Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Long Day's Drive

Yesterday I spent the bulk of the day on the road. What I thought would be a leisurely 6 hour drive down the coast road, ended up being a 10 hour slugfest of sitting on my fat arse in a car, cursing roadworks and caravan drivers who hog the road and sit below the speed limit. I did the last 5 hour stint with about 2 five minute breaks, with the main intent just to "get there."

"There" is Millfield in New South Wales. One of my mates, Erv, has taken his family on a slight sabatical from regular city life. He and his wife have converted an old church hall into an open living space. They have magnificent views out the back of the hall to the surrounding valley and hillside. They've been living there as their main place of residence over the course of this year. Country living at its finest.

There are 12 blokes here, including myself. Last night was the first time we've all been together this year so most of the evening was spent reminiscing and talking crap from 20 years ago. One of the guys also had DVD's of our exploits from our youth, so we spent a good hour reviewing what we did back in the mid 80's. Today is the AFL Grand Final. Although I thought it would be a day of feasting and drinking, 8 of the 12 got up and went for a run this morning. Maybe 40 is the sign of a health change!

Ciao for Now, Yes I Was A Runner Angry Dad.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Boy's Weekend

This weekend is the AFL Grand Final weekend. As is tradition, most of my mates from high school try to get together to watch the game. This year, we're doing it in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales. It is a major exercise, with a number of people coming in from Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Singapore. We have all been friends for over 20 years now, although we're pretty dispersed at the moment.

I've made the mistake of deciding to drive down to meet everyone. That means that today's activities will include a 9 hour drive down the coast road from Brisbane. This will be repeated on the return journey on Sunday. And at the moment, I'm stupidly staying up late as I had some work e-mails to catch up on. As it has run into Friday, I figured I could get my "next day" post in late at night!

Trust me, I know. For 3 days out with the boys I owe Anth Big Time.

Ciao for Now, the man with no hand Angry Dad.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Joey Jumper

While I was away last week, I got the opportunity to take this photo of a kangaroo with a Joey in its pouch. You can just make it out, with the little paws sticking out between the mother kangaroo's legs. The kangaroos around the resort are still wild, and won't let you pat them, but they are somewhat acclimatised to humans now due to the decline of their natural habitat in the area.

The reason I'm bringing this up is because Ethan has a stuffed toy Kangaroo called Joey Jumper. He came as part of a set, with mother, and joey together. Obviously, the joey fits in the mother's pouch as well. Once he got set free, he became Joey Jumper. Joey Jumper goes with Ethan to most places. He went with Ethan up to Grandma's for his stay there over the last few days. When I went to get him today, he got quite distraught that we might have left Joey Jumper behind until Grandma assured him he was safely tucked away in his bag.

I think Ethan must have gotten his love of stuffed animals from his mother, who has quite a large collection. He does have other favourites aside from Joey Jumper. These also include "Cosi" the stuffed Tiger and "Batty" the stuffed vampire bat. Although he has teddy bears, they aren't quite in the same league as these others.

Ciao for Now, Stuff Me Angry Dad.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The inspirational Terri Irwin

We all learnt of the unfortunate passing of Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, just over two weeks ago. This evening, Steve's wife Terri Irwin spoke about his life and his passing. This was done in an emotional interview with Ray Martin held on Australian television. I understand she had a similar interview with Barbara Walters for American TV.

Both Anth and I sat on the couch and bawled through most of it. I had to get up half way through and go and do the dishes. I think that in having kids yourself, it strikes a chord when someone else speaks about losing their loved ones. If I lost Anth, I don't know how I'd cope myself, let alone wondering about how I'd look after the kids - and having to be strong for them. I'm also not that naive to know that you do have to be strong, and as you get older, and that miniscule bit wiser, you realise that death is an unfortunate part of life.

The heartening thing about Terri was that she was real. She held Steve's legacy high. She showed the emotion of all that had occurred over the past month, wearing her heart on her sleeve and baring it all for us to see. But I didn't feel like a voyeur. I just wanted to reach out and help her, and I know that she will have a world of support behind her. Australia Zoo will be greater for the unfortunate loss, and the legacy will live on. We can all be wildlife warriors too.

Ciao for Now, Still Sad Angry Dad.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Don't feed the baby raw potato

This evening I did a bit of a fry up. We had chicken schnitzel for dinner, so I fried that up, and I also thought I'd chop up some potatoes and make french fries. We did also have salad mixed in with the delivery to give the meal a semblance of health. I learnt a valuable lesson tonight. Don't feed your baby raw potato. Baby's can't swallow raw potato. It gets stuck in their throat and they choke. And when they choke, they eventually spit out the potato, and most of what else they've eaten over the course of the day.

