Tone-in-oz just doing it anyway

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

gurk 2010

Morunghurk 2010
Some Clan Pictures of Easter 2010 with Sunday Lunch and Spoons. Ahh, Easter.
Speaking of spoons, the Peanut Gallery developed a similarly Loud game of TEXTAS.
Joan and Alan had returned from a trip OS just before Easter, and were trying to fit into the local time zone and get some sleep/food/drinks in the right order, but there was more, it was the end of Daylight Savings...
We arrived Thursday evening- 320km, left at 4pm. Gurk at 7:30pm. Good trip. Took homemade wines, vinegar, made up my guacamole for the gang...  Better company, tried the new Pinot gris and an older shiraz. Hmm.
Friday was dull, with mist, not warm, but not chilly either. Some slept in. Quiet day, catching up news too. Scrabblers Scrabbling.
Saturday was better all around. Quiet too. More Scrabbling, cards
Saturday afternoon I went with a party back to the Cave, just a 30 minute walk Down the hill, and downstream. Some pics were taken last year.
Saturday evening meal- PIZZA! And then SPOONS! After the maddening satiated SPOONERS bled off to bed, Pete shove a few kilos of Beef in the bread oven to slow cook til lunch the next day.
Sunday Morning. For some there was a Physical Torture Routine- A Ride and A Run by Some. All returned, smiling...
Sunday Lunch- I was one of the designated spud peelers,  with 1 peeler at the time=======
(peeler utensils- 1!!!???, then 3 afterwards---hmmmm)
9kg peeled, and cut up, then cut up again.
La Chef and Anne organised a beautiful spread.
Kay and Terry, Carol and Ned came up to lunch with us all.
party of 40 odd or more?
jus wunnnerfull
then drove home after to pick grapes nex day
  One day in the life-     Drinking, Talking, Eating...     
Another day-     Sunday Roast- Slow cooked for 14 hours- the meat literally fell apart

Sunday Roast

The Spread, and a chef

SpoonsThe Tension--------
The Peanut Gallery------

Game One --------
Bon outlasted Pat
Game 2------------
I forget who won this one
Tony Ford. Copyright © April 20002004, 2009, 2010 . All rights reserved. Site Revised: jul2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Golden Anniversary Celebration

This weekend, I managed to finagle four teeners to come with me to my folk's 50th anniversary.

Al drove us to The Big Smoke, and we called in on a friend to pick up some cast off PC equipment.

We all talked on the way, with an ipod going of course, not my style, but what ever gets us there...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A years worth of fads

8 months into the year, and a shower ponder today was- My Fads so far this Year, or hobbies and obsessions.

January and February I was worried at the start about continuing in more IT education.
So ended up enrolling for Cert III of IT at the TAFE and trying to not repeat the OH&S section
(don't ya love TLAs?).*

March and April, the portable vineyard, making wines. Started rereading Terry Pratchetts' Discworld novels.

May, fixing the girls computers and mine, backing it all up

June and July- repairing, altering the website, maintain the home web and the girl's new pcs. Should I move the TV and put the girl's pc's in the family room too. Vetoed!!!

July and August, chase up a weather monitor, setting it up, distilling the rejected wines, repairing the car, unblock the sewage. Enjoying th e weather station.

This month- Blogging and tax

All right, not really faddish behavior, just the bee bonnet thing, next thing, once under, forget the last, is a shame really.

Forget?! yep, listen to this:
For instance, I was asked to order some tickets at 9am Thursday morning but then, was not asked after all, but that was the key time to be at the tax accountants! Because I tried to finish off some recorded TV programs last night, and made it 20% of the way, I slept through the alarm, the news and just caught seeing the boys off to school. When I jumped up for brekky, I was reminded of the tickets, and THEN the appointment! ARGH! Called them, "no sweat tone! see u 2morow!"

Sorry excuse, too many things not important, lucky I am not on a rig offshore Louisianna...

