Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Aww Bless. . .

Bless them . . . BenchWarmer, Oirsh and Arkenstone . . . my three fave geeks. I sent them a link to a very specific clothing, site only to have all of them confess that they either already have at least 3 shirts (and other geeky accessories from coffee mugs to cuff-links) from an equally geeky site or that they've simply gotta have one. Gotta lovem!

Top Gear

I know girls aren't supposed to like cars and boy toys like that but I just have to say that my favourite show on TV at the moment (maybe because of the crap summer programming) is a car show. Top Gear on SBS Monday night at 7.30pm. Humour, flash cars, celebrity racers, fantastic locations and the Stig. What more could a girl ask for. Now I can pretend my 14 year old Accord is in fact a Pagani Zonda . . . veroooooooooom!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Say What You Mean!

I've always been strong on the communication thing. If you can't make a date, are not feeling well, have something that needs to be discussed - then discuss it. Honesty is the best policy, bring it out into the open. But there's something about most men that distracts them from very basic levels of communication.

I have a friend who's coming to Sydney this week. Announces that he'd like to catch up and I get all excited, then nothing. The last quick MSN communctation was "I'll get back to you this afternoon . . " that was 4 days ago so what am I to make of this. He's changed his mind, he's not coming, he doesn't care enough to respond in the affirmative or the negative? No, I suspect he's simply distracted - something came up or it's just too hard to organise things.

Then there's Horrie, ClareBear's new interest. Feeling throaty and unwell on Tuesday and Wednesday and sends her a quick message saying he's not good and resting up before a big game in Tas on 29th. Fair enough. She goes to the Big Day Out on Thursday - messages that she misses him - nothing. She goes away for the weekend while he prepares for a major sporting event but is out of range so no communication over the long weekend - OK that can't be helped but by Sunday, she's back in Sydney and still nothing . . . is he dropping her unceremoniously through his lack of communication, this is very contrary to what he's telling her when they're together. Does the coach have a no phones on tour philosophy? or maybe he's just an uber focussed elite sportsman. Who knows . . . then finally, after messages and unanswered calls, he tell her he's sorry, he's been in hospital in Tassie and hasn't had the chance to let her know. Really? Even Shane Warne managed to msg everywoman and her dog during numerous Ashes tours.

The effect of this mucking around leads us of the female gender, wondering what the hell is going on? Are we high maintenance because we want to know detail or maintain contact? Are we demanding bitches because we think that replying to an email or message or phone call is the polite thing to do? I think not baby puppies.

I don't believe it's that these and numerous other guys don't care, I just think the power of distraction is huge and they have absolutely no idea the effect it has on those around them. Is it selfishness or lack of opportunity? Nup, simply a different operating system. They're hard wired to play games, remain mysterious, reject commitment of any kind - very unsatisfying chaps! If you can't follow through then shut up. Don't build expectations then just fizzle. We can put up with all sorts of silliness but not being direct, sending mixed messages and communicating poorly in the words of Winston Churchill "is something up with which we shall not put."

Incident Free

Well it was an incident free weekend. ClareBear went to Seal Rocks camping, Adam enjoyed a few days housesitting for BabySis and I was left largely to my own devices, plonking around in the garden (with thorn scratches to prove it) and playing with my dawg who's leg is healing OK just a bit of ligament soreness - thanks for asking. NaughtyNeph, despite instructions from his father did bring a bunch home at 4:30 in the morning after the Big Day Out but they didn't wake me so mum's the word. ClareBear heard them as she was leaving for the coast. He's wicked but lovable . . .and I didn't have to be the Aunty from Hell.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

This is the Week that Is

Now wouldn't you know it . . .BabySis, ThePlummer, MaddieMoo and NaughtyNeph have all gone up to Hawks Nest on the north Central Coast for a week's R & R. It all seemed so perfect, the kids could take turns house-sitting and feeding the dogs and horses, I could spend the whole week with myself (no washing, washing-up, tidying-up) and everyone could enjoy a few days of independence.