It amazes me what Callum will shove down his throat, given a chance. He always wants to go outside when we're feeding Wednesday which is bad on two fronts. Firstly, Wednesday doesn't like the kids touching her dog bowl when she's eating, which is fair enough. I don't like the kids touching my plate when I'm eating. We're both territorial. Secondly, I don't want him to eat her dog food and get dog food breath. Who wants to hold a baby with dog food breath? Its bad enough the dog has dog food breath and we still have to pat her!

We've tried to ensure that all the small pieces of kids toys are out of the way. That doesn't stop Callum find new and wondrous things to put in his gob. Last night, one of the ends of a curtain rail was on the floor. I have no idea how he got up the curtains to pull that off (probably one of the older kids did it!). Apparently, he was sticking it on the end of his finger and laughing hysterically about it. Then he put it in his mouth. Fortunately, it still doesn't quite fit. Not like raw potato.

Ciao for Now, Soft Foods Only Angry Dad.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Flatulence and Burping

Is there ever an appropriate time to expel the gas from your stomach, either out your mouth or to let you arse go loose? Aidan has a habit of burping, particularly after drinking soft drinks like Diet Coke, and then saying very loudly "Excuse Me!" This seems to be the cue that everything is alright. He's not alone. All of us, even Callum, open our mouths and let the earth move with our loud expulsions.

It doesn't stop there. Sometimes, after we change Callum's nappy, due to the hustle and bustle of having to do it in a hurry, or having something else take your attention, a nappy may get left behind instead of being taken out to the bin. The other night, I walked into the hallway to go into Aidan's room, and sure enough there was the Pheee-ewwww smell. I yelled to Anth, asking whether she'd left a nappy behind, when Ethan piped up. "No, it was me. I did a stinky." Yeah, thanks for that.

But the worst one's have to be when your close in. Callum still occasionally does it after a bottle. He has it, then gets bottle eyes. Anyone with kids will know this is the delirium babies get when that milk kicks in. Then when they're finished, if you sit them up just right, they'll burp all over you. The trick is in not turning the burp into a spew. Similarly, if you're doing rough house play with your kids, never, ever, let their behinds get close to your head. That always ends up in a horrid smell, and giggles from everyone as you lie there choking.

Ciao for Now, All Stunk Out Angry Dad.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

One more day of drinking and feasting

You'd think that a first birthday party wouldn't run over four days, but it has. Today we did the run up to Noosa. Again we had a day of feasting at Grandma's expense. We were joined by my brother and his family. We had a full on barbecue with salads, chicken, lamb chops and sausages. This was of course followed on with a home made chocolate cake, strawberries and ice-cream.

By mid afternoon, Anth and I, feeling slightly bloated, still decided that we should go out and get some exercise. Leaving the kids in Grandma's care, we took off down to the Noosa Hill National Park and did the beach walk for about 6km. The scenery is just magnificent, with rainforest on one side and the ocean on the other. We tried to keep up an active pace so that we could counter the effects of food gorging!

So back we went to Grandmas, proud that we'd exercised at least some of the calories from lunch. Was it to no avail? Probably. We stayed on for dinner, which was basically the leftovers from lunch. More meat. More salads. More cake. I'm such a sucker for chocolate cake. Does it get any better than this? Four days of cake and ice-cream in a row! Maybe we should have another kid!!!

Ciao for Now, Fat and Bloated Angry Dad.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Punch

Have you ever scared someone by surprise? That kind of surprise where they definitely weren't expecting it? Anth took the kids to a McDonalds party this morning. The kids left one of the party blowers on the front seat. I don't know if that's the right term for them. I think in the party industry they're known as blowouts. Suffice to say, when you blow on them they make a loud honking sound.

All three kids were in the back of the car. Anth had gone back in the house to get Ethan's thongs. I picked up the blower just as she opened the car door. I blew on it as she went to sit down. Loudly. She jumped and said
"What the hell did you do that for? You scared the shit out of me!"

The only thing was that as she said it, her arm swung up and around, and she smacked me at the based of the shoulder in a full on punch. No mucking around. No how's your father. A straight up belting!

Ethan sat in the back seat crying, yelping "I'm scared. I'm scared." I don't know if it was me that frightened him, or the powerful might of his mother. Anth assured me it was because I'd frightened him as well. At least I know that if Anth ever was attempted to be mugged, she's sure as hell be able to fight off whoever was stupid enough to attempt it.

