Monday, December 31, 2012

Well 2012 is nearly over ....

And it's been a reasonably good year.  Few changes and challenges but not as many as in the previous couple of years!

I am away at the Scout Jamboree from Jan 1 (we're flying out at 2230) and back on Jan 13th.  I am not sure what internet access we will have on-site so I will probably be updating my facebook page more than this if anything.

If you have Facebook and aren't already my "friend" drop me an email with your details and I will try and find and friend you asap.

Have a good "New Year's Eve" everyone and talk to you again in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Food for thought

I've not posted anything on the tragedy that unfolded in America yesterday.  Mainly because it was a tragedy.  One mad / sick / insane whatever-label-you-want-to-use "person" took the lives of many innocent children and adults.

I don't believe that there is any easy answers here - any easy ways to stop tragedies like this happening in the future.  However, I've posted the link above because I think it echos many of my thoughts much more articulate than I could have done.

My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who were involved in this tragedy.

Be kind to those you encounter you never know the future.

h/t FarmDad

Friday, December 14, 2012

TTKS #861

Miss 9 and I are having a discussion and she is complaining that I am telling her what to do:

Miss 9: "I don't like you telling me what to do."

Me: "You can leave home at 18."

Miss 9: "No, I like living here."

Me: "Well you'll have to put up with me telling you what to do for longer then."

Miss 9: "No, I'll put you in a retirement home"

Saturday, November 24, 2012

TTKS #860

Miss 9: "Mum, how do I train myself to sleep with noise?"

Me: "Ummm"

Miss 9: "Don't worry, I'll ask the professional."

Turns to her sister ..

Miss 9:  "Sis, how do I train myself to sleep with noise?"


I feel redundant ...

Not quite a teenager but yet ....

Me to Miss 11 (who is wearing an oversized shirt and not much else): "You need to go and put some clothes on so we can go shopping"

Miss 11 stands back, spreading her arms: "Done"

Me: "No"

And I think this is the sign of things to come .....

UPDATE ... this is the after shot :(  .....

And, of course, her sister decided to dress similarly ...
Not quite 'POWM' style but ...
And yes, I 'suggested' Miss 11 try again :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving Day

Wishing all my American friends a wonderful thanksgiving day.  May your day be filled with friends, family, laughter, good food and no stress :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The things kids say #785

Hubby has just opened a bottle of sparkling wine - with a pop ...

Miss 11 singing: "Pop goes the parenting juice ..."

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The things kids say #784

Discussion with Miss 9 this morning:

Miss 9: "Mum, I can iron! Dad taught me how to."

Me: "Great"

Miss 9:  "Yes, you spray the clothes twice quite far back and then you spray the person standing next to you!"

Friday, November 9, 2012

Waiting for a delivery

Can someone please explain to me why is it that a courier company can not give a more specific time than "between 9am and 5pm" while adding, not so helpfully, "if it's not there by 3pm we will be able to give you a better idea of when it will arrive!".

I wanted to head "up north" for the weekend, but I need to wait for this delivery first - it's not something I want left on the doorstep AND there is no other option regarding delivery / collection.


Hey USA - I think you've gone mad

Okay, I know it's not the whole of the USA, but seriously this is idiotic ... even more so than Bloomberg restricting sales of the large-sized soda drinks ...

A TEXAS town has added sugar to the water supply to encourage residents to drink more H2O.

Water consumption in Talon, a small town in Pecos County, is well below the United States average.

So the town's top utility officials decided to add roughly 4 tablespoons of sugar for every 240mLs of the town's water supply.

Talon utility commissioner Hester Griggs told CBC News: "Oh, you can taste it yeah, or otherwise there ain't no point in doing it. It's sweet, sweet water."

Mr Griggs said part of the reason behind the move was that kids are preferring to drink soda and energy drinks to water.

"We decided is there a health element to the amount of water that someone drinks.

"We need to make sure that our residents, our kids... are encouraged to drink water, up to 8 glasses a day as is stipulated by the National Alliance of Health."

The sugary water is also being used in water used in showers and toilets.

Mr Griggs said he there wasn't too much concern in the community about the amount of sugar being consumed.

"The upside overweighs the downside unless you have diabetes," he said.

In that case, Mr Griggs recommended local diabetics restrict their intake to four glasses.

It's not April 1 is it?

Now that is good news ....

From today's news:

Government gives up plan for internet filter

LABOR has abandoned its controversial plan to introduce an internet filter, but is banning all websites related to child abuse.

The federal government will use its powers under the Telecommunications Act to block hundreds of child abuse websites already identified by Interpol, Fairfax reports.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said blocking these websites met "community expectations and fulfils the government's commitment to preventing Australian internet users from accessing child abuse material online".

"Given this successful outcome, the government has no need to proceed with mandatory filtering legislation," he said.

