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The Family Bandwagon

Our family is spread out across the country and across the world, and what better way to keep in touch than a collaborative digital journal?

Saturday, 31 December 2005

AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!

Monday, 26 December 2005

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Wednesday, 21 December 2005

Those pictures from Mum

Reading the Blogger help pages and found that uploading images by email doesn't work as it turns out. So instead, here are the pics:




Monday, 19 December 2005

Will I be 100?

Great to hear from Glenn this morning.
Carolynn's party did go well despite the weather. Who'd have guessed a cold windy Saturday? Jared had his sleepover with Nana and Poppy afterwards, so we made biscuits, played pool, had a spa and watched Godzilla. Sunday morning we went to the market. we were to meet Lisa there but it was too cold to take Trin out so we took Jared home after our shopping.
I can't believe how fast Christmas is coming Today I'll wrap presents then go shopping for whatever else I need.
I did have a lucky experience last week. I went shopping and the prices were all wrong. I'd picked up on a couple but missed heaps. When I checked the docket at home and found how many were wrong(all the specials) I emailed IGA to point out the problem. The acting manager came around, apologised ,refunded $25 (i thought I'd been overcharged $4.50) and gave me a $50 voucher, so I'll be shopping on them this week.
I really did only decide to write this when I saw we were up to 99.
Hope you're having fun in Melbourne Dayna and we're looking forward to seeing you and Damien and Cheryl on Wednesday.Take care all who travel. Love to all

Sunday, 18 December 2005

Hello from Glenn

So I don't think I've quite established the work-life balance yet.

These last couple of weeks have been extremely hectic for me, and I've rarely had time to read the Bandwagon let alone contribute to it. It's really good to read what people are doing however -- parties, renovation, Harry Potter and the quantum Dayna Inversion experiment -- and it was also good to video conference with people. (Actually, we've only really seen Dee's brother Chris. You guys will have to get web cameras! It would be nice to see people for Christmas. Lisa, maybe Mum and Dad and Nanna could come over to your place?)

Anyway, work is going well and I'm enjoying it, but as I say there has been very little time for anything else for the last couple of weeks. If it wasn't gongfu, it was Christmas parties! Storytime.

I went to the Microsoft Christmas party last Tuesday. Microsoft. Me. You wouldn't think it would work, that I'd be rambling and ranting about how good Linux is and how bad Microsoft is, but it turned out okay. Well, I say okay, but I really mean I got drunk on Bill Gates tab with a Scotsman, an Indian and an Irish lass and then barely made it into work the next day. Who has a Christmas party on a Tuesday??

(It's all the makings of a joke I think -- an Aussie, a Scot, an Indian and an Irish(wo)man walk into a bar. Anyone know a punchline?)

Luckily for me the Irish lass is our manager -- the Indian started late, the Scotsman really late (i.e. afternoon), and although I was physically there by 9am I wasn't mentally there for much of the day. I will never drink again.

It started because the Scotsman was talking about possibly moving to Australia for a while. I was drinking a lager, which are obviously pretty easy on the way down so I tend to drink it quickly. Something about Aussie heat and the perils of warm beer and all that. So I drank that first drink, and someone commented upon my rate of consumption and foolishly I said, "That's how we drink them in Australia. You better get used to it if you're going to move there."

Ooh I'm a cheeky sod.

The Scotsman could not be outdone of course, and immediately started getting Scotch, neat, for the two of us. Mea culpa! It is strong! I just wanted a few beers, then to slip out quietly, but the whiskey hit me all of a sudden and I was drunker than a French politician in no time. The situation was made worse by the Aussie bartender who, upon hearing who and what the drinks were for, starting pouring from the 12-yro bottle underneath the bar. Evil, I say.

So, although we didn't pay for a drink all night, we all certainly paid for it the next day.

Other than that last dance with intoxication I've been trying to look after myself. Kungfu is going well, and I should make the grading early next year. I've order the outfit (I don't know what you call it, since "gi" is a Japanese word) and I've learned half of the Four Winds form. My stamina for horse-stance probably still needs practise! I may join the gym before the end of the year so I can swim in the pool and use the weights.

We are slowly getting on our feet I think. It's just taking a long time! I can't believe we've been here for nearly 6 months now.

Of course I'm missing you all! :-) Lets get the video conference stuff going!

PS: I can kind of see why Crazy Lady mistook Damien for Harry Potter ...

Me, Harry Potter and some crazy woman at Foodland

I just thought I'd share an amusing story with you all. Cheryl and I were grocery shopping in Foodland just near our house, when I heard a woman say "Hi Harry Potter". I looked up and saw this lady staring back at me smiling.

I figured it was some weird joke I didn't understand. However, when she next crossed our path she said (quietly, without making eye contact) "Now I'm sure it's you. I'm really glad I was able to meet you. My name is [insert crazy lady's name]. Be good" and she was off. And I just thought "huh??".

Finally, she walked past us again and said "Thanks Harry". Again, quietly without eye contact. Maybe she was trying to help me stay incognito.

I don't know what's weirder. That she thought I looked anything like Daniel Radcliffe (who's what, 8 years younger than me? Nine?), or that she thought Daniel Radcliffe, at Kangaroo Island shooting a film, would be grocery shopping in Foodland Frewville. Maybe she thought Cheryl was Cho Chang :)

Still, while I have the amusing story to tell about the crazy woman, she gets to go home and talk about how she saw Harry Potter at the supermarket!

Just in case you think I do kinda look like him, here's a photo for comparison.

Saturday, 17 December 2005

photos...






hopefully this gives you an idea of the kids costumes, and the weather...Monique always wears shorts, you can see her in the blue jacket in the photo above. and Carolynn is wearing a jacket over the nice dress she has on.

Cold weather and Birthday Parties

Yes, we had Carolynn's birthday party at the park, and it was cold and rainy...what happened to summer anyway?? But the kids had fun. Carolynn was the only one who stayed in costume, she had a cartoon character theme. She was Sailor Moon as the Moon Princess, I hemmed up my deb dress for her to wear. Jared was Bender, but the costume was too hard for him to be himself in :)
Rhonda only remembered it was a costume party before they left, but Jamie came as Darth Vader, I think because it was his birthday too, and he got a "life saver" from his parents. Rhonda said they cut holes in a sheet and Jacob was going to be Casper, but he left it at home :)
Monique came as "evil hula girl", Rechelle was Lizzie McQuire (? spelling?) and Emma came as Emma :)
So it was a small party, Adam cooked a BBQ, mum and dad came, and we'd asked Rhonda and Ian as well...(Jacob and Jamie's mum and dad btw) The kids went on a treasure hunt, tried passing cheezels on straws, played "lap stack" (a yes and no game), and tried to get inflated balloons to deflate and go into a tub. Jared and Jamie played in the rain. When the wind stopped it was almost warm...and the sun did come out occasionally...such strange weather!

Friday, 16 December 2005

phone problems

Our phone wasn't working on Thursday. Dad reported it to Telstra and it came back after the power was out on Thursday evening. There's lots of work going on up the street so maybe that was where the problem was. I tried to send emails on Wednesday evening including the Dad Santa photos,but they wouldn't go. Your birthday money is now on the way Danielle and Christmas as well. If the email sorts out you'll get our email explaining it. Hope you had a good trip to Melbourne Dayna. I was thinking about you when it became stormy here. I still have a little Christmas shopping to do. Looking forward to Carolynn's birthday on Saturday. Jared is coming for a sleepover here afterwards, so Carolynn will have a friend stay there.Damien and Cheryl,I hope you have a good trip on Wednesday and it's not too hot. Thank you for your card.
Lots of love to all

Saturday, 10 December 2005

Birthday wishes

and PS thank you so much for the birthday wishes it was great!! I felt very loved!!
Love dee xoxoxoxo

Birthday Hangover

Heya Guys
It was my birthday on the 7th which was a Wednesday here! And I was dreading it! I was waiting desperatly for a result on an interview which I have yet to hear about with the potential for 2 interviews! one on the phone and one in person! Well the worst happened! I didnt hear about the interview so I had to attend the two on the day! the first one was a phone interview, I had set aside an hour for it, it was at 2pm and I had another at 4pm. The interview consisted of 2 independent phone calls that went for 1.5 hours! By 2 people! so far for this particular employee I have had 3 technical interviews and 2 HR based interviews! sheesh whats the go! and to make matters worse the taxi was late and the cab company thought I said "place" instead of "street" which means it didnt turn up! so after a complete screw up, I had rang the company for the second interview, they were happy to see me at 4:30pm instead and I had cleared up the mix up with the cab company! So at last at the interview it was fun! the company rocked but I was glad to be on my home! finally! Glenn rocked my world! It was incrediable! in the morning I got a fantastic card! I also got a gaelic necklace and a cashmere scarf! it was fantastic! then in the evening he took me out for dinner and then to a bar that has just opened which we love! unfortunately we over indulged!! I think (even for me) I am going to skip wine for a few days! It was great though! we ended up drinking alot of red and talking to the manager of the bar! I think we got carried away with actually talking with someone different! it was great though, one of the best birthdays ever! :) Glenn I love you baby!

