Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Here be Dragons

Great North Walk
Back in August 2007 we took the kids for a walk around the STEP track. A year later Annalise is walking better and taking more interest in the environment around her; commentating on the birds, ants, flowers and trees as we walked. The last year has been dry and this time I couldn't find any of the endangered carnivorous sundews (Drosera). There is also noticeably more fallen timber, branches and leaf litter in the Terry's Creak Valley which is going to fuel a ripper of a fire when one eventually comes through.

And we saw a dragon

(apologies for the appalling vid but I'm crap at editing this kind of stuff)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cockatoo Vs. Wooden Snake

KookaburraPink and Grey Galah on the back fence
Living on the edge of the National park we have a variety of birds come visit. It would be unusual for us to have breakfast alone without at least one sulphur-crested cockatoo, eastern rozella, rainbow lorikeet, pink and grey galah or kookaburra come up to the window to see what us two-legs-no-feathers-can't-fly are doing.
They are very playful social animals. I've come across at least one paper which found that the sulphur-crested cockatoo is the worlds most intelligent bird. They live for over 100 years, and in addition to being large (50 cm, 20 inches) inquisitive, cheeky showoffs they love to make a noise with their valley filling raucous screech. All well and good but the cockatoos are big and like to chew houses, stripping the wood, detaching guttering and removing fly-screen, just for the fun of it. They also crap on your washing and the bastards know exactly what they are doing when they do so.
To try and keep them at a distance from the washing we put a relativly lifelike $2 wooden snake on the fence.
It worked for about a week.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Difference between Australia and NZ.

Dispite popular opinion held on the internet, I wish to point out that Australia and NZ are completely different nations. as a glance at our flags should convincingly show. Ay bro?

Australian and New Zealand Flags
Flag of Australia   Flag of New Zealand

Now I know that we are both are young relatively low population, predominantly English speaking, 'western' counties which were 'discovered' by Cook and, at least for now, admit the The Queen of England as the head of state, which all could lead to some confusion, and yes, it it impossible for anyone not from one side or the other of our ditchdutch to understand what we mean when we say "please pass the pasta pastor". But we are clearly different, our societies and accents as each as distinct as out flags.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Laughing at Tooheys' new comercial

Yeah, yeah - I know it's viral marketing and all that who-ha but anything that takes the piss out'a the seppos is grouse.

Found them - you can stop looking everybody

In the gym bag. I must have vagued out after the 2h spin / pump back to back gym marathon on Monday that left me gasping and feeling as if I had bled out. I usually cope with being a scatter brain by attaching my keys to my belt loop via a 'bina - oh so high fashion I know but that's a price I'm willing to pay for being able to open the front door when I get home.

In other news I'm having more trouble deciding what to wear today than figuring out what to wear to a swingers party. I've been invited to a graduation for one of my staff; to tie or not to tie, that is the question. French cuffs or dress down?

I need your help people.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Little Bastards

The Aussie bull ant (Myrmecia sp).

When it comes to poisonous critters we've got the 'est': most venomous etc. Even the bloody platypus is venomous. Now the Brown Snake may be all the rage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and certainly has a rather cool - hay I'm one of the dedliest snakes in the world - kind of thing going for its image and sure, bull ants are not in that league of poisonousness as say a box jellyfish, nore do they swarm in insane numbers like green tree ants but at up to 30mm long (3cm or 1.2 inches for you non SI types) and each and every one of them delivering a sting from their mandibles and multiple stings from their hypodermic tail sting, these guys are not to be fucked with. At 3 (out of 4) on the Starr sting pain scale that's about as bad as it gets. They aggressively chase you, can jump and whilst usually solitary, they will swarm if you are stupid or unlucky and stand on a nest.
They are responsible for more deaths than snake bite, shark attack, spider bite and crock attack combined.
They are primitive and pre-date the separation of wasps from ants.
There is a larger one - black with yellow pincers, 40mm long, that is absolutely solitary and is much more aggressive. Whilst the photo would have been good I'm glad these were not the bigger ant as I took this photo less than 30m from my back door.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

So, did I ever tell you about the time...

I'm not sure whether to tell you about the new gym instructor, the one way glass windows or the girl whom I accidentally disrobed..

Reverse order then.

So, did I ever tell you about the time I accidentally stripped a complete stranger out of her dress?
No, well OK then..
It seems like it was only yesterday, which is not a complete surprise as it was in fact, only yesterday.
I was on my way to a meeting in another part of the uni. The building is about half way across campus and, unsurprisingly, the room is up a long staircase.
About halfway up said staircase I encountered a young(ish) woman walking down the other way. Normal people move the the left, just like driving, it's the basic collision avoidance mechanism, part of the social contract - I move a bit out of the way, you move a bit out of the way and we all get along together.
But no.
Not this lass.
Tall, kind of skinny, browny blond hair, alternate rustic hippie look - cheese cloth blouse and long ankle length flowing Balinese batik thin cotton skirt and sandals.
I noticed the silver toe ring.
I noticed it because she was coming right down the center of the fucking staircase.
I moved so far to the side my left arm was against the wall. I uttered something like FFS. Then there was an almighty 'rip'. I had trodden on the train of her skirt. Quick look down. two bare legs and in a pair of daggy nickers. Eyes back forward I said something like "Jesus lady, it's not like you made it easy, I couldn't get any further out of you way.. your bad - not mine. I shan't look down, and how about next time you have the courtesy to move to the side on the footpath like every other living human, (perhaps excepting the yanks)".
She said nothing.
I walked up and took the next left exiting the stairs and quickly stepped up to the window to see if she exited the building... nope.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Chopstick etiquette

Chinese people seem happy to pick up the bowl and shovel everything in with their chopsticks. What's the etiquette here: is it more polite / refined to leave the bowl on the table or does it not matter? Can you talk when you have your mouth full or your face covered by the bowl? How do you pick up more food from a communal plate if you have already stuck your chopsticks in your mouth? - surly you can't put them back into the mix sharing your bird flue with everyone else. But most importantly - can you pick up the disposable plastic trays of food when you eat Chinese takeaway?, because it looks like your eating from a trough. And if you can do it with Chinese food, can you get away raising the bowl with Thai as the Thais don't even use chopsticks.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Sick kids

Gastro from Jupiter I do believe.
Sorry, got to go and clean more vomit off the floor.