Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ye Olde Pile of Vomite

The last two days have been blissful. No commitments; lots of reading; light cooking and generous eating.

I've almost finished Mick Wall's When Giants Walked the Earth, a biography of Led Zeppelin. The book is a journey from confidence to success to swagger and then to arrogance to the point of disappearing up their own arses. And lo, what arses they were! Don't get me wrong - the gap between art and artist doesn't degrade the art for me. When the Levee Breaks still sounds like John Bonham traded his soul for a messianic drum sound, but that doesn't stop him being a wanker. (You can just hear that messianic drum sound sampled in the video in this previous post...)

This afternoon was spent on a drive through the Dandenongs, which is when I realised I wasn't really old enough to enjoy the Dandenongs. Too many self-described "cottages"; too many Devonshire teas; Tooe Manye Extraneous Seconde Vowelles; too many spas, aromatherapy and massage opportunities. The hills and forests are, of course, verdant and beautiful, but Olinda was a car park for the middle-aged. From the back seat E said "It's very quaint... maybe too quaint...". I am very proud of my daughter...

We were escaping Death by Twee when I remembered the last time I was in Olinda when

Mark, Bianca and I visited Olinda Falls. Mushrooms and herbal tea; lots of giggling, magically disappearing Scandanavian tourists and Bianca and I laughing at Mark, who was changing size every time he walked behind a tree or turned a corner on the other side of valley. Very different to Ye Olde Afternoone Tea Cottage, Hemorrhoide Creame Upon Requeste.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day

Post rosbif and the perfect Christmas dinner. Standing rib eye, roasted perfectly, roast potatoes, Carrots Vichy and zucchini with garlic. We've spent almost the whole day here - my only excursion was to the paper mills to drop off boxes and wrapping. I suppose in the ideal world I'd wait until Boxing Day.

Last night was dinner with my family at Viewbank. Roast pork, turkey, champagne, mum and dad and my sister's family. Saturday night was at Chez Kew for a pre-Christmas do.

This morning was a most relaxed morning...

Given the perfect t-shirt...

Name-tag style it says, "Hello, my name is... Inigo Montoya... You killed my father... Prepare to die..."

Al, Emmy and Will were all perky in the morning and this lasted pretty much all day.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Today's kinder quotes

Two quotes for the day:
  • W (4), returning home to discover "Wallace and Gromit - The Wrong Trousers" on the teev:
"This is the show with the crafty penguin!"
  • E (11), washing dishes and coming across a Strange Device (a salad spinner):
"If I didn't know what this was for, I'd ask what this was for!"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Radio radio radio

I've just returned from doing 45 minutes on a community radio program devoted to bike riding to talk about the Great Big Plan. A friendly chat, really.

Other than work, today has been spent trying to get movie editor software that handles .mov files - the one that came with the camera is rubbish (can't edit individual clips, can't edit music...). Will get there...

Monday, December 15, 2008

F's new camera

textileseahorse has a new camera. She took the above, wonderful photo of progeny W...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