Thursday, 8 December 2005

high school

ok, I was going to call this Secondary College, but it just doesn't sound the same. :)
Carolynn had an Orientation day at Eaglehawk High, or more correctly EHSC (like Eaglehawk is 2 words) She met up with a friend for bbq brekky, and then 3 other girls joined them. They were put into their (supposed) home groups for next year. The 4 girls Carolynn was with went into 7B, and Carolynn sat by herself until 7E...a bad start, I felt terrible for her! There was 1 girl from Comet Hill in with her, so I thought I'd see how she'd go. I picked her up at 3.30pm and asked how her day was...she looked very upset. She'd had no-one to find classes with, no-one to sit with, the other girl had a friend from another school...so I spoke to her teacher the next day. The kids had been asked to write down who they'd like to be in a class with, and we'd also requested Carolynn go in with someone. I told Carolynn's teacher I'd taken Carolynn home in tears because she'd had such a bad day. He said he couldn't make any promises, but would speak to someone at EHSC. That afternoon Carolynn said her teacher wanted to see me, and he said they were moving Carolynn in with her friends! yay! ok, she will probably make new friends, but High School is hard enough without starting off with someone you know. And she's already been dumped by one group (including Laura, who's been her best friend for so long), so orientation day was the last thing she needed right now! But now she can at least not dread starting next year.

Monday, 5 December 2005

Anti-dayna

hello..

yes, it's been a while since i've posted.. but since the general "hey, Christmas is nearly here" posts are going up, i guess i can post a picture of what i wore to the Q Christmas party.. the theme was Black and White (which meant that most people just turned up in clothes that were one or the other colour.. but i felt that would have been far too easy... *grin*) so here is the anti-dayna.
anti-dayna
since the Christmas party, i feel like i've been going flat out.. i've been out for dinner, in for dinner, out for coffee (and sightseeing.. and cake..), watched dvds, gone to more belly-dancing (but i've not practiced at home yet.. oops), had friends over, had a Soiree (reclaiming my house as my own.. and lots of people like your artwork Damien), and more (i'm sure..).

tonight my friend Euan is over (from Perth) and we're going out for pizza with some of my mates, tomorrow night is belly-dancing, wednesday is the DEST family night at Q (so i can buy some cheap stuff from the Q shop) and i'm going out for coffee, thursday i've got an appointment after work and then i'm going to catch up with another old friend, and then Penny and Matt are coming from Melbourne on Friday - for the weekend. *phew*

so i'm definitely keeping busy. hope all is good, and i'll see everyone on wednesday 21st december.. except glenn and dee, and hopefully i'll see them next year (possibly august, but i'm still sorting that out).

*hugz*

Sunday, 4 December 2005

gearing up for Christmas



We put the tree up this weekend, and lights in the lounge room :)

Friday, 2 December 2005

Thursday, 1 December 2005

me again :)


yes, I've gone from no posts for ages to 3 close together, but this is a Trinity update :)

Took her to the health centre yesterday afternoon...she has put on 1020g this month and now weighs 7500g (7 1/2 kilos) she has grown 3.7cm and is 65cm in length, and her head is 44cm in circumference. Everything is on track, she isn't quite rolling over yet, but she's getting there.

Wednesday, 30 November 2005

suduko for all :)

I looked up suduko because it was a game on special at Big W, and I wondered what the hype was all about. Well, Carolynn and I love it...here's a link I like because you can check that you're on the right track...
http://www.websudoku.com
I'm not very good, it takes me about 8-10 minutes to do an easy one :)
Enjoy??

Reno continues

Hi to all. I'm glad you don't have to travel overseas to find snow. The phone sounds very cool Cheryl.
Dad has now finished one set of the bottom cupboards. Today we ordered the new sink. Well timed as the one I want was on big special at the Tradelink place we went, so we got the sink plus mixer tap and extra tray for the usual cost for just the sink. We also priced the stove and will probably order it in a fortnight. We also found some vinyl for the floor that will take some beating. I've decided on granite overlay on the benches, so we're well on the way.
Look forward to the Christmas header. It's very scary how quickly it's coming. Looking forward to seeing most of you.
We'll have to visit again Dayna to get the chair to you. Love to all from Mum and Dad

Tuesday, 29 November 2005

Snow in Adelaide!




Here's Damien on our recent ski trip in the Adelaide Hills... taken just outside our chalet! (oh, how charming! :)





Actually, I thought it was time I started a new thread, too :) My mobile ... a hand-down from Damien... finally died so I got a new mobile on the weekend! It takes photos that you can add frames to (like the lovely snow scene) and can also record video. It has other functions that are probably unnecessary but are entertaining anyway! :)

Other than that, things are going well. Work is good. I've been getting more hours because the other part-timer left, and I have just signed my contract for next year. It's only until June right now because we're still unsure of our future because of the possibility of the voluntary student union. But ah well, I'm not stressing about it :)

That's it for now!

Monday, 28 November 2005

27 days until Christmas

Well, it's been a while so I thought I'd better post something on here :)

Carolynn's calisthenics concert was on the 19th, the team was presented with the medals they'd earned at the competitions this year. 5 bronze and one silver. Carolynn was also given a 5 year badge for participation in calisthenics, which is cool.
She is planning her birthday party at the moment, we looked up party games at party game central. There are some great ideas there :)
Trinity has found her voice! We really have to record it! It's sooooo CUTE!!! She has also found her thumb!!! :( I knew she'd take after her brother :)
Adam put some updated photos on koffeekat.com, under "photos for dad" or something similar.
Rick rang up cos his parents were visiting from Tassie and he wanted to show off the new (great) grand-daughter.
I think that's about everything, we aren't really ready for Christmas, but it'll be here whether we're ready or not :)

Saturday, 26 November 2005

It snows! It snows!

dscf4465-scaled-rotated.jpgIt snowed today! I walked to work in the snow!

This place is so cool. Literally, as well as colloquially.

Update: Because without it the page layout gets weird

The snow lasted until around midday, on and off, then disappeared as the afternoon wore on. I got a little taste of it walking back to work after lunch, but completely missed the majority -- although we opened all the curtains to watch it ... from inside the nice, warm, climate-controlled office!

It's not snowing today (Saturday), but I think it will soon. The weather report says it's going to rain instead! Ah, what would they know?

Click the photo, there are more. We'll put them in a Flickr set so you can see them all.

Friday, 25 November 2005

Scar tissue gone mad, mad I say

Hi all,

Quick ear update. Apparently the lump was scar tissue - there's a condition where the body just keeps producing it and you get weird lumps, usually on the shoulders and back (hypertrophic scarring i think it's called). I've got another one on my shoulder from several years back. So basically my ear kept trying to heal itself, but with the earring in it couldn't.

I went to a plastic surgeon who sliced the lump off the back of the ear, and the little one on the front, and cleared out the scar tissue in there too. It was.. an experience :) But it's done now, and hopefully with the earring out, the scar should behave itself and just heal normally.

So in summary, i don't think it was caused by infection, I did try to keep it clean. On the other hand, if i had picked up on it early and removed the earring, it probably wouldn't have needed treatment.

Tuesday, 22 November 2005

belly dancing

just back from belly-dancing.. learnt some basic moves.. need to stretch and practice regularly (so i don't forget it.. and to learn to control my muscles..)..

heheh..

hope everyone is well.

*hugz*
-d-

Monday, 21 November 2005

Stupid things caught on film

Hi all,

On Sunday I went to the Football (A-League - so soccer football, not football football) with my coworker Oli. Oli is a big fan of both football and Adelaide United, the local team. So we stood in the supporters end. And as part of that, we had to wear shiny red wigs. And wave flags.

Ok, we didn't -have- to do that, but hey, it's a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon. And like all those kinds of moments, it was photographed and has been put on the internet. Huzzah!

Sunday, 20 November 2005

Money money money, it's so funny, tastes like honey, these eggs are runny

It's now been two weeks since I started work, and I've realised just how tiring it can be! Week one was okay, although I was quite tired at the end of each day, but this last week has been a real marathon, thanks in no small part to the late nights talking to the bank to figure out what was happening to our account.

dscf0314.jpgNormally I would sleep in after a post-midnight bedtime, but obviously I've had to get up and go to work. Then when I get home I'm tired, but even going to bed early hasn't been quite enough to catch up. So this weekend is a definite sleep-late, bed early, warm cups of tea and a book in front of the cosy fire kind of weekend. Come Monday I should be back to normal.

Pay day was on Friday, and it was good to see that the net (take-home) amount that we figured out when doing a budget back in September was actually correct -- I spent a bit of time on the taxation websites writing a spreadsheet to calculate it, so to get it as close as we did is definitely an achievement! Also happy to see that I was paid for the whole month, meaning an extra weeks wages that we weren't expecting.

We still have some credit card debt, but we want to consolidate that somehow (perhaps a short-term loan, or an overdraft facility on my account) and pay it off over the next 3 to 6 months with relatively little interest to pay. Credit cards charge a bundle, don't they??! I can get a decent deal through work -- they do that for their employees, bless 'em -- and if we can "balance transfer" onto my new credit card then we get 9 months interest free. We will figure it out after talking to the bank.

And of course the (other) bank will refund the ~$300 that some crook stole from us, so that will be a nice help too. It's been a very expensive process, this move, and perhaps we were naive about how many nuts we should have stored for winter, but we know now and can get back on track.

dscf3701-scaledOh, and I found out in the induction that the bank does indeed have partners (or a division, or something) all over the world, including Australia, so there's a very good chance that I can keep my job (or one like it) and transfer wherever we need to go. Somebody told me there had just been a 2-year placement in China advertised within the bank, for example. I think next year we will enrol in a French class, just in case!