Ciao for Now, Ouchy Angry Dad.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Birthdays Everywhere

It seems like we have a spate of birthdays all around the same time. Today I had the advantage of being able to call my sister on the 22nd, even though her birthday was on the 21st, and still be able to get her on the right date. Confused? Well, because she lives in Florida, with the time difference I managed to still get her on her birthday. She and Callum share the same day. It was nice to catch up, although she did remind me that soon all of us kids will be middle aged!

In the next few weeks we have a number of the kids of the kids having birthdays. We also have them occurring on both sides of the family. And it isn't just the immediate family having birthdays. We're also finding that the kids are getting invited to a lot of parties at the moment.

I guess this is only natural given that we're coming into the 9-10 months from Christmas time frame. After all, Christmas isn't just the season for good cheer, it almost must be the season for bonking. Deck the halls and lay out the mistletoe. Only 3 months until Christmas! Hazzah!!

Ciao for Now, Can't wait for that new season Angry Dad.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

1st Birthday Boy

Around this time a year ago we had another baby boy in our arms. Today, one year on, we celebrated his first birthday. The year seems to have flown by. As today was a bit of a travel day, I spent a lot of it at home, which was nice as I got to have some baby time without the older boys around. Anth made a chocolate cake, so after we picked up Ethan from his school and Aidan had come home on his school bus we gathered around for the cake.

We did the traditional singing of Happy Birthday. Ethan then spat all over me as he went to blow the candles out. Fortunately it was over the top of the cake. Callum dug his fingers in to get a big scoop or chocolate icing. This meant the older boys wanted to do the same thing. I even managed to have a go and came out of it with nice chocolate lips.

We've also added to the 7000 million toys. Family and friends have dropped off a number of baby toys, and Anth and I have both added to the collection with lots of ride on or push toys. I'm not sure if we're meant to be encouraging him to walk, but we've done a good job of it. I'm sure that as anxious as we are for him to do it, we'll regret it when it comes!

Ciao for Now, Happy Birthday to Callum Angry Dad.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Family Portrait

Just before I went away for work, Ethan sat down at the kitchen table and proceeded to draw. He got out a black pen first. He drew a stick figure of me. He drew a stick figure of himself, then Anth, Aidan and Callum. He then got out all of his coloured pencils and drew a rainbow covering the whole family. He then got out his yellow pencil and drew the sun shining down on us. I'll have to take a picture and post it up. He then presented it to me, and left it on my bed so that as I packed my bag, I'd remember to take it with me. Of course, me being me, I did everything at the last minute in a big rush and nearly forgot.

Anth, being the sensitive, loving, caring wife that she is (and when she reads this she'll think I'm being a suck-job), made sure that I took the picture with me. I put it on the front seat of the car, and when I got up to the resort, I shifted it across into my notepad. I tried to find a place in the resort room where I could put it up, but couldn't really do that successfully. Instead I stuck it back into my notepad.

I'm reflecting on this now, as during one of our afternoon sessions, I noticed the coloured corner and pulled it out for another look. Its a great drawing, and I love how he drew everyone upright except for Callum! I also love the colours, and how everyone has a happy smile on their face. I can sit around in meetings all day, discussing changes and strategies and objectives and targets, but at the end of the day I'm in it for my family. God Bless 'Em. Everyone needs a drawing to keep them sane!

Ciao for Now, Rainbow Covered Angry Dad.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Few Days Away

Again I am away for work. This time, it is actually pleasurable in that I've been put up with a group of my peers at the Hyatt Regency Coolum. This is north of Brisbane, and the whole place is huge, with the main basis being as a golf resort. I hate golf. Not that we've had any opportunity to play golf, as we've spent a lot of time in conference rooms. Overall, its been quite fun and beneficial. Its what's known in the business as an Off Site.

This does, however, mean that I have to have a few days away. As I'm not far from Brisbane I have made a run back home. Last night, both Ethan and I had our new belt level presentations for Taekwondo. Ethan was really proud, and we were really proud of him, for reaching his next belt level. It was good because the whole family got to go along and watch him get presented. Even Aidan managed to be quiet for 2 minutes whilst we watched Ethan go up and get presented.

After this, I spent some time at home with Anth before coming back up to the resort. Today, I had the opportunity of spending a significant amount of time on a yacht off the coast of Mooloolaba. It was part of team building activities to learn how to crew a yacht and participate in a number of races. It was a long and de-stressing day. It wasn't that much hard work, and even though we came second, we did have a lot of fun. That was followed off with a nice bbq in the evening and some interesting conversations on work/life balance. I just need to put these into practice.

Ciao for Now, Chillin' Angry Dad.

Monday, September 18, 2006

7000 million toys

To quote Anth:
"We have 7000 million toys in this house, and he still plays with Aidan's DVD's, the toilet and the fridge!"

