Friday, September 28, 2007

Last week of september

I have not blogged for a week, that's one of my longest gaps ever I think.

As I write I'm listening to a recording of Marcus playing the piano. My $20 MP3 recorder has worked out very well - we sent the first CD of boys' chatter over to Elf's grandparents this week. The recording quality is about the same as an old fashioned tape recorder.

My teaching stint is complete - massive sigh of relief. It took me until the 3rd week to work out the parking arrangements. I did ask, but I got a bum steer from someone who should know, and got a ticket for my trouble. I have been asked to come back at some future stage, so I must have gone OK. The kids' work ranged from semi-competent to truly inspired, and it was kind of fun in a terrifying way... I guess.

The front of our house is still a bombsite. When building the parking space, Greg shortened it by 700mm for reasons not clear to us. He was quite deliberate about it, but we never did get a straight answer as to why. The council have now asked for it to be 700mm longer. Greg is put out, as it means taking down a brick wall with steel reo rods through it. Anyway- it has to happen, hopefully it will happen SOON.

My soccer team is humming along in very good form. We won a tough tussle 16-14 last week. Lawn bowls starts up again soon - I'm intending this to be my last season. At least until I have bi-focals and, lets say, grandchildren.

I will try to get back to frequent short blogs next week. Marcus has just finished his 12 minute opus - at the end he says it is titled "Half a Song".

Friday, September 21, 2007

A bit of Leo

Never mind all that rubbish about a code, just have a look at thedrawings of Leonardo da Vinci.They are amazing enough on their own without introducing albino monk assassins and Tommy Hanks.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Possibly velvet pants

Sally sent me this. I look a bit like Michael here. I think that's a not-Lego© aeroplane at my feet. We had lego-sized blocks that were not as highly engineered as Lego©, and soft enough to be chewed by the dogs, further eroding possibilities for precision constructions. I am vaguely recalling an aircraft building phase. Thanks Sal!

More quotes

The boys and I were talking about the various names of Santa. Marcus started by asking why he is called Santa Claws when he doesn't actually have any claws. I explained the history as best I can recall: Saint Nicholas -> Sinter Klaus -> Santa Claus. Elf calls him Father Christmas, I call him Santa, and I told the boys I didn't really care which name they called him.

Marcus: I call him Present-giving Nice Dead Person.
Me: He's not dead!
Marcus: How can he not be dead if he lived all those years ago?
Me: Hmm....
Michael: I call him... I call him... I call him Starry Balls.

- · - · - · - · - · - · - · - · - · - · - · - · - · - · - · - · - · - · - · - · - ·

We were all thinking of words that start with the letter I. Coinidentally the boys have two aunts, Imogen and Irma. I mentioned Iceland, then the boys staggered me with the number of countries they knew starting with I. Michael said "Italy!!" then while I was boggling at him, followed this up with a two handed "sharing the love" gesture and the statement "Italy is full of history. The world is full of history."

He is fully ready to host Eurovision.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Worldwide foam

I was discussing Michael J. Fox with Marcus - he is best known in the under-sixes as the voice of Stuart Little the animatronic mouse. We told Marcus about MJF's Parkinson's disease. I said that MJF was a top person, who appreciated that he was better off than a lot of people, with all his money and fame. A lot of people wish they had money and fame, etc.

Marcus asked "but why do people want foam?"

Chalk and talk

Last week I finally joined the family business - teaching. My dad is a retired economics and legal studies teacher. My mum is a retired art teacher. My sisters have both taught, Jacki in dance and Sally in I think "image making" at Art School.

Now I too have answered the call to go back to Art School and try to impart something to a room full of young art students. My first lesson went fairly well I think, although I didn't really address the course outline, and I babbled slightly. I am teaching them about Flash, which is software I use every day now, and have been using since 2001.

Tomorrow I am going back for the second of three lessons. I was worried about what to talk about, when I suddenly remembered there was a course I was supposed to teach, so I can use that! Phew. Last week I pretty much just reeled off everything I know in the sequence that I knowed it.

It's quite odd being back there. I enjoyed my 3 years studying there very much, but just haven't felt much need to go back in the ensuing 19 years. It went through a Fort Knox period in the nineties when it was just too hard to even get in, and I think that's probably when I gave up on it.

I haven't worked out yet how much I am going to be paid, but the main reason I am down there is that my brother-in-law Matt (who is on staff) assured me the pay was good. I can see how one could be seduced into a life of art school academé, although I was pretty scathing about them when I was an undergrad.

Knackered 14 d Wilkins 3

Marcus came along to watch as we had an early 6.30 game. Adrian the economist filled in for Adrian the IT guy, and Paul was also away. Luckily Ben the erstwhile goalkeeper was in town, so he guest-starred in goal for us. Cam, Mel and myself made five.

It started pretty tightly, like last time we played them. After about five minutes we broke it open. I kicked 7 goals by Marcus's count. Wilkins had no subs, so for once we had the edge in the fresh legs department.