How cool would it be to end up working here for a year?

Saturday, 19 November 2005

Dodgy Buggers

VE DO TOO REED IT
Moom und I ere-a in Cunberra veet Deyna.
She-a mede-a us veed zee gerdens und moo zee levns fur tea tudey. Boot she-a elsu tuuk us oooot shuppeeng. Zee veezeer hes beee hut veet a smell shooer ooff reeen tu veter zee plunts lefft in zee gerdee. Deyna noo hes a teble-a und cheurs.
Luuk ........Peectoores ooff oooor vurk.

PS...Deyna deed vurk tuu.








Translation of Borked text (in case you're not the Swedish Chef on the Muppets)

WE DO TOO READ IT
Mum and I are in Canberra with Dayna.
She made us weed the gardens and mow the lawns for tea today. But she also took us out shopping. The weather has been hot with a small shower of rain to water the plants left in the garden. Dayna now has a table and chairs.
Look....... Pictures of our work.

PS...Dayna did work too.

Friday, 18 November 2005

Dodgy Buggers!

Glenn and I got ripped off! Some dodgy bugger got hold of a VISA card that glenn cancelled in 2004 and pulled out of our most beloved bank account 270 buckaroonies! Apparently there is some legacy infrastructure out there that allows cancelled cards to be processed! We cottoned on when we started to see transactions for Australian cabs and Tullamarine parking! Geographically impossible.. DUUHH! After nearly 2 hours on the phone to the bank (reverse charges thankfully!) the bad news is that account is off limits for around 2 weeks. The good news is we get the money back! YAAA!!! Forced savings I say! :). One question I asked was if the card is cancelled how can they stop it? its not as if they can doublely block it??? Well apparently they can! There is a complete block (a super dooper block), or something similar. My next question... Why dont they just do that in the first place!!!
Anywho, the job market has looked a lot more attractive this week!! but I wont say anymore incase they all fall through again! It will be heaps better if I just log on one day and say "oh by the by I have a job, no big deal" hehehe! It will be champers all round! :)

I hope everyone is well! Big hugs and kisses to everyone! xoxoxo

Monday, 14 November 2005

Request Thread

Ok, here's a thread for you to post header change requests before I do the Christmas update.
Thanks all.

Tuesday, 8 November 2005

Work, gongfu, novels, bad lemonade

First day of work at the bank today!

A lot of reading about a lot of policies and procedures, and little else. Free tea and coffee from a machine! A flat screen (phew!), since my peepers have been spoilt from looking at a laptop LCD (better than those photon-spewing cathode ray tubes by far). A nice desk, but a temporary one until my PC arrives (and whoever it is returns and finds me sitting at theirs). A slight feeling of being in way over my head!

I'm sure it will pass. Familiarity breeds contempt, perhaps, but it also begets comfortability, if that is a real word. You get the gist even if it's not.

Gongfu tonight as well, just because I'm not doing enough. I've paid my monthly dues (£48 that we didn't really have, but I have to keep going!), so at least I'm not scrounging for change every week. It is fun, difficult, tiring (exhausting, really) and social to boot, although I still don't quite ken the wee Scottaesh accent so half the time I just nod and smile, nod and smile.

We're learning the Bear form of bā guà 八卦 "eight diagrams", the animal styles, so now I have an insatiable desire for honey, and pic-a-nic baskets. ('Ey, Boo-Boo!) My stamina with the horse stance is getting better, slowly -- ask Jared, it's hard -- as is "splashing hands" (so named because of the sound of water bouncing off ones hands. Has everybody seen House of Flying Daggers? Anyway, I hope to grade in about March next year. It is certainly harder than Freestyle Karate in that respect!

Ever thrifty, we bought the cheapest diet lemonade that Tesco had on offer, something like 25p for 2L. I think I can see how they manage to make it so cheap, too -- "taste" must cost extra. Still, it would probably go nicely with vodka and ice. :-)

My novel has stalled, as novels are wont to do, at around the 6,000 word mark. Not a bad start, but I should be at about 12,000 by the end of tomorrow. I'll have a couple of hours after work, and then all weekend (nothing else planned after all) so I'm hoping I can catch up!

And that, dear friends, is all (s)he wrote!

New header

At Dayna's request, I've changed the family bandwagon header image. You might need to refresh it to see it.

I've also created a new print quality version of the header, which you can get from here. If you're going to be making t-shirts and the like for Christmas, please use this new one.

All the best
Damien

Thursday, 3 November 2005

Shopping in Adelaide

Hi all,

yesterday i partook of some retail therapy. unfortunately i don't have any photos of my purchases, but i can tell you about them. *grin*

i bought two dresses. my favourite one is black (of course), a-line, it has a zip at the front, little capped sleeves, and an angel on the back of it. it was designed by a Queenslander and made in Australia! *grin* Mum, i was wondering whether we still had the pattern for the school uniform that you made me when were were in bungendore - i think it's a similar pattern to this dress. *grin*

the second dress is a halter-neck dress i got from target (they were having a sale). i also bought a double cd (a taste of chaos - some rarh music for driving to keith and naracoorte) and a graphic novel about a ragdoll. all very cool really. *smile*

anyway, i'm catching up with sam drinkwater tonight - she's in adelaide having a great time.. so i'm going to play pool with her and have a big ole chat. *grin*

hope all are well.. today was still rainy.. but i think that's better than too hot.

keep on swimming damien. i'll see you tomorrow night - we're still on for dinner, right?

*hugz*

Wednesday, 2 November 2005

NaNoWriMo - first day

Yesterday I wrote the first chapter of my new novel-to-be!

Today I'm going to head to the nearest coffee shop, which is a Starbucks unfortunately, plug the ol' lappy 386[1] in and write like crazy. I still don't know how the plot is going to unfold, but now I have an idea of who it might happen to and I'm actually excited to see where it goes.

It's not my best work, of course. I usually agonise over every little sentence, but this time I'm trying to just get something down -- it can be edited later, when I get my life back. So it probably reads about as poorly as my blog entries! Sentence structure? Spelling? Pish posh.

That said, the first 1700 words took me just shy of 2 hours to write. Can I do 50,000 by November 30th? Time tells, as always.

[1] Actually, my laptop is a Toshiba Satellite, Celeron 1.7MHz CPU and about 1 byte of RAM. So I can write about one ascii character before having to write to disk, maybe more if I write it in morse code.

Monday, 31 October 2005

Cutting Video

Hi all,

I got a copy of the video from cutting. You can see it on my website here.

The first four links are really low quality versions of my cuts (that blurry guy is me, i promise). The last one is the full 10 minute or so video. It's streaming, so you can watch it on broadband.. but if you're on dial up, i'd go with the first four.

I'll get a DVD quality copy of the video to bring home at Christmas.

Saturday, 29 October 2005

Let's write a novel!

dscf4412-scaled-rotated.jpgSpent today walking around Edinburgh. Check out the photos!

I want to say, "It's finally the weekend again," but of course there isn't much difference between weekdays and weekends for me at the moment, so I'll say instead, "It's finally one day closer to payday again". As mercenary as that might sound, it is really what I'm waiting for -- payday means we're back on track, closer to the world-wise travelling lifestyle I yearn for (well, once the debts are paid off!!). Get there eventually, I guess.

In the meantime, I'm writing! I've signed up for NaNoWriMo -- the National Novel Writing Month -- which means I'll be writing (or attempting to write) a 50,000 word novel throughout November. I still don't know what I'll be writing about, not even the type or genre of the book, but it's something that I really want to do.

It's been running for a couple of years now, as I understand it. There's no real prize, just the satisfaction, and it's completely focused on quantity rather than quality -- I can just write 50,000 words of complete bollocks and I'll still get the little GIF or PNG "I completed NaNoWriMo '05" badge. But people from all over the world do it, and some even get published down the track so I live in eternal hope. (There is a matched NaNoEdMo -- editing your novel -- early next year.)

Anyway, I've got until just after midnight on the morning of the 1st to come up with a plot. And characters. And a title, I guess. Oh, I'm in way over my head!!

Thursday, 27 October 2005

my garden..

irises make me sad - because they're flowers that timmy used to give me.. but these ones are different.. they're almost black when they're buds, and they're dark maroon when in flower..

spring is supposed to be a happy time.. look at the flowers in my garden.. they're all smiling - but i'm not.. *shrug*

hope next spring is better.. much better..

Tuesday, 25 October 2005

to let you know..

you've probably all heard from Mum and Dad already, but i may as well put it here too..

timmy and i are breaking up.

he doesn't love me anymore, and sees no future for us (correct me if i'm wrong, timmy). i still love him, but understand that he cannot be a part of our relationship anymore, and without him - there is no relationship. i can hope that one day he'll have himself sorted out and realise how good we can be together, but i can't wait for that - so i'll be moving on. it's going to take me a while to sort it out, and i might even need a trip to the UK to help it all out, so G&D i'll be there next week. *smile* no, just kidding, i need to save the ticket money first..

apologies if i'm distant in the next few months.. i don't imagine this will be the easiest thing i've ever had to do.

hope everyone else is happy and well.