*three letter blah b' blah blah blah

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Done my bit for democracy today

Well, I may have missed jury duty ‘cos I was on an oil rig, and then when I was ready, they didn’t need me. What a come down.
But. I did not mind doing something civic, gotta look after our version of democracy.
Well, the electoral commission did take up my offer this time as a citizen wanting to do his civic duty. And it is well paid too: to number off and count the punters offerings to the gods of chance- 15 hours work!
The standing around can be a pain, the slow times sitting waiting for the punters is advanced time wasting too. Some people are so rude!
But to be a part of this process was to be an insight into the other side of the democratic process.
Not just turn up and scratch a few numbers and nick off, but to process voters, mark them off the roll, to be there as part of the huge public turnout.
To see people I knew and say hello, and to catch up with a few words to old acquaintances.
The first ten minutes was a bit of a shocker, getting the routine down, wishing I had had a few minutes brush up on some procedures, but I did not take too long to get right into it.
There was no buzz of revolution, some were so bored and or annoyed at the compulsory requirement. I think that is a bit selfish, I bet they would not want a degradation of the local hospital, or roads, and this is just a ‘good’
And AJ took part in his first election. Just had to get Fzledazzler to wake him up- 2pm!!! And proud to see him there, couldn’t keep from smiling with pride. I just caught him on a break too.
One of the procedures is to ask the punter whether they have voted in the election already. What? And the typical answer was, “No, why would I do that, once is enough”. I’d rule their name off and then give them their marked forms, and send them off to scratch something on them, saying Don’t leave them in the booth and mark the forms as directed!
A funny voters form was noticed in the count later- one part was marked ’1′ in all the boxes. Another had a squiggly figure five times instead of the preferences.
The tiring part was leaning over a table that was too low. My knees and back and thighs and quads are all tight. Can’t have everything.
I would do it again, I feel good for doing it.
The team leader was professional, there were a couple of beginners like me, and the team on the polling booth worked well for never having met before.
each other before.
Yeah, done my bit for Oz democracy today.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Procrastination Personified

Lately, when it comes to tax, I do it every 2 years, cos I am not a millionaire.

I started last Tuesday to make the effort to do it again, as I drive, I use medical facilities, so I better.

I collect all the little pieces of paper I have to, to justify running my life my way.

I do not need a shoe box anymore, just a little D6 envelope. And stapler. An excel spreadsheet. A pen.

 Pa-thetic. (In a Scottish brogue, sounds grrreat)

This year I have a little business to run, so upgraded to two envelopes...

Have I made enough to justify paying the tax-man, all the extras charged and collected? That is a good question. We'll see. That's all in another envelope.

Oh oh, no, that makes three. Well, I bought a box of 100 really cheap years ago- so cheap there is no gum, you have to sticky tape them closed. You know, look after the pennies, and pounds look after themselves. Yeah, right.

So I think I have it sorted. And another pile of paper appears from under it all. Start again.

There is an appointment with an accountant next week. I have been him seeing each year or so since last century. Late last century. That's a weird way to say for over a decade. The date was made last week.

I have been hounded from a different direction altogether for an income statement for a while now. Obviously a  profit and loss statement not quite nearly enough for some people. A tax return statement please sir.

The accountant will get a big slice if there is anything to get back, but it's like the law. Like voting, death and consumerism. A fair cut of the profit.

Anyway, the old stuff is in a blue folder, full with the envelopes and old bills. The previous years accounts are still all over an armchair, nearly sorted, just the new stuff to double check. Since the day before. Been somewhat busy.

The current stuff is dutifully filed in a plan vanilla manila folder, in a drawer of the filing cabinet, with three envelopes. I plan on being more efficient for next year, when its due, it will be ready!

I have had a nearly child free night tonight. For about 100 minutes. Maybe sit down and finish that pile.

Apart from taxiing them (the immediate descendants) all around town.

Two off to a girlfriends' pizza and movie night, and making up for a mix-up at work. A pizza made by the eldest boys for the three of us was downed with a beer for those that can drink. A really nice simple affair, then off one split.

And then drop-offs and  pickups. An obligatory cuppa with my in-laws, swapped some stories. Quiet inconsequential talk, and left two with their pop for a big day out tomorrow. Fifteen kilometers, four hours, the petrol.

Home for the gap in the buzz, a nap in front of the SBS movie.

A taxi door slam, and back to the clickety clack of the networked teens, and I am back here, finishing off a piece about avoiding that pile of work on the arm chair.

I am about to crash, as I have a long day babysitting the proles at the polling booth ahead, and then counting their scratchings to vote in another boring committee. And getting a few dollars for the effort.