Kevin Rudd promised to introduce an internet filter when Labor won office at the 2007 election, but it was always a controversial policy.

Internet lobbyists argued against censorship and predicted a filter would be ineffective and would slow internet speeds.

Both the coalition and the Greens opposed the plan.

The internet filter would have required Australian internet service providers to block overseas-hosted "refused classification" material as identified by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

The list of banned websites would have been based on public complaints to ACMA.

Fairfax said Internet Industry Association chief executive Peter Lee welcomed the decision as "a positive step".

But the Australian Christian Lobby insisted a filter was needed because "it is important to prevent unwanted access to pornography".

"We must protect our children from forming unhealthy attitudes towards women and sex," lobby spokeswoman Wendy Francis said.

I had blogged about the plan previously here and here and as it had died out in the news I thought it had just been brought in with no-one being any the wiser.  However, I am pleased to read that they've decided to scrap it and allow adults the choice in what they decide to read and parents the responsibility to decide what their children can access.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

For my American friends ....

(Found on Facebook)...

Dear All,

Please take note of this very important message from Queen Elizabeth II, which must be regarded as a milestone in modern history. 


To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up 'revocation' in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy).

Your new Prime Minister, David Cameron, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:


1. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'colour,' 'favour,' 'labour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix '-ize' will be replaced by the suffix '-ise.' Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up 'vocabulary').


2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ''like' and 'you know' is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter 'u'' and the elimination of '-ize.'


3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.


4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can't sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you're not ready to shoot grouse.


5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.


6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.


7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.


8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.


9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. South African beer is also acceptable, as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth - see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.


10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.


11. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).


12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.


13.. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.


14. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).


15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.

God Save the Queen!

PS: Only share this with friends who have a good sense of humour (NOT humor)!

(via Robyn Molloy/Kathy Lette)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The things kids say #456

Miss 9 and me are having a discussion:

Me: "Shall I explain it to you?"

Miss 9: "No, just get it up on the internet."

Friday, November 2, 2012

You never want to see this - Aussie Version

Awhile back I blogged about a farm in the US facing drought with the title of "you never want to see this ...".   Drought is awful to contemplate and the loss of crops is truly depressing.

In contrast, my friends on the farm "up north" that I often shoot on have had a great growing season and they had just commenced harvesting - until yesterday.

Then a hail storm hit - this is what is left of the crop ...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

"Cultural Sensitivity" ....

From today's news:

THE air force has taken political correctness to a ridiculous new level by warning staff against wrapping gifts for troops overseas in Christmas paper because of "cultural sensitivity".
A flight lieutenant based at RAAF Base Pearce near Perth sent an email to staff and cadets encouraging them to send Christmas care packages to Australians deployed in the Middle East.

After the usual warnings about not sending alcohol or pornography and some helpful gift ideas, the officer offered the following packaging advice.

"Contents should be securely wrapped in stiff brown paper (no Christmas wrapping due to cultural sensitivities, please) and clearly addressed to: Australian Defence Force Member AFPO 60 Australian Defence Force NSW 2890."
Presumably he was concerned that bright paper featuring Santa Claus, a reindeer or baby Jesus might offend some Muslims. 

Defence said it did not have a policy on Christmas wrapping paper, but was aware of the "cultural sensitivity" issue.

"We are aware of advice posted on a Defence website and are taking steps to correct the information in the public domain," it said.

It is not clear if it was aware of the comments before The Sunday Times asked several questions about the email late last week.

Opposition defence personnel spokesman and former army officer Stuart Robert said someone had lost the plot.

"The Grinch this Christmas will be the government if it doesn't right this wrong," Mr Robert said. 

"On the back of 'no beer for Christmas', it's now no Christmas for Christmas."

The question of a beer ration remains a matter for the operational commander on the ground to a limit of two 375ml cans a member.

Most commanders in recent years have limited beer consumption to Anzac Day.

"Deployed personnel will continue with their operational tasks throughout the Christmas-New Year period and will only consume alcohol when their tasking allows," Defence said.

"These events are authorised in advance and the consumption of alcohol is carefully controlled."
The beers cannot be transferred to another person.

The latest cultural sensitivity gaffe follows a long list of cultural problems for the military, including sexual harassment and assault, and the use of dog pens for prisoners in Afghanistan.

There's not much I can bring myself to say on this point.  This whole attitude of doing everything so that no one is offended is totally offensive to me - somehow though, that doesn't make a difference!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Off again ...

I know I've been pretty slack with blogging recently - I'm not sure why - lots of things have been happening, I guess I'm just not in the mood to write about it.

Anyway, for those who still check in here, I thought I would let you know that I'm heading "up north" (further than normal) for a week for work.  I'll be in Karratha for a couple of days and then Port Hedland - getting back to Perth late on Friday afternoon.