That's Callum for you. We have all the toys the older boys have accumulated over nearly ten years, as well as things we've gotten for him. These are all in our back rumpus room. Callum doesn't like going out there. He'd rather be where everyone else is. This also means that his main focus areas have fallen on Aidan's room, where he gets his nappy changed; the kids toilet, because for god knows what reason, the kids are in and out of there all the time; and the fridge, because its in the kitchen.

Aidan's DVDs always end up on the floor. Every time you pick them up, within the next 15 minutes Callum has gone in there and pulled them all off the shelf. There's no easy way around this, because Aidan likes them to be in a certain place. Callum can reach that certain place. The same with the toilet. There's only one place where the toilet paper can go. Callum doesn' think that its on the rack, rather, its all over the floor in a fun playful bundle.

The fridge is another big bugbear at the moment. All the soft fridge food has his finger prints in it. All the hard food invariably gets dragged out onto the floor, with little rat boy teeth marks in it. As I posted yesterday he is a rodent in the making.

Ciao for Now, Now Go Play Angry Dad.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sprung, Chocolate Boy

Yesterday evening a strange noise was emanating from our kitchen as Anthea and I sat watching television in the lounge room. It sounded like a large rodent was in their, scratching around. We didn't know where Callum was, but suspected that our large rodent may have in fact been a large baby. We also knew that Callum has a habit now of sneaking into the kitchen and making his way to both the pantry and the fridge. Imagine our surprise when we entered the kitchen, turned on the light, and saw the above sight.

Being genetically bred from both myself and Anth, it is not unusual that Callum would have inherited our chocolate gene. We didn't think it would have activated so early on. The signs had been there. We should note that Chocolate Ice Cream has been devoured in the past. In this case it wasn't your normal milk chocolate. It was the hard stuff. Dark Cooking Chocolate. Specifically purchase for chocolate mousse.

As you can see, that bitey taste wasn't going to stop him. He was going hard. His pupils had dilated. The taste was on his tongue. In his throat. Warming the cockles of his heart. He'd spread it across his face, and it wasn't Vegemite this time. It was sweet sweet chocolate, and god dammit he was going to get his fill. You would have thought he was a large rodent when I tried to take it off him. The teeth gnashed and gnawed. There was thrashing. I swear I even heard a growl and a saw a baring of teeth as I got close. He is my boy. He is our son.

Ciao for Now, Breeding Chocolate Boys Angry Dad.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Another grading

Today Ethan and I went for another Taekwondo grading. It is nice to know we've been consistent for most of this year. He went for his yellow belt, and I went for green. We're still in the first year, but I think we've both moved a little beyond beginner, which is pretty cool. It was overcast and rainy, so it was a bit colder than normal. Fortunately, they worked both of us pretty hard so we didn't really have to worry about the cold!

Ethan has come a long way since he first started. He now yells at the top of his voice whenever he has to punch or kick. Well, he does most of the time! I know he also loves to free spar, which I'm sure he's into because it means he gets to chase me, his mother or the dog around the house. His front kick is quite impressive too, as he can lift his leg up quite high. Every few months he seems to go through another stretching growth spurt, so its been interesting to chart his progress in technique along with his growth in height. The tall guys at taekwondo seem to have an extra oomph about them, although I don't think I'd want to have to fight any of the black belts in a dark alley!

We got to watch a number of students from our club grade, as well as a number from our club who were going for their black belts. Unfortunately, not all of them were successful. This was largely due to the amount of work that they got put through, including board breaks and almost half an hour of continual sparring. It is hard work, and I'm proud that in our group it showed you do have to earn it to get through. I'm sure those that didn't will keep striving!

Ciao for Now, Keepin' on Kickin' Angry Dad.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Out of reach, so far....

Callum is just about to turn one. It's now less than a week away. I remember when he used to be shorter. Yes, shorter. Callum is now at the age where he can stand and reach over the top of the table and bench ledges. This means things which are at that height which previously had been "safe", are now "safe" no longer. He made it through the cupboards, now he's on to the good stuff.

The good stuff usually revolves around food. This evening, I came home and prepared dinner. It was pretty simple. I'd gone to the shop and bought a roast chicken and some salads, so really all I had to do was dish it out. The main activity was cutting up Callum's dinner into small enough pieces that he wouldn't choke on it. Of course, at the time I was doing that, I already had put out everyone else's dinner. My mistake was leaving it on an area of the bench where little "Reachy's" fingers could reach up and grab at the plates, this tipping the contents all over the floor.

