Friday, December 24, 2010

It's bark is worse in this light

Eucalyptus saligna forms a continuous hybrid with E. pilularis
The three 50m trees in our backyard are probably slightly towards the saligna end of the spectrum as the branch forks are more open than the pronounced, upright V's of the blackbutts and the perminant bark just covers slightly more than a quarter of the main trunk. The rest of the smooth bark (an infra-red reflecting adaption to frequent fires) sheds annually.
Why the science lesson?:
Our backyard is covered in a substantial layer of bark.
These photos were taken the day after we mowed - less than 24 hrs.

Off on holls down the coast - I'll take some photos for you so you know what you are missing out on.

Any way, Merry Xmas, and a 'appy new one.

Chat next year.


Sunday, December 19, 2010


My daughter who does gymnastics at a fairly well regarded local gym school that has turned out several international (i.e. Olympic level) gymnasts is building its international level coaching and, a week ago invited my daughter to try out..

She has been has been asked to train with their International Development Program.

This is a big deal. The gym is, as I said, well regarded, families relocate cities to give their kids the opportunity to train in these programs with these international coaches. It just so happens that it is the most local gym to us. We only ever intended for gym to be something fun for our kids to do that would give them a good basic kinetics and help develop them physically. We've watched the elite kids training and said over and over to ourselves that we will never get involved in that - the tens of hours a week that those kids train, the injuries, the childhood lost.

And now she has been asked to try out - and been asked to continue in the highest stream, we don't know what to do:

On the one hand this could be a fab opportunity for her to develop her confidence and physicality, on the other hand it's an enormous ask of a 6 year old, the time commitment, the opportunity cost, the family focus and commitment required, all for what exactly? The chance to compete on the world stage and the minuscule chance that it would be rewarded .... do you deny your child a chance like this when offered?

A dilemma

Friday, December 10, 2010

Conversation with a 4 yearold

4 year old: "Dad! I found a worm crawling outside."

Me: "Hold on, I'll get a knife and fork for us."

I get the knife and fork and run outside with him.

4 year old, looking up at me, puzzled expression: "Why didn't you get two plates??"

The Antikythera mechanism (in Lego)

The Antikythera mechanism is a mechanical computer thought to have been built around 150BC or slightly later. It accurately predicts a range of astronomical phenomena such as eclipses. Mechanically it is more than a thousand years ahead of it's time. Which makes me think yet again where would be we technologically today if not for the decent into religious fundamentalism of the dark ages.

Some cleaver bunny has built it out of lego:

(p.s. I'd put $100 bucks on it that it was built by a bloke, a chick would-never be gh33ky enough to do this)

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Human tails for young fairies

On some of the longer car trips we have been undertaking recently we have been listening to the first of the Harry Potter audio books. For the most part they are beyond my little man (he's 4) but he's been asking some fairly detailed questions that show he's been getting more of it than I thought. It's unusual for our kids to get any TV but last night we played about half of the first movie as a treat. Having listened to the story and now seeing it it's been great to see how they've really got into a fairly complex story.
If they don't have nightmares I may give them my version of Snow Wight and the Seven Dwarfs.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

A few days down at the beach house

We were going to go up to Fingle Bay for a friends 40th but the starter motor on the $x$ carked it and couldn't be replaced in time so instead we headed south to the beach house at Rosedale. We copped a fair bit of rain and a huge swell - and me w/o my board :-(
I made do with the old shark biscuit and managed to catch a few although the swell ended up being so big I was too tired to fight it and ended up missing even the easiest of waves. Photos for those inclined or with a fast connection are here else these ones are prolly the best:
I love the look on his face when I try to catch him
She smiles most of the time regardless.
Me on the esky lid

And finally a shaky cam of me not catching any waves - too busy watching the dolphins swimming past. The surf here was about 1m, through the day it built to over 3m of pounding crunching nastiness.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Propper Car Wash


And other picks from our trip with the Toyota Landcruser Club out to the Wollondilly River via the tracks south east from Oberon.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Violence against women

25 Nov is White Ribbon Day

Men are good.