*hugz*

Correct Login This Time! :)

Heya Guys,
Well its monday, and I am still waiting to hear about my latest interview, hmmm more waiting, I dont think anyone could ever label Glenn and I as being impatient! Insane perhaps but not impatient. *maddened cackle*
I am very much doubting a positive outcome from the interview, but I am still hopefully for the job I applied and interviewed for nearly 2 months ago, the recruiter suggessted it could take up to 3 months, at the time I thought that it would be unrealistic for me to wait that long for a position. I really want this role, it would really be my dream job and if I felt that getting down on my knees and begging would get me the job I would do it.
oh and I have decided that I really do need to get a job for the money to buy some funky Gumboots!! They are a fashion statement here and I must have a pair. LOL Glenn thinks I'm crazy but think of the hours of entertainment I could have, and an excellent exercise program, I could try to jump in every puddle Edinburgh has to offer! hmmmm puddles!
oklies I am going to blog this now, Big hugz to everyone.

Saturday, 22 October 2005

Baldy update

dscf4378-rotated-scaled.jpgQuick update on where I am now. Not much has changed -- I'm still waiting to hear whether I can start early at the Royal Bank of Scotland, but not expecting to. Today I received an email from Swinburne about my course, complete with application for graduation which I printed out from the local internet café. I just send it in and voilá! I graduate with a Bachelor of Multimedia!

Danielle shaved my head for me on Wednesday, which was nice. I was starting to look like a shaggy dog (in parts -- the other parts look like a considerably less shaggy skull-like dog, some kind of greyhound I guess). My head is a bit spotty, irritated by the event, but I did it again this morning and I've been looking after it, so I'm hoping my skin will clear up in time. (You can't really see it so much in this photo, but there's plenty of spotty spots for everyone!)

Otherwise all is well. I had my first "full" gong fu class yesterday, and I'm tired and sore today because of it. It is definitely fun, however, and something I'm going to continue with -- I should be a black belt in, oh, three weeks or so (look out, Chow Yun Fat!) Of course, they don't use belts at gong fu, so it will just be to hold my pants up, but I can still say I have a black belt in, er, Marks and Spencer? Yeah, that's hardcore!!

I've downloaded the photos from koffeekat.com, and will send if anyone wants them. I'm avoiding uploading them all to Flickr, since Lis said she didn't want them available to the general public, but I can send around as needed (even if you want the scaled versions -- I've written a Nautilus script (for Linux) so I can just right-click, then select "Scale" ... or "Rotate 90°", or whatever I want to do -- ahh, I love Linux!). Anyway, lemme know.

The weather is slowly getting colder here. It rained for some of today, but it's nothing extraordinary in my opinion -- just like a Victorian winter's day. Maybe if it snows (I still hope!!) it will seem a bit different, but for now I'm just happy to have some cooler nights.

Sunday, 16 October 2005

Thanks everybody!

Thanks everyone for my birthday well wishes!! I had a really good birthday, actually, getting out of the house (for Danielle's interview) and then looking around a factory outlet warehouse place for most of the day -- window shopping only, of course, but still -- and finishing the night with a DVD, a bottle of wine and my beloved. (Hmm, might've been two bottles -- as Damien said, I was very tired the next day!)

It would be cool to see Damien doing his swordy swordy thing wouldn't it!? The closeup of the bamboo shows how sharp the sword is, indeed -- very, very cool. I know who to send now, should I get into any trouble with the Yakuza: Damiensan, the "Lone Wolf"!!

So you maybe all know we're still waiting and waiting for work. Danielle had an interview on Friday, as I say, but we've given up trying to guess a) how it went, and b) how long before we hear anything. My work is slowly coming to fruition -- I have an employee number now (I'm a number, not a person) and the application for a bank account (I'm going to get a Gold account! Lucky yuppy me!), but still no word on a start date earlier than the 8th of November. A shame, because I just want to get in there already!

If Danielle gets the job she had an interview for then I will be doing a lot more of the cooking, too -- I'll be 10 minutes walk from home, and she'll be an hour on the bus. I'd love the opportunity to get some practise!! Might have to get Jamie Oliver's cook book or something however. And some sharp knives, of course. Boys love knives. (Exhibit A: Damien and sword.)

I can't remember if I sent this link to everyone or just Mum and Dad -- here are some photos from their South Australia trip. Oh, and speaking of photos, where are your now Lisa? They disappeared for a while, and whilst they might be back I don't remember the URI, so post it here!

Thanks to Dayna for the members-only comments posting, a very good idea. Oh, and I've made the comments into "peek-a-boo comments" with a little Javascript, so you can click to read without going to another page. Click! Click!

What else? Naught to do but wait.

Tameshigiri

Today in class we were able to do actual cutting of bamboo with a live (sharp) blade. The practice, called "tameshigiri", was for testing the quality of swords back in the day, but it is a good way to check your own cutting nowadays (given that we don't actually fight people). If you cut badly, the bamboo will splinter or even not cut all the way through. If you cut smoothly, without force, you'll slide through the bamboo no worries.
I thought I was going to go really badly (splintering the bamboo, bouncing off it Tales of the Samurai style) but it was actually ok. I kept a couple of the pieces of bamboo as souvenirs.


This first picture shows my first and second (ever) cuts.. the first is on the right. It was just two standard cuts from right to left, angled down.


This second piece of bamboo was a bit fancier. My first cut was right to left angled down like previously, but then I flipped the blade and cut left to right angled up. It's more difficult to do, which is why I'm really pleased with how it turned out.. you can see the two angles are pretty close to each other. The bamboo was nice and green, which made it easier. It was also a bit thinner than the first one, although I think it's more about the angle and quality of the cut than the thickness of the bamboo.


This third photo just shows the detail of the end from my second cut. Looking at this and seeing the angle, whether it's splintered at all or if there's cracks is how you can see how your cutting has been.

I was really lucky too, I got placed in a group with the senior students. Technically it was only supposed to be Sempai and above (the rank above me) but Sensei Matthew put me in that group. We only had 7 in our group, and the juniors had about twice that, so we got more cuts each :) It also meant we could try fancy stuff like that double cut that I did.

Saturday, 15 October 2005

Changed blog settings

..now only members of this blog will be able to comment..

hope no-one disagrees with this.. we can add whoever we want, but know who'll be leaving us comments. :)

hope everyone is happy and healthy.

Friday, 14 October 2005

Happy Birthday Glenn

just thought i'd give the greeting its own heading.. *grin* i know Lisa and Damien have both already sent their good wishes.. so from all of us..

have a fantastic day, little brother. hope all is well on the Scottish front.

who'd be a manager?

Hi all,

Sorry I've been quiet for a while.. let me briefly explain it (i need to get to work soon)..

In the last 2 - 3 weeks, I've had to deal with a presenter going AWOL (there was a messy break-up within the team, and one of them decided to go home to Hobart without telling anyone.. it nearly got to the point where we got PS&D (Personnel) to contact next of kin!), same presenter now has a doctor's certificate of some kind that says they can't tour (and that's what they signed a contract to say they would do!), so we had to find someone else to take their place. Tour leaves at the end of next week, so we shuffled around the pairs (to the disappointment of some team members, and fair enough - they'd planned, written and rehearsed a show already), were looking for mish-mash solutions, and somehow managed to find a Q employee who is willing and able (and keen) to work for us for a month. *phew* So that was quite a while of not knowing what was going on..

We start interviews today - we're recruiting for the Presenter positions and all current employees have to reapply for their jobs. Some I'd like to keep, but some I DO NOT want back. i just hope the public service system allows us to not re-hire them (they wrote good applications.. so i'm a bit nervous about how they'll do today.. don't do well, don't do well..).

On top of all of this, we were having issues with IT Services.. they wanted to have all of the responsibility for our touring laptops, which left us with a non-acceptable level of risk (ie, if something went wrong on the road, we would have had to cancel shows and bring people home). we've now got an acceptable solution (if temporary).. but as long as this tour goes well, we can deal with the long term when we don't have people on the road!

so, in a nutshell - that's been my last couple of weeks. now i really need to get my skates on and get to work - interviews start at 9am sharp, and i'd like to have a little bit of time to prepare beforehand.

*hugz*

Thursday, 13 October 2005

not fit, but immunised

well, it's true. we have not been making an effort to take regular walks...sorry damien. i just thought i would update what we have been doing, since i don't know about everyone else but i keep checking this for new info. trinity had her first round of needles and sabin today, poor darling. 3 needles! i had to feed her to help her feel better - lol. carolynn is away on school camp in roses gap, she comes home tomorrow. jared has been going to school with fiona (laura's mum, laura is carolynn's best friend, for those who don't know) i was going to take amy home (laura's sister) but their brother matthew has conjunctivits and amy doesn't want trinity to get it so she asked her mum to get her today.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GLENN
for tomorrow!

Saturday, 8 October 2005

Happy Birthday Dad

We didn't forget you.. promise!!

Hope you had a fantastic day!! and yes, I'm backdating this entry.. bwahahaaaaaaa (evil laugh)..

Friday, 7 October 2005

Half way to fitness

Hi all,

Yet another 6 week challenge update. We're about half way through. Last week I didn't actually get all the walks in (I think I missed two) but I'm making up for it this week by walking more than required. I'm at the 50 minute walk stage, which is two big loops after work for me (previously I'd just do one). Cheryl's doing 30 minute walks.

