Friday, 31 December 2010

Where did THAT come from?

December has been quite pleasant: a little rain, gentle temperatures (average = 24degC).

But come New Year's Eve: Wham! A 41 degree day.

Colour me limp.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Invention of the devil!


Now, I'm an atheist so it is a bit academic but I reckon whoever wrote the bible description of hell got it horribly wrong.

Sure fire and brimstone is unpleasant and an eternity of it would pall after a while but if you really want to drive someone mad give them the job of putting bird-netting on a fruit tree.

While wearing a shirt with lots of buttons.

Man, that stuff snags on everything. It goes looking for things to snag on. Snags come to it.

Give me the brimstone any day.

Monday, 27 December 2010

I've got worms!


Not only that, I got them from my son!

Now, with all the responsibility of a foster parent, I am carer and guardian of a thousand or so hungry mouths to feed. Just don't ask me to identify which end is which.

The high-rise hostel for these worms is called a "Worm Cafe" (above).

Who thinks of these names?

I have visions of a focus group (think short, fat, balding men with pony-tails and paisley shirts) sitting around, drinking latt├ęs and wondering what to call the new worm farm design. One looks at his coffee and a small light glimmers and the "Worm Cafe" is born.

And they vote.

The focus group, not the worms.

Hang on. I'm confused...


One of the 'novelty' gifts I got for Xmas was a measuring cup, just like my Mum and my Granny used to use. Ah, memories!

But, on the outside, was the following sticker:

It seems that they don't make things like they used to!

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Sheepish admission...


Mmmm...what to do? I ran out of marzipan before I ran out of cake.

Create a sheep pen, obviously!

Plus I got to eat the hollow out bits too!

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Christmas Lorikeets.


Rainbow Lorikeets enjoy their Christmas dinner.

Peace to all.


I hope you Christmas is a good one.

Peace. Joy. Happiness.

Friday, 24 December 2010

The Christmas Keyboard


Did you hear about the Christmas keyboard?

No L.


Monday, 20 December 2010

Trust you because you are a doctor? I don't think so.

With my mother having had a fall last weekend I have found myself in a couple of doctors surgeries with her over the week. Largely due to her concern that she had not had a bowel movement in six days - a legacy of codeine based pain killers.

Two quite bizarre statements from two doctors.

1. Food takes fourteen days to pass through the intestines.

The guy has obviously never eaten sweet corn. Or figs.

2. Bananas have no fibre in them. You are better off eating an apple.

Both are good but, weight for weight, a banana has more fibre than an apple.

Really makes you worry about their medical advice but then it is not uncommon to see people who are quite talented in one area being interviewed as experts in another. And being believed in the second for no reason other than they are capable in the first.

But it is still depressing in this case. I would expect doctors to know better.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Sort of redundant.

Photo use kindly permitted by Peter Bryenton

I'm told that my position is 'going to be redundant' - not 'is redundant' but 'is going to be redundant'.

The company I work for has got it into its head that, if it consolidates its chemistry testing in New South Wales, away from most of the food market in Australia, it will grow and blossom beautifully.

I expressed a contrary view.

The next day am told that my position will become redundant.

Not yet. Eventually.

The price of not being a 'yes man'. The phenomenon of GroupThink springs to mind.

In the mean time they want me to stay on while they find and train a replacement in NSW. (The ad went on-line yesterday) And, because the staff respect me, I am expected to keep them calm and be a positive team player, selling the joys of the soon to be consolidated chemistry lab. Wouldn't want the flock to stampede on the way to the slaughterhouse, would they? The promise to me is a bonus if I stay doing a miserable job to the miserable end.

I asked the Managing Director if he knew what a Judas Goat was. The response was a broad grin and a finger drawn across his throat.

I am no Judas Goat.

I have no intention of bailing this little blue boat longer than it takes to find a reasonable lifeboat.

Anyone out there need a slightly shop-soiled chemist?


Actually it might be a very good chance to slip sideways into something else.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Pretty well finished.


A little bit of painting and deck-oiling to do but the deck is basically finished.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Well, that's a good thing!