Not to be, DrummerBoy has broken his car . . and I mean broken it - the crank shaft has cranked and a new engine is required. All in the same week that we have to:

Take The Princess to the vet at 8.00am on Thursday for x-rays (or radiographs as they call them) then pick her up in the afternoon

Feed 2 horses, 2 dawgs every day and put the bins out at Babysis' place on Thursday too

Deal with Clare starting her first job and having to be in North Ryde by 8:30

Cope with one of the busiest week's at my work in a long time

Fit in with DrummerBoy's landscaping starts at 6:30 in the morning.

So far the car shuffle has worked OK with ClareBear dropping me off in the morning and DrummerBoy picking me up in the evening. Thankfully for the Big Day Out tomorrow I will have a car all day (whackadoo). The repair looks like it might take a couple of weeks . . . oh my poor little Honda . . .

Then, BabyBro and Stressany schlooped off to watch the Australian Open in Melbourne and have read the riot act to JimmyD - no gatherings, no friends, no nothing while they're away. There's a big celebration for their 25th Wedding Anniversary on the 3rd of Feb and the house has been duly refurbished, repainted, dry-cleaned and deodorised in preparation for the event. Cobblestones have been pressure hozed and eves slopped with reliable if not boring Mission Brown . . . even the pool room has had a ceiling paint and carpet clean - so even the sniff of a languishing hang-over or a bed-sharing tryst and he'll be toast. I've been nominated as the neighbour from Hell and asked to keep an eye on him until next Wednesday . . . just call me foo!

And to top it off, my lovely e-friend Arkenstone has a Saturday night free in Sydney on Feb 3 and I can't meet him . . . hopefully we'll find a window of opportunity to finally eyeball each other and celebrate 2 years of online friendship between an old fart and a young geek. I'm so looking forward to meeting him but at this stage and with my luck . . . who knows.

No News is . . . well . . . No News

Well, the blog has been ignored for some days . . . a symptom of the exhausting heat we had last weekend which saw me lob at my sister's place and languish watching Lemony Snikketts Series of Unfortunate Events because she has aircon . . .note to self . . .aircon is more important than dental care.

The blog has also been ignored due to a completely lacklustre week in terms of events apart from ClareBear achieving her first full time position as a qualified Graphic Designer with Australian Radio Network. She loves it, nice studio, great people and a prestigious account to boot. Mainly graphics for competitions and events which are uploaded to their many and varied websites but some printed stuff as well. Congrats darling . . you did good to survive UNSW.

Tomorrow ThePrincess goes back for her followup xray and I don't think the news is gonna be good. She's not putting weight on the leg after 10 weeks and should really be almost ready to let off the lead. All because of a 30 minute mad race around the verandah one morning when I was caught off-guard. I'm hoping it's the vet's fault for mis-measuring the pins in her metal joint and maybe one's come loose and he can fix it - for free of course. If not, it could be another month in the sin bin poor puppy . . . and it's providing me with the perfect excuse not to walk in the mornings . . .What? Take a walk without a dawg . . . it's just not done.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

It Skinks . . .

I don't understand why under my couch and the router at my PC are the favourite haunts of two 26cm Eastern Skinks. Whilst they're very pretty, shiny lizards - they're a little big for indoor living. I think they like to polish off the insect carcases around the bottom of the skirting board or sliding doors but if you see a little face poking out or a tail disappearing they can give you quite a shock! Not to mention the very characteristic skink scat which you don't wanna touch until it dries up . . . I'm sure they're not hygeinic and attempts to relocate them have been futile.

Every now and then I can hear Stressanny scream as if breathed upon by the breeding female in Alien . . and plead with DrummerBoy to remove the offending reptile via a Post Pack cylinder only to have it return within minutes. At least the Blue Tongue Lizard that I had in my shower had the courtesy not to return when relocated to a warm position under the pool coping.

This form of wildlife has made a happy home within the damp course of the brickwork,which of course is bone dry and so they venture inside for the cool and the bugs. I'd really prefer them to live under a rock! Indeed, nowhwere on the internet could I find a description of their habitat as carpeted North Western Sydney Loungerooms and home offices . . .I wish they could be house trained.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Camouflage this!

