Thursday, 31 December 2009

Natural fireworks to see in the New Year!


A hot balmy night in Melbourne, BBQ chicken on the front verandah and then a bit of a sound and light show from Mother Nature.

All quite enjoyable.

Happy New Year to you all. (45 minutes to go locally).

Sunday, 27 December 2009

And now, for the cake....


OK, so I'm an atheist but I like fruit cake.

Time to cut the cake. As you can see we have a bit of fun doing various almond icing decorations for the cake.

Didn't do white icing - with the amount of brandy and number of nuts about, there was no way that this cake could be called virginal.

Or am I thinking of wedding dresses and brides? Never mind.

Time to pull out the large knife and fire up the coffee machine.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Taking the fun out of Christmas?


British researchers say they have devised a guaranteed method of pulling crackers, to avoid disappoint at the dinner table this Christmas.

The researchers say the method for always winning the long end of the cracker, and therefore the prize inside, is in the angle that you grip it.

They have released a mathematical formula to follow to guarantee success.

The formula, O11xC/L+5xQ, is based on the angle, grip and quality of the cracker.

You must first multiply the circumference of the cracker in inches (C) by 11 before dividing that number by the length (L) of the barrel.

Take that total and add it to the figure you get when you multiply the quality (Q) by five.

The quality is either one, two or three, depending on whether the cracker is cheap, standard or premium.

The formula ought to produce a figure between 20 and 55 degrees, which is the optimum pulling angle (O).

The cracker should also be pulled one inch from the end of the tail, newspapers said.

A quality control team at British department store Debenhams pulled hundreds of crackers in the run-up to Christmas before discovering the winning formula.

What I want to know is what do I have to do to stop having to wear a silly hat?

Monday, 21 December 2009

Yeah, right.


Are the following true? Who knows. Probably not as they are just a little bit too cute at times.

But funny anyway.

The following are all (supposed) replies that Detroit women have written on Child Support Agency Forms in the section for listing "father's details".

1. Regarding the identity of the father of my twins, Makeeshia was fathered by Maclearndon McKinley. I am unsure as to the identity of the father of Marlinda, but I believe that she was conceived on the same night.

2. I am unsure, as to the identity of the father of my child as I was being sick out of a window when taken unexpectedly from behind. I can provide you with a list of names of men that I think were at the party if this helps.

3. I do not know the name of the father of my little girl. She was conceived at a party at 3600 East Grand Boulevard where I had sex with a man I met that night. I do remember that the sex was so good that I fainted. If you do manage to track down the father, can you please send me his phone number? Thanks.

4. I don't know the identity of the father of my daughter. He drives a BMW that now has a hole made by my stiletto in one of the door panels. Perhaps you can contact BMW service stations in this area and see if he's had it replaced.

5. I have never had sex with a man. I am still a Virginian. I am awaiting a letter from the Pope confirming that my son's conception was ejaculate and that he is the Saver risen again.

6. I cannot tell you the name of Alleshia’s dad as he informs me that to do so would blow his cover and that would have cataclysmic implications for the economy. I am torn between doing right by you and right by the country. Please advise.

7. I do not know who the father of my child was as they all look the same to me.

8. Tyrone Hairston is the father of child A. If you do catch up with him, can you ask him what he did with my AC/DC CDs? Child B who was also borned at the same time.... well, I don't have clue.

9. From the dates it seems that my daughter was conceived at Disney World; maybe it really is the Magic Kingdom.

10. So much about that night is a blur. The only thing that I remember for sure is Delia Smith did a program about eggs earlier in the evening. If I had stayed in and watched more TV rather than going to the party at 8956 Miller Ave, mine might have remained unfertilized.

11. I am unsure as to the identity of the father of my baby, after all, like when you eat a can of beans you can't be sure which one made you fart.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

X-day minus 5.


The menu's planned.

The cake's iced. Well, marzipanned. It's not getting white icing, with so much brandy in it and so many nuts found near it, I'm pretty sure it's not a virgin.

The cards sent to people we haven't seen or heard from since this time last year.

Presents sorted, more or less.

Kris Kringle's done for work.

Is it over yet?

Monday, 14 December 2009

Melbourne Weather

It is said that if you don't like Melbourne's weather, wait a minute.

Google has taken this to heart.

What follows are a few of its predictions for today's weather and the coming three days. All taken from iGoogle weather gizmo.


