To Blog or not To Blog

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Various rantings, thoughts and points of view from a 29 yr old father living in Canberra.
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Name: Mick
Email: mickATblightDOTcom
Age: 29
Lives: ACT, Australia
Mood:The current mood of mickrad at www.imood.com
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Monday, February 28, 2005

Razzie..Razzie...

The day before the Oscars, the Razzies (for worst films) are always awarded and the winners are here. The thing with the Razzies is, that usually the 'winners' are films that I would never see, or want to see, even before they are nominated! You see I am a big Batman fan, but Catwoman (Worst Picture) with *spew* Halle Berry (Worst Actress) didn't even register on my 'want-to-see' scale. I'll just continue to read my Batman Comic Compendiums and salivate in anticipation of Batman Begins. Special mention to Arnold 'Governator' for his 8 nominations over the last 25 years without actually winning an award.

Oscar..Oscar...

Tonight. The Glitz. The Glamour. And Chris Rock is hosting! Should be fun :) There's nothing quite like the Oscars to get excited about Hollywood and the movies. I mean, they all love a pat on their own backs, but the Oscars do really mean a lot to movies in general, and to the actors that get the awards, it can go towards making or breaking their careers. My mission to watch all the Best Picture nominations failed miserably, as I only saw The Aviator and Finding Neverland (which was very very good!), but I'll do my best to predict the big awards anyway. I will predict who I think will win and then who I want to win.. Who I want to win: BEST DIRECTOR: Martin Scorcese, "The Aviator" BEST ACTOR: Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Aviator" BEST ACTRESS: Kate Winslet, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Morgan Freeman, "Million Dollar Baby" BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Cate Blanchett, "The Aviator" BEST PICTURE: "The Aviator" Who will win: BEST DIRECTOR: Clint Eastwood, "Million Dollar Baby" BEST ACTOR: Jamie Foxx, "Ray" BEST ACTRESS: Hilary Swank, "Million Dollar Baby" BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Morgan Freeman, "Million Dollar Baby" BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Virginia Madsen, "Sideways" BEST PICTURE: "The Aviator" And in other awards, "The Incedibles" will easily win best animated film. "The Aviator" should win best Cinematography, and from all reports, "Sideways" will win best adapted screenplay. (that's next on my list of viewing). Jamie Foxx will probably win because of the emotion connected to the role. I haven't yet seen Ray, but I hear he does an excellent performance. I just think that Leo deserves it for his portrayal of Howard Hughes. From all reports, Virginia Madsen is in the lead for the Support Actress gong over 'our' Cate. It'd be a shame though cause Blanchett's 'Hepburn' was flawless. Mind you, I will be on Oscar blackout until the awards are shown on TV tonight. I like the surprise :)

30th? Bugger. Next time.

So, I had all the intentions of attending the Blogger Meetup on Saturday night. The plan was, I would attend the 30th Birthday Party for a friends of Fee's and then...... Ok, so that's where it stalled. The 30th was going swimmingly, but with 12 kids...yes...TWELVE kids running around, it takes quite a while to actually feed, bathe and put them all to bed. So... At about 9 o'clock, I think they were all finally asleep, and then cooking for dinner started. That was the time I was hoping to duck off and meet everyone. So, the best laid plans and all that. Although I guess I really shouldn't have expected to get out of it (only found out about the 30th after the Blogger plans) Mind you, the dinner we had at this party was magnificant. You should have seen the size of these lobster tails. As big as my ARM. I am serious! They were some big-arse lobsters. So, anyway, I'm disappointed I didn't make it out, as I am sure you all are as well :) But as they say, there's always next time!! Again...and again...and again...