So, Serena Williams has been accused of deliberately wearing a fluoro green tennis outfit to decieve her opponent by making the ball difficult to see against the tunic . . .Serena’s one-piece dress glowed brightly in the floodlit Rod Laver Arena and Santangelo could only muster three games under the glare because she couldn't see the green tennis ball against 'the frocklet'.

The 2003 and 2005 champion was quick to defend her choice of costume. “A lot of people now are wearing a similar colour to this,” Serena said following the 6-2 6-1 win. “I wouldn’t worry if someone wore that colour against me. It wouldn’t affect me, and that’s the attitude I take.”

Pity it didn't camouflage her bum!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Get the Jump On 'em Jason

Some time ago, BabyBro and a group of Indy 500 watching mates, sat satiating their thirst on the Balcony of the Gods on Queensland's Gold Coast. Someone perhaps more inebriated than the rest suggested they go shares in a grehound and the die was cast. That was the day that Go BlackTeddy (nicknamed Jason by his trainer) was purchased, raised, blooded and duly raced. Now at three years of age and lots of TLC later he won his first TAB race in Newcastle. Go you good thing . . . The owners syndicate, now officially "The Balcony of the Gods" are backing their boy to earn a bit more for them this year now that he's got his TAB points.

I did have the opportunity to see him come third at a regional race, despite a torn thigh muscle but never thought he'd be much more than a short-term obession destined for the green dream or greyhound rescue to be rehabilitated for rehoming (as long as you don't have chickens, cats, rabbits or anything small that can't run too fast!). I did offer to take him in the event he 'broke down' again and couldn't be rehabilitated, what was I thinking? Anyway, for now, we can bask in his glory -

Go Black Teddy - we knew you could do it.


I entered the room, and with a knowing smile teased my full lips and sank into the comfort of a plush chair in the corner. The handsome stranger turned, having sensed my approach. Locking his steely gray eyes on mine, he moved slowly toward me, his experienced gaze measuring me, hypnotizing me with his soft murmurs of assurance. He sank to his knees before me and without a word, smoothly released me from my constraining attire. With a sigh of surrender, I allowed his foreign hands to unleash bare flesh. He expertly guided his hands through this tender, often hidden territory, his movements deliberate, confident in his ability to satisfy her every need. My senses swam. I was overcome with an aching desire that had gone unfulfilled for so long. And, just as it seemed that ecstasy was within my grasp, he paused, and for one heart-stopping moment, I thought, "It's too big! - it will never fit!" Then, with a sudden rush, it slid into place as if it had been made only for me. As pleasure and contentment washed over me, I met his steady gaze, tears of gratitude shining in my eyes. And he knew wouldn't be long before I returned. Oh, yes, I want more. I will have to do it again and again and again.

Don't you just love shopping for shoes!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Mr Fix It

DrummerBoy was never one of those toddlers that put toast in the video or screwdrivers in the power points. I never had a lockable baby gate, playpen or those childproof lock things on cupboard doors (You know the ones that adult's can't open but 3 year olds seem to have no problem with). So why, why, why . . .at 20 years of age does he now feel the need . . . no the overwhelming urge . . . to save me money by taking broken things apart and/or fix them then really botching the whole thing up.

In an effort to save me repair money and the service of my beloved blower, he has repaired a broken choke with a bit of Knead-It and cleaned the air filter. This in his eyes is a clever repair that sees the blower good as new . . NOT.

Then in an effort to repair a stuck five-stacker CD drive on my stereo he has demolished the entire unit and under sufference and loud objections finally put it back together so that the drawer doesn't close.

Even the rather weak epoxy in ClareBear's craft glue gun has been put to use in an attempt to hang a louvred door in the Bar - fell off within a week . . . still off 4 months later . . .

