Saturday, December 27, 2008

Jaime - Living in a Snowglobe

We live in a snowglobe. Or at least the blizzard outside makes me think so.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Shannon - A Blizzard - For Real!

It's like one day Vancouver woke up and realised that its actually part of Canada. 20cm and another 10cm to come today! And its supposed to snow until Christmas :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Youse are all awesome

I just wanted to say that this Hive One Sentence Journal has been a great success, thanks to all of you wonderful contributors and commenters. I am so grateful to have such a terrific bunch of friends - so supportive, caring, funny and geeky :)

Thanks, guys :)

Becstarr : Back in Black

Grinding through the last two days before closedown. Everyone is on edge and there have been a few blowups. Acca Dacca and Pump will get me through!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Jaime - C'mon

You're telling me seriously Falsedan doesn't write and draw xkcd?!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Anna : Old man 2008 is about done ...

Bring in young man 2009 I say!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Becstarr : A-carrolling

Went to the Epping Carols by Candlelight with the fam on Sunday night. We had a picnic. There were fireworks. We chatted rather than sang this year, but it felt quite unexpectedly fantastic. Despite the rush at work, I'm really enjoying this Christmas. :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Shoshe - Snow with bad timing

My qualifying exam was supposed to be yesterday at midday, but it was delayed due to boot-deep snow (the top of the boot, not the bottom. The kind of snow that, for example, closes multiple airports and flight paths so half of your examination committee can't make it to town before your exam should have been halfway over). We postponed it till 3pm, and eventually until this morning. Saturday morning! It's an oral exam, where your committee members get to ask you whatever they want that might be remotely related to your research project or (very loosely defined) field of study. For 2 hours. Except that mine ended up taking 2 1/2 hours. It went okay though -- they weren't as mean as I expected.

In related news, one of the local coffee companies will give you a half-gallon of coffee in a nifty thermos/urn for $10 if you give them 24 hours notice, and apparently just trusts that you'll return the urn (they don't actually ask you to). Another local coffee company charges $24 for the same amount of coffee in a box, and a third charges $14 for a box of coffee, a variety of sweeteners, cups, and milk.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Jen - A very merry Hivemas

A very pleasant Hivemas was had by the Sydney contingent today at our place. A little quieter than usual due to Dante's absence (at a friend's pool party). Atti relished his chance to be "the rowdy one", Elora ate her weight in chips, baby John snoozed and suckled and was incredibly cute! Excess food, water pistol fights, chicken wings and trifle.

Thanks to Evil for cooking, Elle and Al for helping and Red Bec for her delicious pavlova and excellent salad making skills, and everyone else that helped out! And thanks to Joel and Jed for entertaining Atti so amusingly!

Tancred: Egg nog

Inspired by the Colbert christmas special I made egg nog last night. I used
cognac and spiced rum for the alcohol and it was so so tasty :)

Egg nog needs to be made more often in winter in Australia!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Kit says this is getting ridiculous

I know that everything gets super-busy in the lead-up to Christmas, but this is getting ridiculous. You end up putting in the extra hours, which would be fine if you are catching up, but it's not so fine when you're still falling behind. ARGH, paperwork!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Becstarr : Smidgeon the pigeon

On Saturday I rescued a homing pigeon who had become demagnetised and was sitting on a roundabout ignoring the cars about to run him down. From his legbands it seems he was from WA (or SA according to Euge - it was an 08 number). Fed, watered and rested, he has since resumed his journey, but it was fun to have a pet for a few hours. I wonder if WIRES needs people in the middle of the city?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Guy : Need more backup plans

I really need specific "heat stroke" lessons for when the temperature in the room goes over 30.

Two lessons I thought would fly crashed dismally because of it.

EC - Jaime's the Cyclon!?!

Recently picked up the Battlestar Galactica boardgame and have trying to rustle up a crew of 6 and the time to give it a run.

Finally happened last night and after a bribe of myself providing dinner for all.

Game was fun though long (~4 hours), with a bit of the Werewolf-esque mechanic that runs in Shadows Over Camelot but can be more influential. Basically took until the final run to the end of the game for the Cylons to be revealed even though the humans were pretty much screwed from very early on in the game. Much finger pointing and recriminations had Anna reveal herself before firing off the final nuke that took out the humans.

I was fortunate to reveal myself as the 'dirty skin job' just in time to the mostly unsuspecting humans, laughing all the way to the resurrection ship.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Guy : Maybe they do learn...

I think I did okay explaining the Global Economic Crisis in ten minutes to a bunch of year 8s. I'm surprised.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Becstarr : Big out, big in

Went out dancing for Anna's birthday on Friday (yay IM) and spent most of the rest of the w/e sleeping it off at home and in the garden. Sleeping lots rather than pushing on appears to have made an incredible difference - who knew? I wish I'd discovered this years ago!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Anna : AHA!!!!


So you know the end of King Kong right? This bit ...

... where he's standing on the top of the building. Well that building is the Empire State Building. BUT the top of it looks nothing like the Empire State Building ...

This has been annoying me for some time, enough to distract my attention from time to time but apparently not enough to take the time to find out what's going on. Then today I go to a Metafilter post about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and I see this ...

So what has happened is that in 1933 when they made "King Kong" the top of the Empire State Building did look like that, it was a mooring post for airships, and that the extra bit that obscures the art deco spire is a broadcast tower added in 1953.


It's like this tiny bit of my brain that was constantly worrying about this conundrum has been freed up for other things ... and for that I guess I should give thanks ;)

YL - You know it's Christmas ...

... when you go home to Singapore and find Orchard Road lit up with lights, buildings wrapped up in present-like paper and the sales OH the sales! *almost faints* I'm going to be eating bread and butter for weeks ... gah.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

YL - working nights has messed up my sleep

Argh. While working 4 nights in ED was interesting ... 2 days later I am still screwed up from adjusting my clock. I think I am just going to have to bite the bullet and coffee myself through the day today.

Also my bindi from Anna's birthday party made me extra cute!

Evelyn - Aerial Assault Course: Conquered!

After seeing posters up at the gym, I was finally tempted to get myself organised enough to the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena for the Aerial Assault Course. Brilliant fun, and except for the bruises inherent in running into wooden logs, not particularly strenuous. No photos of me, but here is a bbc thing about it.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Becstarr : Applying for my own job (yay!)

Worked for most of the weekend addressing the selection criteria for my own job* and updating my CV (thanks G&A once again - I found your suggestions on Google Docs). Now my eyes are looking far beyond the screen and I feel blurred around the edges... but for the first time ever, I have everything ready almost a day early!

* to move from contract to continuing!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

falsedan - before my time

New plan: get up at 6am so I can do all my idiot internetting before work. My immune system has other ideas…

Anna : Blarg is the order of the day ...

Need a holiday ... that is all.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dan - Single Parent for a weekend

Jen and Elora were away in the Torres Strait for a long weekend, leaving just me and the boys. Had a good weekend, apart from the endless fighting between the lads. Jen's out again tonight, at her sewing class, so I've got three cranky monsters tonight, but I got them to bed nice and early (they're still grumbling half an hour later, though...).

Fortunately, I haven't been attacked by moths.

Jaime - Mothes are jerks

I went to pay for groceries this evening and a moth flew out of my wallet. What the hell moth?! I got paid the other day and my bank account says its fine!

Ben - All done

In the last couple of weeks I finished all my work and did my one and only exam.

On a more interesting level, I built a set of shelves. This took a long time. I finally admitted to myself that power tools are less useful than they are fun, and bought a chisel. This made things go a lot faster.

I've also been teaching in a three day video production course for primary students. The Uni paired up primary education students with film students, and it went pretty well, overall. I've seen my group's film, I get to see them all on Friday.

For now, I'm going home to a plate of spaghetti, three longnecks of Resches and Dr. Who and the Silurians. I think I've earned it.

David - Home for the Holidays

The inevitable has happened - I am gradually turning American. I don't say Christmas anymore - instead it is the holidays. I am driving up to the Adirondacks to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends. And I have been seriously considering buying a baseball cap. Surely it is only a matter of time before I start believing that social welfare people is a pinko commie plot to steal my hard earned money...

Oh and in other news, I am coming back to Australia for Christmas and New Years... nothing like a 22 hour flight to kick start the holiday season.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Kit has Not healthy eating

I am eating Cheetos cheese and bacon balls out of a bowl with a spoon.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Another foot

For those of you keeping score overseas, we've had another foot wash up on shore.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Eugene - Even on Easy, Tool is hard

So Nick just got the band pack for Guitar Hero World Tour and he's solidly going at the drums since setting it up this evening.

I gave it a go but, alas, was not the natural I'd assumed I be.

Anyway, played a 90's medley of Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr and... someone else, first before entering the cheat to unlock all the songs. Played another set including a Tool song and just could not handle it even on Easy. Obviously all that punching of things has reduced my finger dexterity.

C'est la vie.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

YL - Fall Out Boy!

Yay! Kim & I are going to Fall Out Boy on Feb 21 08. Woot! My first live rock concert! We are standing (ok dancing/singing/screaming/jumping). I am too excited for words! Here is Thanks for the Memories which some may remember from karaoke.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Becstarr : The sesame fields of Redfern

Last week I found a jar of poppy seeds and a packet of black sesame seeds (for sushi) that had been taken over by moths. I decided to give them a chance at life and rather than compost them, I scattered the lot along the backyard path - currently just dirt and stepping stones. Yesterday morning I went out and found a forest of enthusiastic green shoots arising!

I am having wild dreams of wading through a field of flowers on the way out to get the washing.... go little seeds go!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

David - Yay Obama

So... Euphoria is the order of the day. Frankly I am going to thank the deity of my choice that there is a faint sliver of a hope that someone has been elected to the Presidency of the United States that stands a chance of looking at things from a new angle. Something this country really needs.

This does of course mean I am off to the temple to sacrifice a bull to the great god Augustus... these things do of course have to be done in style!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tancred - Indecision 2008, don't fuck this up America!

Well today is the day, Indecision 2008. For us in the UK it will probably be decided about 04:00GMT so we get to wake up tomorrow and see the damage :(

Other issues to watch include proposition 8 in California, prop 2 in Florida and prop 102 in Arizona. (all about marriage discrimination and teh gays *sigh*). Arkansas has a proposition to allow only heterosexual married couples adopting or being foster parents.

In California Prop 5 calls for rehab and not prison for non-violent drug offenders. Prop 5 also wants on the spot fines and not arrest for small amounts of cannabis.