I do love this place.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Bitter Sweet Connection to Kevin (6°) Who? Shaking in my Socks.

Tonight I am Shaking in my SOCKS. Connections. Past Catching Up.

Reading through a friend's post on Facebook, I caught someones comments on his pictures. He was staying in a large city in a Scotland that is having a comedy festival. Obviously he was there to cheer on the Ozzies there, even though he is from Glasgow.

 I knew the commenter! It was Mandi.
What a great thing to find out.

And This is What Was Really Weird!
Seeing that persons name, and another persons name on a card I picked up earlier today.

Today I was tidying up someones room (they will remain nameless to protect myself them). I picked up an old xmas card (2009! old?) and the address on a it; from Peter Klein. Okay, better make sure it's in the address book, yes, there it is, he has not moved, but has a new friend, that's right, good! And well well well (3 holes in a desert). (The mother of his kids was also another mutual acquaintance in this long short story, which could be another story). Card filed. In another pile...

The connection; My friend Pete and Mandi were good friends back where and when I went to college thirty years ago! Mandi had summer vacation work locally, and Pete and I college were students, engineering and geology respectively, also trying to get some vacation work.

I met Pete during O-week thirty years ago. Pete was an ambitious sort. He was right into 3 or 4 things. Music, cars, tennis and girls, see, 4 things at least.Pete went through an apprenticeship, then a draughting internship(?) Anyway, he had a yellow SLR5000 Torana when he had finished the intern time, and a you beaut sound system, enough to blow your ears outHis dad was an engineer, don't know whether that is significant, but he traded the car to do an engineering course, at a country college. he was also right into Bjorn Bork, The Tennis Player. Pete even dressed like him, god, he would have been the stunt double. Head bands and all.

There were concerts and stuff, the usual O-week celebrations; beer, boys, girls and parties.
A mate from the previous year, Nick and I were going to try to sneak into see a band, The Flowers (back then), but the security was too good. So we went to the top of the hill, and drank. A clear chilly late summer evening, looking over Floara Hill campus before it went Suburban...
Me, royal reserve port, less than four dollars a bottle, cheaper than a six pack of beer, and not as heavy.

We introduced ourselves to some other would be concert crashers, Pete and his friends, all first year students. And then someone passed me a joint. My first. No immediate effect at all. Nothing. So Nick and I talked to these guys until the sun nearly came up. I tried to chat up one of the greek arty farty new girls back in the residences. No, we  talked crap until the sun came up, and there was no port left in the bottle. Nothing 'happened'. I think she thought I may have been gay- a waste of her time.  

The after effect- shit, I was so stoned man!! Ignoring a chick like that! And she never really talked to me again in the following years. The port and the numbers had made me impotent!
Or the shyness of "careful, first contact with an alien!".

Pete, Nick and I remain friends. Nick is so camp I cringe even over the phone. Pete has two boys, and is successful government consultant or something. And they are both a long way away. Same with Mandi.

More connections.

In this 'college' town, there was some drilling going on for gold. There was need to log the core. The students in town were not offered the job, but some Girl from another college or old mining town ended up with the job!
The boys and I were not too happy- but se la vie (?).

For some reason, I had a spare room over the summer, maybe because the other house mates went home to mummy and daddy or a vacation job- what ever. And I met this chick, and mentioned to her that there was a room free to share the rent with. Tarnia would not mind because this Chick was going out with Pete. 
And so she moved into one of the spare rooms. I think we all had a great summer time, double dates etcetera. I think. Mandi told us once that she tanning out the back of the office when she was logging core, in a monokini... 

The house that I had was woeful, a real student rental- the shower was not a shower as the hot water heater was sitting at the same level as the bath, and the outside toilet actually leant to the left. (Imagine you were drunk trying to relieve your self  late at night in a strangers loo that had a lean...)

The next time I met her, I was in the desert  between The Alice and Brisbane, near No Where. On arriving at the little drilling rig, arrangements were made that the other geologist would finish off his work, and take off the next day, and that I should knock off.  I drove the stupid little Mitsubishi 4 wheel drive back to the camp to get a meal and bed. Excellent, 700km through a wasteland, and boy was I was hungry and tired.

As I got there, a small figure comes running towards me, a girl! Yelling HELLO TONY!

What the?

It was my old house mate, Mandi. 

