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September 25, 2009

Official Promotional Material

The campaign for 2008/09 Employee of the Year has officially commenced:

Vote #1

Created by A. Simpson. Authorised by P. Cockrem for the Farq Australia Party.

September 23, 2007

Bedding Down in the Back Yard

I've been talking about the garden beds we're putting in down the back for a little while. It's high time I showed you!

Continue reading "Bedding Down in the Back Yard" »

January 26, 2007

Warriors of the Workstation

This is my Shrine of Protection for my PC and desk:

The Three Amigos: Prime, Chief and Hicks

Yes, I'm still a big kid.

Continue reading "Warriors of the Workstation" »

November 27, 2006

A Chilly Eve in Cairns

Saturday just gone was the company's Social Club's Christmas Party at the function rooms of the Shangri-La Hotel in Cairns. The Social Club tries to run an event for employees and families as an addition to the regular, employees-only event; there wasn't one last year, but they certainly made up for it this year. We had to put a little cash toward it, but consiudering the victuals, the view and the company were well worth it!

The theme was a masquerade ball, and as soonas Vickie saw the invitation (prizes for best costume), she asked, "What're we going as?" Being the punster she is; Vickie decided she'd go in a dark, starry cloak over a black dress with "December 24th" pinned to it - The Night Before Christmas, you see - while deciding on Jack Frost for myself (hey, I had no bloody idea what to go as). As I think I mentioned a while ago, we had to do some shopping for material and make-up; Vickie's original plan was to make her cloak and mask, plus a whole costume for me. She got as far as making a good pair of white, draw-string pants before chucking it in; the huimidity isn't exactly conducive to dressmaking. Around that time, she spotted some promotional stills for the upcoming seasonal kids' film, The Santa Clause 3 - The Escape Clause and promptly decided Martin Short's business-suited Jack Frost was the look for me. Thankfully, I already had a business suit; a trip to a charity shop nabbed a spiffy silver tie and a can or two of Santa's Snow took care of the rest!

Continue reading "A Chilly Eve in Cairns" »

November 04, 2006

Our New Dining Room

As promised a couple of weeks ago, folks, here's our new dining room:

The New Dining Room

As you can see, the room is virtually finished. The only parts remaining are to put some archetraving over that dark line above the air conditioner on the back wall.

We were planning to fill the larger wall on the left with family pictures, until Vickie remembered some very artful leaf pictures in her stash of picture files. She printed them out on photo-paper and we went on a shopping trip to The Warehouse in Manunda and Big W in Earlville to pick up some picture mat and frames. A little over $60 later, and you can see the result:

A Wall and Five Pictures

We think they do such a good job on their own that there's no need to break the wall up any further!

June 06, 2006

Move Zig! For Great Justice!

Or not, as the case may be.

Codename: Sleepy Dingo

Yes, this is Deena's son Rhys' dog, Ziggy. He's been great the past couple of nights (where we've had him inside overnight rather than out in the run) and he's keeping Zelda busy of a day (they've got bite marks all over each other).

May 27, 2006

Welcome, Seth

At around 1.30 AM Friday, young Seth Bowman was brought into the world by his mother Jodie. At birth, he weighed 2.72 kilos (6 pounds, 9 ounces) and was (and probably still is) 52cm long.

Here's a picture taken not long after Seth was born, with the bub in the arms of one of his proud grandmothers.

Continue reading "Welcome, Seth" »

March 21, 2006

In The Storm

All right, obligatory SF reference over (answer to pop quiz: name of Chapter Ten, The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells). Here's a photo I took from our front window while all hell was breaking loose in Gordonvale:

Horizontal Rain

The rest were taken after things died down some. If you're interested in some "before" photos, check out the set I took around eleven months ago.

Continue reading "In The Storm" »

January 14, 2006

Painting the Computer Room: Almost Done

Finally, here are the photos I took of the emptied computer room:

Room before Painting

So, no carpet, no floor padding, no wallpaper or glue paper, just bare floors and walls. (You'll note the perspective is from the other end of the room than the one I took the Before photos from.

Continue reading "Painting the Computer Room: Almost Done" »

January 01, 2006

Scraping and Tiling

How are you all spending your New Year's Weekend? Vickie and I are doing a little bit of renovation.

On Friday, we got a catalogue from Crazy Clark's, which featured some wood grain-patterned vinyl floor tiles going for $10 per box of 22. After replacing carpet and some old lino in the kitchen and dining room with a great wood pattern covering, the tiles looked like they'd go well for covering the hallway between the kitchen / dining room and the computer room at the front fo the house. We did some measurements, and figured that eight or nine boxes would cover not only the hallway, but also the computer room floor. All in all, it looked like a darned good deal, so we went out yesterday morning and bought nine boxes.