...and what a week it's been

OK, time for a bullet-point list, if I'm to summarize the week:
  • Monday - we launched the Great Big Plan, which included a stakeholder launch by the Premier, followed up by a press conference. My team (a) got the words right; (b) got a few of our green initiatives adopted; and (c) organised all the events. A day of going nuts. This was also the day we collected number one son from an embarrassing locale...
  • Tuesday - Not a bad day, but ruthlessly long. A and I up at 5.00am to do the last cleaning at Collingwood. Three staff briefings on the Great Big Plan, again organised by folks who (laughably) call me the boss, followed by a drive to Prahran to return the keys to Collingwood. Sometime soon I'll find out if I cleaned enough to get my bond back...
  • Wednesday - The day was dominated by two department forums to about 700 - 800 people (in total), at which I both presented a film about the Economics and Transport Modeling team and, because the leadership team had to talk about themselves, spoke about myself for 20 seconds. I said (and this may not be word perfect):
  • "I'm 42, live in Chez Thorn with three children, three cats, two chickens and a Labrador called Bill. I'm also the token introvert on the leadership team. I have a great conceptual mind, but often wonder where I've left my car keys. This is the most fun I've ever had at work, and until they create the role of Philosopher-General, I'm staying here as long as I can."
  • I got two bits of feedback that made me smile. The first was from someone I used to work with who said, "you guys looked so relaxed on stage together - you obviously like each other", which is true. The second was a more personal one. James, who had introduced himself as the "baby of the leadership team" (and five years younger than self), was told later that I look ten years younger than he. It may not be true -trust me, it's not - but it made me laugh to hear it.
  • On Wednesday night, I was there to brief a community/local council group on the Great Big Plan. Almost two hours of light, aggressive questioning ("why aren't you greener? nicer? better?"), I was allowed to leave.
  • Thursday - I can't remember the morning, but the afternoon was spent at our division Christmas drinks. I spoke for maybe three minutes (I promised it wouldn't be too long) about the last few months and what we'd achieved etc etc... Jim, Brandon and Terry turned up, and one of our Ministers gatecrashed, which was flattering in a strange kind of way. It turned into a long evening which is, I suppose, the measure of success with a Christmas party.
  • Friday -I got a lot of paperwork done and met with the aforementioned gatecrashing Minister and a stakeholder we thought we had pissed right off with the Great Big Plan (because it wasn't big enough). Some friendly discussion later, the relationship was restored and we all returned to civilian life.
  • Saturday- I got my hair cut. Honestly, who cares?
  • Sunday (today) - The slow yet relentless march towards merging two households continues, although at the moment I feel like I am breaking more eggs than I will ever need for omelets. The pile of boxes is at least getting smaller, and one week after the major furniture move, I must be grateful for small mercies. An afternoon was spent at the Rod Laver Arena watching the Wiggles. The last time I saw the Wiggles was more than 10 years ago, having taken a young Alex. It was in the gym of a primary school in the northern suburbs of Canberra, a few years before they became the powerhouse they are now (*laugh now*). Now, of course, it's in a 16,000 seat stadium. A big stadium and big production values is actually a big improvement... Photos, and some additional words, can be found at textile seahorse.
What a week... Time for spleep...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Last year's zeitgeist

Accessed here.

LOLcats aside, this does speak to me of recursion; this does speak to me of recursion; this does speak to me of recursion... etc

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Serenity to chaos

Serenity is sitting on a couch with glass of wine resting on its arm, Siamese on lap, watching telly quietly.

Chaos, on the other hand, is a Labrador racing into room, Siamese leaping off lap, knocking over the glass, leaving only a pool of broken glass and wine.

Fare thee well, Collingwood

The last few days I've been flat out like a flat thing that's just been run over by a large flattening device, having recently celebrated winning the "Miss Flatland 2-D Championship" by being particularly flat. Quite busy, in a word (or two).

Friday Dad helped me move all the furniture out of Collingwood and into Chez Thorn. A skip was ordered to remove 20 years of crap from the repositorial manor, much of which had been taken to Canberra in 1991, returned to Rosanna in 2000, moved to Chez Thorn (Mk1) in 2001 and on to Chez Thorn proper in 2002 and still resides neatly in boxes in the shed, spacious and unloved. An indictment on materialism, probably.

Saturday was spent filling said skip, before dropping kidlets off at mum and dads and going to A Day on the Green to see the Hoodoo Gurus and the Angels. For more detail, and some rather fetching photos, see textile seahorse's posting. I'm the one in paisley.

Betwixt stage and bar, I bumped into a former Ministerial advisor who is still fighting class battles that were waning when we were born. The points I won for attendance (honest, working class music) were stripped as soon as Raoul saw me off to the reserved section.

Today (Sunday) was spent removing the last of my goods and chattels from Collingwood and cleaning. Despite a relatively normal neurochemistry, I remain relentlessly cheerful.