I found Ballotpedia rather interesting/disturbing to see just how many things Americans will be voting on.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

YL - mental transit

From one locale and language to another, I leave my woven dreams embodied in the idea of a holiday to return to my reality which glares at me from Monday. Then I make new dreams again. Lento lento. Will the others fade?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

falsedan - where did all this come from

I have internet and new computer and lounge chair and a severe case of carpal tunnel syndrome. Aija is addicted to Family Guy!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ben - Nearly there

I had a look today at how much work I have to get done by the end of semester, and how much time I have to do it in. I find that the amount of time I have is more than adequate. Something is seriously wrong here.

Kit faces the traumatic unreality

It seems that in my absence things have changed. There are now two coffee trucks tempting people at work, not just one. I had 457 unread emails when I first arrived this morning. They are still unread

Anna : Interwoven ...

I live, I breathe, I Interwoven. Building test site for Arts Faculty. Finish, submit, take, approve. The harder I work the sooner I don't have to do it anymore. Let it be done! Let it be over!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Becstarr : Peer assessments

Busy time at work as marking gets underway for essays and group assignment and people start asking me about how in the LMS to mark, release said marks, offer peer assessment of group members' contribution to projects, give feedback on the unit or on the unit's site, etc.

The peer assessment stuff is big at the moment, which pleases me, because I remember how incredibly frustrating it was to do group work and have no avenue for comeback to freeriders in the group who didn't turn up to a single group meeting or write a line of code (this was in Comp Sci) and still got the same mark as the rest of us. Utterly unfair!

Typically the peer assessment mark is counted for about 5% of the total unit mark. Personally I think it's fairer when it's used to modify the percentage of the group work mark you get.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Jen - sad

Found out this morning that one of the loveliest people at work (and a dear friend) passed away last night after an 18m battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 33 and her daughter just turned 2.

Kit is sad about End of the holidays

Coming to the end of my holidays in Nevada/California. Have been playing "just staying ahead" of work colleague in geocaching stakes. There is a lack of internet cafes, but quite a few free wifi spots, mainly around the Casinos (Thanks to Bec's old lifedrive). I guess all that "evilness" is good for something.

Evelyn - How I spent my lunchtime

Monday, October 20, 2008

Dan - back into the routine

Dante's back at school, and his extension classes have started again, so we're back into the weekly busy routine. Work's busy - I'm hiring again, and the next six months look ridiculously busy. On the bright side, I'm planning the family Xmas getaway (to Hawks Nest, maybe, this time).

Poor Jen spent all day ill (see her blog for more details), so the kids and I have been pottering about the house all day, actually having a quite pleasant day. Though Dante might be coming down with the lurgy (complaining of illness this evening; we'll see how he is come morning). Squishy also has a stomach bug, and has been chundering around the house.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

YL -Getting old

Blargh. I am a total fish out of water. I dont understand this country at all! Up side is that I am learning Spanish and I see that they sell little packets of pot at the local bottle show in my fishing village of Horcon!

The romantic idea of spending my birthday in another country is just that - an idea. The reality is a bit different. I am now one year older in a place I cannot comprehend and no amount of Neruda poetry is going to help me now.

Guy - What a relaxing GUGS...

I didn't win even one game, so ner to people who say I always win. :-p

Friday, October 17, 2008

Jaime - Just got kicked!

I got to feel my kid kicking. I predict a strong Soccer career. Exciting times.

Shoshe - new windows!

We got new windows yesterday! It was particularly exciting because we'd been told that we wouldn't be getting them. Also, on our old windows, everything that wasn't glass was metal, meaning that there was a direct thermal contact from the outside (which last year got down to about -22C) to our attempting-to-be-cosy apartment. So the double-glazed glass part wasn't horribly cold, but the frame sure was. The new ones have plastic frames and extra-wide double glazing.

Mostly though, it's nice to not be offended by my windows' very existence. Who the fuck makes windows that have a direct thermal contact to the outside?! In a town where it gets down to -22C?!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Guy - That's not the answer I was expecting...

I ask, "So what is poverty?" hoping one person in thirty will think to say "Is it not having enough food?" However, one girl said "Oh oh, I know this! Public wealth, or the lack of it. It's when the government doesn't have enough money to build infrastructure like roads and hospitals." That's a pretty good answer for a thirteen year old.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Evelyn - Back to Scotland

Well, after having to sit on the plane for half an hour in Sydney while we waited for the bags of passengers who didn't make it through customs to be unloaded; then waiting the extra three hours for our delayed plane in Kuala Lumper; then waiting the extra four hours for the replacement connecting flight to Edinburgh - we are finally home!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Evelyn - Back to the UK

So all packed and ready for the family to pick us up for one more family brunch before heading to the airport, and then back to cold, rainy Scotland.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Evelyn - The Dumpling House that wasn't

Tancred and I met up with Jo, V and Lachlan, as well as a couple of other friends (Rachel and Maris) to eat dumplings at the supposedly great dumpling house in World Square. Turned out to be less of a dumpling house, more of a standard restaurant with less than quality service and only OK food. Fortunately, the company made up for it :)

YL - Box Wonderland

I'm channeling the "Box Wonderland" theme for my apartment. lol. There are all kinds of boxes everywhere. They seem to have multiplied like tribbles (which I also found!).

I wont get everything unpacked before I leave on Thur for South America. But over Nov/Dec it'll feel like Christmas everyday as I discover stuff I completely forgot about!

Gah must remember to do my tax before I leave ....

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Dan - busy week

It's school holidays, so we've been shuffling Dante around various activities; on Thursday evening Jen and I went out for dinner and a show (!!!). Yep, we actually got to go out by ourselves! We saw Risky Lunar Love, while Bec looked after the kids (having borrowed Dante for the afternoon for experimental education).

Friday I took the day off, flamboyantly overslept, and Dante and I went to the Olympic Aquatic Centre for a swim.

We spent today kind of exhausted and lethargic.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Evelyn - More Holidaying Goodness

Finally managed to get to the beach - went to Clovelly yesterday for a swim. Then had several meetings - for lunch/coffee/drink/dinner lined up - good day in all. Now spending the next few days with family getting ready for my parents 60th birthday celebrations

Monday, September 29, 2008

Becstarr : Pump-ing Bondi J

Dave got me a 2-week free pass to FitnessFirst so we can train together while it's school holidays. We hit Pump at Bondi Junction on Sunday and despite restricting myself to the lowest of low weights (1.25 per side on all but lunges and shoulders, on which I used only the bar), I am feeling it today. Youch!

Kit has 3.5 Days of work to go..

and then it is 1 day of packing, and 2 million years on the plane and I visit California/Nevada this time.

Postcard call! (addresses via email please)

Anna : All tomorrow's parties ...

Weekend of PARTYING DOWN like Slurms MacKenzie (the original party worm) ...

Friday = End of Term Teacher Sock Hop
Saturday = Say "HELLO!" to Tancred and Evelyn Party
Sunday = Nap-Fest! and some videos with a few friends (stuffed toys count right?)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Jaime - .... why oh why

I was horrified when this came on the TV.

Heres the wiki entry


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Jaime: Sick day

Last night was feeling crash hot, some stupid Canadian bug is making me feel sick. Yay, just in time for my parent's visit on Sunday. Woo!

Becstarr : Class taught!

Hooray! The first run of my new workshop "Beautifying your elearning site (WebCT CE6)" is now over. I timed it pretty well at 2hrs... but of course, there are tweaks required and that's what I'm off to do now, before tomorrow morning's run.

The workshop has been my major focus recently, but in other news, I've moved! Or rather, I'm in the process of moving - but am now resident in Redfern. Details on Hive shortly.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ben - Exhausted

I had 5000 words worth of assignments due this week, which I just finished. Not one 5000 word assignment, that would be too easy, no, two 1500 wd essays and two 1000 wd. There is now just one short online German quiz between myself and some well-earned beer.

If I learned nothing else, I learned that that I hate referencing. Fortunately, when actually working as a primary teacher, you can steal all the ideas you want and nobody cares.

I also cooked up some homemade marscapone on Tuesday. It's very nice, and surprisingly easy to make.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

YL - reno almost done

Reno almost done. Looking at moving over the long weekend. Blargh. I dont want to pack anymore! I feel like I've been packing non-stop since Sept last year. Grrr. But on the up side, the apt is looking great!

p/s : being sick is the suck. Night shifts are going well.

Dan - scootin'

Figured I try a new way of getting Dante to school on time - riding the razor scooters from Redfern up to school. Figured I'd save 5 minutes or so, and thus get to school on time. But, no dice. Not only did we get The Slowest Train Ever, once we got scooting, Dante had to stop every couple of minute for a rest or a drink or because the Moon was in the Seventh House and Jupiter was aligned with Mars.

So, we got to school late anyway, and I think taking the scooters saved us about 30 seconds. Don't think I'll bother with that plan again.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

(Guy) They'll be fiiiine.... right?

The year 11s do their Preliminary HSC exam tomorrow. I'm going to be pleasantly surprised, right? Right?

Kit needs to read the fine print

I went to see Bill Bailey yesterday. Except that I thought it was at the Sydney Theatre (like last time), and not the State Theatre. I only found out after having dinner at the Lord Nelson, and with 20 minutes to go to the show. Oops!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Becstarr : Packing

On Thursday the plan for me to move into Joel's place got a bump forward by about a month as another flatmate heads out much earlier than exected. Started packing on Sunday and am realising once again just how much Stuff I have. Luckily Karinne is in "ruthless" mode as well and is spurring me on to chuck! recycle! and generally clear the decks.

I'll move my clothes and stuff next Sunday, and the "real" move will be in a few more weeks. Meantime the hall is going to be Box Central again!

Big brother taxman

Have started doing my tax for this year, and one thing you can do now is get the etax software to pull all your bank account interests and pay details off the net. Efficient ... yet also a bit spooky.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Anna : Panic!

It's been a long week, one thing after another is going wrong and apparently all the problems have a website. The good news is that all I have to say is "Make a tag cloud!" and Eugene will do it!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

YL - discovers rock climbing

I can now say I have conquered the vertical walls. (But not the upside down ones.) It so rocks! Can't wait to go again.

My arms also say owie.

Kit discovers iron, emus ... & a little science

On the weekend I bought a new iron & discovered that there is a place called "Emu Heights" at the base of the Blue Mountains. Why do the newspeople say: "at the weekend"?

In other news, the particle accelerator has been turned on, and the world has not ended.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Guy - Huh, serendipity...

