Thursday, July 24, 2003

Damn Cheap Pastry!

A warning to all consumers - do NOT, under any circumstances, purchase Coles' Home Brand Puff Pastry if you are cooking a pastry-oriented dish.
It. Is. Crap!!
I spent most of today preparing some brilliant fillings - a curry beef that had been on the stove for three hours to ensure maximum tenderness, and a chilli bolognese mince. However, when it came time to actually making the pies...THE BLOODY PASTRY DID NOT COOK OR RISE!!!
GodDAMN I was pissed off! I had a good mind to take what remained of Coles' Puff Pastry, and tell them where they could shove it!
There will be no cheap options in future when it comes to purchasing puff pastry!

My last shift at work tonight for about three weeks. I do feel as though I need a break. Working for six months straight, serving and dealing with the public, is a bloody hard slog. I did 15 months straight once, but I needed shock therapy to get over it.
Of course, it won't be a "real" holiday, but I'll try and use the time as wisely as possible.

My album list at work lately has certainly been a mixture. MP3 players are a godsend - convert albums to MP3, fit 8-10 albums on a disc, take it to work, hit random, and there goes the next nine and a half hours!
For the past month, the albums on cycle have been :

900lb Steam
Appetite For Destruction - GUNS 'N' ROSES
Dehumanizer - BLACK SABBATH
Garage Days Re-revisited - METALLICA
Killing The Dragon - DIO
Masterplan - MASTERPLAN
No World Order - GAMMA RAY
Resurrection - HALFORD
The Chemical Wedding - BRUCE DICKINSON
To Hell With The Devil - STRYPER

And I'm not sick of them yet, which means a) a new world record, and b) all these albums ROCK!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Only a Week to Go

Today's task was window cleaning. No, not ME, you bufoon! Helen! This pregnancy thing is getting out of hand. Oh well - next Wednesday is when the real work begins.
No, not ME...

At work tonight, I decided to have a go at picking 1st and 2nd Grade teams for Kiama for the upcoming season - having been a selector for the majority of the past four years.
Thank goodness I've gotten out of that! It will be nigh on impossible to keep everyone happy this year! Not that we were able to do it in previous seasons - but this season's job will be particularly difficult.
Good luck to all participants.

I arrived home from work at 12.40am - to be greeted by my still-awake wife. No, not still cleaning...staying up to watch Pride And Prejudice.....AGAIN!!!
At least she did it while I was out.

*Shudders violently at the thought of having to watch that rubbish*

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

B-Day Approacheth

You can tell that we're closing in on B-Day...

Helen and I were watching TV this evening (Rove [Live] to be precise), and Helen Kept prodding her tummy.
I enquired as to what she was doing, and she replied that she was getting worried, as the baby hadn't moved all day. My opinion was that there probably wasn't enough room for it to move much anymore, but this didn't stop Helen from being concerned.
Within sixty seconds, she had woken her unborn child, and it rippled and rolled for the next hour.
Justice is done.

On the subject of my lovely wife - why is it that she can't just sit still for five minutes? I mean, she hasn't stopped cleaning for days! Clean, organise, re-organise...
I know that I read in one of her four million pregnancy books/guides that, for the final months of pregnancy, women can carry on like this - "creating a nest", I think it was called.

"Loony-Tunes", I call it!!

Monday, July 21, 2003

Yep. Reggie's a Winner

Hey! What a surprise! Reggie won Big Brother!
I only said that after the first week. Can't prove it now, of course. Guess that is what makes this such a handy tool in regards to predictions.

Talking about predictions, here is what my predictions were for the NRL final positions this season (as quoted in an e-mail on March 14), with their current positions in brackets.

1. Cronulla (14)
2. Easts (4)
3. Dragons (7)
4. Canterbury (5)
5. Newcastle (9)
6. New Zealand (6)
7. Brisbane (3)
8. Parramatta (11)
9. North Queensland (10)
10. Wests (13)
11. Penrith (1)
12. Melbourne (8.)
13. Manly (12)
14. Canberra (2)
15. Souths (15)

Yep. I'm on fire once again...

Sunday, July 20, 2003

Another Dodgy Sunday

One of these days, I will actually acclimatise as to how much scotch is enough. I did think avoiding beer was the answer to ridiculous hangovers. Although what I had this morning could not accurately be classed as a hangover, the symptoms were similar.