It didn't end after cleaning that up. We did manage to sit down and eat, with Callum under reasonable control by plonking him in his high chair. However, after the meal, I made the mistake of not clearing the table straight away. Up he went, and the next second I turned around and he had Aidan's drink cup in his hands. Then it was over him. And it was over the floor. Wet baby. Wet Floor. Mop and Bucket in Aisle 9.

Ciao for Now, No Longer Out Of Reach Angry Dad.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Brain Man

I've written about savants before and it what has always struck me is the amazing power of the brain as exhibited by these people. Tonight on Catalyst there was a story on the Wonders of the Brain, where they tracked a British autistic savant called Daniel Tammet. The unique difference with David and his abilities, which are predominantly in the mathematical and linguistics areas, is that he is able to describe how he is able to do what he does. He describes experiencing the numbers as colours or sensations, which is documented as synesthesia.

Part of what excites me about these people is purely selfish. Aidan had a brain seizure at 18 months old. His brain has recovered to some degree, although we believe he will always need special assistance. He hasn't exhibited any of these types of enhanced brain function, but Aidan was never diagnosed as autistic. If, through these people, we can learn more about the brain function, and its ability to repair then their may be opportunities to figure out ways to help Aidan's brain develop more.

In the years after Aidan's seizure, he has had MRI scans done on his brain. Although I don't profess to know how to analyse any of the results, our doctors have told us that they can see where the trauma occurred in Aidan's brain, but that the brain isn't dead in those areas. There is activity where the brain is repairing itself. If we can find ways and means of helping it repair faster, then it can only be a good thing. This is also why I'm a proponent of stem cell research. Aidan is away from home on camp this evening, and I also think part of the reason why I'm writing about this is because I miss him. He's our little bRain Man!

Ciao for Now, Missing Aidan Angry Dad.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

iPod Mania

A few weeks back I managed to get hold of an Apple iPod Nano. I wouldn't normally rave about a piece of technology, but this is one device I think is really cool. For a start, it comes beautifully packaged, and if a little music device could be considered beautiful in its own right, this would have to be it. The design is sensational. Mine is black, with the nice sleek lines, and it so thin its incredible.

I must be starting to show my age. I had one of the first tape walkman's, and also was lucky enough to get one of the first portable CD players on the market back in 1984. When I was much younger, I couldn't wait to get my hands on new stuff. Now I'm old school, I don't have the same enthusiasm, but that's not to say that new pieces of stuff don't still excite me. I'm still a bit eccentrically weird that way.

I also like to do nerdy things with it. One of the great annoyances of the iPod age is those people who sit there oblivious to those around them, and sing along in their tone deaf voices. I manage to compliment this with our iPod by not only singing, but playing the tuneless guitar along as well. I can sound just like Hunters and Collectors in my own ears, and Tiny Tim to everyone elses. Brilliant!

Ciao for Now, iPod Maniac Angry Dad.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


I have an amazing walk to work each morning. I park in a suburb on the edge of the city called New Farm. I walk up to the cliffs overlooking the Brisbane River, so get a view of the changing city each morning and evening, often with both day and evening vistas. Two weekends ago, the Brisbane newspaper had an article on snakes in New Farm. Since then, I've been looking for the snakes, and I found them on Friday. Today I took the camera in to take some shots. The above shot represents the view back to the city, so note the foliage in the foreground.

In that foliage, are a number of snakes. They are carpet pythons, so are quite harmless and docile. They've also got an excellent position. The fact that they live in the trees on the side of a cliff means they're unlikely to be moved on. If you click on the image above, you should be able to get a bit better definition, and you should see that this one was about 7 ft long. I wish I had the camera yesterday, as there were around 5 snakes lazing in the sun, with one that I think was closer to 10ft. I don't know the biology of the snakes, but I guess it was the mum!

I'd love to take Ethan down for a look. The great thing is that as you walk along the cliff top walk, you don't just see snakes, but also spiders and lizards on a warm day. You can even people watch if you want to. As much as I'm scared of a lot of creepy crawly insects, most of these ones are of the non-venomous variety, and in the main are far more scared of us than we of them.

Ciao for Now, Lovin' the Sexy Snakes Angry Dad.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Oh, the rain...

Today it rained. Nice rain, with big drops. We also got some on the weekend as well. It doesn't appear to have made a dent on our rain water reserves though. Queensland is in the midst of the worst drought on record. Water Forever, are reporting that our dams are only just above 27% capacity, as we're heading into Spring. If we don't get significant rain, which isn't predicted, then we'll move on to level 4 water restrictions. Some parts of Queensland are already at level 5, which basically means don't water your garden, put water in your pool, have long showers, wash the car. Everything is aimed at using water wisely.