Friday, February 25, 2005

Concert Review: Velvet Revolver

HOLY SHIT!!!! Ok...now that I have your attention. I traveled up to Sydney yesterday arvo, in preparation for the Velvet Revolver gig at the Hordern Pavilion last night. My neighbour and I met up with our friend at his place and we got ready and jumped on a train into the city. I love trains. Growing up in Sydney, I have fond memories of riding a train into the city, from Richmond, or Liverpool. All the way into Manly to go to the beach, or Central to visit the shops. In my experience they have always been clean, fast and easy to ride, but that's coming from a irregular patron. Not someone who uses it everyday and probably hates it! So we arrived at Central and decided that we would do a pub crawl to the Hordern because we had a couple of hours to spare. So off we trotted, during the home-time of many Sydney workers. We grabbed an outside table at our first pub (on Park Street. The Windsor I think it was?), and we proceeded to watch all the 'beautiful' people of Sydney. It's a fun pastime doing this in Sydney because there is such a huge array of humans to look at. Not like in Canberra where it seems that everyone looks pretty much the same. Boring-arse bums that we are ;) We finished our drinks and walked on down and towards the next drinking establishment. We found a small bar that our Sydney friend (a NSW Policeman) described as a 'cop bar'. It was small and clean and we grabbed a window table and discussed women, high school and work. The 3 of us have been friends for a long time and this pub crawl proved to be a great way to catch up and discuss our respective lives. So we downed our cold ones, stood up and off we went to the next pub. We walked down Oxford Street and gawked at some of the lovely dancing clubs and the eclectic mix of people in the bars and cafes along the way. We avoided most of the pubs on this street until we got closer to the Supreme Courthouse and went into a bar that is apparently used for post-judgment parties quite often. This was a real old fashioned pub. A guy with a handle-bar moustache behind the bar, and the Sky Racing on the big screen gave that away. No Stella Artois on tap either so we all had our Carlton Draughts, discussed the craziness of Queenslanders and moved on. As we neared Moore Park, and the lights of the SCG and SFS, we stepped into the Captain Cook Hotel for one last beer before we did the final leg. This was my favourite bar, mostly because of the cricket memorabilia on the walls, and the Rugby League flickering on the TV's. It's a bar that is often packed before a big game of cricket of league because it's so close to the stadiums. We chatted about old friends, and sport and after one of my mates 'destroyed' the seal, we continued on through Moore Park and towards our final destination. This walk, and the beers and the mates was a highlight of the day, but I was yet to see the band..... As we got closer to the Hordern we noticed a smattering of people, mostly wearing black t-shirts and drinking some sort of grog. This was all we saw when we finally walked into Fox Studios and looked around. Firstly, there was a huge line-up of punters waiting to get in and there was a huge array of people. Most were wearing a band t-shirt of some sort. We saw Metallica, Pantera, Stone Temple Pilots, Motorhead, Slipknot, Rolling Stones (???), Rage against the Machine (like me) and of course lots and lots of Guns n' Roses shirts. (seeing as though 3 members of VR are former members of GNR). We grabbed a feed at a quality Italian restaurant as the time drew closer to the start of the gig. I was keen as....very very keen and my anticipation grew at the sight of all the like minded Aussie rockers around me. We paid for our meal and handed our tickets over as we entered the Hordern area. There was a big tent outside the pavilion itself and we walked through to the merchandise area just outside the entrance. My cop mate bought a VR t-shirt and the 2 of us Canberra boys a sticker. (we are poor) Just as he did, we heard the strains of the Screaming Jets starting inside. I am a long time 'Jets' fan and I had been anticipating their performance almost as much as the major act. It was great to see Dave Gleeson running around on stage, whilst pumping out a selection of their classic songs. The guitarist sculled a beer as he prepared to play their 'token' slow song, 'October Grey'. Then they belted into 'Better' and the crowd, who had been very quiet and still up until then, finally got in the mood and started to move. They powered through their most popular track and then finished off with 'C'mon' (one of my favourites) and the crowd was abuzz. They were great. I have seen the Jets play a few times and I had missed them. Will definitely have to catch them next time they are in town. During the Jets, the 3 of us had been slowly but surely making our way deeper into the crowd and towards the front and centre area. When 'Better' hit, the crowd started to move and it was easier for us to move closer until we were about 5 rows back from the front, right in the middle. When the Jets finished, the crowd was noisy, excited and already very hot. There were all sorts of chants as we watched the roadies set up the stage. There were chants of: "Guns N' Roses" "We want Slash!" "We want Duff!" (i tried to start this one) "Revolver!" "Velvet!" There were even chants for Axl, but they didn't last long... The crowd was singing and revving up and then finally the house lights were cut and the concert began..... The moment that Slash and Duff hit the stage, the crowd went crazy. That's who most of us were there to see. The 2 original members of Guns N' Roses that we had seen 12 years before at Eastern Creek, were back. They looked basically the same, but Duff was ripped and looking very fit. Slash had his trademark hair and 'Jack Daniels' singlet on. He always looks the same, but that's the great thing about him. Scott Weiland, (former front man for Stone Template Pilots and chronic drug rehabber) had an awesome stage presence. He came out with a german WWII style hat on and he was moving around the stage with a lot of energy and at times seemed to be almost mimicking Axl Rose in the way he pranced around stage. They kicked into Sucker Train Blues (the opening track on the album, 'Contraband') and they were rocking. I mean really ROCKING. The crowd was intense. So much movement from side to side and front to back. It's like being in a really hot, really sweaty washing machine with the lid down and no freaking air. The Hordern Pavilion is called 'The Boiler Room' during the Big Day Out, and that is exactly how it felt in there last night. SO hot. SO boiling and SO hard to breathe. Whatever it was, about 6 songs in (during Fall to Pieces) I was spent. I have handled a lot of mosh pits in my day. Living Colour in 1993, at the same venue was one intense mosh. Last night overtook that. It was crazy. Maybe I'm just getting too old, and soft. But I scrambled my way back through the wall of people to the bathroom and just threw water on my face and down my throat trying to get some air and to catch my breath. It was hard. Even the bathroom was hot, sticky and hard to breathe in (for other reasons!) But like the Rocker I am, I headed back to the pit, slowly making my way through the squash of people as a few more songs played. And then Duff stood on the feedback speaker....and started the bass riff to 'It's so Easy'. Yessssss. I knew they were going to play some Gunners stuff and that was my cue to get back in there. So as the crowd went apeshit to the rendition of Guns n' Roses material by this hybrid band, I was ducking, weaving, jumping and lurching back into the middle of the mosh, where I was before. Nevermind the dickhead crowd surfers, or the elbows to the head or the sweaty half naked guys. I was determined to experience the show and that means being in the thick of it. There's something about being in a mosh pit that just makes the whole concert experience worthwhile. I mean, if I was just there for the music, I could play the CD really loud at home. I go to a concert to experience the music AND the crowd AND the atmosphere. So I stayed in the middle of the pit as they continued their set, which included 2 encores, 2 Stone Temple Pilots songs, and of course, 'Mr. Brownstone'. Brownstone went OFF. The crowd was getting tired, and the shirts were coming off, and Slash was on fire as they ripped through the classic Gunners track. They finished off with 'Slither', with the crowd yelling the 'Yeah's' in unison at the right moments, and Scott seemed quite impressed. The show wound up. The picks and drumsticks were flung out. (I was THIS close to getting Duff's pick TWICE. Dammit!) Slash had already said we were the loudest crowd he'd seen, and Velvet Revolver were gone. And the crowd was left, a stinky, sweaty, hot mess on the floor of the Hordern. My Rage Against the Machine shirt had a rip in it. I pulled it off as I staggered towards the exit and wrung it out. A flow of sweat, water and beer (splashed on me during the show) splashed onto the floor as some random chick watched me. I grinned at her as she screwed her face up with an "Ewww". Comments of "Awesome show" and "Best rock show ever" and "OMG, I just saw Slash on stage" and "I can't believe I saw Guns n' Roses members on stage!" (from a teenager) were heard as I walked out and met up with my mates at the designated tree meeting place. My neighbour's Metallica shirt had been ripped straight through, and my cop-mate looked bone dry. Wuss. We staggered back over Moore Park and towards the city, stopping at a servo for bottles of Gatorade. We swilled them down, replenishing our fluids and feeling a little more human, and then cabbed it on home. Not a bad effort for a bunch of nearly 30 yr olds, but I am still feeling trashed tonight, I tell you what. So it was a great day and night, and a concert I won't forget in a hurry. The ringing ears, the bruises and the headaches are just temporary pains. They are just little things to remind me that I had a great night...