I just took action against "Shine" today, and here I get home and read this.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Ben - Been a while

Hmmm, I hadn't realised how long it's been since I posted last. Well, in the last two months, I've been at Uni, I've made and consumed beer, sauerkraut and mozzarella (not at the same time) , I've pulled up noxious weeds in the bush and I won the coveted Poo Lit Surprise! award on Uncyclopedia.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Jen - Happy Father's Day

to Surly - your first one!
to Dan - your seventh!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Jen - On the mend

I believe that we may be on the mend, at long last. Fever has abated a little, but the cough persists.

So sorry we missed drinkies at Enmore Rd last night.

dan - it's official, they'll let anyone on the road

So I've been sick all week, and yesterday arvo I remembered that I'd booked my DQT for this morning, and so had to quickly read the handbook and hope that a single quick read through would enable me to pass. I had three kids jumping on me while read it. And then last night I couldn't get to sleep until 3:30am due to coughing and my general malaise. But I passed anyway, despite nearly sideswiping a virtual motorcyclist in the test.

Yay, no more P-plates for me!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Dan - another day at home

We're still all ill - fevers rampaging though the house, coughing from all and sundry, and general miserableness and crankiness. Seem to be on the mend, though. I'm almost over the fever, as is Dante. Jen and Atty are still burning up, though Elora seems mostly unaffected.

falsedan - land of milkbars and hotels

There are milkbars everywhere and every pub is actually a hotel

Monday, September 1, 2008

Dan - At Home With Boy

As Jen mentioned, Dante is down with the Dreaded Lurgy, and so I'm at home looking after a suffering boy. Suffering seems to consist of a mild fever, occasional cough, playing with his Galactic Heroes, and watching Futurama. He seems keen to get back to school tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to fix this Damned Printer.

Jen - Weekend of Blargh

Dante came down with something on Saturday afternoon - and of course I didn't believe him at first, until he threw up and had croup in the middle of the night. (The former probably brought on by the coughing combined with the chips, lollies, red cordial, jumping castle and 40 minute car ride for his cousin's birthday party.)

I was actually happy to be coming to work today. Had a pleasant morning getting ready with a quiet house (everyone else still in bed) and an enjoyable train ride. Heh!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Dan - still busy

Got interviews today, and half my candidates have dropped out. Gotten to that level of business where I'm not actually that busy because I've got so much on my plate that I don't know where to start. Hopefully things should ease off a bit next week. Now I'm off to shift furniture so I've got a table to interview people at.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Becstarr : Paid parental leave for Australians... lobbying in Canberra #1

Back from Canberra and two days of lobbying federal pollies with Unions NSW about the need to bring in a paid parental leave scheme when the Productivity Commission brings down its report around September. The model that we're proposing is pretty good, I think, and met with a pretty good response all round with those we met with in this round of lobbying. There's more to come, of course!

A brief overview of the model for those who are interested:
* 26 weeks / 6 months of leave, in line with WHO guidelines on the minimum time a baby should be breastfed.
* Jointly funded by the government and employers:
- Govt to pay up to the federal minimum wage, and
- Top-up to the woman's normal salary (capped at about 100K) from the employer fund
* Employer fund to come from a per-employee levy of 0.9% - 1.4%.
* The employer fund works like the long-service leave fund in the building industry, which provides portable benefits for all workers in the industry, no matter which employer they're currently with.
* Small businesses who are exempt from payroll tax (around 12-15 employees as a rule of thumb) to be exempt from the levy, but their employees will still have access to the fund.
* The benefit will replace and enhance the Baby Bonus, and contributes to taxable income.
* Benefit available to all mothers / primary carers, whether they are currently in paid employment or not.
* Benefit can be claimed by either parent / partner, as long as they are designated the primary carer.

Please excuse the long post.... I could be a little overexcited! :)

Kit is disconcerted

Work people keep coming up to me and congratulating me on getting my new job. Same work, a little more money, potential for more responsibility. It's disconcerting.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

YL - meaningful quote.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

- Nelson Mandela quoting Marianne Williamson.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Becstarr : Selection panel

I sat on a job selection panel for the first time this week: 7 interviews over 3 days, two by phone. It's been a very interesting process and I feel the need to sit down and re-write the interview questions - which we sweated over! - to take in what I learned in this round. The question most often misinterpreted? The one about how one has handled conflict in the workplace. I thought that was a fairly standard question, but it seemed to somewhat throw quite a number of people...

The things I'll take to my next job interview?
* State general principles, but then give specific examples of your past experiences.
* Probe first, to make sure you're answering the right question.

falsedan - fighting kangaroos

Hello dudes I am in Sydney. I had a hell of a time at customs trying to explain why exactly I have brought the weather with me.

My AU phone isn't working >:|

Off to Target to get about 9 pairs of Volleys

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Jaime - Tropic Thunder

Was really good or at least I couldn't stop laughing. Robert Downey Jr. was brilliant.

Jen - scary times

Had my first experience with a pedophile today whilst at the "purple" playground with the kids (that's what Atti calls it - not the regular local park). Still shaken and freaked out. But we're all okay - the kids are none the wiser.

Monday, August 18, 2008

falsedan — hey guys

Got my lease, extracted a visa from the AU High Commission, bank finally returned my missing £700.

See youse on Friday

Hurray for days off says Kit

To avoid mondayitis, I have taken today off. I've had a nice sleep in, worked on my assignment (boo), and had some vegemite and butter on toast for lunch (thanks Shannon). Now its coffee time!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

YL - life is like surfing

You wait out on the ocean facing the beach and headlands. They are your distant guides - general markers of direction. Over your shoulder, you watch for the oncoming waves. Which one will you catch? You assess them & decide. Ready, you face forward - not looking back - and start paddling. If you catch this wave, you ride it. If you miss it, you catch another one.

Life is full of opportunities & events like that I think. Some waves are bigger, some are smaller. I'm not entirely sure which wave/s I'm riding at the moment, but damn life is really good for a change. I almost can't believe it's for real.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Guy: Nerd Training

I was talking to the president of SLUGS (the Secret Ladies Underground Gaming Society) and discussing concepts of membership, how people will pay any price for Wiz-Fizz, etc., and she asked what membership numbers I was talking about. Later I described Sutekh and what it did and all the rest and she said; "Hang on, if I went to Sydney Uni right now could I join this club?" Very cute. :-)

She also said that the first time she and her friend sat down to play Bohnanza that they felt they just had to keep playing and playing.

Shannon: Heatwave

Its been very hot lately. Today's high is supposed to be 34 degrees, which could set records for this area. All night I dreampt about Vegemite. For breakfast I had three pieces of toast with butter and vegemite and now my tummy is happy :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Anna : Walking around like C3PO

Three days of boxing, kickboxing followed by more boxing has left me with unfortunate DOMS in my legs and on either side of my elbows. It hurts to straighten my arms and my walk has a distinctive waddle to it ...

Who said the gym was good for you??!?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Off they go

Well, despite our best efforts we did not manage to convince Evil and V to abandon plans to cycle across France and stay for the rest of the festival. Maybe it had something to do the constant rain.

Welcome to Scotland, we invented rain you know!

Anna : Over the flu, back at work

Preparing for big web meeting to explain style sheet change over to faculty staff. Still waiting on my iPhone ... come on ICT!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Jen - 11 years ago today

We had Appy-schnapps, a huge spa bath and playstation shenannigans in a fancy hotel room.

Happy 12th anniversary, Dan.

And the rain continues

So of course, when festival starts, the rain starts. Day two of almost torrential rain, we spent inside playing Carcossone before venturing out in the evening for some standup. We did manage to see a bunch of stuff - The British Amabassador's Belly Dancer (a one woman show of her life as a dancer in Uzbekistan); Kunst ist Scheisse (a very silly burlesque cabaret); Feasting on Flesh (a brilliant burlesque, cabaret, acrobatic extravaganza) and a bunch of other comedy shows.

Oh, and I finally saw the new Batman movie. How amazing was that!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Kit likes Adelaide...

I spent a long weekend in Adelaide. It's like one loooong country town. I visited the Central Market (yum), had a lot of coffee, ate a lot of cheese. Stayed at a B&B in the Barossa Valley, went walking in Kaiserstuhl park and went geocaching! I got my 50th cache in Springton ~yay me; but my "rival" at work is up to 68 ~Grr.

Guy: Top 10

In the midst of a Twilight plague the English teachers are putting together a list of the top ten books which have changed their lives, in the hope of redeeming some poor lost souls.

I thought I'd post mine;

  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein
  • Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
  • Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Neitzsche
  • The Riddlemaster of Hed by Patricia McKillip
  • Dune by Frank Herbert
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  • Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
  • The Sandman by Neil Gaiman
  • The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

In all honesty the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook should be at the top of the list, but I don't think it's in the spirit of the thing.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

YL - the singing doctor

Yup, that's what they call me. I got stopped and asked by random people (staff & patients) around the hospital and get asked to sing .... 0r where my violin is.

There was a letter from a patient to the ward today which said "And the singing doctor, well you're just tops" ... awwww.

Guy: How many steps?

Just went to see 39 Steps, very funny.

It's been a good year for theatre; this, Rock 'n' Roll, The Pillowman, The Great. But I'm still switching allegiance to Belvoir next year.

Festival Time Again

And so its that time that Edinburgh really comes alive. This time our esteemed visitors are Jo and V, and so what's the first show we booked for them? That's right, all male nudity!

Anna : Death of a Titan

Over the weekend our fish Chuck Norris died. He'd been poorly for a while because we don't have an effective way to keep his bowl warm during the winter months (we'd been keeping him next to the hot water heater but it didn't really help). There was talk of setting up a "Winter Holiday Exchange Program" with Joel's fish tank but he died before we could set anything up.

Peace out Mr. C

Monday, August 4, 2008

Dan - routine catastrophes

Last weekend was one of those weekends where each of the kids had a turn being not well. First was Atty, who had a convulsion on Saturday afternoon - he was out in the back yard while we were out the front, so we only discovered him afterwards. He was OK, but we're going to have to go and get the poor little guy an EEG to diagnose it.

Next up was Elora. We went out for Yum Cha on Sunday morning, and everyone was having a nice time, until she fell off her high chair while performing some daft antics while everyone was busy getting ready to leave, landed flat on her back, and winded herself. Jen quickly picked her up, and she promptly threw up (luckily, mostly on the floor, narrowly missing the people at the next table).

Last was Dante, who felt really ill while doing his homework (and was met with much parental suspicion, especially when he miraculously felt better when playing ball with Atticus, and felt ill again when instructed to sit down and finish his homework). After he went to bed he felt really ill (and seemed actually unwell), so we got the bucket ready, and settled him back down to bed. He turned out to be OK.