I can assure you that we did not have snow in Melbourne today.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Showing my age?


Had the company Xmas party on Friday night.

Enjoyed the pre-dinner 'cocktails', standing around, moving around, chatting to people and grazing off the passing trays of nibbles. Good times.

Enjoyed the meal. OK, was the normal chicken-beef-chicken-beef nonsense but tasty enough.

Enjoyed the chat at the table meeting people I didn't know (partners came along) and learning more about those I did.


Once the dance music started, it was time to go.

It's now Sunday morning here and my voice is still croaky from trying to talk over the noise.

And I left before dessert was served.

Why do they do that? The music is not something I could dance to (and it would be louder on the dance floor anyway), you can no longer talk because of the volume.

You just become an island.

At least in the old days when there was a live band they would stop for a while to have a drink and regroup; at Friday's do there was a DJ driving some CD contraption and it was relentless.

I have never been a fan of Guantanamo Bay but I now have a better understanding of what is inflicted on the detainees by the imposition of endless, senseless noise.

Showing my age? Probably. But also showing the wisdom to leave.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Latte Arty


Coffee cups. Almost looks like snake skin.

But no...


Wednesday, 2 December 2009

What planet are they from?

I used to joke that I could put on weight by just sitting beside someone who was eating a Mars Bar. Now, researchers tell me that it was no joke.

"Japanese researchers have found that simply thinking about eating something sweet could cause you to store fat.

They have conducted tests in mice and believe the findings will probably apply to humans too.

A professor of cell biology at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Mark Febbraio, has been reviewing the paper by a group of researchers at the National Institute for Physiological Sciences in Japan.

"What this paper is suggesting is that you have an anticipatory response in skeletal muscle to start taking up glucose to use for energy just by thinking about it," he said."

- ABC News.

Oh, misery!


Sunday, 29 November 2009

Miraculous shade of green.

Raspberries and climbing beans.

Last weekend I put up a 3.6m x 6m shade cloth over the vegetables.

That's 12ft x 18ft for those still with Imperial connections.

But I needed the shade, plants were getting burnt. And when I watered the soil was dusty, even though I had watered it the previous evening. And it's not even summer here yet.

Since I put up the shade cloth, we have had drizzle, showers and even the occasional rain.

Wish I had done it earlier.

Mind you, after all this rain, the garden is just dusty if you turn it over with a spade. So the rain has only soaked down about 200mm (8") so far. But it is still welcome.

And, hopefully, the shade will keep some of the water in a little longer.

Fingers crossed.


Friday, 27 November 2009


To those of you who were giving thanks, I hope you had a good one.

(It is not something that has taken hold in Australia.)

Saturday, 21 November 2009

The real thing?


The time had come to do a bit of dousing of the Xmas cake with brandy (for a chemist's slant on this, see my Chemist's Kitchen blog.).

Now, I was not keen on using any of my cognac so I bought a regular sort of brandy to do the deed.

What puzzles me is the need to make AUTHENTIC the largest word on the label.

I would have given BRANDY a bit more prominence.

Proclaiming their virtues so loudly just makes me suspicious.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Ozzie, the...Magpie?


Spent a few days up the bush, visiting a farming friend.

Some of you may remember the photos of him looking after a baby kangaroo.

This time the kitchen was filled with the 'awking' sound of two baby magpies. This one, the younger of the two, was called Ozzie. Delighted in attacking toes. Mistaken for giant grubs or just mischied making?

Can't tell.

Sunday, 1 November 2009



I am a creature of habit and, like most humans, enjoy certain rituals.

I am not pagan but enjoy Halloween, Easter and New Year.

I am (distantly) Irish and enjoy St Patrick's Day. Especially the Guinness.

I am (sort of) Scottish and enjoy Burns Night.

I am not Christian (in the paid up member sense) but enjoy Christmas.

At the moment the house smells of fruitcake.

And it is good.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Water(melon) on the Brain


A bit of a Halloween theme running across most of my blogs today.

Something to do on a quiet afternoon with half a watermelon and a sharp knife.


Sunday, 25 October 2009

Like most news services, gone to the birds.

Well, I'm not surprised really. I have argued that the news services, especially the commercial channels, have gone to the birds of recent times.

Channel Nine just took it to extremes.

Apparently they have a camera on a roof top that gives a backdrop of the Melbourne skyline during the news. A local seagull has decided that the camera nook is a nice place to rest.