Regardless of the emotional abuse and thoughtlessness many men are subjected to throughout their lives, men are still good.

Hurt and frustrated that many of their basic needs are marginalised and emotionally isolated in many ways men still endeavor to do everything right. Men have pored their energies into their families, through work, (often in dangerous and stressful and difficult jobs) and at home they have protected and provided, been there for their kids and wives. These are good men.

Whilst we can draw a line through Greer and Wolf through to the present day which heaps the ills of the universe on the backs of men there is no ribbon to recognise the good men do, no sympathy for the powerless frustration they feel.

I support White Ribbon Day, and Pink, Red Rainbow and every other fucking Ribbon Day. But to the implicit misandry in this particular day I say fuck you, because men are good.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Armistice Day

We shall remember them.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

How many inches ???

It seems to me that no matter how big it is - chicks are never impressed.

Good pizza but:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Storm at Balmoral

Storm at Balmoral
Saturday sushi and storm.
Storm at Balmoral Storm at Balmoral Storm at Balmoral Storm at Balmoral

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Many years ago I volunteered as a surf lifesaver and did patrol at Tamaramma, North Bondi and Freshwater beaches for a few years. Any way - I saw this add recently - made me a little nostalgic. If you don't know CPR please make an effort to go learn.

The only inaccuracy in this vid is the lack of vomit.
They always vomit.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fi fi foe fum

(image shamelessly pinched from The Sun)

That most erudite of English publications, The Sun, ran a campaign after the last Olympics celebrating their victory over us in the medal tally by driving billboards around London and Sydney with the respective gold medal counts.

Shall we take a look at the results after the recent Commonwealth Games in India..
Oh look - 74 to 37. So. to the English: Stick that up your bum.
And it's not a fluke, shall we take a look at the over all tally since the inaugural Commonwealth Games?
Oh look - 803 to 612.
You Pommies best be careful come Manchester - oh, and you probably need to bolster your numbers by competing with Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

Beating the Poms is almost as enjoyable as beating the Kiwis.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Alternate National Anthem

To the drunk bloke with the half finished tats laying on the grass outside the pool this morning - The lyrics are thus:

Traveling in a fried-out combie
On a hippie trail, head full of zombie
I met a strange lady, she made me nervous
She took me in and gave me breakfast
And she said,

"Do you come from a land down under?
Where women glow and men plunder?
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover."

Buying bread from a man in Brussels
He was six foot four and full of muscles
I said, "Do you speak-a my language?"
He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich
And he said,

"I come from a land down under
Where beer does flow and men chunder
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover."

Lying in a den in Bombay
With a slack jaw, and not much to say
I said to the man, "Are you trying to tempt me
Because I come from the land of plenty?"
And he said,

"Oh! Do you come from a land down under? (oh yeah yeah)
Where women glow and men plunder?
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover."

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

HIp hOp

Never liked it. Rap distilled everything I hate in music into a polished easily avoided product. I'm sure in the vein of Spear Head there is a great tradition of intelligent, thoughtful, clever, lyrical rap and beats in the States but American rap and hip hop's stupendous ego and self promotion, gun worship, focus on money, cars and sexism shrink wraps it all into one putrid pile of shit.

But I'm now slowly coming around - Over the last few years I've been discovering Australian hip hop. It's not a facsimile of the American product. It has grown up and now has roots firmly planted in Australian culture and unashamedly, unselfconsciously reflects and comments on the Australian social and political landscape. Tunes you can really listen to and bop along with. Tunes and lyrics that are so Australian I don't think non Aussies could appreciate just how local and relevant they are. Australian hip hop has something to say. Rap has always found fertile ground in personal self reflection and Aussies have never feared talking about their failure (Matty B, I'm looking at you), and personal pain, Bias B missing his mum brings me to tears. When he's not taking the piss fist fucking freedom that is.