Catch you all later!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Spam report

I don't get much spam postings on this blog but today there was a very telling piece in my spam filter ....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Newbie on the range ...":

tremendous issues here. I?

Yep! I do think you have tremendous issues!!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Newbie on the range ...

One of my work colleagues was over from the other side of Australia for the week.  She had mentioned that she wanted to go to the range so after a meeting yesterday we headed up.  (The target was provided by a friend of mine - neat isn't it!)

She's shooting my Ruger 22/45 in this picture.  She also shot my 9mm Springfield and the .410 Tuffy.  She was very safe and quite a good shot.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Presented without comment

From today's news:

A MAN with an eel lodged in his bottom has shown up at a New Zealand emergency department asking for help.
The unnamed man presented himself at the Auckland City Hospital for treatment last week, the New Zealand Herald reported.

X-rays revealed the eel "about the size of a decent sprig of asparagus," a hospital source told the newspaper.

"The incident is the talk of the place. Doctors and nurses have come across people with strange objects that have got stuck where they shouldn't before, but an eel has to be a first."

The eel was removed and the man went on his way. The hospital confirmed the story to the newspaper, but revealed no further details in order to protect the man's privacy.

It was not clear how the eel had found its way inside the man. According to the newspaper, eels are secretive, nocturnal and prefer habitats with plenty of cover.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Things Kids Say #1001

I can hear the television on in the lounge and I know Miss 9 is in there:

Me: "Miss 9 are you watching anything useful?"

Miss 9: "Only what's on TV"

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New stuff at work

As some of you might know I'm spending quite a bit of my work-time running roll-out training sessions for Win 7 / Office 2010 at a large corporation here in Perth.  Well some of the staff are in Perth; the others are in regional / remote areas.  I did a site visit a couple of weeks to one of the regional areas and that went well.

However, due to staff numbers at some of the regional / remote areas the company has decided to run some of the training via video link.  I've never done this style of training before.  I like interactive training sessions where I know I'm getting through to people.

Anyway, yesterday was Day 1 of training via video link.  The set-up was that both ends of the video link had 50" screens with cameras.  The left screen had the other party on it, the right screen showed my monitor.  The course presentation was a mixture of PowerPoint, me talking and 'real-time' demonstration. The other trainer (who had used the equipment before) and I got there early to ensure that it was all working.  She resolved a couple of technical challenges for me and then left me with the first group.

The course was scheduled for 1.5hrs and in this group I had 5 to 6 people (some of them went in and out or only watched from the doorway).  But it was a good group - they watched the demo and asked relevant questions.  The one challenging thing though was that I had automatic lights in my room which go out when no movement is detected for 15mins (or something). As I was delivering sitting at a table I wasn't moving around enough so the lights kept on going out (I had to stand and walk a metre to the right for the lights to come back on!).

I had a half-hour break between that session and the next.  I was looking forward to the second session as I had felt the first one went well and now I had a handle on what I was doing!

Not so, I hooked up with the second site, only to find out that their camera wasn't working so I couldn't see them at all.  I could only see myself (with a lag)!  There were supposed to be 6 people in the session but only 3 could make it, so I gave them the option of rescheduling but they didn't want to.  Then I discovered that they weren't just going to listen to me they were going to "play along" on their computers.  Which normally I wouldn't mind, but now I have two people who were going to try what I was showing (the other was just sitting in the corner listening apparently) and I had no feedback other than verbal.  Not ideal.

The course went so-so.  One of the guys was really good at providing the verbal feedback most of the time and there was one thing that I demonstrated that they couldn't get quite right on their machines (this happens often in 'normal' classes, but there I can actually help them, here I couldn't) so in the end we had to leave that thing and move on.

After a lunch break I got set up for the third session.  The system makes the call, I accept it, and get told (from the automated system) that I'm the first participant in the call.  I wait for 5 minutes - still the only one.  So I ring the lady who had organised the video links.  She calls me back and suggests that I hang up and they'll ring me as they're sitting there waiting for me but somehow we're not on the same call.

Eventually we get connected and I can see them and they can see me and the screen and all is well.   I start off with the introductions and discover that they have all have had the "new" system for over a month.  Now this course is designed for people who have just got it, or are just getting it.  Not really for people who have been using it for a while.  Normally, I can make up for this by dealing with any questions longer term users have.  So I then ask what questions they have and get told "none".

So I start to deliver the basic session and as I go ask for questions, comments, anything? Nope, nothing.  They seemed somewhat interested but I had no idea if they were getting anything out of it.  Most groups react excited / positive at the same points in the course - none of these guys reacted at these points and nope, there were no additional questions at the end.  They said they enjoyed it and got something out of it, but I don't know what it was!