Lord save me from Mr FixIt . . . There's a reason why people make a career out of electronics, building and motor repairs . . . they know what they're bloody doing!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Selubrious Suburb

Blue Ribbon Liberal Castle Hill in Sydney's selubrious (I like that word this week) Northwestern Suburbs: soon to boast one of the largest Shopping Centres in the Southern Hemisphere, already the largest Chinese and Korean community in NSW and by leaps and bounds the humungousest Pentacostal Christian community in the state now celebrates another BIG event - $540 million worth of liquid ecstacy (I thought that was a lot of champagne until someone explained what it really was) found in a unit not far from our favourite hobby and bike shop. What is our leafy suburb coming to . . .there's little hope for a left wing, greeny, athiest animal lover like me . . .

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

What Price a Degree

Well ClareBear has finished and passed (hooray!) her arduous and pretentious Bachelor of Graphic Design at the University of NSW College of Fine Arts - arguably one of the best in the country. She's got over a year's epxerience doing templates for an ebay company and six months working with a sculptor turning his ideas into something practical. So where does a credit average at such a selubrious institution get you . . . not very far it seems. She's just beginning the job hunting trail but everyone wants 2-3 years experience or to pay less than she can earn at her part time job in Target! Where's the justice.

C'mon you employers . . . I've got Administration Assistants and a Receptionist earning more than a first year graduate Designer - no degree, straight from school . . . ! I know some of these kids' expectations are simply out of this world and that they expect the heavyweight agency salaries straight away but at least give them a go on the same salary as any other entry level grad. At least the job search means she's honing her CV and folio and getting plenty of practice at applications and interviews . . . spewin!

Chocolate Aint Good For Dogs

Definitely a theme emerging today. Banal Baino was Googling at lunchtime . . . trying to ascertain how much of her chocolate money actually goes to preventing Multiple Sclerosis when I came upon a site on food toxicity for dawgs. You know how precious my Lilly Pilly Princess is to me so I took heed:

Chocolate: aint good for dawgs because it contains theobromine, a compound that is a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic. Which will make your dog wet the floor while it has a heart attack.

Onions: contain the toxic ingredient thiosulphate and cause gastroentiritis and vomiting at toxic levels which can happen some time after the onioins have been ingested. Hence Pizza is OUT for dogs. Unfortunately, this can happen some time after ingestion . . . sheeet yeah

Macadamia nuts: (as if you're gonna give your chocolate coated macas to the flamin' dawg). The toxic compound is unknown but the affect of macadamia nuts is to cause locomotory difficulties. Dogs develop a tremor and weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters. (bit like me late in the evening actually . . . )

And that's not all folks all these can cause doggy downness:

  • Pear pips, the kernels of plums, peaches and apricots, apple core pips (contain cyanogenic glycosides resulting in cyanide posioning)
  • Potato peelings and green looking potatoes
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Mouldy/spoiled foods
  • Alcohol
  • Yeast dough
  • Coffee grounds, beans & tea (caffeine)
  • Hops (used in home brewing)
  • Tomato leaves & stems (green parts)
  • Broccoli (in large amounts)
  • Raisins and grapes
  • Cigarettes, tobacco, cigars

Tell that to a labarador!

Chocolate for Charity

I did make a couple of New Year Resolutions besides the one to actually enjoy New Year 2008. In past years, actually about the past 19 years, I've resolved to get thin, get laid and give up smoking . . . none of which have actually come to pass to my satisfaction so this year I went for something different . . .to walk the dog every day (my idea of exercise beyond walking to the fridge or making the bed) . . . make vegetables and seafood my friends (not difficult given the price of meat in Oz at the moment), not to drink alcoholic bevvies mid-week and then maybe slowly move on to drinking only when I go out. This last one is indeed an economic measure. I calculated that I'm probably spending about $600 a month on cigarettes and booze. Your average pack costs about $11 and a passable bubbly about $12 - 15 per bottle . . . . . no wonder I'm redrawing on the mortgage. So . . . in the interest of keeping the peace with my co-mortgagee BabyBro, Plan B has been activated.