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Gran Turismo 4 Photo Mode. Wow!

Gran Turismo 4 has just come out on PS2 in the US, and WOW. There is a new 'photo mode' that you can use to take pictures of your cars (of which there are literally 100's). Once you have taken the photo, you can transfer the jpgs to your USB drive, plugged into the PS2, and then onto your PC. Check out hundreds of 'photos' here. I found a nice pic of a Monaro there too.

Do NOT read if you are still bitter about the Bush Election 'victory'

This article has a lot of information on the voting discrepancies from the Ohio voting process in the 2004 US election. Boils my fucking blood. But....eh...do we expect anything different? It's all fucking rigged anyway.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

I've got my mosh shoes on...

Well, I'm off to see Velvet Revolver this arvo. Shooing up to Sydney now in fact. Hopefully I'll get there in time to have some drinks, some dinner and some good company with my mate from Sydney before the gig, unless there's a hippopotomaus on the road or something...... Full report tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Remember the Gelflings?

..and the Skekses? Yes. The Dark Crystal is FINALLY coming out on DVD. If you're too young to remember it. It's basically a very dark 'muppet' movie directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz from the Producer of Star Wars. But it's so much more than that. An excellent story, amazing puppetry and the scariest looking bad dudes (Skekses) you will see. (well as a 6 year old at least) The Collectors Edition comes with premium packaging, 12 page booklet, movie poster art, behind the scenes doco, character drawings, trailers and talent profiles. Hope Big W has it cheaper than the advertised $40+ price though!

Where the hell is Togo?

Wow. I've just started trying out statcounter, instead of sitemeter for checking hits to my page, and the Recent Visitors list indicates where in the world your visitor has come from. Very cool. It's free account kicks arse on sitemeter's. (Thanks Zoe. I saw that you were using it) I got a visit from someone from Maritime, Lome, Togo. Where the hell is that you ask? It's in..... "West Africa, bordering the Plateaux région on the north, Benin on the east, the Gulf of Guinea on the south, and Ghana on the west." Wow :)

Rampaging Knights

In another unsavoury pre-season incident, the Knights have sacked rookie and promising League player, Dane Tilse. Whilst we're talking about dickheads. Why would you do it?? Apparently 12 players snuck out of their rooms after 'lights-out' and a head count. (Sounds very band campish) Then they went on a 'rampage' through Charles Sturt Uni in Bathurst. I doubt the term rampage is really justified for this instance, but well, you know the media. It sounds pretty good. Doesn't hide the fact that there's been another well publicised off field incident before the season starts again. At least you know the footy's not far away....