Apart from all that, it was actually quite a pleasant weekend, the kids were delightful and well-behaved, and we got mountains of washing and tidying done.

Becstarr : In the gutters, looking at the mulch

The weekend was filled with house planning, cleaning, organising and gardening. Joel cleared the gutters and I mulched the garden and shook down the worm farm while Lady K made curtains to help keep our precious winter warmth in.

Today was a full-on planning day at work: I facilitated two sessions before lunch (what has been / is / should be our group's function within the uni?; what are our immediate tasks and priorities over the next 3 months?). Long day of meetings, but it's definitely going to pay off.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

[Guy] Gettin' there...

I had a girl thank me today. She just got a job and she said that all that interview practise we did meant that she could sit there and make shit up with ease.

Now that's an education! (No refunds.)

Also, I'm totally allowed to make a wall of Cat and Girl comics in my classroom right?

Shannon: First Day

So yesterday was the first day of my new job as Application User Support for the Office of Learning Technology, UBC. Everyone seems nice. Shiny new building with air conditioning (luxury!).

No, they didn't give me an iphone, but they did give me a shiny new macbook pro!

Dan - busybusy

Still recovering from Monday and Tuesday's barrage of "Let's change everything" meetings. Finally getting a bit organized at home, too. I've got a List now, so I'm Doing Things.

Have my iPhone now, and it's tops. I advise getting one. I also advise having work pay for it. It's great for quick pics of kids playing.

Becstarr : Semester kicks in!

This is the first week of semester and yesterday was Re-O-Day, with lots of college girls running around with glitter and goon bags, their initials (I assume) in pink zinc on their foreheads, and underwear on the outside.

The energy around the place is good, ranging from frenetic (earlier in the week) and starting to settle to Let's Get Started For Real! now.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kit: "You would've fitted right in"

So the new starter (NS) comes back from a week off at World Youth Day shennanigans.
NS: "It was so good, the atmosphere was amazing. Did you manage to get to any of the youth day events?"
Me: "Uh, no, I didn't get a chance."
NS: "You would have fitted right in. They were all noisy, like you."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Becstarr : Getting stuff down on paper

Last week's headache has resolved and somehow produced excellent mental focus. AT LAST! It feels like a while since my brain has been working nicely. It's a great feeling.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

YL - busy weeks

Last week, wore dresses & boots resulting in so many compliments from different people I was surprised. I think it was the boots. Really. I even made a joke with my boss. She jokingly said "you're not working fast enough". I said with as straight a face as possible, "Sorry (Boss), these boots are made for walking". Lol.

I actually work very fast & get jobs done quickly but there's a running joke now about how I'm not working fast enough & will now need a push-scooter or rollerskates to work faster. I'm now waiting for the ward to get me one when I leave. =)

Went surfing on weekend, sustained surfing related injuries, slept in, walked on beaches, watched "Surf's Up" and all I want to do is catch the next wave ... and marvelled at the wonder that is the world. This week working overtime Tue & Wed till 1030pm, then if still awake, going to karaoke with ED people, Thur dinner with the medical registrars that are changing terms, Fri probably overtime and then weekend! surfing + fishing + maybe canoeing this time! Next weekend, Gold Coast with the girls!

Oh and the violin is going beautifully at the moment. Even played on the wards for people/patient's birthday ...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Becstarr : Hopping kerbs

Feeling very triumphant about organising the very successful family picnic we had on Sunday to celebrate my brother's birthday (Tim, half of the twins).

There was a picnic with free-range bbq chicken and lime & coconut macaroons, then a walk along the Bay Run and coffee at Cafe Bones. We had fun watching the dogs, and I got to try out Tim's Rather Expensive superbike, getting some coaching on how to bunny-hop kerbs. I have a bit of training to go, I think...

Anna : I got a haircut!

Not as exciting as a new baby ;)

Monday, July 14, 2008

He's here!

Baby Surly has arrived. John Haven, born 11:53am 13 July 2008, 3.775kg, 51cm.

Dan and I got to meet him this afternoon and have a lovely long cuddle. So now I've had my dose of newborn... can't wait to get some more in a day or too.

Congrats, guys!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

YL - freezing cold Sydney

It's definitely heater time. Gah it's cold here AND in Coffs.

Round 1 Furniture Donation successful. More to go. If anyone wants anything ....

Haircut = great! Amazing what a new 'do can do for your sense of style.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Anna : Boorowa

G and I are taking a mini break from Sydney to avoid Catholics. Didn't work. Swarmed by World Youth Day pilgrims as we tried to leave Golburn.

Nights are being spent huddled in front of the heater listening to the sheep. I am informed this is "relaxing".

Kit: So that's the reason why!

Looking at the hole in my couch made by trying to "quick fix" a small hole, suddenly made into a big melty hole: "So *that's* why you're supposed to test in an inconspicuous place first!".

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

falsedan - one year

One year since I arrived in the UK and I may be signing a lease in a week or two! Also I am sick of people taking money from my bank accounts.

Blues me up!

Just booked in for my first ceroc weekender - yes three days of blues dancing focus classes, and two party nights!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Ben - Holidays!

Well prac's over. I meant to party all night last night, but it seems going to bed at ten and waking up at six is going to take some getting over. Anyway, I learned a lot and have my best report yet.

Last lot of anecdotes:

Me: Oh, that's great! Your handwriting is so much better than last time. But how do we start a sentence?
Student: Um... um...
Me: Starts with a "c".
Student: Um... actually... venomous snakes are really bad.
Me: ...They certainly are, and start your sentence with a capital letter.

Student: I'm tired today because mum bought a new computer.
Me: Oh, were you up late playing it?
Student: No! I teached mum how to use it.
Me: How old are you?
Student: (proudly) Six.

Me: Okay, D----- here's your journal. Which of your relatives' motor accidents will you be writing about today?
Student: Well, my cousin fractured his wrist on a motorbike, but I'm going to write about how my uncle cut his forehead on his car's steering wheel.
Me: Good. Remember, I want to see at least three sentences.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Kit is Worker Bee

Yesterday - Rock up: 0730. Rock out: 1830. Today? I have been responsible for generating, or the filing of at least 120 emails, and several letters setting fire to things. And probably people. Pub time!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Anna : Twilight

Muse + crappy vampire/werewolf teen-fiction = THE BOMB!

Definately "good skank" but side effects may include being late for work and forgetting important things like keys.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Womens comedy?

A friend of a friend was performing at the Stand on Sunday and so was able to let a few people in at the door, and I won tickets to tonights women comedy night. So yay to more female comics performing, a hmmm to the idea of a special womens night.

Kit - back to the grindstone

After 3 glorious days away from the office on a site visit, plus a weekend, plus an extra "mental" health day (where I had to convince some reluctant kids that they really did want to go on a bushwalk, without a geocache at the end), I'm back in the office. Argh, why is work so difficult?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Becstarr : Down by San Francisco Bay

It's our last day! We've spent time on: Golden Gate and Buena Vista Parks, a Golden Gate Bridge harbour cruise (cold enough to freeze your cheeks off!), cable cars, the Haight, Mission murals, and heaps of organic berries (so cheap here!). We're planning to check out the SFMOMA today, then an early dinner and heading off to checkin for a late flight out (22:40).

It's been wonderful but I'm so looking forward to getting home!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Ben - Skool Egen

Student: How do I make blue?
Me: ...Blue.
Student: *sigh* Blue and what else?
Me: ...No, seriously: blue.

Me: ...and so the platypus made Tiddilick laugh, and all the waters came pouring back out...
Student: Did the animals drink the water?
Me: They sure did.
Student: Ew, yuk! They'll get frog germs!

Me: Who knows what this word is?
Student: (gasps) But that's illegal!
Me: Uh, no, this is the other kind of pot. You know, the sort you cook food in.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Anna : Finding my feet ...

Phew! After a stressful couple of months things are starting to settle down. I'm walking without a limp, pantry is full of food again and I'm starting to be able to answer questions at work! This included a very successful meeting yesterday with a big wig : "We need to do this and this!" / "Well we have this plan for that, that plan for this and of course I'll keep you in the loop."

Also! Have become the go-to girl for the Faculty of Arts web comments form and this means I get spam messages such as the following :

"uncertificated fullface undermarshal buddhistical humhum searing whipcraft thyreoitis"

Becstarr : Nice try, but no cigar

Sorry ppls, the US Federal Police stoled your presents. It was worth a try though! And interesting to see the pleece in action. No cavity searches either - bonus!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

YL - Bernard Black is my hero

Well my current attitude is "No Time Wasters". Which mostly applies to work. It makes me impatient with people dont who appear to try to do their job properly because they prevent me from doing my job properly. I take my job seriously.

Also, just because I am fairly low down on the rung ... does not mean I will allow myself to be harassed/bullied. If you are nice to me, I will be nice to you.

And surely after being accused thrice in one morning that "we" (team) have not done a specific job, then when I ring to say I have visible proof in front of me that said job was done 2 days ago when I said it was done ... you could apologise?

*shakes head* sheesh.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Kit says: You-Are-Here

The electronic topo maps have arrived from the gps shop! I can't wait to try them out. *Finally* If this works, I 'll have a map with a little arrow on it that says: you-are-here.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Dan: Back in Oz

I'm back home, and somewhat less bleary-eyed than expected (a two hour nap this morning helped somewhat). It's great to see Jen & the kids, and they all seemhappy to have me back (though Elora seems a little confused by it all).

Bought a pile o' lego for me, a sack o' fancy wool for Jen, and many Galactic Heroes for the kids. I'll post some details of my trip on my blog or something. Not entirely excited about returning to work tomorrow.

Kit rates location, location

I booked a motel for a work visit to site. The criteria considered were:
1. Number of geocaches nearby for a quick 'fix'
2. In-house restaurant (for bleary eyed breakfasts)
3. Price.

Anna : Winter Magic, Here Comes the Sun

Spent the weekend in Katoomba and traffic jams! An hour in a line of cars to get out of Burwood shopping centre and another 40 minutes in a jam on the highway on the way back to the city after a horrific accident. Combine this with the ongoing blinker fuse problem and little Baruma is in my bad books.

But Winter Magic was fun!*

* Though they say you haven't really been to Winter Magic unless you wake up with a hangover (YAY!)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ben - Moor Skool

Student: How come those eggs are different?
Me: I'm glad you noticed that. Frogs lay eggs in clumps; toads lay eggs in long strands.
Other student: Also, there are whales at the South Pole! They eat little animals!
Me: Uh... yes.

Me: Why aren't you in your classroom?
Student: I don't want to go.
Me: That's not a good enough reason.
Student: Oh. Okay, then.
Me: Holy crap, that worked?