Al Gore was on a local TV show tonight spruiking his movie, An Inconvenient Truth. I firmly believe that we are in the midst of climate change, and that we need to change our behaviours on a global scale to facilitate a future for our children. Will I see the movie? Maybe, maybe not. I prefer stuff like Clerks II, which is crass and funny, and the only mention of gaseous clouds would have been Randal commenting on Dante's behind. I'm not that much of an intellectual!

So back to the rain. Because it rains so infrequently, I can't bring myself to by an expensive umbrella. So instead, we have a collection of $2 brolleys. The one I normally use, after being turned inside out, finally gave out on me the other day. Therefore, today I swapped it for one Callum had been playing with. This morning, as I got out of the car for the walk to work, I opened it up and "Schmazo!" (what a cool expressive word!) the top popped off the umbrella, and I was left to try to hold a crappy sheet of plastic and half a metal frame as my only protection from the elements. Didn't work too well.

Ciao for Now, Drowned Rat Angry Dad.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Its tax time in Australia, but instead of getting my crap together so I can go and make some claims, I am spending my weekend doing family or other activities which take my mind off the pile of paperwork which needs to be sorted through. I've already delayed my tax agent once, and it looks like this next booking I've made will have to be cancelled as well. I don't think I'm unique in this, but the whole issue of procrastination is one which bogs me down.

Take today for example. I knew I had to do my tax, but I still set it up so Ethan and I would watch members of our Taekwondo class go for their Black Belt gradings. I have to admit that it was pretty cool. They got put through over one and a half hours of routines, patterns and review, and this was only the first half of their grading. Next week, they do the second half. That's also the time that Ethan and I go for our next grading levels.

It finished earlier than expected, so when we got home this morning, I decided that I needed to walk to the shops with Aidan. After that, lunch, then a four hour drive/visit to Grandma's. Then Anth had to go to a christening, so I had to look after the kids. So have I done my tax? Nup. I even spent an hour cleaning up the kitchen rather than doing it. The Taxman Cometh. Just not today.

Ciao for Now, Procrastinating Angry Dad.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The trouble with car parks

This morning was one of those rare occasions where all of us went out to the local shops together. Normally it is just me and Aidan who go and do the food shopping, but as Ethan had to get a haircut he, Anth and Callum also came along. We knew it was going to be trouble when as soon as we drove into the car park, Ethan started freaking out that this wasn't the place where he normally got his hair cut. He started bitchin' and moanin' about wanting to go somewhere else.

This set both Anthea and I off. Ethan is falling into a bad habit of sulking if he doesn't get his way. We both told him that "This was where he was getting his hair cut!" Of course, this set off the other kids. We got shafted for two car parks, in that other people pulled into them just as we got close. We managed to find one right on the edge of the car park zone, out in the sun, which was going to guarantee a nice hot car on our return.

Once we pulled in, Aidan kicked his door open. As I'd stupidly parked too close to the large utility truck next door, the door swung open and hit it. I jumped out and had a look. No dent, but a nice paint scrape was left on their door. There wasn't anything I could immediately do, except chastise Aidan. Maybe they wouldn't notice. I know I'd be pissed off if I came back to my car and it was scraped (which has happened). We went off, did our thing, and on our return there was the ominous note. "Blah Blah Blah... I have your details." It was our fault. Guess I'll wait and see what happens. I'm sure it will polish out.

Ciao for Now, That's what insurance is for Angry Dad.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Bad Moon Rising

What is it about a Full Moon? As it has approached, the kids have been even more hyper than normal. Last night at his special care, I arrived to find that Aidan had been put out into the quiet room at the back, where he most definitely wasn't being quiet. He apparently was put there, because as other parents came to collect their children, he started screaming. Great, just great. The staff there are excellent, so he wasn't being punished. They also told me that most of the kids were playing up, and they weren't sure why. Full Moon.

Tonight, Callum has been racing around like he's on speed. He also has had the screams up, and despite being tired and having been fed, he just won't go down. At the moment he's at my feet trying desperately to open some packaging with a doll in it, that Anth had bought as a gift for another baby girl. Even Ethan has been behaving like he's a werewolf. Full Moon.

This week has been quite a weird one. The untimely passing of Steve Irwin was sad, and today, Australia lost another icon in race car driver Peter Brock. Brocky was the equivalent of a Dale Earnhardt or Nigel Mansell. I grew up knowing all about his exploits as King of the Mountain. Its been a sad week. Perhaps this too was due to the Full Moon.