As such, a day of rest was prescribed. Helen was off to do more "scrap-booking" at Di's for the afternoon, so I slouched in front of the TV, and watched the Aussies finish their demolition of Bangladesh in the cricket, and the Roosters slay Manly in the league (which is always enough to raise a smile).

The Big Brother eviction threw up a surprise tonight - Dan was voted out instead of Chrissie!! What was going on there?! It is only the second time all series that I've been wrong about who is going to be evicted. Absolutely ridiculous!

Helen has been busily going through scrap-booking things all evening. Looks as though she's found herself yet another hobby. Though from the prices I saw, it ain't gunna be a cheap one! No doubt she will be able to justify it well enough to herself, and then, illogically, to me as well....

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Experts My Arse!

So I woke up this morning with every intention of going out and looking at digital video cameras. However, as I awoke before Helen, I did some rearranging in the lounge room, set up the TV and video - and then the cricket started. The moment I sat down in front of it, I knew that was it for the day. I was glued. But how could you not be, with Dicknose Lehmann and Steve Waugh both on the verge of scoring centuries?!
And was it only Ian Chappell and every viewing spectator in the world who knew that Tugga wouldn't declare Australia's innings closed until he made his century? For about three hours, Tony Greig, Simon O'Donnell, Warney - even Heals and Tubby - kept predicting that Australia would declare soon after lunch. And this when Tugga only needed a hundred to become the only batsman in history to have scored a century against every Test nation.
Now Tugga, whose sense of tradition and history of cricket is rivalled only by yours truly, was never going to let that opportunity pass him by - and we all knew it!
So why couldn't the so-called experts see it?

Following these comedy capers, Lid and I headed off to the Fulton's, where a Games Night Extravaganza was to be held. A typical A.Fulton BBQ was held as the meal (ie pizza), followed by games.
It was a great surprise to all that the team of Fulton The Younger, Peters and Kearin were not triumphant in the first game (which name escapes me, but is basically Pictionary with Play-Doh), as we were the masters of winning without clues even being delivered. With the focus as always on Cheathony, we went relatively unscathed - though Cheathony's team won. What does that tell you?

Following this, the card game President's & Arseholes was fought out. Shane, following his own prediction nicely, found himself as scraper for much of the remainder of the evening. What came as NO surprise, however, was the fact that the top two positions in almost every hand played were filled by the two biggest cheats it has been my misfortune to have ever played games with.
Their names? CHEATHONY and HELEN.
The games lasted until Kearo could go no longer, and broke it up with his blatant cheating, rather than the stealth used by other contestants (yes, those named above).

More group talking between the Fulton's, Kearin's and Peters' continued after the other guests had dispersed. It was also our second consecutive use of the good lounge room at the Fulton's, too! And group talking without music or TV as well. Are we getting old? Mature? Human? Actually interested in each other?

Only time.....will tell.....

Friday, July 18, 2003

An Historic Day

Today marks the first day of the First Test between Australia and Bangladesh, and if we had followed through with our plans and dreams, Nev and I would have been in Darwin this morning.

13 years ago, while playing at Jamberoo, Nev and I, along with some of our other teammates - Scott Usher, and Craig and Shane Acton - spent many an afternoon discussing the fact that we should pack in cricket in Australia, and move to Bangladesh. Sri Lanka was already a Test nation, and it appeared only a matter of time before Zimbabwe would also join the Test ranks.
Our logic suggested that, eventually, Bangladesh would also become a Test nation. Thus, if we moved over now, we would be established in the team when they gained Test status, and would become Test players.
Though discussed at length, we never followed through.

And so comes today.

Can't you just see it? P.Netherclift and W.Peters opening the batting for Bangladesh against McGrath, Gillespie and Lee. And then opening the bowling against Hayden, Ponting and Waugh.

What foresight we had in those murky days of Jamberoo Cricket.
Instead, we'll just have to watch, and wonder what could have been......

I spent the day at Anthony's watching said cricket, along with Shane and, for awhile, Steven. We went all day until 5.30pm without having a drink (probably a world record). Shane continued to be an annoyance. After flatly refusing to go and get us KFC, he was the first to raid the bucket when it arrived thanks to Anthony's generosity. A pretty lame and crappy effort!