Full marks to the newsreader as he kept his composure while reading a fairly solemn news item, even though he could see the image on the monitors.

Friday, 23 October 2009

The Big M


One thousandth post at The Curates Egg. (1642nd at the combine five blogs ).

When you look at the labels you realise how diverse the posts have been:

administration advertisements appliances AQ art Attic Australia awards backs beauty bigotry birds blogging bloopers books brain bureaucracy bush bushfires caffeine cancer candles cars Cartoon cats challenge chemicls chemistry christmas climate cold reading communication computer conmen consumption contraptions counselling cricket culture curate curiosity cute Cynicism Dad death death penalty deception diets divorce dogs drugs dumb inventions email energy english language environment errors of judgement excess fame family farewell fate fathers flowers food fraud friends future gadgets gambling garden genetics God Google Greetings gripes guests Guns halloween happiness health history hobbies Holidays homebrew honours Hooks hope house humbug humorous humour hybrid icons illusion insects internet intolerance Irish JCN jehovah Jokes kindness kumquats labels language Law Lee letters letters to editors letters to organisations Leunig life logic loves luck machines Margaret marriage Martin maths meat media medicine meme memories memory men mental health mind Mind Hack misc money moral issues movies Mum Murphy's Law mysteries nature nerdy news Nigerians nongs Obama oddball opportunity painting Pancakes parenting people pests philosophy photo physics pleasure poetry Political Correctness politics poll poppies positive possums probability psychic psychology puzzle puzzles quackery Quotes race rain relationships religion research resolutions Richard Roni safety scams science seasons sharks shopping Simon smoking society soy space spam spider sport statistics stress study stuff stupidity success suffering supernatural tags technology television thanksgiving thinking tradition trauma Travel trivia trout UFO Urban myths US vegetables war water weather wedding wildlife wine wisdom wishes work

And that's with the other blogs mopping up most of the sex, religion and politics.

It's been fun.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Smite smote smitten


Above is a headline on The Age website this morning.

Didn't seem right, somehow. Smitten to me is all puppy-love, doe-eyed and gooey.

I obviously wasn't the only one to point this out to The Age because, later in the day, it changed:

At least now it makes sense.

Sunday, 18 October 2009



Is it just me, or is "Aim Hire" an odd name for a porta-loo?

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Having a play with Photoshop

This is from a photo I took in Beijing last year. Just playing in Photoshop, for effect.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Thursday, 15 October 2009

I see a trip resuming...


Plans afoot to finish the trip we were on last year that was cut short by my Dad's death.

Galapagos Islands, Cuba and Ireland in June-July, 2010.


Ireland's new on the itinerary; my sister in law is having a 60th birthday do in Belfast and we thought, well, if we are going that far why not....

And, well, you see where the thinking went.

Look out turtles!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The end of civilization as we know it...


The black cable, coiled and duct-taped to the power pole use to carry TV, internet and phone to my house.

And this is what the vertical connecting pole on my house looked like:

But I don't have a photo of the, what? truck maybe, that snagged the line and brought it down.

Certainly was no scooter.

So last night we talked, we walked and we figured out how to open those funny oblong things that are full of writing.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Looking forward fruitfully.


This week is mental health week.

So I thought I would beat one of my favourite drums.

It is well recognised that one of the symptoms of depression and being 'stuck' is the inability to look forward, to dwell ceaselessly on the past and its perceived injustices and unfairness.

Quite obviously the past is beyond change but some people cannot let go. In my LifeLine days we would get the same people ringing up daily, wanting to tell and retell the same story, over and over.

It got them nowhere.

I have a theory that modern life is working against helping people look forward.

When I was a boy, we would look forward to the arrival of cherries, strawberries, sweet corn, apricots, tomatoes and asparagus. They were markers of seasons. We would pig out on them and thoroughly enjoy them before the season ended.

Have you noticed that your supermarkets now sell nearly all fruit and vegetables all year round? Force grown in glasshouses in Queensland or flown in from California, Israel or South
East Asia, these fruits and vegetables have robbed us of a lot of our pleasure of anticipation.

Its like being given your birthday presents early and then having nothing to make your birthday special.

“O tempora o mores”

Masthead of The Age newspaper. I can relate to the lion's expression.

“O tempora o mores” is a famous sentence by Cicero in his First Oration against Catiline.