How is everybody else doing? Are you sticking to it? Noticed any differences in your level of fitness? One thing I've noticed is that the walk home from Iaido, which previously took 45 - 50 minutes, now takes about 35. Which is kind of annoying really, because that means when i get home I still have another 15 minutes walking to do.

Sunday, 2 October 2005

Hey Damien, where are the photos of your birthday?

Friday, 30 September 2005

Happy Birthday Damien!

I hope you have a great day, sweetie! :)

I love you!

Wednesday, 28 September 2005

功夫 - Lesson Two

I had my second gōng fu 功夫 class last night, and I'm feeling sore.[1]

It's so much fun!! We did the basic drills from last week, then a little bit of "monkey" style gōng fu, one of the bā guà 八卦 "eight diagrams" animal styles. The idea with animal style gōng fu is to break old human habits by moving like a different animal -- monkey, tiger, snake, dragon, crane, bear and so on. It's probably where "crouching tiger, hidden dragon" comes from too, so I expect I should be able to fly by the end of the year.

Still waiting for my employment package -- it should be in the mail tomorrow, and I will probably start next Monday. It's so hard to just wait! Once I'm working, I'm getting my own bank account and credit card (we will still keep the joint one of course, but it's nice to have some "secret" money, especially around Christmas and birthday times). If everything is timed properly I will get a home theatre system. I've seen, and want, a Sony with 5.1 channel Dolby Digital/DTS, and it is end-of-stock at Argos so it's half price: £150, which sounds like a lot, but it retails elsewhere for £299 so it's a pretty decent piece of equipment. I just hope it's still there when I'm able to buy it!

I don't need that much stuff, really, but a decent sound system is high on the list. I listen to music whenever I can, and at the moment we've only got the crappy little speakers on this Toshiba Satellite laptop. Music relaxes, soothes, makes the environment that much more pleasant.

I also see that in my absence Danielle got online and posted an entry. Well I'd just like to say that contrary to popular belief I don't actually hog the laptop at all. Sure, I'm on it 80% of the time. Sure, I haven't given her a login. Sure, I lock it in the cupboard when I go away[2]. But does that really constitute "hogging", I ask you?

[1] If you noticed that the hanzi for gōng was different from last time, you're very observant! Looking at a Chinese dictionary, there are two characters for the syllable, and I think it's 功 rather than 工 for martial (i.e. fighting) gōng fu. Actually, gōng fu really means any skillful art that has taken time to master -- did I mention that last time? So that a master chef could be a gōng fu master, or a master painter, and so forth. So I guess I'm really studying to become a gōng fu wǔ shù master[3]! In like 20 or 30 years that is.

[2] Nope, that's not even remotely true. But colourful!

[3] Even the word wǔ shù 武術 has different-but-related pronounciations and meanings. Like that, it means martial arts, but pronounced with a rising then falling tone it is wú shù 無數, meaning "innumerable". And if the first tone is high then it becomes wū shù 巫術, Chinese magic.

PS. Yes, I love all this traditional Chinese stuff. The language is so tricky, completely different to English but just as full of nuances and innuendo. I'd love to do a language course for a couple of years, if only so I could understand what they're saying on Serenity and Firefly! But until then I've got the Internet, and a self-paced course I bought whilst back in Melbourne, so I can at least get a head start.

PPS. And yes, it's only after gōng fu that I get so obsessive that I have to look stuff up. So it's only once a week that your browser will get this punishment! Can everyone see the hanzi 漢字?

something to laugh at

i've been looking at the abc website, and found this site that i thought mum and dad especially will like, this is the link to the 100 most misspelled english words
http://www.yourdictionary.com/library/misspelled.html
while you are there have a look at the poem, just click on the word chaotic or spiteful. that will save me from printing it up to take with me :)

The Family Bandwagon

The Family Bandwagon
Heya Guys,
Well this is my first contribution and I am glad to finally be able to, Glenn has gone to Kung Fu so the laptop is finally free! :) This is such a fantastic forum to keep up to date with what everyone is doing, and I'm sad to say that as soon as we have an income my first purchase is going to be a family bandwagon T-Shirt! The design rocks Damien! :)
Oh and a big happy birthday!
Things are going well here, slow but good. Glenn should receive his employment documentation in the mail tommorrow, which will contain a start date.... Finally! sheesh the employment process takes so long here! And my dream job Technical Project Lead has been put on hold for up to 3 months *sigh* but my recruiter informs me that I am first on the list when the position becomes available, in the mean time I am chasing up an Informix DBA contract to bring in some mulla.
The weather here is finally starting to behave like it was rumored to be in Melbourne, windy, sunny then rainny it is much more fickle than melbourne's weather. But the people are fantastic, very friendly, a strake difference to what you incounter in London. It's constant amazement how close everything is. We were enquiring the quickest way to get to Bath on the weekend, and we were informed that it would be quickest and cheapest to fly. I'm thinking do they do frequent flyers over here. Everything seems to be available via a quick flight whether it be France, London, Germany etc....
Okay guys! hope everyone is healthy and happy.
cheers Dee xoxox

Tuesday, 27 September 2005

Adelaide, getting fit, rest and relaxation

Hi all. We're having a great time here in Adelaide. We travelled to Victor Harbour on Thursday and walked along the beach to the shops to buy tea, then returned. That completed our week 1 walks. Friday we walked up the Bluff (800m with some very steep sections) then drove to the causeway for a gentle ride on a horse drawn tram across to Granite Island. We walked around the island (about an hour) then drove through the rain to check out Cape Jarvis. We watched the ferry leaving for Kangaroo Island but didn't find any where to eat so we drove north through more rain to Mclaren vale. Eventually arrived at Damien and Cheryl's aboout 4.30. That covered two walks for week 2.
Saturday we all walked to the Organic foods festival. Had some tasting, sipping, etc before our walk home. (That covered two more walks for week 2) We were surprised to meet Fred and Coral Davies while we were there. They were demonstrating the cold pressed flaxseed oil, an important source of Omega 6.
Sunday we watched Damien's Iaido class. Afterwards we went to see Hahndorf in the rain. Very touristy.
Monday we went on a Barossa Valley winery tour. We visited a toy factory, dried fruit factory, had lunch and then four wineries. Last night we visited Damien's boss's parents for drinks and a chat.
Today is for relaxation. Tomorrow we'll head for home. We have enjoyed our visit. Thank you Cheryl and Damien. Next holiday will be Canberra. I bought a tee shirt here to put a transfer on. Damien said I can buy the transfer paper at Big W. Dayna can you tell me more about what you would use.
Seems like we have the fun and yard work yet to get done. Since we're starting on the kitchen, that shouldn't be a problem.

Wednesday, 21 September 2005

Health, exercise, and kicking some ...!

Well I just got back from gōngfū, and I love it!

I'm doing a 4 week beginners course, which cost £25 and is 1½ hours on a Tuesday night. It's held in a room in a gym, so there weren't any weapons on the walls like the last place I trialled kungfu in Fitzroy/Collingwood, but was nevertheless what I was looking for -- a combination of traditional training methods, both external (strikes, kicks, physical stuff) and internal (qìgōng, tàijíquán). The sifu seems to know a bunch of stuff as far as I can tell, which isn't saying much!! But we will apparently touch on the animal styles, "bagwa" (that's how it was pronouced, don't know what it is), and all sorts of stuff.

The beginners course was pretty popular, too, with around 30 people turning up. But they only run the course once or twice a year, and it's the only way to get into the "full" class, so perhaps it's no wonder. I guess we will see how many people stick around through the 4 weeks, and also how many want to join the full thing. (I'm pretty sure I will, so I hope there's not a limited number of places or anything.)

The other thing that I find pretty amazing, and very cool, is that there are no membership fees ... at all! Most martial arts will charge something, sometimes quite a bit, but this one only charges £20 a year, and that's for insurance and licensing!! And they give you a nice little record book for your advancement through the ranks. The uniform and any other supplies are bought separately, but that's usually the case with other martial arts too.

This is really great -- I can do the course, sign up for the full class, and then think about joining the gym (for around £13 a week -- pretty expensive, but that covers all classes, all equipment and access to the pool, sauna and spa). At the moment I'm thinking that I will go straight to the class from work, which will give me a bit of time to have a swim or some other relaxed exertion beforehand. Of course, I haven't heard when I'm meant to start work yet -- they want a bank statement with my current address, which is getting sent out to me this week hopefully, before they can continue with the process. So I'm still going to interviews just in case -- I don't expect the bank job to fall through, but it's nice to cover all bases.

We had our walk this morning too. I don't think we're doing too much at once (thanks for the concern however, Damien ;-)) Rather, we're doing the challenge sort of, and doing the walk-jog-walk schedule in the morning definitely. They overlap, rather than adding up. Where the challenge says "15 minute walk, four times a week" the walk-jog-walk fills in the details with "stretch, walk casually for 5 minutes, walk briskly for 10 minutes, walk slowly for 5 minutes, stretch".

So now, of course, I'm tired, but pumped up too. I'm sure it will wear off soon, and I'll drag myself off to bed!

