To Blog or not To Blog

Me getting shy with a balloon
Various rantings, thoughts and points of view from a 29 yr old father living in Canberra.
Name: Mick
Email: mickATblightDOTcom
Age: 29
Lives: ACT, Australia
Mood:The current mood of mickrad at
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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Under the microscope

I just discovered today that I am being critiqued! Lauren, a Uni student from South Australia, has selected 2 blogs to critique for an assignment. She chose one, honest-to-goodness, interesting and captivating blog called American Soldier.... ....and then....mine. I am quite impressed that she picked mine. Not really sure why however, but it's very cool to be found and critically analysed. I don't think my blog is anything special at all. I haven't changed the design since it began. I write about stuff that interests me, but probably wouldn't interest everyone else. I hardly ever re-read what I've written and make changes. I just dump whatever is in my brain onto the screen and hit Publish (although sometimes I might spell blog like bolg, and come back to fix it so I don't look like a dullard) I try to post every day, more for the fact that I want to have a record of my thoughts, feeling and life for myself, then to try and appease any audience I may have. A bit selfish hey? I love the fact that people read it, but I don't expect them to REALLY read it. If they browse the headings, or flick through archives, or hit 'Back' straight away, I don't mind. But the fact that I get people 'window blog-reading' at all makes me happy. There are so many great blogs out there that I wouldn't expect people to waste time at mine. Most of the ones that I love are over in the Blogroll on the left, and some of those people really know how to write. I just wish I knew how to write to be able to captivate an audience like those people do. So anyway, thanks Lauren, for selecting mine out of the millions out there. I appreciate the words you've written and hope that your assignment gets the High Distinction that it deserves :)

Happy Happy Joy Joy???

I've been a bit down on all the crappy news lately. It always seems to happen when I watch, read or listen to too much Current Affairs. There's : - The Earthquake - Schapelle Corby - Terry Schiavo - Hessie's death - Schoolyard Bullying - Interest Rates - The Howard Government... - The Eels LOSING! ;) So, when I get tired of knowing what's going on in the world, I turn to cartoons. The Family Guy, Ren & Stimpy, Futurama and of course, The Simpsons. Anyone who has Foxtel will know that you can pretty much turn on to a cartoon at any time of the day (especially with the Cartoon Network and Boomerang). Sure, it's mind-numbing chuckly fun, but sometimes it's exactly what we need to forget about the crap that's going on in the world. Try it, next time you find yourself clenching your fists and grumbling at the state of our world.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The anatomy of a Parramatta Eels fan

I belong to a Yahoo! group called 'Planeteels' and on this group are a whole bunch of like-minded Parramatta Eels fans. The last couple of years have been a frustrating time to be an Eels supporter, and with the team 1-2 at the start of this season, calls are already starting for the coach, Brian Smith, to be axed. It happens every year, as soon as we lose 2 in a row. But as soon as we win a couple in a row, it all goes quiet. I wrote up a few categories of what I thought Parra fans could be grouped into....

Parra Fan Version 1 - The Die-Hard Parra Fan 'NO MATTER WHAT' This is the fan that follows the Eels and everything that comes with them, from the coach, to the person behind the counter at the Leagues Club. This person will back Smithy all the way, but will also back any coach that comes in, simply because they are coaching THEIR TEAM. They would wear Asics, use Pirtek, and visit Mounties. These fans will post whether we win, or lose, but will be positive to the hilt. Parra Fan Version 2 - The Die-Hard Parra Fan that is disillusioned. This is the person that has followed the Eels 'forever', but is becoming upset, frustrated and disapppointed at our performances in recent years. They are probably thinking it's time for a change, but are not necessarily certain that a new coach would be the answer. They will still turn up to games, and watch every week with un-waivering support, but come Monday, they are either elated or angry for the days until the next game. These fans will rarely post, but when they do, they make sense. Parra Fan Version 3 - The Parra Fan that wants results NOW. This fan has been calling for Brian Smith's head every since the 2001 Grand Final. They want change, and they want it yesterday. From the CEO, to the ball-boys, they think that unless we start from scratch, our team won't be winning a premiership any time soon. These fans post often when we are losing and can spark reactions from 'Fan version 1' Parra Fan Version 4 - The Parra Fan that can't stand Brian Smith. I know a Parramatta fan, who loves our team, and has followed them for decades, but just can't stand Brian Smith as a coach. These people are getting to the point where they just don't want to watch Parra play any more, because they know it'll be the same 'story' every week. They will not be happy until Smithy is gone, and someone else (anyone else) is at the helm. These fans will post like mad after a loss or two with 'Anti-Smithisms' and calls for JT to coach First Grade now. Parra Fan Version 5 - The Parra Fan that 'never forgets' These are the fans that continually bring up past Parra mistakes, players we've let go, coaching decisions that have been made, player recruitment and player brain-snaps. They remember the Paul Carige screw-up in the Semi. They remember Witt's 'backwards' drop-out, and now they can remember Morrison's 'quick tap'. They are always looking for the next screw-up to bring it up and blame someone. These fans are usually very quiet when we are playing well.