Poms Pushover? Oh. Maybe not. We'll have it! No? We can't. But but but...

Those dickheads at Channel 9 have now turned around and said. "But but but...we do want the Ashes really. We do, we do, we do!" Dickheads. They had the chance originally to televise the 2005 Ashes Tour, but said that they couldn't make a decision until 12 months out from the tour. So, Fox Sports eagerly snapped it up, knowing it would be a good money-spinner for them having the exclusive rights to televise them. Now the free-to-airs are claiming that Fox Sports were offered it first. Dickheads. Ok, I have Fox so I don't really care who shows the games, as long as I get to see them. A bit selfish, I know. It does suck that no free-to-air will show them (although ABC are still trying), but hopefully it will be a kick-arse series and then they will wake up to themselves. England are looking as strong as the have for 10 years, so I think it may be fairly close. I mean, 4-1 is closer than 5-0 ;)

Monday, February 21, 2005

FFS!

As reported by a friend of mine in the US. This is the warning heard before a TV programme: "This program contains discussion of same-sex marriage. Parental discretion is advised." The programme was The Simpsons. *shakes head* Talk about FITH!!!

Friday, February 18, 2005

A 'bit' of chomping (or is that champing)

As revealed on TJ and Zoe's blogs, it looks like a Canberra blogger get-together might be happening soon. Stay tuned! Assuming the 'boss' doesn't mind it'll be nice to go out and meet some of the authors of sites that I read every day. Although it might shatter my illusions of what I think they should look like :)

Twenty20 = 400. Well, not quite, but 214 wasn't bad

The Inaugural Twenty20 match happened last night, or as it has been offically abbreviated, the first 'T20I'. It was a fun affair, with some retro clothing, and impersonations from both teams. Although Kasper seemed to be the only Aussie who really looked the part with his Dennis Lillee look-a-likes. McGrath even threatened to bowl an underarmer, but he'd better be careful. The Kiwis have never forgiven us for that one! Darp has some more pics from the game, but I can't find a really good Kasper pic yet. He had the white head sweatband and facial hair and all. Anyway, Australia romped it home after a perfect innings from Ponting (MoM) and some excellent bowling from Kasprowicz. I am not yet a big fan of the new format, but I'm willing to give it a chance. But for the record and the historical occassion of seeing the very first game of a new cricket format, here's the scorecard: T20I # 1 Australia in New Zealand, 2004-05, Only Twenty20 International New Zealand v Australia Eden Park, Auckland (day/night) 17 February 2005 (20-over match) Result: Australia won by 44 runs Series: Australia wins the one-off T20I Toss: Australia Umpires: BF Bowden and AL Hill TV Umpire: DB Cowie Match Referee: CH Lloyd (WI) Twenty20 International Debuts: AR Adams, CL Cairns, CD McMillan, SP Fleming, HJH Marshall, BB McCullum, KD Mills, DR Tuffey, MS Sinclair, SB Styris, JW Wilson (NZ). MJ Clarke, AC Gilchrist, JR Hopes, MEK Hussey, MS Kasprowicz, SM Katich, B Lee, DR Martyn, GD McGrath, RT Ponting, A Symonds (Aus). Man of the Match: RT Ponting Australia innings (20 overs maximum) R M B 4 6 +AC Gilchrist c McMillan b Mills 1 7 3 0 0 MJ Clarke c McMillan b Tuffey 7 4 4 0 1 A Symonds c McCullum b Mills 32 12 13 4 2 *RT Ponting not out 98 62 55 8 5 DR Martyn b Mills 3 4 5 0 0 SM Katich b Cairns 30 29 25 2 1 MEK Hussey not out 31 18 15 1 3 Extras (lb 9, w 3) 12 Total (5 wickets, 20 overs) 214 DNB: JR Hopes, B Lee, MS Kasprowicz, GD McGrath. FoW: 1-10 (Clarke, 0.6 ov), 2-21 (Gilchrist, 1.5 ov), 3-46 (Symonds, 3.6 ov), 4-54 (Martyn, 5.1 ov), 5-137 (Katich, 14.3 ov). Bowling O M R W Tuffey 4 0 50 1 (1w) Mills 4 0 44 3 (2w) Cairns 4 0 28 1 Wilson 4 0 43 0 Adams 4 0 40 0 New Zealand innings (target: 215 runs from 20 overs) R M B 4 6 +BB McCullum c Ponting b Kasprowicz 36 29 24 5 1 *SP Fleming b Kasprowicz 18 19 13 3 0 MS Sinclair c Katich b Kasprowicz 0 1 1 0 0 SB Styris b Lee 66 46 39 5 3 CD McMillan c Hussey b Hopes 9 10 8 0 1 CL Cairns c McGrath b Kasprowicz 1 2 4 0 0 HJH Marshall b Symonds 8 5 7 0 0 AR Adams run out (McGrath) 7 4 7 1 0 JW Wilson b McGrath 18 12 14 2 0 KD Mills c Kasprowicz b McGrath 0 4 1 0 0 DR Tuffey not out 5 2 2 1 0 Extras (w 2) 2 Total (all out, 20 overs) 170 FoW: 1-49 (Fleming, 5.1 ov), 2-49 (Sinclair, 5.2 ov), 3-67 (McCullum, 7.2 ov), 4-93 (McMillan, 10.2 ov), 5-95 (Cairns, 11.1 ov), 6-105 (Marshall, 12.4 ov), 7-121 (Adams, 14.4 ov), 8-161 (Styris, 18.6 ov), 9-165 (Wilson, 19.3 ov), 10-170 (Mills, 19.6 ov). Bowling O M R W Lee 4 0 26 1 (1w) McGrath 4 0 48 2 Kasprowicz 4 0 29 4 (1w) Hopes 3 0 23 1 Symonds 3 0 33 1 Clarke 2 0 11 0