Loving The Heard, whether it's wrapping political lyrics around a traditional Australian shanty, the soft target of AWB and Australia's involvement in the Middle East or shaking up the cunts and dancing on the pricks head - contemporary lyrics with a truly Australian cant - "got your arse played in mandarin" aha ha ha, sorry Johney. They do a tops recut of Redgum's classic (<- XL Mate, that's for you). Urthboy, the MC for The Heard has a bunch of good tunes but I particularly like this one taking the piss out'a the local evangelicals

According to voting on various JJJ (the yuff station) hit lists the Hilltop Hoods have the most popular AHH tune.

I love how much Aussie hip hop is about having a few (too many) with your mates:
Dialectrix - Pieces Of A Puzzle, Bliss N Eso - Down by the River the reddest red neck local tune I know of, Matty B - Aussie Weekender, Funkoars - The Hangover are all good tunes.
The Brits aren't half bad at over consumption either.

How about this anthem to low rent living: My whole life needs a coat of paint., and I laugh at the cow bell hidden away in Nothing To Lose.

AHH is heaps good

I just hope the cunts don't put their caps on backwards or I'm going back to Flame Trees.

p.s. If you've got issues with posts full of youtube clips you can get fucked.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What a month

Big things at work, big enough that my job is changing - in a good way - i'm just going to be very busy.
But that's on top of an already hectic schedule.

Fuck we are busy.

Normally between parents in law, two aunts, a sister & brother in law, my wife and I, we manage to get through the week with all the kids getting to and from school / day care, nobody starving, cloths washed and enough slack to do get a car serviced or arrange for a fridge to be repaired, pool pumps fixed etc.

This last few weeks between my wife going oversees for work here and there, sister / brother in law divorce, parents in law and aunt traveling for 6 weeks or so Everything is at a constant run. I'm particularly missing Maria (wife's aunt) who helps us with the heavy lifting of child care, school and laundry and tidying around the house mid week (what's so good about traveling to Egypt and Europe any way?). There are some really good things happening in life at the moment but I just don't feel I've got the time to really enjoy it all. Selfishly took some time last night, forgot to make a kids lunch this AM which blew out the already stretched morning schedule. Missing ideal trains, means have to start / leave work later therefore be back at home later.

I've also more than halved my drinking but it's been a bit bingy with all the 40ths and parties - perhaps I'm not sleeping so well.

Any way - don't expect much creative from me, I'm feeling a bit rushed.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Last day of my 30's

A moment to reflect perhaps Think I've done everything and everyone I had planned.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Narraburra Ski Lodge


Thanks once again dad for building a Ski Lodge with your mates.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Back from skiing. Had a really nice time. I've a heap of photos and some vanity movies we took that I'll upload over the next few days.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Australian Sex Party

For Realz
Do you think they'll attract the swinging voters?

---- Edit ----

This was on their website, and it's legit!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


What do you think of this Grindr app.

I think it would totally take off in the straight world too. Absolutely everybody would get on board looking for casual partners.. Except the girls.


It's all a bit busy here to post. Second week of semester, packing, organising my 40th etc.

Taking the kids down to the lodge next week - A week on the snow (what of it there is) should be good. One of my good mates is coming down too. He's a boarder tho' - guess he can't help it.

Expect photos in a week and a half or so.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

That time of the year

First week of semester. Students back. All the enrollment systems that I run have been working overtime for the last week. The second busiest time of the year for me, long hrs and all that.

Oh and wife is away for a fortnight. Just in case I thought the pressure was not enough already.

On the bright side I'm going skiing in two weeks.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sheeps Head Soup

We found a hundred year old cookbook at the holiday house. "The Goulburn cookery book", compiled by Mrs Forster Rutledge.
First published: 1899

Life in the Australian bush was remote and difficult. The population was low and spread thinly over vast distances. The difficulties of obtaining materials, storing and preserving food and facing the daily challenges and dangers of life created the "Australian Character". This was a classic book of that era. Check out some of the recipes



Sheeps Head Soup