All right kiddies, time to get out a permanent marker and start drawing on a new ‘border’ for Australia. The shape of our nation just changed. It seems the new shape of our land resembles a giant hand flipping the bird at the UN along with the poor and needy looking for refuge here.
It could also be drawn as giant bollocks.
Get to work on those maps.
No other country has ever done this before….
Oscar has never been camping.
It was time to fix that and today was to be the day.
A beautiful sunny day.
After Oscar got home from mothers group we began putting the tent up.
The tent is best put up with 2 adults.
1 adult and 1 4yr old does not equal 2 adults in fact in terms of productivity it equals negative 5 adults.
It was a long process, not only did I have to answer a billion questions about every little thing i did, the amount of little things i had to do increased 65 fold due to little hands moving pegs, poles etc to different parts of the front yard because he was being ‘helpful’.
Thankfully 3/4 of the way through putting it up he got bored and went inside to begin sourcing items to put inside the tent. You know essential camping items like soft toy dolphins, dinosaurs, books, cars and a microphone.
Oscar brought these items out one by one whilst I fiddled with ropes and zippers.
Oscar was inside the tent when I placed the last peg in place holding the fly down.
As I took the last bang of the hammer on the peg it began to rain.
I dashed to the verandah, Oscar was inside the tent.
The rain got heavier and heavier and then it began to hail.
Like hell I was going back to the tent.
In between the loud dents of hail I could hear Oscar singing into his microphone and complaining about how loud he had to be because the rain was too loud.
He stayed in there an hour.
We went off to dinner at the inlaws and came back ready to sleep in the tent.
Everything was set, sleeping bags, torches, water bottles, soft dolphin.
We did our good night’s. Oscar wriggled in to his sleeping bag, I wriggled in to mine.
(it’s 7pm in case you are wondering).
Torch off, night night.
A few minutes later Oscar is out of his sleeping bag slowly undoing a tent zipper, I ask what he’s doing.
He returns to his sleeping bag and we resume the quiet.
I begin to drift off to sleep.
Oscar begins to talk about the leaves falling on the tent, that he’s cold, that he’s too hot etc.
Eventually he is quiet again.
I am sooo close to asleep.
Then “Daddy my bed in my room is better, how about we do camping another night, maybe a Sunday”
Not wanting to do this all night I ask if he would like to stop camping and go inside to his room.
So we gather up pillows and stuff and head back inside. (It is now 7:32pm)
Straight in to his bed and asleep instantly.
The poor dolphin is out there alone.
32 minutes of camping.
I hope he isn’t like his mother who doesn’t do camping and doesn’t even do below 4 star…
I love camping and I love 4 star.
Let’s be honest. Sometimes parenting sucks.
It’s not all ‘Such a privilege’ or ‘so beautiful’.
Sometimes it’s bollocks.
This afternoon it was bollocks.
I think Oscar is the only person in the world so far to work out how to frustrate me to a point of no return. Now it should be noted that my version of frustrated is a lot different to other peoples. The frustration / anger part of me is pretty small and weak.
My version of extreme frustration is normally executed through things like a non specific ‘grrrrr’ tweet or some muttering followed by me withdrawing from whatever it is.
But sometimes Oscar gets me to a point where I want to angry tweet, mutter LOUDLY and even shout out “OSCAR WHY DID YOU DO THAT, I’M VERY CROSS”
Today I tweeted
I said things like ‘grrrrrrrrrr’ and ‘what the hell”
and I shouted at Oscar.
Then I left the room to calm down.
I called Jenny, I calmed down while the phone was still ringing, we worked out some consequences of Oscar’s actions and I went back in and Oscar and I spent a long time cleaning.
Every day that we are home Oscar has a ‘rest time’.
Time in his room where he can play quietly or look at books and if hell freezes over maybe even nap.
Rest time ended today and I went in to his room to say Hi and help him tidy thing away so we could get on with the day.
First thing I notice was all his drawers open, then I pan the room to discover his window looks all blurry, a bit like frosted glass. I’m pretty sure he had normal windows an hour ago.
It is then I discover a tub of his eczema cream on the floor.
I asked Oscar what happened to his window.
“Well an ant came in my window and picked up the cream and walked all over my windows”
What really happened Oscar?
“well it really was the ant”
the frustration is probably up to me knees at this point.
I asked Oscar not to lie and tell me the truth, he said he didn’t know what happened.
This went on for a while, at the same time I noticed more and more things in his room covered in cream, I also notice more tubs and tubes of eczema creams placed around his room.
Tops of shelves, floor tiles, light switch, door handles, toys, drink bottle all covered in cream
Eventually he owned up to doing it, I guess the Ant knew Oscar’s weakness and figured he would own up sometime, bloody Ant!!!!!
