will look forward now and focus on the events in the world coming rather than wasting time going over old ground... besides it has been a slow news month anyways!

Also, this is the 5th year of Lime Kettles and its previous incarnations! How time flies!!

(For the record, my train ride was on time, smooth and uneventful...)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I'm Back! Holidays Were Great!!

Hello all! Am back from Bateau Bay on the NSW Central Coast and am happy to inform you all that we're tanned, relaxed and happy!

The week was perfect weather wise with no rain except a passing shower on our first day and to sum up, the daily itinerary went like this:

Morning: Wake up, walk to cafe, buy coffee and newspaper. Read said paper for an hour or so. Kids went to the morning craft session run by the kids club until about 11:30am. Kids then rode bikes with the other park kids. Lunch of sandwiches or hot chips.

Afternoon: Pool... swimming heaps until about 3pm, then down to beach for low tide for an hour or 2 and then back to pool for say another hour.

Evening: Usually the resort had some sort of event on for the kids - Karaoke, Disco, Movie Night etc. BBQ dinner or Niki would cook a nice meal and we'd go to the event and have fun. After that, kids were usually zonked and went to sleep easily while we had a drink or three on the verandah.

Thats it! 7 days of that! No driving, no hassles, no time pressures to be somewhere... I did get the odd work call, but I palmed most of that off to this week when I go back...

The girls get their first taste of the surf. This is the first time Brooke has been out past her ankles!
Wrestling in the pool... a daily event!

Rock climbing... looking for crabs!
Seaweed Girl!


Niki and the girls before we headed out to the pool / beach!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Off Up The Coast

We're off tomorrow to the NSW Central Coast for a week of pool... beach... pool... beach...

Niki is busy packing as we speak... the new bike rack is fixed to the car... we'll be setting off tomorrow morning for some R&R and fun times.

What this means is though I will have no internet, no blog, no email, no gaming... which is probably why I am online now getting a last minute fix :-)

See you all (figuratively at least) in a week!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

A short note to say Happy New Year to all of you!

I hope your evening last night was fun, enjoyable and safe.

For ourselves we had a great NYE as we spent the afternoon at the Adventure Palace with Tommy and his family and a huge crowd of people.  Many thanks to them for their hospitality as the girls made new friends, had a huge swim in the pool and snacked away to their hearts content whilst Niki and I relaxed and chatted with people.

Then in an amazingly quick drive of less than an hour we travelled from Tommy's at Earlwood to a place called Belimbla Park on the other side of The Oaks and had dinner and took in the fireworks with friends at Dave & Michelle's place.  We went from Earlwood where you can hear the airport to rural / country Belimbla Park very easily and with no hassle whatsoever.  Dave & Michelle's place is on a nice acreage and their neighbour had a horse which the girls loved as well.

Kate stayed up until midnight but the rest of the kids slept in fits and starts on the lounge room floor after the 9pm fireworks and we got home at about 2am after Niki drove me home... hic.

I in turn have woken up today at 12:30 this afternoon... the first time I have slept in for so long since I was probably a 19 year old uni student!