My brother served a meal to a "Grease" star once, and sat down for a yak to this pilot who really must know Kevin Bacon, huh? Small world. I am 23 degrees from Kevin Bacon.

meeting up with Mandi in the outback, spooky. Seeing her online tonight. Spooky as I had seen a xmas card sent to me by her old boyfriend.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Space tonight, or night skies, Out My Back Door, or A Black Hole?

Tonight in the west was Mercury, Venus, Saturn and Mars!

There was a huge ring around the Moon , and ghostly remnants of jet exhaust trails, going through the ring. I told the descendants all about it!

The Frzlar did not twitch a micro buttock muscle.

The girls liked it and
#1 had a look and said wow.
That was satisfying.

We both grabbed our digital cameras to record the event.
My shots have some dots. #1did better
The picture at left has Venus with Mars to the right and Saturn below. If you look carefully enough... Missed Mercury by that much... time

08 August thanks, and Night at The Opera

08 August

Well, today
 [as I showered today, pondering the state of the universe- like how cold it was this morning (like, -2°C!),
 and whether or not to turn 25 lites of oxidised yukky alcoholic Pinot Gris into brandy, 
and who to thank for such a nice day]

as I walked thru the house I noticed that Emmy was recording Queen onto her new desktop... Night At The Opera to be precise.

And I am not supposed to wear Rip Curl gear. Apparently. [I mean, the old pullover is old, but very nicely embroidered too.]

Gifts from the Dead

When my wife was lost in a car accident, she left legacies. Here are some of them. Four great kids, a menu and a house. A promise unfulfilled, a trip to Venice. In some ways she had also prepared me in case something should happen to her, weird.

In the ten years since Tarnia has been gone, I was helped through it by my in-laws who moved in while I worked in the oil game. We had other carers to help them too. Because there were four kids, eight, five and twins six months.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Bees and the Bonnet

Hi again.
I have been set a target.
Like the bees in the bonnet, I have been buzzing and buzzing.
I have looked at the end from this way. And then from that way.
Been very distracting.
The completion itself won't be satisfactory.
Which way to go? I am stuck. History hisses at me.
But I have to set this down if only to justify the time.
I will do it, I must, I must.
Otherwise I will go crazy because I want to do something else that is on my imaginary list.
The calender is there with a list, I will go there!
And I want to bullseye the target, really hate missing the whole thing.
I like completing things, like a book, always finish my books.
Starting things, depends on the outcome. Pleasure? Satisfaction? Completion?
Procrastination more like it.
Back into it, cut the buzzing, the playing.
Catch ya round like a rissole.

Accomplishing small tasks and the satisfaction

14 August

Leaks and money.
I do not really like spending money when I know I can do something around the house myself for less than getting it done for me. Plus, I did it. I am not a really big DIY fan, but some house maintenance is just too expensive. I have some Scottish genes in me too.

27 July weather monitor

27 July
weather monitor
The old pc is getting bogged down, no cd to fix it- got a 'newer pc' instead. With win7pro too. from zacks school as a 2nder. taken since Friday night to get it up to what I want- but still cannot get the bloody printers to work... , and got a weather monitor- what I have been lusting for for a few years.- All Thanks to a goverment kickback, which reminds me- gotta see that accountant soon for 8/9 and 9/10.
Added the weather site, and it is working well as of very early this morning!
Other updates|
#1 son made it to 18, we had a good party with no hassles, well the homemade fire fountain was a bit of a fizzer, the first ione was kicked UNDER a car parked next door, DOH what the?. Anyway. I like his friends- a good bunch.
Fraser been a little harder to monitor- helping himself and organizing a very busy social life- has a job with the local holden place cleaning up after school twice a week. Compared to last year, a dream.
The girls are growing up- get a bit of cheekiness now, and the room...
Could rattle on for hours.
Not tho.

02 August measurement obsession?

02 August

measurement obsession?

I had a thought that with the new weather monitor I have installed-
 I have a LOT of measuring thingos around the place.

13 November Spring to Summer in Sale

13 November
Spring to Summer in Sale
We are Not right on the coast, but the seashor - for the last week- can smell the beach and seaweed everyday- or ozone? just a Great Summer in the air, and only November. Not like the penisular years ago, but OCEAN type air. The backyard thermometer reached over 30°C in 4 days in a row- and the last two days nearly there too.