Anyway, over-all, doing the video link training was easier than I thought it was going to be - so I'm now looking forward to the next round of presentations.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Miss 11's walk

Miss 11 (Yes, it was Miss 10's birthday last week - sorry missed the birthday posts) has just finished a 30km hike with three other scouts and two leaders from her troop. 

The walk was up in the Yanchep National Park which is a really nice part of the world.  She says that she enjoyed the hike (from Friday evening to mid-day Sunday) and is looking forward to doing more!  I guess that means I need to get my hiking boots out again before it gets too warm.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11th

Stop, think, remember ...

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Update on Miss 10's radio licence

About 7 weeks ago, Miss 10 studied hard and passed the test for her Amateur Foundation Radio Licence - which I blogged about here.

It's her birthday on Monday and we've bought her a 70cm/2m dual band hand-held radio as a present and we were hoping that the licence would come through so that she could transmit for the first time on her birthday.

I emailed the coordinator of the course to see if he knew why we hadn't received the licence yet and apparently all the paperwork for the 13 people who sat the test at the same time has gone astray in the post and they're now trying to work out what to do :(

So unfortunately she'll have to wait a bit longer until she can transmit.

Friday, September 7, 2012

I like "Country"

No, not the music - well some of it is okay, I guess.  Country people, places, scenery, lifestyle - that sort of country!

I've just got back from four days away "country" delivering training.  My first port of call was a place called Northam, about 100km east of where I live.  I was there for three days and had a great time.  The guys in the office and in my training courses were fantastic.  (There was a little hiccup with the computers not arriving in time for the first scheduled course but that was the only downside to the trip).

I then headed further east (about 150kms) to Merredin.  Same thing - although I was only there a day.

The drive was nice - didn't encounter any roos although saw quite a few dead ones on the side of the road - and accommodation although wasn't five star (nor four, three ... ) it was adequate.  One thing that was a bit sad is how dry the country-side is looking.  There were a few fields of canola which looked pretty nice, but a couple of fields of wheat weren't doing too well.

I'm heading north next weekend - so it will be interesting to see if it's any greener up there.

PS If you're looking for a good burger when you're out that way, the roadhouse at Meckering is the place to stop!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It's a start ...

From today's news:

Victims group passes up Qld gun panel spot

A VICTIMS support group says it doesn't mind being overlooked for a Queensland government advisory panel aimed at changing gun licensing laws.

The Newman government initially announced a six-member panel, made up of pro-gun lobbyists and gun shop owners, to look at ways to cut red tape faced by gun owners when renewing licences.

The Queensland Police Union was later invited to join after it criticised the government for stacking the advisory panel with people linked to the gun lobby.

Union president Ian Leavers said he would accept the invitation, but more needed to be done to balance the panel.

He said the inclusion of Pistol Shooting Queensland and Queensland Homicide Victims Support Group would "provide a full spectrum of views".

But the support group's general manager Ross Thompson says he doesn't see a need to be included on the panel.

Mr Thompson said Police Minister Jack Dempsey rang him on Wednesday and explained the panel would not discuss relaxing gun laws, only cutting the bureaucracy around renewing licences for already approved gun owners.

"We don't need to be involved in that part of it, because he (Mr Dempsey) guaranteed me that the laws were not going to be changed, it was not going to soften anything at all," he told AAP.
"I feel quite satisfied with the answer I got."

Premier Campbell Newman said the government would make gun laws tougher, particularly for people who carry concealed weapons or sawn-off shot guns.

But he said the panel's main focus would be making things easier for legal gun owners.
"At the moment there's a lot of red tape and bureaucracy for people who are law abiding gun owners," he told reporters on the Gold Coast on Wednesday.
Now, unfortunately for me, this is in on the otherside of the country in another State (and gun laws are basically State based), so any changes won't benefit me directly.  But I am happy to see that this is being raised and addressed in this country and hopefully other States will follow the lead in making things easier for "law abiding gun owners".

Source: emphasis mine.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bookweek Dress Up Day

Today is Bookweek Dress Up Day at the girls' school. Miss 10 has been reading MHI (and loving it), so she decided to dress up as a monster hunter. Miss 8 didn't want to miss out, so she's dressed up as one too:

(I did get them to leave the gun at home!)

Friday, August 17, 2012

This does not bode well for the future ...

On Wednesday night at cubs I was doing some "badge work" with various cubs. Our cubs work through three stages of boomerangs - bronze, silver and gold - and each have 14 different sections that the cubs need to complete.

I was reading this section out to the cub, to ask her if she has done anything in this area (this cub, by the way, is 9 years old):

"Demonstrate that you know how to do cleaning around the home, such as vacuuming, sweeping, washing up and cleaning the bathroom."