We spent a lot of time cleaning things and discovering more things covered.
He used the following creams in case you are wondering
I took all his toy cars out of his room and also told him no tv, videos etc for a few days.
Normally when we take things away he explodes and the whole world falls apart. Which I guess in a way is what we want as it’s a result of him doing something wring there is consequences that affect him.
not today damn it.
His response was
“that’s fine daddy, I don’t need toys and videos. Now I won’t get distracted in rest time”
PS. If you know someone with sensitive skin I’m charging by the hour to come and roll around in Oscar’s room. No socks though, the floor is way too slippery.
Many years ago I organised a fun evening of transport fun. It was when Cityrail decided that their service was soo bad they had fair free day.
So some friends and I split in to two teams and tried to complete a bunch of silly challenges and tasks. I don’t remember heaps about the night, and talking to Tom he doesn’t remember much either. But we are sure it was fun. If no memorable.
Then in my time at a previous employer I organised 2 or 3 full day transport challenges. These days where for youth coming from different parts of Sydney. I never got to be a participant but I loved running them and setting the challenges etc. The youth and their leaders siad they where some of the best youth days the organisation had put on. I was pretty chuffed.
So many many years later and being inspired by the last few days of the March Photo Scav Hunt I decided it was time to run one again.
So I am.
I have been to very few live gigs of big / famous bands. But they have all been amazing!
- Counting Crows (early 2000′s)
- Jamie Cullum
- U2 (twice)
- Flight of the Conchords
- Neil Finn & Paul Kelly
And a few Comedian Types
- Arj Barker (twice)
- Lano & Woodly
- Ross Noble (twice)
- Wayne Brady
I think that’s it.
I should get out more.
I have never really traveled alone before, but have wanted to for many many years.
I had my opportunity to do that the last 2 weeks and loved it. Of course I love traveling with others especially Tom and or Jenny. But being alone was super too.
The only real downside for me on this trip was that the writing on the US coins was way too small for me to be able to read with my broken eyes.
So every time I was given change with coins I had to keep them, I couldn’t use them to buy stuff because I had no idea what each one of them was worth. So I always paid for things with notes and card.
Pretty much everything I bought resulted in change including coins.
I off loaded some in those little charity tins on counters but not all of them
I brought home a plastic bag stocked full of coins.
I still have no idea how much I have.
My life is soo hard.
There is one group in the states that works harder than any other. They are found right across the country and deal with millions of people every day. Before you jump to conclusions and think I’m talking about the espanics I’m not.
Ladies and Gentlemen I introduce to you the portable barriers.
Above is a photo of some of these hard workers taking a break in their staff room. I can assure you that this is a rare sight, they hardly ever get breaks.
No one makes queses like the US. On my first day in NYC I visited 2 attractions and had to go in 9 queues.
If any workforce can save the US economy it’s the portable barriers.
On Monday morning I headed for the airport for a sneaky little jaunt to the US. The wife has sent me to try and keep the March Photo Scavenger Hunt trophey in the family.
I would say 90% of the times I fly I get pulled aide for the explosives test, today was no different.
I told the guy I always get picked and asked him why I fit the profile, he said he couldn’t answer that.
My plane left on time and the whole 13 hours the old man beside ensured he made full use of our shared arm rest. While on the other side of me the entire passenger and crew list made full use of hitting my elbow and knee. I couldn’t sleep a wink, it sucked.
Eventually we landed at LAX where I then spent 2 hours waiting in line for customs.
Hearded from one waiting room to another with a few hundred others.It was pretty painful.
Once I made it to the Customs officer he wasn’t very impressed with my reasoning for being in the states. I told his it was for the photo scav hunt so he asked lots about that, he then made me open my bags and show him what camera equipment I had brought with me. This went on for a while, eventually he stamped my passport.
Then I headed for more scrutiny so I could connect to a domestic Delta flight to New York.
This time I got patted down and sent through the body scanner.
The man was very gentle.
My Delta flight ended up being almost 2 hours late. Which was handy because I think I spent about 2 hours going in and out of the terminal toilet.
I arrived in NYC just before midnight and made it to the hotel at 2am, 32 hours after leaving home.
When parents buy their kids their first car or even when people buy their own first car I’m sure that first drive is full of two emotions. One being ‘Wahoooo I just got a new car’ and the other ‘Oh Shiiiiiiiiii&&&&&*********** I don’t want to crash it’.
I’m never going to get myself a new car, sure I got one for my birthday this year but I can’t actually drive it. Although I did try once and stalled it straight away. So that was that.
