Sunday, May 31, 2009

Take the Sun...

Marcus' handwriting has taken a great leap forward, and what he has to say is terrific too.

Friday, May 29, 2009


"We are giving away free grill accessory, spatula (turner).
It is made of plastic and please use it only after the grilled product is out of the grill/BBQ. Don't use it on open fire!... Our trained staff will answer your questions as soon as possible, we can advice you, which grill will be most suitable for your needs and more. Soon we will have our own grill/bbq store and you will have possibility to order high quality products online or by phone. Meanwhile we are here to give you advices on weber gas grills and BBQ matters."

Have they gone crazy? That is one awesome spatula!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A new start

I made a big decision yesterday.

I have been feeling miserable, regularly, since day 1 of the football season. Its been getting steadily worse, and I felt such a sense of dread about the inevitable Monday football talk at work yesterday that I put my headphones on the minute I arrived, and glared at everyone all day. I acted like a prat.

So. I have done the only sensible thing and disowned my football team. Folk wisdom says you can't do it, and it remains to be seen if I can pull it off. I haven't changed teams, I have just ditched mine in the gutter, where they belong. I love football, and there is no way I can just omit it from my life, but it is going to get a lot less of my time, and you will not be hearing about it here any more.

I have advised Marcus several times in the past to leave while he still can, and find another team. It's quite acceptable to do that when you are only seven. He has refused. I am hoping that my concrete example might encourage him to follow me away from a team that he loves dearly, but who repay his love with utter rubbish.

I am going to throw myself into gardening, reading, or possibly learning to play the piano. I am going to pay more attention to the real things going on in the world, on this side of the boundary line. Like anyone giving up an addiction, I have to acknowledge that life without it will be less exciting, but like them I can look forward to being a more pleasant person.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Your basket contains (2) condom machines and (1) saxophone

As I was nosing around the net for images of musical instruments, I came across a site called, "connecting buyers with China suppliers". One company makes musical instruments AND vending machines, and also this.

One click away you can find out more about Tide International Company.
We can make all kinds musical instruments according to customers' special requirements, and produce the high quality products of novel style, consummate technology, sensitive pronouncing, accurate syllable, graceful sound ... The soonest delivery time and the most efficient response to any fax/email/letter are duly guaranteed.

We insist on the high quality as the base, technology as the leading guide, after sale as the guarantee and the mutual reciprocity & mutual benefit policy, and also the principle of "Good Faith ultimately, Be the acme of perfection", heartedly hope to cooperate with all friends domestic and international, expand the bright market together.

Also, in the year 2000, we have set up one vending machine factory in Shandong. Established with a belief to unravel precision Vending machines, are engaged in manufacture, export and supply business of Candy Vending Machine, Capsule/Toy Vending Machine, Gum Vending Machine and others...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mah jongg domination

Marcus has got the wood on me. I have not beaten him at mah jongg for some time. He is crafty but he is also damnably lucky. The flowers and seasons are 8 tiles that you can keep and put aside when you pick one up - they are an aspect of mah jongg that is pure luck. On average I pick up 2 and Marcus gets the other six.

Mostly for my protection we have set a scoring limit of 2000 per hand. It's just as well because on our last hand Marcus scored 11,520 to my 268. Ouch.

Found online magazine

Every now and then I go over to Found, to see what people have been finding in the snow in parking lots in Minneapolis, or taped to telegraph poles in Oslo.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Trap for young sauciers

I bought this thinking it was chicken stock. Elf pointed out the important word "style", printed in hard-to-read black on blue, under "Chicken". Of course it also says "no animal content" but I didn't notice that.