As I was reading it out - and the girl was shaking her head at each point - her mother came into the room (on some other errand), and said "What?".

I passed the book to the mother to show her what it said and her response was:

"I have a cleaner. Why should my daughter do cleaning if I don't?"

This may have been a rhetorical question by I was so stunned I sort of spluttered:

"Um, because maybe when she moves out of home and can't afford a cleaner she will need to know how to do these things."

Now I have heard of people not getting their kids to do chores before but I have never met anyone who actually lived that. I mean to be 9 years old and never swept?!? or done the dishes?!? To me that is very scary.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

You never want to see this ....

Drought! ...

Please remember the farmers across the US who are facing this sight and worse! Your thoughts and prayers are needed.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Science experiements again ...

Just had this conversation with Miss 8:

Miss 8: "Why did dad buy Mountain Dew?"

Me: "We want to make glow sticks with it."

Miss 8: "Okay"

She wasn't even surprised that we were planning to do some science experiements with Mountain Dew!

But yes, apparently, Mountain Dew, bicarb soda and peroxide creates glow sticks. We're going to give it a go a bit later on and see how much of each we need. Stay tuned.

[UPDATE]Apparently it doesn't work :( I should have checked out Snopes first! Oh well, it was fun to try[/UPDATE]

Friday, August 3, 2012

Along These Lines: How knot too right ...

As the new school year approaches, I would like to undress you all today concerning a serious education problem facing this nation — the inability of the younger generators to write properly.

It’s a very disturbing trend, because there is a vast suppository of knowledge lodged in the collective minds of today’s youth who desperately need to espresso themselves better.

Continue reading here.

Hattip Along these lines

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Who's Following Me #4

Today I'ld like to introduce you to Cocked and Loaded. The name alone should give you a pretty good idea of what the blog is about.

His profile states:
A conservative gun lover and lifetime sportsman from chatham county North Carolina. I am now spendinga great deal of time defending our 2nd Amendment and our freedom.

Which should remove any doubt that you're not dealing with a freedom-loving, gun-loving guy!

His blog is crammed full of links to various sites and articles. I always find a rabbit hole to disappear down whenever I visit.

Pop across and see what you can find and don't forget to say "hi"!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Slowly returning to the land of the living ....

But my head still hurts and don't ask me to talk yet ....

Hope the rest of you are all well! Keep away from people with the flu, you don't want it!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My head feels like it's going to explode ...

and for once, it's not due to rampent stupidity! Instead 'THE FLU' has hit ...
or something ...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Who's Following Me #3


Christina LMT was one of the first bloggers I actually communicated with via e-mail.

Her blog Lucrative Pain is always a good read. Sometimes it's about her work as a licensed massage therapist, sometimes her studies, her girls, shooting or just life in general.

If you've not read her blog yet please head over there and say "hi", I'm sure she'ld love to see you.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Who's Following Me #2

The next blogger I’ve decided to profile here is LL*.

His profile reads:

“Today, I balance work and play as much as anyone can. All things remaining equal, play is more important. Life is short - it's important to make every day count for something, if only to yourself. I'm a former tinker/tailor/soldier/sailor who has now decided that maybe it really wasn't all done for nothing.”

I like that philosophy … especially the “Life is short - it's important to make every day count for something, if only to yourself” bit. I think I need to remember it more, especially on Mondays when I find myself wishing it was Friday! Mustn’t wish all the days away.

LL actually has THREE blogs (!!!) so go check them out and say “hi”.
- My Journey
- Virtual Mirage ... which is an extension/explaination of his "My Journey" blog
- Our Republic

*For all those wonder how I choose whom to profile, it's random. Maybe once I've caught up I'll be able to do it when new followers join!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

That's another camp down

Just got back from the Scouts Radio Camp with a new HAM radio operator - yes Miss 10 passed her Foundation Licence and is looking forward to getting on air.

It was a very interesting weekend. There were 11 kids - Miss 10 was the only female - and two adults sitting for the exam. The course was very full - it started at the basics and went right through not only the "stuff you needed to know for the exam" but also additional information around the hobby.

I was impressed with the kids (mostly) and how they took it in. The days were long - basically started at 9am each day (well, except for the Friday as we only got there at 9am) and then worked through until about 10pm each night. Some of the older ones stayed up later than that too talking about radio.

I helped out with the cooking, sat in on the course and helped Miss 10 study. So the days were very full! Friday and Saturday were also freezing cold - however, thankfully, Saturday evening / night was quite warm (compared to the 2degC nights we've been having) so sleeping in the tent was actually enjoyable last night!

So now Miss 10 just needs to wait for the licence to arrive in the post and her birthday present :) (Yes, she now wants a handheld UHF/VHF radio for her birthday)!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

So what's the next gun on your 'to buy' list ...