RIP Hessie

Sad sad sad. I heard 'Don't Dream It's over' on the radio yesterday afternoon. It's not a song they play often on JJJ, and I had missed the intro. It was only about 15 minutes later that I found out that Paul Hester had died. Hanged himself in a park in Melbourne. It's very sad reading about the turmoil that surrounded his depression. He was always the funny one. The quirky one with the 'interesting' songs. He was also the Aussie amongst a bunch of Kiwis. He was a great drummer. He also had a great show in 'Hessie's Shed', which didn't last too long unfortunately. He played with the Wiggles. He played with the Oils. He will be missed by many, but remembered forever for the music that he helped create.

Monday, March 28, 2005


So, Easter is done and dusted for another year. It's a weird sort of holiday for us secular folks. It's a couple of days off work, a bit of lying to the kids, and a crap load of food and chocolate. Well, that's how it has always worked with my family. Back when I was little, my cousins and I would do the HUGE easter egg hunt on my Grandparents property, and when the baskets were full we would pile the motherload of all the chocolate into the middle of the floor and the divving up would begin. Once our chocolate was portioned out, we would eat, and eat....and eat some more until we were so sick of chocolate that the rest of the haul would still be in the cupboard until Christmas. But if there's still chocolate left at next Easter, it really is time to throw it out! My problem was that I used to 'save' my best eggs until I really wanted them, and then I'd forget about them and then when I finally remembered and wanted it, it would be all white and crumbling and disgusting. Not a good thing. Having said that, I bope my kids get to experience the same thing. It's definitely fun to get all the eggs and then eat them bit by bit over the following weeks/months. Not only did they get a crap-load of Chocolate, but the meals that I've eaten the last 2 days have been enough to blow my marathon training out of the water. And I can't help grabbing another egg, every time I walk past the basket. It's just instinct now! Help me! Move the basket!! Ugh...I feel sick just thinking about it... And you know what the problem is with all the chocolate? It's usually really really crappy cheap chocolate that tastes like nothing resembling good chocolate, but for some reason you still eat it, and then eat some more.... Gee's I'm glad Easter only happens once a year....

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Schiavo Skinny

I have tried to catch up on the story about Terri Schiavo. It hasn't really interested me that much up till now. It just seemed to be another one of those US Political smokescreens to take the media's attention for a while. But yeah, it's more than that. It's a 'fight' between the parents and the husband as to whether she lives or dies. Here's the skinny (no pun intended): - Bullemic girl has heart attack and gets brain damage whilst waiting for paramedics to arrive. - Husband was THERE at the time (learn to do CPR!) - She's in a Vegetative state with a feeding tube to keep her alive for 15 YEARS. - 7 years ago, a legal battle started with the parents and the husband as to whether to remove the tube or not. - Last Friday, the tube was finally removed. - On Monday, the parents got a congressional bill allowing the case to be heard by a federal judge. - On Tuesday, the tube is pulled. - It would take 2 - 4 weeks for her to die of starvation. - Apparently she wouldn't be in pain during this time. - The parents are still fighting in the courts to get the tube put back in. - Terri is reported to have told her husband that she would not want to be kept alive. Now, bloody hell. What is going on here? This is only a very quick overview, but the law states that the spouse has power and the right to decide the medical actions of their partner. The parents are saying that there is a chance of recovery. But come on. 15 years. The doctors say there is no chance. I just don't get why this has become such a political football. It should be an open and shut case, and infact, so far, every court has been in favour of the husband. It is a sad case, but for fucks sake, just let her pass away in peace and we can focus on more important things happening in the world. If you are not easily offended, check out these cartoons on the case.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Yanks and cricket. What a mix.