Me: Hey! Hey! What did I tell you about running with those scissors?
Student: Sor-ry Mist-er Hil-ton!
(exit student, skipping)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

YL - question/advice

Would you go out/spend time with someone who didn't want a romantic relationship but thought you were great, awesome and intellectually stimulating?

Wouldn't doing that interfere with your allocation of time/resources for other things which contributed to your life goals? Wouldn't that also interfere with you meeting someone else actually suitable cos you're always spending time with this one guy?

I'm puzzled. My reflex answer is clear. But I am questioning it.

Becstarr : Change of pace

As a counterpoint to the intensity of La Habana, we've come out for a few days to Cayo Largo del Sur in the Canary Islands. The sea is turquoise and warm and the pressure on my Spanish has eased. The change of pace is most welcome. Time to relax!

Iguana-catamaran trip this afternoon. Looking forward to it!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

We're coming to Australia!

We've booked our tickets - we'll be coming home for three weeks in Autumn (that's spring to you guys).

Can't wait to see everyone again!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Kit says Hey You!

Hey You! Yeah, you're an engineer, right? Well, have I got just the job for you. You can review my all civil, earthworks and drainage designs despite not knowing the difference between a lead pipe and a block of concrete. Yeah!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Guy - Reports Done!

Hrm, with the past month being sleep-work-sleep-work I've just recently rejoined the land of the living. I've decided that the way that my co-workers do things and organise their workload is stupid and I'm going to change it starting next term. Otherwise the kids are still cute and some are slowly coming along as evil super-geniuses and criminal masterminds.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Ben - Skool

Teacher: Okay, so eight plus...
Student: One?
Teacher: Eight plus four.
Student: Noooooooo!

Student: I can't read.
Me: What does this say?
Student: (dismissively) Oh, I can read that.

What else... a bird flew into the classroom and couldn't get out; so a student suggested that he lure it out by pretending to be a caterpillar.

Kit questions environmental credentials

The people in the environmental group here at work have managed to kill two plants on their desk. How does one manage to kill a cactus?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Becstarr : One last licuado!

Our bags are packed for a 4:50am wake-up tomorrow - we opted for an early start from airy San Cristobal rather than head back to Tuxtla for the night. Tomorrow is the big hop: San Cristobal - Tuxtla, thence Mexico City, and finally Havana, Cuba by 4:10pm if all runs according to plan.

San Cristobal has been great. Apart from hummingbird-watching, we managed to get out to two of the local villages, San Juan Chamula and Zincanatan. Both are peopled primarily with the indigenous Tzotzil Mayans, who have blended Catholicism and native beliefs (principles of Mayan medicine, etc) to make for saome interesting church practices, which involve pine needles, soda, many candles and flower petals, eggs, fireworks.... and more that I´m sure we didn´t see or have any clue about.

Heading out for a last Margarita and licuado (juice / smoothie) now. I hope Cuba´s are as good!

Shoshe - baby woodchucks and A BEAR! And rabid classmates.

Today I got to see some of the baby woodchucks that live by my office! They're cute and about half-size, and hide under parked cars when they're scared. They seem to have a cloaking device -- one minute you see them under a parked car, the next minute they're gone. Cute little woodchucks!

Also, there's apparently a bear on campus. A black bear -- they're small for bears, but they're still big. One of the bus drivers saw it on the street that's a block away from me, but I'm not sure how far down the street it was, so I don't know if it was actually several blocks away or just one. Some joggers saw it a few blocks further down a few days ago. And (another?) one was spotted downtown.

And one of my classmates is taking the rabies vaccine. It's 6 or 7 shots, though now they're in your limbs instead of the old horribly painful ones in the abdomen (it would cost about $1000 if it wasn't for the student health plan!). He found a bat in his room the other morning. The health centre said he was the third person that day to start the rabies vaccine.

Dan - nearly half way through WWDC

... and my brain is full! I need to go away and sit down for a week in front of a computer for a week and code before sitting through any more of these sessions. I can see what I'd work on, but my brain is exploding with undigested material.

Went down to Fisherman's wharf last night after I finished for the day, standing on the step of the cable car. Was very pleasant, with a gorgeous sunset over alcatraz and the Golden Gate bridge.

Lastly, american servings of food are enormous. Vast. Could feed small villages in most parts of the world. Pretty much every meal I've bought I've not been able to finish, and many of them I've taken the leftovers and gotten a whole second meal out of. And I'm no slouch when it comes to wolfing dwn my tucker. It's frightening.

Jen - Torrents rock

Yay. Finally got the new Lego Indiana Jones and played the first level this evening, but only after doing the dishes and putting out the garbage.

11 more sleeps until Dan comes home.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

YL - um big weekend hangover

man that was one big long weekend. 4 day weekend = rocks! I was so busy that I didnt really stop for very long. "Yes" to catching up with friends, going to the pub, socialising, meeting with renovator & doing different things. "No" to getting furniture given to Psych ward, being efficient/productive, sleeping much. Lol.

it was really good to see everyone ....

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Jen - Coping

Three sleeps gone, 13 to go.

The weekend was the longest. Took the kids to Lollipops Playland at Fox Studios yesterday - bedlam! Madness! What was I thinking!? Actually, it wasn't too bad, except so very, very crowded.

Lots of screaming happened once we got home but I managed to get the boys to bed by 8pm. But we still managed to get in late this morning.

Kit goes hunting for art

Wow, I check the blog, and it's totally full of new posts I haven't read yet. Yay!

Went 'cave art hunting' yesterday, and having spotted something on the 1:50 thousand topo map, went and found it. Oldest carbon dated set of paintings (I think it was dated to 1000AD), it got mentioned in a 1961 academic magazine. Sadly, only one cave has the paintings still visible. A male and female echinda, a dingo, and a male and female "anthropomorph".

Dan: SteveNote over

Well, the KeyNote is over (yay Oz 3G iPhone with GPS on July 11), and now I'm waiting for the next session (but not in a huge 5200 person queue). Feeling sleepy - didn't sleep well, and was up waaaaay to early.

Managed to get to the Lego shop yesterday, and took advantage of the excellent exchange rate. Also found a shop called "Action Figure Freddy" and picked up some Star Wars Galactic Heroes for the boys. Once I've had some sleep I'll also try to see some of the San Francisco sights as well, in between learning about Mac stuff.

Tancred - multitasking :)

I am home watching Romania v France while reading about the Keynote - Mac Rumours Live.
It's 20 minutes since the Keynote started and neither or have details of the new iphone :( Apple are too good at keeping secrets.

Dan: SteveNote

standing in a slow-moving queue for The Steve's keynote. was warned to get here Real early, and thought  they were exaggerating. arrived nearly three hours early to find the longest and nerdiest queue I've ever been in. a truly awesome experience :)

Monday, June 9, 2008

David - NY For 3 Whole Weeks

So, it turns out that "The Office" (US version) is less a cringeworthy comedy and more a documentary. The system that was supposed to be launched in Nov, no wait Dec, no wait Jan, no wait Feb... errr.. Mar... oh we meant Apr... actually May... ummm... June work for you? is still not launched.

In other news I have been in NY for 3 whole weeks - in a row! So this weekend I managed to see a play with Morgan Freeman, get drunk in a bar on Times Square, attend a party in Joisey (which included a slow motion streaker) and a second viewing of Iron Man tonight.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Dan: Made it!

well, it seems they letst me into the country. I'm sitting outside they convention centre using the free wireless on my ipod. Nice people gave me a window seat on the plane and a biggerroom at my hotel. all good so far. can't type properly on the ipod though.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Jen - He's off

We all piled into the car this morning to take Dan to the airport for his flight to SF. Many hugs were delivered at the departure gate before we tearily* saw him walk away under strict instructions to "Make the most of it" and "Have an excellent time".

*Well, just me, really.

Becstarr : Out of the fire & brimstone

Departed Mexico City for the hopefully more rural Tuxtla Gutierrez & San Cristobal. Watching CNN & 80s movies in our overpriced hotel tonight is a fantatic luxury... feels like wagging. :)

Tancred - Euro2008

Euro2008 starts tomorrow and I cannot wait :) I have spent the day sorting out my fantasy football team (The mighty Lokomotiv Sydney) for the IT dept league and I think they might do ok. I also got Romania in the office sweep so that's £1 I won't see again.

The best part of Euro2008? I don't have to get up at 03:00 to watch the games :)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Anna : From limping to hobbling

I'm off the crutches and am now working on walking a little further each day. Today's little excursion was from Arts to Ralph's Cafe and back. Hopefully by Monday I'll be up to walking to and from work again :)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ben - Nearly there

One more day, and then semester ends. Granted, I have a four week prac after that, but frankly that'll be more fun.

No more being judged on how good an essay I can write on "How to teach reading"; I get to be judged on how well I actually teach reading.

I'm going to be teaching a kindergarten class. The headaches are going to hurt; I got one after visiting the class for less than an hour. On the other hand, I can dust off jokes that no-one over the age of five hasn't heard. And you don't have to be so careful about what you say as you do with the older kids, because so much of it just goes over their heads anyway. And when you're reading to the littlies you can overact to your heart's content, and I do so like to overact.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Dan - Words of Wisdom

Atticus' Words of Wisdom:

"When I grow up, I'm going to be bigger!"

I've got my birth certificate now, so I should be able to get across the border on Saturday. Here's hoping...

Kit: contending with sales drones

Ported my mobile over to Telstra, because I hardly ever use the phone (approx $7 use versus paying $30 pm) and the byo-plan there was okay. Plus Optus-pests kept ringing me up to try and sell me another phone. Silly woman ported over my phone on Monday, even though I said I wasn't able to head in until Tuesday to show my ID and pick up the sim card. Even *sillier* - she tried calling me after the number had switched networks, to see when I would be in to pick up the sim.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Anna : Arse!!!

Spent 30 minutes writing an email and Exchange logged me out when I pressed Send.

ARSE!!!!!!!!!!! ARSING ARSE!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Anna : Phew!

First meeting as a manager, some good things, still a bit overwhelmed but think it was constructive ... Euge may disagree :)

Leg is slowly getting better, spent the last two days at a "Women in Leadership" conference getting waited on by the other attendees. Range of movement improving and another physio appointment tomorrow.

