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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?

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...
I'm not very good, it takes me about 8-10 minutes to do an easy one :)

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..)..


hope everyone is well.


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

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)

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

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?


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.