Only one small problem in the indulgence stakes - . . . how do I deal with the charity chocolates on the reception desk. Little scrumptious mini-Snickers and Milo bars, not to mention the almost healthy sounding Summer and Nougat Rolls but my faves . . . Tim Tams . . .aw gawd . . . I love one with my coffee! Over the past year, I've dutifully whacked in my $10 a week to raise funds for MS without taking my full quota of chocolate but in 2007 . . . I'm sorry but there will be no chocolate . . . just charity . . . As one of my colleagues pointed out, I can still put the kish into the jar without eating the chocolate . . . Ahh such is life. I'll be good until Easter.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

What's All the Fuss About

New Year's Eve . . I never really got it other than another excuse for a pissup so close to Christmas, I'm still nursing my hangover from Christmas Day. I guess in the past I've had my share of shindigs but over the last couple of years it's been a quiet night, usually with Thommo or BabyBro.

Seriously tho, it's not a night I really care too much about. If there's an invitation to party, I'm up for it but if not, I'm quite happy with my own company, a bottle of Moet and a seafood platter for one. This year was no exception. It wasn't the lack of festivity that really got up my nose, it was the total lack of invitations! I could have gone to the Engineer's but that's miles away and would have meant staying sober or sleeping in the car . . . the Merry Widow did invite me over but with just the two of us, it didn't seem like the most cheery option and I like to end the night in my own bed these days. And that was it! Thommo went to a formal dinner with friends, Stressany was pissed by 7:30 and so stayed home with BabyBro and had an early night, ClareBear went over to Manly with mates and DrummerBoy danced the night away at the Art House so it was me and me dawg . . . Moules Bon Helene and fireworks on TV. This year's resolution . . . get invited to more than two New Years Eve events next year!

Old Boiler's Road Trip

So, what do two old boilers do with a free day during the Christmas Break - go on a road trip of course. However, these days, it's no freewheel up to Byron, not even an overnighter at Toukley nup, just a day trip to Norah Head and beyond. Thommo had to drop her daughter at the boyfriend's holiday camp at Camp Breakaway - 52 Maori's camping out - more tattoos than Chopper Reed at that place. So once dropped - the gals take the scenic route home, check out the lighthouse, bypass the Entrance and do what most civilised road trippers do . . . have lunch by the sea at Terrigal. Very nice Seafood plate, a Macadamia and white chocolate cookie and a couple of chardy's later and we take the short haul home. All in all a very noice day and back for bedtime. We also showed great restraint by not dropping into a single shop other than the Glenorie organic fruit stall - nice strawbs!

I'm Back

Back after a dingle with a router which has seen us offline for over a week. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to you all. Christmas at the Baino's was tops. This year we broke with tradition and held our Christmas on Christmas Day rather than Christmas Eve. With no boyfriends, girlfs or inlaws to visit on Christmas Day it seemed the sensible option and allowed BabyBro to play golf and party hard.

The theme - Kitch - complete with tacky T shirts, silly hats and bouncing santa's . . . Babysis came up with the goods and provided Red Aprons for Santa's Little Helpers and an adequate amount of Santa Snow so that we could stencil the sliding doors in the pool room with equally tacky Christmas motifs.

The whole family was in attendance including Bec from Melbourne and the musical Freddie. Day started with Daquiris and gifts, progressed to a feast of baked ham, salads and the chocolate fountain with fruit and marshmallows - by the end of the night the table looked like a blood spattered murder scene thanks to LittleNeph who flicked chocolate from here to kingdom come with a skewer in an attempt to finish every drop.

Much champagne and hilarity followed by the gift of the day, an electric buzzer game. Hold the handle, press the button when the light goes green or you get a shock. Kept the lads amused for hours - well into the wee hours actually, I had to tell them to go to bed at about 2am.

The most explosive finish to the evening was when I removed a bottle of champers from the glass tabletop of one of our outdoor settings and the whole thing smashed to smitherines. No pressure, no drop, just simply collapsed with bouncy Santa dancing amongst the shards of glass and spilled red wine! Bummer . . fortunately there were witnesses - it wasn't me honest.

Check out the pics