Dropkick Murphy concert last night with boxing buddy was an exciting adventure in crowd watching. There was a family in front of us, mum, dad, 8-9 year old and a teenager who oscillated between the mosh pit and the stalls to let them know he was ok. When the younger son started to flag I did a good deed by offering his mum my spare set of earplugs. He fiddled with them for about 10 minutes and 10 minutes later was fast asleep. Poor kid ended up missing the encore despite so solid shoulder shaking from mum and dad.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

YL -work satisfaction

It's a really rewarding feeling when patients say thank you and are actually appreciative of your efforts. It almost makes everything worthwhile. And when you relieve their symptoms, that's great too. It's amazing how not being in pain is a good thing. I'm not working for the staff, I'm really working for the patients. Hmm.

I've almost decided that I'm more interested in the journey than the destination. Almost ready for that life's change. I wonder where the journey is going to take me ... ...

Kit - what good news does a postcard bring

Before FD jaunted off on his round-the-world-trip to Iceland via England, he sent out a call for postcards. I responded (as one does), and very soon a veritable flood of European postcards started turning up.

We had a new starter with us this year, and a few weeks into his new role he asked me:
"So, are you going to World Youth Day this year?"
Me: ?!?!?!?!!!*?!!**
NS: I ask because you've got a picture of Pope Benedict on your desk
Me: …….um? I thought it was John Paul the second

When I got back to work, I had to hide the postcard of the Pope, I couldn't stand him waving at me anymore.

29/5 edit: It didn't come through in the original post, but the reason I went and hid the postcard is because there was also a rather painful discussion on how difficult the Pope must find his job, what with taking into account previous edicits from the Church, and all that advice from his senior advisors. What are they, bishops?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Ben - Meh.

On Saturday, I wasn't feeling great, so I decided to treat myself to a movie to cheer myself up. So I got on my bike and went into town, only to discover that I'd missed the opening of Iron Man, and the Indiana Jones session was on at a time when it would have overlapped with work. So I went to the other cinema in town - they'd just closed. Not for the day; forever.

So I went to the shops, and saw a copy of the third season of the new Dr. Who for $69, and I had $70 in my pocket. Then I took it to the counter, and it turned out to be $99, but the first nine was blurry and looked like a six.

Thus far, my attempt to cheer myself up had backfired rather badly. But then... then I saw at the local Lowes some decent jeans marked down to $20 a pair. And across the street from that, a closing down computer shop sold me a brand new colour printer for $30

So that's how my attempt to cheer myself up with unnecessary luxuries became a tale of careful frugality instead.

Man, I need a life.

Marina - Eurovision

Angels, pirates, ice skaters, chikki chikki's.
And Russia winning.
What's not to like?

Becstarr : Weigh-in

Packed my backpack and it weighs in at about 8.5kg. Have I been highly effective, or just very optimistic? Time will tell!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Becstarr : Australia's Biggest Morning Tea (win!)

Yesterday was Australia's Biggest Morning Tea, and when I got out from morning yoga I was urged by the gym staff to have tea and cake and buy tickets in their ABMT raffle. I was pointed towards the very tasty madeira cake ("made by one of the members. He's single actually, and I think he's looking for a lady, so if you like the cake, come back and I'll give you his details!"). Cake for breakfast and free matchmaking - what more could a girl ask for in the morning?

And: this morning I got a call to say I'd won lunch for 2 at the Grandstand in the raffle. Woo!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Anna : Done myself a harm

Oh noes! All the good luck that has been coming my way for the last month or so has finally been evened out, last night at boxing I felt a "pop" and it turns out I've got "Tennis Leg". I've torn some of the fibers in my left calf and can't walk. Have been to the physio and it's not too serious and I should be able to walk unaided in 10 days or so. TO THE COUCH!

Becstarr : Samudra

Getting organised for the holiday (and wondering whether I'm ready enough, and whether I have time to get everything done that needs to be done at work, etc etc) has got me a bit stressed. The positive in this is that it got me to morning yoga today for the first time in ages! The teacher was a new person (Darsh, I think?) and I found the class excellent. It was a gentle class rather than a tough one (cf Bree) - the word we heard a lot of was "compassion" - but it really was exactly what I needed.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Went to the launch of the new 1 series last night. Weird mindless champagne-fueled fun of lookign at shiny motor vehicles, odd alien-like models in bizzare shoes and peopel who can or pretend to be able to afford hideously expensive vehicles. Could have left it at that, but then my date won one of the shiny specimens for the weekend. I reckon we're goign down to mogo. Pic of me in said vehicle on FB. SHINY!

So very tiredI don'

I don't think I ever want to be part of a site move again

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

falsedan - orkobogre

The cheap soy sauce I bought is value-packed with loads of MSG, so I am having strange dreams about wars in Victoria park and orkobogres.

Shoshe -- School's out!

I handed in my last problem set/take home exam on Thursday :) Now it's time for summer research, and actually enjoying this town (they tell me there's a town somewhere outside my office).

Yesterday we woke up early (despite the power going out and resetting the alarm clock) and went to a Local Producers brunch at the local nature center. Mmm, pancakes, homefries, and scrambled eggs with spinach and asparagus! We stayed on for the Mushroom Workshop, and spent a few hours drilling and hammering small mycelium-covered dowels into several logs, and covering the holes with cheese wax. We now have a shiitake-innoculated log sitting in our balcony's shed-thing! Then we went to the farmers' market for a late lunch (just before it closed at 3pm), then to the hardware store for planters and potting mix so I can plant herbs and lettuce when we get back from holiday, then to the supermarket, then to a store where we failed to find socks for me, then to the bookstore where we got a guidebook for our holiday, and then back home where I made applesauce (I got a bunch of apples at the SUPRA-equivalent's end-of-year free bbq) and used the bread machine to make dough for pizzas. By the end of the day we were tired! I think I also cleaned part of the kitchen in there somewhere. And I got to tell one of my students that she got the top score on the final exam :) And she and I found out that she went to my high school.

Kit ponders - Where do all the teaspoons go?

Relocated to a new work location in May 2007, and there was a new building fitout. New 2-drawer dishwashers, full set of plates, bowls, cutlery, mugs and glasses. Within six months, all barr two of the teaspoons had disappeared. Where did they go? I know I was hoarding 1 teaspoon of my own (I brought it in from home), so that I wouldn't ever be teaspoonless.

So I went round to all the vinnies stores in the local area, and managed to scrounge a couple, including a "padstow public school commerative 50th anniversary teaspoon". But on the whole - even the vinnies stores had a lack of teaspoons. Knives, forks aplenty. But spoons? Not on your life.

Where do they go? Is there a ghoul that eats them as a snack?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Becstarr : Roadtrip to the Capital

Went on a roadtrip to Canberra this weekend with Karinne and J to see the Monet-Turner exhibition. We stayed in a youth hostel in Civic with a crazy empty-nester lady who kept on waking up to eat VERY CRUNCHY chips in the middle of the night. On Sunday we went to the fantastic National Museum and I'm looking forward to a few more visits!

Two thumbs up!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Dan - the kids party down

Went to the school Disco at Dante's school, and the kids went off! All three had a fantastic time dancing; Elora doing her classic 'Duck and Wave" dance, Atty running around squealing, and Dante "breakdancing" (ie. doing a rather lyrical interpretive dance). I was actually really impressed with D's dancing skills - it was actually pretty good. The woman he seemed to be trying to woo (I think she was the girlfriend of one of the aftercare staff) commented to be afterwards that he was really talented.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

YL - 5 for the price of 1.

Who could resist a good bargain anyway? *chuckle*

1. Graduation was a day of silent victory for me. I felt like I was happy/pleased but I couldnt really cheer. I knew what I had gone through to be there that day ... and I think I just wasnt sure how it all added up. Dinner with family & people who made it imminently possible for me to finish this degree was lovely. I think everyone was happy and more so, everyone got along! I celebrated but it really felt like my heart wasnt in it. Hmm.
2. Work is blargy. I really dont enjoy working at any time (especially till 11pm weeknights) when I'm the only junior person covering the whole place! That's 200 beds. And more, I dont enjoy horribly menial tasks. There are jobs that do not require someone who spent 10 years at Uni to do! Argh. I do not want more random overtime!
3. I also resent being told that I need to have "better time management" when I express that there are more jobs than 1 person can do (re above comment) without being completely exhausted and unable to stop to eat/drink.
4. I miss being paid $22/hr at the labs. I now get paid $25/hr and $27/hr next year. The difference in responsibility is incongruent to the renumeration!
5. There's a beach 5min down the road from me, but with work - I've only been there once in the 6 weeks I've been here. That was the 1st weekend. I'm determined to go there in 1 hr before work!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dan: 9 posts for the price of one

I've been lazy about updating any of my blogs, so here's the last week's worth of updates:
  1. Elora and Atticus were crook last week, with diarrhoea and a cough respectively - the thing about nappies is they make dealing with diarrhoea much easier :)
  2. Preparations to travel to the US are still rather byzantine. I'm still waiting on paperwork (Department of Immigration sent me a receipt for my payment for citizenship papers, but not the papers. I've ordered my new Oz passport.
  3. As of two minutes ago, I'm officially in my mid thirties.
  4. Work is hella busy. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but I'm sure I've got about twice as much to do as I used to.
  5. Got a wireless Mighty Mouse for my early birthday present. Now I've got to upgrade to a modern version of Linux if I want to get it running (or buy a Mac).
  6. Finally up to date with watching How I Met Your Mother. Funny show. They'd better keep making it. Or I'll stab them. Now I've gotta catch up with all my other TV.
  7. Got myself an iPod Touch. I feel I ought to know how they work before going to WWDC, and develop something that runs nicely on one. It's a very nifty toy. I recommend them. Once the iPhone comes out I'll definitely get one of them (and Jen will get an the Touch as an iPod upgrade).
  8. Elora is a very clever girl. She has been counting! To four! (for a 15 month old, that's very clever). Also, she's super cute at the moment (which I guess doesn't really need to be said. Everyone know that already).
  9. Dante is a world of super itchiness. We've treated three different sources of itchiness, but he seems to have additional itch-causing ailments. At some point, I'm just gonna get a medical encyclopedia and list all possible causes of itchiness, and give the kid a super combo medical cocktail to sort them all out at once. Also, he's really enjoying his Extension classes. And we've had to have extensive (unrelated) discussions about how it's OK if other kids call you a nerd, and to not let it bother you. Peer pressure is starting to kick in, and he was quite worried for a while there when the other kids started hassling him out for being clever. I pointed out the irony of being called a nerd by a bunch of kids obsessed with Star Wars, Ben 10, and Pokemon.