Attended the KCC general meeting Friday night. My first one for 4 years where I wasn't the Secretary. It was actually enjoyable. The build-up to the new season continues, and new coach Randall Starr was there, and has some good plans. Could this be the year for Kiama Cricket?

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Cathy Gives It Away

Cathy Freeman today announced her retirement. This was a hot topic on e-mail, as can be seen below :

First, Bono gave his spiel:
Cathy Freeman,
yes she was a good runner, won gold at Sydney,
but it wasn't against her no.1 competitor who went home,
If Cathy wasn't Aboriginal would she of had the profile that she has today,
If she wasn't Aboriginal would she of lite the Olympic Flame
I can think of far better CHAMPIONS that could of ................ Dawn Fraser for 1,
and I don't care if he wasnt an Olympian ............ Sir Don Bradman,

Anyway I just think she is too scared to compete and was lucky to win Sydney because of the absence

Anthony replied:

My thought is that AU is pretty light on when it comes to track and field, so anyone who is a chance at gold or world champion will generally get a bit of exposure. Cathy certainly had ZERO personality when it came to media interaction (maybe just shy - or maybe an idiot - who knows), so there's been a few other factors at play for sure.

..and just quietly, I think one W. S. Peters Esq. should have lit the flame for his contribution to regional Australian cricket. The trouble with the mechanix would have been handled better than an idiot sanding there getting cold. W.S.P would have handled it thus:

i) Realised some shit was up with the f*cker.

ii) Waited patiently for 2 seconds. Still not working.
iii) 'F*ck this'....brain ticking over -> realised he was a pissed as a parrot from the 2 bottles of scotch quickly sculled to calm the nerves; *bing* - has an idea.
iv) Brewed the biggest loogie possible, which would undoubtedly be laden with alchohol.
v) Aimed for the cauldron. Lit his lighter just in front of his mouth.
vi) Hawked that loogie through the flame, which set it alight.
vii) Loogie landed right in the cauldron and set the sucker alight.
viii) Standing ovation from 120 000 people present, and more than three quarters of the 3.6 billion people watching on tele, thus rendering W.S.P the single most popular person in the world for a few minutes.
ix) W.S.P unfazed by the attention, pokes his head underneath where the engineers are still trying to fix the shit and says:

"I don't know who you are, but you're f*cked"

The one mistake Cathy made was trying to attempt to continue after the Olympics. Everyone in Australia knew she'd never be able to come back after a year's layoff, and achieve more than she already had.

2 Commonwealth Gold medals
2 World Championship Gold Medals
1 Silver and 1 Gold Olympic Medals

Yeah - she's a great, and deserves all she has. You can only run against who is around, and for near on 8 years, she was either number 1 or number 2 in the world. That's better than any Australian track and field athlete since Raylene Boyle in the 70's.

Should she have lit the Olympic flame? Well, that was always going to be a political decision, no matter who it was. There probably were better qualified people to do so - and Dawn Fraser is close to the top of that list - but the actual spectacle of the last relay around the track, with all the women athletes, was pretty well done.

I'm just glad she's retired now. Jana Pittman is coming on strong, and deserves all of Australia's support without the burden of a Cathy Sympathy vote leading up to Athens next year.

That's my two cents worth.

So, I'm home to watch the Origin for the first time this year. I'm in front of the TV - and after ten minutes, the score is 12-0 - to Queensland. That was it. I turned over to Law & Order, which is a pretty fair indication of how much I'm hating the footy, because I've never actually watched Law & Order before. Turns out it's pretty good! I may tape it each week now...
Queensland won 36-6, but I didn't see any more of the game.

Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer were all on The Panel too, which was great! They are out here promoting their new film, A Mighty Wind, which opens next week. Looking forward to it.
The best part of the show was when Glenn Robbins insisted that Harry put on his Montgomery Burns voice - I couldn't stop laughing for five minutes. It must be great to be able to do all those voices, and have people recognise the characters they are...

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Who Says I Can't Build Stuff!

Ahhhhh.....another exciting day at the ranch. Working days is good, but the days seem to stretch off into eternity, and the evenings fly by at the speed of light. Not sure whether that is because others are around, and I can't just read the newspaper, or whether I'm just imagining it.