(Today's post was brought to you via the magic of the Character Map. If things look funny, it's your computer, not my irresponsible use of augmented letters. Hey, I could've used hanzi instead! **Glenn does quick google for Chinese characters ** 工 "gōng" 夫 "fū", and 气 "qì" 功 "gōng". Heh, lets see your browser handle that!!)

Tuesday, 20 September 2005

Free DVDs and exercise.

Hi all,

Looks like thanks to my friends at www.telstrabluelounge.com.au, we've got 5 new DVDs to watch - I won a competition and got Ray, Finding Neverland, The Aviator, Million Dollar Baby and Sideways.. not bad I say :)

We've also finished our first week of the exercise challenge.. we made it, although only just. I tend to walk after work, basically doing a big loop on my way home. Of course it used to be a half hour loop, and now it needs to be a 45 minute one so the loop is getting bigger each week :) Cheryl seems to walk more before work, or on her way to work. How is everybody else going? Getting through it?

Monday, 19 September 2005

Well done Glenn

Congratulations to Glenn who now has a job. I'm sure you all keep in touch better than I do so probably know. Dad and I are going to Adelaide probably leaving on Thursday. looking forward to seeing Damien and Cheryl again. Dad is using lots of energy sanding and painting but has only found time for two walks. I'm worse since I've only done one walk but I'm sure we'll catch up with Damien and Cheryl's influence.
I went to Melbourne with Carolynn for a calithenics competition yesterday. Her team got three Highly commended's, against ten other teams.
Nana is going to Geelong today for a Spinner's conference. She'll be back Wednesday to do the Foxie feeding.
I'll ring you tonight Dayna. I've been thinking about you in your empty house. Did Tim bring some furniture?

Tuesday, 13 September 2005

6 week fit-for-summer challenge

Hi all,

As part of WWFM, they have a 6 week exercise challenge which has just started. I'm doing it (because I have to) and Cheryl is too (to be supportive).

It's really good, I started this year with it too.. things like a few 20 minute walks, maybe 30 minutes yard work, that kind of thing. It's not running or harsh exercise or going to the gym or anything over the top like that. And best of all, at the end of the 6 weeks you definately feel (and look) fitter.

So I'm sending out a challenge to the rest of the family (bandwagon). Who is brave enough to take the challenge with me? Put your name down here and I'll email you the details. There's three levels.. if you're not exercising very much or at all, you go with level 1. If you're exercising pretty much every day and are comfortable with it, well, level 3 is more like what you'd need. Don't try for a higher level than you should though, level 1 is enough to get going.

So yeah, who's game?

Friday, 9 September 2005

Oops

Turns out my "gainful employment" wasn't so gainful at all -- they pulled the plug the day before I was due to start. Bollocks, bollocks, bollocks!

I have an interview tomorrow, however, so maybe things will work out in the end. We also hear about Dee's job tomorrow, so fingers crossed we will have something to celebrate this weekend.

Sunday, 4 September 2005

Gainfully employed; spent it already.

It finally happened! On the last day of my two week "waiting" period, the company has hired me! Yay! It's initially a 6 month contract, with a view to a permanent position should all go well (and I can't see why it wouldn't). Very nice to know that we will have money coming in ... although I've already planned how to spend it.

(Danielle is revelling in the fact that she will be a "kept woman". I, on the other hand, don't expect that to be a long term arrangement!)

To celebrate, I've bought myself a bag, pictured right! It's Crumpler, and normally I would be resistant to anything with a known label (Crumpler is really quite popular in Melbourne), but I really like their advertising (for example, the label outlines their return policy in the following way -- "It just takes one word. You call us, tell us that your bag has sh@t itself and we will get its sh*t together and fix it." You have to admire a company that is so behind its product that it is willing to offend potential buyers. Rock on.

Also, I'm yet to see another Crumpler bag over here. So I can be a label snob AND an individual -- the best of both worlds!

Saturday, 3 September 2005

New glasses (almost)!


Hi guys,

Today while we were looking at new glasses, Cheryl had the brilliant idea of taking photos with my phone so i could actually see how i look wearing them from a distance.

So here's the photos of the frame I've picked.. it's got those magnetic sunglasses that clip on the front. Note the almost exact facial expression in each photo, for ease of comparison :)

Wednesday, 31 August 2005

i'm in Adelaide!!!

okay, so i'll only be here for another 20 mins or so - but i was here for about two hours. i'm on the way to Alice Springs to catch up with some of the Smovers and make sure they're not going too crazy with only each others company. *grin*

i'm currently sitting in the Qantas Club lounge at Adelaide airport - i've had a juice and some toast, and thought i'd catch up on some blogging before getting on another plane. ahh, travelling. actually, i don't mind the travel at all - although i'm sure it'd be more fun if i had someone to travel with (Timmy - hint hint)..

i'll be away now until sometime Saturday - and that will give me one day to pack stuff up because i get the keys to the Page house on Monday. yay! Timmy's going to come to visit at the end of the week and bring some essentials for me. i don't know yet, but i may even stay at wattle street for a few nights during the week - if only because of the plates, pots and pans (things that Timmy will bring me). Possibly also because I haven't had time to call ACTEWAGL about connecting the services yet - and it will no doubt take a couple of days for that to happen. hmmmm... o well.. it'll all sort itself out.

anyway.. best go - i'm sure my flight will be called soon. i'll post pics if i take any good ones.

*hugz*

Shop! Bandwagonwear!


It's what we've all been waiting for -- Family Bandwagon Merchandise!

Choose from a number of t-shirts, all featuring Damien's wonderful design. Now, why would you want to wear a Bandwagon t-shirt? Why not?! There's nothing that says "I am cooler than cool -- ice cold!" like a t-shirt with your own face on it!

For a limited time these lovely t-shirts are available at cost price. Buy 2! Give them to your friends! Tear them up for rags to use in the shed! Wear them inside out so nobody laughs! Boil them with gravox and serve them up for dinner, I don't care!

Okay, so I'm not really expecting anyone to buy them, but I think they're cool and I might get one. And there are other things that can be printed on, so I might play with that too.

But yeah, the price is in US dollars, and there's postage as well, so it's not exactly a cheap gag. But still -- isn't it cool?!

Tuesday, 30 August 2005

We're going to the show

On Saturday Cheryl and I will be going to the Royal Adelaide Show. Last year we missed it by about a day, sadly.. so we're not missing out this time. There'll be pig racing, cats, wood chopping.. and a ton of showbags.

If anyone wants a showbag, let us know. There's a list here: http://www.adelaideshowground.com.au/db/showbags/index.php

Thursday, 25 August 2005

Welcome Nana!

Hi all. At Lisa's request, I added Nana to the family pic, and because Mum shows her the blog on occasion, decided to add her here too :)

I hope you like it.

Also for Lisa (and anyone else interested) there's a print quality jpg of the header here. It's 25cm by 10cm, at 300dpi.. so really, you could double the canvas size if you wanted (by halving the dpi) without losing too much print quality. And it's about a 700KBs download.

Cheers.

Tuesday, 23 August 2005

thankyous

thankyou to Lisa, Adam, Carolynn, Jared and Trin forthe cool paper cube of T & I (I had short hair, didn't I?!) and especially for my delightful My Mr. Wonderful frame.. hehe..

for those of you who haven't seen it, the frame has a button on it - and when you push the button you get quality statements like (pushes button) "Enough about me.. I wanna know how your day's going" in a quality American accent.. heheh.. very funny..

and thanks Adam for the cow keyring..

thankyou to Glenn & Dee for the magnetic Scotland photoframe - it's currently on my heater.. I'm just looking for a good piccy of you two, so you both can come and camp in my new house. *grin*

thankyou Nana for the birthday money - I've got some yummy perfume from The Body Shop (no, I've not tasted it.. but it smells good).

thankyou Mum and Dad for birthday money - I'm not sure what I'll get with it yet.. but I'll let you know when I get something.

(I do intend to write a real paper thankyou.. this is just the "for now" version. *grin*)

and now I'll leave you with a random quote from My Mr. Wonderful:

"Any time you need me, just call.. you know I'm always ready to listen!"

(hey, that was an appropriate one..)

moving moving

on thursday i get to sign a lease. i've spent the last few weekends looking for a place that timmy and i will be able to live in - and i've found a lovely 3 bedroom house in Page (near Belconnen)..

i get to move in in two weeks (i've given my 4 weeks notice to current housemates).. so i'll be camping in the place until timmy moves up. yay!

the address will be: 8 belconnen way, page
no idea about anything else.. but if anyone wants to come and camp with me, you're more than welcome. *grin*

don't know if this link will work, but try clicking on the address to see what the agent put up on the web about the house..

yay! i get to move into a house with ducted heating! and a clean kitchen! so excited.
*grin*

yes, there are photos on koffeekat now

for those not already in the know, adam put some photos up of our little extended family. just go to www.koffeekat.com (and i hope this works)

in other news...trinity is 23 days old, and has changed alot in that time. her hair is getting lighter, and obviously she is growing, she is now 53cms long, and weighed 3820grams last week. she has birthmarks on the back of her head and neck, and a mongolian (someone correct that for me) spot on her back...it's a bluish thumb print looking mark under her skin that comes from having a dark skinned heritage, and should fade by the time she is 2 years old.

she still looks alot like adam...but a few people see jared in her.

that's about it...i'll write again in another 3 weeks...