This has opened up a whole new world for me, of "chicken-style" things. I am going to start with a "chicken-style" caesar salad, move on to "chicken-style" noodle soup and maybe finish with "chicken-style" kiev. Delish!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tardy funsters make do with ice mush

We had a big dump of snow on the mountain on Friday night. Elf and I tried to get the boys out early on Saturday to go up and play in it, but by the time we got there it was all pretty trampled. The road was closed at The Springs, so we squeezed into the carpark there and did a bit of a mild romp in the same tennis-court-sized patch of snow as about 30 other funsters of all ages.

Last night the weather was appalling. Neither Elf or I got any sleep. The wind was constant, it basically sounded like someone was vacuuming our bedroom. The boys slept through it with no problems at all.

We hoped that at least some more snow would have fallen, so we could take advantage of being awake and be the first ones up there this morning. But no. Marcus and I went up anyway for a look, and threw some loosely packed ice-mush-balls at each other.

Then we went for a walk up a track and found the University of Tasmania's Cosmic Rays Observatory. Sounds very impressive doesn't it? It is very small green A-frame shed. Yet they keep an eye on the Earth's bombardment by stuff from beyond our galaxy.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Attention blog visitors - triangulating you now.

I have started using Google Analytics to try to work out why the hell people from umpteen countries keep on blundering in here. Apparently a lot of them are looking for names for netball teams.

Anyway - I have banged on about the glorious variety of countries from which I have attracted (mostly once-off) visitors. Now I have a finer grain of data - I know which city they are from! And this takes it to a more interesting yet spooky level of intimacy.

Among others I have had one visit each from;

Whippany, New Jersey
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Bismarck, North Dakota
Nelson, New Zealand
Nei-Hu, China
Uddingston, Scotland
Katowice, Poland
Ikoma, Japan
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Alcala de Henares, Spain
and also Don Mills (a suburb, not a person), in Toronto, Canada.

And I say to all of you: I hope I was some help in naming your netball team.

A thing a lot of people put on their blog is "funny things people have googled to get here". I am above such puerile filler and plus I have never known how to find that out. But now I do, so:

"whatever happened to hovercraft"
"netball team name suggestions"
"margaret pomeranz hair"
"ideas for netball team names"
"gravelly beach tasmania greek restaurant"
"fun netball team names"
"betty boop shop wynyard tasmania"
"cool netball team names"

Misc Thursday sniplets

Remember that duo called "Peaches & Herb" who had a big hit in the eighties with Reunited (And It Feels So Good)? Well I just found out that over the career of the duo (1967-present) there have been five different "Peaches". Kind of like Skippy and Lassie, but with huge sunglasses and electric drums.

Today's definition: pragmatism. The people who design, manufacture and sell Hawthorn Football Club sportswear these days, and the people who wear it. The club colours are brown and gold (see guernsey left). Caving in to popular taste, the merch is now appearing predominantly in navy blue (see official 2008 premiership polo shirt right). Pragmatism. Or possibly despicable craven cash-driven TREASON. I'm not sure.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Where they're at

Marcus: insatiable hunger for algebra.

Michael: can't stop making Mother's Day cards. In this excerpt from one of them, Tasmania turns into an alien, en route to becoming a love heart.

Bike rain shadow

Monday, May 11, 2009

Implosions on the tarmac

I love a mixed metaphor. It's a traditional staple of sports reporting and despite the best efforts of spoilsports like Media Watch, it's still going strong. I was reading the Hobart Mercury on Saturday when I was arrested by this vivid image.
Can a blueprint be in danger of imploding? I have checked with international blueprint experts, and they all say no. I thought "I will make fun of this journalist's little mistake in my blog". I forgot to bring in the clipping from the paper so I did a google search for "imploded on the tarmac". I didn't find the article above, but I did find this:

And also this:

To be fair, that one was an imploding quest, not blueprint. However you've got to love the way he's also squeezed in a target on Ponting's head, a backyard, dreams turned to dust in a sizzling heatwave, Ponting trapped in a time warp with a nightmare, a sore point AND a hurdle.

Ben Dorries. Definitely paid per metaphor (or part thereof).