With thanks to Ang, I found this site discussing the latest 'trend' in San Francisco. Or it could just be the latest trend to trash. Apparently cricket is getting a bit of a following in the Bay Area and there is a decent write-up about it. Most countries that don't play cricket are very ignorant to it, and to how huge it is in some parts of the world. Ok, sure, some matches are played over 5 days, and yeah, sure, there isn't always a winner after that, and yeah, sure, sometimes it can feel like the game is going nowhere, and yeah, sure, the most excitement you get is usually at the end of the match, but it's something about the culture of cricket that draws people into it. I know that here in Australia, it's all about the sun, the booze, the babes, the crowd and the cricketers. We also love sports we are good at, and Australia has been top of the heap for a good 6 years or so now. All I can say to Americans who don't understand the game and think it's 'crazy' that you have to catch a hard ball without a mitt (shock, horror!), just come out to Australia, England, The Caribbean, New Zealand, India or Pakistan during a summer and you will catch on.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Drowned rat...

I park about 8-10 minutes walk away from work (because I'm a tight-arse and hate paying for parking), so this morning I had to walk through the wind and rain to get to work. I don't mind rain. I don't mind wind, but put them together and it feels like I'm walking across Hyde Park in London in the middle of winter. My hands grip the umbrella (lovely blue ten-pin bowling one) tight and starts to ice up from the rain that's penetrating under the eaves of the umbrella. The main problem with all this? Summer only finished 3 weeks ago!! And it's only going to get colder and wetter. But thank god I don't live in Melbourne where wind and rain is the norm. We can't really complain too much about the sun we get in a Canberra winter. I just wanna whinge now cause I'm cold and wet, and I can.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Regurgitator No More???

Just read this article about Quan from Regurgitator moving to Hong Kong. This is apparently old news, but I must have had my head in the sand!! I have been worried about Regurgitator since their website disappeared about a month ago, and some of Quan's blog entries have seen him lamenting being so far away from someone in Hong Kong. It seems that the long distance has finally become too much and he is permanently moving. FUCK!! I LOVE Regurgitator. I LOVE seeing them live. I LOVE their music. How come he just go and leave the band like that?? Please come back.... Bring her with you, but just please come back eventually. Now I will have to listen non-stop to their discography and get all sad about losing one of the best Aussie bands there has ever been... AMENDMENT! According to this site, they are not breaking up! Quan is just moving there for a while. He will be back!! I hope so. If anyone else finds out any more info, I'd love to hear it.

Introducing Mick from South Park

Thanks to Dean, I found this South Park character creator. You can design your very own South Park character with hundreds of different combinations. Here's Mick....from South Park :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Another day...

It's warm today. But it's probably going to the hottest day until next summer, so enjoy it while you can I reckon! So, anyone else got gastro? The 1yr old and Fee have been puking and crapping everywhere (luckily Fee uses the dunny). Must be going around cause a few people have mentioned having stomach bugs. Fortunately I haven't got it yet, and hopefully won't at all. I hate throwing up. Not that I know anyone who enjoys it.... Link of the Day (LOTD) : Cool Batman Lego Movie

Monday, March 14, 2005

My Idol and his disease...