Sunday, 21 August 2005

Cartoon header image

Hi all,

Well, a busy Sunday has resulted in a cartoon of each of you. Bear in mind, as you look at the picture, that, while your image may not resemble you in the slightest, neither does anyone else's.. so at least i'm consistent. And if you want something more recognisably you, I'm afraid you'll need to get some kind of facial tattoo or other clearly distinguishing mark.

So consider yourself forewarned. I've made a mockup of how i imagined this picture on the header here.. and if everyone is happy with it, you can link to just the picture itself with this url: http://www.talesofthesamurai.com/family/header.gif

It's all vector too (hooray) so i can make this image in pretty much any quality you'd like.. if you want to get it printed on a t-shirt, or maybe as a facial tattoo.

Enjoy.

Friday, 19 August 2005

And for those who miss seeing Glenn's youthful face...


Every morning I go into the kitchen and see this picture. It's Glenn, as a kid, on the back of the Fruity Bix box. Spooky..

Thursday, 18 August 2005

Remote Glenn

It's hard trying to figure out what to write on each weblog, but I think I may have it :-
  • On kiltedaussie, I write things about travelling, starting life in Scotland and generally adventuring
  • On The Family Bandwagon, things of a more familial nature -- stuff about family, what we're all doing, opinions and whatnot
  • and on Glennji.com, when in use, I put geek/nerd/tech stuff! Easy!

Not sure whether the distinctions are really that clear, but I figure I have to do something or I'll just end up cross-posting the same story (or whatever) to all three. Not that that would necessarily be a bad thing, but I think we're all reading multiple sites (like this and Tales and Dayna's blackcloud) so it would probably get boring.

What does that have to do with family stuff, then? I guess I can ignore my own rules or recommendations and just write something about nothing, or writing about writing, a kind of meta-post. And I know you'll all just shake you heads and roll your eyes and say, "Tsk tsk, that Glenn, he always was the crazy twin."

What can I say? I really liked the bicycle in the tree -- that was cool. What kind of bike do you have, Dayna? I'd like to get a bike, but we're resisting going into the bike shops until (as with everything) we obtain gainful employment. I personally want one with disc brakes and suspension up the wazoo -- there's lots of cobblestone roads around Edinburgh, which is really just an excuse because I just like the idea of well-engineered (even over-engineered) pedal power.

Hey, could someone please get some more photos of Trinity up somewhere? We're missing out here!

Tell Nanna (or let her read this!) thank you for the lovely card. We will have to get a bunch of postcards out to people I think! It's not like we're really busy, just lazy. Well, maybe not lazy either -- we've been doing a bunch of exercise just walking around, up hills, down hills, up Arthur's Seat, down Arthur's Seat -- but something close to mental laziness. I think that, to belabour a point, we're putting everything off until we are working. Just hope it's soon!

Oh yeah! That's the other thing -- Damien, do you think you could throw together some cartoon versions of everyone that we could include in the header? I picture just a lineup of us all along the top underneath "The Family Bandwagon". Just a thought ;-)

Monday, 15 August 2005

Tales of the Samurai Episode 9

Hi all,

I finally finished the 9th Tales episode on the weekend, you can have a look at it here: http://www.talesofthesamurai.com/episode9.html

In other news, I (finally) went to a doctor about my ear. Turns out it was originally an infection, and that infection caused an irritation that has built up the weirdo growth I have now. Long story short, I need to go to a surgeon to see the cost of having it removed (read: slicey slicey). We're booked in to see one in October.. if it's too expensive, well, I might just put up with ol' lumpy.

It's a good lesson in common sense.. really, I should have gone to see a doc when I first realised the infection was still there. On the other hand, then I couldn't drop phrases like "Oh, that's the phone number of my plastic surgeon".

Sunday, 14 August 2005

Did you know..


the real reason a lot of people ride bicycles around here...

they grow on trees!


hope everyone is happy and healthy - have a great week!

Thursday, 11 August 2005

It snowed here yesterday!

Yesterday lunch time (or thereabouts) sago snow was falling outside Q. Sago snow is not quite hail and not quite snowflakes.. and it continued to fall most of the afternoon and evening. Unfortunately, it melted as soon as it touched anything.

Apparently there was snow on the ground out towards Belconnen.. maybe I just didn't go outside late enough to see it where i live (i like being warm!).

Hope everyone is keeping warm..

Tuesday, 9 August 2005

lisa's trinity update

well, we've been home for a week now. i have to say thanks to mum and dad for doing the school run for me, i did it for the first time this morning and i think we should be right now. i didn't end up taking trinity to connections because it looked like it was going to rain, and i have to take her to the doctor tomorrow for a one week check up anyway.

she's mostly feeding every 2 to 3 hours, any wonder she was back to her birth weight by day 4 (apparently they have 2 weeks to get back to birth weight) adam has been helping out, getting tea etc, so i have time to sit and feed... he hovers around waiting for her to wake up so he can hold her too... so do the kids, they have to work out who has "first go" and then it's a battle to get them to give her up...

anyway, 2 hours are up and i have a daughter wanting feeding, so i better go.

Monday, 8 August 2005

trying the phone

Dear Glenn and Danielle,
I tried to ring on your new landline number on Sunday night here(11.30am and 12.30pm there) but no one was answering so I'm not sure if it's the right number or not. I can have a half hour block call by dialling 0018 instead of 0011, but I'd have to be sure you were home. I'd also tried on Saturday night.
How's it going?
Today the electricians came to start the power to the shed thing. I guess it will take several days to get it all done and that's without the house rewiring.
I visited Lisa this afternoon to be home help. Trinity is doing very well. She may go to Connections, the church craft group tomorrow. Be glad when you have an email address for chatting.
Love from Mum and Dad

Thursday, 4 August 2005

photos


Adam said the photos were at Koffeecat but I couldn't find them. He's promised to give them to me on CD so if and when I'll send on the best or someone can tell me where and how to put them on line.
Poppy's done the school run for today and yesterday afternoon. Trinity is doing well and they're getting two hours sleep at a time. This afternoon Trinity was resting up so she's ready for another night. I'm looking forward to seeing her over the weekend.
Hope all of you are well. It was great to hear from Glenn yesterday morning. We'll get organised with MSN so we can chat once he's online in Edinburgh. Good luck with the job hunting.

[i've just put this pic here.. for a bigger one, look in the comments (thanx Damien).. cheers, -d-]

Wednesday, 3 August 2005

Written another entry in kiltedaussie

Update! I just heard about Trinity Eve! Congratulations!! That's so exciting!

Anyway, I wrote the rest of this before I knew, and it all seems pretty boring compared to news of new life here on our little Starship Earth. Trinity, I can't wait to meet you!

Wrote another short entry in Kilted Aussie (finally!). The short version: job hunting goes well, house settling is good, and the weather is awesome! (Actually, I don't think I said that in the kiltedaussie post, but it's so true! Don't let anyone tell you it rains all the time in Scotland ... although there have been some spots today, it's interspersed with brilliant sunshine and shiny happy people .... us!)

Glad to hear everyone is okay. I'll chat to someone tonight ... mostly based on whoever answers first. I'll try to time it right, however (sorry Damien, for ringing before 7!!).

Huzzah!

Tuesday, 2 August 2005

Lisa is home

Lisa decided to come home today(Tuesday 2nd).As the bassinet was still at Nana's until midday, it was a very quick cleanup and get ready for baby. Poppy had to drive Lisa's car since that had the required attachment for the capsule. Jared decided to stay at home and wait so Nanny had some more cleanup time.
Last seen, Trinity was having her first meal at home and Adam will cook tea for everyone else(and do the dishes!)
I'll still do the school run for a couple of weeks. Somewhere Adam has a roll of photos.(digital)

Sunday, 31 July 2005

Welcome to the World, Trinity!

we have a new member of the extended family.. (and yes, i'm back-dating this entry so it looks like i wrote it when she was born, rather than days later..heheh)..

Trinity Eve French

Born today thanks to Lisa and Adam (I reckon Lisa did all the hard work... an 8 pound 8 baby.. wow! *grin*)

Congratulations to them both.. and also to Carolynn and Jared who have a new little sister to play with (when she's older anyway..)..

can't wait to come as see her.. but not sure when i'll be down next.. i'll let you know!

yay!

*hugz* all round!

Thursday, 28 July 2005

Sorry Glenn

Hi all.. Glenn, sorry I hung up on you. You rang at about 6:50am, so I assumed it was my alarm going off.. and had pressed the red button before it registered that it was actually a phone call. If you waited another hour or so, I'd have definately been awake :)

Saturday, 23 July 2005

Hi to all

Great to read everyone's news. I'm glad you had a good break Dayna. I hope you get to settle too. I was thinking of you yesterday and hope you enjoyed your birthday. Damien said he rang on your mobile.
I caught up with Damien's news last night. Thank you for the phone call.
Keep posting to kilted aussie Glenn and D. We love to read your adventure stories. I'm guessing Edinburgh will be cooler.
Today is sunny here so Dad and I have been weeding. Plenty of that to do. Dad is slowly getting better from the infection and he thinks it's helped his cough as well. Yesterday he mowed the lawn. Yes we have green again.
We expect Tamara and Ray on Monday, but have said Sunday is also fine if they want a bed. We'll go to Vic Roads to change the Falcon over.
I had a busy time with the wool Show from Tuesday to Monday. (School on Thursday and Saturday off.)I started spinning an alpaca fleece I bought there last night. Nana and I joined the Spinning ladies for a Christmas in July lunch on Wednesday, I went to school on Thursday and Friday(have to catch up the holiday time off). Next week I have Thursday, Friday at school again and we're going to Carolynn's calithenics concert on Friday night and the Lion King on Saturday. Hopefully August will be a bit quieter.
all for now
Love Mum

Wednesday, 20 July 2005

Hello!