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Best Picture Nominations Review 1 - The Aviator

I am on a mission. I want to see all of the Best Picture nominated films before the Oscars on the 27th of this month. The first one I saw was The Aviator. This film is essentially a biopic on Howard Hughes life starting from his big budget 'Hell's Angels' movie through to his test flight of the Hercules (Spruce Goose). Not really knowing too much about Howard Hughes' life, I went into this film with a fresh palate and anticipation to be taught and entertained. I, like many others I suspect, was not a big fan of Leonardo Dicaprio after Titanic. But after seeing him in The Beach, my opinions of him changed and I think he is quite a talented actor. Now, let me just say this. Leonardo is excellent in this film. I mean. REALLY GOOD. So if you're immediately dismissing this movie cause you don't like his boyish, teeny-bopper looks, then think again, because you will learn that he can act, and he can bring a character to life. He was definitely the star of this film, but Cate Blanchett as Katherine Hepburn comes close to stealing the show. I don't know much about Katherine Hepburn and have probably only seen her in On Golden Pond, but Cate apparently does her accent, her mannerisms and her whole persona excellently. The movie travels along at a fairly brisk pace. Just like Howard Hughes himself, this movie doesn't pull punches and shows off Hughes' psychological problems as well as his eccentricities. It also shows him to be a bit of a hero and patriot, which seems to be fair enough if the advances in flight that he contributed to, are depicted correctly in the film. This is a lavish movie, and the direction of Martin Scorcese gives this movie a sense of awe. More so than any of his previous works that I can remember. The filming of the flying scenes (especially from the Hells Angels movie) and the parties in Hollywood really give this film colour and life. It also seems to have been given a toned effect in the colour of the picture. There is a sepia tone to it, giving the feeling of older movies, with saturated colours. (hard to describe!) This movie runs a touch under 3 hours, and although I was squirming a little in parts (those Belconnen Hoyts seats are terrible!), this movie keeps your interest from start to finish. Look out for performances from Gwen Stefani, and an excellent depiction of Errol Flynn by Jude Law. ("I'm not a Limey bastard. I'm a Tasmanian bastard!"). Kate Beckinsale is ravishing as Ava Gardner (she looks like her body double!) and Alan Alda and Alec Baldwin do the 'bad guy' thing well. If this movie is anything to go by, the race for the best picture award will be of a high standard. It's definitely a promising start to my campaign anyway! I think out of the 11 nominations this film has received, 2 of them seem to be almost tied up. Blanchett for Supporting Actress, and Cinematography, which is amazing, especially with some of the flying scenes. I think Leo will be in the lead of the Best Actor gong as well, but I will withhold judgement until I have seen Jamie Foxx in 'Ray'. Next movie: Finding Neverland Coming up: Ray, Million Dollar Baby, Sideways

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Tintin vs Asterix

vs. There's an excellent post at Troppo Armadillo about the contrasting values of the Tintin and Asterix books. This subject really hits home for me, because they were the staple of my youth library experiences. Like Sophie says, they are always the most borrowed books from the library. I remember having a hard time finding ones that I hadn't read when I visited the school library, and then the Public Library was even worse! Luckily now-a-days, I just have to go to my in-laws place to find every Asterix book ever made. But it's Tintin that I really miss. Like some of the comments on this post state, Asterix was the book you read when you just want some filler while you were eating lunch or on the loo. (a feast) Tintin was the book that you actually picked up and read, front to back for the story. And it always kept you interested and reading. (A fine wine) I loved the art of the Tintin books. The little mannerisms of the characters. The sound effects. The insults. The scenery. The international adventures. But god help us all. Spielberg is talking about making movie versions of Tintin. What... are you going to get TOM HANKS as your Tintin?? Shit...

Monday, February 14, 2005

The End of the Road?