Helen and I put together the baby's stroller and car seat when I got home this arvo. Well, Helen did the stroller, because I pretty much flat out refused to do it. The car seat was easier. We need an extension to reach the anchoring bolt, which I'll have to get this week, but apart from that, all has worked out just fine. Two weeks tomorrow until the Caesarean. It's all coming around fairly swiftly now... 

Good News! My Amazon package arrived today, containing Dio's DVD Evil Or Divine, and Anthrax's latest album, We Have Come For You All. I watched Dio while putting together various baby equipment, and it rocks!! Absolutely sensational. He sounds as good as ever, and Doug Aldrich is great on guitar (pity he has now left to tour with Whitesnake!). Big chance of Anthrax getting a heavy workout at work tomorrow, too!

Monday, July 14, 2003

I'd Have Won $250 000 On "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire!"

Hey! I had a Monday at work that didn't suck fully! In fact, all went rather well for a change. Bloody busy still, what with school holidays and all (two grand through the shop!), and the usual pain-in-the-arse tourists preaching their correctness in everything to me - but overall, a fairly livable day.

As per usual on a Monday night, there was good viewing. I'm spewing I didn't tape the documentary I watched on SBS tonight, though. It was called "The Way Of The Warrior", and was a doco on the life of Bruce Lee. It also showed the three majoe fight scenes that he had completed filming and editing from his unfinished movie, "The Game Of Death". I couldn't help laughing at the fight scene between him and a very, very young Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The height difference was ridiculous. But very well done - and I wish I had it.

Damn that Millionaire show! Got all but one question right tonight - I'd have won 250 grand too! You just know, though, that if you were on there, they'd find the questions that you have absolutely no chance of answering, and be throwing those in from the $4000 mark (ie - in my case, any questions regarding art or religion!).

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Solitary in H Wing

Following yesterday's afternoon alone, I was provided with an entire Day of the same, with Helen and the entire Wade clan (excluding Joel, of course) heading off to the Southern Highlands.

The opportunity for doing absolutely zero was too good to refuse. I spent some time surfing the net, ensuring all was well with the world, watched some Friends episodes back-to-back (from Series 1, if you're that interested), and the footy. WHICH by the way, sucked big time, as Canberra got up over the Dragons 19-18, leaving them outside the eight once again, with some hard work to do.

The Wades once again outdid themselves, unable to go any further than Robertson, when they had planned to visit many places all the way up to Mittagong. Once Chris found his way to Robbo Pub, it appears that none of them were able to be moved.

Thak goodness Patrick has been evicted from the Big Brother house. He was possibly the most boring contestant they have ever had. Only a week to go now, which is more than a blessing in disguise, as it lost its lustre about five weeks ago.

Friday, July 11, 2003

Karen Turns 30

So explain this one to me - we had two heavies from Head Office coming down to our workplace today to inspect the site and so forth. They were due to arrive about 11.00am, so we had the store looking bright, clean and full as buggery. The longer the day went, the harder it was to keep it in this order. Finally, all other employees drifted off home, leaving me to man the fort alone. At five to four, my relief showed up - and bugger me, so did these dickheads from Head Office. They expected me to hang around and help show them around, to which I (im)politely declined. When quizzed as to why, I explained it was Friday afternoon, my shift had finished, and I was going home. They then questioned my loyalty to the company.
I left before I gave that sentence the blast of obscenity it deserved.

After a day like this, it is nice to be able to unwind with two dozen scotches (and, in the days before I gave up smoking, about 30 cigarettes...). So it was fortunate that this evening presented the lovely Karen Fulton's 30th birthday celebration at which to do this.
I felt extremely priviliged to be invited to this star-studded event. Only the families of Fulton and Foreman were invited, along with West Kiama Superstar Families, the Peters' and the Kearin's.
The night went really well. Karen, despite being the birthday girl, still cooked the meal. Anthony, the wonderful host, did actually get me my first drink, before telling me it was now my responsibility to get my own for the rest of the evening. I did this by grabbing the bottle of scotch, and the Coke, and placing it at out section of the dinner table.
As the 'families' left around 9, it was left to the seven of us (the Fulton's of Anthony and Karen, the Kearin's of Jason and Manette, the Peters' of Helen and myself, and rogue brother Fulton Shane) to continue on.
It was probably the first time we had all congregated in what is the Fulton's lounge room - and it was great! It appears to be the only room in any of our three homes where everyone can face each other comfortably and just talk crap. Which we then did with relish!