If you have read my blog in the past, you may have noticed that I love cricket, and that my favourite all-time cricketer is Michael Slater. He made cricket exciting and really gave me passion to watch. His batting style has been emulated recently by Michael Clarke, who also counts 'Slats' as his idol. Slats has had a tumultuous career. From bursting into the scene, he had fallouts with selectors, captains and his wife. I've always seen through this. I've always held an unwaivering belief in the man. I gave my son 'Slater' as a middle name. So when I read today that he has been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder II, I feel resolute in my belief in the man. To be a professional sportsman, and to work through a mental disorder must be a huge challenge, and the fact that he is still here, and actually commentating on Fox Sports, is a big acheivement. He is interviewed on the best interview show ever made in Australia tonight. Enough Rope with Andrew Denton. I am very much looking forward to it. Watch it if you can, and hopefully you will get an insight into the man that inspires me more and more.

Friday, March 11, 2005

New Car Nerves

So, I pick up the new car this arvo. A brand spanking new Black Honda Odyssey. I am actually nervous about it. I'm scared that I am going to drive it out of the lot and get collected by another car. I'm scared that I'll park it somewhere and some twat will whack their car door into the side. I'm scared that one of the kids will throw up in it. I'm scared that I'll side-swipe a pole as I am parking I'm scared that it'll look like a pile of shit after the 5 year lease period. But, hey. I can't be scared forever, and I guess I'll get used to the inevitable little scratches and marks. I just want it to look new forever! I am going up to the footy tomorrow, to watch the Eels play the Tigers at Telstra Stadium, I am reaaaally looking forward to the footy season starting again, and especially seeing my team play. This will be the 4th year in a row that I'd have seen the opening Eels game and I'm pumped! Just as long as we win :) So, should I drive the new car up to Sydney tomorrow and : a) risk the Sydney traffic b) withold the new car from Fee and the kids c) have to fork out petrol money cause I don't have the fuel card yet. or should I get a lift with my mate? Too many decisions after 6 pieces of Turkish Pizza and a Heinekin!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Pears and Kiwifruits

Can you believe the whoopla that everyone is making out of the Danish royals?? I wasn't even going to mention them, but jeepers, it's like they are...royalty or something.. Ok, I appreciate the whole, "Small town girl makes good" thing. And yeah, becoming a princess is every little girls dream, but in the end, they are royalty, from a country that we don't have any affiliation with. Warren from the Daily Telegraph had a clever cartoon in yesterdays paper, depicting the Australian flag with the danish flag replacing the union jack, and a picture of the Queen looking sad and saying, "Bugger". Bugger indeed. As republican as I am, I would still prefer the 'real' royalty of Australia than the Danish equivalent. I like to think of the Danish couple as Pears. Solid. Rounded with a weird sort of taste, whilst the Pommy royatly are Kiwifruits, with the skin on. If you wanna eat that skin you'll pull a face, and then when you get through it you find all these seeds and weird coloured bit that you had no idea were there when you picked it up. Sure, Prince Charles is a useless twat, his sons are spoilt brats, the Queen is fading fast, and not to mention to rest of them. But they are who they are, and at the very least they are entertaining. The Danish royal couple? I mean, gees, SBS even replayed their boring arse wedding on TV the other night. Talk about over-kill. So, good on ya Mary. Top job at snagging a prince. Hope you're homesick, and you miss your mates, but don't come crying back to us about it later....