Gotta go now, but thought I'd say g'day.

You all have free movie tickets

And there's just one small issue with them. Apparently they have a typo.. so in the barcode, instead of the number 0 they have the letter "O". They're valid, they just wont scan properly.. so you can mention when you take them in that a typo is the problem, and it'll be fine.

Just so you all know (and thanks to Cheryl for finding out).

Has anyone used theirs yet? We went and saw War of the Worlds last night.. I really enjoyed it.

Saturday, 16 July 2005

end of the holiday

well, tomorrow i have to get up really early to catch a really early plane.. and unfortunately, that means back to canberra and the end of my holiday. o well.. i've had a good week.

after a full-on three weeks at work, i flew to melbourne last saturday for a week of relaxation (and partying). saturday night we had our 30/30/1 party - celebrating timmy's 30th (a little bit late), my 30th (a little bit early) and our 1st wedding anniversary. it was a really good night - it was upstairs at Za'Ba in St Kilda. we had a few cocktails (and cake, thanks Susan) with some of our friends.

sunday we had lunch with the family at our house. a relaxing and tasty affair. that afternoon, mum and dad headed back to bendigo (with the chiminea and the little washing machine in the back of the van), liz and graeme and bron (timmy's folks and older sister) headed out to croydon to visit the grandparents, and fran and duncan (timmy's little sister and her bf) headed off too (to croydon?). timmy and i packed some stuff and headed for the Novotel St Kilda - yes, we decided to spend our wedding anniversary in the same hotel that we got married in.

when we got there, the cleaners hadn't finished the room (the previous occupant had been smoking - even though the Novotel has a No Smoking policy), so we went and had a champagne in the St Moritz (on them). eventually the room was ready, and we went on up to the penthouse suite - the same room we'd had for our wedding night. it was excellent. and just like last year, we had a complimentary bottle of champagne on ice and three ferrero rocher chocies (the first test of "everything i have i share with you" *grin*). it was great - we got to watch some tv, have a spa (or two), and just enjoy the view (and the champas).

the rest of the week has continued in the "relaxation is what i want to do" vein.. we spent a lovely evening (and night) in Torquay with bronnie and rory (timmy went to school with bronnie), we've had people over for pizza and Killer Bunnies, we had dinner with penny and matt (i was in the same research group as penny) and played more Killer Bunnies and some Tekken, and we've probably done more stuff that i can't remember right now.

today we started packing my stuff back into boxes and away.. fran and duncan move in later this month, and jess (one of timmy's friends) moves in next week. so all of my stuff needs to be packed up and away.

i figured out today that since starting uni (yes, more than a decade ago), i've not been in a house for longer than two years. i've moved a LOT!! i don't think i like it any more. i think i'd like to be in a place a little bit longer than that now.. if only so i can unpack all of my boxes into homes - just once.

anyway... i've babbled enough (and i've got to wash the dye out of my hair now..)
*hugz*

Tuesday, 12 July 2005

Hi everyone

I thought it was about time I contributed! :)
Things are going well. Work is still good.It's mid-year break at the moment, but it'll get crazy-busy next week when classes start up again. Apart from work, Damien & I have been enjoying the many things Adelaide has to offer. We went to a food & cooking festival last weekend and picked up some chocolate salami! :)
That's about it for now!

Monday, 11 July 2005

baby update

nothing majorly interesting, just an update on how we're going...

i've been going in for monitoring twice a week - a ctg where they can monitor the baby's heart rate while i sit for 20 minutes watching tv. no problems there. baby's size is normal, i have another ultrasound on wednesday...my belly is slowly heading south, which means bub's getting into position...and finally my blood glucose has mostly been ok, i've had an odd couple of high readings but then it was back to under 6.5.

i think that's about it, like i said, nothing really interesting, but all's well. bub'll be here sometime within the next 4 weeks.

Thursday, 7 July 2005

In case 50 movie tickets weren't enough..

Cheryl and I have been planning on going to see Batman Returns for a few weeks now. Originally, we were going to go with some friends of ours, but they went without us. That being the case, we decided to go this weekend.. we couldn't wait for the No Free Tickets listing to be off it, so we figured we'd pay for the tickets.

Anyway, yesterday I got a package in the mail. Turns out I won two free tickets to Batman Returns :D

They're better than using two of the 50 I won, too, because they can be used at pretty much any cinema, and can be used even if it's NFT. So yay, we've got out of paying the $30 or so for the tickets.

I also won the Batman Returns PS2 game.. so now I just need to win a PS2.. ;)

Wednesday, 29 June 2005

Work is boring!

DSCF3615
One day down, one day to go.
Okay, I'm going to edit this post because I wrote it at 4 o'clock yesterday when, I'll be honest, my brain wasn't exactly in top gear. Or even any gear; have you ever had one of those days where it seems like the clock is ticking backwards, and Management have decided that today is the day to get you to work on every boring project that has never been completed, mostly because they are only ever given to people on their second-to-last day? I'm talking about, "documenting the user administration of the Intranet," or "counting how many of the coffee granules are not a uniform shape, then arranging them by order of increasing weight, sub-order size. Then entering that information into a database. In binary. With a magnet on the disk platters."

You get my drift.

Luckily for me, today is the last day, so all that stuff is now picked up by however is next to leave, which based on prior experience and the current state of the business could be the boss, except he will go out the window rather than down the stairs.

I can't wait to be on holidays!!

Sword woes

Hi all,

Cheryl and I are well. Cheryl's work is still loving her, and she's still enjoying it.. although rather than talk about that, I'll just have to invite her to join this so she can post herself. My work has been crazy busy.. so busy, in fact, that we're getting another person on staff. That takes the total from about 4 when I started to around 10.. so it's growing. Hopefully not too fast.

I ordered a sword on Saturday from a martial arts place out in Pooraka. On Sunday I was talking to my sensei (that's plural and singular, incidentally.. there was two of them in this case) and discovered the blade I had ordered for $550 was.. well.. not the highest quality. The wrappings on the tsuka (the blunt end) tend to unwrap or even disintergrate after a small amount of use, and it's $200 to get a sword rewrapped. Also, the tsuka (the guard seperating the blunt end from the sharp end) tends to come loose and rattle. So I rang the place on Monday, and cancelled my order.. lucky, really, because I wouldn't be able to afford a new sword once that one fell apart.

Now I'm going to order one through the dojo, from Seki City in Japan, an area famous for it's blades. So it should be a bit better. For everyone future reference, avoid the Paul Chen manufactured blades!

Anyway, I'd better get back to work. We're redoing the Immigration SA site.. it's a huge job, and right now I have the fun job of dropping in all the content. And I can't even complain about how badly the site is built, because I did that too :)

Tuesday, 28 June 2005

Cauliflower soup

*crawls out from under the bandwagon*

i'm SO tired tonight.. this fortnight is very busy at work. We've been running workshops for the Smovers every morning (Voice and stage 9 - 10am, then either Think Tank or Journal Club from 10 till about lunch time).. That kind of "hands on" stuff really eats your day up!

It's kind of funny.. After the long weekend, I was down 4 or 5 hours. Mostly because I didn't drive back until Tuesday - ensuring I missed all of the crazy traffic AND I got to have another evening with Timmy - yay! Now, I'm up about 9 hours - and as much as I keep saying I'm going to leave early (so I can go to the shops.. maybe buy a new bicycle light cos mine has died - they don't like to be dropped), I find myself still in the office at 5pm each night... at least!

The rest of the week is just as busy.. Tomorrow I've got meetings until 4pm, then Thursday and Friday we're going off-site for some team training (*fingers crossed it helps*).. I'll fly to Melbourne friday night, G&D's party on Saturday night, Timmy's birthday on Sunday and I fly back to Canberra on Sunday night. *phew* and it doesn't finish there!

Next week is the Invention Convention (we bring 30 kids to Canberra and teach them all about enterprise and entrepreneurship).. Emma is our IC manager who has it all under control.. but I've got a few jobs during the week, as do the rest of the Smovers. On top of that, I want to see at least a bare-bones-run-through of everyone's shows next week - because I'm having the next week off! Yes, I get to spend a whole week in Melbourne with Timmy!! Yay! We're even going to stay at the Novotel, St Kilda for our anniversary night (because we wanted to do something special). And then the Smovers (most of them) are off on the road on the 17th July. I'll be off to Townsville to visit them in their second week (most probably). So it's busy busy busy for me. *grin* At least I'm liking the job.

The house on the other hand... nah, it's okay.. see my other blog to get an idea about the (little but annoying) frustrations I'm having..

That's enough from me (for now...)

*lays down in the back of the bandwagon and falls asleep.*
*wakes up again because she remembers that she has cauliflower soup to eat*
*eats cauliflower soup*
yummo!