Enormous number of weather records set in the US this last week - highs as well as lows.

Good thing 'climate change' is just a plot of the Lefties and not actually real, isn't it?

Monday, 13 December 2010

The day I lost my mother.


My mother had a fall yesterday - took a tumble down two stairs and, after putting up with the pain for five hours, called an ambulance.

This morning I rang to see how she was. No answer.

So I rang the nearest hospital. "Never heard of her."

So I rang the regional hospital. "Nope. Not here."

So I rang the '000' number. "You sent an ambulance to my mother last night. Where did they take her?"

"Royal Melbourne Hospital"

So I rang the Royal Melbourne Hospital. "No, We have no-one of that name."

So I rang Royal Melbourne Hospital emergency department. "Who?"

So I rang the ambulance again. "Can't find her. You sure she went to RMH?" "Yes. The ambulance arrived at the hospital at 10:55pm and left again at 11:17pm. The case number is N123-456-7890"

So I rang the emergency department at RMH. "We've checked all the records. We don't have her. But give me your number and I will ring the ambulance myself."

Thirty minutes pass.

I get a call from the RMH: "She is in Knox Private Hospital."



Footnote: She has damaged a vertebrae but it will mend and she is back home.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

An apology.

Attention please.

I have been getting a bit carried away with my disgust with the Wikileaks fiasco and letting my political comments bleed over into my bland family pap blog, where I should just post flowers and recipes and family archive stuff. I have alternate blogs for those three trouble makers of polite social chit-chat, sex, religion and politics and, chastised, will use them appropriately.

My apologies.

As you were.


The Nixon Tapes - Dikileaks!

Richard M. Nixon made negative comments about Jews, blacks and other ethnic groups during informal discussions with top aides and his personal secretary that were recorded before he resigned as president, according to a newly released batch of tapes.

Wise, Wiser, Weisel.


"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice,
but there must never be a time when we fail to protest."
- Elie Weisel.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Spot on, Kev.


Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd says the United States, not WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, is to blame for the release of secret diplomatic cables.

Mr Rudd says the 39-year-old Australian cannot be held personally responsible for the release of more than 250,000 documents.

He says the leaks raise questions about the adequacy of US security.

"Mr Assange is not himself responsible for the unauthorised release of 250,000 documents from the US diplomatic communications network," said Mr Rudd, who has been criticised in one leaked cable as a "control freak".

"The Americans are responsible for that."


Spot on, Kev. Spot on.


Not fit for office.


Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas and presidential wannabee, says that "“Anything less than execution is too kind a penalty" for Julian Assange.

The man lacks the mental dexterity needed to be a moron and should be barred from any form of public office.

If you needed further proof, he has a show on Fox News.

Killing the messenger.


It's interesting.

1. Someone or someones within the US government release thousands of documents about the Iraqi Invasion, the Afghan War and diplomatic cables of various types and interest. Things we should know about. Like the cavalier way US soldiers shoot anyone and everyone.

2. Wikileaks puts them on line.

3. The world media co-host the information and trawl it for juicy stories, publishing everything that they think will be embarrassing governments and boost their sales and circulation.

And who do the "authorities" chase?

The messenger.

Pricks. No authority with me.

Monday, 6 December 2010

The Spear of Fame


Near my work is a place called "The Spear of Fame - Manufacturers of Fine Ceremonial Regalia".

But what amuses me is that it is directly opposite a brothel called "Butterflies".

I wonder how many Butterflies clients also boasted fine ceremonial regalia?

(No photos; I felt it was risky to be hanging around a brothel with a camera.)

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Push off!


You've all seen them. A lot of you are even one.

Those people who think that, when they get into an elevator, the doors close faster if your push the 'door close' button.

Sadly you are all misguided.

The 'door close' button on all modern elevators only works when the elevator is in manual mode. When it is in automatic mode the doors close after 5 seconds, whether you push the button or not.

But people love to think it works.

And sure enough, after they press the button, the door closes.

But it would have anyway.


Friday, 3 December 2010

Not playing with a full deck...

Our deck progresses reasonably fast...