Tuesday, March 08, 2005's March

So, as the year kicks into March, and the Canberra thermometer already ignores anything 30+ , I start to 'kick' into another mode. My body seems to really flow with the seasons. And my emotions seem to flow with them as well. I don't know how it works, or why, but Autumn is a time of reflection, thoughtfulness and footy :) I have so many things to do around the house, and maybe now is the time to actually do them, but then I look at the weekends coming up and there always seems to be something on and never enough time to do anything. I really do think we should all campaign for 3 day weekends. That extra day would make such a difference. Everyone needs 2 days of relaxing at the end of the week, and then the Monday can be the home work day, where we all mow, paint, sand, weed, saw and clean. We can be bossed around by our brains (or our other halves) and whipped into shape with all those little tasks that you have been putting off. I know I'm lazy. I think it's something that's been bred into me. I didn't have to do too much when I was a kid. Sure I had the menial chores of setting the table, drying up or cleaning my room, but nothing too strenuous. After looking at the garbage dump that was my daughters bedroom on the weekend, I think it's time to try and instill some of the 'clean-up' genes into her. We installed a desk and popped a computer in her room on Sunday, (no Internet though.) The thing is, I can see that she will be getting up at a sparrows fart on a weekend and playing away on it. Which is not a big deal, cause she used to do it anyway (on mine), but with it in her room, she will lock her brothers out which they really won't like. It's sometimes hard to try and balance our the 'play together' time and the 'play alone' time. At the moment, the 1yr old is desperate to play with his siblings or at least be around ANYONE ALL THE TIME. Fee is going crazy with this as he's hanging off her 24/7. Either that or he is combative with his older brother (won't be the last time I say that!) The 3yr old has changed a lot recently. It seems that turning 3 has sparked his imagination into overdrive and he is able to recreate scenes and imaginary worlds with his toys that are really impressive. This is encouraging, as it means he is happier to play by himself sometimes, which he may have to do more often until his little brother is old enough to participate in his games. He didn't seemed to have a very active imagination until now, where as 'Miss 6' has an overactive imagination! I guess we were just a bit premature in looking for it. 3 kids is enough. Let me tell you that now. There once was a time when I wanted 4 kids, and Fee and I actually agreed on it. Once we had 2. One of each. I was happy. I was done. But Fee was not. After a lot of discussion, we decided to have a third, and while I am glad that we did of course, it has been a lot harder than I thought. 3 kids suddenly means that there is one extra. No more looking after one child each. No more, "you push the pram, and I'll take this one to the toilet" No more getting the kids to bed by 8.30! It seems to be more than 50% harder to have 3, than 2. So, 4, is just out of the question. So, *snip snip*, I hear you say? Not yet. Fee won't let me! I'm under 30, and need her permission before I can get the snip. She's not quite ready for that avenue to be fully closed yet. I sort of understand, but also, sort of don't. I know that I don't want any more kids. But I guess she is not 100% sure. Not that I am looking forward to anything sharp coming within a metre of my goolies.

Monday, March 07, 2005

First Blog Post gone. How about No. 2?

Following on from several bloggers posting their first ever blog posts, and the fact that I couldn't be fucked trying to write a big blog entry right now. Here's my highly entertaining first blog post (that I can find)

16th of August 2003 A new posting. Wow. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go.
Exciting hey?

Friday, March 04, 2005

The case FOR abortion

Not wanting to bring the tone of a Friday down, but I just read this sad sad story about a teen mother killing her newborn. They called it infanticide instead of murder, but gees, this stuff is stupendously gut-wrenching. I can't believe no-one knew she was pregnant, let alone knew she was giving birth in a bedroom!! Bloody hell. In other news. We all know rates went up the other day. It means an extra $38 a month for me, but hey, I expected it. It's the people that don't seem to expect that amaze me. You have a home loan, you have to expect rates to rise eventually. I mean. Duh!! Zoe has a link to a lady who was whinging about it whilst sitting in front of a view of Rose Bay.... Duh...

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Johnny Depp and his suit.

I personally think Johnny Depp looked good at the Oscars. But there seems to be some conjecture about it. Apparently he hates the Oscars and is a very private person. I don't really care as long as he keeps acting brilliantly. His performance in Finding Neverland was inspiring, and I can't wait for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and then his voice talents in the new Tim Burton animation later in the year, Corpse Bride. It's similar in style to Burtons previous animation, Nightmare before Christmas. So whether you think that Harrison Ford is too old to be Indy again, or that it's a shame that Jeremy Piven gets typecast as a 'Best Friend' you can be reset assured at the fact that Johnny Depp has 2 more movies coming out this year :) Oh yeah, and 21 Jump Street Season 1 is out on DVD :)

The 1,121 Naughty Words

Someone has hacked into the javascript on the NFL site where you can customise your jersey. This List of 1,121 words are not allowed to be on a jersey that you buy from them. The word 'Gay' has been removed from the list and is now allowed apparently, but there are some excellent swear words in this list. It is a good reference guide for next time you want to insult someone...