Kit: Zilch for Greenie credits

Had a bit of brain idiocy last night. I thought: "Oh, I have a meeting in town tomorrow at 9am and 2pm-5pm. I know, I'll get a pool car and drive in. "

I awoke at 6am (having missed my 530 alarm), and thought: "What!? Why am I driving in? I should have taken the train, and then I could have slept in, *and* been able to snooze on the train, *and* not have to dance with peak hour traffic. "

1.5 hours later... I finally get into town (generally a 50min non-peak-hour journey).

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Anna : Can't see straight ...

In the thick of another training project, but this time Hivers get to share my pain because some of them have to attend (hey Jen, hey Joe). Only two days of work to go!

Paul at boxing has re-defined "hard", cutting out most of the breaks we used to enjoy so much. Had a family dinner that went well, olives were a motif, figuring in almost every dish and Guy's dad Steve may have been brought around to the joys of the chickpea.

and deja vu ... just now!

Becstarr : Early, but still not early enough

Still not getting up early enough to make 7:30am yoga. Used the time instead to clean my room a bit, and found my camera which has been missing since I moved! Also picked up mi pasaporte this morning - I think that makes the turnaround 10 working days. Good work DFAT!

Jaime and Shannon’s amazing powers

J&S have been and gone. The day they arrived in Scottyland was our first real spring day in weeks. While they were here the fog made 2 attempts to return but using their combined powers J&S let the sun shine. At one point it hit 22°! That's almost a heatwave. On Thursday we climbed Arthurs seat and Jaime worked up a really good sunburn. On Friday I waved goodbye to them at Waverly and within 10 minutes the rain had returned and most of the weekend was fogged in. I guess Jaime and Shannon need to spend more time in Edinburgh :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Jaime - Let's party like its 1699

I had my nose smashed by a sword and got to fire a pistol. This holiday is awesome!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Jaime - I got sunburt in Edinburgh

Yes, I got sunburnt in Edinburgh. I was wearing sunglasses and now I look like a stylish raccoon.

Becstarr : Academic honesty again

Attended an interesting morning as a guest at the First Year Experience WG's meeting on academic honesty. It's a frustrating topic in many ways, but an interesting question because there are so many facets, not least of which is the time factor, in questions like "how much time can we afford to / do we want to put into prevention and detection, and then into prosecution?" and "how much time do we want to spend on teaching students about this rather than on actual subject content matter?". So much more to say on this - perhaps a proper write-up elsewhere is in order.

In other matters, today I realised that a good way to develop my Spanish might be to read articles whose contents are easy to guess, such as "¿QuĂ© debes hacer si han hackeado tu sitio web?"

Climbed to the Summit

Today we reached the top of Arthur's Seat. Yay us!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Dan is a Yankee pigdog

I won the Uni's scholarship to go to WWDC this year, which is awesome, but it's in San Francsico, and since I'm a US/Austraila dual citizen (in theory), that means I need to use my US passport to enter and leave the US, and since I haven't had a US passport in about 30 years, I've got to apply for a new one, but I need my birth certificate and Australian citizenship papers, which were lost/stolen when we moved house one time, and so I've had to send off for ID papers from New York and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, which should arrive in two weeks hopefully, so I can get a passport, and use my non-refundable, non-transferable plane tickets on the 7th of June.

But then I get to cruise around California for a week after WWDC. Should be tops.

Becstarr : Inyecciones!

Got my Hep A, Typhoid, flu, and Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccinations yesterday. My arms hurt but I feel invincible now! Except of course for rabies, which I left too late to do the course for (plus it's 3 lots of $85 - ouch!).

Fingers crossed for no mad dogs or scratchy bats.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Anna : New Job!

Again! I'm going over to Arts Digital to work as the "Senior Web Communications Officer" and will be supervising one Mr. Eugene Chan ... hope he's nice, would be a shame if we had to share our personal space for a lengthy period of time and we didn't get on ...

Ben - Luck!

I've been pretty lucky the last couple of days. Yesterday, I saw an eight year old voluntarily reading Mark Twain. This morning, the camera shop called to tell me that they've finally fixed my camera. And this afternoon, I won a raffle. Not a bad couple of days.

Kit is Music Spree

Went on a CD impulse spending spree. New jjj hottest 100 album (volume 15?), kate nash, and the Big Day Out Compiliations 2005-2006 (latter two from redeyerecords in town).
BDO2005 is not to my taste, or at least not-suitable-for-work moods.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Evelyn, Tancred, Jaime, Shannon - Off to Glasgow

Off to see arty type stuff, cathedrally type stuff and high-tea at the Macintosh tearooms.

Friday, May 2, 2008

falsedan - 'Golden Brown' is a song about cooking a turkey

According to the Virgin video-on-demand notes… the music on demand channel is great! It's like I have my own personal programming slot on Rage, except with a special focus on Take That and Sugababes videos.

Also I have spent the last few days programming perl and reading about boardgames and apparently that justifies a raise—woo hoo extra £2000

Becstarr : Burning down the highway!

What a great day! I got a heaping heap of things done!
I got to Medicare before work and got a card (I haven't had one in about 3y).
I went to the Post Office and lodged my application at last (thanks Anna for going guarantor).
I finished two pieces of documentation and 3/5ths of another.
I popped up to the quad to celebrate YL's graduation as a doctor - huzzah!
And now pub pub pub.... and I deserve it! :)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Kit: Somewhere along the road ...

On the Olympic Highway, between Ilabo and Junee, there is a road called "Bunnies Gate Way".

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Becstarr : Excel and me

Excel is my new best friend. Every morning its friendly, informative green face each morning reminds me where I'm up to with everything, and that I am actually making progress, despite often not feeling like it.

(Yes, I can hear what you're thinking and yes, the precious info is backed up! :).


Everyone is out of the house - I get to rearrange everything. Everything, I tell you!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

YL - Victoria Room & Graduation

The Victoria Room in Darlinghurst is my new favourite place. Went there for supper and drinks with Katie in pre-celebration of our upcoming graduation. Cocktail = Bellini = gorgeous!

Graduation is Fri 2pm. Will be out in Main Quad when it's over. I will be the overly happy one waving her degree around.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Evelyn - weird stasis

Its a bit odd starting a new job in the middle of a site move, when no one has any time to show you anything but its not really appropriate to do nothing.

Friday, April 25, 2008

YL - city lights below

I watched from my plane window as the twisting winding orange lines of lights of Sydney city faded in and out of view as we streamed through crowds. The city is like a living creature spreading its tentacles and pressing ever outwards edges brimming with growth. What a massive city, how daunting the size!

Jaime - Deux ordinateur pour demi heure

Using a computer for half an hour should be fun. Will blog proper when we get to Dusseldorf. Paris was awesome! French keyboqrds suck!

Thursday, April 24, 2008


It has rained so much over the past two weeks, that mushrooms have started sprouting in the paddock.

Becstarr : Sleeping in Spanish

After last night's late game finish, slept in this morning and got to work late, but feeling great! The game has reminded me how great the Gladiator soundtrack is.

Still working hard at Spanish. This morning learnt that a toilet is called "el inodoro"... which is actually quite funny.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Becstarr : Seduced by stats

Discovered a few new reports in FlexSIS today (student records) in the Faculty category. Did you know that Arts has 1001 uos in session 2 this year? I would have guessed more like 600-700.

I highly recommend the FlexSIS reporting portal (FRP - call the FlexSIS guys to arrange access) to anyone trying to plan anything at all at the uni. Hurray for wonderful reports that someone else has set up!

Shoshe - Spring!

This past Thursday the trees decided that it was spring! There are many green little buds, and even some little leaves. And some little flower-ish-things on a tree outside my office that are apparently yummy if you're a squirrel.

Only three and a half weeks to the average last frost date.

Jen - Home sick

Oh how I've longed for a day off at home with no children to look after. It has been a very, very long time since I last did this.

Except that I am sick as a dog (a sick dog) and have spent the better part of the day wallowing in bed.

Stupid catching the tummy bug that the boys had last week. Either that or food poisoning.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dan - the mountains

Took the lads up to the Blue Mountains for a couple of days - it was awesomely foggy and dismally soggy. The boys had a grand time, though were were all a little cranky today after sharing a room in a B&B in Wentworth falls (Monique's - I recommend it). Everyone managed to wake up everyone else all through the night. Went on the Scenic Railway and all that business. Poor little Atty had slippery shoes on and kept falling on his bum and getting cold and wet. Came home to a Very Ill Jen.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Ben - Steam and Steel

Went to an event that was the diametric opposite of the Sustainability festival Bec went to last week. The Maitland Steamfest! There were all sorts of steam trains, tractors and steamrollers and such, as well as old engines running pumps, generators and corn mills. There was smoke and steam everywhere, it was brilliant! There were also stalls, and I bought a bottle of chilli sauce called "The Widow Maker"

falsedan - reeling in ealing

I have migrated from the sainsbury savannahs to the plains of tesco: we have moved from Shepherds Bush to Ealing

1 Waldegrave Road
W5 3HT

Hello internet stalkers! I am poor and a biter and like meeing new people!

I reckon we get about 80% zombie resistance if we collapse the railway bridges to the north and south.

Ealing has a large number of Japanese immigrants and the council flats are done up to look like little Tudor houses.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Jaime - Blog Post of the Beast

Yes, my distraction was a cheap ploy so that I could get the 666th post on Hive One Sentence Journal. After you groan at my antics, be happy, 'cause we're on Holidays!

Jaime - A distraction

Jaime - Almost there

Can hardly concentrate at work today, only one more sleep until our trip begins. Hurry up damnit!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Kit - Bye-bye wheel

By keeping my bike obsessively locked on the balcony, I've somehow managed to break the little disc-y thing that all the spokes are connected to. Bye bye wheel. :-(

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ben - Tasty soup

Fairly quiet holidays so far. Made a big pot of sarma, a Hungarian dish consisting of pork, bacon, sauerkraut and paprika and therefore qualifying as the most Hungarian dish it is physically possible to make.

Also very tasty.

Jaime - I want to be a Jugger

Simply put, I would like to be a Jugger after I found that Europe, North America and Australia have Jugging leagues.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Dan: Torrential!

In the space of 24 hours yesterday and today, we've dealt with:
  • 2 poos in the bath (yesterday and today's bath)
  • 1 huge vomit on the carpet at the top of the stairs
  • 1 bucket of vomity water accidentally kicked down the stairs onto all the stuff that's under the stairs (by a certain father (who we won't name) of the above vomity child, after we'd cleaned up)
  • 1 nappy that leaked poo out both sides
  • 1 pair of wet pants and undies
Have kids, everybody! They're delightful!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Jaime - You can't catch me

I'm the ginger bread man! Also, Frisky Dingo is quite amusing, but only quite.

Master Cylinder!