I've decided that I'm going to buy a .223 next. Still haven't quite decided which one - but thanks to some great input from my friends in GBC the Remington 700 is moving to the top of the list.

But what about you - what gun is next on your "to buy" list ...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thoughts and prayers please

Miss 8 goes in tomorrow (Wednesday) for an operation on her ingrown toe nail - it's under a General so there are 'risks'.

Thanks :)

[Update]She's home - all went well. Thanks everyone![/UPDATE]

Monday, July 16, 2012

Who's Following Me ... #1

My "followers" list has hit 80 members (go me!) ... So I thought it was about time that I had a look through the list to see who was actually there and do a bit of a profile on each one ... well each one with a web address that doesn't take me to porn sites! (Anyone know how to cull followers?).

The first one that I've chosed to look at is A Girl and Her Gun.

Her brief bio reads: "I am a girl with a gun who believes strongly in my right to keep and bear arms as protected by the 2nd Amendment. This is my journey from a girl who was afraid of guns to a girl who carries one."

More of her story can be found in this post.

She started blogging in March of 2011 and has a very practical and personable approach. So if you've not read her yet pop across and say hi, I'm sure she won't mind you looking around.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Okay, I'll play ....

OldNFO has a map up of the countries he's been to.  Mine is not so impressive but I thought I would share anyway.  (Note, I excluded places where I only saw aiport terminals).

visited 20 states (8.88%)
Create your own visited map of The World.

Just done Shooting Buddy's:

visited 34 states (15.1%)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Prayers Needed

One of the bloggers I read regularly - Tin Can Assassin - has been airlifted to hospital with a suspected heart attack.  Please add your thoughts and prayers to mine.

[UPDATE] Thanks everyone - he's now posting from the ICU and complaining about the lack of bacon, which is a good sign :) [/UPDATE]

There are nice people in this world ....

Recently I blogged about getting an E-Reader and was asking for advice on what to look for etc. One evening shortly after this we were discussing it in GBC chat and a member there mentioned that he had a spare Kindle which he was happy for me to have if I paid postage!

After double checking that he was really, really, really, sure about this idea I said "thanks" and bought something that he was after off Amazon to the value of the postage.

Last Friday a package turns up with a Kindle in it - woo hoo !!!!!!!!  The girls were all over it especially the cover - it's  the HHGTTG "Don't Panic" one! 

So here's a big thanks to a fellow gunblogger :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Miss 8 Strikes Again

Miss 8 has just brought her breakfast bowl into the kitchen:

Me: "Thanks Love, you know what to do now?"

Miss 8 "Yes, unfortunately"

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Miss 8's Latest Observations

"Sometimes I just wish it was Friday"

Friday, June 29, 2012

Stunning .....

Here is a stunning picture by Victorian photographer Lincoln Harrison. 
Click here for the story and here for more pictures.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New internet game

.... here ... but  now I have to remember which blogs still use the captcha so I can play ...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lamingtons - Take 1

Pro-Tip:  When I put "Take #" in the title you know it's probably not good news!

Miss 10 has a class party tomorrow, which we found out about on Friday, and she wanted to make and take in Lamingtons.

So on Saturday we made a lamington sponge recipe (from the Country Women's Association cookbook) to leave for a couple of days and today we were going to ice it.

I had put it in what I thought was an airtight container.  Unfortunately, we have some clever ants in this part of the world and they had found their way inside the container :(

Major disappointment when I had to throw all of the cake out :( ...

Hubby was despatched to locate a sponge cake down at the local shops which could be used instead - however, the best he could do was a jam roll.

So we iced that - after a minor disaster with the icing (we had followed a recipe for that but the quantities were way off) :( ... The second batch of icing was better ... so hopefully tomorrow we'll be able to slice the jam roll and she can take that in instead.

I don't often makes cakes or similar ... and I'm thinking we need more practice!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bleg ... E-Reader Opinions

Looking to get an E-Reader.  I've heard of Kindles and I was reading about the Kindle Touch - seems that there are two versions available, Kindle Touch for $185 and Kindle Touch 3G for $249.

I'm guessing the 3G has wireless Internet built it? .... Is that a reason to buy it (we have wireless in the house)? ...

Are there other brands / models that are better?

Looking for advice and opinions. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012


I made some vegetable soup yesterday and as hubby was blending it I put some sliced jalapenos in.  Maybe a few too many ...

Hubby, Miss 10 and I added in a couple of spoonfuls of coconut cream into our bowls to make it not quite so hot - Miss 8, on the other hand, put a couple of pinches of salt in and then ate it all up!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

One down ... three, no five to go ....

Remember the other day when I posted that I had four camps between now and mid-August?  (Here, for those that don't).

Well, I went on the first of them this last weekend.  The location was at Vasse - just south of Busselton - about 240kms from my place.