Ciao for Now, Howlin' Angry Dad.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Sharing a mint

Earlier this week I got our crap car serviced. We have a nice car, and we have a crap car. I get to drive the crap car. That's fine, as all I need it for is to get in and out from work, and I park it in the streets. Its a 12 year old Toyota Camry, which was good in its day, and is still incredibly reliable. Unfortunately, the paint work is starting to fade, and in terms of looks, could do with a face lift.

The service didn't turn up anything I wasn't expecting. I've got to get the brakes fixed. I let the oil run down far too low. There's a leak here and a leak there. I tried our a new service centre, and I was amazed that they actually provided service. Both blokes were really friendly, and to top it off, they actually washed the outside of the car and the engine bay, and vacuumed the inside of the car. They even deodorised it. Their only comment was that I must have had a number of small white haired dogs, to which I had to reply I only had one big black one. She's old, and she sheds.

The topper was that they put a handful of lollies in the cup holders. Ethan couldn't believe it. The crap car actually had lollies in it. So tonight, after we went and did Taekwondo practice, he even got to have the final one, a raspberry mint. The caring, sharing, kid that he is, he even offered to split it in half and share it with me. I was touched, but in the end I let him have the lot.

Ciao for Now, Minty Fresh Angry Dad.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Get Down, Get Down...

As I started this post, I couldn't help but hear Jungle Boogie by Kool and the Gang in my head. If you don't know the song, go and rent Pulp Fiction and you'll soon know what I'm talking about. The lyrics are about gettin' down. For today's activity, this was about gettin' off my fat arse from the couch, and gettin' down on the floor to Callum.

It is such a simple thing, but kids love it. It has to be the sole thing that you can do to get a kid to react to you. Get down to their level. Tonight, when I lay down on the floor to play with Callum, I soon had all three kids crawling over, around and under me. Ethan positioned my legs so he could crawl under them, and tried to coerce Callum to follow. Callum was too busy going over the top. Aidan just wanted someone to lean against whilst he tried to watch telly!

It them becomes oh so easy to roll over, and start crawling after the kids. As long as I wasn't getting distracted by the telly myself, I was able to chase them, have them chase me, and roll around having all sorts of fun. It sure beats sitting on the couch trying to hold a screaming child, and gives the added benefit of tuckering them out because you're playing at their level. In the end, rather than me running off on them, they ran off on me. Sometimes I'm just too much fun!

Ciao for Now, Gettin' Down Angry Dad.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Time Slip

When I was a kid I was fascinated with Time Travel. One of the first movies I saw was the original The Time Machine movie. Imagine being able to move about through time. This was kept up with TV shows such as Dr Who, and other movies like my favourite Back to the Future trilogy. However, all of these were about moving through time, not the concept of the Time Slip.

(queue spooky music here - maybe the Twilight Zone theme) The reason I bring this up, is that today I think I had a time slip moment. I was walking down the street near work on my way home, and about 10 metres from the intersection, everything seemed to jump forward about 1/2 a second. My foot, which had been mid stride, was now on the ground. There was a woman next to me who I'm sure wasn't there a second before, and the traffic flow seemed to have changed around me. Maybe I did smoke too much hooch back in college. But I swear, I never inhaled. Honest.

This scenario has come up before in Science Fiction, most notably A kind of stopwatch on the aforementioned Twilight Zone. I best remember this from the Simpson's, in a Treehouse of Horror episode where Bart and Milhouse buy a stopwatch from a comic book which allows them to stop time. I reckon that if I did have the ability to stop time, I'd do exactly what they did, albeit there would probably be a lot more stripping people naked, restarting time to watch their expression, and then redressing them! Yes, I am a bastard! At least I didn't end up naked in my time slip.

Ciao for Now, Time keeps on slipping into the future Angry Dad.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Vale, Steve Irwin

I was shocked today to hear of the passing of Steve Irwin, otherwise known as The Crocodile Hunter. I got an e-mail at work, which I first thought was a hoax. How could he be killed by a stingray? That's not a crocodile! This was then followed by a phone call from Anth, where she left a message asking me if I had heard it or not. There was a buzz around the office at work as most people heard the news, and with most people commenting on how they thought he was indestructible, given all the things we'd known and seen he'd done. Just last week there was a representative from Australia Zoo, at our worksite giving an environmental lecture on the work the zoo does with injured animals, even bringing in a koala.

Some people in Australia thought Steve was too loud and too brash. Sometimes, we suffer from a cultural cringe. I liked him because he was loud and passionate. At first, I must admit I thought he was too much of a larikin, but once you scratched below the surface of the media face, you found an amazing human being. I think that is why most Australian's are so shocked. My views were mostly set by Andrew Denton's interviews with him, and separately with his wife Terri. From these I realised that here was a man who not only was passionate about wildlife, he obviously loved his wife and family dearly.