Shannon: an extravagance

Splashed out bought myself an early birthday present: the Canon EF-S 17-85mm lens. I mean, it could be some time before I'm back in Europe. Would hate to be there going, "gee, I wish I'd bought that lens".

Anna : So Lazy!

I had another very quiet weekend, got to work on leaving the house more, but I did have my first go at home made booze-infusions! Now I just have to find some saps to drink it ... bring on the 500 night!

Becstarr : Marrickville rain biking

Biked to the Sustainability festival in Steel Park, Marrickville (just on the Cooks River) twice... once on Saturday, a day early (oops) and then for real on Sunday. Plenty of manageable hills, so I guess it was good exercise at least!

The festival was small (clearly in its first few years), which suited me fine. No chai tent (wha?) but there was an indigenous food stand with kangaroo & croc burgers. Plenty of families and various freebies and workshops. Unfortunately the rain then hit and our attempt to bike home between showers was a wetter venture than I was hoping for. Urgh!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Jaime - Bedroom Eyes

God damn you falsedan, god damn you! I foolishly ignored falsedan's advice and looked at google images for "bedroom eyes" ... please scrub my brain out.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Becstarr : Enterprise bargaining begins, childcare support ahoy?

Today the union had the first EB (enterprise bargaining) meeting to start to establish a Log of Claims about things the membership would like included. Plenty of issues were raised, and one I spoke about was (with Dan's advice) childcare support. Quite a number of people were interested in family-friendly policies and practices (parental and carer leave, flexible hours, improved return-to-work etc). Dan's suggested a discussion-lunch soon for interested parties, so mail me if you want in or have ideas!

YL - First Doctor-y Pay

Woot! I got my first pay as a doctor yesterday! And I'm working my first weekend as one ... hmmmm ... praying for a calm.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Ben - Nearly There

Almost all my pre-holiday work done, having just handed in my HSIE assignment. Basically, we were making HSIE resources - some of them looked really good. Mine doesn't look that great, but people have been complementing me on it, so who knows?

Now all I have is one German test between me and the holidays.

Yay, holidays in rainy Newcastle!

Oh, well, I can finally take the time to write an Uncyclopedia article about Uncle Remus, or Grape Nehi or something.

Becstarr : Rolling along and gathering speed

Since last I wrote, I've finished my glorious two weeks' leave and, to beat those end-of-leave blues, booked my next holiday. We fly out on May 28 and back in on June 30. We'll mainly be in Mexico & Cuba, with a few days in San Francisco on either side. I am finding myself mostly extremely excited (like when planning a picnic on the Xochimilco Canals) and fighting a griping Fear (like when I read travel insurance product disclosure statements and realise that I have 6.5 weeks to learn a lot more Spanish and get all my Semester 2 sites ready).

Dang Hippy

My biodynamic organic purple garlic was infested with weevils. The weevils started to escape and run amok and I had to bin the yummy garlic. Sad.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Decisions, decisions

Do I get up early before drving to work tomorrow to go geocaching, or to get my one decent coffee of the week?

Dan: MovieFest

Inspired by Eugene's last post, I went and saw Brain Dead at the Dendy Horror Festival. It was all that they promised and more. It was also not the Brain Dead you're thinking of, but a different one. Followed it up with Be Kind Rewind, and 10,000 BC. The Verdict: See Brain Dead if you like Schlock Horror. See Be Kind Rewind. Don't see 10,000 BC if you've ever read anything tangentially about ancient history or palaeontology or have a passing interest in either. Otherwise, it's a fun ride.

Anna : Adam Curtis is trying to make me cry!

Watched episode one of The Trap last night and all of The Century of the Self last week. I think next Adam Curtis should make a documentary telling us how to fix all these insidious social controls that he's discovered.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Anna : Guy has a fuzzy head

Guy had his head shaved for charity. It looked pretty wrong for the first two weeks but now it has reached the lovely fuzzy stage and the poor man is submitting very gracefully to frequent head rubs.

YL - Survived Week 1

Being a secretary & organiser of events & paperwork is not tricky. However, thinking & knowing what to do is! Good thing I got thrown in the deep end with working in Emergency first up. =) So far so good. I will use the reason of "this is my first ____ (insert duration) as a doctor" for as long as I can!

Current motto : Try not to make stupid mistakes. Do/Learn something new everyday.

Be back in Sydney Anzac long weekend (drinkies?) & weekend after for my Graduation Ceremony at Sydney Uni on 2nd May at 2pm. Wooot!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Eugene: Opening Night of the "A Night of Horror Film Festival"

Have just gotten back from Newtown Dendy which is holding an International Horror Film Festival over the dext week and a half. Only really found out about it via the Dendy Weekly mailout so mailed back in for some free tickets. Strangely enough, I got them and since my tickets were the only ones blu-tacked onto the counter when I picked them up an hour before the film, my guess is that not too many people entered the competition.

Anyway, first film was "Flick", an English film about a ghoul powered by rock music in order to bring revenge upon those who wronged him. Not particularly orginal but fun nonetheless. Highlights include an incredibly botox'd Faye Dunaway as a one armed ex-prom queen Police detective and Ghoul view which looked at most things as they were 40 years ago. Nice use of comic books as exposition and speed the plot along and fun rockabilly music.

Definitely considering seeing more of the festival.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Ben - Damn apathetic kids!

Yesterday, I actually had to remind some ten year olds that it was April Fools Day.

Can you believe that shit?

Monday, March 31, 2008

Dan: I wanna be in the Bedford Cat Gang

Recent events in Casa Burn:
  1. the boys stocked up on Pokemon cards from the cheapy shop in Campsie ($2 for 30 cards, way cheaper than the price for proper cards)
  2. Dante passed his entrance test for Extension classes, which are some saturday classes about ancient history and science for bright kids.
  3. Guy and Anna visited, and were told what to do by Dante and Atticus.
  4. Tried Wardriving this morning on the way in to work, as Wiggles tickets went on sale while we were driving in. Had no luck, as it's hard to join a network with a 20m radius when Jen's driving like Brocky. I'm intrigued, though, by the existence of a wireless point called "Bedford Cat Gang". Something either very cool, or perilous to humanity, is going down on Bedford St.

Kit starts Geocaching

Kids arrived from Melbourne late on Friday night, and I thought that a good way to get them interested in doing outdoors stuff is to get them into a 'treasure hunt', or geocaching.

We found our first treasure in Homebush Bicentennial Park, and we took on the heavy responsibility of taking a geocoin on the first leg of its journey around the world.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Jen - Extension classes for Dante

Sat: Took Dante to get an assessment to see if he's eligible for "Gifted and Talented" Extension Classes on Saturday afternoons. He is! He'll start next term - Ancient History (mummification!) and "Super Science" classes. Went to the $2 shop in the afternoon and the boys got $2 packs of knock-off Pokemon cards. I got $2 balls of crocheting cotton. Got the kids to bed by 8pm 'cause of the Earth Hour thingy. Dante went without complaint, even though it was half an hour earlier than usual. Yay!

Sun: Quiet day playing in the back yard, mostly. Had a nice visit from Guy and Anna for which I made banana cake.

Jaime - Falsedan thinks he's funny but he's not

We'll fine, I was going to shortly blag about Ministry last night but since my "attitude" is "appreciated" by "Falsedan", I'll just blog about it on my own blog, where the internet can truly appreciate "it".

P.S Ministry was AWESOME!

falsedan - jaime posted twice in a row so I'm getting one in before he posts again

Jaime I approve of your posting attitude FYI

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Jaime - It's frikkin snowing

Right now, it is snowing outside. It's 2°, almost April and its SNOWING! WTH?!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Jaime - I got a library card

I feel a bit dirty as I just got a Library card and now have to "share" my books. Currently I am waiting on an Archeology lecture which is downstairs.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Long weekend drenching

Long weekend. Weather report said "showers for fri-sat, fine on monday". Okay. Try to miss the traffic by leaving on Sunday. Head to Kanangra-Boyd National park, out the back of the Blue Mountains.
Walk out to Cottage Boulder, or at least to coal-seam cave (Easy 9km return). Wait awhile in the cave because its raining. It appears to let up, so start heading back to the car.
I got drenched. I was wearing goretex on top, and then jeans underneath. My jeans got soaked, and then the water started creeping upwards underneath the goretex on my t-shirt. The rain was torrential. Walking across Kanangra plateau with the thunder and lighting going on directly overhead thinking very very short thoughts!

Jen - so tired

The busy weekend finally caught up with me last night and I am struggling at work today.

Tancred - Zombie Jesus weekend in Scottyland

Scottyland does not seem to do Zombie Jesus weekend so I have been working on Friday and Monday. It's odd. The Uni is open though we have no lectures on. Thus we have no Academics at work and no students. It's just the support staff, ready to support people who are not in. On the up side I run the firewall, and I have my laptop so I plan to spend the afternoon grinding motes of water for my Shadoweave epics :)

In other news spring started last week but we are still getting flurys on snow and sleet. Hey it's snowing again right now!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Jen - Crazy birthday weekend

That eldest son of ours got a weekend of birthday parties instead of just one (as well as candles and cake on his actual birthday, and a pre-birthday shopping-trip visit from Grandma the previous weekend). I don't think we could have spread out the birthday goodness any more if we tried.

Good Friday: trip to the cemetary followed by two brothers and their families over for lunch.
Easter Saturday: Birthday Party! 13 kids aging 13m, 2-3yr, 5yr, 7yr, and 8-9yr; the majority in the 7yr group and mostly hyperactive boys high on superhero action and sugar. Imagine a calm blue ocean... and INVERT IT! ack. We had 3 Ben 10s and one Captain Underpants.
Easter Sunday: Tennis as usual, followed by family birthday lunch (minus a few). Elora scoffed a huge piece of chocolate cake with glee (and mess, of course).
Tomorrow: R&R for us all.

We've also had my niece sleepover since Sat (and my bro and his son stayed next door).

Dan and I calculated that we will have entertained/fed a total of 46 people over the weekend (i.e. the number of people each day, totaled. 10 on Fri, x kazillion on Sat (that's what it felt like, anyway), 17 today etc...). Exhausting.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

a Week in London

Took the train a week ago to London. Stayed with David in a lovely apartment at Canary Wharf and got to meet up with Jo, V and FD - but never FD's imaginary girlfriend, strange that :) Managed to see the Terracotta Warriors at the British Museum (queued from 8:30 to get tickets), Vortex (Noel Coward play staring Felicity Kendell) and the Tutankhamen exhibition at the 02 (what used to be called the Millennium Dome, then why did we build that?).