Continue reading "Scraping and Tiling" »

July 12, 2005

Belated Birthday Wishes to Myself!

Cakes and Dog

Hello all! I know it was my birthday yesterday, but I decided that, as it was my birthday, I'd have a slack evening. So, no post until today!

Let's see: The last actual news update I provided was about the trip to Sydney last Tuesday. Thanks to you folks who offered lifts/get-togethers etc.; they weren't needed in the end. Everything went as well as one would expect for a funeral; Nan was laid in the same grave as her husband, Eugene Maloney (which surprised a lot of the family; almost everyone just new him as "Mac"). Most of us went to Hornsby RSL afterward; although I remembered my RSL club birthday vouchers, I forgot to take my membership card, so I couldn't use them anyway. I got to have a good chat with some mebers of the family I'd not seen in a while, and thankfully no grief was given. I even gave my number to a couple who will be up around Cairns soon and told them to give us a call when they got here!

I finally got back into Cairns a littlle after ten, feeling pretty buggered; thankfully, Vickie's son Karl picked me up from the airport and dropped me home.

Last Thursday was also a first for me. One of the other readers on the Radio for the Print Handicapped broadcast, Trish, wasn't in and couldn't be reached (Trish told me later her son had been hit by a car; he's rather banged up, but okay), which caused a minor panic as Trish usually runs the control panel during the Thursday RPH broadcast. There was another gentleman there who had volunteerd if no on else could do it (although he'd already handled his own broadcast and half of the previous show, which Trish also does), but after having had prior instructionand a quick shot at queueing ads the week before, I thought I'd give it a go, even though I'd forgotten to bring the crib sheet I'd written with me again. I did pretty damned well, if I do say so myself! I do need to check how to use the track-program feature on the CD players, as I thought I had a track queued up properly, but it went on to the next track instead of stopping after the programmed track finished. I also managed to replay the weather report intro halfway through the broadcast instead of the RPH disclaimer ("The articles read during this broadcast do not reflect the views and opinions of station staff, etcetera.") thanks to a fingerslip. But the broadcast went to air successfully!

I don't have the chance for more practice this week, though. Everyone on a family tax benefit is calling Centrelink to get their estimated income for 2005/06 updated. I've put my hand up for the overtime they're offering, which means I'll be working back until 7 PM tomorrow and Thursday at least. I'll probably know only a couple of days beforehand whether they'll have work for me during the rest of the month, which will probably bugger up reading for RPH.

The overtime's also buggered up Karl's evil plans to get me fighting fit. He's got a fitness thing going at his place three afternoons a week, where he and some friends run up one of the hills around here (and do some general gym-equipment workouts as well, I think). Considering 98% of the work I do involves sitting in front of a PC, it's a good idea; the only problem is that I'm an inveterate slacker who hates exercise (I'll even skive off walking the dog if the opportunity presents). So this overtime is an almost perfect way to get out of it (it'd only be perfect if I could get paid to do it *and* stay at home with Vickie).

As I was working yesterday, Vickie organised a birthday barbecue for me on Sunday. The local family came along, as well as some friends from work and the folks we met at the first (and only) Cairns Roleplayers Meetup. Vickie laid on a fantastic spread, and I got to stand in front of the barbecue in an apron, tongs in one hand and beer in the other. I wish I had a photo, but, as usual, we made sure the camera had fresh batteries and then forgot about using it. The only photo we took was the above pic of the cake. It was a great get-together, and Vickie and her daughter Deena put a phenomenal amount of work in the kitchen, for which I owe them a heap of thanks! It was a lovely birthday present from them both!

May 22, 2005

Our First Houseguest?

So Vickie and I were on the front driveway at around two, talking with some friends who'd just dropped some lemons and limes over to us (Vickie wants to start making jars of preserved fruit), when this big guy:

Bruno

... comes strolling up along the footpath and says hello. And when I say big, I mean huge. We don't have any photos of him with one of us so you can get an idea of size, but we reckon he's forty-five, fifty kilos easy. And to top it all off, friendly as you please.

Continue reading "Our First Houseguest?" »

April 17, 2005

Riverstone Road

Ladies and gentlemen, I would very much like to announce to you all the arrival of the much-requested but long-delayed photos of the new old place.

Continue reading "Riverstone Road" »

February 20, 2005

Meet Zelda

Zelda Out The Back

Yes, everyone, this is the gorgeous Doberman pup Vickie's son Karl rescued and gave us! We thought she was around four months old due to her size, but the vet reckons she's anywhere from one to four months older, due to her complete set of adult teeth!