If you've read my blog in the past, you may remember that I had some crazy notion about running the Canberra Marathon that is on in April this year. It's the sort of thing that would be a once in a lifetime acheivement (for me) and I was really excited about it at first. 6 months and 100's of kilometres later, I am starting to wonder.... Why the fuck am I doing this again?? I enjoyed the runs at the start. The 5 or 6km runs where it was all new and I was pushing my body to do new things. Now, if I do 10km+ I just get bored, sore and tired. And my motivation levels are very low at the moment. In the heat, what's the last thing you wanna do? RUN AROUND THE NEIGHBOURHOOD! So, I've decided this week is it. There are 8 weeks till the marathon, and the guys that I have been training with have all been doing 25km+ the last few weeks. The longest I have done is about 13km. I will run this week starting with 12km tonight, and then another 12km on Wednesday and then 28km on Sunday. If I can get through these runs and still want to do the marathon, then I will go for it. If I do these runs (or don't finish them) and feel like shit and like I couldn't give a stuff if I ran another 100m, then that's it. I stop. I don't know which I would rather. I have gone pretty far and would feel bad stopping now, but then again, I have increased my fitness and endurance by what I have done already so it's not like I've lost anything. But once again, if I fail to do this I would only have myself and my motivation to blame. I'm good at doing things 'half-arsed'. (note: Flaw No.4854) Anyone got any words of motivation and encouragement?? please....?

Friday, February 11, 2005

Can a Blog help reclaim love?

I just discovered a new blog that, similar to the failed Abstinence Diaries, will only last a finite amount of time. However, unlike the aforementioned blog, this blog is about love, and reclaiming it. It looks like a long hard road that might go nowhere for Jé, but I wish him luck and hope he finds peace at some stage.

A Friday night remembered....

If you're thinking of something to do after work today, consider popping over to the Old Parliament House. (OPH) Now, I'm not a yuppie by any means, and I don't consider myself to be in the upper echelon of society, so this place seemed a little 'out-of-place' to me as I walked towards the backdoor of 'Cafe in the House'. Big groups of guys in suits, and women who all seemed impeccably dressed were trotting their way up to the entrance. I shimmied in with my jeans and shirt trying to look casual. First thing I noticed as I walked in was the amount of people. Holy Crap! It was packed. I was in a queue from the moment I stepped in, just to walk through the place. To my left as I walked in I noticed a table-full of people I knew. This immediately put at ease. It those people come here, then this place must be alright.. They said to me, "Good luck finding your friends in this place!" So I started to search. I walked through the beer and wine queue, outside to the gazebo, around the courtyard, and then in the back door. Having finally found them (in the last place I looked of course), I sat down and looked around. It was 6pm and everyone already looked pretty toasted. I offered to get beers. Happy Hour runs from 5 till 7, but the prices didn't really seem like Happy Hour prices to me. $3.50 for a beer. But this included 'Coopers Sparkling Ale'. Yum yum! The beer of choice in this place seemed to be 'Bees Knees'. I have it once, but it didn't really jump out at me. (besides, the Happy Hour price for them was $4!) Cocktails went for $6.50, down from their normal price of $13, and these were of course very popular with the ladies. So I proceeded to make the most of Happy Hour at OPH and enjoyed some great company (ex-colleagues). The lawns of the courtyard filled up fast as the hours went on. There was limited space inside, and the weather was not too crash-hot, so I was told that the numbers were actually less than usual. Eventually we tired of the political buzz and post-Happy Hour prices, and moved on....to...Kingston..of all places. The Holy Grail to be exact. We got in there just before 10pm and managed to grab a pizza, as some of us had eaten nothing until then. For $9.90 I got a pizza that was no less then DELICIOUS. I dunno if it was the Coopers talking, or the crack covers band, but this food was good! I wolfed it down with all my might and settled back with some pints of beer that had been carrier over from 'The Durham' by someone who thought we were over there! A bit of glass swapping never hurt! It was a nice time in the Grail, until we decided to step outside to a table for smokers to partake in their habits and then found that it was 5 bucks to get back in. A cover charge?? But we were just in there. We already heard the band. We already bought some food and drinks. Ok, to be honest, we didn't even bother trying to get back in. Instead we moved on to Filthy's, another....establishment in the Green Square of Kingston. And you can tell why they call it Filthy's. I've been there a few times, and while it has a ambiance of sorts, and resembles the 'Contented Soul' in lighting effects, the whole place just seems a little wrong to me. For one, it's quite small, two, there were too many people in there, and three, the prices were filthy! Luckily by this stage I was reaching the end of my drinking rope, although it seemed that a ex-colleague who was about to become an ex-workplace-ex-colleague persisted in buying me drinks. Who am I to refuse? So we finished off the Kingston Kapers at 'The Durham'. The band was lively and playing old favourites (ok..I can't remember what they were...I think I heard some James Brown), and more beer was flowing and we noticed that slowly throughout the night we had been losing people one by one. It's funny how that happens. For whatever reason, people leave, or say they're doing something and never come back. We were down to 5, and we had a designated driver, so of course...we went to Civic to get...kebabs :) It was a top night. I got tahini all over my leather jacket, and ended up driving home from Kingston (for some stupid reason) and got home around 3am. I don't go out often, but it's nice to have a big one occasionally Problem is, there is another farewell with the same people next Friday. Twice in a month? Do I go??

