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Remind me to stay the heck away from the Cajun Sausage and Beans.

That was the lesson I took away from the anniversary dinner Vickie and I had at the New Orleans Café on Saturday evening. I thought I could handle them - Vickie's been slowly upping the spice content in my food for the past three years - but although it wasn't too strong, the sheer quantity of hot stuff in the main course I had was overpowering. Next time, I'll stick with the chicken.

It was a great, relaxing evening out for the both of us, even if the waiter did bring our main out before we'd even finished our entrée (he did apologise later). We sat there for ages after we'd done with our food (I say done with, not necessarily finished) and compared notes on the clothing and styles (or lack thereof) of the Saturday evening Crows Nest crowd. I tell you, if someone had told me this time last year that I would soon be able to converse fairly fluently on style and fashion, even with Vickie, I'd have looked at that person blankly.

It's all the fault of that bloody show, you know. Vickie and I positively loeve it to bits, and we loathe most reality shows (although I suppose this is more in the vein of Burkes' Backyard or Ground Force; a lifestyle show). I even own the book, and have given it at least one thorough read-through. I've started using facial cleanser and exfoliant, I went through my drawers and wardrobe, reorganising both (I keep forgetting just how many good shirts I have) and I've even annoyed Vickie with talk of re-arranging our main room (of course, we can't afford the required furniture right now, what with rego and green-slip just paid). It's scary: by the time Aussie Queer Eye gets going (if it ever gets going), I won't need to call on the Local Fab 5 for assistance!

Then again, considering my track record, I might.

Got the Ryobi line-trimmer back from Butler & Smith yesterday; even though it wasn't a warranty fix (we have no idea where the purchase docket is), they put it back together for free. I'll likely be taking to the garden with it this weekend. Did I mention earlier that the Ryobi is our third line trimmer? Our third? Our first oen was a fairly cheap Razorback, which used an odd bump-spool head which was a royal pain to re-spool with new line. The second was a medium-sized Ryobi with disposable spool head, but we suddenly discovered that, while it seemed a bargain when we bought it at the Macquarie Centre, no one stocked the correct replacement spools after a couple of months. So you can imagine our joy and delight when the Big-Arse Ryobi (I mean that literally; it's a large electric job with a hefty motor at the back) suddenly fell neatly into three (the drive-train came spiralling out of the shaft when the head fell off), possibly four (if you count the absent screw) pieces? I'm sure you can, especially if you've ever done a from-scratch installation fo Windows XP, or even Linux in the early days before the fancy GUI distributions, when you were just learning how the command prompt worked. You'd know that wonderful feeling of "Oh, no not again" whenever you witnessed your installation halt with a Blue Screen of Death or kernel compiler error.

My Battlefield 1942 play is picking up quite a bit. Boots and Gav directed me to the forum for the slowly-rebuilding Battlefield Australia clan. We tried, with moderate success, to get together for a couple of games last week; we're having another go tomorrow evening, if there's a server around with enough free spaces and a low ping. I've downloaded a couple of pieces of software at the suggestion of the BFAU guys that come in quite handy when organising and playing games; Teamspeak, which is sort of like Internet Relay Chat with voice instead of keystrokes (it'll even run in the background while your game's up, making co-ordination and tactics so much easier), and All Seeing Eye, a competitor for game-matching programs like GameSpy Arcade that has a free trial version. It's very natty, in that it allows you to queue for an empty spot on any given server.

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