As the girls had basketball training on the Friday afternoon we didn't get away until around 6.30pm.  We also had the Scout Group Leader from our troop and another kid to take down too.  The drive wasn't too bad - there was a lot of traffic because it was the start of a long weekend, but it was flowing generally smoothly.

We arrived at camp shortly after the others,who had travelled down in convoy, and got to putting up the tents etc.  Didn't really get a good look at the place until the next morning as you can't see much by torchlight.

We had a group of 7 scouts and 4 leaders (a fifth one was there for part of the camp).  And we were camping with another troop of 12 scouts (two of which were from yet another troop) and they had come down with a number of families - so there were parents and siblings too.

Saturday was a 'relax' day - so the kids mainly spent their time on the beach ...
This was the beach before the kids got there - when they were still all asleep :)

On the Saturday night, the "Adults" patrol were responsible for cooking - we did three roasts, lamb, chicken & roo and lots and lots of roast vegetables.  It was a stunning meal (if I do say so myself).  Left over veggies got turned into soup which was totally delicious.

On Sunday we went to Ellenbrook Homestead - which was about 50kms from the campsite - with the idea of doing a short hike from there to a waterfall.  However, unfortunately the path was closed due to reconstruction. 

The kids (and kid-like adults) had fun playing on the grass and climbing trees - yes there are scouts and leaders in the tree below!  (No neither Miss 10 nor I climbed it).

On Sunday night we had a campfire led by the Venturer who had come along with the other troop.  It was probably the best campfire that I have ever been to - so that was really enjoyable.

Monday saw us packing up and heading home (via Summos ice creamery) in Dunsborough.

It was a good weekend and I managed to get a number of things 'signed off' in my leader's training manual - so I'm closer to being a real leader now!

HOWEVER, I did discover that we have at least two more camps in the 'near' future.  One, probably on the first weekend in August, to give our scout troop additional skills and also there is a pre-Jamboree camp at sometime!

I'm going to be sick of camping by the end of Jamboree ...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I've been lynced

As you know I started a new job back in March.  The team I'm working with are based on the East Coast (of Australia) and while there is a company office here I don't have much to do with them, working generally either on client sites or from home.

Today I've had a number of "meetings" with people on the other side of the country held using a Microsoft program called Lync.  It's been great.  Easy to use and if you don't turn the video on you don't have to get out of your PJs.

My boss has just sent this through ... I loled ...

So very true ....

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Kiddie Update #1

Here's Miss 8 at her horse riding lesson yesterday ....
It's the first time she's ridden without a saddle and it's on a horse she's never ridden before!  She did slide off twice - which was quite funny - but as you can see she's enjoying herself.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Just wanted to say a quick welcome to all those popping in from Stephen's place "Standing outside looking in".

I've not written much this week - tied up with work and sick kids - but I generally try to post a couple of times a week.  So pull up a chair and have a look through the archives!

And for my readers who haven't visited Stephen's place - I recommend you do.  He's a great guy with lots to say!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bucket Lists for Kids

Blogsurfing found me at "50 Things to do before you're 12" and "Bucket list for kids: 50 things to do before they're 12".

Reading through the lists and the comments was interesting and left me with the distinct impression that kids should get outside more and be responsible.

Some of them do concern me - especially the 'go swimming without a parent around' type.  I'm not sure I'ld be happy with the girls going swimming without adult supervision, even thought they're both strong swimmers.

I think the girls have done a lot of the things on the list - mainly because we, as a family, enjoy camping and Cubs & Scouts encourage a lot of the same activities.  However, when I get some time, I'll sit down with the girls and go through the lists and comments and see if there are any others that they want to do.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Camping is great

It is ... really ... but not in winter!  Somehow I've managed to sign up for 4 (yes FOUR) camps - all under canvas - between the beginning of June and the middle of August!?!

The first one is a three night camp with the Scout Troop; the second is a two night Scout Leader Training Camp; then there's a two night Scout Radio Operators Badge Camp (I wasn't planning on going on this, but Miss 10 couldn't register as they didn't have a female leader / parent going) and then finally we have a two night Cub Scout Camp!

There is also an overnight hike happening sometime within this period too - but I think I'm going to pass on that!

I'm hoping that this will be a very odd winter with unusually warm and dry weekends :)

Stay tuned for reports!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I know this ... but

Just got back from the range.  Sometimes it seems such a hassle to get there.  There's always other stuff to do, and sometimes it feels too hard.

BUT I KNOW that when I make the effort and actually get up there that I'll enjoy myself ... and then I wonder why I've put it off for so long!

To keep your firearms licence (handgun) here you have to shoot in a competition every 8 weeks.  My club runs weekly competitions on Saturday afternoon / Sunday morning (they used to also do it on Wednesday afternoons - which I really enjoyed).  To meet the one-in-eight requirement I had to shoot today.  Even up to 10 minutes before I left I really, really couldn't be bothered.