Anyway, she's a wonderful little (well, not so little) dog, and is extremely well-mannered and quick to learn. We've done all the necessary barring actually registering her, which I'll sort out tomorrow.

January 16, 2005

Last Sydney Party at the New Orleans Cafe

Well, in a dual celebration of my attaining that glorious state known as Unemployment and our last Saturday in Sydney, Vickie and I invited some friends to dinner with us at the New Orleans Cafe last night. The food was fantastic (try their cajun cheese burger with the guacamole and bacon sometime, you won't regret it).

Continue reading "Last Sydney Party at the New Orleans Cafe" »

January 03, 2005

Christmas Party 2004 Photos

Today I finally got around to processing the photos I took at the party Vickie and I held the week before Christmas, making these photos a few weeks overdue.

  • Mid-Evening
    From left to right: John Osterberg, Tara, Jason, Andrew Hilton, Gav, Pirotess, EvilHayama
  • On the Porch
    From left to right: Jason, Sim, John Osterberg
  • Mandi On the Porch
  • Tall Tales by Lamplight
    From left to right: Pirotess, EvilHayama, Gav, Andrew Hilton, Tara
  • Late Evening
    From left to right: Jason (half-visible), EvilHayama (almost invisible), Sim, Pirotess, Gav, Tara, Mandi, John Osterberg, Master Chief

Unfortunately, in an extreme bout of slack-bastarditis, especailly considering that this was pretty much the last time we'll have that gang together at our place the last time, I didn't get any group "Everyone say Cheese!" shots. My apologies to everyone who didn't get their face in a photo.

November 23, 2004

Meet Memento Mori

I just got back in from a quick after-work trip to Cammeray to meet with none other than Jared A. Sorensen, the demented genius behind Memento Mori Theatricks and his lovely wife Rebecca. They were out here to catch up with Rebecca's extended Australian family, and were able to spare an hour and a half to catch up with the RPGnet Forum Memento Mori Sydney Posse - which turned out to be just myself and Ken Finlayson.

Continue reading "Meet Memento Mori" »

November 18, 2004

Local Wildlife, Part 2

Remember that family of plovers that wandered into our front yard a couple of months ago? Well, two Saturdays ago the two kids decided to come trundling back in - except now, they're all grown up!

Not those little puffballs anymore!

Continue reading "Local Wildlife, Part 2" »

November 16, 2004

Busted!

Damn you, Master Chief!

September 26, 2004

Where's Homestar?

These photos are of a set of towers that are part of a concrete mixing plant in Thornleigh, just down the road from us. I first spotted this rather unusual piece of graffiti several months ago, and only got around to taking some photos of it just this afternoon.

I cite these as evidence of the general spread of the Homestar Runner meme.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

My point is this: Of all the bits of graffiti that could have made it to the top of that concrete tower, how did an Icon of Geekdom beat out some punk's personal tag? Heck, when do you ever see an Icon of Geekdom graffitied anywhere?

September 06, 2004

Local Wildlife

It's the last day of leave before Vickie and I go back to work today, and we've been sitting in the computer room doing web-log stuff. For the past couple of hours, we've been hearing the local plover family, who usually forage across the road in the grounds of the boys' high school, making their odd, high-pitched call - and just an hour or so ago, I thought I heard it from a lot closer than usual. I looked out the window, and I was right - the whole family, Mum, Dad and the three little'uns, was foraging in our front garden!

Continue reading "Local Wildlife" »

July 11, 2004

Early and Late Sunday

Well, Vickie and I got in about an hour ago from the Greengate. A fun night was most defintely had; I was well pleased with how smoothly things went.

Here are the photos:

The Early Crowd (around 6 PM)
From left to right: Joe, Juene, Dad, Mum, Nan, Trish, Gav, EvilHayama, Pirotess, SimLauren, Jason, Vickie

The Early Crowd, Plus Rob
From left to right: Joe, Me, Dad, Mum, Nan, Trish, Gav, EvilHayama, Pirotess, SimLauren, Jason, Vickie

The Late Crowd (around 9 PM)
From left to right: Gav, Boots, Jacinta, Dizzy, Deb, Charisse, Vickie, Notlih

The Late Crowd, Plus Rob
From left to right: Gav, Boots, Jacinta, Dizzy, Deb, Charisse, Vickie, Me

June 11, 2004

Meet Graham

Remember a while ago I found the perfect birthday present for Vickie? Well, I was in Electronics Boutique this lunchtime and saw one on the display racks for $25, and... well, it was just too good to wait until October.

Continue reading "Meet Graham" »