Particularly in the second half we scored some awesome goals, with sharp passing movements and crisp finishing. We seem to be able to play well, whoever pulls on the green guernsey on the night.

I've got a calf strain that is getting worse each week, and my right foot has chronic artrhitis in the big toe and a persistent pain diagonally through the middle of it. At some point I have to get to my old doctor down in Lower Sandy Bay to get it checked out, but its quite hard to organise.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Large vehicles sound horn

When I am needing a quiet moment of contemplation, I like to check out what is happening around this hairpin bend in Slovenia.

Foorty finals fire up

The Crows v Hawthorn game on Saturday was magnificent. I was going for the Crows by the end, as they had led all day and made the running, playing attacking football which is not always their style. Buddy Franklin kicked a goal just before the bell to win it for the Hawks. He accumulated seven goals with even seeming to dominate - an amazing player.

Whether to play injured champions is always a hot topic in finals. Recent evidence would show that it's a mistake. Mark Ricciuto wasn't able to contribute anything for Adelaide, and took the place of a fit youngster.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Scamps on the weekend

The weather was superb on the weekend. We had a noodling at home day on Saturday, featuring some painting in the backyard. I just couldn't find the kids' paints, so they had a go with my acrylics, but they dry too fast in the sun. Continuing the paint theme, Elf and the boys started painting the timber balustrades with the left over "Tree of Heaven" green.

Sunday was extremely social with visits from Lana, Sharyn and Millie; Mary, Simon and Miranda; and Sally, Mum and Dad. After that we went up to Nick and Anna's. Then exhaustion set in.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Knackered 16 d Old School Muscle 11

We went into this game against an unbeaten side without Cam (gastro), but with the addition of a new keeper, Andy. We started well, getting out to 2-0. After about ten minutes the score as up to 6-6. It was a bit of a shootout after last week's tight 4-goal game. Paul was on fire after being goalless the previous week. He would have finished with about 8 goals this week.

We were down by a goal at half-time, and I thought we were going to be blown away. They were (as usual) younger and fitter than us, so I expected we would tire. Andy was having his first game after a couple of years out with knee injuries, and anything that wasn't aimed right at him was going in.

We managed to stay with them early in the second half. We put away nearly every chance we had, and with about 6 minutes to go we had a 2 goal lead. Suddenly Paul went beserk and we were five goals up. OSM pretty much went to water and we were able to ease through the last three minutes, knocking the ball around and playing it safe for a fantastic win.

Melinda played her second game for us and again was solid as a rock. Her fitness really told in the second half, when her second and third efforts regained lost possession several times. It was a great win and the team is building very nicely.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Wolf Song

I mentioned finishing this back in May or June, but never embedded it here. Now with properly mastered audio. Find out all about the band here

The Wolf Song.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Wherever Song

Finished at long last! : The Wherever Song by The Leonard Cohen Brothers

MJR Typography chapter 6

"Bowling Champions" in fact refers to The Bowling Shanes, I am proud to say. We once were champions, and perhaps may be again. The smell of new-mown grass, sausages and Wilgrip© is starting to waft once more.

"Graet Piglet" is inspired by a memory of Charlotte's Web. Michael said if he was a pig he wouldn't want a spider to be his friend as it might bite him.

Michael asked me how to spell "fields", then went away and produced "Cikamy Fields". No idea what/where they are. A bit like Elysian Fields perhaps.

Knackered 4 d Wilkins 0

Knackered welcomed another new player on Friday night: Melinda, a friend of Cam's. It was very satisfying to win a low scoring game for once - it was 1-0 at half time. We had a sub for the first time in ages, and were able to work harder on court with the promise of a short break when we needed it. Melinda is a very fit and capable defender, and she also scored one of the goals, as did Cam, who was best-on-court. Our defence was fantastic all night, and Wilkins had very few chances to shoot from close up.

Stonehenge technology

I dug out three fence posts embedded in concrete on the weekend. One had been sheared off just below ground level, and was starting to protrude in a nasty way. The others had just been deeemd to hard by the fencing guy, and left cut off at shin height. I felt a twinge of kinship with the builders of Stonehenge as I tried to get these massively heavy things up out of their holes, using leverage, ramps and basic physics. Thanks to our slope, once I had dug around the downhill side a bit I could work them out of the ground and roll them away to await eventual disposal. Or we might just bury them in the fill around our parking bay, when that ever gets finished.

Jogging through the brewery

The warm weather last week spurred me to go for a run in the morning. I have now done it seven weekday mornings in a row, so I am calling it a habit. It is a short gradual climb up Cascade Rd, between the brewery and the fruit juice factory, as far as the skinny paddock with two sheep and a truck full of firewood. I pant hello to the sheep then turn around and coast back down. I run through the smell of apples and malt and barley and the sounds of dozens of crows sitting on the apple pallets and swooping from the water tanks and whooshing steam and enormous muffled explosions. On the way up the hill I am looking at Mt Wellington, which has had a few overnight snowfalls this week. If I leave a little late I get to see the sun light up the mountain. It's a great way to wake up.