But Shooting Buddy was here (and he needed to shoot as well), so we headed to the range.

There weren't that many people, so we ended up squadding with three other people only - two were ex-trainees of ours, and the third was a recent graduate of the current trainer.  It was a great squad to be in.  Everyone was easy going (but safe), and they all jumped in and helped.  We also acquired a 'visitor' who ended up hanging out with us for most of the shoot and helped out as well.

There were four stages.  The first we shot was an 'el president'.  The second was all steel - shot from a little room with a foot activated door.  The door - metal - was a bit tricky as it swung hard open when you activated the foot pedal and then started to swing back closed - eek!  The third and fourth stages were larger stages (16 targets per) and trickier.  I didn't enjoy ROing the last stage as it you couldn't safely follow the shooter adequately.  This was okay for ROing the more experienced shooters (but not ideal) and with a recent graduate it wasn't good.  He however, did great and we had no issues.

At the end Shooting Buddy and I let the visitor have a go with our 9mms and then hooked him up with another member with an Open 38super gun.  He loved that :)  Nice to see the "new shooter smile".

So all-in-all a great day - just need to remember this for next time when I'm trying to talk myself into going!

[UPDATE]Just wanted to welcome all those coming via Tam's place.  Nice to see you here![/UPDATE]

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Contacts lost ....

My phone died last Friday and with it all my contact details (yer, I know, I know).

So if you have my number (it hasn't changed) and would like me to have yours again, please message me with your name and number and I'll store it in the new phone.

(No it's not an iPhone - got one of those for work and that's enough!).

Monday, May 7, 2012

Drunken penguin prank ruined my Aussie dream, says Welsh tourist

That's the title of the "news" article.  Excuse me for not feeling the slightest bit of sympathy for Mr Rhys Jones.

Basically, while DRUNK, cretin Jones and his misfit mate Mules "... were part of a group that broke into the aquatic park, set off a fire extinguisher in the shark tank and swum with dolphins before grabbing Dirk"

Dirk, being a penguin.

The next day poor Mr Jones says "...  I woke up that morning, grabbed my wallet, went to get changed, opened my cupboard and there was a bloody penguin in my cupboard -- in my walk-in wardrobe".

So what did the fine upstanding choir boy do next?  Ring the Police? The Zoo? Animal protection of some sort?  NO.  I mean that might lead to having to take RESPONSIBILITY for your ACTIONS! ... No they " panicked and released Dirk in shark-infested waters."

Sure, yer, right, "let's get rid of it", "let's hide the evidence", "then no one will know" ... we can all imagine the conversation that preceded this bit of upstanding citizenship.

Thankfully, Dirk was found, unharmed (no thanks to these idiots) and returned to the zoo.

Jones and Mules well "They were fined AU$1000, no conviction was recorded and they were allowed to stay in Australia."

Gee great thanks.  Now all the Welsh miscreants back home will be planning on how they can beat this one!

Oh and they're crying into their beer that their holiday was disrupted.  Poor boys.

[Update]Now I was wondering how these poor unfortunates came to be charged, seeing as the "problem of the penguin in the wardrobe" was apparently solved. So I went googling. And, yep you guessed it. They posted it on Facebook! Article is here.[/UPDATE]

Friday, May 4, 2012

Mindset ....

What can we learn from this news article? ...

Women targeted by armed sex attacker in West Perth

POLICE believe the same man is responsible for separate attacks on two women in West Perth.

In the first incident March 30, a woman was sexually assaulted by a man carrying what was believed to be a handgun.

The 19-year-old was walking along Ord Street at about 8.30pm when the man approached her and lifted his shirt to reveal what appeared to be a handgun tucked into the waistband of his trousers.

He then sexually assaulted her in a nearby alley.

On Sunday April 29, a 26-year-old woman walking along Colin Street about 4.15pm and confronted in similar circumstances.

The man also lifted his jumper to reveal what looked like a handgun.

The woman threw her handbag at him and ran away.

Police say the man was seen riding off on a motorcycle which had been parked on Emerald Terrace.

The woman's Gucci handbag has not been found.

Police believe the offences were committed by the same man, who is described as being aged between 35 to 45 years, with fair skin, about 175cm to 185cm tall, and a medium build.

He was wearing a pair of grey knee-length shorts, a dark hooded jumper and a baseball cap during the first attack.

During the second incident, he was wearing a pair of grey knee-length shorts, a grey hooded jumper, baseball cap, and sunglasses.

On both occasions he was carrying a black backpack.

Anyone who saw the man in the area or has any information is asked to contact crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

(BTW this is right near where I work - when I go into work!)