Pure as the driven slush.

Slush being driven on.

The underframe.

Step One.

Not quite a dance floor.

Friday, 12 November 2010



Victoria and New South Wales are facing a locust plague.

Sounds a bit like a Biblical event but, even as an atheist, I have to say that it is true.

I came out of work today and there was a locust sitting on the roof of my car. (No camera, so you will have to take my word for it.)

Not a plague by my car's perspective but worrying for my garden if they arrive in numbers.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Armistice Day, 2010


Armistice Day and the poppies are in flower.

Lest we forget.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Up boy! Up!


I've grown nasturtiums on and off over the years. On occasion put them in salads or used the flowers as a garnish.

Never thought of them as a climber though - more of a crawler.

I read somewhere that growing nasturtiums up you apple tree will discourage Coddling Moth.


Well, I'll give it a go and Lo! they do climb. Apple trees, anyway.

Have I created a monster?


Saturday, 6 November 2010

Coming together...


Our solar panels went live this morning! Woohoo! For the day, we have so far used 1.2kWh from the grid and exported 9.5kWh back to it.

In the meantime, we have harvested broad beans, potatoes, broccolini, silverbeet and some sage from the vegetable garden and planted tomatoes (Galapagos, Borghese, Grosse Lisse & one I forget), a pot of basil and some sweet corn. And shook a big bowl of mulberries from the tree in the front garden.

Dinner tonight: silverbeet & ricotta ravioli with burnt butter and sage, followed by spicy lamb cutlets with garlicky broad beans.

And a bottle of home brewed dark ale for the cook while he shells the broad beans.

Life can be good.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Gone to pot.


I have been growing more thing sin pots this year, with mixed success.

The pansies seem to like the camellia potting mix well enough though. Somewhere, hidden in all that pansimonium is a blueberry plant that will fill the pot. Eventually. Not this year though.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Use what you have got...


So, what do you do with a Mince Pie that is in the shops TWO MONTHS before it is needed?

Turn it into a Halloween spider, of course.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Oh great!


Simon missed his bus to work this morning. I get the phone call - can I drive him to work?

I'm his Dad, of course I will.

So, un-shaved, un-showered, hair in disarray, I drive him to his work.

And who pulls up beside us at the lights? The Chemistry Lab Manager!

When I see her on Monday I will tell her I was trialling a Halloween costume.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Bad Hair Day.


Cooking 1.
Made fresh pasta for starter last night and left one portion of it to cook today to take for tomorrow's lunch. May not have been a good idea - seems to have developed split ends. A fair bit broke off and fell on the bench, but it is all cooked up now, awaiting a sauce.

Cooking 2.
Mangoes are cheap - made mango chutney.

Cooking 3.
Made the Christmas cake. Well, more correctly, am making the Christmas cake - it is in the oven as I type.

Friday, 22 October 2010

My brain, revisited.


I published this photo a few weeks back but my brain continues to flower and looks even more symmetrically beautiful from above:

Sunday, 17 October 2010

No miracles here.


The Australian media is in a 'bite its own leg off' frenzy over the impending canonisation of Sister Mary MacKillop.

It is happening as I type. The canonisation, not the self-legectomy.

As an atheist and the son of a man who carried the mental (and physical) scars of mistreatment by Catholic nuns for all of his life, it can't be over soon enough.

At least he wasn't in the care of Catholic priests.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Father of the Bride?


Having three sons, I never expected to be father of the bride.

But today I had the honour, and fun, of giving away Yukari, a lovely Japanese girl with no family in Australia.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Spring is really here!


The wisteria resumes it's duty - to hide the front water tank.

Love daisies of all sorts - always fascinates me that they are really a bunch of tiny flowers.

With irises, violas, pansies, wisteria, bluebells and honesty, there is a strong purple theme in the front garden.

Quinces have the most delicate pink flower.

A jasmine has found its way into the cumquat and thinks I haven't noticed.

And, and my brain is in flower!

Broad Beans, for Celia.


Lush & happy. Pods still small - abt 5cm - but warmth and water should do the trick.