It translates as “Oh the times! Oh the customs!”

In his opening speech against Catiline, Cicero deplores the viciousness and corruption of his age.

In this post I too rail against the viciousness of the age.

Or more specifically, The Age.

Today’s lead story, taking up over half of a broadsheet page but with all of the intent of the grubbiest tabloid, was on Greg Norman’s marriage break up.

Is this truly the most pressing or interesting story in the world today?

Is it really news?

Do I really need to know?

Time to cancel the subscription, me thinks.

Sometimes you just need to remove the negatives from your life.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

The red centre visits the red edge.


The bizarre weather in Australia continues with a huge dust storm blowing the top soil from the inland farms to the seaside allotments.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

The cure for all ills.


Panexa, the cure for all that ails you.

Read about it here: Panexa Website

As with all these things, you must read the fine print. Trust me.

Bits & Pieces

Painting Credit Just something that appealed for the bric-a-brac post.

I haven't been the most diligent of bloggers. Sorry.

Friday was the anniversary of Dad's death and, of course, the end of our travels. Had dinner with Mum last night, she copes. Gets ambushed occasionally but copes.

Tentative plans to finish our travels next July - Galapagos & Cuba.

Work goes on OK; still fun, still very much a challenge. Couldn't ask for more from the folk above me or below me.

The hybrid beast runs smoothly, no sports car by any stretch of the imagination, but I am not a sports car person.

Simon has a part-time job at Gloria Jeans, his first job.

Richard will be thrilled that Geelong beat Collingwood in the AFL (Australian Football League).

Martin & Roni continue with their married bliss; up in NSW for an engagement part this weekend, I believe.

Despite the low rains, the garden looks good. Planted climbing beans today.

I have been commissioned to make salmon omelettes for dinner.

That's it. Well, enough of it.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Father's Day in Australia.

Ray Kennedy & Lee Kennedy, circa 1970.

(From The Age, click to enlarge)

Thursday, 3 September 2009

August Hotly


◊ August was the hottest August on record for all parts of Australia.

◊ The first eight months of 2009 were the driest first eight months of a year on record in Melbourne.

Not that climate change is a real or serious issue, of course.


Monday, 31 August 2009

A Dog's Life


What we can learn from a dog:

Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.


Sunday, 30 August 2009

Terrorism at Target


After I retired, my wife insisted that I accompany her on her trips to Target.

Unfortunately, like most men, I found shopping boring and preferred to get in and get out. Equally unfortunate, my wife is like most women - she loves to browse.

Yesterday my dear wife received the following letter from the local Target.

Dear Mrs.Hudson

Over the past six months, your husband has caused quite a commotion in our store.We cannot tolerate this behavior and have been forced to ban both of you from the store.

Our complaints against your husband, Mr. J.Hudson are listed below and are documented by our video surveillance cameras.

1. June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in other people's carts when they weren't looking.

2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.

3. July 7: He made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the women's restroom.

4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, 'Code 3 in Housewares. Get on it right away?. This caused the employee to leave her assigned station and receive a reprimand from her Supervisor that in turn resulted with a union grievance, causing management to lose time and costing the company money.

5. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a bag of M&Ms on layby.

6. August 14: Moved a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.

7. August 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told the children shoppers he'd invite them in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department to which twenty children obliged.

8. August 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began crying and screamed, 'Why can't you people just leave me alone?' Police were called.

9. September 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his nose.

10. September 10: While handling guns in the hunting department, he asked the clerk where the antidepressants were.

11. October 3: Darted around the store suspiciously while loudly humming the ' Mission Impossible' theme.

12. October 6: In the auto department, he practiced his 'Madonna look' by using different sizes of funnels.

13. October 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through, yelled 'PICK ME! PICK ME!'

14. October 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed a fetal position and screamed 'OH NO! IT'S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!' And last, but not least:

15. October 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile, then yelled very loudly, 'Hey! There's no toilet paper in here.

Cats and couches.


Sunday, 23 August 2009

A one-use alarm clock.

This, or a version of it, was in the pre-Father's Day junk mail today.

Apparently, after you push the snooze button, it rolls away somewhere in the room and, once the snooze period is over, you have to get up to find it.

And then bounce it off the wall into the rubbish bin.

Hot August Night


Late Saturday night was the hottest August night on record in Melbourne.

Climate change? How could I even dream of suggesting such a thing.