Funny to hear the girls' qualms about the way us guys talk to each other. Manette especially seemed to be worries about the level of sarcasm and cynicism we use in our everyday conversation. As we said, it's the way we've talked to each other for 20 years, right back to early high school, so none of it is meant to be harmful. (Anthony was our target on the night, with his new haircut coming under fire).
I hope no one takes any of that seriously. These guys are the closest friends I have, and we all actually get on well together. I really don't think we could possibly get on better.
Even though I am a fat, bald guy....(thanks Manette....)

Anthony professed himself to be amazed that we only got through one bottle of scotch. Problem was that there was only one to start with. If there had been three, then no doubt we would all be sporting raging hangovers tomorrow....

Actually, getting back to the previous notice - I can see where the girls (and other people around us) think we go over the top. I know that I certainly become quite obnoxious, whenever I become overly passionate on a topic, or just liquored up in general. I don't mean to do so, it just comes out that way. Most of the time, it just gets laughed off - but there are times days later, when reflecting on what was said, that I wonder why the hell people even want to associate with me.

But that's just me. I'm an idiot.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Home Alone - What a Treat!

Another exciting day at BP Albion Park.
Why is it that tourists are such a pain in the arse? I mean THEY are the ones who are supposed to be on holidays, having a good time, while I slave away at work to make their life just that bit more enjoyable.
And yet, they are unintelligent, boorish, rude, ungrateful little shits. Is it that hard to be polite and happy? Christ, I have to do it for 8-9 hours a day. They only have to do it for a few seconds!!!

- No, I can't come out and check your oil for you.
- No, I can't come out and check your air for you.
- No, it wasn't me that jacked fuel up by 10 cents a litre
- No, I can't bring the fuel price down for you
- No, we don't keep all 4 billion varieties of ice cream

Ah, that's better. If only I could actually do that at work.

Helen is off getting pampered with facials and stuff, and then off to pre-natal yoga, so I have the house to myself for the first time in weeks! It's just great. I can surf the net, do some writing, read my e-mails without Helen hovering over my shoulder, listen to music at a million decibels while ALSO having the TV on.....
Life doesn't get much better than that!!

Metallica's new album, St Anger, is beginning to wear a little thin already. Unlike their early album's, there really is nothing memorable that will keep people coming back to listen to it. Once the initial 'new-ness' of it wears off, I'm afraid that you are stuck with a CD of 75 minutes worth of nu-metallish stuff.
Oh well. At least it isn't as bad as Reload. That would have been a difficult task, even for Metallica...

Wednesday, July 9, 2003

I Had An Excuse This Time...

Helen and I are off to the Fulton's on Friday night, to celebrate Karen's 30th birthday. As such, we had decided to by her a DVD, but were not sure which one.

After absolutely no help at all from Anthony, we decided on Sense And Sensibility, as Karen seems to like this kind of crap (unfortunately, much like Helen...)
Of course, as it is already Wednesday, I needed to Courier the DVD, meaning I would have to pay extra money for the delivery....
...unless I order 3 more DVDs, as if you do this, you get FREE delivery!
So I did. It makes sense, doesn't it?
Anyway, I've added the following to my collection (as of Friday) :
- 20 000 Watts RSL. Midnight Oil's greatest hits DVD, which has live and studio clips.
- Detroit Rock City. I love this movie.
- Aussie Assault 1999/2000. 2 DVDs on Australian cricket from the 1999/2000 season, including the World Cup victory in 1999. 

Reviews on all will come in the following days.

Tuesday, July 8, 2003

On the Subject of Music

 Yep. I've gone and done it again.

I was browsing through Amazon again, and of course came across Dio's new DVD, Evil Or Divine. Of course, we also know that Slayer's "War At The Warfield" is due out at the end of the month, and I've been trying to get Anthrax's "We Have Come For You All" for months. 

So yeah - I bought them. Same price as they would be out here anyway. The strong Oz Dollar (68 US cents at the moment) helps a lot, too...