We have been using an antique push pull mower that is probably 100 years old. Lent to us by Lesley. It has worked quite well but never done a super job as the ground is too uneven and if by chance you encounter a stick it just stops and then the handles dig in to your ribs. This happens quite a lot as there is heaps of fallen sticks and twigs hidden in the uneven ground from the gum tree above.
It’s hot frustrating work so I quit.
Jenny does most of the lawn mowing around here, unless we borrow the noobs petrol mower in which case I’m happy to take control and mow mow mow.
Yesterday we decided we should get a real mower.
We went off to bunnings as I had a voucher from Christmas and had a look at their range.
There is a lot of mowers at bunnings and not one staff member who knew about mowers. Apparently the mower guy knocks off at 3.
Anyway we looked at the mowers, then Jenny spotted the hippie mowers up the other end that run on batteries and dolphin smiles and the aura of lavender plants or something. So then we discussed the possibility of one of the cordless electric mowers. there was even one that was on super sale.
I went off in search of a staff member, which if you are familiar with bunnings it’s a good idea to take a satellite phone and food provisions for up to a month. the place is huge.
Eventually a lovely staff member came along who knew nothing about mowers and tried to find the box for the one we liked. He couldn’t find the box and said he had no idea where to look. So he suggested we come back a different day, I assume earlier in the day though because we all know the mower guy knocks off early, hopefully not to cut another mans grass because we all know that is wrong.
I came home sad, I didn’t have my first ever real man toy, I didn’t even have my first ever watered down pansy boy electric man toy.
forget Movember, that thing drags on for a whole month. Today was Mowday!
We set off to bunnings again, we made it to the carpark then the son had a melt down in the car because we hadn’t brought any food with us. Our first reaction was to be frustrated with him, but he’s a smart kid. He knows how big bunnings is and was just looking out for all our health and safety.
I found the mower man and got talking about what sort of mower would be best suited for us.
He talked us out of the dolphin, candle, herbal tea mower as they only work on flat ground with no sticks.
I talked him out of the cheapest petrol mower as it had terrible reviews online.
We settled on a new Makita mower. A bit more power than the bottom of the range but not big and fancy which we didn’t need.
I disappeared for 6 months in search of a trolley big enough to carry our mower whist Oscar and Jenny staying in the aisle growing old together.
I returned and headed to the register. At which point Jenny and Oscar went back to the car. I can only assume they went back to the car because they wanted to be in comfy seats to witness me push an oversized box on an undersized trolley down a steep ramp toward parked cars.
Helping me would have made the process boring. Thanks wife, always looking out for the story.
On the way home from Bunnings we also stopped off at the servo so we could get some petrol. I got out and opened up my new jerrycan. Let me just say at this point that not being a driver also mean I very very rarely use petrol pumps.
I put the petrol pump nozzle into my can, the petrol immediately sprayed up out of the jerrycan on to my shirt, legs, arms and 95% of the entire petrol station.
I very cautiously filled up the rest of the can with the pump, although if I had a sponge I could have filled up 99 barrels, you would all start calling me Sheikh Howie and I’d start selling them to the US.
Eventually it was full and I put it in the boot, paid and we headed home.
At home I opened the boot, removed the jerrycan, and mower, then also removed the boot floor mat because I had also managed to spill petrol inside the car….
I’m no mechanic, in fact I have had very little to do with motors in my life. Not being able to drive has meant they have never really interested me. Therefore it was not a good sign when I found assembling the plastic catcher to be very very difficult. It didn’t even have any screws or anything!
After much sweating and swearing I got the catcher together. Now on to the mower. Oh easy peasy all I had to do was attach the handle. I did that super quick. And then I folded it up to admire my work and a small piece flew off in to the bushes never to be seen again.
Not to worry I’m sure it wasn’t important.
Here she is.
I’m not motor or mower savvy but I’m not an idiot (please refrain from commenting).
I knew before mowing that I should check to see if the mower had any oil in the oily thing on the motor.
I opened the cap, removed the dipstick. Looked at it and saw splodges of oil on it and thought to myself ‘that’s nice of them to already put oil in the motor’. Filled up the petrol tank and some of my shoe then got ready for ignition.
I wheeled the mower up to the grass near the street, primed the engine then pulled the cord like a very proud man.
I tried again, nothing.
I checked the choke. Gave it another prime… nothing.
A lady walked past and said ‘did you prime it, prime it again’.
I primed it again….. nothing.
Jenny came outside at this point, the pressure was on.
Then suddenly on another attempt she started. I was happy.
I mowed a few strips then went to empty the catcher in to the bin, my first harvest..what a moment! I opened the catcher flap and looked in expecting to see a green sea of chopped up grass and junk mail. IT WAS EMPTY.
Who knew, you have to remove the mulcher if you want the catcher to work… I’m such a dipstick.