Throw in the Odyssey...

In my search for a good People Mover, I have come across another contender, and this one might actually be the one to go for. It's the Honda Odyssey. It won 2004 People Mover of the Year in the NRMA awards, and some of the reviews for it have been outstanding. It looks damn nice too. No...the dog doesn't come with the car.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Pirtek Parra Eels

My beloved Eels have changed their naming rights sponsor. ASICS is out the window, and in comes Pirtek. The Pirtek Parramatta Eels sounds ok, and now I can get a new jersey, cause at least it won't be changing for the next 3 years!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Leasing...

Now that I'm a high flying contractor *cough cough*, we've decided that we need a bigger car. Well actually, we always needed a bigger car, but now we can actually get one. Squeezing 3 kids into the back of a Magna Station Wagon is not too bad for now, but as they grow, and as they want to bring friends, we will have no room to take anyone else. So, we're looking at People Movers, with at least 7 seats, and below the $35,000 mark There's the Toyota Kluger, that we have been drooling over. It's a very very nice car, but probably just out of our price-range. Then there's the Ford Territory, which just won Wheels Car of the Year. Again, this is a beautiful car (especially the Ghia!), but probably just too much, with the cheapest being $37,990. So, then we go down to the Holden Zafira. This car is only a 4 cylinder, but it has 7 seats of which the back 2 fold right down, and it retails for around $29,990. This is the one we are leaning towards. Mainly because it's still a good branded car (ie. Not Kia, Hyundai, or Daewoo), and it's nice looking car without being too expensive. But it is getting fairly old now (2001) and maybe a new model is just around the corner. Now, it's time to look at leasing, or more specifically, a 'novated' lease. This means that your emplyer pays the monthly (fortnightly) repayments and then you pay them (before tax). I was going to look just at fully maintained leases, where you pay a certain amount that covers the car, all fuel, services, insurance, registration and tyres. Then I can do up to 25,000km a year and just pay the regular repayments. I've been having trouble trying to find companies that do novated fully maintained leases to a small company like the one that I am going through, but hopefully I'll be getting a quote this afternoon.. Anyone out there had experience with leasing a car? Or know about those cars I mentioned above and what I should look for?

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

People Watching, with Gigapxls(tm)

So, you own a 3, 4 or even 5 megapixel camera. Sure! It's pretty good. Crisp images. Fast processing. Sweet! Now check out this site and prepare to be amazed. (pictures may take a while on dial-up) These shots are from a Gigapxl camera. It weighs 100 pounds (45kgs). The little tiny dots that you see in the full size image can be zoomed so far in that you can see what they are actually doing. Let's put this in perspective. A 1 Megapixel picture (1,000,000 pixels) needs to be just 8 square inches (51 square centimetres. About 7cm x 7cm) to convey all of the information that the human eye can see. A 1000 Megapixel picture (1,000,000,000 pixels) would need to be 50 square feet in size (4.65 square metres). This is about 2.15m high x 2.15m wide to display the same information that the eye can see in the 1 Megapixel shot. They have already developed a 4 Gigapxl camera. A 4" x 6" picture that you see now (a standard photo with a 3 Megapixel camera) would be 3m by 6m in size to see the same detail. Bloody hell!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Slow day...

Interesting to note that the number of hits to my site have been lower than usual today, and it gets me thinking that the superbowl might have been a good reason for that. A large number of my hits (similar to others, I'm sure) are random google searches. And a large number of those are probably from the US, and of course what else are Americans doing on Super Sunday? But, YAY! to the New England Patriots and congrats on the repeat. I was only really going for them cause my team, The Miami Dolphins, who only won 4 games all season, beat the Patriots on December 20 to notch their 3rd win of the season. It was a sad sad season for the 'phins, but I'm used to teams that I support playing like crap (see last post). I see that NFL.com is calling this a dynasty, now that they have won 2 in a row, (plus 2002). But I still hawk back to 1973, when the Dolphins beat the Redskins in Superbowl VII to record the one and only 'perfect' season in the NFL (17 wins. 0 losses). I wanna see someone beat that!! (well...not really, cause then they wouldn't have the record..)

The Sporting transition begins...