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


So, where is my life at? Glad you asked... - My contract has been extended till the end of June, which is a relief and lets me relax just a little. It's a stressful business being on a limited contract, and not really knowing where your job is going. But I am semi-confident that I will get a 12 month extension from the end of June. I'll keep you posted. - Our new car arrives next week. We decided on the Honda Odyssey. It is made to be a 7 seater, unlike the Territory, and the basic features it comes with fit very well into the price tag. Can't wait to drive a car that has single figure kilometres on the clock! - My poor 'middle' child turned 3 last weekend. We went to the Kingston Mini railway. It was a great day. It's an excellent place to take the family for a BBQ and to generally hang out, whilst the kids go crazy on the trains, around and around and around. (for only $5 all day). He had fun, and he enjoyed his presents. Pity the ants got to the cake....but we brushed them off :) - My marathon training is still on track. But I am afraid I have been a bit slack with the running this week. I did a 16k run on Sunday, but after the VR concert I was sore and tired and couldn't do the 20+ k that I was planning. However this weekend will be a long one. Hopefully 25km+ and I still have to do a decent length mid-week run as well. The Marathon is fast approaching! It's on the 13th of April... - My youngest boy finally cut his first tooth last week. He's 13 months old and we starting to think he'd be gummy all his life, until we finally saw the little white bits on the bottom. This is after he has been an absolute turd for the last few weeks and screaming through the night etc... I mean.. I can understand that it hurts to cut your first tooth and all, but jebus is he loud at 3am. - Thanks to Nilanga for sending me the info on this new PS2 game. They've whipped it up pretty quick ;) - And for weird items I've seen this week. If you're into 'Hello Kitty', you really will have to get one of these next time you go to the dentist.. - Also, I have broken my record as far as hits go this week. I got 77 hits on my blog on Monday and then followed it up with 60+ yesterday. That's 20 more than I usually get and I have lots of returning visitors! I must admit I am a bit of a hit-whore, but I don't really just write things to get hits. I just like to record my thoughts and life on the screen and the fact that I get hits (even random google searches) makes me feel like I really am a part of the global blogosphere. - And Summer is finished, and that makes me sad cause it's my favourite season. I guess the first month of Autumn will be ok, but I just know that because I am in Canberra, Winter will be here too frigging quick and I will just be pleading for Spring to arrive. The only plus side to the leaves falling of the trees is that the Footy season is here :) So, that's it. That's me. Thanks for checking up on me. And I really will make the next Blogger meetup. Really! I will! I promise :) Maybe I should organise the next one...Kingston Mini-railway anyone??

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Robbins is cool

Just found this pic online. When Chris Rock introduced Tim Robbins onto stage, he mentioned that we get tired of Tim Robbins' Political comments. Here's what Robbins sneakily did as he walked up... Take that, Mr. Rock! Tim Robbins is cool.

Ho hum...

Well. It wasn't all bad. I mean Cate Blanchett won, and the first few awards went to nominees that I was rooting for, but then the night seemed to hit a very predictable vein, which I guess usually always happens, but it was a bit disappointing none-the-less. Highlights for me included: - Cate Blanchett's win - Chris Rock's monologue - The Incredibles win - Antonia Banderes singing - Salma Hayek. - Morgan Freeman, his speech and his little wink to the camera. - Robin Williams presenting. - Adam Sandler presenting. - The guy who sang in Spanish instead of a speech. But there was hardly any spark. No real exciting or controversial moments. Jamie Foxx cried....again. Clint won...again. I don't understand why Scorcese lost....again. I mean, what does he have to do? What are they waiting for? Do they have something against him? Obviously the movie he did should have been made in 10 days to qualify. 2.2 Days for them to build the plane models. (Million Dollar Baby was apparently filmed in 37 days) I mean, sure, I haven't seen Million Dollar Baby, and yeah Clint is a nice guy, but was it really better than The Aviator? I guess it's all subject to tastes, but shit, if Shakespeare in Love could win.... Check out the Full list of Winners.

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Graphics and design by Ann Stretton 2001