I did some more mowing, my little girl was eating the grass like a boss, she was also then throwing the grass back up in to the catcher…beautiful.
Apparently now it was time for a grinding sound before the mower shut off.
It died, completely locked up, seized, frozen.
I called Makita, they said ‘did you put oil in it?’
I said ‘no, I checked but it already had some’.
Makita then told me that I just ran the motor dry and that it was dead, no chance of revival.
They don’t put oil in, it would have been residue from when the engine was made with a tiny bit added so it doesn’t seize up in transit and storage at stores. They also told me that to check oil you remove the dipstick, clean it, then put it in the check.
I didn’t know that.
Then they told me the good news of how I voided the warranty so nothing I could do.
I then called a local mower shop who told me pretty much the same thing and that a new motor would be the same cost as just buying the whole mower again.
So I managed to write off my first ever petrol powered motor in about 10 minutes.
Looks like it’s back to Jenny mowing.
The future of us having a petrol mower is now uncertain.
I’m thinking the best option is probably to just concrete over the front lawn.
Oscar and I went on a little holiday the last few days.
We did lots of fun things but the stand out moment for me was on a bus.
We were traveling to Sea World on a crowded bus and Oscar, grabbing his ears,said quite loudly “Daddy these bits on your ears, they’re testicles”
I’m pretty crap at blogging these days. But you already knew that.
Here is my review of 2012 through various camera lenses of mine.
Other stuff happened but this will do.
Malcolm strikes again.
Not totally accurate theology but a pretty accurate profile of santa.
On Monday 2 political greats graced our screens on Q and A.
Twitter went crazy with #RuddBull lovin.
I have made some merch which you can buy here.
I’m pretty much the king of instagram, and now you can look at all my wonderous photos.
Yesterday I put a bunch of stuff on the chair at my desk. Some papers, a few pens etc.
I later moved the stuff so I could sit down but neglected to move one of the pens, It was at the back of the chair so if I sat down I wouldn’t be sitting on it.
I sat down and spent some time on my computer doing important work like watching some stuff on iview.
Jenny came in a bit later to help me clean up this room a bit as I had someone coming over in the afternoon to get some social media advice.
There we were cleaning away and suddenly jenny said ‘WHAT DID YOU SIT IN’
I was confused, what did she mean, anyway I dropped my pants and had a look at the back. There was 2 major blue splodges.
On closer inspection of the chair, the pen I had left there had leaked a puddle onto the chair and I had sat in that puddle.
I went upstairs in my undies and changed pants before returning to cleaning duties and normal daytime activities like eating, going to the toilet etc.
Just before bedtime I went to the toilet and noticed that there was some blue on the toilet seat, it looked chemical.
I tried to rub the blue off with toilet paper but it didn’t budge.
Then a bit later Jenny went to do her bed time routine and asked why the toilet seat was blue, I had no idea then simultaneously our brains clicked and let out an ‘ohhhh’
I turned around and Jenny confirmed the back of my undies was blue. Then for research purposes I dropped my undies and Jenny then confirmed that my bum was indeed blue as well and has been since much earlier in the day.
The moral to the story?
When trying to redecorate your bathroom don’t buy expensive marble, simply sit in ink and place your bare bum around the bathroom surfaces to create a genuine marble effect.
Most of you would know I do a bit of (unpaid) work for Black Stump.
I love it, this year I moved roles as I got fired from ticketing, I am now the Village Coordinator.
Basically I was like the Mayor of centre of the festival, although I had to unblock a clogged toilet, pretty sure Mayors don’t do that, or maybe the really good ones do.
Before the festival the role was recruiting all the stall holders, NGO’s and food vendors.
At the festival it was pretty much troubleshooting and accepting edible bribes from the food vendors.
All in all I had a super weekend at stump and I hope I can be involved for a very long time to come.
There was lots of stuff I wanted to see like Frasers show about his cancer and Jon Owen attempting comedy. But I wasn’t there to see stuff, I was there to eat chips and I think I did a splendid job at that.
Oh and for next year I’m seriously considering attempting a comedy gig.
We have 3 no junk mail stickers on our letterbox, but this was deposited today regardless.
A Liberal party flyer for the local elections highlighting the reckless spending of the current Mayor (a formal liberal party member, now independent)
It’s pretty dodgy, my favourite point is the green highlighted one that unfortunately sums up the area I live in.
$2 million to reduce Hornsby Council’s greenhouse gas emissions including a feasibility study on setting up a community owned ‘solar farm’ in Hornsby
To most in this area that would be seen as an outrage, to the 3 hippies that live in the shire, it’s bloody awesome. A community solar farm…spend more Mr Mayor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!