Steve was not without controversy. The infamous incident he had holding baby Bob in a crocodile pen whilst feeding a crocodile knocked him down a peg or too. I'm sure in that instance the baby was safe, although I didn't agree with everything he did. He did, however, share his passion with the world. His TV series, and the Australia Zoo are testament to that. I've only been once, but Anth and the kids have been many times as whenever people come to visit, they want to go to his Zoo. It's only 50km up the road from where I live, so its not too far, and it really is magnificent. He also had bought up thousands of acres in Australia and around the world as sanctuaries for wildlife. One can only hope his legacy will remain and be continued by those that knew him. My condolences, along with many Australians, are passed to his family.

Ciao for Now, Saddened Angry Dad.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Spring Swimming

You're kidding me right? We're only three days out of Winter, and my kid has decided that it would be fun to go swimming. I thought he was crazy. This afternoon when we went out to do some work around the pool, Ethan decided that he would go swimming. He hunted through all the pool toys, and got out his goggles, and then he jumped right in. I don't get it at all because it would have been lucky to have been 15 degrees in the water.

That's not to say it hasn't been hot. We finally got some rain this week, and that meant that there was more muck in the pool than normal. My Dad had done a lot of cleaning around the pool, but there were still some plan fronds that needed cutting up. I even got out the pool scoop, and posed while Anth took a photo. After the photo, I of course put the pool scoop back in its rightful place of leaning against the house. No job is too small that it can't be left until tomorrow.

Ethan kicked around in the pool for nearly an hour. It was Australian Father's day today, so I pretty got to do what I wanted to do. Its sad to think that I had been meaning to do work in the pool area for months, and I left it to today to do. I think I did it to work out my frustrations of my football team, Carlton, winning the wooden spoon again. *Sigh*. Next year Blues.

Ciao for Now, Not Swimming Angry Dad.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree

This afternoon I took Callum, Ethan and Aidan down to the park to have a kick of the soccer ball. We dragged Wednesday along with us. We spent a while playing basketball with the soccer ball, and then went to the playground where I gave Callum his first swing with me. He freaked me out by leaning backwards for most of it, so he pretty much swang like he was a plank. At least he was happy. Even Wednesday had fun sniffing other dog's butts.

On the way home three kookaburra's flew into a gum tree at the end of the street, and perched themselves on the top branches. Straight away they started to do their laughing call. I called to the boys, "Look! Kookaburras! See Them?" Callum couldn't have given a rats. Ethan was too busy trying to drag Wednesday up the street to the house, but Aidan turned to me and started singing.
"Kookaburra sits in the old gummm tree.
Merry Merry bird and he goes to schoool."

This is a well known Australian nursery rhyme. When quizzed, Aidan told me that he sang it at school. I was impressed at how well he knew it, as although the words weren't quite right, he got the tune. The real words are:
"Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Merry, merry king of the bush is he
Laugh, Kookaburra! Laugh! Kookaburra!
Gay your life must be" by Marion Sinclair

Ciao for Now, Kookaburra Laughing Angry Dad.

Art, Wine and Cheese Night

I don't normally miss a daily blog post, but tonight I've gone over time. So officially this is a post for Friday the 1st September, although its now 12:30am and we're into the 2nd. There's a good reason for this. Tonight, Anth and I went to an Art, Wine and Cheese Night. The great thing about tonight was it was for Aidan's Special School as a fundraiser, and on top of that, Anth was one of the main organisers. They weren't really sure how successful a night it was going to be, but with over 100 attendees and a lot of furious bidding on the artwork, it was the most successful fundraiser run at the school! Anth and the other Mum's (5 in all) who did the bulk of the organisation should be justifiably proud.

Each of the kids school rooms did a main picture, like the one above from Aidan's room. Each painting also came with a story. Individually each kid also did a painting which they could claim as their own. On the night, they had an auction for each of the room paintings, and some of them were quite spectacular. Some were more abstract than others, with the highest bidded painting going for $500. This was way above expectations, as the average price they budgeted for the paintings was $25. Most went for over $100, although I believe the average was up around $150. The great thing about this is that as a successful fundraiser, the funds go into more equipment for the special school.

I'm not a huge fan of some of the fundraiser things we get sent home. I loathe having to sell raffle tickets, and if I see one more box of fundraiser chocolates I'll choke on a chocolate bar. But in this instance, it was different, it was fun, and for those who managed to have the highest bids on paintings, they came away with a definite sense of worth with what they'd got, and the knowledge they were helping a great cause. A great night.

Ciao for Now, So Proud of his Charity Wife Angry Dad.