So, another summer of cricket is complete, and as we stack the trophy up in our display cupboard to gather some dust till next year, we look forward to the next sporting challenge. The VB Series always seems like a fate accompli to me. We didn't ever really get threatened, and although we lost to the Paki's in Perth just before the finals, we always seem to step up when we need to. The good point to make was from Mark Taylor after we won the Final series 2-0 last night. We won 2-0, and we didn't even play very well. That says something about Australia's cricket dominance to me. But later this year, we have the Ashes tour, and every 4 years it remains a sporting highlight for me. Luckily I have Foxtel, so I'll be able to follow it on TV. It's very unfortunate that no commercial (or non-commercial) channels have picked it up. England claim to have their strongest side in years, but then again, they say that every time. It will be interesting to see how our batters stack up against their youthful and talented bowling lineup. ...but February brings the smell of grass, sweat and deep-heat. That's right. The Footy season is just around the corner! I love the anticipation to a new season of football. I get so excited at the chance to see how my team will go this year, and whether they can do better than last year! I savour the chance to anticpate it so much, because as the season progresses and as my team starts to wane, my interest levels follow. Don't get me wrong, I will always watch Parra play and will always be going for them, but if I find that if they are little chance of making an impact in the season, I start to get apathetic and...well...tired. But it's the start! It's the pre-season. Everything is new again, and I can't wait. I will hopefully be going up to the first Parramatta game of the season again (for the 3rd year running). They are playing the Wests Tigers at Telstra Stadium on the 12th of March. So, as the Super-bowl kicks off, and the cricketers take a break, let's all take a deep breath and scream.... PARRA! PARRA! PARRA! PS - Yes..they lost to the Sharks in a trial on Saturday night, but I'm not worried :)

Friday, February 04, 2005

Haydo gets the chop....finally

Don't get me wrong, I am a big cricket fan, but there are certain players in the current Australian teams that shit me. Matthew Hayden is one of them. He used to be in and out of the team for years like an irregular honeymooner, and then he finally cemented his spot in 2000 and has gone on to an impressive career. But I'm sorry, to me, he doesn't fit the Australian cricketers mould. I mean, for one thing, he cooks! So to hear that he has finally been dropped from the One Day Team, makes me very happy because; a) Michael Clarke gets to open like he should be b) Katich, Martyn and Lehmann all remain in the team. Australia is batting first in the 1st Final at the MCG right now. Here's to Clarke keeping his record of having the highest run tally in the VB Series so far! Now, if only we can get rid of Gilchrist....

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Duffed it..

I'll never forgive myself... For..in the early nineties, when I was a larrikin of sorts, I remember the day that I discovered there was a real Duff Beer, and lo and behold, it was brewed in South Australia. Did I think..."Hey, these could be worth something one day." Nonono. Why would I? I mean, it's not like they're going to disappear in a hurry. A month later. *POOF* They're gone. No more Duff Beer. I didn't even buy a case, or a six pack. Just a single beer, in a bar and I threw away the can. Now a case sells for a grand on ebay, or a used damaged can for $15. But don't buy one off this lady, cause you're likely to be disappointed. Truth be told, I probably didn't even have enough money to afford a case back then, but hell I will still never forgive myself.

Berilac Trample of Woody End is I

I have a new name! I really must change it to this through Deed Poll I am Berilac Trample of Woody End according to The Hobbit Name Generator. Sounds a bit rude don't you think?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

New year. New class. New teacher. For some...

My 6yr old started Yr.1 yesterday. The real start of school with numbers and not a letter :P She seems to like school, but sometimes gets intimidated with loud noises and lots of kids. So it was to her delight that she found out yesterday that she had the same teacher, and the same classroom as last year. She's in a composite K/1 class, which is a little unfortunate from my point of view. It would have been better for her to have a new environment around her for the new year, in my opinion. The reason is that there are 24 Kindergarteners this year, and the maximum you are allowed in a class in 20. Being a public school, it must conform to the rules laid down, and in this case the rule is quite strict of Kindergarten that classes don't exceed this size at the start of the schooling year. If they grow during the year, that's ok. So, there are 2 composite classes with a mixture of K's and 1's, and then a few 1's (the brainiacs/mature ones) are in a composite 1/2 class. She has a great teacher, and I am sure she will separate the kids and make sure that the 1's don't get dragged back to the K level, and vice-versa, but I bet it will be a struggle for the first few weeks. Not only that, but the teacher has had a name-change over the holidays. From Mrs. to Ms. Bugger! But Fee is happy. One less kid at home to cause trouble. Now if only our 3yr old was old enough for pre-school. (only 1 more year!)

Music running through your head? Solution!

This is where an iPod rules. I've had this song running through my head all morning, so I thought, "Hell, I'll just fire up the pod." Under Cover of Darkness - Living Colour - Time's Up (1990) "Touch without seeing. love with no feeling. Stealing a moment...under cover of darkness. I'd like to kiss you let my lips caress you Sending sparks of passion up your spine But doing so means saying no and even The thought would be a crime I like to touch your skin even if it is a sin I'd rather burn than not touch you I might just go mad thinking what I might have had And all the things I'd like to do"

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Woo Hoo! Pup pops up for AB Medal win!

My current favourite cricketer, Michael Clarke won the Allan Border Medal tonight with a surprise win over Damien Martyn, and Adam Gilchrist! I am stoked. He has the batting spirit of Michael Slater, and the determination of Steve Waugh. This guy is going a long long way. He WILL be Australia's captain before 2010. I guarantee it! Congrats mate!

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