Bought a telescope- little one- but have spotted a few of the moons of Jupiter
At Last- can see them with My telescope- cannot wait to see something of Saturn soon, later in the year anyway.
Shooting Stars/Meteors spotted this week too- at least the Green Guide guru said it was that time of the year for Leonides Showers- made sense- and frasssszz saw one tonight too
, mentioned could see more at 3:30 am Wed next week ------ exactly- nought reaction........ :-(

the grapes--- the minivineyard or mobile vineyard looks just fab- may make more than a gallon or two come harvest


49, single. I made it to the year 2000, and then to 2010. Now.
When I was a child, I was always thinking I would be 39 by 2000. Not mathematically minded. Nor academic either. But I would be 39 years old.
Little did I know that by then I would be a professional – a geologist.  A sailor that loved the speedboardsailing thrill of powering along using nature.  A father. Of four. And a widower by the end of that year. Could communicate all over the world really cheaply, from my car if I wanted to as I sped through landscapes of desert, cities, seashores or even in the supermarket. “Where are you now Tarn, have you finished, can I meet you at the car park, soon?” Really like to do that now.
  I think of myself as pretty selfish, and grumpy, and seeing is believing. I do.

Thoughts on house keeping or not

11 August
Thoughts on house keeping or not

Again in the shower, a quick glance at the grime, grab the scourer and that's gone.
A glare out at the floor. Clothes and towels all over the place. I just tidied it all up!
I do not think I am a clean freak.  Just have look at my bedroom. Projects under way under other piles.
But, the bathroom is a shared resource dang it, like the kitchen sink and fridge.
They know where things come from, can they not replace items?
Don't bother answering- I was a teen too.
But still (whining...)
Makes me wonder why and how I can be such a selfish, self centred grumpy old bugger.
The kids are mostly great and good and resilient, and I let them get away with things too much, and get upset when the envelope is punctured, and we all get on.
Have dinner together, talk during the ads while the news of interest is on...

And the head is DENTED again from falling off.
Even in the simple career currently engaged in, I can not cope with everything else going on around me; I left something behind.
Had to go back to check where an item was THREE TIMES, then a late call- "Oh, found it!".
Buggerizations people, threshold of dents is coming up.

Head space- dun no ware tis.
But had a nice shower.

Dick Smith’s Population question, and there are elephants in the bloody room, you idiots

I liked Dick Smiths doco. The Q&A show was a disaster IMHO.
The Q&A program did not need dickheads like John Elliot or (woman, sorry about the missing  name) nor The Mining Industry attitudes that were displayed  and were unnecessary as were the usual arguments that always come up, like the ubiquitous 'we all know' from the pollies, or their assumptions that anyone that made it through high school would think like they do.
They do not always, sorry.
We should consume less, but that needs SENSIBLE EDUCATION from babes in arms time. Obviously.
These days we just pay tax, and  lose things like the SEC and Telstra. Thanks Jeff and John. NOT. Do not enjoy paying lots more for something that takes less people to keep it going.
I was annoyed that nobody grabbed Dickos thesis and tried to run with it or explore anything he was trying to put up.
And so what that stupid people may have helped him make enough millions that his kids are okay and he cares about the rest of us and all our futures and that he has a flying car in his garage?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Just trying to do it

Just trying another Blog Publishing site.
Here goes.
Was going to try a blog-site name of  'When in Doubt, think, don't shout', but how is that a blog site name?
My good friend and sister in law has a great one.
Even #1Son has a good one.

I like irony, satire, wry life observations or great funny sarcasm.
Anything to raise the eyebrow, bring on a whimsical or wry smile.

For example of a twisted observation that I made ages ago to two friends when we were having coffee at a place that is on the highway through town. A semi pulling a large load of 10 or 20 crushed cars ready for the steel mill went past, and I had always wanted to say this to an appreciative audience:
"Hey, that must have been a big crash." 
One friend  got it, but the other,  did not, being from the long islands?

And that was funnier to me than the initial observation.

You could hear the sonic boom as the comment went over. Not being racist, but taking a huge leap into a gigantic generalization of these people- they are not slow, are clannish and feudal, know nearly everything, and make good friends. From the small group I know anyway.

Ah well, tomorrow I am buying a decaffeinated coffee table...