Popular with the under sevens

At the soccer. Liam's little brother was too much of a handful on the sidelines last week, so this week his dad brought along the portable DVD player.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

U/7 and O/35 soccer news

My soccer team had a bye on Friday night so we decided to have a barbecue at our place. The whole team plus kids attended so upstairs was pretty full. It was quite a mild evening so the kids just did kid things outside in the dark for a while, then came in to watch a dvd. We seemed to have the usual ton too much food, but it nearly all vanished in the end, and I didn't set anything on fire, so good results all round.

Meanwhile, the Under 7 Bandicoot division got underway last weekend. Marcus now plays 5-a side, and he is part of a squad of ten, which keeps the substitutions nice and simple. They won their first match 9-1, but came back to earth yesterday going down 5-7 to the always excellent Taroona Blue. It was a high standard game, with a lot of talented players on both sides.

One of our goals was majestic. Liam took a kick-in on the sideline, lofted a sweeping ball through and over a crowd for Marcus to run onto - he controlled it just inside the corner, whipped it into the penalty spot (or where it would be if there was one) and David buried it with a lovely first time finish. Olé! Golagolagolagolagolagolagolagolagola etc.

As the tide turned and Taroona scored 3 on the trot Marcus let his emotions get the better of him, and I had to take him for a walk and talk before he was ready to go back on. His intensity is at World Cup final levels, but he still only has a 7 year old's ability to control it.

Next week they play Mt Nelson Alpha. There are some pretty wild names in the various rosters South Hobart teams play in. Princes Street has the Rockstars, Cyclone, Lightning and the Bombers, Sandy Bay Infants are the Superkickers, and down south are the Huon Valley Voltage and our old friends the Cygnet Sea Dragons.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sometimes you forget

I was cooking, Michael was drawing. A thought struck him, and he jumped up and came into the kitchen.

"Dad - sometimes when you tell someone something, later - you forget what you've said. Sometimes - when you tell someone something, later - you forget what you've said." I asked "Is that a joke? Did you hear that somewhere?" Michael said "No, I made it up myself out of my head."

Clarence d Hobart

We went out to Richmond with Rob this afternoon to have a look at our first Tasmanian State League game. Once again, football in this state is trying to put aside parochial differences and run a single top level competition. As part of the outreach campaign they are taking occasional games to the countryside, like today.

Michael was asleep when we arrived and very cross when he woke up. I dragged him off to circumnavigate the ground, and he cheered up when he found some nice pine cones.

It was a beautiful day, and the struggling Hobart Tigers took it up to traditional powerhouse Clarence in the first half. By half time the Roos had their nose in front, then the 3rd quarter was one way traffic with 7 goals to none in Clarence's favour. The Tiges held it together in the last term, never threatening a comeback but not lying down either.

Five minutes before the bell we deserted the Tigers, and drove to the bakery for coffee and cake.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Freedom is a Toyota Stout

Has there ever been a better named automobile?

Tiny green truck

Ah, the Honda T500. Look at the beautifully simple dashboard. Pics courtesy of

Plastic bag ban

They have banned plastic bags in South Australia, and talk is rife that the ban will spread. I don't know about you, but I'm digging a short trench, buying a length of poly pipe and burying my plastic bags. Damn do-gooder big-government political correctness! Don't tell them I told you. Also I'm buying two pallets of tins of beans, and growing a beard.

Dog dreams

When we see a dog lying on its side, fast asleep, with its legs twitching, don't we all say "Ah, he's dreaming of chasing rabbits"?

Has it ever occurred to anyone else, that he's actually dreaming he's being chased by a rabbit - a seven foot tall rabbit with dripping fangs and flames bursting forth from it's nostrils? A rabbit that bears a strange resemblance to that dog that used to live next door, that one with the stupid jingly collar that gave him fleas that time, and that didn't know how to fetch, but actually bit the newspaper in half, and also by the way, the sky is green?